Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Painting A Dog A Day

I came upon an artist who paints dogs on a daily basis.

Kimberly Kelly Santini has been painting dogs each day for the past three years. She says it is like a fine wine that keeps getting better with age. I gather she is talking about her paintings, or maybe the dogs too!

Added bonus, she donates part of the proceeds from her commissioned pet portraits to animal welfare.


Visit her blog.....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Interesting New Art Book

Two months after publication,
James Gurney's book is

#1 on Amazon for books about Realism and Neo-Classical Painting and

#2 in books about Painting

Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist

Synopsis: This book has been described as the ultimate reference for fans of science fiction and fantasy illustration. Imaginative Realism links traditional techniques with contemporary visualisation.

Award-winning fantasy artist and the creator of Dinotopia, James Gurney systematically examines and details practical methods for creating believable pictures of imaginary subjects.

This is NOT a book about the use of digital tools. Instead the focus is on the use of plein-air studies, models photographed in costume, maquettes, models and tableaus.

He also demonstrates the use of thumbnail sketches, storyboards, charcoal comprehensive drawings, tone paper studies and a variety of approaches and techniques relevant to composition.

The bias is towards Gurney's normal fantasy art subject matter but the principles are applicable to all painters who create works which involve some element of imagined realism.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Only in Washington

Ebony and I were on the Chehalis Western Trail the other morning. It was one of those gray, drizzly, Washington days.

Kali was styling....attired in his yellow slicker staying dry. I noticed his raincoat had a hood. My guess is that dogs probably will not put up with the hood option.

Dave and Kali

We passed a woman who raved about what a beautiful day for a walk. I chucked. She must be a native for who else would call a drizzly, gray day beautiful? My beautiful day is no rain and a bonus if the sun shines.

Not only is the Chehalis Western Trail a lovely place to walk your dog, but also provides entertainment for those of us who enjoy meeting other unique travelers and their pets.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Art Gallery in Olympia

The other day I stumbled upon a unique, new gallery in downtown Olympia, Washington.

Matter features artworks that incorporate recycled, reclaimed, and responsibly harvested materials. The gallery opened in September and features art from about 70 artists.

You will find artwork created with unusual materials that are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Definitely a unique gallery! A must stop in Olympia.

Matter...where art and sustainability hang located on 5th Avenue near Capitol Way.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Get Playful With Color

Hans Hofmann developed a technique he called “push and pull,” which proved that the illusion of space, depth, and even movement on a canvas could be created abstractly using color and shape, rather than representational forms.

Through his own vibrant paintings and pioneer teaching, Hans Hofmann has inspired many generations. Hofmann was recognized for helping students find their own distinctive ways to practice art. He encouraged students to visit museums and galleries where they would be exposed to new styles of art.

Visit his website and virtually try his "push and pull" color method.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Artistic Christmas E-Cards

If you have not as yet mailed your Christmas cards, there are many FREE Christmas e-cards available.
Some of the best are on museum sites!

Victoria and Albert Museum - Christmas e-cards - these are all sent on 25th December

National Museums Liverpool
All proceeds support National Museums Liverpool. Includes specific microsites for : Vintage Christmas and New Year e-cards and the Stewart Bale collection (black and white photos of Christmas stores from the 40s and 50s)

National Museum of Wales - Christmas e-cards

Tate Museums - Tate Kids e-cards

Geffrye Museum - Christmas e-cards

Interestingly, I could find very little evidence of the development of a slick and simple e-card operation on the websites of the American Art Museums. The Met has nothing and I tried a few others with the same results.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Moss Can Be Beautiful

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, moss is a menace. Because of our climate and evergreen trees, we come upon moss EVERYWHERE!

Most people in the Pacific Northwest find various ways to remove moss from roofs, patios, walkways, grass, decks, the list goes on........ I have been known to climb on the roof and scrape moss off shingles. What a chore!

This morning as I was walking the Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia, Washington, I noticed how beautiful moss can be. It covers the rocks and trees in lovely patterns and the green color is vivid. Not having my camera with me on the walk, I found some images that capture the beauty of moss.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Edmonds Library Art Show

Library Features Artwork
by Joanne Osband & Mary Ann Hall

The Edmonds Arts Commission is pleased to present an exhibit entitled “Art and Healing” featuring work by Joanne Osband & Mary Ann Hall. The exhibit at Edmonds Library runs now through January 31, 2010. Library hours are Monday-Thursday 10 am to 9 pm, Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday 1-5 pm. The Edmonds Library is located at 650 Main St.

