Taking the day off, its my birthday… have a good weekend


This is my ad for the month of september its in American art collector magazine… 

I’m working on a commission piece right now for a family that will be in the next Ad (October), check back to see how that painting is going. I’ll post it as it gets going…  Its a 20 by 20, watercolor on paper and it will have a Koi representing each member of the family. 

I got a call today..  to do a show for the Patina gallery in Texas but I’m booked pretty much for the entire month of October so I can’t fit it in.. Too bad because the Gallery is very very very nice.  I’m a little low on inventory right now anyway, this is a problem when you do commissions, the paintings go out the door almost immediately so you don’t have a lot of recent work framed and ready to go into galleries.  This isn’t a bad thing of course but it is nice to have a body of work which you work thru a theme or a concept. 

Also.. I’ll be making a DVD(instructional) so be looking for that, I’ll sell them on my blog (inexpensive) because seeing is so much easier than reading when it comes to art.  Also I think Dick Blick will be selling them … the deal is still in the works, so I’ll have to give you more information as It comes thru.


wip Koi on the move ( I think)

This is my latest up date on this painting. I have been having to grab moments here and there in order to get this painting finished. I have a good feeling about its progress and I love some of the combinations.

here is a close up of the lower left hand corner.

top centermid right

I didn’t paint this with hard lines because it isn’t supposed to be the center of attention and I have lots of hard edges in other place.  Every painter has to ( at times) rein themselves in when painting, sometimes you want to describe every detail to the viewer and sometimes you can just paint too much because you absolutely love the process. You see this with children… they don’t always care about the finished product they enjoy the painting.  I really enjoy the painting and like to see what happens with every stroke of the brush.  There is this feeling of controlled excitement with the evolution of the painting.  I never know what’s going to happen, I only plan one stroke at a time. Then I step back about 6 feet so I don’t get hung up in the close up view.  I use a red piece of acrylic to check the values and I squint my eyes so the entire piece is seen more homogenous and less detailed.  This piece will be for sale, if interested, you should email me. the size is 22 inches by 30 inches.  shantmarie@aol.com


Work in progress, Koi wet in to wet stage 2

Koi Passage2
This is a close up shot of one section of my latest Koi painting. The actual size of the painting is 22 by 30. This is the second step in this lesson ( see previous entry for step one).
In this shot you can see that I painted the negative space to create more fish. This will help to create a better illusion of depth.  Of course it works because it appears as if there are more layers. The fish that will be further under the water or further away will be painted in less detail or possibly not at all. The fish I wish to present as closer to the surface will be painted more brightly and directly.

The process for this is pretty basic I stare at the painting looking for fish. When I see one that will enhance the entire image, I paint around it, there by creating it out of the existing paint.
When painting around a fish, I usually blend in the colors with the existing background but use a variety of colors so it does not become flat or boring.  For instance if the fish is gold, I may paint around the fish with a darker version of the gold. Another way would be to glaze over the background gold with an analogous color, painting around the fish and over the gold with say… red which will enhance the gold underneath yet allowing for some contrast and will cause the gold fish to be pushed forward. 

In the shot above, looking at the fish on the left…. I painted green around the fish on one side and purple and blue on the other side, basically just increasing the intensity of the background colors already there.   At this stage I don’t usually start to paint the white fish yet but wanted you to see how the illusion works.  The fish painted with red will ultimately be one of the fish closest to the viewer.

40″ by 40″ work in progress, yipee!!! Its finished

Koi Connection

40 inches by 40 inches watercolor on paper. I finished this piece this week and wanted to post it. I really enjoyed painting this piece because it just seemed to come to me very easily and quickly. I had three weeks to finish and tomorrow is the deadline so I’m always happy anytime I can beat the deadline. I spent one week of planning, looking at reference, drawing value studies and thinking and composing the design of the piece. The colors were given to me by the client but of course I had free rein as to how to make it work. The second week I painted it, I set aside three different times for painting sessions with several days between each session. This is to give me time to look at the painting to see what it needs. Also, I showed it to other artists and I take into account what I hear from them yet remain true to my own interpretation. The third week is set aside for final details and on this piece I really did very little in the detail area. For example… I didn’t make the eyes realistic or put in scales or water plants and such. All these things, I could have done. I didn’t feel the piece needed it and I felt it would just put too many shapes and things into the piece which would take away from its main beauty, the water and the movement. Regarding the design….I wanted something that resembled a circle but also had the box within a box feel. I made it circular with an open ended upper left hand corner.   I think this gives the piece a nice circular feeling but yet also opens up the circle at the top so it isn’t  completely closed.      I wanted to give the feeling of connection or interconnection amongst the koi while allowing them to be individuals.   You’ll see they all look a bit different.  I love that about the fish, its as if they are one big family and you have little Kathy and Jason and Mark right there with uncle Jack and Aunt Martha.     I still have to name this piece and I’ll figure it out and let you know. 

OK I have it.. Koi Radiance is the name
It radiates color, light and movement. The Koi represent mankind struggling thru life which is represented by the water.

WIP 35 by 35 watercolor on paper Koi

Here is another shot of my wip Koi “under the falls”.   I want to repaint the koi on the left, which I’ll do this week some time. This piece is 24 by 24 acrylic.DSCF2053  Here is my newest start.. it is 35 by 35 inches DSCF2050  Here is how it looks after I have wet the paper and have painted the first layer of paint.   Koi painting wip Its pretty wet and I use towels to sop up all the water from around the sides and under the bottom.DSCF2050   Its a long way from being complete but you can see how I start with a wet into wet underpainting. Then while its wet I pull out the fish and then when its  only damp, I paint in the shadows and the parts of the fish I want softened.     I have included a close up so you can see the thickness of the paint… also  notice…that I don’t blend the paint.  I have the paper wet on both sides on a slanted plexiglass and I tilt it and rotate it so that the colors run together to form interesting mixes. Mud will result if you over mix when its this wet and when you use so many compliments.   close up of paint on paper Here is a photo of one of my best friends, Sam, he loves to watch me paint.   sam down underCheck back with me again and I’ll try to take more photos as I go along.