WELCOME TO MY BLOG. Please join me in my art journey in the FLORAL GALLERY and the VARIETY GALLERY. Our time is precious so this will not be a daily diary, but updates when I have painted a piece that I hope will be worthy of sharing with you. I will attempt to share some of my art experiences with you, but generally will expect the art to speak for itself. Enjoy!!

Florals Gallery

In my former Pennsylvania life, I had a neighbor who had a double-weeping cherry tree right  next door.  It was the most beautiful tree but very complicated to paint.  "Barb's Fantastic Tree" (unframed 20 1/2" x 26 1/2") was finally finished after we retired to Florida.  One of my most cherished moments was when it won a merit award at the Central Florida Watercolor Society.  Pat Weaver was the judge.  Thank you, Pat.

"Azalea Melody" (16" x 39") is one of my best paintings and lots of people seem to like it.  The problem with it is I painted it from my own azaleas in Pennsylvania, then we retired and put my works into storage and by the time we moved into our new home, several years had passed which made it too long a time to put into juried shows that have a two-year requirement.  That, coupled with the fact that it is framed 23" x 47," which also puts it over the size limit for most shows..... dang, what's a person to do??  With this said, I have never shown it to sell anywhere except to a few neighbors.  In the meantime, it looks pretty good on my wall!!

Putting yourself and your beliefs into your art is a lot of what it is all about for an artist.  I grew up loving dogwood trees, playing under them and being told the story of Jesus on the cross in relation to the dogwood petals.  When I decided to paint a white dogwood, none of that was on my mind, but it came out anyway.  This is called "Like an Angel" (framed 31" x 38").  Enjoy.

OK, here's the thing:  A lot of artists discuss all sorts of ideas and  sometimes act like their idea is the only way.  Sorry to sound negative, but it is a fact of life.  I have read and heard that flowers cannot be the same as portraits.  Also, that painting is not the same as drawing.  Well, I do both!!!  I draw with paint and I do floral portraits.  Here is one.  It is called "Let's Celebrate!!"  (framed 32" x 40"):  Can you tell they are ready to dance??!

"Elegance"  (unframed 20" x 32") was represented by Merriman Galleries in Asheville, NC.  The owner loved it and asked for more like it.  I tried, but never felt I reached the excellence of this in another painting - there was just something about it is all I can say.  Artists say their paintings are like children and I can understand that - to a point.  Photo is bad since this was before digital and, frankly, before I realized I should keep photos of my works!

"Hanging in There (framed 24" x 32") is a special painting to me because I won 2nd place in a members vote contest at CFWS in experienced category.  Since there were some popular well known career artists there, I felt special and very grateful!!  That was in 2006.

"Crabapples" (full sheet) was hanging in a restaurant, eons ago, on Market Street in Camp Hill, Pa. when a lady called and wanted to buy it.  She is an artist and said she had spent over 3 years looking for just the right painting for her dining room!!   It is this sort of thing that excites me as an artist - along with the paint of course!!!

"My Blue Angels" (framed 32"x30") resulted from a gift of glass angels from my aunt.  My daughter gave me flowers in the vase and my brother gave me some rock gut German wine in the bottle.   I rarely do still lifes preferring instead to show the natural side of nature, but could not resist this one.  It lives with Jan and Dave now and I heard they do enjoy it.

For some reason, although I do not do it deliberately, I seem to paint companion pieces for each painting.  "The One" (framed 32" x 34") looks wonderful with "Double Your Pleasure" (below).  It was juried as most of my florals and a lot of paintings are.

Back in Harrisburg, I painted "Double Your Pleasure."  Framed 28"x42".  It is a unique portrait of white tree peonies and looks great framed.  It is one of those paintings you can look at for years and still see new things.

Watching Dancing with the Stars influenced me to try my poppy with motion.  I call this "Paso Doble" and hope you can see why.  To be honest, I want to try again with even more motion, but at the time my brain was getting the folds of the cloth -oops, I mean petals confused!!  The poppy photo was taken in my neighbor's yard in PA.  I took my camera on my daily walks and photographed everything in sight regardless of the trespassing aspect!

Rose of Sharon was done a couple of years ago.  I hear the new owners love it!!  The thing about this unusual piece is instead of watercolor paper, I used clayboard.  It is fast becoming one of my favorite things to paint on.  Watercolor is known for being challenging to paint with due to - well,  water flows where it wants to go sometimes - then trying to get it to behave on clayboard makes for a very unique and fun adventure.  Some days you just love to go to work!!!

Peony Place is one I am happy with.  I have it framed in my home and still don't get tired of it.  Go figure.

Almost every painting I have ever endeavored is a study of some sort.  The methods to use watermedia are  endless so I find myself always experimenting.  New supplies of watercolor pencils inspired this Festive Fun!  I imagine it looking especially festive framed with 3 different colors of matboards.

"Southwestern Trio" was painted on a full sheet from the flowers on my patio in Pennsylvania.  Notice they were growing into the bricks so I just left them there instead of moving them back into the pot.  A person (flower) needs to be where they are happy, right??

Another early painting - I thought it was so good--but now I look at it and say "no wonder it never sold"!!  Even my friend who grows and sells Daylilies didn't like the painting!!!  Oh well, we try and try again.  I still learned a lot from the painting of it:

On PaintingFriends.com, I challenged the group with an orchid while we were discussing lost and found edges.  This was my version:

We got on an orchid kick at PaintingFriends.com.  After I challenged the group with one of my photos, then decided to make a different, more classical version of the orchids on my Florida lanai.

This was done quickly on a personal challenge just to see what I could do with a dogwood on a large canvas.  They were handy to paint because  I planted three dogwoods near my patio in Pennsylvania just to remind me of my beloved NC mountains (where dogwoods grow profusely).  I have to brag on my husband here because he built a really large brick patio for me and the bricks never once buckled!!  I smile everytime I think of my nice patio and yard.
As you can see, I was heavy into thalo green then!

I sometimes paint the same painting twice, only using different techniques or materials.  I easily achieve that because I draw my compositions onto tracing paper which creates a pattern to use in case the watercolor misbehaves too badly.  It saves me hours of redrawing if something goes wrong--and it can in watercolor.  One time I painted a wonderful scene and then discovered the paper was flawed beyond help.  This is Rhododendron 3, full sheet watercolor:

"Roses for You" is painted for my daughter.  She is a wonderful photographer and I was inspired by her work.  Framed 31" x 34", watercolor.

"My friend and neighbor here in Florida grew Plumerias; and shared with everyone around.  I painted this for him as a way of saying thank you.  RIP John.

"Gardenia", was intimidating for me to paint.  It was about my second or third full sheet and it seemed daunting but about half way through, decided this was just pure fun!

About 18 years ago, my cousin and friend Lorena who is quite the gardener, said I had to come look at her Brugmansia.  I was excited because they were white, but by the time we saw them we were in a dark barn with a flashlight;  and I thought that was unusual which is why I painted them yellow.....not that unusual afterall!
Yellow Brugmansia - full sheet watercolor:

The original watercolor painting (full sheet) was called "Pretty in Peach".  This "Peach Azalea" is very similar because I painted it several times experimenting with different mediums.  This one had a few highlights with white guache.  I was walking with my brothers when I saw the azalea bush which was the first time I ever saw a peach one and knew I had to paint it.  Luckily there was ONE shot left on the camera.