Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holiday Lights #4

5" x 5" original watercolor

I love night scenes, moons...
So after two weeks of very pretty
holiday paintings I wanted to try one
at night. There is light from the full
moon but also the barn had an old spot
light that lit up the wreath. Notice the
warm glow across the wreath.

I worked steadily to get this finished in
time so we could leave by 3PM and I did
it! No goofing off. No time to chit chat.
I need to go change clothes...
I wish everyone a safe New Years Eve and
many blessings to come in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Gate

5" x 5" original watercolor

Have I got a good painting today!! I had
fun with this one. I have it off center so
you get a view of the brick column. An
iron gate with a wreath and of course a
bow, it is the holidays after all! Strong
blue sky in the background. You can click
over top any of my paintings for a close up

This week is scheduled time with friends. We
started today with a long breakfast with good
friends. Actually, all our friends are good friends,
we value each of them. Then ran some errands.
Our Ohio friends from yesterday stopped in for
a little bit but I continued to paint while they
were visiting and I painted nonstop till now.
Linda and Jason went for groceries and Linda
has been in the kitchen since 5:00. I did not
mention that the holiday season is pretty special
around here. We start with Christmas, which
is also Linda and my wedding anniversary. We
are married 29 years! Then Abbeys birthday
is the day after (12/26) In case you are counting
she was born 4 years later!! She just turned 25.
And to top it off... my birthday is New Years Day.
I will be 56! Wow, even I cannot believe that one.
Now traditionally, Linda makes the birthday
person what ever meal they desire. However it
is New Years and she is into pork and
not me! So my meal will be later in the week but
I do get this decadent, heavy, fabulous
calorie filled carrot cake. It is setting there now
for frosting calling me... Andy...psst, I am
here for your total pleasure...
I plan to indulge
in it for the next 3 days...
and I prefer not to share!!!
I need to get the blog on early tomorrow, like around
3PM because we are headed to friends for dinner,
movies and to watch the ball drop.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Greens #6

6"x 4" original watercolor

After a week of doors and windows I
wanted to paint a still life. So I went
back to my material from Landis Valley
Museum and found this one. The pottery
is a warm yellow that shows up nicely
against the off white wall. It holds a
place of honor on a mantle with
a touch of holiday greens.

We met friends for lunch that turned into
several hours. They are living in Ohio and
are visiting home for the holidays. We
enjoy their company and time flew by. It
was nice to catch up with them. But that
means I painted the evening shift from 5
to 10pm! I did not want to miss a blog.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Door #6

4"x 6" original watercolor

The architecture in Georgetown is
extraordinary. A sunny day creates
such nice shadows. I loved the gas lamp
that was burning even during the day.
On this house, the bricks were painted
white. The pale green door really sets
off the dark green of the wreath.

My commission was well received today
so I am greatly relieved! I have one more
to get finished. The blog is taking a bit longer
than usual, the subjects are complicated. A

lot of "painting a day" artists are able to paint
single objects in 1-3 hours but mine are really
full paintings just small in size and are taking me
4-7 hours. That does not leave much time for
my other larger work. These are selling so I
am not complaining! It is time for Linda to
work on the 2009 show schedule. It is hard to
get excited when the economy is still so tight.
Funny, gas is down so I can afford to travel
anywhere but now no one has cash to come
to art shows!!

Discount on new prints ends 12/31/08, order now!
Classes start 1/6/09, sign up now!

A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Window #4

4"x 6" original watercolor

This painting has a softer feel to it.
There is a bench placed under the
window, warm blue shutters and
nice brickwork. This time the
wreath is hung inside the window
with...yes, a little bit of red ribbon!

It was a quiet day here at the Smith
house. Linda spent the day at her desk;
sending out notices for my next set of
classes. Is there any interest in a
weekend workshop?? Send me an email.
Also if you live out of the area and have a
connection with an art association please
pass on my info ~ bio. I would love to teach
workshops or an evening class. I have
loads of experience and would like to travel
to new areas.

I simply painted all day. Thank you all for your
exciting bidding on eBay, it is fun and inspiring
for me to
watch. Your purchases support me
through the winter when I am not showing
so it is honestly appreciated. Sunday, the new
owner to the commission I just finished
will be visiting the the studio and picking up
his painting. I am always so nervous about
commissions, even after all the years of
painting. I know the painting is good but is
it also the vision of the person who ordered it.
Yes, you hear a pinch of insecurity...
I mentioned this before, I am included in the
new Daily Painters Gallery book!
Click to view the books info.
I am on page 137, you can click my page to view it!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Tree #2

4"x 6" original watercolor

While walking in DC I found this
outside tree with decorations.
It stood against a white house
and the sun was shining, giving me
great shadows.
Back home and back to work today.
Linda was boxing orders while I was
painting. We stopped to go to the movies.
We saw Seven Pounds. Not what we
were expecting but well done. If you
received Christmas cash and are itching
to spend it on a painting... I will be glued to
my chair working on a commission all day
Saturday. Plan on visiting the studio!

