Friday, August 31, 2012


Tonight we see a Blue Moon, if the weather permits.  If not, we can view it from start to finish at this site.

Is it blue?  Of course not!
It just means the 2nd full moon in a month - only happens, well, once in a blue moon!  And if you miss it this year, you have to wait another 3 years before it happens again.

And Neil Armstrong is laid to rest today in a private ceremony.  Mr. Armstrong lived in Cincinnati, OH and taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati.  I didn't even know that until he died.  Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, blue or not.  

Tonight, take a moment to contemplate the moon.  Would you visit the moon, if you could?  Or is it enough to just view from the Earth? 

  All this talk about a blue moon made me want to go to my art room and paint something blue - so I did :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Monday, August 27, 2012


Not much painting going on around here lately.  Gotten a bit tired and a sinus headache mixed with a tension headache kept me from going to see the horses run at RiverDowns on Saturday :(  Slowly feeling better but tired. 

Did finish up a little landscape I started to show a new student a painting that is mostly sky.

And did some color mixing.  But I didn't write down the colors of anything so have no idea what the colors are - d'uh!!
(I'm pretty sure the green and pink is Rhodonite Genuine + Sap Green then Rhodonite Genuine and Permanent Green Light.

I'm also doing some research and reading and printing out info for my students to read, take home, and learn about color.  Warm vs Cool colors seems to be a problem for them so we'll talk about that more and do some color studies to show how you can get the most vibrant secondary colors.

Raining in dribs and drabs here today. 
I hope those in the path of Hurrican Isaac stay safe (or get out of town)!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


You won't see too much different about version 5 of these pears (and pomegranate) and version 6 (the final).  Just an intimation of the drape of the tablecloth.  Done.

I like the Daniel Smith watercolor ground for this - I applied it thinly and it worked well.  It does lift easily and leave a bit more texture on the paper, but that worked well with the tablecloth texture.

And I'm thinking about the September 1 deadline to get my entries ready for this juried exhibition.  The work stays up on the walls at the Mary Jo Cropper Breast Care unit at Bethesda North Hospital for a year - and Bethesda makes 8 purchase awards from the show. 

If you're interested you can google it and get more information - they ask for jpg images on cds be sent.  They take all original 2D art.

I know that, when I go to a hospital, I always look at the art on the walls; especially if I'm sitting waiting.  It makes the wait less unbearable to be able to walk around and view something beautiful.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Carol King received the Liebster Blog Award and chose to pass it on to me!  Vielen, vielen, Dank, Carol!!

Carol, I am taking the info directly from your blog about this award and the requirements following - hope you don't mind?

Liebster translates to sweetheart, darling, dearest one. The award originated in 

Germany in 2009-2010 and it was for blogs with less than 3000 followers.  (There are 

blogs with more than 3,000 followers???)

Now, I’m supposed to tell you 5 things you don’t already know about me.

1.  Although I am not tall, I married into a family of very short people so when we get together with Jerry's daughters and others, I feel tall (and, in heels, I tower over everyone; a new feeling for me that never gets old! ha ha)
2.  I can sing.  Blues music is my favorite.  I have surprised people who didn't know I could sing.
3.   I'm a Kentucky girl who has lived in Indiana (Spiceland and Muncie, where I attended Ball State University); and I lived in Cowbridge, Wales.  While in Wales, I travelled to Scotland, Ireland, Belgium and Germany.
4.  I like to visit and see places other than home, but hate hate hate to travel (as in fly anywhere).  I am not afraid the plane will crash - I just don't like being cooped up in that long tin can with all those strangers and crying babies and loud teenagers and - you get the drift.
5.  If I was on death row - okay, Carol, I would never be on death row (because if I killed someone, I would get away with it!) so I'm taking a pass on this one!  But I can eat Italian food every day and not get tired of it.  So Italian is my favorite - just a simple pasta and sauce and bread = yum!
I’m to pass this award on to 5 other people.   All of you on my blog roll inspire and challenge me, but here are my 5, in no particular order (and you don't have to pass this on if you are too busy, have received tons of these things, or are just in a bad mood today).
Auf Wiedersehen!
1.  Katherine
2.  Deb
3.  Randall
4. Cathy
5.  Barb

I assume these bloggers have less than 3,000 followers but I didn't check.  

Monday, August 20, 2012


When you pour a background for a painting, you may not know what you're going to do with it - what it will eventually become.  I don't often "see" what's there when I see an abstracted bunch of colors and shapes like some people do.  This one isn't talking to me.  I just used the 3 primaries, yellow, blue, red; without any preconceived notion of what I might draw over it. 

