Thursday, March 14, 2019

Leaf Painting in Negative Space

A couple years ago I went to ‘Picasso, Black and White’ down at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.  I was not excited about it and had an appointment after my museum visit.  You may have noticed that I’m a pretty colorful girl, so I was expecting a bunch of tiny black and white sketches.  

Picasso blew me away!  I staggered out of the museum about five hours later hungry, exhausted, missed my appointment and inspired to the hilt! His work was monumental and in many pieces he entirely covered the canvases with colors, only to cover them up with white paint and quickly sketch in his subject. The ‘sketching’ was eliminating the white paint to show the colorful ‘underbelly’ of the piece. 

He inspired me to use negative space in my paintings and this is a good example.  Can you see how the entire piece was once entirely color? By painting the transparent white behind the leaves, the leaves are now the subject. This is for sale on my website, shown below.   It’s called ‘Oh the Beauty of the Earth!’

Monday, March 11, 2019

In The Studio

Commission work today; therefore all you get to see is my palette. HOWEVER, once I get to these tiny brushes it means I’m almost done with it! :) love!!  One wonderful thing about spring break is that I have more time to paint, and that’s always good! 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Humorous Painting

This quote makes me chuckle.  I think at some point every artist feels this way.  I popped the quote onto one of my sold paintings, which also makes me chuckle.  I named it ‘Big Furry Bird.’  Pretty sure THAT big, furry bird just wants to be friends. 🙂.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Spring Break Abstracts

My business, Color Cat Studios, is two-fold.  It often feels like multitudinous-fold. One side is my paintings.  I both sell my finished ones and take commissions for what others want me to paint.  When people ask me to paint something, the first thing I ask them to do is look at my art and see if they like it, and choose particular works so I know what style they desire. If they don’t like my style I send them elsewhere.  

Another side of my business is teaching art.  Oh my GOODNESS I LOVE kids! I teach formal classes to kids ages 9-21 and we both love and inspire each other.  I’ll also teach adults at art conventions, art gatherings, speak at business gatherings, etc.  I absolutely ADORE painting for theater; it’s about the only time I get to paint as big as I want.  

Now we come to spring break - whew!  I’m really excited and relieved to have a break.  It’s time to refresh myself.  One way I do this is by working on abstracts.  I love this one, done with good old Brusho pigments.  These pigments are ... well, pure pigment with no vehicle.  I really love these and use them often.  Anyway, HAPPY SPRING BREAK!!! 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Artists Naming Works of Art

This is my lion painting.  I named him King for obvious reasons, which comes to another point; why do artists give such stupid names to their works of art? Why, if you painted a lady sewing, for instance, would you name the piece ‘Woman Sewing?’ (Renoir). Or... following the thought here, ‘Girl with a Watering Can?’ Renoir again.  Renoir, I feel you.

Would you like to know the secret of artists through history, myself included?  We really just want to paint.  We want to paint beautiful things and have people BUY them, so we can paint MORE beautiful things!  Once the painting is finished, we don’t CARE what the painting’s name is!  As for me, I just want to make it, finish it, love it, and then do it again with another piece. The naming thing is distracting from the first desire, to create. 

All this being said, ‘King’ really IS a good name for this one, don’t you think?  And artists out there? How DO you name your work?  This piece is for sale on my website which you can click on below.  Will somebody please buy King so I can paint another painting?  Thank you! In the meantime, I’m going to go paint flowers.  I think I’m going to be really original and name that painting ‘Flowers.’

Friday, March 1, 2019

A Spring Floral

When I paint flowers I always paint in joy.  And there’s nothing like a fresh watercolor painting of flowers to soothe the soul. This is actually a mixed media piece with all sorts of hidden things which will pull you into its rainbow of mystery. A tiny work on paper with a tiny price.  Find it on my website,

And another closeup..
This piece has some really cool textures in it.  My studio is open; get a hold of me and I’ll give you a free tour.  Everything looks ever so much better in person!!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Meet the Artist of This Blog!

Meet the artist of this crazy feed! Here I am waiting for a show in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, the only building in the city that is permitted to have a thatched roof, for obvious reasons.  We enjoyed two peerless shows whilst there.

 I’m in one of the balconies but you can look down to see that people still crowd around the stage, lean on the stage and stand shoulder to shoulder for the entire length of the show!  What a place.  

