Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Blogger: Rhonda Carpenter

Carol Carter (left) and Rhonda Carpenter (right)
 Hi Everyone,

Today I'm having my first guest blogger:))  The wonderfully talented R.H. Carpenter is going to give us her take on Carol Carter's workshop. Rhonda and I have been blogging buddies for a while and coincidentally ended up in the same workshop.  It's was so great to meet her in person.

R.H. (Rhonda) Carpenter is a watercolorist who picked up her brushes 9 years ago and has not stopped painting since.  She has had work accepted in juried shows at the Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Art Club Viewpoint, the Fitton Art Center, and the Middletown (OH) Art Center.  She has also shown her work in member shows of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society and the Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati.  She is the Program Chairperson for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, and is currently working in a series of female figures and crows.  Crows often show up in Rhonda’s paintings.  Having these interesting and intelligent birds as totem animals teach her about transformation as an artist and a woman.

Rhonda shares my passion for watercolor and does beautiful, symbolic paintings.  To see her works check out her blog.

*Working with Carol Carter, watercolorist extraordinaire!*

Taking a 3-day watercolor workshop with St. Louis watercolor artist, Carol Carter, was like having a bright burst of summer colors on a grey winter day.  The workshop was hosted by the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts (Mount Vernon, IL), and the 90-acre grounds of the Center were an additional delight.

Carol’s style of painting in watercolors can only be described as colorful, and she freely shared the way she paints every day in her studio.  She began the first day with a demo of her very wet-in-wet style of painting.  She always prewets her paper, allowing the paint to flow into the wet paper.  This is beautiful to watch, if you love watercolor.

Carol stressed that her use of placing pure colors against pure colors are what gives her paintings a special zing. She also uses a limited palette, never using more than 6 pigments in one painting, tying the painting together with a unifying color which she spreads throughout the painting.  She gets real pop in her paintings from pairing pure complementary colors against each other (like Cadmium Orange against Cobalt Turquoise Light).  She also works from the background to the foreground, saving that Center of Interest/Focal Point for last - a sort of delayed gratification in your painting!  Why begin with the background?  Because, as Carol said, “There is no point in manipulating your subject and then trying to put it into an environment later.”
Carol's demo

After we did a small exercise of painting orbs and shaping them using just three colors, we began a real painting of very colorful pears.  Using just two colors (Quinacridone Burnt Orange and French Ultramarine Blue), Carol painted in the background, letting the two colors run together and blend naturally on the wet paper.  Wherever the QBO and the FUB ran together, a beautiful, soft grey was created.

While she painted, Carol talked about her process and how important it is to her to send a message with her paintings, not just paint a technically correct or pretty picture. Many of her paintings are autobiographical, relating to something happening in her life and her self-portraits are her favorite things to do.

What we took away from Day One was to remember that pure colors make the paintings glow.  We should keep them as pure as possible by working wet-into-wet and darkening the values by adding more of the same colors to mold the shape; then we should watch the paint application as it dries so you are there to correct anything happening that you don't want.  Carol’s style of painting is famous for color but it’s really all about technique and control:  when to know to control it and when to let the colors do their own thing.
Carol's demo
For Day Two, we used a more realistic palette of colors and painted florals, either following her magnolia painting demo or painting a floral of our own. 

Carol said imagery is so important and it’s best to paint what you love because your love will show through.  “If you don’t love to paint it, I won’t love to see it!” 

Although she used to be against using a resist of any kind, Carol now uses Incredible White Masking fluid occasionally.  Often she uses it to get a sparkling look in an abstracted background.  However, she thinks pure white paper for the sparkle is too distracting, so she tones the whites down before masking by painting them with pale Shadow Violet and then masking over that when it’s dry.  When the masking fluid is off, the touch of color still looks white but is better integrated into the rest of the painting.

