Monday, November 5, 2007

October WACG Judged Show

From Oct 10 til the 23rd the WACG held the annual judged show with the partnership of First Federal Bank. Although neither of my 2 paintings won anything, it was a great show. I spent Friday afternoon sitting the show and it was fun discussing the paintings with people who can to see them. It was a lot of work but well worth it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Back from too much work!

Hello again. Yes, I know its been a month since I have entered anything new. I have been overwhelmed with work and shows and have lacked the energy and the desire to write. I like to express myself, share my ideas, teach a little but writing, which makes all of the above easier, is not my favorite thing to do. Now I admit its better than doing dishes or laundry or vacuuming... but its easier to live without it. But now that my crazy October is over, I plan on getting back into the swing of things. Thanks for understanding.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Oil Painting Workshop

On January 26, 2008 the WACG will be offering a one day Oil Painting Workshop with Jackie Stacharowski from 9am - 4pm. All supplies will be provided. The fee is $75 for WACG members and $100 for non-members (non-members may join the WACG to receive the reduced fee). The workshop will take place at the Santee Cooper Meeting Room at 1703 Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577. If you are interested in attending or need more information contact Kate Lagaly at or call 843-650-3750. If you are in town, Jackie will be offering a free demo at our regular WACG January meeting at the B&C Museum on Ocean Blvd at 10:15 am on 1/19,08. Since all supplies are provided this is a great chance for you to try something new. If you have never tried Oils before or just want to see how another artist approaches it, this is a good way to spend a Saturday. To see Jackie's work check out her web site Wear old clothes or bring an apron. If you want to use an easel, bring a table top model with you, but you may also work flat on the table for this workshop.

Color Pencil Workship

Color Pencil Workshop with Kate Lagaly was held on 9/22. It was a great success. We all got to try our hand at this fun medium. Color pencils are an easy medium to work with. The only tools needed are the pencils, the paper or board, an image to work from and a sharpener and eraser or, as we learned from Kate, Stick-Tac. These supplies are easily portable, not messy and with practice, can give you wonderful results. If you have limited space to work, it is an ideal medium. Students had four images to choose from and got the supplies to work on all of them. We all started with the flower to get the basics down. Then I chose the elephant to play with. I spent another couple of hours working on him at home to finish him up. We had four colors of mat board to work with, plus one with a distinct texture. We also got to try adding color pencil to a watercolor base. Between watching Kate's demo's and doing our own work, it was a very interesting workshop. We all had fun and learned tons about this interesting medium.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

WACG Sept Meeting

Today we had our Sept meeting of the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild. Kate Lagaly gave a great demonstration of color pencils. She showed dozens of samples of her artwork and then worked on a drawing for us. She gave lots of tips and went over the tools she uses to create her art. She will be teaching a one day Color Pencil Workshop on 9/22 with all supplies included. I plan on attending and learning more about this fun medium.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Class Demo

It was fun to be in class again. I began a new painting as a demonstration in my Oil Painting class. It will be a live oak tree with Spanish moss. But like setting a table, creating a painting works best if you do the steps in the right order. To begin a table setting, one begins with a table cloth. To begin a painting, one begins with the background. This is especially true for landscape paintings - you start with what is farthermost away and work to what is 'closer' to you.

I used just three paints for this stage: ultramarine blue, titanium white and yellow ochre. I mixed the blue and white to get three shades of sky blue. The lightest value I painted as a band along the horizon, the next darker value in the middle of the sky, and the darkest value along the top third of the canvas. By making at least three values in your sky, you get a sense of depth in your landscape. Blend the bands together so there is a smooth transition through all of the blues.

I then added clouds. Do not paint clouds white! Use a lighter blue than any already in your sky. Also clouds in a painting look best if their bottoms are fairly straight and horizontal. Yeah, I know real clouds have all kinds of shapes, but giving them a flat bottom is what makes a better painting. Once you have the clouds shaped, you can now use some white and give them a highlight along the top edge. Soften them with by just tapping the side of your brush gently, and smoothing the highlight back into the body of the cloud. I usually make the clouds larger towards the side of the canvas and narrower towards the middle. This will lead the viewer's eyes into the painting. I made the clouds more intense on the left since I will be placing the tree on the right and covering most of the sky there.

Finally, I blocked in the ground with a mixture of ultramarine blue and yellow ochre, some yellow ochre along the horizon, a small blue puddle of water and streaks of the green mix. The ground has the darkest value at the bottom of the canvas and gets lighter towards the horizon. This will also add to the sense of depth in your landscape. I added some distant trees along the horizon. These are just dabs of the greenish gold making sure I left sky showing through. I usually make the these trees taller at each edge and shorter in the middle. That also adds to the sense of space.

