Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - WHAT A YEAR!

This past year I:
• had paintings published in a book, The Best of American Watermedia, Vol. II;
• was featured on Chris Beck’s blog, Brush-Paper-Water;
• was in my first invitational show “My House” at Art Beyond Boundaries Gallery in Cincinnati, OH in April/May with one piece sold
• taught several Art in the Country! weekend workshops in my home;
• taught three Saturday classes for DHAC;
• taught three series of classes for the Cincinnati Recreation Commission;
• taught two workshops for local organizations;
• chaired the ViewPoint show for the second year (click here for a list of artists; click here for photos of the winners; 
• attended a Nick Simmons workshop;
• went on two of my husband’s cattle seminars, one in Chattanooga, TN and one in Holmes County, OH;
• traveled with friends;
• attended my annual painting retreat;
• once again had 3 paintings accepted into the Bethesda Foundation show;
• had paintings accepted into both of the Georgia Watercolor Society shows, and won an award and sold one painting there;
and last but not least:
• had a heart attack.

Following the heart attack, I have stepped back from some activities – I just can’t push myself so hard any more.

My last year’s resolutions were – and their result is:
Learn to paint portraits – yep – this one follows me around like a bad penny and is on the top of my list again this year! - (This is ditto from last year!) Obviously, I failed miserably at this one.
Post 104 blog posts for 2010! – I made this goal, having posted more than 120 in 2010!

This year I resolve to:
Learn to paint portraits. (You will be sick of seeing this one!)
FOCUS and spend more time painting for ME!
Take a few short trips with friends!
Take better care of my health.

Here’s hoping that you all have a safe, joyful New Year, filled with the love of family and friends.

See you in 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Last week my daughter’s boyfriend asked my husband for her hand in marriage.
I immediately began crying - tears of joy!
My son, in the same room, almost choked on his drink and asked “WHY?????”
My husband said “She’s all yours!”
Joe didn’t say when he was going to pop the question, and was “working” on the ring.

I didn’t expect it to be Christmas. It wasn’t – it was December 23! And he almost had to by then – since she saw him driving into the jewelry store which happens to be right next door to her salon.
I and my friend are being blamed for that chance meeting – since she stopped by here on her way to work and we chatted for several minutes. Had she not done so, she would have been inside the building when he pulled in and would not have seen him.
He put tea candles in the snow and spelled out “marry me” when she drove in that night.
She said yes (thankfully!).
All’s well that ends well.

The ring is beautiful and will match her grandmother’s wedding ring (which her grandmother gave her last year) perfectly – they actually look like a matched set.
Which, of course, made me cry!
No date set; could be a while, or not – guess we’ll find out!

Friday, December 24, 2010


If you follow this blog you know that I’m not a fan of the Yupo paper. Just recently I was reminded again of why!
A friend was preparing a drawing on a piece of Yupo. It was a cold winter day, but the sun was out and she had taped the drawing and Yupo onto a COLD window to use in the manner of a light box. She took a lunch break and went back to the drawing – to find that her lines were no longer matching up. At first, she thought the tape had come loose, but – it turns out that the Yupo paper had gotten just warm enough to s-t-r-e-t-c-h a bit from the slight warmth of the sun! She immediately laid the paper on a table to cool off, but damage had been done. She decided to simply eliminate a portion of the (very involved) drawing and simply make the painting smaller.
So, sorry you Yupo-ites – you STILL can’t convince me that this is a good surface to work on!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Since I began painting, my daughter has been my harshest critic. Her most frequent comment is “needs more detail”.

But now that she has her new home, with lots of bare walls, my paintings are just what she needs to cover those walls! To butter me up, now she has amended her comment to “I’ve always liked your paintings . . . they just need more detail”!!!

She came over the other day to check out my paintings and decided on a theme for the holidays. Since she will put her electric train under her Christmas tree – the theme is “trains”. So my train paintings – some rather large! – were carted out to her back seat and driven up the road. She called about an hour later to tell me they were already hanging and looked great!

