Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy Accidents in Art Making ~ Help to Develop a Unique Style

"By playing with 'happy accidents'
that occur while making art and 
following them like unexpected paths
to see where they take us,
we end up developing
our own unique styles."
~ Kim Niles

Happy accidents are prevalent in watercolor,
especially when working on Yupo paper.

Painting over 100 pieces so far in 2013 using this synthetic paper has definitely helped refine my style. By staying loose, experimenting and going with the flow, I stay open to Yupo's unique qualities and let it suggest what to do next.

Sunflower Sunrise

7.5" x 5.5" hand painted watercolor on Yupo paper
Acid-free Mat w/ Backing in sleeve - 8" x 10"
Signed and certified by the artist

Painting Options

This quote describes how I feel about painting on Yupo paper perfectly -

"In my case all painting... is an accident.
I foresee it and yet I hardly ever
carry it out as I foresee it.
It transforms itself by the actual paint.
I don't in fact know very often
what the paint will do and
it does many things which are very much
better than I could make it do."
~ Francis Bacon

Look at the computer desk and matching table Jerry picked up for me at a yard sale this past weekend! It's even got teal accents! You know how much I love the color - turquoise/teal. You'd never guess how much it was ... It was only $20. for both pieces!! Can you believe my good luck? I am in totally-organized-computer-station-heaven. 

Have a great day!

Thanks so much for your friendship,
emails and comments!

X ♥  O

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Taking My Horse To See The Eye Doctor

Yesterday, I took my Paint horse, Rembrandt, aka, Rudy, up to the NJ Equine Clinic to have the Ophthalmologist look at his eye. He's had an issue with his left eye since April. Of course, Rita, my big WB/TB mare, had to go along for the ride. She acts like a lunatic when I lead him out of his stall, heaven forbid try to go away in the trailer without her! I'm afraid she'd kill herself if we were to leave without her. I was happy to get an appointment on a Monday so I could get help from my friend, Kathy Devereaux, on her day off from her job as a vet tech.

The horses and I hadn't trailered in about two years, since way before my broken ankle in April 2012, but everything went well. Rita behaved herself, (as long as Rembrandt wasn't taken out of her sight) ...

Our 19 yr. old Chevy Silverado pick-up truck ran well with new brakes, exhaust system and tires. My 21 year old Kiefer Built trailer could use a paint job, but is still solid from top to bottom, has four new tires and newly greased axils. All in all, with a little help from my hubby Jerry and dear friend Kathy, and two very cooperative ponies, the trip went pretty smooth and stress free.

It's hard for me to explain what's going on with Rudy's eye. There's a weakness or bulge in the inner eye membrane which is allowing fluid to leak into the outer membrane, causing a cataract looking band across the top and bottom of his eye. If left unchecked, it could cloud up the whole eye and his sight would be obstructed, like seeing through fog or frosted glass. It's not painful but it tears a lot. At present, we are continuing Rudy's current course of Doxycyline which has a good anti-inflamitory property for his eye, and is the only medication 
we've tried that has had any results. None of the many salves we've tried have had any affect at all. We're going to try adding in Timolol, glaucoma eye drops. Although his eye pressure was good and the doc said he doesn't have glaucoma, Timolol may help his situation. Right now the eye looks pretty good as he has been on the Doxy for a month. The plan is he will stay on it for another couple of months, gradually reducing the dosage and hoping for the best. My poor sweet boy. My poor pocketbook. Thanks for all your emails, facebook comments and well wishes! I just know they are helping.

Thanks again and Love,

X ♥  O
Rudy and Rita

Highlights From New York City

"Take risks:  if you win, you will be happy;
if you lose, you will be wise."

The artist is one who must have the courage to fail. To challenge ourselves, to be brave and to experience different things is the only way we grow and stay fresh. If our work is not exciting to ourselves, how can we expect it to be so for others? Nobody likes to fail and look like a fool, but the only way to evolve is by experimenting, stepping outside of our comfort zone and leaving behind the safety of what is already known. The habit of learning from new experiences and from our mistakes keeps life and painting exciting. 

My painting demonstration at the grand opening of the new Dick Blick store in New York City on August 22nd was a huge success. 

"Of all the people I have ever known,
those who have pursued their dreams and failed
have lived a much more fulfilling life than those
who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure."

After two months of planning, everything fell into place ...
I packed all my paintings and cards in this Pissaro Portfolio that I got ages ago. I never used before and it was the perfect case for what I needed.

I LOVE this watercolor bag! It's a Debbie Rankin Design and I've used the heck out of it for years. The bottom pocket is for your palette so it stays flat and everything else you need (and everything I'm packing here), always fits neatly inside. Great for every watercolor situation. I strongly recommend it!

The whole New York City experience went so well and WAS SO MUCH FUN! The crowd was so engaged and encouraging. They really were some of the nicest folks I've ever met!! 

