Thursday, June 30, 2011


Personal contemplations:

What makes me think that I am so great? 
What makes my ego feel bruised whenever someone passes me over for a compliment.  (I'm talking about my artwork, here.) 
Do I feel that I work harder than others?  That I learn and utilize concepts better? 

I need to step back and think about myself - and adjust my attitude. 
I've become too negative and need to bring back the positive in my life. 
So what if someone hurts my feelings? 
So what if someone doesn't like my work but likes work that I don't like? 
So what?

I need to discover my WHAT - and make sure that it's a positive, caring, and compassionate place and not a negative, critical, and harsh place.

A little attitude adjustment is needed.  Like going to the chiropractor for an adjustment once in a while, time to crack those bones so I can walk straighter and think straighter, too. 

I want to be a kind, caring, compassionate person - not the kind of person one avoids because she is too full of negativity! 
That's my goal - oh, that, and conquering landscapes! ha ha

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and don't forget to smile when the sun comes up and the birds are singing outside your window!  Don't forget to put your little rubber boots on and splash in puddles if it's raining! 

Don't forget, we're all in this together so let's make it as pleasant a trip as we can!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Tuesday afternoon the FedEx man arrived, music blaring from his truck.  He gave me a very large box.  It wasn't very heavy.  It came from Gary Everest in Washington.

It is my portrait!!!

Okay, now I don't want to gush, but I do think this is beautiful.  I'm not sure how Gary could make a person in pain like this (and keeping my jowlies and my frown and my puffy eyes and all) seem beautiful.  But it really is.  I love it.  It amazes me.  I'll probably spend time looking at it, getting more familiar with it.  It is hanging in a place of honor in my entryway where everyone entering the house will look slighting up and over to the left and see it.  I hope it will encourage a few interesting comments.  However, the main thing is that I love it, no matter what others say.  And let me tell you, just studying the hand is a lesson in itself - beautifully rendered. 

(The first photo shows it on the wall; the second photo shows it a bit closer.  Both are in natural light from the open doorway.)

So I am the proud owner of an oil portrait from Gary Everest.  What a gracious, giving, wonderful thing to paint this - and then to send it to me??  Well, that is more than I expected and it shows how big Gary's heart is (almost as big as his talent!!!).

Thank you, Gary.  Thank you so much.  Now quit worrying! ha ha  (Oh, and I'm glad you stuck to a variety of blues for the shirt, scarf and background - you know I love my blues!).

The more I look at this, the more amazing it seems to me.  I know hours of work, toil, stress, tears, and anxiety went into this - and I do hope you're pleased with it because you should be.  (May I put it up on the sidebar for my photo?)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Not a raven,
but a crow!!

All the way from Australia.  His wings are tired from flying but he's Beautiful!!! 

Painted on black paper by my Australian/Tasmanian friend, Steve Sorrell (you can see more of his work on regular watercolor paper and on black paper by checking out his blogs at and

Monday, June 27, 2011


If I haven't been commenting on your blog lately, blame Blogger!  I try, then I'm taken to a screen where I have to log in.  Then I'm taken to the place for word verification.  Then I'm taken back to the screen where I have to log in!!  What's up with that?  It's not happening with EVERY blogger I try to post to but enough that it's getting to be a pain in the behind!!  I hope they fix it soon.

I'm really not ignoring your lovely posts - just can't seem to get through for now...

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I've gotten a few new followers added to my sidebar so I'd like to share their blogs (if they have one) with you, too...

1.  If you like Alice in Wonderland stuff, you'll enjoy visiting the many blogs of Alex Pribnow of Tintagel, U.K.  Alex calls himself a published artist, sculptor and prop designer.  He likes all things Alice and creates some amazing works of art with those themes.  Check him out - and don't stop at just one blog, he has several!  Check them all out!

2.  Andreas Mattern shares his artwork with us on his blog, Aquarelle & Radierungen.  I can't read a word fo the text - it's in German - but I enjoy seeing the paintings and prints.  His plein air work has a vitality to it that is different from most plein air paintings I've seen.

3.  Erika Bradner is creating some powerful acrylic paintings.  She is in Santiago, Chile and working on a gorgeous goddess series; you could spend hours looking at her paintings and reading about the concepts and what each goddess represents.  I think you'd love a quick peek; then put her down as a fave because you'll want to return again.

