Thursday, October 30, 2014

Can you teach an Old Dog New Tricks??!!

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Am I really set in my ways?

Yes, I have my favourite colours
...favourite brushes
...favourite paper 
but

I think I am open to change!!

 This summer brought a new focus to my work.  My travels took me into the interior for British Columbia, away from the blues of the ocean and into the land of the Greens!! I realized that I needed to know a lot more about colour mixing to deal with those greens.  My search led me to coloured pencils!!
I loved them!!

Easy to add colour, easy to control and easy to draw with, what more could you ask?!
My experiments with colour lead to this new mini series "The Red, White and Blue of Summer". 

 Indian Paintbrush - Coloured Pencil on Black Board - 8 x 10

 Western Anemone (Moptop) - Coloured Pencil on Black Board - 8 x 10

Mountain Daisy - Coloured Pencil on Black Board - 8 x 10


I found I was introducing different colours with each layers and it really seem to bring them more to life.  The flower stems are a great example: I really worked on picking up the reflected light from the flowers, other leaves and the light.  It was really fun to see how things worked together instantly - no waiting for paint to dry!!  

Now I am off to use my watercolours and try some new combos. 

"The Red White and Blue of Summer"is about the meadow flowers that bloom so profusely on Mount Revelstoke and other alpine valleys.  These lovely flowers live such a short life, only 2-3 weeks then it is frost and back to winter!!  But while they are there it is a really beautiful sight. 

This will be one of my pictures from my Residency for the Art in the Park 2014 show running November 7 - December 5, 2014 in Revelstoke, BC.  The show will travel for a year promoting the 100th Anniversary of the Park and the Parks Program in Canada.  

You can read about the Artist in Residency at Mount Revelstoke in my August posts.  It was a great opportunity and one you might enjoy in the future.
Special Note: To learn more about the Residency see my first three August 2014 Posts beginning with this One

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Have you ever been Lost in Greens??

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY


You know, 
Green Trees
Green Grass
Green Plants
Green Everywhere!!

It all becomes Green!!
Summer Flowers Come to Balssm Lake - Watercolour - 11 x 14

This is not usually a problem for me as my Plein air painting is by the ocean. There are blues, reds, browns and yellows. Green is just a small part of the mix. But this summer I was painting on Mount Revelstoke. Green everywhere! Yes, there were little lakes in the some of the alpine valleys but they were full of 'green' reflections!  It really challenges you as an artist to see other colours and to create many different greens.

I had my Daniel Smith GreenGold, which I like mixed with Ultramarine it gives great colours for our coastal firs.  But here I needed more: I mixed reds, blues and yellows with my greens.  Always trying for those elusive changes in the shadows, in the sun, in the distance and in the  foreground. Of course when you really let your eyes do their work you can see other colours as well: the bright yellow Mountain Arnica and dazzling red Indian Paintbrush dancing in the sunlight; the ghostly gray branches left from snow damage in the winter; even the beds of white Partridgefoot, all work to break up the green.  Once I focused on these other things, life got better!!

"Summer Flowers come to Balsam Lake" was the results of my 'green adventure'.  I must admit at times I struggled to bring in more colour but once I got rolling I felt things came together.  Yes, there is still lots of greens but it has a sense of the life and colour the way it was the day I sat and painted by the lake.

This picture will be part of the Art in the Park 2014 running November 7 - December 5, 2014 in Revelstoke, BC.  The show will travel for a year promoting the 100th Anniversary of the Park and the Parks Program in Canada.  I have just learned that the show will be here in Surrey for June 2015 which means I will get to see it!!  Very excited about that!!

For information on working Plein Air see my Plein Air Adventures Page with this blog.  Lots of tips to help make your adventures Great!!

Special Note: To learn more about the Residency see my first three August 2014 Posts beginning with this One

Thursday, October 16, 2014

OMG!!! Is This Neat or What??!!

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

You know Journal are my Thing!

I have tried lots of different ones.

