Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Hi All,

At this time of renewal, I though I'd say a few words about what the beginning of a new year means to me. I do not do New Years Resolutions, but I am a major believer in setting goals. Many people ask Lynne and I how we started working together and why. The answer is simple-goals.

We were not accomplishing what we wanted to in our art careers. We wanted to be artists who teach, but we were teachers who had little time for art. About 5 years ago, we started combining forces to help each other. First we started teaching classes together and eventually combined all of our classes into 3 hour studio courses. This allows us to teach any media and to have two instructors allowing one of us to be gone when needed without cancelling classes. We began to teach workshops together and eventually put our experience into a book proposal which was accepted by North Light (F & W Publishing) and was released in May of 2007, Creative Colored Pencil Workshop.

All of this was a direct result of setting goals and being accountable to each other. There is no question in my mind that book would never have been written if we had not decided to set goals and deadlines for accomplishing them. We now have a new book we're working on that has been accepted by our publisher and is slated to be released in 2009. Who would have thought?!!

We also choose priorities for each year. Which exhibits to enter, how many pieces to finish, what new series to begin. We report to each other and encourage each other as well as critique as needed. This has increased production and recognition for both of us. We are also a part of a salon group called Out of Hand Artists which focuses on marketing. This has been immensely helpful for us; we are learning to network and use our skills and individual strengths to get our work out there and create sales.

My advice to anyone who wants to accomplish something, anything, in 2008 is to set goals. Decide what is most important and which steps are needed to get there. Give yourself deadlines for each step and congratulate yourself when you achieve them. Focus on what you have done, don't waste time on what didn't get done.

And write down those goals. Remember, an unwritten goal is only a wish. My wish for all of your is a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Peace in 2008


Monday, December 10, 2007

Artful Giving

Hi everybody,

We wanted to let you know what's happening in downtown Ocala. There's a wonderful show at Brick City Center for the Arts. It's a great opportunity to buy some special gifts for the holidays and everything is priced under $200. Stop by and find a little gem to share.

Have a peaceful Christmas,

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Work

Hi All,

Finally, here is something new I am working on. This new series is called bondage, and it opens up a whole lot of possibilities for me, creatively and emotionally. Even when I paint something that is based entirely on representational subjects, I think something of myself goes in. I believe that artists cannot avoid that. But this one really hit home for me. I think bondage can describe many stages in our lives, both good and bad. When we are children we are in bondage (or so it seems) to our parents. When we marry and have our own children, we are bound to them by love and duty. We can be bound by jobs, debts, contracts, or addictions. Bondage usually has a negative conotation, but love can be as binding as any thing else.

I hope you have a lovely and creative day.



Monday, October 15, 2007

top, l. to r.: Carlynne Hershberger, Kelli Money Huff, Jessica Miller, Sharon Crute, Mary Verrandeaux, Moe Hahn. bottom: Lorna L. Effler, Nancy Moskovitz, Merrill Anderson, Margaret Watts, Jackie Shindehette

Well, here we are.....the fabulous OoHA's - Out of Hand Artists. As a group and as individual artists we're painting, brain- storming, planning and working it. There are some things in the works so we'll be sure to update you on the next group exhibition.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

more inspiration

My husband and I had the brilliant idea of going to Crystal River and Homosassa last weekend on a photo expedition. You know how "some days are diamonds" - well Sunday was one of those. We had a wonderful day shooting on the coast and then stopped at the wildlife park to capture some lovely creatures such as this one - what a lovely smile! The little furry guy at the top just posed for us. I threatened to send this photo to my mother for a screen saver - if you knew how she felt about squirrels you'd understand why that was funny.

Mark and I took 2 cameras - digital of course. Between the two of us we took over 1200 pictures. Amazing! Remember the days of carrying around rolls of 36 shots that had to be rationed over the course of the day and then pray they turned out? Don't worry, I'm not going to post them all here but I would like to figure out how to get the ones I do post in the blog the way I want them to appear. Someday I'll get all this stuff figured out.


