Saturday, July 31, 2010


While checking out some blogs and finding more new blogs from sidebars of blogs I was visiting, I came upon this:

Paint more.
Paint even more.
Paint even more than that.
Paint when you don’t want to.
Paint when you do.
Paint when you have something to paint.
Paint when you don’t.
Paint every day.
Keep painting.
It is from Kelly at and since she took the thought from a writer who was writing about how to be a writer, I don't think she'd mind if I shared it with you here.
So...what are you waiting for? Go PAINT!
(And that's what I'm going to do - since I have ruined the deck chairs and shadows painting again. Third time is the charm. I will get this right. Or will it be like those silly cows I tried 5 times and never got right?)

Friday, July 30, 2010


Added a bit of collage - bits of writing (I liked that you can actually read the word "regret" on one piece since it ties in with the title of this one), stamps I've collected, a butterfly, a bit of music. Small bits to move the eye around. It still needs some darks here and there but this one isn't talking to me - maybe I have to be in that same mood again as when I started it?

When You Return to that Place of Loss
15" x 22" 140# Arches
DaVinci and Golden fluid acrylics

And I finally felt up to adding a bit on the deck and shadows painting. I didn't like the pure white on the deck so dirtied it up a bit and then added just a pale wash of a warm yellow to give it a glow instead of looking untouched. Okay, I admit it - I LOVE pure white on others' paintings but on mine they just make me think I've left it undone!


The temperature has cooled down to a very nice 65F at night so the morning and afternoon were very nice, indeed. I wish it would remain this way...but that won't happen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Taking a cue from Myrna, I first drew the figure onto the paper, then collaged bits on top of that and redrew using just paint and a brush, trying to get the shapes to show a figure. Nothing much more. I like this one. The collage bits give it an extra dimension - make it look more finished and thought out.

I returned to the full figure because I didn't really want to work with just a portrait (and a badly done one, at that) from No. 9.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Slowly building up the values - need darker in the railings to the left but wanted a warm underglow first. I remember reading that a cast shadow is 40% darker than the object casting the shadow. I think the railings are that dark, too. More work to do on the darkest shadows on the deck - just some cleaning up shapes.
Leaving the chairs until last. Taking my time? Or have I just lost my enthusiasm?

Sunday, July 25, 2010


It's hard for me to really break away and vary things from the beginning drawing I have in my mind (even though it's at the bottom of the pile now and I'm using the last one to create the latest one - if that makes any sense). So...I need to take some time with these and not just slap-dash them out. Think about line, design, values, color and composition (all that good stuff) - and detour maybe with one thing at a time?

So far, I've liked No. 4 the best - and it was more design-oriented with no color, just black and white.

But here are Nos 6, 7, and 8.

No. 6 was on Tyvek paper and it went through a lot of changes (at one time, he became a she and a mermaid but I didn't like it so I wiped it all back off the paper, leaving just the stains).

No. 7 was in my little sketchbook while watching something on TV. Got into doodles and things and left out a lot. I like it, too.

And then No. 8 went back again, working from a "print" of No. 6 so it's flipped. Then playing with pointillism.

And No. 9 is on a square scrap of 140# watercolor paper with just graphite, charcoal and a bit of conte crayon to draw it. So the body is gone...just the head remains..and he was so bored, I put him to sleep!

Perhaps time to get out some collage like Myrna did?

(And, I don't know where that huge honker came from - it just developed and spread more and more - not a very attractive guy!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Saturday I woke up and felt off. Something sad going on. Unsure why. Worry, sadness, whatever. The title came to be first and then the colors.

When You Return to That Place of Loss
(1/2 sheet Arches 140# paper, fluid acrylics)
Unfinished. I know it has farther to go...


No. 4 of the drawing challenge (from Myrna Wacknov), went in a totally different direction.

I like the linear quality and the design elements and his hair which started as squares and then became filled in squares that show the tight, curly look of his hair. This was a fun one but I had to stop before I did too much. Because the lines were the main thrust, left out any color on this one.

And then, after a day's rest from No. 1-4, I did No. 5. I don't like it as much...I need to make changes that seem logical to me but kind of jumped on this one back one step. Perhaps more linear work...or just a splash of color...or...could be something interesting next. I used Tyvek paper and a really big, thick, water soluable graphite stick for the drawing tool on this one and then added the color.