She also took the first painting I ever framed, and which I still like – a barn on a hill, in winter. She liked it for the “winter” theme.

Yes, folks, seems she is one of those “I like it because it matches my couch” art lovers! But, hey, at least I’ve got a little more room in my house now!

And she may have already picked out a few for the spring – because they involve flowers and will match her walls!

S . . . .I . . . . G . . . . H . . . . !!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Me and the mouse went to the cardiologist Wednesday morning.
. . . “W-h-a-t???” you are thinking to yourself right about now.

Yep – that’s correct – the mouse. He, she, it (hopefully NOT they!!) has been living in my car for a week or so. In all the years we have stored wood in the garage in the winter and I have parked my car there, this has never happened. First time for everything, they say!

First thing I noticed was black dots on my passenger seat (no, not what you are thinking!!!) Until I picked up my leather glasses case I had no idea; then it became evident that something had chewed little pieces off it and left them all over the seat. Then I noticed a tissue shredded on the floor and my juice box chewed to pieces; he (she, it, they?) had chewed through the juice box under my seat and then carried it to the front of the passenger’s floor!! There was also one almond partially showing under the floor mat. As soon as I discovered my little companion(s??) it got so cold I didn’t want to be out in the garage tearing apart my car. Then it snowed, so I couldn’t get the car to the shop building where it would be a little warmer. Then I didn’t see any more evidence and thought they had departed. Boy, was I wrong!

On the way to the doctor visit, I noticed that they had gotten into the tissue box in the back, walked on my dashboard (little tracks in the dust!!!) and left little presents on the blanket on the back seat – guess they know it’s Christmas! Fortunately the back seat is covered with blankets for when the dog rides back there, so nothing is directly on my seat. And then, I realized they had gotten into the almond container – chewed through the plastic lid like a can opener and popped out the nuts. Now I’m afraid there are going to be nuts everywhere and even more critters. YUK. So, hopefully in the next day or two, weather permitting, I can drive my car up the hill to the shop and talk my husband into putting on my snow tires while I tear apart the car. Yippee, can hardly wait.

When I got home, I discovered that we have a cat living in the open garage behind the house. Maybe he (she?) can be enticed into the garage for a little buffet???

But, I digress. Enough about my companions – on to the doctor’s appointment.
The following is obviously written a bit “tongue in cheek” so I have to tell you that I really like my doctor –and the nurses and receptionist are really very nice ladies.

