Great Scape!

Isn’t it funny how things just seem to come together?  Last month I started working and blogging about scapes, and how really cool they are, and today I was working on finishing touches on the painting and this FABULOUS blogpost Great Scape came up on my reader.Please click on it to view a gorgeous photo of a “rollercoast” of scapes from the blog Leaf and Twig (which I totally enjoy reading daily!)

vegetable still life

Almost finished this 11″ x 14″ watercolor of a farmer’s market collection of scapes, pepper, and kale.  Click on image to view larger.

So after spending a good deal of time yesterday on the business end of painting,  it was nice to get in painting time today.  Please let me know what you think.  I need some fresh perspectives on it.

This won’t be in next month’s show, but the deadline is rapidly approaching (mid August) for submissions to Arts International, the juried show put on annually by the EP Art Association.  So I will be working on it and others hoping to have some ready to submit for that show.  It’s  a busy summer here!

And with traveling, putting together frames/mats/paintings, ordering cards and business cards, I have been remiss in keeping up with reading art blogs…so that’s next on the agenda.  I so appreciate the support of other bloggers, and artists in particular, and I miss keeping up on what y’all are doing!

photo card

art show in El Paso, Texas.  Click on image to view larger.

The Scapes return, stages four and five

in process painting of veggie still life

Scapes painting stage 4.  Click on image to view larger.

 

As you can see, if you compare with the last post, I’ve added some darks into the kale and made it so much more lively!  The darks I used were a mix of thalo green blue shade and quinacridone magenta.  This is a great dark combination that’s also transparent, and I plan on using it in the background along with charging into it some other colors used in the existing veggies to give it color harmony.

 

 

 

 

in process painting of veggie still life

Scapes painting stage 5, with a dramatic background! Click on image to view larger

 

 

And you can see it here, I’ve taken the plunge and started on the background.  I think I’m going to be happy with it and you can see that the background is really broken up into sections which is nice.  I can work on parts and soften the edge where they would join up so that there isn’t a hard line where they meet.  you can see I did that to the left of the pepper stem.

I plan on using this background with other colors mingled in with it to cover all the area where the scapes are, and I think the dark colors will make the sinewy snakelike scapes “pop”

What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, I enjoy reading your comments, critiques, suggestions, thoughts…

The Stages of the Scapes

in progress painting of veggie still life

Scapes painting stage 2.  click on image to view larger

Here are some further photos of stages in the painting. At this stage I hopedit could be ok, but I felt overwhelmed by I put down the colors of the kale but was getting lost in the curves, ruffles, and edges. After doing anything BUT painting on this — i.e. cleaning the baseboards, organizing closets, I think some of you will understand these impulses! — I realized I need to look at each section and develop it in an attempt to not get lost. Following the process one would use to paint petals of a flower. Work on each and build it up to a certain level, what feels right, and then do another.

In process painting of veggie still life

Scapes painting stage 3.  Click on image to view larger

So here’s the following stage.  I  worked on the swirl of the bud of the scape, to the left of the pepper.  It needs a bit more refining but it’s more true to the spiral.

I worked on various sections of the leaf.  I knew I wanted the detail where it would catch your eye in the middle of the painting, near the red pepper — because red and green are complements so they “zing” against each other and that draws your eye.  I knew I didn’t want a lot of detail, at least not now, in the darker, blue green shadows in the bottom right corner.  With the advice and support of great friends in my painting group — you know who you are! — they counseled me on lifting out some lights, and going in later with the DARKS to give the leaf depth.  Right now it is all medium values, if you squint at it, the kale is all one value, no darks in it so spike it up!

So that’s what’s coming next…  stay tuned….

Thanks for stopping by.  I’d love to hear from you — your thoughts, reactions, advice, critique!  it’s all welcome.

Asparagus: Which would you choose?

Asparagus spears.  Watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Asparagus spears. watercolor 7.5″ x 11″ Available. Click on image to view larger

Asparagus wet in wet.  Watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Wet in wet painting of asparagus. Watercolor 4″ x 11″. Available. Click on image to view larger.

