Monday, September 30, 2013

Peacock Study

Peacock Study/ watercolor/ 10 x 7.5
The goal for this painting was to capture the iridescence of the peacock's feathers using regular watercolors.
Tomorrow, I may add some of the gold powder to increase the appearance of the "shine". If I do this, I will repost.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rabbit #5: Approved

Rabbit #5: Approved: watercolor/  10 x 12/ Low Country Gallery
Yesterday, my watercolor workshop began painting this rabbit. This is the example for the class. In a recent post, I mentioned that I had painted four watercolor rabbit paintings before this one. None of them were "keepers".
 Artist Note: I like this painting because the rabbit is "soft. The softness is described by lots of water and granulating paint so the fur "paints itself". This is contrasted with the glassiness of its eye.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Watercolor Workshop: Texture!!

We have 2 1/2 hours of exercises before we start our painting tomorrow. This collage is a sneak peak of three of those exercises.

We will learn to paint the sharp clean droplet shapes, the round glassy iris of a dog, the texture of rocks, in addition to fur, spatter, drip, bleed backs, whites....can hardly wait!! Wish you were here!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thank you for visiting us at Suttons!!!!

Here are the artists woking outside Suttons today. Thank you for visiting with us and sharing the fabulous weather. We had a wonderful time painting with you (after we got over the fear of starting in public). We had such a great time that we hope that Ashley will invite us to her beautiful courtyard again.
In the meanwhile, remember that she has some beautiful gift ideas for Christmas from stocking stuffers to that beautiful painting you want framed or one that needs to be a gift to yourself!!

Thanks again!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


The colors are completely imaginary in this little painting. I felt like painting bright colors to go with sunshine since these people were carrying their umbrellas for sun, not rain.

Tomorrow, I will be demonstrating at Suttons and my plan is to work on a large silk painting......I haven't dome one for months so this could be a lot of fun but may not result in a painting....stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Goldfish Friends

Goldfish Friends/watercolor/ 5 x 8.5/ SOLD

This is a small watercolor today as I complete the checklist for our Artist Demo and sale on Thursday, September 26 at Suttons starting at 11 AM.

I love the little white fish in this painting. This one actually shows the "shine" on its body. This was achieved by small value shifts and cool warm colors close together.

Today. I also completed my little book of fruits and vegetables. You can see it by clicking here.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September Grapes

Only three days until the Artists' Demonstration (and sale) in Sutton's new courtyard (Thursday, September 26 11-6)! Matting, wrapping, inventory, selection of giveaway drawing prizes, samples of books, calendars, class descriptions...the list to be ready is being checked off.

I have also been working on a rabbit watercolor for this week's workshop on Saturday, September 27. The class will explore "texture" in watercolor. Following a series of exercises, we will paint a step-by-step painting. The distinct texture differences between the clear eyes and soft fur of a rabbit seemed an ideal subject. However, as I will share with my class, I am still not completely happy with my painting (now four rabbits later). They are all acceptable, but by Saturday, we'll be working on something special!! I lost a student, so if you are interested, let me know.

Today's painting is a study in my favorite visual compliments (reds and blues). If there is more sunlight tomorrow, I want to reshoot these and work on them again.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chessmen (second version)

I don't usually post my larger paintings on my blog. However, I wanted to share this painting.
I have painted a different image of these men, painted in different colors. That particular painting (Chessmen (version1) juried into The Emerald Art Center  (Oregon) National Juried Show in 2012.
I am thrilled that this painting, Chessmen (version 2), by its acceptance in the North Carolina Watercolor Society National Juried Show 2013, earned my Signature Status.  In addition, this painting was awarded the "Russell Yerkes Service Award"' and was selected for the travel show. For people close to me, Barton College will host the WSNC Traveling Exhibition after the Blowing Rock exhibition closes. The opening date will be Wednesday, November 6, 2013. A reception is scheduled for Saturday, November 9th 5 to 7pm at the Case Art Building,  Art Gallery Building on the Barton College campus. The exhibition closes December 16, 2013.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Green and Red

This is a painting done a couple of weeks ago. I posted it because today I was unhappy with the paintings I worked on. That usually means that tomorrow will be a better painting day.

Today we spent some time on details for our artist demonstration event next Thursday (see below). I hope if you are local, that you will come and visit us, have a treat and shop in Suttons' Gallery that features work (including handmade soap, jams, pottery, jewelry) from North Carolina artists.
It starts at 11AM and extends for people that work until 6PM.

Hope to see you there!
And hope that tomorrow is a better painting day.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fading in the Sunlight

Fading in the Sunlight/ watercolor/ 8.5 x 13/SOLD
This morning, I was attracted to the light on this flower as I flipped through images. I am retesting papers as I get ready for my upcoming watercolor workshop. This painting used 300# Arches cold pressed. The 300 # allows me more time to work with the leading edge of my wash.

