December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas !

I wish all of my blogging friends a Merry Christmas.
You have all been supportive of my work and I thank you so much.
Barbra Joan

December 17, 2012

~A Beautiful Memory Again ~

I wrote a Christmas letter to my Dad a few years ago and published it on my blog.. I had so many comments and emails from it.. some said it helped them to try and be a better father. I hope so . I'll post it again for this Christmas Season. It's a small part of my relationship with my Dad.. He left me in June 1997 and as I like to say I've tied the memories in a bow, put them aside but never forgot. For the most part, I write it as a tribute to him but your certainly welcome to read it. BJ
~ The Christmas Letter ~ from 2010

Although I've thought of my Dad often in the past thirteen years...its this week that I've missed him most, so I write this to you Dad.

When I was a little girl you took me everywhere with you, deep sea fishing off the coast of New Jersey, and were always so proud that your daughter never got sick no matter how rough the ocean would be. You brought me to NYC to see everything from the Empire State Building, Radio City Christmas Show, the Statue of Liberty, and when we went to Coney Island and ride that Cyclone roller coaster with me over and over . You never said no.
You taught me how to ride a bike, fly a kite, build a snowman,  and made me that real little house in the backyard. I put curtains on the windows.

You taught me my love for animals and all living things.. We took care of injured wild birds and rabbits, you'd make a box for them and if I cried when they didn't make it, you'd say " Barbra , you can't save all of them, you just do what you can". I still do .
On Sunday mornings you'd drive out to that little airport and we'd watch the planes take off and land..

One Sunday you managed to get a pilot to take me up for a ride in a small plane. And when Mom found out she had a fit. !
We'd hike in the woods and go target shooting. I'd get poison ivy every time.
You'd take me to the christening of the new big ships at the shipyard when you still worked there.
We'd go to your welding shop on Saturdays and you showed me how to weld. Then taught me to drive my first car and bought a red convertible because I liked it.. And Mom had another fit !!

You were the first one I saw when I woke up in the hospital .. more than once.
I thought you had the strength of 10 men, you could do anything and make everything alright. I remember the night we lost Louis, you looked right at me and said,
" This is the ONE thing I can't do for you". And I knew you were right because you never lied to me. .
I learned so much from you Dad. Any good that I am it was from you.. and the not so good ... you were still there for me every single time.

Every Christmas you and I would go and get the tree.
I'd bother you for weeks ahead of time.. I was good at that !... finally you'd say 'ok, time to go and get the tree,' and then with all the patience in the world you'd help me decorate it.

I remembered something new this year, the time my new kitten went behind the kitchen stove and you spent hours taking it apart to get him out.. oh, all the kittens I brought home and said 'they just followed me" and you let me keep them..
This time of year brings back lots of those memories, and I haven't forgotten a single one .

If I were given just one wish for Christmas, I would ask that every little girl be blessed with a Dad like I had. What a beautiful world this would be.
Merry Christmas again Dad
from your daughter Barbra Joan

December 15, 2012

Christmas Card

I painted this from a poinsietta plant that I had from last year . Sitting in a pot all year looking kind of puny but a few weeks ago it started to turn that red color.  If your wondering how I got those little indents, I used a pointy bamboo pen, scratched them in after laying in the wash.  
I've posted it to the art forum I belong to over at JWJarts as my contribution to the Christmas season.  BJ

December 13, 2012

Are WeThere Yet?

Playing with Christmas yesterday. Putting a few hollies and berries on watercolor paper.. hoping to get in the mood.
Maybe I should go see Santa. !! ?

December 6, 2012

Art Show !

EHAG ~ short for East Hillsborough Art Guild ~
I know, I know,  it's hilarious .  LOL !  BJ  

November 29, 2012

In Addition

I've been asked to bring 2 more paintings to the Christmas Show.
This is not a sale nor a juried show and these are all my originals. So Mr. Bunny and Batter up! which won a blue ribbon will be there along with my 3 choices below. I don't expect I want to sell them.. These are under glass so sorry for the poor photos.  BJ

November 26, 2012

The Christmas Show

Getting 3 pieces ready for the Guild Christmas Show.. I've decided on 'Sisters", . 'Mrs. Robinson' and 'Woman #2  (pencil/graphite) that I did some years ago.. but have never
shown it.. This is an Exhibit  and a huge Christmas Party for the East Hillsborough Art Guild . Last year it was a huge success. 

November 19, 2012

Maybe Not!!

We always know when a redo is needed.. this is one of them, but posting anyway. I did this once before, and will do it again til I get it right !!!! Phooey!
I'll try it with a darker background...

