Friday, September 30, 2011


Painted on half sheet Arches 140# cold press

Daniel Smith pigments

I'm calling this one

Mermaid's Plunder

as I think he's stolen something she will want returned!

Thursday, September 29, 2011



To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice
and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms,
to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize
we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are
and what this world is.
Pema Chodron
What must we be willing to endure in order to get where we're going? 
How long must we suffer before we come to the end of the journey? 
Deep deep deep, too deep for me...
The leaves are hinting at fall, a touch of yellow in the green. 
Cold air in the morning and night, a fog draped over the ground.
I hope you find something today that makes you smile.
Me, I've returned to painting crows...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I took my painting (just one allowed) over to Mariemont today to place it in the all member show of the Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati.  The show will run from the opening reception of Sunday, October 2 (1 - 4 pm) through October 23rd. 

Viewing hours are Tuesday - Friday 10 - 2 and Saturday/Sunday 1 - 4 at The Barn (the Woman's Art Club Cultural Center in Mariemont, OH).

I took my crow painting, And Your Point Is...? for this one.  I need to mat and frame something new for the next show.  (This one got into the last WACC juried show in the spring and I thought it was sold but it wasn't - a long story.)

Monday, September 26, 2011


A week ago I was celebrating having 150 followers on my blog and said I needed to hear from my new follower #150 to receive a painting from me.  He never contacted me - so that means #s 149 and 151 will get paintings from me - if they contact me and give me their mailing addresses.  (Contact me here as a post and then email me - see top of  sidebar info for my email addy.)

I will post a few small paintings and you can choose what you'd like!  So let me know you're reading and watching and would like a painting - or I figure the followers sign up for these things and then forget all about them so it really doesn't mean anything...

I will need to hear from
Alicia or Paco
if they are interested in a small painting being mailed to them.

Until then, here are some photos Sweetie took at the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society show at the Evergreen center that opened yesterday - and the award winners this time.

The winners who were at the show when the awards were announced - Left to right = Susan Grogan (Third Place), Joan Ammerman (First Place), Ritzie Junker (Honorable Mention), R.H. Carpenter (Honorable Mention).

Gaylynn Robinson (Second Place) was not at the show and neither was Yuriko Kudo (Honorable Mention).

This is me, playing Vanna White next to my painting of my Hot Pink Flamingo.

Somehow, in all the bustle, Sweetie didn't get a photo of Ritzie's painting :(

Sunday, September 25, 2011


It's Sunday - and I have some new followers that have shown up on my sidebar so it's time to highlight those who have blogs.  Don't you love learning about new blogs?

1.  Cindi's blog is called One Part Water, Three Parts Color.  She was a blogger whose work I followed several months back - and then she disappeared on us!  But she's back blogging now so go over and give her incentive to keep sharing and posting :)  You'll like what she's doing with her group, PaintingFriends, who have monthly challenges.

2.  Anamaria's blog, Simplesmente Anamaria, is another Spanish language blog (o.k., I've got to work on my Spanish!), and she paints in a very ethereal way - I'm not sure how else to describe it but go over and take a look for yourself - the colors are luminous and glowing = muy bonita!!  She says she still views the world through the eyes of a child and that may be a good thing to do.

3.  Floriana Quaini, an Italian blogger, has some lovely and interesting paintings on her blog you may want to see.  She does great figures and movement and crowd scenes and local scenes of interest and...well, just go over and visit Italy through her eyes!

And although they don't seem to have blogs or websites, I want to say hello to several new followers:  Diana, Sherry and bsherman!  Hi, and thanks for wanting to follow my blog!

The Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society show at the Evergreen Retirement Center opens today from noon - 4 pm so I will be there some time today to see the show.


Saturday, September 24, 2011


Here's the next stage of the tomatoes called Fresh Picked.  Getting closer to done but lots of little bits on that straw and dark shadows to do yet.

I'm afraid I'm going to lose my interest in this one before it's done so may just really simplify the straw so it's just darkness and bits of things in between the tomatoes.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Sometimes you make friends online through the art blogs and sites and they remain friends for years, even though you've never met in person.  That's what happened with me, Teresa, and three other artists who created our own yahoo group in order to explore watercolor more.  We would do projects and lessons and share information about technique and colors and everything else in our lives.  Two of those friends have lost touch but there are still three of us who communciate and send things once in a while to each other.

