I Need An Oasis!!!


When I was at Canyon Ranch in Tuscon last month, one of hte activities I signed up for was a "Hike & Paint".  We hiked up into the mountain area and found this beautiful oasis.  If you have ever been to Tuscon, you know that there is not a lot of green area like this to be found.  We set up camp, sketched out the design, and began to paint the oasis around us!

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I have never painted a landscape before, and had just been introduced to watercolor the day before.  I loved the experience, but I didn't like painting so much detail.  I like to work a little messier - a little more chaotic.  I really like knowing that the finished product will evolve to be its own piece of beauty - not mimicing something else.  But here we go - my first stab at it!!!


Right now an oasis sounds ideal.  We just moved back home after four months of being displaced due to the Missouri River flood.  Moving is an ordeal - physically and mentally.  I am so grateful to be home, but sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer mass of things that must be done.  But we are getting there.  And soon, very soon, my home will BE the oasis I need!

Ready for a Kiss?

Ready for a kiss
Today I took a Watercolor Basics class at Canyon Ranch in Tuscon, AZ.  I have never used this medium before and was really curious to try it out!  I loved the pretty colors and how the water makes them flow into one another.

Watercolor supplies
This was our tray of suppplies - and I gotta say I was drawn in from the minute that I saw them!  After learning about how to use wet and dry washes, glazes, and watercolor papers we got to jump right in.  The class was allowed to choose images from a big stash to use as a model.  Everyone else in the class started painting landscapes, sunsets and oceans.  I painted lips.  What can I say?  I must have been ready for a kiss!


Flower Crazy! Windows Series, Part 2

Imagine looking out your window at a beautiful flower garden.  That's exactly what I did before painting this picture!


For those of you curious about how I created this, read on!  First, I started by using gesso and a stencil to make a background flower that will act as a resist to paint.


Second, I used large Woody Watercolor Crayons to scribble on a range of colors that I thought would look "Flower Garden-ey!"



Next I used a paintbrush and water to blend the crayon into a watercolor wash.  I loved the way the color sprung to life.  Blending it got a little dicey - I learned that you have to wash the color first with a clean brush and then blend around the edges of the colors after both colors are washed.


Then I got creative!  I used an old book to cut the "stems" and painted them shades of green.  I used a stamp with various colors of ink to make the leaves on the stems.  I used some flower embellishments as the buds.  


Lastly, I added some vellum for the window pane and surrounded it with bright ribbon for the slats.  The next fun part was making the drapes.  I took a sheet of scrap-booking paper and again watercolor washed it.  It was soaking wet and very pliable.  I used matte medium to adhere the wet paper to the canvas and kind of let it drape on its own.  It dried in a fantastic pattern that added depth and texture and looks like real drapery!  


This was a fun and light hearted window to make....I hope you can almost smell the flowers!