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! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Teaming up with Daniel Smith Art Materials!

I'm pleased as punch to announce that I've teamed up with Daniel Smith Art Materials! I've bought my supplies from Daniel Smith, based in Seattle, Washington, for over 25 years. This company has always offered the finest professional and student supplies.  They have been a leader in the innovative  development of Quinacridone Hues in Watermedia and Oils.  I've created two new watercolor kits for you at  very generous educator discounted prices. Have a look!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kansas Patterns

On my walks in Kansas I found patterns everywhere. Patina and aged things standing through time, regardless of the weather. I...on the other hand...froze my aged Southern CA fingers and legs on my treks....but it was so worth it......

Friday, November 29, 2013

Kansas in November

Just returned home from Kansas to be apart of the Kansas National Watercolor Society Reception in Wichita. My hubby and I had a delightful, fun weekend touring the Wichita  Center for the Arts, Wichita Art Museum and the Indian Museum. Shopping in 20 something degree weather was a new experience ....layers and layers of clothing......


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stencil Girl Blog Hop with Jane LaFazio!

The Pods and Eucalyptus stencils that my friend Jane LaFazio designed are just fab! 
take a look! 

StencilGirl Products is giving away a prize on their blog StencilGirl Talk

  ALL comments left on ALL blogs are eligible to win. The more blogs you  leave comments on, the more chances you will have to be the lucky winner! The giveaway will close on Monday, November 11, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time. The deadline has been extended! Wednesday, Nov 13, 11:59 Central Time! 

We all used Jane LaFazio's leaves and pods stencils from Stencil Girl Products for our creations. Take a look at each Artist's Blog listed at the end of my post.......

Jane's Pods stencil...I used a mix of red and gold acrylic paint
 Masa paper with acrylic, watercolor ...all stitched up with recycled sari ribbons

 Gold acrylic paint was used here with Jane's Eucalyptus stencil

 The Masa paper was soaked in water, crinkled and FW Burnt Umber Ink was added
 while the paper was wet. I also painted some of the leaves and pods with watercolors.
 Our theme was Gratitude...

Have fun Hopping!
Helen Shafer Garcia  Hey...that's me! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

November News

November news.....

I'm flying to Kansas in a couple of weeks to Wichita for the Kansas National Watercolor Society Exhibition. My painting "Morning at Elfin was accepted! I also get to spend time with my hubby who's been working on a job nearby. I've never been to Wichita ....I love touring new places..

Teaching a one day workshop at
San Diego Botanic Garden on Sunday, November 10

Watercolor Batik Tree of Life 
Reach into the sky and create connections between branches and earth while creating universal Tree of Life themed mixed media paintings on Masa paper and canvas. A special batik-like technique with Masa rice paper will create wonderful textures and crevices for the paint to flow in to. You’ll play with colored pencils, ink lines and collage elements to further embellish your paintings. 


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pastel and watercolor....

I saw a great demo this week at San Diego Watercolor Society given by Catherine Gill. She's a phenomenal plein air artist who works with Watercolor and pastel together.  I've worked with pastel and watercolor as a combo also so it was great to see another artist's version of the process. 

So with that in mind I gave some demos  combining the two mediums with my personal twist. 

The paper was soaked first in water for about 15 min. Pastel lines were drawn for shapes and color arrangement. rich charged watercolor washes were added....Catherine called it the ooze factor....

more watercolor and pastel combos added...all on wet paper. 

 This demo was based on fish hooks but they ended up becoming real fishy......same process with watercolor and pastels......

 and this last painting....not completed....was based on Wayne Thiebaud style of altering perspective angles. This time the paper was not soaked in water but I did start out wetting the paper and painting watercolor washes. Some pastel lines were added while the paper was wet. When the paper dried I started to add pastels using blending and layering techniques. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Boot planter mini tutorial part 1

These boots are in my hiking boots from the 70's. Over the years the leather has hardened and cracked so I decided it was time for them to have a new purpose. They traveled through many a mile in the Sequoias, the High Sierras on backpacking trips. They kicked a few stones, held up on many miles of girl scout camps and keep me from tripping up on the trails. Here's to the new life old shoes with many stories.....

here's a mini Pastel new Pastel class starts this friday at Escondido Adult School. 8 weeks on friday afternoons.... 
I started out with charcoal on tinted sanded pastel paper. The charcoal lines were softened with a paper towel, my fingers, and set with denatured alcohol using a big acrylic brush. This keeps the dust down and solidifies the dark values onto the paper.
Started to bring in background color with nupastels..these pastels are hard and provides a   good way to start up color on the surface. 
this image paper background was's not this yellow! What I wanted to show you was the foreground surface. I used a variety of soft and hard sticks and "scumbled" the colors...I love this means to take a color stick, hold it on its side for a broad mark and gently layer colors. This allows translucency of color layers to slighty blend.
See the sticks at the top of the page? I brought out warm and cool colors with tints and shades to start layering "broken color" on the shapes. I started at the toe area of the boot. Broken color refers to the technique where you draw color lines...drawing lines side by side for visual blending rather than blending. 
More warms and cools on the boot.....and the shoe strings
now I'm starting to bring in some bright colors on the succulents ....working dark to light. 
more steps on part II a few weeks!