Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas!

The Holy Family

May you all have a wonderful holiday and time to reflect on what this time of year is all about.

Many times in history
a baby has become a king.
Only once in history
has a King become a baby.

Watercolor Without Glass

Undersea Turtle
7.5 X 7.5 Watercolor
Waxed and mounted on 8 X 8 Board

I visited a gallery in Salem Oregon and saw some amazing watercolors that were displayed without being under glass. The gallery owner said the artist sealed them with wax. They looked so nice without the reflection of glass that I knew I had to try it. The neat thing about living in this modern time is that anything can be researched on the internet. I found out that artists can use Dorlands Wax Medium to permanently seal their watercolors. It stays clear and does not yellow. This is my first attempt at it and so far it's looking good. I first sprayed the watercolor with workable fixative, let it dry and and applied a coat of wax. I will apply another coat of wax and see if it's sealed sufficiently to hang. I think it would be good to use a UVA spray before applying the wax so next time I will try that. If anyone has tried this, I'd like to know how it worked out for them.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Four, Maybe More
Watercolor on 300# Paper
15 X 22 

On my last post a comment was made to make my image larger. I don't know why I haven't been doing that. So, thanks for the comment and suggestion, Paris Breakfasts! By the way, she is my favorite blogger and one of the reasons I started to blog. She made it look like fun, and it is! 
This painting just started as a random background, I did have an underwater theme in mind but with backgrounds you never know what is going to show up. I was inspired to do turtles, rather fanciful turtles in glorious color. It was a fun painting to do.
I found I loved working this way on 300# paper! It is so forgiving and easy to change and rework. It's funny how you get stuck in doing things the same way just because that's the way you were originally taught or have done it. I've always done these backgrounds on 140# paper in the past and still have some to finish but in the future I think I'll work this way on 300# paper.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow bloggers and readers. Keep on creating! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Morning Has Broken 
Mixed media collage, 7.5 X 7.5
Mounted on a cradled 8 X 8 wood panel

A friend asked me to show her how to make acrylic transfers like I do on my collages. There are several methods to do transfers on other kinds of artwork, but the heat sealed transfers are unique to the heat sealed collage. I needed something to demonstrate on so I found this collage that I always felt needed something. My initial thought is always to "put a bird on it". What can I say? I needed to do something! So out came the birds, I found the right size and direction. Once that was on my friend wanted to see how to add a word, so I found the word "Breathe" in my supply box and we added that. Then she tried some on her own piece and was thrilled with the process even though there are quite a few steps to the finished product. As I looked at my piece I decided to add the tree like branch. As I looked at it, I thought it looked like dawn breaking and the lovely hymn, Morning Has Broken.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Christmas Cards, Already!

Holiday Nest
Watercolor 5 X 7

Holiday Decorating
Watercolor 5 X 7

Holiday Lights
Watercolor 5 X 7

There's nothing like a deadline to make you get down to business. Our local art group is having a holiday card contest with a deadline the end of this month. I put my ideas on paper the last couple of weeks but I can only enter one. The consensus has been for the top painting, Holiday Nest. I rather like the Flamingo card, Holiday Decorating, because it's so colorful. If you have a favorite, let me know. I will probably offer them all on Fine Art America if I have the time to get them posted, and also at my local art gallery, so even if I don't get chosen in the contest, it won't be a wasted effort. I usually paint a Nativity card for my personal card sending. I still have that yet to come, although it is started. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

More Pouring

 Rolling Tide
Acrylic on canvas 8 X 8

Blue Wave
Acrylic on canvas 8 X 8

These were done on the same day as the last one I posted. I contacted the artist who had demonstrated the process and found out I had missed a key ingredient for getting the "cells". I still haven't purchased it so I guess I'm on hold until I find some or order some on line. Since I have plenty of other art to work to complete, pouring is on the back burner for now, but I will be doing it again. It's way to much fun not to. I'd like to do some bigger canvases now that I've gotten the hang of it. I just need a bigger container to catch the excess paint when I pour. Where am I going to put this extra equipment? There are always things to consider when you jump into something new. 

