Snow day

A walk through a nearby Chicago park during the snow with my friend Roger and his dog O'Hare spurred this new series, which feels like a fun new direction in my work.

Featured above is "Fetching". Below are a few paintings in the series. This series is currently being shown at The Leigh Gallery and at the Andersonville Galleria in Chicago.

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90 degree winter

It's been so hot in Chicago lately that I was inspired to paint a couple winter landscapes, below. Nearly monochromatic, these were created using only four paint colors - 3 blue hues and one red. I am totally digging the stark quality.

"Winter path" - original watercolor painting by Rochelle Weiner

"Frozen Morning", original watercolor painting by Chicago artist, Rochelle Weiner


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.


Accepted into IWS national exhibition!

I'm over the moon! I was just informed that my painting, "Jealousy in Red Gloves" (see below) has been accepted into the Illinois Watercolor Society's national exhibition! I've been told that nationally rated artists submit paintings to be in this show every year, so to be one of 60 selected for competition is a major honor in itself! Woohoo!

This painting is one of a series I'm developing where I use discarded antique photos to inspire a painting. I will be showing rest of the series in May in Chicago, but "Envy in Red Gloves" will be displayed that month at the IWS show.  Tentative name of this series is "Discarded".

Information regarding the show coming up in May:

IWS 28th National Exhibition

May 4 – June 1, 2012
Reception: Saturday, May 5

Judge of Awards: Donna Jill Witty, AWS, NWS, TWSA-MS
Demo by Donna Jill Witty at 1 PM

The Next Picture Show
113 W. First St., Dixon, Illinois 61021, 815 285 4924



Valentine's Day at the Galleria

Woot! Thank you to Scott and Ken at the Andersonville Galleria for featuring one of my Valentine's paintings in the front window display.

I've just finished 4 new small lovebird paintings in time for the upcoming holiday. New greeting cards will also be available soon. Looking out the window right now with the snow coming down I can see why Valentine's Day is so well placed this time of year - everyone could use a warm-up!

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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


Justin's sunset - the Aqua series

Well - I have many talented friends. This painting was inspired by a gorgeous sunset photo taken by my neighbor, Justin. I think it fits nicely into my "Aqua" series.

Justin's photo jumped right out at me because of the drama created by the composition and intense color contrast. His photo was amazing - I hope this painting does it justice!

Pictured above, "Justin's Sunset" - the Aqua series. Measures 32" x 40" framed.


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