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Showing posts from 2011

Thank You Cards for Uncle Steve

My bother, David, and I needed to write thank you cards for our uncle, Steve, because he sent us a Christmas present and he wasn't here for us to say thanks. Since I am obsessed with painting patterns, I decided to paint my thank you card. My mom asked me if I would paint one for David to send to Uncle Steve,  too. I said no because I wanted David to paint one himself, and he did. I was actually shocked that he did it. I thought he would say no for sure. They turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself:

This one is mine. The pattern would have looked better if I could have continued it. I'm kind of fond of it's strangeness though...
I think David's is really cool. I had no idea he was creative. I think he enjoyed painting and he is talking about painting more stuff. It would be nice to have a painting partner!

A Letter for Tommy

I've been kind of obsessed with the idea of painting patterns. I saw it on Pinterest a few months ago and the urge to try it hasn't subsided, so I did. I thought what better use for it than a card for my brother, Thomas, who is serving a mission in Brazil. It was quite fun. I got to use a lot of colors that I don't normally (the colors of the Brazilian flag, if you didn't notice) use and masquepen, my favorite!

In the letter, I asked him to take lots of pretty pictures of Brazil and send them home for me to paint. I also put in one of my favorite quotes because I think it is applicable to him at this time in his life:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
I can't wait to do this again. I have lots of patterns and colors in mind...

Tis the season!

I have refrained from painting flowers for quite some time now, but I just couldn't resist! I love painting poinsettias because of their bright red color,  layers of petals (I think they're actually leaves) and the negative space between flowers. It's been so nice to just sit and listen to my favorite Christmas songs and paint. I love painting to Christmas music.

Back to Where it All Began

So, once again I haven't had much time to paint lately (this seems to be a recurring problem). Between studying for finals, writing papers, putting together presentations, trying to get an internship, and spending time with my brother, Thomas, before he left on his mission, finding time to paint has been impossible. But, now that the tests have been taken, the papers written, presentations given, internship attained, and Tom in Brazil, I'm hoping to have lots of time to paint.

In my first blog post (History) I posted this picture of my first ever watercolor painting:

I thought it might be fun to try it again. So, I went up to Park City a few weeks ago and took about 30 pictures of the barn. I only really like two of them (photography is obviously not my thing). My plan right now is to do one small and one large painting of the barn. Unfortunately the flag wasn't up, so it won't be in the new paintings.
This is the picture I decided to use for the smaller painting: 

And …

More Fall Leaves

Yesterday I was on the Westminster College campus and I found some leaves on the ground that I really liked. They were really bright and colorful and an interesting shape. So, I picked some up and brought them home to paint them:

I put veins in the leaves on the first one, but I didn't really like that so I left them off the second one. I think there is a secret to painting veins on leaves that I have yet to discover. I never like how it turns out when I try to paint the veins on leaves.

A Watercolorist's Take on Subway Signage

I love subway signage and I wanted to try it, but on my own terms-- with watercolor. I had one sheet of watercolor paper left in a book and this is something I've wanted to try for some time now. So I figured why the heck not?! It was pretty fun and easy. There was something very liberating about smearing black paint all over the paper.

I think the reason I like subway signage so much is because I love words. It's not the typical message on subway signage but I couldn't resist. These are some of my all time favorite words. I would venture to guess that this is the most beloved E.E. Cummings poem ever. It is not the whole poem, obviously, but I couldn't fit many more words...I hope I spelled everything right!
Next time I'd maybe like to try it with some color behind the letters...?

Can't Get Enough Fall

I found this photo on and instantly wanted to paint it:

I took a lot of pictures because the process was quite long, a lot longer than I expected. Here is the progression:

I'd like to try this one again on a much larger scale. I definitely have some ideas about what I'd do differently to make it better. It would probably be easier on a bigger scale, too.


