Spring further

I have continued working on the study from the previous post, "Spring Forest". I have posted both versions of the painting below for comparison.

I deepened shadows, pulled out yellows and whites and created more of a focal point with dappled light filtering through the right side of the painting. I experimented with a new medium as well - gouache - which is a water-based paint like watercolor only opaque. So I can retrieve some lights that I'd lost in the process of working out this composition. I also added a lot more details in the foreground and in the tree tops. I think it's made a very big difference to the success of this painting.

I plan to try it large scale next.

Spring Forest, study in watercolor and gouache on paper, by Chicago artist, Rochelle Weiner

Earlier version of same painting


Chicago spring

This spring has been so unusually warm and pleasant that Chicago has sprung into green more quickly than usual. I snapped a few photos recently in a forest near my house and here's first attempt at capturing the moment in watercolor. This painting is basically a study - a small version (11" x 15") working out some ideas - I'd like make a much larger painting based on this composition. Fun though.


New greeting cards have arrived

The new greeting cards are in! I did four love bird cards in honor of Valentine's day, seen at left. Also fresh off the press are sets of four spring flowers, four spring birds, four landscapes and four desserts.  I'd love to hear your feedback!

Cards are on sale now at the Andersonville Galleria and Flourish Studios in Chicago, or can be purchased directly through me as well. Cards are sold individually for $4, in packs of four for $13 or packs of eight for $24.

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The comfort of home

(Pictured above, "Rita's Back Yard", watercolor)

A lot of painters use a method called "plein air" - which means to bring your paints and paper and set up outside in front of an inspiring view and paint it on the spot. In my travels, I've seen this a lot. Florence, Paris, London, San Francisco, New York City - you see artists in all sorts of places like this, set up in the middle of a crowded square doing their thing.

This has not been my method of choice. Firstly, I'm a little shy about people watching me work. If I were to do plein air painting in Chicago where I live, guaranteed there would be some people watching. Maybe this is something I should work to get over, but for now, eesh. Secondly, what do plein art painters do to record a winter scene? Or a night scene? or a rainy day? I don't believe in suffering for art.

I prefer to use photography to record scenes that move me and then paint later, in the comfort of my own home. Two paintings finished recently, both derived from photos I took while visiting my Aunt Rita in Pittsville Wisconsin last spring. It was cold, wet when I took these photos, but I completed them in warmth, privacy and security, in my living room.

Autumn River

Autumn River


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