Thursday, March 25, 2021

Tulip Selfies

 Tulip Selfies, 7" x 11' ink and watercolor
Legion Stonehenge Aqua w/c paper, 100% cotton hot press

I can't help it. They're like eating candy, these watercolor paintings with lines drawn by sticks dipped in ink. Will I ever get serious again? Do not know. 

This one was inspired by the tulips I saw yesterday at the Filoli public garden in Woodside, CA. Previous owner Luline B. Roth arranged for the gardens to be preserved forever for the public in 1975. 

I love her. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Kind of Getting There

"East Bay Beauty," 7x10" watercolor on Arches 100% cotton cold press paper

Yes, I kind of felt it with this one, except for the sky. I splurged on a new online course by Shari Blaukopf ("Luminous Color for Sketchers), and I was not disappointed. She is such a great watercolor/sketching teacher. 

Working from a photo I had taken in the hills of Oakland, I took her advice to work with a triad of colors--raw sienna, prussian blue, and quin magenta. I tried to keep my brush strokes sparing but loaded with paint, and I tried to let the colors mix on the page rather than on the palatte. Except for the sky, which I botched, I tried not to go over and over things too much. 

It's wobbly--I still feel like I'm using training wheels to paint--but I do expect to be riding my bike more often soon. Perhaps. One of these days. 


Sunday, March 7, 2021

More Fun with Stick and Ink


Poppies and Purples, 7" x 11' ink and watercolor, Legion Stonehenge Aqua w/c paper, 100% cotton hot press

I know--I've been stuck in a groove with this series of ink and w/c paintings, using a stick to make the ink lines and then the limited color palette mentioned last time

And believe me, plenty of doubts run through my mind, like "They look like gaudy wallpaper or fabric designs" and "They all look alike" and "These aren't really paintings" and "When are you going to get off this jag and go back to not using ink?" 

But the truth is...they're fun! And they give me joy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. For now. 

Roy's Flowers Revisited

Roy's Flowers, Take 4
7x7" ink and watercolor on Stonehenge Aqua 100% Hot Press Paper

Now this is what I'm talking about. Still wasn't quite satisfied with Take 3, so I tried the composition one more time, this time with bold ink lines (using a stick and permanent black acrylic ink) but using a similar palette (Daniel Smth phthalo blue, ultramarine blue, hansa yellow light, and quin magenta, plus pops of mission permanent yellow deep (looks orange) and permanent magenta. 

And it kinda, sorta felt like riding a bike. A little bit, at least.  

Something about those bold black lines (once they dry) allows for more freedom in laying down juicy splotches of paint. It's like having training wheels on your bike, or something. 

I don't quite understand it, but I'm going to see where this ride takes me. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Let's Channel Our Inner Ox

 "Year of the Ox"
Ink and watercolor, 7" x 11", Legion Stonehenge Aqua w/c paper, 100% cotton hot press

I love the the way these red lanterns and balls appear all over the Bay Area in February, in celebration of the Chinese New Year. I saw this tree in Palo Alto a few weeks ago, as I was about to receive my first vaccination for COVID-19 on the Stanford campus. 

The tree stood at the entrance of a busy strip mall area near the campus, and the reds really jumped out at me. Since I'm learning to trust those moments when I feel like I just have to get a photo or make a sketch, I returned and took a photo after my vaccine. 

And I love that this is the year of the ox. If ever we needed the characteristics of an ox--stubbornness and perseverance, strength and patience--it would be now.  

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...