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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Painting Final

This is where I left the painting. It was so tempting to go in and detail out all those folds etc...but I think where I left it is enough to suggest those lumpy bumpy petals and give it some dimension...Mollie loved it and that was good enough for me! It ended up about 10x12 I think...which is small for me and really went quickly...making me think I should do more of this and see what would happen...more saleable but would not be competition size. But the biggest factor was it was that is something to consider as well!!!

Christmas Painting

Since I have not found time to paint as we still have company. I thought I would post a few of the steps to a painting I did for an exchange at the Artcolony. This painting went to Mollie who lives in Texas and is an avid felt pretty safe doing a flower. We worked smaller and also faster which was strange for me....I sure would have liked to do more detail etc but time was an element and I needed it to be shipped by a certain date...It was fun to do as it sure went alot faster than most of my work! HA!  My first image was taken in such a dark space and I cannot get the background to look white...sorry about that. I was sort of letting the background color mingle in case something surprising would develop but decided to just continue to go was the easiest with time constraints.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Milk Glass and Cherries

I have begun a new one...and again I always give myself a challenge. I love color. Let me put that another way. I LOVE COLOR!  I would normally be putting more color into this glass but I am trying to be very grey with this one. It is killing me...and I worry it might be ruined but I have to give it a don't panic...yes it really is grey! HA! Hopefully when done the grey will not be so obvious!!! We shall see. I might also try masking for the first time...I ordered it...we shall see! I am going to be trying a few new things this year...ha!

Another wash on Mondays Wash

I would like to even go deeper but a deadline is looming and so I have to say done...but I did go a little darker and not sure if it shows or not...but here it is...supposedly done!

Season's Greetings!

I do not have a new Christmas card this year...I surely need to do one for next year. So am sending you all my old one...but still a good one!

May you all have a  MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!  And may the new year bring you many blessings, love and joy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday's Wash

Not sure that is the title but so far Monday's Wash is what I am calling it...any further suggestions? It is full sheet watercolor. The decision on the background was made to be simple like a stucco wall of I was afraid too much would distract...however always after I am done I see a shelf with a spool of twine handing the shadows...but too late for that!
I have thought of having it scanned for giclees but right now with all the mail being so crazy I am not sure I want this going out will wait on that I think.
I have the drawing done for the next one...might not start that until tomorrow...I like to clean the studio in between paintings so will straighten it up a little and make it right have a blue poinsettia waiting to be photographed! Will we have a Blue Christmas next year??? I guess that all depends on the photos! Ha!

This painting is a very limited palette so it was very important to have a number of values going on to make it read properly...I hope I got that part right!~

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Rescue of the Loon

This will become my new Christmas tale to tell grandchildren if I am ever blessed to have any. On Sunday evening my son noticed an otter under out bridge so he went to investigate and thought he saw a loon scoot under the ice. We thought there was no way that was possible...and we had been having -20 degrees at night. Well the next morning I had to go look and sure enough there was an immature loon. He could swim and get under the ice so was not catchable but I knew at some point he would become they winter in the Gulf. He could not take this cold. He would not be able to fly out as they have to have I believe over 100 feet of open water to do that. I asked for help from the DNR and everyone I could think of but everyone said it was dangerous and let nature take it's course...well no way was I going to do that. I had seen one loon die two days before unnecessarily because no one would rescue it so this one I would save. Yesterday I was surprised he was still 8 in the morning after the 3rd night of -20 and more degrees...he was still swimming at 10 and at noon he was froze I called my husband and said I was going in...I knew hypotherma was going to be a problem so my local police officer stood guard...I was ready to go in when my husband appeared with waders and he went in...with a hammer he broke him lose and we got him up on the ice and into a net. At 5 he was flown to Minneapolis and at 7 he was seen by a loon rescue vet. He had xrays this morning and I will hear the complete results this afternoon but it appears he is quite healthy. He might be flown then to the Gulf where he should be. That is where they remain for a year until they aquire their beautiful black and white plummage. I will show you the picture of him frozen and one of my husband as he entered the water...then the camera had to be in my pocket so I could help...wish we could have had a video! So needless to say I did not paint! I will get to it...I am getting close to done and the painting I did for a friend will be posted after   Christmas when she opens it...and I have a drawing ready to go so hopefully things will go more smoothly here soon!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Time Is Not On My SIde!

It has been a crazy whirlwind around here and I am still dizzy and sleeping [not much] in the that a month now? Not sure! But I am better so that is good. I recently lost my dearest friend to cancer. Her funeral is next week. Her had is in my book several times holding the brush when I had to take pictures. She was my greatest encourager. I shall miss her greatly. This will also put me behind some but I will still get things done.
 I have just finished a painting for a Christmas exchange with some artist friends and I will have to wait to post that until after Christmas when she opens it. Would not want to ruin the surprise!
I am singing in the Christmas choir and also wed night services so that is also time consuming but gives me alot of joy at this season.

