<![CDATA[Kathy Cranmer's Art Studio - Blog]]>Wed, 18 Nov 2015 21:28:33 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Dahlias in Crystal Bowl]]>Wed, 18 Nov 2015 22:08:13 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/dahlias-in-crystal-bowl

Dahlias in Crystal Bowl
Kathy Cranmer (c) watercolor 11" x 15"

This painting combines some of my favorite elements, flowers, bold colors and crystal.  While I enjoy the challenge of complicated backgrounds and complex still life set ups, sometimes it is just fun to keep the background simple and really put the subject front and center.  These were the last dahlia's I picked before our first frost.  The stems were too short for a regular vase so I floated the blossoms in a crystal bowl.  After enjoying them for a few hours I decided they were just too impressive not to paint so I took some photos and went to work.  After transferring a drawing to 300 lbs. Arches cold press paper, I covered the blossoms and bowl in drawing gum and  created the dark background with several layers of complementary colors.  Once I was satisfied  with the background I removed the drawing gum and completed the painting.

If you enjoy great  watercolors click on the link below for the current Colorado Watercolor Society online member show.  Be sure to look for my paintings "Reflection" and "Pomegranate Still Life" in the online exhibit.

http://www.coloradowatercolorsociety.org/online-art-show-2015

 
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<![CDATA[What I Have Been Painting]]>Sun, 29 Sep 2013 17:30:48 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/what-i-have-been-paintingPicture"Peonies in Crystal Vase" Kathy Cranmer (C) 2013
 Happy to post a completed painting.  I picked a rather complicated subject for this still life and have been traveling a lot.  I was pleased to have five days in the studio last week which allowed me to finish Peonies in a Crystal Vase and plan my next project.  This painting is !5" X 12" on 300 lbs. Arches cold press paper.  With both a complicated background and a complicated foreground the challenge is to bring the flowers and vase forward and keep the picture from being too busy.  I feel I succeeded by pushing the darks in the background.  I under painted the background with varying shades and values of purple before painting the design in the quilt or the flowers.  That is a technique I adapted from Judy Treman's book "Building Brilliant Watercolors".  After I completed the flowers and vase I adjusted some of the darks in the background with light washes  of Carbazole Violet and Ultramarine Blue. I used photographs I took of peonies from my garden and a quilt from my husband's great-grandmother as a reference for the painting. 

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<![CDATA[July Exhibits]]>Mon, 08 Jul 2013 18:57:31 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/july-exhibitsPicture
I was excited that the Colorado Watercolor Society selected my watercolor "Pink Tulips with a Blue Bottle" for the invitation to the member show at the Lapis Gallery.  The exhibit runs from July5-27 at 3971 Tennyson St., Denver,   I was at the gallery Friday and was impressed with the quality of the paintings. Please stop by to see some excellent small works from a talented group of painters.

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The other exhibit which has been occupying much of my attention for the last two weeks is the currently on display at the Co-Art Gallery, 846 Santa Fe Dr., Denver.  I am the guest artist at the Gallery for the month of July.  I have a number of framed original paintings in a variety of sizes and prices on display as well as unframed bin work and prints.  There will be an Artist's Reception on Friday July 19, 5pm to 8pm.  Please join me for wine, snacks and world class rock by THOSE GUYS, featuring Mike Cranmer (my husband) and Brad Craig on bass and guitar.  Many of the galleries on Santa Fe will be open that evening so it is a great time to explore the variety the Santa Fe art district offers. 

I very much enjoy exhibiting my work but as any artist will tell you the time involved in matting and framing work and hanging a show seriously detracts from actual painting.  I have a great still life in progress and hope to post the final painting soon now that I am back in the studio.

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<![CDATA[July 08th, 2013]]>Mon, 08 Jul 2013 18:08:06 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/july-08th-2013<![CDATA[Strawberry Season]]>Tue, 11 Jun 2013 02:26:37 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/strawberry-seasonAll the beautiful strawberries in season inspired my latest still life.  Below are step by step photos of the final painting.
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I took a number of photographs of a still life with fresh strawberries, a green glass bowl and colorful plate.  After selecting a composition I liked I converted the photo to a black and white image in Photoshop using the
sketch/conte-crayon filter.  This was used as the value study for the final painting.

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After transferring the drawing to 300 lb Arches cold press paper I under painted the primary darks using Windsor Newton Neutral Tint.

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The glass  bowl and leaves on the plate were painted with a wash of Daniel Smith sap green.  The flowers were them painted in a similar manner using Holbien Cerulean Blue, Windser Newton Ultramarine Blue, and Daniel Smith Cobalt Teal.  The center of the flower was painted with Daniel Smith Naples Yellow.

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The highlights in the Strawberries were masked with Pebeo Dawing gum.  The first layer of the strawberries was laid in with a graduated wash of Holbein Aureolin Yellow and Scarlet Lake.  The strawberry  leaves were under painted with a pale wash of Holbein Terra Verte.

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After the  darks in the strawberries and leaves were strengthened with several thin glazes the masking fluid was removed.

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The highlights were softened with a scrubbing brush and remaining details were added to the plate and  berries.

