Friday, April 29, 2016

Mona Lisa

Two artists' versions of the Mona Lisa. Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. 

Instrument Paintings for Sale!

This one is sold, but I will paint any instrument, color, size and price range. 

Absolutely love the colors and industrial vibrancy of this one!

An Artist's Desk, continued

Once again, my desk. This is after I cleaned it up. Happens pretty quickly. 


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Market Street Art Show Postponed

Oh, rain, rain, rain!!! We have webbed feet by now. Yet another event cancelled...

Market Street Art Show CANCELLED! Too high a probability of rain. It will be NEXT Saturday, May 7.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mother's Day Paintings!

Your mother needs a handsome #painting for #MothersDay!
I'm giving a 10% discount for Mother's Day if you mention my blog. 

E. B. White Quote

Good morning world!  This pretty much says it all. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Art Classes

My Training Center high school class. Notice the incredible shrinking boys, the horned young man, and the American Gothic with fork. Yep. We is creative people!  Love these guys! to register. I'm now taking registrations for the 2016-2017 school year. 

Art Class Registration

If you need #art and just about everything else come out and meet us TODAY!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Art Show THIS Saturday!

THIS Saturday!! Houston peeps, come out and visit my booth! .

Oscar Wilde

Wilde quote on my photo. Very true. #colorcatstudios 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Painting of Pines

Breath of Spring #painting for sale. I love the colors in this one!


Quote on Poppy Painting

I have long loved this quote. Put it on one of my gouache paintings. It has deep meaning for me. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bad Art

Making BAD ART today. Perfectly awful paintings this morning... but my color test paper looks pretty good...


This #painting reflects where we live. For sale at

Big Furry Bird

Sometimes I feel this way, as I'm guessing all artists do at one point or another. 

Bierce quote on my #painting 'Big Furry Bird.'

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Danny's Surprise, Part Eleven

Here is the final, UV varnished and drying, ready to be wired and mailed. You can view the previous ten posts, look for the index on the right side of this blog, to tell step by step how I did it. If you're interested in commission work, let me know. 

Market Street Art Fair, The Woodlands

 Coming soon! This year I'll be a seller. Make sure to stop by and see us!

Mother's Day Paintings

Need a Mother's Day gift? All prices, to her door. 

2016-2017 Art Classes Enrollment Open

We are looking at Rene Magritte in my classes. Time to sign up for next school year!


Beautiful shot I took yesterday. I'd like to paint this one.  We got 19 inches of rain the previous night - record breaker!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Geranium Painting

A simple, cheery floral #painting before the rain beat them down. Spreading the cheer!

Teeny Tiny Art Time!

Yay!! It's Teeny Tiny Art time! This should brighten your day!  

Quote on Work and Art

This is on a photoshopped pic of my palette! Looks like a #painting. Happy Monday!  Get busy. 

Lions and Tigers and Bears!

Lions tigers and bears, oh, my! Animal and other paintings for sale at Here's looking at you!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Danny's Surprise Part the Tenth

Approved!  He loves it!  Yay!  There is a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when the final is approved and adored. Here you see it, signed, and sporting a new name. The name has special meaning and is per his request. 

And remember, if you need a painting, check out my work and let me know. Having a commission done is easy and fun, as these ten posts show. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Picasso's Full Name

Just thought you should know. 

The Continuing Saga of an Artist's Studio

Here we have another corner of my studio.  Top right you first lay your eyes on my quickie self-portrait in orange and blue.  Gotta do a selfie now and then.  This particular day I had my hair up, glasses on and bluetooth in.  I call it my Sarah Palin selfie. Along with that a couple pieces of metal embossing in progress.

Lots of small work.  Some from friends, some that are my own.  These pieces continually inspire me.

The little restaurant rail car.  Somewhere in this world are the other cars in this set.  It has a special place in my heart because I grew up on trains, riding that good ol' Silver Bullet from Washington State across the Rockies and many points east.  Brings back memories which are too multitudinous to share here.

A nest full of wonderful surprises.  That's art-speak for a bunch of good junk and bad that I don't know what to do with at the moment.

Absolutely love my little black girl!  Aside from being adorable, she reminds me of the time we lived in Quincy, IL and went over to Hannibal, MO, continually.  Home base for Mark Twain, and we were always celebrating his Huckleberry Finn characters and stories.

Top right is a leaf print.  I love these, and usually put warm colors over cool, causing the leaves to look like they're floating above the surface.  I infuse them with golds and iridescents, too, which add interest.

