Tuesday, July 31, 2007

CATITUDE 1~'Caterwauling'

I had a LOT of fun painting this one. I found a photo reference of a cat in full 'yawn'. Also in this photo was a flower stem with it's bud in just the right position to suggest a microphone. The TV reality show 'American Idol' popped into my head immediately. And c'mon...anyone that's watched that show even once must have seen worse performances...right? Anyhoo...this poor cat's ears had been cropped off so I had to supply him with at least one and I replaced the flower bud with something that more resembled a real 'mic'..namely a prairie coneflower. Voila! A cat belting out a tune into his flower microphone. What could be better?

Friday, July 27, 2007

More Good News!


I received a call from the gallery yesterday. Vivi, one of the owners and a great advisor told me four more pieces sold and they only have three of my pieces left. Need more! I was almost speechless! And thrilled.

I have to give Northern Michigan Artists Market a great deal of credit for accepting my work in the first place and being such wonderful promoters. I couldn't be happier with how things are going and how comfortable they make me feel over there. I look forward to a long and enjoyable relationship with this gallery. And a profitable one, too. *big smile*

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jack Revisited

I did finally decide to add a bit of ink to this one. I cleaned up the edges, defined a leaf edge where my color values were too close and added some violet that was missing at the base of the flowers. I'm stopping now before I over-do it. I have a tendency to fiddle my work to death. One of the trickiest things about creating a piece of artwork is knowing when it's done.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jack in the Pulpit

preaches today
under the green trees
just over the way.
~Clara Smith
I lost the light before finishing this today. Hopefully I will be able to get a better photo tomorrow. I'm debating whether I want to add some ink to this one.

Jack in Progress

Having tried at least seven trial compositions with this subject (mainly where to place the stem and leaves) I realized I was stuck. Thankfully it's summertime so I decided to just go out and dig in the dirt for awhile. As luck would have it I sprained my toe so I finally decided to have a go at this. I chose my original comp minus the third flower sprouting from the center. I felt that including it would be too complicated to pull off and really unnecessary to the finished piece.

I also tried out a few new colors. Up to this point I've stuck with the three primaries. This time I chose Perylene Maroon(basically the color of a blood clot but a great mixer), Sap green and Daniel Smith's Greengold. I mixed Ultramarine violet and a dash of Indigo with the Perylene Maroon to cut the slightly gory look it has. It worked great for the 'hood' of the flowers. The Greengold is a very acidic color so I diluted it a great deal.

With these new colors I ran out of atomizer bottles so I ordered some Holbein atomizers from Blick. They spray a much coarser mist that I found hard to work with. They produced some neat looking mottled effects but not what I wanted for this application.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Timeout for Garden Talk

Sorry to be MIA...again. I've been gardening. 'Tis the season and around here it's short so I've gotta make the most of my time. I want to share my Black Currant Swirl hollyhocks with everyone. These beauties are real showstoppers.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Jack in the Pulpit Thumbnail

I'm planning to paint Jack in the Pulpit next using my spray technique. The actual flowers are pretty simple but as usual the background will take some careful thought. Using my colored pencils I created a thumbnail of the plant on semi-transparent paper. Then I colored an underlay of a possible background and folded my thumbnail over it to get an idea what it will look like without drawing and redrawing the plant. I'll probably be doing a couple more before deciding what works best.

Just Received a Wonderful Email

Marty Scott, one of the owners of Northern Michigan Artists Market sent me a lovely email today. I've decided to share it on my blog:

Billie --I looked at your blog today and I loved the enthusiasm of you and your loyal followers. I put a link to it on my blog. Thanks for the link to the Artists Market site and for the kind words about the Market. I am looking forward to selling lots more of your work and working with you for a long time.-- Marty Scott

Monday, July 02, 2007

King of the Porch

I've had a reference photo for this cat a long time and finally decided to give it a try with watercolor. It seems lately cats have been lucky for a few artists so what better time than now to paint a cat! This one won't be going to market, though. I had some help from my faithful studio assistant, Raven the cat. She graciously added a few purple paw prints and some equally purple splots and drops here and there. *sigh* However, she DID inspire me to try stepping away from a realistic palette so I plan to attempt this cat again with a few Daniel Smith colors I've been dying to try out...Moonglow and Tiger's Eye Genuine. These may produce a very unusual but interesting cat. Anyway, I'll never know until I try.

This was also done on Arches hot pressed watercolor paper which I don't normally use for brush on paper techniques but I do love the smooth finished surface. I applied a very thick mixture of paint with a stiff short bristled brush to create all that thick calico fur. I feel it was successful.