Thursday, May 31, 2012


I like the granulating effect of these colors in the background now - but see where I didn't carry the dark through the branch on both sides (a simple mistake to fix).  I used Zoisite Genuine with a bit of Sap Green and some Tiger's Eye Genuine (all Daniel Smith colors).

I didn't spend as much time on it as I should, because I was itching to get to the Open Acrylics and the gel printing plate. 

Last day of May - here come's June!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I finally got my order from Cheap Joe's of the Open Acrylics so I can experiment more with my GelliArts gel printing plates.  It's always like Christmas, to get those art supplies in the mail!

I didn't go crazy - just bought a few little tubs and an introductory set (the tall tubes) - all Golden Open Acrylics (which stay wet longer so you can work with them without rushing).

I think I'll spend some time playing and experimenting with these for the next couple of days and make some more monoprints.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Today, you are in for a treat on my regular Sunday Sharing post.  I have two new bloggers who are simply wonderful bloggers and artists. 

1.  F.M. Marrouch, is a Spanish blogger and artist.  He paints like I wish I could paint.  What IS IT about European watercolorists that make you drool over their paintings?  Loose, filled with light, just enough detail, oh, it must be something in the water or the wine!! 

2.  Angela, in her description on her blog (named The Wandering Wayfaring Tree) is describing me!!!  Except I don't spend spring through fall in Italy and don't live near London in the winter  - and I'm not a happy traveller or a winter loving person! ha ha
Anyway, her blog is lovely with not much chatter - just specific quotes that compliment the paintings and sketches well. 

I definitely will be returning to visit both of these new blogger friends - and I hope you will, too!!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.  We are having summer now - temperatures in the low 90F's every day.  Too hot.  Too humid.  And I had to go buy new shorts.  I hate wearing shorts.  But my old stand-by shorts make me look so old and dowdy.  I used to have beautiful legs. 

Summer - time to shed some clothing; time to try to be comfortable in that clothing; time to cut the hair short and just don't give a damn about it; time to think about dipping my toes in the ocean, putting on my mask, fins and snorkel and getting under the water like a mermaid.  I am, afterall, an Aquarian!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Looking at this one through the red glass, it is pretty dull in value differences.  I need to pop up some darks to get this little blossom to pop more.  It's just a fourth sheet painting I'm fiddling with when I don't want to paint on the Jester.

I'm spending no more than 1/2 hour at a time on her, slowing adding in things and trying to work slowly to see the shapes (that jester costume can make you cross-eyed!).

(The glare is from the overhead light on that side of the full sheet painting - sorry about that!).

Today is Friday before a 3-day weekend here in the U.S. (honoring Memorial Day on Monday).  The weather is supposed to be blisteringly hot hot hot for everyone's cook-outs on Sunday or Monday.  I guess that's better than rain but when it goes over 90F, I get wilted.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are.  Stay safe!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


She's not going to be ready in time to enter the Viewpoint show.  As the kids say, "Whatever!" 

I've got lots of excuses, including Mom being put into the hospital again, then my getting sick with a cold that turned into a sinus infection.  Mom's back home (with oxygen this time) and I saw the doctor Monday and got some good meds for this so am on the mend. 

Let's see, what else could I use as an excuse? ha ha 

When I decided not to let this stress me, I didn't and I won't.  It won't be ready in time.  I don't like anything else enough to try to get it in. I have to be thinking about other things and I'll work on this when I feel like it.

I like the crow on this one :)  Maybe she'll be ready for the watercolor society summer show in July. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Today, I talked about composition with my beginners.  They are photographers and have good eyes for composition but I talked about what freedom painters have that photographers don't have to move and change and delete things from a photo (unless they are really good at PhotoShop and all those things and want to spend that amount of time in front of a computer screen).  I took a photo Sweetie had taken during a trip down to Cumberland Falls.  A simple photograph.  Nothing spectacular about it.

But it gave me a chance to talk about how artists lead the eye into a painting; how we can rearrange things, pushing some things back, bringing some things forward.  I didn't know I knew all this stuff and continually amaze myself!  (I guess I really did learn from all those teachers I had, from books and videos and real life teachers like Sandy Maudlin, Janet Rogers, Nick Simmons, Myrna Wacknov, and Carol Carter; and even the very intense online landscape classes I took from Johannes Vluithus who know teaches via WetCanvas). 

So this is the photo.

And this is the painting started today (on 9" x 12" Arches 140# rough watercolor paper).

I gave them a colored photo and a black and white version of the photo, then had them trace the shapes/elements in the landscape, making changes (like leaning that little tree on the left side into the painting not out of it), and noticing how the overarching trees frame the center of interest = that white patch on the water.  And I got to demo wet-in-wet painting and talk about atmosphere as well as dry brush painting and how to add colors to each successive pass still using dry brush (and how rough watercolor paper is great for this technique and good for landscapes in general).