If you wanted the
new prints remember the
discounted price is good until 12/31 which
is fast approaching so get your order in.

Classes start in January... call/email to sign up!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Door #5

5" x 5" original watercolor

I made this a snow scene. Mentally
preparing myself for our impending
winter season! I used my recently
found Georgetown material. Wonderful
brick wall with an archway door that
leads to a courtyard. The dark painted
door holds a holiday wreath and
my now famous red bow!

We had a very nice visit with Abbey and
Ben. Too short as always. They spend
today with Ben's parents. Linda's Mom
gave us a night away at a local hotel. Not
far from home but away! No phones and
no demands. Very nice and quiet. Back
to reality tomorrow afternoon. Hope you
all had a wonderful day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Door #4

4" x 6" original watercolor

I spent yesterday in Georgetown and
went on a search for holiday doors.
I was able to combine my signature
brickwork with a holiday theme.
I added my own snow!

It was a cold day in DC yesterday but
we had a very nice time. Abbey took
us on a tour of their current exhibit at
The National Museum of Women in the Arts
and then we spent the rest of our day in
Georgetown. Traffic was much better than
I expected. Tonight we take everyone out
to dinner for our annual Christmas Eve dinner.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Greens #5

4" x 6" original watercolor

This one was Linda's request. I thought
it was a boring view point...until I painted
it. The greens were roped along the fence
with red bows at each post. I focused on
just one post, hopefully giving you the
illusion that it continues.

Linda was in the kitchen all day getting
ready for the kids coming home. Even
though they are only here one day there
is lots of favorite foods. There will not be
a blog tomorrow (Tuesday) we are driving
to DC to pick up Abbey and Ben. Frankly I
can use a day off, I have painted all day and
half the night every day for several weeks.
So one day to let the brushes dry sounds good!
We are planning to leave early and attempt
to spend
the day in Georgetown getting new
subject material. Great doors and windows if
the weather cooperates. I packed the hand
warmers ~"hot hands"... I buy a box to use when
I ride! ~i
t is to be cold! If it is to cold to be
out all day plan B is to go to the Natl. History
Museum. Abbey works till 5 so we will get
home late, traffic out of DC should be fun.
But well worth it to have Abbey and Ben home!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Greens #4

4" x 6" original watercolor

Today I painted a still life. Apples
in a basket surrounded with greens
on a deep window sill. Outside, a bit
of snow on the grass.

I actually slept in till 8:00 this morning.
There have been to many late nights
painting this past week so I needed a
bit more sleep than usual. Jason was
here early so I made us all waffles. I
was at my desk by 11. All I worked on
today was this blog painting. No matter
how skilled I get it still takes at least 5
hours to paint a blog from drawing to
finished painting. At 5, Linda and I went
to Borders Bookstore for coffee and research.
I check out all the art magazines and Linda
was checking out France. It was a nice
evening out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Door #3

4" x 6" original watercolor

This wreath has a bit more to it than the
Fresh greens with pine cones and berries
against an old white door.
Another day of painting all day till late.
I am pleased to report that I finished my
commission. For some reason this one took
longer than I had planned but it looks good.
Linda was in the kitchen all day doing her
holiday thing. Jason is home from school so
he was hanging out. Bored after only one day!
Thank you to all who have left kind comments
about my holiday series. It means a lot. And
much thanks to all who have been bidding.
I plan to be in the studio all of Sunday, although
we are expecting snow, feel free to visit. I can
always use the company!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Tree

6"x 4" original watercolor

I was intrigued with this old wagon
hauling a cut tree. There was remnants
of melting snow.

I am cutting it close tonight, midnight is
fast approaching. I have been painting
all day, just ran out of time. I worked most
of the day on my commission.
I will be in the studio all day
Saturday for anyone wishing a visit! Any
last minute shoppers feel free to stop or
call, I will gladly help with your shopping list!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Door #2

4" x 6" original watercolor

Another Landis Valley subject.
I liked the stonework, this is
simply a nice holiday painting.
Even with the cold stone it has a
warm feeling and a pretty good bow!

