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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Month of Apples and Pears

Apples and Pears In Many Ways

We spent a month painting apples and pears.

I hope you learned as much as I did.

I've painted apples before, but I don't remember ever painting a pear. I know, what artist hasn't painted a pear.

Me I guess.

This is a time lapse video of me painting a blue Ball jar as part of the still life we are learning about this month.

We'll learn about painting glass another time, but this month the focus is on painting apples and pears.

In this video you will learn how to mix paint to create the shadow under and around the jar.  We might loose it under the apples, but that's OK.

In the above video you'll learn how to paint an apple and two pears in different orientations.  The apple goes off the edge which is called engaging the edge and one of the pears is laying down which adds interest and gives a different perspective.
We will completely loose the shadow of the jar we added, but at least now you know how to do it.

I take a few minutes to explain how I got to this point.

This was a really fun painting to do.

This short video wraps up the full month of art we did all about drawing and painting pears and apples.

We will take a subject each month and explore it for the whole month, drawing and painting that topic in several different ways.  I suggest beginning artists work in a similar method to increase their skills in any particular topic.  

You are seldom great at any one genre or subject from the get go, so it's important to spend some time and understand your mistakes, what made them mistakes and how to correct them.

I hope you will join us on Workin Wednesday as we explore new art topics each month.  If you didn't receive this in your inbox, scroll back up to the top and on the right is a box that says "subscribe to my blog".  Put your email in that box and you will receive a confirmation email.   You need to click the link in that email to prove you really did subscribe.  Then finally you need to drag that email over to your priority email tab so it doesn't get lost and you never receive another free art lesson.

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Hope - Peace - Progress - Motivation Monday

Hope - Peace - Progress

I am currently in a group from church that is promoting self reliance, and my group is working on entrepreneurship.
In looking over my goals for the year, I realize that one of them is to have more peace in my life.  So as I consider how to achieve this goal, a statement read in the group contained the phrase "you will be blessed with greater hope - peace and progress".

As I ponder what that looks like in my world, I hope you will join me in considering what that looks like for you as well.

Hope according to Webster:

So according to this definition, hope is a desire for something good with the expectation that it is obtainable.


I like the "freedom from disturbance or agitation" part.


I really like the going forward, because who wants to be going backwards.

Let's try to put that into some type of context.

As I believe I can obtain something desirable, I need to remove agitation from my world in order to move forward.

OK, well there is a sentence now what does it mean to me?

As an artist I work on improving my creativity and my talent.  I expect to get better the more I use either one of those gifts.  But I also recognize that when things don't go as planned, if I allow myself to get frustrated and that ugly side of me comes out, 
I will not have the forward movement I desire.

Anger and frustration takes away my peace, which takes away my progress which negatively impacts any hope I have of improving.

On the flip side, if I want to have forward motion, I can expect it only when I keep agitation as far away as possible.

I think I need to make a sign and put it in my studio.

What are you thoughts on this?  
Leave me a comment about your thoughts, feelings or ideas.

Turquoise Door
36" x 12"
is a painting I did from a dream I had.

The door opens and light comes out around it,
but there is no light source behind it
and the door is not really connected to anything.
You can, however see that many people have walked towards that door because of the worn places on the stones.

When I showed it to one of my grandsons and asked him what he saw he said, "It's a magic door!"

In a way, he is very right.

Thanks for stopping by today and leaving a comment about Hope - Peace - Progress.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Wasilly Kandinsky - Famous Artist Friday

Wassily Kandinsky
From Russia With Love

"Color is a power which directly influences the soul."

I love this quote, because color definitely influences my soul.

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian born artist who was musically and artistically gifted as a child, was guided into a profession of law by his parents and would later leave that profession to take up art full time.  

While researching for this blog post, I got the feeling that Kandinsky would have been successful in whatever career he chose. His teaching, and organizational skills were put to good use in many endeavors.

Kandinsky was born in 1866 in Russia to a well to do cultured family.  His father was a businessman, owning a tea factory.  His parents saw his future as a lawyer and in 1886 he went to Moscow to study law and graduated with honors in 1893.  While there Kandinsky excelled becoming an associate professor and soon a professor at the Department of Law.  It was at this point in his life he visited an art exhibition and received an emotional shock at K. Monet’s
 “Haystacks" and an impression of Rihard Wagner's "Lohengrin" at the Bolshoi Theatre that Kandinsky decided to walk away from his successful career and turned to painting full time.  

In 1896 Kandinsky moved to Munich, Germany which at that time was considered one of the enters of European art.  He entered Yugoslavian artist, Anton Azbe’s private school where he received a foundation for image composition and line and form.  Evidently Kandinsky was a quick learner because he often either got bored with his classes or he saw so many ways to use what he learned that he was always on the move intellectually and physically.  

Kandinsky divorced his first wife Anna after meeting artist Gabriella Munter and the two spent 5 years traveling across Europe, painting and being involved in exhibitions.  They settled in Bavaria in a small town at the bottom of the Alps.  While here Kandinsky painted mainly landscapes, but also began painting more and more abstractly.  Kandinsky spent the rest of his life teaching and writing about line, form and color. 

