Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On The Easel - A Teacup Painting In Shades Of Blue

"A dominant colour possesses tremendous power in making a painting unique."  -Mary Bassi

"A certain blue enters your soul. A certain red has an effect on your blood-pressure."   -Henri Matisse

A Creston Museum Teacup

©Laura Leeder, April 2011, Watercolor In Progress

I spent only a short time on this painting yesterday.  I removed the miskit that protected the flowers, on the cup and saucer and also in the tea reflection.  I am continuing to develop the teacup by glazing on layers of various transparent blue washes.  I started out using light value washes and I am now adding mid values and deeper blue colors.  

When selecting colors, I look for transparent, watercolor paints, that have long value ranges. I can then build my values by deepening the color intensity and/or glazing one color on top of another, without worrying about my colors turning muddy.  As a little color goes a long way; these pigments are also economical.

Here is just 1 of the beautiful blue's that I've used in this teacup painting:

Manganese Blue Hue  (Daniel Smith Watercolor)

A cool turquoise blue, ideal for creating form or indicating space. It is a medium-staining, a semi-transparet pigment with wonderful granulating properties. A good substitute for Cerulean Blue (opaque pigment). Manganese Blue Hue offers an additional advantage: it mixes well with other non-staining transparent to semiopaques pigment to create a mottled texture in underlying colors."

"Color that has been built up in stages has a different character than a solitary layer of color. Plying in several layers of pigment, weaving each color on top of the last, creates a richness of hue that is otherwise unobtainable."  -Richard McDaniel

Some fun facts about the color blue:
Blue is the colour to choose when creativity is a priority. People are less literal and more exploratory with blue... Blue is open, free, and peaceful. (Dr. Juliet Zhu)

Yours In Art,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!    REGISTER HERE

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On The Easel - A Blue Teacup, A Rare Beauty!

"Each painting has a promise implicit in its beginnings – make the finished work fulfill that promise." 
    -Michael Nevin

A Creston Museum Teacup
©Laura Leeder, April 2011, Watercolor In Progress
   Step 1
©Laura Leeder, April 2011, Watercolor In Progress
Step 2

It was a great weekend...warm weather and lot's of sunshine.  We did get our bedroom painted, but it was far too nice outside to stay indoors.  So, most of our weekend was spent outside, cleaning up the flower beds, and enjoying the long awaited sunshine.

I have started another small 5"x7" teacup painting.  This may well be the last, as I must start working on a painting for an upcoming event.

As a collector of teacups....this one with it's "sky blue" color, is a rare beauty.   Unfortunately....this one is part of the Creston Musuems collection and not mine!  The leaf patterns on this cup are in complimentary
shades of orange.

I have an affinity to objects that have yin and yang qualities. In this teacup, it is the scalloped shape on the edge of the saucer, that I will just "suggest".  A femine shape, balanced by the blue of the cup, a masculine color choice.  (male vs female, soft vs hard, etc.)

Back to work, enjoy your day,
Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Some fun facts about the color blue:  Pablo Picasso's "Blue Period" refers to a series of paintings in which the color blue dominates and which he painted between 1901 and 1904. The Blue Period is a marvelous expression of poetic subtlety and personal melancholy and contributes to the transition of Picasso's style from classicism to abstract art.

Friday, April 22, 2011

For Everything There Is A Season....Making Art to Marketing Art

"For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven."    Ecclesiastes

© A Tribute To Spring, Watercolor   SOLD
    Laura Leeder
It has been a very busy week.....and it feels strange not to be posting the progress of another teacup painting!
A break was needed to take care of the marketing side......
I spent a day in Cranbrook, getting prints made of  a selection of the teacup paintings that I've completed to date. Then another day was spent, printing certificates for each giclee print and getting these off to my framers for packaging.  I have been working on the gift cards as well, have started printing these off and packaging.   *The response has been great.....I have already sold several packs!   Thank You for your purchase and support!
Yesterday, I took a sampling of the "teacup series" gift cards to Artworks Gallery in Sandpoint, Idaho. More cards and a selection of the giclee prints will be available for sale here in May.  
I also, had a brief meeting with Tammy from the Creston Museum to discuss plans for the tea and to share my progess on the series.  We are both excited.  Gift cards and prints will be available for sale at the Museums gift shop when it opens in mid May.
I am taking the next fews days off from the studio to help my husband update our bedroom.  After far too many years, it's crying out for a facelift.  We will start today by clearing out the room, and getting it ready to paint.  Hope to be back in the studio by Tuesday.  
Have a Great Weekend and a Happy Easter!
Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC     

