Monday, February 28, 2011

First in the Series
Sand Orchids of Greece

Back to painting!

First, we had sunny days which found me working in the yard and thinking garden. Next, we had lots of snow and I had to go skiing. Now, I am back in the studio. Well, since I am painting from photographs of Greece, can I actually be in Greece?

To be exact, I am sitting on Plakias Beach on the southern coast of Crete where the sand orchids are profuse and the vista spectacular.

Ahhh, what fond memories......

Sand Orchids of Crete
Joanne Osband

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

View the Sistine Chapel
From the Comfort of Your Home!

Do you have plans to go to Rome to see the Sistine Chapel?

How about without crowds?

And no neck strain with the ability to get close up views of the ceiling?

See it online! Yes, with your mouse you can take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel and zoom in on Michelangelo's magnificent paintings.

Now, that is awesome!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

What You Can Miss Seeing

At the moment, I am working on two watercolor paintings. The subject matter for these paintings is the sand orchids of Greece which I mentioned in my last blog.

As I was painting and enjoying the range of colors which were happening because I was using a technique called glazing and defining negative space. I use the technique often because it is truly one of my favorite watercolor techniques. As I was enjoying the moment painting, I realized how this beauty and detail is lost in a reproduction of the painting.

You miss seeing this color and detail when you view a watercolor painting online or buy a print. Only when you see the original watercolor painting can you see the variation of colors. It is similar to viewing the dots or blobs of paint of a pointillist or impressionist painting. From a distance, these dots and blobs blend and the experience is different than viewing up close.

Thus, when you view a watercolor painting online you will miss out on all the nuances of its creation. Always ask to see the original or treat yourself to a visit at an art show of original works.

Here are a couple of details of the stems of the sand orchids in my current watercolor paintings:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sand Orchids of Greece

One of the most captivating sights when I was in Greece last fall, is finding orchids growing profusely in the sandy beaches along the coast of the beautiful Aegean Sea.

My first sighting was on a hike to find Paradise Beach located on the northeast shore of Santorini. I love orchids and know that they are the only plants that do not need soil to survive; soil is bad for the plants because it cuts off air circulation at the roots and blocks the drainage of water.

Amazed by this discovery of orchids growing in the sand and not in a tropical forest, I took a couple of photographs.

The next time I saw an array of sand orchids, they were growing on Plakia Beach in southern Crete. In fact, I sat in the middle of them under the shade of a tree and did a quick sketch before I jumped in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

Now, I am taking the time to recreate that feeling in a watercolor painting. be in Crete again :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Photos

Happy Valentine's Day!

Some people believe that Valentine's Day is a "greeting card holiday" and others think it is a day to express their love for the people and things around them.

Although I dislike consumerism, I belong to the second group.

Here are some fun photos I found.....

Meet the "Love Pug"

If a golden retriever ever graced your life,
this photo reflects their silly nature.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Artist's Creed

Colorado Moment
Joanne Osband
oil painting
5" X 7"

The challenge of the moment with its ever-changing moods,
the spectrum of nature with its diversity of subject,
and the presence of something beautiful that only Spirit can create
all lend to the atmosphere that surrounds us
as we walk through the paths of life.
These are the things we try to stop for one fleeting moment
with a spontaneous splash of color and a direction of line.
They are the pictures in the mirror of time.

author, unknown

Monday, February 7, 2011

Color, YES!

Coming out of the winter doldrums any sign of color outdoors is exciting. Yes, a few crocus have been sighted, but what has made me really ecstatic are the hardy cyclamen plants I purchased in the fall from the Perennial Gardener, Olympia, Washington.

If you have never heard of cyclamen, chances are you have probably seen these Mediterranean members of the primrose family. Cyclamen are very popular flowering houseplants that are exceptionally beautiful and very striking. They are commonly sold in supermarkets, retail stores, and florist shops, and their immense popularity continues to grow.

Cyclamen are known for their beautiful deep green foliage adorned with interesting silver patterns and shading that resembles the finest marble. The foliage can be lobed, kidney-shaped, round, or heart-shaped, and it is just as lovely as the flowers perched above on long sturdy stems.

The flowers are a beautiful sight to behold. They look as if they have been turned inside out, and they boast various shades and intensities of red, pink, lavender, and white. It is no wonder why these beautiful houseplants are so popular.

The hardy cyclamens are just as lovely. Especially now when very little is blooming. Here are my lovelies:

I must admit to getting out the "sluggo" (slug and snail bait that will eliminate slugs and snails while posing no threat to pets or wildlife.) to allow these beauties to reach their full potential.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How Did She Do THAT?

You might be wondering what is buried under the rice?

My good friend told me that she accidentally washed her cell phone in the washing machine. I wondered how she could do a thing like that?

Today, I DID THAT!

After pulling out all its innards to wipe them dry, I immediately went to the Internet. What would you do?

I learned that most posts recommended burying the phone in white rice which draws out the moisture. But, being the health food nut I am, I had to go to my neighbors to see if I could borrow some white rice. I also had to make a phone call as I do not have a land line.

Of course my neighbors thought that was the funniest thing. (NOTE; it was my reaction too when my friend did it.) And, I had to endure several more jokes at my behalf. Why? Hot or cold water? Hope it didn't shrink!

Hopefully by morning the cell phone will work again :)

Moral to the story: Don't laugh, it could happen to YOU!

By the way, this has nothing to do with art, but human foibles make interesting reading.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Compulsive Orchid Desire

Orchids are amazingly beautiful plants. Did you know that the number of orchid species equals more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species?

I have gifted myself with several plants over the years and rejoice when they bloom again. Admittedly, I have killed several. What I have learned is that if you find the right placement in your house, they will survive. But, finding that right place may come with a few challenges because winter placement is not necessarily where they want to be living in the summer time. I end up moving them around the house. Finicky little guys!

I belong to the orchid addiction society. Most of my purchases are compulsive, but a few times I have specifically set out to find one; last year it was my Valentines' gift to myself.

Trader Joe's has been one of the best places to shop for orchids because they have a great selection and good prices. They even felt sorry for me when I told them about how my last two orchid purchases died. They gave me another one! I must admit, my cousin did tell them it was my birthday.

Fred Meyers comes in second for my orchid fetish. The last compulsive orchid purchase is now sending up a new shoot and I anxiously await the flowers. The other day as I was leaving the store, I ran into the orchid display. I could not resist this one! Anyways, Valentines' Day is just around the corner, so the purchase was justified.

Isn't she a beauty?!?

I have never seen an orchid with purple spots.

I am smitten :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Absurdities of Life

I came across a fellow artist and blogger who creatively uses a wide range of media for her figurative, allegorical and symbolic art. She plays with images and drawings highlighting the absurdities of our contemporary world.

Gillian Holding says, "My art practice engages with the often absurd and contradictory aspects of modern society, highlighted by shifting perceptions and alternative views of what constitutes 'reality'. Anything and everything may come under scrutiny, from the chaotic daily confusion of my domestic life through to broader geopolital issues of conflict and resolution."

I find her blog refreshing, light-hearted, insightful, and very creative. She focuses on a daily self reflection in her art. My favorite is The Dishwasher #adailyselfreflection #draw365 posted on January 25th.

She posts and creates art inspiration!