Sunday, December 31, 2006

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year's Day 2007

So far this winter, we've had very mild and warm weather with some rain. But January always has a few surprises up her sleeves so we'll see...

And speaking of about an elephant to ring in the new year's day? I started this one on masa paper (photo by Jerry on the left taken at the zoo). More to come later as this one takes shape. I'm hoping the wrinkles in the masa paper work well with the skin of the elephant and I won't leave that eye blue - don't you just love the "freckles"?

Sunday, December 31, 2006

After a good nap, the Tired Tiara Girls will be ready to ring in the New Year!
(This is me and my oldest granddaughter, Jocelyn, in a rare quiet moment after some hard playtime :)

So the last day of 2006 is here. Time for reflection; time to think about the past and our accomplishments so far; and time to think about the future and our goals for the coming year.

Here's hoping 2007 will be a more prosperous and more peaceful year for us all.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reworked the masa paper painting I started many days ago. Finishing up things for the end of the year :) Added some more darks and cropped off more of the right side and added more white to the snow with some shadowing.

I also finished the Winslow Homer copy I was working on for the group project - don't like the foliage at all and got Phthalo Blue on the left edge of the painting so had to crop more than I intended (I'm doing color swatches and Phthalo Blue seems to get everywhere when I use it - good thing I don't work in acrylics).

Friday, December 29, 2006

Finished the All Media Drawing Event painting - not great but it's done. The hotpress paper really dries quickly and you can't work with the paint and water very long so I did this in a more illustrative way with pen and ink after I painted it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Went to the Cincinnati Zoo today to see some animals. Due to the colder weather, no black bears or gorillas but some other neat critters Jerry photographed.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Well, I chose a photo from the WetCanvas WDE and began. After the 2 hour limit, this is all I had finished. As you can see, it needs more work and I'll get it finished but it's so late I won't be posting it to WetCanvas
for the All Media Drawing Event.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

WetCanvas is having a their weekend All Media Drawing Event at their site starting tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 22). If you want to join in, go to and check the All Media Drawing Event. If you've never done it, it's great fun and you get 16 photos to choose from, pick one or more, do a painting or drawing in 2 hours or less and post the results. All of the folks are very friendly and it's a good place to feel comfortable and enjoy. If you do it, tell Li (the hostess this weekend) Rhonda says, "HI!"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Still on break from my watercolor class so more time to paint at home...but wrapping gifts and putting out the tree and doing those things seems to be taking time.

However, I did restart the Winslow Homer copy that was given as a December project in the SeriousWatercolor group. So far, only 1 person has done it so I thought I'd help her not feel like the Lone Ranger :) This needs work and more darks and foliage but it's better than my first effort.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Just wanted to say thank you to Deb, Shanti and Michelle, for their comments on several paintings I've posted. I appreciate the feedback and do read all comments. Everything and every group I'm in is slowing down. I find myself painting less and looking at art more, including everyone's blogs and webpages, which is so much fun to see how creative others are.

I actually began the Winslow copy of Over the Stile yesterday but it is really bad - it either needs a lot more work or needs to be tossed in favor of a "do-over." If I get back to it today, I will share. But in the meantime, how about some more photos from Jerry :)

These were all taken at the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights. He was trying to abstract each of the elements, I think. Can you tell what each photo is?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No painting today. The weather was too nice to be inside and I'm in a slump, somewhat. So you get to see some pics my Jerry took at the Krohn Conservatory on our last trip there.
This is chocolate in the raw - yep, those pods are where our chocolate comes from - and a fragile little orchid that looks like a dancer with a large feather headdress :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Worked on a painting from a photo sent to me as a challenge :) and did it on masa paper (waxed back, sized top).
Take the masa paper, put it under water and crinkle it so you get lots of hard lines. Squeeze it several times and then take it out, squeeze it to get the water out and then spread the paper out on a hard board for painting. Then begin painting - the paint lays in the lines and creates great texture. A hake brush or an Asian artist's brush works well with this technique.
What I don't like about it: it's square and I don't care for what I did with the composition cutting the water into a fork at the end. May work on this some more to make it more pleasing and will definitely crop it so it's not so squared.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

