Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Painting the Parks & Gardens

It's called painting en plein air.   For years most of us artists called it "painting outdoors."  Which ever term you run into it pretty much means the same thing.  You paint what you see outside. I have avoided it for any years because of the wacky weather in Florida -- usually brutally hot and humid, with cold, windy, pollen-filled winters.  But I decided to brave the elements and armed with allergy pills, nasal spray, bug spray (oh yes the no-seeims love me) tissues, and SFP 60 sunscreen I am bravely going where I have not gone before -- outside to paint in our local parks and gardens.

A recent session at the beautiful Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park was a perfect setting to create a lovely painting.

"Mermaid/Mermaid Mama Albin Polasek Aluminum Sculpture"
Plein Air watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

Hot and humid is where we are already in Central Florida and I find my paper and paint dry out a lot faster than I would like.  This session didn't work out like I planned. Working outside is almost like learning about the craft of watercolor all over again after 20 plus years in the studio.

 I have company when I work outside -- although I think these little guys were interested in learning to swim more than watching me paint.
"Lake Lily Park - Maitland Florida'
Plein air watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit
We are fortunate to have the beautiful Leu Gardens complex in Orlando.  But sometimes the big gardens can be overwhelming. This serene tree and landscape were just perfect for me to tackle while working at Leu Gardens earlier this week.

I'll take a table and chair anywhere I can get it!
"Serene Oak and Palms"
Leu Gardens, Orlando Florida
Plein air watercolor
Krys Pettit

I find there is a tremendous amount of green in this area and it can be a challenge to capture it all  -- I miss the landscapes that I saw in Arizona and New Mexico.  But I have a few places on the Central Florida area I will be visiting in the coming weeks with interesting buildings that I look forward to painting.

Follow me on Facebook to see where I will be painting next in the Central Florida area -- and beyond!  Liking and sharing is always appreciated.
Krys Pettit - Painting Moments of Color and Light

You can always check out some of my larger studio pieces at my website:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Evolution of a Window

"Forgotten Window - Casa Feliz"
Watercolor by Krys Pettit
15" High x 11" Wide
Available for Purchase

When I am working on a painting I get involved -- so much so I don't have a feeling for what time it is.  I look up and two hours have flown by.  Often I regret not taking images of the progression of the painting and I am working on being more mindful of capturing the journey of what I do.  I wanted to share with you a few of the steps it took to create my latest in my window series, "Forgotten Window" (Casa Feliz).

The original shot was taken over a year ago at the beautiful Casa Feliz Historic House in Winter Park, Florida.  I tend to look for the small, quiet corners of beautiful buildings, the little forgotten places that add to the overall beauty of a location.  This window with the strong shadows really spoke to me.

Sometimes I paint from photo references from my iPads (I have 2--don't ask), an actual photo I took (old school is often the best), or in this case I printed out the image.  I have it set up with the beginnings of the piece on my drafting table with my favorite watercolor palette ready to go.

Watercolor is a transparent media -- meaning the white of the paper comes through and gives a piece beautiful luminescence.  It is a challenge me to keep the white in because I am a slave to colors, the deeper and darker the better.  But I held off and worked hard on keeping this piece fresh by laying in gentle washes here and there and preserving the glow from the white of the paper.

I love windows and have a special color combination I use to get the darks in this one:  a red with cool tones, a deep luscious magenta, and a burnt Sienna brown.  I mix on the paper as much as possible, wetting the paper so the color can explode in those wet areas.

At this stage the piece looked good but not dramatic enough.  I have to step away for a while, grab a coffee, check in with my husband, and clear my mind.  After that I realized I needed to add darker shadows under the window, pump up those window panes, and add some cast shadows around the building.

Here is the finished piece -- took about 2 hours.  I decided to stop here.  I have a tendency to overwork my paintings when they are at their best.  It takes discipline to listen to that voice in your head that gently says, "Stop ALREADY!! It's done."

