Monday, December 21, 2009

Mountains on the Lake

Here's another of my "mini" paintings for the No Bigger Than a Minute art show at the Gallery at East Beach. The art show runs from January 15th to February 14th. There is an Opening Reception January 15th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. If you have the chance come on by and see the art and meet the Artists.

It has been alot of fun painting these small paintings. I'm almost done with them and now I am looking forward to freeing myself to work on some larger paintings.

What am I going to do next? Well I'm thinking of doing some more Masa paper paintings that I have in my mind or I might try some abstracts. It will be whatever moves me at the time I start.
It is certainly an interesting journey that I am on.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birch Trees on the River

I have been painting "miniatures" getting ready for the "No Bigger than a Minute" show at the Gallery at East Beach. The show is from January 15th to February 14th. There will be an Opening Reception January 15th but the time has not been set yet. I will let you know as soon as I know. The show is not really for miniatures, but small paintings no larger than 8 x 10 inches. It ought to be alot of fun. I know I'm enjoying painting my small paintings.

I have been working on mini landscapes. They are 5 x 7 inches. So far I have painted four of them; two which are going in the show. It is different painting small with small brushes. In a way it's easier as I experience having more control over what I am doing. But of coarse when using large brushes you can let the watercolor flow freely. Also I have been working on landscapes more recently and they are more expansive than flowers. When painting flowers I zero in on their form. I still try to capture the beauty and serenity of whatever subject I'm working on. I have two more paintings to complete then I need to start working on my next show.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I have been painting poinsettias for the last couple of weeks including two 9 X 12's for shows and multiple hand painted greeting cards. They have been alot of fun to do and have helped put me in the spirit. (Even though next year I need to start doing some Christmas things a little earlier.)

This photo does not capture the brightness of the colors in the painting but I do like the veins in the petals and leaves. I painted this on Masa paper therefore the texture throughout the picture.

I want to take this time to wish everyone a joyous holiday season. Try and relax from some of the hustle and bustle and truly enjoy those around you. Remember it is the people in your lives that are really important. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jerry's Artarama Holiday Art Show

The art presented in the Holiday Art Show was magnificent. The eight artists in the Creative Artists of Tidewater plan the art shows at Jerry's Artarama. We were so pleased with choice of artists that we made. I want to thank all the artists that participated and wish them the best of luck in the future.

I also want to thank all my family, students and friends that came to visit. It is always nice to see you but I especially enjoy seeing your visiting me at one of my art shows as I can share what I've been doing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jerry's Artarama Holiday Art Show

My art is having a very busy weekend.
First of all I'm going to be in the Holiday Art Show at Jerry's Artarama, Fairfield Shopping Center, Virginia Beach on Saturday December 5th from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday December 6th from noon to 5:00 pm.
I will have three paintings hanging at the Riverview Gallery, Olde Town Portsmouth for the Winter Art Show. The Opening Reception is Friday December 4th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
And finally I have three paintings hanging at the Artistic Creations Gallery in Pembroke Mall, Virginia Beach. They are having a Grand Opening on Sunday December 6th from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
If you are in the area please stop by and see all the exciting art shown at these three places. And if you go to Jerry's Artarama and tell me that you read my blog I will give you a surprise.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ice Storm

This is one of my paintings that I will exhibit at Riverview Gallery in Portsmouth's Holiday and Winter Art Show. The event starts Friday December 4th with an Opening Reception from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. It runs for the entire month of December. You can find it in Olde Towne Portsmouth at 1 High Street. Stop by if you have the chance and experience a Winter Wonderland!
This is another example of painting in watercolor and white gouache. First I placed down a blue wash then went over it with white gouache. This helped to cool down the background to allow the tree branches to be able to freeze. (Figuratively not literally.) I went on to paint the trunk and branches with cool colors and the smaller branches in white. It really was alot of fun and I really like the look of it. And I did not even use a drop of green!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Magnolia II and Magnolia III

If you have not figured it out yet I love painting Magnolias. I was not that familiar with them as I grew up in the North. But when I moved down here I became fascinated by them. I have painted them many times, in many media and colors and styles. They are always fun to do. I guess over the last ten years or so they have become my friends.

These paintings came from demonstrations in one of my classes. I was presenting how to paint in light colors and how to paint in dark colors. I probably did not get my light colors as light as I had wanted to but I got carried away with the colors of the petals. (How unusual for me to allow color to dictate my Painting choices.) In painting light colors you need to mix your color with a good amount of water to make it very light in value and when painting dark colors you need to mix the color up very thickly, but not so it is dry. This goes back to one of my "rules" of watercolor painting. Always keep scrap paper by your side to test colors as well as techniques for your painting.

