Monday, July 31, 2006

Coffee Thoughts ~ Monday

Ah, lasagna and chocolate silk pie....oh and don't forget the cheese garlic biscuits.....Sunday dinner is weighing heavy on me this morning! I think it's time for some extra exercise.....too bad it's so darn hot outside here again. I wonder if working this arm on doing a new painting will count for calorie loss? :)

At least I have a clean studio to start anew in today. Yesterday I gave it a thorough cleaning. That's always refreshing to me, to start a new painting with a clean work environment around me.

Today I'm going to begin another piece in the Serenity Series. I have some fabulous ideas for new works in this series and I can't wait to begin!

I also have 2 originals ending on Ebay today. There's a few watchers, but no bids as of yet. Just 7 hours to go!


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Coffee Thoughts ~ Saturday

Our world is too "busy". Seems everywhere I go, or whenever I talk to anyone, it's like bees buzzing around a garden......busy-ness. Go from one subject to another.....forget what's been said as soon as it's said because everything is being said so quickly. Go from one place to another so quickly....everyone wants everything fast, fast, fast. Or they can't slow down enough to see if they even want it, or know what they want. I get caught up in it too. And I think that's why I like to paint - it slows me down, helps me to focus, and it gives me the ability to fully express things.

Talked with a girl last night who's really firm in her goals. She's hyper - full of energy - but focused on what she wants and is going for it. I like that. She seemed to have balance. That's cool.

The horse painting was a big hit last night when I delivered it. The new owner loved it! And I learned that mules are a "hot thing" around here. Apparently they have mule auctions and mule shows and pay big money for mules. I learn something new everyday! :) I might have to do some mule paintings sometime.

I wish I'd get some direction on what I should be painting. I can paint any subject and I really like a wide variety of subjects. And if I could get some idea of what people would really like in the way of art, I'd paint it! But I'm still getting very little feedback overall on my work, so I'm not sure which direction to go. Animals? Birds? Landscapes/scenes? Flowers? People? I love to paint ALL of those things - heck maybe I should put all of those things in large scenes! That would cover it! LOL

Of course then, with so much in a painting, nothing would be very detailed....but maybe that's what people want? Maybe they don't like the up close and personal views, maybe they don't want to see the details? Of course I've done that in a couple of paintings already - both Golden Guardians and Peacock's Paradise have a scenic quality, along with flowers and birds. And those pieces are still here, despite the good price I had them up for on auction.

Gosh it's only 9am and I'm already tired. And I have no idea of what I'm going to paint today. Sigh. And it's yucky outside....double sigh.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

"Taking Home the Blue", horse portrait

As promised, here's the photo of the finished painting "Taking Home the Blue". The original is already sold, but don't despair! You can pick up a 16"x20" signed fine art print from me, or an 8"x10" signed print if you want the smaller size, and this imagery is also available on cozy fine art blankets, cool gourmet tempered cutting boards for the kitchen, and fun playing cards!


Coffee Thoughts ~ Thursday

As I have my coffee this morning, I'm reading one of my ebooks I purchased from a well known artist who teaches one how to sell art. I have so many thoughts running through my mind, so I decided to take a break from reading and type them in here.

I just put the first coat of spray on the horse portrait I completed yesterday. I'll be sharing a photo of the portrait later, but this piece is already sold. HOORAY! Tomorrow I'll go get the frame for the portrait and put that together, as the portrait will be delivered tomorrow evening.

Although the sides are painted on this piece, I've decided to frame it because I know the home it's going into, and the framed look will be better for this home than the modern look of it being unframed.

The painting is called "Taking Home the Blue" and is an up-close and personal view of a hunter/dressage show horse with a blue ribbon hanging from the bridle.

The buyer of the painting allowed me to leave the wording off of the ribbon on the horse. This in turn makes the imagery beautiful for anyone to have, and I can have prints made and even license the image because it is not person or place specific - this in turn also saved the buyer some money on the final purchase price, since I am left with an image I can continue to reproduce and sell.

