Tag Archives: Art

Artist Growing Pains



As an Artist I strive to grow and my paintings and art mark that growth.  Now, as a business, it is time to grow and stretch also.   Over the past month I have really put thought into what direction I want my art to go in.  It has taken much time, but I want to make sure that I lay the foundation down that is necessary  not only to be a successful artist, but also a successful entrepreneur.

Over the next month, new changes will be happening with my website, and my blog – I am excited to be taking the next steps on this path.   I will be creating some new art, and I will be presenting you with an opportunity to participate in this artistic journey with me – so stay tuned. . . . there will be some nice surprises coming soon as I work my way through this process.  You definitely don’t want to miss out, so if you haven’t already done so, sign up now and you will automatically receive updates from me.   It’s really easy to do – just type in your email address and click “Subscribe” and like magic my next update will appear in your inbox .  Hurry, subscribe now.

Seeing Red

With the background sky color painted in and dry, it is now time to begin painting the flag.   I decided to so with a wet-against-wet technique.  This will allow colors to blend on their own with each other creating some of the dark shadows and lighter areas of the stripe.   I have started laying in the reds of the flag, and I just love the way they are turning out.  What I found very interesting in this flag is how the white of the stripes pick up hints of the red and blue.   I will be adding that in next.   Moving along on the Stars and Stripes ……

Applying red paint to create the stripes

Applying red paint to create the stripes

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Value Sketches

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

After deciding which flag photo reference I would use for my painting, I then transferred the image from the photo onto drawing paper, which then gets transferred one last time to my watercolor paper.  Lots of steps, I know.  However, in the long run, if I ever decide to do this painting again in the future, the drawing is preserved and ready to go.

For my art style, the labor is all on the front end of the process.  When I finally get to pick up a paintbrush and apply paint, it all goes pretty quickly.  After having transferred the drawing from my drawing paper to the watercolor paper, I now set all of this aside, and begin doing value sketches.  Since I focus on macro-paintings, (close up views of any single object)  I typically will only break down my value sketches into three values, dark, medium and light.   Those values inserted into the background, middle ground and foreground will give me 8 combinations from which to chose on how to proceed with the composition.

Another sheet of plain paper is pulled out, and I create 8 blank squares approximating the size and shape of the parameters of my watercolor paper.  Then, I sketch in only the rough shapes of my composition.  I do not put in any details.  It isn’t a sky, a flag pole and a flag I am drawing in, but rather, a rectangular shape, a long line, and a square.  I do that within each square – again, tracing paper comes in mighty handy at this point.

The rest of my time is spent shading in the different combinations of values within the compositional shapes.

Four of the 8 Value Sketches I did, I have narrowed down to two

Four of the 8 Value Sketches I did, I have narrowed down to two

I am drawn to two of the value sketches, the two on the bottom because I think they are compositionally strong, and provide greatest potential for impact.  The first bottom left sketch  has a dark foreground, medium background and light middle ground.  The sketch next to it  has a medium foreground, a dark background and a light middle ground.   After some contemplation, I have decided to go with the bottom left value sketch: dark value foreground, medium value background and light value middle ground, with the center of interest and focal point going into the light middle ground.

That’s the plan for this painting….but, you know what they say, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”  Let’s hope that isn’t the case with this painting plan.

Stay tuned for the next step the actual painting process.



Painting in Pensacola Not in Buenos Aries

My family visit and art vacation to Argentina was supposed to begin on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.  Today, I would be returning satiated on delicious food, wonderful wine, and fabulous art.  Unfortunately, the day before my departure date, Pensacola experienced a rare, fluke ice/snow storm.  After trying many different alternatives, there was no choice but to accept that the trip would be cancelled.  Rest in Peace vacation!

A Fluke Snow Storm Brings Pensacola to a Grinding Halt

A Fluke Snow Storm Brings Pensacola to a Grinding Halt

After spending the rest of the week in mourning over the lost trip, it is now time to start painting and creating art.

In July 2014, I will be exhibiting with three other local artists paintings that highlight Pensacola.   Naturally, the first hurdle to cross is, “what in the world am I going to paint representative of Pensacola?”

After much thought and planning, the first painting is taking form.  In the next several blog posts, I will show the process from beginning to completion of the first art work in the seven (maybe eight) painting collection.

In front of Joe Patti’s Seafood Market is a fantastically, huge American Flag.  When I say huge, I am not kidding.  I believe it is one of the largest flags I have ever seen.  I spent the better part of an afternoon taking photos of the flag.  Once I had about 50 reference photographs it was time to come home and start going through them to find the one photo that spoke to me.  Happily, I was pleased with the majority of the photographs.  In fact, I am thinking after completing the seven paintings for the Pensacola exhibition I may do a series of the flag.

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting


Pencil Sketch of Flag which Will be Transferred to Watercolor Paper

Pencil Sketch of Flag which Will be Transferred to Watercolor Paper

My creative time today has been spent making a drawing that I then can transfer to my watercolor paper.  Stay tuned…..the next phase of the flag painting is coming.   The next step for this art work is all about composition consideration and planning.


Good and Bad News

It was a day of mixed news…..lets do the bad news first.  I submitted my painting “Stuck in Neutral” to the American Watercolor Society for acceptance into the art exhibition this year.  In order to be a signature member, I need to be juried into their show twice.  Today, came the unhappy news that my painting was “rejected”.

My Painting Submitted to American Watercolor Society.

My Painting Submitted to the American Watercolor Society.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t as devastated as I thought I would be.  You see, I am taking a workshop with John Salminen, who’s art I greatly admire. http://www.johnsalminen.com/index.jsp   He has actually won the first place award for the American Watercolor Society exhibition twice.  The salve for the wound to my pride was when John announced during the workshop, that he also received his rejection from the American Watercolor Society today.  In that case, I am in good company.

Now for the good news!  In the same afternoon, I also received an email from the Florida Watercolor Society, that my painting “This Little Piggy” was accepted into their online exhibition.  That also helped take the sting our of my American Watercolor Society rejection!  I guess you must take the bitter with the sweet.

Accepted into the Florida Watercolor Society Online Exhbition

Accepted into the Florida Watercolor Society Online Exhbition

Life goes on, paintings will continue to happen, and there is always next year . . . so look out AWS, because I have an entire year to prepare my next art entry.

Stay tuned to the ups and downs of the Artist’s life, sign up now to receive the next blog post.

The Gourmet Artist

Who says artists only paint?  Today’s post will be a bit different….consider it a culinary art post!

If you have been following my blog, you will know that tomorrow is the opening reception for the “New at the Q New Members Art Exhibition.”  The last two days were spent getting the exhibition up and ready.  Today will be spent in the kitchen, preparing some of the yummy appetizers that will be served at the reception.  I thought it would be fun to share the recipe with you.

I am making delicious Sausage and Cheese Balls, they are to die for good, easy to make and they store well.  Absolutely delicious, the problem with them is that you can’t eat just one.


3 Cups Original Bisquick  Mix

1 Pound Uncooked Bulk Pork Sausage

4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (1 pound)

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 Cup of Milk


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease cookie sheet.

2.  In large bowl combine together all ingredients.  Shape into 1- inch balls.   Place on Cookie Sheet.

3.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on rack.

Makes 102 Balls

This are sooo delicious and easy to make

This are sooo delicious and easy to make


You don’t even have to make these yourself!  Just drop by the Quayside Gallery tomorrow between 5:00 and 8:00 PM and you can not only taste these wonderful sausage cheese balls, but lots of other goodies, sip on a nice white sangria, and of course, enjoy the beautiful art on display.  Won’t you join us?

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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 http://blog.hubspot.com/ 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.