Monday, February 19, 2018

Found Treasures, Immortalized

I love to browse at Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.  I need nothing.  But I always can find something.

Someone's cast off silverware (now mine!)
Here are three 6"h x 12"w watercolor paintings I did of some of these utensils. The paintings are on their way to the photographer's. 

"Spooning"
"Stick a Fork in It"
"Will the Real Butter Knife Please Stand Up?"


And here are 3 progress shots (I kept forgetting to slow down and take more pictures).



Progress shots:  "Stick a Fork in It"


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Friday, February 2, 2018

What's Going on BEHIND the Painting?

Not sure I've shown you this particular painting but I thought you'd like to see what I painted onto the BACK of my translucent Yupo.  (You DO KNOW that I paint onto the back, don't you??)



I paint sort of random marks on the back.
Then I flip it over and paint on the front.
Then I might flip it back and forth some more till I'm happy with the outcome.

"Backlit Moment II" by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Watercolor on Yupo - In a Private Collection.


You might also like this related post:



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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Nugget Awards

I love teaching because I always come away with little nuggets (= cool stuff I didn't know about) that my students share with me. I taught last weekend, so I came away with a few more! So just like that, I decided to invent the Nugget Awards!

Nugget Award #1 goes to Lori W!

Lori mentioned how much she's loving 2 new watercolor paints she's recently bought.  One is Holbein Peach Black and the other is Daniel Smith's Green Gold.  I use Holbein Leaf Green but I'm going to have to add the Green Gold to my arsenal.  You can see how it can be useful in a less diluted form in the image below.  And Peach Black definitely has possibilities (although I'll never EVER use up all the blacks I already own. I just don't use black very often because it's such a dead color but this one has a little life to it). Do YOU have a favorite black, and do you like to use it straight??



Nugget Award #2?...Lori again!

Lori uses knitting needles to apply masking fluid! The Dollar Store carries them in a variety of sizes for pennies. Priceless! (why keep different sizes?  Because the bigger the needle, or twig in my case, the more masking fluid it holds and the bigger area you can cover).

And Nugget Award #3?  It goes to Claudia H.!

I always keep a value finder handy, especially as my painting nears The End.  Tell me which of these 2 looks you would prefer me to sport from now on!





These are VALUE FINDER GLASSES which are marketed to Quilters because who knew?....it's just as important to have strong values in your quilts as it is in your paintings!

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Markets in Venice and Montreal

Fish heads decorate the columns at the Rialto fish market....
Grand Canal in Venice.
Photo by Helen K Beacham 2016


"Rialto Market: After Hours"
Watercolor on Watercolor Canvas
by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Available.


And the Markets in Montreal???  Read about the "Little Italy" Farmer's Market in my Home Town! Just click HERE.
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Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year! What are you doing the rest of the year!?



I grew up hearing "what you do today, you will do the rest of the year".  What are YOU doing today?

I will be cooking for my family, and painting!  Here are a few Studio pieces that need finishing up!

A sampling of what I'm working on.

ON THE GLUTEN-FREE MENU TODAY
(click on the links for recipes)



Seasoned broccoli (minus the sugar for this particular meal)

Apple & Cranberry Cake (my grandmother's recipe below)

In order to make the cake gluten free, I substituted wheat flour for King Arthur's GLUTEN FREE Measure for Measure flour.  This flour seemed to require more liquid added (to achieve the same consistency), so I did that and I've adjusted the ingredients here accordingly for you.  Enjoy your day and the rest of your year!

GLUTEN FREE APPLE & CRANBERRY CAKE

350 DEGREES.           13 x 9 GLASS pan, sprayed with Pam.
Bake 55-60 minutes.

4+ large Apples, peeled and cut into slices
1 cup fresh cranberries
Zest of lemon
Cinnamon to taste
1 1/4 c. Sugar
3 eggs
12 oz vegetable oil
4 oz milk
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 ½ c. King Arthur's GLUTEN FREE Measure for Measure flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 packet Raw Sugar

1.  Mix sugar and eggs with spatula (you can use a beater or mix by hand).
2.  Add oil, milk & vanilla, and follow up with flour and baking powder.
3.  Peel & slice apples into 13 x 9 glass pan.  Add cranberries & lemon zest. 
4.  Add cinnamon on top.
5.  Pour batter over apples.
6.  Add more lemon zest if desired.
7.  Sprinkle raw sugar over top of batter (or regular sugar)…it helps form a crunchy crust.

Bake at 350 degrees.  Check after 55 minutes.  Crust should be firm and browning.  Bake another 5 minutes if it doesn’t feel done.  If the pan is larger than 13 x9, it will take 50-55 minutes instead.


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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tippette #36 - Mask, Unmask. Mask, Unmask again.

Tippette = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor). Tell a friend!


CloseUp Detail of a new ocean scene.
Substrate:  Fredrix Watercolor Canvas.
Pigments:  W&N, Holbein, and Daniel Smith watercolors.
Masking Fluid:  Winsor & Newton

I'm finishing up a new ocean scene where I used masking fluid as placeholders for color I want to add later.

At some point in every masked painting, to keep from getting myself totally confused, I just have to rub all the masking fluid off so I can see what I've got to work with at that point.  Somehow it gives me fresh perspective.

Then I may very well  have to add masking fluid BACK IN where I still want to keep the substrate white (at least for now).

Side Note:  I've always preferred Winsor & Newton masking fluid, but lately it seems to be getting gunky and non-usable very quickly (in the bottle).  Anybody else experiencing that??




