How many times can I paint the same picture.......well.....that depends. Sometimes on how many people want an original of a particular painting!
4 years ago, I painted the popular Black Bridge just outside of Hespeler. It sold immediately, and someone standing nearby said they'd like one too! So I painted it again.....and then someone else.....then someone wondered about a fall one....and a winter one......I think that I painted it 9 times that summer! I was telling a friend about it, and he said you need to get prints! So that's why...and when I started having some of my paintings photographed and printed in giclee prints by Pirak Studios in Kitchener. Jan does a great job and I appreciate his quick service!
Each one is a little different, although I used the same photo reference for each one.
I've done several of my interpretation of the Chantry Island lighthouse at Southampton. The trees are not correct to reality....but I wanted to have the horizon in the water showing on this small piece. This is a very popular subject for my 2 hr workshops.
Those are just a few of the 'multiple' originals that I've done. If someone asks me to repaint one of my previous paintings, I'm usually glad to do it! Because it will STILL be an original...and I know it will be slightly different than the first one.
I think that my watercolours generally fit in to a particular style.....probably even recognizable to those who know my work. I favour the more 'realistic' look, often with quite a lot of detail, especially in my buildings.
These past couple of weeks, I've finally been able to get painting some. I'm in the process of doing a lot of drawings.....that often takes a lot of time for the detailed pictures. If I have a bunch that I want to do, I like to have them ready to go....as I seem to have a habit of procrastinating the 'start' of a painting.....Just get the paint on the paper Debbie!!! But in the midst of the drawing, I've done a few that I've been chuckling at when I see them all together. They are all so different!
So maybe you don't think that they are that different.
But it doesn't matter if they are!
It's good to try different styles of painting. Gets you out of your comfort zone....and maybe it will even be fun...and you'll discover a 'new' you!
Well, isn't that the question....there's not really much new! For those of us staying home, our days go on and on....repeating...repeating...repeating. Who knows what day it is? Have I got lots of painting done? Ha ha ha. No.
But I do have some things going on.
Do you see that blue arm object that looks like a lamp to the right of the TV? It's a HUE Intuition Camera for teaching or recording. I used it in February & early March in workshops and it worked great. It really helped the students see what I was painting.
And now, I have started using it to record lessons/exercises. Since classes have had to be postponed, I've made a few little exercises to send out to them, to give them some new work to try on their own. It's kind of fun.....especially when I remembered to click 'record' (ha ha...I didn't find out until the end of the half hour....had to start it all over again!). The video this week just talked about the colours on my palette.
Next stop......You Tube or Teachable........but not quite yet! (no time ....ha ha)
I paint in a somewhat realistic style. It's what I like. It's what I'm comfortable with. It's the type of art that appeals to me the most when I see other artist's work. I paint from photographs.....mostly all that I have taken myself. A watercolour teacher that I had several years ago was very strong on that point. Nothing to do with copyright etc, but she felt that if you take the picture, you know the place....you know the feel....you know what's just outside of the picture....you probably remember the day...and the weather. And it's way more comfortable to me than even thinking about painting outside.....in the sun...with the bugs....nope. Not going there.
A few weeks ago, I was looking through my photo reference box and recognized some of the photos that I had painted several years ago. Since I also have photos of all my artwork, I was able to match them up. It was interesting to see the ones that I painted closely to the photo (some argue that is not painting, just copying....I don't agree, but I'm not going there right now ;) ).....and the ones that I change. I do often change the seasons, especially in house portrait commissions.
So these are just a few samples of the Before...and ....After. Sometimes my paintings look like my reference....and sometimes they don't. I never know where I'll find inspiration.....or how I'll end up using it. I just know that there is no shortage of it!
It's been almost a year since I started teaching Beginner Watercolour classes! What a fun and challenging direction this has taken me. I am enjoying it and I hope that my students have been enjoying it too!
The next 4 week session begins in the middle of March. I take the students through very basic techniques each week. We do not paint a picture, just exercises. After Class 1 & 2 are completed, the students progress to Level 3 which is also open to anyone with painting experience. Here we will be working together on the same painting over 1 or 2 weeks.
Each unit is 4 weeks long, so it's easier to fit into your busy schedule. The class size varies from 1-6 students, so we have more time for individual guidance.
To register, please click below, or visit
Well January has certainly been a fast month! I had great plans, remember.......so how did I do?
....I did get the bookkeeping done, including inventory. Decided to have a MIDWINTER SALE....30% off!.....I have a LOT of cards and prints and I'll be adding more this spring. What a great deal. Sale is on until the middle of February.
....I did get the storage/organization done. I love my new IKEA Alex drawer unit
.....I did get the classroom organized......that same trip to IKEA came up with new tables giving each student more room. It will be a lot better!
