Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to You...

Hop on over to Angela's blog and take a look at her latest creations - and wish her a Happy Birthday today :) I think her day started out a bit rough but I hope it changes all for the better later today.

No painting for me today - took the granddaughters to the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus today - their first one. Photos later, after I've had a nap :) ha ha

Friday, February 27, 2009

Am I Blue - putting in some darks

Now it's looking like a painting :)
The one white area will be a dark, too, when I add some more color.

Am I Blue? - a little bit more work

Rewetting each petal and dancing the color over the paper with the sable brush...still using just Cerulean, Ultramarine Violet (I was wrong earlier, saying it was Cobalt Violet), Rhodonite Genuine.

A mix of the same colors to get a nice dark + some Indanthrone Blue with a touch of Prussian Blue + Quinacridone Magenta. Will put this dark behind/around the petals to make them pop next. Still taking it slow...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Am I Blue? - next stage

I just love painting this way - prewetting the petals and then dropping in the color with a sable brush (I never used them before and now I love the feel- guess I'll have to get more than 2 of them).
This is just 1/4 sheet - almost wish I had made it bigger so you could just get lost in those colors :)
Thanks so much for everyone's comments on the health profession and for your ability to share your stories, too. As Red Green says, "We're all in this together."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Changed the Blogroll

I took off the titles and put on the pics of the paintings for the blogroll - sometimes a picture says a thousand words (did I just make that up or did I hear is somewhere?). So sometimes a picture will make you click and go on over to those blogs to check them out. I like it better this way.

P.S. I am feeling much better. But I'm hungry and trying to do anything to keep from digging into the candy drawer. That's right, I have a WHOLE DRAWER full of candy in my kitchen - must get rid of that - do cat's like candy? I have a cat that might like a bit of chocolate...just kidding, I know chocolate is toxic to cats and I would never do anything to hurt my widdle biddy old fat cat Smudge, no sir, no ma'am, not even if he DID do his business right on the carpet downstairs and NOT in the litterbox -, kitty kitty....

Migraines and Other Alarms

Certain foods set off a migraine. Also certain conditions - cold, which makes you tense up your neck and shoulder muscles; or stressful situations which cause the same muscles to tense. I know what caused my migraine yesterday. I've been getting them for 30 years so I know when one is coming on and I should have taken the meds that will stop them - but I was going for a checkup at the cardiologist's office and didn't want to take I just grinned and bore it (such a toughie! ha ha)

This is what a lovely, bright beach scene looks like when you are having a migraine. I did this quick sketch the last time I was in the Bahamas and got a migraine :( not fun. (Did I mention that bright, flashing lights also will bring on a migraine?)

NOTE: IF you DO NOT want to hear a RANT about the medical profession, just ignore the rest of this...
So...when I went to the cardiologist's office, I had been having a migraine for a couple of hours already. And I think her "nurse" took a bad blood pressure reading because it was high - so high for me that it was ridiculous. I would have taken another reading to compare. But no, we just went with that and all treatment options (including losing weight - she wants me to weigh 120 pounds - and going on a strict diet of low sodium because she doesn't want me having a stroke and she doesn't think I know the difference between having migraines and having severe headaches from high blood pressure - and buying a home monitor and taking my bp twice a day) based on one bp reading that was, more than likely, wrong.

Maybe I'm more questioning of results because my husband is a biologist and a scientist. He says, take your bp 3 times and get the average - it's more accurate that way. However, when you go to your doctor, they take your bp once and it doesn't matter if you have been angry that morning, tired and depressed, weak and feeling faint, or whether you just came from doing aerobics at the gym - that's what they put. And what is wrong with them when they take your weight and never tell you to remove your winter coat!!! or your shoes to get a more accurate weight? If you don't take them off, they just weigh you with them on.
So...taking my bp twice a day on a home monitor and guess what? The top number has never been higher than 129. Hmmmm....kind of validates my theory that the bp taken at the doc's was incorrect.

And here is what you look like the evening after battling an unmedicated migraine all day = not a pretty sight! Weepy, tired, achy, like you're getting over a case of the flu and having PMS all at the same time. Even your head hurts on the outside - tender and sore.
And I can't even soothe myself with chocolates (gotta lose those 20 pounds, remember?!?) Maybe I'll go paint a box of chocolates instead! ha ha

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Am I Blue?

