Thursday, December 31, 2009


I have to admit, I haven't had the time or energy to paint a 5th painting for the week-long give-away. So the 4th will be it.

This week has been a daily routine of sitting for hours with my mother at the hospital. After a scare on Sunday, she is now out of the woods and was moved from the cardiac care unit to observation last night. She wants to go home, but the doctor doesn't want to release her until she puts on more weight and builds up her strength from the pneumonia. Unfortunately, I think her New Year's Eve will be spent in the hospital. When she gets to go home, there will be some changes made.

The give-aways for Tuesday and Wednesday did not get the requisite number of posters for there to be a true winner so I capriciously decided to send Barbara Sailor the Frida painting and surprise Frida extras - congratulations, Barb, I hope you enjoy everything!
And I will send Vicki Greene either a Frida painting and surprise Frida stuff OR the jade vase and extra stuff - whichever she chooses (so let me know, Vicki, which you prefer).

Congratulations to the winners this week:
Carol, Christiane, Barb and Vicki!
I may do another give-away later in the New Year, but for now, thanks to everyone who took the time to stop by and post comments this week. It really boosted my morale on a very hard week and it's good to know you all are out there :)

Hope you can see the blue moon tonight! Happy 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


This is a watercolor and collage piece with Chinese stamps and words about jade. It's on 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" hotpress watercolor paper.

And the winner for this one will be post NUMBER 5.

I'll hold the comments until they reach number 5 and then post them all and announce the winner. And, like the others, there will be this and a little extra surprise in your mailing package.


Well, I am either wrong about so many people liking Frida stuff - or this is really bad! A total of 2 people posted - needed 3 more for the winner of this one.

So we'll move on and I'm going to send both of the posters yesterday - Vicki and Barb - some Frida stuff (I will paint another little Frida painting so Vicki and Barb both get one and then I'll add in some other neat Frida stuff).

So, congratulations, Vicki and Barb - and thanks for posting yesterday!

The next painting for give-away will be coming up this afternoon, so check later in the day, if you're interested.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I know many artists collect Frida things so here's my homage to Frida. It's painted on a small (4" x 6") piece of rough-textured Indian paper. Anyone winning this will also get another little Frida surprise in their mailing. Today's winning post is NUMBER 5.

I will ask for your mailing address (if I don't have it) and your little package will go out this week.

Good luck to everyone! If you love Frida, go for it!

And remember - I won't be approving posts UNTIL the winning number comes through and then I'll post all that have come through - I will know when number 5 has come through because blogger dates and time-stamps all posts.


Christiane won the 2nd give-away of the tufted titmouse. Congratulations, Christiane! I'll be mailing that off to you as soon as I get your mailing address sent to my email address :)

And thanks for everyone for playing. I am going to be posting the give-aways a bit later in the day for those who get up and get on the computer later and for those in different time zones so they are not still sleeping when it's too late to play.

So...a few more to come so check in when you can and, if you are the lucky poster, you might just win!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Have to be gone a bit today and only 2 posts so far so no winner for today's give-away! Come on, all you sleepy-heads!

I'll let you know the winner when I get back later today. Good luck!

And congratulations to Carol, who won Give-away Number 1!


Today's winner will receive this watercolor painting. It's 5 1/4" x 7" and is of a tufted titmouse, a funny little bird that stays around all winter. The post that wins this one is post NUMBER 3.

You will win this watercolor painting and some little artsy things thrown in the mix in your mailing envelope, too. (I'll contact you for your mailing address if I don't already have it.)
Remember, don't worry if you don't see your post - I will hold all posts until the number reaches the winning number so I won't post anything until the third post comes through (they are date and time-stamped so I know what order they come through). Good Luck!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


As noted, today is the first day of the 5-day giveaway (there are a LOT of rhyming words in that sentence! ha ha). Each day I will post one small painting to give away to someone who posts on the blog (number to be determined anew each day). For today, the 1st poster wins this little painting. So post NUMBER 1 wins today.

It is a small, postcard-sized (4" x 6") watercolor painting on 140# coldpress paper - a painting of the northern lights.
You will get a surprise addition to your mailing but I won't tell you what it is - something arty :)

I hope you enjoy the painting and the surprise that will be included in your mailing.

