Monday, July 29, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

Hi Everyone,
Work In Progress, 9" x 14" all the brown dots are masking

I'm actually PAINTING!!  I didn't forget how to do it:))  It's been great putting brush to paper.  I know you won't be able to tell too much from this little snippet, but I had to stop mid painting to work on  a commission.  I'll be able to share soon:)


Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Feature: Marty Smith

"Trolley 408" original work by Marty Smith
Today's Friday Feature is Marty Smith.  She is a local Arkansas artist.  We have only met on facebook but I'm looking forward to getting to know her.  To see more of her work visit her website.

How did you get your start what has been your artistic journey so far?

I started like many artists, drawing from an early age. I was given watercolors and paint for gifts when I was around 4-5 years old. Each summer during my childhood, my family would travel up the East Coast to visit family. I remember the long drives and drawing what I saw. It was the Blue Ridge Mountains, countrysides, city buildings, power lines  and beaches. My family and I would go to Washington D.C., New York City, Amish country in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Canada and the rocky shores of Maine. We would go to museums like the Peabody in New Haven, Connecticut. I think it started my love for nature and architecture.  During this time I would also enter art contests at school and where my dad worked, Remington Arms. In high school I took art classes taught by Helen Goodman. After high school I took a hiatus from art classes to pursue other studies, like science and history. But after some time I knew I would not be happy without creating. So I returned to art. Along with fine arts classes I took graphic design classes. I graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Studio Art with emphasis in Painting with a minor in Digital Graphics. I would say my artistic journey has two roads parallel to each other that are equally important to me. The two roads are down the graphic design road and the fine arts road. I’ve had several jobs doing web design, magazine layout, newspaper layout, ad design and other work that keeps my technical side happy. Right now I do graphic design work for the Arkansas State Parks, which I enjoy. It’s fast paced and keeps my mind moving to think of new ways of working with text, fonts and design. It’s also great that my fine arts skills help with the designing process. The most important is that what I design is helping others and the State Parks. The other road is painting, which I’m also enjoying and continue to improve in.  I’m achieving my own individual style that has taken years to do.
"Butler Institute II" original work by Marty Smith

Where were you born?

I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

I would live in Arkansas
"Dusk" original work by Marty Smith
What is your favorite thing to paint and why?

That would be a great city scene with bright colors and overwhelming detail.  the more detail the better, because it requires me to take the effort and I learn so much at the same time.  It's like a puzzle and I fill in the missing pieces and bring it to 
"Renewal" original work by Marty Smith
Can you discuss your painting techniques?

I like to paint in watercolor and oils. The techniques I use for the two are completely different.  With an oil painting I like to start the canvas in a mid tone that will show through.  Then I block in colors.  With the last being the tone that will show through.  Then I block in colors.  With the last being the details.  I don't draw the image first onto the canvas, but look at several drawings and images at the same time.  With a watercolor painting, I draw it out first on the paper and build the colors lightly.

What are your favorite paint colors?

I've discovered Daniel Smith watercolors and they are so much more pigment than anything else I've used.  With oils, I'm using Artisan and Max 2 waterbased oil and mix it with Artisan Linseed oil. Some go to colors are Cerulean Blue, Grumbacher Red, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Titanium White and Veridian.
Do you have a favorite artist?

I don't have one favorite artist because each has qualities I appreciate and have learned from.  Monet is a favorite for his use of color and expressive brush strokes.  Several artists that are favorites and inspire me are Lyonel Feininger, Cezanne, Elizabeth Weber, Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?

I dont' think I have any crowning achievements.  I have different goals that I have met.  This year I had several artworks selected to be in the new Marriot Residence Inn in the Rivermarket District of Little Rock. I am in galleries, painted a mural, have been published and have won awards. Having a solo exhibit at the Historic Arkansas Museum was nice. 

What are 5 things you would like to have happen, dream big here:)

1.  Have art in the International Artist and Artist Magazine
2.  Travel More--I really want to go to the Grand Canyon, California, Oregon and                
3.  To do some teaching of art and see how I can help others find their artistic 
4.  Have artwork in galleries in the Western United States.
5.  To run a marathon
"Into the White" original work by Marty Smith
What would be your best advice for an upcoming artist?

