“The falls” $ 30.00 4″ by 12″ Watercolor on paper by Shanti Marie

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Art, how to make it your own. The quest to be unique! “Three Amigos” 4 by 6 watercolor $30.00

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So many days I struggle as an artist to truly create something that is fresh, new and unique. I’m not alone in this daily struggle. It’s a common topic of conversation in Artist circles. Of course, like most people, I’m influenced by everything I see and hear. And, like so many people, these images, colors, or symbols will appear in my work. This is not because I lack an imagination but because I share a connection or a sense of belonging with these images. It is a way to describe a little bit of myself. Some folks call it collective consciousness others think that this is “voo doo” – “new age” crap. Call it whatever you wish, Artists often need to paint in a series or paint similar subject matter to find their unique voice.

We’re living in a time of information and unlimited access to visual stimulus. All you have to remember when you sit down to paint is: nothing is “new”. All subjects have been painted. You need to just make it your own. While even Matisse and Picasso challenged each other for years by painting similar subject matter; some say this helped each artist develop their inner vision. Others might call it their own method, technique or style. This technique can be useful to the solo painter as well.

Give it a try, the next time you’re struggling with what to paint, try painting a common object and do it in a way that describes your interpretation. You are unique! Allow this uniqueness to surface and make your Art memorable.

“Bold Lilly” Watercolor on gessoed masonite $50.00 USD 8″ by 8″ (inches)

What a great day! The sun was out it was like 65 degrees, Roo (my grandson) and I went out in the yard and played with the dogs, we sang, threw rocks basked in the winter warmth and ate Mickey Ds. I stayed up till three am last night so I painted a couple of small paintings, this is one of them.

I used to have lilies in my pond but my Koi are large now and they think I’m putting those beautiful flowers in there for them to munch. So now unless I protect them by cordoning off a corner they get devoured in about five minutes.  But I can still have them anytime I want, I just have to get out the paint brushes.  Isn’t it wonderful to have an imagination?

“Incognito” A quick look at how Glazing can change a watercolor



This is a painting that is ready to be glazed.  It is completely dry  (more than 24 hours)  and will accept a new layer of paint very well.

The final finished painting is at the bottom of this post.

This is how the painting looks before I have glazed it.  Take a look at the painting and you will be able to see how different a painting can look after glazes have been applied.

You may also see area or shapes of some things which haven’t been painted yet.   Some direct painting or glazing with the same color will also need to be done to bring the values in line.  Values are difficult to determine unless you can see how  all the various colors and glazes effect each other.   Often an artist should go back and take a look at anything that has been changed just to make sure that anything that needs tweeking gets tweeked.   This means perhaps darkening an area previously thought to be OK.

Above you will see a section of the painting.  Look at the light green leaf here in the middle, I will glaze over some burn’t senna and  then some green and  last some pink which should push the leaf back a bit and look  like a shadow.

You can see this in the next photo below.

Under the bright orange leaf there is also an area which is not defined, look at this area and see how it will be redefined by direct painting & glazing. This photo above shows how I changed the shape of this area (under the large orange leaf).

Next look at the photo below… there was a very light  shape which was only painted a light grey blue but was left mostly white.  You can also see the blue leaf’s edges (in the corner) was given a blue and purple glaze .

 Here is the that same area and you can see it has been painted around (negatively painted ) also a few direct touches help to bring a little critter to life.
 
Below in the next shot there is an area of the painting I had to grey up a bit while defining the finger like shape.  I glazed over this area with Phatho blue.
Then I decided to scumble in some Andrews Turquoise and some Cerulean blue  Both are a bit opaque and can be layered rather then glazed. Opaque paint will sit on top of the first layer of paint, in this case the dark blue paint.
  This is the right hand lower corner of the painting, You can see I put in various colors as glazes to give the butterfly shape some dimension and I also added some colors to his body for a little more emphasis. 
 Here is the final painting.  Notice I also painted the little vine like branches again so they would stand out against the background.  I also glazed the big brown leaf at the right hand bottom corner with bright red so it looks a bit brighter.  These things are subtle but often these little tweeks are all a painting needs.
 
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