I have been accepted to participate in the 2013 36th Annual International Watercolor Exhibition at the Watercolor Artist Society Houston (WAS-H). This is an honor and a very prestigious event to be chosen out of hundreds of artist’s entries from around the world. One painting is chosen from each artist accepted. Below is an image of the accepted painting.
Last year’s participation gained me the honor to earn the status as a Signature Member.
The studio is finally completed! I have plans for many future painting series. One side of the lower level is available for use as a gallery, party room or whatever we wish. I am so blessed and filled with gratitude to have my dream fullfilled. I see sharing my studio space with art students, art collectors, my dear friends and family.
The art studio construction is making more progress every week. We are hoping completion will be the middle of January. The galvanized steel staircase is in the final stages of fabrication. All the other jobs (plumbing, electrical, structural) have passed the city’s inspections. The holidays will slow things down a bit, but we are hopeful the construction will be done very soon. Check out Harvard Heights Construction on YouTube (ths is a garage built across the street from our house – way more detailed than my art studio): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BALWyrU5BM4
Today, I have made some major changes with my still life set ups. I have three set ups in place and I am currently painting my first of the series called “Redemption”.
I have decided to do all in Watercolor. I love painting in watercolor. I like the fact I can walk away from the brushes while the interruption of the backyard construction is taking place. I only paint during the day with natural sunlight. A night, I will draw or concentrate on future paintings.
I am also experimenting with egg tempera and casein with the watercolor. The rythm of painting with all these water-based mediums seem to flow beautifully together. I am not mixing them together with the same paint brush. I am using the other mediums as the final layers ontop of the watercolor. When I use the egg tempera and casein, I will indicate I am doing so.
I have taken a class with the nationally known artist Koo Schadler and have never pursued painting exclusively with egg tempera. It will be my next project once I move into the new studio.
In the meantime, I will stay with my beloved watercolors.
This is the drawing before the watercolor. I work out most of my problems with this first stage. For example, I am free to reposition certain objects in the drawing to make it work in the composition.
Alot of new construction has taken place at our residence. We are anticipating the building of our new garage with a second story apartment/art studio.
The downstairs garage will be divided into two spaces with a wall and two separate garage doors: the left side of the garage will house all tools and a workshop area. The right side of the garage will overlook the garden area and be used for art shows and private painting classes.
The garage/art studio project will be completed around the first of January. We are making alot of progress with the building this month because the weather has been beautiful.
My current artwork has taken a different turn in the subject theme and I am focusing on the idea of “Redemption”. A recent personal incident has caused me to reflect on this idea of redemption. I have set all previous shown on this blog aside and I am drawing from different still life set ups. I will post some of the drawings later.
In the meantime, see the progress of the construction site below. Blessings to you all and follow your dreams with love.
Old 1920s carriage garage house before removal. The old wood was riddled with termites and the old roof was rusted.
New framing and the walls are added. The roofing is next once the wood is delivered.
Last Week I finished a watercolor painting from a series called Urban Landscapes. I have decided for the summer months to stay with watercolors and will return to painting in oils.
I will start with the finished painting first, then show you how I proceed with my watercolor paintings. I hope you enjoy the journey. The whole painting process – from drawing to painting – took approximately 10 days. I usually have several paintings or drawings going on at the same time.
“Urban Landscape Series: Encroachment”, watercolor on Crescent archival watercolor board, Tanna Bennett, 2012
Here is the beginning of the drawing. For my support, I use Crescent archival watercolor board (hot press – smoother surface than cold press). I also use Arches watercolor paper, but prefer the ridgid support of the board. I am using a photograph that I took of an area near downtown. I believe you should first learn to draw from real life. That is why I draw directly from my still life compositions and figurative work so I am always sharpening my skills.
I have drawn a grid on paper and my photograph so I can copy the drawing as acurately as possible. If I use one inch squares on the photograph, then I mutiply it by 3 or 4 times on my watercolor drawing. For instance, if I use a one inch square on my 5 inch by 7 inch photograph and I want to increase the drawing size by 3 times, I will multiply 5 X 7 times three to increase the drawing to 15″ x 21″. Of course you will have to increase the 1″ squares from the photograph to 3″ squares on your drawing. This method can be altered to any desired increased size.
Once the grids are in place, I will start the drawing. For an more complication drawing, I will first copy the drawing on drawing r drafting paper then transfer it to the watercolor paper or watercolor board. Why? I do this so I can alter or change my drawing using an eraser. Sometimes, it takes alot of mistakes to have accurate lines and other times the drawings go very smoothly.
Here is the beginning of the drawing. I always leave a 2 inch or more border around my orginal drawing to I can add more drawing or decrease the drawing. This gives me the option to change if I am not satisfied with the option.
A little more progress on the drawing.
You are correct, the painting is upside down. I have masked in the clouds using liquid frisket. I do not use this very often, but sometimes it is unavoidable. I have placed the painting upside down so I can paint in the blue sky and I want the watercolor to move downward and darken towards the top. I have placed frisket and artist’s tape around the buildings so it will not be painted blue.
This is the only time in the watercolor painting I will use alot of water. I mainly paint with a semi-dry brush, meaning I do not use a alot of water and paint with many layers using small brushstrokes. I let it dry and immediately erase the liguid frisket to avoid it staying on too long. Always test the frisket on a scrap piece of the paper you are using to make sure it does not damage the paper after erasing it.
A little peak at the blue colors I am using for the sky. I had to try the lapis lazuli blue in the sky – just because….
Now I am slowly adding in the very light color washes before I start darkening in with the drier small brush strokes. The clouds need to be softened around the edges, so I took a lighter shade of the blue sky color and watered down the white edges, careful not to add anymore to the already blue edges. I want the blue edges to blend into the white areas of the clouds.
The painting is slowly making progress. I will add many layers to the darker areas maybe adding complimentary colors to give it an extra color punch. Some areas may have 20 or more layers of watercolor brush strokes.
One of my favorite subjects is the Urban Lanscape. I am fascinated with the ever-changing dynamics of a city in transition. I gather inspiration from historic buildings, urban decay, gardens and the layers of texture a city provides. I often go on a bike ride with a camera in hand and explore the area I live.
Here are some samples of works in progress.
“Urban Landscape: Moses on Buffalo Bayou” oil on maple panel. Painting is completed waiting to be varnished.
“Urban Landscape: Moses on Buffalo Bayou” closeup
“Urban Landscape: Discussion” oil on maple panel.
Near Completion. The sky was repainted due to a scratch. The trees and electric poles need to be added.
“The God’s are Angry” watercolor on Crescent archival watercolor board
This painting was inspired my trip to New York in October with an artist friend seeking gallery representation. The God Heads were seperated guarding the right and the left of an entrance door in the Chelsea District of New York City.