Sunny Day Koi


I painted this the other day while I was demonstrating to my art class how the gessoed surface works with watercolor. Because this painting wasn’t finished I went ahead and finished it up in my studio. My Koi are very hungry these days and keep uprooting my lilies which have three or four lilly pads struggling to grow. The nights are still cool but I will assume the weather will be warmer any day now and those koi and the lilies will be growing!
8 by 10 watercolor on gessoed masonite sealed with a polymer clear coat. $95.00

Feb Koi ACEO Mixed media on gessoed masonite ( wood)











2.5 by 3.5 ACEO on gessoed masonite. varnished in matte varnish with uvl .  $15.00 plus 2.5 for postage

I love working with gessoed masonite.  I have the option of painting in watercolor, pastels, oil or acrylics. its a great surface.  I make these myself. I have them cut by my handyman who will cut up a dozen at a time.  I also ask him to cut some 8 by 10 sizes because that seems to be the most popular size for daily paintings

lilly pad 8


This Watercolor is 4 by 4, (inches ) A watercolor on gessoboard & is for sale for $30.00 Plus S& H.
I painted this in the deductive manner. That means: I painted it and before it dried I used a wet brush to pulled out the objects from the still damp paint. Then, I allowed it to dry and later filled in the objects with another light glaze of paint. In this case the lighter color of yellow green.

Evening Pond

This painting is on gessoed masonite and is 6 inches by 6 inches.  $40.00
The koi are painted in watercolor.
The temperature today was very warm, about 80 degrees and I took the opportunity to clean my back porch and potted some flowers, oh yeah and some seeds.
I threw away two BIG garbage bags of trash, junk that was sitting outside all winter and stuff that just didn’t hold up to the weather. It all needed to be thrown away. Lots of dog toys, leaves and and old broken crockery. It looks better and now I just have to dig up the dirt and re pot the rest of the pots so this summer we have a whole summer of flowering plants. I planted two really large elephant ears, I love their tropical look and usually plant one or two each year. I also planted morning glories and hollyhocks which are both some of my favorite flowers.
I really wanted to get back to my larger paintings, I’m painting several commissions right now and I would like to get them finished because I’d like to paint something for myself. When I’m really working hard outside I do enjoy it but I am thinking of my painting the whole time and what it needs and when I get back to it, what I’ll change. I think most artist do this. Often I’ll dream about a painting and this drives me to get it finished. It ‘s like reading a good book and you can’t wait to get back to it to see how it ends!

Clayboard verses paper, a watercolorist’s dilemma.

People write to me often and ask me why I paint on surfaces other than paper. Some folks have always challenged my methods because they are not traditional in nature. The use of heavy pigment at times almost straight from the tube, the use of spray fixative and of course the use of non traditional painting surfaces. First, I would mention that this is nothing new, people have been painting on gessoed masonite for over 40 years. I’m sure canvas, wood and other supports have always been available to watercolorists and have been used as well. I started painting on other surfaces for several reasons. I’ve painted on paper for more than 20 years and feeling like i was missing something, wanted to branch out. I’ve always like experimentation & now that I’m confident of my painting skills, wanted to see what else is out there for the watercolorist. There is a lot of work in the area of water media, which is exciting and fresh and not limited by the traditional restrictions of watercolor on paper. Even our state (SC) watercolor society changed their name to watermedia society and this made me realize that things were changing. The South Carolina watercolor society has always been at the forefront of new artistic avenues and being a part of it was important to me. I also found that sales of my paintings on clay board, canvas or gessoed masonite were selling for a higher price than the works on paper. These surfaces are actually easier to paint on once you learn their limitations and yet give the artist many ways to express an idea. Without having to plan ahead, and the ability to correct mistakes easily it helps the artist be more in the moment. It also allows the artist (especially the new artist) a certain amount of freedom that watercolor on paper can only do after many years of experience. I still love watercolor on paper and probably always will. It not that one is better than another but they offer the artist variety and a challenge. Also… why is it that we watercolor  artists feel we must restrict ourselves for traditional methods. Some of these methods aren’t even traditional but have just recently ( within the last 40 years) become rules. For instance the forbidden use of white paint, Turner, Homer, & Sargent all used white paint. I love the look of white paper but don’t see anything wrong with using white if the painting calls for it.

Here are three examples of very similar paintings on three different surfaces. Fom a distance they look very much the same but up close they have a slight variation in texture.  The one on the right is traditional 140 lb paper. The one in the middle is gessoed masonite and the last is illustration
(#100 )board.