I will not try to bring the clothespin painting to completion over the next week if possible. There might be large interruptions as I have no idea what this next week will bring but I will try. I have had some nice suggestions as to the title but perhaps you can be thinking for me and add some more to the list. I believe this one will be shipped off to be scanned for prints. That is a little scarey at this time of year with so many packages going around...I would hate for it to be damaged. We will see what I decide. In the meantime I am posting a friendly squirrel who enjoys peanuts in the shell I buy for him and the bluejays. I have found a good source for unsalted ones and they really "squirrel" them away! Ha! I hope to be posting better here soon!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Am Working!

I have done some painting in all the Thanksgiving rush. I was filmed for a couple of hours by PBS locally on Tuesday morning. So that took time and then the prep for Thanksgiving. I have begun a new small painting that is a Christmas gift so I can not show the steps until I send it off! But then I will post them. I hope to get to paint through the weekend../we will see how it goes with company in the house sometimes it is not easy. Everyone thinks I am the cook and only cook...thus I get little else done...Oh to have the joy of maid service! Ha! 
I actually have a new painting nearly drawn so as things wrap up I will be able to jump right into the new piece! Yipee!

In the meantime, here is one of the trees outside by the lake...I have now done 3 so if the weather is nice I will take a new picture. This helps to lift the spirits in these long northern nights!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Moving Closer!

Ok...I could write a book about why this is taking so long. I have been sick since Pasadena...but am improving daily now. Also I was asked to do 3 paintings for a book from Quarto Press in London which I began and was ready for the first photo shoots when my son rolled his truck and totalled it and things just had to be cancelled. He is ok...but it was a crazy few days there and the deadlines were right then...impossible for me to do. So that took time as I had 4 paintings going of the step by they are useless! ARGH!

I finally dared to just do something with the background. Yes, I considered the wash outside the window but this is such a complex piece I feared too much was going to distract from the point of this is what I have decided on...just the appearance of a shadow across the wall behind and sun coming in...Hopefully this will be enough to support the subject and not detract. I would keep painting on this but on Tuesday our local PBS station is coming to do some filming and so thought I might leave some of this now to do when they get here...but I will need to get it done quickly then and photographed as I already missed AWS submissions because of the book painting...that really got me off track along with being sick. Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finally A New Update!

Alot has been going on and I am sorry to not be here as much as I wanted. I have had vertigo problems that are now somewhat better and then got a terrible cold which I am still battling. I also had begun work on a six step painting demo for Quarto Press out of London and had completed 3 of the steps when my son was in a roll over trying to avoid a deer and I just knew I did not have the strength to do anymore of attention has to be here at home for now. Luke will be fine, the truck is totally a goner and we hope that something very good will come out of all of this.

I did get to work more on the clothespin painting...It is getting closer to the end but the background is still evading me. I thought I knew what it should be but that changed as the lighting changed in the painting... and so that has been keeping me at a much slower pace! I will think of something however...hopefully soon! Ha! This is a little crooked but hopefully you can see it well enough. The sun was finally shining this afternoon so grabed the chance to shoot it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dinner In Pasadena

Here is the first night of dinner with art friends. I am sorry I did not take picturs but I decided to bring my big camera in case I could capture something for a winter painting project and it doesnt flash and is so heavy I did not drag it around. Unfortunately!!!! But here is a  picture of Joyce Faulknor, Laurie Humble, Guy Magallanes and I having supper and chatting like crazy! It was fun to meet so many artists whom I have been visiting with online but never met! This was the beginning of a wonderful 5 days with friends!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ACT International Invitational

I was invited by Karen Vernon to participate in the first Act International Invitational and there are now over 100 aritsts from 3 countries involved. You can read all about it at 

I wanted to take pictures as I went along on this process but it was my first time ever on Ampersand and it was sure a struggle back and forth...I think if one would stick with it you could get some amazing results! I tried to do my glazing but not sure it worked as well as I had hoped. But it is done and I hope to paint more on this board through the winter months and if I get the hang of it I surely will pass along the info to you!!! SO here is my entry, Evening Peony, and it is 12x12 on a 2 inch deep cradled board. It is watercolor on aquaboard.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm Back!

Well I am back from the Art and Learning Expo in Pasadena. It was not full like years before and that is in part due to the economy. many classes only had 2-5 students in them and so that was tough. I did meet alot of people including a few of you from here which was wonderful!!
I wanted to get back to the clothespins but a new deadline is looming. I have been asked to participate in ACT International Invitational 2010. It requires that I paint in watercolor on Aquaboard and the format is 12x12. I have it now and will begin today hopefully to figure out what I am painting so that I can hit it it should be shipped within the next few I will be showing you that as it progresses. I think I am going to enjoy this new surface for something different and will try to talk through problems and what I learn in case any of you would like to try that surface as well. The fun part is the paint sits on top and so it is more brilliant and you can wipe down to white very easily. Also you varnish it so it doesnt need to be under glass. The piece I will be doing has about a 2 inch cradle in wood so it will be already framed once complete which is a very nice thing!! We will see how this progresses and then on to the clothespins as I have so many lining up here that I want to do it is overwhelming! That is why I do not mind winter and being locked in...I paint like crazy and it is wonderful! This year I am setting up my hulahoop near my studio and making myself really use it inbetween washes...ha! Hopefully it will keep my back in better shape with all this tight painting! Glad to be home!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Winter Has Come!

