Wednesday, June 29, 2016


The watercolor sketcher and art blogger, Charlie O'Shield, has announced that July is World Watercolor Month.  His enthusiasm and excitement is catching - so join in = Paint, Post, Share!

Here is the link to Charlie's site and how you can get more involved during the month of July.  

Now get out those watercolors, brushes, and paper and join in for the whole month of July!  

(A small painting a day doesn't have to take that much time, you know - tiny things can be jewels in a little watercolor sketchbook or maybe even post cards painted to send off to your friends?)  I am going to try - a little painting a day - we'll see how far I get :)

Monday, June 27, 2016


Added a bit more oomph to the lines with fluid acrylic in gold and cropped the bottom a bit (sorry Elizabeth and Deb, but there is still enough space there, I think).

In the crop, I hope you can see the gold fluid acrylic and other things (sepia, white gel pen) I added around the little bee - hope it is not the last one!

Funny how dark it looks when you just zoom in on the little bee.

Currently working on a half sheet - working on it like a collage piece.  May incorporate words into this one as I've been researching a bit those things bees pollinate and how we can help them.  Stay tuned for more little bees buzzing your way!

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Started another bee painting.  

Not sure it's finished.

I tossed everything at it = gold fluid acrylic, sepia watercolor marker, white gelli pen, and the usual watercolor and stamping.

I think I still need to show those lines coming from outside to the center more - perhaps with a darker color or maybe the gold fluid acrylic.  And I probably will crop off some of the bottom.

While at Shaker Village, we got some great photos of a beekeeping session going on so have some hives, some combs and the beekeeper, too - you know those will end up in another painting.

This is one sign you probably should obey!

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Well, this was a very successful and happy watercolor society show for me.  Not only did my painting, Plant Series: Morning Light, win First Place in the show, but I had a very nice couple contact me to buy the painting!  YAY!  
They even said it was First Place in their minds, too :)  

And no impulse buy, either.  They came to the show yesterday, took a photo of it, measured it, went home and made sure it would fit and look good in their home where they wanted to place it.

We met this afternoon when the gallery opened and they purchased it and seemed very happy.  We talked a bit about inspiration and I was so pleased - it seems Morning Light is going to a very good home.

I won't share their names - privacy issues, but aren't they a good-looking (and obviously quite discerning) couple? :)

Thanks so much!  
I hope to see you both at future shows.

Overall, 4 paintings sold during the show's run = congratulations to all the winners (see a previous post for their names and photos of their paintings), and congratulations to those who sold something this time!

And now, back to reality and my bee buzz buzzzzzzz.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Just returned from a few days away at Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, KY (southwest of Lexington).  The Shakers had a community there in the 1800's that died out (one of their religious tenets was celibacy - d'uh!) and finally it became an historic site.  Many many buildings still stand but have been converted for overnight guests.  Sparse but pretty and clean.  Delicious food at the Trustee's Table restaurant on site and acres of land to walk, investigating inside the buildings, the farm, the stables, hiking trails, etc.  

Many of the buildings have two front doors - one side for the men, one side for the women.  The church is the same with nothing but hard wooden benches inside and one side was for the women, one for the men, and never the twain shall meet, except during dances, where the parishioners would "shake out their sins" in vigorous dances and singing.

One of my favorite rooms in the Family Building was where they demoed the spinning and weaving.  Here, you see the dyed yard (all dyed from natural materials like coffee, rose madder root, indigo, etc.)

Jars of natural things used to dye the yard = cochineal beetles made a dark or light red, osage orange made a buttery yellow orange, celery dyed yard a pale pretty green.

Everywhere you looked, there were stone fences, placed by hand.  Also stone buildings as well as brick buildings. 

The Farm Deacon's Shop, my favorite building.  Love that white fence going around the front and sides.

If you aren't into the architecture and simple beauty of the buildings inside and out, there is always the farm buildings and the chickens, cows, sheep, horses, and some little piggies to see.  The place is farmed organically and a lot of what you'll eat at the Trustee's Table comes from the farm itself.

A lot of the cows, including the little calves, had eye patches on - no, it's not that they want to be pirates, they apparently were to protect their eyes from the flies - and one pretty little calf had pinkeye so maybe was spreading that.  We saw him being treated after he was separated from his mama (and she was NOT happy about that, making her displeasure known with vigorous moos until he was returned to her side).

In case you were thinking, "Why would I go somewhere that's so primitive?" don't worry - they still had little Keurig coffee-makers in the room as well as indoor baths for the guests :)

The white rooms with the reddish railing is typical of their style, as is the plain rocking chairs.  The railings have pegs to hang your clothing (no closets that I saw anywhere).  All wooden floors but Tempurpedic beds which are necessary after a long day walking and walking and walking.

