Monday, December 30, 2013


"Skyy" orignal watercolor by Carrie Waller 30" x 20" on Arches 260lb paper
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Holidays!  I can not believe that 2014 is knocking on our door.  2014 is already starting off with a lot of change for us.  It will be an interesting year.

Here is my newest painting "Skyy".  I painted this for my mother and father in-law.  They just celebrated their 40th anniversary.  I decided to paint a large painting for them for a combines anniversary/Christmas present.  I got delayed in starting the painting because our whole family came down with the plague right before Christmas!  So I had 6 days to finish this painting.  I paint slowly so I was pushing it.  I had a conversation with my 7 year old, hoping he would give me a nice little pep talk and assure me that I could get it done in time but the conversation went more like this, Me-"Steven do you think I will get this done in time?" Steven-"Well, Mom you have 6 days and I've seen it take you 2 weeks to get a painting that size done.  And you're not even done with the drawing, so, no, I don't think you'll get it done in time."  But even with my critic I managed to finish just in the nick of time:)

I named this one "Skyy" because most of the bottles in the painting are Skyy vodka bottles.  My in-laws had been collecting blue bottles for me.  When it came timer to set this up I thought boy they went through a lot of vodka.  But as I was cleaning all of the bottles I started seeing permanent marker notations on the bottles and remembered that these had been confiscated from the dorms at the University where my father-in-law works.  So I have a bunch of alcoholic college students to thanks for the subject matter:)

I saw on Annie Salness' blog that she shares what she's listening to while she paints so I'm borrowing that idea because she introduced me to a new podcast that I love, so I thought I would share with the class what I was listening to and watching while painting this painting.  Podcasts--Artists Helping Artsits, Alec Baldwin's, Here's the Thing.  Movies-  "The Family Stone", "It's Complicated"
TV Show--"The Foster's" on Netflix.

I'm already on to my next painting and I can't wait to share it with you.  My subject matter is something that will no longer be available in the U.S. soon, any guesses?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Carrie's Favorite Things

Hi Everyone,

Since I'm slow on the painting front at the moment I thought I would share my favorite things list:)  I would love to hear (read) some of yours in the comment section.

I'll start with the most life changing tool I use for my art.  My Ipad, full sized, please!  It has truly transformed how I paint.  I use it for taking reference photos, and I paint from my I pad.  The image is amazing way better than any printed off photograph.  If you haven't tried it you need too!!!
My favorite paints are Daniel Smith watercolors.  Their Quinacridones are the best.  They are limited and will run out in the next few years so stock up now.

My favorite brushes are Richeson brushes.  Daniel Smith sells a set that I've been using.  It's the Laurin McCracken set and it has a size 2, 4 and 6 kolinsky sable.  But I've been hearing so much about
Rosemary brushes that I'm going to have to try those as well.

My favorite pencils for drawing are mechanical pencils.  You can get the tiny details without having to sharpen your pencil all the time.  I'm cranky if I can't find a mechanical pencil in the house:)

My favorite paper is Arches 260lb.  Because 140 is too thin and buckles and 300lb is too thick and soft.  260lb is just right:))  Thanks to Paul Jackson for turning me onto this paper.  I did hear that Canson bought Arches so I'll probably be purchasing quite a bit of this before Canson starts making it.

My favorite thing to watch while I'm painting are movies.  I love streaming movies and shows through Netflix and Amazon video which comes free if you sign up for Amazon Prime.

My favorite movie at the moment to watch while I'm painting is "It's Complicated" starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.  Love, love, love this movie and have watched it a thousand times.

Another favorite movie I watch is "Something's Gotta Give".  I know you're probably wondering how can you watch a movie and paint? Well, I'm not a music person.  It gets on my nerves when I'm painting.  So I love having movies or shows on.  I mostly listen but am able to watch too, I'm a multi-tasker.  Talking to other people that have trouble listening to music while creating I think that I have to have by brain engaged, listening to talk, or pod-casts, or talk radio.   Music makes me think to much and I need to be able to zone out to paint.