A riding buddy and I picked up 600lbs
of food for our local food bank this morning.
Then I painted until 2:00 when I stopped
to take Linda and my in-laws to the American
Music Theater to see the Christmas Show.
We have done this annually for years.
Mom-in-law treated dinner and it was
back home to finish the blog. It is hard
squeezing a little holiday fun into the
schedule... but necessary!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Greens #3

6"x 4" original watercolor

Another scene from Landis Valley.
I liked the way the greens looked
against the worn white gate.
Not the refined look from the
White House wreaths but it still says
"holidays". I like that I can change
around and offer a variety of subjects,
keeps me from getting bored!

I pretty much stayed at my paint board
all day except for a quick trip to the store
for a few things Linda needed for dinner.
She made this excellent stuffed chicken
breast that was well worth the break in
my painting! I am about half way through
my commission and it is turning out nicely.
It is only 10:30 and my eyes are tired so
I think I will call it a night. If anyone took any
snow or ice photos during yesterdays storm
email them to me if you give permission to
paint them!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Greens #2

6"x 4" original watercolor

I used the same still life from yesterdays
painting only extended the scene. I am
naturally drawn to our history and have
a great love for simple antiques. I enjoy
painting them. This is a solid composition;
a bowl of fruit, a pewter pot and the greens.

I had my day planned out. I had it divided
between the blog and my commission. My
creative juices starting to flow, holiday music
playing for encouragement. But all did not follow
my plan. Sometimes being
the one who works
from home is the one who appears free to drop
everything and
change plans, sometimes that is
frustrating. Linda noticed my Mom's toe was
extremely swollen this morning. That meant an
emergency trip to the foot doctor. Taking Mom
out at the height of the snow storm. Bundled up
and deathly afraid of slipping. Imagine the two of
us tottering down the sidewalk... After a bit of
surgery and 3 hours of my day gone I managed to
get back to work. It is a blessing to be able to care
for my Mom but also demanding as only those who
are caregivers understand. It is one thing to take a
few unplanned hours off work and another to interrupt
some flow of creativity and genius... but I manage.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Greens

4" x 6" original watercolor

I totally switched gears and went with a
holiday still life today. This scene was
inspired from my trip to the Landis Valley
yesterday. In the late 1800's
the decorations were sparse and simple.
A bit of greens and some fruit.

I belong to the Daily Painters Gallery, there
is a link on the lower right showing today's
paintings. They published a book recently
and I am on page 137! Check it out!!
Colour, Obsession, Joy and Torment

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Window #3

6"x 4" original watercolor

This is the last of my White House collection
of windows. I now totally understand how to
paint red bows and this may be my best one!

I needed some inspiration and fresh air so Linda
insisted we go to
Landis Valley Museum since the
weather was nice. We spent a few hours walking
around snapping photos. My next few holiday
paintings will be from there. Linda wanted to
squeeze in a Washington day trip or even
Williamsburg for fresh material but it looks like a
week of rain is forcasted. So it's a no go, I need to
be satisfied with the material I have.
Thank you to all who are bidding. It energizes me
to watch it. It is much appreciated and in this
climate I do not take it for granted. Your support
of me and my work is a blessing. This is a very nice
group of paintings and I am proud of them. I am
sorry I am getting the blog on so late at night. I
am trying to work on my last two commissions
and it takes me 4-6 hours to complete the blog
painting so I just run short of time. Usually Linda's
complaint not mine!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Window #2

4" x 6" original watercolor

Another holiday window from the
White House collection! Again my
daughter provided the inspiration.
I am showing a hint of the fancy gold
drapes that are the frame for this scene
but its the large red ribbon that catches
your eye.

I was in the studio all day as promised.
In fact I never did stop to ride bike. I
worked on the drawing for a house
commission from 9 to 5. Took an hour
off to get a pizza and at 6pm started on
my blog painting, barely getting it finished
in time to get it on tonight. So for those
counting, that's 5 hrs to paint this painting!

I thought I would share a photo of
Abbey & Ben on their tour of the
White House. A rather good looking
couple who we are very proud of!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Window

6"x 4" original watercolor

Today's holiday painting came to me by way
of my daughter, Abbey. She went to the
White House Christmas decorations tour and
snapped a few photos; she thought I could use
a bit of subject help! I like that it came from
the White House but could be from any house.
A large double window decorated with a wreath,
some fake snow and a red ribbon. I spent two
hours working on the ribbon so look at it closely!
Outside the dark window are lights on the bushes.
The fake snow can throw you off a bit, making it
look like it is outside, and it could be...if you can make
sense of the row of lights being inside... just a random
artist thought...
If you have a holiday inspired photo that you took
and think it may be something I would like and you
are willing to let me paint it, feel free to email it.
I cannot guarantee I will paint it but if I do I will give
you the photo credit!