We really missed fall this year...winter has come 3 weeks early. It came in the night on high winds from the north. A few days ago I took a picture of the back deck...the flowers were fading but still color...the second picture is today...everything is black and frozen...cold and howling winds...oh boy...Pasadena is going to feel mighty fine!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Shipping To Pasadena!

Today I shipped a painting and 50 tracings to Pasadena so that is that. I still want to think about what I am doing a little...never had to actually have a workshop in 3 hours...usually that is a demo...but they want people painting this is strange. I will talk more in my master still life class on Friday. Egads...that is a week from today that I am teaching my first class! I got sick and had to go through urgent care and got a Zpack so hopefully I will begin to feel better...that made me nervous as I tend to get bronchitis so easy. Hopefully this will tide me through. I am really excited to see how this all goes. So many people to meet and exciting things to try out. I will try to take pictures and fill you in on all of it so you can see what these art and learning expos are like! I believe they are similar to the old art and materials just is a newer version. The picture shows me working on all those tracings for classes and my dear George sitting there on my art table watching the birds. He is now 14 and I am going to really miss him one day!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

So Much To Do!

I am so sorry about how long it has been since I was here to update! It has been a little crazy here at my house! I am working on the demos for Pasadena at the Art and Learning Expo and am now in the process of doing 50 tracings so that we can just move into painting a whole lot faster. But my hand is not doing to great with this...there is pressure with tracing and that bad hand is not liking it too much!
Also have been talking to places about possible workshops so when those dates become available I will surely fill you all in. I do have one coming next fall to Calgary, Alberta so stay tuned for that! Canada is always a fun place to go.
In between tracings I get up and set up still life arrangements for new paintings this winter and have several in mind I really am liking so that always gets me excited when I see what I might be doing next!!! Unfortunately I have not been working on the clothespins painting because of everything else and then one is not excited anymore. I surely hope that I can get back to it even a little each day so I do not get so far behind. I have another painting I have to do for an international art auction and have not even considered it yet!!! ARgh!!! So that is on the agenda too. Hey guys...there are alot of you out there...want to come over and help me!?? Ha!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Redone WIP

This is a little closer to what it is like...there is more purple in those browns than the other picture was showing...this will have to do! The bamboo mats are very tedious and yet fun because I am trying to make a pattern of light on them that makes them more interesting.

Monday, September 07, 2009

WIP Still Progressing

This was taken outside just now and the sun is setting so it is far too yellow...perhaps I will retake it in the morning. It is a long ways from completion but at least I pretty much have all the shapes defined at this point...I have begun to play with the bamboo some. It was fun starting a light pattern across them and will define that more but have to put this aside and begin the demos for will be posting that when it is done...

I am looking for a title however and maybe when it is done it will be easier...but since I have almost 50 regular watchers can begin thinking maybe of what to call this. The ribbons are from my daughters hair when she was little...she is now 36. The dish was my husbands favorite when he was little. The seashell was a napkin ring my daughter made for her ocean beach wedding. The clothespins reminded me of my that is why I have been thinking of Memories, Remembered or something along those lines...any suggestions would be great!!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

WIP Continued

I am making slow progress. Mostly because I am drawing on other things for the Pasadena workshops and trying to guard my hand. You can see I am beginning to find the shapes of the other ribbon and more bamboo and clothespins...there is just so much to do to deepen what is there but I like to get things to the middle values all over before I do any final work. This will no doubt not be finished until I return from Pasadena in October but I would rather take my time as it feels like a strong piece and do not want to rush it. So I hope you will be patient. Once I get to the painting stages for the workshops I might post them here as well so you can see what I am doing. It sure would be nice to meet some of you at one of these...I think if you visit the website for this expo you will be pleasantly surprised by all the artists coming to teach short workshops. Alot of info going to come out under one roof!! Anyway, thanks for all the well wishes about my hand. It is better when I do not use it so much.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Clothes Pins WIP

I wanted to show you where I am on the clothespins painting. It is slow as it hurts to paint but I am trying to locate all the shapes gradually. There is still much more to do to the bamboo and more of it on the mid left of the painting. I am not sure I will go as dark as originally planned but I suspect I will go darker than this is now by several values for sure. I wanted to post this as I will not be painting for the next week and you can see where I am at. I have not used any new colors...just layering up back and forth with the same ones. In the dark shadows I started lighter in areas knowing I might want to add some highlights down there. I have begun to do that and perhaps I will like is one way to try on the look and if I do not like it I can go dark completely. I really hope this one turns out...even though it is painful to paint I can still do small things and leave and bounce around and get something accomplished.

