Monday, April 30, 2012


Two postcards going out today - one going to a sunny state, another going out of the country (hope it makes it!).

I put copper leaf on the front and where it didn't stick, it looked like a kangaroo.  So I added some things and painted in the kangaroo (after adding some texture medium to the shape to make it stand out a bit). 

On the back, I painted more texture medium and then color and liquid graphite to carve the hills you'd see in the Australian Outback. 

The second postcard was a saying copied from a stamped card a friend in watercolor class (thanks, Carol!) gave me year's ago (I never throw away something artful). 

I kept this one pretty simple with delicate colors.

I also added a sticker I got years ago (told you, I never throw something artful out) from Margaret

I then drew the wings so it flies to its destination!

I'm working on 2 full sheet paintings, trying to get a couple of Caw Girls to enter in the upcoming Cincinnati Art Club's Viewpoint juried show.  Not having anything ready to enter is putting some pressure on me and I may not even do it this year.  We'll see how these 2 paintings work out.  And tomorrow (rain or shine), I'm going to drive over to Indiana to visit with Deb and Sharon and share all the neat stuff I learned in Myrna's workshop recently - and paint together, too, if there's time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Today, Sunday Sharing will focus on my two new followers who have blogs.

1.  ArtbyMeera is the blog of Meera Rao, born in India but currently living in the US.  Meera creates beautiful posts every day, adding her watercolors, colored pencil sketches, or photos to brighten our days.  Go over and visit and read about her experience in Myrna Wacknov's workshop recently - very different from the workshop Myrna gave in Kanuga.   

2.  Art Hearts Journey is the blog of Barbra Joan, who does watercolor and watercolor pencil sketches.  You can see all her cute animal family on her sidebar and view her current works on her blog.  Barbra also has a website you can visit (see the sidebar to her blog) for more artworks. 

I hope you have some time this Sunday to visit these two bloggers and view their work.  It's always fun to discover new artists!

Have a good Sunday. 
I'm sitting the last day of the Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati (WACC) Show this afternoon.  Artists who got into the show will be picking up their works beginning at 4 (or earlier) so today's your last day to drop by and visit the gallery at The Barn in Mariemont.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I put a new watercolor for sale over on my Small Works blog.  Stop over and see if, it you're interested.  Anyone who wants to buy any of the paintings there, just email me and I'll let you know how to do so through your PayPal account. 

Friday, April 27, 2012


He began fairly simply.  Just a crow shape on a mossy rock, a bit of color around him.

As he took shape, I tried to add some texture into his body with water blossoms and granulating color.

Not bad, but he's not a bluebird so he needed much darker pigments added.

He was left to sit on the table while I went off to Mryna Wacknov's workshop at the Kanuga Watermedia Workshops in North Carolina.

So when I returned, I knew he needed something more to jazz him up!

What better things to jazz up a dull background than black and white gesso, drizzled and put on from a bottle like calligraphic marks.  All zagging around with upward movement.

But he still needed

added some darker blues and violets to make him darker and I think he holds his own against that background now.

Just a bit more shaping of his body and I think he'll be done.  The painting also became squared in the decision process.

What do you think of this Solitary Crow?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



Photo by R.H. Carpenter

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Well, you knew I'd have to carve a crow stamp, didn't you?

My beginner students came over today for another 2 hours.  This is where the green landscape stands now.  It's simplified but we played with greens and blues and yellows, and we played with stamping on color for some of the shrubbery.  I think they enjoyed it.

In May we're going outside to see if they really want to paint trees and bushes and grass :)

Monday, April 23, 2012


By the latter part of Wednesday and all day Thursday, we were still learning new things but we were also itching to paint - to try out some of those new things in our own work.  So we did (some of the students were doing this from Day 1 but I thought I'd miss something Myrna was teaching if I just sat and painted all week without watching her demo, writing it all down and then trying it later on scraps).

Here are my favorites from the end of the week.

This is the black gesso print technique - you brush black gesso on aluminum foil and then lay it gesso side down over your surface (this one is on watercolor paper).  Trace around your photo or drawing or free-hand it to transfer the black gesso to the clean surface.  I did this on the right side of the paper (painted with a palette of only 3 watercolor inks after the transfer); then I had that open area to play with on the left, so I took a tissue collage piece I'd stamped and put it on.  This is Harry Kent.  Those of you who know him through his blog, know Harry is a Tasmanian Devil who paints like a demon, but also suffers from Meniere's Disease (something that comes and goes but gives him horrid vertigo when it becomes an unwelcome visitor).  I was trying to capture the dizziness/vertigo in color, with those wavy lines, and with his right eye that was a bit of a cut-out paper I found on the floor.  I saw that Harry has been posting more in his Brett Whiteley series and he's abstracting the portraits even more - just color, shape and texture!

