Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Feature: Kelly Eddington

"Self Portrait" original watercolor by Kelly Eddington
It's Friday again!  Is there any way we can slow down time, maybe double the month of December?  It is flying by and I am not ready folks.

This week I'm bringing you a new discovery of mine.  I found Kelly's work through Imagekind and fell in love with it immediately.  I found her on face book and  after chatting a bit I found out that Kelly and I share some common ground.  She lives in Illinois where I call home and her sister is an news anchor in the area that I went to high school and college, small world.  Anyway, Kelly's work is AMAZING!!!!!!  It speaks for itself.

If you would like to see more of her work check out her website and blog.

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

When I was four or five my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas. “A scribble pad.” That was a pad of 9”x12” newsprint that retailed for around a dollar. “What else?” she asked. I already had crayons, so I was legitimately stumped. Drawing was my favorite thing in the world along with playing in the pasture behind our house, where I made forts out of paneling scraps, looked for monarch caterpillars, and hid from the ponies. (My grandparents had ponies, strangely enough, and I think I kind of assumed everyone else did, too.)

My love of art continued during my years at school—I was the only one in my grade who found any real pleasure in it. Inspired by my dog Alex, I created a comic strip about a family of basset hounds that my small-town newspaper published. My drawing style evolved from child-art to realism when I was 13. I felt like some kind of veil had lifted and I could really see. My right hand and my brain became best friends, and suddenly I could draw whatever I wanted. I was an overachiever in high school, a mathlete, if you will, and I knew that one day I would have to choose between art and math.

During the summer between my junior and senior years, I wanted to paint. I had been exploring acrylic painting in my art classes, but the only paints we had in the house were a set of watercolors that belonged to my three year-old sister. I spent the summer painting with those sad little watercolors and their awful plastic brush on drawing paper so thin that it turned a translucent gray whenever I’d flood it with too much water. Even though this setup was less than ideal, I fell in love with watercolor, and once I got my hands on decent brushes, acceptable paint, and actual watercolor paper, it became so much easier. All thoughts of studying math in college went out the window.

I loved being an art major at Western Illinois University, and those years flew by. After completing four semesters of required courses, I was finally able to study watercolor, and I didn’t even have to think about it—I knew that this was officially my medium. After graduation I became a graduate student in art education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My father was a teacher, and my working-class background dictated that I would need to make a reliable living once I was on my own. Teaching art seemed like the way to go.

I taught art for seventeen years in two medium-sized Illinois public high schools. I didn’t marry until I was 39, and teaching allowed me to support myself and pursue my painting every summer. I spent the bulk of my twenties exploring abstract expressionism before returning to realism in my thirties.

Teaching at its best is the most fulfilling job imaginable, and I loved helping students discover talents they didn’t know they possessed. My first teaching position was wonderful, but after eleven years my job became increasingly difficult—classes loaded with forty students, no money for supplies. I accepted another teaching position at a different school, but its breakneck schedule and factory-like environment burned me out in a hurry. I found that I was jealous of my students. I wanted to be the one doing the projects. Teaching at its worst can be crushingly repetitive, and eventually I experienced “I shouldn’t be here” feelings every morning when I pulled into the parking lot. So two and a half years ago I took a giant step and quit teaching in order to pursue my painting full-time, and while I am no longer raking in that big fat teacher’s salary anymore and have to hustle for every dollar I make, I have never been happier in my life.
"The Graduates" original watercolor by Kelly Eddington
 Where were you born?

I was born in Iowa and spent my entire childhood in La Harpe, a small town in western Illinois.

If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

If I could magically transport my current, weird home in eastern Illinois, along with its stream and dozens of trees across the ocean—and also take my extended family, husband, and three cats along in a way that would stress-free for all involved—sure, I’ll live in Italy.
"Mabel" original watercolor by Kelly Eddington
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

Lately I’ve been obsessed with things that are wet, shiny, and/or complicated. For a while I was really into reflections on water. Now I’m crazy about jewelry. It’s also very satisfying to complete a portrait and watch a human being take shape under my brush—I like to say that it looks like the person I’m painting is slowly rising up from a vat of milk. Usually my portraits are very tight, so I tend to follow those up with a looser floral. I feel like I will never come close to painting everything I want to.
"Studio Assistant" original watercolor by Kelly Eddington
 Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