This painting is being given as a housewarming gift. Throughout the entire creation of the work, I was thinking of that. And I was reminded of a small painting I have in my studio bathroom.

This small painting is about 4x6 and is canvas on board, framed in a nice little ornate gold wood frame. It's a city scene - impressionistic in nature - and I have no idea of what city or even who created the painting as I cannot see a signature. As I looked at the painting yesterday, I realized I've had this painting since 1987 - almost 20 years! The painting was given to me as a wedding gift, and I have no clue of who the gift-giver was...seems it was a couple who were friends with my parents at the time.

What's running through my mind this morning is how meaningful a gift of original art is. I've moved many times over the years, and this painting has gone with me always. Every time I look at it, I remember when I received it. And do you know, I don't believe I have ANY of the other gifts I received from that time period? But I still have this little painting.

It means's an original was given to me to celebrate the beginning of something new and wonderful...and looking at it reminds me of that. In fact, I also have several prints through my home which were purchased or given to me as gifts for the "start of something new". I still have them all!

This painting I've done of the horse will be the same way - it's being presented as a housewarming gift to the recipient to celebrate her upcoming move and basically a "new life in the new place". And thinking of that reminded me of how meaningful the gift of a work of art is to the recipients.

As I look at my auctions on Ebay and the art for sale on my website, I think of how wonderful each of these pieces of art would be as a gift for someone who is beginning anything new - a move into a new place, a marriage, a new year, a new job, going to college or graduating college, the celebration of retirement, etc. They would all make wonderful gifts for someone!

I'm also feeling quite good this horse portrait turned into a sale. I wasn't sure if it was going to - but I'm very glad it has. My work is finally starting to find it's way into homes where it will be seen and enjoyed by others. That's a very good feeling!

Those are my thoughts I'm experiencing this morning. Life is good!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Coffee Thoughts ~ Wednesday

Ah...another day. Woke up thinking of my next painting - a horse portrait. Stepped outside and thought of the lawn I need to mow. UGH. Conflict!

I'm also thinking about doing some themed weeks. Once I get all these initial subjects done I'm working on, then spend one week one on subject, another week on another, and so forth and so on. I think that would further develop each line of work a bit faster.

Had weird dreams last night involving a person I have some "unfinished business" with. Another UGH. I hate it when that happens - it will probably be in the back of my mind all day and that drives me nuts as I try to stay focused on my goals.

My new canvases should be here today. These are the deep gallery wrapped canvases. I hope I have some sales soon so I can order more, otherwise pretty soon I'm going to be stuck with this desire to keep painting and no way to get the canvases to do it! THAT is a scary thought!!!!!!

I'm still loving this watercolor canvas. I've figured out a cool technique on how to do my paintings which makes things go a little faster and a little smoother. It seems I always fight with my pieces when I begin using a new medium or support, and sure enough I did that this time around. But now I feel I'm loosening up and it's become even more enjoyable.

Well I guess I'm off here to paint this horse. Think I'll call this one "Dressage Champion" as that's what he is. By the way, my daughter's still doing very well with her lessons. She's come a long, long way from last year! I'm so proud!!!! Her room looks so colorful with all of her ribbons she's won at the shows. In fact, I'm borrowing a blue ribbon of hers as I'm putting one on the horse I'm painting and need it for reference to see how to portray it correctly. :)


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

LEO, original lion painting (click here to bid)

For the LEO'S.....yes, those of us with upcoming birthdays....or if you simply just LOVE LIONS, this is YOUR painting! :)

Hope you like him!


Coffee Thoughts ~ Tuesday

Geez - can Ebay get much deader? Another painting goes off auction with no bids. Oh it's on the website for my regular price. Still have some others listed maybe things will pick up soon.

