Monday, March 31, 2014

A little of this and a little of that!

I have been a total slack when it comes to painting.  I drove the boys to Charleston, SC last week to visit my family with high aspirations of painting but did absolutely no painting.
From Left to Right , Me, My Mom (Judy), my brother Chris, Steven in the middle and Sam on the right.  As a side note my Mom and I get credit for no make-up selfies:)

My Mom and Step Dad, Steven and Sam
There was a lot of this!

And a little of that!  Happy Birthday to my Sam Man who is turning the big 5 today.
Isn't that cool.  I call these light saber lights:)

I did find some inspiration along the way.  I love it when businesses utilize artists in their design.

And I saw these at an artists studio today.  I'm going to make the wreath:)  A reason to save all of my empty tubes:)

I'm back to painting today so I will have some work in progress posted on Wednesday:)


Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Feature: Diane Ziemski

Hi Everone,
"Tops and Bottoms" by Diane Ziemski
It's Friday again.  Today I bring you a very talented watercolor artist that I have had the privilege to get to know during my time here in Arkansas.  It has been great being in shows together.

To see more of Diane's work visit her website .

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?
I have a degree in Home Ec, so in college took a lot of design courses, but never painted until I retired from education at age 52. I considered myself crafty but not artistic. I had moved from a small town in Arkansas to Little Rock, and had just met and married my husband Larry who was USArmy retired.  My sons were both in Medical school and it was then, upon my husband’s urging that I begin a new hobby.  Since I had done exhaustive needlework, I decided to paint and chose watercolors as my medium.  I began by getting books and learning how to paint. simple…..  well, not really, but I did and with inferior products and tools, but I painted for long periods of time each day.  I have taken as many workshops as I could since then, and have been fortunate to have been able to attend workshops with and to paint with many wonderful artists through the Mid-Southern Watercolor Society. I now consider myself a professional artist, and am included on the teaching artist rosters of both Celebrity and Cunard Cruise Lines. I was juried into several international exhibits, many regional exhibits, and have received my signature in the first watercolor society I joined .  

Where were you born?
I was born at Shepards AFB in Wichita Falls. Texas, but was raised in Arkansas.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
Little Rock, Arkansas was my choice of places to live when I retired. I still like it here.
"Yellow Rose After Texas" by Diane Ziemski
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
Portraits in watercolor, because it is just such an intense feeling to see those faces appear on that white paper.  Flowers would be a close choice, because of the vibrant colors. But my husband still says I paint Baskin-robbins style, a different flavor each month……

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  
Since I am self taught, my techniques are probably not the best to encourage new artists,  but they work for me at the moment.  I mostly paint wet on dry, and with strong pigments, I only do washes when I am working on a portrait, and then do up to 12 layers or more, but on most paintings I try to get in and get out on the first time, I do paint by shapes, and sections at at time.  I love having very dark, bold, and bright strong colors. My favorite dark backgrounds are with a dark purple, dark turquoise and dark green all mingled.  I do not like to draw, so when I found out I can make a print of a photo and then use graphite to transfer the drawing to paper, I was elated.  I am a computer geek and so this process was just was I was looking for. I am a decent photographer and now that cameras are digital, I take literally thousands to use as subject matter.

"Jackson" with work in progress shots by Diane Ziemski

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites? 
My go to colors are the entire Daniel Smith list of paints. No, I do not have them all, but I do have a lot of them, and this is my favorite brand of paint. I have a huge palette, no I have 4 or 5 palettes, which in most artists minds are too many colors, but that is what I learned with and continue to use. I have one palette for portraits, but always have the others nearby and open. The Rose painting that got accepted into Splash was using about 15 different yellows, BUT some of my all time favorites are hematite, indigo, Quin coral, and naples yellow.  

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Cindy Agan for her portraits, Birgit O’Connor for florals
I have taken workshops with both of these ladies and am still in touch with them.
"Lady Bug" by Diane Ziemski
What have been some of your crowning achievements?
“SPLASH, 11 The best of Watercolor”
Watercolor USA
22nd Blues & Heritage Festival Poster from my hometown of Helena, AR
Texas & Neighbors Juried Exhibition
Mid-Southern Watercolorists Signature member
UAMS Rockefellar Cancer Center purchase
Portraits of my children and grandchildren

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
Travel as much as my husband and I can
Have one of my duck paintings chosen as a Duck Stamp
Have a painting juried into the American Watercolor Society
Have a gallery owner come to me and ASK to represent me.

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
Practice, don’t give up, just practice more, and it is never too late to learn new things.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
Paint what you see and feel. there is no right or wrong way, just your way.