Of the many paintings Kandinsky painted in 1901, this one "Clear Air is my favorite.  I think it is because I like soft romantic realistic paintings.  This one definitely has those qualities, but if you will squint at this painting you will see shapes begin to take form such as the lines in the bench and the street, triangles of the dresses ovals, circles and elipses of the parasols.  Those were all shapes that Kandinsky would later use in his abstract work.  

Binz on Rugen 1901
was painted the same year and you can see how the abstract is beginning to affect his art.

Because Kandinsky had such keen organizational skills and was so active creatively, he attracted anything intellectual, restless and striving which was in the art world at that time.  Those are words which could easily describe him as well.  He taught, opened schools of art, offered free classes, wrote about line, color and form, organized exhibitions for himself and other artist friends and painted prolifically.  You have heard the phrase, a force to be reckoned with, well Kandinsky was a creative force to be reckoned with. He became the father/founder of abstract art by 1911 and his work took on a totally different feel and look, to me.

Im going to add a progression of Kandinsky's work every 10 years so you can see the progression.

These were both from 1911.  The colors in the top one drew me in, but the colors in the bottom one stole my heart.
Both of these fill up the entire canvas.  In his later work he is not afraid of negative space.
Kandinsky worked in oils and water color.


You can see color shifts in his palette in tis one done in 1931.

Palette changing again by 1941.
I really like this one.
It's almost like they are dancing.

Last watercolor in 1944.

Like many other artists, Kandinsky worked up until his death.  I guess that is the nature of art.  

I hope you enjoyed this look into the life and art of Wassily Kandinsky.  He is another artist I have learned a lot about in the research.  

Information for this post came from

You can read much more about his life and accomplishments and view his art by the years it was produced.  

Hopefully, you're receiving this post in your inbox, but if you found it in some other way that's great too.  But if you would like to make sure you receive my regular posts of Famous Artist Friday, Motivation Monday and Working Wednesday, where we explore a single topic for a month in drawing and painting, then by all means,
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Anyway, have a great day, a great weekend, and don't forget to leave me a comment about Wassily Kandinsky.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Adding a Pear To Our Still Life - Working Wednesday

Adding A Pear to Our Still Life

Hey Painter Nation!

This month we've been working on drawing and painting a pear and an apple in a still life.  Last week we started a still life by painting an apple from the drawing we did the week before.  Today we will paint the pear.

I added those two colors to my palette for this painting;
Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna.

Here's Video #1 in this 4 video series.

Video #2 

Video #3 

Video #4.
Let's gittr done.

Hopefully you've enjoyed this series and made it through all three weeks of classes.  
Leave a comment if you did either the drawing or the paintings and let us know how it went.

Please feel free to share this with anyone
 you think would enjoy it. 

If you enjoyed this series, this is exactly how I teach on my website.  Everything is step by step, no time lapse videos, no cutaways.  You see every single stroke and mark.  
Click Here to visit my website.

On my website you'll find another FREE class you can take.  Click Here and then scroll down a little and then click on the class for a FREE daisy painting class.  

You'll notice there is also a FREE blog on my website.
It only has art tips and lessons.
Click HERE to visit that free blog.

The best thing on my website for anyone wanting to learn how to paint or to add art to your homeschool curriculum is the Painter Nation Members Club.  
Click HERE to learn all about my monthly membership site.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you enjoyed this video series.  
Let's paint together again real soon.  

Monday, February 19, 2018

Does Michael Jordan Paint? Motivation Monday

Does Michael Jordan Paint?

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. 
–Michael Jordan

I love this quote!
Michael Jordan admitting he failed and then assuring the rest of us mortals that success involves failure.
Learning to paint and painting so often involves failure.
Frustrating, disappointing, debilitating failure.
And then, out of the blue
you have a day where everything just flows off your brush.
You struggle, you study, you practice, you think it through
and nothing seems to work.
And then... it does.
I think Michael Jordan is teaching us all to press on.
That's how he became maybe the best basketball player of all time.
He got cut from his high school basketball team as a sophomore.  Most kids would have given up.  But not someone who truly believes in himself and his dream.
As painters, especially beginning painters
it is so important to realize this is a learning curve.
Yes talent is involved,
but so are skills
and skills take time
and practice.
So just because things didn't go well at the easel today,
doesn't mean you can't paint.
It means, if you love it,
you must keep going.
and since this is an art blog,
enjoy some art.

This is my granddaughter Karen.
This was part of a 30 paintings in 30 days I participated in in 2016.  I don't usually paint figures but really wanted to.
So that was the goal, to paint all of my grandchildren doing what they love during the challenge.  
I'd never painted figures before.
I'd tried drawing them with very limited success.
But the only way to do it is to do it.
And learn with every brush stroke.

 I painted this from a photo I took on maybe the hottest day of the summer that year.
But Ren loves baseball so on he played.
Naturally neither of those paintings are for sale.
Their parents have them.

Good Eatin
10" x 10" 
This is more like what I normally do.
This was painted from a photo I took at Findlay Market
in Cincinnati, OH.
It is a permanent and a temporary farmers market in the heart of the city and it has been there for years.
I remember going there as a little girl.
Seeing all the cheeses and sausages hanging was amazing to me as a child.
Painter Nation,
keep at it,
keep painting,
don't give up.
Leave a comment on how you keep on keeping on,
or what it feels like when the stars align
and things go right.


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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.