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Just Below the Hilltop

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Just Below the Hilltop, Original Forest Painting by Jenny Armitage

Just Below the Hilltop (watercolor 14 x 18) sold

Another view of Sprague Trail.  The woods there are so light, since the ice storm of 2021 thinned the forest.

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The Standing and the Fallen

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After the Ice Storm, Salem Oregon, Painting by Jenny Armitage

The Standing and the Fallen (16 x 23 watercolor) available

This Spring Salem, Oregon had back to back ice storms leading to many downed trees and branches.  While I mourn many of the trees lost, nature’s thinning does have it’s compensations.  One of those is that woods around our house, are an entirely new place, while still remaining beautiful.  This lit up hillside was dark, tangled,  and mossy just months ago.  Now it is bright and open.

 

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Harbor Abstract II

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Harbor Abstract II, Watercolor Painting by Jenny Armitage

Harbor Abstract II (17 x 23 watercolor) available

A harbor existing only in my teeming brain.

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Lithe Birch

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Lithe Birch, Original Painting by Jenny Armitage

Lithe Birch (watercolor 13 x 19) sold

An upwards look at a graceful birch.

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Segovia Monument

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Segovia Monument, Original Painting of Spain by Jenny Armitage

Segovia Monument (watercolor 14 x 18) SOLD

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Mudejar Arch

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Mudejar Arch, Painting of  Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija by Armitage

Mudejar Arch (watercolor 13 x 18) SOLD

During our trip to Spain, I fell in love with the mudejar horseshoe arches. This particular arch is in the Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija in Seville. The Palace is an architectural hodgepodge, with mudejar and Renaissance elements and ancient Roman mosaic floors.

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

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Hanging Out at Opal Creek

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Hanging Out at Opal Creek, Oregon Painting by Jenny Armitage

Hanging Out at Opal Creek (watercolor 13 x 22) available

This is our favorite lunch spot on Opal Creek. It’s just below the falls and about half way around the pretty looping trail to Jawbone Flats.

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The Contraption at Number Two

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The Contraption at Number Two, Watercolor By Jenny Armitage

The Contraption at Number Two (12 x 19" watercolor) available

Walking around The Jordan neighborhood in Amsterdam, we collected interesting variations on the bicycle.  The bicycle-wheelbarrow combination was common.  We saw it used to transport children, tools, and goods.

 

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I Heart Amsterdam

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I Heart Amsterdam, Watercolor By Jenny Armitage

I Heart Amsterdam (11 x 19) available

Amsterdam street lights.

 

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A Friendly Porch

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Oregon City Porch, Original Painting by Jenny Armitage

Oregon City Porch (17 x 13 watercolor) unframed $400

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Cafe Snapshot

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European Cafe, Watercolor Painting by Jenny Armitage

Snapshot Cafe (watercolor 14 x 23) Sold

 

Despite the lack of canals and only a single bicycle, this is Amsterdam on a summer evening. But it could be anyone of a number of European street scenes.

The title is a bit of a pun.  I painted the picture from a series of snapshots, and girls in the foreground are sharing a snapshot.  I hope the atmospheric nature of the painting has little to do with snapshots.

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The Art Institute of Chicago

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Witing for the Museum to Open, a Chicago Painting by Jenny Armitage

Just Before the Museum Opens (watercolor 17 x 22) available

I love city light.   The shafts of light created by openings in the tall buildings, the reflectivity of building and pavement, and the flat surfaces for shadows all lead to one thing—drama.

This particular drama is the long shadows and the warm glow of  a Chicago winter morning.  The crowd is up early and waiting for The Art Institute of Chicago to open up.   The crowd and bus hide one lion, but the other can be seen peeking out from behind the traffic light.

 

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Beachhead

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Beachhead, Watercolor Painting of the Oregon Coast by Jenny Armitage

Beachhead (12 x 19 watercolor) Sold

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Village Stairs

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Village Stairs, Painting by Jenny Armitage

Village Stairs (19 x 12 watercolor) SOLD

This is a back “street” in Riomaggiore where the streets are not only likely to be too small for cars, but may include staircases.  I loved the light at the end of the tunnel effect and the contract between the brightly painted wall and the natural stone stairs.  The woman was both beautiful and big.

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

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Oxford Bike

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Oxford Bike, Original Painting by Jenny Armitage

Oxford Bike (watercolor 17 x 19) SOLD

I poured this painting at the Oregon State Fair on yesterday and spent this afternoon finishing up the brushwork.   I rather like it.  The greens feel very England to me.

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

 

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Jazz Improvisation One

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Jazz Improvisation One, digital painting by Jenny Armitage

Jazz Improvisation (digital collage) prints only


I’ve been been playing around with digital drawing and collage the last year or so.    I began by drawing silhouettes with the mouse.  I then use the silhouettes to sample various watercolor backgrounds I have painted and then photographed.   I’ve been using the results to make design mugs, tees, smartphone cases, ties and other things on Zazzle for sale in my Paintbox Silhouette shop.   Just lately though, I’ve been taking this a step further and creating digital paintings or collages.   This image includes five watercolor backgrounds and four hand moused silhouettes and over twenty digital layers.

