Sunday, December 31, 2006

Koi Twins - A painting a day

koi twins 2

I 've had a spasm in my back for the last day in a half and I'm in a bit of pain. I'm not sure why I have developed this problem, but I'm hoping it isn't my painting set up at my easel or my computer chair. I do spend a lot of time there and I need to take a second look at my posture and how many hours I stand or sit in the same spot each day.
I took some codeine and it seemed to have taken the edge off of my pain but my skin feels like its burning. Oh yeah, Its numb too. Hopefully I will be able to paint tomorrow.
Happy New year folks... I'm going to bed. Its 6:15 pm

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Red Floral, the other half, a painting a day

redfloral2 This is the second half of the painting I cut up yesterday. I decided to go a little more red with this one.

Friday, December 29, 2006

PINK CHRISTMAS - a painting a day

pink Christmas  a little Better focused

This is another one of those paintings that I thought didn't really work. I brought it out this morning while I was drinking a cup of coffee to give it a second look. I decided to repaint severla areas and to crop off believe it or not the focal point. Thus creating a new focal point, a bit close to the edge but I think it works.
it's a small painting 1/8 sheet 11" by 7.5" and will sell for 25.00( plus shipping) to the first person to email me at

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Blue eyed Koi A Painting a day

blue eyed Koi

I couldn't come up with a better name for this koi painting. At first I thought maybe "fighting Koi", but I'm not an agressive type of person and so the fighting didn't appeal to me. I made one of these koi blue eyed and so I decided to go with that.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pink Roses for my Amy - a painting a day


Here is the finished painting.

My studio

studio sam

Here you see "Sam" my black lad sleeping under the table, near my painting table. He sleeps under my painting table too but it gets a little crowded there. Now, I put a blanket under the larger table to encourage him to sleep out from under my feet. You can also see the new veneer floor. Yeah, its finished! It only took three weeks. I picked the type of veneer that looks like old planks, it is rather rustic, I like it. Its easy to keep clean. The carpet was nice too but this is more practical. I 'm still trying to decide if I want to put the area rug back into the room.
Here are just two of my color charts. I made these charts for all of the paints I use. In each circle, I have a light a dark and a med value. This helps me make color choices. Also, the circles are large enough that I can see if the paint is transparent, opaque or have granulation qualities.
Here is a close up of my palette. I usually use a porcelain pallet and I keep my paint in mini cupcake tins.
pink roses and easel
This is how I paint the smaller pieces. I usually have my reference on my DVD player(or computer) or place the book as you see in this picture, next to the painting on the easel. If I use 4 by 6 photos I have a little picture holder that clips on to the easel or the lamp.

studio4 This is the color chart I made specifically for roses and other light colored objects. This chart shows me how any two or three colors look when layered over each other. I select the ones I will use and can move thru a painting rather quickly because i have already figured out the mixtures. I save these charts for future use. Its funny because sometimes people want to buy the brighter ones, they are rather fascinating.
pinkinprogress Here the painting almost finished. You can see I still have the roses to complete. This is a layering or glazing project so I have to wait in between glazes. I should only have about another 15 or 20 minutes of painting and it will be complete. If you have any questions, drop me a note.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my working area.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

little sparrow big Wire a painting a day


This little sparrow has been eating the suet I have hanging in my yard. In fact he brought his whole family to eat and they have been rooting around the ground looking for seeds all morning.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Mountain Gazebo - Apainting a day

mountain Gazebo

This was painted from a photo. This small gazebo is up in the mountains of North Carolina.

I took the dogs for a long walk today in the woods along the banks of Lake Wylie. It rained and they were such a mess when we got back, but all of us thoroughly enjoyed it!

Don't you love that feeling of being tired but in a good way? That's how I felt when we got back.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My coffee art a painting a day

cofe latte

Here it is, I stayed up late last night and even with my little painting muse telling me to go get a compas, did I? No, I just barreled on thru hoping to get the circle within a circle just right.

I hope your having a great day. I'm going to work on a larger piece today and of course,eat, eat, eat.