It was a sunny, balmy 10 degrees as I left the house! This time I didn’t drive past the hospital; I actually followed the large blue hospital signs to the correct driveway!
Then I parked in a different lot, much closer to the office, and promptly walked right past the office when I got inside (I thought it was farther down the hall!)
Then I got to watch a few minutes of the Ellen Degeneres show before being weighed in (not such an ordeal since I’ve shed a few more pounds!)
Then the nurse could only get my BP in the right arm so another nurse was called in for the left arm.
Then it was time to check my pulse – apparently faint and slow but, since I was still sitting in the chair and breathing that seemed to be OK. After they both concurred that I was alive, I was asked about my medications:
Had they changed?
“Nope.” (Why would they? This is the doctor who prescribed them!)
What was I taking in the morning or evening
“The blue one in the morning and the yellow one at night.” (This evinced a blank stare from the nurse who then referred to them by some fancy schmancy medical name! – “would that be the blah blah blah?”)
I replied again with my own fancy terminology “Blue in the morning, yellow at night.” (Guess I’ll have to learn some medical jargon to stay on top of this!)
Then I went through my aches and pains – apparently surprisingly few! But since I’d had some unusual (for me!) chest pains she hooked me up for the EKG which confirmed that, yep, sure enough, my heart was beating – but apparently somewhat slowly. This also evinced some medical term that started with “bra . . .” which apparently means slow heart rate. But, not to worry.
Then the doctor came in and we chatted, and I had to confess that I had missed taking the meds a couple of times; this did not overly concern him. (Hmm, after all, it ain’t HIS heart!!!) He looked at my most recent blood work and said that my cholesterol is good, my BP is good and I can cut the meds in half – literally. (Had to stop and get a pill cutter on the way home – those pills are way too tiny to cut in half with my husband’s molding cutter! As an added bonus it came with a pill holder for a weeks’ worth of pills. I spent 10 minutes cutting and filling and I’m all ready to finish out the week – and no more excuse for missing pills!).
The doc also said that if the temperature is less than 20 I’m not allowed out! Seriously! “No going to the grocery or walking outside in that temperature”. He used a cute little road analogy to explain why: “Think of your blocked artery as a closed road – the blood has to travel some back roads to detour around it and those roads can get icy.” (I.e., due to my closed off artery my blood is flowing in a different path now and breathing the cold air into my lungs can affect my heart).
I clapped my hands and told him that this heart attack has come in very handy as an excuse to get out of stuff I don’t want to do – instead of saying “no” I say “Well, you know, I recently had a heart attack” . . . . (pause) and people let me off the hook immediately!
Then, after laughing heartily - he told me that I had a “good attitude” (I think he likes me!)
Then I had to make a March appointment for something called a “stress test” which, according to my husband, apparently involves walking on a treadmill while hooked up to an EKG with the doctor and defibrillator paddles standing by. It does sound stressful, and also suspiciously like a phys ed class. Since my husband knows how athletic I am he has already kindly told me that I’ll fail the test miserably. But it does sound like an excuse to buy some new shoes – I’ve been eyeing those Skechers Tone Ups!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I then gessoed that whole area and then repainted it. In the end, the white line is pretty well camouflaged. In the close up you can also see some places where the paint got “outside the lines” of the board and handle. Those spots were also cleaned up and camouflaged, and here is the final result. The white acrylic on the top of the shelf is showing up quite white in this photo; in real life it doesn’t show up that white!

Shake ‘er Baskets, 15x30, Fluid Acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Here is a close up of the basket as it develops.

At the art club demonstration, I continued building up the colors. Then I laid this painting against the wall (upside down) and took out another painting to work on. I thought this one was dry, but it wasn’t! Not until I was packing up did I realize that the basket handle had been wet and the brown paint had run into the background. (Top left area just above the basket handle).

I dipped a Qtip into alcohol to rub off the brown paint (see the close up) which also took off some of the cobalt.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


As you may recall, Rhonda Carpenter and another friend and I went to Shaker Villlage earlier in the year. I came away with a few photos to develop into paintings. This painting is taken from a photo of some old, well used Shaker baskets on top of an old shelving unit. For this horizontal design, I drew the painting onto a 15x30 canvas and began with a light wash of cobalt in the background. Then I used several shades of brown fluid acrylics in light washes.

As you can see (below) I worked left to right and only partially finished each additional layer. I intended to use this painting for demonstration purposes at a local art club and wanted to be able to show my layering process. I gradually built up the colors in the baskets and on the wooden shelf, using my fan brush to create striations to simulate wood on the shelf.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I'm happy to announce that my work is being featured over at Chris Beck's "Brush-Paper-Water" blog!  I consider this a huge honor.
Chris makes me look good!  Go take a look at what she has to say on both her blogs!
"I'm Painting as Fast as I Can"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Finally, more darks to the background.
Not great, certainly not frame-worthy! But probably a do-over in the future because I really like the idea; just didn’t get down on paper what’s in my head!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Then it was time to tie some of this together, since I think it looked too haphazard with each flower part painted separately, although I liked the look. So I began deciding which parts went together and giving more shade and depth to the flowers, and then added more color to the stems.

