Wednesday, July 14, 2010


A new chapter has begun in my life. I am again single and have reverted to my maiden name Bradley. For the past six weeks, I have been packed and living at a friend's house so have been unable to do any painting. This will all change shortly when I move to the Villages next Monday. They have an active art group and as soon as I return from Denver on Aug 3, my things will be moved into the new house.... Am very excited and miss painting.
Thankfully, I have been able to follow all of your blogs and hopefully successfully changes my blog. Will be in touch by mid August.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I want to thank all of you who have supported my blog.  I am going through a transition in my personal life and will not be posting for quite a while.  As soon as I resettle, I will restart blogging. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Appleton Museum

Back from our Roadtrex (motor home) rally in Silver Springs.  When is the Florida Sunshine going to return!!!! After a cold rainy day touring the springs, my husband and I veered off on our own and visited the Appleton Museum of Art of Central Florida Community College.  What a gem of a museum!  Their current exhibition was entitled "The New Reality; The Frontier of Realism in the 21st Century".  It was sponsored by the International Guild of Realism.  It was a fascinating exhibit!!  To quote this is " the first of this century to not only look at the state of Realism painting around the world, but to also compare those artworks with their historic predecessors". Each artist was asked to identify an historical painting that could be used to compare and contrast today's work with  the pioneers of this art technique.  A photo of the historic painting was included next to the actual painting by today's artist. I was delighted to see two of my favorite artists. I have always loved seeing Grace Kim's work.  Her Still Lifes' are exquisitely beautiful.  When we go to Sante Fe next month I will again steep myself in her works.  Jane Jones was also part of the exhibit.  I did my first still life from one of her DVDs.  It taught me a lot. If you get a chance to visit Ocala, Fl. take a moment to visit this wonderful museum.  Unfortunately the current exhibit will be replaced soon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Sunny Afternoon"

I can just see myself sitting under on of the trees, being absorbed by the water view and feeling at peace with my world.  This painting was a lesson in finding and laying in the masses, putting in the light and finally adding a just a few details (had to restrain myself and not get too fussy).  How many times I have read that yet with a some help from a great local artist Bill McCoy, it all came together.  Thanks Bill.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Best Laid plans of mice and men"

My New Years resolution was to blog at least 3-4 x a week.  Lay that resolution to rest.  Actually have had what some might call valid reasons for the long periods between blogging BUT....  I am actually still painting and am working hard on improving.  I have done quite a bit but end up using them for learning and the last thing I want to do is post them.  I have been rereading "Mastering Composition" by Ian Roberts and WOW... what a difference practice and time makes.  I am getting so much more from reading it again as I am able to bring more experience to it.  Same holds true of visiting museums.  The more I learn, the greater my appreciation of the great masters.  My husband and I are off again on a Roadtrex rally and come mid April will be revisiting Sante Fe and Denver (get to see grandkids) so may still be sketchy posting but will be constantly reading my bloggers friends as they are a source of inspiration.  I am going to follow Ian Roberts suggestion of doing a compositional sketch a day.  I know the practice will help with drawing, values, edges and composition.   This is a painting I did in sepia quite a while back.  Decided I wanted it in color. I love the intensity (focus) of the little one.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Harry Connick Jr.

My husband and I saw Harry Connick Jr. in concert tonight.  What an artist,  his piano playing along with his singing were a pure delight to listen to.  It made me think more broadly of what the term artist really means.  He sang with emotion and talent.  The audience was drawn into the whole experience.  Made me more aware of the need of the artist to draw the viewer into the painting. 
I am very fortunate, as my husband is creating a pochade box for me.  He gave me a lovely box with paints for our first Christmas about five years ago.  I misplaced it when we moved into our house and by that time two years had past.  I started painting about four years ago.  How time flys.  The paints, pencils, pastels have all been uses and the lovely box just sitting there beckoning to be recreated.  I plan to do the 100 small paintings plein air recommended by, if I remember correctly, Kevin Mac Pherson. So the box is going in my car and I hope to have an intimate relationship with it.  May even lead to my posting more frequently. For sure will allow me to take my paints on our trips.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Indian River Lagoon

This started out as a Plein Air Painting.  I made modifications to it in the studio as I realized I had not provided a center of interest.  For some reason I get so enraptured with the beauty of nature and trying to capture it all, I lose what I want to say.  I am thinking of lightening my plein air equipment,  Has anyone had success with something small that is easy to fill and store and not too expensive?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wet Land #6

