Friday, February 27, 2009

Winter Series #30

6"x 4" original watercolor

This is simply a pleasant farm scene
with remnants of snow left melting.

I did not get a blog accomplished yesterday.
It was my morning class at Willow Valley and
I actually had to teach, so I did not work on
anything of my own. At noon I ran over to
take care of a few issues with my mom and then
stayed with her for a while. At 6 we met friends
for dinner and it was almost 9 till we got home.
So there was no time to paint. Today I got up
early and rode 21 miles. That helped clear my
head!! At 9am I helped a neighbor fix his bike.
I painted till 2pm then Linda and I ran a few
errands. Finally took care my sale to Canada
issues which after much commotion finally went
smoothly, Linda handled it. She is also getting
forceful about our lost UPS package from early
January. Add to all this I threw a show app in
the mail box without postage so that created
a little panic... I like to add excitement to Linda's
day!! But to keep her in a good mood I am taking her
down to Abbey tomorrow. They are shopping for
a mother of the bride dress... I plan to hang out
with Ben, staying as far away from that as possible!!
Linda put several prints on eBay starting at a very good
price. These are my regular 4 color off-set lithographs.
Think ahead for gifts!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Potted Plant

5" x 5" original watercolor

Working on a painting a day allows me to
stretch a bit in my subjects. I would probably
never paint this as a large painting but as a
small piece it works. Study this painting.
Click on it to enlarge your view.
There is a fence in the background. The plant
which offers the only color; is setting on a
concrete bench. Check out the scroll work
I captured on the end of the bench.
I just enjoyed working on this.

I had a class this morning and then Linda
and I ran some errands. The show in the
cafe in Lancaster ended so we took those
paintings down and took a little time for lunch.
I am still fooling around with the painting I am
trying to ship to Canada. Stopped at FedEx and
it costs $53 to ship. I am talking a small box...
I have covered all my choices except actually
driving it to Canada! UPS seems the best choice
at $25. On a high note...I had my first track
meeting for the season. 11 days to go and I

can't wait. I am expecting another great season.
I love coaching and the kids are great to work with.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Brick Building #2

4"x 6" original watercolor

This might be considered loose for my
usual style but I was studying the way
sunlight moved across the buildings.
This was from a large courtyard and there
is brick everywhere.

I had two sets of classes today and painted
in between. I had to do a bit of research
for sending a box to Canada. Wow, that is
expensive, I was surprised. I was in charge
of dinner tonight so I whipped up some chili.
Linda was working in the studio all morning
and then took her Mom in to see my Mom.
She returned in time for her Yoga class.
I looked up and its almost time for bed!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Original Watercolor Painting
23"x 17" image
$2500. SOLD!

Click over the image for a larger view!

Framed in 28"X 21" with an acid free, double mat
and a shaker style flat frame with a walnut finish.
This painting turned out even better than I hoped.
I worked on it all weekend and all day today and I
did not have my camera along so I was unable to
share the progress. But I am pretty proud of the
way it turned out.

We spent the day today with Linda's old roommate.
I painted while the girls were researching France
information. Joan... if you are reading this... It was
great seeing you again and Linda had a wonderful day
with you. Since I finished my large painting there
is not enough time to paint a blog piece. I did put a
few more prints on eBay and the prices are a deal.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Window Study #17

4"x 6" original watercolor

I was pressed for time today so I went
back to what I know very well. Deep
values in lights and darks and Shaker influences
which I have painted often.

I started teaching a class at Willow Valley
today from 9-11AM. I totally enjoyed myself.
They are a great bunch of students. While
I was there, Linda was with Mom and she also
had a "care" meeting. We met for another financial
meeting in the afternoon. So much to handle...
I got a late start on my blog but am determined
not to miss it.

Remember to check eBay, I have a few prints listed.
I am leaving for Delaware in the morning so you
can catch me at the show...

SHOW: The Hockessin Art Show
Held at Hockessin Memorial Hall located in
the Hockessin Fire Hall in Hockessin, DE.
There is a $3 admission
Friday: 5pm-8pm Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 11am-4pm
30% of my sales go to WWRR!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blue Pottery

6"x 4" original watercolor

I enjoy creating a painting with two
views in one. First is the still life, a
blue bowl on a windowsill with nice
light. Then the landscape outside
the window which is a snow scene.
This little painting has lots of detail.

Painting Lesson...