A couple of people have called this Chinese Whispers - like the game. I never knew what the name was but you start by saying a sentence in a person's ear...they then pass the sentence on to the next person...and so it goes down the least 5-10 people later and you have something different. So this is what Myrna and I are doing with this drawing challenge = Chinese Whispers Drawings :)

Where will the next drawing - based on nothing but this drawing - go? I think I should put down the brushes and use just pencils, crayons, etc. and get some more work into them - now they seem a bit slap-dash. (I said I wasn't going to critique these but just let them take me where they will after 10-20 versions and I've already broken that rule.) Myrna is using collage in her latest ones!

Friday, July 23, 2010


My do-over the deck chairs, deck and shadows. I think the calmer sea and beach works better for this (and I'm not just saying that because it was much easier to do this one!).

I didn't glaze a pale yellow wash over this one before I began putting on the masking fluid so it's lots of pure white. I want to maintain a lot of that white this time and I'm changing the color of the chairs.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I'm not rushing the do-over, and not accepting anything less than what makes me happy for this one.

And while I'm letting this one slowly come together, I've chosen the drawing I want to begin Myrna Wacknov's challenge with. I drew something last night but it was cheesy. This morning I knew which one I wanted to start with - this drawing from a live figure class I took. Myrna's challenge is to begin with a drawing from a photo or life...then draw using that drawing as reference, nothing else...and continue this process through several mutations. Who knows what you'll come up with in the end? Check out her blog to see what she is working on and what she ends up with after - did she say 50?? - drawings from drawings.

Here's my first drawing which I will use as the base for the next one. I'm not giving myself a deadline for this - just drawing from the previous drawing until I'm exhausted with it.

If you think this is crazy, just see what you can do with this kind of challenge - go over to Lisa Walsh's blog and see her bears (and congratulate her on her 100th post). Lisa is creating some wonderful things by just using different mediums and supports and thinking and talking about color, value, etc.

Here are the first drawings as they mutated from the beginning drawing...

This one (No. 2) was done with a 6B graphite pencil on very slick paper. No blending or erasing (I found out later).

And No. 3 was on drawing paper - a nice sheet of Rives or Somerset (I had purchased for printmaking), using a Tombow marker that bleeds nicely.

And No. 4? Well, you'll have to return to see it tomorrow!
(These are all on 1/2 sheet sizes - about 15" x22" - so far.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Well, I was never happy with the water in this one although everything else was working. I cropped it down as much as I could and it still doesn't work for me. Maybe it's just me but I know one other blogger/friend commented that it wasn't reading right (I think it was Joan).

What do you think?

I have started over, lots of drawing and miskiting before getting out the paints. I may change the color of the chairs on this one, too. I'm going to do the background as more water and sand, not as foamy, less striving for attention.

Thursday I'm going to drive out to the country to paint with Deb and Sharon - if it's not storming like crazy. I'm going to take a few paintings for critiques and we're going to help each other choose which ones should be entered in the Cincinnati Art Club Viewpoint Show (deadline in August). Although I got in last year, there is no guarantee I'll get in this year - but the judge this year is a watercolorist (Nita Leland) so I think all watercolors have a good chance!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The only thing I thought I wanted to see at the Art Institute of Chicago were the Impressionists. Of course, I'm very glad I stumbled on the American Art Gallery, too :)

There were things I missed - we were tired, my feet hurt, and although I was amazed an in awe of the works I was seeing, I was also dreading the walk back - another 40 minutes on sore, blistered feet :( so I didn't visit the gift shop and I totally missed the Winslow Homer paintings. So...another time!

Here are some of my favorites of this trip in the Impressionist galleries, beginning with the Renoir's.

And then the Monet's. Ah, that green, that blue, that sea!!! And, of course, the water lilies...

Another master of painting light is Joaquin Sorolla y Baptista - this painting of the Two Sisters pulled me across the room to view it more closely. I'd get close and then stand back and then move across the room to see it from a distance. Beautiful! If I could do this, I'd die happy. So sad you have to go to Madrid to see his work - such a long way. My friend, Teresa, got to see his exhibit at the Madrid Museum of Art recently - so many paintings and each one a stunning piece of light and shadow and warmth.

