Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Something new and a coupon too

The last few weeks I've been focused on painting and shows so I decided to take a break and work on my Etsy shop. Sadly it's been neglected lately so it was time to get back to it and try something new. I just added a new section to the shop called Painting Project Singles. These are instant downloadable PDFs and they take you step by step through one painting.

To get the ball rolling I'm starting with projects from our book Creative Colored Pencil Workshop so if you have the book, you already have the first 2 projects. But for those who don't have the book, it's a great way to pick and choose which painting you want to do and you don't have to spend a lot to do it. I'll be doing some new projects in the future to add to the series so check in at the shop from time to time.

The first 2 projects focus on mixing colored pencil with other media. Above I'm combining them with oil pastel to paint a loose, impressionistic landscape. The project below is my froggy from Paynes Prairie. He's done with watercolor and colored pencil. I take you through each step with a full color photo and instructions. I also include a line drawing, the original source photo and materials list.

So check out the new listings and tell me what you think! Do you think it's a good idea? Do you have a particular subject you'd like to see in a step by step format like this? I'll be doing more landscapes for sure but I'm also thinking of doing some seasonal type things like pumpkins with gold leaf backgrounds for fall or maybe do one with a bird nest and eggs. You know how much I love painting those! I would love and appreciate your feedback so leave a comment if you're so inclined.

To introduce these 2 new projects I'm sharing a coupon for 50% off the Painting Project Singles that's good through May 31st.  Share with your friends and happy painting!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A short and speedy clip

I discovered the hyperlapse setting on my phone! Yay! I love watching artists in their speed painting videos so I decided to try it myself. Yesterday I set up my little blue flexible tripod with my phone in it and did a clip of me working on the next bird nest painting. This is only the second time doing this. Hopefully these little clips will get better with practice. Light can be an issue in my studio so I might have to experiment with the placement of my easel and I have to figure out a way to get closer to the canvas too.

Anyway..... here's a short clip of a work in progress. It's an 8x8 canvas that I first textured with super heavy gesso. After letting that dry overnight I painted the whole canvas red, sketched the design and then applied gold leaf. Here I'm working with acrylic. I'm not done at the end of the clip, I still have some work to do so I'll share it when it's finished.

Thanks for watching!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Be brave, be bold, go paint!

Soooooo........ I'm excited about the June/July issue of Professional Artist magazine. Thea Fiore-Bloom is this wonderful writer who thought I should be included in her article about inspiration. I finally got a copy and I couldn't be happier! If you can, pick up a copy and read the article titled Draw Inspiration from Your Dark Side. In it she talks about finding inspiration in the hard times. Sometimes going through trauma can bring you to a new place in your art if you're willing to be vulnerable. For me, it's the Silent Voices series.You can see them by clicking on the tab above. That series then led to the bird nest series. You just never know where an idea will take you.

You can see some of the nests by clicking the Nest tab above or to see even more click here to go to my website. If you can't get to a bookstore you can order a copy here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Art, Fear and Boredom

I'm reading a book right now called Real Artists Don't Starve by Jeff Goins. I'm only 15% into it but so far it's good. This paragraph...

"Torrance believed creativity could exist in all areas of life and that anyone could be creative. The more research he did, however, the more he discovered how difficult it was to be creative in certain settings, particularly schools. He also observed how creative individuals tended to struggle in systems that forced them to comply to rules they didn't understand. "The creative kids are the ones who rail against the rules the hardest," said Bonnie Cramond, a former student of Torrance, in summary of her teacher's findings. "Creative kids have no patience with ridiculous rules. They don't see any purpose in it." Professor Torrance concluded that following the rules does not produce outstanding creative work. If you aren't willing to be a little deviant, then it's harder to be creative. Sometimes it pays to break the rules."

makes a lot of sense to me. I still rail against stupid rules. My kids always railed against stupid rules and still do. This is something that can be difficult to get across to my art students. Like society, art has certain rules. You learn these when learning the basics in art school - composition, color theory etc.... Of course you can be creative within the boundaries of the rules but once you've been living and painting by those rules for a long time you itch to break them. If not break them, then at least bend them.


