Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coy Koi Pond

15x22 watercolor on gessoed board, photographed at Flamingo Hilton hotel in Las Vegas at their koi pond within the flamingo wildlife habitat or sanctuary.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


22x15 watercolor imaginary scene based on our old pool and me in a floating lounger without a care in the world.  Different levels of potted plants flank the poolside figure in repose.  This was completed today on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper with Daniel Smith/American Journey paints.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day - Remembering Freedom is Not Free

Poppies signify those soldiers who fought and died for our freedom whether here at home during civil war, or abroad such as two world wars, and middle east conflicts. This is Flanders Fields that I painted while reviewing that poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae that says it all. This is watercolor 20x30 and is SOLD to our good friend and Navy veteran neighbor Jim Murray.   Here are the words McCrae wrote:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Plenty to Crow About

9x12 watercolor on Strathmore 140 lb cold pressed paper; Daniel Smith/American Journey paints., drawn yesterday in 10 minutes or so then painted in 45 minutes, part of a timed exercise on WetCanvas! This weekend drawing event host was Gail Bowers who provided 16 references and a challenge.  The challenge was for us to paint something then make it appear at nighttime, which would be hard to do for a crow being black as the ace of spades! So I made this fellow as colorful as possible so he still reads as a blackbird, but he does appear to be contemplating suicide on this window ledge.  Working only from a black and white image it was a real challenge to make believable with an abstract background as well.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


8.5x10.5 watercolor of pale yellow orchids I photographed while plein air painting at Alldredge Gardens in Midland, TX recently.
The handmade A4 rough paper was bought when visiting the Tate Gallery in St. Ives, Cornwall and I was afraid it would not be suitable for a fluid floral.  The bottom image is sans background just to show the difference a little dark makes.  In the finished work you can see other orchids and some pots top center.  Quite fun and entertaining! I can paint them but not grow them.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Art & Sol Beach Figure

12x9 watercolor on Langton 140 lb cold press paper, Daniel Smith/American Journey paints.  I've been working on this for days for a monthly challenge contest on WetCanvas! We had to use bird of paradise plants coupled with art nouveau designs in unusual ways, so here is my figure wearing bird of paradise earrings at the beach with art nouveau (French for new art) design behind and the beach and ocean distant background.  We were encouraged to study artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) and what a fascinating painter and master he was! Look him up online for some intriguing style worth seeing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dutch Art Gallery New Summer Workshops

The Dutch Art Gallery has scheduled Saturday Summer Workshops each Saturday until September.  Classes will vary in price as some require an extra fee for models. 
My watercolor class is $125.

June 2 – Nancy Standlee – Mixed Media Collage
June 9 – Liz Hill – Mixed Media, Watercolor
June 16 - Pat Meyer – Roses
June 23 - Tina Bohlman – Watercolor
July 7 - Kay Smith – Watercolor
July 14 – Sheri Jones  – Palette Knife
July 21 – Nancy Medina – Florals
July 28 – Bob Shepard – Oil Painting
August 4 – Nathalie Kelley – Watercolor
August 11 – Laurie Pace – Palette Knife
August 18 – Caroline Ratliff – Pastel
August 25 – Barbara Jones – Still Life/Oils

Sign up for my one day watercolor workshop: Saturday July 7, 2012
Dutch Art Gallery
10233 E Northwest, Suite 420, Dalllas TX 75238

Classes are limited in size 
Contact: Pam Massar  or call 214 348-7350

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Peace Roses in Blue & White Vase

10x8 watercolor of fresh peace roses in blue and white vase. This work is SOLD. 
The roses were grown at my studio and the vase is a small one I made look larger here for an imaginary floral still life.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cosmos Chorus

11x15 watercolor on 140 lb cold press Saunders, Daniel Smith paints.  This painting was one of my first ones depicting the dancing fragile yet fantastic blooms, taken from combining 3 photos.  It is SOLD!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cosmos Celebration

11x15 simple arrangement of dark pink and red cosmos blossoms dancing in the wind.  I have painted these many times and never tire of doing so.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Flamingo Friends

20x30 watercolor on Strathmore 500 series heavy wt. plate illustration board painted today in about 2 hours 25 minutes as part of WetCanvas! weekend drawing event.  I had not worked on IB in many years and it was quite fun, different from Yupo but still allowing for looseness and depicting these water birds in watercolor.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cherries Jubilee

15x22 watercolor on Arches 140 lb cold press paper done a few years ago combining more than one photo for a varied fruit and floral still life arrangement.  I especially enjoyed painting the crocheted white table doily design.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mexican Bird of Paradise

15x22 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper of blooms on what we call Mexican bird of paradise bushes.  These brilliant colored gold, hot pink, and red flowers are vividly seen in the Texas and Arizona landscape which I have made up in the background. At my studio there are several of these small specimens growing in the backyard.  This work is SOLD!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Abstract Roses

15x22 mixed watermedia on Arches 140 lb cold press paper with wet in wet watercolors and gold spray paint.  Design element shapes were made with outlining round plates and using a ruler overlapping and darks laid in first under shapes to push them forward.  Cotton bandaging was pulled apart, then put over that, wet, then dropping various blues and reds.  When dry, spray paint was applied outside. I began to see rose shapes, petals and stems so enhanced what I saw adding and subtracting.  Its focal point thus contained the largest red rose shape.  Lastly, stamping was done with small circular rubber stamp at random.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cows at the Farm

