Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Love of Abstracts

Windswept Love
by Artist Rita Squier

Abstract Acrylic Painting
10 x 10 inch Canvas

With Valentine's Day on it's way, I decided to create an abstract painting along the same lines as my abstract seascape series but using the vibrant color of red. It has been created on a square 10 inch canvas that can be hung on a wall with or without a frame.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Latest Venture in Acrylics

Sea Breeze
by Artist Rita Squier

Acrylic Painting
Canvas Size: 10 x 12 inches

Having been inspired by a large painting I created as a Christmas gift, I have decided to create a series of seascapes in acrylics. This series will be done on 10 x 12 inch stretched canvases.

The snowy cold winter has me dreaming of escaping off to a sunny warm vacation by the sea. I can imagine the warm breeze coming off the sea and the calming effect of the cool ocean blues.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Go Big, Go Bold with Bigger Brushes
Find yourself always reaching for those little brushes? Getting all caught up in the fine little details of things? Set aside your little brushes and reach for your bigger brushes. This idea alone rattles the nerves of many of my students. With watercolor painting, the fewer strokes you use to accomplish something, the fewer strokes you use to fill in an area, the fresher the end result will be.

I've done a ton of paintings on a 1/4 sheet of watercolor paper using a 1 1/2 inch wash brush, a 3/4 inch one stroke brush and a number 8 round. To paint larger areas with fewer strokes you need bigger brushes. The larger brushes hold more paint and more water for more continuous swashes of color. You can still add in small touches of color with the corner of the flat brush or the tip of the round brush.

Go big, go bold, let those big brushes do the work for you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just One of Those Days

Murphy's Law
It's just one of those days, when all things that will go wrong do go wrong. My husband is in lovely warm Florida, while I'm at home. It has been glorious up until this morning. As I write the address label for a client's order the power goes out. I hadn't printed the invoice yet. Daisy who misses her Michael, decides to empty the pen cup on my desk. She then proceeds to knock the 3 whole punch off the desk and scatters the confetti dots everywhere. Which Daisy thinks is fabulous! The power is out for several hours. So I decide to balance my husband's checkbook, which I soon find out hasn't been balanced in over 2 years.

It is pouring rain, high winds. The foot of snow that has so nicely blanketed the lawn has turned into a few lumps of snow and lots of mud puddles everywhere. The sun comes out. I try to package the orders to ship out and again Daisy wants to help. Now there is cat hair in the packing tape, do I just leave it there or re-package? The rain stops, the winds die down, the power is back on, the sun comes out for 10 minutes. I decide I will take Chloe the dog with me and venture out in our shiny clean and waxed car which has been sitting in the garage for a few months. It has not been driven since it was waxed. Chloe is so happy hops right into the car. I place my packages on the front seat. Turn the key and tk tk tk tk tk tk tk tk. My car won't start! But it's still shiny and pretty. Chloe reluctantly gets out of the car. To cheer her up, I toss her frisbee. The frisbee is her most favorite toy in the whole wide world. I forgot the lawn is muddy from the melting snow and rain.

But the car is still shiny and Chloe is soooooo happy. And now it is pouring rain once again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Snowflakes 10
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
ACEO - Art Card
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

What a lovely day it is today. I have a day to myself to do as I please. I've decided a lazy day is perfect for today, a Sunday. A day to sit at home and relax, watch a few DVDs I haven't gotten a chance to see yet. Maybe I'll save one or two of my favorites for later today.

As I look out my window, I think today may end up also being a snow day. I wouldn't mind seeing a few snowflakes today.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Plastic Wrap Painting
Today's tip is more of a technique. Challenge yourself!

I started with a 1/4 sheet of watercolor paper taped to a board.
Have a roll or large piece of plastic wrap at the ready.

1. Using a large wash brush wet your paper top to bottom with clear water.
2. Add in splotches of your favorite colors, wet into wet, deep rich colors.
3. Place your piece of plastic wrap onto the wet colors.
4. Press the plastic wrap, squish it around, crinkle it in places.
5. Now allow the paint to dry completely with the plastic wrap in place.
6. When the paint is dry, remove the plastic wrap.
7. Create a painting from the images and textures left behind.