Setting goals is very important.  Sometimes wonderful opportunities just happen to come our way.  But it is very important to continue improving your skills.  It's never ending dedication if you want to succeed.  It takes work, work, work and more work and don't expect a quick love of your art.  It takes time for people to recognize it and to love it.  Don't get disappointed from the rejections from shows and galleries.  Always stay positive and it will work out when it's meant to.  If you are stuck in an artistic rut, put the painting down and start something you've never done before or a style you haven't painted before and it will rekindle that fire.
"El Saltillo, Mexico" original work by Marty Smith

What's the best advice you have received?

Hard work will pay off, laziness will not.

Speed Round

Chocolate or Vanilla?  Chocolate

Dream vacation?  Hawaii

Book or movie?  I love books, but haven't had a chance to read any lately.  So I've been watching a few of my favorite old movies, like, The Women from 1939.

Favorite Author?  I don't have a favorite author, but I love autobiographies.  One of my favorites was by Lauren Bacall, "By Myself".  I love to read the stories of peoples lives.

Favorite Movie?  The Wizard of Oz

Romance or Comedy?  Romance

Favorite Dessert?  There are few desserts I don't like.  I'd say anything with fruit, chocolate, ice cream and cream cheese.

Night Owl or morning person?  Night Owl

Thank you so much Marty:)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Splash 14

"Anticipation" included in Splash 14.

I finally got my copy:)  I'm so honored to be in this publications with so many wonderful artists.  The whole series is amazing you should pick them up if you don't have them in your art book collection.

The books are available through Amazon and North Lights Books.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Social Media Marketing Workshop

Hi Everyone,

I have been in Louisiana this past weekend conducting a Social Media Marketing Workshop.  It was a fabulous group of artists and although their heads are spinning with ideas, they are well on their way to tackling the world of social media.  I have had so many wonderful e-mails after the workshop telling me how many new ideas they have and how excited they are to market themselves.

Thank you Louisiana Watercolor Society for having me.


Monday, July 15, 2013

My Big Secret

"Celebration" original watercolor by Carrie Waller

All weekend long I have been harboring a secret.  Have you ever received information that just doesn't seem real, like you'll wake up and it was all a dream.  Last week I received a call from Daniel Smith Art Supply Co.  I didn't answer either time they called because it was an 800 #, finally the Director of Sales left me a message.  I called back and got her voice mail.  We finally touched base around 4:30 Thursday afternoon.  She said "Are you sitting down?", "You are the Grand Prize winner of the 11th Annual online art competition.  My mind went spinning in a thousand directions.  "Are you sure?" I replied.  "Yes, she said and why haven't you been answering the phone."  She was thrilled to get to call the winners and was dying for me to answer the phone.  So I have won a trip for 2 to Seattle, $1000 spending money and a full art studio, which from the contest rules it states it's a full shawn taboret.  The package is worth $10,500.  They're calling back with the details.   I'm almost equally excited because Laurin McCracken won last year and I am a huge fan of his work.

I'm thrilled and still a bit in shock!  And I really hope they make the official announcement soon, just so I can see it in writing:)  Oh and my painting will be on the Daniel Smith catalog going out August 1st.  Somebody pinch me!!!!

Thank you to everyone that voted to get my painting into the final round.  Seriously, I'm still in shock!!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Little of This and That and Bill Clinton

