Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pomegranate and Nuts.

Here's a recent piece that I used to try out my new Pitt India Ink pen. I had fun with it and it didn't bleed when I used watercolors over it, which is something that I was looking for, not having any luck with a regular Pilot pen. I used watercolor, ink, and colored pencil on this. I wanted a still life that reminded me of the Holidays, healthy food that I should enjoy more of, instead of all of the goodies that have been being passed around at work the last few days!

I hope everyone enjoys their Holidays, and has a Wonderful and Peaceful New Year to come.

Lisa B.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This is a watercolor and colored pencil on paper. The seagull was in a holding pattern about 6 feet up in the air, she was waiting for me to throw her some french fries as I was eating my lunch one nice Saturday. I was on the Salem, MA side of the Beverly/Salem Harbor. The rest of the gull's companions, or perhaps, competitors, for my fries were all on the ground, I was quite impressed with this one's willingness to work hard for the potential non-nutritious treat to come, and I took a few pictures of her floating above before I threw the fries on top of the roof of my car so she could reach them first. I also took some pics of the rest of the bunch charging, flapping and squawking their way towards the end of the fries.
Don't worry, they didn't get too many fries, and it was low tide, so right after the food frenzy cooled, they returned down to the harbor beach below and continued to forage for clams.
Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.

Lisa B.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pine Cones

This is 4th in the watercolor leaf series. It's evolved from just watercolors to also include colored pencil and guache, mixed media, really.

On my walk in the woods to pick up leaves, I couldn't pass these beauties by. While the slight needles of the pine tree only make an impact when they are in masses on the forest floor, the tree's cone is amazingly beautiful and sculptural, it's hard to choose which one to keep. When I first picked these up and started to draw from them on the first night, the cones were much tighter and compact. As I finished the painting on the second night, the seed scales had expanded and flexed outwards, so the shadows in the drawing had moved. I was able to fit some of the expansion into the painting, it feels more expressive that way.

I think this is the end of the current leaf series. I'm going to be working on my new endeavor, becoming an illustrator, by working on more illustrative drawings and paintings, putting an illustration portfolio together. I may be posting more sketches along the way, instead of waiting to finish a painting. I've been looking on the web for other illustrators and am amazed at the variety out there, so many different styles and areas of concentration, all very intriguing. I'm excited!

Lisa B.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oak Leaf and Acorn, Watercolor

This is 3rd in a series of autumn leaves in watercolor and colored pencil. I also added a couple of acorns into the painting to accompany the leaf. The acorns were at the base of the tree where I found the leaf, not many acorns were left after the animals had been around to gather their harvest for winter.

I love walking around in the woods, sketchbook and camera in hand, and finding something that I'd like to study a bit more. By drawing the subject, I get to know more about it, the different varieties of species, learning how it relates to other natural things in the area. I could get more and more detailed in my drawings, but using the watercolor helps me hone in on the color, shape, texture and overall feeling of the subject without getting the .025 pen out for super detail.

I just changed the color scheme of the blog today, I think there were too many colors before, a more neutral background shows off the artwork better. I'm going to also be making some other changes soon, more about that later.

Let me know if you all are liking the new neutral look, or if I should work on it more.

Lisa B.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Maple Leaf

This is a watercolor with colored pencil. I'm working on a series of autumn leaf paintings on paper. I'm loving how the two mediums compliment each other. The watercolor allows me to play with the intensity of the pigments, the flow of each color morphing into the other. Then the colored pencils let me dive in and pull details out that I think heighten and strengthen the piece. I'm trying to keep the details at just the right level of realism and not to go too overboard, a little mystery keeps the eye happy.

Lisa B.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumn Leaf. Watercolor, 9 x 12 in

This is a watercolor with wax resist and colored pencil. All of the gorgeous fall colors out here in Massachusetts, I had to be influenced. Sorry for the long absence, I've been working a lot of overtime at my full time job. The economy seems to be sputtering back. I've been doing a lot of quick sketches to keep the flow, but I've only been able to spend small amounts of time being creative, and I'm too slow a painter, the acrylic I'm working on is still work in progress. So I decided to stay with watercolors while my time is limited for the near future. I've missed blogging! I'm going to spend a few nights catching up on everyone else's blogs.

Lisa B.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Evening Tea, 5 x 7 in watercolor

Well, it's nice to be back! I've been working way too hard at my full time job and haven't had the time to spend any amount of quality time painting. So this one is a watercolor I did a couple of weeks ago. I bought a different type of watercolor paper (new to me anyway), Fabriano 140 lb Hot Press. I'd only used the cheaper brand cold press with the rough texture before and I'd wondered what the difference would be. I like the hot press much better. It has a more velvety feel and can take more layers of color. The cold press starts to shed with multiple layers. It might just be me and my technique, but I liked the hot press watercolor paper right away. Sometimes you just know when something works for you, even if it doesn't for someone else.

I have been doing some very small sketches, taking breaks during my busy days. Just trying to keep the flow going, even if I'm not able to really concentrate on a larger painting. I hope the picture translates well, the painting looks a lot richer in real life, maybe I need to scan at a higher resolution.

