A peak into a part of our courtyard at the old convent.  The railing on the far left is by the stairs that lead up to our art studio. 

I’ll be teaching my 7th Watermedia Workshop there in July, 2022.   See the sidebar for more info.   Spouses are welcome, too, and can read in the spacious gardens, swim in the pool, or take a long hike around the ‘block’ to see sheep and the quaint countryside while we paint, and of course, they will go on our excursions with us to nearby villages and markets. 

See sidebar for more info. Hope you’ll join us.



Graphite and fluid acrylics on Yupo with added texture from stamping gesso first.  Lots of fun!
I’ll be teaching this process in March, 2021.  See side bar for more info.


Pigeon Politics
On Yupo, with watercolor and wettable graphite as well as some gesso.
Love this new process! 


The Cost

There’s no other pix to share on good Friday but this painting done with just three da Vinci watercolors and two brown watercolor pencils.

Here’s my long-winded description of how the painting happened:

I’m housesitting 1000 miles from home, and I’d packed a few paints and a big sheet of arches watercolor paper - 22 x 30” - and some oiler boilers I’d Just ordered from CheapJoe’s. I used a comb dipped in Miskit to save some streaks of pure white on the left hand end of the long paper.

While the miskit dried, I made three separate bottles with Da Vinci watercolors - Hansa yellow, phthalo blue, and red rose deep, mixing with water in those three oiiler boiler’s until they were really dissolved. (Weird how even now I know the names and brands I used.)

My intent was to enjoy painting, splashing, misting, squirting colors together to make a kind of background to build a painting on, maybe even an abstract. It was a ‘vacation’ away from responsibilities and ongoing busy life.

Spontaneous and fun (but my sprayer wasn’t very good.) I stood the painting upright and let it drip while I went and put on a bathing suit. There was a perfectly good hot tub waiting to be used.

While enjoying the luxury of that hot tub, I remember looking at the splashes of beautiful colors with all the drips, and couldn’t wait for it to dry so I could take off that Miskit to see how those resulting white streaks were going to  fit in the picture, whatever it turned out to be.

Turning the paper different directions after the Miskit was removed helped me decide which way would be up. I’m a planner who likes to be in control, so this was all new to me.

Well, dang!  The only blasted thing I could ‘see’ amidst all those pretty colors was a man’s profile with a nose bigger than Jimmy Durante’s. And the white lines left by the Miskit seemed to suggest a woven sort of hat on top of the head shape. Or crown of thorns.

That did it. I certainly wasn’t EVER going to paint another “religious” picture of any kind. I changed into street clothes, leaving that vibrant pink, gentle yellow, and turquoise blue painting sitting in the hot Texas sun. I grabbed keys to the car I had to use and remembered how to get to Walmart. I needed a decent sprayer, after all.

Probably seven steps into Walmart, I didn’t hear it or see it or think it - but I KNEW the title to the painting. It was to be titled “The Cost.”  At least that was settled. Bought only a sprayer and headed back to the house.

I set up a studio space inside. Good lighting. Air conditioned. I needed a mirror.  And to figure out something to eliminate and to add in to bring this painting along. Watercolor pencils I’d packed😊 I really wanted to keep all the pretty pink drips and not touch them.

First thing I did was to pare that gargantuas nose down to Jewish proportions as best I knew how. Needing a more distinct eye, I’d look in that mirror at my eye as I partially closed it like I was in torture. Easy to do considering the past few years of trying to survive being super mom, super good church person etc. You get the ‘torture’ part, right?

Eye was the easiest, mouth, the most challenging. Hair was tentatively placed with thorns added onto crown. Set it above the mantle to critique. What to do next?

Then the house owner came home, surprising me, several days early!!!  I was embarrassed to have this fresh new piece of my heart blaring out into his home so blatantly. He saw it and said something like “that’s really nice,”. Very kindly cause he’s a kind brother.

But I didn’t yet know why it was called The Cost. Took a while. Seems I’d thought if only I could get it all right, do a perfect job, quit screwing up, I’d be worth something. But HE paid that cost long ago. I could relax and lean on Him. Still learning that over 30 years later. He’s still patiently showing me. Love is beautiful.

And that’s why today is called GOOD FRIDAY. All good


Goofy Giraffe

Using Fluid Acrylics over watercolor paper that was previously covered with various textural products as well as colors, I had so much fun painting this goofy giraffe.  In the photo I took at the zoo of him, his ears were turned back and not visible, so I had to ‘add’ both ears. Below is how the surface looked earlier, before glazes of Fluid Acrylics were added.
Goofy Giraffe”. 11x14” Collected


Painting Birds Workshop

Learn how to create textured subjects with wettable graphite in Sandy’s upcoming workshop in March (see side bar on the right.)  It’s fun, easy, and fabulously full of texture.
Sandy will,share about her recent visit to the factory in Portugal where this special graphite is produced.  This two day workshop will be in her studio near Cincinnati, OH.  Hope to see you there. 


