Like Button

Friday, April 28, 2017

Trying Something New

What and How Do I Learn
by Try8ng Something New 

There were no test tubes or bunson burners,
but there was lots of experimenting going on.

I don't usually do a background like this, but it was fun
playing in the paint.  

We have lots of tulips blooming in our yard right now
and these orange ones are beautiful.

The goal was to work quickly,
achieve that foreshortened front view,
and to have lots of fun and not stress over whatever came out.

This was painted on 140 lb. water color paper.
As usual, I learned lots doing this painting.
One of the main things was I loosened up quite a bit.

I tend to paint tight and anything I can do to loosen up
is a good thing.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a great day.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Why Does Art Take So Much Time?

So. . .Why Does Art Take So Much Time?
1. It's fun
2.  It's creative
3.  There's a learning curve
Lot's of people want to draw, paint, sculpt, carve, design,
in short - Create something.
Enter the learning curve.
I started out painting without learning how to draw, at all.
People ask, how can you paint if you can't draw?
I get it on there with a brush is always my answer.
But several years ago,
something woke up inside of me
 and I wanted to learn to draw. 
I still don't draw much on a painting,
but I have spent hours learning how to draw
and becoming technically more correct.
Not perfect, by any stretch, but more correct.
The one thing I've learned about drawing,
like any other endeavor is you have to work at it,
I know I've written about that on this blog about 100 times.
But it's so true and I can't change that.
Last week I was sort of stuck and wanted to do something,
but couldn't quite decide on what. 
I have a shelf or two full of vases and bottles and other props I use for painting.
I randomly selected several and set them up to draw.
Some are clear glass and others are china.
Lots of shapes, heights, sizes,
all good for improving perspective.
 These were all similar in size and I just set them up to draw,
not in any order or configuration.
As you can see, perspective is not something I'm great at.
There are parts of each drawing that are good,
and other parts, not so much.
This attempt was interesting and I learned a lot.
But you can see on the tall bottle drawing the sides should go straight up and they don't,
but the perspective one to another is pretty good,
and I learned it's really important that the floor of the bottles needs to have a lot of shading in order to make the center of it go up.  
Getting the bottles correctly seated on the table with shadows was also another thing "I saw" and had to work on.
I know I've said this many times also.
Seeing is critical to drawing or painting.
You can't paint what you don't see.

That short bottle was my constant and I keep adding to and taking away other props from it.
I don't know why, but I love the feel and the shape of that bottle.
I've painted that tall vase before, but I've never drawn it.
You can see in the drawing, I don't have it flaring out at the top as much as the vase itself flares out.
The sides of the tall bottle are better than the previous drawing, but are still not perfect.
But that short bottle,
I'm really happy with it.
It only took three tries.
And that's the point!
Don't expect to get it immediately!
There is a learning curve,
and it's called a curve for a reason.
It's not a straight line from point A to point B.

If you want to learn to draw you have to draw, a lot.
You will make some pretty pathetic looking stuff,
but do it again,
and then do it again,
and then go at it again.

Look at all your work and you will see improvement.
I'm hoping you can see the notes I made on each drawing.
Just little things I learned and wanted to remember.
I'll go back to those drawings again
and I'll re-read what I wrote and I'll remember
what I learned. 
I'll put it to use.

Don't think you have to have the perfect paper,
the best pencils or anything akin to professional tools.

Copy paper, cheap copy paper, and a pencil
and a good eraser, because you will use it a lot.

Set out your favorite coffee mug, spoon, cereal bowl, or anything and draw it.  
Sketch it quickly,
look at it again,
where are the shadows, the highlights,
what does the elipse look like?
How is the handle attached to the mug?
Is there a shadow under it where it connected with the table.

Draw it a second time with a little more detail.
Look at it next to the mug.
What did you get right,
what did you get wrong.

Draw it again.

