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Classic Brass

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Classic Brass, Watercolor of a French Horn and Trumpet by Jenny Armitage

Classic Brass (17 x 19 watercolor) $600


Or purchase a fine art print.

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Music Day and Night or the Bear Facts

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Midnight Duet, watercolor painting of a Sax and Clarinet by Jenny Armitage

Midnight Duet (watercolor 7 x 10) $75

These two little instrument paintings were done at very different times in very different moods.  I began “Midnight Duet” yesterday afternoon and worked late into the evening to do it.  Given the painting’s dramatic night time lighting that seems appropriate.

“Noon Trio,” I began on vacation in the early morning.  I think of it as the bear painting though there are no bears in it.

Noon Trio, painting of a Jazzy Trio, by Jenny Armitage

Noon Trio (watercolor 7 x 10) $75


I painted it at my brother’s woodland house above Albuquerque, which he had kindly lent us for a couple of nights.  I was working at the dining room table engrossed in the trumpet when a bump against the window caught my attention.  That was as close as I’ve ever seen a live bear.  He as only about six feet away peering curiously in.  I wasn’t terrified, but I felt very, very alive and my brain when into hyper-drive. The windows on the bear’s side of the dining room were closed, but just on the other corner they wide open.  So I stood up to close them, and the bear turned and lumbered away looking back over his shoulder just before disappearing into the forest.  I closed the rest of the downstairs windows just for good measure.

I told my father and niece at breakfast at a local cafe and got a raft of  neighborhood bear stories.  The most amusing centered around a bear reaching in through a kitchen window to sample a birthday cake.  But mostly the bears just want garbage and quickly learn which neighborhoods put out their garbage when.  I think mine was mostly curious.  “Look at the funny people.”

Prints of both paintings are available here.

 

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Licorice Pieces

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"Licorice Pieces" Painting of a Clarinet in Watercolor by Jenny Armitage

Licorice Pieces (11 x 16 watercolor) $450

Another clarinet portrait.  Orange suits it don’t you think?

 

Or purchase a fine art print.

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Clarinet Candy

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Clarinet Candy, An Instrument Painting by Jenny Armitage

Candy Clarinet (14 x 20 watercolor) $450

A portrait of a friend’s clarinet.   She can make it sound like candy too.


Or purchase a fine art print.

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Brass Candy Trio

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Brass Candy Trio, Painting of Brass by Jenny Armitage

Brass Candy Trio (13 x 22 watercolor) $600

More big brass.  This time I really went for the distorted shadows created by the blanket these instruments rested on.


Or purchase a fine art print.

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Flugelhorn and Friends

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Flugel and Friends, Original Painting by Jenny Armitage

Flugel and Friends, (11 x 14 watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

Don’t know what a Flugelhorn is?  Neither did I.   But I can now tell you it not only looks but sounds gorgeous.   Imagine a smooth  buttery trumpet and you won’t be too far wrong.

This particular Flugelhorn (and the silver trumpets too) belongs to Mac McGowan of Faerrabella.   Faerabella is a fabulous jazz trio consisting of  Dana McCarty (vocal), Paul Marche (bass), and Mac (flugelhorn and trumpet).   The sound is swing with a dark alternative rock feel to the lyrics and phrasing.   The songs are all original.  Dana’s voice is nothing short of luscious. Click here to hear them play.   If you like what you hear, Amazon has their first CD here.

Mac was kind enough to lend me his horns for half  hour or so at the Oregon State Fair where the trio treated us to a couple of fabulous sets.    This is the first of what I hope will be several Flugelhorn paintings.  Mac’s brass is beautiful and a joy to paint. One of these days I’d like to paint the whole band.

Painted on Aquaboard and finished with clear satin polymer varnish, this painting may be framed without glazing like an oil, or matted and framed with glass like a watercolor on paper.

This painting has sold, but you may purchase a fine art print.

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Laurel and Hardy

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Laurel and Hardy, painting of a Euphonium and Clarinet, by Jenny Armitage

Laurel and Hardy (18 x 19 watercolor on paper) $600

I have a confession to make– I accost musicians who like my work with pleas to let me photograph their instruments.   I’m not proud.  I prey upon the amateur and professional alike.  At art fairs where there is music, I bring a white blanket just so I will have a soft protective surface to lay instruments on and against.   Nothing beats sunshine for photographing brass and silver.

