Wednesday, December 29, 2010


12" x 16" Acrylic with Collage
I'm sure having a lot of fun playing with these acrylic collages! I'm still not where I want to go yet, but I'm enjoying the process. I think I'm going to try an abstract without collage next. I want to learn to play with color and structure. Stay tuned..........

Sunday, December 26, 2010


12" x 12" Acrylic with Collage
Here is my latest attempt at fluid acrylic with collage. I received an intructional DVD from Ann Baldwin last week. She makes it look so easy! I'm discovering that abstracts often take on a life of their own. This one started out in my mind as simple, pale blue and silver, and ethereal. Well, what happened!? I think it became a much stronger statement - becoming bolder and more activist-like. Those darned fluid acrylics! They're so much fun to play with, I just couldn't stop adding color! Oh well, it is what it is - and, I learned a lot from this piece.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


When we moved to Florida almost 9 years ago, the house we bought has a very nice fireplace in it. The owners told us that they never used it, and had closed it up so birds and squirrels wouldn't get in it. That was fine with me, cause I couldn't imagine having a fire in Florida. So, I turned that room into a dining room.

Fast forward - and we had the coldest winter ever last year, and this year started out the same way, so I decided to rearrange and turn the dining room into a cozy den - and have the fireplace inspected and any repairs done. So, yesterday, the guy came out and did all that - and so, today, I made fire! Did I mention that it's balmy and warm today? Oh, who cares! I needed to make a fire!

So, after many tries, I finally got some wood to burn! And, it was beautiful for awhile. Meanwhile, we had all the doors and windows open! LOL It's ok - I just know that it will be cold again!

Friday, December 17, 2010


12" x 12" Acrylic with Collage
I had such fun today - experimenting with all my new fluid acrylics and trying out a technique by Ann Baldwin, that encompasses collage and stamping. It's always been a struggle, trying to figure out how to come up with an idea for an abstract. In her book, she talks about finding ideas - and when I was at Michaels the other day, I came across this sheet of paper, and bought it because it was cool. Now, I'm thinking it could be the catalyst for a new series!

There's also one for Peace, which will probably be the next attempt!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blog Anniversary

Three years ago today, this was the first painting that I uploaded onto this blog. At that time, I had been painting for a little over a month. I remember loving painting with oils - and I managed to paint something every day!
This blog was born out of my desire to have a place that my family and friends could go to and see my progress on this wonderful journey. I had no idea that it would be the beginning of new friendships - and that total strangers would find me and comment! What a blessing! Through this blog, I have challenged myself to paint - and to show even the failures. I've "met" many other artists, and love seeing what they do! I've learned so much, and continue to do so by trying other mediums and other styles of painting. Long Live Blogging! Thank you to everyone who peeks in from time to time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

October Road

12" x 16" Watercolor
Finally painted again! I haven't been in painting class for awhile. Seems like something comes up every week, and I can't go. This is my rendition of a wonderful photo that I saw on Wet Canvas. I hope I did it justice.
Yesterday, I purchased another cool book on painting acrylic abstracts: Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists. I'm still trying to find ways to tap into my creativity and make some abstracts that I will love! Lots of great ideas in this book! Now, I just have to order more fluid acrylics, and find a bunch of papers to add to the collage. Why is it that I just have to keep finding new things to do that cost me a lot of money?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Picasa Picnik

I use Google Picasa for my photo program - and I just got an update today. Went in to see what was new, and found a new toy -- Picnik!

This fun editing program allows me to:

Add a frame around my photo - it will make it look nicer when I upload it to my blog!

"Posterize" an inspiration photo - might make it easier for me to see the values!

And, I can also turn a photo into hexes - this might help me figure out how turn a subject into an abstract!
I'm excited to try all the fun things the program has to offer! And, it's free!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


From left: Sandy, Judi, Jeanne and Susan
My watercolor class will be in hiatus until December 30th. We decided that we all need a break during this busy holiday time. Hopefully, when we re-convene - we will have some new students, as well as some regulars that have been traveling! Today's class was fun - everyone doing their own thing. These gals have really taken to the medium, and do great work!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Am I Blue?

