New Colours, New Techniques, New Work- Same old Me!!

I have been a busy little beaver! The house is a mess but I am making SOME progress with the watercolour venture. The most recent production is this experimental, imaginary "landscape" intended to try out some new techniques! Sadly, this paper is THE PITS and some of the things I tried did not work so well. I tried using Granulation Medium and Acrylic Ink! ( I have a NEW book that I love as much as I love Jean Haines' books! It is Experimental Landscapes In Watercolour by Ann Blockley.)

Ms Haines SAID we'd get addicted to roses. I AM.
This one is based loosely on a rose painted by Ann Blockley. I tried it and tried some of her textural effects! YUMMMEE! I want to get better at THIS! Imagine if Jean Haines and Ann Blockley got married!

And these two are pure Jean Haines- My own designs, but Jean's technique.

New paint colours- Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Schminke Translucent Orange and Opera Pink. Sorry about the overlap and the pin!!
And I tried some Pink Carnations-
I have a HUGE bouquet of these. Many more are open now so I may have a few more goes.
And Daisies in a drizzle that JH calls the "Seaweed Effect"...
It was fun working with and around the drips and drizzles of the  wash colours.
One more tiny, fanciful "landscape"...
I want to see sunshine, flowers and pretty skies like this SOON!!!
And I was messing about with one of my High Key photos of a single Hydrangea floret- with my Inktense Watercolour Pencils. 

A few new EXCITING Daniel Smith colours to play with. Look at the "conversation" going on in the lower right corner!!! 
And, a VERY silly, experimental "landscape" where I first tried out the Granulation Medium and the Acrylic ink! SOOO many possibilities here!
LOVING the Granulation and the feathery spreading of the ink when it is spritzed with water. I'll get a better piece of paper and show you what the Gran Med does to the ink too! SPECTACULAR!
Well, Folkses, you are FAR more patient than I if you have gotten to here so I shall bid you farewell for the mo and thank you for checking in. Happy Easter if I don't post anything new before.

The Mailman came!!

A few weeks ago, I ordered a tube of paint from I was warned that it could take a while to come and YESTERDAY, it ARRIVED!!! It is a tiny tube of Schminke watercolour paint, Translucent Orange, HIGHLY recommended by Jean Haines. OH! MY!!! I shall never doubt Ms Haines' judgement again!!! It is a stunning colour. Absolutely glorious. As well, I bought a tube of Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange yesterday too and IT is also beautiful. This little photo does neither full justice, but perhaps you get the idea.
On the left is the Translucent Orange and on the right, the Burnt Orange. They actually  water out even more than I have shown here and yet both still make a clear statement! 

I am not even a huge fan of orange, per se but these are two VERY useful and beautiful colours. I have always used Winsor and Newton paints and they are excellent, no complaints at all, but I am really becoming sold on Daniel Smith! The pigment seems VERY finely ground and REALLY packs a punch!

So, what have I done with it to test it out? Well....
This is a very Jean Haines style but my own composition. Still, I would not sign MY name to it as it is VERY Jean-y! I am finding Jean's books are a wonderful way to learn and to hone this very loose technique. Wonder if I could incorporate this degree of looseness to my quilts???
And, still on a rose kick...
This one I did yesterday and I employed both of the new colours!! Yummeee!!!

This one was from the day before yesterday. Still a bit overworked and stiff. Not bad though!! 
Well, I AM getting DH's bug and I feel REALLY pretty crummy so this is a short post.We are supposed to be getting snow but the bit we've had just made everything wet and drippy. Mostly just rain as it is above freezing. I am going to close my eyes for a bit now and try to feel better. Hope YOU are all well!

In danger of damaging my reputation!!!!

This is getting scary! I am having sooo much fun! I've been working through Jean Haines' 'Paint Yourself Calm', a lovely, inspiring book. It is a great, fun, educational and therapeutic read and FULL of interesting exercises to teach techniques AND relaxation and enjoyment. Check your local library!!! AND, I am ALMOST to the stage of calling myself a bona fide Loose Woman!

I have been through a lot of the soft , relaxing colour exercises already and today- it was RED's turn! NO drawing, NO real plan, just paint- and WATER!!!

This is about 8" square and I started with loose, runny reds and oranges, painting outwards with very wet paint. The very centre is dry at first- no paint, no water. The colours run into each other , of course, and in the end, they suggest petals. THEN, deep blues go into the centre where there was no wetness. As soon and the wet blue meets the wet red..
The colour just travels! You can tip and twist and turn to direct the colour somewhat but NO actual painting at this stage.
You just let the colour and the clean water do its thing! It is SO interesting to watch. I knew about this long ago, of course, but I guess I just never studied the effects this closely. It is WONDERFULLY exciting and endlessly fascinating to observe!
Once this "piece" was dry, I moved on to the next exercise- to make a small "painting" of a few poppies, Just the reds, oranges and blues - and again, no messing. Just let it move and paint itself. This is about 8" X 15". If I keep it, I'll likely prune it down a bit!
Parts, I like and other parts, not so much!
If I tried this again, and I likely shall with some of our own poppies , I WOULD introduce some grey green or blue-ish for the stems.
These three are just closeups down the page so you can see the lovely softening effects of water and the paint into paint effects. 

