Organized Chaos in the Art Gallery

The first phase of putting together the New Members Artist Art Exhibition is to hang the paintings.  We have 12 artists displaying their art works with each person contributing 5 to 7 pieces each.  Basically, that comes down to about 66 to 70 works of art that needed to be placed on the wall in some reasonable fashion.  Sounds easy, but, it’s not.

My Paintings Waiting to Take Their Place

My Paintings Waiting to Take Their Place

Before I move on, I do want to shout out a big, big Thank you to Dan, Manuel and Patricia for their unwavering patience and help.  The show would not have been hung without them.

Sadly, step one was to make several phone calls and harass some of the artist who had not dropped off their work yet.  After much begging and pleading, everyone managed to get their art to the gallery.  In order to see what we were dealing with, around the walls all the different paintings, drawings, and photography received, was propped up against the walls.  It was a lot.

Lined up ready to be hung on the wall

Lined up ready to be hung on the wall

The most difficult part of the hanging, was trying to merge 12 different styles of art to work together to create one cohesive show.  With lots of climbing up the later (Dan) handing over paintings (Manuel) and then adjustments (Patricia) the art exhibition was hung in 4 hours.  I felt like I had run a marathon.

Even Dan Went a Little Crazy After Hanging Art all Day

Even Dan Went a Little Crazy After Hanging Art all Day

The great news is, the show is up and it is fabulous.  You don’t want to miss the first Quayside Gallery Art Exhibition of 2014.  Opening reception is Friday, January 10, 2014 from 5:00 until 8:00.  There will be white sangria, delicious food, and of course – terrific art.

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How to Pick the Right Mat & Frame for Your Next Piece of Art

 Why does matting a framing a painting or a print have to be so difficult?  It is overwhelming when you walk into a framing shop.  First there are hundreds of mat colors to pick from.  Do you pick a mat color that matches the painting, or maybe you should match your sofa?  Do you want one mat or two? Once you agonize over what color mat to put around your newly acquire painting, the fun doesn’t stop there.  Next you not only have to decide on a frame color, but also a framing style.  Yikes, stop the insanity!

This short tutorial will help you pick the right mat for your work of art.  Just like you I struggle with the agony of making a decision when it comes to matting and framing art.  I find it difficult to envision what the painting is going to look like, when the framer only places a right angle corner of the mat and frame on the print so I can “see what it will look like once it’s framed.”   To make your life a little easier when it comes to matting and framing, I’ve created this short tutorial on how to pick a mat.  I think you will find it helpful.


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Time Crunch

With the New Members Art exhibit fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to give everyone a behind the scenes look at how much work goes into a show or exhibit.

At this point, I have four large paintings ready to be hung.  I would love to get five art pieces up on the wall, but I am really going to be pushing tomorrow to get my last painting done.  Not only does it need about three more layers of painting, but I also need to mat, frame and put the backing on the piece.  It is making me tired just thinking of all the work that is waiting for me upstairs in my studio.  Yikes!  Nothing like waiting until the last minute.  But, I have said it before, I work pretty well under pressure.

It is so frustrating for me when I have a vision in my head of how a painting should come out, and then I can’t translate what is in my head onto the paper.  It is important for me not to get frustrated, and to be able to step back, and enjoy the process rather than be solely focused on the end result – the painting.  I have found that if I am happy and enjoying the process, then usually the painting turns out well.

The title of the last painting is Skinny Dipping and the subject matter are Koi.  I have painted these fish over and over again.  The first version was done in acrylics, just black and white; while I was still living in Puerto  Rico.

Koi painted the first time in Puerto Rico

Koi painted the first time in Puerto Rico

 Then I painted it again as a batik.

Batik Painting of Koi

Batik Painting of Koi

After that, I painted it as a watercolor as a standard watercolor painting with a paint brush.  The last three versions I have been pouring the paint, and I am hoping the last of those three paintings will be framed and hung in the show on Tuesday. You will have to come down and see if “Skinny Dipping” made it into the show : )question

I have always heard that you should paint what you love, I don’t particularly love fish, but I am captivated by the way Koi move in the water, their brilliant colors.  Isn’t it such a nice surprise to see them come up to the surface with their mouths opening and closing begging for food?  A flash of orange, white, red or gold!   Although, I can’t say Koi are my passion, I must confess that I have enjoyed trying to capture their color and movement in my paintings.

Stay tuned for the hectic behind the scenes look at what goes on to get “New at the Q New Members Show” up and running.  Don’t miss out on the next installment, sign up now to stay tuned.

Extra, Extra Read All About It!

