PLease enjoy my blogisms. . I am so fortunate to be able to paint and share my successes and failures with you . I was alate starter in the art field but became thoroughly passionate about painting in the 1980s so quite a few years have gone by in my evolution through a variety of mediums I will write about what I am currently doing so come on back.
"Getting Together" was inspired by a couple sitting in a local cafe in winter. Watercolor on YUPO, a slick synthetic surface which is either loved or hated by watercolorists. I happen to enjoy the challenge it presents.
Framed size is 16"x 20"
"Silent Warriors" came from our visit to China a couple of years ago and seeing the Terracotta Warriors which our granddaughter called the Teriyaki Soldiers.
This gestated for a long time and was under construction for a very long time.
It is watercolor, gesso, acrylic and collage on paper.
iYou might remember at the start of 2014 I was all set to celebrate my 80 year mark .
Well, lets review the highlights and lowlights so far. Cant believe it is September already.
Spent an enjoyable week in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta with long time friends, Fran and Wayne, who live in Mexico half time and Canada the other half. High livin' in amazing resorts as their guests.
Taught a couple of classes in Feb. Planned to take a break but little did I know what was in store.
My husband , Jack, had a stroke while driving. Fortunately he stopped before anything serious happened. No one hurt, minor damage to our car.
After several days in hospital he came home with me as caregiver and do everything person.
At that point outlook was rather bleak. However with care and lots of help he did a good job of recovery. Except for pre existing back problem. That continues to be a problem.
During March I had to adjust my plans for a show in April. Not time to do as I had planned so looked at what was on hand and put together a mixed media group of twenty or so pieces. That seems to be where my work is going these days. Show was a success . Lots of friends and clients at reception and sales were good too.
These are two self portraits done with Myrna Wacknov , master painter and painter of hundreds of self portraits in this unusual and amazing method.
Yes these are me!
Watch out Picasso!
Moving right along but not finding much time to paint .
Then came the month of May and our 58th anniversary. Wow!
At this point I went for a CT scan, following up CT and PET scans over the previous year.
Preparing to teach this class next weekend and looking through some past photos of my pastel paintings.
With thanks and apologies to Gerry Boyd. Thanks for being a mentor. Apologies for doing this class after he did such a great demo for our group recently. Just got inspired to do more. Guess I slowed down on pastels and did more watercolor during our years of RV living.
Will have to post photos from laptop.
Here are a couple of photos.
Here it is, the Eve of the New Year, 2014.
I am so amazed to think that this will be the year I turn 80!
Time to wrap up 2013 and make some plans for the next one. Not really resolutions as I never seem able to keep them. Maybe its just the word that is scary.
So lets just say ideas that keep life interesting?
For a few days I have been making notes in my sketchbook just clearing the clutter in my head.
Reviewing '13 I see I taught some classes in watercolor and mixed media, collage and did some "demos" for other art groups. Sold a few pieces. Hope as the economy improves sales will come. Hint, hint.
Taught on Celebrity cruise from Vancouver to Alaska and back.
Just love that part of the world, memories of childhood on the BC Coast .
Had two paintings published in and on books by North light and by Trish. Also self published a soft cover book of watercolor and ink sketches "North toAlaska"
Spent a week in Tsawassen, BC with sister Barb and family in January and again in September and "reuned" with gals from student nursing days.
Took two painting get aways to Murphys and Occidental, both small towns in California.
Spent lots of time with Family and friends here at home..
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.........
When I left off last I was preparing to go with my good friend Donna to Occidental CA.
We joined a group of artists at the Occidental Hotel for 4 days of painting and getting to know this quaint little town whose claim to fame is restaurants. Yes people go there to eat.
I did three paintings.
Saint Phillip Church: which I donated to the church. Hope they can use it for a fundraising raffle.
Vera: a boat I saw in Bodega Bay on one of our outings. It was cold and foggy so had lunch and took some photos. painted them later. This is being sold to cousin, Mary.
