What happened?

When I started this blog I thought it would be a great alternative to the large website I had previously been using. I am however having some problems with it that are making me wonder if I should continue using this service. Today I had to delete over 250 spam emails from this site to buy cheap chinese nfl jerseys or other products. I know we all get spam at times but this seems to be a continuing problem here. I will keep posting awhile longer to see if it improves as I do want to have a source for you all to learn more about watercolor, what I am up to in my artwork and what shows I will be doing.

zen tile 1

zentangle tile

Recently, I returned from a four day seminar in Providence, Rhode Island to become a certified Zentangle teacher. Zentangle is an awesome, relaxing art form where you aren’t trying to draw a picture of anything. You are just combinging patterns of lines and shapes to fit together onto a small, 3 1/2″ square, piece of quality handmade paper called a tile. You work with Sakura pens. They are fine lines and it forces you to slow down and really get into what you are doing. I love it! There are over 125 official Zentangle patterns but many, many more can be found on the internet. In fact it is the most “pinned” subject on Pinterest and there are even some youtube videos. It has so many benefits besides just being creative and can be used for relaxation, right-left brain exercise, focusing, meditation, relieve stress, design inspiration, creative gifts, etc., etc. Anybody can do it, no artistic skills are required. Supplies are minimal,  inexpensive, and can be carried with you easilly. I’m arranging class locations now and will be posting information on how you can take Zentangle classes soon. Contact me if you are interested at wilburd@citlink.net

Our last show was at SUNY Binghamton and it was much better this year. Jerry did well too with his wood turning and his handcarved spoons are selling great for him. He’s really enjoying the hand carving part and sits at night watching tv carving away on a spoon or ladle. The livingroom is littered with chips but we have a hardwood floor, he’s happilly creative and I don’t mind the mess as he sweeps it all up before bed. His spoons are awesome and I like the fact that you can feel his toolmarks and its not like a machined product. He’s had months of health issues to deal with and we have even had to forfeit a couple of good shows this year because he was ill. He’s feeling better now but we are scaling back on our shows. Winter is our time to really be creative and productive and after the holidays like Santa’s elves we really get into the “workshop” and get working. I have so many ideas for artwork that my head is aching with wanting to get them started. I’m not lacking in inspiration, its just trying to decide what to do first!

We probably will be spending winter up here this year. Its going to be a real old fashioned one with lots of snow and cold I think. We’ve had some really pretting days though and I love to see the snow sparkle and the deep blue shadows on the snow too when the sun shines. Stay warm and enjoy the holidays…..hope to see you soon….Cordially, Doris

white on black and renaissance tile

white on black and renaissance tile

another fun tile

another fun tile

Watercolor tips….paper, etc.

I’ve tried many different types of papers and watercolor boards to see which works best for my type of painting. You may choose something else to work with for yourself….experiment to find out the surface and type and manufacturer you like to work with best. I’ve chosen to work mainly on Arches 300 lb. hot pressed paper for my large major paintings. This paper is thick and heavy and does not need any stretching. Another added benefit is that it won’t buckle and if you mess up the front, flip it over and start again on the back. Also, it takes a lot of correction or working on the surface if you need to make changes by scrubbing out, erasing, scraping with an exacto, sanding, etc. Occasionally I will use Arches 140 lb. hot pressed paper for some small studies or paintings such as my birds but I don’t soak and stretch that either. Most papers need to have the surface “washed” or brushed over with clear water to remove the sizing that is on the surface. I use a wide bristle brush for that and don’t really get the paper soaking wet when I do it. Hot pressed paper does not have the bumps and texture that cold pressed paper does so the paint blends and dries smoother without puddling into little depressions that the cold press has. You may want that effect though and would be happier with a “bumpy surface” to work on.

Another surface I enjoy working on is Gesso Board by Ampersand. It has a white clay coating on a masonite type base. It can be bought in a textured surface or a smooth surface. Ampersand makes boards for other media so be sure you purchase the watercolor board by them. The benefits of this board is that it doesn’t have to have glass over it. You can seal the painting and frame it when you are done. Also, you can easilly lift color off for highlights or changes.  I have found that it is difficult to get large blending washes such as skies with it though as the clay surface soaks the paint up and prevents it from moving and blending as it does on paper.

Never work on thin, cheap paper. You will not get good results, it will buckle horribly, and boy will you become frustrated. Arches watercolor paper is 100% cotton and will not get yellow and brittle over the years. Some cheap watercolor papers actually have wood products in them and are not archival and washes do not work nearly as good as on Arches or other quality paper. Even if you are just learning or practising opt for the good paper so you can see how watercolor paint should really work and you never know you just might make a masterpiece you want to save while practising! I hope this information is helpful to you. Keep painting…..Cordially, Doris

August already?….