The current exhibit explores the use of art in healing. Joanne Osband, a trained art therapist, has used her skills in the public school setting, in private practice and most recently with the elderly population in nursing homes and as a Hospice Comfort Care Therapist. Art has been her personal expression since early childhood. She has explored many media, finding watercolors her passion of the past 25 years, fascinated by the flow of water and pigment on paper. Osband incorporates torn paper shapes (recycled former paintings) in her work and has recently added water-based oil paint to the collage painting to provide greater depth and deeper color. She begins each painting with the thought, “I wonder what will appear?” She usually begins with quick applications of color and then plays with the negative shapes to bring forth images. Her deep love of nature is evident in many of her pieces.

After 25 years of teaching school, Mary Ann Hall decided to learn to paint. When she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, she studied Lucia Capachion’s method of writing and painting with the non-dominant hand and gained strength through being in touch with her inner child. Hall’s artwork is spontaneous and playful with bright colors and ornamentation. She has shared her painting knowledge and her journaling with friends. Through this remarkable process Hall continues to heal and gain courage. Her inner child’s voice constantly reassures her that there is hope, valuable lessons to be learned, and enough love and support to carry her through the death of her body. She hopes others will gain insight and inspiration from her work.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jim Rohn's Holiday Thoughts

I am saddened to hear of Jim Rohn's recent death, He has gratefully influenced my life and I can hear his voice imparting his philosophies on life.

Jim Rohn believed that our holiday times should be wonderful and filled with lasting and enjoyable moments and memories. He asks, "How can we ensure that we come out of the holidays in January with great memories of the past month?"

Jim suggests six thoughts that will help you experience the holidays the way they were intended to be experienced:

Be Temperate
Holidays can be days of excess for many—too much food, too many cookies and treats. Too much chocolate, schedules that are too busy. One thing that will help you enjoy the holidays is to be temperate. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the treats. Enjoy the busy schedule of activities and parties. But also be disciplined enough to know when to hold back, when to say, “No.” When we go overboard we regret it and lose the opportunity to fully experience that moment. But when we enjoy a little and refrain from going too far, then we can enjoy all that little piece of time has to offer.

Lower Your Expectations
Much of the frustration people experience from the holidays is from setting their expectations too high. They expect too much from friends or family, and when they don’t get what they want, they get frustrated. They expect presents to be perfect and when they aren’t, they get frustrated or disappointed. Instead of having huge expectations this holiday season, just take it as it comes and enjoy what you can. And this brings me to my next point.

Enjoy What You Can and Ignore the Rest
This holiday season, go with an attitude of knowing that things will be what they will be. You can’t control other people or their actions. If a family member pushes the limits of your patience, ignore that and instead focus on how much you can enjoy the time you have with other family members. If things don’t go perfectly—which they won’t—then enjoy what you can and let the rest slide. You will feel a lot better about life if you can take all things a little easier.

Stay Out of Debt
Debt is a killer. It will steal your enjoyment of life. Be sure to stay within your financial boundaries this holiday season. The last thing you want is to start the New Year with a deeper burden financially. Know where you are financially and stay within those limits. You don’t have to impress anyone, just buy gifts that you can afford and express your feelings in the giving of the gift.

Take Time for Yourself
Be sure that, no matter how busy you get, you take time for yourself. Take time to read. Take a long bath if that relaxes you. Take a walk. Spend some time of quiet in front of a fire. Don’t rush through the holidays and sap all of your energy. Your mind and body need to be reenergized, so be sure to take time to do so.

Focus on Your Spiritual Life
Ultimately, no matter what tradition you come from, the holidays are historically days in which we focus on the spiritual. Men and women are created with a natural draw toward spiritual life. However, our culture today tends to stay away from a focus on the spiritual, and that has even crept into our holidays. Be sure to place an emphasis on building your spiritual life and growing in that area. This will help keep you grounded and able to deal with anything that may come your way.

As Jim would say, this time of year is another chance to remember the important truths of life and to enjoy time with dear friends and family. May you experience the very best this holiday season and move into January better than ever!

