KCOS Art Auction again this year!

I’ve donated “Stumbled Upon” to the KCOS Art Auction this year.  It will go on auction Friday April 27th in the 5:30-6 slot.  Get full information here: https://www.kcosartauction.org/april27

This is my fourth year donating to this great cause, I love public television, and I hope that you’ll check out the auctions and take home some lovely artwork. 

These are the last three paintings I’ve donated to the KCOS Art Auction! The big sunflower (Flor del Sol) won the Juror Award in 2018.

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!

What do you look for in an art show?

watercolor of poppies and verbena

small watercolor of mexican poppies and wild verbena, two flowers that go so well together!

I will be putting 8-10 paintings into a members show at the El Paso Art Association at the end of August. It will be my first time putting together that many pieces into a show, and I had some questions for the artists that read this blog as well as art lovers of all kinds.

  • Do you appreciate when the artworks are on a theme or when they show a range of topics?
  • Do you like to see a range of sizes?
  • Do you like the works to all be in a certain medium (i.e. painting) or is it more enjoyable to see a mix?

I tend now to paint on themes, closeups of nature/flowers/seedpods, but I have some landscapes, and some dog paintings, and I’m not sure how to decide what to include. I also have my bead embroidery sculptures that I could include…

So I’d appreciate your thoughts or suggestions. Thanks for stopping by!

Help me name this painting…

Watercolor of rocks and flowers by Rachel Murphree

11″ x 15″ watercolor of mexican poppies, prickly pear and rocks. Click on image to view larger.

So, as promised, here’s the finished painting from the photo I shared in the last post. I took artistic liberty with some of the rocks to make it a better composition.

This was definitely a painting that was giving me fits as it progressed.  It had its long moments of “adolesence” when all seemed to be a bit off, but it came together in the end.  When I paint this again, I will know better how to do it from the start, and not have to lift out so much color and repaint.  That makes it seem overworked to me, and not the spontaneous look I’d prefer.

But I think the discipline of continuing on when it got difficult, realizing problems and fixing them, is worthwhile, both in painting and in real life — don’t you think?

As of now, the working title is Poppies’ Rocks but I’m thinking there has to be a better title. What do you think? I’d love to hear your suggestions for a name for it.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me know your thoughts…

Happy mail day today!

black velvet brushes to try out

Synthetic squirrel blend brushes

Today was a fun mail day. A package came from Dick Blick with new brushes that had come with good recommendations from several people, including folks on the Watercolor Workshop facebook group.   I am in LOVE with these black velvet brushes! Wow. They are a mix of squirrel and synthetic, hold a lot of paint and have a wonderful point. Perfect for the brushwork I want to practice and perfect to make blossoms of all shapes.

A local artist had suggested that I should buy sable hair brushes, but I’m just not ready to commit that much money to a brush. The black velvet seems like a reasonable alternative that is a step up from the other synthetics I already have.

So there’s a 1″ oval (the thick one in the middle) and a #10 round on top.  The striper at the bottom is lovely to make thin lines that become thicker and then thin again, depending on the pressure you place. There’s also a thin script brush.  The white brush is called a comb and it makes the thin edges of grass quite nicely. I am doing a happy dance having such fun playing with my new tools.

watercolor of red bird of paradise bloom by Rachel Murphree

Red Bird of Paradise watercolor from 2013

The package also had some new colors, that I’m in the process of combining with other colors and making color charts.  One of which is Pyrrol Scarlet which is the lovely strong red that’s in the middle of the practice page behind the brushes. I can see this working wonderfully with Pyrrol Orange to make the Red Bird of Paradise blossoms that fascinate me.  I did this painting several years ago and feel that I understand both watercolor and the blossom so much better now. This is definitely a subject on my to do list to paint again this summer.  The next painting will be much more clear and light and more like the watercolor I am aiming for!  I will probably paint this more than once!!  Painting in a series is so helpful because it deepens my understanding of the subject and the colors chosen.

We all grow up thinking that red and blue make purple, and they do, but it’s fascinating to see what kind of purples this red makes or *doesn’t* make with the seven or eight blues I have.  they are more of a grayed purple for sure.  More on that later…

Photograph by Rachel Murphree

Photograph of poppies in the rocks

And lastly, here’s a photograph from which I am working and will hopefully post the finished painting this weekend.  so I’ll leave you with this for now….

Thanks for stopping by.  I enjoy hearing from you.  If you’ve had experience with these brushes, or would like to share how you use pyroll scarlet, please leave me a comment!

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