Friday, January 29, 2010


“Once the ‘what’ is decided, the ‘how’ always follows. We must not make the ‘how’ an excuse for not facing and accepting the ‘what.’”

– Pearl S. Buck


Little Watercolor

Due to the huge winter storm blanketing our area, I may not get to my shop today. So I dug into the paintings I have on my home computer and found Goldie. You’ve seen her before, but it’s been 6 months and she wanted to come out again. he he

I am just thrilled to have electricity! The main punch from the storm missed us by only a few miles. They got major ice! I think today, we are supposed to get snow. My home is at the bottom of a very steep 500 ft driveway, so chances are, I’ll have a three day weekend.

About Pearl S. Buck

Prolific American author Pearl S. Buck is best known for her 1931 novel, The Good Earth, which depicted peasant life in China; the book, published by the John Day Company, won the Pulitzer Prize. She was born in West Virginia in 1892, but her missionary parents raised her in China. She and her first husband lived in China until 1934, when they had to flee the political strife. She later divorced and married John Day’s publisher, Richard Walsh, in 1935. In 1938, she became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature. By the time of her death in 1973, she had published over 70 books, including collections of stories, poetry, and children’s literature.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Friend Valri

"Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful sate of mind.  Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented, and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful."
–Norman Vincent Peale

My Friend Valri
3″ x 4″ Watercolor

I painted this from a full face photo, but I loved the unruly little lock of hair in her face, so I cropped it.  I like the way it turned out, even if you can see all the pencil lines.  If anybody has hints about those pesky pencil lines, please let me know.

Norman Vincent Peale
minister, author
Born: 5/31/1898
Birthplace: Bowersville, Ohio
Norman Vincent Peale was one of the most influential clergymen in the United States during the 20th-century. Ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1922, Peale served as pastor at a succession of churches that included Berkeley, Rhode Island (1922–24), Brooklyn, New York (1924–27), and Syracuse, New York (1927–32) before changing his affiliation to the Dutch Reformed Church so that he could become pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City (1932–84). Peale’s simple, optimistic, and dynamic sermons, in which he offered a positive outlook on modern living brought increasing numbers of parishioners and increasing fame to Peale. His sermons were regularly broadcast, first on radio and later on television. In addition, Peale published a weekly newsletter for businessmen, Guideposts, which reached two million subscribers at its apex. Peale also published several best-selling books, including The Power of Positive Thought (1952), The Art of Living (1937), Confident Living (1948), and This Incredible Century (1991).
Died: 12/24/1993

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Caribbean Crab

“A complete revaluation takes place in your physical and mental being when you’ve laughed and had some fun.”
–Catherine Ponder

Boy, that’s the truth!

Caribbean Crab
5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Prismacolor Pen

I’ve been posting such serious stuff lately that I thought the blog-o-sphere could use a little of my regular fun!    Haven’t you ever seen a crab with lipstick and flip-flops before?  he he
Catherine Ponder is considered one of America's foremost inspirational authors. She has written more than a dozen books, which include such bestsellers as her Millionaires of the Bible series. She is a minister of the non- denominational Unity faith -- long known as the "pioneer of positive thinking" -- and has been described by some as "the Norman Vincent Peale among lady ministers." She has served in Unity Churches since 1956, and heads a global ministry in Palm Desert, California.  More….

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Picasso Study

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
–Pablo Picasso
Picasso Study
2.5″ x 3.5″ Gouache on Art Spectrum Colourfix

I did this study for the Masters exchange I was in with WetCanvas.  When you look at a photograph of the original, it looks so easy, but that is so deceptive.  I did another Picasso ATC during that swap.

Here are the originals.
Pablo Picasso Autoportrait 1899-1900
Pablo Picasso Portrait d' Utrillo 1899-1900

Pablo Picasso – 1881-1973 

No other artist is more associated with the term Modern Art than Pablo Picasso. He created thousands of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramics during a time span of about 75 years. For many Picasso is the greatest art genius of the twentieth century. For others he is a gifted charlatan. Undisputed is the fact that he influenced and dominated the art of the twentieth century like no other modern artist.   more….

