Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, December 28, 2012

White Almond Flowers

I recently completed this floral watercolor...it is from a photo provided by the online group I am a member of - the Watercolor Workshop, and is their "all paint from one photo" painting "white" project for December.  The photo was taken by Roger Brown and was posted on PMP web site.   The painting is 9" x 12" and is painted on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.
I tried to reach a balance between "tight" and "loose" in this and am happy with the results.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

52 Years Together

Well -imagine! -  today is our fifty-second wedding anniversary...52 years filled with love and blessings, with just a few potholes along the way!  Rock and I have been blessed with 3 wonderful children, 2 sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, six grand-children,        two great-grandchildren, and many precious friends.

I usually make my card for Rock, and this year I thought I would zentangle the front of my card (what I wrote inside is private - smile!)  

I used an Espresso fine point marker pen on the front of a 4"x6" blank greeting card.  Zentangle inspired art is so much fun and I thank my friend (and blogger) Ginny Stiles, for introducing me to this wonderful method of creating design in art.

Our family on Christmas Eve

Monday, December 24, 2012

Season's Greetings!

Holiday Greetings to all my Blogger friends...I hope you all have a wondrous holiday with a multitude of blessings in the New Year.  You are all very special to me - I love the opportunity to share my art explorations with you,  and many thanks to you all for following my blog!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Two Old Crows Revisited

Patty - one of my talented watercolor students at Riverside Art Center in Wapakoneta mentioned that she thought it would be fun to paint the crows (oil painting in my previous post) in watercolor.  So...I also thought it would be interesting to see how they change with the different medium - so here they are in watercolor.  I'll have to say that I like the watercolor version best!  How about you?
This painting is 12" x 8" and it is painted on the heavy white printmaking paper.  I did find out that you cannot use liquid masque on this paper - it lifts the top surface of the paper - don't do it!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Two Old Crows

Well - I felt like oil painting today, so I painted a couple old crows!  I've been doing a lot of watercolors for some commissions and also for the classes I have been teaching in intermediate watercolor so I needed a break. The commissions were for gifts for Christmas, so I will post them after the holiday.  This painting is small -7" x 5" and is painted on a linen canvas panel.  What fun!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Still Life with White Pitcher and Grapes

I painted this still life for the last lesson of this session of classes at Riverside Art Center in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  My painters had requested a still life for the last class and so I found the photo for this painting  in the reference library of Wet Canvas.  The painting is approximately 9" x 12" and is painted on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.  This is a lesson, also, in painting drapery and white objects.  They did very well on this project.  We will start classes again in January.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Additional Pictures of my Students with their Paintings

 Zentangled Inspired Watering Cans (Idea from Ginny Stiles - thanks Ginny!)

Zentangled Abstract Bottles

 Yellow California Poppies

Christmas Birdhouses
Above are pictures of my students holding their  projects from this latest session of classes at Riverside Arts Center in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  This is a great group of people, good friends and good artists too!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Muses and Papier Mache

 Theresa's Cottage!

 Rose's Cottage

Barb's Cottage 
 Two weeks ago the "Muses" delved into papier mache - literally!  A real mess but lots of fun.  We covered baskets with papier mache and made them into imaginative little houses to be homes for pointsettia pots for Christmas.  Today we painted them with acrylics and they are so cute.  I had to show the back of Theresa's (below) because her snowman was so cute!
The back of Theresa's!  Isn't her snowman cute?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dump Truck Paintings from Class at Riverside Arts Center

Didn't they do a great job on this dump truck painting.  We (almost)  finished these on Monday evening so I took a photo of them.  Great bunch of artists and paintings!!! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Patricia's Dump Truck

Yes! Another truck painting!  My friend Patricia took a picture of this truck and gave me the picture to paint - she knows I love old rusty trucks - especially if they are abandoned in an old, weedy field too!
I have prepared this painting to be the next lesson for my watercolor class at Riverside Art Center in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  The painting is small - 8" x 11" inches and is painted on hot-pressed printmaking paper.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I did this watercolor sketch today of an International Harvester truck abandoned in a barnyard.  Instead of starting with a line drawing as I usually do, I started by blocking in shapes and then adding some details after the shapes were in.  I think it worked, but I still prefer using my usual approach.  I did learn alot today, though.  This painting is 5" x 9" and is painted on 140 lb. hot-pressed watercolor paper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zentangle Inspired Art