I will mail the give-aways out this week once I have the winners' mailing addresses (I will contact you for that if I don't already have it).

NOTE: This week only, I will hold off approving posts until I get the requisite number to have a winner so don't worry if you don't see your post - I will be waiting to post them all at one time once I receive the numbered post I'm looking for each day. Good Luck! And once you have won, you are out of the running for future paintings this week - let's spread the fun around!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Photo by Jerry. Couldn't resist sharing this one with you all.

Hoppy Holidays from Rhonda,
and George!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It was too pretty and I didn't like it so...with the help of an extra pair of eyes (thanks, Sandy!), I cropped off bits that didn't do a thing to help the painting. I also ran the blue through and behind part of the top flower, zipped up the color with some orange on the flower and toned down the edges of the pads and stuff with a glaze of quinacridone burnt orange and a touch of orange.

Now it's done!

What was wrong with it before? The flower wasn't the star - it was just as much about the pads and water as it was about the flower. The flower had no zing to make it stand out from the pads and water. The blue flowing became a star in it's own right and, as much as I loved that, it had to be changed and some pads pushed back.

Sometimes it's hard to get to this point on your own so I was happy to have Sandy look at this and offer several suggestions - although she was a bit shocked that I so readily cropped off the edges (I wasn't in love with anything on it so why not get rid of what didn't work? ha ha).

My goal for 2010 = Less Pretty, More Power!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Sunday evening I watched Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson's DVD. She shares her collage technique, from sketch to acrylic underpainting, and final collage layering in a quick, thorough 30 minutes. I wished it was longer, but she told me everything she needed to tell me to do my own paper painting by the end of the 30 minute DVD. Plus, after the demo and instructions, I got to view a beautiful gallery showing of her work - some are "old friends" to me since I've been following her blog, but others were new - and all of them were vibrant, beautiful, and amazing work from a very talented lady.

I am definitely going to try this in the New Year and I recommend this DVD to you if you are interested in "paper paintings" and collage work to add to your repertoire in the future. It could take you in a very new and interesting direction for 2010!

Thanks, Elizabeth, for offering the DVD on your blog. (It's like a Christmas present for yourself if you buy one!)
For purchase, check out Elizabeth's blog at:

And check out a recent posting on Mary Beth Shaw's blog
to see some more amazing paper artists - she has a listing of them that will knock your socks off (lots of cut paper work that, frankly, I don't know how can be must involve math!)

Monday, December 21, 2009


Yes, I am still struggling with a portrait I want to do of my friend, Teresa. I admire those who do portraits - especially as commissions! What pressure there must be to get it right - and how easy it is to get it wrong. One millimeter off on the nose, the mouth, an eye, the width of the forehead - and it's wrong!
This is on all media artboard (from Cheap Joe's, I think) that I gessoed over - so the surface is pretty slick and unforgiving, of course - why would I want to make it easy on myself?!?
She is holding her hair back to see how she looks with a shorter do. I like the intensity in the eye and covering the other eye with the hair completely (a la Veronica Lake although she's too young to know that reference). I was going to work more on it to cover up the dark lines from the graphite I got too dark - but Teresa said to let the lines be part of the artwork. Easier than trying to work too dark on the skintones so I'm calling that a great idea.
It's not done but it's getting there...
And I'm still busy making little paintings for the give-away to come the last week of December so don't forget to get in on that when it begins on the 27th.
And today the weather held (nothing horrid out there) so I get to visit Sandy Maudlin and paint with her a while - and see what she's been doing lately.


Silent Solstice (Winter Becomes Maine)
by Denis Dunn

sleet against the windowpane,
or maybe a mouse in the wall...

I listen...
but silence knows no direction

heavy pine boughs,
deep in the woods
so quiet, so still
a deer steps…

inside, warm,
the sound of a cat’s paw
disturbs very little
as it hunts in a dream
silent as sleet

Happy Solstice/First Day of Winter

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Sung to the tune of O, Christmas Tree:

O, my migraine
O, my migraine
You bring such neon flashes.
O, my migraine
O, my migraine
I lie down 'til it passes.