.....I did a commission piece
.....I did other bookkeeping commitments
.....I got ready for 5 workshops coming up in February
.....I got lesson plans re-organized for classes starting again in February
.....but that's all.
No, I did not get time to paint :( Oh well, it's a new month soon!
The Debbie Ellis Watercolours crew at work in 2019!
As we always seem to say, I can't believe how fast this year has gone by. I'm not sure why that is, and I thought that it was just something that you felt as you got older. But when I talk to young people, they comment on it too.
So what does my 2019 look like in retrospect. It has been a very good year. Thank you for all the support this past year. It's been very nice meeting so many new people and chatting with them. And I certainly appreciate the many people who have added to their 'Debbie Ellis Watercolours' collection.
As I eased into full-time retirement from bookkeeping, it seems that my art world increased in busy-ness. Go figure. Isn't that always the way. I thought that I would be able to 'paint every day'. Not happening! ( I will add here though that we did spend 6 wonderful weeks on Vancouver Island in Jan/Feb and I did 29 new paintings...yes I painted almost every day on my 'holiday')
The business side of Debbie Ellis Watercolours takes a lot of time and energy and I'm loving it. Between setting up this website....ongoing Facebook posts....starting & posting on Instagram....planning & teaching workshops....planning and starting to teach beginner lessons.....increasing the scale of my Etsy shop and linking all 200+ items to my website.....taking part in 17 shows/craft events which included 15 Fridays at the Hespeler Village Market and 4 days at the Cambridge Christmas Market......commissions.....arranging for & upkeep of my work at The Old Marina Restaurant(Puslinch Lake), Mosborough Market, Olde Bridge Place(West Montrose), and The Revive Studio in Cambridge....keeping updated inventory of prints and cards......planning & getting new stock of prints and cards......answering queries through Facebook, my Website and Etsy (did you know that a lot of my Etsy sales are actually to the US?)....overseeing the matting (thanks to my husband Dennis) and packaging of originals and prints.....and much more.....it's actually hard to find time to paint!
So now it's time to take a pause for the next month......I thought.....but I know me...It won't happen. I've already got a list as long as my arm of things to work on (updating Etsy shop/organizing storage/re-organizing the classroom area/work on SEO for website & Etsy shop/doing some year end bookkeeping)....
.....and still I hope to paint!
Do you have someone on your Christmas list that may be hard to buy for? Or perhaps you're looking for a very special gift....a one-of-a-kind gift. Here's a great idea.
Gift Certificates or E-Gift Cards are available for all Debbie Ellis Watercolours items:
- original art
- giclee prints
- watercolour classes
You can choose your own $ amount and the recipient can make their own choice of art, prints, cards etc
You can choose a class or workshop which is a specific $ amount (plus hst)
You can choose a commission (see commissions page for info) and pay for the size of your choice (plus hst)
....time for Christmas markets and more!
It's a busy time around our house.....every weekend since Oct 19 we've been at a craft market/show. I enjoy these shows, as I get to share my artwork with so many new people. It's heartwarming to hear their comments, and to listen to the memories that some of my work evokes.
And.....it's time for some new artwork...and cards of course. This fall, I focused on painting some more of the 'other' parts of Cambridge....not just Hespeler which I am most involved with.
I wanted to paint something that was winter/Christmas related to each separate area of Cambridge. Skating on the millpond of the Speed River was my choice for Hespeler.
"Game On at the MillPond" is matted for a 16x20 frame. It is also available in giclee prints and cards. (thanks to Paul Langan for his photo reference.
It is bringing back so many memories for people that see it....and also people who skate on it now!
For my Galt selection, I had to choose the view of the Grand River from Mill Race Park overlooking the steeples at Queen's Square. A silent twilight with softly falling snow was my setting.
For Preston, I chose the setting of Central Park, where "Candyland" is part of the Christmas in Cambridge festivities. I wanted a quiet look at the park, not the busyness of the actual activities of Candyland
Christmas in Cambridge.....it's going to be busy around here for a few more weeks that's for sure! And my market season ends with "Christmas in Cambridge Market" from Dec 12-15th at City Hall. Please drop in and say hi!
We've been very busy this last couple of weeks getting new stock of Originals, Prints and Cards ready for the Christmas Craft/Vendor Sales. I was noticing, when I got to this painting, how amazing the giclee prints are that I get from Pirak Studios in Kitchener. As I mentioned a couple of months ago, these giclee prints are printed on cold-pressed paper with archival inks. Because of the quality of the printing, along with the fact that the texture of the paper is so similar to the cold pressed paper I paint on, I sometimes have trouble telling which one is the original and which one is the print!
I have over 85 different prints available in 2 popular sizes. Other sizes can be ordered with quick delivery. I'd love to see you at one of the upcoming shows and show you the comparison. And you can have a look at my new paintings and prints!.
Have a look at these two. Can YOU tell the difference?