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Friday, March 30, 2018

Eva Gonzales - French Impressionist - Famous Artist Friday

French Impressionist
Eva Gonzales

Is our Famous Artist Friday subject.

Self Portrait

Born April 19, 1849 in Paris, France, of Spanish descent, Eva, along with all the women painters of her time period was refused entrance into the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, even though her well to do family could have paid for her tuition.  

She trained for a while under society painter Charles Joshua Chaplin, and in 1868 was accepted as the only student ever of avant-garde painter, Edouard Manet.

Manet was taken with Gonzales art, but he promptly used her as a model in many of his paintings.  

This is one of the paintings Manet did of Gonzales, but the whereabouts of the painting she is painting are unknown.

It has been speculated that Manet was trying to make a social statement on the difficulty for women painters at the time because of the expensive dress and its totally inappropriateness for painting.

I really liked this because it gives us a very accurate visual of what she looked like in addition to her self portrait.

Women at this time period were extremely restricted in their activities.  They could not go out in public unescorted, they were to engage only in feminine activities such as caring for a home and children, and were never ever supposed to compete with men in a career.

Boy aren't we glad those days are over.  But Gonzales, even with these restrictions, was the equal to any portrait painter in Paris at the time.  Her work is very refined and consists mostly of women, children and domestic scenes.  She did paint some landscapes but they were not her main focus.  Her talent was definitely in portraiture.

A Lady

Her palette is soft and lovely and it is what drew me to her work as I was searching for a subject for this post.

The Loge

This piece brought considerable stir because the lady in the box at the theatre was so engaged with the performance and the gentleman was completely uninvolved.  Women were to be cherished and almost worshipped at this time and for him to be looking elsewhere was unconventional, to say the least.


I love the filminess of this.  The linens, the night dress and the curtain.  

A Vase of Violets

...may well be one of Gonzales earliest works.  She was approximately 16 when she painted this and I love the whole treatment here.  The fan behind the vase and the vagueness of the flowers on the left hand side, but that one bright violet tells you everything yo need to know about the flowers.

Spanish Woman

...may have been the last painting of Gonzales life.

Gonzales painted less than 100 paintings in her short life.  In 1879 Gonzales married graphic artist, Henri Guerard.  In 1883 she died in child birth of their first child.  She was 34.

I hope you have enjoyed this post on Eva Gonzales.  

Her art work is in the public domain so I was able to bring a lot of her work to you.  I read an article about copyright of famous though deceased painters.  It said that even though you give credit as to the source you are still not to copy photos from one website to another.  However, her work has no copyright and the website I went to allowed it.

Sources for this article came from

and you can see more of her art at 

If you enjoyed this article, please leave me a comment below.

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy

Edward Hopper - click HERE 

Marc Chagall - click HERE


I am currently updating my website
and will be offering more classes, a monthly membership site and a new blog.

Please spread the word if you don't mind.

Click HERE to visit my website.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Color Values - Workin Wednesday

Workin Wednesday

Color Values

All during March, we have been working
 to understand color.

Today is the final day on color and it's all about values.

I've heard more than one art teacher, artist, or art judge say that if your painting is off, your values are probably off.

Here's a short video about values and how to use them.

Values are used to create form and to keep your painting from looking flat.  
Understanding and using value is one of the most important aspects of painting and will give you the most satisfaction in your artwork.

You should get out your paints and brushes and any paper you want to paint on and play in your paint and experiment with values and how to give something form.

Try painting a tulip, a cup, a box, or anything else to see how to use value and how it gives your painting life, movement and reality.

If you have any questions or comments, 
please post them in the comments so we can all learn.

Click HERE to see the lesson on using a color wheel.

(FYI I had one of my artist friends comment on social media that she never understood using a color wheel until that short lesson.  See, we're always learning.)

Click HERE to see the lesson on warm and cool colors.

Click HERE to see the lesson on
 transparent and opaque paint.

If you'd like to see what other 10 minute FREE art lessons I have on this blog, click HERE.

Thanks for stopping by today and don't forget to leave a comment or question about value.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cleaning Up After The Storm - Motivation Monday

Cleaning Up After The Storm

During March I have written about 
  • Winds of Change
  • Goal Checking
  • Back up 10 Yards and Punting
  • Not To Fear Course Correction

Because March is such a weird weather month, today Motivation Monday is about cleaning up after the storm.

