Comment for change to win!! Study #1

Updated image

Cottage by the Lane

Hello my friends, it has been quite a long time since my last post, about 8 months I believe. I haven’t picked up a brush or had time to think of painting since the first of the year when we decided to move from Temple to be closer to our son and grand-daughter. It was quite a challenge at our age to make the move but thank God we have finally settled in and got most of the boxes unpacked. Ken and I finally got my art studio finished ,(I will post some pictures in the next few days) and have gotten most of my art supplies unpacked and somewhat organized. It felt so good to pick up a brush and finally do a painting. This painting is the first of a series of studies one of which I will choose to paint as a mural behind my stove. I would love your input as to which painting is your favorite. I will be painting the mural on 6×6 inch ceramic tiles. I will be doing studies of different subjects in the months to come. I have decided to give away one of these paintings in a drawing. If you would like to have a chance to win just post a comment below or on my Facebook page at Barbie’s Artistic Expression. If your name is chosen you can pick your favorite painting out of the series. The painting below is the first one. I will post each new study as I finish it. You can comment on any of the postings or all of them. Each comment will enter you in the drawing. When I finish the series I will announce when the drawing will be held. When the winner’s name is drawn (I will draw a back-up name as well) I will post it on my blog as well as my Facebook page. It will be left up to the winner to contact me via my email address or contact form on this blog, with their address etc. so I can ship the painting. If I do not hear back from the winner with in a week the painting will go the back up name. So be sure and check my post for the winners name.

After assessing my painting I noticed I needed to adjust some of my values.  Let me know what you think about my changes…XOXO’s

Let me know which one you like best..
Original photo of my painting. Check out my updated photo.
Updated image..comment for chance to win!


Just a quick post on my latest water-color, “Bluebird”, demonstrating the difference it makes when you add more contrast to your water-color’s. When I complete a painting the first thing I do is take a number of pictures in different lighting, in preparation for editing and posting on Facebook. Thinking it looked pretty good, I posted it on my Facebook page. Soon it became apparent to me it was lacking contrast. I know how important it is to take a picture or look at your painting in a mirror to get a more objective view of your work and I thought I had done that, but the longer I looked at it the more I began to realize it looked washed. That is why I wanted to post the two pictures together so you could compare the two.

Needs more contrast.
Needs more contrast.
Finished painting
Finished painting

Now you can see how adding more color helped the bird stand out. Water-color proves to be a big challenge in more ways than one. I have taken a few water-color classes online and have learned some basic techniques, but like all new things, I need a lot more practice. The whole process is totally different from oils and acrylics and I struggle with holding the lights. Even though it is a challenge I really am enjoying learning how to paint in water-colors. It has taught me to me paint more intuitive and let the color describe the objects. If I could suggest one thing to help you become a better artist, it would be to try different mediums. This allows you to be more playful with art and gives you permission to experiment with color and intuitive techniques.

Water-color Journal

First time I have used this for journaling.  Hope to use it a lot more.
Got a really nice water-color art journal with 180 lb. cold press paper.

I have been wanting to start a journal mainly to keep a record of how different water-colors mix with each other. I had several journals but none of them had a good grade water-color paper. I saw a post on-line, can’t remember who the artist was, but she recommended the Stillman & Birn beta series journal. So far I am impressed with how the paper takes the color. There is no point in using a journal for this purpose if the paper is not of a good quality. I had so much fun with this first page I can’t wait to play some more.

Practicing layering colors
Practicing layering colors

I think this is going to be a very productive thing for me to do. I have already learned a lot about choosing colors and now this will allow me to see the color combo before I put brush to paper.
chart to show transparency

My thought is to do a sketch on one side and map out the colors and mixtures on the other side then loosely paint the sketch. I think this process will give me confidence in my decisions before I start painting. Water-color is not a spontaneous medium. It has to be planed before executed and that is not my strong suit. For that reason, if for no other, I need to learn this medium. Will share when I have come up with the procedure that works best for me.
I am sure in time I will become more adapt at mixing water-colors but as of now I feel like a fish out of water, no pun intended. LOL.. I would encourage you to try working from a journal before you jump into painting. I am so impatient I have been skipping this process but now see how beneficial and fun it can be.

Water-color Garden

A journey in water-color
A journey in water-color

“Water-color Garden” started out loose and then turned tight. So enlightening for me to realize how fast you can switch from right brain to your left. Needless to say, I am still working on my water-color technique, improving but not there yet. Which for me is exciting because the learning of new things is why I get up in the morning and I hope I never loose that excitement. There is a learning curve with all new things, whether it is a new medium or style of painting or new things you experience in life, for that matter. If it was too easy it wouldn’t be a challenge and, for me at least, that would be boring. So with that in mind I am having fun with the challenge. Each time I pick up my brush I learn a new way of expressing my subject in this beautiful medium, and that keeps me coming back for more! My goal is to have, at the least, a cursory level of understanding in all the major mediums. I do believe that will allow me to elevate my abilities in all forms of art. My goal is to incorporate numberous mediums into my art, which has been coined as mixed media art. I like pushing the limits on what is comfortable and usual into something that is different and unusual, but at the same time is pleasing to the eye.

