Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

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

Thursday, May 29, 2008

LYLAS 7 ~ "Nancy" ~ Tag Galaxy

Lylas 7 "Nancy"
11" x 7 3/8" Acrylic on paper
I had to name one the Lylas paintings for myself. To see how they originated see the post here. After I started posting, someone suggested I name them after ladies in our painting group, Canvas by Canvas.
Some are painted on paper and some are on canvas.
You must visit this addictive site that came in an email from Photojojo this morning. It's all about photos and planets and tags and Flickr. And if you like to paint or take digital photos you're usually searching for photos for reference and this is the coolest way. So now check out Tag Galaxy. Enter a tag, a descriptive word you're searching for, example daisy (94,924 photos) but you can narrow down the search. Planets appear like in a solar system, they rotate and you can select and narrow down your search by clicking on other planets. It basically helps you to visualize tags. Go and spin the planet and find lots and lots of photos.
I posted about the Nicholas Simmons painting DVD available soon and now Creative Catalyst has posted a conversation with him.
CCP will soon have a DVD out by one of my favorite figure painters, Carla O'Connor. Look at a preview here from the American Artist site.
We have two more Lylas to go so you have time to look for photos and spin the planet.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Willie Nelson Watercolor Portrait

Willie Portrait Watercolor on 200 lb. paper
22" x 22"
I had lots of critique help from my Canvas by Canvas friends, Maryann, Cindy Y, Betty, and Connie, today at the Upstairs Gallery. We painted on personal projects and really didn't get on a roll until after our wonderful lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. a new restaurant in Arlington. We all ate a good healthy lunch with fresh salad if you could keep from finishing it off with chocolate brownies and ice cream and we all failed.
I painted Willie on a 50/50% water and matte medium coated watercolor paper. I see several things that need to be tweaked but I will need to live with it for awhile.
I received the release from the photographer to paint it in January 2007 but I'm just now getting around to painting it and I think I've been encouraged by of the experimental methods discussed and demonstrated in the Myrna Wacknov workshop. Let me know if you see places that need to be changed.
Oh, yes, why not listen to Always on My Mind. Songs and singers don't get any better than this.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Experimental Background for Watercolor Portrait ~ Nick on YouTube



15" x 22 Watercolor on 200 lb paper, no medium
About now I imagine you're contemplating when my children will take my driver's license away and no, the garbage bag didn't rip over the kitchen table. Or you could call it "How to Create a Spontaneous Background". Blame it on the June 2008 issue of Watercolor Artist and the Creativity Workshop article by Wendy Hill. (Be sure and look at her example in the link). I have pondered her paintings in the example and had to try it yesterday. Here is my loose interpretation of the written instructions. (Hint: Start drinking tea in individual bags and SAVE before this project.) Gather your texture materials.
1. I drew on my image with a Pitt waterproof pen lightly. Wendy surveys the painting and allows an idea to develop by rotating the paper after the color is applied. You just do what you're comfortable with.
2. Wet the watercolor paper, with random sprays or sponge. Leave some dry areas of paper for the whites.
3. Selectively drip color and splatter freely or selectively.
4. The fun texture part - Add and apply, press into the wet paint, tea bags, coffee filters, leaves, plastic wrap, salt, sponge, Starbucks coffee covers have a great linear design, and experiment and then let us know any great texture material you find. I've been eying the pink Sweet and Low packets this morning but the tea bag is supposed to give a little stain to the paper.
More about the tea bags. This didn't work too well because I think Wendy drinks individual packets of tea and I had big old Texas sized family size and I'd been saving them up on the window sill for weeks (another cause for a friend and family alarm). For one they took forever to dry and second in the next step they were too thick for the paint to penetrate. I did have some good and expensive ginger peach tea in a little silk bag that I cut open (after brewing) and rinsed and I really liked this effect but this is a special occasion tea and I didn't have that many!
(Another aside, Starbucks sent a free Wednesday card for one free Pike Place Roast tall for the month of May and now I'm hooked on the best coffee I've ever tasted and I've saving the heat covers for that great linear design to press into acrylic and watercolor. I bought some of the arabica beans from their newest addition and my brewed cup still wasn't as good as theirs, then proceeded to purchase a new coffee pot and still not as good as their Pike Place cup in the drive thru and May is nearing the end of the month and my get in free card is expiring).
5. The step that didn't work with my big old dried thick tea bags. Add juicy color to the tea bags on the wet areas so the area under the bags stains and colors in interesting ways and will leave a surprising design element. I couldn't get enough juicy paint to come through all of those dried tea leaves (maybe if I'd moistened them first but next time I'll use the smaller size.) But what the heck, this is an experiment, right?
6. The really, really hard part. Let it dry and leave it alone. I kept peeking. Don't do that. The dried area should have some interesting patterns and shapes, maybe some partial lines from a tea bag string or label.
7. Paint as you normally would for your chosen subject. I added some more black line work and it looks like in Wendy's painting examples she does also (a lot really). At this stage in the directions Wendy searched for a potential composition and then drew and I just added darker lines and some outlining.
Now go boil some water and start your tea drinking and paint a creative background before July 3, 2008 and mail it to to enter their challenge.
To see other work by Wendy Hill, click here.
Update on the Nicholas Simmons DVD I blogged about here:
Check out his painting style on YouTube.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Watercolor Self Portrait ~ Nancy

