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.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In class yesterday I finished the caramel apples paintings. The first painting is one using Sandy Maudlin's technique of taping each value and then painting. You end up with a painting covered with masking tape at the end - then you peel it all off and you have your painting (if you got your values right along the way. I'm not crazy about this - but I can see the attraction of the textures it creates when the paint seeps under the masking tape.

Because I wasn't happy with the taped painting, I did another one in tradition watercolor glazing. I don't have the patience to glaze more than 3 layers before I just start adding color so here is what I have on this one:

I like it better and think it looks more like the original photo taken by my husband, Jerry. This was taken in a candy shop in St. Augustine, Florida this year.
Doesn't it make your mouth water? :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

I have watercolor class this morning with my fantastic teacher, Sandy Maudlin. She just won the Ohio Watercolor Society top award for her painting of a Tibetan alleyway - check it out at to see what I mean :)

In class I'll be finishing up some things I've been working on, including Geisha No. 5 - Red Umbrella. Here are the stages of the painting. It is on watercolor paper that has been gessoed with gold gesso before painting on it so the whites are gouache and the rest is pure watercolor laid on fairly thick. I think she's done but will get one more critique from my teacher and the other students before sealing the painting (you have to do this to watercolor on gessoed paper or any moisture will make the paint run).
(Well, in class it was pointed out to me - thanks Carl and Sandy - that her hands were very tiny compared to her head. Carl is also a sculptor so he should know :) So a little more work to make them look a bit better and then it should be finished and ready to spray with Krylon matte finish fixative.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006 - Immortal Geishas

I and a Canadian friend created a group a few year's ago in which we exchange/swap watercolor paintings every 3-4 months between the membership. This is my painting for my partner this time. It's the first time I've tried an Asian-influenced painting and it's not an original composition but something based on a painting I saw that was a Chinese painting from centuries ago. I've always intended to study Chinese brush painting but never had the discipline to practice the strokes :(

I think I've caught the Asian bug since I've been doing a series of geisha and studying the life of geisha from various books available. If you are interested in learning the reality of the life, check out for tips on makeup, lifestyle, training, and what a geisha actually is (she is NOT a prostitute).

Here are some paintings I've done in the series so far. These are all 1/4 sheet (11 x 15 inches) watercolor paintings.

I am working on several more using different techniques.