Art Adventures

Posts tagged ‘Daniel Smith Watercolors’

What does the word game Bananagrams share with an artistic journey? Bananagrams can be like art (or life?) in that sometimes you have to re-scramble what you have and create something new. The goal in the word game is to use every letter tile in your possession and assemble them into interconnecting words. At times, in order to use every last tile, you need to take apart the words you’ve connected and assemble them differently. Other times, you may need to discard a tile back into the drawing pile in the hopes of drawing a better letter. I’ve played plenty of Bananagrams lately, both with my boys over the holiday season, and with art.

How do you play Bananagrams with art, you ask? Experimenting, then selectively choosing what works and what doesn’t. Discarding techniques that don’t feel right, and re-evaluating/re-assembling those that do. Let’s say you’ve been painting in a realistic style for a while, when it becomes apparent you need to change things up. Realistic styles may be better suited to some artists, but maybe you are needing a different message. Impressionistic work, with vibrant colors might fit. So you try it out and experience an exhilarating “aha!” moment. This, THIS is what you’ve been waiting for!

My artwork has gone through major changes. For many years, my transparent watercolor paintings were traditional, realistic portraits on 140# cold-pressed paper. Every eyelash, hair, wrinkle, and detail was depicted on a muted, deeply washed background.

Why would I change the above style? It works, doesn’t it? It did, but as time and circumstances change, so does a person’s art, or reason for creating art.

Creating art is a continuing journey, and artists find themselves through experimentation of styles, media, themes, and technique, ideally narrowing these down to a bounty of work that speaks the artist’s message clearly and cohesively. It is a natural, tried and true method of becoming a successful artist.

In 2013, because of changing circumstances in my life, I no longer chose to paint in a realistic manner. Although I still painted with watercolors, I changed my surface on which I painted, along with my style, my theme, and my palette. An abrupt change like this is not for the faint-hearted. Sure, it’s invigorating and challenging, but can be frustrating, scary, and takes time.

During the resulting three-year experimentation, I tried several styles.

Wishes, 20x16, $750

Impressionistic style with vibrant hues

I enjoyed painting almost all of them, and liked them initially, but eventually noticed they didn’t fit what I was trying to say. The painting above, for instance, is bright and impressionistic, but felt jarring and didn’t convey the serene beauty of the connection between the girls. I knew I needed to try something different. After many months and many more paintings, I stumbled upon semi-abstract landscapes. I taught myself the technique.

Soon after, I realized my recent paintings had been about inner strength and power. True grit, introspection, steeling yourself for battle, having tenacity, and calming the soul with those inner powers. These themes reoccur frequently in my life and I feel they resonate with many people. I decided to focus on that idea as a central theme in my new work.

In 2017, I’m challenging myself to build a solid, cohesive body of work, necessary to becoming a successful artist. In that vein, I’m working hard to develop artwork that collectors can easily identify, central around the theme of inner strength. To do so, I’m focusing on the following 6 criteria, on the advice of renowned gallery owner and writer, Jason Horejs:

  1. Subject Matter: Landscapes
  2. Style: Semi-Abstract
  3. Theme: Strength, Serenity, and Inner Power
  4. Palette: Neutrals with areas of saturated hue
  5. Medium: Watercolor and Gouache on Plexiglas
  6. Presentation: Float frames, wax coating

Since September, 2016, you have seen the new direction in my work. The choice I’ve made to paint landscapes in a semi-abstract manner feeds a theme of inner strength and calm more appropriately than does a literal, realistic painting. Strangely enough, it’s much more difficult for me to paint in a semi-abstract manner than it is to paint realistically. There are so many decisions to make on how to fill the space. The process is challenging, intuitive, and engaging.

Here is an example of my new direction, and, coincidentally, my first painting of 2017:

The Source, 16x32, watercolor and mixed media on Plexiglas

The Source, 16×32, original watercolor and mixed media on Plexiglas

What is SO COOL about this painting is that the mountains are created around a long strand of netting, which flows down into the foreground, creating a gully or river. There is a feeling of power, strength, and fortitude through use of color and composition. “The Source” implies both the source of water, and an inner source of strength.

Choices, detail

The Source, detail

Paper squares, string, and tissue are layered into the gesso base to give the painting an amazing texture. Plus, look at those COLORS! Yum. Neutral with a pop of saturated blues and oranges. This is what I love about my “new” style. It has more imagination, more power, freedom, and suggestion. I feel like I can sit and look at the work for days, seeing something new every time.

Playing Bananagrams with my artwork, i.e., completely changing my style in 2014, then tossing out what didn’t work, keeping what did, and embracing semi-abstract neutral landscapes, has proven to be a challenging, meaningful change. Follow me this year and see where I go!!

Enjoy the new work, and check it out at Tumalo Art Company, Hood Avenue Art, and other venues. The Source and other new work is currently installed at North Soles Footwear in downtown Bend, OR.

