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

Friday, June 30, 2017

Pieces of Eight Painting Challenge #3 "Summer Celebration"

How do you celebrate summer?  Traveling?  Hamburger/Hot dog grilled dinners?  Fireworks?  A day at the beach?


Nothing says summer in Florida like surfing.  As hot as it gets you can still be pretty "cool" riding the waves.  This is my granddaughter Stephie learning to surf several years ago.

5x7 Oil
Donna Vines


For me, nothing says summer like a nice dip in the pool! Ready, set, go!

"Ready for Summer"
Digital Image (Illustrator to Photoshop)
Kathy Garvey

Carol Schiff

"Mountain View"

In the summer, we head for the mountains, in an effort to escape the heat and humidity of Florida.  10 hours on I-95 and we exit to a different world.  Cool breezes and beauty abound.

6x8" Oil on Panel


Carmen Beecher
11x14 Collage on Panel

Purchase on Etsy

 This is my idea of summer, cooling off with two of my favorite things. I had not done a collage in a long time, so I really enjoyed doing this. Thanks to Fay Picardi for the magazine pages with those beautiful pinks. This is made entirely of torn magazines. 

Wild at Heart
oil, 7 x 5, $150
by Cindy Michaud - art@cindymichaud.com

Summer is all about being outdoors and finding wonderful surprises in the woods...like daisies that seem to pop up on their own.  This is where I'd open my picnic and rest a while; remembering how it felt when the days were long and we were children...wild at heart.

  After Georgia O'Keefe's
 Sunflower, New Mexico I, 1935
Fay Picardi

         In the past, I have done several paintings copying Georgia O'Keefe's sunflowers. This one brings back one of my favorite memories. I did it in a small cottage overlooking Lake Champlain where John and I were spending a month one summer. It is an acrylic painting done on watercolor paper. It is 22"x 30." Every time I look at it, I just smile. Thank you. Georgia. Next time, I will try a collage.

"Blue Pearl"
Oil on Canvas, 30" x 40"
by Jean Thomas

Nothing says summertime like being out in the boat on a gorgeous day, in the Keys.
I took some friends out off Marvin Key on a day when you couldn't tell the water from the sky. It was just that pretty, and calm. This is my friend Ann. Ann is always looking up, and ahead. The beginning of summer has that same feeling.... what's up, what's next!? 

Summer is a time to celebrate the ocean and sailing.  Wouldn't it be fun to be on a clipper ship sailing the seven seas?

  Mary Warnick.

Clipper Ship

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Moroccan Mint Tea

It didn't take long  to fully embrace the custom
of Moroccan mint tea while traveling.  Served in a metal tea pot
and drunk consistently in glasses, it was offered everywhere:
during sales of goods, after dinner, mid-morning and late
afternoon.  It was almost too sweet for my palate
but always served with sweeping arm motions (which made 
the pour long and arcing) that always made it
into a visual ritual of celebration.

I began to call this painting a jig saw puzzle

I would find myself lost in the color blocks, duplicating shapes without regard to
what they were....it became a very zen painting experience, slow and methodical

the strain was not to rush into the "fun" highlights too soon,
nor give in to the urge to use the real "gold" paint too early.

Moroccan Mint, 12 x 12, oil on board
black frame, SOLD

Zen Fully Yours,
Cindy Michaud
p.s. just for fun, see if you can find at least 3 people in this piece, any luck?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Beach Sunset, Small Oil Painting, Daily Painting, 6x8" Original Oil Painting

One of my favorite places to be, when the sun goes down, is on the beach.  Of course, on the east coast of Florida, there is no show, but a short 3 hours away, on the west coast......waaaazaa!!

Purchase here

It is such a stunning sight and there is always a crowd of people, gathered to say good bye to the day.

This little painting brings back those spiritual moments, as I remember the peace and quiet that we all felt as the sun fell behind the sea.  If only we could capture that feeling and keep it with us always.

Have a peaceful and lovely day....and thanks for visiting today.

 Carol Schiff

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Storm Watch, 6x8 Original Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Seascape

I've always loved the dramatic look of a dark and threatening sky in the background and a blissfully sunny foreground. That happens a lot these days in Florida, since it's the rainy season. I think it's time for that sailboat to head to port.


