Reflections in water excite me.  I love to see the differences in water that is still vs water that is moving slightly.   With reflections it doesn't make a difference where the sun is.....reflections and shadows are two entirely different things so the "rules of thumb"; so to speak,  are different.

You measure the length of an object with your index finger and thumb and this exact size is replicated in the water and the reflection size begins at the base of the object....If there is land between the item and the water, the reflection in the water will be shorter than the object on land.   If the object is leaning to the left on land it will lean the very same way in the water....  In many reflections you will see that the opposite happens in a reflection  On land the top of a mountain is lighter but when it reflects into the water the top of the mountain is darker because it is closer to you.

Observe reflections....see what they do in nature and make notes if you are unable to take a photo to illustrate what you want to paint.

In the bottom picture you can see that there is land between the bush and the  water so the reflection begins accordingly....not at the bank but further out into the water.  Notice that the bush is darker as it got closer to where I was standing to take the photo.  Also there are reflections from both banks...

In the top picture you cannot see the land reflected into the water because of where the photo is taken...and because we are further away we cannot see the land reflection.

Reflections are determined by where you are standing. atmosphere, whether the water is moving or still and where the object is on land.....if it is far enough back from shoreline it may not be reflected in the water.

If you have no photo to go by you must determine effects if you want to paint a "realism".

But who says that I can't paint my mountain orange if I want, or make a shadow longer than it should be?  When you are painting you are the artist, you make the determinations according to what you want ; to what pleases you.  If  you don't want to be precise....there is not a "LAW" that says "YOU MUST", and nothing will happen if you DON'T.  The most important thing is that your painting or piece of art is balanced and pleasing to the eye.....

I love impressionistic loose painting because it is my is what I is more natural to me with colors bouncing on each other....  It is my well as other impressionistic painters.....
I am not a rigid black and white person....I am middle of the road-er,  and tend to see things in muted tones and individualistic ways of life......

Choose your mentors wisely.......

Painting Tip / Checking your painting

As I am painting and then again when I am done I look at my painting in several different ways for form, values, etc.

I look at my item in a mirror for a mirror image, and I also turn my work upside down.  Usually if something is not quite right it will jump out at you in viewing one of these ways.  It is kinda like "checking yourself" when we were learning to do simple mathematical addition, subtraction, division, etc.  Just a "making sure".....

When I am completely done I like to put the item on an easel somewhere in the house or prop it in an area that I pass by often so I can check it several times this way also.

You may want to lighten a highlight, darken a shade. emphasize an area, change the direction of a leaf,  etc. before you call your painting "done".

Still Life / Art / Painting

I have been reading a lot about still life,  thinking about the piece I painted this week, and the desire to do more.  It  has been a good teaching and learning experience.  I have determined that the reason I don't care for most still lifes is the "lack of emotion and feeling".  There is nothing that is left to the imagination.  I am
however;  much more comfortable with the impressionistic form where brush strokes are seen.  With the swish of a brush a bit of emotion is left in softness or hardness vs the rigid line to line color in  type you see on greeting cards.

I like the painterly look, the variance of colors in an object vs the flatness of just a base coat, highlight and shade.

Impressionistic Still Life

One of the things I want to do this year is to work outside of my comfort zone so this is an impressionistic still life.  I have always been a "tight" painter so the impressionistic loosey goosey techniques used are hard for me.  This was done because I loved the tall skinny bottle my daughter used for her lemon vodka at Christmas time.    It was painted on an MDF plaque that I had in my stash.    I used Liquitex acrylic paints and 
Dynasty brushes.  The doily was a plastic one that I had and just stippled onto the board using it as a stencil.  
I took the photo at a slight angle so I didn't get any light glare so the items are just a little off kilter.     I am anxious to do a couple more still life pieces so I need to take a walk through the house and find some items which will be easy and yet challenge me a bit.  When I am working on new technique I stay with "them" until they become more comfortable.

Beautiful Sari Silk Wrap Bracelets

Etsy shop MaryMercedes.

Mary makes these awesome one of a kind silk wrap bracelets using some of the buttons that I sell.    She does such a gorgeous job.  Each one is unique and beautiful.  Check out her shop to see other artistically made bracelets by Mary.


This was a really fun ATC to do.  It was done on a wooden ATC 
and I decided to try my hand at a simple collage/mixed media piece for a change of pace.

I used some wire of different weights, Acrylic Paints, Red Glamour Dust Paint, some Silver tape, 2 Mats, one white with a black core,  the other a black with white core, and some neat antique silver charms that I had on hand.  

It looks even better after I laid a white frame on the top.....just the perfect
touch.  I would like to do some more of these ATC's using mixed media.  Maybe I will do something similar to this on either canvas or masonite to use as a cover for one of my journals......  It might be an idea to also use frames for the front and back.......  I enjoy thinking and doing outside the box.  


Holcraft has Lowe Cornells brush storage unit on sale right now for $10.49.  It is a circular, rotating unit
with 72 assorted holder sections and 7 flat wells.  Product # LC380.  Looks fantastic.  I tried to copy a photo to my blog but was unable to do so .... so go to:


This was a fun swap.  Our prompt was a steampunk doll.......  Mine is made with 4 dominoes.....and numerous misc. items.  I have attached a sawtooth hanger to the back so that it can be "hung" if the recipient chooses to do so.  I hope my partner will
like it.


