Saturday, September 30, 2006

Deep water Koi -A Painting a Day

Another of the koi series . This small beauty is 4 by 6 inches and is soft and colorful. I took the this photo with my OLD camera, so both of these koi paintings are a little dark. If your interested I'll send you a photo with my new camera which takes better pics. I have placed a link for you see many of my paintings in one place.

Koi Happiness-A painting a day

This is in response to those folks who keep asking for more Koi paintings! I did two small paintings. This one is actually a little lighter in value. The size is 4 by 6 (inches) and fits perfectly in a 5 by 7 mat. It has an Asian feel.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Misty Hills - A Painting A day

This is a post card size painting ( 4 inches by 6 inches), it could easily fit into a standard size mat and 5″ by 7″ frame.
I have a propensity to like paintings of paths and doorways, I’m not trying to go new age on you, but there seems to be a message that speaks to me.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The silly or stupid things people have said to me while watching me paint or why most people don't paint in public. A Painting A Day

I know it smaltzy but I love dogs!

Size is 12 by 16 - Watercolor on arches 140 Lb paper.
On with the list.....
You can picture me sitting under my umbrella, painting, while looking out over a lake scene ( at a public boat ramp or park) with people stopping by to make these comments.

#1. Wow that’s cool, what is it?

#2. You paint? My (fill in blank here… with) brother, father, mother cousin etc.. paints too, but their really good.

#3 So, how much do you charge for a painting of this size? That much?

#4 How long does it usually take you to paint a painting? (I’m thinking, not as long as when people don’t bother me).

#5 You know what would be good in that painting, (pick one) A deer, a house, a hunter, seashells, fishing pole…Etc.. You get the idea. You can’t believe the suggestions!

#6 I’d love to have a painting like this, but could you change (insert any of these) :color, size, format, subject matter, or all of the above.

#7 What in the world are you doing out here?

#8 I paint once in awhile, but I do real paintings, u know, oil?

#9 So, what is this called? Water-color, yeah we learned to do that in grade school.

#10 Man you’re great, you should have your stuff on QVC. (my favorite)

#11 The name for this painting should be ___________________ The answer can be anything they dream up, then they act affronted when I don’t readily agree.

#12 Are you an Artist or do you just paint? ( I would hope the work speaks for itself)

I put these comments on my blog just for fun; don’t ever let people influence you not to paint. If you have any of your own silly statements, send them in as comments, I’ll be glad to post them.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dogwood -A painting a day

This small painting is about 6 inches by 6 inches and was actually painted only because I was painting it as a demonstration piece. These demos don’t always turn out, but when someone asked me if I ever sell the demos, I thought “she’s right, its good enough to stand on its own” So here is the painting for today. If you ever think about teaching, you should consider a demonstration as part of the class. I find the actual paint while explaining method is invaluable. If you’ve been painting for a long time, you forget how a beginner thinks. The student on the other hand has no understanding of your thought process and to allow someone to see you paint from start to finish helps them understand your methods and approach. The problem for the teacher is the interuption, with questions and of course the drying paint. You have to be able to field questions and paint at the same time. Anyone who paints in watercolor understands the timing of the application is one of the most important aspects of the painting process.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Riverbank - A painting a day

This was painted in a wet in wet syle which I love for the loose soft feel. It seems particularly suited for landscapes. It is painted on 1/8 sheet of cold press "Aches" paper with transparent watercolors.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Baby Acorns - A painting a day

Baby Acorns
Cleaning out my garden, and getting it ready for winter, I found this limb of baby acorns. I put it on my painting table and it was just begging me to paint it. I painted it with just the white paper as a background but I may fill it in later. If I do, I'll use one or more of the colors that are already in the leaves. This way, it should harmonize with the leaves without being distracting.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mixed bag- A painting a day

I painted a landscape but its still wet so I'll put up this still life which took me more than a day to paint but was my 1'st venture into the world of still life painting.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Palace Of Westminster

I saw this video and thought you might like to watch this guy draw .

