Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Painting in Plein Air on the Patio

We had fun today during art class, outside on the
deck.  We painted a quickie watercolor of the
wisteria vine growing on the patio.  I demonstrated
this one for them, and they worked on theirs.  They turned
out pretty well, and we were warm in the sun...not
I am going to paint in the garden again this year in
Minden, Louisiana this Saturday.  I have my garden assignment,
and I will be there to set up early Saturday morning.  I will
try to post some of the results!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Swamp Time

Just a few more pics from the swamp.  This is Lake Martin,
my favorite stop on the way to my daughter's house. 
The landscape was also beautiful this day...there was a mist
in among the trees.  And the leaves are starting to come out on the
trees.  Pretty soon they will cover up the no more
photos for awhile. 

I hope you all had a blessed Easter with time to worship,
and time with family and friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Art Projects

Did a little stenciling this week in our little art
class.  Samuel is putting some color on the
sponge brush and adding it to the frame.

Claire's finished frame....cute



And then I started my own art project.  This is the wet into wet
background for a watercolor of the swamp.  I am going to add a bird
in the branches.  It may be a blue heron, maybe a white egret?

This is the original photograph I am using as a reference.  I took this
years ago when I went all the way through the Atchafalaya in a wooden
boat with Mr. Bob Carroll and Robert Mayeaux.  We went in the fall, as you
can see from the rusty color of the cypress trees.  It took us most of the
day to travel from near Breaux Bridge to Port Allen.  We stopped all
along the way for me to take pictures, like this one.  Fun memories

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Drawing on the Possibilities

If you have ever been to Venice, you know about the thousands of
pigeons that inhabit St. Mark's square.  But even if you haven't traveled to
Italy, you've probably seen batches of pigeons, hanging out in parks
or patios.  These were in Venice, and the larger photo was full of them.
I picked different ones to make up this composition, and then
linked their shadows together. 

If you have been to Liberty island, the home of the Statue of Liberty, you rode on this
ferry boat and docked at this landing.  These ornate chairs and tables are still
on this outdoor area, where families and tourists gather to chow down on
hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream cones.  I was there very late in the day one time,
and snapped this photo of the long shadows cast by the furniture.  I did this drawing
several years ago, interested in the different textures and patterns.

And you probably haven't been in my front yard?!, but you probably have seen
these beautiful Bradford pear trees in bloom.

You may be wondering what these three drawings have in
common, or why I am posting them all together now.  Well,
I just submitted all three for a chance to be published in the
new Northlight book called: Strokes 7  The Best of Contemporary
Drawing.  They publish these books every so often as compilations
of drawings by current artists. This book will feature drawings that
emphasize depth or an unusual viewpoint.  They are accepting 50%
black and white drawings, and the rest, color.  So, I thought these
met the criteria, and I decided to give them a try.  I won't hear
anything till September! so you will have to wait like I will to
hear something.  Fingers crossed

Watercolor Hero

Is this not beautiful?  This is a painting by Mort Solberg, one of my
heroes.  I have always LOVED his style...the loose wet background with
the detailed wildlife subject.  I was thrilled to get to see him
in action at the Susan K. Black foundation workshop a few
years ago in Wyoming.  They are currently holding a fund raiser for
a fellow artist involved with the workshop, John Phelps.  He is battling
cancer, and artists are banning together to raise money by donating their artwork.
I bought this print as part of the effort.  I just love it.

So, when the print arrived, I was intrigued with the technique, and decided to
try to imitate his style...just for fun.  I painted the wet loose background, sprinkling
salt on the dark blue areas.  Dabbing with a Kleenex lifts the paint and leaves the
ethereal misty parts.  When dry, I painted the egret with some acrylic paint,
and added the branch.  I like it.  I may try to adapt this method, and do
some of my own semi-abstract creations!
"Solberg" inspired Watercolor
11 x 14  $100

Phelps Phund on Facebook 
You can buy some artwork to support this cause

Sunday, April 13, 2014



This egret drawing is done...I tweaked the darks some.  Made the contrast
deeper.  And then worked on the bird a little more. 

I would still like to do some more of these egret subjects.  I am trying
 some now in watercolor, and there may be some
colored pencil ones too.

It is so ironic.  I am a Texan by birth.  I have lived in Louisiana
now, however for 35 years.  When I first opened the gallery,
I cannot tell you how many people asked me if I had
any "white bird in the swamp" paintings.  I was doing some
still life, lots of wildlife, and some architectural pieces. I didn't
have any swamp paintings at the time, and it would make me
slightly irritated.  The longer I lived here, the more fascinated
I became with the swamp.  And now I have done lots
of swamp scenes and photography.  Now I just need those
customers to come back!

Pointing the Way

This is the finished sign on the side of the wall, next to my
building in downtown Winnfield.  I had a chance to
paint yesterday, due to the nice weather. I rolled the white
paint on over the pink, and let it dry.  Then I did the lettering,
to encourage travelers to stop and shop!  We will see if it helps.
Since we are right next to the main highway, we have lots of travelers
through town.  They are on their way to Little Rock or New Orleans, to
Natchitoches or Natchez.  Maybe this will encourage them to take a
break, grab some lunch, and spend some money!
Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Undiscovered Treasure

Just when I think I have some great egret photos...I get some
more!!  These birds are nesting and roosting just south of
where I live.  I happened to notice them in a small lake
the other day, and managed to go back today.  I had to
walk through some high grass (with some rubber boots).
It wasn't too muddy, but I did see a snake skin stuck to
a nearby branch.  But the alligators and snakes did not
make an appearance!  whew! 

I have a few days to get some entries together for some shows.
I may be trying to whip one of these out in some watercolor!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Two Birds, One Stone

After I took these egret and swamp photos a couple of weeks ago,
I couldn't wait to try to draw one.  I selected this one.  I love the lighting,
and the composition.  I did a lot with the eraser...lifting out the Spanish moss,
and the highlighted feathers of the bird.  I still have some to do.  Especially now
that I see it side by side with the photo. 

I have the "Birds in Art" show to enter, and the "Strokes 7: the Best of
Drawing" book deadline approaching  The book editors are looking for
drawn subjects that emphasize depth and distance.   I thought
this drawing might "kill two birds with one stone". !!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blowing in the Wind

This is a whole collection of floral watercolors that I
designed as garden flags.  I am going to submit them to
Toland Flag Company as possible flags for them to

Speaking of gardens, I have been asked again to paint
 at the Minden Garden tour on Saturday, April 26th. They ask several artists
to be on location during the tour at each home.  I have done this several
times before, and it is quite enjoyable.  They have assigned my home, and
I am going to try to check out Google Maps and see if I can find it. 
Hopefully, the weather will cooperate, and I will be able to sell some
of the quickie watercolors I will do that day.  I also plan to take some of
my poppy bags, and other merchandise to sell too!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pick Up Time

My "Not So Angry Bird" at the Tom Peyton Memorial Art Show...
and the "Festival Award" (Best in Show)!!!

This is an oil painting by Margi Tate...very nice

I am not sure how this is done...but very interesting.

And I always love birds!

This watercolor is by Dr. Bill Bryant.  He was one of my
professors in college.  I took print making and watercolor from
him.  He has a very recognizable style, and always wanted his
students to develop one.

I like this oil the composition and color scheme.

I like this one too.  It has a very muted color scheme,
and looks like Louisiana bayous I know.

I picked up my entry today, and got to see a few of the
other pieces still there.  These are some of my
favorites.  I know a few of these artists, but the others
I was not familiar with. 

I finished painting the Natchitoches posters.  I will try
to deliver them this week.  Now, my drawing board is empty..
time for something new!