After doing some studies on painting asparagus, yesterday the work came together in these two rather different pieces.  Both have wet in wet elements, but have different feels.  Do you have a preference?  I’ve polled my household, and so far there’s one vote for each.

The upper one is a wet in wet background, made by wetting the paper with water and when it’s settled in, stroking on blues and yellows and then sprinkling some salt on it while wet.  That’s what makes the sparkly areas.

After that I painted in the spears letting the various greens merge and then scraped aside the areas of the tips and along the stem, and then went back in and lifted some color using a damp brush to model the shapes more.

The second one is completely wet in wet.  Paper wet, colors in and then using thicker and thicker puddles of pigment I build up the shapes of the spears, did some scraping, and then some painting when it was dry.

Which one do you like better?  Thanks for stopping by…

Fruit and Veg anyone?

Fruit and Veg watercolor I often play around on scrap pieces of paper, or attempt paintings that fail for various reasons. I was looking fondly at some of the images and thought, that pear is good, or I like that squash…but the rest… well….frankly, it’s rubbish!

So I decided to cut them out and play around with them and see what happens. What could I do with them? put a ribbon through them and hang them as Christmas ornaments, with extra details on them that are still forming in my brain while trying to sleep!, or from a branch during the rest of the year. or they could be part of a collage on canvas with acrylic maybe? or … or…. really though, they just make me smile, and I wanted to share them with you!

Can you identify each one? prune plums along the bottom, you know the pears, and probably the peaches, but the two on the diagonal you may not know: prickly pear (oppuntia cactus) fruit!

Winter Squash

Winter Squash on purple background

8″ square watercolor on lanaquerelle 140 lb paper

Playing around with this image I sketched early in October. I wasn’t painting much for awhile there, but am back into it. I’ve had a suggestion that the squashes should overlap more, and I agree with that. maybe for the next one… even with scanning this image, the purple background didn’t come through to the left of the front squash. Comments/criticism welcome! Let me know what you think….

Sketching around

Value sketch of winter squashes

Value sketch of winter squashes

Before I went out of town, I was working on a value sketch of three winter squashes. I’ve transferred it to a 8″ square of Lanaquerella watercolor paper which is a new surface for me. I hope I remember to take in progress pictures for you. I was really glad to see I’d made some notes on colors and techniques to use, because the day I sketched this seems like years ago!

Thanks everyone for your kind words, encouragement and offers of support during this past month. It was a difficult time for our family, and I am so glad I made the trip up for my sister’s funeral and to visit with my family. It’s tough being geographically so far away from them.

Sketch of garden figure

Ceramic turtle in garden

Since being home I have been knitting, and getting back into the groove of life with two active teens/preteens, and doing a bit of sketching. It was fabulous to sit in our cooler weather one morning in the courtyard and sketch this garden figure.

Tuesday’s veggie jumble

2014-04-08 09.13.02Kabocha squash, onion and red bell pepper. 8″ x 12″. A good lesson on stopping sooner. I liked it better without the spatters in the background.

 

Monday’s onion

2014-04-08 06.47.34A 5×8″ study / warmup. i enjoy painting onions.

Veggie breakthrough

Today i had a breakthrough in the studio. Something clicked in my brain regarding making a full puddle of JUICY pigment and learning more of how to control it. I wasn’t using enough pigment and once I did that, and kept in the zone, I had more success.  Not overly happy with the shadow at all, and that’s one of my favorite parts of the initial painting in the book, but I think the rest turned out pretty ok.  more over I had a great time doing it!

veggie still life

painting from Dawn McLeon Heim’s book on step by step realistic painting

I didn’t have the same greens she did, so mine reacted differently and I decided to not use the meticulous drawings that the author has to enlarge and put on the paper. so I’m freehand drawing and using her colors and steps as a guideline. much happier this way. I bought some of my own produce, so I’m off to set up one or two and see how it works flying solo. Wish me luck!

p.s. one thing I’m not happy with is that I can’t get the photograph to reflect the real purple of the eggplant. It has bluish areas on the top but it really IS purple in real life…something I’ll have to research unless one of you knows the answer??