I really enjoyed seeing the people interact with the paintings. There would be crowds around certain paintings or certain areas. One young woman stood in front of Monet's lillies for a very long time. And, of course, there were larger numbers around the Van Goghs. I had never seen this painting of fruit by Van Gogh. It was a treat to see the painting of his bedroom - something I've seen reproduced in many books.

But this was the stunner:

The movement of the leaves and tree trunks in this and the variety of greens and, of course, his brushstrokes, just took my breath away. This one was titled The Poet's Garden. I wanted to step into that painting and be taken to a cool, spring day and touch those weeping willow strands of leaves. The brushstrokes rolled and moved and swirled and twirled and were so beautiful in themselves. It was as if you could see his hand moving on the canvas in this one and the movement was slow, serene, calming.

And then there was the small painting on the wall as you exited the room. So very small and yet so demanding that you stop and look. Walk up slowly, quietly. Look closely at the brushstrokes, the use of the complements to make it all vibrate with color (the green in that red beard!). See the sadness in the blue eyes.
I wasn't the only one who shed a tear while standing so closely to this one and looking...looking. We must have been thinking of his life, his unhappiness, his illness, and thinking about his immense talent and the wonderous beauty inside that had to come out of this gaunt, ugly, strange man who never felt he had accomplished anything or succeeded in art or life.
So long ago and yet his story and his art still move us. What would he think if he could know how couples would stand in front of this one, their hands slowly entwining, not speaking, hardly breathing. Almost a reverential feeling would come over you as you viewed this one. And your eyes would cloud with tears...perhaps art is meant to touch us in just this way.
And so we leave you, Vincent, and return to the real world knowing you are right where you belong, among the greatest artists of the time...
I hope you've enjoyed the visit and the paintings shared. If you get a chance to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, please do so. You will not regret it, no matter how far you have to walk!
Now let's all return to our lives and our art/work...and try to create something of beauty that may move someone sometime in the future. Wouldn't that be something?

Monday, July 19, 2010


The Shedd Aquarium was wonderful. But the Art Institute was a dream! Here, in Cincinnati, we can count on seeing one Van Gogh, one Monet, one Cezanne, get the idea. But in Chicago you see 7 or 8 of the same artist all in the same room and you just stand and stare and realize what history you are looking at, remember things about their lives, etc.

Here are some of my favorites in the Galleries of American Art (Impressionists to come later):

We entered a side room and saw a crowd of people sitting and standing around this painting, Grant Wood's American Gothic. It is not a large painting - maybe 11 x 15 or so, not counting the frame. (I had to stand to the side to get a photo without glare). But it's definitely impressive and humorous and caught the public's eyes.

We found the same thing - a small crowd standing and looking - around Edward Hopper's Nighthawks (a large painting - didn't get a photo but you know the won of the people at the bar counter late at night).

Mary Cassatt's The Child's Bath was stunning. Such clean, beautiful, touchable skin on that child!

John Singer Sargent's paintings drew me to them for his glorious use of the light! I took photos of The Fountain, Villa Torlonia and Portrait of (?) Deering.

The light shines, glows, gistens and glimmers in his paintings. There was one painting I stood in front of for a long time - I didn't take a photo, though. It was so dark...dark hints of people in the far background, all women working in glass and the glass was white - pure stripes of the brush created panes of white glass laid aside while in their hands were smaller stripes of white. It pulled you around and through and the white standing out against all those darks really was something to see.

And then there were the Georgia O'Keeffes!!!

Through her friendship with then Director of the Art Institute, Daniel Catton Rich, Ms. O'Keeffe gave a major portion of Alfred Stieglitz' collection to the Institute when Stieglitz died. She also added to the collection with her own holdings. They can be found in Galleries 271 and 265 and on the wall, a huge painting of sky and clouds (which took her weeks of full days to paint) can be found. Overwhelming to think of the size!

But most of the paintings were small - about 11 x 15 or smaller, not counting the frame. There was an intimate feeling to them as you stood looking at many of them.

