Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

As I look back on the year, I've learned that painting everyday makes you a better artist.  Even if it means squeezing in 10 minutes of painting between mountains of never-ending laundry, dinner preparation, and taxi service to soccer games.  Last February I learned this very important lesson as I challenged myself to painting 28 flowers in 28 days.  It most definitely was a challenge, but I accomplished my goal and sold a few of those paintings to collectors throughout the past months.  Thank you to those new collectors!

This year I was also invited to hang my art in a new gallery in town, The Whistlepig Gallery on Main, here in our own downtown Pataskala.  I absolutely love the coziness of the gallery as well as the enthusiasm and soul of the gallery director.  This was one of those situations where when one door closes, a window opens somewhere else.

2011 has also taught me the importance of peace and patience.  We all find ways to bring calm and tranquility to our lives.  Now, more so than ever, is it vital to have this virtue in our lives with our cell phones, emails, facebook, iPads, iPods, etc., etc., etc. taking up precious time.  We must live in the moment and not waste a minute.

The year 2011 was good......not great, but good.  I began 2011 sicker than a dog and ended 2011 in very good health......and to that I am thankful!  I look forward to being more artistic and more organized.  I have a head start in the basement as I empty cardboard boxes, pitch, label, and repack in clear plastic containers.  Since my studio resides in the basement it's of utmost importance to get things in order and have all my supplies at hand.  I anticipate more journaling for the sole purpose of practicing and discovering new skills/techniques. 

I also want to extend a huge "THANK YOU" to all you bloggers, Facebook and Pinterest followers, collectors, family, and friends who have supported me throughout the year.  My New Years resolution for 2012 will be to continue to create art in hopes of inspiring someone to pick up a pencil or paint brush.  Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Tranquility  4"x6"  Gretchen Bjornson©2011
It's been over a month since my last post.  School started for both of my boys and life, in general, got kind of busy.  Now that the soccer season has come to an end and things have slowed down, I'm afraid the roller coaster is slowly heading uphill again.  Christmas music is now playing all day on a local radio station and the stores are stocked with holiday merchandise.  The Christmas season is upon us, according to some.  But let's not rush into it.

My palette has been cleaned and fresh paint has been applied.  Lately my inspiration comes from subject matter outside my normal range of florals.  It's refreshing to paint something different and gain a new perspective on values, colors, and lighting. Todays painting seems to symbolize the calm before the storm.....that time when all is tranquil, but you know there is something brewing on the horizon.  It's important to remember to live each day to its fullest and never take a moment for granted.

The original and prints of this painting are available at  Greeting cards are available as well.  What a great Christmas gift for the boat lover!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Success at the Mansion

This is the beautiful Bryn Du Mansion located in Granville, Ohio, just a short drive from where I reside.  The city of Granville hosts their annual autumn art show in the mansion.  It is rich in history and is situated on 52 acres of lavishly landscaped property which includes a huge front field where you can frequently catch polo matches on Sundays in the fall.

This year I was fortunate to have 3 of the 4 paintings I submitted juried into the show.  One of which has already sold.  Below is a photo my son took of me standing by my piece that sold. 

I have to admit, I was thrilled to have sold a piece, however I had a special love affair with this one.  "Field of Poppies", for those of you who may recall, was the final painting (#28) of my 28 day painting challenge last February.  I'm sad to see it go, but pleased it will bring joy to someone else.  After all, isn't that what it's all about?

"Field of Poppies" is the smaller painting on top.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Re-do

I love it when I get an idea and can produce results without having to make a trip to the arts and crafts store.  Anytime I can dig in my junk drawers or recycle bin to reuse something to avoid buying new is alright by me.  Saves me a dollar, or ten, uses up "stuff" around my house, and saves the's a win/win situation as far as I'm concerned. 

Since I can't say no, I have taken on the responsibility of my son's Art Club at his school this year. I really want the students to make their own art journals. I decided I needed to make one first.  I had been searching the Internet and several library books hoping to find directions for homemade sketchbooks and stumbled upon one that seemed the least expensive to put together. 