November 13, 2012

Say It Isn't So !

Yesterdays attempt..  

 This was one of my very first watercolor attempts, a waterlily done in 1987.  (check the date )..  Well, I haven't gotten very far.! !  but have had a wonderful journey and intend to keep travelling . . BJ

October 22, 2012

The Robin

For most of you it's fall and not robin time but I couldn't resist painting this one from a photo on JWJarts   an art forum/website.  The photo of this robin was taken by John who has a way with the camera and a pencil. BJ

October 16, 2012


I entered my art in the Hillsborough County Fair. 
 The Category was Professional Watercolor  and also a pencil piece .
It opens tomorrow and the judging was today.

I'm so pleased to say that I've won  2 First Place Awards,   one for Watercolor, Batter Up!  A first place for pencil/ graphite, 'We're Home' in the Category called Graphics, and a second place for  'Hummer on a Coneflower'.. also watercolor.
    Yes, it's very encouraging . BJ

September 16, 2012


You would think that by now I would know about color theory.
Opaque and transparent, but through the years it  has been trial and error.   Yes, sort of like my life.!!!.       
That's what comes from being self taught. I've never liked tube greens and always mixed my own using various yellows and blues, mostly colors that I liked (still do ) New Gamboge, Ultra Blue being amongst them. 
 A few years back I read a book Making Color Sing by Jeanne Dobie, and at the time I was still mixing and mushing and making mud.  MUD -- the favorite color of artists that don't know a whole lot about color mixing.
 Now I've taken it more seriously and putting (trying) it into practice.
  Out of these few transparent colors you can do a lot and you won't make mud. You pros already know all this. 
 I've taken a liking to cobalt blue, aureolin yellow, always did like rose madder genuine, viridian  and the very staining transparents,  Winsor blue and  Winsor green, alizarin crimson.  I've been on a sunflower rant the past few days. Sharing  one with you.
Not one of the best, but hey Ma Look !   No mud!  BJ

September 7, 2012

Quick Sketch

Lately I've been fascinated by these quick sketch projects..
It's not my usual, but I drew a familiar piece that I'd done not long ago.. Very fast and very fun.. so much so that I'm going to do a few subjects that I like in the same technique. 
I have 3 exhibits coming up associated with my Art Guild so I'd better get serious..   

September 2, 2012

Breakfast For One

You know how that slump hits you everyonce in a while ?
Well when that happens to me I find that making small watercolors keeps my hand in the paint so to speak.. This is a recipe card size for making oatmeal . I've made others for Lemonade, Chicken Salad etc. , and other simple recipes. No , I'm not a good cook, if I cook at all ...
 I make toast . !!!

August 18, 2012

Pencil Detail

A pencil piece I did some time ago. Done from a photo of my daughter Tina Marie.   BJ

July 26, 2012

Mr. Rabbit

  I've been doing some small w/c sketches and paintings..
This is w/c on 8x10" Cansons 140 lb. 
 When I go for a walk just around dusk, they're all out feeding on the green grasses.
Now that I look at it  again, I know that I could and should have left some lost edges especially under the neck/chest area.  But that's how we learn for next time !!! . BJ

July 18, 2012

Mixed Media

Playing around with watercolor and paper. For me this is a first, I either do one or the other.. but today I did both.
It's out of my comfort zone, but found it creative, fun and challenging too.   BJ   

June 21, 2012

Oh , not another flower painting?

No matter what I paint I'm always in my element painting flowers. Sometimes I feel pressured to paint other subjects. Why should that be?  I'm not a landscape, seascape or a still life painter.. I'm a painter of flowers,, nothing gives me as much joy as when I'm doing the flower dance.  LOL !  So boring 'ole me paints yet another flower.

June 18, 2012

The Art Journal Obsession

I almost always post pages from my small journal on my other blog, but did a few more pages and here they are.
My smallest palette, teeny tiny, a page or two for Poe, and Andrew Wyeth whose art I really admired early on. So had the chance to see up close and personal .. Went to the Norton Gallery in West Palm Beach, the date? Jan 25, 1996.. This book is about 31/2" square and I follow no rules, nothing is coordinated as in some journals of today. I'm not a scrapbook person, but when you don't see me around?  This is probably what I'm doing . Not finished yet, and it could go on for weeks, months, and years. LOL !

June 11, 2012


I'm mostly a painter of flowers and since Spring has sprung
I'm posting some of my past flowers.
If your quiet in the garden,
 you'll hear what each flower is saying.
read that somewhere.

June 5, 2012

Orchids for Today.