It is helpful to keep painting the same subject over and over again. It helps you explore and re explore all the different way one subject can be presented. It becomes a learning process that I do not know if ever wears out. I'll tell you if I ever get tired of painting Magnolias!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Golden Mountains

Recently in one of my classes, Jenny Wong did a demonstration of how she uses gouache in her landscapes. Jenny is a very talented artist and her landscapes are beautiful. Check out her website at

When I paint in watercolors I hardly use gouache at all. Sometimes I use a little bit to depict snow or mix with another color to show an area that needs to be more opaque. I mostly paint with transparent watercolors and I enjoy the build up of transparencies that allow your colors to come alive. Adding the gouache gives a more opaque covering of the paint. I think the colors are bright and clear. It gives a look almost like acrylics or oil painting. It is just a different way of painting.

I enjoyed doing this painting. It gave me a feeling of freedom. Was that because there was no sense of needing to be successful? Or perhaps because it was a simple subject? I really do not know but it sure was fun and I will try it again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Santa's Stocking

Santa's Stocking was a very good show. It is always alot of fun.

I have to say goodbye to my Magnolias IV and two other paintings that I sold. I will really miss my Magnolias IV. It was a fun painting to do. It was my third painting that I did on Masa paper and I really like the textures and colors of the painting. I think it will enjoy it's new home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Santa's Stocking

It's time for the Santa's Stocking Arts and Crafts Show. This was the first art show I was ever in. It's more of a crafts show but there are other artists that participate in it. It is a great place to show my art, and meet new people and see alot of old friends.

It is at the Kempsville Recreation Center at 800 Monmouth Lane, Virginia Beach. The show is this Saturday November 7th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday November 8th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

So if you have some time this weekend and/or want to get a head start on unique purchases for the Holidays come on by. If you say that you saw it on my blog I will give you a 10% discount. Come on by and say hello. I'll be happy to see you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

African Violets

This is my first oil painting. When I first started taking art classes as an adult, I started with a drawing class. Then I started taking watercolors. I figured acrylics should be the next step. I started taking a class that offered both oil and acrylics. I painted three acrylic paintings. I did not like that the paint dried before I was done blending it. So I tried oils and immediately fell in love with it. I had so much fun blending the colors in this painting especially on the teapot.

I'm planning on doing some oil painting as soon as I finish teaching this semester of classes. It should be alot of fun.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Contest Winner

Congratulations Meera !!! You won the drawing in October. Thanks for being one of my loyal followers. Get in touch with me and let me know which print you would like. Also I will need your address to send you the print.
I am going to hold the drawing again in November. To be eligible you need to be one of my followers and/or make comments on my posts. (Comments on facebook are great but they will not win you a print.) Good luck to everyone.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Philadelphia Museum of Art

This past weekend I went to West Chester PA and was able to steal a little time to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was my first visit there and I really enjoyed myself.

I only had a few hours so I went directly to my favorite area, the Impressionists. I visited with Manet, Cassett, Seurat, Cezanne and Pissarro. I especially enjoyed Monet's landscapes; they are so sensual. I was amazed viewing The Japanese Footbridge and Water Lily Pond. It just took my breath away. Renoir's portraits and the colors he used in the skin tones were wonderful especially Portrait of Mademoiselle Legrand. Van Gogh's Paintings are emotionally charged and I fell in love with his Sunflowers. I have seen pictures of all these paintings but seeing them right in front of me where I could see the strokes of paint was so wonderfully amazing and very humbling. It was a very delightful afternoon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Indian Corn

I painted this last autumn in colored pencils. The photo does not do it justice, but I think you can see the essence of the piece.

Often when using colored pencils I use colored pastel paper. In this piece I used burgundy paper. Jack Whitlow, my friend and drawing teacher taught me this. He says the colored paper helps you keep a mid value to work against. As a color painter I cannot appreciate this concept as much as I should. But I see how the color of the paper underlies the drawing and keeps it together. The paper is mostly covered by the colored pencils but it still is the basis of all color coordination for the finished drawing.

This is something I'm growing to appreciate more as my paintings evolve. It is something I'm also learning in my watercolors without the assistance of "colored" paper. The colors in my backgrounds relate to the colors in my foregrounds often with soft edges blending the two together. This pulls the painting together rather than having separations between items in the painting.

If you notice I've referred to my colored pencil drawing as a painting. This is something that is rather new, but something that I have felt strongly about before. There are many opinions on whether colored pencil pictures are called drawings or paintings. I think it has to do with the picture itself. There is so much blending in this piece that I feel it is more of a painting.

Enjoy the autumn

Monday, October 19, 2009


Here is my latest portrait of Cecelia, the littlest artist. She is the granddaughter of one of my students. She is adorable!

