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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Winner Winner, Painting Winner

I Drew Out A Name,
Go Check Your Email.

This fun painting is waiting for the winner to email me back  with their address so I can send it out to them.

You can be a winner too.
I'm giving away over $800 in goodies this month for my blogaversary.

Not to mention, I'm painting 30 paintings in 30 days in September and you can follow along.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Between A Rock and a Garden Place

Beautification Project

The Mayor of Carrollton, KY., 
Robb Adams came to me and asked me to help him
in his part of a Carrollton Beautification project.

Around the town square there are cut outs,
that until recently haven't been utilized well.
Some businesses planted flowers in them 
and other places were just left bare.
Then they started an adopt a cut out campaign,
and that's how I got involved.

He brought me a big rock and little business card,
and wanted me to marry them up. 

 I drew out the letters on a big piece of craft paper,
got his approval
and then cut it apart and transferred it to the rock.
 I'm working outside as you can see

 I'm under a pop up tent to protect me and the rock.

This is how I transferred the writing.
I had to cut it apart to transfer because when I created the template, I wasn't happy with the spacing in several places.

 Mayor Adams cut out is the largest one on the square
and you can see here where to stone is.

There are all sorts of beautiful 
perennial plants in his garden.
Carrollton is located at the confluence of
the Ohio and the Kentucky Rivers.
The rock had an indentation on one side,
and lots of interesting crevices along the bottom.
I used them to represent the two rivers and in
the corner represents Point Park,
where they come together in Carrollton.

Where Rivers and People Meet

Click on the pic below to get signed up to receive this blog and a monthly newsletter in your inbox.
It also gets you entered to win all the goodies I'm giving away in September for my Blogaversary,
as well as a monthly painting I give away.

Monday, August 29, 2016

10 Ways To Stay Up When You're Exhausted

Insomnia Is My Middle Name

 (Just something pretty to look at)

I have never slept well.
Not even as a child.
And I really don't sleep well now.

I can't ever shut my mind off. 
I've tried just about every idea out there to go to sleep,
but not only can I not go to sleep,
I can't stay asleep for more than 2 hours.

My best technique is to turn Netflix on my phone,
put my headphones on, and usually in about an hour or so
off I go. . .
for an hour or so.
Then I get my wake up call and it will be another few hours before I can go back to sleep.

I know, that shouldn't work, but it gives my mind something else to chew on instead of lists of all the things I want to accomplish tomorrow.

how can I stay up, excited, motivated when sleep is so illusive?

1.  I try not to dwell on it.
I don't let myself think about how tired I am, I just try to push through till lunch.

2.  I make lists.
Yes, I know that's what I'm thinking about when trying to go to sleep, but if I have a list of things that need accomplishing, I can tick things off that list and not let thoughts of how tired I am creep in.

3.  Even if I can't sleep, I can eat well.
My body doesn't get much rest,
 but I try to make sure it gets fuel.

4.  I take a nap when my body says sleep.  NOW!
Also not a great idea according to some,
but I've been at this for 60 years now 
and if my body says 
"take a nap" I listen. 

5. Simulate Sleep
 During the night when I wake up,
I lay very still and try to slow my breathing and heart rate down.  I try to simulate sleep.  Even if I can't sleep,
my body is resting.

6.  Paint what I love.
Exhaustion is not a great time to tackle a really hard passage, or subject matter.  But then again, sometimes it helps me focus on the process and not how tired I am.

7.  Drink water.
Your body is water and needs water.
Give it what it needs. 

8.  Go to your calm place. 
Late in the day, start to wind down.
Don't start new projects.
Change gears.

9.  Prepare for tomorrow. 
Right before I turn the lights out in my studio for the day,
I lay out a plan for tomorrow.
When I start to think about it when I'm trying to go to sleep,
I remind myself I already have a plan for tomorrow,
so think about something else.

10.  Do Some Research  
I'm to tired to paint because my brain can't function,
that's when I research subjects I want to work on,
take a walk with my camera and try to photograph things I'd like to study or paint.  
I'm still working on my art, but I'm not frustrating myself by not being able to paint. 

