Polyphemus Moth – Watercolor Painting


I started this painting of a polyphemus moth back in 2012, using gouache on aquabord. I didn’t like the effect of gouache on the board though, and after working on it for awhile got frustrated and washed all the paint off. I kept the board around, thinking I could paint over it or make some other experiment with it. Five years later… I decided to sit down and try painting in regular watercolor over the gouache “ghost”.  I got to sit on the patio and paint, it was fun! I forgot how awesomely portable watercolor is. I also like using the aquabord, it works with my detailed and layered style of painting. I’ll be doing some more of these 🙂

Purple Paper Clematis Flowers

I saw a photo online of a delicate six petal flower with these amazing long stamens with dark purple tips. Right away I thought “I have to try making that.”  So over the weekend, that’s what I did! After a few test runs of the stamen, I think it looks pretty good. Of course at the time, I didn’t think to look at what kind of flower I was making. So I had to go back and research… turns out it is a clematis! It is a flowering vine, with a huge variety of colors and weird extravagant stamens. I will make more of these for sure. I also need to work in the vine part of this plant, I think it would look cool to have some climbing up the shelves in my studio.

Painted Daisy

Had some fun with painting the petals on this daisy. I used white gouache on extra fine purple crepe, painting before I cut the petals out. I also tried rolling long strips of fringe in a tight spiral to make the center of the flower. I like it!

Crepe Paper Anemone Flowers

Anemone flowers that I’ve been working on this week. Super fun to make… I watched this tutorial by Lia Griffith and then winged it on making my own templates. I’m really happy with how they turned out! They are a little bigger than I had originally thought, I was planning to make some to go with the ranunclulus flowers from last week (still in progress, but I’m excited to finish those up too) but I’ll have to make some scaled down for that specific project.

WIP – Crepe Paper Ranunculus

This is what I’ve been working on over the weekend, almost finished with this first Ranunculus flower. There have been so many petal layers to this, I think about 50 petals so far. My plan is to make another smaller bloom, not as open, and a few completely closed buds. I think I’ll also try my hand at making a few anemone flowers to go with the bunch.

Here’s a sketch of what I’m thinking:

I’ll post again next week with more flowers!

Paper flower magic

As I’ve committed to paint and draw several sessions per week, I found that I really wanted to work on botanical pieces. Downside? Flowers don’t last a long time. And my cats eat them. So I thought I would make my own floral still life models.

A few Pinterest searches later… I found that there are sooo many cool options for making paper flowers! I found a lot of great tutorials by Lia Griffith, and purchased a crepe paper bundle. I started out by making a few simple flowers to get the hang of it. I did some studies in oil paint using those flowers, pretty cool. (Oh yes, I haven’t used oil paints in oh… 20 years. So a little rusty. But I LOVE IT!!!)

Then, as I wanted to make a few flowers as gifts for coworkers, I was inspired by this peony tutorial that I found on designsponge by paper flower artist Kate Alarcon. I loved making these flowers!!! And though I made a few changes due to the materials I had, they still rock! I am so into this paper flower thing, I can’t wait to make the next one. I want to fill my art space with flowers and paintings oh my!

I just love how you can stretch and form the crepe paper into petals. And the slight translucence of the material is so pretty. I’m definitely inspired here!

Getting back to a regular art practice

To all those out there taking those first few steps to get back into a regular art practice (including myself)…

You can do it! I know you have it in you… talented, smart, capable in every way…

Nervous? YEP! It’s a blank canvas! A sheet of paper! SO intimidating!

Seriously, how can it be scary to just pick up a paintbrush and start making marks?

You would think that I haven’t done this before. That I had not experienced the elation of making something amazing appear on the surface in front of me. No, no, no… that is not the case here. I’ve always been an artist. It’s something near and dear to my heart, something I have invested time, money, blood, sweat, and tears. It’s been my main mode of expression. My pride and joy. But the past few years… I’ve been struggling. It’s like losing your way in your own backyard.

This follows a time in my recent past of raw emotion, breakup and start-over, picking up the pieces and figuring out who I am. A time of major self reflection and rebuilding. Honestly, now I feel great about myself, about life, but getting art out of my head and into the world is a HUGE task of enormous proportion. Or… is it deceptively easy? Just a matter of making that first mark?

I set out to make time each and every week for creative expression.

Do the work! I say. Let it be free! WOOHOOO!

Don’t think too much and see what happens. OK?

I’m curious, is anyone else currently feeling this way? Or if you have in the past, what did you do to get going again?