Again, her basic technique is to prewet the paper.  Carol prewet the background after the “whites” were masked out.  Then she used Aureolin to paint graphic lines around the leaves and petals of the flower.  She likes the hard edged element this adds to a painting.  She then began dropping in color in the wet background areas, using a Quinacridone Burnt Orange as the base color over everything in the background except the Shadow Violet area (which was still masked off).  Next came Shadow Green in some areas and Winsor Newton Green (Yellow Shade) in areas.  She varied the shapes and values throughout the background and said you can “knit” areas together by lifting with a dry brush, then merging the colors if you get hard edges in the background that you don’t like.

In her painting of a magnolia, Carol shifted color from dark to light:  a dark background; hugging the boundaries to keep the eye in the painting; Shadow Green to darken places a lot; lighter leaves and petals of the flower.

After the background and foreground around the flower and leaves were done and dry, Carol began with the secondary leaves under the flower, leaving the focal point/center of interest last.  This time, she was working on smaller areas, so she prewet just the space she was working in, no more.  For the leaf shapes, Carol used Aureolin and Quinacridone Burnt Orange with some secondary stems in Quin Burnt Orange and some Lavender.

To have lighter leaves, Carol used Aureolin as the base color on some of the leaves and then added Lavender to shape the shadows and curves of the leaves.  For browner leaves, she used a Quin Burnt Orange base and Shadow Green to shape the shadows and curves.  This has to be a gentle transition.  Carol said you don’t want to let the dark shapes become “wormy looking” so soften and work while the area is still wet.

Carol said, “If you can’t give me a leaf, at least give me a beautiful watercolor shape.”

At the outer edges of the leaves, she cut in with Winsor Newton Green (YS), using lots of water so the shape stays wet and you can manipulate it before it dries but working with a smaller round brush that the round with which she started.

Carol used an acrylic square of deep red as a value checker.  She would hold it up to her eye, looking through it at her painting to check that she was getting good value changes throughout the painting.  This red square took all the color out of the painting, giving you just the values to judge.

Finally, Carol began painting the petals behind the main focal petal, again prewetting the area inside the petal.  Carol said to make sure to wash those greens out of your brushes!!  She is a stickler for clean water, clean brushes and clean, pure pigment, using 3 buckets of water and 3 different brushes when working with 3 colors in her painting.  Carol floated in very pale Quin Burnt Orange, leaving some white areas in the petal.  She then shaped the petal’s curves with Lavender.  Lavender is a very strong pigment, so she used a tiny round brush to work around the outer edge of the petal and to shape the curves inside.  Doing each petal, she finally came to the focal point/center of interest part of the painting.

We each did our own versions, working as Carol did, from background to foreground with a limited palette, trying to get that wet and loose and beautifully flowing look she gets in her paintings.
Carol's demo
On Day Three, we did what Carol calls her Glaze and Silhouette technique.  We each used our own photo for our painting while Carol painted two cows, showing us how it’s done.

First, she taped inside the main subject with masking tape; then used masking fluid to go around the edges, making sure all of the main subject was covered.  She then put masking fluid over the whole subject, covering the tape, too; she wanted to make sure it was completely covered so no lines bled through the masking tape. 

Once the masking fluid was dry, Carol prewet the background.  While the paper was still wet, she began a gradated wash in Cadmium Orange, starting in the center of the painting with pale color and moving up to the top of the painting with darker color, leaving the bottom of the paper without color.  She used a 2 inch wash brush to get the best, smoothest coverage. 

Next, Horizon Blue and Lavender was painted in under the cows to create nice shadow shapes.  She left some white areas showing so the Blue and Lavender did not bleed into each other.