Saturday, September 29, 2007


Earth Passage
Hi everyone,
Here's one of the latest from the studio. As you can see it's a bit larger than what I've been doing. I'm having a ball working this size. The only down side is storing these canvases until I can get them into a show. I'd like to work even bigger but storage really is an issue. Since this is on a larger stretched canvas I couldn't use all the neat texture gels that I've been using on the smaller pieces but I did use tissue paper to give it some texture. I'm using the Interactive acrylic on these and I love being able to scrub out areas and either leave it for the effect or paint over it. It's a very forgiving paint.
Yesterday was a day for inspiration. Kelli and I went to Daytona for the Florida Watercolor Society exhibition and trade show. Of course trade shows are always fun, it's like a feeding frenzy when you get good deals and a bunch of artists together. I picked up some new brushes that I can't wait to try out. It was great to see some people I hadn't seen in a while like Mike Grecian from Grecian Sales Group. He's been so great about getting our book Creative Colored Pencil Workshop out there. The good folks from Art Calendar magazine were there too (be on the lookout for some short video clips of us on their website). It was also a treat to meet Joe Miller from Cheap Joe's. He's like a celebrity at these shows! I had to stand in line before I could get a hug - and everybody gets a hug. All in all a very energizing day, and the motto for the day was: always be prepared. You never know when you'll have the opportunity to pass out business cards, make a connection or even get on camera to promote your work.
The exhibition itself......wonderful work as usual. I was especially taken with the abstract and non-representational work. Go figure. Seeing the color, texture and movement in those pieces was so exciting. I wanted to run home and paint. Don't you love that feeling? I also loved the work of the Juror Donna Watson, such subtle color and feeling in her work. Very nice. Well running home and painting wasn't an option last night because we had the Artist Within reception to attend at Brick City Center for the Arts. Artist Within puts artist/teachers together with business people in the community to create a piece of art to be auctioned as a fundraiser for the Marion Cultural Alliance. I worked with Darla Priest on a landscape in watercolor and it was so nice to see it framed and hanging. I know it was exciting for her to see her very first painting in the show. There was some exceptional work so I know it will all do well at the auction.
What an inspirational day! It also made me realize just how much work there is to be done. We have to wear so many hats as artists. The good thing is it certainly keeps life interesting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Hi Everyone,

We have a workshop coming up all about acrylic textures. It takes place at the Brick City Center for the Arts in Ocala, FL on October 26 and 27th, 2007. (BCCA is the home of Marion Cultural Alliance.)

It's really a one whole day workshop split into two half days so we have overnight drying time, which is necessary for the materials we are using. You will learn to use many different types of acrylic texture mediums, such as our two current favorites, sand texture medium and Liquitex Super Heavy Body Gesso. You'll get a chance to sample many more and find out what you can do with them to create wonderful mixed media pieces on canvas.

When you learn how to use the texture mediums, the possibilities are endless for paintings, collage, assemblage and crafts. You have seem many of our texture paintings right here and will continue to in the future. Contact us for more information.



Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hi All,

I know I haven't blogged for awhile. I had a nice summer, I think I took a vacation from a lot of things. I hope yours was good too.

I am including a picture of a dog figurine with a painting of Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" painted on it. You might be wondering why I would paint such a thing. This piece is for a project by the Marion Cultural Alliance in Ocala, FL. There are figurines of dogs and cats and wonderful little dog houses which will be on display for awhile and auctioned off to benefit the Humane Society of Marion County.

I enjoy doing these community projects. Carlynne and I each painted a horse for Horse Fever in Motion last year, and butterflies for Kaleidoscope, Butterflies in Flight for Lakeland, FL. Sometimes the artist is paid and sometimes not, but there are other benefits. We meet interesting people and make good contacts with people who are interested in buying art. We get publicity in newspapers, magazines and sometimes even television. And always, we get the good feeling that comes from helping a good cause. Carlynne and I like to do things for our favorite charities, and even though, as artists, we are quite not starving, we don't have much discretionary income. It's nice to be able to use your talent to give to others.