Monday, January 25, 2010

White Flowers

“Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own instead of someone else’s.”
– Billy Wilder
White Flowers
9″ x 12″ Acrylic on Ampersand Aquabord Panel

I did this painting for the Plant Parade challenge over at WetCanvas, in the Florals & Botanicals forum.
White is hard!  This painting went through so I thought I’d share them with you.


About Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder, the Austrian-American film director who gave us classic films like the farcical Some Like It Hot and the sardonic Sunset Boulevard, was a true rags-to-riches success story. Born in 1906 in the Austria-Hungarian empire, he fled the Nazi regime in 1934, arriving in Los Angeles with $11 and speaking almost no English. By the 1950’s, he had become one of Hollywood’s greatest directors, directing more than 60 films. He won six Oscars and the National Medal of Honor. He died in 2002.
(There was one more progress shot, but it wouldn’t upload.) :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Studying Audubon

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps today of its strength.”
– A. J. Cronin
(That is so true!  I used to be the queen of worry.  I like life much better without it.)

Studying Audubon

2.5″ x 3.5″ watercolor study of
John Audubon’s 1838 American Flamingo

I was in an ATC exchange some time ago where we studied the Masters and painted a crop or a whole painting in the style of the artist.  I learned so much during that exchange.  Some of the paintings that looked so easy, were really complicated.  This was one of my favorites.

Here is the original:

When I look at it now, I can see so many differences, but I still like it.  :)

About A. J. Cronin

Archibald Joseph Cronin, the Scottish novelist who wrote as A. J. Cronin, had a full career as a doctor before turning to fiction. He was born in 1896, worked as a Royal Navy surgeon during World War I, and later was appointed Medical Inspector of Mines in Wales. Some of his most famous books are The Citadel, The Keys of the Kingdom, and Pocketful of Rye. His works were known to reflect both his religious beliefs as a Roman Catholic and his medical training. He died in 1981.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prismacolor Sketch

“Instinct is the nose of the mind.”
– Delphine Gay de Girardin
Prismacolor Sketch
5″ x 6″ Prismacolor Sanguine Art Pencil on Vellum

Last week, I was in Muskogee to get my eyes checked.  Whenever I get to the big towns, I go to Hobby Lobby.  They were having a sale on all art pencils, so I bought three.  I have been wanting to do some actual drawing.  This is a sketch of a friend, Bonnie’s Dad, who has enough wonderful detail on his face, that I dared try it.  He is a lovely man of 85.
When I try to draw babies, all that smoothness really throws me.  I painted my friend, May’s nieces one time.  They were all around 7 and I made them look like 40 year old hookers!  eek!

About Delphine Gay de Girardin

French writer Delphine Gay de Girardin was equally well known for her patriotic poetry and for the brilliant literary gatherings at her home. She was born in France in 1804; her mother was the well-known author Sophie Gay. Delphine called herself the “Muse of the Nation” for her poetry about France. Under the pseudonym Vicomte Charles de Launay, she wrote a gossip column with comedic sketches of Parisian life. She died in 1855.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lovingly Rusted

Too many activities, and people, and things.  Too many worthy activities, valuable things and interesting people.  For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well.
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Lovingly Rusted
5″ x 7″ Golden Fluid Acrylics on Ampersand Panel

I did this one for the Acrylic forum’s monthly Different Strokes project over at WetCanvas.   I used things I learned from Don Tiller’s workshop.  Here are some of the phases….
I really enjoyed this painting.  Rust is so fun!  There are so many colors in rust.  There are the warm colors we expect, but then there’s all that blue!
1.  On a panel I had coated with black gesso, I drew lines in with chalk.  Then I painted all of the resulting shapes with Raw Sienna.
2.  I started adding colors that would end up being some kind of underpainting.  Having never taken formal art classes, I don’t know much about underpainting, so I just went with my feelings on this one.
3.  I just kept adding glazes.  When I’d find some anatomical error, I’d come back in with some black and reroute the lines, so to speak.  Then I glazed some more and glazed some more.  There are some major differences between the original and my finished painting, but that’s okay.  I had a ball!  :)

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the widow of aviator and conservationist Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., was a noted writer and aviation pioneer.
Born June 22, 1906 in Englewood, New Jersey, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the daughter of businessman, ambassador, and U.S. Senator Dwight Morrow and poet and women’s education advocate Elizabeth Cutter Morrow. Her family spent summers at the seashore: Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and later on the island of North Haven off the coast of Maine. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in 1928, and married Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., on May 27, 1929.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Deer Crossing

“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”
– Miles Davis
Deer Crossing
Linocut Print for Four Oceans Press exchange

Something a little different today.  I’ve been doing some linocut prints over the last few years, but it hurts my hands too much to do the cutting, so I have cut back considerably.  This one is for a street sign swap, so I couldn’t resist.  I have a friend who is a printmaker.  She tells me to leave some of the background lines in, so I followed her advice on this one.