10 weird things that happened this week. - A painting a day

Ok, Ok, Ok, I know this isn't a painting but it is my post for "a painting for today".

Of course, its actually a drawing, I drew it while out in my back yard. I found this bird's nest on the ground which had apparently blown down from the large trees and was just laying there. I thought it was beautiful with the leaf tucked in under the egg.

Probably the possum that lives behind my house will have the egg for dinner later tonight.

On with the list:


1. Woke up and found a HUGHE dog bone laying on the pillow next to my face.

2. Lost my cell phone, called my-self only to hear it ringing in the trash can.

3. Went to the drive thru at Mc donalds, got my order and found a note inside the bag from one of the employees saying they thought it was neat that I bought cheese burgers for my 3 dogs whenever I came in.

4. Sat in traffic and had misgivings about waving away some homeless guy only to see both motorists on either side of me give him bills.

5. Literally ran like hell and hid in the woods from the park rangers, cause I was off of the trails and had my dogs off leash.

6. Found a tick in my underwear. Luckily no bite found.

7. Looked for ten minutes for my favorite painting brush, found it when I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror, it was tucked in behind my ear.

8. Wanted some croutons for my salad, climbed up on the counter, ( yeah, I am short) to get some from the top shelf and screamed like a banshee when a mouse came out of the box. The mouse bounced off my chest and fly across the kitchen and under the sink.

9. Rented season 2 of "Rescue Me" from the video store got home and the DVD was "Ferris Bueller's day off".

10. Walked out to talk to the Mail girl and wondered why she kept looking at my feet. I was wearing a lavender flip flop on my right foot and a pink flip flop on my left. I'm pretty sure I didn't noticed it for hours.

There was a tie for tenth place with this one... You can decide which one was worse.

I've been sharing a bathroom ever since the flood, (see post Aug 31) and couldn't figure out why my hair looked like crap all week. Found out I have been using men's body wash with deodorant rather then shampoo .

Its a good thing that I was sick this week cause I was in bed the first two days, that means most of this stuff happened the other three days. Next week is bound to get better, I could blame it on the medication they do make me dingy.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pink Water Lillie - A painting a Day

This week has been a rough week being sick and all but I did get the water Lilly painted that I promised. Its pink because I decided the pink is an excellent contrast to the green.

Last night I went to my life drawing session and had a terrible time, I am not sure if the congestion medicine I was taking was hurting my ability to focus or what, but I haven't struggled with the human figure like last night in years. I'm blaming it on the meds, Geese all I need is a set back...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

koi nundrum a painting a day

Still a little sick, my waterlillie is being finished a few minutes here a few minutes there, when ever I feel better. Until then here is one of my koi paintings from my koi series.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Head cold- painting while sick - a painting a day

I hope to get a painting done today, but the reality is that I may not. I have a head cold and I’m sitting here breathing through of my mouth while hoping that my ears will clear up. It feels as if I’m under water.
I visited the Library last week because I had a request from my daughter to paint a water Lilly or a lotusfor her. I’m not sure what the difference is yet but perhaps this book will tell me.
The lotus or water lillie is a symbol like the Phoenix, of rising above from the depths of muck to proclaim that they will not be held down. They are both survivors. I guess this is why so many people choose them for tattos.
After looking at all the lillies I', awe struck, they are all spectacular and I can see why the impressionists and Monet in particular would paint them over and over. I will paint the white one, but they come in just about every color.
I wish I could find them around here. While driving about, I have seen( from the road) Lillie pads on ponds but usually they are lacking in flowers.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Drawing every day- a little goes a long way

This painting is a tribute to Arleta Pech, a wonderful teacher.