Self Portrait
Watercolor 15" x 11" 300 lb paper, Elegant Writer pen

I painted this Wednesday as a possible slide entry for a juried show. It was drawn off before the Myrna workshop and before I learned that I'd better write down on the back of the paper what I did to the surface. I may or may not have put a 50/50% solution of matte medium and water on it before painting. I know I used the Elegant Writer and it has been on there so long it did not bleed at all. The pose is a Myrna one for sure. See my post about the Gorilla Pod and how I managed the photos. This photo was taken after our Petroleum Club opening in Fort Worth.
Myrna did a great Willie Nelson drawing on her blog post. I'm getting some material together to paint a portrait of him soon - maybe branch out from these self portraits.
Some of the Canvas by Canvas members (Cindy Y, Karen F, Barbara H and I) made a business trip to Dallas today and we came home with 2 commissions for our collaborative painting group. It's great to have a painting project in the works. While in Dallas, we checked out some Dragon Street galleries, especially Artizen, the scene of Jonas Gerard's performance art. I've mentioned this before but you must see him paint on You Tube.It's about 10 minutes of spellbinding painting in action.
We made a must stop at Asels Art Supply for more art supplies, even some charcoal to maybe work from the Alex Powers book, Painting People in Watercolor. The used copies on Amazon start at $40.00 to $100.00 so it's a great one for your painting library so watch for it at garage sales.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

LYLAS 6 ~ "Maggie" ~ Nick's DVD

Lylas 6 "Maggie"
12" x 9" Acrylic on Gallery
Wrapped Canvas
This Lylas is named after Canvas by Canvas artist, Margie Whittington.
She has a blog and a web site where she showcases her murals. Probably every CBC member has taken a class from her at the Upstairs Gallery - sometime or the other. Margie posted on her blog her angel attempt Whimsical Angels ah la Nancy.
This one if for you, Margie.
Today I received a very long awaited email from
Creative Catalyst stating that the Nicholas Simmons DVD was available for preorder. You can watch a short Flash demo of a painting in progress. I ordered a copy and I am signed up for his workshop at Artists' Showplace, in Dallas, TX., June 9-13, 2008.
Today I found a site by way of Amazon. Don't you love it when they send you an email and say well, you bought this book and we think you'd like this one, Watercolor Sketching, by Brenda Swenson. Well, you know for sure that I did. Brenda Swenson has a great web site and has some great watercolors on her site. She has a short truck demo here. She has painted Pasadena and it has reminded me of another of my favorite Pasadena painters, Joseph Stoddard.
I've tried taking a workshop with him but it was canceled. I have two of his books, Redlands Sketchbook and Pasadena Sketchbook, and love looking at his paintings or sketches. Here is his submission for the Moleskin site and I see that he will have a fall book coming out , publisher Walter Foster, Watercolor Made Easy, Expressive Color.
Another great book for my library of art instruction books and dvds. Now to settle down and take the time to read and study in between painting with my Lylas.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nancy Self Portrait Watercolor and Grace Watercolor

Nancy Self Portrait Watercolor on gesso 240 pound paper
22" x 15"
The Graham Trip girls, Cindy Yandell, Karen Foster, and Barbara Hackney, of Canvas by Canvas painted together today at the Upstairs Gallery. I gave my portrait painting some "hot licks" signed and photographed it for a show entry. I think the gesso dulls the paint somewhat but I love being able to lift the paint so easily by using a wet brush and the spashes and drips are texture effects I've always liked.

