Monday, November 28, 2011

Stacked, Pomegranates and Cranberries and Sunflowers

Hi Everyone,
"Sunflower" 4x4  $75 watercolor on paper BUY NOW
"Pomegranates and Cranberries" 4x4 $75 original watercolor on paper BUY NOW
"Stacked" original watercolor on paper 4x4 $75  BUY NOW

Have you recovered from your Turkey day and Black Friday madness?  We had a great dinner with family.  It's a bit of an adjustment not having Brian here this year, but we're making the best of it.

Today I have some small works to share with you.  I've been doing some 4x4's.  They may be small but they have a lot of impact.

I'll see you on Wednesday:)


Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Feature: Julie Hill

Hi Everyone,
Julie Hill
Hope you had a great Turkey Day for all of my U.S. bloggers.  Today I'm featuring Julie Hill.  Julie is a fellow watercolorist but our styles are completely different.  Her work is beautiful and impressionistic.  I first met Julie through Artists' Helping Artist radio show.  Julie has become a blogging buddy and she is always happy to talk watercolor and give advice.

To see more of Julie's work visit her blog and website.
"A Boy's Special Moment" 22 x 30 watercolor by Julie Hill
 How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

I believe that I have had a non-conventional start in the artistic world. First a little background, I have a PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Biology from UCLA.  Up until 2004, I was professor at USC School of Medicine, taught at the graduate level, had a multi-million dollar NIH funded research program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles…whew…that’s a mouthful isn’t it?. I was pretty good at what I was doing, actually in academic sciences I was considered fairly successful. Anyway, although I was good, it became clear that it wasn’t God’s plan for me….I won’t ramble on with all the details (they are available in an excellent radio interview by Gene Gee- the link is on my blog), but suffice it to say…I had not a creative inclination in me what-so-ever….I was strictly an academic scientist…but I did have the idea that someday “When I retire, I am going to learn how to Salsa dance and watercolor  paint”. I suppose the Lord, was saying to me… “What are you waiting for?”….and there it began, first by learning how to draw…then playing with the wet colors on paper. I am self-taught with the exception of a series of classes from an artist whose style spoke to me. I just painted whatever I felt. And here the journey continues …still only painting whatever I feel.  I have been blessed that my accomplishments in the artistic arena have come at a very fast pace, and seemingly without me hitting the pavement or starving in the process. If one really thinks about it, it is crazy...but that’s God for you and I love it!

Where were you born?

 I am a southern California native (and almost embarassassingly enough, I can say that I have lived no where else)

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

In a remote place…surrounded by peaceful nature, simpler times and lots of land and Oak trees.
"I Prayed" 18 x 24 watercolor by Julie Hill
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

I love capturing moments, ordinary moments or scenes…but somehow portraying that special distinctive quality about the ordinary. I also especially enjoy painting structures, architecture, cityscapes, etc….I feel there is a grounded quality that I absorb when painting those scenes.

Which of your paintings was the most enjoyable to paint? Which was the most difficult?

This is a hard question, because I do find joy whenever and where ever I paint (I guess that’s why it’s my passion), but if I had to choose: One of my favorite pieces to do was “I Prayed…” an interior of St. Peter’s Basilica. I was doing the piece and wondered what the inscription was…I found a translation and part of the text said “I prayed…”. The technique and color palette I used on that piece was so simple…yet the “bones” of that painting was so intense….it made me reflect on life and how we can approach the complex. Just keep it simple and basic…and you can get through it.   The most difficult painting I have done was somewhere in the middle of my recent train series….Black steam engines are really challenging to paint and to read well…especially in the impressionistic style that I do. Ironically, amongst all those trains I found another of my favorites “A Boy’s Special Moment” a piece depicting a timeless black steam engine with a father and son walking together…I love that I could capture that moment in a boy’s life.

"Engine 486" 14 x 19 watercolor by Julie Hill
 Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Well this question is a bit embarrassing for me to answer…I have no art background, not even an art appreciation class in college…so my knowledge base is very slim. Though I have to say I love the Impressionists and their story. I find it very inspiring that the style and approach of the Impressionists was not accepted in the beginning…rebels and forward-thinkers. I like that.

What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?

My favorite things: Arches cold press 140 lb natural white paper…nothing like it!, my Silver Kolinski sable #18 round brush, my 2” large flat wash brush (keeps me loose), and a quiet serene work space.

