Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year! Goals for 2008

Happy New Year!

My artistic goals for 2008

Paint and draw daily
Work on my children's book stories and illustrations
Enter art competitions
Try to get into juried shows
Work on marketing my art work
Take a figure drawing class
Continue to build my pet portrait business
Explore different subject matters....trains,sailboats,butterflies,interiors
Join an art association and get involved

And finally do more plein air outings.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Artistic goals of 2007

As I look back on 2007 and my goals that I set out to accomplish, I was surprised at how many I was able to do.

The year has been a year of unexpected changes. After living in the Pacific Northwest for 2 years, we decided that we really had enough of the grey skies, power outages, and snow. So in March my husband decided to go back to consulting full time and he found a long term assignment in Mojave, California. In less than 3 weeks I had to pack up my house,put it on the market to sell,find a new house in Southern California,and move. After it was all said and done, I was in my new house by April 1st. It took me a few weeks to get settled and my new studio set up.

I started 2007 with buildings,then portraits,landscapes,lots of florals,a few cars, one cat,and even got involved in a monthly Chinese brush painting class. In between I worked on writing a few children's book stories and used a good part of December working on the illustrations. I even surprised myself at sketching daily and even painting daily into the wee hours of the night.

As for traveling, didn't do as much as I would of liked, but did go to Ohio for my nieces wedding;Chicago visiting my girlfriend;the SF bay area to visit my sister and watch her graduate from junior college, and a trip up to Canada for my husband's mother's memorial.

It's been a busy and productive year. So tomorrow I'll focus on my artistic goals for 2008.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Great Monarch Butterfly Chase by R.W.N. Prior

Back in 1993 my husband on a dare wrote a children's book titled "The Great Monarch Butterfly Chase." He wrote the story,did rather basic illustrations, made a dummy book, and submitted his manuscript to 3 publishers...all done in 30 days. Within two months the manuscript was accepted for publication by Bradbury Press, An Affiliate of Macmillan, Inc. Eight months later the book was published. I believe there were two full printings making my husband a nice sum of money.

Whenever I mention the book, people want to know where they can purchase a copy. Unfortunately the publisher stop printing the book. Recently while unpacking I came across a few copies of his book. With my husband's permission, I scanned his book and now you can read his story of the monarch butterfly's journey from state to state all the way down to Mexico.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A nude

On WetCanvas there was a challenge to paint Sophie in any is my interpretation.

9 x 12 cold press
Daniel Smith watercolors

Divide and Conquer my studio

Divide and conquer my studio...that's my new mantra. I don't know how many times I have organized my studio, each time discovering art material that I have. One could say I'm never out of supplies. During my organization I finally found my 100 plus watercolor tubes of paint. Some being Winsor-Newton, Daniel Smith,Daley Rowney, and Hobein. It was Xmas early.

A couple of weeks ago I had ordered this empty artist palette with 18 slots for watercolor paint. So I decided to pick 18 colors that I use over and over again. Most are Winsor Newton and about 5 are Daniel Smith. I'm just trying to use up these tubes of the Winsor Newton, since I love all of Daniel Smith watercolors. When I run out of a color I'll replace with Daniel Smith.

Top row:

Transparent Yellow,Cobalt Yellow,Naples Yellow, New Gamboge,Alizarin Crimson, and Indigo

Middle Row:

FUB,Cobalt Blue,Cerulean Blue,Cobalt Turquoise Lt,Sap Green, Yellow Orche.

Bottom Row:

Raw Sienna,Perm Brown,Burnt Sienna,Burnt Umber,Raw Umber, Ivory Black

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Red old Truck

This painting is one that I almost ripped up and started over again. Instead I gave myself a break for a few days to see if I could salvage it.
Sometime around 11 p.m. last night, I decided to work with what I had painted and just went for it. I just kept on layering it and mixing colors on the painting as I went along. If I was to paint this truck again I'd do a few things differently. Probably I would add more to the background, reposition the truck on the canvas, and probably use better reference photo's.

Arches 9 x 12 watercolor cold press block
Daniel Smith watercolors

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


A few months ago when I was in the SF bay area visiting my sister we went to Paper Source and they were having a demo day. One of the products they were showing was a Gocco. Up until that day I didn't realize this printer would be one of those objects I would desire. Gocco is a rather cool way to print up your own designs...check out this website and learn more about the product

Since my husband tends to tell me I'm hard to shop for...which is true...I decided I wanted one of these gems for Xmas. So I'm now waiting for my present, which I'll wrap and put under the tree...won't my husband be surprised at the great gift he gave me!

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Yesterday was my birthday...I won't go into how old I've become because I stopped counting!

