:: watercolor flowers

I've been painting with watercolors on and off now for many years. Like most artists I go through certain creative periods, right now i'm entering into a watercolor period. Lately i've had a few ideas for paintings floating around in my head so i've started sketching them out for watercolors. I'm no watercolor expert, and it's been 5 years since I've actually drawn and painted something. So like most people I turned to YouTube for some watercolor inspiration. I started with this YouTube video. This was a super helpful place to start, it helped me feel a bit more comfortable with my brushes & paints. Then I moved on to this video, which as you will see is very similar to my painting above.  I'm kinda laughing now at the music playing in the background, but I really like all of these videos...even though I prefer classical music when I'm painting. It's still soothing overall to have the video going in the background while you get lost in creating. So, as you can see my painting is inspired by that video & some of it's techniques. However, nothing we ever do as an artist is going to come out exactly like someone else's work...we all develop our own style as we go. This was my first attempt, and I have to say I was pretty pleased with how it turned out & I enjoyed myself immensely.

I hope that possibly i've inspired you to give watercolors a try sometime, if you aren't already an accomplished watercolorist that is. Watercolors really are the most forgiving medium & I find it so relaxing.  Maybe some day with more practice I can give some actual video tutorials of my own. For now though, I can share with you the paints, paper, palette & brushes that I am currently using. I have had my Windsor & Newton compact set for many years now. I first purchased it to use for my illustrated travel journal...I absolutely love it, it's so tiny & so easy to travel with. I recently added to my watercolors by purchasing the Kuretake Gansai Tambi set and though it's not something I will ever travel with due to it's size, it's just lovely & has so many beautiful colors. I used a combination of the two sets for the painting above, and all of my recent paintings. This butcher tray palette, is also a recent acquisition and is hands down the best palette ever. I love that it's enamelware {speaks to the vintage lover in me} and it's fantastic for the amount of space it gives for mixing & keeping colors. Most of my brushes are inexpensive sets that I've purchased at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, though I recently purchased this Master's Touch 2000 round 12 brush & I think it's fantastic & I will be buying more of this series brush in the future.

So, will you be joining me in your own watercolor period? Do you already paint? If so what is your favorite subject? What are your favorite paints, paper & brushes? Feel free to share links in comments, I would love to see your work. Happy Painting!!

{peace, love & hugs}

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:: fall vibes

Well, it is finally starting to feel like fall here in Charlotte NC. I actually had to turn on the heat this morning when I woke up. I'm excited, I can finally have confidence purchasing pumpkins for my porch. I love the simple display of the shiny & bright pumpkins layered upon the steps of this home in Old Salem. If you aren't familiar with Old Salem, it is a Moravian Colonial living history museum located in Winston Salem, North Carolina and it's one of my favorite places to visit, especially this time of year. In fact, I'm going to try to get the family to take a day trip with me this weekend for a visit...then I will surely feel like the season is upon us :).

These photos are from a visit several years back, but they are a perfect representation of why I love visiting. I love history and old architecture, just look at that handmade glass, how beautiful is that.

If you ever get the chance to visit, the bakery will be a favorite for sure....it is for me. Be sure to get yourself a Moravian sugar cake, and cookies...my mouth is watering just writing about it. I loved this display of rolling pins and cookie cutters in the window of the bakery. Most days you can watch as they make the bakery goods on site in the wood fired ovens just like they did during colonial times, the smell is simply amazing.

In one of the kitchens on site, they have spices they would have used displayed on a very old farm table. It is so interesting to see the homes & spaces, and imagine yourself living during this period.

Here is just one of the many beautiful saltbox homes in the Village of Old Salem. Many of the homes are inhabited by folks just like you or me, I can only dream of living in one of these beautiful historic homes. Look at that beautiful Chevron wood door and the adorable little split stair porch.

Everywhere you walk there are beautiful gardens surrounding the homes encased by beautiful fencing. In the fall things in the gardens are winding down, but the foliage & leaves changing more than make up for it.

So if you live close by, or if you are even passing through NC, this is a beautiful time of year for a visit to Old Salem. You will be so happy you did.

{peace, love & hugs}
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