Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ethel's Teacup - A Family Treasure

"Tea beckons us to enjoy quality time with friends and loved ones, and especially to rediscover the art of relaxed conversation."  - Dorthea Johnson

© "Ethels' Teacup - A Family Treasure", Watercolor, Size: 7.25"x9.5"
     Laura Leeder, March 2011

This painting is finally finished!  Overall, I am pleased with the results.    
The teacup is part of my friend Claudia's china set.  The set was owned by her great-grandmother (Ethel)who passed the set on to Claudia's mother who then passed the set on to her.  A family treasure that is used on special occasions.    

The bottom of the saucer reads: Vignaud/Limoge/France.  I did a bit of reasearch and found that the actual name of the pattern is called "St.Quentin" named after a basilica in France. It would appear that this pattern was produced from 1911-1938.

The discovery of Kaolin clay near Limoges, France in the 1700's created a new industry in France -- hard paste Porcelain. (Which up to that time was a highly secret process in China.) Prior to this discovery it was soft paste porcelain which was extremely fragile and had no staying power.

The name Limoges can be used on any porcelain piece that is made with the kaolin clay and made in the City of Limoges, France.

Giclee prints and gift cards of this painting will be available for purchase in May.

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!     Make a reservation for the tea

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

Did You Know.....
The legend of tea begins with Shen Nung, an early Chinese emperor who ruled over 5,000 years ago.

He was a skilled scientist and patron of the arts, and very conscious of his health. While he was boiling water one day, (he boiled water as a hygienic precaution) a gust of wind came by and blew some leaves from a nearby bush into his pot of water. Being that he was a scientist, he observed that the water turned a brownish color and that it must have meant something chemical happened to the water. He decided to try it and after finding it very satisfying, tea officially became a beverage.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On The Easel - Teacups, Roses and Delicate Patterns

"To gain confidence, constant practice is essential. Just as a musician needs to practice regularly to retain his touch, the watercolourist needs to be constantly in touch with the medium."  -Robert Lovett

"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere."  
 ~Chinese Proverb

©Laura Leeder, March 2011, Watercolor In Progress
I avoided working on this painting until late afternoon yesterday, as I wasn't in the mood to tackle the delicate pattern along the edge of the cup.  I spent the morning working on a new teacup painting with pink daisies instead. 
After a walk, lunch and several more excuses, I reluctantly picked up my pencil and started to re-draw once again, the pattern on this teacup.  As a result, I haven't gotten very far......on the other hand....I did move past my block.  I will continue to work on this one today, perhap's my muse will step in and finish it for me! 
Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On The Easel-Teacup & Rose Painting: Putting It All Together

"Working in a studio environment with a still life, portrait or figure gives you a great deal of control in the design. You can carefully plan the position and movement of the subject, adding and subtracting elements as needed."  -Sidney Hermel

©Laura Leeder, March 2011, Watercolor in progress

I am continuing to glaze lite to medium value washes on both the cup and the rose.  I've added more color to the background, doing so slowly and cautiously, as I want to keep it light overalll. 
I spent some time yesterday studying the pattern on the teacup.  It is a small and complicated pattern.  I tried to draw it out on transparent paper first and then transferred it to the wc paper.  I did not like this 1st attempt of the pattern and erased it all.  I've decided to try and add just enough detail on the center of the teacup lip and just suggest the overall pattern along the saucer edge with dabs of color.
I hope I can achieve an acceptable likeness! 

I won't spend more than an hour or so in the studio today....need to take care of some household chores and get outside for some fresh air! 

Happy Saturday,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Did You Know.....
   -Away of keeping tea fresher longer is to store it in airtight containers, free of moisture and out of sunlight.

Friday, March 25, 2011

On The Easel - Concentrating On Color & Value Within The Teacup & Rose

"I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time..."  
      -Charles Dickens

© Laura Leeder, March 2011, Watercolor in progress
Yesterday, I concentrated on the rose.  I didn't like the shape of the petals on the right side, so I have redrawn some of them.  I will continue to develop the teacup today, hopefully, I will get some of the pattern on the cup and continue to concentrate on the rose petals, defining their shapes.
Artfully Yours, Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On The Easel-A New Painting With Roses And Tea

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."   -Anais Nin

This is a perfect example of why I love watercolors!  Look at the beautiful translucent quality! This is a result of glazing transparent paints, starting with light, clear washes and slowly building values.

Color's used are: Daniel Smith-Q.Gold, Burnt Sienna, Rose Madder Genuine, Q.Red, Phthalo Blue, Ult. Blue and a touch of Green Apatite Genuine.

It feels so good to be back in the studio.....I was starting to get anxious and a wee bit cranky!

