Thursday, October 19, 2017

Autumn Chickadees and Oak Leaves

After painting maple leaves with all of their pointy shapes and lovely colors I get a yen for a change of pace and paint oak leaves. Oak leaves have really awesome irregular shapes and lovely curves. They are sort of symmetrical and sort of not and I love how they attach to the branches and twigs. Their colors are more muted as they move into Autumn. So I've combined chickadees and oak leaves for fall color and a glimpse into the life of a bird.
These pieces are painted in watercolor on 100% cotton paper. Some of the paint is sparkly Daniel Smith paint which is a subtle sparkle. Daniel Smith makes a great color called Iridescent Ruby which if you haven't tried it is really fun to use.
"Oak Leaf Vista" • Original watercolor on 100% cotton paper • 7.5" x 5.5" 
To purchase click HERE.
"Autumn Two Step" • Original watercolor on 100% cotton paper • 7.5" x 5/5"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Autumn Harmonies

After masking the bird I started with a wash of acrylic ink. When the ink was dry I unmasked the bird and painted it in watercolor. Then using leaves I placed them in places in the painting as place holders and painted around them with watercolor. I went back in with acrylic ink and painted some of the whites to add sparkle. There's some iridescence in this piece from the ink wash. I think the bird looks very much at home among all of the surrounding leaves.
"Autumn Harmonies" • Original mixed watermedia on 100% cotton paper • 11" x 15"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Oak Leaf Swirl

Painting cardinals is very fun because of working with the bright colors. In this piece I put the birds among oak leaves and enjoyed making harmonies with the browns and reds. I brightened the female bird a bit and added light blue green to the background. I really love the movement and the swirl of the leaves and colors.
"Oak Leaf Swirl" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 12" x 12"

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Towhee Workshop

This was a really FUN workshop! Everyone make a GREAT piece of art!
We used watercolor and acrylic inks and autumn leaves to create a very unique piece of art! We were able to squirt, spray, texture and let loose with the paint.
Below are the pieces. (Thanks to everyone for allowing me to share!)


My next workshop will be painting cardinals in acrylic, Saturday November 4th!
Check out my website at: http://www.melissagannon.com/workshops/index.html 
to see details.

  


Monday, October 2, 2017

Dancing Reds & Browns & Greens

Sometimes you get something in your head and you just have to work on it until whatever it is becomes satisfied. That's what's happening to me and cardinals. I have all of these ideas of incorporating these birds into paintings in combination with leaves or snow using different colors. I also was able to photograph cardinals when I was in Texas. Granted, my photos aren't great since the birds were wary and far away, but it was fun listening for them and watching them hop about in the trees and it's great to have more of my own references.

I had some small canvases and I thought a cardinal would fit very well on one. They like oak trees and the rounded shape of the oak leaves and the pointyness of the bill and crest make a contrast. I've been loosely experimenting with Munsell colors. On the Munsell wheel, the complement of red is blue green. If you do a red, yellow, and blue triad and adapt it to the Munsell wheel the triad becomes yellow, red violet, and blue green. I've been loosely experimenting with Munsell colors in my recent work. It puts the color off a step and  makes for some interesting combinations. I enjoyed adding peach as an accent color to this piece. I think it really picks up the browny tans and highlights the red.
"Dancing Reds & Browns & Greens" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 7" x 5"

If interested on purchasing this piece click HERE.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Vine Maple Dance

I really love the shapes of vine maple leaves. They turn brilliant colors in the Fall. I thought they would be really festive with a towhee. I built layers in this piece beginning with acrylic ink, adding watercolor, and finishing with acrylic ink. The paper tends to soak up the color so some of the last layers were made with inks. I worked on handmade rough press paper. Each edge is a deckle edge. The rough texture adds to the character of the piece.
"Vine Maple Dance" • Original mixed watermedia on handmade paper • 12" x 18"

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Reds & Greens & Pansies

I recently bought some pansies and decided to paint them before I planted them in pots. I love the rich reds and red violets in some of the flowers.
"Reds & Greens & Pansies" • Original acrylic on 3/4" stretched wrap around canvas,
painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 5" x 7"

