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Showing posts from 2015

Webinar recording Dec 8 2015

In case you missed it, you can now view a recording of my Webinar last week Dec. 8, 2015 on artistsnetwork.com and YouTube, next upcoming live event Feb 9, 1:00PM EST (link to follow)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt0EA5lV0fc

Dec 8 2016 Live Webinar

Thank you to all that joined me yesterday for my Live Webinar. If you missed it you will receive a copy later this week and will soon be available on YouTube. Next Free Live Webinar February 9, 2016, 1:00PM EST (10:00Am PST) details to follow

Work in Progress - Challenging Composition

The most challenging about this composition is the fact the original reference photo had the branches on the right dividing the image in half (a real composition no no). So to resolve this is I dropped the tiny branches into the background to enhance the larger more stunning branch. I would still like to work on it a little more but it will give you an idea.
The jeweled light filtering through the leaves was really fun to do. I used different

Beyond The Flower into Abstraction

What a wonderful time in Calistoga.
In this workshop I am able to explore and take the students deeper into my thought and painting process. I was amazed at how well they did, first we break the composition down into large shapes, then into smaller and smaller ones. The idea is not about seeing the flower rather the abstraction of it and then how to transform it into a successful painting.

The prerequisite of this particular workshop is to already have 2-3 flower workshops with me so we can move beyond into even more exciting work.



Before tackling the flower we work on shapes and shadows, persimmons are a really fun subject to paint.


Historic Barns & Ranches Workshop

What a fun and successful weekend of painting at the Point Reyes National Seashore where we were painting "Historic Barns & Ranches" Normally we travel out to the Pierce Pt Ranch but with uncertain weather and shorter days we stayed closer to park headquarters at the Historic Morgan Horse Ranch.  Keeping paintings a little smaller made it easier for everyone to be successful within the short time frame that we had.

Not Just a Rose

I love my Calistoga Workshops where we are able to have more intimate classes. Students learn SO much with this simple design, larger washes, glazing, layering color, building depth etc. It is wonderful to see everyone be successful. It's the same design but really not the same ...there is so much more to a painting then just the composition. My goal as an instructor is to share my techniques but allow the student to express themselves and share their own experiences and personality. 
Look for more of my Calistoga Workshops in the Napa Valley coming up  in March and November 2016

New DVD Release: Fall Grapes & Leaves

The beautiful of the fall season is here and to celebrate I am releasing a New DVD program, Fall Grapes & Leaves. I am sure you will enjoy this program, large washes, building color, negative & positive painting. Loose, textured fall leaves, shadows on the vines and more. To view a preview visit on YouTube $ 34.99 Buy Now

Santa Clara Watercolor Society Workshop

I really enjoyed my time with everyone at the Santa Clara Watercolor Society last month. we had such and overwhelming response to the class that I will be back in January 2016. 


I wanted to to see that we usually have one or two brave men in each workshop. LOL If you would like to see my current 2016 schedule please visit www.birgitoconnor.com for updates.

How to paint a Sand Dollar

Just for Fun lets paint a quick and simple Sand Dollar in watercolor.

New DVDs "Calla lily" and "The Star Flower"

Now available on DVD two of my most popular lessons. Released September 29, 2015
"New"  Now On DVD
"Calla Lily"  Keep the composition simple, work with values, shape and shadow to form these beautiful flowers. Build rich deep color in the background and turn this elegant flour into a dramatic painting.PreviewOnline StreamingBuy DVD

"The Star Flower"  Let color flower and build a rich dramatic background, learn how to make those multiple stamens in the center without using masking fluid and make that flower glow.
Preview Online StreamingBuy DVD

The Daffodil in Watercolor - Preview Program

Available Now for Streaming and on DVD in Mid October
Feel as if you are having your own private lesson and enjoy learning how to paint these spring flowers. 
Follow along step-by-step as we simplify a complicated reference photo into a stunning painting that is more powerful and dramatic. Learn to have a better understanding of the water to color blend and how the type and size of the brush makes the difference to your success.
Learn how to keep the shadows clean and transparent when painting over the yellow orange center of the daffodil without the colors turing into mud.


Explore how different backgrounds can change the entire feeling of a painting and the emotional response of the viewer.

For the month of August Save 10%

I would like to offer you a special offer for the month of August 10% off on all current Streaming Video Programs View New programs include: Calla Lilies & Star Flower Use code: August  Individual and Series


Using a negative painting technique this is the stage of the painting where we are working on the multiple stamens inside the flower. 
Upcoming programs:

Fall Colors
Magnolia
Rhododendron
Hibiscus
.....and more

Daniel Smith Store & Factory in Seattle with the NWWS

Earlier this month I was in Seattle for the Northwest watercolor Society's 75th anniversary celebration,  one of the events included a tour of the Daniel Smith factory.  As all of us artist know it is like being a kid in a candy store, eyes wide open and you want to buy everything,  unfortunately I couldn't fit it all in my suitcase.   It was amazing to see their facility and where they make their colors and the process that they use.
( I think I'll take one of each - LOL)
 Here with Leslie redhead and Cindy, Cindy works in the store and is such a delightful person.
 My new friends

Cloudcroft New Mexico 2015

I'm always so excited to go to my workshop in Cloudcroft New Mexico the skies are so dramatic and the scenery so stark. First landing in El Paso Texas it's about a one and a half hour drive into  New Mexico  the desert it's just amazing, you never know if it's going to be clear skies puffy clouds or thunder and lightning maybe even a dust storm it's exhilarating and sometimes just a little scary to but well worth the drive.
 Passing by the white sands desert  to Almagordo I made my way up through the canyon towards Cloudcroft  dark skies forming bolts of lightning spitting through the sky knowing that that was my destination, the skies are so dramatic.


