Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Here is What Has Been Happening in My World...

The last few months have been very busy with demonstrations and workshops, I have had the privilege and pleasure of traveling and meeting so many talented watercolorists. Every workshop and demonstration is a learning experience for me, I pick up some fun new tips from my students, and see the beautiful results of all my students after each workshop. At the end of workshop it is always a bitter-sweet, saying good-bye to my new friends is a sad moment, coming home is always so nice.
Here are some photos of my past few weeks -

September 19, 2009 Demonstration for Morro Bay Art Association, Morro Bay California. They have a beautiful 2-story gallery along with an awesome workroom, an instructors dream for a workshop.
I will be teaching a 2- day workshop for this Association in March 2010, and am so looking forward to returning and getting to know this group of artists.

September 24-26 2009 - A three day workshop at Filoli Estates in Woodside, California.
Here are some of the students paintings on day 2 - believe me they worked very hard to get to this point, I so appreciated all their hard work. And such beautiful results for all!

Here is Guy Magallanes, all dressed up for my demonstration before the NMWS, doesn't he look great with his nifty vest?

During my 5-day workshop I demonstrated before the group, they have this fabulous set-up with a camera that projects my image onto the wall so that all can see, even the oops moments were recorded!! What a great evening - just loved this group.
Here are my students stretching their watercolor paper onto stretchers bars, staples were flying on this project.
Outside my hotel window I would wake up each morning to see the balloon festival afloat. Just a beautiful sight.
October 5-9, 2009, The workshop room, all my students getting ready for the beginning of what was to be a wonderful workshop. There is Lulu in the front row, she came all the way from Australia!
Here is a ballon trying to land in the parking lot of the Expo Fairgrounds, right next to our classroom.

October 14, 2009 we drove to Pasadena CA, in the pouring rain for the Learning Products Expo. We were all given a beautiful classroom to set-up Guy and I shared a classroom.
Here is Guy trying to get our projector set up for the showing of Art 2 Art, yes we take our art very seriously...And below is the beautiful classroom we shared.
That is it for now -

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Untitled Varnished Watercolor

Finished!! This piece is 24" x 30" I must say I love this piece, not ready to put a price tag on it just yet. It will do a little traveling before it goes up for sale. First stop Pasadena Expo. Also a portion of this piece will be a lesson I am teaching in New Mexico, Filoli and Pasadena. Hope I will see some of you at one of these events.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Art 2 Art Filming

Three cameras, lots of lights one director, one tech assistant, hours of set-up, tons of make-up and lots laughs and the filming of Episode 4 for Art 2 Art is complete.
Look at all the palettes! What were we thinking?
Here we are before our the filming, getting our microphones hooked up. It was amazing seeing Gallery 2611 transformed into a studio for filming.

Here we are at the end of filming "Art 2 Art", Guy and I had a little paint fight at the end. Check out the paint on the shirt.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Norris Canyon Workshop

On day three, Guy Magallanes came along with me to visit the ranch and to take photos. No such thing as a free ride, buddy. I asked Guy to paint the sky, using the Guy method! What a treat getting two perspectives in one workshop. The students got a little insight of the Asilomar Workshop, April 2010.
Thanks Guy it was so fun having you teach too, looks like we both will be signing the painting. For more photos of the ranch and Guy's adventures check out his blog at
My fabulous students are working hard. Learning how to paint the crinkles of the Icelandic Poppies' pedals.
Day three we were finishing up the painting, here I am demonstrating how to paint the white poppy. Yes I know, can't paint without the tongue sticking out.
Here we are painting the Icelandic Poppy, dark to light learning the Joyce method.
Last weekend I taught a three day workshop in Castro Valley, coordinated by Cynthia, Donna and Michelle from the Pleasanton Art Group. Cynthia and her partner Susan and their son Vincent, were so sweet to open their home to the group. The photo above is the beautiful setting of the backyard of their ranch, which is 56 acres of breath taking rolling hills for our back drop. Along with this wonderful setting, we were accompanied by a rooster named "Sunny" crowing and strutting, along with the many beautiful, hens. On day 2 of the workshops two baby chicks were born. Congratulations to the mother hen and Sunny.
We also had Jessie James, the Jack Russell, so sweet and friendly, taking turns to sit on our laps, as well as Sabastian the cat was also in competition for our attention, owning the his space, both pets making us feel right at home. I could not stop smiling throughout the workshop, love being in the country.
Just want to acknowledge Cynthia, Susan and Vincent for the use of the home and letting us come and be a part of their family for the past three days, this workshop will be one of the most memorable, thank you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Work in Progress

