Do you hear what I hear?

May your Christmas be full of love, joy, and peace.



What a reception we had on Saturday evening!  As soon as we had everything ready to go, I took some more pictures of the work hung in the gallery from our Open Studio Sessions.  The doors opened at 5, and I took a few more pictures of people enjoying the show.  By 5:15, the place was packed!!!  I put the camera away and enjoyed a wonderful evening of being with friends, meeting new acquaintances, and appreciating some great art, as well as delicious refreshments. 
People really enjoyed the show, stopping to look at each of the paintings carefully.  Here are some of the comments our guests made to me ---

"I go to a lot of art shows, look them over, and leave. THIS ONE, however, is superb, and I've been spending time viewing each piece carefully."
"What excellent art that is so diverse.  I like how it shows the artist behind the work, and not the teacher:-)))"

"I'm coming back this week again to look over the show when it's not so crowded. The work here is so professional."

"You must be so proud of this show!" 
"The work in this show is amazing."
"The paintings are excellent, not a bad one here."
"This doesn't look like a 'normal' student show, where you can usually always see the influence of the instructor's painting style."

"I go to many many art show each year, and this is the best show I've been to in a really long time!"

And my favorite comment,  " This show makes me think that these artists have been set free to express themselves however they want. And the work is extremely well executed - just stunning." 
The comments made me proud of what everyone has been able to create.  Several guests were also art teachers who were really admiring the strengths of each painting. 
I was happy.  The purpose of this show is to feature the works that artists have created in Open Studio.  Knowing that others appreciate your art is very rewarding. 
My honey was also very busy shuttling people to and from the show to the overflow parking a few blocks away.  How I appreciate all he does to support me on this awesome art journey.
Many people were amazed, intrigued, and astounded by the various ways paintings were created. It was a classy show all the way around, thanks to all the artists in OPEN STUDIO.  The refreshments were provided by the artists also, and we went through a lot of wine, coffee, and apple cider, too.
Hours for the rest of the show are Tuesday from 9-2, closed Wednesday and Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, then open on Friday from 9-2 and on Saturday and Sunday from 12-4.
The facility where we have the show is newly refurbished and has been a wonderful venue for our art.   "Thank you" to the Women's Art Club of Cincinnati for letting us display our work.
There are four different Open Studio sessions each week.  Tuesday's Tribe meets for four and a half hours each Tuesday morning, and Wednesday's group calls themselves "It Takes a Village to Paint a Picture."  I call them Wednesday's VillageThursday Mornings also meet from 10 - 2:30 and Thursday Night's Alright meets from 6-9.  Some groups presently have a waiting list to get in since open studio is limited to fifteen artists per session.  You are welcome to contact me for more information about Open Studio.
Thanks for so much stopping by my blog to enjoy the show.



Our  Open Studio Show  opened yesterday at the Women's Art and Cultural Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Their huge building has been incredibly refurbished - - - it used to be a dairy barn!   Our hanging crew of fifteen had the whole show hung in about two hours, with over 80 beautiful paintings displayed, including acrylics, collage, ink, and watercolor.   Many of the pieces can be seen here, but to really appreciate the show, you'll need to see it in person - reception info below.
Many of us got our exercise for the day, reaching and stretching as we changed pictures from one wall to another.  Ginger helps Diane straighten one of Eileen's acrylics as Marianne reaches up to straighten a watercolor.
A variety of techniques and subject matter enhances the carpeted gallery walls.
'Open Studio' happens in my studio four times per week.  One session meets in the evening, and the other three are longer daytime sessions, from mid morning into mid afternoon.  I get to facilitate the sessions and assist in any way I can as the artists create unique, one-of-a-kind masterpieces.  Often, I demo a process or technique to guide someone to work out how to accomplish what the artist wants to express. 
This show features some of their recent work.  With forty artists showing their work, many of their paintings had to be left in their home studios, paintings that also deserved to be hung on the walls.  There's just not enough wall space for all the work they have done over the last 24 months. 
Here we are --- me, contemplating whether or not something needs to be moved - Valerie, pleased with how really good it looks, and - Kathy, just about ready to call it a day!   Diana is behind us checking out artwork from a different Open Studio than she attends.
The subject matter in this show includes abstracts, landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and florals.  You'll find fine art created by professional artists as well as by artists who have just recently taken up painting.  From traditional to unpredictable, this show has so much to offer. 
Three more 'picture hangers' are discussing where to pound the next nail - Bernie, MaryJane, and Jean.
Our Artists' Reception is this Saturday, Nov. 19 from 5 to 7..... lots of paintings, people, and refreshments to enjoy with free admission, too.  Regular show hours are Tues - Fri, 9-2 and Sat/Sun 12-4, (closed on Thanksgiving day.)  The show is open through November 27, 2011.

