Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

Cheerful and Colorful Paintings in Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media and Collage

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tarleton Homecoming Weekend

The Homecoming Weekend at Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX., could not have been any better. The weather was perfect at around 70 with little wind, and the sun was shining – all a great setting for old friends and classmates to meet. The schedule was full with a Golden Reunion Reception of classes of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in the Dining Hall on Friday evening. Later we met at a motel conference room to continue with the visit and Purple book (annual) looking. Saturday was the Parade and special recognition luncheon of the 1957 50th Year Reunion Luncheon with 1956-1958 invited. Some of those interested went to the football game in the afternoon and then approximately 22 met at Jake and Dorothy’s Café, still serving chicken fried steaks like we had in 1954.
We heard exciting news about the future home for Tarleton alumni, located across the women’s residence halls and will include the Alumni House, Campus Corner and meeting hall. The Alumni House was open for us to visit before the parade. It was built in 1915 for one of John Tarleton’s College presidents. Later the nostalgic Campus Corner will be open and have a working soda fountain and jukebox. This complex will be about a $2.0 million program and will serve alumni of today and for generations to come. This addition is a needed place to meet and have a cup of coffee with a stack of Grassburrs (the college annual) to look through. I was editor of the 1956 Grassburr and got to visit with the journalism teacher, now Dr. Chilton. I’m so glad I was a part of recording some of those precious memories. One of my dear friends, Peggy, was recruited to be on the annual staff and meetings were on Monday night, the same night as the dances at the rec hall across the street. She is still complaining about that one. She had some very cute clothes so we designed and had her dress to depict in each month’s season division page in the annual. I wished we’d used more captions and I wish more than ever I’d been a journal keeper at that time – mainly to bring some new stories back to homecoming each year.
Much of homecoming success goes to Paul Koonsman ’67, Alumni Relations Director and this year he had his wife, Karen, and the rest of the family involved.
I owe my Tarleton family membership to my Mother (and Father who paid) who deposited me on their doorstep and said “Major in Home Economics”. I was interested in De Leon and De Leon boys and not future oriented, but I became involved with Tarleton’s 2 year junior college’s colorful traditions and now our family is a first-class university. Classmates return each year as there is a bond that has sealed us together in traditions of Oscar P, Plowboys, drum beating, bonfires, balls, dances on the slab, and Cadet Corp trips and most of all – friendly Texas students (ok, a few were out of state). Enrollment now tops 9,000. One of the guys quipped when a float loaded with girls passed by during the parade “I think there are more girls on the back of that truck than went to school here when I did”. The boy/girl ratio was in favor of the girls, for sure.
We owe a big debt of gratitude to that wealthy rancher who had the foresight to begin a college in rural Erath County. TSU is building a new dining room that should be open in January ’08. The one I ate in was built in 1928 and a lot of romances began there and a lot of “sugar ants” were stomped around the tables as newly dating couples began to meet for lunch or dinner and a “fish” would be told to “Button-up” or yell out their names to the likes of “I don’t know but I’ve been told….”. If you haven’t been to a Tarleton Homecoming in a while or ever, make plans to join us in 2008 and bring some new stories.
See the slide show below to see some of the photos taken during the weekend.
Other blogs where I post:
· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Tarleton Homecoming Slide Show

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Orange and Violet Floral ~ Fall Birthday Celebration

11 x 15 acrylic floral on watercolor paper
This was painted during a Robert Burridge workshop on the Dena Wenmohs Ranch. I haven't posted it as I was reluctant to put a price on it as I like it.

Canvas by Canvas has a birthday tradition to give each member an 8 x 10 gallery wrapped canvas painted by a member in a rotation schedule and eventually, each member will receive a painting from each member in the group. We have divided up the party into a fall and a spring celebration. The 2007 fall celebration was held Friday 26th at Antiques and Moore in Arlington. We had a delightful lunch in the Rose Garden Tearoom before the gift presentation. Five of us celebrated birthdays in the fall.
It was difficult making a luncheon choice but we all had to try the special tea “a special blend of rose pedals, vanilla and strawberry.” The sampler plate in the slide show was chicken salad, fresh fruit with poppy seed dressing, cheese and green chili quiche, spinach soup, and a pumpkin bread sandwich.

We were loud and boisterous with talk of our previous nights opening at the Petroleum Club and the sales and possible sales and 10 of our 11 members were present for the birthday event.

We decided I needed a microphone embedded in my turquoise necklace so a blogger wouldn’t have to take “blogging notes”.

One of the photos is of Jesse, our server and bringer of the birthday cupcakes we shared. I didn’t get photos of all the gift paintings as I had to leave the party early to start the journey toward Stephenville and Tarleton State University's homecoming weekend.

See the slide show below for photos from our fall birthday celebration. Miss Nancy will be 72 on Monday. Wow!

Birthday Lunch Slide Show ~ Canvas by Canvas

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dancer's Skirt ~ Petroleum Club Show ~ Acrylic ~ Blog

8" x 8" Acrylic on canvas panel (Maybe I should title her Dancing Lady)

This was started in the Robert Burridge workshop in Mendocino, drawn and painted from a live model and I've finished it since I retuned home.
Our CBC group felt like dancing ladies last night as we had a spectacular opening at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth. See the slide show below. We were on the 40th floor, overlooking the city and 17 of our paintings in a beautiful setting. The Petroleum Club of Fort Worth is one of the city's oldest and most distinguished private clubs and it symbolizes how Texans view themselves: Texas bold, Texas proud, Texas unique.
We sold and
A few sales really helped put us in the dancing mood.

Brian Plotkin from Gamut Control was there. He is a representative from Gamut who is representing us in reproduction and marketing our art worldwide.
Thanks to all of our friends and patrons who attended. It was a wonderful time. All 11 of us were there but we never were still enough to get a group photo. Maybe next year. Thanks to the Petroleum Club for hosting us.

