Blog

Gee, cancelled workshops?  A self-imposed quarantine? Can’t travel?  This could be bad news, but to an artist quarantined to her studio… that’s a different story!  I’m thrilled to have a little dream-come true: more painting time!  Of course, I’m sad to not paint with friends, very concerned for all affected by cancelled workshops (especially Kanuga) and send good-karma-vibes to all of you that you stay well!  My prescription:  go to your studios, paint lots and smile.  It releases good endorphins, which builds up our immune system.

On that note, I’ll leave you with a picture, sharing a bit of my Florida environment full of flowers, noisy birds and lots of green.  Now it’s time to go to our easels and do some amazing things!  Or just throw a little paint around for fun!   Kathleen

 

 I’m writing this Blog on Valentine’s Day and sending you all love and encouragement, and hopefully, inspiration straight from the heart.  We all lack inspiration or direction sometimes.  Here is my mid-winter trick to get the creative juices flowing again.  It is a challenge I give myself every once in a while when I have time to “play”!

First:  Take a big brush, a full sheet of watercolor paper (22″x30″) and lots of juicy watercolor, I paint, splatter, scrape and paint some more.  This is without plan or purpose.  It’s just a “start” to capture some color, marks, texture and energy on paper.  And it’s fun with abandon!  Let this dry completely.  (Picture below)

Next: I divide the paper into quarters.  At this point I have (4) “compositional challenges” and now the fun/work  begins.  I look at each 11″ x 15″ start independently, in all directions and start brainstorming what might be done with each piece.  Each start has its own problems and lots of potential.

Result:  Below are my finished (4) paintings in two photos clipped to the easel.   Some are developed with imagery, some non-objectively.  The sky, or imagination, is the limit!  It is always a surprise to me to see where these “challenges” end up.  But, also, I always learn a lot about my own “style”  (preferences in composition, marks, colors, texture, tolerance for chaos or order).

                     

If any of you try this, I would love to see your “before” and “after”.  Please share….but most important, have fun!!    Kathleen

The New Year is here!  Dennis and I have made our annual migration from snowy Michigan to sunny Florida and I’m excited to find my Muse waiting for me in my Southern Studio.
New ideas are being sketched, the paint is flying and I’m excited to be able to focus more on my ONLINE Gallery, now that the “bricks and mortar” STUDIO Gallery  is behind me.

With the indispensable help from my website manager, Carol, we will offer new original works in Newsletters…..one will be coming to you soon!

A great start to my New Year is the acceptance of my painting, “Evolution”, (shown above) in this year’s American Watercolor Society (AWS) exhibition in New York City.  It is actually a painting made directly from Dennis’ farm, in the middle of transition from agriculture to wind-farming and residential neighborhoods.

I’m always thrilled and honored to have one of my works in AWS!  Kathleen

This wonderful holiday season is a good time for reflection.  Reflecting on the many good friends and the many changes that have taken place in my world of art this past year has given me pause.  Thank you all again for being part of my life and inspiration for my continued life as an artist.  Wishing you all wonderful memory-making holidays with loved ones.   If you didn’t receive my newsletter, I am offering the Frozen Crystal reproductions on sale at 25% through December.  Maybe you would like to make a gift to someone special or a treat for yourself.

 

In the January/February issue of Watercolor Magazine is a full page feature of some of my painting tips-and-tricks.  If you receive this magazine it is under the “Burning Question” article.     Maybe you will find one “tip” you can utilize in your own work.    The painting featured is called  “Wind in My Sails” which I just completed.  It will be offered for sale soon.  Stay tuned!!  If you are not receiving my newsletters and would like to,  just add your name through this website on the homepage.  I am attaching the one page on “Burning Question” article.

 

Watercolor Magazine article of Kathleen Conover tips!

Tips for painting with watercolors from Kathleen Conover in Watercolor Magazine January 2020 issue.

Kathleen Conover's new Industrial Evolution Series painting using Gesso Juice

Hello my Friends-in-Art,

 I’ve been having fun with  “Gesso Juice” in my new home studio.  The painting above, “Changing Demographics” from my Industrial Evolution Series, is a good example of Gesso Juice used to create the texture as paper preparation as well as bringing in whites for finishing.  While teaching at Cheap Joe’s this fall their videographer, Jim, did a great You Tube video.  You can    watch it here: https://youtu.be/h31TYBd4r5A

“Kathleen Conovers’s Essential Gesso Juice Kit” can be ordered directly from Cheap Joe’s Catalog.  It includes instructions, Gesso, Matte Medium, squirt bottle and scrapers.  Once Mixed, it lasts for years!  Click to purchase your own Kit:  https://www.cheapjoes.com/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/36832/s/kathleen-conover-s-essential-gesso-juice/\  

Once you’ve had some fun experimenting, let me hear from you and see what you’ve done!  Happy Painting.