She was so much fun to paint. My biggest concern was keeping her skin light enough while putting down many glazes of paint. The layers of paint are what help me to sculpt the shape of the face as well as develop the color of the skin. Yellows, reds and oranges for the warm colors and blues and purples for the cool colors. The skin and the hair are very close in color and one color just blends right into the other. Sculpting the face consists of placing the darks where you want them to recede and and softening the edges so the lighter areas can move forward. I am pleased with the result.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yellow Rose

Here's my latest painting. A Yellow Rose. It is painted on Masa paper. I really like the texture of the Masa paper for florals. It really puts them right in the garden. I also like the yellow going into the green. I guess I'm still in my green phase!

I have a yellow rose bush that has the most beautiful, large yellow roses. Sometimes they almost look gold. When all the other rose bushes are not producing roses any more I can always count on my yellow roses.

When painting this rose I wanted to make sure I kept the yellow color up front for the look of sunlight landing on the flower. The green shaded petals in the back make a connection with the background. It was so much fun playing with my colors like this!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ocean View Art Show

Here's a picture of my booth at the Ocean View Art Show. I think the paintings look pretty good in the sunshine. (It's too bad you cannot see all of them.)

Saturday the weather was horrible. Very windy with rain on and off all day. At one point the top of my tent blew off in one corner and it was raining. I had to climb up and grab the top of the tent to put it back in place.

But Sunday was a perfect day for the Art Show. The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. It turned out to be a great weekend after all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ocean View Annual Outdoor Art Show

This weekend I'm in the Ocean View Annual Outdoor Art Show along with close to a hundred other artists. The art show is sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Artist's Association. It should be alot of fun. Not only is there art but food and entertainment all in a beautiful setting. I just hope the weather is good and it does not rain!

The show is scheduled for Saturday October 10th and Sunday October 11th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. I hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Under the Palm

This is the painting I had been working on for the Seawall Art Show and had to put it aside. I have reworked it and am more satisfied with it. I like the painting; it is alot of fun with great colors. It just does not capture the mood I was going for. Almost, but not quite. I might try it again as I have some ideas of creating the feelings I want from the painting. (Another plus for being an artist.)

I did this painting with a watercolor background and fluid acrylics for the palm tree. It was the same media as my Koi were. The watercolor background is very simple. I had fun with the fluid acrylics. They are different than watercolors; they are more opaque. But they are more transparent than regular acrylics. The challenging part about using them is you need to "stay in the lines" and you can only put so many coats of paint down before it gets too shiny. But I loved exploring the colors for the fronds. I like the way they frame the trunk.

I have not been spending that much time painting recently. Over the last couple of weeks I have started teaching again and spending a great deal of time preparing my classes. The other day I got a flu shot and now voila I have the flu! Next week I will be preparing for the Ocean View Art Show. I can't wait to get back into a painting mode. My creative spirit is wanting to come out and sing with joy, and peace and beauty.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Contest Winner

I just wanted to announce that Beth Fox won the September contest!!! Congratulations Beth. Please let me know which painting you would like a print of and how you want it to be delivered.

I just want tolet everyone know that we will be having the drawing again in the month of October. Good luck to all of you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Art Works

Friday was the Opening Reception at Art Works for the Chesapeake Bay Artists Association show in the Jane Sandler Gallery.

We took a bus trip, I have been calling it a field trip, up to Richmond. We had a great day. We had a tour of VCU's art department. (Some of us were dreaming of being 4o years younger and going to school there.) We also traveled through the beautiful hills and went to the University of Richmond and saw a Ansel Adams exhibit as well as visiting many galleries. But the highlight of the day was visiting the Glass Spot and watching Chris Skibbe do a very exciting glass blowing demonstration.

The evening came and we went to the Opening Reception. It was exciting seeing the show and visiting the other galleries. We met interesting people and enjoyed the wine!!!

I hope some of you will be able to visit Art Works before October 18th. It is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 12pm to 6pm.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jane Sandler Gallery

Chesapeake Bay Artist's Association is having a show at Art Works in Richmond. There are approximately 100 paintings on display for your viewing pleasure.
These are the three paintings of mine that will be on display in the Jane Sandler Gallery, 320 Hull St. Richmond, VA. The Opening Reception is tomorrow, Friday September 25th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The paintings will be there until October 18th Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. The phone number is 804 291-1400.
I hope some of you are in the neighborhood and will be able to stop by. I will be there for the Opening and would love to see you there. It ought to be a great show.
Looking at my paintings I see that I am in a green phase. I have been enjoying all the colors of greens that I can mix. Green is such a calm, peaceful, restful color; it is found everywhere in nature (well most everywhere). It symbolizes life and growth. It can be warm or cool. I will move on to focusing on other colors as time goes by, but for now everything is green.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Enough to Eat

The East Beach Art Show was very nice on Saturday. The homes were beautiful and some of them are right on the beach.