The majority of my paintings are watercolors in the 22”x30” range. They’re highly detailed and can take from a couple of weeks to over a month to finish. I work slowly, completing one section at a time. Nearly everything I paint begins with one or two layers of wet-into-wet paint, and once those areas dry (or not) I’ll glaze over them with additional flat washes and drybrush techniques. I use the smallest amount of water required and rarely flood my paper. I’ve avoided using masking fluid for over twenty years—I felt that to use it would violate this ludicrous old-school code of mine—but a couple of years ago I had no other choice and broke my rule. And now I love the stuff. I use it sparingly, but if you want to paint sparkly things, it’s the only way to go.
"Burano Glass" original watercolor by Kelly Eddington
 Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

Most of my watercolors are from Old Holland (tubes). Their cadmium red light is so beautiful I want to be it. I fill in Old Holland’s color gaps with other brands such as Windsor and Newton and Van Gogh. I’m crazy about W&N’s turquoise. And opera. Oh. That’s the most gorgeous hot pink, and it stuns me when I squeeze some out of the tube.

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

I was an art history minor, so I have so many, and I’m the crazy person in the museum who stands in front of paintings with tears running down her face. Artists who have made me weep include (in no particular order) Giotto, Masaccio, Rembrandt, Goya, Durer, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Hopper, Warhol, Vermeer, Picasso, Rothko, Bellini, and de Kooning.

But, and not to sound too precious about this, my biggest inspiration is nature. The colors and shapes I see in this most boring of landscapes blow my mind sometimes. Yesterday I gasped at a stubbly, harvested cornfield in afternoon light—that yellow-gold was stunning. Or swirly snow drifts by the side of a ditch after a blizzard: there is no better sculptor than the wind. Color combinations you see on birds, shapes created by wilting flowers…I feel like I must annoy my husband whenever we take a walk in the fall because I can’t see a red tree without pointing it out to him. It’s really kind of a problem.
"Glass Gems" original watercolor by Kelly Eddington
 What have been some of your crowning achievements?

I’ve had a great year: I’m now a signature member of the Illinois Watercolor Society, saw one of my paintings turned into a mural in downtown Urbana, won an online art competition put on by CaféPress, and received special awards in a couple of juried exhibitions. I’ve had two one-person shows over the past year and a half. A few months ago, I finished an insane wedding portrait that kept me busy all summer long.

I follow Roger Ebert on Twitter, and one time he tweeted that he always looks for books on film criticism in bookshelves in the backgrounds of movies, but he has never seen any. Coincidentally, I had just completed a portrait of a little girl named Mabel, and one of Roger’s books was on a shelf behind her. I brought this to his attention, and he’s blogged and tweeted about my work and has been a pen pal of mine ever since. We even sort of collaborated on my painting Abandoned Knowledge (he sent me a photo and said, “You should paint this,” so I did). I got to meet him last year, which was a thrill. He is unable to speak and communicates via a small notebook and pen now. He introduced me to one of his friends by writing the word “artist” on his notepad. And then he underlined it. And then my mind exploded.
"Planets and Foil" original watercolor by Kelly Eddington
 What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

I want to remain healthy and keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t take that for granted for a second. I’d like to have a few more one-person shows, maybe publish an article or two in watercolor magazines, and take on some high-profile portrait commissions. I also think it would be awesome if every “like” or positive comment on a Facebook post of mine would automatically translate into cash that would come spewing out of my laptop. How about a dollar per like, and five dollars per comment? Ten dollars per share!

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

Paint what you love and realize that you’ve got to put in lots of time no matter how talented you are. I’ve been painting for over 25 years and feel like I’m still improving. Challenge yourself and take on projects just to see if you can do them. Be prepared to deal with rejection and keep expectations low as far as competitions are concerned. Don’t get too down on yourself if you lose, but don’t get too thrilled if you win. Count on the fact that people who ask you to paint something might flake out at the last minute. Down-payments need to happen. That person you said you’d email? Email her today, not tomorrow. Social media will not lead to many direct sales, so don’t get discouraged; if you stick with it, it can provide a foundation that will lead to other opportunities. Let your audience get to know you as a living, breathing person with other interests beyond begging them to buy your work. If you like to write, create a blog. If you are like me and live in an area where the art scene is not exactly robust, online art galleries and printers like Imagekind can be your friend.
"Ruby Liberty Dragonfly" original watercolor by Kelly Eddington
 What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

I love this quote by Nick Cave.

