Thursday, April 30, 2009

Colored Pencils

This Egret is one of my first colored pencil drawings on colored paper that I did in class with Jack Whitlow. I really enjoy the white wing with the feeling of light shining through it. He is so delicate and pensive and peaceful.

I will have him in the show at Jerry's Artarama this weekend. It is Saturday May 2nd from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm and Sunday May 3rd from noon to 6:00 pm. The address is 5358 Fairfield Shopping Center, Virginia Beach, VA 23454. If you live in the area come on by to see me and 19 other artists. If you are one of the first three people who tell me I read your blog you will get a free 8" x 10" print.

Also if you live in the area I am starting a new Colored Pencil class at Jerry's Artarama on Friday May 8th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. If you are interested in learning colored pencils on colored paper come by and check it out. You will be surprised how much fun it is.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Art Shows

I am so excited as this is the beginning of the Art Show season. I have posted some of my upcoming Art Shows and as I hear from other shows that I have applied for I will add them to the list.

So now is the time that I am preparing for the shows. There is alot to do. Right now I am working on finishing a few paintings for the shows and painting some new hand painted cards. I have to purchase the supplies I need and order new business cards. I also need to do numerous things such as inventory my note card and prints, have them printed up. Then folding, matting, bagging, printing price tags and pricing them. I need to get my new paintings framed. Sounds like alot of fun doesn't it? Well I wouldn't trade it for the world. (Although sometimes I wish I had a full time assistant!)

I have painted and drawn on and off my entire life. But for the past two years I have retired from working in the real world and devoted my time to my art. I am busier than ever. I am learning and growing as an artist and as a person. I truly enjoy what I do and want to share it with those around me. So if you live locally come and see my art work. If not I will continue to post pictures of my paintings for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Looking to Heaven

I recently painted Looking to Heaven in memory of my mom who passed away in November of 2008.

I had lost my dad in September the same year. Loosing my dad was horrible, but loosing my mom was devastating. I don't know why that is. Is it because she passed so soon after my dad? Or is it because she was my mom? I think a little of both.

Painting this watercolor was a way of experiencing the love that I received from my mom and that I now carry with me.

Looking for Heaven and Magnolias IV are both hanging in the Chesapeake Bay Watercolorists show at Cape Henry Collegiate High School in Virginia Beach VA. You can visit from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The show closes on 4/28/09. If you have any additional questions, please write me in the comments section.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Masa Paper

I really love to try new things in my art work. This is one of the things I love about watercolor. There are endless possibilities.

The Magnolias IV was done on Masa paper. I was first introduced to this paper a couple months ago and I have been experimenting with it ever since. It has been alot of fun.

Masa paper is similar to Rice paper. (I only know this from being told as I have never tried Rice paper. At least not yet.) The procedure for using it is as follows:
1. First you cut the Masa paper to the size of a regular piece of watercolor paper. You do not need to use good watercolor paper. Then you mark the smooth surface of the Masa paper in the corner with a pencil.
2. You crumple up the Masa paper and soak it in water.
3. In the meantime you wet the watercolor paper and spread Elmers type glue on it. (You can even use school glue.)
4. You carefully take the Masa paper out of the water and squeeze it very gently. If you squeeze it too much you will destroy the quality of the paper.
5. You then place the Masa paper on the watercolor paper with the pencil mark down and roll it with a brayer from the center out.
6. You can begin laying colors down in a very loose way at this time. Then you need to let it dry and you can draw your subject on the paper and start painting it.

The Masa paper has little crinkles in it and the paint adheres to them to form a wonderful pattern.

Monday, April 6, 2009


This past year I have been focusing on learning to paint and draw portraits. Like many other artists, I feel that portraits are very difficult to master. I don't know exactly why that is. Is it because we are intimidated in painting and drawing images of ourselves? In my learning philosophy I believe that when you are working on a subject you need to really look and really see it. You concentrate on the shapes, values, colors and relationships to surrounding objects and then you should be able to duplicate it. Sounds simple doesn't it? But the face has so many curves and soft edges. It has subtle color changes and reflected light. No wonder it is so difficult!

I currently study drawing in a semi-private class with Jack Whitlow at D'Art center in Norfolk, VA. (His work is magnificent, just look at his blog.) We are working on a portrait of Jodie Foster dressed in costume from the movie Sommersby. When Jack brought in the picture I felt so inspired by it. I had been in a slump with my drawing before that but immediately I was out of it.

While working on the drawing I started to feel a familiarity with the shapes and curves of her face. It was as if I was sculpting her features in clay. I knew where her face came forward and how it went around to the back. It felt so three dimensional to me on a two dimensional piece of bristol. It was amazing.

I also am studying watercolor and working on portraits with Rieneke Leenders. She is a great artist and does wonderful work in watercolor including exquisite portraits. Just checkout her web site

The painting of Paul Newman was my forth watercolor portrait. I was inspired by his looks and his life.