This painting comes from a series of photos I took at the Oregon State Fair’s Artisan Village.   It’s the result of just plain begging a fellow vender to bring in her trombone, euphonium, and trumpets in for me to photograph.  The clarinet I asked a girl friend’s daughter to lend me to use as a foil when photographing brass and sliver. I think they make a lovely pair.


Or purchase a fine art print.

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Ompa Rainbow: Painting and Painting Again

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Ompa Rainbow, watercolor of a tuba by Jenny Armitage

Ompa Rainbow (watercolor 14 x 19) SOLD

I’ve recently begun painting on clayboard.  I love it.  But, may of the juried competitions I’d like to enter require that watercolors be on paper.  In response I’ve been repainting some clayboard paintings on paper.  “Ompa Rainbow”  is a paper repaint of  “Big Boy.”

Big Boy, Painting of a Tuba by Jenny Armitage

Big Boy (watercolor on cradled claybord 11 x 14) $300

The results of all this repainting  have been what I think are often better paintings, though not better  in every way.   Practice makes perfect is of course part of this equation.  But beyond that, looking at the finished work allows me to make serious design choices.

In “Big Boy” the idea was to make the tuba very large by looking up into a sky dominated by tuba.   In “Ompa Rainbow” I wanted to make the colors pop. I slid the tuba to the left to give it some space around the bell, but the big change is in the background.  “Big Boy” is set against  a blue background, resulting in a very cool painting, all blues, greens and yellows.  To make those cool colors really pop, I gave “Ompa Rainbow” a very warm background.  I also paid attention to color theory.  At the top, where the tuba gets blue the background is blue’s compliment, orange.  At the base, amidst all that glorious plumbing, the background becomes purple the compliment of the predominating yellow.   It’s a very warm red leaning purple though because red sets off green which is  the other color sharing dominance in the lower half of the tuba.

Brass Winds and Shadow, Watercolor by Jenny Armitage

Brass Winds and Shadow (11 x 14 watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

The Color of Music, Painting by Jenny Armitage

The Color of Music (16 x 20 watercolor on paper) SOLD

 

I made several deliberate changes when I repainted “Brass Wind and Shadows” as “The Color of Music”.  First, I backed up on the subject a little and allowed all the trombone bell to show.  The colors are deliberately brighter.  I lightened up the shadows.   In retrospect I like the lighter brighter colored version better but I think the tighter crop of the first painting works better.

Bouquet of Reeds, Painting by Jenny Armitage

Bouquet of Reeds (11 x 14 watercolor on Aquabord) $300

New Orleans Reeds, painting by Jenny Armitage

New Orleans Reeds, (12 x 15 watercolor on paper) SOLD

 

I did very little to the composition when I repainted “Bouquet of  Reeds” as “New Orleans Reeds,”  but I did deliberately change the mood by intensifying the colors.  I also reversed the basic value plan of the painting by making the background light rather than dark.  I’m not sure I like either painting better.  It’s the mood, not the quality that changed.

Jazz Buddies (watercolor on Aquabord) $300

Taking a Shile to Each Other, painting by Jenny Armitage

Taking a Shine to Each Other (13 x 19 watercolor on paper) SOLD

With “Jazz Buddies” and “Taking a Shine to Each Other” the later is to my mind a much better painting. With “Jazz Buddies” I intended to really show off the way the bright sun washed away the sax. I think I accomplished that.   With “Taking a Shine to Each Other” I went for drama and I got it by really darkening up the instruments and complicating the dark colors.

Prints of “Ompa Tuba” and the other paintings shown in this entry, are available through my print-on-demand shop.

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Taking a Shine to Each Other

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Taking a Shile to Each Other, painting by Jenny Armitage

Taking a Shine to Each Other (13 x 19 watercolor on paper) SOLD

And here’s the completed painting.

This painting has sold, but

giclee prints are available.

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Brass at Rest

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Brass at Rest, Painting of Brass by Jenny Armitage

Brass at Rest (8 x 8 watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

Trumpet and trombone share fabric space on a mirror.  This little painting  has sold.  But prints are available through my shop at Fine Art America.

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Ringing in the Brass

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Ringing in the Brass, Painting of a Trombone by Jenny Armitage

Ringing in the Brass (8 x8 watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

Trombone bell resting on the bells and facing a flute. My daughter says this one has a Christmasy feel to it and I think she is right. In any case, I like the red and gold.

