About Me

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San Jose, California, United States
Some paintings far surpass my expectations and some are scary awful, but it's always fun.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today I had lunch with several of my painting friends. It was such fun to talk with people who all love art-we inspired one another to keep working!

I've kept my promise to myself to paint en plein air once a week. This is part of my effort to LOOSEN UP! A common goal, it seems. I'll post some of my efforts in the future.

Meanwhile, the squash plants in my garden are so exuberant and beautiful that I wanted to paint them. I began by taking a bunch of photos and thinking about how to approach the project. I also experimented with Winsor & Newton's Blending Medium. It helped me keep the leading edges wet so I could avoid hard lines where I didn't want them. I used a limited palette of 7 colors: Winsor green (yellow shade), terre verte (yellow shade), green gold, perylene green, turquoise, quin.magenta, and brown madder. After I thought it was finished, I put the painting up and looked at it for a day...went back and added more darks in the upper left quadrant, (which is shown at the lower left-for some reason, the picture rotated when it was loaded!?!)which really pulled it all together. I'm going to try another version soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This is my interpretation of John Sell Cotman's watercolor, "Harlech Castle," which I painted for the June landscape project on the Following the Masters website. I scanned it, but my scanner bed is a little smaller than the painting (in fact Mr. Cotman's original is smaller, too) so a very little bit is cut off of each side of my painting. I like the puffy little sheep on the hillside-such a common sight in the British Isles. I looked it up, and learned that the castle is in Wales and was built in 1283. The challenge now is to post the painting on Following the Masters...I may need to call in help for that task!

My First Posting!

I hope this goes well-my first time out of the gate! Last semester I took a watercolor class at Mission College and one of our assignments was to paint 2 portraits. I decided to try a self-portrait for the first one. My main focus in creating the painting was to emphasize the contrasting textures. Translating the stone wall to the page was a very experimental process involving the application of countless layers of spattered and smeared masking fluid, interspersed with many washes and splotches of paint, followed by much crossing of fingers and hoping for something decent. The result was far beyond my expectations-it really looks like granite!