Monday, May 2, 2016

Chestnut-Backed Chickadee 6" X 6" oil on panel

                                                                 Another bird!
I have really enjoyed painting these small critters.
I can see how bird-watchers can be
so adamant about what they do. It sort of "catches" you after awhile.

I'd love to have some feeders and watch them as they do their thing, but feeders bring Pack Rats who then bring snakes, and since we have a generous share of 
Rattlesnakes in this area I'll forego the observations
that concern feeding the birds.

Hope your week has started well, and you'll enjoy the rest of it.
Happy Painting!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Blackburnian Warbler oil on panel 6" X 6"

  It seems as if birds have been on my
mind this past couple of weeks.
We have so many building nests, looking for mates
and tending little ones.

We live on a migratory bird route
so at different times we have birds coming and going.
I did some reading about this one
called a Blackburnian Warbler and it seems they live mostly
in the northeastern part of the country.

With their coloring they would be
a real stand-out here!   

This painting is available for purchase at DailyPaintworks.
Click HERE to go to DPW.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Diptych each panel is 6" X 12" oil on panel

This is my first diptych. I've called the pair "Cactus Chatter."

These Curved-Bill Thrashers are a common bird in this area. They are not the most glamorous of birds, but they do have a pretty song. This time of year they are especially musical as they sing to find a mate.

My husband took the original photo with both birds in the same photo. I decided it might make a good diptych and divided the one photo into two parts. I modified one of the

cacti to fit more naturally into the painting. Below is a photo of the two panels together.
I can imagine both panels framed separately then hung next to one another on a wall. Or, I have seen both panels framed in the SAME 12" X 12" frame. Both methods seem to be effective.

This background was the third one I painted. The first two were done with a shade of yellow. It sounded good in theory, but in reality I felt the yellow took away from the birds even though it was a mellow yellow. This blue and white mixture allows the birds to be the main focus.

Here is a link to see this on DailyPaintworks. Click HERE .

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tropical Aspirations 12" X 12" Mixed Media

This abstract included acrylic paint and collage. The background was created with yellow, green and blue acrylic applied in a mottled form. Collage papers, both painted and regular, were then applied on top.

I want to apologize to you for the length of time I've been away from my blog. There have been abstract paintings attempted, yet none have made it to the finish line or even the halfway line. But, I will keep pushing and see what develops. I haven't given up yet!

Take care, my art buddies! I hope you're feeling Spring-y and enjoying some good weather!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dissipation 8" X 8" Pastel on pastelmat

                       In my efforts to try more abstraction techniques with some of the
subjects I choose to paint I thought I would try abstracting
this marigold by trying to make it look like it 
was dissipating into thin air.

I started with just a little section. Then I added two more
areas to "blur." I could have done more, but I thought I'd begin with a smaller amount, then add more if I had the inclination. One can't try every idea on every painting,
so another day, another subject, another approach!

Hope you will all have a great week!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Night Bloomer 9" X 12" Pastel on panel


                  Version 1                                                                                Version 2       

                             We have several plants in the area called Night Bloomers.
In the Spring these cacti come alive and send out huge buds. The blossoms are also HUGE, sometimes 9 to 10 inches across. They come in orange, white, and pink from pale to vivid. 

They got their name because they do bloom at night at least to start.
My neighbors wait patiently for this to happen
ready with their cameras.

The problem is these lovely blossoms last mostly for only one day or at the most, two.
So you have to be ready when they come!

I may go back in and change the shadows to a more solemn color
and perhaps delete the shadows in the background altogether. 
Although the reference photo had them where they are and 
almost that shade of
blue, I'm thinking it's a bit much.
I'll live with it for awhile and see.

As you can tell by Version 2 above I did go in the next day and edit the painting.
I think the intensity of the original blue overwhelmed me
a bit so I grayed it down and changed the shape a little. Blue is my favorite color,
but I think the version I originally had detracted from the plant itself.
The upper shadows were deleted
as I thought they were "shouting" and took away from the plant
as a whole.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Within" 8" X 8" Pastel on UArt

Happy New Year everyone!
I hope 2016 will be a great year for all you try to do!

