Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Remember Our Freedom Fighters

While checking out some of my fav blogs this morning, I found a wonderful poem on Coni Kornell's blog. It truly says a lot that we should all think of more often than we do in my opinion.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

This painting from the past is for all my cyber friends and family...I send best wishes for a blessed Christmas and blessings for 2013.

Many of us have endured less than perfect health and prosperity in 2012, so please join me in prayers and positive thoughts for the best of new years.

Giverney - WIP 1

Thanks to Joan Hahn-Widman for sharing this photo of Monet's garden and allowing me to paint from it. I still have lots to do, clean up, etc. with this. I didn't have my reference photo with me last Thursday so I didn't dare go too far on my own and there is still much to do. I am painting this on Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground over regular canvas, the first attempt to use this ground. So far, it acts very much like cold press watercolor paper and I am enjoying it so far. Those odd things that look like green and blue ducks, will actually become (hope, hope) lily pads, but I needed my reference photo to get the shading and highlights correctly done. This watercolor ground allows you to lift back to almost white in most cases.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I received this e-mail joke in the mail this morning and thought it so funny that I will share it here. This may not be so much of a joke for me, though, since I have done no decorating at all and may not do any this year. Since our kids won't be coming and there won't be any little ones to miss a tree, I may skip that part of the holidays.

I hope that you and yours have the best of holidays and a safe and prosperous new year.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I finished this painting of Lin Frye's excellent photo during the watercolor session Thursday afternoon. I just love to go in, drawing-less, and splash and dab paint! I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for lifting the sunbeams. Might have overdone this just a tad, but it worked!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Lin's Sunrise - WIP

I have chosen, with her permission, another of Lin Frye's wonderful photos. She took several sunrise photos recently and I was impressed with the rich sunbeams she captured.

I didn't draw any of this, choosing instead to just go in with my bristly brush and add layers of blobs as the first wash began to dry a bit. I love how it granulated in all the right areas.

Next, I will add the suggestions of tree trunks here and there and then start lifting to try to re-create those sunbeams.

We had such a fun time at our art session yesterday, where I started this painting. We actually do accomplish some artwork during these sessions; but more than anything we have FUN!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cairo Rose

This is yet another attempt to develop a negative painting skills set. I think this is the closest I have come in achieving this goal I have set for myself. Having said that, I know I have so very far to go before I can make this appear as I have it in my head.

This is a Cairo Rose Hibiscus, I had two of these wonderfully colorful blossoms before the frost damaged it beyond resuscitation, so I am glad I captured the photo while I could.

Watercolor, 11 x 15, Arches 140-lb

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Negative Sunflowers

Negative Sunflowers, a study of Lin Frye's inimitable negative painting techniques. I say inimitable because I can come nowhere  near her wonderful paintings. But, I am showing it here to show I am still painting, just not as much or as often as I would like.

I find it so difficult to wrap my brain around this technique; I find it time-consuming and often frustrating. I am wondering why it is so important to me to "get" this technique? Maybe I will add some negative painting techniques in a positive painting, not try to do a whole painting with this technique...yeah, that's what I'll do.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Ruth Knowles

I was saddened this morning to hear of the sudden passing of Ruth Knowles. She was a very good artist who served as President of the Arizona Artists Guild for several years recently. Ruth faithfully led the AAG through the turbulent years of struggling to get our permanent building built, and saw it through its first year of existence.

If you would like to see some of her work, click here, she painted many pears in many different media and compositions. She called herself "The Pear Lady". 

Ruth, you will be missed.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Vicki's Lotus - WIP 3

Well, I got to add the yellow blossom colors yesterday, and now will try to finish this by nitpicking it a bit here and there. I need to define the leaves a bit more as well as do some edge control here and there. But, I was very happy to see some yellow in this!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vicki's Lotus - WIP 2

I still have more to do with the background, but decided to show another WIP before I continue. So far, so good; but I am still hoping to see some of the yellow lotus blossom emerge, soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vicki's Lotus - WIP 1

I actually did something I said I would do...went to the Art Club and painted with my friends this afternoon. I managed to finish most of the underpainting of this lotus, that belongs in the wonderful pond of Vicki G, in Florida. Imagine having your very own pond!  Thanks Vicki for the use of your excellent photo.

I chose purple acrylic ink for the underpainting since the flower will be yellow. I love the somewhat abstract shapes in this that hopefully will become a more realistic, recognizable shape that will be a lotus blossom. I am planning on going very dark with the water, and will look forward to doing that. I am thinking that I will do the background first, but then may go the other way. I never decide that part until I am mixing up the paint to begin. Do any of you have a hard and fast rule about whether to do the background first and then the flower or the flower first and then the background? I have never been able to decide which works better for me so I do it either way, without reason.

Danged Spammers and Hackers!!

