Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Commissions...

Here is what I've been working on for Christmas commissions, and why you haven't heard much from me! Between painting, keeping up with my teaching blog, and my other life as a social worker, there's a reason I haven't posted in a while.

Here's a little snippet of video about painting this sparrow.  I used this painting in my latest online "learn watercolor" blog to demonstrate my techniques.  I videoed myself painting the ENTIRE thing, along with explanations as I painted.  If you'd like to sign up for my blog, send me a message to learn how!

Unfortunately, I forgot to do a final scan of this one, but it's at the stage right before I put in the final details.  The eyes are pretty much done here though.

This little Collie puppy painting became a necklace.  Again, I forgot to take a picture of the final piece.  Drrrrrrrr, too much going on for one artist to handle!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Original Watercolor Painting of an Owl

What is it with me and owls lately?  This is the second one in the past month!  I think they're so mysterious and gorgeous.  I had one follow me for several blocks when I went out walking at dusk a while ago.  It's a haunting feeling to have a bird of prey track you.  Maybe I looked tasty?  Maybe my totem was choosing me. Hmmmmm.

As a thank you to my patrons, I'm going to offer this one as an auction for a lower price than I would normally start with.  I hope you all enjoy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Watercolor Lesson, Tutorial, and Work in Progress

In conjunction with a private, separate blog I am developing to teach watercolor lessons and tutorials online, I'm offering some free work-in-progress demonstrations on this blog.  If you are interested in taking watercolor lessons with me online, please email me to learn how to do so!  I'll be offering many new videos of me demonstrating watercolor techniques, explaining my supply list in more depth, and sharing some of my favorite online resources that I have accumulated over the years.  I'll cover basics about how to use watercolor paint, how to compose a painting, how to fix mistakes, and everything else related to painting watercolors!

This is the very beginning stage of the painting.  I like to make a sort of map, especially on complex paintings, because I tend to get lost as I get engrossed in the process of painting.  As you can see here, I've used paint to delineate where highlights are, along with whites, darks, and everything in between. This is especially important when you're painting animals or people, because you need to get the anatomy in all the right places.  If you don't start out with a "map" at the very beginning, it's easy to get things wrong later.  You do most of the hard work before you even start a painting, composing and planning the painting.  That process will be discussed in much more depth in my teaching blog.

Here, I've put quite a bit of detail in the eye.  When I'm painting animals, it's helpful for me to add the eye because it brings the painting alive.  For some reason, that keeps me more committed to and excited about the painting.  It is perfectly acceptable to put in SOME details even in this early stage if they're in areas that won't need to be re-worked.  Also, it is common teaching that you should put in darks last.  But if there are very dark parts to your painting, you can put them in at the very beginning to help establish your 'map'.

Here I've refined some of the complex musculature of the horse's face.  This is where some knowledge of anatomy can come very in handy.

Here, I've added a lot of details and the mid tones that give this painting more life.  I also added the background.  Initially, I made the background very dark, almost black.  It was done wet in wet, where I wet the whole background and dropped in lots of different dark colors.  Later, I decided that it was too flat black, and scrubbed some out and added some greens to give it more life.  Also, green is a great contrast to the reddish color of the horse, and I thought that would help the horse glow more.  This is a good example of the importance of thoroughly thinking through your painting BEFORE you paint.  I could have saved myself some time if I would have thought more about the background before I started.

Here, I've added some white highlights to really enhance the appearance of the horse being bathed in beautiful light.  This is always a fun stage of the painting, when everything starts to come together and you re-discover what made you paint this image in the first place (It can get scary there in the middle stages, when all the tones are similar and it looks like this your painting might be headed to the trash can, right?)

Done!  Here's the finished painting.  I put in last details, changed the background to add more color, and did a few washes of blue over the foreground (the haunches and withers of the horse) to help tie the horse to the background and pull the whole image together.  This is a painting I did for a show in Camden, SC at the Arts Centre, all of November 2011.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Siamese Kittens Artwork...