Petroleum Club ~ Canvas by Canvas Opening

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lady with Roses ~ New Toy ~ Art Blog ~ Acrylic

5" x 7" Acrylic on canvas panel
This was started on our CBC trip to Port Bolivar in September and it has been revamped several times. I put the finishing touches on it on Monday while painting at the Upstairs Gallery. I thought I needed to put a clothed figure on the blog between some nudes and I have added features to this face.
I ask a lot of questions in workshops and just from friends in general. Several times in workshops I've been approached with "Get Nancy to ask. She will" - if someone is a little shy. Yesterday, I wanted to know how Myrna got the images she used for her 1st place winner and she replied with photos of her new toy, the Gorilla Pod. I got on the telephone and found them at Arlington Camera and
Best Buy. So thanks, Myrna for sharing the technique but the small Gorilla Pod at Best Buy wouldn't hold up my Panasonic digital (I love this camera for it's anti-shake/image stabilization feature and small size to fit in my purse) as it has the tripod attachment at one end instead of in the middle. I purchased a Platinum Plus by Sunpak, the FlexPod Pro, and it's made for a digital SLR which mine is not but my camera is not listing at the moment. (See the Amazon link on the right for a detailed explanation.) I left it on the couch looking like a big spacey bug ready to pounce on me the next time I made my way to the kitchen. Now I can't wait to get cute (no need for scary Halloween photos) this morning and take some photos and later paint a self portrait series like Myrna or maybe just one small one. And prepare for a very important event tonight. Stay tuned.
Now, Myrna, was that a full size sheet of watercolor paper? What size is the portrait you did today?

Waiting for a victim..

Other blogs where I post:


Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Figures ~ Acrylic Painting ~ I WON ~

Lady on Orange Stool, Acrylic on Canvas panel 6" x 8" $48.00

Man on Violet Stool, Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 8" x 8" $64.00

These two paintings were painted at the Robert Burridge Workshop in Mendocino, California. See previous posts during October 1 - 5, 2007. They are repeated here with the price and size information included. We drew and painted the undraped figure for 4 days and I took a lot of artistic license with the models.
Hurray! Hooray! Hurrah! I've won a Myrna Wacknov drawing because 5 of the people I've recommended have signed up for her blog. She wants to build a blog base and I took up the gauntlet. It will be fun to see what happens in this little drawing/painting community with encouragements all around. Last weeks challenge was a continuous line drawing (no crossovers, etc.) that will post Friday. That was hard and I know I don't want to be a wire sculptress. I may try to incorporate the drawing into a painting. To subscribe to her Creativity Journal blog, on the right hand side after the "About me" profile is a subscribe blank to type in your email address and she will not share your address. If you sign up, email her( and tell her Nancy sent you. I'm working on my 2nd Myrna drawing!
The Sketchbook bugaboo.
Thanks to the influence of Myrna and my recent workshops, I'm trying again to carry - no make that draw in - my sketchbooks. I carry them everywhere now. I've put a small Moleskin (3 1/2 x 5 1/2) in my purse, filled one of my Mexican bags to leave in the car, with an Aquabee 6 x 9 with all the other supplies, small palette, water, brushes. (Most of these items can be purchased through Dick Blick and you can click on the icon on the right side of my blog to look for these sketchbooks.) This summer I even purchased a special folding chair and table to carry with me to stop and paint a scene somewhere. I never slowed down long enough to take the chair out much less sketch a scene and most of the time I was scurrying to find some air conditioning. I have a small Borders journal type that I keep by my kitchen chair to cut out pictures and glue in and make a fast little drawing about an ad or an interesting faces of Barry Corbin or Willie Nelson or girls with flowers in their hair. I have several 9 x 12 Canson all media sketchbooks I take on trips and glue in mementos, draw and paint in. When on travel, before blogging, I'd go back to the "dwelling" and work in my it's take your laptop and blog. So with all that said, I have a new resolve to try and sketch in my journal more and we'll all meet at Myrna's for sharing and encouragement.
She recommends a book to help us, Experimental Drawing, and you can read about it by clicking on my Amazon link on the right.
Also, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Myrna for her wins with the San Diego Watercolor Society and the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society Annual.
To read about it:

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

3 Figures ~ Acrylic Painting Workshop ~ Snooty Women ~ Blog

Figure #1

Figure #2

Figure #3

EACH $35.00
Reclining Figures on Red Pillow 5 x 7 Acrylic on canvas panel

These are 3 paintings I did in the Robert Burridge workshop in Mendocino, CA. See the post on Nancy Standlee Art Blog .

This was my first class to paint from nude models and I used lots of artistic license to change the models up as I saw fit. I gave them different hair color, changed males to female, etc. We had undraped models for 4 days and we drew and painted from timed poses and no photos were taken of the models so you were forced to get something down on paper or canvas quickly. I took lots of gessoed 140 lb. watercolor paper and some small canvas panels to work on.

I really enjoy painting portraits and figures but don’t consider myself a very good drawer for the photo realistic look but that is not the look I’m after. I want a more abstract, impressionist look and put my own spin on the painting.

When I was in Lubbock for the Carla O’Connor workshop, one of my painting neighbors was Renee Simpson and she paints women with her own spin…Snooty women and I think you’d enjoy a trip to her studio. Here work can be seen at the Newberg Gallery also.

Other blogs where I post:
· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cross ~ CBC ~ Blog

6" cross, acrylic on canvas to be added to a large cross painting
I painted on CBC projects today at the Upstairs Gallery with a few other Canvas by Canvas members. This part of Texas has been in a severe weather alert with cold temps and high winds so we turned on the gas stove and engaged in a little chatter, no music but the wind, and the sounds of an occasional brush swishing in the water. I got to finish up some previous workshop paintings that I will post later in the week. Our collaborative group has been preparing our entries for the 25th Holiday Magic Christmas Market, November 30 - December 2, presented by the Junior League of Arlington at the Convention Center. There will be shopping, fashion shows, luncheons and a fun time with friends and the funds will provide support to women and children in the North Texas area. The JLA has raised over $1 million dollars in the past. We will have a booth showcasing our paintings and note cards. In the October/November Living With Panache magazine (an advertising supplement of the Star-Telegram, there are several pages devoted to the JLA and our painting, Sunstruck, is shown. Back issues of Panache can be read on the site.
Our paintings are more impressive to view in person so we invite all of our friends to drop by and say hello. Tell us you saw us on the web or a blog so we can get to know you.