I have been recharged with my watercolors after winning an award in the NC watercolor show last weekend!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

North Carolina Shore

 I think the North Carolina beaches are beautiful with their grass-topped dunes and clear blue skies.

Artist Note: This is a larger format painting (7 x 13) and is painted on canvas attached to masonite. Next, I would like to explore adding more texture to this type of painting.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Home After a Rafting Adventure in the Grand Canyon

The smiles in this photo are for the thoughts of a shower and real bathroom after six days rafting down the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry to the bottom of Bright Angel Trail. This past week, my posts were prescheduled because I was "off the grid" and completely disconnected, which was very different.
Instead of my usual internet connection, my evenings were filled with tent construction, tent relocation for flash flooding, bright star constellations, and vast silence.  I had hoped to have a painting from my trip to post today. Unfortunately, for my painting plans, we had so much rain the first three days of this trip that my watercolor pad was still damp (and painting itself) as it was unpacked late yesterday.
Instead of sharing a painting , I will recommend that, if the Grand Canyon is on your list of "to dos" that you check out the Arizona Rafting Company (link). Consider seeing the canyon from the river and then "feel" its immensity as you hike out (7 miles and 5000 feet up). Running the rapids with guides as experienced as this outfit employs is exhilarating and fantastic fun (because you are truly in great hands).
Today, I did paint a commission for a friend whose father is ill. Tomorrow, I hope to be back on track to share a new painting.

For any locals, I hope you have your calendars marked for September 26 to come visit Suttons Framing's new courtyard and ask questions while Sharon Thorp, Marion Weathers and I paint and James Martin throws pots.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wind in my Hair

Wind in my Hair/ oil on board/ 8 x 8
This royal tern was caught on a windy day at Hilton Head. My goal was to paint the expression of the day and the "wind" at the beach.

Artist Note: To express the wind, I painting strokes that were varied in direction, many diagonal.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Second New Fish #1

This is the first sketch of my second new fish. Again, not as translucent and shiny as I want....
If the sun comes out later today, I'll try for some new images and then try again.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Laughing Gull Sketch

Laughing Gull Sketch/ watercolor/ 4.5 x 6/ Sold
This sketch is working on loosening up.

Artist Note: To apply paint like this, I first paint middle values using a lot of water (see the blooms especially apparent in the background water). After dry, I then add small shapes of increased value.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Little Toucan

Little Toucan/ oil on board/ 4 x 4/ $75
I wanted to paint with a bright color palette and this little toucan from Sylvan seemed like the perfect choice.

Artist Note: The blues were a a combination of horizon blue, Shiva ice blue and some branch color dropped in. The branch was persian rose and unbleached titanium white.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Colorful Crab

Colorful Crab/ watercolor/ 5x7/ $65
A painting experimenting with the effects of light. My intent was to express the bright sunlight  using both value shifts and color temperature changes.

Artist Note: This is one of my experiments before my series exploring light.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Duck Study

Duck Study/ oil on board/ 6 x 12/ available at Low Country Gallery )(HH)
This little painting was painted on canvas cloth that I mounted to hardboard. It was interesting to me that the ducks became bright after I lightened areas in the background. This is one of the observations that has motivated me to relearn about light in painting...series still in progress.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Small Commission

Commission/ watercolor/ 7 x 5/ sold
I loved the sunlight on the source photo for this small commissioned painting. My goal with these little paintings is to express the light, the essence of the child (or older person) and use lots of color.
I especially like the whites to run into unpainted areas of the background.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Painted standing in this composition, these little sandpipers were not artistically interesting to me. I therefore started to move the paint around and then repainted more color in various areas. Improved but still not what I am going for....

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Fish #1

New Fish #1/ watercolor/ 4 x 6/ $50
This is a tiny painting of one of my new fish. The old fish was set "free" in a wonderful Koi Pond where he is thriving. This fish was interesting because of its beautiful extra fins and the clean orange and white.

Artist Note: I want to repaint this with the intent of capturing the shine on the body.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Large Jam Jars

Love the light on these jars!  I wanted to work with a cloth having the jars interact with a background.
I have somewhere to be so I will relook at this later and see about corrections or improvements.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Beginning a Commissioned Portrait

To paint this large portrait (which will be 16 x 20), I begin by painting a practice piece. This practice will allow me to become familiar with the subject, push the light for shape and mentally prepare.

 Artist Note: This is a loose sketch on the back of a discarded painting. It is about 15 x 10. The first part of the portrait is a washy application of cobalt blue, viridian green and permanent rose.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sylvan Sunlight

Sylvan Sunlight/ watercolor/ 6 x 6/ Low Country Gallery
This is not the series on light (yet). My first painting in the light series was wiped three times....lots to learn, but that is why I am doing this. In the meanwhile,  here is a new friend from the Sylvan Heights Bird Park. I had a wonderful day of sunshine which may translate into many new bird paintings!

Artist Note: This painting is mostly values f sepia. To round out the form, there is a little (warm) burnt sienna and (cool) cerulean blue.