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New Studio

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My New Studio

I haven’t been painting as much since December.   The reasons are various, but all related to our basement flooding.    The water was only about a half inch deep anywhere, but it got a whole number of boxes and other things left by the previous owners wet.   So rather than letting it all mold, we had to actually clean out the basement.   Don’t feel too sorry for me though.  It didn’t take me the last two months to clean out the basement.  But once we had all that basement space cleared out and organized we could use it for other things.

That meant I could separate many things from my studio space.  I was able to move my sewing stuff out of my studio and into the basement.   Many art supplies I only use once or twice a year moved to the basement too.   And then momentum took over.  . . .

We had always planned to  move my studio into the sun-room, when the girls no longer needed it as a playroom.   Now we actually did it. A new table and many trips up and down the stairs (not to mention trips to Goodwill with toys), my studio is now in the sun-room.  I splurged on the table.  It’s designed for science labs and adjusts from standing to sitting height.  As I like to paint standing up, it’s perfect for me.   My computer fits on what were once toy shelves.   A new key board tray slides out from under the shelf, so the computer takes up  no floor space.

New Studio Work Space

The new space is not only efficient and light, but spacious enough to hold wicker furniture as well as well as work space.  So it feels generous and spacious.  My family is happy too, as my old  loft studio is now computer, homework, and board game space.

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Spring Flood

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Spring Flood, painting of a field by Jenny Armitage

Spring Flood (12 x 16 watercolor) $200.00

Driving the countryside around Salem, I’ve been admiring the flooded fields.   At first I was only looking as I drove places I needed to go.  Then I began taking the back roads just to more of them.  Finally, I began driving  just to see them.

This particular field is  northwest of us out toward Silverton.   I loved the silvery blue reflection of the sky 0n the water and the way the furrows pointed to the horizon.  I took several high horizon photos  to emphasize the retreating furrows, but in my reference photos the sky was flat pale gray and uninteresting so I added the cloud where furrows meet in the distance.  I also removed a a railroad trestle that ran across the back of the field because it created a solid black line just where I wanted everything to fade.

Painted with cobalt blue, cerulean blue, burnt sienna and new gamge.

Or purchase a print through my shop at Fine Art

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Submerged I and II: Playing With New Methods

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Submerged I (9 x 12) $75.00

Submerged I (9 x 12) SOLD

I’ve been experimenting with a couple of new methods.  These two paintings are the result.  Both are based on  some photos of trees half drowned by the swollen Willamette River I took  this weekend.  I wanted to catch the cold grayness of of the scene and the mystery of the half hidden trees.


I blew the trees.  I placed puddles of paint on the paper and blew them into trees with a straw.  The line of paint running out from the puddle  looks surprisingly like a tree limb.  And the direction the paint goes in is quite controllable.  But once the paint has started in one direction it’s hard to make it turn.  The paint follows the wet path as if it were a stream bed.  The solution is to drag a little paint in the direction you want to take it and thus start a new path.  Where the trees over-lap it’s important to let the first tree dry completely before starting the next, otherwise the paint form the new tree will run up the first tree.

There are several ways to vary the color in the tree.   Leaving the supply puddle partially unmixed is one. New colors can be blown into the wet tree from the base.  Accents and be directly painted onto the dry trees. I used all three methods on these paintings.

Layered Masking:

The second method is painting grass and bracken with multiple layers of mask.  Thin lines of mask establish the highlights.  Then color is applied.  Then more lines are applied. Then more mask for multiple layers.  When the mask is removed a complex texture is revealed.  I was less successful with this method.  It’s hard to see what you are doing or to guess the result.  More practice is needed.

I used layered mask in Submerged I.  But I didn’t like the results immediately.  The foreground was too busy and detracted from my trees, which then looked much like the trees in Submerged II.  After some thought, I painted over the trees in dark tones to match the foreground.  The result is an evening picture.

Submerged II (9 x 12) $75.00

Submerged II (9 x 12) $75.00

For the second painting I added the foreground wet into wet.  The result is simpler and gives the feeling of the gray afternoon on the river.

The palette for both paintings is:  burnt sienna, phtholo blue and dioxion purple,  plus a dab of hansa yellow.

Original Paintings

Or purchase prints from Fine Art

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