Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Back in the Studio

"Through the Trees"

Back in the Studio

I'm back in the studio after devoting most of the month of February to packing, painting rooms and clearing away excess stuff in preparation for selling my house. No new work was created in Windy Hill Studio except for a couple of Shamrockin' hand-painted silk scarves. So after a month without painting I was more than ready to get back into the studio.

"Through the Trees" (watercolor) is inspired by the view from the grounds of Singer Castle on Dark Island, in the Thousand Islands Region of the St. Lawrence River. The painting though is more about light and mood rather than a specific place. 

As one of many painters who are inspired by the River I am always looking for new ways to approach my work. So many artists are painting the same iconic scenes and each has their own style. I am happy to be included among the many River painters. But as an artist I feel the need to go beyond the imagery to paint a mood or feeling. 

Simple shapes, organic forms and limited color

In the painting "Through the Trees" I used an analogous color scheme -- colors that are next to each other on the color wheel--to keep the composition simple and unified. The wet-on-wet technique was used throughout the painting to create a soft, muted effect with the colors as they blended seamlessly one into another.

The lower third of the painting is an ambiguous shadowy area creating a kind of boundary between the viewer and The River.

The simple shapes, organic forms, and limited color  reminded me of some of the Arts and Crafts Movement prints--which I have always loved. The day before I painted this scene I had seen an art show featuring a few Arts and Crafts style pieces which must have influenced me.

I plan on painting an acrylic version of this piece, which I know will have an entirely different feel. I'll post that when it is finished.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Big Changes Coming Up for Windy Hill Studio PART THREE

"Purple Iris"


If you have read my last two posts you know I'm in the process of moving to Lewes, Delaware. And that means Windy Hill Studio moves too. My new studio space is described in the two previous posts.

One of the best things about the new space is the large "countertop" made from a 7 foot long by 30 inch wide door coated with 4 layers of polyurethane. My new countertop and the lighting above it (not pictured here) provides me with a nice, clean, well-lit place to paint silk scarves.

A Productive Month

During the time I was in Delaware I completed 6 scarves:  2 Irises , 2 Poppies and 2 Water Lilies. Each scarf has slightly different colors.

"Iris" under construction

"Pink Iris"

"Poppies!" with green background under construction

"Poppies!" with yellow background

Yellow "Water Lily"

Pink "Water Lily" under construction

This photo shows the countertop and the storage space for paintings, mat board etc underneath

Future Plans

I have plans to add another countertop/storage space on the other side of the studio--maybe on my next trip down to Delaware. Meanwhile I need to keep on packing. 

Here are the links to the previous posts about me new studio -- just in case you need to catch up!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Big Changes Coming Up For Windy Hill Studio! PART TWO


Assuming you've read the last post which was Part One, you know that I'm in the process of moving Windy Hill Studio to my new home in Lewes, Delaware. Rich and I spent the month of January there working on various projects including my new studio space.

The new studio worked out well for me and January was a very productive month. I completed five watercolors. The Jefferson Memorial pictured above was a birthday gift for my daughter, to hang in her office in DC.

The other paintings were done in preparation for another season along the St. Lawrence River and Indian River Lakes. 

St. Lawrence River

The next two paintings were both started as poured watercolors. I filled small paper cups with water-y mixtures of color (3 colors in the first, 4 colors in the second) and just poured the paint over the wet surface of the watercolor paper, letting the colors mix naturally. I had lightly sketched the focal points of each painting before I poured. After the poured layer dried, I just used darker values of the existing colors to complete the details. No attempt was made at realistic color; I was more concerned with setting a mood than in creating a realistic rendering. Colors are soft and dreamy evoking a misty early morning feel to the paintings.

Indian River Lakes

The heron is a popular subject for me. I love the way they always seem to be hiding in plain sight all along the shoreline of the lake, blending in so naturally with their surroundings. Both of these pieces began with an experimental textured background. I painted over crinkled tissue paper on wet watercolor paper letting color seep through the paper and pool around the crinkles. The heron were added later, after I had let the pieces sit for a few days. Sometimes with this technique you have to wait for an image to start to emerge. Once you can see a possibility then you paint it in--or sometimes paint around it letting the shape emerge from the shadows.

In the second painting I added iridescent white paint to accentuate the moon and play up a few highlights on the heron.

Is there a Part Three? 

Yes of course--I completed 6 hand-painted silk scarves too. 😉

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Big Changes Coming Up for Windy Hill Studio! PART ONE



New House, New Studio

During the month of January my husband and I stayed at our new home in Lewes Delaware. I guess you could say that it was kind of like a trial run for when we actually move down there for good. We spent about half of our days working: Rich working remotely, connected to his engineering firm in Syracuse and me on artwork as I gear up for the summer tourist season along the St. Lawrence River.

Yes, although we are moving our primary residence to Delaware, we still plan to keep our camp in Northern New York., and spend summers there. And I am still planning on teaching at the Thousand Islands Arts Center and Sackets Harbor Arts Center, usually during July and August.

In our new (actually 16 year old) home my studio is located in what real estate agents would call the bonus room. I'm really lucky to have plenty of natural light streaming through large windows at one end of the studio. At the moment I have set up a temporary workspace for watercolor. At the other end of the studio Rich built a long worktable with storage space underneath. The space is perfect for working on long hand-painted scarves, or cutting matts. Lighting was added to brighten up that end of the room. 

A Door!!!

And the one thing I have not had here in my studio in East Syracuse is a DOOR! The studio here is a loft-type of space open to the upstairs. It makes for a nice light airy space, but with no doors its impossible to keep curious cats away from delicate projects. Now I can actually close a door---hooray! 

My cats are actually more interested in the door at the end of the room. That leads to an attic, where I can also store some large items.

This is actually the door to a crawlspace but you get the idea---cats hate to be on the wrong side of the door!

So When is Moving Day?

Not sure. Our house here in East Syracuse is going on the market soon. Let's hope for a speedy sale.
Anyone looking for a great home to raise a family? With an art studio/home office/hobby room? 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Loveletters to Upstate New York

Come one, come all to the reception for Loveletters to Upstate New York!

February 11, 2:00- 4:00 at the Manlius Library.

The landscape of Upstate New York has been my muse for as long as I have been a painter. The woods, water, trees and flowers have been a never-ending source of inspiration.

Now as I am getting ready to relocate to Lewes Delaware, I hope to find another source of inspiration at the seashore. But I'll never leave my Upstate New York roots behind; I'll still be spending my summers at our camp in Northern New York (aka: The North Country).

Thank you Associated Artists for giving me a chance to do a "last picture show" here in Central New York. 

I hope to see many of you at the reception!

Monday, November 13, 2017

It Started With an Exploding Watermelon.............

"Dawning" watercolor

Painting Challenge

Today's painting began as another of those challenges that I often give to a class or workshop. This one came from my watercolor class at The Eye Studio. We were working wet-on-wet color gradations (so in other words just letting our paint run from one end of the paper to the other---in this case bottom to top).As the paint made its way down the paper we added a light yellow, letting the colors bleed together. Then when the paper was still slightly wet we dropped bits of light green onto the paper. I also dropped bits of red paint.

So when mine was done it looked like the painting below. Since it looked like an exploding watermelon I had jokingly named it "Front Row Seats at the Gallagher Concert".

And what is the challenge? 

To find an image in the abstraction. To me the green and red "spots" seemed to float through the air rather like specks of dust, pollen, or bits of plant and insect life catching the early morning sunlight. I was imagining the dawning of a day as seen from the ground and looking up.
Negative space painting was used in the bottom half of the painting giving a somewhat dreamy quality to the part of the earth still waking up.