Low and behold, it cost me not a single penny to make this book and I was very pleased with the results.  After digging through several drawers, bins, and trash cans I was able to round up plenty of paper (all recycled).  I even threw in several pieces of used watercolor know those paintings I'm not happy with that are put aside.....yep, some of those ended up in the book.  Other miscellaneous papers included newspaper (the arts and entertainment section of course), coloring book pages, a print out of a map, and a page out of a magazine.  You could use any paper you can find around the house......old text books, atlases, wrapping paper.  The possibilities are endless.  The cover consists of two chip boards from the back of an old notebook covered with some wonderful coordinating scrapbook paper. I sewed the pages together and voila.......instant art journal!  Free!  

 Here is one of my first art journal entries......."Meet the Kids"

Now don't think I've given up on my watercolor painting......I'll have some watercolor pages in the journal as well.  And I don't intend on making my blog about art journaling, but I will share the occasional "cool" page that comes along. 

The plumeria are still in the works as well.  I haven't quite reached my "a-ha" moment with the painting, but it's getting close.  I had to re-do this painting.  Well, actually I started over.  Don't be surprised to find the first attempt in one of my future homemade art journals as paper fodder.  Let me know what you think of the plumeria.  I'm in that stage where I could use some suggestions on strengthening the piece.  Happy Friday all!!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not All Gingerbread Men Are Brown!

My son started kindergarten last week.  He came home after the first day of school and proudly opened his folder to show me what he had worked on that day.......a beautiful, multi-colored gingerbread man.  Now I know what you're's August, why are they coloring gingerbread men? 

In the classic story of The Gingerbread Man, we find our main character on the run trying to elude all who crave him.  "Run!  Run!  As fast as you can!  You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"  The kindergarten teacher uses this story on the first day of school.  The students participate by baking a gingerbread man, then realize he's disappeared.  The teacher leaves clues in key locations around the school building (office, nurse, gym, library, etc.) and leads the children on a hunt for the gingerbread man.  It's a fun way to familiarize the kindergarten students with their new surroundings.

Back to the multi-colored gingerbread man......
After showing me his piece of art, my son told me one of his classmates told him it wasn't very good because it wasn't brown.  Apparently she believes all gingerbread men should be brown like their cookie counterparts.  At this point the artist in me stepped in and explained to him that, in fact, not all gingerbread men have to be brown and that his was a very creative, unique, and artistic gingerbread man.....definitely one of a kind.

So let this be a lesson to us all.  After all, not all grass is green nor is the sky always blue.  Not only is this an important lesson to learn in art, but life in general.

Gingerbread Man by Conner 5 yrs. old

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Time Flies............

Why is it summer flies by so fast?  Is it because there is always so much to see and do outside?  Or is it because I dread the arrival of the colder months?  Either way, it's hard to believe there is only one week remaining in July.  I'm just not ready for it to end!  That being said, there comes a time when I am ready for the boys to go back to school and back into a daily routine.  My next few weeks will be busy ones, filled with swim lessons, piano lessons, soccer camp, and art classes.  Of course, painting time should be figured in as well.  Currently I'm working on a painting of plumeria. 

The painting above was completed during drying times with my previous piece of the Hawaiian dancer.  I'd like to play around with  more of these small landscape paintings.  This one is about 4"x6".  I enjoy experimenting with different background techniques and then adding detail to the foreground. 

Enjoy what's left of the summer months!  Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Hawaiian Dancer 11"x15" in watercolor
Mahalo means 'thank you' in Hawaii.  
A huge "Mahalo" goes out to my latest customer (and wonderful friend) who requested this painting.  The girl in the painting is actually her cousin who graduated from hula school (yes, there really is such a thing as hula school).  This young lady was also part of a group called  Merrie Monarchs whose mission was to preserve and promote the art of hula and Hawaiian culture.  She also taught hula for many years.

Hawaii is on my bucket list of places to visit.  I would have to pack an extra bag just for my painting supplies.  What an amazingly beautiful place it would be to paint.  I'll need to pick up a winning lottery ticket or sell more paintings in order to get there! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Aloha and Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July to all my blogging friends!  I've been away for a bit, but I'm back.  Our family spent a week in the land of the "mouse".  That's Disneyworld for those of you who don't know.  The weather was very uncooperative the entire time we were there.  However, that didn't deter us from enjoying the rides and attractions.  Although 4 days of park hopping can take a toll on your physical and mental well being.  Needless to say, we all had a terrific time.

Getting back to the business of painting, I was able to dip my brushes back into my paint and make some serious progress on the Hawaiian dancer in watercolor.  It was especially nice working outdoors.  As you can see from the photo below, I set up shop on our patio. 