Look here next week for information on upcoming events from the Hershberger Huff Studios.

Peace, soon.


Monday, September 10, 2007

What's going on?

No new photo to post tonight, just some rambling. I just got home from an Out of Hand Artists meeting - yes, we're the OoHA's. We are a group of professional artists that have gotten together to support each other through the maze of marketing fine art. As a group we're relatively new but we got our feet wet with our first show at a bank in downtown Ocala. I must say we made a very nice showing of work. Damn we're good! (Yes, I stole your line Diane) We're currently looking for new venues for a group show and have some strong possibilities. It is nice to have a good group of folks to bounce ideas off of, cheer for, be honest with and get silly with. Sometimes as a group with the right chemistry you can go farther than you can alone. Hopefully we have a chemistry that will explode - in a good way!

On a different note.....have you ever felt compelled to paint something to the point where you didn't emerge from the studio until it was finished? I did that last night. I started about 4 pm and finished at 11:00. It was an intensely personal self-portrait that I did in colored pencil. I haven't worked in 100% colored pencil in some time since I've been mainly a mixed media painter. Anyway, I'll be teaching a workshop at the CPSA International Exhibition and Convention in Seattle WA in 08 and it's about self-portraits. I started this piece with that convention in mind since I needed to have an image for the promotional materials (the intensely personal portrait will end up all over the place, including this blog at some point - and that's okay). What started as a deadline became a painting that swallowed me whole. It'll show up here eventually. Hopefully it'll show up at the exhibition too - we'll see what happens.

One more thing.......Do a lot of artists have blogs, websites AND myspace pages? I just got started with a page so I could see some photos that my kids have posted but I'm having so much fun with myspace. It's amazing how many artists are out there, there's some amazing work to be seen. Wander around and notice it.

Peace ya'll,

Monday, August 27, 2007

Here's another one

Passage 28
Acrylic, mixed media
Hi folks,
Here's another in the series. This is where I discovered the joy of covering a crummy area with a layer of decorative paper. Sometimes pieces just don't want to come together, they become a struggle. I set it aside while I work on other canvases, keep looking at it and ask it what it wants. Sometimes I get the silent treatment and sometimes it actually tells me - "see that paper over there? tear it up and start gluing" I'm always happier when it talks to me and tells me what to do. The end result is much better. The lesson is having the patience to listen and learning how to get out of my own way. In other words.......relax and have fun with it!
choose happiness,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Passage 27
This is another Passage piece I had fun with. It's got all sorts of things included in the media. There's plain copy paper, texture gels, garnets, wire, oriental paper, colored pencil and acrylic paint. Did you know that some Prismacolor pencils change color when layered with matte gel medium? I didn't until I did it on this one. Always do a test swatch when layering pencils with other media. The dark purple turned into hot pink when I covered it with the gel. That was a shocker! I went back over it with color but it still altered the color of the lines that I had put down. Over all I'm still happy with the piece but it's something to be aware of when working in mixed media - how the layers work together.

Happiness is a choice.
Til next time,

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Passage 22
Acrylic with mixed media
Hi all,
Once again it's been a very long time since the last post. It's amazing how much time and effort it takes to put on a wedding, and my daughter did most of the work. She was a beautiful bride!
Now that the dust has settled it's time to get back to work. I've been continuing with the Passage series. Right now I'm working on numbers 37 through 42. I have to have several going at once because of drying time and my lack of patience. Something I do on one piece can also inspire a new idea on the next one so this working method keeps me going. This particular one - #22, has two different acrylic texture gels, metallic thread and collaged watercolor papers. There just seems to be something new to say on each and every one of these. When will I stop? Who knows.
Remember to choose happiness,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Passage 19

Passage 15

Hi all,
As promised here are a couple of the latest pieces from the studio. Passage 15 has watercolor and charcoal pieces collaged with sand texture gel, crackle paste, acrylic and even a stone is glued on there. In the piece at the top, Passage 19, I collaged pieces of a watercolor painting with super heavy gesso, white opaque flake texture gel, acrylic and polished stones. This is the kind of thing we did in the texture workshop that Kelli and I taught. We created more texture obsessed people! How fun!
Choose Happiness,

Monday, June 18, 2007

How long has it been?

