glazed I don’t believe in many absolutes in art.  Art is the response to a statement of “This MUST be …..” with a “Oh yeah?” and going on to prove the statement wrong.

But one I believe — and I admit this is just me — is DON’T MIX the two colors together when you can either wet blend them or glaze them.  Why?


Slickers on the Line

Are you one of the people who are afraid of pthalo green and pthalo blue?  If so,perhaps it is time to face your fear and welcome them on your palette.

As I write, my eye catches the header strip on my home page. There you have it – pthalo green and blue. Strong and vibrant, easily developed into all the shades of green or blue we see in the natural world.


 The Light Brigade

Summer is the time to get out and see what happens to color in light.  Where does  color go in bright sunlight? What colors are in dark shadows?  Where do you find the true or local color of an object.

Every summer for years, I have enjoyed teaching people what happens to color in light. If you are coming to a class, this month’s technique corner will help you be more prepared. If you are working on your own, plan to try each exercise – more than once…


Walking in the woods the other day, I was thinking of all the courses I have taught, all the students I have taught. I can be pleased with the people I have started, and pleased  with insights and discovery I have witnessed as people found they were able to translate their thoughts and emotions about the world around them into images on paper.

But let me tell you about the greatest gift I can give you.

If you have followed parts I and II of the value discussion, you probably realize these discussions could have as easily been titled: Designing your Paintings.

The shapes of the big patterns of lights and darks (as they go on and off the objects) are more important than the shapes of the objects. Look for them. Design them.  Make them happen in new and exciting ways.  Make them happen in ways that express your intent or content.

But what about color?

Silent Slumber
Color is the rest of your life!

colesbirthdayPeople come into watercolor from so many ways. Some because they think it will be easy (!). Some because they are attracted to its luminosity. Some because of a good experience in their past with watercolor — in school or with a parent or grandparent.

So here you are in watercolor… Are you exploring the wide parameters of the watercolor experience, or are you still “coloring” they way you used it in grade school?

Cole’s Birthday – a grandson discovering a new gift

I discovered, though a student, an excellent source for supplies, Merri Art, The main difference is the helpfulness of the personnel. I have a link at the bottom of the page, and am starting to work it into my equipment lists that follow each class listing. I thought I would make special mention because they carry EVERYTHING on my equipment list. One stop shopping!

Do you have a special day, or moment when you knew you were going to try to become an artist?


When I think back to When did I start?  I remember the year I bought a sumi ink-stone and brush  after receiving a gift of Haiku poetry with Sumi-e illustrations. My five year old daughter was in kindergarten, her older brother in 2nd grade, and on the afternoons I could get my two-year old to nap, I would sit by the window and try to paint the white birches and black Japanese pines that were  in our back yard.


Dream Abandoned

You have probably been told to do value sketches by one instructor or another. But do you THINK values when you are planning your watercolor?  Or are you more interested in “what” you are painting? I claim that the shapes of the values are different from the shapes of the things. It is the shapes of the values, not the things themselves, that are a make-or-break in creating a sucessful painting.