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]



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]



Monotype: Window Seat (& praise for Video Art Tutorials)

This art blog began as an exercise in accountability in 2005. I planned to document my renewed commitment to get back into art-making after a decade-long hiatus. Almost immediately, it morphed into a platform to share process, and hopefully, encourage other out-of-business artists to get back to work. More recently, when I tip-toed into creating a youtube channel, I goaded myself forward with the warble that it was a “graduation” – finally advancing a decade of process stills up to the next level, to video tutorials. Here’s how un-brave I was/am; after creating the channel, it took me seven years to post the first video.  #riskaverse With video-function on cell phones & free editing software (Mac computers …[Continue reading]



Linocut: Winged (& when artists steal from each other)

An artist I admire has recently been copied by another artist, with no attribution, and the copied work is for sale, presented as original to the artist listing it. It’s a direct copy – as in brush stroke-for-brush stroke, but with the tell-tale mark-making of a novice painter.  Another artist friend had her work offered as custom-order paintings in an online store, but the copier didn’t bother to take my friend’s signatures off the jpegs when he pulled them from her web site and listed them in his shop. My linocut above, Winged, has been copied by two separate artists, and sold in each of their online shops. I …[Continue reading]



Collagraph: Harmony House (& a rainy art festival)

(The instructions for making the collagraph above are on my youtube channel here.) I’m unloading art festival gear at my studio after the Sierra Madre Art Fair, which started with a few hours of heavy rain during booth set up on Friday, and ended with two days of cloudy skies and chilly temperatures, and a steadfast-but-light crowd of art-lovers in attendance. To be fair, there have been plenty of weekends in years past where the temperatures at this art festival simmered at 100 degrees fahrenheit, which did a superb job of wilting everyone (adults, children and dogs) into damp & dazed zombies. But, so it goes in art festivals, …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Ranunculus (& talking to the public about your art at an exhibit)

This weekend, May 7&8 I’ll be at the Sierra Madre Art Fair from 9:30-6:00 on Saturday and 9:30-5:00 on Sunday. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello. 🙂 How often do you show your work where you’re present at the exhibit? How comfortable are you when patrons ask you about your work? How do you discuss your art with non-artist attendees at an exhibit? When someone says “I love your paintings. They’re just beautiful!” or “What made you paint this subject?”,  how do you respond in a way that generates two-way conversation? I was thinking about artist-to-patron communication over the weekend at …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Unwind (& Art Festival photos from San Diego Artwalk)

I’m back from a weekend of selling watercolors and printmaking at the Artwalk in San Diego’s Little Italy. I’ve posted photos below from Beech & India Streets; 350 artists line up on 15 blocks, alongside turn of the century Italianate houses, and spiffy new mirror-glass office buildings and high-rise condos, just a few blocks from the ocean. By the end of the weekend, 100,000 people walked through the show, and in addition to the art, attendees enjoyed live music, food (the Italian sausage booth is always very popular, as is the funnel cake served with powdered sugar, fresh berries and whipped cream) and photo ops with San Diego Police SWAT …[Continue reading]



Linocut: Pippins & Braeburns (& Hilary Paynter’s wood engravings)

I’ve been framing small linocut prints to take to the San Diego Artwalk this weekend. I usually meet young people interested in art, but not yet fluent enough financially to be art collectors. Printmaking in small editions is a lower price-point than one of a kind paintings, so little prints are often the first original art a budding collector will buy, and I’m always thrilled to be part of another art-lover’s emergence into the exciting first chapter of lining the nest with beautiful, original art. I know the thrill of finding something you really just have to display in your home. Exhibiting small prints (and showing some of the plates and …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Woodlands (& an Exhibit at True North Gallery)

I’m thrilled to share that I’ve got a foxy watercolor in this lovely exhibit – Outfoxed, at True North Gallery in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, opening this weekend, April 30th. I’ll be on the opposite side of the country at the San Diego Artwalk this Saturday and Sunday, so I’ll miss the opening, but if you’re on the east coast, and near South Hamilton, stop by and enjoy this beautifully curated show. You can read more about it on the gallery web site here. If you’re interested in women artists of the Renaissance, and you have 20 minutes, watch this PBS presentation on the re-discovery & restoration of …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Afternoon with Wyeth (& the Pros and Cons of Artistic Exposure)

When you make art for the simple joy of creating – there’s incorruptible magic in the act. It’s fueled by your own expression, your personal sense of aesthetics, and your choice of media & subject. The entire adventure belongs to you. But as soon as you think about showing & selling your work – whether via social media, an exhibition, an online shop, or taking commissions – everything changes. Now, you’re making art for other people, and they might give you money for it, or your creative time is fused with desires for winning Best of Show. The switch from private playtime in the studio to taking your art out to the public, or making a …[Continue reading]



Monotype: Waiting for Rain (& a new tutorial video, & some #linklove)

I’ve posted another monotype tutorial video on my youtube channel. This one is perfect if you don’t have a press, or a whole day to play with ink; a single color is rolled out directly on a table covered with a large sheet of plexiglass. If you don’t have plexiglass, you can roll your ink out on a glass shelf or a piece of glass from a photo frame, taped down to a table. The back of a paint brush handle is used to sketch shapes into the wet ink, and the art-making process is off and running from there. The reference photo I used …[Continue reading]



Floral Watercolor Still Life – and why we paint what we paint

Surfing the internet entices surreptitious visits to other artists’ studios. The subject of each artists’ work varies; we’ve all seen magnificently executed art featuring everything from a bucket of fish heads to an artfully arranged pile of tangled nude figures. Why an artist choses to paint or draw a particular subject is their secret, but I presume (I know, that’s a dangerous practice) that what we find enticing to render in the studio has something to do with our personal histories. This is my grandmother Margery and one of her dogs (I think this was Gigi, or maybe Buttons, but it was before my time). My maternal …[Continue reading]



Pastel: Spin (fixing failed watercolors with pastel)

This art began it’s life as a watercolor. When I was almost finished, I knew it was overcooked. You know what I mean right? That moment when all your shimmering, artsy hope and sparkly excitement for What-Could-Be goes dark? Yeah, that one.   I tossed the unfinished waif on a shelf, and there it sat, shivering & waiting to be shredded. Later, I was testing pastels over a small, expired watercolor to try to resuscitate it, and I remembered this sad ferris wheel watercolor. I wondered like a wizard over a cauldron if I tossed in some arbitrary color, and maybe a pinch of crazy mark-making, could I save this larger watercolor?  I …[Continue reading]

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