Saturday, February 27, 2010

Painting #13 - Further On

Further On
oil on canvas
6 x 9 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky
For purchase information click here

I struggled to get the colors of this image to match the original painting. It's not exact, but as close as I could come. I really enjoyed painting this one. It's a scene I have worked from before, so perhaps it is because of my familiarity with the shape of the water and the marshes that made an easy transition to paint. Living here in the mountains I sometimes long to see a wide horizon. These South Carolina marshes fascinate me with their meandering waterways and all those horizontal shapes of layered color. Number 13 of my 100 painting project.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When Winter Came

When Winter Came
oil on canvas
5 x 7 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky
Click here for purchase information

Winter came early this year, unpacked her bags, all of them, and settled into the best easy chair with her feet up on the footstool, took out her knitting, and keeps calling for refills of tea and more cookies please. It doesn't look like she has plans to go anywhere else anytime soon. She's the guest that has long overstayed her welcome but is too self absorbed to realize her hostess is oh so tired of dealing with her selfish demands. Sigh.

Painting #12 of my 100 painting project.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday - tulips and paper

The lovely tulips I received for Valentine's Day are now faded but I did manage a watercolor sketch before they completely wilted. I had written the quote on the page a few days before doing the sketch, which seemed to fit nicely with the thought presented.

I had a couple of inquiries about the paper I am using in this hand made journal. It is Canson Edition paper. I had first tried it a few years ago, using watercolor pencil and then dry colored pencil on top, and did enjoy working on it in that fashion. I purchased it from a local art supply shop, where the owner had suggested it as a good multi-media paper. He said the university art students liked it for its versatility and inexpensive price. So when I was putting together my current sketch book, I remembered that I had liked this paper and decided to try it again. I am very pleased with it in my sketch journal and plan to use it again in the next one I make for myself. This journal is made with the vanilla color and next time I plan to use a brighter white. Just for the variety.

Now, I know that paper preference is a very personal issue with artists. I used Arches hot press for the first journal that I made for the Artists' Journal class. I like hot press paper just fine for some media but I really prefer a little tooth to the paper in my sketchbooks. But not too much, as in a cold pressed paper. Canson Edition has a slight tooth that appeals to me, for grabbing onto pencil and watercolor pencils and crayons. One side is smoother than the other, although unless I scribble a little pencil over the surface it is difficult for me to tell which side is which. It is a softer paper than hot press, yet not as soft as Stonehenge. Also, it is a lighter weight than 140lb. hot press, yet thick and sturdy enough to handle watercolor, even some lifting of color as I did with the tulips above. I know this explanation is probably about as clear as mud but maybe it will be somewhat helpful anyway. For now, it is a paper that I enjoy using in my sketchbook because of its texture, weight, and ability to handle various media.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Painting #11 - Summer Paused

Summer Paused
oil on canvas
6 x 8 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky
For purchase information click here

Painting #11 in my 100 painting project. This is from a hike on the Boone Fork Trail in midsummer, the kind of day when you wish the days would stay just the way they are right then, at that moment. Wishing there was a button to push somewhere. Push pause please.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Painting #10 - Days Between

Days Between
oil on canvas
6 x 8 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky
For purchase information click here

Last summer and into autumn we took several drives out on the Blue Ridge Parkway and often stopped at Simms Pond. Compared to many of the glorious vistas seen from the Parkway, Simms Pond seems a rather unassuming place. And that's what I like about it. Small and quiet, it softly reflects the passing seasons. This view was painted from a reference I took on one of those days that is no longer summer yet not quite fall.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday

A sampling of my sketchbook pages from this past week. I must say that I am really enjoying my hand made sketchbook more than any sketchbook I have had in the past. Certainly more than I ever expected.
I am happy with the paper I chose, Canson Edition, and my junk paper signatures in the front and back for planning and scribbling notes. I find myself not only working in it more often but also missing it on the days that I don't pick it up. All of this is, I believe, because of the inspiration from the Artist's Journal class I participated in last fall. Kate, and others who have been in the habit of making their own sketchbooks for some time can say "I told you so" but I know they wouldn't do that. However, I do so appreciate Kate's gentle guidance that started me on this path.
Here is a page that I did testing out some new toys. On the left is a Lyra water soluble graphite crayon and on the right is Derivan's Liquid Pencil in sepia and gray 9. On both pages, after they had dried, I experimented with erasing, layering colored pencil, and washing Neocolor II water soluble crayon over top. I was very pleased with the Lyra water soluble graphite crayon in that it will be possible to draw in highlights with an eraser and that it was easy to control to achieve a range of values when the marks were brushed with water. The Liquid Pencil was fun to use and I love that sepia color but I was disappointed that it didn't take erasing very well at all, meaning that highlights will have to be preserved from the start of a piece. Both the graphite crayon and the liquid pencil picked up and blended with the Neocolor II crayon when water was applied, which could be a fun effect to play with, and definitely something to keep in mind when combining media.

So, there's a week in my sketchbook. And an entire post without mentioning the weather. Because I'm not going to talk about the snow, no, no, no.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I wasn't planning on doing the Monthly Sketch Project this month until I noticed that one of my photos was being used as a reference. So I chose to do the other photo reference, a lovely butterfly on a flower, as a colored pencil drawing. Well. That one isn't complete yet and with the deadline looming I decided to do my photo reference as a quick watercolor sketch, trying very hard to keep it loose and not over worked as I tend to do with watercolor. Here is the result, in my moleskine watercolor sketchbook.

