Poured Watercolor Demo

For the month of August, I am the featured artist at the Gunnison Arts Center.  I decided to do a painting demonstration for the First Friday Art Walk.  Working on three subjects: a chile market in Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico; a series of flamenco dancers; and a Norwegian Fiord horse, I need to decide which piece will be the subject of my demo.  I choose the Fiord horse, because Gunnison hashas a strong horse culture and tradition.  Additionally, I am well known for my equine paintings, so this gives my audience an insight into how I work.  Studying the ink value drawing, I decide the painting’s design lends itself to the poured watercolor method.  This will be a crowd pleasing technique!  When the paper is wet and the paint is flowing, exciting mixtures and effects occur.

fiord1

 

 

The Norwegian Fiord has a distinctive black and white mane and tail, along with a dorsal stripe running from the end of the mane to the beginning of the tail.  The goal of my study is to spotlight the Fiord’s unusual and distinctive markings.

 

 

 

 

fiord2

 

 

After mounting my watercolor paper on a sturdy board, I transfer my drawing to the paper and mask the areas that will remain white.   When the mask is thoroughly dry, I pour the first layer using light values of permanent rose, raw sienna, and manganese blue.  These pigments will be my primaries for this painting- (red, yellow, and blue).  Using my drawing study, (above), as my value map, I mask the areas I want to remain light.  I use both a mask pen for small areas and a mask brush for larger areas.

When the second mask is dry, the painting is ready for the medium value pour.  This I will do in Gunnison at the Arts Center during the First Friday Art Walk.  The colors are bright and dramatic, eliciting ooo’s and aaaah’s from the audience.

fiord5For the final dark layer, I choose to apply color loosely with a large mop brush.  I mix colors wet-into-wet directly on the paper in selected areas where the Fiord’s distinctive black stripes appear.

I’m not concerned with a realistic reproduction of the horse’s markings.  A camera can do that job.  My objective is to celebrate the unique and instantly identifiable beauty of the Norwegian Fiord.  For this purpose, I am using bright colors in darker values than previous layers.  At this point, I must wait for the paint to dry thoroughly before I can remove the mask.  Because it is getting late at the Arts Center, I plan to do the next steps at home.

Above Right, I begin removing all the mask layers.  This is my favorite part of the process.  I feel like I am unwrapping a gift as the image begins to emerge beneath the mask.  With the mask removed, the hard work of pulling all the elements together to refine and resolve the painting begins.  I spend as much time studying the painting as I do applying paint.

Good Hair Day.jpg
“Good Hair Day”  framed 20″x16″  $350  To purchase visit: PURCHASE LINK
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New Dream Horse Series

Dream Horses………………………..

the confluence of my dreams, experiences, and passions arise to my stream of consciousness from time to time.  Showing my Dream Horse watercolor paintings at the Equine Art in the Park, Denver and the Montrose Center for the Arts Pop-Up Show have brought new energy to this creative direction.

In their new incarnation, the Dream Horses are mixed media, not quite bas-relief, but definitely semi-sculptural.

dreamhorse large
Size large: roughly 24″ x 20″  $125              Each piece is created individually, so size varies slightly.  Pictured above: pink horse: hand-dyed, handwoven cotton, handwoven patches of pieced cotton, silk, & novelty fibers in violet range; violet copper wires; fresh water pearls, crystals, handblown glass, & millefiori beads; metallic & cotton fibers in mane & tail.  Violet horse: handwoven cotton, silk, & novelty fibers; violet & aqua copper wire; handblown glass, crystal, natural stone, and rose quartz beads; silk, metallic, rayon, and cotton fibers in mane & tail.

I start with my handwoven fabric, shaping with colorful wire, sewing, and pressing.  Legs are created with rare and precious beads.  Manes and tails are formed with natural fibers, novelty yarns, and sizing.  The horses are then finished with more wire and beads.

The mixed media Dream Horses come in three sizes: large (above); medium & small (see below.)  Fill out the information on the purchase link to receive photographs and details  of available sizes, materials, and colors.  Custom horses can be created with your horse’s hair and/or your sentimental jewels, fabrics, etc.

To order please visit purchase link.  All details will be handled securely through email.

 

dreamhorse medium
Medium size mixed media Dream Horse: approximately 12″ x 16″  $65                                                  hand-dyed, handwoven cotton fabric; copper wires; crystals, handblown glass, millefiori, & glass pony beads; metallic & silk fibers in mane & tail.
dreamhorse small
Small size mixed media Dream Horse: approximately 7″ x 10″  $45                                                  handwoven silk, metallic, cotton fabric; copper wires; vintage tube beads; metallic & silk fibers in mane & tail.

