Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Northwest Watercolor Society

I learned this week that my painting "Glimmerglass" was accepted into
The Northwest Watercolor Society 76th International Exhibition.
56 paintings choosen out of 400 entries.
I am so honored.
With this acceptance I will also earn my Signature Membership Status
with the NWWS.

"Glimmerglass" Watercolor, 15" x 30"
©Carmella Tuliszewski

Larry and I traveled out to Seattle for last years show and had a great time 
with all the convention activities and sightseeing.
We won't be able to make it for this years show in April.
My daughter is getting married this Spring and since we are already set to spend a
 weekend in New York for the AWS show, our time is limited.
But it's a wonderful organization and we do hope to make it back there someday and even have dreams of tagging an Alaskan Cruise into the trip.

For now I am working a new flower painting and think I will finish it today.
All the while cooking up some ideas for my next big still life.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 11, 2016


"Lemoncello" is finally complete.
I've spent the past month on this working on and off (mostly off :)
and it did give me some trouble in parts.

Watercolor, 18" x 24"
©Carmella Tuliszewski

The shadows on the yellow cloth became "dingy" looking very quickly.
I even considered walking away at one point.
But after a little color play I found that it was fixable by glazing over my violet shadows 
with various golds and oranges.
Calmed it all right down.
Also after finishing the glass globes in the foreground the fabric 
fell into place with the rest of the scene.

Speaking of the glass globes.. my first time painting these little beauties and what fun it was!
Some are more transparent than others which was interesting to depict. 
Because I shot this scene in my front driveway, you can see bits of my front porch and sky 
reflected in a few of them.

The carafe of Limoncello was something else entirely.
many colors from the surrounding bottles bounced off all the complex convex 
shapes making for a challenging process.
But I kept in mind my puzzel theory 
in that its about placing shapes side by side and it kept me going.

Watercolor,  15" x 30"
©Carmella Tuliszewski

I never paint the same scene twice, mostly because I thought I would get bored.
But I was so wrong.  
These colors and that fabric deserved a second look and I learned so much 
more about color and value by following through.

Well for now my bottle collection will go back in my dining room windows.
I think flowers would be a nice change of pace for the next painting.

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, January 25, 2016

"Lemoncello" and "Ripples"

I made good use of the recent snow storm by spending time on my newest painting.
So great to have a nice long stretch to concentrate.
How crazy are all these colors?! 
But that's why I chose it.

"Lemoncello", watercolor, 18" x 24"
Work in Progress
©Carmella Tuliszewski

The colors and shapes bounce all around to each other.
This is my first time painting my new hand blown glass globes and the refractions inside each is daunting but fabulous to decipher.
I picked the dish up while on a trip to Italy three years ago.

Now to the cloth.
Adding shadow to yellows is difficult because they can become "dirty" looking very quickly.
It has taken many glazes to get it this far and I think I will let it be for now.
Color reacts to it's surroundings.
I need to see the cloth in relation to all the other objects to judge what the next step 
should be before I overwork it.

When I was a middle school art teacher I loved teaching color theory.
I brought out my prisms and flashed spectrums around the room,
used handprinted cards to demonstrate simultaneous contrast, 
and taught how to create depth with color values.  
I learned alot in those days, things I forgot I knew.
And as a result I understand and adore color.
I may over saturate my paintings but it's intentional and maybe not for everyone.
But for now it makes me happy every time I sit at my table.

All dressed up and ready for it's trip to New York!
I picked up my painting for the American Watercolor Show today from my framer.
I cut my own mats and sometimes restore vintage frames for my pieces but I thought this more modern looking work needed a fresh new frame.
The silver compliments the predominately cool color scheme.
Overall size is 30"x 34"

Well back to Grandmom duties, wedding planning and 
hopefully a little painting!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A New Year

I have been very neglectful of this blog page!
But I'm here now to catch up a little.
December was filled with busy and fun family life
and January is shaping up the same way.
Sometimes life gets in the way of painting and that's just fine 
with me because I know how fortunate I am to have these happy distractions.
But I digress

My cartoon family returned this year with the new addition of my 8 month old grandson.