That's about it!  You can find my work for sale at

Friday, April 15, 2016

Danny's Surprise, Part the Eighth or Ninth?

Check previous posts; I lost track. Whatever the post number, this is the NEXT one!

Okay, shadows! This pulls everything together. I'm also adjusting and adding to the background, and working all around the entire painting at once. There are tiny adjustments everywhere which probably no one but me would notice, but they're big as far as I'm concerned.  I don't want anything in this not exactly perfect.

One thing to note is that my original plan was to put in a little more background, especially behind her.  But, going with the flow as any artist worth his salt should do, I found the background beautiful and perfect the way it was.  Any other detail would detract from the main subject, the couple, and also subtract from that beautiful glow around them, including the breathtaking wash of silver layered over the blue, top center.

There's been an ongoing conversation about her purse and sweater.  As with all commissions, I continually send pictures of the painting in progress, and there's a continuing dialog of questions and answers.  This assures that my people like what they get in the end.  At first we decided that she wouldn't have anything in her hand.  But Danny had the phone, and that's very natural for just about anyone in this world. 

After that, we decided we'd have her holding just the purse.  But I couldn't paint the purse because the sweater was covering most of it, and I didn't know what it looked like!  If you were this gal, wouldn't it bother you if you were carrying someone else's purse?  Definitely!

So, I asked him to surreptitiously hang her purse on a chair and take a shot of it for me. It was at that point he decided he wanted her sweater and her purse IN.  Good call!  His idea was that he had his phone, they were hand in hand, and she had her sweater and purse, both like they always do, to be comfortable.  They are comfortable with each other and comfortable with their normal things.  Hey, Danny, you're a smart feller!

Now is the stage we've been waiting for - as far as I can see, I'm done!

But... not done yet - first... approval.  Won't consider it finished until I send it to him and he is content.  Part the Ninth or Tenth will let you know what he says. 

Stay tuned!

Mr Bean vs Rembrandt

It's a Mr Bean meets Rembrandt kind of day. Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Metal Embossing Piece for Sale

#Metal #embossing that i worked simultaneously with the wood. There are layers of interest in this beauty, both in metal, wood and textured top coat. If you dig deep, I have some videos of how I did it. 

Danny's Surprise, Part the Eighth

Okay... He looks much better with a head, don't you think? Check out previous posts one through seven for how this painting has developed. 

What a difference a head makes!  You can also see I'm laying in the background, and fixed his too-high shoulder. Ahhh... Much better. I'm really starting to like this. There are also some other things going on I need to concentrate on, but won't do that until the background is done. I will add some shadows to fix their feet to the ground, but they can't be done until later to help unify things in the end. 

Looking pretty good!

To be continued...

My Painting on Poster

#tigers? You can find my #painting on the WAL poster! I feel privileged to have my painting in with so many great artists.  Come and join us. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Danny's Surprise, Part the Seventh

Next up... The dress. 

Then... A little bit of skin and some hair. That was fun!  Man, this girl has some gorgeous hair!

Danny's Surprise, Part the Sixth

Background done, check. Figures drawn, check. Now, the fun stuff. Let's begin with his uniform.

This is my favorite stage of painting, but as you can see from the first five parts, it took a long time to get here.  May I digress and say that most amateurs begin with this stage, and then wonder what went wrong.  Lots of planning in the front of your work makes for a nice painting that looks like it was easily done.  Jump right in and you'll often drown.  Trust me, I'm the Queen of Jumping In, and I've drowned many times.

Now that I've painted Danny's uniform, I can see I got his left shoulder way too high - ARG!  Remember, with acrylics, there's no going back!  Oils take a very long time to dry which gives the artist a chance to correct his work, and if all else fails, he can simply scrape the oil paint off and begin again!  Acrylics dry extremely quickly and Danny's shoulder is permanently too high.

Never fear - I'm going to block it from my mind and continue with my plan, then once I get to the background, I'll block it out.  The plan is to do in this order: clothing, skin, hair, background and then shadows and small details to pull it all together and make it one cohesive unit. As you can see from the photo in a previous post, there are some trees behind him.  They will become part of his shoulder.

Aside from the little shoulder problem, I like it already!  Because of all that notebook planning, the center of the painting is light and glowy, and will frame their bodies nicely in that golden day, newly married glow.  Good.