4.  And for something totally romantic, girly, and whimsical, check out the blog of Joanna Bolton.  Joanna is working in Illinois but gives me a traditional British vibe with her work - I don't know why.  Perhaps it's the china patterns and the delicate and proper little ladies she creates.  I'll definitely return her to see more and be uplifted.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip around the world today - isn't the internet a fabulous thing for bringing people together?

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Slowly working my way through the Catherine Gill landscape book - Powerful Watercolor Landscapes

She has several sections labelled Try It!!  And that's what I'm doing. 

She uses a black marker for her value studies, just marking lines through the middle and dark valued areas (more lines = darker value).  So I'm doing that, instead of sketching with graphite.  I may go to the Tombow pen for this, though, as it would be easier to just bleed the dark into the middle values that way.  Still finding what works for me as far as materials, I guess.

Anyway, nothing spectacular here.  Just some studies from photos taken in the past.

Well, I was going to upload the 4 studies I've done but Blogger won't let me :(

I'll try again later...


Catherine says, in her book, that you create a value study from the scene.  Then you may have to create another value study from the value study - to clean up areas, choose your value dominance (do you want it to be high key = whites and medium values mostly; or low key = darks and mediums mostly), etc.  You can take down a fenceline, add an elm in place of an oak, move buildings around - what power we have as artists if we would only use it!!

I'm going to be working through more of the book this coming week, and putting paint to paper (after a few more value studies).  Also, Catherine recommends doing your painting from your value study (making notes on color on your sketch paper as well as thoughts about feelings as you work on it, so you don't try to paint what you see but paint what you feel :)  Good advice for any painting. 

Friday, June 24, 2011


Today is my mother's birthday.  Over the years, we have not been close.  But we are making progress now.  I guess sometimes you have to wait until you're both older to make peace with your parents!  Glad we didn't wait too long.

Mom has several of my paintings hanging on her walls, gifts for birthdays and holidays.  I wish she would take one down (which was a very early attempt at lilacs that is truly hideous to me except for the glass vase), but she keeps them all up.  Make sure when you give relatives paintings that they are very good paintings, and that they agree to take them down and let you replace them when you paint better! ha ha

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Just when I thought I would not get any more crow paintings from my SWAP members, this beauty showed up at my door today.  Not crows - but Joyce Thompson painted it and it's a scene from Washington state (where she lives) - and it does have crows (or ravens) flying around :)

Thanks, Joyce!  If I ever get to your area of Washington, I will definitely look you up for some art talk :)

And that's not all!

This wonderful card came from Shirley Knollman (Chair of the recent GCWS Show and past President of the GCWS), thanking me for working with her on the show.  Isn't he (or she) adorable?  I love the design on this and the bright reddish orange against green colors that look so good together.

The show is over, the stressful part is over, and all the work is over - and it's now just a pleasant memory and a proud feeling knowing all the members put out their best work for the show. 

I hope we have another show there next year!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Trying to work out landscapes.  I am learning:

Vary your greens or you have dull paintings.

Wait for your wet-in-wet to dry before going in darker with other colors.

Don't put on color and take off color and put on color and take off color.

Work in dabs of colors - lots of colors - don't think green, think variety.

The foreground should be darker than the background.  Don't fiddle with the background stuff because you think it "doesn't look right."

Less is more.

I really consider this learning and trying to incorporate things as I go.  I don't like this - liked it better in the first version before I started messing with the background to get it "just right." 

But I'll keep trying. 

In the photo I used - yes, beat me with a wet noodle, I'm using a photograph and not outside in the 90F heat right now - the sky was stormy and powerful.  I didn't capture that - I was too wimpy with the darks in the sky so it doesn't have the look that drew me to the photo = a no no according to the book I'm working through by Catherine Gill.  She says you choose your WHAT = your Center of Interest; then you decide what drew you to the scene in the first place and try to capture that essence/feeling.  I didn't succeed here. 

But it's just my first baby steps so I'll be falling down a lot - hope you can stand these attempts until I come up with something decent!