Hopefully, you sleep deep and long.
Hopefully you don't need any of this,
but just in case you do,
I hope something here inspires you to keep trying.

I know I will be.

Don't forget,
I'll be giving this bad boy away August 31,
and then in September I'll be giving away a boat load of art goodies, including 4 of my online iris painting classes and 1 full blown art course.
I'll be giving away over $800 worth of art in September for my blogaversary.
Share this with anyone and everyone.

So, if you haven't subscribed to my blog yet,
(what are you waiting for)
Now would be a great time.
Scroll back to the top, on your laptop, and on the right hand side, put your email in the box that says,
Subscribe to my blog.
Then, when you get an email to confirm you did that, confirm it and pull my email into your primary folder and out of your social or promotion folders.

If you get this in your inbox,
you don't have to do a thing.
You're in!


Leave me a comment if sleep alludes you
and how you fight it. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

It's Time To Make The Donuts

Make Donuts?

OK, I'm not really making donuts,
but it is time to get down to brass tacks
and get ready to paint
30 Paintings in 30 Days!
 (cue the reverberation sound effects)

My sweet husband cut 36, 10" x 10" square panels
out of Masonite, (36 in case I screw up)
and each one has to have 3 coats of gesso.
  This is just a "gittr done ASAP sort of process".

Then I'll go over 10 in burnt sienna, 10 in gray, 
and 10 in a mottled background. 

Depending on what I'm painting each day,
I'll choose a background for that temperature,
you know warm or cool.

I've been brainstorming, 
(big oxymoron there),
on what my theme/themes will be.

I've always wanted to paint figures,
but was afraid.
So, I'm throwing off the shackles of fear 
and going to do it in front of the world and all.
Those should be interesting.
I have my subjects, but I don't have the actual photo reference, yet.
There will be at least 10 of those.

I want to do some plein air painting of local scenes  
and that appears to be about 5-10 paintings.

You know I'm going to try to paint my son Kirk's hawk, Tony.

 And by the time I throw in some clouds and flowers
that should just about take me up to 30 paintings.

I'll be doing time lapse video of each one so that should be fun to watch.

Make sure you don't miss any of this challenge by signing up to receive my blog in your inbox.

September is also my blogaversary
and I'm giving away lots of goodies in celebration.

The only way to enter to win
 (and there's some pretty good stuff) 
is to scroll back up to the top right and put your email in that box that says  
"Subscribe To My Blog"
(I know, original)
Then you're in like Flynn.

Hey, thanks for stopping by today,
I really appreciate it.
Hopefully, we'll be seeing a lot of each other.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Artists - Start Gessoing

Better Get Motivated For The 30 in 30

 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Yep!  I'm going to do it again.

Leslie Saeta, an artist, blogger, and pod cast host from California is hosting the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge again in September.
There will probably be around 1,000 artists world wide participating in the challenge. We'll all be making an effort to paint a new painting every day for 30 days.

(Here's my stack of panels)
 This time I'll be painting on 10" x10" 1/4" Masonite panels.  We bought the masonite and my husband cut it into individual panels.  
Next week I'll be giving them at least 3 coats of gesso.
I'm still working on my themes for each week.
I have never painted figures before,
but I want to,
so I think at least one week will be dedicated to figures.
For at least one week, I'll be working on skies.
(Bet your shocked on that one).
I also want to do some plein air painting of local scenes here in Kentucky.

But, that could all change once I get into the challenge.

To be successful in any type of project like this,
I'll really need to be organized,
make sure I have my panels ready,
all my supplies purchased,
and my subject matter nailed down.

You can spend a lot of time just looking over reference material trying to decide what to paint.
That's why I need to get each week planned out.

I've done this challenge at least 4 times in the past and I really learned a lot each time.
I learned the most about me.

That I can set a goal,
plan my work
and work my plan.