I'm calling this my care package from Spain.  Teresa sent me all these little goodies and this gorgeous painting of a crow - look at that beautiful background that reminds me of snowy days to come - brrrr!  I love this and am putting it up on the chest in my bedroom right now to look at it when I dress in the morning and to remind me that there are lots of crow-angels in my life that I may not see but only hear as they pass by - but they are still there and thinking of me once in a while :) 

And just what is on this goodie table?
1.  Inchies from Crescent Board - little bits of crescent board you paint/create on to create little inch squared artworks - I'll have to try it and maybe it will get added into a collage or a journal entry sometime.

2.  Gold leaf!!!  Lots of it - in silvery green, gold, silver, and patterned in a flower pattern that would have made Van Gogh jealous (I may not be able to use that one, it's too beautiful!!).

3.  Little boxes that held chocolate and now are just empy holders of things - small tubes of paint, bits of charcoal, pencil, etc. - but are so pretty they will have to be used just to show them off.

4.  Some fairy stickers - such cute little things that look like they might be worrisome fairies - not your average pretty little things but fun just the same :)

5.  A container of pure lapis lazuli paint!!!  Oh, my!

6.  And this gorgeous painting on 300# hot press paper (it always feels so good, this paper, I may have to get some one day).  I love this crow and love all of Teresa's work - you can see her blog on my sidebar or click here to go and see what a creative, talented woman she is.

How is that for a surprise care package all the way from Madrid??

Muchas gracias, Teresa! 

Es un verdadero placer contar con usted como un amiga.
(Y me comprometo a volver a mis estudios de español pronto.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Today, I'm taking my 2 paintings to the Evergreen Retirement Center for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society fall open member show.  Show starts with an artist's reception/opening on Sunday, September 25th from noon to 4 pm.  Hope you can stop by if you're in the area some time during the show's run - which will be from September 25 - October 31.

The paintings on the front of the postcard are by Joan Ammerman, Deb Ward, Jean Vance, Ritzie Junker, and Susan Grogan (all winners in the spring member show).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



Photo by R.H. Carpenter

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


On YUPO.  Drawn loosely with some scribbles and lines in watercolor pencil so the lines disappeared when I added water.

Monday, September 19, 2011


This painting is now at  stage 4. 

At this point, that far upper left tomatoe is finished except for the stem.  This is how they all will come together, a little at a time.

I am not a patient person.  But, for this one, I know I ruined one good start before, and I know I have to take this a baby step at a time to get it right.  So I'm working a bit, walking away and doing something else, then going back in hours or the next day and working some more.  So far, so good, but I know it's slow going to be watching this! 

Sorry for the slowness but some things just have to simmer!  (I must be hungry and thinking of tomato sauce - yum!!)

Wanted to share some photos from this weekend - a busy, art-filled weekend for me.

Saturday, Sweetie and I took a nice drive down to Rising Sun, Indiana to see the art fair and the juried show that was in the Pendleton Gallery there.  It was a warm, sunny day and we had a good time.

The show had a first, second, third prize and a best of show (the large sculpture of the heron which was really beautiful).

My friend, Deb Ward, had two paintings in the show (she also had one painting in the signature member show of the Cincinnati Art Club I visited Sunday).

Rising Sun has a new riverfront area with a lovely sculpture/fountain gracing the new space.

But they haven't gotten rid of some of the older buildings, like this church on main street, which I've always loved.

On Sunday, I met Gaylynn Robinson, picked up her paintings for the Evergreen Show since she can't drop them off during the day, and we toured the Cincinnati Art Club's Signature Member show.  Many paintings were small and there were some real gems included in about 38 paintings overall.  We went to see our friend, Deb Ward's painting, Industrial Revolution, a fascinating painting that has so much more than you can show in a photo - lots of great texture and interesting, almost abstract composition, and beautiful colors - one of my favorites in the show.  To see more (and another of my favorites, go to Gaylynn's blog to see the painting by Joanne Honschopp's beautiful, serene, lovely acrylic landscape painting of the river.  Gaylynn did a better job getting good photos of the ones that caught our eyes and made us want to look closer.  It's always fun to walk around an art show and see what others are creating.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I now have 150 followers, according to the counter on the sidebar!  YAY!  It's fun to know there are people who read your words and look at your paintings.  I know there are a lot of choices out there and I'm glad you all have chosen me - I sound like a car commercial, don't I? ha ha

I'm highlighting 2 newest followers today who have blogs:

1.  Irina Sztukowski lives and works on California.  She paints in water media and creates everything from notebooks and cards to gallery-wrapped canvases that are covered with her wonderful artwork.  She also teaches.  Her artwork covers the gamut of subjects and is a joy to see.  Pop on over and visit her blog and enjoy her work.  Really beautiful stuff awaits you!

