Friday, February 27, 2015

Stages of a Watercolor Painting

A few months ago my daughter Jessie, posted pictures of a hike she and her boyfriend had taken atop of Caesars Head mountain in South Carolina. The view is looking out at Table Rock mountain in North Carolina.  I loved the photograph, and asked her to send me a print that I could paint ..

Caesars Head mountain, South Carolina

 Because the composition was busy, I started by sketching in all the shapes first. This was done using a 2H pencil, which is just dark enough to see and won't smear when the watercolor is applied.
 The next step was to lay down a light watercolor wash and then pen in some of the bark details.


I later darkened the foreground colors of the composition, leaving the lighter shades to recede into the background. After that dried I began layering all the bright warm colors of the leaves to the trees. Next I made sure to lower the intensity of the colors in the middle ground of the composition.  creating that illusion of depth which is so important when painting landscapes. 

The last step was adding more detail to the leaves and tree branches in the foreground with my Micron pen. 
Hope you enjoy....
Have a great weekend.
~ karen

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Sketches; Hope Chest / Dantiques

Spent Saturday morning in my studio finishing a watercolor painting that was started long ago. It is the most beautiful antique Hope Chest which is dated 1855. I enhanced the color scheme giving it a cheerer look.;)

 My watercolor sketch

 The Final Painting

After finishing in the Studio my friend, Nancy Diliberto and I braved the cold and snow to attend Dantiques Winter Sale. The owner Dan has become a good friend and we always find something special at the store. Look closely at the pictures above, the easel was made by Dan. Thank you very much Dan;)

 Dan enjoys re-purposing old materials. He found the wood used for this table submerged in water. After drying them out, Dan created the table without using any nails. He's a real DIY kinda guy.
The table was beautiful, along with that amazing chandelier.

 Nancy testing out the sofa. We enjoyed a cup of hot cider then headed back out in the snow. 

Hope you enjoy the pictures...
Don't forget to hop over to Sunday Sketches to see what the other artists have to share today.

~ karen

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Creative Tuesdays; Pillows

"Pillows" is the theme for today's Creative Tuesday. 
  After looking at Michael's references for the assignment, I thought it might be nice to collaborate with my good friend Amy Brand, the artist behind Sweet Pea Felts. You can visit Amy's blog  Sweet Pea Felts, and her Facebook page to see her amazing soft sculptures and photographs. 
Not only does Amy create whimsical little creatures, she's also busy  writing a children's book about two little mice, Sebastian and his little sister Evie. She is always creating, and photographing  little adventures of them for her book and I thought she might have a photograph I could use for the assignment.
Wow did I get lucky! 
She not only agreed to help me out but she had just the photo for me to use.
Evie and Sebastian having a pillow fight.

 Amy's photograph and my sketch in pen.

A quick watercolor study.

The Pillow Fight

A Big Thank you  to Amy Brand for allowing me to use her photograph.
Visit Creative Tuesdays to see what the other artists have created today.

Hope you enjoy...
~ Karen

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Playing with Clay = Lots of Texture and Fun

 Demo #1 and #2 from my recent Clay Unit at the High School.

 The Turquoise Queen

Layers of color and texture

 Heart inspired lips

 The Creative Artist

Feathers, Glasses and Major Skin Issues.

 What a couple!

Gotta love that mustache.

We're just finishing up our clay unit at school, and I must admit it's one of my favorites. With each class I demo the process and always end up with some great exemplars.
I use acrylic paint instead of ceramic glazes because I love adding layers of color.
When I'm finished painting the piece it is sprayed with a high gloss fixative. 

Today I shared these two characters with the students. Most of the students think I'm crazy and can't understand why I made that guy so Ugly! I tried to tell them that its all about the TEXTURE and they had to admit, the guy has great taste in hats. he he  They just shook their heads and laughed, "Mrs. Maggio you're to funny!"

I'll be sharing this tomorrow with the Paint Party Friday blog.

~ Karen

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Sketches; Whimsical Little Acorns

Button Love
Circles, Squares and Stripes

Wow, last week was busy at the High School and in the Studio! 
At the high school, grades were entered in the system for the end of 2nd semester, and new projects were assigned for the start of 3rd semester. I can't believe half the year is over already! 
In the studio, Valentine card orders were mailed, along with sending out my first media package to local venders with samples of my cards. yay!

Thank goodness I had a few little paintings started in the studio that were finished yesterday to post for Sunday Sketches. I never seem to get tired of creating my whimsical little acorns.Hope you enjoy.
 Be sure to check what the other artists' have created for

Have a great week

~ karen

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine Cards Arrived

They arrived yesterday and I couldn't be more please! 
The first orders were sign and shipped  thank you very much.
There is still time to place an order,  you can do that on my website

If your wondering were I had them printed it was at and they did a great job.
Well Wednesday is off to a great start, have a wonderful day.

~ karen

Monday, February 2, 2015

Creative Tuesdays: Around the World

Thinking Globally

It's Monday evening and I actual made the dead line for Creative Tuesdays theme,"Around the World." 
I must be honest if  it hadn't been snowing all night and all today it wouldn't have gotten done.
  Yay for snow days!
I've been so busy making plans on how to promote my artwork see here that I didn't have time to create my  illustration titled "Thinking Globally."  As I sit here looking at it, I realize I forgot to draw a little frame around it. It looks like its floating on the page. Oh well I'll get to that later.
Can't wait to see what everyone has created tomorrow.
Enjoy your Tuesday.
~ karen

Promoting Your Art and Yourself as an Artist

Valentine Card Header
Photograph of myself with my boys.
I've spent the past few days taking steps to promote myself and my artwork.
 Several  followers have asked me to share my journey so here we go...

Step1: Contact your artist friends ask them how they got started. Two of my good friends were very helpful sharing information with me. Glass Artist, Nancy Gong gave me contact names for buyers at several companies in our area that sell local artists work. She also invited me to share my artwork over the holidays at her Studio introducing me to her friends and clients.
Amy Brand of Sweet Pea Felts  encouraged me to open a business page on Facebook. She also advised me to join the Rochester Artisans group in our area. Its a great website that helps new artists starting out and posts information on local Art Festivals. Shes helping me get started with the Art Festival circuit. I've been looking at tents, locations and starting the application process for this summer.

Step 2: Design a Business card and Photograph your Work. I'm very lucky to have a husband that is a designer and a photographer that has helped me with that process.

 Step 3:  Write an Introduction letter to send buyers. I got on the web and goggled just that and found several bloggers that had templates that I could customize to make it my own.

Step 4:  Be Brave and have Courage ! I made the calls, wrote the letter, printed cards, opened up a business page on Facebook, and opened a shop on my website to sell cards and prints of my art .

Here's the link to my new Facebook page. Karen Maggio Art , and the link to my website.
 I'm truly blessed to have such wonderful friends that are willing to share their knowledge to help me.
 Both Nancy and Amy are amazing artists and very successful at selling their artwork. With that said I'm playing it forward by sharing with you. Hope it is helpful

.  Have a Great week  
~ Karen


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