Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nest With Dryer Lint

Nest With Dryer Lint

6x8 watercolor on Yupo Paper NFS

This nest is loaded with lint from the dryer, It is woven between the 
twigs, horse hair and grasses. What a beautifully soft
place for the babies to emerge into.

Artist Note.
This one is another painting done on the trip to the dentist.
It was painted by memory of a particular nest I have.
The Yupo lends itself very well  to this type of technique 
- just a few areas of detail with  lots of washes.
I am finding it is best to do the washes FIRST.
I place a few drops of oxgall into the water.
and let the wash dry before going back in with an 
almost dry brush for the details. 
Easy to lift off an area for light spots, but I also did opaque areas for lint
on top of the washed areas.  I went into a dark color next using a rigger
I had a very light touch and a flowing consistency of paint.
Still learning the "how to" of Yupo.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yupo Floral

Yupo Floral

6x8in watercolor on Yupo paper  SOLD

Another trip to the dentist and I accomplished three
small paintings this time - two bird nests, and this floral.
All three from the imagination.
Artist Note.
This is what I call a decorative piece. 
I did a basic cartoon of  flowers with a rigger brush, 
then added light washes of several lavenders and soft greens.
Next, I anchored the design with a strong abstract design 
going from orange mixed with red and green (to tone it down)
 into even darker brown shades.
I lightly drew lines with the rigger to add some
 interest to the flowers. 
Working on Yupo is challenging but I am learning to 
take advantage of the run, drips and movement on the surface.
When I compare this to my previous post of apple blossoms
I can understand how surface quality may be used to provide 
an artist with a personal style. This particular technique lends itself
to more of the abstract and decorative aspects of painting. FUN!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Apple Blossom Study

Apple Blossom Study

6x6 watercolor on aquaboard  $100. SOLD
 Click HERE to purchase

Painted with watercolor exploring the shapes of flowers and leaves.
Did not using my fracturing technique
though I found myself  trying  to get a similar feel.

The blossoms are from a friend and fellow Artists Guild member
 who, with her husband,  Bob, owns the century old
Nichols Cherry and Apple Orchards
 up high in La Luz, New Mexico. 
Here is Sue arriving with some blossoms for me to paint.
She travels 140 miles round trip to come to the Guild.

Do You think she brought enough? Howzat for friendship!
She knows I have a couple of  larger unfinished paintings from last year.
Thank YOU dear Sue.

Artist Note.
Sue Nichols is a dedicated artist with a fine arts degree, but
like most of us... just keeps wanting to learn all she can
so she is a regular here at the Guild.
. She enjoys painting plein air on and around her ranch.
The one below was just accepted into a
 prestigious New Mexico show.

This is a pond on the ranch and the koi fish cluster under the
simple pier for shade.
Such a gorgeous orange color next to the blue sky reflection.
 Below is a Quince tree on the ranch, heavy with fruit. It is large 36"x18"

Sue is also an accomplished stained glass artist
Her work can be found at

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Freesia, Pear and Grapes

Freesia, Pear and Grapes
6x6in Watercolor on Aquabord $100.
Click HERE to purchase

Another "dentist trip" painting!
This one was mostly done on the two hour trip back from the
dentist.( I hour waiting to get back across into the US)
and I finished the highlights at home. Drawn first in purple
watercolor pencil, it is totally from the imagination
 of items I have painted before.

Artist Note.
I am still experimenting with the different surfaces for my watercolors.
This is on the aquabord by Ampersand. I used some Chinese white
on the light area of the vase and a couple of areas where I screwed up!

I have been asked to show my set-up for painting while
traveling. I did place it on a previous post but here it is again.
I use the Judson's Thumb Box

It is small, but perfect for travel as I keep everything I need inside it.
I carry a tray with a cushion attached underneath which  keeps it 
stable on my lap. The lip on the tray prevents anything sliding off.

This little set up works for my oils as well as watercolors.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Olive Oil #1

Olive Oil #1
8x8in  watercolor on paper  SOLD

Artist Note
This watercolor was painted in the dentist's waiting room. 
I did the drawing during the hour drive to Mexico
using an purple watercolor pencil. 
Any errors from bumps in the road were easy to wash off.

This painting has been selected by a tile company to add to their
licensed line of unique tiles. They offer a high end line of
 tiles for kitchens, I hope it will be popular.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Left the Nest

Left the Nest

6x8in oil on canvas panel

It is that time of year again when the bird nests are thriving.
I paint the nests for pure pleasure and hate to sell them.
I am going to live with this one for a while because I am not
capturing what I feel about it.