I hope they are learning every day they meet with me; and I hope they are also having fun each time.  I think I learn something each time and I do enjoy it.

We won't finish this painting until next meeting, but I hope they may paint something on their own (perhaps more tree practice or a little landscape out their back door) between times. 

Monday, May 21, 2012


Sea Rose
by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

Rose, harsh rose,
marred and with stint of petals,
meagre flower, thin,
sparse of leaf,

more precious
than a wet rose
single on a stem---
you are caught in the drift.

Stunted, with small leaf,
you are flung on the sand,
you are lifted
in the crisp sand
that drives in the wind.

Can the spice-rose
drip such acrid fragrance
hardened in a leaf?

Sometimes we feel like that sea rose:  not so pretty, a little bedraggled and perhaps
battered by the wind and water.  But when someone loves you, they love you just as you are!  Isn't that an amazing thing?

I hope you feel the love of someone who accepts you just as you are today.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Do you push yourself?  Do you step outside your comfort zone to do something different just to see what will happen - or what it will teach you?  Or do you have a standard recipe for success which you keep using over and over?

For me, I have to keep pushing.  I keep trying something new.  At times that, in itself, feels like I'm running away from success (because learning something new takes time and effort and there is always a learning curve before you feel good about it).  At other times, it feel perfectly right.  How else will I learn if I don't try?  And it isn't boring!

For me, painting the same thing over and over and over again - even if it's beautiful each time - would bore me to death!  And boredom definitely stifles my creativity.

So choose your path - only you can choose. 
For me, I'm the one you see getting off the well-trod path and stumbling over the broken, uneven ground!  If you see me fall, just know I'll get back up and try again.

Just some words of "wisdom" for your weekend :)  Take them with a grain of salt, and a pinch of paprika or a bit of cumin powder get my drift! ha ha

Friday, May 18, 2012


If you're interested in trying out the GelliArts gel printing plates, check out their site here.  It's easy and fun and you can add anything to your monoprints or leave them "pure" - whatever you desire.

I'll get back to mine as soon as I get over this horrid cold I've picked up.  YUCK :(

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Well, I was not doing it the way the Gelli Arts folks show in their video (which I found out after I watched the video a second time).  But this is what I came up with. 

The original print is made using a single color of regular acrylic paint (Phthalo Turquoise), and then other things added with either another acrylic paint (Quin Red) or the Dr. Martin hydrus watercolor inks and a little collage.  I don't have any Open Acrylics yet (but they are on order) so I'm using regular Winsor Newton heavy body acrylics and thinning them with a Golden medium (Golden acrylic glazing liquid).

I'm not unhappy with them but will be happier when I get my black acrylics to use instead of the bright colors I have (only 3 tubes + a white).

This first one, called The Language of Angels, because of William Cook's influence.  Check out his blog and see his work and creations invoking sacred geometry.  Got me thinking I saw an angel in profile when I first pulled the print.

This second one, freehand drawing the jester and adding some watercolor inks in Quin Rose (only have 3 colors of the watercolor inks) to add a little and some Mars Black acrylic I had from years and years ago.

I did another, but it didn't turn out to be much of anything...sometimes you don't know what you're going to get when you pull the print and see how much or how little of the paint sticks to the damp paper (the Gelli Arts video doesn't say to wet your paper but most printers do, and then blot the excess water and do the print on the damp paper).  I think I'll try it with dry paper, too - just to see the difference.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Because of the influence of blogger, Derek Jones, and his use of the gel printing plate and Golden Open Acrylics to get some fabulous monoprints, I now have a new tool:

I purchased the small gel plate.  I'll let you know how it works for me.  I am not expecting the gorgeous results Derek has gotten, but I hope to have something interesting and creative soon.  Go over to Derek's blog and catch up while he's away - see some of the absolutely stunning work he's been doing!

I remember reading a book about making your own gel plates from jello - looked so messy and strange to me that I never did it.  This is so much better - and cleaner!

Have a creative and exciting day!

Monday, May 14, 2012


I've come to the conclusion that I, alone, am causing the stress on myself about the upcoming juried show entries.  I'm going to stop that now.  If the work gets done and I like it enough, I will enter it.  If not, then I won't enter it.  It is not about the shows.  It is about the work.  The thought of the show is keeping me from being motivated to do anything because I feel like I SHOULD be working on these two.  I'm going to stop thinking about that and just think about the work and what I want to do - where I want to go - next.

