Orange you Glad-iolus?

Orange Gladiolus Original Watercolor 11×14 by Jodi McKinney

Orange you Glad-iolus?

My Dad recently texted me an image of an orange gladiolus stem in a vase a neighbor had placed on their porch.

He thought it might make a good painting subject.

So I painted it.

And this is my loose “impressionistic” version.

I hope it makes him and Mom II smile.

Hey Dad, “Orange you Glad-iolus I did?” ūüôā

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Happy #WorldWatercolorMonth

 

Iced Orange Cookies

Iced Orange Cookies.

Summer baking calls for bright, citrusy flavors; and ever since painting my lemons last week, I have had citrus on the brain!

I found a great old-fashioned cookie recipe for these cakey iced orange cookies from Taste of Home.   I had just bought a bag of clementines, so I knew they would work great for this.

I gave some to my Dad for Father’s Day and served some to our kiddos at our Father’s Day brunch for Hubby.

Be sure to use freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for the best flavor.  These cookies freeze well and taste amazing right out of the freezer on a hot summer day!

Iced Orange Cookies

  • Servings: 2 1/2 dozen
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Butter Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp freshly-grated orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Icing
    • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
    • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in orange juice and zest.  Add baking powder, salt and then flour to creamed mixture until well combined.

Drop by tablespoon or cookie scoop onto baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet about two inches apart.   Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.  Cool on wire racks.

In a small bowl, combine icing ingredients until smooth.  Drizzle generously over cooled cookies.

TIP:  I refrigerated the cookie dough for a couple hours making it easier to work with and hold its shape.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Painting Spring

Bold Pink and Peach Spring Tulip 11×14 Original Watercolor

Painting Spring.

It is March,
and the temperatures
are still
below freezing
where I live.

But we are
“Springing” ahead
this weekend
to daylight savings time.

Longer days,
warmer temperatures,
birds singing,
flowers blooming….

But for now,
all I can do is
paint
Spring.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Hoppy Easter!

Easter Bunny Watercolor 2018 11×14

Hoppy Easter!

For those celebrating, I thought I would share a quick watercolor I did this weekend of a magical Easter Bunny.

A bunny that is THE Easter bunny would have to be magical right?

In doing a bit of quick internet research, I learned the Easter Bunny originated in Germany in the 1500s, and came to the United States in the 18th century through Protestant German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area (not far from me in Mars, PA!).¬†¬†They told their children about the “Osterhase,” who brought good children colored eggs, candy, and sometimes toys in nests they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope this magical watercolor bunny brings a smile to your face and joy to your day.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

 

Orange – again and again and again

Loose Orange Floral Watercolor in Bowl – 11×14

Orange – again and again and again.

So it turns out orange is the favorite color of two favorite people I know who are getting married this summer.

So I’ve been playing around with painting some orange flowers that could or maybe not be backgrounds or parts of a wedding invitation.

The first painting was a super fun tutorial by another favorite of mine:  Andrew Geeson.  He did his in pinks and reds, but I did oranges.

This middle one was just pure fun and joy.  Something that could be covered up partially with a piece of paper square in the middle or on a diagonal with wedding detail/information on.

Bright Orange Abstract Tulip Background Watercolor 7 x 11

This last one is kind of my favorite.  I feel like I just got lucky with how it turned out, and it is actually on the back of another practice piece, but I thought it might be beautiful with words written on it as an invitation.

Soft Abstract Orange Flower Watercolor 7 x 10.5

Just some fun experiments with the joyful color of ORANGE!

Have a great day!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Orange Flowers for Benjamin

Orange Flowers for Benjamin 11×14 Watercolor 140lb Cold Press

Orange Flowers for Benjamin.

Some of you may remember my little friend Benjamin.¬† He is the sweet little guy, who reads my blog with his “Gem” most every day and was a huge inspiration to me in writing my book, Klaus the Mouse, and other Silly Animal Animal Tales (available on Amazon here).

Well, the other day when I posted my Blue Reflections painting, Benjamin told Gem,¬†¬†‚ÄúIt is a pretty blue picture, but can my Jodi do orange too?‚ÄĚ

Apparently, orange is Benjamin’s favorite color.¬† So, though I didn’t do the same painting in orange, I did paint some orange flowers I hope my Benjamin will enjoy when he visits here with Gem next week.

Orange is such a happy, cheerful color!