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Friday, December 8, 2017

A Southern Wish


Coconut Joe's on the Isle of Palms!!!
Photo copyright 2017:  Helen K Beacham

THIS is how we do it in the South!  
I want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
May the New Year find us together once more!
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Feast of Good Health

Having just come from the doctor's office with 3 prescriptions, it makes today's Feast Day all the more relevant.


"Santa Maria Della Salute" (Venice, Italy)
Photo Copyright:  Helen K Beacham 2016

Today (Nov 21, 2017), Venetians celebrate Good Health in a church built in dedication to the Virgin Mary (in thanks for their deliverance from the plague).  Pontoon boats are laid out front to back, front to back, to form a bridge across the Grand Canal to  the Santa Maria Della Salute cathedral, allowing people to walk across the water. In the church, visitors light a votive candle and pray for another year of good health. 

The plague ravaged Venice from 1630 to 1631, killing more than 45,000 people (which was about 1/3 of the population).  

I, too, pray for good health this coming year.  Time to go take my second dose of meds.  

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

You never know.

For the second time, I took my 5 yr old granddaughter to sketch "en plein aire" with me.  I even bought a pint-sized stool (10" high) just for her.  Makes her feel very grown up.  


Urban Sketchers Charleston announced that they were meeting in downtown Charleston at the Market Street Pavilion Hotel. From there, we all went our own way to sketch for 2 hours and then we met back up at the Hotel for a group photo and to see what we had each drawn.


Daphne and I enjoyed drawing this tiny, circular building that we pretended was a fairy castle (it's right at the corner of S. Market Street and Concord St. in case you ever want to go...and thx to Karen H for the suggestion!).  I wonder what it was in real life (and I wish I had taken a photo of it for reference, but I guess I was too engrossed).

See her palm tree on the right page?

You just never know:

- She's only 5.  I wondered "would she get hot and bored?"  (it was Sept 18 and very hot out).  She loved every minute of it!

- Would she get frustrated and overly compare herself to me or to the others? Nope, she was PROUD! The only lesson I repeat is that she must really "look" at her subject.  I don't want a bunch of rules thrown at her, and I don't correct her (yet), unless it's to make her "look" again without criticizing what she's drawn.

- I HAVE taught children in the past, but it's been many years since then.  What do you art teachers think?  Should I be more technical with her at this age?

After our plein aire, we deserved a little cooling off!



I'm so glad to have such a vivacious painting partner!  Have you ever taken out your child or grandchild to paint with you?  How did that go for you?? Please leave me a Comment...I would love to hear from you!

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Friday, September 22, 2017

New Paper / New Painting



"Spritz, Anyone?" by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Watercolor on 140# Fluid paper.  12"h x 6"w
Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith watercolors.
A scene from the Paris flea market.
AVAILABLE 




Earlier this summer, I treated myself to some new watercolor blocks by Fluid.  I'd been hearing some hoopla about this product, so thought I'd give it a go.  What did I think?  Here's how it compared to my tried & true Arches 140# or 300# blocks.


- the price is pretty good!

- I like the unusual sizes 
- I didn't like that it's "glued" only on the 2 longest edges.  The other 2 sides tend to lift up a bit.
- I was surprised how easy it was to lift color.  I mean REALLY easy.

It took just a tad getting used to it, but I'm happy I gave it a try.  Overall, even though the Arches is more expensive, I think I still like it better.  For now.  Would love to hear input from any of you that have used Fluid before.  Thumbs up?  Thumbs down?? Why or Why?




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Monday, September 18, 2017

New Sketching Pen

Yesterday I sketched with the Charleston Urban Sketchers and I grabbed a new pen (new to me) to try out.  It's a Pentel Sign pen (no other name or number appears on the pen).  It draws smoothly and I like that it's a shade of gray, not a black.  What I didn't count on (and I discovered by mistake) is that it can be rewetted.  So...I just played with it a bit and I came away liking it.  I think I'll add it to my list of "must takes" (not mistakes!).

This tiny, circular building is on Market St., near Concord (in Charleston, SC)
Does anyone know what it used to be?
(thx to Karen H for telling me it was there!)

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dancing Lamp Posts

Funny how you can walk by a certain something for a few years in a row, and one day when you're not even near there, you feel COMPELLED to research what it's all about...right?


On Murano, Italy (an island 10 minutes from Venice)
I like to think of these 2 as dancing...check out their cute faces!
(Photo by Helen K Beacham)

Turns out, all I had to do was google "twisted lamp posts Murano Italy" and I discovered that these whimsical street lamps were created by Dutch artist, Pieke Bergmans.  I was totally impressed when I found out about all of the collections, museums, and so forth that she's in! http://www.piekebergmans.com/sales/

Apparently she's got more naughty street lamps like these in many other cities! I may have to be her stalker and visit those cities now!  You can see more of Ms. Bergmans' work here:  http://www.piekebergmans.com/category/work/ 


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Friday, September 15, 2017

Barbie Expo

Montreal has a Barbie Expo that's free to the public.  There are more than 1000 Barbies, each wearing their own designer dresses.  Here's a sampling of what was on display.  Definitely go if you're in town!  

p.s. in homage to Gustav Klimt !!!








And here's a link to a video I took of the "Runway" that was prominently set up in the exhibit hall.



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Location:  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday afternoons

Venice, Italy.

Sunday afternoon brings out the whole family. Just one of the many things I love about this town.


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