Cascade Green Pumpkin Watercolor

Cascade Green Pumpkin Original Watercolor by Jodi McKinney – 11×14

Cascade Green Pumpkin Watercolor.

Who said pumpkins have to always be orange???!!!

And…  What watercolor artist doesn’t adore playing with
Daniel Smith’s Cascade Green?!

Mix it up with a little Quinacridone Gold and a bit of Sepia for contrast and Voila!

I love all the shades of green and blue and yellow and brown and black created with the granulation of these pigments in this combination!

It was a fun pumpkin to create!

I’m excited to be one of the artists featured at one of our local town’s Sip and Stroll events this Thursday evening in Zelienople, PA.

I have the great honor of  being invited by my friends at Boutique 16063 – an amazing women’s boutique with the sweetest owner and team that making shopping there so much fun and make you feel like a million bucks when you walk out!

I’ll have some prints of this painting there and some cards (as well as a great selection of some of my other watercolor originals and framed prints as well as copies of the two children’s books I wrote and illustrated, Klaus the Mouse and Lucas the Lucky Lion).

The original of this painting is available through our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy Shop or at Berry Vine Gifts in Bradford Woods, PA.

If you are local, I hope you will sip and stroll by on Thursday, September 19th between 6-9pm!

There will be lots of great beers and wine to choose from, food to eat, artists to explore, and great shoppes open to browse and shop in.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Live the Questions Now

Live the Questions Now Rilke Quote – Abstract Circle Watercolor 11×14

Live the Questions Now.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
and try to love
the questions themselves,
like locked rooms and like books
that are now written in a very foreign tongue.
Do not now seek the answers,
which cannot be given you
because you would not
be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then
gradually,
without noticing it,
live
along some distant day
into
the
answer.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke

 

One evening I just felt like painting watercolor in a circle wet in wet to create a fun kaleidoscope effect.  After doing the negative painting I shared last week, I wanted to paint “inside the lines” this time.

And then I heard this quote (which just so happened to be shared by Lendon Noe in that class I spoke about in Sunday’s post), and I had to write it around the circle.

Live the Questions Now.

Don’t live your life waiting for the answers.
There is so much that you will miss.

Live everything every day,
and then, along the way,
you will likely live the answer.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Daniel Smith Watercolors Used:  Cascade Green, Mayan Red, Quinacridone Gold

Kathy’s Bluebird in Watercolor

Kathy's Bluebird in Watercolor - 11x14 140 lb cold press

Kathy’s Bluebird in Watercolor – 11×14 140 lb cold press

Kathy’s Bluebird in Watercolor.

I finally remembered to post a bird painting on the right day for Draw a Bird Day which a gang of friendly, artistic bloggers celebrates of the 8th of every month (when we remember!).

Kathy, who blogs at Backyard Bird Nerd, always supplies us with plenty of great inspiration with her bird photography.  She recently captured a photo of an Eastern Bluebird that caught my eye and inspired this very loose interpretation.  I used her bird as a model, but had fun splashing it up in the loose style I love to do.  I took some artistic license in changing the piece of wood to a twig, adding the tail feathers that were hidden in her photo, making it a bit more of a summery, green scene instead of winter, and having some fun with color.  Awww – the beauty and freedom of art!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This bluebird painting is dedicated to the memory of my brother, Johnny, whose birthday would have been today.  RIP John P. Towle – February 8, 1964 – December 27, 2016.  You remain in my heart always.

This painting (original, prints, and cards) is available at McKinneyX2Designs as well as Berry Vine Gifts.

Daniel Smith watercolors used:  Cerulean Blue, Indigo, New Gamboge, Cadmium Orange, Olive Green, Perylene Green, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber.

Red Crimson Abstract Flower Watercolor

Red Crimson Abstract Floral Watercolor 11x14 140 lb coldpress

Red Crimson Abstract Floral Watercolor 11×14 140 lb coldpress

Red Crimson Abstract Floral Watercolor.

I was reading a blog post by one of my favorite artist bloggers, Debi Riley, where she discussed a technique where she starts her watercolor painting with white….

White!

Those that know a little bit about watercolor painting know using white is almost taboo – as the goal is to “preserve” the white by not painting where you want white/light to remain.  Which, by the way, is a constant challenge, but one that makes watercolor so exciting!

