Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cat at the Window

It's been a long hot summer and I haven't had much time to put brush to paper what with driving my kids all over the place! The older one is a pet sitter now which is great but I have to drive her to her pet assignments. How has your summer been? I was rather relieved that the kids are back at school and I can get creative again.

Right now I am working on a cat commission. Here's the initial sketch. This is of a brown burmese cat looking wistfully out of the window at kids' playing on the beach. I am finding I love to work in mixed media, in this case pastel and watercolor. I am currently working on the finished product for the client.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Baby Giraffe

Baby Giraffe, Watercolor, 18 x 24'

I have been inspired this past week to make my watercolors look more brilliant and lustrous on the paper, so I was excited to hear about a nifty little product called Gum Arabic. When I worked on this cute little baby giraffe and mixed some gum arabic with the paints, I did notice that the colors were brighter somehow.

Gum Arabic seems even more exciting though when used to controlling spread of paint in wet-on-wet, so that rather than getting a big muddy mess of colors pooling together I was able to separate them to some extent and just get some nice bits mixing at the edges of overlapping colors. Here is a flying parrot I created using gum arabic mixed with watercolor. It has a rather nice, loose abstract feel to it I think:

Parrot in Flight, watercolor, 18 x 24'

Have you ever used gum arabic with watercolors? Did you like the effect? There are all sorts of watercolor mediums I haven't tried yet but which seem rather exciting: Ox Gall, Aquapasto, Texture Medium, Granulation Medium etc. etc......I will try them all one day!

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mice Amongst the Poppies

What fun to try my hand at painting some tiny mice scurrying around in a poppy field. I started with putting masking tape around the edges of the paper. Then I put in a lot of the grasses with masking fluid and a fine brush. Next I started painting in the vivid poppies with watercolor. And the background, and the little mice.

Next I removed the masking fluid....what fun!

Ripping off the masking tape was tricky but fun too.  Then I really felt I needed to put in more detail in pastel and I really wanted more vivid color with the I grabbed my pastels and went to work. Enjoy them! Squeak squeak

Mice Amongst the Poppies, mixed media, 9 x 13'

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Harvest Mouse


Working with masking fluid can be fun. I find it gives a lovely texture to animal fur, like with this harvest mouse. I wanted the husks of corn to have lovely pure white highlights too so I go to work with my masking fluid. I love watching the stages of how others create their art works so hope you enjoy seeing how I did this.

Next I started putting on several layers of watercolor.

Then I started peeling off the dried masking fluid. I really love doing that! The mouse is really starting to come to life here.

A bit more yellow in background and foreground methinks. A few details sketched in with black pen. Then let me peel off more of this delightfully stringy masking tape .... and voila!

Harvest Mouse, 12 x 18', watercolor

That's all folks! Turned out rather interesting I think.

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Buy prints and cards of this adorable harvest mouse at Redbubble by clicking HERE.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Eurovision Fever

Charlie, lab/pointer mix

Hi Guys!

I have to confess that I have fallen head over heels in love with a friend's dog, Charlie. He is the cuddliest, snuggliest dog on the planet, and although he is a lab/pointer mix I think of him as the Target dog's older brother.

I really enjoyed doing Charlie's portrait. He looks very colorful and of course, very adorable too.

Portrait of Charlie, watercolor & pen and ink, 12 x 18'
I'm in a feverpitch of excitement. I have fever! Eurovision fever!!!!! Tomorrow is the Eurovision Song Contest and I am so buzzed. I will be going to a party full of Eurofanatics and we will watch the Final streaming live.

I think I am going to have to get behind Austria's entry. I am after all half Austrian - an Austrish (half British, half Austrian). Which half is Austrian you ask? Well the bottom half that has weakness for Sachertorte, Schnitzel and Bratwurst of course. Which lets me segue gently into the name of Austria's entry - Conchita Wurst. Don't you just LOVE that name?

S/he is a Kim Kardashian lookalike. Her song, Rise Like a Phoenix is pretty good too. Are you going to watch the Eurovision and who do you want to win?

Go Austria!!

Linking up to Paint Party Friday so come check out a bunch of amazing artists!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mystic Cat

Well last week I was salivating in anticipation about the bacon festival if you recall. It turned out to be one popular event. Bacon fanatics of every description were there, and the queues for nibbles were LONG! I did manage to get my mitts on some fabulous bacon-delicacies though including bacon popcorn. We were relaxing by the habor, arteries were clogging from bacon fat, copious amounts of alcohol were flowing and the sun was shining! All was well in my world. 

Then yesterday things went haywire and we ended up having some pretty scary flash floods....will this crazy weather never end?

Through it all I was working on a cat portrait for a friend in pastel. I was feeling a bit mystical, listening to Van Morrison, and so my art started going into another direction. I feel I was channelling Van Gogh a little, as well as Van the Man. I have been crazy about Van Morrison ever since I was a teenager and was going through my hippie phase, where I would walk around barefoot in the park ..... and did all sorts of crazy things that are lost in the mists of time......

Let me know how you like my cat portrait. I'll leave you with Van Morrison .....

Into the Mystic by Van Morrison - on Grooveshark

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Chattering Parrots

I am very excited because tomorrow I am going to the Maryland Bacon Festival. I mean, come on, who doesn't like bacon? Well okay vegetarians don't like it but apart from that? This event will feature both bacon sampling and full sized bacon cuisine, bacon confectionary delights, bacon eating contests, bacon cooking demonstrations, live music from some of the area's top bands (who also love bacon), a bacon themed children's zone, bacon cooking competitions, full service bars with beer, liquor, wine and bacon themed cocktails, a vendor village featuring various non-food bacon themed vendors and much more. Oooh can't wait to find out what a bacon themed cocktail is!

Anyway I have had a pretty tropical week and there are some new items for sale in my Etsy Shop:

Here's my colorful watercolor tiger:

And a bunch of chattering parrots:

What do you think they are saying to each other?

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