I borrowed this idea from Giny Stiles, an artist friend who lives in Florida.  I asked her if she minded if I used the idea for the class I teach on Monday evenings and she graciously gave me her blessing! I also borrowed the idea of the two watering cans - but - I promise, I did my own drawings.   These are the two that I did - believe me, the students did a lot better...their work just blew me away and I will post them Monday night (after I photograph them!)  These are both 1/4 sheet of 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper - watercolor with zentangles in colored and black sharpie markers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Urban Renewal

This is the latest in the experiments on Rives BFK printmaking paper.  Once again I started with a pencil drawing and then a wet-into-wet watercolor wash using pastel colors, followed by watercolor glazes over the wash in the abstract areas created by the drawing.  I finished with some linear accents using Prismacolor watercolor pencils. Lots of fun doing these and the printmaking paper is amazingly easy to use with watercolor. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Urban Darkness

This is another experience with the printmaking paper..it works very well with this type of painting - small and controlled.  I wonder how it will act with washes - guess I'll have to find out!  I call this one "Urban Darkness" ...I guess because of all the attention on New York City following "Sandy!"

I first did an abstract drawing of a city skyline using  curvalinear and geometric shapes.  I  did a wet-in-wet wash over my drawing and then did glazes over  the wash, adding, linear detail at the end with watercolor pencil.  I am fascinated right now with combinations of round and rectangular shapes.  I am enjoying my experiences with this new paper (Rives BFK) and how it reacts with watercolor instead of printing.  I love experimenting with media - guess it's the art teacher in me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Rainbow Connection

My friend Ginny Stiles has inspired me to check out the abstract watercolors of Peggy Furlin - she does beautiful work.  I decided to try something similar to her work and it was  much more difficult than I expected. 

I started with a wet-in-wet background - I poured Liquitex acrylic inks using yellow, red-violet and pthalo blue and lots of water - I moved the paper around a lot in order to get the colors to blend and mix.

Then I did a light pencil drawing of the composition and painted in the various shapes using watercolor.  I used the Rives BFK printmaking paper  (6x10) which worked very well for this work.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tangled Bottles (An Art Lesson for You!)

I designed this combination watercolor and zentangle project as a lesson for the class I am teaching at the Riverside Arts Center.  The students are to overlap bottles creating an abstract composition.  Using analagous colors (I used variations of blues), they will start at the right side and paint the first whole shape - in this case the tall sky blue bottle.  Then they skip a shape (the wine glass) and paint in the next shape (the jug shape).  Then they would skip the turquoise bottle shape and paint in the round bottle.  They should try to shade with the watercolors, making the bottles appear round. 

They should then dry the bottles with a hair dryer, and paint the remaining shapes, making two of them in a contrasting color (the red-violet.)  They will be overlapping the original bottles where the shapes overlap - taking care to lightly lay in the watercolor so as to not disturb the original paint underneath.  

 Now, with a thin black marker,  they will fill in shapes with "tangles," but not bottle shapes, but the shapes that have been created by overlapping the bottles, using a different "tangle" design for every shape.  I have a source sheet of designs I have compiled, but they may design their own (preferred!)  Some shapes should be left empty for contrast.  I also added some black shadow-like abstract shapes around the edges to complete the composition.

I used another sheet of the Rivas BFK printmaking paper which is smooth and perfect for the ink designs.  The watercolor goes on it nicely, also.

Friday, October 26, 2012

At the Garden Gate

This is the daily painting for yesterday and today - couldn't finish it last night - had to pass out Halloween treats!  So much fun seeing all the cute little children in their costumes.  You could definitely tell that princesses were in vogue for the little girls and Power Rangers were the popular ones for the boys.

This picture is one I found on the internet - it was royalty free - but since I don't intend to sell or show it, I don't think that factor comes into the picture for me.  I painted it for the experience because I was trying out a new paper.  This paper is hot-pressed printmaking paper from Rives BFK.  It is very workable and takes a lot of abuse.  I think I like the paper and am anxious to try some portraits on it.  It is printmaking paper but has other uses.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Magnolia Blossoms

This is another of my daily paintings - I learned a lot while doing this...the most important lesson is that magnolia tree blossoms are NOT easy to paint - the way they are shaped is very difficult to create in watercolor.  This painting is small  - 6"x 10" and is painted on 140 lb. Strathmore cold-pressed watercolor paper.  In my opinion, this paper takes the paint differently than what I have been using...the paint lays on the surface and absorbs in a different way.  It also doesn't take "punishment" very well - lifting, scraping, etc.  Paper does make a big difference and for some people this paper probably works well - just not for my style.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Logan County Relic

I have been trying to paint every day - this is a small painting I did this evening from a photo I took recently in Logan County.  As everyone knows, I love old barns - especially "falling down" barns.  It is so sad that barns will soon be a thing of the past, so I am trying to paint as many of the old barns as I can in this area.

