Friday, May 30, 2014

Flower Gardens at Hampton Court

Hampton Court is a Tudor castle on the outskirts of London has gorgeous gardens. A large part of the park is open to the public which is pretty cool. The flowers are not too showy with subtle colors and whimsical shapes like the allium pictured above. I'm still feeling very inspired by these gardens and flowers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Oxford Gardens

The gardens in and around Oxford, England are all beautiful. Their laid out in thoughtful layers and look a little messy. It's that messiness that makes these gardens so fun to walk through and admire.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Abstract English Gardens

Clouded Foliage, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014
One of the most satisfying things to do in art-making is automatic drawing/painting. I did these paintings in the spirit of automatism, only I did have a subject in mind. I thought of messy English gardens before and during painting. This is how I like to paint and this is why I love to work with watercolor. Watercolor paints force speed and the flow of the water can sometimes be unexpected which makes it more fun. Before I started painting, I thought of the tradition of watercolor painting in England. The watercolor paint boxes created in the 19th Century made it possible for painters to go out and paint their landscapes outside. There's something quite romantic about that.

Geometric Country, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Project: Watercolor Birch Trees

This is a simple, fun, and easy project with nice results, even with toddlers. Good masking is key. Just watch out for "mud" that ugly brown that so many kids like to make when mixing all of the colors together.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cruck-Framed House Interpretations

Wooded Swirl, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014
 I love cruck-framed houses. The structure looks so beautiful and can be shaped in a myriad of different ways. In these paintings, I combined the flexibility of the wood beams with the organic shapes of flowers.

Beamed Blooms, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Beamed O, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Links: English Countryside

Just digging a little deeper, finding more things to connect to the English countryside I found these fun things to get me a little closer, a little more immersed in the subject.

Great info and beautiful examples of Sargent's watercolors.

This would be an amazing place to stay for the Summer.

A great history of the modern home told through the study of an old house in England.

I've always wondered what this was all about.

These would be pretty to wear while strolling around here.

Love this for a country picnic.

A fun Jane Austen introduction for kids.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

English Countryside Paintings

Twickenham Leaf, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Small Town Map, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014
England is so verdant, I had to use a lot of green. These two paintings came about because I was thinking about multicolored foliage, the tradition of watercolor in England, and old, illustrated maps. To me, England is beautiful, messy gardens, stone walls, old castles, cruck-framed houses, and rivers winding through grass covered hills. These are the first products of that thinking and there are more to come!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Research: English Countryside

With John Singer Sargent on my mind, I've been thinking a lot about the English countryside and the 19th Century and all of the beauty and romance surrounding that. I've been re-reading Emma by Jane Austen, an annotated version, and I'm becoming completely immersed in this period. I want to get to an obsessive point and, from there, create something.

These are the books I'll be looking through and re-reading passages from in order to attain that point. Let's see where it takes me......

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Even More Interpretations of Sargent's Clouds

Scrubby Clouds, oil pastel and watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014
 These are the last of the cloud studies. John Singer Sargent's Clouds got me thinking about the English countryside, romantic literature, green hills and valleys, and how I should remember to look at the sky.

Lined Clouds, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

More Interpretations of John Singer Sargent's Clouds

Desert Clouds, wax pencil on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Patterned Clouds, graphite on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

Interpretations of John Singer Sargent's Clouds

Skipping Air, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014
I loved working with the clouds from John Singer Sargent's painting. So much fun. It reminded me of how exciting it can be to simplify a shape or just alter it greatly and see what happens. Experimentation is fun!

Floating Clouds, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014