"Inspiration is a word used by people who aren't really doing anything. I go into my office every day that I'm in Brighton and work. Whether I feel like it or not is irrelevant. Inspiration is nice, but if you only work when it strikes, you're going to be an unhappy artist. This is especially true if you want to earn a living at it; you don't hear about surgeons getting ‘surgeon's block’ or garbage men getting ‘garbage men's block.’  There are assuredly days when the surgeon doesn't want to be removing gall-bladders, but she does it anyway, because that's her job."

Chocolate or vanilla? chocolate

Your dream vacation spot? Venice/Murano/Burano (I’ve been there twice.)

Book or movie? Book

Favorite author? Vladimir Nabokov

Favorite movie? Pulp Fiction

Romance or comedy? Breaking Bad

Favorite dessert? This: (Malted crisp tart, from my blog)

Night owl or morning person? Morning.

Thanks Carrie! :D

Thank you so much Kelly:)

Happy Friday everyone1!!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday

Hi Everyone,

Everything is in progress.  I wish I could add some hours to the day or maybe extend December by about a month, how does that sound to you:))

I'm doing a larger version of a 6x6 I did for Randy Higbee's show.  This is 11 x 14 and rectangular.

This is the 6x6 "Summer Kaleidoscope" original watercolor by Carrie Waller  

My Christmas decorating is also a work in progress.  I'm beginning to think the pumpkins add a certain charm:))


Monday, November 26, 2012

The Race to Deadlines

The turkey coma is over, the family has departed and now it's PANIC time.  I must paint like a mad woman to meet my deadlines.

Over the Holiday not much painting happened, okay NO painting happened.

Instead of painting in the studio, there was pie making in the studio!!  Steven and cousin Rylie working on some pies.  Moose hoping to cash in on any crumbs dropped his way.

Sooooo in lieu of making pies I better get back to painting!!!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Feature: Sandra Busby

"Big Ted on Beethoven" by Sandra Busby
Hi Everyone,

I hope all my US friends have had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  While we're suffering from Turkey comas and have used our black Friday combat skills, I thought I would post Sandra Busby's feature.  All the way across the pond, where pumpkin pie is an odd sounding ritual.

I met Sandra through blogging:)  We became fast blogging buddies.  She is delightful.  Her spirit and fun come through in her blog and her art.  She has truly been on a journey and has come out on the other side painting her passion and it shows.

To see more of her work visit her blog

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

My friend and I used to draw all the time when we were little.
We’d make comic strips, draw people, make posters, collages... We would sometimes draw for hours!

Once I became a distracted teenager, my life took me in other directions and unfortunately, I didn’t pick up a pencil again until I was 35!
It was then that I realised how foolish I had been for not keeping it up.

A year later, armed only with the basic knowledge and an Artistic itch, I enrolled on an Arts Foundation Course, which I did from home. I completed it within a year and it was probably the best decision I’d ever made where my art is concerned. 

With a view to obtaining an Arts Degree I then enrolled on to the second year.
But unlike the foundation course, I soon began to feel stifled as though I was being held back rather than pushed forward.
I found it very difficult to paint subjects as dictated to me by the course and even harder trying to copy styles that didn’t come naturally to me.

After thinking long and hard about it, eventually I decided to withdraw from the course and that was probably the second best decisions I’d ever made where my art is concerned!
Free to paint as I liked, I began to discover how ‘Sandra Busby’ paints and quickly began to realise my own style.

Of course there are pro’s and cons to both going to Art College and being self-taught. Having done a little of both, I only know which suited me.

Where were you born?

I was born in the seaside town of Eastbourne, East Sussex on the South-East of England.
Now I live in a village just a few miles inland from there.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

Hmm… that’s a difficult question!
I’ve had all sorts of romantic ideas in my life of living in a country full of sunshine and culture. The bottom line is I would miss home. So, I choose to just visit other counties instead. I LOVE travelling! :0)

If I could live anywhere in England, as long as my family could come along too I would probably choose somewhere like Cornwall. It is one of the most beautiful parts of England situated on the tip of the South-west coast.
If I could live anywhere abroad and take my family, I would choose somewhere like New Zealand.

