Monday, December 19, 2011

Abstract in Watercolor

Abstract I

Here is an abstract in watercolor.  I have been imagining something like this for the last few years.  When I have thought about painting abstracts, I see these colors and pattern.  I started with a pouring technique, after letting the paper dry naturally, I continued pouring, stamping and painting until I got this image.  I plan on working on more abstracts.  It is very relaxing as well as challenging.  It makes me focus on design and composition in a more intense way.

Thanks for visiting!  I wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Peace and Joy this holiday season.  Oh, I will be giving away Christmas cards on my Facebook page, don't forget to check it out!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Winning Christmas Sails


I was thrilled with this commission!  A sea of sailboats in action AND a red spinnaker!  You know I love painting with reds and sailboats.  My client had the idea of a watercolor of her father and brothers sailing.  After receiving permission from the photographer, Tim Wilkes, I used one of his photos for this painting.  This would be the first time I had such a great reference of beautiful boats moving at full force in the water.  The father is the skipper and the other two figures are his sons.  This was the 2008 J22 Worlds Championship Regatta in Rochester, NY.  The father won The World's Master and the Grand Masters (50 and over).  My client is giving it to her father for Christmas.  I titled it Championship, not only because of the fact that they won, but, more for the fact of a championship of the relationship of father and sons.  Spending time together, working together, winning in life together.

Thanks so much for your comments and sharing my blog with your friends.  Check me out on facebook for the post current posts of paintings in progress.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An expression of thanks

Colors of Fall
watercolor and acrylic

First, I just have to thank all of my blogger friends who helped me on my last post.  You were so helpful and supportive with my first portrait of a child.  Your support pulled me through and gave me courage to show the parents of the little boy.  Luckily, they loved it and we are bartering services!  If you receive my blog via email, please go online to my actual blog so you can check out my wonderful artist blogger friends' blogs.  If you go to comments, you will see their names and comments, by clicking their name, it will take you to their blog.  I promise you will enjoy seeing their art and learning about their journey them.
About the painting above, Colors of Fall.  I did the above painting in Pat Kochran's class at The Artisan's Studio-Gallery.  (See photo below).  We were experimenting with watercolor, acrylics and stamping.  Fall leaves were our subject as it is always a favorite once the leaves start changing color.  Remember, as a child, did you collect fall leaves and then lay them flat between two pieces of wax paper. In kindergarten, we did this project. We also sprinkled red, orange, and yellow crayon shavings on the wax paper with the leaves, then our teacher and room mom ironed the two pieces of wax paper together. We got to watch the magic of the crayons melting and mingling together, holding the wax paper together to forever preserve our leaves.  I am so thankful for my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Gonzales (Martinez).  Would she believe I am an artist now?

Ted Nuttall and me with his artwork on the cover of Splash!

Jane Jones, Naomi Brother, Pat Kochran, me

Above are photos from Ted Nuttall's workshop at the Artisan's Studio Gallery.  I will still have to report more on Ted Nuttall's workshop later.  As a person and a teacher, he is just wonderful.  He takes time with each student and has great patience.  If you get a chance to take his workshop, I highly encourage you to do so.

The second photo moves me every time I see it.  Jane Jones was my first watercolor instructor, when she took a break from teaching, Jane referred me to Naomi Brotherton, whom I studied with for years.  Naomi is a dynamo at age 95, still teaching classes, painting and winning competitions! I have known Pat Kochran since I have taken classes with Naomi and this fall I have been taking classes with Pat.  I believe both Pat and Jane have taken from Naomi as well.  Each of these fabulous women are such active powerhouses in the art world with their award winning art displayed all around the country.  I am so lucky to know them and I truly cherish what I have learned from them as well as our friendships.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving and as always, thanks for your comments, emails and friendship!

Like me on facebook to win a set of note cards of my watercolors. To receive my personal blog via email, sign up as an email subscriber in the upper right margin.  Share my website with your friends.  Last, if you need last minute hostess gifts, I have boxed sets on hand.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Portrait Artists, Help...

Hello, I hope this post finds you well and at peace this fall. 

I was so lucky to be able to participate in Ted Nuttall's workshop a few weeks ago.  This darling little boy is my friend's son.  The photo was picture perfect to start with.  I decided to work with a photo of a child because if I was going to be in a workshop with a master like Mr. Nuttall, then I wanted to ask the best how to paint what is the hardest for me.  I think it is so hard to paint a child's face because they have no wrinkles and fine lines.  Their skin is so smooth it is hard to show the forms on flat paper.

