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Posts Tagged ‘Watercolor Art’

out-for-a-stroll-2

In upcoming blogs I would like to share helpful lessons I have gleaned from books and DVDs by contemporary professional artists.  One (among many) who has inspired me greatly is British watercolorist Jean Haines.  If you just GOOGLE her name and access Jean’s website, you will undoubtedly be as awestruck as I am by her amazing art.  I have three each of Jean Haines’ books and DVD tutorials, which I read and play again and again.

Jean teaches what I will call her “principle of three”:  When painting a subject in three parts make one the star, one less prominent, and one nearly obscure.  I am happy with the above rendering, “Out for a Stroll”, in which I applied the principle of three.

Jean frequently introduces a wash of one color on damp paper from an upper corner, followed by adding another color or colors—often contrasting—in the opposite corner from the first wash.  She leaves a space of white paper between the washes, and then dabs that space with a wet brush—inviting the colors to mix and do their own thing.

In her books and DVDs, Jean stresses the need to avoid meddling and fiddling with these first washes.  Instead, we can benefit by sitting back and basking in the beauty as the colors “fuse”.  How refreshing to forget about control, and just let the colors flow.  Later, when the initial paints have mingled and dried, details may be added—but very carefully so as to preserve the freshness of the work.  Thank you, Jean!

Margaret L. Been — December 7th, 2016

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Leonardo da Vinci’s THE LAST SUPPER is agreed by many to be the one of the most significant paintings in Western art.  Not only does it represent artistic genius, it brings to life a crucial moment in history.  Obviously THE LAST SUPPER, along with many other master works of antiquity can legitimately be categorized as “Christian Art”.

During past centuries when the masses of people did not read, and had no access to Bibles or writings of any kind, visual art was the major medium through which ideas could be expressed.  Great paintings, timeless sculptures, and magnificent cathedral murals portraying the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus were the means by which the common people could experience and consider for themselves the tenents of Scripture.  God raised up long-since-unparalled masters of art in those centuries, for the purpose of communicating truths which are now largely communicated through the Bible and other writings.

A friend who publishes an evangelical magazine once asked me if I could submit some “Christian art” for his periodical.  After scratching my head on that one for some time, I had to tell my friend that I really didn’t have anything which he would consider suitable.  He was looking for a painting with a cross, Jesus kneeling in the Garden, or a weeping woman standing by the empty tomb.

Because so many masters have “gone there, done that”,  I—an absolute neophyte at painting—would be highly presumptuous to even consider painting such a scene.  And how many people (myself included) have been turned off by ethereal attempts at portraying a Jesus who looks more like a 19th century English poet or a Swedish Hippie, than the Jewish carpenter whom He was when He walked the earth?!

Visual art differs from vocal music and poetry—or any medium where words are involved.  Words tell, and thus we do have “Christian music” and “Christian poetry”.  I have published Christian poetry, as well as essays and testimonies.  But it has been said that “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  So what kind of contemporary pictures, aside from presenting Jesus as a 19th century poet or a Swedish Hippie, can actually be deemed “Christian art”?

As an amateur artist my aim is to express joy, color, beauty plus a quality of life which includes a sense of wonder, enthusiasm, excitement, intrinsic meaning, and contentment in the moment at hand.  The Judeo-Christian worldview affirms life and presents a loving, sovereign God of creation.  I desire to celebrate life, and in so doing to celebrate the Creator.

Without making a cheesy attempt to mimic centuries of genuine artistic genius, a celebration of life is the best I can offer concerning “Christian art!”  However, I can and do add titles to my paintings, and titles are WORDS.  The following watercolor on Yupo paper is an example titled:  “By the Fiat of His Word“.

Margaret L. Been — September 19, 2015 — (First posted in another of my blogs:  http://hiswordistrue.wordpress.com in 2014. )

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Patio Morning 2

Long time, no post!  Not because I haven’t been art making, I HAVE.  Lots of it.  But I have nothing new to scan in and include here because I have been working HUGE—huge for me at least:  20″ x 24″.  I’ve  been blessed with places around the community where I can hang my art, and these places have big walls.  The 8″ x 10″ and 11″ x 14″ renderings which grace our four-room condo walls would be lost or at least relatively obscured in a chiropractic clinic or bank board room setting.

So I’m reaching into my art files and pulling out a painting which is dear to my heart and very representative of the life Joe and I enjoy every summer.  Our patio is one of the loveliest places on earth, bordered by my patio garden—one of several which I tend.

Life began in a garden.  Perhaps that is why a garden is one of the happiest places on earth to be.  Many new garden paintings are forthcoming at present—in the 20″ x 24″ format.  Maybe someday soon I’ll manage to photograph some of the larger works.  Till then you can picture my Love and me savoring our coffee fresh from the KEURIG®, on our Patio Mornings!  🙂

Margaret L. Been, July 2015

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