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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's Official -

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

It's Officially Official!

We bring you this report from the desk of the newest gallery owner in Carrollton, KY.  A report of a lease signing has been verified and Main St., Carrollton, KY will now become home to River Run Gallery and Fun Art Studio.

Owner, Sharon Graves, likes "fun art" better than "fine art", and she hopes you will become familiar with the new business and all it will have to offer.

The front of the gallery with door open,  (door with awning is not River Run Gallery, but a cute business on the right.)  photo by S.L. Graves.

Graves is a prolific painter and said her home studio has become too full of the art she produces and needs a permanent place to display it.  She is also offering a place for other local artists to display their art for sale.  If you are one of those artists, a painter, photographer, jeweler, potter, fiber artist, basket weaver, etc., please contact her for details of how you too can have a seat at the table, or on the wall, or where ever.

Group, as well as individual classes will be held during the week.  Currently, Graves is teaching adult group classes on Tuesday night at News Auction Barn on Hwy 227 in Carrollton.  So far there has been much "fun art" produced and "happy times" had. Please contact Graves for further information of these classes.

Graves will also be moving her private studio to the upstairs confines of the new enterprise, so if you see a strange glow coming from the upstairs window, it is not the ghost of unfulfilled artists clanking their chains.  It's just Sharon getting in some paint time.
This window and balcony is where my private studio will be.  The glow of an artist hunched over her easel will soon be seen from there.  photo by S. L. Graves
We are told the new business will not open until early July, but you will be informed of the progress of the gallery/studio as it, well, progresses. 

 Beehive of activity.                                  Out with the old carpet as owner Bill Broberg (left)                                                        begins the rehab.  Workman (right upper photo) readies 
                                                                himself for his close up. photo by S. L. Graves

   The fully supportive spouse waves amiably as he asks, "Does this mean all that stuff downstairs is going to be moved out?"  One can only hope.

Seriously, if you're interested in participating in the new gallery space, or if you would like to take classes, please email me at and I can send you all kinds of info.  

Also, River Run Gallery and Fun Art Studio will have the full complement of blog, website, facebook page, pinterest page, etc., etc.  So if you could please share those as they come on board that would be a great help.  

For now, I must be filling out and filing all sorts of forms, getting inspections, licenses, and all sorts of things, just so you can paint or buy a piece of art.  Wish me luck.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Did You Do Tonight?

What Did You Do Tonight?

These Four women came to my painting class
at News Auction Barn tonight.

 They are getting their skies in and then will put in a rock step.

Class began right at 6 p.m. and they made great progress in short order.

They're putting in the terra cotta pots.

Terra cotta is fun to paint because it has so many variations.

Look how great these ladies did!!!

Great geraniums and daisies. 

This could be you next week.

These two ladies kids are married to each other.  
One lady came from Toledo, OH.
One was the ring leader.   

Fascinatin Feathers
is the painting for June 3.

Buds A Poppin
is the June 10 painting.

These are both going to be fun paintings.  
Message me if interested in either one.

Classes are $40, begin at 6 p.m. and are at News Auction Barn for now.

I signed the lease today on a building at 449 Main St., in Carrollton, KY today.
I hope to open River Run Gallery and Fun Art Studio in early July. 
I will be offering adult and children painting classes there.

I will also have a gallery and I will be offering space to lease for local artists.
I think I can take about six artists.
I'm looking for a jeweler,
a potter,
a photographer,
a fiber artist,
a basket maker
and several other types of artists.

You can email me at  
if you are interested in joining this new gallery.

There will be more information on River Run Gallery coming soon.

Please feel free to pass this on to any artist you think may be interested.


And if you could share it on facebook when you see it,
it would help so much.

Thanks again.



My first class was a success!!!
Of course I did only have one student who was able to make it,
she did a great job and we met every goal I had for the night.

She completed her painting,
She did an excellent job,
We both learned a lot,
We had lots of fun.

Doesn't get any better than that.

Photo: Julie Lewis and her painting from my sunflower painting class.  My painting is on the right so you can see how well she did. 

Just in case you thought you couldn't do it,
here's proof you can.