"Have No Fear of Perfection, You will never achieve it!".   I wish I could remember where I read this, but at present it is hanging above my computer.  I need to remind myself constantly to work hard but enjoy the process and not ruin the painting by overworking it.   My New Years resolution about blogging has gotten waylaid for personal reasons which I am happy to say have been resolved to a great degree.  I  continue to paint on my WetLand series and realized that another reason for not blogging is I find that I need to set the paintings aside and look at them with fresh eyes.  If I post too soon, I eventually end up  redoing the painting.  This created a problem as I was posting  only when I had a painting to show. If I want to post more frequently,  I think I will need to find something (art history, studies of the masters etc.) and not attempt to achieve a painting a day as I allow it to put pressure on me (my perfectionist rearing it's ugly head.)  I really want to focus on quality.

I have to thank all the bloggers out there as they remain a valuable source of inspirations and education.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Live and Learn

I am posting some revisions I made to my plein air painting I did yesterday.  I am now a firm believer in not posting a painting till I have at least waited a day or two.  When I relooked at it, the shadows were all I saw plus the foreground did not recede or draw one eyes into the middle ground.  I did some revisions mainly focusing on how I could change the foreground.  I think it helped.  My thinking is, it will be one of the learning studies that may well be another toned canvas in the future but it has done its job in teaching me to critique and or plan better.   Any suggestions are welcomed.  Have a happy day!.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Plein Air, Indian River Lagoon, Fl

I was finally able to actually do some plein air today.  My first effort became a toned canvas but I am happy with my second attempt.  It was a glorious day today, a tiny bit of nip in the air.  One of the things I focused on was selecting the site.  I tried to look for spatial clues as Mitchell Albala recommended in his book on "Landscape Painting".  It was helpful to know what to look for such as 1. Volume - clear patterns of light that create a sense of volume that results in differentiation of shapes 2. Scale - i.e. changes in size the suggest one is further back  3. Overlapping - i.e. if  trees in the mid ground or foreground also overlap and overlap the back ground i.e. trees enter the sky in the background and 4.  introduce perspective with a fence in the foreground or perhaps shadows leading the viewer into the background.  He provided thumbnails that visually explained it all.   For a beginner landscaper, it was very helpful to know what to look for.  The next chapter will be on composition.  I am really learning a lot and today's exercise just emphasized how much more I have to learn. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Still around!

Thank you Celeste , your comment motivated me to remember my goal to post frequently. I have been painting but very unsatisfied with the results so have been wiping out.  I am determined to be able to paint landscapes as I have always loved being out in nature.  I am awed by her splendor.  However, this has also been a part of the problem... I want to include all the beauty and therefore lose the focal point.  Need to learn to simplify.  I am reading a new book on Landscaping which I think will help tremendously.  The book is "Landscape Painting, Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice by Mitchell Albala.  The book was recommended by K. Tyrell on her blog The Art of Landscapes
I also fulfilled one of my goals.  I entered the "End of Day"  formerly called "Florida Sunset" in a juried show.  I am thankful for all the blogger out there.  They all have so much to offer. Have a great day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Sunset Florida

 R. Henri. "No work is ever finished, they just stop at good places."
I was pleased with the original but something was bothering me.  When my two sisters, Mary and Alice came to visit the light bulb finally went off.  They have been my ardent supporters and Alice actually got me started in art 3 years ago.... my time flies when your having fun.... Alice mentioned the tree seemed too dark and bingo, the lights went off/on!!! I changed the value as it was completing strongly for attention and I am pleased enough to sign it.  I guess it just wasn't a good enough place to stop when I first stopped. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Sunset, Florida

It is warming up in Florida, at least in the Palm Bay area.  This is my latest painting. it was done on a Frederic 14" by 18"  stretched archival canvas, smooth finish.  I really liked it, except the edges where the canvas over lays the stretcher bars.  The paint intensified on the edges.  May be how I paint but was difficult to get a smooth application.  I did this in layers taking my time to evaluate values, temperatures. After I finished the sky, it rather looked like an abstract painting...Heaven Forbid!!!... I may get to appreciate abstract more.  Perhaps, I am learning to pay attention to shapes more.... I used a photo for a general reference that I took about a week ago right outside my house.  It was a spectacular sunset.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Robert Henri - The Art Spirit

