Sunday, March 31, 2013


The California Watercolor Society is teaming up with the Walt Disney Family Museum, located in The Presidio in San Francisco, for an exciting weekend of events on Saturday,  April 13th and Sunday, April 14th.  I will be teaching a half day workshop on Saturday in their gorgeous studio space.  I am keeping it basic and simple as I have no idea the experience level of the participants.  It is open to anyone who would like to participate and I am just going to assume they will be beginners to watercolor.  I can always make it more challenging for those who are have some experience.   The materials are very student grade so we will be putting gesso on the paper and go from there.  The great thing about gesso is it takes care of the poor quality of the paper and one doesn't need expensive brushes for that surface.  It will be a fun day and I feel very honored that I was selected to be the instructor.  If you want to be part of the class, you will need to purchase a ticket.  Space is limited to a maximum of 25.  You can find more information on the Walt Disney Family Museum website:

 There will be other artists from the California Watercolor Society painting in the lobby and two plain air artists in the Overlook Gallery both Saturday and Sunday.  There will also be a lecture in their Theater on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  It is going to be an exciting event.  I hope some of you will be able to make it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013





I don't remember when I became aware of a young black artist named Kehinde Wiley, but I was instantly a huge fan!  Amazing talent with a contemporary message and unique presentation, I loved looking at his paintings on the internet.   You can find lots of information on his background, message and technique on line.  He has continued to grow in stature and recognition.  I was excited to find a notice in the local newspaper that there was a new exhibit at the Jewish Museum with paintings by Kehinde Wiley.  At first I was a little mystified at the connection but Kehinde travels around the world and paints local young black males.   He did a series of Ethiopian Jews and some Arabs which were the feature of the exhibit.  I shared my interest with my critic group and we decided to take a field trip into San Francisco.  Great fun!!!!!  The subway let us off less than a block from the Jewish Museum.  Another block and we were at the SF Museum of Modern Art.  I managed to get through the gift shop without buying any heavy books I would have to cart around although there were several very tempting volumes.  A nice gourmet lunch followed by a tour of the museum brought about the discover of a very large Jenny Saville nude!  This is another artist that I fell in love with from the internet.  There is nothing like seeing art in person.  As wonderful as photography is, it can't capture the scale, color, texture and atmosphere of the actual art.  

We saved the New Jewish Museum for last and it definitely was like dessert!   The color in these portraits is delicious!  The patterns in the background are a trademark of Kehinde's work and these were taken from traditional ceremonial embellishments as well as ancient crafts like paper cuts.  Even the frames were custom made with the top having flanking Lions of Judah, the tablets of Moses and the sign of the priestly blessing (two hands with the fingers split between the middle finger and the ring finger) (which Star Trek "borrowed").   The Arab portraits did not have the 10 Commandments Tablets or the Priestly Blessing, instead the Lions and a single table with the phrase, written in Hebrew, "Can't we all just get along".  Wisdom borrowed from Rodney King.  Many of the portraits on exhibit are quite large and all are stunning to view in person.  

It was a very special day to share with my very special friends.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I finally got the studio organized (for the umpteenth time!) so I could move around and paint in comfort.    I am still exploring what is the best process for me to get the results I have in my mind's eye.  That internal vision is always so elusive!  So here I go again.  I decided to try putting down collage papers in the approximate place I think is right and then draw on top of that.  Lastly I am adding acrylic paint.  I am trying to use non-brushes in much of the paint application.  I have scraped acrylic on with a plastic card, used those new rubber shapers (not thrilled with this tool yet but more experimenting to go) and an inch wide sponge roller.  At this point I have practically obliterated the collage papers on the face.  I may go back and add in some.  This piece is very experimental and I am going to keep trying things until I like the look.  

Friday, March 1, 2013



I had the pleasure of doing a demo for the Las Juntas Art Society in Pleasant Hill, Ca.  It is normally an hour's drive from my house, but it is always a challenge traveling in the commute direction during rush hour.  I never know how much extra time to allow.  Fortunately, my husband came with me so we were able to drive in the carpool lane.  There was a very bad big rig accident with a seven mile back up along the way.  Without the carpool lane, I think I would have never made the meeting.  Those of you who don't experience California-like driving, consider yourself fortunate.   Anyway, I arrived in plenty of time to set up and calm down.  The demo went so smoothly, I finished in record time.  When the painting was dry, I was able to check for distortions.  I was very happy to discover that I was fairly accurate this time and my model/husband likes the Einstein quality that slipped in.  You don't always have to make them look more handsome.  Brainier works too!

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