Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gift of Friends

Dear Friends,
You have given me so much joy, laughter and inspiration. You've also showered me with words of comfort and love in times of need. Blessings to you this holiday season and may you find a sense of Peace, Joy and Love in your Home, Family & World. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Time of Reflection

Hope you'll allow me to share whats going on in my life. This last year has been an emotional roller coaster. Often I've had one foot in joy and one foot in grief. I've been blessed with a healthy new grand child named Caleb, my son Daniel continues to be cancer free, my son Thomas had a successful salmon season on his own boat, I spent 25 days in Italy teaching and painting, I’ve enjoyed numerous artistic achievements and we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I have so much to be thankful for...and I am!

In July this year I lost my Step-Dad Jere to cancer. I've spent more time with my Mom in these last few months. I enjoy our weekly get togethers. Were getting to know each other in a new way. It's a nice experience.

Doing what he loved most...hiking.
Now I fear the greatest sorrow will visit me soon. My dad, Wes has been fighting cancer for 14 years. The day before Thanksgiving he began Hospice Care of home. I spend time with him every day. Some days he is alert and we have fun conversations and some days he barely wakes at all. But sleeping is probably the best thing right now. Hospice is doing their best but the pain is difficult to keep under control.

My Dad has lived a good life and he’s lived it his way. He retired in his early 50’s. Had more adventures than most people dream of. He’s been generous with “his girls” and shared the adventure along the way. We’ve flown in his hot air balloons, sailed in his boats, backpacked and hiked the High Sierras, rode horses & motorcycles, snow skied & snowmobiled, mountain biked, travel to distant lands…and shared more cookies and ice cream than you’d ever imagine! He taught me to appreciate art and bought me my first easel.  I love my dad.
Sharing a sketchbook with Dad.

I have no false illusions that my Dad will get better…I know that. I would like to ask for your prayers. Please pray for my dad, his wife Sheryle and all his girls. Help us to be there for him and for each other as we learn to live without him.

Without question, I’ve entered the Advent season with a heavy heart.  I remain thankful for all the blessings in my life and I start each day with prayers of thanks. The tears fall...a lot. I am thankful for the memories that will last a lifetime, hope, faith, family, friends, and art! 

Blessings, Brenda

Monday, November 17, 2014

Watercolor Workshop

I can't believe next week we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving! Where has the time gone? Okay I know the answer to that question. 

What a year it has been filled and with incredible highs like the birth of a grandchild, continued health of my children, travel, workshops and new friends. It's also been a year I've had to say good-bye to loved ones.

Now it's time to look ahead. I am listing the first three workshops of 2015. I have many other exciting events coming up but I can't reveal details...just yet. I promise you'll be the first to know (wink).

Happy Painting!

January 16, 17 & 18, 2015
3-Day Workshop
Sketching in Watercolor
Orange, CA
Phone: (714) 633-0653 

February 21-22, 2015
2-Day workshop
Negative Painting with Watercolor
San Diego Watercolor Society
Non Members Fee: $290.00
Members Fee: $250.00

March 9-13, 2015
5-Day Workshop
Negative Painting with Watercolor
The Villages Art Workshops, Villages, FL
Contact: Bev  352-753-1383, BBaug97@aol.com

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Home Again, Home Again!

Room with a view!
Seems like I am either coming or going these days.  I just returned from Tuscany after teaching two workshops in 25 days. I got home just in the nick of time, too! I was blessed with the arrival of a new grandson named Caleb only 8 hours after I got home...Life is good! Everyone is healthy and doing fine.

Tuscany was beautiful, the weather was...exciting! My home base for the workshops was Lucca. We stayed in a beautifully restored Tuscan farmhouse in the hills. The first couple weeks we had thunder and lightning storms that made the earth shake and the sky come alive. I loved it! The end of October was clear, crisp and lovely. I could see and feel the change of seasons.
Our Chef Karolina
 Some people live to eat, other eat to live. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not overly motived by food. All that changed!!! We were treated to some of the best meals I've EVER had. The food was delicious, unique, varied, tasty, relaxing, and entertaining. The evening the group had a cooking lesson was a hit, too. I've never looked forward to meals like this before. I'm sure gonna miss Karolina and her cooking!