Spam mail......I hate it. In fact, it's the only mail (other than mail from a small list I'm on) that I've received in 4 days. No emails from actual "humans whom I know". Guess things ARE dead out there on the WWW. It's summer....I tend to forget, other people have these lives where they actually DO things....LOL.....unlike moi. :) (well okay, I am *doing* things, as you can tell from the work I've put out, but I'm still accessible to my computer)

Still thinking about these acquarium paintings and how to light them from behind. I'm thinking battery operated LED night lights might be the way to go. I really wouldn't want to go the "cord" route with lighting, as that would mean the painting would have to be located near a plug - which isn't always easy. I'm not sure if the canvas housing would make the night light think it's "always dark", however, and use all the battery up really quick. I do know if my brain ties up in knots too much more over this, I'll nix the idea for now (and then someone else will do it and it will become a huge success.....LOL). Guess I should just go find a nightlight in the house and try this idea out.

Today's project is my lion painting - I got the drawing of his beautiful portrait down on the canvas yesterday, and the first wash and first shadowing of the main color is complete. Today I hopefully will get on a roll and finish him up.

Someone asked me recently why I don't work in oils....or acrylics.....why do I choose the watercolor on canvas rather than one of the other two. Simply put, I must stay away from toxic substances. I'm taking a risk by being near the sealant spray I have to use to varish and protect my paintings. But I wear a mask and open the doors and turn on the fans when using that stuff. I don't want to wear a mask while painting, however ('cuz it's really not that comfortable!). I have to work with non-toxic materials due to being poisoned years ago and now I am super sensitive.....even if a product is "certified non-toxic", if it has any kind of chemical odor, I can't use it for any length of time.

So watercolor fits my needs - my needs to paint and create as well as my need to stay healthy and alive. The fact Fredrix developed this new watercolor canvas is just an added blessing for me, as I love art on canvas, I love the ability to not have to frame work, and I love the ability to be creating something which is different than everyone around me creates. :)

Guess I should exercise again today - it really helped yesterday. But my arms are sore (from exercise and cutting tree and bush limbs), so I think I'll just double up on the walking today. I did great on my eating and stayed away from that damn chocolate cake! :)


Monday, July 24, 2006

Golden tree frog painting....(click here to bid!)

Fresh off the easel! "Goldie" the golden tree frog. Isn't he ADORABLE???? Next up is a lion for the LEO'S who have birthday's coming up (like MOI!). :)


Coffee Thoughts ~ Monday

As I wake up each morning, I sit here and sip on coffee, and my mind begins its journey to "what's next". I thought I'd start jotting down some of these thoughts - perhaps it might be fun to look back on them later. :)

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I can make it what I want. The power is within me to live it to the fullest, or let it pass by and never remember it.

Chocolate cake is not something I need to eat before bed. Two hours of "awake" time in the middle of the night with heartburn last night made that perfectly clear. In fact, chocolate cake is probably not something I need to eat at all!

BW is going to be my new best friend. BW is COOL! Refreshing, inspiring, and good for me. Welcome to my life!

Now that our heat has broken, we are having nice cool mornings - therefore it's time to add exercise back into my routine. I did this 2 days ago and felt so much better. I want to feel better EVERY DAY! So after I finish this coffee, I'll be embarking on my morning exercise journey.

Aquarium paintings.....this idea came to me in the middle of the night while I was awake from the chocolate cake ordeal. I think they would be cool....a canvas with an aquarium scene. I love aquariums....I find them very relaxing. But I don't want the upkeep of one. So I think I'll paint some and hang them - a personal aquarium that I don't have to do anything to except look at it and enjoy. Hmmm. Interesting idea! Wonder if I could light it somehow from behind so I could enjoy the glow of it at night? I'll have to look into that!

Life is not a bowl of cherries. But if you paint a single chocolate covered cherry, your life might become fuller and more enriched. :)


Sunday, July 23, 2006

"Sunflower Portrait" & chit chat

Wooooo....this one was a tough one! It's hard to get this deep, rich, vibrant look with watercolor, especially on the canvas as the paint likes to lift off as you apply many applications of color. However, I'm learning certain brushes work better than others for the application, and as soon as I figured out I need to switch brushes on this one, it all came together pretty quickly in the end.