With the paper dry and the masking tape and fluid removed, Carol began painting the first cow as a single subject.  She wet inside the cow except where she wanted to leave whites to help shape it; then she put in pale Quin Burnt Orange as the base color.  The QBO flows inside everywhere but the dry areas you left for the whites.  While wet, Carol added darker value at the top of the cow by painting in Mineral Violet at the top, gradating to Alizarin Crimson down the shanks and toward the legs. Finally, she painted in Cadmium Orange in the legs and did the hooves in a bright Cadmium Scarlet!  She wanted the cow to be cooler at the top and warmer at the bottom, in contrast with the background, which was warmer at the top and cooler at the bottom.  It made her cows look radioactive!!  But so much fun to play with this much intense color.

Finishing the workshop with crazy, radioactive cows was a fun way to end the time spent with Carol.  I think all of us went home with a better understanding and love for color; maybe we’ll even be more colorful and loose in our own paintings!

For more information about Carol Carter and to see her work, visit her blog at

For more information about me, R.H. Carpenter, and to see my work, visit my blog at

And thanks, Carrie, for asking me to be guest blogger today!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Carol Carter Experience :)

Carol Carter and I
Hi Everyone,

I'm hoping you all had a wonderful weekend.  I'm up late blogging because I just had to watch the Oscar's.  Sadly I have not seen the Best Picture (it was only in our are for 1 week) so I hope to see it soon. 

Today I wanted to share my experience at the Carol Carter workshop.  I've been a long time fan of Carol's.  In fact when I first got back into painting I googled watercolor artists and she was one of the first to pop up.  Her work was so amazing I was immediately hooked and vowed that if she did a workshop in the St. Louis area (where she resides and I have family) that I would go.  So I was thrilled when a workshop came available in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
Carol in action

Carol and I have been fb friends for a while but I couldn't wait to meet her in person.  I was not disappointed. Carol is genuine, masterful and gracious.  I enjoyed getting to spend time with her and the rest of the artists in the workshop.  It was one of those times when you realize you're where you are supposed to be:) 
group crit
Carol's workshop is also one of the best I have been to.  She has taught college and you can tell.  She is organized her demos are fantastic, she gives ample painting time and instruction and we ended each day with a crit of each others work.  I learned so much about how Carol paints.  She tries to get her paintings done in one wash starting with the background and working her way to the focal point of the painting.  We even got to witness her creating those magnificent blooms.  She paints on towels and tries to paint in wet conditions.  Her favorite time to paint is when it's raining.  Her painting technique is a balancing act where she utilizes very wet washes and monitors her drying time while feeding her washes pigment to get her great saturated colors.  Truly amazing to watch her in action.  I highly recommend a workshop with Carol.  I've taken away a new way of thinking about watercolor.  Aside from that I've gained a friend and mentor.

We were also very lucky because Carol lives so close she brought a lot of her work with her to share with everyone. 

I also met some fabulous people in the workshop.  Long time blogging buddy Rhonda Carpenter was in attendance.  It was great to meet her in person.  Rhonda's going to be guest blogging soon:)  I also made a new friend Amy Woods.  Isn't great when you meet someone and click immediately! 

Rhonda Carpenter and I
Amy and I   

See you on Wednesday,


Friday, February 24, 2012

Exhausted in Alabama

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to touch base and let you know why I've been MIA:))  I've been on a whirlwind trip with my 2 little boys.  We traveled to Illinois so that I could attend a Carol Carter workshop--I will be blogging about this on Monday--it was beyond fabulous!!  I'm inspired, invigorated and can't wait to get back to painting.  We then made an unexpected detour to Little Rock, Arkansas to check out a fabulous house!  We are in the process of renting the home--the Air Force is sending us there this Summer.  I am really excited about this house because it has more than enough room for a studio.  I can hardly wait!!!!!  We then made our way back to Alabama.  My car had a few problems so I spent the majority of the day at the mechanics on our way home, but we made it!

