Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I received this gorgeous postcard from Jane in PA.  It's a scene from her trip to Italy, showing where she and her Sweetie stayed while they were there.  She said they had lavendar and geraniums growing in the front yard and a path down to this arch which might have led to a stable in the past. 

Thank you, Jane!!!

Can you believe that this is the last day of July?  We are going back into 90F weather so I'm glad Sweetie got the pool open for the birthday gathering Saturday - now we can enjoy it in the late afternoons when it gets too hot :)  I hope you have a way of cooling down if you're still in the heat zone of the U.S.

Monday, July 30, 2012


I don't know where yesterday went - but it did.  Without my posting my Sunday Sharing.  I like to do this every time I get 3 new followers who have blogs. 

So, as my Momah used to say, "I'm a day late and a dollar short!"  But here they are - and what a fantastic bunch!!  You will find great pleasure in all of these blogs so have a cup of something delicious and spend a few minutes viewing these artist blogs.

1.  Sharon Whitley calls herself and her blog The Rambling Artist.  She makes me miss my time spent in Wales.  Sharon's blog is lovely; full of paintings you will really enjoy.  She has a great talent and skill and shares it with us - aren't we the lucky ones??

2.  Dan's Canvas is the blog of Dan Kent, an artist with which you may already be familiar.  As an artist and blogger, Dan is a 10 out of 10, folks, so don't miss spending viewing his work today!

3.  And I'm just going to say, RUN, don't WALK, to see the blog of Athay de Lopes!  Works of art that could easily be seen in any art museum; a master who has been painting for decades; a professor of painting on canvas who knows his stuff!

I think this will begin your week in a very artful and beautiful place - so take some time and visit these three amazing artists.  You won't be disappointed and you will definitely make a new favorite to return to again and again. 

Have a great week!  I am off to take Mom to her doctor's appointment and then (if her blood pressure is below 160/90), to her pulmonary rehab session. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Yesterday, in between more cleaning for the Birthday Gathering today, I met up with Deb and Sharon at the Carnegie Arts Center in Covington, KY to view their 2012 Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibition.  If you are in the area, do make the time to visit this show.  It is amazing!!

Two floors of wonderful colored pencil art kept us looking for some time; some works were very photo-realistic and some more loose (if you can call colored pencil loose, but you know what I mean).  Artful and interesting and many clever pieces (I always enjoy the ones that make me smile due to the subject matter and the title).

Here are just a few of my favorites - the 2 on the postcard were also favorites and looked great in person.

This bathing beauty was on the second floor and well worth the walk up (they have an elevator if you have trouble with stairs). 

And this one made us all laugh.  I had to get a photo of it!  Look closely and read the title :)

And I had to find at least one blackbird in the bunch!

The show drew artists from every state in the U.S. plus Japan, Australia, and Canada being represented.  It runs through August 30 with a Meet the Artists Reception on August 4 from 4-6.  Parking is very limited around the Carnegie but they have valet parking during an artist reception/opening.

After the show, Deb, Sharon and I had a lovely lunch at the York Street Cafe in Newport, KY.  Yummy!!!

Later that evening, Sweetie and I went to see Art After Hours at the Fort Thomas Branch of the Campbell County Library.  Catered food and drink; live music; and great artwork from 17 artists.  It was a nice event and we talked to quite a few artists we knew.  I'm glad the turnout was good because it was right after a horrid storm (in fact, there were fire trucks and police cars blocking the road farther up past the library because the wind had taken down an electric wire that was now over the street!).  The event is a one-night only thing and the library is reimagined as a large gallery space - which worked really well.  Perhaps Sweetie and I will be one of the guest artists next year (apparently, it's by invitation only).

So an artful day all around which didn't make the housecleaning seem so tedious!

Hope you have a good weekend. 
Today is the Big Birthday Gathering today. 
The pool is open and the grands will probably get in, in spite of the cooler temperatures since the storm last night (only 70F this morning = YAY!!!).

Friday, July 27, 2012


I began the second photo of the pears this way, doing the background and then the shadow/foreground drizzles. 

It makes the pears look like they are melting - which they may be in this heat.  Another 100F day :(

I changed the colors of the pears up a bit from the first painting where they were more green.  I am liking that golden-orange-red one :)  It's like going to a party where all the women are in black dresses - and then that one walks in wearing red! ha ha 

Because they are going to look like they are melting down, I'm calling this

Summer of 2012 Pears.