I love old blues songs and new blues songs and the color blue in all its shades and hues :) For the colorfulwatercolor group we are doing 2 paintings of the same thing, trying to get a different emotional feeling/mood by the colors we use. This is my starting painting and I'm calling it: Am I Blue? I'm doing it the Birgit O'Connor way (just got a new DVD of hers) very wet-in-wet, petal by petal.

Of course, there's quite a bit of violet in there, too, but I'm doing this in a blue mood :) It's actually painted from a very closeup photo of a hydrangea Jerry took when we were around Vancouver Island last fall. But you don't have to know that - especially when I change the coloring!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The SWAP Painting I Sent

Now that my partner has received her painting from me, I can show it. It was something I did, trying to work on shadow shapes and this photo (from WetCanvas) had a good shadow shape that was intriguing. So it's a much darker painting than some of my other peppers - back when I was playing with peppers and whites.

My partner, BK, in Georgia, says she loves it. So that's always a good thing! And I just happened to have a nice mat that fit this one perfectly, so I sent it ready to pop into a frame. I don't cut my own mats so finding mats that fit the sizes I'm painting (because I always forget to paint in a standard size) is not easy. For our SWAP(SharingWithArtistPartners) group, we paint small - either 5" x 7" or 7" x 9" with a slight border so it fits in standard sized mats anyone can pick up.
I love the excitement everyone feels when the first paintings start to arrive and each SWAP we have members from so many countries, it's fun to get a painting and send a painting to - India, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil, the Philippines, etc. Then you can say you are an "internationally known artist." ha ha
I dreamed I was painting last night. But since I'm coming down with something, I may just have to dream about painting until I'm feeling like doing anything but lazing around on the sofa, reading and sipping hot drinks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My SWAP Painting from Vicki

I received my SWAP painting in the mail today. It came from Florida and was painted by Vicki.

It was beautifully double matted and wrapped and had a lot of bubble wrap around it for protection in the mail - and was in a mailing box to protect it. I am so glad it was protected this well because it is a jewel of a painting. So beautiful! So well painted! And it looks surprisingly like the painting Vicki had as her January give-away which I raved about?

Plus, I got a card from Vicki included that is a print of one of her paintings - I feel like I got 2 paintings!! Love this manatee painting - wonderful shapes and colors in the water :)

Better Color on the Swamp Gators

As Sandy pointed out, this photo was too turquoise and not true to life - not the color you see when you view it.

So I tried again, using different white balance settings, and then tweaked the color a bit in my photo program to get it as close as I can - it's still not right on but closer.

Flipped: To Burn Without Being Consumed

Well, Nick was the first one to say it looked better the other way. And when I took it to class and let the class decide, they agreed.

They also agreed it's done.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What I Did in Class...

Doesn't that title make you think of your kid (or you) bringing home those drawings you had to put on the refrigerator for months? Or those macaroni pictures (glued bits and different shapes of pastas on paper) you were presented with from vacation camp or bible school?

Well, this isn't that but it is what I worked on in watercolor class yesterday. And I'm quite proud of myself because I kept working and stepping away and working - even though my lower back was killing me :( Must return to the chiropractor...

My Valentine Gators turned into Swampy Gators and Sandy helped me get the hard edges away from the whites so they weren't so annoying. (When I wasn't liking where they were going, I took some watered down white gesso and, misketing over the gator bodies, I poured the gesso over everything else, letting it run and do it's thing.)

And I went back to work on the Pitcher Plants - this is on that beautiful piece of Twinrocker paper Sandy gave me as part of a Christmas present (it has the failed painting on the other side and this one is much better already - more rhythm, variety, and better composition).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sketches in the Moleskine

STOP (in the name of Love)

Let there be Change

Just some doodles and playing while watching TV or just sitting thinking...nothing deep or profound...
Using my newly discovered IDentipen permanent ink marker.

Shaker Village Still Life - next step

This takes time and patience. You go slowly, adding color a little at a time with almost completely dry pigment in your brush, lightly brushing over the paper. You have to be in the mood to work on it and I did a bit more. Of course, there is plenty more to do.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

To Burn Without Being Consumed - next step

This crescent board painting is so warped I may never do anything with it, but I'm enjoying the process so far. A bit more paint, a little more India Ink so far.

