Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Open House/Open Studio

On Sunday we hosted an open house/open studio for friends, business associates, neighbors etc. This was the first time I thought of doing this and it was very successful. I cleaned up my studio a bit, found old art to display along with new pieces, set up my card racks and enjoyed my visitors. I sold lots of cards, one print and one original painting (bougainvillea). You can see it in the 3rd photo below (the red flowers - next to the window).

We are starting the craft fair season soon and this was a good start for both of us. Joe is celebrating the publication of his fifth book "What Keeps You Going" and has already received positive feedback from readers. I'm very proud of him. Some people don't know what to do when they retire, but that has not been a problem for either of us! Joe set up his books in our dining room upstairs and was happy with his sales too. (My studio is on the ground level of our house, a raised ranch. This is my old bookkeeping office.)



Friday, September 14, 2012

Painting Dorrs Pond - 2 ways

I felt like working a little with pen & ink and watercolor.  I had a beautiful photo from last year that I liked, but did not want to include the pond in my sketch, just the building this time.  I didn't like the composition enough to actually do a larger canvas with acrylic paint, but I did enjoy doing the little sketch (9 X 12). 

I used Higgins black India ink to start and a dip pen. I usually use the Micron disposable or similar pens for pen & ink work, but I wanted to try something different.  I did get one big blob of ink in one spot, but since this was only a little sketch, I wasn't worried about it.  I used Photoshop to get rid of the blob in the top photo. I may just use this sketch to make a couple of cards for my next local craft show. This was on Strathmore 140 Lb Cold Press paper (on a block).  I also used some Derwent Inktense pencils in a few places.  These are water soluble ink pencils. You can wet the paper a little, then sand down the tip of a pencil so that the particles fall into the wet area.  This helps give a little texture.

This is an acrylic painting I started in the spring, then put away because I was not happy with it.  I finally pulled it out and finished it, changing the color in certain places.  This is also Dorrs Pond in the fall. It is a small acrylic painting (6 X 12) on a panel.  The texture of the panel is different than working on a canvas. I don't think I would do a bigger piece with this type of panel.  I didn't really enjoy painting on that type of surface.  I have one more 11 X 14 panel in stock and I am procrastinating on painting on it.  I started another 16" X 20" canvas and that is more interesting (a mountain scene). I will work on that over the weekend. I'm also trying to finish up another small painting (desert/rocks) I started in the spring and it is almost done. I will post that one next week.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tower Hill Pond

My first large acrylic painting and I am happy with it. The watercolor sketch of this one is in the previous post.  I enjoyed working on the larger canvas. It just took a little while to work up my courage to do this size (16" X 20"), now I have bought two more to try out.

This is a beautiful pond to walk around (takes about 1 hour 20 minutes) and is part of the watershed area that feeds into Manchester's water supply.  I like the idea of making a small watercolor sketch first to see if I really want to spend the time on a bigger painting and I think I will do that again.