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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tribute to a great photographer

I'm not sure how I find the site Paint My Photo.
I think it was a painting friend, Barb Pask.
But, I joined the site and received an email at the beginning of April about a painting challenge they were having.
One of their contributors, Pixel Bloke, who had posted 59 of his photos to the site,
died last September and evidently the owners of the site didn't know until recently.
They wanted to do a tribute album to Pixel Bloke, AKA David Smith so,
you know how I love challenges,
so I got out my paint brush and started pouring through his photos to decide what to paint.
Now that was a tough decision.
So I painted three of them.

This was actually my third painting I did of his,
but it's getting top billing here.
I entered this and the one below in the Mary Ann Gentry Annual Art Show
at the Carroll County Library in Carrollton, KY.
His title of the photo was Bet Ya Can't Eat Three.

The above painting of Nigel the Nuthatch
 is his title of his photo.
I learned lots from doing this painting on painting feathers.
I also used a palette knife to paint the tree.
That is always enlightening.

This one is also in the local art show.
If you go, they are having a people's choice award, where people can vote for their personal favorite and then the library is going to negotiate with the artist to purchase for the library.

I like the idea of having local art in our library.

And this was the first painting I did in the challenge.
I loved his reflections in the water and the composition as a whole.
I also learned a lot because I did a video of the progression of this painting,
put it to music and posted it on youtube.
How crazy is that?

Click here to see my very first video!

Thanks for spreading Pixel Blokes work by sharing this post.  

Click here to see the album of many artists who took up the challenge.

You've had your art fix for the day.


Beach Blanket Bingo

and this is what I created with some similarly themed paintings.

I love quilts also and I was trying to make a collage that reflected a quilt pattern.
This was pretty fun to create.
I didn't know if it would allow me to keep using the same photo over and over again,
and as you can see, it did.

I know all the pics aren't exactly beach paintings,
but they are all water.

I use to create these collages.
They are a lot of fun and I can see how they would have many uses,
making your own cards and notes, stationery and in

Check it out.

You can find all the above paintings in their cute wood shadow box frames
on my website at

Click here to see my website.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Food as Art

Food Glorious Food
My daughter, Kari Graves is a chef and has worked at some pretty swanky places, such as the Four Seasons, Scottsdale, Arizona, the Seelbach in Louisville, KY., Belterra Casino and countless smaller fine dining restaurants.  She graduated with a degree in culinary arts from Sullivan University in Louisville, KY.

When I asked her to be a guest poster, she was all on board,
so here is 
"The Beauty and Art of Food.

When she was about 5 we took all 4 children to the Beehive Tavern, in Augusta, KY., a fine dining restaurant in a very small town on the Ohio River.
Kari ordered chicken curry for dinner which she had never even heard of, it just sounded fun to her.
She helped finish off her brother's plate and my plate. 
She loved the carmel flan and chocolate mousse we had for dessert.
The next day we were walking down the street and she asked when we could go back to the Beehive.
I told her is was a pretty expensive night and we had to save it for very special occasions.
Then I asked "did you like it last night"?
Kari replied "They cook good".
I should have known then there was food in her future.

She currently lives in Nashville with her 4 year old son and she works for a high end day care who wanted a chef for their children.
She's loving it!
It just seems to have come full circle.

The fun behind eating great food is constructing really great and beautiful dishes. Every dish I eat or make I not only consider how it tastes but how it looks, the colors used, the textures. What are the elements of a great dish? What catches the eye of not only the consumer but the artist? Finding the balance is not only what makes a great dish but a great chef.

