Thursday, April 6, 2017

7th Annual Fine Art Invitational - Bohicket Marina



Free and Open to the Public!
Find us under the tent behind Red's Ice House




www.helenKbeacham.com
Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal (Canada) workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

18 days till Venice!

18 days till lift off!  We'll paint some favorite canals, and I'll show you some new spots!

Hotel Bauer on the Grand Canal
Photo by Helen K Beacham Fine Art 2016

Sign up to receive my blog posts automatically so that you can come on this trip vicariously with us!
Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal (Canada) workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Packing for Venice

Do you get the stink eye from your pets when you pack to leave town?

Drawing courtesy of my talented sister, who says she can't draw.

My Venice workshop is around the corner!  Getting sooo excited!

Venice looks like a fish, right?!  The head is hanging off the left side.
The lagoon islands of Giudecca, Murano and Burano are printed as separate maps. We're going there too!

This is how I plan my daily Venice agenda...all year long I plug new and better things to do and see and paint, into my Venice map (in Google Maps).  Then I print it all out (pasting together sections) and divide up the "goodies" into manageable days.  Does anyone know of a way to print the whole map without going through this exercise?  If so, I'm all ears!!!

My husband and my cats will miss me....!  (And typically I start to really miss them about 2 days before it's time to come back home!) I wish I could pack them all into my suitcase.  I'm looking forward to posting photos from there! Meanwhile, here's one from a previous workshop.

Cistern in Venice
Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal (Canada) workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tippette #33: Reversed out signature

I'm trying to get in the habit of thinking about which side I want to sign my name on, BEFORE I start to paint.  If it's going to be in a light spot, no problem...I can use pencil.  If it's going to be in a midtone area, sometimes I need to use a Sharpie ultrafine point.  But what do you do if it's in a really dark area?


On my last painting, when I thought I was done, I signed in pencil.  Then (naturally!) I wanted to add more color to the area, so I quickly signed with masking fluid (using my handy dandy thinnest twig as my signing utensil). When it was dry, I painted a couple more layers of watercolor over the area. The resulting signature was better than if I had left just the pencil.  Not perfect...next time I'm going to be a bit more careful with the application of the masking fluid.  

"Tucked Behind III", varnished watercolor on 300# Arches
by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Image size: (11"h x 9.5"w) Framed size: (14"h x 12.5"w)
AVAILABLE.
Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tippette #32: Paint in the Dark (sometimes)

We're always told to paint with good, natural lighting in our Studio.  Sometimes, though, I paint in the dark.

Work in progress. Watercolor on 300# Arches.
At times, I reach that stage in my painting where I feel it's got to be PUSHED into a higher level. Needs more oomph.

Observing, and painting, in the dark.
I wait till it's dark out, and turn on only secondary lighting.  Nothing overhead.   (My phone camera shows my room to be brighter than it actually was.)  I add my next layer of color in this low light setting.  The low light level really helps me see where I need more darks, compared to my reference photo.
Note #1: You may also, of course, use a red acetate value finder, but then you have to hold it up to your eye.
Note #2: I only paint in the dark when I believe it to be my LAST layer of color. I don't find myself doing it in the middle of a painting.

"Backlit III" (Image size:  6"h x 6"w)
by Helen K Beacham
Watercolor on 300# Arches
This is the result, shot with my phone camera the next day, in the light of day. I'm happy with it. Maybe give this technique a try and do let me know if it works for you!

Carrie Waller will do a workshop for us in the Charleston area (July 28-29). Details HERE...come to Charleston!
My Montreal workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tippette #31: Mix up your Color Scheme

I recently added this Robax palette to my supplies and I'm loving it.  You add your paint to these little removable wells (they call them Liners).  

I used a Sharpie to write the brand and color name onto each (I tipped some over for you to see).  

I used to always use the same 20 colors because I'm comfortable mixing them to create new colors.  But at some point, I tired of the predictability of them. 

Robax allows me to pull out strange and new colors for each new painting, so that I stay engaged and excited about what's on my easel (table?)!

