Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flowers, flowers, flowers

Daffodils or The Daffodils on Mockingbird Lane
13x22 watercolor
The daffodils are blooming on Mockingbird Lane. I keep seeing them as I drive by and think, "Oh, I have got to come take photos", then I chuckle because one of my biggest supporters cannot stand daffodils AND they happen to live on Mockingbird Lane. The neighbors on Mockingbird Lane decided to make daffodils their street flower so the whole street and streets around it have daffodils lining the sidewalks. How can a daffodil be a flower that someone does not like. The architecture alone of a daffodil is so unique. With a center cup surrounded by 6 petals alternating in two different kinds of petals. Here I show two different varieties. I am not sure of the names. The white with orange centers are very ruffly.

Four pack of florals
The note cards are here!!! I am so pleased with how the note cards have turned out. I ordered some for myself to give to clients as appreciation gifts. I had mine printed on felt, which looks very similar to watercolor paper. The quality came out so good and true to color. They almost look like originals! A direct link for this 4 pack has not been set up just yet. I will post it as soon as CardsDirect puts the 4 pack on their site. In the meantime, if you want some, just email me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tissue paper and an old rendering

Here is my painting, Love is in the Air, printed on tissue paper and bag tags!!!! The tags and tissue paper were used for the favor bags at a YPO Valentine Party. Cards Direct had the design enlarged on the tissue paper. I think the tissue paper emphasizes a special luminosity.

8x10 pen and ink in sepia
This was the first rendering I did as a gift for a friend long ago. I always loved the architectural style of this house in Northern Hills in Dallas. Northern Hills has a very interesting history which continues to twist and turn. It is just 4 quaint streets of homes mostly built in the twenties. There have been issues with the neighbors that are trying to preserve the beautiful architecture of this neighborhood with new home owners that are building homes without any regard to the surroundings. Look at this wonderful home, how tall and proud it stands with appropriate proportions to its site. I hope the fate of this house is safe.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Rose Bouquet

Love is in the Air

Love Wins

This year has been so joyful so far, it makes me want to keep spreading the love. I am so thrilled with Cards Direct purchasing the license to use some of my paintings that it has really given me the joy and justification to paint more.

Because of Cards Direct, I painted Love is in the Air. When I painted this I thought that they could use it has a background. This was new freedom for me to paint in this style. It was experimentation with color and new techniques that I normally don't use. Cards Direct did purchase this one and asked me to do something similar with butterflies.

Love Wins was inspired after I went to a Southwestern Watercolor Society meeting. The artists bring paintings that are voted on. I saw two that were done with masking fluid and looked like batik. They had bright colors with the high contrast against the white. Our speaker / demonstration was by Carla O'Connor. She is one crazy artist - and I mean that in the most desired way! From her, I learned freedom in painting. She said crazy things like, "I don't know what it is going to look like in the end...", "oh, let's see what will happen if i do this...", "painting is not the painting in the end, it is the process...". By watching Carla paint and listening to her, I was inspired to be more free and more experimental. Question for you on Love Wins: Should I paint the background solid black with Indian ink so that the hearts and circles pop out?

Last, Rose Bouquet. I had a rough sketch made from several photos I have taken of roses. I added some white hydrangeas because I noticed the use of hydrangeas in the Valentine Bouquets around town this past week. I painted it looser than usual and also, you should have seen how dark the first stroke of red was on the wet paper! I love painting with reds and pinks. I literally felt "drunk" during this painting. I was not. My family had been gone for 3 solid hours, I had the music blasting, and not one interruption. It was blissful!