These are the top two.

I really like these two blooms. They are the bottom pair.
I learned a lot about which reds move nicely and which blues make cool patterns as they run into various reds. The colours used here are Cadmium red, Quinacridone Red, and Alizarin Crimson with a bit of Cadmium Orange ( I need a better orange!). The blues are Indigo, Cobalt and French Ultramarine.

Once these were done and dry, I went on to the next exercise and I'll show you the start. It is still wet. Not sure how much I like it or how it will turn out. It is golds like a sunflower with paints squeezed directly onto the paper for the centre of the flower, and LOTS of water again!! Takes FOREVER to dry!!
Perhaps you get the gist?? I am not TOO sure about the purple taking over the centre but I shall reserve judgement. There are also crystals of Rock Salt on the centre. I have not seem a LOT of difference by using salt, but- again, I reserve judgement. Just following instructions.
This is the way I cook too! I read and use a recipe ONCE, as is and then, do it again MY way. sometimes ya win, sommetimes-.... ya know??? So, it is ever onward and upward. DH has been sick all week so I have had a few quiet moments to myself to pursue this painting madness. I am REALLY enjoying it! Could you guess ?? ;-)

Making progress... slowly!

DH is under the weather today with a cold ( and all that that entails!) Do NOT get me wrong! I feel VERY sorry for him! He's soo uncomfortable. Anyway, as he wanted to take to his bed, I took to the diningroom table, paints and brushes in hand and had a BLAST!!!

I worked on an actual small "painting", although sadly, the National Gallery has not called me yet! I tried a fun technique, espoused by many contemporary watercolourists-
It involves laying down a very wet wash of colour(s) and then scrumpling plastic food wrap artistically over the top of it and letting it dry completely before removing it,
It is a fun, effective and interesting thing to do, NOT to be overused but very useful, especially once you get clever with your scrumpling! This is not too bad. Here's a closeup for you...
Cool, eh??
 And when it dries...
It dries quite pale because the paintress lacks "testicular ferocity" as her Darling Daughter would say! ( she had to develop that when working on mostly male crews of salvage archaeologists) Watercolour dries MUCH lighter than it looks when it is wet. I KNOW that!! I am just not brave enough to play fast and loose with my paints just yet! BTW, the white patches were left dry and so, no paint migrated into those spaces. They are reserved for later!
And here's what I was aiming for. Could be LOTS better but  on the  whole, I am fairly pleased with the result.
And once I reached this stage, I was able to make my little picture of a pot of primula-recently purchased. This could STILL benefit from some more intense colour but I think I shall quit while I am ahead with it!

AND, I went crazy and did this little exercise from my "Paint Yourself Calm" book by Jean Haines! FUN, but NOT relaxing just yet!!
Dandelions in the grass in the sunshine! Kind of a cheering image and a fun exercise on a snowy day!
Fortunately, the sun came out HERE later today and melted the snow. YAY!!! Hope you enjoy this post! I had fun painting.

Spring Fever

LOVE this little Daffodil! No, sadly NOT from the garden, but the garden centres all have daffs, tulips- SPRING!! I am shooting masses of pics so that once these are gone, I can draw and paint them. I am having SOO much fun - but in fits and starts. Can't seem to get six minutes in a row between housework and medical appointments. Never mind, as and when is good!

Big full sized white daffs with ruffly yellow centres.  When I am finished with them , and they with me, I'll put them out in the garden to enjoy again.

 I just got carried away with abstracting this one. It IS out of focus, but I meant it like that. All I want is the "essence"!

And here, the focus is on the "ruffle" so I can see it to draw it. 

SUCH a pretty bloom. This will be lovely in the garden eventually.

Did I ever say how much I love the back sides of flowers? Well, if not, I DO!!! Look how cool this is!
I have not really started playing with these yet with pencil and paint but I shall- SOON! I did do a couple of quick painting exercises from my book the other day- semi successfully. Parts of these, I like. Other parts are just silly but it is all enjoyable. I have ordered a tube of Schminke Transparent Orange paint and have HIGH hopes that it is as stellar as it is reputed to be. Stay tuned!!
A little transparent sketch on a piece of partly used paper. PARTS of this, I really like!

Parts of this, I am pleased about! The orange cup came out pretty well but the petals are a MESS! Never mind, Rome wasn't built, and all that!!!

It will not let me zap this shot of the whole exercise. Sorry! I shot it on my phone and it is BAD AND upside down. No prob! Turning it around will NOT make it a masterpiece!!!
So, you see, kind folk, I am not without projects. I AM, however, without time so if anyone has any extra, please let me be the first to know. Happy creating, everyone!!