According to Color Wheel Pro:

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design.

Well…. no wonder my Benjamin loves orange!

Wishing you all an “orange” kinda day!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This painting and others available at McKinneyx2Designs.

Blossom through the Darkness

Orange Begonia - July, 2017 - Mars, PA

Orange Begonia – July, 2017 – Mars, PA

We don’t always grow when things are easy,
We don’t always blossom when the sun is bright.

Grow through the challenges.
Blossom through the darkness.

Life your life as fully and courageously and boldly as you can.
It’s your opportunity to bloom!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Thanks, Jan, for these beautiful flowers, they are still vibrantly blossoming!

Snowstorm Stella & Perky Portulacas

Perky Portulacas in Pink & Orange – 8×10 Watercolor on Saunders 140 lb Cold Press

Snowstorm Stella & Perky Portulacas.

Last night
when all the talk was about Snowstorm Stella

that is supposed to be coming our way…
(could a snowstorm have a lovelier name?!)

I thought of my Grandma¬†–
my Stella Star.

And as I painted what started out to possibly be poppies,
they seemed to emerge as perky portulacas.

When I think of Grandma,
I think of portulacas.

Grandma had a next door neighbor and best buddy
who grew the most amazing portulacas.

I remembered hot, lazy summer evenings
with Grandma and her friend and the talks we had.

I remember all the things I learned about life and love
from these special times.

So as I smiled at the snowstorm with the most beautiful name,
I fondly reminisced about my Grandma and portulacas.

And these wild and loose and crazy
pink and orange flowers grew on the page

With joy and happiness
and gratitude and love.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Watercolor Paint:  Daniel Smith Cadmium Orange, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose, Daniel Smith Lemon Yellow, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue

 

Mixing Basics in Watercolor: Blue, Red, & Yellow

 

Mixing Basics in Watercolor:  Blue РRed РYellow.

Going back to basics with my new watercolor palette and realizing all the colors that can be created by using three simple basics.  For all three of these simple, loose, impressionistic flowers, I used the same colors:  Cobalt Blue, Permanent Rose, and Lemon Yellow.

For the first I mixed Permanent Rose with just a drop of Cobalt Blue for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow pretty equally for the green.

For the second I mixed Cobalt Blue with just a drop of Permanent Rose for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow with an emphasis on the Cobalt Blue in places nearer the flower.

For the third I mixed Lemon Yellow with just a drop of Permanent Rose for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow, but only a tiny bit of Cobalt Blue to lighten up the green.

And there are likely hundreds more color combinations in various shades that could be achieved by simply using these three basic colors.

It’s fun and easy and creates such clean, bright, un-muddied results when you keep it simple.

I also used one brush for everything Рthe Rekab 320S #2 Squirrel Mop (which I could only find by ordering from Australia, but LOVE it Рalso recommended by Debi Riley),  It is so versatile, but I really had to learn to use it after using inexpensive synthetic brushes at first.  This brush holds a lot of water and paint.  It also can come to a fine point and do small lines with a light touch, and can make fat, wash strokes too.

So if you are even thinking of giving watercolor painting a try…. three colors, one brush (you don’t have to order from Australia – but find a nice natural hair medium sized brush to achieve results you will really enjoy) and some paper (I recommend you start with Cold Press 140lb Arches) is really all you need to create some beauty and experiment with this wonderful hobby.

Thanks to the inspiration of Debi Riley on Watercolor Basics!  So much to learn from such talent!

Enjoy the journey!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Babette the Bunny

pink-orange-gold-abstract-bunny-watercolor-9x12-140lb-fabriano-artistico

“Babette” pink-orange-gold-abstract-bunny-watercolor-9×12-140lb-fabriano-artistico

The weather was so warm here for a couple days this week, it felt like Spring!
I don’t remember ever having 60 degree weather in February. ¬†Even the birds were singing and celebrating.

The Spring-like weather must have been the inspiration for “Babette” the Bunny who somehow came to life one evening after dinner. ¬†No drawing – just started painting the eye and then splashing water and pink and orange and dabs of quin gold in the shape of a bunny.

And as for her name, it must have come from the hours of binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix I’ve been doing since Christmas.

It was fun to create a Springy painting on a Springy February day. ¬†Fingers crossed I’m not inspired to paint snowy landscapes in May the way our wacky weather has been this year!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

McKinneyX2Designs