Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Watercolor Art on Rainy Days

It’s challenging NOT to be obsessed with the weather out here in the Pacific Northwest during the rainy season. Many of the “natives” don’t seem to think about it much, but when you have spent most of your [long] life in a part of the country (mostly Missouri) where NO weather pattern lasts for days on end (I’ve lost count of how many days in a row...rain, rain, rain)...well, yes, then you do think about/obsess about it. Or, speaking for myself, I definitely do.

During these rainy days, I am not motivated to go outside. In addition to completing my 2019 Creative Memories Scrapbook Album (which was a huge project), I have played around with several little watercolor art projects.

Since I have a few to share, I will take this opportunity to discuss a little bit about how I see “style” or “technique” in watercolor. 

I will say that about a year ago, when I first started experimenting with watercolor painting, I took note of the various styles and got in my mind that I needed to settle into one style as I moved forward with learning and practice. What style would be “my” style, which style should I focus on as I learn?

But I have now observed that many of my favorite artists actually use different styles at different times. That works for me, because my mood is different some days than other, and I tend to paint according to my mood. 

Here’s what I mean by “style” or “technique.” This is from my layman, non-professional viewpoint. I see two major different styles of watercolor. Again, in my terms, I see “detailed/realistic” watercolor and “loose” watercolor. Each of those styles has a lot of variation, under the “umbrella” term. 

I tend to be more “realistic” and not so much “loose.” However, even my more detailed work is not totally realistic (I’m not that good). Under the umbrella of detailed, though, there is a cartoon/illustrative style. It isn’t just dropping watery color (loose), but is more detailed, with a goal of creating an “illustration” of the object. The extreme on the continuum of “loose” styles is mainly wet-on-wet, laying down a lot of watery paint, and letting it run. Many artists are great at that technique. I have not had much success with my attempts at strictly “loose” technique.

Here are some of my rainy-day projects with a brief description of the [varied] styles.

I’ll share this one first, because it’s not “really” watercolor, but is using watercolor paints on a sketch on a Bible page, called “Bible Art” or “Bible Art Journaling” or “Bible Journaling.” I have about four Bibles I use for art journaling (eventually one for each of my grandchildren), and this one is on the page of Matthew 8:20, where Jesus is talking about the commitment needed fo follow Him, as He said that even foxes have dens, but He [His followers] does not have a place to lay His head. This is an example of detailed (or at least NOT loose) style, although it is not meant to REALLY look like a fox, even though it is fairly realistic. I mean, you CAN tell that it is a fox. I think?

This little chickadee is an example of detailed (NOT loose) style and yet an illustrative technique; that is, while it is not loose, it is also not meant to be a realistic version of the chickadee.

This black-capped chickadee (compare to the previous picture) is a detailed style, somewhat realistic, although because I am not professional, it isn’t exactly like a photo of a chickadee. 

This colorful little hummingbird is sort of a combination of styles. While it is not an attempt at realism, I used a loose technique to lay down the colors of paint, some wet-on-dry (paint on dry paper) and some wet-on-wet (paint applied on top of paint that is still wet). This one may be about the most “loose” you will see from me at this point, as I typically like more “control” (duh) than is possible with a loose style of painting.

I often use a reference photo to paint from. This is the reference photo for this hummingbird:

So, there you have my thoughts on style, and as is obvious, at this point, there is a lot of variety in the styles I use. Obviously, the more illustrative examples are much easier and less time-consuming than the ones that have more detail and/or tend to be more realistic. 

Oh well, it’s all enjoyable, and even though I am the type of personality that will always care about “the product,” I am also all about the process!

#watercolorpractice #loosewatercolor #realisticwatercolor #illustrativewatercolor #rainydaysinthePNW #scrapbookcaughtup #somuchtolearn #Bibleartjournaling #Biblejournaling #Bibleart

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Winter Day in the PNW (Spring on my mind)

So, we have been out here in Washington state, in our second home, only 3 1/2 weeks this time, and I am told it was raining non-stop, many weeks before we got here. It has rained non-stop since our arrival, for sure. It gets to be a downer after so many days with no sun. 