Monday, November 22, 2010


After I had the flowers completed (or so I thought) I added the stems. Then I realized that the flower was almost a ball which did not look good, so I added a few more flowerettes (is that what you call it on a flower like a hydrangea or a lilac???)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This is an attempt to utilize some of the info I learned at the Nick Simmons w/s this spring.
I am using the “cell painting” idea – painting each little area by itself. I love doing this although it takes a while!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Today we buried my husband’s mother at 98. She lived a long, and by most standards, uneventful life, but it was filled with love of her family. She had obvioiusly touched many lives - we were surprised today by the number of people who attended the visitation and the length of the funeral procession.
Her nephew, a priest, said the Mass. Some of her grandchildren read the scriptures. Some of her grandchildren were pallbearers, my son included. My daughter styled her hair and painted her nails for the last time so she would look beautiful in the casket. The service was held at the church she attended for most of her life. I think she would have been proud and happy with the service.
Farewell Henrietta, you will be remembered with love.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Well, I’m not unhappy with this one, but not sure what to do with the background.
My husband says to make a “mansion” in the background with a driveway sweeping down toward the car; my friend says if I do that she will never speak to me again! What’s a gal to do??? I think this one may sit a while and/or never be completed!

(I should have thought it through to the end but was just wanting to do an old shiny car – oh well . . . . . )

You know how some folks call their paintings “Untitled” (which bugs me!!). Well, guess I could call this one “Unfinished”!!!

UNFINISHED OLD BLUE ’31 FORD, watercolor, 15x22

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I haven’t painted a car for quite a while and thought I’d like to do another one. So I picked this old Ford that I photographed at the local farm machinery show a couple of years ago.
Miskited the whites.
As usual, I began by laying in some thin washes and then zeroing in on one area at a time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


This week my “work week” began on Saturday – at the Cincinnati Art Club with some prearranged helpers and a few who recruited themselves! – opening the shipped work for ViewPoint.
Sunday required a few phone calls and emails to keep the ViewPoint show on track.
Monday - up to the art club to receive the dropped off paintings. I took a book to read to occupy myself – sounds boring, doesn’t it? Well, seems I know many of the artists and it was fun to take a few minutes to chat with each (some a bit more than a few minutes!) – so I never even had time to begin my book!
Tuesday – easy day - went to have copies of the show program made
Wednesday – to the Art Club for the awards judging. Nita Leland scared the pants off of me at one point, but other than that, the day went well. Nita was very informative about the jurying process and I enjoyed seeing her again. After she left I tagged all of the artwork; then it was home to begin working on the awards list and making phone calls.
Thursday – I took care of putting together all of the awards, making and receiving phone calls and getting everything organized for Friday night.
Friday – the big day! As I say, the show is kind of like a Thanksgiving dinner – there are so many parts to it but they all have to come together at one moment in time. We loaded the door prize, plus the awards, into the car and got to the art club early, even with a "Friday night traffic jam"!  Just in time to figure out how to put together the easel which was the door prize – and then people began walking in the door.
I’m told that at one point people were waiting in line to get in! I knew it was crowded - I’ll take that as a great tribute on a well received show!

Winners will be listed, with photos, on the CAC website – click on ViewPoint - but give us a few days since our webmaster is out of town – by mid to late week those photos should be up  – and I’ll put up a link on the sidebar.
If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area, please stop in – weekends 2-5.

Got another busy week this week, and then I may take a little rest!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The purpose of this exercise was for the students to build layers and shadows for deep, rich color.
All of the students did a great job!

As an aside - this Friday is the ViewPoint opening so, needless to say, I'll be more than a little busy all week, so I'll put up a post this weekend or beginning of next week, that will deal with the show.

Hope that those of you who live in the Greater Cincinnati area will be able to either attend the opening or visit the show while it hangs!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


The red rose is layers of the same colors as the coral rose (Quin. gold, Quin. coral and Quin. rose) with some Quin. red, Quin. magenta and ??? (I forget!!!). Again, indanthrone in the shadows.
The green in the stems is Quin. gold, sap green, indanthrone blue and various combinations of those colors.
I softened some areas when they were dry to fade some of the hard edges.