Here is my latest painting, it is watercolor, size 30"w x 24" h. I have a little bit of time in between workshops, I am hoping to finish this before the end of this week. This still life has my favorite piece of glass in it, the big piece in the middle was purchased in Murano, Italy. Just a little more to go, I will post the final photo once it is finished.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chicago Learning Products Expo Workshop

Here is the North Light booth again, during our lunch hour Laurie and I would attend the booth and sign a few books. For more information on the Pasadena Expo, check out their website at If you can attend this event it is so well worth the time to come meet the instructors take a 3 or 6 hour workshop and shop for fabulous bargains and the vendors booth.
Here is a close-up of the poster for North Light's booth, I got the opportunity to meet Laurie Humble. It was wonderful meeting another artist, Laurie humble that has an interest in painting the same subject of realism and Laurie has a wit that made me laugh throughout the 3-days of teaching. Thank you Laurie it was great having our classrooms so close, I look forward to seeing you in Pasadena
Here is my classroom set-up and ready for the next three crazy fun days to follow. My day started at 9:00 and ended at 4:00. We had 45 minutes to grab a bite for lunch and then directly back to painting.
Here are a few photos from The Chicago Learning Products Expo - North Light's booth this is just prior to the doors opening for the visitors to the Expo. Unfortunately all of my photos are at the beginning of the expo, once classes started it was on, and I forgot to take the time to pull out the camera. thank you to all the wonderful artists I had in my workshops, you all are truly great taking the time to trust my method and apply it to your own paintings, you all are just the best, I am still smiling thinking of the past few days.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I sold "Facets & Fractures" 45"x20" varnish watercolor painting yesterday, unfortunately not in the fashion I am use to, allow me to explain...
I took 4 paintings in to be framed, my local frame shop has closed and so I decided to give Aaron Brothers a try. Received a call, voicemail, from the framer at Aaron Bros. that 3 of the 4 paintings were ready, but so sorry to say while framing one of the paintings, a screw had dropped onto the canvas portion and had poked a hole into the painting.
My heart sunk, they did not mention which piece, I thought hope it's not "Facets & Fractures". I got there and sure enough it was this painting, the framing had been complete, and it look awesome, but the painting was not repairable. The framer felt awful about it, she had cried. I gave her a hug and told not to worry. The hole was the size of a screw, up in the left hand corner. It was so sad, Aaron Brothers agreed to purchase the piece. My next questioned was will they destroy it or will the company hang it? The framer said it may be shipped to the company headquarters, to hang. So I agreed to let them buy it feeling that at least it would hang somewhere. As I repeated this story to my husband, last evening, I got the sinking feeling that it was the same type of story you tell a kid when the family dog is missing, "the dog is on a big farm where he has lots of room to run". This piece will more than likely be destroyed which is so sad to me, but the decision was either make a sale or keep damaged goods. So I opted for the sale, with hopes to re-paint this still life in the future.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Riley Street Art Supply Vendor's Fair

On Saturday I gave a demonstration and had a book signing at the Riley Street Art Supply Vendor's Fair in Santa Rosa CA. What a fun event, the group that came to see me demonstrate was such a fun group. Thank you all for attending! And a big thank you to Riley Street, all of you worked so hard, making sure everyone was happy and keeping us all very cool, it was about
100 degrees outside, and air conditioned inside. I will return to Santa Rosa to the Riley Street Art Supply store to teach a 2-day workshop Aug 29-30th. And a huge thanks to my friend and watercolor partner Guy Magallanes, he came along and was a huge trooper through out the heat of the day. Guy demonstrated his work and spoke with prospective students for our Asilomar workshop. Thanks Guy, you made the day fun.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The final glazes have now been added. The painting is finished. Remember to paint with joy and happiness and success will follow!!

