Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am not the only one who is crazy about Italian doors...

I joined the Red Bubble Site about a month ago. Last week, for the fun of it, I entered my Venetian Doorway in a group challenge "Doors and Windows". What a relief to see that I am not the only person around with a door fixation :-)...

And what a pleasant surprise to find out two days ago that my favorite door had been voted one of the ten top entries...and the only non-photographic winner.

Here is the picture reference that I will be using for my next Venetian door  watercolor painting- not at all a Palazzo door, that's for sure. In fact, that's one of the most humble-looking doors that I have seen in Venice.
However, the hanging laundry is symbolic of the life on the other side of the door - it leads my imagination beyond the door to an interior and individuals that I will never get to know...On the other hand, those individuals will never know that I was on the outside wondering about them. In fact, don't we go through life building doors to separate us from others, to keep them out or simply unaware that others would like to be invited in.  Viewed this way,  this humble door takes on more meaning for me than the gilded door of an empty palazzo....

Hopefully, I will soon have some pictures to show my progress with this painting.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I know that they are meant to be sold, but....

Yesterday,in her blog, Deb Ward mentioned that she was hanging up a show. Yesterday, I did the opposite:I took down my paintings from a summer-long two-women show at Mariposa Farm, just outside of Ottawa.
It was a successful show since we sold some paintings, had a great opening reception with the delicious Mariposa food, received good feedback and made new friends.
Here is a picture from that show even though the lighting was not conducive to great photography - and the wall not completely straight :-)

However, I was beaming yesterday to see my paintings again and to bring several of them back home :-) I know that a big reason for showing my paintings is to sell them, but I was so happy to get my "little babies" back, to admire them and to find them even better than I remembered them. And I really missed those that I had sold :-)

Paintings are an expression of our feelings, of our vision of the world. In many ways, they are part of us. I suppose that it is only natural that we feel a certain sadness in parting with them and joy at seeing them again. Do you all feel this way?

In the picture above, you can see on the right-hand side two of my Dazzling Pears paintings. Here is a close-up of one of them, Light and Shadows - Part of the light is in fact due to the reflection of the flash on the glass. It is probably not quite as successful as the two previous Dazzling Pears that  I have posted, but it is part of my experiments with the pouring and masking techniques.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Dazzling Series

As I am working on another Venetian door -surprise!- Meanwhile, I will post a painting from another series I keep returning to: The Dazzling Pears series. These are fun paintings where I try to be more spontaneous and slightly more daring. I started with ordinary pouring technique; then I added a bit of masking, then a lot of masking to produce a semi-abstract design. I would now like to push this approach a bit further...maybe removing some of  the masking halfway through the pouring, adding more masking....whatever combination I can think of.

When I work on one of these small watercolors, the world around me completely disappears for a short time, the notion of time is non-existent - I am totally focused on the play of colors, the movement of the paint, the transformation that takes place on the paper.  This has to be good body, soul and mind!

I am so grateful that art can bring me such pleasure.

Here are examples of these dazzling pears:

Dazzling Single
     Original watercolor painting
     Arches 140lb cold-pressed watercolor paper
     Size: 6.25" X 8.5"
     Matted to fit an 11"X14" frame
     Original and note cards available
The Amigos
Arches 140lbCP watercolor paper
Size: approx 7" X 9"
Original in private collection
Note cards available

Friday, September 11, 2009

And what if I became "the Door Lady"?

As I have probably mentioned before, about 18 months ago I fell in love with Venice...and its thousands of canal doorways with their flaking paint and plaster, their centuries-old brickwork, but also with such elegant lines and intricate ironwork. I have enough pictures of these doors for two life-times of paintings. So far, I have painted only 3 Venetian canal doorways and 1 Venetian attic door, but I have at least a dozen in my head. I have a lot of painting joy ahead!

"You don't want to be known as the Door Lady", warns my son, my most regular art critic."Paint something else!" But, Monet did not tire of his waterlilies, Van Gogh painted his bedroom in Arles several times. Do I not learn more about light and texture with each new door? Is versatility a necessity? Isn't the joy I feel when I paint these doors what really counts?

"People commission tasteful nudes of themselves to put in their bathrooms. That's what you should paint!" This suggestion is from my daughter, another of my art critics. Should one strive to be trendy just to sell more? Well, I don't feel like painting for someone's bathroom. I would probably sell more, but my art would not really be "me".

