December 30, 2014

The Year Past- 2014


To all my blogging friends that come visit me through the year. 
As the year comes to a close, I thought of what exactly did I do this past year. Could I have done better? more? 
First of course, what did I do for others?  Humans and animals. Well, that would be a personal thing.. so let's leave it at that. 

 I exhibited in the Strawberry Festival at the beginning of the year.. 
 and finished my Alaska journal from my 2013 trip.

How could I forget my trip to Alaska and the Northwest, the year before.  Managed to make a quilt, two actually, one for my dear friend..  
  Also did some Florida series paintings, after all I do live there.
Forum Challenges, and how could I forget the '30 paintings in 30 days Challenge" ?

  It took me a month to recover from that .! lol . 
 A trip or two to Biloxi,.
Then the 4 day workshop that I took in Sept.. over on St. Pete beach.
The memory of that will last and will do another one this year. Same place different instructor .... after a lifetime of painting I finally got to take a class. ! 


Opened my Etsy shop and working at it to make it a success. 
I've gotten a few commissions from it and that's always nice..made a few sales already... that's good too. !!

Letting any unpleasant instances go, and there are always some.
Life is never without those bumps and bruises...My mom had a saying that 'what doesn't happen in a year, happens in a day'.
We never know. So,... I'll put my foot into the New Year and start walking like I've always done.  
Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement for my art, my health, and my life. 
Barbra Joan...

December 24, 2014

Pirates Gold.   Some things are hard to leave behind. 

December 21, 2014

Hi All

Hi everybody, here I am at my art table doing some sketches.
The holidays are upon us and always difficult for me.. I get around it by trying to keep busy. 
 A very big Italian family and all the traditions have been replaced by mostly dear friends ... if it weren't for them, I would probably go to Tibet and become a monk . lol.  
 No, not a laughing matter,  but I make the best of what I have and try to not think of what I don't.. Life has taken it's courses, people have made their choices, and I get on with my own. 
I do want to wish all my blogging friends, a very Merry Christmas,
and the Happiest of New Years.   Barbra Joan ...

December 18, 2014

Josie / Sold

Somehow without looking for it I've been designated a pet portrait artist.  Someone who purchased the 'Naptime' painting has asked me to do 'Josie',  and now another commission for a pet cat.. 
As long as they are happy, I will comply. 
I tried to capture that personality of Josie whom I am told loved playing with that ball above everything. Here is the photo it was taken from ... 'Josie and Her Ball' . What a beautiful girl..


December 13, 2014

Nap Time / Sold

I'm in my 'cat period '. Painting some different ones for my Etsy shop.  Plus I love painting them.. Cats and I go waaaaay back. 
Anyone who says "I don't like cats", probably has never had one.

December 10, 2014

Tuxedo Cat Watercolor/ Sold

This is the finished painting done on Arches 140 lb CP paper and ready to go into my Etsy shop.. It's in an 8x10" mat. 
So I'm in my cat painting mood. People like cats, and I've sold the one of the cat looking out the window.  Which BTW was my own cat Jenny... yes, she is a model.. lol 

December 9, 2014

Tuxedo Cat Sketch

A 20 minute kitty in my sketchbook ... I had a cat like this .. His name was Mickey...oh some of the light spots are from the sun..
You all know what a great ! photographer I'm not.... 

December 8, 2014

Pencil Finished

Just found this piece that I'd started about a year ago... I'd never finished it but now added a few touches this week.. One thing about my photography or editing, I can't seem to lighten my photos . Not that I don't try..... In this one, the paper is white, but it and everything else looks darker.. This about a 16x20". 

December 4, 2014

Forum Art Challenge

This was for an art Challenge on a Forum joined years ago..     
It's a piece of a puzzle  and other members have to guess who is the artist... Well this cutie was my piece and they've already guessed it.
So... safe to post it here.  Darn she had a flower on her hat and I completely forgot to put it there.. Didn't want to scrub out, but guess I could have..

November 26, 2014

Boots 'n Jeans

This is my pencil version of 'Boots 'n Jeans'.
Pencil / graphite seems to be my 'art of choice' for this minute. 

November 20, 2014


 I've not been up to serious painting, so just posting a few quick pen and ink sketches from my sketch book. And that is all I've been able to do in the past weeks. 