I turned mine into a bouquet of flowers.

Try it and share with me know what you come up with, I would love to see it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Early Morning Riser

The Rooster
by Artist Rita Squier

Watercolor Painting
11 x 15 inches

I teach watercolor painting classes. I find my lesson inspirations from all different sources. This painting was done in one of my classes on the night of my husband's birthday several years ago. I allowed him to choose the subject matter for that night's class. This class lesson was adapted from a book on chinese painting and simplified to be able to demo and paint it in one two hour class.

Right now, it just screams "Good Morning Sunshine!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun with Flowers

Flowers Sing!
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
11 x 15 inches

Sometimes it is just fun to start a painting without knowing exactly where it is going. Lay in some color and just run with it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Technique for Watercolor Painting

Dried Out Tubes of Watercolor Paint
Last week, we sorted through our tubes of watercolor paint. Separated the good tubes of paints, from the bad and almost empties. I tossed my in separate containers and saved them.

I have a tube of Cobalt Blue watercolor paint that has dried to a solid rock hard blob within the tube. Occasionally, but rarely this happens. What to do with a hardened tube of watercolor paint? You can salvage the paint, especially a favorite expensive color. How did I know it was dried out? Squeeze the tube with the cap on and if it doesn't have any give, it's dried up.

1. Open the cap, if nothing squeezes out and you know there is paint in there, it has dried up.
2. Remove the paper label, if it has one. Carefully with an x-acto knife slice down the center of the tube.
3. Carefully, slice across the top of the tube and the bottom of the tube, creating a really wide H pattern.
4. Again carefully, peel open the tube to expose the hardened paint.
5. Loosen the paint. I poked down through the top to get the dried paint from the mouth of the tube.
6. Soften the outside of the paint with a wet brush and stick the flattest side down to your palette and allow it to dry in place.

I keep a butcher's tray palette for odd paints. I place colors I don't want in my regular palette anymore. I also use it for test colors and almost empty tube colors. Adding this salvaged tube paint to the butcher's tray palette is perfect! Check out my scrap palette from an old Tuesday's Tip, it includes how to remove a dried color from your palette:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dew Drops in the New Year

For the Love of Dew Drops
My watercolor Dew Drop Series has been so popular. People just love them. I love them too. I will be painting more of these this year. For those who have been asking, I will also paint some larger ones to expand the series.

It is going to be a great New Year!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Product

Emoticon Laptop Skins
Today we added a new design item to our Etsy Shop. Michael has created a bunch of emoticon decals for laptops. We've got the Smilie and Winkie listed already and will be adding more. They're so cute and fun!

They'll give your laptop character!

Check them out here:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Organize and Analyze
I still cannot believe we are starting a new year, 2010! I am going to continue my Tuesday's Tips & Techniques for Watercolor Painting through the new year. We may as well start it off on the right foot with organization.

It's time to go through your stash of watercolor paints. Separate the used tubes and the dried out tubes of paint from those that are still good. I'm tossing my pretty much squeezed dry tubes into their own special container, perhaps next weeks tip will deal with those. The hardened dried out tubes will also get tossed into their own container. Separate the good from the bad. Look over all the colors you have. Notice the colors you use most. Maybe there are a few brand new tubes of paint in there filled with colors you have yet to try. Organize your tubes of watercolor paint by color and brand. Make mental notes of what brands you like, which brands you don't like.

What to do with those colors you don't like anymore? Perhaps you can swap colors and tubes of paint with a fellow artist.

It's time to analyze your current stock of colors to see what you have and evaluate what you may need.

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4th - My Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me!

Homemade applesauce, homemade applesauce spice cake, caramel frosting drizzled with dark chocolate ganache. What a combination! Add champagne and flowers!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year 2010

Happy New Year!

Hope 2010 is a good year for all!


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