I'm counting down the days until my hubby gets back from Afghanistan, we're down in the double digits, whooo hoooo!!!!!  I'm trying to get the house we're living in ready for viewing for new renters, trying to get ready to move, oh yeah I guess I should unpack, get the swimming pool to not look sooooo green, weed the gardens, clean up the winter cob webs on the back porch and get ready for a small art show in March----NO BIGGIE:)))

I'll be back Monday with a regularly scheduled post.  I am sooooooo far behind in visiting your blogs, please forgive me--this single parent thing is no joke!  Did I mention the 60 cupcakes I made before we left for our trip for the kids school Valentine party (which one Mom had the nerve to ask me if I bought at Wal-Mart because she couldn't figure out how I got the icing to look so perfect)--Seriously!!!!! and the heart shaped crayons we made for everyone's Valentine.  I'm trying hard to be the best Mom/Wife/Artist I can be.  So bare with me folks, I'll be back to your blogs, I have been reading them just haven't had time to comment!!  I miss you guys:(  And I thank you for all of your comments!  You guys rock!!!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Feature: Prabal Mallick

Hi Everyone,

I met Prabal Mallick through blogging.  He is a self-taught watercolor artist living in  Bangalore, Karnataka, India.  His works are beautiful and always take me away to his exotic locale.  He paints fantastic landscapes in his own unique style with amazing atmospheric perspective .  I always look forward to checking out what he's up to next.

Check out his blog here 
Untitled by Prabal Mallick watercolor 22 x 30
How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

Carrie, first of all it is a great pleasure being interviewed by you. Thank you.
I was drawing as early as I can remember. My father is a musician and he encouraged me a lot in my childhood. Then in high school my teachers and friends thought I was good at painting and I got a lot of encouragement there too. I had two wonderful art teachers who guided me there. But art was never a serious thing for me that time. Then I went on to do my engineering and painting took a back seat.  After engineering I got back to painting, but somehow the relationship was not working anymore. By the way I had been doing oils all this time. Then about four years back by some random coincidence I came across watercolor works of some wonderful artists and the rest as they say is history.

Where were you born?

I was born in Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha in eastern part of India.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

Somebody said, “its not the place, but the company that matters.” But yes I wont mind a secluded village somewhere in Goa. J
"Chilika Stills" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

No points for guessing this. Landscapes it is. Especially the country side. Nature’s beauty has never fails to inspire.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

I try to break up a painting into major washes. This part is very important for me because I do not glaze over a lot. Then come the smaller washes. And finally it is about making statement with minimal brush strokes. And yes I also rely on watercolor to paint itself like most watercolor painters.

I love all of your landscapes.  Do you paint from sketches, life, or photos or some combo?  Could you expand on this?

Thank you Carrie. It is great to know that. I love painting outdoors the most. But it is not always possible. So in that case I work from sketches done on location. In case of photographs too I make sketches first and then I work from the sketch.
"Chilica Stills III" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x22
How did you arrive at your current style?

I think 90% of the style comes from the personality of the artist. It is always there. The rest 10% which is about the skill set and outlook keeps changing with time. But this 10% is actually very important and one needs to keep working on it for the 90% to present itself clearly. I think I have just started working on that 10% and it will take some good time for my style to get defined on paper.

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

Oh there are many. Van Gogh is my all time favorite artist. Among contemporary watercolor artists Milind Mulick, Charles Reid, Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet are my favorite to name a few. Milind sir’s paintings were the reason I got inspired to do watercolors.
"Plein Air Museum" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 11
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?

To have faith….. When you decide to embark on an artistic journey, you are telling yourself that this will be a never ending and lonely journey which will keep testing you all the time. And the only thing that will carry you ahead on your path is faith.
"Plein Air Tipu's Summer Palace" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
Do you have go-to paints/colors and brands, what are your favorites?

In brands there are no favorites as such. I use an Indian brand called Camel. I am quite used to it by now. In colors I use 3-4 varieties of primaries. And in secondaries I have an orange, a magenta and two greens.

