Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Keep It A Secret

I've been working the last several days on this one and can finally call it finished.  These paintings are so much fun to do.  I love picking out the flowers for each letter and planning the colors that will be involved.  Once I begin painting, it's very exciting to see it come to life.  I do find I tend to stay very tight with my painting.....I am a very detail oriented person, after all, so it's natural.  However, as an artist, I strive to work outside the box and give my paintings more of a loose feel.  It's a constant challenge.  I'm always reminding myself to pull my nose away from the paper and step back to look at it from a distance.  The goal of my next project will be to keep things "loose".  We'll see.

Here's hoping the bride doesn't see my post....I don't think she will....she's too busy with final wedding plans.  Let's keep it a secret, okay?

If you are interested in ordering a Name Painting, please email me.  Name Paintings are $75.00 and will be shipped in a sturdy shipping tube unframed and unmatted.  Shipping is $10.00 within the United States.

Monday, June 28, 2010

No Gift Receipts Needed

My focus this week will be on a piece for an upcoming wedding.  This will be my gift to the bride and groom.   What I enjoy most about these paintings, is the personalization and uniqueness of them.  I try to incorporate the recipient's favorite flower(s) to make the piece more relevant to them.  I choose flowers based on the letters of the name.  For instance, in this painting, I chose a Water lilly, Aster, Lavender, Shasta daisy, and Honesty.  In pen, I write the names of those flowers alongside each letter.

Aren't gifts of the homemade variety the most memorable and rewarding (whether you make them or you commission someone else to make them).  And it seems even more these days, that people tend to give gift cards, fearing they may buy a duplicate item and knowing they are giving the gift bearer the power to "buy what they want". 

You'll be sure the gift bearer won't receive doubles of this.  And....you don't need a gift receipt either.  What a great idea for not only a wedding present, but for an anniversary, baby gift, or housewarming gift too.
If you are interested in ordering a Name Painting, please email me. Name Paintings are $75.00 and will be shipped in a sturdy shipping tube unframed and unmatted. Shipping is $10.00 within the United States.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Here is an update on the hydrangeas.  The part I was most worried about (the tin can) ended up being less of an issue than I thought.  It was the flowers I should have worried about.  I was hoping to keep the flowers more loose and light, but I got carried away with the colors.  My favorite hydrangeas are those with blue blooms.  The hydrangeas in my yard are white with a hint of pink.  I guess my painting reflects my desire for the blue variety.

I may dabble a little more with this piece, but this week I have to turn my attention to another project that needs to be finished by Thursday.  More to come...

Friday, June 25, 2010

I love this!

Our talent is something that we are called to express. It isn't so much a gift to us, as it is our gift to everyone else! We are called to pass it on. We cannot waste it!

This is a quote from "Olive Bites Blog".
For me, putting the first brush stroke on a painting is like jumping off a cliff.  There is a lot of hesitation and uncertainty.  I've been trying to be more deliberate with my color choices, however it seems once the paint hits the paper I often have to readjust my plan.  It wasn't until around 9:00 pm last night that I was able to begin to paint the hydrangeas.....largely in part to having to play referee all day to both my boys.  I was able to continue this morning, as it was much quieter, building upon the base of my painting.  So far I'm pleased with the direction it is taking.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hopeful Hydrangea

I was sitting at my kitchen table this morning, drinking my coffee and wondering what my next painting will be when I realized it was right in front of me.....my hydrangeas!  After a year of no blooms (mainly because I pruned it at the wrong time) it is full of fresh, fluffy blossoms.  I chose to cut some of the blooms that were near the bottom and backside of the bush since you don't really see them.  They now have a home front and center on our kitchen table.  I am stretching my paper right now in anticipation for what will come of this piece.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mood Flower

This painting reminded me of a mood ring....you know, the ones that change colors depending on the mood you're in.  Each time I added a layer to the background it would change to a different "mood".  I got to the point where I had to decide which mood I wanted the painting to take on without overworking it.  I think it's taken on a more solemn mood.  What do you think?

Original 8x12 watercolor signed by the artist. This item is unframed/unmatted and will be shipped in a protective sleeve with backing board in a sturdy cardboard mailer. Price is $40.00 plus $5.00 shipping.  Email me to request this painting or purchase at http://www.gretchensgifts.etsy.com/.

Just Playing

This was done in about 10 minutes. I was trying to use up some paint I had leftover. The road took on a life all it's own toward the middle of the painting...turning into more of a snake like shape....not very pleasing to the eye. However I do like what is going on with the trees on the right. I added some scratching to give more of the illusion of tree trunks. Not sure if I can salvage it and make it into something more, but we'll see.

Constructive criticism welcome

I do welcome constructive criticism.  Any suggestions on how I can improve on my work or do things differently are greatly appreciated.  Up until now I've been mostly learning by my mistakes, which I have found to be very helpful.  I tend to be a perfectionist, so it's difficult going through the process of making mistakes.  Watercolor is a very unforgiving medium, so I've had to learn to accept that the mistakes are just part of the process.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I had fun with this one. I've never painted a bicycle before so it was a learning experience for me as well.

Trying to make something of myself on Etsy...

A pen and watercolor painting that evolved gradually over the matter of a few days. I have this for sale at my shop on Etsy www.gretchensgifts.etsy.com

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Slow process

Hoping to spend some more time figuring out this blog. I've seen others that I really like and wish I were further ahead.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The journey has begun...

Thirty some years of doing art and I've never been very good at promoting my work. I'm starting this blog to generate interest and hopefully find some new customers. Two years ago I became a stay-at-home mom with my boys ages 4 and 8. Now that they are older I'm finding more time to dedicate to my art. Currently I have been working on watercolor paintings, but I enjoy pencil drawings, pastels, and acrylics. I am inspired by artists who illustrate childrens books and moved by their stories of their own journeys. I hope to inspire others with my journey as well some day.


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