And there's a heart in this one, too - I left it where it appeared.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Valentine to Six More Bloggers

Well, I named and sent the "I x-o your art blog" award to Suzanne but didn't send another and I have 6 more to send out. What better day than Valentine's Day to do that.

I am sending the little award to:

Vicki of Garden of Weeden - and no, I'm not sending this so I'll win her giveaway this month (but it couldn't hurt, right? ha ha)

Angela, whose paintings are so light and airy and lovely.

Joan, who is living in one of my favorite places and is creating wonderful traditional and not-so-traditional but exception work in a variety of mediums.

Brent, who is a new favorite who paints scenes I'd love to paint of places I love.

Myrna, who is always coming up with something new and exciting. Besides that, she rocks!

Ok, one more - it's very hard to choose. I know some people don't do the award thing - don't want one and don't want to pass one on. I can understand that. It does take time and effort to choose and notify and get all the ducks in a row (and no, these artists I've chosen are NOT ducks - they are all beautiful watercolor swans or proud peacocks :)

Cathy G, of A Sketch in Time, a new favorite blog of mine. Her sketching and painting is wonderful and I love that she lives and works in South Africa. I picture her in the midst of all those warm colors, just soaking it up.

That's it. I hope I haven't duplicated anyone who has already received one. And if you don't want to participate, that's okay, too. Just wanted you to know that I xo your art blog!

All you have to do to pass on the award is 1) list 7 things you love and 2) send it on to 7 blogs you love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Best Valentines so Far...

Check out Margaret's blog and see her week full of Valentine's hearts - so cool!!! That woman is mucho creative! I can't pick a favorite because they all are perfect, as is the quotes she used with each one.

Will You Be My...

Valentine Gator?
Okay, these gators took a strange turn. They didn't want to be left out this Valentine's Day! Do you see the hearts that appeared (I didn't plan them that way, they just appeared on them.)
I still need to tuck them into the painting a bit more with some shadows and call them done.

Friday, February 13, 2009

February Moley Doodle

Well, I didn't think I'd do another of these but found myself doodling while watching TV the other night - forgot to post it so this is February 1st moley.

Cat-Eyed Queen..............................................................

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Poured and Painted

In class Tuesday, I did another pour (after removing and then reapplying misket - Sandy said my first pour of misket was too linear and hard-edged - the trick is to have really moving, organic shapes with the misket). I used Hansa Yellow Deep, Quinacridone Red, and Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) - all Daniel Smith pigments. Poured, waited for it to dry, and poured the next color. Awful pale so when I came home I poured again - same colors but bolder. Then I was thinking of burning...and started painting. I added India Ink to this, too.

To Burn Without Being Consumed

I also, while waiting for the colors in the first pour to dry, went back to the gators - with help from Sandy and others who talked about the values and how to leave whites and darks not all over but just in some areas (don't think I accomplished that yet - and am going to stop apologizing for not being where I want to be with my art - it's just where I am right now).
Doubt if I'll be painting today - have such a sinus headache and pressure (we had some wild winds come through and storms last night but we are safe and didn't lose power).
Plus, I have some cleaning to do, too.
So - maybe later I'll look at these again and work on them a bit more.
Today is my artist friend Joy's birthday - she lives in Australia too close to the massive fires in Victoria. I am hoping that her birthday present is a house and property that is still standing and family and friends that are safe. I think she has either evacuated or their power is out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From Bonnie + Linda

In class yesterday, Bonnie gave me one of her little ACEOs - a painting of coconuts because, when she was in the Bahamas recently at a workshop, she had a breakthrough - yes she did :)
Can't wait to see what she comes up with next. I really like the abstracted design of this and the bold colors.
Thank you, Bonnie (I know you said that, if you open a present in front of the giver then you don't have to send a thank you note - but I like thanking people for their generosity and I think we don't say thank you and mean it enough. I mean, for crying out loud, I thanked the nurse who gave me the IV Monday and it hurt! ha ha).
I also want to send out a thank you to Linda S., who gave me some photos she took on one of her recent trips to India. The photos were of the site of Buddha's first sermon where King Atosha had built a stupa to hold some relics of Lord Buddha. I'll keep them with my Buddhist books, I think. (I doubt that she reads this but maybe she will and since she says she hates sending thank you notes maybe she wouldn't care if I didn't thank her - but I would know, right?)
I think the moon or the planets are in an odd configuration - wind and thunderstorms coming (just heard a loud boom), and people seem to be at odds with each other today for some reason. It's okay, though, every day can't be rainbows and lollipops - how boring would that be?