Julie does have artistic ability
and she loves to draw,
but she'll tell you, there was very little drawing involved in this painting.
We put a few marks on with soft vine charcoal,
to give us a point of reference,
and the rest went on with a brush.
She had never painted on a canvas before.

the proof is in the pudding,
or the painting.

 Here's what we will be painting May 27 and June 3 at 6 p.m.
at News Auction Barn in Carrollton, KY.  

Call Me if you'd like to reserve a spot,

Would love to see you there. 

Never Stop Learning

We Should All 
Never Stop Learning.
These 4-H'ers are learning to paint in acrylic
and hopefully will go on to do great things at the
Carroll County Fair. 

 Here they are getting their backgrounds in.

They were learning how to create distance
and perspective with these landscape paintings 
using clouds, hay bales and a tree.

 All these students are local 4-H members in
Carroll County.
We spent several hours together last week.

I'm missing one girl, Megan and her painting,
but these are the rest of the students.
 Didn't they do a great job?
I was very proud of them and not only how hard they worked,
but how they helped each other.
Their paintings will all be entered in the Carroll County Fair
and the winner will go on to Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, KY
in August.
Good Luck to all!
Give them some love in the comment section.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I Can Do Hard Things

I Can Do Hard Things!

This was my gift to my grand daughter for graduation.

She has belonged to a home school theatre club, Center Stage Productions
 for several years and has been in a number of plays.
 I had a lot of memorabilia from the productions.

In January I had this crazy idea to make a collage of the memorabilia
and paint her as the White Witch from Narnia on top of it all.

However, I had no idea how to do it,
so I called in the experts.
My online friends who have encouraged me along the way.
Barb Pask, a fellow Mason, OH graduate helped me with the collage part.
I didn't know how to afix the "stuff" to the canvas or how to paint over it.
But Barb did and shared that info with me.
Thanks Barb.

Meredith Adler gave me some pointers on getting the painting to look more like Kelsie.  Thanks Meredith.  Your encouragement always means a lot.
Terri Buchholz also told me some reference books I might look at.  Thanks for the help even though I don't think you knew how you were helping me.

I drew 7 or so versions of her,
but only one of them even resembled her.

I painted her 6 times on panels, paper, and anything I could.
One was so horrible, I threw it away, and I never do that.

I got away from it for several weeks while I worked on her dad's campaign
and when I got home, I went to my studio and said,
"I'm putting it on the collage and if I screw it up, I screw it up".

In an hour and a half I had her face on the collage,
it looked like her.

   I knew I could get the hair on with no problem,
as that was the easiest part of the painting every time I did it.

In the close up, you can see the items under neath the painting.
I really wanted some of that to show through.

Here's the reference photo I used.  

That's quite the wig, huh?

Anyway, she was thrilled with it,
which made me feel pretty good.

There were a few weeks, that I really didn't know if I could get it completed or not.
But, I did.
Hardest thing I've ever done,
So Far.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Top 10 Reasons You Need to Take My Art Class

Top 10 Reasons You Need to Take
My Art Class

1.  Your creativity called and would like to be unleashed.

2.  It's been cold forever and you may not have a real one of these in your yard this year.

3.  You've always wanted to learn to paint and now is a great time to start.

4.  You're not getting any younger.

5.  You deserve a break today.

6.  Can't dance, may as well paint.

7.  Gotta start somewhere.

8.  Orange (and yellow) are the new black.

9.  A fun thing to do that won't add inches to those thighs.

10.  The election will be over and everyone needs a reason to celebrate that.  

Classes start this Tuesday, May 20 at 6 p.m. 
at News Auction Barn on Hwy 227,
Carrollton, KY.

Arrive about 5:45 to get your palette set up and be ready to paint by 6 p.m.

I supply all the supplies, instruction and inspiration.
You supply $40 (and your own apron or smock).

You will have this lovely 20" x 14" acrylic painting of Sunflowers.

Your inner Van Gogh is ready to come out.

Message me or leave a comment if you want to reserve your spot.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fun Art Classes

Fun Art Classes

No stress
No mess
No Pain
All Gain

and Lots of Fun

Tuesday, May 20 at 6 p.m. we will have our first Fun Art class.
We will be painting the sunflowers on the left on May 20.

