Painting the Light

Bass Harbor Light

Painting light after all is what we are doing in our artwork. Light creates volume, sets the mood, creates interest, and gives your painting life. In our classes we’ve been concentrating on different lighting situations recently in our landscapes and our upcoming seascape. I thought I would share my thoughts and preparation for painting the Bass Harbor Light.

Bass Harbor Light

Bass Harbor Light

I was asked by one of my students to paint the Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Maine so I began to research the structure and different lighting options. I decided that I wanted to make the light house stand out through my use of light and detail. I wanted the lighthouse to have the most detail and gradually use less and less detail as I moved away from the center of interest. Of course, that’s the way to create a center of interest.

Sunset , one of my photo inspirations

Sunset , one of my photo inspirations

Being a sky enthusiast, I love watching clouds and the colors in the sky at different times of day, I’ve taken lots and lots of sky and cloud photos. This was a good opportunity to go back through my photos as inspiration for the sky in this painting. I found the color ideas and cloud formations to create drama and decided where in my painting I needed to have the most vivid colors and active clouds to call attention to the center of interest.

Sunset clouds inspiration

Sunset clouds inspiration

Next I decided on the size canvas I would use, actually I went to my stock of canvases and discovered the 12 x 24″ which I though would add even more drama to the painting.

I created my drawing of the lighthouse, sized it, and positioned it roughly on my canvas since I would be covering it up when I added the sky. I used DecoArt Traditions paints because I like the vividness of the colors and quality of the paints, just right for a dramatic sky.

Half of the work of creating a painting goes in the research and preparation before I ever pick up a paint brush. I sketched a thumb nail of my design and when I was satisfied with placement and possible colors I was ready to choose my paints and begin the sky.

I had decided on an evening sky with strong sunset colors just before the sun goes beyond the horizon so I chose oranges, yellows peaking through a dark blue sky. Then I applied my first layers of paint for the sky and water.

Beginning the sky

Beginning the sky

I’ll continue my process in my blog so check back to see how I progressed and what needed adjusting as I painted. As you see there will be a lot of changes made.

Or even better, you can join one of my classes at Artful Endeavors and paint along with me. Check the schedules for the Raleigh day class and the Cary evening class. I’ve been asked to hold a Saturday class and I’m looking for a day that works. Let me know if you would like to come paint with us any of these times.

In a Giraffe Mood

Giraffe in progress
Giraffe in progress

Giraffe in progress

In Progress:  Once a month I demo painting at one of the local rehab/nursing homes. I keep trying to come up with something different to demonstrate and last month I was in a giraffe mood. This is my progress, upside down because I walk around to show what I am doing, in 2-20min sessions. The residents have been very interested in seeing this painting develope. I’ll finish it now and take it back to show them. My students want to paint it now so I’ll finish it for a class project. It’s been lots of fun to design and create. From one of the giraffe’s at the NC Zoo.

Dry brushing with DecoArt Americana and Traditions acrylics.


Artful Spring

Annette Dozier design

What a beautiful day with the sun shining and a nice breeze. I’ve been taking reference photo of the flowers beginning to bloom in our yard…. painting inspiration…..

We’ve been busy at the studio. This past weekend CADANC chapter of SDP had a seminar with Patty Stouffer and what fun they had. I painted a loose daffodil with them on Friday and enjoyed exercising my loose self. I was so glad to meet Patty and now have another painting friend! Love having these travel teachers visit to teach for us.

We’ve been working on the schedules and have new, exciting classes planned. Now I just need to get busy on painting samples so that you can see what’s coming.web-rose

* Tue am class: We have not had the attendance for the Tue am class so I am going to take a break on Tue am. No class on Tue am May, June, July, and Aug. I’ll reevaluate at the end of the summer. This way I can schedule workshops on Tue am or use the time to paint.