Essential things for my well being/success: My faith….I am here because of a gift, every painting that comes out of me is a blessing, and not of my doing.
"Quiet Place Replenish" 13 x 18.5 watercolor by Julie Hill
 Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

I use primarily Holbein, Winsor-Newton and Daniel Smith paints. I have found that W/N French Ultramarine and their Permanent Alizarin Crimson work the best for me. Whereas I enjoy Holbein’s paints probably the most. I have the standard palette of warm and cools of each primary…a few earth tones and my additional “go to” colors: Holbein’s Lavender, W/N Quinacridone Gold, Holbein’s Cobalt Turquoise Light and Daniel Smith’s Bordeaux.

Do you ever get artist’s block? And what do you do to overcome it?

I wouldn’t say its artist’s block…but perhaps moments of little inspiration. Usually it just means I need to get out there and live a little…take in life a bit more….or just the opposite…sleep.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

This question is very challenging for me, because 5 years ago I would have never imagined or even had the desire to be where I am now… I am in disbelief that I am here. All that said, I do see a few things in my artistic future:

  1. Designated studio space…great light and fabulous storage.
  2. Travelling and painting trips
  3. Representation by one more gallery (I think 4 is a good number)
  4. Publish a book...a different kind of book highlighting my work…
"Disembarking in Uppsala, Sweden" 12 x 12 watercolor by Julie Hill
 What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

If you have truly found your passion….then it will all work out. Because you will always be doing what you love, and how can that be wrong? Paint, paint, paint…

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

It’s just paper…go for it!

Chocolate or vanilla?

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?
Depends on the season….

Book or movie?

Favorite author?

Favorite movie?
None (don’t mean to be difficult, but for most things, I really don’t have “favorites”)

Romance or comedy?

Favorite ice cream flavor?
This week, Trader Joe’s Lemon and Ginger Snap Ice Cream

Night owl or morning person?

Cake or Cupcakes?

Thank you Julie for your interview!  It was great to learn a little more about you:)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hi Everyone,
Carrie Waller
Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogger buddies that celebrate the Holiday!  I hope you are enjoying your tryptophan high:)

I thought I would take a moment to tell all of you how thankful I am for your friendship, support and comments.  It means the World to me and keeps me going.  You motivate me and keep me on track!  I am so thankful for all of you:)
"Illuminated Pumpkins" original watercolor on paper 24 x 30 BUY NOW
Crystal Cook and I started a challenge and this month was our first entry.  Our theme was "Being Thankful".  Here is my answer to the challenge.  Read about this painting here.
"Pumpkin Pie" 4.5" x 4.5" $95 Buy Now
Click here to see Crystal's answer to the challenge.

See you Friday for the Friday Feature,


Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for some pumpkin pie:)

Hi Everyone,
'Pumpkin Pie' original watercolor on paper 4.5" x 4.5" BUY NOW $95 (comes matted in an acid free mat, there is a framing option for an additional $50
'Pumpkin Pie' Framed BUY NOW $150.00
 Pumpkin Pie, I bet a lot of you will be baking one of these this week:)  Pumpkin pie is not my favorite pie, but it certainly does conjure up memories of Thanksgivings past and Christmas for that matter.  I had never made a pie until I got married.  Pies are a huge deal in the Waller family.  A Waller Thanksgiving has been known to have just about every pie you can think of.  My mother-in-law is the Queen of making pie crust and I am happy to say she has taught me.  This was, I believe part of my marriage proposal, will you marry me and will you learn to make pie:)

The photo reference for this painting is from a pie that my Mother-in-law and her sister made for our early Thanksgiving celebration.  My hubby left for Afghanistan about a week ago so we had an early Holiday this year.  And of course pumpkin pie present for this celebration, in fact there were 2 pumpkin pies.

So when Crystal Cook and I decided to start a monthly challenge and she proposed Thankfulness as our first challenge inspiration I had a lot of things go through my mind.  I settled on pumpkin pie.  I'm thankful to have married into a family that taught me the importance of a from scratch crust and pie.  I'm thankful that I became a Waller and I'm thankful for my husband, who loves his pumpkin pie:)

To check out Crystal's answer to the challenge click here.

So Have a fabulous Turkey Day everyone!  What are you thankful for this year?


Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Feature

 Hi Everyone,
Macy's Illumination original watercolor on paper 9 x 12
Believe original watercolor on paper 15 x 19
We interrupt this regularly scheduled Friday Feature because of Holiday Market prep madness.  I'm burning the midnight oil and then some to get ready.  I'll post about my first Holiday show on Monday:)  And my Friday Feature will return next week!

Have a fabulous weekend,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Check out my feature on Chris Beck's Painting As Fast As I Can blog

Hi Everyone,

I'm thrilled to share that Chris Beck has featured me on her blog today.  Head on over and check out my feature:)

Thank you, Chris!

Have a great day!