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

In no particular order
  1. Get much more painting time
  2. Study under my favorite artists
  3. Go on a painting world tour
  4. Grow as a person
  5. Improve my skills at least a 100 times over
"Plein Air Lalbaugh Flower Show" by Prabal Mallick 15 x11
What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

An artist’s journey has no destination. It is the journey that has to be enjoyed. There is no alternative to practice, which will improve the quality of this journey. Keep reflecting to check whether the direction is your own. And most importantly have faith.
"Plein Air Ulsoor Lake" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 11
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

This probably is the simplest, but most profound words of advice I received.

“In art no one else can solve one’s problems. One has to find the solutions oneself. One has to find one’s own path. That is when a painter can become an artist. So just keep at it.”

"Princess Khairi" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
Chocolate or vanilla?


Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?

Hmmmmmmmm.. I think mountain retreat wins with a very small margin out here..

Book or movie?


Favorite author?

Devdutt Pattnaik

Favorite movie?

‘Leaving Home, life and times of Indian Ocean’, ‘Lord of the rings series’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘Andaaz Apna Apna’
Romance or comedy?


Favorite ice cream flavor?

Mango, Black currant

Night owl or morning person?

Strictly none. But I love to get up and see sunrise, though I don’t do it.

Cake or Cupcakes?

I love cakes. So both.

Prabal thank you so much for your interview.  I love his answer to the best advice for an artist.  Very insightful:)

I may or may not have a post up on Monday.  I'm going to a Carol Cater workshop.  But I sure will fill you in as soon as I can:)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love Letters

Hi Everyone,
"Love Letters" watercolor on paper by Carrie Waller 12" x 12"
This week's painting is the answer to the February Cook/Waller challenge.  The theme was "love letters", appropriate for Valentine's Day!  My painting may be a bit unconventional.  The "love letters" in my still life are from my husband to his little boys.  The photo in this still life is from the day that Brian left for his deployment.  I'm so glad I captured this moment.  Any time I looked at this photo during the first month Brian was gone I cried.  I'm very proud of my hubby sending is boys a letter, letter writing is not a strong suit of his:)  The glass globe is positioned to Afghanistan, and one of my favorite parts of the painting are the reflections of the star on the chrome airplane.  When I was drawing the composition, I was so caught up in capturing the shapes, I didn't even realize that the stars where there, a happy little revelation that came through as I was painting.  Painting this piece was a therapeutic experience, I was able to finish in one day, it really flowed quickly and I was focused the entire time. 

On a funny note, I set this still life up in my dining room, which has the perfect window for capturing afternoon sun.  I set it up and was waiting for the perfect light.  I sporadically would check to see if the light was right throughout the afternoon.  I know after setting up many a still life that around 4 p.m. this time of year is when the sun comes pouring through my window.  So about that time I went into the dining room and noticed something white billowing from my still life.  It took my brain a minute to process what was going on.  The glass globe was acting as a magnifying glass and when the sun hit just right the flag started smoking.  The thought never crossed my mind that I might burn my house down setting up a still life.  I'm so glad that I was right there when it started to catch fire!!!  So during the process of trying to capture a heart-warming, patriotic moment, I did the most un-patriotic action, tried to burn a flag.  Happy to report that the damage to the flag minimal, I don't think I'm in danger of imprisonment:) 

"Love Letters For Mom" watercolor by Crystal Cook 6"x6"
Visit her blog here:)

Here is Crystal's brilliant answer to the Cook/Waller challenge.  There is such a wonderful and emotional moment captured in this painting!  I just love her warm, glowing, beautiful colors.  The way Crystal manages to capture the pure joy a mother has for her children is amazing!  I just marvel at her paintings:)  Pure and simple, she's awesome!!!!