One thing I could never live too far away from is the Sea. Though it is 16 miles from where I live, I can still ‘feel’ it. Any further away and I immediately feel its absence. For some reason it just has to be close.
"Single Malt, No Ice" by Sandra Busby
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

I seem to go through phases. I love painting glass – in fact anything that catches the light. I particularly love to paint these things against a really dark background, which really emphasizes the lights.
More recently I have been drawn to painting in a more vintage style with subjects and medium to suit. I’m quite settled on it to be honest.
I tend to bore easily though and so every so often I might decide to do something completely different in an entirely different medium!

I almost always prefer to paint subjects that I feel some sort of connection too.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

Hmm… Okay – let’s talk about oils then, since that is the main medium I am working with at the moment.

So, I work in layers. Firstly, having stained my canvas with a dilute wash, I transfer my basic outlines to the canvas. Then, I will start with a monochrome under-painting. This establishes my darkest areas and allows me to see in advance if something’s not working.

Next, I work from background to foreground, beginning with my darks. This is where I try to make the most of lost edges. Sometimes I can get the effect I want in just one layer, but other times it needs several layers. Sometimes I need a layer to dry before I add the next and sometimes I work wet in wet, depending if I need to blend areas or not.

I try to work transparently as much as possible, i.e. without the use of white. I don’t know why – somehow I feel that the painting looks less ‘chalky’. Of course white has to come in to it in some areas, but because I don’t use it much, it really sings when I do use it.

So, the lights come next and then once the whole painting is dry I might add further glazes in certain areas to bring more depth of colour.
Finally, I add detail and the brightest highlights.

My best friends are Liquin, Glaze medium and my Fan Brush with I couldn’t do without!
"Sherlock Wilson" by Sandra Busby
 You seem to really enjoy your bear paintings, could you talk about the personal significance?

Well, who doesn’t love bears? ;0)
It all started with a list of things that I wrote, of things I wanted to paint. Bubbles, glasses, marbles…
On this list was my Dads teddy bear, which he had kept since he was four.
It was coming up to Fathers Day and I decided it would be a lovely idea to paint the bear in a portrait style as a gift to him.

Whilst I was thinking about it, I decided that it would be nice to paint the bear in a vintage style, like the Old Masters used to use to paint portraits. I suppose I thought that this style would suit the bear’s age.
So, I painted him against a really dark background with a third of him disappearing in to the gloom.

I fell in love with the style as I painted and so decided to paint a whole series, which is currently in progress. Each bear is painted in what I consider to be my own take on the vintage style, with a contemporary edge - and I just love surrounding them with interesting objects :0)

How did you arrive at your current style?

Well, having withdrawn from the course, I quite literally rebelled!

I had spent a couple of years being told to ‘lunge’ at the canvas, to ‘throw’ paint around... I was so sick of the word ‘loose, loose, LOOSE!
I had begun to feel that so much emphasis was being put on imagination and ‘looseness’, and so technical ability came a very poor second!

Don’t get me wrong – I love loose paintings. I mean, who doesn’t love the work of Jean Haines and Shirley Trevina? But, that is their style. Try as I might, it just doesn’t come naturally to me.

I began to feel that I was being urged to follow a fashion – a trend. We were all trying to follow something that someone else had started.
The way I see it, with that comes the danger of becoming lost amongst many Artists, all doing the same thing. Fair enough, if it does come naturally and it is who you are, then fabulous! You will stand out regardless! But I was most certainly one of those who were lost.

When I withdrew from the course, I began painting things from my list of things ‘I’ had wanted to paint in the way ‘I’ had wanted to paint them. I began with glass.
I loved the freedom of being able to paint as neatly as I liked.

From that moment I have never felt the need to loosen up. This was just something that I had been made to think I should feel as an Art Student.
By Sandra Busby
 Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Well, yes I do. Rolf Harris!

I suppose it is because he has been around since I was a child. He was a TV entertainer and he used to paint with a huge paint brush on a wall. His catch phrase was ‘Can you tell what it is yet?’  I was totally in awe of him.
Of course he does fine art too and more recently he did a lovely painting of the Queen.
Not just that though – he seems to be a lovely, genuinely good man – and oh, his lovely Australian voice!
He is in his 80’s now and is still going strong.

