Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Me Again

My new Japanese art friends:)  So nice to have my work hanging with theirs.

My newest painting "Enlightened" 12" x 16"
I swear that minutes are turning into months before my very eyes.  We have now been in Japan for 5 months to the day.  I can not believe that it has been that long.  There is so much to see and do and I have a  lot of responsibilities with Steven and Sam's school and with my husband's squadron, it  definitely keeps me in a tail spin and I'm still trying to figure out where painting fits in.

I have managed to paint for a show in Charleston, SC.  I managed to get 4 paintings painted for it and had a fifth in the show that I had previously painted.  I also just participated in my first little show in Japan.  It's nice to meet Japanese artists and get to exhibit with them.
I found a neat art store in Tokyo.  It was 4 or 5 stories high, crammed to the gills and you could barely move around there was so much stuff.

I've also had some fun news, like being runner up for Artist's and Illustrator's Artist of the Year.  My painting will be in an exhibit in London at the Mall Galleries and it was featured in the December issue of the magazine.

  I have also finished up two features with magazines.  I'm looking forward to seeing those in print.  I never quite believe it until I have a copy in my hands:)

I wish you could all come and visit and see the amazing sites in Japan.  I don't think I'll ever see all of Tokyo it's just so big.  I need a few more hours in the day:)


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Work In Progress: Iconic Pop

Work In Progress:  "Iconic Pop" 6" x 8" by Carrie Waller
No you are not having Deja vu.  I am painting the same subject again.  I have a more zoomed in version that I am working on.  I have a workshop May 15-17 in Baton Rouge, LA (Come join us, it will be lots of fun and learning--only a few spots left).  So I'm working on this piece because I will be demoing the same painting during the workshop.  We will be painting a couple of different paintings so I can share my techniques.

The Keirce's and The Waller's  
My family and  I just had a great extended weekend with The Debra Keirce and her daughter "The Teenager", Shannon:)  It was fabulous to get to talk until all hours about art:)  Can't wait until she visits when we are living in Japan:)

If you would like to read the Friday Feature with Debra Keirce, click here.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Feature: Iain Stewart

"Thurlow Dam from Fitzpatrick Bridge-Tallassee Alabama" 13"x9" original watercolor by Iain Stewart
I thought I would share Iain Stewart's Friday Feature with you today.  I'm a big fan of Iain's work and am happy to call him a friend.  Leslie and I interviewed Iain this past Thursday on Artists Helping Artists and it was a fabulous interview.  In a very short amount of time Iain has rocketed to the top in the watercolor world.  His most recent accomplishment is the cover of Watercolor Artists Magazine, June issue.

To see more of Iain's work check out his website and Facebook page

If you want to see more paintings by him check out his blog and website.

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

My father is a watercolorist. Muir Stewart. I’ve watched him paint all of my life. That being said, I do consider myself mainly self taught. I know that sounds strange, but my father was not big on formal lessons. I’ve had maybe two or three from him between the ages of 10 and 18. I didn’t start painting in earnest until University. I am trained as an Architect and quickly moved into architectural rendering after graduation. Presentation was always a strong point of mine. I had thoughts of doing gallery work, but found myself too busy. That all changed in the recession. Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing on my end. I was able to commit almost full time to a serious exploration of how I really want to paint. If I look at work from even 3 years ago I feel that I’m light years past it now.

"The Water house, Staithes, England" 14"x14" original watercolor on paper by Iain Stewart
 Where were you born?
I was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
I’m fairly happy where I am now, but if we’re opening up real dreaming here I’d have multiple residences and do sort of a migratory progression to each one. Still, Europe, is really high on the list if we’re choosing just one.
"Santa Maria del Fiore" original watercolor on paper by Iain Stewart
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

Cityscapes. No question. As an architect I’m drawn to the built environment naturally. Still, I think it has a lot to do with how different elements become layers in such distinct ways. The buildings themselves are static, but at street level you have this beautiful orchestration of movement and energy. I also find the depth that can be achieved by taking a view from the middle of the street fascinating, although taking reference photography can get tricky.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?
My style seems to evolve rather quickly so I’m rarely tied to a specific technique. I’m very willing to test new ideas and to a certain extent embrace the failure as much, if not more, than success. I tell my students if you’re going to muck it up then make it a spectacular failure. I try to hold on to that myself.

As far as actual technique goes I believe you must build from strong drawing skills. Real comfort with a pencil will naturally extend to your brush. In drawing interest is achieved by mixing line weight, stroke, and texture. This is the same with watercolor. If I find myself becoming too careful that is usually a good indicator that on the next pass I need to loosen things up.
"5th Ave from Washing Square Park" 17" x 7.5" original watercolor on paper by Iain Stewart
 Do you always work from a sketch or do you use photo references?

