Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grape Shoe

This is an original oil painting 5" x 5" gallery wrapped edges painted (no framing necessary) available for $85. from Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento, California. email:, telephone 916-736-1429.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Birds of Paradise

Oh my gosh, it has been almost a week since I posted on my blog. I try to post two or three times a week, so my students and friends can follow along with my journey as a painter. Anyway, I have been very busy, but it has all been fun stuff so that is good.

Last week I took a 3 day workshop from Steve Memering, a fabulous talent here in Sacramento, learning his painting process in acrylics. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree as an art major, ions ago and my main medium was acrylics but I had not used them for ages. In the meantime so many new mediums, gels, paints, etc. have been created that you could go nuts trying to figure out what products you need to buy for what look you want to create. So to try to make sense of the dizzying aray of new products, I decided to learn Steve's acrylic painting process. Great idea, the workshop was very informative, I played with all kinds of new looks, and Steve was right there to demonstrate, explain and encourage us on. We also had a lot of laughs. His next workshop is in August, if interested go to the Smith Gallery in Sacramento's website as that gallery runs Steve's workshops.

Sunday the sun came out and I spent the day in the garden before adding more glazes to an acrylic painting from the workshop so I could take it to my critique group meeting on Monday. Kathy Young Ross also took the class and the two of us kind of surprised the group with our new work in the medium they were not use to seeing us work in. Fun!

Now it is Tuesday and a group of dedicated students and I painted Birds of Paradise in a class I taught in Auburn today. No photos - we worked from real live Birds of Paradise. The idea was to get them away from copying a photograph and into seeing what is really there. In real life you see so much more, subtle colors, reflected light, subtle textures. Fun class, everyone left with Birds that were well on thier way to becoming a nice painting, and I hope a better idea of what you miss if you only paint from photographs all the time. Want to join me? I am teaching the same class Thursday the 21st at the Sacramento Fine Art Center from 1:00 - 5:00pm Don't just show up, go to my website and see how to reserve a space in the class, or if you have my phone number, call me. 3 open spaces as of now. I am working on a complicated tropical flowers painting inspired by these Birds of Paradise classes, so I am off to the studio now to get to work on it.

This Birds of Paradise painting was done a few years ago and sold. It is one of the most popular images in my greeding cards, so thought I would put it on my blog to let you see what my students and I are doing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Disco Queen

Remember the discos? Here is a shoe that has probably danced many a disco mile in its day. My freind Joyce loaned it to me so I could paint its portrait. It is an oil painting, measures 5"' x 5" and is priced at $85.00 at Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento, California. It does not need framing as the edges are painted. Add this to your shoe collection by calling Elliott at 916-736-1429. Shipping available, credit cards accepted.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Conversation

Tonight is Second Saturday, and here is my latest painting hanging in my studio in the gallery, the "Second Story Sunset" is in the main exhibit hall in the gallery as part of the Sunset Show. Party is from 6:00pm - 9:00pm come join the fun. Elliott Fouts Gallery, 4749 J Street Sacramento, CA.

"The Conversation" is a watercolor created from photos taken in The Floating Market in Thailand. All commerce is done on or along the canals with venders and shopers in boats and also venders and shoppers on the shore. Its a very colorful place, lots of haggeling, noize and unusual smells. My friends and I were in a small boat and our lady paddler obviously got some sort of a kickback from some of the sellers as she would steer us too some and by-pass others. She also would tell the vendors selling the Pinochio puppets that Kandi was shopping for one, and told them what price she had offered other vendors. She spoke in Thai of course, so we could not understand. But Pinochio is the same in Thai and English so we quickly caught on. Kandi's bargaining had an added benefit for me, it meant we were in one spot longer and I could shoot more photos. These two ladies were visiting in a little side canal away from the hustle and bustle and I was able to shoot many photos of them talking as Kandi bargained away with a Pinochio seller on the corner of the main canal and this side canal. Thanks Kandi, you made this painting possible. Note: If on a tour and you want to take lots of photos hang out with bargain shoppers who love to haggel!

This painting was created using the same process as the "Sunrise in a Balinese Market". Scroll down to see a step-by-step photo story of the method used.

This watercolor is 24" x 18" and is avialable at Elliott Fouts Gallery, 916-737-1429 for $850.00 framed. Credit cards accepted by telephone, shipping available.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Second Story Sunset

My latest watercolor "Second Story Sunset" was inspired by photos I took in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy in July of 2006 when I was there on a painting trip. Europe was having a heat wave so I tried to capture the heat in this painting. It is hanging in a group show titled "Sunsets" at the Elliott Fouts Gallery, 4749 J Street, Sacramento, California. The show will be up the entire month of February, with a reception to meet the artists (30 painters took part in the show) this Saturday, February 9th, 6:00 - 9:00 pm.

This painting measures 18" x 24" and is priced at $850.00. To purchase, call the gallery at 916-736-1429. Credit cards accepted, shipping available.

If you want to paint with me in Italy you can this September. I am conducting a Watercolor Workshop in Cortona, Tuscany September 6 - 13, 2008. For complete details click on my link to Toscana/Americana. At this writing there are still spaces available.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunrise in a Balinese Market Step 1

Like most experienced watercolor painters I use a variety of different approaches to creating a painting depending on the "look" I want to achieve. So no, I do not paint every watercolor this way, only the really "busy" ones. When I design a "busy" composition I find this limited palette layering approach works well. By limiting my palette I believe I achieve better color harmony, and this color harmony holds the painting together. Also, by using the darkest color as layer number 1, I am able to model my shapes and establish my value pattern early on.

When I work this way I usually limit my pallete to 3 primary colors. However, to get the skin tone correct for the Balinese ladies I added Burnt Sienna to my 3 primary colors. So the colors used in this painting are:

Winsor Blue Red Shade
Winsor Red
Winsor Yellow
Burnt Sienna

To insure that my palette would work, I painted two of the ladies faces first using each layer in the same method as the rest of the painting, accept I completed all the layers before going on to work the rest of the painting. When I was happy with their faces, I knew my chosen palette would work.

Now comes the fun part. I worked the entire painting with the first color, Winsor Blue Red Shade. I carefully painted using only this color and the white paper to create all the shapes using only the values of the blue. ("Value" means how dark or how light a color is.) Then I let the painting dry for a day.

Sunrise in a Balinese Market Step 2

Here I have added the first layer of Winsor Red over the Winsor Blue Red Shade layer. However, as stated in the Step 1 post, the faces of the two ladies on the left have all of the layers of all four colors.

Sunrise in a Balinese Market step 3

Now I have added the Winsor Yellow layer.

Following this layer I added a burnt sienna layer where necessary, completing the third ladie's face and all of thier hands. But I got busy and forgot to take anymore photos, sorry.

I continued work on the painting by repeating layers of each of the four colors as needed until I was happy with the values, colors and overall color harmony of the painting.

This method is very time consuming, especially since it has to dry thoroughly between layers. I have no idea how long it took me to complete this painting because I work on several paintings at once. Also, just to make my brain work harder, I have both oil and watercolor paintings going simultaniously. Its always an adventure in my studio!

Sunrise in a Balinese Market, the finished painting

"Sunrise in a Balinese Market" 18" x 24" watercolor, was exhibited in the "Sunrise Show", a group show exhibeted by Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento, California the month of January, 2008.
I had the good fortune of having a photo of my painting selected by the editor of the Art Gallery Calendar of the Sacramento Bee newspaper's Ticket Session for publication during the show. The photograph in the newspaper brought several visitors to the gallery and the painting sold.
30 artists were invited to take part in the show, only 2 painted in watercolor.