Messing about!!!

I am learning by Experimenting and Messing About! I have been playing with colour, brushes, brushstrokes, water. I have NOT accomplished a great deal except that I HAVE learned a fair bit and recalled a fair bit from years ago. When DH first got his radial arm saw, he said he was making sawdust! That is the stage I am at. I am making Watercolour Sawdust! Lots of "Bin pictures"!

Part of one side of a biggish piece of Arches 140 lb paper upon which I have been trying out colours, brushes, brushstrokes, little sketches etc.

More of the tryouts on the same side of the same paper. 
And the back side of the same piece pf paper.
Believe it or not, I HAVE actually learned and RE-learned some things doing this "doodling"!!

I am still working through some of Ms Haines' exercises. They are fun but, of course unsigned as they are not original. The "signatures" you see on the pictures are just my photo copyright.
An attempt at some VERY abstract and colourful lambs. So interesting to see how the SHAPE rather than detail or colour says "lambs"!
And kind of a heavy handed attempt at HALF a butterfly! Like Eric, the Half A Bee, this is Half a Butterfly- perhaps ALSO named Eric! ( any more Monty Python fans out there???)

One VERY important thing I am learning is that VERY loose, although GORGEOUS, is not really me!! I am a detail Girl and am TRYING to escape from the tedium and predictability of absolute photographic detail. I am pretty sure I will still be identifiable as ME when I really get back into full swing with my paints and brushes! In the meantime, I am going to "You Tube" school most mornings, practising LOTS, reading and observing and generally , REALLY enjoying myself!! I hope YOU are too.

There and Back Again!!!

We have been abroad in the land!! We are home safely now ( and that was NOT guaranteed at ALL!!) We had a BALL with DD , DSIL and our two delightful Grandboys! WHAT A TREAT!!!!

While we were there, I shopped for some new paint and paper and brushes and I had already ordered some more online and sent things to our Daughter.
The brushes, from L to R are- a W&N Chinese caligraphy brush, a Princeton rigger, a size 8 Isabey Squirrel hair wash brush and two Rosemary and Co brushes- a size 10 synthetic triangle brush and a series 40 triangle brush. All have passed muster, although we are yet to become VERY GOOD friends! 

And four new DS paint colours- L to R- Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine, Rich Green Gold, Lavender and Cascade Green- DELICIOUS ALL!!
I messed with the paint and the brushes just to try them out!
L to R, colours are Cascade Green, Lavender, Rich Green Gold and the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. I let the water spread them and each is PERFECT! The Daniel Smith paints are VERY potent! The little squiggles at he bottom are made with the wee Rigger Brush! LOVE it!
I also played with the wash brush, made a very small wash and then tried DD's plastic wrap on top...
Once dry, I could see jungle leaves near the bottom so played with that. That was fun!
Then my eldest Grandboy painted some pictures for Granddad and me. GB is 4!  One is not signed but by the style, palette and the interesting and unique techniques used, I am SURE it is by the same artist ;-)
The greeny, browny one is for Granddad as he likes trees and leaves  etc. The colourful ones are for Granny, as she loves colour and flowers. They now adorn our frig door :-)
And, whilst there, I shot Dogwood blooms!! They are a bit past prime but still lovely and I want to draw and paint them so I took a LOT of pics!! Enjoy!!!

Aren't they lovely!!! I have been shooting Hellebores in our garden this afternoon. While we were away, there was a severe ice storm ( we drove 18 hours through it !!!!! HORRIBLE and SOOO dangerous!)
A helleborus Niger in our icy, freezing garden!

Just the centre to study and to draw!

Isn't it delicious!!

We had a great time but are happy to be home safely! It is AWFULLY silent here in OUR house! All the fun and frivolity is far far away now :-(
Look at her lovely little face!

A red Hellebore Orientalis blooming its little heart out in the ice!

I hope that you have all had a good week and that you have been creative. I also hope that YOUR weather is better than ours! While we were south, we had about a day and a half at almost 90F - and then the Ice Age returned! Not to worry! The Sun shone ALL day and all night where the little fellows were! SUCH a joy! Happy creating, Friends. Take care of yourselves!