7" x 10" Watercolor
Today in my painting class, we painted flowers "close up". I got this image from Wet Canvas. I love painting flowers this way - it's so dramatic and fun. I'm planning on doing a series of them, and then matting and framing them alike for my wall. Tomorrow, we're going to Watercolor Club - they're doing a "Paint Around". Anxious to see how that goes!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pepper Fiesta

7" x 10" Watercolor
My watercolor class was dedicated to painting produce yesterday. I had everyone come in with at least 3 pieces of produce. We made little still lifes, and painted! Fun! I picked out these peppers just because they were so colorful! I must admit, though, that I gave them away at the end of class - I just don't eat them! One gal brought in broccoli, and another had some parsley - they both did an amazing job of painting them (and I think they're very hard things to paint).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lake Scene

12" x 16" Watercolor
My class wanted to paint landscapes with water, so I printed off a few photos from Wet Canvas for them to try. This is the one I picked. I swear - since I started teaching this class, I haven't painted one thing that I think is ok! Maybe I'm trying too hard or something, but I'm really emabarassed that my paintings aren't better than this! So, of course, I always bring in one that I like (that I painted much earlier) so that they can see that yes, once in awhile, I can do a painting that's presentable! Arghhhhhhhhhhh.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lily Fair

11" x 15" Watercolor
Painted this little lily study last week during Pat's class. It's from a photo I took of some beautiful lillies I had in a vase. Today, I went to the Ocala Art Festival. Got there right as it opened at 10:00, and in a very short time, it was so hot outside that I wanted to leave! Sometimes, living in the Sunshine State sucks! But, I saw some beautiful things there - and I purchased a gorgeous piece of pottery. Tra-la-la!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Acrylic Practice

12" x 12" Acrylic
I found this fabulous book on acrylic painting: "Dynamic Acrylics" by Soraya French - in Barnes & Noble in Kansas City last week. It really speaks to me, since she paints rather abstractly with bright, bold colors! This is me trying to copy one of her amazing paintings. Mine looks like 1st grade next to hers, but I learned a lot from doing it, and have begun to think about doing something on my own. Love, love, love this book!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Peace Tree

11" x 15" Watercolor
I'm finally home! I do believe that 10 days is just too long to be gone - but I had a wonderful time with my kids and grandkids. My daughter & I drove from Kansas City to Liberal, Kansas for my class reunion - that was a looooong 8 hour drive each way! But, still - glad that I did it! Now, though, I can concentrate on painting things. And, cleaning out my closet for winter (Ugh).
This painting was inspired by a photo I had taken a couple of years ago of a tree leaning into the Rainbow River. Everything was misty, and hard to paint, but I hope I did it justice! And, of course I call it the "Peace Tree", since it makes a perfect peace sign! Peace to you all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


7" x 10" Watercolor
Today in Pat's class, we had about an hour left, and she put these gourds out on the table, and said, "Paint them!" - so we did! Not the best thing I ever painted, but not the worst, either. Sometimes I think it's rather fun to just work quickly, without much thinking - and see what happens! Lots that I would do differently with more time, but, "Such is Life"!
This Saturday, I'll be flying to Kansas City and visit for a few days, then my daughter and I will be driving down to Liberal, Kansas (in the Southwest corner of Kansas) - to attend my 45th Class Reunion. I know that it's getting nice and cool in KC, so I'm looking forward to that! These days of 90 degree heat have just about worn out their welcome! Maybe some of the trees will have color, so I'll take some pics!
Anyway, I'll be away for 10 days! See you on the flip side!

Friday, September 24, 2010

By the River

11" x 15" Watercolor
So my class on Thursday wanted to paint trees. Well, trees aren't usually the main subject in a painting, but I decided to come up with a little scene for them to paint. It was good enough to incorporate a few little lessons - and they all did very well with it. I think I'm starting to run out of steam - and new things for them to learn. They need to just practice, practice, practice! Next week, they will all bring in something that they want to paint, and we'll see how that goes. Even with all the stress, I'm loving this class! Lots of warm, funny, amazing women - we have a good time!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Bouquet

12" x 16" Watercolor
So in my class today, we made bouquets out of all the pretty flowers that I brought in, and painted them. As the instructor, I was hoping that my painting would turn out better than this - but it did turn out to be a teaching moment. I showed them what I didn't like about it, and what I did. I think it helps sometimes to show them that I can have problems with a painting that I did, too! (What was I thinking about putting that little leaf "skirt" around the top of the vase?!) So, next week, they want to learn about painting trees. Oh Dear.........!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pat Kelly-Sistrand

I'd like to introduce you to my wonderful instructor, Pat Kelly-Sistrand. I've been taking her watercolor class for a couple of years now - every Tuesday afternoon. She has taught me so much about this craft, and I want to publicly thank her for that! In her class, we always do "Critique" first thing, bringing in paintings that we have done over the week. She has such a good eye for finding just "that thing" that will bring your painting to life, and make it sing! I find myself trying to figure out what she's going to say! I make sure that I have all my darks and lights in, know where my light source is, and check composition! But, there seems to be always something else that it needs!

