Is There a Difference In my first watercolor class the instructor placed before us a cloth lined table with an orchid in a vase, a few other objects and told us to paint.  I have to admit, that was a little overwhelming.  I hadn’t even learned how to use watercolor at that point and wasn’t sure on how to approach this set of items in a drawing.  This was my first exposure to still life painting. Still Life The instructor had laid before us a still life composition to use to study shapes and colors.  The still life had no meaning to me or anyone, so there was no emotional connection to this grouping.  Grouping objects together and taking them out of context allowed us as artists to introduce our own interpretation to create a mood or emotion.  As the artist I provide the interpretation and the objects speak for themselves without reflecting on the owner.  The Beholder further interprets the artwork through their own experience and becomes a co-creator in the process in the finished piece.   One of my examples of a still life is the “Daisy and Teapot” painting. I used a few items that I was fond

Starting Point I am working on Creative Workbench Encaustic Wax Pans.  This new Creative Workbench features an encaustic artist painting bench.  If you are not familiar with encaustic paintings, they are paintings made with hot colored blend of beeswax.  The wax is painted or dripped onto the surface and built up in layers.  It is a fascinating medium provided intriguing results.  The artist workbench is from Shary Bartlett, and she graciously is allowing me to use her reference photo.   Underpainting In order to preserve the white or light highlights on the pans, I put mastic fluid everywhere that should remain white.  That shows up on the image as a teal blue tint.  Once that was dried, I used a neutral tint paint to define the areas of shadow.  This underpainting will help the color appear darker and create contrast. Glazing With the underpainting in place, it was time to add color.  I started by adding thin layers of color, this would still be considered light values.  Later I will move into mid-tone values, but you will have to check later to see how this project progress.  I will add new images of the progress over time. Midway I am about

Ask More Questions I had finished some pretty intense, detailed paintings and I had not figured out what my next project should be and mentioned this to a friend.  She spends her winters in Hawaii and thought she might like a couple of new paintings for her house.  I asked her what she would like and she said a whale and an octopus.  Excellent, I have done a whale before and I like octopuses, so I agreed.  I proceeded as if I knew what I was doing and painted the sperm whale painting (above).  I was pretty happy with it, the whale appears to be coming out of the dark ocean background and sunlight ripples over it’s back.   Failure to Launch I sent her a photo of the painting and she liked it well enough, but she wanted a humpback whale with a baby whale.  One more question would have been useful to have determined the kind of whale she liked.  I did proceed to create a sperm whale and baby painting, that I believe she loves.  If anyone is interested in this Sperm Whale painting let me know and we can make a deal. Beholders Don’t Always Know What

A couple of months ago my son jokingly sent me a message with a photo of his work space.  It was just full of stuff,  some in-process work, tools, along with some adult beverages.  I laughed when I saw the photo, knowing that my son is extremely inventive, but tends to have too many projects at varying stages of completion.  When I saw the photo, I thought the workbench was a visual interpretation of the many synapses firing in his brain.  Too many to control requiring the need of some fluid refreshments to slow down the impulses.  It was a crazy photo, but after a while I thought wow, wouldn’t that make a great painting. This started me down the path of a new series I am calling Creative Workbenches.  It will be an intimate look at a variety of work spaces from a diverse group of creative sources.  I have enlisted the help of a jeweler who fixes watches and clock and a fly fisherman who ties his own flies.  I hope to recruit additional artisans over time.   One thing I am learning about creative work spaces is how intimate this project is becoming.  How a person lays out