I completed four paintings on Yupo paper.  Here I am doing my first one, rainbow feathers. It was a hit! Notice how I pre-mix all of my colors and each one has it's own brush, eliminating time wasting washing and mixing. Watercolor sits on the surface of Yupo paper, so you don't lose 30% of the brightness like you do on regular rag watercolor paper. At one point, I dropped my brush and got purple pigment all over the place. It was a perfect opportunity to show how forgiving Yupo is. I just calmly wiped the mistake back to clean bright white paper to everyone's amazement. 

"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make, the better.  What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice.  Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jackie, the lady here in the hat, was my self-appointed, volunteer promoter. She spent the whole time giving out cards and samples and signing up people for a giveaway. She talked to everyone who passed by and encouraged people to stop and take a look at what I was doing. She came up with countless great slogans about working on Yupo. I wish I could remember some now.

This lady, Ingrid, used my little camera throughout the demos and took lots and lots of pictures! 

Here's the second demo I did. There were lots of Ewws and Ahhs on this one too. (It was music to my ears).

The subject of the third painting I demonstrated was Fuschia flowers.
Here I talked about experimenting with values, composition, color mixing
and complimentary colors.

The final painting I demonstrated was the wet-in-wet background
on this Bird of Paradise.

Are you in the mood for something different?
Ready to experiment and take a risk?
Why not give Yupo paper a try?

Because the watercolor pigment can always be wiped back to clean paper, I think it's the most forgiving, the most exciting and the most stress free way to work in watercolor!

Fear of the unknown and of failure or embarrassment could have kept me from embarking on this New York City adventure. I am really happy I took the leap of faith and I am so much richer in so many ways from the whole experience.

"This nation was built by people who took risks -
pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness,
business men who were not afraid of failure,
scientists who were not afraid of the truth,
thinkers who were not afraid of progress,
dreamers who were not afraid of action."
Brooks Atkinson

Thanks for stopping by and please let me know you did!!
As always, your comments are most appreciated!

X ♥  O

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Forced To Set Up A New Blog!

Dear Friends - I am currently experiencing unresolved problems with the Blogger platform. It has been going on for some time now and I have contacted Google many times, but have gotten no response. I am unable to edit any of my existing posts on my main blog HERE: I have been using this blog from 1-27-2008 to 8-20-2013 and hate to switch now, but I see no other alternative.

I have been forced to start up a new blog here: SandySandySpiritArt. Please visit my new page, follow, subscribe by email or RSS or bookmark it. I will be posting to the new blog indefinitely from today 8-25-13, or until the issue with Blogger is resolved.

Thanks for your friendship!

X ♥  O

P.S. I just checked my new blog and don't have editing capabilities on it either. I don't know what is going on! All that time and effort for nothing! Arrr! If you are on Blogger, please check and see if you can edit your old posts or if the editing window is blank like mine. I'd really appreciate some feedback, especially since I've gotten none from Google.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yippee For Yupo!

"The reason most people do not recognize
an opportunity when they meet it is because
it usually goes around wearing overalls,
looking like Hard Work."
~ Author Unknown

Yupo paper's been very good to me, yippee! Only two days to go and I'll be doing my painting demonstration at the Grand Opening Event at the Dick Blick Store in New York CityI'll admit I am a little nervous, but I am well prepared and really looking forward to it too. I get into the NYC train station at 12:15 and should be at the store between 12:30 - 12:45, in plenty of time to set-up. I am planning on bringing some finished Yupo pieces to display and I am all ready to go with four different paintings that are in various stages and I may still do a 5th.

I just sent out my newsletter today highlighting my current events. If you would like to subscribe, you can do it here.

Mr. & Mrs. Red

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

Fall is in the air here in New Jersey. The hummingbirds are frantically fattening up for their upcoming migration and the Sweet Gum trees are already starting to change color. The cooler weather has once again turned my thoughts to outside activities and trail riding with the horses.

Sweet Gum tree - 8-20-13

Well, wish me luck in my New York City Adventure.

You know I'll tell you all about it in my next blog post!

Have a great day and as always thanks so much for stopping by!

X ♥  O

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Free Painting Demonstration Tonight!

"You don't understand anything
until you learn it more than one way."
~ Marvin Minsky

Tonight, 8/15/13, at 7pm,
I will be giving a painting demonstration
in watercolor on Yupo paper
219 Bellevue Ave., in Hammonton, NJ 08037

It's FREE and open to the public!

Watercolor Painting on Yupo (pronounced - you-poe)
is a looser, more forgiving way to work in watercolor.

This synthetic paper can provide a jump start to watercolor for beginners and will add excitement and variety to the skill set of more accomplished painters.
Come see my fun watercolor techniques using this forgiving paper tonight!
The purpose of learning is growth,
and our minds, unlike our bodies,
can continue growing
as we continue to live."
~ Mortimer Adler

Hope to see you there!
X ♥  O