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This watercolor of a sailboat at sunset was done from my imagination and memories of being on our boat at this time of day. Since we live at a marina, my husband often comes to me later in the day and asks, if I am not too busy, to go out on our boat to watch the sunset.
I love watching the clouds turn gold, orange, pink, and purple. I like how the lowering sunlight casts a golden hue over everything and the shadows turn deep blue-purple. I’m enthralled when the light has faded so that everything is silhouetted against the sky, but the water catches the light and is an etherial blue.
Artists, including me, like the light when the sun is low in the sky, at both ends of the day, since it is a good color and makes long shadows. Sailing and watching the play of light on objects is a large part of my everyday life.
(# 28 of 120 Paintings)
“It takes 120 bad paintings to know something about painting.” - Larry Seiler as quoted by Jeff Mahorney in his blog
Each painting is small in format and should be completed in about an hour or less.
My goals are to improve my technique, to paint faster, and to gain experience with a variety of subjects.
Here I am a week behind in the Weekly Photo Challenge. I painted this watercolor of the Maryland Capital building while sitting outside a couple of blocks away and I got the perspective wrong. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed that I had painted the dome as it would have looked with an affinity for the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
I did, however, take a photo while I was there and have now painted it again with better perspective. (It helps to have a straight edge and a square so the upright lines are perpendicular to the bottom of the picture plane.)
My husband picked out a package of seeds for purple hollyhocks last summer and planted them in the garden. They sprouted, grew leaves and survived being transplanted. I think they enjoyed our mild winter. Hollyhock plants bloom the second year, and when spring came, they put out lots of large leaves and then sent up tall flower spikes. The large round flowers opened, a purple so deep it was almost black. The stamens were filled with bright yellow pollen, which dropped onto the lower petals of the flowers. Now the seed pods are ripe, breaking open and dropping their abundance back into the garden. Do you think we’ll have purple hollyhocks again?
A couple of my recent watercolors match the subject for this week’s challenge of “Inside.” We have an antique Grandfather clock which has been passed down to us from my husband’s grandmother.
Inside the main body of the clock are the weights and the pendulum.
And if the cowl over the face of the clock is removed, one can see the clock works inside.
In honor of Independence Day in the United States, I wanted to post a picture of fireworks as this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge. Fireworks are fleeting, lighting up the sky for an instant, yet representing our joy in freedom and the battles fought to get and maintain it.
As I got out my paints today, I realized that I had painted fireworks recently. These fireworks are the finale to “Melodic Lines,” an art book which I made as a visual representation of a piece of music.
In response to this week’s challenge, I painted the tools that I use to create watercolor paintings: my palette with paints in the wells and some puddles on the mixing surface, brushes, a roll of paper towels, a small spray bottle for wetting the paints, and two containers of water. One container is used for rinsing brushes and the other is clean water for mixing with paints.
And I have to admit that my palette isn’t usually this clean. The paints don’t stay in the wells and I don’t always rinse my brush before mixing a color, which results in dirty spots, especially in the yellows.
I thought that this week’s challenge would be tough for me. I spent most of the week getting paintings ready for shows this weekend. I have five paintings at a charity auction and another four framed pieces, an art book, eight unframed pieces, and some cards in the Muddy Creek Artists Guild “Artists on the Half Shell” show in Annapolis.
So my studio is disorganized and I filled our recycle bin with scraps of mat board in order to be able to walk into the room. I wondered, could I find the time and supplies to make one of my daily paintings, photograph it, and post it here TODAY?
Then I went to the “meet the artist” reception this evening. When the awards were given out, I was surprised and pleased to receive the “silver oyster shell” for watercolor for my painting of “Coffee 3.” (There was a silver oyster shell for each category of media.)But my biggest surprise was to receive the golden oyster shell (best in show) for my art book, “Melodic Lines.”
Summer is when we spend a lot of time on our boat, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.
Summer is when the crabs have grown big enough and numerous enough that crabbers lay down a line baited every couple of feet. They have a buoy at each end and traverse the line, pulling it over a large hook on the side of the boat and scooping up the crabs in a long-handled net as the crabs rise with the bait, refusing to let go until the last minute. Sometimes the bait is chicken necks, giving this type of crabber the nickname of “chicken-necker,” regardless of whether chicken or shellfish is used for bait. Back and forth along this same line they go, all morning long. If the chicken-neckers are weekend crabbers, they are often excited when scooping up the larger crabs and exclaim loudly to their partner who is driving the boat, “Wow! That’s a big ‘un!” and “Oooh! Look at this one!” I suppose when one has gotten up early and been on the water for an hour, 5:30 a.m. must not seem too early to be loud, despite all the cruising boats nearby with occupants still trying to sleep. (Can you discern our location from these comments?)
This watercolor, painted on canvas, captures the repetitive moves of a professional crabber as he drives his boat back and forth along his baited line. This is a classic crabbing boat, and they usually bear a woman’s name, e.g. Emily, Nora, or Sara Mae. The name, Crabbin’ Cruiser, is a boat name we saw on a smaller open boat with weekend crabbers aboard, but I liked the pun and couldn’t resist using it as the title for this picture.
This watercolor picture was painted from a black and white photo that my mother took of my brothers and me (about 1963). In painting pictures of people, the important areas to get correct are (of course) the face, but not so obviously, the hands. One of the challenges for me here was to get the expressiveness of these chubby toddler hands correct.
The photo has turned sepia and spotted with age, but by concentrating on the lights and shadows and making up my own colors, I have brought it back to life. My mother remembers taking the photo, so I have painted it again, and she now has the most recent rendition hanging in her bedroom. The first time I painted it was for a present for my older brother (the one on the left), and this second edition is at our house.
This blue watercolor painting is the North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment on the northern bank of where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. My son was stationed there in the Coast Guard, rescuing people who were caught by the treacherous sand bar caused by the strong currents. This picture belies the dangerous conditions in which he often had to go out (but I’m his mother, so please don’t go into the details!)
This painting was produced using a technique developed by Lee Weiss and involves putting watercolor paint on both sides of a wet piece paper and flipping the paper over on a piece of plexiglass multiple times. The contact of the moist paint on the plexiglass mixes the colors from the two sides of the paper in unpredictable ways and also causes the texture which forms the foreground flowers and the puffy clouds.