Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Native Vines

Coastal Autumn colors are still singing their song. The colors and textures are a delight to my eyes.

Virginia Creeper and Muscadine Grape vines abound in our landscape.

New to me is Virgin's Bower - a native clematis.  I really want to explore the wonderful arrangement of the spent flowers.  They look different in every type of light.  I'm especially fond of the intricate squiggly fronds that are attached to the seeds - they look like feathers.  What a great way this plant has to transport its seeds through the air.

Last Wednesday, I cut snippets of these vines and put them in a vase for later sketching.
what a fun way to spend time waiting for the Thanksgiving turkey to cook!

The Muscadine and Virginia Creeper have now faded but the Virgin's Bower hasn't changed a bit..... Oh goodie! I'll be able to make some enlarged sketches of this amazing plant :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Redbud on Veterans Day

Veterans Day found me sketching a favorite Redbud tree.  It struck me as happy with it's branches lifting up toward the sky.  A smattering of brightly colored leaves were like icing on a cake.

Freedom makes my heart sing. Thank you, Veterans, for your bravery and sacrifices that helped keep our country free!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Plein Air and Memory Watercolor Sketches

During the palette knife painting workshop with Jane Smithers, we also sketched in our journals.

The larger image is a 15 minute plein air sketch, the smaller a two-minute memory sketch. Both using just watercolors with no initial pencil sketch.

I so love timed sketching.  Stokes become quite simplified. It's great for loosening up and colors stay fresh. 

Both sketches are done in a Stillman & Birn Alpha series hardbound journal. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sketching During a Golf Game

Yes, my kind of golf game now is sitting in the golf cart and sketching while Rob plays :)  I remember the last time I played this course was back in the mid '90's.   The bunkers were geometric in shape.  It was not a kind course for me to play then.... and all these years later, I'm quite satisfied in being a passenger in the golf cart!

A delightful day!  The temps were in the high 60's, sun shining bright, the course was loaded with players and we couldn't have been happier.  The couple we were paired up with didn't like the slow play but not us.  We love to take our time and enjoy the day.... not race around the course.  It gave me lot's of time to study and sketch things that caught my eye.  Five hours to play 18 holes.  Nice!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Autumn Wildflower Celebration

These were picked from Spring Island's wildflower garden last Thursday.  The Frostweed, Verbesina virginica, blooms are spent, but I still love their shapes. The Horsemint, Monarde punctata L, is barely hanging on and the River Oat sprig, Chasmanthium latifolium, has been brown for weeks. But Elliott's Aster, Symphyotrichum elliottii, Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta and Wild Ageratum flowers are not ready to stop their celebration of Autumn.

I so wish I could have a scratch and sniff square on this page!

I sketched everything with an 005 brown Micron pen, then added watercolors.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Palette Knife Painting

Please click to enlarge
Two weeks ago I took part in a Jane Smithers oil painting workshop.  We used only a palette knife to apply paint to our substrates. 

I've not painted with oils since college and this time around chose Holbein's duo aqua oils as I want to not get involved with the chemicals and odors of traditional oil paints.

I found them easy to work with but my biggest surprise during this workshop was the lack of odor from the traditional oil paints that everyone else was using.  This was due in part because it's wasn't necessary to use mineral spirits or turpenoid for cleanup!  Our workshop instructor enlightened us with the use of Wet Ones to clean the palette knife!

All in all, palette knife painting has two big pluses. Very easy cleanup and it forces you to stay loose. However, there is a learning curve of how to apply paint with the knife. It's rather like leaning how to write with traditional calligraphy tools.  My painting technique used in the above image really didn't take advantage of all the effects a knife can create, but I sure do have the urge for more exploration!

Thank you, Jane!  You are a great teacher!