Tag Archives | watercolor



Watercolor: Early Bird Breakfast

We haven’t lived in the home that inspired the watercolor still life above for over a decade,  but during the years while raising kids there, I took thousands of photos, and started painting full time, which buoyed my conviction towards being a better “noticer”. White tile counters are reflective. The shiny ceramic surface broadcasts the color and shape of everything on and above them, so my kitchen counter at dawn became a new painting opportunity every day. We filled bowls with bird seed on the ledge outside, and happy hour gathered at dawn with feathered, chirping and squeaking over a hearty breakfast most mornings. My bird buddies didn’t stick …[Continue reading]


Swallowtail  29 x 21 watercolor on paper

Watercolor: Swallowtail (And thoughts on Artists & Loneliness)

I’ve been working in shorter fits and starts this year, because, you know, life is full.  I’m relatively efficient at the transition between calamity of boisterous family time & social events, and the submarine dive into alone art-making in the studio, even if only for an hour. With family, a social life, new-projects and the business side of being an artist, studio time can get pretty squeezed if I’m not careful to prioritize it, and press it like quick-drying grout between the tiles of space on my calendar. I’m sure many of you reading this are experts at this shuffling. When I first considered art full time, I worked …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Peaches in a Mexican Bowl (& video demos from great artists)

Years ago, my friend VLB returned from a trip to Mexico and gave me this hand painted bowl supported on three little feet.  I put peaches in the bowl to ripen, and a still life watercolor sprouted from the scene. Tile counter grid-lines, back-lit peach orbs over curvy bowl shadows and watery reflections from an arbor on the patio outside all conspired to create a play on patterns.  (Photos of the process are below.) It was a fun little study for a larger painting, and inspiration beyond the painting to find & bake a good peach cobbler. 🍑     Eric Kim is an ambitious, young, talented …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Mexican Breakfast

This watercolor was inspired by a photo snapped after a whirlwind trip to Mexico City in the early 1980’s. The breakfast table was set in the early morning sun with newly acquired, hand thrown pottery, hand woven placemats, an antique weather vane, a ribbed tea pot, painted tile coasters, and a clay folklore figurine playing imaginary tunes from the sidelines. (The cat was added to the scene later, just because.) I’ve drawn, painted and carved woodcuts from this scene, and I love the bands of light and shadow dissecting the place settings across the table. Mexican Breakfast was painted on Arches Hot Press paper, and since I …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: You Can See the Stars from Here (& creating before consuming)

A daily schedule with habitual, obligatory segments is something I associate with grade school, corporate offices and cats. But even still, I crave a creative routine. As an artist, my internal compass is calibrated towards distraction and mental-wanderings. I have Super-Hero-Skills in the fine art of Not-Finishing. (Here’s a great article about why we don’t finish things, and strategies for fixing that.)  My random pirouetting through life bewilders my engineer-husband.  My uninformed-but-ardently-thought-about theory is that perhaps artists need some routine to bracket all the meandering, so we don’t trip and fall off the planet. Little mazes of structure in each day are like protective sand-bag berms around floods of creative twirling. If I start the day …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Spearmint Float (& steps towards showing your art)

In the last post, I talked about back to back art shows in my Fall exhibit season, and one of the topics I heard over and over again from visitors at art events this year is related to identity and fear of showing their own art. Lots of artists visit festivals and exhibits to get inspired, stay up to date on the art scene and meet other artists. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I can *usually* sense an artist is in my booth when they’re nose-to-glass, furrowed brow, studying watercolor application and paper, etc.  So, I ask: “Are you an artist?” People almost always say “No, …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Pomegranates (& three watercolor tutorial videos to get you started)

