Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Red Peony Bouquet", oil painting from still life by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Red Peony Bouquet", oil painting from still life, 16 x 20"

Here is a bouquet for you to brighten your day (I hope!). I did this one from life with my painting buddies Ingrid and Alice. Ingrid had a huge bucket of silk flowers, and it was up to me to make an arrangement. I set it up based on the large red peony, but all of us were cursing the 'blasted red peony' by the end of our painting time.

My kids are all home for the holidays so I haven't had any time to paint. Which is just fine with me, as I have really painted my brains out since the spring. The rest is good, and I hope it leaves me refreshed and stimulated to dive in again after New Years. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a wonderful New Years Eve.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Low Winter Light", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Low Winter Light", plein air oil painting, 8 x 6"
$100 unframed, FREE S&H

This is my last plein air painting, and I did it very quickly at the end of the day as the light was dipping low in the sky. The weather has been lovely this week, but instead of going out painting today, I went out with my hubby and 2 of our kids to chop down a Christmas tree. Although it is a bit sparse in places, it really makes the house smell like Christmas.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Fire and Ice", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Fire and Ice", plein air oil painting, 8 x 10"
$495.00 framed, FREE S&H

Another view of the open water at Fish Creek Park, also done on black panel. I can't wait for a chinook to go out painting again. I just love painting plein air in the winter, because you can see all the colour -winter photos never do the scene justice.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Fish Creek Winter Colour", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Fish Creek Winter Colour", plein air oil painting, 9 x 12"
$595.00 framed, FREE S&H

Another plein air day, this time at Fish Creek Park by Bannister Road. I painted this from the walking bridge, which was one of the only places to set up that was in the sun -as it was a cool -6C, that was important. Interested walkers and joggers stopped to ask questions and to admire the progress. You could tell one or two might have painted themselves, and were impressed that I would paint out in the cold. The paint is a lot stiffer in the cold, so a palette knife really helped. This is my second painting on black gesso, and I think I really like it -forces you to get the values in correctly and quickly.

On a positive note, I just found out that I got two paintings selected for the Richeson 75 Small Works book that will be coming out this spring. They said I missed being selected for the show by a hair. Oh well, next time. I will post the link when it goes up on the Richeson site.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Twisted" -acrylic demonstration PART 3

Step 10: White paint was added to the snow once again, leaving some of the more neutral white to show in places.

Step 11: Light blue/violet was used where the snow on the boughs would be in the shade. My imaginary light source is coming from the upper left.

Step 12: More sky washes to increase depth and interest.

The final painting. Smaller branches were added, the light shadow patterns refined, more foliage added, the sun more pronounced and sky holes refined. I hope that you have enjoyed this demonstration as much as I did painting it!


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

"Twisted" -acrylic demonstration PART 2

Step 5: an opaque muted blue/violet was placed over the foliage where the shadow of the snow on the branches would be, and on the ground.

Step 6: A warm opaque white was put on the top of the snow caught on the branches, remembering that some of the branches would be facing you, and that the snow would be caught on the lower, larger branches. Tree tips are springy which allows the wind to knock the snow off the tops of the trees in short order.

Step 7: The entire painting was glazed with a neutralized quinacridone burnt orange in order to bring the whole into colour harmony.

Step 8: The background is begun with opaque washes. This step allows you to go back to refine the shape of your tree. Don't forget the interior 'sky holes' -there have got to be places for the birds to fly through!

Step 9: Some blue green and blue violet washes are added on a reverse diagonal to the twist of the tree.
Stay tuned for one more post for the finishing stages.

"Twisted", acrylic demonstration by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Twisted", 11 x 15", textured acrylic on watercolour paper

I did this demonstration for my last mixed media class of the year. It features working on a textured ground, and building up of translucent layers of acrylics. See below and the next 2 posts for the process.
Step 1: I textured the paper with light moulding paste in the centre where the tree will be, trying to be random with the paste, and applying it with a palette knife. The outer edges have gesso and gel medium on them, which were then imprinted with the lid of the gel jar. Care was taken to make sure that the negative space between the tree and the edging was interesting. Remember: Shapes first!! After the texturing had dried and cured for a week, a quinacridone magenta wash was brushed over the surface and allowed to dry.

Step 2: A quinacridone gold transparent wash was then brushed over the surface in areas, and was wiped back in others. Here you can see how the different mediums take the paint differently. The gel is non-absorbent, the gesso semi-absorbent and the moulding paste very absorbent. This gives an interesting quality to the paint surface.