Art Show!

Our art show will open December 8th from 1 to 4pm at The Barn, at The Women’s Art Club in Mariemont/Cincinnati, Ohio. With over 40 artists showing their work, you’ll see such diversity in both technique and subject matter. Each artist presently attends my open studio sessions each week, and the talent is amazing. If you’re in the area, please stop by. Free admission and refreshments, too.

Memories” Acrylic and gesso on Arches cold pressed with acrylic ground 11x15”


Wet and Wild Workshop

Alcohol Inks and Watercolor on YUPO  12x7"  Available 
This January, we will be in The Villages, Florida, for a four day workshop.  The first two days will include my techniques using alcohol inks with watercolor, as seen in this painting of a sea turtle. Color and texture are incredibly striking with these techniques.

Beginners thru advanced are welcome.  See the sidebar on the right for more info about this workshop.  

Hope to see you there.



TRAINING WHEELS   Fluid Acrylics on Yupo
12x17" Collected

Fairborn Art Association hosted my Yupo workshop this past week near Dayton, Ohio.  This painting was the first demo I did showing how to use Fluid Acrylics on Yupo with my Tape Batik process.  It's called Tape Batik because the way the paint leaks under the edges of the tape on the Yupo looks a lot like a silk Batik.  The second photo below shows the first layer of tape covered by the first layer of paint.  It's an intense process with considerable planning involved, but so worth it for the results.

Their art association was so positive, very creative, and we had an extremely productive week!  Thanks so much for asking me to teach there.  They are an excellent organization!

My next workshop is in The Villages, Florida, in January, then in February, Calgary, Canada.  Join us if you can.  See the right hand sidebar for more info.



Four years ago!  That's the last time any new paintings were
posted on my blog.  Think it's about time!  

This is on Yupo, 13x20", created using fluid acrylics first, 
in a watercolor like wash of similar values plus colors that I 
liked.  Next, isopropyl alcohol was used to carefully lift off 
the lighter shapes, and finally, the darks were painted in
with watercolor on top of the acrylic.  Much of the original 
Acrylic wash is left untouched, showing the glow of 
that first layer of color.



A statue of a Spanish dignitary seems very attentive to these two Catalonian pigeons.  This is a TAPE BATIK done on YUPO with Fluid Acrylics.  I had to paint it because it made me laugh when I saw them having their discussion with the robed figure in Barcelona.  This was one of the demos from our YUPO workshop a couple of weeks ago here in my studio, and lots of adjustments were made once the tape was removed.

"A Little Birdie Told Me"  Fluid Acrylics and Watercolor on YUPO  12 x 18"


YUPO and French Cooking!

This array of cooking utensils is put to hard work when we are at our workshop in France.  Next year we will be there in October,  painting in the studio as well as on site, but always coming back to LVC for delicious meals.  It is the best!!!
"COOK'S QUARTERS" Fluid Acrylics and watercolor on YUPO 26x40"



Spring in full bloom is perfect to paint on YUPO.  The colors are
 so vibrant since the paint never soaks into the 'paper.'
Exploring shapes and values while making texture the
 'Queen of the Show'
 is exciting on this slick surface called YUPO.
So many techniques to explore with this surface....here I have
employed my own 'TAPE BATIK' method on YUPO.
Another painting using my TAPE BATIK process.
Color and texture become even more appealing on YUPO.

Paintng on YUPO can be challenging, especially for portraits.
 But it is so forgiving and fixable, too.
Impressionism, absrtact art, realism... any subject and style can be
painted on YUPO using a variety of mediums.  My favorite is
Fluid Acrylics on YUPO with watercolor added as needed.  Hope you
 are painting on this surface that some call an ice rink for paint.  Try it!
Check out the YUPO workshops on my side bar for
more info about learning how to paint on YUPO.




A light dusting of snow on the ground looks so beautiful this time of year.  So far,  it's been a decently mild winter with a bit of a recent cold snap. 

The birds love eating at the feeders, and seeing them from my studio is a joy.  Here's one of the cardinals, painted on hot pressed Arches, 140#, with watercolor.

"Dressed in Red"   Transparent Watercolor on 140#HP Arches 10x15"  COLLECTED



May your Christmas be full of JOY, PEACE, HOPE, and LOVE.



Finished, again.....  Changes on Yupo are so easy to make, once you figure how what changes to make to improve the painting.  

Using the Valueviewer Ap, I snapped pictures of the painting before and after, then switched each photo to a Notan, showing the dark and light value patterns in the pictures.   The pattern which dark and light shapes make in a painting is the first thing we notice from a distance.   If it is a good pattern with good shapes, we will want to see it closer.