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Break - A Still Life Painting With Teacup and Crocus

Tea -"One sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bliss of dreams."
         - Milton

“The lyric sound of laughter,
 fills all the April hills, with
the joy-song of the crocus
the mirth of daffodils.”  
       -Clinton Scollard

©Spring Break, Watercolor, Size: 8x10"
   Artist Laura Leeder

After a few hours spent clearing winters' debris from the flower beds.....what could be better than sitting down with a cup of tea, and awaiting springs symphony?!

Hence, the title of this teacup painting:  Spring Break

 This beautiful "emerald green" teacup was made by Royal Albert Bone China of England.
-The back stamp indicates this teacup pattern was produced sometime during the mid 1950's to 1970's.
-The shape of this teacup is know as "hampton" 
- Royal Albert stretches back over one hundred years to a small pottery business established by Thomas Wild in 1896, in Longton - one of the six towns that make up Stoke-on-Trent, "The Potteries".
-Today both Royal Albert China and Royal Doulton China are owned by Wedgwood China, one of the oldest English Pottery Companys.....founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgewood, who was known as the "Father of English Potters".

Did You Know....
Tea breaks are a tradition that have been with us for approximately 200 years

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!   REGISTER HERE

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Sunday, April 17, 2011

On The Easel - Teacup and Crocus - A Spring Painting

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting - a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing."    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Never yet was a springtime,
when the buds forgot to bloom."
  -Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

©Laura Leeder, April 2011, Watercolor In Progress

This spring painting is almost's task will be to add all the details that will this piece to an acceptable finish.  I have to add the scroll work along the top edge of the teacup and the saucer.  Finish the gold trim by adding hints of green and orange where needed for a more realistic look. Paint the Stamens on the Crocus and lastly....paint out the lace holes on the table cloth. 

The sun has just come out and before I go to work in the studio, I am headed out to the country for my morning walk.  I am looking forward to chatting with Lucy the goose.  Yes, she talks!  Some mornings it takes a bit of coaxing.  Always worth a chucke!

Happy Sunday!

Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist,
Creston, BC

Did You Know......
Crocus bulbs are edible. You can boil them, bake or cook it in other ways, but the most valuable part of the plant is the snout.    Inside the flowers there are snouts with three stamens of bright yellow, orange and red colour. Saffron flower is pollinated by insects. Saffron ovary, from which there will grow ripe a fruit, is formed underground, but with the time the fruit– triangle fruitcase with seeds – is pushed out by the plant to the groud, where saffron seeds ripen and if they are not picked up they are sown by themselves.

To see more in this series of paintings, click on the page at the top of the blog -"Teacup Series". All PAINTINGS will be available for purchase in August 2011.

* A selection of Giclee Prints and Gift Cards will be available for purchase later this spring.

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!      REGISTER HERE

Saturday, April 16, 2011

On The Easel - A Spring Teacup Painting With Crocus

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out."  -Ray Bradbury

©Laura Leeder, April 2011, Watercolor In Progress

I've selected another spring green teacup for this next teacup painting.  The edge of the cup and the saucer both have a delicate curved shape that compliments the curves of these white crocus.  The crocus of course look even more beautiful, against the green color of the teacup.  Both hard and soft edges....creating a pleasing balance.

It is overcast with light rain today, a good day to get into the studio and work on this painting. 

Creatively Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC   

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teacup Painting, "Lady Aynsley" And Her Ancient Lineage

"Steam rises from a cup of tea and we are wrapped in history,
inhaling ancient times and lands, comfort of ages in our hands." 
    -Faith Greenbowl

 A Creston Museum Teacup

©Lady Aynsley, Watercolor, Size:  5"x7"
   Laura Leeder

I went on-line in search of this teacup's pattern name, hoping to use that in the title of this painting.  Well, I spent far too much time perusing sites looking for this pattern, to no avail.