15x22 watercolor on 300 lb cold press paper, begun yesterday then finished after work this evening. This scene is on our home place between Ackerly and Vealmoor TX and I photographed this cute brown calf et al years ago but never painted it. You can see the old cement stock tank in the background and of course dust everywhere. I especially liked the long evening shadows from the animals' bodies across the picture plane foreground. Fence posts were negatively painted and Daniel Smith pigments were used.  Splattering was done to indicate rocks, hoofprints, and debris in the foreground.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ranunculus with Watering Can

15x22 watercolor on handmade rough 140 lb cold press paper; Daniel Smith paints of an old watering can, gloves, and other gardening tools on an old potting shed wooden table.  This was painted wet in wet.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pet Portraits - Love Thy Neighbor

11x15 watercolor dog and cat portrait done several years ago and was SOLD. 
It still remains my favorite pet portrait of an orange tabby faithfully licking his friend's head in a show of affection.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gaillardias Galore - watermedia floral

15x22 gouache watermedia on 140 lb hot press paper that is now SOLD!
Gouache paints are by Winsor Newton and are watercolors with white added; in the olden days the medium was referred to as body color.
Flowers are from photos of my own gaillardias but background and foreground are imaginary with lots of negative painting.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fresh Fish - Chicken of the Sea

15x22 watercolor of eleven fish that have just been caught and are ready for dinner.  Drawn in 10 minutes with Micron 01 pen then painted on 300 lb cold press paper in about 1.5 hours today.  (Inspired by Dewi of Thailand, moderator and host on WetCanvas! Weekend Drawing Event)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Red and White Tulips

22x30 watercolor on Saunders 140 lb cold press paper, DaVinci/Daniel Smith paints, working wet in wet.  Tulips, especially variegated, like these are my favorite flower.  A complementary color scheme of reds and mixed greens is challenging to use as well.  Reds:  Alizarin crimson, Grumbacher red, perylene maroon, quinacridones coral, magenta, violet, and permanent rose.  Other colors:  Arylide yellow, quinacridone gold, UB, Prussian blue.  The title is Candy Stripers and is SOLD.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Calla Lilies Talavera style

22x30 watercolor and ink on Saunders Waterford 140 lb cold press paper.  Taking a cue from Talavera pottery that I collect and love, I used a single white calla lily and drew exaggerated shapes then added pattern one might see on the famous designs.  These wild and crazy blooms are done in desert colors of taupe, raw sienna, quinacridone gold and burnt orange, indigo for the stamens, and mixed greens for leaves.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Geraniums Garden Party

15x22 watercolor of red and pink geraniums in clay pots that I painted about 2 years ago.  Recently on a Saturday paint out, I was able to find another variegated leaf type as in the center pot here; love the whitish yellow on leaves edges.  So the new pot is by the front door waiting to be painted, and this work on 140 lb cold press paper is SOLD.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Brown Calf and Cow ink sketch

5x7 ink sketch using black Tombow brush pen on Strathmore Bristol 400 series, doing only dark areas first, then using a rigger brush with water for grey midtones.  I used one of my old photos taken at my mother's west Texas farm in the late 90s.  The calf was brown and the cow black.  This was done today and already posted in WetCanvas! Southwestern and Western forum in the Sketch Thread, where your work cannot be longer than 1 hour; my time was less than 30 minutes.  I was captivated by the shadows as well as their bovine shapes.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Orange Marmalade Kitty

5.5x9 watercolor on Strathmore 140 lb cold press paper drawn and painted last night then retouched and polished loose ends today.  Part of WetCanvas! Weekend Drawing Event in which you have 2 hours to draw or paint your subject, this current WDE is hosted by Annie in Norfolk, UK.  Her cat Ember, a gray mottled tortoiseshell, was the model, and I've morphed into an orange tabby, working only from a black and white copy.  So no orange tabby photos used.  This lets me pay very close attention to values.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Figure in Watermedia Collage

Yesterday I drew this based on a figure featured in a women's wear sale catalog quite a few years old that now looks nothing like the model, drew in charcoal over adhered phone book pages, then applied Turner's gouache to her skin, hair, hat, shoe, blue jeans. For the big shirt, I used old gift wrap collage using matte medium and another floral wrap for the tulip she's holding. Still another gift wrap was used for the tank top. Grass is gouache with watersoluble oil pastels, and the OPs are at random thru out the composition. Her straw hat pattern is gouache using a coffee cup paper doily (painted the holes a darker raw sienna). Background is Matisse Derivan Off White that is more like a creamy yellow.  Title is Meadowland, 15x22, on Arches 140 lb hot press paper, an imaginary woman sitting watching nature on a sunny day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Poppified - the Art of Poppies

18x24 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press block, Daniel Smith/DaVinci/American Journey paints, done in a direct painting style wetly and quickly.  There are so many ways to paint poppies I never tire of searching for new compositional arrangements.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pears Ripening

11x15 trio of green pears ripening in my sunny window, first painted about a year and a half ago in which I was not pleased with the results of this watercolor.  I've since reworked their shadows and reflected light from the glass window onto the white windowsill.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tortoiseshell Kitty: Just Another Pretty Face (demo)

This is last night's demo I did for the Yoakum County Art Association in Plains, TX.  The subject is none other than Miss Halloween, or Hallie for short, a stray kitten who suddenly appeared last summer in my studio backyard.  I still think Don Jones put the sweet little thing there as he knew I would not refuse her a home.  Her face is divided in half, one side orange tabby and the other black as the ace of spades, hence her name.  She was laying on a blue dolphin beach towel surrounded by a lilac pillow I painted red geraniums on, and a pink silk embroidered pillow from Pier 1.  Size is 15x22 Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper, Daniel Smith/American Journey/DaVinci paints.