"Secondary Jiggles" by Diane Ziemski

"Primary Jiggles" by Diane Ziemski


Chocolate or vanilla?  chocolate

Your dream vacation spot? Oregon coast

Book or movie? book

Favorite author? Anne Rice

Favorite movie? Gone with the Wind

Romance or comedy? Romance

Favorite dessert? Cheesecake

Night owl or morning person? morning

Monday, March 24, 2014

Work In Progress. Slow Progress:)

Hi Everyone,

I haven't made much progress since last time I posted about this piece. Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes:).   

The kids and I are currently on Spring break in Charleston, SC. It was a long 2 day drive where We spent a lot of time looking at the back end of trucks. Lots of traffic, uggghhhhh. But we made it and hopefully in between doing stuff and visiting with my Mom, Step Dad and Grandma I will get some painting. I have some deadlines and commissions to finish before our big move to Japan. Speaking of our move we now have our plane tickets. Starting to feel real.  We are scheduling movers this week, agghh!  

Since we are moving and our computer will be caught up in shipping to Japan and I've gone Mac and won't go back we purchased our first Mac lap top. I love it and bought a cute red case to put it in. Have I mentioned red is my favorite color. 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Feature: Nicky Campbell

Friday Feature: Nicky Campbell

 Hi Everyone,

Today I have Nicky Campbell as my Friday Feature.  Nicky is a watercolor artist out of 
Johannesburg, South Africa.  I was struck by her interesting compositions and bold colors.
  I look forward to seeing her creative paintings in the future.

To see more of her work visit her facebook page.

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

I have painted and drawn since I can remember. I was fortunate to grow up in a family of artists, crafters
 and writers but when I got married and had children my paints were forgotten buried deep in a cupboard 
somewhere. A couple of years ago I started getting ill and eventually lost my vision completely. Thanks to
 the most amazing neuro-surgeon I came out of hospital with my vision but was unable to work anymore. 
I was at home with nothing to do and felt frustrated so I pulled out the paints that were buried deep in my
 cupboard and started painting. First I painted eyes because I had almost lost my vision then the people
 around me that I thought I would never be able to see again. I was hooked and haven’t stopped painting 
since. My paintings are a celebration of life and all the people I love in it!

Where were you born?
Johannesburg South Africa

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
Africa is my home, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world but I would love to travel and visit 
as many art museums and galleries as possible!

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
I love painting people more than any other subject .I love having someone’s personality come to life as
 paint them. Every face has a story to tell.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

I still have so much to learn so I haven’t got a set technique. With every painting I try a new technique that 
I’ve learnt from studying other artists .I do spend hours drawing because I believe it doesn’t matter how 
well you paint if your drawing is wrong your painting won’t work. Then I build up my paintings in layers
 of glazes. I am not a fan of masking fluid so I preserve whites by painting carefully and wet on to dry as 
I find I don’t have control when I paint wet onto wet.

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

My favorite paint is Winsor and newton.For portraits I mainly use Ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, burnt 
sienna and rose madder. My absolute favorite colour is ultramarine blue; I would quite happily do 
monochrome portraits with this colour.

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

That is a hard question to answer, I don’t think I have a favorite artist .At the moment my biggest
 inspiration is J.M.W Turner .His watercolours have amazing atmosphere and light .He continuously 
experimented which I think is the key to growing as an artist.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?

The biggest so far is being brave enough to make being an artist my day job.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
  1. exhibit my paintings
  2. sell my paintings
  3. Have a beautiful studio of my own
  4. Travel to Italy to paint
  5. Most of all to still be able to get up and paint every day.

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

Paint what you love. Learn all the rules and then be brave enough to break them. Paint or draw a little bit 
everyday and most of all have fun!

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

To not only practice painting but to study art history and learn from the masters.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate without a doubt !

Your dream vacation spot?

Italy , I have wanted to visit Italy and explore the amazing art history since I was little girl .

Book or movie?

Movie so I can paint while I watch

Favorite author?

Agatha Christie.Theres nothing better than curling up one of her crime novels and a cup of coffee.

Favorite movie?
Dirty Dancing

Romance or comedy?

Favorite dessert?
Chocolate Mousse.ALWAYS

Night owl or morning person?

Night owl definitely. My children refer to me as the one who roars in the morning !

Thank you so much Nicky:)

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Retro Pop" Work In Progress

"Retro Pop" Work in Progress  10" x 11" by Carrie Waller
I'm so excited about my newest work in progress with the working title of "Retro Pop".  I took a lot of photos during a sunny photo shoot last week and I'm just thrilled with the photos and can't wait to paint a series of these paintings.  I wanted to have the vintage bottles in a contemporary/pop art kind of style.  I know you can't tell a whole lot from the small amount that I have painted but I can't wait to paint my way through this one.  I will be sharing work in progress shots on my Facebook page so you can see updates there.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Feature: Lorraine Watry

"Shows Over" watercolor by Lorraine Watry
Hi Everyone,

Today I have an amazing artist as our Friday Feature, Lorraine Watry.   Lorraine's watercolor style, colorfully idealized realism, is often a surprise to viewers who think of watercolor as loose and soft.  She has been painting in watercolor for over 20 years and enjoys teaching and demonstrating her techniques.