Snowflake Latte, for Christmas Eve

coffee and art

Hot Diggety Dog Coffee


coffee as Art, I like it a lot a


Coffee as art - so many coffees so little time

coffee art3

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Winter home a painting a day

winter home

I found this painting in my flat file while looking for something else. It was actually a piece which didn't work. There was problems in the foreground and issues with some of the colors. I don't post everything I paint, sometimes I feel it isn't good enough to even show anyone. I cropped this painting (cut off about 6 inches) repainted most of it and tried to save it from the trash can. I like the long format, I don't tend to paint these long paintings. This is 6 inches by 14 inches.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I can paint all day. I love Sundays.
I hope your enjoying your day with family and friends.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Playful Koi A Painting A Day

Playful Koi SOLD

These little Koi seem to be playing . The way they swim in and out of the picture plane and over one another reminds me of children in a pool.

I've always loved to watch koi swim. They have a fluid and effortless way about them. Most Koi can be trained to eat out of your hands. They will also come to you when called.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lakeside cabin - a painting a day

lakeside cabin

It was very dark and the sky was threatening rain all day. Without the sunlight, you don't see the reflections on water like you normally would, and the shadows are either nonexistent or barely there. The trees and the colors are less bright and there seems to be a greyness to everything. I like rainy days but most people tend to dislike them. I find rain keeps people indoors so when I go for my walk, I have everything to myself. Well to myself and my three dogs.

If you are wondering about my floor, it isn't finished yet, I'm hoping to get the finishing touches (molding) done tomorrow. The carpet was ordered but it takes two weeks.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bear Creek a painting a day

bear creek
I love to paint water, it just seems to be the perfect fit for watercolor. Thank you for taking a peek at my paintings. I enjoy painting them knowing someone will stop by to see what I painted each day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tropical Koi - A painting a day

tropical Koi

I decided to call this Koi painting "Tropical Koi" because of its coloring. The orange seems to look like tangerines and the blue reminds me of the color of the water in the Caribbean.

I try to provide Koi paintings for my collectors at reasonable prices. These single Koi are an inexpensive way to get started on collecting these beauties.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Morning walk - A painting a day

morning walk

Working thru my series of paintings exploring paths and roads,this little painting is of a walking path near my home. Its funny how different a scene can look from different perspectives. If you walk down the path from the opposite direction, the two pine trees look like a cat's head with 2 pointy ears.
The size is 6 " by 9".

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Misty Waters - A painting a day

Misty waters

Its a quiet day. There was a gentle mist rising off the water this morning because it has been so warm during the day,yet cool at night. I love the way the mist hangs gently in the hollows and along the hillsides. The vapor pulls itself up from the water and floats into the air, pooling in areas, forming a shroud around trees and the landscape. It seems to create a sound proofing to everyday sounds and gives you a feeling of insulation.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Humming bird lunch- a painting a day

humming bird lunch

I have been told one more day for the floor. But I'm not going to hold my breath cause I've been hearing that every day.

I'll take a picture of the floor just so you can see it completed. It's starting to look pretty good.

It's been difficult to paint with people coming in and out of the house combined with all the saw noise, at times I thought I'd never get any work done. when I look back at this weeks work, I think my work is showing a bit of an edge to it.
I usually have a very soft touch and I have a style that is almost seamless. If you look at the recent work you can see it exudes some tension. I guess this is part of being an artist. Its difficult to hide your emotions, your brush strokes speak when you don't. Paint doesn't lie and your work lets the world know if your having a bad day or if your stress level rises. Maybe a glass of wine might be in order. along that note... Zoltan Szabo once told me to drink a shot of whiskey before I begin to paint. This was during my perfectionist period. I think I'm over that problem.

Baxter, A Squirrel painting a day


This little guy would come by our house everyday. We named him Baxter, he would bury the peanuts we gave him in my flower garden. Several of his peanuts turned into plants which had small yellow flowers and blue grey spoon shaped leaves.

Anyway, now Baxter is gone and his great great great grandchildren still come by to visit.

Many people hate squirrels but I find them very fascinating. I'm easily entertained.