2.  Sadeu is another Spanish blogger and artist.  (I must get back to my Spanish lessons so I don't have to rely on bad translation packages to read the words!).  When you go over to check out his work, if the top banner painting doesn't capture you and want you to see more, then there is something wrong with your eyes!  Beautiful work and so many lovely sketches of people on the beach using just black, white and a touch of "body-color" that makes them all come alive off the page!  This man knows his stuff and I'll be going back to see more - hope you will, too. 

And remember when I was saying, when my follower counter hit 150, that person would get a small painting?  Well, I'm at 150 now.  And that person who is number 150 is DPSC Bose!  Since there is no blog or website information listed for DPSC Bose, if you are watching and/or reading, DPSC Bose, please email me (my email can be found under my personal information at the top of my sidebar) and we'll make plans to send you something in the mail). 

If I don't hear from DPSC Bose in a week, number 149 (Sadeu) and number 151 (the next person to join) will get paintings instead :)  I'll let you know who gets a painting and what he/she chooses.

3.  Just got a new follower, I see, so will go ahead and add him here.  The blog, called Fotobirding en el rio Besos, is all about birds, and is a joint effort of Alicia Tarragon and Paco Torres.  The blog contains photos of birds, some spectacular birds; and then drawings of birds done so delicately and beautifully.  I am so glad I scrolled down this morning and just happened to see that my counter was at 151 instead of 150 :)  Do visit if you like birds - or if you just like good sketches of birds.  I will return to read more (after translating it from the Spanish).  Hola, Alicia and Paco!  Thanks for being a follower - perhaps it was my fascination with crows that brought you over?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Walking Meditation 1

Fluid acrylic and watercolor
on Arches hotpress 140# paper
13" x 15"

Walking Meditation 2

Fluid acrylic and watercolor
on Arches 140# hotpress paper
6" x 20"

Friday, September 16, 2011


On full sheet (22" x 30")
Arches coldpress 140# paper

Slowly working the initial
color washes on the tomatoes
and around the box that holds them.

The box has straw inside it and that may the part that causes me the most problems.  I may just drybrush that part in around the tomatoes where now you see just white space. 

Now time to begin deepening the values using the same colors  - very limited palette of Hansa Yellow Medium, Perinone Orange, Pyrrol Red and Perylene Green.  Using a touch of Lunar Earth on the wooden part of the box to get a grainy look.  Cross your fingers and wish me lots of patience :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I'm sure, if you're a watercolorist, you've been told to mix your own blacks and darks.  Don't touch Lamp Black, Ivory Black, or Payne's Grey - and you may not have even heard of Neutral Tint.

But if you're interested in finding out more about these colors and how they can be used and mixed with other colors, you've got to pop over to Maggie Latham's ColourTalk post and then visit Lisa Le Quelenec's recent blog postings about them.  Both are excellent and give you a good idea of what the colors can do and how they can be used.

If you're a color geek, like me, you'll enjoy reading this and seeing the beautiful paintings both women have created.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Here is the start of a full sheet (22" x 30") watercolor painting of tomatoes.  I'm going to try to go at this slowly and carefully, working wet-in-wet and adding colors on a bit at a time.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Today, September 12, is Mindfulness Day.

Practice mindfulness throughout your day. 

Try to be present in the moment - whatever that moment brings.

Let the mind of desire,
the mind of clinging,
the mind of disappointment
all dissolve in the moment.

Zen Master Dae Gak tells us, in his book Going Beyond Buddha, that there are
four formal practices in Zen Buddhism:
bowing practice
sitting and walking practice
chanting practice
formal meal practice.

For Westerners whose minds are never still, the physicality of bowing practice might be a good place to begin.  Or perhaps we should start with chanting mantras as a way to silence our own inner dialogues. 

Master Dae Gak says, when using mantra as a listening practice, any word or phrase will do, as long as the mantra does not have so much meaning and association that it loses its simplicity and immediacy.

Any chant with which you are familiar will do.  It doesn't have to be Buddhist.

With our chant in mind, let's walk the steps up to the meditation hall, take our place on the cushion, and begin our mantra practice.  While you chant the mantra, keep out all other thoughts (not an easy task but it can be done, with practice - so they tell me!)
Happy Mindfulness Day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


We remember those who lost their lives. 
We remember those who sacrificed.
We remember.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Today, our walking meditation takes us by a pond, partially filled with water lilies.  The flowers have bloomed and gone now, at this time of year.  Many things changing in the woods around us. 

Frogs jump away as we walk by.  The statue of Jizo sits watching the pond.  The air is cool and fresh. 

