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I May Have Learned a Thing or Two

9 Jun

Pouring paint – Lessons Learnedand there are quite a few.   Or what no to do when pouring paintings!

  1. Fine lines are really tough to accomplish with masking fluid – think about avoiding hair (just kidding)
  2. You need patience and a lot of it in order to apply fine lines of masque
  3. Removing a lot of masking compound can give you serious blisters on your fingertips when you use them to rub off the stuff  (bad idea)
  4. Maybe doing a poured painting (or two) of a goat was not such a good idea
  5. Staining pigments should be applied last as subsequent colors do not “stick” or cover as well
  6. Some of my favorites such as the beautiful quin burnt ochers and oranges fall into the category above
  7. And oh, you can ruin a poured painting with a pour when the pigment is too intense or very dark

Pop Of Color

So why do them?

Poured painting are plain outright FUN!

I love to see how the poured paintings develop.  The burst of new colors are exciting – seeing where the puddles form and the trailing rivers of pigment may flow. This process provided the painter with a little thrill there as there is a certain element of risk and loss of control.  And the finished effect is very interesting, very rich in color and very satisfying.  It is not everyday that you can write a sentence with three “very’s” in it.


Turn About is Fair Play

18 May

Who would have thought it?  

I am making a mess in my daughter’s kitchen.  While she lovingly tends to her newborn baby boy Theo,  in the hospital,  I am in her kitchen pouring a painting!  in this incredibly great for pouring sink!  The permanent sap green gave me a bit of a fright…but with elbow grease, I managed to remove the evidence. 


WIP – Update 3 – Begonias on Parade

31 Mar

Making some serious progress with a limited amount of time in combination with some travel to Atlanta and lots of other distractions.  However, I can now start to see the finish line!   In the upper right hand corner will be Hercules, a rather large webbing spider that is found, well…everywhere around our house in the summer. When you walk around our decks and gardens, it is wise to carry a stuck out in front of you to  clear the webs in as you go.  Really icky to face plant in a web. Trust me!  Personal experience speaking. Stuff nightmares are made of….

I have made peace with the yellow nickel mineral color for this painting.  Understand, I will never use mineral based watercolor paint again and unless someone can make a compelling case and oh, send them to me for free to try out!  The begonias on the right are just a funny color and this paint works. I tried every other share of yellow in my studio…and this works (humble pie) see definitions 2 & 3.

Begonias on Parade - Helen Shideler

Duck Hunting

24 Mar

So, again it is no secret, I love ducks.  When my husband and I got up this morning, I asked him if he had any plans.  Well he did.. I asked him… well do they have to be this morning.  He looked at me with a look of familiar curiosity and asked what I had in mind.   I said DUCK HUNTING!.

The huh?  look on his face was priceless.  I handed him two cameras and said …let’s go!

I have an idea for two more, maybe three more painting ideas..sharing the photos – just not the ones I am going to paint!

Here a few expamples of my duck paintings, Mallard Trio , Dapper Dabbler and Sitting Duck


Got My Eye on You

12 Jan

I had planned on painting this for quite a while.  My hesitation came only from people’s reaction – you cannot paint only one crow. Huh?  Everyone will think it is bad luck or something…..  So, remembering back to a previous post “Didn’t See Nuthin'” ..  I will post this as a work in progress in a few days. The Poem illustrated below is a nursery rhyme.  Could not resist!

One for sorrow


Two for joy


Three for a girl


Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold,

IMG_2154Seven for a secret never to be told

Eight for a wish, Nine for a kiss,

Ten for a time of joyous bliss.

Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick!

14 Jun

  So I have a bug story, not a painting, may never be a painting, but a bug story.  Last night, while in the wash room, I noticed something icky in the tub.  It was a little bug with oversize pincers.  It was moving the pincers well, like a crab – ick.  So, with the assistance of my good friend Google, I set out to find out exactly what it was.  (No

tice the tense here – yes, I did it in after the appropriate amount of staring and being fascinated with it – ick!).

It is a pseudoscorpion.  Have I said ick yet?

This is a small arachnid (kin to spiders, ticks, mites, etc.). They are general predators on other small arthropods and are completely harmless to humans or pets.

There are over 200 species of pseudoscorpions in North America. Although very common, they are only occasionally found indoors and then only a few at any given time (phew).  Pseudoscorpions may be found in any room in a home, although they are usually more common in relatively damp areas, such as laundry rooms, basements, and bathrooms – that is where I found it. Despite their appearance, pseudoscorpions are harmless to people.

 Pseudoscorpions, literally ‘false scorpions’, are small (most are about 1/5 inch long) and reddish or brown. They have oval, flattened bodies with two conspicuous pedipalps (pincer-like appendages). When they walk, they often appear crab-like. They can move as quickly backward as they move forward. Without their large pedipalps 9funny word for pincers!), pseudoscorpions look very much like ticks. Ick!

My painting is on the front page of “The Showcase Magazine”

11 Jun
In April I was approached by Nina Ulloa the Publisher/Editorial Director of “The Showcase Magazine” to allow them to use one of my paintings on the cover of the June edition of the magazine!  The magazine is publishes out of Warren, NJ.  Of course I said YES.  I think it looks wonderful – very exciting!
An there is more  on page 4 – you can visit the maagazine by clicking here 

Mother’s Day give away on my daughter’s blog!