"St. Emilion" Fluid Acrylics and Watercolor on YUPO 26x34"
Finished Pattern
Step 1
Good patterns have interlocking and overlapping shapes which are irregular, unpredictable, and move somewhat diagonally through the picture.  Notice how more predictable and regular the pattern is in Step 1, the black and white taken from last week's post.  The Finished Pattern of the finished painting has more irregularity to hold the viewer's interest longer. 

Same picture, different placement of darks and lights.
How many times have we loved a painting because of the colors?  The textures? The subject matter?   But without a really good pattern of lights and darks, a painting will soon become less exciting no matter how great the subject, colors, or textures.



Our workshop is beginning to fill up for next year's French workshop.  The processes shown here will be shared during our eleven days at Le Vieux Couvent.  We'll be exploring YUPO in many unique ways.

This is from one of the villages in the beautiful Dordogne region, so picturesque and paintable! 

'St. Emilion'  Watercolor and Fluid Acrylics on YUPO 26 x 34"



Painted on Yupo with fluid acrylics, this painting shows wash day in Le Vieux Couvent in France.  Lisa, Leslie, and Paula headed back to the studio to paint as soon as the laundry was hung to dry. 

Next September we will be painting on Yupo, also known as Lana Vanguard in Europe, for the eleven days we are in Frayssinet.  Sooo many possibilites and creative adventures abound when we paint on Yupo!  For more workshop info, please contact Sandy.

"WASH DAY"  Fluid Acrylics on Yupo 19 x 19"



Capturing a feeling is what many artists, including myself, hope to do when creating a painting.  The casual French country gardens at Le Vieux Couvent in France were so inviting and intriguing.  On every path there was a new surprise, and exploring the gardens was always inspiring.  

Watercolor on 140# Arches
15 x 22"
This scene, from a photo taken during this year's French workshop, shows some of their ancient steps as well as the charming, natural beauty of the area.  Capturing the feeling of really being there still eludes me, though.  Using my tape batik process, I painted the picture after I was back in the states. 

Next year's French workshop will be in September, perfect timing for all the grapes growing at LVC.  Everyone speaks English so comminication was easy, too.  The meals were the BEST ever ever ever, and we were so well taken care of.  It was a total immersion into 10 days of creativity.

Can't wait to return.  Please contact me if you would like to know more about this future workshop --- see the side bar on the right.  Being there was incredible!!!!!!!!!!



"CREATIVITY IMMERSION" Fluid Acrylics and transparent Watercolor on YUPO 26 x20"

Last month, our YUPO workshop in Frayssinet, France was an experience of a lifetime.  And I'll be going back in Septemebr of 2013 to teach another workshop there. 
Words cannot describe!  The location, so French country; the studio, excellent; the accomodations, superb in a finely refurbished ancient convent; and the food!  Unsurpassed!!!  Each and every meal was delectable, presented so beautifully and so delicious!   French gardens, a pool for an afternoon dip, a lilypad pond to enjoy while reading a book or sketching, flowers, a courtyard for our lunches and late afternoon apertifs'.  Life was so good.  Can't wait to return.  Each of us felt like we had been totally immersed into ten glorious days of creativity.
Email me at sandymaudlin@gmail.com to find out more about the workshop experience for next year. 



These fireworks are finished!  Yeah!  The Grand Finale is always full of ooh and ahhs, and the show we saw that evening was awesome.  This is watercolor on YUPO with Fluid Acrylics.  Lots of fun, yet challenging to do. 

"Grand Finale!" Fluid Acrylics and Transparent Watercolor on YUPO 20 x 26" COLLECTED
Off to the studio to pack for the France workshop.. lots of treats in store for everyone there next week. 



Painting on a new surface is always exciting and challenging, and the last time I painted on Indian paper was about twenty years ago.  This paper, Punjab, comes in a beautiful, handmade book, sold at Daniel Smith in Seattle.  I loved the paper! 
This little sketch book will be going to Frayssinet, France with me very soon where, hopefully, it will be filled with paintings of the beautiful French countryside.
Inspiration for this quick painting came from a rainy night in France last spring.  This couple was splashing through the rain while crossing Pont Marie. 

Thanks, Linda, for the great sketch book!

"Pont Marie"  Watercolor on 140# Rough Punjab Paper  4 x 7"



Watching fireworks is lots easier than painting them.  This is my first attempt, using fluid acrylics on Yupo.  The real show was spectacular overlooking Lake Wawasee.  The next painting will be considerably larger.  This was a trial run, and my hope is to capture that intense, breathtaking, spectacular display of light, texture, and color without making a garish painting.

                                                        "WOW!"   Fluid Acrylics on Yupo 5 x 7"



There is a feeling in Venice that's magical.  Such a beautiful and paintable place... especially if you wander the less traveled areas.  This painting is of the most visited spot, St. Mark's Square with the Doge's Palace, and the surface it's painted on is YUPO.  Both texture and color are just phenomenal on YUPO, and it seems like play when painting on this slick surface. 

