Red Tulip 11 x 15 watercolor on paper (quarter sheet)
Here’s another new one for the show – a red and golden striped tulip from Descanso Gardens, catching the last rays of the day. And speaking of rays, I’m happy to report that our heat wave has broken. We had dinner on the patio last night and it was 68 degrees at 7:oo or so – what a change from just a week ago when it was close to 100 at that time. Very weird.
I spent today organizing my files to make prints and I was astounded to discover that I have more than 162 pieces in my catalog – and that’s just the ones that I have a positive feeling about. There must easily be three or four times that many. Today was the process-athon. Tomorrow begins the making print and framathon. Eventually comes the sleepathon.
At least (I think) I can take some comfort in the fact that I will never have this kind of intense startup again. There will be more paintings to paint and frame, but the learning the ropes part, the knowing where to go to get this or that supply – that should hopefully be a bit more predictable and relaxed.
“Eaton Canyon Trail” 9 x 12 – watercolor on paper
The show prepping continues as I went to the frame store this morning and got some gorgeous plein air gilded frames. I put the paintings in them and loved the effect. Tomorrow is watercolor framing day and time to take a break with a visit to another art group in the region. I don’t know what the program’s going to be, but I’m sure it will be educational and entertaining. Today’s painting is in the same theme of looseness, wet into wet and negative painting. I’m having a very good time with it. Can you tell?
“Coneflowers” 9 x 12 watercolor on paper
Tonight was the meeting of our local art association, and we were privileged to see a demonstration by Fealing Lin, a remarkably gifted watercolorist who came to the US from Taipei as a dentist and reinvented herself as a fine artist. Her style is loose and free but it’s wonderful to see what she does with color. Unlike some watercolorists whose looseness seems mannered and almost formulaic, Fealing’s paintings are spontaneous and each presents a unique solution to a creative problem. She emphasized the importance of saving the lights and really pouring on the color, wet in wet.
I was so inspired by the demo she gave that I came home and painted this quick sketch of coneflowers, trying to get into that spirit of controlled spontaneity. Oh, yeah, and it was after dinner and a glass of cabernet. Hmmm. I think that helped.
If you’re in the Southern California area and would like a picture postcard invite to my show starting next week at Descanso, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Gloriosas in Excelsis” – 11 x 15 watercolor on paper
Not for sale. Prints available.
Gloriosa daisies (aka Rudbeckias) are among my favorite casual flowers. I love roses, of course, and alstroemerias, and lilacs, Shasta daisies, penstemons – ah, so many flowers so little time. But gloriosas are wonderful workhorses in a garden setting, as in this center planter at Descanso Gardens. They are long lasting either growing in the ground or cut, and if there isn’t too much cold weather they can even be cut back and coaxed to bloom a second year. Gloriosas are related to black eyed susans and coneflowers and they are outstanding in bouquets. I am still painting like crazy in advance of the show, even though I have more than enough paintings to choose from. But I know I won’t get a great deal of painting done during the month that I’m gallery-sitting, so I’m sort of putting a few in the bank ahead of time.
Hot Cannas – 11 x 15 watercolor on paper
As I get ready for the show in a few weeks, I’ve been painting numerous large florals which I might offer for sale matted, but unframed. This is one of them, which I think fits the climate pretty well right now. We’re having an extreme heat wave in LA at the moment, with high temperatures from 109-110 where I am. It feels even hotter with the humidity being served. The air is chewy, sort of. If you go outside at midnight it’s still in the 90s – it’s that hot. In that spirit, I painted some cannas that thrive here as long as they’re planted in a wet soggy area. I grow mine in a bucket – literally with their soil underwater. They like it that way – they’re bog plants.