I have babbled on for long enough. My hope is this will inspire you to try new mediums and see where it leads you in your art quest. I will leave you with this thought, paint, paint and then paint some more…xoxo’s, Barbie

“Roses are Red” rose water-color

Study in water-color
Study in water-color

“Rose are Red” rose water-color study, was a real learning experience for me. Roses are a difficult flower to paint, considering they have so many petals, but once you get the shape and angles of the petals in your head it isn’t as bad as I had imagined. My biggest challenge has always been getting the right mix of color, but with each painting I am becoming more familiar with good color mixtures. Just like all things you must keep trying!
My palette consisted of permanent rose, maroon perylene,red violet, ruby-red, purple magenta, perylene green, phthalo green, aureolin modern, cadmium yellow, french ultra marine blue, cobalt blue, cerulean blue. Finishing touches was done with cadmium yellow and white gouache. Used some pure color glazes to add depth to the rose as well.
If you have been thinking you would like to try painting a rose my suggestion is to just go for it. I know the thought of it is intimidating but like I said earlier isn’t that bad. This was my 3rd try to paint a rose and with each try I gained more confidence.
I hope this post will inspire you to be bold and challenge yourself. The rewards are great. Enjoy!

My Cotton Tail Bunny

“My Cotton Tail Bunny” was so fun to paint even though  it was quite a challenge.  Rabbits, for me at least, are really hard to get a accurate likeness.  I remember the first one I drew looked more like a rat! LOL.. Not the look I was going for!  I painted this picture in Oct. of 2014, started the story but had not posted it.  Hope you enjoy my rabbit tale!

Let’s begin by saying, I dearly love  all kinds of rabbits!   When we were kids one of my favorite memories was mom’s solution on how to make some extra money and supply us food as well, yes you guessed it, raise rabbits!  Mom was always trying to figure out how to improve  our lot in life, but most of her well laid plans didn’t pan out. This was one of her not so good ideas.  I guess she miss judged how cute they were and that daddy was just about as soft-hearted as us kids, so when it came to actually killing one of those cute rabbits he couldn’t do it and even if he had I am sure none of us kids could have eaten them.  We all helped feed them and watched them grow and have babies.  I think mom realized her plan for the rabbits was doomed shortly after we got them.  She had many more great ideas but I will save those for another day.

Back to why I chose to paint this little rabbit.   I have raised two babies rabbits, one was a jack rabbit and the other was a cotton tail. Both had lost their mothers in a mowing accident and would have died without intervention, so of course I had to try and save them. This one reminded me of my little cotton tail baby. Both grew up to maturity. We released the cotton tail, on our land in the hill country, where he was born.  He or she, had many generations of rabbits,  all were raised in the yard behind our house.   It warmed my heart every time I saw one of those little creatures eating grass, stopping long enough to look up and then to continue peacefully eating, as if to say thank you for protecting us.   The Jack we released out behind our house in Victoria. After his release I would go out in the back yard and call him. He would run out of

5x7 water color on 300 Lb. cotton rag paper.
5×7 water-color on 300 Lb. cotton rag paper.

the woods, with those big ears standing straight up, looking to see were my voice was coming from. When he was sure it was me he would jump sideways and run straight to me for his ear scratch and of course some treats. Then one day he didn’t come when I called, my heart fell, fearing the worse.  Then a few days later I saw him playing with some other rabbits.  I called to him and he looked up as if to say I am with my rabbit family where I belong, he never came back to me.   Several months later I saw some strange-looking rabbits at the edge of the swamp.  They had big ears,  looked like they were part swamp rabbit and part jack rabbit.  Even though I never saw him again, I prefer to think he found a mate and started his own species of swamp/jack rabbits.

Study in Water-Color and Acrylics

Reverse painting technique

Reverse painting  technique
Reverse painting technique
8×8 Acrylic on primed panel


Decided to post both paintings a study in water-color and acrylics   at the same time.  On the water-color my goal was to  become familiar with mixing colors to keep the clean fresh look that makes water-color so beautiful.  It’s not easy and I find myself getting a little stressed over it all.  I know the more I practice the easier it will become, so plan on doing a lot of these little studies to help me with color mixing.

Water-color is fast becoming  my favorite medium.  It is also the most challenging medium for me.   With that being said I love a good challenge .  As I look at it I am thinking the pomegranate needs to be a shade or two darker to make it stand out from the rest of the painting. It helps to take a picture of your painting and study it, somehow it allows you to  see problem areas that you didn’t see before.  If I decide to make a change in the painting  I will post the two versions side by side so you can see the differences .

