Monday, June 29, 2015


Darkened the background bricks and the green shadows; warmed the yellow of the shutter and moved from blue to violet to pink in the petals.  


Cannot think of a title other than
Another Hydrangea! ha ha

I think I will do this again in my more traditional way without the line work, although the line work does give it a clean, illustrative look I like for a change.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Next step on this one, after drawing and then going over the drawn lines with the Elegant Writer pens in black ink and bleeding the color out using a brush with just clean water...

I did use a little Potter's Pink on the petals and it granulates well but isn't as pretty a pink as Rhodonite Genuine, so returned to that favorite instead.  

I'm sure the Potter's Pink has it's place - here is a photo I took of it on the palette with the Lunar Red Rock (which is what I used to paint the hint of red bricks in the background).  Both are a bit gritty in feel when you add water and mix them on the palette.  Funny how pretty the tube color is compared to the actual color of Potter's Pink on the paper...

Potter's Pink - top


Potter's Pink + Manganese Blue Hue mixed
fading out to Manganese Blue Hue and 
Mineral Violet (Holbein) at the bottom right edge.

It's fun to play with colors and see what they will do.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I drew the next hydrangea painting using one of my photos as reference.

Then I saw Carol King paint pansies using a technique shared by Karlyn Holman on YouTube (see Carol's blog for the painting she did and the link to Karlyn's video).  

With this technique, you draw using the black Elegant Writer calligraphic pens because the ink bleeds out into colors when you touch the lines with water.  

So I thought, "Well, why not try it with this hydrangea?  If it doesn't work, I can go back and do it again with watercolor."

So that's what I did.  

This is on a half sheet of watercolor paper but the right edge is cropped off so it is actually

15" x 17.5"
Arches 300# cold press paper

Next step = put the watercolor on after the paper dries.  This makes the painting a mixed media painting but who cares if it looks good!  I had heard about using these pens before but it was "in one ear and out the other" so it never stuck how I was supposed to use them.  I just had them and have always used them for saying in homemade cards :)

The Elegant Writer markers come in many colors - I have some blue ones and a couple of red ones and a brown one...wonder what colors they would bleed out to or if black is the color of choice when using it this way.  (You can buy them at an art supply store or any craft store that sells calligraphy materials, like Hobby Lobby or Michaels.)

Nota bene:  I did spray mist the paper when I had the shadow colors on by bleeding out the Elegant Writer pens, like Karlyn says will set the ink and keep it from bleeding out - it still bled a bit as I was putting on the watercolor pigment but not too much.  Guess I didn't spray enough or leave it long enough?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


We finished the flag paintings yesterday in class.  

It was not easy getting the shadow shapes and values right to make it look right, but I fiddled with mine for a while and I think it works.  

This is on a fourth sheet of gessoed watercolor paper (which helped with the lifting but did cause some bleeding of red and dark in places). 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Gluing text onto paper with acrylic matte medium (don't use the gloss medium because you can't get rid of the shine), then painting over that to tone everything down.  

These will be cut or torn and used later.

Getting ready to use the papers (tear or cut them into interesting shapes and colors).  Using an old flat brush to work the glue (acrylic matte medium) I pour out into a plastic bowl.  Have some hotpress watercolor (Arches) 140# paper to use as a substrate.  Will paint a background on that, first.  Then glue the collage pieces.  Looks like a seascape coming up...

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Just some painted papers - pretty blues...

on printmaking paper


on white tissue paper (that needs to be completely dry before you try to peel it off the paper it's drying on).

Forgot that I had some parchment paper (to let the tissue paper dry on) and used something that must be a drawer liner because it's sticky on the back - but what a pretty image it had when I pulled the tissue paper away from it = bottom right image).

These tissue papers are on white heavier paper to dry, tacked up on a board as they dry...

I love to be surrounded by blues and I am while these are all drying completely before working on a collage piece.

This is a plastic printmaking palette (you roll out your paint on it for printmaking) that also makes a neat collage bit.  You can make acrylic skins using this, too - just lay the acrylic paint on thick and let it dry, then peel it off.  I have a few pieces of acrylic skins but haven't done a thing with them.  Sometimes you just want to play and make pretty things! ha ha

Friday, June 19, 2015


In class I decided we'd paint flags for Flag Day (June 14) or Independence Day (July 4).  We'll have them done before Fourth of July, the USA's Independence Day.  

This is a fourth sheet on gessoed watercolor paper so easy to lift off those stars when you paint over them a bit! ha ha

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Isn't it a wonderful day when the new paints you ordered come in?  And you can't wait to dig in to them and try them (if any are brand new to you), but then you also want to keep them pristine in the tube and just look at them a while.  We art material loving people are a strange bunch at times! ha ha

That Potter's Pink will show up in a future hydrangea painting, I'm sure.

What is the latest art purchase you made and did it make you happy?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I worked more on the Movement in Blue hydrangea painting.  I cropped it down on the left and right edges, tried to darken some areas.  And I think it's overworked.  It actually looks better in the photo than in person...oh, well.  Have another started from another photo.  My hydrangea by the front door is still blooming out, after I trimmed off some huge blooms that were turning pale violet grey.   The painting began as this (well, this was the 3rd stage).

