On a visit to my sister's this last weekend I saw a painting I had done years ago. I had given it to my mother and when she passed away, my sister ended up with it. One of my acrylics that I had forgotten all about.
More paint splashed on my watercolor attempt. Not even close to what I had in mind, but I don't hate it yet. I had planned on doing a very loose technique, but I always seem to tighten up and restrict the flow!
I found another fun site in my Internet travels. I came across it because it has good explanations of the the various etching techniques. The site belongs to Rick Lyttle and it also contains a number of his prints. He lives in Northern California and creates Landscape, Still Life and Whimsical prints that are great.
Here we go again. I started a watercolor painting as another learning/practice session. I'm using a photo of my son and grandson and right now, it actually looks a little like them. Just the base wash so it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
I have been working on a two block Linocut that, based on the proofs I have pulled, needs a lot more work. The problem with reduction prints is that sometimes, the correction you want to do can't be done because that part of the linoleum has already been cut away.
I found another website that an artist has put on the Internet that I really like. Again, very loose watercolor technique that I find so pure. I always strive for detail when just the opposite is so much fun to view. Cameras were invented for detail, painting should allow for imagination!
A long time friend of mine just went through the bad part of having a pet. You enjoy their love and attention for so many years only to suffer losing them to age. In that final stage it's hard to remember all the joy that they brought into your life. When Teri and I lost our last dog, a fantastic Springer Spaniel, we decided that would be the last. Didn't work out that way though. My son got an Akita that immediately belonged to all of us. Once more the cycle! This is one of the paintings I did to remember him.
I'm trying to spend an hour each evening working on small sheets of watercolor paper. Simple practice techniques. Different brushes, water bottle sprays, washes and lifting. Watercolor is a definite challenge for me.
I am constantly amazed that I can paint with acrylics and end up with something that resembles what I started out to do. When I try watercolors (which shouldn't be that much different) I end up with mud. These are two of my older acrylic paintings. Both results are close to what I was trying to do!
I have decided that my paining technique needs to move in a different direction. As I look at things that I have done in the past I can see that little is left to ones imagination. I work way too hard at trying to capture every detail of my subject. Comparing my painting (acrylic) called 'Time' to a painting by Rebecca Elfast, a loose watercolor, it's easy to see that hers is so much more fun!
I found an excellent website (blog) called 'Woodblock Dreams' put together by Annie Bissett. If you take the time to search through the site, you will find all kinds of information on Moka Hanga and woodblock technique. She has included a very good description of the art form here http://woodblockdreams.blogspot.com/2005/07/what-is-moku-hanga.html , and there is a link to another detailed description at the bottom of her page. Well worth the visit.
Linocuts are so much faster than woodcuts, and much easier. Working to complete a woodblock can take weeks, where the same subject on lino is only days. The bonus with wood is the fact that the edges of the cuts are much sharper and hold detail better. 'Say Something' is a print made from two woodblocks with reductions done on the main block.
Back to basics...though the technique requires a bit of planning, reductions woodblock prints are really rewarding. The fact that they also are a little less expensive (one block vs multiple blocks) is a bonus.
It has become easy for me to remember that whatever I cut away from the block will show as the last color that was printed on the paper. This print I named 'Devil Music' (best viewed from a distance).
I will continue to make attempts at painting a watercolor that I actually like, but working on different print techniques is still my anchor. I did this two cut reduction lino cut and then went back and hand colored parts of it. Probably the closest I come to 'mixed media'!
In an earlier post I mentioned how traveling in the eastern United States allows you to find so many picturesque scenes that you want to capture somehow in art. I tend to forget that living in Big Bear gives me the same type of opportunities. All I need do is take a walk in any direction and I can stumble upon great subjects for my art.
I did this painting of an historic old log cabin that sits in a large meadow in the east end of our valley. Acrylics again plus some watercolor pencils for small detail.
It has been a while since I've posted anything here. I spent a great weekend with my son and his family. My grandson is so much fun to be with now. That perfect age when everything is so new and fresh to him.
Jazztrax has shown some interest in using one of my Jazz series linocuts for one of their concerts. That would be pretty fantastic!
I started working (not really the right word) on my art again about nine years ago. Looking around my studio last night, I realized that I've done a lot in the years since. The fruit still life is a small watercolor I did that actually worked for me. The painting is an acrylic of an old house the I photographed up in Los Alamos, California.
In the medium of watercolor painting there is a technique called 'Limited palette' where the artist uses a small selection of colors. I think I, in my quest to try and learn how to paint with watercolors, have created another technique. I call it 'Limited Painter'.
I worked on this 'Monoprint' for about three hours. This type of print is created by painting and inking the design onto a sheet of plastic, then working the design with tools such as cut up credit cards, cotton swabs and painting knives. A sheet of Japanese print paper was then placed on the plastic and run through the print press. It is a challenging process as you never quite know what the result is going to be. The composition didn't work for me here, but I do like some of the effects that were obtained!
I made a promise to myself that I would not give up on doing this watercolor painting, but I'm being tested!! I don't know why I struggle so with this. After this scan I'm going to just put down paint and let what ever happens, happen.
I am determined to someday conquer my watercolor technique deficit. I continue to start paintings, only to become frustrated and rip them up. Many a good piece of watercolor paper has met this awful fate. I've started another with sailing as the subject. Maybe my love of the water will help!
My downstairs sanctuary is also a place that gets it's fair share of music use. Each year the high school puts on a 'Battle of the Bands'. I, along with a few of my teacher friends have been invited to close the program the last few years. We aren't actual contestants, just a novelty act I think.
We worked on "Little Red Rooster' last night, and it wasn't half bad.
I was cleaning and organizing downstairs last night, and I found a print in a stack of things that I had forgotten all about. It's from a copper etching I did and I was only able to get one print pulled that I liked at all.
This watercolor demo on Youtube shows exactly where I would like to be with watercolor technique. No fear when laying down pigment. He just goes with his feelings. I love it and hate it at the same time!!!
Well, I'm giving it another try. I have yet to figure out why I'm comfortable painting with acrylics, yet struggle so with watercolors. Trying this for a friend of Teri's from a print she liked. I'm making the attempt using the medium that haunts me so. The start doesn't seem terrible!!
A number of years ago I was on vacation and traveling through the New England area. I was lucky enough to visit a large arts and craft fair in Vermont. There I saw, for the very first time, an artist creating prints using the Moku-Hanga technique. The artist was Matt Brown and I have been hooked ever since I watched him weave his magic. His art can be viewed at: http://www.ooloopress.com/gallery/gallerya.html
I now try and have a piece of scratchboard on hand all of the time. When I don't feel like going through the get ready and clean up routine of the print making process, scratchboard is fast and simple.
Big Bear's 'Art on the Lake' art show is just around the corner. I had decided not to participate with a booth this year, but just enjoy the show instead. It has grown each and every year, and always has fantastic artist from all over the western United States. Pretty cool for little old Big Bear!
I studied art many, many years ago, then drifted away from it pursuing a living. Ten years ago, through a love for photography, I revisited my art and creative side.
In this new adventure, I discovered printmaking. Linocuts and woodblock work hold so many surprises for me.
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