Happy Birthday To Me

“These Are the Good Times”, watercolor on paper, 22″ x 15″
Available at Weborg Lodge Studio

As I get older, birthdays have evolved to something different. No longer am I looking forward to the presents, though I wouldn’t turn on down. I look more to what can I do for me. How can I make myself happier, more content. I received a nice email from SparkPeople.com, wishing me happy birthday with their auto email. It had a great message that I’d love to share.

“What matters most in life is often viewed as peripheral to the things that we usually focus on. Passion takes backseat to production, wellness to working, and balance to busyness. The old adage that “life is not a dress rehearsal” is so true, and yet we act the the contrary by putting off what is truly important or indulging in things that are not. On your birthday, stop focusing on your age and start meditating on your life at this exact moment. How can you make it better? During the next year, reshuffle your priorities. Spend more time with family and friends, take care of your body and your health by eating well and exercising regularly, and offer to help those in need. Discover what matters most to you, and make your daily life into a true reflection of those ideas, beliefs, and attitudes.”

I intend to do just that.

New Venues

It’s official. The eBay boycott has begun. I am participating, not because I feel my absence will make much of a difference, but because a matter of principle. EBay started and grew from the small sellers like me. We made eBay a household name. The latest changes are the most recent in a series of moves to drive the small seller out of eBay. The affordable art that built the foundation of my own success I can no longer afford to sell on eBay. So, I’m looking elsewhere.

While I’ve been on ArtByUs and Etsy for some time, I’m trying out a new venue on eCrater. Because of this, I’ve also added a new pay option with Google Checkout. ECrater has a slick interface. Setting up my store was easy. While it’s not an auction site, it still has an attractive storefront. Because it’s free, I can afford to sell affordable artwork at reasonable prices. It is all about painting to me. I love to paint. New venues give me the opportunity to share my art.

If you haven’t checked out any of these sites, you might want to take a look. There are alternatives to eBay.

Through the Shadows

One of my absolute favorite artists is English watercolorist, William Henry Hunt. Hunt and his contemporaries revolutionized watercolor in their use of bodycolor or gouache to create stunning detailed paintings believed to be the exclusive territory of oil painters. The detail is his paintings is magnificent. Even as a watercolor artist myself, I find it hard to believe that these are indeed watercolor paintings.

I’ve long wondered how he worked, what was his technique. I came across a reference in an art book that explained the process. Mixing gouache with gum arabic, he painted in the penciled forms of his still life objects and let it harden to a porcelain-like finish. Then, he carefully stippled and developed the form, taking care not to disturb the white. That would be the difficult part. Gum arabic is used in watercolor to impart sheen, but also to make lifting color of different effects easier. I decided to give it a try. Here is my attempt at Hunt’s technique and other techniques I gleaned from studying Victorian watercolors.

“Through the Shadows”, watercolor on paper, 6″ x 4″
Available at Weborg Lodge Studio