Sonoma Coast: this was a new experience. Painted on Ampersand Aquabord, a surface for water media painting. can be varnished and need not be framed under glass. Enjoyed doing it and will try this surface again.
Some of my paintings are now posted on Fine Art America
Originals can be purchased directly from me or prints and cards may be ordered from the Fine Art America site. Various sizes, surfaces (canvas, paper) are available.
Check it out. You might find that perfect piece.
I have self published a book of my sketches from various trips by car, RV, Plane and ship, from California to Alaska.
"North to Alaska" 22pages, full color, images of my original watercolor and ink sketches.
Available from me for $40 includes shipping .
A new book has been published by North Light Books. This is first of a new series.
My collage piece of "Charlie" was accepted to be part of this book. very exciting for me as I know they had many entries to choose from.
Just before my trip in August I acquired a violin from the Fremont Symphony to be painted by September . So I decided to use collage and some paint. Time was of the essence as they say.
I had saved a few papers with this in mind so had an idea where to start but no idea where it would go. That seems to be my way. Just winging it. It can be a bit stressful but do most things that way including cooking. Here is the finished piece. They have about 15 violins which will be displayed in various locations around town until May 2014. then they will have a Gala and auction as a fundraiser, so start saving your nickels and dimes and dollars.
Back and Front
Although it feels like summer' this weekend the calendar says we are well into September.
July went by in a flash with mostly personal stuff.
Getting together with Tuesday Painters and sharing ideas and helping when I can. We have a nice group that varies from 6 to 12 participants each week. All levels, different media.
Cousin Robert Ramsay and Maureen from Scotland, with her son Rory and daughter from S. CA visited the area. Met them in SF for lunch. Too short a time. Hope there is another time.
Then brother Jim and friend came for a few days to take over our RV and drive it back to Washington State.
Next our granddaughter came home from Colorado for a friend's wedding so saw her briefly for dinner.
August came and my almost annual teaching cruise to Alaska. This time from Vancouver and artist friend, Carol Ramos went with me. Once more on Celebrity Century. A top notch company. Good entertainment, good service and good food. Excellent lobster.
Only one wet day, Juneau.
Jack and I both had birthdays in August. Another success.
June was a pretty busy month .
Spent a few days painting en plein aire in the goldrush town of Murphys, about a two hour drive from here.
Son John was here from Wisconsin last week. Two of our grandkids had birthdays. Carter 24! and Hannah turned 11.
Three paintings were sold including "Fishing on the Li River".
Today I delivered my "Autumn Harvest" painting to the Harvest Cafe in Morgan Hill.
So honored to have my piece on the postcard.
Ending the month with extremely hot weather. It really wipes me out.
Here is the invitation for the show. Wish you could all come to see it.
My painting, Autumn Harvest, was chosen by the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society for postcard front and advertising for the Members Show to be held in Morgan Hill CA
This is a watercolor with some added collage
I have been fulfilling one of my items on my Bucket List. That is to publish a book of my sketches. This will hopefully be the first of several. "North to Alaska" is a collection of ink and watercolor sketches from my sketchbooks following the West Coast from Northern California to Alaska.
Having travelled this route By RV, plane and cruise ship I have had to search for pages in several sketchbooks and then scan them.
My childhood was partly lived in the Queen Charlotte Islands just south of Alaska, off the BC coast.
So the area has a special joy for me. The Islands also known as the Misty Isles are now officially called Haida Gwai, the Haida Indian name.
The book is now being published and will soon be available.
I will be teaching once more on Celebrity ship in August leaving Vancouver BC on the 4th for one week.
This is the cover painting.
My good intentions keep getting side tracked. Guess I should be happy to be so busy.
I had a painting juried into the Arizona Aqueous Annual exhibit in the arty town of Tubac AZ.
"Horns Aplenty", watercolor. had hoped it might sell but I got it back.
