To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


With every move things get lost. I have been looking for that one small painting I love so much, but may be it got in a box that was given away. I saw this as a chance to do my first watercolor now in oil.
Twenty years ago I made my come back to art.  I had not painted anything at all, except for one acrylic I did when I was on a much needed vacation.  

Then, during grad school,  we went for a few days to Big Bear lake between Christmas and New Year to enjoy some relaxation. Hubby had a customer who had very generously offered his cabin in the mountains for us to use. Now I think of it, it was probably our first time to ever stay in the mountains (9000 feet). 
Since I come from a very flat land, where 2/3 of it is below sea level, this was exciting! 

The kids were playing outside in the snow, and hubby took a nap on the couch. Here was my free moment! I put the 6 tubes of watercolor and one brush I bought for this occasion on the table. The snow was glistening in the sun, so my natural instinct was to look through the big sliding doors, and my eyes fell on the shed. 

Since I didn't know the rules of watercolor, I left the paper white for the snow area. The only color I used was van Dyke brown. My eyes had not learned yet to notice the colors and the different shades I would see now.   I've come a long way!
This little watercolor I did in the late eighties was a good first try, but it was not till the beginning nineties that I desired  to get some skill in this medium. For the first 10 years of my come-back I only painted watercolors during my vacations.

My new Rendition of the Shed
Now I know more about painting, I would not recommend this scene for a beginner. 
For a stronger focus on the shed, I moved the small tree to a different place.
I started with the "bare" background, but that made the scene grave and somber. But this place represents excitement and relaxation to me, so I went with a natural look. 
As I was adding branches covered with snow, it started looking like the backside of my knitting work! After thumbing through my favorite book  of  Kessler, "Painting Better Landscapes" I realized that I  had forgotten to watch the "negative spaces" (a term painters use for the spaces between the objects, so that means here the sky holes between the branches). Much better afterward!
 © 11 x 14, Oil, Portner's Shed, St.Germain

 Since white is the sum of all colors, it picks up the reflection of the colors that are surrounding the snow. The shed was actually the easiest.
A painting of a shed could easily turn into a cliche painting, so I added  the rays of sun light hitting the shed.
I'm still not totally finished, although excited, with my new rendition, but I wanted to post it before a snow scene would be  a landscape of the past for most of you.
Hm, now where to hang it?

On my blog ART NOTES are some more details about the process of this painting. Please click on the top image on right side bar to see it.

PS. It's inevitable that I will at some point arrange for an Etsy Shop, but till that time please email me a Jeannette(dotCoevorden1(at)yahoo(dot)com, for details of pricing and shipping (it changed since 2008, so the list on my art website is not valid anymore).  A collectors item, since this is a memory of my first "come back"painting, I will offer you a nice print on smooth art paper, or on canvas.


Protege said...

It became truly beautiful.;) I love to paint in oil, I never could master water colours.
Oil is so forgiving. It gives us time, no rush. You can change objects and colours so many times and add texture as well.;)
Love the photographs too.;)

A Brit in Tennessee said...

It's absolutely lovely !
There is always a depth to your paintings, that brings them alive.
You are such a talented lady .

Clytie said...

Beautiful painting! I love the way you made the snow look so real. I see and feel magic here.

Reader Wil said...

That is a painting with character! A good idea to put the little tree more to the left. The composition is very good!

Whitemist said...

It is funny, but i have actually enjoyed the challenge of watercolors for snow! There are variations in shade that the translucentness of watercolor does wonders with, but I have used the white in the sets to allow some opaqueness.
Oils and acrylics make things a bit easier, but I am an impatient sort and can not wait for them to dry!

The Muse said...

ooo.wonderful to visit the past see how we have changed (hopefully evolved).
agree with the tree the power of the shed is the focal point.
where will you hang it?

ps...thanks for visiting me!

crochet lady said...

What a great subject for a painting. That little shed looks so quiet and cozy in the snow, but expectant, as if it was waiting for something.

jeannette stgermain said...

True, oil is forgiving! That's why, when I do a water color, I go extra slow:)
But when one is on a hike in the mountains, watercolor materials are much lighter to lug around...

Brit Tenessee
Thank you, Jo! You probably pick up on that part of my feelings I have for that place and is seen in my painting.

Thank you! Seeing how other artists handled painting snow helped me tremendously. And the place was magical to me so I may have unconciously picked the right colors for that.

Reader Wil,
Being the individualist Dutchmen are, if they (meaning you) see character in something, I receive it as a complement! (sorry my sentence construction is getting bad in both languages LOL)

Am glad it turned out pretty well, but still I can wait for the paint to dry if it makes it easier on me (smile), although watercolor is great for a translucent effect.

Hope you are fully recuperated, or are you still in the process?
Good question, I don't know if I evolved -I am more able to verbalize what I'm trying to express on canvas/paper...and my subjects changed since that little watercolor.
It's always a pleasure to visit your blog:)

You are accurate -snow often brings out that expectancy in me, because the appearance of the earth changes so drastically with snow!.

Lillie said...

Such a serene looking cabin in the snow. You capture its essence well.

Thank you for visiting and for your comments in my blog. I'm a Malaysian born Chinese, my bloodline is the 4th generation born in the Penisular Malaysia.

Have a good weekend :D

jeannette stgermain said...

It was a joy to paint the cabin again:)
Thank you, that explains my wonderings:)

Rudee said...

Yes! I love this painting and the way you filled in the negative spaces. It gives the scene so much depth and that lacy feeling.

I find it interesting that you can use the artistry of knitting and correlate it to another art, like painting.

jeannette stgermain said...

That's why I love this country. Here they let me "knit" everything together, and find it interesting. In Europe they would have told me that I couldn't do that (not in a mean way, but there's more social control, and in some way less openness -in general, that is).

Stine in Ontario said...

The shed looks warm and friendly in oils. I like that you moved the tree to the left of the shed.

jeannette stgermain said...

Ye warm and friendly it looked to me -you caught on well:) Yes, that little tree would have been a major paint if I wouldn't have moved it!