Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sonoma County!

 After selling my home in 2014, I moved to Sonoma County, the beautiful wine country in Northern California. 


I have finally recovered my blog!

OMG - I retrieved this blog after three years!  Miraculously I discovered the process of recovering "lost" blogs created under "Blogspot".    I wonder if it had anything to do with the "Google" and "Blogger" connection. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Another color study with acrylics

Another quick painting using the student grade Liqutex Basics acrylics left over from the color class.  I'm still on the fence about using acrylics but may try a class in the fall.  My focus here was on color mixing, placement, value and complements.  The image idea was derived from a landscape painting I found in an old Art Journal magazine.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Koh-I-Noor Woodless pencils and Acrylics

Below is an impromptu quick pencil sketch using Koh-I-Noor colored woodless pencils.  These are an excellent medium for artists en plein air or those who enjoy quick in the moment sketches.  The pencils work best on a smooth surface paper rather than rough.  Here I drew on the textured side of Strathmore 140 lb. watercolor paper, but will use the smooth side on the next try. 
Koh-I-Noor colored pencils on watercolor paper

Acrylics (Liqutex student grade)

In this image, I simply placed notes of color on paper from a painting.  The purpose of this exercise was to understand the shift in value, temperature, color placement and color mixing.    

Friday, February 14, 2014

New Year . . . First Post

I've just returned from blogger sabbatical and here we are in mid-February.  No excuses. . . just needing a bit of discipline and motivation to write something interesting.   With that said . . .

Beautiful and simple handmade Valentine for that special someone.

Quite the opposite of our  February Valentine customs, the ancient Romans celebrated the Parentalia festival to commemorate and appease their dead.  February 13 marked the first of the eight day remembrance when a Vestal Virgin began the ceremony by pouring a libation at the home of the dead.  During these eight days all temples were closed, there were no fire offerings lit on altars and marriages were banned.   Mourners would gather at the family tomb located outside the city walls.    Personal prayers were offered, sacred rites were performed and simple offerings were made at the tombs. Violets were placed on all the graves, a ritual known as the "Violet Festival."  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Brush Strokes

Claude Monet's "Waterlily - Details" could easily be interpreted as a painter's color palette.   Here Monet uses what appears to be an almost dry paint brush to define the ebony lines and colored shapes that form the illusionary water lily leaves.   With interesting placement of complementary color notes and value, Monet created a masterpiece.     

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mail Art

I've always been skeptical of "on-line" classes questioning how can one really learn without  the live classroom setting and interaction with an instructor and support of fellow students. I recently discovered "Coursera" a 100% free and credible website offering classes sponsored by major universities and taught by their professors.  I enrolled in their virtual "Art Concepts" class which was a little off beat but interesting enough to keep my brain active.  Once enrolled in a class, students are able to interact virtually with other students of all ages and backgrounds from around the globe.

One weekly lesson was an introduction to the history and development of "Mail Art" as an artistic genre.  I was surprised to discover how the development of the modern postal system brought about an entirely new means of personal communication.  

Since the beginning of time, people have been communicating with one another through some form of mail. Whether the correspondence was in the form of a story, letter, parcel, or picture, it carried a meaningful message. Throughout the ages, mail has gained power in its ability to make a statement to the masses. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, envelopes and postcards became tools for social, political, cultural, artistic, and personal expression. 

Vincent Van Gogh's letter to his brother is an example of mail art.  The drawing likely depicts a subject in a Van Gogh painting.

One assignment was to design and assemble our own piece of mail art.  My interpretation of "mail art" represents a story or event from my childhood to be shared with someone who had shared the experience with me.  For instance, picking fruit in an orchard when we were kids -- a nice memory!

Watercolor Notecard insert

Envelope made from junk mail