Monday, April 14, 2014

Retro Pop

"Retro Pop", 11" x 12" original watercolor by Carrie Waller

Hi Everyone,

I have finished my painting Woooo Hooo!!!!  I am in love with the colors in this painting and can not wait to paint more in this series:)  I'd like to do a larger version of this piece and I have a really cool, very large (for me) painting from this series that I have coming up soon.

Click on the link below to watch the work in progress video:)


Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Feature: Brenda Raub

"Artist's Thumbprint" by Brenda Raub
won 2nd place in the Daniel Smith 11th Annual Art Contest
This weeks Friday Feature is Brenda Raub.  I met Brenda after we both took home prizes from the Daniel Smith 11th Annual Art Contest.  Brenda's painting, "Artist's Thumbprint", won 2nd prize which prize was an on-line shopping spree from Daniel Smith.  I just fell in love with her piece and couldn't wait to feature her.  Brenda is currently an High School art teacher, I respect that so much about her.  There is nothing better than sharing your talents and shaping young minds:)

To see more of Brenda's work visit her website, and Facebook page .

How did you get your start?  

When I was 19 years old I worked at a bank and thought I should not go to college since I wasn’t strong in Math.  Meanwhile, I kept having reoccurring nightmares of me running from someone.  I had my fortune told to me and she told me that I was probably running away from something that I needed but was afraid of.  So, I thought about it and decided it was going to college to study art!  Sure enough, I’ve never dreamt that nightmare since devoting my studies to art.  What’s your artist journey so far? While in college I did a lot of freelance illustration work.  Even though I was starting to build a portfolio, I still wanted the security of a regular paycheck.  I went into art education and became an art teacher at the same school I graduated from! Throughout the years I’ve been lucky enough to teach not only high school students but also kids and adults in private lessons.  When I’m not teaching I work in my studio on my own work as well as commissions. 

original by Brenda Raub
Where were you born? Duluth Minnesota

If you could live anywhere where would you live? In an artist colony surrounded by beautiful landscapes of mountains, trees, and water.

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why? 

I love still lives.  If it has color and texture I’m probably intrigued and inspired!

original by Brenda Raub
Could you talk about your painting techniques?

 I work with colored pencils.  Layer after layer of various colors create depth and a richness of color.  You can melt colored pencils to create an almost watercolor effect.  You can burnish colored pencils for a more opaque acrylic or oil paint effect.   I will use melting and burnishing in the same painting along with layers and layers of colored pencil to create one of my still lives.  

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

 I mostly use Prismacolor Colored Pencils and my favorite color to use is Tuscan Red!  

Do you have a favorite artist?

 My favorite artist changes as often as the weather in Idaho!  Right now I’m so inspired by Tjalf Sparnaay, a photo realist painter that blows my mind!  Who has been your biggest inspiration?  My biggest inspiration has been my fellow artist’s guild members, other members of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA), my art students, and my patrons.  

original by Brenda Raub
What have been some of your crowning achievements?

 I came in second to Carrie in the Daniel Smith Catalog art contest!  I am a signature member of the CPSA with a monetary award win from their Experimental Juried Show.  

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? 

Dream big here:)  I’d like to make the shift to creating more artwork and a little less teaching.  I want to travel to all different places in the world with camera in hand to take thousands of reference photos.  I’d like to submit my artwork to more magazines and books for publication. I’d love to see one of my artworks as a jig saw puzzle!  I’d like to be surrounded by fellow creatives on a daily basis.  
original by Brenda Raub
What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

  Network, network, network.  Practice, practice, practice.  And, practice some more!  

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

 Value your art and the time you put into it and don’t give it away!  

original by Brenda Raub

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla ice cream, Chocolate everything else

Your dream vacation spot?
West coast of Mexico

Book or movie?

Favorite author?
Stephanie Evonavich 

Favorite movie?

Romance or comedy?

Favorite dessert?
warm fresh dark chocolate brownie with coconut ice cream

Night owl or morning person?

Night owl

Thanks so much Brenda:)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday: "Retro Pop"

"Retro Pop" work in progress  11" x 12" watercolor by Carrie Waller
Today I'm sharing my progress with you:))  Can't wait to share the finished painting with you on Monday!  I absolutely love the colors in this painting and I can't wait to do some more in this series.  I do have to take a break in there and get ready for a workshop I'm teaching on Friday.  I'm trying a new painting with this workshop and I'll tell you all about it next week.

