Thursday, April 17, 2014

Preparations for Dallas Arboretum Art Show

Hard at work, framing, updating website, measuring mat boards to 11/16 of an inch, learning how to stake a tent, coordinating someone to help me with the physical labor….all in preparation for my debut at the Dallas Arboretum art show - Artscape.  I can't wait.  I know that my website shows a lot of activity coming from the Dallas Arboretum website which has my website link on it.  They are expecting huge crowds so I hope all goes well with set up and weather.  

Locals, come visit me at booth 57, right by the frog water fountains.  

updated website:
let me know which paintings you think I should include or not on facebook:  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tip Toe through the Tulips, a Dallas Arboretum Inspiration

my first tulip painting, 1997

I found the first tulip watercolor I did as an adult in 1997.  I had gone to the Dallas Arboretum with my husband and his parents and was in love with all of the red tulips.  I did not have a digital camera, yet, so I may have taken one or two photos of the tulips.  One week later, my husband and I bought our first home, it had red tulips in the front flower beds!  I did the painting before we saw our house, and I should say before I had taken any watercolor classes!  I show this to you - who knows what your tulips would look like after a couple of classes!!!!  

Perfect timing to post this, the tulips are in full bloom at the Dallas Arboretum and I have been working so hard for my upcoming art show at the Dallas Arboretum in April.  Who knew when I was first inspired to paint tulips in the Dallas Arboretum that 17 years later I would be in an art show there.  

Important upcoming dates:  
Artscape, Dallas Arboretum, April 25-27
I am in Booth #57

City Cafe, April 28 - June 1
Solo Art Show

Thursday, March 6, 2014


 Private Residence
16x22 watercolor

 Private Residence
11x14 watercolor

 Private Residence
11x14 watercolor

 Private Residence
11x14 watercolor

Baylor Hospital
22x30 watercolor

 Private Residence
11x14 watercolor

 Private Residence
15x22 watercolor

Contemporary Theater of Dallas
11x14 watercolor

Above are some of the commissions I received with a December deadline.  Can you believe I forgot to post them on my blog?!  Some were given as Christmas gifts, anniversary gift, thank you gifts or as a congratulations on a promotion gift.  Prints have been made of the commercial buildings to give to employees as well.  So that is why I didn't have so many blog posts prior to December.  I think I painted until December 20.  It is all coming back to me, now, that is why I had such a long break picking the up the brush again.  I loved being busy.  Each commission has a unique story and giving reason behind them.  

Visit it me on facebook to see work in progress and the latest news on my art shows.  Oh, I just posted a painting, "Wishing for Spring."  We have had a very long, cold winter.  I cannot believe I am still wearing winter clothes.

Happy painting!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Butterfly Study and Prep for Dallas Arboretum Show

I have posted in the past how I have this visual of a butterfly painting in my head, but, it is not complete.  I keep wanting to paint this image of butterflies in flight.  Because of the art show at the Dallas Arboretum, Artscape, I decided to start with some small butterfly studies.  This has taken me to creating abstract patterns using watercolor and a variety of resists like plastic to emulate the patterns found in butterfly wings.  I have some beautiful washes posted on my facebook page.  Right now I am so in love with them, I am afraid to go to the next step because I am enjoying the pattern as it is for the time.  I would be interested in hearing what you think about these first pass washes.  I am not sure if I should use negative painting to create the butterflies or if I should do positive painting on the wings to define the butterflies.  In the meantime, I just keep painting a butterfly every morning.  I was lucky to see a fantastic butterly collection at the arboretum in Montreal.  I took several pictures, but, the vivid silky wings don't come out as fantastic in the photos.

Have a fabulous weekend!  Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pouring, Prints & Paintings

 15x22 in progress
 5 prints of Baylor Hospital signed and numbered
Overview of work in the last 3 months

Greetings on this very, very cold morning in Dallas!  It has been overcast and bitterly cold, I had to lay my paintings out to see some bright colors.  Actually, someone wanted to see my work, so I invited them over to have a looksee in my make-shift gallery.  

I could not keep up with the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge this past January.  The painting on the top is a pour I started for the challenge.  It is almost finished.  Inspired from a photo I took when on a study abroad program in 1989.  I was there as part of the architecture program at Texas A&M.  To this day, our group keeps in contact via facebook.  

The next photo is a snapshot of 5 prints that Baylor Hospital ordered after seeing the original painting I was commissioned to paint as a gift to an executive at Baylor.  They are considering to order note cards, too.