YUPO is called Lana/Vanguard in Europe.  In August, I'll be teaching a ten day workshop, in Frayssinet, France, all about YUPO! 

There are numerous approaches to painting on this 'paper,' and it will be so much fun to explore all those possibilities while being wined and dined by Bill and Corinne at Le Vieux Couvent

Open to all artist who love to paint

A special technique I developed will be included in the instruction - Tape Batik on YUPO - along with many, many other special YUPO processes to help you create your own masterpieces.  Join us!  Click on Bill and Corinee's name above for all the info or contact Kristin at dancingsun404@yahoo.com for more info.  I can't wait.

"PALACE PEOPLE" Fluid Acrylics and Watercolor on YUPO 19 x 26"



For our workshop at Kanuga last week, in North Carolina, we were to bring something we collected or at least pictures of what we collected.  It's GIRAFFES, of course, for me.  Our assignment the first day was to use something from our collection and meld it into a painting to include something from nature from Bruce's unique collection - of bones and shells of animals. 

Below is my result.  A turtle shell, with beautiful markings on it, combined with my marble giraffe from Italy, with no spots on her and a broken leg (later super glued back together.)

We let our imaginations take over as we developed our pictures.  This is YUPO collaged onto YUPO, with fluid acrylics, watercolor, and watercolor pencil.  FUN!  My Tape Batik process was also used for layering the first four washes.  The Independent Layering Process helped add to the finished effects.

"SO ALIKE; SO DIFFERENT"  Fluid Acrylics, Watercolor, Alcohol, Watercolor Pencils on YUPO 14x20"


NATURE TO ABSTRACT - the Beginning

Getting to take a workshop instead of give one is like receiving a gift.  Last week was a glorious week spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina at the Kanuga Watermedia Workshop.  Bruce Bobick was my instructor for the first four days, and his class had a huge impact on my art and my life. 

This is my painting for the second assignment we were given.  Each day we received at least one new challenge to provoke our thinking and our approach to creating meaningful art.

More to come soon.  

"GOLDIE"  Fluid Acrylics on YUPO  12 x 20" COLLECTED



Opening this Friday, April 13, Indianapolis, Indiana in Broadripple.  



I met Grandpa Otter when he was paddling around in the small fishing cove in Homer, Alaska.  He was waiting for the day's catch to show up so he could enjoy a free supper.  He seemed nearly friendly as he posed for us. 
Original Otter Painting
The original painting, above, was completed over ten years ago then framed.  Recently I removed the painting from the frame and decided to make adjustments.  Since it's watercolor on YUPO, it was easy to remove paint and add paint. 

First I spritzed the surface with water and squeegeed away some areas around the otter.  (See revised painting below.)  Using a flattened tissue, I lifted the spritzed droplets of water/paint off the torso and feet of the otter to lighten that area since it seemed too important in the original.  Still, the otter didn't have the delight I felt when I first saw this gorgeous creature.
Adjusted Otter Painting
Cropping is such a wonderful tool to use at times.  This was one of those times for sure.  After cropping off those awkward looking legs and punching up the color in the water, he was looking better.  Some warms were added to the face to contrast more with the cools of the water.  It's framed again!  Now I like it.  He was so adorable! 
Finished Otter Painting on YUPO
GRANDPA OTTER Watercolor on YUPO 13 x 19"



We have enjoyed the easiest winter ever here in the midwest.  Still, I am totally ready for spring to be here.  The next ten days should be wonderful with all temperatures above 40 at night and shirt sleeve weather during the daytime!   Awesome. 

This batik was painted/waxed earlier and just finished this past week.  Though we can't plant tulips here --- they are 'deer candy' --- I do love all the colors and varieties of tulips.  The daffodils are blooming in the garden right now, too.  Hope you enjoy spring.

"Sunkissed Springtime" Watercolor and Sumi Ink on Washi  20 x 14"



Last month nine artists explored new ways to handle paint on YUPO.  We painted for three days, and after watching my demos, each artist jumped right in, creating unique, beautiful works of art.  Below you'll see the results.  It was so exciting to watch as everyone explored what they could create on this wonderful, slippery surface.

Some pieces would still be worked on after the workshop, too.  I think you will enjoy the diversity and talent of this show of their awesome work.........
Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Diane Kiemeyer

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Carol Schmidt

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Karen Goldstein

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Bonnie Rupe

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Suzanne Giltner

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Kathy Wirth

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Kathy Sarlo

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Lorri Davis

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Mike Impink

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Carol Schmidt

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Mike Impink

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Lorri Davis

The workshoppers in action

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Kathy Sarlo

Fluid acrylic and watercolor on YUPO by Mike Impink

Fluid acrylic on YUPO by Mike Impink