Not only do I love Something's Gotta Give for the movie but who wouldn't want to create here

Or live here.  I just love the interiors in this movie and would love to have a house that looked just like this!!

And because I love her desk so much in Something's Gotta Give I had to buy this one when I found it at an antique store.  It's my painting desk.  It was in a legal office in New Orleans and is solid wood and really old.  I love it!  I put the glass top on it, it doesn't quite fit so I'll have to order one.

If you haven't listened to this podcast you have too!!!  Artists Helping Artists is the best blog radio show out there.  Tons of free marketing information and interviews with amazing artists.  There is something for every artist.  You can find it on itunes for free or you can listen right on the website.  You must tune in.  A new show airs every Thursday and I've co-hosted often.

And this is what I use every day.  I love EOS sweet mint.  It's an organic product.  It's amazing and addicting.  Love it!!  I also love Burt's Bees, I'm for anything that is all natural and not tested on animals and that is an amazing product.  I wear the color rhubarb and raisin in lieu of lipstick because it does just as good a job.

I hope to do a favorites things list more often because it's just fun:))  Tell me some of your favorites:)


Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Feature: Olivia Quintin

Hi Everyone,
'Self Portrait' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin

Today I'm featuring Olivia Quintin.  Her art work is so expressive and beautiful!  The way she handles her watercolors are inspiring and I am thrilled to say I own an Olivia Quintin original.  Olivia is French and her English is much better than my French will ever be.  She has kindly answered my questions in English.

To see more of Olivia's work check out her blog  .

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

I am drawing since I was a young girl, but I didn’t have a regular practice.
Was very attracted by every manual labor and more generally, all creative things.
Since I am 10 years old, I sew and I knit !

When I met my husband, he was used to painting.
I looked at him with envy without daring really to try.
He likes painting very slowly and minutely.

This way of painting didn’t correspond to my character! You know we are both opposite characters...

I loved to see watercolors of landscapes end of sea subjects.
One day, I decided to try that medium. It seems to be so light and transparent.
I liked at once.  I bought all the equipment the same day (this day was a real ruin for my bank account) and since this day, I ‘ve painted in watercolor. Until 2009, I painted in a irregular way and for 2 years, I swim in the watercolor!
I hope it will be like that all the rest of my life .
'Elyse' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin portrait of her daughter

Where were you born?
If you could live anywhere where would you live?

I am born in Brittany, France. I spent my childhood in Saint-Malo but my parents were born in Morbihan, where I live today. Always near the sea. I can’t stand very well to stay too long time far away the sea.  I love the place I live the “ Gulf of Morbihan “, so beautiful. I don’t want to live anywhere else.  I am feeling so good here. Colors are beautiful here, always changing, and there are so quiet places!

A lot of painters love Brittany . Do you know Pont-Aven ? Do you know Belle Ile en mer?
'Sunset' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin (This is the painting I own:)

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

Well, I first painted Brittany and sea landscapes.
Last year I painted a series of fishes. I imagined their life. Sometimes with human characters.
I did the same with sea birds.  Then I begun to paint flowers, fresh or faded . Expression of how I feel most of the time .  Now, I paint more and more portraits, characters. Friends, family, figures that tells me a story.  Always in a colored mood.
'I Am Woman of 40' watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin

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

The painting which was so joyful is “ I am a forty years old woman “. Expressed 40 years behind me and 40 years in front of me. Middle of my life. It was so personal.

The most difficult is not a painting. The most difficult thing is to stay free with the painting !
'Rain or Shine on Houat' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin
 Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I love Klimt, Claude Monet, Van gGogh.
I love Monet’s look on nature.

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

Arches paper, a lot of different colors, a good subject and good music ! I am so inspired by music. Jazzy mood, most of the time.  I paint in my studio which is in the attic of my old house .
'Amelie' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin
 Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

Indigo, van dyke brown,  vivid green, lemon yellow, perm magenta, cobalt blue deep, raw sienna.

