Personal Art Blog

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

Monday, September 30, 2013

Watercolor Weekend - White Poppies

White Poppies

12x8in watercolor  NFS

DAY 30 - hip hip...hurrah!

This is almost finished. It needs a little tweaking...
adding and subtracting here and there.
I will have to live with it for a few more days,
but I can see a couple of things right now!
Nothing like getting it on the screen to see the
weak spots.

Artist note
This one is larger than my usual size
and so it was easy to find some totally
abstract areas.

 I sometimes use these areas to get
inspiration for future paintings.

Thanks to all of you who have followed
me through the Leslie Seata's 30 in 30 challenge.
I was proud to have been associated with so many
wonderful artists. I have also enjoyed discovering
inspirational talent and I hope you have too.

I must admit to being relieved it is over.
Two and a half years ago when I first started daily
painting, I did not work as many hours as I do now
and that made it easier to keep up. This has been fun,
but not always easy, so if I say I am going to do her
next challenge, please remind me not to do it.

I am going to take a couple of days off and visit blogs!


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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Watercolor Weekends - Little Church, N.M.

Little Church, New Mexico

8x5 watercolor on arches  NFS

DAY 29

A lovely old church just outside Santa Fe.

Artist Note
Some experimenting going on here.
l left the focal point pretty crisp
and messed aound with everything else.
I tried tearing the edges because the
arches brand paper is pretty heavy.
Have to live with this one for a while.
I do like the colors and am pleased
I captured the pale dried grasses.
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lemon & Leaves

Lemon and Leaves

8x6in oil on canvas panel   $100. SOLD

DAY 28

On this challenge I have done an assortment of subject matter.
Last January when I did the previous Leslie Saeta Challenge
I chose a theme, and  I found out it was a lot
harder than I thought it would be. This time I was smarter
and decided not to have a theme. It has  allowed me to look
around and pick what I felt like doing each day.
Much better and easier.
Still a lot of pressure though and I questioned my sanity a
couple of times.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

The Blue Gate

The Blue  Gate

8x6in oil on canvas  $125.

DAY 27
On a recent trip to northern New Mexico I
managed to get some plein air starts in.
I call them "starts" because they are not completed
paintings but are handy for capturing the colors
as I see them. Usually I am marking the path of
sunshine and shadows with warm and cool notes.
A photo does help me with the details I did not get in,
but I find a photo on its own makes it very hard
for me to capture the special feeling I had when
I was making the color notes.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

My First Cupcake

My First Cupcake

6x6in oil on canvas panel  $100. SOLD

DAY 26

I never thought I would ever paint a cupcake because
I see so many great ones out there, and could not see
the ridges of the paper done in my technique.
BUT a friend challenged me to try.

Artist Note.

I do not bake so cupcakes have to be bought.
Drum roll for Hobby Lobby...these cupcakes below
are fakes! Two in a box. Different types.
They will take the heat of the lights
and will not tempt the artists to nibble.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Farmers Market # 24

Farmers market #24 -  Cooking Veggies

8x6in oil on linen $125. SOLD

Day 25

At the market there was a stall where this lady was
cooking up a big batch of red and green peppers
with onions. The huge pile quickly wilted down and
was then placed in containers..
She used a cast iron stove top with the flame clearly
 visible.  The smell was quite wonderful.

Artist Note.
Another vignette where I have left the linen showing.
Handy for these sketchy, fast paintings. I was asked
if the clear coating was compatible for oil. Absolutely!
It is a clear acrylic primer. Regular gesso is an acrylic
clear primer with.a white power added for surfaces
where the traditional white canvas is desired.
Using the Senso this way is similar to painting your canvas
a color first and having it peek through to unify the harmony.
With Senso, the color is a middle value, natural linen.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Clouds Over The Mesa, N.M.

Clouds Over The Mesa, NM

6x8in oil on linen panel $125. SOLD

I never get tired of the drive to Santa Fe and seeing the
clouds gather over the mountains and mesas.
The pinon bushes weave delightful dark patterns on top
of hilly mounds of clay or sand. An Artists Paradise!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Trio Rentals

Trio Rentals

6x8in watercolor  SOLD

DAY  23

This is a wee bit more whimsical than I usually paint so it was relaxing 
and  fun.
I have a friend who has an abundance of bird houses and she calls 
them her rental business! 
The red one is my favorite... and it always fills first.