The Women's Art Center is located in Mariemont on Cambridge Avenue.  Be sure to Map Quest or Google the location and please join us if you're near Cincinnati, Ohio

For more info about Open Studio Sessions, you can contact me at sandymaudlin@gmail.com.

More photos of this show will be posted on this blog after the reception.  Hope to see you there and I wish you could all attend!
A big thank you goes to Kathy Sarlo for providing all of these photos.



Yesterday was the Watercolor Society of Indiana's annual juried show opening.  (Click on my painting at the WSI website to see it enlarged.)  The show will hang in the Indianapolis Museum of Art until early December, and my 'Amazing Grates' received the second place award!  YES!!!  Jerry Smith received First Place for a stunningly beautiful rural scene done in acrylics, also. 

Gerald Brommer was the judge and stated that he judges work on four criteria --- technique, drawing ability, visual design, and the spirit or content of the work.  Although I knew that he dislikes YUPO, I submitted my Grates on YUPO anyway.  

Here's what he said about my painting - "The surface of this painting is wonderful.  Gorgeous stuff happens in the painting.  It is well designed, and the design works beautifully.  The surface is to die for.  The composition fits together so well that one could possibly get 16 little paintings from this big one." 
The painting is 40x26", and it was amusing to watch as one guy tried to 'find' all 16 paintings in the piece.  It's been said that a good painting should be able to be divided into four good smaller paintings, so a big smile landed on my face when I heard what Brommer said.  I consider him to be one of the best workshop instructors ever, besides being such a wise judge:-)  He's a very affirming, positive person.

All the grates and sewer lids in the painting are from Indianapolis.  It was a grate 'happy dance' day!

"AMAZING GRATES" Fluid Acrylics on YUPO 40x26" COLLECTED



Discovering unexpected treasures is one of life's best joys.  This evening view of a courtyard is part of the former home of two people whom I treasure very much.  When it was started, my plans were to give it to them as a 'thank you' for a wonderful visit there. 
After applying several layers of paint interspersed with layers of masking tape, I began peeling off the tape layers to reveal the painting under it.  Treasures again!  The surprises of color and texture were astounding, and I got the feeling that parting with this painting might be more difficult than I ever imagined.  Yet, this would make the perfect 'thank you' gift for treasured friends! 
The second photo shows details near the door and the tape removal in progress. When all the tape was removed, the painting was corrected and tweaked with the fluid acrylics. On the YUPO surface, bits of the paint accidentally lift off when the tape is pulled up, creating new possibilities for more texture.
This weekend's workshop here at my studio was the unveiling of this finished painting.  She loved it!  (And the workshop went very well, too.)  I'm waiting to hear how her husband likes the painting.  Since it was his childhood home, I am pretty sure he'll love it, too.
Next month, this unique 'tape batik' process will be a big part of the weekend workshop here at my studio - see the sidebar for more info.  After three days of my demos and instruction and lots of work and painting on your part, you will have created your own, original 'tape batik' watercolor from your reference materials --- or, like this painting, your own 'tape batik' fluid acrylic watercolor on YUPO.
'Tape Batik' is the name I've given to my technique, but no hot wax is involved at all.  After initially figuring out how to do this process in the early 90's, I've been honing it ever since.  Being able to finally create the 'batik look' on YUPO added to the possibilities my technique. 
If you're near Dallas, Texas, you can sign up now for the five day workshop there in late October/early November, featuring my instructions for Tape Batik, too.  (See side bar for Artists' Showplace.)  There are several other of my 'Tape Batik' workshops lined up for 2012, also, in various locations in the U.S. and abroad.  Hope you can join us at one of these workshops.  Happy painting.
TREASURES  Fluid Acrylics on YUPO 26x20" Collected



A slight change to this Irish woman's expression made this picture more appealing.  The original, shown below the finished painting, seemed to have a sour expression on her face.  By making a minor adjustment to her inner lip line and lip corners as well as to her eyes and brows, her expression is more gentle and evocative. 

This TAPE BATIK painting won a first place at a show this weekend, too.  Some may be bothered by the 'square' within the faces.  Putting it there was important to me.  This beautiful couple seemed to be totally melded.  They were lovely to talk to and so gracious as they viewed the trip through the train window.  The square represents their balanced life together as well as representing their apparent outlook on life, and is symbolic also of the train window.

Using my TAPE BATIK method to create skin, especially faces, is challenging.  This process will be taught at a five day workshop in Dallas, Texas in late October. Hope to see some of you there.

