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!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Art for Sale!

Have you SEEN my coasters? If not you might want to take a little look; they’re pretty awesome.  Just what a person needs whilst drinking a cuppa something.  Or not drinking a cuppa something. Also have some other pretty cool designs that I KNOW you’d like!

My raccoon painting is sold.  It was the most adorable 20” square painting EVER with micaceous earth ground into the blacks and an incredible, iridescent silver.  LOVE! But, I have magnets and coasters available!

The hands are mine.  I was working with charcoal one day and had our daughter shoot for me.  I knew we had something special with the reflections on my little charcoal pot.

The following shows their reflective nature, and their handy dandy cork back.  The chrysanthemum carving is a woodblock I carved. ❤️ 

And of course, everything’s better with Bob Ross.

You can find my coasters and more than you can imagine at ,colorcatstudios101.etsy.com

AND..... Happy new year!!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Cat Painting, Part the Eighth

Well, this is now installment #8 in my creative steps toward finishing my cat painting.  Here we go!  The first picture shows the colors I chose for his eyes.  Previous to this I had a number of colors out on a test sheet and narrowed it down to exactly these.  Once I have the eyes finished, I note these exact colors in my planning notebook for future references in replication, cleaning, repair and posterity.
The second shot shows my setup, typical for a lot of my work, and I usually employ my handy dandy iPad.
The third shot shows my color choices for his nose. :)
The last shot shows me back to black and white with a tiny liner brush.  These long brushes are good for, well, long lines!  When you see I’m working this small, it shows that the end is in sight.

These are really just such beautiful colors, aren’t they?  Luscious.  Good enough to eat but I’ll refrain.
The little details I do with this brush will be the icing on the cake. Almost done!!  Yay!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Creative Steps #7, Painting the Cat

I think this is Creative Inspiration and Steps Installment #7.  If you’re interested, you can scroll down to the previous posts.

Don’t be afraid! You must be a brave soul to create!  You also have to have a vision.  There are stages in your work that CAN look downright scary, so it’s important to keep your end goal in mind. 

I wanted to do justice to his gorgeous green peepers so I knew I’d need a white background to reflect those colors. These four shots show my next stage, which is finally painting Lupino himself.  My color work is mostly done and I’m now going in only with black, white and a slow-dry medium.  

Yes, my studio looks messy.  Yes, it always looks that way, and yes, I know where everything is!  Several days of painting the cat, with important nights in between.  This gives me fresh eyes to come back and see things I had previously missed so I can get him just... right.  

But as for now we have to look at those terrifying, vacuous eyes.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Part the Sixth - Cat Painting

Part the Sixth of my creative endeavor featuring my cat painting.  See previous posts as they’re in order.  As creatives often do, I once again changed my plan, taking a different tangent and turning the entire painting upside down.  I decided I’d prefer the blue at top and the reds below;  all three - the blues, reds and golds presenting our cat Lupino in a very royal manner as he so justly deserves.  A step not shown is that I burnished the golds in the painting for permanent adherence.  Once oriented, I got out my handy dandy Lyra watercolor crayons and drew it out.  Lyra crayons are the adored but unsung heros of my art supply stock.  As sketching is my specialty, this is one of my favorite steps.  Crayon done I try to always walk away and leave it at least overnight.  When I come back I can see any little tiddly-pom discrepancies in my work and can correct them thusly.  This finished, it is finally ready for PAINT! 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Cat Painting Installment #5, Creating

Okay, here we go with Installment #5 spelling out how my creative mind came up with my recent cat painting and the steps I took to get ‘er done.  These four shots show the next set of layers into which I brought golds to pull those royal colors together.  You can see I used my handy dandy linoleum acanthus leaf stamp that I recently carved.  Now... we’re getting close to actually painting a cat!

For me, a painting has to hold my interest, just like music.  With all the layers of color and texture, I never tire of work like this! :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Creative Process Installment #4

Installment Four to my Creative Process Cat Painting explanation.  Good old thumbnail sketches.  Here are SOME of them.  Get the composition perfect or you might as well give up and go home.  Once I got the composition nailed down I did color testing to hone in on the exact colors I wanted to use to paint the cat himself.  After all these gorgeous blues, I ended up with Payne’s Grey, Carbon Black and Titanium White. The blues didn’t stand out against the background so were a poor color choice. Also, it’s funny to note that I always end up with my hand-scissored paintbrush.  It’s one of my faves because it’s EXACTLY what I want! Hold on for Installment Five, coming up next time! 

Creative Process Step Three

Creative Process Cat Painting Installment #3; for those of you curious as to how an artist works. You’ve seen a closeup of my cat painting and a pic of me sitting next to the finished piece in my previous two posts. This picture shows the third stage of my painting; first, paint the wood in blues.  This particular color pairing has been one of my favorites since I was a teenager, and that was a long time ago! Second, imprint it with garden leaves, and now third, adding the circle with rays.  My original intent was to put a halo around his head, Alphonse Mucha style, so the charcoal lines delineate that.  In a later stage I ditched that idea and decided to go with gold to indicate royalty. These leaf textures peek from the very back of the painting as you look, and beckon you to not only see the cat, but dig deeper into the mystery.  The same way I like complicated music, I like to give viewers a lot to look at and think about. There you have it! Lupus Regem, the start of my Wolf King cat painting creative process.  Look for Creative Process #4 next! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Newest Painting, Full Picture

Presenting the newest addition to my family of paintings.  At 14 1/2x36” it comprises royal colors that bespeak our cat’s regal position.  In this collage we’re flanked on either side with closeups of the colors and textures within the painting itself.  It was great fun painting on a hardwood panel as opposed to canvas, and as a result it easily withstood the many layers I threw at it.  Pretty much loving this one,and it even matches my naturally red hair. :)

Well, this one’s not for sale, but I’m wondering if you could picture YOUR animal so beautifully portrayed.  If so, let me know!

Newest Animal Painting

Each Christmas I step back from all my other work and give myself a creative break.  This year I chose to do my baby, Lupino, and spent this entire month on him. Here’s a little sneak peek cutaway... the big reveal comes when I edit my 100-some photos. I chose to name him Lupus Regem, Latin for wolf king, as he looks like a wolf and is very regal. He also weighs in at just over 16 pounds!

Note the generous use of gold, blue and red; these are symbols of his royalty.  The Latin name gives a nod to the years I spent teaching our kids Latin and how much it has enriched our everyday lives. My plan is to reveal the mystery and walk you step by step through my process for this piece, so we’ll call this the first installment!

And remember, the first step toward your own painting is if you like my art.  I can paint pretty much anything you ask.  (Whew! That’s quite a claim, huh? Now I’m in trouble!)

I digress, but it does remind me of a time someone said, ‘Can you paint a ship on the ocean, and paint like Rembrandt?’  I said, ‘Sure, I can do that.’  After moaning and ‘why on earth did I say that-ing’ for about two weeks I got down to work and painted a GORGEOUS ship which I loved!  My patrons loved it as did everyone that saw it, in fact I had to paint a partner for it and sold that as well after it did a local tour of its own.

So, what’s the moral of the story?  Well, for me it means I should NEVER say I can paint like Rembrandt!  I think I’ll stick to painting like myself!