Perhaps everyone will sigh with boredom at the sight of another of my watercolor Venetian doors, but as long as painting them brings me so much joy, I will risk being called "that Door Lady".

Here is the third of my Venice doorways: "Only in Venice".

Arches watercolor paper
140lb cold pressed
professional grade W&N and Da Vinci watercolor paints.
15” X 19” approx. Can be matted to fit a 20" X 24” frame.
Click here to purchase online: 
Original still available from artist.
Note cards printed by artist also available

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The paintings are so much more beautiful in my mind...

If only what I paint in my mind could instantly appear on my watercolor paper! When I wake up in the morning before getting up to go to work, I plan my next painting...or my next 10 painting:-). The colors are vivid, the brush strokes are perfect, the light and shadows offer the perfect contrast and some small detail becomes fascinating.  Then the images fade but I keep a vague memory of this beauty for the rest of the day. For me, a big part of painting, of creative expression, probably lies in these inner visions that give me the nner peace and harmony that carry me through my other activities.

 Today is Saturday of a long weekend. If I can put on paper even 1% of what I imagined in those early dawn mornings this week, then, as an artist, I will be content. The brushstrokes won't be as masterful s they were in my imagination, the light and shadows will be elusive, the details may be too blurred. But, for me,  the journey is to be appreciated as much as the destination or the finished painting.

Below is an original watercolor painting that I saw in my mind many times before it appeared on the  paper.
It is from my “Memories of Venice” series and is the timeless scene that greeted me every morning from my hotel window during my trip to Venice last spring. Venetian sunshine on crumbling roof tiles…an attic door with cracks that let the pigeons in…I simply had to paint it as a reminder of the many different, but all beautiful,  faces of this wonderful city.

Original watercolor painting by Christiane Kingsley.
Arches paper 140 lb;
W&N watercolor paints.
Happy long weekend to all!

Art cards and prints available on my Red Bubble

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

As a part-time artist, my biggest challenge is finding
time for my art. I keep juggling work, family
responsibilities and my watercolor
painting. After a day at work, I often don't have the
energy to do much except read...although often about
painting. Then I feel guilty because I am not painting;
on Saturday or Sunday mornings, if I sit down to paint
for an hour or two, I feel guilty about not taking care
of some of my other responsibilities. What
a vicious circle!

I have promised myself to "make time" for my painting.
It does not have to be several hours at at time.
Every little block of time counts. Creating
a large painting is exactly like eating an elephant
- one bite at a time. I would love to know how others
make time for their art...

The painting below, of a magnolia, is one of the few
that I have painted all at one sitting. This provided such a pleasant,
focused experience - a true feeling of creation

"Southern Belle"
11 X 14 inches
Arches 140 lb CP

In private collection

The reference is from the WC forum.

I started by really messing up the background: I used
Indigo and some Raw Sienna and the result looked heavy
and streaky.  I used salt then added lines of permanent
rose, cobalt and Prussian blue to exaggerate the streaks.
...This was not the way I had planned
the painting at the beginning, but I was very pleased with the results.

And I am off for that next bite of my current "elephant".

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Second Post- even more intimidating for me than the first:-)

This will be the second post on my blog. But, I now have a few followers... Panic! this means that real people may read this post! I don't have any masterpieces to show, no new technique to share...but I suppose that's not what it's all about, is it? We all have doubts about the value of what we create. However, as one of you told me so wisely this week, we are all in this for mutual support as we develop in our art.

Without further ado, then, I will post another of my "Memories of Venice" series, a second doorway. It is called "Venetian Guardian" for the carved head that seems to guard the entrance to this Venetian home. … a four-century old guardian. The crumbling brickwork, the intricate ironwork on and above the door, all of this is typical of the fading beauty that is so unique to Venice. It is inspired from my own photo taken on a rather overcast day...I invented the light and the warmth this time:-)
 It is painted on Arches 140 lb CP with mostly W&N and Da Vinci paints and measures about 14" X 19". Until Sept. 20th it is hanging  in a two-women show (the two women being my good friend and very talented oil painter, Carol Penny, and  myself) at Mariposa Farm,  just outside of Ottawa, Canada.
What I like the most about this painting is the top half of the walls where I used the pouring technique: I was happy about the warmth around the carved head and the contrast with the other, cooler parts of the wall. I may redo this painting before long and use a less loose approach for the ornate ironwork on the door and the bricks. 
What do you think?

Venetian Guardian art cards (highest quality)

Smaller note cards printed by artist