White on White with Hoisin Sauce

This is a small watercolor painting done as a quick demo in one of this week's classes. I set up a rather busy still life (very edited here) of white objects with one dark object in the forefront. The challenge was to show the white objects as white, but to balance the values in the painting to make the darker bottle of hoisin sauce fit in without being the only object that we notice in the painting. I wish I had photo shop so I could take out the red background and try some other colors and values. I think maybe putting that red background in was too obvious a balance. Maybe I should have matched the value, but not the color.

My students did a great job with this. At first they were a little frustrated, and they fussed and sputtered, but then they turned out some really good paintings - very individual and personal styles.


The above is a very simple mono-print with watercolor.

It seems to be the time of year for distractions. Why does this always happen to artists? I don't really know about the rest of the country, but in Northern Michigan, winter can be pretty much our down-time. Classes slow down to a couple a week instead of the summer schedule of a couple a day. Painting on location is limited to visits to warmer climates (not happening), shows and art fairs are non-existent. So there's this little thing in our brains that says, "Don't worry. You have plenty of time. That time-table you worked out to make sure you'd be ready for summer? You don't really have to take that seriously".

I have been working on commissions. So, see, that's pretty constructive. I have been playing around a little with some mono-prints. That is not all that constructive, but it is creative. I'm not sure I can wrap my brain around the process enough to tell you what it is all about - or even if you want to know! It's not that I'm that dumb - I am just very hungry right now. If you really want to know, Belinda Del Pesco is the queen of mono-prints, mono-types, block prints ETC.

And then I came across this little "game" on someone's blog. You google your first name and the word "needs", as in "Catherine needs", then list the first ten that come up. I thought "this is silly!" but of course I had to try it. And of course I had to share it with you in case you are avoiding your to-do list too.
1.Catherine needs a sanctuary, periodic retreat from the world. Yep.
2.Catherine needs another yacht! Catherine needs her rowboat repaired.
Catherine needs a lifestyle that allows her to be spontaneous. Okay, yeah. Someone finally recognizes this!
Catherine needs to get back to Charlie. Charlie. Mmmm. I don't remember any Charlie.
Catherine needs to put her everyday chair in the car when she drives. I certainly don't know what to say here.
Catherine needs a pick-me-up. Sure - after getting that chair in the car. . .
Catherine needs to make sure and explain the death of Michaela's mother. Well, I don't know Michaela, and I didn't know her mother either, but I'll see what I can find out and get back to you.
Catherine needs to grow up and become a woman. No, I don't think so - then I'd have to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Too much pressure.
Catherine needs to develop her dramatic acting skills. Ask my family, I think I've done that.
Catherine needs a good man. Catherine HAS a good man!!!