Saturday, April 22, 2017

John Salminen Workshop

I took a workshop several years ago with John Salminen.  I haven't thought much about it until recently when I had a conversation with David Daniels, my watercolor teacher at Smithsonian Associates. What we discussed was the differnece between Salminen's amaszing urban landscapes and the content of the workshop, which was focussed on abstract composition. Above is the painting I completed in the workshop.  Salminen led us through an interesting process. We did several drawings of common objects and then superimposed them on each other for rhe compositon.  The paintings we worked on are full sheet watercolor, so they are complex. As we worked, we left a large area white.  The idea, as I remember it, was to introduce color in a gradation so that the darkest areas would be toward the edge.  In this workshop, we also used small collaged scraps and some black paint, including the lines.  I nalso loved the use of glazing in various areas.  When I came home, I continued to explore this process, and made a few more paintings.

I may return to this proscess though, of course, I will have my own take on it...there is something to be learned about making an effective composition.  I am still learning!  I think it is my biggest challenge.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Palouse River

This is my most recent painting.  It is a view of the Palouse River.  Everyone who has been there will remember this site.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Buty Winery inspiration

At Christmas, my grandson Griffin gave me a bottle of wine from the local wine shop, DCanter.   I made my usual "thank you card" based on the wine label.  I also filed away a thought to make a bigger painting.  This is it, but I modified it to make what is the logo and is yellow into an orange "orb"--maybe moon? maybe sun? maybe Mars?   I also took "liberties" with the sky and made it yellow.  Well, I do have an artistic license!   The winemaker is "Buty" and they are in Washington state.  Here's a picture of the bottle of wine and the actual label.

Size is still not that is 9" x 12"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Relaxing Under a Palm in Puerto Rico

I did this last month when I was on the beach at Puerto Rico, but didn't ever finish it.  I could fuss with it a little more, especially the sand, but decided to leave it as is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Color Challenge

Here's another fun challenge.  Make a painting in which everything is the complement of the local color.  So, green is red and blue is orange.  It was harder than I thought it would be, but I like the result.  Yes, the colors are that intense...and they were in the image I was using:

I felt the blue would interpret better as a "new gamboge" yellow than a true orange.  It is something I will try again.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Class Challenge

Last week, in my watercolor class taught by David Daniels, we got a challenge.  The challenge was to work from a sheet of black and white photos and make a painting.  We could use one of the photos, or several...or, of course, not do it at all.  This is my composition.  It is 7 1/2 inches by 22 inches.  I'm not sure what the animal crawling on the rocks is....any suggestions for improvement are welcome.

My plan is to mount it on a rice paper scroll rather than framing it.

Below  is a photo of the handout I used as inspiration.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


I haven't posted to this blog in awhile, but plan to get back into doing it more regularly.  I have been taking watercolor classes from David Daniels through Smithsonian Associates.  You can learn more about him at  His teaching style is just right for me.  We begin with a critique of the work we've been doing since the last class,then David does a demonstration of techniques and ideas.  The rest of the time (2 1/2 hours) is spent painting.  David makes time to visit with everyone and is sensitive to who needs more advice and who should just go with it.  The class is fairly large, but he makes time for everyone.

David's inspired me to take some risks with my work, and here's an example.  In this one, I did a non-representational wash and glazed another non-representation wash over it.  I then thought about what it could be and decided a path would work and sketched it out.  I used frisket in some places and then did the painting.  It has lots of layers.  I like the "spirit" of it and will do this again, though I am not very happy with my use of frisket.  It was fun, and my plan is to make more art posts on this blog.  I have been doing it on Facebook, but the blog format gives me a history of only the art....not the other stuff.