Wow, I can't believe it's been over a month since the last post! Kelli and I have been crazy busy. We've been doing some show entries - I had a piece accepted to Gainesville's Thomas Center for the Arts Regional Exhibition coming up in July. This is the first show entry for one of my Cavern pieces and I'm very happy to have it accepted. We also got a new book proposal submitted and there'll be more info on that topic coming soon. We had a very successfull workshop on using acrylic texture gels. I'm absolutely addicted to playing with these mediums. They are so much fun. I've been painting instead of posting. As soon as I get a couple of these converted to jpg's I'll post them so you can see what I've been up to. Kelli and I are also members of Out of Hand Artists and we're having our first group show at the Bank of America in downtown Ocala. We'll post more details soon. Almost is the launch day for our new website. It's an online portfolio. Visit us at

Choose Happiness,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Old Becomes New

Passage 13
Mixed Media

Passage 12
Mixed Media
Hi everyone,
These are two new pieces in the Passage series. I have had such a ball doing these two. I've been playing with the acrylic texture mediums and I think Kelli's right. It can be addictive. On these pieces I used crackle paste, glass beads and sand texture gel. The other elements are collaged torn paper. The torn paper is actually an old watercolor painting that didn't quite work out. I knew those old things would come in handy sometime. If you're a painter don't ever throw anything away. I might end up as part of another piece someday.
In recent months I've had the opportunity to visit other artist's studios. Kelli and I belong to a group of artists that meets regularly for support, inspiration and marketing help and as part of the meeting we've had the chance to share our work spaces. I'm in awe of the work being done by these wonderful women and it's great to be able to see where and how they work. Our studios are sacred places. The room I had for my previous studio was very tiny, almost stifling. Now I'm in a slightly bigger space and I'm amazed at the difference it made in my work. I've expanded into mixed media which of course requires tons of art supplies. I'm also working a little larger and on canvas. Did I also mention that I don't throw anything away? The room that seemed so big when I moved into it is not as spacious as it was. Isn't there a Murphy's Law about that? Well, no matter how much or how little room I have it's still my favorite place to be.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.
Choose happiness,

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Beach Series #3
16 x 16

Hi All,

Carlynne and I have a friend, another artist, who is traveling alone in a foreign country because she has been feeling drawn to this particular area for some time. We have heard from her briefly by email and it sounds like it is a life changing experience for her, as I imagine it might be for anyone. I think this is a brave thing to do considering the times we live in, but I also believe we have to do what we have to do. As artists, our work is affected by so many things, what we see and feel, world events, losses, change of all types. We must be open to change and new directions in order to grow as artists. I have never been very brave but am working on doing things that are outside my comfort zone.

When I look at my beach series, I feel that this is what I am supposed to be doing right now. It is very different from what we did in the book. The funny thing is that when the book came out recently, everyone was, and still is interested in talking about the realistic work on paper that the book is about. I feel like that is history now, that I have moved on and am doing something else. I know I will go back to it sometime, but right now, I am into texture. Publishing is a slow process and by the time the book was on the shelf, we were both doing very different work. We don't much like labels, but we sometimes call ourselves experimental artists and as that name implies, we are always doing something new.

Change can be scary and it can be exciting. For myself, I want to always be open to change, even if I am afraid. I want to push the envelope of the world I currently live in and find out what is out there that I might want to do or see. And I know that this will show up in my artwork.

