Shake It Up

Finished my third, fourth and and fifth commission for our home today. At least two more planned, and there could be more

These three paintings were done for our “Florida” guest room. To contrast with the serene “Jersey” guest room (filled with items from our New Jersey home), I wanted this room to feel more tropical.

And, in fact, I actually planned these paintings.   More of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants artist when painting loosely, I really, truly, did some preliminary work in my sketchbook before putting paint on my brush. 

Add to that,  I plastered watercolor ground over the shapes on the paper, making me have to wait 24 hours for it to dry before I could start painting. (A killer for someone with the patience of a two year old.) If that wasn’t enough new, I used some of my new QoR watercolor paints made by Golden, a US paint company. They are brilliant, even if a bit more “spready” than my trusty Daniel Smith paints.  For my final shake it up,  I painted them all at the same time.  Something else I’ve never done.

They liven up the room, and all that experimentation certainly added a bounce in my step today.  What have you done lately to shake it up?

“Did You Art Today?”


Single Shell Game

My second commission for myself.  There are at least five more planned.  Three for the Florida guest room, and at least two for the living area.

Which brings me to my workshop yesterday.  Attending a free demo put on by a major paint manufacturer at Art & Frame of Sarasota, a great, locally owned candy stor……oh wait, it’s an art store, I was impressed by our presenter.  Staying to participate in a workshop in the afternoon, I found the class interesting, but don’t see using the image transfer process useful for future work for me.

 A pro, who makes a living through his art, I liked his work.  Near the end of the workshop, one student asked if he exhibited locally.  He doesn’t do that kind of art, he smugly responded.  He doesn’t do work that matches the sofa.  Therefore he believes his work won’t sell in an area filled with tourists and snowbirds.  Implying what I wondered?  That all tourists and snowbirds are incapable of appreciating or understanding his art?

Contemplating his comments,  I chuckled. Wondering what he’d say if he knew I were painting to match my guest bathroom.  

“Did You Art Today?”

Shell Game

Commissioning myself to do some fun art projects for our new home.

The high ceilings with good hanging space, bright light and tropical flavors of Florida, seem to be calling for some different art to hang on the walls.  Already repurposed a soft and subtle sunrise/sunset painting that hung in our bedroom in NJ and added a big colorful palm tree for one of the guest bedrooms.  

This shell painting is for the guest bathroom, and mimics the design found on the shower curtain.  Started off as an acrylic on canvas, didn’t like where it was going, added some watercolor ground on the seashell areas, and painted those with watercolor.  I’ll add an acrylic coat to seal it from the moisture in this room. Plan on doing a similar square format painting with a single shell using the same process for another piece in the same room.

Kind of fun painting what I need for our new space.  While they don’t always come out as I’d envisioned, I’m always up for the game.

“Did You Art Today?”

We’ll See


It is my custom to do a year-end recap at Wallace Studios.  As my art is so much a part of who I am, it’s hard not to do a personal review at the same time.

In between selling a home, relocating 1,200 miles, and two months later selling a condo and moving again (only four miles this time) and the various, never-ending things to do in order to accomplish that, I was surprised to learn, I did art last year.

When asked myriad questions about studio space, my business, my plans, etc., my mantra became “We’ll see.”  It afforded me space to breath, and decide as life played out. It also helped calm the melt-downs… least most of the time.

My work this year consisted of 8 commissions, a personal painting for a family member, donated three paintings, sold a painting to England and Australia, was featured on Doodlewash’s blog and participated in a 30 painting in 30 day challenge sponsored by the World Watercolor Group, a group started by Doodlewash.  Those paintings were all small sized and turned into cards sent to the Bring Smiles to Forgotten Seniors group.

While that’s a far cry from most years, IIWII (it is was it is).

That doesn’t count the sketches that kept me grounded.  When painting wasn’t an option, as was often the case, I turned to sketching new-to-me birds and scenery.  The above watercolor sketch of the Buddha at Selby Gardens is one of my favorites. (A subliminal message, I am sure.)

It’s hard to do a recap without thinking about the New Year.  Already signed up for a workshop, hoping to paint with one or both of the plein air groups down here, and thinking it would be fun to gather some people to do field sketching at The Celery Fields where I volunteer.

But life IS different in Florida.  Jim is retired, the beach, and weather call for play more often than in NJ.

Rather than making  goals and plans this year, I think I’ll stick with what worked last year.

“We’ll see.”

“Did You Art Today?”





The Right Light

My African Violet and Prayer Plant are the only plants that made the cut when we downsized (only to upsize shortly thereafter) and moved from New Jersey to Florida.   The prayer plant has a superstitious associated with answered prayers, so I know why that one made the trip.   But I’m not sure why the African Violet made the cut.  It had some pretty leaves, but the only color it ever shared was the flowers that faded quickly after I bought it. 

On today’s chore list was to repot this plant which now sits on my windowsill in the dining area of the kitchen.  Spilling pinkish flowers constantly, I am amazed at how pretty and full it has become in the five months since we moved into this house. Proving the right light is essential for growth and flowers.

As life has settled after our relocation and move, I am looking to get back to painting more.  Realizing laying color on paper is my light.   Do you know what your light is?  Do you have the right light in your environment?

In any case, before tackling the messy repotting job, I figured I’d paint the pretty thing first in case there were any unforeseen accidents.

Think it might be time to also repot the overflowing prayer plant. It’s newfound gigantic size tells me it, too, loves the light here.

“Did You Art Today?”