I will begin the tree in next week's demo. Keep creating!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Class Schedule

Classes are held through the Myrtle Beach Recreation Dept at the Base Rec Center on the old Air Force Base.

Classes are held in six week sessions. However, you may come just when you can make it and pay per week if you would like. Session 1 starts Sept 11th.

Taught by Kate Lagaly:
Tuesdays 9 am til noon - Watercolor and Color Pencils

Taught by Jackie Stacharowski
Tuesdays 6 pm til 9 pm - Watercolor, Oils and Acrylics

Thursdays 9 am til noon - Oils and Acrylics

Thursdays 1 pm til 4 pm - Open Studio (any medium, less structure, just a join in and paint together)

Come join us if you can!

Preparing for Class

The past week has been busy with lots of little projects. Mostly I have been thinking about my classes and future workshop. For me there is a lot of thinking that goes into art. Whether I am creating a painting or teaching a class, I like to have a plan of sorts in place. It is usually not a firm step by step plan, more of a general guide to what I want to accomplish. To do this I have to have my goal in mind before I can figure out how to get there. So I need to know what supplies I will need, what reference material and then I can get going. For a painting I need my art supplies, an idea of what the painting is going to look like and I go for it. For a class, I need to decide what to take with me. I usually include a painting demonstration, so I need my supplies for that. I need to know what I am going to paint. I need to have an idea of what my students may need, I like to be able to help out if they have forgotten anything or if there is a tool I would like them to try out.

For both pursuits, I like to create atmosphere as well. When I paint inside, I like to have music in the background. Usually classical, light jazz or new age. Something that is livelier than elevator music, but not intrusive either. Something upbeat and it helps if it has a rhythm that encourages one to move their brushes! That needs to go along with me to class as well.

'Back to School' supplies shopping was always fun for me, so I usually treat myself to something new for each school years still. It celebrates a new beginning, a new challenge, a new adventure... Hope you will consider taking a class this year.

Monday, September 3, 2007

New Stuff on Web Site

Today I updated my web site with some new paintings. You can check them out at Some of the paintings are ones that I created during the Acrylic workshop in spring. It was a chance to play with new products and different techniques. This is a self portrait. Workshops are the ideal way to try something new since you have a guide to just what you need and how to use it.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


In the art world a workshop is an intense class where you can improve your skills, learn a new medium, try new tools, get a new instructor's take on things... They can last from a half a day up to a week. You can find them in your home town and all across the country and the world. They are a great way to spice up a vacation or they give you a good excuse to see another part of the country. It is always a good idea for artists to try something new, expand your horizons and have some fun while you are doing it.

The WACG is going to be offering workshops here in Myrtle Beach with ongoing regularity. We are going to try to offer at least three 1 day workshops each year and every other year offer a longer workshop. This past spring we had a 3 day acrylics workshop with Patti Brady. It was a great success.

On Sept 22 we will be offering a one day Color Pencil Workshop with Kate Lagaly, Signature Artist Member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, from 9am - 4pm. All supplies will be provided. The fee is $50 for WACG members and $75 for non-members (non-members may join the WACG to receive the reduced fee). The workshop will take place at the Santee Cooper Meeting Room at 1703 Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577. If you are interested in attending or need more information contact Kate Lagaly at or call 843-650-3750. If you are in town, Kate will be offering a free demo at our regular WACG
Sept meeting at the B&C Museum on Ocean Blvd at 10:15 am on 9/15.

Since all supplies are provided this is a great chance for you to try something new. With a small investment of time and money you get wonderful introduction to color pencils. They are a versatile medium that takes up little space and can be done easily in most settings.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

All Kinds of Art

I just returned from a weekend trip to Charlotte, NC. It was to visit friends, relax in their company, celebrate a birthday and to see the exhibit 'Body Worlds' at Discovery Place. If you are unfamiliar with the exhibit, it is a series of preserved human bodies arranged so that one can see the different systems within. From the skeletal, to the muscular, to the vascular, to the nervous systems, all were exceptionally shown. The way some of the bodies were displayed showed an artful eye was used to arrange them and their parts. It was fascinating, beautiful and interesting. If you are in the area and get a chance, or if it comes to your part of the world, I highly recommend going to see it. Seeing things, both the usual and the unusual in a new way is what art is about and although scientific in concept this exhibit does earn an 'artistic' label as well. Check it out.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Back From Vacation

I spent the last week with family having fun in the sun! It was busy, so not too relaxing. A piece of advice, always have your business cards with you! Even when you don't plan to work, you never know when you will strike up a conversation with someone and start talking about art! Networking happens when you least expect it, be prepared.