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Stop, Look, Listen

This towhee is perched in the tree to see what's going on!
I've been watching the leaves to see if they're changing colors yet and so far they're pretty green, maybe just beginning to turn. It feels like Fall, though, so I've added colors besides green to these vine maple leaves.
I began with acrylic inks, painted watercolor over that and finished with some inks. It's fun to pick some leaves to use as overlays to paint around for this kind of painting. I think towhees are very cool birds, always busy and in the evening they love to sing.
"Stop, Look, Listen" • Original mixed watermedia on 300# 100% cotton paper • 5" x 8"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Friday, September 15, 2017

View at Indian Beach

I took a trip to the beach and got to paint!!!!! We went to Indian Beach which is a great beach with lots of rocks off shore including one rock with a hole in it! We were there in the morning as the clouds were lifting. It was breezy with just a nip in the air...perfect painting weather!!!! To avoid getting sand in everything, I found a place on a big rock and went to work trying to 'paint the beach!'
Well, painting the beach is a lot harder than it looks!!!! I had been reading the newest edition of Plein Air Magazine and enjoying all the perfectly placed brush strokes of the artwork there and was all hyped up to go! Luckily I decided to start with a sketch. I really didn't like the first one but was pleased with the second sketch where I moved the rocks a bit. Trying to sort out what the ocean was doing was challenging. Every time I'd get a look at a great pattern it moved!!!!! Anyway, I'm pleased with this. I made a few changes when I got home, mostly in the background rocks to send them backward a bit and I painted the sides by continuing the image. I really like all the movement in the ocean.
Thanks to my Mom for coming as company!
The painting is below.
"View at Indian Beach" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 12" x 12"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Below is the painting as it was when I left the beach. It looks different because it is and the light was a bit different there. You can see my sketch off to the side as well as my value scale.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Late Summer Minuet

I've been painting a lot of sunflowers lately as large pieces. I thought I'd try a smaller one on this piece of handmade paper. I used watercolor and acrylic inks. This piece was fun to fit into the square format and create interesting shapes around the flower. I have photographed with the edges showing so you can see what they are like with the handmade paper.
"Late Summer Minuet" • Original mixed watermedia on handmade paper • 8.25" x 8.25"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cormorants on the Rocks

My upcoming workshop is painting cormorants in mixed watermedia so I was practicing with this piece. Cormorants seem very focused and businesslike. When they fly, they don't seem to glide at all and it looks like work!!! In the summer the adults feed the youngsters on the rocks and if you're close enough to hear, there's a lot of noise! The youngsters are very impatient!!!
This is an interpretation of part of a day in the life of a cormorant. I think it would be very interesting to be comfortable perching on a rock in the ocean! Just think, no boat, just wings!
I used acrylic inks, some of which are iridescent and watercolor in this piece. The paper is St. Armand's handmade paper. Some of the texture is actually pressed into the paper.
"Cormorants on the Rocks" • Original mixed watermedia on handmade paper • 7.25" x 10.75"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

If you're interested in my upcoming workshop painting cormorants and ocean the flier is below.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summertime Vista

I talked Mom into going with me up to Mt Hood so I could paint. We even managed to leave around 7 in the morning! I brought a big canvas! The air was clear but even up at Mt Hood it was warm. I was able to get a good start on this and brought it home to finish in my studio.
Thanks MOM for a lovely trip and for putting up with all the insects!!!!!!
"Summertime Vista" • Original acrylic on gallery wrap canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 24" x 24"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Walking Ahead of the Waves

I've been painting beach paintings lately in both watercolor and acrylic. This is my latest acrylic piece. It's a long rectangle which really suits the little birds walking and running along the beach. I've been really enjoying painting the ocean as it comes to shore and working the birds into that shore.
"Walking Fast Ahead of the Waves" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 12" x 36"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Blowing in the Wind

This is an oil painting I did a couple of months ago on unstretched canvas. I really love the bright juicy colors of oil and the gliding brush strokes.
I've put Gamvar over the painting, so it could probably be framed without glass.
"Blowing in the Wind" • Original oil on unstretched canvas 9" x 12" —image measured 7" x 9.25"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Rose Garden