Here is what I have so far.  As you can see, neither has much work done to them at all.  I'm unsure about the Caw Girl attempt.  Perhaps the failed one is what is causing me problems.  Perhaps it's that dress.  Don't care.  Not going to waste precious mental effort on it, either way.

I think the Jester painting will work out.

I've also come to the conclusion that blogger buddies don't always give you the hard facts.  They are too kind, too gentle, too aware that they may hurt your feelings about a piece you're working on.  We all do it.  It's a symptom of not knowing people that well and just communicating via a blog comment.  But I wouldn't mind at all if you wanted to be more honest and say, "This piece is not working because...." or "I think you got off track somewhere because..." when a piece really sucks.  Of course, that is with the stipulation that I know it's just one opinion or two.  If several people point out the same problems, I'll know there's a problem there :)

Thank you all for the supportive comments and commiserations on my procrastination and displacement behaviors.  Unfortunately, I have some phone calls and emails for the watercolor society to take care of before I can go to my art room and paint...but that is what I plan to do later today!

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Happy Mother's Day to all those who are mothers now
and to all those who have been mothers in the past. 
To all grandmothers,
and biological mothers. 
To all men who mother their children. 
To all the animals who mother their children so well,
and then let their children go into the world.

Photos by Jerry H. Carpenter
Taken at the Cincinnati Zoo

Friday, May 11, 2012


Displacement behavior is usually thought of as self-grooming, touching, or scratching, which is displayed when an animal has a conflict between two drives, such as the desire to approach an object, while at the same time being fearful of that object. With the fall of drive theory into disfavor, animal behaviorists paid little attention to displacement behavior until Maestripieri et al. (1992) pointed out that displacement behavior might be a good measure of anxiety levels. Since then a sizeable literature evaluating the effectiveness of displacement behavior measures (also called self directed behavior, or SDB) as indicators of anxiety has grown. Particularly attention has been paid to primates, including humans. Measures of displacement behavior, for example, have been applied in psychiatric studies of anxiety (Troisi et al. 2000).

Now, what does that have to do with me and this blog?
Well, have you ever had a deadline looming and would do anything other than complete the project (or the painting) that needed to be done in time? Even cleaning your oven or refrigerator, or mowing the yard or...whatever little niggly thing you can do to keep from doing the task at hand?

That's me.
I just got a notice that I have 3 weeks before the Viewpoint entries are due.  I have less time than that, due to a trip coming up.  So...less than 3 weeks to get a painting ready and worthy to enter.

And what am I doing instead?
Walking, going to the grocery every other day for things I forgot the first and second time.
Exercising.  Reading.
Watching the Madrid 2012 Open matches on the Tennis Channel.
Watching the birds at the feeders.
Doing laundry.

Just about anything but going to my art room and working on 2 paintings I have begun that just keep looking at me, both barely begun.

Anxiety about the paintings.
Are they good enough to work on?
Are they creative?
Can I finish them without overworking and/or ruining them both?
Will they get in even if I paint them and enter them?

Anxiety + Fear = Displacement Behavior.

Think I'll go raid the chocolate drawer (a special drawer in my kitchen that holds all my chocolate goodies) and eat something.  Or maybe go outside and weed a bit.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


My beginner students want to learn to paint landscapes.  Tuesday morning, we discussed value and how to make value work for you without getting too overwhelmed by all the greens in the landscape.  I gave them a piece of red acetate they can look through to see the values in the landscape and in their paintings.  They were amazed!  Red acetate has been used for a long time to take the color out of everything (a painting, a photo, the landscape, a still life set-up) so you can focus on the values and not get distracted by the colors.  It works.  Try it!  Get a piece of red plastic (from a file folder or some Easter paper or from an art store) or a piece of red glass - and look through it (hold it up to your eyes and look through it - like having rose-colored glasses (only red).  It makes a difference. 

After the lesson on value and some discussion about the 3 parts of a landscape (foreground, middle ground and background), we began this landscape.

I wish I had gotten photos of their work, but didn't - so this is my version of a simple landscape where they could practice their sky and clouds and then get lots of greens in their trees.

This is a copy of a painting in a Michael Crespo Watercolor Class book (done by one of his student's in the 2-semester class).  I did explain copyright with them and that these can be used for learning and they can show them off in their home but no where else and they can't sell them.  As photographers, they understand that.  The painting in the book is more horizontal with less sky.  But I did mine on a fourth sheet of watercolor paper with more sky.  Linda copied my format (on a fourth sheet of watercolor paper) while Nancy did her painting in the horizontal format (cutting the fourth sheet in half length-wise so it was more a panoramic view). 

Both of these students are long-time photographers so they already have keen eyes and are doing so well, it won't be long before they are outperforming me and will move on :)

I also began another fourth sheet painting, glazing some colors for this little flower.