Both. A camera is invaluable when time is limited or you want to document a lot of information. The problem that arises when only using a camera is I find that I don’t actually become immersed in a subject. I need to work on location to continue to learn how to simplify what I see and get at the heart of the subject. I don’t think this can be done by only referencing photography. The work I do on site is selfish and all about me and how I see things. I know it will rarely be viewed by others. It’s my favorite work.

How did you arrive at your current style?
This is where we do get back to my father. He likens my artistic education to that of a farmer’s son. The son watches the father milk the cows and bring in the hay, or what have you, and he learns how to do those tasks. I’ve watched my father paint my entire life and there is a huge amount of him in me. I think I’ve only recently begun to paint in what could be called “my style.” The breaking away from my father is crucial in claiming my own style. I think it’s safe to say I don’t paint like him now. You’ll always see a little Muir in my work and I’m happy in that, but it’s more important that you see me.
"Sunlit Corner NYC No 1" 10" x 14" original watercolor on paper by Iain Stewart
 Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Ok, these keep coming. Muir Stewart. See what I mean?

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

Drive. The need to paint. Taking joy in the process of painting and allowing yourself to be selfish without feeling guilty about it. That last one requires a very special partner in life. Painting time is my time. It’s my job, but it’s more than that. It changes how I view the world. Once you learn how to use your artist’s eye you can never go back. Most importantly you have to enjoy, and I mean damned well love, what you do.

"St. Charles Line at 4th" 15.5" x 6.5" original watercolor on paper by Iain Stewart
 Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

Winsor and Newton without a doubt. My go to colors are cobalt blue, burnt siena, french ultramarine, raw umber, yellow ochre, light red, alizarin crimson, and neutral tint.

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

Can you do watercolor in zero gravity? I made a 5 year plan 3 years ago. I’ve checked a lot of dreams as realized off of that list. I am unbelievably thankful for the direction my career is moving in. Quite simply I want to make a comfortable living doing what I love. I think that’s dreaming big. Ok, and maybe a few homes scattered here and there where I could have a sort of traveling artists colony thingy set up. Also a sailboat. A big one.

"Tallassee Alabama No 2" 10" x 6" original watercolor on paper by Iain Stewart
 What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

Plastics my boy. There’s a future in plastics. Seriously though, don’t do it unless you love it and be prepared to do other things in support of it. Find someone who is abundantly patient and don’t ask them to look at your work as soon as they walk in the door. Most importantly, enjoy it. I don’t subscribe to the tortured artist thing myself. It seems to work for Morrissey, but I have to like what I’m doing.

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

Paint a sky a day.

Chocolate or vanilla? Both.

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat? Both- preferably one after the other and repeat.

Book or movie? Book before movie.

Favorite author? P.G. Wodehouse.
"Dirty Santa" original watercolor on paper by Iain Stewart
 Favorite movie? At this time of year? Bad Santa.

Romance or comedy? Comedy.

Favorite ice cream flavor? Rocky Road.

Night owl or morning person? I’ve had a lot of fun over the years taking the night owl side on in to morning, but nowadays. Morning person.

Cake or Cupcakes? Both.

Thank you so much Iain:)  Wonderful interview!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Workshop Wednesday Round Up: Getting your grove on, prescription drugs and spiders--What?

My fabulous workshop attendees.  What a fun group, we even managed to learn some things in all the fun:)  It was a great day!
 Thought I would recap my workshop from last week.  We had a great time and I had some fabulous students.  This was a 1 day workshop and we focused on painting glass.  I did 2 demos one of the 3 bottles which I will share on this blog when it is completed and I did a demo on painting raised lettering in glass, a cropped version of "Retro Pop" that I shared on Monday.

In addition to demoing I shared 2 videos one was a compilation of my works and the other was a step by step video of "Retro Pop".  I also talked about my favorite tools and paints.

Check out these bottles:)
The ladies did a fabulous job!
Here is my supply list for my workshops.  
Group shot of one side of the room
The other side of the room.  We had a great studio that we were painting in.

I also learned some new things from the ladies in my workshop.  I think that is one of the favorite parts for me I always ending up learning so much.

One of the ladies uses old prescription bottle lids to hold he paints on her palette.  She puts a little masking tape on the bottom to hold them in place on the palette, genius.

And Diane Ziemski told me about Groove Book.  You can get 100 photos from your i pad , iPhone or Facebook printed for $2.99 a month.  They even bind them in a cute little book, the pages are even perforated if you want to take them out and share them with your friends and family.  Awesome!!!!

