30 June 2007

Coffee and Donut

This coffee break still life was constructed by another fine workshop instructor, John, alias Watercolourlover. At Wet Canvas, some artists are known better by their online nickname then by their real name. This was one of the reasons why meeting them in real life was so very interesting. Painting can be a lonely occupation, and yet many artists enjoy working in the company of others. We shared artistic tips and techniques, jokes, chocolate truffles, horseshoes (sort of), a pot luck , a barbeque, and a campfire, complete with a sing along. Many had eagerly looked forward to this event since Gail, or Strawberrywine, announced in January that she would be hosting this third annual 'Meet'.

When I look at this painting, finished after returning home, and the one of the loon, I am reminded of that great weekend. It was a very special time.

26 June 2007

Wet Canvas Reunion

For three days in late June, members of the Wet Canvas watercolor group met together at Sutton, Ontario, on Lake Simcoe. They had come from as far away as Vancouver, San Francisco, Nebraska and Indiana. Four even came from England for this event. Some knew each other well; many were meeting for the first time. Char, who led the macro floral tutorial was there, as was Judy, another student from that tutorial. I was fortunate to be among them. We socialized, but we also painted together in a couple of workshops. This loon was started in a workshop led by Shelley, a highly respected artist from Burlington, which I finished after returning home. It was nothing short of fascinating to paint and be among so many fine artists.

13 June 2007

Red Rose

There is just something about roses. I was drawn back to them again and again. If the rose is the classic flower, then the red rose is the most classic of all flowers. I had to paint one to add to my rose collection. Here was another of those tricky macro compositions where the view is so close that no background or greenery shows. The eye is attracted to strong contrasts, and I used them here to keep the work interesting. But too much of a thing is......too much, and I glazed over this painting repeatedly to reduce the stark 'posterized' effect that was first created.

I find it amazing that there were actually nine different pigments used in this one red rose:

three reds, two pinks, a blue, and three greens.

12 June 2007


I am a great one for saving scraps. I get it from my mother, who grew up during the depression and therefore was a better scrap saver than me. But watercolor paper is not cheap, so surely something could be done with my growing accumulation of bits and pieces trimmed from larger works.

I'm not sure how many 2.5"x4" paintings I had paper saved for, but it certainly was a lot. It was high time that I tried a miniature painting.
This was similar to the hydrangea in that the composition would be vital, as would be the lighting, to avoid a boring painting. However, even if I failed and it was boring, because it was so small, it would only be a little boring........

I got out my smallest brushes and went to work. It reminded me of knitting a baby sweater. Because the stiches, or in this case brush strokes, were proportionately so small, the miniature took just as long to complete as a larger work. In the end, I felt as if I didn't have that much to show for all the work that went into it. If your monitor is like mine, what you see will actually be larger than the original.

But I was pleased with the result, so I guess I could say that it was at least a small success.

7 June 2007

Peach Rose

Peach is my favorite color of rose. I particularily like the Peace rose, or Chicago Peace. Peach roses were a theme in our wedding. I wanted to make sure that while I was painting flowers, I would do a peach rose. Working as usual from the Wet Canvas reference image library, I chose one with an abundance of opened petals. It reminds me of a ruffled Victorian gown with lavish petticoats.