To read more about my Dream Horse inspirations, click Dream Horse Link

2018 Exhibitions

It looks like this summer will be busy with numerous exhibitions and shows.  First on tap is the Colorado Watercolor Society 2018 juried exhibition.  This year the show was juried by Robbie Laird, NWS.  Robbie is currently the president of the National Watercolor Society.

My entry, “Break in the Clouds, Nicaragua,” was accepted for exhibition.  This painting is available for purchase through this link.

Colorado Watercolor Society
2018 STATE WATERCOLOR EXHIBITION
May 12 to June 27, 2018
Library 21c, Pikes Peak Library District, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Opening & Reception May 12, 2PM-5PM
Juror: Robbie Laird

Break in the Clouds (1)

“Break in the Clouds, Nicaragua” watercolor by Cheri Isgreen; framed size 20″ x 16″ $350

To learn more about this painting, visit this link

Almost time to Leave

I received a keyboard for my iPad for Christmas, & I installed the WordPress App, so I thought I would test it today. I have a new suitcase from Columbia in which I have packed a watercolor board, several sheets of Arches 140# 1/4 sheet papers, and a box of art supplies, (including Copic pens in shades of grey, Copic refills, colored watercolor pencils, mechanical pencils, lead, and 2 brush pens. These are nestled at the bottom of my suitcase.

In my carry-on daypack, I have a new Aquabee sketchbook in the larger 9″x12″ size. I loved my little square one that I filled last winter in Mexico. I think this larger size will allow me to record more complicated locations. Aquabee sketchbooks accept watercolor and Copic ink beautifully.

I also have in my daypack a new Sakura watercolor travel palette and a new brush bag, (also a Christmas present). I filled this bag with my favorite brushes, a mask pen, a brush tip pen, and a pencil. I may get some people sketches done in the airport, and putting the brush bag in my carry-on will prevent it from becoming a lost-luggage causality.

Many people have asked me to blog while I am in Mexico. I plan to go sketching most days, so I will bring my phone to take pictures of what I am working on, plus photos of the local color. These I can airdrop to my Ipad. Let’s test this out. Success!! I’m not sure how to tag or set feature images, and the App has crashed twice while composing this post, but I think blogging from Mexico will be doable! Hasta pronto en Mexico!!

Note expansion zipper is open, (though I have nothing in the outside pockets……..yet)

“A Sense of Place” workshop at Gunnison Arts Center

“A Sense of Place; perspective through urban sketch journals” begins at the GAC Monday, October 30.  Registration is still open  REGISTER HERE

Understanding and using perspective has never been simpler.  During each session, I will present a basic perspective concept, breaking it into simple steps.  Over the course of 4 weeks, we will build our understanding of perspective by adding new steps from previous lessons.  You will have a week between lessons to absorb and practice each concept.  (No class during Thanksgiving Week.)

Travel sketching, sometimes called “urban sketching” has become a very popular worldwide movement.  Along with capturing cities, the skills of urban sketching allow you to record the charm of mountain towns, the unique character of remote villages, and the defining themes of historic neighborhoods.  Rather than focusing on the landscape, the travel sketcher records human-built environments.  This course will give you a range of drawing strategies, taking the pain out of perspective, so you can confidently record your experiences.  No art experience necessary.

We begin our course with elevation view sketches, focusing on proportion and detail.  This is the view architects take when drawing a building.elevation chap

Along with presenting strategies for making drawings in elevation view, I will show you how to use watercolor to express textures and architectural details.elevationview

 

Building on elevation view, we will begin to work with two-point perspective, the most common type of approach to drawing buildings.  Part One of two-point perspective is what I call “elevation view plus one.”elevation+1

 

Once you have worked with drawing elevation views with one side in perspective, we will add the second perspective point during week three.

2 pt
Nicaragua (study for watercolor painting)

 

With a week off for Thanksgiving, we return the final week of November to pursue classical one point perspective: (think of Leonardo De Vinci’s The Last Supper.)1 pt

This strategy is useful when the viewpoint is high, such as this sketch from a rooftop bar in Lo de Marcos, Nayarit.1 point LDM

Once you have practiced these concepts and strategies, plan to hit the road and record your travels in a sketchbook.  I guarantee these places will become more memorable that all the snapshots you may also take.  And then try your hand at multi-point perspective drawings!multi.jpeg

Bringing The Masters in Art Alive

A new workshop by popular instructor, Cheri Isgreen

Wednesdays at Western Series at the Gunnison Arts Center

3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2

Featured artists: (clockwise) Juane Quick to See Smith, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Gulaab Gang folk art, Jasper Johns

Do you love art? Do you want to learn more about artists, composition, art techniques?Bring art alive through creative discovery. Take a multimedia approach to exploring periods, movements, geography, and master artists through making art. No prerequisite; each session is a stand-alone class with new content each week.   Each week we will take a different artist as inspiration.  Emphasis is on creative expression and discovery; we will not copy masterworks.  Instead you will create your own “masterpieces” based on inspiration and techniques of  the “artist of the week.”  All levels welcome; beginners will be given extra support; experienced artists are given design challenges to deepen their understanding. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. College credit available.  $35 includes all materials. Call the Gunnison Arts Center for details. Registration www.western.edu/academics/extended-s or by calling (970) 943-2885.
Pre-registration is required.