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and events! Contact me to receive my newsletter so that we can meet at showings and to receive notifications about classes. I am planning an upcoming workshop on Textured Watercolors in February, 2017. Let me know if you would be interested in the 2-day class. Every one of my paintings is available as a print, and I sell signed greeting cards of all my images.

 

 

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I had so much fun at the Willamette Valley last weekend! After hiking the Silverton Falls (10 falls, 7 miles…we shortened our hike and had 5 falls in 5 miles…gorgeous), we toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s Gordon House (my favorite architect of all time…what a treat), then managed to fit in a stop at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm before calling it a day…yep, all that in ONE day, and heading back to our VRBO in McMinnville.

I was somewhat amazed (and a little disgusted, frankly) at the commercialism of the Wooden Shoe. I had different visions of a quiet, peaceful field of tulips, but instead, there were inflatable kid toys, bungee jumping, rides through the tulips on a “train”, a hot air balloon, you name it. But for my purposes, we headed straight into the fields, where I managed to shoot about 200 photos of tulips and people in the tulips. It was incredibly beautiful.

You will see several paintings from this trip, but the first one I had to do was this one, a man on a bike, riding through the field. PERFECT! I took several shots of him. He seemed to be leisurely poking along, glancing down at the flowers every now and again, clearly out for a casual ride to see the sights.

First wash of teal and yellow

First wash of teal and yellow

String, paper squares, produce netting and scribbles dance in the canvas, providing a crazy, fun background for the tulip colors.

Details:

Tulip guy detail 1

In the background, I suggested trees and a distant field of pink flowers. You can see the squares of paper, produce netting grid, and string

Tulip guy detail 2

Up close of Mr. Tulip Guy, where there is gridded pattern of netting and paper squares as well as a fruit tree in the background.

Tulip guy detail 3

Here is a detailed view of the bike, with string, painted grids, and paper collage. As you can see, the flowers are not painted as such, but suggested by mass and color.

Finished original on Plexiglas! One of my favorite areas is the background, where it seems a little surreal, or suggestive of trees, clouds, and haze. This turned out to be a fabulous painting!! It strikes the perfect mood.

Petals, 20x16, $750 original watercolor and mixed media on Plexiglas

Petals, 20×16, $750 original watercolor and mixed media on Plexiglas

The question was…Petals? Or Pedals for my title. After some deliberation, I decided on Petals. Why? Not sure, other than that I just love the flowers.

Cheers!

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals! Contact me to receive my newsletter so that you see me at showings and receive notifications about SB Hansen Watercolor & Wine Painting Classes. Every one of my paintings is available as a print, and I sell signed greeting cards of all my images.

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There must be contrast for interest. Really. If life/art/people/etc. were all just the same, we would find ourselves uninspired and bored. Ethnicity, culture, race, skin color, height, houses, food, personalities, paintings; if it were all the same, where would be be? I shudder to think. The blandness of sheer repetition would cause dullness of the senses.

And so it occurred to me this past weekend when I went to Portland with a friend of mine (katherinetaylor.com). We went in search of potential gallery representation, as well as to enjoy Portland’s art scene. I was struck by the need for contrast. Not only concerning styles of paintings, but contrast within a painting. Contrast is an absolute necessity to create compelling interest.

We visited a variety of galleries. There seemed to be a disturbing amount of art that I wouldn’t want in my house. Much of it was seemingly simple, with dark themes, many hung without frames, and at exorbitant prices. Nonetheless, some of it was striking. Of the galleries we visited, a few stood out as representing accomplished artists of a range of styles, all employing the elements and principles of design in a compelling manner. Those galleries were Butters Gallery, Gallery 903, the Augen Gallery, and the Froelick Gallery. Again, we didn’t have time to see them all, but these were the best of those we visited.

Of the most noticeable common themes, texture seemed to be often employed element for many artists. Mixed media, tangible texture, and visual texture abounded. In addition to texture, contrast of value, such as darks against lights created compelling visuals. For instance, in a high-key painting of mostly light values, a shape, or line of black added at a focal point made the work sing. Or, in a mostly black/dark painting of war and oppression, bright spots of flags gave some relief in contrast and made the viewer look closer…longer.

So! To that end, I have come home very inspired to add contrast and increase texture surface to my paintings. As a result, I took one of my photos from my favorite artistic inspiration locale, Pikes Place Market in Seattle, of a flower vendor.

Flower vendor carrying flowers

I began with a basic reference photo.

I loved the way the flowers surrounded this girl as she carried a huge bouquet to a customer. In planning my painting, I cropped in closer to the girl and mapped out my values on a small thumbnail sketch. I wanted to produce an edgier painting, so planned a dark mass of value that connected her shirt, hair, and the bouquet to the edge of the painting.

Flower vendor value study

Value study. The arrows indicate visual movement of the dark value moving out of the edge of the painting.

Once I began painting, the texture came through from all the applications in the base of the gesso. This was a recycled painting, as well. It had a former life of being something else (that clearly didn’t work…). I had covered it and textured it up, but a little remained of the painting beneath, adding further interest.