This one was also done with the black gesso print technique.  This is not Harry.

You have to time the drying of the gesso just right and I got brush marks in mine from using a sponge brush and leaving lines in the gesso layer which added more texture (I liked it better than the clean black lines some students got) to the piece.  Do not put your hand down over the foil as you trace or draw - it will push the black gesso into the paper or board as a blob of black.

I will probably do more to this as I don't like the limited palette I had to work with at the workshop and I can now put in more bold colors.  The paint was the Dr. PH Martin Hydrus watercolors.

This one was painted directly on Tyvek and I will definitely go in and darken it.  I just looked at the piece of Tyvek and saw a face there so began with the face.  Then I put a bird on the left - perhaps a bluebird on her shoulder? ha ha

And another one of Harry Kent. 
What can I say?  I had his photo and it looked so interesting I just had to try it when it came time to paint portraits. 

Of course, this doesn't look much like him - but it was fun to play with the lines and colors.

This one was drawn with the hydrus watercolor inks and a roasting skewer I cut in two and then cut one end to have a bamboo pen-like tip.  I did the drawing free-hand and then painted watercolors over a piece of watercolor paper that was gessoed and stamped.  You can see some of the bubble stamping but not the texture on the piece in this photo. 

I really like drawing with the stick and the hydrus watercolors (which are so bold and like ink).  I may try this again since there was a real freeing feeling when drawing this way - now I can see why Myrna draws with coffee stirrers!!  I may have to get bold and try India ink, too. 

Myrna even draws with diluted red gesso!!  But she's very brave - and very good at drawing.

Hope you enjoy the show.  Other than one I drew on Yupo and painted with acrylics, that's the bunch for the week - but I have so many materials to play with now!!

And Sweetie took lots of crow photos for me (they are all around and outside the balcony each morning while I was in class).

Thank you, Myrna, for a wonderful week!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Here's some paintings - some just started, others finished.

The techniques were shared by Myrna in the first 3 days and then we began using them, incorporating some and just playing with some on paper or tissue or Tyvek get the idea!!! ha ha

The two at the bottom were started using gesso (white) over a "failed" painting.  Letting that dry and then on the lower left, I used a stencil from Mary Beth Shaw's StencilGirlProducts line (trees) and put more white gesso there for a raised pattern.  I wanted something more so added in the blobs of black gesso to add something to all the white.  Then I added red (but only had a rose color with me - only had 5 acrylic colors and 3 Dr. PH Hyrdus watercolor inks with me so very limited in color).  Will go back to this one and add a bright, true red in spots to jazz it up.  The lower right is just gessoed and not sure what will go there in the future.

My least favorite and least successful painting was painting on the embossed aluminum foil.  I glued the foil to watercolor paper (140#) with acrylic gloss gel and I never thought it dried well underneath but painted on it anyway with 3 acrylic colors.  Should have had a plan, I guess, because I was just winging it and it's supposed to be a waterfall with tree and rocks but it just looks like a patterned shiny mess!  Oh, well, every technique is not going to be for everyone and Myrna's version of this was very very cool.

I'll talk more about my favorite techniques and how they were done tomorrow - come back and see me!

And since I'm taking up Sunday's time, I'll have another Sunday Sharing next week with all my new followers who have blogs :)

Myrna is going to be teaching in Wisconsin in July.  If you're in that area, it sounds like a great location and you will learn so much and get to know this wonderful lady!!!  She is definitely the texture queen :)  And for a teacher, she is patient with those who got lost or those who missed a step; she was open for new experimentation in class; and she didn't want us to paint like her but create our own "authentic voices" for our paintings - hope I can do that with the new knowledge she's given me. 

So...tomorrow come back to see my favorite techniques which I will definitely be adding to my art tool kit in the future! 

Happy Earth Day

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Our first day in Myrna Wacknov's workshop at Kanuga was spent creating, and learning how to create, STAMPS and STENCILS - anything to create more texture and design in our paintings. 

Here is a photo of some of the items I made - from Blue Magic foam stamps (you use a hot air gun on them and then press them into anything to create a pattern - some creative ladies were pressing the warm stamp into tree bark and pine cones and the bottoms of their shoes!!).  Then we took regular cove base (for your house) from a hardware store and cut a design into that for stamping; and there were stencils to create (I used Mary Beth Shaw's StencilGirlProducts stencils because they are so cool and everyone was drooling over them).  So many things you can use, from art supply stores to hobby stores (Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc.) and hardware stores and teacher supply stores to buy and use. 

And, yes, that is aluminum foil which we embossed (just put it over your stencil and use a hard brayer to get the design on) to be used in a painting in whole or in bits here and there.

Of course, the question is, which ones do you use in which paintings???  Decisions!!!