I continue to experiment with abstracts based on 
real-life items or parts of them, similar to the agave abstract in the previous post.
Basing the abstract on something real gives me a starting place
for this new direction.

About a year ago my son took a photo of a rose
he saw while walking. 
I loved the colors and the way the petals kind of
swept around the center. Here is his photo of the original rose.

I'm hoping to become familiar enough with the components and arrangement of shapes, line, value, color, etc. to feel confident in designing my own abstracts.
To that end, I've ordered two books from Amazon.
One is written by Chris Cozen called " Acrylic Color Explorations," and
the other is a new book coming out in February called
"Bold Expressive Painting" by Annie O'Brien Gonzales.

Both women use abstract, semi-abstract or abstract expressionism design
in their mixed-media work.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Blessings To You At This Time of Year!

Wishing all of you a 
wonderful holiday filled with family, friends,
joy, love and peace.

Thank you for being supportive blogging friends 
who have given me encouragement,
feedback, information and support
with your comments
and with your creative and moving art which inspires me!

Thank you!
Merry Christmas and a hopeful, peaceful 2016!
Carol Flatt


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Agave Abstract 6" X 12" Oil on masonite

I've been wanting to experiment with some abstract ideas for some time. It's certainly taken me a while to get started...working up the courage, I guess. I think part of it, too, is that I didn't really understand what abstract art was. I knew I liked some abstract paintings - others, I guess I just didn't understand.  Then, I ran across Mark Mehaffey's article about abstract art and it made more sense to me. I even ended up buying one of his DVDs where he demonstrated using acrylics on Yupo paper which was excellent in my opinion. At least I let go of my inhibitions concerning painting in this style.

I found that I prefer abstracts to be based on something in reality. That is, to use the concept of a real thing - a tree, for example - and do something with it that is unusual or unexpected. Maybe something emotional or conceptual. Or, just play with colors and shapes.

My husband is a photographer who photographs many plants and animals of our desert environment. Here is one he took some time ago of an agave plant on its way out.
When they're in their prime, they are magnificent and some can be quite large. When they die they just sort of crumble and collapse into themselves. But, sometimes the colors can become saturated with vibrant greens, blues, purples and grays. Some of the shapes that come about because of the changes in the structure are interesting. I took his photo and tried cropping it in several ways to see what might make an interest design with lines, shapes and colors that were pleasing. Here, are some examples I found:

I think I could have gone another direction and used the shapes and colors as a starting place and not been so precise with my edges. Just put the paint on in some planned way.
Much to learn. Hopefully, more to come.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Can You Hear Me Now? 12" X 12" Oil on panel

With this painting I used for the first time a set of Cobra Water-Soluble Oil Paints. I had read that with these paints no mediums are required and cleanup is done with water and soap. Sounded good to me. I was delighted with the creamy texture of the paints, and Cobra has some striking colors that are rich and heavily pigmented. The only problem I encountered was the long waiting time to dry particularly the initial background. That was a bit discouraging as I usually come back in the second day and paint the "fat over lean" stage.

I'd heard that if you add water to the paint it will take a long time to dry, but I hadn't added any water or used any mediums even the kinds that one can choose to use for this type of paint. All in all it took three days just for the thin background layer to dry. I will use them again and see if other colors in my set do the same or if the experience repeats itself. I hope not because the colors again are so gorgeous and they have a luscious texture.

My husband took the reference photo for this painting with two Cottontails sitting side by side engrossed in something they saw. For me, it was all about the ears!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bright Spot 5" X 7" Pastel on Ampersand

This little bouquet caught my eye with its beautiful colors against the creamy white. I loved their little button centers and the opportunity to play with colors I haven't used in a while.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

They Hang Out at the Local Branch 8" X 8" Pastel SOLD

I have to smile at the path this painting took to completion. I started with an Aquabord made for watermedia. I had just purchased a couple of new tubes of w/c and thought this would be a good time to use them. I liked the transparent colors, but decided to paint pastel over the watercolor to bring out some of the textural qualities in the photo.