However, here are just a few interesting facts that I did uncover:
-This teacup was made by Anysley Bone China of England
-John Aynsley first started making pottery as a hobby, back in 1775 in Staffordshire.  His pottery making developed into a small business, and later into a larger family business with his sons.  (one of his son's formed a branch known as Paragon China)
-His great grandson John Aynsley the 2nd, built the company into a leader of fine bone china with the building of a special factory in 1861. 
-Paragon China (a branch of Aynsley) enjoyed much success and Warrants of appointment from Her Majesty, The Queen (Mary) in the 1920’s. (It was later absorbed by Royal Doulton). 
- Aynsley has been honoured to supply specially commissioned tableware to Royalty, governments and companies all over the world. Queen Mary, Queen Victoria, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll and his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, have all chosen Aynsley china for their homes.  The royal family has allowed Aynsley China to use the "family seal" in its logo, where it remains today. 
Back to this teacup:  Based on the stamp of this cup it was made sometime in the 1920's to the late 1930's. While I didn't find this pattern, I did find a similiar one and from it I learned that this shape is called Art Deco.  As this teacup has a "royal seal" and a rich and long lineage, I've decided to call this painting "Lady Aynsley".

To see more in this series of paintings, click on the page at the top of the blog -"Teacup Series". All PAINTINGS will be available for purchase in August 2011.

* A selection of Giclee Prints and Gift Cards will be available for purchase later this spring.

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!   REGISTER HERE

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On The Easel - Spring Teacup Nearly Completed

"Every moment in planning saves three or four in execution."  -Crawford Greenwalt

©Laura Leeder, April 2011, Watercolor In Progress

I did very little on this one yesterday,  as I wasn't in the mood to tackle the pattern.  Instead, I started a new sketch and transferred it to w/c paper....I will start working on it today and continue with this one.

There are 3 major challenges for me with this teacup painting.   The color, the pattern and of course, painting so small.... the size is 5"x7".   This one required more pre-planning and testing of colors, before I started to paint.  On scrap w/c paper I tried out several colors and made my selection from the results of my test glazes.

Some of the colors I am using are: aureoline yellow, quinacridrone gold, burnt sienna, mangaese blue, phthalo blue, Ultramarine blue, green apapite genuine, deep sap green and my favorite......permanent green light.
(all Daniel Smith paints)

A new color for's a transparent color with high staining properties, has a very long value range and creates clean, vibrant washes.     

I hope to finish this one today!

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!     REGISTER HERE

Sunday, April 10, 2011

On The Easel - A New Teacup Painting In Natures Spring Palette

"Feeling the wind on your face, and hearing the song of the birds, and watching the sun move across the land is to know there is no greater job than to be free to paint." 
  -Andrew Hamilton

©Laura Leeder, April 8, 2011, Watercolor In Progress


"Me thinks my own soul must be a bright invisible green."... Henry David Thoreau

©Laura Leeder, April 8,2011,  Watercolor In Progress

Another Museum teacup....I selected this one because of it's beautiful, fresh, apple green color and it's femine lines. 

Each spring, this color expodes around us in bursts of happines.  For a short time, every new leaf and blade of grass shimmers a bright, apple green. This color of new growth later changing to every shade of green imagineable.    Spring, quite possibly, is my favorite time of the year!

The color green - Natures favorite hue, has inspired poets and philosophers alike.
Thoreau proclaimed:  "Me thinks my own soul must be a bright invisible green."

I spent the better part of yesterday, outside in my flower beds, deadheading and pulling weeds.  With the spring bulbs, slowly poking their heads out of the soil and the cacaphony of birdsong around me.  It was a long awaited delight!  

And now, it's back into my studio, if only for a short while.  

Have an enjoyable Sunday,
Laura Leeder,
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC  

 *To see more in this series of paintings, click on the page at the top of the blog -"Teacup Series". All PAINTINGS will be available for purchase later this spring.