I do hava couple spots available in my "All That Shines:  The Art of Painting Glass in Watercolor" May 15-17th workshop in Baton Rouge, LA.  That will probably be my last workshop in the United States for a while since we are packing up and moving to Japan.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Work In Progress: Retro Pop

"Retro Pop" work in progress 11" x 12" watercolor on 260lb Arches cold press
Finding painting time has been challenging lately.  We are starting to get prepared for our move to Japan.  Between that and spring break and birthday parties and our normal hectic life it's getting a little crazy around her, but I did manage to make some progress and I think with 1 or 2 more painting sessions I can get this one done:)  I really love this painting and am planning on doing a series.

I'm also hosting Artists Helping Artists (#1 art blog radio show) this month.  This Thursday is the 4 year anniversary! I  can't tell you how influential this show has been and how much I have enjoyed listening to it and now co-hosting regularly.  It has truly changed my life.  If you haven't listened you must.  If you are already a fan I could use your help.  Leslie and I would love to know if you have any favorite shows?  What advice has helped you out as an artist that you heard on the show?  We would love to share your comments.  Just leave them here on my blog or on my Facebook page or e-mail them to me

I have a workshop coming up this week that is sold out but I do have a few spots for my workshop "All that shines:  The art of painting glass in watercolor" May 15-17 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  If you are interested click here for details.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Friday Feature: Carol Nelson

"One nineteen 12-072" by Carol Nelson
Hi Everyone,

This week Carol Nelson is the Friday Feature.  I came across Carol on facebook.  Her abstracts have me mesmerized.  They are beautiful, organic, vibrant and just plain cool. She can do it all aside from abstracts she has some beautiful landscapes and still life paintings on her site.

To see more of Carol's work check out her blog and website,

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far? 

I was an art major when I started college, but finished with a scientific degree.  Art was on the back burner for many years, until one day I came across Maxine Masterfield’s book, Painting the Spirit of Nature.  It inspired me to buy all the stuff I need to try her technique.  

"Gemstone 9 12071" by Carol Nelson
That was followed by several years of trying different media, and finally settling on acrylics and mixed media.  I also paint portraits in oil, but the majority of my work is mixed media with an emphasis on experimentation.  I love to try new things.  

If you had told me 6 years ago that I would be teaching workshops in mixed media around the country, I’d have thought you were nuts.  I found out I love sharing my knowledge of contemporary abstract acrylics with other artists.

Where were you born? Duluth, Minnesota

If you could live anywhere where would you live? I love living in Colorado, where the sky is blue and the seasons are dramatic.  I like to vacation near the ocean, but love coming home to my mountains.

"Gemstone 4 1000 12047" original by Carol Nelson

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?  The most consistent theme in my work is my Geologic Abstract Series, which includes my new Gemstone Series.  Many of my paintings are suggestive of the rocks, cliffs, and canyons of the West.  

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  I strive to have deep, vibrant color, and unusual textures in my work.  I often incorporate metals, metal foils, metal leaf, modeling compound, art papers, printed papers, and a variety of textural elements into a painting.

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?  I work exclusively with Golden Fluid Acrylics for the abstract work.  My favorite color is Quinacridone Nickel Azo gold – it ends up in almost every painting.  For my portraits, I use Grumbacher Pretested Oils.

"Gemstone 8 12069" by Carol Nelson

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?  I love abstract expressionist
artists such as Diebenkorn, Rauschenberg, and Rothko.  Since Masterfield’s book started all this, I’d have to say she was the most inspirational to me.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?  Just found out last week that one of my paintings would be on the cover of the new Blick catalog, and also that I am a finalist in The Artists Magazine annual competition.  
My biggest achievement, however, is the continuing popularity of my workshops, where I can show other artists how to be more creative with acrylics and mixed media.

"Orange Dream 12053" by Carol Nelson

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
I’d like to see my work on the cover of some of the major art publications – the Blick Catalog is a start!  It would be nice to be so in demand, that top galleries would seek me out (does that EVER happen?)

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?   There is no substitute for miles on the brush – paint every day.  Join online and local artist groups.  Take workshops and classes.  Start a blog.   Visit galleries often.  Enter competitions.

"Parkview 3 12020" by Carol Nelson
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist? Start a blog.  Then a website.  My whole internet presence started with putting myself “out there” in cyberspace.

Chocolate or vanilla? vanilla

Your dream vacation spot?  Seychelles

Book or movie? Movie (don’t have time to read books).

Favorite author? Margaret Mitchell

Favorite movie? Blues Brothers

Romance or comedy?  comedy

Favorite dessert? Apple pie

Night owl or morning person? Night owl

Thank you Carol for your insightful interview!


Monday, March 31, 2014

A little of this and a little of that!

I have been a total slack when it comes to painting.  I drove the boys to Charleston, SC last week to visit my family with high aspirations of painting but did absolutely no painting.
From Left to Right , Me, My Mom (Judy), my brother Chris, Steven in the middle and Sam on the right.  As a side note my Mom and I get credit for no make-up selfies:)

My Mom and Step Dad, Steven and Sam
There was a lot of this!