November 1, 2014

Cottage on the Lane

Yesterday I started to apply some of the lessons learned at the 
Joyce Hicks workshop. There is a LOT! First taking a scene either photo or being there, editing, adding and making a  pencil value sketch. Something I've never done. Making it your own, your design, your color.  Yes, I took notes. LOL ! lots of notes, and actually following them. Doing a small color piece, then finally painting, but referring to that pencil value sketch over and over. 
Of course this being my first serious attempt after the classes I missed most of it here, but some of it I DID get in. 
  Cooler lighter values in the distance, warmer, darker in front.
Balance, harmony, always thinking ahead of the brushstroke, where your going to place it and how.. Texture, warm against cool. Light against dark.  Using big brushes loaded with pigment and water. Go For IT!  
 I like this as I made it my own.!  I like the left side, especially behind the cottage,  but not the right.  Could have cropped it shorter, but then you lose that pathway that leads you in.  OK not perfect, but even though I may have only applied 3 or 4 of those learned lessons, I will eventually get to where it will be all of them (ALL in ONE painting.)  How good will that be??

October 31, 2014

Always Flowers

A small 8x10" ... I'll always paint flowers. Because that makes me happy ! .. BJ

October 28, 2014


Well if I could have stayed I would !  The Joyce Hicks workshop was wonderful..From Day 1 to the end I never stopped learning something. Landscapes, and working in transparent watercolors,
and Joyces mantra  " Never revisit a brushstroke." 
  At the end of 4 days she had lots of demos and full paintings, then had a raffle .. Since there were six of us,  we all won something.
I was thrilled to get the one below.. 
As to staying right on the beach what can I say... it was beautiful.
Yes, got some sand in my toes , and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. .. So now I'm back and hope to apply what I've learned to my own paintings.. BJ 

October 17, 2014


A few years back I did a humming bird on a coneflower and it took second place at a local art show.. 
I like that painting, so decided to paint it again and offer it in my Etsy Shop... This one is smaller 8x10" in the mat. 
I seem to be doing a lot of birds lately ?  HMMMMM ! 
Bird-brained. !!!   

October 13, 2014

Mrs. Robinson Again.

I've painted this robin several times from photos that a friend in England sent me.. This robin is almost like a pet.. 
I'm trying to learn how to 'pour' paint, so that's how the branch was done, but it's losing something in the translation... the poured paint is supposed to be a part of all of it ... I'm just not getting it. !

October 12, 2014

 I've written about my upcoming workshop Watercolor Landscapes on my  'Journey'  blog and where I'll be staying.
Yesterday I drove there, sort of a 'dry run.'  Went to the Suntan Art Center.. where the class is being held.  What a great facility.  Large light classroom.. even a full kitchen !!! oh you know I'll not be using that. But I peeked in.... LOL !!!  
There was a watercolor class going on.. I listened in for a few minutes.. too bad I couldn't have hidden under one of the tables.. It looked like such fun... 
  Right now painting and wanting to get more stock into my Etsy shop... I've had one sale... and from what I hear,, it takes a long while. I did this once before and it must have been a rare event, as I sold five paintings within a very short time... Well, that's alright I can wait..

October 8, 2014

In the Tropics

Painting this a.m.  Actually I've painted just about every day since the 'challenge' ended and I opened the Etsy.  I believe it's all about being 'seen'... Unbelievable amount of talented artists out there.
You are like a needle in the haystack...But you know me, I'll paint anyway..  
This one above is in an 8x10" mat .. as are all the ones on Etsy. 
 I now use almost all transparent watercolors.. Once  the light bulb went on  in my head , I'm finding painting much easier.. I know what mixes with what. Hey ! it only took me 25 years... LOL ! 

October 5, 2014

Etsy Shop Open !

No, I haven't been resting up from the Challenge! Busy opening the Etsy Shop . It's changed a lot (for the better).  And that means typing and filling in every little concern for the customer.
 The shop, yourself, the item of course, photos, explanations covering shipping, shop policies, payments, on and on.. Well it's open to the public..  I've already sold a painting.. and they are all originals, no prints..

One of the problems about trying to sell on a blog is this....
Think about it ....Everyone who visits your blog is an artist, and if they are like me have tons of artwork of their own.. . I paint for my self as I found I cannot not paint.. if that makes any sense. 
The art exhibits and art shows are few and far between where I live.

If you 'd like to see the shop, click on the Etsy button on the right sidebar.
I've just started by listing about a dozen small paintings, all 
( I think) from the challenge and I offer them at very reasonable prices..  There will be more added all the time.. as yes, I intend to paint a lot more... BJ

