The Atlanta Show January 2015 and Trends

Dennis and I  got home Sunday January 12th after being at the Atlanta show for five days. There was a really bad virus and cough going around and we both got it. Luckily not at the same time. So we were able to spell each other at the show. I still have it and it has has slowed me down. and since I am a bit late now to report on the show, I’ll write on some topics related to trade shows.  There is a lot of important things to say about the show (or any trade show you go to) . I am going to start with:   Trends  

How and where to spot them at the show. (At the end of this blog I will mention other good sources of trend spotting).

At the shows Look for trends that predominate and show up in at least 5 major showrooms and more. In Atlanta Showrooms like C & F , Manual Woodworkers and Evergreen are good for trend spotting.

 Check out the fashions you see in the halls and showrooms – We saw, of course chevron, animal prints,lots of patterns, and combinations of patterns. At the July show I am sure we will see lots of floral patterns.

         Check colors and patterns that appear in the showrooms- Seen were a lot of the warmer colors in the orange, pink and coral family. Also sunflower yellow. In the Cools   were, you guessed it Blues. Lots of Aqua, Cobalt and Navy. Lots of warm and cool grays combined with the blues and warm shades.

Patterns and bright colors

Patterns and bright colors

Spot recurrent themes – Foxes and owls still around. Woodland animals, deer, moose etc. are showing up. Not as much as was predicted a year ago. The little Hedgehog so popular in England didn’t live up to last year’s predictions. We saw some, but not enough to call it a big trend,.

  I saw  a good showing of black and white designs, patterns and black line art combined with watercolory butterflies, flowers. This last was starting to appear last year in gift wear fashion and tabletop.

Black and white line art with some color

Black and white line art with some color

 

LOOSER WATERCOLOR AND NATURE THEMES, especially birds and flowers
 Photos of two products in a line sold by Overstock.com by yours truly. This look on Home decor products has been coming about in the last 5 years. And you can bet I am happy about that. The products will be on the Overstock site in late February.

Overstock.com Duvet

Overstock.com Duvet

OVERSTOCK.COM HUMMINGBIRD DESIGN

OVERSTOCK.COM HUMMINGBIRD DESIGN

Looser Watercolor styles on Paper. This look has been popular on pillows for 3 or 4 years and is now appearing on other products.

Looser watercolor designs

Looser watercolor designs

IMG_7486

 

Collage style inspirational art where the art is very stylistic. These two pieces by Kelly Rae Roberts and Lisa Kaus are good illustrations. Type is used in unusual and varied styles often looking like a snippet of typewriter type. Kelly and Lisa were among the artists that first developed this style around 5 or 6 years ago.By now I’m sure if you have been looking you’ve seen lots of other artists now doing this look. I remember seeing this style and the artists who did it for the first time in the Demdaco Showroom in Atlanta. Then it was new. Now there are many artists doing this look. It caught on and became popular. With artists and with the public

Kelly Rae Roberts collage style

Kelly Rae Roberts collage style

Lisa Kaus collage inspirational style

Lisa Kaus collage inspirational style

Some Themes that come to mind as always popular.

Coastal. I think that we saw a lot more than in past years.

Birds, florals and patterns. (I read in Gifts and Dec Accessories that florals are trending again this year in home decor.

Wine and grapes

Traditional Holiday

Other ways to follow trends:

Check the Pantone color reports for the current year. This is the palette I saw a lot of at the show. And it should be showing up more as Spring is being show in stores.

Pantone colors Spring 2015

Pantone colors Spring 2015

“About the PANTONE Color of the Year
The Color of the Year selection requires careful consideration and, to arrive at the selection, Pantone combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the fashion and entertainment industries – including films that are in production, the world of art, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, the availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention. “

This years color is marsala. It is the luscious rich red brown. Watch for it to start appearing all over!

I try to think of trends when I do my nature paintings. But don’t always incorporate them. If I am working on a collaged piece with Dennis then we are mindful of trends More decorative artists like Jennifer Brinley do use them in a lot of their designs.

