Saturday, August 4, 2018

Searching for a Focal Point

"Up with the Birds" watercolor


In the Beginning....

Often when I am teaching a watercolor class a wash technique I end up with a number of watercolor "backgrounds".  Often I am able to develop these demo pieces into finished paintings. The backgrounds are generally soft colors subtly blending into each other to create some type of backdrop for a landscape painting. This background was done in warm reds, purples and yellows; my intention was for the class to create a sunset type of painting. Since many were beginners and hadn't had much drawing experience I encouraged them to work with the idea of a silhouette against the sky. No details, just shape. Keep it simple.

My demo piece had the three colors pictured above blending subtly, but it needed something else to give it some interest so I dropped bits of yellow paint onto the wet paper and let it spread. After the paper was dry I added the silhouette of the land with a few stray weeds waving in the breeze. The end result is this painting below, a soft rather dreamy end of day (or is it the beginning of day?) landscape.


Focal Point?????

But I felt like it needed something else. Like maybe a clear focal point. The weeds seemed to be the focal point, but I felt that the sky provided a space to hold another shape or two-- or more  (remember, I'm working with silhouettes). So I added the outline of five birds in flight.  And then a sun or moon shape coming up (or down) over the horizon. One more layer of vegetation in the foreground created more of a sense of depth to the final piece.


Title

The title "Up With the Birds" now leaves no doubt as to the time of day and identity of the round shape on the horizon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Creating Atmosphere in Your Watercolor Paintings




at-mos-phere

noun
1. the envelope of gasses surrounding the earth or another planet
2. the pervading tone or mood of a place, situation or work of art
Atmosphere is certainly one of those words that can be understood in a couple of different ways. 

If you are a watercolor artist concerned with portraying atmosphere in either of these definitions, you might want to take my class at the Sackets Harbor Arts Center on Aug. 8 & 9 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. 
In this 2 -day class we'll be creating stormy skies, misty mornings and shimmering sunlight as well as that "other kind of atmosphere" --the pervading tone or mood of a piece. 

Topics for discussion will include: How does color, or lack of color, and composition help to create a mood? How can I imply a background without actually filling in all the space? How much white space should I leave? Detail--how much is too much? When is a painting "finished"? 
Cost is $65 for members of the arts center and $75 for non-members. All art materials are included in the fee; no need to bring anything except your creative self!
You can call the Sackets Harbor Arts Center at 315 646-3502 or visit their website Arts Association of Northern New York www.aanny.org


Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

All Systems are Go! NOT!!!


Greetings from Windy Hill Studio North!

Well it is getting closer to the end of June. We've been here at camp since June 4 and we're still working on getting our systems up and running. Internet is spotty to non-existent. We seem to be in a low spot here--not to mention that we are in the middle of nowhere surrounded by huge trees! I'm using my phone as a hot spot but it really doesn't seem to pull in much wifi!

It's an interesting transition when the place to "get away from it all" becomes a work space as well as a retreat. When the systems we are used to for communication break down we are a bit lost. I rely on the internet for promoting my artwork and communicating with friends and family who are far away. To be honest I haven't completely lost the internet, but it just seems that I have stepped back in time to a place where communication moves much slower. And everything takes two or three extra steps.

Well, we hope to have our internet issues resolved by early July--maybe. Fingers crossed!
Until then I'll leave you with some Moons in June. (I just wanted something to rhyme.)

Goodnight from the lake!






Sunday, June 3, 2018

And We're on the Road Again...............



And it's back to camp-----

Well we had no sooner settled ourselves in Lewes Delaware, unpacked most of the boxes, arranged furniture, hung paintings and put the studio together--and it was time to hit the road again. We're heading north tomorrow to spend the summer at camp. The lake and surrounding areas like the Thousand Islands provide an unending source of inspiration for an artist, so as you can well imagine I am looking forward to getting back to Grass Lake. BUT my studio space is considerably smaller. It's actually half of a bedroom. I'm definitely squeezed for space in Windy Hill Studio North, but at least I can take a nap in the studio! I do have a good work table, small drafting table, easel, storage, a place to sit and read a book and a brand new sound system which I can't wait to try.

Acrylic paints are stored in the handy over-the-door storage bag.
The bag used to belong to my sons and was at one time stuffed with a bunch of Boy Scout stuff.


Under counter storage comes in handy for keeping clutter out of the way.


Yes, I still have a quiet spot for reading.

I'm going to miss my big studio, but the scenery at camp is worth the inconvenience of the smaller space. The lake has provided me with inspirations for many paintings over the years.

I'm hoping for another great summer on the lake!




Monday, May 28, 2018

Back in business at Windy Hill Studio!


I'm back in business at Windy Hill Studio! 


After several weeks of packing, relocating to Lewes Delaware, unpacking, setting up a new home and new studio I am finally back to work in the studio and boy does it feel good! I have work space, storage space and my computer too. 



My new studio feels a little bit like the old one--the cabinets came from the studio in East Syracuse. But the space is very different. I have much more natural lighting thanks to two large windows at one end of the studio. And I have two countertops, instead of one to work on. Both were made from doors  approx 7 feet tall by 30 inches wide, polyurethaned with several coats to create a nice smooth work surface, which cleans very easily.




My husband built a storage system underneath the countertop at the far end of the room. He also added overhead lighting since that end of the room is the farthest away from the windows. 

I have some overhead cabinets which house assorted art supplies and one monster cabinet way at the end of the room (next to the door to Narnia--okay--it's the attic--more storage!!!). Also room for my bookcase, CD's (yes I still have CD's). There are still a few containers full of "Stuff' which needs to find a home in the cabinets.



  


My computer Big Mac is located near the windows and as you can see I have my painting of the Green Beer Parade on Tipp Hill displayed as a reminder of home. There's even a spot for cat-napping down by the windows. Tony and Amy keep my company while they catch a few zzz's. 

Ok, that's all for now. I'll keep you posted on progress in the new studio! 



Heading North

I'm just here for another week and then I head up to camp to get Windy Hill Studio North in shape. A

considerably smaller space, but I still get a lot done. Of course the inspiration is endless!


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Windy Hill Studio on the Move!

Low Tide, Henlopen State Park

Just a short post today to let you know that

Windy Hill Studio has moved!

That's right. WINDY HILL STUDIO has moved to Lewes, Delaware, just minutes away from some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast.

My studio is nearly complete--I'm just waiting for the movers to bring in my storage cabinets tomorrow. The new space has lots of natural light, so I'm really loving it! And my furry studio assistants are loving to too!




Although my primary residence will be in Delaware, you can still find my artwork up in the Thousand Islands Region because I will still be spending summers at camp in the North Country. So look for my paintings, at Bay House Artisans in Alexandria Bay and River Muse in Clayton.

Floating Dream
Summer Afternoon in the Narrows


I feel so lucky to live in two extraordinary places, so full of natural beauty, so inspirational to paint!