Robax palette
NOTE that there's a lid that goes on top of the whole palette.
Available from www.Robax.com

So, the way I handle this palette is to pull out the colors I'm going to try for today's painting, and I separate them into families on paper plates.  I write the name of the family onto the plate (Red, Blue, Green). Sometimes I pick up the wells and it makes it quicker and easier to drop them back on the right plate if I've written the color family on there.  I use the plates as big mixing areas.

THE ROBAX PALETTE is not inexpensive. You buy the liners separately from the lidded palette (total cost for this 85 well palette setup is currently around $98, but you can buy less than the 85 well size, for less money).  My artist friend, Carrie Waller, uses BEAD CONTAINERS to accomplish the same thing.  Do any of you have unique setups that you want to tell  us about? 

p.s. Did any of you notice the title of this post?  Remember the 30 Tippettes I shared with you in April of 2013? I figured I'd keep adding to them! Let me know you want more!

Carrie Waller will do a workshop in the Charleston area this July (details HERE).
My Montreal workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HouseParty

GOOGLE HANGOUTS might still be the best way to visually communicate with a group of people online. 

Many of you know I'm part of A GROUP OF 5 ARTISTS who meet online monthly.  We talk about various art topics that we deem important to us.

Last month, I heard about a new app called HOUSEPARTY.  I saw that it was available to both Android and iOS devices.  (As an aside, I'm the only Android user in the bunch!)

So, we decided to hold last month's meeting via HouseParty.  Fail! 

First of all, you have to use it on a Smartphone...no laptop or tablet. We couldn't always hear each other, and if I remember correctly, we'd periodically take turns "freezing" on screen. Repeatedly.

So, we're back to Google Hangouts. Do you have a better solution we should be thinking about?

In hindsight, I remember having thought "hmmm...how could a name like HouseParty be anything other than a disaster?"  😊

"Venetian Glass II" by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Watercolor with Pen & Ink
Image size:  9" x 9"
Available HERE.
My Montreal workshop (Aug 9-16) is open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Anonymous in Venice

It's been nearly impossible to buy "authentic" Venetian treasures online (you could never fully trust the source), but I just read about a NEW WEBSITE that is managed by Andrei Dall'Osto, the son of a Venetian mask shop owner.  Online, they sell not only masks, but Murano glass jewelry!

Carnival in Venice (February 11 - 28, 2017)
It ends with the celebration of Lent.
Carnival (or Carnevale, as it's often used) may come from the Latin translation of "Farewell to Meat". Wikipedia tells us that Carnival started in Venice in 1162. Locals and visitors alike take great delight in dressing up, yet remaining anonymous to enjoy what Venice has to offer!  Indeed, some 3 million visitors come to Venice during Carnival.

If you're headed to Carnival, you might want to check out 8 Tips for visiting Venice's Carnival on a Travel Budget.


And thanks to Venetian Cat Bauer for making me aware of the new Venice mask website!

My Venice workshop is just 2.5 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Friday, February 10, 2017

2 of my favorite things

This Saturday, February 11, I will think of 2 things that absolutely make me smile!

1)  Carnevale in Venice (too bad it's held in chilly February or I'd be over there!)

and 

2) Maria Bennett Hock, my fellow artist and WAM (Women. Artists. Mentors.) member.  It's YOUR BIRTHDAY, Maria!!  Celebrate in style!  (Inside joke:  I take my hat off to you, and forgive me for calling you a thing!)


"Summertime"
(My version of Birthday Cake, Maria!!!)
by Helen K Beacham
In a private collection.


My Venice workshop is just 2.5 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.



Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to Paint Florals that Glow

Do you like to paint florals, but wish you could paint them better?  I can highly recommend Jan Kunz's book, "Painting Watercolor Florals That Glow".  Do you have another book to recommend to my readers?  Please leave us your Comments!

One of the pages in Jan Kunz's book entitled
"Painting Watercolor Florals that Glow".

My Venice workshop is just 3 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Pointy Tip

I recently treated myself to some new goodies...watercolor brushes and paper, etc. Today's the first time I picked up this new $13 brush, and I had to immediately let you all know "it's a Winner!!!"