Going To Oregon

I am leaving Tuesday to spend a week at the beach in Oregon with my daughter. I have strict orders not to be using my right thumb as it is now in spasm and pain from over use I guess. I have two braces I use now. Also those paints have still not arrived!!! So stressing out. I want to get a picture of where the painting is at...but we have had 3 straight days of rain. I am not going fast as it is pretty painful to paint so it is slow moving!!! Hopfully a week of rest will help but they feel I need more than a month of not using it...which I do not have. So we will see how this goes. Everyone be good without me!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Clothes Pins Stage 2

Still no paint arriving here so I am becoming worried about the last few days I have done some painting...not as much as I would like because we finally have some nice weather and I have been doing alot of gardening as well...moved a few roses I have wanted moved for 3 years! So that feels good. Tomorrow it is suppose to rain and if it does I will work more on the painting but my husband has also taken time off so then I do not get as much done. At least I am seeing progress! There still is much to do...alot of darks etc but I like to build my areas slowly...all of this will change again as I layer up on the different areas. This is not the complete painting either but it is not yet all drawn so felt I would let that be a surprise! Ha! My colors are Daniel Smith, Quin. Sienna, Quin Rose, Bt Sienna, Carbazole Violet, Transparent Brown Oxide and New Gamboge. The ribbon has not been completed as it is such straring that I have gotten headaches and backaches so will let that develop slowly I think. Anyway, it is moving along!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Decided To Begin!

I decided to start the painting even though it is not completely drawn yet. This is just one side of it and all the lower drawing is still to be is crazy how something can look so interesting and then you begin to draw it and your mind goes out to lunch! Why did I not think this would be difficult to draw I have no idea! Ha! Anyway, while waiting for the new paints to come I decided to start this as that surely will make the paints arrive sooner! We will see. They did not come today.

This old clothes pins were so neat at the second hand store so I grabbed them and started playing with them...we will see just how neat it is once I get into it but hoping it will make a nice repetitive shape through the painting. Right now I am mostly doing very light washes of Transparent Brown Oxide, Quin Rose and New Gamboge to try to establish the this point something might change and I might want to lift some color so I do it lightly. In fact, I changed the shape of the ribbon in one place and was able to lift the Trans. Brown. That is why I love that color! It allows me to try on the color part and see the shapes better and stand back and see if I like it...if the shape is not working I can alter it some...yes, I creep into these things pretty slowly but that is just how I do it. I say move gently on the paper until you are certain it is exactly what you want. Anyway, I am going to work more on the ribbon today...and then the spoon area. Hopefully it will come together quickly and I can keep at it but if the new paint arrives I will have to stop and learn to work with it for these demos. Keep me in your thoughts!!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Time Keeps Rolling On!

Well my new paints have not arrived so I have not started the demos for Pasadena yet...hopefully next week I can be doing the painting I started is sort of on hold until all this gets underway. So instead I thought I would show you a video for catlovers...this cat is pretty special!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Paint!

Well I was surprised yesterday to learn that when I am in Pasadena for the Arts and Materials show I cannot use my Daniel Smith paints so will be using W&N. So today I put out the request for paint so I can try it since I have not used them in over 9 are going to know what I am doing...I tried to draw just a tiny bit today but it was hard as my eyes were dilated for an eye exam to see if the whole in my retina is healing and it seems to be...where it came from we do not know. So another thing I am juggling. I also purchased a video camera that has a hard drive so it can take movies for 86 hours I think it if I ever find time to learn that I am going to do short demos for do not think that I will begin this until October or later! Ha! Maybe but I am not sure I have time to figure this all out. I have to first make sure I have all the demos done for Pasadena. I am excited to go there to teach. Just filling you in on what I am doing....did not forget the blog...I just am not getting anywhere too fast!

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Drawing

I am working on a new drawing and have a ways to go yet before I can post it...I need to work for awhile longer before I show you what is next! I sure have had bad luck with booboos on my paper so I hope this time it will all go smoothly! I am also going to get a small drawing done on Ampersand for is a watercolor board and it will not be easy to paint on for me because it will not take glazing like I am use to doing...the paint will move but I am anxious to try! So will be posting that as I work through the problems! Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Teaching in LA!

I would like to announce that I will be doing two of the 3 hour demos at the Learning and Materials show in Pasadena Oct 15-18th! I will do Thursday from 1-4 and Friday 9-12. You can follow the link here to register and also see the other artists that will be there. It is a great way to see all the new materials the companies are putting out and try their products! Hope you can attend!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Safe Haven

I am also calling this one done as I can hardly wait to begin my next piece. I just really need to see some fresh paper! Ha! I darkened a few more areas on this and put in a few more yellow glazes...lightened above the one birds head to make it stand out just a little more and hope it will be ok. This late afternoon sun was hard to much goes into shadow and makes it hard to define even the petals as they begin to melt into one another. This painting really has no one focal point but that is ok with me...this began with the intent of designing another garden flag so the approach is alot different. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Summer's End

Not sure about the title as it is only the end of spring when they fall apart but it does take a few months to get the big the title is not definate yet. I just could keep picking away at it I know and it would never get done but I really need to get this one behind me and move on! I think it turned out well considering it began as a demo and so many things went wrong...I just cannot paint and talk at the same time! Ha!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Peony WIP