Now that I'm teaching my own class, I find that most of what I want to pass on to my students are tricks and techniques that I have learned in Pat's class. She's truly a gem!

When we left class yesterday, she challenged us to paint something from life - so I went and got some flowers and put them in a pot. Actually, this is exactly what my class will be doing tomorrow! I'm bringing in lots of flowers, and they're bringing in some vases, and they'll be painting an arrangement from life. I'm really not so happy with this painting (who knew that sweet-smelling stock is so hard to paint?) Maybe tomorrow I'll be better at it!

12" x 16" Watercolor

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunny Side Up

12" x 16" Watercolor
Sunflowers, once again! I love painting them! Today, in Pat's class, we worked with the latex house paint - using it to draw the image, letting it dry, and then painting over it. I love the way it makes you paint very loose. And, I love the way you always have whites! All in all, I really like this painting!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spinning Out Of Control

8" x 8" Acrylic
So I went to my friend, Carlynne's, house on Friday for a one-on-one class in acrylics. I learned so much that my head was spinning when I left. Unfortunately for me, I spent a lot of time drooling over her magnificent abstract paintings. Unfortunate because I know I will never paint anything that even comes close to the beauty that is hers.
Anyway, after spending a fortune online, ordering lots of paints and brushes and whatever - I tried to come up with a painting out of my head. I can see that I will be needing a LOT of practice in this medium! But, you know, that's ok. Rome wasn't built in a day. So now it's a lot like learning to paint with watercolor - one day at a time!
It's taken me a very long time to be comfortable with my style of watercolor painting, so I'm sure that the same will be true with acrylics. I post this beginning, just as I have all my other painting practices - and someday, I will look back and be amazed at my progress. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunset Palms Redo

For class today, I decided to redo a painting that I did a couple of years ago. You can see the original here. When I went to look up this painting, I discovered that I painted it almost exactly 2 years ago. Anyway, I wanted to show my students a way to do sunsets.

Drum roll, please! I want to introduce you to my students -- they are all working so hard! They all practice during the week, and are doing very well. My favorite part of the class is when we do "Show & Tell" at the end. They truly encourage and praise each other - and it's so much fun to see the different styles emerge!

From the left: Susan, Jo & Mary


Jeanne & Donna


Ginny, Ilda, Sue & Teresa - and Linx in the back

And, 3 new students today - Loree (in front), Charmaine & Cheryl
Great job today, Ladies! Thanks!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Still Life

11" x 15" Watercolor
Today in Pat's class, she put a bunch of stuff in the center of the room, and challenged us to find something in it to paint. It forced us to edit, and find a center of interest. I picked the 2 blue vases - she had one bunch of sunflowers, so I made 2 bunches. We had to figure out our light source and then shadow appropriately. And, even though I'm not entirely happy with the outcome, I found it to be fun -- I didn't even draw the scene, just painted it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Little Beach

7" x 11" Watercolor
Today, my watercolor class was all about sky, water, and sand. Even though I'm not too great at making up scenes to paint, this one ended up ok. Have to be careful not to divide the paper into 3 stripes! Once again, my students did pretty well with this - it's quite different than what they had been doing. I'm truly enjoying this teaching gig -- it's making me step up to the plate, and acknowledge that I DO know a few things or two! Sometimes, I'm amazed at some of the stuff that just flows from my lips! You'd think I've been painting forever! LOL! Oh well, we really do have fun! Next week: Sunset!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Marsh

16" x 20" Acrylic
I've been wanting to play with acrylics lately. And, I've kinda had this image in my mind, and today there was a photo similar to it in the newspaper -- seemed like karma! It was fun to paint on a canvas again, but I'm still not sure exactly how to handle the paint. But, it was a nice diversion, and I'm sure that I'll be trying it again!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mixed Fruit - Class #2

This was the subject of my class today. All 12 students showed up again today - and, they had all practiced during the week. I'm so amazed - they're all doing so well. I didn't get a chance to get another group shot, but all of their efforts today were fantastic!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lazy River

