Monday, January 28, 2013

Carrie Waller Workshop

Hi Everyone,
I'm excited to announce that I have a workshop in March.  I'd love for you to join me:)  We'll be learning how to get dark values and shadows with watercolors and I'll be sharing my glass techniques.  If you are interested please e-mail me or call Carrie Gibbs at 618-242-1236 Ext249 to reserve a spot.  Space is limited.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Feature: Maria Bennett Hock

Maria Bennett Hock
Hi Everyone,

I'm pretty sure we are working at warp speed, because I could have sworn I was just posting a Friday Feature like yesterday!  So here we are at another Friday and I'm thrilled to be featuring a favorite facebook and blog friend for a lot of artists, Maria Bennett Hock.  I met Maria through facebook and have thoroughly enjoyed getting a glimpse into her world. 

To see more of her work check out her blog and website

"Randy Higbee" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 How did you get your start? What’s your artist journey so far?
 I have always been artistic and have tried almost everything. During my life I was the one doing the newsletter, the graphics, the posters but I never took it seriously. As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a portrait artist. I just thought it was so far out of the realm of possibilities I never pursued it. I became a computer graphic artist and loved it. Never having to touch paper or canvas and having an undo button was great. Then I had a life changing experience...I think almost everyone has one of those during their life...I decided to do everything I ever wanted to do. First on the list was finish college...I was in my 50’s. I attended during the day full time to further my career in my computer career. I was required to take a drawing class and thought I was going to die. I hadn’t touched a pencil in years. I drew very reluctantly, very poorly, whining all the way. All of a sudden I loved it! I could draw! I drew faces, mostly relatives, for two years before I touched a brush. In 2009 took a painting class and fell in love with oils. I still look at my old paintings and laugh...what was I thinking??? I jumped in with both feet and started drawing and painting often but not every day. I took a Karin Jurick workshop and learned about daily painting. I met some wonderful artists who encouraged me to start a blog and get on facebook. I have been painting, drawing, meeting new artists and loving my life ever since.
"Karin Jurick" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 Where were you born?
 My father was in the military. I was born in Atwater, California at Castle Air Force Base.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
 I currently live in Washington DC and love it. I am happy wherever I live. I am an Air Force Brat and Army Wife so I have lived all over the world and Washington DC is a great melting pot of many many cultures.
"Crystal Cook" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
I like to paint portraits and figurative pieces. I love to show emotion, to tell a story with my brush. A friend once told me I wear my heart on my brush and I believe that is true.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?
I sketch the piece before I begin to make sure I like the composition. I usually tone my canvas...a medium gray is my current favorite color to tone. Then I sketch on the canvas with a brownish color...usually burnt umber. I try to lay in colors in the usual manner...darks first. I put some of the lights in to see “where I am going” and then continue to place all the colors. I feel the need to cover the canvas before I get into the nitty gritty and really form the contours. I paint wet into wet for most of the painting then I digest what I have done and go back to punch up the color. I may even repaint just seems to give the painting more depth. I use very large brushes for as long as I can then finish up with smaller ones.
"Debra Bryant" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
Right now my favorites for skin tones are Rublev’s Vermillion and Verona Green Earth. Those mixed with a ochre on a gray toned background are really giving me some skin tones that I love. Colors I like to have on my palette are Yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue and cerulean blue, sap green, cad yellows, and I am just starting to love the pthalo’ and blue. I usually get Holbein in most colors.
"10 Hock" portrait of her mother original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 Do you have a favorite artist? Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I have a lot of favorite artists but my biggest influence when I started is John Singer Sargent. I like Mary Cassette and Joaquin Sorolla. A favorite contemporary artist (though I have many) is Rose Frantzen. Her book Portrait of Maquoketa is fabulous. I constantly use it for inspiration.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?
Just starting on what I consider this unbelievable art journey is one of my favorite achievements. I was very excited to get a a painting accepted into a gallery in Dupont Circle in Washington DC. Very happy to be juried into a local gallery so I can show my work. My latest achievement was being juried into a “30 paintings in 30 days” show. I used portraits to depict the states of life from birth to death. It was a fun, emotional journey and so rewarding to see the collection at the gallery.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
Improve, grow, experiment...
Find a gallery to represent my work
Establish a more far reaching online presence
Have my own show
Improve, grow, experiment...
"Linda Popple" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
Don’t wait for the right time...just do it. Take a class, find a an art community. Dedicate a space in your house for art. Make it work.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
Paint what you love.
"Carrie Waller" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock

Chocolate or vanilla?
Your dream vacation spot?
Anyplace with my family
Book or movie?
Art Book
Favorite movie?
“Somewhere in Time”
Romance or comedy?
Favorite dessert?
Anything Chocolate
Night owl or morning person?

Thank you so much Maria!  It was fabulous getting to know you a little better:)


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday

Hi Everyone,
"Going Green" 18" x 30" original watercolor on Arches 260lb y Carrie Waller
I'm sharing my work in progress pics from my latest painting "Going Green"  I painted the whole thing using my Ipad for the reference photo. It's changed he way I paint, absolutely love the brightness and the ability to zoom in on areas.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Going Green original watercolor 18" x 30"

"Going Green"18" x 30" original watercolor on 260lb Arches by Carrie Waller
Hi Everyone,

I can finally share my completed painting:)  I had so much fun with these glorious greens.  I just love incorporating dramatic natural light in my compositions and this painting was a great vehicle to do just that.  The inspiration for this painting came when we were trying to find a bottle of red in our collection that didn't go bad during our move this summer in 116 degree temperatures.  So even if the wine was a loss at least the bottles were put to good use. 

Getting wine labels off bottles is no easy feat.  After a warm bubble bath they were still stubborn so I had to bust out the goo gone.  It worked like a charm.  Among the wine bottles there are also some small Perrier bottles and a Tabasco bottle as a nod to my Louisiana crew.

This painting is the beginning of a new series I am going to be doing.  I really want a cohesive body of work with some continuity in my subject matter, so expect some more glass bottle paintings.  I've already been scoping out the flea markets for bottles.  I hit the jackpot on amber glass the other day, and my in-laws are looking for cobalt bottles:)  My father-in-law found several cobalt bottles of Riesling and Vodka,

I do have a few commissions coming down the pike and a couple smaller projects intermixed. 

Come back Wednesday for the work in progress pictures of "Going Green".
Sam graciously offered to be my model.  Thought you could get a better sense of the scale.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Feature: Bob Snider

Bob Snider
Hi Everyone,

Today I have another fabulous Friday Feature, Bob Snider.  I met Bob through our local watercolor society in Little Rock, Mid-Southern Watercolor Society.  I was attracted to his loose watercolor style and enthusiasm for the arts.  We are both part of the Local Colour Gallery in Little Rock, AR.  He was instrumental in helping me make contacts quickly when I moved here.  Bob's work is vibrant, energetic and beautiful.

To see more of his work visit his website.

"Watercolor USA" original watercolor by Bob Snider
 How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?
I was the kid in the back of the class drawing pictures of the Biology teacher.  I actually had a chance to take art in high school I was “hooked” by all the approval from my teachers.  And in college the A’s I got in art improved my GPA so that I was accepted into the MBA program. I was an investment banker for 30 years and didn’t pick up a brush until about 1995 when I took a beginner watermedia class at the Arkansas Arts Center.  My instructor (Jackie Kaucher) encouraged me to join Mid Southern Watercolorists and enter the competition for their annual exhibition.  My first entry into the MSW exhibition was not only accepted, it sold! 

A few years later, the pastor of my church (Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock) asked me to head up an effort to “build a bridge” to the art world, which launched a ministry called Art By Faith (  So now I paint in either oil or watercolor almost every day and show my work at Gallery Central in Hot Springs and Local Colour in Little Rock and sell quite a bit off my website

"Dark Racers" original watercolor by Bob Snider
 Where were you born?  I was born the last of three sons to Roy and Ruby Snider in Smackover, Arkansas and except for six years on the staff of Senator John L McClellan in Washington DC, have lived in Arkansas…now Little Rock…all of my life.