Happy first day of Fall to all! See some color!
Lisa B.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Taking Turns. Watercolor, 5 x 7 in

I'm still working with watercolors. Liking the way things flow and mix together, as well as the spaces that are left to shine through untouched by paint. I took several pictures of the daily feeding frenzy at the birdfeeder. Some of the birds chose to wait in line patiently, some were more brazen and pushed their way through to get at an opening. I think using the watercolor medium helped capture the fluidity of the birds constant movement in a way that I couldn't capture with the painting style I use with acrylics.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Different Medium

I'm trying a different medium, watercolor, out for a while. I think it's good to use a different approach occasionally to get a fresh perspective from both the tools that you use and the way you use them. Plus, it's been so nice out, I've wanted to be outside as much as I can watercolors can be quick and immediate. This painting is from a photo that I took at the apple orchard, the lone pear tree amongst the macintosh. I took the liberty of not filling in detail in the background, just a nice complimentary color to set off the brilliant yellowish green of the pears.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Growing Higher- acrylic, 8 x 10 in

Wow, finally posting again. I've somehow become busy enough the last two weeks to only spend an hour here and there painting. I'm currently working on another painting at the same time, but time was lapsing, so I thought I'd better finish one. This one is from a bunch of pictures I took a couple of weeks ago at Brooksby Farm in Peabody, MA. The macintosh apples were very close to ready to pick, I can't wait! I thought I'd start off a painting series of trees with the young trees stretching for the sky, a good metaphor for anyone who is working towards new goals, stretching their wings. The colors in the leaves were varied, yellow as the sunlight illuminated through, dark green in the shadows, and grayish white in the high sun. It was nice to try to capture all of the variations in hue and tone.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dancing Leaves, 9 x 12 in acrylic

This weekend was wonderful, great sunlight, perfect summer temperature. I went up to Rockport, MA yesterday and walked around Bearskin Neck. You know, where the famous red building "Motif #1" is. There were a lot of wonderful artists and galleries there. A few less than there were last year, unfortunately, due to the recession. One of my favorites that is still there is Susanne White's "The White Seagull Gallery". She has a great sense of color, shape, and natural coastal beauty.

I actually painted this painting in a day and a half. Pretty quick for me. This was the first time I started with a black background, I think it helped me achieve a faster sense of tonal quality that usually takes me quite a while to achieve. I think I'll try working that way for a while. I painted this because I love walking through the woods. The light filtering through the dense foliage and falling on the soft forest floor is something I've always wanted to paint, but never got around to it. I think I'll start a series on this theme.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This one is from my backyard. I have a lovely Hibiscus tree that I move outside in the summer and it blossoms with the most impressive blooms. I liked the foreshortened view that makes it look like the flower is giant. I worked on this one for two weeks off and on. At times I wanted to paint over it, but I'd put it away and work on the foxgloves. Which was also giving me grief. Bounced back and forth between two paintings that I wasn't feelin' the love from either, but I was determined and kept at it. I think this one came out well after all. Sometimes all you need to do is give it time.

Foxglove, finished

Well, here's the finished Foxglove. I tried to do something different with the background, but in the end, I just made it a little darker or lighter in areas. I took some advice and added little areas of yellow on the petals to contrast with the purple,and in person, this does add a lot more visual interest. I tried too hard to think of something different for the background, and just couldn't step away from it. Sometimes I have a one track mind and it won't let me stray and open up to different possiblities. Ah well, on to the next.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Foxglove. Work In Progress

I'm still working on this one. The background has been intimidating me. I'm not quite sure how much color I want to put into it, but it needs something. I saw Jeanne's newest painting, "Two Daisies", over at Studio Jeanne, and I loved how she let loose and showed such vibrancy and movement. I'll work on the Foxgloves more tomorrow night. Any suggestions on color? Go darker or lighter?

Now I'm off to wander the web and peek in on what other people are working on!

Lisa B.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Poolside, 6 x 8 in, acrylic

I photographed this little guy at Glenn Magna Farms in Danvers, MA. He was in the small water fountain/pool in the flower garden area. Quite a catch. It was something I knew I would be able to let myself spend some time on the details, which is what I love to do, but have recently tried stretching myself further by loosening up the brushstrokes. I think a bit of both is going on. I had a hard time with the water, and will challenge myself to experiment more with water and reflections, but I think it came out pretty well.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Morning Sun 8x 10 in, acrylic

What a beautiful week! Hope everyone is enjoying it. Here I'm still working on loosening up, still looking at the sun playing on the grass.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Strawberries, 8 x 10 in, acrylic

Ah, strawberries! I had to paint something that reminded me of early summer, since here in the North East we haven't been seeing any signs of summer. I bought these at Clark Farm in Danvers, MA.

Lisa B.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Heading to the North for the weekend

I'm heading to Maine for the weekend, finally some nice weather in New England! I won't be able to post anything, my mom's computer is so old it doesn't have USB ports to download any pics and takes forever to open a page.

Today I went to Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA. It's a small zoo in a nice woodland setting next to Spot Pond. I took some pictures of animals, just to have as reference for who knows why, but I like taking pics. I saw a wood carving of an owl that is near the front entrance. I don't know who the artist is, or how long it had been there, but the erosion from weather and time makes it that much expressive.

Isn't it cool? Well, off to the North!

Lisa B.

Lake Quannapowitt, Early Morning

Painting #2! Yay! This is Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, MA. I often drive by the lake on my way into work in the morning. The morning I took the picture for this painting, I fell in love with the way the sun was stretching out over the grass in the early morning. As opposed to my first painting I posted about, I held myself back from being too detail oriented and worked on getting a sense of light. I think I'm starting to see some success in that area. For paints, I used: Jenkins Green, Ultramarine Blue, Titanium white, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Med. Yellow, and Payne's Gray.

Lisa B.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Steps

Here goes! I'm starting this blog as a daily exercise in reminding myself to be more creative. I've been missing the creative element in my life, spending most of my time working in a field other than the creative one. I have a lot of other interests, and those might show up from time to time, but I'll focus more on art and any crafts that I might be working on.

This is the first painting I've done in quite a while. I've usually only had time to draw, but I'm determined to make time to paint. This was from a picture that I took last summer, it's not finished yet. I still have to play up the sense of light. I spend so much time on the little details that I'm sometimes oblivious to the light play until I step back an really look. I'll work on this more after I've been away from it for a while. A good start, I believe.

Lisa B.