23
Aug

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Watercolor: Drinks at the Reception (& Artists on Facebook)

There are so many artists sharing art on Facebook, the affirmation that beauty is a necessity scrolls down my feed in an avalanche of encouraged inspiration. Do you know about art Groups and Pages on Facebook?  In addition to individual artist’s Pages, like these by Frank Eber,  Mario Robinson,  Hollis Dunlap,  Nick Wroblewski,  Mary Whyte and mine, there are also people who put time and effort into harvesting (exclusively) other artists’ work to share on Pages. What a gift! Check out this teeny full color sketchbook devoted to Toulouse Lautrec! If you visit Gradimir’s  Facebook page, you’ll see others like it featuring Van Gogh and Bob Dylan.There are tons …[Continue reading]

18
Aug

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Woodcut with Watercolor & the Beverly Hills Art Show

The woodcut above can be found in my Etsy shop, and you’ll find a speedy little time lapse video showing the sequence when she gets painted with watercolor below. Fall art festival season is coming up here in southern California, and artists are waiting to hear if they made the cut in each show’s jurying process.  After several years of applying and not getting into the Beverly Hills Art Show, I just got my acceptance letter, and I’m thrilled! If you’re local to Los Angeles, mark your calendar for October 15 & 16, and come say hello at booth #108 between Rodeo Drive and Beverly Drive on Santa …[Continue reading]

15
Aug

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Watercolor: Tin Barn Near Adalaida (& a video: how is paper made?)

This watercolor landscape was painted after a trip to see my step dad in Central California. I love the shape of the land up there; curvy golden hillsides, forged smooth with time, and made soft & textured with grasses and shrubs. The fleshy horizon line along parts of the California highways remind me of reclined, slumbering figures. A couple of blog readers sent notes this summer asking about the difference between my studio newsletter and subscribing to this blog, and why aren’t they one and the same? Each time new art is finished in my studio, a blog post is published here, so if I’m painting and printing a lot …[Continue reading]

11
Aug

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Watercolor Portrait: Something to Say (& a Ken Auster video)

I started this watercolor portrait over a year ago in my previous studio. Then I packed and moved, and forgot about it till I cleaned and purged the clutter in my current studio last week. (How many unfinished art projects do you have stuffed into cupboards and drawers and shelves?) Part of the clean up last week involved mounting a foam-insulation panel (leftover from my daughter’s quilt wall design project) on one of my studio walls to tack art-in-process up, so I can work while standing, and step back to squint & check values, etc. I have a beautiful easel for that, but the …[Continue reading]

1
Aug

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Watercolor: First Day in Italy (& #linklove on staying focused)

I’m still working on the nocturnal watercolor on yupo I mentioned in the last post, so stay tuned (or subscribe) for that coming soon…. In the meantime, I feel compelled to share a humorous, smart, thought-provoking essay on Why Procrastinators Procrastinate. Are you in the Staller Club too? Do you wait till the eleventh hour to complete tasks with deadlines? Do you put off painting – even when you relish every little part of the art-making process – until AFTER you’ve emptied the dishwasher, folded all the laundry and completed errands to the post office, grocery store and dry cleaner? And by the time …[Continue reading]

29
Jul

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Nocturnal Watercolor: Waiting for the Moon

I just finished this study for a nocturnal watercolor inspired by a solstice moonrise I watched from the chateau in France last month. A broad horizon, unencumbered by tall buildings was a perfect vantage point to watch the moon rise from the distant hills in Provence. The chateau sits on a hilltop, overlooking the valley, and it whispers details of history to you from fire scars on her 14th century stonework, and windows shaped perfectly by stonemasons to accommodate a bow and arrow taking aim at approaching intruders. Painting nocturnes is challenging, and I think painting them in watercolor is particularly tricky. Taking the pigments dark enough …[Continue reading]

26
Jul

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Watercolors: Cafe & Lavender Field Sketching