And it became this.  Hard to get the pale petals to the right to read as anything without putting a little color on them...and then it became too much.

Sometimes one needs a painting angel to sit on your shoulder and say, "That's enough.  Put the brush down."  

Sometimes these work, sometimes they don't...starting another soon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


This past weekend, Sweetie and I drove over to Elsmere to see the art show at 506 Ash Gallery.  I had never heard of this venue for art, but received a postcard invitation in the mail from one of the artists.  It was hot, steamy day, but the gallery is in an old garage which has been beautifully updated, and the front and back doors were open.  The back opened to a lovely garden full of flowers and statuary by one of the artists.  It was a catered affair and Sweetie was enthralled with the bourbon candied bacon slices (2 in a tall shot glass) = interesting to see but not for me so he had his portion and mine! ha ha

The woman who started this art venue/gallery began it because she wanted to do something with artists and she is a collector.  They have shows only in the summer, about 3-4 a year, and it was a new experience for me.  

Although a small building, there were 6 different artists showing their work.  One artist, Sam Hollingsworth, is a local artist and teacher (and used to be a member of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society), who is painting creation myths and other stories and myths from his reading and what that reading sparks in his imagination.  He is adding some ravens to his paintings and, of course, those were my favorites because ravens are so close to crows :)

The painting on the front was an example of Rick Mallette's fun and lively colored works, which you could not look at and now feel a smile spreading across your face.

Another favorite was Karen Heyl's sculptural work.  Karen is a Cincinnati artist who has  a studio at The Pendleton in Over-the-Rhine, where she does bas relief in Indiana sandstone and does some small ceramic pieces that are clever, colorful, and fun - a stone-like base holds a ceramic teapot or vase that has twists and turns and curves and you look twice and see a bird sitting on the stone with a snake on its back.  Clever and fun - and reasonably priced for anyone to take home and make it a centerpiece on a shelf or counter.  Many of her larger works were scattered around the garden.  

The only drawback to the show is it is just one long day...then open again for the closing day when artists will be taking the work down.  But if you hear of a show next month, go and enjoy and experience something a little different from the usual shows around Cincinnati - and try the bourbon candied bacon and the key lime pie slices topped with toasted coconut by The Delish Dish, based in Covington, KY.  

Monday, June 15, 2015


June has been busier than normal around here; hence the blog break!  Sweetie's sister came in from Utah and spent almost a week.  During that time, we drove up to the Chicago area to visit other relatives for a few days.  Fun!  No sightseeing, though...

Sweetie and I went to Augusta, Kentucky to see Art in the Garden, an annual event of artists and music and just walking and seeing the old homes along the river town of Augusta, KY.  (This was a field trip for his TriState Photographic Society group and there were 10-12 of us walking around with some impressive cameras.  I just had my little point and shoot Fuji FinePix.)

Those of you who are local or are just big George Clooney fans know that this is the hometown of George.  His parents, Nick and Nina, still live there and Nina has a shop on Main Street.  We spent about 3 hours there and enjoyed the day - just a bit on the cool side which was great for a day spent walking around.  Lots of vendors of jewelry, pottery, ceramics, glassware, and paintings.  Although I didn't take photos of the vendors' booths, I did take some photos of the area and the pretty homes long the river, built in the late 1700's - early 1800's.

Most of the homes were brick and stone but there was one pretty Victorian "Painted Lady" on the end of Riverside Drive.  And there was a B & B you could stay in for a night, a weekend, or more.

The ferry ran continuously between the Kentucky side and the Ohio side of the Ohio River, ferrying cars and walkers back and forth for the day.

I had never been to Augusta, and it was a pretty little town.  And within a 45 minute drive from us.

Friday, June 5, 2015


There seems to be a lot going on in the month of June.  I may need to take a little blog break for a while - but I will return.  (June 3rd was the 20th!! anniversary of the day Sweetie and I said "I do" and we still do!)

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


After a little more work on this one...

Monday, June 1, 2015


I rarely - okay, never - enter online competitions.  But I recently saw this competition from Cheap Joe's Art and thought, well, why not?  I don't have to mat and frame the painting, just have to provide a decent jpg and go for it.  So I did.  I entered the Center Light hydrangea painting I just finished.  

The competition ends today - June 1st - then voting begins.  You can check out the entries by searching Cheap Joe's Spring Contest.  If I understand it, it's not something for online votes from viewers (and friends and family), so it's not just a personality contest for anyone has thousands of "friends" on Facebook because if I'm wrong and it's a "vote for me because you know me and want me to win" I would rather not participate.  I hope the art speaks for itself.

I spent some time looking at the entries before the deadline.  There are A LOT!!!  So many I hope they are winnowed down to a manageable lot.  We'll see.

There is one grand winner of a $500 gift certificate from Cheap Joes, and two runners up winners of a $100 gift certificate.  So free art supplies from Cheap Joe's!  Who wouldn't want that?