Much of my time these days is spent doing those things that I never had a chance to do when I was working. I now hike, kayak, travel, and yes paint! I paint a lot. When traveling, I am always taking photos of interesting textures, colors, or subjects to use for future work. This ornamental cherry tree in a garden at the Columbia Zoo is just one that I’d decided to paint as a commission. I started with a quick study of one of the branches and produced an acceptable version but wasn’t happy with the lavender background. I decided to use powder pastel to change the tone and texture. It added a unique quality and I followed up with additional work using this method. The original study became part of my body of work available for sale at Waterford Harbor Farmers Market. Here’s another example of mixed media quick study.
A modest goal was to paint consistently and often. I was able to enroll in many courses and applied the lessons learned. I joined art societies and painted every Tuesday afternoon with friends, Pat and Albina. Here’s just one of the larger pieces I’d done from my own photos. I was working on hot press paper and having difficulty with how the paint worked on the surface . I continued and learned what paper worked for me at that stage period in my life. I needed focus and dedication to one project.
Here’s an example of those early days. I had little to sell but developed a card line. This worked well for years as I was able to provide representative samples of my work. I often had repeat customers and did get a few commissions also.
“Peony and Cherry Blossom” was one of my first commissions. I loved this painting as it was a first anniversary gift from my friend Judy to her daughter. Why this matters is that I’d done the wedding flowers for the wedding. A friendship developed between Judy and I as a result. I am forever grateful!
Many a “quick study” turned into a category called “Little Originals” selling for $5to $40 which have provided me with many and enjoyable afternoon with my yet growing group of painting friends Gary, Karen, and George. Apple blossoms was painted using 140 lb Arches paper and Holbein watercolors. The background is unique as I’d used salt technique. “Dragonfly” was another using a material called “Brusho” . I loved the result!