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Trying Something New

Green Wave
Acrylic on  gallery wrapped canvas 12 X 12

I've wanted to try pouring acrylic for a long time but didn't know the process and didn't have the courage to really go for it. While I was in Eden Prairie, Minnesota in September I was able to go on an Art Studio Tour with a friend. At one of the stops we made an artist was doing a demonstration of an acrylic pour and she got a lovely bubbly effect. They are called "cells". I didn't get as much cell effect with my pour, I need to adjust my recipe of ingredients, but I like what I did get anyway. It was very messy but lots of fun. I will try it again in the future.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Still Practicing

Watercolor 6.5 X 7.5

Watercolor 11 X 7

When I haven't been dealing with tropical storms or traveling to see family I get to keep practicing the loose watercolor style of Jean Haines. Mostly these sessions are when I go to my local art league for Open Painting. Artists of all mediums and skill levels meet once a week and work on their own projects. We thrive on the creative energy that is generated by a room full of artists. The more experienced offer suggestions to the novice, we find out about new products and share our passion with each other.
The little dog, Cassie, also comes to our Open Painting sessions. She is very well behaved and sits on a cushioned chair next to her human, Gini. She is somewhat of a "princess" who expects to be petted and adored by all who pass by. The Kingfisher is from Jean Haines book World of Watercolor. The blue and yellow was a random background textured with plastic wrap, the bird was added after the background was dry.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

We survived Irma!

I have no images yet, I just wanted to post that we survived the mega storm, Irma; our property is OK, we were among the fortunate ones that didn't loose power for any length of time. We evacuated, as we were told to do, and by the grace of God and a persistent son were able to stay in a safe, comfortable hotel in Orlando. My heart and prayers go out to those who have lost so much and have so much to do to get their lives back together. We were just connected to internet yesterday afternoon so this is the first time I've been able to send out a blog. Thanks for all the prayers and support for those impacted by this storm.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Vacation Painting

Red Flowers
Watercolor 9 X 6

Red Flower Card
Watercolor 4.25 X 5.5

While visiting Minnesota I tried some cheap pan watercolors just to see what kind of results I could get with them. I also had some watercolor paper that I hadn't used before. I've been practicing a looser type of watercolor after watching videos by Jean Haines and reading her book, Jean Haines World of Watercolor. As always, things are more difficult to achieve than they look! Especially when you are working with not so great materials. I have this theory, though, that a good artist should be able to paint with and on anything (because I've seen it done by good artists). Considering all of that, I'm not too unhappy with my results. I wouldn't have them framed but the card would please a non-painting friend, I think. 
Now that I'm home again, I'm painting with my usual materials and paper, still trying to achieve a similar look to Jean's paintings. I Hope to have time to post them later on. Until then, check out Jean's work on the internet.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Playing Around

Brusho Sunflower

I started playing with a product called Brusho a few weeks ago. It's a dry crystallized watercolor that comes in little plastic bottles. If you poke holes in the caps it can be shaken out like salt. That's what I decided to try. If you wet the area you want to paint and shake the colored crystals out they dissolve when they hit the water. Sometimes you get  a speckled effect. Some colors like orange and purple are a combination of primaries so if you leave them alone, they will stay unmixed on your paper. You can also use a brush to mingle the colors together. 
I've looked at some tutorials on line since this painting and have seen some interesting things to try. One of them was using spray starch. 
Summertime is a good time to try new things so I've been watching some Jean Haines Videos too. I love her loose, watery style. She makes it look so easy but it really takes a lot of control and practice to get the mix of water and pigment just right. If I get a practice piece that looks like anything recognizable I'll post it. I find it hard to carve out painting time in between summer travel and activities but I get a little in here and there. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Travel Postcards

Scenes Along the Rhine River

Two weeks ago we were on the Rhine River in Germany. We tried a river cruise for the first time and I loved it! Most days we were at a port city and we were out touring or exploring, but one of the days was a cruise day so that we could see all the picturesque towns and castles from the river. It was a glorious day and when I had my fill of castle picture taking I got out my little travel paint kit and did some very quick postcard sketches. I had to take a mental picture and work quickly because there was no time to think about details or perspective. I think they keep the trees trimmed so that a view of the river can be seen, thus the cute "lolly-pop" trees. I used a postcard pad, Intense pencils, waterproof pen, and a  Winsor and Newton watercolor travel kit. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Out of Sight

Handsome Rooster
6.5 X 9.75 Mixed media

"Out of sight, out of mind" the saying goes. It was true in my case. I grabbed and old painting block from my art closet on my way to an open painting session at our local art league. When I opened it, there was this rooster staring at me with unfinished eyes and beak. Poor thing has been languishing for so long I don't even remember starting it. I laugh about getting old and forgetful, I guess this must be proof. His lovely red comb and wattle has collage as well as some collage on his white feathers. He is drawn with ink and painted with watercolor. I finished the piece with a light yellow-green background. 