Monday, October 25, 2010


The coral rose has the most layers, beginning with some Quin. gold. I added Quin. coral, Quin. rose and then played with adding them as needed. I believe I used some indanthrone blue in the shadows.

Friday, October 22, 2010


These next few posts are some roses that I began painting as a class demonstration last spring. I had never fully completed them, and just recently took the time to do so.

My plan was to paint yellow and red, but then the class wanted pink and coral too! So, the first is a combo yellow/pink.

This rose has a base of Quin. gold, and then to the yellow side I added some hansa and cadmium yellow with green as the shadow. The pink side is some Quin. rose and a bit of blue, I think I used indanthrone blue, in the shadow.

Monday, October 18, 2010


On my recent cattle post, Christiane Kingsley noted she had never heard of Red Devon cattle.
Then, in my recent classes, we painted one of our cows, Erin. For some reason, the ladies were fascinated by her and wanted to know more about her and Red Devons in particular.

Red Devon cattle came over with the Pilgrims - you can eat them, milk them, use them for draft purposes (like ox) and tan their hide - all purpose cattle!

They also make great grassfed beef due to genetics (or so we are told!) They are also docile and a bit smaller than most cattle. I could go on and on – apparently they are the “wunderkattle” of the cattle world!!!

As far as docile – the 2 times they have gotten out of the electric fence they have stayed close by – including walking down the drive to the house! The other time my husband just let them stay where they were and moved the electric fence to re-enclose them, then moved them to another pasture!

Now, cattle have a “flight path” or "flight zone" - defined as a cattle's personal space. When you penetrate the flight zone, the animal moves. This distance that will vary from cow to cow. Our cows’ flight zone is “contact!!” My husband can walk right up to them, pet them, touch them, whatever! We went to a seminar to learn how to move the cows utilizing the flight zone – but I don’t think he will ever have to use that information! If he carries the bucket that he puts the alfalfa tablets in (like candy to our cows!) they just come running! My fear is that they will crush him while attempting to get to the bucket!

The only time we have had a problem (so far) is when he got 3 new cows and they got scared and took off. (Their journey from Tennessee being pulled in a trailer behind my son’s pickup, going 80 MPH down the highway MIGHT have had something to do with this sudden fear – I’m just sayin’). Mike and my son recovered 2 in a couple hours, but the other was gone a few days until the neighbor got her into his barn and they could retrieve her.

We are hoping next year for our first slaughter and will try the meat ourselves before we give it to any other “guinea pigs”! Our beef will be completely grassfed – absolutely no grain of any kind – and so far my husband is achieving his goal! I’ll keep you posted!!

(Of course, our farmer neighbors think he’s nuts!)
p.s. They may have reason to think he’s nuts other than this cattle thing, though!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Lisa Walsh is a wonderful painter, so eager to learn and then willing to teach us as she goes along – and she’s funny, too!

A recent post of hers (October 11, 2010) dealt with the issues of photo reference vs. reality and drawing vs. tracing. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts regarding these issues lately; seems there are 2 very unified sides.

Now, I don’t usually jump into the fray, but it bothers me that these issues keep coming up - so, here I go with my 2 cents worth!

Regarding using photos as reference and either tracing or projecting - it's quicker and easier to transfer, just be careful about what to leave out and what to put in. Unless you love drawing, just get those "main lines" true and fill in the gaps. I think you would be surprised at how many artists do this - and I think that if Leonardo and Michael(angelo) would have had digital cameras and projectors and printers they would have used them! (And you have probably heard of the "camera obscura"??) You will have more time for painting, which you love!

If you love drawing - DRAW!