So Debi talked about applying a wet white wash down first and allowing another color to merge into it while it is still damp.  The white paint acts like a soft velvety foundation that the other paints react to in beautiful ways.

I first tried it just on a small 6×9 scrap piece of paper, and then I made three large 11×14 versions (the first two of which were torn up for more scrap practices).  I rather liked how this one turned out, and I want to play more……  more with these colors and more with others.  Such a fun, different way to watercolor!

Paints used for this were Daniel Smith Alizarin Crimson, Indigo, and New Gamboge, along with Winsor & Newton White Gouache.

I first spritzed my paper lightly and randomly with water.  I then painted on some white gouache with a large brush in bold strokes that resembled flower “petals.”  I then dropped in Alizarin Crimson and dragged it a bit in similar flower petal strokes.  I then lightly spritzed again to create movement, and I moved my paper around a bit.  I then dropped in some new gamboge and indigo and lightly spritzed again.  Then the hard part…. wait…. wait… wait – and don’t fiddle.  Walk away and allow it to do it’s own blending while drying.  A couple hours later, I returned to it and saw the fun blooms and splashes created by all the water on the paper.  I added a few more touches of indigo to darken, splashed a teensy bit of crimson, and called it a painting.

What do you think?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Time to “Art”

White Floral Abstract Watercolor 11x14 140lb Cold Press

White Floral Abstract Watercolor 11×14 140lb Cold Press

Time to “Art”

It is the week following Christmas…
a time I once used to feel “let down.”

After all the busyness
of the weeks leading up to Christmas…

The checklists
and shopping lists.

The writing and signing…
The sealing and stamping and mailing.

The sifting and stirring…
The  separating and straining and sugaring.

The ripping and wrapping…
The taping and twisting and tying.

The fluffing and folding…
The scrubbing and setting and shining.

It’s all so exciting
leading up to the celebrating!

But there is something special also
about the days “after” that I have truly come to appreciate.

I am fortunate to be able to take time off from work
the week between Christmas and New Year.

And this year is especially special
as I get to spend extra days with my granddaughter.

We are snuggling and tickling…
We are reading and singing and laughing.

We are napping and relaxing…
We are twirling and tumbling and kick-backin’.

And yesterday, during an especially long nap,
I had a chance to escape to my art room

for some much-needed “arting”
that I’ve been longing for.

I had no idea what I wanted to paint –
it’s been weeks since I’ve gifted myself with the time.

But it was as if the paper and water and paints
decided to give me a gift…

And this is what emerged…
A white floral abstract of sorts.

A celebration of time graciously granted
at “life in between.”

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Daniel Smith Watercolors:  Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold.

McKinneyX2Designs

Parrot of Blue Part Deux

Blue Parrot Watercolor 11x13 140lb Saunders Waterford Cold Press

Blue Parrot Watercolor 11×13 140lb Saunders Waterford Cold Press

Parrot of Blue Part Deux.

Does this guy look familiar?

You may recall him as the handsome guy who posed for me at the National Aviary on our recent visit this past weekend.

He was just too irresistible for me not to have some fun with.

And I happened to finally hit it right and remember this month that it is our “official unofficial” Draw a Bird Day – which a group of bloggers celebrates every month on the 8th.

Seems it is a bit of a bird week for me this week at thecreativelifeinbetween.

This cutie is going with us to the Lake Latonka Fall Festival tomorrow, where he’ll be for sale as an original, prints or cards, along with loads of others you’ve seen here and that are in our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY Shop, as well as a wide variety of fall, holiday, kitchen, and farmhouse-design signs created by my daughter-in-law Colleen from reclaimed pallet wood.  My son, Jake, even got in on the action with some amazing artwork too that will knock your socks off!  He also built us a landing page website (mx2d.com), where you can access our ETSY shop, Facebook page, and Instagram.

If you are anywhere near Mercer, PA tomorrow, come find us at the McKinneyX2Designs booth outside the red barn.  We are having a drawing for a gift card to our ETSY shop and are doing some “show specials!” We’ll be there from 9am – 4pm.  Hoping for good weather and fun times!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  This Parrot of Blue Part Deux Watercolor was done with Daniel Smith Cerulean and Prussian Blues, Cadmium Yellow and Orange, and M. Graham’s Neutral Tint, as well as a bit of Dr. ph Martin’s Bleedproof White.