And a little of that!  Happy Birthday to my Sam Man who is turning the big 5 today.
Isn't that cool.  I call these light saber lights:)

I did find some inspiration along the way.  I love it when businesses utilize artists in their design.

And I saw these at an artists studio today.  I'm going to make the wreath:)  A reason to save all of my empty tubes:)

I'm back to painting today so I will have some work in progress posted on Wednesday:)


Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Feature: Diane Ziemski

Hi Everone,
"Tops and Bottoms" by Diane Ziemski
It's Friday again.  Today I bring you a very talented watercolor artist that I have had the privilege to get to know during my time here in Arkansas.  It has been great being in shows together.

To see more of Diane's work visit her website .

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?
I have a degree in Home Ec, so in college took a lot of design courses, but never painted until I retired from education at age 52. I considered myself crafty but not artistic. I had moved from a small town in Arkansas to Little Rock, and had just met and married my husband Larry who was USArmy retired.  My sons were both in Medical school and it was then, upon my husband’s urging that I begin a new hobby.  Since I had done exhaustive needlework, I decided to paint and chose watercolors as my medium.  I began by getting books and learning how to paint. simple…..  well, not really, but I did and with inferior products and tools, but I painted for long periods of time each day.  I have taken as many workshops as I could since then, and have been fortunate to have been able to attend workshops with and to paint with many wonderful artists through the Mid-Southern Watercolor Society. I now consider myself a professional artist, and am included on the teaching artist rosters of both Celebrity and Cunard Cruise Lines. I was juried into several international exhibits, many regional exhibits, and have received my signature in the first watercolor society I joined .  

Where were you born?
I was born at Shepards AFB in Wichita Falls. Texas, but was raised in Arkansas.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
Little Rock, Arkansas was my choice of places to live when I retired. I still like it here.
"Yellow Rose After Texas" by Diane Ziemski
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
Portraits in watercolor, because it is just such an intense feeling to see those faces appear on that white paper.  Flowers would be a close choice, because of the vibrant colors. But my husband still says I paint Baskin-robbins style, a different flavor each month……

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  
Since I am self taught, my techniques are probably not the best to encourage new artists,  but they work for me at the moment.  I mostly paint wet on dry, and with strong pigments, I only do washes when I am working on a portrait, and then do up to 12 layers or more, but on most paintings I try to get in and get out on the first time, I do paint by shapes, and sections at at time.  I love having very dark, bold, and bright strong colors. My favorite dark backgrounds are with a dark purple, dark turquoise and dark green all mingled.  I do not like to draw, so when I found out I can make a print of a photo and then use graphite to transfer the drawing to paper, I was elated.  I am a computer geek and so this process was just was I was looking for. I am a decent photographer and now that cameras are digital, I take literally thousands to use as subject matter.

"Jackson" with work in progress shots by Diane Ziemski

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites? 
My go to colors are the entire Daniel Smith list of paints. No, I do not have them all, but I do have a lot of them, and this is my favorite brand of paint. I have a huge palette, no I have 4 or 5 palettes, which in most artists minds are too many colors, but that is what I learned with and continue to use. I have one palette for portraits, but always have the others nearby and open. The Rose painting that got accepted into Splash was using about 15 different yellows, BUT some of my all time favorites are hematite, indigo, Quin coral, and naples yellow.  

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Cindy Agan for her portraits, Birgit O’Connor for florals
I have taken workshops with both of these ladies and am still in touch with them.
"Lady Bug" by Diane Ziemski
What have been some of your crowning achievements?
“SPLASH, 11 The best of Watercolor”
Watercolor USA
22nd Blues & Heritage Festival Poster from my hometown of Helena, AR
Texas & Neighbors Juried Exhibition
Mid-Southern Watercolorists Signature member
UAMS Rockefellar Cancer Center purchase
Portraits of my children and grandchildren

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
Travel as much as my husband and I can
Have one of my duck paintings chosen as a Duck Stamp
Have a painting juried into the American Watercolor Society
Have a gallery owner come to me and ASK to represent me.

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
Practice, don’t give up, just practice more, and it is never too late to learn new things.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
Paint what you see and feel. there is no right or wrong way, just your way.

"Secondary Jiggles" by Diane Ziemski

"Primary Jiggles" by Diane Ziemski


Chocolate or vanilla?  chocolate

Your dream vacation spot? Oregon coast

Book or movie? book

Favorite author? Anne Rice

Favorite movie? Gone with the Wind

Romance or comedy? Romance

Favorite dessert? Cheesecake

Night owl or morning person? morning