Hi Everyone,
Bill Clinton, even in silhouette you know it's him
I have not been painting in almost a month, sigh!!!!  But I have had some pretty big excuses, moving, family in town twice since moving, a birthday, working on some projects (I'll tell you about soon) and hanging out with Bill Clinton.  Okay so maybe I'm exaggerating a little about the last part.  My Mom and Step Dad have been in town this week so we made our normal tourist pilgrimage to the Clinton Library on Monday.  We were leisurely making our way to the replica of the oval office when non other than Bill Clinton himself and his security detail were heading to the elevator.  He stopped waved and smiled at us.  We were all dumbstruck and feeling uber touristy with our cameras hanging around our necks and our jaws on the ground as our brains made the rounds of that can't be Bill Clinton, it must be an actor, that couldn't possibly be Bill Clinton.  By the time I had my brain functioning again I grabbed my camera and snapped a shot of him at the elevator.  If only I had gotten the picture of him smiling and waving or had the function to walk to him and shake his hand.  It was just a surreal moment.  Later we were downstairs and Bill and Hillary walked passed us.  Pretty amazing day!!!  I told my Mom she got her monies worth that day:)  We did ask the volunteers at the museum and it was for sure the real Bill and Hillary.  They were in town because a children's library was being named after Hillary and that evening Oscar De La Renta was also going to be at the opening of his exhibit in the Clinton Center.  Who knew Little Rock was so happening:)

De La Renta dresses L (can't remember who's dress that was), Anne Hathaway's dress, Sarah Jessica Parker's dress, Jennifer Garner's dress, and Taylor Swift's dress

L (can't remember), Nancy Regan suit, famous Hillary Clinton pant suit, Hillary Clinton dress and cape, Chelsea Clinton dress, Hillary Clinton christmas dress
The Oscar De La Renta exhibit was small but very interesting, reminded me of the Smithsonian exhibits of the 1st ladies dresses.

But the big news at our house this week was that Steven turned 7!!!!  I'm not sure how this happened that he is this old, can't believe I have a 1st grader!!!  We had a Haagen Daaz ice cream cake, best ice cream cake ever:)  We also celebrated my Mom's birthday earlier that week June 30 and my birthday is right around the corner on the 21st so there is a lot of cake in the month of July!

On the home front our house is almost put together.  Still have some lingering boxes in the garage but it is coming together.  I decorated the kitchen with polish pottery and blue willow.  I finally used plates I have had since Germany.  I made my own plate hangers by glueing paperclips on the back of the small plates with E 6000 glue, worked like a charm and no unsightly plate hangers to deal with--didn't have to pay for the glue on hangers either that they sell.

Our hibiscus plants are putting on quite a show for us so I thought I would share:)


Monday, July 8, 2013


"Reminiscence" 19" x 28" original watercolor by Carrie Waller
"Reminiscence" has been accepted into the Mid Southern Watercolorists 43rd Annual Exhibition.  It will be heading to the Butler Center in Little Rock July 15th.  I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibition.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Feature: Kathy Cousart

Kathy Cousart

 Hi Everyone,

Today I have a fabulous Friday Feature:)  Kathy Cousart.  Kathy and I have never met in person but I feel like we have.  She is warm and caring and wonderfully talented.  In the last couple of years she has completely transformed herself and left one career and become a successful full time artist.  She is also a frequent co-host of Artists Helping Artists blog radio show.

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

"Hydrangeas" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen
How did you get your start? 

I hate to admit that I needed a painting over a double mantle fireplace and just could not find anything that size.  The more I looked the more I loved oil paintings and wanted to try.  I had no idea what I was getting into! 
"Blessings" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen
What’s your artist journey so far?

 I started painting almost 2 years ago and have loved every minute.   I have been so lucky to have some of the best teachers out there who have just encouraged and guided me.  I sort of jumped into it all backwards and am learning to paint right along with blogging and the business side.  Nothing like total immersion! I really work hard and want to get all the fundamentals right and be what I would call a fine artist.   I hope one day that my paintings touch people the way that I feel when I look at a beautiful painting.

Where were you born?

 I grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina- my hometown now is Athens, Georgia.

"Hydrangeas, Cotton Bolls, and Tulips" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

 I used to say Saint Simon’s Island- now just anywhere with Husband Dave and near our two daughters and their families. 

"UGA III National Championship Bulldog Surprise" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why

I love to paint anything that has interesting light on it!  I really like landscapes but have been having fun with flowers lately.  Gotta say also that my Georgia Bulldogs (mascot) are just plain fun to paint.  Maybe because I am so new I just want to paint everything.   I do know I am alla prima- and that I like to change it up. 

Could you talk about your painting techniques?   