I don't know what kind of weather you had so far this year,
but we have had the 8th worst flood season on record.
Water was everywhere and when that happens stuff floats in on the water and then when the water recedes, the stuff is left laying all over wherever the water was.

The grass looks like it's been crushed and it has under the weight of the rushing water and mud.  
I've even seen cities where not only did they have to hose off all the concrete and asphalt, but they also actually hose off the grass.
There's tons of driftwood, plastic bottles, coolers, car parts, plastic toys and all sorts of debris that needs to be picked up.

Cities along rivers organize cleanups every year, but in serious flood years, it is crazy what is left after the water goes down.

Well, What does that have to do with art?

This is an art blog, so what does cleaning up after a storm have to do with creating art.

Glad you asked that!

You can look at it in several different ways.


Having a flood of creativity is an interesting phenomenon.  
Your brain is overloaded with ideas and ways to create.
You might work for hours or possibly days straight.
You create lots of great things.

Then you look around your studio and realize,
a tornado must have gone through here.
You might not notice it while in the creative zone,
but when that passes,
"Who made this mess?"


Sometimes our life becomes a storm.

And we have to clean up after that storm.
We have to put things back together.
We have to organize our thoughts, our minds and our lives.

We have to figure out where we're going from here.  

What's next?

What's my next step?

How do I move forward?

Cleaning up after any kind of storm takes some forethought.
Figure out what is the most important thing to do.
Then the next most important thing to do.
And the next.

And then start ticking things off the list.

It's easy to get distracted and start sweeping the floor,
when the roof has blown away.

It takes some time to figure out what is the most important thing to do, but spending that time will make the whole job easier and quicker.

I'll bet each of you out there has some type of 
storm in your life right now.

Leave me a comment on how you deal with storms in your life.

Click HERE if you'd like to read about make course corrections.

Click HERE to read about backing up 10 yards and punting.

Click HERE to read about Hope, Peace and Progress.

Want to go straight to my FREE 10 minuted art lessons?
Click HERE

Good Eatin
10" x 10" acrylic on a panel
$95 +$10 shipping

This is one of my favorite paintings.
It's of Findlay Market in Cincinnati, OH.
It is an old indoor/outdoor farmer's market.
This is a view of the little shops in the block that is called
 Findlay Market.

This area of town hosts the opening of baseball season,
with the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade.

That's this week.

And we still have snow.

And soon we'll have mud.

More clean up!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Working Wednesday - How to Use a Color Wheel

What in the World Do You Do With A Color Wheel?

You've seen one.

They are interesting and pretty,

But do they have a purpose?


I use mine all the time.

You can tell cause there's paint all over it.

Click HERE to learn about opaque and transparent paint.

Click HERE to learn about warm and cool colors.

Click HERE to go to my Pinterest board
on learning how to paint.

If you didn't receive this in your inbox, let's fix that right now.  Scroll back up to the top right hand side and there is a box that says "Subscribe to my blog", (pretty straightforward).  
Put your email in that box and then you will receive an email confirming you did actually sign up
(and it wasn't some Russian bot).
Click on that link.
Finally you really should drag that email into your primary folder so it doesn't get lost in promotional
purgatory.  It will ask if you want to do that for all future emails and you should click yes!
You're done!
Now you won't miss a thing.

Thanks for stopping by today and let me know in the comments if your color wheel looks as bad as mine.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Course Correction - Good or Bad? Motivation Monday

Course Correction or Changing Course?

So, what is the difference between a course correction and changing course?

Pilots have to plot a course.
Report their intended course.
Check their course.
and sometimes, they must make a course correction.

Other times the plane is diverted to a completely different airport, possibly in a completely different state.

Making a course correction is not a bad thing, particularly if the error is found early and the correction isn't drastic.

Sometimes the error goes on for a while and will require serious effort to make the correction.

Even then, if the correction will put you back on the path to where you want to go, it is still a very good thing.

Sometimes, we just abandon the course when the going gets too tough, and often right before we are about to achieve the goal we set out for ourselves.