Right now our Wed classes are small enough that anyone wanting to make up a class or work on an individual project can join us on Wed. Just let me know when you want to come. You can come 10-12:30p, 1-3:30, or 4p-6p.
I have updated the class schedules on the web site so be sure to check. I plan to post a newsy letter about once a month and try to not take up so much time on the computer. Watch the web site and Face Book for photos and updates.
I still have seats in our seminars with Ros Stallcup and Mark Polomchak. Details are on the web site. I just sent out the Mark Polomchak info. again.
Check out my on line classes at Creative Workshops. Cat’s Eyes and Sunning Turtles are new this year. I you can’t come to the studio to paint with me, this in a great option
Our seminar with Susan Crouch is next week! All participants should have received an email from me and one from Susan with a pattern. Let me know if you didn’t receive it. Be sure to check you spam folder first.
We have more watercolor classes coming up. Come join us. Check the web site for our schedules.
We have a portrait workshop with me scheduled for May 19 and 20th. If you would like to join us, find a photo that you would like to use and contact me by May 2. I’ll work with you on any level of experience, beginning portrait artist are welcome. It’s fun!
We have the John Gutcher Santa scheduled for May 26 and 27. And hope that the weather is good and we are all well and can finally have this class. Let me know if you can join us.

Class Schedule:
Tue 6:15p-8:15p Cary
Wed 10 – 2p. Raleigh
Wed 4-6p. Raleigh

Workshops and Seminars as scheduled.

DSC 0051

I have the new DecoArt paint colors and some of the new products at the studio!
Beautiful colors!

No classes Wed Apr 27, that next week. We’ll be getting ready for our seminar with Susan!

No Tue am class Apr 26th. No Tue am classes May – Aug.

Hope to see you painting with us soon.


Fantasy Flower Patricia Reichenbach design

Fantasy Flower
Patricia Reichenbach design

Ladies, and gentlemen, start your engines.

Sodas and Sundaes

Your creative engines that is.  It’s the last week in Aug, kids are returning to school, and there’s art in the air.  In the studio too!

I hope you have all had a good summer with lots of fun, family, and friends. For those of you have had challenges this year, I sending positive thoughts and looking forward to having all of you back to painting with us again.

We have a new supply of Americana and Traditions paints and the new DecoArt French stencils.  The Chalky Finish paints are in stock with lots of color choices.

We have lots of art experiences planned for this fall including weekly classes, workshops for all ages, and seminars.  Wed am and evening classes resume in Sept with new and exciting projects planned.  You can find more details on the web site but here are some of the upcoming highlights.

  • Basic Techniques Yellow Daisy clock Session 1

    Basic Techniques
    Yellow Daisy clock
    Session 1

    Tue am open class:  We’re open for class on Tue am as usual with opportunities for you to make up a missed classes or work on a project of your own with some assistance from me. Also if you are wanting to start your painting experience with us, we’ll work you into our Tue schedule. Please contact me to get started with Decorative Painting Basics.  If you just like this painting and want to paint it, you can do that on Tue am also.

  • ArtFling:  Gail is packing her bags and will be here ready for some mixed media fun on Fri, Sept 5. I’ll take over on Sat to continue with our endeavors.  If you are not registered yet, contact me quick!  There are supply lists on line and you can register there too.
  • web-Sodas-and-Sundaes-2Sodas and Sundaes Workshop:  Join us Sept 27th for a 4 hr workshop painting these colorful ornaments. Could be for your holiday tree but just too darn cute not to keep out all year.  Register now!
  • Halloween cat workshop: Did someone say toilet paper?  Oh yes, that was me. Come see what I have designed using the cardboard from TP.  Getting ready for some friendly Halloween festivities Oct 25, 10a – 1p.  Fun for 8yrs and up.  Join us and bring a friend.  Register now!
  • Wed evening classes:  Our classes are starting back again starting Sept 3.  We’ll have our weekly crew working on a fall schedule for classes, but also look for special workshops as well as a chance to start our decorative painting basics.
  • web-Yupo-PoppiesKathie George seminar:  Register now for our seminar with Kathie. Register and details.  We have some awesome new techniques to explore with Kathie.  Do you Yupo?
  • Susan Crouch seminar:  Register now before Sept 5th to secure your seat in our seminar with Susan, May 29-31, 2015, and take advantage of preregistration discounts. Registration opens to everyone on Sept 5. Details and registration.


