Birthday Studies in Color and Value

I’ve been laying low online, but in real life I’ve been working on studies and homework from group lessons with Nancy Frost Begin.  She’s from Las Cruces — here’s a bit about her and her varied work.   I have gotten so much out of the two classes we’ve had with her.

Here’s homework that I just finished where we had to paint a small painting in our regular style, and then repaint it two ways:  once in darks/shades, and the other in palest hues/tints.  I took my birthday bouquet as the starting point.

And here they are in black and white through the magic of software.

I found the dark one the most difficult to paint.  I knew that yellow would be the lightest dark on the value scale, but I thought I was getting the rest pretty dark, but as you can see above, they are a bunch of lights in the painting.

All in all, it was an excellent exercise all around in the pigment/water ratio, mixing darks, while just having fun!   oh yes and my birthday was chill and relaxing…just what I needed!

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I always try the hard stuff…

But at the beginning I don’t realize the difficulty!!  LOL. Does that sound familiar?

After my pomegranate sketch starting the new year off right, I chose these vintage salt and pepper shakers which I love. What could be hard?

Well, for one, perspective, the change of shape of the ellipse/oval of the top of a cylinder…or say a coffee cup or vase…or this shaker with its cute S or P of holes on top. That led me down a rabbit hole of books on my shelves re-learning about perspective which I need to practice way more to really “get’.

My mind was fuzzy with the effort, so I knew it would take at least two sittings perhaps more to figure it out.  After mulling it over while painting other things and experimenting, I realized the bottom is a sphere, the top is a cylinder and realizing where my eye level is is key to figuring out how much of the ellipse to show at the top of the (admittedly squat) cylinder that sits on the sphere.

I’m also realizing that I need to paint or sketch before opening my laptop because again, the rabbit hole phenomena.  So that’s why I didn’t search for videos on perspective of spheres or cylinders until another day.

Although I think I got the values fairly well on the sphere by just really looking, this was a useful page to review: https://www.artistsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/sadie-valeri_draw_value-sphere.pdf

While this is pretty technical, it’s helpful and this one is a good overview of the perspective of cylinders.  I don’t know about you, but I like to know the bones behind the theory, so I want to understand perspective rather than guessing on what type of ellipse is needed.

So that’s it for now, I will eventually paint these shakers, but not right now.  Also, I can tell you which books I have on my shelf for perspective, if you’re interested.

 

 

Desert Snow

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I am pleased to announce that my painting, Desert Snow (Desert Broom in Bloom) was selected to be in the New Mexico Watercolor Society’s SC “For the Love of Art Month” exhibit.  FTLA, as this event is known, is an annual Arts event in Las Cruces with studio tours, a member art show and art happenings all around town.  See this link for more info: http://www.artformsnm.org/floa.  As of this post, the page shows the map and events for 2017 but I’m sure it will be updated shortly.

Our show will be held in the Adobe Patio Studio – 1765 Avenida de Mercado, Mesilla, NM and the opening is Friday, February 3rd from 5-7 pm. Our watercolor show has the theme  “Small Miracles” where we were asked to respond to the wonder all around us.  My painting is of the beautiful “snow” that occurs when the Desert Broom plant blooms and then sheds its seeds in fluff sent to the winds.  This is one of many wonders that I’ve seen on my hikes with my husband on Lost Dog Trail.  The Franklin Mountains are a fabulous place to rejuvenate and enjoy nature right outside an urban area.

Hope to see you at the show opening!

The seeds of a new year

My goals for the new year are to sketch and paint daily. No pressure, right??  LOL.  I know I won’t succeed every day but I believe in aiming high. 

New Year Pomegranates

New Year Pomegranates ink sketch with watercolor wash

As you can see from the buckling pages, this sketchbook isn’t made for wet media, but these pages aren’t anything precious.  Just daily practice in drawing and noting the pigments that were used. 

Happy New year to all!  May it be one of peace and enjoying the daily goodness of life. 

Pet Commissions

Tulie (my rescue dog)

Prints and more available at my online store.