It's getting chilly here in South Carolina! Time for a cuddle...

This would make a great Christmas gift for a Siamese cat lover!

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Christmas Siamese Cat Art

Here's the painting I did for this year's Siamese Rescue Center Christmas card...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Originals - as Jewelry!

This is my latest obsession - miniature paintings that are encased in pendants! They are covered with protective resin and make wonderful conversation pieces.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

New Book - Catitudes!

Just in time for Christmas! This is the perfect gift for a cat lover, especially a siamese cat lover. I paired my paintings with quotes that are either directly about cats, or remind me of a cat's attitude (thus the name Catitudes). Click here to buy your own limited edition book. I'll only be printing 100!

Click on the images to see bigger pictures

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Finished commission of an Andalusian

Just finished this painting for a client and friend. It's of her beautiful Andalusian, Solero.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Flags of Cats and Dogs

A few months back a company contacted me to put some of my art on their flags. Here is the end result - So excited! They are listed on Etsy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Art - Siamese Cat Watercolor Painting

This particular painting is a quick study I did - I was playing with one of my favorite combinations of watercolors - french ultramarine + winsor orange. When combined they make the most beautiful granulating violet. LOVE!

This is a watercolor painting of my friend Karin's kitty. To see more of her work visit karin_from_zurich on webshots.com

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Ways to Live with Rachel's Art...Bags!

I can put any image from eBay or www.rachelsstudio.com on any three of these bags. To order one of these, go to http://www.cafepress.com/rachels_studio

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New equestrian art - Friesian Horse Watercolor

Since I've been back to work, I've been getting up at 5:30 am so I can paint before I go to work. Here's the fruit of my labors!

Monday, August 08, 2011

New Art - The Eiffel Tower, Paris

I ADORE traveling. Unfortunately, between my busy schedule and tight budget, I don't get to go nearly as much as I'd like to. One place I'd love to visit is the Louvre in Paris. So when I'm yearning for a trip, I'll get on Google Streetview and 'walk' around. I found this wonderful spot along the Seine and decided it must be painted - the Eiffel Tower, or as the French would say, 'La Tour Eiffel'. To learn how to say it, click here. Isn't it fun to try to learn to speak French? (For me, emphasis on TRY) ; )

This will go on eBay tonight at 10 PM Eastern here.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

New Art - Hunter Jumper Equestrian Painting

My summer is officially over - I work in a school as a social worker and it's time to go back; no more long days of painting! For fear of lack of time, I've been trying to finish up some equine paintings for a show in November. I've got two more that need finishing touches now that this one is done.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Zebra Watercolor Painting

I love the contours in this painting, and I want to do this same zebra a few times with different colors and backgrounds. Thank you, Giovanni Mari at www.giovannimari.com for allowing me to use your gorgeous picture!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Racehorse painting

This is for a show I'll be doing in November in Camden, SC at the Art Center...

"Race Day"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Minimalist Abstract Paintings

My work as a social worker puts me in touch with the most raw emotions of human agony. When I create my work, I seek sanctuary, and creating abstracts deliver that like few other pursuits can. Inspiration comes from a few of my icons - Matisse (crisp color, clean lines, and elegant fresh simplicity), Donald Judd - the amazing minimalist whose work instantly puts me in a state of zen, Agnes Martin, who reminds me to just breathe to find my bliss, and grandfather Rothko - in front of his work, I almost feel like I can float! I hope, when you spend time with my abstracts, that you discover your own sense of peace.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Panda Watercolor Painting

Since I was little I've always felt a connection to animals. I'm convinced that animals have souls, and I try to capture that in my work. When you look into the eyes of an animal, you get a glimpse of that mystery. Hopefully that glimpse will bring peace, and a sense of connection to the greater world, both human, animal, and spiritual, that is every where, every day, just waiting to be noticed. I hope my art serves as a reminder of these things, and celebrates the sanctity of such simple but profound truths.
Prints are also available at www.rachelsstudio.com