Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mid Summer Dreams

It's the middle of summer and I'm getting ready for my Montana vacation next week (yay!) Well, mentally ready I guess.

Nothing says summer like bugs sitting on daisies!

I took this photo when Jason and I visited upstate New York. I believe we were in a town called Roseboom (love that!). I took my camera out and captured a couple of images of that peaceful place. I still use a 35mm camera and it's so freakin' heavy to carry around and I'm sans lens cap right now. You'd think I'd run out and get another, but it's not that easy! I'm starting to have a difficult time finding film! But it's funny because when I do get my pictures developed and show them to some people, more than one person has told me that they miss looking at photos this way. What a difference to hold a photo or look at it on photo paper vs. someones digital camera. Now, I know some of you out there have some rockin' monitors - but do you miss just flipping through an actual stack of pictures? Or a photo album?

Boardwalk on the Marsh Trail Parker River Reservation

Newburyport MA

This is one of my favorite spots to bird watch. Lots of different species of waterfowl as well as songbirds congregate here and make a racket! I was here on the day that they finally "capped" the well in the Gulf of Mexico. And it makes me think that I should keeping a record of what these places look like to me when I am here. I mean, we can all admit that humans have continuously altered this planet we're on. And there's no way that New England looks like it did 100 years ago. (which was a farm land - stripped!) or 200 hundred years ago.

Still life with Skull, Bottles and Vegetables
Watercolor 8x10

Another still life with the skull. T and I did Wednesday night creativity last night and I thought that we should revisit the skull. I think that I need to spend more time on these paintings. I don't know if I'm thrilled with this one. Again, the bottle in back is glass, the one in front is a ceramic but could you tell the difference? My issue is texture and still trying to work with it. I think next time I'm going to do a still life with only glass. Superstar challenge. And that I can't use what we're having for dinner as the still life. Get some pizzas and make it easy.

Next week I'll be in Montana!! On a dude(ette) ranch woo hoo! I plan to take a ton of pictures with my heavy 35mm and bring a sketch book! I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Working hard or Hardly working?

Well, since I'm sitting in the office in Cambridge, and writing on my blog, I'm going to say that right now... I'm hardly working. In fact, I'd much rather be here:

Parker River Reservation, Plum Island, Newburyport MA

photo taken 7/15/10

I was here last Thursday ( I went out to the Dead Weather show on Wednesday and felt I needed to sleep in and go to the beach!) This has to be one of my favorite spots on the planet. With all the talk about the oil slick that's going on, I look at the beach now and think will this change in my lifetime? Should I be taking a documentary of all my favorite spots before they are wiped out by oil or the Asian Spotted Beetle or just plain human development? This particular spot is a wildlife reservation in Newburyport MA and you have to get there fairly early in order to get in as there's only so many cars to be let through the gate. It's a wonderful place to bird watch and I did get some of that in too. Unfortunately, there are the greenheads. They are the nastiest biting flies. Big and they hurt when they bite you! And the little buggers are tough! I would smack one on my shoulder as it was feasting on me, it would then fall, shake it off and fly away! Needless to say I was wearing more bug spray than sunscreen that day!

But then when I get home then I'm working hard!! People still ask me where do you find the time for all this? I tell them: "I don't have time, I MAKE the time." And it helps when I don't have a computer or cable TV to distract me.

Boylston Black and White

black watercolor 5"x7"

This is the beginning of another painting of Boylston, my friend's cat. Unfortunately Boylston passed away earlier this year. I've already done a pet portrait for my friend but he gave me a ton of reference photos so I've been doing a Boylston series if you will. I'm not sure that he or his wife is obsessed enough about this cat in order to get all the paintings that I've done, but then again, that's not why I'm doing them. Practice practice practice.

"Snackin' Duo"

Watercolor 5"x7"

This was for the winner of my gift certificate that I had donated to the Animal Rescue House out in Los Angeles. I call it "Snackin' Duo" because in the reference photo she had to hold a cookie in her hand to get the attention of both pets looking the same way. In the photo, her hands still there but of course we took that out and left their cute faces!


