Thursday, July 31, 2014

Washes On Cold-Press

Salem's Cattle - wip2

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that I mostly work on Fabriano - soft or hot pressed paper.  I struggle with values so I love that I can lift while I'm developing a painting.  Layered washes are a bit trickier as they don't stay put as well as on cold-press, but the ability to lift far outweighs that slightly annoying characteristic for me, and I've learned how to work with it.

However, I decided to try some cold-press (I think Arches) that I had laying around.  What fun, allowing the colors mingle on damp paper!  I'm really trying to find a balance between detail and suggestion, where the watercolor just does what it does. It's magical. Nita Engle's book, "How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself" is SO INSPIRING!  Are you experimenting with anything lately?

Salem's Cattle - wip1 - first washes
9.5" x 8.75"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Picket Fence Daisies"

"Picket Fence Daisies"
6.25" x 5"
(watercolor on paper)

Click here to bid.  Starting bid:  $75

I finished this little study yesterday.  I'm trying to learn how to handle foliage better and work with some looser washes (hard to tell with this one!).  I had fun with the initial washes on this one, but still have lots of practice ahead of me.  Thank you for viewing my work.

(this image serves as an example of what
this painting could look like when framed)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Polish Strawberries"

"Polish Strawberries"
10.25" x 6"
(watercolor on paper)

Click here to bid.  Starting bid:  $100

I concluded that this was "finished" over the weekend. The image may look a little dark depending on your monitor.  I'm still having trouble adjusting colors (sigh). This same image, uploaded to DPW looks a little light/washed out, while this one looks dark. In my Photoshop, it looks just right. I can't win. Just know that the brightest whites are basically the white of the paper which may even be a little warm. I don't like to crank up the contrast, because I'm afraid of making the painting look "too good" as the monitor lights it from the back, but there is definitely more bright white in the original than what this image indicates. Oh well.

Happy painting and thank you for stopping by.

(an example of what this painting could look like when framed)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Experimental Washes

5" x 7"
watercolor on paper

Still inspired by Nita Engle's book, I've been doing some more experimenting with washes and wonderful, yet pesky masking fluid. I have a love/hate relationship with that stuff and avoid it at all costs. Unfortunately, I couldn't do without it on this painting.  

Have a great day!

letting my washes dry

Friday, July 25, 2014


If you're anything like me, you have a bunch of art books that you've leafed through but haven't really read or USED.  I don't know what it is --- I think I get overwhelmed and intimidated, instead of just throwing caution to the wind and reading and experimenting. 

I recently pulled this book out the other day:  Nita Engle's "How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself," a book I've had for a long time but never really sat down and studied.  So I started reading and am really INSPIRED.  She's amazing . . . and I've been playing.

And if I play enough . . . maybe one day I''ll have a watercolor that actually does paint itself!  :)  Do you have a favorite book or artist who inspires you?  

Have a great day!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meeting Goals - Better Late Than Never

Last year one of my goal's was to create an e-newsletter . . . well I didn't.  So I started 2014 with this same goal . . . and the months passed.  I had created a MailChimp account but only sat down a couple of times to try and figure it all out.  Oh, I had taken notes on what I'd include . . . I'd even gotten together a modest mailing list . . . but still, I just couldn't get motivated to make it happen.  Well I finally bit the bullet and over the weekend, took a day to figure it out.  "Summer - 2014" went out on Saturday night!  

My intention is to only send a seasonal newsletter, 4 times a year - nothing too much. I don't want to irritate people (more than I probably already do with my blog and Facebook).  Besides, I don't want to be all wigged out every month trying to put something together, regardless of if I have any news to share. 

So . . . if you'd like to subscribe for future seasonal letters, just click on the image above and it will take you to a form on my website. I'm planning to include some specials on artwork as well as art tips, in the future.  Many thanks.  :)

Meanwhile . . . a few more progress shots from over the weekend . . . 

