Finished and shipped!
I started this in the Fall, but since it wasn't the only thing I was trying to finish or prepare for, it didn't get done for quite awhile. Since the clients need it for Christmas, it has been the current thing on my agenda. In a couple of previous posts I showed the beginning stages of this painting.

It is almost my last painting commitment before Christmas. All I have left is to pack up some cards that someone is picking up tomorrow. That, of course, isn't a painting commitment - it's just a little chore.

My two watercolor classes are doing great! We have been working on "personal still lifes" (or is it lives). Everyone brings in a few objects (or goes around my house and studio picking up a few things) and sets them up in a pleasing arrangement in front of them. They've been working on composition and working in a comparatively large scale on a small piece of paper - filling the paper and running off the edges. They are all coming up with some great shapes and textures - nice little paintings!

Now I will begin to relax and get started on family Christmas preparations. Well - I don't know about the "relax" part - it is December 15th after all and we haven't done the tree and my shopping is barely started and. . . . It is all fun stuff. It'll be fine.


This is the view from my studio window this morning,
Tuesday, Dec. 6th.


I had a nice surprise in my in-box this morning - a student informed me that she had forwarded my blog to http://www.jmgartblog.com/ and there in the Nov. 14th entry was one of my paintings and a nice review of my blog! It even mentioned my book. Thanks!!!

I am still working on small paintings. I read on someone's blog a day or so ago that quantity can lead to quality. Makes sense - practice makes perfect. Keep those pencils and/or brushes moving!!!

Last Friday I met with some friends to paint, critique, look at art books, and just see what we have all been working on. Of course we ate some muffins, lunch, chocolate . . .

There are two things that I just can't stress enough: one - have a space of YOUR OWN for doing your art - a place where you can leave it out. If you have to put it away every time you eat or someone is coming over, you will not get it out again! If you can leave it out, it will "call" to you, and you will be ten times more creative. Even if it is on a little cart that you can push out of the way, have it ready and waiting. The other thing is find yourself a support group - or a "support friend" Someone you can paint with. Someone who validates what you do!!! I think this is true in all aspects of life, but ART is what I do, so that is where I want my support and validation.

Okay - that's my lecture for the day. I am starting a new watercolor class in the morning. I have a full class signed up and I'm rarin' to go. Hope they are too. Sometimes I have a little stage fright when I am doing a new class, but think how the new students must feel when it is their first watercolor class! I'll be nice to them. Some of the students aren't new, but I'll be nice to them too.


I have been working on some very small paintings for the past couple of days. These are about 4 X 6 watercolors, matted 8 X 10. They are fun to do and go very fast. Makes me feel like I am really accomplishing something - especially if the mats are already cut. AND the fact that I need some small things for Christmas sales. . . .


Now back to unfinished work.
Awhile ago I showed you the sketch for a commission I am working on. I put it aside to work on a few other things, but I thought you might be interested in seeing the progress - slow but sure.
Besides, whether you are interested or not - it makes me feel accountable to think someone MIGHT be watching.

The owners of the cottage think it feels a little menacing, hovering up on that hill, so I have changed the horizon line a little to bring our viewpoint up. I wanted to keep the hill - just not quite as steep.

Another Finished Painting!
This is a View of The Straits from Mackinac Island. It's a half sheet (15 X 22) watercolor.

Finally - I have something to post! I have just finished this half sheet watercolor.

I worked from photographs, a watercolor journal sketch, and then a pencil sketch to work out the values (lights and darks) and the composition.

I thought you might be interested in seeing these, so I posted them also. As you may be able to see from the photograph, I made quite a departure from the original scene. Well, maybe not so much from the scene as the overall mood. I took the photo and did the journal painting in the evening because I was very attracted to the lighting and the "feel" of the place at that time of day. However when I began to work on the sketch for the final painting, I really started thinking summer - just really didn't want to let it go yet, I guess, and I wanted to show more water. Maybe someday I will do it again and try to capture the evening mood of it, but for now I am very happy with the sunshine and blue-green water of a summer afternoon.


