Monday, August 29, 2016

A Project and A Class Report

I guess I'll start with the watercolor class I attended yesterday and report that it was actually fun and while I didn't do my best work by a long shot, at least I didn't freeze and was able to participate.

Those are tomatoes in case you couldn't tell!  We were supposed to paint a 'round fruit' and I forgot about taking something til the last minute when I grabbed up a tomato from the garden.

The first tomato is wet on dry and I didn't have time to finish it as it was done second.  The other tomato was done wet in wet and was much harder for me to do.

I was pleased that I was able to paint the tomato without using a sketch and I wasn't pleased that I forgot to leave the white of the paper for highlights!  

And I've been working on a project for my nephew and his wife that I completed today.  Both of them are just the loveliest people and such a ball to be around.  They joined us when my sister visited and we were at the beach and took part in the ferry trip to both the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks.  Anyway, they wanted a painting of the lighthouse on an oar and I've just finished it.  My DH insisted on cutting out the oar shape where he promptly broke the band saw blade!  After finally finding another one to fit, I prepped the oar and put on the design from a photo we took from the ferry.  Here is the result.

I texted a photo of it to them this morning and they both loved it (Whew!)  I also found out that they're going to have a baby and they want some bunny paintings for the nursery.  You know that's right up my alley and my head is spinning with lots of ideas but have a portrait of a beautiful Golden Retriever to finish first.

My dear friend, Tammy, lost her baby not too long ago and she wanted a portrait to go with the others I've done over the years.  This is the same woman who lost Zoe in July.

Although Zoe was actually her husband's dog and they only married a couple of years ago, Zoe was still very special to her and her husband both.

This is a hard portrait for me as the dog was a large part of my life for several years too.  Tammy and I have been friends for ages and I've been around her dogs a lot during that time.  Tristan was a real love and it's hard to think of him as gone.  I'll miss him a lot also.

So I hope I can do the best job ever on his portrait and I also hope the bunnies work out as well as I envision also.

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Bandits Take a Bath!

My DH and I have decided that we're very easily entertained.  It's been very hot and dry here the past week or two so my husband set out a tray of water for the critters.  Of course, the baby raccoons found it right away and have been enjoying both drinking and playing in the water!  We've had a ball watching them and I just wanted to share a bit of the fun with some photos I got of them.

It's always fun to dunk your sibling!

Bathing amongst the butterflies and flowers

The aftermath after the bath!
I start a local watercolor class today and think I'm looking forward to it.  I normally don't get all that much from a workshop/class setting mainly because you either just observe the instructor paint or are told to paint and are at a loss as to how to go about it.

I hope this class will be different.  I know the instructor and admire her skill with watercolor and I think she's the type who will really teach - hope so anyway.

It's to start in a very short time so I need to go get ready for it!  Will let you know how it goes and you can watch this blog for my masterpiece!  lol

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

More Play Time!

And even our 'bandits' are taking time out to play and to get into nischief!

I don't know if you can tell or not but that's a baby raccoon butt going over the fence to the vegetable garden!  The garden is my husband's domain and he thinks it's cute that the little thieves have learned to get into the garden as well as into the back yard in general!  He just feels that way because most of the vegetables have quit producing for the season but what about all the new and tender vegetables we should have next year?

Well, as I said, that's his problem but I have a feeling he'll regret not doing something now while they're little!  Grown raccoons can wreak havoc!

I got a replacement brush today for the one that I ordered that wasn't right.  And Jerry's Artarama was kind enough to let me keep the brush that was wrong.  I'm sure it would have cost them more to pay for returning it than the cost of the brush but it was a nice thing to do anyway and filbert brushes are my favorite for painting in gouache.

The new brush gave me an excuse to play today and I painted a great egret standing on a sand bar waiting to catch dinner!  I call it "Fishing Without a License" and it was something of a quickie.

Hmmm, the shading doesn't show up all that well on this monitor so hope it does for yours.  It was a fun painting after spending most of the day at, or traveling to or from, the coast.

