Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Window Study #11

6" x 4" original watercolor

As you know if you read my blog; I love
the use of light in my paintings. This one
is a good example of that! I've drawn you
into the painting using the perspective of
the table and the distance created by the
scene outside the window. I do not remember
what this room was used for; there is a tool
hanging on the wall. I am rather literal so I
painted it in along with the bench on the right.
But the unifying touch is the light created
by the source outside the window.

I painted, I packed the van and I had track.
It is 9pm and I am still working in the studio.
Linda is a little overwhelmed with all there is
to do before we leave for our show. It is the
first time outside so it takes a while to gather
everything. We are using the camper so there
is all that stuff. In case I run short of time I
want to give the show info. If you live close
please stop out and say hello. Tell me you follow
my blog! Share the show info with anyone you
know. They are calling for scattered storms so
that makes me nervous. Just with show fees and

gas I am out $600 and I am not even selling yet!
Nerves of steel for this job!
May 3-4
ARTS in the PARK held in Byrd Park in Richmond, VA

Sat. 11-6 and Sun. 11-5 ~ rain or shine! ~ Space: Mall-16

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pottery #9

4" x 6" original watercolor $275.00

I looked around my house for today's
still life. We have quite a bit of hand made
pottery we collected over the years from all
the art shows we go to. I decided to feature
the brown glaze vase and behind it is a painted
plate. I liked the way the plate pattern reflected
in the side of the vase. On the right is a sliver of
a blue pottery plate.

I finished early tonight and it is nice to be done.
We had our tree cut down this morning. Three
big trucks and five men with chain saws descended
upon us at 8AM. By 11 they were finished. Linda
was very upset as it was cut down, we are talking a
huge tree and now it is so bare. Linda planted
that area with shade plants and suddenly they
are in bright sun. Anyway, we got the camper up and
aired out and packed so it is ready for the weekend.
I had a track meet today and my girls won but my boys
lost. I have a young team, next year they will be super.
I am going to put my feet up!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Building #2

6" x 4" original watercolor $275.00

A pleasant painting. Lush green grass
against a nice blue sky with sweeping clouds.
There is sunshine laying against the side of
the house but it is subtle. The white of the
building and the clouds is my paper!

We lost a tree in the Sunday morning storms. It fell
across the sidewalk and onto our fence, it pulled down
cable and phone lines and did some other damage.
So today was filled with insurance, and estimates and
all that fun stuff. It rained again today so the tree guys
could not clear it away. Hopefully tomorrow.
Track was also cancelled which gave me extra time to get
my painting done. I need to get the camper set up and
aired out because we are using it this weekend at our
show in Richmond, VA. I am waiting on the sun.
My busy show season officially starts. Packing every
thing the first time is always fun. Lucky for me Linda takes
care of organizing it all, I just load it. Then its not my fault
if its missing!

I heard the stimulus checks are starting to arrive so remember
you are to use it to stimulate the economy. Feel free to
stimulate my way. I have a good selection of originals
and prints all hand made in the USA. You buy from me and
I turn around and need to have replacement windows put in
my house. Thus ordering windows and employing a self employed
carpenter. See how your investment trickles on!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Petite #7~ Sunrise

3"x 4" original "petite"watercolor

Sunrise over the ocean.
I think that pretty much says it all.

This is a petite and should have special
framing, I recommend floating it. There is
no white paper edge typical of a watercolor.
I also put a polymer non-yellowing satin
glaze over it. Just because I like the finished look.
I only use a glaze occasionally and only on petites.
Also I started the bidding at only $1.00 so
absolutely everyone has a chance to bid on it!

I just got back from the second track meet
for this week. Much better results than Tuesday!
Both boys and girls won. I had my painting finished
before I left so I am getting my blog done early for
a change. Linda's allergies knocked her hard today.
She had it under control until this morning. The
pollen count must be off the charts today. I encourage
drugs and then leave her alone! Of course it doesn't
keep her out of her garden. This weekend is our last
free weekend. I am sure we are going to pack it full.
My shows start again in May with a show in
Richmond, VA. Please take a moment to go to my
website and click on "schedule" and see if I am showing
close to you. Feel free to spend you IRS refund check
at my booth!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pottery #8

5" x 5" original watercolor

I liked the simplicity of painting a single
pottery jug. For my own amusement
I added a crack in the wall. We will call
it artistic license!