My favorite of the Old Masters is Monet. I just love his paintings :0)

As for who has been my inspiration, well I get inspiration from SO many people!
Of course I get it from my family who are constantly re-assuring me that I am good enough! But I also get masses of inspiration from the blogs I follow.
Often, if I am having a confidence melt-down or an unproductive week and I feel bad about that, I will find that several other people have posted on that very subject.

I have learned so much from other people’s blogs; we all seem to feel the same insecurities about our work from time to time. We all make mistakes and we all struggle with sharing work that is not our best. I have learned that it’s normal to feel this way, it is normal to make mistakes and that is what has stopped me from hanging up my apron.

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

Hmm… Well, music!
Though sometimes on a sunny day I can feel quite happy just listening to the birds singing, most of the time I listen to music. It keeps me painting for longer.
Also, I seem to be much more productive during the spring and summer. I always feel happier and more positive and of course the days are so much longer.

More recently, I have started to sketch at least one simple thing a day.
Because I can spend a long time on just one painting, it can sometimes be weeks before I pick up a pencil. So, I decided that this is a great way of stretching my creative muscles and exercising my drawing skills between paintings.
Honestly – now I have started this – I don’t know how I managed without it! I have suddenly woken up to how quickly we can become rusty and how important sketching actually is and I don’t intend to stop any time soon :0)

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

I like Winsor & Newton paints. I used to use cheaper brands thinking it really wouldn’t make any difference, but once I signed the contract with a Gallery, I thought it was only right to move on to a better quality paint.
Now I have tried them, I realise that there really is a difference (though not in all pigments). And though I might try an alternative brand of the same quality, I wouldn’t go back to using the cheaper paints. It is true – you do get what you pay for.
"Ted's Bear" by Sandra Busby
 What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

Hmm... well, some are big and some are more realistic – At least then in five years I can look back and see I have reached some of them! ;0)

Assuming you mean all art related things:

  1. To have a solo exhibition – HUGE dream :0)
  2. For my bears to be displayed on a Gallery wall and to sell! WOOHOO! :0D
  3. To enter a competition and not necessarily win, but to do well in it
  4. To fill up lots and lots of sketchbooks and lose the fear of sketching in public
  5. For my husband to strip out my art room and re-design it with me - HUGEST dream, lol ;0)

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

·                     First of all, don’t expect to be good right away. It’s like riding a bike – at first, you fall off! It takes lots of practice, so don’t get disheartened when you make a mistake. Just learn from it! I still make lots of mistakes and I still learn from them – as do even the most accomplished Artists. It took me a while to get that!
·                     Try to draw something simple every day. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can see an improvement of hand to eye-coordination!
·                     Never throw away old work. It’s a good way of judging your progress :0)
·                     And most importantly - NEVER see an unsuccessful painting or drawing as a failure – but rather as another valuable lesson learned. And most definitely don’t see it as a waste of time.
by Sandra Busby
 What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

Don’t be afraid of the dark! And by that I mean darks.
If your darks aren’t dark enough then your lights won’t sing. It’s interesting that the darker the darks, the lighter the painting can seem!
I used to be afraid to be bold, but paintings can too easily look wishy-washy without wonderful, rich shadows!

Oh, and sketch! Something I have only recently embraced :0)
"Codi" by Sandra Busby


Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla – YUM!!!

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?

Sunny beach! There is no place I’d rather be other than under the sea :0)

Book or movie?

Both – except I don’t get enough time to read, so it will generally have to be a film

Favorite author?

Helen Fielding and J K Rowling! I love comedy and I LOVE magic!

Favorite movie?

Bridget Jones – Hilarious! And what woman can’t relate?
Harry Potter – Just magical in every way!
Grease!!! Classic! And John Travolta is just gorgeous!!!

Romance or comedy?

Comedy – No contest!

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Haagan Daz Pecan Nut and Caramel. Mmmmmmmm…

Night owl or morning person?

Neither! I need my sleep!
But - I am trying my hardest to train myself in to becoming a morning person!

Cake or Cupcakes?

Either!! If it’s yummy, sweet and it’s likely to give me a heart attack, then YES PLEASE!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Winter and great news

"Winter" watercolor on 260lb Arches by Carrie Waller
Hi Everyone,

I'm a day delayed in my post because it's Thanksgiving break at our house and yesterday we took the day off:)  I'm so glad that the boys are home all week.  We also have family coming into town tomorrow.  We are excited at our house:)  Let the pie making commence!!!