I haven't posted anything in so long, that even though this is a very small painting, I have to show you that I have been doing something.

I have been working on some larger things that I will post soon. The problem isn't that I haven't been painting - it's that I haven't finished anything!


Back to painting water and sky - well at least a little water. This is a very small canvas - 8X8, acrylic. It is pouring rain and I am thinking about our classes at Spring Lake Park. I haven't had my fill of water and sky and the season is over. Well, we have our memories and sketches and photographs.

Spring Lake Park - What a nice place to paint.


Warming up a little this morning with some peppers.
If you were in my drawing class last night, you have probably seen enough peppers.

I am off to the drawing board to finish up the full size sketch for the current commission I am doing. (See previous post)

If you are reading this - stop now and go draw something!!!


This is the rough sketch of a commission I am working on. I have some adjustments to do on the perspective on the front - especially the porch - at the top of the steps. That line should go down toward the right a little.

I will enlarge the sketch, transfer it to the watercolor paper, and get busy painting! Stay tuned.


Can we take one more geranium?

This is watercolor on canvas - just for fun. It is a 5 X 5 inch canvas, 1 1/2 inches deep and primed with "watercolor stuff".


This is another watercolor done on clayboard.

It didn't scan too well - I think clayboard has too much texture for the scanning process and the subtleties of shading get washed out. I will try photographing it a little later.

By the way, did I explain what clayboard is http://www.ampersandart.com/products/h_products/cbtext.html

Here is the sketch I did out at Kauffman's Flower Farm on Friday.
I needed to get some more darks in there and do the ink. A little over the top with busy-ness, but oh well. It was fun and that's what it's all about!!!


Then we drove back down State Road to Kauffman's Flower Farm.
What a beautiful place! These sketches were actually painted a couple weeks ago when we went up there. It was hot and overcast, but yesterday was sunny, and the colors were just amazing. I didn't finish my paintings enough to post - but I will!

Had a wonderful day of journal painting yesterday. We started out in the garden of Three Pines Gallery in Cross Village.


Trying to decide if this is finished.
This is watercolor (right) on clayboard 14 X 11, taken from a journal page done on location a couple of days ago.
I really think I like the original sketch better. It is much fresher. The larger watercolor seems a little stiff in comparison. Hmmm . . . what have we learned here. I don't know - nothing yet. Have to think about it.

I am in the painting frenzy mode!
And I love it. It feels so good.

This is the painting I started at Harbor Cove the last day of our Water and Sky classes. Thanks, Ginny for having us all out there to paint. It was an absolutely beautiful day. We had a great time watching the sky and water do its thing for three hours. It was constantly changing making painting a bit of a challenge - but that's what we like, right? Everyone did a great job!!!
Now I am working on clayboard doing a watercolor from a sketch I did in my journal a couple of nights ago. This clayboard thing is fun. Stay tuned.


I'm STILL working on the class mailer for heaven's sake! I have the emails sent out and am getting replies, but am still doing the post cards. Don't anybody ask me what I've been doing - I'm embarrassed to say I AM STILL WORKING ON THE POST CARDS. But I said it anyway, didn't I.

Please check out www.catherinecarey.blogspot.com for class info. And, hey! Sign up for a class!


This week marked the end of my summer classes for 2005.

I hated to see them end - however, I don't know if I could keep up the pace all year. Now I will have to go through that transition of BUSY AND SCHEDULED to just busy and scheduled. Well - a little scheduled. I know I need some structure, but let's not over-do it.

I just love all of the people I interacted with all summer. I get very attached to them although I have a terrible time remembering who is in what class.

I have a commission to get going on, and I have a zillion paintings in my head.
For the past few days I have been getting my Fall Class mailer ready to go. It is so time consuming. I used to do just a flyer, now I do a post card, email, and a website. I don't think it takes any longer to do than it did to lay out a flyer.