Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I am ashamed at how long it has been since my last post- 2 months! In all that time, not only have I neglected my blog but my art as well. I have just completed a small flower painting and have two drawings that are about ready to start painting. No excuses, just got busy with other things and, when I neglect my art long enough, makes it that much harder for me to get back into it. Sure wish I knew why that was. Once I do get to painting again, I enjoy it so much. At this rate, it will take the rest of my life before I see any improvement!
Thanksgiving was a busy time, had house guests for a week. Christmas we will be gone for about a week. It will be tough to get a lot of art done with gift wrapping and holiday baking but I intend to try. It felt good to do the small painting, which inspired me to stay with it. Each time I work on a painting, I remember more of what I should do and how I should do it.
Hopefully, I will soon have more paintings to post here, to show my progress. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Art Show

Last week, our art league had its annual juried art show. It was a very busy week, setting up and making sure all was ready. We have a very good group and, like all groups, there are some that help more than others, but everyone pitches in. I was pleased to have one of two paintings accepted. I didn't win any awards but better than that, the painting sold! My first ever sale and I am still excited about that. That sale inspired me to do more art and even to try and enter other shows than our local one. Of course, if I don't get busy and produce some art, won't have anything to enter!
Still having trouble getting started. I spent all of yesterday looking at reference photos, managing to let the day go by without beginning anything. Today, I must, I will begin. It is like wanting to write something and just staring at the blank sheet of paper. One must just jump in and write/paint something, anything to get things flowing.
Now, here I am delaying again by writing in this blog. Ha! Signing off to get busy!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Time Away

This poor blog has really been neglected of late, as has been my art. Took a trip back to the big city to visit family and friends then, for several days after returning, didn't feel well. All that combined to keep me from blogging or painting. Just finished a painting which won't be posted here as it may just be a gift for a family member. Don't want to ruin the surprise!
I think my next project will be small works, in various media, on 2"x3" artist's cards. Will be interesting to see if I can work that small but should be fun. There are so many different things I would like to do with art, in all kinds of media. Seems there will always be something else to try.
Our local art league is having their annual juried show next weekend. This coming week will be full with preparations. I feel quite fortunate to have one of my paintings accepted into the show. It is like I have already won a prize! Have heard that this judge likes abstract works, even though she doesn't paint in that style. In that case, very little chance of my painting winning any awards. Would be icing on the cake, since I really do feel excited just to be in the show at all!
All of this means that I won't be having any time to paint this week but should be inspired by all of the wonderful art in the show.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Will I ever learn?

My latest painting is reminding me of a very bad habit of mine, being too timid! While I know, in watercolor, one begins light and goes darker, there is a happy medium. It takes me way too many layers to get as dark as I need to be. Why can't I remember that each time I sit down to paint? Still have a lot to do on the painting, it isn't a lost cause but I sure get mad at myself when I realize, once again, I am being way too stingy with the paint!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fun or Work?

I just read a comment made by an artist who wrote that when folks tell her that being a professional artist must be fun, she immediately replies that it isn't fun, it is work. Then she says she enjoys what she does. That confuses me. If you enjoy what you do, isn't that fun? Yes, doing art is hard work, we sweat bullets over it but, if it were all bullet sweating and no fun at all, why do it? Can't one work hard and have fun too? Does one exclude the other? I don' think so. Sometimes, when I am working on a painting, it is a roller coaster ride! And that can change from one minute to the next!
I think that artist may be feeling that those who tell her she must be having fun being an artist, is feeling she has to defend what she does; somehow, if it is fun, it isn't legitimate work. Perhaps a more appropriate answer to the comment would be that, "yes, being an artist is fun but it is also hard work". Such a response might just start a dialogue so that the person who made the comment is then educated in a pleasant way about all that is involved with being a professional artist. The "lay" person only sees the art and thinks of the artist painting away joyously. They haven't a clue about all that goes on that doesn't involve creating the art!
Perhaps the artist means that the art is fun but the business end isn't, which is totally understandable.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Lately, I have been painting way more than usual and have some finished work to show for it. All of these were learned and/or started in my art class. They were fun but not sure I will do many or any more like them. Will be more likely to do flowers than pots but I did enjoy doing the pots.

Haven't felt well the last few day so haven't been painting. Got back to it today and ended up tossing a work in progress. Was trying a watercolor canvas, thought it would be a nice change. Well, I was wrong. Guess someone needs to give me lessons but I couldn't get the thing to wet, paint wanted to bead up. Also, if you go back in to add shadows or second washes, the first color that was put down, comes up again. Like I said, guess there is a trick to it that someone needs to teach me but, until that happens, won't be buying any more of those things. The pots were done on watercolor board and I didn't mind that at all. It is different than paper but easier to figure out!