15" x 18" Watercolor on Clear Gesso 300 lb. paper
I took photographs of a child for the Myrna Wacknov workshop and tried painting Grace on Tyvek in the class and decided I needed more practice. Today I painted my granddaughter, Grace, on the left. with a friend at Grace's 5th birthday party. All the children were sitting on a blanket out in the back yard opening presents and all the guests were snuggled up close. I caught this pose and both of the girls looked so serious to be at a celebration. Again I think the colors are a little faded out by being painted over the clear gesso but I do like the texture and lifting abilities. Be sure and use a synthetic brush as the rough gesso could damage a watercolor sable. I think I'd like to try painting Grace with watercolor on regular 140 pound paper. My daughter, Dana, cautioned me to "make her hair curl under a little" and by the time I finished I had a hard time distinguishing where a little side pony tail began. Now I don't know what to call them. Long ago when I fixed Dana's hair with two side pony tails, I called them "dog ears" or are they "pig tails"? I consider a "pony tail" just one in the back. I'm sure to hear from someone what to call little side pony tails these days.

Art Splash on the Square ~ Graham, Texas ~ Reception and Awards

See the post on May 10 to see our Canvas by Canvas acrylic painting entries for the National Juried exhibit in Graham. I was in the Myrna Wacknov workshop in Cedar Hill until about 3:00 Friday, did a quick load up, and headed to Graham to meet Canvas by Canvas artists, Cindy Yandell, Karen Foster, and Barbara Hackney for the awards and reception at 6:00 and a catered dinner at 7:00 p.m. We met some wonderful artists and saw some great work and renewed some friendships from our first Graham visit. We heard there were nearly 400 entries, 93 were in the show and approximately 10 of those were sculpture so CBC is feeling proud to be in the show. If you'd like to see all the entries they are posted on the Art Splash site.
We were invited to spend the night in Cindy's relatives bunkhouse in Caddo about 60 miles away. What a treat to be out in the country and it was dark and very quiet and I watched where I stepped as this was the scene of the rattlesnake roundup that I'd blogged about earlier. We had our own private bunk and bathroom - the place was huge. I had good intentions of getting my photo made in Jim's new tractor but forgot to do so but I had the gorilla pod still in the car from the workshop and Saturday morning I did get a group shot with it for the slide show seen below. We returned to Graham on Saturday to enjoy more of the festivities and to visit with our Graham friends, eat in the Magnolia Tea Room again, and see how our friend, Vickie, was dressed. She has a shop in town, J Dolittle and Co. and some $$ were spent at her booth. We're looking forward to another good visit when we come to pick up our paintings.. or we hope maybe just one painting and maybe two will sell?
In the slide show, watch for the photo of an art drawing manikin and it is strange as the hands and feet are on the wrong sides. Mouse over for captions.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Myrna Workshop Friday

Nancy Portrait
22" x 15" Watercolor on Gesso 240 lb. paper

Myrna cautioned us to write down on the back of your paper what texturizing (spell check is saying that is not a word) medium you used and some of the techniques. Imagine my surprise when I went to measure and photograph this piece this morning when I saw Cheap Joe's white gesso, textured with wax paper penciled on the back. I've been telling everyone this is CLEAR gesso because that's what I thought it was as I covered a full sheet with clear and a full sheet with white gesso and got them confused. Believe Myrna when she suggests making a note if you want to try and duplicate the technique.
I began this portrait at home on Thursday night (while packing for Graham) and brought it in on Friday to have something to work on. As I wanted to have the option of entering it into a future competition, I told Myrna that I didn't want any comments. She is super careful not to paint on other's work anyway. In Texas, many of the competitions and juried show specify that the work entered can't be done in a workshop setting. To me that means if you're all painting from the same image or the instructor paints on your work but I wanted to be extra careful. It's not completed yet but I will try to get back to it sometime this week. The rest of the class was working on hands or finishing up pieces. I'll get back to hands another day as I thought this piece was interesting to work on.
I'm posting a slide show of some of the pieces done by the workshop artists and it is so exciting to see portraits with different views and experimental media. Myrna opened our minds to other ways of approaching people painting. Thanks, Myrna. We are grateful you came to Texas to show us some of your California ways. We'll keep in touch through email and blogs. Myrna has a great blog and she has a monthly challenge going where artists share and comment on their work. You may see similar photos on her slide show on her blog. .
It was going to be necessary for me to leave early as Canvas by Canvas had a reception award function to attend in Graham (about 2 hours away) at 6:00. I will post a slide show from Graham later.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Myrna Wacknov Workshop ~ Thursday ~Cedar Hill TX