Since I'm not a plein aire (fancy French for "outdoor" - where reside bugs, ants, bees, rain, heat, wind and pesky pestering people, to name but a few things) painter, photos pretty much are my references.

I agree, we could probably all benefit from some more drawing time; can't hurt! And I’m doing more value studies which, when I follow them (LOL!) definitely help my paintings.

Here's a quick tip - if you like to draw faces - while watching TV push the "pause" button and grab a pencil and paper and draw faces!   News anchors, your favorite actors, commercial actors, maybe even an animal or two!  You can make it a quick study or something more formal; it's a great learning experience.

As far as exact color rendition in a painting - depends on what you are going for - some things demand to be recreated exactly, some things don't.

Just look around - there are SO MANY ways to paint - from abstract to photorealistic - do what you enjoy!

My personal belief is this - in true artistic fashion - do what feels comfortable for YOU - forget what ever "they" say to do (or not to do).

If you feel like you have to follow a set of rules, that you are “cheating” if you don’t do certain things, you will cease to enjoy your painting time.

We all paint for a different reason – a hobby, to win awards, for therapy – so paint the way you want – draw, project, trace – paint abstract or photorealistic or anything in between!

Ignore those who look down their nose and say you are doing it wrong when you don’t do it their way – don’t let them kill your joy - to each their own!

Enjoy your own process and enjoy what you do.

Paint for YOU because you want to; have fun; use rules or throw them out the window.

If you are satisfied with your work; if it looks the way you intended for it to look; if it makes you smile or feel proud when you look at it, then, pretend you are a Nike™ commercial and “Just Do It!”.

And now, no doubt I will be bombarded with comments – hope most of them are “pro” rather than “con”.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Final rendition – certifiable for Christmas card!

Not sure how often I'd want to use this medium, but at least I'm not afraid of it any more!
Glass Ornaments, 8x10 watercolor board, Gouache

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I had trouble with the bottom ornament, not sure how to handle it and it began getting “dirty” since I got impatient (not like me!) and went into it again while wet. I used the hair dryer and touched it up.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Then working on the ornaments, one by one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I had never painted with gouache, so here is my first foray into this medium – Gary Keimig look out (LOL!).
I think this will be fine for a possible family Christmas card (even though my husband’s critique was “what is it?” and then “it does nothing for me”). Hmmmmmmm . . . .

First step was the silver tray.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Opening:  November 5 - 6 to 9 p.m.
Location:  Cincinnati Art Club, 1021 Parkside Place, Mt. Adams (Cincinnati) Ohio

Around these parts, ViewPoint is considered a “big deal”, because, while it is a national show, it is local for us. We had a good number of entries from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky – guess they figured that if they are accepted they can drive their painting here and don’t have to ship it.

ViewPoint is also an interesting show because it is so varied – we are not all watercolor, or pastel or oil – we accept most media, including sculpture.

The ViewPoint 2010 show has been selected by our juror, Nita Leland and she did a wonderful job! All of the acceptance and (sadly) rejection letters are in the mail, about to make some folks happy and some sad. But, that’s life and art shows!!

I’ll be looking forward to seeing all of the paintings come in by the end of the month, and then will look forward to finding out who will receive awards (that’s exciting!). And then I’ll look forward to the opening night. And then, I’ll look forward to a little relaxing!

Good luck to all of you who entered and were accepted!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Pennsylvania  Engine 5901 (Watercolor)
In addition to our train ride, we toured the Strasbourg Railroad Museum and this locomotive caught my eye.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Old 90 Rollin' In (Watercolor)
Here is Baldwin Engine 90 as it came into the station.