Princeton Select Pointed Filbert #8
PRINCETONBRUSH.COM

Look at the point on that brush!  Wow!


And, now for my "Pointy Tip": When you're at the art store and are contemplating various brushes that make your heart go pitter patter, ask the store to provide you with a cup of water and some paper. They WILL give it to you, although sometimes they look at you weirdly first.    ;)
 

Swish the brush around to remove the sizing, and then "paint" with water onto the paper.  Does it continue to hold that point that you fell in love with?  Shake it around a bit. Still hold a point?  Then it's a keeper!  (and remember.....Mop = Flop!)
My Venice workshop is just 3 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Varnishing Watercolors

When 2 different people ask me (in one day) how I varnish my watercolors, it seems like a good topic to write about.

WHY VARNISH?

Like many of you, I couldn't fathom NOT using glass.  But because I paint a lot of large pieces, they were expensive to frame.  And because I do a big outdoor festival each summer, my husband ended up having to lug all these heavy pieces (from the studio to the van, then to the tent, and then back home because, yes, they didn't all sell!).  

At some point, I started to realize that some well-known artists were varnishing their work instead. So the research began.

HOW TO VARNISH?

I don't profess to using the best method.  I keep experimenting.  I DO make sure that the entire paper is sandwiched inside a protective coating (front and back).  GOLDEN has good information about using their products. Why not try some of these options for yourself.  I find that, depending on the size of the painting, I might use one process for the smaller sizes versus a different process for big ones.  I usually wait till I have several finished pieces to varnish.  Then I tackle them "assembly line" style because the process is a bit laborious.

CAUTION?

Although I've been happy with this new way of displaying my work, if you enter shows or competitions, be aware that some won't accept varnished work.  Just read the fine print of your favorite shows before you start varnishing.

"Banana Fofana II"
by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Watercolor on 140# Arches cold pressed paper, Varnished
Image size:  6"h x 12"w
AVAILABLE

My Venice workshop is just 3 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rainy Day in Venice

Since my 2017 Venice workshop is just around the corner, I thought I'd post my demo of "A Rainy Day in Venice".  I started the sketch in Venice, and brought a photo of the scene back with me, to paint in the Studio.

Because I'm still NOT adept at either taking videos OR at posting them, I'm posting 2 links in the hopes that one works for you.  😏 



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXlH5VFzluw

And here's the finished piece.  This painting is part of my "Venice Collection" that is headed to Montana (Miles City) where I and my fellow WAM: Women. Artists. Mentors. members will show our paintings at the Waterworks Art Museum from March 12 to April 15, 2017. (My fellow WAM members are Maria Bennett Hock, Debra Keirce, Kim Minichiello, and Carrie Waller.)


 
"Rainy Day in Venice"
by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
Watercolor, varnished.
Image size:  7"h x 5"w.  Framed size:  12"h x 10"w.
AVAILABLE HERE.

My Venice workshop is just 3 months away.
Only 2 spots left!
Check out my separate excursion packages 
for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.



Friday, January 13, 2017

Ranting & Raving

I lamented (complained?) today that it seems all of the watercolor competitions have deadlines (and show dates) that collide every Spring. How do YOU decide which paintings to commit to which show?

Combine this with the fact that I'm usually in Venice for almost a month every Spring, and it becomes evident that show planning is not my favorite thing to do. Especially when, come January 1, my brain and heart are already traipsing around Italy. 

And puleeze!  Why can these shows not come up with one set of rules for all? You literally have to read the fine print 3 times. Maximum image sizes, types of frames, glass, plexi, varnish, no varnish, transparent, opaque....it is all over the place and we artists inherently do not like to deal with "keeping up".  Or at least THIS ARTIST doesn't.  It makes me want to burn all my applications (again), grab another cup of hot tea, and paint instead.

"The Italian Door"
Watercolor by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
In a Private Collection.
Okay.  
I think maybe my rant has passed for tonight. I might reread the final 4 apps in the morning, and hopefully begin anew with a much better attitude. 'Night, all.