It's here .... the Jan. 2014 Artist Newsletter

It’s here …. the Jan. 2014 Artist Newsletter

Yes, the January 2014 edition of Brushstrokes Artist Newsletter is out and available.  If you would like to receive your copy  …. no problem.  Just fill in your email address below and you will receive your very own copy delivered directly to your email in-box.  Never miss an edition again.  Don’t you want to know that latest news in the art scene, be the first to know about cool art giveaways, and read the months inspirational quote?  Then don’t delay – sign up for your copy today.

The Art Forger

Painting and art are my passion, but a girl cannot live by art alone; I also love to read.  Recently I stumbled upon a book “The Art Forger” by B.A. Shapiro and I was in seventh heaven.  It is a sparklicious day when I can combine two of my favorite things . . . art and reading!  The icing on the cake is that the book is fantastic.  The house not getting cleaned and me walking around with my nose in a book is a sure sign that it is a good read.

An excellent read.

An excellent read.

I will not tell you the story as I don’t want to spoil it for you.  However, after reading the book, I did start thinking about some of the bigger issues The Art Forger brings to light.

The first question is, “what makes art – art?”  That of course raises the question of what value and purpose does art serve in our society?  Certainly, the purpose and value of art has changed over the centuries.  Paleolithic Paintings were produced 34,000 years ago by Cro-Magnons and usually were images of different animals.  It is  believed that they were drawn for ritual purposes to ensure successful hunting, or to promote fertility.  Whatever the reason, it is obvious that these cave paintings did not serve the purpose of decorating.  (Honey does this painting match the dirt floor?)  Obviously in the 21st century we not only use art because it is aesthetically pleasing, but also for purposes of investment, and for recording or honoring people, places and things.  Does that take away value from modern day art?  Or the opposite, does that make our modern day art more valuable?

Along those same lines, is a famous painting valuable because of who painted it?  In other words, if you had never been exposed to the Mona Lisa, you knew nothing of it.  Then, one day, someone showed yoCan you separate the painting from the painter? u the Mona Lisa, would you think it is a beautiful painting?  Or does that fact that Leonardo Da Vinici painted it, give the Mona Lisa it’s value?  There is a believe that the Mona Lisa, may in fact be a forgery, as during the 16th century many forgeries were made (hint – hint read the book).  Does that change your view of the Mona Lisa?

As an Artist, I can appreciate the beauty of a painting without giving value to the fact that it was created by a famous artist.  However, it is hard to think of the Mona Lisa without thinking of Leonardo Da Vinci, in fact, in this case, I would venture to say it is impossible to separate the painting from the painter.

I encourage you to read the book, and of course if you have an opinion on “what is art” or “what makes art valuable” please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


The Elements of Art

Whether an art enthusiast or an artist, having a basic understanding of art composition is important and will make the art experience a better one.   Of course, the casual art observer to the most accomplished artist knows if they like a painting, no additional training or information is needed.  It basically becomes a question of taste.  However, to really appreciate what we see when we view a piece of art, a general base of knowledge is helpful.  The basic building blocks for art are known as the Elements of Design.

When an artist skillfully manipulates these building blocks they create a cohesive piece of art work.

An example of the use of line in Art

The first element of design is the line.  It is either a visible or implied pathway connecting  two points.  The line is used in art to move the viewer (you) through the painting.



Next is the design element shape is a representation of a two dimensional object, and it will look flat.

Example of “Shape” being used in composition

Form is another element of design and it is the representation of the look and feel of a three dimensional object on a two dimensional surface.  All objects have either shape or form, with form being three dimensional and shape looking flat.

This is an example of Form

The next element of design is color and is pretty well recognized by the everyday art observer.  However, what is not so well known about color is how strong of an impact it can have on the viewer. 

The color wheel

Value is the next element and it addresses the lightness or darkness of a color.   Many artist consider value to be more important in the composition of a painting then even color.

Use of Value

Use of Value

Texture refers to the qualities of an objects surface, is it smooth, shiny, rough etc….

Use of Texture

Use of Texture






Use of Space. Foreground, Middle ground and Background

Last but not least comes space and this is the area contained between the edges of a painting. It is the space between objects and is all around us.




Not every painting will have all seven elements of design within them, nor should they.  Strong artists, usually will pick 2 or 3 of these design elements to incorporate into their compositions, and if they are handled well the painting will be a strong work of art.

As you can see, being familiar with the elements of design  will help both the artist to compose a strong painting and the viewer to appreciate what they observe in a painting.  In future blogs, I will explore the elements of design more in depth.  You definitely don’t want to miss out on this free educational series that will make your art experience even better.  To receive the next edition simply fill in your email address and subscribe.

30 Day Art Blog Challenge


My forte is art, but to be successful, I also need to make the public aware that my art exists.  “I shall paint, and they shall come” is a misconception embraced by many artists.  Perhaps that is were the terminology “starving artist” came from!