I also learned about the Spider iPad holder from Diane.  I paint from my iPad as my reference photo and this would come in so handy.  It's also good for holding it in place in the car and other places.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Retro Pop

"Retro Pop", 11" x 12" original watercolor by Carrie Waller

Hi Everyone,

I have finished my painting Woooo Hooo!!!!  I am in love with the colors in this painting and can not wait to paint more in this series:)  I'd like to do a larger version of this piece and I have a really cool, very large (for me) painting from this series that I have coming up soon.

Click on the link below to watch the work in progress video:)


Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Feature: Brenda Raub

"Artist's Thumbprint" by Brenda Raub
won 2nd place in the Daniel Smith 11th Annual Art Contest
This weeks Friday Feature is Brenda Raub.  I met Brenda after we both took home prizes from the Daniel Smith 11th Annual Art Contest.  Brenda's painting, "Artist's Thumbprint", won 2nd prize which prize was an on-line shopping spree from Daniel Smith.  I just fell in love with her piece and couldn't wait to feature her.  Brenda is currently an High School art teacher, I respect that so much about her.  There is nothing better than sharing your talents and shaping young minds:)

To see more of Brenda's work visit her website, and Facebook page .

How did you get your start?  

When I was 19 years old I worked at a bank and thought I should not go to college since I wasn’t strong in Math.  Meanwhile, I kept having reoccurring nightmares of me running from someone.  I had my fortune told to me and she told me that I was probably running away from something that I needed but was afraid of.  So, I thought about it and decided it was going to college to study art!  Sure enough, I’ve never dreamt that nightmare since devoting my studies to art.  What’s your artist journey so far? While in college I did a lot of freelance illustration work.  Even though I was starting to build a portfolio, I still wanted the security of a regular paycheck.  I went into art education and became an art teacher at the same school I graduated from! Throughout the years I’ve been lucky enough to teach not only high school students but also kids and adults in private lessons.  When I’m not teaching I work in my studio on my own work as well as commissions. 

original by Brenda Raub
Where were you born? Duluth Minnesota

If you could live anywhere where would you live? In an artist colony surrounded by beautiful landscapes of mountains, trees, and water.

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why? 

I love still lives.  If it has color and texture I’m probably intrigued and inspired!

original by Brenda Raub
Could you talk about your painting techniques?

 I work with colored pencils.  Layer after layer of various colors create depth and a richness of color.  You can melt colored pencils to create an almost watercolor effect.  You can burnish colored pencils for a more opaque acrylic or oil paint effect.   I will use melting and burnishing in the same painting along with layers and layers of colored pencil to create one of my still lives.  

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

 I mostly use Prismacolor Colored Pencils and my favorite color to use is Tuscan Red!  

Do you have a favorite artist?

 My favorite artist changes as often as the weather in Idaho!  Right now I’m so inspired by Tjalf Sparnaay, a photo realist painter that blows my mind!  Who has been your biggest inspiration?  My biggest inspiration has been my fellow artist’s guild members, other members of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA), my art students, and my patrons.  

original by Brenda Raub
What have been some of your crowning achievements?

 I came in second to Carrie in the Daniel Smith Catalog art contest!  I am a signature member of the CPSA with a monetary award win from their Experimental Juried Show.  

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? 

Dream big here:)  I’d like to make the shift to creating more artwork and a little less teaching.  I want to travel to all different places in the world with camera in hand to take thousands of reference photos.  I’d like to submit my artwork to more magazines and books for publication. I’d love to see one of my artworks as a jig saw puzzle!  I’d like to be surrounded by fellow creatives on a daily basis.  
original by Brenda Raub
What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

  Network, network, network.  Practice, practice, practice.  And, practice some more!  

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

 Value your art and the time you put into it and don’t give it away!  

original by Brenda Raub

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla ice cream, Chocolate everything else

Your dream vacation spot?
West coast of Mexico

Book or movie?

Favorite author?
Stephanie Evonavich 

Favorite movie?

Romance or comedy?

Favorite dessert?
warm fresh dark chocolate brownie with coconut ice cream

Night owl or morning person?

Night owl

Thanks so much Brenda:)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday: "Retro Pop"

"Retro Pop" work in progress  11" x 12" watercolor by Carrie Waller
Today I'm sharing my progress with you:))  Can't wait to share the finished painting with you on Monday!  I absolutely love the colors in this painting and I can't wait to do some more in this series.  I do have to take a break in there and get ready for a workshop I'm teaching on Friday.  I'm trying a new painting with this workshop and I'll tell you all about it next week.