Karen is painting on her dog commission.

Pat if painting from one of her China photographs. She is blogging about her China trip and it is a very interesting read. See Pcasso's Page.

Barbara is finishing up her cross for the Holiday Magic Show.
Betty painted with us until lunch and I failed to get a photo of her work. Lunch was in Pantego at the Cafe 'n Chocolat, A Belgian Style Sandwich and Pastry Shop, for a hot cup of soup and a half a sandwich, with room to share a slice of French Silk Pie. Yum!
Other blogs where I post:





· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lady Emma ~ Boat Watercolor Painting ~ Port Bolivar, Texas ~ Art Blog

$150.00 unframed
15 x 22 watercolor painting on 300 lb. paper
(It would fit into a matt and standard frame 22x28)
Lady Emma was painted this past week in the Steve Rogers Workshop given by SWA in Fort Worth. The photo was taken during a trip with some CBC members to the Port Bolivar, Galveston area. Older posts will show some slides from other students and some of Steve's work.
I rented an interesting art movie yesterday and watched it last night.
Carla O’Connor mentioned a foreign film, Camille Claudel, about the sculptor, Rodin, and his passionate obsession with art – and with Camille. It is a historically accurate depiction of one of the most important collaborations in the history of modern art. It was a little hard to find but the Hollywood Video on Cooper St. had a copy, for my local readers. It has captions and runs 2 hours and 39 minutes and came out in 1989. I enjoyed the movie but I didn't enjoy reading the captions because you can't multi-task with your eyes glued to the TV. I belong to a collaborative group of 11 local artists, Canvas by Canvas and we are interested in collaborations.
I find this web site is a good place to research movies and plot summaries at the
Internet Movie Database. This is where I always get into trouble and it happens at Amazon all the time with the recommendations…If you like this book, movie, then you might like this one… spend more time and money.
I see they recommend
Frida and I loved Frida - the movie, her way of dressing, and the paintings. When I was in Puerto Vallarta for a workshop, I bought a beach wrap/sarong/shawl with her huge picture in the center and I do wear it.
Caution: These are not family movies with small children - adult children OK.
This interesting article about
the secrets of Mona Lisa was on my Yahoo home page this morning. I know a lot of artists out there who would never want their paintings inspected that closely to really see how many layers it took to reach the final stage. This is not the case with watercolor. In watercolor you usually have to get it right the first time or start over. If you want to read about taking risks with watercolor and pushing the medium to its limits, check out the book, Taking Risks with Watercolour, on my Amazon link. I recommend it if you're ready to move up to the intermediate level. Every page is filled with exciting, colorful examples of Shirley Trevena's work.
Other blogs where I post:
· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Steve Rogers Workshop ~ Day 3, Thursday ~ Nancy Standlee Art Blog

We had fun painting today in the SWA workshop with Steve Rogers and he was so good to go around the room and check each painter’s progress. He caught heck when our side of the room heard his comment across the room about a person’s work being “superb”… because we hadn’t heard that term of praise on our side of the room. The day ended with a good critique and I took photos of some of the students’ work who wanted to participate.
Disclaimer: The photos are taken through an overhead mirror (not the clearest) causing a reversed image and the images are skewed AND the paintings are in different stages of completion or WIP, works in progress. Most have a white matt around them but I think you’ll get a good idea of what the workshop was about and the students’ produced some good work. I would have never tackled this boat unless Steve had said, “We’re doing boats and reflections.” One of my paintings photo was taken at Port Bolivar, Texas and the other one was in the Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, California. On the Noyo Harbor boat, the coats were not that colorful, nor the trees and the painting is not finished.
If anyone has a photo of Trini’s painting please email it to me as I was admiring it so much I failed to get a photo of it. Sorry, Trini. SWA members check out the Artist Food Network Blog below and send us a painting and a recipe in a email to post on the web site. Also SWA if any of you join the Myrna Wacknov blog let me know as I might be eligible for one of her drawings.

Margo, has been a top notch workshop chairman who tends to our needs. She gets our lunches delivered from Pak-A-Pocket and the lunch has a pita pocket sandwich, drink, chips, fruit or cookie, for $5.00 delivered. We just grab a sack and go clear off an area and eat. So very convenient when time is short and you can see your painting waiting for you. Margo presented Steve a SWA tee shirt and I hope he wears it in Delaware next week. Maybe someone up there will blog their paintings from the workshop. Steve, come back to Texas any time.

Other blogs where I post:
Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Steve Rogers Workshop ~Student Slide Show Day 3 ~ SWA

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Steve Rogers Workshop ~ Wednesday, Day 2 ~ Fort Worth, Texas ~ Myrna Wacknov

It definitely feels strange to be out on the Interstate by 8:15 a.m. fighting the traffic and today was not typical Texas weather at all. It was more like Seattle – cool, misty and a little foggy but any day is a good day when you’re on your way to a workshop. This is Day 2 of the Steve Rogers Workshop. Today Steve gave us his spin on color and complements and the demo was on painting reflections in water. He suggested we might want to lightly draw in our reflections and practice on a piece of scrap paper before actually painting on our work. If you'd like to see a list of materials and colors we are using, click HERE.
He told us about “The One-Hour Watercolorist” by Patrick Seslar. Patrick states “Plan your work, work your plan, and KISS (keep it simple)". (Click on my Amazon link to read more about the book.) Steve’s wife, Janet is included in the book and a painting of Steve’s similar to his Monday night demo is on page 90, St. Martin Beach and I had forgotten I had the book, but I did find stickies marking the page to return sometime. Janet has a portrait demo, Cassandra. Yes, I will take my book to get it autographed Thursday.
My painting: ½ sheet 300 lb. watercolor paper, 15x22, shows my wild sky and water. Now after looking at it on the computer I need to bring the horizon line down on the left and make it darker. I don’t think Steve has any competition from this artist.

