Thursday, October 22, 2009

DSFDF Challenge #27 - Week 49-51 - City Rooftops

City Rooftops
acrylic on 8x6 canvas board
available $40 including shipping
email me at

This is the 27th Challenge of Karin Jurik's Different Strokes From Different Folks, week 49-51, City Rooftops. This is the second time I've entered this challenge. The good news is I was able to stay awake painting this one! Ah, sleep!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Art Challenge #19: Beyond Boundaries

Mei Mei Meets a Piranha
acrylic on 24" by 20" Centurion LX linen gallery wrapped canvas
Available $495 plus $18 shipping
Contact me at

The write-up for this post was doomed from the beginning! At first I was just too tired to do it. I was falling asleep while I was awake and when I'd move to do the next task, I realized I'd just been asleep! Weird! Then, earlier tonight, I came in and edited it with a really really great write-up - and you can guess - I lost it! Must not have meant to be!
So, this is the 19th challenge of The Artist Challenge hosted by Vikki North, Beyond Boundaries. It was not an easy topic for me, I started with the very uninspired and progressed to some interesting ideas but I couldn't develop them. I couldn't really say how I ended up with this, but once I came upon it, I knew it was what I wanted.
I'm sorry I can not rewrite what was lost. I took it as a sign, it didn't need to be said!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

FTM Following the Masters Challenge #7

Self Portrait #7 - in the azalea's
acrylic on 8" by 10" canvas board

This is for Following the Masters Challenge #7 - Self Portrait. It is the first acrylic of myself I've done - oh yes, Paint Beckie in the Shower was acrylic - but certainly not of the portrait genre! I used the new color triad paints for my skin, but ended up completely covering it. I think that will either take a lot of work or probably a lesson or two! Optical illusion: The bill of my cap either looks turned up like a ball cap or turned down like a news-boy cap. It is a news boy cap, the kind I almost always have on! In the photo, taken in March 2008, it is actually a pink suade cap, I took the liberty of changing the color - because I could!

I had a wonderful time with my friend Joy at Epcot. I found out that amusement parks are OK but I really prefer more natural settings! However, I was offered on top of my free birthday pass to upgrade to a 3-day ticket for an additional $52. Since a one day admission is now $79, that seemed too good to pass up, so in the next six months, I will try to go to Adventure Park to see the animals. The food was wonderful! I took over 100 pictures, maybe I can get 2 or 3 turned into paintings - maybe!

The weather is finally starting to cool off here in Northern Florida. Saturday it is supposed to be 72 high and 55 low. I've invited my family over for a night on the patio with the firepit in full blaze! I also have 6 or 7 challenges coming up over the next couple of weeks, just hope I can get to at least 4 of them. Sometimes it seems like challenge painting is all I do but they have taught me so much and lead me to places I would never have gone alone - so - for now, that is the way it is! I'm going to have to work hard next month - Sherry always has her entries in early and mine are always the last minute! The tortoise and the hare!

Hi Dottie!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Celebrating my 61st Birthday - Going to Epcot!

Joy No. 1
Soft pastel on 9" by 12" ruff pastel paper!

I've talked before about - one day - I decided to become a painter! That day was February 10th just past. Over the next few weeks, I set about setting up my new Studio. I had painted randomly and without imagination over the last 25 years, but had never taken it serious. I started alternating between acrylic and soft pastels. Out of the 110 or so canvas' I've done since, only a handful are soft pastels, I am just drawn to acrylic. I am going to show you my 8th and 9th attempts done on February 21 and 22.

The above painting is of one of my dearest friends, Joy. I met her about 28 years ago when she was barely out of her teens and in X-ray school in Decatur, Georgia. During her training, she rotated through my department where I was a seasoned Technologist, 11 years her senior and mother to an 8 year old. We weren't busy that first day and times were different then - or there - I don't know which. But without fear of reprimand for not multi-tasking and working like an obsessed super-worker, we were able to spend that day, propped on our elbows, across a small table and chat our life histories. By the end of the day, we were friends - more like sisters - for life.

It took me about a year to realize the reality and quality of our friendship. She was young, beautiful - captivating really and the most sparkling and vibrant person I'd ever met. What could she possible see in me, I was sedate, old and fat!

Ironically, we both ended up in Jacksonville for many years together. About 8 years ago, she and her family moved to Orlando. Her daughter, Tasha, is my God-daughter. We are family. She is married to a wonderful man and husband, Scott and they have a son, Nick.

But, back to the painting, although I thought I captured her, I was disappointed with it, the paper was too rough. So, the next night, I tried it again on velour paper. Now, this many months later, I'm not sure which I like the best. They each captured her in different ways. I hope you will see some growth on my part since February. Just think what another year or two (or twenty -yee-gads, I'll be 81!) might do!

Joy No.2
soft pastel on 6.25" by 9.5" yellow velour paper

This photo was taken 5 years ago at Tasha's high school graduation. You can see my 'raggedy-ann' hair next to her. When we are together, we are usually in each others arms!

Joy still has many child-like qualities that make her always fun to be with. She absolutely loves all things Disney. She and her family always have season passes and own a Disney vacation package that has taken them all over the country year after year. Her birthday is September 7th and mine is October 7th. While visiting her last May, we decided to spend my birthday at Epcot since I can get a free pass as a Florida incentive.

