Monday, December 23, 2013

Seasons Greetings Everyone!

©Santa, Kenya and Me, December 2013
   Laura Leeder





"May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
 The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
And the warmth of Christmas grant you love."

From my home to yours....thank you for sharing 2013 with me.  I look forward to our continued friendships in 2014!  

May it be your best year ever!

Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC



Saturday, December 21, 2013

"I love to paint completely for myself. I call it my experimental work when I just need to play with my materials and not worry about the market. This is where the child-like artist takes over and allows the artist to just have fun. There is a no risk factor." ~Adrienne Moore

















© "The Gift" ~ Watercolour, Dec 18, 2013
    Laura Leeder

This small painting was done as a quick study for a larger floral painting with this green bow. The subtle texture in the background was created by spritzing alcohol onto the wet paints and allowing to dry.  

*Tip: I sprayed the alcohol onto the background quite liberally covering the whole surface.  What I  noticed afterwards is that the alcohol seems to leave a slight film on the surface that made it very difficult for me to go back in and deepen any areas.  What I learnt? A little restraint is a good thing!!
 
To create the texture on the bird, I pre-wet the area and charged in my color's, (keeping in mind where my lightest light's and darkest dark's would be).  While the bird was wet, I pressed saran wrap onto this area, smooshing and twisting the wrap.  I then applied a heavy book on top of the painting and left it to dry overnight.  The result was this lovely aged texture! 

*Tip: If like me, you build up your painting with additional glazes of color, then you need to go EXTRA dark with your colors in this first step.    

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to play!

Thank's for stopping by, 
Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist, Creston, BC

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Watercolour Study That Invites Some PLAY Time!

"Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds."  Elliot W. Eisner

















©Pottery Bird with Bow, Watercolour Study, Dec. 2013  Step 1
   By Laura Leeder 

I have just completed a commissioned painting with loads of detail (which I will post here after Christmas) and was in need for a fun and interesting study before starting my next painting; a floral that includes this bow.

I purchased this pottery bird  last January while shopping in Sandpoint, Idaho and have been wanting to include it in a painting for some time.  So,  I decided to pair it with this green bow for a playful study.  For me, this is a  perfect opportunity to explore textures, patterns and shapes plus the interaction of both warm and cool colors.  Here's to some PLAY time!  

Have a great day, thanks for stopping by,

Laura Leeder
Creston, BC *The Heart Of The Kootenays

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.         
  ~W.T. Ellis






















Kootenay Gallery of Art -120 Heritage Way, Castelgar, BC
Phone:  250-365-3337     www.kootenaygallery.com










©Chrysanthemums ~ A Bowl Of Pure Joy by Laura Leeder
Ltd. Edition Giclee’ Print  #3/100
Retail: $175.00
Framed: 15” x 16.75”
*Available for purchase at the Kootenay Gallery Of Art 
  A selection of my Original Paintings, Giclee Prints, Notecards and Bookmarks
*Over 100 local artists and local craftspeople.  Ends December 24, 2013 




Key City Theatre Art Gallery, 20-14th Avenue North, Cranbrook, BC
The Key City Gallery spans the upper lobby of the theatre.
Phone: 250-426-7006      keycitytheatre.com












©Apple Lace by Laura Leeder
Original Watercolour 
Retail: $195.00 
Framed: 10.75" x 11.5"
*Available for purchase at the Key City Theatre Gallery Cranbrook
 This is one of the 3 paintings of mine that are included in this show and sale. 
* If you are looking for affordable art and unique gifts for the holiday season, check out this show in Cranbrook.  All art if priced under $300 dollars.  The show ends December 20, 2013.  

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend, 

Creatively Yours, 
Laura Leeder, Creston, BC
*In the heart of the Kootenays! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Chintz Teacup Study ~ Practice Makes Perfect

"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
















©Chintz Tea Study-A Work In-Progress
  By Laura Leeder, November 23,2013

I am getting an early start on my Teacup Painting for the 2014 Pink Garden Tea Fundraiser.  If you have been following my blog through the summer of 2013 you will remember that I photographed several different set-ups with both a chintz teacup and teapot loaned to me by Glory Jacklin.
















