Thursday, December 19, 2013

Emerging after My Long Period of Absence... Some Fall Colors in Winter, Some New Finished Paintings, and My Last Holiday Fair of the Season


Fall Colors, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah,
 Watercolor on Arches #140 Rough, 12"h x 9"w, WIP 1

Finally painting again! From October to December the Atelier work turned out more demanding as the projects get harder, and I will finally start chalk and charcoal next semester! It has seriously eaten into my watercolor painting time, and the busy holiday fair season did not help either -- between getting prints and small gift products ready for the shows and doing my charcoal drawings from life, I did not have much breathing room in the past few months... Hence the lack of new paintings here and no update on my blog (shame on me...) -- but, no more excuses, I am painting again! Yay!



Quicken Aspens, Park City, Utah,
 Watercolor on Arches #140 Rough, 8"h x 12"w, WIP 1

Here's a couple of landscapes I have started in Carl Purcell's workshop the past summer (really? It has been so long?...) and like everything started during a workshop, they did not get finished. I've started five of them and the closest one is about 70% done, but none of these. Maybe it is just me -- I always feel quite rushed in the drawing part whenever I am attending a workshop, and was not quite happy with the hard-edged shapes of the foliage on all these tree paintings. To me, a foliage clump in a painting needs to have very interesting and well-designed but natural-looking shapes and a blend of hard, soft and broken edges to really make it look like "foliage" instead of just "choppy brush strokes", and mine in any of these paintings certainly did not meet the standard. 



Quiet Meadows, Sonoma Pasture, 
 Watercolor on Arches #140 Rough, 12"h x 8"w, WIP 1

Not to worry -- off to the faucet! Arches paper can really take some abuse and that's why we love it! When the paper is soaking wet and the half-finished painting is not completely erased but with a lovely ghost image left on the paper, I took out the reference materials from the workshop and started to lay in colors wet in wet. Then I let them dry -- and I've liked these altered images much more. Next step is adding more definitions on dry paper, which involves some serious thought process on designs. Busy paintings filled with various shapes and colors (such as these depicting woods, forest, undergrowth, etc.) really needs succinct silhouette of the center of focus and some quiet areas to let viewer's eyes rest. For example, all the foliage clumps in "Quiet Meadows, Sonoma Pasture" are too symmetric and similar in size, which  is a residue problem from the not-carefully-thought-out initial drawings during the workshop, and therefore needs to be redesigned. I will do some sketch to figure that out... 


Summer Glow II, Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper, 5"h x 7"w, 2013 #81

Sold!

Here's a couple of paintings I've finished but never had a chance to share with you on my blog. The first one is a second version of "Summer Glow"... All because I was stupid enough to want to repair a small smear damage on the first one, and you know what happens next -- the repairs have completely damaged the first version and the only thing I could do is to repaint it... I should have learned my lessons of not messing with a finished watercolor by now... Sometimes I really wonder what I was thinking...





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


This one is actually finished and sold to a collector in England. I just did not have a good photo of it -- accidentally dropped my camera and broke it so now I only have my ipad as a camera, which is seriously not adequate to take images of finished paintings... (WIP photos, maybe, but not finished works, especially not when a piece is flying out and I may never get the chance to see it ever again...) So I will be posting the finished image when I get my new camera, I promise ;-)

Finally, since I did quite a few holiday shows this winter, and the holiday fair season is drawing to a close, I thought I'd give a shout-out here for my last fair of the season... It is a very cool venue: I will be selling my Watercolors, Giclee Prints, Holiday Cards, Calendars and MORE in the SF Bazaar Zoo Lights Event at San Francisco Zoo Entry Village Circle, located at Sloat Blvd. & the Great Highway this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday), December 21st & 22nd, between 3:00pm and 8:00pm. So if you find yourself in the city over the weekend, or want to take your kids to see the animals in the San Francisco Zoo under the evening lights, drop by and get some beautiful, hand-made, animal-related art gifts for your holidays!



