Welcome to My Scene

"My Scene" is sharing a finished painting or my 3 step process to a finished painting using photographs or sketches. Asking, how can I make this scene or subject mine from refrences that hold my attention longer than 5 minutes. Some photographs are just....photographs not paintable interesting subjects. So let's began and hope you enjoy your painting experience........JoBeth

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New blog address

If you enjoy checking my blog from time to time....I will be posting from my new address.
Jobethwatercolors.com a web site in progress for information, demonstrations, and a gallery of my watercolors.  Thank you in advance for visiting the site.  Feel free to commit or post questions.
JoBeth Gilliam


Monday, May 6, 2013

~When Did You Start Painting?~

I am often asked the awkward questions ‘how long have you been painting’ or  ‘when did you start painting.’  Never quite sure if that question is literal or they are qualifying my paintings in comparison to the timeline questions.  Whatever the thought behind the question, here is a short summary of my journey.
Friends…friends…friends and their persistence pushed and pulled me into this incredible journey.   I remember thinking okay I’ll give it a shot to get them off my case….like when children keep nagging for a cookie before dinner.   An appreciation of those who drew or painted their vision was the spring board for my quick ‘I do’.  Mostly self taught….I have the mile high paintings and the scars that prove my claim.
My first experience was tole painting…how many flowers can cling to one wooden plaque.   The second experience was an oil painting class.   A delightful instructor along with a pushy friend broadened my enthusiasm for art.  She was patient with this novice flower painter teaching design and principles of composition.  It became a test making sure my viewer could see every painted barn board and every blade of grass from foreground to the barns foundation.   Now readers! If you enjoy painting on wood or the patina pattern on boards are important to you….be my guest.  I admire your tedious work, it just wasn't` me. 
Another friend insisted we take a watercolor class just for fun.  My first brush stroke of watercolor pigment on beautiful white paper was the hook.  From the first class my palette was seldom dry because painting became a daily routine.    Watercolor became the spontaneous expression appealing to my creative taste.  My paintings have been described as happy, colorful, interesting….would prefer dramatic, exciting, and awesome…you know the adjectives’ used when visiting museums.   
 Many thanks to Frank Webb, who taught me lines don’t have to be straight, color is mine, paint to please yourself, and the importance of shapes.   My credentials’ are few unless holding an office in local art organizations qualifies anyone the title of artist.  I’ve held many offices worn many hats…..most were accepted out of ignorance on my part.                     
Incidentally…those friends who pushed me kicking and screaming to class never purchased another tube of paint or a brush.  Their supplies found a home with me…so what was I to do but use them.  Interesting how God placed friends in my life to move me out of my comfort zone to experience his pleasure…   

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Painting on the Run

Keeping up with life at times dries out the palette.  I remember when painting everyday was common, if just an hour.  I fall into one of two categories ...getting slower with menial task or my plate is full. Whatever category or shoe that fits, I am persuaded to speed up or scrape the plate.  However a window opened to produce a couple of new images.  Don't know about most of you reading this blog, when time is limited.......my focus, get paint on paper.  My photographs are categorized with one slot labeled maybe. These are references that almost found themselves in bed with yesterdays news. This slot isn't opened often....you have those too....where was this?   Soooo...long story short, the two paintings below where several photos in the 'maybe' slot.   I seldom use one photo for a single painting.....a maybe subject from one and background/foreground of another.  These paintings are not chosen for the travel channel because they don't have zip codes.  I want to set at the table, smell the flowers, or walk down the street even better shop. Painting what could be.....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Class Demonstration

This was my demonstration last week in Lamesa...with a symmetrical format.  Symmetrical paintings are all about balance...formal or informal.  This is an informal motif because it is not a mirrors image.  Balance is the key in all paintings but it's most important with a symmetrical format.  Asymmetrical is much easier for me because I like 'stuff' in my paintings.  Most of us recognize when our paintings list to the left or right like a boat about to capsize.  Adjusting shapes within the composition can be hazardous to your composition.  Balancing the painting as a whole is the goal.  Shapes are made larger, smaller, louder, quieter, softer disregarding the reference you are working from....hope you enjoy Paint Bucket Daises...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sketch When Inspired

Recently while having lunch at Abuleo's, with my husband, I was caught off guard without anything to sketch on but a cocktail napkin or my husbands shirt.  (He said, No). The light reflections streaming in and around the busy scene was a painting waiting in the wings.  I not only didn't have paper, no pen....so borrowing the waiters pen, shapes that appealed to me where quickly drawn.  The figures moving around changed the light prospective often and another napkin was required.  Think I have enough information to compose several interesting paintings from one setting.  I keep a small tablet in my purse with pen just for those inspiring moments...but where was it when I needed it...at home.  So when you find yourself without, overly inspired,  sketch on anything available....that is anything you can take with you.  Restaurants frown on taking their tablecloths or napkins.....JoBeth
                                                             The napkin drawing
                                          The 11x15 study on A'rches 140# rough paper