I'm sharing my latest painting.  This is a painting of my Grandmother, which she will not be fond of because she'll want to know why she has trees coming out of her head, ha:)  I took this photo of her on our last visit before she moved out of her home of 60 years.  She was standing behind the storm door in her house coat bidding her farewells.  I titled it Winter because it is the Winter of her life and  the Winter of her time living at her home in Goreville, IL.  The trees in the reflection and snippets of the property that you can see are very reminiscent and have a lot of meaning for me.  Having said all that, painting portraits is not in my wheel house and I have a lot to learn.  What I wouldn't have given to have Crystal Cook over my shoulder during this process.

I also have some great news.  All 4 of my entries in to the Randy Higbee 6" Squared show have made the cut and are heading to Cal-i-forn-i-a.  If only I could go with them:))  I'm ecstatic to be participating in this show for the 3rd time.

Hope you all have a fabulous Turkey Day (for all my US friends).  For the rest of you, you just don't know what you're missing:))  I'll save you a plate, come on by!!!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Feature: Frank Eber

"Donaufahrt" original watercolor by Frank Eber
 Hi Everyone,  It's Friday again.  For all of us in the States we're getting ready for Turkey Day!!!  Today is another spectacular artist Mr. Frank Eber!  His work is amazing!  I'm going to share Frank's bio from his website.

  Frank Eber is a young, up-and-coming watercolor artist who paints uniquely fresh and atmospheric watercolors that possess a dreamy quality. He is known for his loose and magical plein air work. He is a Signature member of the National Watercolor Society and has won awards in many international shows. Frank's painting Dordogne River Valley View, 2011, was awarded the Alden Bryan Memorial Medal at the prestigious American Watercolor Society's 2012 Annual Exhibition in New York City, and is currently in the Travel Show. His work is featured in the October/November 2012 issue of International Artist magazine, the June 2012 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine, Splash 14: Light and Color! (North Light Books, 2013) and on the cover of the Palos Verdes Art Center Fall classes and Daniel Smith 2012 Summer catalogs.

Frank grew up in Europe and was mentored by Italian master painter Renato Casaro in the early '90s. His work is currently exhibited in local as well as national shows and he currently serves as the 2nd Vice President (Traveling Exhibit) on the board of the National Watercolor Society. His love of travel has given him prime opportunities to paint: he lived for two years in the south of France, and has painted on location in Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Frank is happily married and lives in Redondo Beach, California.

To see more of his work visit his website and blog
"Les Toits" original watercolor by Frank Eber
 How did you get your start?  What your artistic journey so far?

 My artistic journey began in early childhood. Drawing and painting was always part of my life. But I never pursued a carreer in fine art. Instead I became a professional illustrator in the field of video cover sleeve design in the early nineties. Later I pursued a career in Faux finishing. I haven't discovered watercolor until about ten year's ago.
Also in the nineties, I was fortunate to have studied with Renato Casaro in Munich. He is an Italian master painter who became famous in Europe for his painted movie posters. I did a painting apprenticeship and we worked both in oils and gouache. Other than that, I have no formal art training.

Where were you born?

I was born in Nuremberg, in the state of Bavaria, Germany - Albrecht Duerer is from the same city!

"Santa Cruz Church" original watercolor by Frank Eber
 If you could live anywhere where would you live?

I think I would move back to the south of France where I've lived for three years in the past. I might still do it!

 What is your favorite thing to paint?
 I can't decide! I like painting streets scenes plein air. It's such a formidable challenge and a great teacher! I love painting bucolic scenes with cows and farms, maybe because I grew up around them.

"Satrocesk Trdlo" original watercolor by Frank Eber
 Could you discuss your painting techniques?

 All my paintings are two or three wash paintings. I usually start with the sky and foreground establishing mood and value. I use big squirrel mops that hold lots of water. My paintings are painted loosely and with focus on an
atmospheric feel. I try not to have too many hard edges, so I paint mostly wet on wet and wet on damp.

 What are your go to paint colors?

 Go-to paints are definitely Cobalt blue, ultramarine violet, orange and turquoise, Daniel Smith is great, so is Holbein and Schmincke.
"Cow Pasture, Northern California" original watercolor by Frank Eber
 Do you have a favorite artist? Who are your painting inspirations?