5"x7" watercolor

Eva's owner was the winner of my gift certificate donated to the Friends For Tomorrow program http://www, This is a place where both physically and mentally challenged kids can have the opportunity to experience the therapeutic benefits through horseback riding. If you've ever ridden a horse, even at the walk, you know thrilling it can be! I love little Eva's face. She looks a lot like Oliver, a dog that my family had back in the late 80s.

Speaking of horses, 10 more days and I'll be dude ranchin' in Montana. Oh my, I can't wait!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hot July Tuesday

5"x7" watercolor

So last night I met with Layla, a woman who wants to learn how do to watercolors and wants me to teach her. WOW! I've never ever done this before. So I went online and did a little research and read a blog about a woman who teaches a workshop, just so I could get an idea of what to teach first. I want to be the best teacher and help this woman to learn the steps of watercolor from A to Z. And if you are an artist, you know that the first thing that makes a great painting is all the prep that you put into it. Such as, good supplies, color knowledge and composition. Well, when I walked in and started talking to Miss Layla, she said, "What shall we draw first?" and "I want to paint JUST LIKE YOU". While that may be flattering, I don't want to be copied and told her so!

So I had her sit down with me and we worked on doing wet in wet gradations. Making that color to the white space a soft transition vs. a hard line. I did give her a little lesson in paper. Quality watercolor paper is SO important. I prefer Arches 100% cotton 140lb coldpress. This is the best on the market. She had some tablets and pads and I brought an Arches tablet just to let her feel the difference between the Arches and the others. Just a side note: she did have a pad by Strathmore that was so smooth it was a crime to call in watercolor paper. That sh*t will buckle the second you put any water on it. But I told her to save it for other projects. Can't waste it, can we?

I want to post pictures, but like a dummy didn't take any. I will next time. Thing is, Layla says she's embarrassed by wanting to learn watercolors (WTF?????) She says that she's too "old" to be learning and that she doesn't want to tell people. This just struck me as very odd. I said things like "Too old? Never!" and "Lots of people pick up new things to do when they retire! There's nothing to be embarrassed about." Because Lord knows, I'm going to be telling everyone haha!

In the mean time, I've been working on my gift certificate winners and trying to work on more stuff for my own portfolio. I haven't sent a newsletter out since *yikes* last Christmas!? that's bad! But then I don't have a whole lot to share, not even new artwork. I just feel that I'm rehashing my old pieces and I can't be doing a whole lot of marketing when I have nothing new to market. At least that's my feeling.

However, you should go over to the Canine Art Guild website and vote for your favorite piece in the Here Kitty Kitty art show. I have 3 pieces presented but you should definitely vote for your favorite.

Speaking of kitties.............

Here's a picture of Sweet Misty, my sister's cat who had her 5 babies on Sunday night. SO CUTE! I can't wait to go and look at them! Of course J is very nervous about me going over there and made me promise that I wouldn't bring another cat home. We already have a kitty but sometimes I think she needs a buddy. Our condo is pretty small and I do fear 2 cats might make it a bit stinky.... but they're sooo cute!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hot hot hot

Well, it's officially summer and it's pretty freakin' hot out. But you don't hear me complaining! I feel if you're complaining about the weather, well, then your life must be pretty damn good. Besides, just wait in 40 years when it'll be hot like this everyday. Are you ready to give up oil yet?

So get this: I received a call from a woman who wanted ME to give HER lessons on watercoloring! HA! I've never done this before, so talk about an adventure!! I'm in Holliston all this week playing single mom with my nephews while my sister is in the Philippines (business) so we're meeting next Monday. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to approach this.... stay tuned!

Remember a couple of posts ago I did a painting of Bo, the golden, whose owner had won my gift certificate? Well, if you do you'll remember how much of a time (grrr!) I was having to get those colors right.... Here's the final product:

5"x7" watercolor and colored pencil
Not bad, huh? Sometimes those colored pencils really come in and save my day. I do believe sometimes I use them as a crutch and should shake them but I. just. can't.

So to help you cool down, here's a picture I took last February in Epson NH. I love winter. :)