I thought, out of consideration for my fellow bloggers, that I would eliminate the need to do the word verification thingy. Well, I have become very weary of deleting all the "anonymous" garbage comments with links to God-Only-Knows what, so have decided to put the verification back on.Sorry about that.

Due to a fall injury to my back, I have saved my mobility for the most basic of tasks for the past week and have not painted anything. I am so hoping to return to my Thursday afternoon group today and get started on a lotus painting and, possibly start the current WcW project. It has been sitting in my studio, stagnant, since I fell and it ready to go in my new rolling cart with me to art this afternoon (hope, hope). Maybe I should have tried painting while I still had some of the good (as in narcotic) pain pills left...might have been a new creative avenue for me! Actually, I think those happy pills dulled my thinking as well as any creativity that may have been lurking.

I will post my painting attempt from this afternoon tomorrow, hopefully. I am re-inspired!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Mexican Birds of Paradise

I said I wanted to do my next project on Yupo, and I did. This is from a reference photo taken in front of our bathroom window when the sun was slashing through the mesquite tree and lighting just a bit of the foliage in front of the bathroom glass block window.

I just love playing around with Yupo, and find it invigorating to work on sometimes. While I will never leave my beloved watercolor paper, working on Yupo is very inspiring when I want to just play. Sometimes, it just turns out to be what I expected it to be!

It is still on the board if anyone sees anything blaring to you, but for now I am just letting this marinate for awhile before I decide it is finished.

Yupo, 20 x 28

Friday, June 15, 2012

Zane at Eleven Months - Final

I finished Zane's portrait yesterday afternoon while painting with my art group. I so enjoyed doing this one, which is unusual with portraiture for me. I think this was because early on in the painting I felt more comfortable with capturing his personality than I usually achieve in portraits.

For my next project, I am feeling the pull to paint on Yupo, stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Zanes Coming to Life

I have intensified the shadows on his face here and added some color to his eyes.

More color to the eyes as well as the beginnings of some eyebrows.

Added the first glazes of color to the shirt and hat, as well as kept working on the mouth and eyes.

Still more glazing of color and values to the eyes and, again, the mouth. Most people fear doing the eyes, I fear the mouth as I find that the most difficult. So far, so good on this, but there will be at least one more glaze on the inside of his mouth to help differentiate that from the lips..

I am at the point that I have to quit before I do something I regret with the piddly stuff. I will let this marinate at least overnight and see what I come up with next.

I had a fun morning of painting Zane!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Zane's First Portrait

Our project for this month for the WcW group is to paint a portrait. I realized, not long ago, that by the time Zane's sister was his age I had done 3-4 portraits of her! None so far for poor Zane. Baaaaad Grandmother! So, this is the beginning of Zane's first portrait.

He worked so hard to get these three teeth in that I wanted to be sure to have a photo that showed his sweet smile as well as the teeth. My DIL, Christine, obliged with this shot while they were at Legoland.

This is the first phase of the portrait, where I set in some of the most important contouring shadows, both warm and cool. So far, so good.

Here, I have bravely gone on to adding some color, which I hope will be less impacting when I get the skin tones correct as I glaze on more skin color. We'll see.

Feel free to follow along on this one, if you see something I can correct at this point, speak out! If not, just assume, as I will, that it will be corrected as I go along. There is always hope!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Adelante Show

I had three paintings acccepted into the WHAM (What's Happening in Art Movement) art show at the Adelante Healthcare complex.The reception was last night and it was very well-attended and a lovely evening was had by all. Here are two of my artist friends, Betty and Sharon and I standing by one of my paintings; Magnolia Plantation. Another friend, Connie, was taking this photo with my camera and will forward others she took of us with her camera.

Here is my Hibiscus that was also in this show. Even though I had my camera in my hand I didn't think to take a photo of the third painting, Crystal Bowl. Must be getting old?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pears and Flutes

This painting is for the monthly project for the Watercolor Workshop. I love the fact that the moderators keep coming up with stunning photos to push us past our comfort zones into doing something more difficult than we think we can do. While I am awaiting critiques and comments from the group, I will submit this here, and then if many changes need to be made will add again.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fremont Petroglyphs

I just finished this full sheet painting of petroglyphs from the Fremont People in Utah. This is called Newspaper Rock, although there are other examples of newspaper petroglyphs elsewhere that we have found, so it is not specific to the Moab area.

I recently cleaned out my studio so it is now useable again, I don't know why I can't seem to keep it organized enough to use it, but it is sure nice to use now. I guess the term "procrastination" would apply?

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Super Moon

Last night was the so-called Super Moon. I am not sure how the moon appeared elsewhere, but I was surprised it was not a larger size. It seemed fairly normal for a full moon.