Baby steps reminds me of the movie, What About Bob (Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss).  Remember how Bob had to work through "baby steps, baby steps" until he could do things his shrink couldn't and wouldn't do?  Do you remember the fish in a glass holder around his neck? ha ha  Loved that movie!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I know this one may seem odd - bizarre - maybe even disturbing.  But it's an image that was floating around in my head and in my art room until I got it on paper.

1/4 sheet study piece for a larger version someday.

Yesterday, the GCWS members picked up their paintings from the recent show.  It rained buckets and, at one point the sky was black as night at 10:30 am - scary!  Driving home was an adventure in hydroplaning (and trying to NOT do that in the rivers of water flowing from the hillsides onto Columbia Parkway).  Made it okay, though, and we had 4 sales at the show - not too shabby!

I took my mother to the show on Thursday (she wasn't that impressed with my crow painting); and took my sister to see the show on Sunday (she likes everything I do but I know birds aren't her thing, either).

Happy First Day of Summer to all those in the northern hemisphere!

Monday, June 20, 2011


This painting was the result of a monthly project painting over at WatercolorWorkshop (a Yahoo group).  I began really pale and added the seagulls and a bit more pinks later.

The photos of the beach scene with birds and people were shared by Doris Glovier for us to use.  The photos actually came from the WetCanvas Image Reference Library and was taken by LateBloomer. 

Doris cropped the photo several ways, offering us different views.  In all of them, I saw this heart in the sand.

I hope you had a Happy Father's Day and will have a Happy First Day of Summer (in the northern hemisphere)!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


More paintings winging their way to me from members of my SWAP group.

Cathy Geha is known for her paintings of buttons, beads and necklaces; when she incorporated buttons around a crow, I just loved it.  Now I am the proud owner of two of Cathy's paintings!

Not everyone is "into" crows so I also get paintings of other these lovely cards, created by Sue Drennan from her previous SWAP paintings.  They are bright, and beautiful - and the cards have such a wonderful feel to them - like soft watercolor paper.

I'm sure I'll be sharing more as they continue to arrive in the mail - my mail carrier is going to trim up for summer and lose a few pounds, walking from his truck to the door every day! ha ha

Friday, June 17, 2011


A few more paintings arrived from SWAP members as thank you's to me for 8 years working at SWAP.

Love these!!!

From Denise Clardy

From Brenda Knoll (a.k.a. Lady Bastrop)

And from Barbara Sailor (You've seen this one before but I wanted to share it again along with the other crow paintings from SWAP members.) 

Barb's was the first painting to arrive and I had no idea other SWAP members were doing crows and sending them, too - I'm going to definitely have a murder of crows when it's done :)

Speaking of gatherings of birds, did you know that a group of penguins
is called a waddle of penguins? 
Too cute, eh?

Thursday, June 16, 2011


My SWAP members are sending me paintings - they are all surprises to me.  I should have known they'd do this!  So many little gems of paintings coming my way, I'm looking forward to the mailman every day! ha ha  The paintings are their way of saying thank you to me for being their List-Mom and ruler of the SWAP group for 8 years.  I'm glad after all this time, they still like me :)

I thought I'd wait and share them all at one time, but I have a feeling there may be many more coming so I'll share them as they arrive.

And wouldn't you know it, a lot of them are painted with a crow theme! ha ha
So here are some that came this week:

This little crow came from Pat Sann. 

You can see more of her work at

And this lovely landscape arrived from Jane James.

Visit her blog at
to see more of her watercolor, pastel and collage work.

And this perfect little bookmark arrived from Christine Brown.  I'll find a plastic holder for it and use it for my mystery novels - it will be perfect!  (I don't think Christine has a blog or a webpage right now.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I've been working in my Aquabee Sketch Book (6 x 9 in. = 15.24 x 22.86 cm.).  This first one was looking out the sunroom at the neighbor's yard which rises up from ours.  The sun was shining to make a nice shadow on the fence behind the little tree.  I sketched it using a black Tombow pen (which, when wet, makes a nice blending of colors).  But then I put down watercolor and water and it blended with the black and made everything look a bit muddy.  So I overloaded the colors again using watercolor.  Then I took some graphite and resketched it.  What a mess!  But I am learning from this so it's all just learning right now until I get the right mix of mediums to use and how to learn to leave certain things alone.

