Monday, October 16, 2017

Morning Mist

"Morning Mist"
Image size 15.5" x 15.5"

I love the subtle colors in this painting.  I started it by using mostly wax already mixed on my palette as the underpainting.  There were oranges and purples, blues and greens.  All of them mixed together to make some really beautiful color combinations.  They are peeking through the more subtle subsequent layers.

Monday, October 9, 2017


Image size 8" x 8"
This is just a small water study.  I was working on a large painting this week so I didn't spend much time on my weekly painting.  Hopefully next week I will post a more detailed painting.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Canyon Wall

"Canyon Wall'
Image size 10.5" x 21.5"

I've been feeling sad that my watercolor roots have been largely ignored over the past year because I've fallen in love with encaustic.  This past weekend, Watercolor West started their yearly series of watercolor demonstrations that are offered during their annual international juried watercolor exhibition.  I am fortunate that this show is in my area and I look forward to it every year.  I didn't enter any paintings this year because I had nothing that I felt would be good enough to be chosen.

The first demonstration each year is my favorite because the juror of the show is the demonstrator and before he does his demo, he shows slides of all of the paintings that were juried into the show and tells why each was chosen.  What a wonderful education!  Of course, each judge has different reasons for choosing a painting, but it is still always good to hear what a judge likes.

I didn't really have time to attend on Sunday and almost didn't go, but I felt that it would be a good way to push me toward returning to watercolor.  Although I didn't stay for the afternoon portion when the juror,  John Salminen, demonstrated his painting style, I still learned a lot from him and am once again motivated to put watercolor paint to paper and use the unique qualities of those paints in a (hopefully) creative way. 

This painting was done on a saturated piece of paper.  One of the qualities that I love in watercolor paints that cannot be found in any other medium is the sedimentary action of some pigments.  That doesn't happen with all of the colors, but the ones that have that quality are among my favorites.
Daniel Smith makes a lot of colors that are very sedimentary because they use a lot of natural pigments which have heavy particles that fall into the valleys in the textures of watercolor paper.  My favorites are Lunar Earth and Lunar Black.  Lunar Earth is a rust colored pigment that is so beautiful alone, but can also be mixed with other colors to get that wonderful sedimentary effect.  I know using straight black in art is not recommended, but I use it anyway because I love the color black, especially in abstract paintings.  It can also be mixed with any color to take advantage of that wonderful textural quality that it has.

I used those two pigments along with ultramarine blue, another sedimentary color, to create a feeling of heavily textured canyon walls in this painting.  Other colors were mixed in and melded with the sedimentary colors to create this effect.  Here is a detail of the painting.  It might look more yellow because I just took a picture of it, but had to do it inside under incandescent light because the sun has set here.  Anyway, it shows the wonderful sedimentary qualities that can be achieved with these particular paints.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Precipice

"The Precipice"
Image size 24" x 24"
Encaustic, oil, ink

Complimentary color combinations make nice mixtures.  My favorite color combination is blue and orange.  This painting has various shades of blues and oranges, with the orange leaning toward rust more than a true orange.

I started by adding alcohol inks to the gessoed surface before I added any wax.  I wanted the bright, strong color not to move as I added wax.  Not much of the original color is visible in the finished painting, but it does add some depth where it can be seen.  As I continued to add layers of wax, I also used oil paint to add some interesting textures.  When I felt I was almost finished, I added a final layer of inks.  Then, I decided that it needed more texture so I continued adding layers until I finally felt it was finished.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Land or Sea

"Land or Sea"
Image size 6" x 5.5"

Abstracts are fun because they can be interpreted in so many ways.  At first, I saw a crazy, turbulent wave, but I was walking past this painting a couple of days ago and it clearly looked like snow covered mountains.  

What do you think?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Storm's Coming

"Storm's Coming"
Image Size 6" x 6"

My heart goes out to my fellow Americans that are dealing with these hurricanes that have been battering our country.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Light Rays

"Light Rays"
Image size 8" x 4"
I painted this small study intending to paint a larger version soon.  I love these colors and textures.  This is a combination of encaustic, alcohol inks and a small amount of pan pastel and oil paint.

Monday, August 28, 2017


Image size 9" x 12"

This week's painting is another acrylic pour.  I really like the feeling of texture that this has even though the paint is flat.  I think there must be a bunch of scuba divers just below this image causing all of the bubbles in the water.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Image size 6" x 6"

Although I wasn't  motivated to look at the eclipse today, I felt like I needed to acknowledge it in my weekly painting.  I did a layer of clear medium followed by a layer of white encaustic and inscribed the circles.  Then, I added raw umber oil paint to the circles and background. I wiped most of it off of the flat surface, added turquoise wax and some burnt sienna oil paint.  I like how the white wax came through when I fused it.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Moody Mist

"Moody Mist"
Image size 24" x 48"

This painting started out much brighter, but as I added layers, I found that I preferred the less distinct, softer colors.  There are probably 10 layers of wax and oil paint on some areas and at least 5-7 layers  on the majority of it.  

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