I have shown 3 phases of the painting here.  I was in love with the image before the first image on top.  I don't have that photo.  As you can see I layered in colors.  I have overworked some areas and do not think I can show this to my friend now.  Although, my goal was not to have a photo realistic painting, I was not intending for a sunburn look either.  I am happy with some parts of the painting, but, certainly not overall.  I do not know if I can save this painting or I must just start over.  If you have any tips, I am all ears.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Photos from Greeting Card Reception

Me with the CEO of Cards Direct

My friends showing their support at the reception

I am still catching up from taking a one week abstracts with acrylics and mixed media workshop.  I will post those photos later.  That same week was Cards Direct showroom party.  They made a beautiful display of their note cards with my images on them.  I was so impressed with the quality of the paper and the color match on the note cards.  They look really good.  I took two of my original paintings for part of the display.  The printer said that he learned a new way to print multi-color tissue paper when he used my Love is in the Air painting to print tissue paper for a YPO event last February.  Apparently, this is a break through in the printing world.  After I saw the tissue paper, I have been wanting to get Love is in the Air printed as tissue, wrapping and gift bags.  We will see what happens.

Thanks for visiting and a huge thank you for all of the additional follow ups on the last post!  Love hearing from each of you.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mid-Day on Main
15x22 watercolor

I couldn't wait to post this.  I have been hanging on to the photo that inspired this painting for about 10 years now.  I have been too chicken to paint it.  Finally, in Pat Kochran's class (I am taking a finding your own style class), one of the themes was a city scape with watercolor and acryllic.  I narrowed it down to 5 photos.  By taking a class, it makes my process more pronounced.  It made me articulate out loud why I liked this photo and what was my goal (plan) for my painting.  I wanted to capture the essence of the hustle and bustle of this main street in Holland Park, London.  The crowd walking, people enjoying lunch, someone waiting for the bus, the cars moving along on the street is so energizing to me.  I just love that city vibe.  I am always drawn to umbrellas and awnings, which were in this photo, too.  I am pleased with the outcome.  Please don't take this as being conceited.  If you follow my blog, you know that I rarely toot my own horn.  But, in this case, since I was so intimidated (for 10 years) to paint it, I made a plan, took the baby steps and luckily, it worked to my satisfaction.

Thank you for your feed back.  I love hearing your thoughts.  Those are my most favorite emails!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The most recent and interesting commission I have had.  A new client asked me to do a home portrait of her friend's first home in a family Bible.  I had never been asked to do this before.  It was difficult to work in a large heavy Bible on the very smooth and thin paper.  Clearly, little room for error.  My client was happy with the end result.  I am touched to be included in such a thoughtful gift.

Have a great week!  Oh, I just announced the winner for the note card giveaway on facebook.  Keep checking my facebook page for other giveaways.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Painting with Mom

Roses for Mom
My parents were visiting this past weekend.  I painted these roses with my mom.  She does mixed media and acrylic.  She wanted to work on her roses so we did a little painting session.  I did this painting with her watching to show her how I paint roses.  I started with a drawing created from photos of roses.  Wet into wet I put down the first wash of color.  Dried with a blow dryer.  Then I layered in the darks to start shaping the flowers.  I mixed several reds (I love working with reds) and layered in quickly so not to lose my mom's attention.  I layered in the green washes quickly.  Last, I added the darks using red and green mixes.  I put these mixes in the center of the roses and behind petals to pop them out. 

My mom ended up working on leaves on her paper.  She showed me how she paints leaves and vines as I watched.  I am happy with the painting, loose and free, but, I am really happy that my mom and I painted together.  I will have to post some of her work next time.

Have a great week.

Monday, September 12, 2011

How Much Corn Can an Artist Shuck ...

Sweet Corn

...if an artist would shuck corn?  I was asked to shuck corn for dinner.  My sister-in-law's family was staying with us at the Cape.  My brother-in-law is a fantastic cook and he always treats us to one of his specially prepared delicous meals.  He gave me the simple task to shuck the corn.  I went outside and as I began to shuck the second ear of corn, I noticed how nice this experience was.  I could hear someone playing a wind instrument next door, nice breeze, the beach in front of me, the cold, damp feel of the corn silk.  I saw my paints out of the corner of my eye and quickly started to paint.  I had to hurry.  Wet into wet, laying down the colors fast before I got caught.  Well, I ended up getting caught and the corn was immediately taken away and the task passed onto someone else!  So much for shucking corn....

The second photo is an amazing sunset.  It turns out that there was a big rain and hail storm on the other side of this sunset.

