I find painting little landscapes during these winter months help boost my spirits! I miss painting outside ..my time to be surrounded by all that God has created.
These little miniature paintings are my way of giving Thanks!
"I lift my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." .... Psalm 121
I like to paint original cards to give to someone special.
I use watercolor paper and cut in standard size cards . I use card stock and envelopes to mount the painting on.
They can use on an easel to display or frame or give as a gift.
I recently went with my plein air group to a friend's farm. A lovely place with so many inspirational scenes!
I decided on the bee hives among the tall grass and wild flowers.
I was very pleased to sell this piece to the homeowners!
"This is my Father's world: he shines in all that's fair; in the rustling grass I hear him pass; He speaks to me everywhere.".....................from the hymn, This is My Father's World.
August 9, 2016
I recently had the privilege of attending a workshop in Stonington, ME with Frederick Graff.
This is my second workshop with this amazing artist and teacher!
He gave us exercises and assignments to help us with compostion , color harmony, perspective and so much more. It was challenging for me but exactly what I needed.
This is a study I did in lights and darks and trying to practice saving those wonderful whites!
We never grow unless we face new challenges. It is exciting to apply new skills and to
break old habits!
"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."..............Maya Angelou
I think I do okay with Rainy Days!
"Life is too short not to create, not to love, and not to lend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters."
Saying on banner at the Kanuga Watermedia Workshops....Eric Maisel
I spent a week in a workshop with Keiko Tanabe, in Hendersonville, NC at Kanuga .I took her class 2 years ago and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to learn from her again. We spent plein air time and studio time and was a great week of painting and meeting new friends.
Being outside and enjoying the quiet is such a gift!
February 15, 2016
"I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle".......from the book, Your Artist's Brain by Carl Purcell.
It is too cold these days for sketching and painting outdoors so I am working on my travel journal. Below are three pages from our trip to Fish Creek, WI during October when the skies are so blue and the colors of the trees are amazing!
November 19, 2015
" I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree"
... Joyce Kilmer
I was inspired today looking out my back window on a grey, cloudy day and seeing the trees that were so full of leaves just a few days ago....now standing bare and still so beautiful!
October 13, 2015
This past week, I had the thrill of painting outside with a group of amazing artists at the Appalachian Paint Out in Weaverville ,NC. The weather was perfect and the Autumn colors were at their peak.
A wonderful week of being quiet and enjoying and being thankful for God's gifts of nature
October 2, 2015
"Once you draw or sketch a subject it will stay in your memory forever".... Robert Wade
More travel journal pages
"Be still and know that I am God"...Psalms 46
Plein Air painting has been so much fun and has brought me a lot of joy! A time to enjoy nature and share with some great artists.
Still doing watercolor sketches and maybe some will become larger paintings but right now just enjoying filling my sketchbooks.
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me". ....Phillipians 4:13
I am back in the studio and just completed this painting. . My son, for his birthday, wanted a painting of Aspens in the snow. I've never been to an area in the winter that has Aspens but I have been to Colorodo in the summer. They are beautiful trees growing straight and tall. I pictured how they would be in the snow casting long shadows. The painting is 10.5 x 28 on 300# paper.. I call it "Cory's Aspens" ..hope he likes it.
August 11, 2015
"Creativity takes courage" .......Henri Matisse
Spent a week in Boone, NC attending a workshop led by Brenda Swenson," Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook".
It was at Cheap Joes Workshop and Outlet Store, an excellent facility and great staff.
Brenda is not only a wonderful artist but a caring and energetic teacher.
We focused on contour line drawing , light and shadows, composing our sketches and painting to bring our sketch to life!
Our last day we did a sketch collage of different sketches linked together to tell a story. I chose to illustrate my week at the workshop.
I enjoyed my week so much and felt a renewed excitement to keep my journals and continue my efforts in improving my painting.
After returning, I put what I learned to use by going to a local farm with "Tuesday Painters", a plein air group. I used my sketchbook and pen and light washes of watercolor.
The Best Day!
Janurary 23, 2015 Happy New Year!
"You are Braver than you know,
Stronger than you seem,
Smarter than you think, and
Loved more than you will ever know" .......A.A. Milne
Started the New Year shopping for art supplies. Found something new to me..liquid graphite.
It is great for sketches and especially value studies. All you do is use a little water and a brush.
I love new art stuff!
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working"........Pablo Picasso
"Pleasure must be found in study"...............Paul Cezanne
It has been a while since I added to the blog and it has been a while since I have produced any
new paintings! Life has been busy but I have used these months to study. I have worked on
what I have learned in workshops, watched videos from other artists, reviewed some old
art books and kept up with my journal and sketchbooks.
After returning from a wonderful three week trip to Europe, I felt like getting back to it.
I think the study time really did inspire me ! I realized too that I love just working
from my imagination and letting the watercolors do what they do!
I kept thinking of beautiful sunflowers that I saw in so many little flower shops in Germany so
I had to get their sunny faces in a painting!
"September Sunflowers" 11x 15
Hopefully, this is the beginning of some new work.
Draw from life.
30 minutes to one hour each day.
Draw freehand and check angles and proportions.
the Process is more important than end product."................Fred Graff
Another great workshop with Frederick Graff in Indiana. It was a four day workshop but
so much information to fill more than five days!
Another wonderful plein air and studio painter and such an amazing teacher.
We spent a lot of time on the basics of drawing and establishing a good sketch and value
The sketches are from my sketchbook while working outside at a local nursery.
My goal is to try to start doing a sketch and value study before I paint.
"The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know/"..........Albert Einstein
I just returned from a wonderful workshop with Keiko Tanabe in Hendersonville, NC.
She is an excellent plein air and studio painter and the week was filled with great
instruction and painting time.
This study was done from one of her photos with the lesson being on designing your compostion and
doing a value study with one color. This was a helpful exercise when we went outside to compose
a simple scene, sketch and do a value study first before starting to paint.
She solidified my belief in only using photographs as a reference to help remember a scene if you
are working back in the studio.
"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary" .......Pablo Picasso
"Life is a great journey
Make the most of each day.
Draw out the best of it.
Compose on the values of it . (if you can't make it sing,at least make it hum)
Title the moment . (to remind the left side of your brain why the right side liked it.)
Write down something unique on the facing page.
Let your art make each day memorable."
.............................Bud Albers, Knoxville, TN.
I started journaling in 2007. I got my first watercolor journal to really just practice my
painting but it soon became more to me. It became a collection of quotes, memories and
paintings. I am on my 8th one now along with sketchbooks to try to improve my drawing
The journals are made of rough rag cotton paper and are not really the best for painting, but
I have grown to love the feel of the paper and the texture it gives to the paintings.
I try to add to my journal daily. They have become like good friends that I miss if I don't see
Small Gifts Studio
I believe each of us has gifts to share no matter how small we think they are.
I hope by sharing my paintings will in a small way make a difference along the way.