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

I don't have an artist block all the time, but my head is going so far away sometimes. I note my ideas on a paper .
'The Red Floral Wall' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin

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

I’d love to live for painting all the day. If ever, my watercolors could allow me to live, it should be the most beautiful dream.

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

Painting what they want and how they want and not what people like.
I think painting has to be sincere to be loved.

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

Don’t be afraid ! Every time I paint I have to remember this sentence.
'Grand Duke of Sleepless Nights' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla. I don’t like so much chocolate. But you know I live near the sea, I am a salt mouth !

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?

Sunny beach ( I paint on the beach sometimes )

Book or movie?

Book !
I don’t watch TV. My daughter has to help me every time... My god !

Favorite author?

Eric Emmanuel Schmitt.

Favorite movie?

Into the wild.

Romance or comedy?

Both !

Favorite ice cream flavor?


Night owl or morning person?

Both ! Days and nights are not long enough to do all I want to !
But a bit tired sometimes....

Cake or Cupcakes?

Cupcakes : they are so pretty !

Hope everyone enjoyed this interview.  A big thank you to Olivia for taking the time for an interview, I've learned more about you and some day hope to visit your town in France:)
See you Monday,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Specials, workshops and Cabin Fever

Hi Everyone,

We have some serious cabin fever at our house.  The kids have not been in school since last Thursday and this Mommy is hoping for some ice melting today so that the kids don't go crazy.  You can't even go out and play in the snow because it's just ice:(

I'm offering a couple of Christmas specials.  If purchased by the 18th they will get there by Christmas:)
Both of these paintings are from the Macy's Christmas display in NYC.

Special Price $850. 00
Regularly priced $1450.00
Buy Now
Special Price $450.00
Regularly priced $750.00
Buy Now

They do come framed!  Here is what they look like
 I'm currently working on my newest painting.  Hopefully this will be one of the paintings that we work on in my workshop in February in Covington, LA.  The workshop is almost sold out if you're interested act quickly:)

 I also worked on my supply list today.  I thought I would share both the brochure for my workshop that I created and my supply list.  Since artists are visual I made it all in pictures:))


Monday, December 2, 2013

CYBER MONDAY SALE, Backlit Beauties, and other news

Hi Everyone,

I'm so happy to announce my first ever  CYBER MONDAY SALE.  Please take a look:)

I have available paintings up to 50% off:)

I also am getting read for a gallery show tomorrow at Local Colour Gallery in Little Rock.

I've been working a little more with gold leaf.  I'm titling this piece "Backlit Beauties".  I photographed these gorgeous red pears in the beautiful golden sun and I thought that the gold leaf would be the perfect thing to set them off.

"Backlit Beauties" 10" x 20" watercolor with 22k gold leaf background
Here it is in it's frame.  It's so hard to photograph gold leaf.

And I thought I would show you this view so you can see a bit of the scale.
I hope you all had a wonderful Turkey Day (for those of you in the US).  I can not believe it's Dec. 2.  We'll have to start writing 2014 before we blink.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Well Traveled Paintings

"The Night Before Christmas" 6" x 6" watercolor by Carrie Waller

"The Night Before Christmas" 6" x 6" watercolor by Carrie Waller

"Falling For You" 6" x 6" watercolor with 22k gold leaf by Carrie Waller

I'm happy to announce that I have 3 paintings on their way to California to the 6" Squared, Randy Higbee show.  This is the 4th time that I've participated in the show.  It's always been a super fun and positive experience.

In other news I'm attempting to paint for our Holiday show on Dec 3rd at Local Colour Gallery in Little Rock, AR.  But this overcast, cold weather is getting me down and I miss the sunny skies that we always had in Alabama.  I'm hoping when we move next summer it's somewhere sunny.

I also wanted to share how some of my collector's framed their leaf and acorn.  A good framing job just enhances art so well.

I wish everyone a Happy Turkey Day and if you're traveling be careful out there:)


Friday, November 22, 2013

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!!