Monday, November 10, 2014


I was honored and thrilled to be asked to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop by artist and blogger buddy, Carol Flatt.  (Do hop over to read Carol's post on her blog hop day - last Monday - to learn about her and see some of her work - it's gorgeous!).  I am thrilled to have this go around and include me.  The hardest part is answering some of the pretty in-depth questions (which I usually don't do because I don't THINK about my art so much as DO IT).  However, I'm supposed to answer a few questions, like:

1. What am I working on?
Since I am always trying to learn and expand, a lot of time in my art life is spent reading, studying, practicing.  Whether that's a new water media technique I just read about in an art magazine, or something someone mentioned in a watercolor meeting - or just something I wanted to try and perfect like drawing and painting birds birds birds - I keep pushing and trying to get better.  Because if we're not getting better, we're just getting older, right??

So, right now, at this moment in time, I have begun working on more birds in my sketchbook and trying to get the shape and size and patterns of them without making them too stiff - nothing worse that a bird that doesn't look full of life, whether it's the tilt of the head or angle of the leg or ruffle of the feather.  Working hard, hardly working, either way, thinking and wanting to be better better better still.

And a few doodles get thrown in here and there!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I can't really say it does differ.  I work, primarily, in watercolor.  I don't often add a lot of this and that and stuff but get texture the old-fashioned way, by spritzing the paper with water after I lay down the color and before it dries, or by using granulating pigments.  Although I rarely use salt or collage, I do enjoy playing with different media or extras at times.  It's just not my initial work style.  Also, I want to paint something that pleases me and although I'm happy when someone else likes what I've done, it's not necessary to my well-being for you to like what I'm doing (because I'm doing it for me).  

3. Why do I create what I do?
Gosh, that's a good question!  Why?  Why not just sit around and read romance novels and eat bonbons or go shopping for shoes every day?  I guess there is a creative spark inside me.  I didn't have it when I was very young - didn't have a single art class in school because art class was where the stoners went! ha ha  So...I saw and fell in love with watercolor years ago and said, "I want to do that."  Then, "I want to do that" turned into "I have to do that" and it's an obsession to get better and to learn more.  I do so enjoy learning something new.  Although I haven't found my niche yet, I feel it's closer all the time - and has to include organic things and things with feathers :)  A bird makes me happy - a thing with wings, a splash of color, a light in an eye...there is so much in the natural world that calms me and also energizes me.  

4. How does my creating process work?
I normally work on watercolor paper (either 140# or 300# cold press or rough press) and begin with a drawing I do on tracing paper.  Then I trace that onto the watercolor paper and go, working from back to front and trying to get in some good colors and a few drizzles or drips or splatters or something energetic.  I am still trying to maintain my whites and think more before putting down the brush.  I figure by the time I get to be 90, I'll have this watercolor medium licked and can move on to something else!

And now, here are two artists I follow and admire.  They are so different in style but both are wonderful watermedia artists who, like me, always want to get better and stronger in their art - and they are both doing a great job of that!  Seriously, you should be following both of them and enjoying what they share!

1.  Deb Ward.  
What can I say about Deb Ward and her journey?  She is creating a name for herself in this fickle art world by getting accepted into some pretty major watercolor society shows enough times to gain signature status in many of them, plus winning awards so people are becoming aware of the artist, Deb Ward.   She a real waterMEDIA artist, painting in watercolor, acrylic, fluid acrylic, casein and just about anything else that mixes with water.  She works hard, teaches others, and holds workshops locally.  If there is a local watermedia show, you can bet there is one (or two) Deb Ward paintings in it!  

Deb doesn't know how much she amazes me with her dedication to her work (and it does take dedication and commitment to getting ahead in this genre and showing people what you can do).  

Plus she has a great sense of humor and always looks at the funny parts of life so there is always lots of laughter whenever we get together.  

Do yourself a favor and visit Deb Ward's blog!

She will post her blog hop posting next Monday so tell her I said Howdy! 

2.  Laura Starrett
is a watercolor artist I began following years ago.  I was enthralled with her lovely, light, lively birds, and sensed that she was like me in her struggle to always try to be better and better.  She takes online classes and workshops (we even got to meet in a Carol Carter workshop here in Cincinnati this past year).  Laura has a love of nature and lives close to one of the best birding places on the east coast of the U.S.  She is open, caring, fun, interesting and so very talented (although I don't think she knows that).  

I never am disappointed when I visit Laura's blog to see a new posting, and I really do miss her work when her day job takes her away from her blog. 

If you want to see some lovely, loose gems of paintings, do visit her blog and tell her I said Hi! 

She will be posting her blog hop post next Monday.

I see both of these artists and the differences in their work and style, and am so happy that watercolor can hold both of them securely and happily  -  and we viewers and fans get the benefit.  I so love this wonderful medium called watercolor and the artists who are working to keep it so strong!  



Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Rhonda - wonderful post to read about how you work and to see what you are doing. I always enjoy your posts because you are so generous in sharing what you are learning. Like you I have had no formal art training and it is so nice to connect with someone who is so willing to show what works and doesn't work. Watercolor is hard but there is something so rewarding in working with it. I follow Deb's and Laura's blogs. Both are great artists. Now I am going to check out Carol's blog. Have a great week. hugs!

Autumn Leaves said...

Loved reading this, Rhonda!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks so much, Debbie :) I love sharing blogs with others and finding new artists from blogs :)
Thanks, Sherry!

Unknown said...

Hello, RH, I told you I would be commenting.

RH Carpenter said...

If you lived in Florida, I would have thought you'd fallen into a sinkhole and couldn't get out, but since you're in Oregon, I guessed that you had bogged down in mud instead :) Glad to hear you are still alive and kickin', my friend - always good to hear from you. You must be getting soooo good at that golf game!

laura said...

What a thoughtful blog post, Rhonda. Your answers to the questions are very interesting, and it's wonderful to see the paintings you paired with them!
And I can only say thank you for your lovely and generous comments about my watercolors. Wow, you made me feel good!

RH Carpenter said...

You are most welcome, Laura. I so admire your work!

E.M. Corsa said...

Such beautiful work, all of you, and so very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

RH Carpenter said...

Glad you enjoyed the paintings and artists, EM :) said...

Great Post. Congratulations. I enjoyed reading your answers to the questions and I think Laura and Deb were excellent choices! I will hop over to their blogs to see what's up with them.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Carol, glad you enjoyed the post and the other artists :) They both should have posted their blog hop post yesterday.