Great news - I was accepted to participate in the Dallas Arboretum Art Show - Artscape!!!!  The dates are April 26 & 27.  Wow, I hope I sell some paintings.  This will be to a much broader audience, I am curious to see how it goes.  The Dallas Arboretum wants the art to be of a nature theme.  You know I love painting flowers, but, I also like my city paintings!  The city scenes are what I sell the most.  I will also have to pay to be in the show as well as pay for display rental.  The other art shows I have not had to pay anything except commission on pieces that sold.  I am thankful that my husband is encouraging and says go for it, it will be a great experience.  Can you help me by letting me know what kind of paintings you would buy if you were at a nature themed art show?  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 21 - Child Playing in Water

Figure Study
11x14 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

This is the sister to "Garden Girl".  Who knew when I took these photos so long ago of our little playgroup that I would be inspired to explore them in watercolor.  This darling little girl actually had a second watering can in her left hand while she was pumping the water, while she decided to go ahead and get into the giant tub of water.  I think I would like to explore this more, do a few more studies for a  high key painting with the bright sunlight.  I got the sunlight right on her leg, hair and right arm.  Also, now that I look at this, her left arm needs work!  Oh, my don't look.  The wash tub was all lopsided in reality.

I am so glad I finally started this challenge.  I like the pressure of what am I going to paint next and having to move on quickly.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pink Flowers for a January Birthday - Day 20 of the 30 day Challenge

Flower study
10x10 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

Okay, holidays and birthday behind, now I am going to try to get back into my routine and paint everyday.  I am finally joining in Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  This study was inspired by gorgeous flowers my playgroup gave me for my birthday.  Pink tulips, pink hydrangeas and pink roses!  

I am going to try to work on a pour while I do studies for the rest Leslie Saeta's January 30 day challenge.  I thought January would be a dead month, nothing going on so I would have no trouble painting everyday, but, the first 4 days of the kids were still home from school and it has been catch up ever since.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Paint, paint, paint!

 The Texas Star
by Liana Yarckin

San Gimignano, Piazza della Cistera
by Liana Yarckin

Ducklings to Swans & Turtle Creek Resident
by Liana Yarckin

Note cards for huge December 6 event

Long time no see.  What in September I was posting once a day for the 30 day challenge and now a month goes by.  But I have been painting, painting, painting.  Here is a quick look at what has been going on.  I have been continuing with the pouring.  Love it!!!  It's so much fun!  Literally, like playing.  I took a Jean Haines workshop - been following her blog for years, who knew she would be in Dallas for one night and teaching a one day workshop?!  I have continued with the Christmas rush on home portraits and lastly, getting merchandise for a great opportunity to show my work - the ABPA Home Tour on December 6.  At the home tour I will have a few prints that are specifically made for this event and I do not plan on making any others in the future.

I have been posting daily on my facebook page, Liana Yarckin Watercolors.  You can see the Jean Haines' work there.  Oh, and my favorite pour, Glowing Gallantry, a painting of cowboys on horses in my new favorite colors is posted there, too.  The photo of the Texas Star came out a bit yellow here, bad lighting.  All of the stories and progress pics are on facebook, too.  It's just faster to post on facebook right from my phone.  Below, as promised is my son's pour.  He did just one pour.  He enjoyed it.
Pour by Zac Yarckin, 5 years old.

Happy painting and thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's not raining, but watercolor pouring!

Paris Illumine'es
17x22 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

After Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days, I decided to take on another challenge.  Pouring.  I saw a video on how to do it about 3 years ago.  I thought it was cool.  My first "pours" were "Love is in the Air" and "Flocking Together".  Because pouring takes so much prep time and detail work applying masking fluid, I never went beyond the first two pours.  After the challenge I thought, if I could discipline myself to get up everyday and commit to posting a painting by 10:00 a.m., then surely I could pour.  

I did the above by masking and then pouring on watercolor paint, let dry, then mask again and then pour.  This painting took 4 phases of masking and pouring.  The pouring part is so much fun and only lasts about 30 minutes whereas applying the masking and waiting for it to dry takes a long time.  I was on a roll, but, then disaster struck when on my third painting.  I left my painting outside to dry while I went to do errands, the sun ended up shining on it.  When I brought it in, the masking was sticky goo that cannot be removed.  You can read all about it on my facebook page.  I have a second successful painting there as well.  Despite the disaster, I have started a new pour of the mess up because I just love the results of the color and the process of the pour. 

The title of this painting is by a facebook follower.  I just love the name and think it is perfect for this painting.

Have a fabulous weekend!  Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

30 Paintings in 30 Days Overview

Here is my collective work from the 30 in 30 Challenge.  You should go to Leslie's Blog to see all of the collective work by each artists.  In thumbnail format you can really see each artist's style, color palette, subject.  I have actually found more artists that I am interested based on seeing their collages because their work really stands out in this format.  

As for me, I started a pouring on Monday.  My 5 year old did one, too.  A pouring is when you pour your paint on instead of using a brush!  So far so good.  It is a street scene from Paris on a large sheet of paper.  I will post both mine and my son's next time.

