Series 2

chickens, rooster, free range, painting, art, farm scene, folk life

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been taking a class from Carla Sonheim. This is with a cadre of international students and an enthusiastic, multi talented instructor. I am as happy as can be…and learning so much.

This year’s curriculum is about creating in a series.

Any serious artist can tell you that coming up with a meaningful subject and thoughtful series is difficult.

What am I trying to communicate?

This is a step forward from learning technique and developing a style.

It reminds me of learning French. You know the vocabulary and the verb tenses but can you have a conversation?

My second series is based on the outdoors, the freedom, the colors, and freshness of the idealized farm life. I used latex paint and acrylics with charcoal and ink for materials.

chicken, farm life, painting, art, folk life
Why Did the Chicken? Acrylic and Mixed Media. 16″ x 20″. $295.
chicken, still life, tropical flowers, free range chicken, art
On Vacation. Acrylic and Mixed Media. 16″ x 20″. $295.
chicken, starry night, farmyard, free range chicken, art, painting
Starry Night. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″, $295.

…and the chickens that look as though they are plucked and ready for the frying pan….

chickens, free range chickens, horse, starry night, pasture, art, painting, folk art
What’s for Dinner? Acrylic and Mixed Media, 20″ x 16″, $295.

The colors of the outdoors and the imagined cutting garden of magazine photographs are so inviting.

still life and purring machine wm

Master of all He Surveys. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″, $295.


Bird, flowers, still life, painting, art, bird watcher
Hide and Seek. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″ stretched canvas, $295.
cat, flowers. still life, folk art, painting, art
Biding His Time. Acrylic and Mixed Media. 20″ x 30″. $750.
Spring Forth. Acrylic and mixed media, 18″ x 24″, $495.

Options for the third series are on my mind. Am I ready to have a conversation?


New Orleans Collection

As most of you know I was in a serious car accident over Memorial Day weekend with my husband. This was two and a half months after my sweet mother passed away. Thank you for your patience and kindness. We are fine and moving forward with optimism and much gratitude.

I have been participating in a yearlong on-line class taught by Carla Sonheim from Seattle, WA. The focus is working in a series.

My first series was work I created using my Great Aunt Ruth’s photo album. The photos dated from the 1920s to the 1940s. Many were taken in New Orleans. My hometown.

I set parameters for my images. They would be 18″ x 24″, acrylic over watercolor color field painting, and on paper.

Before I began I tested my new technique on 9″ x 12″ paper.

Mixed Media
Dining Room Chair. Mixed Media. 9″ x 12″. $75.00
Mixed Media
Lady Seated. Mixed Media. 9″ x 12″. $75.00

I enjoyed this layering of acrylic over watercolor, so moved forward in a larger format.

Mixed Media: acrylic paint, watercolor, charcoal on paper
Aunt Ruth’s Wedding. 18″ x 24″. Mixed Media.
Mixed Media. Acrylic, watercolor, charcoal.
Lady on the Bayou. Mixed Media. 18″x 24″. Sold.
Mixed Media. Acrylic, watercolor, charcoal
My Family. Mixed Media. 18″ x 24″. NFS

I have just completed my second series which I will show you next time. Be careful out there!


Ink Blots

There are few things easier to create on purpose or by accident than an ink blot.

There is so much and so little to read into one. We can check with Rorschach for that.

I am taking a year long class with Carla Sonheim. One of our assignments was to enjoy making and adding to ink blots.

Lady Blot $35. 8.5″ x 11″, ink and colored pencil on paper
Revolutionary Blot $35. 8.5″ x 11″ ink on paper

As the clouds build outside, I have hunkered down in the studio to enjoy some music and continue this ink work.

Surprise Blot $35. 8.5″ x 11″ ink on paper
Dancin’ Blot $35. 8.5″ x 11″ ink on paper

Behind the scenes I have been working on a new series. Having become the keeper of the family photos, I have boxes of inspiration from photos dating from 1920-1945. There will be more on that in future posts.

Read what you like into these blots, Hermann Rorschach would, hopefully, have a heyday with them. Funny thing, I actually knew one of his descendants.

