Up in the Air in Albuquerque!

watercolor painting of blooms of Agave/Century Plant.

This painting of Century Plant/Agave blooms 20+ feet in the air was juried into the Albuquerque chapter of NMWS Spring Show.  It’s the Society’s 50th anniversary celebration with an exhibit of over 100 watercolor paintings and is definitely worth a stop if you’re in Albuquerque during May! Click on the link for complete info.

With this acceptance I will have signature status into the NMWS so I can sign my paintings with those initials after my name from now on. This has been a goal of mine and I’m happy to have reached it! 

Up in the Air $400

A Modern Take

These varnished watercolors applied to black painted 2″ deep canvases are selling as fast as I can paint them. They have a more modern rich color because of the varnish and not being behind glass. The smallest is 5″ square. The largest so far is 8×10″. Fun to do and see on the walls! So far they have been only at Flattop Salon but I hope to have them at the Marketplace at Placita Santa Fe and at First Impressions. #elpasowatercolors #flowers #shopsmall

Cafe de Mesilla Artists Reception Saturday April 13

In the Spotlight $350

‘In the Spotlight” and “Cactus Queen” will both be on display for sale at the Cafe de Mesilla, a charming breakfast/lunch and coffee shop at 2190 Avenida de Mesilla. The show is hosted by the NM Watercolor Society and it’s part of our Alternate Spaces, an informal display of watercolor and morel The show will be up now through the end of May 2019. The Artists’ Reception is Saturday, April 11th from 2-5 pm as part of the 10-10 Second Saturday Art Hop in the Mesilla/University area. Galleries and museums will be open through the day for you to take a tour of the area and a bite to eat. Hope to see you there!

Cactus Queen $350

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!

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.

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!

I was holding my breath!

matted heart of the matter in progress

As you may remember, this piece “The Heart of the Matter” is twice as large as paintings I’ve done before.  It is 15″ x 22″ and will be assembled in a 22″ x 28″ frame.  This means, since I mat and frame my own pieces, that I had to wrestle a piece of mat board twice as big and larger than rulers that I have on my cutter.  Because I like to double mat originals, it involved all the fiddly work of double matting, measuring  not once or twice but THREE times and cutting once!

I’ve put this off for several days since the huge mat board box arrived in the mail midweek, but it’s due ready to hang on Wednesday at the show!  so needs must…

I am thrilled that it came out perfectly!  whew.  what a huge relief.  as you can see from the shadows in this photo, it’s just lightly taped in without being secured, in process of being framed, but YAY, the hard part is done!

I have to give a shoutout to the new free border cutting app from Logan:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.logan.bordercalculatorapp  
it’s also available on Itunes.  It’s very easy to use, just put in inner dimensions of the frame and the dimensions of the hole for the painting and then choose single or double mat.  Easy peasy.  And I re-watched their youtube video on double mat cutting.

Franciscan Festival Sept 2-3, 2017

Franciscan Festival, Sept 2-3

And now I can take a deep breath!  and keep working on cutting mats and assembling prints into bags for the Franciscan Festival which starts a week from today.  I’ll be in room 5 at the Holy Cross Retreat which is in its 60th year of hosting this festival of fine arts.  It’s a really fun festival with great food, art and people.  I hope you can stop by and say hello! More on the print assembly process in a later post…

 

 

 

Blue jay feathers day 15

Well I am halfway through this challenge and time has flown! It is feathers again today, for Janene! 

 I am not totally satisfied with either of these feathers because I don’t have the blue quite right.  And the feather is iridescent which could be achieved with Daniel smith  iridescents which I don’t have. I think I need to see if I have peacock blue or Antwerp or Thalo blue in my stashes.  I used ultramarine and indanthrone on the more blue purple feather, and cerulean chromium and indanthrone on the other. Still had fun and learned something! 

Poppies–Day 13

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Here is the 13th day of painting.  California poppies scattered in a prickly pear patch.  I am almost halfway through this challenge and the time is flying by and I am having such fun!

Hummingbird nest — Day 8

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Here’s my hummingbird nest for Day 8.  I’m happy with how it came out.  I’ve posed it with the actual nature treasure, isn’t it cool?  I just love things like this.  And I included the brushes I used for it.  The striper (the one on top) is so amazing for doing thin to thick lines.

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This is the first stage of it as it was drying.  I wet that portion of the paper and dropped in color carefully and watched it spread and blotted some if it went too far, and painted again with the brush, not doing a pencil drawing first.  Once it dried I went in with the finer brush and thicker paint and sometimes water to smooth out lines and finished it.

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Hummingbird Nest in Watercolor by Rachel Murphree

You can click on the images to view them larger.  Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to leave a comment.