I brought some of my oils including Good Enough to Eat. I created these apples about two years ago. They were so much fun to paint. Mixing the reds and greens without getting mud was somewhat of a challenge. The whole time I was working on it my husband kept saying they look good enough to eat. Hence the name.

I really miss oil painting. For the past year I have been concentrating on watercolors. They have been taking me to some very exciting places and I have certainly been enjoying the journey. I feel that my learning has been accelerated and I'm pretty satisfied with the work I've been producing. But they consume my time and along with the rest of my schedule (teaching, art groups, art shows etc.) I feel like there is very little time left to explore anything else. But oil is like an old friend that I really need to visit soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

East Beach Art Show

The First East Beach Art Show is tomorrow September 19 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is at 27th Bay St. off Pretty Lake Rd. in Norfolk, VA. There will be art and jazz and wine tasting and food. The weather looks like it will be good (a blessing for outdoor art shows.)

So if your in the neighborhood come on by and visit, I think you'll enjoy the show!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wine Bottle

This wine bottle is one of my favorite charcoal drawings. What I really like about it is the light shining through the picture. I think I really captured light and shadows, a real value study.

I cropped the photo a little too much on the bottom right corner and you cannot see the edge of the marble surface that the still life is sitting on.

Charcoal is a great medium to work values in. It is alot of fun to make the darkest darks. It is easier than graphite to capture the darks. And of course the lights look brighter when next to the darks. Then there is the gentle blending of values from dark to light.

For the past year I have been working mostly on watercolors. I have enjoyed them and learned in them a great deal. I do miss working in other mediums and hope to spend more time working in them. I just wish there were more hours in the day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Queen Elizabeth

In my watercolor class with Rieneke Leenders, we painted Queen Elizabeth. It was a great deal of fun.

It is always a challenge painting portraits. Each time I paint one I learn a little bit more about what I'm doing and after it is complete I can look at it and see what I might have done differently for it to come out a little bit better.

I look back over the past year and think about the past portraits I have done and the challenges have changed. There are certain things that came more easily for me. Like leaving the highlights. And others that are more difficult like softening edges and how thick to put the color down. This is part of the learning process that fascinates me.

Overall I am pleased with the Queen. Her hat and suit were so much fun to recreate, but her jewelry was challenging. I painted her a little softer than she looked in the photo. I felt very close to her but cannot even imagine what her life is really like. I wonder if she is softer in her personal life or if she is always the "Queen"?

I want to thank all of you for continuing to follow my blog even with all of the computer problems I have been experiencing. I want to remind everyone about the drawing that I am doing at the end of the month. Read about it in the top right section of my blog.

Seawall Art Show

This was a picture I took from right outside my booth at the Seawall Art Show. I had the greatest view and was really surprised at all that goes on in the Elizabeth River on a daily basis. I not only saw beautiful sailboats but cabin cruisers, wave riders, ferries, cargo ships. tug boats, Navy ships and police boats.

The weather had been threatening rain and thunderstorms all weekend but we really lucked out and not a drop of rain. It was a very nice art show and I really enjoyed talking to the people I met as well as the other artists. The volunteers were wonderful. It was a great way to spend the weekend and I even got to sell some paintings and prints and note cards.

I want to thank everyone for hanging in there with my computer problems. My computer guy has been out of town but hopefully I'll get everything resolved quickly. Today I'm at my sister-in-laws, Carmen Staicer. She has a great blog that you might want to check out. Check it out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No Computer

I just want to let everyone know that my computer has crashed and I cannot post any pictures for the time being. I hope that this problem will be resolved shortly as I have a great photo showing my view from the Seawall Art Show. I will be back with you as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seawall Art Festival

I have spent the day cutting mats, matting prints, folding note cards, bagging and pricing them. I am exhasted. It's all in preparation for the Sewall Art Show in Olde Towne Portsouth this weekend. If the weather holds out, it should be a great show. So if you're in the neighborhood come on down and see me along with about 100 other artists showing their work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Red Geraniums

I have been working on Under the Palm for about two weeks now. I am so stressed out and it is not going the way I expected it to. I had a vision of what I had hoped the painting would look like and it doesn't look that way at all.

So I decided to pull a painting that was just alot of fun. And here it is my Red Geraniums. This summer I taught Watercolors on the Go. Each week we went to a different location and painted for the fun of it. There was no pressure to make a beautiful painting. I find that ironically when you are painting for the fun of it and do not worry about how the painting looks the experience is very rewarding. Often the painting comes out looking good and if not it does not matter. I think we can all learn from this.