As an artist that had to put art aside to raise a child many years a go, I know what it's like to leave it all behind for awhile. I think people who say they cannot do their “art” because of time constraints should consider drawing for ten or fifteen minutes each day. It makes no difference how the drawings turn out or what it is that you draw. The act of drawing every day will help you keep in touch with your creative self. I wish I had just kept a sketch book in my bag and at every Dr's appointment, car pool line, park bench, or dance lesson I could have been drawing. Raising kids is rush, rush, rush, wait, wait, wait. I had to wait for something all the time (Its amazing how much waiting you do). I know now that drawing keeps your mind in the creative mode and your art may have to wait but it can be built on the framework of your drawings and experiences. When your ready and have more time, you'll be able to step back into whatever creative work you wish. Until then, you’ll be developing your eye, your ability to see light, shadow, form and value. What every artist spends years doing anyway.
What are you waiting for ? Put a sketch book in your purse, diaper bag, or trunk. If your a writer same thing, but make it a journal. Oh yeah, I forgot, you will have to get over people watching you... it takes some practice but it won't take long. Good Luck!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Little Pitcher- A painting a Day

This little pitcher with the eyelet lace is interesting and I 've painted it several times. Today I painted it with the lace leaning against the edge of the pitcher. Other times it has been under the pitcher.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thinking of Fall and the lake-

Ok, so I’m sitting here sweating and thinking, Geeze I gotta get into shape. I used to run six miles every day, well I used to do a lot of things. Now I’m glad my knees don’t hurt going up the six stairs in my condo. I just walked three large dogs all of varying unknown decent thru the woods and around the lake. It’s a beautiful (almost) fall day. You can smell the change in the air and fall will be here soon. One sure thing you notice is the temperature; it’s not too humid today. I guess it’s what some folks call Indian summer. But who knows how that got started. It’s probably not politically correct to say Indian summer any more. It’s just like the other day someone was in my garden asking me about a plant and I wanted to tell her its called “Wandering Jew” I stopped short fearing you can’t call it that in these enlightened days. It sucks when you have to worry about offending someone all the time. Anyone who knows me knows, I’m not going to offend you if I know there is the slightest chance of offending you. My buddy is from New York and she’ll say anything, she figures you’ll get over it. She’s probably right.

No painting today, not yet, I’m trying to figure out what to paint next. I have boxes of reference photos, sketch books in bags, closets and even in the car, magazine clippings, cards, newspaper clipping and even restaurant clippings. I should just sneak over to the neighbors home, their house is right on the lake, my condo sits back a ways. I could paint the lake and maybe some of their garden gnomes or birdhouses. I was told the guy that owns the property is (was) an avid bird watcher. There are bird house all over. I think he is now in a rest home, I wish I could find him. He has a great deck from which I could paint. His house which is really a cabin is over grown with ivy and is almost a dock house and sits over the water. When I walk by there with my dogs I stretch my neck to see thru all of the trees, remember this is SC and it's very wooded. I can envision myself sitting on that deck, watercolor palette in hand staring off into the woods or over the water. He must have love that place. I wonder if he would like a painting of that little cabin. Perhaps I’ll ask around, the place has a “no trespassing” sign so I won’t go in, until I ask.

Today I’ll post another painting not one I did today but one I sold a few years ago. It was a painting I did after working with Zoltan Szabo. My teacher.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Falling Leaves -A painting a day

I love to paint leaves, always have. I'm one of only a handful of artists that I know who love the color green. I mean raw right out of the tube. So if you love green you have so many things to paint. Of course, in this painting its fall leaves I have painted, but just think of all the choices you have you can paint them almost any color and still be representational. Green, yellow, red, brown, blue, purple, gold silver and all of the tints and tones in between!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Original Art Why Its impossible not to be influenced.

This post might make you mad, or you may see that what I'm saying has at least a certain degree of truth. I am talking about every artist out there who is trying to be Original. Not wanting their art work to be like anyone's else. Guess what? I think you can have your "style" but that style is influenced by everything you have ever seen or by every instructor who has ever worked with you, by every book, picture, photo, circumstance, newspaper article and yes , even web site. If you studied art history in school, of course the masters may have influenced you.
So why do painters constantly advocate breaking from the traditional school of thought? Is it the case of attempting to create paintings that will owe nothing to any other piece of work or artist?To create something unique and original in the world of art? It's a wonderful philosophy, but unfortunately an unrealistic delusion, simply because no one has ever been able to demonstrate a work of art that is entirely different. Every painting I ever gazed upon, including my own and those of the great masters all echo some previous painters accomplishments. Every conceivable aspect of painting has its roots in copying or copying with a tweak. Painters are by nature copyists. Every work of art, consciously or unconsciously has been subjected to traditional values in one form or another. The truth is that there is nothing original under the sun! It is difficult if not impossible for painters to be truly original. Some times, I see art boxed differently for a new audience, but if you look back you will see it was most likely was done before, using trends for their own time. Sure we can paint different subjects but the way we apply our paint, the design elements and the basics do not change. How we go about structuring those things within our work is really all we 've got.

