Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ocean Tide Study V

Ocean Tide Study V
6 x 6 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

In preparation for painting a larger seascape I am doing one or two more studies of the tide. Time to loosen up after painting all those fussy details in my last work, Sea Souviners. I enjoy the dance, the back and forth of detail to loose impression. Like the tide, in and out.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sea Souvenirs

Sea Souvenirs
6 x 12 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I am finally at that point where I am calling this one finished. This was fun to paint, even though it was so like a puzzle. The inspiration for this piece was from a photo that I had taken looking down onto shells piled on top of a table. They were collected while on one of our beach trips to Edisto Island, South Carolina. I liked the textures, warm colors, and the random arrangement of the shells. And this painting gives me lots more ideas for future paintings as you all know how I like to paint sea shells.

Monday, January 12, 2015

sketchbook :: strawberry cha cha

This past weekend I bought some strawberries at the grocery. It's always a gamble with strawberries this time of year yet they did look pretty. Sketched these with watercolor only and finished off with a little white gel pen. I don't know why it is, but whenever I sketch strawberries they always look like they are doing the cha cha.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Here are a couple of in-progress shots of the painting I am working on at the moment. It is a top down view of a sea shell collection arranged in a random pile. I like the warmth of the shells' colors recalling sand, sea, and sun.
Some paintings I work from light to dark, or from background to foreground, or from sky to ground, or even all over the place at once. This is one of those paintings that is going together like a puzzle, a piece at a time.
Today greeted us with strong winds blasting bitter cold and snow falling and then blowing up and around in near white out conditions at times. A very good day to be in, at my drawing table, painting warmth.

Friday, January 2, 2015

sketchbook :: newness

In spite of 2014 being a wobbly year for me I did manage to create 54 sketches and 37 finished works. Not that the numbers matter other than my surprise when I added it all up. I was more productive than I realized. Now my intention for 2015 is to keep up a good creative pace but hopefully with more eveness to my days. Intention is my word for this new year. Approaching activities and projects with intention is my goal for this year.

The image above is my third sketch in this new sketchbook and my first image scanned on my new large format scanner. (yes, Santa was very good to me!) How best to flatten the book in the scanner to avoid the shadows will take some practice though. The pages do not look so buckled in real life.

The sketchbook is a Strathmore Soft Cover Mixed Media Journal. It is 7.75 x 9.75 inches and has 90 lb. mixed media paper. My first reaction to this paper was that it was going to prove much too soft for watercolor. Yet so far I am really enjoying the way it handles watercolor paint.
Here is a detail from my sketch above where I dropped color into wet washes. It expands and spreads wonderfully. I love it when paint does that.
And here is a detail where I lifted color with a paper table napkin. The paint had actually dried and I re-wetted it before lifting. I like using paper table napkins better that paper towels. The very cheapest napkins are the ones we buy. They are softer than paper towels and have less texture.
The sky in my sketch was initially painted by wetting the entire area with clear water and then washing with paint, allowing the pigment to spread on its own. After that was dry, and I had mostly completed my sketch, I went back into the sky to further define the bottom edge of the clouds. I was able to do this easily without disturbing the paint already there, as well as soften the edges of my darker color as it moved up into the cloud form.

The format of this sketchbook suits me and like Strathmore's watercolor sketchbook, the soft cover is a pleasure to hold. It does open flat and stays opened when working in it. The sketch shown above was done from a photo taken at the tree farm where we got our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. And now it's already time to take the tree down and pack away all of the decorations. We are still in the newness of the year.

Thank you for following along with my creative journey and cheering me on with every post. I truely appreciate every visit! May you enjoy a wonderfully colorful, creative 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Walk In Manteo

A Walk In Manteo
6 x 6 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Here is another study of trees that I had finished up before the holiday but am just getting around to posting now. The view is from the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, North Carolina. A beautiful, magical place graced with many magnificent trees, flowers, and shrubs lining meandering walkways.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

sketchbook :: winter solstice

The winter solstice is tomorrow and I am so ready to begin the turn towards the light again. I am nearly finished with this Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook, and right on time too. A new season, a new sketchbook waiting. Perfect.
I have many pages of notes in this book, and several sketches. It seems this sketchbook handles these sketches that are lightly washed with watercolor a bit better than the previous sketches that I posted where I am doing more "painting" than sketching.

And here we are at the winter solstice. Yes. I am ready for a new season. All of my notes are preparations for changes to come. Planning for the upcoming year, goal setting, setting my intentions. But for now it is time to do a little relaxing, like Sam up there, and contemplate the beauty of this season. May you find time for quiet contemplation and enjoy a delightful holiday!

Monday, December 15, 2014

sketchbook :: fruit

I didn't intend to be away so long from posting. I have been filling my sketchbook and here are two to share. They are both watercolor only, done in my Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook.
The jury is still out on whether or not this will be sketchbook that I will stick with for future use. As you can see, the paper buckles a bit, which I am sure is due to my soupy washes. I don't mind that so much as it is a sketchbook after all. However the further I work into the book the more difficult it is for the pages to lay flat while I am working.And the paint does tend to sit on top of the paper, which requires me to adjust my painting application. Again, not a deal breaker, yet something to consider. I have one more commercially made sketchbook to try before I give up and return to my hand made sketchbooks again.
And here is a sneak peek at my current painting in progress. Still thinking about trees. I am most happy with that tree trunk in the foreground. We'll see if this little study develops into a finished work.

Monday, December 1, 2014

sketchbook :: tree farm

We made our traditional visit to a local Christmas tree farm this past Friday. This year we hiked way up a slick, snow covered hill to select our tree. The views were incredible but the air was cold. I did this sketch after we were back home from one of the photos I snapped, while sipping hot chocolate.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

thinking about trees

The Walk To The Pond
6 x 6 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I have been thinking about trees lately. And when considering trees and their many forms while I sifted through my references, I found this view from a nearby Christmas tree farm. It is our family's tradition to visit a local Christmas tree farm the day after Thanksgiving where we "choose and cut" our tree for the holiday season. The November light and color of this scene seemed a perfect place to start when thinking about trees.

Wishing to all who celebrate a Happy Thanksgiving holiday!


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