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Small things

 3 X 3 Collages on canvas panel with easels 

 4 x 4 collages on canvas panels with easels

Postcard prints
collages on canvas

I worked most of the month of May getting together some small things for the gallery where I show some of my work. I had all those collages from 30 day challenges laying around so I used the best parts of them to make small canvas works for travelers to easily take home with them or to give as gifts. Some of the small pieces I put on card stock to make original cards. It was fun but time consuming to pick out the best areas then measure and glue to the canvas boards. Some needed a few extra touches to make them special, a little bling. We'll see how well they sell, it's sort of late in the season but there are still tourists coming here well into July. 

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Featured Artist

I was asked to be the Featured Artist at the community theater for the month of May. The wall space is limited but is a good, visible space. I chose to hang my series of three mixed media paintings of birds on the charcoal pour background. It's nice to have my paintings in a public place besides an art show. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Third in Bird Series

Green Heron
Mixed media 11 X 15

This is my third bird on a charcoal pour since learning the technique in Karen Knutson's  class a few months ago. Getting a good charcoal pour is trickier to achieve than I thought. I got a good photo of this bird while waiting for a tour boat to take us out to Cabbage Key one day last spring. Don't ask me why he's called a green heron, I don't see any green on him either! Except for his beak and eyes he is all collage paper attached with acrylic matte medium. The post he is resting on is also collage papers. I used a variety of printed papers and napkins and even some birch bark in the post. It's a different style from the heat fused collages that I do. All the rest is watercolor and, of course, the charcoal that remains on the paper after being splashed with water. 
I wanted to make the technique work on a Florida scene and I think I've accomplished that. I look forward to trying to paint and collage some more birds from my area using this method. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Woods

The Woods
Mixed Media Collage 8 X 8

This little landscape collage was one of those experiments that turned out well. The landscape foreground of hand painted and altered papers came together quickly and easily. I knew I wanted the feeling of woods on the top but couldn't find or make any paper that worked. As I wandered through an arts and crafts store I came upon a stamp of woods that would fade in the background. I used the stamp on thin tissue so that if there was a background it would show through. The stamped piece was laid under the adjoining piece which was also an altered tissue. I like the effect very much. I painted the bird and a few leaves so that the scene wouldn't look too forlorn, like it had been burned. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bird Buttons Revisited

You may recall that during the 30 Day Challenge I posted these two collages that had bird buttons on them. They were OK but they nagged at me that they were incomplete. Sometimes art and serendipity collide, and that's what happened with these two pieces. A friend sent me a note with a beautiful cut out of a tree. The wheels turned and I thought, "What would happen if I used this as a negative stencil"? Then while walking through a craft store I saw a tree stamp on sale; "hmmm, I wonder if..." 
See the results below and let me know if my instincts were going in the right direction.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Painting a Landscape on a Charcoal Pour

Farm and Fields
Watercolor on Charcoal 11 X 15

Although she didn't teach this in her workshop when I took it, I decided I could look at her paintings and try one for myself. I borrowed a farm photo from a friend and tried to find a good size and place for it on my last charcoal pour that I had from Karen Knutson's workshop. When I was finished, I thought that the barn was a little small and overwhelmed by the rest of the painting so, once again, I'm thinking of cropping it.

Farm and Fields 
8 X 14

I think this makes the barn stand out a little better. I'm thinking I may have used too many colors as well but it's hard to get away from colorful paintings for me. I think it's because it's always so sunny and bright here in SW Florida. Also, I forgot to leave white spaces. I will try this again, I don't usually do landscape paintings but this was really fun to do.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Thoughts of Spring

Bobbin' Robin
Mixed media 11 X 11

After a very successful show and sale last week end it was time to get back to painting and collage. This time a robin on a charcoal pour. I painted it 11 X 15 which is a quarter sheet of standard watercolor paper but as I was adjusting my photos I decided I liked it in a square. I like doing squares a lot anyway. Instead of just putting the collage papers on the wings and tail I decided to put them on the colorful breast as well. Only his feet and head are painted with watercolor. 
I'm wondering if my friends up north have seen some early robins in their backyards yet. I know that the weather has been unusually warm for this time of year and this brings the migratory birds back. It's that time of year when you think that winter is over, then it comes back and bites you. For now, enjoy the little signs of spring. 
Here's the rectangle format. Which do you prefer?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Post Challenge Syndrome

Love Notes
Mixed media collage 6 X 6

My post title would be a good title for a painting, don't you think? There is a little bit of a let down after being so focused on your art work for 30 days and coming to the end of the month. Then everything that you have been putting off has piled up and is crying for attention. Our big art show and sale is this week end so I've had to get in gear and get the art that I'm going to exhibit ready for the show. Thanks to the 30 day challenge I have much to choose from.

