My Plans for 2014

In an effort to be accountable to myself, I am sharing what I hope plan to accomplish in the coming year. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

  1. Collective Ink (Feb 15 - March 16, Popcorn Gallery @Glen Echo Park) 
  2. Vale Arts Show (May 2 - 4, Historic Vale Schoolhouse in Oakton)
  3. Have a solo show of watercolors. (Fall? After Vale Arts show in May)
  4. Have a solo show of bird prints. (ASAP after Collective Ink)
  5. Enter at least three national or international shows.

  1. Stick with January "30 in 30 Challenge"
  2. Spend at least two days a week at Crystal City Studio (11:30am - 3:30pm)
  3. Make enough pieces to do Art Cards, Vol. II (52+), if Vol. I looks good.

  1. Get mailing list into ONE file that is label ready.
  2. Add Paypal buttons to ALL website items.
  3. Standardize size of work to fit standard frames. Choose 3 or 4 sizes. Use up all frame inventory that doesn't conform.
  4. Implement an inventory system.

Marketing/Commercial Pursuits
  1. Find at least one out of town gallery to sell my work. (Santa Fe? Florida Panhandle?)
  2. Convert some designs to fabric.
  3. Make some commercial retail products by stealing my own designs.
  4. Complete a painting of The Little White Church and participate in AUMC bazaar.
  5. Complete Destin watercolor and show it to group that asked to see it. Make notecards.
  6. Approach Keever about selling notecards.

  1. Try Yupo.
  2. Try alcohol based inks.
  3. Try fused glass. (January 8th)


My Process for Watercolor Painting

Invariably, when I say I am an artist, I am asked what medium I work in. "Watercolor" often elicits comments of, "Oh, watercolor is hard." I don't find it difficult, so I thought I would share my process:

1. Take an intriguing photo. This one is of the Pope Leighey House in Alexandria, VA. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is an example of Usonian architecture.

2. Convert the photo into a line drawing. "Back in the day" I used to photocopy it over and over lighter and darker until I got the result I wanted. Now, I use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Each photo is different, but typically, I adjust the lighting to increase middle contrast, convert to black and white (adjusting each color to my liking), then apply a filter (Find Edges is my favorite).

3. I like to paint on very heavy, very rough watercolor paper that does not have to be stretched. I use a soft lead to measure the border and tape it off with masking tape or painter's tape. Then, I project the image onto the paper. I do not try to acurately render the image, but prefer to draw interesting shapes based on the image.

4. My favorite part! Start painting. I start with a wet brush and wet the whole shape that I want to fill in. Then, I pick up the color with the brush and feed it into the wet shape. I do not use any masking fluids or frisket.

5. As the image becomes more complete, I try to use each color to draw the eye across and around within the painting. Each shape is next to a contrasting color or a white space. If colors next to each other are similar, then I want them to read as one mass.

6. Once I "think" the painting is finished, I remove the tape and view the painting from across the room. Especially if the tape is blue or green, it may look completely different. I often need to add a few more dark areas to strengthen the composition. Done!


January: 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I wrapped up Christmas preparations yesterday morning ("wrapped"....get it?), so I spent some time in the afternoon packaging art note cards and listening to Artists Helping Artists podcasts on Blog Talk Radio. Doing so inspired me in many ways, including joining Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. It is possible that I have lost my mind, but if my friend Patti can do it while taking 18 semester hours, I should be able to do it too!

I've decided to do watercolor paintings most days, but may venture on to alcohol ink paintings too. I will do 4" X 6"paintings on watercolor postcards, but plan to eventually mat them, not mail them. I am excited! Stay tuned!

180 people have signed up so far; join us! Besides motivating you to paint, you will see increased traffic on your blog or website. You will probably also sell a few!