Detail of the flowers around the vendor's face

Plenty of whites were left unpainted here in a detail of the flowers around the vendor’s face

Produce netting was used in various spots to create a honeycomb or a grid-like pattern.

Detail of produce netting pattern

Detail of produce netting pattern

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I added many pops of color onto a neutral background of black/grey/and cobalt. Above, the vendor’s shirt takes on many textures. Produce netting squares, small squares of paper, scribbles in the gesso base, and 3D lines were painted into the surface before the paint was applied.

The edge of the bouquet.

The edge of the bouquet. This detail describes both the netting honeycomb pattern and the painted-in squares of color for interest.

More texture.

IMG_4353

Watercolor pencils add a line element

IMG_4354

Scribbles and underscoring create complicated patterns in the painting.

Scribbles and underscoring create complicated patterns in the painting.

And finally, the finished painting:

Flower Vendor copyright

“Transaction of Color”, 20×16, $550. Original painting. Watercolor on gesso and collage.

This painting has a very fresh, open feel, accomplished both by the texture, the massed values, and the bright areas of color. Hopefully you get a chance to view this painting in person. I will be installing it at Hood Avenue Art as soon as it is sealed and framed. It is very interesting to view the different textures and colors up close. All in all, I believe I captured the contrast I was going after with the almost-blacks, the neutrals with pops of color traveling in pockets throughout the painting, the gestural strokes, patterns, and texture. Look for these qualities to come up in my future work. Expand the mind, people!

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals! Contact me to receive my newsletter so that you see me at showings and receive notifications about SB Hansen Watercolor & Wine Painting Classes.

 

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen unless otherwise noted.

 

 

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For the upcoming mini show at Hood Avenue Art, a sneak peak of a painting in progress!

Quail in progress, 5x7 original watercolor on Plexiglas

Quail in progress, 5×7 original watercolor on Plexiglas

These little quail are usually clucking through our back yard, on their way to some important task. The male always perches on a rock or stump and surveys the progress of his harem moving through the grass. Love these quail.

I’m not sure what I will name this little gem. Comment if you have ideas on a title!

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals! Contact me to receive my newsletter so that you see me at showings and receive notifications about SB Hansen Watercolor & Wine Painting Classes.

Keep creating to Feed the Beast! Support each other, people!:)

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen unless otherwise noted.

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What…another week went by? Aaaaannnnddd here it is, our weekly small painting sale. My Thursday paintings vary in price from $30-$50. This painting is $40 today! As a nod to Halloween and Trick or Treating, here is “Very Beary”:

Very Beary, 8x8 original watercolor on textured #300 watercolor paper, $40 today. Matted with foamcore backing to fit into your 12x12 frame

Very Beary, 8×8 original watercolor on textured #300 watercolor paper, $40 today. Matted with foamcore backing to fit into your 12×12 frame

“Very Beary” is available today only for $40. Shipping outside Bend $12 additional. First come, first serve! Send me an comment.

Custom order your greeting cards of this or any other image through sending me a comment and placing an order.

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals! Contact me to receive my newsletter so that you see me at showings and receive notifications about SB Hansen Watercolor & Wine Painting Classes.

Keep creating to Feed the Beast! Support each other, people!:)

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen unless otherwise noted.

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Daisies! I can’t help it! ….must…paint…daisies…

I had fun painting these happy white flowers yesterday from my favorite daisy photo, incorporating a freehand watercolor border of sap green and deep purple background.

Daisy Detour 8x8 original watercolor on gesso-covered watercolor paper. $50. Includes matting and foamcore, ready to fit into a 12x12 frame.

Daisy Detour 8×8 original watercolor on gesso-covered watercolor paper. $50. Includes matting and foamcore, ready to fit into a 12×12 frame.

I named it Daisy Detour, because every time I see sunny daisies, I have to follow the daisies! They are so cheery!

Happy Thursday everyone!

To purchase, send me an comment. I accept PayPal and will email a PayPal invoice. Shipping extra. Prints available, sizes starting at 8×8 for $25. 4×5 greeting cards available as well.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals!

Keep creating to Feed the Beast! Support each other, people!:)

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen unless otherwise noted.

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It’s cherry time!! Gotta love warm, sweet cherries straight from the cherry tree, right?

Cherries, 8x8 original watercolor painting on gesso-covered watercolor paper. $50. Matted to fit into a 12x12 frame

Cherries, 8×8 original watercolor painting and watercolor pencil on gesso-covered 300# watercolor paper. $50. Matted to fit into a 12×12 frame

Happy Thursday everyone!

To purchase, send me an comment. I accept PayPal and will email a PayPal invoice. Shipping extra. Prints available, sizes starting at 8×8 for $25. 4×5 greeting cards available as well.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals!

Keep creating to Feed the Beast! Support each other, people!:)

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen unless otherwise noted.

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