Category Archives: Flowers from the Garden

Hydrangea 2

Hydrangea 2

                               Hydrangea 2                                                                                   30cm x 30cm Coloured Pencil, Acrylics and Ink

Here is the second in the Hydrangea series.  A more pastel rendition this time, not a colour palette I am used to working in, so a challenge in itself.  I added the veins into these petals, not sure if I am going to go back and add them into the first one.  I will wait until I have finished the series before I go back and do the last fiddle with them all.  I would like them to work together as a set, but we will see as they are completed as to how cohesive they are.  The area on the right behind the petals needs some work, just not sure what to do with it yet.  it seems too pale, I may make it darker, just need to ponder on it for awhile.

I really like the details in this painting so I thought I would share with you some of my favourite bits.

Hydrangea 2 - Detail

Hydrangea 2 – Detail

In my previous post I was talking about our lovely autumn weather, well I spoke too soon,  It has been hot, really hot for a lot of days now, I think we may go to 10 days straight over 30C  (90F) and today and tomorrow will be 36C (100F).  Now I love the hot weather but this is taking it a bit far.  I will have to go and immerse myself into the cool hydrangeas again.

Hydrangea 2 - Detail

Hydrangea 2 – Detail

I am thinking of taking a little detour in my techniques and looking at combining my pencil work, with some paper embossing and creating a little 3D work.  It is an idea I have been kicking around for awhile so I may have something new to show you.  Thank you Karen for your encouragement and Michelle I hope you like this installment.

Karen

 

 

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 1

We are moving into my favourite time of year, Autumn in Victoria.  The heat is still with us, but there is a crispness to the air which speaks of the fine sunny days and cool clear nights.  I have painted one of my favourite summer flowers Hydrangeas.  My mother always had Hydrangeas growing and I loved their great blousy flowers that glowed in the summer shade, reminding me that there were still cool greens around.  But as we move into autumn the blues are touched with a purple as they slowly fade.

This was a great deal of fun to do, it is small for me 30cm square and it was a challenge to move the colours in the petals through from yellow, to blue and then purple.  There are some really lovely parts of this painting where the colours really sing.

My thoughts when I started this was to do four different hydrangea pictures, I am going to start on my second now, so I might make it.

Karen

One Year of Blogging and an on-line exhibition

Hydrangeas Snippet of my next painting

Hydrangea Snippet of my next painting

It has been a year since I started this blog, and what a year it has been. I could not believe how much it has given me and how far I have progressed with my art.  Thanks Vettie you gave me the courage and support to start.

When I first started, I was not sure if anyone would even see my posts let alone be interested and now I have just passed the milestone of 100 followers and have made some great connections with artist all over the world.

I had no clear direction with my art when I started and now I have become comfortable in a style and have a body of work that I feel is good enough to start exhibiting.  In fact I have made a very small step along the way and have entered one of my drawings into the Australian Coloured Pencil Networks on-line exhibition.  It should have been two works but somehow the Hollyhocks failed to upload so it did not get in.  A shame but something to learn from. (Check your application really did upload!)

So thank you to all of you who have followed my blog, liked a post or taken the time to comment.  Know that your interest, support and kindness have made a difference to me and my art, and given me the confidence to take my art to the world and push through the fatigue to continue to create.

One of the artist that follows my blog and who’s comments I greatly value is Richard Klekociuk, who won the mixed media category and has a wonderful and insightful blog I recommend visiting.

Mixed Media

Richard Klekociuk

Richard KlekociukVisit Richard’s Website Tasmania

ARTIST STATEMENT: My artwork is inspired by the Australian landscape. I work from observation, drawings and my own photos. I am particularly interested in light and shadow, pattern and weathering. Abstraction and symbolism also find their way into my work from time to time. I work with a variety of pencils usually on pastel board.

FROM THE JUDGE – BETSY JONES:

For the mixed media category, I have selected Entry #04. The range of techniques used along with the vibrant color scheme makes my heart skip. I found myself looking deeper into this image, sticking my nose into my monitor, to see every little detail within this piece. There is a conversation of colors and textures here, and a sort of playfulness. This one made me feel like I was stepping into another world, complete with little surprises; such as the golden cracks in a cliff, the vermillion rock formations, the army of stones, and that little slash of cerulean sky – everything compositionally was unique and wonderful and exuded an earthy energy.

Congratulations Richard and best of luck with your exhibition.

Karen

Gerbera Re-worked

Gerbera reworked

Gerbera reworked 70cm x 48cm

I have been back a couple of time to the Gerbera and I think that I have sorted out a couple of problems and improved some others.  I have decided to stop fiddling with it as it is in danger of being overworked and loosing any of the freshness it has.