Tuesday, May 27 we'll be painting Geraniums and daisies on the right.

You can make your reservation and pay using the paypal button below.
You can also call me at 502-523-0663 to reserve your spot.
Space is limited.


I supply a 20" x 16" stretched gallery wrap canvas,

All you need to bring is a smock or apron.

If you could arrive about 15 minutes early, you can get your palette set up and ready to go.
I hope to have you and your lovely, (and it will be lovely) artwork on your way home by 9 p.m.

You will learn how to mix paint,
lay out a painting,
create depth,
several types of strokes to make petals and leaves,
and how to have fun while creating.

I would wear something you don't care if you get paint on.  
(Maybe you're as messy as me.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

LearnTo Paint in Carrollton

Learn to Paint in Carrollton

I've thought about it for months.

I've talked about it on facebook.

I've talked about it with friends and family.

And. . .
Now, If you live in Carrollton you have the chance to take a group painting class.

I'll be offering beginning painting classes at News Auction Barn
Highway 227, Carrollton, KY  
on Tuesday nights beginning May 20 at 6 p.m.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to paint these sunflowers.

Sunshine Fields
This is a 20" x 16" gallery wrap canvas and I will supply everything you need to accomplish it, 
accept a smock or apron for $40.
You will have a finished painting to take home that night.

So call your sister, call your momma, call your friends and 
then CALL ME to reserve your spot.

I can take your $20 deposit over the phone to reserve your spot and
 you can pay the rest the night of the class.

Space is somewhat limited, so get on the phone!

You really can paint this.

You'll have the option to change it up a bit to suit your taste,
but you can do it.

Look ahead on that quickly filling up calendar to May 27
and we'll be painting this little number at 6 p.m.
at News Auction Barn. 

Daisies and Geraniums

20" x 16" gallery wrap canvas and the very same fantastic offer.
$40 for everything you need to complete this painting in one evening.

This is a great group ladies night out, 
family reunion activity,
or gee, I just want to learn how to do it!!!

Classes start at 6 p.m. and I'd like to have you out the door and on your way home
with your very own artwork by 9 p.m.
Yes, You can get it done in that amount of time.  

So Please give me a call to reserve your spot at
 Leave me a message if I can't answer right then.

We're gonna have a lot of fun!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Practice Practice Practice

Practice Practice Practice

If you want to get good at something,
there's only one way.

practice what you practiced,
work at it,
break it down and work at it,


A lot of time in an artists life is spent practicing and learning.

So when someone asks me how long did it take you paint that,
I always answer in years,
because there was lots of practice that went in before what you see
on a canvas got there.  

But, having said all that, 
I love what I do 
and if all I ever do is practice, then I still learned a lot.

This is a practice piece I did of flowers in my yard.

I'm going to cut them apart and donate them to the Young Women's group at our church.

They are having an auction to raise funds for girls camp,
so they will have four small matted acrylic on paper to action off.  

They are about 5" x 7" each in an 8" x 10 " mat.

Three allum in a vintage vase.

Iris in an antique milk bottle

Close up of the allum

Close up of the iris.

The auction will be Wednesday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
508 Main St, Carrollton, KY  41008.

They will have some great baked goods, crafts and my four small paintings.

Might get a pretty good bargain here
and help some girls get to girls camp.

Thanks for stopping in today to look at my art.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Fun Art Tools

Fun Art Tools

I'm still on the campaign trail for my son in law Eric Stewart,
for Logan County, OH Family Court Judge.

But, while I'm driving my grandson Caleb, 14, around the county,
giving his spiel, hanging door knocker signs, and posting big signs,
I am also improving my drawing skills.

I bought this really cool pen/brush from Pen-Tel
and I've been using it in a little journal I bought to document the campaign.

The pen comes in 3 widths and had bristles that are in a fine point.
The ink just flows from it so smoothly.
 It comes in 3 widths and I have a medium point.

The drawing on the left was some gingerbread from a beautiful Victorian home here,
and the church is further down the street.

The pen is less than $10 and is worth is just to play with.

Stay tuned for more on this fun experiment. 

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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.