I also notice my gold earring(s). I lost one on that trip.  Came back Stateside and found a different sized gold hoop and wore them as a mismatched pair.  I’ve always felt that ‘life is short, you might as well mix up your jewelry!’ The next time we went to Europe I lost my last hoop! Maybe the next time we go I’ll find a pair, huh? :) 

Man, I miss those earrings.  Dang.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

In the Art Studio

This was a good portion of today’s work.  After a lot of sketching I finally laid out my new painting, this time on cradled wood, not canvas.  Once I sketched in the entire plan it was time to choose paints. Test, mix, compare, eliminate.  Once done with all this, I make careful notes for posterity as to exact type of paint and medium.  

I wish I could show you more but don’t as a rule when I’m working on a commission.  You’ll see the painting itself soon!

Monday, February 25, 2019

My Mother’s Hands

My goal is to keep this feed related to art because I’m a professional artist; however tonight I must make an exception. Actually, maybe it’s not that big of an exception.  These are my mother’s hands. She’s caressing our cat Calypso who loved cuddling with both my parents.  My mother is gone now, and so is my father.  So is our beautiful, good natured sweet kitty.  I miss all three of them.  This photo brings it all crashing back.  But really, what IS art? It can be many things, but taken down to its very essence, I believe it’s living a life to glorify God, loving people and caring for your own.  And boy am I thankful that God was gracious enough to give us animals to love us and to teach us how to love. And living a well-lived life?  Now THAT’S art!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Train Art, Memories

This tiny card.  How can I explain the meaning behind it? I always tell my students to make art to remember.  I hold this one close to me but will tell you of it nonetheless.  It’s the Great Northern Railway mascot, the Rocky Mountain Goat. My dad worked for this Railroad for 43 years and we were a railroad family, moving to whatever state he was promoted to next. As we moved, my brothers would come of age and not move with us. 

I grew up on trains.  Checking them on Saturdays with Dad, clambering all over them to check for needed repairs and make sure everything was ship shape, riding them across those Rocky Mountains more times than I could count, even driving one. Finally he was transferred to Minnesota and at age 18 I prepared to stay in Illinois.  Last minute I decided it was time to blow that town and I moved with them. 

I started working for the railroad and met my husband there and we continued the railroad travel. Before my dad retired, he was in charge of materials at the headquarters, and was responsible for the safekeeping of the original Rocky Mountain Goat, enshrined in its plexiglas display case.  One little logo.  A lifetime of precious memories. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

My Art Studio Today

I had to step aside from the work I’d outlined for my painting day because these hyacinths were driving me to distraction!  Their fragrance is divine and I literally carry them from room to room. Finally I prepared a canvas and did some color testing.  Pictured here are the color winners; the color losers were banished back to my paint drawers.  We artists make it our job to make creation look easy, but you can see from this photo that a whole lot of planning and work go into a piece long before brush meets canvas.

Also, sometimes I have a helper come into my studio.  Trust me, when he comes in, I stop and enjoy life for a while.

Unique, Creative Art

As a professional artist I’ve created paintings and said goodbye to them as they have all gone to various new homes around the world.  Over the years I’ve watched as my style has changed.  I look back at paintings I’ve sold and think, ‘hmm... I guess that’ll never happen again, I don’t even paint like that anymore.’  I change, I grow, I move on to new ideas; after all, I have an entire world of creativity to explore!

All this to say, if you are eyeing art by an artist, ANY artist, whatever medium, BUY IT.  You are not buying Walmart (fake, reproduced, fall-apart) art, you’re investing in an artist’s life.  You’re purchasing an heirloom, a legacy and it’s not going to come around again. If you miss your chance, that particular piece will never happen again.  

You can join the artist in that shining, creative moment in time and enjoy a beautiful, unique piece that can never be reproduced.  Now THAT is special.  Yes, Mr. Bear is long gone, but I DO have small posters of him at

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Flower Painting - Spring!

Spring is coming (comes early here in Texas!) What better way to celebrate than with flowers? This little mixed media piece IS a celebration!  5 1/2”x9”.

Sooo much fun. ❤️ 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

New Puppy Painting

Here I’m holding my new little puppy painting so you can see the size. This adorable little doggo is a commission I just finished - yay! Stella is a bundle of fun so I put polka dots in the background to symbolize her playfulness. Guaranteed to bring a smile of delight, this acrylic painting is only 12”x12” painted on cradled wood.  With the gold textures in the background, her mood changes as light filtering onto the painting changes.  She’s so CUTE! 

