Two Comfortable

Soft Violets, 16″ x 12″, Arches 140 lb. paper, Daniel Smith paints.

My class again this week was mostly in my comfort zone.  So much that I painted four paintings in the span of a 3 hour class.  Was really trying to see if I could do five….but it didn’t happen.
We wet certain areas of the paper (with no regard to placement) and then started right in painting flowers.  This was my first painting.  Will post the others over the next few days.  

The soft and hard edges emerged of their own will.  A big fan of wetting both the back and front of my paper, then taking off the excess from the front, I know I’ve got soft edges from the get go.  Not knowing where these little vixens would show up, added a bit of excitement and forced me to concentrate on where I wanted those soft edges.  Sometimes the spray bottle came in handy.

Next week will be my last class for a bit.  Our travel plans this fall preclude another six week session with this teacher who stretches my skills, sometimes making me question my creativity.  One of her favorite phrases is, “it’s only paper”…..probably the reason I enjoy her teaching style so much.  So while I’ll miss the structure of painting at least once a week, I know I’ll carry these lessons forward, even if they don’t always show up in my paintings.

“Did You Art Today?”

Emergency Art Kit

My husband’s and my car both have Emergency Art Kits in them.  They consist of a repurposed Omaha Steak box that contains a small sketchbook, a mechanical pencil and Fabre Castel eraser.  Preferring  kneaded erasers, I’ve learned the hard way that they can make a mess after sitting in the Florida heat in the car.

Today’s concert at Selby Gardens is the perfect example of how handy they can be.  Sitting under the banyan tree listening to live music, I’m reminded how you can “art” anywhere if you’ve got some simple supplies.

“Did You Art Today?”


In the watercolor class I’m taking, yesterday’s lesson was on stenciling. Having done a 30 painting in 30 days challenge a few years ago, I experimented extensively with stencils and my favorite four colors.  Watered down in spray bottles, feeling a thrill when pushing that nozzle and then lifting the stencil to reveal the pattern.  Great fun and always producing unintended and interesting textures.

Comfortable in my class yesterday, and comfortable with the results.

“Did You Art Today?”

Sketching at the Pool

We’re spending the holiday weekend at Bonnet Creek Resort in the Disney area near Orlando. 

With lots of kids splashing and sliding down the water slide, I challenged myself to find something quiet to draw and paint.  

Then I had to tackle some of the people at the snack bar.

Happy July 4th everyone.
”Did You Art today?”

Cat Mojo

My painting class is not going as planned.  In my first five week session, I came home energized and excited, even if I didn’t like my paintings so much.

This session I have to keep reminding myself they are not all masterpieces.

Take my cat painting, or paintings to be more accurate. Done from a photo I took of one of the barn cats at Arrowhead Stables, I loved my sketch. 

Our first class was on putting a mat around your painting by blurring the corners with paint.  First try….muddy, too many colors, too much.  

Second try.  Too many hard edges.

When I came home from class, I tried to “fix” the first painting, only succeeding in making it worse.  Usually there is a freedom in tackling an unhappy painting.  You can try anything you want……not this time.  Think I can find a greeting card in the head on this second version of the first painting.

This week we worked on adding texture to a painting using different techniques.  I started with a Sandhill Crane that turned into a muddy mess.  Then I tackled the cat again. A bit better, but feeling my mojo is getting a bit distracted or diluted.   

What to do to get it back? Take a break, paint more, change up my palette?  Any suggestions?
“Did You Art Today?”

Double Dose of Paradise

Two more for our home.  These two will be framed and reside on either side of our bed, above the nightstand.  I found some really sweet bamboo look frames in the thrift store and will mat them in a tan mat to give the paintings a vintage feel.  But first I need a trip to Sarasota Art & Frame to pick up my framed acrylic Ibis painting and to find just the right color mat.

“Did You Art Today?”

´╗┐Living in Florida

FullSizeRender-8Almost done my latest painting. Another commission for our home.

This is quite a different painting for me.  First, it’s acrylics.  Not my usual media.  And, it’s  actually a planned painting.  Normally I’m a grab the brushes and paint kind of gal with   perhaps a few pencil marks for placement.  But as this is 24″ by 36″, a stretched canvas and I want it prominently displayed in our living room; the center of our home, the area where we live, I actually did some preliminary work including a value and color sketch.  The birds were then sketched the appropriate size onto tracing paper, cut apart, and rearranged several times…. eventually winding up near where they started.


The white ibis are the most prominent birds in our new backyard that includes a pond.  They wander around the edges, picking, poking and preening, making sketching and photographing them easy.  Watching them jockey for best position, moving intricately between each other without touching a feather.  They seem peaceful, content and happy to be part of our landscape.

They are very different than any birds that lived in our heavily wooded backyard in Medford, NJ and therefore, mesmerizing.  For me they signify, I am actually now residing in Florida full time.  Just like these three.  After 64 years in one area of the United States, I have been able to realize another dream. Who’d a thunk!

Still a few tweeks before sealing it, and sending it off to the framer (yes, I am actually going to pay someone to frame versus doing it myself!), I will post the full painting when it’s actually finished.  Just thought I’d give you a peak into the making of my painting and how my art comes from my heART.
“Did You Art Today?”