Do you think Jackson Pollick was the first artist to sling some paint on a Canvass? No, he just became famous for it because the time was right and he was in the right place (and he took it as his own, it became his style).

Feel free to comment. Shanti Marie

Young Women- A painting a day

This small painting 4 by 6 is a semi abstract panting of a women. I like the colors and the feel of the young women looking away.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A painting a day - The Fool

This is a small post card size painting which is for sale as a ACEO card on E bay.
For September 11th,I felt it would be appropriate. You can see my listing on ebay if your interested in the symbolism.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Angel's Trumpets', One Artist's story

At an exhibit of my paintings, I met a whole Gaggle of designers and two of them give me a commission. I don't know how you feel about commissions but I haven't always had the best of luck with them.
Here how it went: The designer asks me if I would paint a painting just like the one I had in the show but with different colors. I explain the inherent problem in planning any watercolor painting and that no two are exact. That's the beauty of it. Even the artist can't always paint the same painting. I say this indicating it has to do with my style of painting. Which is direct painting over a wet and wet underpainting which has been glazed over to bring it all together. Since I respond to the painting as it goes along rather then have a definate plan, the painting will be a good painting but may not look exacly like the one she saw in the show. If she understood that, I would try to match her "colors" if she could bring in a swatch of fabric.
We meet and I go over the size and the price and make sure she understands what it will look like as much as possible. I also have several other paintings with me of the same series and we discuss what she likes about each. I take her swatches and paint a rough draft of the painting and we meet again to see if the colors are good and the composition as she wishes. She is estactic everything is wonderful yes, go ahead and finish the painting. Several weeks later, we meet again and she tells me , (remember this is after a drawing, a rough painting and now a complete painting), that she wanted it in the landscape format. The original and all the others she had seen were done in a portrait format. Did she mention wanted it in a landscape format, ever? No. I think not. So I go home, paint another painting and that painting is my painting for today. You can see it is rather nice and has a good feel, her colors were wonderful and I was glad that I didn't get angry with her. While all this was going on she picked out another of my completed gold fish paintings and purchased it for the same home. She was going to put it in the bathroom. I didn't care, better in someones home, even if it may sit over the toilet, than gathering dust.
I also have a small postcard painting I painted last night,and will put it up later but this story is a perfect example why painters don't like commissions. Oh yes, The name of the painting is
"Angel's Trumpets"

Friday, September 08, 2006

What to Create. How does an artist decide.

I have been in a bit of a quandary lately over what to paint next, no not these little paintings, but bigger paintings 1/2 sheets to full size sheets.

I just finished a series. I decided I wanted to start another series or so I thought. The problem is: I cannot for the life of me get the second painting started. This tells me maybe I really don't want to make it into a series. The series was about ritual and how we have always use ritual to connect us to one another and to our past. The first piece was an abstract and it was painted very dark and had lots of color. I like it and it is hanging in a show now.

With the fall art season breathing down my neck, the pressure to paint something which will be accepted into these shows and hopefully win has got me confused. You see, usually I get into the show, but I' m always the bride's maid rarely the bride. I think its my approach. I don't have a strategy.