What do you think so far?
It's not finished yet but getting close!

Sweetie and I are going to the Ft. Thomas Library to see
Art After Hours, a program of music and food and lots of paintings and photos on the walls.  We may be in the show next year but didn't know about it this year.  Still, quite a few artists are in that I know so it should be fun.

Hope you have something fun and artful to do this weekend.  We are having a family birthday gathering and we may all have to jump in the pool (with or without swimsuits, it's so darned HOT!).

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I went darker than David Lobenberg does on his DVD, but I think it's okay.  The Paynes Gray by Winsor Newton lifts easily - and I may have overdone that.  But I still think it can be saved with Step 3.

Perhaps a portrait is a painting with something wrong with it.  In Step 1, it was the chin.  In this step, it's her right eye. 

No worries!  It will all come together in Step 3 (I hope).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


When I first watched David Lobenberg's new DVD, Painting Portraits in Paynes Gray, I had to try it.  Since he included a nice photo to use in the DVD box, I just copied it in black and white, enlarged it a bit and then traced it onto tracing paper; transferred it to an eighth sheet of Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper (140# cold press) and started. 

I got as far as Step 1 and then life took over. 

I do intend to do the other Steps - after watching them again on the DVD.

If you would like to learn more about painting portraits in a single pigment, you won't go wrong getting in touch with David and ordering his DVD.  There is nothing stiff or controlled about his painting and you'll love it if you want that loose, carefree look in your portraits of your friends and family.

I'll share more when I get more time to continue on this one.  (As you can see, her chin has gotten misshapen when I was working with the paint - but David says don't panic and don't worry and don't go back in and fiddle with the paint so I let it dry and will "fix" it when I do Steps 2 and 3.)

For more information on his DVD, go to my post here:


As for me, I'm going to take some time and watch Steps 1 and 2 again today and try to get some time to paint my Step 2 and see how she turns out.  Because David insists of giving your painting stopping times, it's okay to just do a step, take a break or a day or two, do another step, take another break, etc.  No feeling of being overwhelmed and rushed that you need to get it done all in one day.

So I guess his style is a kind of glazing - but only partial glazing over some areas each time, each area getting smaller and smaller as you continue to work and focus on certain aspects of the portrait.  (My color photographed a bit more blue than it is - it's the Winsor Newton Paynes Gray, like Professor Lobenberg uses.)

Monday, July 23, 2012


Well, there won't be much time to paint this week.  Seems I have something going on each day.  But I did do a little study of some colors, thinking about the portrait in the DVD by David Lobenberg (see post from Friday for more on that).

Here is Daniel Smith Paynes Gray compared to Winsor Newton Paynes Gray - and I can see why David uses Winsor Newton for his monotone portraits!  The Daniel Smith is darker and granulates more and it just wouldn't make a very pretty portrait.  I guess that means I'll have to get a bit more Winsor Newton Paynes Gray if I'm going to do more portraits like David!

And I had been talking up the Daniel Smith Shadow Violet and how much I love it.  Someone reminded me that it's very similar to Moonglow (also by Daniel Smith).  So I tried them out, side by side, to see what the difference was. 

Looks like they both separate and granulate beautifully.  The separation causes 3 colors to show through.  The Moonglow is darker and has a redder tone and you can't get really dark dark with the Shadow Violet so I think you could use either one, depending on your mood.  And since Moonglow makes me think of night paintings, perhaps a full moon shining in just a Moonglow surround would be interesting?

Which one is your favorite?  Do you have them both or just one?  How do you use it/them in your paintings?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


It's been a while, but I've finally gained 3 new followers who have blogs.  I love to share new blogs with my viewers - you never know when you might find one you fall in love with and have to follow!

So, today's Sunday Sharing focus is on:

1.  Renata, from the Netherlands, whose blog, Aquarellen van Renata, is full of lovely, light watercolors.  Check out her House in Nice and her painting of the waxwing :)  Right now, she is ill and I wish her a very speedy recovery!! 

2.  Laura Moore, from the UK, shares her watercolor work with us in her blog, Laura Moore Watercolour Art (which she calls a watercolor journal).  You'll love her watercolors of flowers and her paintings of critters (I am in love with her painting of the bear in Alaska!!)