For the second one I sketched using just a #2 graphite pencil, then added a bit of the Tombow black pen where the darker shadows were.  I then touched in some lemon yellow for the bright side and mixed that with the Tombow black for the darker parts.  Cleaner and fresher looking - just a sketch and that's what I'm looking for as a final result of these experiments.

For the final one, I got out my set of watercolor pencils and sketched with them.  I will wet some areas later to get a wetter look. 

I think I like the 2nd version best so maybe the Tombow pen for the shadows and watercolor (lightly applied) for the light areas will work. 

If I go out in the field, I can take my watercolor pencils, though, and work the colors and then wet them later if I don't want to carry water with me.  I'm thinking of moving out of the sunroom and maybe into the local park as a starting point... (remember, I'm new to this and, in the past, didn't do well with plein air painting - not liking too much sun and heat and bugs doesn't help so the conditions have to be just right for me to try! ha ha)

For this week, the weather turned cooler - almost nippy in the morning and nice and sunny and warm with a cooling breeze during the day.  Makes me feel like I have more energy.  I've even been walking again, around the neighborhood.  Tired of sitting on the couch like a spud!

I'm picking up my mother this morning, driving her over to Mariemont to see the watercolor show, then maybe a walk in one of the nice little parks in the area or around town (Mariemont is such a pretty little "village" type place with nice sidewalk areas and nice parks); and maybe lunch out, too - if the weather holds for us and no storms.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


This is the last week for the GCWS watermedia show at "The Barn" in Mariemont.  Hope you can stop by and see it (open Tuesday - Friday 9:30 am - 3:30 pm and Saturday - Sunday 1-4pm) if you live in the area. 

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society Exhibit
June 4 – 19, 2011
At “The Barn”
Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center
6980 Cambridge Avenue
Mariemont, OH 45227

I'll be there Monday for the members to pick up and sign out their paintings.  The last I checked, we had one sale.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I finally had a few hours to paint and play.  I was in the mood for some more crows. 

These are all pretty small. 

One painting on Twinrocker paper called Little Crow.

Two watercolor monoprints on BFK Rives paper.

One called Things are Looking Up (not great but I thought I'd share anyway).

I don't have a press so rolled the prints onto the soaked paper with a hand roller.  On the first, the bird was too pale and splotchy (like the sky and ground) so I went back in with watercolors and added color.  BFK Rives is soft so you can't do much additional work to it, hence the soft look.

The second one, called Bird Bath Crow is also on BFK Rives.  I left the crow alone (put a lot more pigment on the plate before transferring the image to the paper).

And then playing with just splattering paint on paper and rolling the treetrunks on (with paint on a piece of cork pierced with a thick needle so it rolls).

Just calling this one Green.  It's 1/4 sheet and I was just playing around, nothing in mind, lots of splatters.

After so long not being able to paint anything new, it was fun to play and see what happened.

This is what it became.  Could use some more darks, I think.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


After spending time working on and seeing two separate shows at the Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati (WACC), I decided I should join.  They seem like such an active group and have all mediums represented in their membership.  Today at noon they had a luncheon for new members and I went to see what they offer.  I was a bit nervous (as I always am when meeting new people) since I didn't know if I would know anyone there.  (There is some overlap with the members from the Cincinnati Watercolor Society but not a lot.)

Well, the luncheon ended with a tour of the building and studios (there are 4 studios rented in the complex) and lots more talking about art.  I even signed up for my first duty as a new member - an easy one:  checking in members at the September meeting along with a long-time member.  They have new members do this as a way to get familiar with members, names, faces - a good idea.

Many of the board members were hosting the luncheon and there were 8 new members (if I counted correctly) BUT the WACC got 40 new members this year - that's quite a growth spurt.  They now have about 250 members in all so it's a big organization with lots going on every month, including tours of gardens, galleries, etc. as well as talks by artists and many events to raise money for "The Barn."  Sounds like I could be very busy with the group or sit and wait to know everyone and see where I fit in the best.  And 2 of our watercolor society members (President, Eileen Hulsman and Treasurer, Alice Fosset, were there as new members) were there, too.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Mac picked two more paintings for the cd.  I think he will choose one more.  I can't wait to see it and share it with you!

Fallen Angels

Singing the Blues

(One of my favorites and now hanging on my livingroom wall.)