I am so excited to see that Jerry Yarnell is endorsing the Dynasty Black Gold Flat brushes because of their
"extreme chisel edge"...  hopefully he will investigate some of their other brushes and become a total member of the Dynasty Family of brush users.  He has been my mentor for over 10 years.  He is fantastic as an artist, teacher, and all around person;   committed to having his students learn by not holding back any information which might be helpful.  He goes that  extra mile .....which is something which is rare.


Most of the paintings I do are scenery and landscapes as well as designs from one of my photographs so I really needed to do some sketching.... something I VERY RARELY do, or have done.   I normally paint first and then do my sketch by tracing what I have painted.....

I wanted to start a journal so I am going to do some  much needed journal sketching to go outside of my box for 2012 and see what happens.    I have a small and large sketch book with black and white paper.  
They will probably end up a mix up of sketches, words, ideas, etc.  but that is OK....  I can justify the time being that it will be a great help to me as I paint, design jewelry, altered art etc.   Just good ole
Art Journals.

On Yahoo I have joined a group recommended by a friend where sketching prompts are provided.  This is my first which was "My Watch", and I was really surprised that it wasn't  as horrible as I had expected;  which makes me more willing to try the next prompt which is a kitchen jar, tin, or bottle.  

The scariest part was that first mark on the white paper....and the more I worked at it the more engrossed I became.  I know I DO need an kneadable eraser which is on my list for the next Michaels visit.

So surprise yourself.  Draw your watch.

A breath of SpringShine

A friend of ours up the street brought down these forced bulb flowers to bring a little spring shine into the day.  They are so petite, fragrant and pretty.  I am not much of a flower grower but I "think" these are narcissus.  Such a nice surprise to make the day

TEXTING THUMB WRAP for Trigger Thumb and Carpal Tunnel

My daughter got me the neatest wrap for Christmas for my thumb and carpel tunnel/trigger thumb related to my decorative painting, mixed media work as well as knitting, crocheting and computer texting,  etc.   I have had several shots so it is doing pretty good, but I have used the wrap 3 times since receiving it.  

The item can be either hot or cold.  I put the wrap into a baggie and then into the freezer with my ice cubes  for cold therapy.   For hot:    I put it into my  microwave on a little rubber mat that I have and wore it to bed to help relax the tendon.   Very relaxing.    You can purchase unscented or lavender.  

I have no affiliation with this vendor....just thought I would share  the site with other artists who might have a need for easing aches/pains that come from our art, repetitive motion, etc.  

Texting Thumb Wrap is the item my daughter purchased for me.

Thanks Michelle

Portion of Cascade Mountain Range

This is just a small portion of the Cascade Mountain range that is visible as I drive to and through Bend.  It doesn't matter how many times per week I see the range I am in awe of the beauty....  I always look, and I get a feeling of peace and my heart beats just a little faster.  It is gorgeous...  **Click on the photo and enjoy it larger.


I Just finished going over to the Dynasty Blog and watched a couple of their U-Tube Videos that you can  "get to" from their blog.  Go to: and in the menu at the left choose their Blogsite.  

They have some great information, tutorials, videos etc.  on both sites that are worth your time watching.

IMHO Dynasty brushes are the highest quality brushes and best performing brushes I have ever used.  
There are many "types" to choose from.  I love the Dynasty IPC brushes, Faux Squirrel, Eye of the Tiger, Dynasty Decorator Series, and the Micron mini line.  It all depends on what I am painting and my surface which of these brushes I will choose to use.  AWESOME brushes.

Check out my Landscape / Scenery Kit of Dynasty brushes on my Etsy site at:




   I am well polished.....stronger, and more intent because she......... was sandpaper, and has been discarded.

Journal / Mixed Media 2012 Goals

In order to do;  one must sometimes commit.  SO...... in 2012 I am going to journey into doing a Journal or two and see what happens (I have hunted down my colored pencils, a couple of nice pens)  and also do some serious mixed media pieces.....both are things I have never done...although as a young girl I remember making a paper book and I did "something" in it....and as a teenager I wrote a lot of poetry but I have NO idea where either of these books are today....probably ashes.   I have  several "neat" learning books so hopefully with the help of some of my "really" talented internet friends' guidance, help, prompts, etc. I will travel down the road and not hit a lot of big bumps.. or get stuck in a rut or a deep mud puddle.


I have been pondering resolutions for 2012.  I don't drink in excess so there is nothing to give up, I quit smoking over 12 years ago.  I am overweight by many peoples' standards but I feel good so I am choosing to not diet but to eat healthier in 2012.  My Tai Chi  class provides  the exercise that is best
for my body aches, pains etc. which come with age.  

Life has been good to me....I am pretty much happy and content...with the normal ups and downs I have little or no control over.   

I guess my resolution is to become a better person, friend, wife, mother, grandmother in 2012 and to
achieve a higher level of artistic ability.

To all of my friends and family I wish a happy, successful, stress free, healthy 2012.


I am enjoying knitting again and have been working on short knit scarves and neck warmers.  Keeps my fingers limber, accomplishing something, and a sense of self satisfaction.  I love the yarn I used for the blue scarf as it is like a chenille.  Super soft, not itchy and is a textured yarn....naturally it is no longer available for purchase so I have been utilizing Ebay for straggler skeins.  I HATE thick, long, bulky, itchy things around my neck....or anywhere next to my skin for that matter so this yarn is just perfect.  


Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.