Passionate Pursuits Opens this Friday, June 2, 2017

You are invited to an art reception featuring my watercolor paintings celebrating horses, gardens, and travel.  The reception begins at 5:30 PM.  I will give a gallery talk about my inspirations, techniques, and processes beginning at 6:00 PM.  Along with my watercolor paintings, I am offering a wide selection of prints, notecards, and tiny paintings.  Live music and refreshments are planned.  This event is part of the Gunnison Colorado First Friday Artwork, with many venues in downtown Gunnison participating with art, spirits, music, and food.  For more information, please call Anne at 970-641-6111.

“Passionate Pursuits”  runs through the end of June.  Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:30 PM and Saturdays 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.

 

New Work: Watercolor Florals

orchidsOrchids is my newest painting.  After blocking in the basic composition, (two flowers on the upper and mid left and a long vertical for the stem), I created most of this work through negative painting.  I painted a series of dark saturated colors in a “blocky” wash, grading from very dark and cool at the top to warmer and lighter on the bottom.   I dropped a line of permanent rose from the top orchid, through the  bottom orchid , which creates movement through the background, as it also ties the two flowers together visually.  My goal was to create an abstract painting behind the flowers, which makes a more dynamic background.  Use of negative painting and lots of white highlights give the flowers drama.

I wanted the orchid stem to flow into the background at the bottom of the painting.  The background wash drips onto a light warm field of  raw sienna.  The orchid stem grades from dark blues-green into red and finally becomes part of the background drips.

Orchids was painted on 1/4 sheet of Arches 140# cold press paper.  Image size: 7.5″ x 22″  Matted size 12.5″ X 27″  $350

I will be teaching several watercolor workshops in 2017.  Each session will focus on different techniques, concepts, and effects.  Please visit my workshop link to find a class near you: watercolor workshop schedule

 

more new floral watercolors below:

 

Mexico Travel Journal Winter 2017 p8

Tonalá, just outside Guadalajara Ciudad, is best known as a major handcrafts center for Jalisco, particularly the large Thursday and Sunday street markets dedicated to handicrafts.  We went on a Thursday, which was great for shopping, but not so good for drawing.  It was packed with vendors, often booths erected four deep with double alley ways.  The views of street life and municipal buildings were blocked by the market.  We had to get creative to record what we were experiencing.

As a handicraft center, I was struck by the gorgeous handcrafted street lights made with wrought iron and blown glass celebrating the importance of bees to the ecosystem.  These whimsical sculptures reflect the ways Mexican culture beautifies even mundane utilitarian objects.  I later noticed this charming style adapted to one of the local Tonalá homes.

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Mexico Travel Journal Winter 2017 p7

We had five nights in Guadalajara, staying at the Hotel Dali in Guadalajara Centro.  We spent each day exploring different city zones, visiting museums, drawing, and searching out local food.  We ate from the markets and bakeries, at restaurants, and even from the street vendors.  We rarely at at tourist high-end restaurants, preferring to experience the local color.  I was careful to always order bottled water, and I had no trouble with the food as long as I told the server that I was lactose intolerant.  “No puedo comer lactose, no queso, no crema, no leche.”  The servers were quite accommodating to my needs.

One day we took the tour bus to visit Tlaquepaque, an area famous for its pottery and blown glass.  The name derives from Nahuatl and means “place above clay land”. Historically San Pedro Tlaquepaque was a distinct village.  During the 20th century, it was absorbed in Guadalajara, the state capital of Jalisco.  In Tlaquepaque, one can find many fine galleries and beautiful native arts.  Talaquepaque5

In Mexico, one sees many pruned and shaped trees.  The formal garden in the Basilica Laternensis courtyard features free-standing espalier trees.  Just beyond the basilica walls is a large church, almost as grand as the basilica itself.

Even a simple drawing, such as this involved the set up of perspective grids including the layout of formal gardens, courtyard walls, and a church beyond the walls.  By the time we reached Guadalajara and were sketching for several days, my brain became entangled with perspective lines and multiple vanishing points.