Artist Note.
Dean asked yesterday if I used gouache. 
If you are reading this, Dean - I use Chinese White.
I do use opaque watercolors like Yellow Ochre and 
Cerulean Blue but have not broken into the gouache yet.
I enjoy the Chinese White and I think we called it "body color"
...back in the day. I use it to cool some of the colors
as well as adding light in places - like on the roofs in this one.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Watercolor Weekend - Feather Study

Feather Study

7x5 in watercolor NFS

Day 22

Along with bird nests I am finding
feathers fascinate me

Artists Note.

It happened without a conscious thought.
I have now done several feathers...enough
to realize I have started to explore a series
of them with line and paint.
Not a popular or challenging subject
so it has to be a sub-conscious pull I am
responding to.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013



6x6in oil on canvas $100.

Day 21

This is one I painted during lilac time and never
finished...until today

Artist note.
I want to say thank you for all of your comments.
It is giving me an interesting perspective on
how my art comes across. Observations are
made which are helpful and encouraging.
The daily painting discipline does not allow
the luxury of contemplation and "on the spot"
decisions have to be made which are not
always clear cut. The comments provide
perspective that I don't have at the time.
You are invaluable and treasured.

I am getting around to everyone and
enjoying all the amazing art out there.
Have a great weekend.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Farmers Market # 22

Farmers Market #22

8x6in oil on canvas $125. SOLD

Day 20

One of the many flowers stalls at the Farmers Market
in California.

Artist Note

Several people want to know what product I use
to glue my sheets of Senso canvas to the Masonite panels.
A popular choice would be Acrylic heavy body
I  prefer YES paste -  only because I like the consistency.
The liquid types of acid free glues are a wee bit messy for me.
The directions following are the same for either product.
I cut a 2x2in piece of foamcore board to spread the paste
evenly over the panel (only because lazy me does not want to
be bothered cleaning a spatula.) I place the painting on top
of the pasted surface being careful to line up the edges.
I place plastic wrap over it to protect the painting
and gently press down  before I go all over it with a roller.
The neat thing about the Yes paste is that it cleans up with
water, and any of it oozing out of the edges is easily
wipes clean with a moist rag.
Turning it face side down I place a heavy
book on top and usually leave it overnight.

Practical hint.

I always wipe the rim of the paste jar with my rag and place a
few drops of water inside before putting the lid back on.

(I never get the tall jar because it is messy to dig that deep.)

If you do not have access to an art store, Michaels sells Yes paste
as well as the online catalogs.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

California Hydrangeas


8x6in oil on linen panel $125.

DAY 19
This plant ( see below) was in a yard not far from
our son's house when we were visiting California
earlier this summer.
I was blown away by the beautiful range of colors.

Artist Note.

I elected to paint a close up first and would like to try
the whole bush sometime. I admire the range of variations
in the colors.

This is another one painted on the Senso linen canvas.
I buy mine in pads of 10 sheets. I find I can toss out a
sheet, if I am not satisfied, much easier than if I had
paid for a stretched canvas.
If I like one, like the one above, I then
glue it onto a panel.

I have had several emails asking about the product.
This is the cover and below that the color of the linen

I love the texture because it has some tooth, but if
you like smooth then this is not for you. Most of the
catalog places have it. I get mine from ASW Express.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

White Geraniums - Study

White Geraniums - Study

8x6in  oil on  linen canvas $125.

Day 18

These beautiful white geraniums caught my eye.

Artist Note

This study is painted on Senso linen canvas.
I love this product because it is finished with a
clear gesso allowing the natural linen color
to become part of the painting - perfect for
a vignette like this.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nest, Feather and Eggs

Nest, Feather and Egg

oil on canvas panel.  SOLD

Day 17

This is a commission.  I usually do not do commissions,
but this is for a friend who arrived at the gallery where
I had my Avian Architecture exhibit, too late...
they were all gone.
So this is # 38, painted especially for a very dear friend.
And keeping in my gallery's good graces!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Watercolor Weekend -Trumpet Flowers

Trumpet Flowers

5x7in watercolor on acid free paper

DAY 16

These trumpet flowers are all over the place
at the moment.  I love the pods.

Artist Note

I attempted several interpretations of these flowers,
and I found I had to emphasize the cool against the
warm areas to come up with an image I liked.
I have always had difficulty with a red and green
color harmony and to make this one palatable to my
eyes, I had to nudge some lavenders and blues
in there.
Do any of you have a favorite way of
handling  painting red and green that you feel
comfortable in passing on?

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Watercolor Weekend - Peonies

Peonies in Porcelain

6x8in watercolor on acid free paper

Day 15 -  WOW - half way through the 30 in 30 challenge.

