Watercolor Words and Wanderings

This week flew by…I decided that I finished those clematis flower paintings- you can see the progress below.

I also was able to work on the daffodils a bit- this painting has promise!

I tweaked the red flowers as well- they are almost done- just a bit of glazing to unite it a little.

This week I was able to paint in a small group of artists led by Margaret Dwyer . She was teaching us about back ground techniques. In case you cannot tell ūüėČ – the one on the left is a crow- standing looking down and the one on the right is of two ducks flying. It was great to be painting for myself again and even better to try to let go of producing and just learn. That is harder than you might think!

Lastly on the media this week- The Colored Pencil Podcast knocks it out of the park again with a list of places to get ideas for paintings. Two places you can go with out fear of infringing on copyrights are  https://pixabay.com/ and Paint My  Photo Рhttps://pmp-art.com/ . Thank you John and Lisa !

Until next week- Peace Out- Becky

Watercolor Words and Wanderings


Tis’ the season for daffodils! We painted them Friday¬†on¬†the last day of the spring session of my differently abled adult watercolor¬†class. I will miss those folks.I am¬†in need of¬†doing my own work for a while. Planning to start back up in the fall- and we made some plans to try to get together a few times over the summer. So much has happened this week. Looking forward to working more with Margaret Dwyer. I started digging into The Wilcox Guide to the Best Watercolor Paints by Michael Wilcox. I am trying to learn about yellow. I¬†use¬†Winsor & Newton paints. They have a student grade formula line called Cotman and¬†a professional grade line.The student grade formulas¬†cost less money. In many cases you can save¬†up to a third by purchasing the student grade.¬†What I notice mostly is the professional paint stays moist in my palette longer. Wilcox¬† rates the paint by their light fastness, health info, and overall rating. He claims that many of the student grade paints are¬†just fine for the professional. For instance if you are in need of Cadmium Yellow-¬†Cotman Cadmium Yellow Light 113 gets¬†the best ratings. Unless you have deep pockets for supplies there is no way to know most of this information¬†with out a book like this.

On the media this week is a 20 minute commencement speech by Neil Gaiman. Worth your time- I would like to hear what you think about it!

Still working on this one…almost done….maybe…see also a picture from last weekend’s hike up Bog Mountain in Wilmot, NH. Until next week- Peace- Bec


Watercolor Words and Wanderings

It was a great week for podcasts! I needed to write down all the things I found this week in my wanderings. I am sure I am going to miss a few. First a well spent hour listening to The Colored Pencil Podcast #45  it is an interview with Debbie Hook. She is an artist who also owns a frame shop. She talks about finding color and common mistakes folks make when framing. Most importantly I learned about the idea of acid free VS rag or conservation. I had no idea that matt board or foam board may be labeled as acid free but it may only be acid free on the out side! Over time the acid core can cause our work to degrade. She advised we look for the words rag or conservation. She also discussed what kind of glass to use (conservation clear for most projects- museum glass for historical docs and special stuff ($$$) ) advising us to steer clear of non-glare glass as UV light gets in and can not get out and so it bounces around. This bouncing around causes more damage then just using plain old glass! You may view her work here Debbie Hook . She has worked in many mediums- the site features her pastels, pencil crayon and few watercolors.

The next podcast was The Deliberate Creative episode #43-Amy talks with Jason Kotecki about tinkering and¬†letting go of outcomes. Suppose your 100th creation¬†is the one really that works for you- but you cannot just sit and expect to come across it! You have to put the time in to actually do the art.¬†The idea that numbers 29, 52 and 78¬†might have parts of the journey. This seems pretty obvious¬†and simple Huh?¬†More signs pointing toward the idea of just get painting! Check out his website escape adulthood . Jason and his partner are working to cure what they call “adultitis”.

Also just an interesting story -some folks that got on a sleuth mission. Criminal episode #41 (trigger warning there are some graphic details)

I have had a week of growth too. Staring on a journey to get back into shape-maybe still pear but some kind of shape ;). I skipped painting the model again this week- I am just not enjoying it. I started this painting below instead- W.I.P.  IMG_20160416_194725

I was able to take another class at The Newport Library Arts Center with Margaret Dwyer. The featured painting to this blog¬†is what came of that class.¬†Nature sketchbooks was out theme. She also shared her son’s music with us. You may see some of his work at¬†Jake David and The Whiskey Stones¬† I worked on last weeks W.I.P. I want to compare them side by side-below.

Above you can see I have started developing the cyclamen a little- I just put the painting up and wait for it to tell me what to do next. I know that sounds a little foo-foo- so color me foo- foo ūüôā¬†it is kind of how it works for me.

Above I have done the same here. Margaret made some compositional suggestions that may save this one!

I am headed out to do some hiking- Peace Out till next week!