Paint in the middles values, this will get this will get this vase ready for the final glaze of light values.
Here the vase with glazes of gray, blue and yellow, all the strange dark shapes now will come together and the vase gets the depth and volume, as well as transparency.

To begin the Murano vase, paint all the darkest shapes first. As I was painting this I thought ee-gads get the shapes right, this only made my brush strokes become jagged and stiff.
I tell my students "don't take the shapes literally, best to paint with joy and ease, this will come through in your painting". So after taking myself too seriously, I thought "hey practice what you preach, have fun and let the brush do the work."

Painting the shadow, is a bit of a challenge, but very rewarding . Begin with painting in the shadow shape closest to the vase, paint one shadow at time. Paint in the dark gray, while it was wet I then painted in the yellow highlight, keeping enough moisture, in each shape. Clean your brush and gently add some clear water for the highlights for the shadow. Once you have completed this portion of the shadow keep moving and do not paint back into the areas you have just painted. Let it be and let the paint float. It is a tricky technique, controlling with out controlling the out come. Letting the paint float will give you clean results, and not an over worked shadow. Next I will paint the Murano Vase.

Glazing the yellow vase, I used a combination of transparent yellow, a hint of permanent rose and quinacridone gold. This portion of the vase was glazed three times, allowing each pass to dry throughly. First with the above combination, second glaze pure transparent yellow, then back to the first combo of pigments, skipping area to give the highlight of the glass.
The darkest shapes first - adding a variety of values, will give the base depth and roundness. 

Painting the Murano Vase

Here is my palette, looks messy but it is an organized mess.  I have mixed burnt sienna & phthalo blue for the rich dark brown, to begin my painting at the lower portion of the vase.  I love painting this portion of the vase, knocking in the darks is just a very comfortable way for me to see the beginning of my painting.  Next I mix various golden colors using Quinacridone Gold, transparent yellow and a hint of permanent rose.  I mix separate puddles of the pigment so that I can have them ready to go as I paint the detail of this vase.
I will begin this painting mixing the darkest values for the yellow vase first.
Good Morning - It is 7:45 and this watercolorist is ready to go.  Painting early in the morning is wonderful, with no interruptions.  Above is a photo of my workspace, clean palettes, brushes, paper towels and of course my line drawing ready to be painted.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Details details, finishing the little bit of flower and the bottle in the background only took another 30 minutes.  As usual this dark to light watercolorist, painted in the darkest shapes of the petals of the flower n the right side, first I mixed permanent rose with phthalo blue, for a dark red, in a couple strokes I painted the darkest value, while it was still wet I put down another stroke of paint directly next to it.  I wanted to achieve the movement & depth of the petal but give it too much importance to the still life.
And of course last but not the green perfume bottle, dark to light using Winsor Green (blue shade) and adding a hint of transparent yellow.
So this watercolorist is calling it day, tomorrow  I will paint my 2nd 3-hour lesson, "The Murano Glass".

Painting the shadow, this is as easy as it gets in watercolor, wet the are with clear water and drop in the pigment, let the water do it's thing.  I love this shadow, warms to cools.  I did just begin painting the stopper.  Pain very light values,  follow the curves and wha-la success.

Finishing touches on the perfume bottle. Up in the right hand (corner?) area of the perfume bottle I painted in a heavy mixture of dark blue then gently adding a mixture of purple, this are is the only tricky area, it is all in the timing and keeping a bead of pigment so that it does not dry out while switching colors, this is called a gradated wash, with a pesky highlight.

Add water to the pigments in which was mixed for the darkest values, this will give you the mid to dark values paint the shapes in that will begin to add more depth to the perfume bottle.  As you can see the bottle is a reflective surface, this is why there are so many detail shapes.  I will not be able to paint in all the shapes for this lesson, due to the small amount of time available for this workshop.  Now the painting is ready for the glazes of the lightest values, which will blend and give the perfume bottle a full shape.

