Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tea Party 2 In Progress - What Mud Looks Like

First, I want to wish you well this New Year's Eve day as we come to the end of another year and to thank you for traveling along with me in my art journey.  You are a blessing - offering encouragement, sound advice, and friendship.  Thanks!

Now to the painting in progress.  This is the painting of one of the little girls at the tea party as it stands at this point.   The painting is 5 1/2" x 6" and the face is approximately 1 3/4".  I will be working on it more to put in the glass plate and tea cup then may finish it with acrylics. 

Now to my self-critique.  I first painted the shadows in her face by dropping in Cobalt Blue then immediately dropped in Quin. Burnt Orange.  That was the first mistake, using Quin. Burnt Orange.  Why?  Because it leans more to yellow-orange rather than a red-orange which burnt sienna does.  It was very, very dark so I waited until it dried then lifted most of it out.  I did go back in with more Quin. Burnt Orange and less blue. 

The paper now looks overworked, the nose is a bit too short and wide, the left eye is painted a bit too high and the neck looks like it hasn't been washed for weeks.  I lost the shapes of the facial elements and this may be where a pen or pencil would come in handy to re-establish the features.

I'm happy cataloging some of the things I see that bother me because for a long time I wouldn't have been able to actually say why the painting doesn't look right.  That's why stepping back and evaluating one's painting is important - it helps us to see.  Maybe we can't see all that is right or all that could be changed to make a better painting but each thing we see takes us one step further in the direction of improvement. 

What would your next step be?  Stop and do another painting or rework the current painting even though it may never be seen by anyone but yourself? 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another Tea Party Sketch

Here is another sketch of the same little girl in yesterday's post, drawn this morning..  I like this one and may decide to paint it too.  I also did another line drawing of the little girl, correcting some of the proportions.  Her lip outlines are showing darker than they actually are and need to correct the eyes just a bit.  While sketching these, the memories of those little girls enjoying their day of dress-up, was so vivid and brought a smile. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Special Card

I received this special card from a special friend living in Spain, Teresa Palomar Lois.  The card is perfect as she didn't realize that the child that wishes upon a star is alive and well in me as this is something I frequently do.  After all, a child believes that good things do come from unexpected places. 

Teresa has amazing talent and creativity and I feel honored that she is a friend of mine.  Her blog, "Lost in Wonder", says it all about her amazing ability to find beauty in anything and to create it.  Thank you Teresa, for your friendship and your art. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tea Party Sketch

 This is the first sketch of another little girl from a tea party at the local flower shop.  The proportions are off and though it does bare a slight resemblance the little girl looks older because of the longer proportions of the face. 

Monday, December 26, 2011


These are a couple of quick sketches this morning of Mom quilting.  I actually can't see them very well because there is a scratch on my left eye and can't wear a contact so everything is blurry.  Still I wanted to do some sketches to get a general idea of a possible setting for a painting.  Notice that in the photo on our right, she is wearing a sun visor.  Glare from light is a problem for her because of macular degeneration.  She needs the light to at least be able to see lights and darks, hence the visor to shade her eyes. 

I do hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas Day and that today finds you full of ideas to create.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tis the Season

Tis the Season to take time to count our blessings and give thanks for all that is in our life.  Besides being blessed with a loving family and friends, there is each of you, taking the time to visit this blog, sharing your work and your words and bonding through our love of art.  My wish for you is that your joys be immeasurable, your troubles few, your strengths never ending and, that love and peace guide your footsteps. 

Acrylic Rose, YOP 9 Update

Finally got the paint area sorted out so that I can work.  Here is the update on the rose done for the YOP (year of painting). 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Due Jan. 20, 2012, YOP Challenge

This painting was painted in 2006 from a set up and it continues to be one of my favorite little paintings. 

For the next challenge at, it is one where each member chooses the subject based on a real life set up they compose. 

1. Set up a still life of an area in your home or do an outside plein air -

2. Take photos of your set up or plein air landscape or still life - post the photo when you post your YOP.

3. Challenge yourself to explain why you chose that particular set up?

  • values
  • color
  • line
  • harmony
  • balance
  • texture
  • patterns
  • movement/rythym
  • is your set up based on a triangular set up and "S" movement?
  • Other things that may have appealed to you that made you want to paint this subject and set it up the way you did
4. This is your painting from beginning to end - so it is now up to you to challenge yourself - painting what you love most.