See you Wednesday,


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Feature: Thomas Schaller

Thomas Schaller
Hi Everyone,

I'm Back!!!  Thanks to everyone that contacted me to check on us, we are all feeling better and almost back to 100%

So I told you the next Friday Feature was a good one, and I'm making good on my promise.  Today I'm featuring none other than Thomas Schaller:))))  I have to admit I was intimidated to contact Tom.  He is on the cover of every art magazine right now.  He's a bit of a rock star in the watercolor community.  Not only are his works masterful but he is the nicest guy!!  Any time I've contacted Tom he has been helpful and gracious, the whole package.  I hope someday to meet him in person:)  So without further ado here is his feature!!!

To see more of his work visit his website and blog.
"From Granville Island-Vancouver" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 30 x 22

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

Drawing was almost all I did as a kid . -it was where I found my peace, excitement, heart and soul. … My dream since about the age of 6 was to become an artist and an architect and live in New York City.  I’ve been very fortunate in being able to have made that happen
"Summer Storm-Portage County Ohio" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 24 x 17
 Where were you born?

On a farm in  Ohio

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

I love living in Venice, and can imagine myself in many places, but my heart will always be in New York City
"Construction Site - Los Angeles" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 30 x 22
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

The light at the intersection of the architecture of man and the architecture of nature. For me - this is where most all the questions worth painting are asked.
"Windsor Castle" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 15 x 22
 In addition to your masterful paintings you do fantastic Architectural renderings. Which came first? How did you end up in that field?

My interests in fine art and in architecture developed simultaneously. In university I majored in both.  After graduation, I felt I had to chose one path or the other – I was a practicing architect for several years, then an architectural artist for 20 more.  It has only been in recent years (the past 3)  that these two sides of my creative self – right and left brain I suppose – began to merge into a cohesive creative vision.  I suppose I always loved the ideas – the images  - of architecture at least as much as “real” buildings.  And now, I am happy to live in the realities of painting.    

Do you work from a sketch or do you use photo references?

I never go anywhere without my sketchbook. Nothing compares to on site-observation and on-site painting if possible.  About 2/3s of my work is studio-based, but even in these cases, I am always informed by sketches done on site.  These are often supplemented with photo reference that I take as well.
"Carousel Central Park" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 24 x 18
 How did you arrive at your current style?

Like all artists, my “style” is never a fixed and static thing – but always in a state of evolution.  Of late, I am dedicated to editing and simplification – painting much larger and faster – always trying to tell the story of my painting is as direct and immediate way as possible. As an architectural artist trained in the formal Beaux-Arts traditions of slow, methodical washes, and precise details, I have longed to break free and find a more personal, more expressive and intuitive way of telling the stories of my paintings.  Three years ago, when I was fortunate to be able to paint with Joseph Zbukvic, I began at long last to understand some ways that I might get closer to that goal.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?
All paintings have a story to tell. These days, for me those stories are always ones where “light” is the star.  In my teaching. I emphasize to students the importance of strong compositions of darks and lights – finding the “light paths” in a painting.   Also, I stress the importance of trying not to paint the object or scene that you see, but rather how you feel about that object or scene; and more importantly, the light that illuminates them.
    Having a clear idea of the light in a final work is critical for the painter even before a brush ever touches paper.  Doing quick value sketches is one way to identify these areas of light.  And since watercolor can be seen as a “subtractive” technique (that is, the only real white or light in a painting comes from the white of the paper ) so  every value or tone added subtracts from the available  light available to the artist.  
    So to that end, my techniques have skewed more toward the impressionistic, atmospheric and evocative.  Combinations and ranges  – within the same painting – of very loose wet-in-wet techniques to almost opaque dry brush applications help amplify the dynamic and expressive range of any painting.

"Royal Crescent - Bath England" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 30 x 22
 Do you have a favorite artist? Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Oh gosh – so many – and in so many creative fields. In painting, the abstract expressionists, Rothko and Motherwell tell such evocative stories that challenge the viewer to get lost in and unravel the mystery of their work.  Of course, Turner’s use of mystical light is always so powerfully moving.  The watercolorists Sargent, Seago, Cotman, Wade, Castagnet, and Zbukvic are key.  And the powerful value compositions and emotive light of architectural artist Hugh Ferriss are worth the investigative time of any artist.  But almost  as important to the development of my work are the composers  Ralph Vaughn Williams  and Arvo Part.
"Day at the Beach" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 22 x 15
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?