What do you see?

I flipped it to see if it made more sense to me like this.  I think it seems more like a landscape now, but I still don't "see" anything.

It's an odd trick of the eyes and the camera that the same Scarlet Lake color looks cool against the blue and warm against the green.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


It's Sunday.  Time to share some new viewers/followers who have joined to watch my site who also have blogs of their own.  I think you'll enjoy this trio of artists!

1.  Natal, Ideas de Regalos is just one blog of artist, Natalia Melnikova.  She is English, was born and studied in Russia, and now lives in Spain!  And you'll love her watercolors.  Her pet portraits, her still lifes, all of it.  She also has a blog called Para Siempre Jamas.  Visit the first blog and link to the other.  Her work will make you smile. 

2.  Konstantina Polychroniou has a self-titled blog where she shares her work with us.  Visit her and tell her how good her latest painting is - she doesn't seem to like it, but I do.  Her name sounds Greek or Turkish or...not sure but she's living in Liverpool, England right now.

3.  Last, but definitely not least, is the Edinburgh artist, Ingrid Ormestad (another transplanted artist living in a country different from her birth?).  If you love flowers and well painted florals, visit her blog.  And take some time to scroll down to see how lovely brown Bosc pears can be painted in the hands of someone who knows what she's doing :)

Three women living varied lives, but all creating beauty in their new homes!

Now time to do a bit of house-cleaning, getting ready for my FOUR beginner students on Tuesday!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I lost a pear, but gained a pomegranate! ha ha

That round shape second to left is a pear (in the photo) but it stopped looking like a pear bottom and more like a pomegranate so that's what I made it :)  Sometimes you just have to go with the flow of what's happening.

The beauty of watercolor is the light-filled areas.  I was quickly losing those.  Fortunately for me, I had a new tool in my kitbag:  Daniel Smith's watercolor ground.  It's white and you can cover anything with it so...I covered the tablecloth with it.  It says you have to let it cure 24-72 hours before painting on it but I put it on pretty thinly and will go back to the tablecloth and add some color there.  It adds a pretty nice texture, too, which will work as the tablecloth.  Then, done with this one. 

My brother went in for another procedure yesterday afternoon.  Instead of putting in 1 more stent in his arteries, they put in 3.  He said it was very painful.  For my brother to say that, it means it was beyond belief painful.  I don't want to ever go through this.  My cholesterol is high and I've ignored it.  Perhaps it's time to start thinking about my heart and health again.  So many of my mother's sisters are having major health issues; my brother has had a heart attack and now is having stents put in; my sister doesn't look healthy but won't go to the doctor. 

Take care of yourselves!!  And have a good weekend :)

Friday, August 17, 2012


I had time to do a bit more on the poured pears painting.  Not sure where this is going.  I'm trying to limit it to just the three colors I began the pour with which are Cobalt Blue, New Gamboge and Scarlet Lake.

I did the drawing of the pears after I did the initial pour.  Then, using the same colors, dropped in some more color in the background to darken it (just the Scarlet Lake and Cobalt Blue).

Not sure about those green and gold pears.  I think I may add a bit of a lemony yellow to make them look more real.

I'll let the painting take me where it wants to go and see what happens.  So far the greens and golden yellows work okay against the violet background.

Today is a day of driving to Mom's, taking her to pulmonary rehab and getting her settled, then driving to my allergist for my allergy injection, going back to wait for Mom, then taking her to see my brother (who is the hospital having 2nd stent put in today after having a stent replaced yesterday due to scar tissue building up around the original).  His heart is still only functioning at 35%.  

After another day of 87F and putting the air conditioner on last night to cool the house for sleeping, we now have rain and much cooler temperatures.  I am longing for fall - or at least the end of days over 80F.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I was not happy with this one.  I read the comments and Lisa said it lacked the darks in the background that I achieved with the first went in with "black" that reads too heavy in this photo, but it's not that heavy in real life.  In fact, it has a nice variety of black and then peeking from the black is the Moonglow I put on after I didn't like the Shadow Violet (too pale).  I did not paint the stems in and kind of like them white like that so will leave them for now.

What do you think?  Better with the dark bg or should I have left it alone?  I should plan these things out better - just because it's a simple composition does not mean you can forget your values and color temperatures (note to self!!).