I went to Joe T. Garcia’s after the workshop – my very favorite place to eat in the entire world with cheese enchiladas with all the trimmings and eaten on the beautiful patio garden. While sitting there I had great views to the left and right and the slides are included and looked over the day's painting notes.
Now to find another boat to paint for Thursday.

I’ve had a few minutes since I returned from Lubbock to check out a wonderful blog, Creativity Journey from Myrna Wacknov. I discovered her work in the October 2007 issue of the Watercolor Magic magazine. The article, Face Forward, shows how she uses color and expression for her poignant portraits. A bonus is the step-by-step guide that shows how to use Photoshop Elements with the portraits. Click HERE for the guide. She issues a drawing challenge each Friday and I've already ordered the drawing book she recommends and it's on the way. She issues a painting challenge at the beginning of each month. We have become “web/email” friends (someone should come up with a name of the online friends you have but have never met face to face) - what about I-Buds - and she posted an apple pie recipe in the Canvas by Canvas groups’ Artist Food Network. Great news for her and her fans is she was selected to be featured in the March 2008 issue on “Fabulous Artists over 60”. There were over 500 entries. Congrats, Myrna, way to go and I will be watching for the magazine.

Other blogs where I post:

· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Steve Rogers Workshop Slide Show ~ Day 2, Wednesday

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Steve Rogers Workshop ~ Tuesday, Day 1 ~ Fort Worth, TX

Disclaimer: Some of the photos were taken through an overhead mirror and the image is reversed and the mirror is cloudy in places and some of the paintings had plastic protectors on them.
I’m still not unpacked from the last 2 or 3 workshops. Well, maybe a little. It’s out of the suitcase and on the kitchen table and couch. Saturday was a blur. I did fit in a needed seafood fix at Fish City Grill. Then on Sunday the family “inlaws and outlaws”, friends, and cohorts had a kickball game in Alvarado. One new friend was welcomed – Davran from Krygstan, a foreign exchange student staying with a family member.
I was smart enough not to play and the sun was wonderful to sit on the sidelines and listen to the banter. I got to see my granddaughter Autumn’s recent college sorority’s mud wrestling photos on her laptop – a definite plus for the day.
The best news is that CBC members did not paint Monday but some of us had to meet for an El Chico lunch to discuss giclees and then home to begin to gather up the supplies for the Steve Rogers workshop. I didn’t begin to finish before our SWA meeting at 7:00 where he gave a demo. It was a great preview of things to come for the next 3 days but after coming home I did stay up until about 2:00 a.m. getting the rest of the supplies together and to get my palette to look like his. It is my goal someday, sometime to read a book, watch TV or go to a movie before a workshop. Instead my days and weeks and nights are filled with last minute details and things to pack. This is not how it should be done. The only excuse is that I’ve recently attended workshops from Donna Zagotta, Robert Burridge, Carla O’Connor and now Steve’s. It’s been the gamut from opaque watercolor to acrylic to transparent watercolor. I’ll get it all sorted out eventually.
I was glad that for Day 1 Steve gave us a demo first thing and then had us to do some color exercises and practice some painting techniques before diving into a painting. He wanted us to work on a full sheet, but chicken me opted for only a half sheet and by days end, I had a very wild colored sky and not quite as wild water. This painting may not be able to be pulled out of the fire and I'm not brave enough to share it yet.
We are all working on boats and reflections. I don’t have enough down on paper yet to post the painting so I’m putting on a slide show of photos from last night’s demo and some from the Tuesday’s class.

When Steve began to paint his demo at the Monday night SWA meeting, he put on a red bandana so I decided I needed to wear one today to show support at the workshop with my new Llano Estacado T-shirt from the winery in Lubbock. Workshop participants might enjoy reading more about Steve’s life in this article by Stephen Doherty “Inspiration at Higher Levels” in the American Artists Watercolor Magazine.

Our class goal seems to be to put down color and modify it, bring it to life, and have the color show movement and to make an attractive painting. Steve is a master of color and there was many variables on achieving his look such as how you put the paint down, the tilt of the board, the tilt of the brush and we are all trying our best to mimic his work, not to copy him, but just get the feel of how he works and maybe sometime during the 3 days we will become more comfortable using vivid color in a loose way, and a way that we haven’t tried before. Check back here for Day 2 and progress reports.
Other blogs where I post:
· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Carla O’Connor Workshop, Day 5, October 12, 2007 ~ Lubbock TX ~ Art Blog

Nancy's work in progress with pieces of paper suggestions for background color around the chair and hair. This photo was taken in the overhead mirror. Gouache on 1/2 sheet hot press paper.

