Wonderful Koi

wonderful koi

 5.75 by 5.75 watercolor on gessoed masonite $50.00

another koi 

This piece looks great in either horizontal and vertical don’t you agree. Reading this morning made me realize how many people don’t read and how they’re missing this great past time.   I don’t have to tell you if your a reader, you understand what I’m trying to say.  For a few moments you can be transported to another place and see life thru another’s experiences and their eyes.   You can speak with an accent, change your station in society or even live as a criminal.  Unlike film or tv you’ll be experiencing the story thru the writer’s voice, the details are always wonderful and the very well chosen words and phrases used to describe his or her reality are unique to each individual.  My mother never learned to read and loving books as I do, I’m sometimes sad to know this simple joy was not hers to have.

Too Koi

tookoiIt was so cold walking thru the woods this moring and I couldn’t seem to shake it off. During my noon walk, I decided to dress a little bit warmer then my jeans and sweatshirt. First, I put on a sweater and a vest, not just any vest a fur lined vest, then a big starter Jacket. Next came a red and white snow beanie and a 6 foot scarf. The hat was pulled all the way down to my glasses and the scarf was wrapped up around my nose. I looked a bit like a bag lady, you know the look, too too many layers. As if the person is wearing everything they own rather than carry it. It didn’t help the situation since I was walking thru a shopping center parking lot behind our neighboorhood store. Its a wonder no one pulled over and gave me their spare change.5.75 by 5.75 watercolor on gessoed masonite 50.00

Koi Deluxe sold

Koi  delux5.75  by5.75 watercolor on gessoed Masonite. $50.00
It rained pretty hard this morning and I took the dogs to the lake, later it turned cold and I had to take a hot bath to warm up. As soon as the dogs hear the water running in the tub they usually head for downstairs just in case I get some crazy idea to give them a bath. Now with the dogs all snuggled up in their beds and me drinking hot tea, the house seems quiet. I like rainy days.

“As the dogs watched”, watercolor on gessoed Illustration Board

SOLDthe-dos-watched.jpgSpecial of the Week $ 25.00 5.5 by 5.5 watercolor on gessoed Illustration board.Another small painting in my dog series. I have three dogs so I guess that why I continue to paint most of these in groups of three.

Koi Down Stream… Egg tempra on clayboard

Koi Downstream

8 inches by 10 inches, egg tempera on clayboard

$75.00 USD,  $6.50 shipping and handling
( btw don’t forget to check out my latest BIG watercolor on my other blog… http://h20color.wordpress.com)

This painting was painted in a class situation with instructor, Ashley Lathe. He’s an artist in residence at the Mc Coll center of the Arts in Charlotte NC.

I enjoyed his class and found him to be an informative and easy going instructor.   He demonstrated the mixing of the paint with the egg yoke and then proceeded to paint a small painting, explaining the various strengths and challenges of the media. 

Before starting, you should used soap and a bit of water on your brushes to coat the brush hairs.  Apparently if the egg dries on the brush its almost impossible to get out.  So you might want to have your brushes ready to go before you mix up the paint.  Also consider using cheap synthetic brushes till you become used to the process.  No one likes to ruin a good brush.

 We didn’t use dry pigment but took a little shortcut and used watercolor pigment.  This was good news for me since I have a fishing tackle box full of watercolor paint. First we separated an egg and kept only the egg yoke.  Then we pierced the egg yoke and only used the inside of the yoke throwing away the membrane.  We added 2 tablespoons of distilled water to each large egg yoke and mixed it thoroughly.  Using an eye dropper, the yoke mixture is then placed on a glass pallet with equal parts watercolor pigment.  Then mixing with a spatula to insure the yoke and the paint are completely mixed, your ready to go.  Of course, you only make the amount of paint to cover an area you can paint before the pigment becomes too sticky.  This is where experience helps. 

  If you need to make a color from more than one pigment say yellow and blue to make green, do this before adding the yoke.