The scene is of Grandfather Mountain in the distance from the carriage trail at Moses Cone Manor off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's a lovely trail to hike with many beautiful vistas perfect for watercolor sketching. It is a funny thing around here about Grandfather Mountain. Did you ever see the movie, "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain"? A wonderful, lift-your-spirits film. And the setting has some similarities to our mountains here. In the movie, almost every interior scene has a picture of some sort of their "mountain". Whether it's in a shop, the pub, the church, or school, there is a picture of their mountain hanging on the wall, as the residents are very proud of their mountain. It's like that here with Grandfather Mountain. Most banks, gift shops, medical offices, and especially galleries, and any place else, have a picture of some sort of Grandfather Mountain on display. I think it is required of local artists to capture this mountain's image at least once for residency here. Please do go look at all of the entries this month for The Monthly Sketch Project. You won't be sorry as they are all fantastic.

So when I am not otherwise engaged with my art projects these days I am busy crocheting. I am fairly comfortable working on flat projects, scarves and afghans mostly. And always in one color only because I didn't have a clue how to change colors. But that is changing now. A while back I purchased Jennifer Edwards' "Everything But-the-Kitchen-Sink Bag" pattern because I have this thing for bags and her sample is gorgeous. And I have tons of left over yarn from all of my scarf and afghan projects. I figured if anyone could teach me how to make something three dimensional AND change colors it would be Jennifer. And she has! Here is the start of my bag project, multi-colored even. I am so excited! When my bag is completed I will post the finished product. In the meantime, check out Yarn Works by Jennifer. She will have you crocheting or knitting in no time. Besides, what else are we going to do until spring arrives?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday - Sunshine

In a vase, on our kitchen table anyway. Because I am not going to talk about the snow, ice, freezing rain, sleet, and snow, anymore. The only winter weather we haven't had so far is high winds. But now BLIZZARD conditions are in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow with 55 mph winds gusting to 70 miles an hour. So good. We can check that one off our winter weather events too.

But back to the sunshine. Kiddo's science lessons have been all about plants. Last week it was learning the parts of a flower. The Professor picked up some cheerful yellow gladiolus so she could examine the flower parts with a magnifying glass. With out winter palette of white and gray, it is so nice to have a bit of sunshine blossoms gracing our table.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mixing it up

mixed media on paper
5.5 x 7.5 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I have so many ideas that I want to try. And since I am working on my hundred painting project this year, knowing that I have that one clear goal, I feel a sense of freedom to play with these other ideas without commitment. I know, that sounds strange. How could such a huge project free up my thinking for other works? But it has. So there it is.

This is a drawing where I experimented with mixing media. I began with a water soluble graphite pencil, a blue gray watercolor pencil, and a brown Neocolor II crayon on hot press paper. I scribbled in my medium and darker values then washed it with water. While it was still wet I squirted it with water from a spray bottle. After it dried I went back in with a graphite pencil. One idea down. About a thousand to go.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Marshland - painting #9

oil on canvas
6 x 6 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky
For purchase information click here

Blue skies, calm waters, warm breezes. As we settle in for yet another weekend of brutal winter weather here in our mountains, I think I'll mix up some more watery blues and paint another coastal scene. Or draw a few sea shells. Or flowers. I don't know about you, but winter is really making me weary this year.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday - Happy Groundhog Day!

And Candlemas day, and Imbolc and St Brigit day. Did you know there was so much significance to February 2nd? This day marks the half way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. So no matter what the groundhog says, we are now half way to spring.

We spent most of this past weekend putting together Valentines for a Valentine exchange that Kiddo is doing this year. She made loads of beautiful Valentine cards with collage over watercolor backgrounds. Little pots of mixed watercolor were left over, so I looked for something with color to use up some of the paint. This apple was a handy subject and fun to paint with these watery colors. They are Stockmar watercolors that come in a little bottle. You only need the smallest dab of the liquid color to mix with water. The colors are very intense and the little bottles last forever. (No, I don't work for these people, I just really like Stockmar's art supplies for kids.) I do think it is important to give kids good quality art supplies, otherwise their experience making art just becomes frustrating and they may lose interest altogether. The apple was done in my hand made sketch book.
Still having paint left I drew in watercolor my poor geranium for Everyday Matters challenge #257, draw a house plant. I have been wanting to get back to doing these challenges. My journal dedicated for Everyday Matters drawing challenges has been neglected far too long. This geranium lives on our front porch during the summer and winters inside where it becomes leggy and pale. When it gets moved outside again it never fails to revive into a bushy plant rewarding us with lots of soft pink blossoms.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February Print of the Month

This is the piece I chose to feature for my February Print of the Month. I am enjoying collecting these cards each month with prints of my art work. An now it's February already. That much closer to spring!

I had to search way back in my blog to find where I had posted about this piece. It is titled Avon Boat and the original is 6 x 12 inches with Neocolor II and colored pencil on pastel board. It was exhibited in 2008 in the Associated Artists of Southport July National Exhibition and sold while in that exhibit. The scene that inspired this piece is from a little place on Hatteras Island. The tranquility of this little boat floating next to the dock seemed a pleasant image to carry in my mind this month of February. Note cards and fine art prints of this piece are available through Imagekind.


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