Monday, September 17, 2012

Dream Trip to Portugal

It's been too long since I've been on my blog, but did have a good reason...a really quickly planned trip to Lisbon, Portugal fell into my lap and I've just gotten home.  Thought I'd post at least one photo of the first cathedral we's going to be a tough decision on what to paint...but it was a wonderful trip...just need to get back on Texas time in my head.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Little Blue Cottage...Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

Here is the little blue companion cottage I painted this year from our wonderful week of painting in Indian Rocks Beach.  These little cottages are all strung out together with parking in the front and they're on a little side street opening...unseen from the main street...we just happened to stumble upon them last year and were determined to paint them again.  Now there's another waiting in the wings...and it has a name...Key Lime Cottage.  Of course I'll get that one painted also as key lime pie is my very favorite and that little cottage has my name written all over it.  Didn't get the demos of the crystal and silver finished, but they did do a video of can find it on YouTube.  The one from last year is listed as "glass" and this year's is listed under my name with "crystal" for one and "silver" for the other.  It was so much fun, and we got out of there in enough time to miss Hurricane Isaac. 

A friend from California and I drove from Florida to New Orleans and spent a few days there...she caught the train home...I caught the plane home.  Got lots of wonderful photos of the FrenchQuarter, very interesting casual photos of people, the wonderful architecture of NewOrleans, some of the local scenes...and left some money at the local casino...that part wasn't much fun, but it did add to a wonderful vacation of play and painting.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Airport Greeting...Flowers...Love It.

Not everybody gets flowers upon arrival in an airport...lucky condo roomie, Judy Buckingham from Oregon greeted me with these gorgeous red glads.  What a wonderful surprise...and what a wonderful week we had painting with our Painting Friends forum artists.  I'll post some photos when I get some resized, but couldn't resist showing my flowers.  When we got to the condo, a guy was finishing up the cleaning duties and nearly scared the begeebies out of us when we opened the door, but was nice enough to take this shot for us. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beach Cottage...Indian Rocks Beach

It's been a few weeks since I've posted and it's not that I've been sitting on the couch eating bonbon's...that's for sure.  I'm getting ready to leave next Saturday for a wonderful week of friendship renewing and painting with my friends from PaintingFriends forum...and it can't come soon enough.  This little pink beach cottage is just one of a whole row that we found during our trip last summer.  We loved the area that we're going back to the same place. 

Florida is hot...but in Texas.  At least we'll have the sugar sand of the Gulf of Mexico to walk on rather than the crunchy brown grass we have here right now...and you can always count on a breeze on the Gulf.  I'm actually working on a little blue cottage to paint while there and may even paint a little Key Lime Cottage (as yummy key lime pie that's my absolute favorite) in greens.  We'll definitely do another little sidebar and take some more photos...they're l940-50 vintage cottages and we need to get them down in paint before they're gone...maybe won't be any time soon hopefully.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Judy's Rose...a tweak

After living with Judy's Rose for just a little while, I decided it was too cool in the blues.  So, I did some glazing with yellows over the blue leaves and rewet the background to the upper left and mopped some yellows around.  Also tweaked the rose with a bit more dark gamboge/perm rose mix here and there and it made such a difference in brightening up the painting.  Funny how those little glazes make such a great difference.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Judy's Rose

This is a rose that is from one of my PaintingFriend's garden...Judy Buckingham of Portland, Oregon.  We were trying to come up with a rather simple flower or design to work out a weaving for our August trip and I decided I'd paint one of her roses.   I wanted a really limited palette to work with...AJ gamboge, perm rose, sap, sap deep, undersea green, UM and midnight blue... I find it hard to paint loosely and really enjoy mopping colors around for backgrounds...maybe it's because I couldn't decide whether to paint negative shapes or took the easier way out.  With all my drawings done for my upcoming trip, I felt it was best to get back to painting before I got too rusty...ha.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Silver Reflections

Here is the painting that I'll demo for my PaintingFriends group in IndianRocksBeach, Florida in August.  I first painted the teapot and smaller silver dish with the limes and felt too cool in color.  Seems I just can't love a painting without using red and so I decided to add some color.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I'd found a wonderfully colorful blouse in my closet to use for a new setup.  I really patted myself on the back for adjusting the setup with the cloth and re-shooting the ref photo to superimpose on the drawing almost perfectly in comparison with the first ref photo.  So, I drew in the new colorful addition and painted over the little dish.  I can see the original dish outline because I know where it was, but when I do the demo, that area will be cleaner as it looks like I used a stainer in the silver...probably midnight blue or the neutral tint colors.  Painting silver is almost as much fun as crystal...but not quite...ha.  Anything with reflections interests me it seems.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blackberry Delight

