Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunny Summer Sunflower on Yupo Paper

"The first week of August hangs
at the very top of summer,
the top of the live-long year,
like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel
when it pauses in its turning."
~ Natalie Babbitt


Signed and certified by the artist.
See purchase information here.

The weather here has finally cooled off a bit and we haven't had any rain for two whole days! The summer is speeding by faster than ever. I can hardly believe that tomorrow is the first day of August. The past couple of months have been a very busy and happy time for me. 

In addition to my demo at the Dick Blick Grand Opening event scheduled for 2 - 4 pm on August 22nd in NY, NY, I'll be doing the Third Thursday Art Demonstration at the Arts Center in downtown Hammonton, NJ on August 15th from 7- 9 pm.  It's Yippee For Yupo - with a Hot, Hot, Hot Salsa theme! It's a free demo and salsa tasting event. What a great combo! Open to the public, it is sure to be a fun and entertaining evening. Hope to see some of you local people there.

I will also be holding a Yippee For Yupo - Watercolor Painting on Yupo Paper Class - at the Hammonton Arts Center every Saturday during the month of September. Participants will discover a looser, more forgiving way to work in watercolor. This fun class will be a  jump start to watercolor for beginners and can add excitement and variety to the skill set of more accomplished painters. I will provide a link as soon as class information is posted on their website.

Below are a couple of the work-in-progress shots I took while painting "Sunny Summer Days".

First a background wash was added, wet- into - wet.

The second step - adding the stem and petals.

And a little tidbit unrelated to art - Yesterday I placed 36th out of 10,000 entries in a slot tournament at Borgota Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. My prize was $150. in slot dollars.
Not that exciting of a prize, but Jerry and I were very pleased with my placing! 

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your comments and truly appreciate every single one! 

X ♥  O

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hello New York City!

On Wednesday, I took an Amtrak Train from Trenton NJ into New York City to meet with the folks who are sponsoring my painting demonstration on Yupo paper in Chelsea next month. It was quite an exciting ART ADVENTURE! The BIG APPLE has changed quite a bit in the past fifteen years since my last visit to the David Letterman Show. I took my point and shoot so I could share some snaps with you.

Coming out of Penn Station,
I stepped into a dreamlike alien world.

Honking cabs, whistles blowing, heavy traffic,
people shouting, commotion and noise
from every direction.

From inside the cab, everything seemed
to be in fast motion, except the traffic of course.

Looking for something familiar,
I was momentarily comforted by this sign.

The conference room at Legion Paper in the
impressive 11 Madison Ave. building housed
many displays of the art and specialty papers
they represent and distribute.

I met with the VP of Marketing,
Marc Shotland, and was given
the Legion Paper grand tour.

Corey Ginsburg, Marc Shotland
and Jon Kaufman
escorted me by foot to the new
Dick Blick Store at 6th Ave. & 20th St..

The store looks small from the outside,
but is awesome and ginormous downstairs.
It's an artist's Mecca - every art supply
you can possibly imagine and then some.

We met with Steven Shutler, the store
manager. I gave him plenty of my new
postcards and business cards to hand
out and two of my framed Yupo paintings
to use in the store window display.

We picked out the supplies I will use for my
demonstration on Thursday, August 22nd. I
am looking forward to trying out the Dick Blick
Watercolors. I have used their acrylics in the past
which were of very high quality.

After being treated to a wonderful lunch,
I strolled around the Chelsea area on my own,
just taking in the sites. I liked this shiny new
cute pair of scooters.

And of course I had to stop by the doggie day
care window. I guess these guys were having
a time out. The whippet was being bad and was
chewing on the fence.

These two looked like seasoned veterans and
seemed rather bored with the whole day care scene.

It started to get hot and my feet
were getting tired, so I headed
back to the train station a bit early
to wait in air conditioning.

All in all, it was a really great trip. The guys at Legion Paper treated me so well, I felt like a celebrity.The trial run proved to be so beneficial before my big day next month. After all my fear of the unknown anxiety, it really was A PIECE OF CAKE!

So if anyone reading this is in the NYC area, come see my Yupo painting demonstration at 650 6th Ave. NY, NY, 10011 on Thursday, August 22nd, from 2 - 4pm. It's the new Dick Blick Store's Grand Opening Event and there will be lots of great deals and giveaways! Yippee for Yupo! (pronounced You-Poe) It's 
an exciting, looser, more forgiving way to work with watercolor!
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a great weekend!

X ♥  O

Thursday, July 18, 2013


"When nature made the blue-bird
she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth,
so she gave him the color of the one on his back
and the hue of the other on his breast."
~ John Burroughs

BABY BLUEBIRD ~ STAY SAFE LITTLE ONE ~ When the bluebirds fledge, we are all on edge ... looking, waiting and hoping to see them again soon. Those first few days are so critical. There are so many dangers in the big wide world. Their parents do all they can with their limited resources. The babies need to hide, eat and grow. They need to learn their flying and survival lessons quickly. We can only stand by helplessly and hope and pray that luck will be on their side and keep them out of harms way.

Baby Bluebird ~ Stay Safe Little One
8" x 6" hand painted watercolor on translucent Yupo paper
acid free double mat w/ backing in sleeve - 8" x 10"
Signed and certified by the artist.