NC State Fair: Remember to register your entries before Sept 19th. NC St. Fair 2015

It’s time to get you entries registered for this year’s NC state fair.  Entry forms need to be completed and mailed or emailed by Sept 19, 2015.

Be sure to notice that the groups have changed.  There is no professional group any longer. There is E/experienced, 5 yrs or more of experience, or N/novice, less than 5 yrs experience.

You can enter one item in up to 10 categories.

You can find the complete instructions at

And on line entry at


That’s all I can think of right now but watch the web site and blog for updates. Hope to see you at the studio soon.


Falling into Autumn


Creatively SpeakingDSC_0064

We had a great time painting with Ros this summer. It was a week full of painting with old friends and meeting new ones while enjoying Ros again. I have lost exact count but this was somewhere around 18 or 19 yrs of seminars with Ros. Each one successful. Our dates for next year are July 22-26, yes, we’re planning 4 days next year. We have some good ideas planned and would love to have you join us.  We’ll call next year our 20th year anniversary!

web-Yupo-PoppiesRegistration is open for our seminar with Kathie George for three days of mixed media exploration! Always fun and educational. Registration, photos, and more information.

Night Hunter Liz Miller CDA

Night Hunter Liz Miller CDA

ArtFling is coming up Sept 5 and 6, that’s Fri and Sat. Join Gail Schmidt and me for more mixed media fun.  We’re asking everyone to register by sending in your fee by Aug 8. That’s coming up soon so be sure to get your seminar fee submitted. Let us know if you want Gail to supply the surface for you. More info and on line registration.  Register now!

Summer Geraniums stage 2.

Summer Geraniums stage 2.

I’ve updated the class schedule on the web site so be sure to check for updates. There are a few date changes and we have some exciting plans for new projects. I’ll be designing more original paintings and will have photos on the web site as soon as they are painted.

Straw Fish

Straw Fish

Our Aug 9, Saturday workshop is coming up soon. We’re painting fish with a straw and acrylic inks! What fun. We’ll probably have time to play around with this technique with other animals. Register by Aug 4 so that I have time to plan.

Watercolor Sheep: my painting from a workshop with A Susan Crouch design

Watercolor Sheep: my painting from a workshop with
A Susan Crouch design

 I have some exciting news for you. We have award winning watercolor artist, Susan Crouch coming for a seminar at Artful Endeavors, May 29, 30, and 31, 2015. This is a theory and techniques seminar and you will probably not be completing specific projects during the seminar. Our focus in on learning not finishing a project.  You can find more information on this web page. I’m still working on the page and need to get photos from Susan to post.

  More info about Susan.  I’ll open the seminar on Sept 5. Participation is limited to 15.  Susan is from Statesville, NC so one of our NC artists.

 NC St. Fair 2015

It’s time to get you entries planned for this year’s NC state fair.  Entry forms need to be completed and mailed or emailed by Sept 19, 2015.

Be sure to notice that the groups have changed.  There is no professional group any longer. There is E/experienced, 5 yrs or more of experience, or N/novice, less than 5 yrs experience.

You can enter one item in up to 10 categories.

You can find the complete instructions at

And on line entry at


I’ll look forward to seeing you entries this year. I know they will be awesome.