Bottle and Pitcher

This 11x14 oil was painted during a workshop I took several months ago with Elio Comacho.  Elio is such a talented artist, anyone who is lucky enough to take one of his workshops learns so much.  He is so generous with his time, knowledge and talent. 
I really like the simplicity of the set up.  Each piece stands out so you can really appreciate the colors.
If you would like to see more of Elio's work visit his website,


Bottle and Pitcher

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Marsh Landscape Painting, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, "North Florida Marsh" by Carol Schiff, 6x8 Original Oil

This marsh landscape painting is inspired by a trip to Fernandina Beach.  I was captivated by the autumn colors of the marshes.

purchase here
99 + shipping

Yes, we do have fall color in Florida.....you just have to look a little harder to find it.

It may not be on the trees, and it may not be in October.  I was just noticing how beautiful the red maple trees in our yard looked last week. The leaves were a lovely burgundy color.....perfect during the Christmas season.  Of course, we don't have thousands of trees in glorious color like you will find in the North, but I like to think the beaches and mild winter weather make up for it. :)


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Halie and Bunny, 16x20 Oil Portrait on Canvas

My granddaughter is an adult now, but I painted this when she was a child and very attached to her bunny. It went everywhere with her. She was so funny and so happy-go-lucky, she kept me laughing. I miss those days.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Having a little fun with my crazy "pouring" results

by Kathy Garvey

YouTube is a veritable feast of new ideas and tutorials. I watched about 20 on the technique of acrylic pouring recently and decided to give it a try.

I gathered canvas, cheap acrylics in primary colors of magenta, cyan and yellow, some glazing medium (which I hoped would work as pouring medium since I couldn't find that), white and black acrylics, paper cups, a drying rack, various cheap tools for stirring and scraping, and ordered silicone online.

After mixing what I hoped was the right consistency of everything, I drizzled my primary colors randomly on the canvas, put white and black at either end and made a pitiful attempt to pull the end colors over the others and create "cells." Below is my crazy result.

It obviously takes experience to know how to not overdo this technique. And, now I need to wait a few days for it to dry and see if I can do anything with this 12x12 canvas. But this isn't a sad story about my pouring results. 

I saw little sections of it that I liked, so I took photos.

And then I took the first of those photos into Photoshop.

After experimenting with several of my seamless custom patterns as overlays, I used one created for a recent Matisse contest at Spoonflower in Soft Light mode. That was the one! After more experimenting and filtering I liked the results (shown below) enough to consider printing it to fabric sometime in the future. It would make a wild outfit, or pillows, or sections for a crazy quilt! 

And then I noticed parts of that file that I really liked and decided to copy selections in a ratio of 7x5 to new files and scale them to fit. 

When printed to card stock, they'll make a set of four greeting cards. 

Later, I started working again with Photoshop and the second photo from my pour to create a few prints and posters. 
So whether I end up with a great "poured" canvas or not, I'm happy with all of the secondary results - future fabrics, cards, prints and posters. And, I still have numerous photos from my first pour to "play" with. 

If you are interested in trying acrylic "pouring" I recommend videos by Caren Goodrich on YouTube. They're some of my favorite and she makes the preparation and instructions very clear.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Tropical Landscape Painting, Daily Painting, Florida Painting, "Conchy Joe's" by Carol Schiff, 16x20" Oil

Everybody loves tropical landscape, especially me!  This painting is from a few years back and depicts a much beloved part of our community.  "Conchy Joe's" was a seafood eatery located on the banks of the intracoastal waterway.

purchase here

The original has sold, but I am pleased to be able to offer a giclee print at the link under the image.

The eatery is still there, but under a new name and for me, much of the charm has been lost.  I am glad I painted this scene, while it was a popular and vibrant location, filled with local memorabilia.

This painting was featured as the Art Works poster art several years ago.

Thank you for viewing my blog today.



WOW is the World of Wearable Art completion that is held in New Zealand every year.  It is such a fantastic, imaginative show.  Everything has to be wearable no matter what materials they use. I was lucky enough to be able to see the traveling museum show at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.
I saw costumes made of plastic, wool, wood, metals and so many other things.  I just loved it.  You can view some of the costumes online and keep an eye out the new show is in September.  They always have videos to watch.  Just google wearable art or WOW.
Here are a few of the spectacular costumes designed and made by these amazing artists.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Travel - Palma, Majorca circa 1961

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

From the time I was a very young girl, I have loved to travel. By the time I was in high school, I had ambitions to go to Europe at a time when almost no one went to Europe. In college, I determined I would go to France no matter how long it took me to find a way to get there. And get there I did - on the Queen Mary.