This morning there was a break in the monotony, in that it snowed for a short time, and some of it even stayed on the ground for a while.

Taken from our back patio:

And then the sun even popped out for a few minutes!

But I think I must already have spring on my mind, because as I was thinking about some easy watercolor subjects, I decided on a couple of flowers (and I don’t usually enjoy painting flowers—probably because I’m not very good at it).

#watercolorpractice #watercolorflowers #easywatercolor #springisonmymind #PNW #coneflower #sunflower

Friday, January 10, 2020

Watercolor Hobby: Being Real

So, sometimes I have to pick myself up and be realistic about my abilities (or lack thereof). I was feeling fairly successful, in terms of accomplishing what I wanted to do, when I finished the flowering cactus plant for my granddaughter. While it certainly is not to the professional level, still, I felt that it represented a good effort.

Then this week I tried another project, and it was an epic fail. So much for self-confidence. Yes, it was an attempt to emulate a highly accomplished professional artist, but my effort wasn’t even good enough to try to salvage. Trash can.

So, I told myself to lower my expectations a bit, and I followed a tutorial for a much simpler (easy) project. At least it’s not in the trash can...

So, I’m not giving up, not quitting...but, I have to be realistic in my expectations and accept that if I’m going to risk trying a high-skill-level project, it might NOT be a success, in terms of product. However, in terms of practice, every effort is beneficial (I suppose)...

#ladybug #floweringcactus #watercolorpactice #sometimeseasyisbetter #letsmakeart 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Granddaughter Heads Back to Mission Field

We were so blessed to be in our Washington home while Tory was at her folks’ home for Christmas.

We have many years of personal knowledge of the hello/goodbye cycle with close family as missionaries. We are thankful for the recent “hello” time that we were able to spend with Tory, as she came to her folks’ home for Christmas vacation. Last night it was time for the “goodbye” time of this cycle. It’s sad to say goodbye. 

But, our Priority Prayer for our grandchildren is that they follow God and are content in His calling on their lives. That’s our Delightful Joy Girl Tory. 

As I have been saying for [many] years: Their part is to go. Our part is to let them go. 

We are so thankful for Tory’s willingness to GO. We are so blessed to be her grandparents.

“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully.” - Col 1:9-11 (CSB)

#HellosandGoodbyes #ProudofTory #GOTory #familysupport #delightfuljoygirl

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Celebrating the New Year

We celebrated New Year’s Eve with Mark’s family at our house for traditional Hoppin’ John, Snickerdoodles, ice cream sundaes, singing, and board games!

Tory loves cacti, and her apartment in Mexico has some cactus decor. So I painted a watercolor cactus for her to take back home with her.

New Year’s Day we went to Red Robin for burgers and then to the new (last) Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. We have been to several of the Star Wars movies at theaters together through the years.

#NewYears2020 #FamilyTime #FamilyTogether #CactusWatercolor #FamilyBoardGames

Friday, January 3, 2020

Blessed by Family Christmas Celebrations

We enjoyed celebrating Christ’s birth with three family gatherings this year.

We hosted our Annual Sibling Christmas this year, at our Missouri home. Left to right: David (my husband’s brother) and his wife Janene (my sister), Russell and me, my brother’s wife Michele and my brother Keith.

Another celebration in our Missouri home: Our daughter’s family (missing Evan, in Texas), front row left to right: Me, daughter Sharida, grandson Dawson, my hubby. Back row, left to right: granddaughter Alyssa and her husband Josh Albers, Sharida’s husband Greg Green.

In Washington, we were invited to join our son’s family celebration in their home. Front row, left to right: Me, daughter-in-law Kristy, granddaughter-in-law Caroline holding our great grandson Leeland. Back row left to right: Russell, son Mark, grandson Conner Ford (daddy to Leeland), granddaughter Tory Ford (home for Christmas vacation from the mission field in Mexico).

I have literally hundreds of pictures from these times together, and I considered not blogging any of the pics, but in the interest of having at least a bit of cohesiveness on my blog, I chose to post a “summary.”

#familyChristmascelebrations #Christisborn #familytimesarethebesttimes #MOandWA