Jim Rohn and Joanne Osband
January 2002

Jim Rohn was an EXTRA-ORDINARY man!
I will remember him and his teachings forever.
Thank You, Jim

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kaynor Art Show

Still smiling after the second weekend of the Kaynor Art Show at the State Capitol Museum Coach House in Olympia, Washington.

Joanne Osband - Fine Arts and Crafts Sale 2009

I must admit it is challenging to do two art shows in two weekends. The interesting fact is that the artists in the show bond as if a family. What fun making those connections.

It was great to see people supporting us artists by the crowds attending the art show and making purchases. THANK YOU!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Young Artist

Do you remember these days?

When you could hardly wait for your turn to paint at the easel?

I can still recall the memories of painting at preschool! I lived in Southern California and we had the luxury of painting outdoors under the pavilion. That was the best part of the day!

Now I have the luxury of painting in my fabulous new studio. Just had a french door installed and await the finishing work. The view of nature outside my door touches my soul as I create.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I started a new watercolor painting and wanted to be totally free with the background.

The solution; use a mask which is actually a liquid wax that you apply to the paper. When you use a mask, the white paper will remain when the wax is removed with an eraser.....provided you thoroughly covered the area you intended to remain white.

I am planning to paint some lavender in the foreground, but I wanted a colorful background. Masking allowed me the freedom to play with the colors as they flowed on the paper. What fun!

This is what it looks like so far:

Here is a close up view. Can you see the lovely variations of color and color flow that watercolors do so well?

Click on either image for a closer look.

What next?

Back to the drawing board.........

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Art Trivia

Did you know.......

1. Leonardo da Vinci spent 12 years painting the Mona Lisa's lips.

2. In ancient times, it was believed that certain colours could combat the evil spirits that lingered over nurseries. Because blue was associated with the heavenly spirits, boys were clothed in that colour, boys then being considered the most valuable resource to parents. Although baby girls did not have a colour associated with them, they were mostly clothed in black. It was only in the Middle Ages when pink became associated with baby girls.

3. During his entire life, artist Vincent Van Gogh sold just one painting; Red Vineyard at Arles

4. Mental illness may be profoundly responsible for the creation and enduring popularity of Expressionism. Van Gogh's well-documented mental instability, and Edvard Munch's traumatic childhood and enduring neuroses helped to churn out some of the Expressionists' most important works. Munch accepted that his mental illness was part of his genius, "I would not cast off my illness, for there is much in my art that I owe to it."

5.The large canvases Jackson Pollock used for his Abstract Expressionist action paintings were usually laid flat on the floor while he painted. Pollock was a chain smoker and would frequently paint with a cigarette hanging from his lips. This led to the intriguing incorporation of cigarette ashes into the surface of some of his greatest works.

6. Picasso could draw before he could walk, and his first word was the Spanish word for pencil.

7. Left-handed painter, Michelangelo, painted his famous David and Goliath with David holding his sling in his left hand.

8. Another famous left-hander, Leonardo da Vinci, wrote all of his personal notes from right to left, forcing those who read them to use a mirror.

9. Pablo Picasso loved animals. Through his adult life he owned a pet monkey, an owl, a goat, a turtle and packs of dogs and cats. He was known to leave his studio windows open and to paint the pigeons that flew through.

10. Impressionism was given its name from one of Monet's pictures, Impression: Sunrise.

11. People have been painting things for the past 20,000 years, but it wasn't until 1880 that you could purchase ready mixed paints.

12. In all of Dali's paintings you can find a self-portrait. That is, if you look hard you will see at-least a silhouette of Dali himself.

13. Leonardo Da Vinci invented high heels

14. In the late nineteenth century the Impressionist movement was initially not received very well by the establishment. Reviews were at times abusive: La Figaro, 1876, "Five or six lunatics, one of them a woman, have met here to exhibit their works. Someone should tell Mr. Pissarro forcibly that trees are never violet, the sky is never the colour of fresh butter, that nowhere on earth are things to be seen as he paints them." Maybe not, but the popularity of this movement cannot be disputed

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Interesting Art Book

The Artist's Eyes is a celebration of vision, of art and of the relationship between the two. Artists see the world in physical terms as we all do. However, they may be more perceptive than most in interpreting the complexity of how and what they see.