When I was recently at the coast I photographed the roses there which were in full bloom. This piece is based on some of those photos. It's painted on handmade paper which is very soft and really absorbs the color so there's quite a few glazes on the piece to build the color. I enjoyed working with different reds and greens to bring out the beauty of these roses.
I've photographed the piece so you can see the deckle edges and the irregularity of the handmade paper.
"Rose Garden" • Original watercolor on handmade paper • 9.25" x 10.5"
 If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Late Afternoon

This is a group of trees in the park. They look like ordinary trees most of the day but when the sun lights them in the afternoon they become very awesome trees! Because they are very large, I decided to paint a bigger canvas. I went to the park at the same time to paint over a period of several days. I'd work on the piece at home in between and realize that I needed to get back to the site and look some more!
"Late Afternoon" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 20" x 24"
If interested on purchasing this piece click HERE.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Afternoon at the River

I started this at the river where clouds were scudding across the sky and changing the light. Every so often when I was working on the highlights they would disappear! The clouds gave action to the sky and the river was still a bit high and so the currents were move obvious. A great way to spend the afternoon! I finished this piece in the studio.
"Summer Afternoon at the River" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Floating Garden

I'm really enjoying working with waterlilies in this long rectangular format. It's challenging to balance everything in the composition using this shape.
I started with acrylic ink and watercolor in the backyard on a sunny day so all the paint dripped on the ground and I didn't have to worry about my rug! Using watercolor and acrylics I slowly found where I wanted flowers and leaves. There's a little iridescence in this piece.
I've photographed so you can see the edges since it's painted on handmade Shized rough press paper.
"Floating Garden" • Original mixed watermedia on handmade paper • 18"  6.25"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Elegant Water Dance

I made great use of my backyard for painting this piece! It was great to paint outside and make a mess and not worry about the rug!!!! This piece started out as an ink and watercolor wash that I was planning on turning into a wisteria painting. After the wash dried I decided to paint waterlilies instead. I used a lot of iridescent ink in this piece so it sparkles in unexpected places in different lights. The piece is painted on Arches 300# cotton paper.
"Elegant Water Dance" • Original mixed watermedia • 22" x 30"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

More Waterlilies!

I have some long, narrow, rectangular pieces of handmade rough press paper that I've been trying to figure out compositions for. I cropped one of my waterlily photos to be a long vertical and prepared to paint it in acrylic. So I undercoated the canvas and while that was drying, I decided to try the design out with watercolor on one of my long pieces of paper. I used primarily watercolor and added some touches with gouache paint which adds to the richness of the colors and provides a bit of contrast between transparency and opacity in the piece. Next I decided to work with lots of purples on another piece and made a big mess with ink and watercolor with the thought of painting wisteria. After the wash was dry I decided that all the purples would make a better waterlily piece. I made the design similar to the one I had just finished and used white inks and gouache for some of the lighter areas. There's some sparkly inks in the purple piece. I really like the moods of the two pieces as well as the different color combinations.
Both these pieces are painted on handmade paper and I've photographed so you can see the edges.

Left: Afternoon Sparkle • Original mixed watermedia on handmade paper • If interested in purchasing click HERE.
Right: Evening Glow • Original mixed watermedia on handmade paper • If interested in purchasing click HERE.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spring Poppies!

I have enjoyed painting poppies this spring on location. It has been so great to find them growing in a larger area and they are my favorite variety and color! Both of these paintings are very rich in color with compositions that are arranged from direct observation rather than a cropped photo. I began each on location and finished in the studio.
"Dance of the Poppies" • Original acrylic on 3/4" cradled wood, sides painted black, ready to hang


"Dancing Reds & Greens" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Feel the Sun See the Waterlily

I've been really appreciating light lime yellow green and used it in this piece. (I have that color in my pastels and I wanted to mix and use it in acrylic.) Color palettes can be so powerful especially when consciously directed! I am an intuitive color person and I'm learning to be more deliberate with my choices. Usually there is a color that really snaps in a painting and I feel that I achieved that in this piece with the yellow green and the almost peachy pinks.

