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?”


Every Once In A While

……. I wonder why I still paint. Why I keep all these art supplies. Why do I need such a big studio. It could all be done on my iPad.

Starting on the shelves under my desk, the abundance is embarrassing. Palettes, canvasses (I rarely paint in acrylics, let alone oils?) But there they sit, enticing me with the possibility that the next best painting could be on that palette, or will show up on that canvass. The studio is encircled with storage cabinets filled with supplies, books, stencils, card making supplies, old sketchbooks, stacked framed paintings. It’s a big room….it holds a lot of creativity.

While we’re at it, let’s look at the paintings themselves. First they go to the line….a wire clothes line with clips that hold my latest endeavors. Recently I saw another artist’s version of the line. The paintings looked similar, the style familiar and consistent. My latest foray into expanding my palette has resulted in an interesting mix on the line. (Did I really paint that horse with the orange background?) When I painted with a four color palette, they had a consistency. But I’ve thrown that to the universe, in my latest playing episode.

When I get tired of looking at them on the line, they head to the bins. One bin for the larger paintings, one bin for the smaller. Occasionally I will flip through these, usually in need of raiding a mat for something I’ve sold or promised to a friend. (We all know how much I hate to cut mats.) #

Occasionally, when the bins get too full, I go through them and decide the painting is pointless. At this point I usually cut it into 4″ x 6″ sizes and use the back to paint greeting card paintings. They go in a drawer. Out of my way and out of sight until I need to rifle through and pick one for a happy or sad occasion.

At this point in my life, these are, frankly, my favorite art form. They are quick and fun. I pick subjects from the Paint My Photo Site, or from my own photos, that don’t need to be major undertakings. I can experiment, play with that new palette, and they eventually leave the house, hopefully brightening someone’s mailbox.

You know I can’t stop. It’s just something I have to do. But every once in a while…..

“Did You Art Today?”

Card Art

Thanks to Brian for his wonderful photos of critters and birds eating out of his Buddha bowl. These photos can be found on the wonderful photo sharing website, Paint My Photo.

Another small painting (4″ x 6″) destined to become a greeting card.

“Did You Art Today?”

Let The Love Out

The studio has been a bit quiet recently. Some health issues in our household kept things a bit busy. Thankfully, and blessedly, all is well. We are very grateful.

The top painting “Curled Kitty” 6″ x 8 3/4″ $50, was painted for a challenge on the website Paint My Photo. This month’s challenge was “circles”. Finding the photo posted by Lovejoy for a reference, certainly fit the bill.

The bird and the floral are greeting card paintings. The bird has already been received by it’s birthday girl. The other will go into the drawer to be used for upcoming birthdays, retirements, good luck, thinking of you and what seems to be the growing number of sympathy cards I have been sending.

It was good to wet the brushes and paints again. Sometimes we don’t know how much we miss something until it’s gone.

My advice today? Don’t hesitate to let those you love know how much they mean to you.

Wishing you all a love filled day!

“Did You Art Today?”

Flower Journal Continued

“Monrovia – Golden Shrimp Plant” 6″ x 9″ watercolor.

Having decided the journal with the handmade paper should be devoted to florals, our recent trip to Selby Gardens took on a mission…..more flower photos!

We originally went to see the stunning art glass exhibit with a large showing by Duncan McClellan. That nasty red tide made us skip our usual stroll through the gardens, out to the Sarasota Bay lookout. But I still managed to get some flower photos to use for reference.

“Did You Art Today?”

Still Messing with the New Colors.

Between visitors, another birthday and the installation of our whole house generator recently, my paintbrushes have been gathering dust. Doesn’t happen very often, so I settled in to shake out the cobwebs. Can you tell which one I did first?

Two versions of the same reference photo from Mary Carter on the reference photo site Paint My Photo. Both about 6″ x 9″ in my journal with the handmade paper. I am thinking about devoting the entire journal to florals. When it’s done perhaps I’ll pull it apart and make some cards.

Felt good to be in the studio today.

“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?”