About Miles Davis

Miles Davis, the innovative American jazz trumpeter famous for his languid, melodic style, was influential in the development of many forms of jazz. He was born in 1926 in Illinois. His mother wanted him to learn the violin, but he picked up the trumpet instead. He dropped out of Julliard to track down Charlie Parker and joined his quintet. He later nurtured many jazz greats in his own band. The album Kind of Blue is considered his masterpiece. He died in 1991.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wrap the World in Love

“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.”
Madeleine L’Engle
Wrap the World in Love
5″ x 7″ Acrylic on Aquaboard Panel

This is the second one I submitted for Embracing Our Differences.   I really hope that one of the two submissions will pull at the heartstrings of the judges.  :)

About Madeleine L’Engle

American author Madeleine L’Engle is best known for her young adult novels (including the Newberry Medal winner A Wrinkle in Time), which weave science and fantasy into sprightly adventure tales. She was born in New York in 1918. After her marriage to actor Hugh Franklin, they opened a general store and raised three children in a New England town. She has written more than 40 books. She spent her last years in New York as the librarian and writer-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. She died in 2007.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Share the Weight of the World

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
Henry Ford

Share the Weight of the World
9″ x 12″ Acrylic on Panel
This painting is one of two that I submitted this year for “7th Annual Embracing Our Differences”.    If accepted, it will be blown up to 16 ft wide by 12.5 ft high.  The exhibit will contain 39 of these billboards, at Island Park, in Sarasota, Florida.    In 2009, my submission was one of 1983 they received, so the competition is stiff.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a part of that wonderful exhibit?

Henry Ford was an inventor, philanthropist and successful American businessman. Ford was the founder of the still popular Ford Motor Company which had its first success with the Model T Ford car that was released in 1908. Henry Ford revolutionized the way cars were designed and built, introducing assembly line factories for producing mass amounts of vehicles that led to lower prices for consumers and an explosion in car ownership throughout the United States.

Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 in Dearborn, Michigan, United States, in what was then known as Springwells Township. Ford’s parents were Irish immigrants and the family lived on a farm, with Henry Ford being the eldest of six children. The family had a comfortable upbringing on the farm with a decent income, but even as a young person, Ford believed there was too much work and not enough income living from the land.

“It was life on the farm that drove me into devising ways and means to better transportation. I was born on July 30, 1863, on a farm at Dearborn, Michigan, and my earliest recollection is that, considering the results, there was too much work on the place.” 
Henry Ford Quote

more on Henry Ford…..

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Boxing Wallaby

“Become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.”
Lady Bird Johnson

Boxing Wallaby

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor & Sharpie

This is the end of the wallaby series. I really had fun doing them. Aren’t you glad I ran out of time last weekend? he he There could have been more. :)

About Lady Bird Johnson

Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, is known for her concern for the environment. She was born in Texas in 1912. Johnson asked her to marry him seven weeks after they met. She supported his career by keeping his congressional office running after his heart attack, stumping for Democratic candidates, and visiting 33 countries as his emissary. She founded the Wildflower Research Center and worked to pass the Highway Beautification Act. She lived in Texas until her death in 2007.

A note from me: The Highway Beautification Act comes into play in the sign business often. The law enables the government to limit the amount of billboards and other signage that can be placed on certain highways. Even though I own a sign shop, I still think this is a good thing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Acrylic Wallaby

We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.

Jessamyn West

Acrylic Wallaby

2.5″ x 3.5″ Atelier Interactive Acrylic on Watercolor Paper

Wow, how weird…. Where’s the purple? he he

Mary Jessamyn West (July 18, 1902 – February 23, 1984) was an American Quaker who wrote numerous stories and novels, notably The Friendly Persuasion (1945).