Friday, September 24, 2010


All the Livelong Day (Watercolor)
Baldwin Engine 90 again - this time featuring the conductor.  The photo is distorted since I took it with a plastic sleeve on the painting.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I've Been Workin' on the Railroad (Watercolor)
Here is Baldwin Engine 90 again, with the engineer featured.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Since I'm not painting right now - too tired, too busy with other things for a while - I'm going to put up some "old" paintings that you might enjoy - and the subject will be TRAINS!
Baldwin Engine 90 (Watercolor)
Several years ago my husband and I made a trip to Pennsylvania which took us to Johnstown (site of the famous Johnstown Flood); past the location of the crash of (9-11) Flight 93; Hershey (where we toured the factory and got chocolate!); Intercourse (yep, that’s really the name) and Bird in Hand, both Amish centers; and Chadd’s Ford, home of the Wyeths and their museum. We also went to Strasbourg, home of the railroad museum.

We took a train ride on an open car behind a steam engine through the Amish countryside. Wow, it was beautiful. I took quite a few pictures, but missed what would have been the best – as we rounded a curve there was an Amish farmer with horses and equipment hitched up – but I wasn’t as quick with my camera as the train was rounding the curve!

On the way home I “painted” a couple of the paintings in my head and, unbelievably, they turned out to be just as good on paper as they were in my head!

This is the front of the locomotive. It was painted on Saunders Waterford paper which is very soft. I like to glaze, and by the time I got to the final touches, just when I wanted to be very tiny and specific with my paint, the paper was as soft as a desk blotter. Just a tiny touch with the brush would cause an instant bleed.

After I finished this painting I knew I could truly handle watercolor!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Nifty pill cutter tool and that delicious Chewable Cherry Adult Baby Aspirin!!!
Wednesday I saw the cardiologist for a 2 week check up since my minor heart attack.

He had a motto at the hospital: “One step at a time.”

I found that I also have a motto: “All the steps, how many are there and which way do I turn when I get to the top.”

So I thought we might have a communication issue. However, he was great, as was his nurse. Apparently his motto only applies when the patient (ME!) might be in a life or death situation!

They answered my complete list of questions and took a lot of time with me. My BP was down to 110/60 – LOW! – on the 2nd reading, the first slightly higher. And apparently the problems I’ve been having with lightheadedness in mid-morning are due to one of the pills – which he said I should be taking at night! I was not told that nor was it on the pill bottle! If that doesn’t work, I can cut the pills in half and take ½ in the a.m. and ½ at bedtime, so it seems to be a solvable problem. And I just happen to have the niftiest pill cutter! It’s actually some construction tool for cutting wooden trim work, but it works great for pills – cuts them straight in half!

I also get to keep taking my Chewable Cherry Adult Baby Aspirin (oxymoron??) every morning. I told the nurse I let it dissolve on my tongue and think of a big, gooey cherry Danish! (She thought I was funny!)

The doctor also said it will take 4-6 weeks to feel “normal” – that puts my timeline around the ViewPoint opening! So hopefully I won’t fall off the box my husband has threatened to put at the podium to elevate me while I’m giving my speech! (Last year he told me I was a “disembodied voice” during the speech and he aims to fix that this year!)

Anyway – all of the info from the doctor is good stuff to know. Barring any unfortunate incidents, I’ll be heading back there in January.

So now, apparently all of my impending health hazards are back to where they belong – our highways and byways. I always claim that any car I drive or ride in becomes invisible – cases in point:

Tuesday the car in front of me on the expressway ramp came to a DEAD STOP on the expressway – I had nowhere to go since a semi was whizzing along in the left lane. I had to slam on my brakes and the instant the truck passed me I changed lanes. Thank goodness there was no traffic behind me. A few minutes later the same guy who couldn’t find his gas pedal at the end of the ramp whizzed past me! Jeeeeeeeeeeeez.

Wednesday a large truck got over for me to come down the ramp – and then promptly pulled back into my lane – guess he had a very short attention span! (He received a rather UN-ladylike gesture and horn toot as I slammed on my brakes and got behind him and then passed him). And then another large truck pulled into my lane and then back into his lane for no reason I could see.