We continue on, in silence, listening.

We share this quiet place with others, some too shy to be seen but only heard; others who stop and watch as we walk by.

In his book, Going Beyond Buddha, Zen Master Dae Gak instructs us on listening.

He says we should not identify with what is heard.  We should just listen without interpretation of what is heard.  What does that mean?  Well, he says most of us listen through a particular template brought on by years and years of conditioning habits.  We filter the world through this template.  When you practice listening as a meditation, you should drop particular forms and habits of hearing.  And just listen.

I know I react to much of what is around me.  My life is wrapped up in these reactions.  Example:

I hear the neighbor's dog bark.  I immediately place my template over that sound - what template is that?  The one that says, "Why is that dog always barking?  Why does my neighbor walk his dog into my yard and let his dog bark at me when I'm outside in my own yard?  I don't like weiner dogs (the dog barking is a Dachshund); I don't like dogs barking all the time."  WOW!  That's a lot of stuff from just a dog's bark, isn't it?  But's it's there - so quickly I don't even realize it's all there.  I'm not listening - I'm spending time interpreting a sound or sounds that may be long gone! 

And what does the interpretation bring up?  Anger, frustration, irritation...all those feelings - from just the bark of a little short-legged, sausage-shaped dog!  I've spent a lot of time and energy on that, haven't I? 

Just listening is not easy.  I guess that's why they call it practice?

Time for more walking meditation. 
Come with me. 
Should we walk to the top of the mountain today?  We'll go slowly so we can listen to all the sounds along the way.  Then we'll sit at the top and see the trees changing their foliage from summer to autumn and listen to the breeze blowing through the trees.

We'll sit for a while, and rest...
and listen.

Friday, September 9, 2011


I've been thinking about travelling, moving, going somewhere.  Perhaps it was the long weekend in the U.S. just past and all the people making one last trip somewhere before school starts (if it hasn't already) and there is no time.

I have all the time in the world, I think (one never knows).  And I'm thinking about retreats.  Those places you go to where you study, read, meditate, go inside and learn something about something that is nagging at you.

I'm taking a virtual retreat.  You can do it, too, without leaving home.  Just pick a place and go there in your mind.

This virtual retreat is to a place I have physically visited, so I have memories of walking the wooded paths and climbing the hills and looking out over the forest from the top steps of the meditation hall. 

Come with me. 
Since it's a virtual retreat, I can take as many of you with me as want to go.

Here's where we'll be staying.  A tiny cabin on the side of a mountain (I hope you don't walk in your sleep or you'll go right off the back porch and into the ravine).

Here, we have everything we need and nothing more.  Your job is to sit in silence, meditate, walk, listen to the sounds of the forest around you.  Begin to hear the inner voice you've silenced with t.v., music, reading, talking on the phone, etc.  Become aware of the silence and be unafraid.

Here is what we'll take to read and study.  Each day will begin with a reading from this wonderful book by Zen Master Dae Gak (from Furnace Mountain Retreat Center in southwestern Kentucky), and a meditation on the reading.

Then a cup of tea, a piece of fruit, and a walking meditation.  What will we hear today?  How deep will be our listening practice?

Come along with me.  Relax...breathe...listen.

The day is perfect for a virtual retreat.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I finished the 8-week online drawing/watercolor course by Suzanne McDermott in August.  I joined Suzanne's online Drawing and Watercolor course although I am not a beginner to drawing or watercolor. Why? Because I was intrigued by Suzanne's talk of drawing and painting as meditation - as a way to get in touch with oneself and become more aware of one's surroundings. I took myself back to "beginner mind" (as zen teachers ask us to do). I expected nothing more than for this practice to become an experience of awareness. I found myself looking forward to homework, and definitely looked forward to the class critiques from Suzanne which I found totally honest and helpful.

Suzanne has a way of teaching that includes the essence of the artist, not just the technique of drawing or painting (although there are plenty of good videos and lessons, and critiques via conference call between Suzanne and the students). 

Maybe you’ll get an idea of what I mean about her style by reading her free newsletter. You can sign up for it at Suzanne's main site here:

I would recommend this online course to anyone just starting their journey, but also to those who've walked a few miles and need to sit down, take a refresher, and become more focused on their art. At either stage of your art journey, you won't be disappointed to walk a little while with Suzanne McDermott.  I think she has much to share and teach.

You can also get Suzanne's free drawing e-book and song download in the sidebar of her home or teaching site. 