Anyway one week we went to the Atlantic Garden Center and I started painting these Red Geraniums. I took some photos and when I got home I completed them. When I look at them I see a very relaxed painting, not alot of tricks and techniques, not alot of hard work and yet I feel that I captured the spirit of the Red Geraniums. That is an experience that I really feel is from the purity of painting without the little critic sitting in my brain. It was simply fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Palm Leaves

On my last post, I was talking about all the ways that I was trying to plan my next large painting. I took pictures, searched through photos, did some sketches and experimented with different media. I finally decided with the help of my muse, that I'm going to paint a palm tree from below.

This painting started by my working with Da Vinci fluid acrylic paints. I used the paints in new ways. With a little more water added, the acrylic paints were more transparent. Then in subsequent layers I used them a little thicker. Then I added watercolors. I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that and voila a painting was born.

I see the painting with beautiful colors and sensuous movement of the fronds. It will be challanging but I have a good feeling about it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I have said goodbye to my Koi. I sold it and even though that makes me very happy, I am still a little sad. I mailed it out to a very nice woman that I met on Facebook and I'm sure she will take good care of them.

Now I have to paint another large painting and I'm stressing out over it. I would like to have it done and framed by the end of the month so I can put it in the Seawall Art Festival. (Check my listing of Art Shows.)

I have had a couple of ideas and have not been able to decide on which to pursue. I have been taking photos and pulling pictures, drawing possible sketches and playing with different media but have not come up with a decision yet. I go back and forth between something that is relatively easy and would not give me a hard time to produce. (This is due to my limited time frame.) Then I feel that it needs to be really special and I have some ideas but do not know whether or not they will work out.

I like it much better when I see something and know I need to paint it. I know what media and size and colors I want it to be. And then I sit down to paint and I'm immediately in the zone and the painting just flows off the brush for me. Like when I painted the Koi!

I sure hope that my muse visits me tonight as I need to start the painting tomorrow.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I just finished my painting of my daughters Kristin and Kim. They were such beautiful subjects and I'm afraid I did not do them justice. I have been working on them for a couple of months on and off. And voila I am done.
This is the fifth portrait that I have painted in watercolors. I feel that I am making progress, but I'm not all the way there yet. I feel that if each painting is better than the previous one then I'm going in the right direction.
When painting a portrait I become very intimate with the subjects features. When painting my daughters I already felt intimate with the way they look. But there are challenges to painting people that you know that you do not experience with strangers. You want to capture the essence of the person not only in terms of how they look, but also in terms of how they are. And you truly know how they are.
And when you love your subjects as much as I love my daughters then you put that love into the process of painting and it carries you through the process of creation. Then you only hope that the love shows in the painting. It is a big challenge. But with big challenges come great satisfaction.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Water Lily

Here is one of my recent paintings. I really feel as if this painting (and others that I've recently done) is representative of my developing style. I feel like I am starting to go in a specific direction rather that exploring many avenues. This is like an awakening in my art. Awakening to a path that I am to follow. I feel that it will take me to wonderful places and that I will enjoy the journey.

I really enjoyed working with the colors and the values while doing this painting. There are so many layers of colors on the leaves and in the background. I love the colors in the leaves, how you can see the yellows and greens through the blues. I also love the little bit of red on the sides of the leaves. The background is a very dark color but you can still see through the transparency of the colors. That's one of the things I just love about watercolors. You can continue to see through it no matter how many layers of paint you use. Then there is the delicate flower...

I feel that I have reached new places with the development of my values and I am exploring the use of my colors in new ways. I really feel that I am on my way to new places with my painting.

Artisans in the Park

I spent the weekend at Artisans at the Park. We really lucked out as far as the weather went. They had been predicting thunder showers the entire weekend and they did not hit until about 2:30 pm on Sunday. So we packed up early. I don't think I ever packed up so fast! Of course things were not packed in an organized fashion.
It was a good show. It was a little slower than last year. Was that because of the weather, the economy or just some arbitrary reason? I certainly don't know. But I had alot of fun and enjoyed the people that came through the show. I want to thank all my students and friends that visited my booth. It is always nice to see all of you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Green Leaf Study II

This is my Green Leaf Study II. I like it better than the first one. The sunlight plays a bigger role in the painting. I also like the leaves a little more and the use of the warm colors and the cool colors and the many shades of green.
I think I was a little more successful in having soft edges and hard edges but I still need some work in that area.

Years ago I never would have thought about painting green leaves. But now I see more in it. I love paintings of the simplest of objects and especially objects that are not often made into "stars" of paintings. You can find beauty in the smallest and/or the simplest of things.