You saw the start of this and I just have not gotten back to was the beginning of a demo at a workshop. Today I took the time to block in some more of the background. Now with a couple of days work it can be done which is going to be so nice...finally catching up after all that has gone on! Just to remind you, this peony has lost all it's petals and it leaves these terrific teddy bear like pods...which I love! Not sure of a title at this point but maybe by next time I will have something...any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dahlia Near Completion

Well for those of you who have hung in there with me I thank you!!! Ha! Just imagine I began in March only to be sick for 5 weeks..went to Oregon, had company and how many other things. I spilled pomegranate juice on it and used a ugly blue...thus the beginning of a rock wall and leaves! I am hoping this will inspire you to never give up. It might not be the best painting that ever was but I have rescued it and the labor of all the drawing...I pretty much hate it at this point because I have seen it way toooooooo long! Ha! But I am always glad when I do not give up and try to solve the problem...I always learn so much. Hope you did too!!! I have changed a leaf and darkened the birds since this photo...but there just has been no sun so the photos turn out rather will wait and hopefully the sun will come out soon!!! In the meantime...this is where it is and if anyone has a good title I sure would love to hear it!!! Thanks...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Celebration of Light

I figured out how to add a button to purchase my book...I sure hope I did! I am getting pretty good at this now! Look out! Ha!

Products For Sale!

I think I figured out how to put a buy button on here for my products. There is a drop down menu for the products and you can select one....not sure you can select two the way I did would have to be a separate order I think...I am sorry but I am not really smart on this! The button is on the side bar. Thanks!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dahlias Updated

Well I might be slow but just like a turtle I keep moving along! Summer has arrived and with it brings many interruptions when you live at the lake...and then the heat comes and it is all hard as we do not have air conditioning...only need it a few weeks out of the year so just do not get it...but boy there are days!!!!
So this is where I am at on the dahlias. I still have alot of edges to work on and light against dark areas to stress...there is still a few things in the flowers that have not even been painted yet but all of this will begin to take shape now...I am hoping that it will become a garden flag and rug but we will see...they have to like it first!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fading Peony Demo

My peony has these neat teddy bear seed pods on it after the petals fall and every year I cut some just to admire. They are quite large and so pretty! My plant is getting ready to bloom again and so I will be able to make adjustments to the painting if I see it is needed. Hopefully I can paint on this and make some headway as I want to finish up the dahlia that is ssoooo old! I think I have forgotten what colors I was using! I want that one done too because I am nearly done with the next drawing and really am anxious to get busy with it!!!
I am so glad to be back on track!!! Of course, if we get some warm weather I will have to do some gardening too. It has been unusually cold here and so everything is sort of frozen in time...a little sunshine will get things hopping I am sure!

Evergreen Products

I showed you the image that was selected to go on some garden products etc...this is the mailbox cover which I put up tonight so thought I would post it. It is magnetic and you can add magnetic numbers which is nice. I had painted my box so some of that is peeking out! Ha! There is also an outdoor indoor rug, windsock, large and small garden flags and I believe an address marker for the lawn. It was fun and I sure wish they would take another image!!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Workshop Complete!

I am back from my workshop and this might have been one of my best groups ever! They were all just like me! Ha! they loved to laugh and were all supportive of one another which is a wonderful thing to see! So now I am visiting with my daughter from Oregon who leaves on Thursday and then I need to post a few things here! I hope to get back to painting Friday morning! If one of the workshop girls, Paula, gets any pictures to post I will definately do that. My camera was lost 2 days before the workshop so did not get any photos. It is strange, but seeing my summer stretching before me I wonder if I will be in the garden more than painting?? Ha!

Monday, June 01, 2009

On The Count Down!

I have completed the talk to 100 artists, did the two day painting demos, packed now and getting groceries as will be gone until Friday night teaching a workshop. Then I have a little down time with my daughter but will be back into painting again with fewer distractions! It has been a strange spring starting with 5 weeks of being I have really been slow here and do apologize for that...but hopefully will get back into the swing of things soon!!! I have friends who will be going to the Transparent Watercolor Society of America exhibition and perhaps they will take a picture of my painting there that they can post! Thanks for your patience! janie

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm Back!

Well, the presentation to 100 artists went well. I now have a two day demo to work on and then a workshop for 3 days coming up in 2 weeks...then I hope to raise my feet in the air and review my life goals and weed the garden.
I did fiddle with the dahlia painting some more. Once I added the birdhouse to cover the pom juice I spilled, I realized the blue sky was too fought with the light dahlias. I will be darkening them anyway now because this shifted the values alot but at least it will not have to be as much as if I had left a light colored sky. In the end this is going to be more of a painting to see if it can license for garden flags than for anything else...but I hope all of you will stick with your work and solve is always a neat learning experience...I found I loved the blue wash on all those leaves,,,so much blue and I wondered if those background leaves would even work but the veins being blue is working...and it just pushes me to think outside the box and make up things. I did take a photo before this to show the sky partially covered so you could compare but silly me. I did it with that new camera that I cannot seem to get a program to run to bring the photos that one is there but unobtainable now...I will post it if I ever get it out. so here is where I am right now...alot of work now needs to be done on the flowers but that is not bad,,,the shapes are there so when I get time I will get into that and try to finish this up. still alot of work to do...deepen shadows in leaves and birdhouse etc...but I always adjust as I go to make sure I do not go too dark too soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still Working!