Thank you for your comments, they make my day!  Don't forget, check out my facebook page for a chance to win a set of note cards!

Friday, September 2, 2011

 Rose Burst
15x22 watercolor

This week I experienced a wonderful new thing in my life and the next day a horrible terrible loss.  A woman called on behalf of a local art club in town and asked if I would do a demo and discussion at one of their meetings.  I would be "the watercolor artist" in their program.  Of course, I was thrilled and excited and scared.  I asked her how she found out about me considering there are so many watercolor artists in Dallas.  She said from "the book", CityArtCal.  When she said, "the book" I immediately knew what she was talking about and I immediately also thought of Jennifer.  Jennifer was the founder of CityArtCal and over the course of our 5 year friendship she always referred to the annual calendar featuring local artists as "the book".  After I got off the phone I thought, "that Jennifer, (nodding my head) she probably suggested me to this woman just as Jennifer had just suggested a landscape company that was a sponsor in "the book" to me the week before.  That is what Jennifer did, she was a connector.  She connected people together. 

Then yesterday I found out that Jennifer Lynn Culberston left this world on August 29, 2011.  Jennifer united so many artists here in Dallas.  She was forming a community of artists and bringing art to everyone by distributing these books to every house in the neighborhoods of Dallas.  I cannot emphasize Jennifer's passion for art and art in our lives.  What I can tell you about Jennifer is that she had time for you, for anyone.  You called her at any time of day, she would give you her ear, her time, her heart without any interruption or distraction whatsoever.  So many of the artists that knew her are grieving and sharing their sentiments with each other via email.  Someone said, "she was our mother, our champion".   Jennifer, you will be missed, greatly.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cottage Gardens

 Garden Cottage

On Cape Cod, my other favorite scenery are the cottages with their overgrown, thriving, lush gardens.  Since the climate is so mild, the flowers are so happy.  Can you believe that they can grow these Stargazer Lillie's as in the last picture?  They are all over the place standing tall.  Even the Casablanca variety! 

I would see the cottage I painted on Route 6A when we were driving by in the fast flow of traffic with no place to pull over (not the appropriate time to ask to stop and take a photo).  You can only see the house at the opening of the driveway because it is surrounded by tall bushes, trees and vines.  I loved the blue shutters with the pink roses in front.  The blue was not the french blue shutter color, but instead a light cerulean blue.  And the house was the faintest golden yellow.  Of course, had the flowers not been there, I may have never really noticed the house.

Have a great week!  Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sail, Sail, Sail Away

 Waiting for the Tide

 Where Ocean Meets Sky

Low Tide II

Yes, more beach paintings.  What can I say.  This is where I spent most of our days on vacation.  I took several photos, but, there is nothing like painting right in front of your subject.  Aside from photos distorting perspectives and making shadows darker, I find that when I paint on location, I capture the feeling and essence of the scene despite what the final painting may look like.  If the feeling is conveyed to the viewer, then a connection has been made.

My personal favorite is Where Ocean Meets Sky.  There are many days when the clouds are so thick and the ocean and air are so still that you cannot see the point where the ocean and sky meet because they are so close in color.  Sometimes the colors are blues to lavenders or greens to lavenders.  Sometimes you can see hints of pink or yellow in the sky which are then reflected in the water.  

In all of the paintings, the boat, Bay Rose is present.  I ended up meeting the owner of the boat on our last day.  It turns out that this is the boat's first season in the water.  It is a brand new boat, 3rd of its kind made out of all wood.  The inside of the boat had the fresh smell of cedar.  Bay Rose always stood tall and straight even when other boats sat at a slant on the sand.  Bay Rose has been popular for her first season on the water.  One night I watched a photographer hang out and photograph her for over an hour during the sunset.  

Be sure to be checking by facebook page for a chance to win a set of notecards in the month of September!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer at the Beach

 Heart of a Shell

Memories of Summer
Alone on the Beach

Here are some paintings I did while in Cape Cod.  I actually did Memories of Summer prior to the seashell in the last post.  My niece was with us so we ended up having a painting marathon of seashells.

I went to an art show and a couple of art galleries while there.  Lots of hydrangeas, boats, low tide, sunsets and marsh paintings.  I learned that I don't need to be so hard on myself.  There are so many different ways one can interpret, translate and express what they see or feel.  What I saw was a common feeling of all of the artists loving and appreciating the subject.  I felt connected to these artists because I love and appreciate the same beauties of Cape Cod.