This bluebird piece was drawn and started as a demonstration with one of my students on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, another student came and we drew and painted this cardinal. Both reference photos are from Paint My Photo. When I heard the exact same comment from both ladies; "I didn't think this was going to be so hard.", I had to chuckle.

In painting, like in any skill, I think the basics take the longest to learn. Once the fundamentals are understood and repeated many times, with determination and desire they should become second nature. Things eventually do become easier. I think it's the most challenging endeavors in life that give us the most satisfaction in the end.

~ Theodore Isaac Rubin 

Do you agree? Where do you find your satisfaction?

Have a nice weekend and as always, thanks for stopping by.

X ♥  O

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sizzling Summer Sunflower

"Chase down your passion
like it's the last bus of the night."
~ Terri Guillemets

Sizzling Sunflower

7.5" x 5.5" hand painted watercolor on Yupo paper
A.F. Double Mat w/ Backing in sleeve - 8" x 10"
Signed and certified by the artist
See purchase information here.

A photo of the above painting in progress.

Here, the background was approached differently.
It was applied with a 3" roller, then over painted with thick pigment.

I really like today's quote. As time hurries on, it seems as though I have to run ever faster and harder to catch that speeding bus! It's even a recurring dream I've had since childhood. I think all my marathon chasing is starting to pay off though. 

I'll be doing a drawing and painting demonstration at the Hammonton Arts Center during the town's Third Thursday Event on September 19th and also have drawing classes and a Watercolor On Yupo Workshop scheduled there for the fall. I'll post more details here as soon as the dates are confirmed.

I'm planning on going up to NYC next week to do my dry run for my grand opening demonstration. I'll meet with Marc from Legion Papers and then go to check out the Dick Blick Store where I'll be demonstrating Painting on Yupo Paper on August 22nd.

This set up is working out well.  I'm using the laptop to view lessons online
and the desktop computer to follow along and do the work in Dreamweaver.

The online website course from Timothy Training is going well and I'm more than half way through it. I've started to organize 15+ years of online / website files and feel pretty confident that it will soon all start to come together. It feels good to finally be making some headway in that department.

Jerry and I are busier than ever taking care of the businesses, our place, the horses, the cats, the wildlife and the hummingbirds. We are going through about a gallon and a half of nectar every day now. I guess we have used about 40 lbs. or more of sugar so far this season. It's kind of hard to calculate though, because the sneaky sugar industry changed from 5lb. bags to 4lb. bags this year. I guess they thought nobody would notice! That reminds me, I'd better go and check those hummingbird feeders. I forgot to fill them at lunch time and I'm sure they are empty.

I hope your summer is going well and you have found a way to stay cool!
 Tell us what you've been up to!
Thanks for stopping by!

X ♥  O

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunflower Spirit ~ Capturing the Essence

"Capture the spirit
and essence of your subject
and show me why it is important to you."
Keith Bond

Sunflower Spirit
Today's FineArtViews article by Keith Bond was about impersonation and authenticity. It is a subject very close to my heart. Originality in the interpretation of my subject is something I strive for everyday. Keith writes, "Don’t be an impersonator (and slavishly copy a subject from life or from a photo). Be authentic. Be real. Be yourself. Create art that means something to you, so it can also mean something to the viewer." For me, it is the only road to happiness and the key to finding my true inner voice as an artist.

"If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert.  He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator.  He will not be striving for it as a goal in itself.  He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours of the day." ~ W. Beran Wolfe

Wishing You Many Blessings and Authentic Happiness,

X ♥ O

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Sunflowers ~ SOLD

"Happiness is never stopping to think if you are."
~ Palmer Sondreal


"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance;
the wise grows it under his feet." 
~ James Openheim

Watercolor Work Station

This painting was done standing at my big table, with lots of tools and visual reference, maybe too much information (TMI). I'll simplify things next time. Here I did the background first. On the last sunflower painting, I did the flower first. I like to mix things up so I don't get stuck in a rut. I painted this on 144 lb., 17pt., heavy weight Yupo paper that Marc from Legion Papers sent me to sample. He also sent me a couple of pads of translucent Yupo paper. That's got my head spinning with ideas!

"It's never too late to have a happy childhood."
~Berke Breathed

It was a year ago yesterday that we captured Opie and Cutie Pye
and their siblings, who now reside in New York.
Awe, they were just little wild bush babies. 


I must admit, they've really made themselves indispensable
around the place. How did we ever mange without them?
They sure have brought us an extra special kind of happiness.

Thanks for stopping by!
Stay cool and have a great weekend.

Hugs and Purrs,
and the little darlings

X ♥ O

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

You Are My Sunshine ~ Sunny Summer Sunflower

"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others,
cannot keep it from themselves." 
~ James Matthew Barr

You Are My Sunshine

 Purchase painting here.

I was happy to hear about a sunflower painting challenge yesterday on DPW (Daily Paintworks). Coincidentally, I was just itching to paint some of these exuberant beauties and had already downloaded a few photos of sunflowers from PMP (Paint My Photo). I painted most of this piece as a demo for a private lesson today. I'm excited because my new student is a very quick study and did extremely well with her first painting on Yupo paper! I also got a call today from the president of a local art center about teaching watercolor on Yupo paper there in the fall. Wow, I am truly blessed. The sun has clearly been shining down on me and my Yupo painting lately! Here is the first in my new series of Sunny Summer Sunflowers.

Hope you can beat the heat and have a great 4th of July holiday!

X ♥  O