Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Time Flys When You Are Having Fun

"Time flys when you are having fun" and before I knew it a couple of weeks had passed with no new postings on this blog. Sorry about that, but here is what I have been up to.
1. Its spring, so garden, garden, garden, and oh how beautiful my flower beds look this year. The best since I began planting on this property 14 years ago. If I had time I would run out and take some photos, but no time at the moment.
2. Teaching lots of fun local classes, and plein aire painting at Labadie Farm and Horton Iris Farm.
3. "Disappearing Landscapes Show" a benefit for The Placer Land Trust is currently hanging at Latitudes Restaurant in Auburn. It is a fabulous show by invited Placer County Artist, each submitting two pieces one of which was to be created at one of the sites that the Land Trust has conserved. I found this little red barn at Labadie Farm and thought it was so cute, had a ball painting it on an early spring day. If you are in Auburn, you have to go by Latitudes and see this show.
4. Much of my time these days is spent preparing my studio and my work for the Loomis Art Loop Open Studios Tour on Mother's Day weekend, Saturday May 10, and Sunday May 11. To print your free map and photos of our work go to this website:
This is the only studio tour I am doing now, I much prefer the beautiful weather we get on the spring tour to the iffy weather of the fall Placer Arts Studio Tour, and this tour is smaller so the pace is much nicer. You can visit each of the 12 artists in one day as we are at 7 locations all with 5 minutes drive of each other here in the beautiful Loomis Basin. We hope you will come to see us, we have lots of exceptional work and some fun demonstrations planned for you to see. Bring a picnic lunch and blanket and picnic by the pond at the Horton Iris Farm (3 artists are showing there) and for sure, bring your camera. The wild flowers are out all over the basin, and each of us are working hard on our flower gardens as well.
5. Oh, and I am leaving in less than an hour for New York City to attend our nephew's wedding and 60th anniversary party for my in laws.
Whew! Now you know why I have not been writing on this blog lately. Hope this makes sense, got to run.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A New Tropical Watercolor

"Aloha" is the name of my latest watercolor painting. I began it in February when the subject of my classes was working from live subjects not photos. I gave each student a Bird of Paradise and challenged them to really see all the colors in the birds, not just those that show up in a photo graph. Then I asked them to feel the waxy surface of the bird (also does not show up in photographs) and then I taught them a technique for creating that surface in their paintings.
We also looked at the reflected light in the shadow, something else that rarely shows up in photographs.
My hope is that they saw the advantages of working from a live subject as opposed to a photograph, and will not be so dependant on photographs for sources for their paintings in the future. Of course had we been painting iris, photos would have been necessary as the blossoms change shape in hours and are gone in a day. But when possible, paint from the real live thing. Your paintings will improve.
These flowers were purchased from a local wholesale floral distributor, flown in from Costa Rica that day. The stayed fresh in a vase for a surprisingly long time, allowing me to paint from them for at least half of the time it took me to complete the painting. By the time they had wilted the painting was far enough a long I was just looking at the painting anyway. I may do a print from this painting if there is a market for it, as I think it is one of my best floral watercolors yet. What do you think?
The painting is priced at $850.00 framed at Elliott Fouts Gallery, (916) 736-1429. It is 24" x 18" and beautifully framed.