Fun painting from real skulls.
Have taught some classes, done some demos, Had a visit from Brother ,Jim and Barbie, his fun wife.
Celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary. Boy does that wake a person up!. Thats a lifetime. A good one.Went to half Moon Bay for walk and lunch at Sam's Chowder House, a popular restaurant. I had their specialty, Lobster Roll, Maine style.
Have played with various painting ideas. Few have been really been standouts. My favorite is from our trip to China last year. "Fishing on Li River" It will be in a show in June. More on that later.
Today was Flower, quilt and fiber show in Niles. I painted in a neighborhood garden for 3 hours.
This is really embarrassing. So much time has passed without a comment from me.
What have I been doing? A lot it seems.
February: I will fill you in starting here.
IPad is working and some of our Tuesday Painters Group have become quite clever with them.
My fave app is Value Viewer . I use it to check values in preparation for the actual painting and again when I think it might be nearing completeion. Easy to take a quick snapshot with I Pad and move it to the app.
Did I tell you I did a demo for Fremont Art Association on various approaches to collage? From the use of handmade and rice papers(washi) combined with watercolor to torn paper collage, no paint, using material from quality magazines which I scrounge as the only mags I buy are Art publications.
Standing room only I am told. Son, Tom, did a video which I have not seen yet . Hope to have an excerpt for U TUBE soon.
This was followed by a 3day workshop in March. Lots of fun but tiring for this old bod.
Also held a Monday Drop in class for a few weeks. Worked well. Averaged 5 students per day. Nice size group. Am taking summer off and to consider how much more teaching I will do.
Still plan to do the cruise ship gig.
Visited the De Young Museum in Feb and again in March. Jack and I went to see "The Girl With the Pearl Earring" by Vermeer. felt like I had watched it being painted after seeing the movie. Also showing were amazing etchings by Rembrandt and others as weel as paintings by Rembrandt and other Dutch artists of the time. Think many of the old master works were painted by candle light which could explain the darkness of many. After all Holland would have short daylight hours .
Of course Rembrandt brought us his well known "triangle of light".
The second visit was to the Annual "Bouquets D'Art". My first time to see this. very worthwhile.
A pre picked group of florists were assigned to do an arrangement that represented a painting in the Museum's collection. Pretty spectacular!
Also saw the "Girl" again as a friend had an extra pass. Then Carol, who was driving took us to coast. Had drinks and deep fried calamari at the Windmill . Yum. Did not know there was a restaurant there.
Am going to stop here and post some photos, then get back later. Promise!
I am embarrassed at being so slow in updating my busy life.
January was full of events. Came back from visiting family in Canada. Loved seeing my sis and her great bunch , also a few friends from nursing school days. We are all in the prime of our retirement days.
Bringing you to the present, I am teaching a watercolor class on alternate Mondays with demos and gentle critiques. Nice group. Space available.
Another exciting email this morning.
My collage "Charlie" will be published by North Light books in their upcoming book "INCITE:Dreams Realized. This is to be a book of mixed media work so should be really interesting.
Another first for me and I am delighted.
Now to get my watercolor "Horns Aplenty" off to Arizona and send in info for this new venture. 2013 is off and running.
Received notice this morning that my watercolor painting "Horns Aplenty" has been accepted into the Arizona Aqueous Exhibit in Tubac, Az. This is first time in an out of state juried show so I am pretty excited.
This was done from actually animal skulls owned by a friend.
Not sure why I have been missing for so many weeks.
Getting back to my last post about the torn paper collage: After sharing "Cleo" with the Tuesday Painters we challenged ourselves to do one of our local Niles hero, Charlie Chaplin. Niles is where Essanay Studios made 350 movies in the silent movie era . Quite a few were with Charlie Chaplin and Bronco Billy. (hence the name of our local Pizza Parlor.)
Here is my effort.