 Workshops are held in an old-school house next to the library, coming together in this historic small town is a real  bonding experiance.

  We all had a wonderful time painting one student called an artist Boot Camp (LOL) we covered a lot and they all did an amazing job.


 This is just one of those amazing dramati…

Calla Lilies: Step-by-step video program

This has been one of my most popular lessons in my workshops, learn more about white flowers, shaping petals, creating depth while keeping it simple. Join me in this step-by-step program of painting Calla Lilies in watercolor, I am sure you will enjoy it too.
Single program Click here Entire online series Click here

Keep it Simple

Lets keep things simple, here is a quick lesson on how to simplify what we see, the amount of water we use, color, shape and shadow, have fun !

https://youtu.be/rN3pQy2uk48

How to Paint Moving Water in Watercolor

Learn How to Paint Moving Water in Watercolor, keep it simple and most of all fun. I know this is very different then my usual style, but today I thought it would be nice to show you another technique



Here I will be using a # 20 Wash Mottler and a #8 round blend brush and most of you know how much I love my Arches paper  but here for this technique I used 300 CP Fabriano watercolor paper. Colors are French Ultramarine Blue, Winsor Blue, Perm Sap Green and Indian yellow.



Enjoy and Have FUN!!

Boats on the Water PRNSA

We just had a magical weekend workshop painting Boats on the Water, we did over twelve paintings, ranging in size from 4x6 to 1/2 sheet, covering a wide variety of techniques from value studies, simplifying an image, tighter detailed work to moody more dramatic among others. 
Our workshop was held at the Historic Life Boat Station at Chimney Rock in the Point Reyes National Seashore and for a special treat we were serenaded by female and young Elephant seals bantering and posturing for each other.

Just outside the window
The ramp used to deliver lifeboats into the ocean









Wobbly paper

Have you ever seen a framed watercolor painting that has a wobbly look to the paper surface?

This usually happens with the lighter weight papers such as 90 -140lb papers and especially if the paper was not stretched before painting. This is one reason why I like to use heavier weight papers for instance 300lb, this way I don't really have to worry about the problem.

When showing your paintings, a wobbly surface can be a bit distracting and may actually cheapen the value of your art. If entering a competition a wobbly paper surface does not really have the professional look that you want and can work against you.

All of us artist's would like to think that the viewer can see beyond the wobbly paper to the actual piece of art, that can be true, but that's not always the case. To show your work at it's best, before framing, consider flattening the painting first.

Option 1: All you have to do is place the painting face down on a clean towel then "lightly" spray t…

Same but different

I am sometimes asked why do so many of my students paint the same thing?

From the outside they can all look the same but in reality they are all "SO" different just like the personality of the student artist that painted them.

In my workshops Students always have the option to use their own compositions but rarely ever do. To have a better understanding of the process and my techniques,the advantage of using same composition helps to prevent the student from falling back into old habits. It also helps to remove the fear of competition or the stress of not being able to draw fast enough which can delay the painting process.

We all have to start somewhere and that is usually by being inspired by another artist's work and In order to have better understanding of how the artist might have created the painting we copy what we see and learn by recreating what has inspired us.

It can all look so easy but in reality it can be quite a challenge.

 This is when the magic happens, using …

Traveling with Painting supplies

If traveling to a workshop and you are wondering how to pack you're painting supplies here are a few suggestions:

As an instructor when traveling for a workshop, to remove stress or wondering if my supplies will make it there on time, I usually send everything ahead. I don't want to be surprised or have any potential problems with TSA right before I board on a plain. It is much easier if I  pack everything in a suitable size suitcase and ship it. 

As a student you won't have to carry as much as an instructor but travel can still be stressful. So here are few things you might want to consider, if you have enough time send it by ground this will cost less and take 5-7 business days (depending on the location). If time is of the essence you can choose three day FedEx air service but this will cost quite a bit more.

Paper
You can usually carry a portfolio as one of your carry on items, but some smaller planes will have smaller overhead compartments, in most planes there is also sm…

Through the crack has been accepted into the 45th International Exhibition LWS

I am honored and happy to announce that my painting "Through the Crack" was selected by juror Chris Krupinski into the 45th International Exhibition with the Louisiana Watercolor Society

EXHIBITDATES:  April 18 to May 8, 2015  OPENING RECEPTION:  SATURDAY, APRIL 18 Location:New Orleans Academy of Fine Art5256 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

Painting accepted into the 2015 TWSA exhibit

I am so honored and Absolutely "Over the Top" excited, that my painting "Small Spaces" has been accepted into to the 39th annual "Transparent Watercolor Society of America's" exhibition by jurors, Harold Allanson and Martha Deming. Congratulations to all of my friends that will be joining me in the exhibit.