In My Mailbox - from Suzanne!

I got a surprise present today from Suzanne McDermott - simply because I played her zany cat game (giving a caption to each zany cat sketch she did). Here is what I go - little jewels of her paintings as prints - and that's not all!

She also sent a cd of her own work - music and words!!! How cool is that??? The generosity of artists I have found on blogs has just been incredible! And because of this, I am giving Suzanne this little award today...

I definitely X O your art blog - for the art and for the friendship, too. And all you have to do is accept - no strings attached :) Unless you want to pass it on to someone.

I'm off to listen to your music now, Suzanne. And thank you so much - it is so appreciated today when I am having a "What did I do to deserve this?" kind of day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Little Award Passed On

This little award came to me through Gina Hall and her blog. She paints in watercolors and she does resin horses and airbrushes them with color. Her love for animals shows in her work. I don't remember how many doggies she has sharing her space with her...

I am supposed to accept, and then state 7 things I love. Easy, right?

I love - rich, creamy chocolate cream pie.

I love - my husband (should I be worried that this came to mind second and not first? - no, it is because I was just over to Deb's baking blog and her chocolate pudding made me want some!!!)

I love - my sister

I love - my painting friends - online and those In Real Life :)

I love the first signs of spring coming after a hard winter.

I love autumn colors and smells and sunshine through orange and red trees.

One more...

I love painting!!!

That should do it. Now I have to pass it on but will have to check to make sure I don't repeat the same ones Gina had...

Thanks, Gina. Glad you thought of me. And this was an easy one. No secrets or anything - just positive thoughts..

Monday, February 9, 2009

Muted Colors - Drybrush

A monthly project painting at WatercolorWorkshop is to paint a la Andrew Wyeth in just a sepia or a monotone. I had the perfect photo for this - taken at Shaker Village in Kentucky. Simple, interesting, and lots of textures.
And just to torture myself, I decided to try it all in drybrush. We'll see how long I can carry that on! ha ha
Started with a simple sketch...

and then slowly, slowly adding pigment. It's not really a monotone but very muted color that I think will work for the project challenge, too. What do you think? Have I bitten off more than I can chew?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blog Rolling...

Whenever I don't feel like painting or answering emails and just want to view something pretty, I go through my blogroll. Then I go through my favorites on my computer and see if I have some new ones there that I haven't been following. So many wonderful artists out there!!! So today while the snow and ice are melting and my painting is waiting for me to return, I have added some more artists to my blogroll. Some I know and are old friends - some are new that I have discovered from other artists' blogs. All are worth viewing.

I always wonder if someone I've always checked on stops posting for weeks at a time and hope they are just off somewhere enjoying life. But after a month or so, I do drop them from the roll (afterall, I have so many!!!)

Hope if you have time on your hands, you'll check out the people listed - I have watercolorists, acrylic and oil painters, photographers and even bakers!

Do I have too many? Should I limit it to a good dozen or a lucky thirteen and let the others go?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Florida Gator Color Studies - As Is

Here are the steps I went through with the color study of the gators.

I appreciate all the comments on these as I've been working on them. I did darken some more after putting the photo under red cellophane and the painting under red cellophane and comparing - then I used the red cellophane covered photo to add more dark areas in the painting.

I think I now have more darks than I wanted, compared to the photo but again, this is just a warm-up and color study to see how I want to proceed with the poured painting to come.

Misket and Color Pours So Far

First - poured the Pebeo Drawing Gum on dry crescent board (it has hotpress watercolor paper glued to it so you have to tape all around the outsides so wetness doesn't seep in and pull up the paper from the backing board).

Second - pour your first color on the prewetted (spray with a spray bottle all over) board - yellows work best first, not later as they dull the colors.

Third - pour your second color, either your red or blue, on prewetted board.

Fourth - pour your third color (since I did blue as my second, I poured red as my third).

Fifth - wait until class Tuesday (I sure hope we HAVE class Tuesday and it isn't another snow day) to do more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

First the misket pour, then the yellow pour, then the blue pour. The red pour will be next.

This is still the 1/4 sheet crescent board with hotpress paper on it.