One thing that makes the challenge so hard,
isn't just the painting,
but we're supposed to blog about the painting and then post it to our own blogs and then to her blog.
You'll be able to see everyone's art that is participating on Leslie's blog every day.
I've met and followed some wonderful artists on the challenge and hopefully you'll follow me as I work through the challenge and find a few artists you like also.

If you have a suggestion of what I should paint during the challenge, please post it in the comments below.l

September is also my blogaversary and I'll be giving away lots of art and art products to my followers.
If you're not signed up and receiving this blog in your inbox, you won't be eligible to win anything.
I'll be giving away some small paintings,
some large paintings,
several of my online iris classes
and one of my full beginning painting courses worth $179.

Scroll back up to the top and put your email in the box on the top right that says subscribe to my blog.
Then, you'll get an email to confirm you signed up.
Click that and you'll be entered to win everything I give away, and you'll be able to follow along on my 30 in 30 journey.

   I'll be giving this 8" x 8" original painting away at the end of August.
Get signed up now.

Click HERE to look over my online beginning painting course.  I'll be giving one away in September.

Thanks for stopping by and
have a great day.



Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Week Of Cloud Painting

Cloud Fascination

I have always loved the beauty of the sky,
the clouds,
the colors,
the drama.

It's one of the reasons I wanted to learn to paint.
I wanted to paint beautiful clouds.

I haven't been all that successful painting clouds until recently.
I've spent this past week painting clouds every day,
study what I painted,
critiquing what I painted,
learning from what I painted.

This video shows my latest efforts
as I tried to paint a monochromatic but dramatic sky.

I added the surf to the painting because it told me to.
Paintings often tell us what to do next.

Early Surf

Acrylic on 11" x 14" on a stretched canvas, unframed 

Don't forget to sign up to receive my blog in your inbox
at the top right hand side of my blog.
Then you'll be entered to win anything I give away
and in September I'm giving away a ton of stuff.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How To Set Up An Acrylic Palette

Setting Up An Acrylic Palette
Using A Paint Box

This video shows you step by step how I set up my acrylic palette and the paints I use.

It's funny, in this video I still had a voice, but towards the end I hear my voice changing and slipping away a little.

Here's how it all begins.  

Thanks for stopping by today.

September is my Blogaversary
In September as I celebrate my blogaversary,
I'll be giving away a ton of stuff.
Art stuff.
Note cards
Small paintings,
Unframed paintings,
Framed paintings,
A Large painting,
And. . .
drum roll please,
4 spots in my iris painting class
and 1 Full Blown Beginning Painting Course.

How, you ask, do you get signed up.
The only people eligible to win 
are people subscribed to this blog. 

So scroll on back up to the top, 
(I think you need to do it on a laptop)
on the right hand side is a box that says,
Subscribe to my blog.
(I know, very original.

Put your email address in there.

If you received this blog in your inbox,
you are already subscribed and don't need to do it again.

Now get signed up
and for Heaven's sake,
share this with your friends so they can get in on the fun.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Technique Tuesday - More Clouds

More And More Clouds

I'm really working on clouds right now.
I started out with a mottled gray background.

Once I got the background done,
I totally intended to do a very monotone sky and clouds.

But . . .

I don't really know what happened,
but I sort of had a disconnect between my brain and my hand.

I love color
and before I knew it,
I had all sorts of color in my clouds and sky.

Can't seem to help myself.
Oh well!
I still like it and everything I learned as I worked on it.
But I guess if I really want a monotoned sky,
I'll have to only allow myself a monotoned palette.

Get ready for my September blogaversary.

Following my blog is the only way to be in the running for all the great stuff I'll be giving away next month.

Scroll back to the top and on the right hand side is a box that says, "Subscribe To My Blog"
put your email in the box and voila!
(Don't forget to hit the submit button and then you'll need to verify you signed up when you get an email in your inbox).
You're entered for all the cool stuff 
I'll be giving away in September.

Help me grow my tribe by sharing this with anyone you know who likes quirky goofball artists.
(takes one to know one)
The more the merrier.

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Receive my blog in your inbox

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.