Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Yellow Rose

In the end, I was happy with the rose. Not so much the leaves, but the background window? Kinda okay. I'm learning. 


Little Pleasures

Something really fun is gently tearing off the painter’s tape around the edges of a painting that I’m even half-way pleased with. That leaves a bright white half-inch edge all the way around, which provides a really nice contrast with the painting – giving it a frame of sorts. The satisfying sound of the tape giving up its grip, and that emerging crisp edge around a kinda sorta decent painting – there’s hardly anything else like it. 

I think I can do better than this one, though. I lost the lights in the background and the lines on the yellow flowers are way too overstated. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 21, 2020

One More Time


Glowing Tree
8.5" x 10.5" Watercolor
on Arches 100% cotton cold press

Second try. Took a little more time with the drawing and made it larger. Still tried to control too much and made it too bright, dark, and dramatic. Once again, though, did capture the way that tree truly glows in the late afternoon. That's still something. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Painter with a Lead Foot


Glowing Tree
Watercolor, 5" x 10"
Arches 100% cotton cold press

Getting through this painting was like riding with a lead-foot driver who happened to be me.  

I wanted to use the kind of quick, expressive strokes that I so admire in local artist David Savellano, but everything accelerated way too quickly. Suddenly it was all too bright and needed toning down in places. Then I had too many dark areas. Then I realize I'd left absolutely no white on the page, which in watercolor helps "tell the story," as they say. I lifted some paint here and then and started back in with more mark-making, unable to slow down and be judicious. Finally I slammed on the brakes, but it was too late: I'd overworked the painting -- the very thing I was trying to avoid. 

However...I did capture the way those red flowers on the neighbor's tree have been glowing in late afternoon sunlight these past weeks. That's something. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Garden Party

Another Garden Selfie
10" x 14" Arches 100% cotton cold press

There's a garden party going on up the street, and they're not wearing masks. 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Don't Get Me Wrong, California

Fran's garden
8" x 10" watercolor
Arches 100% cotton w/c paper 

Don't get me wrong, California. I like you. I like you a lot. But I do miss Midwest summers and prairie flowers -- even the heat and humidity (sometimes) -- and the way those butterflies just magically appear.   

More About the Sally Project

I met Sally forty years ago when I was twenty and she was the one in her sixties. I was a waitress at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant on...