Now that I am almost finished goofing off, I will get back into the swing of things. Hope you have had a chance to enjoy your summer too!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

August Meeting

The meeting, it was great. Had 12 people there, almost everyone brought stuff they did. Everything from Dr Peggy's horses, to carved fish, to Kate's watercolors and more good, good stuff. It was a fun get together. Talked about doing the 'show and tell' again in Dec as part of the Christmas party. The board meeting was a nice lunch, not a very long meeting, talked about most of the announcements at the general meeting, so just did the business stuff. Peggy T was officially elected to the board. Went over some questions about the Fall show. Finances are good. Everyone enjoyed seeing the artwork and just talking about it with each other. Wish you could have been there.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

End of Summer

Although still mid-August, I can feel the end of Summer slipping closer and closer. Although there is one more week of the Summer Open Studio, I will not be there next week to spend time with visiting relatives. So for me, the next class will be the beginning of the Fall sessions. I have enjoyed the summer classes. They were a little smaller, more casual and relaxed. I got a lot of little projects done. I got good feedback from my fellow artists on paintings I had given up on. When class resumes it will be busier, more intense for me and hopefully a few new students will join us. Something to look forward to, but at the same time I am going to enjoy a couple of weeks off. I hope to finish up a couple of projects, clean up the studio some and get ready for a new start. Hopefully it will be productive. I kind of feel like a kid, sorry to see the summer end but looking forward to the start of school year. Enjoy the end of your summer too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Seeing What is Really There

I had my eyes examined this morning and as I was reading the eye chart over and over it got me thinking. When creating art and looking at art it is important to see what is really there and not what we think (or know) is there. We may know the 4 items on the eye chart are 'E I O Y' but it is important to let the doctor know if you can really see those four letters. When creating art, you may think the tree trunk is brown, but if you really look at it you will see it is mostly gray or beige or a taupe color. So to paint items realistically, make sure you are really looking at an object and seeing the color that is really there and not use the color you think is there. Keep your mind open and look at the world through the eyes of an artist.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

WACG Brealfast

Our breakfast get together this morning was fun. There were seven of us, six artists and Peggy's chauffeur :) We talked about everything from snakes to sharks, from what shows were good and which ones did not have as good of sales, from the heat to plans for the fall. Its nice to commiserate with those who can understand where you are coming from. Its nice to be able to ask questions when you get stumped. Its good to have friends who share your interests.

I plan to continue to hold the breakfast social on the 2nd Tuesday of the month until further notice. Everyone enjoys them so much it would be dumb to not keep them going! Next breakfast is on Tuesday, Sept 11, 9 am at the Woodhaven Pancake House. The food is great and the service excellent. The friends best of all.

Monday, August 13, 2007

New Stuff on Web Site

I posted the new photos of my artwork on my this includes the orchid painting, a couple of new Body Language images, some new landscapes and quite a selection of my abstracts. Abstract paintings are not as easy to do as you may think. They still need to follow the precepts of any good painting: form, composition, balance, harmony, mood... They are like instrumentals - songs without words, these are paintings without specific images - but they should still evoke an emotional response, give a hint at a fleeting image...

Paintings that had been on the New Stuff page have been farmed out onto their respective pages, so if there was one you liked, it is probably still around somewhere. I also fixed some errors others have found for me. I think I have caught up on getting photos of all of my older works which is a good feeling. Now to get back to creating more new stuff!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

WACG Meeting This Week

After a break for the summer and tourist season, the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild is gearing back up for a busy, fun and exciting fall season. Our general meetings resume on the 18th (the 3rd Saturday of the month) at 10:15 am at the B&C Art Museum. Everyone is welcomed. This month bring something to 'Show & Tell' for the group. Did you paint on vacation? Take a summer classs or workshop? Try something new over the summer? Finally finish that project? Bring it in and let us all see. We love to see what everyone has been working on, finished or not. Have nothing to show? No problem, come and see what eveyone else has done and get inspired!

- There will be a Board of Directors Meeting immediately following the general meeting at the Woodhaven Pancake House. The meetings are open to everyone.

- I am continuing the breakfast socials. The 2nd Tuesday of the month at Woodhaven Pancake House. 9am this week. Just a friendly get together - come join us, everyone is welcomed.