Summer is going by way too fast! I can already see some changes in the leaves and plants in the fields that look like fall is just a few weeks away. It was only a short while ago I looked out our glass doors to see four spotted fawns standing in the yard.

4 fawns and 1 doe

4 fawns and 1 doe

I was able to get 3 in the photo at the same time but the 4th one kept wandering too far from the others, but believe me there were 4 there and only one doe. Perhaps she has adopted another’s fawns because it would really be incredible for her to have all of them as her own. They did appear to be all the same age however. What a Mom!

We went on a nice hike at Beaver Lake Sanctuary in Baldwinsville, NY and along the way we saw some Indian or Ghost Pipes off to the side of the path. I did a painting of them quite awhile ago and once in awhile someone buys the print. Not too many people know what they are though.

Indian or Ghost Pipes

Indian or Ghost Pipes

The legend goes that an Indian was smoking his peace pipe and from the ashes these little mushroom like “pipes” appear in the woods. I usually see them about the time the blueberries ripen in a damp shady woodland.

I just finished an acrylic painting on gesso board that is an update of an earlier watercolor. I added a lot more flowers and leaves and like it a lot better than my first version.

Morning Glory Cascade

Morning Glory Cascade

The morning glories that I planted are not doing too good this year, I think my over ambitious hops vine is crowding out their light and nutrients. They are about the only flower I know that has that gorgeous sky blue color to them. I still have to get it framed and ready for sale, probably will have it out for the Hammondsport Festival coming up soon. Stop by and say hello if you are in the area. Its a really nice arts and crafts show with quality work there and we enjoy being part of it. Jerry will have his woodturning in a booth beside me too. Hope to see you there…Cordially, Doris

Recent paintings….

Here’s some pictures of recent work I have finished.

Pulpits, Bloodroot & Violets

Pulpits, Bloodroot & Violets

I apologize about the reflections or fuzziness but the clear pictures of work I had on my old website was often copied so now I post pictures much differently to help prevent that problem. As you can see I’m still painting my barns from my area plus the wildflowers and wildlife around me here at Melody Lake.

 

 

Route 26 White Barn

Route 26 White Barn

My husband and I get a lot of enjoyment out of the birds at our feeders and I plan to keep adding to the collection of bird paintings. Since I took these pictures I’ve added a Baltimore Oriole to the assortment. I’ve had requests for robins, crows, blue jays and woodpecker art already.

paintings of birds

paintings of birds

Nasturium Cascade

Nasturium Cascade

Red Hens

Red Hens

I’ve been picking cherries from our tree and those cute little chipmunks are raiding it too. I actually had to shake the tree to get one out. His little cheeks were stuffed full of cherries. My daylilys are blooming away now and I’ve noticed the wild ones along the roadways. I like the scene of the old mailboxes surrounded by the orange lilies….hmm…another painting to do. So many paintings in my head and photos and sketches I want to do. I know I’ll only get at a fraction of them.

blog willet winterWe’re losing so many local barns and I’ve got photos of some that are already down. The “Willet Winter Barn” has lost its silo. I keep taking pictures of things that inspire me. They are for reference only. I don’t use the photos exactly as they are. I move things around, delete parts, add other things when I compose a painting. Many people have asked me if I would do a painting of their barn or house. I consider it a real compliment that they like my work enough to hire me to do a painting for them but I have to decline as I just don’t have the time. I couldn’t paint very much at all when I was teaching and now I just want to paint from all of my own sketches and photos. Fortunately a lot of people love the same things I do and they keep me going by purchasing my work. I so love my patrons and customers!!! Thanks for checking out my new blog….I’ll keep posting artwork and information about painting and the life of a working artist.

 

My watercolor palette….

I’ve bought and used many, many different tubes of watercolor paints over the years. Its important to learn the characteristics of the different paints to know how they will react with each other and on the paper. My favorite brand is Winsor Newton watercolors. If you stick to one brand they will be more compatible when you use them and not become muddy. The paints I use are transparent watercolors that act like stain glass. That is, yellow layered over dry blue watercolor will become green. You have to keep this concept in mind when you are painting. Transparent watercolor does not cover up the color beneath it. It makes painting more challenging but by layering your colors you can get nice depth and intensity.

Some colors are staining and cannot be “lifted” completely or removed from the paper when you want to lighten them or want to change something you’ve painted. Some colors are sedimentary and have a kind of fine grit pigment to them and can be lifted easily to lighten them, make highlights, etc. There are a few that I include that I find necessary and are considered semi opaque and will cover better than others. You will have to experiment and find your own personal palette of colors. I mix a lot of my colors by adding their complementary or their adjacent colors to alter them. Sometimes in the final steps of a painting I may use some white Aquacover in a few spots which is like liquid paper whiteout. It can only be used sparingly though as it is thicker than the paint and will show easily. The white of your paper should be saved by blocking it out with something like Pebeo drawing fluid. It works like thin rubber cement and can be removed with a rubber cement pickup when you are ready to paint that area or just keep it white as a highlight. Have fun working with your own choice of colors. Here’s the ones I choose to work with now…

Aureolin Yellow, Gamboge Yellow, Naples Yellow, Hansa Yellow

Alizarin Red, Opera Rose, Quin Red, Permanent Rose

Green Gold, Thalo Green, Hookers Green

Quin Gold, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna

Cerulean Blue, Thalo Blue, Ultra Blue, Cobalt Blue

 

 

Wild Things….

tall blue iris

tall blue iris

Its always changing here at the lake. Early spring flowers fade and disappear and are replaced by new ones in different colors and shapes.

ragged robin

ragged robin

Now is the time of pink ragged robin, yellow buttercups, and white daisies are popping out too. My yellow and blue iris are gorgeous this year and smell so sweet. I see shoots of milkweed pushing up getting ready to develop the broad, flat leaves that feed the monarch butterflies.

painted turtle

painted turtle

Yesterday we looked out the window to see a painted turtle walking in our driveway. Was it here to dig a nest and lay eggs? A chipmunk raided my suet feeder we put out for our woodpeckers.

chipmunk

chipmunk

He’s so cute though I cannot chase him away. Down at the lake I see a pair of Canada geese with 6 goslings munching on the neighbors lawn. They’re not home I notice and probably won’t know their grass was trimmed by that family visiting. There’s beauty all around us….and I’m so happy to be living alongside of nature. It inspires my art and brings us so much joy.

daisy fleabane

daisy fleabane

Watercolor 101….

I mentioned this book by John Pike in my last post but want to be sure those of you who are really interested in watercolor painting get some good tips from me. It is a hard media to learn to manage. Sometimes your colors could turn into mud, washes can take off and go places you didn’t want them, you can make mistakes you can’t seem to fix and so on. Over the years I have learned many, many ways to control what is happening on that expensive piece of quality paper to get the effects I want. Even how to make those “happy accidents” work for you. Even though I’ve been painting for almost 50 years, I still have a stack of paintings on a shelf I call my “not ready for prime time projects”  that I will get back to sometime and “fix”. So, don’t get discouraged….you will get better and it will become easier for you to work with watercolor. I love it as a clean media you can get such beautiful atmospheric effects with. And, it doesn’t have to be thinned down, wishy-washy color, it can be bold intense color also if you layer the transparent colors.

Anyway the book is “Watercolor” by John Pike.  It has good basic instruction for painting, the limited palette he used, and step-by-step instruction on washes, etc. In the back there are some easy lessons to follow. Yes, its an old one…but its an oldy-goodie! Mine even has a chewed corner where I laid it on the floor when I fell asleep reading in bed and the new puppy decided to cut his teeth on it.

"Watercolor" by John Pike

“Watercolor” by John Pike

Don’t waste your money by trying to read every book printed on watercolor or buying every cutely named tube of paint. Stick to the basics and spend your time practising how to do various washes and the mixes from a limited palette of paint. A lot of those weird brands and paints don’t mix well with each other and you will end up with mud!  Well, that’s enough info for you to digest for the first post on painting tips. Keep following and I will be posting much more including my favorite colors to paint with, paper, etc…….Have fun…..Doris

Spring at the lake….

hummer

hummer

First we had gorgeous days with temps into the 80′s and then went down into the 40′s with sleet and cold wind that made us feel like we were back into winter. My hummingbird hung out on our porch during the worst of it.  But, spring has come to Melody Lake and the beautiful wildflowers are blooming. We have a small patch of woods that shelter us enough to have some wildflowers growing in our yard and in the woods. Walking around I could see several and snapped some photos for you to see. We started working on the garden, although its going to be a lot smaller this year and I noticed a hole in a

bunny

bunny

pile of bark mulch. I opened it up to see what was going on and we found some fur in the bottom but no critter. A few minutes later Jerry saw a little bunny sitting very still next to one of the boxes we grow veggies in. He picked it up and held it just long enough for me to grab the camera but he soon hopped out of his hand a was off. I worried about him being on his own but he was fast and smart enough to hide so he should be okay. I think I’ll be doing a painting of a rabbit soon. I snapped a picture of one eating a dandelion last year. He started at the bottom of the stem and chewed on it blossom and all like he was eating spaghetti!

starflower

starflower

There’s more flowers blooming now, the Jack in the Pulpits are up and Tiarella or Foamflower and others so keep your eyes open for them if you go for a walk in the woods. They are only with us a short while but will be replaced by others when it gets warmer.

canada mayflower

canada mayflower

bluets

bluets

I think I will try some acrylic painting also. I’m always struggling with the glass needed for the watercolors although its been my favorite media to work with. Its a clean media and you can get such nice atmospheric effects with it. It does have a learning curve but don’t get discouraged. Just keep working with it and it will get easier. The first book I bought that helped me a lot was Watercolor Painting by John Pike. His simple palette of color and directions have helped me over the years. Thanks for checking in on my blog and enjoy our spring and summer is just around the corner. Cordially, Doris

wild geranium

wild geranium

bunchberry

bunchberry

 

 

Upcoming Shows….

Here’s a listing of the shows we will be participating in for the next few months. When we do the farmer’s markets we take a lot smaller setup than the big juried shows because we are only at the markets for a few hours. So if you really want to see more of our work you should plan on attending one of the big  juried art and craft festivals we display in.  As you can see by our schedule we have a pretty busy, full life as artisans.  Say hello if you stop by to see us. Cordially…Doris

 

SHOW CALENDAR 2013

Please note: When we work the farmer’s markets we have a much

smaller setup of work available for purchase.

May 24…..Ithaca Triphammer Mall Farmer’s Market 10-2

May 25…..Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

May 31…..Ithaca Triphammer Mall Farmer’s Market 10-2

June 1…..Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

June 8-9…..Penn Yan, Keuka Lake Arts Festival at boat launch park

June 14-15……Laurel Festival, Wellsboro, PA on village green

June 22…..Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

June 29…..Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

July 4th……Montrose, PA 4th July Arts & Crafts Festival on village green

July 6……Homer Farmer’s Market 9-1

July 13…..Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

July 20…..Holiday in Homer Arts & Crafts Festival on village green center of town

July 27…..Greene Arts & Crafts Festival (Tentative) downtown on streets center of town

August 3…..Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

August 10…..Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

August 17-18 ……Hammondsport Craft Festival on village green in center of town

August 24…..Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

August 31-Sept 1……Cooperstown Art & Craft Festival at Clark’s Sports Center Field

September 7-8 …….Beaver Lake Nature Center Baldwinsville, NY

September 14……Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

September 21-22…….Eagle Mills Craft Show, Broadalbin, NY 

September 28……Homer Farmer’s Market  9-1

October  5-6…….Cortland Pumpkin Festival, Cortland, NY

November 3 (Sunday)…….Elmira Southside High School Arts & Crafts Fair, Elmira, NY 10 am-4 pm

 

 

 

Big changes…

Hello everyone….I should introduce myself to those who are not familiar with my work. I’m a long time watercolor artist but I have studied and painted in oil and acrylic also. I started as an etcher and engraver so my work still has some of  the detail that was used for those medias. My subjects reflect my farm background and the rural wooded lifestyle I live and enjoy around me.

Original Watercolor "The Bee Tree"

Original Watercolor
“The Bee Tree”

I sell my work in art and craft shows in New York state, Pennsylvania and Florida. I’ve worked as a commercial artist for printshops, advertising agencies and also television. I also retired from teaching art in public school locally. Be patient with me please as I try to get this blog up and running. My computer skills aren’t as good as those of the average 10 year old. This will replace my website pages which became compromised with copies of my artwork showing up where I didn’t want them to, weird text popping up, etc.

I will be talking about my new artwork so you can see what I’m working on and giving tips about watercolor painting and techniques and other aspects of being a professional artist. I’ll also be posting my schedule of shows so you can catch up with me to purchase art or just go to a local art and craft show.

I’ll be talking about my country life too and gardening, nature and cooking which I enjoy. Maybe I’ll even include some poetry or writing once and awhile. Also, I’ll let you know what Jerry, my husband and awesome woodturner is doing too and include pictures of his work. I hope it will be entertaining and educational for you. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have and I will try to help you if I can. I look forward to sharing my artists life with you all. Cordially, Doris