But when I rise from my dark room
I feel I'm still in a vacuum.
The pain's still there
it's everywhere
right down to my eyelashes!

(Two days and counting...)

And here's a little 20-Minute Challenge sketch done in my newest Exacompta sketchbook. It's a bit of an exercise bike we have called a Health Rider (not really a bike).

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I have been reading and studying the latest drawing book I've received from Amazon. It's Juliette Aristides' Classical Drawing Atelier and well worth whatever I paid for it (less than the $30 price listed inside - it's a hardback book and a good, large size, too).

If you just bought it for the drawings inside by Degas, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Rubens, Prud'hon, and Ms. Aristides own drawings, it would be worth it. But it's also one to study, since she talks about the history and themes of drawing and then takes you right into the principles of design, line, value and form. It is clearly written (well, I did have a bit of a snooze when I was reading the mathematical equations for the Golden Ratio and the Fibonnaci sequence - but that's just me and my math deficiency). It doesn't take her long to get into the 3 different methods of measuring for drawing and how that's done.

I am enjoying it and learning from it and, since there is no Life Drawing class today (our session is over for 2009), I'll be reading and studying it more this weekend.

I got another surprise in the mail: an instructional DVD of Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson's collage work! I'll be enjoying viewing that this weekend, too. I love Elizabeth's work and I just ordered this on the 16th and it was delivered yesterday!! That's quick service :)

Friday, December 18, 2009


Well, I decided there were just too many cool tones here - yes, I love them all but cools need a little warm to break the monotony, I think. So I began putting the warms in the lotus. This is where is stands right now. I've still got Deb's idea of collage pieces between the "lines" and may do that...
Of course, I'm now painting some small give-aways so that has to take priority for a while :) And still working on a portrait that is challenging me but I will not admit defeat!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Today, my Sweetie and I drove over to the Taft Museum of Art to see the current exhibition: Drawn by New York (Watercolors and Drawings from the New York Historial Society). In the exhibition, there were works by Victor Semon Perard (the photo here of the Flatiron Building, Fifth Avenue and Madison Square), works by John James Audubon, Oscar Bluemner, Asher Durand, John Singer Sargent, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Donna Levinstone's graphite water series drawings. What I found most interesting were the sketchbooks (copies made and under plastic so you could thumb through them all) by several artists. And the early works on New York City showing the Twin Towers being built and then later works showing them being destroyed. Moving pieces. It's well worth a visit. And they have Christmas trees throughout the museum, showing antique ornaments and...did you know they had feather trees: trees that were created to look like white pines (thin branches, lots of tree trunk showing) that was actually dyed goose and duck feathers? I'd never heard of that, but it seems it came over to Cincinnati from Germany.

According to my dashboard - who, apparently, has the time to keep track of such things - this is my 1,000th post! I must be...hmmm...trying to think of another word for someone who talks too much! ha ha But maybe that's not too much for 3 years? celebration of my verbosity (yeah, that's the word), I'm going to draw and/or paint 5 small pieces for give-aways at the end of the year (I have to say at the end of the year since I don't have anything drawn/painted yet - so that will give me a bit of a challenge!).
So...stay tuned. As I finish the pieces, I'll post them, one by one, and assign a number to each (I'll think of what number on the day of posting). Whoever has the post number that matches the number of the day will get the piece for that day.
Good luck to you all (and to me, to create something pretty for you).
Now, I must get into my art room and work on a portrait that is challenging me, stretching my ability to see, and has me asking for help from the model (thanks, T!!). I'll show it when I get it to a stage where it looks good - if that happens - but it's not up for the give-away because it is going to the model if it turns out :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Still working slowly, building up the blue and green ones but just had to put some color in for the red one at this stage. It looked so lonely. Don't even know what color I'll use for the orange at this stage... The red is Daniel Smith's Permanent Red Deep and I just washed some light color there so it didn't look so white next to the green and yellow strands.

TMC #7

Another little Twenty Minute Challenge sketch done with a graphite mechanical pencil in my small (5 1/2 x 7") sketchbook.