My Venice workshop is 3 months away.
When are you finally going to admit you want to come?
Check out my separate excursion packages for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my August Montreal workshop is open for registration as well (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Friday, December 16, 2016

2017's Pantone "Color of the Year"

I'm always excited to hear about "next year's Color of the Year".  Not that I do anything with the information. 2016's was Merlot and I didn't buy anything Merlot-colored until last week (a stylish, VERY warm sweater). Usually, around the time I give in to a fad, it's over.

2017's Color of the Year is....get ready for it...Greenery.  Hmmm?? You heard right.  Not Green. Greenery. 

Well, that's a color I can get on board with right away! My breakfast room table is the most vibrant green shade of paint I could find. If I were to subdivide my paintings (on my website) into color categories, my Green category would cause the other categories to tumble into Charleston harbor.


My walls are Diamond Blue (Glidden, I think), and that green was a bold choice about 3 years ago.  I'm finally in style!
Happy holidays!
And lest you are wondering exactly what constitutes greens, check out Legion Paper company's announcement where they take all kinds of liberties with greens.

http://www.legionpaper.com/blog/2016/12/8/pantone-chooses-the-color-of-the-year-for-2017.html

p.s.  I'm thinking about my students that recently took my "Mixing Greens, Easily & Successfully" workshop...you're now a step ahead, right!



My Venice workshop is 4 months away.  Want to come?
Check out my separate excursion packages for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my Montreal workshop is also open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A problem I have.

"How many paintings do you have going on, at any one time?"

I get asked that a lot, and sometimes I'm embarrassed to say the truth. (Why embarrassed?  Because I guess I want to be perceived as an artist that gets in there, and gets it done!)

"Feeling Perky".   Watercolor on 140# Arches cold pressed.
Image size:  6"h x 12"w.  Available HERE.
by Helen K Beacham Fine Art
But here's the truth.

Right now, for instance, I have 5 paintings begging to be completed. Maybe I set one aside because I had to paint something else for a deadline (or for a commission). Maybe I got "stuck" on one and figured, rather than mess it up, I'd set it aside for a bit. Whatever...!

The pros and the cons??

- Pros:  I'm past the white paper stage on those 5!
- Cons: My mind's already on the next drawing....will I ever finish those 5?

What a problem to have!  I can't possible be the only one with this dilemma. (?)


My Venice workshop is 4 months away.  Want to come?
Check out my separate excursion packages for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my Montreal workshop is now open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Charleston's getting festive!

Downtown Charleston (SC)

Isle of Palms (just across the bridge from downtown Charleston)


My Venice workshop is 4 months away.  Want to come?
Check out my separate excursion packages for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
And my Montreal workshop is now open for registration (details HERE).

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Love you always!

This time of year finds me purging my closet of summer clothes (especially, unfortunately, those I've outgrown), and welcoming my warm woolies.

It also finds me with the desire (and, truly, the need) to clean out some of the emails I've subscribed to over the past 12 months.  I need to be painting more, not reading more.  So...I hope no one takes it personally if I've unsubscribed from your list(s). I didn't do it lightly.  I'll love you always!




SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Penguins rule!

Yesterday I should have been painting.  Instead, I took my flashlight into the attic and dragged out ornaments for our tree.  

I've decided (again) that I'm really some kind of Perfectionist.  How many times can you turn those penguins so that they look good from all angles? 

The good thing is I got to revisit some of the ornaments that the Grands have made for us. I love how their eyes light up when they recognize something they created!




My Venice workshop is 5 months away.  Want to come?
Check out my excursion packages for both Painters and Non-Painters HERE.
SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.




Monday, October 31, 2016

Give me another piece.



I took a watercolor workshop from Milford Zornes (a leader in the California watercolor movement) in about 1982.  Milford died at the age of 100 in 2008.  That means he was 74 when I took the class from him.  I had only been painting about 1 year when I studied with him, and boy did I ever take a bunch of notes! (p.s. for his 100th birthday, he did a watercolor demonstration for the National Watercolor Society and they filmed it....I kid you not.  I bought the DVD as soon as it was released. He died shortly after that.)