Enough for now - later, the Impressionists!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


We took a 6-hour drive up to the Chicago suburbs to visit relatives and stay for a while. While there, we drove into Chicago to visit the Shedd Aquarium and see the beluga whales. I don't know why but I really love those things and can stand and watch them for a long time without wanting to do much else. The photos aren't great - too dark. The mother and calf swam around and up and through an opening that looked like a window and then down and around and up again and again and again. The calf, Nunavik, is not a year old, and stayed right beside or touching Mom all the time.

If you get a chance to visit, do it! There are plenty of critters to see, from the smallest frogs and seahorses to the bigger otter, belugas (they have 4) and dolphins.

Some photos, although they aren't very good...

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the Rockhopper Penguins...especially when I saw the Rockhopper artwork on the wall, created by them using materials.

Doesn't that look like a "drawing" of a Rockhopper? ha ha

On the way to Chicago, just north of Lafayette, Indiana, there is a windmill farm. It was surreal to see all these windmills in the farmland, hundreds of them for miles and they are farming right underneath them.

I'm not going to try to fill you in on everything yet - you'll have to wait for me to sort more photos. I'll give you a teaser though - we went to the Art Institute of Chicago, the 2nd largest art museum in the country, behind New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. (And let me give you a tip: If they tell you "Sure, you can walk from the Aquarium to the Art Institute," they are telling the truth, but it's about a 40 minute walk to get there and if you don't have on walking shoes, take a bus, a trolley or a cab instead. My feet are going to take a few days to get back to normal. (But I am so glad we did it because the paintings are outstanding, awe-inspiring, and just plain too great to miss if you're in Chicago.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm slowly building up darks. Need more on the inner part of the railing facing the chairs. Need more on the last two chairs. I know what my modus operandi is = leave nice whites with masking fluid and then make them all vanish once you get the brush in your hand. Have to fight with myself to NOT do that this time. I've already gotten too yellow in the railing than I wanted. I'm unsure what makes me get into this mode of "more paint, that will make it right," instead of the real essence of painting - which is "less is always more" and "leave some areas for the viewer to fill in so they can participate."

I was reading Robert Genn's weekly newsletter about Wabi-Sabi and leaving things undone, untouched...more for the viewer to participate. I don't seem able to do that - I want to explain every little detail to you although I'm not a detailed painter. I think part of it comes from my feeling like I should be doing something - working on something every day, not letting it sit and letting it tell me what it needs to finish, if anything.

I love to see more impressionistic work from artists in every medium...and yet I seem unable to create work like that because when I leave something undone my mental critic says, "You didn't finish that!"

I am promising myself that I will not touch that deck - leaving the pale yellow wash and the shadow shapes as is. But that railing now bothers me and I'll have to do something to tone down that yellow - but that means putting more color on because I can't seem to remove what's there. What to do, what to do? Why do people think painting is so much fun?

Read the Robert Genn newsletters from this week and last - very interesting stuff and perhaps the problem is it's not an American/European style built into us so we fight to simplify, omit, leave the hand of the artist in?

I think I'm going to veg out for a few days - our weather is going to be scorching again until Saturday - too hot and humid and sticky and blah to do anything but sit and read and drink cool drinks on the verandah :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I haven't a clue where I'm going to take this - or where it will take me. It's fluid acrylics - full sheet watercolor hot press paper. Other than that, who knows? In my sketchbook it was just a twisted piece of paper it's become something else entirely, perhaps more like a shell?

Monday, July 12, 2010


The TWS show is up online. Take a look at the winners here. You can browse all the entrants, too.

Some familiar names. I think there are painters who enter every show, state-wide and national. That's how you become a well-known name. I like this painting by John Salminen much better than the one in the AWS show. There is some beautiful light in it.

Again, Ted Nuttall and Susan Montague both got in with portraits and this time they both won awards. I see a difference in styles in these two this time because TN is going for more daubs of color now in his portraits...ever changing and revising his style. There is a good YouTube vid of him painting a portrait, if you're interested. I wondered how he did those daubs of color - so easy once you know how!

Hope you have some time to create today. We're supposed to get bad storms coming through.

