These are the two pieces of my artwork on display in The Creamery during the month of March. This exhibit, in the office, shows some of the work of members of various Artist’s Way groups.
The painting on the left is a watercolor based on time spent on Amelia Island.
The pen and ink drawing on the right is one of the illustrations I did for a children’s book published in Holland in 2008. It was written by Inge de Graaf and titled “Matthijs in Honderdland.”
This month’s art exhibit at the Creamery, Springfield, MO, will kick off at the First Friday Artwalk. It will feature works created by members of the Artists’s Way groups. I have two items in the show. One is a watercolor I painted that embodies Amelia Island for me with its sand dunes, birds, and lighthouse. The second is a print from a pen and ink illustration done for a children’s book that was published in Holland in 2008.
Unfortunately there was some “interference” and I no longer felt like posting for awhile. I did finish my second watercolor seascape painting. In the foreground I added a little girl playing in the sand and a dog. I remember that some other things went wrong with that painting and so I learned so more, but the only thing I remember was how hard it was to work with skintones. That was frustrating because I have had no trouble whatsoever with skintones when I’ve used oils. But then finally getting it to work with watercolor was certainly a big relief!
I am happy to say that both of these paintings are now in a private collection in Florida!
I have also finished a third watercolor seascape painting. This one, however doesn’t have as much of the sea showing in it. Instead I painted a short, squat lighthouse on the dunes. The one I worked from is not a real lighthouse; it was originally built as an artist’s studio. It must have been absolutely wonderful to sit up there and watch the clouds roll in and the surf crashing on the beach. I’ll bet some fantastic paintings were created there! I would certainly love to work there.
I also added a mailbox that I had seen on the dunes side of a cottage–not the street side, the dunes side. Makes me wonder if people used to leave messages…? The mailbox disappeared after the last storm season. But I still have it in my painting and can still dream up all kinds of stories about its existence and use. : ) The painting still needed more, so I also added some birds and a little dog.
This one is hanging on my wall for me to continue to enjoy.
Painting number four is sketched, ready for me to start either masking or painting, whatever I decide is best. And while I did add two children and some birds, I really want the main focus to be foam, both huge foamy waves and foam floating towards the edge of the water at the beach. And, I just might try painting “flat” foam instead of using a gel to give it some dimension. The children in front of the foam is my problem, you see….. It will be interesting to see how the painting plays out.
I noticed when I read the last post that I didn’t really explain what happened with the gel. The gel in the jar is white; when I stamped it on for the foam it was a beautiful white–just what I wanted. And then…it just disappeared! Oh, you could feel it, just not see it.
So with the gel mixed with some white paint, I redid the foam and added more. A little darkening in spots in the ocean and on the beach finished off the painting.
Then came my next adventure: Taking Off the Brown Tape
I expected to just get hold of an edge and rip it right off. It would not come off, never mind ripping. I finally had to painstakingly damped about half an inch at a time and then very carefully lift it off millimeter by millimeter with an X-acto knife. It took two days of laborious effort.
I am quite happy with my first attempt at painting an ocean scene with watercolor.
Now, on to number two!
Well! I inadvertendly learned something else as I continued to work on this ocean painting. I was loaned some structure gel. Thought that might be interesting for the foam. Okay…
First I took an eraser and carved some foam. I then dipped the eraser into the gel and stamped the gel where I wanted the foam–to give it that three-dimensional look. It was great! I then left the room to do something else. When I came back…that wonderful foam had disappeared!!!! Well, it was clear, so it just as well have disappeared. What a disappointment.
I also added some white into the sky, and it blended in as nicely as oils do. Not sure how I managed that, but I like it. I also darkened the eye, beak, tail, and legs of the bird; and worked on the rocks.
The painting seems to be coming along nicely (in spite of me?), and I’m enjoying the adventure–feeling relaxed and happy.
Every artist has one medium with which he or she feels most comfortable using. Watercolor is NOT that medium for me. So why did I suddenly have this overwhelming desire to paint with watercolors? It was five weeks spent on an island off the shore of Florida, walking the beach, listening to the soothing, rhythmic sounds of the waves, and experiencing it all at various times of day. There was constant change, yet it was the same. Watching the waves form, first as a darker line of color, then seeing the frothy white foam rise on top and finally come crashing down as the waves rushed toward shore, was fascinating!
And suddenly the desire was There, the desire to try to capture the translucence and depth of the water, and the power of those foaming waves. And, for some reason, I felt it had to be in watercolor.
Watercolor has been my nemesis in the past. It has not given me the effects I wanted; in fact it often turned out rather wishy-washy and uninteresting. What is interesting is that I should choose it now to attempt something new…
After a disastrous first attempt, which turned out to be great for showing me my weaknesses and reminding me of a few things I had forgotten, I began a “for real” ocean scene. And the first thing I did was mess up the sky–again! I then went over part of the area with another wash of blue, and for some reason tried to scratch out lines with the brush handle. What happened was that the scratches immediately soaked up more color than the surrounding area. Not good. I had better luck with the rest of the painting, even getting the water look on top of some of the sand.
OK… I feel better about this picture. It’s not finished yet, so I may still have some unexpected learning to do.