Interesting steps placed into the stone walls - one on each side so you just stepped up and over the other side if there was no opening close.

If you go, know that on Monday only it's a "quiet day" which means NONE of the buildings are open for viewing inside.  That was a bit of a surprise because I thought it meant there were no programs given that day, but that the buildings would be open.  Somehow, we found plenty to do without going inside the buildings on Monday, and took more photos than we'll ever use for anything, but that's what a mini-vacation is all about.  
Oh, this is the West Family Wash House (close to the horse stables and several triails for hiking and riding) - so wash up before supper and let's call it a day!

Monday, June 13, 2016


This is going to be a new series for me.  Finding (and bringing home) the honeycomb from a nature walk last month, I've thought about bees.  How they are floundering with colony collapse and what that might mean to us humans for our food sources in the future.  We need bees, we need all pollinators.  So...thinking about that and using what I have, I am going to be doing a few paintings on the theme of honeybees, honeycombs, and numbers.

I began with the honeycomb itself - one that was abandoned in a fallen tree. 

Then took a lot of reference photos. 

I created a stamp of my own (top right of the photo) and used 2 small stencils I bought in the past (who knew then how these would be used?).

I put down the Quinacridone Gold using the stencils and my own stamp, covering the paper with the drawing of the heart-shaped honeycomb and the honeycomb patterns and numbers.

Then it was time to think about the bees and where to place them.  So I drew three on a piece of tracing paper, intending to trace them onto the honeycomb in a pleasing composition.  However, the bees would not trace over the honeycomb (because of the paint already there?).  

So I just redrew them onto the honeycomb, using the traced paper bees to help in placement.  

Drew and painted the bees on.  Darkened around the honeycomb and reiterated some of the numbers there outside and darkened some of the comb inside around the bees. 


This one is called
Running Out of Time

And when you get a good series in mind, it's easy to go on to the next one - which I have begun.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Got an email from Deb Ward, who was at the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society artist reception Sunday afternoon (I was not there).  She told me I was the big winner = First Place in the show!!  I am thrilled.  

Sweetie and I went over to  the gallery Tuesday afternoon to see the show/take some photos.  Here they are:

First Place - R.H. Carpenter
Plant Series: Morning Leaves

Second Place - Lois Schaich
Big Wheel

Third Place - Venetia Wang

Two Honorable Mentions = 

Marilyn Bishop
Rooftops - Cos Cob Art Colony

Kathy Lawrence
Golden Gourds

Congratulations to the winners and to all the members who entered for such a nice show!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Working on another lesson for the class - a single flower in a dark background.  Glazing color to get strong, clean color in the flower.

The background of this one is made from a mix of Perylene Green and Perylene Maroon, which makes a nice grey color.  I like the water blossoms.

This is a fuschia.

This one has a mix of Perylene Green and Perylene Maroon at the bottom, moving into Perylene Green and Sap Green at the top.  Background is still drying in the this photo.

Not sure what this flower is.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


To celebrate our anniversary, Sweetie and I drove down to Lexington, KY to the Kentucky Horse Park. 

It was a good visit.  I love seeing all the horses in the Breeds Show (Welsh Cob, Lippizanner, Norse Vann, Romany something, American Quarterhorse, etc.).

I liked seeing the ferrier shoe the horses and talk about how it works to do that - just like trimming and filing your nails only with larger instruments.  Takes a big guy to shoe a big horse!

Draft horses, pleasure horses, two museums, a small art show and plenty of horse sculptures around the park grounds kept us busy most of the day. 

The grounds are nicely done outside the barns and show rings with a stream running through the front of the property and some stone walls and arches.

Here's me, doing my Edith Ann impression.  If you don't know who that is, then you are too young to remember the old Laugh-In show and Lily Tomlin's skits.  

Wildflowers allowed to grow.

See you next time...

Friday, June 3, 2016


The Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society will be holding their annual summer show at The Barn (the Woman's Art Center of Cincinnati gallery site in Mariemont) this June.  The show begins with an opening reception Sunday, June 5 at 1 pm.  

Come and see it if you are in the area.

is the link to read about dates, etc.

I don't think I put anything in the show last year, but I will have 2 paintings in this upcoming show - one full sheet and one fourth sheet watercolor from my Plant Series paintings.  Most of the paintings in the show will be watercolor.  All paintings will be from members of the GCWS.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


The students continued to work on their portraits.  I had them do a monotone painting (like David Lobenberg does - and I showed them some of his video, Painting Portraits in Payne's Gray).  Then we moved on to color...

Here is mine.  
(David's photograph of the red-haired girl so this can only be used as a demo for my students and to help them learn.)  And I definitely don't paint as loosely as David does!