We had a great time at the Terry Fator performance
last night. Well worth it, he is amazing. Being out in
the rain did not help Linda's cold and she is coughing
pretty bad again today. I am in the studio on Saturday
from 9am to 3pm (after 3 I may try to take a bike ride!)
I plan to work on a commission so feel free to visit.

If you were planning to place an order for one of the
new prints, taking advantage of the opening price you
should do it soon, especially if you want it by Christmas.
Price goes up 1/1/09!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Door

4" x 6" original watercolor

Today's holiday offering is a grand
doorway. Nice mix of brick and
stone, good shadow work and a holiday

Please take a moment to share
my blog with a friend. Help me
spread my talent!!

I am into it now, I have my subjects
lined up. My problem was I looked
up each morning with no idea what
to paint, then add the pressure of a
holiday theme and it was just not clicking.
But I am on top of my game now.
I am ignoring the nasty rainy weather we

are having. Sticking to my desk working
on the blog and my commission.
We are going out tonight to see the
ventriloquist Terry Fator. Should be a good
night of laughing which we can really use!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


5" x 5" original watercolor
I am asking for an artist bailout package!
Never hurts to ask!!! I am even coming to
you with a plan which is more than the other
guys offer. I will trim the fat. Cut some
of the extra benefits I give Linda; like a paid
lunch with the boss and the extra sick days she
has. On my end, I promise to use my bike more
often instead of wasting the business vans gas!
But the promise is I will slash my blog prices for
the rest of December, starting each blog at an
opening bid of only $25!! Now I hope you
understand I don't actually want to sell it that low,
my goal is to give you a good time bidding it up...
way up.
In a way I am offering you entertainment with the
excitement of bidding. In return I receive some
winter income, so go place a bid!!
Linda wanted me to tell you a few things, I am
quoting here...
Holiday paintings do not need to be hung. You
can lean or prop them on a shelf, a table, a mantle...
Move them around. Next time you are thumbing
through a magazine notice what the decorators are
doing with their paintings.
I have great holiday mini prints that make nice
hostess gifts (so Linda tells me!!) Place an order now
and we will try to ship the next day. Also if you are
stuck on a gift idea think about an Andy Smith
gift certificate!

We both are fighting bad colds so we are not
operating full steam here at the Smith house. I did
manage to finish my first commission and it was
a hit. So I have another one started that I am
enjoying and a third I am sketching and getting ready.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Lights #3

6"x 4" original watercolor

Please excuse my artistic licence as I've
taken a very historic Shaker barn and added
holiday lights. There may be Shakers
rolling over in their graves because I
doubt they ever decorated for Christmas,
But I could be wrong about this!
I think Linda thinks I am committing a
sort of crime by stringing lights around the
barn but I think it looks rather nice!
I am following a theme for the week; night
time for my backdrop, strong sky featuring
stars... and holiday lights on a building.

I started getting some of our holiday things
up from the basement; get the spirit moving.
Linda is always so busy this time of year that
it is not on her top 10 fun things to do. We
spent the morning getting rid of "fall" but I am
saving one pumpkin just because I like it.
I have a commission on hold till the client

can ok the sketch so I started another one today.
I picked up a cold somewhere and am not at
peak performance; I rarely get sick, I think it
is due to the lack of bike riding!!
We met with two other couples for dinner
tonight and I love catching up with them.
It was a very nice evening.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Lights #2

4" x 6" original watercolor

Finding a suitable holiday subject has been
daunting today. So I decided to stretch
myself artistically. I took a scene I used before
and changed it from day to night and added
appropriate festive lights and decorations.
You need to study this one, it has interesting
perspective and strong night time color.

These little holiday paintings start at a $100
bid, it is a great way to build a holiday collection
or to give an original painting as a gift.

Today was a repeat of yesterday...
A few errands and a lot of painting. Due to
wet roads and cold weather I have had to
temporarily give up riding bike outside and I

had to dig out my indoor rollers. It doesn't feel
the same
but I won't lose my fitness. Linda
was glued to her desk but stopped long enough
to whip up a carrot soup, I love her soups, it is

the only plus I see in winter!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Lights

5" x 5" original watercolor

December will feature themes of the season.
When I think holiday, I think lights. I love to
see them wrapped around almost anything,
anywhere there is a power source! My setting
is a Lancaster County farm. A field dappled
with a bit of snow, farm lights in the background.
It is a wonderful palette for me to use. Add a
night scene with a crescent moon. Now indulge me
as I give you a glimpse of the lights wrapped around
a tree branch. The night lights give off a little glow.

I was busy all day. Ran some errands with Linda,
picked up a donation of food, and painted my blog.
Linda spent her night with some girl scouts putting
food away in our local food pantry, I was happy
to stay home and paint!