Saturday, January 29, 2022

Forty by February (Drawings 30-40)

Buff says, "You are my second favorite drawer.
If I can't sit on top of what you're working on,
I'm going to curl up here in my favorite drawer."

I did it. 
I reached my goal of 40 drawings before February. 
You can see Drawings 1-4 HERE and Drawings 5-18 HERE and Drawings 19-29 HERE.

  • There are some really good YouTube tutorials and teachers.
  • When I draw, I tend to focus on each line and pencil stroke and miss seeing the whole picture.
  • I simply do not enjoy drawing any more after a month of practice than I did when the project began. It was just a job I needed to get done each day so I could check it off the to-do list. 
I feel like I'm disappointing some people who've been encouraging this drawing journey, but I just have not come around to calling it relaxing or looking forward to getting out the pad and pencil or being excited about what I'd draw next. I just did it each day because I was supposed to.

The experience wasn't a great big negative; there have been some good things.
  • I've been very surprised at how well some of my drawings have turned out. 
  • A lot has been going on in real life. Unlike painting, my drawing kit can be picked up and done anywhere. That's been nice.
  • I'm sure I've learned some things that will help me as a painter.  Those skills will surely reveal themselves when I begin painting again. 
Drawn from YouTube lesson.
Drawn from color photo.
Drawn from YouTube lesson.
Drawn from black and white photo.
Drawn from black and white photo.
Drawn from black and white photo.
Drawn from doodling.
Drawn from YouTube lesson.
Drawn from YouTube lesson.
Drawn from YouTube lesson.
Drawn from YouTube lesson.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Still Beach Lovers (10 Years Later) Kauai 2021

Does this look familiar?
Different ocean...
Different decade...
Same girls...
I've seen photos where families recreate a pose from a childhood photo.  These lovely young ladies recreated their pose from the painting I did a few months ago. 
Their grandmother asked me to paint the first one as a surprise for their father's Christmas.  I'm not sure who this new one is for.
Thank you, Helen, for agreeing to create a before and after
image of Lily and Annabel at age 4 & 5 and then 14 & 15. They learned to love sandy beaches and blue oceans on east coast vacations in the early years. A recent trip to Kauai as teenagers strengthened their belief that they'll always be beach lovers! Once again, you've created a lasting memory with your artwork! Thanks so much for sharing your time and talents!  
Cheri 🍒

Wouldn't it be fun if she asks me to paint it again when they're 24 & 25!

It's interesting that two of the most important mentors in my life have been named Cheri.  Cheri W, my art mentor, and Cheri O, my writing/teaching mentor.

Cheri loves the process, so I made a little 45-second video to show how it all came together. Enjoy!

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Wrapped Canvas

Friday, January 21, 2022

Inspiration Collaboration - 3 Magazines - Have a Look!

Our Inspiration Collaboration project is closed (for now!). We created 3 magazines showcasing all the artwork created during 2020 and 2021. Head over to and search for Inspiration Collaboration to view the complete magazines.

Or click these direct links


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Forty by February (Drawings 19-29)

Buff continues with his ever-present support of my drawing efforts.

I'm 3/4 of the way to reaching my goal of 40 drawings or sketches before February. 
You can see Drawings 1-4 HERE and Drawings 5-18 HERE.

How's it going?  Hmmm... That's not as easy to answer as it ought to be. 
I've tried to intentionally not reflect on my drawing adventure while I'm in the middle of it. Today, I however, I had some epiphanies.
1st - I got to spend all afternoon painting.  It was wonderful.  I worked through some problems my painting had been having, touched up some color, then declared it finished.  I was thinking how I loved to be in the art room painting once I'd finished all the day's "must do" jobs.  It hit me that drawing was on the mental must-do-job list... not on the what-a-pleasure list. 
2nd - As I was getting near the end of the day's drawing, I realized that when I'm drawing, I never "see the whole."  I'm so laser focused on the line below the eye or the smudge above the lip or the shading of the fold... that I don't take in the whole picture... just the pieces. Maybe that's why my drawings may look like a cute kid or pretty flower but don't look like the specific kid or flower or whatever.
3rd - Finally I determined that I am a terrible student.  I don't want to start at the beginning... drawing a ball or leaf or crumpled piece of paper.  Oh, no!  I want to jump right to a human face!  I don't want to listen to advice from someone who actually is an experienced drawer. No, I just want to get to it. 
Sigh... Maybe just realizing these things will make a difference. We'll see how it goes with the last 11 drawings. 
Drawn from YouTube lesson
Drawn from black and white photo.
Drawn from YouTube lesson.
Drawn from color photo.
Drawn from color photo.
Drawn from imagination.
Drawn from YouTube Lesson.
Drawn from black & white photo.
Drawn from black & white photo.
Drawn as doodling around.
Drawn from black & white photo.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Strawberries in a Bowl (Mini Version)

Each semester, my painting partner, Julie, and I teach a beginning oil painting class for the senior citizen branch of the University of Arkansas. This happy little still life is what we'll be working on this spring... That is, we'll be working on this if we're able to meet. (Please, COVID, just go away! Please unvaccinated people, just change your minds and roll up your sleeves!)

If we're going to teach it to beginners, we need to have a tried-and-true plan that's as simple as possible.  And, I want to feel completely at ease with each step of the process.  That means practice doing the whole painting and also making examples of of each phase of the painting.
The class will take place in two 2-hour sessions.
Here's a little half-minute video of the process we'll be guiding them through. 

I did this little one for my art exchange group where artists from different countries and states take part.  Every quarter we're given a theme then paired up to exchange a postcard-sized piece of art and letter. It was a good excuse to practice painting this one more time.  This mini version of Strawberries in a Bowl is for to my paired partner Hanne in Denmark.

Original Oil Painting on 5"x 7" Canvas Board

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Inspiration Collaboration 2022 - Final Project Complete

 Dear Friends,

Our magazine is complete!
Here’s the link that will take you to it.
The link will be good to enjoy the preview, make a purchase, or share. (This was not a money-making venture.  There is a 0% mark-up on the cost of the magazine.)

In case you haven’t visited lately, click below to find us on your favorite social media:

This project has been a pleasure.

Helen & Sara

The Merry House (Our Fixer Upper) Update 1/16

It's been a couple of months since I've given an update.
Click HERE if you need a reminder of how it started.

Yes, we're still working on our fixer upper.
Yes, we're still having a good time with it.
Yes, it's hard work.
Yes, we're learning a lot.
Yes, it's taking a lot of time.
No, it's not finished.

We've made a lot of trips out our front door, across the yard, through the strip of woods, and up to our project.

We've grown to love The Merry House and are proud of it.