This is what holds us back. It's something I work on all the time. How can I do something different, something new? I think this is where working in a series is a really good thing. I've been painting the bird nests for a while now. Folks like them, some love them enough to buy them! Yay! What happens then? Fear of doing something different and then people might not like them anymore.


This is what catapults us into doing something else. The first time I painted a nest I was so excited! Each one I paint still excites me but after a while it gets like - meh - I've done this the same way before. When you've painted the same subject dozens of times, that's when the itch starts. You start to look for a different way to express that subject. That's when you look at things from a different angle- try different lighting, different background, close up view, long view.

That's when it's time to push.

How do you do that? One of the things I started doing is daily paintings. Every day that I'm in the studio I start the day with a little 4x4 or 4x6 painting. It can be anything. Today will be #20. I'm not just doing bird nests, I'm doing anything I feel like that morning. So far it's been a mix of landscapes and nests because those are my main 2 subjects anyway. I'm painting scenes that I've done before but making them a little bit different from the way I did them the first time.

I might push color, trying a different palette or exaggerate the color of a landscape. I might try a different shape or angle on a nest, I might do a new subject like the feathers and see where that goes....

So today my thoughts are - let boredom be a catalyst. And when you get bored don't let fear keep you from bending a few rules, push through. Who knows where it'll lead. And what I know about myself is, I need to push harder.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The gallery, the Etsy shop and a nest update

It's Monday morning and I'm sitting here with my coffee, listening to the birds and thinking about the week ahead. Today is art class. I'll probably just have 3 people in the studio today since a few folks are traveling. The rest of the week will be spent in my home studio working on several paintings. I usually have more than one going at a time- keeps my energy up that way.

Another thing that boosts the painting energy is visiting my gallery rep. Last week I delivered 10 new landscapes to the Signature Art Gallery in Tallahassee. They've been selling my work for a couple of years now and I'd never been there! Shame on me. So, since I had a couple of larger canvases for them this time I thought it would be good to deliver instead of shipping. I'm so glad I did. It was a beautiful day. Yellow flowers (friends from the area will know what kind they are) were blooming all along I75 with the occassional purple ones thrown in here and there- very pretty- you know those complimentary colors work so well together. 😄

Finding the gallery was very easy and what a nice place! I met Mary, the owner, and we had a lovely time visiting. Walking around, looking at the other art there, I realized I wanted just about everything in the place. Every piece in the gallery was beautiful! I truly felt honored to have my work hanging there with so many wonderful artist's work. I could've stayed all day just studying the brush work and techniques in all the other works. 

One of the larger pieces I delivered.

The 2 floating walls where my work is currently hanging. They've made room for a few of the new pieces.

So my gallery is updated and now my Etsy shop is too.

Once upon a time I was doing Friday Painting Parties. I did them for about 3 years but due to a change in the studio space I stopped doing them. I had a number of workshop demo pieces left from those parties and I got tired of tripping over the box of canvases so I added them to the shop at a special price. This week, through Mother's Day, you can get one of these paintings at a bigger discount with the coupon code MOMLOVE20 for 20% off. It really is a great deal so check it out if you're so inclined. There's a mix of subjects and techniques - take a look at the Etsy mini shop on the sidebar to see more examples.

This was one of my faves to do. It's from a photo I took on the gulf coast.

We did a gold leaf sky on this one. What a mess in a workshop! We then used palette knife to paint the rest.

This one came from a series I did called Woodland. They're all sold now, this is the last.

Nest update!

So remember the nest in my mailbox? The babies grew up and fledged but sadly, at least one of them was lost to a predator - the kitty. I happened to be home when the little ones took off and suddenly I saw the cat hunkered down over something small while momma bird was screeching and flying circles overhead. Sad. All I can do is hope the others survived. 

