First Local Fair

Today is the first time l’ve joined a Craft Fair in Vacaville and realize people don’t buy fine art or even cards at an event like this. I am amazed what people do buy, mostly things i would not think to buy. They buy Sensy from the booth on one side, walk by and say “pretty” then buy a net wreath or fake flower arrangement at the next booth.

Okay, I take that back, I just sold five cards It will be interesting to see if I even cover my entry fee! I know intellectually you have to get your art out somehow, but not sure this is the venue. The lady selling cat toys gets a lot more interest than my art!

If nothing else, it is interesting to see this cross-section of Vacaville! And an interesting experiment that I will most likely not repeat! Its for a good cause, but hard in a new town to figure out where to sell your art?

First Local Fair

How to change an art piece or what medium looks better?

Yesterday in our watercolor class we had the option of painting something with green. I had taken a photo while driving along the coast and thought this might be fun to paint. I am still struggling with watercolor, but had a little fun with this.

This was the piece as I left class, but I thought it was a little boring.
So I added, pen and ink and like it a little better.

This is the original photo.

Just for fun I redid the same photo in oil and thought it would be fun to add here and see what you think?

This is just a quick blog post to show three different styles of the same thing.

How to change an art piece or what medium looks better?

Trees in Watercolor

Back to the watercolor class today with mixed emotions. I wonder if watercolor is even my medium? Do you ever wonder why you are trying something new. I was told the piece was very “painterly”, which was nice, but I really did not like the piece. I came home and added some pen and ink to the watercolor as it looked to bland to me. I am having a hard time figuring out how to have more dark darks in watercolor. It is so very different than painting in oils.

How do you control the movement of the water with the paint as you apply it, so you do not get splotches? How do you get the vibrant color that you get with oils? I won’t give up! I won’t give up!

It is a class of beginners, so hard to learn from anyone else in the class. I am using the class as a reason to force myself to try something new once a week. Not sure if it is working, as would I ever be able to sell anything in this medium. Maybe that is not a good reason to be taking a class.

Trees in Watercolor

Back to Watercolor Class

When is a class not a class. I love taking art classes, (and cooking classes) but need to learn something new from the person teaching the class. This is a watercolor painting from a class I took on Tuesday. I am trying to decide if I should pay the money for the camaraderie, and know I am not really going to learn anything new. The teacher is delightful and tells other people how to mix colors, I already know how to mix.

What do you get from a class, where you are just given something to draw or bring your own photo? And there is no real instruction or suggestions for change, is that instruction. The teacher is very nice and seems to do fairly nice (standard) work, but there is not much inspiration for me here. To continue or not?
Back to Watercolor Class

Taking Art Classes

I took an art class this Sunday for the first time in the area. I admire the work of the artist, although quite different than my normal style, and I did learn some new color mixtures, which I enjoyed. The work is a little darker than my usual style, but I had fun.

One of things that I have learned from taking art classes over many years is that even if you really like their art and style, it is not your style. Every class I have ever taken the teacher thinks their style is the only good one. I do always learn something, but I am not about the confidence that comes with it. Maybe I wish I had more confidence in what I do, so I could feel that way too!

I learned some “sweet” color combinations, but think I am back to vignettes of my own choosing, or scenes I select. I just can’t get excited about either of the paintings, and I can’t sell them (legally) as his paintbrush touched my canvas?

The picture below is part of the setup:

I might have to try to do it again with a little lighter hand and see what I think. I won’t mention the instructor’s name, as I do really respect his work and he did the following in less than an hour.

I would love to know what you think of what I have posted?

So I decided to add my own personal view to the vase scene and this is what I came up with in about an hour. Would love input on what look you like best!
Taking Art Classes

Branching out a little

Moving to California from Washington it has not been easy to find my art buddies. It has been hard to find classes. I have finally found a few to follow, and hope to be making more connections. At this point in time I really don’t have anywhere to show my art, but in my studio which is luckily on a main street.

I walked down to the Senior Center in town, and yes I am a happy senior to see if there were any classes. One of husbands friend mentioned they had a class there. I decided to see if I could sit in the class. The teacher was very generous and asked if I would stay. She gave me paper, a pencil, water colors and a dried rose to paint. It was fun to try a medium I very seldom use, and fun to see what I could do with one single rose.