Have a nice day.  :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Stuff

I thought you might like to see the beginnings of my newest painting.  You can see the little study and color swatches in my sketchbook above, and the beginning values of the painting below.  I'm going to try to resist getting too fussy with this one, we'll see how I do.  :)  Have a good weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Grape Study

"Grape Study"
10.5" x 7.5"
watercolor on paper

Click here to bid.  Starting bid:  $100

(what this painting could look like framed)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sitting On It

I'm pretty much finished with this one . . . just a little tweaking I'm planning on doing tomorrow morning.  Thanks for taking a peek.  Have a good day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I'm aiming to finish up these grapes today.  That blue hue on the bottom is not a wash, it's a shadow in the photo.  These grapes are just on white paper -- although the paper's a bit warm.  While I kind of like the cool tint in the photo -- I think the painting looks fine in real life, without it.  But it is intriguing to see it like this.  

Thank you for stopping by the blog.  :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Orange Wedge With Blueberries II

"Orange Wedge With Blueberries II"
8.25" x 10.75"
watercolor on paper

Click here to bid.  Starting bid:  $70

I am hopefully going to turn these fruit paintings into much larger ones -- full sheets.  I love the impact of VERY larger than life images. These little paintings are serving as practice. So far I've done three -- I think they would make a lovely collection in someone's kitchen, don't you?  The images below serve as examples of what these paintings could look like framed.

Thank you for viewing my work.

"Orange Wedge With Blueberries"

"Birdseye Blueberries"

"Orange Wedge With Blueberries II"

Friday, July 11, 2014

Future Tutorial?

So it hasn't been the most productive week for painting.  BUT I did get some work in.  I went through my paintbox and discovered some colors that I've never tried, so I worked on a color chart.  I did some color charts a long time ago, but haven't since I've been painting regularly.  I discovered some new things about some of the colors I've been using.  I'm a slow-learner.  :)

I also began a tutorial of a new fruit study.  A long-distance friend of mine is going to paint along side of me while I do this next painting.  So I thought I'd experiment with doing a tutorial.  So far I've done still shots and short videos and have emailed her their instructions.  If all goes well and I can get it together, I may turn it into a DPW art byte.  

While I haven't included the instructions here, I posted a few of the first pictures below.  Pay no mind to the dirty thumb nail (real thumb nail, not drawing "thumbnail"), I'd been gardening.  :)

sketch - working out my palette

first shadow wash

dirty fingernail with orange wedge

all wet and juicy

oh boy . . . so far so good

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Getting Started

Grape Study - wip
10.5" x 7.5"

I'm working on a small version of a larger painting I want to do.  I'm also getting back into the grape mindset so I can finish my first large painting of grapes that I started months ago.  Here it is below:

Have a lovely day.  :)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

June Review

JUNE 2014
click here to visit my gallery

I like how Nora Bergman recaps each month with a collage of her paintings, so I thought I would give it a go.  (If you aren't familiar with Nora's work be sure to check it out here. She paints beautiful oils.)

2014 has been kind of a slow year for me, painting-wise but June happened to be a pretty productive month. I've only painted 23 paintings so far, 7 of those in June so hopefully I can pick up the pace for the rest of the year. Also -- if you'd like to make your own collage, visit -- you can upload your images and edit them all for free. It's a great site.  

Have a great weekend.  :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Here's To The Fourth of July -- Cheers!

"I Drink Alone"
10.25" x 4.5
watercolor on paper

Click here to bid.  Starting bid:  $65

To my fellow Americans:   Happy Independence Day!  To everyone:  I hope you all have a wonderful day!

(what this painting could look like framed)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Baby Steps!

work in progress

It's supposed to rain today, keeping me indoors - perhaps I'll finally finish this!  :)  Incidentally -- I looked at the last post of this painting and it's much cooler in tone.  This one, the warmer tone, is more like the original painting.  Just thought I'd clarify that.  It's tough to always get the colors right -- especially on works-in-progress.  Have a good day.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


"Parlor Afternoon"
19" x 11"
watercolor on paper

Okay, so here's the deal:  I've been busy working on my gardens. It's lots of work, but very fun and gratifying. I've done some painting, but not as much as I'd hoped.  On the art front though, I'm pleased to say that "Parlor Afternoon" was juried into a show at a small gallery in Amherst, MA.  The information for that show can be found here at the Gallery A3 website -- the opening is tonight, July 3rd during the ArtWalk. If you are in the area take a look. Amherst is a great town (I should know, I lived there for four years during college . . . aaah . . . good times, good times), and the Amherst College grounds are looking beautiful!  

I hope to have some new work posted soon.  Have a great day!