Kathleen

PS:  “Changing Demographics” has just returned from the San Diego Watercolor Society’s 2019 International Juried Exhibition and is for sale on this website.

 

There are so many wonderful artists out there and I’m happy to have worked with 50 more of them between the Delaware Watercolor Society and Cheap Joe’s Classes at the Outlet Store in Boone, N.C.   Thank you!  Kathleen

Djupalonssandur Snaefellsness Peninsula was incredibly inspirational with its dark “lava tubes” and blacksand beach against the bright blue sunny skies.  From this study in my sketchbook, I painted a close-up of one lava tube and the rookery that filled the cliffs.

Tip 3:  A credit card makes a great paint spreader and scraper.  It helps make more realistic rocks and, on edge, straight lines.  Practice with it and see how much can be done with this single portable tool.

Tip 4:  A razor blade scraped against the surface of the paper can bring the “sparkle” back into dull water or too-solid paint passages.  Scrape it against a ruler for a straight distant horizon line.

“Black Pearl Beach” is for sale on this website under  Travel and Landscapes.  It is 11″ x 15″ and sells for $375

You can purchase it right on line.

heStill basking in the beautiful memories of the Iceland workshop, I have a few painting “tips” to share from my Plein Air painting there. (Actually, this just allows me to enjoy looking back on painting at the most gorgeous sites ever!). These are pretty basic tricks and I hope each of you find one you can use. Enjoy! Kathleen

This is my notebook sketch from White Sand Beach, Snaefellsness Peninsula.     Back at our cottage, the artists asked me to demonstrate

the crashing waves we saw that day so I focused in on the power and splash of the waves over the dark rocks and it became “White Sand Waves”!

You can purchase “White Sand Waves” here on the website in the Landscape Category. The size is 11″ x 15″ and sells for $375.

 

Tip 1: Use white chalk to chart the path of water cascading over the dark rocks before painting! Chalk is great for all sorts of “editing” when planning or finishing paintings because it totally wipes away!

Tip 2: Using tape on my watercolor paper not only holds the paper down to the board (great when it’s windy), but it also leaves a clean, finished border when the painting is done!
\

Another Plein Air painting came from Djupallonssandur, Snaefellsness Peninsula, it was incredibly inspirational with its dark “lava tubes” and black sand beach against the bright blue, sunny skies. From this study in my sketchbook, I painted a close-up of one lava tube and the rookery that filled the cliffs.   The painting is called “Black Pearl Beach”, size 11″ x 15″ and

sells for $375.  It is available on this website in the Landscape Category.

More Tips next month! Kathleen

 

Hello my dear Friends and Artists,

We are in mid July and it has been pretty darn busy moving out of the gallery,  getting resettled and painting!  Many thanks to all of you who are taking advantage of the 25% off all of my artwork in the gallery and online.

Marquette recently held their annual Plein Aire Art Festival and these two pieces were painted there.  You can find them for purchase online at http://kathleenconover.com.   Both will be in the Landscape Series.   Thank you for your many notes remembering the years that you visited the gallery and the years we painted together.While I won’t be at the gallery after September 1,  you can always write to me via the website.  You will always be able to make purchases there.  Now I am excited to have time to paint and travel to many locations across the country teaching my workshops.

My Studio is still looking very pretty and Michelle (new owner) has my work on display as you can see in the picture above.  Please stay in touch and click here to make a purchase of your own http://kathleenconover.com.   Thank you!  Kathleen

 

 

 

Hello from the land of the midnight sun. The sun really “sets” when it goes behind the big glacier (Snaefellsjokul) at midnight and “rises” at 2:00 a.m. when it emerges from behind the big glacier! It is gorgeous here, and the artists in class are perfect adventurers in traveling as well as painting. Love it! And loving that we paint, paint, paint every day. The images that you see are from my painting/sketchbook (based on the real images) done on location in exotic-sounding places like Londranger and Djupalonssandur, all on the remote Snaefellsness Peninsula.

Be grateful, paint daily and smile. This is one big beautiful globe we reside on. Creatively Yours, Kathleen