Monday, February 25, 2013

Tropical Smoothie

"You need both a bit of mind and a bit of mindlessness to make a painting. It's a play between control and surrender."
- Paul deMarrais

Watercolor WIP - 14.5" x 18.5" on 140 lb. paper.

During a winter storm this weekend, I attended a wonderful watercolor workshop given by Linda Aman. The workshop topic was on painting large format flowers and as the snow blew around outside, inside the art center it was looking like a tropical paradise with everyone's colorful flower paintings. During the critique sessions, I honestly started to get thirsty and crave the type of drinks that have crushed ice and little paper umbrellas in them.

I wasn't familiar with her before the workshop but I can now confirm that Linda Aman is a wonderful teacher. She regularly gives workshops in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and then occasionally in Hawaii. Her passion for painting and teaching really came through loud and clear. We had a lot of information to absorb and a lot of new techniques to try to master in just two days but she still made it fun. Although I'm not thrilled with my painting, I enjoyed using colors I don't usually work with and really enjoyed working so large. And anyway, the point was to learn, not to create a beautiful finished piece. I'm looking forward to giving the new techniques I learned a try on some large format avian subjects.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sketches of a Cat at Play

 "A drawing is simply a line going for a walk."
                                                          - Paul Klee


Friday, February 08, 2013

Sketching Day

"Drawing is the discipline by which I constantly discover the world."
                - Frederick Franck, The Zen of Seeing

Not included in this sketch was the great horned owl's intended lunch - a skunk.

It was kind of a chilly day with snow in the air. I managed to get in a brisk walk ("brisk" both in the temperature and pace sense) along the river this morning but afterwards I sought out some warmer indoor activities.

There's a small natural history museum on our university campus so I packed up my pencils and sketchbook and headed there. It's been a while since I sketched and I've missed it. I know some artists hate drawing and sketching but I love it. I just don't do it enough.

Bird feet fascinate me.

This sketch doesn't do justice to the grebe's "ears" - a beautiful gold-blond spray of feathers just behind the eyes.