West went to Whittier College in the 1920s. There she helped found the Palmer Society, in 1921.

Much of her work concerns Indiana Quakers. Although she was born in Vernon, Indiana she left the state at the age of six when her family moved to California. Asked about this in an interview, she said, “I write about [Indiana] because knowing little about it, I can create it.” Comparing herself to other authors that created fictional universes, she remarked:

“Roth wrote The Breast. Would you ask him how he could do this since he had never been a breast? Adams wrote Watership Down. Would you ask him how he could do this since he admitted his rabbit knowledge came from a book about rabbits? … And those hobbits!… I am a bigger risk-taker than these others. The Hoosiers can contradict me. No rabbit, hobbit, or breast has been known to speak up in reply to their exploiters.”


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SoHo Wallaby

It isn’t sufficient to seek wholeness through men, it never was and never will be for any woman, married or single.

Patricia O’Brien

SoHo Wallaby

3.5″ x 4.5″ SoHo Acrylics on Watercolor paper

I was trying to be a little looser with this wallaby. But of course, you can’t be too loose on such a small piece of paper. I did have a lot of fun with him tho.

Patricia O'Brien is an award-winning journalist, novelist and author of at least 7 books.

For ten years she worked as political correspondent and columnist in the Washington Bureau of the Knight-Ridder Newspapers. She covered the Reagan White House, Congress and the 1984 national political campaigns of Gary Hart and Geraldine Ferraro.

She went on to become press secretary for Michael Dukakis’ Presidential nomination campaign in 1987-88 and then was awarded a Freedom Forum Fellowship at Columbia University.

O’Brien began her career as a journalist in 1966 at The South Bend Tribune. She went on to the Chicago Sun Times as a reporter, editorial writer, and columnist. In 1973 she became a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard.

She has been a commentator for CBS-TV’s Morning Show, CBS-Radio’s Spectrum series, and hosted a local Chicago television public affairs program. She has written for a number of magazines, from Harper’s Bazaar to Esquire, including reviews for the New York Times Sunday book section.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Watercolor Wallaby

The reasonable man encounters circumstances and adapts himself to them. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt circumstances to himself. All progress depends upon the unreasonable man.
–George Bernard Shaw

Watercolor Wallaby

3″ x 4″ on Indian Village 300 gm Handmade Paper

This is going to be the week of the wallaby. I painted this little guy four different ways over the weekend. He was one of the reference photos by OldRockChick over at WetCanvas. I had intended to do him in every medium I have in the studio, but ran out of time. (ya think?) he he

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was born in Dublin, the son of a civil servant. His education was irregular, due to his dislike of any organized training. After working in an estate agent’s office for a while he moved to London as a young man (1876), where he established himself as a leading music and theatre critic in the eighties and nineties and became a prominent member of the Fabian Society, for which he composed many pamphlets. more…

Friday, January 8, 2010

June Bug

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

June Bug

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor

This is another one done from a Just Chaos photo. She caught this bug in an oatmeal cup, outside Starbucks one morning, just so she could get a picture of it! You go Chaos!

I actually had fun painting him, even though it kinda creeped me out! I’m not sure I have been that intimate with a bug’s scary little legs before! eek! Emerson would have been pleased that I didn’t let my fear keep me from painting this one. :)

About Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson helped spark the transcendentalist movement with the essay Nature, which described his belief in the spiritual essence of humanity and the natural world. He was born in Boston in 1803. He was a Unitarian minister until he resigned in 1832 to become a philosopher and writer. He suffered the untimely deaths of many of his loved ones: three brothers, his first wife at age 20, and his eldest son at age five. Emerson died in 1882.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kitten Eyes

Have absolutely no sense of guilt about being happy and successful if you operate honestly and with a sense of social responsibility.

Norman Vincent Peale

Kitten Eyes

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor

Imagine that! A kitten! :D

I hope you are not getting sick of my seemingly endless fascination with painting cats. This is a little kitten named Water. She is one of four foster kitties that Just Chaos took care of for a time. Of course, I had to have a little extra fun with her eyes.

I quote from Norman Vincent Peale often, so I looked to Wikipedia this morning, to find something new to tell you about him. He was such an interesting guy!