I was reminded of him this past week when I called my artist friend, Diane P, who had just moved into her new place.  I said "what are you doing right now?".  She said, "I'm sitting back, enjoying my Milford Zornes over the mantle."  It turns out she had also taken lessons from Zornes (unbeknownst to me) and she owned 3 of his paintings!

After I hung up the phone, I headed over to Amazon and bought one of his books.  I simply wanted another piece of him.

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tippette #31- Unstick your Caps

Watercolor paint tubes seem to be more flimsy than ever.  Didn't caps used to be made of metal?  How often have you twisted a tube to bits, just trying to get the plastic cap off?  

Well, my TIPPETTE (*) for today is to simply boil 1" of water in a cup in the microwave, then drop the tube (head first) into it, and within a minute, you'll be able to twist off that cap very nicely (do NOT boil the water with the tube in it, and use a paper towel when you grab the tube from the water!). It's likely that this will also help if your paint itself has hardened in the tube...it should come out nice and fresh.  


Note: Not long ago, I bought some new tubes of paint and, within 6 months, the tube CAP on one of them actually broke off in 2, at the neck! So I emailed the manufacturer and showed them some pics (I told them I KNEW they'd want to know about it!).  They immediately sent me a replacement tube! THAT's good Customer Service!  And, as a follow up to this story, I had the cap break in two, from a totally different manufacturer. When I called them, they said they were sorry but there was nothing they could do.  I then relayed what the other manufacturer had done, and in the end, they sent me a couple of new plastic replacement caps (I was totally ok with that).  Honestly, they should know not to cross an artist who spends hard-earned money on their products, right?  How often have you had trouble with YOUR caps?  I can't be the only one!

(*) TIPPETTE = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor)
In April 2013, I posted 30 Tippettes (1 per day) on my Blog.  Find the 30th one HERE. When you scroll down after reading that one, you'll see Older Tippettes. When you can't scroll down any further, look at the bottom right hand side under the last post, and look for the words OLDER POST. When you click on that, you'll see the rest.  Just thought you'd want to know. Do you have a favorite watercolor tip of your own?  Please post them as a Comment below, or reply to my email if that's how you receive my Blog posts, and I'll post it for you.  (Tips can refer to tools, techniques, habits,...anything that helps YOU might help someone else too.  Let's be Sharers).  Happy Painting!

It's time to think about Venice in 2017.  Come with me!
I have a week set aside for NON-PAINTERS too! 
Check out my excursion packages HERE.

SEE MY LATEST POST HERE.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Are YOU in these pics??

The Fall finds me doing what I love to do the most...teaching.

I came across these photos this morning, and they brought back so many random memories! Do you recognize yourself?  (Please leave me a Comment today and tell me what you're up to!)

Brand new workshops are lined up for this fall, starting August 27 for Beginners and more intermediate or advanced classes running through October.  Check them out HERE!


2009 Florals and Landscapes Workshop
2009 Art Camp for budding artists.
2009 Skies, Water and Reflections Workshop
2010 Nature's Textures (Mixed Media)
2010 Beginners' workshop (through Sculpture in the South)
2011 Yupo workshop
2012 Beginners' Workshop
2012 Acrylics Workshop
2012 Florals and Landscapes
2012 Watercolor and Acrylics
2012 Watercolor Explorations
2012 Watercolor
2013 Charleston Plein air
2013 Venice Workshop
2013 Venice Workshop
2013 Beginners' Watercolor Workshop
2014 Yupo Workshop
2014 Magnolia Plantation Plein air workshop
2014 Beginners' workshop
2014 Charleston Garden Plein air
2014 Beacham Boot Camp
2015 Florals Workshop
2015 The Art of Architecture
2015 Yupo
2015 Venice 8-day workshop
2015 Charleston Plein air
2016 Venice
If you've studied with me in the past, I have a special Facebook Group that I'd love for you to join (it's called Beacham Watercolor Students)...I give tips and techniques, free critiques if you ask for one, and it's just a way for my students to connect with others who love what you love!  Ask me to be added today if you've ever studied with me!

It's time to think about Venice in 2017.  Come with me!
I have a week set aside for NON-PAINTERS too! 
Check out my excursion packages HERE.

SEE MY LATEST BLOG POST HERE.