A family photo from Christmas Eve.

I am still working on my painting "Lemoncello" although progress will be slow this month.
I am looking after my grandson three days a week while my daughter in law 
temporarily returns to work.
And I am busy with all my daughter's bridal shower, wedding plans and new home purchase,
all fast approaching this Spring! Yikes!

Here are Larry and I this past New Years Eve 
out in Philly enjoying the fireworks, dinner and lots of champagne.

And I got the best news this week!
"Ripples", Watercolor,  20" x 22"
©Carmella tuliszewski

My painting "Ripples" has been accepted into the 

American Watercolor Society’s 149th Annual International Exhibition 
to be held in the historic 
Salmagundi Club in New York City April 4-23.

I have submitted to this most coveted of shows the past two years to no avail.
And although the pieces I submitted were juried into other very respected exhibits, 
it still stung to not break through in this one.

This is a highlight of my career and I am just thrilled.
I will post about the process and dinner/ reception in New York in April.

The best of Happy New Years to you all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


After finishing my last painting it took me a long time to clean up my area.
I  realized that I just wasn't done with these objects and this color palette.

So I happily begin another set up using this georgous fabric with a few
 new objects from my prop collection.

WIP (section)
Watercolor, 18" x 24"

I'll pop back every once in a while with more progress.

I hope you enjoy the true spirit of Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bottle Light

All done!
I learn so much from every painting.
The more bottles I do the more confident I feel with the subject.
And that's good because I am slightly obsessed with them right now.

©Carmella Tuliszewski
Watercolor, 15" x 30"

No title yet.  This will go up on my board to study and deciede if I need to play with it more.
It looks more rich in person.  I need to play with my camera as well to get the best photograph.

Here is where it began with a detailed drawing.
That is after the scene lived in my head for a few days.
I took my objects out on the driveway early one sunny morning to get the best warm elongated shadows.  And to get the best sparkle from the glass.

You can see here that I saturated the color somewhat from my reference.
I found this vintage Laura Ashely cloth in a little shop while on vacation this summer.

Laying in a shadow over a complex background works as long as you have a light touch with that first pass over.  Also I've found that watercolor becomes more set in the paper the longer it is there.
So I wait a day or two to work on the shadows.
My shadow colors here are Shadow Violet and Colbalt Violet.
Since the scene is overall a warm color scheme, adding a violet shadow as a complement to the yellows sets off the sun exposed areas even more.

This gives you a better idea of scale.

There is much to consider when painting tinted glass as in value shapes, reflections both inside and outside of the bottles, reflections the bottles gives to each other and the lighted cast shadows.
Careful planning and working one area at a time works well for me.
I need that instant gratification of seeing each completed area as I go.

We are having amazing and beautiful weather here!
I need a few days off to run errands and clean out my gardens for winter.
But the whole time I'll be thinking about the next painting.
Like I said, an obsession!

Have a good week.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Back at the bottles

I have a new piece in the works.
Exploring more tinted glass bottles but now with a few new ones added to my collection.
During my vacation in New Hampshire this summer my sister in law and I
 haunted a few old and new antique stores.  
I found so many beautiful objects to place around my house and to use in painting set ups for my stills.

The vintage Laura Ashley cloth and a cobalt violet bottle flask are my new treasured finds.

 WIP, Watercolor, 15" x 30"
©Carmella Tuliszewski

My drawing on 300 lb. cold press Arches is ready to go.
My line drawing is a map of shapes which help to make the painting part more spontaneous
and give confidence when I lay that first color glaze in.
No amount of glorious color will fix a bad drawing.
For me it's worth the time to get the foundation as best I can.
Before I begin I will use a kneaded eraser to pick up any excess graphite to ensure
clean, crisp color application.

I like to keep a high key photo copy to refer to as I go just to keep those dark areas correct.

Don't you love this part!?
All the happy hours of painting ahead.
I'm very excited to get started!
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