The floor? don't ask...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nude- A painting a day


This nude was painted from sketches I made in a life drawing class.
I like to use vivid color for my nudes and find color gives me a language to explain the environment and the complex subject.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wild flowers - A floral painting a day

little Pinks

If you have been following my floor installation....No floor yet, they couldn’t put down the vaneer floor, because they had to prep the cement slab first, so today I painted on top of my stove while some kind of grinder was grinding down carpet nails from the slab. Not a really good sound. Maybe tomorrow they will be done enough so that I can get my painting space back. I can only dream.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sunflower madness - a floral painting a day

sunflower surprize2

I had a very rough day today, Plumbers, Painters and other remodeling people were all over the house. All of my studio equipment was placed in storage except a few sheets of watercolor paper, my palette and my brushes. I had to paint this little painting standing over a flat file,while balancing my paper and other stuff over an open drawer. So here it is folks. Lets hope they get the floor done tomorrow so I can at least have my painting table back.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Country path - A painting a day

Green Acres
This isn’t my usual subject matter. I have painted a few barns over the years but I feel this painting is more about the small path then it is about the barn off in the distance. I love tree lined roads and walkways or paths. The shadows mixed with the sunlight always intrigues me.
Size is 15 by 22 on 300 Lb paper

After some study, I have found that if I were to paint this painting again, I think I would make the sky warmer near the horizon and a little darker near the top. I would give a little more drama to the path by doing more shadows across the road and bringing up the value. The contrast would then be greater between the path and the grasses which would be juxaposed to the shadows, also it wouls help give this painting even more feeling of asmosphere. I’ll leave this alone and perhaps remembe this for another day. Thats what daily painting is all about. It gives you the freedom to try things without the stress or pressure of sales. You learn something from these studies and incoporate the good stuff and leave behind things that just don’t work or are less susessful.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lavender Skies, a painting a day

Lavendar skies

11 by 15 1/4 sheet 140 lb water color paper.

To create absolutely- An artist's journey to find uniqueness

There is a topic of conversation which I have thought about for a while and have come to some conclusions. The idea that we as artists create absolutely.
It’s hard for me to believe that anyone who is active in the art world can be creating without something or someone influencing their work. Thus the idea that their work is truly unique can only be true if you take in account their path to this uniqueness. Each artist makes a lengthy journey at finding their style and developing their methods. I contend, we choose certain combinations from a repertoire of ideas. There is a collective consciousness of humanity that we all reach into and pull out something that we respond to. This makes it ours, this is like taking a recipe and spicing it to fit our tastes. It is our uniqueness and our creativity which springs from our choices. It doesn’t come from nothing.
As an artist I can tell you that I am greatly influenced by many things in my environment both good and bad.

My work is consciously or unconsciously also influenced by what other artists paint. Sometimes I limit my exposure to certain things knowingly, to eliminate the possibility that it may show up in my work. Other times I grasp onto something allowing the Osmosis to occur, to let my work evolve as it may with the aid of other artist’s work. I don’t try to mimic anyone’s work but I will try to paint in their style or even paint one of their paintings to see how it fits with my style. I evaluate the process and try to get into the other artist’s mind. I’m always amazed that two people doing the same type of work can have such different approaches to the same subject in the same medium. Sometimes all I find out is how much I like what I’m already doing. By working with another’s palette or by trying certain methods I find I have a broader sense of the challenges each artist faces. Most of the time, it just gives me some ideas as to how I want to proceed in developing my own style. It helps solidify my tastes and gives me a direction to proceed. My confidence level is strengthened by working thru ideas others before me have mastered.

Folks are always worried about copying, or infrigment, and you should be concerned. But you should also know that no matter what your style or how you approach your work, you are influenced by what other artists are doing and you shouldn’t be worry about that, its part of the process of finding your own voice. All major artists movements fed off of each other, the impressionists, Ash can, Dada, etc. These folks only became better artists by the exchange of information and by digesting the work of their peers.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Penquin Paridise - A happy feet painting a day

Penquin family

Penquin's Paradise is a painting with lots of black, you don't often see black used in a watercolor, but this black was made from mixing Crimson red and Antwerp Blue, heavy on the blue. Baby Penquins are so adorable!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Picket Fence A Painting A Day

picket fence

This house is rather colorful and dreamy. I painted it without the aid of drawing it first so I hope the representation is to your likeing.
I like to paint impressionistic work rather then dead on realism. I have done both but I enjoy the painting process more when I can paint from my imagination.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Koi Re Union A Painting A Day -ACEO

koi reunion
This is another ACEO and it will be available later this evening on E bay.

