Friday, November 30, 2012


I am meeting Deb and Sharon this morning and we are taking a road trip up to Columbus, OH to see the Ohio Watercolor Society traveling show.  Deb is in the show so it will be fun to see her with her painting!!  I'll have photos to share later...

Thursday, November 29, 2012


In class Tuesday, we all finished our pepper paintings.  Nancy had one she liked but didn't finish the glazing one so she has decided the wet-in-wet style is for her.  Linda did both styles and likes both but said she had more fun doing the wet-in-wet.  She liked both of her paintings enough to say she might put one (or both) on the wall!  That makes me happy!  I like that they are creating things that make them happy and make them feel like they are learning and growing.

Here is my finished one.

The one with the dark background is now in "the round file" = the trash!  It just didn't make it and I knew when I saw the dark green background on it that it wasn't going to make it.  Why I put in the dark background before even putting in the shadow shape, I'm not sure; just playing and seeing "what if", I guess.

Next week we're going to make some Christmas/holiday cards on the Strathmore blank cards from Daniel Smith (all the suppliers have them but DS is cheapest right now on the blank cards).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I added a bit more color to the smallest pepper and now this one is done.

I have two other pepper paintings in the works, which were begun in class to show techniques.

This one will be finished soon.  It is a little bit of wet-in-wet and then glazing the largest pepper instead of painting it wet-in-wet.

This one is all glazing to get the colors of the peppers.

In Tuesday's class, we will all finish our peppers (and pears) and then next time, move on to something else.  Perhaps some holiday cards?

For some reason, I am really tired today so don't plan to do much (these were done yesterday before we saw Alaina's soccer match at 7:50 pm and took everyone in the family and Alaina's best friend to DQ to have a treat.  Alaina's team didn't win the match, but they played well - they were just up against a team that had never been beaten).

Thursday, November 22, 2012


First, sorry for those who wanted me to continue with the landscape a la Christopher Leeper.  I washed it down and tried again but it just wasn't making me happy - um, guess that means I wasn't making me happy? ha ha  Anyway, not working.  So I will start over with a fresh piece of 300# Arches rough and see what happens :) 

In Tuesday's class we finished up our acrylic ink paintings.  Before they arrived just before 10 am, I had painted in the berries and gave them some highlights.  The only other thing I did to this was take some darkened red and trace over some of the "vine" areas.  And done!  A quick and easy way to have a painting on the wall in no time.  It's not my favorite painting of all time but it was fun.  Nancy removed most of the leaves and cobwebbing and then lightened some areas in her painting while Linda removed most of the cobwebbing (deciding to leave some and spray seal it) and then left her as it was.  I can see it hanging on her wall just as it is (after she gives it a couple of coats of spray sealant). 

After they spent about 1/2 hour on finishing up the acrylic ink painting on canvas, we returned to our peppers and Joy returned to her pears (she didn't want to do peppers like the rest of us).

Basically, I was trying to show them how to put in a nice shadow shape and telling them that shadows should have as much color as your subjects and be thought of us just another element/shape in the painting.  They still are working on their wet-in-wet version and their glazed version of the same painting and seeing how the glazing version takes patience and lots of time to dry.  I will go ahead and finish up the paintings I have of the peppers and we will work on them more next Tuesday.  Back to just watercolor for a while!

For all those Americans viewing, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Be safe, whether you are staying home or traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Well, not comparing yourself to others is a good thing - sometimes.  But comparing ourselves to others often causes us to strive to be better; or to just be happy we are where we are.  A double-edged sword, I guess, if you see yourself as "not good enough" and others "so much better".  So we won't go there. 

But I will show you the landscape at this stage - a copy of the one Christopher Leeper did in our workshop last month. 

My version is not finished, but there really is no comparison.  I don't think I'll take the time to finish it off because I'm not happy with it and feel that would be a waste of time. 

I don't need to tell you that this version is the one done by Chris, do I? ha ha

I think I will try this one again, looking at only the finished version Chris did, rather than looking at all the stages he went through to get to this.  Isn't the light on this just gorgeous?  Someday I will get there!

Right now, I'm just learning learning learning (seems like this learning thing is going to last my whole life! ha ha).

But today my class comes to the house and we work on the acrylic ink paintings (finishing those up) and the peppers in two techniques.  (Should I be ashamed that I'm teaching beginning students when I often paint so poorly myself?  Sometimes I think I should!  But I have only done a few landscapes - they just confuse me and I don't have the practice under my belt  - but give me a macro flower or a crow or even a portrait or figure painting (just not architecture and landscapes) and I think I've come a long way in less than 10 years.  Perhaps it's like knowing how to play the guitar and then being given a violin and told to play it?  Music is the same, if you read music, but not the same at all in the difference in the instruments.  Oh, well...

Monday, November 19, 2012


The winner of my 6th bloggerversary give-way is:

Sadami sent me her mailing address in Australia, and has asked for Small Seas No. 2.  The painting, along with some surprises, will go out in the mail today. 

Congratulations, Sadami :)

I have to admit, I hadn't been painting much lately.  First, Sweetie went away to Bonaire for 10 days and I was a bachelorette again.  While he was gone, I was getting ready for the painting crew to come in - which meant taking everything off the walls, boxing up books and removing bookcases and small furniture in the living room and giving the baseboards and trim work a wash.  Then last Monday and Tuesday and painters were here.  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday it was all doing everything in reverse - putting furniture back, unboxing books, deciding what paintings and photos to go on the walls (we're being much more selective this time - quality, not quantity!).  And I've gotten into an exercise routine (which was necessary after living on McDonald's caramel frappes while Sweetie was gone! ha ha  So walking 1+ mile each day and then Pilates to stretch out so not so sore.  And cleaning for class members to come tomorrow (I may be getting another new student soon which means I'll have 5 students come to the house.)

Where does the time go?  I don't know how you who have to work a 9-5 job can get any time or energy for painting!  I so admire those who do and keep working and striving and growing.

Enough excuses, though.  I mean, one can always make excuses about why they can't paint, right?  I do it enough, especially in the winter months!

Yesterday evening I did pick up the acrylic ink painting done in class October 30th and added some more distinct red berries and vines.  I think it needs a few highlights on the berries and it's done. 

I also finished the Christopher Leeper landscape.  I will share that tomorrow (when I get another photo of the finished piece). 

I hope you all have a great week.  Sadami, look for your package to arrive in a week or two (I think it will take that long to arrive in Australia?).

Friday, November 16, 2012


Today I'm giving away a painting to celebrate 6 year's of blogging! 

All you have to do to have your name in the drawing is post a comment today. 

And I am giving you a choice of one of these four paintings. 

The Saddest Jester
7 1/2" x 8"
A print using acrylic paint with extra touches of acrylic paint to highlight areas.

Small Seas No. 2
5" x 8 1/4"

Small Seas No. 1
5" x 8 1/4"

Powder Blue
9 3/4" x 11"

The painting or print chosen will be mailed as is, unmatted and unframed, so you can choose how to display it. 

I will mail anywhere in the world.  Just post a comment and let me know you want to be in the drawing.  The drawing will we done using the site.  Comments will be counted until midnight tonight

The drawing will be held this weekend and winner announced on Monday.  If you are the lucky winner, I'll let you know via email (don't forget to give me your email if it's not connected to your blog/webpage/etc.; you can let me know which painting you want when I let you know you are the winner and ask for your snail mail address.

Simple and easy.  Good luck, and check back Monday to see who won.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Monday, November 12th marked my 6th year of blogging!  I can't believe it's been 6 years and I still am learning and trying to grow and still have something to say (maybe that last part is debatable? ha ha).

Anyway, with the painters here this week (beginning Monday morning) and cancelling class Tuesday, I didn't forget about my bloggerversary BUT I didn't have time to get anything ready for a give-away.  After the painters were gone, it was time to get all the furniture back with 3 bookcases and boxes of books stored in other rooms; doing a little bit at a time so I don't ruin my back.

So...I'm going to post something on Friday (tomorrow) and hope you join in for a drawing for a painting.

All you have to do it leave a short comment on tomorrow's post and you'll be in the drawing.  And I promise it will be something nice :)  I may offer a choice of 3 paintings...but you'll have to return tomorrow to see!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012



Photo by R.H. Carpenter

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


After a workshop, you often mean to try all the things you've been shown, but you go right back to your same routine.  (Some people do this right in the workshop, continuing to paint "their way" without trying the instructor's way at all!)  I had some landscape photos, taken by Sweetie.  But none of them moved me to paint them.  So, I just printed off the photos that Chris Leeper did in our workshop and am trying to copy them as a way of learning his style and technique.  Putting down those warms (Chris calls them Sun Colors) first and then letting them peak through the cooler colors you put down later. 

This is a direct copy of the first painting/demo he did for us.

First washes are all warm.

I'm trying to keep from comparing my efforts with Chris' painting because I already see so much wrong with it - like, no sky holes in the trees!

Telling myself it's all about learning the style/technique and not getting something perfect this first time.  All about learning learning learning!

Monday, November 12, 2012


It was a gorgeous fall day to drive over to Susan's and see her paintings for sale.  She had out a lot of goodies to munch on, drinks, and was her usual lovely self.  She had her paintings hanging on the walls throughout her home and then had many that were matted and wrapped to look through, too.  I found two immediately and had to decide which one I would love for years - and chose this one.  Beautiful!!!  I also picked up 2 sets of Christmas cards.

I hope she had a great 2-days and sold lots of paintings! 

I don't think I'll be doing much painting this week.  We have a painting crew coming this morning to start taking down a wallpaper border and then patching holes (from all the photographs and paintings hanging on the walls) and painting the living room, hall, entry, etc.  One guy is here now removing the paper while another is at the Sherwin Williams store picking up the paint for the job.  They estimated a 3-day job so I'll be sitting and reading and watching and practicing my Spanish :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012


My friend and fellow artist, Susan Grogan, is having an art show and sale at her home in Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday.  She will show many of her framed works as well as unframed/matted works - all for sale. 

Susan is a lovely person and a wonderful artist,  I've never seen anything she painted that I didn't like.  I'm going over to support her and hope to pick up something beautiful - perhaps an early Christmas present to myself.

If you're in the area and are interested in seeing some beautiful watercolors, go to her site here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ordered some new paints - the ones Christopher Leeper uses that I didn't have in my palette:
Manganese Blue Hue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Permanent Brown - all by Daniel Smith.

Also ordered some of the brushes he recommended:
Silver Black Velvet brushes, all rounds and one script liner (like a rigger but a bit more brush in the ferrule).  They are soft and smooshy and hold lots of water - I think I'm going to like them.

Waiting for my Arches 300# rough paper to arrive and then I should be able to paint just like Chris - right?  ha ha ha  Yeah, right! ha ha  But I won't have an excuse not to practice and try to incorporate his color sense and style in my landscapes.

Until then, I did start a little painting.  Unfortunately, I am using the Multimedia Art Board I got from Cheap Joe's a while back.  I think this would work as a surface for the acrylic inks or fluid acrylics but not watercolor, which seems to sit there and dull almost immediately.  Or maybe I just don't know the trick to working on this surface with watercolor? 

Anyway, here is the 1st and 2nd stage and it's UGLY :(

It seems like the color won't lift at all - it has set into the surface (which is actually slick - but not like YUPO slick).  At this point, the only way to save it is to go over it with gouache or acrylics.  UGH!

Maybe I'll try some little studies until the 300# rough sheets arrive...

Hope you have a good weekend.  We are having frosty, chilly mornings and then up to 65F during the day = SWEET

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Yesterday, at the monthly meeting of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society (GCWS), our guest artist/speaker was Taylor Bush.  Taylor is a member and everyone who has ever seen her lovely, lyrical portraits of young women has been enchanted.  She talked and demonstrated how she gets that look with her portraits and the pigments she uses (many staining and all transparent pigments).  It was a wonderful demo and Taylor had worked hard to give us a step-by-step of her process, drawing and painting (in various stages) several versions of her portait for the day! 

She had a number of handouts for us, giving us information about the colors she uses and the mixes she uses to get her "shadow colors", which she uses to structure the face while looking at black and white photos of her subjects.

It was obvious, while watching her, that Taylor has spent many years perfecting her technique and knows a lot about facial structure.  She shared so much good information with us and it was a pleasure to watch her work.

She even talked about how she lights her subjects, taking many photographs to get the ones she wants to use for a portrait.  So much good information on photographing portrait subjects that I will have to ask her to return to give a program on lighting and photographing our subjects!

Taylor paints in a pale, high key style and glazes a lot of shadow colors for the "bones" of the portrait before she ever does a first "skin wash" that brings the portrait alive before you eyes!  Truly an exceptional artist who has a signature style that is very appealing, Taylor is now doing portraits amid flowers and art deco style shapes that knocked our socks off when she brought them for critique at a meeting this year.

If you are interested in painting portraits, you should add Taylor's DVDs to your library.  She sells through Amazon and here is the link to view and purchase one (or more) of her DVDs:
Or you can search for Taylor Bush Portraits and they will come up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


In yesterday's post, I shared my first try at acrylic ink on watercolor canvas.  Today, I'm sharing work from two of my beginner students.  They had a great time and have some great starts here.  The cobwebbing and leaves are still on, but you get the idea of the colors they used and how they applied the paint - all without brushes except a few touches of red in Nancy's to bring out the shapes.

Nancy's painting (with the cobwebbing and leaves still on) looks like mine in color and tone.

Linda's painting, done with a very light touch and just with the cobwebbing on the canvas, is more abstracted and pale.  By the time she was going to press in leaves, the paint was dried, so she left it like this.  We all like it and can't wait to see if she removes the cobwebbing or leaves it on and spray seals it as it is.

While waiting for our large canvases to dry, we did a couple of smaller ones on smaller pieces of watercolor board or paper, to see what we could do differently.

This one is mine.  I poured the ink on and then sprayed it to get the organic drizzle look at the top, then used bubble wrap to press into the red/orange color.

This one is Nancy's.  She got really bold with the color on this one!

Linda decided to go much darker with the inks in this one and use bolder colors, too.  This one was done on watercolor paper.

Linda did a 2nd small one, using a stencil (from my selection of stencils from Mary Beth Shaw's StencilGirl company) of rocks to press into the bottom.  Then she decided to make it a rock garden with flowers blooming - very creative!

If you haven't tried acrylic inks, you might want to order a few small bottles and try them.  The color is vibrant and they go on like watercolors but dry permanently. 


Monday, November 5, 2012


In September, 3 of my 4 beginner students came to the watercolor society meeting to see the program given by Trish McKinney.  Trish works abstractly, using acrylic inks on watercolor canvas.  My students liked it so much, they wanted to try it.  So I purchased the canvas and inks and planned a lesson around using them.  I used folding chairs and had a lot of plastic down since my classes are in the kitchen and I didn't want us staining the floor or chairs.  It worked out fine and I found that Clorox wipes would take up any drops on the floor that weren't noticed immediately.  And we all enjoyed trying some of the techniques Trish shared that she learned from Mary Ann Beckwith.

The first painting (mine) had Halloween cobweb stuff pulled across the canvas and around the edges to start.  Then acrylic inks were drizzled on the canvas from a condiment bottle or the dropper from the smaller acrylic ink jars.  Leaves were chosen and pushed into the ink and everything was wrapped in plastic wrap to dry, pushing down the plastic wrap to create even more texture. 

When I removed the plastic wrap, everything was pretty dry so I removed the leaves and the cobwebbing.  This is where it stood and I wanted to let it sit before making any changes, if any.

Linda and Nancy both tried this.  Joan continued with her pepper paintings, doing one wet-in-wet and one with the glazing technique and she's doing very well.  Joy is travelling so didn't get to play that day.

Linda and Nancy will do "the big reveal" next lesson, having left their wet canvases at my house until then.  When you do this, you don't really know what you're going to get until you unwrap everything and take the extra stuff off the canvas, leaving it to then add or subtract (using white gesso) areas.  I'm thinking I may leave mine as is except for shaping those red berries a bit more.  It was fun, but messy, with a lot of extra coverings for everything so we'll return to our watercolors next time.


Sunday, November 4, 2012


It's been a while, but I see that I have a few new followers so it's time to have a Sunday Sharing day!  If you don't know what that means, it means I look at the artwork on the blogs of those new followers and say a few words about them and suggest that others visit and view the different works.  You never know when a new blogger may become a favorite! 

I do appreciate my followers, each and every one.  If you have a blog, but it's not listed readily when I click on your face in the icon, just let me know, and I'll feature you, too.

So, we have 3 new followers who have blogs and here they are:

1.  The Dreaming Palette: Painting and Portals is just one of the many blogs by artist and mystical magical Canadian artist, Victoria Pettella.  She features lovely, mystical women and earth spirits on her blog - perhaps they are all a type of self-portrait?  Anyway, do visit and see what she has to offer.  Take some time; and if you like what you see, you may want to visit her other blogs!

2.  The Colors of the Day/Los Colores Del Dia, is the blog of Sonia Aguiar of Mallorca, Spain.  You will fall in love with her light touch with watercolors.  Go there and see what I mean!

3.  Ngeun Sysengthong's self-titled blog is full of fun colors and shapes that seem to come from his love of lithops.  What are lithops?  Well, after viewing his two blogs, it seems they are succulent plants and cacti.  Very interesting and fun with lots of variety.  Ngeun is working on capturing his natural subjects of cacti, succulents, rocks, leaves - anything natural in our world.  Visit his work and see what you think.  I think he's doing a good job and enjoy any work that features organic, natural things.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Friday, November 2, 2012


After 3 days in the Christopher Leeper workshop, I had a few exercises on 1/8 sheet watercolor 140# to share (see previous posts for them).  They are not very good at all, but maybe they have some promise.  Afterall, it's a process of learning and also of painting - the more I do it, the better I will get.  At least, that's what I'm telling myself! ha ha

Here is a small painting I tried, on 1/4 sheet Arches 140# hotpress paper - yep, hotpress!  When I challenge myself, I really go all out!  The result is not good.  I overworked so much.  If I had quit on this about 1/2 hour before I stopped, it might have been good.  But again, a learning experience.

After seeing how muddy this one became, I did a few color studies, using the primary palette Chris used for his snow scene:  Hansa Yellow Light, Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Red with a touch of Quinacridone Rose.  Chris can make some beautiful browns with just these colors.

I have some Arches 140# rough paper ordered, a few Daniel Smith colors used by Chris (Manganese Blue, Permanent Brown), and some of the Silver Brush Black Velvet round brushes Chris used (get them from Cheap Joes, not Daniel Smith, if you want a better bargain).  So - with all that, and a few pieces of Arches 300# rough paper to practice on, I should be painting like Chris in no time - right? ha ha ha ha ha

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I didn't take my camera the first day (I knew I'd forget something!), but Susan Grogan, my painting buddy who sat next to me, sent me photos she took from the first demo/painting Chris did.  Thanks, Susan!

Look how Chris lays down those warm colors throughout the painting as a base for everything else.  Those warms them peek through or shine through in places, even if he puts a lot of cools in later.

All of these photos
by Susan Grogan

The colors in the "white" house are so lovely.

20 students taking it all in!

If you want to view more of Christopher Leeper's work and get on his mailing list for a monthly newsletter, just go here.

It's November already!!!  Where did the autumn go?