A quick watercolor sketch of a phalaenopsis orchid.
we are in need of some color on my blog.  so here tis.  BJ

May 30, 2012

The Lion~ Pencil

My pencil work has been long overdue, or at least I felt that way.
It has lost something in the photography and I've noticed that lately in the past few posts.. This piece measures 16"x20" with the mat ..

May 23, 2012

Zanzibar Girl

Painted from a photo on PMP (Paint My Photo)  which is a copyright free website .  BJ

May 19, 2012

Instead of Chocolate !

  Today I posted on my Journey blog, click on the word 'Journey' and you'll have a fun time.   BJ  

May 11, 2012

A Redo

Yes, sometimes I look and see it differently, so I redid the Hollyhocks, I didn't like the first one at all, but as I said it was just putting brush to paper.. this one I added the top flower, did away with a lot of gobblygook  (technical term, for sure) in the background.  BJ

May 9, 2012

Hollyhocks and Healing

I did sit and paint a bit these past few days... Its the fact that I painted, not the subject or the quality of the painting. That wasn't so important right now... just that I did it.  
   I can't thank all of you enough for your  emails, comments and understanding, your words that touched my heart and  how much it has meant to me..
  Yes, Mary Louise was a cat, but she was my cat. Some may not understand how your heart can hurt from losing a little cat, but each one of you did ...  BJ  

May 4, 2012

Mary Louise

Please read my post  on my Art Hearts Journey.. I am unable to do anything else right now.

April 27, 2012

Something Pretty?

I apologize for not remembering where I got this. My brain is still fuzzy. Did this on back of a scrap piece of Bristol smooth.. I'd really like to do this in a large watercolor. Well to me 11x 14 is large.  LOL !   BJ

April 25, 2012

Wound Up Tight !!

Day after I got home I started this pencil drawing of the rope.
I chose this for the texture,  light , darks, and possibly because I felt wound up like this . 
I knew if I could submerge myself in something this detailed I'd have less time to think about myself.  It worked.  8"x10" . BJ


April 23, 2012

Hi Everyone !

  While recuperating at home, I've been doing some journal pages in a small book. Daily doings, more of a diary rather than art. That will come in time..
Right now it's all about getting to walk without the use of help, and do the things that came easy before the surgery.
   Progress is a daily thing, but it's 2 weeks tomorrow and I think it's going fine... Here's a few pages from my journal.. and on my  Journey blog too.. BJ  

April 8, 2012

Happy Easter, Happy Springtime

 Springtime thoughts to all my friends. 
 I'll be doing the surgery thing next week, (no, not my face) lol ! I wish!! Have a great week and remember if your quiet in the garden, you'll hear what the flowers are saying ! see you next week ..
hugs, BJ

April 2, 2012


Thanks to Sharon at Wildflower House  where I first saw the idea for calander pages. I had to make one .
 I will still add some critters at the ground.
And the top is cut off due to my professional photography skills , but you get the idea.   BJ  
  P.S. I've had so many emails on this , remember it wasn't my idea but click on the name above and it'll take you to  Sharons  and further into it. I'm going to make one for every month..

March 30, 2012

I was too late to post on the Rookie Painter, but did a few of the challenges anyway.  I have some projects planned but my mind is on other things.  I have always had to paint with a clear head, and when is that you ask?    BJ

March 21, 2012

 Posting what I managed to do today. My water jar, my Winsor Newton white ceramic that holds some of my brushes.. that I've had for ages  and hope I never drop it.
The flowers were from memory, nondescript but the idea came from a long time ago of something I'd seen. Painted, framed and hung in my studio.  BJ  

March 15, 2012

Blogs etc !

My different drumbeat today is that I won't be commenting on blogs that have the new code verifications.
Not only are they hard to figure out but sometimes  takes two or three tries to make one comment.  Sorry, I'll be reading your blog but not commenting..
I've never had it on my blog, and never had a problem..Go ahead,  comment !! BJ

March 10, 2012

Happy Spring !!

  I have an orchid plant that is blooming in my kitchen window.. so did a quick little painting.

March 3, 2012

Ribbons! ~ I Did It!

I entered into the Professional Category  of the Strawberry Art Festival..
The 'Eye of the Horse took 4th place', and
'Sophisticate'   won the Business Owners Choice and a cash award. The Show and Festival runs until March 11th.. then I get to take them home !

 Although I've won awards from Art Guilds, this was the first time I'd ever entered a juried show.  It  only took me about 50 years .       Who knew!? 
 The competition was tough, beautiful watercolors, oils,  very few pencil/graphite.  I'm truly grateful for these I finally have ribbons to hang in my studio.  And I thank all of you who encouraged me to do it.. a special thank you to Tina .      BJ