"A Delicate Spring"
February brought me the opportunity to create a large commissioned painting of Delicate Arch. Since Moab, UT and Arches National Park is one of my favorite places in the whole world, you can guess that I thoroughly enjoyed creating this painting! My client commissioned it as a gift for a friend who loves Delicate Arch. He was pleased with the painting and is having it custom framed. I hope that his friend likes it as well. My client will be making his first visit to Moab and Arches this month. I hope he is awed and inspired by the beauty there and loves it as much as my husband and I do! I used a reference photo taken after hiking to Delicate Arch in April 2002. The painting is titled "A Delicate Spring"
February Mini Workshop
In keeping with my New Year's Resolution to attend more workshops, I signed up for the Utah Watercolor Society February mini workshop with Marian Dunn
. The focus of this workshop was on color and luminosity. Marian is a master at transparent watercolor, using layers of washes to let luminuous colors shine through on the paper, and beautiful results!
As part of our prep work, we were to purchase some onions as still life subject matter (ahead of time so they could sit on our counter tops and start growing some "character"). My onions are still sitting on a platter on my stove top at home, continuing to sprout green from the tops! :) I also purchased some new paint colors that weren't previously in my box, and set up a new palette with some suggestions from Marian about separating "staining colors" from the other colors in my palette - so I don't get mixed up and lay down a layer of a staining color that I won't be able to lift off the page later should I want to.
The first day included several exercises in layering the colors of our palette on top of each other to learn how they interact, and on practicing a technique called "mingling" color, which is to drop color in on wet paper and let it run together on its own to "mingle" on the page rather than pre-mixing the color on your palette. This technique makes for much more interesting greens and grays. Towards the end of the first day, after completing several of my color exercises and setting up my new paint palette, I painted one small onion painting, working on the translucent layers, using my red onion. I'm not entirely sure I like the regular onion painting, but I do like parts of it. I am considering cropping it to focus on the part I liked. The second pic is how I would crop (if I decide to do it).
On day two of the workshop, I worked more with mingling colors, wet on wet technique, and experimented with YUPO
support. YUPO is sometimes called "YUPO paper" but it isn't really paper. It is a thin layer of plastic which does not absorb the paint. So, when you lay down color, it is very vibrant and it will dry in some very interesting ways. However, after it is dry, as Maran says "Don't sneeze!" Because the YUPO does not absorb the paint, It will be easily removed if you get it wet after drying. So, any attempt to reframe or transfer a YUPO painting that has been completed must be done very carefully. I started a painting on YUPO, and another painting on regular watercolor paper on this second day that I have not yet completed, so I will include pics of those in my next newsletter. However, I did complete a little landscape painting on this second day using the color mingling technique. I quite like how it turned out and enjoyed creating this painting so much that I have decided to do a little series using this technique.
This painting is titled "Stormy Sunrise."
Children's Book Illustration?
I received a phone call this week about possibly illustrating a children's book. I am very excited about this prospect as I have been thinking about children's book illustration in the back of my head for quite a while now. (Ever since I started reading books to my son at bedtime.) I love the concept and have even been tossing around an idea of writing and illustrating my own children's book. For now, I am going to do a couple of paintings for the author to see if he likes the vision and style of my illustration. (Actually, the author's wife is the "creative director" in this project). Anyway, if they like the style and technique of my illustration, then we will discuss terms of my compensation and I will be on board for this project...and possibly some other books that they have in the works. I am looking forward to the project and hope it works out! I will print an update in my next newsletter.
March Mini Workshop
The last mini workshop of the UWS season will be at the end of this month. I haven't registered for it yet, but am planning to do so. The topic will be working with warm and cool colors in your paintings and the workshop will be led by artist Julie Rogers
. Looking forward to it!