3.  And last, but not least, is Heather Torres Art.  Do visit her and see her bold and brave and beautiful artwork in watercolor and acrylic.

I hope you'll spend some time today visiting these blogs and viewing some lovely art work. 

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


My beginner class finished the little seascape and boat painting.  Nancy and Linda paint the same thing as I show them the techniques they need to learn to paint their own work some day; each time, the finished works are different due to the way each handles their brush and pigment to water ratio.  It's fun for me to see the finished pieces but I never remember to take a photograph of them!

So here is my finished boat off Base Beach on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas.  This little boat takes students and professors over to 2 out islands - one full of birds and the other full of iguanas.  This year, we didn't take the trip over as we'd all been there many times.

And I'm not pleased with the outcome of the Indigo Bunting - it got too muddy and no lights and ugly.  Even cropping it down doesn't make it look any better to this one is going in the round file!  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose :)

Friday, July 20, 2012


I have been a follower and enthralled viewer of David Lobenberg's art blog for some time now.  He always amazes me and pushes me to work harder to achieve better paintings.  His use of color is exciting.  However, his mastery of the medium of watercolor stems from his ability to see the correct values and shapes in anything he paints. 

In his new DVD, David shares some of his techniques in painting portraits using a single color.  He has us step away from color which can be overwhelming, and asks us to stop and truly see the shapes and values in a portrait.  He walks us through steps he uses to create portraits, allowing the Payne's Gray (Winsor Newton) to flow and do a lot of the work for him. 

(David loves watercolor and the flow of it, and it shows in the way he handles the medium.)

In the DVD, David discusses value/tone, shapes, squinting to see values better, stopping points in a painting, and many other things you need to know to paint well in watercolor.  In other words, while he is painting, he's giving us some very valuable tools to keep in our watercolor toolkit!

Many artists can paint with watercolor.  Some people who paint can also teach.  David is a born teacher and that is an added plus for this DVD.  He is relaxed and informative in the DVD, allowing us to look over his shoulder as he paints a portrait in 3-4 steps.  He gives us good information to carry with us through all our watercolor paintings.  He even includes a copy of the photograph he's using in the DVD so we can use it in our own effort - or copy it in black and white and enlarge it and use it to start right away to use the techniques David shares. 

I highly recommend this DVD!!!

For information on purchasing, contact David Lobenberg here.  Tell him Rhonda sent you! 

(I am not affiliated with Professor Lobenberg and get no commission or "kick-backs" from any sales.)

I'll be sharing my attempt at this painting soon.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


As a member of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, I am pleased to announce that two of my paintings will be included in the watercolor society’s summer show to be held at

Kennedy Heights Arts Center
6546 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45213

There will be water media works from many members, ranging from traditional transparent watercolors to bright fluid acrylic paintings and water media with added collage – and everything in between!!!

Artists Reception and Opening:

Saturday, July 21 from 1pm – 4 pm

If you cannot make it to the opening, I hope you’ll make plans for an artful day out at Kennedy Heights Arts Center while the show is running from

July 21 – August 11

Tuesday-Thursday (10 am – 6 pm)
Friday (10 am – 5 pm)
Saturday (11 am – 4 pm)
(The Arts Center is closed on Sundays and Mondays.)

For more information on the show, just click on the Kennedy Heights Arts Center link here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


My friend, Sharon, wants to buy the original pears painting :)  So I'm painting another one, using different colors.  This is the start.  I do the background first, then the foregound, and do the pears last.

That's Holbein Shadow Violet in the background.  Carol Carter turned me on to it and it's my new favorite color - granulating and separating into 3 distinct colors - and so cool!

Monday, July 16, 2012


Since I overworked the poor Indigo Bunting painting I'd begun, I started over, paying closer attention to the drawing and getting it right.   Here is the start of the new one.  It looks more like the bird, I think.  But I may need to add a bit of gouache mixed with a color to get some of the beige-colored feathers to stand out. 

And I did another postcard painting.  This one is all collage work (created in Myrna Wacknov's workshop at Kanuga this spring).  I glued bits and pieces on the postcard with acrylic gel medium. 

Do you see the secret bird in the upper right?

