Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Puerto Rico

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
– Amelia Earhart

Puerto Rico – 8″ x 10″ WatePuerto Ricorcolor Pencil and Gouache on Black Art Spectrum Colourfix

This was really fun!  I drew the whole thing with watercolor pencils, then came back in with gouache to finish it.   I cropped this from an image by Tonyjazz at WetCanvas.

The masa paper I ordered came in yesterday.  I can’t wait to play with it!  :)

About Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart, who was born in 1897 in Kansas, became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean and gained renown as a woman in a field dominated by men. Earhart worked as a nurse’s aide during World War I and learned to fly after moving to Los Angeles in 1919. She first became famous as one of a crew of three to fly across the Atlantic in 1928, but her best-known flight was her last. As she was attempting to fly around the world in 1937, her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean and was never found.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pilots - Quick Watercolor Sketch

“We are, each of us, angels with only one wing, and we can only fly embracing each other.”
– Luciano Decrescenzo

Pilots – Quick 4″ x 6″ Watercolor Sketch

I loved the friendship that I saw in this reference photo.  I didn’t have much time, so I just did a quick sketch.  The photo was contributed to the WetCanvas RIL by yahooserious.

I am sure those Budweisers he has in his hand are for after the flight.  :)

About Luciano Decrescenzo

Luciano Decrescenzo, the Italian writer, filmmaker, and intellectual, has published 28 books on subjects ranging from Greek philosophy to his own childhood in Naples. He was born in 1928 and worked as an engineer for IBM for several years before turning to philosophy and writing. He has also directed, written, and starred in a number of Italian language films and received honorary Athenian citizenship in 1994.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Port Wine

“Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else’s life forever.”
– Margaret Cho

Port Wine – 8″ x 10″ Watercolor and Gouache on White Art Spectrum Colourfix

Art Spectrum Colourfix is a fine tooth sanded paper, designed for pastels.  I love doing watercolor on it.  This painting was challenging and fun!  It is from my WDE at WetCanvas and the image is a photo by Agnesdale.  It’s another great photo I found in the Reference Image Library at WetCanvas.

About Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho, the outspoken Korean-American comedian and actor, made television history as the first Asian-American with her own TV series, All American Girl. She was born in 1968 in San Francisco and has mined her life for extremely successful one-woman shows, including I’m the One That I Want and Notorious C.H.O., both of which spawned albums, movie versions, and books. When not touring with her comedy, Cho works now in Hollywood as both an actress and a director.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Patio Bathed in Yellow

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.”
– Helen Keller

Patio Bathed in Yellow – 4″ x 7″ Watercolor

Yes, another “P” painting.  I had a great time doing this painting!  I manipulated the photo a bit in Photoshop to bring out the shadows and exaggerated them somewhat.  So fun!  The photo was contributed to the WetCanvas RIL by Marie d.

About Helen Keller

American author and activist Helen Keller was born in Alabama in 1880; she became blind and deaf after a childhood fever. When Helen was seven, her teacher, Annie Sullivan, coaxed her out of her sullen, angry shell and taught her to communicate. From then on, Keller took on the world. She graduated from Radcliffe, traveled the world visiting sweatshops and speaking out for the powerless, helped to found the ACLU, and wrote 11 books. She died in 1968.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pink Plane

“The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.”
– Julia Alvarez

Pink Plane – 4″ x 5″ Watercolor

Of course, I followed with the “P” theme.  This little plane was not pink and her name was Dixie in the photo reference by PencilPusher, in the WetCanvas RIL.    Heehee I just realized I didn’t include a place for the pilot to sit.  Oops.   :D

About Julia Alvarez

Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez is best known for her novels, How the GarcĂ­a Girls Lost Their Accents, about sisters adjusting to life in the US, and In the Time of the Butterflies, the tragic life story of the anti-Trujillo activists, the Mirabal sisters. Born in New York in 1950, she was raised in the Dominican Republic until she was ten, when her family fled the country. She and her husband live in Vermont and run a sustainable coffee farm/literacy center in the Dominican Republic.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Patchwork Penguins

“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps.  We got here because somebody bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”
–Thurgood Marshall

Patchwork Penguins – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Sharpie

This is another “P” painting from my WDE at WetCanvas.  I had so much fun doing this.  It was total play.  :D

Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice

Born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908, Thurgood Marshall was the grandson of a slave. His father, William Marshall, instilled in him from youth an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law. After completing high school in 1925, Thurgood followed his brother, William Aubrey Marshall, at the historically black Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. His classmates at Lincoln included a distinguished group of future Black leaders such as the poet and author Langston Hughes, the future President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, and musician Cab Calloway. Just before graduation, he married his first wife, Vivian “Buster” Burey. Their twenty-five year marriage ended with her death from cancer in 1955.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Plaid and Polka Dots

“Rate the task above the prize; will not the mind be raised? Fight thine own faults, not the faults of others; will not evil be mended?”
– Confucius

