Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hummingbird Migration

"Spring is nature's way of saying,
"Let's party!"
~ Robin Williams

Hummingbird Magic

5.5" x 7.5" original watercolor on Yupo paper, matted to 8" x 10"
Signed and Certified
See Purchase information here.

The Ruby Throated Hummingbirds
are on the move.

They may be at your house soon.
One has just been spotted in North Carolina.

See their 2013 migration map here!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Crocus Among Us

"Springtime is the land awakening. 
The March winds are the morning yawn." 
~ Lewis Grizzard

The Crocus Among Us

5.5" x 7.5" original watercolor on Yupo paper, matted to 8" x 10"
Signed and Certified by the artist
See purchase information here.

I've been listening to Leslie Saeta's Artists Helping Artists radio shows while I paint. I listened to yesterday's show today.  I was so fascinated and impressed with Carolyn Anderson's interview that I had to play it twice. What an amazingly accomplished and articulate artist she is! I was very impressed with her philosophy of art as well as with her fabulous interpretative oil paintings. I love what she writes in "Thoughts About Painting" ~ "Realist painting comes with its own set of parameters and craft can certainly be one of them. But I have yet to agree that craft alone will make a great painting. Craft without creativity is only part of the equation. When we make judgments about what is acceptable, or not, what is good, or not, and what “realism” is, or is not, we end up narrowing the possibilities of what our paintings can be.  Painting is about learning to see  - and hopefully, sharing how we see and what is visually important to us with others. We share a responsibility to interpret, not to try and re-create. We need to be open to the adventure of exploring, visual information. If we accept that what we paint can never be “real”, then we should be able to take our “reality” and see it in new and interesting ways." W O W! I would really love to take a workshop with this lady!

Well folks, spring fever is upon us! It's a time of rebirth and awakening that influences us whether we realize it or not. Don't you find that the longer, warmer days tend to renew your passions? Doesn't this season seem to interject more energy into your life? Do you find enthusiasm for new projects, inside and out? Am I alone in feeling that springtime produces a kind of kick in the pants, jump start or jolt effect? For me, it's almost a kind of urgency. For what, I'm not really sure. Maybe you have some ideas and could help me out by sharing your feelings about springtime here.

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"  ~ Mark Twain

Wishing you a great weekend
and all the blessings of spring!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Giveaway Winners Announced!

“It is spring again!
The earth is like a child
that knows poems by heart.” 
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Spring Has Sprung

The winners of my Book Giveaway
and my original Tree Painting Giveaway
were chosen today by
to see who won!!

Winners have 24 hours to contact me
to claim their prize!

Happy First Day of Spring!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cute Ginger Kitten ~ Sold

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."
~ Leonardo da Vinci

Cute Ginger Kitten

License this image here.
"Who would believe such pleasure
from a wee ball o' fur?"
~ Irish Saying

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mare In Moonlight ~ SOLD

I've been very distracted from painting this past week. Last Friday afternoon, without any warning, my dear husband, Jerry, unexpectedly lost the sight of his right eye. He was just finishing up a job at the Borgata Casino Health Club in Atlantic City when his right eye went totally black / blind. He drove home, then I took him to the Hospital. His blood pressure was sky high and they thought he may have had a mini stroke. He never had high blood pressure before. After extensive testing, they still didn't know what was going on, so they took him to Will's Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for more tests. Basically, what they said was, Jerry had a stroke of the eye. We were at Wills Eye Hospital Retina Center all day on Monday for more tests. The doctors at Wills were very discouraging and said the loss of sight would most likely be permanent. I refuse to believe it though. On Friday, when it happened, the eye was totally black and each day, Jerry is starting to see more. Today he said he 'sorta sees' colors, so I believe that the doctor was wrong and he can recover his sight. Now our main cercern is getting his blood pressure under control so it doesn't blow out the other eye.

Moonlight Mare

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~SOLD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope all is well in your world, dear blog friends.
Have a great weekend!

X ♥  O

Friday, March 8, 2013

Special Spring Hummingbirds ~ SOLD

Spring is in the air and we turn the clocks ahead this Sunday! Yahoo!! To celebrate and spread the joy, in addition to a couple of giveaways, I'm also having a 30% off March Madness Sale on selected one of a kind, mini paintings! Here are the first two adorable hummingbirds I'm offering at this special price. 

Joyful Hearts

4" x 5.5" original watercolor on Yupo paper, matted - $35.
acid free, white core mat with a foam core backing in an acetate sleeve
ready to fit into a standard 5" x 7" frame.


Hearts of Joy

4" x 5.5" original watercolor on Yupo paper, matted - $35.
acid free, white core mat with a foam core backing in an acetate sleeve
ready to fit into a standard 5" x 7" frame.


This offer is only good until the end of the month, so snatch them up while you can, my friends. What great gifts these would make for Easter, Mother's Day, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and birthdays! These original paintings would look precious framed or sitting on a little display easel!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
And don't forget to "spring ahead"!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Watercolor Palette Cleaning Tips

Today I'm sharing a few tips with my artist friends,
mostly learned through trial and error.

I've learned the hard way, that sometimes there's a reason that I'm not getting the results I am seeking when my painting looks like crap is not so successful.

A less than ideal working palette is a definite hinderance. Especially when it is as disgustingly crusty, globbed up, dry and dirty as mine was.

Case in point.