Concealed hypnosis

A second major accusation of Peale is that he attempts to conceal that his “techniques” are actually a scientifically well known form of hypnosis, and that Peale attempts to persuade his readers to follow his beliefs through a combination of self-hypnosis and false evidence. While his techniques are not debated by psychologists, Dr. Peale’s said his theological practice and strategy was directed more at self analysis, forgiveness, character development, and growth [17] much like the Jesuits of the Catholic Church.[18]

Peale asserts that practicing his “techniques” will give the reader absolute self confidence and deliverance from suffering. The critics, in turn, assert that the repetitive “techniques” are actually a well known form of hypnosis (autosuggestion), hidden under a thin guise with the use of terms which may sound more benign from the reader’s point of view (“techniques”, “formulas,” “methods,” “prayers,” and “prescriptions.”). One author called Peale’s book “The Bible of American autohypnotism.” (Meyer, Donald. The Positive Thinkers. Pantheon Books, 1965, p. 264)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock

“The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.”
– Bernard Baruch

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock

5″ x 7″ Watercolor

Photo is by Just Chaos from WetCanvas. This bird was at the San Diego Zoo.

I like the quote today and I think I would have liked the author, too.

About Bernard Baruch

The American financier and unofficial presidential adviser Bernard Baruch was known as the “Park Bench Statesman” for his penchant for taking meetings on park benches. He was born in 1870 in South Carolina. By the time he was 30, he had become a millionaire. During World War I, Woodrow Wilson asked Baruch’s advice on economic issues, which began a long-term relationship with the White House. He refused to become Treasury Secretary in FDR’s cabinet, preferring his unofficial role. He died in 1965.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Red Wolf

“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
– Bertrand Russell

Red Wolf

4″ x 10″ Watercolor

The color that appears black is Da Vinci Perylene Green, straight. I won 6 tubes in the WetCanvas T-shirt design contest & this is one of the colors I got. (I got to pick 6 colors). I love it! It is also the background color on yesterday’s bird.
This fellow was another from the photos of Just Chaos. Her favorite place to hang out is zoos, I think. Whenever she travels, she always hits the zoo.

About Bertrand Russell

British philosopher Bertrand Russell was greatly responsible for the shift toward logical analysis among philosophers; he introduced rigorous scientific methodology to the field and was best known for his books Principia Mathematica and The Principles of Mathematics. He was born in 1872 to an aristocratic English family but raised by a strict paternal grandmother after his parents died young. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Albert Einstein collaborated with him on a manifesto calling for nuclear disarmament. He died in 1970.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Shoebill Heron

“Man can only become what he is able to consciously imagine.”
Dane Rudhyar

Shoebill Heron

5″ x 7″Inktense & Watercolor

I had the best time this weekend. Our WetCanvas All Media Art Events (AMAE) Weekend Drawing Event (WDE) was hosted by Just Chaos. Chaos is a truely gifted photographer. The set of photos we painted from can be found on her Flickr page. Unless otherwise noted, Chaos’ photos on Flickr are covered by creative commons. You can read more about that here.

This guy is a mean, three and a half foot Shoebill Heron. I made him a little less threatening and had a wonderful time. I started by drawing him with Derwent Inktense pencils. I used them because the colors are great and because once you wet them, they become very intense (if you lay it down thick) and once dry, they become permanent. Unlike typical watercolor or watercolor pencils, the paint cannot be lifted or blended, once it is dry. No danger of mud when you add other colors on top. The original layer stays put.

I used a little white watercolor on my brush when I wet the Inktense, so the colors became creamy and rich, but once dry, the color would not be disturbed. You can add color on top of it or around it, without disturbing the original blend. Does that make sense? Fun!

He was the first of six paintings I did from Chaos’ photos, and I have two more saved to paint.

About Dane Rudhyar

Dane Rudhyar was a respected modernist composer as well as a pioneering modern psychological astrologer. He was born in Paris in 1895 as Daniel Chennevière and immigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s. His music utilizes dissonant harmony; he claimed to be inspired by the cadence of speech. His work influenced a group of composers known as the ultramodernists. He also wrote a number of astrology books, including the seminal Astrology of Personality. He died in 1985.