August 21, 2013

Painting Process for Peninsula Impressions.

Peninsula Impressions -  12 x 9"  - by Tracy Feldman
Watercolor and ink on canvas panel.

This little painting is another one inspired by our trip this summer to Wisconsin's Door Peninsula.  It also incorporates elements of the Zentangle style that I've been playing with.  Notice the birch boughs, and the cheese and cherries for which Wisconsin is justly famous.  The "string" running through the piece creates the impression of swim floats which, along with the background and small boats, communicates how important water is on the peninsula.  I also added some wheat stalks because I loved the warmth of their golden color against the cool blues and greens of the rest of the area.  As a piece of whimsy, I had yellow perch (which I ate when there), swimming along the center "string". In the smallest loop, I included a wonderful little unexpected find I came across on the peninsula: fossils along the eastern (Lake Michigan) beaches.  How cool!  

My sister in-law Mae suggested that people might find it interesting to see the process I went through to create this little piece.

I started the painting process by doing a watercolor and ink sketch on paper.

Notice that when I transferred the sketch to 
canvas, I modified the "string" and started 
moving away from my initial design, waiting 
to add vignettes to small loops.

The next phase of the  painting process had me lifting the watercolor pencil lines before adding other color and the vignettes to the small loops.  I knew I couldn't leave it like that.  The painting  needed a background color to balance the composition and help the painting's other  element pop.

At first I thought this version of  the piece 
was the final one.  I wasn't  happy with it, 
but I wasn't sure what was off.
 I slept on it  and realized
 the "water" was too saturated 
and detailed compared
 to the "tangle".

Thus,  I did what watercolorists call "lifting",
 and now I'm happy with  the final result, shown on the right.  I hope you like it.  As always, I'm 
initially making this piece available on auction 
at my   If it doesn't sell, 
I'll raise the price to its normal sales price.  
Tell me what you think.

August 18, 2013

Fun on the Water - second of the Great Lakes beach pictures

Fun on the Water - Door Co, Wisconsin - by Tracy Feldman
Watercolor and Ink on Canvasboard
Although we were largely on land ourselves when we visited the Door peninsula in Wisconsin, I was struck by how water-oriented it was.  Locals and visitors alike spent much of their leisure time on the water, swimming or in boats of all stripes.  The fascination with being on the water seemed to suck everyone in.  This playful figurative "abstract is my homage to that fact.

I hope you enjoy this piece.  Tell me what you think.  Once again, I'm auctioning it on my Daily Paintworks gallery. The bidding will start at $20, but if it doesn't sell at auction, I'll raise the price to my normal (much higher) price.

August 17, 2013

Travels through the Great Lakes States 1

Lighthouses, Water, and Sky -- Door County, Wisconsin  by Tracy Feldman
Watercolor and Ink on Canvasboard, 10" x 10"

We've been away from home, visiting family in Pittsburgh and the mid-west.  The next few days’ paintings, therefore, are part of my beach-inspired work.  This piece, Lighthouses, Water, and Sky was inspired by the trip we took with Arny's sister and brother-in-law to a place that Arny and Elaine had visited when they were kids.  It's the Door Peninsula, which sits between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (yes, the one that the football team is named after).

I loved the idea of visiting a place that Arny had such fond memories of.  Then we went there, and I found I loved it myself.  We stayed at a charming bed and breakfast, called The Garden Gate, in Sturgeon Bay, and each day, we'd go out to hike and explore what the county had to offer.  People who don't live near the Great Lakes would be surprised how much shipping travels through the lakes and how wild the water can get in bad weather -- particularly in the winter.  Thus, the shorelines of the Great Lakes -- including the ones of this lovely peninsula -- are dotted with many interesting lighthouses.

As part of my effort to move toward abstraction, I used four area lighthouses as design elements.  Between them, I celebrated the beautiful green and blue waters that typified of that area.  I love seeing the range of greens, turquoises, and blues of the water for itself, partially because as a young person, I assumed that only the sea around tropical islands could be so beautifully hued.

I hope you enjoy this piece.  Tell me what you think.  Once again, I'm auctioning it on my Daily Paintworks gallery. The bidding will start at $20, but if it doesn't sell at auction, I'll raise the price to my normal (much higher) price.