"IRISH EYES"  Watercolor TAPE BATIK on Hot Pressed Crescent Board



Once again I've removed a painting from its frame and changed things.  The three photos here show the original painting at the bottom, the painting as it was when framed in the middle, and the top painting, which is now completed and reframed. 
Notice the changes to the window and the posts beyond the door in the top painting.  The window sill was adjusted to create more interest and variety there.  The stone work was also quieted down by simplifying some areas as well as by bringing back whites to the brick work.  All of this has helped create more movement in the completed painting.  A cool wash on the bricks helped settle down those aggressive warm bricks, allowing more emphasis to be on the man. 
The bottom painting had way too many bricks with no place for your eye to rest.  The foreground was too light, also. 

The Tape Batik process is one that I developed and love to share at my workshops.  I really like the finished painting now and think it was well worth it to adjust it.  Hope you like it, too.



These pigeons were stunningly beautiful on this ancient fence just outside Notre Dame in Paris.  The bright blue sky that Sunday made their feathers appear even bluer than they were.  Their attitudes were fun to capture, too. 

This photo of the painting was taken through the non glare plexi, so the colors are a bit off and the values not quite as dark as the painting in some areas.   

"SITTING ON THE FENCE" Transparent Fluid Acrylics on YUPO 40 x 26"



Starting over on this portrait of my nephew, Jon, I decided to quiet down the drips and focus more on his face.  This newest painting of Jon is much easier to look at, in my opinion.  See the first one at the bottom of the post. 

His mom will be here next week to pick up the painting.  I think she'll approve.  The portrait I painted earlier this year of his brother, Peter, is shown here, too.  Hopefully they will they compliment each other nicely when Chris gets them both hung in her home. 

Jon's eyes are at least as blue as the painting shows, and he's a very gifted musician who frequently plays in London and surrounding areas. 

Painted with Transparent Watercolor over Fluid Acrylic drips on Cold Pressed 140# Arches, all are 22x30."



Older painting - on gesso-ed paper with strong focus on drippy technique



Here's the new Atelier acrylic abstract painting turned on its side.  Just now I adjusted the color to be closer to the actual painting, too.  Better? 

Or upside down? 
I like it better these two ways, with the horizontal format being my favorite.  Thanks for your comments, too.  Sure appreciate your taking the time to give your opinion.



This abstract was started a week ago and has evolved slowly.  When the painting began, my purpose was to just play with the paint on YUPO, using the Atelier Acrylics which lift even after they have dried. 
Today after taping it up across the studio, I was surprised to see the face.  The word 'FORGIVENESS' was added vertically to the right side of the face then subdued.  It's also printed backwards so it's nearly impossible to see.  Using Caran d'Ache crayons I added some other scribbles and other meaningful words as well as lightening the eyelids and adding a highlight on the lower lip. 
Easter is my very favorite day of the year because of its significance for me.  Happy Easter!
"GOOD FRIDAY" Atelier Acrylics and CAran d'ache Crayons on YUPO 20x26"



Soon after we first moved here 16 years ago (today!) the Middletown Fine Arts Center hung a solo show of my work. Their gallery is beautifully done, excellent lighting, lots of gracious space to show off art. Later, they sponsored yet another solo show for me, then another featuring works by people in one of the classes I taught.

The Middletown Fine Arts Center showcases nearly a dozen shows a year, and I've been blessed to not only teach a workshop there, but also win several prizes, including Best of Show, at some of their events. They hold workshops, classes and other art related opportunities throughout the year. It's a wonderfully nurturing place for artists of all ages. Next month, they are having their annual fund raiser.

This year will be different. Rather asking the people to donate a framed painting, they have asked us to paint an egg... a LARGE egg made of a special plaster/gesso mixture. After visiting a cave in the Dordogne Valley of France which had Cro Magnun's paintings on the cave walls, I was inspired to use that concept for the egg. 'Birthplace of art' - - - 'eggs are about birth ' - - - that was my thinking.

Hoping to capture the exquisite lines of the one bison that really impressed me in the cave, I began creating textures, first with more gesso and modeling paste, then with Fluid Acrylics. That bison on the cave wall was incredibly fabulous. Painted over 11,000 years ago, it had exquisite lines and shapes. No amateur painted it, but an early Michelangelo. It took my breath away because of its fluidity and sureness. My egg for Middletown didn't quite capture the mastery on the bison in that cave. Here's what I came up with -Eggtravantgantly Ancient! Fluid Acrylics on Gesso, Modeling Paste, and Plaster Surface, Sealed with Varnish. 6 x 10" Egg Donated To Be COLLECTED



Here's a photo from one of the last days we were in Paris. Notre Dame was awesome, my favorite place to be in Paris. Breathtaking and incredible. Stepping inside, I could feel His presence strongly. Now to paint these shadows...can't wait to get started. Thank you, Roger and Sandra, for a wonderful time. What memories!