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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Daisies Don't Last As Long As HP's 4 in 1

I bought them last Friday. It's Tuesday and they're dying. Gerber daisies don't last long. It was a shame work got in the way. I would have liked another go at them.

Not to worry, I find dried, dead flowers fascinating-- no doubt the macabre side of my personality, the part of me that loves horror films. In this watercolour in progress, they're not quite dead, just gasping for breath. But the red is losing it's brilliance fast and dropping to brown--a color that runs through the American Indian vase I bought in a barn in Colorado. The petals are quickly turning the color of the checks on the box I'm using as a pedestal.

I set up the still life in front of a painting of mine and immediately lost interest in the flowers. The play of patterns became the subject--painted flowers, dying flowers, checks. Patterns.

I'm still using the cheap paper. No time to run out for a higher grade. I was busy working on my kitchen elevations drawing crown moulding and worrying about how much money I was adding to the project--but the look was coming out so fine...I had to walk away to rethink my design's practicality. I don't want to break the bank.

I didn't have to walk far--just across the room to my eleven years old, HP 7100 series, four-in-one office jet printer where I installed the new color heads I'd ordered. Then I made some color test copies. Then I sent a fax of my kitchen to my shop manager. It was the accomplishment of the day. Instead of buying the junky printers they're selling at Best Buy, I refurbished a better made machine just by putting in new color heads. I felt very proud for being economical, protecting the environment, and not giving in to the ways of our throw away society. I rewarded myself by taking the afternoon off to paint what you see. I'm still going dark too soon. It's my preference for strong contrast. I may have to do some masking to subdue the background?


  1. Dear Linda,
    Nice and beautiful. I love your watercolor work! Sure, already you know qualified paper is a wise "investment" for an artist. Find your favorite one ASAP. When&How handling a background is all up to you. Just DO it(=is...'my way.' I do not think.) Results follow me. I do not chase up results or targets.
    Kind regards, Sadami

  2. I'm going today Sadami to buy one or two pieces of that lovely paper for 8 or 9 or 10 dollars a piece and divide them into smaller sheets. I thought I'd tear them. I like deckled edges. I also think the watercolor blocks are a good for practice. What do you think? I'm not at all sure of myself when it comes to watercolor. The block might be better for experimenting?
    Though this idea may just be me being cowardly ? Jump right in the water's fine might be a better attitude.

  3. Dear Linda,
    The point is if you like it, keep it and use it. If you do not like it, try another. Other people's say is NOT your taste or you.
    The thicker(=heavier), more expensive=more qualified papers.
    Check a company, weight, type of surface, (*some people want to discriminate hot or cold press.)
    I use Arche 300 lb, smooth. That's all what I use and will never change it. Depends on sizes, papers are binded into blocks.
    Find your favorite art supply, too.
    Kind regards,

  4. Thanks for the advice Sadame. It's nice to know where to start. I read there is cold press, hot press, and rough papers--have no idea what that means in watercolors but it used to mean in illustration boards whether you could use and remove them without damaging the paper. I'll buy a few and fool around--but for sure I'll try the Arches 300 lb smooth.

  5. Dear Linda,
    No, no, no! Don't try my taste. "Find your favorite" is the mission. Go to a shop and have a look of surface "textures":rough vs smooth. Depends on techniques and styles, an option should be made. In my eyes, rough(& heavy)papers could be more likely for your style, lively brush strokes. Although I have lively brush strokes, I'm so fond of drawing that needs smooth papers. So, I love it.
    Another research option is check your favorite artists or similar style artists like you; what they use and what outcomes will be. Also, google terms and ask an art supply. So, I said you, "Have a good art supply that backs up you."
    Kind regards, Sadami

  6. ... now, I like what you did with this piece. But I must tell you, I think this has a LOT of charm as is... And I love my 300 lb paper, by the way! I'm addicted to it. Smooth can be a little tricky... What I would suggest is get big sheets of each and cut them into smaller sizes. I even use the front and back of my watercolor sheets as I don't want to waste it and it holds up!! I even PRACTICE on the good stuff. But by cutting the big sheets down and front and back, the price isn't that much different (Dick Blick has good deals... online)