Thursday, August 27, 2015

If It's September, It's Back to 30 in 30

September 1st is the first day of the 30 in 30 painting challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta. 
This is a wonderful opportunity to challenge yourself to do art every day of the month. It's a great time to experiment with techniques, practice forming those good work habits and to meet new friends from around the world as you post your works to Leslie's sight.

She usually gets over 1000 artist in 25 countries participating. Not only is this great fun but it's also a great marketing opportunity as you post your work on her blog daily and sell works.

For more information and to sign up see Leslie's blog at

This will be my fourth challenge and I love doing it every time. (Although I have to admit that it can be a bit stressful.) 

This September is not without it's challenges. I will be returning from a short vacation on the first to celebrate my daughter's birthday. (Happy birthday Sam.) Then on to a art demo at 317 Studio & Gallery that Friday night. The following Sunday, Monday you will find me at the Lake Forest Art Festival only to return home to give a workshop on Wednesday and do my last Rockton River Market. For the rest of the month I have another large show- Greenwich Village Sept. 19 &20 th and a fun family wedding the following weekend. Throw in a baby shower and host a plein air session and I'm set.


So I'm prepared... 
I hope, who knows?
I have painted some paintings in advance for those days that I won't be able to do it. We'll see how this goes but it's so much fun I couldn't stand missing it. My friend calls this cheating but even Leslie will suggest doing some paintings in advance as she states, "There are no rules."

So why don't you sign up too and see how it goes at

I will be posting my painting on my blog and on Facebook daily. See you there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why It's a Great Time to Buy Art Work.

I do it all the time. 
My new piece by Jeff & Jenny Tseng of California.

I get in trouble by bringing home someone else's art work from a show. My husband always gently reminds me that the idea of the show is to sell art not buy more. But you know, I disagree - somewhat.

People are not buying as much art from Art Shows as they did a few years ago - or so I'm told. (I just started doing shows two years ago.) Thus some artists are painting stones with Bears and Packers uniforms on them so they can cover the booth fees with tons of $8 purchases. Many artists have their work a bit under priced to entice you to buy it. That's when you can find wonderfully affordable works.

Rockford Art Guild Mosaics February 2015.
When our Rockford Art Guild put together 60, 8"x8" canvasses for sale at $25, I thought it was a great way for me to own some of my favorite artist's work for a minimal cost. There is so much talent in the guild that I'm thrilled to be able to not only collect some of their art but know them personally and paint with them. And I knew those canvasses were worth a lot more than what I paid for them.

Thanks to the internet, art can be bought directly from the artist from anywhere in the world. What a thrill it is to get to know artists from around the world - even if you don't speak the same language we all speak art. It's a language of emotions that everyone can understand.

Are you worried about what kind of art to buy? The rule is simple. Don't worry about which piece will increase in value over time. There's no way of telling. Just buy something that speaks to you. Buy art that personally touches you.

The world of art so exciting and so very available. Every home deserves fine art. Today art is more attainable than ever. So go ahead and buy that piece knowing that not only will you have wonderful art to cherish but you will be supporting the arts for the future. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Alcohol Inks in Progress

I've been working on this alcohol ink during 
the Rockton River Market.

This is before I remove the masking fluid.

After the masking fluid is removed.

I need to concentrate a bit more than I'm allowed  to do as I sit in my booth, so I will continue this in my studio. I'll start with some ink and then some color. I think I may reapply the masking fluid to the restaurant name and some stripes. It always amazes me how much I don't like these pictures at this point but the alcohol inks really let you work and change things until you come to a place you're happy with.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Plein Air at Nicholas Conservatory

Some days you just have to Nike up and just do it!

I'm learning to plein air and I admit 
that it's very humbling.

It's never a bad thing to step out of your comfort zone and just go for it. When I took the plein air class with Richard Weber last Spring I freaked! What? Sit there and produce a painting in an hour that you're willing to show the class? Yikes. I was working in oils - which I love, but am having a rocky relationship with lately. In short, my work stunk. That's when I knew -there's only one solution. 
Do More and Do It Often.

I've gone out and bought myself a plein air easel and decided to work in watercolors and pastels for awhile until I feel a bit more comfortable. I'm even considering taking an oil painting class to help me get past this slump I'm having.

So I will continue plein air with the hope that I will learn to make faster decisions, work faster, get better at; mixing colors, drawing, painting and meet some awsome people along the way.

Yesterday, my friend, William J Ball and I had a great time painting at Nicholas Conservatory.

I can't wait until next session.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Christmas in August, Pastel of the Dogs

Ever have one of those weeks where you just want to shut yourself in your studio and crank up the volume on the I pad? 

I'm having one of those weekends. (I should say my next free weekend is October 17th.) I want to savoir this weekend - this summer. But most of all I just want to paint. Maybe add a dip in the pool on this 90+ degree day.

I've started this year's Christmas card which features Spike and Cooper getting their big bone on Christmas morning. This pastel still has a long way to go. I haven't decided on the background. I think it needs to be darker.

This will be a busy week;
Katie's Cup Monday
Plein Air at Nicholas Tuesday
Rockton River Market Wednesday
Glen Ellen show Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Still to do: Finish Christmas card,  get 4 to 5 pics ready for 317 Studio and Gallery by the 28th. (I'll be doing another Artist at work on Sept. 4th.), submit works to Professional Artist competition. (Have you heard about it? and enter Beloit, Wi. competition "Faces" by Sept 25th.

And I'm loving every minute of it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Preping For An Alcohol Ink City Scape

I'm starting a new Venice Alcohol ink.

The city views have much more detail than my flower inks and therefore require more planning and drawing.

Once I'm done with the drawing I use masking fluid 
to white out and outline some of the details. 

This takes a lot of time but it's worth it. I'll be able to apply the inks freely concentrating more on the patterns and combinations rather than "staying in the lines". This next phase is rather messy and I always feel as if "I messed up a perfectly good drawing" but it all works out in the end.

I'll start painting this tomorrow night at the Rockton River Market in Settlers Park. Come on down and join me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bunny Video

A very cute addition to the garden this week.

Can't help myself. I have to share our new video.

Looks like it needs to be a pastel drawing.... 
Thanks Sam for your videos and pictures.