Deb Ward reminded me that I WAS in a major show just recently - the Cincinnati Art Club Viewpoint show is having their 42nd show this year with paintings from all over the US entered and juried in (nice monetary prizes, too). Oils outweigh the watercolors but we're going to come into our own soon. Last year's show was outstanding - the watercolors were strong and very well done and my painting got juried in. I'm already thinking about what I'll enter in this year's show - entry deadline is August 31st for the 2010 Cincinnati Art Club 42nd Viewpoint show (juror = Nita Leland). If you think you might be interested, check it out online or contact Deb Ward (coordinator for the show).

And here is the deck chairs with the masking fluid off. Now time to darken some areas of the chairs, paint the railing and call it done - slowly but surely. I haven't been painting as much as I normally do - seem to be low in energy. I'm blaming the heat and humidity. Or maybe I'm just not eating enough chocolate!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I went back in with some more shadow colors and values and worked on flattening the spray a bit more as it's closest to the deck. It still has the masking fluid on but I think I'll remove it before I do more. It's slowly coming along. I've had other things keep me away from it for a while.

I need to get back to the Twisted painting, too, and see where I can take it.

Deb and Sharon were both telling me about upcoming shows I should enter. After seeing the work at the AWS show, I sometimes doubt I'll ever get where I want to go - but I'm still working at it! That's all I can do - and I hope I'm getting better and more accomplished as I keep working. And someday, who knows, a painting of mine may be in a major show and you'll see it and say, "What was the judge thinking by letting that one in?" ha ha

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I have been searching the net for the artists in the AWS travelling show whose work was so interesting and appealing to me. To me, they were new names. Imagine my surprise when I find that many of them have been painting and showing in major shows for years!! Where have I been and why don't I remember their names and work?

A painting that was one of my favorite's (I had no decent photo due to the reflected lights) can be found at the artist's site here:

Scroll down to Sentry II (she changed the name of the piece and it was a bit darker than it's showing here but you still get the sense of the painting. Now I don't love it just because it has a big black crow in it...but because of the composition and the rich colors - not all greys and blacks.

And Mr. Preecha Promprabtuk has been showing his work and winning awards in the Transparent Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society (he is shown at the NWS on Donna Zagotta's blog), and the American Watercolor Society as well as the Oregon Watercolor Society. And I'd probably seen his work - perhaps online or in a magazine - but his name didn't stick until I saw the piece he had in the travelling show. So...another reason to get out there and see art for yourself: you may discover someone who knocks your socks off that you've never really let into your world before.

If you want to see more of another favorite, Pat Holscher, just go here:(
and view her wonderful whimsical animals painted with drizzles and splashes and color color color!! I think she may become a new favorite :) She gets that drizzly look by painting watercolor on gessoed paper and using a lot of the good old spray bottle (one of my favorite tools).

So, these names may have been fairly new to me, but they've been paying their dues and have been out there for years. So I owe them all an apology for treating them as "newcomers" to the scene just because I didn't know them. I know them now!!

And here is something for you to ponder. This painting, titled Far and Away, received the Bronze Medal/$2500 prize in the AWS show.

I won't tell the artist's'll have to search it out yourself at the AWS site. However, the response of the three of us visiting the show was the same: "That's a painting by T-- N------." (We were all wrong.)

Who do you think painted this painting...and what made you think that?

(T-- N------ had a painting in the show and didn't win an award for the painting - which was a very beautiful and light-filled painting of a nude woman.)

I think we've all been in workshops where an instructor tells the class, "I can teach you my technique but you won't be able to paint exactly like me." I think this one proved that saying wrong.

What do you think? Do you get your name out there by consistently developing your style and then teaching it to others through workshops and DVDs and magazine articles? Or do you get your name out there by winning a top award in a major show?

I have no clue how the paintings are chosen, but apparently a committee of 6 jurors chooses who gets in the show - and every one of those on that committee got in the show. (Is that wrong or okay?) A separate committee of 3 jurors chooses who gets the awards. Each one of them also got in the show - two in the travelling show - but they didn't give themselves awards. I think that is correct, according to the information I could glean.

So, which shows have you entered? Have you tried to get into your state show - or a national show? Have you succeeded? Are you entering online shows more so you don't have the expense of shipping your work if you get in? I think I make most of my art contacts and learn about artists and what they are doing through the online community. Following an artist's work online is easy for me to do and then when I see their name somewhere else (an art magazine article or a show), I recognize them and know their work.