Recently I have been quoting Robert Henri on my blog and lo and behold I find that Michelle at
has already chosen it for a reading group she has started.   I started this book just about the time I started my Art journey.  It took about three years to complete the book.  I would frequently pick it up, read some, then digest it.  I finally completed it last month.  In the process, I learned that as a newbie to art the message he had was under appreciated.  As time went on, I found his message resonate deeper in my soul.  I fully intend to keep this book at my side and reread it when I seem to hit a dry spell.  If you haven't read it, I would recommend you take up Michelle's challenge.  If you have read it years ago, it may be rewarding to reread it.  I think the more knowledge you have about art, the more meaningful it becomes.
I am so grateful for all the books that are availalbe today.  They help us on our journey.  The local library has been an invaluable resource for me.  It helps to be in a local community that has a strong arts awareness and appreciation.  I am posting the picture I mentioned yesterday that I had revisited and redone.  I think it improved the composition.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Marsh Lands Oil Painting Revisited Revisited

R. Henri, "In fact, technique can only be used properly by those who have a definite purpose in what they do, and it is only they who invent technique."

I am back on target.  I revisited the Marsh Land painting and made some conscious corrections.  Also was able to photo my painting I did on N.Y. Eve day.  I am staying with the Wet Lands paintings until I feel extremely comfortable getting distance and the water to stay down.  I am also experiementing with my greens and my skies.  Florida because it is flat has glorious skies.  I have a long way to go to actually invent technique but I am trying to paint with an awareness of what I am doing.  Just have to get my 10,000 hours in.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Workshop day 2

Above is a photo of the Workshop Group, the teacher Michael Burban is in the middle, wearing the vest.  We had a great workshop, Michael gave each of us plenty of individualized help and critiquing.  I, for one, realized that even with my knowledge of anatomy from nursing, I have to do some serious refreshing and drawing.  I need to plot, map out, draw boxes, in other words start at the beginning and Draw.  There are no shortcuts!!  In all, I hope we are able to have him come again.   Happy New Years to All

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Drawing Workshop

R. Henri " No work of art is ever finished.  They only stop at a good place."  This subject came up at the workshop and I wish I had memorized this quote.  I was so appropo to the discussion. I don't think I have ever spend a whole day drawing but it was worth it.  Our instructor was Michael Burban who was an instructor in drawing at the Art  Student League of New York for 20 + years.  He has written the book "Lessons form Michaelangelo".  Need I say more?  I learned  a lot and am looking forward to tomorrow.  His manner of teaching is supportive and instructive.  Our Art Guild acted wisely in arranging this workshop.  I might even do some more drawing tonight!!! Or shall I have a glass of vino??..... Oh dear, my goals are calling out to me??.... Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Art of Understanding

Opps, Pushed the wrong button. I have not had time to photo my lastest but wanted to share another quote of R. Henri.  " Freedon can only be obtained through an understanding of basic order"  Continuing to define and refine my goals, I realized this applies to all areas of life.  I am feeling freer and freer as I continue to define my goals.  They allow me to focus on whats important to me and simplify or deemphasize the extraneous.  Tomorrow, I am off to a drawing workshop.  Part of my goal to improve my drawing.  Have a great day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wet Lands

Quote for the day, "The artist will open a book someone is trying to close to show there are still more pages possible." R. Henri 
    Wet Lands are part of the beauty of Florida. They have been painted many, many times.  I thought I would concentrate for a while on capturing my impression of their beauty.  They are such a fragile part of our environment and constantly threatened by builders.  For some reason ($$$) they seem to get around all the local and state restrictions.  Dare I hope this New Year, will see a greater effort to preserve our heritage.
     This was my first time using linen and it made a big difference.  I like the smoother texture as I tend to paint more like a watercolorist than a heavy impasto, although I am trying to put on more paint.  This was a small 5x7, 620 gram weight linen Centurion LX with wrapped edges. Don't remember where it came from but  I am serverly tempted to dip deeper into the $$ and use linen.
     I have started to use Office 2007 outlook to keep me on task with my goals.  Am visiting web sites, blogs, Etsy to get ideas.  Any one with ideas on Web site is welcomed to comment.  I am leaning toward just the blog and Etsy but if I do larger pictures then what  So much to learn and it takes away from the painting.  Where have I heard that before!!! 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Coming together!!!