DSCF2190 Gessoed masonite illustration board

watercolor paper



6 by 6 gessoed masonite

For those that have been following my entry into the Cal show, I didn’t win any awards but I am thrilled to have my work hanging in the show along with so many other great artist’s work.

The show had a good variety of art and I feel there was a good mix of mediums and subjects. Landscapes, figures, sculpture, realistic work and abstracts were well represented. I noticed the judge had a preference for work which left something for the viewer to determine.  Art where everything wasn’t spelled out seemed to be the theme of the show.   Also: artists who used a variety of edges, ( although one piece which won an award was all hard edge) and or used a veriety of textures seemed to be well represented. 

You can”t really sum up a show because there were the exceptions for all of these things… but if I were to sum up the show… I would say…less is more.


Koi Curiosity Watercolor on Gessoed Masonite

koiredandbrown.jpg5.75 by 5.75

 Watercolor on gessoed masonite  $38.00, This piece is sealed so it may be framed without glass. I gessoed this and made the texture sort of go in a vertical pattern .   I painted it Brown and Red and a Wine color.  Then I pulled out the fish and painted their local color back into the spaces.  I sprinkled water on the surface and pulled a towel across the surface which gave it a little bit of texture.

 This isn’t 6 by 6 because my brother was cutting these boards for me and when this one went thru… I guess it got stuck and he had to recut it so the edge wouldn’t have a gouge.    This artist thing isn’t as simple as painting a picture, there’s lots of prep work.  I can see why artists had apprentices. I usually get my brother to do the cutting and sometimes he does the gesso work too.   

Its been a busy day, I did books or about 5 or 6 hours and then  I’ve been out cleaning the yard. Its spring and the trees look great with their new buds.  I don’t have any excuse ( I hate cold weather) ,  Now that its warm, I have to get my porch cleaned off and my pots washed, you know the routine.   I have a wood deck so I’ll pressure wash it and clean up my Terra-cotta pots, buy some potting soil for my flowers and work in my beds.  I bought some seeds & I want to get them started so this summer I’ll have some flowers.  It may take me a week cause I also have to clean up my brother’s place.    I store stuff over there,  he only lives across the street, boy, it seems like I need to get rid of some junk.  I give the stuff to goodwill,  of course, my accountant says I should get receipts for my goodwill donations but I never do.  I guess I’ll take some things over and get one, if only just to make him happy.  

Work in progress… opps this was posted on the wrong blog

This was supposed to go to my painting a week blog go there to see the rest of the project as I finish the painting

I’ve put the first day’s work (painting) up again because I didn’t realize I had put up a thumbnail. this should be easier to see.

This piece is on stretched ( WN) canvas. The canvas was coated with several goats of Acrylic gesso and allowed to dry. I actually painted the gesso on leaving it with a rough texture that is more or less going across the canvas as the water is. I think if you click on the picture it will enlarge. Perhaps you can see some of the texture. If you have never done this, it can be fun. You can use just about anything from a spatula, sponge, fingers, bristle brushes and drag these things thru the moist gesso to leave marks. Then allow it to dry.

Koi Carnival … watercolor on gessoed masonite


this is an eight by eight watercolor on gessoed masonite. $50.00

I just found out both of my entries into the “spring into art” juried show got into the show. I’ll take photos of the pieces so you can see them. I’m happy my work is in the show but it would be even better if one of the pieces won an award. They said there were over 150 pieces of art work entered, so I was really surprised and happy to have both of my paintings get in.

I think 50 to 60 pieces were accepted. The show is this Friday nite, cross your fingers for me!

Spring Koi SOLD

16 by 20 Acrylic on Canvas $350.00 Shipping is $10.00

I will paint Your Koi if you send me a photo, you of course will receive first refusal for the piece. I will maintain the copyright and all artist rights.

My price list is

Daily paintings
ACEO 15.00
4 by 4 = 30.00
 6 by 6 = 40.00
 8 by 8 = 50.00
 8 by 10 = 75.00
Most of these will ship for $5.50 in US

Larger paintings

11 by 14 or 15 = 300.0
16 by 20 = 350.0
18 by 24 = 400.0
24 by 24 = 450.00

odd sizes or commissioned pieces are quoted by actual size not the framed size.

Items can be painted in WC, egg tempra, acrylic, or pastel on….
Wood, paper, clayboard, canvas, gessoed masonite, Illustration board, and slate.