Needing my new Wash Brush!!

Hello, All!! It is WILDLY WINDY here today- gusts over 100 kph! Just had my hair done this AM . It is full of gunk so when I get out in the wind!!!! YIKES!

Anyway, continuing to work through Jean Haines' exercises. I used a branch of my own Honesty pods and my own drawing to work from and used MsHaines' method. It was very enjoyable but also a tad frustrating.
This was my initial wash . It is OK but I can see that I REALLY need my new Wash Brush so I can get a great, sloppy, more even wash. As it stands, I did this with a size 10 W&N Sable brush and a size 12 Escoda one. Just TOO hard to get NICE slop!
My new brush currently lives in TN with DD.  We are off to visit her and the Little Boys and our dear SIL next week. Cannot WAIT! We haven't seen them since last July! There are also three new Daniel Smith paint colours living there which shall also be coming home with me :-)

Continuing on with my Honesty Pods experiment-
Here's where I ended up. It is on 140 lb cold pressed paper- a 9"x12" WC block ( so NOT stellar paper) . The largest brush I used was my #12 Escoda  and the smallest, my W&N #3 Rigger. I will try the same piece again using the new brush when I get it and a NICE piece of Arches 140 lb. I am trying to decide if I might change the colours, orientation ...???
This was a very good learning experience too. If you look carefully, there is an X in the centre that is most UN-Lunaria looking. It was just caused by carelessness. I shall do better next time! The branch of seed pods I am using is curved downward gracefully but the way I painted the crisscrossing twigs makes it look like they burst in all directions from a central spot! Anyway, I DO like some aspects of this so I shall not be TOO hard on myself.

I am still a BIT reluctant to sign this . It IS my branch, my own drawing and my work BUT, it IS Jean Haines' idea. Maybe I'll sign the next one and be SURE that it is ALL MY OWN . I am VERY serious about copyright! We ALL should be!

A Different sort of Art!

Happy Easter, everyone! I did something today that I have not done for a LONG time! I made THIS....
DH LOVES Lemon Pie, as did my Darling Mum . I ALWAYS make Lemon pie for Easter. It just LOOKS right, somehow. Anyway, now I must go and clear all of the watercolour paraphernalia off the diningroom table . We have not eaten at the table for AGES- Christmas, in fact! Just DH and I , but we're doing it right tonight! Best wishes for Easter and Passover . Love you ALL!

Very brief post

I am in a hurry tonight but thought I would post this. I have had the photo I worked from for a couple of years and always wanted to do something with it. Anyway, here is a quick, kind of ham fisted effort from this afternoon! I have had the first wash done for ages and today, realized that it is too sunny but I used it anyway. This was interesting to work on and I learned a LOT that I would do differently another time! Guess THAT is worthwhile!!
It WAS spitting snow- just a streamer off Lake Huron, but funny with a fairly bright sky. I must needs work on my spattering technique. This is pretty erratic! Anyway, there ya go! First snow on the Sumac!

More new colours and a wee Seascape

Westport is South of Belochantuy  on the Atlantic Coast of Argyll.This is looking farther south toward Machrihanish from Westport on a misty, moisty afternoon!
 A few years ago when we were in Kintyre, I shot a lot of pics of the lower peninsula shrouded in mist across a very placid sea with dry dune grasses in the foreground. The wind was NOT blowing much that day but it clearly HAD! I love this view. When I shot it, I thought the farthest point we could see might have been the Mull, but when I studied the map more carefully, I saw that the Mull is completely hidden from view here.

When the light is better tomorrow, I'll finish this. It still has the greeny gray masking fluid on it. This was a fun little piece to try!

                                                    ...... ANDDD....

I bought two- well THREE new colours today but one is boring old Raw Umber . The TWO are ..