I have one companion piece to the last piece in the 30 in 30 days challenge that I completed. It's another little valentine made from the same or similar materials. This one has music on it so it's title is Love Notes, a play on words. I think I will make these up into some cute valentines to send to my family.

Monday, January 30, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 30

Love Letters
Mixed media collage 6 X 6

The last day of the challenge! Whew! That was a challenge indeed as there were a lot of thing going on in my life. It shows me that I can carve out time for art even if life wants to get in the way. 
I love this last collage. Who doesn't like to get a love letter? It's a love letter to me for getting through the challenge and for all of you who followed me along the way and for all of the others who attempted to keep up with the 30 days. Hooray for us!
Thanks for the encouragement and the comments, it really kept me going.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 29

Bird Button 3
Mixed media collage

This collage is the third and last in the series. Sadly I have run out of bird buttons. I love the paper on the bottom of this collage. It was made by painting multiple colors of fairly thick paint and gesso on tissue. The colors were swirled with a texture tool. It's tricky because the tissue is fragile and will tear easily when it is wet so you have to move quickly and gently. When it dries you can use either side of the tissue because the colors soak through the paper. This is the front, tomorrow's collage will have the back side. One more day!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 28

 Bird Button 2
Mixed media collage

This is the second in the Bird Button series. I think this is my favorite because I like the tree and I like that I left the thread longer on the button. The whole series has a whimsical nature. 

The materials used are altered magazine pages, painted tissue, oven parchment, coffee filter, painted printer paper, cotton thread, acrylic paint, stamp ink and the button. It's sealed with gloss acrylic and coated with UV varnish. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 27

Bird Button 1
Mixed media collage 6 X 6

It all started on a shopping trip with a friend. You know those shopping trips where you are just out having fun and not really looking for anything in particular. I think we had wandered into a resale shop and I spied a rack of buttons. These buttons with the birds caught my eye and I thought how cute they would be on a collage. Here we are, months later and there were those buttons waiting for their place in the world of art. I had about as much fun putting together the collages as I did shopping that day with my friend.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 26

JOY Triptych
Mixed media collage 6 X 12

Although I made this piece awhile ago, I don't think I have posted it before. Sometimes in these challenges you have to fall back on an earlier piece. The collages I was working on for the rest of the month still need some tweaking so it's good to have  an alternative. I love the colors and sentiment of this piece, joy is part of my on-line name and I hope that the joy I feel in my art is conveyed to those who see it. The three small pieces are "floating" on top of a white mat board and will frame quite nicely with a separator in the frame.

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 25

You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs
Mixed media collage 4 X 6

I'm putting together some pieces for the National Collage Society's Postcard Show so I've done a few that are 4 X 6. The magazine page that I altered didn't loose the orange frog in the picture although the other inks changed nicely. Sometimes this happens. When the collage was finished I thought of this saying for the title and put on the lip punch outs. Just a little bit of whimsy for the day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 24

Forever Takes Takes Time
Mixed media collage 4 X 6

I saw this word in my box of papers and thought about how it is used. We use it in exaggeration, when we say, "It took forever!", or "I'll keep it forever." But forever takes a long time. A lifetime of forevers adds up to a boatload of commitment. I look at the younger generation and don't think commitment is very common anymore. Life changes from one thing to another. Just committing to 30 days of art, posting your art every day, is too much of a commitment. It seems to go on forever! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 23

Buttoned Down 2
Mixed media collage 3.5 X 3.5

I think these two collages, yesterday's and today's, would look good together in a little  frame. Just the addition of a little blue tissue should tie them together. What do you think? Are they better together of standing alone?

