Friday, June 29, 2012

Shaping a Series

You may remember the beginning of this Bromeliad a week or so ago.  I began with a detailed drawing, laying in areas where the light changes on the flower.

The colors on this very sculptural flower are stunning.  Laying in the base colors required a wet in wet technique, which I don't often do, and forgot how much fun it is.  It took a repeated build up of this method to bring out the rich layed look of the plant.

There are many varities of Bromeliad but I had never seen one like this.  When I walked past it in the flower show it caught my eye, what a beauty.  The glazing came after the colors were established with the shadows a build up of greens, purples, blues and reds.  This will go up on my board but, as always, I will touch up areas here and there every once in a while.  This is the second in my "Pua Lu'au" series.
So two complete makes it an offical series.  I am planning six paintings all together.  They are a standard size to make framing less expensive when I sell them or enter them in shows.

I have decided to title it "Promenade" as a slight play on it's name and because the species is so showy as to beg your attention.
from the series "Pua Lu'au"
Watercolor,  12"x 18"
© Carmella Tuliszewski

Friday, June 22, 2012

Color Collections

It has been very hot here in the east and since I kind of melt in this weather, I have been inside for three days now.  I do sneak out during the hours of 6 and 8 AM to water gardens and run to the food store, but otherwise I am very happy and grateful to be inside in AC.  So after working on a project around the house or taking some chicken out of the freezer for dinner, you can find me at my little drafting table.  I've started the next in the "Pua Lu'au" series paintings.  I haven't thought of a title yet but first things first.

© Carmella Tuliszewski

The colors in this are really an impressive show of nature.  I just hope my coloring skills are up to the task, which brings me to taking stock of my paints.  I wrote in an earlier post about how I like to make charts as an inventory of my colors.  Well, I picked up a few more tubes lately and thought it was time they joined the fun.  Is there anything better than meandering down an aisle of nothing but paint tubes- I think not!

My desk right now with my new charts.  I don't want to give the impression that I work like a robot matching colors for each section of a painting but it does help tremendously in those first washes and glazes.  It also is a reminder of the colors I actually have, because, as you can see, they do all start to 
pile up.  And having the charts is quite freeing once I start painting.  The products I prefer are Winsor & Newton and Grumbacher and, of couse, Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper.

This little book is a valuable resource which I keep handy as I work.
If you are new to color blending or a long time pro, it's very helpful.
Every artist has their own way of working and this is one of mine.

At some point in each work experience and instinct takes over but, for me, starting out with some careful planning gets me where I want to be.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


It seems I started this painting a long time ago.  It's been sitting on my table untouched while I allowed myself to be distracted by projects around the house.  But finally, I took a seat and took focus to the finish.  This is the first in a series which I will convert to a collection of note cards.   

There is a lot going on here, wet in wet, glazing and lifting not to mention many, many colors.
Color reacts to the colors around it.  Placing a blue shadow next to an orange area makes that orange all the more brighter to the eye.  Most of my work is glazed by a careful build up of color layers.  
The "out of focus" grouping in the back was worked through a loose wet in wet and outlining the grouping with a very subtle halo of peaches and greens.

from the series
 "Pua Lu'au"
(Flower Feast)
Watercolor,  12" x 18"
© Carmella Tuliszewski

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Sweet Setup!

I'd like to share a solution my husband found for my little studio.  The laptop I've been using all this time actually belongs to my school.  Well now I have to give the laptop back.  Because I work with a lot of flowers, I need picture reference in addition to working from life.  Hard copies just don't allow for the true color I see using the color of light from a video screen.

So, my very clever and helpful husband put together this oh so sweet set up for me.

We already have a desk top and I no longer needed all the bells and whistles of a full on laptop.  We purchased an iPad and have that hooked into a computer monitor.  My photo reference is streamed into the iPad from the desk top on the other side of the room and connected to the monitor.  
                                       All for half the price of purchasing a new laptop.   

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Moving on...

This week I taught my last class as art teacher in my small private school.  It was a difficult decision to move on from this place but in the end I found myself distracted from my duties as a teacher to my own work at home as an artist.  During the past ten years, I have to say, that I learned as much as I hope my students have.

I made the choice to become an art teacher at the age of 45, at a time when I lost the incentive it takes to work at my own projects.  So, I thought, why not share what I can do with young people.  Since I had my BFA, I entered a certification program in Art Education.  I was the oldest student in the program and, let me tell you, I never worked so hard!  Writing countless lessons, papers, studying procedures, management and so on.   This lead to walking into my first class at age 48.  Yes, I was nervous and yes, I learned a lot as I went.  But I gained so much.  Teaching brought me back to a love of creating again, trying media I never worked with before and a renewed interest in Art History.

So now, at age 58, it's time to see what I can do as a painter, dig in my gardens more, travel more with my husband, and read that long list of books on my amazon account!

To the Class of 2012, who may be following this blog, thank you for a terrific year.  You are a great group of young adults and it was my pleasure to work with you.  We all are approaching changes in our lives, but these are good changes and exciting prospects.
The best of luck to you in high school and beyond.

Mrs. T.
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