Mixing Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Green (blue shade) and Phthalo blue for the darkest darks.  This is a bit interpretive and if you paint and follow the shapes, the spirit of the glass will come through.  For the darkest values of the gold/yellow on this perfume bottle, I mixed quinacridone gold with permanent alizarin crimson and a hint of phthalo blue.  I am setting this up for the mid to dark values to be painted in next.  

"Capturing The Splendor of Light"

This will be a one of three 3-hour workshops I will be teaching, at Learning Products Expo, Chicago.  The name of this workshop is "Capturing the Splendor of Light".  And away I go to begin the painting. 
I painted the background with a mixture of winsor green (blue shade) permanent alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna.  I used the wet into wet technique, to allow the pigment to float and create some highlights, rather than painting a flat black background. 
I will be teaching this lesson and more at the Learning Products Expo in Chicago.  The name of the workshop is "Watercolorist Guide to Painting Crystal & Glass",  it will be a six hour workshop on Saturday, July 11, 9-4  PM.  For more information on this workshop visit  Hope to see you in Chicago!
Painting the tangerines, first I painted in a wash of transparent yellow, while the wash is still wet I blended in a darker value of orange to give the tangerine texture and volume.  This technique, blending on the paper, is a quick and easy way of painting,  I also begin painting the base of the crystal bowl.  Using a light wash mixture of gray and phthalo blue.
Next the background...

I finished painting in the sides of the bowl, using a wet into wet technique, and gently laying in my mixture of gray values, as well as my mixture of orange.  This area of the bowl is a bit interpretive,  allow the wet into wet technique to move you pigment, lots of lost and soft edges.
Mixing Permanent Rose and Transparent Yellow,  I gently painted a light wash of my orange mixture, as the paint is wet I then dropped in a darker value of orange.  Next step I will define the tangerine a little bit more. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chicago Learning Products Expo Workshop

Two of the fans on the cut crystal is now completed, it may seem a bit heavy for glass, however once the rest of the bowl is complete, the beauty of the cut crystal will come forward.
This area of the cut crystal which looks like a fan, as you can see there is a dark side and a light to this part of the cut crystal.  I began again with the dark side of each blade that is in the fan area.  I was anxious to paint in the orange, wanted to see the fan/blades of the cut crystal develop.  Mixing transparent yellow and permanent rose for the reflective color from the tangerines.  The shapes might seem complicated but once you begin painting each shape, it begins to represent the cut crystal.
Begin with the darkest shapes of the cut crystal, mixing permanent alizarin crimson, winsor green (blue shade) and phthalo blue, in your palette, mix a nice variety of dark values, from black to a mid tones.   I began with painting the darkest shapes of the cut crystal, on the lower portion of the bowl.   
Here is one of the four lessons I will be teaching at the Learning Products Expo in Chicago.  This lesson is "Watercolorist Guide to Painting Crystal and Glass".  Above is the reference photo for this lesson.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Painting Dark to Light

Begin this lesson at Step One Below

Here it is, just that easy. Looking for darkest values first than mid tones, than your lightest values. This poppy took me about an hour to paint. Using a 1/2 inch & 3/4 inch one stroke brush. Results you still keep the translucent, luminous effect and the glazing at the end results in a great combination of values and depth. Controlling your values through glazing is a traditional way to paint in watercolor, but if you want quick results and deep intense contrast, try this method, you may enjoy it. More to come...

Now I have painted in my darkest and middle values. The poppy is now ready to have the lightest values ready to be painted in. 1,2,3 just that easy.

Look closely, here I am glazing a middle value over my darker value, previously painted, and allowed to dry throughly. When glazing over my darkest values I use a one stroke brush which releases the paint evenly without much pressure. This brush is great for this technique because it won't disturb or move the pigment.

Next step for your dark to light method is to find the mid to dark values, mixing permanent rose with quinacridone gold and adding a bit more water, results my mid to dark values for this poppy.

This poppy was painted in a little over an hour, using the dark to light method. No more glazing and waiting for your darks to pop, painting your darkest values first is time saving and instant gratification for watercolorists. Tired of glazing and glazing to get your darkest values? Than this is the method for you. For my darkest values I mixed permanent rose, and quinacridone gold, with a hint of thalo blue, for a rich dark pink.