Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Using Paints That Annoy

Hey Artist Babes! I hope everyone is busy being creative in all the different ways we know how. I have been busy working on painting 100 paintings for the challenge I took up a little while ago. It's keeping me actively painting rather than procrastinating.

However, the one thing getting my goat lately is my materials. Having the right tools for your job is essential. Comfortable brushes, paper or canvas you can trust, and paints that are reliable every time are the things we, as artists, need to be some what happy with our work.

Dark Apple in the Afternoon, 9x12 Watercolor
©2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
I have not been that happy with the latest paints I've purchased. Needing more paint to keep working I bought MamieriBlu watercolor paints. In the past I have used Grumbacher and Windsor & Newton products. These new paints seemed exciting, even exotic. I thought I would replace my paints with this brand and maybe my art will really make me happy. Well, that didn't happen.

Dark Apple, 9x12 Watercolor
©2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
These are the paintings I did with the new paints. The trouble is the colors are not what I've been accustomed to with other paint companies. Alizarin Crimson is not what I expect the color to look like when I paint with it. Neither does Burnt Sienna, which looks more like Yellow Ochre. While I'm using them, mixing colors, applying the paint to the paper, I am not getting what I'm looking for.

Other Side of Dark Apple, 9x12 Watercolor
©2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
Each painting has been a struggle for my brain to understand what it thinks it's doing is correct. The colors are not there for me to chose. Try as I might, even though the outcome might seem to satisfy, it really doesn't. There's a disconnect. It's disheartening. Another artist/blogger coined the term The Paints That Annoy. It is so true.

Dark Apple Hides Shells, 9x12 Watercolor
©2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
And so I have decided to ditch these paints and buy the tried and true. I must be aware and purchase the professional grades of paints and try to identify the student grades. It's possible that's what I didn't do on the first go-round in the art supply store. The sales person might have told me which was which so I could make the right purchase to begin with. But I don't want to blame the sales people. I needed to keep my eyes open when buying new paint.

Shells and Pebble, 9x12 Watercolor
©2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
Until I go shopping I have eliminated the offending apple with the colors that were giving me grief. Just sticking to anything that won't give me a headache while I paint.

What's your experience with such things? Anyone else having these problems or is it just me?

Visit me at my blog http://CoffeeAndPaintDrips.blogspot.com
(Prices for paintings on request)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Watercolor Painting in Twenty Minutes

Just checking in with the Artist Babes here to see how everyone is doing. What creative ventures have all you artists been up to?

Me? Well, I've learned I need to paint my watercolor paintings with a time limit. Yup, you heard it right the first time! Twenty minutes to be exact. Why twenty minutes, you say? It seems I do my best work in this time slot. Any longer and I end up belaboring over it, muddying it up, making a mess, generally ruining whatever I was painting. I would get frustrated and decide to ditch my piece.  But with twenty minutes running on the clock, I have found success!

Here in cyberspace I had found a blog called The Twenty Minute Challenge. The premise couldn't be any clearer: Paint your work within twenty minutes and stop. For me it's been working. I have been building a nice body of watercolor paintings in that twenty minutes of time. It has helped me in my daily battle with resistance too. Yes, Resistance and I battle it out every day. Before I learned about painting in twenty minutes he would win almost always. Now I win almost always!

I'm painting fast and loose, quick and free, and done! A quick sketch on the paper without alot of water on the brush, painting my subjects with abandon. When I'm done I sit back and look at my work. Most times I'm pleased with the outcome. However, it's been the process that has kept me painting.

If I tell myself I'm going to work on this piece every day for as long as it takes to get it right, I'm fried! But in twenty minutes I can paint and be finished. It's very freeing and gives me just enough motivation to do it all over again the next day, for another twenty minutes!

©2010 Dora Sislian Themelis

Here's one of my still life watercolors painted in twenty minutes. Although I have a big palette with plenty of colors to chose from, this little travel set has been my go-to set. It's available when I want it, along with my still life objects. I've been babysitting a new granddaughter so painting in the studio is not happening for now and the dining room table is where I'm at. When the baby takes a quick, twenty minute nap, there I am painting.