Love, and peace to you all,
and especially to you Merrill,
wherever you are right now.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

More News

We also have a workshop coming up June 9 and 10. This is the one on texture and acrylic gel mediums. Kelli's been working with this technique for a while now and I've just started playing with it. Take a look again at her Beach series to get an idea of what I'm talking about. There are so many different acrylic mediums out there and the textures are so much fun to play with. The workshop will take you step by step through the process of working with these textures and adding color. If you're in the Ocala area and are interested in taking a workshop please write for more information.

News, News, News

It's finally here! After four years of hard labor (and I do mean that), we have finally given birth to a book!! It is on the shelf. Orval, at Red Swan will have sold about 20 copies by the end of today, after our second weekly class. The online booksellers have already shipped it. If you get the book, Creative Colored Pencil Workshop, we would love to hear your feedback. You could also go on and write a review. (All good, we hope, but we can't pay you very much.) Remember that, in spite of the title, this is a mixed media book. Every piece is a combination of several media.

We are busy on the next book and it will be even more experimental than the first one. We're very exited and will let you know when we have more information.

Have a creative day.
Peace, soon.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Landscape below

Cavern 4
Mixed Media
Hi everyone. This is another piece in the cavern series. It's acrylic, gold leaf and oil. I'm looking forward to getting back to painting this series. I've taken a slight detour with some other painting - painting the living room walls. Boy, what a difference a coat of paint makes. I'm ready now to get back to the studio and work. Did you see the episode of Planet Earth on caves? It was amazing! Not only are the formations amazing but so was watching those guys base jump into the black hole. I want to know how they got out. They didn't show that part.
I'm excited about the release of Creative Colored Pencil Workshop. It should be in the stores any day now and those of you who have ordered it should be receiving it soon. When you get a chance to look at it please give us some feedback. We'd love to hear from you.
choose happiness,

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Reminder to Myself

On Thursday of this week, Carlynne and I gave up a studio day to go to Lakeland to do the final touch ups on the two butterflies that I did for Kaleidoscope, Butterflies in Flight. After finishing the paint repairs, we visited Carlynne's butterfly in Munn Park across from the Chemical and Citrus Bank where it is permanently displayed and looks very nice. One of mine will be auctioned off with the money going to help build the children's park.

On the way home, we stopped at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland and were very fortunate to see two wonderful exhibits by two fabulous artists, Joyce Scott and Monica Naugle. Both could be called weavers of unusual materials. Joyce Scott is a beader and fiber artist who combines many other things into her wall hangings, jewelry and assemblages. Her work is very edgy and makes an important statement about racism and stereotypes. Monica Naugle weaves natural materials, such as thorns with metals and other objects into very fine sculptures and wall hangings. Being who I am, the colors and textures of these two exhibits made it very difficult not to touch.

Kudos to the Polk Museum for showing these two fine exhibits that might have been too controversial for some venues. We were both very impressed with the cultural atmosphere in Lakeland and Polk County. The public sculpture and the children's art on display upstairs at the museum are just two examples of the importance placed on art

We had a host of ideas that came to us, as we looked at the work of these two artists. On the way home as I drove, Carlynne jotted down notes for us to help remember what we wanted to do with the inspiration we had gained. (By the way, I like having a secretary). I was reminded that in the world of schedules and deadlines, I do not take time to look at art often enough, and this is very important to what I do. I have read most of Julia Cameron's books, starting with The Artists Way, and I agree with her that an "artist's date" is extremely important. I need to look at art, particularly art that is unlike my own, on a regular basis. It is so inspirational and just what I need when I am stuck for an idea.

Happy painting to you,
and peace soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More on the beach.

Beach Series #4
14 X 14
Acrylic and Mediums on Canvas
Me again. I'm thrilled, I now know how to upload my work to blogger! (Thank you Carlynne, for the tutorial.) Please bear with me. I love technology but don't have as much time as I would like to learn how to use everything.
This is another in the Beach Series. I put the texture mediums on the primed stretched canvas and let them dry at least overnight. Then I start adding washes of fluid acrylic paint. I tilt the canvas in all directions and use a spray bottle of water to float the paint even more. I let each layer of paint dry before adding another. I try to keep the paint transparent as that shows off the textures to best advantage. I love the textures and I expect everyone to touch them. I also love the way the paint flows in and out of the mountains and valleys.
I'll be showing more of the Beach series and other texture pieces, so stay tuned and send us your comments.

