Retaining Wall It was more than ten years ago when I visited the greenhouse looking for plants for a newly created stone retaining wall.  The retaining wall was created to make room for a garage addition.  There was a lot of debate about what was being retained in that wall, it came with a two-foot diameter, mature, black walnut tree.  There were pros and cons, but the pros won out (later on we may have decided to go with the cons) and the search for compatible plants was on. If you aren’t aware, Black Walnut trees, put out a toxin called juglone that surrounds the tree preventing invading trees from taking hold.  There are a lot of plants that cannot survive in this toxic environment, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t waste my money on plants that would die.  The greenhouse manager suggested several plants including three variegated yuccas and we took them all home for planting. Yucca survival I like yucca plants, overtime they will mature and send up a tall flower spike that produces a ton of white flowers, very dramatic.  I looked forward to seeing that someday.  I watched the little yuccas over several years,

Art Gallery Planning It is early fall and I have already planned my vacation for February of 2022.  As soon as I purchased the ticket, my vacation began. I began purchasing new clothes, dieting, exercising (very limited) with the goal of making my vacation as enjoyable as possible.  Anticipating a vacation in the winter provides a goal helping me endure the long, cold winter months.  I relate planning a vacation to preparation for finding the fun at an Art Gallery, because once you have decided to make the trip, the antipation will provide an opportunity to escape the routine of daily life.  You may look up the gallery show and artists on their websites, check out gallery hours, invite people to join you or set aside time just for yourself.  Your Art Gallery experience begins when you decide to make the journey. Pre-Flight Preparation Before you get in your car to go to the Art Gallery you may want to take a moment to think about what you would like to get out the experience.  What does “Finding the Fun”  look like for you. I have listed some ideas to help with your preparation: Open Your Mind: You are venturing

Traditional Watercolor Framing I have always taken great care to protect my watercolor paintings using an acid-free backer board, acid-free mat set in a frame with either glass or plexiglass.  This is the traditional method of protecting the water soluble pigments and dyes from humidity.  I love the look of a beautifully mounted painting and there is so many possibilities for framing them that is method perfect.  I would never have thought to do it any other way, but I had an idea that sent me into the world of waxed watercolors opening up new possibilities worthy of consideration. What are Wax Sealed Watercolors I had this idea that I would like to paint on a wooden block that could be set on a shelf or mantel.  I looked up how to watercolor on wood, which led me to watercolor ground (coating that you can paint on).  I tried watercolor ground on a small wooden coin, but what do you do to preserve it?  So further research and I found there is a fixing spray (varnish) that works well, but that led to me wax.  So for a small investment I purchased some Dorland’s wax and applied to my tiny

Just Say Yes A fellow artist informed me that Mount Horeb Driftless Historium had two weeks to find a new display for their their large street windows walk-up gallery and would l like to display my watercolor paintings.  Two weeks, was he crazy?  How do you set up a show in just two weeks?  How many paintings, what was the theme, how much room would I have to fill, what kind of advertising and posters?  So many questions, so little time.   I immediately went into cynic mode and texted him back saying no, just not enough time.  He said he would inform the 14 South Artists organization we belong to and see if any of the other artists would be interested.  Working quickly because of the short turn around time, he sent off a post on Facebook.   Earlier that day, I had listened to a motivational podcast about another artist that had finished a new collection and was looking for place to show them.  Covid hit and nothing was available.  All she wanted was a big enough room to hang her work to take photographs.  Then, all of a sudden a space became available for a short period of time

I was searching the World Wide Web about a year ago when I came across an article about ACEOs.  What the heck is an ACEO I wondered?  Well it is an Art Card Edition or Original.  Okay, that makes no sense at all, so I searched for more information and it turns out there are a world of collectors that buy paintings specifically made on 2.5 x 3.5 inch cards.  Ebay appears to be the best buy and sell for ACEOs.   I thought, with my level of patience, maybe I should start making ACEOs and selling them.  I can make a complete painting in 1 to 3 hours, mount them and sell them at art shows and my followers can have an original artwork for less than $50.  And so, I have created over 30 tiny water media paintings in the last year.  They are so much fun and rewarding. Well I looked into the “tiny” art concept a little more and found out there are a lot of different definitions of tiny art and there seems to be a difference in maximum size for these art pieces, some ranging up to 10 x 10 inches. That was kind of