Pastel needs to be worked on a surface that has grit on it in order for the pastel to stick to the surface. I put two coats of clear gesso over the watercolor which created a sanded-like coating for the pastel. I didn't lose the watercolor, but was able to create some interesting textures with the pastels particularly in the leaves. Who says a girl can't change her mind?!

Available HERE.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Play Time! Testing New Waters!

One of the things I tried to do during the past few months is experiment with a few new materials I purchased or old materials I hadn't had a chance yet to try. Sometimes, as artists, (especially me anyway) we feel an urgency to "produce," to jump right into the process of creating art instead of exploring what the products we use can do. What are they capable of, how do they feel, what surfaces produce a look I like, what tools can I use, etc.   I have been guilty of this so many times, and yet, I feel "I don't have the time." So I plunge right into the planning, preparing and painting of a work of art and miss out on one of the most valuable learning experiences I could have. 

Many of you who use water media may be already very familiar with this product. I've been using primarily oil paints and pastels, so when I saw an ad for BRUSHO I thought perhaps I could use it for the underpaintings I do for pastel. Besides, I have always carried a secret desire to do some abstract watercolors and thought this product might be fun to try for effects.

I purchased these five containers of Brusho after reading a description on Dick Blick's website. They are watercolor ink crystals that you can sprinkle or brush onto paper, canvas or wood. The "crystals" are more like a powder to me, but once you put them on a wet surface they seem to blossom and create their own designs and patterns. They come in a multitude of colors (see them here) but I purchased the five you see above. Below, are some examples of some very unscientific results when I used it on regular watercolor paper (140 lb.) or Yupo paper.

Scarlet used on regular w/c paper

I left the paper white, wet it with a brush and sprinkled a relatively small amount of crystals.


Gamboge and Burnt Sienna  on Yupo

I think when Brusho is used on Yupo you get a more detailed, clearer pattern.

(Julie, this might be fun to try on parts of the wonderful bird nests you paint.)

Leaf Green on Yupo

Again, a more detailed design. Each color seems to have a subtle combination of another color or two. Very subtle, yet it helps to make it more interesting.

Leaf Green and Yellow Ochre on regular W/C paper

Less detailed but an interesting marbled look.

A couple of other observations:

*You can use a spritzer with water to move the color around. Be careful. A little water goes a long way.

* Use a tissue or paper towel to dab up runs or to minimize amount of paint.

*When the water dries there may be some powder on the surface that escaped the dissolving effect of water. It can be brushed off fairly easily.

*A warning! There are two ways to open the canisters. Punch a small hole in the indentation on the lid, or pull the plastic "sealer" around the lid. HOWEVER, if you pull the sealer do it slowly and carefully. When my lid popped off my white slacks were sprinkled with about half a teaspoon of a bright, pretty Gamboge color. It was my fault, but I had to really work to clean it. I'm just saying...

Monday, May 4, 2015

It's Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White pastel 6" X 8"

Where I grew up in Washington State Spring always announced itself with beautiful blossoms on many fruit and decorative trees. It was all quite a show and impressed itself on my young mind. There was a song with the lyrics you see in the title of this painting. I can still sing the tune and remember a portion of the lyrics, but I cannot remember who the singer was. Perhaps one of you can tell me.

I hope this week will be good to you and bring you something beautiful!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ready For Picking 6" X 8" Pastel on Wallis

Oh, it is soooo good to be back in my blog world. I missed you all, and I hope you're still with me as a fellow blogger! Thank you for the kind words and support you offered for the past couple of months. I'm so happy to let you know that my husband is doing well. He's going on morning walks and continuing daily exercises the physical therapists set in motion. He still is quite stiff and sore from the break, but we know he'll be better as time goes on.