When I look at this painting I remember the warm sunny days spent painting at the waterlily pond.
"Feel the Sun See the Waterlily" • Original acrylic on 1.5" gallery wrap canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Towhee & Wisteria

This has been a great spring for flowers. I spent some time in my sister's yard painting her wisteria and listening to all the birds singing. There were several towhees singing too and it occurred to me that a towhee would look great with wisteria. So here it is!
This is on handmade rough press paper with all deckle edges. It's a soft paper and the paint sits very beautifully on it. I have photographed so you can see the edges.
"Towhee & Wisteria" • Original watercolor on handmade paper • 12" x 9"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Glow of Roses in the Spring

Having a lot of pink and red paint to choose from makes painting roses SO MUCH fun!!!! I have quinacridone coral which is one of my favorite colors, even better than permanent rose.The reds and greens on this handmade rough press paper just seem to glow. Painting roses every spring is something that I love very much. In the winter when I want to remember the sunshine and color of spring roses, I'll paint them while it's cold and wet outside.
"The Glow of Roses in the Spring" • Original watercolor on handmade paper • 9" x 12"
If interested in this piece click HERE.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Landscape Workshop

We had a wonderful landscape workshop in acrylic on Saturday. We painted various arrangements of trees, a fence and or road and a background. We talked about how color can affect perspective and how to arrange a composition. Everyone came up with a unique color scheme. Below are the pieces from this workshop.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Going Up

I've been painting a lot of trees in acrylic lately and decided to try some in watercolor. This piece of paper is a really long narrow rectangle which makes for interesting composition. I think that the purple/lavender really adds interest next to the different greens. I painted around the whites.
"Going Up" • Original watercolor on 100% cotton paper • 9.8" x 3.9"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Magic in the Woods Watercolor Workshop with Melissa

Today was a beautiful day!!!! Sunny and warm! A GREAT day to paint! In my workshop today, everyone created their own world using individual colors, shapes, different marks and even wildlife! We used a photo reference as a jumping off point, paper as stencils and tracing paper for shapes. Some worked on handmade rough press paper for even more atmospheric qualities. Below are the paintings from this workshop.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

First of the Roses

Sometimes it's cool to start a painting with a subject in mind but no definite plan. I knew I wanted to paint roses and use lots of pinks and greens when I began. The rest of the piece was developed intuitively as I looked at what was there and how I could add to it. The handmade paper is neat to paint on because of its texture which adds character to the washes. I photographed this piece so you can see all the deckle edges.
"First of the Roses" • Original watercolor on handmade paper • 9"x 12"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Perfect Place to Be

I have been really working on the perspective of color. How a color changes as it recedes into the distance really can add to a piece. I really like the color shapes in this piece as well as the color descriptions of the tree trunks.
"A Perfect Place to Be" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 8" x 8"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Edge of the Field

What's at the edge of the field where the woods end and the fence begins and the sunlight peeks between the leaves? A place for animals to sleep? For birds to roost? A last bit of shade?

Using a lot of golds and greens and rich browns I tried to suggest a special place at the edge of the woods.
"Edge of the Field" • Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 18" x 24"

If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Riverbank Thicket

This is a watercolor that does everything I wanted it to do. I've been painting a lot of trees lately and I really like the overgrown look to the tree on the left. I'm very happy with the yellows and greens. Green is a difficult color for me to paint with. It comes alive partly because of the warm to cool greens and because it's next to a little yellow and a little reddish purple brown. Some of the colors that I used are Daniel Smith mineral pigment which adds sparkle in some places as well as some nice granulation.
"Riverbank Thicket" • Original watercolor on 100% cotton paper • 11" x 15"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Different Project

A client recently asked me to do a special painting for them—on a wall! She wanted peonies, magnolias and ferns painted on a black background, more of the same above the tub and ferns in a couple of little alcoves. Her husband asked for a couple of small hearts embedded in one of the flowers. WOW!

Using silk flowers and photos as references the paintings took shape. My sister took time off to assist taking care of masking, ladder moving, flower and palette holding, suggestions for flowers, stems and leaves, keeping me from bumping into lights, providing guidance as I climbed up and down the ladder and stepped onto the plank over the tub, taking photos and providing great company.

Painting on black isn't something I usually do. I will never see black in the same way! This completed project looks really stunning! The photos are below.