What I have done after the very helpful comments from fellow bloggers and friends is to

  • I looked at the shapes as a whole and shaded it accordingly, in the calyx especially it now curves around and works so much better.
  • With the petals I also treated them as a whole and lightened the petals as the front and darkened those at the back.  This has helped and I am better pleased with the outcome if not completely happy.
  • I didn’t touch the background, have really come to like it.

So it has been a difficult painting but I certainly learnt a lot from it and that is a great outcome.  See below for the First Draft and the final.

Karen

Gerbera reworked

Gerbera reworked

Gerbera first draft

Gerbera first draft

 

First for 2013 or last for 2012, whichever a recalcitrant painting indeed

Gerbera

Gerbera

Some painting just flow onto the page, there may be a couple of hesitations as you consider colour, technique or composition, but they just work.  Calm, smooth and satisfying, like good quality chocolate.  Others do not, you struggle with them, you struggle not to throw them aside, you struggle to get them to work.  This one was the latter, and I am not sure if it has worked yet or not, we need some time apart for tempers to settle.

It was just plain recalcitrant, what a great word, I had to look it up before I used it, just to ensure that I had the meaning right.  My dictionary said

“resisting authority (that would be me) or control, not obedient or compliant, refractory.  Hard to deal with, mange or operate”.

It started out so beautifully, a dear friend bought me a lovely bunch of Gerberas for Christmas and they were so fresh and happy I decided to paint them.  Trying to find a different take on them I decided to paint one from underneath.

My major issues were

  • Tricky perspective that hasn’t quite worked in the stem.
  • Petal Colour, I really wanted to get the clear soft pink, which I think has worked, but I tussled with the difference between shading and the different colours in the petals.  Still not clearly resolved.
  • The background had a couple of attempts, happy with it, but not sure if I like it more than the white paper backgound of my other paintings.
  • The outline, I used my new Sennelier inks and it was such a gorgeous dark black, but too black and I ended up going over the lines again in grey pencils to knock them back a bit as they dominated the picture.

So I put this one before you, and as I started it in December and finished it in January, not sure were it fits.  Any ideas on it are welcome, we clearly need as much help as we can get to  repair our relationship.  (Or should I not take this so personnally?)

Karen

Hollyhocks

Hollyhoks

Hollyhoks

These are Hollyhocks that I grew in  my garden a few years ago.  I took a number of photos of them as I love the way the flowers are so cavernous when you look at them close up.  They seem to go back for ever with the lovely spotted trail to follow.  Two years ago I started this drawing, just in coloured pencils, but it was taking so long to get the colour laid down dense enough that I gave up and it has been hiding in my portfolio ever since.

I was looking through some of my old work the other day and decided it was time to complete some of the unfinished works.  So I took the brave step of painting over the pencil and restarting it.  So glad I did, with the underpainting it went quickly and smoothly although it is a large work A2 size again.  I have not done such large areas of shading before and it has a more painterly feel than some of my other works, though of the same size are made up of smaller shapes.

It is on the same soft mystery paper as Vibernum, I will have to take it to the art shop to find out what it is, I really enjoyed working on it.

Karen

Viburnum

Viburnum

We have a very beautiful Botanic Garden in Melbourne, which I love to visit.  It is always full of people enjoying themselves, picnicking, strolling around, dining in the cafes and even admiring the plants.  I try to go there at least once every season, it is such a peaceful place and such a variety of people there.

On my last visit in October many of the spring flowers were in full bloom, including this Viburnum Tree.  I love these trees when they are in bloom.  The way the white flowers sit on top of the branches with the leaves hanging down under them.  The contrast of the snowing white and the bright spring green leaves.  They always look fresh and vibrant, so much of what spring is about.

I have done this drawing on some paper I bought in Byron Bay, it is a lovely soft cream rag, but I can’t remember what it is called.  I will have to take it to my local paper supplier and see if they know what it is.   I like the way the white flowers stand out against this off-white background.   This is a fairly large drawing about A2 in size.

It is my usual coloured pencil over acrylic, but I have bought myself a dip ink pen and it has given me much better lines then the fineliner pens I have been using.  The variety in the width of the lines gives more movement and life to the outlines which I am so much more happy with.  It also does not have any troubles going over the coloured pencil, I used to block up my fineliner pens and have a great deal of trouble getting them to work.  I also love the tradition and romance of this old world pen.  Such a lovely thing to use.

Karen