Happy holidays and thanks for reading. I’m grateful for you….and the beauty of flowers!
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“Out of the Blue” 29″ x 42″ Watercolor by Sandy Haight
I completed the above extra large hydrangea painting, “Out of the Blue” just in time for the Bainbridge Island’s First Friday Art Walk on July 2. Framed at 41″ x 55″, it will grace the entry to Realogics/Sotheby’s at 240 Winslow Way through the month of July. The expansive display spaces will hold many of my Floralscapes including paintings from my Persistence of Pink series, Succulents and the newer, Butchart Gardens inspired, White Floral Blooms painted during the pandemic. Be sure to grab a glass of wine and wander in, past the live music, to see my art in person after a year and a half of only online shows. Here’s a chance to immerse yourself with sensual color and good cheer as we all emerge from isolation.
Something NEW! Acrylics on display only during this July 2 Art Walk
During my pandemic walks around our quiet neighborhood I started seeing the charming country mailboxes as “endangered” when DeJoy was dismantling the US Postal Service. An end of an era and a symbol of our tactile connections to the outside world was threatened. Love letters, greeting cards, checks in the mail, ballots….no more?! The houses here are mostly hidden, obscured by foliage and tall trees so the mailboxes are the indication that dwellings and people are nearby tucked in along mysterious driveways. Always taking photos, I decided to use some as reference to explore a series of acrylic paintings for a challenge and a change while the art world was on a pandemic hiatus from live shows. Here’s the beginning of a journey as I try out a new way of painting, for me, that allows for more spontaneous expression and a forgiving ability to make revisions. It’s been fun! Here are a few of the mailbox paintings that will be on display only during the Art Walk at my Sotheby’s show. The rest are posted on my web site in a new gallery titled “Acrylic Art”.
I’ve relished the almost 4 years of country living and doing large watercolor paintings in my bright Bainbridge Island studio….and those luminous Floralscapes will no doubt continue. We’ll see what might come out of experimenting with acrylics! Maybe something new and compelling will emerge!
(I had to throw in a snowy scene to cool you down as we are in a record heatwave in the NW this weekend! Time to jump into the Sound for a swim!)
Happy summer everyone!
Northwest Watercolor Society’s Online Waterworks show through June 30, 2021
Sunshine Rose, seen above, is one of the 70 watercolor paintings chosen from 420 submissions to this show of members of the Northwest Watercolor Society where I’ve been a signature member since 2012. It’s 30″ x 22″ and currently unframed. Check out the whole show online at the NWWS web site and scroll down to browse through the paintings. This one really stands out, doesn’t it? The juror was Liana Bennett.
There’s nothing like the color orange to summon hope for a brighter day as the petals in his painting glow. This watercolor appears as an abstract because of its cropping from a photo of a yellow rose. It’s point of view is so close-up that it becomes a sky at sunrise, or a bright NW tree fungus or maybe the peel of an orange fluttering your way. What do you see?
The rose was spotted and the image, below, captured at Butchart Gardens near Victoria, BC… which is flower porn for plant lovers! There you’ll see more vivid blooms than you can possibly imagine confronting you at every turn, all cultivated in harmonious beds with other flowers. This was my reference photo.
American Women Artists Spring Online Show
This is the 2nd year I’ve been a part of an AWA’s show of amazingly skilled women artists of all mediums ….mostly representational. So, I’m now considered an “Associate with Distinction!” There were 1,223 entries, of those 120 were juried into the show by Juror Diana Reuter-Twining. If you’ve read my prior posts you’ve seen this painting before, “CascadeDance,” also 22″ x 30″, which was in last fall’s NWWS International Open show. It’s a winner and earned the Jack Richeson Award at that show!
Below is my reference photo, also from Butchart Gardens. I’ve enjoyed painting white flowers this year….finding color in them. You can see how I departed from the white dahlia photo, enhancing the shadows with beautiful blues, a warm core and particularly enjoying the dancing petals as they unfold.
Inspiration is everywhere but last year brought lots of possibilities with references from an important birthday at Butchart Gardens. Maybe it will be possible to return soon as the pandemic gets under control and borders open? Hey, it’s outdoors…..but crowded. In the meantime I still have good references from my 2019 trip to play with!
Stay well, wear a mask! Maybe one with a flower!
Happy Holi-daze everyone! Here’s to a better 2021 looking forward to more get-togethers that are now on the horizon. Above is my 2020 Xmas card of a Santa ornament photoshopped onto my latest painting for a bit of levity.
This year was a struggle on many fronts for so many of us. One of mine was the challenge of painting this huge breaking wave. It’s a subject I had no experience attempting to paint in watercolor. It was daunting to me! It is energetic and active! It’s size was twice what I was used to! Its conception was passionate though… to excite myself as a frustrated body surfer with no warm ocean to play in. I wanted to express the experience of that point in the surf when I can throw myself into a wave and ride thrillingly to shore. So it had to be big.
The painting process was so intimidating that it sat for over a year in this unfinished state while I went back to safely painting beautiful flowers and commissions, not sure if I’d ever return to it…. too many vague subtitles, too much scrubbing to make the spray feel dynamic….it made me want to leave my purist watercolor tendencies and go opaque. But its size and commanding presence in my studio got lots of attention and encouragement to forge ahead or accept this graphic style as a new direction for my art. Covid’s forced isolation and few deadlines gave me the opportunity to face the challenge, dive in….and ride it.
Here’s how the painting ended up (without my Hawaiian Santa ornament having all the fun). Does it take your breath away? The original already sold (yea!) and will be moving to Germany. Custom prints are available though, on Saatchi and Fine Art America.
Thanks for reading my occasional posts. I hope you stay healthy, find some fun and ride your wave in the new year!