What Women Wear

Emma created this in Barcelona where she spent the fall of her junior year. She adored her art teachers, learned a lot and did some wonderful work. This is a photo of the photo of the original which she couldn’t bring home because of its size.

I love this work.  Cobalt blue is my color. The assemblage of the various women held within a silhouetted stance of such confidence thrills me every time I see it. It’s just so cool. Brava, my dear daughter.  Brava.

If you’re curious about what she is doing now, Google Emma Darvick and see.

In the Pink!

It’s way past tulip time but I found this in Martin’s archive and wanted to share it just the same.  Maybe this is from the tulip festival we attended in Holland, MI in May. Maybe he came upon this in the neighborhood.  Whatever the location I just love how he captured the beauty and simplicity of a bevy of tulips against a white picket fence.  I hope you do, too.

 

photo courtesy of Martin Darvick

 

 

 

Lost in Space

I took a non-traditional watercolor class this spring semester and loved it. Part of our first week’s assignment was to sketch something — fruit or vegetable — from 12 different perspectives. These sketches served as weekly warm-up exercises using a different technique or color experiment each time.

By the final class, I wanted to do something completely different. Why not use grey, black and white?  And some leftover ultramarine to set off the color scheme.   Somehow the color choices made the onion pop against the background, reminding of a lost planet that might have been called Allium.

Chillin’ on the Hood

I love it when Martin goes abstract with his camera. He captured this the morning after a late, and I mean late, spring snow. The trees were in bloom, the flowers were up.  And down came the snow on the hood of this Corvette. The little seed casings froze and dropped. Not Nature’s most successful sequence of weather, but it did make for a great shot.

photo courtesy of Martin Darvick

With Some Help from Mr. Clean

I can find fault aplenty with this watercolor onion of mine, but that’s not where I am going today. I can spend way too much time in the land of fault-finding. I’m thrilled with how this came out.

In our first class, we were to draw an onion from 12 different perspectives. I hadn’t even peeled it and already felt a few tears welling up. How was I going to do this, and a dozen times no less? Then I remembered I was there to have fun, to learn new techniques, to play with color.

Each week, as a warm up exercise, we choose a different onion to paint.  One week it’s monochrome, one week primary colors. The week of this onion it was tertiary colors, blending primaries (red, yellow, blue) with neighboring secondaries (orange, purple, and green).  I loved swirling a bit of red into yellow, then a bit more and more until I had a red that barely tilted orange. Could I swirl red into blue for a blue-violet of similar intensity? To my eye, the outer onion skin needed to lean way toward yellow with  just enough orange to resemble an onion and not a clementine.

Skewing the background on the diagonal was my anarchy for the day.  The most fun? Patterning the blue-violet section. You’ll never guess how. With stencils and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. First, paint your watercolor. Let it dry and then tear off a small bit of the Magic Eraser. Wet the eraser and squeeze it until it’s barely damp. Place your stencil over the painted section you want to modify and lightly scrub the area. Carefully lift your stencil and there you are.  Magic!  I have a stash of the erasers but no stencils.  Gotta change that.

Cranbrook Spring

Cranbrook. One word, six marvels. Formally known as the Cranbrook Educational Community, the CEC consists of a graduate Academy of Art, a contemporary Art Museum, an historic House and Gardens, a natural history museum and Pre-K through 12 independent college preparatory schools .In August 1989, Cranbrook became a National Historic Landmark, America’s highest designation for a place of outstanding historical significance. To walk these grounds is to experience the vision of apogee of human potential.

This week, I share with you Martin’s latest image from the gardens just behind Cranbrook House. If you live anywhere in Southeast Michigan and haven’t been here, what are you waiting for? If you live farther away, put it on your list. Let me know you’re visiting and I’ll come with you!

Photo courtesy of Martin Darvick