In the previous post, I discussed the watercolor workshop in Cedar Hill with Myrna Wacknov. Today we drew our children's portraits, Myrna gave an excellent demo on using the Tyvek snythetic paper and made it look sooo easy as she painted an Indian and we were getting antsy... and most of us had a feeling of "let me get at it --I know I can do it " before and during the demo, and we were given some of her liquid Hydrus watercolor paints. The seven of us were very confident after the demo but I hit a stone wall. Some had great paintings but I'm not even showing mine. I painted, wiped, added gouache, wiped, sprayed with water, hit with a watercolor pencil, wiped and scrubbed it several times and there it sits face down on the table so it won't scare the night cleaning person. I think Tyvek paper is pretty stong because I sure gave it lots of abuse today.
I didn't get photos of many pieces today. Everyone was just so busy painting and wrestling Tyvek. I will post some photos of Myrna's work on Tyvek, a few of the buildings, and one of Debra's on watercolor paper.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Myrna Wacknov Workshop ~ Cedar Hill TX

Watercolor on gesso surface watercolor paper (crooked photo, straight lines) Nancy's 2nd painting
Profile View of Nancy in the HAT * See note below

I decided to take a workshop with Myrna Wacknov after seeing her article, "Face Forward" in the October 2007 issue of Watercolor Magic. I didn't know when or where but I began a writing campaign and this is the week! There are 7 Texas students (some from Lubbock and Houston) taking a 5 day workshop at a new facility in Cedar Hill and Visual Expressions has a gallery and classrooms about 25 miles from Arlington. There is plenty of one on one instruction from 9:30 to 4:30 and more time for art talk when we walk about 50 steps to a restaurant to enjoy a leisurely lunch. On Myrna's blog she issues challenges to her readers about experimenting and learning more about drawing and painting. These past few days have found us doing the same by working on textured grounds of matte medium and gessoed surfaces and watching Myrna paint while discussing some of her concepts. Our workshop challenge has been to paint portraits: a frontal view, a side view, and one of a child with a strong emphasis on drawing. I've never wanted to paint a profile before, always thought they were a little tacky unless the person had a pretty cute nose but her requirement was extreme profile, no hint of the other eye, and a smooth face so I chose to paint my old, smooth face looking sideways with a good view of the snozzle. I painted watercolor on a gesso coated watercolor paper and from this experience I probably will be caught staring at people's profiles for awhile to see the relationships of noses, chins, lips and eyes.
Myrna brought some Tygerrag paper all the way from California for us to use for our child's painting that we may begin on Thursday. She's shown us her method of enlarging and getting the drawing on the paper and demonstrated Dr. Martin's Hydrus liquid watercolors, shared books, articles, and photos. It has been a great Myrna challenge and we are all enjoying this unique opportunity. Betty Taylor, a Canvas by Canvas member, is taking the class also.

Myrna giving a demo:

Myrna's Demo Painting:

Nancy's first portrait (self) using 50/50 Matte Medium and Water coated paper - this is enough to keep the grandkids at bay.... It's a little scary even to me but the advantage of using these textured papers is that the color lifts so easily and you can work and rework or recover with more gesso and try painting your neighbor. There is just something about looking at portraits that is so interesting to me. I will post a slide slow later of some of the work done in the class by the other students.
*I brought my "cowgirl hat" to class yesterday for Betty to take some side views for me to paint and I've had a request to bring it back to class on Thursday for more photos with others wearing the hat so we may have a new series of Myrna students wearing the "Cowgirl Hat".

