Friday, October 23, 2020

Urban Sketching in Richmond Virginia

A few more watercolors of some older buildings in Richmond Virginia. Each sketch was done first in Lexington Gray ink and then watercolor was added. I have included a photo of the building after each watercolor sketch, I think there were many liberties taken.

Urban Sketch Watercolor Painting 808 W Franklin Richmond Virginia Building Home Historic Handmade Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Painting
808 West Franklin watercolor

808 West Franklin Street photo
I feel like I am struggling to include all the detail and the depth of the actual building and just overworking the colors in some places. 

Urban Sketch Watercolor Painting 818 W Franklin Richmond Virginia Building Home Historic Handmade Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Painting
818 West Franklin Street watercolor

818 West Franklin Street photo


Friday, September 18, 2020

Fused Glass Abstract Landscape SUNcatcher

Abstract Modern Landscape Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FlutterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Frit Tack Fuse Painting
Fused glass abstract landscape.

Getting settled into a new workshop takes some time and leaves me feeling a little abstract. So I was inspired to create a very modern and loose interpretation of a landscape. These colors were inspired by my daughter's art, a color gradient of the layers of the earth as you move from the core to the earth's surface. When I looked at her brilliant color gradations, I was reminded of a landscape looking out to sea and beyond to the mountains. Art is always in the eye of the beholder. 

Abstract Modern Landscape Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FlutterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Frit Tack Fuse Painting
Bullseye glass frit in jars.

To create each mini landscape, I layered opaque and transparent crushed glass on a solid clear base. A strip of fiber paper was inserted between layers of glass to save room for a ribbon later. Each glass landscape is heated in the kiln to 1375 degF to leave textured and dimension. 

Abstract Modern Landscape Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FlutterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Frit Tack Fuse Painting
Fused glass mini landscapes before firing.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Urban Sketching Watercolors

Our daughter has begun college with a virtual freshman year while living in the dorms at Virginia Commonwealth University. It is all very strange but probably pretty normal for right now. Walking around VCU before going to visit her is beautiful. Everyone is masked and Richmond is such a clean little city. 

It's wonderful to have the opportunity to sketch in ink and then work to capture some of the local buildings in watercolors. I have been trying to limit a painting to a few color mixes but maybe my choices for this one were too strong. I used a mix of Indian Red, Permanent Red and Winsor Orange for the brickwork. The tree colors seem all over the place too.

Urban Sketch Watercolor Painting N Laurel Cathedral Richmond Virginia Building Home Historic Handmade Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Painting
North Laurel Street and South Cathedral Place

Here is a sketch of just the porch of the same red brick building done in much lighter tones. Maybe too light this time. I lost the perspective of the crosswalk but gained the detail of the brick and bushes.

Urban Sketch Watercolor Painting 16 N Laurel Richmond Virginia Building Home Historic Handmade Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Painting
16 North Laurel Street

Here is a different building just a ways down Cathedral Place. This time I chose to paint the brick in just a mix of Indian Red and Permanent Red for a more pinky and happier tone. More lemon yellow in the bushes also makes it feel sunnier.

Urban Sketch Watercolor Painting 808 Cathedral Place Richmond Virginia Building Home Historic Handmade Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Painting
808 Cathedral Place

I'm not sure anyone would recognize these buildings from my sketches, but they are fun to do and an exercise in how much detail to include and what colors to choose and lots of other things I'm trying to work on. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Moving Back to the US! Yeah!

The past 5 years has seen us living in Sicily, then in Okinawa and back to the east coast of the US. A Navy move is never easy and definitely not an international move with an 85 pound dog during a global epidemic. 

We are getting settled in Williamsburg, Virginia and as we wait the 3 months for our crates of stuff to arrive, I thought I would sketch some of the old buildings in Richmond, Virginia. I spent some time making a waterproof palette guide for my colors and tucked into the top of my travel tin. I'm a beginner and it helps me to keep track of my colors mixes.