12" x 16" Watercolor

Last week in Pat's class, she gave us a black & white photo of this river and trees. We not only had to edit and interpret it, but each of us made our own color decisions. Unfortunately, mine was very predictable. I really want to stretch out more and use more interesting color combinations. My goal is to paint more impressionistic, and less realistic. Sometimes it comes together in my head, but I have a hard time actually painting it! I'm contemplating taking some acrylic lessons from one of my first instructors, Carlynne Hershberger. She has a look that I'm so in love with. Check out her blog!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My First Teaching Job

This was the subject of our first painting class

I gotta tell you - I just loved teaching this class! Everyone was really anxious to learn, and all did such a good job! When 12 showed up, I was a little (make that a LOT) nervous - cause I know from being in large workshops that it's hard to give everyone enough attention. But, they were all troopers - and their first painting was a very simple one, so it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be!
I sent them home with homework - I can't wait to see what they come up with! I just hope they all had as much fun as I did today!

Monday, August 2, 2010


7" x 11" Watercolor
Finally got to do some painting this weekend! At least I'll have one painting for critique in class tomorrow! This is from a photo I took at Pass-A-Grille Beach during the grandsons' visit. It was so hot that day -- and the water was so warm and salty -- even though it's so beautiful there, it wasn't a pleasant trip for me!
I've been getting ready for a new class. This time, I'll be the teacher! I'm starting a basic, beginning watercolor class on Thursday, Aug. 5th. I'm able to use the Friendship Hall at my church, and they were nice enough to advertise for me - and ended up with a full class! I'll be sharing a lot of things that were taught to me by all the amazing instructors that I have encountered on this path. I hope that they love it as much as I do!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bye Bye Boys

The grandsons went home yesterday. Another long trip to the airport and back! When we moved here, I really thought it wouldn't be so bad to be 2 hours away from the airport, but on days like this (when I'm so tired, I could cry) it is a very loooooooooong way!

Fun time at the airport - people from Busch Gardens were there with lots of interesting things, like this 1 year old kangaroo! They let us pet him -- he felt like a chinchilla! So soft - not what I expected!

Finally, the blue airplane took the boys away. We had such a good time - but I spent the day today just sitting! Hopefully, tomorrow, I will get back into painting!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Time Out

Alex, Zack & Colin
I've been taking some time off - 3 of my grandsons came to visit this week! We've been very busy, swimming, snorkeling, fishing and just having fun! I must admit, though, I don't know when I've ever been this tired! Love, Love, Love having them here -- but I will tell you, I'm looking forward to getting back to normal. (And getting back to painting!) See you soon!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Darla Goldberg

Last Wednesday, I joined The Ocala Art Group. Their meetings involve demos of all the different art mediums. But, Wednesday the demonstrator was Darla Goldberg - a friend of mine from Citrus Watercolor Club. I wish I had also taken some photos of the paintings that she had there - she is a tremendous artist! Darla had a career as an oculist - designing and making prosthetic eyes. So her demonstration on making eyes realistic and glowing in your paintings was a real treat! Of course, I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to do portraits!

Here, she was showing us that light passes through the eye, so there is always light in the side of the iris

Here, she was showing the different sizes of the pupils, and the way that light strikes should appear.

She also passed around paintings of different animal eyes - and discussed what makes them different from human eyes. All in all, a very interesting demo!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Star

9" x 12" Watercolor

Well, I missed Day 3 of daily painting - but I did draw this out yesterday. Just didn't get around to painting until today. I drove over to Pam and Dana's house yesterday, cause I had seen that they had lots of Sunflowers in bloom the other day. They weren't home, so I took some pictures anyway! Most of the large sunflowers had wilted, but this little one was still blooming strong! Fences are not my friends, but I hope it reads like a fence -just a little off kilter!
I found this cool new blog: Inspiration All Around Us - it's another challenge-type blog that posts a photo every week, and asks artists to use it for inspiration! So, I just might try this week's challenge! It's Hydrangeas! YIKES!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gerbera Daisies

7" x 10" Watercolor
These actually are my Gerbera Daisies! Day 2 of my daily watercolors - YAY! I like this one much better than the landscape yesterday. If you notice, I have a playlist on the right side of my blog. This morning, I painted this painting while listening to that playlist - start to finish! I had it drawn first, though. Something about the music got me really into it!