Since that time, I have traveled to Europe many times. Each time I come home with much to “chew” on. But for me there have only been a few “moveable feasts.” Certainly, Paris was one. The Abbey at Senanque in the south of France was another. And when I have to have my blood pressure taken, I think about the view from my balcony in Sorrento of the Bay of Naples with Mt. Vesuvius on one end and Capri on the other.

For this challenge, I have chosen a collage I finished several weeks ago after several decades of leaving it untouched. The recollection of the view of Palma, Majorca from the water in the 1960s has always been a delight for me. It is another delicious morsel from my past. I painted it first in acrylics many years ago and recently used collage to complete the town and village portions of it. The cathedral is actually high Spanish Gothic, but I remember it much more simply. As a presence dominating the town which was little more than a village then. The actual little village around the bend from the town had a deserted rocky inlet of clear cold azure water, the brace of which made everything else fade into the background. Just writing about the area whets my appetite to return.

                               One of my favorite details of this collage is the sailboat made from a clock’s face and its reflection made by a parrot.
                                             Another is the ragged hill running down to the sea which is actually a shoe with a stiletto heel.

I may have spent years completing this work, but I have savored every minute of that time.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Old English Sheepdog Painting, Pet Portrait, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, 8x8x1.5" Oil by CarolSchiffStudio

I always loved a good shaggy dog story...so naturally I had to paint this one.

purchase here
 I found it a little difficult to get the sketching correct as this guy is all fur.  Thanks to my friend, Ted Fuhrer, for allowing me to use another of his fine photographic images.

I put a few impasto details in the face.

This image is also avaiable as a giclee print in several sizes here.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Copper Dream

Copper Dream is just that.  I had attended an eye opening workshop given by Carol Nelson.  She is a very talented painter but best of all a fearless experimenter.  She uses many, many different types of unconventional materials and just goes for it.  All of her art is wonderful no matter what medium.  She really has a magic way of seeing.
After trying several experiments I just let go and put several things I really liked together and this is what I came up with. I just loved the way it looked.  This 6x8 is made with acrylic paints, torn papers, copper paint and India ink.  I just love looking at it.
To visit Carol Nelsons website go to:

Copper Dream


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Painting Florals with the Elegant Writer Calligraphy Pen
by Kathy Garvey

On a recent residency at the beautiful Wildacres in North Carolina I photographed hundreds of plants, trees and bugs for future projects. Last week I did a stylized version of one of the plants I found there called an Evening Lychnis in watercolor. While it was drying, I did a quick stylized version of it using an Elegant Writer pen and watercolor. The two are shown side by side below with the Elegant Writer pen version on the left.

This reminded me that I get darker darks when I use the Elegant Writers. And since they're so fast and easy to use, I decided to have a little more fun with them. They're touted as calligraphy pens but I find it hard to believe anyone would want to do calligraphy with something that runs when wet. However, artists have discovered that they not only run when wet, they drip and spread greens, pinks and blues! 

I use either a 1.3 or 2 size and just draw on good watercolor paper.

 Then, if you want, you can release all of the fun colors by spraying the image with water. Dabbing with a paper towel while it's still wet brings out more of the pinks. See all of the random colors spreading in the example below.

Then color in with whatever is your favorite media. I'm using watercolors in the examples below.
I like the darker darks, but it's also the unpredictability of it that makes it fun to me.

If you want a little more control, paint with watercolor where you want color, being careful to touch the edge so that it bleeds the pen's colors into the watercolor. Here's an example where I didn't spray in advance.

I like how rich some of my watercolors get when the colors from the pen mix in with them.

Once an area has been wet, it won't run again. But if any areas have not been wet, a quick spray will release the colors, even days later.

To find out more about these fun pens, search for "Elegant Writer Calligraphy Pens." They can be found in most art supply stores including Jo-Ann Fabrics and Michael's. 

There are plenty of tutorials online about these pens. My favorite tutorial on You Tube is this one: How To Use the Elegant Writer Calligraphy Marker with Artist Karlyn Holman.