Personal Art Blog

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

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Challenge Abstract

Challenge Abstract

6x8in painted and wiped off.

The painting above represents
controlled  frustration.

Artist Note.
In the spirit of doing the collage 
of all the paintings from the challenge
I tried and totally wasted a couple of hours
trying to learn PicMonkey.
Lesson learned.
I am full of true admiration for all of you
who whipped out a collage

I do know enough about PicMonkey 
now to know I really like what it can do.

I thank Leslie Saeta for doing all the 
work to pull another successful 
challenge together.
It appeared that less than one third 
of the enrolled artists 
showed their work on her blog. 
That is good in a way because would I 
have ever been able to see ALL their work?
It was mind boggling to try and get through
the images of the 300 - 400 daily artists.

At the same time...
the best thing about the challenge was
being introduced to the work of
artists I was not familiar with ,and seeing a 
whole slew of new and fabulous paintings 
from artists
 I already admire.
See the final collages from everyone

Friday, January 30, 2015

Work In Process plus a Handy Hint! - Final day 30 in Challenge

Work in process

6x8 oil on canvas

This series will allow me to work on different surfaces.
The first few will be on black gessoed panels.

I feel it important to use the gesso and not an
acrylic black paint. The reason?
It needs to be slightly porous to grab the oil paint
 and gesso is made to work that way.

A handy and easy to make guide for 
making a "same size guide" for helping to design
the composition. Frames from the Dollar Store 
with the paper taken out and glass left in.

I have several for each size of my canvases
this is a 5x7 but with the frame is exactly 6x8

The grid is divided by the usual rule of thirds.
with a marker.The circles are for 
possible focal areas.
Doing this really helps me design and 
find the focal area and also eye flow pattern.

I am holding it directly over the photo here. 
I can move the frame back and forth to find
a composition I like best or rest 
it right on
the photo like shown here.
I try it in a vertical position and do the same thing.
Having the frame helps me see it clearly with 
its boundary.

Using it for a still life works the same way
Only better -because you can mark off the 
spacing of your object with a marker

Yes, you can buy a product already made
 but I enjoy having them
match the size of my canvas.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snow, Water and Crows #2 - day 29

Snow, Water and Crows 2

6x8in oil on canvas  $130.SOLD

Here is number two in my new series
It became more realistic than I wanted, but
that is part of exploration on a theme

Artist Note
In this one the crows became more
important.  Those little suckers are
not easy to do.
Took about ten wipe-offs on
such a small space.
I realize that they are going to
be one of the areas I will be exploring.
How not to get dorky crows!

For serious art lovers. I have linked to a
wonderful video of a presentation
the AMAZING  landscape painter
Clyde Aspevig
gave in Montana.
It is 25 mins long.
When you want to give yourself a treat,
settle down and get inspired.

Clyde Aspevig

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow, Water and Crows #1 - Day 28

Snow, Water & Crows #1
6x8in oil on canvas $130. SOLD

This is an abstract I have been looking 
forward to painting and the start of
a new series.

For a year I have photographed, 
painted and sketched this spot
5 days a week. 
through all of the seasons.
Situated in the heart of the city, it is
a drainage pond for a local factory.
It is surrounded by unattractive
buildings on one side - two roads 
and a parking lot.
I have never seen another person
even give it a second look.
I proudly showed it to my good friend
when she came to visit. She understood
my fascination.
(hey, Lisa, can you believe I have actually
started on it?!!!  )

Just in case you cannot find the crows...
look carefully and you will see three small
dark spots (middle-ish left) and they 
are the crows. As I abstract.

The factory is a pecan processing
plant and the crows flock there for 
their pecan fix! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Mountains - day 27

My Mountains
6x8in oil on canvas panel $130.

The view from my studio at the "golden hour."
I never get tired of it.
Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM.

Artist Note,
Only three more days to go in the challenge.
The Facebook Challenge was on at the same 
time and I thank everyone who invited me 
to take part. I would have loved 
to have participated, but it just would 
have been too much on top doing this 
challenge PLUS working.