But, I think even for me,

This Journal is Over the Top!!



To begin with I had a Problem.

It was with my Artist in Residency at Revelstoke National Park this summer.  They wanted a Journal for our time in the park. It was only a short time so I really didn’t want to start one of my usual books.  What would I do with the rest of the book?  (I know, a bit of my thriftiness there!)  So I decided that I needed to make my own Journal just for that event. 

Basic travel kit for my Journal

I settled on a flip type journal.  The pages are like an accordion and you can make it as long or short as you like.  It worked great!  I attached it to a little clipboard and as you can see all my materials fit into a small ziplock bag:  small, compact, easy to carry and easy to use.  The pages are just right for a quick note or sketch, 3.5 in by 5.5 in.  My favourite medium is ink with graphite. ( You can do quick sketches and then get lots of values with your pencil, much faster than crosshatching with your pen.)

Front Cover: Balsam Lake
Back Cover: Mountain View from the Summit




 Of course my little journal needed a front and back cover and that is where the real fun began!!  I decided to use 4 x 6 in.  canvases that I have been holding on to forever.  I treated them with gesso and absorbent ground so I could use watercolour and then started painting.  It was so much fun to make little coloured pictures to go with the black and white pages.  (You know I love miniature things so this was all right up my alley!)

The finished pictures then had to be varnished to protect them, would you believe 6 coats?  After that I glued it all together with a cord to close it and my Journal was complete!

 Very neat eh?!!

Sorry to say I have to say good bye to my Journal for awhile it will be part of my work for the "Art in the Park 2014" show which will open Nov. 7- Dec. 5, 2014 in Revelstoke, BC.  The show will then travel for a year promoting the 100th Anniversary of the Park and the Parks Program in Canada. If you are in the area check out the show!

For more ideas for Plein Air work or Journaling see my Plein Air Adventures Page in my blog.  
Special Note: To learn more about the Residency see my first three August 2014 Posts beginning with this One

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Have You been to the Dark Side??

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

I mean the REALLY,REALLY Dark Side!

Where everything is black or shades of gray and
White is a stranger!

That's where this drawing has taken me!

Eyes of the Forest - Graphite, 20 x 16

Eyes of the Forest is a drawing of a Northern Hawk Owl that we were fortunate to see while hiking on Mount Revelstoke.  It was settled in amongst a group of firs on a branch.  As you can see from the picture below he was well camouflaged.  We would not have seen him had we not heard his call just before we arrived.
Can you find my owl??  Pretty well hidden, eh?

I really wanted to capture the way he blends into the tree.  I realized it required moving into the Dark Zone.  In drawing we have a name for it!  Bright, light pictures are High Value pictures and pictures full of dark, gray tones are Low Value.  Most pictures are in the mid-range with a more even spread of values.  Working in the Dark Zone can lead to black  mess!!  A dangerous place for an artist!

To work on my picture I put my darkest dark near the owl's head.  I did that quite early on in process so I had a point of comparison.  When I studied my picture I kept reminding myself, that's my 10, is this a 10.  (Artist talk for really dark!)  This helped me to keep most of the drawing in the mid value range and even move up to light grays with some of the moss and branches.  I really wanted to capture a shaft of light going across his chest and I picked it up with a bit of the branches around him as well.  When I was done, I was very pleased.  My owl is there but there is a really strong sense of the kind of environment we found him in.   

Eyes of the Forest will be off to Revelstoke later this month, he will be part of the Art in the Park  2014 show which will open in Revelstoke Nov. 7th.- Dec 5, 2014.  The show will then travel for a year promoting the 100th Anniversary of the Park and the Parks Program in Canada.  Pretty exciting, eh?

Capturing animals in graphite is one my passions and one of my specialties.  If you would like to commission a drawing of one of your pets Contact Me .  I would be pleased to work with you to bring your project to life.  See more of my Pet Commission Work on my Commission A Drawing Page. 
Special Note: To learn more about the Residency see my first three August 2014 Posts beginning with this One