The painting is 10" x 10" and is painted on 140 lb. Fabriano-Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Wonderful Students and Their Art!!!

My Wonderful Students: Top row: Cindy Staples; Mary Alice Brewster; Patricia Crawford; Carol Taylor; Bottom row: Corinne Craft; Misty Steinke

I finally remembered to take my camera to class last night and got some great pictures of my intermediate art students and their projects (so far) for this fall session.  Next week we will have our last class for the early fall session, but we decided to go for another 6 sessions, starting on October 29th.

Isn't it amazing that you can take the same subject and get such different results - all lovely!

This is such a wonderful group of people and I have really enjoyed our time together - they are good friends as well as students. I am looking forward to continuing with them.  

As you can see, they are also excellent artists!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Celebration of Autumn

I was so inspired over the weekend by the wonderful colors and the beautiful pumpkins.  Many crops didn't survive the drought this summer, but the pumpkins did -they thrive in dry weather because their large flat leaves collect what moisture there is in the air!!!  Last night I decided to paint a quick watercolor to celebrate the season...so I dug out my sea sponge and sponged a painting, finishing with brushes.  I am always struck by the complementary contrast in colors at this time of year with the oranges and reds on the ground and the beautiful blue skies!

I am always conflicted at this time of year - it is so beautiful, but yet I tend to get depressed because the days are getting less sunlight and there is always the knowledge that the dark, cold days of winter are rapidly approaching. It could be, also, that my birthday is in the fall. :-(  At least the beauty of the season helps.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pouring Demonstration - Finished!

I finished the demonstration painting this evening.  It took 3 additional hours to complete, in addition to the 4 hours yesterday and the 1 hour at the demonstration - a total of 8 hours.  That negative painting process sure takes a long time - but I love the results and in my estimation, it is worth it. 

This painting is still a little busy, but I think - because of the busy subject- I will not work into it any more.  I left some of the areas untouched (other than the original pour.)   I am not ruling out the possibility that I will work into it some more after I study it for a few more days, so will not sign it for a while.

As I said in the first post, the painting is 14" x 18" and it is painted on 140 lb. FabrianoArtistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pouring Demonstration - 2nd Day

Well, this is the second installation of the poured leaves demonstration.  I now have around 4 hours in this one - I usually don't keep track, but someone asked me last night, during the demonstration, how long it takes to do a painting, so I am keeping track of this one.

It is beginning to take shape - you can at least see the leaves now.  There is still a lot of work to do on this one - I still have to finish the negative painting around the leaves and then I will start to finish the detailing on the surface of the leaves.  I can see that I still have to set up a definite value pattern to determine eye movement and focal point, but am still tippy-toeing around those elements right now! 

Hoping to find time to work on it tomorrow night - I have a doctor's appointment in the afternoon, so won't have time to paint until after dinner.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Demonstration painting

I did a pouring demonstration for a local womens club this evening of autumn leaves hanging on a tree. The size is 14"x18" and it is on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.  I had already done the preliminary drawing by using the grid method.  I wet the painting with a sponge and then dropped in the paint using an eye dropper.  After drying the painting, I started to do negative painting to make the positive leaves stand out.  I will finish that part and then do the detailing to finish the painting.  It was a nice evening and the refreshments were delicious.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cubistic Reconstruction of a Painting

The October monthly project for the online group, the Watercolor Workshop is to take an old painting and re-do/reconstruct it using any methods you wish.  I took a painting I did in a workshop with Marge Brandt and turned it into a work in cubism -( so-to-speak!)

First I took my ruler and ruled out areas to create shapes.  Then I used masking tape and taped the edges of some of the shapes and using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser  removed much of the paint from those areas.  Then I removed the tape and started painting in areas with watercolor trying to balance out colors and shapes - I repeated colors in the original painting, but in unrealistic areas.  Then I added some interest by repainting some of the weeds and branches.  This was a fun exercise and I actually like the results.  The painting is 11" x 14" and is on 140 lb. Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pipestem Utopian Dream - part 2

Today was my day to paint with the "Muses."  Theresa brought a delicious pumpkin roll to celebrate my birthday which was on the 23rd of Sept. and we pigged out with dulce de latte coffee.  Yum!