Especially for this fair I have designed and made some holiday cards (yes, they are year-round good but I made this set of eight especially for the winter season). These little ones are printed on 3.5" x 5" sized Strathmore watercolor cards, and a set contains 8 different winter snow scenes, with name of the painting and my info printed at the back of the card. I have named it "Winter Wonderland" and will upload it for sale to my etsy shop soon, at a price of $20/set. I also have the same set of a larger size -- 5" x 7" for $25. Drop me an email if you are interested in having one!

In the mean time, if you have an image of a beautiful landscape, or a flower you like, or anything you might want to see painted, please email them to me at arena.shawn@gmail.com. I will paint them and post them here. From every 10 paintings I make from them, there would be a random drawing, and the lucky winner get to take a original back home for free! Interested? Then send me your photo!

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Watercolor Beginnings -- A Two Day Workshop with Arena Shawn


Winter Light,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Rough Paper , 5"h x 7"w, 2012

I will be teaching a 2-day workshop at the Odd Fellows Lodge located at 342 Georgia Street, Vallejo, California on the two Sundays of 10/20 & 10/27 between 1 and 4 p.m. On the first Sunday We will be discussing the different types of materials normally used for watercolor painting: paper, brush and colors. This will be followed by demonstrations and hands-on practices of of four basic watercolor techniques  flat wash, graded wash, wet-in-wet and dry brush. On the second Sunday you will learn how to paint a simple but atmospheric landscape using these four techniques you've just practiced. We will also discuss the visual language of color, design and composition, with practices on mixing the rainbow of hues using a limited palette. 

Watercolor demonstrations, class discussions, one on one instructions and critiques are all part of this introductory class. I will also have handouts, color and instructional charts for sale, as well as prints and cards.

You can see more details of the class on the registration page. The name of my class is "Watercolor Beginnings".


Winter Solstice,  Watercolor on Arches 140# Rough Paper, 5"h x 7"w, 2013

This class is ideally suited for anybody who has never picked up a paint brush, or those who has dabbled with watercolor and want a comprehensive review as well as some new insights. You will be taking home a little gem of landscape painting and send it as a holiday card to your friend and family. Come and enjoy a comprehensive introduction to the expressive medium of watercolor in a positive and supportive learning environment! Here you will find inspiration, motivation and information to improve your watercolor skills.

If you have your own materials (brush, paper, paint and palette) you are welcome to bring them. Otherwise with a material fee of $20 you will get a square and a round brush, two sheets of watercolor paper (size 9" x 12"), a plastic palette with painted squeezed into them, ready to be used! Just come and have fun!


Braving the Storm, 
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico #140 Cold Press Paper , 5"h x 7"w, 2013

I have shown some sample of images of possible landscape projects in this post that we will be working on during the workshop. They are all pretty small (approximately 5" x 7" in size) and utilizes an extremely limited palette (mostly just Cobalt Blue and Quinacridone Burnt Sienna). You will be trying your hands painting one of them during this workshop!


In the mean time, if you have an image of a beautiful landscape, or a flower you like, or anything you might want to see painted, please email them to me at arena.shawn@gmail.com. I will paint them and post them here. From every 10 paintings I make from them, there would be a random drawing, and the lucky winner get to take a original back home for free! Interested? Then send me your photo!

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:







Monday, October 7, 2013

Summer Glow, Crimsonscape, and Art in the Park


Summer Glow, Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper, 5"h x 7"w, 2013 #79

Sold!

I was quite busy over the past weekend, trying to finish some paintings for the "Art in the Park" event held in the central park of the lovely tri-valley city of San Ramon. And the show was a true blast! Not only did I meet some old collector friends, gained some new ones, I also got to meet a lot of wonderful artists working in a whole range of media from monotype and collage to pastel over traditional Chinese ink painting... The quality of artists are the highest among all the art fairs I have participated in, and they did a fantastic job organizing and marketing this event, providing booth sitters and helps for setup/take-down for people who are alone in their booth (like me) for free, and bringing some quality collectors who are not only knowledgeable about the process and difficulties involved in making a piece of art, but kind and appreciating in their personality. One of my collectors even stayed at the end of the event to help me pack my tent, since my hand was accidentally injured during the morning setup... I can't say how much I am thankful to them, and all the other wonderful people I met during the event!...


Crimsonscape - Red Poinsettia, 
Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, 2013 #80

Sold!