9 May

In living colour

6 May

As I soaked in the tub filled with epsom salts feeling quite refreshed, I contemplated by blog – thinking that I have somehow been neglectful. I have had an extremely busy spring.  Have had two wonderful trips – one to Alexandria Virgina for my other professional life and one to Vancouver for my real life.  The  Alexandria trip was for a Human Resources event (that I love) and Vancouver – for two of the loves of my life – my beautiful daughters!

So, with all this travel and work stuff and -oh, organizing the Kings County Studio Tour for a group of area artists and artisans,,, I have neglected my painting. And I don’t feel very good about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the other stuff – just not enough of me to accomplish all that I expect of me.

Tonight we are hosting a dinner club with a group of friends.  We  have been doing this for over 25 years!  We are using our grilling stones  and it is a surf and turf night… scallops…shrimp and strip loin steaks.   Served with asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, and little tomatoes. And dessert.. New York style cheesecake with sour cream glaze topped with fresh strawberries, strawberry coulis and whipping cream.  Decadent night!  So excited!  Love our friends!

So, while soaking in my tub I realized that I have identified myself with Blooming Colors… but really I am all about Living Colors. We are so much more that one word we think describes us.  I am grateful for my life, my husband, my daughters our blended family, friends, work and my alter ego – the painter.  The painter in me gives me permission to be a bit out there or excentric or to live what ever colours I want. Love this!

So, with where I am in life – I have to give myself permission to be here in the present and not feel guilty or that I should be doing something else or painting more or … you get the idea.  Painting is my life and so is my family equally important. And so is my other working life.  Pays the bills and so much more.  Now I can be practical!

Vancouver vacation with my daughters

22 Apr

I just recently returned from a lovely vacation in Vancouver.  My youngest daughter Katie and I went out to visit my other daughter Jennifer.  Jenn is getting married this summer and we went out to do wedding things.  Like pick out a wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses and a dress for me!  The colours are so beautiful!  And organize the rest of the wedding with a little help from our friend, Google!

On the first day we walked to Granville Island. That means to Opus Art Supplies.  This place is absolutely worse than a candy store.  They have three aisles of acrylic paint! I got to touch so many colours.  I honestly did not know were to start… as I left my list of “needed” stuff back home.   I grabbed a basket and went to the watercolors, and of course purchased a number of beautiful tubes (sigh). They I went to the acrylic aisles, grabbed some more paint and I also purchased some liquid acrylics (mostly blue shades – to compliment the stuff I bought on-line earlier this year).  I bought Jenn I and each a modern acrylic book – which I absent-mindedly left behind in Vancouver 😦  . Maybe I will just have to go back to get it…..

The next day we went back to Opus just because.  Oh, the poor magnetic strip on my debit card.  I bought squeezy bottles – I have a plan for another poured painting with fine lines.  I cannot wait to start this one. Have two more to finish first (I think I have to). So I also had to buy lots of masque.

Another Vancouver hi-light was visiting all the kitchen shops near and dear to Jenn’s heart and her Foodess blog!  I had it in my head I wanted to buy large wooden spoons, you know, to cook more healthy.   I was so proud of what all I bought. But when I shared my happiness with my husband… he asked when was the last time you oiled the ones we already have?  I said hmmm…. He said he was watching Anna and Christine’s Grocery Bags and they had a segment on oiling your wooden spoons to prevent bacteria growth. Needless to say I oiled away and then googled the show. Oh no… I oiled them with Safflower oil – not mineral oil. Now they have to be really scrubbed and re-oiled.  Does anyone know where to purchase mineral oil?

We were awakened most mornings to the heralding honking of Canada geese.  Apparently they love the environmentally friendly construction trend of grassing roof tops of new buildings. In fact, they appear to be nesting on the rooftops.  They do not fly silently – they feel the need to honk honk honk honk with every flap of their wings.  At first, we were quite excited to look out the big windows in Jenn’s apartment  and see them on the roof of the building across the street. I even took photos I was so intrigued.

After a few days the honking seemed to start earlier and somehow, seed much louder.  The novelty wore off quite quickly.   You see, they also fly … overhead…. and are big poopers!  They sit on the edges of roofs and balconies with their tail feathers overhanging the edge – making a walk with the doggy, Oliver, quite unsettling because you walk looking up.    Speaking of Oliver, we took him to a dog beach whenever we had the opportunity.  This dog seriously loves the water. Fetching a ball or a prized stick -no matter as long as he was in the water! I have so many action shots of this beautiful dog!   He is so animated and entertaining – I will miss him so much.

I managed to paint a bit while I was there. I did a small acrylic painting of a chocolate cake Jenn baked for her to give away on her blog. I started a second painting as well – but there was just so much visiting to do.

Jenn and I went to cooking school at The Dirty Apron just before Katie arrived. It was so much fun and the facility was fabulous.  The evening was led by a chef – David. He was entertaining , informative and engaging.  We watched him prepare a dish and he told us of the food science behind cooking and so much more. Then we repeated his cooking procedures on the same dish three times. After each course was cooked, we got to enjoy it in the dining room.  Mussels, scallops and haddock – seafood bliss!


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