For my first attempt, I chose this simple set-up with a small pink rose.  I started by pre-wetting the background and charging in pale washes of Daniel Smith Indanthrone Blue, Deep Sap Green and Burnt Sienna.  I repeated this step a second time before moving to the teacup and rose.  Using a variety of yellows, pinks and blues and working slowly, I continue to develop each.  I added the shadow under the cup to help settle it and allow me to better judge the values on my teacup. 

I have just started to add the greens to the floral pattern and I'm working on the gold edging.   I'm ready to remove the miskit and see where I'm at.  I'm concerned that the cup  is still reading flat and that I haven't left enough light on it. While I can deepen the shadows I run the risk of ruining the pattern.  This is why practice is so important!   While I will try to bring this one to a satisfactory stopping point, it will not be my chosen painting for the Pink Tea.  








After all, I have several other set-ups that I would like to explore! Why settle for the first? 
Have a great weekend!

Creatively Yours, 
Laura Leeder

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Golden Mums Watercolour Painting ~ My Tribute To Autumn

"The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power." ~Northern Advocate























©Golden Mums ~ Watercolour & Ink, November 2013
    By Laura Leeder

These golden yellow chrysanthemums have provided me with color both indoors and out these last few months.  I started this painting in October and then set it aside while I worked on other paintings.  This week I sat down with it again and brought it to a satisfactory finishing point.  

As November is considered the birth month for chrysanthemums, I'd say my timing is perfect!  These golden mums are my favorite fall flower as they bloom long after most flowers have faded.  The quiet happiness they provide me gives way to melancholy as I know that their fading blossoms outdoors, means that winter is fast approaching. 

Golden Mums~Watercolour & Ink
200lb Saunders Waterford CP Paper
Size: 9.25 x 8.75 inches

*Prints and notecards coming soon!

Creatively Yours,
Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC  *In the heart of the Kootenays!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Love Affair With Apples?

"Satisfaction lies in mindful repetition, the discovery of endless richness in subtle variations on familiar themes."  
~ George B. Leonard

After posting my painting "An Apple A Day" last week, I got to thinking about how much pleasure is derived from this simple, yet ancient fruit.  That led me to thinking about how many times I have included apples in my watercolour paintings.  So just for fun, I thought I'd share some of these apple paintings with you!       


















©Healthy Pleasures, Watercolour 2010 -  Sold
   By Laura Leeder


©The Chosen Few, Watercolour 2009 - Sold
   By Laura Leeder


















©Golden Delicious and Quince, Watercolour 2010 - Sold
   By Laura Leeder















©Double Delicious, Watercolour 2007 - Sold
   By Laura Leeder

















©Quality Controllers, 7.75x9 inches, Watercolour 2010
   By Laura Leeder


















©Tasters Choice, Watercolour 2010 - Sold
   By Laura Leeder
















©Ambrosia-A Taste Of BC, 8x9.5 inches, Watercolour 2011
   By Laura Leeder












©Apple Lace II, 4.75x5.5 inches, Watercolour 2011
   By Laura Leeder

©Golden Delicious, 8.25x6.5 inches, Watercolour 2012
   By Laura Leeder


















©An Apple A Day, 6.75x7 inches, Watercolour 2013
   By Laura Leeder

Apples - A pleasure to look at, an enjoyable and nutritious treat to eat, plus, they are delightfully fun to paint! Especially when I can acquire one from an orchard with the stem and leaves attached!  With so many varieties to choose from, there continues to be a number of color possibilities to explore in painting them. Looking at these paintings together here, has just given me an idea for another apple painting!

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

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your week!   

Creatively Yours, 
Laura Leeder
Creston, BC *In the Heart of the Kootenays!

www.lauraleeder.com
www.etsy.com/ca/shop/lauraleedersart

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Just One Of My Favorites Things ~ An Apple A Day!