I struggled with this little painting, I have to remember two things when working this small, one, not to over work the painting and two, the division of space doesn't change just the scale.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Little One - A Painting A Day


It isn’t often I use Pastels but when I do, I enjoy them. I have problems breathing and I try not to breath the dust. I’m not fortunate to have a filtration system or even a special area to do my pastels, so, It generally makes a mess and I have to clean everything up immediately rather than leaving all the sticks and paraphernalia out like the watercolors. With my watercolor, I love just walking into the room and seeing my table with the moist paints and half finished works laying there like friends waiting for me.

I went to a dog rescue yesterday and saw so many wonderful dogs. I can’t tell you how great these dogs were. If I didn’t have three already I would have brought one home. Here is a painting of a wee Jack Russell, with one ear down and one up, what a character!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Orchid Mirage - ACEO - A painting a day

floral 10

In case someone doesn’t know what ACEO means, it stands for Artist Collectors Edition or Original. Basically its a trading card, the size of these little paintings is always, 2.5″ by 3.5″ and they are like baseball cards except they are collected by art collectors the world over. Many I have seen are done in sharpies or Chartpak pens but as I do them in watercolor on the highest grade paper and professional paints they usually costs a bit more then the 99 cents to $3.50 you see on e- bay. Of course they don’t go for a lot more. I paint them because I love to think of these little guys out there in a collection with other little cards. I sign and paint the backs of the cards and name each. I’m trying to figure out what to call this one. Maybe you can help. Suggest something. I think of Orchids or an everglade type of flower because of its colors hence Orchid Mirage. I didn’t use reference since its totally from my imagination.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sunny day Flowers -A painting a day

Sunny Days

I love the way these yellow flowers tilt their heads up to the bright blue sky.
It wasn't too warm here in South Carolina. Only 56 degrees and for a California Girl, that's a bit cool.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Eggcellent! A Painting A Day

here is the second run at it...


Laying in bed in a pre dawn slumber my first thought of the day was about this painting. I knew I had to paint an egg for todays painting and I hadn’t started it yet. I’ve painted eggs before and didn’t find them particularly difficult so I waited till the last minute. Laying there in bed, my eyes closed, the montage began, first an egg laying in a nest appeared, the grasses and twigs looking like ribbons from nature,then it was replaced by a little egg with legs and big black shoes, cartoon like and cute, His big lips mouthing something, then a basket of eggs appeared with each egg falling out of the basket and rolling in slow motion over a counter onto the tile floor. The yellow yolks laying in a pool of clear egg white with the white tile and grey grout showing thru the raw egg, organic and yet geometrical all at once. Before I could fully comprehend the composition, and as quickly as that image began another appears, I see a mouse, (I recognize him as my little mouse I have painted before)he is pushing an egg, I mean putting his little shoulder into it, and really trying to get it to roll. a few inches over to the side is his little mouse hole,the kind you used to see in the cartoons,this obviously is his destination. I see by the size of the egg he’ll never get it into the hole and it makes me laugh inside. Suddenly I see visions of china tea cups all sitting out on a lace table cloth. Each filled with Easter egg coloring. A different color in each cup and nestled down into the liguid laying under the dye, an egg, each basking in their bright new coats of color. The porcelain cups are ringed in gold and the refection of the liquid is mezmerising. Jolting me out of my morning montage, a big yellow lab jumps up on the bed and I’m up, my day has begun.

As you can see I didn’t paint any of them, but I will remember some of those images for later. I wanted to paint some bright eggs with a dark background, but with errands and all sorts of other activities I didn’t get started till about 7 pm. I did draw several mice and also a teacup with an egg laying inside and several other ideas before I decided on the colored eggs. Here it is 10:15 and I’m putting up my daily painting finished or not. I can’t stay up too late,I get up at the crack of dawn so maybe tomarrow I’ll paint the background darker and put in the shadows. we’ll see. I'll try to put it into another daily post so you can see it finished.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Floral Mist - A Painting A Day

floral mist

I love these colors, I saw lots of these colors in the Monet's water Lillie's this week. Also his wisteria paintings had these colors and a beautiful green which I will try to fit into something this week. This piece is soft and impressionistic. It has a companion piece too both of them are the same size. Post card size actually. They are matted in off white with a gold inside mat liner and will fit into a 8 by 10 frame.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Death Card, Tarot - A painting a day

This image may seem disturbing for some folks. I apologise for that, but it shouldn't. It is the Death card in a deck of Tarot. I'm painting this for a customer. The Death card is actually a metaphor for change. It doesn't mean the actual physical death of a person but more like a new beginning.

