Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grass and Forest painting

Grass and Forest
acrylic on paper
15" x 11"
Today felt like a painting day but I needed to stay indoors so I pulled out a photo from a hike last year and went to work. I'm just getting a feel for the materials again so I didn't expect to produce a masterpiece but I'm satisfied with the work. I'll probably paint this again and again, and maybe soon I can return to the reserve and paint directly.

I used both fluid and heavy body acrylics, a mix of Golden and Holbein. with lots of water to make the work juicy. I'm leaning strongly toward using the thinner paint because I invaribly like to work thin so I get to play with drips and splatters.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My daughter and her daughter at about the same ages.
From my journal What Matters Most.

Valerie Sjodin of Visual Blessings has blessed me with the Liebster Award and in the spirit of the award I'm paying it forward. Though I don't usually do blog awards, this one is worthwhile if it helps increase traffic for other blogs and helps you find blogs that are new to you and are worth your time to read and follow.


This award was designed in the pay it forward fashion. Once you've been nominated, you award it to five blogs that you like that have fewer than 200 followers, to encourage new visitors to visit these blogs.


Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award onto your blog. Give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this awesome award!


I tried to stay within the parameters of the rules but since many people don't include a Followers area on their blog I didn't pay a great deal of attention to that.

Here are my choices of inspiring art blogs that feature lovely artwork and some step-by-step or how-to's. (alphabetical order, of course. how could one rank such a list?)
I've found that the internet art-blogging community is supportive and giving in a variety of ways. I hope that you will visit all the blogs that I've listed in my sidebar; there's something there for everyone.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Studio Table and Watercolor Paint Choices


Here it is the end of the week and I haven't posted about this weeks' work in the studio. There hasn't been a lot, and no painting, no collage.  I've been cleaning up the garden instead.  But I have been working in the studio, tossing a full cabinet drawer of files and reorganizing the remaining two drawers. It feels so good to have accomplished that.

With spring coming early to Oregon I decided to spend time on my sketching tools and the various bags I carry.  Here you see an area of my counter with some of the tools of my trade. Granted I'm at the end of the process so it looks tidy but you should have seen the mess.

The black bag on the right stays in the backseat floorboard of my car. The bag was intended to be a cosmetic bag for travel but it works better for sketching and paint tools.  The open palette is a W&N Cotman kit that was a freebie years ago and has seen lots of use. It's cleaned up for the season and mostly filled with my limited palette.

Some basic tools and a book I'm reading.
In this photo the black bag on the left is another cosmetic bag that I carry when I travel. It holds tiny bits of things I might need. I'll show you what's in that in another post if you're interested. Most things on this part of the counter are obvious and good ways to corral pens and pencils that are frequently used. The wire thingie is a vintage flower frog.  It really doesn't work well, prefering to hold flower stems, but I like how it looks so it stays there. The box cutter lives in a vintage glass tray that once held a dentist's picks.

Here's the car paint bag closed.
10" x 7" x 3"
I added D-rings on each side at the top and clipped a shoulder strap to the rings. There's also a metal shower curtain ring hanging on one of the handles so I can hang the case using an S-hook that lives inside. I've used this on an airplane quite successfully.

Opened partially, showing the handy compartments.
Opened all the way.
Check your local drugstore to see if you can find this Basics Cosmetics case. It's a dandy.

Watercolor, Collage, Journaling Table
This table is 30 x 60" and is a workhorse, used for all kinds of things, but this week it's where I've been testing watercolors in combination to see which I want to use in early spring.  The basic six that will help me capture the clear bright spring colors are Azo yellow, New gamboge, Winsor Blue GS, Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, and Winsor red.  Of course I'll modify and add to these basics, but for now that's what I'll play with.

For testing I gathered a stack of small pieces watercolor paper scraps and proceeded to test. I don't really know how to approach this so I just winged it. I first chose 3 blues and painted large spots of each down one side of the paper (see upper middle of picture) and then chose one yellow and painted beside and into each blue to see what sort of green the combination would give me. And that's how I approached each color in turn.

If you have a better way, please let me know.

I know I'll be painting with acrylics again and wanted to see how complete is my collection of Holbein Acryla acrylics. (The long narrow strip in the lower left of the picture is my record of colors I own.) Holbein uses such odd color names. For example, Flame red is really Napthol, PR9, but the only way to know that is to find the tiny paint number on the back of the tube.  So I hightailed it to Blick downtown and wrote the paint number on my Holbein chart so I'll know what to order in the future and bought a replacement since that's a frequently used one. 

Or maybe I'll revert to slinging paint based on what it looks like.  Probably will. Being organized takes the fun out of it for me.  So why go to this trouble? I need to know how to mix paint properly before I have the confidence to work with abandon. Otherwise I'm sure I'd just make ugly messes... like I've done too many times already.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  I hope you all have a great weekend.  Make something pretty.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Prairie Grass - Oklahoma

Prairie Grass - Oklahoma
collage on paper
16 x 20"
Although my focus has been elsewhere lately I'm still managing some studio time, working on the mapping series of collage paintings.

My husband and I met in college, in Stillwater, OK. He was raised in southwestern Oklahoma and after college we lived and worked in the state until moving to Oregon. Being from Arkansas I knew little about Oklahoma history and the required coursework about my adopted state was fascinating.

I read tales of the five civilized tribes, early white settlers, the Sooners who jumped into the land rush too soon, and of womens struggles to make a home on the prairie where conditions were harsh. Many, including my husbands relatives, scraped back the prairie grasses and dug homes into the red soil, using what precious wood they could find to build the upper walls, roof and door on their dugout home.

The Oklahoma prairie was beautiful before the farmers settled the land and changed the landscape forever. The grasses were tall, the skies vast, the bison plentiful. Some settlers recognized the value of the prairie grass as cattle feed but much of it was plowed and planted with crops, contributing to the horrors of the Dust Bowl era.  Now several land conservancy groups are returning portions of the land to its natural state.

There are incredible photographs of prairie grass online here.

As I thought about images of Oklahoma the most striking to me are those of grass and giant blue skies. The thin slices of paper which indicate prairie grass are proportionally too wide for the scale of the composition, indicating the immensitiy of the prairie. My art is about my emotionalal response to the location, not a photo-realistic representation. There's a dichotomy here of nature vs. present day infrastructure, a land which only 100 years ago was prairie and bison and is now criss-crossed with highways and dotted with cities. The prairies are growing back and the bison are thriving on preserves. It's about time.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ochoco Forest - mapping series

by Jo Reimer

Ochoco Forest
14 x 18
Collage on Canvas
by Jo Reimer
The Ochoco Forest and its neighbor, the Malheur Forest, is located in central Oregon. The area is one of immense beauty and teems with wildlife especially migratory birds which call it home.

And there are BIG trees, all over Oregon.

I was lucky to have a map large enough to cover the lower part of my canvas and from there it was a matter of finding the right combination of greens and browns in my paper stash to make the statement I intended.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...