Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting Caught Up...

Slowly but surely, I'm getting caught up on the winners of the painting contest! Here's the latest...

"Lila's Zinnia"
8" x 10"

I did this painting on Yupo Paper because I wanted to force myself to be a little bit looser.
is a synthetic paper that feels a bit like plastic, or glossy paper. Paint slide all over it!

I'm going to make cards with this painting - Click on the picture if you'd like a set! I have a set of 10 in my store, but if you want 5 or a mix of different cards I can do that too.

I want you to know that when I add links to dickblick, I get a small commission. I want to make it easy for my artist readers to find exactly what I use, so I would do this even if I didn't get a commission. If this offends you, just don't use my links! However, I hope that for those of you who want to try out some of the products I like, it makes it easier to access exactly what I use! I never post links to things I don't use myself. (Unless I just slobber over them and would use them if I just had the money to do so ; ) If you want to learn how to do this on your blog, I would be more than happy to share with you how to do it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Here is my first attempt at the dsfdf challenge

Here is my second attempt

In response to the feedback I've gotten on my Victorian House (second attempt), let me tell you something. This was my SECOND try! I almost didn't do it because I felt like I needed to move on! But I really wanted to produce something nice for the dsfdf blog. So I pulled out my trusty Charles Reid’ book for some inspiration and got to work. AGAIN. Can I get a what what from all the people who hate doing a painting over?

Here is what helped me, a painting by Charles Reid in his book "Charles Reid'’s Watercolor Secrets" This book has MANY wonderful paintings that can be used for inspiration when you want it to be fast, wet, and loose. Your painting, of course!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winner of my Random Drawing!

Every Tuesday night I randomly draw someone who follows my blog. Tonight that was #15, Kat. Congratulations Kat! If you would like to enter the drawing, click "Follow this Blog" on the right. There will be another winner next Tuesday!

New Painting - San Francisco Victorian

I've finished another fun little painting - did a lot of spattering and bright colors for this one. I'm getting braver! Click on the image to see a larger picture. Inquiries welcome for the original piece.

"San Francisco Victorian"
10" x 8"

Monday, January 26, 2009

Siamese Sculptures

My siamese lovers will like these little sculptures. Click on the picture to go to Etsy and see other darling treasures : )

Finished "Saluda River Rocks"

"Saluda River Rocks"

16" x 20"

I'm pushing myself to try new things, so I scratched, splashed, sponged and sprayed to create the textures in this painting. Below are some details.

This is a scene near the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. My fiance was very patient while I took pictures for an hour. I loved working with the abstract shapes of the rocks, trees and river.

Fun Painting Trip Idea, Anyone Interested?

This is a picture from National Geographic's Stay List

I just got back from a trip to Charleston and stayed at Middleton Place. I think it would be SO fun to do a watercolor workshop there. Would anyone be interested? It probably would be about $500. That would include two nights at Middleton Place, breakfast, tours of the Middleton grounds, and painting with me as much or as little as you wanted! We would get there on a Friday night, paint Saturday morning, then people could either tour the grounds from noon till 5, or paint more with me, then Sunday we could paint in the morning and then go our separate ways. It would be such a blast! I'm going to put out feelers to see if anyone would be interested in doing this the weekend of April 3,4 and 5.

To check out Middleton Place, go here...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New - I've added some clothing to my website

I can put any image you would like on these items, from sweatshirts to shoes to tote bags! See to view the collection.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Inn at Middleton Place

For my birthday, my fiance treated me to a weekend at The Inn at Middleton Place in Charleston, SC. This pic isn't that great, but I wanted to show how wonderful the windows are - we looked out over the serene Ashley River.
Tao and me
The view right in front of the Inn.

A friendly resident. The Middleton Inn is on the grounds of the Middleton Estate, which has been turned into a museum. You can tour the stable yards, house, gardens (my favorite, even in winter!). They have artisans giving demonstrations of weaving, woodworking, tanning, and lots more.
Who let the sheep out?

There are trails from the Inn over to the Museum grounds. Before Tao got up, I found a bike and enjoyed a quiet ride all over the gardens. Later we found out the hard way bikes aren't allowed in the gardens. Come to think of it, I think we were supposed to rent the bikes, and I just grabbed a loose one. Woops : )

Friday, January 23, 2009

Woohoo it's my birthday!

Here's where I'm going for my birthday. You can click the photo to see more! It will be so nice to relax!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Trying to be brave : )

Here's a painting I'm working on - it's of Saluda River in Columbia SC. You guys know how petrified I am of landscapes, but I'm actually happy with this one so far. I do want to do it again and make some of the colors and passages softer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm a pushover...

Today, the winner for the drawing of my Rachel's Studio blog follower is Michelle Burnett. Be sure to check out my other blogs, Rachel's Raves and Art is Divine to find out who won those drawings. I am going to keep my poll going for a month, or maybe two weeks, it just depends on how much painting I can get done. I always feel like I'm playing catch up! In the mean time, practice those photography skills with my tips below. The next contest will be for pets. So take some great photos and enter them either here or here. Also, on each blog, click 'follow this blog' to enter yourself in my weekly drawing for a free goody! Each week, there will be a Tuesday winner for each blog.

