Thursday, September 27, 2012


After some good critiques by my blogger buddies - thanks! - I revised this painting.  I think it works now.  What do you think?

Other than this, I am pulling out old unfinished paintings to look at and maybe work on again. 

Here is one I may tackle - a full sheet of tomatoes in a box.  The photo came from a Salt Lake City, Utah farmer's market a couple of year's ago.  I'm calling it
Utah Heirlooms

Wednesday, September 26, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

For a definition of the word "bokeh":

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Sometimes you have to make changes, after the fact, to a painting.  It helps to take other artists' suggestions, if you can see the value in those suggestions. 

For this one, Mick Carney said the plate was floating - it needed a horizontal line.
He was right.  I didn't even see that and no one else has mentioned it - I think they were all too focused on the wonky shape of the plate! ha ha

So, I put in the edge of the table in this one.  It's not done and it won't be, even though I fiddled with this one more (putting in a touch of pink on the white skin of the pear, lightening some of the knife handle and metal).  I'll redo this one, trying to get the plate more even in the next version.  The goal is to get another one of this with the plate okay and the sense of space okay and the pear and knife looking more 3 dimensional. 

Began again.  Had the photo so used it, in black and white, to get the shapes right on the paper.  First, I traced the photo on tracing paper, then used that tracing paper to trace it again onto the watercolor paper.  I had the shape of the plate right in the drawing.  But it's gotten a bit out of line on the right side from painting.  I think I can clean up that edge - or just leave it.

I am painting this one on 1/8 sheet watercolor (Saunders Waterford, which has a warm tint) with the idea of drizzling down the front of the page later.  And I'm not going as dark with the background on this one, leaving it light and airy.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Sweetie and I drove up to the Evergreen Retirement Center on Galbraith Road to see the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society fall member show.  It was an open show (not juried in) but there were awards for First, Second, Third and one Honorable Mention.  There were 69 paintings from 36 members, some traditional watercolor on paper, some watercolor or fluid acrylic on yupo, some batik on rice paper, some traditional acrylic. 

First Place went to Jean Vance, a well-known artist in Ohio.  She was not present at the show so we didn't get a photo of her. 

Her painting is called
Uncle Don's Sawmill
and is traditional watercolor on paper.

Second Place went to Susan Grogan. 

Her painting is called
Look at Me
and it's watercolor on yupo.

Susan was there so we got a photo of her smiling face (Sweetie took all the photos - sorry for the glare on the glass - it happens when you can't position yourself away from the lights enough.)

Susan Grogan - 2nd Place Winner

Third Place went to Kristie Mooney, a brand-new member this year.  This was her first time ever entering an art show!!

Her painting was called
Rusted Bike
and it was watercolor/batik on rice paper.

She was there, beaming!  So Sweetie got a good photo of her, too.

Kristie Mooney - 3rd Place Winner!

Neither Sweetie nor I could find the Honorable Mention painting - it must have been tucked away in a corner somewhere or we were moving too quickly through the gallery space!!  (The majority of paintings were small - no larger than 12 x 16.)

Here is a photo of the Honorable Mention artist, Lois Schaich.  Lois recently gave a program to our watercolor society on pouring paint as a way to start your watercolor paintings so maybe it was a poured painting?

Congratulations to the lucky and talented winners!

The show continues through October 28th so do try to stop by and see it if you're in the area.  I have 2 paintings in the show.  It's at the Evergreen Retirement Center on Galbraith Road in Cincinnati.

Friday, September 21, 2012


I drove out to Deb Ward's yesterday and spent the day with her and Sharon, celebrating Deb's birthday (belated - it was the first time all 3 of us could get together).  We had delicious Graeter's pastries for breakfast and dessert and fried chicken and Waldorf Salad for lunch.  Yum.  (I scared up about 1/2 dozen wild turkeys on her mile long drive - I love seeing nature I don't normally see around my house.

I didn't take anything new to work on, but took 2 older paintings I thought needed some more work.

I'm pleased with this one. 

I'm not that pleased with the second one - the plate just isn't right and, as Sharon said, the background doesn't quite fit.  So I may do it again from the beginning and rethink it a bit.

But guess what Sharon gave me?  My very own personal crow! ha ha  She said she wants to see him in all my paintings from now on!

Thanks, Sharon - I'm trying to find a good spot around the house to perch him and have him watching over me :)

It's made out of some hard foam stuff and painted, fuzzy feeling to the touch, and quite large, so he makes an impression - now to just find the right spot for him to live.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012



Photo by R.H. Carpenter

Monday, September 17, 2012


After a week of cold meds and sleeping and watching t.v. and reading while drinking a lot of tea with honey, and sleeping and taking cold meds, I am finally feeling better. 

And, yes, I do have some more pears in the starting stages! ha ha  I know, you're thinking, NOT MORE PEARS!!!

Last Monday afternoon, I went to spend some time with my youngest grandgirl, Alaina; we had a nice painting afternoon.  When I showed her all the pears I'd been painting, she wanted to try some.  And stupid grandma did not take her camera!!  We talked about what colors pears can be - and she painted one of her pears cobalt teal blue and one cobalt blue (I think she's a Fauvist).  She chose the background colors, too. 

My version looks like her version, color-wise, except I made my 2nd pear a golden color and added some yellow into my cobalt teal pear.  As much as I love blues, I just couldn't paint 2 pure blue pears! ha ha

And I began another horizontal format painting of pears.  They will look like stained glass pears (if they turn out the way I want).

But today is cleaning up and getting ready for tomorrow's class.  So I may not get back to these today.

If you are in the Mariemont area, do plan to visit the Women's Art Club member show at The Barn at 6980 Cambridge Avenue.  I didn't have anything to put in the show this year, but I will get over to see it.  The reception was this weekend (I couldn't go because I was still fighting the cold). 
But it's open daily through Oct. 5. 
Weekdays: Tuesday - Friday, 9 am - 2 pm
Weekends: Sept 15, 16, & 22, 1pm - 4pm

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Good thing I had some things preset to post, because a cold has knocked me out for a week.  Have slept a lot and taken a lot of cold medicine and watched everything I've taped on my DVR, including The English Patient (love that movie and book).  Am slowly getting back to normal, with just a few sneezing fits. 

Thanks to Sweetie, I got another painting matted and framed (well, he did it all for me, thank goodness!) for the Evergreen Show.  The drop off date is next Friday so I was feeling the pressure of not having anything ready for that.  Now I have 2 paintings for that show which opens Sunday, Sept. 23rd noon-4 pm. 

The Cincinnati Art Club had their opening reception for the Signature Member Show last night.  I didn't go - didn't want to pass around this cold.  But I will get over there to see it because I know my friend, Deb Ward, has a piece or two in the show.  If you're in the area, do visit some weekend.  I think it's open from noon-4 on the weekends.  You might check Deb's blog for more information about that.  I've never joined the Art Club - I think 2 groups is enough for me.

Hope you all have a good weekend.  Stay healthy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012



Photo by C. Gomien

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I never was good at math.  So this is not a square.  But it's close enough.

Just need to touch a bit of color on the stems to call this one finished.

Pear Series: Pears Squared

Monday, September 10, 2012


I worked on the background first, wet-in-wet and swirling color over a yellow background that I splattered miskit over to retain the stars.  Now to give the pears some nice color and strengthen the "ground" underneath the pears.

I like the horizontal shape of this one.

After painting the pears, I'm not as happy with it.  But they can't all be winners...

Perhaps the pears need to be more dynamic and, um...stellar? ha ha

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Jerry and I both entered 2 things into the Bethesda North Art Exhibit, an annual juried show.  And we both got it!  So I have 2 paintings (my blue hydrangea paintings) and Jerry has 2 photos.  We take them up to the show this month and they remain in the Mary Jo Cropper Family Center for a year.  How cool is that?

And the postcards for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society annual member show were distributed at Wednesday's meeting.  I was thrilled to see my painting of pears (the one that sold) on the postcard!!  So that will be going out to lots of people and I brought a few home for me to keep and give to family and friends.  The inset painting is by Susan Grogan, one of my favorite painters in the GCWS.

Come by and see the show, if you're in the area in September or October!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I think most of us have heard about this gentleman and his stealing of photos to create the iconic "HOPE" poster for the first Obama campaign.  I'm not even going to mention his name.  I am strongly against stealing another's work and claiming it for you own for any reason and won't give him more publicity here.

What do you think?
Was the punishment enough?

My only nitpick is that we Americans have notoriously bad memories, and in a year or two (or less) we'll forget what he did wrong because he'll be off making another million or so on the next thing he steals.  Perhaps he should be banned from creating any artwork for 5 years (and definitely from selling anything for that long). 

He has great networking skills but has no artistic skills other than posterizing a photograph.  But there are too many honest, hardworking and struggling artists in the world who don't get 1/4 of the attention this guy has gotten - let's promote them instead!

Long Live Original Art!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Well, it's official:  I'm working in a series! ha ha  I guess after you've painted 1/2 dozen pear paintings, you have to admit it :)

This simple, traditional painting (left)

has become this less traditional painting (below),

incorporating scraps of paper torn from a note from a friend in Spain. 

I like it and think it's more interesting now.

Calling it
Pear Series: A Letter from my Friend

So how may pear paintings does it take to make a series?

1.  Pear Series:  Hot Enough For Ya?  (Can't show it because it's sold and the photo is not on this computer right now.)

2.  Pear Series: Summer of 2012 Pears

3.  Pear Series: Poured Pears

4.  Pear Series: A Letter from my Friend

5.  And one more in the making - you'll have to wait for that one :)

Five - it takes at least 5 paintings to make a series! hah

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


The GCWS program guest/artist yesterday was Trish McKinney and she rocked the room!  Great stuff, great sharing, great techniques (using natural things like leaves, grasses, feathers, etc. in our paintings), good information and discussion, and, above all, Trish's reminder to us that Content is your Communication of Ideas, not technique :) 

We all know that, but we sure like to learn every technique we can, don't we?  And Trish's technique looked like such fun we all were itching to try it.  She uses fluid acrylics and acrylic inks in condiment bottles and sprayers full of water on watercolor canvas, pressing, stamping, working organic materials into the painting and canvas as she goes, using pieces as resist, then saran-wrapping it all to dry before sharing the Big Reveal = where she peels off the leaves, grasses, etc. and shows what is left.  Then, working on that to tone down, push and pull pieces, and thinking about her composition rules, she creates a beautiful, flowing, organic-looking painting that shares her message with us about nature and its beauty. 

I'd definitely recommend bringing Trish back again sometime in the future - for another program or for a workshop.  You may want to check her out and what she has to offer for your art group or club!

And I was so pleased that 3 of my 4 students came as guests :)

But wait, that's not all of my artful day!

In the mail, a large envelope addressed to me from an address I knew - but what was it?

I think someone is hinting to come paint with grandma again!  This lovely artwork is from my granddaughter, the Artful Alaina :)  It made me smile so big to see her work and read the little note inside thanking me for her art supplies :)

Don't you just love getting arty gifts out of the blue?  I do!

And now back to the art room - I have a whole day without anything else I HAVE to do so I'm painting!  How about you?  Are you doing anything artful today?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


A busy week is going to keep me away from painting much - but not away from art stuff.  Tuesday = class for my beginners and the lessons I want to share and the painting they will do as I help.  Wednesday - Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting and Trish McKinney from the Western Ohio Watercolor Society, is our guest speaker/artist.  Trish will be presenting a program called "Nature's Palette" which will incorporate leaves, grasses, feathers, etc. in her work.  And if I'm lucky and Mom doesn't have things for me to do, I'll get to visit Deb and Sharon for a painting day either Thursday or Friday - we'll see. 

Working on lessons for my beginner class means I'm thinking and researching more than painting these days.  I want them to learn about color combinations and complements and values and everything they need to know to get a good foundation.  But I also want them to be able to paint and have fun.  A delicate balance!

Here is a lighthouse (from one of Jerry's photos taken in the Bahamas) I asked them to do, thinking first about what type of sky they wanted to paint and practicing some skies on scrap paper.  Joy has already done her's and wasn't happy but didn't want to do it again.  So that leaves 3 of the 4 to do this lesson and, hopefully, have a good result. 

This lesson is not just about skies - although a good sky can make a good painting.  It's about how to make a flat drawing (of the lighthouse) look rounded, and how to get your shadows in to convey a substance to your painting.  I hope I have done this in this finished one of mine I'll share with them today.

I hope you have a busy but artful week ahead!!

Monday, September 3, 2012


Since pear paintings are all I'm doing these days, I wonder why.  Perhaps I'm just not inspired enough to create anything unusual.  Perhaps I don't have as much time to paint as I once did.  Perhaps pears are just easy and I can go to my art room and put some paint on paper and feel like I'm painting something besides lesson plans for my beginner class.

Pears are pretty simple.  Not complicated compositions; not complicated colors.  They come in a variety of color coordinations, too. 

I guess I'll do pears until I have time and inspiration hits for me to move on to something else. 

So another one - playing with colors.  Breaking down the composition even more to just 3 pears. 

This one is called Two Against One. 

It has a few more stages to go before it's finished.

Today is Labor Day here in the U.S.  A day for cookouts, barbeques, picnics.  The last hurrah of summer.  Hope everyone has a covered deck or porch because it's going to be raining raining raining all day in most places in the midwest (the curve up and to the east from the leftovers from Hurricane Isaac).

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Another three viewers/followers have signed up and I'd like to feature them during this Sunday Sharing.  I think you'll enjoy visiting them all, if you have time today.

1.  Victorpintorart is the blog of Victor Vergara, Spanish artist who shares his drawings, photographs and poetry on his blog.  Do visit and enjoy!  And if you don't laugh at the banner heading photo, then you just don't like funny animals!

2.  AcuargonG is the blog of another Spanish artist.  I enjoy seeing his set-up as he does his plein air painting.  Scroll down a bit and you'll find some very nice plein air exercises he's done.

3.  Seema's Art Corner is the blog of artist Seema, living in Bangalore, India.  I really like her art journal and the things she draws/sketches to fill it as well as the papers she dyes to fill her journals.

I hope you have some time to visit these artists and enjoy their work!