Buttoned Down Diptych

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 22

Buttoned Down 1
Mixed media collage 3.5 X 3,5

When I give classes the first collage the class does is a 3 X 3 from scraps. They choose their composition and their colors and put together their first collage. After the first class, they have a finished piece of art to take home. They can frame it or mount it, I've even had some make a pendant out of it. So, to keep in practice every now and then I get out my scraps and make some 3 X 3's. It's just as much fun as the larger ones and takes less time. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 21

Mixed media-watercolor 15 X 11

I find that if I practice the techniques that I've learned in a workshop they stick in my brain better. If I go away and don't do that which I've learned for a week or two, I've forgotten everything. That is a waste of a good workshop! Here is my practice from Karen Knutson's charcoal pour class. There are some things I would change if I did it over again, but I love the bird so I'll keep him. Since every charcoal pour background comes out differently, every piece has it's own challenges. She also does landscapes on hers so I may try that, too. In the meantime, 9 days to go in the Challenge, I think I'll go back to abstracts.

Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 20

Tea With Klimpt
Acrylic 15 X 11

This is a painting from the Karen Knutson workshop. We switched gears and learned what she calls, "Painting like Gustav Klimpt." We could choose our own figure to put in the painting and I found a picture of a woman in old fashioned dress having tea. For my first attempt I'm pleased with the outcome. Klimpt put a lot of little geometric details in his paintings in black and gold and I've attempted to recreate this look with acrylic paint. 

Early stage of painting

I don't have a picture of the start of the painting but the acrylic is dropped on and pulled to the bottom of the painting, some paint is lifted to make random white dots, then the figure is put in, more paint is removed and negative spaces are painted around the figure. It's fun to see the figure emerge and take the stage. If you like to doodle you'd love putting in all the little shapes at the end. It's very different style of painting and I enjoyed the process.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 19

Beach House 4
Caribbean Blue
Mixed media collage 8 X 8

An orange sunset sky, the lovely aqua blue of the Caribbean and a swaying coconut tree; what could be better? Just add music and you are in a happy place. Making these little beach houses is pure fantasy. That's what makes them so enjoyable. What would your fantasy get-away look like? 
I used painted tissue, altered magazines, painted brown paper, spray glitter, printed papers, Inktense pencils and a metal bicycle embellishment. It's all heat fused with gloss medium and coated with UV varnish.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 18

Beach House 3
Mixed media collage 9 X 9

I'm deviating from the abstracts for a day or two since I'm still working on my beach house series. It seems like I've done more than 3, I guess because I keep going back to them from time to time. 
I used hand painted tissue, altered magazine pages, geli printed paper, coffee cup holders and painted brown bags in this collage. It's all coated with gloss acrylic and heat fused to 140# paper then varnished. It can be mounted on a wood panel or matted and framed. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 17


Thank you for reading and following!

Bird Watching
Mixed media and watercolor 15 X 22

I never imagined that I would get so involved with blogging. It goes to show you how you can do things that you never dreamed you would do.

Last week end I attended an art workshop with Karen Knutson as the instructor. She and I are fellow Minnesotans so I've known her for a long time. It was great having her in Florida to teach a workshop. 
Her first lesson was doing charcoal pours as a background for your painting. If you look carefully at the painting you see random black spray like shapes in the background. These are made by splashing water on paper that has been sprinkled with powdered charcoal. When it's dry, after it's been sprayed with fixative, you design your painting around the charcoal. It's a fun but messy process. The bird's wing has been embellished with collage papers, so it's right up my alley. Click on the image to get a closer view of the detail. 
Karen has very creative and imaginative paintings, you can see her work at or read her blog at

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge Day 16

A Postcard
Mixed media collage 6 X 6

No birds this time, just a cute postcard embellishment. It has no particular meaning except that it was a complementary color to the oranges and yellow and seemed to fit there; also it repeats the shape in the upper right. It's all about finding what works. 
Thanks for the comments about my work, I really appreciate it. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 30 Day Challenge - Day 15

Bird on a Perch
Mixed media Collage

Day 15! I'm half-way through the challenge. I've made it through an out of town family funeral, and a 3 day workshop and I have still managed to post a daily piece. I can be organized and focused when I want to be, and that's the challenge. Not so much that I make great or even necessarily good art, but that I focus on what I want to do and that's to finish 30 pieces in 30 days. Sometimes I know life is going to get in the way  of creating so I double or even triple up on some days to get ahead or to catch up if need be. 
I'm starting to love the lighter oranges and yellows. I don't think I've made friends with a true orange color, yet; perhaps as an accent but not as a dominant color. I have one more orange and then I think I will move on and start a new color series of abstracts.


About Me

My photo

I started watercolor painting earnestly in 1991 after I moved to Florida. My husband and I are retired, and we are both artists. We both have works displayed  at the Wildchild Gallery in Matlacha Florida.