Whether you choose to use these colors in your art or not it helps to be aware of them. Don’t feature colors that are out of date for that year.

 Some other ways that I follow trends are: Remember that,  The trends start in  fashion and apparel move to home decor rugs furniture and tabletop and then giftware. ) It can take a year or two for this moving along of the trends. It seems to me that they move from one market to the next faster now than say 5 years ago.

Trade Magazines. Especially Gift and Decorative Accessories

Watch QVC on TV to see what is trendy in fashion.

Visit local gift shops. Talk to the shop owner and see what they are considering hot trends.

Check some of the trendier stores on the internet: ex: West Elm, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Pier One

Go to other trade shows. There are so many around the country.

I  was going to make this a short post. Ha ha lol.

It is a cold night in the big apple and I smell Apple and Butternut squash soup from the kitchen.  Let me know about other trends you are spotting.

So I will end here. Stay warm and if you are in a warm place

enjoy it!

AndreaBrooksSignature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Atlanta Gift show, Owls, watercolor birds and wildlife

Daffodils for Maggie

Since I last wrote I had been spending a lot of time with Maggie our lovely 15 year old white tabby. She was dying of cancer and Dennis and I  knew that our time with us was limited.

I lavished her with love, play and attention whenever she wanted it. It was both a sad and a happy time.

Magnoia Rose

Magnoia Rose

Sadly almost three weeks ago she died from a very brief stroke. But she and I had almost two months to indulge in petting, loving, special foods and new games.

To back track, I had received an assignment form a client to do a watercolor for a  very large Daffodil flag. I was alone with the cats for four days while Dennis went to the Atlanta gift show. We usually go together but this time I stayed home with Maggie and Louisa and Buster.

I decided that I was painting these flowers for Maggie. That way I could be thinking about her while I painted and be offering these flowers as a tribute to how beautiful she has been in my life.

I did this sketch for the flag after looking at pictures of daffodils and made some decisions about colors.

pencil drawing for Daffodils

pencil drawing for Daffodils

My first go round was not great.  Then I tried another simpler approach

and liked these better. They were small (maybe 5″ tall) but simpler and I liked them.

small painted daffodil

small painted daffodil

Another small daffodil

Another small daffodil

I also did a swatch chart of all my yellows and then played with them to get used to how they mix, whether they were transparent or more opaque and how they layer.

Mixing is combining two colors while wet either on my palette or dropping a second color onto a wet layer of watercolor. Layering (also called glazing) is basically letting one color dry and then putting another layer of color over it. In all my years of painting I am embarrassed to admit that I had never really done this except spottily as needed. Always too impatient to get right to painting. I discovered how wonderful gamboge yellow is and also cadmium yellow light. They are both transparent and very versaitile. Gamboge has a more orange or peachy hue to the yellow and the cadmium yellow can go from very pale to bright.

Now I had been painting for almost three days and I sent the smaller daffodils to my art director. She liked them but needed to see everything painted injust like my sketch.

Finally round three I decided to paint the flowers really big and use my new # 16 brush. The small ones I used as studies at this point.

 And that was the perfect solution.   It was fun, and much easier I found than painting small. Also I could stay simpler with more ease.

These measured about 10 ” from stem to top petal. it also gave me a chance to stay loose and still do nice detailing in the ceter. Flower centers are truly amazing when you start focussing on them. That was what Georgia O’Keefe was about. Getting us to really see what was there.

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Yellow and orange watercolor daffodil

Yellow and orange watercolor daffodil

Yellow daffodil watercolor

Yellow daffodil watercolor

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After Dennis got back we sillouhetted the flowers and  I also painted some extra leaves. Then I sat with him as we arranged them according to my sketch.

Final flag design

Final flag design

I was tired but happy. Maggie was hanging in there and I had been successful. Painting yellow flowers had been one of the

hardest challenges for me and I had finally figured it out.

Maggie and Me

Maggie and Me

Our friend John took this photo about a week before Maggie left us. She looked like a ragamuffin but she was our ragamuffin and a totally loved cat.She was still enjoying life’s

feline pleasures including her new discovery. The joy of drinking water from the sink and tub faucets.