Also I have been thinking alot lately of seeing colors. I have told my students many times that when learning how to paint or draw you need to learn how to see better. And that the better you are able to paint or draw the more you are able to see. It's one of those snowball learning experiences. I have had students tell me that they have a hard time seeing the colors that I point out to them and I have had the same experience with my teachers telling me the colors that they are able to see. How can I learn to see more and teach people to see what they are looking at better? Or is it just a natural progression in the learning process?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Artisans in the Park

The 17th St. Art Festival was wonderful. Beautiful weather, friendly people and good sales.

Next weekend I'm in Artisans in the Park. It is at Great Neck Park 2513 Shorehaven Dr., Virginia Beach. The hours are Saturday, August 1st from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday August 2nd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

There are about 75 artists and artisans presenting their work. It is a lovely park with trees and winding paths and a walkway that goes out to the Lynnhaven Bay. There will be food, musical entertainment and children's activities.

If you're not doing anything next weekend, and if you're in the neighborhood stop by and visit. You should have a fun time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

17th Street Art Festival

I just wanted to remind everyone about the 17th Street Art Festival. It's going to be this Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at the 17th Street park between Atlantic Avenue and the Boardwalk. The artists showing their work are all local and regional artists.
Jane Fuqua, Rae Gordner, Pamela Hill, Mary Kay Holladay, Pat Dehart and myself (members of the Creative Artists of Tidewater) will be there showing our art and jewelry. There will also be 19 other artists showing their painting, jewelry, sculpture, photography and more.

I was there last year and it was a great show so if you happen to be in the neighborhood stop by to see us.

I've got to go now I have a bunch of last minute things to do in order to get ready for the show. Maybe I'll see you there.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This is another recent painting of mine. It is currently hanging at the Gallery at East Beach, Norfolk, VA.
In it I used gouache in the center of the flower. (The off white and yellow is gouache and the pink is watercolors.) Gouache is an opaque watercolor. Watercolors are more transparent. The gouache allows you to "cover up" more easily.
Traditionally when painting in watercolors you do not use gouache. Especially to paint the whites. You leave the paper to show the whites. I do not use gouache in my watercolor painting as I love the transparency of the watercolors. But sometimes I use it to capture a more opaque area like the center of this flower. I also use it to add a little white as in my Central Park and Ocean Wave paintings. This is why I think of it as mixed media.
Some people use gouache with their watercolors. They mix it with the colors and paint beautiful opaque paintings. Gouache can be mixed with watercolor colors and or the different colors of gouache can be mixed together. Some people paint with gouache alone.
There are three nature books by Maryjo Koch that you should check out. They are Seed Leaf Flower Fruit, Bird Egg Feather Nest and Pond, Lake River Sea. Her paintings are beautiful and she uses gouache.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Recently in my watercolor class with Reinike Leenders, I have been working on painting flowers. It all started with my green leaf studies.

Painting flowers is something I have always loved. They are the first things that I painted and I go back to them often. Sometimes I think that I should, certainly could, specialize in flowers. But of course there are too many other things that I see and am compelled to paint.

There are so many things about flowers that make them a great subject. First of all they are beautiful and beauty is something I strive to capture in most of my paintings. There is so much beauty in the world and I often try to fill my art with it. They have wonderful colors, textures and shapes that are challenging to create. They also have their own distinctive personalities that make them a fun subject.

In my art studies there are learning phases. First you learn something intellectually and then at different times you achieve different levels of being able to perform what you have learned. This keeps going. I don't think I have ever reached a place that I can say I've learned all that I can about a certain faction of painting. This applies to both techniques and composition as well as transfering inspiration to a completed piece of art. Then in the learning process once I have learned a certain amount in one area I become open to new avenues of learning. I think this is something that I am going through with my flower painting.

Right now I'm preparing for art shows that I feel I should be painting ocean related subjects (after all I live in Virginia Beach) and I am painting flowers. I guess that's the way it is.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

6 out of the 8 Women

The Opening Reception at the Gallery at East Beach went very well. Here's 6 out of the 8 Women that were in the show.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Creative Artists of Tidewater

The Creative Artists of Tidewater is having a show at the Gallery at East Beach at 9559 Shore Dr., Norfolk, VA from July 10th to July 29th. There is an Opening Reception on July 10th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

The Creative Artists of Tidewater's website is up and running. Check it out at

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Two Pears

These Two Pears are done in watercolor and watercolor pencil. I started them as a demo for a watercolor pencil class. Then I used them as a demonstration for my Mixed Media class that I am now teaching.

