Thursday, January 24, 2013

Painting In Progress- A Still Life Featuring Kootenay Pottery

"Have a strategy for tackling design, value patterns and color harmony, a plan that leads to a painting which is modern, but has its roots in the art of the past."  ~Sidney Hermel

©January 24, 2013, Laura Leeder, Painting In Progress, Step 2
   Size apx. 16" x 22"

Having had a few day's rest and change of scenery, plus the acquisition of some new treasures,  I came home eager to get back to work on this painting.  I've made lot of progress since my last post, though I've still a ways to go. 

I assessed the background and realized that it was just too choppy and distracting for me to leave it as is while I worked on the foreground.  So I went in with 2 of the 3 colors used in the first wash and deepened and softened the background keeping the right side slightly lighter.  If it needs further adjusting I will do that when the painting is completed.

I then proceeded to the next largest white space - the lace.  I gave it a light wash of colors that would appear in the flower, porcelain bird and pottery vase.  Then the bird, flower and table received light value glazes as well.  I then focused my attention  on the pottery vase.  Normally I would start with light value glazes here as well, but, in this case, I decided to add my deepest color first as I would then be able to judge all the other values needed on the vase against it.  This blue color is a primatek mineral paint with rich, deep saturation and a granular effect that works beautifully on this vase, giving it that earthiness and textural appearance you would see on the original.  

©January 24, 2013, Laura Leeder, close up, step 2

I wasn't liking the shape of the leaf petals against the vase so I lifted out what I could and re-drew their shapes and repainted each.  I then moved across the foreground a second and third time, adding deeper values of color to the table, lace, flower, bird and vase.

I'm now ready to deepen the shadows on the lace cloth so that I can move onto painting the table.  I will then be able to judge the color values needed to continue painting the rest of the foreground objects.

As always, your comments are appreciated,

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder,
Watercolour Artist, Creston, BC

Monday, January 21, 2013

Relaxing Across The Border And Newfound Treasures

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."                     
    ~Martin Buber

©Laura Leeder, January 2012

I've been relaxing across the border in Sandpoint,Idaho, enjoying some treasure hunting by day, followed by leisurley evening meals overlooking the lake, a glass of wine and a nightly soak in the hot tub.    

Sandpoint is a scenic and popular tourist destination year round. It is only 68 miles or aproximately 114 kilometers from the Canadian border and Creston, BC, making it a popular choice for a short get away.  It  sits at the base of the Selkirk Mountain range on the northern shore of Lake Pend Oreille.  An interesting fact about this lake is that it's a glaciated body of water, 43 miles long, and is the fifth deepest lake in the US (1,158 ft at its greatest depth) with 111 miles of shoreline. 

©Laura Leeder, January 2012 - Ivor

Our hotel was on the edge of the lake and we enjoyed  leisure walks on the breakwater and spectacular views of the skyline, both day and night.

©Laura Leeder, January 2012, Lake Pend Oreille

This is the evening skyline looking out onto the lake with the Selkirk Mountain range in the distance.

©Laura Leeder, Jan 2012

The view from our hotel room looking out onto the breakwater and lake.

©Laura Leeder, January 2012

Kenya, our yorkshire terrier, trying out her new winter booties!

©Laura Leeder, January 2012

I perused several shops looking for unique and interesting items to include in my still life paintings.  These are a few treasures I found on this trip.  I'm just waiting for sunshine, so I can get these outside and photograph  them in various set ups.  For now, it's back to the studio to continue working on the raku pottery with rose painting.

Have an enjoyable and creative day!

Laura Leeder,
Watercolour Artist, Creston, BC

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Butterflies In January?

"If I have accomplished anything good, then it's mainly because I've been driven by the need to know whether I can accomplish things I'm not sure I have the capacity for."   ~Vaclav Havel

©January 2013, Laura Leeder, Painting In Progress-step 1

I've been working in my studio this past week on a sketch of my first painting of the new year and this one has me filled with such nervous anticipation that I'm experiencing butterflies!  

Why? Well, at approximately 16"x22", it is the largest one that I have worked on to date. Plus, it is just one of three that I need to complete for an upcoming show this April in Cranbrook. (more on this show later)  Not only am I working against a deadline, but, I have definitely stepped outside of my comfort zone.

Working in this larger format has opened up a whole set of new challenges for me.  Starting with the background!  I had to dig out my larger wash brushes and work a lot quicker than I'm used to as I laid in my colors. I was not as successful as I'd hoped, and I will have to go back in with a second glaze and try to tone it down.  Before I do, I think I'll work on different areas of the foreground, while I muster up my confidence to tackle that background again!  So it's back to the studio for me and more butterflies!

What new challenge are you working on that takes you out of your comfort zone?

Thanks for stopping by, comments are always welcome.

Creatively Yours,

Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC            

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Fresh Start In The Studio For 2013!

"Time spent not applying material to a work of art is as important as applying it... kind of like music, where the pleasant order of a composition is only due to the calculated silence between the audible rhythms."  ~Nikki Coulombe

©Jan 2013, Main Paint Tray, Laura Leeder

At the start of each new year, I give my studio a good cleaning.  Before starting any new paintings, I also empty out and clean my painting trays, along with my brushes and all other items on my desk.  I then get ready to add new paints to each tray. I have my main working tray for my everyday colors and a small porcelain tray that holds my specialty paints.  


©Jan 2013, Paints And Color Charts, Laura Leeder

With color charts in front of me and clean trays ready for filling, I start by adding my old favorites to each tray along with any new colors that I want to try.  As I record the inventory of my paint tubes, I make a note by each color if it's warm or cool.  I note if it's a new color, a color to delete, along with any other comments that are helpful to me in better understanding my color choices.  This is where I also make notes about any new paint colors I'd like to try and will consider purchasing on my next order. 

©Jan 2013, Studio Desk, Laura Leeder

After I've decided which colors will stay in my trays and which colors will be replaced with new ones to try, I then re-label my trays and fill the compartments.  Now I'm filled with excitement and anticipation and ready to start painting!!  

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!
Laura Leeder
Watercolour Artist, Creston, BC

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Good Bye 2012 - Hello 2013!

This bright new year is given me; To live each day with zest
To daily grow and try to be; My highest and my best!

 ~ William Arthur WardAmerican Writer & Author

My Personal Favorites From 2012! 
©Selected Watercolours From 2012
   Artist Laura Leeder

I hope you've enjoyed the Christmas Holiday season and like me, are looking forward to a New Year!!

I stayed out of my studio, away from my blog and made a huge effort to stay away from all social media.  Mostly, I succeeded, except for Pinterest, which I couldn't resist a few minutes of here and there!  

I enjoyed some time with friends, re-connected with family, and managed to get caught up on some household tasks.  I even managed to squeeze in a few afternoon naps, preceded of course, by a cup of tea!

2012 was a year filled with growth and accomplishments, but not without it's challenges and lessons.  I've said good-bye to 2012 and I eagerly look forward with renewed hope and optimism to 2013.

My wish for all of us is to enjoy a year filled with love and gratitude, good health and joy. May we laugh longer and harder, and find the strength and wisdom to cope with and move through the challenges that life throws at us.

Creatively Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolour Artist, Creston, BC 
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