Michele Clamp Art

Still Life

Tulips Revisited

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Tulips. Watercolor. Michele Clamp. 14”x11”

Another go at the tulips. Greens are always tricky so I calmed them down quite a bit on this one.

Still Life - WetCanvas Wedgewood Tea Set Challenge

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Wedgewood tea set. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 8”x10”

They’re coming thick and fast today. This is my stab at the wetcanvas February watercolor challenge. A pretty tricky subject with all those ellipses but came out well.

Here’s the original image

Sunflowers - First Prize Winner!

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Sunflowers. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

After something clicking with the irises last week I thought I’d try my old nemesis - sunflowers. All that yellow can be overwhelming and it’s really hard to get the petals without them looking extremely rigid. In this case I think the balance between definition and looseness is just about right. One for the win column.


11”x14”/16”x20” matted.

Very excited to learn that this won first prize at the Boston Post Road Art Center still life exhibition!

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The Moleskine Journey - A step forward and some shameless pandering.

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I've been wanting to do a lobster for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.    We don't often get the chance to use a lot of red so I made the most of this one.

This was an absolute joy to paint.   All Moleskine lessons learned were applied.   Plenty of water and plenty of paint.  Let the stuff puddle on the surface, keep painting quickly and don't expect much blending.  In fact this one was more like drawing with paint than anything else.

So the shameless pandering?   Well this was painted to be part of World Watercolor Month on facebook.    I've noticed that the paintings that get the most attention are :

  - brightly colored

 -  have a lot of contrast

 -  are not too detailed (phone screens are small).

 -  have an immediate impact (no fussiness).

Think I've covered all bases there.

And of course the gratuitous action shot.

The Moleskine Journey - Vegetables

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I started off painting the scissorwing in my A4 (roughly 8x11") Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.    This turned out well and so I came back to it for my next assignment - vegetables.

I've often complained about the paper in the Moleskine sketchbooks because, although the paper is thicker than standard, it isn't really watercolor paper at all.     Proper watercolor paper has some absorbency to it and once the paint is down it will carry on blending with whatever is around it.  This is a large part of the charm and challenge of watercolor - the damn stuff has a mind of its own.   This paper though - you put the paint down it basically stays there unless you go in immediately and coax it around.   And you have to do this quick as the paint dried almost instantaneously.

So it's frustrating.   But I've decided to go with the flow and work with it rather than against it.    And this sketch came out quite well considering I was trying many different things in various parts.   The garlic and the onions were the most satisfactory - simple glazes of color with a few darks drawn in with paint at the end.   The left hand tomato is as close as I get to overworked but I was pretty happy with it.  The stalks in the top right were great fun.   Put in very quickly and almost drawing with the paint here.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 - Day 7 Painting 2

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This one was a 'throw caution to the wind' affair.   After the first rather tight rendition of the flowers I wanted to see if I could inject a bit more energy into things.   It was *really* tough and I didn't know what the hell I was doing most of the time.   It's not perfect but I'm definitely moving the dial a little.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 - Day 7 Painting 1

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I don't seem to have a photo of the setup for this one.  I'm getting sloppy.

Anyway - I tried a couple of different things in this painting.  First - less water and more paint.  In fact more paint than I could reasonably think I need.   Second - I worked the flowers a little more than I would normally to see if more detail would improve them.   The first change wored well I think - things aren't washed out and things pop.  A little garish maybe but I'll take it.

The flowers didn't work out so well.   Too fussy but you never know unless you try.

Charles Reid Workshop 2015 - Day 7 Demo

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Day 7 (or day 2 of the second week).  Still life again and I'm glad this will be the last of the flowers.

The drawing - took longer than usual and I thought he was going to run out of room at the top but everything was fine.

Started with the flowers.  

Isn't this a nice duck? (Sorry coot).