I think he's sticking to the blue theme - which I love - with a burst of color in the angel trumpets/daturas :)

His photo holding a gorgeous guitar will grace the cover and these will go inside the wallet foldout and on the back cover.

I mailed out my SWAP painting and some other surprise goodies to my secret partner yesterday.  It's travelling a long way so I did a guaranteed delivery - I'm sure it will get there next week.  This will be the final SWAP for our group and I know it will be and outstanding finale!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Here's another non-art blog that is listing watercolor blogs and I was included again.  I'm thinking, once you get in one of these, they share them.  Some great blogs in here but some mistakes - my blog is definitely not focusing on ONE aspect of watercolor (I'm all over the place) and Chris Beck is definitely NOT a male artist.  Oh, well...

Something to share until I get some new stuff going.

Some news:
My favorite brother-in-law, Jeff McLemore, is a professional musician and is working on a new cd.  He has asked me to provide some artwork for the cover!!  How cool is that???
So far, he's chosen this one:

Which I've renamed now to
Blue Moon for Mac :)
The cd is a bluesy, jazzy mix of songs and is coming along really well.  He hopes to have it ready to sell this month!  I'll keep you posted on how it goes and show you the final when it's ready.  He's going to pick out 2 or 3 more since the cd will be in a wallet-type foldout holder.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I haven't had much time to paint, other than the time spent painting and coloring with granddaughter Alaina on Sunday evening...but this one is done.

I have started my days with sitting in the sunroom early in the morning by myself while it's still quiet, sketching what's outside - getting myself in gear for some real landscape painting.  Other than that, playing grandma with the girls Sunday-Monday and will pick up the boy this evening for an overnight and time together tomorrow.  He's 3 so he'll be a full time event :)

I may be recuperated from the grands coming and going by Thursday! ha ha  (Then I can catch up with my favorite bloggers, too.)

Monday, June 6, 2011


Some of you liked the paintings and show so much, they asked for more.  So here you go...Enjoy!

by Deb Ward

Reach for the Sun
by Susan Grogan

Red Hibiscus
by Ron Beecher

What a Pair
by Wynne Bittlinger

At the Cinque Terre
by Ritzie Junker

The Milliner's Catch
by Eileen Hulsman

All photos taken at the show by Jerry (a.k.a. Sweetie) of some of his favorites.

Busy day today.  Kept the granddaughters overnight last night and had a behind-the-scenes tour of the Newport Aquarium for them, with lunch out and ice cream after, and lots of fun yesterday evening and today.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Sweetie and I went to the artist reception for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society show yesterday evening.  It was my job to take photos of the winners - we had a First, Second, Third and 3 Honorable Mentions out of 86 paintings.

My friend, Deb Ward, got First with her painting of Ball Jars.  The painting is called Muncie's Pride (Muncie, Indiana is the home of the Ball Jar and Ball State University as well as Ball Hospital).

Sweetie got this photo of Deb with her painting - but this was before she got her First Place Award and ribbon - so I took another (but was making her laugh too much! ha ha)

Second place went to Jean Vance, a tri-state artist and teacher.  She was not at the opening when the prizes were announced at 6 pm so I didn't get a photo of her.  Her painting is called Stoningham, Maine.

Third place was won by another friend, Ritzie Junker, for her first ever attempt at painting on YUPO!!  It's called Waiting.

Ritzie sat across from me in class when we were both in Sandy Maudlin's intermediate watercolor class.  I haven't seen Sandy in years, but I still see Ritzie at the GCWS meetings.

And the 3 Honorable Mentions are:

Jean Ammerman's gorgeous landscape called (1) Secluded Cape Cod Pond.

Susan Grogan's (2) Citta di'Venezia. Susan was away at a graduation and couldn't be at the show.

And R.H. Carpenter's painting of crows named (3) A Difference of Opinion!

There were A LOT of really good paintings in the show - it is a strong watermedia show and you should see it if you can get to this area - so I was very pleasantly surprised to win an award.  I've never won an award before!

The show runs through Sunday, June 19th and is open every day but Monday.  The hours are:
Tues-Fri 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Sat - Sun 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

And the members who arranged and contributed to the reception goodies outdid themselves!!