Friday is our last day of our Carla O'Connor class, sad that it’s over but our heads are filled with thoughts of lots of new techniques to try after returning home. (Read the previous posts to learn more about the workshop.) I checked out of the Howard Johnson Express before class started early Friday morning. I was so pleased with the first floor room with wireless internet, coffee pot, and refrigerator. I stayed there once before for a workshop and it is very reasonable in price and it is about 3 miles from the workshop. At the workshop, we were directed to a darkened room where Carla showed us slides of her work and work of some contemporary artists who are friends. She felt like we’d benefit more from the slide show after we had tried to do some of the techniques.
We ordered pizza in and enjoyed our last lunch visit. I changed my painting water but I don’t think I ever placed more than a few strokes on a piece of paper as Carla was letting different students who had reached an impasse to place their work under the mirror and she would critique and make suggestions with bits of colored paper or paint. I was more interested in hearing and seeing what suggestions Carla made to other students than painting something on my own. The posted painting today was one she wanted me to be very careful with after she saw the initial sketch. Our charge on Thursday for that exercise was to draw with a large brush and paint very quickly a timed sketch of the model. She liked the red high heels and she didn’t want me to over paint it. The suggestions she made included the pink paper around the top of the painting and I will paint this in later and make her hair black (at present these are paper strips placed under the mat) and I’ll add a red earring. So I’ll try to paint on it sometime later in the week. Hugs all around and goodbyes were given with hopes of painting again with the group sometime and taking another Carla class. She is constantly on the move around the classroom and continually teaching and is very approachable to students. If you ever get the chance to take her workshop, I think you'd love her and the workshop. Bless her heart.. (We said that all week after a discussion about being able to say anything about a person (especially on the negative side), if you'd follow it up with "Bless her heart" - sorta inside joke).
A friend flew up on Friday to make the long drive back to Arlington with me and we decided to make the last tour of the day at 4:00 at the
Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock.
I learned I was not pronouncing it correctly. There is a town in Texas that we call Llano (lah-noh) but the winery is pronounced using the Spanish (yah-naw). It’s the second oldest of more than 100 wineries in the State of Texas, and is the winery most responsible for the current wine industry renaissance. It is the best selling Premium wine in Texas and is used in 1st class of American Airlines and both President Bush's used it for the Governor’s mansion in Austin and in the White House. On Saturday, October 20th the winery will celebrate the 14th annual Grape Day. They have won national and international awards year after year. Their brochure states “Llano Estacado wines stand for what it means to be a Texan: independent, larger than life and always agreeable”.
I drove to Abilene and I was not in the least bit tired as I was still celebrating the weeks’ events and discussing every incident, but after eating dinner, I got in the passenger’s side and tried to stay awake. The Rav 4 looked a little like I was moving and there was so much “stuff” and art supplies everywhere, I waited until Saturday to unload. I've thought about the other students today as I know they are going through the same art withdrawal symptoms and facing the job of unpacking. Oh, where to put all the material I’ve used for the past two weeks that I have pulled from every nook and cranny. It will take days to go through the mail but I’ve given up on getting art supplies organized - maybe I’ll keep them packed and wait for the next workshop and I think I’ve got one coming up on Tuesday. Check back and I’ll post about that one later in the week.
Other blogs where I post:
· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Carla O’Connor Workshop, Day 4, Thursday, October 11, 2007 ~ Lubbock, TX ~ Art Blog

Nancy's 11 x 15 gouache on 140 hot press paper
Painted today in the workshop NFS

(This post is the fourth in a series about a workshop in Lubbock, Texas. Please read previous posts to get the full story).
Our last drawing day with the model and she was a cutie, a granddaughter of one of the members and enrolled at Texas Tech and who wouldn’t want to try and draw her. Carla grabs her timer and gets us going and then we hear her familiar, Change, Change. She can be a tyrant at 9:00 in the morning when you want to drink coffee and visit with your neighbor but she has her rules so we fall in line and wonder “Is this painting potential?” Again she stops us with “Gather around” for a mini demo on how to design the whole page. Today it was the design principle “Imagination” and most of us failed miserably when she gave us an assignment. Let it be a wake up call for us. She gave us a list of things to include in the drawing and most of us put them about in the same places with little imagination. She wanted Original ….something that no one else thought of. We did more sketches and set ups for a future painting with just a few marks on the page since we’d have the model for a short time she wanted us to get the information down and paint them on Friday. In the afternoon we painted and Carla circled the room answering questions and seeing if the students wanted any suggestions or help. At 4:00 workshop participants were invited to a WTSC’ members home, Gale Webb. We had a lovely time still talking art and eating lasagna provided by Orlando’s Italian. We were privileged to have some chat time with each other and Carla. Thank you, Gale and Jerry, for your hospitality. Gale will be giving a workshop in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in April 2008 for the SWS.
Lubbock has a great evening of art, music and food the first Friday of each month and it showcases local art. Maps are provided and free trolleys run and the event is free and open to the public. First Friday Art Trail runs year round on the first Friday of each month from 6-9 p.m.
November 10 and 11, 2007 there is an Artist Studio Tour planned. Pick up a map and catch a free ride on a Citibus and they will run continually in a loop. Plan to Take in the Local Color, the tour, and visit 9 participating studios, with 50 artists sharing studio space. There will be painting/drawing, ceramics, fiber, glass, gourds, jewelry, leather, metal, miniatures, mixed media, photography, and wood.

Lubbock is a happening place when it comes to art.
Other blogs where I post:
Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Carla O’Connor Workshop, Day 3, Wednesday, October 10, 2007 ~ Lubbock, TX ~ Art Blog




15 x 22 Above is Gouache on hot press watercolor paper. This is my start for today and will work on it more Thursday with Carla's help. (See previous posts this week about the workshop.) After taking a digital photo and placing it on my laptop it looks like the imaginary figures are little sunflower heads. That will never do. It is always helpful to look at your work on a computer screen and reversed and in a mirror.
To the right is a better photo of Carla's demo last night. We all enjoyed looking at it today and she calls these her Time Travelers.

We had more time to paint today. We had another good model and Carla did short impromptu demo paintings and drawing techniques when she saw that we needed some help. I heard this across the room today and it is so Texan and friendly. "If y'all need some more paper, just holler." There are friendly, nice people in the workshop.

Today we concentrated on the SCALE principle of design and we drew several sized drawings on watercolor paper with all heads at the same line to show scale. Carla gave us a realistic head demo and talked about drawing the feature placement.

In 1540, Spanish explorer Captain Francisco Vasquez de Coronado brought an expedition to the South Plains and named the area Llano Estacado, or staked plains and found Indians, buffalo, antelope, prairie dogs and coyotes. In 1876, Lubbock County was re-named in honor of Texas Ranger and Confederate colonel, Thomas S. Lubbock.
For some readers not from Texas, they just have some great Texas city and town names in this area, such as Muleshoe, Levelland, Plainview, Post, Sweetwater, Brownfield, Meadow, and Idalou. Don’t you just love saying those names? Well, I grew up in De Leon and the way we say it, people are always asking “How do you spell that?”
I’ve posted a photo taken while driving the speed limit for sure, out my car window just snapping with one eye on the road, and shows these other worldly, another planet looking wind turbines. These use the wind resources and are available in the area and are reliable and efficient and you will find many wind farms while driving in this area – like 60,000 acres worth in Taylor and Nolan Counties where you’ll find the
world’s largest wind farm. Texans really like to lay claim to the biggest and best and largest. We really can’t help it. It’s genetic. (Hee, hee, I think that means we beat California) and I the most I know about it is how to take a photo of the wind turbines.

· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Carla O’Connor Workshop, Day 2, Tuesday, October 9, 2007 ~ Lubbock, TX ~ Art Blog



CARLA'S DEMO TONIGHT (will get a better photo Wed. as this was through the overhead mirror and colors are more muted and painting is reversed.)

The Carla O’Connor Workshop is being held at 511 Avenue K (Mac Davis Lane and Ave. K) at The Underwood Center for the Arts. There are multiple studios, visual art galleries, a theatre and a rehearsal hall. First Friday Art Trail includes a monthly evening of arts and entertainment in downtown Lubbock. This art campus was planned to reflect the traditions of Lubbock and to create future traditions. “Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it!” –Robert Motherwell

The West Texas Watercolor Society is sponsoring this workshop. This is my 3rd visit to Lubbock to take a workshop with them. They are a talented group and best of all they are super friendly and fun to paint with.

The class today was packed with Carla's activities and instructions for us. And TEXTURE was one of the design principles discussed today. We had an excellent new model from the WTWS group and began on time 9:00 with about 40 poses in quick succession again on the same piece of paper to get us loosened up. She gave us hints on drawing the figure, for example, tie an imaginary plumb line to the ear through the center of the body to get the weight distributed correctly. We did a practice sheet, then on a 1/2 sheet of watercolor a figure with every black type of marking device (pens, crayons, charcoal, inks) we had plus black, white and grey gouache. We could only use one tool until Carla called out "change" then we'd pick up another tool of our choice and begin drawing where we left off all the while creating texture on the page. After lunch, each participant presented a painting or two for a critique. Carla wanted to see what type of work each one of us was currently doing and we all benefitted from hearing her comments. During the composition discussion I got so sleepy I nearly feel out of my chair and the note taking trails off looking like a someone had flat lined on a tv medical show. (I will add that it was not Carla but my nearly 72 year old body about to revolt from the schedule I've made for it for the past 2 months). I keep telling it to hang with me till Thanksgiving and we'll be home free. We painted for about hour to hour and a half and I got started on a piece I'd drawn in the a.m. and that is the piece in the photo. I want to do more drawing on the layers and it was Carla's suggestion to keep the figure white in the center. I liked the piece until after the demo and saw Carla's Time Travelers and I took another look at mine and thought how sad it looked but then you give yourself a little pep talk..this is your first time trying her technique, you had fun, and you learned some new stuff..go for it.

The demo at 7:00 p.m. was as exciting as we'd hoped it would be. She came with her design drawn on a gold gessoed toned hot press watercolor paper and proceeded to show us how she applies the paint. Her painting looked great to us but she said it takes her weeks to complete. It was a copy of one she did for the dvd for Creative Catalyst. She said the biggest hurdle we face is getting enough paint on the paper. We all laughed when she said "I could lick all the paint off some of these paintings (from people not using enough paint) and not get sick". We get the idea. Be generous with the paint.
The meeting room for the
WTWS class is surrounded by designer dresses covered with plastic. Upon closer inspection these clothes are from other decades and were purchased from a local high end store in Lubbock. Read about Margaret’s HERE.

From the time Margaret’s opened in 1946 at Boston and 26th until it closed in 1994 at Broadway and Avenue T, this unique landmark was Lubbock’s window into the world of couture fashion and much more.
In the decades before West Texans visited New York, Paris, or Rome , Margaret’s was their portal to clothing available only in major cities. Once the store moved to Broadway and Avenue T, Lubbock had an establishment that could have been plucked from the finest shopping areas in Dallas, Chicago, or Los Angeles.
On the walls are enlarged views of the hand-drawn images of the figures that appeared in the newspaper ads and clothes under plastic ready for a show. Some of the images can be seen in the photos taken this week.
Other interesting places to visit in

Buddy Holly Center
Celebrate the life and achievements of Lubbock’s son, Buddy Hollyand see his guitar, the Stratocaster, and famous glasses. The Center also has the Texas Musician Hall of Fame and the Lubbock Fine Arts Gallery.

Texas Tech
Lubbock is home to Texas Tech University, home to about 28,000 students and a public art program ranked among the nation’s 10 best.

Museum houses more than 120 rare and fully restored windmills located on more than 28 acres in Yellow House Canyon.

I’ve just come from visiting wineries around Mendocino, California and found Texas has wineries located around Lubbock.
Llano Estacado Winery

Texas’ most award-wining winery. Most of the world-class grapes used by the winery are grown within a 100mile radius of Lubbock.

Cap Rock Winery

La Diosa Cellars located in the Depot Entertainment District
Other blogs where I post:
· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Monday, October 8, 2007

Carla O'Connor Workshop, Day 1, October 8, 2007 ~ Lubbock, TX ~ Art Blog

Carla O'Connor
Nancy's first day effort 11 x 15 Seated Lady Watercolor and Gouache on Hot Press Paper