I am still working on the big event this weekend with 100 artists. To talk for 2 hours on values is a real challenge...not because of lack of info but how to make it interesting. It is so important but for 2 hours it can be like beating a dead horse! Ha! Anyway, that is still what I am doing for now.
I did want to repost the painting that was juried into the Transparent Watercolor Society of American national show in Kenosah, Wisconsin. Remember I was trying to do a floral with an abstract quality to it...well it seems that it was successful and liked! Yipee!
I have done some work on the Dahlias but the camera I used to take the pictures doesnt seem to have a program I can upload the picture too?? I am totally confused so will continue to try to figure that one out! Sorry about that!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Delays Delays!

I have not progressed at all on the painting but it stares at me...really stares! Ha! It just has been a succession of things and what I am hoping is all that bad stuff is done and I can move on. Right now my 86 year old brother in law is in ICU. Been there for 12 days I think now. Keep hoping there will be improvement there or I might be headed to Oklahoma.
I have been working on a slide show that I will be presenting to over 100 artists on the 12th and also on several demos as I have so much coming up it scares me. But once this passes I think I have clear sailing...I really want to grow flowers for painting...unusual ones if I can. But so far the weather has been bad which is good as it keeps me inside working on these other projects.
I teach a 3 day workshop in Grand Forks, North Dakota the first week of June and then my daughter comes for a week...then my calendar opens up. I hope I have not forgotten how to paint!
What is hard is I already have a nearly complete full sheet drawing done and more new ideas than I can ever once I start I will have plenty to keep me busy! Hope all of you are busy painting for me and enjoying spring. Spring has not really come here too much...still have 40 degree days and frost on the roofs in the morning but once it arrives, it usually just becomes summer!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Blue Was That?

I have been asked what blue I was using in that background. It was Daniel Smith Verditer...supposedly low staining but I am not being to successful in it's removal...I only try to buy low staining colors for this reason. The other problem is it is a color mix...I wish I had the tube to look at what colors were used...I never use mixes there is rule 2 broken. I also never use a new color in large areas until I have tested it...broke that one too! HHHa! Obviously not doing well that day! This blue is stunning but it separates alot, even in my little dish I made up of it. Also I think it might work better on 140# paper which would be less thirsty...the 300# was soaking it up pretty fast I think. Different papers react differently...I wanted to try this theory out but cannot find the tube and I think because I was working so fast I wonder if in turning the board my tube fell into the garbage can and got taken out because it has totally disappeared! Ha! Evidently I am not suppose to use that one again! :) I will not be working on this very much for awhile because I have a demo to work up for a group of about 100 artists. Then I have a demo for the RRWS and then a three day workshop all by the the first weekend in June and with everything happening as it has, I have not had the time to pull things together. I think what I will do is maybe post some of my thoughts on the demos to see what you think...hope I have the time. I will be discussing values for them and so have to work up the demo...a dear friend has lent me a photo actually because it showed exactly what I was thinking about and it will save time to use hers for is sure great to have friends!
Also I have been asked what blues do I use...and so here is what is on my palatte right now...Indanthrone blue which is my favorite mixes well with everything. Indigo is there...just playing with it again because I normally do not have it on my palatte but it does help to go darker in mixes, Prussian Blue which I added recently and have not had on my palatte for about 7 years but testing it again, Phthalo Turquoise which I like to mix in my shadow greens, and Cobalt Teal Blue. I think this would change if I did more landscapes but since it is mostly still life work these seem to be the colors I need. I maybe need to try more landscape blues to see how they work. I have Cobalt but since it is a granulating color it is not good for glass etc so that is sort of my criteria. Hope this answers a few questions!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Fix!

Ok...for those of you seeing this...check out the picture below as well to see the mess I have and here I am going to explain what I am trying to do. First of all...just going dark was not the is a bright sunny day to begin with and secondly a dark color would have hidden the one bird completely. It was not appropriate. I eventually came up with this rock wall as I felt the blue could come through it and not be too bothersome. The blue is staining and so lifting as you can see in the far left edge is not easy and will abraid the paper. The rocks seem to be working and so will continue with that and then I will have to figure out the area above the tallest dahlia as I spilled some juice while I was will only darken with any washes over that I am still thinking about. None of the painting is done at this point and now with the wall this dark it will mean that the flowers will need alot of value adjusting...but I am going to try to save this piece. Oh, I forgot to mention why I thought of trying such a bright blue! Not my normal color is it? Ha! I started to think this would make a great garden flag etc. and they usually want a bright color in them...I guess I learned my with new paint and understand it. I never use new stuff as I know what my old palette will do. It was careless with such a beautiful piece to do this. I guess we can safely say I was not in my right mind at the time!!! Lesson learned!