No class today as my watercolor teacher was sick - so finally got off my behind and worked on this painting that is irritating me. I took Pro-White (an opaque watercolor) and tinted it in the colors I wanted and then used that over the whole painting. So this is a very matte, very opaque painting now but the grid lines are gone and I like it better. But still work to do to add some sizzle and something more and allow your eyes to move around the painting - not go dead center and stay there. So...more to come when I figure it out. Naming this Agave Blues was a sure sign this thing will give me the blues before I get it right (see how I cropped off the bottom and some of the top to ease those exit lines?). Now I think it needs some orange-red bits to move the eye around the plant instead of the dull green and brown - and with the opaque, you can change it any way you want - this must be what working with gouache is like.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday, November 10, 2006

This is a painting I mailed to a SWAP group member for our current painting exchange. Now that it's arrived, I can show it as it's one of my favorites. I gessoed watercolor paper and then painted on that. Tried to catch that misty/foggy look of the Oregon coastline.

My husband and I took a trip there a couple of year's ago and I loved that coastline and the whole area, even the Hood River Valley area with the orchards and I want to return there someday when the orchards are in bloom in the spring.

Now this next painting I probably shouldn't even show but it's all I've been working on lately - guess after all those holiday cards, I'm in a slump! This is on a "back side" of the all media artboard and you can get smoother washes. I laid a grid down (like the ones used by my artist and critique friend, Ron Ray) and then drew this with colored pencil and then emphasized the grid even more. I intended to lay down a different color or value in each "section" but seem to have lost track of that intention (sometimes that happens). Here's what I have so far - may be a round bin painting...
It's from a photo by my artist friend, Carol Holt (a.k.a. Dabs) and I may just start over on regular watercolor paper with this one as there are some things I like about it.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Monday, December 4, 2006

In watercolor class today, I used an All Media Art Board to paint this white bird of paradise (from a photo by Carol Holt aka Dabs). I like the granulation you get but you really can't get a clean wash without the granulation because the board resists the paint all the way. You can paint thickly on it, but why would you want to? I may try the "back side" for another painting because my watercolor teacher said it's easier to accept the paint on the back side - it's smoother. You can buy a pack of these (5) at Cheap Joe's ( .
In case you're wondering where the Winslow Homer pastiche/copy is, well I am procrastinating on that one and got some good critique and composition advice from my friend, Ron Ray, so will rework the drawing and rethink this a bit before putting paint to paper.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Working on a pastiche (copy) of a Winslow Homer painting called Over the Stile. It looks simple - but it isn't. Interesting use of washes and drybrush techniques as well as maintaining the whites in the highlight areas. I've done a sketch to help me see this painting better before starting on it - then will paint it today.

The last one I did was a pastiche of a Georgia O'Keeffe painting called Three Shells. I liked the way it turned out even though this original painting wasn't in watercolor but in her usual acrylics, I think. (See Thursday, November 16 posting for that and the original).
I've been to the O'Keeffe museum in New Mexico but hadn't seen this one before although she had many paintings from small watercolors to large acrylics and photos taken of her on the walls. Well worth a visit if you're ever in Santa Fe, NM.

Here are some photos Jerry took at the Balluminaria - hot air balloons tethered around Mirror Lake at Eden Park in Cincinnati. Very pretty - the first one is my favorite because it shows the pink sky as the sun was setting...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Friday, December 1, 2006

The first day of December and we are supposed to have snow after being in the 60F temps for the past 2-3 days. Strange weather. Windy and cold and rain but no snow today - seems to have passed us by while hitting other areas of the US pretty hard.

I did finish the lovebirds - this is it - finished, done, finale!! Hope it is well received.

Also, I did a few small things...