Tomorrow is class day - today is cleaning day!  (Why do you never see anyone in a movie clean their house?)

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I watched an old Superman (Christopher Reeve) movie yesterday evening.  The "special effects" were pretty lame compared to today's advances.  I saw the town Smallville, where Superman was raised.  Perhaps I should move there because I seem to be able to only work on small things right now - small paintings (fourth sheet or less) or postcards. 

So this is all I have to share, even though I went to Deb's yesterday and painted.  Granted, we had a mini-celebration for Sharon's birthday and ate and talked a lot!!  So not as much painting getting done as usual :)  But still just as fun.

This dragonfly is a postcard painting that will go out to someone next month or September.

I overworked and ruined the Indigo Bunting painting so started with a new drawing for that, paying more attention to the beak to make it right and getting the body shape better.  Will transfer and paint that this weekend, I think.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


The July 11th watercolor society meeting is going to be a good one!  If you're in the Cincinnati area, please stop by.  We meet from 10 am - noon and would love to have you visit.  Wednesday's program will be given by nationally known watermedia artist, Deb Ward, who will show us how to paint in fluid acrylics (and as a favor to me, she will be doing a geisha painting!!). 

For more information about the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, just click the link and read more about us and our members - and our upcoming shows.

Deb made it into the Ohio Watercolor Society show and the National Watercolor Society show this year!!! Whoo-hooo!!!  For more of Deb's work, see her blog here.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Well, we finally got a break in the temperature here.  It was only 75F this morning and it felt great!  I hope this break is the end of the 100F temperatures for the summer, but I know that August is usually our worst and hottest month.  Of course, with Mother Nature throwing everyone curve balls, we may have snow by then!

I needed to get off the sofa and do something creative but didn't have anything in mind or anything that I wanted to work on.  That's when the small 4" x 6" postcards come in handy.  So I did 2 of those - which means I'll all ready for my August mailing :)

That's the Holbein Shadow Violet in the upper background - love how it granulates and shows 3 different colors coming through.

I hope you have a creative and fun week, wherever you are!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Okay, this is getting serious.  It got up to 104F degrees in the Cincinnati area today.  All the lawns are brown that aren't being watered daily.  The air conditioner is running all the time.  I sure hope, wherever you are, you are not experiencing this heat.  It's unbearable when you have to step outside, so you just sit in, watch the Wimbledon tennis matches (Come on!! Roger!!), or read. 

I didn't get to finish the pears painting until after Tuesday's beginner class.  But I did get it done.

And we began a little seascape painting for our next lesson, which will be finished the next time we meet. 

I showed them how to paint the sky a pale summery color with clouds lifted using soft Viva towels; and how to splatter to get more texture in the foreground rocks.  We masked off the white boat which will allow us to paint loosely the water all around it.

I hope your weekend is going well. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Due to the 4th holiday (Independence Day) here in the States, I'm a day late with my One Word Wednesday photo.  I thought this photo Sweetie took in North Carolina was appropriate.  I hope all in the US had a good 4th and stayed cool and inside - the heat definitely cancelled a lot of cookouts and fireworks this year.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I received this beautiful postcard from Ursula in Brazil!  It's so well painted free-hand without drawing, light and airy and spring-like to help cool me on these HOT HOT days.

Thank you, Ursula!!

Our visitor left yesterday evening and I'm going to be catching up for the next few days.  We all took a trip to the Chicago area during her stay with us, and visited more of Sweetie's family.  Fun trip but also HOT HOT HOT there.  We missed a horrid storm here at home:  limbs down in the yard when we came back Saturday and my sister said we had 70 MPH winds.

Sunday, we got to visit the kids and grands; and got to see the Carl Solway Gallery 50th Anniversary Year show featuring works by:
Josef Albers
Georges Braque
Alexander Calder
Marc Chagall
Jim Dine
Willem de Kooning
Claes Oldenburg
Nam June Paik
Judy Pfaff
Pablo Picasso
Hannah Wilke and many others - all artists who have shown in the Solway Gallery over the years (our son-in-law works there).

If you're visiting Cincinnati, check it out at 424 Findlay Street.  A chance to see the really high-end stuff (some amazing and wonderful, some just odd).

Students coming today and I just learned I'll have a new student joining us in August - what fun!