A big congratulations to Veerle whose gorgeous cats won the photo contest. I've started the painting and am also videoing the progress on my Watercolor Workshop Facebook group. For $5/month you can join and learn how to paint watercolors, with an emphasis on pets.

I also decided to paint "Thoughtful Kitty". It got so many votes, and is also such a wonderful picture, that I can't HELP but paint it! All the other photos were gorgeous too, so Kudos to all my talented members!

I just did a video explaining how I cropped "Thoughtful Kitty" But first, Sadie wanted to air time...

How to get better shots of your pet (or anything else)

I've got a lot of members that take wonderful photos. For those of you who are still learning, here are some tips for getting better pictures of your pet.

- TURN THE FLASH OFF!!!! A flash flattens out all the subtlety in light and shadow, and makes the subject look flat and washed out. Colors get grayed down too.

-Get your subject in good light. The best light occurs when the sun is low on the horizon, during the 'golden hour'. If it's is not possible to take a photo then, try to get your subject in natural light, such as by a window. Taking pictures at noon outside is better than in a dark house, but shadows will be harsh and subtlety in tones will be lost (tone = differences in lights, mediums and darks)

- Get down on eye level with your pet. That doesn't mean you have to be close, but just down on the same level.

- Be patient. Wait for that perfect pose! I'll sit in front of Sadie for a half hour and take tons of pictures to get that perfect shot.

- Get a tripod for indoor photography. (The link will take you to a great little tripod that can do a lot, see the pictures provided) To figure out if your camera takes a tripod, look on the bottom. Is there a hole there where you can screw something into it? That's for a tripod. Indoors you will have to take a longer exposure if you don't use a flash, and when the camera shakes even a little the image comes out blurry. A tripod will fix that!

- Learn how to use your manual mode if you have one. Indoors, you want to set your f-stop so that the camera lens is as wide open as possible. This will let more light in. F-stop numbers are actually fractions, so the smaller the f-stop, the wider open your aperture will be, the more light you'll get, and the brighter your pictures will be. This means you can choose a shorter exposure time. You'll have to fiddle with the exposure time and the f-stop to get the right combination of light for your pictures to be properly exposed.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Click for a great screen cleaner...

I AM painting, believe it or not

This isn't EVERYTHING I'm working on, but most of it is here. How do I do all this and work 9-5 (I'm a school social worker, which I LOVE)? I get up at 5:45 and do my morning pages (an exercise from "The Artist's Way") and paint and blog. I should probably cut something out but I love doing all of it - I can't stop!

This is one of the contest winners. I think it's a love bird? It's 90% done! I just think I need to add some shadows to the breast a bit more to make the bright spots pop out a bit more.

This is another contest winner. I painted it on Yupo paper to keep it loose. (A synthetic paper that has a slippery surface). Flowers can get really tight, and one of my New Year's resolutions is to loosen up!

Below is also a contest winner. I love this picture, such a happy cat!

Here's the latest contest winner - I'm using a lot of bright colors with this one. This is at the very beginning stages of the first wash. I used mask to keep the whiskers white.

This is a commission I'm doing. A very scary landscape. I really want to do great landscapes, but I'm not very confident about my landscape skills! This painting is about half done. It's making me sweat, um, I mean perspire : )

This is a painting I did for a trade for some Christmas presents. It's almost done and is just in the fine tweaking stage.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Must Read

This book is a must read for any creative person, or anyone who wants to be more creative.

"The Artist's Way"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another Must Read

Many of you have been asking about "The Secret" It's an amazing book. This link will take you to it on Amazon!

New Basset Painting

Love those ears! I may do a more detailed painting of this cutie - I was itching to paint him and didn't have time for a larger work, so I did this one a few nights ago. Click on the picture to see him in my gallery.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And the winner is...

"Two Maine Coons" has won! I'll be painting this darling photo for my Facebook Watercolor Workshop group. The owner of the photo will get a print of the completed painting and first dibs at the original. Congratulations!

I must also give kudos to "Thoughtful Kitty". She came in with a very strong second. This poll was a record; over 600 votes!!! Also, the winners of the random drawing for the people who follow my two blogs are Vanassa and Gilmergirl. I know who you are Vanassa, but Gilmergirl, you're going to have to help me out!

To participate in the next poll add your photos to either my Yahoo group or my Facebook group.

Here we go! I'll run this poll until I get caught up on all my painting. I'm closer than you might think ; )

What should the next painting be?

View Results
Create a Blog Poll

Poll Ends Tonight!

The official winner of the poll will be chosen tonight, so be sure to get your votes in! The next poll will be for non-cat subjects, so be uploading your pics here or here. That will start tonight too! Plus, I'll be randomly choosing two winners from my blog followers here and my other blog, "Art is Divine" tonight. Click "Follow This Blog" on the right to participate!
I'm going to incorporate the winner of the poll with my Facebook Watercolor Workshop. I'll be doing a video demonstration of the painting of the winner. There will be four segments, one a week on the workshop. It's $5/month to join. Whether you want to learn to paint, or just want a behind the scenes look, it's a lot of fun! If you want to see more of my work, visit

Come explore my gallery! Click the painting to see my website. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter there to get discounts, news, and goodies!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Original - Alaskan Malamute

Just finished this one tonight. It was the winner of my poll. Click the picture if you'd like a print!