November YOP - A Rose Study

The YOP (year of painting) due 11-20-11 was a rose, using a reference photo by madmum posted at  

I began this study over a week ago but because of work going on in the studio I haven't had time to work on the painting.  This is a first pass of acrylics, more or less establishing the shapes of the rose.  My plan was to do the study then to do a larger painting. Believe when I say this study looks nothing like what I have envisioned nor does it look like the beautiful reference photo. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011


No, we don't have snow but since it is the Christmas season, thought this would be a good photo to share of our back yard and pasture.  Now imagine lit trees, snowmen, and elfs magically working away to help us spread joy and peace.  That is my prayer and wish for all of you, joy and peace, within and without.

I'm still working on replacing the tile in my studio which means moving furniture and all the stuff that has found its way in to the studio.  Who knew one coul collect so much in a year.  I am finally setting up an area so I can work on acrylics, oils and watercolors at the same time.  Right now though the room looks like a cyclone has hit it.  I hope to be back to painting this next week. 

I'm not sure how many of you do this but while watching tv, I notice the colors in the scenes and how they play against each other.  Tv is a wonderful way to notice design elements and color schemes. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Freckles, Looking For A Home

This is Freckles, named by my BIL, who is now residing with my other two dogs, Scooby and Juliet.  Freckles was found by my brother, hungry and alone.  He put him in his garage and provided food and water.  The problem was all the traffic in town when Freckles decided to romp outside so we brought him here where he can romp and play without too much of a problem.   We think he is about 7-8 weeks old, loves to chew (which puppies do) and is curious about everything.  Now we are searching for a permanent home for Freckles.  We don't know what type of dog he is other than a mixture but he is a cutie and is beginning to recognize his name.   So if anyone in the 918 area code is looking for a doggy best friend, e-mail me. 

I haven't been painting as I am laying linoleum tile in my studio, having to shift furniture and supplies around to complete areas - time consuming but a perfect opportunity to clean and sort through all the clutter and supplies that collect. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Christmas Swan

This is a small card painted for our Christmas Card Exchange at, sent to England.  I know it doesn't look very much like Christmas but in some ways with all the grays and cold looking water, it reminded me of the Christmas season.  The reference photo used was posted by Philco in the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library. 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Today's Red Rose Practice

This little study is about 4" x 5 1/2".  One of the things I did differently was to paint on dry paper with thicker paint.  Also, did not paint a background as my goal was to study the rose.  Not too happy with the top of the rose.  I do like some of the softer edges on top but feel its needs a bit more form in differentiating between the back petals. I may scrap in some highlighted areas along the petal edges.  Paints used were Quin. Coral, Perm. Red, Deep Scarlett, New Gamboge, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green. 

Are you wondering why all the rose practice?  Our YOP, due Dec. 20th, is of a gorgeous white rose so decided I had better get in some practice by studying the shapes, etc.  Hopefully it will be somewhat easier to get the values on a white rose. 

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Overworked Rose

Another practice study of a rose - I was trying to accomplish several things with this little study - find the shapes within the rose - use values to create form - keep some whites - and, try to make it look like it is not pasted over the background with so many hard edges.  As you can see - I didn't accomplish all those goals.  So I tried again.  The painting below has been scrubbed out and repainted so many times.  Still I like it better than the first one even though more dark values are needed within the rose to help create better form and transitions from dark to light. 

Monday, November 28, 2011


 4 7/8" x 6 7/8"

It was interesting painting all these reds, using Quin. Red, Perm. Red, Rhodenite Genuine, Deep Scarlett, Quin. Burnt Orange, and Pyrolle Orange.  I used an underpainting of Azo Yellow under some of the reds to brighten them.  Some of the reds are more of a blue-red in real life.  One other thing I need to comment on is that the colors look much more saturated in the photo.  We all know how soft watercolors are so the saturation level has been reduced but the photo still has the look of more intense colors. 

The shadows were first painted with Sap Green then glazed with different reds and blues, including Cobalt and Pthalo Blue.  I used a photo by mustcreate from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library as reference for this painting.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Child of Madagascar

 Here is the cropped version of the painting which was done on an 1/8th sheet of Fabriano Aristico Soft Press watercolor paper.  Below is the full face version.  Many thanks again, to babasteve on Flickr, for the use of his photo. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Chatter

Wishing each of you a most Blessed Thanksgiving.  Today is a day of giving thanks for all we have in our life - the land we live in, the people who come and go in our lives, those that remain friends through the years, our families.  I'm thankful for each of you, your interest and comments but especially for the joy we share in painting and viewing art. Thank you for coming in to my life through art and your continued interest.