Plaid and Polka Dots – 4″ x 4″ Watercolor

I hosted the WDE over the weekend at WetCanvas.  I used photos from the Reference Image Library that started with P.  We had a lot of fun and I did eight paintings.  I threw studying and honey-dos to the wind and just played in my studio.  This photo was titled “Pretty Girl” (by me) and was contributed to the RIL by pencilnpen.  Of course, following the P theme, I added the Plaid and Polka dots.  If I had been thinking ahead, I’d have given her Pigtails.  :)

I think this is the first child I have painted that didn’t look like a 40 year old hooker.  ha ha ha

About Confucius

The ancient Chinese social philosopher Confucius founded the ethically based philosophical system which became known as Confucianism. Legend says that he was born in 551 B.C. to a 70-year-old father and a 15-year-old mother. At age 50, frustrated with politics, he left his job as Justice Minister and began a 12-year journey around China. Returning home, he taught a growing number of disciples “The Way” and wrote a set of books called the Five Classics. He died in 479 B.C.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Leaping Green Spirits of Trees - Paint Out

Everyone who enjoys thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact the principal thing to it is the seed. — Herein lies the difference between them that create and them that enjoy.
–Friedrich Nietzsche

Watercolor on Textured surface – 6.5″ x 11″

Linda Halcomb is hosting a paint out today on her blog.  The theme is “the leaping green spirits of trees”.  I figured this would be a wonderful time to try something new.

Leslie White has been making some wonderful paintings using a paper called masa.  I didn’t do what Leslie does,  but I was in fact very much inspired by Leslie when I did this.  Thursday, I grabbed some yellow tissue paper, like you put in gift bags, and I tore off some large pieces and wrinkled it up.  I taped off the edges of a piece of 240 lb cold press  watercolor paper with painter’s tape.  I brushed Mod Podge all over it and started applying the tissue  with more Mod Podge, ending with a final coat.
I let it dry over night, then placed it under books another 24 hrs to flatten it.  Saturday, I started to dab watercolor on it, and to my amazement…. it worked.  I actually thought the watercolor would bead up on the slick surface, but it didn’t.  YAY!

I know there are problems here, such as no real depth past the stairs.   (But I had so much fun.)    If you have any hint on how I can fix this, just let me know in your comment.  I’d appreciate that.  The reference photo is by impshlady at WetCanvas.

Be sure to go look around at the other artists that participate in Linda’s Paint Out.  The links can be found here.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

(October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Twin Fawns

“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.”
– Orison Swett Marden


Twin Fawns

We have two sets of twin fawns in our neighborhood.  I see this pair with their mama every day.  They usually just stare at me as I approach, then as I just sit there in my vehicle, the fawns will go nuts and run around and play.  Eventually they dart into the woods, as mama watches from the side of the road.  I have only seen the other set of twins once.  They were in our yard and they are a little smaller than this set.  I know there are two sets, because I saw all of them in one afternoon.  I love seeing them play every day!

I’ll try to get a better photo of them.  It would be fun to paint.  :)

About Orison Swett Marden

Orison Swett Marden, the American writer who is considered the forerunner of motivational authors, wrote an average of two books a year from 1894 to 1924. He was born on a New England farm in 1850. During college, he worked in hotel management. He then used his seed money to buy a resort in Rhode Island. Wanting to inspire people as he himself had been inspired by British author Samuel Smiles, he began writing books like You Can, But Will You? and founded Success Magazine. He died in 1924.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Art Walk and Car Show Poster

“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Art Walk & Car Show Poster – 11″ x 14″ Watercolor

I was selected to do the poster for Eufaula’s Art Walk this year.  I did this over the weekend.  They wanted a car in it, because of the car show, and the town is a simplified version of a section of Main Street.  I had a great time doing it.

I think they are going to insert the name and dates, etc, with a computer.  They haven’t seen this yet, so you have the first look.  It may change after they see it.  :)

About Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau, the transcendentalist philosopher and author, is best known for Walden, a spiritual memoir about his two-year sojourn in the woods. He was born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1817 and lived nearly all his life in that small town. He explored the area as a land surveyor, and became the first American environmentalist. His writing presaged the field of ecology. He died of tuberculosis in 1862.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Logo Design – Whole Hawg Day

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Logo Design – Whole Hawg Day

A lot of what I do at Signs by Beth, LLC is logo design.  I have been doing Whole Hawg designs for many years.  It’s so fun for me!

I give them a lot of choices each year.  This little pig had swim fins and tennis shoes, too.  Right now I am working on a website logo for a gun company.  It’s really challenging, so I’ll go through a lot of designs before I end up with one that they (and I) will love.  I’ll share some of these designs  with you when I’m done.  :)

Have a great weekend!

About Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the American president remembered as Honest Abe, is renowned for his strong leadership during the Civil War and for ending slavery in the United States. He was born in a Kentucky cabin in 1809. He taught himself law and passed the Illinois bar in 1837, the same year he first spoke out against slavery. The Southern states seceded in response to his election to the presidency in 1860. Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, mere days after General Robert E. Lee surrendered to end the war.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I’ve Got A Brand New Pair of Roller Skates

“This I conceive to be the chemical function of humor: to change the character of our thought.”
– Lin Yutang

Very Interesting!

I’ve Got A Brand New Pair of Roller Skates – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor

… and you’ve got a brand new key.  I know…. now that song is stuck in your head, too!  I painted this on Memorial Day and that song stayed in my head for HOURS!!  :D

It was painted from a WetCanvas reference by BettyBoop22.

About Lin Yutang

Chinese author Lin Yutang wrote more than 35 books in English and Chinese, including My Country and My People and The Importance of Living, which brought him international fame. He was born in 1895 in the Fujian province in China. He created a Chinese-American dictionary, an indexing system for Chinese letters, and translated many classic Chinese texts. Written in a humorous, accessible style, his books bridged European and Chinese cultures. He died in 1976.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Little Nurses - Watercolor

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
– T.S. Eliot

Love that!

Little Nurses – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

This was done from a 20 year old photo provided by SkattyKat at WetCanvas.   I had fun doing it with very little real detail.    I could have done a better job with their little faces, but if I fiddled with them any more, they would only have gotten worse.

This is the only painting I had time for this weekend.  I worked on Saturday and went flying on Sunday.  I hadn’t been in the plane in 6 weeks, due to our crazy Oklahoma spring weather.  It was 109 degrees in the Muskogee Airport parking lot, according to my pickup.  I did learn (from my flight instructor in the right seat) that it cools approximately 3.5 degrees for every thousand feet you go up.  After doing a half a dozen touch and goes in Haskell, I was ready for 3500 feet!  :D

About T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot, the Nobel Prize–winning poet, is perhaps best known today for a light book of rhymes that became the Broadway hit Cats. He penned such weightier poems as “The Waste Land,” “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and “Four Quartets.” His work is rich with deeply felt religious meditations, but he never wanted to be perceived as a religious poet. He was born in 1888 in St. Louis and made his adult home in England, where he worked as an editor at the publisher Faber & Faber. He died in 1965.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Idaho Ranch

“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.”
– Isak Dinesen

Idaho Ranch – 5″ x 8″ Watercolor

Over the weekend, I booked a trip to Idaho to see my mom and my brother.  I will fly in and out of Jackson Hole, WY and drive to Blackfoot to see them.  When I did this in 2009, I took lots of photos from that drive.  It really was beautiful!  I painted this from one of those photos.

This time, I am going to spend three days in a cabin in the Teton Valley, painting, before I go home.  I am so excited!

About Isak Dinesen

Isak Dinesen was the pen name of Karen Blixen, the Danish author famously portrayed by Meryl Streep in the film of her best-selling memoir, Out of Africa. She was born near Copenhagen in 1885. In 1914, she and her new husband moved to Kenya to run a coffee plantation. She stayed on after divorcing her husband ten years later, living an unusually independent life. Her book of stories, Seven Gothic Tales, sold well, but Out of Africa made her a worldwide success. She died in 1962.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Patio

“Practice loving yourself in all your dimensions, not just when you act or look good… and especially when you don’t.”
–SARK – from the book Glad No Matter What

The Patio – 6″ x 8″ Watercolor

This is painted from a photo reference I got from WetCanvas.  I just can’t remember who it was that shared it.  It was a very intimidating reference, so I simplified it some.  It was fun!  I enjoyed making things up as I went along.  :)

SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) is an American author and illustrator of self-help books. Five of her sixteen books have been national bestsellers, and she has sold more than two million copies of her books.

SARK was born Susan Kennedy. At age ten, she became friends with an 80 year old neighbor, Mr. Boggs. When Mr. Boggs went to the hospital with a serious illness, he credited young Susan for helping him recover with the homemade cards and letters she sent every day for a month. No one else, he said, had visited or called during his illness. The experience inspired Kennedy to spend her life in some similar work.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Salt & Pepper

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
– Beverly Sills

Salt & Pepper – 8″ x 8″ Watercolor

This was done from a black & white reference photo by Connie at WetCanvas.  I had a great time playing with it.  It felt so good to get my watercolors out again.

About Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills, the talented American opera coloratura, became an international superstar in 1966 with her performance in Handel’s Guilio Cesare. She was born Belle Miriam Silverman in 1929 in New York. The New York City Opera rejected her repeatedly before they hired her in 1955. She left singing briefly in the 1960′s to devote herself to her young children: One is largely deaf, the other is mentally retarded. After retirement, she took the reins of the New York City Opera, turning it into a viable operation. Sills died of lung cancer in 2007 at the age of 78.