Recently, I have been trying to do a better job with social networking; face book, twitter, news letter etc.  Unfortunately, blogging is one of those areas that definitely could stand much improvement.  And as luck would have it,  I received an email the other day from Hubspot offering a 30 day blogging challenge.  I was intrigued….not because I love to blog, but, because maybe with a “goal” in view, I will rise to the challenge.  It is the carrot and the donkey scenario; guess which I am.  Of course, a nice prize is also a little bit of an incentive!  Okay, it’s a big incentive.

As an artist who very much wants people to be aware of my art, and who wants my art to add “sparkle” to their world, I am accepting the challenge to blog each day for thirty days beginning January 2, 2014.  Isn’t the old saying, “if you do anything for 30 days it becomes a habit?” Well, watch out world of Blog, HERE I COME!

Once the commitment to blog was established the next challenge was what in the world would I write about.  Then the light bulb flickered on – my blog will be all about art – duh, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out!  But, then remember, I am an Artist, not a Rocket Scientist.

The intention is to let people see my creative process, and get to know me  better, to understand my art a bit better.  But, not only that, because it that is all I write about, then this would be a blog all about me, and as I said earlier, it is all about art.

Each week, I plan on including a post about art that I appreciate, an interesting art technique, to show things that surround me in a different more interesting way that spark my creativity, to ponder questions about what is art and so much more.  In fact, there will be a little something for everyone who might be interested in art.   Hope to see you each day for your daily dose of Art.


New Artists Art Exhibition at the Quayside Gallery

With the Holidays on us, I have been lazy in painting and producing art.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been painting, but it has been commissioned work, and my Christmas card, everything except, the paintings I need to complete for the new members show coming in January.

Where does the time go?  I thought, mistakenly, that I had plenty of time to get one painting completed and three paintings matted and framed.  Then, by chance, I happened to look at the calendar.  Yikes…to my horror, I realized I only have 10 measly days left in which to complete everything.  Painting . . . . matting . . . . ordering frames and glass . . . . framing, the “to-do” list seems to grow bigger and bigger.  But, never fear – this Artist works best under tremendous amounts of pressure and stress.  In fact, I work best under less than calming circumstances, and after all, I created this mini-crisis, did I not?

New in the Q 2014 New Members Art Show

Lots of hard work has gone into creating what is going to be a wonderful art show at the Quayside Gallery.  The Artists’ exhibition is to showcase the work of the 12 new artists that were accepted into the Quayside in 2013.  Our opening reception will be January 10, 2014 from 5:00 – 8:00 and everyone is invited to come out.  There will be wine, white sangrias, yummy food, and yes – of course, Fantastic Art.    I will be giving away a token of my appreciation, so don’t miss out.  Come out and join me and the other new artists on January 10 at the Quayside Gallery, Pensacola FL and drink in some beautiful art.

Christmas Cherries Acrylic Painting Complete

Woot – Woot…..the acrylic painting of the Cherry Blossoms is completed.  In case you can’t tell, I am super excited to have finished this commissioned piece as promised by today.  That means the client can give this beautiful piece of art to his wife/girlfriend as a Christmas present.  I will say it again, there is nothing like giving original art as a gift.

I thought people might be interested in seeing the processes . . . .

Step 1:  I needed to make a mini painting of the work, to show the client and get his approval.  Obviously, this is not a triptych, but he basically needed to get an idea of what colors I would use and the layout of the painting.

Acrylic Sample Art Painting

Acrylic cherry blossom triptych painting sample.

Step 2:  With the mini sample painting approved, it was time to move on to the real painting.  First, I applied layers of brown, gray, black and white acrylic paint and put in my background.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint layered for background.

Step 3:  After the first layer of paint is dry, it is now time to complete the background.  The client wanted something more modern than the traditional Japanese Cherry Blossom Painting, which is typically done on a light blue, or pinkish/orange background.  I added quick strokes of brighter, earth tone acrylics to give movement to the painting.

Strokes Earth Tone Acrylic Background

Quick strokes of earth tone  acrylics completes the background.

Step 4: With the background completed it is time to put in the branch of the cherry blossom tree.  Once the branch is put down then I painted in highlights in gray and white acrylic.

Acrylic branch painted

Painted in the cherry blossom branch in black, gray and brown acrylic paint.

Step 5:  With the tree branch painted in, next, using a large paint brush, I spattered in different shades of pink to indicate the profusion of Cherry Blossoms showering out from the tree branch.

Spatter Acrylic Painting

Using a large brush, I spattered the Cherry Blossoms into the painting.

Step 6:  With minor tweaking I completed this triptych acrylic cherry blossom art painting.  Job Done.

Triptych Acrylic Cherry Blossom Painting

The completed triptych acrylic painting of cherry blossoms.  “Christmas Cherries”

Hoping “Christmas Cherries” adds lots of sparkle and happiness to someone’s Christmas.