Now that most of the landscaping in our yard is in full bloom, it's time to immortalize the flowers in watercolor.   Is there anyone else out there who enjoys painting outdoors as much as I do?  What are your favorite outdoors subjects?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hawaiian WIP.....

There is so much more to the flesh tone color than the crayon you find in your box of Crayolas.  In addition, there are so many different kinds of skin tones in the diverse world we live.  The challenge in watercolor is achieving the right mix of paint to get the right tone without making it look flat and lifeless.  

Hawaiian WIP.....kind of sounds like a tropical drink!  I could definitely use one of those right now.  I'm currently working on a commissioned piece of a Hawaiian dancer.  After laying down a light wash of aureolin yellow over most of the painting, I decided to work on the dancer's flesh tones.  After doing a bit of a refresher on painting skin, I decided on a mix of cadmium red light, cobalt blue, and quinacridone gold.  I built the facial features with two layers of this mix and added touches of cobalt blue to accentuate darker values.  A touch of alizarin crimson was added to the cheeks for some warmth.  At this point, the darkest shadows, eyes, eyebrows, and mouth are yet to be completed to make it pop.

My next challenge will be tackling this beautiful girl's long, black locks (hair).  Black is such a taboo color in watercolor.  Not only will the color itself prove to be a challenge, but keeping the hair from overtaking the piece and looking more like a wig is going to keep me on my toes.  Suggestions, tips, and comments are welcomed.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to find me on facebook!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wild Horses!

Wild Horses original watercolor
11"x15"  $95.00
I'm chalking this one up as finished.  I'm really happy with the colors and the movement in the painting.  I've been fine tuning this one while working on my Slugbug painting.  It's helpful having more than one painting going at once.  It allows me to work on one while the other dries.  I tend to paint in 20-30 minute increments as my time allows.  Every once in awhile I eek out 45 minutes to an hour and really feel like I've accomplished something.  What a great feeling it is when I'm able to slip into that 'art zone'.

Don't forget you can find me on facebook too!  I'm nearing 100 "Likes".  I plan to celebrate with a giveaway, so be sure to "Like" my art page so you're not left out!  Click here to go to my facebook page.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Slugbug Green, No Slugbacks!

We've all heard the familiar saying.  And if you're like me, you've felt the inevitable pinch, punch, or slug, for that matter, for not being the one to see the car first.  Having two boys, this is a popular game in my car.  Luckily, being strapped into a booster seat and held back in seat belts prevents the two of them from being able to reach me in the driver's seat.

Every year the local high school parking lot becomes a Volkswagen mecca, filled with the all too familiar VW beetle as well as the popular VW bus.  Last year I took my camera along and captured some very colorful VW bugs.  Most of the colors reminded me of summer, my favorite season.  Having been on my "to do" list for awhile, I finally got around to painting these cute little cars. 

A long admirer and fan of watercolors with pen and ink, I decided to pull out my Sharpie Extra Fine Point and got to work adding detail to the piece.  I can't call it finished yet, as I need to add a background.   I got so excited about adding the ink to the painting that I neglected my background!

I will continue to work on the "bugs" and post once it's completed.  Happy start of the summer to you all!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Celebrating One Year

Yep, it's official!  My art blog is a year old.  It's been a year since I was first introduced to the 'blogging' world.  Prior to that I had no idea what blogging was.  I thought it was just something that celebrities did.  Apparently anyone can blog.  Well, almost anyone.....I'd have to say my dad might struggle a bit.  Sorry Dad.

I love how my blog has helped connect me to so many other talented artists from around the world, literally.  I've connected with wonderful people from Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Germany, and the list goes on.  Not to mention, my fellow American bloggers.  Through blogging I have found my local art organization, Licking County Arts, as well as artists within my own state, some being just minutes away.  The Internet truly is amazing.
There will be no cake or balloons or party.  I'm simply pleased with what I've accomplished through creating this blog.  I still have some quirks to work through.  It's not perfect.  I have yet to figure out how to create a newsletter.  So for those of you still awaiting an email with a newsletter, don't hold your breath.  I am currently researching it at this time and hope to get one up and running this summer.  We'll see.  For now, you can still visit my blog to see what I'm up to.  You can also find me on facebook at Gretchen Bjornson ART.  I'm getting ready to hit a milestone there as well.  I'm only 9 people away from 100!  I do plan to celebrate with some kind of giveaway when I hit the big 100.

