Update 6 Amethyst Shades of Blue and some other stuff

Trusting my intuition

I had set this painting aside for a little while while I was finishing off some smaller works for the recent studio tour. I must have picked it up three or four times this week - and then set it back down. You see, I know how complex the background is in the reference photos and wanted to be sure how I was going to tackle it.  I finally convinced myself to just get started and trust my intuition and go with it.   Glad I picked it back up.  I am still somewhat fearful as I know the amount of time and effort required to complete it.  Did I mention I have a deadline of June 30th?

WIP Amethyst Shades of Blue by Helen Shideler

Rain rain go away...

It has been raining everyday this week.  Beautiful steady, falling straight down,  soaking rain.  And when it was not soaking rain, well it was torrential rain.   Thankfully the temperature was somewhat tropical.  The gardens are so lush and beautiful in appreciation.  The planters, well that is another story of - soggy petunias. By the time we are able to mow the lawn again it will likely be a foot deep.  No sign of the rain stopping anytime soon.  

Helen's garden

New supplies means new work

I receive the gesso board panels I ordered this week.  Now I am able to get to the two commissions I have and also start another of my somewhat weekly oil painting.  Funny how much I love receiving a new shipment of art supplies.  Does not have to be anything really exciting or new. Just art supplies.  I always imagine what I am going to do with them all.  I imagine series of work.  Almost always.

WIP Helen Shideler

Eden Energy Medicine

This weekend I attended an Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) workshop with Sue Hooper.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the experience.  Sue is an amazing and gracious instructor. Coming off the work getting ready for last weeks KCST I needed to switch it up and slow it down. The exercises will with fit in nicely with my current morning stretching and balancing routine.


WIP - Maritime Blues III, Finally Finished

So, I have been all over this painting consistently for the past two weeks.  Every opportunity I had I would work on it.  I think I have decided that, unless someone commissions me to do another mussel shell painting in a completly different medium, well,  I am done with watercolor mussels - at least for awhile!  I found this process long, starting two poured paintings at the same time.  I was able to complete the first one, but had to move away from this version to get other work done.  Took me more dicipline than I figured to stay with this.  This is the third and final of my series of pured water-colours of  mussel shells. I think I will "stare" at it for a few days before I have it scanned to see if it needs any tweaking.

Whiter Shade of Pale? Lighter Shade of Pale?


Currently I am working on two watercolors simultaneously.  They both happen to be paintings of primarily white flowers. The flowers are quite different from each other in complexity.  The roses are far more intricate than the azalea and drawing them out took far more time (and I might add – patience).  The azaleas allow for more freedom, both with the initial sketch and the application of the paint. Not as many overlapping shapes or fringy petals.

Interesting though, at first glance you would describe both of these flowers as being white.  And really, once you really look at them, there is really very little white about them, other than one’s first impression. (really.. really… really)

This is what truly fascinates me about painting.  Time and time again I step back and marvel at the color possibilities when I embark on a new project.  I determine my palette up front and make adjustments usually after the first petal has had an application of paint.

I have a notebook that I journal the palette for each painting.  This is most helpful as quite often, when a painting is 2/3rds complete, I abandon it for a while and start another – until it reaches the same stage and I go back and complete the first painting.

And so, the most difficult part of painting is the naming convention.  Where to start? Want it to be identifiable to the painting.  And yet, so often the name is a nice name.  Right now I am stuck on a “Whiter Shade of Pale” sounds melodic, eh?  Oh wait – it is beautiful song by Procol Harum.  And I need a second name for the “other” white floral…thinking “Shades  of White”.

Work in progress - 'Peek-a-boo"

We have a backyard pond.  The novelty has never worn off.  Each season it is different - offering us many new things to enjoy, much like a natural lake.  Only much, much smaller.  In the spring we have froggie visitors that delight us.  And last night - a frog spooked me when it jumped in front of my path into the pond. 
In the summer months, the lily pads and water lilies captivate us.  They are really parking spaces for dragon flies and darners and the likes.
We make a point to visit each day and look for the changes. What is ready to bloom, what has grown seeming overnight, you get the idea. The daily feeding the kio and gold fish are a huge part of this routine as well.  (We really do not necessarily like to talk about the daily cleaning of the filter basket and other pond maintenance activities that presented this year.)  
We sit on our deck in the evenings and wish the pond was really the ocean with waves or a huge lake.  We imagine the sounds of waves lapping at the shores.  And on more than one occasion during the times of high temps and humidity wished it was large enough to swim in.
So, it is not a stretch that I must paint it (er… again).  The lily pads and water lilies are from our pond.  The leopard frogs are actually residents at the pond at Hooper’s Studio in Hampton, NB.  Their pond is also small and is providing haven to over 40 leopard frogs (at last count).  Beside their pond is a rather large net.  When I inquired what the net was for I was told to catch the bullfrogs.  My puzzled look brought about this explaination “they eat the leopard frogs so Kathy catches them and relocates them to another area of the yard”.   I love this story.
Anyway, after photographing the frogs I knew I need to incorporate a few of them into this painting.  Along with the odd lacewing and dragon fly.  Enjoy looking for them. Peek-a-boo!

Nothing like a pending deadline to motivate an artist!

Fushia Delight

I am so excited to be participating in the Kings County Studio Tour this June 9th and 10th - http://www.studiotour-nb.com/  .  This means, of course, I have to be prepared.  Now I have been painting for quite awhile getting ready for a solo exhibit "Full Spectrum" to be hung at the Imperial Theatre the end of August this year.  So I have a lot of really large paintings completed for this.  The gap I have is for smaller pieces.

So what does any artist operating under self imposed deadlines do? Why I checked my framing inventory and, this time wrote the sizes down and went searching for subjects that would be fun to paint and coordinate with my three burgundy frames and two gold ones.

Two Beez

So far so good, I have two completed and the others are lightly drawn out.  There are more petunias, a different variety, pretty lillies (I have no idea which variety) and apple blossoms.  I will be ready for any color other than pink.  Oh, by the way, I have a large painting in progress - pretty pink peonies under way as well.  More to follow on this one -just likely not too soon!