Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Destinys Guide - A Mandala Design Watercolor Painting

"In this world you've a soul for a compass;  And a heart for a pair of wings
There's a star on the far horizon; Rising bright in an azure sky
For the rest of the time that you're given; Why walk when you can fly?"
   ~Mary Chapin Carpenter

©Destinys Guide - Watercolor, Size:10" x 10.5"
   Laura Leeder, Nov.28, 2011

This decorative design is called a Mandala.  The pattern for this one was created by Win Dinn, a Mixed media artist and Instructor who resides here in the Creston Valley.  She has created a coloring book for adults, with 24 tempting patterns to play with. 

When leafing through her book, I was drawn to this one in particular and knew that I wanted to use its design in a watercolor painting.  The result is this beautiful piece!  (can you tell that I'm pleased with it?) 

Win describes Mandalas as "a form of art used by Tibetan monks to focus their thought and foster a state of meditation.  Use them to express yourself, reduce stress and rekindle creativity."

I certianly enjoyed the process and have already chosen another of Wins patterns, that I look forward to starting another painting with very soon! 

For more information on Win, her artwork, the courses that she offers , please follow this link to her blog:

If you'd like to purchase or get more information about her Coloring Book, you can email her at

Now it's time for some digging....somewhere in a box, I have a CD by Mary Chapin Carpenter with the song that the above quote is from......

Thanks for stopping by.....and remember....why walk, when you can fly!
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On The Easel - A Star In The Making-Almost There!

"Ideals are like stars, you will not succeed in touching them with your hands,
but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guide, and following them, you reach your destiny."
   - Carl Schurz

©A Star Mandala, Watercolor In-Progress
   Laura Leeder, Nov 25, 2011

Here is the almost finished Star.  I was unable to photograph the finished piece yesterday, as it was overcast.  With any luck the sun will peak out from the clouds today, just long enough to allow me to take some photos!    As for a that came to mind is ......"Destiny's Guide"....any ideas?

Enjoy your day,
Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On The Easel - A Star In The Making?

"There wouldn't be a sky full of stars if we were all meant to wish on the same one." 
    - Frances Clark

Step 1

© A Star Mandala, Watercolor In Progress, Nov. 2011
    Laura Leeder

In my last post I indicated that I usually have 3 to 4 paintings on the go.....I may work on all of them for short periods each day until one or two are completed.  I then start another and continue in this way. 
In the case of this painting, it captured my attention almost immediately with the first strokes of color and held it until I had completed the piece.  It was such fun!

In this first step I used Daniel Smith Manganese Blue Hue and French Ultramarine paints, allowing the colors to mingle on wet paper.  I then added salt to the mix and let it dry.

Step 2



©A Star Mandala, Watercolor In Progress, Nov.2011
   Laura Leeder

What a difference!  This is one of the qualities I especially love about watercolor.  In this 2nd step I used permanent green light, along with green apatite genuine and sugilite genuine-both primatek mineral paints. Once again I dropped in salt and sprayed water across the paper to move and blend the paints.  Bits of mica from the mineral paints glisten when the light hits them.  It's a subtle but pleasing effect. 

I have a few adjustments to make on the finished piece (this is not it) and will then post it tomorrow, providing I can get a decent photogragh.

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Saving Those Blossoms - A Rescue In Progress

"When a painting problem crops up, don't rush to fix it. You probably already know one way to fix it, but wait for something else to show up... invite the muses to bring you a new solution."     ~ Carole Katchen

©Hydrangea Blossoms, WC Painting In Progress
   Laura Leeder, Nov.16, 2011

I have been working mostly on the right blossom, at first glance it might not look any different.  If you look closely though, you will see that each petal is more defined.  It is a slow process, as I glaze on thin layers of transparent color.....I am getting there! 
As always, I work on more than 1 painting at a time.  Currently I have 3 on the go, and I started a new one yesterday.  I can't wait to get paint on's always those first drops of color onto that white paper that get my juices going! 
What is interesting for me, about these 4 paintings, is that they are all so very different from one another.  A first for me!  A floral, a still life that veers from my usual perspective and then 2 very different and fun pieces that are definitely not my usual compositions or style.

Enjoy your day, it's back to the studio for me!
Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

By the way.....if you're in the Creston area this Friday, I will be at the Cherrybrook Farms Artisan & Crafters Market, located at 2931, Hwy 3, from 1-5pm.  Stop in and say hi!        

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A "Still Life" With "No Life" - Rescuing A Failed Watercolor painting

"To improve a painting, you must be willing to make mistakes, even big ones." 
    ~Earl Grenville Killeen

©Hydrangea Blossoms, Unfinished Watercolor Painting
   Laura Leeder, Nov.2011

I set this painting aside some time ago, as I did not like the way it was progressing.  It was a "still life" with "no life".  I was so excited to paint these vibrant pink blossoms....yet the further into the painting....the less I liked it.  I couldn't quite place what is was that bugged me, and after some time, I simply hid it away. 
I came across it again, while cleaning out my studio a few weeks ago and instantly saw what it was that had bothered me before. (there were a few problems)  And yet those unfinished blosssoms had possibilities.....   Could this one be rescued? 
I started playing with the idea of cropping it down and found two pleasing possibilities.      

I started working on the right blossom, while thinking through the possibilites and here's what I've decided.  It was not going to work as a still life....however, by cropping the painting to feature a portion of the blossoms, I think I can rescue this one. 
While I may not crop it exactly as above....I will attempt to get one and possibly two, small florals out of this failed piece.  Wish me luck!

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Autumn Leaves - A Watercolor Painting By Laura Leeder

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."     ~Albert Camus

©Autumn Leaves, Watercolor, Size: 9"x9"
   Laura Leeder

Splashing, charging, flicking colors.... spraying water and dropping salt....all techniques, I used in this small painting of maple leaves.  What fun!  And such a nice break from my usual method of layers of transparent colors.  Don't get me wrong...I enjoy my process of meticulous layering of watercolor's just that every now and again....a girl needs to cut loose and let the paint fall where it may!

I am declaring this painting finished....finally!

For information about this painting or to buy, Click here.

Yours In Art,
Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Artisan Market, A Colorist's Delight

"I love looking for things to paint, and I love painting, and I love framing them and seeing them in a gallery, but more than anything, I love to sell them!"   
    ~Jack Hambleton

Oh, how true!  I couldn't agree more.....

©Photo by Win Dinn, Nov.4, 2011

The Artisan & Crafter's  Market that I participated in, on Friday afternoon turned out to be a colorful and pleasant experience.  Sadly, my photo's did not...... in my haste to cause the least disruption with my flash....I was too quick on the draw, resulting in blurry, but colorful shots.  So I have borrowed a photo from Win Dinns' blog (a master colorist & artist extraordinaire).  You can check out her blog here:

The market will run for the next seven week's, please stop in and check it out.  Enjoy a refreshment, and while you shop for that special someone on your Christmas list you can take in a demonstration and enter the draw to win the "gift basket" filled with unique gifts courtesy of the artisans & crafters. 

Next Friday's demo features Wendy Roth at 2pm.  She does beautiful Norwegian egg decorations. 

Each week, I will have available for purchase, a selection of giclee prints, posters and "frameable" notecards, all from my original watercolor paintings.   As well, a few small original paintings....perfect gift items, that will bring pleasure for years to come. 

Hope to see you there! 

Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist,
Creston, BC
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