When using a covered palette with tube watercolors,
if you don't let it get this badfresh pigment can be added to the semi-hardened paint. Then the two consistencies can be stirred together with a smidgen of water to reconstitute it.

However, I have been neglecting my palette for months and there was not much I could salvage!

I had to scrape out the old stuff that was inundated with hard globs, brush hairs and dirt. Then scrub the crust from the wells and start with fresh squeezed pigment.

I used a butter knife, bristle brush, water and lots
of paper towels to accomplish the job.

When I finally got all the wells clean, I squeezed out new pigment using my Tube-Wringer which helps you get every possible drop out of the tube. As you probably already know, if you are still reading this, pigments can get expensive.

It's a real money saver and a big thumbs up from me.

Ah, now doesn't that look totally inviting?

Palette Colors from top left clockwise.....

Cobalt Blue - Nice medium blue - has white in it
Cobalt Violet - Nice non-staining violet - has white in it
*Cadmium Red
*Alizarin Crimson
*Ivory Black
*Burnt Sienna
*Yellow Ochre
*Naples Yellow - love this color, use it often
*Titanium White - just started using this with my Yupos
*Lemon Yellow
*Gamboge - nice bright color - instead of Cadmium Yellow
*Olive Green - Lukas - love this - color varies by maker
Hooker's Green Dark
Phthalo Green
*Turquoise - American Journey or DaVinci- love this!
Turquoise - Lukas - color varies by maker
*Phthalo Blue
*Ultramarine Blue
* Colors most used

(*Update - 2017 - See the small limited palette I am currently using here.)
The supplies shown above are my current choice for a thorough cleaning and a total palette makeover. They are a paint tube wringer, bristle brush, butter knife, water and pliers (to pry off caps and squeeze the very last splotch of paint from tube). You will also need plenty of paper towels, water and a spray bottle.

My palette is a covered Robert E. Wood. When not painting for a couple of days, I uncover, spritz the paint with water, let it breathe for a while, respritz then recover. 

My color choices have changed recently due to working on Yupo paper. I am now using more pigments with white in them as they seem to bind to the synthetic paper better. 

I prefer DaVinci and Utrecht brand tube watercolors for their consistency, quality and price but I have also used Windsor and Newton, American Journey and Lukas.

See some tips on working on Yupo paper here.


The idea in my approach is to use the biggest brush you can and still get the job done. The bristle fan brush is occasionally used for texture and spattering. For my rounds, I use a lower quality synthetic brush that comes to a good point, but doesn't lose it's hairs.

A word of advice
don't let your palette get so grungy.
This project took me hours!

I hope you found a tip or two here
that may be of some use to you.
Happy creating!

Hummingbirds - More Important Than TV

"Like winds and sunsets,
wild things were taken for granted
until progress began to do away with them.
Now we face the question
whether a still higher 'standard of living' is
worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.
For us of the minority,
the opportunity to see hummingbirds
is more important than television."
~ Aldo Leopold

Little Hummingbird, Wild and Free

7.5" x 5.5" original watercolor on Yupo paper, matted - $85.
acid free, white core mat with a foam core backing in an acetate sleeve
ready to fit into a standard 8" x 10" frame.

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds have been reported to be arriving in their summer breeding grounds about two weeks earlier this year. I looked online at the hummingbird migration map and a few early travelers have already been spotted down in Florida and in other states around the Gulf of Mexico. I will keep you updated on their progress. Do you look forward to their arrival too? When do you usually see your first hummingbird?

As always, I'd love to hear from you.
I'm hoping your week is off to a great start!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Raptor Rhapsody

Here is a collage of six hawk paintings
done in the past two weeks.

These paintings were all done on Yupo paper.

Yupo (pronounced You-po), paper is a recyclable, tree-free, synthetic paper which does not absorb water, so the transparent watercolor pigments sit on top of the surface. It is tricky to work on but very forgiving. It can be scrubbed back to the clean surface at any time prior to fixing it with a clear acrylic spray. YAHOO FOR YUPO!

One of the reasons we have so many hummingbirds here at The Sandarosa, is because we also have a healthy colony of Coopers Hawks. The hummingbirds build their nests close to Ms. Cooper's Clan. Too small to be of any interest to a hawk, the crows and other hummingbird predators stay clear or else. It's a very symbiotic relationship.

Ms. Coopers Hawk - Hummingbird Protector

5.5" x 7.5" original watercolor on Yupo paper, matted - $85.
acid free, white core mat with a foam core backing in an acetate sleeve
ready to fit into a standard 8" x 10" frame.

This is the same painting as the one below,
only without the background.
*I'd love to know, do you like it better with
or without the background?

Regal Red Tail

5.5" x 7.5" original watercolor on Yupo paper, matted - $85.
acid free, white core mat with a foam core backing in an acetate sleeve
ready to fit into a standard 8" x 10" frame.

On the home front, the kittens, Opie and Cutie Pye, are now 10 months old! How time flies when they are little!  Opie weighs about 8 lbs. now and looks as large as 15 lb.,Tigger because of all his hair. The boys like to sleep in the little wicker basket. And the petite Ms.Cutie Pye, at only 6lbs.2 oz., prefers the large dog bed. Go figure! ☺

Thanks for stopping by today. 
Have a great weekend everyone!

Hugs and Purrs, 
(And the Kitties)

P.S. Before you leave, please help me out with your opinion * above.
Thanks again!