Orbs No. 25 - Waxed Watercolor - 32" x 48"

Orbs No. 25 – Waxed Watercolor – 32″ x 48″

Life is coming together in a wonderful way.  I have missed posting on a daily basis, however, my time away from the computer has been well spent.  thirty years ago I could only dream of painting the paintings I have recently created for the solo exhibit at Overlook Medical Center, November 1, 2013 – January 5, 2014 in the Bouras Gallery.  Going back to square one to study Color has paid off in trumps!

Orbs No. 14 - Watercolor - 22" x 15"

Orbs No. 14 – Watercolor – 22″ x 15″

For once, it was better that I didn’t have windows through which to see the beautiful days that passed by as I poured, sprayed, brushed, splattered and spun paint on paper, both large and small.  The trash I found at flea markets proved to be treasures, working as templates to create translucent layers of shapes that interact with one another.  The illusion of movement through space is fabulous in this new body of work.

The day after tomorrow I’m headed back to California to teach workshops and to paint the real world again in the hills surrounding San Francisco.  I’m hoping I can project a glimpse or two of my inner worlds onto the real world as I paint en plein air in the landscape that I love so much, those crazy barren hills with spots of live oak.

Though the life of a painter is always challenging, I wouldn’t trade it for any other sort of life.

Images:  Watercolor Orb Paintings, part of the Series for Art, Energy and Healing.

Already I miss the beauty of the light reflecting off the water in Maine.  I made it back to New Jersey in record time …. no  delays due to construction and I missed both morning and evening rush hour traffic.

Rick Steves Backpack Suitcase

Plenty to catch up on today along with a few new ideas to make the Color Scheme Game  demos and workshops even better.

Sketchbook Drawing: drawn first with fountain pen, followed by watercolor on Rives BFK paper.

Mike had perfect 20 / 20  vision.  However, his eyes didn’t work together as a team.  First Grade was hell, to put it mildly.

Family Treasures No. 27, Colored Glasses

After watching a late night news broadcast featuring the experiments of Dr. Irlen in England, we purchased sunglasses with yellow, red, purple or green lenses. Wearing the glasses, Mike was able to see the letters lined up in the proper order and track from the end of one line to the beginning of the next … for twenty minutes at a time.  It takes only twenty minutes for the brain to reprogram itself.  this is called the Hawthorne Effect. By taking the glasses off and putting them on every twenty minutes he was able to do his schoolwork and to devour the books that he had been unable to read.  The yellow lenses worked best.  Our next bit of fortune was finding a remarkable woman who had developed a system of reprogramming the brain.  Though challenging, it was successful.  The colored glasses found their way to the bottom of his drawer.  They had turned his life around and given him hope that his dream of being an astronaut might still come true.  He now works for Moon Express, with the goal of winning the Google Lunar X Prize.

Drawing: drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Rome Burning Ink, followed by watercolor.  I decided not to paint the black ear pieces.  I didn’t want to distract from the colored lenses.

A perfect title for a Nancy Drew mystery.

Family Treasures No. 18

This is the second painting of The Glass Lady. I posted the first one on the Creative Color Blog.  I wanted to stay more delicate in this painting.  The Glass Lady was my mother’s.  She sat upon her dresser, hiding the small, homeless or injured objects that accumulated during the days and weeks and years of my childhood. In the first painting, the shadow became opaque and along with its opacity it acquired the visual appearance of being an object rather than a shadow.  With this in mind, I kept the shadow more ghostlike.  At the same time, I experimented with presenting the aspect “shadow as object” by allowing it to exist beyond the boundary of the yellow cell.

Painting: drawn first with vintage Sheaffer fountain pen filled with Noodler’s black ink, followed by washes of watercolor.

Color Scheme: Complementary Triad of Yellow, Violet and Blue/Green

I’m using a photo, converted to black and white to help me find a solution to a design problem in one of my current watercolor paintings.

“Oak Leaves and Earth Sphere”, 22″ x 30″ watercolor

The painting began with a pencil sketch of  oak leaves dancing in the wind just prior to last night’s storm.  When the rain came, I moved inside, mixed some colors and combined brushwork with tossing of paint to get things moving on the paper.  Eventually the sphere appeared.  Before I can determine the colors and values of the leaves ( most of which you can’t see in the photo ) I need to determine my basic value shapes, the shapes that will be seen from thirty feet away.  I like the strong diagonal line in the top half of the paper and I don’t want to lose any of my lights by simple throwing more paint and hoping it works.  I’ve printed six copies of the black and white photo on a sheet of paper.  I’ll use a pencil to try different value patterns and choose one to work from tomorrow.  It feels great to be working larger again.

“Oak Leaves and Earth Sphere” in progress

I’m also happy to be playing with orbs again.

I posted a bumbled, morning sketch on the Creative Color blog this morning.  The second try had its own set of bumbles, but here it is.

Before darkening the shadow and background trees

Darkened shadow and background trees

A bit bizarre, but fun.  The color scheme was dictated by the Color Scheme Game, Analogous with Split Complements, Yellow / Green as dominant color.  The spotchy shape on the right was already on the sketchbook page.  This is one of my recent, handmade, coptic bound sketchbooks that I have made using paper from rejected watercolor paintings.  I was terribly intimidated by the mark as I began the ink drawing of the trees.  After a few minutes I warmed up to it.

Here are a few more samples of pages yet to come:

Sketchbook pages from discarded paintings

Sketchbook pages from discarded paintings

I’m sure that I’ll find myself collaging many of the pre-painted pages.  I can’t imagine what else I might be able to do with the one above.  Maybe by the time I come to it in the sketchbook I’ll have enough experience with the painted pages that I’ll go ahead and keep drawing with my pens.

All of the images are ink and watercolor.

Summer is a perfect time for Art Parties.

Justine Gardner, Musician

You supply the food and drink. I bring the art supplies!  What else do you need?  Maybe a kitchen table … or card table … or lawn chairs …. and, of course, guests. Bring the joy of art into your life.  You’re never too old, you’re never too young.  Schedule an afternoon party or an evening Art Party. We will play The Color Scheme Game and guests will take home a small sketchbook, dice and the rules to the game.  Beware!  Drawing and painting the everyday places and things in your life can become an addiction, one that is good for your heart, your brain and your soul!

Pink Hollyhocks

I usually bring dip pens, ink, watercolors, brushes, lots of paper and little sketchbooks for everyone.

Contact me for details.

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