"Summer Glow" and "Crimsonscape" are two of the paintings I have sold during the event, and I have learned valuable lessons from the experience of selling them: sometimes it is not the best practice to go full out to greet your collector and try to strike small talks with them -- that could totally seem too eager to sell and thus scare away an interested customer. Instead, respect your collector's personal space, and let them look at the art at their own pace, consider about them, compare them, and only try to provide information when being asked, or after they have lingered in front of your booth for a while, and seems a little puzzled and in need of some information from you, is probably the best practice. Bring a painting with you to work on is also a good idea, so that people who are collecting your art would have an opportunity to see how they are created, and ask you questions regarding your process if interested. Also, working on your paintings can prevent you from staring straight at your potential customers when they are trying to study and compare your paintings and make a decision. That kind of stare can make both you and them quite uncomfortable and at times can become a unintended hint of "Please buy something or leave!", which is appreciated by no one.

I think for face-to-face sales like those made in an art fair, we as artists get a rare chance of meet and get to know our collectors, and make some good friends by sharing our life experience and love of what we do, why we do it with them. If a sale results from such communication, it's great; if it happens that the pieces showing are not exactly suited for them, we can still plant the seed of friendship and possible future sales. The most important part of making and selling art to me is to reach out and start a conversation regarding the good things of life, the beauty and kindness I experience everyday, a lot of times from totally unexpected encounters and total strangers. I am grateful for all of them, and really hope that through the art I create, I can share such sense of gratitude with everyone I cross path with...

In the mean time, if you have an image of a beautiful landscape, or a flower you like, or anything you might want to see painted, please email them to me at arena.shawn@gmail.com. I will paint them and post them here. From every 10 paintings I make from them, there would be a random drawing, and the lucky winner get to take a original back home for free! Interested? Then send me your photo!

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:







Thursday, October 3, 2013

Petunia Done, Tulips Still in Progress... It's Almost Holiday Fair Season Again!


Rise and Shine, Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper, 5"h x 5"w, 2013 #78

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $35) 

Finishing up some little paintings for the upcoming holiday fair season, and my solo show in the gallery (more details in the next few days, stay tuned!... ;-). After completing this petunia, I thought it would actually make a nice pair with my earlier painting of morning glory... What do you think? Won't they be a cute little diptych together?


Fire Dance, Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico #140 Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, WIP 6

Can't believe I am still working on adjustments on this one... Sometimes I suspect it will never finish... I've darkened the upper right corner according to suggestions from you guys to my last update on this one. Now I am puzzling over how to make the center flower stand out more against the rest blossoms... Any suggestions? Please!...

A reminder to those of you who lives in the bay area: I will be at the Art in the Park event in the city of San Ramon this weekend. This two day event held at San Ramon Community Center located at 12501 Alcosta Blvd will be a showcase of local artist and artisan talents with live chalk art demonstration on location, and a great selection of live music, dance and theater performances. It lasts from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm for both Saturday and Sunday. If you are in the east bay - trivalley area and have some free time over the weekend, be sure to stop by and say hi!

In the mean time, if you have an image of a beautiful landscape, or a flower you like, or anything you might want to see painted, please email them to me at arena.shawn@gmail.com. I will paint them and post them here. From every 10 paintings I make from them, there would be a random drawing, and the lucky winner get to take a original back home for free! Interested? Then send me your photo!

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:







Thursday, September 26, 2013

Zen... Imprinted -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 25 (Something A Little Different...)


Zen Imprinted I
Hand-Carved Stamp with Ink on Nujabi Handmade Watercolor Paper, 6"h x 8"w, 2013 #75

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $20) 

Today I had a really great night with some etsy friends -- I carved my first set of stamps and got a little crazy with line and shapes. It was so much fun -- the printed image almost never come out exactly as the drawn design on the stamp, but the unpredictability makes the process just all the more intriguing. I have some handmade Japanese paper and I think I will give those a try next time... For now, I think these little cropped designs would look great in a double mat, as they are really decorative! :-)



Zen Imprinted II
Hand-Carved Stamp with Ink on Nujabi Handmade Watercolor Paper, 6"h x 8"w, 2013 #76

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $20) 

Today I also received very good advice from my artist Friend Kim Stenberg and decide to do this -- if you have an image of a beautiful landscape, or a flower you like, or anything you might want to see painted, please email them to me at arena.shawn@gmail.com. I will paint them and post them here. From every 10 paintings I make from them, there would be a random drawing, and the lucky winner get to take a original back home for free! Interested? Then send me your photo!

