This YUPO painting is one of the very first ones I did back when I was just discovering why some colors pounced on others and pushed them out of the way so fast. I called them 'pushy' colors in a class once, referring to them several times that way, 'pushy.' The next week, one of the ladies asked me where to buy that brand of watercolors. She'd been all over town and couldn't find them.

Sooo ----- pushy colors are heavier in particle size, less finely ground, and they quickly sink to the bottom of a puddle, spreading out along the slick surface of the YUPO. When mixing just 'pushy' colors together, they get along, but when put in a puddle of finely ground color, like a phthalo or quinacridone color, WOW!!! Lots of action.

Click on photo, and you can see the 'pushy' color effect on the side of the red ship. I used only pushy colors in the sky because I wanted it to stay put and be as smooth as possible. (This was before the days of using a foam roller to smooth the colors on YUPO.)

All cobalts, most earth pigment like siennas and umbers, and cerulean are 'pushy.' There are lots more, so you'll have to try your own paints in puddles of phthalos or quinacridones to see how they behave on YUPO. Once you know what ones work against each other, then you can make good choices about the effects you want to happen on YUPO.

"DEEP SEA DREAMS" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO 25 x 19"



Texture is so compelling. I MUST paint it as much as possible. It's fun and fascinating. And it's found everywhere.

Andrew Wyeth's paintings, especially his egg tempera masterpieces, display incredible textures. He, of course, spends hours/days/weeks/months perfecting and practicing one small feature of a future painting before attempting the finished work. He's raised the level of the true meaning of 'practice makes perfect!' And his diligence has been recognized internationally and rewarded. He is a master.

This roofscape with its angles and geometric shapes (and all that texture) begged me to paint it. I'm tempted to put something alive in it - a trite pigeon? Whatever I think of seems too predictable. Any ideas?

This painting will be shown next month in an art show which I'm sponsoring to show off work done by artists in all of my current art classes.

The show will open in Cincinnati's Sharon Woods Park on Feb. 16, with an artist's reception on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 1 to 4. Everyone's are invited. We will be open from 10 to 5 from Feb.15 through the following Sunday, Feb.24. With more than 30 artists displaying their work, it will be quite a show. Most of the paintings will be for sale. If you're in the area, please stop in, enjoy the artwork, and say 'hi.'

"TIME GOES BY" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 18 x 25"



There are times when just ''being able to create'' is all I really want to do. That need to produce a 'product,' 'a finished painting' or 'something to show for my time' becomes irrevelant. Enjoying the moment takes over, and art becomes playtime, like when I was five years old.

Those moments happen in almost every painting, but the best is when I spend a couple of days in that mode. No expectations. Only exploration.

This painting was like that. It doesn't 'look' like most of my paintings, but I really love it for the journey it took me on. Click on it to enjoy all the textures better.

Painting freely is like having a big cardboard box to play in, making believe it's anything I want it to be. Open ended possibilities. Like dancing when no one's watching!

"ACCORDING TO PLAN" Fluid Acrylic Watercolors and Tube Acrylics on 140#CP Arches 30 x 22"



Small strips of paper, including rice papers, torn into various sizes, plus a lot of mat medium used as glue, helped create this thirsty creature. There's nothing better than a stack of failed paintings to use for a collage, either. The trick is to find the perfect match of value and color for each shape of the new painting.

By the time I was done, some areas of this 'painting' were raised off the paper a whole lot because I'd kept adding more and more pieces to get the look I wanted. Collage is freeing for me to do, but incredibly messy. I usually look like Charlie Schultz's 'Pig Pen' by the time I'm done. There are bits of papers EVERYWHERE plus my fingers are thickly coated with dried mat medium.

In a workshop I once took, someone asked the master of collage, Gerald Brommer, how to know when there was too much collage on the paper. His reply - When it's too heavy to pick up! I enjoyed his workshop very much and highly recommend him as an excellent teacher.

I like this whole collage process because the final painting is actually made up of small pieces of many, many, many painting attempts that didn't turn out right. Recycled disasters!

"LONG DRINK OF WATER" Transparent Watercolor on Assorted, Torn Watercolor Surfaces, Glued Down with Acrylic Mat Medium to Arches 300#CP 11 x 19" SOLD



Painting commissions is usually about the LAST thing I want to do, unless it's of an animal. For some reason, I really enjoy painting dogs and cats. Painting them is a lot easier than caring for them, though not as rewarding.

That these three guys each had such unique personalities became very evident even though I only spent an hour taking their pictures. They were all labs, but each looked markedly different. Creating two separate and interesting paintings of the same three animals did present a challenge, though.

I seldom take commissions now because of the inspiration factor. Is there a magic way to 'get inspired' to do a commission other than being broke? I doubt that money motivates very many artists to be creative, and I usually find it to be so difficult to work up an interest in the subject matter of a commission.

"THREE'S A CROWD" 16 x 12" - top painting
"READY, SET, GO!" 30 x 22" - lower painting --- Both done with Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches SOLD