And then I began another, this time starting the background with a pour of just 3 colors - yellow, red and blue.  I'm sure many of you have done this.  In this version, the pours come first, then you draw in the subjects and begin painting with your brush.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter (taken at the High Art Museum in Atlanta, Georgia). 
This is a functional iron made by the Corning Glass Company in 1934.  Whoever owned this iron was a fashionable woman;
and I bet she had great arms from lifting this heavy thing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


A few photos of paintings we saw in the High Art Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.  This is a gorgeous, all white building (inside and out), curving staircase around and around to each floor, interesting glass placements throughout and tons of white walls to show off the work. 

A pastel from Mary Cassatt, very loosely done so you could see the marks of the pastels well.

A lovely pastel from Degas.

A small but beautifully rendered Monet.

One cannot have Monet without also having Manet :)

One of my favorite artists in watercolor - and he's not too bad in oil, either!
John Singer Sargent.  The title card said you could see the sand on the painting because he painted it at the beach and it must have been windy enough to pick up grains in the paint.  It made it more interesting and textural and his loose brushstrokes on everything but the face of this friend of his is just gorgeous!  A true master painter.

One of my favorites in the museum, a pastel from
Edmund Francois Aman-Jean (1890). 

The softness of the dress - like silk
The sketchiness of the wrap - you can see all the marks
Comparing those two in this painting with the beautiful face and you knew you were looking at an artist who mastered pastel.

Another of my favorites, by Edvard Munch. 
This one was called Madonna and then a woman's name in parentheses.  In the book shop, they had a postcard but called it The Brooch with a woman's name after it. 

I like to see the hand of the artist in the work.  My favorites were often those where you could see the marks on the paper or canvas, knowing how the artist created the work.

One of the only pure watercolors in the museum.

It caught my eye although it was a small painting.

By Eugene Louis Boudin (1880).

Have you seen any great art lately?

Monday, August 13, 2012


More photos from our trip to the Georgia (Atlanta) Aquarium last week!  My favorite marine animal is the Beluga whale.  I first saw them at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago many years ago and fell in love at first sight.

They seem to watching us as much as we are watching them.

They are as aware and as playful as dolphins.  The Georgia Aquarium has put toys in the tank for them so they have something fun to do besides people watch.

This one was putting the white "toy" on its head and pushing it towards the viewing area.  It also blew bubble rings and swam through them.  I think it was showing off - or perhaps wanting us to come in and play?

The water is 55F so too cold for most humans even in a wetsuit.

I've read that there are less than 1,000 Belugas left in our world.  It would be a disaster if these gentle, beautiful mammals disappeared.

Check out a little bit of info on the Beluga at NatGeo here:

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I finished the second pear painting (except for putting in the stems).  I don't like this one as much as I did the first one - but that one sold, so I like that! ha ha

What do you think?

I'm going to do another, starting with a poured background a la Lois Schaich (from her presentation at our last watercolor society meeting).

I have a new beginner student coming Tuesday the 14th.  And I may have another new student coming next Tuesday the 21st with Nancy and Linda.  Four in all.  If I can't fit any more, I could split the Tuesdays and have students come every Tuesday instead of every other Tuesday.  We'll play it by ear right now. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


For his birthday present this year, Sweetie wanted to visit the Georgia Aquarium (in Atlanta) and do their Swim with the Gentle Giants program.  People can suit up and get into the 12 million gallon tank with the whale sharks and manta rays (with an aquarium dive master leading them) for about 45 minutes.  So that's what he did!

We stayed right across the street from the aquarium so walked over around 10 am Monday morning and spent the whole day there enjoying everything we saw.  At 4 pm we separated and Jerry (along with 8 others) went with the dive master to suit up and get oriented and in the water.  I (and 9 other family members of the other swimmers) got to go around to the viewing areas with a volunteer worker and take photos. 

The whale shark is the largest shark in the world and the Georgia Aquarium is the only US aquarium that has these gentle behemoths of the sea on display.

When they swim by you at the viewing station, it is truly unbelievable!

They are lovely creatures, with spots all over them and huge heads.  But don't worry, they only eat plankton!

They can grow up to 50 feet in length.  You can gauge the size of this one by the swimmers next to it.

The aquarium has 3 of these beauties and wants them to have room to grow!

Yep, that's Sweetie waving to me through the acrylic :)

They had tons of fish in this tank with the whale sharks, including smaller sharks of all kinds and all species of rays but the devil ray.  Here is the biggest ray = the manta ray.