I want to paint!

Hi Everyone,

Don't you just hate it when life interferes with painting? My husband and I are painting the bedroom and replacing the flooring. As excited as I am about that, I would rather be painting canvas than walls. Well, actually he is doing most of the work, but I am available whenever needed. The other thing is that my house is a mess because all the bedroom furnishings and our clothing are in the living room. Chaos can be a creativity killer. I am fortunate to have a studio, but the domino effect means that every room but the bedroom is holding temporarily homeless possessions. I cannot wait until everything is back in order and I am at peace enough to be working at full throttle.

I like my studio to be organized but that is very difficult, especially when you work in multiple media. There are always things that are not currently being used but are constantly being moved from place to place. I cannot get rid of anything because I might need it some day. However, I have found that when I can bring myself to throw things out or pass them on to someone else, I feel lighter and more in control of my life. Even though this is somewhat a psychological issue, those are important to most artists. The way we feel can dictate how well we work and what the finished product looks like. So, when this bedroom remodel is over, I am going to try to clean out my studio and get the rest of my environment in order. I'll let you know how that goes.

Peace to all,

Another Series

Homestead Grove 7
mixed media
I hope everyone had a very nice holiday weekend. I spent Sunday with family huddled around an outdoor fireplace. It's a tradition that we spend the day outdoors so we couldn't let a little cold weather stand in the way of that. Florida, Easter and fireplaces just don't seem to go together but here we are, only 4 days later and we have the a/c on because it's too hot. Ahhhh, back to normal.
So, the piece posted above is from - you guessed it - another series. All together there are 4 series going at once. That may seem like a lot but they are all related in some way. Two are about rocks and caverns and the other 2 are about the landscape and skies. All are about nature and textures. This particular piece is a landscape based on an avocado grove in south FL. I toned the canvas with red acrylic first then used gold leaf for the entire sky. With a palette knife I applied thick acrylic for the local colors on the trees and foreground and then finished with some oil paint on top. I've done several of these with this combination of media and some with Interactive acrylic on top.
The danger of working with mixed media is not the toxicity of the materials but remembering later what media I mixed on what canvas. I have to write this info down as soon as I'm done painting. I've reached the age of lists. It should be listed on life's time line along with the others like 'age of reason' - what age is that anyway? I didn't write it down.
Choose happiness,

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happy Saturday

Hi everybody,

Nothing special going on, just wanted to say happy Saturday. If you're a painter enjoy doing something in the studio. If you're not you can still do something creative - putter in the yard (wanna come be creative in my yard?), bake something, make music, take a photo, meditate, color Easter eggs, who knows.

I also wanted to share a website with you if you haven't already seen it. Check out her blog. She has a huge list of categories and there's some wonderful topics to read about.

Have a wonderful day,

Friday, April 6, 2007

This is the first in the cavern series. It's acrylic - both the conventional and the new Interactive plus gold leaf on gallery wrap canvas. It's 18x36. I just love the flowing organic shapes and forms found in caves. I know these colors are not exactly what you see in caves but I also love reds and golds. Another group in this series is done on square canvas with texture added. Those are fun too. I'll put one of those up soon.
When I figure out the significance of these forms in my work I'll let you know. I've been thinking about this for a while because I'm still working with the series and so far it really doesn't seem to be any deeper than - I love the shapes. I'm afraid I'm not one of those artists that writes paragraphs of "art speak" that runs around in circles and doesn't really say much. I paint what I'm compelled to paint and for now that's cave formations. Hopefully someone else will respond to them and find them interesting too.
Have a great weekend everyone,

Hi All

Hi All,

Whenever I finish something, like the book or a workshop, I need to do something different. I think that is what's nice about working in more than one media. It enables you to work in a loose manner or tightly detailed, or chose one media or mix them. Carlynne seems to be the same way. For the book, we worked on paper, mostly realistically with lots of detail. As soon as the book went to press, we had to grab large brushes and move to canvas. That's when my beach series started and I have not grown tired of it yet. I still have more ideas about the way the water and sand interact. But I also have additional things I want to do with the texture in other natural subjects, such as rocks, caves, skies, florals, etc. I am working a lot with texture gels and we will be covering this in a workshop in June so watch for more information soon.

