Sunday, June 18, 2017

Watercolor- Beyond the Obvious :

Working with Watercolor

Early this year I took a class with the
Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society.

It was a intense and heavily structured three month long
workshop taught by
the one and only Mike Bailey!
"Working Beyond the Obvious" 

 As an inexperienced watercolor artist, this was the only way
I would truly push myself with this medium.
Let me say, it was life changing for me... I know, corny as it sounds 
but it really was a wonderful and enlightening experience for me.

 Here you can see the line work for one of my first in this series.
The actual subjects in my still life are fairly easy to see:
a succulent bloom, pedestal bowl, tall olive oil decorative bottle,
and a wood box.

Each week we created two full sheet watercolor paintings. 
All were based off the same still life, that never moves or changes.
Just our design compositions. Did you get that?!
And each week, every student presented their paintings
in front of the class for critique.
This was at first very intimidating for us, but it
was actually one of the best ways for us to learn
from Mike.

Mike taught us the principles and elements of design, 
which was exciting for me as an architectural designer.
But this time I learned how to apply these as 
a painter...
Line, Size, Shape, Direction, Color, Value and Texture

There were several reasons why his class was by far one of the best
I've ever taken.  It's no wonder that several artists repeat his class
several times.  Oh, yes I'll be taking it again, myself! 

 This is one of my favorites, created with ink and watercolor tints.

Some compositions were repeated but altered to explore
different color palettes.

Working late into the night, I finished my last painting!

Here my still life is lost among shapes and patterns...

 At the end of the workshop, the students took turns
 "presenting" our paintings, with guests attending!
To see all my watercolor paintings laid out at together was really gratifying.
I'm so proud of what I accomplished, and feel much more confident
to continue working beyond the obvious with watercolor! 

Me and Mike Bailey!

 My art to yours,


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Paintings :

Here are a few new paintings 
that I completed towards the end of this year.

I did a play on pattern on these two,
still keeping with my abstract botanical style.

Trees are another inspiration for my work,
creating an abstract landscape too...
Indigo Blues and Green Hues are some
of my favorite color combinations.
They are so soothing to the eye...

These paintings will be for sale 
at my upcoming art shows.
Please feel free to contact me 
about more information. 

All my recent art is located on my
ARTWORK tab on this blog.

My art to yours,

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Studio Work :

Hello from my studio!

Summer has arrived and I'm carving out some time to work in my studio...

I dread working in my garage when it gets hot,
keeping cool is a challenge. 

This is a new painting in the works still. 
There is also another one I've started which is a larger canvas.
I'll be sure to post them both when they are finished.

Have a great summer!

I'll be doing two shows in Livermore soon :

Art on the Green - Tuesday, July 12
4:30 - 7pm

ArtWalk Livermore 2016
Saturday, October 8
11am - 5pm

My art to yours,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Silicon Valley Open Studios

It's that time of year again!!


This year I'll be showing two weekends:
Sat. & Sun. 11am - 5pm
May 7-8 & May 14-15
1438 Callecita Street, San Jose 

You will find my artist profile here,
as well as the whole SVOS directory of artists.

There will be two other artists showing their 
paintings with me.

Yvonne Head: watercolor artist

Linda Taylor: watercolor artist

  So please stop by for some iced tea as you stroll through
Art in the Garden

My art to yours,


Friday, April 1, 2016

Latest Art Work for upcoming shows this Spring :

Spring is finally here,
and it's time to 
share some of my new paintings!

 May is just around the corner,
so I am preparing for my busiest
art show month.

Willow Glen Lifestyles Home Tour
April 30 & May 1

Silicon Valley Open Studios
May 7 & 8
 May 14 & 15

These paintings will be on display and for sale
at my upcoming art shows.
Hope to see you there!

My art to yours,

Friday, August 28, 2015

A little about my ART Process :

I haven't posted much about art my process recently.

These are a few close-up photos highlighting
my love for texture on my paintings!

 It all starts with a trip to my favorite art store

On a recent shopping spree at the Blick in San Francisco,
I couldn't resist a pic of my favorite isle...