                When we go into a clothing store, grocery store, art gallery what draws our eye? Colors, balance, proportions, the same can be said for a beautiful plate of food.  As cooks we want our food to taste wonderful.  It is the chef in us that brings out the beauty and art of every dish we make.  You will find a variety of colors in a fresh green salad, accented with ripe red strawberries, walnuts for texture, and yellow cherry tomatoes maybe.  We as chefs see a brilliant green sauce as part of our paint pallet as we look on a plate of perfectly cooked white chicken paired with olive oil poached roma tomatoes or roasted purple beet puree.  I try to bring your eye in first so you want to eat it.  I work hard to slice a fruit plate with exact consistency, uniformity and balance with colors and shapes. I look for all of these items in every dish I make.
                The drive behind cooking and a great dish starts and stops with great product.  Picking vegetables from the garden right to the table is the best way to feel like you have made a great dish.  I take pride in every ingredient and treat it well like an artist takes care of their best brushes.  Great fresh ingredients are our paint and our knives our brushes.  In my mind cooking has always been an art for me.  

Inline image 2 
So there you have it friends.
Art is all around each of us, if we choose to create it, look at it, wear it or eat it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

OK, so I Lost A Few

Well, I did!

Well, I didn't really lose them, but they may as well have been lost,
these paintings never made it onto my website.
Very basic, marketing 101 lesson!

When you finish a painting goofball, 
put them on your website.

So here they are,
now they made it onto the blog
and they are already on my website!


Purple Rain
was painted from a beautiful lilac bush I have in my yard.
They smell delicious!
It's a 10" x 8" unframed acrylic on a panel.
$50 + $6 shipping
Click here to purchase 

was also painted from flowers growing in my yard.
My husband is such a gardener and I am blessed because of it.

Sunbeam is an unframed 7" x 5" acrylic on a canvas panel.

$50 + $6 shipping

Click here to purchase

Have a great day
and aren't we glad warmer weather is finally here!

Derby - First Saturday in May

First Saturday in May

In Kentucky, the First Saturday in May
has great significance
as everyone gets ready for the Kentucky Derby.
People are getting their outfits ready if they're going to the Derby,
planning parties, food and office pools even if they're not.

I've personally never been, but love to watch all the pagentry on TV
and have gone to several Derby parties.
Any reason to get dressed up and wear a hat is all right in my book.
I love hats.
This was painted from a photo I took several years ago.
I took my mom there and we took the full tour, front side, back side and inside the
Kentucky Derby Museum.

Click here to purchase First Saturday in May

$100 in this wood shadowbox frame that stands alone, or on your decorative easel
or hang on a wall.

This is the front door of the Kentucky Derby Museum.

These two paintings were a lot of fun to paint and
they would look great individually. . .

 but put them together and you're making a real statement.

If you're going to the Derby this year and want something to help remember the day,
these paintings may be just the ticket.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

OMG Another Leslie Saeta Challenge

Artist and art marketing extraordinaire Leslie Saeta has thrown down the gauntlet again and issued another art challenge.  You'll remember the last challenge was 30 paintings in 30 days and I really had to bring it to complete the challenge.  

I learned tons during that challenge and this was my favorite painting of the challenge.  This was a breakthrough for me.  It's still sitting on my coffee table.

Leslie is a marketing coach, instructor and genius and I have taken her class Webinarts which would be good for any business trying to get all the tech stuff down and increase their web presence and along the way, sales.  The Challenge - Drum Roll Please is 30 Marketing Ideas in 30 Days.

It starts on May 1st, so get your game on and get signed up on her blog.

Click here to sign up on Leslies' blog.   

See you in challenge friends.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Finally Framed and Ready to Hang

and I finally got them framed this past week.

I love these wooden shadow box frames.
They really set off these fun paintings and I can't wait to hang them.

Is it just me or does everyone put off things like framing something?
Do you ever create or buy something and and then take forever to frame it or even worse to hang it?
I'm crazy that way.

Sorry folks.

These are mine.

Now, to hang them.
Hopefully it won't be another year until that happens!

Click here to meet Dreama and her art

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

4-H Painters

I taught the painting class.
The classes went from 9 a.m. until noon and the kids changed classes every hour.
I taught 3 kids at a time and they learned how to paint a tree.
They painted sky, grass, and a tree with various lights and shadows on the trunk and leaves.
It was lots of fun and my artists did some really great work.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Guest Poster Kim Hoagland

Kim Hoagland

Click here to listen to Kim sing Are You Lonesome Tonight

That should put you in a great mood for the rest of the day. 