- Prospectives for our Fall show should be coming out soon. We are teaming up with First Federal Bank for an expanded show this year. There are a few changes: location, size allowed, duration and more prizes... Keep a lookout for your copy.

- All of our meetings are open to the public, you do not have to be a member to come. If you are interested in the arts, in fine crafts or just supporting those to are, please come and see what we do.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I spent part of today photographing and getting ready more of my paintings of orchids. Last summer my Aunt Terry took me to the National Headquarters of the American Orchid Society outside of Miami Fl. It was awesome. Although I did not paint on site, I took many, many photos and spent last autumn obsessed with painting them. Most I painted in my usual 'casual realism' style. They can be seen but I also played around with painting some brighter, more fun and more graphic than usual. These are the ones I will add to my web site soon, but here are a couple for you to enjoy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Scissors Are My Friend

Or should it be 'Is My Friend(s)' grammar is not my strongest suit. While going through my stored paintings I collected a stash of ones that were either unfinished, or less than acceptable to me. Most of these were watercolors or acrylics done on paper. Which gave me an option - I could change the composition with a pair of scissors. By trimming off the side or sides, the top and/or bottom I could create a totally different painting. Some still need a brush stroke or two to finish. My friends talked me out of cutting up a couple. But most got a trim. I will photograph them over the next couple of days. Should have done some 'before' photos so you could see the difference - didn't think about it until it was too late. So you will have to settle for just the 'afters'. This technique is more difficult for paintings done on stretched canvas, you have to remove it from the stretchers, trim it and then re-stretch (which is a pain). Those I usually just add to the composition rather than change the size. Or even paint over and try again. Nothing wrong with that. Watercolors, on the other hand, are difficult to paint over, so if you can salvage a painting with scissors, go for it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Studio Clean Up

Success! I got most of my finished paintings put away. In the process I took more photos so I will have more to post on my web site. I'll let you know when that happens. I also sorted through them. I will be exhibiting at the October Art in the Park on the 13th & 14th of that month. I plan on using that as an Inventory Clearence Sale. Paintings that were done as part of class demonstration, paintings that have been hanging around for a while, paintings that may not be my most favored... they will be going with me and hopefully finding new homes at reduced prices. Honestly, I need the space. So put it on your calendar and come see some of my work in person and get an original for a very reasonable price.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Class Schedule

The 'back to school' season is upon us. This got me to planning out the schedule for my classes. I teach Painting as a Hobby at the Myrtle Beach Base Rec Center. These classes are for all skill levels. Some students have never picked up a brush before, others have painted all of their lives. I work with everyone on their own projects at their own pace based upon their own skill level. I keep it a fun, relaxed atmosphere where everyone learns and has fun doing it! About the middle of each class I do a demostration for all to watch. On Thursday mornings I teach Oils and Acrylics. Thurday afternoons is an open studio where anyone can come and work on any project and I answer questions and give guidence. If there is enough interest, I will start an evening class on Tuesdays for Oils, Acrylics and Watercolor. If you are more interested in watercolors and color pencils, my friend and fellow artist/instructor Kate Lagaley holds a class for those on Tuesday mornings. If you ever wanted to try painting, Oils are the easiest to learn with - they are the most forgiving. If you want to improve or have hit a roadblock on a painting or just looking for a fun way to work on your art, give us a try.

Six Week Sessions (or pay per class)
September 13, thru October 25, 2007 [No class on 10/11]
November 1 thru December 13, 2007 [no class 11/22 - Thanksgiving]
January 10 thru February 14, 2008
February 21 thru April 3. 2008 [no class 3/20 - Easter]
April 10 thru May 15, 2008

Held at and through the Myrtle Beach Base Recreation Center (at the old Air Force base).
Each session consists of 6 weekly meetings. You may sign up for a full session,
or just pay per week, per class for the weeks you can attend.

Oil Painting 9 a.m. Until Noon - Thursdays
Each student works on their own project at heir own pace.
Skill levels range from beginners to intermediate to advanced, all are welcomed
Students learn as individuals, in groups and from each other.
I give a demonstration most classes

Open Studio 1 p.m. Until 4 p.m. - Thursdays
Everyone works on their own project at their own pace.
Bring your supplies to work in the friendly, supportive atmosphere
of an open studio with your fellow artists.

