Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vintage Ducks And Kootenay Grown Daffodils Come To Life In Watercolour!

"The initial application of paint provokes spontaneous responses that result in subsequent decisions... unlimited possibilities in technique and design."  ~ Carlton Plummer

©Laura Leeder, Daffodils in Watercolour, Step 1, May 2013

I have been enjoying the arrival of spring blossoms for a few weeks now and as the daffodils are slowly losing their blossoms I finally gave in and cut several to bring indoors.  I came across these turquoise duck figurines last summer in our local vintage shop and have been waiting for the right vase to use them with. I found this blue glass vase in an antique shop earlier this year and decided it was perfect.

I thought about using lighter, pastel colors for the background that would represent spring more; however, after planning out my colors, my hand and brush changed it's course and dipped into the phthalo blue!  And just as quickly I dropped it on the paper.  So a darker background it is! (I still may want to do this one again with the lighter background.)

Have a creative week!  I am taking a few days off and enjoying a trip to Couer d'Alene along with my sister and mother from Alberta.  I am really looking forward to their visit!!

Creatively Yours,
Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC      

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Have A New Appreciation For Spiders!

"The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web."                   
  ~Pablo Picasso

I have a new appreciation for spiders and the webs they weave, thanks to my friend Win Dinn!  I spent an enjoyable morning in Wins studio this past weekend learning this fabulous new technique known as cobwebbing.  (Win is a master at mixed media, and has an arsenal of techniques that she uses to create her beautiful paintings with.)  

©me learning the cobweb technique, May 2013

Win started by taping a piece of 140 lb cold-pressed watercolour paper to a sheet of butcher paper sitting over top of a thick piece of cardboard. (mine is taped onto a sheet of plywood)

She then demonstrated how to carefully pull and pin the cobwebbing across your paper, pinning the threads in place at the outside edges of your taped paper. The goal is to spread and pin a variety of fine to medium fine pieces and think about creating interesting patterns while you work.   

Make sure that you have the webbing across all 4 corners as this will give you a better overall design.  Win also explained that the key is to ensure that the webbing touches the paper completely in all areas.  Now the real fun begins......

We sprayed and then painted water onto the paper surface; again, ensure that all webbing lays flat on the paper.  You can then begin spraying your colours of choice!  We used thinned acrylic paints by Dylusion Inks, along with some metallic spritzers. (you can purchase these through Ranger Inks.)  You could also use watercolour (as I will be).  

When the paper is almost dry, remove the pins and slowly pull the webbing away, as Win is doing here.  When the paper has dried completely, a richly colored, mysteriously textural pattern is revealed!  

Win's finished cobweb design......

Drum roll please!  My finished cobweb design.....

I can't wait to use this technique in one of my next paintings!  Win cautions that if you are using this technique with watercolour be sure to spray a workable fixative onto the paper before continuing on with your painting.  

Here is one of Win's finished paintings using this technique.(and one of my favorites) You can see more examples in her series of paintings titled Wingdings shown on her blog here.  And more photos of our playing on Win's blog post here.

©By Win Dinn, Mixed Media Painting, 2013
Win teaches a variety of workshops or playshops, as she likes to refer to them.  For more information on these, take a look at her blog page here.  Many thanks Win!! 

Have a wonderfully creative week,
Laura Leeder
Watercolour Artist, 
Creston, BC 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Creston Valley Bird Festival, Art Show and Sale, May 10 - 12, 2013

"Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars, because it is his natural characteristic, so the artist works." ~ Alma Gluck

©Guardians Of The Grapes, Watercolour, Framed 20 x 24 inches
   Laura Leeder

This weekend promises to be an exciting one for all bird and nature lovers here in the valley!  Our first bird festival kicks off with an Art Show and Sale Friday evening from 5 to 8pm at the Creston Community Complex.  Featuring bird and nature paintings and photography by local artists.  Full details here 

The birds in this painting are just two of several porcelain and pottery birds that I have started collecting.  They add a bit of fun and whimsy to my still life paintings.  The raku bowl is by kootenay artist Kim Chernoff of Crestova Clay Works.  Splattering paint, spraying water and tossing salt on this piece made it an enjoyable experience for me.  

Speaking of birds, more hummingbird's arrived yesterday and the activity at the feeders last night was a joy to watch!  Rufus, Calliope and Black Chin (i think) all vying for a drink of nectar.  I never tire of watching these amazing little hummers!!!

Have a great week!
Yours in art,
Laura Leeder
Watercolour Artist, Creston, BC
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