I started "Sunflower Portrait" at the gallery Friday when I was working. Painting in the window is fun! However....there was virtually NO ONE downtown on Friday afternoon - and I'm sure that 105 degree heat had a lot to do with it. So - no one really got to see the work being done, but by taking it with me, it kept me occupied until closing time.

I took my other paintings with me too and one of the other artists who was there really liked the look of "Golden Guardians" - it felt good to hear her wonderful comments about my work, as she is a very talented and successful artist herself!

Yesterday at the gallery was just as quiet, despite the fact the weather had cooled off substantially. Traffic finally started coming in when it was time for me to go. But I used my time there wisely, reading up on some markets to submit my work to for licensing considerations, and reading up on more ideas on how to get my work seen and sold.

The first thing I need to do however is complete a significant body of work in this medium/style. So I'm back on my painting frenzy this week. I'll be doing a variety of different subjects this week and the main reason for that is to show how I can do the various subjects - especially animals, birds and wildlife, as I'm hoping to get some pet portrait commissions again this year before the holiday season starts.

After I get through this varied group of subjects, then I will start creating similar paintings - probably in groups of 4 - with the plan being licensing of the work down the road. I will expand on the various categories on my website, of course. My Dance of Life series already has 3 completed works in it, and I plan to add more to that series, as well as get the Panthera Queens series in progress.

All in all, I feel this was a good, productive week. I completed 4 paintings - my goal was 3 at the least and 5 would have been exceptional. Four isn't bad! Maybe next week I can reach the goal of 5! :)


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Cool scrolling gallery AUCTION TOOL!

I just found this great little free scrolling gallery adds your thumbnail images in your auctions to entice people to visit your other listings. Check out one of my listings and you will see it in the there in action!


Friday, July 21, 2006

Where did this week GO?????

Wow....I can't believe it's Friday already! I've got another hugely busy day today.....have to get a painting sketched and the first wash done this morning, then I have to run up north to do errands and get back here before 2. I have to work at the gallery today so I'll be there from 2-5:30. Since Rachel set up the table in the window where we could paint "live and in person", I'll be taking my next painting and working on it while I'm there.

I'm taking a sunflower painting....I love sunflowers! They are just so beautiful! I have 2 planned out here - this one I'm working on today is a single flower with a dark background and a reflection on the table. The next one features a bouquet of sunflowers with a single purple rose embedded in the center.

Also on my upcoming to-do list: a golden tree frog, a dressage horse portrait, a Pomeranian portrait, a Scarlet Macaw portrait, a lion portrait (for us LEO's whose birthdays are approaching soon!), and of course the first painting in my Panthera Queens series which will feature a lady and her lion.

Think I can have all that done by the end of next week? LOL That would be a miracle if I did!

Well, off to get started on this sunflower so I can get it to a good point to take it to the gallery this afternoon. If you're in the Jackson area, come by and see me!


P.S. We've added 8x10 signed prints to the website for those of you who prefer "smaller" versions of my art! Also, I wrote to Fredrix about smaller (i.e. miniature size) watercolor canvases...they wrote back this morning and said they don't offer anything smaller than 9x12 and don't plan to unless there is a demand for it. So.....for those who have been asking for mini works - looks like I'll have to make my own miniature canvases - I'll put that on my "to do list". :) In the meantime, I have some thick border (1 1/2") 16x20 canvases on the way to me now, so soon I'll be offering those!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Belly dancer painting COMPLETE! (click here to bid!)

Titled "If I Were A Butterfly", this painting features some GORGEOUS coloring! I painted her costume in peacock colors and gave her butterfly style "wings" on her scarf. She looks absolutely stunning displayed next to the other 2 dance paintings completed in this series! Click here to bid on this painting or go here to snatch her up from my website and claim her as yours now!