Please check out my UPDATED website for original art and prints.  All comments and thoughts on the website are truly helpful.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Jean Haines' August Challenge

11x7 watercolor

I painted this in response to a fellow blogger's August Challenge.  Jean Haines posted a photo of this shell and challenged artists to paint it in their own way.  Here is my interpretation.  I enjoy doing these challenges sometimes because I don't have a personal attachment to the subject I guess.  This gives me the freedom to do whatever I want while painting.  I really enjoyed doing the background and trying different techniques that I usually don't use.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cape Cod

 Low Tide II

Waiting for the Tide

I had to include these photos of low tide and the sunset in Brewster, Massachusetts with my watercolors. The sunset has been absolutely stunning every night.  We have had very clear, still nights and days so when the tide is in, the water is like a sheet of glass.  Click here to see more amazing photos of low tide.  Don't you just love the last photo of that uber cute garden house!!!  It is so cute, if it was a painting, I think it would not be believed.

Low Tide II was painted in the morning from my balcony.  The houses are set up on a bank with the beach below.  The tide goes out probably over a mile.  It is so peaceful to walk all the way out to low tide with nothing but beach all around you.  There are shallow tide pools left between sandbars where minnows and hermit crabs hang out.

Waiting for the Tide was painted around 5:30/6 p.m.  The tide was coming in and this one sailboat was standing so tall with its hull buried in the sand waiting for the tide.

Thanks for visiting and thanks for your thoughts.  Have a great week!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shady Garden Revisited

As you could probably tell from my last post, I was not thrilled with my last painting.  The image was in my head while doing errands, in my sleep, etc.  There were a lot of things I liked about it, but, there was something that was bothering me.  So I just redid it today.  I was very happy with my pencil drawing.  I focused even more on drawing only the shapes of light and dark and connecting these shapes.  What made the biggest difference, I limited my color palette.  I am much happier with this color palette for this painting.

Thank you to everyone for your comments on the last post.  I truly appreciate your emails and your time.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Found Some Shade

Tranquil Garden
11x14 watercolor

Here is a cool, shady spot to sit during this hot summer!  This is inspired from a patio in France in the Provence region.  When we lived in London, we would go to France a lot.  I took so many pictures.  Lots of blue doors and shutters as well as beautiful shady patios to enjoy dinner alfresco.

My camera broke so I am using a new camera.  The colors came out much brighter than in the actual picture.  The blues and the darks are more intense in this image than in the actual painting, too.  I am not sure about my painting style.  I don't know if I am subconsciously going in a different direction or subconsciously painting in my natural style.  My paintings are having the more loose look I have been trying to achieve, however, I am wondering if they are lacking in technical skill.  With this painting I recognized the shapes of light and shadow and tried to translate those shapes here.  My darks are more vivid vs. dark in the painting.  I did go back and darken them with the opposite call so that they would not be so bright.  I am happy with the translation of the shapes and composition, but, I think the colors of the flowers in the foreground are too bright even though I went in with blues for shadows and to try to dull down.  I will have to look at the painting over the next few days and see how I feel.  What do you think?  Any thoughts?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Flowers in the Morning Sun

Flowers for Sell
6x9 original watercolor

Of course I was attracted to this scene because of the flowers, but, also because of the awning and the shadows.  I took this photo in the morning in Paris long ago.  The flowers in the foreground are wrapped in cellophane.  It seems that every street corner in Paris has a flower shop.  I have so many photos of different flower shops all laid out right now. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sparkling City by the Bay

Shrimp Boats
11x14 original watercolor

This was inspired by a photo my aunt took in Corpus Christi, TX.  As I have mentioned before, my aunt spends a lot of time fishing and has plenty of tall tales.  She also is a photographer and takes many photos of the bay in Corpus Christi.  This Monday is her birthday, too, so Happy Birthday Aunt! 

One of the benefits of living in Corpus Christi is the fresh shrimp one can buy right off the shrimp boats when they come in at the T-heads.  I will explain T-heads in a later post.  Anyway, my aunt often buys fresh shrimp to cook along side her catch. 

This scene had a lot going on which I edited out if you can believe.  There were many more posts for the pier as well as many more birds.  I am not sure if those are pelicans or some kind of crane.  Behind the boat is the seawall lined with palm trees and part of downtown Corpus Christi.  Originally, I did not have the buildings in the background.  They are present in the photo.  I added the buildings after a day or so, just a hint.  The painting seemed incomplete without them.  I feel much more comfortable having them in the painting.  If you ever get a chance, go to Corpus Christi and eat some fresh seafood at any of the restaurants downtown or on the t-heads, then after, you must get a snow cone with a scoop of ice cream on top and walk the seawall!!!  The stories I can tell you that happen on the seawall.......