I am slowly adding layers of color to the
bowls and the cup. Again drying the
paint thoroughly between layers.

Notice the large plate, I am making it take shape.
You can click the paintings to make them large
to study them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


6"x 4" original watercolor

I am still not ready for winter paintings. I am
in Spring mode even though we may have bad
weather here tomorrow. So for today...
Nice solid painting with the planter as the focal
point. But there is much more to see. Study
this and get your bearings, your view is from
standing on the nice patterned brick sidewalk
and the planter is in front of a porch. Add a
bit of shadow for extra interest.

I had two classes to teach today and squeezed
my painting in the afternoon. Tonight I worked
on my larger painting which I was trying to use
as a demo. Click on it to enlarge.

What you are seeing is my next step.
The under painting. Thin layers of washes
using yellow ochre. Dried hard between
each layer. If you do not dry it completely
it will become muddy. I build my color slowly.
This is hours of painting and cannot be rushed.
More tomorrow.

I decided to sell a few prints on ebay. I need
to clear some space in the closet. These are my
usual high quality signed and numbered four color
off-set lithographs. No cheep prints for me!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Green Door

4"x 6" original watercolor

I have plenty of snow subjects but I
just cannot make myself paint them.
Mentally I have moved on to Spring...
With that in mind I went with a warm
painting. A tiny bit looser in style
than I usually paint. You can tell there is
a large tree behind you by the deep shadows.

I had an OK weekend at my show. It brought
in a little cash. I managed to get it all together
on short notice. Linda even provided me with
red ribbon and some hearts that I needed to
decorate the stand, it was Valentines day so I
did as asked. I am sure I looked real macho
putting little twists in the ribbon!

It was to cold to ride outside this morning so I
got out my rollers, not what I wanted to do.
I cut a pile of mats for Linda only to find out I
cut them all the wrong size. Not much of a help
for her, now she needs to do them over. I should
stick to painting! After dinner I went to see Mom...
not much to say, she is not happy and is waiting
to come home. Linda was busy cleaning her desk
which even I thought looked pretty bad. I have
two classes to teach tomorrow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Winter Series #29

6"x 4" original watercolor

A typical Lancaster County scene.
I like that you can see the tops of
the farm over the hill. But your eye
finishes what you are seeing. Strong
light across the tree. The scene is
typical but the painting is superb!

I had the van packed, my schedule in
my mind...I was ready for the day...
But you know what they say about the
best laid plans... Thankfully before we hit
the road I noticed the battery was not charging.
So I ran out to my garage and found out the
alternator was bad. They took it right in
but it ended up being an all day job. So now I
have a real problem I stayed home and painted
with the cut off to leave for the show at noon which
came and past. We left at 5 for the Gallery opening.
I sold one painting tonight! The revised plan is

to leave at 4AM and drive to the show to set up
at 6 and be ready to exhibit at 9AM. I will be
hustling big time. Linda has plans at home,

she is tasting wedding cakes... I would rather be
tasting cake. But I am the bread winner ~ or cake
winner as it seems so off to work I go. Hope all
of MD will be out to see me and make my
weekend worthwhile!

The Show: Cabin Fever Festival
held at the Frederick Fairgrounds
in Frederick, MD. Sat. 10-6 and Sun. 10-5

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blue Door

4"x 6" original watercolor
$225.00 ~ Contact the studio

I went with something totally different
today. This is a doorway from Georgetown
and I simply liked the play in color. The
blue door against the red brick. There was
this big bush with red berries that added another
dimension. I was standing off to the right
which creates a view that is slightly off center.

My day was packed with everything except
painting time. We had a meeting for Mom
this morning. I painted my blog in the afternoon.
Then to keep life exciting I got a call that I was
excepted into a show for this weekend. I had not
planned on showing so I needed to gather
all my show supplies and pack the van. I also

dashed in to sit with Mom since it was my turn.
The last moment show creates a busy day tomorrow.
We will need to leave early and drive 2 hours to
Frederick MD. Set up the show which will take
3-4 hours. Change into dress clothes and drive
2 1/2 hours to Chadds Ford, PA for the Gallery
opening. Hang out and smile, hopefully see some
people I know and then drive 1 hour back home.
I know you are envying my self-employment
now aren't you!!