"Strawberry Season"  11"x 8"  Watercolor      Kathy Cranmer (c) 2013
My next workshop at the Lakewood Arts Council Gallery is Friday June 14 from 9:30 to 3:00.  The June workshop topic is water lilies.  I am excited to share my technique for this classic watercolor subject with the class.  My July workshop is scheduled on July 19 at the gallery. More information is available at the Workshop tab and  the LAC website.
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<![CDATA[Tulips in Bloom]]>Fri, 24 May 2013 18:59:20 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/tulips-in-bloomPicture
Last week when I left town for my niece's graduation all of my tulips were blooming.  When I returned only the pink ones were left so I decided to do a small still life  showcasing them.   I placed the tulips on a white cloth to show off the shadows and used the blue bottle to capture their reflections.  I am planning to enter this piece in the Colorado Watercolor Society Small Works show next month

The painting of daffodils in a crystal vase I posted a few weeks ago was excepted in the Artist's Choice Exhibit at the Lakewood Cultural Center-Mezzanine Gallery 470 S. Allison Pkwy., Lakewood CO 802266.  The Exhibit is free and open to the public  Mon- Fri  8 a.m - 5 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m. -2 p.m. from May 13-June 14. 
Tulips with a Blue Bottle, 5x7
Kathy Cranmer (c) 2013

My next workshop at the Lakewood Arts council Gallery is Friday May 19 from 9:30 to 3:00.  The subject is water lilies.  I am excited to share my technique for painting this classic watercolor subject.  Go to the Workshop tab for more information.

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<![CDATA[Painting and Travels]]>Mon, 06 May 2013 16:10:08 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/painting-and-travelsPicture
I spent 3 days in a workshop with Jenny Phillips a very well know botanical artist from Australia, during one of Denver's recent snow storms and left immediately after the storm to visit family in Illinois and Indiana.  I very much enjoyed Jenny's workshop.  I have painted with her before and admire her free and fearless approach to botanical painting.  The botanical still life of the watermelons was painted in her workshop.  It still  needs what Jenny calls the jewelry (the final detail) but it is a good  start. 

I did not have much opportunity to paint on our trip as we were  busy visiting family in Mattoon, Lawrenceville and  Indianapolis on a  rather short time frame.  I did do the quick watercolor sketch of a dandelion posted below and found time to collect a few yellow morels.   Perhaps they will inspire a future painting. 

Watermelons on Arches 140 lb Hot Press
Kathy Cranmer (c) 2013


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My next workshop at the Lakewood Arts Council is this Friday May 10 and there are seats available.  Our subject matter is Capturing Light and Motion in Water.  It should be lots of fun.  Registration is handled by the gallery.  You can find more information under the workshops tab.

Dandelion 140 lb Arches Hot Press
Kathy Cranmer (c) 2013
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<![CDATA[Daffodil's in Two Days]]>Wed, 17 Apr 2013 21:12:19 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/daffodils-in-two-daysI started my Daffodil painting yesterday and thought it would be fun to post  step by step photographs. 
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The drawing is transfered onto Arches 300 lb cold press watecolor paper and taped to a piece of Gator Board.
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All portions of the painting except the background are covered with masking fluid. I used Pebeo drawing gum.
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The first layer of the background is a mixture of Quinacridone Gold, Carbazole Violet and Ultramarine Blue applied to dry paper with a 2" Hake brush.
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After applying two more layers of the background mixture I remove the masking fluid.
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I under painted the shadows in the daffodils with Neutral Tint and the stems with Naples Yellow and Terra Verte.
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I painted the centers of the blossoms with Cadmium Yellow and the petals with Aureolin Yellow. I also began under painting the shadows in the vase with Neutral Tint, Naples Yellow and Terra Verte
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I deepened the colors in the flowers with Cadmium Orange and Quinacridone Burnt Orange. I used Hookers Green, Terra Verte and Quinacridone Burnt Orange to deepen the colors in the stems.
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Daffodils in Crystal Vase. 8" x10" Water Color (c) 2013. I completed the painting using the background mixture for my darks and finishing the vase with a combinations of colors from the flowers and stems as well as the background mixture.
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<![CDATA[Plants and Pollinators]]>Tue, 16 Apr 2013 02:09:35 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/plants-and-pollinatorsPicture
Western Tiger Swallowtail on Buddleia (c) Kathy Cranmer 2013. Water color 9 x 12 on Arches 140 lb hot press paper.  I finished my piece for the Plants and Pollinators exhibit this afternoon.  I will let it sit for a few days and then may add a few more darks.  I find if I put a piece away for a few days it is easier to decide if any more details are needed. 






Tomorrow I plan to start a new still life.  I picked my daffodils this morning ahead of the snow.  Currently we have about 8".  They looked so nice on my kitchen counter I took some photos and plan to start a painting tomorrow.

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<![CDATA[Working With Reflective Objects]]>Tue, 09 Apr 2013 02:48:36 GMThttp://www.kathycranmerartstudio.com/blog/working-with-reflective-objectsI was sad today when I removed the lid from my watercolor palette and saw the paints were dry.  I normally paint frequently enough my paints do not dry out.  I am blaming Uncle Sam for the length of time from my last painting session as I spent last week filing our taxes instead of painting.  I painted today in preparation for this Friday's Workshop at the Lakewood Arts Council Gallery.  The Subject is "Working with Reflective Objects."  I will guide the class through a demonstration from Paul Jackson's Book Painting Spectacular Light Effects in Watercolor (c) 2000.  Below is the image we will tackle.
Tomorrow I return to my "Plants and Pollinators" piece. I have a good start on the Western Tiger Swallowtail.  Now I need to turn my attention to the Buddleia blossom.
"Plants and Pollinators" in Progress (c) 2013 Kathy Cranmer Watercolor
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