Two birds, one stone… Not that I advocate stoning our bird friends! It all started Monday morning, while I was emailing members of Spokane Watercolor Society and then answering the numerous emailed questions I received. I suddenly realized that I had overlooked an important detail or two regarding our upcoming 2015 SWS Member Show. First, I had forgotten that because of the location where it will hang, there is a theme to this show – nature. That means that the painting I had planned to enter, a cityscape, doesn’t fit the theme. No problem-I have all these paintings I’ve already done this month which include some florals and two animals, so I can just frame and enter one of those. Oops, that won’t work either because the minimum image size is 8″x10″ and all of these are only 7 1/2″ wide or less. Oh my… So, emergency painting time! I did get it drawn and ready to paint, so that’s progress. Now, referring back to “Two birds, one stone,” I can also use it as one of my 30 in 30 paintings! Now I just have to paint it!
In the meantime, I’ll share one of the pictures I completed in early November. This was the October monthly watercolor challenge subject on Wetcanvas (yes, I was a few days late finishing and posting it). The subject is a photograph of a Florentine School statue in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight near Liverpool. It was another real challenge to me, as I’ve never drawn and/or painted a statue before this one. I also have little to no experience painting people. I enjoyed it so much and am pretty happy with the outcome.
Challenge pretty much says it all for my painting last night! I tried something different and, while it’s not so bad that I won’t post it, it also didn’t work out very well. I do like parts of it… And it’s always a learning experience to try a different technique, subject, media or whatever else is new to an artist. I must have learned something from tying this!
What a fun project this was! I have never tried to paint a cow before so this was yet another learning experience. This reference just grabbed me! I must thank and give credit to the photographer, Raido Holm, for his imaginative camera work. I found the image on a Facebook page called “Artist Reference Photos,” where all are copyright free; you just must agree to credit the photographer.
So, I have now managed to paint and post eight, tying my previous “record.” I have begun two others and, now that I found that FB page, I have all kinds of fun new reference photos to inspire me. In addition, in looking through a number of my own pictures on the computer, I keep seeing ones I have meant to paint (sometimes for years)! So, no excuses-I just have to make the time! I love the challenge and am definitely feeling a sense of accomplishment! Practicing my art is such a happy pursuit!
“Deserted” Day 2 painting “Calla Lily” Day 3 painting
I have mentioned several times that I need to catch up with the month-well, I guess I should also catch up with the paintings I have not shared here. Day two was fun, as I love anything “beachy.” I enjoyed day three too; of course I did – it’s a flower! And last for this grouping, day 5 is from a beautiful rose bud reference – I love the rose, but the background could have come out better. But sometimes when a painting is finished, it’s all too easy to see what someone else wouldn’t notice. I love coming back to something a while later and looking at it with fresh perspective. I usually find that I like it better than I originally thought I did.
It was obvious to me that I already have a bad case of “spring fever.” Winter – here – has been fairly mild and easy so far, but it’s also dark, dreary and everything is brown or gray. I have need of sunshine, green things and lots of beautiful flowers! Painting number seven – surprise – is a floral again. I love flowers-looking at them, growing them, smelling them. They make the world a much more beautiful place. I think that Bird of Paradise is a very fascinating flower, almost alien looking compared to other more typical flowers. Not that it has anything to do with spring-or even summer-where I live, but it’s a bright beautiful flower!
I am pleased that I’ve already managed almost as many paintings as I did in September. However, now I’m looking a little for more inspiration. Today all those ideas that were in my head a few days ago seem to be missing. I really should have written them down. A few years ago I started carrying a tiny notebook in my purse and made notes whenever something struck me as a great painting idea. I still do that, but often at home I think I can rely on memory… But I do now have five more drawn and ready to paint (only 1 floral for now) and I just finished, photographed and posted (on the 30 in 30 Challenge page) this painting. Still nowhere close to catching up with the month though!
Making progress… I have completed my sixth painting and have number seven in progress. I feel good about this, as I only managed to finish eight pieces when I attempted the September challenge. I should be able to top that this weekend and it’s still the first third of the month! Mostly though I’m just enjoying the time in my studio and actually practicing my art more than I usually manage.
Yes, I also see problems with “Old Blue.” I really struggled with the front tire. Even in my reference photo it looked smaller because of the angle, but in the painting it appears even more off. I measured and redrew numerous times and never did get something I was really happy with. That aside though, I like what I have done here-and it’s a reminder to always make sure the drawing works first!
Day 8 has long since dawned and I still only have five paintings done for the 30-in-30 challenge. They’re all quite small – 1/8 watercolor sheet for the most part (7 1/2″x 11″). Still they take time and I simply don’t normally work very quickly; small seems to be the only way for me to accomplish this. I now have four pieces ready to go, one with a quick underpainting done.
Above is my first post of the challenge. I had actually started the process in December and finally finished this painting right after the beginning of the year. I love Christmas and I had such fun with this one!
Have you ever noticed that when you’re under pressure to get artwork done, inspiration sometimes flies out the window? That is somewhat where I’ve been since January 3, when I again signed up for a 30-in-30 challenge-sponsored by the same artist as last September. I started 3 days behind!!! I have yet to catch up, but I have completed five paintings so far, have three more drawn on the Arches 140# CP paper and have a wealth of ideas floating around in my head. After I squelched the panic, I just started looking around and found all kinds of inspiration. Here is my day 4 painting. It is a Eurasian Eagle Owl, which was the week 11-29-14 subject in a Facebook group, “Paint Colorful Birds for Fun.” I rarely participate in the weekly choices; I’m quite proud of this since I have almost no experience drawing or painting animals of any kind. So, between trying to do at least some less familiar subjects and trying to fit at least one painting in each day (assuming I ever get caught up with myself), challenge is the perfect word for this! Not everything I paint will be up to what I expect from myself, but to me it’s all about practice, practice, practice! You cannot improve as an artist without devoting time to your art!
Rarely at a loss for inspiration, I have no good excuse for not keeping up with my blog. I just simply get busy with daily life and often times don’t get to the fun things, even if they are more important to me. So, that being said, after way too long an absence, I’m back! I have no lack of inspiration, but sometimes a big lack of time.
Going back to 2013, I started a new sketchbook the first day I joined the Spokane Sketchers meetup that year in early June. As I’ve mentioned before regarding the group-while I cannot always make it to the meet-ups, I thoroughly enjoy being a member and networking with the other local artists. I can simply say that joining the group has been the impetus I needed to make sure my hand was busy with some form of art pretty much every day. So as for my sketchbooks, my goal became to fill three of them in that first year with the group (at 60 pages each). I did manage that, just barely, and I do love seeing the progress I made in that first year with my drawing. It certainly points out how much better we can become at something with practice-gee, they apparently were right when I was in high school band!
Unless I’m painting, I continue to sketch/draw almost every day; when I am painting, I first hand draw everything. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get to both and take care of my other responsibilities. In September 2014, I tried an online “30 paintings in 30 days” challenge. I did not think that through very well, because it quickly became obvious that it was beyond the time I could manage right then. With Spokane Watercolor Society coming off our summer break and, as the group’s president, I was almost overwhelmed with all I needed to accomplish. As the month went on, I had to set my goal lower and lower, but I did manage to finish 8 small paintings in the month. Not close to the expected 30, but definitely a high for me in a month. So, I think I’ll start by posting one of those here and, as time allows I’ll post the rest of those and maybe also back up to show some of the sketches and drawings that have filled my sketchbooks in the past year.
September 2014 painting #1 – Sunlit Orange Hibiscus