It's a fossilized nautilus shell, sitting on a table beside my "spot" on the sofa.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Here's the next stage of Stranded:

And more of the Water Lily:

I'll keep working on both of these. I know the water lily will be finished long before Stranded will be :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


A classical pose, an elegant figure...that's Brian Baxter!

I had a wonderful time at our last Figure Drawing session. Once again, I was the only student who showed up. Not sure what the problem is with others - the thing doesn't start until 11:30 so it can't be a "didn't wake up" issue. But this time of year gets busy for so many people.

I was in a rotten mood and always didn't go. So glad I did! I got to choose the pose (with a little help from Brian and Charles), and I liked this one a lot. By the time 2:30 rolled around, I was ready to stay another hour and had lost my bad mood completely.
Thanks to Brian and Charles for making the last day a good one! Don't know when the next session begins (probably in January) but I'm ready to sign up now :)


"When I was a child, my family would travel..."

That song (John Prine's "Muehlenburg County"), has been playing in my head this morning. When Jerry and I travelled down to western Kentucky this past summer, a variety of music played in my head. Of course, as soon as I saw the sign for Muehlenburg County, that one began. Then "Bowling Green" (Everly Brothers). Before that, the bluegrass song, "Eight More Miles to Louisville."

Every summer my mother would drive us to visit relatives in West Virginia and she would always begin singing the Johnny Cash/June Carter song "Jackson" when we got to Jackson, Ohio. It's the only time I ever heard her sing.

When I was a child I sang myself to sleep. Literally. I would begin singing quietly, just to me, until I fell asleep. Sometimes I would finish the song. Sometimes not.

Many songs mean many things to me, and they often take me back to certain periods in my life, happy or sad.

Does your life have a soundtrack? Do you ever wake up with a song already playing in your mind that plays, off and on, throughout the day?

(I have a drawing to post later this morning, done in yesterday's last Life Drawing check back later today!)

Friday, December 11, 2009


Going back to this one I've done before but using more blues in the water. I like the separations at first, in the drawing, but then I don't like it as much in the painting. Need to merge the colors more along the lines and still have the indication of lines without harsh lines...or need to just get in there with ink after and separate them? Hmm...not sure where this one will lead me.

Working on this one when I start rushing the Stranded painting - that one is going to take calm, clarity and time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Nothing like a really challenging painting to take your mind off your troubles, eh? ha ha Not sure what I'm thinking here. Working from 2 photos taken at Shaker Village of the dyed wool on display. Working on a half sheet of Killimanjaro 140# coldpress paper and working with the complements so the orange will go next to the blue, the red next to the green, and so on...that's my plan, anyway. Although I wouldn't hold my breath on this one being finished any time soon. It takes a while and I seem to "need" to draw in those strands with a small brush and then smoosh it all to get the rough look of wool that's a bit ragged!
The title = Stranded = came to be right away and Stevie Ray Vaughan's song, "Crossfire" began playing in my head as soon as the title came to me:
Caught in the crossfire.
I was stranded,
caught in the crossfire.
Turn it up...check it out...get off your behind and dance dance dance!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TMC Sketch # 6 (and a 1/2)

Just a little graphite sketch done yesterday evening. It's a twisted piece of paper towel - I set it down and liked the look of it so looked at the clock, timed it, and sketched it.

Then I looked down on the floor and saw this bit of Smudge...tried to get it to look like a cat from a different angle. Didn't take but about 5 minutes because he then got up and moved away.


The other day, I looked up at the wall in the living room and saw this.

It was dark in the room (early morning), and the heart shape was made from the sunlight hitting my car window and bouncing off and through the front door window.

You never know when you'll find something unexpected along the way.

Today is my little sister's birthday. (She will always be my little sister, no matter how old we both get.)

Happy Birthday to You, Li'l Sis!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


A big, juicy puddle of blues.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I know I got a couple of comments that I approved - but they are gone, no where to be found. I guess even Blogger gets the blues...

So if you posted a comment and don't see it, it's not for lack of trying. Maybe it will show up later today or tomorrow or whenever Blogger feels like letting it show up.