I began with simpler but more graphic images like these:

 

Rainbow Violins, painting by Jenny Armitage

Rainbow String of Violins (digital collage) prints only

Cool Sax Band, digital collage by painter Jenny Armitage

Cool Sax Band (digital collage) prints only

These simpler images involve fewer layers by utilize the same hand drawn silhouettes and watercolor backgrounds.

All of my digital collages are available here as prints on paper, metal, or canvas.

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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) Available

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

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Mangos and Pears, a Color Exercise

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Still Life watercolor of magos and pears by Jenny Armitage

Mangos and Pears (watercolor on clayboard 11 x 14) $150

I started this painting in Karen Vernon’s workshop this October. The photo I worked from is hers.  The photo showed two mangos and a pear.  I broke up the trio by moving one to the mangos to the wall.

We spent one of the five days working on color. The lessons aren’t unique, but certainly useful. Color has several properties, hue, intensity, value, temperature. Hue is the actual color. Intensity is the brightness or dullness of the color. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. Temperature is the warmth or coldness of a color. Blue is the coldest color and yellow the warmest.

We spent one one morning working on changing color value without changing any of the other properties. This is not as straight forward as it appears as some colors de-intensify or intensify as they are diluted with water. Adding a bright and warmer hue of the same color will re-intensify a color.

Then we de-intesified the colors at each value. As I discussed earlier in a blog about gray, the way to deintensify a color is to add it’s compliment. Red and green deintensify each other as do purple and yellow and blue and orange.

Colors will appear brighter next to their compliment and next to deintensified color.

In the afternoon we discussed the color of shadows. Shadows are generally the deintensified compliment of the color of the object casting them as altered by the color of the surface they fall on.

Light will bounce from surface to surface. Thus one object will affect the color of the object next too it.

This little painting is a lesson in color begun in the workshop.  I rarely work from other people’s photos, but this painting began with one of Karen’s photos.  The photo showed  two mangos and a pear.  I moved the second mango onto the wall.

The bright fruit works well for playing with the color concepts we discussed in class.  The green pear and the red mango are compliments.  Therefore the shadow of each is the color of the other.  The red of the mango reflects onto the green of the pear.  The deintesified floor helps make the  relatively intensified color of the fruit pop.  The background is almost as bright as the fruit, but it’s darker and much cooler in temperature.  Both dark values and cooler colors tend to recede.

This painting is protected with a polymer varnish and may be framed with or without glass.


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The Corrugated Plain

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The Corrougated Plain, a watercolor of Montana by Jenny Armitage.

The Corrugated Plain (11 x 15 watercolor) Available

I spent a few hours at The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana. My husband is a sort of pocket expert about Custer’s Last Stand so it was a place we simply had to go if we got within three hundred miles of it.

Stephen did show me over the battlefield. Standing on the actual ground makes many contemporary descriptions clearer. Western plains are deceptive. They often look flat from a distance, but turn out to be steep and hilly. People, houses, factories hide in what looks like an unobstructed view to the horizon in a all directions.

The battlefield is like that. From the ridge you have the illusion that you can see all, but you can’t. And the land leading up to the ridge is steep and hard. But my painting is not of where Custer made his famous last stand. Instead, I painted view from where his Lieutenant Reno was pinned down. Reno retreated up the gulches after meeting the Indians in the valley below. The hills are probably much the same, but the river below snakes through a flat valley and it has moved over time. And of course that fields and ranches now occupying the land came after the battle.

Despite the graves, the markers of where Custer’s men fell and where Indians fell, the land itself remains beautiful.

Painted on Arches cold-pressed 140# paper with phthalo blue, cobalt blue, cerulean blue, quinacridone deep read rose, burnt sienna, quinacridone gold and raw sienna.

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Wet Summer in Big Sky Country

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Wet Summer in Big Sky Country a Watercolor by Jenny Armitage

Wet Summer in Big Sky Country (watercolor 10 x 14) (SOLD)

I grew up in the mountain-west.   It’s dry country.  On the plains it’s high desert.  In the mountains it’s not exactly a desert, but it sure isn’t lush either.   This summer, it was wet all across the mountain states.  Wyoming was green.   Let me repeat that, sage brush covered Wyoming was green. Yellowstone was positively lush with green grass. The park probably had twice it’s usual allotment of wet land.

This is the east side of Yellowstone National Park above the lake, but below Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon. The colors looked like spring, but the grass was much too long.  The silver stream is really just endless wet ground—a spontaneous marsh, made just for this year.  But between the cloud shadows and the sky reflecting on the water it was beautiful.

I painted it conventionally beginning with the sky and stream, then building up the greens layer by layer.  To get all those shades of green I used three blues (cobalt, phthalo, and cerulean) and two yellows (quinacridone god and yellow ocher). In addition I used burnt sienna and quinacridone deep red rose.

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

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Through the Bamboo Grove

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