I am loving this first day of the Carla O’Connor Workshop. I put down my $50 deposit last year while in Lubbock for the George James workshop. I’d seen Carla’s work online and in art magazines, admired it, and decided if there was a way possible I wanted to take from her. It happened that it was back to back with the Robert Burridge in Mendocino, Ca. and I arrived home from that one Saturday afternoon, stayed up until 1:00 a.m. getting ready, and left Sunday for this one, but I’ve made it and didn’t fall asleep in class today.
I left Arlington about 8:30 a.m. Sunday and put on the cruise and drove like a mad woman to get unloaded and to the 3:00 demo which was about a five hour drive. I couldn’t help but compare the California twisty, turn signs I’d seen the previous week to the strait as an arrow ones I saw on Sunday. The most curved one was a slight curved arrow when the interstate narrowed down to one lane for road construction. The landscape didn’t change much from open land and ranches, with lots of oaks and mesquites, until after Abilene. On into west Texas, cotton was growing and oil wells began to pop into view. One farm had harvested the cotton and it was stacked and looked like giant loaves of bread with a silver covering over the tops. I made it with one gas stop, cheese crackers for lunch and not near enough coffee. I kept listening to country music and writing down possible painting titles from the lyrics.
Because of some miscommunication Carla didn’t make it on Sunday for the demo but we enjoyed one of the WTWS society member’s demo. Carla will demo Tuesday night instead. She is a delight. She said this was a first for her to miss a demo but as of late she’s been having some “firsts”…well, join the club.
Our class runs from 9-4 and is sponsored by the WTWS. They have a converted fire house for a meeting room and it is wonderful. We had a clothed model this morning in the center of the room and all of our tables were around the model stand in a circle and there was room enough for Carla to walk by for mini critiques. I would say this is one of Carla’s strengths. She gives a thorough explanation of the exercise and then is on the move constantly seeing each student’s work and speaking with them. She’d given us a handout about principles and elements of design and we tackled the first on the list today. It was all about SHAPES. She said, “I’ll give you about 10X more information than you can handle until another workshop with me next year”. I hope. I wish. She promises to tell a good “joke” after lunch to encourage people to get back on time. Carla says she is not a big colorist and likes grays and what do you expect as “I live in Seattle”.
She stressed to forget about the figure and look for shapes. I don’t think I did that very well during the painting session the last 1 ½ hours of the class, I see her my lady's arm needs more work. She told us not to pull it back to realism and I did and I'll try to follow directions better on Tuesday.
The first drawing exercise was something I’ve never done – short gesture drawing BUT we couldn’t change our sheet of paper. We kept working on that one sheet and overlapping the shapes. Finally, we changed sheets and drew some figures and divided it into 4 sections to look for possible figures for paintings. She cautions us to put your mark down with authority. We are creating the skeleton of the painting and you want your bones to be strong. I highlighted this statement after I didn’t do it “Resist the urge to make it REAL. Make a DESIGN.” We did exercises like the “raisin head”, no curved lines, “brain strain” and “dead body” and later we painted on quarter sheets in the afternoon.
After lunch, we had a group meeting to discuss some painting techniques with her admonition “All paint is the same, just different binders and use the fuzzy end of the stick”. All I can say is that Carla has certainly learned how to use the fuzzy end of the stick. Her palette is another story. Her arrangement was given by “I put reds on one end and blues on the other.” Yes, she’s a joy. She saved her old paint in the lid to use as a wonderful gray “Mother color” and she is not continually wiping it clean. Many of her paintings are done with a gold gesso ground on hot press paper. They have a beautiful glow. She prefers round brushes and less water for the gouache paints.
Creative Catalyst has made a dvd of her watercolor instruction but it is not available yet. You can always email them to be notified when it is available.
Other blogs where I post:
· Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Burridge Workshop, Day 5, October 5 ~Mendocino Art Center ~ Art Blog

11x15 acrylic on gessoed paper
This was an end of the day exercise and I gave my girls some colorful clothes.

On the student slide show on the previous post, I’ve added two new students. Merry decided she would hold up her table cover as it was so attractive after her paint splatters. Marcia holds up her canvas painting and if you see it anywhere please let us know as when she got ready to pack up she couldn’t find it. Marcia, I do hope its safe at home with you now.

Oh, how we hate to pack up and leave on the last day of this wonderful experience: beautiful workshop in a beautiful setting. I planned to paint, but never got my brush wet on Day 5. We had a group meeting in the morning and Bob answered questions and gave advice on photographing work, getting into shows, copyright, signature, how to approach a gallery, framing, matting, marketing. He cautioned us to remember we’re not in the framing business, but in the painting business. His advice on matting got a big laugh when he said when he judges shows, one of the first things he does is look at the mat and if it looks like it’s been cut with a butter knife, out it goes. He complimented our group and said we’d been a good class and that boils down to not having to deal with a bunch of prima donnas. From the first day he wanted us to have a good attitude. This is not the time to paint your masterpiece but time to have fun experimenting with new techniques and soar outside our comfort zone. I beamed when he complimented my drawings as I don’t consider myself a good drawer. Now I’ll try even harder.
I’ve felt like I was in a protected art cocoon and didn’t hear a radio or turn on the TV all week. We left about 3:00 and took off towards Willits and Sacramento on California 20 and saw many of those twisty, curvy signs again telling drivers to stay within 10 to 25 MPH and “Slower traffic use turnouts”. I was still in a art haze until Williams and we stopped at a convenience store for a snack. Here was a fellow on a cell phone leaning over his truck engine trying to figure out what was wrong, Mothers with hungry children in line to pay for their fast food so now I’m forced back out into the real world dealing with everyday human problems, traffic, and flight schedules. Art hibernation has been complete with the exception of my must have email news from my Canvas by Canvas painting group.
Regrets? I would say there would be one. There are numerous galleries in each town and I didn’t have time to check out each one of them. Instead we drove south on Saturday after arriving, towards Mendocino and Point Arena and then Anderson Valley to the wineries. On Sunday called for a drive towards the redwoods, taller than any other living thing, so we could to see the country. We stayed at the Ebb Tide Lodge in Fort Bragg.

If some wanted a workshop break and they could walk into town for a quick lunch. Everyday was sunny with perfect temperate coastal weather and warm enough if you were sitting on the patio eating in the sun. Flower gardens and plants were blooming in this most picturesque of cities to entice us away from our day’s project.
If you ever travel this way, the Host airport hotel in Sacramento is right across the street from the airport. Friday evening after turning in our Budget rental, we grabbed a luggage cart and pushed it to our room to load it down Saturday. It was easy work from what could have been a daunting task for 2 seniors. Because I was afraid of having overweight baggage, one bag was 50 and one 51 pounds on the way out, we got a thrift store bag and loaded it up with art supplies. It is a challenge to fly and take an acrylic drawing/painting workshop, but Bob said “You don’t have to bring everything on the list”. Oh, you don’t understand, Bob. I want to bring everything on the list.
On the flight home in the early morning we saw the Grand Canyon and the first light dusting of snow on the mountains, then lots and lots of crop irrigation circles and I sketched some to use in a future painting. Good to be back in Texas and we got our bags loaded up and turned on a good country station looking for some Willie Nelson. Bob brings his “own” I pod music and plays it during painting and he tells us or maybe “warns” us to get prepared as “It’s my sandbox”. Oh, yes, a stop at a favorite barbecue café for some sliced brisket and sausage, beans, potato salad, and lots of iced tea for our nearly 90 degree day with hope of scattered showers.
All I want to do is go home and paint on some of the starts from the workshop but suitcases never made it in the house as I loaded them in the back of my Rav4 minus a few washables for a trip to Lubbock Texas the next day, Sunday, October 7, and a week at a Carla O’Connor workshop. I know. I know. But that's just how they were scheduled and I wanted to take both of them. I'll rest another day. More to follow.

