* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I am excited to say that my art is being featured on a great blog called "art by Karena".  To celebrate this honor, I am giving away this painting of the famous bridge in Prague.  It's 4x12" on stretched canvas.  The sides are painted black, so you may hang it without framing if you so desire.  To enter the drawing, just go the the blog  Art by Karena and follow her instructions.  The winner will be announced on Sunday March 13th.  Good Luck!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

See Mary Paint

Today and tomorrow you can visit the Brevard Watercolor Society's lovely show at the Azan Temple off of Eau Gallie Boulevard in West Melbourne. Our own Piece, Mary Warnick, is demonstrating today. When I first arrived she had just set up her beautiful tulips to paint and had a soft yellow wash on her paper. Forty minutes later I came back to beautiful pink tulips. I was sorry I had to leave before she finished and will try to post a final whenever I see it.

If you are thinking of attending the show, it's well worth visiting. It's open today and tomorrow. There are three other artists demonstrating, rows and rows of beautiful paintings, two rooms of wonderful originals and prints available at unbeatable prices and very enticing sweet rolls. Lots to do and see, including watching the demonstrators perform their wonders right in front of you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Pieces Piece Paper

Today, our fellow Piece, Donna Vines, lead us all in a collage exercise. She schlepped supplies: piles of paper, matte and gloss varnish, brushes, scissors, small treasures and even our props - apples. She guided us with tips she's gathered from two great collage artists, namely Derek Gores (DerekGores.com) and Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson (www.paperpaintings.com). (Donna and I have both had the pleasure of taking Derek's wonderful collage class at the Brevard Art Museum and she's signed up for Elizabeth's class coming to the Art Gallery of Viera in September.)

Her information and sense of humor got us all off to a good start. These are pictures of the wonderful fun we had today while cutting, tearing, gluing, chatting and finding just the right color in the stacks of paper and magazines. We didn't want to stop, but time flies when you are having fun. More next week as we complete the great apple collage project.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My First Pieces Of Eight Vacation

Hello Pieces of Eight fans. I am the newest piece and my name is Phillis Holland. I was lucky enough to join this wonderful group of eight creative women just weeks before the annual Pieces of Eight retreat. We headed for the mountains of North Carolina for a week of fun, food, and comradery with a bit of painting thrown in for good measure. It is such a great joy in my life to have made friends with this extremely talented group of women. They are all so nurturing and encouraging that one cannot help but grow as an artist. With the gracious help of Kathy Garvey, one of our pieces, I am finally creating my first post to our blog. I have included several pictures that I painted on our retreat. Now that I have learned the new skill, I will try to keep posting as the paintings accumulate.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A wonderful surprise

Today was a very exciting day for me. I entered a small oil in the Strawbridge Art League Mini-Visions Show and won the Van Dyck Oils award.  This is my first major award and I am thrilled to win an award that honors such a remarkable man.

Painting versus Digital

The attached image shows three "before" and "after" photos of last Sunday's venture to Rock City Gardens. (Clicking on it should make it larger.)

My original intent (many years ago) was to use Illustrator and/or Photoshop as a starting point for planning watercolor paintings. I love watercolor, but tended to play so much with the design elements that I lost the overall composition. With watercolor, you can't really recover - there's no getting back those beautiful light colors if you paint them away!

But then, using Illustrator and Photoshop kind of took over, for several reasons. One is that I still can't paint as well as what I create in both of these tools. Another is that I found painting from something I already created boring. But probably the main reason is that digital art is so incredibly powerful and fast! I can often build what's in my head in either tool in about an hour where I used to spend twenty or thirty hours on a watercolor and still not get the look I wanted.

I still want to paint. I like putting watercolors on paper and also because my digital art at this point exists mainly in my laptop. Getting it to look in print like it looks on screen is still a major issue for me. But I'd love to hear from others how they feel about digital art versus painting. And how they feel about photo manipulation in general. I'm not a skilled photographer, so maybe that's why I don't have any qualms about changing a photo into what looks more like a watercolor. Any opinions?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rock City Gardens is Awesome!

I drove south on Sunday looking for an orange grove to get pictures to finish my image shown in an earlier post. On the way I stopped at one of my favorite places, Rock City Gardens which is a huge garden shop on US 1 several miles south of Sebastian, Florida. The sky was slightly overcast and there was very little breeze. The gardens have a lovely walking path around a lake, beautiful fountains and incredible plants - bromeliads, ferns, orchids, trees, vines, you name it, they have it. (I don't even recognize the beautiful blooming vine I captured above.) I filled up my head with garden plans and my camera's memory card with beautiful pictures. What a wonderful place! Not only do they know everything about plants, they were even able to direct me to an orange grove several miles further south. Beautiful place, beautiful plants, beautiful people! If you're a gardener or a photographer, I highly recommend a visit.

Monday, February 7, 2011

CONTEST WINNER, Three Palms with Sunrise, 8x10, Oil, Carol Schiff Studio

Today is my lucky day as I was just notified that this painting won 1st Place in the January challenge of Kay Zahn's Streetview Paint-Off.  To say that I am thrilled is an understatement.  Kay is a wonderful lady and artist who believes in supporting original art.  If you have not been to her website, or joined her challenges, I hope you will consider giving it a try.  It's lots of fun.

I want to remind everyone that I am having a painting give-away on my Etsy sites.  Between now and March 31, 2011, make a purchase at either site, CarolOnEdge or CarolSchiffStudio and you will be entered one time  for each purchase you make.  On March 31, 2011, I will draw out the name of the lucky winner and ship a 6x8 painting, a $99. value, to the winner free of charge.  It could be you!  Good luck!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Triplets, 8x6

In response to Kathy's post with all the pears, here is my painting. Put a roomful of artists together, give them a subject, and no two results will be alike. That makes it fun.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Something Old Something New

As Kathy mentioned Cindy and I worked on a few process for an old technique last Friday.  I love handpainting old black and white photos but it is a long process with lots of time in between for drying.  Cindy forwarded me a website that uses panpastels. The woman's name is Dianne Poinski and she has developed a wonderful way to hand color old photos using panpastels. She has an e-book and course available and you can email her at diannepoinski@aol.com for more informatin.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fun with a Still Life

Last Friday the Pieces of 8 got together to paint. Carmen set up a beautiful still life of some wonderful pears. Denette, Phillis, Mary, Carol and Carmen braved painting the still life. Their results were beautiful and I'm waiting for them to show up here! Cindy and Donna worked on a technique for hand coloring photos. Those should be showing up here soon, also. I dabbled with my watercolors. The Pieces are so much fun to be with and I'm glad it's OK if we don't paint the set up because I've never been good at still life!

But the set up was so beautiful, I came home and played with it in Photoshop. I never know when to stop, so here are Carmen's lovely pears in a variety of views.

And because the pears reminded me of little birds and of how much fun we're all having, the final view was modified further. In case the text is too small to read... "Do you think anyone would mind if we just had a few grapes?" "Mmmmm..." "Not looking, not looking. Don't tempt me. On a diet. Don't even think about it."