Gee – that’s enough to give a girl a heart attack!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Meet Erin - she's our biggest gal - bossy as all get out! 

Here's the progression of this painting:

And thus ends the cow posts - at least for now!!!! 

Friday, September 10, 2010


We had 5 babies this summer; sadly, one died. But we still have the 4 little ones who scamper around with their mothers! Here is a photo of most of the herd – you can see the little ones – and note that one is on the “wrong side of the fence” at the top middle of this photo. Guess he/she has heard the old saying “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!”
The babies will wander under the fence, but come back when momma calls them!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Nothing to do with art, just cows!
Some of you may remember the birth of our first calf, Sunny, a little over a year ago. Well, here is a short progression – what a difference a year makes!!!!!

And – even though he’s an animal - he’s even got a birth certificate (imagine that!!!)

Sunday, September 5, 2010


For the background I decided to do some “wallpaper”. A friend brought over some wallpaper samples and I reduced one of the patterns, then traced it onto vellum, then copied it onto 2 pieces of paper, then overlaid it on the painting, then traced it onto the painting, then miskited it, then applied 2-3 layers of yellow paint, then removed the miskit and then added the slight shadow behind the table edge and – voila!!!! This shows the miskit still applied.

Sunlit Teapot, Casein, 20x16
And, finally, here is the almost completed piece. I’ll live with it until I’m sure it is finished, and then will use 3-4 layers of varnish to complete it.

Friday, September 3, 2010


While you have been reading my posts which I had previously scheduled, I’ve spent 2 ½ days in the local hospitals with a minor heart attack (and had my first – and hopefully last! – ambulance ride).

The only reason I’m telling you this is so that the women reading this will realize that our symptoms can be very different from a man’s.

On Monday evening around 11:15, just as the local news was ending, my right bicep began to hurt. (Notice I said RIGHT bicep – i.e. not the heart side). I thought I had pulled a muscle. Later that night my upper back started to hurt and between my shoulder blades. Then I felt some chest pressure. Forget that “it felt like an elephant on my chest.” It was more like a 16 pound cat – I know this for a fact since I used to have a 16 pound cat that would sometimes sleep on my chest and wake me because I could not breathe! Then I had some slight pressure on my right neck. This is why I didn’t think it could be a heart attack – everything was on the wrong side of the body. So then I thought I was having an anxiety attack and the more I thought about it the more anxious I became! The symptoms alleviated, returned, changed pattern, etc.

At some point I decided it could be a heart attack so I made my peace and decided that if I was alive in the morning I would have my husband take me to the doctor.

Tuesday morning when he came in from moving the cows I was dressed and ready to go – called the doctor and we went there first. He assessed that I was having (or had already had) a heart attack and my husband drove me to the hospital. Only one problem – this is a local hospital and all they did was stabilize me – had we thought it out better we could have gone straight to Cincinnati to a cardiac care unit. Oh well . . .

After spending Tuesday there they transported me at 5 a.m. to Mercy Fairfield and I had a cardiac catheterization. The doctor said it was a minor attack in a minor artery and no point in putting in a stent – it is only about a 2% blockage.

However, I’m now on 3 medications for blood pressure, cholesterol and heart (thankfully CHEAP!) and a baby aspirin each day – I chose chewable cherry!

I did not know that I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure - that has always been low. Apparently this has been building for a while.

So, hopefully by following a strict diet plan and taking my medication I’ll be back to my usual self in no time. In the meantime, all I want to do is sleep!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Sneaking up on those shadows in the roses, and adding some color to the "not lace"!  Also more color to the pot an some of the reflections painted in.
After the demo I received an email from someone who told me she tried to paint lace the next day and it was the first time she had been successful - due to the fact I talked about  painting "not lace" - it helped her understand negative painting!  That was cool!!

The roses pretty much finished, lace finished, and a bit more color added overall.

And, by the way - today is September 2 - my birthday!  "Happy birthday to me"