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

Entering again

Hello, and welcome to March! Today is the deadline to enter the New Mexico Watercolor Society exhibit of the Southern Chapter to be held in Las Cruces in mid May. I just entered these two paintings and I’ll hear mid month if either or both have been accepted. Fingers crossed because entry into this show will be the 5 entries needed in the time frame in order to have “signature status” in the membership. That means that from then on, I can sign my paintings with NMWS after my name.

The painting on the left is Apache Plume Morning (that’s the common name of the pink shrub in the foreground) and Standing Proud (flowers and seed pods — my favorite! — of the Yellow bird of paradise shrub.

These needed some additional tweaking this week and I’m happier with them than I was before. In the meantime I’m working on paintings for the Albuquerque show of NMWS also in May. Working more hours as a librarian makes finding painting time challenging, but I’m learning the balance…

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I’ll be sure to let you know what happens with these entries.

The Reveal: Paradise Found


red BOP WIPIn my last post I did a sneak peak at the piece I was working on.  It’s now finished and my friend Diane again came up with a cool title for it:  Paradise Found.  The flowers are the Red Bird of Paradise shrub that surprisingly does quite well in our desert environment.

I haven’t had time to concentrate on painting much this summer, so as the deadline to shows approached the pressure was on to do value studies, color studies and then paint the piece.  I really enjoyed the process and am happy with the result.

Here are some step by step shots to show you the pale background wash followed by a similar photo with grey spots on it which are masking fluid to save the whites of the paper.  My favorite part of the piece is the pods and the color mingling on them.  The part that didn’t turn out as well as I’d like was the darker background.  If you click on one image you are in a slideshow of the rest.

I submitted it as well as two other pieces to the New Mexico Watercolor Show that will be held in October.  I just found out today that it none of them got in.  I’m a bit bummed but such is life.   I’ve been really fortunate lately with my art activities, and it just isn’t realistic to expect that to keep happening.    The really nice note that went out to all the artists that entered tried to counter the disappointment by saying to view the paintings not as rejected,  just “not invited” which I thought was really thoughtful.

I am definitely planning to see the show in person to see the high caliber work that I know will be there, and to be inspired.  The show runs in Albuquerque at Expo NM from October 1-30, Thurs-Sundays each week.

And speaking of inspired, tomorrow I start the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge that I have done twice a year the past couple of years.  Stay tuned!  I’ve gotten several books on color recently, so I believe my practice and painting for the month will be focused on learning more and more about color….

Spring Show entries

Thanks to you all for feedback in the poll, and blog or facebook comments.  I did a quick and dirty compiling, assuming people that wrote comments didn’t do the poll, and the paintings that were most popular are shown below.  I forgot to mention when first posting this that these are all the newest work, from late summer/fall 2015:

Painting of pinecones in watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Pinecone Parade.

You can read the blog post about my painting process for the parade.

Contemplation. Watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Contemplation. Watercolor.

You can read the blog post about my painting process for this painting.

Farmers' Market Scapes watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Farmers’ Market Scapes.