Other blogs where I post:
Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Friday, October 5, 2007

Burridge Workshop, Day 4, Thurs. ~ Student Slide Show ~ Oct. 4 ~ Art Blog

These are students who let me take a photo of them and a piece of their art work on Thursday during the Mendocino Art Center's class taught by Robert Burridge. (For more about this class see previous posts). A few naysayers said they were in a witness protection program or worked for the undercover branch of the FBI and couldn't have a photo appear on a web site.
It is Friday a.m. and after hearing stories about it being 90 in Dallas/Fort Worth maybe we'll try to bring some coolness back to TX. on Saturday. We won't have a model today (Friday) and it will be a time to work on these MANY stops and starts I've thrown under my table, in the suitcase by my work area or on boxes and chairs against the wall. At noon today we will see a slide show of Burridge's work which will inspire us to try even more. Bob says he'll stay there until 4:00 but I will have to pack up after lunch as we're facing at least a 4 hour drive over very, very twisty roads to Sacramento.
Bob demoed yesterday how to attach an acrylic on watercolor to canvas. He says nothing of his gets framed anymore as it will set the piece back 100 years. He gives details on his newsletter and you can search the newsletter for the information. His newsletter has now reached about 5,000 subscribers and I would recommend it to all as it contains some great information.

I found it interesting to step outside the studio onto the patio area and find wonderful memorial stones that made for good reading. One that I would like to know more about is the one for Wino Willie Boozefighters MC Teri Forkner. The Boozefighters are a motorcycle club and my son belongs to the Boozefighters in Fort Worth.

Hold MOUSE over slide for student's names.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Burridge Workshop, Day 3, Wednesday, Oct. 3 ~ Mendocino, Ca. ~ Art Blog

11x15 acrylic on gessoed watercolor paper

To read previous posts about this workshop click HERE.

There are approximately 22 excited, ready to work students in the Robert Burridge Figurative Class. On Wednesday, we had a female undraped model. We began with some 3 minute gestural drawings and then some 15 minute drawing/painting times. In the afternoon, we had two 45 minute sessions of drawing and painting. The models have my utmost respect as I marvel at how they can hold a pose for 45 minutes with only a short break. At times, they may need to be helped down if a limb has gone to sleep.
We’ve had some excellent models, but I have had very little experience with live model drawing and painting, but others have said how great these people have been. We have a beautiful, well lighted classroom but with the undraped class, we have to close the blinds and drape the doors for privacy.

Burridge quotes and admonitions for the day

  1. Handouts included one on varnishing acrylic paintings and he gave us a demo on several paintings and on using a spray varnish for watercolor.

  2. Pretty pictures are so boring. Don’t paint boring pictures.

  3. Show the world something they have never seen before and “Paint something you have never done before”.

  4. Complicated paintings are boring….SIMPLIFY.

  5. He discussed and showed us the New Burridge Goof-Proof Color Wheel. I purchased 2. One for me and one to give as a drawing at the SWS meeting when I get back to Texas. I was awarded the Stepping Stone Award and that paid for my tuition to this workshop and I will bring back a surprise drawing for a SWS member.

  6. Give yourself goofy assignments such as don’t use brushes today, only paper towels.

  7. He discussed more on how his color wheel is set up and a demo on how to use it by painting with 4 colors and black and white.

  8. Have your painting tell a story. Every painting is a metaphor. Stories fall into 2 categories – Romeo and Juliet or David and Goliath or a combination of the two.

  9. He mentioned the “painting groove” we get in and once in, we can’t stop but the bad thing, once out of it, it’s difficult to get back in.

  10. He discussed brushes and gave out a supply list for his materials. He does list some cheaper bristle brushes from the hardware store as some of his favorites along with the more expensive synthetics.

The weather has been ideal here this week – in the 50’s and 60’s in the day and low 40’s at night. I wear a light jacket and hat everywhere as the wind from the ocean can be brisk at times.

On Sunday, September 30, 2007, it was about 51 when we headed north toward the Avenue of the Giants ( – home of some ancient redwoods. It was a 31 mile scenic drive of old highway 101 and an outstanding display of these giant trees, some as tall as a 30 story building. Mendy is the name we gave the GPS system in honor of Mendocino and Mendy needed a wake up call several times as she’d get lost in those tall, tall trees. We did see and touch a drive through tree and witnessed a smaller car drive through the opening. Our final destination was Scotia, one of the few company towns in California. It is a Pacific Lumber Company town that we’d wanted to eat at the Inn but looked like it had been closed for the season. Most of these towns were lumber towns and one, Westport, had 20,000 population in it’s heyday but now about 254.

I saw directional highway signs that are completely foreign to flat land Texans. One was a horseshoe shape and many said speed limit 10 or 25 miles along with those crooked signs and one that said “Narrow winding road next 22 miles”.

Along the coast tourists are warned about rogue waves or sneaker waves and not to get on the rocks as these sudden waves can sweep a person out to sea.

We got a snack at the Riverwood Inn in Phillipsville. The Riverwood Inn was built in 1937 and is the last of the old roadhouses that populated the Avenue of the Giants which also used to be Highway 101. I nearly let my purse fall out an open window about a story high when I set it on a window ledge and the window flew open. My new camera was inside and just considering the consequences makes my heart jump.

Later that evening we ate our dinner meal at Sharon’s by the Sea on the Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg.

One of the west coast's most scenic harbors, Noyo Harbor is tucked into the forested hills at the south end of Fort Bragg. You may remember seeing Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell sailing out of the harbor at the end of the movie Overboard. Noyo Harbor is your starting point for a day out on the ocean, whether it's on a fishing or whale watching charter, or paddling your own kayak.