This is the crystal demo I'll be doing with the PaintFriends group when we go to Florida in August.  They wanted're getting crystal.  I loved the idea of blackberries and blueberries to give some darks in the composition.  The little crystal cream pitcher was a whopping $4.00 at a local antique store and it came with the sugarbowl to boot.  Got them when I found the silver tea service that I'm also using for the silver demo I'll do.  I love getting fun things for setups.  This crystal bowl was a Christmas present from my daughter this year...I loved the fan facets and the uneven top rim...sure made for an interesting setup when I was photograhing this one.  I think the artists will all come away with a wonderful painting.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Berry Bowl

Here's another painting I'm working on to decide on the colors I want to use in a larger and more diverse painting for our Splash August trip to Florida.  I'm trying out many combinations for the blackberries and haven't settled in  on a particular color yet. real life...are black.  But, black in watercolor is a dead color so I'm trying out other combinations...have decided that if I don't come up with something I really love, they'll probably make them raspberries...that'd work too.  But, I absoluely love blackberries and I'm determined to make them work.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lemons and Limes

This week I'm working on trying to come up with some good paintings for my summer trip to Florida with some friends from our forum PaintingFriends.  We're going to be painting silver as well as crystal and I'm just playing around with some color.  Silver can be really cool unless you're bouncing some good reflections.  This "cloth" is actually one of my shirts that had wonderful color...really matched the hues in the limes beautifully.  I always forget to check my closets when I'm looking for good cloth for setup photos.  This is actually a really small portion of a larger painting with a silver teapot...was just trying out the colors before I went much further...I think this will work just fine.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RedWine and Cherries

Hopefully this will be the last post of this decantur and cherries...sure has taken me longer to finish than usual.  I'll admit though, I was only working on this at art retreat, and that's a crazy place to do really delicate or focus needing work...we have too much giggling and talking going on.  I've darkened the burgundy colors considerably, but the reds are still a problem on my new monitor...they're not this bright in real life.  It's always a learning curve when you're not a "techie".  I needed to get this one finished so I could concentrate on the demos I'm giving when our PaintingFriends group meets again this summer in Florida.  They want to paint crystal again, and this round we're adding some silver, a bit of collage that Suzy Powell (from way out in West Texas came here to teach), and also some weaving techniques that Suzy taught.  It looks like I've got a busy few weeks ahead of me for sure.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Red Wine and Cherries

Things are getting pretty much wound up on this painting of crystal.  I have some value corrections and edges to clean up, but I'll live with the burgundy area of the decantur for a few days and decide just how much to darken the colors.  I'm thinking two or three values deeper in the burgundy.  It's amazing what we can see once the piece is condensed in the posting process...and it's right in front of me all along.  It's been a bit of a challenge with all the angles and facets, but I always love painting crystal and anything reds...with cherries and strawberries being my favorites.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sweet As Sugar

Earlier this week I found a fabulous silver tea set at a little neighborhood antique shop (and my neighborhood is out in the country).  I was looking for a piece of silver to use in a demo for our PaintingFriends group when we go back to Florida for a week of painting and fun this summer.  Since I'm doing a demo of crystal, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone by adding a piece of silver to the composition as my artist friends also wanted a silver demo.  Unbelieveably, I found this fabulous ornate pot, tea pot, cream and sugar...price $37.50.  That is a wonderful price for a set of props that we all think we need to collect for our setups.  I have a whole closet full of glass and crystal, and now I have some silver.   This sugar bowl  has not been polished, so I just painted what I time anything is used it'll be bright and shiny.  I love the way the reflections move in crystal and glass and silver as you don't really need to explain anything...just paint what you see.  One thing...I did paint myself out of the reflection that was caught with my camera...didn't want to paint myself.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monochromatic Exercise

Here is a little fun exercise I did yesterday for a challenge on PaintingFriends...a monochromatic painting using just one color.  I chose DS phalo blue and sorta cheated in that I just used one of the poppies I'd finished painting for another challenge.  Seems like we're always doing something on that forum.  It's funny how you see things easier when you've already painting a particular subject once.  I did have to think about what I was doing a bit more than my usual spontaneous way of painting in that the values must be done carefully and the glazes must be done on completely dry previous washes so they won't lift and turn grainy.  The yellow tint there on the left is my camera acting up.   This was fun.  Now...I really must get back to that crystal decantur...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Here's the finished painting of my poppy challenge for PaintingFriends.  This was lots of fun as my palette was really limited, and I don't paint florals very much (I can probably count the number on my right hand...ha) so this was a switch from the crystal decantur that I've got to get back to now.  These poppies...along with some gorgeous red peony poppies...are near 4'-5' tall this season...and the larkspur in several colors are even taller.  Our winter rains really made all the difference.  As you can see, I've taken artistic liberties with the centers of these poppies, as they're really solid green at this stage, but I couldn't help adding a bit of interesting color.  Just wish they lasted as cut flowers...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Poppy Challenge WIP