If you could live anywhere where would you live? I could never live anywhere but Arkansas because of my friends, family and church…..but it sure is great to travel and see the rest of the world…like our trip to Italy last October.
"Calvin" original oil by Bob Snider

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why? I love to paint water because it is reflective and there are techniques in oil and watercolor that create the illusion of reality.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  I love to paint fast and loose with lots of colors. This technique works great for my race horse paintings in both watercolor and oils.  But the shapes have to be right.  The “fast and loose” approach is actually easier in watercolor because the colors flow together to create energy and excitement.  And you can preserve white areas with masking fluid which is especially important for wet racetrack scenes.  Masking fluid splattered with a tooth brush creates wonderful water splashes.  The watercolorists also has the advantage of being able to work from a careful drawing.  The oil painter has to be able to create the design on a toned canvas, which is far more difficult, but comes with practice.  But I learned very quickly when I started painting in oil that the depth of the values and textures of the paints can achieve a result that art buyers appreciate.  In other words, oils sell better.
"My Bag" original watercolor by Bob Snider

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites? Ah, a very good question.  When I give demos I always ask the students, “what is the most important color on the pallete”?  And I hear all kinds of suggestions, until they finally arrive at the conclusion that it is white, the absence of color, that is always the most important.  I try to keep that in mind as I create my compositions.  Again, the watercolorists has the advantage of starting with a brilliant white surface and uses that to advantage in creating the illusion of reality.  The oil painter usually tones the canvas some neutral color and must work most of the painting in middle values and adds the lights and darks toward the end.  So what I am trying to develop at this point in my career is how to paint in oils with the approach of a watercolorists.  Which is to say, how to hang onto the whites.

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration? There is an artist in Dallas named John Cook that I met working on a biblically themed arts festival in that city.  He is deeply talented, formally trained and an amazingly humble man.  You should Google John Cook and check out his work.  It is at once loose and impressionistic but has very precise shapes at the center of interest.  That’s how I want to be able to paint.
"Racehorses" original watercolor by Bob Snider

What have been some of your crowning achievements? Artistically, not much.  A few awards and recognitions here and there. But meeting my wife Martha four years ago set me on a path to artistic and spiritual growth that has made for a very fulfilling life. 

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
  1.  Return to Italy and paint plein air in Rome.
  2. Have paintings worthy of gift giving at Christmas.
  3. Impact the lives of my children and grandchildren for eternity.
  4. Become the husband that my wife deserves.
  5. Paint for twenty more years, at least!
"Kat in the Hat" original watercolor by Bob Snider

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?   Painting is like golf.  Only a few make a living doing it, but millions enjoy it. So become a humble student and enjoy the learning process and the excitement that comes from seeing your work get better over the years.  Join a community of artist so that you can get feedback on your work. Experiment.  You will never hit the golf ball like Tiger Woods, but you can find real joy in a few pure shots….and paintings.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?  “Bob, if you compare your work to other artist, you will quit”.  So I am learning to accept that this is where I am today, and am not in a hurry.  Art is a journey,  not a destination.

Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla…honestly.

Your dream vacation spot?  Italy

Book or movie?  Movies…because I am very visual

Favorite author?  David

Favorite movie? Cool Hand Luke (and Young Frankenstein, and Dances With Wolves).

Romance or comedy? Comedy 

Favorite dessert?  Coconut Pie (with real crust and real coconut!)

Night owl or morning person? Morning Person

And in Conclusion…thanks Carrie to investing your time in this service to other artist. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday

Hi Everyone,
Work in Progress, watercolor on 260lb Arches by Carrie waller 18" x 30"

Here is a look at my next painting.  I'm just in love with the greens, it's so fun to play in paint, especially when it's a gorgeous palette.

We had ice and freezing rain yesterday, boooo hissss!   Fortunately it has all melted today, which is a good thing because it is really hilly, like mountainous hilly around here and people have no clue how to drive in ice and snow.  I'm glad I've had a lot of practice between living in Illinois and Ohio, but I sure don't enjoy it!