"Whatever direction your life takes, your underlying themes remain. Discover and explore your themes to open the way for rich creative development."   Nita Leland



















©An Apple A Day, Watercolour,October 2013  
   By Laura Leeder 

Living amongst the Orchards does have it's benefits.  There is an abundance of hardy fruits and vegetables available at the market stalls right now and over the last few week's I can honestly say that I have been enjoying "an apple a day".  From sweet, crisp delicious reds to juicy, honey flavored golden yellows.  I enjoy them all.  It's my favorite mid-day snack along with a few thin slices of a good aged white cheddar and a cup of Cream Earl Grey tea.  Mmm  mmm mmm!  

This painting is part of my new series of small works that feature some of "my favorite things"

An Apple A Day

Size: 8.5 x 8.5 inches, Original Watercolour  
200lb Saunders Waterford WC Paper

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your day!
Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC  *In the heart of the Kootenays

ww.lauraleeder.com            

Sunday, October 27, 2013

This Week I've Been Adding The Final Touches To A New Teacup Painting

Brew me a cup for a winter's night,
For the wind howls loud and the furies flight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care, 
And I'll toast our bright eyes, my sweetheart fair.
~Minna Thomas Antrim

















©Steep In Pink, Watercolour By Laura Leeder, Oct 2013

The idea for this painting came to me while browsing in a florist shop in Kaslo this past spring.  (a charming lakeside village on the west end of Kootenay Lake)  Louise the owner and floral designer had several teacups nestled amongst her floral displays.  

English bone china teacups, fresh flowers, ribbons and bows, all in one place? How could I resist?   After showing her my teacup series of prints and notecards, I perused through her collection.  We had an enjoyable visit and I left with this teacup and bow and an idea forming in my mind for a new painting and a promise to visit again and enjoy a cup of tea.  (Louise, I still plan to join you for that cup of tea!)    

Several months later and here is the result ~ Steeped In Pink with my first ever PINK background!  The size is 7.5 x 11.5 inches and painted on 200lb wc paper.   

This painting is a celebration of women everywhere who share their wisdom, humor, strength, friendship and creativity! 

*As I was about to publish this post I learnt that Louise has been recognized for her floral artistry with a 2013 Best Of Business Award.  Congratulations Louise! 




Next week I'm in the studio finishing up a small painting for my new series of watercolour paintings titled "My favorite things", plus a new piece with some winter cheer (sprigs of holly).

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your day!
Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC  *In the heart of the Kootenays


*Available November 1st, 2013 ~ Steeped In Pink Teacup Notecards.  Perfect  for all occasions such as hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, party favors, birthdays, invitations and thank you's. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Celebrate Autumn In Watercolour! New Painting~Maple Leaf Trio

"How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days."     ~George Burns


©Maple Leaf Trio, Watercolour by Laura Leeder, Oct. 2013

I've been enjoying the changing of the seasons on my daily walks.  And, like so many other artists at this time of year I could not resist the call of the maple leaf as it beckoned me to take in it's transformation and capture it's likeness with paint and paper.  It's also a perfect opportunity to loosen up a bit and have some fun with color!  

Size: 8.5 x 8.5 inches, Original Watercolour  
200lb Saunders Waterford WC Paper
Retail Price: $55.00 plus shipping
BUY NOW  

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful weekend,
Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC (in the heart of the Kootenays)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I'm Welcoming in Autumn With My 1st Fall Art Sale!

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


2013 Fall Art Sale ~ Just In Time For The Holidays! 
ART SALE ~ October and November

Original Watercolour Paintings, Prints and Frameable Art Cards













©Maple Leaf by Laura Leeder, Framed Ltd. Edition Giclee' Print Of Original Watercolour

I'm Celebrating the changing of the season's with my first  FALL ART SALE. 

Please Note: This offer applies for a limited time only on select pieces of my art.  

Here's how it works:
Each week starting in October, I will be offering a selection of my paintings, prints and notecards at a sale price through my ETSY Shop and website.     