To see more of her work check out her:
youtube channel

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?  

In about 5th or 6th grade classmates would tell me I was a good artist. So, from then on I drew more and more and decided to get a degree in art. I have a Bachelors in Fine Art from the University of Colorado and ended up doing computer clip art design for a couple years while we were in Dallas. After moving back to Colorado and starting a family I needed an art outlet, so I started taking watercolor classes. It has now been 20 years of working with watercolor and I still love it. I taught watercolor at the local community college for 2 ½ years and now I teach small classes at my home studio. I also have a watercolor blog and Youtube videos with over a ½ million views.

"Sonata for Horns" watercolor by Lorraine Watry
Where were you born?

I was born in Boise, Idaho, but when I was about 2 we moved to Denver, Colorado.

If you could live anywhere where would you live? 

I love Colorado and don’t want to live anywhere else.

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

My favorite thing to paint is reflections. I started with reflections in landscapes scenes with water, then moved on to paintings of waterlilies, and now I am excited to paint reflections in band instruments.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

I am a realistic painter, but not quite photo realistic. I like very detailed subject matter and I use a lot of bright colors. I always start with a very detailed drawing on paper that I then transfer to my watercolor paper using a light table. For most of my paintings, I use 140 lb. cold press, Arches, bright white paper that I stretch. I generally use my big #38 round brush for most of my painting before switching to a smaller brush for details. I prefer only transparent watercolor and have only a couple opaque colors on my palette. 

"Cool Blues" watercolor by Lorraine Watry
Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites? 

Yes, I use French Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt, Sap green, and Quinacridone Magenta a lot. My newest favorite color is Transparent Pyrrol Orange by Daniel Smith.

Do you have a favorite artist?  

Who has been your biggest inspiration? My favorite artist and inspiration is Claude Monet and my husband and I got to visit his home in Giverny, France a few years ago. 

What have been some of your crowning achievements? 

Some of my crowning achievements so far were receiving Signature Membership and the HK Holbein award in the 91st Annual NWS Exhibition in 2011. Also, I had a painting included in Splash 14: Light and Color in 2013.

"Stained Glass Water Lilies" watercolor by Lorraine Watry

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

1. I would like to have paintings accepted into American Watercolor Society and TWSA in order to become a Signature Member, receive awards, and start competing with the “Big Dogs” in watercolor.
2. I would like to start teaching workshops around the country and be asked to jury shows.
3. I would like to take a trip or two to other parts of the world with my husband.
4. I would like to see all three of my kids finished with college and happily working in their field.
5. Finally, I would like my paintings to be in several galleries and to have so many sales that I am kept very busy!

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career? 

Watercolor is an exciting, but sometimes exasperating medium. Give yourself time to learn all that it has to teach you. Taking workshops and classes from a variety of teachers is a good way to learn the medium and helpful in finding your own watercolor voice. Enter juried shows, start locally and then when you have had some success, start entering nationally. And lastly, paint what you know – if you feel a link to your subject it will show in the final painting. 

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

I think the best advice I received was to believe in myself and to keep painting. Becoming a “master” at your craft does not come overnight, it takes years of learning and practice. 

"Coasting" watercolor by Lorraine Watry

Chocolate or vanilla? Dark Chocolate always!

Your dream vacation spot?  All over Europe

Book or movie? Book 

Favorite author?  Jane Austen

Favorite movie? Singing in the Rain

Romance or comedy? Comedy

Favorite dessert?  7 Layer German Chocolate Torte

Night owl or morning person? Morning

Monday, March 10, 2014

Betty's Iris

Hi Everyone,
"Betty's Iris" 7" x 9" watercolor by Carrie Waller
"Betty's Iris" framed
"Betty's Iris" is my latest work.  It's a commission of sorts that my mother-in-law requested for my husband's Grandmother's birthday.  Last year she moved from her home of 60+ years  in Southern Illinois into an assisted living apartment in Baton Rouge, LA.  She is now only 5 minutes from my in-laws and she loves the social part of where she lives now.  She has adjusted well and flourished in her new environment.  The downside to assisted living is that she no longer has her gardens, however an upside to my mother-in-law who had become chief gardner even though she lived 8 hours away.  Irises are her favorite flower and this very iris is from a photo of her iris that I took a few years ago.  I'm so happy a little of her old garden will now be in her new apartment.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Vintage Appeal"

"Vintage Appeal" 18" x 24" watercolor by Carrie Waller

I'm finally finished. I have a couple tweaks to do but other than that I'm calling this one done. I started this painting during my workshop in February. I'm going to do a modified version for my upcoming workshop in Baton Rouge, LA in May.

We are in clean out and sort mode as we prepare to move to Japan. I can't believe it is already March even though looking outside it still looks like December. Time is flying by.