The Show: Cabin Fever Festival
held at the Frederick Fairgrounds
in Frederick, MD. Sat. 10-6 and Sun. 10-5

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Still Life Study

6"x 4" original watercolor

I am studying vantage points, how
items look when you are above looking
down on them. Angles and shapes
change. This would look totally different
if I had bent down and looked up...

I am going to try to juggle two paintings
at once. I started a large painting that will
serve as a painting lesson. If you have
followed my blog I did this back in Sept. 2008.
I start my paintings the same way every time.
Step 1 Study my subject. This was done by
painting study pieces of parts of my subject
as my blog painting on 2/4 and 2/5.
Step 2 Paper prep... I use Arches 300lb cold
paper which I measure to the size I want and
add a 1" extra border which I line out. Then I
take a heavy piece of cardboard or foamboard
and I use masking tape to tape down my
watercolor paper.
Step 3 My drawing... this is what I am showing
you today. Drawn freehand, this is my guide.
It may look simple but I spent 2-3 solid hours
on this drawing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pottery #15

5" x 5" original watercolor

I was attracted to the unusual slip
on these pottery bowls. I found
them on a low shelf so I was looking
down on them which created an
interesting vantage point. I liked
the way the smaller one was
nestled inside the big one.

Finally...I rode my bike. What a
glorious morning!! That just set the
tone for my whole day. I had a morning
class which went well, actually all my
classes go well, I have super students.
Most of my day was spent drawing a
pottery. I will show it tomorrow, I did
not have time to photograph it. I
managed to paint the blog while teaching

my evening class.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Winter Series #28

4"x 6" original watercolor

This is such a simple serene landscape.
The fence creates the perspective while
the large tree in the foreground dominates.
Snow everywhere! I tried to create the
feeling that a horse or two could meander
into view.

I went in early to sit with Mom. Linda and
I are going to take turns this week. I think
she is adjusting, Linda is not as optimistic.
I concentrated on this painting the rest of

the day and evening. Chadds Ford Gallery
called and requested a few more paintings
so that will require another trip on Wednesday.
If you live in the area of Chadds Ford, PA
please mark your calendar and come out
and support me!! Friday, 2/13 from
5-9pm is the opening reception. I will be there!
And it would be nice to see a few friendly faces.
It is free!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pottery #14

6"x 4" original watercolor

You need to take a few moments to study
this painting. Your view point is from outside
looking in. Notice the peeling paint on the
window frame. Then go inside. There is a
nice still life of pottery. I know it is a little
quirky but I included the hanging light that
really was there.

We went in early to visit my Mom this morning.
Trying to show up at all times to check on her
care. She thinks she is coming home soon...
I had an interview with our local paper this
afternoon. I will let you know when it is published.
I have been spending all my time on my small
blog paintings and with the show season soon
starting I need to start working on some large
painting. This takes some real budgeting of my

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Winter Series #27

4"x 6" original watercolor

This was perfect, the Amish girl was walking
down the snow covered road. Since her back
is to us it was ok for me to paint her. I never
paint them from the front, it is just disrespectful.
Then there is this great farm scene in the
background. Typical Lancaster County.

It was quiet here today. My Moms weekend
caretaker decided to visit her so we did not
go in. It was the first time in 9 days that we
have not sat with her. I wanted to go for a bike
ride but we simply have to much snow, it is not
safe. We had two clients pick up paintings and
I spent the rest of my day painting. Tonight we
went to dinner with old friends and caught up.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Winter Series #26

4"x 6" original watercolor

Back to winter! If you check out the
painting from 2/3 you will notice
this view is farther down stream. The
sky has changed causing the reflections
in the water to change. I find it interesting
that a change in sky gives a totally different
feeling to the painting.

I dropped off my 2 paintings at the Chadds
Ford Gallery today and we stopped for lunch at
the famous "Hanks". We have eaten there in
the past and I was always on the look out in case
Andrew Wyeth would happen to stop in since
legend has it as his favorite hang out. I always
ate with a feeling of anticipation that this could be

the day I see him... But today of course there
was a tiny bit of sadness in the finality of now
actually knowing.

We stopped in with my Mom on the way home
and I spent the rest of my night painting. I have
an interview with our local newspaper on
Sunday and the weather is to get warmer so
I have high hopes of a bike ride if Linda is not
paying attention to the amount of snow still
out there!!
Oh... on a business note, Linda asked me to
remind you all that one of my paintings or
prints would make a very nice
Valentines Day gift...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pottery #13

4"x 6" original watercolor

If you studied yesterdays painting you
should be able to see today's painting is
a continuation to the right side of
yesterdays. The edge of the stacked
pottery and the rest of the plate
in the background. I totally enjoyed
myself. This may end up a large project.