I must be getting old when I cannot
do everything I want to!

Old or sensible!

Sensible is old!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cherries - Day 26 in the Challenge

6x8in oil on canvas board $130. SOLD

Artist Note.
Painted during cherry season,
but it never made it to my blog.

I painted it at a friend's house
from life. I liked her nice shiny
colander better than the cherries.
It was a challenge to paint
the reflections

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kat - day 24

6x6in oil on canvas panel. Gifted to self!

This is my dear companion, Kat. A Blue Heeler.
She died a year ago and I have tried to paint her
several times. This is how this one came about.
It caught her anxious look perfectly

After making an abstract gesso 
mono printing on my canvas
I turned it around looking for an image to
The one below said waterfall!
Done that already.

This one said dark stream, snow 
and shadows

In this one you can clearly see a 
Native American's head in the middle 
with outstretched arm

and then this one...
I could clearly see the dogs eyes and nose
in the middle especially the nose.
Can you see it?
(click to enlarge.)

It inspired me to paint my
beloved dog in a way I had not done before
-  it was more about my memory
I am very happy with the results. I have had too
many failed results going from a photo.

If you are interested
Here is a previous Utube
video gesso demo

I showed some examples on my blog of painting
in color over abstract mono printing on canvas.
See back post gesso mono printing
and this post gesso mono waterfall

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mustard and Garlic.- Day 22-23

Mustard and Garlic
6x8in oil on canvas panel $130. SOLD

Artist Note.
Paint and group things which "relate" was the 
mantra at art school. 
A flower would not go as well with radish, 
onions and garlic as a jar of mustard would.
I always have flowers in my kitchen so 
why not?
A casual flower like a daisy or sunflower
looks great with my blue and white dish towels
but I have tried mixing them with the veggies
and it just doesn't work.
But... I am an impressionist and 
that could be why. Abstract them more 
and I know it would work.

Missed day 22 posting but I did work on 
completing several paintings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Roses and Gift -Day 21

Roses and Gift
6x8in oil on canvas panel $130. SOLD

Some guild member friends gave me this
beautiful lidded pot for Christmas.
I have already painted some
tiny studies in watercolor and this is my first
attempt in oils. I know I will be painting it again.

Artist Note,
I took a day off from the challenge yesterday,.
The workshop was over and I needed a day
to regroup and focus back on teaching.
It felt so good!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Figure Session - Day 19 in the Challenge.

Figure Session
12x9' oil on gesso board 

Artist Note.
The water-media workshop was great and
it gave me a feeling of freedom
in my oils. I had an opportunity 
to paint the figure today and went
at  it with a very fluid paint quality.
No drawing, but found my angles 
and proportions first with a script brush 
using transparent brown oxide
with Gamsol to make it flow
My favorite area is where the chain rests
between her breasts. 
The glare of wet paint caught on the area
her hair 
 in the photo But it doesn't matter as the 
painting is unfinished and 
stands as a study.
The workshop had some good
non-representational artists. 
The collage method was extra powerful
in that and the abstract area.

Here is a photo from the workshop.
at group critique time.
Nancy Frost Begin is holding the
collage and the actual painting is the 
one on the easel.
With Susan Hanssen standing to the left.

It is not one of mine, but I watched 
the experienced artist work on it from 
start to finish and I can tell you 
a strong and beautiful design like this is not easy 
to achieve.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Decorative Nest - workshop. Day 18

Decorative Nest
15x11" gouache on paper

Day 2
Susan Hanssen 

 Paint something in a way we would 
never paint it. Reach outside our 
comfort zone.
Susan's example was an abstracted chicken 
with a blue top-not instead of red! 

If you think of the very organic way I 
painted the nest and feather just a 
couple of days ago then you know
how much I pushed myself out 
of my comfort zone with this one.
Polka dotted eggs and bright colored 
branches/twigs - plus a border!!!

Step one was to mark up the paper 
in a random way with dark watercolor.
Those marks can be clearly seen behind the nest.
2. Draw the subject with watercolor crayon..
3. use transparent washes.
4. Finish with gouache. 
5.Touch up with watercolor crayons.

