Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This week at Brush-Paper-Water...

Cactus Flower
watercolor, 7" x 10"
Kathleen Ballard

Kathleen Ballard's feature on the watercolor showcase focuses on her beautiful florals, but she also paints wonderful landscapes -- with a concentration on pond and water scenes -- as well as fabulous still-lifes featuring cellophanes and foil surfaces.

Please pop over to Brush-Paper-Water to see more of her florals and then follow the link to her website to enjoy even more of her gorgeous work.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This week at Brush-Paper-Water...

Low Tide, Oceanside, Oregon
watercolor, 8" x 8"

Susan Abbott

Susan Abbott's "Dream Table" still-lifes will likely be familiar to readers of Watercolor Artist magazine and The Artist's Magazine from recent articles on her work. But she is also a prolific plein air painter who posts almost daily on her blog "A Painter's Year" and spent 15 months cataloging her travels through Vermont with wonderful sketches and fascinating history on her blog "Let Me Show You Vermont."

I don't remember how I came across Susan's work, but I admire it tremendously -- her still-lifes are fabulously detailed and very fresh and her landscapes are colorful, lively depictions of the world around her, whether at home or traveling the globe.

Please pop over to Brush-Paper-Water to see more of her work and link from there to her website.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Shocking Discovery...

A Shocking Discovery
watercolor, 12" x 12"

I'm pleased to unveil my finished painting for sculptor Steve Worthington's mouse project!! Just to recap -- Steve decided to publish a book, with proceeds from the sales to go to animal shelters, and he invited a bunch of painters to create works featuring his bronze mice. I picked Nosey Mouse and had a great time brainstorming ideas for this project.

I initially thought to pose Nosey as a cat burglar -- perched high on the roof of a cheese museum on a dark night, looking down through a skylight into an atrium where a rare cheese was displayed in a lighted case with security laser beams, etc. -- but Nosey informed me with a sniff that union rules prevented him from impersonating a cat, regardless of the altruistic value of Steve's mission. No amount of explanation was sufficient to convince him that "cat burglar" is only a figure of speech, so I went back to the drawing board.

I've long admired Arnold Lobel's books for children -- they have a wit that makes them delightful for a child of any age -- and I was pretty sure he'd done something with mice. I lucked out on my first foray to Borders, where I found Mouse Soup front and center on a display as I entered the children's section.

To pose Nosey properly, I needed to have him peering down from a height, so I gathered a stack of books that have meaning for my life: I loved to cook, back when I had more time, and this was my first "serious" cookbook; the author of the design book was one of my college art profs and my watercolor mentor; I'm a longtime knitter and the stitch pattern book has been a great source of inspiration for my designs; I have always loved the elegant watercolors of Charles Demuth; I grew up in a port city on the Great Lakes; and of course -- I love Arnold Lobel's books. (Peeking out from under Mouse Soup is Fables, a storybook really meant for adults I think. I feel very lucky to have a personalized copy with a sketch as well as Lobel's autograph. I was in the hospital many years ago when he did an author tour, so my boyfriend -- Señor Terremoto -- went and stood in line for me!!)

Steve has already received quite a few paintings from the other artists on this project -- and it looks like it's going to be a really fun book. I'll keep you posted as things progress and provide a link when the book appears.