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Tutorial 12 – Landscape exercise

I prefer to work from life, however it’s fine to use photographs, especially when they are your own.   Always remember that the photograph is simply a Jumping off point.    We are painters, not photographers. 

This quick watercolour landscape was painted from a photograph I took in the Yorkshire Dales.   Much like Wales, where i lived and worked for 12 years, the landscape changes constantly…one moment vibrant and energetic, the next sombre and brooding. 

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Frame 1.

I sketched out an horizon line….and wet the area above the line, using a wash brush.   Note that the area below the line is kept as dry paper. 

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Frame 3. 

I then apply a fully loaded brush with juicy paint into the wet area and allow the colour to bleed.    I have used Cotman series Turquoise, Paynes Grey and purple, but any colours can be used…..

In an ideal world it’s a good idea to work on two or thee images at once.    This prevents overworking a painting. Image

 

Frame 3.

Using the same colours I then sketch out a rough idea of the different shaped fields.  Note that I bring the same strong dark into the bottom of the painting which helps to bring a sense of rhythm to the overall composition.    

I have also introduced some Winsor & Newton artists grade Green Gold. 

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Frame 4.

I now begin to indicate the different coloured fields….using Gold Green and Cadmium yellow.   Note where the colour bleeds, I allow it to do its own thing.      

So much of watercolour painting is about letting go and giving up control, something which is not easy for we human beings:)

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Frame 5. 

In the final frame I have added some cadmium orange and generally moved colour around the image to give a sense of balance and harmony.   Also note that I left some white paper on the horizon line which helps to give contrast and drama. 

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You can play with this concept on newspaper or inexpensive wall paper lining if you wish….and again any colours can be used.   Have fun and let the paint flow. 

These words from Andy Warhol say it all…..

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For my friends in the States….I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving celebration…and for everyone, happy painting. 

A Bientôt

 

Cristeve the Cat with Hummingbird

Wishing everyone a creative and peaceful Monday. 

This watercolour is of Cristeve the Cat being watched over and protected by a magical hummingbird. 

This and other images can be found in my book,  ‘Magical Hummingbirds’ which can be found on the products page of my website    http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

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A Bientôt

More Past and Present

My recent trip to the States was superb, and of course like anything in life, it’s the people who are involved that really make a difference.

At the beginning of the trip I stayed in Ipswich, Massachusetts with my niece, her husband and their beautiful five year old twins and my daughter Christie.    This made for a fantastic weekend, full of laughter and much joy.

I took this image of Kate, daughter Christie and Grace (one of the twins) in front of a mural in Ipswich depicting the history of what is a very old and fascinating town.   (past and present)

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As you can imagine, I took many pictures of the twins….here they are in a local orchard where we went on a hay ride and apple picking, and yes of course I painted watercolours of them.

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Then I flew from Boston to Atlanta where I was picked up by Lynn….and taken to the house in Gainesville.    The whole week was action packed, with wedding excitement, painting portraits, and just having fun.

This picture shows the ‘Kearnsclan’ on one of the occasions when they visited me in Wales.

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Now all very grown up and leading fascinating lives…..the following are portraits I painted of the four children on this trip.

Catherine – the bride.    In the photograph she is the little girl in blue wearing glasses.   I painted this spontaneous portrait the day before the wedding.

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This is Maddy who in the photograph is the little girl holding her teddy bear:)

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This is Amey who is in the white sweat shirt to the rear of the photograph.   Amongst other things, Amey rescues animals, including beautiful Ally who has been shown on Facebook:)

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This is Jackson, who in the photograph is the little boy in front…..

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I have painted all four children several times before,   It’s wonderful to see how they have developed and grown into fine and very interesting human beings.   I look forward to spending many more times with them.

May the hummingbirds be with you.

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A Bientôt

A Journey is a person in itself; no two are alike……

‘A Journey is a person in itself;  no two are alike.    All plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless.   We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip;  a trip takes us’    John Steinbeck.   

New England apples…..

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I have just visited dear friends and family in the United States.    A trip which has taken me to a new level of love and understanding in my life.     A trip that also warrants my writing several posts.

The View from my window in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  Image

 

I first visited the States as a young woman in 1966.    My first husband and I set sail on the United States Liner from Southampton on January 28th 1966.    On February 3rd we sailed under the newly constructed Verrazano Bridge, which connects Brooklyn to Staten Island.   We then took a Greyhound Bus to Miami, Florida, where we were picked up by my husband’s Uncle and driven to Key West.   The plan was to stay for two years.      

A very long story, and twenty eight years later, in 1993 I returned to the UK/Europe.   I am currently living just a few short miles from my place of birth in London.   

Ipswich, Massachusetts reflections. 

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Reading Steinbeck’s words at this time of my life, I realise that I have reached the beautiful stage, where the ‘trip is taking me’.