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!  REGISTER HERE 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Teacup Painting, "Miss Ambrosia", Her History and Mythology

"As the centerpiece of a cherished ritual, it's a talisman against the chill of winter, a respite from the ho-hum routine of the day."   
      ~Sarah Engler, "Tea Up," Real Simple magazine, February 2006

© "Miss Ambrosia", Watercolor, Size: 8.25"x9.75"
    Laura Leeder, April 2011
I came across this teacup, while browsing at Homesense in Kelowna recently.  I was drawn to it's clean, elegant shape and its striking gold leaf design.  It's made by Nikko China of Japan.  They started producing semi-porceline dinnerware around 1905 and have aggressively continued to develop and improve on the materials that make up their fine china products today.  

Nikko dinnerware is an established leader in the hotel and restaurant ware market. Nikko china is manufactured in Japan, Malaysia and Thailand and sold around the world.

The pattern on my teacup was produced from 1999 to 2005.  It is of 3 leaves and a grape cluster in 24kt gold and is called "Ambrosia".  In ancient Greek and Roman mythology "Ambrosia" is considered to be the food or drink of the gods, (something with an especially delicious flavor or fragrance), and thought to confer immortality.

Hmm....I think I will sit by the window, sipping my fragrant, honey colored nectar from my teacup "Ambrosia", (blessed by the gods?) and wistfully think fine thoughts of immortality.

BACK TO REALITY!....and...back to the studio.
Artfully Yours, Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

*Attend the Creston Museum's- Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings!   Make your reservation here.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

On The Easel - Pink Daisies And Teacup

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."  ~Henry Van Dyke

©Laura Leeder, April 2011, Painting In Progress

Give someone a Daisy and watch their face lite up. Daisys are little discs of sunshine and happiness.  Each petal offering a promise of love and hope.   And right now..... I am hoping..... for a little sunshine and spring!

Mother Nature played a cruel and belated April Fools Day joke on us on Saturday the 2nd.  We awoke to find the ground covered in snow, with an icy cold wind and more snow, sleet and rain for the rest of the day.

It has remained cool and overcast since.  

So feeling that Mother Nature needed a little push....I've selected daisys instead of the usual spring time flower one might enjoy gazing at while sipping their tea this time of year!

Continuing to deepen values throughout this painting.  With any will be finished tomorrow!        

Enjoy your day,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."  
    ~James Matthew Barrie

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Time For Tea? Visit The Painted Turtle Gallery Blog

© Miss Magnolia, Watercolor By Laura Leeder
    A Creston Museum Teacup

I am so pleased to be featured on the Painted Turtle Gallerys Blog right now!
Artist and Gallery owner Win Dinn talks about my current watercolor painting project:  a "Teacup Series" for the Creston Museums upcoming "Old Fashioned Tea" this summer.  

Miss Ettiquette-one of my original teacup paintings is on display at the gallery and available for purchase.  My newest painting, Ethels Teacup - A Family Treasure, will follow shortly.

If you are in the Creston area, please stop by the gallery to view my latest work and say hi to Win.  You will be pleasantly surprised by the vast selection of fine art and hand-crafted gifts available, all by Kootenay Artisans! 

The gallery also offers a variety of workshops.  The last of the workshops being offered this spring is on Monday and Tuesday, April 25 and 26, 2011.  The workshop , "Watercolor - A Spring Bouquet",  is by well known multi-media artist & instructor, Eileen Gidman. 
For more information visit:

Wishing you a creative day!
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC

Friday, April 1, 2011

On The Easel - You Guessed It!, Another Teacup Painting

"Allow yourself to enjoy the journey. Everything you draw or paint does not have to be a finished masterpiece."   -Michele Cooper

©Laura Leeder, April 1, Watercolor In Progress

Step 1:  I almost always start by painting in my background first.  I just find it easier to judge all my other values against it.

©Laura Leeder, April 1, Watercolor In Progress

Step 2:  Adding initial watercolor washes to teacup, flowers and lace on table top.  I use only transparent paints and start out with my lightest values, building depth through a series of glazes.  This helps to give the painting a luminosity that cannot be achieved with semi-transparent or opaque watercolors.

Thank You for following along, all comments are welcome, I appreciate the feed back!

Have a creative day,

Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC
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