Monday, 22 May 2017

Foam, Fantasy and Finished projects

Last Tuesday afternoon we had a very zen afternoon, with a still life of a leather bag and an umbrella. Baptised 'Mary Poppins bag' by the lovely Agnès in her well-read blog 'Hobbysketcher'.

Michele now belongs to the advanced group and after experimenting with all kinds of borders, she was looking forward to working with masking fluid. And look what that resulted in!! What a fabulous painting, I am very impressed and I hope to see many more versions...

This was the exercise du jour: use this card as inspiration. In whatever way you like...
Anna-Karin worked on it and created a truly fantastic painting. I'm impressed. Much better colours in real life, and that composition is so very very good, giving the feeling of endless space...

And the other brave artist who let herself be inspired was Elia. She used the ribbony shapes to create a face that looks in different directions. Not finished but already beautiful - and delicate - and surrealistic (of course)

Sandra is working on a series where wet colour brushstrokes are combined with writing. I am very enthusiastic about it - it is really something else, intelligent and it looks amazing!

Cathie took inspiration from last week's still life with the old suitcase and started a new challenge with the texture of old leather... can't wait to see it finished!

Liz finished the perfume bottle still life (sorry! no picture, next week hopefully) and worked on the mirror-with-cherries. In her typical  direct style. Nailed it!

Brenda 'washed in' one of her sketches from Lucca and inserted the exactly right atmosphere!

And Celina finished her composition with melon slices - a mouthwatering festival with  complementary colours...

Monday, 15 May 2017

Roses & Perfume - it must be Mothers' day...

With Cathie hosting a watercolour session, there was extra choice in subjects! There were roses, and perfume bottles and on top of that Tana brought the suitcase, hat and gloves. All looking gorgeous and enough to keep everyone busy for weeks!  

Of course with a creative bunch of people like the Aquarellistas everyone painted their own interpretation of the subject
 Tana started with the roses - and it looks very promising!! More next week...
 ...same for Liz who started with the perfume bottles, a super composition, with challenging reflection, transparency and perspective! More later...

Carol and Anna Karin started with an almost abstract subject: 'Slot Canyons'. Narrow canyons, which are significantly deeper than wide They are very abstract and have fabulous colours, line formations and light when seen from below...

Apart from that both Anna-Karin and Carol finished other paintings:

Carol's plums - her approach of this simple subject makes it so poetic, fantastic!

To my (and her own I'm sure) happy surprise Anna Karin finished her Chinese Dragon Pillar - And it looks very very good! I will add it to our Aquarellista Facebook Page asap...

 Anna-Karin also finished her mysterious Nordic Forest - I love it. And that wasn't all:
...she also worked on the last details of the apple blossom... 

There was more going on, but there are no more pictures! They will come next week, so watch this space...

Monday, 8 May 2017

Cherry Picking

New week, new subject: we placed a row of mirrors on the middle of the table and set up small still lives. A fantastic coincidence was that there were gorgeous cherries left over from lunch! We put them on the mirrors and voilà! I am ashamed of the bad quality of my pictures, but the talent in the paintings is still unmistakable:
 There is more than one way to suggest reflection in a painting. But the most important is that the reflected subject has a slightly different colour, and the highlight is slightly darker...

The styles are so different - yet they all look fabulous in their own special way!
 Amazing and somehow lighthearted variation
Very thorough and well-painted version

No reflection, but still so beautiful, these plums!

and how about the shiny stones, so delicate and well done

 And how about Janis Joplin, now finished! The painting is great looking - and there are so many layers and surprises in it... I sure hope it will be in the Theoule exhibition...

Monday, 1 May 2017

A bottle with a story

For last week's still life we had a bottle of Bordeaux 1985: ' La Pissotière de l'Impératrice'. Old, dusty and great looking (but undrinkable - we've tried one) and with a story: Thanks to André we found out that Empress Josephine accompanied her husband Napoleon to the war and at some point she had to go for a wee. She chose the end of a Gironde vineyard and from that moment in 1809 the label reminds us of this historic stop. Anyway, it was a lovely bottle to paint:

 Patience - impressionist version
Marina: figurative version

Liz: expressionist version

André happily soldiered on with his pebbles, they are sunny and colorful (and a lot of work!) hopefully finished by next week...

 Celina made the background slightly darker - and look at the improvement in the before/after picture. She also worked on another Pebble composition - here they are, very different and both really fantastic!

 And last but not least, Cathie still experimenting with textures and materials - old, rusty and beautifully worn surfaces. Doing a great job that's for sure, here's a sneak preview of the latest...

Monday, 24 April 2017

Stones & Pebbles

Great subject revisited: stones & pebbles... for the still life we made them wet (NB: I also varnished the stones to make them shiny). Of course it was a lot of work and not everyone has finished! Above the really good start of André, Celina and Elia! They used masking fluid for the highlights and I'm sure their stones will be amazing when finished... Will be shown next post. And then of course there are the fast painters! Patience brought 2 family members and, like herself, they were incredibly clever with pencil, brush and paint:
Annabel painted this powerful image. Shiny stones, a leaf -but most of all a very good composition! I love it, especially when you realise that watercolours are new to her!

Same still life, other interpretation, this is Sophie's version. more realistic and with a soft, gentle touch. Sophie is also new to watercolours but must have drawing experience: below is the umbrella she quickly sketched outside! great subject - and here in double role of Arabic prince!

The wet stones by Patience - original as ever and clever use of the symmetry - and then a background to break it and confuse the mind! I see a palm leaf...  She also found a board with a well-preserved mosquito stuck on it. She honoured him with humor and talent by creating this Picasso-style impression of the still life!

Ongoing projects...


Speaking about stoned - She's near-finished, Sandra's Janis Joplin!! I love the white spirit -with warm fuzzy thoughts

Carol has quite a challenge with these pasta jars and when she picked it up to continue she hated it (a little bit) (very recognizabe) But she persevered and look where it is now!! One more afternoon I estimate and it will be excitingly beautiful - imagine having that in your kitchen...

And here's an other super still life! Liz was genuinely surprised that we were all so enthusiastic about this, it is quite different from what she normally paints - but despite the big white surface and the delicate colours, it has a great strength. Sometimes it is more important what you leave out...

In the meantime in Bretagne... it is not as sunny as here, but Michele (our Breton correspondent) used it as inspiration for a lovely, heartwarming aquarelle!

Monday, 17 April 2017


 Patience is back after almost half a year - but she hasn't forgotten how-to and immediately created a fantastic jar with pasta in a combination of watercolours and pen

Last week we painted glass jars filled with herbs, grains and pastas. It worked out superwell as you can see above and below!

 Tana's bottles, not finished but they do smell great already

 This is going to be a still life with many jars and bottles. Not easy! Luckily Carol's painting it, I'm certain she'll nail it...

André's excellent still life - looking so pure and simple

Same for Celina, who added her personal touch, rhythm and light to these bottles with herbs and spices

And from our correspondent in Brittany, Michele C, this outstanding row of jars with fresh homemade confiture... Particular: she painted this on Monday, when she didn't know that we were going to paint jars en groupe!!

Michele F worked on a free subject and chose a difficult pair of prunes. She put a lovely border around it. Borders are her thing, Love it

And then these awesome milk jars by Cathie (who else?!) She experiments with textures, and it is working out as you can see from the rust as well as the wood!