I discovered, though a student, an excellent source for supplies, Merri Art, The main difference is the helpfulness of the personnel. I have a link at the bottom of the page, and am starting to work it into my equipment lists that follow each class listing. I thought I would make special mention because they carry EVERYTHING on my equipment list. One stop shopping!
Do you have a special day, or moment when you knew you were going to try to become an artist?
When I think back to When did I start? I remember the year I bought a sumi ink-stone and brush after receiving a gift of Haiku poetry with Sumi-e illustrations. My five year old daughter was in kindergarten, her older brother in 2nd grade, and on the afternoons I could get my two-year old to nap, I would sit by the window and try to paint the white birches and black Japanese pines that were in our back yard.
The new shop 11/20/11 — goal to complete the roof before his next sailing adventure 12/8
December 18, almost two years ago, I started this blog t
o tell you of our terrible fire. Jeffrey’s beloved shop burned taking all of his tools, records and dreams with it. After finishing up other building obligations, he started to work on the new shop this spring (summer) when the rains finally stopped and he was able to get the site preparation done.
Here he is attaching some of the first beams to the pier pads in July.
UPDATE (December 3): The roof is on and the shop is ready to stand by until Jeffrey returns from his trip. (That update will be posted next).
Setting the Hooks
Continuing with how we move from an idea to a painting with values, let’s look at this painting of a Greek fisherman baiting his hooks.
If I could bottle the soft fragrance of the lilies,
If I could bottle the light setting fire to that maroon one and its pink neighbor,
Spinning the tall ivory blossoms into angels wings;
If I could bottle the same light as it blinds on the water,
Tips the tops of the firs with gold,
Runs a long finger down the trunks and dances across the green moss floor;
Along with the light, if I could bottle the merry chatter of nuthatches,
and add to them the soft warm wind, ………
You have probably been told to do value sketches by one instructor or another. But do you THINK values when you are planning your watercolor? Or are you more interested in “what” you are painting? I claim that the shapes of the values are different from the shapes of the things. It is the shapes of the values, not the things themselves, that are a make-or-break in creating a sucessful painting.
The artist in you dwells in your right brain – and in your heart. Our culture assumes that you cannot be an artist without drawing things “right.” If you can’t make your drawing look like they do in the three-dimensional world, many people scoff at you. Students come to me certain that they cannot become artists because they just can’t seem to get perspective.
The confusion is that we have to leave our right brain and use the left to do perspective drawing. I am going to try to make it as simple as possible and promise — no vanishing points; they are almost always off the paper and in the next room, anyway.
The bane and the blessing of watercolor is negative painting. Bane because so many find it difficult. Blessing because of the way it can unobstusively direct the eye and focus attention. Learning to do it is like learning to back a trailer. It is difficult enough to teach in a class situation so teaching it without watching you as you try will be even more challenging. But here goes!
How do we get from that wet-on-wet start discussed in earlier posts to finished paintings? Mainly by negative painting and layering. We are always pushing back to bring other shapes forward. For example, on the left you see the end of my first wash for Natty Dred’s Love Shack. On the right is the finished painting. The white shapes — what is left of the white paper — lead you through the painting. With layers of negative painting they were carved out.
Are you sure, when your painting, what it is you intend to have as your focus? Do you plan it, or just let it happen? Let’s take some time this month to get focused!
Caroline Getting into Her Painting by Joanne McDonald
A group from my Edmonds class went together to the Picasso Exhibit that was recently at the Seattle Art Museum. They considered the list offered in November, 2009’s posting, “Looking at Unfamiliar Art” while they went through the show. During the discussion over lunch, they decided to each do a painting “inspired by Picasso.” They surprised me with these paintings at the start of the 2011 series at Edmonds.