There are three basic ways of using watercolor pencils. First you can use them like watercolors by "scribbling" some pencil on some scratch paper and putting a wet brush into it and voila you can paint with it like it was watercolors. The second way is by using them like watercolor pencils. You can draw on your watercolor paper and then apply a wet brush to it and it miraculously turns into a watercolory substance. You can also dip your pencil into water and then draw with a solid watercolor or wet your paper first and mark it with the pencil and see it melt onto the page. The third way of using them is to use them like a regular dry colored pencil. This is good for putting detail on a painting as the finishing touches. Finally a fun trick with watercolor pencils is to spatter them onto wet paper or paint with a nail file.

They are alot of fun to use and they travel well. I often use them with a Niji brush which holds water and a notebook on the go! If you haven't used them yet, give them a try. I think you will enjoy them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Contest Winners

I want to congratulate Dick and Meera for winning the contest about mixed media - watercolor crayons. I used a combination of crayon shavings with water to get the effect in the grout of the bricks.
Dick and Meera you can email me with your choice of prints and your address that I can mail it to. (I have most of my current paintings in 8 X 10 prints.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Green Leaf Study

I have been working on painting green leaves for a little over a week now. There are certain challenges that they present. In a way its like graphite. How do you differentiate the colors? But look at all the shades of green in the painting!

I achieved the different shades of green by glazing greens and reds. Some of the leaves were warm and some cold so I choose my colors carefully.

It was also challenging to soften the edges in places for the colors to flow.

I also worked on the values and darkening the shades of green. While working on the painting I thought it was too dark, but now I look at the photo and see there are plenty of lights to balance out the darks.

I really feel like I learned some new techniques and I also had alot of fun working on this painting.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mixed Media - Watercolor Crayons

This is a demo I did for my Mixed Media class. In it I show samples of different ways that you can mix watercolor crayons with watercolor. If you double click on it you can appreciate the different ways of using the watercolor crayons.

The first thing I did was sketch out the brick pattern and put in red earth colors in watercolors. The first line of bricks shows how you can use the watercolor crayons as if they were watercolors. First you scribble some of the crayons on a piece of scratch paper. Then you apply a damp brush to it and loosen up the crayon. It turns to a "watercolory" substance that you can now paint with. I then painted the bricks with a wet on wet wash.

In the second row of bricks I used the crayon like a crayon and drew over the brick. Then I used the damp brush to moisten the crayon and it melted into the brick.

The third row of bricks I used crayon sharpenings on scratch paper and wet them with the damp brush. I then got a little clumpier watercolor mixture than I did in the first row and I painted the bricks with it.

In the forth row I wet the bricks with some water and drew with the crayon into the wet brick. The crayon melted onto the paper as long as the paper stayed wet.

Then in the fifth row I dipped the crayon into water and then drew with it. The watercolor crayon just flowed over the paper and let go of it's color.

Finally I painted the grout in between the bricks. (Is it called grout or something else?) I did this in a different way than I did any of the bricks.
Can you guess what I did? If you are one of the first two people (with an address in the continental United States) that sends in a correct answer then you win an 8 X 10 print of one of my paintings. You need to send your answers to the little CONTEST in a COMMENT.
I hope you enjoy these little "classes" on mixed media and watercolor and I hope you get the chance to try some of them.

Good luck with the contest!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Red Berries

In my watercolor class I have been working on painting green leaves and have been glazing greens and reds. It is alot of fun and hopefully it will come out good enough to post.

It made me remember the story of my Red Berries painting. About twelve years ago I painted this painting. My next door neighbor at the time was also an artist. His wife fell in love with the Red Berries. So we traded paintings and I received a painting of a waterfall. For many years I missed my Red Berries.

Often it is so hard to let go of my art work. Especially recent paintings. Once I did a drawing in colored pencils of Autumn Leaves and I framed it and hung it in a show that weekend. A woman came by and fell in love with it and bought it. I felt like saying "No you cannot have it, it is too soon for me to let it go." But I did believe that she would take care of it so I let her purchase it.

So I repainted the Red Berries and here they are. They are a little more detailed than the original.

I love the use of complementary colors, especially red and green. When you use them next to each other they make the other one appear brighter, more intense. But if you mix them together they dull the other one down.
For example if you've painted a field of poppies and the ones in the background are just as bright and the ones in the foreground, the best thing to do is add a little green to those poppies that you need to tone down.

In watercolors you can mix the greatest neutral colors with your complementary colors. (These are the colors oppostie from each other on the color wheel.) The main compliments are red and green, blue and orange and yellow and purple. Play with them, you will enjoy it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mixed Media-Pen and Ink

I painted this picture in watercolor and then I added pen and ink. I use ultra fine sharpie pens for the pen and ink part. You can use any felt tip marker that is permanent or ink pens.