Ashley explained to us when painting with the egg tempera paint you should always pull paint from a pool of paint and not from outer dryer area of the paint.  This will give you more time before the paint dries on your piece.  I also chose to wet my clayboard to give me a wet into wet look for the first two layers of paint.  This also gave me a little extra time to get a feel for the consistency and the drying time of the paint. 

This painting is a bit darker than I usually paint only because the egg tempra does not dry back like watercolor.  It holds its luminosity and is very translucent.

This type of painting seems to work well for glazing because like watercolor you can put a second color over the first to create a third color.   There is a stain glass look to the finished product because when dry, the paint continues to have a surface sheen.  Texture was easy to achieve and you can almost use anything including a palette knife or a scratch tool  These paintings do not have to be framed under glass and should last many lifetimes if properly handled.  

All in all this was a good experience and I’m sure you’ll see egg tempra paintings in  the weeks to come.


5 inches by 5 inches
watercolor on gessoed illustration board. 35.00 plus shipping

This landscape was painted with thick watercolor and very little water. The colors are naples yellow, primary red, indigo, pthalo blue and pthalo green .

Velvet Meadows


watercolor on gessoed masonite 5.75 by 5.75 $40.00

This would look great in a thin black frame with a wide white mat. Or on an easel.

I need a good word smith to help me name these paintings. I called this “velvet meadows” because when wet, the textured gessoed masonite (especially on the green portion) reminded me of velvet.

Meditative Sunset

Meditative Sunset
5.75 by 5.75 watercolor on paper. $40.00

I squeezed this painting in between dinner and errands. I had only one hour so I had to really paint fast. I like sunsets and trees but sometimes I feel that everyone paints them and I should concentrate on other things….but if you think about it.. you can say that about anything.

A workshop DVD review

abstract01bigThis review of an instructional video was written by my good friend Adele Greenfield.     I thought you might like to check this video out.  I have used this approach in the past and it’s a good way to paint an abstract design if you feel your stuck or blocked, it may help you get a jump start.     John Salminen, AWS, DF, NWSA Designed Approach to Abstraction Review by Adele Greenfield John Salminen’s video should come with a warning, “Watch the first part of this DVD passively and you will miss out!” His is no ordinary demonstration. You’ll take a journey into abstract shapes and values and learn everything you need to know about design. He invites you into his world and, at the beginning, it’s like he’s beside you every step of the way as you draw with him and design your painting with him. The key words here are “with him.” Yes, it’s the next best thing to his being in your studio, holding your hand to start you off and get you into his process so it becomes your process too. While he takes you step-by-step at first, don’t panic. This is definitely not a cookie-cutter approach, stifling your creativity. He helps you make choices that keep your work intriguing and varied so you have a wealth of shapes with which to work. You’ll look for irregular, unpredictable, and oblique shapes, dealing in pure abstraction with no recognizable subject matter. With his examples, you’ll know exactly what he means.The beginning is structured so you’re comfortable enough to get to the place where you can become painterly and . . . creative. Once you have your design, then it’s time to watch him assess and refine his piece. Here, it’s up to you. Pause and go to your own painting on occasion or watch it straight through to see how he works, taking in his many lessons like how to knock back intense areas, “sealing off any exits,” and avoiding monotony.John says that every strong painting begins as a strong design, the common language binding all styles. Value is his favorite design element and he describes his paintings as “value dependant.” Closely related middle values can make a piece glow and are the strength of watercolors. Watch as he introduces intermediates to add transitional passages, helping you move from dark to light areas. You’ll see how he works with the 9-Value System, from the lightest light (white of the paper which is number 1) to from the darkest dark, number 9. In every painting, he says that we have an obligation to fully represent all the values we’re capable of, including the very dark ones, which many watercolorists shy away from. State the extremes, even in a high key piece. But there needs to be a visual linkage, a visual pathway, among the various shades.John’s approach to beginning the painting is unusual, using tracing paper and then transferring lines and shapes that produce surprising results. Tracing paper gives you layers to work with and lifting a piece isolates various shapes.First, you will make some simple linear drawings and he gives you specific criteria. He’ll show you how to combine them and you’ll see interesting shapes come together in an unpredictable, random manner. Then you’ll make decisions – light, medium, and dark values. And again, he explains this thoroughly so you cannot possibly go wrong. During this process, he throws out valuable bits of information such as “even when it’s broken and fragmented, the eye will follow a dark shape more than it will a white shape. Keep the light shape intact.” He helps you focus on the relationship of shapes, illustrates ways to provide a visual pathway, and points you toward your center of interest, telling you how to make that area sing. Following the mostly 80/20 ratio, he spends time explaining and demonstrating dominance, curvilinear and geometric shapes, and the use of warm and cool colors. Among other things, he’ll show you how he masks areas, lifts paint, and adds calligraphic lines. John discusses the difference between a trick and a technique and then emphasizes technique, integrating a little collage, incorporating texture, and creating a push/pull illusion. He likes putting dark acrylic into a corner, turning it into a black void and giving the piece much depth. Then he shows you how to smooth out the surface with a dry brush. You’ll also see how to use a mouth atomizer, the most effective way to spatter, and even how to sign your name.Once you get used to this way of working.  You’ll never be stuck for an abstract design idea. And when it comes down to it, even the best realistic painting has the underpinning of a good abstract design.