From now on I will always think of Maggie when I am painting flowers. And daffodils for sure will always be Maggie

k

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Filed under Atlanta Gift show, Cats, Daffodils, Flowers, Maggie, Trade shows, Uncategorized, Watercolor

Watercolor lesson 2 Spring flowers

It has been quite a while since I last posted. Sorry about this long absence. Too many things have been going on at once. Lots of time every day spent painting to complete designs by deadlines both self imposed and by clients. The other reason is that I have been devoting a lot of time to Maggie, our 15 year old cat, who has had serious health problems.

Maggie

Maggie

She now has a malignant growth and it means that her long wonderful life will most probably come to an end this month sometime. I am spending a lot of time just petting and talking to her and offering her treats and playing with her. She still has a sense of curiousity and play which is wonderful.. I want to make the most of this time with her. This is my apology for being so long absent.

I had painted spring flowers , tulips, poppies, gerbera daisies and daffodils to be used in a series of “spring bloom” designs. I now take photos as I paint so that I can see how the colors and values are going to show up on the computer and so I have a record both to share and to help me remember the process of painting.

Here is an almost finished painting of two Gerbera daisies. I ended up overdoing the end of the painting process, making the actual finished painting unusable.

But because I had taken a photo at an earlier stage I can use the flowers for a design. I just need to finish the center of the red daisy and brighten up the yellow, which can be done in photoshop.. I’m not happy with the leaves and will probably redo them.

Gerbera Daisies watercolor

Gerbera Daisies watercolor

Same goes for the leaves on the Red and White daisy. I would like them to be a bit more realistic to go with the style of the flower.

Red and White Gerbera daisy

Red and White Gerbera daisy

One of the things I am really focusing on is learning the difference between the more opaque and the transparent pigments and how and when  to use them. I am finding that this makes a big difference. I find it better if I work with the transparent colors first and then add the final details in an opaque. Transparent colors let light pass through and have a lovely glow when you layer them.

Next I worked on a red poppy. You will notice that I am using a watercolor style for these spring flowers that is not as loose as some other paintings. I wanted these flowers to be lush in color and fairly detailed in form. I start out loose and watery and then let the paint dry, rewet areas and continue to paint. This is just another way to approach watercolor. It is an extremely versatile medium and that is why it is always interesting and engaging.

 Here’s a close up to better see the watercolor. It is a bit blurry but I think it shows the loose style at this stage.

Start painting loosely

Start painting loosely

Now here is the finished poppy watercolor. Notice the details I added as well as the darks in an opaque crimson red. Again same goes for the leaves.

d I went on to finish the poppy.

Finished red poppy watercolor

Finished red poppy watercolor

One last spring flower  and the one that I worked on the longest and hardest, is the daffodil. I will show you that in the next post and how I got to the one I was happiest with and painted very large. I’ll also show you my chart of yellow swatches which I found very helpful in really knowing the personality of each yellow.

It is a sun filled and cooler morning today. Maggie and I had a long cuddle and she ate well.

Thanks for being patient and hanging in there with me.

Let me know if you are finding these watercolor lessons interesting. Your comments are always welcome.

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Sunrise Roosters the completed designs

In my last post I showed you  how I went about painting a colorful Bantam rooster. Now I can show you the final designs.

Why did we choose a square format?

Because initially we were thinking about square dessert plates; or paper tableware, or wall placques and graphics.

As we get interest from manufacturers of other products  we can reformat the designs to work on their products.

Initially it helps to have one or two products in mind. That gives a focus for you to work with when creating.

Voilà here are the four Sunrise Roosters.

Sunrise  Rooster Bantam

Sunrise
Bantam

Bantam is a very colorful Bantam Rooster

Morningside Rooster

Morningside Rooster

The Morningside Rooster is a Wyandote.

The Dorky Rooster

Peck’s Rooster

Peck’s Rooster is a Dorky.

Sunny Day Rooster

Sunny Day Rooster

Sunny Day is a Black and White Bantam.