Here's something I did for the class, following Suzanne's lesson on layering transparent colors.  If you want to try it, too, check out Suzanne's online course - 8 weeks of learning and expanding your knowledge base may be just what you've been looking for!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Mixed a black from blue and brown and covered the background after darkening that middle apple and adding some more warmth into the right apple.  I think I'll leave the left one as is - less done but I like it.

A good dark cures a lot of ills!

Monday, September 5, 2011


I wonder why I make myself layer colors.  I much prefer the freedom and the flow of wet-in-wet painting.  And yet, it's something I think I must do once in a while :)  And when I get into it and let the paint rest in between layers (am less impatient than normal), I can understand the beauty of this technique.

So I try it once in a while.

Starting with bright and golden yellows and then going in with reds for these apples (Quinacridone Coral and Permanent Red Deep with Hansa Yellow Light and Hansa Yellow Medium and the back apple had Raw Sienna placed first).

I worked on these while the underpainted pear layers dried completely or I'd get too impatient and ruin both things.  Not that I can't do that anyway! ha ha

What was I thinking? 
I don't like the background - yuck! 
That's what comes from not planning the whole painting. 
And that middle apple is getting muddy, probably because I began with Raw Sienna?

So the question is - start over or muddle through?  I think I'll try to muddle through and come up with something better than this.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I finished reading The Judgment of Paris by Ross King, a book that was recommended by a docent at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Although it was a bit dry for me and heavy on the French history, I enjoyed reading about the start of the Impressionists - a title given as a slam against them because they didn't paint anything but impressions of nature (how dare they??).  I liked reading about the Salons and the schools in favor at the time and how hard it was for many of the Impressionists to make their mark and be accepted (some never were).

Discovering another book on the Impressionists (highly discounted at Borders), I had to take it home.

By Sue Roe, it's called The Private Lives of the Impressionists.  (Cover painting is by Berthe Morisot, one of just 2 women included in the Impressionists genre.) 

I am enjoying it and finding it more personal than The Judgement of Paris.  It delves more into the lives of the painters and their families of origin - most, it seemed, were supported by their families even if they didn't get into a good art school.  Some came from very wealthy families - no wonder they could do nothing but rent studios, go to class and try to get into shows with no other work to support them.

Many of the Impressionists who did not get into art school (or didn't want to get into a formal art school) ended up training from one of two artists who had formal training.  The studios were open and there were so many artists there, one learned as much from other students as he did from the teacher.  The Impressionists even began taking day trips out into the countryside as a group to paint the landscapes.

Why do I like this book?  Because it is personal.  I feel more like I'm getting to know the artists.  Did you know that Degas didn't trust women, didn't like women and thought a wife was a hindrance to an artistic life?  It may have had something to do with this mother dying at age 33 when he was just 13 - or the fact that she was a tempestuous, adulterous type that set the stage for his beliefs about women.  And then...we see his ballerina paintings and don't see any dislike of the feminine there, but instead see a delicate touch that conveys caring, interest, and perhaps longing? 

Although I'm only in chapter 3 of the book, I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the struggles and successes of the Impressionist painters.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Remember the lady I met when Sweetie and I went to the Western and Southern tennis matches at Mason, OH in August?  Her blog alter ego, Naieva Bookist, is a fun person to get to know (even if you aren't a tennis fan). 

You've got to see the post she did on the 24th (most recent).  I'm in it and so is the Flashbag I ordered that had Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson's painting of ravens on it.  Go see her post  - you'll be rewarded at the end of the post, I promise :)

Hi, Eva!  Hope you're enjoying the U.S. Open!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011


These are finished, except for a bit of softening where the pear meets the green background so they don't look pasted on the paper.

Calling this one
Let's Talk About It.

On 1/8 sheet Waterford Saunders 140# cold press paper.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Still playing with pears (and apples) and transparent colors and layering/glazing. 

As Maggie suggested, I am working on two at once (the small pears are underpainted with a thin mix of Phthalo Blue and water and I painted the darks first). 

After the paper dried, I used Hansa Yellow Light (a nice, bright, lemony yellow) over the blue, leaving whites (please please please leave those whites, you silly woman!!).

I really like this look - tart and bright and zingy.  But wait, there's more!

Next color = Quinacridone Gold, a rich color.  I'm proud of myself for still leaving some whites.  Those pears are now looking more regal and shapely.

Where to go from here?  A touch of red maybe?  I wonder how many layers you can do this way and still have a fresh-looking pear?

At the same time, I am working on a larger (just 1/4 sheet cold press) piece with apples and just using yellows and reds.  I'll share that later.

Took my two paintings to the framer shop yesterday.  They will be ready for the GCWS show at Evergreen later this month.