Tuesday, December 31, 2013

John Singer Sargent Watercolors and Yarka Watercolors Review

John Singer Sargent watercolor painting MFA Boston
 John Singer Sargent, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Recently I went to see the John Singer Sargent Watercolors show at the MFA in Boston.  I can honestly say this was one of my favorite shows that I have seen.  Being an oil painter myself, I favor oil paintings.  This show changed that for me.  What I discovered were lush, energy filled watercolors that had an intoxicating range of colors.  I was in love! These watercolors had the boldness and confidence of oil paint.  They were dynamic and really captured the expressive energy and fleeting light of the location. 

review of Yarka St Petersburg Watercolors
Yarka St Petersburg Watercolors Sequal Set

Inspired by the sketchbook quality of the Sargent paintings, I decided I wanted to have more opportunities to paint daily.  What I needed was a great set of portable watercolor paints.  I love painting in my studio, but to be honest, I can't always get there and painting in oils isn't always practical(set up/clean up requires a good chunk of time).  I did some research and finally decided on Yarka St Petersburg Watercolors.  There were three sets to choose from (Additional Set, Original Set, Sequel Set)and after some consideration, settled on the Sequel Set.  I decided it was really worth doing a color chart of my own versus using the pre-printed one that came with the paints. These watercolors are amazingly potent!!  I realized quickly that I will have to use caution as my first attempts had me trying to dilute the paints because I took too much on my first pass with my brush. I am definitely very happy with this set, though am wishing I had ultramarine blue and yellow ochre.  I definitely think another set of colors will be on my immediate wish list! Oil paints will continue to be my focus, but these watercolors will make it easier for me to be creative at any time and in any place which will serve as great practice when I'm not in my studio.
Trying out my new Yarka St Petersburg watercolor paints

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reverence II

This 12" x 12" oil painting, "Reverence II", was created to honor the incredible power of the ocean.  When I finish the first painting in this series a couple of years ago, I was particularly disheartened by news of yet another oil spill in the ocean. I was sad and mad.  The ocean is a sacred place for me ...one which should be loved and respected ... always.

One of my favorite sayings is a Swedish proverb. "The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears or the sea".  For the most part, I find this statement to be true.  2013 has been a year of sweat, tears and the sea for sure!  The New Year started with a dip in the cold ocean on Cape Cod and lots of tears as I processed an emotional end to 2012 (losing my father-in-law to cancer, the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT and completing my cancer treatment(those were tears of relief as I processed the weight of having had cancer). The sweat came as I worked to get my physical strength back.  Luckily, I got to the ocean a lot in 2013 (Cape Cod, Gloucester, Key Biscayne and Northern California where - thanks to some special friends - I got to see the Pacific Ocean for the very first time).  I have been busy working on putting these waves to canvas, board and paper and look forward to doing more and larger ones in 2014! 

Yesterday, the same day that I was to deliver "Reverence II" to a client who was purchasing it, I found out that a friend, Erica, had passed away.  A mutual friend connected Erica and me when we were both diagnosed with cancer at the same time.  Erica and I had the immediate connection of our cancer, but, more importantly, she was an "ocean girl" like me - Hawaii for her and Cape Cod for me.  So, I am ending the year with tears learning of her passing.  So, Erica, this ones for you....peace, love and aloha.  xoxo