This was the first big painting I did many years ago on a full sheet of heavy weight YUPO - 40 inches long by 26 inches wide. All the weights of YUPO are the same exact surface and accept the paint the same, but since YUPO doesn't absorb water at all, no matter what the weight is, it never stretches or warps like regular cotton watercolor paper does when it's wet.

I prefer the heavy weight over the lighter YUPO just because it's easier to handle. The light weight YUPO is very flimsy, so if I move the painting at all while I'm working on it, I have little control over how easily the paper flops around. Medium weight YUPO is ok to work on, too, and recently I've used the fairly flimsy translucent YUPO. Because you can see through what's called Transparent YUPO, it's easy to trace a drawing through it onto the surface.

Did you know that if you erase on YUPO, the eraser makes an invisible mark that won't ever accept paint? Using watercolor pencils - Derwent brand is best - works well for drawing on YUPO because you can 'erase' mistakes with a moistened tissue.

These colorful 'boats' in Maine were so vibrant in all that marine wilderness, that I knew they'd become a painting on YUPO. Anything with dancing colors looks extremely good on YUPO, since the colors stay put, never fading on the paper. Often, on cotton watercolor paper, the colors look spectacular while they are wet, then once the paint dries, the color looses it's pop. (Can you tell I'm very partial to all the good qualities of painting on YUPO?)

Whatever we paint on, the most important thing we can do is to 'tell' others what's important to us, how we see the world in our own special way. The materials and techniques we use certainly affect how we express ourselves, but being an artist involves creating something that lets others see our own personal point of view. Otherwise, we're just decorating the canvas or paper with some nice colors, textures, and shapes.

One of these days, I'm going to order a whole roll of YUPO. Imagine how big those paintings will be!

"FRIENDSHIP COMPLETED" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO, 40 x 26"



Pulled out of the archives, this painting was practice for a bigger one and painted while I had my reference photo in front of me. In early fall, eight of us from three different classes will be painting in beautiful Italy, and we'll be painting from real life, not photos.

Working outside on location has some strong advantages. The emotion of the moment, the inspiration, the smells, the breeze, the sun, the action, our reaction, all of it is there when you paint on location. Somehow it adds to the energy in the painting. We'll sure experience it this fall - can't wait!

"WAITING IN FRIENDSHIP" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO, 14 x 10"



This frisky fellow decided to be on patrol today while I sat on the deck and painted. Actually, I probably spent more time taking photos of him than painting.

Unless I stood up and moved around my table toward him, he would not leave. And when I did make him scoot, he'd snatch one last kernel of corn before he'd scamper down the post.

This shot's with a telephoto, but I'm still only 5 feet from him the whole time he munches his lunch. And he can put it away, too!

Years ago, my husband wrote a great story about a big white oak, which included a squirrel. Maybe it's time to illustrate it and get this little creature published. I did drawings as illustrations after Bob completed the story, but paintings and photos would be more fun. Getting the book into print is also much easier now, too. I've talked myself into a new project!

I love his little paws. Awwwwwe. Better get back to painting.



Artists can be notorious for not giving up on a painting..... all that time and effort, let alone the paint and paper expense. We keep at it no matter how bad it gets - we can be such a stubborn bunch.

Fortunately, most of us have discovered that we can salvage parts of a painting by cropping. I'm posting the original painting below that really must be cropped into smaller shapes. Here you see my future book mark, business card, greeting card, a coaster? and possible grocery list! (I'm just kidding... I'll pitch it before I go to all that hassle.)
The poor composition and design made the painting a loser from the start, and that circle of the roses was my fatal mistake.

Although I really liked the way the paint hit the paper 'loosey juicy style,' the overall painting just didn't happen. Got the title right, though:-) Since it's overly sweet, it's appropriately named "COTTON CANDY," on 140#CP Arches, and presently about 14 x 20" - from the archives.