Working on "If I were a Butterfly"

Well I broke my good painting streak - didn't get the work done yesterday, so I'm running one day behind. "If I Were a Butterfly", the next painting in my dance series, is still in progress. It WILL be complete today! Then I'm going to work on a few animal pieces to add to the Fur & Feathers section of the new website, and I'm also starting on the Panthera Queen series, where each painting will feature a wild cat and his queen. :)

After I get through this batch of canvases (4 more after the one I'm working on now), I'm going to start ordering the deep gallery wrap canvas (1 1/2" wide) rather than these 3/4" wide ones. They are $10 more each, but I like the look of them so well and they can hang unframed at the gallery. I still frame the 3/4" ones even though I've painted the sides, simply because I think their presentation looks better in the gallery setting with a frame.

The wide ones will fit in fine without the frame, and frankly, I'm sick of fooling with frames. I can paint, but framing is not my area of expertise and most of the time, the buyers at the gallery say they don't want the frame or they would change the frame because they want to pick their own to go with their own home. Makes sense! So I'll make it easy for them (and easier for me!) - no frame! :) The way I see it, the time I spend running around finding the "perfect frame" which someone else might not care for anyway is time I can get another painting a week done.

It's only 7am and HOT HOT HOT here already. Thank goodness my studio is on the lower level - much cooler downstairs, and more encouraging for me to get down there to get to work! So THAT is where I'm headed!



P.S. I'll be working at the gallery tomorrow afternoon from 2-5:30 and on Sat morning from 10-1, so if you live in the Jackson area, come by and say hello! The gallery is located at 118 E. Lafayette St in downtown Jackson, TN. :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A painting a day..."The Edge of Emotion"...(click here to bid!)

I'm getting closer to my goal of finishing one 16 x 20" painting a day! Just completed this one for today, titled "The Edge of Emotion". This painting is part of my dance series of paintings I'm working on. I love to dance and I love the emotions dancing helps to release. This painting expresses that for me. Hope you like it!


For those who love ballet..."Passion Released" (click here to bid!)

From my new "Dance of Life" series, focusing on the beauty and magic of the art of DANCE, this painting is titled "Passion Released".


Sunday, July 16, 2006

JaiArt.Com website redesign is complete!

After a long, grueling weekend, the new website design is complete at http://www.JaiArt.Com. Featuring my watercolor on canvas original art, the website also offers fine art prints and other products which feature my original art, including fine art blankets, gourmet cutting boards, and for fun, playing cards! Each month we will select a winner to give a free deck of cards to from our registered customers who sign up on our site.

PHEW! What a job that was! Now it's done and I can get back to painting!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Peacock's Paradise", another original painting! (click here to bid!)

"Peacock's Paradise" - an original 16x20" watercolor on watercolor canvas painting, has just been listed. Click here to bid!


A website Re-DO!

Ah, one thing I love is re-doing my site. I finally broke down and went back to my original black background....I missed it too much. The total site is re-organized and focuses on my new watercolor on canvas paintings. Take a look:

There is also still a link on my front page at the bottom to get into my old gallery, but I think this new look is much cleaner and more professional. Plus since I've definitely decided on my materials, and my new works have such a disctinctive look to them, I thought it would be best to get it together right from the get-go.

My next painting - which I should finish tonight - is called "Peacock's Paradise" and despite my initial frustrations with it, it's coming along quite well. I'm very pleased with how the pieces in The Serenity Series are working out, and I'm about ready to start in the first design in my Sun Sign series. However, I'm actually re-designing that first design I came up with for Leo/August girls. The design I came up with is a bit too "busy" for my liking, so I'm coming up with something new.

My canvases arrived yesterday and now that I have the website issue taken care of, I'm ready to kick it in here and produce even more original art!

Well, back to work!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This is why I want to become a hermit...

...and probably why some of the best artists DO keep to themselves...

I'm out taking my walk this morning before getting ready to start my drawing for my second painting of the week. I'm focused - having a good morning and feeling good. Almost to the house, I see this man walking the CUTEST little Boston Terrier. Well this little dog is trying to pull his owner across the street to get to me, and since his owner is an older man who seemed to have trouble walking, I walked over there to say hello and pet the dog.

