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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Plein-air morning, also another watercolor!

With the Markleeville Plein-air event up coming in June, I felt I really need to be out there getting in shape for it!!  It has been so cold this spring, and at higher elevations, in the am, that is something you need to be aware of. Some springs start so much warmer than these last 3  or so have, but we are now getting some some spring color, birds and flowers, and less snow around.  I drove up the airport road in Alpine county, just looking, when I came to this pond.  Easy to get to, and larger than it usually is, with room to park and for the dogs to walk and run.  In about 1 1/2 hours I had done this.   7  x  12 on Uart mounted to foamcor- - -a very nice surface to work on out doors.  I had a blast, when I finished I had a feeling of leaving a different world and returning to mine!! Dogs had just found a spot, and laid down for a rest.  I want to go here again, as it is a large pond with more compositions to explore.

I also want to show you my "grapes" , this was from the watercolor workshop, but I was late that first morning so didn't really get the up leading information or see the Demo for this one.  I was helping to load calves for the sale!!  Good thing the workshop was only 5 minutes form home!!    This is large, and as I understood later, was a good class- type project as it helped to learn to use the wash technique, and also the staining colors that Jeannie Vodden uses and was trying to teach us! 
she did give each person an image to trace onto their watercolor paper.  I did stretch my paper, as I love that, but many did not- - some did.
This was my first wash over the grapes.  I did this all at home about a week and half after the workshop.  I really feel I did OK because I got to watch others work on theirs, ask questions, and watch other demo's done by Jeannie.  She was great about answering questions!  I let this dry, and about 3 days later, went over it with another wash.

I really enjoyed doing this,  I tried to separate the grapes a bit by value, making some darker but only with about 20 percent of the value of color, and tried to keep some the same color, only darker value, also mingling colors in each little wash.  I grouped washed the grapes in the upper right-hand corner. I did some negative painting on the leaves. I wanted a pale background, so left it alone.  I then didn't  touch it again for several days.
Today I did the last of the grapes, just wanting to increase the value's in some area's.  I had let it sit quite awhile, just living with it, and trying to understand the method. Each time you glaze over a color, its so beautiful! I can see why the staining colors are used, they look just like stained glass!  Also, they do not lift with the next watery wash like a non-staining color may.   I really did enjoy this project, and feel l learned some very useful things!!   I can not wait until Sept., I do plan to attend Jeannie's Open Studio in Jackson.  Information on this on her web site.  See you there!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another "workshop" watercolor done

It seems we have gone back to winter like weather for a few days!  As we were driving home from the Breast Cancer Ride we drove head-on into very strong winds. The  next few days were very unsettled so I got myself busy with finishing another of the drawings I had done for the watercolor workshop.  I had it stretched on a board and ready to go- -  -but had not done anything with it while at the workshop, so after letting it all settle in my mind I had a go with it.  I found I had retained a lot of what I had seen from the Demo's Jeannie Vodden had done for us, and even tho I don't "get it all" yet I felt comfortable enough to make decisions as I went----I think I have learned something after all. More painting needs to be done, of course, as this is not as good as it could be.  Interesting was the use of the very strong staining colors , in a triad, and put on together mingling on paper and not your palette.  I need much more practise at that!!  I had fun, and now have 2 down!!  I will be practising this weekly!

              Also, I want to post a plein-air I did a few weeks ago .  My Oil painter friend, Ray Freeman, who also loves plein-air ,  and I ,went into Markleeville one morning to practise for an up coming Plein-air event we both will be in this June.   Its put on by the Markleeville Art Gallery, whose Linc is in my list so please go there to read the rules and plans for the competition!   I do hope to get better before June 21 with buildings!! Measuring for accuracy while in Plein-air takes some practise!   This is the old hotel, now bar and restaurant.  This building is supposed to have been moved to this location from Silver City, which was a Silver mining town on Silver Mt. on hwy 4.   More to come, as I get ready for this event which lasts a week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

something different, but for a great cause!

This past weekend I got the chance to do something different, but fun, and for a good cause.  My older sister, who lives in Yerington, Nevada belongs to a group that has put together a horseback ride event to raise money for families in their area that have been hit by the awful experience of Breast cancer, or just cancer.  Each year a ride is made, to create donations for this cause.   This year I, my younger sister and her granddaughter drove out to Yeryington to support  this effort.  There was a silent action, a raffle, and a potluck lunch planned.  They began the affair in the far cornor of a ranch out there which had an access to the open dessert.  Beautiful ride, with all the spring flowers out, and sandy terrain.  ( some rattlesnakes!)   But very OK.   Another thing they had was a prize for the pinkest outfit!!  Well, those folks take this seriously!  I  met two ladies traveling together who both rode mules.  One mule was white, another was a guess a pinto- - - - but I know all the white on both was painted bright PINK!!!   Yes, that made the white mule very PINK!. 