And remember, it's all fun and games until someone gets eaten! ha ha

Later, I'll share my favorite photos of my all time favorite sea critter, the beluga whale (I was happily surprised to find they have them at the GA Aquarium - and they are very friendly).

Friday, August 10, 2012


I often delay reading the fine words of wisdom I find in the Robert Genn newsletters that come into my inbox twice each week.  But when I do find time to sit and read a few, coffee cup in hand and occasional smile on my lips, I find very informative words that often seem to be written just for me.  For example, I read this from Mr. Genn in his July 24th letter called Managing Delay:

"Creative delay is when you look at your work-in-progress and are unable to decide what to do next. While audacity and "seizing the day" can be valuable, also acknowledge times for prolonged reflection and consideration. During this delay the mind subconsciously continues to sort options and devise ploys. A few hours--or days or weeks--can be needed to disclose a solution. The beauty of delay is that solutions are often simpler than you originally thought, making it possible for direct and cursive flourishes that often triumph over unsure noodling."

I used to panic when I wasn't producing - or at least painting - every single day.  I no longer do that.  Now, I just consider that life is interrupting my painting time, but I'll get back to it refreshed and ready to take on something new, or finish something undone and waiting for me. 

What do you do when life takes you away from your painting or sketching?  Perhaps considering it "Creative Delay" is a good way to take the pressure off yourself?

Sweetie and I drove down to Atlanta, Georgia Sunday (an 8-hour drive) and returned Wednesday night.  We had a great time - and, of course, there are photos to come from the trip to the Georgia Aquarium where Sweetie swam with the whale sharks and manta rays; and the High Art Museum where I saw some beautiful works in a gorgeous architectural setting; and Stone Mountain, Georgia where you take a tram up to the top and timidly (for me) look over and around the mountain. 

Top photo = looking left, this was the view outside our 9th floor window at the Hilton (right across the street from the Georgia Aquarium) in the morning.

Bottom photo = looking right, the view again, in the evening.

We'll need to download all of the photos, sort the best, and share a few of the best photos later.  Today is another Creative Delay day for me with other things to do.

Have a great weekend!  It's supposed to be cooler this weekend - YAY!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I could hear some sighs while my 2 beginners worked on this one.  We finished everything but the 2 foreground pilings when they left last Tuesday.  I told them they could finish at home, leaving the netting to do in class.  Here is what I have so far.  Some more tweaks of the closest piling and upright post to do and then the netting (which I'm going to let everyone do with watercolor pencil so all those lines don't seem so overwhelming).

I'll have a new student coming next Tuesday, too so a total of 3 beginners to help along in their watercolor journey :)

Monday, August 6, 2012


Finally got back to the model and the portrait in Paynes Gray (Winsor Newton). 

I like doing portraits in a single color and will do more of these.  It does help you focus on the shapes and shadows, lights and darks.  I hope you try it sometime, if you're interested in learning how to do portraits.  And David Lobenberg's DVD that lays it all out for you is a keeper!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Thursday was Sweetie's birthday and we celebrated the day together.  Today we're going to have a late lunch with my mother and sister (so more presents for Jerry + cake and ice cream!).  He gets to celebrate for days and loves it :)

Today is Chris' birthday - our son-in-law;
next week is our grandgirl Jocelyn's birthday, too.
Three August birthdays in the family. 
We had our group birthday gathering last Saturday here with the pool open, pizza and ice cream cake along with presents for all July and August birthday folks.

Have a great weekend! 
I'll save you some chocolate cake!

Friday, August 3, 2012


Our son-in-law sent me 2 photos of our new grandkitten, Blur, and challenged me to a Draw the Kitten contest.  Since I'd just received my new drawing supplies from Daniel Smith (a new sketchbook and walnut ink with bamboo pen), I tried that first.  That ink takes some getting used to - or maybe it's the bamboo pen; but you can see the blobs of ink in places that wouldn't move.

The second one is done on Mi-Teintes paper with pastels.  I never use pastels but thought I'd try them since I wanted to get some of Blur's color in and not just do a graphite sketch.

Blur has tiger stripes, a long, thin, straight tail and the biggest ears!!  He was named Blur due to the fact that he's usually just seen as a blur in the room :)

Happy Birthday, Chris!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012



Photo by R.H. Carpenter

This was chosen for the OWW photo because, today at the watercolor society meeting, Lois Schaich will be doing a talk and demo on pouring watercolors for painting.  Lois loves doing this, and it shows in her work.  I am looking forward to this program today.