Peace and happy painting,

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Here is another of Kelli's Beach series. This is number 6. She'll be telling you a lot more about this series so look for a post from her soon. I wish you could feel it. I have a couple of her pieces in my office and I have to say I can't keep my hands off them. She did say it was okay to touch.
Later be on the look out for a very red painting. I'll post one of my cavern pieces.

Speaking of Workshop

I can't believe we haven't put this up before now. This is our book - Creative Colored Pencil Workshop! It will be released April 25 so it should be in the stores by the first of May. If you're a North Light Book Club member it will be the main selection in the May issue. We got an advanced copy of the book and it really was a thrill to finally see it in print. If you like mixed media take a look when it's out. We layered a variety of media with the colored pencils - watercolor, oil pastel, gouache, acrylic and I had to get something shiny in there so there's a project with silver leaf.

When I started working on this project I was of course nervous. I've never done something like this before and the work involved looked overwhelming at times but once Kelli and I got into a routine I really enjoyed the process. Check it out and let us know what you think. We've also got the next workshop planned. It's all about texture and that's coming up in June. We'll let you know some details soon.
Til next time,

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Interactive Acrylic Workshop and COMPUTERS!

Well I finally got to post. I'm using a different computer than I usually do. The other one nearly got thrown against the wall. %*&#@* I'm okay now - just had to get that out. Anyway, Kelli and I taught a workshop last Saturday. This is the painting that we had everyone do. It's from a photo I took in California. We had 11 people in the workshop so it was a nice size crowd and I think it turned out very well. They all seemed to be happy with it and that's our main concern. We want our students to not only learn something but have a good time too. What I found especially interesting is how different every one's paintings turned out. They all used the same 6 colors (Interactive Acrylic - great stuff) and we provided the line drawing for them to transfer to the canvas. The result was 11 completely different pieces. It's wonderful! Now that the workshop is done I have a couple of days off and it's studio time. I can't wait to unwrap my new canvas. There's another series brewing.
Enjoy the rest of your day,

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What was I thinking?

Hi Everyone,

Thursday is studio day for Carlynne and I. She called me this morning and asked, " Why is it that one day you can paint and the next day you can't do anything right?" My reply, " I don't know, but if we knew the answer, there are probably a lot of artists out there who would pay to know it."

I went to bed pretty happy about the foreground of the painting I am doing for the workshop Saturday. This morning I looked at it and thought, "What was I thinking?" I had to stop myself from wiping all the paint off the canvas. So the question I add to hers is, "Why can't we be objective about our own work?"

It seems to me the artist's life is full of emotional ups and downs. Everything is going well one minute and the next, everything turns to crap. We must be strong and most of all, not be too hasty to throw it all away, whether it be your painting or your whole career. We frequently tell our students that the piece they are working on is just going through an ugly stage. Things do get better. I am very thankful that I get to do what I do. It is sometimes very hard and sometimes even depressing, but if you truly believe in the work you are doing, good things will happen.

Peace and love,

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Technique and Possibilities


I have been busy working on a painting for the workshop that Carlynne mentioned we are teaching this weekend. We really like the new Interactive Acrylic paint. It has a longer open time than the regular acrylics and allows easier blending. It is not quite like oil, but not your mothers acrylic either.

You might be wondering how we teach a workshop together. We take turns demonstrating different techniques and then both of us help students accomplish what we have shown them. Sometimes we both work on one project and sometimes we do two different ones. Our goal in a workshop is to give our students as much information as possible to allow them to go home and do even more with what they have learned. Our workshops are not about the particular painting that we are working on. We are teaching technique and possibilities.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rocks in the head.