This Mixed Media is very similar to graphite pencil. It is certainly a little sharper and you can use multiple colors. Or you can use just black or a color of your choice.

When I mix pencil and watercolor I usually do my drawing first. When I mix pen and ink and watercolor I usually do my watercolor painting first. This is a personal choice. You can mix the media in whatever order you like.

When I painted this painting I did not plan on using anything except watercolors. I started by masking out the eggs and some of the twigs in the background. I then layed in my watercolor washes. I loved the way my washes in the background looked but there was not enough value differentiation between the background and the tree limb. (I did like the values of the eggs in the nest.) That is when I decided to add pen and ink to the painting.

I do not always mix media but sometimes it is the perfect way to improve a painting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mixed Media - Graphite

Last evening was the first meeting of my Mixed Media class. In this class we will explore mixing other media with watercolor painting. I teach it at the Kempsville Recreation Center. I always like to do a different class in the summer. Last year I taught Watercolor pencils and it was a great deal of fun. I tell my students that they need to have fun while painting or else why do it?

Last night's class was on mixing graphite with watercolor. Most watercolorists use some pencil in their paintings. I use it to provide an outline of the subject to follow with my painting. But some artists do more of a drawing on their paintings than just an outline. You can see and appreciate the graphite drawing under the painting.

Often beginners do more drawing than is typically used in watercolors. I always let them know that it is a choice how much of the drawing they want to put in the painting. This is one of my philosophies about teaching. I always try and encourage individuality in my students. I let them know what the options are and how they project themselves into the painting as well as the pros and cons. Then I let them know that they can explore their options and see how they like doing the task at hand. This way students learn to express themselves in their painting.

I usually do a demo of what I am presenting in class. The first picture shows my pencil "line" drawing. I did my drawing before I painted with watercolors. You do not want to do alot of blending of your pencil drawing because when you add your watercolor it will smear. Also you need to do a drawing not just an outline.

Next I added my watercolor. For this demo I used hot pressed paper. It has a very smooth surface and allows smooth work. It dries very fast as the paint does not get absorbed by the paper but sits on the surface. It also is prone to many blossoms as the paint can move around more.

This combination of media is good when you want to show lines and or details in your painting. It has a great deal of control for those people that like to control their watercolors. It combines your skills in drawing with your skills in watercolors. Try it you might like it.

Next week we are doing pen and ink. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please send me comments on what you would like to see more of.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Japanese Magnolias

I love to paint Magnolias. This is the first painting of Japanese Magnolias that I have done. In front of my mother's home she had a Japanese Magnolia tree. Every year it was a question of how they would bloom. My parent's lived in New York and often there was a frost in the spring which would effect the bloom in a negative way. One year there was even the question as to whether the tree would survive. But more often than not it would bloom and it was magnificent. The gentle, delicate flowers would grace the arms of the tree.

I painted this painting on Masa paper. I first layed in multiple pale colors. I then drew the outline of the flowers in. Then I negative painted the painting. I put my colors in surrounding the shapes of the flowers to be. After that I went into the flowers and added values to make them more three dimensional. Then I looked at the painting and saw that the background was not dark enough so I layed in another layer of color.

This is a fun way to paint. When you do negative painting your subject(s) jump right out at you. It is fascinating to see it happening before your eyes.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Town Center Art and Wine Festival

I spent yesterday at the Town Center Art and Wine Festival. It was a beautiful day. I have been very lucky with the weather for my May '09 art shows. I have had great sales with my note cards and my hand painted cards. My husband says I should open a business and call it Katsartmark. (Like Hallmark.) I'm just happy with the success of the cards. (I'm even happier with the sales of paintings and prints.) With the economy sales have been slower than last year. Even though I hoped for more I must say I am not surprised.

I have to say I am showed out! For the month of May I have been in the Jerry's Artarama Art Show, the Gosport Art Show, the CBAA Spring Art Show, the Pagoda Art Show and the Town Center Art Show. Was I crazy when I decided to be in so many shows? Why do they offer so many shows in May and so few in June, July and August? I have been in a show mode where I spend a great deal of time preparing for the shows as well as working them. I must say I am happy with the shows I did but I am really looking forward to a little break.

I want to reorganize my art studio. It is in such a state of disarray. The process of reorganization can be a predecessor to the artistic experience.

I want to get back into a good schedule of painting. This is the structure that allows me the freedom to soar.

I need to express myself artistically. To energize my self with creation. I have so many ideas of things to work on that I don't even know where to begin. But I will begin. And I will sort things out and assemble them in new ways. And I will produce new paintings. Some of which I will love.
It is a wonderful life being an artist. And I love it!!!