My husband and I took three of my paintings down to Harker's Island to the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum for the annual NC Wildlife Artists Society exhibition.  The people at the Museum are just wonderful and the Museum itself is fabulous with lots to look at and learn about.  Last year was my first time there but Pam Morris, the Director, is such a pleasure to know that it felt like I'd been doing the show for years.

Anyway, the show gets underway on Friday, August 19th with an opening reception that is supposed to be like no other.  I'm told the Museum isn't satisfied with cheese and crackers and cheap wine but puts on a spread that could pass for a full meal.  The reception is open to the public so if you're in the area, you should make it a point to attend!  I'd love to go but it's so far down there plus it's at 8 pm which is almost bedtime for us old fogies!  One glass of wine and I'd probably fall asleep!

The show is supposed to run from August 19. 2016 to November 17, 2016 so hope you can make it sometime during those dates.

OK, back to playing with my new brush - I want to do some more painting before I decide whether I like it or not.  I do like the #8 round Escoda Versatil but this #12 is made a bit differently so I'm not as sure about it yet.

Maybe another new painting tomorrow or at least a WIP.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Time To Play!

My new art order arrived yesterday and I decided to play a bit.  Most of the order wasn't anything special - just replacements for stuff I was getting low on but I did order two new watercolor brushes.  One arrived fine but the other was not what I had ordered so will have to be returned.

Anyway, I did play with the one new brush and the following is the result:

As you can see, it's one of our little Carolina Wren fledglings.

I like the new brush - it's an Escoda Versatil and this line was recommended to me because I paint in gouache as well as transparent watercolor.  Gouache is hard on brushes and would probably destroy an expensive sable brush in short order - at least the way I paint!  This brush is synthetic but supposedly behaves much like sable.  I've never owned a sable brush that I know of so can't compare the two but this brush holds a lot of water and also has great snap.  In other words, I like the way it handles.

Ok, off to try it with another subject!  Hopefully, I'll paint something worthy of posting here!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Raccoon Update

For a while, we didn't see 'our' raccoon babies then began to see them again about a week ago,  Unfortunately, we found one of them near our country road dead but it did not appear as if it had been hit by a car or had been injured in any way. 

We saw three of them for a couple of days but recently are just seeing two of them.  We don't know if the third one is just hiding/keeping out of sight or if something has happened to it also.  It's usually just one who is brave enough to show himself consistently and the others have all been way more shy and secretive.

But I was fortunate enough today to get some photos before they both scurried up a tree and out of sight.  Oh, the trees they now retreat to are apple trees which are full of apples!  We had hoped they wouldn't find those trees but ------.  My DH isn't going to do anything about them being in the apple orchard though - he's just glad to see them back around again.

Without further ado, here are the 'babies'!

Will be busy for the next several days as the Core Sound Museum is hosting a NC Wildlife Artists Society exhibition starting the 19th of this month (August) and it will run until November 17th of this year.  I have the three paintings allowed for exhibit but am still painting in hopes of producing something with a lot of wow factor!  We'll see what ends up in the show but decisions will have to be made quickly if I'm to get everything down to Harkers Island, NC in time for them to hang the paintings!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Painting But No Raccoons!

Time certainly flies and it seems more so the older you get!

We haven't seen the little raccoons for a couple of days now and aren't sure why.  Raccoons are normally nocturnal and are rarely seen during the day time so it may be the little ones finally have their internal clocks calibrated.  Or it may be that some older raccoons have told them to find their own territory.  We don't know where they are or the reason they've quit coming around but have to say we miss them!

I've been doing a little painting with transparent watercolor lately and the following is the result.  An artist acquaintance is determining whether a watercolor class is feasible so I hope to learn more and improve if I get to take the class.  Here is a painting that I finished yesterday:

The color isn't quite as intense as shown here.  I took this with my old camera and it tends to produce more vibrant coloring.  I did try to adjust it but it looked even worse!

Off to take care of some tomatoes from the garden - I think fresh salsa is in order, don't you?