With only 26 days till Spring (and that means Spring Art Festivals & exhibit opportunities in regional shows) here are some inspiring watercolor tutorial videos (see links below) by three artist/illustrators on youtube to get your creative juices flowing. Prepare your paints, paper and brushes, as well as your reference material, and grab a sketchbook to jot down notes, and then watch some watercolor clips with a cup of tea before you dive into painting something! Do it, do it, do it! 🙂 Here is a 12 minute tutorial on mixing warm vs cool secondary colors in watercolor by Teoh Yi Chie. Here is …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Good at This (& being generous Artists)

I overheard two artists making sharp, envy-driven comments about another artist’s beautiful work at an exhibit. Jealousy is a ugly cloak. Comparisons with other artists should be a healthy exercise, since surveying other people’s work – either on social media, or at exhibits – helps us stay inspired & keen on what’s happening in the art world. Admiring artists with more skill and/or success than we’ve fulfilled is an opportunity to galvanize our “Where-I-Want-to-Be” goals, if we frame it like that.  I think there’s nothing more affirming than standing in awe of another artist’s exquisitely realized work to put a foundation of conviction under our plans to sharpen skills with diligent practice, because we understand each other’s …[Continue reading]



Pen & Ink: Bumble Bee Geisha (& video equipment for youtube tutorials)

Last week, I gave a presentation to the Angeles Crest Art Guild on YouTube for Artists. I spoke about considerations for both viewing art tutorial videos, and creating them. Several attendees interested in starting artist channels emailed to ask about the equipment I use to shoot & edit painting & printmaking tutorial videos on my channel, so I’m listing all of my gear below.  [Note: some items are affiliate links, which costs nothing to you, but a petite commission keeps my art supplies stocked, so thank you for that ♥]. I’ll update the list as I research & acquire additions to my video equipment, so bookmark the post if you want to …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Meyer Lemon (& the Getty Museum)

I went to the Getty Museum with a pile of friends last week (see photos below). Have you been there? According to my fitbit wrist band, I walked 6,435 steps, and climbed 22 flights of stairs that day. Plus, I saw a lot of beautiful architecture, two exhibits: one on food and art, and a process-boggling, gynormous display of just a few tapestries from the collection of Louis XIV.  [Oh, my aching eyes and hands at the thought of that passionate employment.] In addition, I hung out with some very dynamic, art-savvy women, and we all agreed to arrange several future visits since we barely scratched the surface of the Getty …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Pacific Coast Clouds & Artist Goals in the New Year

Happy New Year and coffee-marinated wishes for abundant output of new ideas in all of your creative endeavors for the next twelve months!  The leap over the threshold between last year and this brand-spankin’ new one imposes a review of what’s behind us, and a rough-draft map for the pursuit of artist goals ahead, don’t you think? Do you go backwards through your calendar to inspect the events stacked in the last year as you plot the next twelve months?  Pull up your calendar, grab a pencil, and scribble with me…. Last year, I listened to twenty books, and I’d like to increase that to twenty five this year. (If you’re …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Painting in the Canyon (& gift ideas for artists who paint outdoors/travel )

I have some very talented friends who paint out in the fields, meadows and beaches here in California, and I absolutely admire their ability to make beautiful art while chasing moving sunlight & shadows, fending off cows, swatting mosquitoes, dodging seagulls and keeping their field-easels from poking an ant hill. Plein air painting is a courageous endeavor. So is the urban sketching movement; it’s no easy task to draw in the city or on the subway with people watching over your shoulder, telling you about their great aunt Lucy who used to paint flowers on shower curtains. My ventures in painting plein air are infrequent, …[Continue reading]



Watercolor: Water Tower (5 gift books for artists)

This is the third post in a series of gift books for artists in your life (or your own art library). [The first two posts can be seen here and here.]  This list of five books is a little more esoteric – and not specific to art-instruction, or watercolor, but they are great additions & references for an artists’ library just the same. 🙂  If you have art books in your library that inspire you, or creative authors that left a lasting impression in your studio, please share the titles and authors in the comments. Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists The forty …[Continue reading]

Site by Spunmonkey