I don't read the tarot but I find the symbolism interesting.

World Wide Sketch Crawl.... December 9th

I wanted to post this link for everyone. Its the blog for the World-wide sketch crawl. December ninth is the date. Apparently if you draw something that day you can post it with everyone else's work, Can't imagine how they do this, but here is the link, you can see many sketch books and a variety of work. Quite interesting.

Shanti Marie

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Little Koi - A painting a day



This little koi was painted in a dry direct approach. I like to paint Koi, there are so many ways to paint them.

I saw about 30 Monet's today and I really enjoyed his work. It was fascinating to me to see his progression thru the years from value painter to impressionist to loose almost garish work. I was also surprised to see so much grey was in his work. Most of his colors were greyed down quite a bit. A snow scene I really like had no pure white paint.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Storm over the Horizon - A Painting a day- Shanti Marie

Storm over the Horizon
matt cutting

This is my mat cutting and shipping area. First the paintings are weighed down over night and made totally flat, then the mats are cut, then they are backed and placed in a plastic envelopes. Next they are sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard and finally into the mail envelope. It a long process and is part of being an Artist. I wish I could turn this over to someone else, but there isn’t enought profit to hire this work out. It takes so long for me to get this done, sometimes I have to spend two days a week getting all the paintings ready to go. Some go to The Art league where I have an area to hang work and to show a series of paintings. Others are stored for possible sale on E bay Usually in the flat file. Then there are the few that are framed. These are special and they go into shows or into a gallery. You can see in the photo above, that I work in a series when painting the larger works. Usually two or three paintings from each idea becomes a series, but some ideas like the koi series may never end. I find them to be fasinating subjects and constantly evolving. Tomorrow, I have to rush back from Reliegh NC ( about 3 hours away)to get my daily painting in before the deadline. I’ll paint it tonight. I’m very excited. I’m going to see the Monet’s

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Sunflower Day - Shanti Marie- A painting A Day


See the Bidding!

This wonderful little painting measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Its actually a little bigger than most daily painting but I painted it to be a companion piece for Cornfowers which is the same size. If you would like to bid on this painting, it will go on eBay at 2:00pm eastern time. Check the link to my ebay store.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nature's Star - a painting a day

natures's star
This small painting has a unique abstract feel to it. I like the use of 300 lb paper and wish I could aford it for all my paintings. It gives the paint a wonderful support and provides a solid feel to the finished product while allowing the fexibility for the paint to be either transparent or solid.

This will be on ebay as are all the small paintings. I have sold ten this week and I have to have a high volume of sales since the price is so low. Check out my store if you have a minute. The link is in the sidebar.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

High Country - A painting A Day

high country

This small post card size painting is matted and fits into an 8 by 10 frame. It would make a great gift for a man or a women and will be posted in my ebay store tonight. The starting bid will only be $6.50. If you wish to buy it without the bidding send me an email at

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Little Trees a painting a day

little trees SOLD

I painted this painting quickly and without thought or a drawing. It isn't too complicated, but I find it has a relaxing feel.

I will put this painting up on e bay later tonight. I will start the bidding at $10.00. Its a odd size painting and will need to be custom matted and framed. Approximate size:9 by 12 inches

Friday, November 24, 2006

Peach Lillies

Peach Lillies

This is a quarter sheet size watercolor which is 11 by 15 inches.
Some would say it looks more like an oil painting than a watercolor.
That's because sometimes I paint my watercolors in a soft wet natural watercolor style and other times I paint dry with multiple glazes. This was painted in glazes.

The Glazing method is simple and not difficult to learn but it takes a lot of patience. You must wait for every layer to dry before you put on the next layer. You usually have an under painting which is not obvious at the end but its like oils, it will radiate thru the painting and sometimes it is allowed to show. It tends to harmonized the piece.