It’s Funny

All Decked Out” Watercolor 8″ x 11″ $50.

How things work. I am on a mission in the studio. Pulling apart closets, drawers, paper storage, etc. even starting setting the timer so I don’t make more of a mess than I can handle. All inspired by seeing a fellow artist’s wall of paintings. Go figure.

Recently another artist friend posted some work she’d done on her iPad. I’ve had the Procreate app and an ipencil for ages. It’s always kind of baffled me. A little past my technical skills.

But I had done a small painting for a Monthly Challenge on Paint My Photo. The challenge was to paint something decorated. Immediately an Arabian Costume class popped into my head. These elegant creatures galloping around with tassels, tinkling chains twinkling in the light, manes and tails flowing beneath velvet. Very dramatic.

I found a great reference photo by Ainslie-Gilles-Patel which can be found here. Love those tassels.

It’s funny. There are artists who won’t use others’ photos, there are shows that won’t allow you to use others’ photos. There are some who believe you shouldn’t even paint from a photo at all.

I think that’s all very funny. Frankly, this was what I wanted to paint. Closing my eyes I could visualize the scene, the sounds, the hoof beats. I got so carried away I forgot about my background.

Usually my background is part of my painting process. But in these days painting for fun and pleasure, I hadn’t considered it. I liked what I had done and would normally put a green or blue background on it…..but I do have these new colors on my palette.

Bingo……enter Procreate. That was pretty funny too. It wasn’t pretty, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. But being able to change the background color over and over was a a riot….like having a big new box of crayons.

Settled on one of the new colors. Let’s hear it for fun.

“Did You Art Today?”


It Doesn’t Always Work

New colors, old colors, I will repeat a phrase I used often while teaching.  They are not always masterpieces.  In some cases, you don’t even like them.

Still using my new colors, and the lovely journal with the handmade paper.  I decided to try a painting today that included water drops.  Inspired by Nitamp’s photo on Paint My Photo, a morning glory reference shot seemed like a good choice.

The supposed water drops morphed into some sort of grey white bug. The more I messed, the worse it got.  Lesson learned.  Practice water drops…..maybe on paper that is a bit smoother.

What lessons have you learned lately?

“Did You Art Today?”

National Bikini Day

While I didn’t participate, we did go to Coquina Beach so I could watch others enjoy this important holiday.

Inspired by Dory Kanter’s book, “Art Escapes”. There are wonderful daily exercises in this book to inspire one’s creativity.

“Did You Art Today?”

New Colors, Part Three

A shout out of thanks to Medford Florist in Medford, NJ. The owner has graciously allowed me permission to paint from pictures of the glorious floral creations he posts on his Instagram account that can be found here. Thank you much. Not sure my paintings will do his creations justice, but it’s a great way for me to experiment with this new palette.

This painting has a familiar feel. While I used the Quinacridone Magenta, Permanent Green Light and Ultramarine Violet (in my opinion a wishy washy color that is useless), I wound up adding my old standard, Quinacridone Sienna to get the darks I wanted, and a bit of Opera to pop the pink. Not sure it would look much different if I had painted it with just four colors and the Opera. May repaint this with my limited palette to see how much of a difference I get. Also, I used Fabriano paper versus Arches. Not a favorite either.

It’s all fun…it’s all new…and that’s the point. Stretching out the creative process to see what happens.

“‘Did You Art Today?”


In my quest to keep decluttering, I recently watched some videos that were passed on to me by my mentor, Dan Hines.

Watching the master, Stephen Quiller, paint an amazing landscape, it struck me that I should add some colors to my palette. After painting with a four color palette for over 15 years, why I thought this was a good idea is still buzzing in my brain.

Perhaps it’s my upcoming social security check that made me to decide to splurge. If not now, when? And if these twelve colors were good enough for him, surely they could shake up the studio.

It has not been easy.

I cleaned my palette to the bones. Not an easy task after years of color in the same wells. It was sparkly white as I labeled the wells. Something I didn’t need with just a four color palette.

A trip to the local art supply is always a treat. So I was rather thrilled when I got home….a little too much as I over squeezed one tube of fresh new paint all over my pristine palette. No problem, I’ll just clean it up.

When I picked up the open palette, the hinge broke. Sending the palette to the floor….face down. Now there were puddles of fresh paint on the floor. No problem, I’ll just clean it up.

Oops….that’s not the orange I wanted. Okay, we’ll go back to the art store tomorrow to exchange the orange and buy a new palette.

Once they were all on the palette, I found myself not loving the vibe.

Normally I am very accepting of change. This has been a bit weird.

So today, I actually got to paint with the colors. It was awkward and unfamiliar. The paints haven’t yet to be transferred to a new palette. Figured I needed something familiar besides my brushes for now.

A simple floral, always a favorite to paint. Not feeling a big difference with the exception of the ultramarine blue, and missing my Quinacridone Sienna. And I found myself making more mud than usual. So many choices.

Resisting I guess. Even this blog has been a bit difficult. For some reason I kept deleting the photos. Yeah, I’m sure that’s a sign too.

Change is inevitable, but this change was a choice. We often don’t have a choice in the changes in our life. I am going to use this change to stretch and grow. Sometimes those changes that we don’t chose can be viewed the same.

But frankly……We’ll see how long the palette stays full,

“Did You Art Today?”


“Taking a Break” Approximately 10″ x 9″. If interested, just drop me a line.

Indebted to the wonderful website Paint My Photo, not just for the wonderful photos that photographers share copywrite-free for any artist to use for reference, but for the many resources and sense of community they bring to an artist.

It’s a free website that also has many groups hosting monthly or bimonthly challenges. Definitely a great resource. Currently free to use, they always appreciate donations.

May’s challenge for the Monthly Challenge Group was “The Figure”. Not in my strong skill set, but then again, what’s a challenge if it’s easy? And how many years have I told myself I’m going to work on my people painting skills. I used a wonderful photo by Rosie-Posie.

Part of the appeal of the photo (besides the ice cream cones), was the mystery. I couldn’t decide if they were tourists, or on their weekly shopping trip. Was this a routine, or a special occasion. While it makes no difference, I found their relaxed posture and obvious enjoyment a pull to put them down on paper.

What story do you see?

“Did You Art Today?”

Five Day Challenge – Day 5

After two false starts with acrylics, I went back to my watercolors today….this was the toughest day of all.

Maybe what I learned from this 20 minute painting challenge is that I really do enjoy my watercolors.


“‘Did You Art Today?”

Five Day Challenge Day 4

Watercolor, approximately 4″ x 7″

Done in 15 minutes on South Lido with the actual shell in hand.

Challenge is a good word for day 4. I had actually painted a disaster of a pelican on Day 3, as I knew we would be going to the beach on Day 4. You can see below, that didn’t work out too well.

Pelican, acrylic approximately 5″ x 8″ Done in 20 minutes

So I took my beloved traveling watercolor set to the beach. Lots of warm sunshine and a bit of a breeze didn’t allow for many soft edges. That paint dried almost when it hit the paper.

Posting both as a reminder they are not all masterpieces. And that’s fine in this journey of the creative soul.


“‘Did You Art Today?”

Five Day Challenge Day 2

Acrylic on Arches HP 140 lb. paper, approximately 6″ x 8″

A bit more organized this morning. Had my picture (again from the Paint My Photos site, this time the photographer was Rodney Campbell) already selected., and my desk a bit cleaner than yesterday.

I even set the timer for the allotted 20 minutes. If I’d had another minute or so, I could have fixed the top beak. But, I’ll do that later today. Not as much paint on as many things today. That’s progress. Still feeling my way around these acrylics.


“Did You Art Today?”