Looser and Looser!!

Last night , I started painting a rose, based on the lessons from Atmospheric Watercolours and inspired by my fading Valentines Day Roses-- and THIS is where I finished up...
Amateur, fiddly, too much "detail" - just NOT what I am after but at least better than the first try.

Today, I had some time to myself and decided to try again. I restudied, reread and then WENT for it!

MUCH looser. Still pretty primitive but I DID manage to STOP  in time so it is just an IMPRESSION of roses.

Then, I got wild and crazy and tried a potted primula. 
I am FAIRLY pleased with the direction this is going but I am NOT relaxed at all. I find myself VERY uptight and ended up with a headache, Not to worry. I believe you will never  achieve any degree of excellence until you have put in your 10,000 hours of practice! I MAY have chalked up TEN hours so far. I hope I live long enough to get the rest in !!

On a more mundane level, I am also working on colour charts, mixing colours and paint outs of various colours. I am being stingy with my paint as I have had to start again from scratch so don't want to have to buy TOO much more just yet.

My paintbox so far
Some really messy paint outs
Some mixing charts
This is fun and a good reminder of what mixes with what and what is just NASTY! I actually don't find ANY colour to be nasty. Anyway, just what I have been up to recently. Stay tuned for more AMAZING revelations- HA HA!!!

Loose Woman??... not quite!

You have , no doubt heard of Loose Women ? Well, I aspire to become one :-) I am aiming in the right direction- I THINK, at last. At the moment, I might better be described as a Loosening Woman!

Relax, folks!!! We are talking painting techniques. I have always been a VERY controlled painter and drawer- see my earlier post, "A Little blast from the past- the distant past". I have been reading, watching videos, practising and getting all fired up and inspired and yesterday, FINALLY began to see the beginnings of a loose style. Yay, me. Now, I am NOT calling this high art- not even art, but I do see a loosening and hope VERY much, to see more. Here is the result... the first and the second.
The bigger one was the first- WAY too much messing about. The smaller was done today and it is MUCH looser- more what I am aiming for. I could do more with the little one but as it is NOT very sizeable, I think I will just leave it and try the same idea again, larger and when I am wider awake.

I work hard at whatever I do and this will be no different. I have no guarantee that I'll succeed but I SHALL work at it and I SHALL be aiming to win! My Valentine's Day roses are still looking wonderful so before they drop all over the table, I should draw a couple of them for practice. Can't do that tonight though as Canada is playing GB in Womens' curling. Our girls REALLY need a win.

A little surprise!!!

I have three siblings- two sisters and a brother. I am the eldest (VERY elderly!) then my first sister is eight years younger than I, then another sis four years later and finally, my "baby" brother, four years after this! Anyway, it is my first sister I am on about today. She now lives in Mahone Bay, NS and while she has been there, she has taken up rug hooking - with a vengeance! I knew she'd been doing it but have never seen much of her work - so I asked for photos. Holy Moly! She's amazing!!! I always knew that but this confirms it. I will share what she sent me ( with her permission) and will add to this post later when I find a couple of other shots.

Enjoy and stay tuned! There's more to come!!

A little bit of everything!!!

Valentine's Day roses- from my SISTER!!!

Aren't they lovely!!! They got touched by frost a bit unfortunately but they are just STUNNING- creamy white, pale pink edges and touches of soft limey green. I just LOVE them! I am hoping to get some face-on shots of them to use as a guide for some painting. My DH never thinks of things like this but Shelley, like me, is a romantic and saw these, fell in love with them and got me a bunch!! LOVELY- the roses AND the SISTER!!! She is a Rug Hooker and I am trying to get her to send me some pics of her work. I wish I could talk her into a joint show!!! We'll see :-)

I have finally finished Bug Lunch and The Beech Leaves except for the labels and this shot represents my proposed submission to the upcoming Fibre Content show.  Hope the jury likes me! The centre piece was made a while ago but has never been in a show and fits the time constraints, so... It is Berberis berries on bare winter twigs.
Not a great picture. It is from my phone in the bad light in the dining room!
AND, all afternoon, I have been playing with with my paints and brushes doing colour studies- well, STARTING to do it. I need to work on a much larger piece of paper for a big chart and then get a new watercolour sketchbook to make more intense studies.
Pretty sloppy but I was working on a small piece of paper so the wet colours ran into each other sometimes. I need a bigger piece so I can leave little spaces between colours. I really DO love playing with colour. I'll flatten this curly bit of paper and it will go into the sketchbook.
So, you see, I am "cookin' again"! Feels good but I am still not relaxed enough to REALLY enjoy it. It will come for sure. I need to do some more Zentangles. They are good for concentration, control and confidence building- at least for me. I hope YOU have all been gainfully employed this week. I'll post this now and maybe have something cooler for tomorrow!