Renato Casaro. Joseph Zbukvic is one of my biggest inspiration when it comes to watercolor painting. Also, Christopher St. Leger, Robert Wade and Charles Reid

What have been some of your crowning achievements?

"Three's A Crowd" original watercolor by Frank Eber
Winning one of the major awards at the American Watercolor Society in NYC this year. Becoming a signature member of the National Watercolor Society in 2010. Having a painting accepted at the Shanghai Biennial.
Being featured in both Watercolor Artist's magazine and International Artist without paying to be in there.

What five things would you love to see happen in the next five years?  Dream big here:)

I'd like to become a better painter. On the materialistic side: a *real* studio with lots of space. I'd like to become a household name in the watercolor world! That's dreaming big, right?
You said five, so I'll say the first sentence two more times! :) To me, that's the most important thing in the world!

"Total Concentration" original watercolor by Frank Eber
  What advice do you have for artists just getting their start?

Keep it real, work hard on your craft. Find a niche. Paint outstanding paintings and you'll get recognized. Compare yourself to the elite in your genre and brutaly, honestly assess where you are. Don't ask you family to critique your paintings.

"Vienna Calling" original watercolor by Frank Eber
 What has been the best advice you've received as an artist?

"Make it about the paintings, everything else is secondary"
"Wilder Ranch" original watercolor by Frank Eber
Speed Round:

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Dream vacation spot?
 New Zealand

Book or movie?
 book -

Favorite Author?
 Raymond Chandler

Favorite Movie?
 Run Lola Run

 Romance or Comedy

Favorite Dessert?
fresh goat cheese (in France)

Morning person or Night Owl?
night owl

Frank, Thank you so much!  Your work is oustanding!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Winter WIP and Gallery Goodness

Hi Everyone,
"Winter" work in progress original watercolor on paper y Carrie Waller
Today I'm sharing my most recent work in progress.  I can not believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us and Christmas is a blink away.  I have so much I HAVE to get done, including this painting and about 6 others not to mention we're going to Disney World in the middle of it all, aahhhh!  Oh well, wouldn't be the Holidays if it wasn't crazy busy.

So, say a prayer and cross your fingers that this portrait turns out well, as most of you will know, portraits are not my thing, but I happen to love the reference photo I took of this, sooooooo if it goes they way I hope it does it should be interesting.

Also wanted to share some fabulous news.  I joined a gallery in Little Rock, AR, this month and we just had the Fall show and it was tremendously successful!!!!!  It was a very crowded lively gallery on the night of the show and I sold 4 paintings and met some wonderful people.  I'm still on cloud 9!!!!!!!
My new gallery located at 5811 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock, AR
How cool is that:)
My corner
SOLD "Nostalgia" 37" x 24" original watercolor on paper by Carrie Waller
SOLD  "Candy Apple Red" 6"x6" original watercolor on paper by Carrie Waller
SOLD  "Glasgow Abby" 6"x6" original watercolor on paper by Carrie Waller
SOLD  "Let it Snow" 5"x7" original watercolor on paper by Carrie Waller

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Feature: Karen F. Rose

Alachua Blue original oil by Karen F. Rose

 Hi Everyone it's Friday, Wooooo Hooooo!!  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.  To send you off with some inspiration let I have the fabulous Karen F Rose as my feature today.   Her work speaks for itself.  She paints in oils and pastels.    Karen's work is influenced by the Tonalist artists of the late 19th and early 20th century, her paintings in oil and pastel reflect a search for a contemplative mood in the landscape and portrait.  To see more of her work visit her:

Facebook fan page- Karen F Rose Fine Art

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

Encouragement to draw and paint came from my parents. My dad always was drawing.
My parents both had a keen sense of observation.
When I was in grade school in Michigan a severe Ice storm, covered all the trees n thick crystal glaze and the early morning light made everything sparkle.
My father said, “Look closely because you will never see a sight like this again”.
And you know, I never have. I remember that moment,  like it was yesterday.
 I’d have to say, memory and drawing on that plays a huge role in the thought and inspiration in my paintings.
 “The Sentinel” which received a People’s Choice Award in the Women Painter’s of the Southeast 2012 exhibition is an example.  I had a distinct memory, a vision of tall stand of pine trees I saw before they were about to be bulldozed for a road project.
Art was not my major in college, I studied film and speech. Often I would story board illustrations for college film projects. Guess I have always wanted to be a storyteller in some way or another. I have always wanted to be the director.
I have been blessed to be encouraged by family, friends and gifted artists. Portrait artists John Howard Sanden and Daniel Greene, landscape, artists Deborah Paris and Terry Miura have been so inspiring.
Painting for me is a journey of self discovery. At first I hoped to render a subject accurately and now I hope to bring more to the painting, an elusive feeling and emotion that speaks beyond words..
 In the next few months I am preparing for a solo exhibit that will be at the Melrose Bay Art Gallery in Melrose, Florida January 12 to and February 24, 2013.

