A Valentine Landscape

Landscape marty valentine 2016

Landscapes in watercolor painting are a new challenge for me!

To date, my largest watercolors have been 5 x 7, and I’ve dabbled in trying to recreate the amazing abstract landscape art of Debi Riley in small card-sized pieces, but I really wanted to surprise hubby with an original landscape piece from me for Valentine’s Day this year.

No pressure!!  Right?!

Sheesh!  I had no idea what a challenge it was going to be!

Every evening after he went to bed for about a week, I tried again and again and again.  I started by watching some great tutorials by Shari Blaukopf on Craftsy.  She does gorgeous landscape sketches in pen, ink and watercolor.  I’m not the best at sketching….   Yet!   But I did learn a few pointers from Sheri about plein art and sketching.  The best thing I learned, however, was about some brushes she recommended that made such a difference in my painting!  The Raphael Squirrel Mop and Escoda Versatil are my first experience with professional brushes.  Oh the way the mop holds and spreads water and the precision point of the Escoda!  Up until now, I struggled with cheaper brushes not holding water enough to carry across a larger piece of paper or the flexibility of a large brush with a point to do large washes as well as small details. Shari also has a blog called The Sketchbook where she posts art every day from her hometown in Montreal.

I also watched some Youtube videos, and tried some landscapes from various artists there.  I especially enjoy watching Alan Owen, an artist from the UK with over 70 years of painting under his belt who shares so generously of his talent.

This was my best attempt (in 11″ x 14″), and though it is extremely far from what I intended, he loved it!  Phew!  I guess that is why they say love is blind.  Actually it is why love is so sweet.  He thinks it ranks up with some beautiful art he took me to see at a local exhibit in Cranberry.  I know it isn’t.  I know exactly what I’ve done wrong and want to improve.  I know what it took to produce some of the masterpieces we saw at that exhibit.  But to his sweet eyes, he saw art, he saw beauty, and I love him for it.

Maybe next year I can replace it with a better one, but this year, my Valentine said “This is just what I would like our backyard to look like!”  And if we squint really, really, REALLY hard, we can imagine that our little stream and woods do!  (wink wink!)

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

75 thoughts on “A Valentine Landscape

  1. Once again, Jodi, you are too hard on yourself. What a wonderful gift! and beautifully framed, too. You may have used others for inspiration, but your painting is definitely your own, something to be proud of. (K)

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  2. That is so sweet wink! I love this painting, it is soft and willowy and reminds me of a lovely day, carefree dreams. The tree is so pretty and the way that things blend is beautiful. I am no artist for sure haha we all know that, but my opinion is, soft, carefree dreamy days. That is what it says to me and it’s lovely!

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  3. I agree with Kerfe! You’ve done a beautiful job with this! I especially love all the birds flying, which to me is the finishing touch. I’m so glad art isn’t easy and painting isn’t easy, and drawing isn’t easy. Because if they were, none of us would be so obsessed with it. It just wouldn’t be a challenge, and we’d lose interest. But there are endless challenges and they are so much fun! You are well on your way, my friend! Roll on! And happy Valentine’s Day to you both! ❤️❤️❤️

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    • You are right – I could do it 50 more times, and I wonder if I would be satisfied yet? I’ll bet it would be a lot better though – right? That is the fun in it – challenging and growing and getting better, and I really do think it will be fun to look back in a year and (HOPEFULLY) see much growth. Hubby proudly hung it in his “man cave.” It makes me a bit uneasy just seeing it there, but it really made him happy. 🙂

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    • Art is so subjective. Sometimes it baffles me. I might think something is so awesome and others don’t care for, and something I’m unsure of is liked sometimes by others. I guess that is the beauty in art. I so appreciate your kindness. hey I have a new bird at the feeders this week I’ve not seen before. Will have to post a photo and see if you or others know it. Happy Day to you Kathy!

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  4. Hi Jodi, I’m so happy you completed your beautiful painting process with a frame. Your husband must have been thrilled. Your dedication is inspiring and you practice, practice, practice! Thanks for sharing your painting journey, I love being a part of it.

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    • thanks sharon – his tastes and mine are not always the same, and he loved it, but I think it kinda goes along with the card he got me for Valentine’s day. The front had two adorable wrinkly puppies, and it said, “You and Me – Someday we’ll be one of those cute old couples.” Then the inside said, “Actually, you’ll be the cute one. I’ll just be the lucky one.” haha! See – love is blind. I’ve always believed that our eyes fades as we grow older so that we can’t see the faults and sags and wrinkles and crinkles as well and still be happy! Isn’t that a great way to look at it. I know my father-in-law could barely see in the end, but always saw such beauty. 🙂

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    • Oh Lois – I want to do so much more and so much better. I am trying and wish I had more time. Thank you for your sweet encouragement. Do you really see a “style” of me that I am developing? I don’t see anything unique yet…. Oh how I wish I could join you ladies and paint! I hope maybe to take a day or so off this summer from work and join you! Would be so much fun!!! Hugs to you and Dick! Hope to see you soon. Love and miss ya!

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    • Oh Charlie O! Forever the kind encourager! Do you really see a “distinct” style? What is it? I don’t see it yet. I can’t wait to be able to some day though. Oh to do what you do! THAT, my friend, is MAD skills! I will persist! And thanks for your encouragement, but please do feel free to offer advice. I admire and respect it!

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      • Actually, I didn’t end up with many pure watercolor landscapes before I turned back into a sketcher early on. hehe… I can’t put my ink pen down! My only advice would be what you’d already done and that’s to check out Shari Blaukopf’s classes. I think she has the best, most accessible advice out there! 😉

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    • Aww! Thanks so much Carol. I’ll be you could do it! I’ve only been at it for about year tinkering and playing whenever I have time while working full time yet. What I’ve come to learn is anyone can do art if only you have the desire and persistence to work at it. It becomes addictive almost and you desire to do it. It is something you almost crave, and then your soul feels soothed when you do it or complete something. Hard to describe, but worth a try. 🙂

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  5. Good brushes are the best investment you can make Jodi. I recently bought some inexpensive brushes and have regretted it every time I use them. Your painting was a gift from your heart, I’m sure he thinks it’s the most beautiful thing ever! Art is so subjective, every effort is a thing of beauty!
    Jenna

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    • oh Jenna! Thank you – it is so so subjective – eh?! and I guess that is good because that makes all art beautiful to someone 🙂 I appreciate your support and friendship.

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  6. It’s absolutely spectacular Jodi! YAY! You go girl! 🎨👍😄💙🌟 Learning is in the doing for me – and YOU are doing it! 💜 I knew your hubby would like it because it came from your heART. The best gift in my opinion! 😊

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  7. I love this painting! Jodi, you’re living proof that artistic skill is more perseverance and practice than “a gift.” Just keep going ~ your art is wonderful.

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  8. FAN tastic Jodi! going from small to 11x 14 is a big ask, you sailed through that with Ease! painting your Own backyard area landscape is a magical thing, I love how you remembered your tonal values, aerial perspective, to bring the eye to the front! Well Done Jodi! smiling away 🙂

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  9. Jodi, I love it! What a sweet gift. I think over time you’ll be less critical of it. You’re still “in” it and only see the flaws. Years ago I gave my husband for father’s day a colored pencil drawing of him with the kids digging at the beach. I was a little embarrassed giving it. There is so much pressure when a drawing or painting is a gift. But now I think it’s sweet and really captures a moment in time.

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