I've been reading the Robert Genn newsletter this morning entitled "One Precious Day" and there is a beautiful video that is worth watching and most appropriate for today and every day. 

The acrylic painting above was painted a few years ago and hangs in my sister's dining room  It was painted with brush and palette knife.  I love the strokes a knife makes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Child of Madagascar WIP

This morning's progress is shown in the first photo and have placed a copy of yesterday's photo, for comparison.  The painting still needs more refinement so will let this sit for a few hours while I go paint kitchen walls.  Time away will hopefully help me to see the painting with fresh eyes. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Child of Madagascar WIP

This painting is for an online portrait study group but thought I would share the progress or regress, as the case may be, with you.  The painting was begun in watercolor laying in a wash of Quin. Burnt Orange  and Cobalt blue to establish some of the dark areas. I want to thank babasteve from for allowing me to use his beautiful photo. 
In the next two photos, more quin. burnt orange, French Ultramarine Blue and Raw Sienna were used to help form the shapes within the face.

In the photo to the left, you can see that most of the darks were washed out and started working on the eyes. 

 These two photos show where I began using acrylics to form the face as the paper was becoming overworked. 

This last photo shows the painting as it stands right now.  Now I have to stop for awhile as I have kitchen walls to paint. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fall on the Water - October YOP

Using a reference photo by photographer by Jab, from the Wet Canvas RIL, I finished this month's painting for the year of painting (YOP) project, today.  It is painted on an 1/8th sheet Fabriano Aristico Soft Press watercolor paper using a Royal Majestic synthetic 1/4" flat and an Escoda Kolinsky sable #6 round.   The palette for this painting consisted of ndanthrene Blue, Pthalo Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Sepia, Quin. Burnt Orange, Gamboge, Azo Yellow, Quin. Violet, and Scarlet Pyyrole. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Sketch

I've also been practicing landscapes this morning, using acrylics in a watercolor manner.  This scene is from my imagination and is 7"x8" on Fabriano Aristico watercolor paper.  The blues are showing more intense and are actually a grayed greenish blue.

Using a reference photo by siodafamily from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library, I used an F graphite pencil to sketch this as a possibility for a small Christmas painting.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Santa Collage-Mixed Media

9" x 13"
Fabriano Aristico 
Soft Press Watercolor Paper
This is my first collage using watercolors, gesso & acrylics.  It was fun tearing up old paintings that didn't work.  The base for this collage began as the YOP painting that can be seen here.  I used acrylic medium to glue torn paper (from paintings shown here and here), then used acrylic and gesso to help form the tree plus add more texture and light to the white areas.  
I may correct some of the branches of the tree adding some lights into the darker areas and forming the branches a bit better.  Also, the presents could be modeled to create a more three dimensional look but I rather like them as is. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pickup Truck

I'm calling this painting finished even though I may go back and straighten some of the lines on the side vent and tone down the light lines a bit.  I also didn't put on the emblem that goes on that side vent.  This was a fun painting to do and have another car in mind to paint.  Hope you enjoy this painting. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pickup Truck Update

Today's progress on the pickup - still a lot out of whack but it is slowly coming together. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Pickup Truck - Still Blocking In

This morning I decided to continue blocking in with a brush using diluted paint, loosely correcting shapes, angles and proportions.  Can you see how the angles and proportions have changed from the sketch photo previously posted?   

So far I've used French Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue, Pyrrole Orange, Cadmium Red Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Burnt Sienna.  Again, the reds are showing more of an orange-red where areas like the top of the hood are more of a bluish red. 

Again, the reference photo used for the sketch is by SteveMac from the Wet Canvas RIL. This photo was selected for use as the October choice for the YOP at, which was due October 20th.  As you can see, I've gotten a late start.  

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Pickup Truck - Just the Bare Bones

Yesterday I only had time to try a sketch of a pickup truck.  This time I used yellow watercolor and a brush. My goal was to see how well I could sketch this and get some accuracy as far as dimensions and form. I was definitely off in a lot of areas such as the length of the bonnet/hood.  This morning I have begun a pencil sketch with an eye toward more accurate measurements.  The reference photo used for the sketch is by SteveMac from the Wet Canvas RIL. 

Friday, November 04, 2011

Apple A Day

Apple A Day
5 1/4" x 7 1/2"
Acrylic on Paper

Trying to get myself out of a painting slump so painted apples using my imagination.  The reds are a bit bluer in tone especially in the shaded areas. 