1- Perylene Maroon
Look how gorgeous it is! It is a stainer, not a granulator, works nicely with salt (look carefully) , and waters down stunningly! Going to be a real winner! 
2- Moonglow-

Closeup of the granulation

Granulation and watered down
This is a MAJOR STAR!!! It granulates to a HUGE degree. As Daniel Smith says- Anthraquinoid red floats, Ultramarine spreads and mixes and Vermilion greys the resulting purples. Look carefully. You can see red, blue , green and the purple mix. It is going to be a real workhorse colour. If I was a people painter, I'd REALLY use it on skin- shadows, hair etc. I think as a background colour too it will be gorgeous. BTW, both of the colour tests are on Hot Press paper, 140 lb. I don't really like the feel of hot press! I am a gritty, rough sort of girl, I guess!

Well, guess that's me done for today. My comp is almost out of battery power too so gotta plug in. Sweet dreams, One and ALL!

.... and-- we're going loose again!

This is soo much fun! I have been in a "blue" mood today so did a little VERY nervous, busy little Scilla piece and a more relaxed one of some nondescript blue-ish, purple-ish "flowers". NO idea what the second ones are but there are parts of it that I am fairly pleased with. The Scillas are just too wiggly, messy and tight! Judge for yoursen!

Your guess is as good as mine??? I kind of like this though. It IS getting more to what I am looking for. There are still  a couple of colours I am waiting for that I think will be really fun to work with .

Closeup of a part of the the nameless floral !!

And the tight, nervous, messy Scilla siberica. Maybe I'll try a long shot of them later on. We have sooo many in our front lawn and DH gets TICKED with me for allowing them to roam so freely. They are stunning though so I may try. Stay tuned!
I hope you are all well and happy today. I am VERY happy! We have had a WHOLE day of badly needed rain. It was only drizzle but every drip/drop helps. The soil surface is damp!! We're going to have crocus by the weekend! Watch for them at this blog next week!! Meanwhile, Happy Creating to all!

"Stare and Tweak Judiciously" stage ;-)

Calla 1
This is just a quick post. I have been working on this little picture this weekend and have decided that it is ALMOST done, for better or for worse! Now is the time to stick it up somewhere where it is "in my face" so that every time I pass by it, it speaks- or SHRIEKS at me. Then, I tweak carefully and eventually, HOPE that it works out decently !

I have a whole file of closeup and macro photos I shot of this little plant last year and maybe I'll try a couple more for fun! The lines are gorgeous and the colours are lovely. Good exercise for colour mixing, drawing, painting technique and just generally- having a good time.

Happy Sunday- what's left of it! Hope our lady curlers can pull this one out of the bag! They won the whole round robin but DH thinks they will blow the gold medal game. Hope not as they have a perfect record but- it IS only a game!

Lotsa Colour, LOTSA FUNN!

I set up my pallette in a new empty paintbox with removable pans. I have added two new greens, am awaiting a new purple and will add three more colours when I see DD! She has them, ordered online from Dick Blick along with a LOVELY Isabey Squirrel hair Mop Brush! YUMMMEEE!

This is a little exercise -wet in wet. It is soooo much fun watching the colours run into the water, with all of the abandon of kids in a sprinkler in the summer. The great trick is to get it running HOW and WHERE you want it- bit like herding cats!!
 And this is another small exercise intended to show that you do not need to paint the WHOLE subject and that you can paint the NEGATIVE space, instead of the positive. The white "petals" at the top are an example of negative painting and the purple petals, positive.

I did a wee bit of more "serious" painting this week- but forgot about SCALE!!!! OOPS! So... I ended up with some "mutant Primulas". NO laughing!! Some parts of this are OK I think/ I used some new materials- Granulation Medium, Masking fluid and Acrylic ink- some successful, some NOT so much!

Look how gigantic they seem compared to the little tree trunk! As I said, Oops!

Spring is coming- very slowly and it is still CColddd! Tonight, the temps are forecast to drop to -10c with a wind chill of -15c. Wonder if this little beauty will survive that! Likely. They are VERY early and VERY hardy!
Look at the colour of those petals! Stunning, eh!

I also tried painting a poppy from photos I took in the summer garden a couple of years ago. This really was fun!
Here's the start.

And here, it is close to finished. Again, parts please me, parts do not. However, I AM gaining confidence and enjoying the whole process IMMENSELY.

