Monday, August 31, 2009

Three Winter Night ACEOs--SOLD

watercolor on gessoed paper
3.5 x 2.5 inches

That was fast! All three of these are going to a good home, to be displayed together. Thank you!


I was experimenting with painting with watercolor on paper treated with gesso--it makes a beautifully malleable surface and creates effects not possible any other way. I've used a variation on this technique for decades--it's exciting, unpredictable, and allows a great deal of lifting and restating. I did a large painting with this technique for my latest book, and this little card-size painting just for the experience.

I had prepared two sheets of good watercolor paper by slathering it with gesso, with loose, random strokes to encourage a variety of textures, even patting it with my hand here and there while it was still wet. Once the gesso dried, I painted over both sheets with watercolor, which sits on the surface and makes wonderfully interesting textures. I used one sheet for the larger painting in the book, and found particularly interesting passages that would make good backgrounds for the ACEOs. I cut them to size, then painted the tiny landscapes on them, lifting where necessary and flooding in the cadmium orange on the one with the owl.

A great exercise for the imagination!


I've been fascinated by these tiny paintings for several years, and because of their small size and affordability, have been able to own original paintings from several artists whose work I admire a great deal.

ATCs are artist trading cards, and that's how the phenomenon started out--but many people who were not artists wanted to collect these little jewels, too. So ACEOs were born--still the size of a playing card, but "artist cards, editions and originals" to meet this need. Some ACEOs are prints and some are still original, as is this one.

People are collecting and displaying these tiny paintings in ingenious ways--framed and grouped together, piled in baskets, in scrapbooks--however they want!

I hope the idea allows you to own an original work of art--get your feet wet...

And again, a huge thank you to my buyer, whose excitement and enthusiasm are contagious!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Hi all! This was so much fun and had such an amazing response last time, I decided to do it again! I'm offering another Watercolor Basics CD, FREE, to the lucky winner.

This time we'll draw from the first 50 people to post here! (Please be sure to include your name or some way to contact you privately if you win.)

Above is one of my favorite paintings on the CD--done on the spot at Rocky Hollow Park, but still with a variety of techniques you'll want to explore.

This CD is full of information, examples, paintings, and step-by-step demos in PDF form--you can print them out to read whenever or wherever you are!

There are also lots of exercises to familiarize you with basic techniques and skills, or let you brush up if you haven't painted for a while! Even old hands have told me they've picked up some new info.

There are 14 in-depth instructional PDFs on the CD, plus a mini-catalog, artist's bio, and more...

Below are three new examples of the art you'll see:

Watercolor Basics normally sells for $16.99 on my website catalog--feel free to click the link to learn more about it!

I'll have Joseph draw the winner's name next weekend, and ship it to you Priority Mail at the first of the next week.

Good luck, and hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Watkins Mill Sunday--plein air sketch

Detail, below...
"Watkins Mill Sunday" 9" x 12" a plein air sketch watercolor and Prismacolor pencil on cold pressed paper
I love painting quick, fresh washes over a colored pencil sketch! I did this one as part of a series at Watkins Mill State Historic Park, on a hot summer day. We don't often see sailboats on the lake, so it was a real treat to watch this one skim silently over the water. I think the pale waves and simple reflections really suggest the heat of this particular summer--it was often in the 90s or low 100s when I'd finally give up painting and go back to the AC!
This sketch will come to you double-matted but unframed for ease of shipping; I wrap with care and send via Priority Mail for most dependable shipping. $50  

Cooley Lake House--originally in The Artist's Magazine

"Cooley Lake House" 9" x 12" watercolor on cold pressed paper
Did you ever have one of those times when everything just went right--things fell into place, your tools behaved as you wanted them to, and the colors of the world just sang to you? That's how I felt when I did this painting--it just worked, for me. The beautiful, honest old farm house with its broad, inviting porch is no longer there--it was on a new Missouri Department of Conservation acquisition, Cooley Lake Wildlife Area, and it was considered to be an "attractive nuisance," liable to be a danger or a target to vandals. I'm glad I painted it and its old barn before it was gone. This is on an old oxbow of the Missouri River, before the channel moved, perhaps in the 1953 flood; what a view that would have been from the house! We've been there many times to watch the herons, ducks, and thousands of snow and Canada geese. It's much quieter now, as eutrophication has filled in the lakes until they're quite shallow, but it's still a great place to paint. ---------------
While watercolor is still quite damp, you can use the handle of an aquarelle brush, a cut-up credit card, or your fingernail to push color out of the way to make lighter areas. Here you can also see a bit of spatter, some wet in wet work and even a tiny bit of salt to make the texture of the rough grasses whispering in the wind... A figure, carefully painted, suggests the quiet and isolation. I scratched a bit of detail in the upper edge of the grassy area, can you see it? Drybrush work with varied greens made good foliage; I connected the leaf masses with fine, dark lines to show the trunks and branches.
This is a favorite place to paint; I've done dozens at the wildlife area. Painting in a series or in a specific locale helps to ground us, and there's never a reason to be bored--nature is too varied and interesting!
This painting will come to you matted but unframed for ease of shipping; it also allows me to keep costs down and make art available to more people! I wrap with care and send via Priority Mail for most dependable shipping.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

And the winner is....

Thanks to all of you who entered the drawing for my tutorial CD, above! You may have seen it in THIS post and I really appreciated all of you who visited and threw your hats in the ring!

I assigned numbers as the requests came in, made little slips of paper with each number on it, shuffled them well and had Joseph draw the winner from HIS old Scots bonnet--

And the winner is..........Jesse/Joan, in Las Vegas! Congratulations! Joan (or Jesse?) you sent me your email address, so I'll write you there for your mailing address.


I WILL be doing this again in the next few weeks, so keep watching this space...not sure if it will be the same CD or another one.

Someone asked if they could still get a CD if they didn't win, and of course you can! There's a link at right, or they're all on my CafePress shop, here:

Thanks, all, for the wonderful response!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stunned at the giveaway response!

I had no idea the response would be so overwhelming--I'm humbled and amazed!

Sooooo...I'll be doing this again in a few weeks, with this or another CD. So do check back and thank you SO much, all who have left comments.

Watch for the winner on Saturday!

A Watercolor Basics CD Give-away on my Blog!

This CD is just chock-full of information, examples, and step by step demos--lots of exercises to familiarize you with techniques and skills, or let you brush up if you haven't painted for a while!

There are 14 instructional PDFs on the CD, plus my bio, a mini-catalog, and more...

I just discovered I have a few extras of this CD, so I'm giving one away to the lucky name I draw from the first 30 people to post here! (Please include your name or some way to contact you privately.)

Below are three examples of the art you'll see:

Watercolor Basics normally sells for $16.99 on my website catalog--feel free to click the link to learn more about it!

I'll have an impartial party (oh, OK, Joseph!) draw the winner's name over the weekend, and ship it to you Priority Mail at the first of next week.

Good luck, and hope you like it!


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