Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Watercolor Review

I'm throwing in a little watercolor review here, while I'm off in Maine...
In the window of the pigment store there are banks of display cases full of colored pigments. I've been wanting to record them and then come home and try to match the colors with paint.
First to match the pigments on my palette,
which by the way, is an old enamel kitchen tray found on Ebay.

And then to match the colors swatches on a test sheet of paper. The next step is to make a painting.
My watercolor teacher, David Dewey, used to say, the painting is first of all, set up on your palette. Get your colors down there first. I used to take pictures of his palette mixings.
Then put it down on the paper.
I'd love to select a few of these bottles and make a painting from just those colors...what's known as doing a "limited palette" painting.
Another Dewey trick - use dirty water to put the washes down on the paper. It's much easier to see where the water is on the white paper if there are bits of pigment in the wash. For most watercolor painters painting with clean water is like religion.
Here's a watercolor palette I'd love to have. A client of Wendy Brandes Jewelry designed this for herself using a poison ring bezel. Claus Oldenburg of the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, said he does most of his idea sketching at the dinner table. Wouldn't this palette ring be a tremendous help painting in Maine?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Escape to Maine again...

I'm running off to a refresher workshop in Maine with my watercolor teacher, David Dewey. Natch Yellow Bird gets to come along in case there are any photo opps. Here's re-cap of an older post I'm not really ready for Fall or back-to-school school openings. So I'm escaping off someplace I should have gone this summer.Up to David Dewey's watercolor workshop in Maine.
I've been 4 or 5 times. I thought at first, that since I'm focused on still life I didn't need to look or think about landscapes again.
Too late I woke up and realized of course, a still life IS a landscape!
A bunch of shapes sitting on a flatish surface = a landscape.Most workshop mornings begin with THE DEMO by the instructor. You crowd round to see the magic performed in the relentlessly hot sun.Then you go off for the day and try to perform a little magic yourself... The bay out my motel window in '01. Thomaston's boat yard in '05At the end of each workshop day comes the group crit.
You learn heaps here. I could use an end o' day group crit in my New York studio.

The real end of a Maine day ends with a Lobster.
If you haven't had a lobster roll for lunch that is...

Or for lobster aficionados, every meal should be Maine lobster...
I'm not taking my laptop so I hope I can post updates on all my lobster dinners...cya

Friday, July 25, 2008

DIY Framing

#161B High Tea, original watercolor, 9" x 11"

Here's a little lesson on framing a watercolor yourself.
It's easy as pie...wait pie is difficult.
REMEMBER to ALWAYS use a mat with your watercolor! 
The paintings need to breathe and should NOT be flush up against the glass or they can actually sweat and run. It's true.This is way easier than pie. Here are the tools you'll need. I use Nielsen Bainbridge ready to-go-frames (11" x 14" is perfect for a 9" x 11" painting). They come with a beautiful crisp double white matt. They're meant for framing photos, nevermind. Most art supply stores carry them or you can try online. You will need a small pliers, a screwdriver and Photo Corners to attach the art. By the way, ALL art materials used, including the watercolor paper are ARCHIVAL and acid-free. The instructions are on the back. First remove the spring clips and they can POP out so do it carefully. Next unscrew just the bottom frame and place it somewhere with the screws in place... Slide out just the matt - leave the glass inside the frame!
Than place the art on the back matt to your liking. When you've found the right spot, add the Photo Corners. This way nothing foreign touches the art like tape and it makes it very easy to remove. Place the matt on top to be sure all is alligned perfectly. Then turn over and carefully slide back into the frame next to the glass. Next screw back the bottom portion of the frame. Slide back in the spring clips. Et VOILA! Your picture is framed in a matter of minutes and minimal expense. The frame should run around $20-25. I hope this was helpful. If you've got photos of your framed Paris Breakfast watercolors I'd love to see them! Please do send and I'll post them. This is from Lori of Taste with the eyes.Sue of A Brush with Color - her Bluebird of course.. From Dmpop in Denmark...

From Sybil G.!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Green Boxes, original watercolor, 9" x 11"

Back to good friend GREEN again...

Imagine what's inside these green boxes.
Imagine what that greeny gateau thing tastes like- mint or lettuce?
Pale green lovelies from Gerard Mulot.
Chartreuse green from Gerard Mulot
An inedible but perfect green avocado Limoge pill box...
If you eat your avocados you shouldn't really need any pills should you?
Green flowers always have me stumped - they take getting used to - in Paris, I think I could...

Greeny perfumes = fresh and springy
Green signs make the reds and pinks POP!

And now here's a "greenish" recipe from M. Well the bottle of Sherry vinegar is green...
Plus you add these freshly-frozen Daregal herbs (frozen just 3 hours after picked)Take 1 tablespoon of, well I prefer Olive Oil to M.'s sunflower oil.
1 tablespoon of Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon of water (!)
Add whatever amount you like of the frozen herbes and stir in the bottom of your salad bowl.
Et Voila! a lovely light vinegrette. Try it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Friend Yellow Bird

Yellow Bird Studies the Croquembouche, watercolor, 9" x 11"
Yesterday Mushookie said: Little birdy will get fat if he eats all that!
It's Yellow Bird's Birthday,original watercolor, 9" x 11"
Hannah 9191 said: I love that lil birdie...I think he will explode...he is bit chubby 
Just to set your minds at ease, YELLOW BIRD has his waistline completely under control (unlike some people...) Even though YB adores macarons and eats nothing else, he counts his calories like everybody. Yellow Bird & Macarons,original watercolor, 9" x 11"
For your information Yellow Bird is a MAJOR PLAYER and TOP MODEL at PB since December 13, 2006. This guy doesn't step off the perch for less then $250 per diem.

Macaron with Yellow Bird, original watercolor, 9" x 11"
He gets TOP fees right up there with Angelina and Brad.This guy is top dog in the bird modeling world it just so happens.
When it comes to maintaining his boyish figure, YB has a personal trainer, who goes where ever he ventures, waiting in the wings with the requisite barbells, hoops, swings etc.

YB has had some mighty fine petit dejeuners in Paris and taken tea with the best!

Yellow Bird has petit dejeuner, watercolor, 9" x 11"

Still, there's nothing like a good ole plain petit dejeuner for this bird.No high falutin' ideas for him. YB is a regular guy.

Another Yellow Bird tried out for the job, hoping to get in on YB's gigs. No Go. It was back to Tiny Doll House for this birdie! Of all the nerve!? Still YB LOVES ICE CREAM.

Li-Lac Easter Egg,watercolor, 9" x 11"

After all, he's a NEW YORK bird ya know...