Let me explain this in painting terms:

When you first start a painting, you have an idea.
You sketch out your idea, maybe.
You set up a palette.
You get out your brushes.
You make sure you have everything you need.
You start the painting.
For me I start with the underpainting.
I block in large areas of color and it doesn't look like much.
I add cool somewhat blurry details in the background.
I add warmer more defined details in the mid ground.
I add even warmer brighter details in the foreground.
Still it doesn't look good and I get frustrated.

Doesn't look like much

I have two choices at this point.
Push forward adding highlights and shadows
(course corrections)
Or abandon the whole painting
(change courses)

I'm sticking with it.  Not sure why at this point.

Experience has taught. me to keep going.
Keep adding shadows for depth
and highlights to give the painting life and form.

I'm starting to like at least this part.

Sometimes it is one simple brushstroke 
that changes a painting.

Oh yea, now we're getting someplace.

One stroke where you realize,
Oh Yea!  This is going to work!
This is going to be beautiful.
I am going to love this.

I'm falling in love with this.

What if I had given up before I got to the ONE Stroke?

Think of all the lessons I would never have learned if I gave up before I got to the magical part of the painting.

Almost every artist passes through the ugly phase of almost every painting, then the magic starts to happen.
But you have to pass through the ugly part first.
You don't get the magic first and then go through the ugly.
It's always the other way around.

So I guess the moral of the story is,

Keep learning,
Keep figuring things out
Keep improving
Keep painting
and loving it.

I really would love to have you come along on my art journey as I try to get motivated on Monday mornings, teach and practice art concepts on Wednesday and bring a famous artist to life on Famous Artist Friday.
If you did not receive this in your inbox, you are missing all those great topics and posts.
My art blog is all about teaching beginning artists how to achieve things, how to have fun in the process, and how to appreciate the art of other people.
Yes, you can buy my art on here, but it's definitely not the main focus of this blog.  In fact, I've been told you have to look pretty hard to find my art that is for sale.
So, if you are a beginning artist or a home school family who could use some help, this is a perfect place to start as you travel on that fun road to appreciating, understanding and creating your own art.

Scroll back to the top right hand side,
put your email in the box that say "Subscribe to my blog"
(very original Sharon) 
You will receive a confirmation email and you will need to click the link in that email showing that you did in fact sign up.  Finally you need to drag that email into your priority folder so the goodness I'm sending you will not get lost in cyber purgatory.

Click HERE to see more Motivation Monday posts.

Click HERE to see FREE 10 minute art lessons.

Click HERE to begin your journey learning about famous artists.

Thanks for stopping by today.
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you know someone who would love it also, please feel free to share it, so you can all become part of the Painter Nation!

Leave a comment below on your own struggle with course corrections or changing courses.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Famous Artist Friday is a Writer

Writers are artists too!

When I decided to write this weekly post about Famous Artists, I did it because I had seen so many great quotes by artists.  I decided to make a list of artist quotes to use as the basis for this feature.

As I was researching artists quotes for this week, every quote I looked at was from a writer.  This writer had tons of great quotes, so today I give you

Henry Ward Beecher

Henry Ward Beecher was a Congregationalist minister, as was his father and and an opponent of slavery who worked tirelessly for years to free slaves and encouraged President Abraham Lincoln to emancipate the slaves after the Civil War.  

Beecher was born June 24, 1813 in Litchfield, CT and died March 8, 1887 in Brooklyn, New York City, NY of complications of prostrate cancer.

Beecher was born into a family who produced authors, teachers and activists.  He was the 8th of 13 children and was closest to his sister Harriet Beecher Stowe, who went on to write the activist novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

His father was a Congregationalist minister also and entertainment in the Beecher home came as church meetings, study, prayer, reading and fiddle music by their father.  Beecher had quite the stutter as a child but became an inspiring orator when at age fourteen he joined a boarding school at Amherst, Massachusetts called ‘Mount Pleasant Classical Institution’ where he was trained to be an orator.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about this orator and author Henry Ward Beecher and are inspired by a few of his quotes.  You can se many more at the links below.

Info for this post came from:
Article Title
- Henry Ward Beecher Biography
- Editors,

Thanks for stopping by today

Please leave a comment which of the quotes you like best and why.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Warm and Cool Colors? Really? Workin Wednesday


Warm and Cool Colors?

Who knew!
Evidently lots of artists knew and it's one of the reasons their artwork is so engaging.