If there is enough interest I will hold an:
Open Studio 6 p.m. Until 9 p.m. - Tuesdays - Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors
Everyone works on their own project at their own pace.
Bring your supplies to work in the friendly, supportive atmosphere
of an open studio with your fellow artists

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Future Newsletters

It has been too hot to do too much phyical work. Even in the a/c I feel sort of lazy. So yesterday I spent the day writing articles for future issues of my newsletter. I seem to have days when I am in a mood to write and it comes easier than on other days. I was in the right mood so I took advantage of it and got stuff ready for some future months. I always seem to get very busy in the fall, so I have 'inventory' ready for the next couple of months. Most information about the creative process no matter if it is about the right mind-set or the right technique is timeless, it doesn't get stale. That is why I don't mind writing ahead and being prepared - yes I use to be a Girl Scout! It is also why I put past issues out on my web site, they are still useful today.

Monday, August 6, 2007

More Than Painting

Yesterday I completed two New Year's resolutions, updating my website and starting a blog! Yeah me! The website is not static, I have more thoughts and ideas of how to improve it, but that may wait a little while. Being an artist is more than creating art, it is also running a business and that is a tricky balancing act. Since I have been focused on the computer aspects of getting my art 'out there' I have been less focused on creating new art. Not neglecting it totally, but there are other creative and business stuff I need to get done.

Most paintings (and other creations) are never done, you just reach a point where you are generally happy with the results, so you stop there and move on to the next piece. That is what I will do with my web site, let it stew here for a while, get some feedback and later make a new revision. The 'New Stuff' page will let me easily post the new art without changing everything.

My studio is a wreck right now, I pulled out all of my paintings to make sure I had everything photographed. Plus I was interviewed on 'Southern Style' with Diane Stokes on the local Time Warner Channel. It aired on 7/31. I showcased nine paintings in my Body Language series during the taping as well as showing off five murals I have done. Again, everything is dug out of storage, hey, I had to look through it all to decide what to take with me for the taping. Since it is all out now, it is a good time to go through everything, double check my photos and put it away nicely. That is this week's project.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Plein Aire Paintings, Conway - 8/4/07

Here are the painting I did yesterday. Plein aire is a fancy artsy term meaning that it was painted outside in the plain air. You are painting from life. Whatever is right in front of you is what you are painting. It is tricky since you are limited to what supplies you want to carry, how long you want to stay there, the elements and the way the light changes as the sun moves. But I find it fun and don't do it as often as I would like.
These are watercolor sketches. I find watercolor easy to carry around and set up.

Life as an Artist

Yesterday was fun.  Met up with my fellow artist and friend Debbie Shelley in Conway.  Spent a couple of hours painting plein aire around the 'alligator tree' by the church at 5th and Main.  It is an old, old live oak tree with lots of twists and turns and knots and if you look carefully, you can see a gator or two - I saw one and Debbie saw another.  The tree and others near it are covered with spanish moss.
Ok, I have not photo'd the paintings I did yet, but maybe tomorrow I will get them on my new stuff page on my website.
Then since it was the 1st Saturday and the gallery crawl was going on, after lunch we visited the galleries, saw some great stuff, chatted, networked, and got the see the art scene in Conway.  There is good stuff happening there.

August Newsletter

I have just sent out the August edition of my free email newsletter. If you would like to be added to my distribution list just let me know: I use the list for the newsletters only. I do not share it or sell it for any reason.

I have also finished posting all past issues of my newsletter on my website

If you have any ideas for future issues, questions you want answered or a tip you want to share, just let me know.

Just a little piece of information - I had a meltdown of my address book and also have just gone through a change of isp so if you have unsubscribed and are getting the newsletter again, I apologize - had to go with a backup. If you stopped getting it, please subscribe again. I am now using gmail and another web based email client so my addresses are offsite, safer and hopefully will not disappear in the future. Ya live and learn...

Web Site Updated

I just have completed an total renovation and upgrade to my website
I have added lots and lots of photos of artwork, some new, some I hadn't gotten around to photographing before. There are still a few tweeks to do, if you see any errors or typos or spelling errors (I am a terrible speller even with spellcheck) please let me know.

A new feature is 'New Stuff' a page where I can post new things as often as I like, usually weekly. So you can easily see what I have been working on. Check it out and let me know what you think.


Hi! As an artist, it sometimes feels like I am working in a cave or on a deserted island, all alone with no one to share my work. I plan on using this blog to welcome you into my studio, to share a glimpse into the life and work of an artist.

Some entries will show artwork either in progress or that is completed. Some entries will let you know when I have updated my web site . Some entries will let you know what is going on with the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild and, since I am president, what I want to do to for the guild in the future. Some entries will let you know where and when I am showing some artwork. Some entries will tell about my free email newsletter ( to subscribe). Some entries will journal my thoughts and ideas about future paintings, the trials and tribulations of being an artist and being me.

Any questions or comments are welcomed.