So, tomorrow, Wednesday think of us at Epcot eating our way from country to country! My daughter, Mary Ellen, will stay with my 3 dogs. Stella, my new rescue, has never made-up with anyone but me, so we are anxious to see if by staying here, they will finally get to know one another. Either way, Annie and Erin are the loving queens and will keep Stella in line! I'll be home Thursday - hopefully with a story to tell!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I can't wait for Christmas TV movies to start!

Santa Claus #1
acrylic on 12" by 12" canvas board
available $104 plus $8 shipping

I saw a documentary on CBS Sunday Morning about a artist that had painted a Santa Claus every year for about 20 or 30 years. He didn't sell them, nor, as far as I know, does he have them on line. My memory of them was they were large and magnificent! Would you happen to know the name of this artist? Or how to find out? I went to CBS Sunday Morning but was unable to trace him.

Since this is the first year I am painting regularly, I want to paint several Santa's. I suspect (or hope) some my family members will want one. So, this is the first of what I hope to be a 2009 Santa Series. Don't forget, if I don't know you like one, I won't think to offer it to you!

I have used several new techniques and products in this painting. Recently, I attended a Liquitex Acrylic Paint demonstration given by Peter Andrew, Education Advisor, sponsored by Crafts and More, a local art and craft store. I used several mediums and agents that make the process of creating more interesting! I am so grateful to both Crafts and More and Liquitex for providing this program. I learned so much - just wish I could remember more! and the samples were great, too!
  • Golden Flow Release - I had recently started using this product. I use it to make a smooth background. I really love the effect and use it often now. Mr. Andrew suggested adding a drop to your water bucket. It helps clean the brush and makes a quick release to thin paint for quick spreading. An unexpected result is my water bucket has never been so clean!
  • Liquitex Pouring Medium - Maybe this isn't what it is intended for, but I used it to thin my soft acrylic especially for Santa's hair.
  • Liquitex Iridescent Medium - I use this in probably every painting I do. I love iridescent and metallic colors and never hesitate to use them.
  • Liquitex Liquithick Thickening Gel - Wow! This is really unique stuff. Mr. Andrew demonstrated it thickening soft acrylic to heavy acrylic. I used it to thicken heavy white to make the texture of the fur on Santa's coat. It immediately became thick and dry-like. I dabbed it on with a stiff brush. I really liked this stuff!
  • Golden Gold Mica Flake (Large) - Loving the metallic effects, when I saw this product, I knew I had to have both it and the (Small) variation. I hadn't used it before, even on a test sheet, but couldn't resist adding it to adorn Santa's fur to add the Holiday look.

With a 40% off coupon for attending the program, I got the book, Putting People in Your Paintings by Laurel Hart. Even though this is a watercolor book, it is packed with useful information and I have read it from cover to cover! On page 62 is a great demonstration about using primary triads. I have ordered all the colors used to make them, but not all of them have arrived.

  • High-Key Triads(Light-Value Triads)
  • Red: Alizarin Crimson
  • Yellow: Yellow Ochre, Gamboge, Raw Sienna or Transparent Oxide Red
  • Blue: Manganese Blue

  • Low-Key Triads (Dark-Value Triads)
  • Red: Transparent Oxide Red or Alizarin Crimson
  • Yellow/Blue: Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre with Manganese Blue
  • Yellow/Blue: Transparent Oxide Red with Ultramarine Blue

  • Light Skin Fleshtone Triads
  • Red: Cadmium Red Medium
  • Yellow: Yellow Ochre, Gambage, Cadmium Orange, Quinacridone Gold
  • Blue: Manganese Blue

  • Dark Skin Fleshtone Triads
  • Red: Cadmium Red Medium
  • Yellow/Blue: Transparent Oxide Red with Manganese Blue
  • Yellow/Blue: Transparent Oxide Red or Raw Sienna with Ultramarine Blue

Only having Ultramarine Blue (so far) I used Cadmium Red Medium and Transparent Oxide Red to make the skin color. It was too red, so I added Yellow Ochre and Quinacridone Gold. I love people of all colors, but this is supposed to be a white Santa. Maybe he is Indian or maybe he is Universal. So don't give me the "Oh, I thought he was black, or brown, or red, or yellow or white"! He is Universal! It will be interesting to see what I learn with the triads as I use them to make more interesting people!

For now, all I want to say is MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Family Matters

Mama's Vase
11" by 14" by 3/4" gallery wrapped canvas
available $178 + $11 shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

This is a picture I considered for TAC #18 Hidden Treasure. Everything in this painting is very special to me.

What you barely see, is the top of my Grandfather's dental cabinet. He bought the cabinet used in 1920 from a retiring dentist who used it from about 1880. My Grandfather then used it until he retired in 1970. My Mother inherited it and I have used it since 1994 for scrap booking supplies and now as a jewelry cabinet. It is a beautiful piece that my Father refinished and has been a cherished piece in our home.

My Mother made the vase. She enjoyed ceramic's in her later years and we all have many of her pieces. Inside the vase is lavender I bought in Waynesville, NC visiting my sister Beverly.

The two bunnies are from my daughter Mary Ellen's collection. I started her a bunnie collection when she was 3 or 4 years old. Although she no longer collects them, they are all over both our homes.

The basket is collapsible and made of a beautiful piece of wood and signed by the artist. I don't actually remember where I bought it, but added it to my collectibles in the last 20 years. Finally, the gardenias are from a Christmas decoration also about 20 years ago. I loved the look of them and have never put them away.

Let's see, I got my Grandfather, Father, Mother, sister and daughter included! Not bad - for a FAMILY MATTER!