Busy day here; I think I am saying that every day!
I painted in the morning,
helped Linda a bit and then
had track. I must confess that we lost yesterdays
meet; both girls and boys. I am going to tell you
that losing builds character and teaches how to lose
gracefully. But it sure does not feel good!
Linda was at Meals on Wheels in the morning and
then came home and cooked. We had friends over
tonight for dinner. Nice evening.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Portrait #3

5" x 5" original watercolor

The study of character is what moves me
in portraits. A face with a story; her expression
and piercing gaze, the wonderfully dark hues in
her skin. I must thank a dear friend and prayer
partner for the use of his photos. He travels
to Liberia as a missionary and I am honored that
he allows me to interpret his scenes.

I rarely take time to work on portraits and I simply
felt like one today. I hope you find your own story in
her face. I took my 85 year old mother to the polls
today to vote. Linda and I reflected on the deep meaning
of this event. My mother grew up under oppressive times
for blacks, her freedoms were hard won. She takes the
freedom to vote very seriously, and she was so very
excited to be able to support an African American man
running for president. A freedom she never thought she
would see in her lifetime. I was equally proud to be able
to be by her side today.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mountain View

4" x 6" original watercolor

This is a view of the Green Mountains
in Manchester,VT. I do a show there and
have fallen in love with the views.

I painted most of the day and then had track
practice at 3PM. Linda worked on a mailer for my
show next week. It is time to start traveling; from the
first weekend in May we are on the road almost every
weekend. Make sure you check my website for my
show schedule. Tonight was our dance lesson. We
had our Rumba routine down until they added lots of
new steps. One of us could get hurt!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chair and Oriental Rug

5" x 5" original watercolor

Today I used items close to me to form
this composition. I used my living room
rug as my backdrop to one of my favorite
plank bottom chairs. Simple but I think

I actually had this painting almost finished last night but
it was just getting to late. So I finished it this morning.
Today was really filled with things I needed to get
accomplished. Linda had a "honey do" list a mile long!
All the spring things that need done around the house.
But much needed bike ride. Oh how wonderful
it was to feel the warm sunshine on my face! Then off to
track practice. Yes, a Saturday practice. Thank you to all
my dedicated sprinters for all the hard work you put in.
I know they read my blog!! You make me look like a good
coach! Then it was home to my list. We cleaned out our shed,
worked on our yard, hauled out an air conditioner, and after
lifting the sofa the other day the air conditioner felt light! We
vacuumed the car, we ran for a pond net, we stopped at the
newly opened Freeze & Frizz for dinner. But my list is not
complete, we moved furniture back into the newly painted
living room which is finally livable. I had a cable issue but
worked it out with tec support. Its now 9pm and feels like
midnight. I am stopping!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pottery #7

4" x 6" original watercolor

My challenge was in making this watercolor
look like a glazed piece of pottery.
For the artistic; I painted warm ochres first
and placed cool blues and greens over them
to achieve this effect. To give a little more
interest, I brought a budding maple tree branch
inside to use in the foreground. A small
reminder of Spring.

It was a hectic morning here at the Smith house.
There were several things happening all at the same
time and non of them my painting. Linda finished
painting our upstairs family room and was ready
to switch sofas. A good friend stopped in to help me
with the move. The one coming downstairs was a sleeper

sofa weighing a ton. I am not as young as when it went up!
We struggled for a bit, left a divot in Linda's nice new wall...
The one going up was leather and "could not be scratched"!
Also major heavy. When it comes down, moving men
will be moving it! While all this is happening, very nice
new clients drove here from Delaware and needed attention.
Linda was trying to do my Moms laundry, and our cleaning
lady was trying to clean around us. Our every other week
cleaning is a pretty big deal for Linda, and nothing interrupts
that! I squeezed in painting and track and even finished up

before 10pm!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Evening #10

6" x 4" original watercolor

This is an early evening view of buildings.
I like painting dusk, notice the pink hue
that reflects off the window panes and the

I am sounding like a broken record.
Painted - track - back to painting.
But that's about all there is right now!
Well, I did take a half hour and mow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tulips in the Garden

4" x 6" original watercolor

I used the same general idea as yesterday's
daffodils. The background is a little different
with a gate in the right corner and a little less
sky. When I went out early this morning the
tulips were still closed and I decided to paint
them like that, even though they opened when
the sun hit them. I am really learning something
about painting flowers, still my style and I actually
enjoyed myself. Its just the time thing that is
making it hard.