I was hoping to get finished today at art retreat, but seems like something always gets in the giggling and talking and girl talk stuff so maybe tomorrow will be the day.  My idea is to finish the bottom poppy and then see what I need to do in the way of balancing values and colors in the greens and background.  Don't want to kill too many of the whites until I see how glaring they are and deciding just how much I want to tone it down a notch.  I find that leaving lots of whites here and there is becoming a habit with me, but you can always kill them.  Gosh...sure hate to kill whites...

Poppy Challenge WIP

Well, I have 2 WIP's going right now.  On my forum,, I put up a challenge to paint some of the gorgeous poppies that are blooming in my yard right now, and since I put the challenge up I need to paint it myself.  I posted 2 photos of different poppies and combined the drawings into a quarter sheet.  Added some unopened buds and a seed head and leaves to the composition.  I'm especially having fun with the centers of these beauties.  You are welcome to take a look at the challenge and join in if you'd like.

I'll try to finish up today so I can get back to my crystal decantur and that one finished up also...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Red Wine and Cherries WIP

Since we had a going away party for one of our artists who's moving to Venice, Florida next week, I didn't get too far with my painting today. I did play with some colors for a dark background and tried to use a mix of all the colors I have going in the painting. Now I've got to do some tweaking here and there and I'll get more done least that's what I'm telling myself. My first thoughts for this painting was to have an analogous palette and I'm trying to stay somewhat with that. Still haven't decided on a table top or table cloth, but there's plenty of room yet. I'll probably crop that left side in to run the bowl off the page so there won't be much in the way of tabletop decisions hopefully...and then...if I like what "happens" I may leave it as a full painting. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Red Wine and Cherries WIP

Here's where I stopped today. I haven't worked on this painting for the past two's an early spring in Texas and all my flowerbeds were calling my name. It's a real shame that we have to sleep at night when there are so many wonderful things to get done.
Anyway, I've stopped here after introducing some blue into the stopper facets because I really need to decided on my dark background there on either side of the bowl before going any further. I was laying in different reds in the bowl to start on the fan facet, but decided I'd better work the darkest darks first. It's been rather challenging coming up with reds and purple/burgundy colors that don't fight each other. Started to throw the crystal on the gray side, but opted for soft blues instead as I'm thinking of a Midnight Blue kind of background to get some really dramatic darks in. It'll also make the blues more pale as the contract will be greater. Haven't decided on the cloth yet, but there's plenty of time for that.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Red Wine and Cherries WIP

Earlier this week I decided I wanted to paint crystal again and had this drawing done. Painting glass and crystal is somehow very calming and soothing to me. I jokingly say it's really "paint by numbers", but when you see detail and love to paint detail...that's about true. I wanted this to be with analogous colors so I've changed the chardonnay to red wine and I'm having to explore some new reds. I've found that my bright transparent reds don't really work cohesively with the purples and magentas of the red wine. I also realize now that there will be lots of glazing going on to establish the wine level in the decantur realistically and I can't do that until I really settle on the right colors. Sure is nice to be able to make adjustments and live with it for a little bit...this one may take me a few more days than I had planned. And, I'm not all that good at glazes so we'll just see what happens here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fruit Plate

Here is a small painting completed yesterday for my continuing little monthly blurb on PaintingFriends forum. Since I am really crazy for detail and paint from photos, this was a little exercise in sharing what I'm looking for and see when I paint a setup. Of course, I had to come up with something with reds in it...and cherries are always my first choice...sure wish they were a bit less expensive in the grocery right now...they're almost too expensive to swallow and enjoy. We've been working on color palettes and this one is just red, yellow, and blue...primaries are always fun as you can go so many different ways or just stay with the basics.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


On my PaintingFriends forum, we have a monthly challenge we call YOP (Year of Painting) where Ann Buckner from Oklahoma puts up a challenge every month and we are to paint whatever we want from a couple of reference photos and post it on the 20th of each month. This has been such fun, and it's amazing how many different takes one bunch of artists can come up with for the challenge. This one was a cluster of grapes...and guess who's never painted grapes???