I do hava couple spots available in my "All That Shines:  The Art of Painting Glass in Watercolor" May 15-17th workshop in Baton Rouge, LA.  That will probably be my last workshop in the United States for a while since we are packing up and moving to Japan.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Work In Progress: Retro Pop

"Retro Pop" work in progress 11" x 12" watercolor on 260lb Arches cold press
Finding painting time has been challenging lately.  We are starting to get prepared for our move to Japan.  Between that and spring break and birthday parties and our normal hectic life it's getting a little crazy around her, but I did manage to make some progress and I think with 1 or 2 more painting sessions I can get this one done:)  I really love this painting and am planning on doing a series.

I'm also hosting Artists Helping Artists (#1 art blog radio show) this month.  This Thursday is the 4 year anniversary! I  can't tell you how influential this show has been and how much I have enjoyed listening to it and now co-hosting regularly.  It has truly changed my life.  If you haven't listened you must.  If you are already a fan I could use your help.  Leslie and I would love to know if you have any favorite shows?  What advice has helped you out as an artist that you heard on the show?  We would love to share your comments.  Just leave them here on my blog or on my Facebook page or e-mail them to me

I have a workshop coming up this week that is sold out but I do have a few spots for my workshop "All that shines:  The art of painting glass in watercolor" May 15-17 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  If you are interested click here for details.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Friday Feature: Carol Nelson

"One nineteen 12-072" by Carol Nelson
Hi Everyone,

This week Carol Nelson is the Friday Feature.  I came across Carol on facebook.  Her abstracts have me mesmerized.  They are beautiful, organic, vibrant and just plain cool. She can do it all aside from abstracts she has some beautiful landscapes and still life paintings on her site.

To see more of Carol's work check out her blog and website,

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

I was an art major when I started college, but finished with a scientific degree.  Art was on the back burner for many years, until one day I came across Maxine Masterfield’s book, Painting the Spirit of Nature.  It inspired me to buy all the stuff I need to try her technique.  

"Gemstone 9 12071" by Carol Nelson
That was followed by several years of trying different media, and finally settling on acrylics and mixed media.  I also paint portraits in oil, but the majority of my work is mixed media with an emphasis on experimentation.  I love to try new things.  

If you had told me 6 years ago that I would be teaching workshops in mixed media around the country, I’d have thought you were nuts.  I found out I love sharing my knowledge of contemporary abstract acrylics with other artists.

Where were you born? Duluth, Minnesota

If you could live anywhere where would you live? I love living in Colorado, where the sky is blue and the seasons are dramatic.  I like to vacation near the ocean, but love coming home to my mountains.

"Gemstone 4 1000 12047" original by Carol Nelson

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?  The most consistent theme in my work is my Geologic Abstract Series, which includes my new Gemstone Series.  Many of my paintings are suggestive of the rocks, cliffs, and canyons of the West.  

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  I strive to have deep, vibrant color, and unusual textures in my work.  I often incorporate metals, metal foils, metal leaf, modeling compound, art papers, printed papers, and a variety of textural elements into a painting.

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?  I work exclusively with Golden Fluid Acrylics for the abstract work.  My favorite color is Quinacridone Nickel Azo gold – it ends up in almost every painting.  For my portraits, I use Grumbacher Pretested Oils.

"Gemstone 8 12069" by Carol Nelson

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?  I love abstract expressionist
artists such as Diebenkorn, Rauschenberg, and Rothko.  Since Masterfield’s book started all this, I’d have to say she was the most inspirational to me.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?  Just found out last week that one of my paintings would be on the cover of the new Blick catalog, and also that I am a finalist in The Artists Magazine annual competition.  
My biggest achievement, however, is the continuing popularity of my workshops, where I can show other artists how to be more creative with acrylics and mixed media.

"Orange Dream 12053" by Carol Nelson

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
I’d like to see my work on the cover of some of the major art publications – the Blick Catalog is a start!  It would be nice to be so in demand, that top galleries would seek me out (does that EVER happen?)

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?   There is no substitute for miles on the brush – paint every day.  Join online and local artist groups.  Take workshops and classes.  Start a blog.   Visit galleries often.  Enter competitions.

"Parkview 3 12020" by Carol Nelson
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist? Start a blog.  Then a website.  My whole internet presence started with putting myself “out there” in cyberspace.

Chocolate or vanilla? vanilla

Your dream vacation spot?  Seychelles

Book or movie? Movie (don’t have time to read books).

Favorite author? Margaret Mitchell

Favorite movie? Blues Brothers

Romance or comedy?  comedy

Favorite dessert? Apple pie

Night owl or morning person? Night owl

Thank you Carol for your insightful interview!