Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday, Apr. 27, 2007 - Gator Study Done

Finished the Gator Study painting (on Arches hotpress 140# using granulating colors - it's about 9" x 11"). I will use the textured look of this for the next 1/2 sheet version but still working on the original 1/2 sheet.

I hope you're not too bored and tired of these things. I may be bored and tired of them before I finish the next 1/2 sheet but I've been told that working "in a series" is a good thing for all artists to do - even if they hate it! haha

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday, Apr. 26, 2007 - Late Birthday Surprise

Well, look what I got in the mail - from Sandy Maudlin:

It's a card from artist Charlie Harper of a mama giraffe and baby (Sandy loves giraffes) and says I am now 1/4 of a year older! haha

I think I did a bad thing when I posted here that I didn't get anything for my birthday from Sandy in class - because since then she has given me a little foam roller (for use with Yupo paintings) and a little paint tray (which I actually used when painting the bathroom (yes, it has ONE COAT on the walls now! haha), and a Tombow pen (which is great for doing value studies). And then this arrived!

I'm not sure I want to be reminded that I'm now 50 1/4 years old :) but I love the card!

Sandy, if you're reading this, hon, you can stop now - you've more than made up for forgetting the birthday thing in January!! And now I need to check my older calendars and see when your next birthday is coming up...tick tock...tick tock...

Went out with Jenny today to celebrate her birthday (a week late but first time we 3 could get together on her day off). We went shoe-shopping and had a nice lunch out and I think she liked the portrait or she was just being nice :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2007 - Kennedy Heights Show

Went to see the Kennedy Heights Art Guild Show - Deb Ward, a wonderful local artist, is in it and I want to see what she's been up to (besides the casein work she's been doing which is gorgeous!).

And I was sooo lucky - normally, they are only open on Saturdays 10-4 but there were people there and I got in, walked around, looked at the artwork and even picked up a few cards (I am a sucker for art cards - can't resist - have so many I will never, even if I sent my best friends a card every week from now on - be able to use them all!). Bought 2 boxes of Deb's work - don't you just love the pinks in those shells and that peony??

And got a single card from an artist called Jo Whetstone (like that name, too). I think it was the yellow and purple that really caught my eye. You can see her work at

The show is quite good, featuring the work of the Kennedy Heights Art Guild. It was quite diversified with lots of watercolors, acrylics, oils, texture pieces, photography and sculpture and ceramic work! It continues through May so get by and see it if you can.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2007 - More Gators

Back to working on the gators - didn't get many comments in class yesterday but I'm going to continue with it because I want to see if I can pull it off. This is the study using granulating colors and I think I'm just about done - need to splatter a bit and add a bit more mix to the yellowish color to muddy that up a bit - now this is where mud comes in handy! haha

Didn't work on the 1/2 sheet today as I am having a bit of sinus headache/pressure problems. Awakened at 3 AM with enough pain to make me get up and take some meds - it's going to storm tonight and sometimes my head is a barometer.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Monday, Apr. 23, 2007 - Classwork Roses + Jenny Again

I missed class last week so that means I missed the beginning of the rose painting/demo by Sandy but since I had it traced out, I went ahead and started on it. I hated it - not sure why but I just don't like roses - and had all one value so Sandy suggested I mock up a "fence" behind the roses. Taped off the lines, put down darks, and pulled up the tape to get the lighter ones. I don't hate it but I'll have to let it rest for a while before I decide what else it needs (it does still have the misket on it that needs to come off and be softened).

Worked on the portrait of Jenny on Clayboard Textured when I came home after a late lunch. It's as done as it's going to get - made some minor adjustments to the eye, the chin line, the bottom lip, the ear, the neck - and I could keep working on it but it isn't going to make it any better and will just muddy it more it is. I'll decide later (will see her Thursday) if I'm brave enough to give this to her - what if she hates it? Hmmmm....