Started a painting of a cat today. Hope I can manage it!

Friday, August 7, 2009


I promise to post a photo next time I write here. Just haven't gotten to it lately.
Had to write to say how excited I have been over the last couple of weeks. My level of creativity has just overflowed. Not sure why or how long it will last but has been so much fun. Some of it comes from learning new things in my art class, subjects and techniques I hadn't seen before or never thought of doing. Mostly, though, I think I am finally relaxing and enjoying myself, not worrying so much about the outcome but what I learn in the process.
There are times when a nasty little thought creeps into my head. "Why bother with your art? There are so many other artists out there doing the same thing, what makes you think you can do it better or that anyone will ever like what you do?" This thought used to stop me in my tracks and kill my urge to paint. Now, however, I answer back, I don't care!!! This is fun, no matter how things turn out and no matter if anyone else likes it or not. So there!
I know I have a lot to learn and I am going to enjoy getting to the next level, which I know I will, eventually. Until then, because I am having so much fun, I am painting more. By painting more, I will get better than much faster.
There are no deadlines and I am fortunate not to have to sell my art to survive (thank goodness for that or I would starve!). I can relax, have fun and gradually get to where I am going, where ever that may be!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back to it!

Haven't posted in a while, no new painting to post and quite a bit going on. Our art league's membership show was last week. I didn't sell anything but, according to someone who was there at the time, someone almost bought one. Guess that will have to do. ;-)
Two paintings are entered in our upcoming juried art show. Eager to see if either are accepted.
Since I have started painting more often, I have found that I want to paint more often. The fever is growing. There is so much to learn and practice that I can't let anything slide. Would also like to accumulate a body of work, don't have much right now. Well, to be more accurate, don't have much I would want to show anyone.
Getting ready to begin a new painting, first time to try a watercolor canvas. Should be interesting. In art class last week, we painted American Indian pots on watercolor board. Things must be handled differently, no fiddling allowed or it all comes up. It was fun! Wonder if the watercolor canvas will be the same?
When I get a chance, will post a photo of my Indian pot from art class (unfinished) and my latest painting.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just Wishing

Finished reading blogs a moment ago. It is interesting to read the artists' bios. Most have had formal art schooling and have been doing their art since childhood. Looking at their work, I feel as if I am so far behind, rushing to catch up. Have never sold a painting, entered only one juried show so far (amazingly accepted!) and took a few art classes in college as electives. As a child, I drew for fun, mostly doodling. Had a Walter Foster drawing book or two to use for direction. I guess the difference in me and the artists I am reading about is they had a drive to do art from a young age. My drive came to me late in life, hence playing catch up. I also don't remember any encouragement from my discouragement at least.

I need to fight this type of thinking, however. I am not playing catch-up with anyone, I am on my own personal art journey. I need to admire other art without comparing my own to it. Each time I paint, I learn something, mostly what not to do but that is so important. The occasional work shop or class will help too but finances don't always allow them.

Not sure if what I write here is interesting to anyone but it does help me to think things through and to remember to enjoy my art and not worry about the outcome. Progress will come but only if I work at it, don't become frustrated and push right through the occasional wall.

My latest painting is posted here. I made a big mistake in the background color (photo doesn't show true however) and have some ideas of how I might fix things. The flowers themselves need more work as well. It is a small painting, 4x6.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Finding inspiration can be difficult at times. At least, for me personally, that is the case. The creative muse can be fickle, leaving at the oddest of times, sometimes staying aways for what seems like an eternity.
I find my inspirations in different places. Nature is the most common place. My home is in the middle of several acres so, if we choose, my husband and I don't have to see anyone. We are surrounded by Nature, sometimes beautiful, other times harsh and hard. The trees are beautiful, appearing different as the daily light changes. When we have rain, wildflowers are everywhere and there are the animals and birds that live here as well. Sometimes, because I am surrounded by these things on a daily basis, I forget to really see them. They can become commonplace and uninteresting. I begin seeing just a tree or just a bird or gee, there is another deer, ho hum. It is rather like taking it all for granted, something I try very hard not to do because I feel truly blessed to be able to live in this place. When I snap out of it, I begin to see the beauty again, not just in the form of the tree but in the texture of its bark, the shape of the branches and varied greens of the leaves.
Another place I have found inspiration lately is by reading the blogs of other artists. Here I find people that have the same joys and difficulties as I, so I feel less alone or unusual. There are also those that have artistic blocks, difficulties with a painting or drawing. Sometimes I get the feeling that I am the worst artist, having doubts about my abilities. In reading blogs, I find others with the same doubts and, seeing their beautiful work, it makes me feel better about what I am doing and attempting to do.
Thank you to all of the other artists, no matter what your style or medium, for sharing what you are working on and how you are feeling with the rest of us. It has truly helped me with my art and my outlook!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Painting Monday