Once I was sure no one was coming back to the mailbox nest I cut a piece of cardboard to fit the width of the box so I could slide it underneath and then carefully pull the nest out. It took some work but I finally got it out without losing much of their construction. Once I got it out I found an egg inside that hadn't hatched. Unfortunately, I broke it when I took it out to show my granddaughter but I kept the largest pieces and put them back in. Now I have a new nest to add to my growing collection. See, this is why I have to move that box of canvases I was tripping over. Seriously..... go to the Etsy shop!

From the front

Side view- you can see how much taller it is in the back.

And of course, I've added to the collection of nest paintings. In memory of the little one lost to the kitty I painted 2 Babies this past weekend from a photo I took of them in the mailbox.

2 Babies

Well, that's the update for now...... I have lots of paintings floating around in my head so I'm anxious to get back to the studio and get busy. 

Wishing you peace and creativity.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Baby birds and a kitty

If we're friends on Facebook you've probably seen photos of my mailbox nest. This has been a yearly occurrence for the last 3 or 4 years. Last year's wren babies didn't survive a predator so I've been keeping a close watch on these little ones (as if I could really do anything about anything if a bigger bird swoops in and decides to make a meal of them). Anyway.... this morning I woke to a lot of fussing coming from the front porch.

Apparently I wasn't the only one to hear the babies yelling for food. A neighborhood kitty also heard. We've had a beautiful calico hanging around our yard for a long time. I don't know who he belongs to but he certainly likes our space. So there he was, sitting on the front porch under the mailbox with huge, eager eyes. Thankfully he can't get to them but he sure causes chaos for the bird family trying to eat breakfast.

Look at those faces!

I shooed him away so mom and dad could feed their growing bunch. I watched them take turns bringing bugs and worms to the nest. Once the babies were satisfied it looked like they were doing some house cleaning. They appeared to have pieces of shell they were carrying out of the mailbox. Gotta keep things tidy.

Just to be sure they could keep on with their parental duties I sat with the front door open a bit so I could watch them and keep the kitty from disturbing them again. Near the top of the photo you can see one of the parents on the edge of the mail slot ready to take off again.

It's another beautiful, cool day today so I'll keep the windows and doors open and keep my ears open too so I can hopefully help the little wrens through another day without the scare of a large feline.

Last time I told you about the floral show happening at Magnolia Art Xchange. Here's my Camelia hanging at Ocala Union Station in one of the exhibit rooms. It was a really nice day- did a little painting, met some great people and got to visit with some old friends. And the photo below is just because...... This past Friday night was the Friday Art Walk in Tallahassee and Vera at the Signature Gallery emailed me this photo of "my walls" at the gallery. What a great place! And they sold 2 more of my paintings- a nest and a landscape. Oh happy day!

I'm going to finish my coffee and enjoy the rest of this beautiful, spring day in FL. It won't be long before we're all melting from the heat so it's wonderful to feel a cool breeze. Hope your day is great.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

1 closes, 1 opens, and painting live!

So the show in Macon at the Macon Arts Alliance Gallery is coming to a close this week. If you haven't been you should check it out. I'll still have work there after the show too and there's lots of talented folks displaying there so if you miss this time there'll still be more to see.

And... coming up this week is the Magnolia Art Xchange show Blooming with Max where the Pioneer Garden Club will be presenting a floral show inspired by master artists. My painting Camelia will also be on display for the 2 day show.

acrylic and gold leaf

The show is open to the public on Friday March 31st from 1pm-4pm and on Saturday April 1st from 10am-3pm. On Saturday I'll be there painting live. I've got another camelia painting started so this is what I'll be working on at the show.

What makes it even better? I'll be painting with my buddy Julie Shealy! I'm so excited!! You may have seen Julie's Bloomies at Gateway Bank this past year. She had a fabulous show running from Oct through December. I first met Julie when we worked together on an Artist Within project with the Marion Cultural Alliance. We don't get to see each other too often so I'm not sure if we'll spend more time painting or sharing grandchildren photos :)  but anyway.... if you can, come by Ocala Union Station and see us on Saturday.