Here it is 10:30pm and I just finished painting. I started
early this morning but the drawing was a little complicated
and I had beginning washes on when I had to leave for my
track meet. The good, no great news is both the boys
and girls won tonight.
The boys were not expected to win
so I am extra proud of them. I got home around 7:30pm
and had to get right back to my painting. Abbey called to
talk to Linda a little bit ago and she also was still at work.
She had something that needed to go to the printer in the
morning and had to finish it. She said that DC is at a stand
still because of the Pope's visit. Ben has a few days off;
although he can work from home, but his work is closed
for a few days because the street is closed because they can't
get to his office. Anyway, I liked it better thinking Abbey
was safely home tucked into bed this late at night, not
calling for a cab at 11pm... this Father thing never ends!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Daffodils in the garden

4" x 6" original watercolor

My wife asked me to paint the daffodils from
her garden. She is always challenging me to
paint flowers. I think I usually over work them.
Flowers do not come naturally for me. First I
looked back to last April to see how I painted
them before because I was pretty sure this was a
reoccurring request and I wanted this years to
be totally different. I really took time to study them
and I painted these beauties in a garden setting.
I tried to keep a lighter hand and give a real outdoor
garden feel. I am happy with these. I noticed
some red tulips out there...
they may be next since I am now in the mood.

Lots happening around here. First was on Friday;
unbeknownst to me, Linda applied to the Longs Park show
which is a local show I could never get into. We stopped applying
several years ago and I guess Linda thought they would let me in
now, hometown boy with a pretty good reputation and it had been
years since I tried. I am so much more accomplished now and
Linda must have been pretty
confident so she applied without
telling me, as a big surprise for me. She is the one who got the surprise,
I was rejected! She was so, so, so mad. She stormed around here
all day. Took it rather personally. You would have thought it was
her rejection, I spent most
of Friday trying to console her and it was
not working.
It is safe to say I will never apply again...ever.
What a
money maker jury fees are. You pay a fee for the privilege
of a committee to look at your slides. It cost me $40. They claimed
to receive 1200 applications @ $40 = $48,000. Nice way to generate
revenue. They only accept 200 artist and craftsman so not getting
in is nothing to be ashamed of, but Linda wasn't hearing that either.
So no one mention it or you'll get an ear full! She has applications
spread all over the table again and is busy filling in my schedule.

Then on Saturday was our big track meet. I had a fabulous
time and the weather was perfect. My girls placed 2nd!!
This is out of 21 teams... and my boys placed 6th, still very good.
But, no resting, we have another meet tomorrow.

Our dance classes started again tonight. We are working on
learning a full Rumba routine. My part was pretty easy, Linda
was frustrated tonight. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 11, 2008


6" x 4" original watercolor

I found this old photo my parents took
and my Mom thinks its from Nova Scotia.
Anyway, the photo was old and grainy but
I was interested in all the patterns. The
way the water swirled around, the rocks
on the left, and the rolling hills.

I also need to make a correction from the
4/7 blog, I was told the building is actually
from Cooperstown, NY.

I have a BIG track invitational tomorrow so my
mind is on track!
There are 28 schools attending;
we usually do pretty well, I will keep you informed!
Linda has been having knee problems so we are starting
with her feet. She had orthotics made today and
has strengthening exercises to do. One of the
downfalls of being self employed is health insurance.
High premiums and a high deductible means you
do everything you can afford first! We also worked on
cleaning out our pond. It is only getting warm enough
for Linda to start working in her garden. My favorite
part of spring is watching her garden go from brown
dirt to varieties of green and then to the colors of the flowers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


6" x 4" original watercolor $250.00

A few weeks ago we were in DC and walking
in my daughter's neighborhood and spied this
dove. It was setting in a sunny spot on a wall;
all puffed up and sleeping.
Not my usual painting, I guess Linda thought
it would offer a challenge... she kept asking
me to paint it. It did turn out pretty well.
The only thing I had time for was painting and
track practice!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Vase of Flowers

5" x 5" original watercolor

I needed a little change today. I went a
bit contemporary. This is a scene from my
daughter's apartment. She has this mirrored
glass end table and had a magazine, a book and
a vase of flowers setting on it. I was interested
in the reflection of the vase.