work in progress

WIP KOIThis is my work in progress, its a koi and it’s a commission.  It will be cut down to about 18 by 33.  You can see I’m standing on a chair because the painting in still wet.  I was feeling a bit pushed this morning and I didn’t paint a small painting today.  Lots of things started out badly when I locked my self out of my condo this morning.   Agghhh, I had to sit with my neighbors till Art came home from work with the keys.   My neighbors are great, its just I hate to waste their time, or be an imposition.   At least the company and the coffee was good.  I felt I had so much to do and this got me a bit out of sorts. When I finally got home, I had 6 calls waiting and needed to take care of some business.  to start with  I have been thinking of canceling our trash pick up contract because things haven’t been going well. I called the trash people who again… did not pick up our garbage, Any way… long story short, I went off on the guy.  This is the second time in a month and the trash is piled high and by tomorrow it will be all over the ground. Guess who isn’t going to clean it up this time.Anyway… I’m going to try to get this piece finished this week. I like it already and I hope it will be exciting, fun and beautiful. check back later to see it completed.

Under the falls

Under the falls
24 by 24 $400.00 Acrylic on panel

This painting is one that I started a few weeks ago and wanted to change the small fish on the upper left hand side of the painting. You can go to my painting a week blog to see it as it used to be. http://h20color.wordpress.com

It’s acrylic on masonite and is 24 by 24 ready to be framed. If you would like to buy this painting the price is $400.00 I’ll let it dry tonight and varnish it tomorrow.

I used my daily painting time this afternoon to get this piece finished.

I need to get it moved out of my painting area, it takes up too much space.

Koi Sunday

Sunday Koi12 inches by 7 inches watercolor on paper.Koi and other fish with lovely bright colors.I was sick today with a sinus infection. I’ve been fighting it off all week and it finally got the best of me.I took some zertec but when I’ve taken it before it puts me to sleep, so I took some with the decongestion included… so far it hasn’t put me to sleep. Now I just hope it doesn’t keep me up all night.Thats the problem with drugs you just end up trading one symptom for another.I listened to my Ipod most of the day, I’m hooked on short stories. and subscribe to about twenty podcasts a week. Its a good way to relax and also to get some work done. I do a lot of computer work and it can be very boring. With my ipod, I can sit all day and it doesn’t bother me. My favorite podcasts are … The New Yorker, NPR, WYNC, PRI,Librivox, & bound off. I just finished 1776, ( David McCullough)its not a short story, in fact it is very long… but a great audio book.If you enjoy short stories and know of some pod casts which are free, drop me an email at shantimarie@mac.com I’d love to find some new ( new to me) great stories to listen to for the next week.