The border happened quite naturally
to stop the very bright nest from
appearing to float.

Decorative art can be fun and relaxing
and I quite enjoyed painting this. 

Here is a wonderful sheep Susan did.
The patterns are painted the same
 as from the collage study..
See more listed under sheep on her website

I was asked why I was taking a watercolor 
workshop from two artists who work
so differently to me. 
Simply this... when the opportunity comes 
along to have the opportunity to learn from two
artists of Nancy Frost Began
and Susan Hanssen's
incredible talent and teaching skills...
any artist should jump at the chance.
17 of us are very glad we did!
I am exhausted.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SW Landscape - Watermedia Workshop. Day 17

Southwest Landscape
24x20 watermedia on paper 
not for sale

Artist Note.
Today was the first day with the fabulous
Susan Hanssen.
It was very interesting because her
goal is to make us think in a different
viewpoint from our regular work.
We start by making a collage from
colored magazine papers assembled to fit 
an abstract view of a specific image.
Here is mine.

I really liked this method because it provided 
color and shape inspiration. 
I soon found out what did NOT work
regarding color or shape. Saves a lot of time
 messing it up later...with paint!

It was not easy, but I noticed everyone 
in the class turned out really good work.
People, pets, a fabulous
beetle and truck...
and abstract landscapes.
I think it is the planning that takes 
place for that first step which helped us all.

Changes took place automatically 
as the work progressed but the basic
design stayed in place.

1. Collage
2. Transparent washes
3. Gouache
4. Watercolor crayons

I don't want to give the impression it was
easy because I worked all day on this image
and there are still some areas 
which I am thinking changes may take place.
I will wait and think about it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Feather - Water-Media Workshop. Day 16

Feather and Nest
17"x13" water- media on paper

Artist Note
Another creative day.
I had a blast.
So many amazing artists are in the group 
 I can't help but be inspired 
by what they do, but the ooh and ahh moments
happened when
Nancy Frost Begin
worked on a painting to demo the
way we would be working.
I could have sat and watched her paint
all day long.
No such luck...She was very aware of
wanting her students to have time to paint.

This was another method where we painted 
on top of an old painting. No coating of acrylic
matt medium this time.
(I goofed and called it varnish yesterday.)
With this one
 white tempera paint was applied 
over the painting in different ways
and left to dry. Next, black (permanent) ink
was put on rather intuitively. 
Special instructions were given
 on the next step
of hosing the tempera off.
We did that yesterday.
See below
The resulting imagery
"spoke to me" and I saw 
the direction I wanted to go.
The underlying marks
provide some wonderful natural effects
one cannot create any other way.
I really like this painting.

What a creative and stimulating
two days they have been.
Thank you, Brilliant Nancy!

The next two days are with
Susan Hanssen.
She is fabulous painter.
I am looking forward to another
completely different approach.
See her work HERE

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Spider Mum - Watercolor Workshop. Day 15

Spider Mum
mixed water-media on rag paper.

Different for me I know.
This is a workshop painting and is still 
not finished. I may have to do some tweaking 
after I have time to look at it.

Artist Note.

It was an exciting and very busy day.
The instructors are
two award winning sisters
who have a mission to free
artists from the constrains of 
the traditional, and introduce
new methods to achieve 
creative fulfillment.
Their motto is 

Today, the first of two days out of four,
were with
Nancy Frost Begin
(Click her link at bottom)
The painting above was worked on top 
of an old painting which we had varnished.
I went freely into it with
great inspiration after watching Nancy's 
amazing demo using gouache.
She applied it in a certain way and then
 moved some around with various tools
allowing random areas of the original
painting to show through. 
This created beautiful abstract areas. 

My flower would look dorky on a regular
background, but I feel this method
provided some oomph!

Tomorrow we try another exciting method
involving tempera paint and permanent black ink.