Art Classes and Inspiration

I have been so blessed in being able to take classes taught by Carla Sonheim and last year in conjunction with Lynn Whipple.

This year I have learned even more techniques.

Tiger Walking, pastel and ink
Gorilla sketches, ink and charcoal.

Some of the lessons have been flashbacks to college while others are very imaginative and really get the creative gusto going.

Picasso study on my drafting table.
Picasso study.

You never know how another person’s mind is working. It is fun to see what Carla Sonheim is cooking up for her students every other week.

Flying Person, watercolor, medium, charcoal.
Cut paper, watercolor, charcoal.

A little inspiration from other artists is always welcome. Stirring the pot that is my brain usually results in surprises.

Still life. Watercolor, acrylic, pencil.

The surprises have become something I look forward to daily. What will come from my hand, heart and brain today with the nudge of an art class for inspiration.

What is Art For?

I have been attending an on-line class taught by artists Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple. A year’s adventure with artists from across the world.

Today, fellow artist, Kristel posted a delightful video entitled What is Art for?

The people from The Book of Life, have illustrated what it is all about.

I will try to distill the five points with my own art, but I recommend you watch the video, for a few minutes of humor and clarity.

1. Art Keeps us Hopeful – beauty gives us reason to be hopeful.

Lady of the Stars
Lady of the Stars

2. Art Makes Us Less Lonely – we all have pain and can share that knowledge with art.

Broken Heart Lady
Broken Heart Lady

3. Art Rebalances Us – we are counter balanced with what we need through art.


4. Art Helps us to Appreciate “Stuff” – glamor returns to its rightful place in art.

Family on Birthday Card
Family on Birthday Card

5. Art is Propaganda for What Really Matters – it energizes us for what matters most.

The House at Normandy, on Omaha Beach
The House at Normandy, on Omaha Beach

This video was so clear and helpful in presenting the values that all artists hope to share. So, if you ever wondered, “What is Art for?” tune in to the video.

How to Get Rid of the Winter Blues

This winter has been bitterly cold for some of you folks. It has been cold in Atlanta (12 degrees today plus wind), but we have nothing like the feet of snow piled at some of your doors. The lack of sunshine often brings on the winter blues for some.

Each new year I begin with a project or class to refocus my attitude and give me a case of anything but the blues.

This year I am taking an on-line class led by artists Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple. Last year I took a class with Carla on drawing faces.

Ink painted with eye dropper.
Ink painted with eye dropper.

I lived in Orlando so was familiar with Lynn’s work having admired it in festivals and studio open houses.

What could be more perfect than a blend of the two?

We are in month two of a year’s study. This is pure unadulterated fun. No talent or experience required. There is a monthly discussion of art business if you are slanted in that direction.

Here are a few of the projects I have completed.

The first exercises were one liners or as we used to call them in school, gesture drawings.

Bird One Liner
Bird One Liner
Bird Overlay
Bird Overlay

A little collage fun followed the one liner drawings.

Collage with Family Photo.
Collage with Family Photo.

A combination of new materials was ahead with plexiglass lessons!

My bags are Packed.
My Bags are Packed.
A Bird in the Hand.
A Bird in the Hand.

My winter blues have been swept away with this art adventure. “All will be revealed” as the year rolls by. I challenge you to take a class, in person or on-line. It is a great reason to get up in the morning and have to show up. Blues be damned.


Faces 101

This week I am taking an on-line class from Carla Sonheim.

It has been so much fun, Faces 101. We will create 101 faces by the end of the week. We have used a variety of materials and worked from different source material.

Watercolor and pencil
Watercolor and pencil

This was our first day’s project: watercolor and pencil…. painting little blobs for face and little blobs for hair then adding features. This was from our imagination.

Ink painted with eye dropper.
Ink painted with eye dropper.

Day 2 found us using an eye dropper and ink to draw a face from a photo or other source material.

Pencil and eraser.
Pencil and eraser.

Today was a fun scratchy pencil drawing where we removed pigment with eraser.

Pastel and eraser.
Pastel and eraser.

We finished today with using pastels and erasers, always fun to complete the class with color.

The classes are extremely reasonable, this one is $35. If you need a little creative recreation check out Carla Sonheim’s offerings.