From the gooey molding pastes
and yummy gels to the gorgeous fluid acrylics,
I love them all!
And frankly, I've tried them all.
I have my favorites for the effects
and techniques I use on my art.
Over time, through experimentation
there are results that I like right now.
Next year, it will probably be different!

A shot from my studio, some of my favorite colors.

 Mixing with Golden's Fluid Acrylics and High Flow
paints is just plain fun, when creating my palettes.
I really push the pigment by adding way too much water,
but I throw in some Glazing Medium to make up for it.
It becomes like a watercolor, even more fluid
and transparent, which is great for layering.

 So why all the fuss with the glazes?  
The thinner and watery my paint is, 
the nicer it settles into my textured "base" on my canvas.
It really shows off all those nooks and crevices 
that I created with the molding paste.
Depending on the type of paste I use,
the paint may get "soaked" up or it may
simply "lay" on top of the surface.

 My line work defines where I will apply color, and
defines the organic and abstract botanicals 
that I've "drawn" onto my textured surface.

Here is my drawing from my sketchbook,
where my inspiration stems from
when starting a painting.

This is my "line work", or my designs.
My lines are loose, but structured.
The shapes are organic, but stylized.
They are Me.

Setting out time to just draw or doodle
in my sketch book 
is an important part of my
art process.  
If I don't make that "time", I can get kind-of grumpy. :)
I need to constantly create,
my mind is always thinking of what to try next.
It doesn't have a switch.
Designing is what makes me the happiest.
Another blog post on that later!
My art to yours,



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

San Jose ART BOX - in the Rose Garden :


It's always a fun challenge to take on a project.
So that's just what I did!

This past Spring I painted an Art Box.

Whats that, you ask?
In my home town we have a wonderful program called
the San Jose Art Box Project
for artists to paint one of the many electrical boxes throughout our city. 

I was lucky enough to paint one inside the
historical Rose Garden.
The electrical box is actually located inside the grounds
of the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden on Naglee Ave.

My design concept was based off roses, ofcourse!
I was also influenced by the history of the garden
and incorporated a 1930's theme.

 I wanted to capture the different stages of roses
and designed those elements within my overall concept.
Each of the four sides and the top of the electrical box
would have a different rose found in the Rose Garden.

Staying true to my aesthetic, the roses needed to be
drawn in a style that represents my artwork.
Obviously, creating texture was not in the cards. 
But I still wanted them to have some sort of
structure and line-work, that I love.

The following are the final designs done with markers,
that I presented to the Rose Garden. 

Then I began my "templates" drawn to scale,
for the each of the sides of the box.

The family represents the 1930's theme, I was inspired by 
postcards printed at that time.  
The parents and young girl are taking a stroll through
the rose garden possibly on a Sunday afternoon.

So now the prep-work.  I taped and primed the surface of
the electrical box before drawing on my designs.

I thought it looked pretty cool after the first
side was drawn on.  It took longer that expected, ofcourse.

Here's a view from the street outside the Rose Garden.
I started painting the leaves, keeping it monochromatic.

Besides the occasional bug crawling in the paint, 
and the wind drying my palette,
It rained a few days as well...

 One day I painted inside a pop-up canopy.  
It worked until the wind picked up again!

 This is where I spent every weekend that I had free,
between two big art shows, family-life and a part-time job.
Just a stop a Starbucks for my Iced-Soy Latte
and I'm good for a few hours!
The yellow rose on the top, was one of
my favorite designs for this project.
My husband gives them to me on
our anniversary. :)

Here are some completed close-up details
showing my line-work which defines the
shapes and structures of the 
rose petals, leaves and thorns: 

 Rose-hips and Thorns!

 English Roses are another favorite of mine,
all those petals!

So here it is all completed. 
I wanted to keep the background soft and neutral,
so it would not compete with the rose designs.
It was finished with a few coats of varnish.

 This is my Joseph's Coat Rose, there is one just beyond
the box climbing on a fence close by. 

 So now it's off to a new project!
I hope my Art Box in the Rose Garden stays for many years,
and brings joy to those who visit!
I feel very fortunate to be so lucky for such an honor.
It was all worth it!

My art to yours,