Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunrises at the lake

("Catawba ~ early morning") 
5x7 pastel

In the summer of 2010 my husband and I vacationed at Catawba Is. on Lake Erie as we have been doing for the past several years. I like to take at least one morning during the week to go to the beach to watch the sunrise. On one of these early morning beach-walks the sky was just stunning. It seemed to get more beautiful with each passing minute. I was able to shoot many, many photos to use as references for the paintings I would do at a later time. 

This will be my project for the next couple months--learning and painting lake sunrises. This little piece is the first of that series.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ilex (holly) branch with berries

It seems with every picture I do there is a story...

I had so much fun working on this piece. It all started back in November. I was having lunch with my friend, Vickie B. and noticed the beautiful hollies she had growing in the foundation plantings around her house. I later went back and she was kind enough to let me snip a couple branches. Wrapping them in damp paper towels and sticking them in a plastic bag, I brought them home. I've had success in the past storing my botanical subjects in the fridge until I was finished with them so that is where it lived for several weeks. It made it through the Christmas season and, finally, I was ready to start the first week of January. (My family was very happy that they would soon not have to navigate around the "plant in the refrigerator" while getting out the milk jug. :) )

It was just the perfect branch. I did nothing to change the composition. I took many photos and made color swatches before I started in case I wouldn't finish before the leaves and berries would wilt and fall. Leaves tend to move and change color in the process. As I neared the end of the project I was very thankful for the photos and color notes. But the original holly branch served me well. I was amazed at how long it survived. (You can view the work in progress on my Flickr Photostream.)