Let's say it's been working out for the both of us!

Visit me on my blog for more of my yapping about art and life, and not fitting it all in at Coffee And Paint Drips!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Printing...

A few days before Christmas, I was knee deep into making. Ask my family.

The living room was covered in sewing-- fabric and thread. Towels lots of towels. I made 9 hooded towels for nieces and nephews, and little friends. The kitchen covered in embroidery and felt at one end of the table, drawing and painting in the middle of the table, print making on the end of the table... and ironing in the laundry room.

And then there was printing. I wanted to use these wooden printing blocks that my mentor, John had given me years ago. I do drag them out for projects once in a while but I'd wanted to organize them in alphabetical order. So I didn't have to play the "Who can find Mommy an S? Now an R?!" game.

And organizing them gave me so many options. Oooo what if I printed on paper, for cards! Posters! Tea towels!

With a few short lengths of furring strips and hot glue, held everything in place as I printed.

And I used acrylic paint as ink-- so it would dry faster.

I loved how these turned out. And the process was just so fun. I think I will get these out more often.

What have you been working on?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Birch Trees Encased in Wax

This is the first time I've posted here at The Artist Babes, but I wanted you to see what I've been working on lately! 

This technique is century's old, there is nothing new. But this IS new, it's new to me. I've been thinking for years about painting with this golden glaze. I finally took the plunge and using my old candle making supplies from junior high, I melted wax in a double boiler (wait can you call an old Folgers coffee can a double boiler?), and with an old paint brush I began layering my birch trees with vintage sewing patterns. Creating an erethral space between each translucent layer.

 Encaustic painting as it's called, uses wax (traditionally bee's wax). It's been used to add texture and intrest, to encase a book page or a painting or when tinted used as paint.

This particular piece was done with melt and pour pellets from Walmart, I don't think century's ago they'd approve of using cheeeeap wax. But I thought I'd use it up before I upgraded to bees wax.

 And my brain has been a little dry lately, all of it used up for Spanish, work, family, home or holidays. So this evening of experimentation was just what I needed to feel refreshed and ready to take on all that this December has to offer.

Where has your creativity been lately? Are you crafting up a storm for the holidays?

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I've joined C & C photography for a four-week workshop, and our first assignment was... eggs! Very timely for Easter! I thought I'd share my Spotlight on the White Egg to get you in the mood :-)

If you want to see all the amazing things that can be done with eggs and a camera, check out the blogroll in the sidebar of C & C! There are some very talented photographers and absolutely stunning images out there! Who knew eggs were so photogenic?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hi from Sedona

HI Babes, I'm in Sedona teaching and on a retreat. It's been a few months since I posted so I wanted to drop in and say hello. I too soooo enjoyed and was honored to be a part of Shannon's first e-course and I know they are going to be a huge success. I don't have alot of personal art-making time so it was great to be able to do that freely for a month. Thanks Shannon!
Some of you may know from posts I made last summer that I have been teaching workshops in southern France for the last seven years. I am offering an early bird discount for the workshops a year from this summer- in July 2011. If you'd like more info you can visit the France page on my site- www.dayledoroshow.com and email me for the discount info. I would love to share the experience with you! dayledoroshow@hotmail.com
Here's a pic of what I'm inspired by at the moment.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Better Way to Be, then Love?

I began my Magical Eyes Tour a little over a month ago, traveling across The United States, staying Pinkies, learning about their lives, sharing what we each had to offer each other.

Though my journey has only been a month long, there was a flame that sparked inside of me. A flame that was put out long ago. Rediscovering these passions and truths has led to a whole new level of art for me.

I know that one stepping stone in getting to where I am was taking Shannon's Inside Out eCourse. It led to a completely new space of self expression. I got back down to the roots of who I was and why I am here.

Thank you for letting me be part of this group of artistic bloggers. I love the space already and feel honored to be here.

Here is my first home-made card: What better way to be, then love?