Today I revisited my photos from Pipestem, West Virginia and decided to paint this shed as my 2nd painting from the "series"- from the photos I took that day2 years ago at the abandoned village just down the mountain from Pipestem Resort in southern West Virginia.  This little oil is on a canvas panel - 8"x8".  Now that I have a chance to look at it on the monitor I can see that it is too busy for my taste - so I imagine there will be some changes in it's future! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Apple and Silver

                                                                             Silver #1

                                                                            Silver #2

I used this painting (which I painted a month ago) for my lesson Monday night at my intermediate watercolor class.  I always do 2 paintings - the first for the example and the 2nd along with the students during the class.  Although at first glance, they may look alike, I think it is interesting how different the 2 paintings are, when analyzed,  done by the same artist - using the same supplies.  In my opinion, the first is better than the second - the values and the apple are better in the first.
In every lesson, my aim is to teach specific watercolor skills. My students did very well on this painting - a lesson in painting reflections on a shiny object.  I will post their works when they are all completed.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dianne's Rose

I painted this watercolor this evening for a friend who is ill with the hopes that it will bring a little joy into her life in spite of the pain that she is enduring.  The painting is 4" x 6" and is painted on Strathmore 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hazy Morning on St. Route 65

My husband and I spent every weekday for 6 weeks this summer traveling to Lima - a distance of 25 miles one way - so that he could receive radiation treatments for throat cancer.  This is a scene I saw everyday, but one morning, everything was perfect - all I could see was "painting!"  I asked him to stop the car and I took several photos.  I finished this small painting yesterday - it is 6" x 8" and it is painted in oils.  It is hard to believe, but this is exactly how it looked that morning - it looked like the trees were outlined in darker green and so I tried to capture this without giving the impression that I outlined everything.  It brings those days back vividly to me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pipestem Utopia

I completed this little oil painting over the weekend.  It is from a photograph I took 2 years ago at Pipestem, West Virginia.  This building was part of an experiment - a planned community which didn't succeed...so, if you visit there, you will find several homes and out-buildings.  This abandoned community was once a dream of many people which didn't succeed...so sad.  I took several pictures that day, and plan to do more paintings of this now defunct community.
The painting is 7"x5" and is painted in oil.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yellow California Poppies

This is my version of the September project for the Watercolor Workshop where everyone paints from the same source picture.  This month, we were encouraged to use the photo as a jumping off place and then do our own thing with it.  I made some adjustments with the flowers - rearranged the bottom right flower on the table so the stem carries you back into the painting, added a bud, and pulled the poppy in the upper left in to the painting more, took out the background, designed my own wrought iron chair and moved the jar more to the left for better composition.  I think this painting has sort of an oriental appeal.  This paintings is 7" x 11" and is painted on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper. Below is the source photo.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Abandoned Long-ago"

I love painting portals - gates, fences and doorways.  Artistically this doorway is interesting because of the various textures and the subdued colors and it has interesting historical charm.
The painting is 5" x 12" and is painted on 300 lb. Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper.  It is originally from a royalty free image from the internet, but I have taken so many liberties with it  - making many changes, etc., that I think I can pretty much call it my own now - artistic license, you know!!! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Frenzied Tulips

I haven't been posting for a week since I was out of town - so yesterday I did a few small watercolors on postcard watercolor paper.  This is one of them.  The paper is Strathmore, 140 lb. paper.  I enjoyed the trip, but am glad to be back painting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Complementary Truck

This is another project for the fall class session at Riverside Arts Center.  This is 8" x 10" and is painted on 140 lb. FabrianoArtistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.  My students all know that we always have to do a truck during the sessions. :-)  The title comes from the complementary colors  - red and green in the truck.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Flower Fantasy

I finished this little painting this afternoon.  This is one of the paintings I am preparing to teach this fall in my intermediate watercolor class at Riverside Arts Center in Wapakoneta.  The painting is 9" x 12" and is painted on 140 lb. cold-pressed Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper.  The predominant colors are quinacridone rose-violet for the flower and the greens are mixed from pthalo blue and cadmium yellow, medium.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Apple and Silver

"Apple and Silver" is my effort for the monthly project of the Watercolor Workshop online group from Yahoo.  The source photo is chosen by a moderator and everyone who wishes to participate must paint from this picture.  This photo is originally a source photo from Wet Canvas image library.

This painting is 9" x 12" and it is painted on 300 lb. cold-pressed Arches watercolor paper.  This is nice and tight - right up my alley!