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     It is often said that to improve in our art skills we must keep at it.  In other words, we must paint and paint a lot!  I have always been told to paint as often as possible, meaning every day, even if for only an hour.  The reason is that constant and continual work improves our work quickly.  Just as children go to school on a daily basis, we are going to art school daily when we paint every day.

     Take advantage of painting CD's that allow you to do a painting following step-by-step directions.  This is the same as going to school or doing a workshop, but for a much lower price.  The advantage here is that you can do it over and over getting better each time, and learning more each time as well.  These can be purchased on the artist's website and perhaps on eBay too.  I have quite a few in my bookcase that I have purchased and recorded from educational shows.  The recorded ones cannot be sold, but they can …
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     My new gallery REMBRANTZ  here in St. Augustine, sent a nice write-up into a local paper announcing my representation and advertising my work for the First Friday Art Walk.  It prompted a nice response.  (photo of article is below)

     One response in particular was from a friend that I hadn't seen in a while.  Turns out a family member is getting a kidney transplant and a silent auction is being held to help defray the costs of the donor. She asked if I'd be willing to donate a painting for the auction.  I quickly agreed and delivered it the same day.  I asked her to keep me posted as to how it goes and she promised she would.

   This is the painting that I donated and it sold!  I'm glad to have been able to give to a good cause. Hopefully all will go well for my friend and her family.  Below is a photo of the fundraiser flyer and the newspaper article by REMBRANTZ Gallery.


     I just went to a workshop held by Mary Hubley, a well known artist here in St. Augustine, and her focus was on the value system.  My darkest and lightest values are easy for me, but my midtones, or mid values, needed work.  Yes, even professionals need ongoing education.

     It was a full day of work for 10 people.  We spent the morning reviewing worksheets with information on the value system, and how to paint shadows to achieve the most effect.  We were given a photo and questions to guide us.  Most interesting was the difference between warm and cool shadows and values.

                                                         PAINTING SHADOWS

                           Looking at the photo above answer these questions:

1. What is the primary light source?                   Answer:  The sun coming from the left-Warm light

2.  What is the secondary light source?              Answer:  The sky in general-Cool light

3. …

     You are in the middle of an exciting painting and OOPS you get a tear in the canvas!  That is exactly what happened to me one day.  I was really upset as it was a good painting!  The tear was not in the middle of the canvas, but was at least an inch long.  I didn't know what to do.

     It just so happened that I was attending a workshop with a well-known artist.  I happened to mention it to him and asked him if it could be repaired.  He told me to bring it in and he'd teach me how to do it. It turned out to be an easy process, thank goodness!  The nice part about this repair is that if it is done correctly, it is permanent!

So, here is the way to do it:

FIRST:  Cut a piece of canvas that is larger than the hole (1/2" all around is good). You can purchase folded canvas, but it can be expensive. However, you may have an old stretched canvas you can cut up, or just purchase a cheaper stretched canvas to keep…

     My husband and I were "sitting" at the St. Augustine Beach Art Studio and Gallery this month when a gentleman walked in.  That is not uncommon,  what is uncommon was that he asked if there was an artist available to do some sketches for him.  I said that I was the artist and he then told me what he had in mind. 

     It turns out he is engaged to be married and he wanted to do something very romantic for his fiance'.  He described three dates in particular that he wanted depicted and combined into one painting.  He asked for a piece of paper to show me his idea and then asked me to do a couple sketches on canvas for him to then paint.  I agreed, but we had no available canvas, so I sent him to the nearest art store while I played with some ideas on paper.  When he returned with the canvas, I said I'd have the sketches ready for him to pick up by closing time.

     The three memorable dates include…

     At the stores we find many types of varnish, both finishing spray and liquid brush-on varnish.  What should you use and how?   The liquid brush-on goes further, but personally, I prefer the sprays.  The reason being that I have found the brush-on will chip or peel.  Perhaps I am putting it on too thick, perhaps not.  I just prefer to use spray.

     That said,  there are many varieties of spray varnish.  How is each used?  To make it easier for you to decide, I picked up a KRYLON flyer at our local Hobby Lobby art/craft store and took a photo of it for you to see.  I have typed in the explanations as the lettering is too small for you to read in a photo.  Hopefully this will help you to know which will work best for your situation.

Finishing sprays protect from the elements of nature.  Most have UV protection, plus they help prevent smearing, dirt marks and scratches.  Most importantly, they really make a…

     A good friend got hold of me a few weeks ago asking if I would teach an art class at her home similar to "Painting With a  Twist"  I agreed and she got 17 people together for the fun!  Held on her lanai, with wonderful goodies to eat, lots of laughter, and paint on our hands and faces, everyone managed to finish and went home with a painting of their own.  It was so much fun that she has asked me to do it again in another town with more of her friends!

     I may just decide to do more of this type of thing in the future!

     I got a couple photos of the smiles and paintings to share with you.