Michele Clamp Art

Christmas Wreath

otherMichele ClampComment

Christmas Wreath. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x11”

How about a Christmas wreath I thought. Shouldn’t be too tricky no? As it turned out it wasn’t too bad at all apart from one thing. I got about 2/3 of the way round and was extremely bored. It was about here:

But I soldiered on to the end and got a bit more splashy and am quite pleased with the results.

A little too tight in places but turned about pretty festive I thought.


Happy Holiday Snowman

birdsMichele ClampComment

Snowman. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 8”x10”

Isn’t it always the way. You write a blog post on one day. You say how the preliminary sketches never come out right and it’s a really good way of working out problems. The next day you sit down and do the exact same thing and the sketch turns out to be the finished thing.

At the prompting of my CMO (i.e. James) a Christmassy painting was ordered. Apparently there had to be a snowman with a carrot nose, a tartan scarf and a robin perching on him. Well the tartan scarf wasn’t going to happen and since when do snowmen have tartan scarves anyway? But the rest seemed like a good idea so off I went. There wasn’t much reference material to be found so this is mostly from imagination but he came out well.

Happy Holidays to everyone - I will mostly be trying not to eat too much.

Spinafex Pigeon

birdsMichele ClampComment

Spinafex pigeon. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 10”x8”

I don’t usually do preparatory sketches for the birds. Most of the design work can be done just by making a good choice of pose. Something that’s characteristic of the bird but also makes a good shape and pattern of light and dark. This time I thought I’d try something different and start with a rough watercolor sketch=. This is what came out.

Yeah right. I mostly learned what not to do in the final painting but maybe that’s the point?

Anyway - after a rocky start I was very happy with the final painting.



Turkey Day

birdsMichele ClampComment

Turkey. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

Well not really. It’s kind of in between turkey days right now. I hadn’t tried a turkey before and they’re surprisingly tricky. Really enjoyed this one even though the result is a little scrappy.

Maine Lighthouse

landscapeMichele ClampComment
 Maine Lighthouse. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

Maine Lighthouse. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

Maine Lighthouse
250.00

11”x14”/16”x20” matted.

One of a series of lighthouses in a more naturalistic, subtle style.

Add To Cart

Another go attempting something with subdued color.   Maybe a little too tentative in places but hangs together well.

A couple of intermediate shots below. I decided to use masking fluid for the lighthouse so I could sweep the sky in wet in wet. In the end I’m not convinced it was worth the trouble.

Here is a shot after the sky went in and I’m half way through the rocks. Always a bit of a gamble rocks but they’re progressing well here. Part of the secret is to be confident, vary the colors but don’t delineate every rock outline.


Kittery Lighthouse - An Experiment

landscapeMichele ClampComment

Kittery Lighthouse. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

I have a bit of a tendency to overdo the colors in my paintings. For this one I decided to try and mute back everything, gray out the blues and the greens etc. It didn’t turn out to be a beautiful painting but there’s lots here I like. The scrubby brushwork on the rocks came out well as did the partial wet in wet for the lighthouse itself. All in all I think it’s positive

Barn Swallow

birdsMichele ClampComment
 Barn swallow. Michele Clamp Watercolor 11”x14”

Barn swallow. Michele Clamp Watercolor 11”x14”

Barn Swallow
250.00

11”X14”/16”x20” matted.

Add To Cart

Not a great photo as my daylight lamp is now in an awkward place after my studio reorganization.

Nice and loose bird though. Keeping those edges soft without losing definition.

Small Paintings - First Baptist, Marlborough

cityscapeMichele ClampComment

I don’t usually do copies of paintings but I was in a bit of a bind this morning. The deadline for the small works exhibition was today and I had absolutely nothing of the right size to enter. As time was short I settled on painting one of my favorite subjects in recent months in a 5x7 format as opposed to a 11x14. Turns out it takes as much time painting a small painting as it does a big one - with extra fiddlyness.

Church of St Paul, Cambridge MA

cityscapeMichele ClampComment

Church of St Paul, Cambridge MA. Michele Clamp watercolor. 10”x8”/16”x12” matted.

150.00

10”x8”/16”x12” matted.

Add To Cart

This is a view of St Paul’s church as you walk down Quincy St in Cambridge MA. I used to pass this weekly on my way to Central Square and the sight always made me happy. So of course I had to paint it. Came out nice and loose and I’m rather pleased.

I had meant this to be my entry into the next round of Post Road Art’s small works show. Stupidly I made it too big as the length + width can only be 25” and I’m at 18” without a mat or frame. The deadline is tomorrow and I have nothing else small enough left in the archives to enter. Nothing for it but to get up early and measure first before I paint.


Subtlety and Restraint

cityscapeMichele ClampComment

Coming back to painting after a break is tricky. Normally when painting every day (or almost) . new ideas come quickly out of recent paintings. Sitting down at the easel cold after a couple of weeks away and there’s a period of indecision where you’re asking ‘So what shall I paint?’ Normally a quick bird can get the brushes flowing again but I did one yesterday and wasn’t feeling the pull today.

The outcome was a couple of quick(ish) sketches on cheap paper. The first came out a little garish so in the second I tried for more restraint in color and value but without making things insipid. I’m actually quite pleased and the cheap paper didn’t give me too much grief either.