Sunday, Apr. 22, 2007 - Jenny Revisions

Well, this looks more like her but there are still some things I need to do:
1) make the bottom lip less prominent,
2) lengthen the neck and round the chin a bit more and
3) clean up the ears - oh, and
4) give her eyelids!
So much to do with portraits, I can see why people do them in oils (you can rework and rework and rework them).

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday, Apr. 21, 2007 - Portrait of Jenny

My step-daughter turned 41 on Thursday but we don't get to celebrate with her until next Thursday at lunch. I thought I'd try to paint her from a photo I've had a while. This is on a Clayboard Textured block that is 5" x 7" in size. It works for watercolor and makes good textures that I like. You can lift off but not always back to white - but it's pretty easy to work with and this size works with portraits (glad I bought a pack of 3). This need a bit of tweaking to get it right - the nose, the dimple of the mouth, the shape of the iris/pupil, etc. I'll do more and show it again later.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday, Apr. 20, 2007 - Painting Gators

Back to painting gators today. First = 1/2 sheet transparent watercolors on Arches 140# coldpress paper
Second = granulating watercolors on Arches 140# hotpress paper (about 9" x 11" piece) to see how the hotpress and granulating colors will work for me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thursday, Apr. 19, 2007 - Fitton Run

Jerry and I had to go to Hamilton, OH to pick up the pieces that didn't get into the Fitton Show. I've got the geisha painting going in the Evergreen show next month so she won't sit at home for long (well, you know geisha's never sit at home for long :) The Fitton Show opens Sunday, April 29th from 3-5. It would be interesting to see what did get in and I think we got a sneak peek today because some of the paintings were on the wall downstairs - they were, um...nontraditional and interesting.

After leaving Fitton, we stopped at the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park (, a 265 acre park with large sculptures (54 in all) displayed along a route you can drive with little ponds interspersed between the hills and valleys. The rain had stopped so we got out and walked a bit, seeing the little Pioneer Spring and house (in stone) up close.

And then we stopped by Espresso2, a cafe/coffee shop in Anderson Township, where artists Tamara Scantland Adams and Susan Grogan were showing their work as well as photographer Mark Kahles. Beautiful things to feast the eyes upon while sipping the delicious coffee drinks offered there.

A full day so no painting done today.

Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2007 - Gators Started

Finally got around to starting the gators painting and already I don't like it - because I should have started with granulating colors and I think I should layer the colors more.

So I will work on the large (1/2 sheet) painting but also I'm doing a little study using granulating colors to see how they will turn out and which ones I want to use.

Here are some swatches of the granulating paints I intend to start with - I love granulating colors so have plenty of them.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday, Apr. 16, 2007 - No Class For Me Today

Had to go to the doctor's office today rather than class - didn't want to pass this stuff on to the whole class! So I missed the rose demo Sandy was doing :(

Here's a very old one I did based on her previous demo/sketch - on 300# coldpress which just sucks up the paint (I've not gotten used to the heavy paper yet).

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday, Apr. 15, 2007 - Come on, Spring!

No Sangha today because most of us are ill - I know I am. Going to break down and go to the doctor's tomorrow (if I can get in for my alloted "10 minutes only").

I'm tired of this flu. I'm tired of this weather. It's cold and windy and rainy and possible snow today and so many people have colds or the flu? And people are anxious and depressed over Tax Day coming tomorrow.
So time to change the mood...let's force Spring to take notice and join are some flowers - none of them are blooming at my house and they have all been killed off at the neighbors' but you can always paint them!! Even in the midst of a snowstorm. Flowers - bright, airy, warm, make-you-smile kind of flowers. Go and paint flowers - or look at flowers in books - or get somewhere you can actually see and touch and smell them. Make Spring take notice - we're here, we're ready, and we're gonna have Spring!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday, Apr. 14 - What Happened to Spring?

Cold, rain, wind, cold, rain and wind!
What happened to spring?

Thanks to the comments I got at WatercolorWorkshop, I added some green to the Little Seas No. 4 painting and darkened under the waves a bit. I also put some of the violet in the water that is in the sky - but it isn't scanning well to show it.