I paint with a limited palette of just the 3 primaries and titanium white.  I enjoy mixing my own colors and love the harmony that you can achieve with that.   I am also finding that I am learning so much more with doing that and can work on values and temperatures better.   I got spoiled painting on linen and love the toothy surface and the way my paint goes on the linen.

"Saint Simon's Island Marsh" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen
How did you arrive at your current style?

I was told early on that I needed to have miles of canvas behind me and a ton of starts.  I have really put in the time painting to learn and can see that coming together.  I hope my current style comes across as big beautiful bold brushwork with gorgeous clean color.  
"Go Dog Sic 'Em" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen
Do you have a favorite artist? 

I have too many favorites!     Who has been your biggest inspiration? I am going to say all my workshop teachers have been the biggest inspiration- Each in a different way. 
Karin Jurick  for saying early on I could do this, 
Dreama for sayng to launch where you are and find your voice. 
Leslie Saeta for the warm enthusiasm and total belief that sharing my art would work out, Carol Marine for just teaching me fundamentals in such a fabulous fun way,
Nancy Franke for teaching the most gorgeous brushwork and colors with such a fun spirit and always giving me too much credit and finally
Jim Richards-
I got to join Jim’s mentoring group and that has made such a difference in my growth as a new artist.  Having the gentle but honest consistent critiques and wonderful teaching has been inspirational and invaluable.  I feel so fortunate to have met and learned from such talented teachers…Now you see why I could not pick just one.  They have all been an important part of my journey. 
"Sunlit Hydrangeas in Window" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen
You have done a fabulous job of marketing yourself, with a new website and blog.  Can you tell us a little about that journey? 

I started blogging after Karin Jurick’s workshop when she told us to and I listened.  Great way to meet other supportive artists and to learn from them.   A few months ago, I decided it was about time for a website and actually built one myself on iWeb.  That helped me make a lot of design decisions and get organized as to how I wanted it to be.  That was a really good process to get me ready to really move ahead and go with WordPress.  I like that the website and blog are combined and that it looked clean and easy to navigate.   It was important to me to be able to manage it and I have been really happy with WordPress. 

"Shrimp and Grits" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?

I take care of two Moms and need to know they are fine and then I feel free and able to take that time for me to paint.   Once I know they are good- I don’t think I am too picky- just want to get in time painting and will paint anything-anywhere.    I really work hard to carve out that time at the easel. 

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
I tend to like higher key paints and colors.  I am not talking about bright loud saturated colors but soft lighter pale colors that all just look so gorgeous next to each other.  There is that harmony thing I was talking about with mixing your own colors. 
"UGA Golf Course 9th Green" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen
What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

That my husband and I are both retired and able to travel a bit. 
That my art career has gotten to where my paintings fall consistently into the fine art category. 
That I am in at least one big Gallery and my paintings just fly off the walls.
That I am good enough to be in some shows and gain recognition as a big girl artist.  Ex:Perhaps asked to join a plein air group like PAP-SE.
And that I am good enough to be able to teach and mentor/give back some of the fabulous things I have learned.

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

To have fun and be honest with where you are with your art.  I try to use my blog to share things I am learning along the way.   I think art is like golf in that your fundamentals need to be really sound to build off of then.  Make sure to get those correct and learn from good teachers who can zero in on your weaknesses. 

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

That with hard work I can become a really good oil painter and do something with this.

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate!

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat? Sunny Beach!

Book or movie? Book

Favorite author? Anything Art related

Favorite movie? Any movie with daughters-girl time!

Romance or comedy?  Romance with some comedy

Favorite ice cream flavor?  Turtle Tracks

Night owl or morning person?  Morning

Cake or Cupcakes?   Cake- I make this killer triple layer chocolate mocha cake with real whipping cream

Thanks Carrie- I enjoy your Friday Features and happy to be one :)

Thank you Kathy you are an inspiration:)


Monday, July 1, 2013

Sold It and a Feature

"Blue Skies" SOLD

It's always a good day when the gallery calls and says a painting has sold!  So happy to have a new collector:)

I actually put brush to paper this weekend but have not yet completed my latest painting.  So much to do and the days and weeks are just flying by.   I hope you are getting more painting time in than I am, aaaghhh!!