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

"Ancient Beauties" By Laura Leeder on Display at ArtWorks Gallery

"Art gives us the opportunity to escape the mundanity and ugliness of life and enter into an extraordinary world of imagination, creativity and beauty."  -Hap Hagood

© "Ancient Beauties", Watercolor, Size:  24"x28"
     Laura Leeder

"Oh, beauty, ever ancient and ever new."   -Saint Augustine

This painting is now on display at "ArtWorks" Gallery in Sandpoint, Idaho.  As part of the Gallery's "Color Wild" theme, I have re-designed my wall display area (thank you Teddi and Richard for your assistance) adding new paintings with a joyful attitude. 

Did You Know......
Peony flowers--the traditional symbol of China and the official state flower of Indiana--convey good fortune, wealth, honor and happy marriages, according to mythology and folklore.

If you are in the Sandpoint area, stop in and visit the gallery, click this link for location and hours:

Have a "joyful" day,
Artfully Yours, Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artworks Gallery is "Color Wild" this March & April 2011

If you are visiting Sandpoint, stop by the gallery and check out our “Joyful Exhibit”
celebrating a world of bold, bright color.

Also on display:  Petalicus One   (You must come in to see this!)

An inventive collaborative effort realized by 26 members of the
co-operative gallery, original concept by Julie Ellis
PLUS....Wildlife Photographer Jerry Ferrara has a new exhibit entitled You Make Me Smile!

Jerry will be in ArtWorks, Saturday, March 12 and April 16, with stories about these images
and others. Contact Jerry at

Drop by the gallery to enjoy some of the region’s finest artisans’ well as to let us Make you Smile
Stop by ArtWorks Gallery, located at 214 North First Ave, Sandpoint

Call the gallery at 208-263-2642
Visit our website:

Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist
Creston, BC

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Teacup Painting To Celebrate St. Patricks Day

"There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle,
Twas St Patrick himself, sure, that set it;
And the sun on his labor with pleasure did smile,
And with dew from his eye often wet it.
It thrives through the bog, through the brake, and the mireland;
And he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland..."   -Andrew Cherry

©"St.Paddy's Tea", Watercolor, Size: 5 1/4"x8 1/4"  
    Laura LeederMarch 2011

Happy St.Patricks Day!  This teacup painting was fun to paint, and I enjoyed keeping it a surprise!

Did you know......
 Folklore has it that the shamrock, (a 3 leaf clover) was used by Saint Patrick to illustrate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.  In the pre-Christian era Celtic moon cult the shamrock symbolised the three phases of the moon.
Today, it is widely used to celebrate the Irish heritage and National pride and has also become a symbol of good luck as is the "4 leaf clover".

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!

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

"May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.    -Irish Blessing

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On The Easel - New Teacup Painting, "Miss Primrose"

"As the centerpiece of a cherished ritual, it's a talisman against the chill of winter, a respite from the ho-hum routine of the day."    ~Sarah Engler

©"Miss Primrose", Watercolor, 5"x7" 
    Laura Leeder, March 2011
Another teacup by "Phoenix China" , TF & S Ltd., England  (Thomas Forester & Sons)

I chose this one for it's pretty "spring" flower pattern of primroses, and spring really is just around the corner....

The Primrose is one of the earliest spring flowers, originating in Britian and Europe. In the language of flowers, it represents:  Happiness, satisfaction, I can't live without you.  For me, it just represents SPRING!

I had a look around the yard yesterday and bulbs are starting to peak out from under winter's mantle.... now if we could just get some sun!

Today's forecast calls for more rain....another gloomy, overcast day.  I will spend part of it tidying up my studio and starting a new sketch.

Did You Know.....   
Today tea is more popular than ever, and is the second most consumed drink in the world, losing only to water. Scientific studies are coming out regularly which are showing the health benefits of tea, which perfectly fits the idea of people trying to live more healthy lives. Tea is no longer expensive to buy, and is considered by some to be not just a drink, but a part of their lives.

 To see more in this series of paintings, click on the page at the top of the blog -"Teacup Series". All PAINTINGS will be available for purchase later this spring.

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!

Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On The Easel - Cultivating patience through painting teacups

"Cultivate patience in your heart and you will improve. Learn to see well and your hand will become sure."       -Charles Philip Brooks

©Laura Leeder, March 2011, Watercolor Painting In Progress

Patience is certianly required in painting in this small format and attempting to do so realistically.  This is another of the Creston Museum's teacups and the size of this painting is once again, 5"x7". 

I hope to finish this one today.  It is at that "fine tuning" stage.  I need to adjust values, adding more contrast, especially around the teacup handle.  Finish up the spoon and add the rest of the pattern to the cup.

I am eager to move on to a larger size, and include some flowers to my next  teacup painting.  With spring just around the corner some early bloomers would make a nice addition to these teacup paintings.  It is overcast and raining.....a good day to spend in the studio.