Cleo is in a Mixed Media Show at Olive Hyde Gallery opening this Friday with a reception from 7-9 pm.
After seeing and enjoying a demo by artist, Derek Gores I was excited to try his technique. here is how I did it and the end result.
On a piece of Fome core 16"x 16" I drew a simple outline of a woman's profile using a Sharpie black ink pen. I then went looking for a couple of magazines with good quality paper. Found two in our clubhouse. Then the fun and mess began. Tearing and placing various pieces of paper, then gluing it down with acrylic gloss medium continued for a couple of days. The idea is to pick paper pieces using values (lights and Darks) and variations as your guideline and creating an image of these. Now that it is done i have put one coat of gloss varnish over all. Here it is...Enjoy!
As I noted Monday I have seven paintings on the Pleasanton Art League Memorial wall through October 9, 2012. PAL is holding their Annual Membership show in the Harrington Gallery opening Sat Sept 15th with an artists reception from 1-3pm. Both exhibits can be viewed during gallery hours. WED-FRI, 12-5pm. SAT 11-3pm
If you are in the area please join me at the reception on Sept 15th
Delivered seven pieces to the Firehouse Art Center in Pleasanton CA. They will be on display until October 9, 2012 on the Memorial Wall of the Pleasanton Art League.
I am delighted that the Pleasanton Art League will be holding their Annual Membership Show during this same period. I will also have a painting in this show.
An artists reception will be held on September 15 from 1-3pm. This will offer art lovers a great selection of artwork from around the area.
My paintings are a combination of watercolor and collage as well as watercolor on YUPO in the PAL SHOW.
I find that more and more I use a mixture of media to achieve my goals. A little like the way I cook. Always adding some variety.
Spent some time creating and firing some dichroic glass pendants and earrings. All because a client asked for a pair of earrings to match her pendant. Easy, yes?
Not. she this material gets through the high heat process in the kiln it can change dramatically so it is usually a surprise. So its an experiment . I have a beehive kiln just big enough for a few small pieces.
Dichroic glass is to the best of my knowledge a material developed by NASA and spray on face shield due to its resistance to heat. They called it chameleon glass due to its reflective quality.
If you are interested in any of these pieces let me know. Reasonable prices and always an accent to your wardrobe.
Back from China for several days. Starting to get back to normal hours.
This was a Heritage Tour for children adopted from China and their families. Sponsored by the adoption Agency, CCAI, and the Chinese Govt.
11 days of hopping here and there. Tianamen Square, Terracotta Soldiers, or as Hannah calls them, the "Teriyaki" soldiers, The Great Wall, Panda reserve, a cruise on the Li River followed by an extravaganza at night using the Li River as the stage. This was directed by the same man who did the Opening Ceremonies at the 2008 Olympics.
Also a couple of floor shows, dancers, warriors etc.
Museums generally are places they sell things. Pearl factory, Cloisonne' factory, silk factory, terra cotta soldier factory(souvenir size), a museum where kids had lessons in Chinese ink painting and on the last day we cooked individual 5 course meals on woks and steamers.
All in all an interesting experience.
July not the best time to go there.
A country of extremes.
Too hot, too humid, too much pollution, too many people, cars and bicycles.
Little time for painting or even sketches.
But here are couple of quick studies.
The Elephant Trunk Hill and the Approach to the Great Wall.
Welcome to Grace Notes.I am a multi media painter and teacher with concentration in watercolor and mixed media artist.
I love the unpredictable quality of watercolor and never ending challenges of all media. I enjoy everything from realism to abstraction and experimentation.
As a teacher i know that every piece is not a masterpiece but each offers its own learning experience. If you paint do you remember the very first one you did and how wonderful you thought it was? That feeling is to be savored forever. The more we learn, the more critical we become of our own work and we never stop learning and I hope we never stop growing.
My passions and subjects, colors and techniques may change along the way but I hope my heart reaches out to you from me.