This mule belongs to Marsha Arthur, and it was her idea to paint the poor thing!  She was Very beautiful, tho.  I think her name , the mule, is Annie paint yor wagon.  These were very nice ladies.

Another nice thing that happened is that my older sister, Ardy, brought with her the quilt she had made for my younger sister, Leanna, and gave it to her.   I thought this was wonderful,she has made many quilts and this one is really beautiful.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

finally, time to try out the watercolor!

Right after the watercolor workshop,  I needed to get back to helping with the cattle here on the ranch.  Its spring, and we decided to go thru the herd, and maybe sell some, and haul others to various pastures, where they will have good summer vacations!  First, the bigger calves needed to be gone thru, sorted and pretty heifers choosen  to keep.  Today,  we loaded a stock trailer and off to the sale my fella went .   We sent a huge young bull, so gentle, and I hope he finds a good home.   I have been thinking about the watercolor workshop, and practising the things she showed us.  I do hope she can put a book out at some point, she says that may happen!  She had some wonderful example sheets she had prepared, and placed into clearpages for sale.  I bought some, they were like pages in a good book!!    I worked on one of the paintings I had begun at the workshop, where I had gotten  the first colorful layer on.  Alone, at home starting in again to finish was a bit challenging, but I remembered her demo's and went ahead.  This is how it finished for me.
watercolor rooster

What do you think?  I had done those chicken  drawings earlier this winter just so I could have them to learn on at this class.  I am glad I was ready, and I also am glad I did them also in pastel!!!  It was like a "'twofer!"

Friday, May 6, 2011

Water color workshop with Jeannie Vodden!

Jeanie with class.  Evelyn in Purple.
May 4, 5, 6th, were the days for a wonderful workshop in Alpine County.  Markleeville Art Gallery owner, Evelyn Yonkers brought to this area an amazingly talented teacher and artist, and also hosted the event in her home.  Things went so smoothly you couldn't say enough about the comfort, and the pleasant atmosphere we were all treated to!   Three full days of Demo's, and practise work , all well thought out in order to give us enough  experience of her  way of working to be able to ask questions. This is the hardest part I think, to get your mind around what it is the instructor wants to convey to you enough to formulate the right questions.   Jeanie had this well covered, with examples, and lessons that got us busy so we could experience it for ourselves.

This was one of the ladies' works,   Jeanie really helped her to get that first wash down.  Jeanie is a portrait painter in watercolor. (but  not only people)  Her work is luminescent, colorful, representational and just wonderful. Whenever help, or a demo was needed, she willingly did so, and talked you right thru it.  As you watched her paint is was as if she were magic - - - although plenty of thought and experience went into every stroke  or wash she made. To be that knowledgeable she had to have worked very hard in her life.
Here she is answering and explaining genously to some of our Carson Valley pastelist!!!   Yes, we do have some very good artists, and they also love watercolor, oils, drawing, and whatever.  Always learning!
This was a smaller demo of plums.  She often begins with a traid of colors, and in her first colorful wash she is also begining to build form with in her subject.  Then the next glazes add volume and depth.  As many glazes as she needs, letting it dry between glazes to insure clearity and transparencey without mud.  She does use the staining colors, and can show you how to do this with out being scared out of your wits!   Even in pastle, the thalo colors are so pure and staining it requires some knowledge to use them.  Oils are the same.
I really enjoyed this experiance.  It has been quite awhile since I tried to think in terms of watercolor!  It is a more difficult medium, and when done well is so beautiful.   Like pastels, tho, there are many different appoaches, stlyes and ways of working.  However, no matter the medium  a good amount of learning about color is very helpful!
If anyone is interested in the Markleeville art gallery, please  look at the website.    Many local and even artists from around Lake Tahoe are represented here.  Its on Hwy 89 in California--Hwy 4 runs thru it as well.  Not quite the Gold Rush country on Hwy 49 but very close to that area.  We would like to see this become a bit of an art area, close to Hope Valley where many great out door workshops and artists come to paint. Plein-air paint out coming up in June, more later on this!
Also   where you can see her amazing works and see her workshop schedule.