This past spring I had a life long block removed.      What it was and how it happened again warrants much more time than afforded in this post, but let it suffice to say, that it has freed me at last to relax, and enjoy wherever the trip of life leads. 

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This adventure began with a flight to Boston, where I was picked up by family members, and driven to Ipswich, Massachusetts…..a lovely New England town.       Interestingly the property where I stayed (and I had been there once before) was purchased by my niece and her husband from a family member of one of my dearest friends in Stonington, Connecticut.   Pure coincidence, some might say:)

A wonderful place to dig for clams. 

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After a blissful few days in Ipswich, I flew to Atlanta, Georgia to spend the week with some of my dearest friends…..they are also family to me.      The main event was to be the wedding of Catherine and Kevin – and oh what a wonderful event it was. 

I attended the wedding of Catherine’s parents in 1977…..yes, we go back a long way. 

When I arrived at the house in Gainesville, Georgia, which sits on one of the large lakes which dot the area, imagine my delight to find that the hummingbirds were still in residence. 

The veranda where the hummingbirds visited me every day.

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I would sit on the veranda, and wait for the humming sound and click as quickly as possible. Image

Amazingly they left for their long flight south right after I flew back to the UK.    

Along with seeing family, friends and lots of beautiful animals and birds….I also got to paint several watercolour portraits.     I will write much more in further blogs during the next couple of weeks. 

Meanwhile, wishing everyone peace, love and may the magical hummingbirds be with you. 

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A Bientôt

 

New Beginnings

‘Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.’   Nadeem Aslam. 

I have been working on a large oil painting over the summer.    It’s 5′ x 4′  (152 x 122 cm) and for the first time, I am using Winsor & Newton water mixable oils.      They behave and work in much the same way as regular oils and the clean up is so much easier.   I give them an all round thumbs up.

I wanted to express through this painting the interconnectedness of all life.  

As humans we seem to be fixated with what can be seen and touched.    I am much more interested in the unseen magic and wonders of our world.   My goal is to achieve a sense of atmosphere and emotion, tapping into the intangible elements of life. 

Given that the painting incorporates the same symbolism I have been using in my work during the past forty years, it is also  a self portrait of my life as an artist.

The painting is still a work in progress.

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I am a lover of all animals, and especially big and little cats.

The tigers symbolise passion, mystery, sensuality and patience.

The Peacock – nobility, guidance, immortality and renewal.

The Great White Egret – is known in many ancient cultures as the spirit messenger.

The hummingbirds – were believed to be messengers between the worlds, symbolising eternity, continuity and infinity.

The landscape in this painting is taken from the magnificent Amalfi Coast in Italy.    I stayed in Conca dei Marini last October and fell in love with the place…..and its exquisite light.

I found a beautiful little fountain with a stone cherub overlooking the bay where I painted watercolours, which I used as reference in this painting.

The Little cat in the bottom left hand corner of the painting, visited me there, and it felt as if she had brought a message to me from my beloved cat Cristeve.

The Morning Glory flowers, symbolise death and re-birth.    The seeds which have hallucinogenic properties were made into drinks by the Aztecs when communicating with the spirits.

The new moon – represents – new beginnings.

The following are some watercolours used as reference for this painting:-

Great White Egret.

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The little visiting calico cat.

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Conca dei Marini, Amalfi Coast.  

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For anyone interested in my blogs over the past five years….Go into my website at http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk and click on the ‘Archive blog’ button.

For now I wish one and all a beautiful day filled with loving hummingbirds:)

A Bientôt

End of Summer…….and Magical Hummingbirds.

This weekend, Labour Day will be celebrated in the States and Canada….which means a three day weekend for most people.     It also signifies the end of summer.  

Having lived and worked in the States for 28 years from 1966 til 1993, this time of year signifies for me the beginning of autumn and a new working year.  

In a couple of weeks, my new book ‘Magical Hummingbirds’ will be back from the printers…..

ImageAnd on 11th September, I will post images of the 5′ x 4′ oil painting I have been working on.

Meanwhile, wishing one and all a lovely weekend. 

A Bientôt

 

Colourful hummingbirds by Janet Weight Reed

I have been writing a blog for five years with a different server, but after many technical difficulties, I have decided to move here. 

As a working artist for forty years, I am known for my love of colour and spontaneous painting.  http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk      

Along with writing about my life as an artist, I will also post images that I am currently working on and occasionally watercolour tutorials.

Hummingbirds have always symbolised for me the ‘unseen magic’ in our world, and so for my first post I am offering several hummers.

 

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I saw my first hummingbird in the mountains of North Carolina in 1968, and ever since have been in awe for these flying jewels. 

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I paint other subject and have a particular love for portrait painting, however, it seems fitting that I should start this new blog with hummingbirds. 

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A Bientôt