Passage 6
Mixed Media
Another piece in this series. There are nine in this particular series and they are all done on gallery wrap canvas. The painting continues on the sides of the canvas. I like having multiples in this size because they can be arranged in any number of ways. This group of abstracts is loosely based on rock patterns. I have a box full of rock slabs in my studio that I use for inspiration.
I really do have rocks in the head.... I should be getting some work done for next weekend's workshop instead of playing on the computer. Kelli and I are teaching a class on the new Interactive Acrylic. If you haven't given this stuff a try you really should. The more I work with it the more I like it. We have a few more workshops scheduled over the course of the year. We'll let you know what's coming up.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Abstracts too

Mixed Media

Yes, I paint abstracts too. I like to have more than one thing going at once. Working in series allows me to develop a theme. Working on 2 series at once allows me to 1. satisfy my need to experiment and 2. take a break from the first series and return to it later with fresh eyes after having worked on the second series. There are a lot of artists out there that work in more than one style. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Your thoughts?
The piece above is torn paper collaged with acrylic and oil.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hi everyone. Although we have written magazine articles and a book, Carlynne and I are new to blogging but very excited about it. I look forward to sharing my thoughts as well as my artwork with you. Please write to let us know how you feel about what we are doing.

As much as we really enjoyed writing the book, we were doing mostly tightly rendered, realistic pieces for a long time and both of us seemed to need to loosen up after the book went to press. I am currently working on a number of pieces I call my "beach series." They are all about texture and are representative of water and sand, but not a literal interpretation. I am having a wonderful time exploring the world of texture and color. I'm using many different texture gels and other acrylic mediums on gallery wrapped canvas and cradled boards. We will be doing a workshop on this very subject in June, 2007. (More information will be available in the future).

I love the way the paint flows over the mountains and valleys in the texture peices. I have ideas on using other natural subjects for more textures. I have never been so excited about a series in all of my art life. In fact, this one has so much potential, I can see it going on for years. However, I always seem to go back to working on paper too. I used to use mostly watercolor and colored pencil on paper, but now I am adding acrylic to the mix and sometimes a few other things. Right now I am looking for some flowers that really grab me.

If you are an artist who is concerned that if you use more than one media or paint more than one subject, you will be considered unfocused as an artist, stop worrying. Art by it's very nature is experimental. If you work for many years, you will change. It is a natural evolution for artists to seek out the new. Carlynne and I are the quintessential experimental artists. We cannot resist trying new things and that is one reason we work so well together. We influence and give each other ideas. It is a fun way to work and we encourage you to try one of our workshops so you, too, can see how thrilling it is to try new things.

Until later,


Saturday, March 17, 2007

This is one of Kelli's paintings from her beach series. I just love the textures.


Welcome to our studios. Kelli and I are busy painters, teachers and now new authors. We wear many hats and of course our favorite is the painter. I love being in the studio. If there's a day when I can't paint because of other obligations I'll at least visit my studio. Even standing there looking at what's on the easel can be a creative boost. I can think about the next step in the painting knowing that I'll be back in there soon. In the last few years I've been doing a lot of mixed media techniques and loving it. I think I want to use every art material in existence. There are certain combinations that are especially dear to my heart: watercolor with colored pencil on hot press watercolor paper and acrylic with oil on canvas. I'll be posting examples of these works, some finished and some in progress. After being a purist with colored pencil for so many years I really needed to branch out and do something new. Although the techniques are new the subject matter hasn't changed that much. Natural forms are still my inspiration whether it's realism or abstraction.
As Kelli and I both post we'll be filling you in on our painting progress, up-coming events and classes/workshops that we're teaching. The painting you see here is Banana Flower and it's watercolor with colored pencil. Kelli has some wonderful textural pieces that she's doing so I'm looking forward to seeing her pieces posted.
Til the next time,