Studio insights, classes and tutorials

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Painting flowers and enjoying a summer afternoon in my studio.  Love the Psalms and the messages they send to us. I thought I would share one that has been sitting on my desk along with a tutorial of a floral painting inspired by a photo.

Yellow flowers bring happiness and sunshine into our fields, gardens and into our homes.  But after the color fades and the flowers die out, we are only left with a memory.  By painting one of your own, the memory can last through all the seasons.

This is painted on a 8 x 10 wrapped canvas.  Using fluid acrylics and Extender.  The extender gives more freedom and softness to the flowers.  So, begin by washing colors into a wet background, moistened with retarder.  Then add a lacy stencil onto the foreground with light modeling paste and a palette knife.  

                               Begin blocking in the design using abstract shapes with Raw Sienna. 

Begin adding color and white highlights into the design and work loosely, while retarder is still moist.  Wipe brush off between colors and careful not to use too much water with the retarder!  

You can see that I used a reference photo in this image.  This is where to begin shaping the flowers and adding more contrast.  The more you add to a painting and remove, the more life your drawing will have.  So, I work back and forth between dark and light as I develop the painting.  

                                                         Building and Re-Building

As the retarder begins to dry, I use a little more water onto the brush.  At this stage, I like to let some of the colors run and slant my canvas to allow the paint to flow.  Some of it gets into the texture and creates more texture and interest.  I started to add pearls to this but removed them.  You can still see remnants of the area.  Not a bad thing!
I then went over some of the white and darkest ares of the flowers with pastels, just to brighten a little more.  The last thing is to add spray varnish when all is completely dry.  I used DecoArt media paints for this, but you can use any acrylic paint.  

Paint colors used are:  Primary Yellow, Naples Yellow Hue, Raw Sienna, Titan Buff, Sap Green and Titanium White.  DecoArt Media antiquing cream; Patina Green, Medium Grey and English Red Oxide.  Using them just like the other paints, but they have a creamier texture.  

                                       I do hope you enjoyed this quick little tutorial.  

Happy Painting!!
Ursula xo

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer is here in it's full glory.  Hot, sunny and full of many activities. 

Did you see the gorgeous moon last night?  We were driving home from a concert and it lit up the entire sky.  So glad we were out late, or I would have probably missed it.

Summer means so many things to me.  Going out into my garden early in there morning, gives me hope for the new day.  Filled with sunshine, singing birds, butterflies and bright colorful flowers.

I love celebrating and ushering in the beginning of the season and try to plan some special event so I  don't miss it.

Sitting poolside, by the lake or just out on the deck gives way to dreams.  The magic of summer time. Remembering childhood days of being outside until the street lights came on.  Playing in the woods, building forts, riding bikes for hours, skating and hopscotch on the side walk.  Playing baseball in an empty field.  Catching lightening bugs at night. We didn't have air conditioning back then and slept with the windows open.  Listening to the night sounds.

Ahhh Summer!

Enjoy the longer days, the sunshine, the water, the hopes and dreams of the season!


P.S.  If you would like to paint this mixed media piece, join me in my upcoming  

Monday, June 13, 2016

He Whispers

Sometimes it is hard to hear the whispers among all the chaos and busy-ness of life.  There are messages all around and sometimes I miss them because I am worrying and scurrying about on things that really don't matter or make a real difference in my day to day activities.

I was drawn to these words cut out from an old book..."he whispers..... I knew I wanted to use them in my next painting.  I took an old canvas that had a class project on it.  Loosely applied the DecoArt Media gesso with my palette knife and added pieces from a watercolor project I did as well.   Leaving some of the old painted background visible, giving it depth against the white gesso.

This is my large collage box of ephemera, collage pieces and scraps of my art.  So, I applied some of the watercolor pieces of the portrait and background of the pieces you see in the box. Never wasting or throwing anything worth saving out.  Some would cringe at the thought of tearing up a piece of art.  But, I liked parts of the painting, but did not like it as a whole.  So, I love putting past work into a new design.  
Added some light modeling paste in and around the collage pieces to help blend them into the painted background.
Adding more gesso and using the modeling paste along with a lace stencil to create more interest into the background.  The bird was taken and cut out from my sketch book and applied to the canvas as well.
Since discovering water soluble oils, I decided to proceed with oils over the gesso, watercolor and acrylic background.  A true mixed media painting in every sense of the word!
Work in progress and kept coming back to her over the course of the week.  Tweaking and adding, listening and painting.  Painting and listening.....
She will remain in my studio to remind me to listen to the whispers more closely.  Not to get too busy that I miss them or ignore what I am suppose to hear or learn.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer Memories

The first half of this year has been one of challenges and sadness for my family.  It is hard to believe that June and summer have suddenly arrived.
My 94 year old mother passed away only two weeks after we celebrated her birthday.  She has been in a nursing facility since January, after a fall.  She never fully recovered from the fall, but did rally some and we had such fun seeing her and her three other German friends celebrate her birthday along with us.  Singing German songs, eating cake and laughing at silly things she said.  

We moved her three times in these last few months.  Keeping her as comfortable as we could.  
She left us on a Sunday, May 29th.  She went peacefully as my brother and I sat by her side.  

This summer will be bittersweet, remembering times spent with her.  Not only was she close in heart, she lived next door to me the last 13 years of her life.  

I will miss walking over to her house, watching her walk in the neighborhood with her walker and just knowing she was near by.