Painting with Limited Palette

Seems I have little time to keep my blog up to date.  Not sure if it is the lack of organization or too much on my plate...probably the latter.  I paint/sketch or read, art almost everyday.  Not everything I paint is worthy for publication....most of the time it begins as a masterpiece, runs off the road then quickly is tagged as experimental.  Another word often used is 'series'  that term is used when you can't get it right.  The experimental or series claim makes one feel as though they didn't waste their time and supplies.  The fat stack of those so called 'experimentals' seems to grow in the studio faster than the debt ceiling.  I will admit learning from my mistakes has probably been the best tool in my kit.  'What Not To Do' would be a perfect title for a book but a high fever plaguing my body would have to be present for me to contemplate writing the book. The longer I paint the dont's seem to have taken more space within the pages of my note pad than the do's.  What to do or not....doesn't seem to keep me from that continuous passion to paint.

The painting below is 22x30 on A'rches 140# rough paper.  A brush drawing using yellow ochre, on dry paper, a limited palette, and a #10 quill brush were the tools used to start this fun painting.  The colors mixed on the paper keeping  a close observation on the strength of values with every brush load of pigment.  When dry the dark values were added to emphasize windows, doors, figures and anything of importance...experiment...paint a series....just PAINT

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chop Shop

Demonstrations from teaching or exhibits can accumulate in my studio faster than the speed of sound.  The yellow brick road can sull quickly when answering questions and talking through a demo.  So....when the print rack becomes full...it is time to add finishing touches to complete the painting or....the chop shop.  A stack of paintings with a variety of subjects became a challenge....jumping from flowers, sidewalk cafes and city scape's....high key to dark keeps the creativity flowing .  I actually enjoy switching gears using a variety of mat sizes to create different images from the original.  Values or colors usually need tweaking because some shapes need to reconnect.  These are a few of the crops/finishes that made for a fun day.  Must confess some demos decorated the trash and others will be turned to the back side and used for studies.  Below are the 15x22 original paintings and the crops are 16x20 or 15x11... 1/4 sheet of watercolor paper. 
Although I liked the subject...the white awning cut the painting in half and detracted from the the action underneath.  This was on Arches rough 140# paper.
The 16x20 crop below was more appealing to me with a few adjustments....glazed the awning with a warm yellow ochre. 
Another half sheet on Arches 140# rough paper...colorful newspaper dispensers could take center stage on their own.  I chose to add a few figures and umbrella for interest.  The painting wasn't
trash worthy but a 16x20 mat cropped out areas that were not important. 
The focus on figures and newsstand's....the windows were darkened and colors were popped up to enhance the overall painting.
This was an oblong southwest blend on hot press paper this size occasionally
creates mat/framing/hanging issues so...decided to create
two 11x14 paintings.
                                Twenty demos had make overs today.....hair cuts, color or new style...another advantage of cropping...paintings are simplified with a new perspective from the original.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fun Figures

Had a fun day...no pressure.....going through photographs chosing figures that appealed to me or provided a challenge started the ball rolling.  These are painted on Kilamengro paper, 11x15, a quarter sheet of watercolor paper.  The subject and figures were drawn with a brush...this gives me freedom to think related shapes and eliminate detail.  Hard and soft edges keeps the eye moving from one value to another.   Simplification of the story was major because the  figures are the most important.  I didn't realize how many selections there were to chose from until I started looking through all my stacks of photos.  Hope you enjoy stepping into the scenes as though you were there.....there is enough mystery for you to imagine your own story......keep painting..JoBeth

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lamesa Figure Class

Glad to know someone reads my blog....this is Brenda Thompson's  painting of an entertainer friend.  The photo was taken at night with bright lights producing lost edges...she did a great job painting the values needed to express the singer....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lamesa Figure Class

Is anyone reading this like me.....take a camera or Ipad....and forget to take the photos of your journey.  Well this is the second time I have failed to use the resources available.  Those attending came to paint and at the end of the day produced some great figures.  If those taking the class would send a photo or photos, some did more than one, I will post them. 

I draw figures using the same techniques as other subjects. Starting with a proportional lose drawing with little detail is my approach to any subject including figures.  When I am satisfied with the placement of the figure and the proportions I began with light value washes of warm and cool colors....painting around the figure here and there but also using this wash over the figure.  Cutting across the figure anchors it to the background and splatters in the foreground are much more interesting than cuffed pants and shoes..  When the wash is dry the figure gets attention with color and any detail it needs to come alive.  Waiting for the colors to dry I began with background and foreground....letting the previous wash suggest the setting.  Dark dry brush marks finish the painting....lot of fun and for me a challenge...