Check out Nancy's amazing work 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sunrise At Caballo, NM. Day 14

Sunrise At Caballo, NM
6x8in oil on canvas panel $125. SOLD

The only time of the year the sunrise is
 in this position is during the winter
I am always amazed at the large swath 
the sun travels from summer to winter.
The sun doesn't always rise in the true 
east as far as my sense of direction
is concerned.

Artist Note.
Day 13 passed in a blur of busy work.
No post...gasp!
We are learning about the 
Ned Jacob Palette. 
I took a workshop from Ned in the later 80's 
at the Art Students League in Denver,
and his palette was all I used through 
most of the nineties.
That plus ONE accent color if needed. 
Like a turquoise for a door.
The colors.
Yellow light or med, Orange, Alizarin (Perm) 
Ultra Blue, Black and Titanium White
Beautiful harmony can be achieved
by mixing all the secondary and grays with 
with these few colors.
The most important reason for using a 
limited palette is to learn what is IN certain colors
Example... to make yellow ochre you have to use 
yellow and a reddish purple. 
Too blue a purple and you 
get marvelous greens
Fascinating stuff, color!

I did not cheat and used the limited palette 
for this painting knife painting.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tesuque, New Mexico - Day 12

Tesuque, New Mexico

6x8in oil on canvas panel $125. SOLD

Artist Note.

Painted this while the area 
is fresh in my mind from my trip 
this weekend.
Painted quickly using
  only the palette knife.

This consists of such simple 
but I love the color of the dirt
with the rich green of the pinons.

Busy time catching up
with everything. I will be heading 
round everyone's work soon.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rose Duo - Day 10 &11

Rose Duo
Watercolor on Strathmore paper

Artist Note.
Sorry - a lousy photo for accurate color, 
but seeing I did 
not post yesterday I went ahead
and posted it. 

Yesterday my hubby and I drove to 
Santa fe to visit a dear friend
who was critically ill in
the hospital. It is a four hour drive 
so it was an overnight trip.
Glad we went because she had just been 
taken out of the ICU after 5 days
and into CCU. A good sign.
She has a long way to go but the 
prognosis is good.

I painted on the way there
something from memory

I painted on the way back
experimenting on Yupo

Several more "starts" were fussed over.
Maybe to be worked on the next trip?

The weather difference was quite profound.
This is what 300 miles can do.
This morning we left this weather in Santa Fe
and sailed past this beautiful scene with just
one hour left to arrive back in Las Cruces.

I love the diversity of this beautiful
Land Of Enchantment.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Farmers Market - day 9

Farmers Market #26
8x6in Oil on canvas $145. SOLD

Artist Note.
This is a fully realized study.
It started off as a sketch 
during the summer and I kept going
here and there until today when 
I added some finishing touches.
I call it a study because I
became very aware of what, how...
and why I was placing the paint.
The reason...
I am working on a huge Farmers Market
painting. A commission.
Huge for me. 
It is 43in high by 62 inches across. 
That is equal to 50 of my daily paintings.

I will be doing some Farmers Market
paintings to help get me back into the 
groove - so to speak -  
and I will be sprinkling them 
amongst the challenge paintings.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Snowy Sunset - Day 8

Snowy Sunset
8x6in oil on canvas  $125. Donated

The glow of a warm sunset against the cool
shadow of the snow makes an artist 
forget the cold.

Artist Note
Regarding the post about the circular 
rainbow on day 6

I was thrilled when this kind artist sent me the 
following email confirming my experience.

When I saw your rainbow painting
I knew it was a "Pilot's Halo".
I was a stewardess back in the 60's
and whenever we saw the shadow of
the plane against the cloud below
surrounded by a full rainbow
we used to love to make the announcement
and tell everyone to look
 and it created some excitement....
today when I see one I call the flight attendant
and ask them if they know what a Pilot's Halo 
is so I can show them...but 
they don't seem to care.
I guess the glamour and excitement 
has gone out of being a stewardess!!!
Maryann Stephens

Maryann belongs to a group of 
 8 artists who - get this - all
paint on the SAME PAINTING!
(Talk about collaboration!)
The results are truly amazing.
Do yourselves a favor and
check out how fabulous their
website is HERE

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

More Pears! Day 7

More Pears

6x8in oil on canvas panel  125.

