Cottages Along the Lane

A Cluster of Cottage Rooftops
This is a small demo from a recent class; another demonstration promoting simplicity.  Everyone always teases me about the "technical terms" I use.  In this lesson I was stressing "swooping"  -  as in " just swoop through with a medium blue for the sky, trees, and shadows, and then go back and green things up and get in a little detail.  Done."

I have a few things I'm working on as I  gear up for summer.  I have some deadlines, promotion for summer classes, house projects  .  .  .   I like to think of it as gearing up  -  not panicking.  Why does it all feel so immediate?  If it's on the calendar, it has a place in time, so what's the big deal?

The sun is shining today, and it is up to 50 degrees.  Maybe I'll just shuffle some stuff around on my calendar and do some outdoor work.  Nothing is written in stone.  That's the problem  -  too much shuffling.

Hope you're all having a good weekend!  Whatever you are doing, do you have your sketchbook with you?


First Class of a New Session

Watercolor Demo
This was a quick little watercolor sketch done in class this morning.  It's about 6.5 X 5.  I'm working on a summer cottage theme, using a porch from one cottage, a screen door from another etc.  The painting is more or less a sketch to see how my colors will balance.

In the top right corner is a thumbnail sketch that I was working from.  My students really fight the thumbnail sketch idea.  I keep telling them that once they have the composition and darks and lights planned out, the painting will just fall off their brushes.  The thumbnail should be no more than two inches and take no more than two minutes.  Easy, huh?  Of course, sometimes I have to do a million thumbnails before I can get to the painting.

It has been cold, rainy, snowy  -  yuck.  But the trees are beginning to bloom, the grass is very green, and the birds are singing.  We'll be okay.

We've been painting the quirky floor in our living room.  The whole house was completely disrupted by the stuff from that room being shoved into every available space all over the house.  Isn't it amazing how much stuff you can have in one room?!  I really got to liking my favorite chair in the kitchen.  I was beginning to feel like we were on an episode of the Hoarders.  We had a little corner of the dining room table to eat on, we could sit on the couch if we squeezed between stacks of stuff,  and if I sat in my comfy chair displaced to the kitchen, I had no place to put my feet.  Yesterday morning I was beginning to feel a little dazed and displaced myself.  In fact, when my husband left for work, instead of his usual "Love ya. See you tonight", he said, "Don't operate any heavy equipment."   The house is back together now, and so am I.

Blogger has changed its format, and the photo editing site I have used for years is going away tomorrow.  I'm cool with all that.  I can handle change. It'll be fine.  I don't care.



  © Brian Crane, dist. by The Washington Post Writers Group - All Rights Reserved.

My friend Marj. sent this, feeling that it's very appropriate after yesterday's post about "softening the edges".  Perfect.  I'm not sure how copyright works  -  hope it's just a matter of giving credit where credit is due  -  to Brian Crane and the Washington Post Writers Group, that is.  I don't think Marj. will care.


Blob and Smush

Blob and Smush Demo
I haven't been practicing what I preach; I haven't been letting my life inspire my art, and my art inspire my life.  I have been "grubbing" through things and painting walls, woodwork and trim.  That's about it.

This painting is a small demo done in class today.  Blob and smush (sounds like push) is all about softening the edges.  You "blob" on the color, and then "smush" it down by drawing a damp brush just under the color.  It keeps flowers from looking too much like "cut and paste"  I paint the bright color of the flowers first, soften the color down the paper a bit (smush), and then add some green  -  being careful not to let too much of the green run up into the red (a little red is okay to run into the green).

Now I think I'll go out into the world.  The sun is shining, but it is cold  -  41 degrees.  The grass is very green, the forsythia is blooming, and the Bay is very blue.  Nice. If I go out into the world, I should take my sketchbook  -  it hasn't been out in awhile.

Hope all is well with all of you.  Have you been painting?