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:








Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rockies Sunset -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 24


Rockies Sunset, Watercolor on Arches #140 Rough Paper, 4"h x 6"w, 2013 #74

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $20) 

This little guy took way longer than I initially expected -- mostly to get the textural marks look right and not so contrived took quite a bit of practice on scrape sheets. I wanted to capture that last magical light of the day as it set the highest snowy peak on fire, and throwing the lower part of the mountain into deep, deep blue-green shadow. I love the dramatic quality of the light at such moment -- the warmth of the peak as it glows with yellow-orange hue, the cool sky behind it which is gradually sinking into quiet, somber night color, the strange sense of wonder, awe and anything is possible in the air... As I paint this one and "Moon Rise" (still in progress, hopefully will be done tomorrow), my heart was singing with the intoxicating high-mountain summer air I remembered when watching this magic happen -- a trip at the tail of summer to Colorado, a spontaneous camping trip into the Rockies, two days and two nights spent among the evergreens and aspens, watching glorious sunset and stars rising out of crystal black sky... It was then and there I start to understand why I love this country so much, and why despite of all the security and comfort it would provide, I could never persuade myself to hold onto a corporate job. Beyond everything in life I cherish this the most -- this sense of freedom and chance to be one with my surroundings, the most splendid creations called THE WILDERNESS. 

Born in an overcrowded nation I cherish this space to breathe and to be alone so much. Coming from a city of 30 million people, I know very clearly what luxury it is to be accompanied by no one else but the mountains. Somethings can never be forgotten once realized. Everyday, I count my blessings.

And you, my dear artists friends and collectors, you are helping me getting close to my dreams one step a day. Thank you. 

THANK YOU. 

(P.S.: Since this is a small piece I have actually painted to the edge of the paper, and if purchased it can be float-mounted, showcasing the deckled edge.)

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:









Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wild Growth III -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 23, and What One Do in Days of Frustration...


Wild Growth III,
 Watercolor on Winsor Newton #140 Cold Press paper, 5"h x 11"w, 2013 #73

Sold!


Today is a very frustrating day in the studio -- you occasionally (or perhaps like me, more than occasionally) get them and just about nothing seems to work. I started a couple of paintings only to wash three of them right off the hose, the new paper I tried is against everything I expect it to do, and all my drawings look unnatural and stiff... It's already late at night and I have nothing to show for today's work, while I have actually worked really, really hard for an entire day! 

In the end I decide to go back to the basics -- take a simple composition and just try to make interesting textural marks on the paper. I started three new and small pieces this way, not thinking about how to finish them, and just allow myself to play... Since there is no reference image, I just painted from my imagination, and perhaps from imagery have recently created or visited. The first one of these followed the pattern remembered from "Wild Growth II" and evolved into a field, the second one became a high mountain peak in sunset, and in the third one the sun has completely set behind the mountain, leaving only purple-grey sky and a faint orange glow. (I am still working on the other two so they will be shared in my post tomorrow.) By not concentrating on the process itself instead of on creating a piece of work that is "beautiful" to showcase on the challenge page, I was able to make something that I am happy about, again.

Perhaps this is a lesson I should have learned long ago, but still learning again and again everyday -- I am painting to enjoy the wonder of creation from heart as the foremost goal, not to compare to all the other wonderful artists out there. Sometimes, something small and unassuming is just what I need. Out of its simplicity lies what my heart is craving for on that particular day. Sometimes I do need to listen, more carefully...

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:







Monday, September 23, 2013

South Wind -- -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 22 (This One is Finished!!!)


South Wind Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 11"h x 15"w, 2013 #72

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $95) 

Today is a really productive day -- I finished two 11" x 15" sized paintings -- "South Wind" and "Stormy Weather", and almost finished "Under the Autumn Sky". Most time were spent designing the shapes of various trees, meadows, rocks, etc. in these paintings, as the shapes of these objects in the initial reference photos may well need to be altered to be made interesting. This is one of the things I consider as very difficult for landscape painting -- often you cannot simply put down what you see in front of you, not like still life and flower painting! It is certainly a brain-intensive day of painting...