September 30, 2014

Day # 30

It's the last day of the 30 in 30 day Challenge.
OMG! what will I do tomorrow?   This was an experience I wouldn't want to have missed, but I doubt I would do it again. 
When I signed up and posted my first painting on Sept 1,  I already knew I would finish and not miss even one day. . 
There aren't many rules to this challenge and you were allowed to do a few ahead or even two in one day.  Well I did both and still found myself constantly pressured to do yet another. I didn't choose a 'theme', but chose to paint what I wanted.. I knew I'd get crazy painting 30 of anything day after day.. 
 Supposedly there were over a thousand registered although I never saw more than 400 entries on any given day. As the days went by it dropped by ten and twenty. 
There will be another Challenge in 2015  if you care to do it.
For now that's it for me. I'm looking forward to doing some mixed media, collage and watercolor. I'm also going to open an Etsy account (again) and offer my original paintings at a very affordable price.. I'll let you know when it's opened.. 
Thanks to Jan Werdin who,  along with me struggled through it to the last day..She was a 'team mate' and we cheered each other on..
  Congratulations Jan, we made it!!! Jan is a watercolorist and  mixed media artist and does wonderful work with handmade papers and collages..Click on her name above and check it out.
Many thanks to all of my blogfriends who came every single day to encourage me . (even when some of my paintings were not up to par and a little scary )  .. I won't name names as I fear I might forget one or two, but you know who you are...  
Now looking forward to my 4 day vacation/workshop at St. Pete Beach... end of this month.  It's my birthday present to me,
Barbra Joan .... 


September 29, 2014

Day #29

When all else fails, we paint pears.. and sometimes they look a bit wonky, and flat.  But this IS next to the last day of the Challenge.  
So I'll see you all tomorrow for the big 'End of Challenge  Celebration Party'

September 28, 2014

Day #28

Today I dedicate 'The Hawk' in memory of my son Louis. 9/28/ 'Although many years have passed, and I see you only in a dream once in a while.  Memories never leave the heart'.  Mom. 

To others who may read this, thank you for understanding today is not only about art.
 I cannot let the day go by without acknowledging that he was very much a part of our world for twenty six years. .  Barbra Joan  

September 27, 2014

Day #27

H I think we can safely say it's Indian Corn for today.  The Challenge is coming to a close. Just three more days , just 3 more pieces.
I'll tell you my thoughts on it when it's over.

September 26, 2014

Day #26

 Sold !
In case you haven't figured it out .... it's a tomato..
This one is for my friend Jerry who lives out in Oregon and is the best farmer ... Flowers and veggies, he does it all... So for you JC here's the tomato that could look like an apple, but who cares.
Just a few days to go on the 30 paintings in 30 day Challenge and I'll be darned it looks like I just may make it.  

September 25, 2014

Day #25

One final flower (I think) for the 30 in 30 Challenge
When all else fails I paint flowers... For most of you summer is coming to an end.. but not here, not yet. If you get time check out Leslies' blog... lots of good art in there doing the challenge. 

September 24, 2014

Day #24

Well yeaaah, just a funny frog for today... The Challenge is coming to a close with less than a week to finish... I think I'm getting a bit crazy from this, but no one will notice.  !!

September 23, 2014

Day #23

This one wasn't quick and it isn't 'loose'. Old habits are hard to die and I wanted this to look like a pile of wine corks... so I did it over the course of several days in between my quick paintings.
One week to go ... just 7 days and  yes, I have painted and posted every day.  One or two things I now know about myself. 

For me, it has been quantity but not quality..  I'm not a daily painter. So I'm not good under pressure, although bound and determined to finish, ( even if it kills me) lol... that's the Scorpio in me.. The other is... I'm not consistent... one day 'loose', one day tight. What's with  that anyway???  See you tomorrow. 

September 22, 2014

Day #22

Day 22 of the Challenge .. I'm painting every day, it's starting to be a struggle, but I'm bound and determined to finish . Painting every single day teaches something. Staying on a schedule (of any kind) is not something I do well. It looks like I may finish this project in spite of myself.  This is a painting of my eyes. Pretty desperate when you start painting your own body parts !!!!!

September 21, 2014

Day #21

For the Challenge today I painted this tulip..
 For the past six months I've looked at using mostly transparent watercolors ...One of the reasons I'm taking the workshop end of October is that it incorporates both landscapes and transparent w/c. Once I was able to understand about the pigments I found I could mix clear, clean colors, and no mud. I confess I still keep my beloved Indigo... uh oh !  Although I've always been a Winsor Newton fan, as I needed to replace colors I went with DaVinci paints. No more, 'let me try this, or that.'   I know what colors I'll get when I mix.. 2 and 3 still give beautiful results..Better late than never.  B

September 20, 2014

Day #20

My offering for day #20.... in the Challenge  . My intention was to have a checkerboard style cloth under this melon...but it was not to be ... lol !

September 19, 2014

Day #19

Today I chose something simple and familiar as I've done the jug and flowers before. We're getting to the downside of the 30  in 30 Challenge. The fact that I've learned ( learning) to work with mostly transparent pigments has made painting easier,  but not necessarily  better. ! lol. Thank you for your constant encouragement ...comments ...