To celebrate my husband took me to Santa Barbara. Had a wonderful time, even though it was windy and a little cold. Got to explore all the shops and I was surprised that I didn't come home with bags of goodies, but I did get something special to add to my rather large collection....David Yurman earrings. Also discovered on a side street a rather large art store. They were having a sale, so I got an additional 20% off on my purchases.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Summertime Fairy

I've been reading this book titled :How to Draw and Paint Fairies by Linda Ravenscroft. The book is a good read with lots of demonstrations using various mediums. I've been playing around with an idea to do a series of Dog Fairies, so I thought I try my hand at doing one of her tutorials. I modified my painting a little bit, but I'm pleased with the way this turned out.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Black Woody Completed

I finally finished painting this black woody station wagon.

Arches cold press block 9 x 12
Daniel Smith Watercolors

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Black station wagon woody WIP

I have always thought these old fashion station wagons were cool. Reminds me of surfers, Dobby Gillis, and life of the 50's /60's.
This watercolor is my first attempt at painting cars. I'm working on fine tuning the details.
Arches Cold Press Block
9 x 12
Daniel Smith watercolors

My own book

I couple of months ago I happened to come across this cool way to bind your own book using your art. There was a really good video showing step-by-step on how to bind a book. So yesterday I thought I'd give it a try. I used one of my floral watercolors and printed it out on card stock, size about 5 x 7 inches. I used about 30 sheets of blank card stock for the pages.

So here is what my book looks like:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Watercolor journal illustrations

I really got inspired by the Watercolor Journal DVD that I watched the other day.

So here are a few of my illustrations, which I've done on 8.5 x 5.5 white card stock. I've applied a really light wash so the card stock would not buckle. I plan to just do one illustration per card. When I have about 100, I will bind them together to create my own watercolor journal.

I plan to just allow myself to explore and try new things without any rules. So probably a lot of whimsical art will be created.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Star Gazer watercolor

My latest in my floral series...
A Star Gazer
Arches watercolor block
Cold Press
9 x 12 inches
Daniel Smith Watercolors

Friday, November 23, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

Beginning Watercolor Journaling DVD

I just got this wonderful DVD on "Beginning Watercolor Journaling by Christinea Lopp and Gay Kraeger" in the mail yesterday and spent the afternoon watching it. This DVD is a treasure trove of practical information, but also a new way to journal. So go check out their website and order a DVD too! You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Red Poppies

My latest watercolor of Red Poppies.
Arches 9 x 12 cold press watercolor block
Daniel Smith watercolors
With this painting I did something different with the background. Usually I'd mix on my palette sap green and FUB to get a dark value of green. This time I applied the sap green first and then over that added my FUB. This was so much easier and I liked the way it looks once it dried.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Loki...a white boxer

My girlfriend Rosemary, who lives in Chicago is adopting a rescue boxer named Loki. She emailed me the picture and I thought I'd surprise her with a watercolor painting of Loki for Xmas. I've never seen a white boxer before, but she looks like a sweetheart. Rosemary loves roses, so I added a collar of roses around Loki's neck. I plan to print out note cards to go along with the framed painting.

Carson 9 x 12 cold press watercolor block

Daniel Smith watercolors

Friday, November 16, 2007

Three daffodils Watercolor

Here is my latest watercolor

Arches 12 x 16 watercolor block cold press
Daniel Smith watercolors

Had difficulty in picking up the detail of the white of the daffodil when I took a picture of this watercolor...just could be the lighting I used when I took the photo.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pink Dehlia WIP

Here is my latest WIP watercolor of a Pink Dehlia.
Arches 140lb cold press watercolor block
12 x 16 inches
Daniel Smith watercolor paints
I just need to fine tune some of the areas and then I think I'll be done.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Chinese brush paintings from class

Yesterday was my once a month Chinese Brush Painting Class with Nan Rae. We worked on leaves and mums. With each lesson I learn something different allowing the pieces to form in my mind. Nan always makes doing these exercises so easy, but it's not! Learning how to load the paint onto the brush,having just the right amount of water in the brush, and the applying the right pressure...all these factors determine the outcome of each piece. I'm hoping with time and practice my hand will shake less and I'll be able to produce some nice pieces. Until then....practice,practice, and more practice.

Slippery Lady Orchid Watercolor

My lastest watercolor...a Slippery Lady Yellow Orchid.
Arches 140lb waterclock block 12 x 16 in
Daniel Smith watercolors

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Blue Flower Poppy

I love painting flowers. This is a macro painting of a blue flower poppy

Arches 140 lb paper
12 x 16
Daniel Smith watercolors

Friday, November 02, 2007

Echinacea flower

I was up until 2 in the morning painting this flower.
16 x 20 watercolor
140 arches cold press watercolor block

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tiger in Watercolor WIP finished

I believe this guy is done.

Tiger face in watercolor wip #2

Here's an update on my watercolor. I pulled out the instructions on the Fredrix watercolor canvas and learned how to add darker values without lifting the paint. More paint, less water on the brush.

Trick or Treat...

Happy Halloween from the Just Crazy About Dogs!