So whether it is Valentine's Day or some other day, spread the love!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweets for Your Sweetie

This piece was immediately spoken for by both my 9 and 10 year old sons. There are some parts of it that are not perfect, but, when I saw how big my sons' eyes got and their huge smiles when I showed it to them, that is what I remember. They both said with total sincerity and enthusiasm, "Awesome, that's the best painting." My 9 year old said, "those are my favorite."
I did two paintings today, this being the second. I will try to fix up the parts that I don't like. This is on hot press paper, so it is very easy to lift, but, I am disappointed with the part you know I am talking about.
I have to tell you about the doughnuts. One of the mom's in our playgroup always pick ups the most adorable doughnuts when it is her turn to host. Needless to say, our kids eat about 3 each and love going to her house. This time I took my camera because I wanted to paint the doughnuts. Well, she surprised us with these heart doughnuts! Just in time for Valentine's Day! I took several pictures with the doughnuts arranged in different positions. I didn't realize how much I was handling the doughnuts and how unappetizing that was to the other moms. I don't think anyone ate these particular ones. I forgot the name of the doughnut place. If you live in Dallas, it is on Lover's Lane by the Drip.
p.s. thanks to MY sweetie for letting me paint all day!!!! what a treat!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Lazy Life of the Well Kept

This is my aunt's cat, Sassy. My aunt is a photographer and is always sending me zillions of amazing photos for me to paint from.
First, I wish I could promote her blog or website, but, Aunt, you don't have one, yet! (hint, hint).
Secondly, this takes me back to: some photos are best a photo and would not make a good painting. Some of the great photos my aunt has sent are gorgeous sunsets over the Corpus Christi bay with the sailboats and bridge in silhouette with perfect reflections on the water. Now I am starting to think, maybe I should try painting that. I guess I am fine with leaving a great photo as a great photo. In any event, when I saw Sassy's fluffy tail and her fur "halo", I thought I want to try to capture that fluffiness.

I painted wet into wet on the backside of watercolor paper for added texture. I am proud to say that I did this painting a lot faster than my usual time. To me, that means I captured the esence (hopefully) instead of getting caught up in a bunch of tiny details. Next time when I do a people scene, I will try to remember this so I can just give the idea of a group of people rather than painting every detail.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Butterflies I
For about 3 years now I have had an image of butterflies covering a page in a whimsical, transparent way. This idea has been coming in and out of my head but I was always trying to think of how I could do this as a painting for someone that may what to hang on their wall.
Using the technique above, I made one for Valentine's Day, which, the greeting card company, Cards Direct, has already purchased the license to use. Cards Direct asked if I could do something similar with butterflies!!!! So, voila, I finally got a client that my idea could work for. I have not shown this to them yet since we are having another snow day. I promise in real life the colors look much better. The colors are more yellow to citron, yellow to orange and aqua greens. In the photos above there is a blue grey overcast and the colors seem not to flow together as they do in the painting.
Please check back on Valentine's Day to see the Valentine painting!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Orange Umbrellas
6x9 watercolor
I have stacks and stacks of photos I have taken of cafe/umbrella scenes. I do not know what it is that attracts me to outdoor cafes with umbrellas as painting subjects. Again, applying (trying to apply) what Andy Evansen taught us, I tried here. Andy paints on wet paper very fast. I think my paper was still a little too wet since the umbrellas bled a lot. Then the paper dried so fast I was painting wet onto dry paper. I do like the overall scene and the umbrella "dance"/"pattern" is interesting to me. I may try this on a large size paper. I do prefer painting with larger brushes and having more space to let the paint intermix.

My budding little artist painting on a snow day. His Auntie sent him that darling paint set.

Have a great week! Thanks for your comments, critiques and visits.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Joys of a "Snow Day"

The Market
5.5" x 15"

Thanks to our "snow storm" in Dallas, I got to paint today!!!! Almost everything is shut down so it is a surprise "free day".

I was inspired from a scene I saw of San Miguel in the Smithsonian magazine. I tried to apply the techniques I learned in Andy Evansen's workshop. If you are a regular reader, you know that I desire to paint "loose", however, as you know, I always end up going to my natural style which is tight and detail oriented. I tried to give the idea of the viewer being IN a crowded market. I decided to paint this on a page cut emphasizing the horizontal. I learned that this is what I liked about my sailboat paintings. I feel in those paintings that I am on a sailboat in the dance of boats. I found that this shape was also good for the mountain scene and A Secret Garden. I like this horizontal format a lot. I feel like it engulfs the viewer.