Thursday, April 26, 2012

In my Studio

Pre-School Class Gift
A hand painted class portrait

I don't think there is anything as adorable as a pre-school class portrait.  The personalities of each child seem to shine through the stiff pose and slightly nervous smile.  As a Catholic School graduate myself, I can tell a few things from this photograph without knowing anything about the children.  Most evident, the uniform is optional and still a novelty for these sweet students.  Trust me, by the time they're in upper-school they'll take every opportunity to wear anything except their school uniform.  But I digress...

I received this cute image along with an order to create two class portrait platters, each to include 14 students and two teachers.  Psalm 20:8 "Rise up and Stand Firm" was to be written across the top and the class name and year "Deep Sea Divers 2011-2012" to be written along the bottom. 

After consulting with my client and getting all the particulars, I drew the figures with pencil, outlined them with a thin line of black glaze and painted the outer rim in the school colors of green and navy, adding a whimsical touch with polka-dots.

Then painted the skin tones and clothing for each figure, added the teachers names and wrote the Psalm, class name and year along the top and bottom of each platter.

The platters were fired in my kiln - and are now ready to be given as gifts to two very much appreciated and loved pre-school teachers - Mrs. Richardson and...

Mrs. Holmes.  I wish I could be there to see their faces when they open up their keepsake gifts! 

And a very special thanks to Kim for giving me the opportunity to create these fun and memorable portrait platters!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday Morning Artists

Rory and Roxy are obviously very excited that their favorite artists will soon be arriving for another Monday morning art class!

In the Studio

 Michelle sketches a floral scene onto her 16x20 inch canvas. I believe she is going to paint this composition with palette knives in a loose, impressionistic style.  As with all of her work, it should be beautiful once finished!

Mimi continues to add detail to the members of her herd, carefully giving each one its own personality with a flourish of her brush.

Carolyn puts a few final touches onto her painting.  After which, with a final critique and official nod from the group, she calls the painting finished and signs her name.

Row House in Spring by Caroline Foresta
9x12 inch acrylic on canvas

After adding a little more green to the background, Cindy straightens out the edge of her still life brushes with a few strokes of white paint.  The painting is deemed finished by all members of the group and is signed by the artist with a stroke of red paint.

Still life with brushes by Cindy McWaters
11x14 inch acrylic on canvas

Thanks for your visit!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Surf Decor

For a little one's beach nursery or bedroom.

Diptych And Triptych Paintings

A unique piece of shabby chic beach art meant for arranging and rearranging on a shelf, desk or dresser. Hand painted in pastel colors so perfect for a little girls bedroom or for a beach house.  The blocks each measure 5" x 2.5" ~ together they measure 5" x 5".

This little surfer boy was hand painted onto a sheet of acrylic paper, divided in half, applied to two 7"x2.5" wood blocks, then sanded to remove rough spots and splinters.  The finished piece measures 7"x 5" when the blocks are placed together.

This fun piece of surf art was created into a triptych painting which measures 7"x7.5" and would look really cute either in a bedroom, kitchen or bathroom.

For more information please visit my shop here

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday morning artists

Welcome to another Monday morning in my studio

Not to be biased or to choose one painting over another but I do have to say this painting would be so perfect hanging in the studio!  I keep waiting for the artist to not only finish painting it but to donate it to the newly formed "student gallery", where it can continue to inspire all of us.  I'm quite sure she's considered this but is waiting until she's received the official nod from the group that the painting is wall worthy and can be signed before she surprises me with her gift!  So I'll continue to admire it and bide my time...

Anyway...since this is a pretty informal setting as far as art classes go, I am never quite sure who will show up each week.  Some of the ladies have been pretty regular in attendance since my first class, some have come and gone, some are brand new to painting and some surprise us by popping in every now and then.

Sara, working on a sketch of her brother, has been on a wee hiatus and surprised all of us when she walked through the door this morning.  For her new piece. Sara has painted the background with a light coat of green to compliment the red in her brothers shirt and has lightly sketched in graph lines to help figure out the positive and negative shapes of the portrait when drawing it.

Meanwhile Shelley, one of our newest members, continues to work on the seaside portrait of her daughter.  Last week she finished the sketch and is now working on the background color scheme, which from the looks of her palette, seems as though it will be in the cool color family of blues, purples and green.

Julia added more depth to her oyster shell with a thin line of white paint around the edge of the shell.  This, and darkening up the blue around the base of the shell for an added shadow effect, creates a nice contrast and helps push the shell forward.