If you did not read the post on Big Tex because you thought it was a bad painting, please read, it is a good story.  It turns out that that painting created the post buzz and fan engagement on my facebook page, Liana Yarckin Watercolors.  Once you read it, you will know it's not a bad painting.  Dallas is celebrating a lot of centennials this year and I bet Big Tex will go for a good price.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 30 - Last Day of Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days Challenge

Garden Girl
11x14 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

I know this little girl very well.  I had the pleasure of being in playgroup with her sister and mother.  We always went to the Dallas Arboretum when the weather was nice.  This little one and her sister were just nature's children.  Fascinated by everything outside, including insects.  They would pick up whatever interesting insects they found carefully and show their mother with only a child's curiousity and innocence.  Their mother would tell them about the insects if she knew what they were and if she didn't with a gentle, patient voice would point out all of the interesting things about that bug and then instruct them to put him back gently where they found him.  Now the family lives in Switzerland and this little girl is no longer a little girl.  I wonder if she still picks up bugs and runs barefoot through gardens?

Today is the last day of Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge.  Go to her blog to see all of the paintings by over 250 artists that have been posted over the last month.  The challenge has been so great for me.  I have met talented artists, many watercolorists, that I truly enjoy their work and it inspires me.  The challenge has taught me:

  • Discipline in which I was rewarded with some paintings that sing to me as well as taken me to a new artistic level and has made me see and think more with a creative artist's eye.  Because of the limited time, I was forced to make decisions and see my compositions with a critical eye.
  • JOY, sometimes when I have to stop painting to go to something like a meeting at school or pick up, I can't stop thinking of what I was working on with a longing to get back in my studio.  
  • Accomplishment, I feel satisfied after I made my post on Leslie's blog, everything for the rest of the day cannot ruffle my feathers because I had a good morning painting in solitude.
  • Bountifulness, posting on Leslie's blog has brought me new artists friends.  Posting frequently about the challenge on my facebook page created a buzz with interest, excitement and participation by my readers as well as commissions.
So a very huge thank you and blessings to Leslie for all of the above and so much more.  A thank you to all of the newcomers to my blog and facebook page for all of your kind words and encouragement.  It was a sense of community to hear from you and to see your daily posts on your blog and facebook pages.  I hope this is not good-bye.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 29 of Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Big Tex
11x14 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

If you have been with me for more than a year, than you know how much my Yankee husband has embraced the southern event, the Texas State Fair and it is our family's tradition to always go on opening night.  Shhhh - don't tell anyone, but, it's not crowded on the first night.  We never have to wait in lines for rides, food or games and can always find plenty of tables to sit at to eat the Fair's corn dogs, corn on the cob or giant turkey legs and this year, my kids tried the fried oreos for dessert.  I have posted a photo of Big Tex in the past for my friends around the world to see.  Last year he burned down.  Right before Halloween so that was the clever costume for many adults - a burning Big Tex.  

In honor of the new Big Tex being revealed and the opening of the Texas State Fair, I wanted to paint him.  Big Tex is the icon of the State Fair.  He is on everything from Cotton Candy to the height measuring signs at the rides.  You should have seen the look on my husband's face when I told him I had to go take photos of Big Tex (on the other side of the fair grounds) before the sun went down.  Big Tex is 52' tall.  I took several photos so that I would have enough info when I got back to the studio.  After studying the photos, I zoomed into this one.  I wanted to show the height without painting the whole body because that would be just a bad composition.  I broke the rules and Big Tex is staring right off the page, but, I really wanted to get his waving hand which is Big Tex's recognizable pose, plus the cast shadows on his face for the painting.  The sun was setting so there was a nice sunset glow on him, too.  Below are some of the photos of Big Tex.  By the way, he talks, too.

OMG!  I just checked my Liana Yarckin Watercolors facebook page, you need to check out the comments from my post yesterday on how to paint Big Tex.  I had no idea that the question would get so many different opinions and ideas!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 26 - 30 in 30 Challenge

A Pink Spring
16x20 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

Well, now I don't want to post my paintings unless they are to the level of my last posts.  I worked on groups of people with no "fantastic" turn out.  The photo of these pink tulips had been sitting on my desk saying, "pick me, pick me."  I took the photos at the Dallas Arboretum the year my son took his first steps while we where there!  That was about 10 years ago.  

Email subscribers, be patient, only 4 more days of paintings, IF I can continue painting and having something I am pleased to share with you.  

