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Instagram (@lollyshera) and Other News

I have been remiss in regular blog posting and many of you now follow me on Instagram, where I post several times per week.  It has come to my realization that longer blog posts take so much time and I have mostly appeared on IG (@lollyshera) as a way of keeping up.

Since I last wrote I have some wonderful news about exhibiting in the Seattle area.  The Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists is sponsoring an exhibition in the Rainier Club starting in early October.  I am honored to have my piece, Rattlesnake Cove, chosen as part of this show.  This painting was inspired by the early morning light shining down through the cottonwoods in a small cove at Rattlesnake Lake.  Located up in the foothills of the Cascade mountains outside of Seattle, this lake is a popular destination for swimming, fishing, hiking, and kayaking all year around.  I love the mountain scenery there and I have done several paintings of this area. The paintings in this show will hang from early October throughout the holiday season.  Stop by if you get a chance – there are some wonderful artists exhibiting!

landscape of trees and water, reflection, lake, indirect method

Rattlesnake Cove, 19.5 x 12

In other news, I am pleased to announce that my gallery, Reinert Fine Art in Charleston, S.C. is opening a new location in the small mountain village of Blowing Rock, N. C.  Located deep in the Blue Ridge mountains, Blowing Rock is a perfect getaway spot and is sometimes referred to as the “Aspen” of the east!  As a huge skier and mountain enthusiast I love the idea of someday visiting and skiing in Blowing Rock, NC!

Many of my paintings are now be shipped to either Charleston or Blowing Rock.  If you are interested in a particular painting please contact my by email and I will direct you either to the gallery, reinertfineart.com or to my home studio gallery at Lolly Shera Fine Art; my home studio email is lollyshera@gmail.com.

And finally, those of you who have been following me know that I am preparing for a SOLO show at the Clymer Museum in March/April of 2016.  The opening is Friday, March 4th, 2016 at the Clymer Museum & Gallery in Ellensburg, WA.  Their website is clymermuseum.org.  I am sharing my process of some of the paintings for this show on IG (@lollyshera).

Find me and converse with me on FB (lollysherafineart), IG (@lollyshera) and Twitter (@lollyshera)!

Field drawings from the Kokanee Glacier

I have returned from a trip to the Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park located north of Nelson, B.C, Canada where I spent a week backcountry ski touring.  Our days were spent climbing up the glaciers with our skis and skins and skiing down long, long runs of untracked snow.  The conditions were excellent with varied weather and relatively safe avalanche conditions.  In the evenings I enjoyed the beautiful views outside from the warmth and comfort of the cabin.  Here are a few graphite drawings from my sketchbook:

Kokanee 1, graphite

Kokanee 1, graphite

drawing of trees, hills, snow, lake, hills

Kokanee 2, graphite

drawing, trees, hills, snow

Kokanee 3, graphite

 

 

 

 

Rattlesnake Cove – Indirect Painting Techniques

Here is the finished painting of Rattlesnake Cove!   The process for completing this painting went like this:  I started with a vine charcoal drawing, using a golden section grid to “scale up”  (enlarge)  my graphite study onto the larger panel.    Next, I completed an underpainting, using a mixture of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.  Then, when this was completely dry, I began the slow process of adding thin layers of opaque and transparent paint, waiting between sessions for the surface to dry.  My medium for this piece was a mixture of refined linseed oil plus sun-thickened linseed oil plus turp.  As the painting progressed I thickened the medium mixture (or reduced the quantity of turp) to stay true to the fat over lean principle.  It was a challenge to create the illusion of sunlight breaking through the tall trees and illuminating the willow bush in the water below.  I will never forget that image when I first saw it last summer at Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend, WA.  You can read about earlier phases of this painting on this blog in a post called “Color Sketch of Rattlesnake Cove.”

 

landscape of trees and water, reflection, lake, indirect method

Rattlesnake Cove, 19.5 x 12

From thumbnail to color study

I recently did some sketching of the water reflections on the Snoqualmie River and I decided to turn one of my ideas into a painting.  Well, I’m about half way there.  Let me show you the process from thumbnail to color study.

First of all, it was freezing outside, so I sat in my car and pulled out the thumbnail sketchbook.  A thumbnail drawing is about half the size of a post-it, or 1.5″x2″.  All I’m trying to do is see if my design idea works as a small black and white image.  I drew this one quickly with 6B pencil and added white chalk for the light areas.  As soon as I had something down I had to decide if I liked the flat, graphic image.  Was it an interesting design?  Was it simple enough or too complicated?  Were the darks clumped together or spread all apart.  The simpler the design the stronger it is.  It’s really hard to uncomplicate the landscape because there’s so much to look at!  I decided I liked the design.

Here is the thumbnail drawing

Later on I decided to make a larger, more complete value study, this time about 4″x6″.  Because I was in my studio I had to imagine the tree because I wasn’t working from a photo, just memory and the thumbnail to look at.

Here is the 4×6 value study

I liked it but something bothered me and I wasn’t sure what it was.  I showed it to my landscape teacher, Deborah Paris, and she said it’s not a good idea to put the trunk of the tree right next to the edge, as it pulls the eye right out of the picture.  I agreed and I also remembered that Edgar Payne mentioned the same thing in his book, Composition of Outdoor Painting.  So I decided to do another value study and move the tree trunk in.

This time I made the drawing an 8×10 because that’s the same size I wanted for the color study.

Here is the 8×10 value study (graphite and white chalk on gray toned paper):

As you can see the drawing is more developed and I have moved the tree in from the edge.  I think it looks better.  What do you think?  The tree is pretty dark because it’s close up and it’s a gray day in the Pacific Northwest which makes all the values pretty close together.

Now it was time to do the color study.  Working from memory of the day I did the thumbnail I painted this 8×10 study.  As I worked I looked at the 8×10 value study as a reference.  It was really interesting how I remembered the colors from that day just looking at the black and white drawing.  I think it’s fascinating how much we record in our minds without knowing!

Here is the color study.

I’m pretty happy with the colors, but I think some of my values are off and I made it into a sunny morning type feel rather than a gray day.  What do you think?  I plan to do another study to attempt to match the value study above.  If I can do that then I’ll go for a larger studio painting.

 

Skull on a Fence Post

Skull on a fence post 6″x4″ graphite and white chalk on toned paper
Loved this new Strathmore paper, Toned Sketch!  My friend, John Unbehend sent me a sample packet to try and I really like the surface.  Not too smooth, not too rough.
Funny thing, this skull looks like it has a baseball cap on, but, really, the “cap” is dried hide, curling up toward the sun!