This painting has sold, but prints available through my print shop and Fine Art America.

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Brass and Silver Keys

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Brass and Silver Keys, Painting of a Trumpet and Flute

Brass and Silver Keys (8 x 8 watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

I painted this little baby yesterday at the gallery. I like the contrast between the silver and gold, but I wasn’t really happy with it until the shadows went in.
This painting has sold, but prints are still available through my print shop at Fine Art America.com.

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New Orleans Jazz

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New Orleans Reeds, painting by Jenny Armitage

New Orleans Reeds, (12 x 15 watercolor on paper) SOLD

A brighter version of Bouquet of Reeds. Painted a little larger–this time on paper.

Prints available through my FAA shop.

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Because Three French Horns and a Whole Pear Tree Was Too Much

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Horn d"Anjou (14 x 18 watercolor on clayboard) $400

This is another painting resulting from my photo shoot at Weathers Music.   I brought a number of things with me including table cloths, flowers, and fruit.  In the end though I mostly limited my fruit use to grapes and pears.  The pears are my favorite.  I think the shapes of the pears have something to say the bells of the horns, don’t you?  I hope so, because the pears are repeated over and over in the horn.

Mounted on a black wooden cradle frame and finished with clear polymer varnish,  this painting may be hung as is or framed.


Or purchase a print through Fine Art America.com.

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The Glowing Sound of Brass

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The Glow of Brass (16 x 18 watercolor on paper) SOLD

For this painting I used the very same reference photos that I used for Three Horns.   In repainting this image, I’ve made several changes besides the obvious change from canvas to paper.  This time I’ve kept the background quite light and emphasized the shadows and the reflected light from the horns into the the shadows.   I’ve also bumped up the contrast by leaving more white and taking the darks much darker.

This painting has sold, but prints are available through Fine Art America.

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Silverton Fine Arts Festival Is This Weekend

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Watercolor Painting of a Tuba, by Jenny Armitage

Little Big Boy (watercolor on clay board 8 x 10) SOLD

Today I set up my booth for the Silverton Fine Arts Festival.  It will be the first showing of my instrument paintings in mass and only the second time any of them has been shown in public.  It’s fun to see them all hanging together. I’m in booth #71 right next to the information booth.

The fair runs Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free.

The tuba painting pictured is not Big Boy.  It is still big, but this painting is smaller.  Painted from the same photo as “Big Boy.”

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Pear Roadie

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Pear Roadie, Still Life Painting By Jenny Armitage

Pear Roadie (6 x 6 watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

This is another little painting, completed during my Southwestern vacation. I started it  in a little Victorian Hotel in Durango and completed it poolside in Cortez.

Finished with clear acrylic and mounted on a black cradle frame, this painting is ready to hang.

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Some Assembly Required

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Flute Painting by Jenny Armitage

Some Assembly Required (8 x 10 watercolor on aquabord) SOLD

We’ve been traveling in Southwest Colorado and New Mexico the past few weeks.  I have tons of photos for Southwestern paintings.  But while I was gone, I went right on painting instruments.  I did this one at my Father’s just outside of Albuquerque.

Painted on clayboard, finished with clear acrylic, and set on a black cradle frame, this painting is ready to hang.

This painting has sold, but you may purchase a print.

 

 

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Little Purple Sax

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Watercolor Painting of A Saxaphone by Jenny Armitage

Purple Sax (8 x 10 watercolor on clayboard) $100.00

Painted in Florida, from a moody shadow shot.  Once more I’m having fun with the keys.

Like the other Florida paintings, this one is a little smaller, only 8 x 10.  It is painted on aquabord and  finished with a clear coat of acrylic, and mounted on a black cradle frame. Ready to hang. Original available in November at Art in the Valley, Corvallis Oregon. Or purchase a print through my Shop at Fine Art America.

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I’m Still Painting on the Keys

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Watercolor Painting of Wind Instrument Keys, by Jenny Armitage

I'm Still Painting on the Keys (8 x 10 watercolor on clayboard) SOLD

While painting this instrument series, I have been fascinated by the keys. So this time that’s just about all I painted. I like it so well, that I’ll probably do a few more, just keys paintings.

Another painting on clay board, this painting is finished with a clear coat of acrylic, and mounted on a black wooden cradle.

This painting has sold, but you may  purchase a print through my Shop at Fine Art America.

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