My family and I went sailing with my grandpa on his boat, Narragansett, on the Great Salt Lake a few weeks ago. We couldn't have asked for a better day, or better sandwiches. The weather was beautiful and my grandma made us a delicious lunch. It was just the most perfect day. Anyway, there was a race that day and my mom took a piture of this boat on on it's way back to the marina at the end of the race:

My grandpa is an expert sailboat painter and I have admired his paintings for years. So, I wanted to try my hand at sailboat painting. Here is what I did:

This was me trying to figure out how the heck to paint water. I thought I'd better figure something out before I got too far.
The drawing.

This is another one that I kind of tried to time myself on. It took me about two hours, a litte longer than I wanted, but I think it was worth it. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. There were some small details that I didn't trust my hand to do, so I left them out. I th…

Fall Leaves

This is yet another painting that I started in high school and haven't finished yet. I figured now would be a good time to get it out again. One of my favorite pieces of advice my high school art teacher, Mr. Fackrell (whom I saw at dinner last night but I was to scared to go say hi), gave me was to paint the season that you are in. That way, you can always be inspired by what is around you and know what things actually look like. And that works for me because all i want to paint now is FALL! I feel so lucky to live in Utah where the mountains are spotted red and yellow (and now covered in snow!) and the trees in the valley are starting to turn. It definitely made me want to finish this painting!

(11x15) The colors in this last picutre are a little off. I'll try to get a better one later... 

Villefranche Progress...

if you can even call it that. This is what I've got so far:

More to come soon (hopefully)!

Playing with Paint

Today has been a pretty lazy Sunday for me. I wanted to paint but wasn't really up for the challenge of something intricate or that I had to think a lot about. So, I played with my paints for a little bit and this is what I ended up with:

Nothing special or exciting about this. It was just fun.

Orange you glad...

I didn't paint another flower? Ha!

So I decided that it would be fun and good practice to try painting faster on a smaller scale. I got a new book of watercolor paper that I am really excited about, too excited about. It's a 6x9 Strathmore pad of paper. What I like about it is that it was made at a paper mill that purchased 100% wind renewable energy. I don't usually go out of my way to be "green", but when it is as easy as picking up a different pad of paper, I'm all for it. Especially when I am not advanced enough to notice or care about a change in paper.

I was turned on to a website called paint my photo by a fellow blogger. It's a great resource for photos of things you want to paint that you can't take a photo of yourself. I've found pictures of things that I didn't even know I wanted to paint, but sure enough, I do now! I was just checking it out to see what it was about when I stumbled upon this picture:

I love this photo and immediat…

The Results Are In...

So the county fair was just how I remembered it: every entry got a ribbon and about a quarter of them were first place ribbons. It seems like there were a lot more first place ribbons in the fine arts section than any of the other sections. I don't know how they judge it but I suppose it worked in my favor:

The lilies got a first place ribbon and a high blue ribbon. I'm not really sure what high blue means, I think it is one abve first place. I think high blue probably would have been the equivalent of an honorable mention or 3rd place in a normal competition.

The poppies also got a first place ribbon (hard to see in the crappy picture). Go figure! Two first place ribbons in the same category? Ha!

So I think this means that if I enter the state fair I need to enter the lilies. It's bigger and did better in the county fair so I think it would give me a better chance at being juried in at the state fair.

County Fair Entries

The Salt Lake County Fair is next week and I entered two paintings in the fine arts competition. I entered:

the lilies and...
the poppies. I put them in a white frame and I quite like it.
No surprise there! One of the requirements to enter is that the painting was completed in the last three years. These are the only two watercolor paintings I have finished the the past three years. Wow. That makes me sad! I need to get my butt in gear!

Entering a painting in a competition and sharing my work has always been nerve-wracking for me. But I'm making myself do it because I figure what good is a painting if it is just going to sit in a portfolio in my room? It would be a waste of time and effort to pour so much hard work into a painting and never share it with anyone, especially when I love watercolor so much. And that's a big part of the reason I started my blog, too.

The Utah State Fair is next month and I would like to enter a painting but I am more hesitant about that competition …