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Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 01 -- Seventh Day (Finished)

My finished painting was completed just two days after my “July 30 – Fifth Day” blog. I have to admit that it was fun bringing the rough demo to a final close. I’ll probably keep it in the studio and take a look again before matting and framing. I especially enjoyed creating the pine forest and fleshing out the large boulders.

I apologize for the digital photos; I opted to use my small Sony Cyber-Shot 2.0 digital camera and natural light to shot the painting in progress. It was overcast on a couple of days and sunny on the rest. The pictures are only so-so, but did what I wanted them to do -- capture the work in progress.

I hope you have enjoyed watching the painting develop. I especially want to thank the members of the Blue Ridge Art Clan for their patience and courtesy during my demo last month. You folks are wonderful.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

July 30 -- Fifth Day

On Monday, July 28th, we showed up at The Jones House in Boone, NC at 10 a.m. to hang this year’s annual High Country Watermedia show. There were about 25 paintings ranging from watercolor to collage. It was a terrific show with lots of wonderfully talented members contributing their handcrafted works of art. Barbara and I both brought in a contribution.

I was also preparing three paintings for hanging at a business in Blowing Rock, NC later in the week. So, I didn’t get right back to my completion of the demonstration painting I had started last Friday (7/26/08). In fact it was not until Wednesday, July 30th that I picked up the painting where I had left off last Sunday (See my last Blog called, “July 28 – Second Day” for details.

As I mentioned in my last Blog, I had already made some changes in direction for this painting from my original study. As I worked on the Lilies in the left hand corner I decided to make them Daylilies. I had originally planned to use a light pink variety but opted for the bright orange ones we have in our yard in the spring. I cause me a lot of rework time to make the change but I love the color so much I’m glad I went in that direction. I was going for some color and a bit of excitement, too. I also worked on the foreground detail. By the end of this two hour session the painting was taking on the look I had envisioned.



Friday, August 15, 2008

July 28th -- Second Day

I didn't get back to the Blue Ridge Clan’s demo painting until July 28th. When I did find some time to work on it, I only had a couple of hours. So, I didn't get very much done on the second day either, but a lot more than I was able to do at the actual demo day itself. This is how the demo looked on July 26th when I finished my allotted time at the meeting;

As you can see in the demo, I was only able to get a few elements from my study onto paper. The painting took a few turns as I started painting. I had the study in front of me, but I decided to deviate from my plan as my brush begain splashing paint on the paper. I guess my "Muse" took over and headed me in a slightly different direction. I started with the sky and mountains and set aside an area for the clump of flowers. These elements were still in the left corner where they had appeared in the study, but the demo was full of wide open spaces as it took shape. Did I mention the new walking path?

At my studio on the 28th, I started laying out that first pine tree in the space I had left in the demo. From that point on I had a plan for how I wanted the painting to end up. After those two hours in the studio this new version of the painting was taking shape. I should mention here that what has taking place was not, in my opinion, a failure to plan or to follow a plan. It is the kind of thing that happens when a new idea develops from another idea. The basic subject is still present, but now I would bring it along in a slightly different way. Some painters may find this a bit too serendipity, but I believe it is a real opportunity to see how ideas evolve as you work. As I put the painting together I was also sketching directly on the watercolor paper and shaping the finished painting in my mind. Here is my effort from the 28th.

Although I didn't know it at the time, it would be another three days before I picked up the painting again.



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Day Out West

West Jefferson, NC, Saturday, July 26, 2008 -- With my watercolor kit and an assortment of framed paintings, I drove to Jefferson Station for a short workshop on watercolor painting for the Blue Ridge Art Clan, a non-profit group of artists. The "Clan" is made up of officers and members from various towns and villages around the High Country, such as West Jefferson, Todd, Boone, Trade (Tennessee), Ashe County and Watauga County. I was the "entertainment" (so to speak) after the regular monthly business meeting.

My demonstration covered all aspects of watercolor, including paper, paint, brushes and techniques for using all of these. I prepared for the demo by first creating a mono-colored study of what I planned to paint. I do studies to layout where objects will go in the painting, determine the value of lights and darks, and generally warm up for the actual painting. I keep these monochromic studies in a binder. This is study I showed at the demonstration:

Demos normally last only about one to one and a half hours. My host Barbara Sturgill later told me that most guest artists don't finish their painting in that allotted time frame. I was no exception. I guess in retrospect I may have babbled on a bit. :-) I do go on when talking about watercolor and painting in general. I really do enjoy all aspects of it. Easy to lose track of time when you're discussing something you love.

I barely got any paint on my paper by the end of my talk. Just enough to make one wonder if I was actually going to demo anything or not! I'll show you the demo piece in my next blog.

At any rate I guess it went all right. Nobody threw rotten tomatoes at me! I did promise to complete the painting so that those interested could see where I was heading when the whistle blew for lunch!