Landscape Painting 'Outside My Window' for Sale

To celebrate our beautiful spring. #painting for sale  I love the fresh beauty of this one! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Danny's Surprise, Part the Fifth

All right. Planning stage is over; time to finally get to the canvas. As you saw in the previous post, I am READY!!

As with pretty much all of my paintings since that very influential Picasso exhibit  I took in a few years ago, it's background first.  In this painting I established the background colors and textures and laid down the lines of the couple. I do this with watercolor crayons because a mere spray of water makes it disappear. :)

Once they're all drawn out, I begin painting the figures. 

Danny's Surprise Part 4

Continued from Part the Third, I'm leading you through step by step my process with handling commissions.  This is the one I'm working on right now.  I've got these plastered all over my shelves and have just decided on how I'm going to crop the piece... like the bottom top left photo.  Perfect.  Spend a lot of time looking at their butts.  I told him.  He said he had a fine butt and I needed to do it justice. :)
Ahh... yes.  Here we are.  The deal is to make your paintings look easy.  In order to do so, a lot of planning must go into the process, and here I am laying down just that.  I'm deciding on exactly how I want the figures, where I want the main focus to be, and what colors go where. 

Once I start painting, this has to be firmly established because as you know, acrylics aren't very forgiving when it comes to mistakes.

So far I've done a lot of work, and haven't even touched the canvas!  Actually, I take that back.  One of the first things I do is get the new canvas out.  From experience, I need to know exact measurements, so I write that down on the stretcher bars, along with my name, signature, contact info and copyright information.  Don't want to forget it, just get it done first!

When this is done, I set the painting up on the easel and just stare at it.  Yep.  Stare.  The size has been established and now I'm visualizing the space of the canvas and picturing the dimensions and proportions of everything I'm going to lay down.  I think it was M. C. Escher that said that some days he did a lot of painting, it just had nothing to do with a paintbrush.  That's what I'm doing at this point.  Looking.  Thinking.

This is the point at which I have received about 25% of the painting's full worth.  That gets me started purchasing canvas and paint.  Hang on to your socks... I'll be posting Part the Fifth very soon.  You can also check out my website to look at more of my paintings.

Danny's Surprise, Part 3

Continued from previous Danny's Surprise posts, leading you through a commission.

Once we worked out the steps to this point, it was time to concentrate on the photo. Here it is.  I love this photo; it's absolutely so sweet.  From the previous post we established that he loves my bright colors and wants that in this painting.  I know exactly what I'm going to do.  But first, the planning stages.  That'll be in Part the Fourth.

My Studio

A little corner of my studio to brighten your day. By the Where are you?, the lollies are for painting, not for eating. 

Danny's Surprise #2

Okay, continued from my previous post,  'Danny's Surprise.'

After I sent him to look at my finished work, he chose these as his favorites. This gives me an idea of what he wants:

He said he absolutely loves my lion, and

Adores the horse. 
And he loves the colors in this painting, Breath of Pine:
By the way, all these paintings are for sale on my site,

Okay. Now we have established the plan. Next post, #3, will show what he wants done. 

Danny's Surprise

I'm going to begin leading you through a commission I'm currently working on. I got permission from my patron to post these as we can't see any reason why his wife would find my site. Let's call my posts Danny's Surprise. 

He wants a painting of the two of them walking hand in hand, and sent me a photo. 

First step- 
Have him look at my paintings and see if he likes them!  If people asking for commissions don't like my current work, I send them elsewhere. 

He loves my work and cited particular pieces that he particularly loves. 

We made output financial agreement and off we went! 

Next post... Pictures. 

Look for 'Danny's Surprise #2'

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Teeny Tiny Art Time!

It's... Bum de da bum... Teeny Tiny Art Time! Yay! Just for smiles a tiny abstract and a friendly face.

Before Never. A Reimagined Peter Pan.

Melody's show, 'Before Never' played to a sold out crowd last night and was a smash hit!  Could not be more proud of her and her awesome cast. Thanks to all of you who came out to support Refine Arts - what a terrific run of shows. Here's Melody with Carlos, her Peter Pan.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Peter Pan Show

What is this? There's definitely a lot of action in Melody's 'Before Never.' See Peter Pan as you've never seen him before. Last show is tonight! for tickets. 

'Before Never' Showing Tonight!

TONIGHT!!  In #Houston, Melody Johnson's last show! Before Never, a reimagining of #PeterPan. Now I'm a tattoo artist.