Hope you are staying warm:)


Monday, January 14, 2013

C17 Elephant Walk

"C17 Elephant Walk" original watercolor on 260lb Arches by Carrie Waller
Hi Everyone,

I'm tired this Monday!!!!  I stayed up almost all night last night painting my newest painting, which I'm keeping a secret a bit longer, actually I have posted some wip pics on fb so please join me there to see as I go  I'd love it if you would like my page, it makes me feel special:))

Since I'm still in wip mode on my current painting I'm sharing a painting I did as a Christmas painting for my husband.  These are the C17aircraft he worked with at Charleston, AFB in South Carolina. They were doing an elephant walk.

"Elephant walk" is a uniquely Air Force term that grew out of World War II and became institutional memory in the new Air Force. The Army Air Forces had the luxury of large amounts of bombers by 1944, and would regularly generate attacks in excess of 1,000 aircraft from its Numbered Air Forces. Observers commented that the nose-to-tail, single-file taxi movements of the heavily-laden bombers paralleled the nose-to-tail trail of lumbering elephants on their way to the next watering hole. The term stuck and was even used to define maximum sortie surge operations in Air Force regulations.

In modern times, the "elephant walk" came to mean a maximum sortie generation in Strategic Air Command. Elephant walks also became a part of Inspector General Exercises, and sometimes were only a taxi exercise without actual departures and landings. It was a terrific way to inspect all aspects of a wing's readiness to meet its wartime mission. Every flyable, tasked aircraft and crew was required to meet its war plan departure window.

It's pretty amazing to see in person so I decided to capture it in watercolor as well.  He loved it and it's now proudly displayed in his office:) 
Brian and his painting Christmas morning


Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Feature: Johannes Wessmark

Johannes Wessmark in his studio

 Hi Everyone,

It's FRIDAY!!!!  Today I have Johannes Wesmark as our Friday Feature.  His work is out of this world.  I found him on facebook and am just astounded by his work.  I think you will be too. Make sure to check out his fb page he does great work in progress postings.

To see more visit his website or facebook page. 
"Utan snus tva dagar" Acrylic and colored pencil by Johannes Wessmark

How did you get your start? What’s your artist journey so far?
It all started with my schoolteacher who gave me good grades and I was inspired to paint more.
Later in life I was an illustrator for 15 years. Now I am a full time painter witch always have been my big dream.

Where were you born?
Karlstad, sweden 1962
"Pumpkinsplash" Acrylic and colored pencil by Johannes Wessmark

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
Somewhere not so cold. Maybe France...
"Emmy Resting"Gouache and colored pencil by Johannes Wessmark

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
I have no favorite subject. But women, and nature is always fun and inspiring.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?
I often start by airbrushing the ground of the painting with acrylic on canvas or paper.
Then I make the details with small brushes with oil or colored pencils if its on paper.
"Emmy Backhair" Gouache and colored pencil by Johannes Wessmark

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
No. I use a lot of different kinds. Derwent is good.

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Ralph Goings was my first and biggest inspiration.
"Hair Study" Gouache and colored pencil by Johannes Wessmark
 What have been some of your crowning achievements?
Becoming a member of IGOR - The International Guild of Realism,
Being chosen to be the artist of the year on the biggest Swedish book-fair.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
Be able to buy and renovate the house I rent.
Start workshops here at home.
Exhibit in New York
Being able to make a living from my art and I never need to be employed again.
Buy an iPad :)
"Predator" oil by Johannes Wessmark

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
Follow your dream.
If you can, paint what you like - not what you think will sell.
Be inspired of  your colleges.
Buy my book witch is full of inspiration and tips ;)
"Gota Tobak" watercolor and colored pencil by Johannes Wessmark

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
Turn off your computer when you work.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Your dream vacation spot?
Somewhere warm

Book or movie?

Favorite author?
Steve Jablonsky and Hans Zimmer who write movie-music.
I dont read books.

Favorite movie?
Avatar or Batman... or Jurassic Park.. I dont know... Inception maybe

Romance or comedy?

Favorite dessert?

Night owl or morning person?

Thank you so much Johannes!