Is it round looking or
 does it look more like a rectangle with a handle?
If so look at your shading again.
After 4 or 5 tries, line them up in order,
and you will see improvement.
Once you are happy with the mug,
draw a piece of fruit
and so on and so on.

It takes some time,
but it feels so great when you get it
 and can see your improvement.

Keep at it if you want to get better.
Don't listen to that little voice that will tell you,
"You can't do this"
"This is terrible"
"You have no talent"
"Don't waste your time".

Listen to the voice that says
"I really want to learn how to do this"
"I'm going to try this again"
"I can see improvement"
"I see things now I didn't notice before".

Happy drawing or painting
or whatever you're creating!

Click HERE to see another post about seeing results.

Click HERE for info on 2017 summer art camps. 
 Click HERE for info on my online art course and my FREE daisy painting class.  When you get there, scroll all the way to the bottom to my list of classes and click on the FREE daisy class and put in your email and you will nearly instant access to this free class.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Believe in Your Art - A Day to Volunteer

A Volunteer at Kentucky Crafted at the Market

The Kentucky Arts Council
puts on a super event annually called,
Kentucky Crafted at the Market.

It is a juried art show tied with lots of local music and
some fabulous Kentucky Proud Food Specialty Products.

Click HERE to visit Ky Arts Council

It is currently being held in the 
Lexington Convention Center,
and it takes lots of volunteers to put on such an endeavor.
I'm on their email list and decided 
I would volunteer this year. 

Basically I was a booth sitter,
I would sit in an artists booth while they took a break.

I met a lot of great people during the hours I volunteered.

 The Idea Gallery 
is an area featuring artists who are members of the
Architectural Artists Directory.
It's a marketing program for Kentucky's finest artists
who work with designers, architects, builders, and homeowners.
Don't you love that rocking chair?

Melissa Oesch of Re-Imagined by Luna,
was a fun creative artist I gave a break to.

She makes beautiful handmade journals, sketch books,
notebooks and other fun items.
Her books have beautiful leather covers,
with interesting closures, made of natural materials.

Click HERE to visit her website.
She has a schedule of the places she'll be this summer.
You're going to love her beautiful handmade creations.

This is Ted Gilmer of Leelanau Trading Co.
It is a leather goods company of Michigan.
Ted is the designer and marketer of his beautiful
leather bags, purses and wallets.
He can personalize your bag
and he does sell to corporations for promotional items.

Click HERE to visit his website. 

Suzy Hatcher was another artist I met Friday.
Suzy creates beautiful utilitarian pottery.
I didn't get a picture of Suzy,
but Click HERE to go to her website.

One of the things all these artists have in common
is their belief in their art.
To put your art out there for the world to see,
wholesale customers to place orders on Friday,
and the general public to view and purchase on Saturday and Sunday,
is a brave thing.
Creating art is one thing, but putting it out there for all to see is a whole different subject.
Self doubt and fear tend to creep in and terrify artists
at one time or another.
All artists, even the great ones, have bouts of 
self doubt and fear.

when you have feelings of fear or self doubt
about your art,
please remember everyone has doubts and fears
about how good or not good their art is.
Just keep creating it, regardless. 

If you've never been to Kentucky Crafted at the Market,
you might want to put it on your calendar for next year.

If you have a student interested in art,
I am offering 5 art camps this summer
at my new studio on the farm.
Click HERE to look at the art camps.  

If you'd like to take a FREE online art class,
Click HERE 
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page
and click on the FREE daisy class.
Put your email address in the box and then once you have confirmed you signed up, you'll have FREE unlimited access to the class.  


Thursday, April 20, 2017

First Student in My New Studio

New Studio - New Student

This week I had my first student in my brand new studio.
June had an heirloom picnic basket,
stained it and then I taught her how to paint iris on the top.

This basket looks like it can carry a pie or cake.
It is in super shape and I love the richness of the dark color.

Painting iris, as in any flower, takes practice.
There are lots of curling edges, light and dark shadows, 
different pressure on brushes,
Lots of things to learn.