Every adventure comes its down falls (pun intended). I made the mistake of not turning on the lights and missed a step. I had the opportunity to sit on the floor a while and survey the error of my ways. I sprained my ankle and bruised my knee when I fell. I was very lucky not to  break a bone. The good thing is, if I had to be laid up for a couple days, my timing was perfect. I had two days off before my next workshop started. I moved a little slower for a few days but the accident didn't effect the remainder of my time in Tuscany. I can't express how grateful I feel. I could have seriously hurt myself or ruined the workshop for others. Attitude of gratitude!

Group in Volterra
In Volterra we had lots of opportunities to sketch and paint. It was my first visit to the hill town. The town is charming, small, perched on a hill and  with amazing views from within the walls and looking out over the valley below. 

In Lucca was attended a Puccini concert in an old church, sketched in the Palazzo Pfanner Garden and Villa, shopped, ate gelato, walked around the wall and wandered the city.

Lerici is a charming little fishing village just below the Cinque Terres, but it's not touristy or crowded! From the shoreline the view is wide and amazing...an old fortress, pastel colored houses, fishing boats, villas perched on the hills... So many lovely sights filled with beauty, history, color, texture and friendly people. 

I love to sketch, paint and explore the beautiful locations of our world, be with fellow artists, experience new cultures, try new food...but it is good to be home and with my family. It's time to recharge, relax, finish paintings and spend time with those I love. The addition of our new grandson reminds me how precious life is and how quickly it passes.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Watercolor on Tinted Paper

I sketch and paint on papers not intended for watercolor. For example, I’ve found that the Canson Mi-Teintes pastel papers handle watercolor nicely, with a little warping. Mi-Teintes has a 65% rag content, a 98 lb. weight and is gelatin sized making it very strong. The paper has two distinct surface textures, one side smooth and the other grainy. The paper is highly receptive and easy to work on. 

 A few things to keep in mind when working on a tinted surface…your watercolors will look very different, especially if you use transparent watercolor. The paint will be influenced by the tint of the paper. And use less water so the paper doesn’t buckle too much. Since the paper is tinted you will have no whites to bring a sparkle. I don’t always feel adding white is necessary. I have a small lip gloss container filled with permanent white gouache in my sketch set-up. I don’t keep it on my palette as it dries quickly and becomes useless.

Right now I imagine a few watercolorists are raising their brow when they heard, “WHITE PAINT”. In many circles this is a NO, NO! Well guess what? In my sketchbook anything goes. Here is where I am free to play and break all the rules. One of the great joys of being an artist is experimenting with new subject matter and materials. 
I like to paint on ALL kinds of paper (tinted, stained, rough…) and this is only a few of them. A few companies make tinted watercolor papers, but I find the expense unnecessary.

The images you see are from my trip two weeks ago to Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico.
Soon I leave for Tuscany and I plan to work on tinted paper along with watercolor paper. I look forward to sharing my sketches and adventure when I return.

Happy sketching!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Sketch Collage

Have you ever felt one image on a page wasn't enough to tell the entire story? I often feel this way. This is when I sketch multiple objects on a single page. I call this a "Sketch Collage". I feel these sketches tell a bigger story/picture of what I was seeing and experienceing

The very word "collage" means collection or gathering...which is perfect for this approach. The challenge with a "Sketch Collage" is arranging the elements in a way that the page feels organized and balance. 


*Any theme will work (travel, garden, event, animals...). I might complete a Sketch Collage in one sitting or I may add images to a page over the span of the trip.  

*Don't worry about objects being true to size in relation to each other (key can be bigger than the house).

*Have objects such as people or animals pointed in and not out of the page.

*Have some objects overlap each other.

*Use a pencil to layout your ideas.

*Use a border to tie the images together.

*Have a variety of shape and size variety

*With or without words.

Happy Sketching!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Negative Painting with Watercolor

Last weekend I taught a Negative Painting Workshop for the Mountain Arts Network, in Lake Arrowhead. The final day I began a painting demonstation but got busy helping everyone complete their paintings and didn't finish my demo. I don't mind, since the reason I was their is to help my students learn.

I thought it would be a good teaching opportunity to show where a painting starts and the final piece. The pencil drawing is on Arches 140lb cold press watercolor paper. The underpainting is done wet into wet. The three colors in the under-painting are: Quinacridone Sierra (Daniel Smith), Leaf Green (Holbein) and French Ultramarine (Daniel Smith). The underpainting stage of  painting is the least control-able and the most exciting!

View the short video below to learn more and see the final negative painting.
If you experience a problem viewing the video use this link: http://youtu.be/t5lvkp-PeBU

Happy Painting!