EVERY week I will add one, two or three works of art for sale.  
In addition: these works of art will include a BONUS gift.                                                 Each sale price listing will be available for purchase until SOLD OUT or the SALE period ends.   


Week 1, October 2013 - Ltd. Time Offer


















Fall Maple Leaf-Ltd. Edition Giclee' Print 
Regular Price $45.00
SALE Price $35.00 + shipping   BUY NOW
Print Size is apx. 6.75x6.75 inches and is matted to an overall size of 12.5x13.25 inches 
PLUS: receive an additional gift of 2 notecards!
Print is shrink wrapped making it ideal for gift giving! 
              
              
Week 2, October 2013 - Ltd. Time Offer















Lady Aynsley Teacup Print 
Regular Price $45.00
SALE Price $35.00 + shipping   BUY NOW
The size of the print is apx. 5 x 7 inches and is matted to an overall size of 9 x 11 inches. 
PLUS: receive an additional gift of 2 notecards!
Print is shrink wrapped making it ideal for gift giving! 

NEW SALE ITEMS WILL BE ADDED THIS MONDAY, OCT. 12, 2013
In my ETSY Shop I accept Canadian, US and International orders.
On my Website I accept Canadian and US orders only.

Thank You for stopping by, have a Happy Thanksgiving! 
Creatively Yours,
Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC (in the heart of the Kootenays)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Yellow Mums Painting Headed In A New Direction

"The things that interest me most about painting are whatever is difficult or unexplored, rather than what I can already do. Following that path results in failures once in a while, but it's much more rewarding when I make a breakthrough."  ~Quang Ho






















©Yellow mums, watercolour & ink work in progress, Oct 2013
    Artist Laura Leeder

I've stepped out of my comfort zone and headed in a new direction with this painting.  It partly resulted from my shift in thinking that this piece was a study and not a painting, thereby giving myself permission to play.  This shift in thinking really came from seeing so many of you trying new techniques in your own art.  (so thank you!)  

The leap started with this strong urge to outline the centers of chrysanthemums in ink.  I liked the result and decided to try the same thing on the petals!  I couldn't stop there as the bowl now looked incomplete.  Taking a deep breath, I slowly outlined it's edge.  Not perfect, but, not bad. I didn't stop there though, I opened my new small pots of opaque twinkling paints that just arrived in the mail and started dropping in more color onto the flower petals. With paint names like Sunflower, Yellow Rose, Autumn Butternut and Fern, how could I resist?  After all it is only a study....right?!

The twinkling paints change with the light and add another layer of depth and texture that unfortunately doesn't show up well in this photo.

Overall, I like the results, although, I still have quite a ways to go before deciding if I should just set it aside as a study or declare it a finished piece. (I am still hopeful)
I came across these twinkling pots of paint as a result of reading Dreama Tolle Perry's post on her Venice trip.  Here is the link: http://dreamatolleperry.com/v-is-for-venice/

Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated, have a great day!

Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC in the Heart of the Kootenays  

P.S.  I recently met a talented artisan on Etsy who creates charming and whimsical greeting cards and stationary. Sian Whitehall of Australia, owner of Janes Apple.  Jane promotes other artists and artisans on her colorful and cheery blog and this week she has included my print "Golden Beauty" in her weekly treasury feature.  Please head over to Janes blog and check it out:  Cheerful by JanesApple  Thank You!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

From boom to bust, the historic Ghost Town Of Sandon here in the Kootenays.


"History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days."  ~Winston Churchill



This past week has been cold and rainy and I found myself unable to focus on work and garner any enthusiasm to get into the studio. Ivor, Kenya and I decided, what a perfectly good excuse to get away for a day and enjoy a drive through the mountains.

Our drive took us along the east shore of Kootenay Lake to Crawford Bay where we caught the ferry taking us west across the lake to Balfour landing.  We then drove north through the beautiful, small lakeside village of Kaslo and continued on to the once thriving mining community of Sandon. (now a ghost town.)



















Miss Molly Browns brothel, just one of 40 that were once in existence in the town and surrounding area.  

  















No tea invitation here!  (Kenya and I)

In the 1800s, Sandon sprang into existence as Canada's richest silver mining community.  Prospectors and miners came by the thousand.  The town was hastily constructed in an impossibly narrow and inhospitable valley high in the mountains.  Buildings were constructed right at the edge of Carpenter Creek on either side with a boardwalk built right over top of the creek.  

It's said there was a population of apx. 5000 with 29 hotels, 28 saloons, 40 brothels, 3 breweries, 2 railways, banks and dozens of stores and businesses.
   
















Museum, Sandon, BC

















Sandon was enjoying a booming economy and then in the early 1900s much of the town was destroyed by a devastating fire. The town was rebuilt and over the next several years it began experiencing a series of labour problems, declining metal prices, along with the exhaustion of several major mines.   

















Both the Kaslo & Slocan Railway, connecting Sandon with nearby Kaslo on Kootenay Lake and the Nakusp & Slocan Railway (Cdn. Pacific) from New Denver and Nakusp raced to reach the Sandon area to profit from the boom. 

The hills around Sandon were actively mined by mines such as the Silversmith, the Slocan Star and The Payne well into the 1900s.  



This building is the original City Hall. 




















Like the other silver towns of the era, Sandon faded with the fall of silver prices. In 1955 a major flood of the Carpenter Creek occurred, destroying most of the remaining buildings of the downtown core.  Looters tore apart what was left and the town never fully recovered again.   




















Remains of the boardwalk are still found scattered around the creek edge.  Yellow sticker tape cordons off many areas as the embankment is unstable  and collapsing.  (Amazing to see this destruction up close)


Mangled piles of timber, once the main street,are still littered all over.

Scenes from the Sandon Museum

Prospectors Cabin

A photo of the Silversmith Powerhouse, still in use today and is the oldest continuing operating plant in Canada.  


We ended our day trip with a with a hearty meal of halibut and chips at JB'S Pub located at Woodbury Resort on Kootenay Lake.  One of our favorite stops when in the area.  

Have a great weekend, it's back to the studio for me!

Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist, 
Creston, BC ~ In the heart of the Kootenays!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yellow Mums-Painting In Progress or Study In Progress....That Is The Question!


"The best strategy relies upon an unlimited set of responses." ~ Morihei Ueshiba






















©Yellow Mums, Study In Progress,September 19, 2013
   Laura Leeder~Watercolour Artist

I've changed the caption under the photo from painting in progress to study in progress.  This piece is only 9 x 8.75 inches and was initially meant to be a warm up to figure out my colours and decide if I wanted to paint these chrysanthemums in a much larger format.  (which is what I should have done to start with) Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained!   

I couldn't wait to drop some colour into these fall mums.  I've started with a very light wash of aureolin yellow, followed by new gamboge.  I then mixed a light value of rose madder genuine and new gamboge and have added it selectively in some of the shadow areas.  I have also mixed a light value of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna that I am using to help separate the petals. 

I have just started to add some of the background colours into the glass bowl. I had to remove all my miskit spots as I was finding them too distracting.  At this point, I could no longer ignore the pityfull cries from my yard as my flowers were choking under the weeds and begging to be saved.  So that is where I have spent most of my time over the last few days.  A good thing too, as I was almost finished and the rains came.  

While rescuing my flowers I came across this surprising trumpet lily in bloom!  Yes, in my garden, blooming in September!















©Trumpet Lily, blooming in the garden, Sept 17, 2013
   Photo by Laura Leeder

















One last photo of the only other flowers left in bloom in my backyard flower beds after all my deadheading.

There is a lot more work to do around the yard and indoors, so it's back to work for me, sadly though, not in the studio... just yet!   

Thank You for stopping by, have a great week!

Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist
Creston, BC ~ In The Heart Of The Kootenays
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