Artist Note
It appears I am working on a
run of pears at the moment.
They are fun, but it
happened all on its own and I cannot
call it a series because I usually 
plan for those.
I have authorized my
 left hand to slap the brush 
right out of my right 
hand if it tries to paint another pear
for at least a week!
Time to do something else

Happy News
I NEVER win anything so imagine my
delight at winning a beautiful 
sunflower painting by Sharon l Graves.
Check out the painting at the
River Run Gallery

I have been visiting Sharon's blog for quite a 
while now and she always has interesting 
information along with her 
lovely artwork.
You can also scroll down to the previous
post where she demonstrates my 
useful correcting with glass hint.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Demo Vases - day 6


8x6 work in progress

Artist Note.
It was back to teaching all day today 
and this was 
 a very quick demo this morning.
Was the demo anything to do with 
something you would find interesting...
probably not. 

The painting below could be though.
It is a rainbow painted looking down from
 a plane. 
I always get a window seat  
and take my little painting kit.
I looked down after the drinks were 
served and there is was. 
I am embarrassed to tell you I called the flight
attendant to made sure of what I was seeing
She actually gave me an Eye Roll and a sigh...
(you pay to get abused like that.)
and in a condescending way I was told was a rainbow.
and YES...rainbows are ROUND 
...never felt so dumb. 
Of course I was used to seeing half the circle
because the ground blocks the rest of it. 
Did we have this in school?
Or is it so elementary everyone knows but me.
See the center - that is the shadow of the plane
Honest to god...painted on the spot
as I actually saw it.
Rainbow, dessert ground with small bushes,

Monday, January 5, 2015

Blurry Pears - Watercolor. Day 5

Blurry Pears
6x6 watercolor on paper 

Artist Note
First, I want to thank you for all the
good wishes for my hubby. 
He was a little too smug about all the 
attention, but as he still isn't back to normal
I cut him some slack and let him bask in it.
I caught him checking my blog comments
all day long!!
You are a very kind bunch of bloggers.
I do appreciate you all - very much.

This is an experiment and at the first stage.
It was a study for the pair of pears I did on day 2.
The blurring is intentional.
 I am going to bring it back into
focus very slowly. 
Will show it you then. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Red Teapot - Day 4

My Red Teapot

7x9in watercolor on moleskin paper  SOLD

Artist Note
Remember in my last post 
saying painting only 
one item is so much easier...

Well...this is almost one item with 
the pot and cup linked together.
My regular followers know
how many times I have painted this 
much loved teapot.

Started from memory
in ER during the final hour when I knew
all would be okay.

On a serious note.
I am passing this info on in case 
it can be helpful.

I spent 9 hours in the ER with my 
hubby yesterday. 
A very serious allergy reaction to a 
med he had been taking 15 years.
We are all familiar with a reaction to 
something immediate - like a bee sting
or food, but I was unaware that you 
can also have a gradual 
build up leading to a very severe one.
He has had a dry cough for a couple of 
years and that was apparently 
a symptom all was not well.

The ER doctor 
recognized the culprit was 
Enapril for blood pressure, 
causing the Angioedema
He started the standard treatment
 We had some heart thumping moments
of fear and dread.
The clever (young) doctor remembered 
reading something and went and 
researched on the 
computer and found it.
Fresh Frozen plasma 
has started to be used as a successful treatment.
Keep that part in mind if  you 
or someone you know
is ever in a similar predicament...
especially in a small town hospital 
where they do not see a lot of
One pouch of drip drip and the swelling 
started to respond and after the second 
bag he could feel he wasn't 
suffocating to death

The drugs in the 
category ACE inhibitors.
are used for:
blood pressure
coronary artery disease,
chronic renal disease and 
recurrent stroke

if interested -read details HERE

Praising God for answered prayers.
Our grateful thanks to 
Paul and Lindy Bridgers 
who came over and prayed for 
my husband and the 
MVRHospital's Doctor Kinkel.