Artist Note.

Regarding the previous post of painting in the car. I call it a car
but I have an old Sienna van.
The secret to keeping everything on your lap if you hit
 the bumps - is this magic tray.

It has the cushion attached underneath which rests securely on
the lap. The raised edge on the top stops anything slipping off
in case of sudden stops.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Red Anemones and Stripes

 Red Anemones and Stripes

8x6in watercolor on Strathmore board  SOLD

During a round trip drive of two hours
I painted in the car while hubby drove.

I have to have some serious dental work,
and due to the enormous estimate in the US,
I am traveling to Juarez, Mexico, to have it done.
The dentist is not only a great dentist but
she is also fun and generous . Because of the length
of time we had to be there she took us to lunch
at this wonderful seafood place.
Bright, spotless and colorful.
Every chair and
tablecloth was a different color.

A handy stand was
brought to our table
for the purses

Each lady
was presented
with a rose.

The waiter
the credit card
machine to the
table - smart move
as it provides
a feeling of


Friday, March 28, 2014

And the WAX of choice is...

Yes...Renaissance Wax Polish

This product manufacturer claimed it is used by the British Museum
so I called the BM  to check. I enjoyed my inquiry 
being treated with great respect by a gentleman in the
restoration department.  I was informed they 
do indeed use it and they find it truly 
is a wonderful product. Absolutely safe to use as a 
protective coat on paintings.

Get dries almost instantly 
and it has not lifted off any color. 
I placed my painting done on Yupo paper 
in water overnight after coating, and it 
remained  perfectly protected so it really is excellent as a sealer.
As well as waxing the Yupo paper,
 I have tried it on a watercolor painted on aquabord,
 a gouache painting done on 100% cotton paper,
and I liked the finish it gives, very much.
It smells like furniture polish before it dries so I use it in a vented area.
Below is a very short video showing how I apply it.
(unedited as I do not know how to do that yet)

I place it on with a palette knife using the bottom flat part to spread. 
An old cotton t-shirt is perfect to buff it up to the sheen I like.

A note about price.
I purchased mine at the Artisan in Santa Fe NM.
The 200ml size was $35.50. Not cheap!
It goes a long way and this may last me a lifetime!

I do like Gamblin's Cold Wax for mixing with oil paint. This is not to be confused
with that type of use.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Testing Wax Finish on Yupo

Tree Study.
10x8in watercolor Not for sale

Artist Note
This was a practice watercolor on Yupo. Learning
to handle the non absorbent surface is an interesting
way to spend time. I have a few of these types of
painting experiments and they are handy to try out
the different wax or varnish coating
Below is a close-up of the tiny, tiny bubbly marks
the force of the spray varnish made...even though I
held the canister far enough away to land very lightly.
I held it at an angle for you to see
what I mean.
Watercolor on Yupo lifts off too easily.

The next one is showing the wax finish and the
soft sheen it gives when held to the light

The watercolor below originally had a richer color which
lifted off when I applied Dorland's cold wax.
(Dorland's is great with oil)

I have tried three different brands of wax and tomorrow
I will show which product I like best with a
short video on how I apply the wax.
IF I can get it to work!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Daffodils and Hyacinth #3

Daffodils and Hyacinth #3

8x6in oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

To purchase click HERE

Another one of the daffs while they are still blooming.
This time in a more formal setting.

Artists Note
There was considerable interest shown on my previous
post when I mentioned using a wax finish on watercolors.
I have used it previously and I personally love the more
mellow finish it gives than a regular varnish.
On one of my pieces, a certain brand of wax lifted some of
the color, but I have another brand I am testing on
watercolor/Yupo and wax coating. It is perfect, but Yupo
has a smooth finish and the Aquabord has a slight pebble
type surface...makes a difference. Will let you know how it
goes. Here is KIM's comment yesterday.

 Beautiful painting!!!I am working on a painting 
I plan on mounting on a board and coating. After doing some research 
I cam a across a great video by Birgit O'Connor, Framing Watercolor 
without Glass. She recommends using Golden Acrylic Spray with 
UVL protection. 5-7 coats and you must let it completely dry in-between 
coats or you may get clouding. She uses a few coats of gloss for clarity t
hen follows with the last coats matte. I'm going to try this. 
Hope this helps!  by Kim Minichiell

Thanks, Kim, I enjoyed the video.