My Apologies!

This area of my life has been put on hold. It has been strange how so many things can happen at once. I got back from my one week trip after being sick 5 weeks...only to have a dear friend dying and she passed away the 10th. In between that another dear friend was told her cancer was not that has been troublesome to me. Then another friend on Sunday when returning from sunrise services was in a car accident and lost her left eye, shattered jaw and eyebone area. I am hoping it will settle down but went for a massage today and he said that even on athletes he has never felt such tight muscles...all stress I guess because it is not that I have time to exercise! Ha! But things will is always those initial weeks that you adjust and move on.
I wanted to show you the mess I made of my background and then try to show you gradually how I HOPEFULLY solve it. I was pretty depressed the day I tackled it after the first news of my friend...and for some very odd reason thought I would try a new blue I had never is a mix and you know I stick to pure color and transparent. Well it separated even on the paper and it could not be made into a smooth wash...once I started with it I felt I had to keep going as it was shifting the values of the whole I will post that here for you to see and then post again as to what I am trying to do now.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dahlia in Progress

I am sorry this is slightly crooked but it still is ok for this step by step. I finally returned from my daughters and got to paint a little today and thought I would post where I am. I am hoping to paint the sky a turquoise blue and so I am placing some of this color into the flower petals now. White flowers sure aren't white are they? That is what makes them a challenge and so much fun I guess. I have decided to leave the birds until the end because I am thinking that will allow me to think about them for awhile. I will paint them as if they are in is but the other I will decide in the very end where to throw a shadow over him so I sort of need to see the final painting before I do that.
Thank you for your patience...I still am not 100% at all but alot better than I was! Thank you everyone for your kind emails and words!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dahlia Progession

While I have been sick I have not painted much at all but even a little slowly gets you to your goal. This is the lower left hand corner of a full sheet. I am working on the values of the leaves and adding some cool blues to reflect the sky color. Once I have all the shapes and the painting is pretty much done I will select what to move back into shadow. I like to keep my options open!
I hope to fly to Oregon on Tuesday and if I do I will be gone for a week so there will be no there will not be an update for several weeks now...thanks for being patient!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Day!

My painting, "Saucey Grapes" was juried into the Missouri National Watercolor Show and I shipped it off just before the blizzard. Today they emailed and said that it is going to be the front painting for all the announcements. It is nice to be recognized in that way. I hope it does well in the show too!
Also today it is 47 degrees and melting like crazy! Two days ago it was -35 so quite a switch! Instead of painting I am having to shovel snow away from the garage to keep it from running in and flooding the garage. Strange how fast things can change...of course there still could be another blizzard but spring is trying to come! I also know spring is on it's way when I check out the hummingbird migration maps. I love to watch them come on shore off the Gulf. When they arrive they have expended so much energy they are half their body weight. If you want to see where the Ruby Throated Hummer is and figure out when to get your feeders out you can check it here! You can also see when they arrived in your area in other years. I cannot seem to make this an active link but you can copy and paste.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Am Improving!

Slowly ever so slowly I am improving...still have plugged ears and a headache but a light is at the end of the tunnel. I do not know when I have been sick for so long! It will be good to be well.
Many of you have written and said they were surprised I was still painting. I was plugging along is more like it. Even if I could find one or two petals to draw and then paint the next day, it all adds up. I learned that while raising kids. I would do just one wash a day sometimes and complete only one painting a year maybe but it taught me that just like the turtle, I can win my own race if I just do not give up. So I encourage all of you to just do a little each day and you will be surprised at what happens!
My new problem is Blogger is not letting me upload pictures. I have had alot of people offering help and I am not coming up with anything so I cannot post until this is resolved. Hang in there...we all have something to overcome...but with friends it is always possible.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Dahlia Continuation!

Well, ever so slowly I am least I am finding the shapes and that will be a big help later. I might find only 1-3 petals in a day if I feel tough but it is all helping. Goes to show you that you can paint even a little each day and accomplish quite a bit!!! So no excuses guys! My colors I am sure are not great again but I did learn not to push enhance as that makes them blue which they are not! I am learning! So one will show more of the composition and the other will show the 3 I have been slowly working on.
As to my health...still coughing and very tired but I am improving and am very glad for that!!! I suspect that next week I will begin to feel much better! Thank you all for your kind words here and through emails as that really kept me going! I do have such fine friends here and you are greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Health Update

