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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Monet and I

Claude Monet Gravesite
Giverny, France
Photo by Krys Pettit

I suppose only an artist would go to another artist's gravesite.  Or note when the anniversary of their death is.  Monet's is December 5th.  Perhaps it's a bit melanchology to begin this with his gravesite. Not that the concept of Monet's death is troubling.  It just seems that this common grave maker is not enough of a visual tribute for the man who created so much beauty and color on canvas.  

I've had a love affair with Claude Monet for decades.  His work enraptured me when I was a child and it continues to bring me joy and influence my own work.  So a trip to Paris some years ago had to include a visit to his home and gardens.

It was a cloudy day in April when we visited Monet's home and gardens  in Giverny, France.

The delicate rose color of the building always stuck in my mind even from countless photos and books I had seen. I find that I paint many buildings this same delicate color of pink.

Since it was so grey out so much of the beauty of the gardens was hidden behind a rainy mist.

It was early in the season and much had not yet started to bloom.  The place had an eerie, haunted quality to it this early morning.
                                                                                                 Azaleas and their chromatic colors burst through  the silvery green foliage every so often.
My husband made sure to document that I had been there by having me smile for the camera by the covered arbor to the Monet's front door.

It was a lovely experience and following that with a visit to the Orsay Museum to view his paintings and the spectacular water lilies at the L'Orangerie Museum continued to wrap me in more Monet. 

The experience was overwhelming for me as an artist.  It is only recently that I have been able to go back and look at the photos from the trip and all the subject matter to paint.  "Les Petits Bateaux" is an oil painting based on two little boats hidden in the trees and grass at Monet's garden.  To capture the silent beauty of this place still eludes me.  Perhaps it was only meant for the brush of Monet to bring it to its glory.

"Les Petits Bateaux"
original oil
by Krys Pettit

For more watercolor and oil landscapes of mine that have been influenced by Monet please visit my website:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Human Touch

I have been painting for over over 24 years.  My subject matter to date has been pretty common -- landscapes, florals, a few fruits and vegetables, and many images of buildings and architectural detail.  But sadly lacking from my portfolio are images of people.  Something felt missing from my work.  I think it is a human presence, the attempt to capture a moment in a person's day and interpret it into something more lovely, and impart a certain grace to the way a person moves and goes about their day.

 Capturing the human figure is a challenge.  It is not something I have just started doing -- many sketch sessions and drawing classes have made the journey a bit easier.  And I find it is more than just  capturing the body.  There is the essence of the person that you need to know how to incorporate in the most perfect of figurative art.  Otherwise you find it is, well, boring.

After over two decades I am feeling a bit more confident about adding a human touch to my work.  I hope you find my new direction enjoyable.

For more of my work visit my website:  Krys Pettit - Artist

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Pinch of This, A Dash of That

I come from a long line of chefs, cooks and restaurateurs.  I myself have a line of truffles that I produce for select clients. I find that tools are important to a chef but sometimes the same tools do double duty for me as an artist.

The above image gives you an idea of the go to tools I use when I work in watercolor.  Some are conventional but all are more than the usual instruments of brush, water and paper.

Paper Towels -- they clean your brushes but also make a nice texture when laid into wet pigment.
Salt -- shake it onto wet pigment and it absorbs the paint and leaves neat little snow-flake like shapes.  I always shake off the salt -doesn't add anything to the flavor the painting!
Bubble wrap -- makes for cool shapes when you press it into wet paint.  And it's good to pop when you are thinking.
Corks -- not to encourage anyone to drink wine (an added benefit) but they can be used to press into wet paint for unique round shapes- even cutting them in half will bring out an interesting pattern
Sponges -- big ones for clean up and wiping brushes -- but little ones are used to create subtle effects and patterns.  I like to sponge on multiple layers of color for a stucco effect.
Palette Knives -- scrape the paper from pigment, apply paint (even watercolor) on paper.
Exacto Knife -- king of the scrapers -- that fine blade makes a fine line - but beware it will cut you and the paper!
Toothpicks -- Nice tool for fine lines.  Handy for after lunch or dinner.
Razors -- can be scrapped on paper if you have a light touch -- also makes decent fine line.
Cut up charge cards--  great tool for lines, scraped streaks of paint on paper.  Also makes you feel good to cut one up when it's paid off.
A toothbrush -- dipped in watery pigment and tapped with a brush it produces a myriad of tiny dots, streaks--great for adding texture.
Straws -- blow through them on wet wet paint on your paper and see what happens -- what a tool to create a windy scene.  Also great for smoothies and margaritas :).
Fine mesh sifter -- pour a little diluted paint and tap on the handle -- you've a created fine texture that can be layered multiple times--gives depth.
Facial Tissues -- OK there is crying in painting sometimes -- but additionally these are a life saver for lifting and streaking and removing unwanted paint while its wet.  I actually paint with them in my hand at all times--lifting those little mistakes becomes effortless.
Plastic wrap -- crinkle it up or lay it flat on wet pigment and lift.  You will be amazed at the painterly abstract shapes this will create.  And it keeps that sandwich fresh while you slave away at some detail on a piece.

So now you know some of the tricks of my trade.  It makes a conventional painting a lot more fun and challenging and pretty unique. And helps me remember that I need to make dinner ;)!

To see my work and to find some of these techniques I described please visit my website:
Krys Pettit - Artist