My art making has been minimal these past weeks, but I'm looking to remedy that. I started with a familiar and comfortable subject...a pear!! It felt good to be "dusty" again,  and smudge that pastel over the surface. I did manage to do quite a bit of research on various artists whose work I admire and worked with some new materials I had ordered. Thank goodness for online shopping!! I even bought an excellent DVD on abstract art by Mark Mehaffey. I'll be sharing with you over the next few weeks some of the things I've learned and found and will try to get up to date on all of your art efforts over the past weeks. Can't wait!!!

This painting is up for auction on DPW HERE.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

How Sweet It Is! 8" X 8" Oil on c/b SOLD

I apologize for not posting or commenting on your delightful, inspiring blogs for awhile. In mid-January my husband had an accident while hiking and broke his hip when he landed on a large rock. Surgery to repair it was the same day, and since he left the hospital he has been rehabbing at a local facility. He is making slow but continued progress, and it will take some time to mend and, hopefully, regain the movement and flexibility he had before. He's working very hard, and is so anxious to get to the point where he can come home.

This dove has been sitting on my work table patiently waiting to be finished. My husband took the photo at the end of last summer when the Saguaro Cactus blossoms were in full bloom. These blossoms feed a host of critters including doves, bees, woodpeckers, insects and starlings. The Saguaro is such a stately and majestic cactus and sort of a symbol of the Sonoran desert where we live. They have been the subject of many an artist's paintings.

As time permits, I plan to do some experimentation with gouache, watercolor and acrylic paints which I have tried only minimally so far. I also would like to try a broader range of subject matter including some abstract work. With my fellow bloggers I have so many fine examples of quality work and ideas shared. I can't wait to start! And, I gradually will catch up with posting comments on all of your blogs!

Link to Purchase

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Two Peas in a Pod 6" X 6" Oil SOLD


We were delighted in late spring when a hummingbird couple decided to nest in our garage. They chose the pedal of my husband's bicycle hanging from a hook in the ceiling. They built the nest in two days and the mom moved in. She had two eggs hatch a day apart from one another. Did you know baby hummingbirds eat food their mom gives them while laying on their backs? Guess that's the only way Mom can manage to get that long beak in their mouths. We enjoyed the little ones from birth, through feeding, through pin feathers, through flight attempts. One of the coolest experiences we've ever had!
I used a palette knife for the paint in the nest and background. It will take about a week to dry because of the thickness of the paint.

Below the painting is a photo of the nest. Compared to the penny, it's not very big, is it?! Hard to believe these two little guys lived and grew side by side in that little nest for about two and a half weeks. We will give the nest to our grandsons for their science corner at school.

Painting is available via auction at DailyPaintworks HERE.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Just Hangin' Pastel 7" X 10" SOLD

My grandmother had a plum tree in her yard when we were kids. It was a great "climbing tree" and was so lovely in the spring with all the flowers on it. Of course, in the summer we very much enjoyed all the juicy, fresh fruit, and we would take many boxes of them to the cannery and process them for winter.

Available HERE.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas to All!

I wish all of you a most blessed Christmas with sincere wishes for a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year! I thank you for and am very appreciative of your interest in my artwork. Thank you immensely for looking at and commenting on my posts, and for being the cheerleaders, motivators and sounding boards that I need for  help, ideas or feedback. Bless you all. It is a joyful, comforting thing to know you're out there and just a "Send" button away!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chock Full 11" X 14" Oil on panel

It looks like I've been on a tomato kick for awhile with the last two posts. I enjoy painting tomatoes with their different shades of reds, oranges and greens. I painted the shapes of the tomatoes first and let them dry. Then, I began to glaze them using thin coats of paint and linseed oil. 

I struggled with the glass jar big time trying to get the glass to "relax" and not be so stiff-looking. I think it'll take more practice to master that skill, so I'll see what other things I can put in a glass jar. Marbles? Golf balls? Candy?

The photo came from Morguefile, a source of free photos given with permission for an artist to paint and use commercially if they wish. I've found several on the site that are inspiring. 

This will be available at auction on DailyPaintworks beginning Tuesday, December 2nd.
Here is a LINK.