Cumulus Crescendo original pastel by Karen F. Rose

Where were you born?
 I was born in the Midwest but have lived on the East coast and now in Florida.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
 I think I can live just about anywhere except climate extremes. Don’t care for really hot humid temperatures so the tropics is out, and I have done my fair share of sub zero winter weather driving and snow shoveling. Wouldn’t we all love to live near a lake or the ocean?

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

While nature and realistic are my source. painting softly leads me to look for the poetic element, what is not seen but in reality is felt”. 
That’s kinda of sums it up. I tend to look for an emotional connection when I paint whether in a landscape or a portrait. A connection to a memory that strikes a chord for the viewer and I.
I have been told there is a “sense of vastness, mystery and spirituality present in my landscapes”.
I love to hear a collector say that.
The Sentinel original oil by Karen F. Rose

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  

I work in oil and pastel. Many of my oil paintings are done in an indirect manner. Creating an underpainting then developing the painting by layering on thin glazes of transparent oil paint, sometimes as many as 10 coats of glaze.
To have light actually pass through the paint layer similar to the effect of a stained glass window and then bounce back creates a luminous glow that I love.
But I am always experimenting.
We're Not in Kansas Anymore original pastel by Karen F. Rose

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
  In pastels I love the soft Terry Ludwig pastels. Especially his intense darks. I also cherish my Henri Roche pastels. The history behind them makes me use them very sparingly. I wrote my unbelievable experience of visiting the shop in my blog
In oil, gotta love the Gamblin transparent oils. And Vasari makes a wonderful color called shale.

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?
 Wow that is a difficult one to answer because I admire so many artists. One pastel artist I absolutely love is Maurice Quentin de la Tour. A French pastel artist (1704 to 1788). I had the good fortune to be “alone in the museum” with him. It was one of those “let me pinch myself to see if this is real moments”. Guess I better explain that huh?
 The print room of pastels at the Louvre is not always open to the public. My good fortune was first of all to even be in Paris, to be at the Louvre AND to be there on a day the print room is open.  It’s a small room far from the maddening crowd of tourists. I was the only person in the room except for these amazing people from the past. The portraits were alive, fresh as the day they were painted...just breathtaking.
 I have been so blessed to be encouraged by my husband, family and friends. And in the last two years listening to Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry in their workshops and on AHA radio has been a real joy. The idea of using social media to let people be aware of your work to see your art and to purchase your work direct from your website is a real eye opener for any artist.
In Garden Shadows original by Karen F. Rose
            What have been some of your crowning achievements?
Well I have been honored to receive awards for my paintings but what really pleases me the appreciation of a collector. To hear, “This painting is the nicest gift I have ever received. I cherish it” For me, it doesn’t get much better than that.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
            Start a program nationwide that puts art in hospital waiting rooms. 
            Have a behind the scenes tour of at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
            Spend a month or longer in France painting and sightseeing.
            Spend quality time with family and friends
            OK this where I can say win the Boston Marathon, become a champion downhill skier and a gourmet cook all in the same week?
Mimic original by Karen F. Rose
 What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
 Ask yourself  “What am I trying to say...? What attracted me to this painting idea.
Really think about that before you put the first stroke on the canvas. Then have fun with it.
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
Thumbnails, thumbnails,  thumbnails...if it doesn’t work small will never work on a large canvas.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Your dream vacation spot?
Book or movie?
Favorite author/book?
            Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Favorite movie?
            It’s a Wonderful Life
Romance or comedy?
Favorite dessert?
            creme brulee with fresh berries

Night owl or morning person?
            Morning, morning, morning  5 am

Thank you so much Karen and best of luck with your solo show:)