Call of the Wild Series Continues…

bear-process

17th in Call of the Wild Series

Kodiak Brown Bear with some of the process steps.

Now up for Auction:

Kodiak Brown Bear

View other paintings in the Series: Call of the Wild Series

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Encouraged To Continue…

I don’t paint as much as I used to and I don’t post on this blog as much as I used to either. I’m not as active on social media sites as I once was and this year I declined teaching workshops. It’s not that I don’t want to do any of these activities, it’s that my schedule has changed, as in, I have a job. A full-time, fun, interesting, challenging job that pays into social security and comes with benefits like medical, vision and dental insurance, life insurance and a matching 401K. A job I am very grateful to have. And do I miss my free as a little bird painting days? You bet.

BUT…

Here’s the other major benefit for which I am most happy. I don’t have the pressure of having to produce an income with my art, I can be a student. I can try new mediums and subjects. I can experiment and create absolutely dreadful paintings that I wouldn’t dare show anyone! I can make discoveries and I can grow.

BUT..

You don’t have any time to paint because you have a full-time job. I do if I stop doing the things I mentioned in the first paragraph. I also wake-up early, work small and have something always in process.

Plus, online art instruction abounds and is perfect for my “work when you can and at your own pace schedule.” In July of 2015 I signed  up for an online acrylic portraiture atelier with Chantel Barber and devoted the last 12months to working in acrylic. I learned a lot. My intention was to spend the next 12 months in traditional oils, but after 4 days and a constant headache I’ve reconsidered.

This past week, I’ve felt drawn back to watercolor. Portraits in watercolor. Direct sketching on the paper. Working at a high tilt and letting the washes mix and mingle…there have been lots of throw aways and much angst. I’ve been here before and given up. But today, I had a breakthrough. I painted something I love….which encouraged me to share it with you and encourage you to continue too. Whatever your circumstances, continue doing what you love.

"Love," 5x7, Watercolor, © June Rollins

“Love,” 5×7, Watercolor, © June Rollins

See this painting and others in my DPW Gallery

 

 

Dead Center

bee balm blooming web

Bee Balm, Monarda, is currently blooming in our yard. I saved this purple, low growing variety from Lowe’s clearance rack a couple of years ago.

bee balm sketch 2

It smells wonderful and is a fun subject to sketch and watercolor.

Bee Balm 5x7 2

Happy with this watercolor study.

P1110423

Decided to make more complex…

BB #2 web

Why didn’t somebody tell me about the bloom that is almost dead center?

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Today’s life lesson has reminded me of something I either read or heard in a workshop some years ago. The instructor told us,

Unless we consciously and deliberately choose not to put a subject/focal point in the center of our composition, we will.

First thing this artist did was put a small “x” in the center of her paper as a reminder.

I think I’ll begin doing the same 😉

It’s not what we know. It’s what we do. 

Disaster To Discovery

When photographing iris a couple of weeks ago, happened to notice this composition:

IMG_1778 webThought it would be a good reference photo for an interesting watercolor. Still do, but one struggle lead to another, to another. Soon, there were just too many to fix, hide or pretend, that’s what the artist intended 😉

P1110396After tearing off the remaining clear contact paper that I had read works just like frisket film, I cut up this disaster and flipped it…

P1110397

Here are more struggles opportunities and a few joyous discoveries on the flip side 🙂 You may recognize some from recent posts on June Rollins Art.

Continuing to intentionally work in this direction. Beginning to list ones with no flip side disasters. Here’s the first:

Joy In The Morning, 5x7, watercolor, ©June Rollins

Joy In The Morning, 5×7, watercolor, ©June Rollins

Opening bid, $24: Joy In The Morning

Wishing all discoveries on the flip side.

 

 

Listen For The Drumming

One morning when out with my camera photographing iris, I heard nearby drumming coming from the woods near the back of our house. I followed the sound and was delighted to discover the Pileated Woodpecker that I’d often seen flying by.

Could I get closer without him seeing me?

pileated ref webReference photo for my most recent watercolor.

little-drummer-boy-14x18-web

“Little Drummer Boy,” 14 x18, Watercolor, © June Rollins

From what I learned about Pileated Woodpeckers, this is a young male who appears to have established his territory around where we live. He is life-size in the painting. Our own Little Drummer Boy.

Listen for the distant drumming. Wishing all unexpected discoveries!

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Meeting The Green Challenge

It’s that time of year when many of us are facing the challenge of incorporating greens into our nature inspired paintings.

Have we met web

I took this reference photo a few years ago. While working in my flower garden, I would often be surprised by Carolina Anoles like the one you see above. I grew fond of their bold, inquisitive ways.

AnoleEven though the painting will be primarily green, I didn’t only use out-of-the-tube, green pigment. I also like the effects of mixing yellow, gold, red and blue to make a variety of pleasing greens. More info at: Mixing Greens

P1110372I began with rich color working wet-into-wet to create soft-edged shapes. I later defined the subject with a light wash.

P1110373I continued adding darker values aiming for a subtle leading and flow of edge variety and interlocking shapes.

Lean Mean Green Machine 10x21 web

Lean Mean Green Machine, 10×21, Watercolor, ©JuneRollins

I lifted color and glazed to create unity. Because of the glazing and predominance of green, the finished painting was difficult to photograph. Above is close in color, although actual painting has more depth.

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When meeting the green challenge this year, make your painting unique by following Picasso’s advice, create “that particular green” that can’t be bought…

They will sell you thousands of greens: Veronese green and emerald green and cadmium green and any sort of green you like, but that particular green, never.

-Picasso