Watercolor Painting Palette Color Organization Handmade Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Painting
My organized and labeled watercolor palette.

Richmond is about an hour's drive from our house and where our daughter will be going to college. It is such a nice city and just the right size for walking. It is filled with tons of older buildings perfect for sketching. The streets are mostly empty and those people that I see are wearing masks due to the pandemic. I thought to include some of them, but it seems depressing and timely.

Urban Sketch Watercolor Painting West Franklin Street Alley Richmond Virginia Building Home Historic Handmade Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Painting
An alley off West Franklin Street

917 West Grace Street

Here is to more art and less stress!


Monday, October 21, 2019

Fused Glass Whale Sharks and Rays

Whaleshark Whale Shark Okinawa Japanese Asian Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Swimming
Fused glass whale shark ornaments.

A school of whale sharks swimming happily across transparent turquoise sheets of glass. Whale sharks are the biggest species of fish in the sea and can have a mouth as wide as 5 feet across! These tiny specimens of the gentle giants were each painted by hand in my tiny workshop in Okinawa, Japan.

Whaleshark Whale Shark Okinawa Japanese Asian Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Enamel
Painting the whale sharks with enamels.

My whale sharks and rays are created with Colors For Earth glass enamels. Each color comes in powdered form and is mixed with medium to about a melted ice cream consistency. I found it best to mix and apply these paints with tiny wax carving tools. It has taken some time to get used to applying the enamels in the right thickness to get an even color saturation. Dots are applied with a dotting tool and each ornament is fired in my fiber kiln to 1410 degF for a solid fuse and nice rounded edges.

Whaleshark Whale Shark Okinawa Japanese Asian Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Spotted Ray
My finished whale shark and spotted ray.
 
I created small whale sharks and spotted eagle rays perfect to hang in any window or on a Christmas tree.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Fused Glass Ocean Waves SUNcatcher

Fused glass ocean waves suncatcher

When you live on a tiny island like Okinawa, you can see the water from almost anywhere. This inspires the way you live and definitely what you create. This fused glass sun catcher is created from organic layers of many shades of blue for an abstract reminder of the ocean the surrounds us.

Bullseye transparent glass in shades of blue

To make each glass wave, I carefully cut and arrange layers of transparent sheet glass in many cool shades of blue. The glass ocean is then heated in the kiln to 1375 degF to create a textured finish. Like any wave, each one is unique.

Fused glass waves before firing

Monday, April 15, 2019

Okinawa Map Ornament Fused Glass Art

Okinawa Map Sea Turquoise Blue Ocean Ornament Handmade Sea Fused Glass
Fused Glass Okinawa Map Floating on a Sea of Blue

Spring in the military is PCS season, the time when everyone begins to move to their next duty station. PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station and it means saying good-bye to friends and hello to a new adventure. These Okinawa fused glass maps will help to celebrate time spent on island.

Okinawa Map Painting enamels Sea Turquoise Blue Ocean Ornament Handmade Sea Fused Glass
Painting the map with enamels. 

I hand paint each map of Okinawa on a square of Bullseye glass using specialty paints. These glass paints are purchased in powder form and mixed to just the right consistency. They will fire to a glossy finish when heated in my kiln.


Okinawa Map JenKen kiln Sea Turquoise Blue Ocean Ornament Handmade Sea Fused Glass
Glass ornaments ready to heat 1475 degF in my kiln.

Once the glass paint is dry, I create a sandwich of two clear pieces of glass filled with a mix of crushed glass and glass powders in many shades of transparent blue. Each ornament is fired in the kiln to a temperature of 1475 degF.  After more than 13 hours, each sandwich becomes one solid piece of glass with the map of Okinawa permanently fused to the surface.

Okinawa Map Finished Sea Turquoise Blue Ocean Ornament Handmade Sea Fused Glass
My finished Okinawa map. 

Happy moving season!