Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Watercolor collage class

My Fallbrook School of the Arts Watercolor Collage Students are creating some tremendous works and we've only just begun. On monday, we  took unfortunate, crummy, bad watercolor paintings and cut them up into small tiles. Boy, did that feel good! We all shared tiles and  seperated them by colors. Everyone had already painted a sheet of watercolor paper with a dark color, some with a metallic. This was our gluing surface.
 We started with a figurative image for a focal point. I showed them Laurie Mika's wondrous polymer works as examples.( Laurie and I are traveling to San Miguel de Allende along with Jane LaFazio and Lynn Leahy in October for our sold out Tesoro del Corazon  retreat!)
Here's a close up of the figure along with some ephemera. (note the coffee theme). We painted Daniel Smith's Transparent Watercolor ground over the figure. Once its dry, you can paint over the top to create tints.
You can also glaze over the tops of tile portions to tone down areas. I painted purple around the blue center pieces beneath the figure.
and here are fine examples of students work....beginning stages.....I can't wait to see the results.....

Monday, March 24, 2014

a Perfect Artful Day

my art buddies Deena Altman  ( Altman Plants)and Donna Stewart (Silver Spoon Chef) invited me for an afternoon of color, pattern,  food heaven, and crazy fun painting. We started out at one of Deena's wholesale succulent nurseries. Acres of amazing succulent shapes...I was on visual overload! 

                         Donna and Deena on top of  the hill filled with agaves and like minded plants

                           Thank you Deena!
           Next stop....Donna's casa where she whipped up a wonderful Kale, Bacon, Strawberries and pumpkin seed salad....oh...heaven....and look at our place cards....stones with our beautifully arranged.... Thank you Donna!

     and the last leg of our adventure...liquid acrylic on full sheets, drips, brush strokes water sprays, and alcohol drips....the beginnings of something grand......

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Luminous Shafer Photos

My lovely and talented niece Amberley Shafer is a photographer. She came to my home and took these incredible photos in the garden looking through the pieces of glass to find lost edge compositions. These photos were included in an article for her Photography Mentoring Group. Here is what the editor wrote about her works.......

"We don’t hear from our Amsterdam member Amberley Shafer as
often as we like, but it seems she has been traveling a lot - from her
home in Holland to USA and then her birthplace, New Zealand.
Whilst she was in USA, she visited her aunty Helen Shafer Garcia, a noted artist
who describes herself as “a water media and pastel painter who also works in
mixed media, book arts and assemblage”.
Helen’s studio was featured in a four page feature in “Studios” magazine in
Summer 2012, and it was this studio where Amberley turned her camera for
images like these four she sent us"-   Ken Ball

And these luminous images were also included in a's what Amberley had to say about the works
Amberley says:
"After having completed a 10 day meditation course last month in New Zealand, the concepts of
interconnectedness and balance have been at the forefront of my mind. Trying to depict these
concepts visually was the next challenge…….… these photos I've used the traditional light and dark of the Yin & Yang symbol and the textural
layers to represent the complexity and entanglement of interconnectedness that can make it so
difficult to unravel and understand."

Friday, February 28, 2014

Back Lit Jardin Elements

Here's a demo in progress. Two images were combined from my garden. I had to tweak the light source
 The process is wet into wet with dropped in color. Take a look at the unfinished leaf area on the left side.
 I painted a glaze with dropped in red and yellow hues onto the leaf shapes. The shadow patterns were quite complicated and became too busy. I ended up softening edges.
 On the right side....take a look at the brick shapes. The line was too distracting so I scrubbed out the edge  and added a new geranium leaf to overlap. The process is ever-changing and challenging......hopefully, I'll finish this one up!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Spiky flower tutorial

February is already in full swing and I'm offering a fab workshop at San Diego Botanic Garden in a couple of weeks on Sunday, February 23
9:30 am – 4 pm

Here are the correct details....

Water Color Fusion 

This process will allow you to discover ways to define the shapes of growing things with contrast and brilliant colors. Part of the beauty of this technique is revealing some of the underlining  botanical imagery once the paint settles  in selected spots. Metaphors and messages can play a whimsical or thoughtful role in your finished piece with added bits of collage and text.  Paint on a smooth hot pressed watercolor paper for a vibrant look. Work with some very contemporary, good vibe iridescent, interference, and opaque watercolor techniques to further enhance and embellish the surface.

And here's a mini tutorial  that I created  last week in one of my local Watercolor classes.
I started with a wet into wet background with mostly cool colors. The paper was moistened for over a minute and I made sure it was well saturated. 
When the background was dry I painted the leaves, stems and buds with dropped in color
...shape by shape. Sometimes I let the colors fuse between the shapes. 
Then I committed a  sin...I used white ink!( Daler Rowney Pro White opaque watercolour) This used to be a bad no-no in transparent watercolor school. It feels so decadent to use opaque hues! Forgive me, for I have sinned.....he, he, he...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Word for 2014

I've selected my word for 2014


This word has multiple applications for me. Gathering things is becoming less important. I still feel the need to collect but I've come to the conclusion that I can also just view it on my favorite place online...Pinterest! And I've simply run out of room....

I think the need to collect makes me feel protected and safe. Objects of desire are still important but the need does not have to be as tangible. I'm becoming more selective. The scale of my collections is changing too...small is good....
I have a long way to go. I still love "stuff" and my art hoarding will still be there. My family and close buddies know all about this....

On the other hand I know that time is important and simplifying my schedule is a must so I can get down to the nitty gritty things in life....projects that I want to achieve. 

So...when I'm flying around literally or just in my car I'll find the time to ponder and clear my mind to focus on the important things....

speaking of collections....

Clay things I made years ago or collected....they now live in my garden....or lounge around the casa....

Monday, December 23, 2013

Colors of Winter

My  Southern California Garden  in Winter is aglow with color this year. We haven't had a frost yet...a few rain storms have gone through...enough to soak the ground and feed the plants. Being a native CA gal I can only imagine what it would be like to live in a colder climate. 
I had a little taste of it in Kansas in November. Burr....
I am so grateful that I can play in the dirt, weed and plant my plants all year long. 

I hope the winter holidays bring you 
joy, warmth, laughter, and bubblies....Cheers!