I don't look up the judge's credentials to see which way their art leans or even what their medium is. I don't try to paint what the judge paints. For years I didn't enter art shows because I didn't want to be influenced by awards. I stayed away from organizations and groups. I have always believed the work speaks for its self. Problem is: If no one see the work, it has no voice. Now I've been told I should always keep my work out there in circulation, be part of an artist community and recognition will come in time. But of course, in entering these shows, I have done everything wrong. Once, I submitted nudes in a show where I ( no lie) over heard the judge say, " I guess I'll have to pick the obligatory nude". Another time I submitted a very detailed still life of glass and fruit, when the judge (who was a sculptorby the way) selected a charcoal of a nude I thought maybe I should have known. Then, I painted abstracts and all the awards went to still life paintings, can you believe it? The worse thing was that these shows were all back to back too.

That brings us to this point in time. This last show allowed each artist three pieces, I submitted a koi which was very good, a landscape which was done in my unique style and an abstract. I figured I almost had everything covered, sure I didn't have a nude or a still life but I had most of the bases covered. To my surprise and happiness, they all get in. But you guessed it, none are chosen for an award and I am still confused. Of course in looking at the winners which all of us do, we ask ourselves" is this work more unique, better executed, than mine? We usually say no not really. You know and I know that all judging is subjective and what one judge chooses and another judge chooses (in the same show) would be totally different. Still it would be nice to win more often.

Now you can see, why I hardly know what to paint. I have let this show thing get in the way of my personal search.

This time, I have decided to paint something that is complex without to much detail, something that is well designed and has my own personal style, something painterly.
I'll let you know how it goes. I have about a month.

Blue Anemone -A painting a day

This painting reminds me that rules can be broken. I'm speaking as an artist who knows your not supposed to place anything interesting on the edge of a painting and you should avoid crosses or X' s whenever possible. I like this composition and I think both of those things fit this painting.
I actually like that it really is a painting of one flower but since you see the edge of two others, it seems as though it is a painting of three flowers. The size is 8 by 10 and is painted on white 140 lb watercolor paper.

A painting a day - Sunset beach

This painting is a post card size painting. It was done in the multible glazing style. It will go for $15.00 . The glazing gives this painting a soft feel. It could be framed in a 5 by 7 frame with a mat and would look very nice.
I 'm also working on a small floral painting that I'll put up later this morning. I like this glazing style but it doesn't fulfill my need to paint entirely, as it is a bit too loose and not enough direct painting, also because of the size. I find I like the slightly larger paintings of at least 8 inches by 10 inches.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hurricane Katrina Remembered

I have been seeing a lot of coverage on TV about Hurricane Katrina. I'm guessing this is why this little painting surfaced. Often if I paint without a plan or a drawing and allow my right brain to have its way, these painting emerge. I'm no phyciatrist but I would say these things effect us more than we realize and when painting without a drawing, or a plan, we allow whatever is in us to come forth. Usually I don't even know what it is I'm painting till I'm almost finished. Usually like a light bulb coming on, I see it and then I realize what it is.
I really like the colors in this piece and the abstract quality of the shapes.
This painting is an 1/8 sheet (8" by 10") of watercolor paper and will available for $45.00

I 'm still working on my postcard paintings and have one on the table now. No cows in sight unless they are stolling on the beach in the moonlight, Haha.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sunset Pastures

This small painting is post card size, painted on 140 lb Watercolor paper. It was done with multiple glazes and direct painted after the glazes have dried. I am already getting a bit tire of these cows, I'll have to think of something else to paint. Maybe sheep?
These little paintings are actually a liitle bit of a challenge for me as I usually paint pretty BIG.
I like to paint on 15" by 22" usually. This is a half sheet of watercolor paper. I find this size easy for large brushes but not to big for detail. These post card size painting 3 1/2 inches by 5 inches ( actual size) can be difficult since I like to use a flat brush of at least 1 1/2 inches or a #12 round. Everything you do can help you so I'm game to try it for awhile. I think I like the 6 by 9 inch better because I can get in a bit more detail.

If you cannot see this painting it can be viewed
or go to for several other pages of paintings.