Kim and I have gone to church together for over 20 years.
She is from a performing family, The Kinmans" and she is hilarious.
Her dad, Harold, was the leader of the band, so to speak and they have performed all over the Kentucky/Indiana area.

I love Kim's deep rich voice and she is complemented by her brothers Jeff, the crazy one and David, the straight man.
They put on a tremendous show and if you ever get the chance to see The Kinmans, please go, you won't be disappointed.
I asked Kim to give us an idea of what she's thinking when on stage and if she has any rituals she does before a performance and this is her answer.

"When I perform I wish and hope the audience understands that I want to pull emotions from them.To make them feel the same feeling I am feeling.I want to tug at their hearts and look them right in the eye and capture their attention. I get instant feedback.  I know if they are looking right back at me and smiling I know I have done some good, made them feel good. I want to take them away from their problems for a couple of hours.To forget the worries of their world for awhile.
Before a show I sing through all my songs one more time but not anymore than once or I will obsess and start to get nervous.  I also LOVE to talk with them before a show.Go out in the audience and just talk to them.They will tell me whats going on in their life or if there is a song I can sing for them. I used to get really nervous but now when I make a mistake on stage I make a joke out of it and we are all laughing including me.  You have to laugh at yourself.
Performing has brought me such  happiness.  I don't know how to do anything else! lol   God has truly blessed me with this talent he decided to give me and I am humbled and very thankful for it."

Kim performs regularly at the Ross County Jamboree in Scottsburg, IN 
Click here for the Ross County Jamboree website.
The picture on the website is of Kim and her brother David.  Jeff must be ready to come on in a wig and a dress or dressed up as a rabbit.  You never know with Jeff.

Hopefully you'll subscribe to Kim on youtube and watch her perform in your living room.  How cool is that.  


Friday, April 19, 2013

Another Paint My Photo Challenge

The painting challenge on Paint my Photo has been lots of fun
and I have had to consider what I'd like to paint of David Smith's many beautiful images.

This is really in my wheelhouse.

The photo was titled "Bet you can't eat three"
and it has beautiful bales of hay on a warm sunny day.

I haven't titled mine yet, but I really like the composition from the photo.

What do you think would be a good name?

Leave me a comment with you title.

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Photo Reference Flowers

Can't ya just smell these hyacinths!

They are heavenly!

Now that you've had your eye candy for the day

Have a great one!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nigel the Nut Hatch

is another painting I did using pixelbloke's photographs on Paint My Photo.
He was a contributor to that site and passed away last fall and they are having a tribute to him by asking artists to paint from his photos for this month's challenge.

This is my second finished piece from his gallery of photos.

I haven't really named it yet.
If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments section.

I love painting birds, even though I am actually afraid of birds.
I know, afraid of birds!
But it's true.
I have feeders and I love to watch them, but I get scared when they fly near me.

This is an acrylic 8" x 10" on a panel, unframed.

$50 + $6 shipping

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tall Elegance

Tall Elegance Progression

I have a gardener for a husband, and he loves to plant and grow all sorts of flowers, vegetables, trees, berries, herbs, grapes.
You name it, he wants to grow it.  
This painting is from a vase of flowers I picked from our yard.

First off I have done very few still lifes from a set up so this is new and interesting for me.

I painted the background leaving the vase and a space for the flowers pretty open.

 This shows the vase going in.

Next I added in the forsythia.
It's funny, I painted them basically in the order I arranged the vase.

Now we're going to start adding some flowers.  

Here's what I was looking at while painting.
( Don't pay any attention to the mess over there.  
It's like that in the whole studio.)

Flowers in and working on details.

I'm trying to show you the shadows on the wall behind the flowers.
That was fun trying to put shadows in such a dark background.

Close up of the center daffodil.

Trying to give you an idea of what the bouquet looks like
(Check out those shadows back there)

 This was the vase of flowers I was using for reference,
before it went up stairs to sit on my coffee table 
with several other vases I'd arranged.

Started to look like a funeral parlor in there.

Oh Well, that was fun.


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About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.