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Acrylic Abstract

"Glacial Terrain"
24" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas, 1 3/8" depth gallery wrap, black edges

This is the third of four abstract paintings I've completed for the Upstairs Gallery Show and delivered them Wednesday. You are invited to their annual show and sale of art by the students of The Upstairs Gallery, and the show will be up until May 27, 2008. Several friends mentioned the look of ice and translucency the painting had so that is how the title derived. One comment at the opening reception when viewing one of the abstracts, "Oh, you've changed your style?"....Nope just added another as I'm still wanting to try a lot of painting styles I find. Another said "Whatever your style, I can pick your paintings out" and I don't see how yet but I found the statement interesting.
Other abstracts can be found on my web site which is always under construction.
Listening to conversations (think cell phone in the grocery store), lyrics and friends' suggestions all can contribute to your arsenal of song titles. I jotted one down last week from the grocery store when I heard a woman telling a man, "I'm not paying $5.00 for something like that." I wanted to turn around and see what she thought was overpriced but instead just took out my journal and pen and make a quick note. Since I'm now a GPS owner, I'm waiting for my painting titled "Recalculating". There will be one.
Happy Mother's Day to all and enjoy this special time set aside to honor mothers, living and dead. It's a time to acknowledge your mothers contribution in your life and I suggested to my children, they spend the day with their spouses, girl friends, boy friends or significant other and not be put on a guilt trip to visit, but maybe just call - certainly not going out to eat as the National Restaurant Association says this is the most popular day of the year to eat out. That means to me - stay home. Don't come over today but call me as we have several family graduation events for the last of May when we can enjoy each other's company. I know you love me. It's o.k. We'll celebrate then. Google the history of Mother's Day and it's an eye opener. It began as "Mothering Sunday", then a Mother's Day for Peace and now it's a highly commercialized holiday with flowers, cards and gifts. Maybe by next year I can have my kitchen back in the cooking mode and I can invite my children to dinner.
At present, I have numerous (think maybe hundreds) of watercolor paint tubes out on the table preparing my palette for the Myrna Wacknov workshop tomorrow at the Visual Expressions Gallery and School. Myrna has addressed the problem of too many palettes with this post and it's for me:
I have too many palettes and most of them have been loaded with paint! In an effort to use up some of the paint and not be wasteful, I started painting sheets of watercolor with random wet into wet washes. I would take these watercolor starts to model sessions and then I would draw the model on the paper with a Japanese brush pen that takes ink cartridges and finish the painting with pastels. It was amazing how these random colors worked so well every time! I love the look of the watercolor peeking through the pastel and part of the ink drawing showing here and there. It's a fun process. Give it a try."
As I am thinking watercolor after making the abstract jump, I've discovered a wonderful watercolor video of about 15 minutes from Jim Chapman that you can watch. If you'd like to paint along go find your watercolor paints in colors: cadmium yellow, raw sienna, raw umber, burnt umber, cadmium red light, red-purple, purple, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, peacock blue, viridian, yellow, black, and your Aquabee sketch pad and brush (now your kitchen table is looking like mine). He sounds Texan but he's a Georgia boy (and he can paint and talk at the same time) and he has a fresh, loose sketch approach to a still life set up of a cowboy hat, bottles and a quilt. He leaves specks of white which I like and some art instructors say nay, nay and you do it your way. Also read his art columns about taking workshops and how to expose yourself to better media coverage.
The email from last evening brought excellent information and a lot of it about online marketing can be found in the recent post from the Art Group DFW blog.
The ArtGroupsDFW News Blog is devoted to news of art events in the North Texas Area and is updated frequently and you can subscribe.
Enjoy your day and thanks to all the Mom's who have directed our paths.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Art Splash on the Square ~ Graham, Texas ~ Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hootin' Nannies