And this is a little card I did for a birthday get-together in June. I wanted it to be masculine. Watercolor and white, black and red grease pencils with a touch of irridescent medium (I was playing, I admit).

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday, Apr. 13, 2007 - Friday the 13th

An unlucky day? We got the letter saying neither of my 2 paintings nor Jerry's 2 photos got into the Fitton Center show this year. Jerry said to file it away under: Good work, bad judges.

If you love your work it will never seem like work. Only I can decide what is beautiful to me. Looking at the AWS show winners, I wonder how many of them I would want hanging in my home for the beauty of it. Some, yes, but not all. It seems we are taking a road towards more graphic work, more strong lines and strong darks in everything and always always abstracted bits and pieces that don't speak to me.

But to get on the bandwagon, stay tuned for my next work: I'm calling it "Cat Parts" and I've got the scissors to cut off pieces of Smudge's fur for a more tactile look to the work. I think it will be a big hit but Smudge looks worried...
and he's packing a suitcase...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday, Apr. 12, 2007 - 4 Year's Ago...

Four Year's Ago today I took my first watercolor lesson/class with Sandy Maudlin. Wow, the time sure flies when you're having fun - it doesn't seem like 4 years so far!

And the American Watercolor Society has listed their award winners for 2007. Take a look at

Click on the name of the artist and the painting will come up. Wanted you to enjoy some paintings since I'm still out of the running today with the flu...If you could paint the FLU what color would it be??

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2007 - Odds and Ends

I'm thinking about matting the BigWave painting like this, which makes a natural division of it - I like it and that mat slips right into a standard 16" x 20" frame.

I also worked a bit more on the little study of Cassie - I have a larger version sketched out but not started and this is the one I put the grease pencil on (which you can see is NOT good for eyes because it gave her a weird right eye - so to be used sparingly on the face). Sometimes you can click on the photo and it enlarges, and sometimes you can't (I'm not doing anything differently so I don't know why that happens). If you can click and enlarge, you can probably see the texture of the grease pencil on the blouse and flower, especially.

No more painting for a few days - fighting the flu...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2007 - Impermanence

Did this little painting called Impermanence and think I may do a larger one and call this a study.

I'm thinking about the impermanence of all things - of course, it's easier to see the impermanence of physical things so I thought about the tulips Jerry bought last week. They were buds and some blooms and bright and pretty. Now they have all bloomed out and petals have fallen to the ground and they are past their prime. And under the ground, the bulb that started it all.

I wanted to show all the stages coming from one bulb (I know it's botanically incorrect but I'm using my artistic license). So I may rework this one and do it larger - this is just about 4.5" x 7" wc paper.
And I've finally gotten my 15 minutes of fame! Check out this newspaper story written by Michele Melendez of Newhouse News Service:
Thanks, Michele, for a great article about the things we 50-somethings share in this interesting period of our lives.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Monday, Apr. 9, 2007 - Back to Watercolor Class

Returned to watercolor class after skipping last week to get the bathroom sanded, primed, and painted (well, it's almost done but now I'm rethinking the color - and this is why I should go ahead and do it while the mood strikes! haha)

Sandy did a demo today of a big ocean wave on Yupo. Yupo is a plastic "paper" used first in the printing business and now discovered by many watercolor artists, including George James and
Taylor Ikin

To get in the mood, I did a few small waves on wc paper this weekend. This little one was based on a picture in a small beginners book by Walter Foster called How to Draw and Paint Wave Action by Irene Lumgair (it's an oil painting booklet but it had some nice pics to use for reference).
In class we each worked on a piece of Yupo paper and used it to create our waves. This one I created came from a photo Jerry took off the beach in Palm Coast this past March.

There is something hypnotic about waves. The fact that they are constantly rolling, moving, and shifting makes me content to sit and watch them until I'm almost in a meditative state with no thinking. One's mind is like the waves, always rolling, moving, turning, splashing, and always changing.