The second study was done in acrylics on a primed 8×8 board.  I have been trying to learn how to paint a rose for a while and I still don’t have it down but feel like I am making progress every time I try to paint one.   I am using the David Jansen, hope I spelled his name right, acrylics which has a long open time.  He worked with Chroma for 18 months developing  this product and mixing the colors.  If you are interested in learning more about his paints check out his videos on YouTube.

Stayed up too late last night so am not going to bore you with more of my babbling.  If you have any questions please contact me or post a comment.  If you would like to be notified when I post a new piece of art please sign up in the subscribe box.



“Bug Patrol Rooster” water-color

Call bug patrol and ask for no more bugs rooster!

“Bug Patrol Rooster” water-color was inspired by a photo I saw of this beautiful rooster pausing in front of this old milk paint chair full of flowers. I could just see the rooster being so proud of himself for eating all the bugs off the flowers. You know, everyone needs to have a purpose in life. The rooster has many but one of his most important is eating bugs. Not only does it add some protein to his menu but does the flowers a favor as well. If we watch the behavior of the animals it will teach us how to balance our own life. This painting took me back to my childhood. I didn’t realize it then but now I see how important all those animals were to me and the person I became. Animals teach you how to share and by doing so strengthens not only you but all those around you. They give you unconditional love and what a lesson that is! It is my firm belief that God gave us animals to teach us how we should live our lives. They have been a great inspiration to me not only in my art but in my life. Thank you God for the animals!

“Bad Rooster” water color painting

If you don't think so just ask me!
If you don’t think so just ask me!

” Bad Rooster” water-color painting, is a gift for a friend who loves chickens and roosters. I grew up around them, chickens that is. My grandma, Mammie, had a whole flock.  One of my favorite memories was helping her at feeding time. It always made me laugh when she would holler, here chick, chick, chick and they would come running, flapping their wings and squawking. Chickens represent pure joy and happiness for life. They are always singing and just happy to be alive. When I am feeling blue I remember the chickens and it brings a smile to my face every time. I want to paint a lot more of them so stay tuned. “Bad Rooster” water-color painting, reminds me of the old rooster we had on the farm. He was always strutting around the chicken yard looking like he was the baddest rooster in the yard and would prove it if any of the other roosters wanted to challenge him. I would sit for hours and watch them going about their day, scratching and pecking. Memories of a simpler time makes me smile.  I hope it makes you smile as well.

Framed and ready to find a new home.
Framed and ready to find a new home.

Happy Holidays 2014!

Happy Holidays 2014! I can’t believe another year is almost gone! If they keep flying by as fast as this year did I am going to have to give up sleep altogether!! LOL.. I have so many things I want to do there just isn’t enough time in the day to get them done. I have to tell myself to slow down and focus on one thing at a time, and believe me when I say, that is really hard for me to do. I have so many ideas running thru your head I tend to get scattered. I have made a New Years resolution, you know we all have to have one of those, anyway I digress, my resolution is to have a journal ready to write down my ideas when they pop into my head, not a novel idea I know but it had never occurred to me! Yeah I know you must be thinking, what was she thinking! Well I guess I wasn’t!! LOL. This is my solution to staying focused. At the least it will keep me from feeling like I am going to lose the thought, and at my age that could definitely be a danger. This will hopefully keep me focused on the task at hand. Then when I have time, or feel like doing something else, I can go to my journal and pick one of my ideas and have fun. I also want to start doing thumb nail sketches and testing color mixtures before I start on a painting. I was watching an online class of Mary Wythe, one of my favorite water-color artist, and she shared how she used thumbnail sketches to get the most pleasing composition. She also did a quick sketch of the main subject and painted it so as to work out the colors she wanted to use. I am usually so impatient to get started that I don’t take the time to do the ground work, but in watching her I do see the benefits in those practices. So here’s to the New Year and keeping the resolutions we make!

I did get one thing done this year that I have been saying I was going to do and never had. That was painting my Christmas cards! I will have to say it took quite a bit longer than I thought so if that is something you want to do I would suggest giving yourself at least 6 months to get it done without feeling rushed. That is going to be my plan for next year as well. We’ll see if that happens..LOL!

In closing I have decided to open a Esty shop to sell some of my art that is beginning to pile up. I use to make jewelry and have a very large stash of that. Also have some of my hand-made journals and mini albums I need to pass on to someone else instead of just stacking them up. Running out of storage space as well. Don’t want to be considered a “hoarder”, oh well it may be too late for that..LOL!!!! It will probably take me a while to get this done considering I have to take pictures and write a description for each item, but I am going to focus and get it done one day at a time… Speaking of that I have two paintings I have not posted yet so will try to get that done before the new year begins.. Barbie signing off….