Iris and Seagulls


I’m really enjoying these smaller size paintings/sketches. They come together quickly and I can get two done in a session. And they’re turning out pretty well.

First we have an iris with those oh so tricky shadows on the yellow petals. Second was something completely different – a lighthouse and a seagull. I have lost where this actually is but I’m sure someone will know.


Roses and New Paper

Roses. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

A delivery arrived today with some new (to me) paper. This is on Kilimanjaro paper (140lb CP) and I really quite liked it. I seem to remember I tried it years ago and didn’t like it but I’ve obviously got more tolerant in the mean time. I will probably buy again.

The subject was roses today and although the result is just a sketch I’ve finally got back into the swing of things.

Of Birds and Bridges


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More small sketches to day. I started doing a very quick bird value sketch but it quickly turned into something more so I left it at the sketch stage. I risked a background in which I don’t usually do but the risk paid off.

The second one was fun to do. The colors are so glorious and the dark foliage of the trees lends itself to loose brushwork. I made a dog’s breakfast of the sky but it has a certain charm nonetheless.

(Edit: A facebook friend tells me this looks like the Mackinac bridge in Michigan. I have to agree)


Evening Fields

Evening Fields. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 8”x10”

A change from the value studies today. Yesterday’s scene came out so well I thought I’d risk a little color. I’m still treating the scene pretty much as value but introducing color (and chroma) as well. Nothing fancy here. No thoughts about atmosphere, mood, texture, interesting shapes. themes or anything. Mind was clear of everything and just concentrating on putting the right colors in the right places. It was the most enjoyable painting I’ve done in a long time and it came out well.

Value Study Landscape


Painting is slowly getting easier in that it doesn’t feel like pulling teeth any more. The results may or may not be getting better but at least the process is getting more familiar and I’m getting some enjoyment out of it.

I’m continuing with value studies from my lucky dip photo bag. This one I applied my simplifying technique of stripping everything back to a few value shapes and finally a single detail shape with the bulk of the contrast. This detail shape can be a pretty odd shape and, in this scene, includes the foreground trees as well as the bushes on the other side of the bank. They’re contiguous in 2d if not in 3d.

I think this worked out quite well. It’s not meant to be a finished painting but I think I could work this one up if I wanted to. Onwards!

Boldt Castle and Value Studies

Boldt Castle. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

I always seem to be writing this but I’m trying to get back in the saddle again and finding it hard. I’m out of practice focusing on painting (and it takes a lot of focus) so this was a struggle. Not a pick of mine but one of the WetCanvas watercolor challenges.

After this struggle I decided to go back to some value studies to get my hand back in. I retried the castle at a smaller size (5.5×7) and in monochrome.


Still not much to write home about but I’m feeling a little less rusty.

Next I plucked a photo from my stash of ‘what to paint when I can’t decide’ and it was a rather boring photo of trees. Now sometimes the most boring photo can make for an interesting painting to paint. And so it was in this case. It still doesn’t possess much flair but I could feel myself getting back into intense observation and was really interesting to do. I should do more of these – really contemplative.


Michele Clamp Art in the News!

Big news here this past month. Peg Lopata of our local paper The Community Advocate wrote a fantastic article about me, my story, and my art. Very excited to see this and very happy to get the word out locally. The article had a fantastic reaction and I sold a number of paintings. Many thanks to Peg and all at the Community Advocate. Click the image to read the whole thing.

Iris Study #2


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Iris study number two done in my Tuesday class. Didn’t have to resort to the dark background this time. This time through I’m observing more details to put in but the light petals are still not coming together. Maybe next time 🙂

Iris Study

Iris Study. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

Not much to say apart from this is a real tough exercise in color, value, and edge work. We’ll be doing this on Tuesday’s class. Fingers crossed.

Half way through when things were going quite well.


Black-Shouldered Kite #3

Black-Shouldered Kite. Michele Clamp. Watercolor

The more I looked at yesterday’s effort the more I was unhappy with it. So back to the drawing board today to see what I could change. The main thing from yesterday was that
HUGE

wing so I did a quick study to see if a modified version would work.


Yup that looks a lot better. I also lightened up the shadow areas and loosened up the brushwork on the wings to keep the focus on the head. Much happier this time round.