Happy Painting Mail Day

One of the folks I follow on YouTube said this was his oldest, most-used and most-valuable book. Found a copy VERY cheap on Abesbooks and it arrived today from the UK. I can see why he spoke so highly of it – it’s got sample paintings by all kinds of folks like John Pike and good basic how-tos and ideas, clearly demo’d and with lessons you can do yourself.

Rubberbanded to that package from a little box, a little something I’d almost forgotten about only because I’d preordered it quite awhile ago – a new larger Schmincke paint box with a beautiful colored exterior (normally they’re black) and filled with colors chosen by a watercolorist. Cool concept as a way to try new colors and for me a brand of paint I don’t normally use. I like that the box has larger mixing areas and that it can fit 12 full pans or a mix of full and half.

Had a little downtime at work today an did some clouds:

and then showed a co-worker how I approached doing clouds in Procreate on the iPad.

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July the 6th – rain and coolness again

Serious rain this morning which cleared the air and made it in the 70’s with a nice blissful breeze. No sunset spectacle so I stayed home and put the potted plants to work.

cropped to square:

full:

my happy little roll of brushes:

The iPad geraniums I did earlier today at work

Beautiful and Cooler Evening

Sunset 3 July 2018 Chatham NY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I did two small sketchbook paintings (one on the “wrong” side ie the back of the previous painting duh) and one larger one:

Hot enough for you?

It’s been a week of heat. And by heat I mean 90F plus with 100F plus heat index (really? it FEELS hotter?) Yesterday the car thermometer kept telling me it was 99F-100F. When I finally got home last night it was a chill 80F plus.

Days like that means my goal is to find places with AC and to deal with it. Lots of people go to the mall which is my workplace. It’s not conducive to painting because the paint dries quickly on the paper and palette, making it harder to blend colors and soften edges. But we do it anyway because it is

Ever since the first shaggy hunter outlined a running deer with a stick dipped in wood ash or puddle clay or blood, paint has served a vastly more significant and creative purposeas a vehicle for the human imagination, a creator of illusions, the modest but endlessly pliable means of fixing a glimpse of loveliness for posterity. The true originators in this field have always been the great artists. But close behind these masters of illusion came the masters of the applied arts designers, architects, decorators, legions of craftsmen whose vocation was to reflect contemporary standards of beauty and harmony. — Jocasta Innes

Painting goes on

And here we are like one big WHOOOOSH, at the end of June. I’ve gone a few times now to the OOMS conservation south of me toward Chatham. It’s a nice little spot with different options for parking and sitting not too far from the road.

Last night I drove home from Mom’s in a heavy rain but eventually got ahead of the front and saw this amazing light, definitely beige-not-grey area where the sky was lighter and less heavy ahead. Eventually the front caught up to me at home and it poured there too but I was already painting by then. I was working seriously to get that lighter area and then the darkest part of the silhouetted view. Sure mixed up a lot of DARKS.

IEastward, rainy night.

What I Learned on My Vacation

There might not have been any lying around on beaches, sipping iced beverages and reading trashy novels but it was a great vacation. As you’ve seen, I spent the week with two other painters and an instructor Tony Conner from Vermont, learning about watercolor while painting scenes found in the Berkshires. This was a class offered through IS183, and if you’re looking to explore a new medium or go deeper in one you know, I highly recommend their offerings.

So what came of the five days spent with paint and a teacher. As with all media most of the work happens between your head and the paper but the process definitely gets a push if there’s a good teacher and you’re open to listening and trying and being open to doing things a different way, at least for the class. Tony is a very good teacher and able to explain the concepts and look at what I was doing to make concrete suggestions on how to proceed or what to try next time. At the end of our time each day we’d have a gentle critique, looking at the work we’d done that day and saying what we liked, where we’d struggled and what might have gone better. On the last day I put all my pieces on the grass and you really could see a progression – a small one – but the one I had worked on.

It’s easy to hear “oh that’s great! that’s beautiful!” when you show your work but it’s not always getting to what you had wanted in the end. That’s why we keep working and trying to learn, do more practice, watch more videos, read more etc etc. So at the end of the week, I could honestly say that I’m at the beginning of learning more about setting myself up to paint a scene – drawing, putting in the light and shadow areas down in washes and planning out and getting in the dark areas etc etc.

What else? As if that wasn’t enough? I already knew I like to paint outdoors. I’ve not always been a very outdoorsy sort of person and lately the whole tick thing really gets to me. This gets me outside, in the sun, soaking up the world and focusing on the beauty of it. Can’t beat that.

As I said Friday, I don’t want my paintings to look like photographs – I have a camera for that. I want to show more about what it was like to be there and let the viewer do some of the work of feeling it.

I used more paint in the five days than I could believe! I learned how to mix greens and only dipped a little into my normal greens that I carry. I learned how to mix real darks. I learned I really like real sable brushes. oh oh…

More to come!

Thursday, Already?

Yes it’s Thursday night and I’ve been super-bad about getting photos on here from the week-long watercolor class I’m taking. I can’t believe tomorrow’s the last day!

The first day was 92F and I think we were all suffering from it. The rest of the week has been “jewel of the summer” a-prime, stupendous weather so I can’t complain at all. Locations were good, teacher was good, learned stuff, did some serious stretching and have that feeling like what I knew has been shook up and will have to settle down again.

If you’re in the area, check out the offerings from IS183 – they have classes for everyone and all ages!

Here are the photos I took (plus a bonus one of me painting, taken by one of the IS183 folks).

En Plein Air Watercolor Class 2018//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js