In this case, good things definitely come in small packages! Check out my website for all kinds of crazy wonderful stuff!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Finished Puppy Commission

Here I’m showing some of my steps bringing my puppy painting to fruition.  This adorable pup is a commission I just finished - yay! Stella is a bundle of fun so I put polka dots in the background to symbolize her playfulness. Guaranteed to bring a smile of delight, this acrylic painting is only 12”x12” painted on cradled wood.  With the gold textures in the background, her mood changes with the changing light. 
First drawing upon my beautiful background:

Starting to paint in the ear now...
Both ears... :)

Watch out for that scary pic with the glowing white eyeball - zombie dog! Artists are like gardeners - going through the scary stuff, mud, seeds, weeds, zombie dogs, with their eyes on the goal, finished paintings and glorious gardens. :)
Getting there...  honestly, I love this zombie dog transition. 

Ahhh... much better.
Now we’re getting somewhere!
The photo did not show a gleam in her right eye; but neither I nor the customer liked her without it. So...
Ah! That’s much better, isn’t it? :). Now, for the finishing touches.  Fur here, texture there, little pinky nose, and voila!

I’m in love! And I don’t even have to take her outside to pee!

Watch out for that scary pic with the glowing white eyeball - zombie dog! Artists are like gardeners - going through the scary stuff, mud, seeds, weeds, zombie dogs, with their eyes on the goal, finished paintings and glorious gardens. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


I bet you didn’t know that today is TINY BRUSH DAY! What that means is I’m almost done with another painting! :). It’s a commission so I can’t show you yet, but it’s coming! Yay! I love the sense of accomplishment when a painting is finished. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Bunny Painting Sold

My little bunny-bun sold.  Such an adorable little fellow; and I’m glad he’s going to a good home.  I don’t think he’s even going to eat much! I wanted to post him with my pens so you could see what I used for him.  

These soft brush Pitts just can’t be beat, and it rather feels like you’re painting! Since we’re talking bunnies,I have to quote my favorite bunny poem: ‘The bunny is a feeble folk, whose weakness is his strength. To shun a gun a bun will run to almost any length!’  (You’ll thank me later when you need a good poem.) Happy days. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Octopus Painting Sold

Sold ‘Maestro’ last night. Soon he will be flying first class to Massachusetts! My painting gets to fly in a better class than we do!  The other octopus painting, ‘Walking,’ is still available. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Octopus Paintings Compared

I painted these two octopus paintings several months apart.  For one I wanted to focus on lines and for the other I focused on texture. I was surprised when I set them next to each other that they looked like they had been painted together and look as if they’re joining... well, not hands, but maybe like each one’s arms are extending beyond himself over to the other. They truly are a pair! One thing that unites them is my treatment of color; I used the same colors and laid them down in thin glazes so you could see through each layer of color like stained glass. 

The borders I put above and below (to make a square for Instagram!) are super closeups.  Each piece is 24x30” and they’re on my website to be sold separately unless some lucky person decides to purchase them together.  LOVE these!

You can find them at

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Mixed Media Video

I want you to see how awesome these Molotow Chrome markers look. Different angles maketh different looks!  LOVE mixed media art! For me, the entire process of doing anything in mixed media is very rewarding because it takes so many steps.  This is one reason creatives are such good decision makers!  In order to come up with one good piece, so many decisions and changes must be made along that circuitous path called creation.

Seen at different angles, the small stripes are absolutely CHROME.  Sorry they don’t show up in this pic.  Trust me.

Creative Inspiration

This is so very true.  I’m wondering if other creatives feel the same way? There are so many things I’m interested in, so many things I want to learn, so many things I want to try.  There is always something I want to create and it takes time alone to think in order to produce.  And ya know what?  If you are good company with yourself, you’ll be good company for others as well. 

This is my own quote on a mixed media piece I did. ❤️ 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Newest Octopus Painting

Here we are - my newest painting entitled Maestro, for his commanding appearance. My octopus is done in layers of texture and color and my aim was to make it look like stained glass.  When viewed in person it is luminous and fairly glows!  You can find him on my website,

Also, I give studio tours.  My work is ever so much more beautiful in person.  Just contact me for a studio tour. The upside?  Gorgeous art in person, a peek into my studio and how I work and ... FREE GIFTS!!! Yay!  

