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



This painting is on a half sheet of Arches cut lengthwise to make it 30" wide by about 12" high.  First the paper was covered with a liberal amount of gesso, then wax paper was gently placed on top of the wet gessoed surface.  I made sure the wax paper made contact with the gesso everywhere before quickly lifting it all off.  Leave it on only long enough to make contact with the wet gesso.  You'll create some wonderful and unpredictable textures on the gesso.   After it dries, if the texture is too strong, use a fine sand paper to buff off the peaks of the hardened gesso. 

After the gesso dried overnight, the whole paper was painted with juicy watercolors that flowed freely into each other.  The wet paint did the work, not the brush, of mixing the colors.  The goal was to completely cover the page with several colors that were all similar in value - a medium to medium light value.  Some color areas remained pure, but many areas were a blend of three or four colors.  This dried overnight, too, before going on to the next step.  
Next the images were drawn over the painted paper.  Avoid erasing.  Using a light box is probably the ideal way to transfer a drawing onto gessoed paper, since transfer paper doesn't 'hold' or copy very well on the rougher surface. 
Using a flat brush, I lifted out the areas that needed to be white or lighter than the existing paint values.  It's easy to lift watercolor off of gessoed paper using a thirsty flat brush or even a scrubber brush.  Soft edges can be made according to the pressure of your brush, and hard edges are easy to establish using a scrubber.  Some areas will not revert back to pure white because of the staining nature of some colors.  The pencil lines defining the edges of the white shapes also should removed. 
In this painting the whole sky area was lifted, as well as many highlights in the water.  The way the paint lifted (or didn't completely lift out) of the sky added a perfect touch to that area.  The tree truck was also lifted off as well as a few building areas.
After the lights and whites were lifted, it was time to paint in the darker values.  The middle values of the painting, which are usually more than half of many paintings, have already been painted during that first application of paint.  These beautiful areas are best left untouched as much as possible.  
Watercolor on gessoed paper
Once the darks are in place, the painting is nearly completed.  Several roofs were darkened as well as spires and the shadows under the bridges.  The green of the trees was also added.  A few tweaks here and there was all that was needed to call it done. 

That initial juicy, free flowing wash lends a stunning glow to the painting that 'brushed on' paint cannot give.  All the middle values in the buildings, bridges, and the river are part of the initial wash.  The blend of that inital wash is so gorgeous, and the unusual way those first colors mix adds mystery to the painting.
This basic gessoed techinique was developed by Don Getz many years ago, and I've added some of my own adaptations along the way.  Try it.  It's a little bit of thinking backwards, and a lot of fun to do. 
If you're one of the artists planning to be at my workshop in August in France, (see sidebar) you'll be able to perfect a similar process with fluid acrylics on a textured but slicker surface during part of ten days we paint together.    
"BONJOUR"  Watercolor of Gessoed Arches 140#CP 30 x 12"



Here is the long awaited info about the summer workshop in France.  We'll be painting everyday with frequent critiques and plenty of individual attention to discuss your progress.  The studio on location opens out into a garden ready to be painted, too.  Here is the info-----

Creating Batik Effects in a French Landscape

Artist Openings Available - France Workshop @ Le Vieux Couvent
Aug 25 - Sept 4, 2012 with Art Instructor Sandy Maudlin
....... Hold your spot with only a $500 Deposit !

Discover the beautiful and charming hamlet of Frayssinet, France, with me this summer.

We will have exclusive use of Le Vieux Couvent (LVC), a lovely 17th century former convent, now tastefully restored as an artists' retreat country inn, nestled between the Dordogne and Lot valleys.  Le Vieux Couvent is an ideal sanctuary for artists with its hidden gardens, terraces, and pools.  What an inspiring place to be even more creative!!!
I'm excited to be able to share with you many unique techniques for painting original wax-free, batik-style paintings. We'll also enjoy excursions of half and full days for painting, touring the caves or area attractions, plus shopping at local markets.  Imagine returning to LVC's courtyard for gourmet dining and local wines after a gratifying day of painting.....quite simply, creative bliss!  And the large, well lit studio is open 24 hours a day!

Above - batik-like painting of a French courtyard
Full details for my LVC workshop are available at http://www.vacancesenvie.com/ (under Creative Holidays) or contact our U.S. Representative for a copy of my eBrochure.
Kristin Smith Procter - dancingsun404@yahoo.com 715-442-4494
(Kristin is available for registrations and questions.) See more at Vacances en Vie - Le Vieux Couvent Holidays http://www.vacancesenvie.com/



This weekend will be full of creativity during our YUPO workshop here at my studio.  Artists who have struggled to paint on this slick surface will find success as they enjoy a colorful adventure.

"Donkey Man 2012"
Watercolor and Transparent Fluid Acrylics on YUPO 20 x 26" COLLECTED
This first painting is a new edition of 'Donkey Man," a subject I've always been fascinated with and have attempted several times.  Two other paintings of Donkey Man are below this recent one, both done many years ago.  The first two here are on YUPO and the last one is a batik on rice paper. 

There are good things about all three paintings, I suppose, but I prefer the most recent one because there is a bit more mystery, better temperature dominance, and a surer stroke with the brush. 

Donkeyman 2002 Watercolor on Yupo 25 x 13"

YUPO, also called 'Lana/Vanguard' in Europe, is an amazing surface to paint on.  It's much like a gessoed canvas, just slicker.  The textures and colors are absolutely fabulous on this non absorbent surface but handling the paint takes some expertise and a bit of instruction. 

We'll be exploring a new technique that we've decided to call 'Independent Layering' in the workshop, which was used to create the most recent Donkeyman.  It will be a good weekend! 
DONKEYMAN BATIK - Watercolor and
 Fluid Acrylics on Kinwashi Rice Paper -



Ste'phanie Portal contaced me about three months ago regarding a magazine article she was writing for a special issue, called Pratique des Arts.  She asked for some info on YUPO as well as a picture or two - if I was interested.  WOW! 

After typing up many of the things that are exciting to me regarding my journey with this wonderfully slick and brilliantly colorful surface, I sent it all to her, and this is what she published.  She featured three of my paintings, Amazing Grates (pictured above George James,) Liquid Gold (Venice,) and Can You Hear Me Now? The eight page article includes six 'yupo' artists, including George James, the absolute King of YUPO. 

Since everything is in French, I'm waiting on Bonnie to translate it for me.  (I did much better with Spanish than French in school.)  Marianne got three magazines for me from her daughter-in-law in Paris, and I wanted to show it off.  I'm popping proud to be in such good company in this special watercolor issue - Ted Nuttall, Amanda Spencer, Charles Reid, George James!  Oh, and my name is even on the front cover!  What an unexpected thrill!  (I promise to quit bragging soon.)  Fellow artists Kaaren Oreck and Carrie Waller also have beautiful paintings featured in this issue.

There's even mention of my upcoming French workshop in August in Frayssinet, France, featuring my methods of batik and the French landscape.  (More info very soon about that.)  Thanks so much, Ste'phanie, for kindly including me.  And Happy New Year, everyone.