She asked me to return to the class the following week. Sometimes we just have to step out of our boundaries and try something new.

Branching out a little

Going to the zoo!

What is your favorite animal at the zoo? We went a while back and I have always been fascinated by Flamingos as they just seem outrageous! Amazing colors, weird shape, very long strange legs and a strangely beautiful face. I took several photos of them that day and thought I might try my hand at painting them. With their aesthetically pleasing neck and slightly different way of standing on one leg or occasionally two, I found it a bit difficult to capture them perfectly. I decided to give up on perfection and go for fun.

These Birds are Crazy. 8″ x 10″

It is fun in a kind of crazy way. Going back to landscapes or cityscapes for a while in the future, or maybe some big abstracts. I just need to find a venue where I now live to sell my work. Any ideas are welcome.

Going to the zoo!

And then there were grape vines

Living so close to Napa, makes it easy and wonderful to go wine tasting at a very wide variety of vineyards. One of my favorites is Crocker and Starr where they sell the Sauvignon Blanc and delicious Cabernet Franc. The last time we went wine tasting, I took lots of photos and painted a couple of vineyard pieces. These are smaller pieces, so about 8″ x 10″ and 9″ x 12″.
Trying to capture grapevines is not as simple as I you think. There is the idea of wonderful wine, the simplicity of the vines and difficulty of trying to capture the essence of the place. I added a little gold leaf to try to bring out life of the vines.
And then there were grape vines

Dancing in the Wind

Back to my makeshift studio to paint. This is 60″ x 48″ and is designed to hide a water heater. Not the best reason to paint, but any reason in my mind is a good reason. When I sold my waterfront home, I gave up my perfect painting studio over my three car garage. It was designed to have perfect north lighting, lots of space for storage and close to main street where I could sell my art.

When I sold it, I bought a small cottage with a finished garage, so I could set up my studio there. It was great, people walked by and said hello and it was clean and organized with lots of storage. I still own the home, but do not live there.

Where I live now, really has no studio. It is a wonderful 1912 California Craftsman Bungalow with a not so lovely 1912 one-car garage. I’m not sure it ever really housed a car. It is unfinished, has that “old house” smell, and it has taken me a while to want to paint in it. In time we may dry-wall it, so I can hang some art and hopefully get some shelves so I can store some of my supplies. I did order a lamp this weekend to help with the lighting.

Dancing in the Wind

After the Fire

After the Fire 12″ x 24″

Picking up and moving to a new place for half a year is proving to be an interesting transition. Definitely not a bad one, but traveling and hoping you have packed everything you need.

I brought a lot from my kitchen, as my new kitchen in the north is so much smaller and out of date compared to the house l sold. I do miss the view of the harbor when I am in my Washington home, but adapted by enjoying the trees (that constantly make a mess of my back yard), the deer wantering through and the smaller space. I finally had the kitchen of my dreams, but not the marriage. So the choice was be happy in the house and miserable in part of life or move on. I am very happy I moved on.

Then there is the packing of clothes. So very often when I get dressed in the morning I realize that I left a few too many things behind. When I arrived in California it was supposed to Fall, but it was still summer and I had no summer clothes. Thanks to Nordstrom Rack I found end of summer sale clothes, so filled in what was missing. (sort of). With the Pandemic having the right clothes certainly is not as important. I just needed a few lighter weight clothes and some T-shirts to get me to Fall.

Fall has finally arrived and I am savoring the weather and finally got a studio, of sorts set up in the 1918 garage. I got a heater, a light and have a folding table and one easel for my art. I got the heater after the first day I painted and had to wear tights, a turtleneck, a flannel shirt, overalls, a fleece vest, cashmere gloves, which I cut the fingers off, a hat, Ughs and I was still freezing. The heater has helped a lot.

The fires were finally under control in Central California, so I painted the above painting in honor or that and for all the people that lost homes, pets and loved ones. I usually do an abstract rather quickly, but I think I felt a little emotional over the fires that blazed so close. The painting was done for our home in Vacaville and seems to fit in perfectly.

After the Fire