Inspired by the bloggers, especially K Tyrell, Linda Blondhein and Marion Fortunati, sharing their goals.I have been furiously/driven to set goals for the coming year.   Feeling lost and overwhelmed (much like I have been for the past 12 months) as I went through all my the files.  I recognized I was trying to learn everything at once, examining different palettes, compositions, artist, blog, websites then it hit.... The memory of sitting at a card table in my apartment and doing a jigsaw.  As I dumped the pieces out and started turning them over, I had an AHA moment... At work( I was starting a new job as Quality Manager Director) I was gathering all sorts of information not knowing if it was helpful or not and after the period of gathering, I started to sort (turn over the pieces), then frame the puzzle ( all straight edges) and finally fit the pieces together.  As I sat here the past week going through all my files, weeding, sorting, I experienced the same feelings.  As I sorted my mind became able to focus, the pieces started to fall in place and I was able to create and prioritize my lists.  Naturally, it will be ongoing as I still have a lot to learn but I see a direction.
My Goals for my Art are relatively simple but incredibly hard.
- Paint every day
- focus on edges
- apply more paint
- loosen up
- increase my perception of value and color
- sketch/draw at least 5 x week.
I have made many more goals and have done a plan for each one.
- Improve my blog
- Increase my revenue from painting through a Web Site (need to do) Etsy ( need to tweak) and other marketing methods.

I am at ease as I know the direction I want to take.
The painting I posted was done on a 5by7 canvas board before I went to Denver.  I have wanted to paint marshes for quite a while and hopefully will do a series so I can improve.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays! Art Goals

Merry Christmas to all and may your New Year be filled with joy and peace. I am deep in the throes of making my New Years Resolutions especially for my art journey. I have seen goals on the blogs and am inspired by their courage to be vulnerable. This will be part of my goal.
This week I am going through files, sorting, gleaning ideas for next year. I am determined to do better blogging and deciding on a theme. Hopefully it will encourage me to be even more diligent in my quest to explore my creative self. Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Painting is not work!!!

Here are some of the paintings I did from the instructional DVD set by Gayle Levee. I learned an enormous amount from her DVDs as they filled in the blanks for me. I guess I need to learn the how and why before I gain confidence. I am now excited to paint an original as I did in Mary Garrish's workshop and which Gayle also walked me through.

Friday, November 27, 2009


This is a painting (8x10) I did at the workshop. I am very happy with how it turned out. However, when I attempted to photo it, I can see I need to apply more paint. The canvas comes through too much. Just when I think I have it fairly well, another aspect shows up. Guess that is why I love painting, always a new challenge.

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My husband Dick cooked a gourmet Thanksgiving for the family (11). I have a lot to be thankful for!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mary Garrish Workshop

I can't believe how long it took me to set this up... There has to be an easier way but my brain won't take any more learning. As it is I went back to picasso as my editor.

As the expression goes, "the teacher will appear when the student is ready". AND was I ready. Mary showed us how to work from two photo references and I finally learned how to distinguish from referencing and duplicating.

Mary' Palette and initial laying in of darks after sketch. She uses Vasari paint. The three primary color Cad Yellow light/pale, Cad Red, and Ultramarine Blue plus the 8 grays created for Scott Christenson by Vasari. I fell in love with the pallet.

Initial sketch, starting on darks

Mary was using two difference photos she completed the landscape first.

Softening the edges
Posted by Picasa

Laying in darks of sky

Finishing touches


Sunday, November 15, 2009


Back from vacation and Denver, and two roadtrex rallies. In between, I had been hard at work trying to improve my painting. I have to thank Creative Spotlight Artist Blog which pointed me to a DVD series by Gayle Levee entitled "Learn and Master Painting" by Legacy Learning Systems. It was just what I needed to fill in the blanks. I started with the first DVD - there are 25, about 30-35 hours of instructions. Gayle takes you from the absolute beginning filled in the blanks. She is a great teacher, reiterating her instructions until they really sink in. I have learned a lot. I am much more confident that I know what I am doing rather than going by the seat of my pants. I am up to lesson #18 and intend to continue through. I finished one of the paintings and will photograph it tomorrow and blog it, if I get the chance. I am also starting a workshop for three days at our local Art Museum. Mary Garrish is a well know artist and I am hoping to learn a lot. I will take pictures if I can and post them also. So until tomorrow, thanks everyone for sharing your blogs. The blogs have kept me inspired.