As the two sides of my creative self began to merge, I began to realize that anything we do informs to some degree everything we do. My efforts as a painter are deeply affected by all aspects of my life: the love of my family and friends, my dog, riding my racing bike down the coast, yoga, the New York Times crossword puzzle, reading a great book, watching good (and bad) movies, and music music music,

"Greek Steps" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 12 x 9

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

Lately, I prefer Holbein pigments . But I also use a few Windsor Newton and Daniel Smith colors.  I tend to avoid the intense, staining colors such as Windsor greens or blues in favor of more sediment-based, earthy tones.

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

Well, I try to be open to the unknown possibilities that life offers and to not to plan my life in that way. But I am so grateful for every day that I can paint, I hope that life offers me at least five more years to explore my possibilities as a painter.    

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

Find your passion and follow it relentlessly. If it is to be a painter – then paint!
"Manhattan Beach Pier" watercolor by Thomas Schaller 30 x 22

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

“Just paint. All the rest will take care of itself” Joseph Zbukvic


Chocolate or vanilla?

Anything but vanilla

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?
Neither – give me Piazza Navona or Central Park

Book or movie?

Apples and oranges – must have both

Favorite author?

Kazuo Ishiguro, Don DeLillo, E.M. Forster, Margaret Atwood

Favorite movie?

North by Northwest, The Heiress, The Third Man

Romance or comedy?

“Action “   of course

Favorite ice cream flavor?

No thanks

Night owl or morning person?

The nighttime is the right time! I have a fundamental mistrust of self-describing  “morning people”

Cake or Cupcakes?

Blackberry Pie

Thank you so much Tom:))   Such a great interview!  I had the hardest time picking images out to post with this interview, it was kind of like a kid in the candy store, I just wanted to post them all.


Friday, February 3, 2012

The Plague

Hi Everyone,
The Plague of Ashdod by Nicolas Poussin
The plague has struck the Waller house so I'm afraid this weeks Friday Feature will be postponed until next Friday.  But I promise you it's a good one.

Until then here are the links to some of the past Friday Features

James Green
Barbara Davis
Anne Harwell (Annechovie)
Dorrie Rifkin
2011 Friday Features

Until Monday:)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Video Problems

 Hi Everyone,

This week I've been trying to figure out how to get a professional looking video of my work in progresses.  I'm aware that if I had a mac that there is a good movie making program, but I don't own a mac yet.  Until then I've been researching.  I've barely begun to scratch the surface, but most on-line programs are a little pricey.  I made the above video through animoto.  I paid for the smaller package which was $30 a year.  They are very professional looking but unless you dish out $250 a year you have a lot branding showing up.  They do offer $39.99 a month, but I was worried that it could be a nightmare canceling after 1 month.  I may have to try it and see how it goes.  The most expensive package offers no branding and access to all their templates and music.

 Above is another version of the same video.  I don't like that you can't change the speed at which the pics are on the screen, at least not that I have found.  Since I wasn't thrilled with the branding or the speed I tried other alternatives.  Through the you tube page they have links to several services, but without paying for another program I couldn't find any free options.  Does anyone know of any?

I did find a royalty free music site.  It's a library of music that can be used, there is no charge they do have a donation box if you choose to do so.  It's  a lot of classical and instrumental, which I think is perfect for artistic needs. The site is called Musopen

Trying to get my blog posted today I ran into several problems trying to get my animoto video to post.  I never could get it to upload to you tube.  I finally got it on my blog after multiple attempts.  I did get my video to post to facebook with minimal problems.  There has to be an easier way!

I would love to hear your input.  Help, please:))