Watercolor Words and Wanderings

These are the beginnings of three paintings. I went to a class yesterday at The Newport Library Arts Center. Margaret Dwyer was teaching- she is an amazing artist.¬† I hope I get to work with her more. Below is the flower I was using for inspiration… and also the crane from last week! I am supposed to be decorating this crane right now but it is too cold out side…oh and I got out of “having to” paint the¬†model this week too.¬†We did not have one so I got to sit! I was hard to sit still for 2 hours.

This week I am going to finish reviewing The War or Art by Steven Pressfield. In this the third and final section of the book Steven discusses invisible physical forces that sustain and support us along our journey- reader be forewarned he does get a little “WHOO- WHOO”.¬†He writes about things like¬†muses and fire breathing dragons and the magic of making a start. He sticks his toe into the waters of the the¬†ego and the self. He defines self as the part of us that wishes to create and the ego as the seat of resistance. Resistance feeds on fear and he¬†declares the master fear¬† we have is that we will succeed.” That we can become the person we sense in our hearts we truly are.” I am not sure that all artists have this but it is¬†to be¬†sure a stumbling block for many. He then moves on to discuss the artist and the hierarchy and how much of society is organized in a pecking order and that the artist cannot look to others to validate our efforts or callings. “To labor in the arts for any other reason other than love is prostitution.” The one place we need to look is with in- perhaps the scariest place on earth! He challenges us to think¬† about our path and wonder if we were the last person on earth would we still show up to our studio, the rehearsal hall or the laboratory? I would still create as long as I had food ūüôā

Peace Out- till next week!


Watercolor Words and Wanderings


Running a little late this week- I was out traipsing through the woods¬†with some friends this morning. We had a nice walk in the woods despite the snow, the cold and the¬†wind. This week ¬†I discovered that my kindle can bookmark and highlight and store these points of interest¬†in a place called my clippings. I guess if I had read the directions I would know all these things. Directions always seem like too much work!¬† Enough of the gabbing let’s get back to the¬†blogging ;).

Since I last wrote I have finished¬†The War of Art and read¬†Do the Work-(both by Steven Pressfield) and another book called Steal Like and Artist:10 Things Nobody Told You About Being An Creative by Austin Kleon.¬†¬†I cannot wait to talk about stealing like an artist but last week I left you at the second part of the book The¬†War of Art¬†and interestingly enough I have faced LOADS of resistance this week. I have barely created a thing this week,¬†every time I thought I might create¬†I thought my self right out of¬†it…my knee hurts, I am too tired blah- blah- blah. The¬†second part of the book is about combating resistance or a notion Steven calls¬†turning pro. Resistance has a nemesis and it is professionalism!¬†¬†The author¬†talks about the¬†“Principle of Priority which states¬†(a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important and (b) you must do what is important first.” This week I have been tending to the “urgent” for sure! Steven professes that an artist signs on for a life of misery. That¬†we “will be dining¬†for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.” We have to know how to¬†love those things because this is war and war is hell.I am not sure about this notion of a life of misery. I can understand what he is trying to say and¬†perhaps, because I am still an amateur, I am na√Įve? I think if we are doing what we¬†love that maybe that diet he talks about won’t taste so bad? He then goes on to discuss what he means by professionalism.¬†A few of the topics he¬†writes about¬†are; show up every day-no matter what, stay¬†on the job, commit over the long haul, the stakes are high and real,¬†accept remunerations¬†labor, and¬†do not over identify with¬†the work.¬† Professionals also master the techniques, have a sense of humor and¬†receive praise or blame in the real world. Steven claims that while¬†professionals accept money for¬†work¬†they do “to labor in the arts for any reason¬†other than love is prostitution”. We must do the work of a love for it. A professional is patient, orderly and acts in the face of fear.¬†Pressfield makes many points to think about and some¬†I am sure I¬†do not yet¬†understand. This is the kind of book that will change as I change and each time a read it¬† will get a different take on it.¬†Next week I will finish¬†up reviewing this book – the third section is¬†titled Beyond Resistance¬† The Higher Realm¬†.

This week I did not paint the live model (week 13). I worked on creating a large crane- first I¬†made a large¬†square piece of paper. The square started out to as a 6’8″ panel and I ended up with a wing span of just about 5 ‘ and the head is not quite 30″ high. I had to put a dowel through the wings¬†to hold them up.¬†You should have seen me trying to make those first few folds. To make a crane you have to “premark” the paper by¬†folding and un folding about ten times -then you begin to make the actual fold! This crane¬†is to advertise an art show that is going to be held at The Newport Library Arts Center in October 2016. The theme of the¬†show is Voices and Visions-EmpowerMEnt Through Art. One of the group installation’s will involve¬†origami cranes. I am also working on a couple of pieces I hope will make it into to show.

I did have a good week on other fronts- I sold 3 paintings and spent a little time with another creative person discussing life. The paintings were 3 of my favorites(see below).I was glad to see them go to someone so kind. She is giving one to her brother who lives in CA-so exciting. I wonder does that make me a nationwide artist? Tee-Hee!

Peace- Out til’ next week- Bec