Turns out the man is 84, and he also likes to talk and tell stories. Which is fine, but it was getting too lengthy, so I politely said I needed to go as I had to get to work. He then asks where I work. I tell him I'm an artist (I didn't say I work at home....just that I'm an artist). He then proceeds to say "Well you don't REALLY work then. I thought you meant a real job." As I stumbled around for some response (I think he could tell his comment bothered me), he then said he was just teasing.

Unfortunately, his words (teasing or not) - and those of many others throughout my entire life - have had a negative impact on me. And unfortunately for some reason, so many people who have "real" jobs have that opinion of artists. I am CONSTANTLY trying to defend the fact that I actually DO work and I actually DO work at least twice the amount of hours in a week most people do to produce what I produce. My dad's wife paints - and it takes her MONTHS to finish a painting, if not YEARS. Me? I can have one done in one day - but that's because I work very hard at it and I put my work top priority in my life.

Do I get paid well for that work? No...NOT YET (but I will). I have my work priced very reasonably for the skill, efforts, materials, and time involved to produce the paintings I create. Maybe I should raise my prices? Maybe then these people who indicate I don't have a "real job" will fall on the floor when I tell them $5,000 (or hey, let's go for $50,000!) for a painting rather than $500. LOL

Anyway, that's why I want to become a hermit. I realize after 42 years on this earth, I cannot change other people's perception and attitudes about what I do with my life. I also cannot control what they are going to pop out with in conversation.

So for me, it's just easier to stay away from people all together. Which is a shame, because even though I love animals and birds and nature, I also happen to like humans and find other people very interesting and intriquing. But it might be best for me to stay to myself. I've been drifting that way this past year anyway, so maybe eventually I'll end up in that cabin I want in the woods with my pets, nature and wildlife.


Monday, July 10, 2006

"Golden Guardians", Sun Conures, flowers, gate - NEW painting! (Click here to bid!)

"Golden Guardians", original watercolor on canvas painting

This was a really cool painting to do. It's not quite as bright as "Autumn Jewels", my previous painting, but it definitely is full of deep, rich coloring, and will make a lovely addition to any home or office!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Autumn Jewels", fall landscape painting (click here to bid!)

Phew! I did it! Completed this 16x20 landscape today! Titled "Autumn Jewels" (watercolor on stretched canvas), it is up for grabs on Ebay - click here to bid.

Still loving this watercolor on canvas

I'm still loving this watercolor on canvas I've been doing. After completing my 3 "test" paintings, I'm ready to start my big paintings. My goal with the big paintings (16x20) is to complete at least 3 of these a week, and if I can manage to complete 5, that'll be great!

Today I'm beginning the first larger painting - another gazebo/nature scene. It's amazing how these look so rich, full of deep, intense color. Part of the reason for that is on the canvas, I don't use the watercolor quite as "watery" as on paper. Since I am not a trained watercolor painter in the traditional methods, I don't have to forget what I've learned to paint on this canvas. But I can see where trained watercolor painters would have to put aside or change up some of their techniques to get the result they want on the canvas.

I'm just so excited I've found this support for painting on. I need to order my next batch of canvases online, since I purchased all the 16x20 sizes that Hobby Lobby had here and who knows when they'll replace them (since I've been looking for certain items in their art department for 6 weeks now.....sigh).

I've decided on the 16x20 size for a couple of reasons. First, it's a large enough size to make a good "impact" as a painting. It's a standard size to frame, although I am painting the sides, so framing is not necessary. It's also an easy size to ship. And since I'll be initially listing these on Ebay, shipping is something I have to consider. Plus since I work completely on my own with no helpers, I need something manageable I can pack and ship myself. Maybe someday I'll do the HUGE canvas paintings, but for now, to further explore this medium of work, I feel the 16x20 is a good size.

