Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On The Easel - Still life with hydrangeas

”The seed of your next art work lies embedded in the imperfections of your current piece. Such imperfections (or mistakes, if you’re feeling particularly depressed about them today) are your guides -- valuable, reliable, objective, non-judgemental guides -- to matters you need to reconsider or develop further.” -David Bayles & Ted Orland

Step 2: Hydrangeas in rose bowl on lace doily

I have masked out some of the hydrangea petals, that I want to keep lighter and/or will be part of the focal point. I've also masked out the petals on the table so that I can easily charge in color on my leaves. I really want to make sure I vary the color of the leaves, adding a little interest here. I don't want too much detail on them as I want the flower petals and the bowl to draw in the eye, yet they need some color to help balance out the "sameness" of the petals and help move you through the painting.

Using rich green gold, quinacridone gold, thalo blue, hookers green & sap green in various tints on the leaves. Placing cool colors where leaves are in the shade and warmer color where more light might hit the leaves. (yes, it looks bright....all will tone down, with the next glazes)

Time to start adding 1st glazes of color to the table top, bowl and lace doily.

"The craving for colour is a natural necessity just as for water and fire. Colour is a raw material indispensable to life. At every era of his existence and his history, the human being has associated colour with his joys, his actions and his pleasures."
- Frenand Leger, "On Monumentality and Color", 1943.

Till next time, Laura Leeder

email: lleeder@telus.net visit my web: http://www.lauraleeder.com/

Sunday, March 22, 2009

On The Easel - New painting with Hydrangeas

"I feel that when I am painting, it is a form of worship. I see how wonderful nature is and how wonderful art is...and by trying to produce these works of art, I feel that I am just showing my apreciation of these creations." E.J.Hughes

Step 1: Hydrangeas in rose bowl on lace doily

I adore Hydrangeas, I have planted several varieties around my property over the last 2 years. This one produced blooms for me last year...I patiently waited for them to fill out, before cutting & displaying them in this bowl.

I await with eager anticipation, to see which plants will produce flowers for me this year. A real challenge to paint.....moving slowly & figuring it out as I go along. Working with right hand shadows. I want to keep the petals in soft green & pale pink hues. 1st layer of background complete. Colors used: lite hookers green, ult.blue, green apatite genuine, rose madder genuine, lite winsor violet, touch of thalo blue. Colors were blended on dry paper. Using Daniel Smith watercolor paints. The size is 12 3/4" x 17 3/4".

Thanks for stopping by, Laura Leeder

Your comments are welcome,
email me at lleeder@telus.net, visit my website: http://www.lauraleeder.com/

Saturday, March 14, 2009

HABITS for Success

"If a certain activity, such as painting, becomes the habitual mode of expression, it may follow that taking up the painting materials and beginning work with them will act suggestively and so presently evoke a flight into the higher state." Robert Henri

This little watercolor painting is titled, Sunrise.

Image Size: 7.25" x 9.25" Framed: 12" x 14" Retail Price: $125.00

"I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed--you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men, and, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a man. You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin--it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am a habit!"

Favourable habits reap favourable results. It seems that simple habits contribute more to success than luck, happenstance, or even a favouring economy. Further, recent studies on the nature of genius indicate that self-generated habits are mighty muscles indeed. While all of us who wish to master specific skills need to tailor our habits accordingly, here are a few for starters:

Squeeze out paint in the morning before your coffee is cold.

Program creative work balanced with rest, exercise and study.

Train yourself to be regular, punctual and workmanlike.

Shoot down your lazy tendencies before they shoot you.

Do whatever it takes to honour your personal perception of quality. This may mean slowing down, speeding up, multitasking, single-tracking, going back to basics, being risky, being cautious, dreaming, concentrating, winging it or even reading the instructions. Apparently, one of the most common bad habits these days is not reading the instructions. This can apply to artists. We need to regularly refresh the habit of truly looking, truly seeing and truly understanding. No big deal. It's just a habit.

"Our natures are alike; it is our habits that carry us far apart." (Confucius)
"We are what we repeatedly do." (Aristotle)

*This excerpt was taken from a weekly letter by Professional Artist, Robert Genn, "The Painters Key" website. For the full letter and loads of other information click here:

*I believe I should post this in my studio where I can see it and read it everyday!

Yours in art, Laura Leeder

email: lleeder@telus.net website: www.lauraleeder.com

Sunday, March 8, 2009

On The Easel - Raku Vase w Rose, Lace-Completed!

"There is no substitute for feeling the stone, the metal, the plaster, or the wood in the hand; to feel its weight; to feel its texture; to struggle with it in the world rather than in the mind alone." -William M. Dupree

This painting is titled, "Borrowed Treasure"
This size is 11 1/4" x 16" and is UV varnished on 200lb watercolor paper

Yea! This one is finally finished. I adore this vase, I'm drawn to it's texture, it's shape, it's variation in color. It's just plain fun to paint! I've used granulating paints, mineral paints and salt...lot's of salt. I've left a lot of the salt on the vase and up close you can see it and feel it.
I borrowed this pottery vase .... hence the name.

For purchase information you can email me lleeder@telus.net or phone: 250 402-6599
Yours in art, Laura Leeder
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