I stayed home and painted today while
Linda took a turn in with Mom. Mom is

so used to having us around and seeing her
often in a day that it is difficult to figure out
how to balance the new arrangement. How
often can we visit and still manage a business
and a life. Too often and does she not settle
in to her new routine? Not enough and she
feels like we abandoned her... I see Linda
struggling with this, wanting to do what is
best. Men (me) approach it with a little less
deep thought, I am simply doing what I can...
that and Linda will figure it out and then tell
me when I should be going!! Tomorrow we
take 2 paintings into the Chadds Ford Gallery
for an exhibit. Through A Different Prism:
African American Art. This should be interesting,
my work is far far from ethnic work. Yes, I am
African American but my work is through a
totally different prism! But I do get to hang
along side
the Andrew Wyeth!
Check it out...see if you can tell which one is mine!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pottery #12

4"x 6" original watercolor

I needed a total change of pace today
so I went with a still life. I found this
stack of pottery on an old shelf when
I went to Landis Museum looking for
holiday subjects. Love the muted

If you watched the news you saw my town
of Lititz got blasted with 12" of snow last
night. While a few miles in any direction had
a dusting. It was pretty wild. My morning
was spent shoveling! Then I went to check
on my Mom. Linda needed a day at home,
all these decisions are pretty stressful. Mom
was in a wheelchair and was on her way to play
bingo. The plan is to keep her busy and out of

her room. So I played bingo. Linda made a
big pot of vegetable soup; cooking is her therapy.
I finally started painting at 5:00 and after
spending the morning shoveling I was not
painting a winter scene!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter Series #25

6"x 4" original watercolor

I enjoy studying the sky. Look at
the reflection in the stream. On
the right is a bridge and the woods
are covered in snow!

Remember to click over the painting
for an enlarged view. For the Daily Painters
we were asked to paint something for
Valentines Day. I already had this
started by the time I remembered so...
use your imagination... two sweethearts
strolling along the pathway, holding hands
saying sweet nothings... its the best I can
do today!!

We had a another rough day here at the Smith
house, making decisions on my Moms care.
There is no "good" decision. My Moms income
is limited and we had to find a nursing home
with a good physical therapy department
and an available bed. Taking her there
and then leaving her there was one of the
hardest things I have had to do. There is
a huge difference between a retirement
community and a nursing home. This is
not the way a person should end their life.
And it makes you think long and hard about
your own last chapter.

Thank you to everyone who has sent kind
and encouraging words. Many of you have
had to make the same sets of decisions and
we appreciate your support. Meanwhile I

am painting inspiring sunrises and views that
instill a peacefulness of spirit.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Series #24

4"x 6" original watercolor

This is a common sight here in Lancaster
County. I never paint our Amish from
the front out of respect but it is hard
to resist a view from the back. I am sticking
with my winter scene but adding a little
Lancaster County twist. This was an open
buggy, I believe used as a courting
buggy or for young people.

We have had a few rough days trying to make
wise decisions concerning my Mom. We are
at day 4 in the hospital with no improvement
in her mobility. So today we faced the decision
of a nursing facility and had to break the news

to her that she was not coming home with us.
This change should happen tomorrow and I am
not looking forward to it. I have been painting
my blog at the hospital so I can sit with Mom.
My February classes start tomorrow so it will

be a busy day.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Winter Series #22

Winter Series #22
6"x 4" original watercolor

Lots of snow, my favorite part of
this painting is the barely visible
tire tracks. This painting offers
great depth.

Winter Series #23
4"x 6" original watercolor

This is an alleyway in Lititz, PA.
I was interested in the way the
snow hung on the trees.

I have two paintings posted today.
I missed posting on Friday and Saturday
but I have very good reason. My Mom
fell on Friday and this time it required
a trip to the hospital. We have spent
all of our time with her. She has been
medically cleared with nothing wrong which
is unbelievable for 86 but for some reason
she is not strong enough to stand. So we
have lots of unpleasant decisions to make.
I managed to paint while at the hospital
but was not home in time to blog. I will
keep you posted.
Meanwhile, I need to contine to earn a living.
The next set of watercolor classes start on
Tuesday. Check here for details.