If you’re looking for a unique gift for that special someone, occasion, (or even for yourself!), consider having a commission painted of your favorite pet in watercolor.  I work closely with you, meet the pet if possible, and work from your closeup photos.  All along the way, I will send you update shots and get your thoughts on background.  Your satisfaction is guaranteed; if you don’t love the painting, your deposit will be refunded.  I want you to love the painting that’s on your wall.

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Shiloh (commission)  Prints and more available at my online store

Paintings are matted and framed and delivered.  11″ x 14″ paintings are framed to 16″ x 20″ and are $325.  References provided upon request.

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Charley (commission)  Prints and more available at my online store

 

20% off Sale — Save the date!

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Come visit us Sunday, December 17th from 12-4 at the Marketplace’s Customer Appreciation Open House!   The entire store of unique and special and antique gifts is all discounted that afternoon only….I will have magnets, cards, prints, and ornaments for sale and look forward to seeing you there.

Woman’s Club One Woman show!

I’m really pleased to announce that I’m having a one woman show at the Woman’s Club of El Paso during the month of December.  I will have a dozen or so paintings showing there, and the hours the beautiful historic building is open to the public are Monday through Thursday 9 am – 3 pm.  If you are coming down to see the show, I’d recommend calling first: (915) 532-6131.  I will be giving a brief talk at the member/guest luncheon on Wednesday, Dec 20th and having a table of things to sell.

I haven’t decided for sure which paintings I will display but these three are top on the list:

These three paintings are available in cards, prints and magnets, and even in jewelry at Rachel Murphree Watercolors store. 

Other things I’m working on this week are painting a Holiday card for a swap, and painting for two upcoming shows that will be held in Las Cruces, and working on lessons to teach new students …oh yes, and I am adding more jewelry to my online store,  and working my way through considering how much to add to the chorus of  Black Friday frenzy going on right now.   It’s really not my style!   So as usual, there’s always something going on at Casa Murphree!

I’m always happy to hear from you, if you are inclined to write a comment….

 

 

 

 

Online store and Queen of Peace!

Queen of Peace Bazaar November 18-19

I have been busy working behind the scenes in getting photos of my jewelry up on my online store, and also making more jewelry to bring to Queen of Peace’s Holiday Bazaar going on this weekend.  I’ll be in the main hall and look forward to seeing you there!

For those of you who don’t live in El Paso, I now have an online store where you can purchase jewelry, cards, prints, ornaments, and the magnets are coming soon!  I can also take special orders and deliver (in town).  You can see some of the assortment below.

And you can now shop in person at the Marketplace @ Placita Santa Fe, 5034 Doniphan, El Paso, inside the Magic Bistro restaurant.

Ardovino’s funky art garden

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I’m in search of a title for this second piece started en plein air at Ardovino’s Desert Crosssing and finished at home.  It’s mostly watercolor with some watersoluble ink.  I can be unimaginative in my titles, so I need your help!

If you are familiar with Ardovino’s you know of their fabulous landscaping and juxtaposition of cool features, art, etc. in the mix.  When you are there, everywhere you look is a scene just ready to be painted! Turning around 360 degrees gives you as many views to paint.

So the big orange flower in this painting is funky up-cycled art that is multiple layers of depression-ware glass plates on a metal stem with utensils for leaves.  I believe it’s created by Ben and Terry Avalos.  And of course the sink lives near by with a cactus growing inside it.

wp-15090582919161929534308.jpgI’m getting ready to frame this piece along with already framed Mecca Lounge Morning (above) to be in the Plein Air show at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  The opening is November 8th from 5-8 pm.  Hope you can make it!

Mecca Lounge Morning

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I am thrilled that my plein air painting “Mecca Lounge Morning” was selected to be one of the postcards advertising Ardovino’s Desert Crossing’s 20th anniversary starting in November. The Plein Air Painters of El Paso will have an exhibit inside the restaurant of art painted on location or from that location. The opening is November 8th from 5 to 8 and the show runs through the end of the year. The food, of course, will be fabulous! And the art too. Hope you join us.