Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blue Siberian Iris in Watercolor

After many, many months away from my art blog, I’m back. No excuses. 

I won’t bore you with my plans to post more frequently. I won’t tell you about my exciting plans to move this blog to a new WordPress site with a portfolio section and all the bells and whistles. I will, however, ask you to please watch this space as I continue my art journey.

I did get my brushes wet in 2013. Here is my best watercolor effort from last year. I also took photos of it as a Work In Progress (WIP) so I’ll put together a video and post it here and on my YouTube channel so you can see more of the process.

Blue Iris, a Watercolor by Shannon A. Ragland
"Blue Iris" ©Shannon A. Ragland
Watercolor on Fabriano 140lb Cold-Pressed Paper
This is a blue siberian iris I have struggled to keep alive in my back yard. I may have to move it to get this beautiful bloom again, since my Basset hound loves to nose it and try to dig it up. 

Carry on! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Facebook Tip for Painters

Saw this article today and thought it was a brilliant tip for the self-employed on how to leverage your Facebook presence and separate it from a personal profile. Really, it would apply to anyone who works for him- or herself.

Work For Yourself & Let Your Friends Know:
Help Your Friends Find Your Art

Via (Hat Tip: Lauren Everett Finn Studio)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Howdy, Blog!

New Year, fresh start. Right? Since my hands and wrists are acting ugly there won't be a painting, but I thought I'd post something happy. For my watercolor friends, or for anyone who might like to try them, I recommend this:

I'm a big fan of Daniel Smith watercolors. This set of cards gives you a small sample of each of their paints so you can try them on your own! All you need is a good brush, fine watercolor paper, and a jar of water, and you're off!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blue Ridge Parkway WIP

Had a wonderful trip back in May to Asheville and Winston Salem, NC as well as two moody, rainy days sketching and photographing views from peaks and overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I wish I could remember which overlook produced the photo referenced in this painting. I'm taking a lot of license and trying to teach myself to loosen up and paint a simple, elegant landscape.

I admire the old English plein air landscape watercolourists as well as a few modern painters who exmplify this philosophy, such as Chris Robinson. 'Tis certainly not my instinctive nature - I tend to overwork - but I keep trying!

Stage 1:






Stage 2:







Going through a bit of an ugly stage...also this photo was taken at night under a special daylight bulb, but it doesn't compare well to the first. I may have overstrengthened some of the lines in the mountains...oh well, I'll just go with it and try more washiness in my next piece.

Stage 3:
Rinsed under the sink. Gradation is lost, and needs a little scrubby here and there. Moving on to the next piece!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Happy Easter!

'Tis always shocking when I go to post and realize how time has flown since my last time here. I promised myself I would keep my brushes wet but have not been good about it.

But today is a new day! I painted this one last night...This is my second loose landscape...still learning. Did this fast...sunset in two layers (yellow, then dried...then other colors) in 15 minutes on wet paper, then once dry washed in the silhouette of trees in 5 minutes. I took the reference photo for this painting a couple of years ago at the farm...I did go off in my own direction.

11"x15" Arches 300 lb Cold Pressed
Quin Gold (WN), Perylene Maroon (DS), Indanthrone Blue (DS), Quin Violet (DS)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TED: Helen Fisher

Typically I try to stay on topic on my blog, but I couldn't help myself when I saw this talk on the TED website. I majored in neuroscience and psychology in college, and nearly majored in anthropology as well. One of my favorite books back then was Helen Fisher's Anatomy of Love. Moir & Jessel's Brain Sex was a close second due to my fascination with the differences between the brains of the sexes. Enjoy!