We practiced on freezer paper.
It's inexpensive and it's slick so you aren't fighting the tooth of canvas as you learn how to use a brush.

June practiced her iris a number of times
and then we started putting them on the top of the basket.

It's kind of scary painting something on something
that's been in your family for years.
What if I screw it up?
What if I can't do it.?
What if I hate it?

I'm sure June felt and thought all those things.

But she did a super job, don't you think?

Her family will love it for years to come.

If you'd like to come to The Blue Iris Studio 
and learn to paint, contact me at
and put Art Lesson in the subject line.

There is another way to learn to paint iris.
I have an iris class on my website at

Follow the above link and scroll all the way to the bottom.
There are three classes listed there.
One is my FREE Daisy class so you can try it before you buy it, and one is my iris class.
You can purchase the iris class, you will have access to it for one year and the daisy class never expires.
You can learn how to paint both subjects and create your
own family heirloom.

Happy painting. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Thanks For Coming To The Open House

Thanks For Making It A Great Open House!

That was one FUN open house
and I'd like to thank all of you for coming.

 Friends and neighbors stopped by Monday evening.

Juanita got real comfortable in my comfy chair.

June was my very first visitor Monday.
She'll also be one of my first students in the studio.
The white haired lady, Patty, definitely got the award for coming the furthest.  It took her several hours to get here.  
Patty and I met when she was 4 and I was 5.  
We lived across the street from each other until we got married and moved away.
Stacey is the young mother listening to us gab.
Stacey has always been a big supporter of mine.

 While we were inside gabbing they were outside gabbing.

 Tara, a friend of mine, won this painting.

The sun went down and the outside lights came on. 
It was a beautiful evening and I hope everyone
had as great a time as I did.

Thanks for coming to everyone. 

Now that the open house is over,
I plant to get back on track,
just as soon as I recover.

My website was down for the last two weeks
and I don't know how many hours I spent
working on it. 
Finally, on Monday, I got it fixed.
My website has a full blown online art course,
where I will teach you the foundation concepts of art
through two complete paintings,
a class for painting iris,
and a FREE class to learn to paint daisies.

The FREE class is an opportunity for you to take a real time class I usually sell for $19.99 and it is yours 
absolutely FREE.
You'll get the shopping list and supply list,
4 real time videos
as I teach you step by step how to paint a pastel background,
stems, leaves and daisies.
I show you how to paint them on paper,
the kind of paper you need to paint on
and how to prepare it.

Click HERE to go to the website. 


Monday, April 3, 2017



My Website is BUSTED!

I created an online art course and single subject classes
and I even have a free class for you to try it before you buy it
about two weeks ago,
things went haywire!
can't get there from here,
I am so frustrated 

I have spent hours on chats and emails with support from three different companies it takes to make it all work.


I am hopeful I am on the right track.
I have a lot of work ahead of me
and I hope to gittr done soon.

I love auctions and I went to one Friday
and found some huge frames.

You know how I love frames.

 I told you it was huge!

You just never know what you're going to find at an auction.

Last week I actually got out in my studio to paint.
I'm still working on iris and hydrangeas.
I love painting them.
Always learning more about them.

Iris and Friends
Acrylic on Oval Stretched canvas
$125 - FREE Shipping

It's so funny, sometimes a painting doesn't look right until you put in one or two little details.
On this one, it didn't look complete until I added those few long blades of grass that went over the flowers.
It seats everything a little further back.
On the yellow daisies, they looked flat until I added that little bit of orange on each petal.  

 Here it is hanging on the wall in my new studio.

 I bought this little stool at an online auction
(told you I love auctions)
and I painted it also.  

It's available in my studio.

 Don't forget, you're invited to my new studio open house
Monday, April 10, 5-8 p.m.
1996 Bucks Run Rd.,
Ghent, KY
Stop up to check out my new space,
sign your child up for summer art camp,
and think about taking a class yourself.
Have some refreshments,
enjoy the farm.

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.