Saturday, March 29, 2014

Setauket Millpond

Another watercolor of the Post Office from across the pond in Setauket.   I wanted to work on the values of the trees, the roof of the post office and the windows, and some other adjustments.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Break!

About these watercolors - when I paint with them I still paint somewhat like an oil painter.  Some of this I would like to keep, some of it I would like to adjust.  I still stand at the vertical easel, and I don't always do a pencil sketch before I start laying down paint.  These two things I want to keep.  It makes me literally think on my feet.  Watercolor painters typically sit, but I've been trained to walk back from the easel frequently to see what's going on with the painting - so it can 'tell you' what it needs.  I still do this with every medium and it works for me.   

The Pencil Sketch.  I need to do this when the subject matter must be correct, by that I mean it must be in proportion, (the subject has several windows) it must have the right perspective (one point, two point), and it helps when there are white areas that MUST be kept clean of paint.  However, when I'm doing something like a still life - I will just put down light dots of blue paint to give me the start and stop of an object. (I'll talk more about what I would adjust next time).

 The way I've heard it put is that when painting in this watercolor, let the paint do all the work.  Let it go and don't try to control it. When I get that right, there is a vibrancy to it.  And I love the challenge of that, on the easel and in every day life.

On another note -my older daughter came down from Northern California for spring break this past week. I thoroughly enjoyed the 77 minutes of waking time we spent together. Seriously - I did!  And I miss her already.  (What I did when I was her age is totally irrelevant!)

Saturday, March 22, 2014


These two ships are docked in Point Loma, west of Shelter Island.  They belong to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.  The one in the foreground, the Gordon Sprool, inverts vertically 100%.  It was a very warm and clear morning last week - painting with the SD Plein Air Painters on Kellogg Beach.

I was relaxing with my daughter in the back yard who was home for spring break from Northern California while I painted this - needless to say she was grateful for the warm temps and sunshine.

The roses in my back yard are blooming and the color is lovely.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hot Peppers!

So I bought a new easel, the Strada.  It's a few pounds lighter in my backpack - I think it's made of titanium so basically it's a golf club flattened out with a light weight palette inside. Fewer pounds in my pack will let me go farther down the trail, find the 'road less traveled'.  It's an oil easel and so of course, now I'm playing with watercolor!  The good news is that I've figured out how to make the gear work for my watercolor too so I can do either now and can take both on the road with me w/o too much bother!  I don't know what I'm doing with the watercolor yet - I'm experimenting as shown below.  There is something so compelling about watercolor - it's a challenge because you have to go from light to dark which is opposite of working with oils and pastels.   But it's the light, I think, that is so inviting makes the painting more accessible.    
The still life above is from a reference photo I took at the Farmer's Market in South Miami, one of the best farmer's market's I've been to, coast to coast.

This one  is a plein air painting on the trail behind my neighborhood.

Monday, March 10, 2014

An Apple a Day

I have rediscovered watercolor and I think I'm in love with it.  The unexpected is always right around the corner.

The Setauket Mill Pond in summer.  I will be doing this one again - but I was so please with how little I had to do for the reflection in the pond.

Just fooling around.  I would adjust some things here but it was such fun!