Next week I'm to paint a demo for the Cincinnati Art Club. It's one of the oldest art clubs in America, and the dinner meeting will be well attended.

I'm considering what to paint for the demo. The club leans strongly towards conventional art - lots of landscapes, still lifes, and portraits in oils, pastels, some sculpture, so my thoughts are to expand their horizons on materials. This small study was done this summer in oil, and I really like how it turned out. I'm wondering - should I paint it again really large, on YUPO, and in watercolor for the demo? I think so!

Another option would be to paint it on a big sheet of hot pressed paper, maybe 26 x 40" using fluid watercolor acrylics. I consider the new 'fluid acrylics' to be watercolors since they act and look exactly the same, except for the fact that the acrylic stays put, can't be easily lifted once dry ..... a benefit and a hinderance depending on the situation.

It's a bit of a change to use an 'oil study' for a watercolor painting. Conventional practice does it the other way around. My hope is to maintain the impressionistic look done in the oil study. This will be fun.

"AFTER CLASS" Oil study on paper - 6 x 9" (The paper will eventually disintegrate due to the oil on it.)



When I paint on YUPO, I feel like I'm having a party. The ''''rules''''' of watercolor, which can be so daunting, are no longer in effect on YUPO. It's all play and fascination watching the paint as it moves in its peculiar ways on the slick surface, and I'm always intrigued by what happens without my help.
It was funny watching one of the kids at the new year's eve party at my big brother's house. She was probably an eighth grader, (oops, actually in high school,) and when I began painting this picture, she glanced at what I was doing and gave the whole scene a look of dismissal. A couple of hours later, as the painting was really coming into focus, I saw her eyes glance over at the painting and actually light up. To see that look of unanticipated amazement and appreciation in a young person's face is refreshing. We talked a bit about her art classes in school, and my hope is that she's encouraged to pursue her interests in the arts.
I had to put the tomato in the painting, not only for the color it added, but also because it's my favorite food in the whole world. The salsa that Mayte' made for me to take home has no tomato in it and is superb! It won't last long at our house.
"ALMOST SALSA" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO 19 x 12" SOLD



A blank canvas or piece of paper affects artists in different ways, even causing some to say that it paralyzes them. But I always feel excited when that blank piece of paper is before me, waiting on that first brushful of paint to liven it (and me) up.

A friend and I were together painting as I started this piece by first pressing pieces of torn masking tape onto the white paper, then painting randomly over them with colors I liked, drying it, adding more tape, then more paint, and so on until I had seven layers of tape and paint. The pic shown here is a bit lighter than it was - there were seven different values from light to dark.

This beginning stage, above (which is upside down from how I originally painted it,) shows the paint shapes and colors left after I'd removed all the masking tape. I had no pre-conceived idea of what my final painting would be, so at this point, my imagination had to get in gear to help 'find' the hidden painting.

Possibly because it was close to Kentucky Derby time, and we live close to Kentucky, one of my Kentucky art friends said she 'saw' a lady in the painting with a big Derby hat on. I liked the idea, so when I could finally imagine seeing her there too, I began to develop the painting in that direction. Thank you, Barb, for 'seeing.'

I took a photo of the original painting and overlaid it with tracing paper. Next, I laid out a design on that tracing paper to show where the medium and dark values would go. A paint brush, an elephant ear sponge to lift color off, and several hours of painting produced these results.

This turned out much more romatic than I usually paint, but it's proved to be a very eye catching painting. The finished painting (below) sold the day after it was dry!!! and many smaller giglees have been sold, also. Whatever the appeal of the picture is, I do not understand. In fact, it's not at all on of my favorite pieces. Funny how everyone's taste is different! I do know that I like to paint from chaos to control, from not knowing, to finding out what's there.

"FOREVER FREE" Transparent Watercolor and Gouache on 140# Hot Pressed Arches, 54 x 22" SOLD (giglee prints available)