I keep a notebook to scribble To-Do’s, painting ideas, and tidbits gleaned from books and the web. It’s old fashioned to keep a paper To-Do list, I know, but I love the feel of paper, and I enjoy writing lists. It’s as important as keeping a moleskine for field sketching in my car, and in my bag. Sketching while you wait for kids, or a lovely piece on NPR to conclude, or a chapter in an audio book to close, etc… that’s a great use of double-pleasure time. Checking things off a To-Do list is pretty snazzy too. A notebook in my hands feels solid and reminiscent of …[Continue reading]

23
Jul

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Watercolor: Palatine Hill, Rome (& Painting Plein Air in Watercolor)

When you return from an excursion to a new place – like for instance, France – you get to pour over your photos and re-live the experience, or even better, make art from your photos and completely submerge in that recall. Painting, sketching and carving imagery from the photos I took in France last month lets me extend the relish of that beautiful country for longer than the time I actually spent there, and that’s just one more reason to love the gift of painting. If you’re contemplating a painting trip that includes some plein air – and you’re not sure what to expect, you might experiment at home, …[Continue reading]

20
Jul

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Watercolor sketch: Boulangerie (& praise for art workshops)

I’ve been home from France for a couple of weeks, but I’m still feeding my family baguettes, with cheeses, fruits, salami, pancetta, and prosciutto regularly. I’m listening to French music, drinking rosé, and selecting outfits inspired by the panache & style I saw on the streets of Provence. It was an incredible travel experience, even though I’ve been there before; this was the first time I visited France as an artist. The swoon-worthy impact of France started on my first trip, when I was eleven. There is so much beauty to absorb; imaginative craftsmanship in architecture, narrative sculptures in village squares, and a layered evidence of centuries-worth of art everywhere you rest your eyes.  It’s …[Continue reading]

12
Jul

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Watercolor: Jean Althen Statue, Papal Palace Gardens, Avignon

The first time I read this quote (below) by the painter John E. Carlson, it rang true to me; you don’t have to travel far and wide to be a good painter. Do not be a tourist painter. The casual tourist landscape painter will paint in Italy or Holland. If he is a Long Islander, his things will look like good old Long Island no matter where he goes! If you stay at home & say something about your own period, life & environs, your art will be a sincere effort. Paint Long Island & say more about it than any other man, and …[Continue reading]

2
Jul

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Watercolor: Vicolo Della Palle (& a painting trip to France)

The painting above was done after a trip to Rome a few years ago, so it seemed appropo for this post. I just returned from two weeks in France. #pinchme  I’ve been in Provence, sketching quaint villages and lavender fields while working as crew for Scottish painter Julie Snyder’s company, Workshops in France.   This was a last-minute opportunity to travel to Avignon, via Paris & Marseille, and assist Julie in one of her twice-yearly uninstructed artist retreats in Provence. I have many photos and sketches to share with you after this wonderful trip. My crew-member extraordinaire & roomie Linda stayed up till all hours of the night for the duration of …[Continue reading]

22
Jun

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Watercolor: Aperture (& the San Diego Festival of the Arts)

The San Diego Festival of the Arts on Waterfront park was lovely last week. We had a gray day to start on Saturday, but eventually, the sun came out along with the crowds, and I saw plenty of people strolling the lawn with paintings & sculpture under their arms.  I sold both watercolors and printmaking, so collectors were collecting, and many of the artists I spoke to were having a very good show. That’s always a hopeful sign to all artists who sell their work. This is brief because the day after the art fair, I left for France, and I want to share …[Continue reading]

3
Jun

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Watercolor: Hope’s Freesia (& art festivals this & next weekend)

This watercolor is fresh off the art-table and I’m in the process of framing it now. It was my demo painting at the San Diego Artwalk a few weeks ago, and I finished it here in the studio this week, just in time for the next two festivals. The reference photo was snapped with a cell phone in my kitchen, after a lovely friend gave me a handful of fragrant freesia from her garden (thank you, Hope!) The sunlight here by the sea looks so different draped over the same objects I had at my previous home in the desert. The light is shining from the same big yellow ball in …[Continue reading]

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