Hay Bales, Composed

I spent a lot of time composing this painting. It’s from a photograph of a farm with two barns, a truck, and the hay bales. The photo was a far away shot and in landscape format.

I was immediately drawn to the lines of the two barns where they intersected the hay bales.  I played up the contrast there and made it the center of interest in the composition.

The tree on the right was my own addition, a little artistic license to keep you in the painting.

I used a split-complementary color scheme here of blue, red-orange and yellow-orange, with a little red-violet thrown in for accent.

I’ve been helping a friend who is struggling a bit with watercolor, and my advice was to learn to let the watercolor do the work.  As Keiko Tanabe says, “you’re a team.” I let the colors mingle on the paper and granulate in the upper barn roof.

Those colors are my “secret recipe.” I use a Daniel Smith pigment that I’ve never heard of anyone else using, and I discovered it by accident. But it’s now my favorite, and I work it into as many paintings as possible.

I adore the way this turned out. This is my style: bold color and lots of drama.

The exercise was from Brienne M. Brown’s class on Composition over at OpenStudioOnline.com.

 

Lavender Collection

lavender collection watercolor
Mini-watercolors in sizes 3×3″ to 5×7″

 

 

I’m a gardener and love herbs: they are easy, bug-resistant and bring so much beauty to my world.

Last week I visited Red Oak Lavender Farm in Dahlonega and relished in their rows and rows of different varieties of lavender.

I’ll be sharing a watercolor I painted of the lavender field soon.

 

#watercolorpainting #5×7 #landscape #mariapeagler

Providence Canyon, Georgia

On our way home from spring break in Florida, we stopped at Providence Canyon State Park, “Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon.” David and Zach waited patiently while I painted this gorgeous scene.

This painting was heavily influenced by my visit two weeks ago to the American Watercolor exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was able to see John Singer Sargent’s paintings in person.

It changed me.

I stared at his “Muddy Alligators” painting for what seemed like hours. Up close, it looked like any other painting: just strokes of watercolor on paper.

But step back, and the painting transformed into a symphony of lights, darks, brights against muted values.

I live in Georgia, home of the Okeefenokee Swamp, and I’ve seen plenty of gators in my time. I never saw them the way Sargent did.

But that’s changing. The most important skill for an artist is vision: not just in imagining what your art can be, but in actually “seeing” what’s before you.

I’ll be doing a series of paintings based on my Providence Canyon visit, each in a subtly different style.

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#watercolorpainting #8×10 #landscape #mariapeagler

Fall Shade

Fall Shade. This is a little piece of heaven at the Big Canoe marina – one of my favorite spots anytime of the year, but it’s especially beautiful in fall.  The colors are gorgeous and fleeting, as soon the leaves will be gone, leaving a brown mountain behind.

I’ve painted this scene three times before, and each has its own style.

Available. #watercolorpainting #landscape #mariapeagler

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Fall’s Fiery Glory

Fall’s Fiery Glory. This is the view from my back porch looking out into the woods. Our trees are vibrant reds, oranges with just a touch a green left. I wanted to capture the patterns of light and shadow on this hillside. We normally have a stream running through the trees, but with the extreme drought it’s disappeared. #watercolorpainting #pleinair #landscape #appalachians #mariapeagler 8×10″on Arches 140lb rough paper. Available.

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