African Violets

I have been using watercolor paper as the background for this series of acrylic paintings.  The paper has a nicely smooth texture for the paint that makes slide onto the paper.  I can then build up lots of color as a glaze layers.

African Violets -  acrylic painting by Serena Fenton 8" x 10"
African Violets – acrylic painting; 8″ x 10″



Summer in the South is an almost tropical experience.  Everything grows and grows and grows.  I used to be completely lost in the colors of the flowers, but now I find myself becoming intrigued by the patterns of the foliage. This painting experiments with both.

Hollyhocks - acrylic painting 12" x 12" by Serena Fenton
Hollyhocks – acrylic painting 12″ x 12″


Continuing experiments with acrylic paints.  I have been using matte medium, since I don’t like the sheen and plastic-feel of acrylics.  I could use Acrylic gouache, but I am not wild about the lack of intensity of the colors in most acrylic gouache – and there is the cost.  Why is acrylic gouache so darned expensive???

Threesome - acrylic painting 18" x 24" by Serena Fenton
Threesome – acrylic painting 18″ x 24″

I Spy

Cats tend to assume that they are invisible, but if you look hard, you can still find them.  This painting is in acrylics.  I am intending to do some larger works on canvas and gouache just won’t work for that, so I am staring to learn to use acrylics.  Transparency is the biggest issue.  Gouache gives lush rich color.  Acrylics seem to take many many coats (and I am reportedly using the ‘good stuff’ – Golden artist quality).  There’s a learning curve, definitely.

I Spy - acrylic painting 8"x10" by Serena Fenton
I Spy – acrylic painting 8″x10″

Dense Foliage and Wildlife

Summer in the South means that everything is green and thriving.  I grew up on the desert, dodging tumbleweeds and squinting into the glare.  The richness and color of a Southern summer just amazes me.

Southern Summer - gouache painting by Serena Fenton
Southern Summer – gouache painting by Serena Fenton

Here’s Looking at You, Kid

Bluebird fantasy landscape.  This is what happens when you watch your bird feeders for too long..  The birds are no longer worried about me.  They just watch right back.

Looking at You - gouache painting by Serena Fenton
Looking at You – gouache painting, 4″x 4″

Charleston Groundcover

In the spring, it seems that everything in Charleston, South Carolina is in bloom.  The magnolia and jasmine make the air sultry sweet.  Color is bursting our everywhere.  This painting was inspired by a tiny patch of garden that was past its prime – there’s a tulip stem, but no flower.  Yet it was a splash of color.

Groundcover - gouache painting by Serena Fenton
Groundcover – gouache painting by Serena Fenton

Floral Arrangement

This was done a couple weeks ago and was one of my first experiments in using gouache on a toned drawing paper instead of white watercolor paper.  The smoothness of the page is great for gouache.  Since this was just after Mother’s Day (and I have a sweet family), a fanciful bouquet was the perfect painting inspiration.

The Arrangement - gouache painting by Serena Fenton
The Arrangement – gouache painting by Serena Fenton