Work in progress: fantasy beach

As a beach comber this might be a fantasy beach…it is a piece in progress started by laying in colors in a soft wash and then carving out and defining shell shapes with medium and dark values. It is a lot of fun and maybe 75% done.

The next steps are to make some shells more believable and continue getting depth and partial shells. Also I will string a path of darks leading you into the left top shell focal point.

This is the painting in an earlier stage. What do you think? I would love to hear!

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Cactus queen

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Cactus and iceplant in progress. Rachel Murphree watercolors

I’ve been I’ve been away from painting for a while because of work and travel and a bit of illness, but I am so happy to say that I am back in the studio again. This is a piece in progress on my easel.

For some reason I think of her as a cactus Queen even though she’s been mis-shapened by pollution and the like.

When I saw her over the years by Hillside Coffee in Montecillo, El Paso, I was impressed by her colors of oranges and yellows, and the ice plant’s soft succulent texture spreading around the bottom of her spikiness.

For awhile there I quite lost my way in creating depth in the ice plant foliage, but I’m happy to say that I think I have a handle on it now.

So there is more work to do in working on the distressed areas of the cactus and adding more spines and more details.

Flor del Sol @ KCOS Auction

Flor del Sol_rachel_murphree_watercolor

I’m very pleased to announce that my painting Flor del Sol won a Juror Award for Still Life and Landscape in this year’s KCOS Auction!  You can view the award winning paintings here.  I’m honored to be in such good company .  https://www.kcosartauction.org/about

Globe Mills plein air_rachel_murphree_watercolors

I will let you know what times this painting, and my other donated painting, Gone but Not Forgotten (Globe Mills), will be auctioned to benefit our wonderful public TV station.

Art Auction Air Dates
Saturday, April 22: 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
Sunday, April 23: 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
Saturday, April 29: 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
Sunday, April 30: 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

 

Double shot of watercolor

in the spotlight_rachel_murphree_watercolors

A reminder that my painting “In the Spotlight” will be at the NMWS Spring show of the Las Cruces/Southern Chapter which opens this Saturday, March 31st from 5-7.  Hope to see you there!

SC spring show 2018 ad

Across the street at the Dona Ana Arts Council’s new gallery will be another watercolor show by a NMWS signature member, Arlene Tugel. Make an arts evening night out in Mesilla with yummy restaurants nearby!

ATugel_soloshow

 

GREENS! in honor of St Patty’s day

 

And now for something completely different!  I recently took a class with Nancy Frost Begin on abstract painting beginning with elongated out of scale sketches of ordinary objects and then playing…  It’s very different for me, but I’m sure having fun.  While painting you keep turning the canvas to get a new perspective, and work on using the elements and principles of art to make an interesting piece.  This is in process, so I’m not sure where it will go from here, but I think the journey will be a blast…  I’m thinking it needs more places to rest your eye, and I have to look at it critically with the principles in mind…  but here it is turned three ways.

Does either way catch your fancy?  What do you see in it?

Thanks for stopping by!

Flying saucer cupcake

Jenna's cupcake _murphree watercolor in progress

This painting has a ways to go yet, but I wanted to show you what I’ve been  working on.   My daughter is a fabulous baker, and this is her chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting that is her latest creation all from scratch. Right now it looks like it’s a plate flying in the area with a blob on top, I know!  The background reflections are partly in, and I have to add the tabletop and work on forming the beautiful frosting, but it’s getting there.

In the Spotlight!

I’m thrilled to announce that this watercolor, “In the Spotlight”  has been juried into a New Mexico Watercolor Society show!  Having my first painting in a NMWS show was a goal of mine for this new year (as well as taking up yoga again and taking weekly hikes).  Those two things haven’t happened yet,  and it’s already MARCH!  Where did the winter go?

in the spotlight_rachel_murphree_watercolors

Anyway, the show is at the very cool Rokoko Gallery, 1785 Avenida de Mercado, Mesilla.  We will be in one room and their eclectic mix of fun art will be in the rest of the gallery.   In addition there’s a one woman show with watercolorist Arlene Tugel at the Dona Ana Arts Council’s new building across the street that evening.  So if you’d like to make a night of it,enjoy some art and get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in Mesilla, stop by!!

The opening is Saturday, March 31st from 5-7 pm and the show runs until April 28th.  Gallery hours for this Exhibit: Wed.-Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sun. 1:00-5:00 p.m.   

My eventual goal is to get “signature status” with the society which means that I have to have four more pieces accepted over the next five years and then I can sign my paintings with the initials “NMWS” after my name.  So I’ve started this journey….and I’m doing the happy dance.

This the second time I have painted this vegetable still life of kale, scape (the curly part of garlic that is above ground) and of course a wonderful juicy red pepper.  It will be framed with plexiglass with a white double mat and priced at $300.

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!

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.