Monday, January 20, 2014

Return to Ireland - Cottage in Bunratty

8"x8" oil on archival panel
This is the demo for the "Monday Mentoring" class I held today.  This little place in Bunratty had been painted a beautiful salmon color...and was surrounded by a small, delightful garden with fruit trees, interesting shrubs and colorful flowers. It's becoming more difficult to find thatched roof structures any where- so this was a particular delight! 

There's still a couple spots left for you to pack your bags and join us!! Barbara Mastaglio's "Art on the Ring of Kerry" is a wonderful opportunity to experience the beauty of Ireland, and I'll be teaching use of a palette knife, how to simplify complex scenes into "simple pieces"; understanding color, value, and well as how to be more spontaneous in your painting. Barbara takes us to wonderful places each day, I offer demos, gentle but helpful critiques, with individualized instruction for each attendee.  It's a place I've returned to so many times, it certainly feels like a second home to me. I hope you'll consider joining us for your own unique experience.  It's seven days- June 29th through July 5th for $2500 (air fare not included). Click on the link above and peruse the site for more information, and to hold your spot! You won't regret the trip!

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Exuberant Two Lips

12"x12" oil on archival panel

I am always amazed when I paint tulips....that the color fades just before they drop. They look so different.  As their color intensity fades, the pigment seems to collect in the far ends of the petals, even though on the day I painted these, the color was intense throughout! 
This one should be dry just in time for Valentine's Day! It looks fantastic in a warm gold leaf frame.  

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Sketchbook fun, & Everyday Matters & Travel to France in May!

I started yet another sketchbook the other day. I have different ones with different types of paper...each paper has a different effect on the paint handling. This book is a Stillman & Birn Beta Series, each page is a nice heavy weight cold press watercolor paper, with some nice body to it. At the recommendation of my friend Jane LaFazio's blog, I had recently finished reading "Everyday Matters", a memoir by Danny Gregory. One of the most thoughtful, touching art books I've read.  I found it interesting how close you feel to the author when the book is in his handwriting... and his sketches. Like hearing the story of a dear artist friend. I hope you take the time to read it if you haven't.  I think you'll find it inspiring! 
So when I brought home a batch of tulips to set up an oil painting the other day, I simply had to get it in watercolor first...Each of my sketchbooks have a different theme-this one I'm calling "Everyday Matters" & filling it with day to day stuff...because Every. Single. Day. Matters.  even when it's filled with the "run-of-the-mill" everyday kind of stuff. 

Which reminds me, if your "everyday matters" need a different venue...I'd love for you to join me in France this May 2014, for 10 days of watercolor journaling. Yes, you CAN do this, I can teach you! It's lightweight to carry, great for traveling, and a wonderful memory that no souvenir store will ever have. You'll have memories from your sketches that will stay with you like no photograph ever could possibly do! Have a look at our hosts website, here. 

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Painting in Ireland Info & Mentoring Mondays - Demos

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival panel
Click here to purchase or for more information. 

For the last two Mondays I have been teaching a "Mentoring Mondays" in my studio and it has been great fun! 
Last week I started out explaining painting with ONLY a palette knife (below painting with red jug) medium, no brushes, you feel as though you are sculpting with paint. I kept the painting, small and simple as using a new tool can feel so foreign until you get the hang of it!
This week I introduced using some other tools into the process (above painting with oranges). We also discussed the decision making process in painting as it applies to painting on location. Next week we'll continue that discussion and introduce using transparent and opaque paints together as contrast in your work.
This summer I'll be teaching a workshop over in Ireland using these techniques out in the landscape, en plein air! The scenery is amazing, and our hosts are terrific! I've spent much time in this area, and am so excited to finally get to share these painting techniques and fantastic location with you! Visit this link for examples of scenes we've painted over there: 
 For more information about the painting workshop/retreat, visit this site:

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Zinnia Pop!

12"x12" oil on gessobord
Click here to purchase, or for more information. 

Painted on New Years Day...but I'm only now getting time to write a bit about it! Flowers are certainly my "antidote to winter"!  This one pairs up nicely with the same sized "Dandy Daisies", and they are framed in matching frames.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winterberries Watercolor Sketchbook

It is indeed a Happy New Year...although a mighty, wicked, arful, dagnasty COLD one! Today it warmed up a tiny what it was in Atlanta yesterday (11 degrees, ugh, can you believe it?).  Seems there is no escaping it. 

I've got all the Christmas decorations put away, (ok, almost...just need to carry a box or two to the basement), and even had a chance to paint the winterberries that I had brought in from the yard.  Luckily, they and the evergreens lasted a long time in this vase. Between the wind and the birdies, there is not a single one left on any of ours out in the yard. Just a bunch of sticks left. That last storm howled like it would take the roof off! 

But inside, all is calm...for now.....but stand by...things in the studio are heating up!!! 

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Dandy Daisies

12"x12" oil on gessobord
 Click here to purchase, or for more information.

This was actually finished right before Christmas. I'm taking some of those small florals ever larger. I'm really loving working on the gessobord, but I know when I go to the super large paintings, I find it better to work on canvas. The panels get extremely heavy at that size. So I do go back and forth with surfaces, I have several that I like to work on for a few different reasons.   I'm finding a greater comfort zone combining brushes with my palette knife ALL sizes that I work in, from tiny to enormous. 

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