Nan's Art Adventures

Join me while I explore watercolor and sketching! I'm new to this, having never thought of myself as "artistic"! (I'm having a blast, as I learn!)

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Location: La Crescenta, Ca

30 years in dentistry lead to early retirement, to be my husband's caregiver. He passed away February 10th, 2008. I am thankful I found art then, as it continues to help me now.

August 31, 2006

LOTUS in Echo Park

I finished this watercolor yesterday of the lotus in Echo Park Lake, near Los Angeles. I never dreamed it would be so difficult for me to capture the way the leaves fold over! This painting is my second attempt. The first was done plein air in a sketch book. This one is much better. I view the first one as the study of the flower, as I got to know it, intimately! By the time I sat down with my "good paper" (Bockingford 140 lb, the most forgiving paper by the way), the results were "blog-worthy"!

August 28, 2006

Cool View for Hot Days

I began this painting last summer, and finally finished it last week! I did it on Masa paper. This was my first experience with it. For those of you who are not familiar with Masa, it is a thin paper. You begin by crumbling it up, as if it were trash. You then soak it in a tub of water for a few moments. This counterintuitive process creates an interesting texture! Then apply the background watercolors onto the saturated Masa which has been spread out onto a smooth surface. When completely dry, apply to the mounting board a watered down, light coating of Elmer's type glue. Affix your painting to the board. Weight it down, then leave it to dry again. Then you paint your picture onto your background. I'm a flower painter, so this subject matter was quite a switch for me! It's good to expand your horizons, right!?

August 20, 2006

Magnolia 2006

This is my most recently completed watercolor. Quite a change from the magnolia I painted two summers ago. Practice, practice, practice, is good advice! I have struggled with the scanning of this painting and probably should have just posted a digital photo instead! I had to stitch the image together and did not get it quite right; in fact I lost the shadow of the stamen! The petals looked yellow on the scan at first, and the blues lost their brilliance! Everything is a learning experience! My sketching class enabled me capture shadows and folds on white petals! (This feels like a bit of a miracle actually!) An added bonus to painting flowers up-close is that it sure acquaints one with its parts; the flowers, leaves, and branches! Our classroom sure was fragrant that day!

August 19, 2006

Two Years Ago

I recently completed a painting of a magnolia (which I will be posting soon). It caused me to look back into my collection of paintings from when I first embarked upon my "art adventures"! This magnolia was the first watercolor painting I did in a class I took in the summer of 2004. I am flabbergasted to see the drastic change in my abilities! I've been taking a watercolor class once a week fairly consistently since then. I also added a sketching classes which has helped tremendously. I've never had art training, and I was not even a good doodler! The sketch class is teaching me some basic techniques that I crucially need! I am eager for you to see my new magnolia painting, so you can see the difference!