Billie just wrote and I have been hearing from others asking how I am feeling so thought I would update you. I finally saw a Dr and I have bronchitis and ear infection...but it was close to worse so glad I went. I have been on meds for 3 days and very little improvement...that is how bad I was. But tonight I think will change things as it will be bringing me into day 4 and that can be a turn around day I understand. Needless to say that painting has been very hard. I have however tried and even if it is one petal, that is what I did. I will get a photo of where I am at when the sun shines again and I can go outside...I really feel bad as I needed to really pump this one out as I have another really great one partially drawn and will be gone for awhile in March to visit my daughter in Oregon...but the best laid plans....yup...interrupted! Ha! I have not been so sick in I do not know how long and I thank everyone for their concern...I am very blessed to have such good friends!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I thought since I am sick I would write a little bit here about the drawing stage for my work. That is really the most important part for me. If my drawing is accurate and full of the details I feel I have finished half the painting because I am now familiar with what I am about to do and I have a really good map to get me there! I am a very studious person...I like to know that when I am done it will look like a white dahlia and not some strange daisy! That is just me. I loved biology and got a minor in that in college because I love to know how things work and look in detail. Knowing that about myself helps me understand why I paint the way I do! I have worked in abstract and in loose manners in the past but never was happy until I began to work in greater detail. So I needed to draw that detail so it was not lost in the actual painting process.
The part below took me over a day to draw and then I decided to paint it to a mid value because I did not want the lines to smear. Yesterday I drew in another dahlia...a partial one and will paint that today hopefully if I feel well enough. Then I hope to draw and paint aother one over the weekend which leaves one left! Yipee! I will try to get some pictures as I go but we have snowstorms here and expect it to be gray for a few days. Plus I have a new computer and cannot find the program to upload my images! I am working on that as well. I would love to get a small video camera and try to do some short segments for You Tube and that might help explain some of what I do! I am working on that as well! Trouble is I am no spring chicken and have to learn alot of stuff to do this! HHA! So hang in there with me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dahlia Beginnings

This is a full sheet painting but I just took a close up of the one flower I have started. I have been sick so this is going very slow but at least it is moving forward! I am using Indigo from Daniel Smith which is transparent and non-staining. I usually mix my own grays but being I feel tough I thought why not. It is a wonderful color as it can be completely lifted! So I am not a fan. This painting has 3 more dahlias and several buds and two fledgling sparrows. I think at the pace I am moving this will not be done until April! Ha! Hope I am wrong...I do like the composition but did spill some pomegranate juice on it...just one drip and boy that stains! It was in the sky too where I was going to do a flat there may have to be a leaf or something happening there...perhaps a bud...I nearly had a heart attack! Maybe that is why we should not paint when we are sick!
Since I have been sick all week I have played with Photoshop a little to try get the coloring more true...and this is where it is is a little light in some of the grays but more true to the picture I hope.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mailing List

I have been curious to see if this blog would work well enough to also be used as a Newletter. Those of you who subcribed above are now numbering near 140 people and so I would think this would work. I would be interested to hear from those of you who watch often to see if you think this is a good idea or do you use a different method for your newsletters? I surely am open to any suggestions! Thanks ever so much!
On a different not, I am beginning a large full sheet painting but since it is white dahlias, the drawing is so light there would be no way for you to see it. I will begin posting it's progress once you can see it better.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Painted Door

This is what I have been working on and I am calling it done. I am not at all comfortable with acrylics so it seemed to take me forever but I am sure if I do it a few more times I will get the hang of it better! This is a section of hollow door from a bifold door. It is cut also as the knob had to be cut so cut the piece in half making it about 3 feet by 18 inches. I primed it and then used a roller to put on the background. Actually two rollers as I put on the dark and light and then with a clean roller blended them. Then I thought, well if this works...why not draw it the actual size and transfer it on in case I ever want to do this again and figure out a way to make it all go quickly...well the transfer paper worked but it moved on this surface and it is impossible to get using a damp cloth the other paint wanted to lift! Ha! So I say it has an antiqued look! Ha! I think this has possibilities as I can see florals hanging on the garden fence...this will go on my garage I think or at the back door. I still have to polyurathane it I think as I want it impervious to the elements. Anyway, this is what I have been up to off and on and it was a nice diversion!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


This painting is full sheet Arches 300# coldpress. I wanted a different perspective and also an abstract quality so by using the stems of the Sweetpea plant as the focal point ratheer than the flowers I think I achieved some of what I set out to do. I think the fun part is setting up challenges for oneself and seeing if you can solve it. These are Daniel Smith watercolors again, the only watercolors I use.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nearly Done!

I have been working on this and forgetting to post so will follow up with where I am right now. I have begun to deepen the values and define alot of the details. The picture was quite dark and also when otters are wet they are quite black...but I chose not to make him so dark because I felt there was a unity in the shape of his head with the shape of the furry angora hat. Similar shapes are always unifing as long as they seem to differ somewhat and do not become boring. I am hoping to keep the oval shape of her face and the otter's face working tightly so the eye stays there and wants to remain there. I want the water line to lead the eye of the viewer into the painting and make that circle. There is also alot of interest with texture throughout the painting so hopefully the viewer still has enough to look at to remain with the painting for awhile. I hope to be done soon...and will next show the professional photo of it...Yipee!

Otter continuation

I have been working on this quite abit and got behind in posting so will do a post for each step. Here I am blocking in the shapes still and finding the surface or area color starting with the lightest shades mostly. I always like to get the white covered most places to get a sense of the values. I am also trying to get the glass from the aquarium wall completed so that I know the values there. The texture turned out quite well using the salt but now I have gone in and glazed over parts of it and deleted some. I also have made some into the droplets of water that are running and condensing on the glass.