And this is the color study (just a 9 x 11 piece of Arches rough from a block I was given by my friend, Jane W.).

This is for my Yahoo color group - the idea is to paint using your choice of complementary colors (red + green, blue + orange, or yellow + violet) in the focal area and gray out the edges also using complements to gray things (I washed Quin Red over the background to push back the vibrancy of the greens there).

What do you think? Good choice of violet and yellow?

Photos of the Ice and Snow - by Jerry

Diamond-sheathed trees...

The sparkles are lovely, and they're blindingly bright. I'd like them much better if they were diamonds, not ice!

(All photos by Jerry H. Carpenter)

When the sun comes out after a winter storm, the shadows steal the show!

(Well, if Blogger wasn't giving me fits trying to upload just a few photos today, there would have been more. But enjoy these...)

Here We Go - More Snow!!!

Some more photos I took last week of the ice and snow - we now have about 3-4 more inches of snow that came in yesterday. Spring, spring, come soon!!

The snow right now looks as fine as white sand, blowing around over the top of the accumulation. Tiny tracks throughout the untouched snow let me know critters were moving around last night while we lay sleeping. Probably cats and squirrels and maybe a deer or two...
And the birds are mobbing the feeder and birdbath this morning, digging at the table where I scatter seed to get past the snow and down to the good stuff again. They have had a rough time of it so I'm glad I always have something out for them. Junkos, cardinals, sparrows, downy and hairy woodpeckers and red-bellied, tufted titmouse (or is that titmice?) are all jostling for their share of the seeds and suet. Haven't seen the robins lately - maybe they finally decided we WERE going to have winter and they headed south.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The 1/4 sheet crescent board painting - so far I've poured the misket and drawn the gators and poured the first color - Hansa Yellow Light.

After that dries, I pour the second color - Phthalo Blue (Green Shade).

But I began another poured misket on a 1/2 sheet crescent board (this has coldpress paper on it) since Sandy thought the gators weren't organic enough to take advantage of the poured misket technique. I'll try it both ways and see what happens.

I will have to choose something more curvy and organic - not linear...hmmmm - to draw on top of this misketed piece.

Class Canceled due to WINTER

Another watercolor class canceled due to the winter weather coming in today - predicted another 3 inches of snow on top of what we still have on the ground. Some of that thick ice will be on the sidewalks until spring, I'm sure of it!

So - time to practice and study and learn even if I'm not in class.

Here are a couple of great quotes from Tony Couch:

"The artist that improves is one who is interested in improving. He or she does the things, spends the time, and goes through whatever toil is required to learn, while the less interested artist skips over it."

Also, he has a formula for this:

W x T = I
(W - more Work;
T - more Time spent working;
I - faster Improvement)

So does that mean it's going to be easy? Apparently not! Mr. Couch also says, "While you practice, keep in mind that watercolor painters are divided into two groups: those who have been discouraged and those who are going to be discouraged. There's nothing wrong with discouragement; it's part of the game. The crime lies in quitting because of it."

Now go paint or study those brushes!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Last Moley Doodle?

Well, the last for January 09, anyway...
Yesterday I had a "surprise" birthday party. The surprise was that my Mom, sister and BIL showed up at my house about 1 pm ready to have the get-together that had to be cancelled last Sunday. But we hadn't talked to each other all week and I didn't know they were coming. In fact, I was having a pretty rotten week due to several things I won't go into right now (lucky you!). So the house wasn't cleaned, the table was covered with papers and other odds and ends and I didn't have anything ready for them to eat (the previous Sunday I had cooked a lasagna).
But I threw something together, we thawed out the frozen birthday cake and we had a blast playing Pythonopoly after lunch, presents and cake. We laughed and shouted and really had fun! Well, who wouldn't saying things like, "QUEST, QUEST!!!" "WHAT is your favorite colour?" "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!" All said in a silly almost-English accent.
The only real drawback was, since we didn't know they were coming, Jerry missed most of the day because he was off playing table tennis.
I've decided to officially change my birthday to Feb. 1 from now on and skip January - which is a rotten month.
So - I'm having my birthday on the same day as Joan - if you didn't wish her a happy birthday before, go over there and send her belated greetings today :) and see her lovely forsythia bush in bloom and her snowdrop wc sketch in her sketchbook :) Spring seems to be coming to her part of the world much sooner than mine...