How do you make a flat surface look 3 dimensional?

It's by understanding the use of warm and cool colors.

Understanding warm and cool colors will make all the difference in your artwork.  As you learn how to use warm and cool colors, you will also learn how to create distance and space and better perspective in your paintings.

This video only takes about 8 minutes, but it will give you a basic understanding of warm and cool color.  There is lots to learn about color and temperature, but this will get you started.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you enjoyed this video.  You can go to my youtube channel to see other videos I've released on beginning art concepts.  Click the thumbs up button and subscribe to my channel to make sure you don't miss anything.

If you would like to receive this blog in your inbox, scroll back up to the right hand side and put your email in the box that says "subscribe to my blog".  You will receive a confirmation email to make sure you actually did sign up.  Click the link in that email and then to make sure you don't miss anything, drag that email into your priority folder and answer yes to "do you want to do that for everything from this sender".  Then just sit back and let the art lessons come to you.

Click HERE to see the first post in this series about color.  It's all about opaque and transparent paint.

Click HERE to go to my website where I offer single subject painting classes and a full blown art course.  There is also a FREE daisy painting class on there.  

Leave a comment or a question below about warm and cool colors.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Back Up 10 Yards and Punt - er Paint

Back Up 10 Yards and Punt

or do I mean paint?

That football term is often used
 when you don't know what to do.

A similar motion is seen in basketball
when a player drives to the basket and an entire team of opponents collapses in the lane and the player has to re-think his approach.  Kick it out and restart the play.

We often have to back up 10 yards and punt in life.

There is a similar situation in art.
A painting is meant to be viewed from a minimum of 6 feet,
but when you're painting it you're usually not more than a foot away so it's really hard to see an error when you're so close to the work.

Sort of like, "not being able to see the forest for the trees".

In painting you have to continually take a few steps back to view your work to see if it "views" correctly.

Is it too warm
Is it too cool
Is the perspective off
Are the values off

(This is a painting I used to teach perspective in my online course.  The light is coming from the right on the trees, but when I painted it originally, I had the light coming from the right on the trees and the left on the barn.  I knew there was a problem in it because my eye kept going to the front of the barn immediately and it should have gotten there, but not immediately.  When I took a few steps back and walked away for a few minutes I realized what the problem was, so I made the front of the barn darker and the side lighter.  I don't think I would have seen it so quickly if I hadn't walked away.)

I've been told by several teachers that if a painting looks off,
it is usually that the values are wrong.
But you might not be able to see that if you're a foot away from the painting.  That's one of the reasons artists brushes are so long.  It not only forces you to loosen up,
it also forces you back further from the painting.

Life is like that.

Sometimes we have to back up from a problem
in order to really see or make corrections to the problem.

This is where another art skill comes in handy.
Learning to see.

When I am facing a problem I often brainstorm with myself.
I write out the problem and then I write as quickly as possible  any and all solutions to that problem, regardless of how crazy they may initially sound.  You don't want to overthink this.

You just want to let your brain go and spit out as many solutions as possible.  Then, and only when I can't think of one more crazy solution, I look over my list of possibilities.
I don't eliminate anything right away.
I usually take a walk and mull things over.
It's amazing what a 10-15 minute walk can do for your brain.

Now, I'm ready to really look over my list and see what viable solutions are on it.

Instead of crossing off what I don't think will work,
I mark or highlight or make a new list of good possibilities.
Then I ponder on that list and usually a few more will become less appealing.  I keep paring down until I have 2 or 3 great possibilities.  Then I begin to formulate ideas how to achieve each one.  

Yes it takes time to back up 10 yards and for a while you're technically going in the opposite direction, but what is actually happening is you're getting a better look at all the options on the field and are better able to figure out what to do next.  

Just because the lane of life collapsed on you,
doesn't mean you should give up on your dream or idea.
But you may have to go at it from a different direction or
call a new play.

I love Edisons quote about inventing the light bulb.

"I didn't fail, I just figured out 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb".

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more Motivation Monday posts below.

Click HERE to visit my website for art classes.  I'm updating it so there will be new classes on there very soon and if you're a beginning artist or a home school family, this is an excellent place for you to get the art instruction you're looking for.

Have a great day and leave me a comment about you're own battle with backing up 10 yards and punting.

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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.