This will have to be a painting Monday, as I got nothing done in that regard over the weekend. The occasional migraine will lay me low, unfortunately it took my entire weekend this time. Feeling fine today and eager to get back into my "studio" (kitchen table). I am working on a small painting of bluebonnets, first attempt.
While walking the dog yesterday, she met up with a porcupine. We live in the country so she doesn't have to be on a leash. Meeting a porcupine isn't all that unusual but Callie getting close enough to one to be quilled, is! She was a very lucky dog, only getting three quills in her chin. Looked rather like a spindly goatee! Easily pulled out and didn't seem to hurt her very much. I hope it hurt enough so she remembers to respect the porcupine's space from now on. She has learned the hard way (more than once) about skunks.
Morning walk time, hopefully, we won't see any skunks or porcupines this morning.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


One of my many activities this time of year, is to keep three rather large hummingbird feeders filled. Where we live in north-central Texas, the common hummingbird is the Black-chinned. The throat of the male looks black until the sun stikes it, then it is a most beautiful purple. During migration, we occasionally see a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, identical to the Black-chinned except the throat patch is larger and very red, doesn't look black. Very rarely, another hummingbird will visit, a Rufous, who, as the name suggests, is rusty red all over.

This morning, before I had a chance to fill feeders, our rare visitor showed up, looking for breakfast. It chased away any other comers, as male hummingbirds will do but, since the feeders were all empty, not sure why. When I went out to fill the feeder, the Rufous flew away, not used to my presence as the regulars are. Didn't see him for several hours but he just returned! I took a few photos through the kitchen window. What is very interesting is the different sounds the hummingbirds' wing make. If one listens, there is a difference in the sound of the wings in all three of the hummingbirds that stop by. The Rufous is the most distinctive, sounds almost metallic!
Now I am wondering how long this guy will hang around. If he is smart, he will stay for the free meals! One day, I will use him as the subject of a painting.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Painting, yes!

I am waiting for a layer of paint to dry so will write a bit during that time. The art class painting I finished is shown at left. It was a fun painting to do and, although it isn't a type I would normally do, learned a lot by doing it. Best of all, it was fun.
Finding myself enjoying painting more and more, wanting to paint more often, resenting things that interfere. Have to stop that resentment though, there are things that have to be done, after all, can't paint 24/7.
Sure would improve faster if I could, though!
Doing a small painting of Bluebonnets, two blue and one white. Yes, there are white Bluebonnets but not common. Found a few on our place a couple of years ago and took some photos. Now trying to translate that with paper and paint. Might be a little tedious, Bluebonnets have a lot of small parts and my paper is 4"x6", but hope to be able to manage it. If I can't, will try larger!
Oh, how I wish that I had kept up with art in all of those years since college. I would be so much further along in the process, more accomplished- but at least glad I found it again. Lots of lost time to make up for. Back to it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back to Painting?

The only painting I have been able to do in over a week, has been at yesterday's art class. Between running errands, preparing for and having guests, taking care of garden and home, has been little time or energy for it. I am spending this morning doing more garden work- needs a good soaking, plus pulling up corn plants, no more from them this year.
One thing that will help is that I am able to have my paints and other supplies out again, which makes sitting down and painting much easier. Oh, to have a studio where it can stay out all the time! Don't ever see that happening, too much expense, but one can dream.
Just had a call that there will be a Coleman Fine Arts League board meeting tomorrow morning, just one more thing to pull me away from home and art. Being involved is nice, but I find myself resenting time I have to spend away from what I truly want to be doing! Guess I am selfish with my time. I think, since I am coming back to art after such a long time, I feel I have to make up for all of that lost time. I have so much I would like to accomplish but I can't get better unless I can spend more time at painting.
Not only is painting on my list but also graphite, pen and ink, along with watercolor pencil. So much to do, so little time! I think I have voiced that lament before. Oh well, one can only do what one can do, so guess I had better just take each day as it comes and not worry about it.
Heading back to the garden to move the sprinkler. Guess painting will have to wait until this afternoon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Painting withdrawal