If you have already visited my website, thanks so much.  Please let me know if you see any improvements that can be made.  I am trying to decide if I should have a lot of paintings or just a few select.  If you have suggestions on a strategy, I am happy to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Updated Website!

I am so pleased to announce that many of paintings are now being offered as giclees on my website, One of my highest requests for a painting is of the Highland Park Pharmacy, shown above. I found a printer that does amazingly beautiful prints on the most delicous watercolor paper ever. The color is so close and the paper makes it difficult to tell that it is a print. These are limited edition prints which are hand signed, dated and numbered by me. Please visit the website and as always, feel free to contact me should you have any quesitons.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Red Roses, Red Roses

I cannot believe how long it has been since I have posted something.  How is everyone?  I miss your comments and painting!!! The kids are out of school and it has been busy, busy, busy with them.  My 3 yr. old is just a darling right now.  I am teaching him how to swim.  He is the one that keeps me on my toes.  Constantly wanting to paint and draw and "do something fun".  I put his picture of his Power Rangers up for you to see.  He makes lots of cards, too.  Right now his focus is using one color.

I did see the most amazing roses at the grocery store.  I went to take a picture and was told that photography is not allowed.  They allowed me to take one photo so that I could reference the photo for future purchases.  The roses were white with the darkest red outlines on each petal.  I wonder how the petals would change colors over time.

Lastly, the new summer collection of note cards is here.  Please go to to purchase or contact me.  You can order just one image or make your own collection.

Now, I am going to go look at my fellow artists' blogs to see what they have been up to! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pretty in Pink

It has finally gotten hot in Dallas.  No complaining, we had an unusually mild spring with cool temperatures, but, now it is is hot, hot, hot.  One of the flowers that does well in this heat is the Echinacea plant otherwise known as Cone Flower.  In our backyard we have a perennial garden that has some Cone Flowers.  However, there are some that plant an entire bed of cone flowers.  One home had the Cone Flowers line the walk.  It was so pretty.  They love the hot sun and do not require any work really. 

I have wanted to paint the cone flowers for several summers now.  Here is my first attempt.  I am happy with the sky and the flowers.  I think the foliage got a little muddy when I was trying to add the shadows and the darks.  I will admit, one thing that lacks from this painting is the darks.  I had good dark shadows in there, but, then it looked too spotty and lots of hard edges so I went back and softened and combined the shadows.

Happy painting!  As always, thanks for your comments.  They are encouraging and enlightening.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I am procrastinating.  I need to get a painting done to submit for SWS, but, I am doing everything else, but, painting! 

So I will tell you about Surtex, the art licensing trade show.  It was fantastic!  I made a lot of great contacts with both artists and manufacturers for potential licensing opportunities.  I learned a lot.  It was interesting that everyone liked different paintings for products that I never even thought of.  There were some paintings that received interest from multiple parties.  Florals and coastal were the favorite themes!

One of the things I learned was that everyone had an entirely different opinion.  One person might say your work is too loose while the next said they liked how tight is was.  Would you believe that one agent told me that my paintings were too dark.  I want to run to that watercolor teacher from long ago and tell her, someone thinks my colors are too dark because she always told me my colors were way too bright. 

With that said, I posted these 4 paintings of sunflowers done over the course of 10 years.  My Surtex experience has led me to believe, paint whatever you want and however you want, someone out there will like it.  Of course, it doesn't matter whether anyone else likes it or not, so long as an artist, we are fulfilled from the experience. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's been on the drawing board

Preparing for this trade show has been a lot of work.  I have had to make a lot of new paintings that coordinate with existing paintings to make a "collection".  It has been fun, interesting and experimental to create these coordinating all over patterns.  Someone may not want to hang them on their wall, however, one may be perfect for wrapping paper, bedding, home decor, who knows.  This has really freed my painting style up a lot.  I love having the freedom of working with the colors just to make an interesting design versus my typical style of not straying far from the subject and local color. 

I encourage the artists out there to put similar sheets together for a newsletter, post or mail to your clients/potential clients.  I know many of you have beautiful collections of paintings that can tell a story.  Some of you can make an entire book, even!  Either way, it is a great sense of accomplishment and I think it helps viewers see your work in a different way.

The last is a pen and ink that someone commissioned to give to their PTA president.  They wanted to do one of the school as well and make stationary, but, budget didn't allow for it.

Have a great week!  Thanks for visiting!

p.s. for those that receive this post via email, you may want to visit my actual blog one day and look at the different pages I have added.  The tabs are at the top and you just pick the tab.