Tuesday, March 30, 2010


After living with the negative painting of the gladiolas for just a little while, several glaring problems slapped me in the face. The flowers looked "cookie cutter", there were no soft or lost edges, and the basic composition on the right flower stalk was incorrect. You can't really have a large flower on the bottom, 3 baby flowers in the middle and then another larger one at the top...Mother Nature just doesn't work like that. I tried to keep in mind that there was no pencil drawing done to start with...just blops of color dropped around on a very wet paper. So, one of my artist friends gave me a little sponge she got at Michaels and I went to work scrubbing colors out and bleeding colors into the background with the damp sponge...and...wonders of wonders, it worked!

I was able to scrub out 2 of the baby flowers on the right stalk and make one larger flower out of the shapes. I rather liked the blues and greens that became the back of the flower when I came in with the purplish/red background wash. I also lost the edges on the lower left flower and between the two top flowers at the top of the left stalk. I had intended to make 3 small flowers up there, but wound up with the two and that hit of the top of the green stalk. The background is just a jumble of different colors and shapes.

I like the look now...although I'll live with it a few more days before calling it finished. At least the colors are clean and fresh on most of the flowers. I think I'll be ahead of the game if I just wait on Kay Smith to come and show us her technique for this look as I do love the wet-in-wet looseness of florals. So..for once..I'm putting the brush down...right now!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

WIP...Negative Painting

Each Tuesday, a group of us get together and paint. We decided to have a "slumber party"/retreat/fun weekend of painting so we pulled this off Friday and Saturday. We are having Kay Smith (a fabulous artist from Big Spring here in May for a workshop and she is the master at wet-in-wet and negative painting) so we thought we might try to do a little homework before she comes so she won't think we're all dismal painters. So, this painting is my first attempt at a half sheet of flowers painted negatively (with no drawing) and this could be the main reason for taking a workshop from a wonderful teacher. The upper left corner is still all about shapes and I now must go in and "find" 2 or 3 more gladiola flowers. This will be done with laying in the darker background and "finding" those flowers...somehow. I didn't want much detail in the painting, as this is more about color and shapes. The background will also get several more passes to darken areas and drop in color. Since none of us have really painted wet-in-wet, we had a pretty good mess going for a while, but it is all such a wonderful learning process. And, after all...it's only paper.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lavender PaperWhites...

When my mother's paperwhites bloomed earlier this winter, I took lots of pictures and couldn't wait to paint them. Well, as usual, I went in too heavily with some of my shadows too early, and had to throw both paintings to lavender. (Won't paint two at the same sitting again!) Good lesson learned. It was still fun, and I made a game out of trying to merge colors for softness. There is never an unsuccessful painting when you are learning what not to do next time. Although I thought I'd go ahead and post this, I do intend to go back in and establish a really dark dramatic light flow so all the flowers won't be the same as they are now. But, I'm very bad at not going back with posting my fixes...will try to show you the difference with this as I can see successful paintings out of questionable ones with a few tweaks.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mayan Flavor

Just thought I'd show all that you don't have to be a "young chick" today to have fun in Mexico. After all, what happens in Cancun, stays in Cancun. These guys were our "dates" for a bonfire on the beach one evening. They were Mayan dancers and were performing their fire rituals. The beaches are sugar sand and the water is absolutely turquoise, cerlean, cobalt and ultramarine all swirled together, the food is fabulous, and the people are extremely friendly. Mayan culture abounds and the ruins we found at Coba and Tulum are worth the trip alone. Truly wonders of the world. I kept a journal on a sketch tablet and illustrated our little adventures to recapture our memories. Must confess that it was rather hard to come back to the real world of the Dallas airport at 50 degrees after being in the sun and surf for a week. Oh well, back to my happy little world of painting. By the way, I'm the barefoot tourist...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hello Margaritaville!!!

My blog will go "unattended" for the next week as I'm leaving early in the morning for Cancun, Mexico. I'm really excited about getting out of our cold weather for a little while. And, I'm excited about the prospect of painting plein aire as I've never taken the time or interest to paint outside. I'm taking a little travel pallete (am only loading cobalt, sap green, aliz crim, burnt sienna, new gamboge, perm rose as I can make everything I want from this limited pallete), one #8 round Black Velvet brush (as that's all I ever paint with anyway) and a good sketch book from Cheap Joe's. I'll take it in my carry-on as I'd be a really unhappy camper if my luggage wound up in Russia or somewhere! Ha! When I get home, I'll promise to post a few of the paintings...be they good or bad! Ghezzz...what am I promising?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


As I was washing my fresh hen eggs to put in the carton, the sun caught my eyes with the wonderful sunny colors the eggs were showing. It's funny where we artists get our inspiration for paintings, but this one was a "must paint". I only took about 6 pictures before the sun moved. The colors are somewhat pushed over the top for eggs, but since Paul Jackson painted a little plaque for me in his last workshop giving me permission to paint just any old way I wanted, this is the way I wanted. My hens really do lay only brown eggs, and some are golden brown and some are just tan and others are reddish and that makes for an interesting carton for my egg customers. If I forgot to mention it earlier, I actually sell my eggs and have all the customers I can handle. Everybody loves fresh eggs. This is 11x15 in size, 140#Arches CP, and my paints are burnt sienna, quin burnt orange, raw umber, new gamboge, windsor green(BS), neutral tint, cobalt and turquoise.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pear Cactus Color Shift

When we painted the original pear cactus last week, since I had already done mine for the demo, I decided to do another version using a little different pallete. Still wanted to use rather pastel colors as a contradiction to the usual sea of green we see with this subject, but I wanted to bring in a bit more purple and cut back on the orange tones. This is smaller in size, and took just a bit more than an hour or so to get it done. I did start off with a wet paper and just arbitrarily threw the background colors down. This one was done with no masking, but just trying to save some of the lighter hues. To be truthful, I just forgot to do the masking so it went a bit faster and I didn't do all the busy work of the needles inside the cactus leaves.

When we painted today, I had taken some shots of my mother's paperwhites I had moved to the farm when we closed their house in Lufkin. They are so lovely this time of year. I painted them today and will try to get them posted tomorrow. Sure is pretty outside and it sure makes me want to stay outside and play in the flowerbeds rather than be inside.