All the wonderful colors of autumn are coming. We see hints of them in some trees, and due to our recent drought, many leaves are falling off the trees, but there is still a lot of green chlorophyll in our area. Except in my art studio!
These trees are made by splattering different hues of watercolor onto the paper or canvas. Enough water is sprayed on the surface to let the colors start to run together. After that dries, I add the trunk of the tree, placing it behind the lighter leaf shapes of color and through the darker shapes and the holes for the birds to fly through. Branches are woven into the tree the same way, trying to make sure that they all connect logically and get smaller as they get further from the trunk. Sometimes I splatter again at the end to give it more texture.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your walk through my trees. I’m thankful that I won’t have to rake the leaves!
More little paintings, these featuring an autumn theme.
Every autumn I am enchanted by the color in the leaves, the reds of the maples, the golds and browns of the oaks, and the bright yellows of aspen. I had painted this small picture by tracing around the leaf and painting a light value of red paint inside the shape and a contrasting mixture outside the shape, when I was intrigued by the idea of putting paint directly on the leaf and printing it onto the paper inside the shape I had drawn. I liked the results enough that I had to try it again, this time on canvas:
And then I had to step back from the close ups of autumn to see the splendor of the big picture in this little picture:
I’ve recently been painting a number of little pieces. Here are the ones with a seashore theme.
I have a collection of sea shells that we’ve picked up from our visits to different beaches. It was fun to imagine this scallop shell back on the sand.
Getting a reference photo for this picture was difficult. Ever notice that when one walks towards the birds to get close enough for a photo, the birds turn and start to walk away, resorting to flying to another spot if the photographer gets too close?
Oyster shells are made up of many overlapping layers. Getting the texture and form for this one was a challenge for me.
Summer is waning in the northern hemisphere, and the kids have gone back to school, but since my husband is retired and, if I paint on location I can call this a business trip (smile), we set off for the beach.
I didn’t paint at the beach because as soon as we got there, the biting flies treated me like fast food! Only if I stood halfway up to my knees in the water did they leave me alone. (It was not fun!) And since painting with watercolor means I need either a table, or an easel, to put something on the ground, or a third hand, I didn’t paint standing in the wave zone. We both took lots of pictures and I put this scene together in my studio.
Two of the visitors to the Farmers’ Market recently were a woman named Josie and her mother, who was visiting from California. They fell in love with a couple of my one-hour studies, Lovin’ the Lavender, and Purple Passion (an impression of the Russian Sage which has bloomed wonderfully here this summer. Alas, I did not get a scan of it.) They also saw a small watercolor on canvas (4″ x 4″) of pink roses, and wanted a painting of hydrangeas as a companion piece to go with it.
I got up this morning to find my son eating breakfast by flashlight. After a little exploration around the house, I discovered that some parts of the house had power while other parts did not. I could make a cup of coffee, but I would have to drink it in the dark. I could turn on the light in the bathroom, but not write an email since the modem didn’t have power. I checked the breakers and they looked fine. So I called the power company and they sent out a technician.
He first tested the power coming in to the junction box on the side of the house. All looked well. The power company is only responsible for the wires coming to the house; if I had a problem inside, he wouldn’t be able to help with it. But before he concluded that for sure, he would check the other connections. So he hopped into the bucket on the back of his truck and “flew up” to the top of the pole at the end of the driveway. When that checked out okay, he got a ladder to check the connectors at the top of the house. Bingo! One of them was old and cracked and had shorted out. It only took him a couple of minutes to replace, but it was long enough for me to capture a quick image of him up the ladder with all of his protective gear on.
These tomatoes from Lothian Produce taste every bit as good as they look. I love slicing into the meaty flesh and releasing the delicious smells. When I put a slice onto a sandwich and bite into it, the juices run through the other ingredients and down onto my hand. The aromatic basil from my garden complements the flavor of the tomato and adds some crunchy texture, so sometimes I’ll use it instead of lettuce.
Ooohhh – I can hardly wait for lunch!
Last year we spent a night at one of our favorite anchorages, Dun Cove, on the Maryland Eastern Shore. We had actually moored in one of the creeks off of the cove since the weather report was predicting some overnight storms (which didn’t actually materialize until the next morning). I drew a picture in my sailing journal and painted this using that sketch as my reference:
Before I put this in a floating frame (glass on both sides of the paper) I decided to paint on the other side, too. Here is what the creek looked like a couple of hours later: