Friday, August 17, 2012

Sun Dance - Sold, and a Possible New Gallery!

I worked on this painting as my demo in the "Meet the Artists Day" event in Filoli Garden over the weekend, and managed to finish it today. One of the curators of the Filoli "Handcrafted and Through the Lens" show, Teresa Silvestri, who is a wonderful watercolor artist specialized in pet portraits, saw the painting and wanted to have it -- before it was even finished. I was so flattered!... So, when it is finished today, I carefully matted it and put it in a clear bag, drove down to Redwood City where her gallery is to deliver it...

Sun Dance,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 8"h x 8"w, 2012 # 45


You can buy an 8" x 8" Giclee print of this painting from my etsy shop here ($35 + Shipping, limited eidtion of 50): 

And today must really be my day, because on top of the instant sale, she invited my to join the co-op gallery she is a member of! The gallery -- Main Gallery of Historical Redwood City, is literally inside one of the oldest buildings in Redwood City, which is a lovely garden house. They have many wonderful creative artists members, but only two watercolor artists and no one specialized in florals, so it is a natural fit! Now I have to really speed up painting some pieces for their holiday show... I will submit five pieces of my work for official jurying process at the end of October. Wish me good luck!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Purple Hibiscus - Sold, and Something I Learned in My First Art Fair

After putting this one aside for a couple of days and work on minor adjustments here and there today, I decided that nothing I do would add to it further, and instead I am just "fiddling", which is a dangerous thing to do and may cause a painting to lose its freshness. So, I signed it, and pulled it from the gatorboard -- another one finished!

Purple Hibiscus, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, 2012 #44


I was hoping to get it done before the weekend, but was not able to because I had to do a lot of matting and wrapping for my first art fair event -- the "Meet the Artists Day" event held at the beautiful Filoli Garden. It turned out -- the event was totally worth all the effort! I had a blast meeting all the wonderful artists exhibiting in the same event, learned tons of tips and tricks regarding photographing, printing, making note cards and organizing my exhibition booth/table area. Everybody was very friendly and helpful, and I sold several small pieces of painting, including "Across the Bay"...

Across the Bay, 
Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 5"h x 7"w, 2012 #38


I made the interesting observation that most of things sold at such art fair events are items that are simple and "painterly" -- most of my paintings that got sold are very simple small landscape pieces. The more complicated flower paintings got lots of compliments, but not purchases. Is it the price? I did notice most of the items sold are below $40 - $50, and it seems anything beyond $100 tag is a hard sell. Or is it the style? Are people looking more at paintings that look more like "paintings" instead of photographs in an event where painters are exhibiting side by side with photographers like this? I am really intrigued. I have two other art fairs coming up in October this year, so I will keep on making my observations. What is your experience? Please share with me!...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Green Orchids - Sold, and Some Good News from Juried Shows!

I have divided my time between this one and the Purple Hibiscus painting, which is also close to finish at this point. After doing several layers of glazes on the flower petals on this one, I realized that the value between my subject and the background is getting very close, therefore the flowers no longer stand out again the background. So -- up goes more darks! I mixed in Brown Madder Alizarin and Alizarin Crimson with Holbein's Undersea Green to create a very thick, creamy mixture and painted it over the left side background, varying the density and color dominations a little to create subtle value changes instead just a monotonous layer of black -- it's hard to see such subtle effects in photos because the value range of CCD cells on most digital cameras are far inferior than the human eye, but when viewed in person, the subtle variations are evident. I was happy with the results and decided not to finesse it any more. So here it is!

Green Orchids, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, 2012 #43

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $40)

I've also received some more exciting news from juried shows -- my painting, "High Summer Dream", was accepted into Kentucky Watercolor Society's Aqueous USA 2012 National Juried Exhibition! The Jury this year is Ted Nuttall, an artist I greatly admire. It's a great honor to be selected into a national competition, and it's even more exciting that someone whose art you have looked up to actually awarded you such honor. I am really thrilled...

High Summer Dream, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 10"h x 14"w, 2012 #1


Friday, August 10, 2012

Work in Progress: Orchids and Hibiscus

Despite of my best intentions, painting in thin layers of glazes is a process that cannot be hurried, and I am still not very dexterous with painting wet on dry using brush strokes instead of washes. Therefore, contrary to the promise I made on my facebook page, these two little 6" x 6" pieces are still not finished, although promisingly close...

Purple Hibiscus, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, WIP 2

Green Orchids, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, WIP 2

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Work in Progress: Two Bird of Paradise Paintings (Jungle Fever Continues...)

I did keep my promise and stayed focused, although this newest progress of "Jungle Fire" does not seem to differ too much from my last update, it did take several hours' more work, mostly in the details -- darkening some shadow shapes, lifting soft highlights, cleaning up edges so that there is not a hard line in between various background shapes...  The paper is gradually getting saturated with pigments and now it's time to start that center flower, something I think I have been subconsciously putting off in the fear of ruining the good progress so far... (Here we go again!...)

Jungle Fire,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 8"h x 10"w, WIP 3

Instead I started the background of another bird of paradise painting. This time, I've kept my initial washes very light and watery, and focused on practicing wet-on-dry applications. The background it actually not painted all at once. Whenever I had to stop, I softened the hard edge after the entire painted shape had dried. When I restart at the adjacent shape, I wet the previously painted shape with clear water and paint with light wash up to the boundary. I am pretty happy with the seamless results. This one looks a bit more airy comparing to "Jungle Fire", which is the effect I am after. We'll see how it goes from here...

 Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 6"h x 6"w, WIP 1

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fire... And Ice! (A New Finished Painting, and Some Progress in the Tropics Series)

Life has been a bit hectic this week... With somebody denting the front fender of my little car, I am running between insurance, car repair and police station, so the painting time get significantly shortened, much to my dismay. I did manage to finish another little landscape piece -- yes, it is a winter scene. Regarding what inspired it? Well, well, this may be a fictitious quote but I'm sure every tour guide here mentions it -- "The coldest winter I ever had was a summer in San Francisco", legend has it, by the famous author Mark Twain, go figure. :-P

Before the Spring Thaw, 
Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 9"w, 2012 #42


(The truth is, I just love painting snow and fog. There a lots of room to play with wet-in-wet to create atmospheric effects in either of those, like the blurred tree line in this little painting...)

I also manage to squeeze out time to attend a one-day workshop with the wonderful artist Jeannie Vodden again, renewing my memory on her signature "multi-colored" glazing method. I promptly tried it out on the progression of my newest bird-of-paradise painting, and loved it! This method gives a little more control than my usual wet-in-wet technique, although it is much slower. Now I just have to figure out how to incorporate both of them into my normal painting procedures to the best final effect... Digesting a newly-learned technique can be confusing at times, especially if you want it to work with your old techniques instead of working against them. But, it's fun! The background is almost finished. I will put in the flowers tomorrow... That is, if I don't get side-tracked by other on-going projects :-P

Jungle Fire,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 8"h x 10"w, WIP 2

Ok, I promise I will be focused...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Work in Progress: Sun Dance (Getting Close to Finish!), and Wild about Tropics...

I've been trying to finish "Sun Dance" without rushing it, adding layers upon layers of yellow glazes comprised of Aureolin, New Gamboge and Quinacridone Gold to try to recreate that glowing, velvety color of petals on paper. On areas that a purple tinge stubbornly keep on showing up, I have resorted to glaze with Cadmium Yellow, which is more opaque and therefore have a good unifying effect. The biggest struggle is trying not to lay any layer down too thickly -- which makes the yellow look opaque and muddy. Yellow has limited covering power and sometimes up to a dozen glazes are needed to reach the desired color strength. It is a very testing process to one's patience...

Sun Dance,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 8"h x 8"w, WIP 7

Waiting for the yellows to dry, I've also managed to start several small pieces of tropical flowers. The one with bird-of-paradise in close-up, I've tried to lay down all the background foliage patterns in one wet-in-wet application, while the one with heliconia (photo curtsy: the wonderful blog "Digital Flower Pictures". Thanks a lot for allowing me to use your beautiful heliconia photo as reference!) I'm trying to go slowly and take the layered approach. This is an experiment for me to figure out which one produces the best balance between interesting abstract shapes -- which often happens when you let watercolor flow on wet paper by itself without much interference -- and the hint of foliage -- which requires more careful planning and application. I will share my discovery with you here in a couple of days, hopefully... ;-)

Jungle Fire, 
 Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 8"h x 10"w, WIP 1

Heliconia Dance,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 7"h x 5"w, WIP 1

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...