time for a virtual vacation

It’s almost March.  We are still shoveling snow.  It’s true, all throughout the winter season I ask for snow, and enjoy it, but it is time for a turning of the seasons. So this week, we are taking a little virtual vacation, where balmy breezes waft softly through ocean-scented air, and the sound of waves on the sand provides the heartbeat to your days…

Antoine ChaponRendez-Vous Bay, Antoine Chapon

Chapon is an artist living on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Born in France, he sailed to the islands in 1981 and settled in the tiny village of Colombier.

Antoine ChaponReflection, Antoine Chapon

In December of 2010 Chapon opened his own gallery at the Marina Royale in the town of Marigot. This little island is a bit unusual, in that it is split into a French side, St. Martin, and a Dutch side, Sint Maarten.  Marigot is the capitol city on the French side.

Antoine ChaponTurquoise at Cap Juluca, Antoine Chapon

Here in the Midwest, surrounded by deep green forests, deep blue lakes, and deep brown earth tones, my palette gravitates to these familiar colors.  When I go on vacation to some tropical destination, suddenly I want to redecorate, using clean white, turquoise, and the pinks and purples of a sunset sky.

its a bit sketchy

Today I found simple art sketches that I would like to share. There is a blog I visit occasionally, and I am re-blogging some of his things here:


There is something very pleasing to the eye about a simple line sketch that captures a scene.  I also like the simple wash of color.

umanbnfrom fellow WordPress blogger, umanbn

This next one is more of a stretch – this artist illustrates books, and I am sure this finished product is more than a “sketch”, although it is deceptively simple.

http://gwendallebec.comGwendal Le Bec

So, theme for the day, Simplicity.

“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.”  Richard Holloway

 “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

 “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” -Charles Mingus –

just another artist i found

I came across an artist on the web the other day. I don’t think he’s famous, I don’t think he’s in any national galleries, but I do like his work.  Craig Williamson grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. He has an eclectic style, creating simple watercolor paintings, and other varied art forms, such as digital fractal art.

Craig WilliamsonCopenhagen, Craig Williamson

Craig WilliamsonMorning Off, Craig Williamson

Craig WilliamsonMyrtle Morning, Craig Williamson

Williamson has a website, www.appheritage.com. Visit there to see more of his watercolors, photography, mandalas and fractal art.

800 years of watercolor

Imagine a typical watercolor painting at an art show.  Do you think of soft colors, a landscape, or maybe flowers? Looking back through the ages, it’s interesting to find that the history of this art medium includes use in illuminated manuscripts, drawings for recording information and map making.

Rachel Pedder-SmithRachel Pedder-Smith, Bean Painting:   Specimens from the Leguminosae family

The Tate Museum in Britain has been running an exhibition since February, which will continue on through August 2011.  Their premise behind this exhibition is to challenge your preconceptions of watercolour. (“colour” being the British spelling)

Dante Gabriel RossettiDante Gabriel Rossetti, The Tune of the Seven Towers

(Rossetti uses)” lots of lots of gum and varnish, trying to deny watercolor’s transparent qualities by making it thick and heavy, giving it the appearance of something painted on wood.” – curator Alison Smith

Wenceslaus HollarWenceslaus Hollar, View from Peterborough Tower, Tangier Castle

 Hollars earned his living by working for various authors and publishers, creating etchings and prints. Later in his life he was sent by the king to draw the forts and towns of Tangiers. Though his works were well-regarded, he died in poverty.

Queen Victoria's watercolorsQueen Victoria’s watercolour set, on preview at the Tate Museum Exhibition, “Watercolour”

Queen Victoria was quite a prolific painter, and enjoyed collecting and supporting art as well as creating it.  In the 1800’s, women were taught the art of watercolour for the purpose of creating decorative and domestic arts. Maybe I’ll put that on my list of things to do.

misty, colorful, intricate, dreamlike

Rachel Sumpter:  Rachell Sumpter,  IglooRachell Sumpter  Igloo, 2009  11 x 14 Inches  , gouache and pastel on paper

Rachel Sumpter:  Rachell Sumpter,  Isle, 2010  Rachell Sumpter  Isle, 2010  , 10.25 x 8.25 Inches  , gouache and pastel on paper

Rachel Sumpter, Waterfall 2011Rachel Sumpter, Waterfall, 2011

These dreamlike paintings from Rachel Sumpter are inspired by the wild and isolated place where she lives with her family, on Puget Sound.  The way she describes it,

“We live on a sandy cliff in a crumbling, weather beaten cabin, where there are huge trees surrounding us. Sometimes there are storms that blow 70 mph winds and the trees tick and tock like pendulums. The community is like a tribe and DIY, for survivals sake. It snows, it rains so much, and there’s mud everywhere, no asphalt, no stores, off the grid and that’s just the technical info. It’s where I like to create and the island and the community find their way into my paintings more and more.” – from Juxtapoz Magazine Interview

She brings together the softness of watercolor, yet makes it vibrant; and the history and mythology of the Northwest U.S. clearly has an influence. The swirls and intricate pen-and-ink look introduce yet another style element to the work, and reminds me of the trends happening now in graphic design. I LOVE it.  Visit her website for more!