If you like my art and want to see more of my paintings of windows, doors and gates, please visit my website, Krys Pettit - Artist.  I always love when people visit and share my art and I invite you to check it out.

Krys Pettit Artist -- Doors, Windows and Gates

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Cleaning My Website

Spring cleaning of the studio is done so I decided it was time to make a few change to my website.  If you were a previous visitor you will notice that the background is brighter, easier to read.  I have added a lot of new art and a section on Small Works.  You will also find more information on the sizes and pricing of the artwork.  I have made it easier for you to email me with just a click at the bottom of each page and on the contact page.
I invite you to visit my crisp, colorful new website and hope you'll send me a message and let me know what paintings are your favorites.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Touch of Spring - My Valentine's Gift to You

"Spring" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit
If I had to choose a favorite season, Spring would top the list.  In the deep South it starts creeping into our gardens and parks around Valentine's Day and leaves its lovely gift until April, running away before the 90 degree days usher in Summer.  I would like to share with you some of my takes on Spring.  I hope my paintings brighten your day, whether you are knee-deep in snow or keeping an eye on those azaleas as their start blooming.  Enjoy!

"The Rose Gate" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"Morning Pinks' watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"Charleston Pinks" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"Seville Window" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"Spring Light" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"Bananas & Bougainvilleas" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"Burgundy Shutters" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"The White Gate in Spring" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"Azalea Evening" watercolor on paper
Krys Pettit

"The Pink Gallery" oil on canvas panel
Krys Pettit

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What's on My Book Shelf

It's OK to confess that you love books -- so do I.  I have bookcases built by my talented husband scattered throughout the house.  Each has its own subject matter - travel, cooking, chocolate making (yes really), baseball, railroads and transportation, history. But the one closest to me is the art bookcase. Allow me to share some of my book lover's shelves.

Art instruction - it's better than online streaming

Watercolor is a tricky medium and a good artist has an arsenal of help on their bookshelf.  Some of these I acquired 20+ years ago when I first started painting and they are still my go to.  Digital is great but there is something to be said for splattering paint on a book page when you're trying to work through a problem.

My go to inspiration -- never fails

I have a profound love and admiration for certain artists -- and I often look at the technique and inspiration of these favorites: Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer and Claude Monet.  Other artists are on my shelves but these -- well, they are special to me.

Welcome to Art History - Krys Pettit Style

Art history -- I am an amateur but an expert in my own way. I can easily lead you on a tour of many a collection, fill you in on those marvelous Impressionists, and tell you about the timeline of the great Van Gogh.  

Art fact and fiction

I prowl through antique stores, used book stores, flea markets and book shows, looking for books about art, artists, novels written about artists, and a few scholarly tomes about the influence of art in regional America.

These are just a sampling of what rests on my shelves, sits in my hands,  is used in the studio and lands on the kitchen table while I take a lunch break.  I adore digital, but truth be told my love affair with the feel of a page and the weight of a well written art book brings me as much comfort as creating my own work in the studio.  

Visit my website to learn more about what motivates me to paint.  And you are always welcome to share your love of books with me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Landscapes for All Seasons

"Winter Afternoon"
Original watercolor by Krys Pettit
It's been cold lately in the Southeast.  We don't want to complain when our friends up North are experiencing bitter temperatures, ice storms, tons of snow and all the delights that accompany a frigid winter. Our only complaint here was that we had to find the electric blanket -- and luckily it still worked.
Looking over some of the art in my portfolio I found a pattern of painting seasonally.  I find my art work seems to express the seasons-- Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.  I'm very happy to share some of these changes I've observed with you today. You can also visit by website to see how I show the seasonality my artwork:

Krys Pettit - Painting Moments of Color and Light 

Enjoy the changes and remember -- warmer days are coming!

Original Watercolor by Krys Pettit

"Spring Light"
Original Watercolor by Krys Pettit

"Summer's Gate"
Original Watercolor by Krys Pettit

"The Road Home in Autumn"
Original Watercolor by Krys Pettit