Stormy Weather Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 11"h x 15"w, 2013 #71

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $125) 

This is the final version of "Stormy Weather" -- I was very happy with the negative painting of some of the light fir trees on the left side, as well as the calligraphy to suggest tree branches in the middle ground light colored tree shapes. I did quite a few negative paintings on this one, using the dark mountain shapes behind to set the edge of the middle ground tree that is being lid. The main point of exercise for this one is trying to depict dramatic lighting, and using brushwork to suggest mountain, tree and grass. I have certainly learned quite a bit designing those shapes...

Unfortunately, along with these good progress something really bad also happened -- I drove to the gallery today and discovered that one of my little landscape painting was stolen from the gallery. It was unframed, only matted and put in the "matted original" bin in the gallery, and it is nowhere to be found. I have left it in the gallery only a week ago after my "Meet the Artists Day" in Filoli, and now it's gone. I checked the sales records -- it was not sold; I checked everywhere in the gallery, and it was just nowhere to be found. It really saddens me to think anyone who likes my art to the extent of wanting to bring it back home would opt to not pay a mere $35 and choose to steal it. This just breaks my heart... I do not know whether I should feel sad or angry about such incident... Has it ever happened to you, my artists friends? 

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:





Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stormy Weather -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 21 (Sorry, WIP Again...)


Stormy Weather Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 11"h x 15"wWIP 2

I've been painting a lot of landscapes lately, and some of them are getting bigger than the usual size I work on. This one is not finished and now I have to try really hard not to wreck it! I've nervously stood in front of this painting putting on one stroke after another using a really big brush (the size of the paper is 11" x 15", which is not really big, but big for me) when it was changing from soaking wet to almost dry, and I think I've gained another level of understanding of wet water cycle on watercolor paper after this one! I am really excited about all the soft but definite edges I was able to achieve on it...

I feel very lazy comparing to all my friends out there who are really finishing a painting a day -- from tomorrow I will try to finish the piece I am working on again, and get the last two pieces finished! I promise... I think although this has been a great exercise of discipline, it does start to take a toll on me to paint non-stop from morning to late night for more than three weeks. Sometimes I swear that I literally feel my wrist is getting stiff! But, I do not want to be a whiner -- I just really admire those of you who, despite of all the other tasks and obligations in life, still manage to start and finish a painting in a day's time! Hang on friends, we are almost there!... ;-P


Stormy Weather Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 11"h x 15"w, WIP 3

This is what it has progressed to after more work last night and this morning. With three unfinished work going on in the same time, it was actually fairly easy to get a refreshed view switching back and forth between them. I think with a few details on the middle ground trees and some further refinement of the conifers on the left, it could be finished within a couple of hours. I will take extra caution not to get carried away adding those last details...


Stormy Weather Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 11"h x 15"w, 2013 #71

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $125) 

I think this piece is now finished -- I was very happy with the negative painting of some of the light fir trees on the left side, as well as the calligraphy to suggest tree branches in the middle ground light colored tree shapes. I did quite a few negative paintings on this one, using the dark mountain shapes behind to set the edge of the middle ground tree that is being lid. The main point of exercise for this one is trying to depict dramatic lighting, and using brushwork to suggest mountain, tree and grass. I have certainly learned quite a bit designing those shapes...

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:






Saturday, September 21, 2013

Under the Autumn Sky -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 20 (Almost Done...)


Under the Autumn Sky, 
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico #140 Cold Press Paper , 9"h x 12"w, WIP 1

This one started plein air -- around the Alviso Slough. When I am working on the foreground marsh grass area, rain started drifting in. Since I am working on Fabriano paper which allows colors to be lifted easily, I decide to avoid the rain so that the darker tones I have already put in the foreground would not all lift with the drizzle. I may have to go back tomorrow to finish this one, or, I could refer to some of the nice reference images and notes I took from Sterling Edwards' workshop (he is a master for creating interesting foregrounds and design tree shapes) and finish it off in the comfort of my studio. I have not yet decided what to do about it -- again, sleeping on it may not be such a bad idea in situations like this... 


