Sunday, November 30, 2008

In a Ditch

In a Ditch, 18 x 24, pastel

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Edward Hopper at Seattle Art Museum

"Hopper's Women" at the Seattle Art Museum is great! Next time I'll go on a weekday to avoid the crowds blocking my view of the artwork.

Hopper creates a sad and lonely view of humanity and it was a thrill to look at the many paintings in the exhibit.

Also at the SAM were landscapes by Bierstadt and Church, portraits by Sargent and Chase and Henri, and a Rothko and de Kooning. It's worth a second trip. I'll make one soon.

Chop Suey, Edward Hopper, oil, 1929

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Travels

Today was a day of fixing and baking and packing and traveling. We'll be in the Seattle area with our kids this long weekend with lots to celebrate. Thanksgiving, an engagement, a birthday, and the joy of just being together.

Of course, a big, three layer chocolate cake helps make it a delicious time. Maybe some time for sketching, but mostly a restorative time with family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oysterville Trees

For me, no trip to the beach is complete without a run out to Oysterville, WA. This quiet town sits overlooking Willapa Bay and boasts of many historic homes and buildings and giant Monterey Cypress trees along the old streets.

I caught this stand of birch in a patch of sunlight, looking across undeveloped land toward the bay. Undeveloped land makes me happy. Trees make me happy. The beach makes me happy.

Oysterville Trees, 6 x 10, watercolor

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Aaron at Hipbone 2

Aaron Standing, 24 x 18, pastel on Belgian Mist Wallis sanded paper.

Aaron at Hipbone

Aaron Reclining, 12 x 18, pastel on Belgian Mist Wallis paper.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nothing better

No matter the weather, I love to be at the beach! The storms rolled in with gusty winds, stretches of brilliant sunshine, and fierce clouds that dumped buckets of rain.

It made no sense to set up an easel in that, so I sat at the window and watched. And painted with a small watercolor set up.

Life is good, especially at the beach!

Out the Window, 6 x 10, watercolor

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Clearwater River, Idaho

Back to watercolor for today. My hope is that if I put more miles on my brush, I will improve.

The Clearwater River runs along the Idaho-Montana border and is well known for good fly fishing.

September 26, 1805, Lewis and Clark were in this same place. They had other things on their minds than a watercolor painting.

Clearwater River, Idaho, 22 x 29, watercolor

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Mindful Day

Much on my mind today, so a drive through the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge to clear my head. Although more and more are on the ground, the Autumn Leaves are glorious.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Closing Reception

Fall Reflections on the Lewis River

The cool tones of the rocks and the warmth of the fall colors reflected in the water interested me. I started this painting before our last bit of rain. The water, once quiet and still, is raging now and offers no reflections. Time is critical sometimes when I don't realize it. I'm glad I seized this moment.

Fall Reflections, 18 x 24, pastel

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Figure Drawing at Hipbone -- Part Three: 30 Minute Poses

The last poses of the session are 30 minutes each. It gives the artist a chance to develop the drawing (or painting) more completely than the shorter poses.

Here I started with a piece of Wallis paper that I had previously experimented on with washes of watercolor, pastel with Turpenoid, and just water. I decided to just focus on the model's head and hand in this drawing.

I have been away from Hipbone for a long time and it felt great to be back. The human form is endlessly fascinating to me.

Moses, 14 x 14, pastel on Wallis paper

Figure Drawing at Hipbone -- Part Two: Longer Poses

After the gestures, next the model holds several poses for 5 - 15 minutes each. This one was done in 15 minutes. At this point in a session, I try to begin with a gestural sketch and then modify it for accuracy in the proportions.

This drawing was done in 15 minutes. I was especially interested in how the model's feet were placed.

Moses, 24 x 18, pastel on newsprint

Figure Drawing at Hipbone -- Part One: Gestures

Figure drawing usually starts with about 10-15 minutes of gestural drawings. The poses are dynamic and are held for one or two minutes. With my gesture drawings I try to capture the feel of the pose, the movement, what attracts my eye, where is the weight, the tension, the drama.

I work on a standard 24 X 18 pad of newsprint with charcoal. I think that this is my favorite part of figure drawing. Gestures.

Moses Gesture, 24 x 18, charcoal on newsprint

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Finished one month of daily painting!

It has been a great month of daily painting! I've learned to concentrate on artwork in a new way, that is, waking every day with the thought, "What will I paint today?" I've practiced with simple subjects and more complex ones, each painting has been a step on the journey and a delight.

But, I am also realistic. I won't be able to keep up this level of focus. Not with the holidays coming. Not with social obligations coming. Not with helping a friend work on her book. Not with a new possibility of making music with some different folks.

So, if I'm not posting photos of new paintings, you'll have an idea of what I'm up to. Life is good!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just watercolor this time

Beachcomber, 21 x 21, watercolor

This time I just left the watercolor alone. No pastel on top. This older man walked the beach after a big storm, bundled against the cold morning wind. I'll keep working with watercolor. I'm hoping to do better next time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Watercolor with pastel is cheating

After I established my light pattern, I painted from a photograph the wetlands near Willapa Bay, at Ocean Park, WA. Watercolor is a tricky medium. I am so out of practice it did not go very easily.

I felt like I was juggling odd objects. A bowling pin, a kitchen knife, and a baby.

Water. How much water? Pick up the paint, don't over mix, confident stroke. Wait a minute, I didn't mean it to be so red! Aaak! Go over it with more blue. Now it's too dark. Blot it with a paper towel. Don't lose the light pattern. It was a frantic bit of time. Finally, I decided to let it dry and see how it looked.

Well, it didn't look that great. So, I grabbed my pastels and mucked it up a bit.

The best thing I can say about it is that I didn't lose the light pattern. I'll do better next time.

Willapa Bay Wetlands, 22 x 30, watercolor on 140# Rough

A sometimes silly girl

I've been talking about it for a while, and finally today I pulled out a sheet of watercolor paper, got out my palette, wet my brushes, squeezed out paint and did a watercolor painting.

But first, I had to throw out my sponge. I've had this sponge since I bought it to fulfill the supplies list for my first ever watercolor class with Eric Wiegardt in 2005. I've dragged it with me on many trips, dropped it in the dirt, in the sand, on the grass, in a parking lot, and in a puddle. I've cleaned it with bleach I don't know how many times. It has seen better days. And it used to be smell-free. No more.

It's silly, I guess, to feel pangs of loss over a bit of cellulose. Maybe so. Just call me silly. Today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008