Friday, February 10, 2012

Time for Crystal

Crystal and glass are beautiful when painted right. For some of us it just doesn't "click" and we tend to over paint. One of the draw backs of being a self taught artist, some times you just can't figure it out. For me that is difficult to admit, so I avoided anything with crystal and glass.
After some coaxing and the opportunity to view a set of videos made by Mollie Jones during a gathering of Painting Friends , I decided to make the attempt. This would also give me the opportunity to learn to loosen up a little and still achieve detail.

The painting demo is of a beautiful crystal bowl, with I am doing glass and reds. I started with the strawberries. At this point I was more afraid of the amount of red paint then I was about creating detail in the crystal. But once the brushes were wet and the paint was on the paper, the fears were aside. Now I was more interested in technique. How much did I remember?  
When the painting was finish, and it actually looked like crystal,  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed painting crystal and how much I had learned. I also wanted to paint  another one. I pulled out some of my "crystal",  bought some strawberries, created  and photographed several setups, and chose my favorites. I  painted 2 more, and have plans for another in the near future.

Now whenever I see interesting piece of crystal or cut glass, I now find myself  thinking of what I could put in it or with it to photograph and paint.!!     You're right Mollie, I'm hooked!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rock and Rust

It seems when there is a lot going on in the reality of everyday life, computer time falls to the wayside, so it's been a while since my last post. Life is funny though, you never know what will peek your interest. So when ever I get to leave the house I take a camera and a sketch pad with me. Anything that happens to catch my eye, I snap a few reference photos.

On an outing with my husband, we found an old rail road depot. While we walked around outside the depot (still standing but in disrepair from a fire) I noticed that some of the old rails laid on the ground next what was left of the old track. A plant with a purple flower growing right against an old rail caught my attention . I snapped a few pics, the flower, the ballast rock, the rails, any remnant of what was there long ago, rusting away. Reviewing the photos, I noticed a rusted spike laying on the ballast was much more interesting the flower. I collected the photos with the most interesting rocks, collected a few similar rocks to put on my painting table and followed my muse

 This rusty nail on a pile of dirty rock occupied my attention, as I tried to capture the textures and colors in the rocks, leaves, twigs and shadows.  I worked on my shadows first, trying to break up the white paper and seperate the shapes. Then I began to "build" the rocks, laying background washed of color, diffrent for each rock. I then began to define shapes, features, colors and textures.
"Laid to Rust"

Once the rocks and background were finished, I worked on the leaves, twigs and the spike, trying to keep the texture and depth as detailed as the rocks.

As soon as  the paper was dry and flat, the painting was framed, just in time to enter it and 2 other pieces in a local juried art show.  To my excitement, I received a call telling me "Laid to Rust" won 2nd place. Coming in second only to my other entry "The Nesting Place". A very Good Day Indeed!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Through The Fog

I have tried watercolor off and on through out the years, with out much success. I invested in a few instructional books, but something just didn’t click. In February of 2010 a friend offered 2 basic classes online, with a few short videos and email feedback. I purchased the paper, brushes and paints, followed the videos, completed the 1st painting, with positive feedback. I went on to the next video class, after several emails and a repaint, I was finally happy the outcome and hooked.
Watercolor has become an interesting journey. Full of interesting challenges in subject, technique and simply learning how to manage the paint and water. I feel fortunate to have been invited to joined Painting Friends Forum ( in September of 2010. The Challenges and WIP’s (Work In Progress) postings and positive feedback have been a great inspiration.

So here’s the Challenge - FOG - , humm, way out of my comfort zone. Time to experiment and learn. Fortunately I had some fresh reference photos from the Smokey Mt.s of North Carolina. I actually enjoyed “playing” with this one, learning to loosen up, so much I did 2 different paintings. I will however say that I did the first one 3 times, but it was worth it. Hope you enjoy following my journey!

I have been following my Muse, and she has inspired me to paint everyday. Come back soon to see where she has taken me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

“Deb’s Delight”

My adventure in watercolor has brought me to a new challenge, Glass. Well at least an “Appletini” challenge for now. Up until now any attempts at glass were as sketches or ink drawings, I usually get as far as the outline and basic shadows. Oh and did I say only in my private sketch pads where no one else would see. Something about glass just didn’t click.

Painting and drawing glass that is realistic and believable is a challenge. I’m a “jump feet first and learn as you go” kinda person for most things. I usually pick up pretty quick. So why is glass giving me such a problem? And then I read a response to a post that I made. Something I have heard over and over through the years as a child is school art classes. But it was the second half of the statement that really woke me up. “Draw what you see, Not what you think you see.”

So, now I am challenging myself and I have committed to painting something that I have always had difficulty with and “Not what you think you see” ringing in my ears.
The results!! I’ll let you be the judge!!

The future is ‘foggy”, but mountains of fun! When the fog clears, inspiration follows!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Back To Painting!

Sometimes life just gets in the way of creativity, so I've been away for a little while. Long story short, I lost my painting space for a short time.  Although the definition of short comes into question when it comes to creativity. My painting space is back and it's time to create.

I used the time to fight frustration and search for inspiration. Won't give away the places I visited, you will have to wait for the paintings!! My table in place, palette filled, brushes on the ready, photos and thumbnail sketches prepared. What next?

Before jumping into my inspirations, I joined Painting Friends in a Demo by Mollie Jones. While I regret being unable to travel to the event, I was able to see the demo virtually. Through Mollie's demo, words of encouragement and trial and error, I'm learning new techniques on how to "loosen up" my painting.

This is something I will definitely try again soon. Guess I need to look for more inspirations! In the meantime, the next challenge to explore is glass. Watch for my next post, I'll be back soon!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my friends, family and artsy friends I would like to wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you, my wonderful family, my great friends and every day I have to be creative! God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

I have been working on my Christmas Cards and projects trying to get them finished. With little time to finish my latest large watercolor. I hope to have all my Christmas painting done within the next 2 weeks, because I have 2 more that I really want to start on. I have so many sketches and projects lined up that I will be busy and can't wait to post my progress.

The Christmas Show is coming up on December 11th, at Folly Beach. I will post my Christmas projects for sale soon and the link to where they can be purchased. I hope to post the watercolor I just finished with in the next week, so be on the watch!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paintng and Webbing

I've been busy of late, painting, getting my website set up, a few items in progress on Zazzle and working on Christmas. There is still some work to be done on the web page, but I am pleased so far. You can view my web page at, feel free to leave a comment.

This blog as well as my Zazzle page are linked into my web page so you can access everything easily. The Zazzle page offers coffee mugs right now, and I will be adding Christmas ornaments soon. If there is a product you would like to see please contact me and I will design it and post it for you.

A gallery page will be added to my web site soon as well as a "WIP" or Work In Progress page. As always painting suggestions and reference or resourse photos are always welcome.

The paintings on my table are coming along nicely and I am starting on hand painted Christmas Cards. Original works are available by contacting me via email, at events listed on my web site and a new venue to be posted soon.