We did have fun, though, going to the entrance to our community so I could shoot the photos from this angle. I do wish I had worked more with learning to take my camera off auto-everything and get more dramatic effects. Too late for that, though, now.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sue's Tulips

I've been working on this little painting for a few weeks. I still have a few more tweaks to do to make it finished, but am awaiting any critiques from the WcW before removing it from the board. I need to clean up some of the blobs in the lace, etc. This is a throw-away mat that I use to crop paintings, so the finished mat will look differently.

Sue Drennan supplied this photo and it is of tulips from her yard. Must be a gorgeous yard to have these growing in it!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Herd of Pears!

The project for this month at the WCW was to paint from a photo of Bosc pears, which are brown. Our challenge was to not paint them brown, but to go outside our comfort zone of painting just what we see. I chose to take the pears drawing along with me to my regular Thursday afternoon painting group/gabfest. As you can see, I did a lot more gabbing and laughing than focusing on this painting.

My drips got out of hand and it makes the pears look like some psychedelic animals, so I am calling it Herd of Pears. Oh well, I achieved my goal of creating something unique, and it looks like I did that!

But, it was a fun afternoon and this painting turned out to be more fun(ny) than serious, so that ain't bad!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Spring is lavender bush is blooming. I couldn't resist taking this photo, although if I paint it I will have to add some sunlight to it, maybe dappled against the stucco wall. At any rate, I just love how complex, yet simple lavender blooms are.

St. Patrick's Day Sale

On St. Patrick's Day, our community held an an Art Faire. The weather was wonderful, so it was well-attended. Both my jewelry-making friend and I, Joyce, did very well during the sale.

Here, you see us when we were half-way through our set-up, early in the morning. It was a long day, but we met many wonderful people, although one of them shared a virus with me, which has left me all week with a chest cold. But, it was a good sale!

Although you can't see any of my paintings in this shot, I was glad to meet the couple who bought one of my framed paintings that day, also. So, all-n-all, it was a wonderful day, chest cold notwithstanding! 

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Art Chix Sale March 3, 2012

Yesterday my sales group, the ArtChix, held an art show at our community art club. I did very well in the artisan jewelry sales, but only sold one painting. It is still the economy, I guess. But, I met and talked with many people and that is always fun. Now, to replace the earrings and necklaces sold and get ready for the next sale!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back to Before...

...and word verification turned back on. After hearing about the spammers attacking some of the other word verification protesters, they had to turn their verification nonsense back on. So, after finding spam in my folder, also, I turned it back on. I am hoping that Google will make it a bit easier on the honest people who have to prove they are not a robot to make comments.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Word Verification Protest!

I find the new word verification process by Google to be insulting, difficult and downright frustrating. So, I am turning off that safeguard and will, instead, turn on the comment approval feature again. So, why you will be able to comment without the hassle of deciphering TWO undecipherable words, you will have to await blog owner approval to show you aren't a robot. Sorry to do this, but that other word verification process was a real mess!

I promise to approve your comments!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Canyon Spire

This is another of my small (8x10) studies I am enjoying doing. I learned enough what not to do in this one that I would like to refine it and do it at least on a half sheet. I have been wanting to do credit to the Grand Canyon for a long time, and  feel I am inching closer to it with this.

I need to pay more attention to foreground rocks and their matchy-matchy shapes and, in this instance, I don't like the acrylic ink underpainting. I will use direct painting for them in the larger version.

This was a sunrise photo I used that I took an a past trip to the canyon, and while the background was fairly misty/soft-looking in the photo I think I will add a bit more detail back there, especially in the middle ground in the depths of the canyon. Live and learn, I always say!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sunset at El Vado

Here is a painting for this month's Watercolor Workshop project...any body of water. I had this photo by my friend, Roch, of sunset reflections on snow at El Vado Lake in New Mexico, so changed it to a stream reflecting the sunset colors.

This is small, only 8 x 10, and I am still enjoying working smaller, keeps me more excited about paintings than the full sheets I was working on before.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Here is my second painting in a little over a week's time, must be some kind of a record for me lately! I am enjoying painting smaller sizes (this one is another 8 x 10) and enjoying the fact that I can actually finish them within a week. I started this last Thursday afternoon and added glazes, etc. each of the days since and finished it today.

My goal for this one was to pay more attention to lost and found edges and to force myself to attempt some negative painting. I have difficulty wrapping my brain around the concept of negative painting, but love seeing it in the works of others, so decided I had better improve my skills. While I see some softer edges in this when it is on the computer, I notice I could have done even more in some places, but it is what it is at this point, and I will continue working on these aspects.

Love hibiscus flowers!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Archway to Arches

Here is the first project painting for Watercolor Workshop that I have completed and submitted in a long time. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things, meaning more painting and painting studies, now that the new year is here. Seems like a good time to start!

This was taken by a friend, Joe Ruby, on one of his many forays into the Moab, UT area.

It is an 8x10 painting on 140-lb Arches paper. Arches for arches, yup, pun intended.