Guess I should take my walk - it rained yesterday so it's cooler and more comfortable this morning. The brisk air will get my head clear so when I return I can get right down to work. I plan on spending the full day in the studio to work on today's painting.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fresh off the easel! "Lavender Field" (click here to bid)

Happy 4th of July everyone! I spent my day completing this painting I've titled simply "Lavender Field" - if this doesn't offer a bit of serenity, I don't know what would! This is my first on the stretched watercolor canvas - it's a 9x12" painting. My next ones will be 16x20" paintings.

Want to bid on this one? Click here!


Monday, July 03, 2006

"Wisteria Lane", glowing landscape (click here to bid)

Today's painting - "Wisteria Lane", a little larger than my others - this one is 8x10 on canvas and matted in an 11"x14" black mat - ready to frame.


"Woodland Glow", gazebo landscape watercolor on canvas (click here to bid)

Here's my first painting being offered on the watercolor canvas - "Woodland Glow" features a gazebo secretly tucked away at the end of a path. This is a 5x7 painting and is mounted behind a black mat, size 8x10.

Soon I will begin the larger paintings on stretched canvas, but will also be doing small works like this on the canvas paper and matting them.

I've titled the series "Serenity" because all these paintings will exude a sense of peace. They will be of peaceful scenes or views which I consider peaceful.

Have I said I love this watercolor canvas? Well, I do! It enables me to do my impressionist style of work better with the watercolor. I've tried the impressionist look on paper and I just couldn't get the feel of it "right". The canvas has a different look than paper - much richer and bolder with the colors - and it performs well with my impressionist style I like to I am a really happy camper right now! :)


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Watercolor Canvas & Cockatiel laying eggs....

I know, what a combination for the title line. It's been a heck of a last couple of weeks - and of course, the more I try to stay focused on my work, the more things seem to happen to pull my focus away from it. Sigh.

The weekend began in a rather interesting way. Friday night, all my kids things for the week ended, and I was really looking forward to the beginning of the new week - FINALLY, I don't have to be running here, there and everywhere and I can focus on my work.

On Friday evening during my usual trip to Hobby Lobby, I decided to invest in some of the watercolor canvases they have and give it a whirl. Of course I fell in love with the stuff and want to buy much more. And of course Hobby Lobby has such limited art supplies, I'll now be visiting the online dealers to order my future supplies. (sorry Hobby Lobby, but you don't carry enough supplies for artists!)

So I'm working on this painting of a dark purple Iris and the first layers are coming along great. I then come upstairs and discover my cockatiel - whom I've had for 3 years and thought was a male - has laid an egg on the floor of the cage. OMG! Of course, since I'd never experienced this, I went into "seek knowledge" mode, got on the net and found the answers to what is up with this bird and what to do and not to do.

I did manage to finish the small Iris painting, but it was tough, and I don't think it turned out exactly as good as I'd like because my mind was on the bird issue. Another sigh.

I have decided though, that I love this watercolor canvas. I'm still getting used to it - it's quite different than painting on paper - but I really like it and after I do about 3 paintings, I think I'll have the hang of it. It might, however, change the complexity of where I was planning to go with my work. I would love to do my Sun Sign series on this support, but I really think I need to get a very good feel for the canvas before I do that. So I'll be working on some smaller pieces - using both the watercolor canvas paper and smaller stretched canvases. The paper pieces will be matted and ready for framing - the stretched canvases will either be offered without a frame, or will eventually be framed and hung in the gallery.

The wonderful thing about this watercolor stretched canvas is you don't have to frame behind glass! And no matting! The pieces have to be sprayed with a sealer first, but with sides painted, these in essence could be hung without a frame at all.

The thing I don't like is they don't offer miniature canvases - I've found nothing smaller than an 8x10 in the watercolor stretched canvas. So for smaller pieces, I'll have to use the canvas paper and mount another way (such as behind a mat and frame) to finish them out.

Overall, I'm really pleased with this product. I'll share some of the work once completed totally.