 

As If I Were Dancing Myself…

Graceful Ballerina Watercolor 11x14 Saunders Cold Press

Graceful Ballerina Watercolor 11×14 Saunders Cold Press

As If I Were Dancing Myself…

I’ve always admired the delicate gracefulness of a ballerina…
As a little girl, I dreamed of being one myself.

I had a little jewelry box with a tiny ballerina that twirled to music when I opened it.
I wanted to be able to do that and look so delicate and graceful and beautiful.

But I wasn’t delicate or graceful or beautiful.
I was chubby and a bit clumsy and loud.

I tried tap and jazz and ballet classes,
but my mind and body didn’t cooperate with the rest of the dancers.

I was heavy-footed and exuberant and impatient.
When the rest of the class moved right, I moved left.

I continued to grow into being a “big girl” with a “pretty face.”
Just what every teenage girl wants to hear – right?!

I had short, wavy mousy-brown hair – with bangs no less –
when all I wanted was long, straight hair.

I had a full round face, and when I smiled or laughed,
I completely lost my eyes, which became tiny slits (still to this day!)

I had big feet –  a sturdy foundation Grandma claimed –
not delicate ballerina feet that could point and hold me up so gracefully.

A ballerina I was and am not,
but that is finally ok with me now.  (only took 50+ years!)

If I can’t be a ballerina,
I can paint one.

And I can feel the same delicate gracefulness
as if I were dancing myself.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Painting inspiration from Pinterest (no credit identified).  Three colors used:  Daniel Smith Neutral Tint, Azo Yellow, Alizarin Crimson.

In the Pink – In a Blink

In the Pink - Abstract Flower Watercolor 8x10 140lb Cold Press

In the Pink – Abstract Flower Watercolor 8×10 140lb Cold Press

In the Pink – In a Blink.

I stare at my computer most all day for work.
Much of the rest of the time, I am looking at my iPhone.

We all need to give our eyes and minds and bodies a break.

When I have a half hour, I often take a walk.

When I just need to step away to regroup for five minutes,
I’ve been challenging myself to do a quick painting in under five minutes.

I just step away.  Breathe.  And try something new.
My art room is on a different floor from my home office, so I just step away a bit and escape for a few minutes.  Art supplies always at the ready.

I might just try a different color paint than I typically use, a different style of painting, or a different size brush than I usually use.  Anything just to clear my mind and regroup.  I often come back to a task that was challenging me with a whole new perspective.

I have some scraps of failed paintings in a box that I can paint on the back of for practice, so I usually use those.  Like I did for this one.

I typically just leave it sit and dry and walk away, go back to work, and then look at it later to see if anything emerges.

This one surprised me, and I kinda love it.

What do you do when you have five minutes and need to regroup?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Daniel Smith Watercolors used:  Raw Sienna, Perylene Violet, Permanent Rose, Cadmium Orange, Olive Green.  Brush Used:  Isabey #4 Cat’s Tongue Oval Wash.

Gotta Cut Loose

Gotta Cut Loose.

I've been trying to do a painting for a couple days that is just not happening right now.

Seems when I try too hard and set expectations for myself, it just doesn't happen!

<Ugh!>

So instead of trying it for the fourth time……..

I just let myself cut loose…

and do whatever came out…

and see what happened.

This happened.

And I kinda love it.

I played with some different colors than I've been playing with lately.  This painting has Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, Perylene Violet, Olive Green, and Quinacridone Gold.

Cut loose and see what you can do!

And in case you don't have the song in your head yet…..

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

McKinneyx2designs

On Hospitality

Pineapple Watercolor 11x16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb

Pineapple Watercolor 11×16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb

On Hospitality…

“True Hospitality
is when people leave
feeling better about
themselves –
not better about
you.”
– – Shauna Niequist

My hope is that all who enter my home leave feeling better about themselves.
Better because they felt welcomed….. loved…….. and comfortable.
Better because their bellies were filled with yummy food.
Better because we shared good wine or good coffee.
Better because we laughed.
Better because we could be our authentic selves.
Better because we shared and created memories.
Better because they know they are always welcomed back.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Watercolor Pineapple – a sign of hospitality – using Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Umber, Olive Green, Perylene Green on 11×16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb Cold Press.