Step 3: Brushloads of green paint were applied with the brush flat to the surface so the paint would be deposited on the high places in a random way.

Step 4: Green folliage applied, along with some browns for the trunk.
See next post for more steps!

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Mountain Bound", watercolour painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Mountain Bound", watercolour painting, 15 x 22"
$775.00 framed, FREE S&H

This is a demonstration that I did for the Strathmore Art Club. The photo I had was taken in the summer, and I made a neat value drawing from it, emphasizing the S in the road and the mountain shapes. I thought I would try it as if it was a winter scene for the demo to try to give "permission" to the group to play with their subject matter, especially with photographs.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Leighton Winter" plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Leighton Winter" plein air oil painting, 8 x 10"
$495.00 framed, free S&H

This is from my second day out this winter. I did it from my car, after I completed my meeting at the Leighton Art Centre about my solo show there in March (stay tuned for more exciting details to come!!). I thought it would be interesting to tackle this subject again -below is one I did this spring from the same spot.

"Summer Blues", plein air oil painting, 9x12"

This is the first time I have seen both paintings together and I think it is rather cool! I will have to return to several favorite warm weather spots to see if I can find a place to paint them this winter.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More Scotland paintings!

"Water Lily", watercolour, 10.25 x 10.25"
This is my favorite of my Scotland paintings -probably because it is a subject I feel comfortable painting! It is done in liftable, granulating colours, which really give it a nice feeling.

"Anstruther Harbour -Scotland", watercolour, 15 x 22"
It was a task to simplify this very complicated scene. I think it turned out ok in the end, but I did have to go back into it to spruce it up once I got home. Plus a seagull crapped on my sky and it just would not lift off, so I had to paint over the watercolour sky in casein. The joys of plein air!!

"Crail Cliff", watercolour, 7 x 11"
This cliffside was covered with heather, and I tried to capture the riot of colour without getting hung up in the detail.

"Johnie Do's Pulpit", watercolour, 10 x 14"
This is a neat rock formation sticking out just off shore. It is full of interesting local history, as you can tell by the name. It was interesting painting the surf as that is something that I have very little experience with. Do you know that waves never look the same way twice?

I have a couple more paintings that need to be finished, and perhaps I will post those later. I find it is kind of hard to get enthused about them at this point. I guess I should have a look through my Scotland photos so I can relive the moments.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to write to say you really liked the paintings in my last post, and to others who wrote to say that they are glad that I posted some that I wasn't crazy about. I am trying to keep it 'real' here on my blog, and it is very real for artists to produce paintings that aren't great all the time! Your kind comments really lifted my spirits :)


To purchase these, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Scotland paintings and the mentor experience

Anstruther Beach, 6.5 x 10" watercolour

Anstruther Schooner, 6.5 x 10" watercolour

View From Anstruther, 6.5 x 22", watercolour

Kellie Castle, 22 x 15", watercolour

I have finally decided to post the paintings I did in Scotland. I haven't worked at all on these since I have been home, and I find them quite unsatifying to look at, although I do like the first one. As I have been processing my experience at Stephen Quiller's workshop in Scotland, I have realized several things. Firstly, although I am a plein air painter, my usual medium for this is oils, and my approach is direct. Stephen's medium is watermedia, and he employs many layerings of lifting and applying colour to build up the painting. In addition to these fundamental differences, I was working on unfamiliar paper (300lb rather than the 140 I am used to -the 300lb seems to suck up the colour resulting in lifefless colour in my hands), in an unfamiliar climate (much more humid which makes a huge difference in drying times), with unfamiliar subject matter (not used to boats and buildings, never painted Scotland before -different light), vertically (I paint flat in watercolour), on top of the different style of painting. Now I can use these as excuses, or I can focus on what WAS great about the workshop. Stephen taught me so much about simplification of a complex scene, focus to keep the main things main, and technical paint application methods. All of these I can take into my work here back home. Although the paintings aren't anything I am very proud of, it was an experience I will never forget!

I just read Robert Genn's latest clickback describing the phenomenon of post-workshop letdown -a good read! This got me thinking about my own experience, and I have to say, you must give a workshop time to percolate, meditate on the whole thing, and come to terms with the good and the not so good of it. I think the same is true of any classes that you take. As the teacher, and also being a student, I think I realize the joys and limitations of studying with a mentor. My attitude is "Take what you think is good and leave the rest. Be true to yourself and your vision and don't give it up for anything -rather hone it to perfection. Mine your instructor for everything you can get, and then make it personally yours".


To purchase any of these, or commission your own painting, please email me.