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Mixed Media
6 3/4" x 9"
On Watercolor Paper

This is a busy, busy painting but I had a fun time painting it.  The reference photo used was by wsrea from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library.  The base began as watercolor then switched to acrylics.  A lot of the top layers were applied with a palette knife.  Hope you enjoy it. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Changing Subject, Changing Medium

Last Week's flower/leaf study
watercolor painting
Flipped and changed to
landscape using acrylics
The beginning of the flower/leaf study I posted last week in watercolor was flipped on its side and painted over with acrylics this morning.  There are still areas of watercolor peeking through this unfinished painting and hope I can retain them.  I used a reference photo by wsrea from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library to start the waterfall which was actually the flower area painted last week. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Playing With Green, A Study in Progress

It feels so good to be painting even if it is just playing with greenery.  The reference for this study is the same Mums photo I used earlier for a painting.  This time though I wanted to concentrate on the leaf areas since that is where I have the most challenges when painting florals, as can be seen in the stage shown above. 

My favorite area right now is the upper part.  I like the soft tones and variety of colors.  So far I have used Fr. Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Viridian, Quin. Rose, Azo Yellow and for the warmer tones added Raw Sienna.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Maple Leaf

This 5" x 7" leaf painting was painted for a Fall Card Exchange and was sent to Judy in Washington.  I forgot to take a final photo but the big leaf has a few more darks added along with some platters.  The reference photo used was by jennaboo88 from the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Colorful Fall Foliage
North Pasture

Not any painting going on as we are in the middle of removing and replacing kitchen floor tile.  Have to say though my fingers are getting anxious to hold a brush and I don't mean the brush I will be using to paint the kitchen. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foggy Pasture Study

Using French Ultramarine Blue, Tranparent Brown Oxide, and a mixture of yellow ochre, cobalt turquoise and blue to make a warmer grey, painted this little 5" x 7" landscape of the North pasture on a foggy morning.  It has been awhile since I've painted landscapes and this reminded me how much I enjoy them.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Chatter -- Pricing & What Does Success Mean to You?

I was reading the Fine Art Views newsletters this morning and read the article, "The Politics of Price" on the FASO blog and found all the related comments quite interesting.   The comments are varied and relate to pricing in today's market, through galleries, or art shows or other venues.  It also talks about upcoming artists vs. the more established artists and how lower prices can affect more established artists sales.  Of course, there are many differing views and all are quite interesting to read and contemplate.

There was also a mention of a website about art marketing, "Artists Who Thrive", which I promptly went to and began reading.  There is a lot there to read and much food for thought. 

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Pushing Paint

Early this morning I placed random marks of paint on paper then used a palette knife to lift and make marks/lines.  Then I spritzed it with water lifting most of the paint, leaving ghosts of color.  Then I just had fun, placing streaks and swishes of color, negatively forming a couple of containers.  Again I used a palette knife, brush and spray bottle to move paint and to place stronger bits of color.

The purpose behind this was simply to not plan but to place color and make marks to see what formed, if anything.  It loosens my brain and my hand and is such fun to simply relax and watch the paint play.

On a different note, yesterday's celebration of Mom's birthday was so enjoyable.  We visited with family (30+ people) that we rarely get to see and loaded up on good food and wonderful desserts such as homemade coconut cream pie and other goodies.  Thanks all of you for the birthday wishes for Mom. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

If you are in the Northwest Arkansas area, be sure to visit Art in the Park, October 22nd!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This photo was taken yesterday morning as the sun was coming over the mountain.  Love all the long shadows and the beautiful colors.  I think there is always beauty and mystery in backlit settings. 

It is the final week of Mom's 93rd birthday celebration ending this Saturday as relatives and friends gather.  It will be busy this week and hope to get in some painting but no guarantees. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mixing Greens

This isn't a pretty color chart but I was reading The Reilly Papers on landscapes posted by John Ennis, so while waiting to take Mom to church, I mixed watercolors.  In oils, Reilly used Lamp Black and White mixed as a neutral.  For some of these color mixes, Paynes Gray was added.  Base yellows were Azo, New Gamboge, Yellow Ocher and Raw Sienna.  Blues used were Indanthrene, Smalt, Cerulean and Cobalt. Some of the yellows were mixed with Cobalt Turquoise or Viridian.  One of these days I will do a much neater chart but for today this helps me to see what the colors will do when mixed.