A cardinal on yupo (it's a plastic "paper" first used in the printing business). A pomegranate and a persimmon (had to paint them before they ruined, it had been almost a week since I had to have them for painting and still hadn't used them for anything).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thought I'd finished the peach-faced lovebirds but my watercolor teacher said the bg needed a glaze to make it look less spotchy. She's right - so did that and now I think it's done. But now I don't like that blue area that doesn't repeat on the right side - will need to do something about that so it doesn't look strange - because now it looks strange :(

Also, I darked the poinsettia I did on the gold gessoed masa paper. It really doesn't show as nicely as it looks in real life, but you can see the crinkle look of the masa.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

Worked on more cards in class today. Got the pinecone done quickly (it's on gold gessoed paper), then struggled with one that never worked out, and the poinsettia was done quickly (on masa paper that was gold gessoed and painted).

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Jerry went to sit the Evergreen Show - his TriState Photography Society has a show at the Evergeen Retirement Center on Galbraith Road in Cincinnati. Tomorrow is the last day to see all the great photos!

I'm watching dvds from Taylor Bush on her portrait techniques :) She's awesome!! If you want to look up her site, check and you'll find her.

Went to the annual Balluminaria event at Mirror Lake in Eden Park tonight. Ten hot air balloons were tethered around the lake and lit up for great reflections and, hopefully, great photos taken by Jerry. When he downloads some, I'll share...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

Survived Thanksgiving Day with the relatives (it was actually very nice). Mom cooked up a feast, as usual, and there was plenty to eat as always. We had the usual suspects = 13 people in the small house.

Now, time to get back to painting....

Finished Taylor's lovebirds painting - hope she likes it!!

Also finished a hollyhock painting I did from one of Jerry's photos.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who are celebrating today with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I think this worked - the hands are no longer "man hands" but more delicate and thin and long - but that's much better than they were, yes? I think I'm happy with it now and can call it finished.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

In my watercolor class today, we were to paint something in "opposite colors." For example, Sandy, my teacher, did a redbird in front of green pine boughs but did the bird in greens and the boughs in reds. Shocking!! I chose this little guy, who is a potto (I believe he's from Australia). Taken at the Cincinnati Zoo by my husband, Jerry.

I believe I may have chosen this one so I could paint him in blues! The lesson was to get the values right, no matter what the color, and to work with getting blossoms to make some neat texture and interest.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Worked on Geisha 5 - Red Umbrella. The hands were too small. Now I think they are too big. I had to put gold gesso back on to cover the pencil marks that wouldn't come off the gold when I changed the position and size - grrrr. Oh, well. I will get it right - someday - I hope.

She reminds me of the Jerry Seinfield episode where his date had "man hands."

Will let this one sit a few days and look at it and work on it again. I knew this wasn't going to be an easy painting to do, but didn't think I'd have so many revisions - this must be how oil and acrylic painters feel...

While letting this one sit, I've begun a painting commissioned by another artist, Taylor Bush. This will be the 4th time I've painted this one and it's from a photograph taken from another watercolor artist friend, Carol Holt a.k.a. Dabs. These were her two peach-faced lovebirds before she moved to the Great North of Alaska, and the first painting was a gift to her. The second painting my Mom has - a birthday present to her; and the third painting Taylor purchased at a show I was in Spring 2006. It would make sense to have prints made of these guys since they are so popular!

Stage 1:

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

One online watercolor group to which I belong has donated their artwork to the Manresa Animal Support Center and Shelter in Manresa, Spain. The calendar is available to purchase from Cafe Press. Thanks so much to our friend and fellow artist, Sigrid Stadelhofer, who collated the paintings and created the calendar. There are many items as well as 2 different types of calendars and proceeds go to the Manresa Shelter :) Check it out at My big tuxedo cat, Smudge, is Mr. July - so he will really be insufferable now!

Donna Elio, an artist friend, and I decided to study some of the watercolor "masters" from the past as a way to learn how the best of the best did it. We began with Childe Hassam, did a lighter one by John Singer Sargent, and then went to Trevor Chamberlain and Georgia O'Keeffe. Here are the paintings I did and the photos of the original paintings used as reference. I had the hardest time with the Hassam - could not get it right no matter how many times I tried. But I was surprised at how much I saw when studying that painting that I didn't see at all when I just "looked" at it.