Caroline is just about finished with her South Carolina row house painting.  A few more touches of highlights and shadows on the flowering tree and a bit of color on the sidewalk and doorstep and the painting should be ready to sign!  I can also see this piece making it's place in my newly formed student gallery.

After two weeks off, Mimi resumed painting her herd of gazelles. Taking time to paint the unique colors and contour lines of each member of the herd.

Virginia arrived to class with this delightful close up composition of a zebra which will be hung in her daughters bedroom, along with the hibiscus painting that she was working on last week.  The zebra is receiving a tropical coat of color that will eventually be enhanced with whimsical collage pieces and a feather boa border.

As the class progresses so does Sara's portrait as she works out each shape with a light coat of paint.

It shouldn't be too much longer before Cindy is finished with this lovely still life painting which, I believe I may have mentioned previously, would look really fabulous hanging in the newly formed student gallery!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In my studio

 Wedding Cake found here
Spring means wedding season is right around the corner.  In lieu of this I've been busy painting a few custom portraits inspired by the wedding and engagement pictures of two happy couples. Both of the portraits  were to be made into triptych paintings on wood.  Below are a few images of the portraits in process...

Wedding Portrait Triptych

The first portrait was for a newly wed couple who were married by the sea.  For this painting I was asked to change the background by leaving out the people and tree and adding in the sea and a sky line.

The portrait was painted with acrylics on a sheet of cold press paper, which when finished was cut into thirds and set aside until the rest of the process was completed.

 My handy husband cut a long piece of wood into 7 x 2.5 inch pieces.

Which I sanded to remove rough spots and splinters and stained so the natural imperfections of the wood remained visible.

The cut portrait was adhered to the three wood blocks and coated with non-yellowing varnish to seal and protect my painting.  The finished sculptural piece of art measures 7 x 7.5 inches and is ready to arrange on a shelf, desk or counter top.

Engagement Portrait Triptych

 The next portrait was to be created from an engagement photograph with the trees and clouds included in the painting.

Once the image was sketched, the couple and background were painted in an impressionistic style by mixing various shades of color on the paper and dabbing on layers of paint with a brush.

In this image you can see how dabs of green paint in various hues create the illusion of trees and grass in the background.

And a close up of this same painting technique when applied to the couple's portrait.

A full view of the finished portrait before ~
it is cut in three 2.5 x 7 inch pieces and

adhered to the three wood blocks.

A painted, cut, sanded, sealed, signed and ready to display custom engagement portrait triptych painting.  Cheers to the newlyweds and soon to be weds!

To see more of my paintings, or for more information, please visit me in my Magic Markings Art Shop here

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Paintings in progress

Monday mornings in my little studio are my favorite as the room is filled with creativity, stories and, if we're lucky, yummy snacks brought in by one of the artists.  

Here's a look back at the paintings in process over the past two weeks.

 A large scale Hibiscus flower receives a coat of paint in various shades of red and pink - perfect for a daughters surf themed bedroom.

Mimi continues to work on a herd of gazelle's romping in the green grass - inspiration provided by a photograph from a friends recent trip.

Liquitex course texture added to the sandy background provides a nice juxtaposition to the smooth center of the oyster shell in this painting by Julia.

A photograph of what looks to be a Charleston Row House is artistically interpreted as Caroline experiments with different sized brushes and brush strokes.

Shelley, a new member of our Monday morning art class begins her first painting.  She has painted the canvas and graphed it into 2 inch squares, the photograph, which she will use for inspiration, has been graphed into 1 inch squares.  Shelley in now in the process of drawing her portrait onto the canvas.  Sometimes it helps to draw the image upside down.

Claude Monet and his impressionistic paintings continue to inspire Mary Pat as she interprets the colors and textures in this beautiful figure painting.

 As Barbara shows, the study of Monet's paintings reveal how he unified his paintings with a limited use of color.  His palette was composed mainly of titanium white, cadmium yellow light, viridian green, emerald green, cobalt blue, ultramarine, alizarin crimson and vermillion.  Black and earth tones were almost completely banished from Monet's paintings.

Barbara finished her Monet reproduction yesterday, just in time for her husbands birthday.  I love her use of color, texture and sense of movement in this painting.

I hope these ladies inspire those who shared a visit with us as much as they inspire me.  Until next week - Cathie