King of the Road

Rainbow of Boots

The Art Splash on the Square in Graham, Texas, is fast approaching. Three of our Canvas by Canvas paintings have been delivered and soon the festivities will begin with a big old Texas sized Dinner and Sneak Preview of the National Art Show on Friday night, May 16, by reservations only.
To read some of our CBC Graham history, read the post of Jan. 5.
Art Splash has several categories open to artists.
The American Splash National Competition is a Juried Art Competition and Show open to all professional artists. The show is held in the historic Old Post Office Museum and Art Center in downtown Graham, TX. 2008 Jury of selection and jury of awards will be nationally-known painter and sculptor, Scott Myers.
The highly anticipated Lake Country Show will be held in conjunction with this year’s Art Splash on the Square on Graham's beautiful historic downtown square. Proceeds from Art Splash on the Square benefit organizations in the Graham area that support the arts. All artists within a 150-mile radius of Graham, Texas, of Professional, Advanced or Intermediate skill levels, working in all medias are invited to show and compete for ribbons & cash prizes. (Artists not in the surrounding area please entered work in the American Splash Competition). The show is held in the American Legion Building in downtown Graham, TX. The 2008 Jury of Selection of awards will be nationally known painter Ann Hardy.
The Jr. Rembrandt Art Show is open to children in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade and they are urged to compete in categories of Paintings, Drawings, Pastels, Photography, & 3-D. The show is held at the Jr. Rembrandt Tent at Art Splash on the Square.
Artisans in Art Splash is an annual outdoor event that showcases quality and professionalism featured in unique artisan work, fine arts, and music.
The Square will be the place to be on the 18th with so many choices of activities.

Friday, May 9, 2008

LYLAS 5 ~ "BARBIE" ~ Contemporary Abstract Figures

LYLAS 5 "Barbie" Acrylic
9" x 12" Gallery Wrapped Canvas, 3/4" profile black (depth)
LYLAS is Internet slang for Love You Like A Sister and it gets used a lot in the emails that fly back and forth between the nine Canvas by Canvas member collaborative group. Since I don't have a sister they all fill that special sibling spot. See the post on April 13 to read the whole story and the one day workshop I gave for the Lylas at the Upstairs Gallery.
Yesterday as I was posting and updating my web site, one of my "painting sisters", Maryann, emailed the question, "Aren't you going to give each of the Lylas one of our names?" Great idea, MAS.
And now, here she is, the one and only "Barbie"..our Barbie, Barbara Hackney.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Abstract Acrylic ~ Pasodoble ~ Upstairs Gallery

24" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas, 1 3/8" depth gallery wrap, black edges

This is the second of four abstract paintings I've completed for the Upstairs Gallery Show and delivered them Wednesday. You are invited to their annual opening reception show and sale of art by the students of The Upstairs Gallery, May 10 from 5-8 pm. The show will be up until May 27, 2008. My friend and Canvas by Canvas member, Connie, emailed after seeing this painting and suggested the title as she was watching "Dancing with the Stars" and this painting reminded her of the word, Pasodoble. I don't watch the show but like the word.
I got an email from Creative Catalyst this morning and went to their site to see if the Nicholas Simmons art dvd was available yet. No, but some good news they are placing some of their art instruction dvd's in retail stores.
On their site you will find a wide selection of carefully edited and content rich art instructional video DVD workshops conducted by the nation's finest artist-instructors.
While on the site, I saw a Judy Morris checklist for success that I thought artists would like to review.
Today I will begin packing art suppliesfor the Myrna Wacknov workshop at the Visual Expressions Gallery in Cedar Hill. I'm so glad I can commute and not be trying out all the suitcases in my garage. She got 2008 off to a great start and a great honor - read about it here and see her creative portrait.
I became a fan after reading the October 2007, Watercolor Magic article, "Face Forward" and she included a lesson on Photoshop about Capturing Expression Through Photoshop. You can read about these steps here. I started writing her fan letters and contacted a local gallery that might sponsor a workshop. Myrna started a blog and ran a contest for one of her drawings for getting blog subscribers. I have 2 drawings that I cherish and she has progressed with more subscriptions and she shares freely with her drawing and painting knowledge. I've never gone to art school (but have taken my share of workshops) so I appreciate any technical help with photo manipulation in drawing preparation. Now I see today she's posted something from Sue Archer about drawing being the heart of art. Oh, Myrna, what am I going to do with you. I see you have upgraded to Photoshop Elements 6 and I only have 5 and that probably means PE now includes some cool new tool I can't live without, but I've got the brushes you suggested. One salient point from her blogs I have to repeat from the Feb. 19 post.