Glazing tends to take time and I tend to return to that technique whenever I'm really not excited about any painting or can't get too motivated.  So I glaze a bit, walk away and do something else, and return to glaze some more later, or the next day. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


Our weekend began with some strong storms rolling through Friday night.  Saturday had hints of more rain but it cleared beautifully.  Sweetie and I put a few miles on the car, driving down to Rising Sun, Indiana to see the 9th annual juried art show there.  I knew 3 people who got in the show and 1 person who won a major award (I will let her tell you about this on her blog so won't spoil the surprise here).  Then we drove up north to Evendale, Ohio to see another show.  This one I knew many of the names but went specifically to see Katherine Thomas' colored pencil work that was in the show.  I have to say, the show was very impressive with some big names in the group so Katherine should be very proud to be accepted into that group!!  And her painting was wonderful, of course :)

I love taking a day and just driving from place to place to see art.  You get refreshed and renewed and come back to your art room and think about what you might do or can do.  It also gives you an idea of what is being accepted into shows (both juried and non-juried) in the area.  The Queen City Art Club is having their member show at "The Barn" in Mariemont (on Cambridge) which opened Sunday.  I haven't seen that yet but will make it over one day this week to see what is up on the walls there. 

So...did I paint over the weekend?  Well, yes I did! 
But only some value studies and some lesson work-ups for my 3 beginner students coming Tuesday morning.  Today, I think I'll paint for me...

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I missed including a follower last Sunday - something I did not intend to do.  And she is someone you should visit!!

So, here are 2 bloggers you should get to know:

1.  Drawn to Paint Nature, the blog of Claire Ward, a botanical and nature artist living in western Wales.  If you love the elegant beauty of botanicals, you must visit Claire's blog and webpage!  She paints such lovely work that is full of beautiful detail and interest - works that are almost meditations on nature.  Again, go there - go now!!  You'll love it!

2.  And if you love photography and all that can be done in the hands of a good photographer with a keen eye, then hop over to visit Gustavo Osmar Santos' blog.  If you don't fall in love with Trees Last Light of Day, then you don't like nature!  Take some time and really look at his work.  You won't be disappointed.

Both of these artists take nature to another level.  Something we might walk by and say, "Nice", they turn into a beautiful work of art. 

Did you get to see that gorgeous moon last night?  In my night sky, there was a golden halo around it, giving it even more power as it rose to hang in between the treetops.  Beautiful doesn't describe it.  If you want to see a fantastic photo of the full moon from the north, go over to Cate's blog and view her latest photo post.  WOW!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Without a lot of motivation right now, I'm looking at art magazines and watching DVDs and thinking that maybe something is brewing - not sure what.

So...with nothing new begun other than 2 Caw Girls who say they don't want to be seen just yet (and you don't mess with Caw Girls when they say NO!!), I returned to some of the things started in the Myrna Wacknov workshop...

This one I'm calling
What Happened in the Woods.

White and black gesso and red acrylic over a gessoed painting on watercolor paper.  Don't know where it will go from here.  I guess the great part of acrylics and gessoes is that you can always make changes much later.

This one began with white gesso over watercolor paper and then some black gesso and then some stamping and making marks - and now some collage and acrylic.  Looks a bit strange and I see some faces and figures here and there I could bring out a bit more.  I suppose it will tell me what it needs later - even if that is to pitch it in the garbage can! ha ha

Do you have your Kentucky Derby winner picked yet?  Hope you win!

Tonight we all win (if the weather clears) because the full moon will be closer to the earth than it has been in months (or maybe years??).  I hope you get to see it.  I saw it last night and it was so magical, I can see why ancient humans gave the moon such mystical power.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Has anyone else ever received this email??

P A L M   A R T   A W A R D   2 0 1 2
Dear Rhonda Carpenter!
Based on a carfull review of your website we are pleased to inform you that you are verified and kindly
invited, to enter our 'Palm Art Award 2012' with your recent works!
Find all winners of Palm Art Award 2011 and the first new registrations for Palm Art Award 2012 at
Art Domain Leipzig has been bestowing the highly valued Palm Art Award every year since 2003.
The award aims to support and promote outstanding artists in painting, graphic art, digital art, sculpture, photography and fibre art from all over the world.
For many of our former winners the award turned out to be a stepping stone to an enhanced level of their artist career.
I am a skeptical person. 
I don't believe anything that comes to me this way. 
 I think it's a way to get me to fall for a balm to my ego and think I'm good enough - and then send in my $ for the entry fee. 
What do you think?
Is this something most artists see in their in-box every now and then?  I seem to be getting them about every 2-3 months from different groups or people.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter