Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Vermilion is organic, true and honest - 
perhaps more orange than red -
and yet as blazing as sunset burning   
an afterglow on the retinas.

Bright and exhausting in your mixes,
she often misbehaves -
for, of course, Vermilion is pure female -
and she always knows her own way.

I didn't have a One Word Wednesday photo ready today and have class to teach this morning.  I was reading a post by Carol King and she included a definition of Vermilion in her post.  I thought, as did she, that the definition was boring, uninspiring and needed more poetry - don't all the colors need to be defined with poetry? - so I wrote this before I got ready this morning for my student.  

Now you try it!!!  Pick a color and give it some poetic definition!  What words come to mind when you think of a color?  Have fun!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I do love blues of all hues and violets and rose pinks and...well.  Can't help it, it's just what makes me happy.  So I started another macro hydrangea painting.  Wet-in-wet and juicy and now need to define some edges and dark places behind the main petals - and do that rounded center in some cerulean and...

I also like the granulating colors in my hydrangea paintings - which you can see better here in the close-up center...

The Art After Dark event went well Friday evening.  There must have been 200 people going through in the 2 hours it was going.  Plenty of music, wine, appetizers and sweets but I was too nervous for anything but a small cup of coffee and a bottle of water I nursed all night.  

Saturday, we found our way to the Cincinnati Galleries on Sixth Street and dropped off my painting for the Viewpoint Show.  The man taking the paintings was very efficient and quick!  No tables full of people all doing something - just one man, accepting the painting, checking the name, having me sign, and then off we went!  Saturday evening we had a group birthday gathering.  We provided the cake - ordered, not baked by me! ha ha  The grandgirls are getting old enough now that they want $ for their birthdays (one in July, one in August).  That makes it easy for us!  I included small presents so they'd have more than cards to open, though.  It's amazing to me that J is going to be 13 and A is now 11 - growing up so quickly...Our grandboy, D, is no longer a toddler, but a ball of 5 year-old ninja energy at any gathering.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Another row of pears - unfinished as yet - until I have something else to share.  Busy weekend, busy days, plus dealing with migraines again (3 last week!! eeek!).

Friday, July 26, 2013


Jerry's photographs and my paintings will be featured as 2 of 15 artists at Art After Dark at the Fort Thomas Branch of the Campbell County Library tonight.

Come by if you are in the area!

Other artists featured are:
Virginia Cox
Jo Baker Hogan
Barbara Kunz
Marlene Steele

The library provides appetizers, petite sweets, and wine.  Celtic and Appalachian music will be performed by Meadows & McGraw.

Tomorrow, I deliver my painting to the Cincinnati Galleries for the 45th Viewpoint Show (which opens August 2).

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I'm having the students play with colors and backgrounds, varying color combinations, playing with complements, etc.  Using simple pears - anyone can draw a pear! - and then having a background around them.  Everyone did it their own way, either rows of pears, or just a trio of pears as a still life or a single pear on a sheet.

Here are a couple rows of my pears - unfinished because I began with the background colors in each one.  It will be fun to choose the colors I want each pear to be, based on the energy of the background.

Painting something simple, like a pear, makes it easier to play with color and texture and not think so hard about the object, keeping it fresh and clean.

A busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday coming up so will catch you again Monday, I hope.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013



Photo by Jerry H. Carpenter

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Bon appetit!

And thanks, Gary, for sharing this delicious papaya on your blog :)

Friday, July 19, 2013


Fellow artist, blogger and friend, Gary Everest, has been regaling us with his new life in Hawaii.  One day he showed a photo of his breakfast - yum!  But what struck me was the potential painting there.  So I started this.  When the dark purple-black seeds go in, it will set it off. 

Calling this
Hawaiian Breakfast

I hope you don't mind my using your photo, Gary! I won't put it in a show but am just using it to practice my wet-in-wet watercolor techniques.

I'm not sure I've ever eaten a papaya...I once had mango ice cream in the Cayman Islands.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013


A sunflower painted wet-in-wet.  Hard to keep the petals loose but I'm happy with the rest of it.

My intention was to make you feel the heat of the day and the strong sunlight creating shadows.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013



Photo by me at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Sweetie played chauffeur to me and Linda yesterday and we went up to Middletown, OH to see the AWS Traveling Show.

This is the brochure, showing the Gold Medal of Honor winner, Frederick Wong.
This painting is not in the traveling show.

After Sweetie, Linda and I walked around twice and then stood in the middle of the room and looked all around, Linda asked me, "Which one is your favorite?"  This is it:

By Catherine Anderson, it won a High Winds Medal and $1,750.00 but darned if I could tell which ones were gold, silver or bronze because they weren't listed that way.  And the brochure (more about that later) didn't enlighten me about anything but the Gold Medal winner.

What can I say about the show?  A plethora of greys, darks, and city scapes were to be seen on every wall.

If you happen to revel in greys, darks, and cityscapes, this was the show for you.  

I saw a theme with the compositions of all the dark paintings - dark dark darks all around with a patch of light off center.  Most full sheet or squared at 35 x 35 inches.

Now, there were some colorful and watercolor-y paintings in the show, but they were few compared to the others.

This portrait, by Donna K. Read, was lovely to look at.  The flow of the watercolors and softness on the blouse were well done, as was the use of hard and soft edges - and color :)

This painting, by Elaine Bowers, made you feel like you were flying over the delta.  Fresh, lovely color.

And this one, by Cathy Hegman, caught my fancy because of the birds (not crows but blue birds on a string).  It made me want to find out the story behind this one.  

About the brochure.  Don't pay $20 for one unless you find out about it first.  It's got doubled pages, missing pages, and some of the paintings are not in there (because of the missing pages).  Not good.  A national American watercolor show and the brochure apparently didn't have anyone proof it before sending it to the printers - or else the printers were high on printing ink the day they ran it and just did whatever they felt like doing.  It did show many of the paintings that didn't get in the traveling show - many I would have loved to have seen. 

Note bene:  I sent an email to the AWS describing the problems with the brochure.  Very apologetic and concerned about that.  Apparently, they have used the same printer for a long time and this is the first time there have been bad batches (some in North Carolina and now some in Ohio).  They are going to send me a good copy of the brochure.  Now that's good business!  Everyone is allowed to make mistakes - but it's how you deal with those mistakes that gives your customers/clients a good feeling about the organization or not.  Well done, AWS!

Monday, July 15, 2013


If you're in the Middletown, OH area, do make a trip to the Middletown Arts Center and see the 146th American Watercolor Society exhibit.  All those paintings you see in art magazines?  They will be there!  Nothing like standing in front of a watercolor painting and see how the artist did it.

They are not open on weekends but are open
Mondays 9 am - 4 pm
Tues - Thurs 9 am - 8 pm

Sweetie, Linda (one of my students), and I will visit the show this week.  I'll share more about that later.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Many of you who read my blog know my admiration (and sometimes envy) of the talented watercolor artist, Vandy Massey.  Well, she has just become one of my idols.

Vandy has created a new blog with all the other online stuff that goes with it (like Facebook, etc.) to share her new project called Running with Brushes.  All proceeds from sales of the artwork goes to a group dear to her heart called Care for Casualties.

She is painting 1000 postcard-sized paintings to sell for the group and you can get in on the fun and good karma!  Just visit her blog, Running with Brushes, and read about it, learn about it, and then get involved.  What a great thing for artists to do :)  I'm putting the blog on my sidebar right now so I can keep up with her postings about her progress.  I hope you will add it, too.

Friday, July 12, 2013


At our Wednesday Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting, we were inspired by the wonderful program given by a local Cincinnati artist, Beth Goldstein.  Beth shared her journey as an artist, from her days as a student at the Cincinnati Art Academy, to the time she picked up watercolors and tried to learn all about them on her own.  As she said, it took a while to learn the beauty of watercolor and how to use it to get that beauty to show.  And then she took off.  

What was most inspiring and delightful for me to hear was how a 4-day trip to Santa Fe created such a drive in her that she came home and painted a series of 75 watercolors from her impressions and thoughts and memories of that trip!!! WOW!  And she shared many of those paintings with us.  Some began in a fairly realistic and traditional watercolor style, which she said didn't really express what she felt when she was there.  Then she moved to brighter colors and shapes, leaving the pure lines showing amidst the landscapes without filling in colors, using a lot of white space and moving to more abstracted shapes that still read as landscapes - but could be turned upside down and read just as well (the sign of a good abstract).  

The members were very interested to hear about her journey and where it has taken her. And that she rarely draws before painting, allowing the brush to do the drawing for her and even when she does a few lines, she doesn't allow those lines to capture her and take away the fluidity of the watercolors.

From traditional drawing and painting to loose and abstract watercolors and on to creating tiles for homes and businesses (shown in the bottom photo), Beth continues to grow as an artist and has a wonderful portfolio of work to show for the years spent learning and exploring her chosen mediums.

For those in the Cincinnati area, Beth works out of a studio at the Essex and she has a website, if you want to visit and see more of her work and learn more about her artistic endeavors.

Thanks, Beth, for the great program!  
We'll keep in touch :)


Well, I was working on a post about the GCWS and the guest artist/speaker who gave the program Wednesday, with photos and my usual talk about it - and Google Chrome shut down my computer, telling me it was out of memory or some such nonsense!  Lost everything!!!!

Thank you, Google Chrome!

I have never had this happen with Internet Explorer.  Time to return to it?


Here's hoping you are having a gremlin-free day, if you are on the computer.  I'll work on that post later and get it up (barring other Google Chrome problems).

Note Bene:  I didn't lose everything, thank Google! ha ha  It was still there when my computer started up again and I got back into Blogger (saved as a draft).  Whew!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013



Photo by me, taken at Spring Grove Cemetery

Some people want the last resting place for their body to be elaborate and impressive. I guess, maybe they lived an elaborate and impressive life.  This mausoleum is unfinished and falling down but it has an elevator from the bottom to the top floors (unusable now but it was built there for two brothers (hence the double stairway?) who wanted people to know how wealthy and important they were in life - and in death.)  It is pretty interesting - fashioned after Notre Dame and it's buttrusses and arches.  I would like to sneak inside but it's all locked up and it might be dangerous - not because of vampires or zombies, but because of structural damage.  Spring Grove Cemetery contains many impressive structures like this in a park-like setting - well worth a trip to walk the paths and see the ponds with trees and flowers in bloom.

My aunt's funeral was Monday and her body is now at Forest Lawn Cemetery - not a fancy mausoleum in site, just headstones set in the ground.  Now is the time for going through the house and sorting, giving away, throwing out and cleaning.  I guess it will be done, one day at a time.  I want to thank everyone who offered condolences and words of support.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Still working wet-in-wet with background in first.
Then playing with bright, pure colors to make the painting glow and pop.

Mostly Daniel Smith Shadow Violet in the background with touches of Indanthrone Blue + Cobalt Teal Blue.

The photo was taken by Sweetie when we visited Belize a few year's ago.

Monday, July 8, 2013


My intention was to work:
put the background in first
use purples and greens 
pop the color by using pure colors

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Littlefoot, 19, [This is the bird hour]

by Charles Wright


This is the bird hour, peony blossoms falling bigger than wren hearts
On the cutting border's railroad ties,
Sparrows and other feathery things
Homing from one hedge to the next,
                                                    late May, gnat-floating evening.

Is love stronger than unlove?
                                         Only the unloved know.
And the mockingbird, whose heart is cloned and colorless.

And who's this tiny chirper,
                         lost in the loose leaves of the weeping cherry tree?
His song is not more than three feet off the ground, and singular,
And going nowhere.
Listen. It sounds a lot like you, hermane.
                                                           It sounds like me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I'm going to be taking a few days away from blogging and commenting.  
My 80-year-old aunt passed away in hospice early this morning.  The family will be working to arrange things and spend time together.  My aunt had a rough 1 1/2 weeks, from the time she went into the hospital last Monday to this morning when she finally let go of this life at 3:15 AM.  

We all are going to get there, sooner or later.  As a Buddhist, it's not something to fear, but another journey we take.  Unfortunately, illness can take such a toll and there seems to be less dignity in dying when it happens in an ICU unit.  I am glad my aunt was moved to hospice yesterday.  Hospice workers are angels on earth.

Now, go hug or call your aging parents, grandparents, or elderly aunts and uncles - just in case.  We're all in this together.

The Buddha said:

"This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain."

Monday, July 1, 2013


Here is something I've been thinking about.  
An artist friend had a painting I adored.  I saw it in person and still adored it.  However, it was a full sheet watercolor - and it was priced at over $3,000 (matted and framed).  I couldn't justify spending $3,000+ on a painting, even though I loved it.  

I got a postcard from an artist I know who has a show in New York next month.  His works are all full sheet watercolors.  And he has $3,000 on each of them.  

My painting that got into the Viewpoint juried show was taken to the framers Friday.  Ken (my framer), Sweetie (he's got a good eye), and I all worked to choose matting and framing to make it look good and also "impressive" because it's a small painting:  an 11" x 15" (fourth sheet) watercolor that needs to hold its own in a room full of large oils, pastels, acrylics, etc.  Taking into account the price of the matting and framing, and the 40% commission that will be taken by the gallery, should the painting sell, I will make less than $10 for the painting.  (Didn't think that one through, did I? ha ha)

Obviously, I don't do this for the money.  
Obviously, 'm undervaluing my paintings.  
Well, not because I don't feel I'm worth it.  
But I guess, deep down, I think I would like to be in a range where someone might buy my work who can't make themselves spend $3,000 for a painting.

So - for those of you who have been getting into shows and selling work, what are your criteria for pricing your work?  Do you just price according to size of the painting?  Or do you have another way to come up with pricing?

I guess I'm thinking if I don't raise my prices, people may see my work as that of an amateur and not give it the credit (whether they buy, or not), it's due.  (It's almost embarrassing to get into a major show and find out your work is priced hundreds of dollars under comparable watercolor works in the show.) 

So I guess it's time to do something about it. 

If you had a full sheet painting (22"x 30") that was a good painting and you were very pleased with it - and it cost quite a bit to mat and frame it - would you be okay with putting a $3,000 price on it?  More?  Less?

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.  
Have you ever purchased a piece you thought was very underpriced?  Is that what made you buy it?
Have you ever wanted a piece but couldn't justify the price on it?
What makes a good piece hang on the wall while a not-as-good piece sells?  
Too many questions? ha ha