"The other thing I noticed in myself was how quickly I want to give up and tell myself this isn't for me because I'm not any good at it. We don't give ourselves very much time to succeed, do we?"
The artists I know are all pretty guilty of that one..just throw in the towel if their work doesn't look like a piece of art that an experienced artist produces that may have produced 500 pieces before - mea culpa - just some ground work in case I produce more turkeys next week. (Don't ever change colors on these posts if you use a black background because you have no idea what the original color was..If you change to white then you can't see it in your edit post.) Makes me want to throw in the towel!!

Abstract Acrylic ~ Awakening ~ Upstairs Gallery

24" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas, 1 3/8" depth gallery wrap, black edges

This is one of four abstract paintings I've completed for the Upstairs Gallery Show and will deliver them today. I wasn't planning on painting abstracts anytime soon but a chance encounter changed all that. Yesterday I "awakened" way too early after a painting dream and my mind was racing about how to get down on canvas some of the ideas in my head. Blank canvases had been sitting for months in the entry hall and I started gathering up supplies and clearing off the kitchen table. (I have a painting room upstairs but it's too cluttered, too far from the water, snacks, and cd's). This one is abstract #1.
Several things just came together - meeting Jonas Gerard at Southlake, visiting with Maureen Brouillette Sunday about seeing his performance art at Artizen, and it could have been the buffet dinner the previous evening at the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Farewell Party for Corinne Sunday at the Upstairs Gallery, Maureen front right in yellow:

Monday evening at the DMA was Arts and Letters Live and Texas Bound, stories connected and "bound" to Texas. Four short stories were read by Sally Nystuen Vahle, Ash Smith, Raphael Parry and Judith Ivey. Authors were Bret Anthony Johnston, Tim O'Brien, Sybil Raney, and Steven Salzman. (Tim O'Brien has been hailed as "the best American writer of his generation" by the San Francisco Chronicle." The buffet before the program is always fabulous. Copies of Texas Bound I and II can be purchased here.
The previous evening's food and stories could have played a part in this early morning rising and painting foray but I think it was a convergence of events that just shouted "Do it is the time." And it resulted in an all day affair with some abstract paintings.
Next on the agenda, watch for Canvas by Canvas to sally forth and see what happens when 9 collaborative artists try their hand at an abstract. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Small Landscapes ~ Preservation is the Art of the City ~ Art in the Garden

Blue Landscape #1
5 1/2" x 7 1/2" Acrylic on paper, not framed
If you see a #1 then you know there are others on the way. I painted 4 in a series of warm up exercises on Monday after working on my Canvas by Canvas square for the Portofino painting. I drew "C", top right in a 9 square painting with sky and some trees and I liked the color so I used the palette for 4 more studies.
Portofino Square (Watch for it on the easel soon at Canvas by Canvas)

This week I received my acceptance letter from the Preservation is the Art of the City show, 6th annual, to be held at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, September 9-27, 2008. It is a juried show limited to 50 local artists and judged on how the work would mesh with the existing mix of art in the show as they add a few new artists each year. Jury day was in March at Thistle Hill and with a percentage of any sales for the preservation programs at Historic Fort Worth, Inc. Artists can contribute up to 4 pieces of original art, 4 miniatures, and one theme piece. I mailed in my contract this week and there are about 5 more steps until the show and the awards presentation. Shows take months of work planning and preparation on the part of the organization and the artists.
Another large show some of the Canvas by Canvas painters attended this weekend was the very large Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson.
I've received notice yesterday from the Fort Worth Garden Club, Inc. that my giclee, Diadem, has been accepted in the 2008 Art in the Garden show and sale to be held from September 5-7 in the Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center in the
Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

I have an Art hint:
At the Mel Stabin workshop in San Miguel, Mel gave us a "magic eraser" to try out and I've been searching for one ever since. I finally found it in the cleaning section of Krogers, a 2 pack Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and it is great for lifting watercolor mistakes or lightening an area (not mentioned at all for one of the uses). We did plein air landscapes (I like figures) and that isn't a favorite of mine but I love watercolor. A watercolorist that I've found that does wonderful landscapes is Minike Reinders and she gets great detail in small works of 5" x 7". It makes me want to try some of my San Miguel landscapes in watercolor. Maybe soon. At present I continue with the acrylic landscapes because I can keep painting over until I am comfortable with them or just put them in the "turkey" pile. The Blue Landscape may make it into the Preservation Show.