I enjoyed working on this blog painting today.
It was a challenge to try something different.
An artist sometimes has to work at finding
inspiration and that goes against our temperament.
It becomes especially hard when you paint everyday.
When I am working on a large painting that takes
several days to weeks to complete, you just get up
and go to it and start in. There already is a focus, so it
is a matter of discipline. But painting a completed mini
blog painting is a bit harder. I need to find a subject
that moves me each day. A whole new subject.
I also tend to be effected by my sales (or lack of) and

by the weather (cold and rain!) and the amount
of exercising (bike riding) I get in. I am usually
pretty good at keeping a balance but I must say
lately has been a little harder. Plus, throw in my
distraction with track!! My track kids did well
tonight we ran against a tough team. Girls won!
Boys were so close but lost by 4 points.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Stone Building

4" x 6" original watercolor

I think this was from Mystic Seaport in CT.
I found it in my pile of photos but did not
have it marked. Good color and the perspective
is looking up. I just enjoyed painting the various
shades in the stones.

I had an optional track practice on Saturday morning
then we went to friends for dinner. Sunday I painted

while Linda painted our upstairs family room. Today
we ran a few quick errands, I painted my blog, Linda
painted her walls, I had another cold track practice
and suddenly its 8PM!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Barn Door

4" x 6" original watercolor $225.00

My favorite part of this painting is the
hardware on the door. The handle, the
slide lock and the hook on the top. I like
the way the hook scratched the wood
over the years; probably from just swinging
back and forth. I also like the little bit of
rust under the nails. This is basic in color but

Today was a rough day artistically. I just did
not feel like painting. I was in a grumpy mood.
I am going to blame it on our weather. Its cold
and rainy. I haven't been able to ride bike so I

am getting no exercise. And to make it all worse
its to cold for my sprinters to get a decent work
out. Linda listened to me for a few hours and then
my whining got to her and she went grocery shopping
without me while I attempted to get it together
and force myself to paint. It turned out ok. Not as

great as the other paintings this week, but ok.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Aloe Plant

5" x 5" original watercolor
contact the studio for a price:

I was a little tired of cherry blossoms and
was not finding inspiration easily. Then I
saw Linda's half dead aloe plant. She was not
happy having it shown to the world; she
usually has a green thumb! I was interested
in the way the usually plump stalks were thin
and curled and the way the tips browned.
I rendered the pot perfectly. I have also been
experimenting with my backgrounds. For the
artistic; I painted the green around the spots in
the stalks. No maskit or white paint!

About all I can say about my day was that
it was cold again for track practice. My kids

are coming along nicely. My mind is on track!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC #2

4" x 6" original watercolor $275.00

Another Cherry Blossom painting.
This time I have a great view of the
Washington Monument. There were
cherry blossoms all around it. Don't
miss the flags at the base.

Another busy day, I took my Mom to the
hairdresser and to buy new sneakers in
the morning. I was home by noon. Painted
till 3 when I left for track. Home again by
5:30, dinner and back to my painting. I just
finished. I have at least 7 hours into this
painting. They are small but mighty! Linda
was boxing paintings for me to ship tomorrow

and otherwise was glued to her desk all day.
I see show applications spread out again!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

6" x 4" original watercolor $275.00

I think I handled "pink" pretty well.
This view is the Cherry Blossoms in Washington
DC. I have a branch in the foreground. Then
the tidal basin with a row of cherry trees along
the water with other trees in the background.
Notice the little bit of pink reflection in the water
near the trees. It shows up better in the original.

I kept focused on my painting because I needed
to finish by 3:00. The weather finally cleared and
it even got warm. So the track meet went well.
The girls won but the boys lost. I was still pleased
since it is so early in the season.

Obama was in my town of Lititz yesterday picking up
chocolate! I missed him... It is the talk of the town.