After I was totally stamped, stencilled and embossed out, we had another day of creating gesso messes:  Painting white gesso over "failed" paintings and then pressing tissue paper over the top to pick up more gesso (more texture for later).  More playing with tissue paper = using our stencils to create patterns on the tissue for collage work later; painting black gesso over tissue paper and then stamping and stencilling with metallic and interference paints; painting straight acrylic paints over tissue paper.  All for collage pieces to add to paintings. 

And that was just the first two full days - busy like a room full of Santa's elves working days before Christmas - Myrna had my head spinning with all the materials and ways to use those materials.  And our motto became, "Just Try It" whenever someone said, "What if I did this with this and...??" ha ha

Marvelous Myrna and Me ----->  

Friday, April 20, 2012


Kanuga Watermedia Workshops is held in the beautiful North Carolina area just outside of Hendersonville.  Each spring, hundreds of watermedia artists come to learn from the best.  My week was spent learning from Myrna Wacknov!  Photos from Day One follow...

Beautiful morning light on one of the green cabins. 

Beautiful Lake Kanuga.  You can walk all the way around it and the spring peepers (little frogs) are singing each evening.

Beautiful Myrna Wacknov, showing us how to create our own personal stamps that will relay our own "authentic voice" instead of copying or using someone else's stamp materials and voice.

Beautiful paintings created by Myrna, using lots of texture created by stamping, gesso-ing, stenciling, and even painting on aluminum foil!!

When we were growing up, my sister had a child's sized china cabinet.  She kept so much stuff in there, in the top and in the drawers.  Papers, odds and ends, little toys and tea cups and saucers, just about everything that meant anything to her was crammed in that cabinet.  She called it her "beautiful mess".

This is Myrna's beautiful mess :)  I don't know how she flew here with all this stuff!!  And this is only about a 1/4 of what she had in her classroom!

She kept us busy learning how to create texture in dozens of ways, and by the end of the week, I was seeing texture possibilities everywhere!

Come back for more info on the workshop when I get caught up with unpacking, laundry, and all the other things you have to do when you've been gone a week.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I added Whistle to the Small Works blog.  Check it out!  I think you might laugh at the lead-up to the description. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Sunday, April 15, 2012


After watching a 1.5 hour downloaded program showing Michael Britton painting a figure in watercolor using a cobalt blue underpainting and lots of glazing, I decided to try this crow the way he did.  I won't use the skin colors he did, but I did start with a cerulean and cobalt blue underpainting for this crow.  We'll see how it goes as I let each layer dry and put on another layer.

This glazing technique in watercolor is not my usual mode of operation - I don't have the patience or the personality to do multiple glazes like this, especially in a large painting.  But this one is just a 1/4 sheet so I think I can do it.  Plus, I'm not really in the mood to paint right now so I can take my time with this one by glazing! ha ha

I like the mottled look I got when I let the paint dry a bit and then dropped in clean water to get backruns and blossoms.

He'll eventually get darker with and more colorful. 

I hope you have a wonderful, warm, peaceful Sunday before your work week begins again. 

Friday, April 13, 2012


Every Easter, my little sister buys everyone a bunny cake from a local bakery.  I keep telling her to stop but you can't tell her to stop - or start - anything.  She's a bit stubborn! ha ha

Anyway, this is my little bunny cake this year.  Cute, yes?  The ears are paper, so you can't eat those!

Sweetie got a chocolate bunny cake with chocolate frosting so it wasn't as photogenic as my bunny cake.

Although I haven't been painting much at all for myself, I did start another crow painting.  I used the Shadow Violet for the background because it separates so beautifully onto/into a wet surface. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Hop over to my other blog and see what's up for sale this week!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know I rarely do landscapes.  I mean I do them about 1 in 50 paintings!  Landscapes are not my thing - although I really love looking at other artists' landscapes. 2 beginning students want to learn to do landscapes.  Oh, dear!!!

So today's lesson will be about mixing colors to get a range of greens to prepare for the landscapes that we may do.  I've had to do a little homework to prepare for this and I hope it goes well. 

I keep telling myself it's not about landscapes but about watercolor - how to make it work for you, the right mix of water and pigment, washes, drybrush, texture techniques, etc. 

After we do some swatches and they choose some good greens, we'll do a very simplified landscape (taken from the Jeanne Dobie book I've had for years) and see how they like it. 

This is the start of my landscape (with a few color swatches below) - which they will copy.  I want them to mix their colors, not use them right out of the tube.  I think it saves you tons of money in the long run and it helps you learn your colors.

When they get to this stage in their paintings, we'll add in some darks - which will allow me to talk about values and color temperature.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


A small painting I finished today.  It's a little wooden whistle.  Sweetie has a bunch of these in various colors, so I may paint a few for fun.  This one will probably go on the Small Works blog in the next week or so. 