You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:







Friday, September 20, 2013

Ancestor's Land -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 19


Ancestor's Land, 
Watercolor on Cartiera Magnani #140 Cold Press Paper , 7"h x 10"w, WIP 1

I don't think this one is quite... finished. It's missing something -- focus, maybe. I could rush and call it done tonight, but I really like the lonely atmosphere in it, and do not want to rush and ruin what I have on paper so far. Some paintings just cannot be rushed. They need proper time and contemplation. Sometimes you just have to sleep on it... (It's not an excuse for being lazy today, really...)



Ancestor's Land, 
Watercolor on Cartiera Magnani #140 Cold Press Paper , 7"h x 10"w, 2013 #69

Sold!


I think it is now finished. I am still not sure... I am happy that it does have the feeling of emptiness and loneliness that I often feel when walking in the red rock desert along Arizona-Utah border. I added the shrub and several birds circling in high sky to add to this feeling. But I think I still need to look at it for a couple of days to decide whether it is not in need of anything more...

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:








Thursday, September 19, 2013

Braving the Storm -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 18


Braving the Storm, 
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico #140 Cold Press Paper , 5"h x 7"w, 2013 #69

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $30) 

I've not painted many boats -- don't get me wrong, I really love them. Living on the coast and literally less than three miles away from the ocean, I almost come across them on a daily basis -- from gigantic ocean liners to tiny speed boats. But what impresses me most are the elegant sail boats that one is guaranteed to spot on a good sunny day in the San Francisco Bay, their smooth curved body braving the green-blue waves, their white sails catching east wind, zipping by at lightening speed. With the American Cup underway now in San Francisco, top-of-the-line sail boats from all over the world are accumulated in the bay waters, truly a treat for the eyes of those who love this gentlemen's sport. It's really about time for me to tackle this subject!

The idea of this painting comes from a stroll along Crissy Field (part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area), while all of a sudden the wind just started to blow and these huge, threatening dark clouds gathered from all directions. It seemed that a down-pour is about to happen at any moment. Suddenly a light-color zipped into my field of vision -- a sail boat catching the strong wind and flying on the water, seemingly oblivious of the coming storm, instead just enjoying the strong push from the wind that is blowing harder and harder every minute. It was just the blink of an eye before it disappeared into the distance, and I could not get out of my camera in time to snap a picture, but that imaged was carved into my memory, and recalled out today.

A lot of times, when we really looked, our minds are better than the best camera -- it filters and chips away the non-essential, and what's left is the most important and what attracts us to the subject at first.

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:









Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Beachcombers -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 17


Beachcombers at Linda Mar, Pacifica, 
Watercolor on Arches #140 Rough Paper , 6"h x 8"w, 2013 #68

Bid at My DPW Auction (Starting Bid $35) 

I had a fabulous day enjoying the brilliant summer light, cool ocean air and roaring breaking surf at Linda Mar beach of Pacifica -- I went out painting plein air again!!! (I cannot believe that I don't do this often enough, as it was such a great experience every time I do it. Maybe I should just set a schedule for myself, like "go out and paint plein air every Friday morning at 6:30", so that I can stick to it, like I have stuck to this challenge..."

There isn't any shade on Linda Mar beach and it is difficult to do wet in wet under direct sun, so I used a very wet squirrel quill brush and lots of water to dilute the paint, and did most of the painting wet-on-dry. I also chose a rough surface for the paper so that I can do dry-brush more easily, which is something that is not hard to do outdoors -- the underlying wash almost dries instantaneously, so you can put the dry-brushed details on top of it immediately. ;-) Again, not many people on the beach on a weekday (this is the time that I thank the universe for letting me be an artist so that I can get out on such a beautiful day and enjoy the outdoors, instead of being confined in a cubical; but then, the cubical comes with a more steady paycheck which I do miss! :-P), but a handful of sandpipers are combing the wet sand for their afternoon snack -- just the center of interest I need for this little study. I happily added these lovely little creatures, and watched them busy poking and digging around where the wave just left, immersing myself in their world for a precious moment. I am a grateful women, when I know I am at peace with what's around me.

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:










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