In addition to dessert plates we can see these as a set of wall graphics; trivets and coasters. As time goes by and we get feedback from our clients I am sure that we will be able to envision the Sunrise collection as numerous other products.

Our fabric client liked our roosters and asked Dennis to do a repeat pattern using the background and stamps, but not the type. Dennis is the one who can do the repeats on the computer.  He worked closely with the design director at the company and together they came up with this final design for the repeat.

Sunrise Roosters repeat design for fabric

Sunrise Roosters repeat design for fabric

I could see this as a kitchen textile in dish towels, oven mits, potholders and apron.

Would love to hear what product ideas you have.

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Easter Sunday

Easter was not a religions holiday for us. We were a jewish family and Passover was our religious observance, but it was a kind of custom to celebrate Easter.

Easter morning when I was a child we always got a wonderful Easter egg .

On the outside it looked like a wonderful confection with flowers and icing. Inside was an easter scene. It was called a Spun sugar easter egg. You didn’t eat the egg but kept it for as long as you could!

Spun Sugar Easter Egg

Spun Sugar Easter Egg

My sister Pat and I always got a new Easter hat. I know I have a photo of us on the Atlantic city boardwalk wearing our new easter hats and Spring toppers but I just can’t find it. This pink bonnet is very much like what we wore.

My bonnet was like this one

My bonnet was like this one

And we always got easter baskets. Marshmallow chicks still around called Peeps. Candy eggs filled with a cream, lots of chocolate bunnies and eggs and more.

easter candy

easter candy

I could go on, …………..

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

But mainly I wanted to wish you all a very happy Easter and Spring.

Easter was

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Watercolor lesson: Painting a Colorful Bantam Rooster

Sorry for the long silence. I haven’t posted in over a month. This wasn’t my intention. I got all involved in painting roosters for a new project.

But I am crowing again!

Consider this post a watercolor lesson as I show you step by step how I painted this very colorful rooster. I used my chinese brushes , my favorite 1/4 inch scrubber (my name), a few smaller brushes (see photo) and a new favorite brush that is squared off but also rounded (the black and tan handle)

It has a wonderful rich feeling, thicker than most flats with a rounded edge.

my favorite brushes at the moment

Some of my favorite brushes

Once I found my reference (after looking at many photos) I  did my drawing and was ready to begin the really fun part, the painting.; But first I found a diagram of the feather groupings which are very complicated in roosters. This was extremely helpful.Once I studied them I could go to town and just have fun.

Feather Diagram

Feather Diagram

I found a wonderfully colorful Bantam photo.I named him Chuck just to keep it personal.

A prize Bantam photo

Firs I laid down loose washes for some of the major feathers. I would love to see a rooster preening and curious as to how long it takes to do a good washing. LOL no pun intended!

 Washes

Washes

I added the head and some feather details and the lucious dark brown body feathers.

Details and delicious darks

Details and delicious darks

Took this stage a little further with more feather details and added some pastel. It was so much more fun to use the pastels with the watercolors. I can’t wait to add more mixed media to my painting.

Finessing

Finessing

Then for the finishing touches.

Voila

Voila

Rooster Palette

Rooster Palette

My palettes always have this look I call it messy. But that’s the way they always end up. Everyone has a different looking palette. It’s kind of like a thumb print!

I always have great company while I am painting. Louisa May is truly a painter’s Cat.

Painter's cat

Painter’s cat

The 4 rooster paintings (finalists) and the designs that Dennis and I came up with are now complete. My next post which is coming on the heels of this one (or the spurs!) will be out very soon.

And I have earned another feather in my cap!

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Filed under Amia, Bantam rooster, Birds, Evergreen, Manufacturers, Nature, roosters, Uncategorized, Watercolor, wildlife and birds

Happy Valentines

What nicer way to say thank you to our readers and followers than to send a special wish today.

You are very much appreciated and here is a special valentines for you:

A valentines for you

A valentines for you

 And a flowery botanical .

Flowery botanical

Flowery botanical

And Amore Italian style.

Amore Italian

Amore Italian

From me to you

From me to you

Have a wonderful valentines!

 

 

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