Check out all the other artist's paintings here.
This challenge offers a wide variety of many wonderful paintings.

Hope you have a wonderful day and I thank you for visiting my blog.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Feathers and Eggs

Feathers and Eggs


Aquarelle graphite on toned paper

DAY 14

Enjoyed drawing some of my favorite things
while testing new paper.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Crabapple Branch

Crabapple Branch

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125.

Day 13

Crab-apples have a beautiful color range from
red into orange and yellow.

Artist Note.
Getting desperate to have a painting for the challenge
after teaching all day. This one started as a demo
a month ago and was never finished. I rubbed linseed oil
thinly into the dried surface then grabbed the trusty
palette knife to finished it off.  Fat over lean!

Check out this blog post from  Cindy Greene
After seeing it on my blog, Cindy shows a great step by step
of how she painted on the glass to gain some solutions to a
background she was dissatisfied with.
Very nice of her to place the credit.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Mexico Casa

New Mexico Casa

6x8in  oil on canvas panel  $100.

Day 12

From an old photo of northern New Mexico.

Artist Note.
After doing a timed, fast oil sketch yesterday
I found I needed to do it again today because
I did not have much time after work.
Using the palette knife made it easier because I
cannot get into too much detail with it.

Several years ago I was lucky enough to get into one of
Carol Marine's workshops.  The timed sketch is one of her
exercises. She divides the canvas into four areas and in each
area you paint the same object - fast! It is a liberating
experience and I highly recommend it.
These roses were timed 7 mins each. The rose gradually
opened up from the heat of the light.
Amazing what you can do when you have to.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Farmers Market #21- sketch

Baskets at Farmers Market

8x6in oil on canvas panel $125.

Day 11

Artist Note.
I taught all day today and this was a  35 minute knife painting
at the end of the day. - from a photo.
The lettering was done with a brush plus some of the highlights.
Fast and sketchy.

Had problems with Blogger today so making this short.
Do you think they did not like me telling everyone not to
enter the numbers on comment moderation!!!!
Thanks for all the great  comments.  I am enjoying trying
to get to see everyone's posts. So MANY wonderful
painters in the blog-sphere. Very inspiring.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Art Supplies - and an interesting discovery.

Art Supplies

8x6"  watercolor NFS

Day 10 in the 30 day challenge

Objects around my painting area.

Artist Note.
I am still experimenting with my watercolor technique
and yesterday, while I was wondering what to paint,
I remembered what Bernard Dunstan
emphasizes in his little gem of a book,
Starting to Paint Still Life.
Beside setting up a regular still life he recommends
you look for the" accidental groups which just happen
everywhere around us."
This still life was right in front of me.
I happen to like the book  (all of his books, actually)
and have had it for years. It is small - 6x8 -and not an 
entertaining book with colorful images, but it provides a 
solid explanation of his personal teaching style with mostly 
black and white reproductions .
Works for me.

Interesting discovery.
When I am commenting on other blogs and I have to enter
the hated, 'prove you are not a robot' to be able to 'Publish'
I find it a real pain in the neck because it takes so much 
extra time. I had previously discovered when numbers were 
asked for, that ANY two numbers would do the job, 
and now I know why...drum roll...
you do not have to enter numbers at all 
ONLY THE LETTERS. Honest. Trust me.
I wish the word had been passed around before now.
Maybe you already knew it, but I didn't. If it helps 
even one other artist not to have to squint to read the 
numbers then I will be happy.
Even better would be if everyone did not have 
"comment moderation" at all!  In a perfect world.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

House in Pecos, NM

House in Pecos, NM.

watercolor on moleskin paper  5"x7"

Day 9

Pecos, New Mexico, is a very old, rural town and it is
where Longmire , the TV show is mainly filmed.
I was there recently and managed to get some great
sketches and photos. It is a gorgeous mountain area and
the native sunflowers were in full bloom.
The tin roof is typical of the areas in New Mexico
where they enjoy snow and rainfall due to their
proximity to mountains and they are often on an adobe
structure. This house is small by today's standard and
the average families were larger then than now. Can
you imagine 6oo sq ft... and six kids?

Artist Note.
My fracturing video is still selling on the Daily Paintworks
site (see top right.) I have been amazed and delighted
by the response. I feel that even if it causes an artist to
experiment for only a little while, something to help their art
will come out of it.
I came across a Sue Harrell painting and the thumbnail
caught my eye. She is trying the fracturing technique
and doing a fabulous job . She gave credit to the video.
Thank you, sue.
Check her out... click here Sue Harrell

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