When working on Yupo, the paint does odd things - it shifts and moves and some colors push other colors aside, creating interesting texture. Now, I didn't get my sky smoothe like Sandy did her sky - even though I rolled it and rolled it with a little roller like she did, I still got spreckles and things in the sky so had to let it do it's thing (you have to do that with Yupo at times rather than fight it).

Here's a pic of the painting with a larger section so you can see the texture you get on this paper. If you like what you have when you're finished, you need to spray seal it with a Krylon matte spray (or something similar). I really like this piece - hey! maybe I have 2-3 paintings, not just one?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday, Apr. 8, 2007 - Easter

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate today.

May peace fill your hearts
and may chocolate eggs fill your Easter baskets.

This beautiful little bunny was a spring card from my friend, China. She sent it years ago and I still keep it where I can see it every spring. The green paper is handmade and the little bunny is hand-drawn graphite with pretty silver lettering. Thank you, China, for a gift that renews itself every year.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Saturday, Apr. 7, 2007 - Birthday Card and Lilacs

I'm getting an early start on this little card for someone's birthday that's coming up this month.

Also, I'm working on doing lilacs for the WatercolorWorkshop project for April. I tried to make this easy on myself by sketching the thing, then splattering misket with a
toothbrush first (for the whites), then splattering a couple of
layers of paint. Then going in with a damp brush and smooshing the paint around in lilac bloom shapes.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Friday, Apr. 6, 2007 - Lama's Birthday!

I'd like to say a special Happy Re-Birthday to my Lama today.

Bowing to the Buddha Within...

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Thursday, Apr. 5, 2007 - China Markers

Have you ever used china markers/grease pencils in your artwork? They are oily so they work as a resist and I was just playing around with them (while the drywall mud dried in the bathroom today) drawing things in with them and then putting the watercolor on. You can see how it works in the blouse and the chair arm and the hair (a bit). I got 3 colors: crimson red/rouge cramoisi, white/blanc, and black/noir. The lips and flower were done with some of the red, too so there is a resist on them. I'm wondering how to best use these and just starting to use them and maybe figure them out. I wonder if you can dissolve them a bit with a turpentine wash or something similiar and how they'd look on Yupo paper...

I've seen Molly Brose use them over and over and her work is stunning - go to

to see her work which I love - each day she puts up something even better than the last day! She calls them grease pencils and makes some interesting textured pieces in her work. (I have the correct URL now - I left out a letter - you should be able to go to see her work now.)

Wednesday, Apr. 4, 2007 - GCWS

Today went to do my Recording Secretary job at the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Our guest artist/speaker was a well-known artist named Homer O. Hacker and he gave a demo using a live model for a portrait. It was a very interesting demo and it gives me hope for my future in watercolors to see that Mr. Hacker is 89 and he's still painting and teaching!! In fact, he has a show planned at the Middletown Art Center in November of this year.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Tuesday, Apr. 3 - Tahitian Blue Walls

Picked out the color for the walls. Want it to be a seaside theme since we already have pics and shells and other things that look like the beach in there. And this bottom piece is a photo encased in glass - the photo taken by Sandy Voegeli at the Bahamian Field Station when her husband was director there. They have since moved on but I have 2 photos like this that I can hang or use as coasters - both of the water there so it looks like what you see when you're snorkeling :)

The color swatch is called Tahitian Blue and it looks more seagreen to me but it works.

Of course, this job is taking longer since I didn't sand it smoothly enough for my husband and he wants to do some sanding before I prime the walls. I thought it was a small enough job to do it without renting a power sander - but I was wrong.
We may get this finished by Saturday...

Monday, April 2, 2007

Monday, Apr. 2, 2007 - Painting of Another Sort

No watercolor painting today or tomorrow - instead I'm going to be sanding, priming and painting the bathroom. It has needed a redo for a long time now. Have a sander borrowed from a friend that has a bucket of water enclosed with hoses and you hook it up to your vacuum cleaner and it, supposedly, keeps all that dust out of the air and into the bucket. We'll see how it works. It looks cumbersome when thinking about doing the higher walls and ceiling.