Isn't it sad how a single comment can make you feel bad?
For those of you who checked earlier, you'll see that the photos of the Grand Ds are gone, along with that post. All from my husband saying, "Did you get a model release to post those photos?" He was serious.

That got me thinking about family.
And how maybe I don't have one?

So I went down to my art room to shut out the voices inside my head and worked a bit more on this painting of T. I think I'm getting closer to what I wanted to convey but still not there - doesn't really capture her essence at all...her fun-loving, her brightness, her crazy-kid spirit. But, heck, it's just a painting, right? And it is better and livelier than the other one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I am a creature of habit. I go into the studio and stand in the same place, setting up my tools and easel. Today I decided ahead of time to move from that spot! And then I took Nupastels to work on my Mi-Tientes paper. So things were different for me - enough to throw me off a bit, I guess.

The pose was chosen by Robert and he worked at the model's feet so lots of foreshortening problems for him to work on. We were allowed to choose what pose we wanted today, and were going to do two poses in the 3 hours but ended up with just this one so we could spend more time on it. Maybe next time will be 2-3 poses instead of one single pose.
Not horrible but lots to work on, including how to just leave the pastel alone and layer the colors instead of blending them. I liked Steve's (our model today) reddish hair and that's why I chose the colors to start.


Well, I haven't done much of anything recently. Seem to be resting. Which is fine. I have started the portrait of T over again (I couldn't leave it like the last one - taking such a beautiful girl and making her look so ugh). And I've begun another 1/2 sheet of the water lilies from my trip to St. Louis Gardens. We'll see where these take me.

I'm reading the blogs of Katharine Cartwright and Donna Zagotta, learning so much! These 2 blogs alone will keep you busy and keep you thinking.

And, of course, today is Life Drawing day so I might have something to share from today's session...later.

Hope you are already having a creative weekend.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


For some reason my point and shoot Fuji loves blue as much as I do - unfortunately, it doesn't "see" the violets and the darker blues in this painting so everything looks pretty much the same cerulean-teal colors. I had Jerry take this with his good camera and it's closer to real life.

Sorry about posting the other without correcting it (or at least trying to correct it). I blame the migraine. Which is not causing me pain but is lurking around my neck and shoulders like a vampire waiting to sink his teeth in - now if that vampire were (no, not the teenybopper guy from Moonlight) Mick St. James from Moonlight (the TV show that was cancelled after 2 seasons), I wouldn't mind so much! (Mick was played by Alex O'Loughlin but he's since cut all his hair and gone over to be a heart transplant surgeon on Three Rivers.)


Supposedly, that is something John Singer Sargent said. It may be true of this one, for me. This lovely girl is a good friend - or she was until I created this bad portrait of her :(
I certainly didn't mean to make her skin so muddy and her hair so helmet-like. And I didn't mean to ruin her eyes and overwork the paper there so much that I had to go in with watercolor pencil to get them even looking like eyes. It all just came out that way.
I will try again...but not while I'm still fighting a migraine. Sorry, T!!! And she'll forgive me because she is a friend :)


Woke up with a migraine this morning. Took a pill. It hasn't worked completely but I'm not in a lot of pain...just queasy :(

So...I could go to bed and cover my head and hope it goes away
or tough it out and do something to take my mind off it.

Did the latter.

Finished up/worked on some things lying around (after doing a cleaning and straightening Sunday and Monday).

Here's what I have. Dancing Petals is done, as far as I'm concerned. I'm okay with it, not in love with it. Why? Because there isn't a single white left in the painting and, although you don't need to leave whites, I feel I do to become a better watercolorist - so it's not as successful as I'd like.

I really dislike the heart painting now. Maybe I can get the paper lace pieces off...maybe not and it's just a learning experience. We'll see.

The Shaker Village Scene is finished and I'm pleased with it, knowing how long I worked on it with drybrush to get the shapes. This morning I went back to wet on dry paper and toned it a bit more with some deep reds and blues. This had been sitting, unfinished, for months, and I was even surprised when I found it under a pile of paintings in process and photos.

Now to get some caffeine inside me - which seems to help with migraines sometimes and nothing else seems to be working.