I think that's all for now. I am currently working on a small "Georgia O'Keefe" looking Calla lily Macro I shot last winter. It is fun, curvy and sensual. I'll save it for next time. Maybe I'll do a little series of Macro parts of various flowers? We'll see. These are NOT very loose but I'm getting back into the swing and that's the main thing. I'll loosen up eventually!

I hope YOU are all well and surviving the cold. Do take care and thanks for looking in on my blog!

New Colours, New Techniques, New Work- Same old Me!!

I have been a busy little beaver! The house is a mess but I am making SOME progress with the watercolour venture. The most recent production is this experimental, imaginary "landscape" intended to try out some new techniques! Sadly, this paper is THE PITS and some of the things I tried did not work so well. I tried using Granulation Medium and Acrylic Ink! ( I have a NEW book that I love as much as I love Jean Haines' books! It is Experimental Landscapes In Watercolour by Ann Blockley.)

Ms Haines SAID we'd get addicted to roses. I AM.
This one is based loosely on a rose painted by Ann Blockley. I tried it and tried some of her textural effects! YUMMMEE! I want to get better at THIS! Imagine if Jean Haines and Ann Blockley got married!

And these two are pure Jean Haines- My own designs, but Jean's technique.

New paint colours- Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Schminke Translucent Orange and Opera Pink. Sorry about the overlap and the pin!!
And I tried some Pink Carnations-
I have a HUGE bouquet of these. Many more are open now so I may have a few more goes.
And Daisies in a drizzle that JH calls the "Seaweed Effect"...
It was fun working with and around the drips and drizzles of the  wash colours.
One more tiny, fanciful "landscape"...
I want to see sunshine, flowers and pretty skies like this SOON!!!
And I was messing about with one of my High Key photos of a single Hydrangea floret- with my Inktense Watercolour Pencils. 

A few new EXCITING Daniel Smith colours to play with. Look at the "conversation" going on in the lower right corner!!! 
And, a VERY silly, experimental "landscape" where I first tried out the Granulation Medium and the Acrylic ink! SOOO many possibilities here!
LOVING the Granulation and the feathery spreading of the ink when it is spritzed with water. I'll get a better piece of paper and show you what the Gran Med does to the ink too! SPECTACULAR!
Well, Folkses, you are FAR more patient than I if you have gotten to here so I shall bid you farewell for the mo and thank you for checking in. Happy Easter if I don't post anything new before.

The Mailman came!!

A few weeks ago, I ordered a tube of paint from I was warned that it could take a while to come and YESTERDAY, it ARRIVED!!! It is a tiny tube of Schminke watercolour paint, Translucent Orange, HIGHLY recommended by Jean Haines. OH! MY!!! I shall never doubt Ms Haines' judgement again!!! It is a stunning colour. Absolutely glorious. As well, I bought a tube of Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange yesterday too and IT is also beautiful. This little photo does neither full justice, but perhaps you get the idea.
On the left is the Translucent Orange and on the right, the Burnt Orange. They actually  water out even more than I have shown here and yet both still make a clear statement! 

I am not even a huge fan of orange, per se but these are two VERY useful and beautiful colours. I have always used Winsor and Newton paints and they are excellent, no complaints at all, but I am really becoming sold on Daniel Smith! The pigment seems VERY finely ground and REALLY packs a punch!

So, what have I done with it to test it out? Well....
This is a very Jean Haines style but my own composition. Still, I would not sign MY name to it as it is VERY Jean-y! I am finding Jean's books are a wonderful way to learn and to hone this very loose technique. Wonder if I could incorporate this degree of looseness to my quilts???
And, still on a rose kick...
This one I did yesterday and I employed both of the new colours!! Yummeee!!!

This one was from the day before yesterday. Still a bit overworked and stiff. Not bad though!! 
Well, I AM getting DH's bug and I feel REALLY pretty crummy so this is a short post.We are supposed to be getting snow but the bit we've had just made everything wet and drippy. Mostly just rain as it is above freezing. I am going to close my eyes for a bit now and try to feel better. Hope YOU are all well!