In this fascinating juxtaposition of science and art history, ophthalmologists Michael Marmor and James G. Ravin examine the role of vision and eye disease in art. They focus on the eye, where the process of vision originates and investigate how aspects of vision have inspired - and confounded - many of the world's most famous artists. Why do Georges Seurat's paintings appear to shimmer? How come the eyes in certain portraits seem to follow you around the room? Are the broad brushstrokes in Monet's Water Lilies due to cataracts? Could van Gogh's magnificent yellows be a result of drugs? How does eye disease affect the artistic process? Or does it at all?

The Artist's Eyes considers these questions and more. It is a testament to the triumph of artistic talent over human vulnerability and a tribute to the paintings that define eras, the artists who made them and the eyes through which all of us experience art.

About the Author

Michael F. Marmor is one of today's leading experts in retinal disease and retinal physiology and the author of more than 150 scientific papers. He is Professor and former Chair of Ophthalmology in the Stanford University School of Medicine and has taught "The Eye and Implications of Vision" in the Stanford undergraduate Program in Human Biology. James G. Ravin has studied the effects of illness on artists since he attended the University of Michigan Medical School. His investigations have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and have been featured on TV other national media. Dr. Ravin's special interest is in nineteenth-century European painting.

Sounds fascinating!

Monday, December 7, 2009

World Record Bid for a Monet

Le Bassin aux Nymphéa (1919)
signed and dated `Claude Monet 1919' (lower right)
oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 79 1/8 in. (100.4 x 201 cm.)

In June of 2008, Le Bassin aux Nymphéa by Claude Monet sold for a world record bid of £40.1 million (that's $79,138,799.84 USD at today's prices before commission etc).

The fact that the auction attracted such a high bid is probably because this is a large Monet - and those rarely come on the market as most are in museums. It's only ever been seen in public once and is part of a particular series of paintings of the waterlilies in the pool at Giverny which are seen as being very associated with the beginning of abstract art. The painting is of the water and the Nymphéa and the reflections in the water of of the sky, clouds and trees above.

The previous highest price paid for a Monet was set in May of 2008 when Le Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil (1873) was sold for £21.5 million / $41 million in New York.

Claude Monet's Le Pont Du Chemin De Fer A Argenteuil, 1873

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The "White"

There it is....that dreaded blank blank blank white sheet of paper. What now?

When faced with that blank sheet, many people feel blank themselves. What to do? How to get started? How to leap that chasm of stark white blankness and land on the other side with shape, form and color? Every artist since the beginning of time, amateur or professional, has faced the dilemma:
How does ART start?

What is it about the blank white paper that can be so daunting?

Today as I worked with an art therapy client, the tension of filling in the "white" surfaced. It seemed like an overwhelming task and she verbalized her concern that it would take a lot of time.

I wondered, can you give yourself permission to spend the time?

What to create? She began with lines and switched colors. When sharing her art, she discussed the continuous dialogue that was going on in her head about what was appearing, and was it okay. Her inner critic was active! How do you silence the inner critic? Or is it possible to work with it? What do you think?

My favorite quote by Vincent Van Gogh:

"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First Lavender Watercolor Painting

Way back in July I attended the Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington. Seems like a long time ago.

It is an event that I highly recommend. The whole town of Sequim celebrates and having done this for several years, the festival committee is extremely organized. This year there were seven lavender farms open to the public and it amazed me how smoothly the bus system ran. At each field you not only found acres of lavender, but also art, music, and everything you could think up to create with lavender from food to crafts.

I am just getting around to creating some lavender watercolor paintings from my photos. Here is the first painting. I like some parts of it, but I am not satisfied with the whole painting. Watch for my next addition.........

Sea of Lavender

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An Artist Wish List

So, if you got your wish, which gift would you choose?

Here are some options:

1. An extra dollop of talent

2. Your choice of a workshop with the best artist / tutor

3. Your very own concept (unique, satisfying & marketable)

4. Sponsorship to travel and paint overseas

5. More time in the studio to make art

6. A studio assistant to do all the messy/boring tasks

7. Expert advice/sponsorship by a really good framer

8. Recognition (eg Winning a major art competition)

9. Better tools & confidence for marketing your art

10. An invite to be a gallery artist with a great gallery

11. An invite to teach art in a prestigious location

12. Art Business accounts with a healthy bottom line after tax

Or, how about all of the above?