Any newcomers, welcome.  Please visit my facebook page, Liana Yarckin Watercolors, to see an array of the different subjects I paint, including beach scenes and city scenes, too.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 21 in 30 in 30

Watercolor in progress

Because of Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, a commission for this painting came about.  A friend from highschool had been seeing my daily posts on facebook and asked if I could paint her daughter.  She emailed me a bunch of darling photos, but, the one of her daughter is this red hat caught my eye.  I have never met her daughter, but looking at the photos, I could see her personality.  I am still working on this painting.  I am going to study it the next few days and add the finishing touches.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 19 - 30 in 30

Wisteria Door
11x14 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

Inspired by a door to a hotel I saw in the Berkshires adjacent to Edith Wharton's home.  When you miss your turn, you never know what you may find.  I had missed the turn into the Edith Wharton parking lot, so I just took the next turn.  Since I was with my agreeable 5 year old, I just hopped out of the car to snap some quick photos of this doorway to a darling little hotel next door.  Below is the photo.  I changed the placement of the sun in my painting so I could have sunlight on it instead of it being in shadow.  It reminds me of doorways one sees in Provence.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 18 - 30 in 30

Aspens in Blue
11x14 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

A huge thank you to everyone who commented yesterday.  As soon as I make this post, I am going to go look at your blogs!

The mountains in this painting are inspired by the "famous" mountains in one of the beer commercials, I was told.  They are in Telluride.  I used reference photos of aspens and the mountains that I took in Telluride.  The blue skies in my photos are so vibrant with shades of blue from light cerulean to cobalt.  I may paint more aspens with the blue skies. 

More paintings at Liana Yarckin Watercolors

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 17 - 30 in 30 - Cafe Scene

Patio Poetry
11x14 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

Do you ever have those full circle life experiences.  Once long ago, I was here at this very restaurant with a girlfriend enjoying a lunch in Burlington, Vermont.  I thought it was the quaintest little place and despite taking a card and being there twice now, I can't recall the name.  But, I know how to get there!  Without a plan except to get to our kid's summer camp by the next morning, my husband and I were driving up to Maine.  We didn't even know where we were going to stay.  By the end of the day we were looking at our maps on our phones and it turned out that Burlington, Vermont was nearby and had places to stay.  I immediately remembered this restaurant.  I said, "I know a great place for us to eat at.  Let's go."  My very practical husband asked his Texas wife with raised eyebrows, "You do?  How?  When?  Why would you do about a place in Burlington, VT."  On memory alone, I new it was on a corner, it was French, (I ate escargot there years ago) and it had a fabulous patio, telling him where to park, we came right to it!  It was too easy to find my way back.  Miraculously, it was still there and we could be seated in 30 minutes.  The first time around, I never had any idea that I would be back at this restaurant with my husband sans kids enjoying a leisurely dinner and reminiscing about the first time I was there with a long lost friend who now lives in Canada.  Maybe she will find this story...?

Isn't that just wild when you unintentionally end up somewhere again and it's with your favorite person in the world.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Icee Heaven
11x14 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

I did the drawing for this on Saturday and painted it Sunday.  I probably put too much information in in the background, but, I wanted the business of the fun park to show that there was nothing better than this Icee at the moment.  Do you remember when you were young and the chance to get an Icee!  Only two choices in flavor then, cola or cherry.  A little more tweaking is needed in this painting.  Some more blue on the shadow side of his face.

On a side note, I have hair color in my hair right now.  I have a meeting at school today which is going to take a big chunk of my painting time today!  I am loving the pressure of getting a painting posted by 10:00 a.m. every morning, that's about when Leslie's post goes up my time.  What am I going to do when this challenge is over.  With the challenge, I am posting with 250+ artists.  Each day I have an opportunity to show to all of these artists and all of the visitors going to Leslie's page, plus all of the people that have tuned in on facebook.  When I see people around town, they ask what am I going to paint next and I have received several commissions, too!  The buzz of this challenge is great.  In addition, to the social aspect, I have learned so much about my painting style and techniques, which I hope improvement is showing, I am more organized about my days and time, I have been challenging myself artistically ( I "fix" the photos I have to make a better composition and painting), I am in a groove of thinking artistically, even last night I had dreams of abstract watercolor images, that's a first, but, most importantly, I am jazzed and fulfilled everyday because of painting everyday!

Thank you to all of your comments, I am enjoying each of your blogs and facebook pages.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 15 of 30 in 30 - Beach Scene

Sunset Cove
11x14 watercolor by Liana Yarckin

I saw this beach house in Kennebunkport, Maine.  I saw it in the middle of the day, but, imagined how peaceful it would be to sit on the deck at sunset alone or with friends.

Other news, I will be hanging a show at the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas today.  Unfortunately, I am trying to rush out the door to the grocery store now instead of painting.  I do appreciate all of the encouraging comments and thoughts!  I have found a bunch of new artist friends from this challenge and spent most of yesterday looking at their work on facebook and their blogs.  What a great little community!  Thank you, Leslie.  To see all 250+ artists that are participating in this challenge visit Leslie's blog.

Browse through my beach photo album on Liana Yarckin Watercolors.