Thanks to my client for AWESOME encouragement, wonderful hospitality and the opportunity to help make an idea become reality.

Below are some photos from this project.

Top left is before painting on the wall; upper right is completed wall with mirror in front. You can see the area above the tub with the window in the background, a close up of some of the flowers and the ferns in the alcoves which are on the sidewalls by the tub recessed about 3"


A close up of the flower with the 2 hearts in it.



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Acrylic Impressions of Light Workshop

Today we had a wonderful workshop painting trees, water, and light in acrylic. Below are the paintings that we accomplished. They are very beautiful.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Painting Trees

Today I had the pleasure of painting with a wonderful group of artists. Here is the work that they accomplished.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Summer Conversation

I teach a lot of classes and use a lot of paper for my watercolor paintings. Some paintings don't quite make the cut and I've started recycling these by painting gesso, molding paste, fiber paste or absorbent ground over the old painting. This mostly covers the painting underneath. Then I can collage over that. When the collage is dry I paint with watercolor and finish with acrylic inks.If part of the piece still doesn't work I can always gesso or collage over it again. Watercolor over the collage is interesting because the papers absorb the paint differently. The textures of the gesso or absorbent ground show through the washes. "Summer Conversation" is one of these pieces. There's a lot of interesting textures in the piece to add interest to the painting.
"Summer Conversation" • Original mixed media • 15" x 11"

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Whispering Leaves

I really love painting the trees with white bark. They make such a contrast to the surrounding landscape. I've been working with greens a lot lately, a color that I think can be hard to work with. I tries to have a lot of variety in these greens. I think the light blue touches really sing.
"Whispering Leaves • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 10" x 16"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Guardians of the Desert

I still have saguaro cactus moving around in my head! The great thing about painting is you can travel anywhere just by painting lots of color on canvas! I've been trying to really make my brushwork and colors count and I think I achieved that in this piece!
"Guardians of the Desert" • Original acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang • 8" x 8"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wisteria in Bloom

I'm still working with my new purples, blues and blue greens. Wisteria is the perfect subject to paint with these colors. I tried to pay more attention to creating depth with darker values and to use a variety of harmonies such as yellow green to blue green, pink and light violet to blue and blue violet. This paper creates texture all on its own but I added some as well. There's a little iridescent paint hidden here and there.
"Wisteria in Bloom" • Original watercolor on handmade Shizen paper • 12" x 18"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saguaro Workshop

Today we painted saguaros in acrylic. I supplied a couple of photos as references and some folks also brought their own reference. We talked about color perspective, composition, and color application. Everyone expressed a different idea of saguaros and all the interpretations are very awesome! They are shown below.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Wisteria Paintings

Wisteria is such a FUN flower to paint in watercolor. The hanging flower clusters really lend themselves to drippy paint. It's really neat to find the shapes to develop the painting. I purchased some new purples and I've been enjoying using them and exploring the different color combinations. Below are 2 of my wisteria paintings in different color combinations with one a little less defined than the other.
"Wisteria Abandon" • Original watercolor on 100% cotton paper • 11" x 15"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

"Wisteria Mood" • Original watercolor on 100% cotton paper • 11" x 15"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hollyhocks in Pink

COLOR!!!! It's been raining here a LOT!!!!! My painting is becoming extra colorful to balance that!!!!!
This piece began as a class demo on painting hollyhocks. I used my brightest pinks and even left white space!!!! I finished with the darker areas at home. I think it turned out beautifully!
"Hollyhocks in Pink" • Original watercolor on 100% cotton paper • 7" x 4 7/8"
 If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Snowberries & Crows

Winter colors can be hard to portray. It's kind of like we see the tones of the pure colors that are visible in the spring, summer and fall. The light is different, not so bright and a little cooler. A lot of the bushes have a reddish tint to their twigs, background trees are bluer. And the white snowberries are all different whites. The crows were flying around when I was in the park and I wanted to add them to this wintry portrayal of the dormant woods.
This piece is painted on handmade Shizen paper and I photographed it so you can see the edges.
"Snowberries & Crows" • Original watercolor • 9" x 12"
If interested in purchasing this piece click HERE.