Monday, March 23, 2015

Country Road in Autumn Watercolor Painting

I have decided that this painting is done. 

Country Road in Autumn, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2015

 I started it back in November after attending a workshop with Tom Lynch.  It is on a half sheet of Strathmore Gemini watercolor paper (15" x 30".)  We did a similar painting in a smaller size.  I wanted to practice the lesson and maybe improve my skills a bit.  Here is the earlier version on a quarter sheet of Gemini watercolor paper (11" x 22").


I also have been working my way through several of Tom's books.  Here is a quick painting copied from his Watercolor Tips and Techniques book.



Thanks for looking!  I hope you are working on something colorful and fun!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Early Snow Watercolor Painting

Here is the painting I just finished...almost, but not quite in time for my husband's birthday!

Early Snow, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2015
I actually started this one last year, before we had even moved in to the cabin.  After painting from a photo reference, I got stuck.  Everything looked kind of boring.  All that white!  But...I fell back on some of the lessons I have learned from Tom Lynch via his workshop last fall and his books.  I added a variety of color to the tree line, planted some imaginary rhododendron on the hill in front of the cabin, and cropped out the lower part of the scene.  It included the pond, a dock, and a chair.  With help of some friends, I made the decision to crop them off and let the eye be led right to the cabin, the only real warm tones in the painting.  Much better!



Friday, March 20, 2015

Art in Bloom

Flowers, artwork, friends, food, and family made for a perfect day yesterday!

It began with an excursion (about two miles down the road from me) to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.  Four of us from the Anything Art bee met for the special exhibition of Art in Bloom, which will run through this Sunday.

Florists from across the state created spectacular arrangements inspired by paintings or sculpture in the permanent collection.   I tried to take photos of the flowers with the inspiration piece.




This Monet is one of my favorite pieces in the permanent collection.



Another of my favorites is The Garden Parasol, by Frederick Carl Frieseke.


Here is Aphrodite and the arrangement she inspired.


 This arrangement cleverly includes elements of the waves and the tall ships.


One of my favorite pieces was this very colorful, tall arrangement that coordinated with every painting in its gallery.  But it was inspired by the ebony chest behind it.


Outdoors there was an installation as well.


Some of the galleries just had large arrangements not inspired by just one piece of art.



Based on the opening morning, I would say that this exhibition was a smashing success.  I hope they will repeat it in the future!

The four of us went to one of my favorite nearby restaurants, Bella Monica's,  for lunch.  That takes care of the flowers, artwork, friends, and some of the food of the day.

But...it was also my husband's birthday!  More food and fun, this time with family.  We went out to eat with our son Dave, his wife Emily, and our sweet munchkin Charlie.



They gave "us" His and Hers fishing poles and some great chairs so we can try fishing in the pond behind our Raleigh home.  We had a couple of very warm days this week, and I could see the fish swimming about from the back deck of our house.  

The fun will continue this weekend with more family and friends as we make what is now an annual tradition of a trip to Asheville to experience as many beer breweries as we can!  There are over forty in Asheville and surrounding areas.  Good times!

Monday, March 9, 2015

One More Journal Page

Here is one more journal page I created for the 21 Day Art Journal Challenge on Facebook.  Day 4's prompt was "Sing a Song."  I chose Color My World by Chicago, one of the songs from my 1971 wedding.


With a title like that, the pages had to be exuberantly colorful!

The left hand page was inspired by Joanne Sharpe's book The Art of Whimsical Lettering.


The right-hand page has a watercolor world with a photo of my husband and me at our wedding. The song lyrics are on both pages.


I will probably be using the Joanne Sharpe book again for the next challenge, "Letter" Go.



Saturday, March 7, 2015

More Journal Pages

It has been a crazy wild weather ride here in Raleigh over the past few weeks.  Ice storm, snow storm,    more snow, then seventy degrees, then freezing rain...I am ready for it all to be over and for spring to arrive.

During one of the snow events, my granddaughter and her best friend Annabelle/Tinkerbelle played in the snow and inspired this journal page for the 21 Day Art Journaling Challenge theme of Faces.



I did a watercolor wash for the background, painted my granddaughter Charlie in watercolor from a photo reference, collaged in a photo of her BFF Annabelle, and added dimensional paint and glitter to finish the scene.

I also had time to do Day 3 of the challenge, Zentangle.  I have had some experience with Zentangles, and decided to do something similar to a Suzanne McNeill workshop that I took at Art of the Carolinas.


Basically, I traced a photo I liked from the web, transferred the drawing to the journal page, and then put down a wash of light colors like blue, yellow, turquoise and light red.  Next I painted the zebra stripes with a black watercolor marker.  After that I divided up all the background space with a pencil, and pencilled in some Zentangle doodles.  Once the doodles were in place, I accented them with more watercolor paint in similar colors.  Last of all, I found a quotation that I liked and added it with permanent black marker.

My husband called this one "Calm Before the Storm,"  since we are babysitting for our 2-year-old granddaughter for the rest of the weekend.  Sure do love to paint with her!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

21 Day Art Journaling Challenge

I joined a group on Facebook called the 21 Day Art Journaling Challenge.  Each day there is a theme or prompt.  Day 1 is to journal about a day in your life.  Since I am lucky enough to be retired, I chose one of my happy bright backgrounds from last weekend, and drew a tree over it with text describing the things that I like to do.



Life is good!

Another snow day...this time in Raleigh!  It sneaked up on us without much warning.  Instead of babysitting for my little ray of sunshine, I stayed home and watched the birds when I wasn't playing with paints.  The owl was in his usual post.  He did not seem one bit perturbed by the snow, which has fallen all day.


I usually don't have much luck attracting bluebirds to my feeders, but I guess the snow forced them out of their comfort zone.  There were four hanging around the back price feeders.




Hope you are safe and warm wherever you are today.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fun With Backgrounds

We made it up to the snowy North Carolina mountains.  My brother Chris and his wife Debbie made the trip from Boone to our cabin to pick up her grandmother's Double Wedding Ring quilt.  We had lunch along with my sister Katy.  It was a nice family afternoon on a cold mountain day.


After they left I got out my watercolor paints, a few acrylics, some homemade stamps...and had a fun afternoon making some background pages for collages or journals.












Sitting by the fire...drinking wine...Life is Good!