May 26, 2009

You Are My Sonshine

I painted my son, Gregg, in Ted Nuttall's workshop. Every stroke on this painting was put there with care and love. I was blessed each day as I spent hours studying the photo of Gregg and letting my mind wander to memories of the happy times we have spent together, the sad times we have cried together, the strong shoulder I have learned to lean on, and the comic relief he has provided with his quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. He will always be my tender hearted boy and a gentle giant of a man.

May 25, 2009

Ted Nuttall's Workshop

I was fortunate to be able to attend Ted Nuttall's Watercolor Workshop the week of April 6, 2009. Spending the week at Scottsdale Artists' School in Arizona, was like coming home.

I began my studies with Ted back in 2001 when I lived in Fountain Hills, AZ. He was a new instructor at Scottsdale Artist's School teaching figurative watercolors from photographs. Ted keenly observes people and brings them to life right in front of our eyes as he intuitively places each stroke of color on the paper. He would begin each day with interesting stories about his paintings, perhaps a slide presentation, and always a fascinating demonstration. I would sit in awe watching him paint and hang on his every word as he shared his thoughts and explained the process. I learn best by watching; I really didn't care if I worked at my easel.

I continued to study with Ted for several years and used vintage photographs of my parents and grandmother as reference. I added grandchildren and uncle to my "gallery." I also like to paint jazz musicians and if you check my first posts on this blog you will see some of my early paintings.

Ted now teaches watercolor workshops throughout the country. Visit his website, to view his award winning paintings. He remains true to his style and his demonstrations continue to be spellbinding. Ted generously shares his knowledge of art and his philosophy of life.

In this photo I am working on a painting of my son, Gregg. As you see, the hands are yet unpainted . Hands are difficult and I procrastinated as long as I could. You will see the finished painting on my next post.

May 11, 2009

Self Portrait

I painted this self portrait from a photo taken several years ago while vacationing in Palm Springs. I was sitting on the patio in my own little world working on a painting when Bill snapped a picture. I used this as a reference to study values in the Stan Miller workshop. Normally, I would not have had such dark values on my face. I always think of watercolor as being delicate and transparent. It was difficult for me to paint this dark.

May 7, 2009

A Face of Many Colors

To paint this face we were told to cut a small 1/4" square hole in each of two small pieces of watercolor paper. Starting anywhere on the face we were to put one paper on the reference photo (in yesterday's blog) to isolate the value we observed in the small hole. Then the second piece of paper was placed on our drawing at the same location. Using any color we were to paint the small square matching the value seen in the reference square. Color didn't matter. This was repeated, square by small square, all over the face until it was filled in with color. This was a very slow, deliberate task that took much concentration and a long time to complete. It has been almost as difficult to explain it!

As you can see, this is not a masterpiece. Nor is it a painting to be displayed in a frame. It was an exercise at the workshop. However, if you would like to make me an offer I can't refuse!

May 6, 2009

Stan Miller Workshop

I attended Stan Miller's watercolor workshop March 24-27. It was sponsored by San Antonio Watercolor Group. His focus for this workshop was on value. Value is the lights and darks in a painting. I sometimes have a difficult time seeing value in my colored reference photographs. I love color and it is so important to me that I see color more easily than value. I usually have my reference photograph copied in gray scale to eliminate color altogether.

He furnished a grayscale reference photo for class use. We were to paint this face using any color (the more colors the better) and only concentrate on correct value. In his opinion, the color doesn't matter if you have the value correct.

May 5, 2009

Where Has the Time Gone?

I have had many gentle reminders from many of you that I have not posted anything new on my blog since February. When I opened the blog this evening, I realized that the February post was the only one in 2009.
When I began my blog last year I was posting one painting every day. I was using photographs of paintings created over many years. Some of you marveled how I could paint a new painting every day! I assured you that I could not. As you can see, I have had trouble creating a new painting each month.
I find that the creative juices are not always flowing. I must be inspired to begin a painting. If I am not, that blank white paper on the easel is difficult to face. For whatever reason, I could not ascend the stairs to my studio and wet those brushes.
I decided I needed to attend a workshop to get back in the groove.
My thanks to all of you who have faithfully looked at my blog and have encouraged me along the way. Painting is a very solitary task and it is always good to hear from you, even if it is to "scold" me about my blog.