“Along the path at Scuplterra”

9″ x 12″ Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

This is #17 of my daily painting and even though I didn’t get this one done in an hour or even a day, it needed to be completed. Friends of ours had brought us to Sculpterra Winery in Paso Robles and not only was the wine really good (“nummy” as one of our dear friends phrases it), the grounds that had meandering paths were filled with sculptures. 

Awhile ago I had begun a vineyard series and by the time I started on this, I was burned out on painting clusters of grapes so I put it away for quite a few months but pulled it from my “to do” stack a few days ago and completed it today. As I normally work, I began with a sketch to figure out my design then did a textured effect for the background with burnt sienna and finally went in with the detail work. Planning each project ahead of time with sketches and maintaining control of the paint and detail has typified my work but I have a goal to loosen up my style like so many amazing plein air, as well as studio, watercolorists that paint with broader strokes and washes.

Classical Painting and Master Copies

30″ x 40″ personal study/master copy (oil on canvas)

There is so much to learn from the original impressionists and masters of classical painting and drawing. “The Gleaner’s” by Jean-Francoise Millet has always been a favorite of mine and I chose to do a “master copy” of this particular painting to learn some of his color mixing, technique and brush strokes.

Juliette Aristides is a modern day classical painter and teaches through her Atelier in the Pacific Northwest.  I have not had the pleasure of attending her school but have learned quite a bit from the series of books she has published and highly recommend them.

Question to Artists… 

I have been debating whether or not to take an online art instruction class and would like to get other artists thoughts on the subject. Staying fresh and challenged in my art is important to me and it has been awhile since I’ve taken a class (which I always get so much out of) but I’ve never taken an online course and need to know if it is worth it. Someone on WordPress mentioned Roos Schuring and although her style is completely different from my own, her work intrigues me and I would love to learn from it. Since her class is a bit pricey, I thought I would ask around to other artists and see what you think. 

Prepped and waiting on the sidelines……

I have a 22″ x 30″ piece of heavy weight watercolor paper that I originally was going to use watercolors on but after drawing on it, I decided to try something new. 

Since the sketch took me quite a bit of time and I didn’t want to lose it, I decided to take a Sharpie extra fine marker to my drawing then gesso over it. I’ve done this on several paintings before using acrylics and was quite pleased with the final product. My choice of using oils this time is because acrylics always dry so fast on my palette and now that we’re heading into summer, I want to alleviate my frustration. If any of you have tried this technique or have other thoughts, I would love to hear from you. 

Terrill Welch, Ceative Potager, recently painted red poppies by the sea and did a beautiful job! I get so much out of seeing how other artists handle the same subject matter and it will be interesting to see how my “poppies in a vineyard” come out.

#15 Morning Hour

3″ x 4 1/2″ watercolor “thumbnail” sketch

Well, I sure didn’t have to go far to find a tranquil scene to paint! Early one morning, I happened to walk out the back door at just the right moment to see the sun peaking through some of our avocado trees with their great diagonal shadows across the lawn. I have a couple of larger paintings that I have just begun but plan to get this little gem onto canvas in the near future.