Welcome! This online journal will share my news of new paintings and upcoming exhibits, tips and notes with friends, collectors and other artists. Please visit often and enjoy!

Copyright notice: Photos and artwork images herein are property of the artist; no reproductions allowed without written consent.

Coming soon to this page:

- Latest sketches

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Learning Points: Mel Stabin Workshop

I have just had the privilege of learning from renowned watercolorist Mel Stabin, in a full week workshop organized by the Paletters Art Club in Broomfield, Colorado, and attended by a great group of local artists. (Photo by Dianna Wilson)

Mel is such a great guy: friendly, talented, considerate and funny (including George Carlin impersonations). He provided us with excellent demos and instruction, advice and critiques, and a wealth of artistic quotes. The new concepts and techniques were challenging to master, but the atmosphere was very relaxed and encouraging, so we all learned a lot.

I had a wonderful time (just could not wait to get to the workshop earlier and earlier every morning) and finished the week with a nice set of six brand new paintings. Here are three of them, to illustrate some of the concepts discussed:

Nywot Farm, 11x15 in.

In "Nywot Farm," I focused on two concepts: First, merging together shapes of same value, where the barn door and the wall of the shed are an uninterrupted shape; second, I used color gradation in the dark areas of the barn, keeping the same value but allowing the color to vary from blue to yellow to red.

Another Day Goes By, 15x22 in. (photo by Herb Rodriguez)

In this painting, I practiced preserving the white of the paper to indicate strong sunlight. I also used the three kinds of brush strokes: hard edges and soft edges throughout the surface, and the dry brush technique to indicate the rough texture of the stonework where the old man is sitting.

To the Light-house, 11x15 in.

In this painting, the point was to practice the abstraction of shapes and use of line. It is also an example of the element of repetition, as in the shapes of the several boats, and of the use of diagonals as a dynamic compositional element.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stroll on Pearl Selected for Louisville Show

Stroll on Pearl St.
Watercolor, 11x15 in.

I received the great news this weekend that my painting "Stroll on Pearl St." has been selected for the Louisville National Fine Art Show, in September. The Pearl St. pedestrian mall in Boulder is a favorite location for me, with great people watching, nice architecture, lively street cafes and a relaxed atmosphere. I tried to convey some of these elements in my depiction of this scene, and emphasized the light with the juicy dark colors in the shadows. The figures in the scene are from my imagination, a young couple on a stroll, she is telling him something, is he intent listening as he walks with his eyes on the pavement ahead... or is he half lost in thought himself...? Earlier in my career, I used to avoid figures; nowadays I'm quite happy to populate my paintings with them and let them add some drama to the scenes. Then it's up to the viewer's imagination to complete the story!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

An Urban Scene on Yupo Synthetic Paper

Parallel Lives
Watercolor on Yupo, 26x20 inches

“Parallel Lives” has been selected for the 2009 New Trends Show of the Colorado Watercolor Society. This was only my 3rd painting on Yupo synthetic paper. Yupo is actually made out of plastic, and was developed originally for the advertising industry. I was introduced to this new material earlier this year, by instructor Mark Mehaffey, and have become a fan of the way it allows for interesting texture work, and keeps colors very strong and vibrant.

Some watercolorists are reluctant to use Yupo, or believe you cannot do very controlled, detailed work on this slick surface. Well, no one told me that… I went in and started painting with the same combination of controlled and loose areas as usual.

I’ve chosen synthetic paper for this street scene of San Francisco, as I wanted a more abstract treatment to emphasize the symbolic meaning of the lives running in parallel on the cable car lines. Lives seem to converge and merge, but never actually do, we all follow our individual paths…

Parallel Lives (detail)

In a future post, I will discuss the techniques for working with watercolor on Yupo.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Let me count the ways I love June!

Welcome to the inaugural post of my new painting blog! My painting activities have accelerated the last couple of months to the point where it’s no longer practical to keep emailing my friends with news of shows, my fellow painters with tips and links, and interested collectors with a first look at new paintings. So I’ve created this blog to help by gathering all that information in one easy place. I hope you will find something interesting, instructive or amusing in my journal, will return often and hopefully become a subscriber (link on the right column). I’ll try to keep the posts instructive and brief.

Let’s start with a look back at the highlights of June, which proved to be an eventful month!

  1. I was granted signature membership status by the Colorado Watercolor Society! This allows me to add CWS to my signature. Signature membership is given to members who have had their work selected into at least three CWS juried shows and is an index to the quality of the artist’s work.
  2. My painting “Boulder Café” received an award at the Boulder Art Association/Longmont Artists’ Guild 2009 Member Show.
  3. The Colorado Watercolor Society featured an article on me in the June issue of their newsletter Collage. You can click here to check it out: Collage, June issue
  4. My painting “Afternoon Shadows” was selected for the Pikes Peak 2009 International Show in Pueblo.
  5. The Boulder Art Association invited me to exhibit alongside four other artists at the Millennium Hotel in Boulder, from July to September.
  6. The Boulder Outdoor Theater selected images of five of my paintings for projection during their 4th of July inaugural movie festival.

Thank you! Please check back in a few days for the next post!