Thanks for your comments.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Misty Morning- A painting Day

This small painting is from one of the underpaintings that was sitting on my painting table in the last post. It has about 8 or 9 washes over it to give it that misty feel. It is post card size (4 inches by 6 inches) and is available for $16.00 I will put up the other three, as I do them each day. I will do a series of cows in fields. They would look good together or if you prefer, separate. You could frame them in a 5 by 7 inch frame if they were matted or as you say in Europe, mounted. Hope you enjoy. Shanti Marie

Monday, September 04, 2006

A painting a day set -up

The water is gone, Ernesto has blown over and the skis are overcast but starting to look better. I can now start to put furniture back in the studio, even if its on a cement slab. I brought in just the essentials so I could keep my painting a day series going. I have some small 4 by 6 pieces started. Here are some photos of the paints I use, the table and how I set up my work. If you have questions, just write to me and I'll be happy to answer anything you are wondering about. For larger paintings I obviously need more room and paint on an easel or on a table top easel. The mini muffin tins I use are an art subject in themselves and one day I will paint them. I like to have all the colors together, the blues, the reds, and the yellows. I also like to have at least one cool and one warm of each color but as you can see sometimes I have more. I like various characteristics of certain colors, grainy, opaque, transparent so even though I may have say antwerp and cyan both very similar in hue one is transparent and clean while one is staining and will go much darker.

I use large brushes and the tins give me enough room to dip most of my brushes in without having to work at it. I could buy even larger tins but then I would have a problem with fitting them on my table next to me. I use at least one tube of paint in each well and have specific colors designated for each spot. This way I do not have to think as to where a certain color is, I know their location instantly. If I want to use a color say Opera which I love but don't use often enough to deem it worthy of a spot, I put some paint from the tube onto a ceramic tile, or into a small soy sauce take out container. I use it like this until its gone. Each muffin tin is then placed in a zip lock bag after painting to keep my paints creamy. I only use certain brands for certain colors. I did an extensive study to determine which paints were right for my style. I bought various paints and made these color charts and compared all the paints to see which one was right for me and now, if I need a certain charateristic I can go to these charts and make my choice. People have actually thought the charts were great and wanted to buy them. They are really colorful and seeing all the reds at once is breathtaking for an artist.
I have a mirror I use because sometimes you need to see the work from a different perspective or at a distance. The mirror is on the all above the table.

I use mostly flat brushes but have many rounds that I like for detail work. The flats are from 1/4 inch to 3 inches and most are both synthetic and natural hair combination brushes. I paint with sables but those brushes are the smaller brushes. I use bristle brushes for softening edges and scrubbing out.
I use two containers of water one for clean water and one for getting all the paint off of the brushes. I use a smooshed up roll of toilet paper with a lint free paper towel wrapped around it. This I use to remove all the water from the brush. I use gator board as a support, and plenty of cotton towels. That it! Now I'm back in business!
Later tonight I'll post my work for today. Happy Labor day, If I'm painting it is a labor of love.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Little Koi

Koi are a great subject and I have painted many. I did an entire series or large paintings of Koi. I did them using the saturated wet technique, direct painting and wet and wet. They look great no matter what the style. This little koi was painted in a direct, dry style and is on a plain white background. It measures 12 by 15. The great thing about this painting is it looks great both ways portrait or landscape. P.S. I put up my little library table so I can do these small paintings and as we are waiting for all moisture to evaporate, my larger work will be put on hold. I'll try to put up a photo of my set up. It works really well. I have three small paintings, drying now with just an under painting on each.

Friday, September 01, 2006

This little painting was something I painted to help myself learn to paint reflections. I painted it from a real still life, I set up. Wow try to say that three times. Often, I use photographs, but if I can, I will use the actual objects. The Silk had these black stands or threads running thru it and I had to decide how to depict it or to leave it out. I left them out, the silk wasn't as important as getting the reflections right. The silk was a struggle and would have been a good study in itself. It had this shiny texture and that was difficult to capture. I chose to ignore the shine and just make it a red cloth. The silver pitcher presented some problems as well, but for the most part I work them out. I think the painting is a good little painting and I may one day incorporate this pitcher in a larger stilllife painting.