Just a few un-fun notes:

  • I receive many telemarketing calls each day so I let the phone go to voice mail if I don’t recognize the number. If you are not a telemarketer be sure to leave a message so I’ll know you are a real person interested in something to do with painting.
  • Someone has blocked century link/embarqmail from receiving email from Artful Endeavors by labeling us spam. Anyone with one of these email addresses will not be receiving emails from me unless you go to your email provider and tell them you want to receive emails.  Please pass the word if you know anyone from this provider who is wondering why I am not sending them email any longer. They are missing out on seminar and class information.
  • You are receiving emails from Artful Endeavors because you have requested to do so. I do not solicit email addresses from any other source. If you would like to be removed from our email address please just let me know and I will be glad to remove you. Do not just mark our emails as spam. You block everyone else from your email provider from receiving our emails.
  • If you have requested our emails and are not getting them, and have a different email provider you might have our emails in your spam folder. Be sure to add us to your address book.

Come paint with us soon.


Just off the Easel

In case you don’t already know, we love painting Dorothy Dent designs at Artful Endeavors.  This week we’ll start a new design, the Brook, which I just love. I enjoyed painting my sample and am looking forward to sharing this beautiful painting with my students.

I thought you might like to see my painting as I progressed.  Dorothy paints in oils but I use acrylics for our classes. Although I’ve enjoyed oils in the past, I have discovered that I’m allergic to some of the products.  And, there is very little we can’t paint in acrylics since they are so versatile.  I use the wonderful DecoArt Traditions and of course Americana, my first acrylic love.

Here’s the beginning of the sky and water area.  This is about 3 layers of adjusting.  DecoArt’s new Americana color Blue Haven is a wonderful color, medium light value, not too greyed, a happy blue.


Step 1: background sky and water.


Step 2: adding the background trees and foliage for the large foreground tree.


Step 3: Adding the tree and sunny grass.


Step 4: Adding rocks and beginning the water.


Step 5: Sunshine on rocks and working on the water.

I love the colors in this painting.  Such a pleasing combination.

web-Brook finished_edited-1

Finished! Complete with splashes and accent colors.

Paintin’ and Cracklin’ and Sandin’ and Waxin’

Carol rocker

My computer is back and getting up to speed with it’s new mother board. It’s so nice. What did we do before computers? I remember having to do a lot of cutting and pasting to create a newsletter, not to mention folding, stapling, and mailing ….

I hope you’ve been keeping up with the blog where all my news has been for the last couple of weeks. With my computer in the shop I wasn’t able to send out a newsletter so I had to rely on you to check the web site.  Be sure to check out the upcoming classes.

We’ve been busy painting a wide variety of projects.  We’ve started new canvas projects in our day Raleigh class, Hodgson Mill,  and Cary evening class, Boy Fishing using our version of an old masters technique.  We’re learning lots of new techniques and practicing some of our usual favorites.  We’ve had fun with Tjaps batik in a Sat class and on Wed evening with some excitingly creative effects and outcomes.

This past Saturday a group of students and I experienced working with DecoArt’s splendid new Chalky Finish Paints and Mediums.  After discussing many design possibilities including distressing, crackling, stenciling, and more with these terrific products, each painter tackled their own small furniture piece with and eye toward how they intended to use the piece.  Here are a few photos to share our fun.  Follow the link above to find out more about these great products.

Ok the web site dosen’t want me to upload some of my photos of the student’s projects. I’ll add them a little later when I figure out the difficulty.

But here is my stool that I gave you a glimpse of earlier.


I forgot to take a photo of the first stage but I added areas of orange and bright green to give the effect of past paint jobs that are being  uncovered by the crackle.  That’s right, the next step was to apply the crackle medium in areas. I decided not to do an over all crackle on this piece.When that was dry I applied the top coat of red.  It was exciting to watch the cracks begin to occur even before I had finish the red coat.

web-stool-stage-2-top The red will work nicely in my house.


Then I decided to add a stencil for character.  I’m pleased.


Now what will I work on next?

Here’s Carol’s red rocker. It turned out so cute.  Those are kitties on the seat.

I’ll have more photos of the process as soon as I can get them down loaded.

Carol rockerAnd I finished my blue revival chair. Love it!

Chair with stencil in progress

Chair with stencil in progress

You’ll see our student’s work on Artful Endeavors’ face book page.