Other than this, I've been sorting out my small paintings that will go on the Small Works blog; and working on the lesson for my beginner students who are coming for their 2nd meeting Tuesday.  They want to learn landscapes - something I don't do!  So...I have to do some studying of my own and paint a few so they will be able to learn what they want.  Of course, I'm going to make them learn to do washes and learn about granulating colors and which colors are warm and cool, too.  I won't make them draw for a while - don't want to frighten them away!

I also watched Merle Rosen's DVD on acrylic mediums.  Makes me want to try these things now - but I have to wait a while.  I'm definitely getting more geared up for the Myrna Wacknov workshop where we'll do stamping (creating our own stamps), collage work, and other experimental things with acrylics, inks and watercolors.  Watching Merle's DVD made me think of some other things to put in my travel bag to take to Myrna's workshop - including an apron and a few pair of latex gloves (because I hate having my hands covered in acrylic paint).

What delicious things are you having for Easter dinner tomorrow? 

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Our regularly scheduled meeting of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society was great!  Our guest speaker/artist was Merle Rosen, a Cincinnati artist and a Golden representative.  She showed us watercolor artists so many new and exciting things that our heads were spinning - but in a very good way!  Each member who attended the meeting also went home with some swag:  a goodie bag full of little jars of tempting things to try from the Golden family of acrylic mediums.

I ran my fanny off being Merle's little helper during the day and maybe that's why the time seemed to rush by for me - but I learned about several things I may have to try in the acrylic paint and medium areas.  Merle will be just the person to help me out with that because she offers lessons at her studio in Cincinnati.  I intend to start doing that as soon as I return from my Kanuga Watermedia Workshop this month (I'll have a week of painting fun with the one, the only, Myrna Wacknov - and then schedule a few 2-hour sessions with Merle to learn more about acrylic paints and mediums I may want to explore).

So that dullness that had overcome me recently has now been replaced with excitement and thoughts of something new coming my way.  Who knows where this will take me?

And, in case you haven't yet noticed, I am putting some of my small watercolors up for sale on a different blog dedicated just to that.  See my sidebar for the addy or go HERE to see what's up on the blog for the first week of April.  I hope to have something on offer each week.  These are steals at the price I'm offering them, so I hope you fall in love with one and just HAVE to have it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


In the Postcard SWAP group, we are to send 1-2 postcards each month, going down the list of members so everyone eventually gets a postcard from every member. 

These 2 April postcards will be mailed out this morning.  One is going to Texas; one is going to Ontario, Canada.  Mailing these, one never knows how long it will take to arrive - one mailed 2 states over often takes as long as one mailed out of the country.  So which one will arrive first?

We are allowed to do any medium, but oil, but so far everyone is doing plain watercolors (I guess because we began as a watercolor group and that's what we're most comfortable with). 

Adding the quotes (cut-out and glued on the front), one wonders if they will make it there or be torn off by the time they arrive.  We'll see.

I hope you have a good day.
I had a very long to-do list to get done yesterday. 
I got it all done.
But in the process, I've caused some problems with my neck and shoulders,
so I am moving gingerly today.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Here's something new. 

I'm going to be painting some small watercolors (no larger than a fourth sheet = 11" x 15") and putting them on a separate blog.  All work will be unmatted and unframed; every piece will be less than $150.00.

If you're interested, you can always go over to the other blog, called Small Works in Watercolor (see sidebar for the link when this post is gone), and email me your interest.

It's just something new I'm trying. 
Pop over and see my first offering, if you're interested.

I'll still be posting my works in progress, studies, lessons, and other larger miscellaneous paintings here.


Since I have 3 new followers who have blogs, I'm going to feature them today as part of Sunday Sharing.

1.  All I can decipher about this artist is that the blog is called Ondedacqua and the artist is Italian.  But you don't need words.  Just go there - and if your breath is not taken away by her/his first painting post you see, you do not love watercolor.  This is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a while.  And continue on and see more.  You will not be disappointed.

2.  Markku's Art blog is by Markun Makela, a Finnish artist who loves to capture the winter landscape in his home country.  Take some time to scroll down and see the great photos of spring flowers blooming and boys and dogs playing...then go down to see his paintings (in acrylic, I think, based on how they are framed).  Beautiful light-filled snow scenes will greet you if you take some time to keep looking.  He is truly talented and his blog was very enjoyable to visit.   

3.  Last, but not least, we have the blog called Heavy Afternoon Rain.  A Taiwanese artist who is just beginning working in watercolor, and has just begun his/her blogging journey.  I really enjoyed seeing the pen and ink drawings - so dark like a graphic novel. 

If you have some time, visit these 3 bloggers today!  And have a wonderful Sunday.  

And if you want to get a poem a day delivered to your email, check out this site.
April is National Poetry Month!