These last few days, I have had no time or energy to do any painting at all. Even missed my art class today. Tomorrow, our son and his new bride are coming for a visit, so have spent all of my time on geting this house in shape! Hadn't done much to it in a while, painting is so much more fun, therefore, it really needed help! Add to that the regular chores that must be done in the garden and for the birds and deer and that makes for very full, tiring days! I did manage to do a little writing but wasn't much at all. Once company leaves, need to dive right back in.
I have two paintings I want to do; both are flowers. One is a lace cactus flower. I have done this one before but wasn't happy with it so will try again. Another is an iris that I painted in class. Didn't like that result either, so want to give that another go as well.
In our small house, there is no space for a studio so all of my artwork is done at the kitchen table. When company comes, everything must be put away, making doing art next to impossible, unless I sketch, which can be done anywhere. Once company leaves, I will get all of my painting supplies out again, take over the kitchen table and be able to sit down and paint whenever there is a spare moment.
I see by the clock that it is about time to go put out feed for the deer. We like to watch them so put out a bit of corn and protein for them to snack on in the late afternoon each day. Lately, the does have been bringing their new fawns out so even more fun to watch.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Project

Just when I felt that I had enough to do in my life, a new project offered itself and I couldn't say no. Because I have always loved to write and the urge has been stronger lately, am going to try writing a children's book, along with a dear friend of mine. There is no telling how long this will take, how successful it will be or how well we will do, but it will be an experience! Hopefully, it will be a fun experience. No actual writing of a story yet, just many pages of notes and ideas. Haven't written anything other than lab reports, letters and e-mails for many years so, just as with my art, will be a process of getting to where I need to be. Let the adventure begin!

Monday, June 22, 2009

On a Roll

Haven't posted in a while. Seems there is so much to be accomplished in a day that posting to a blog takes a back seat. I have finished two more small paintings and am fairly happy with them both. This keeps the fire alive and I ready to plan the next project. The weekly lessons with Ginger Test are helping as well. She is giving me great pointers and ideas and it is fun to paint with the group.
I am learning that I need to slow down, plan more and be patient. Can't rush watercolor! Learning a lot more about color and technique as well, it all helps.
Because of the heat, all chores are done in the a.m., leaving painting for the afternoons. Speaking of the heat, it is getting warmer all the time out there and I still have work to do!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Change in attitude

Something has happened to me of late. I find myself wanting to spend more time painting! The time I spend painting is also more enjoyable. Something has "clicked" in my brain and I think I have finally relaxed and decided not to worry about final products and just have fun. Sure am glad this has happened. When I relax and enjoy the process, I am more open to try new things, which will help the learning curve quite a bit.
Tomorrow, there is a watercolor class in town, first of a series of Wednesday get-togethers. It will be fun painting with others but also a good chance to get the help of the teacher, Ginger Test, a very experienced watercolorist. She is very patient and giving, loves to teach. Not that it is easy for me to go to this workshop/class. I feel much safer here in my own little "studio" (kitchen table), with no one looking over my shoulder. I may be getting more brave with my art but have a ways to go yet! However, if I want to learn, I have to put myself out there, so to speak.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Falling Behind

Seems as if I am falling behind, both in my blog entries and getting some art done. I tend to spend too much time on the computer. Should be painting right now, am all set up to do so.
Self-discipline is weak so far today and I must change that. Can't get better if I don't paint and I can't paint if I am at the computer!
Went through my reference photos yesterday, planning my next painting. Have many possibilities, some of which I will save for the class I will be taking on Wednesdays starting this week. Ginger Test is the teacher and she is wonderful; very patient and helpful.
Everything I see while outside, is something I would like to be able to paint. There was a male Cardinal at the top of a dead tree, singing his heart out this morning, bright blue sky was his backdrop. Also found two Rain Lilies growing side by side and took their photo. Never ending subject matter around here just need to sit down and do it. Guess I am a perfect target for the Nike slogan, "Just Do It!"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Second Day

It has been difficult to think of something to write today. Rain first thing this morning delayed the start of my day so am running behind. No art has been done today but it seems it is always on my mind. The colors in the clouds this morning; blue-gray, steel gray, hints of pink where sunrise peeked through gaps, blue with some purple- beautiful and constantly changing. My mind wonders how I could possibly get all of that on paper. Will have to try though.
Sun is out now, light is harsh but the shady areas under the trees look cool and inviting. Between the trees and grass, the predominant color out there is green but not just one green, oh no! So many greens; gray-greens, blue greens, yellow greens the list goes on. There are even some brownish greens where a limb full of leaves has broken off of a tree and the leaves are slowly dying.
As I think of all the things I see on a daily basis around me, I wonder how many people rush through their day and never notice any of it. Perhaps viewing my art will show them what they are missing?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Getting started

My first blog post, what to write? I hope to relate my feelings and the path I take to get back into art. There is so much to learn and re-learn but I hope to keep the fun in it and not worry too much about details. So much to learn from successes and also from mistakes and failures. Not sure the word failure is a good one, since a painting that doesn't work has taught many lessons, hence not a failure.