Of all our challenges, I think I've learned most from this one because I had to really install into my painting head that you can't mix purple and yellow without getting MUD. My first attempt did turn into deep ugly mud and is living in my waste basket in about a million pieces. But, after many attempts with colors, I did come up with quin magenta, cabozale purple, quin perm rose, cobalt blue, WN orange, and gamboge and came out with a variety of acceptable grape colors. The main trick seems to be to let whatever you put down completely dry before going back in with another color...regardless of the color. Good lesson learned. When I can get my act together, I'm going to do a little demo on the forum for anybody who might want to take a Come visit us...we're always painting something...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Colors of Indian Rocks Beach

Last summer I had a really fun filled week in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida with a group of artists from the PaintingFriends forum. We painted and played on the beach and painted some more and got to know each other as most of us (other than the Florida gals) had never met. While there we found these darling little beach cottages...probably from the 40's and 50's...and couldn't resist the photo ops that abounded. They were sorbet colors...oranges, pinks, turquoise, name it and they painted it that color...and each had all this "stuff" around...and best of all, they were just a short hop through the dunes and to the beach. We're going back again in August so I'm sure we'll find more of these cuties to paint. The bright sun and the bright colors were really fun to try to capture on paper.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"The Last Six'

Finally decided on a title, and I'm thinking that I'm done here. As usual, I'll live with the painting for a day or two as I see a few tweaks I could make...maybe yes, maybe no...but I always see stuff when I post that I didn't see earlier. The lids were lots of fun to paint...even more than smushing the reds around...can't believe I even said that. They do look pretty shiney so I may bring that shine down a bit...I'll just have to sleep on it. My friend who canned these beauties tells me that this batch is almost gone...sure wish I lived close enough to have furnished the chips...good salsa to a Texan is like sunshine...thanks, Judy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tomato Jars WIP

The background went in today so I could make some value judgments...that 6th jar was a question as to the shadow line so I decided to go ahead with a background. Now I'll have trouble with a title as this reminds me of the storm cellar that my grandmother used for all her canning veggies and pickles...the shelves were old and rather beaten up looking...guess I'll have to think about this some more. Hopefully, I'll get back to the shadows and making my tweaks on the reds's evening in Texas now and I don't enjoy painting at night any colors aren't true even with good painting lights.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tomato Jars WIP

Here's where I am today...thought I'd get finished, but life always gets in the way it seems. It's good to post WIP's in that once it comes up on the monitor, it seems that I can see things that were right in front of me that I need to adjust. There will definitely be some glazing done to round the jars better, and some value shifts here and there. Still don't have my background settled in my head...maybe I need to give it another day...

Tomato Salsa WIP

Yesterday I started a new painting from a ref photo from one of my friends, Judy Buckingham, from PaintingFriends forum. Judy always cans in the summer and these jars of salsa were too pretty not to paint. Don't know what my background will be just yet, but it'll come. The jar lids are actually silver in the ref photo and I started to paint them that brassy color, but, Judy wouldn't use old looking lids so I'm sticking true to life. The reds are a combo of Poppy, Aliz orange, WN red, and AJ gamboge. When I've finished all six jars, I'll go back with deeper red here and there...hope to get this finished this afternoon. I'm thinking that this will work for my "red challenge" for Artcolony and I'm determined not to wait until the last day of the challenge like January.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Got Milk?"

This is my painting for our Artcolony "white challenge" that was due the first of January and I'm just now getting it done. Why do we artists put stuff off until the last minute? I seem to like to work under pressure...crazy, huh? While I was drinking my little glass of milk this morning I got the idea to paint's'd work for the challenge. So, I got out a blue napkin, photo'ed the setup, painted it today at Greta's art retreat and made the deadline. It's only 5x7 but it was a fun paint. Next month our challenge will be something RED. I really thought about putting a Hershey's white wrapped Mr.Goodbar with little red hearts they have out for Valentines at the base of the glass, but the AC gals would accuse me of I thought better of it. I did eat the chocolate instead.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Cuppa with Suzy"

This weekend we had a marvelous torn paper collage workshop with Suzy Powell from Plains, Texas. Since my favorite color is red, I'm certain nobody is surprised at this collage. This was my first attempt at the medium, and I must say that I'm very pleased with this one. Suzy is a wonderful teacher and the 14 who were in her class all finished at least one collage...and several did two. We held the workshop at fellow artist Greta Faulkinberry's art retreat in Bullard, Texas...which is right down the road from me here in Noonday. Suzy is also one of my artist friends our Artcolony blog. I'm also thrilled to say that Suzy posted a gorgeous collage recently of two sparkling wine glasses, "A Touch of Red", on Artcolony and it now lives at my house. For any of you who have admired collage, but just haven't tried it...jump in! It is soooo much fun, and you can use all the creativity you can muster. My next one is a piece lemon maringue pie...and it'll have photos of diamonds in it's makeup...doesn't that sound like fun.