Mystery Painting Piece

Here’s another tiny section of my new mystery painting.  Can you tell what it is yet? My concentration for this piece was texture and color.  The plan was to lay down textures before anything else, and then I thinly glazed colors, one on top of the other so it would be as luminous as stained glass. I am a colorful girl after all! The big reveal will be tonight at 7:00.  To help you guess what it is, this painting is the mate to another, which you will already find on my website

This painting really is a celebration of color.  I love even this tiny section!  Stay tuned: I’m going to reveal the entire painting tonight.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Painting Reveal

Here’s a super-closeup of a new painting I’ve got up my sleeve. Since it’s 24x30”, I guess that means I’ve got a big sleeve, huh?  Can you guess what it is?  This painting is a friend of another I recently painted as they both have the same subject; but that one was based on a linear concept with a strong emphasis on drawing and lines.  For this one I first laid down a heavy layer of textures and words to be the base for the painting itself.  My goal was to layer the colors in very transparent glazes so you could see how the glazing reacted with the textures and so you enjoy how the colors interact with each other, changing and mixing as they’re either layered or not layered.  Goodness, this painting is as complex as expensive, aged wine!  You’ll get the big reveal SOON!  Hope you like the little sneak peek! 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Creative Inspiration

I believe that artists of every type are commissioned to speak for all of humankind. I myself feel a deep responsibility to use the gift, and sometimes receive comments that surprise me about how what I created has so deeply affected another person.  All I know is that if I’m true to myself and true to my God, then what I feel and create will touch others. 

I’ve also learned through the years that if I stay true to myself and true to my God and DON’T receive affirmation for my work, that’s okay too.  I know in my heart that I followed the call and did the work, and that’s what’s important.  (my quote is on a portion of one of my newest paintings).

And by the way, the INSPIRATION for this painting, of which you see a little portion, is a bag of grapefruit a friend gave me.  They had stems and leaves still attached and were gorgeous!!! I had to draw and paint them for DAYS before I could eat even one!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Mixed Media Owl

Feeling owly? Honestly, teaching art brings out the goofy weirdness in me I guess; this in-class demo was pretty fun.

They say that creative people are good decision makers; I BELIEVE!  That’s because to make even one piece of art takes SO MANY decisions!  For this piece I:

First intended to collage all the feathers. (Oh, by the way, it was an example I did in-class with my students.  I’m teaching them collage.)

Once I drew him in I decided to paint him so he’d look good if the paper showed between the collaged pieces 

Once he was painted, I didn’t want to collage him, so I decided to collage the background.

Once the background was collaged I decided to collage parts of the owl’s feathers around the edge to pull the whole piece together.

(And that ain’t the half of it! :)

Anyway, here’s looking at you!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Preparing for Art Classes/Commission

I’m starting my art classes on the journey of collage and mixed media so I thought I’d better do one as an example. I’m also working on a commission and do practice runs like this and sketches before committing to canvas.  Cute little doggo!

Here’s my initial sketch:

This time I decided to do the background first. After that some of the shadows...

Time to add in some darks.  Rather alarming, isn’t it? :) I tell my students that if they spread the darks around it won’t be alarming.  Right now the focal point is on the darkest darks.  Need to move them around a bit.

Here we go - adding more textures and shadows into the work.

The following is the finished piece.  I like leaving my works on paper loose looking.  There were so many warms in the dog that I needed to change the background to cool.  Much better.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sketching in Art Class

Yes, I know these are terrible sketches, but they were super fast ones. Had a hilarious, fun time with my youngest students today taking turns dressing up and doing two minute modeling stints so we could draw each other.  Two minutes was about as long as any of my students could pose, haha! Here are a few of mine. Oh, my darling students. Love these goofy, wonderful little people.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Collage Art

One of my favorite things to teach my students is collage art.  SO MUCH FUN!  Here’s a collage I made which I’m using as an example.  I call him “Guy on Fire!”  Into each life a little flaming blue hair must fall, huh? :). Back to school!! 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Photographing My Art

As photographing my paintings is so intense, I’ve been working on it myself with my timer.  Of all the photos I took today, I think I got only one good one.  The rest? Painting not square, painting upside down, oops - I turned it around and got my coat, my nose looks too big (well, it IS a proud family heritage!) too bright, stupid pose, stupid smile, on and ON! ANYWAY, I did this so you can see the size comparison.  Good things DO come in small packages! For sale.

This one came out pretty well, and the painting is square to the photograph.

Painting crooked....

Whoops... didn’t get to the chair in time...

Much too bright and really stupid pose - move camera!

Oh brother!  I reversed it!  (Nice coat, though!)

Okay, I GIVE UP!

Anyway, here is the painting once again so you can actually see the nice colors and details:

You can find my work at

Pretty baby!