Did You Know.....
     -Earl Grey is a tea blend scented with the oil of the fruit called citrus bergamia.

Have a creative day,
Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Friday, March 11, 2011

On The Easel - Teacups And The Art of Discovery

"With repetition, the alternate approaches become clear, options open."
     -Robert Genn

©Laura Leeder, March 2011, Watercolor Painting In Progress

This is the first time that I have painted in a "series".  I could never understand how someone could paint the same thing over and over again.  After completing 3 teacup paintings, I was beginning to wonder how I was going to complete another one and continue to stay enthused and challenged.  And then I had my moment of discovery!  I got it!  

By painting a theme repeatedly, you not only master certian skills quicker, you actually open yourself up to be more creative.  
"The key to mastery is through repetition, and through repetition one embarks on a exploratory journey of discovery!"

Have a good one,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On The Easel - New Teacup Painting, "Miss Daisy"

"Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage."   ~Catherine Douzel


©"Miss Daisy", Watercolor, 5"x7"
    Laura Leeder, March 2011
The 3rd teacup in the museum series is completed.  I tried to find the name of this pattern (V2250), but was unsuccessful.  The china mark on the bottom was first used in the 1930's by E. Brain & Co Ltd,  Foley China Works Fenton.  Does anyone know the name of this pattern?     

One more to do in this size and then I'll change it up for a while. 
Did You Know......
     -Darjeeling is called the champagne of teas and is grown in India's Himalayas.

*To see more in this series of paintings, click on the page at the top of the blog -"Teacup Series". All PAINTINGS will be available for purchase later this spring.

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings.

Artfully Yours,

Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On The Easel - 3rd Teacup Painting-Adjusting Values, Fine Tuning

"When the color achieves richness, the form attains its fullness also." -Paul Cezanne

©Laura Leeder, March 2011, Watercolor in progress
As you can see, I am making progress.  Developing the pattern on the front of the cup...need to strengthen the values overall. 
A better part of my morning has been spent responding to emails.  I have a few household chores to get out of the way and then I can spend some time in my studio!  
And...If all goes well I can get this one finished today!  (if I'm not feeling it, then I will work on a different painting)

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Monday, March 7, 2011

On The Easel - The Start Of Another Teacup Painting

“I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice.”
     - Erich Fromm

©Laura Leeder, Feb.2011, Watercolor in progress
Working on the 3rd of the Creston Museum Teacups. I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon, photographing a few more cups in various formats.  
All of my photographing is done outdoors on sunny days.  I have found it to be the simplest and most effective way to get the strong, cast shadows that are a part of my paintings.  
The added benefit is....I get to spend time outside, even when I am working!  I see and hear nature in action.  I get a lot of pleasure out of listening to the birds chirping and watching them go about their day.  
Have a great Monday,
Yours in Art,  Laura Leeder
Did You Know......
   -Laborers harvest tea by hand plucking the leaves, which are then dried and processed.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring's Greeting? An Artist's View Of The Creston Valley

"O, wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"  ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

©Photo Courtesy Artist Laura Leeder
Spring's Greeting?  I thought I'd share this photo taken yesterday morning from my back deck.  I awoke to a fresh fall of snow....the sun is just barely peeking through.  It was easy to enjoy this scene as I know it won't last for long.  Listening to the sound's of the chickadee's and robin's was an added bonus!  
Yesterday, I started 2 new sketches with ..(what else?)..teacups!  I plan to work on them for only a short while this afternoon, as I want to get out for a walk.  On one of my walks last week, I counted at least 14 robins. I have a real fondness for robins, so it was a great spring greeting!
Enjoy Your Day,
Laura Leeder   

Thursday, March 3, 2011

On The Easel - Teacup Painting, "Miss Phoenix"

"Tea ... is one of those rare treasures, enjoyed throughout the world, that actually benefits one's health."    -Kit Chow, All the Tea in China

©Miss Phoenix, Watercolor, 5"x7"

   Laura Leeder, February 2011

This teacup is described as a 1930s French style cup and saucer.  The burnt orange and yellow flowers are hand painted.

This teacup was made by "Phoenix China" ,  TF & S Ltd., England
T.F. & S stands for Thomas Forester & Sons)

In chinese mythology the "Phoenix" is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity. It represents the union of yin and yang. 

Did You Know.....
   -Withering, firing, oxidation, grading/sorting and packing are the four steps in manufacturing tea.

*To see more in this series of paintings, click on the page at the top of the blog -"Teacup Series". All PAINTINGS will be available for purchase later this spring.

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings.

The sun has just come out...a perfect opportunity to set up my table outside and photograph more "teacup" still life's.

Enjoy your day,
Laura Leeder  
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