Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Inspired by Autumn

Fall Fantasy
I was playing more with watercolors, try out my new hake brushes, and decided to use them (but not the hakes) on an inspiration I got this last weekend. I wanted to do an abstract of leaf shapes, but then as I was drawing it out I decided to make one of them more realistic. I stole its coloring from one of my O Isami leaves, so it's all pretty made up. But it does represent how excited I am to see the fall colors, especially in the local maples, and the leaves coming down in the wind. I love leaves, but I'm a sucker for the bightly colored ones. I really love them.

As long as I'm posting, I'll put up a poster for the next art fair I'll be at, in SE Portland at Ardenwald Elementary School on Nov. 22, and a couple of other things I've been working on lately.

I'm not sure if this painting of the grape arbor at Villa Catalana is finished, but I'm done working on it. It's as good as I can make it now.

Grape arbor in summer
I wanted to share my first painting with the hake brushes, not because it's any good (it isn't) but to give you an idea of what your first experiment might look like. It is possible, and fun, to use them to get something that looks like tree foliage. I think I can get better with them in time. At least I've still got the back side of this that I can use for another painting.
First try with hake brushes
I used to do watercolors before I retired, and I do like not having to throw the dry paint away. But, when you screw up something on an acrylic painting, you can always just keep painting on top of it. So they're both fun, in their own way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Plein air in the Rhododendron Garden

The heat has abated enough for me and a friend to spend an afternoon out—in the shade, by the water—having a little plein air session in the Rhododendron Garden at Crystal Springs, a shared favorite place just to be, let alone to paint. With all that water around us, it was probably in the low 70s where we were sitting, which was lovely.

I was a little tentative about trying to paint the waterfall, because I hadn't even tried one in about 40 years. I was really happy about the backlighting we had, though, and tucked into the shrubbery with relish. I did the water later, at home, from the photos I took, and I clearly need a lot more practice with it. But it's done, and I'm back my other projects. It was really nice to paint outside again, especially in that garden. My garden's in the late summer doldrums, just one hint of yellow in the grape foliage so far, so there's not much inspiration to paint out there. It was nice to go some place new.