Some years ago, I was on a tiny island called “Needle Island”, it’s one of the San Blass in Panama. Riding on a Kuna Indian’s hand carved canoe on Caribbean sea was a bit fearful. I must tell you though, that was the one of most beautiful place on Earth. This painting was done by a quick thumbnail sketch I’ve made that day. The shack, glowing sunlight and clear shore water was like symphonic poem, an unforgettable part of journey in my life. I tried to capture and record the feeling of isolation but the peace and sound of the sea at same time.
Title “A Rose For You.” Watercolor 12″x20″
Rainy season started just before I was about to leave Costa Rica. It was getting a bit cold in the morning up in the beautiful mountain, and feeling sad to leave my good friends in Aguas Buenas. Always do every year. I didn’t notice there was a perfect smile of a rose, next to the store when I visited my friend. So, I answered “Good Bye!” until the December. I don’t normally paint many floral or birds, because I can’t make much of changes in them, like I move shapes around in landscape or seascape for the compositional reason. And they are gorgeous as just way they are. In this painting, I tried to create Drama using cool colors on the top left against sunny side of where the light was suggested in the middle. That push back petals far so the highlights will be focused. The image was photographed from my phone for now. I got some good feed back from my artist friends and I thank them for all their encouragement. Art is a language, and it send message to viewer’s heart. I hope this rose will encourage you and warm your heart, as it did for I was coming back to Oregon.
God Bless you!
This small painting was done in study of good composition. Not En Plein Air. I was preparing for a class to teach in a cruise ship in Alaska. It was a successful subject matter for beginners and a few advanced students. 30 plus of guests enjoyed painting seascape with me at the first class. I used some lifting on rushing waves to create movement of waves. Right amount of lifting always gives sense of life and moving. I don’t hardly ever use masking fluid for that reason. Lifting with clean water gives more soft, glowing effect for me. Also, every brushstrokes used in shapes or lines were in relationship with other elements in mind. Sizes and length of lines are just important as well as shapes and colors or value. Thank you to my friend and collector, Cheryl!
This was painted in Costa Rica, thinking of snow scene in Oregon where I lived the most. I missed snow and the feeling of sparkling air in a sunny day after the snow.
Bougainvillea flowers are on every fences and gates in Costa Rica.. This was en plein air demo work at Exposicion “Por Amor Al Arte” 2012, at Dominical art festival in Costa Rica. A Tico’s beach house caught my eyes near by Quepos earlier days, but I didn’t get to stop while friends are driving together. So, it was one of those had to paint from memory. At this festival, I painted 2 small ones. Watercolor is not common medium in Costa Rica. So, many were interested in but I need to learn Spanish in order to share or teach them. Demo was a good idea! I am posting this one to share my thoughts, painting from your memory can be lot more fun and focused. We as an artist have such picture memory when something impressed our mind, not much of side track from visual disruption like when I am looking down from my patio through all different shapes of trees and vines etc.. You can totally focus on designing elements and principals, brush strokes, feeling/mood.. so, the point I am making is to encourage you to try design out of your memory. You will have such a fun painting experience!
This is another painting from Ventana Beach, Costa Rica. I used my husband and a friend as the focal point/story. The paper is Fabriano Soft 140lb, somewhat like hot press so I had to wet the whole paper in order to create soft edges. It dries so quick that I continue sprayed water behind of the paper. I finished this one in studio.
Painting outdoor is one of my very favorite things to do. Not only you are in the midst of beautiful nature and songs of birds serenading under the colorful sky, but it gives me so intense study on simplifying shapes in complicated presence of many subjects. So I must choose what will be my subject, first. And colors and temperature etc.. before I start my thumbnail sketches. Oh yes, I make lot’s of mistakes and messing up while working on short time frame, too. Plus weather situation. I wouldn’t know time to time. Sometimes, I success to come home with keepers, sometimes, it goes to you/PA artists know where. I don’t have a fireplace in Costa Rica. Lol. My techniques? For Texture, I love Granulate colors they create their own textures when mixed with other transparent colors. A palette knife can create textures and lines by scraping on different side of it. Using plastic wrap can do good job on rocks, too. And of course, Light reflecting colors create glowing effect. The crashing waves are lifted edges with clean water and paper towel, the last part of painting process. I used to paint on Cold press papers, I love using Rough now, hot press sometimes. This paper is Arches Rough 140lb, I brought them from US. In most of my paintings, I use only paints, brushes, palette knife, water spray bottle, paper towels. I will post another painting from Ventana later. “Playa Ventana” Watercolor 14×20 was painted at the beach 10 miles south of famous Whales Tail, Uvita. One of my favorite beaches in Costa Rica. Costa Rican beaches are normally not crowed and easy to park your car under trees around beaches. I decided to paint on a blanket instead of using an easel. I painted at this location for 2 days. There are some caves you can walk into when tide is out, rocks and sand are harmonious even though water is not deep for a long ways out. So, if you go there, put out a picnic blanket out under the coconut tree(be sure you are not right under the coconuts, they fall you know.. :)). Jump into the warm water until your first wash is dry. You will not want to come home!