Thanks to those of you who are loyal followers.  I'm a mom first, so my blogging habits may be sporadic as I still have to manage a household, feed my family, and make my way through mounds of laundry that seem never ending before I can settle in to do what I love....which is art.

So here is what I'm currently working on.  A watercolor of wild horses.  It's still a work in progress, but it's coming along nicely.  My focus on this piece was color harmony and looseness. (Is that even a word?) 

On to another year of blogging..... 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Horses and Art....a good mix.

I am honored to be included with so many talented "equine" artists who have been interviewed by "The Equinest".  There are many artists, photographers, and authors featured on The Equinest website. 
Check them all out and while your there, check out my interview at

A special thank you goes out to Paige for allowing this opportunity to showcase some of my horse paintings.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


"Nuzzle" is still a work in progress.  I'm slowly building the darker values without compromising the overall fluidity of the piece.  I'm at the stage where decisions are critical to the success of the piece.  The pony's back still needs more work.  The appaloosa is getting finer details with it's spots. 

This was a photo taken by Candy Cornell, a friend who kindly let me peruse the images she had of her horses.  I fell in love with this image.  Thanks Candy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away....

Can you guess what inspired me to do these pages?  April showers bring May flowers....that's what I keep telling myself.  And hopefully they also bring lots of veggies from my garden as well.
I've been playing in my art journal lately, in hopes of channeling my inner creative voice.  There are no rules to art journaling, which at times is a challenge for me.  Sometimes it's hard to let go and let loose.  I tend to get caught up in painting the details in my watercolors and I think the art journal will give me the freedom to play and not worry about "getting it right".  It's more about having fun with the process and trying new art tools and techniques. 

These pages were covered with white gesso.  Later, while listening to the never ending rain, I pulled out some old Crayola watercolors, tipped my journal upright, and just began adding lots of paint allowing it to drip.  I love drips and I loved the results.  The paint made a wonderful background for my words.  I was amazed by the brightness of the colors......and to think they were in my kids art supplies!  Who knew?!

Do any of you have an art journal?  What tips and tricks have you discovered while playing?

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Black Horse

I've been working on this painting and would like to know if I can improve on anything.  As I'm looking at it now I've noticed a few water blooms that need softened.  Any thoughts fellow blogging friends?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"I asked the Zebra...."

"I asked the Zebra,

are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on and on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes...again."

— Shel Silverstein

I really had some fun painting zebra stripes in a girl's bedroom these last two days.  I cannot take credit for the idea though......that goes to my cousin and her daughter.   

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keeping Secrets Is Hard!

Whew!  This portrait was my project for the month of March.  It had to be kept under wraps since the recipient (as well as mother of these children) frequents my blog and Facebook page.  In addition, we're cousins and live fairly close to one another.  This was a gift to my cousin and her husband for their 40th birthdays from my cousin's in-laws.  (Did that make sense?) 

I don't typically do portraits and I haven't worked in pencil in awhile.  However I love getting the opportunity to go outside the wonderful world of watercolor to play with different mediums.  I feel very comfortable with most mediums including, pencil, charcoal, oil, acrylics, etc.  I just don't find myself switching around very often.  Once I began the process, I remembered how much I loved getting immersed in the fine details of drawing.  That's something I generally avoid with my watercolors for fear of overworking them. 

I especially loved watching each child come to life before my eyes.  It's probably the most rewarding part of doing portraits, aside from making the recipient cry when they see the finished piece.  That doesn't go without saying, the most difficult part of doing portraits is making sure each child looks like themselves.  I spent many hours trying to get one of the girls to look "right".  I simply could not put my finger on what it was about her.  In the end, I was content with the results and I believe the customer was as well.

Keeping it a secret was a feat all it's own.  More than a few times I almost let the cat out of the bag, but caught myself before doing so.  I'm pleased to say this portrait is in the hands of the intended recipient and I hope it brings them much enjoyment for years to come.   

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


 The other day I was browsing through various watercolor websites and images and came upon some really beautiful watercolor textures and backgrounds.  I found the images on flickr, but can't find the name of the person anywhere to give him/her credit.  I was inspired by the interesting layers and textures and researched more to see what different techniques I could try myself.

I found four items around the house, one of which I've been using with some of my paintings already...sea salt.  The other three were tissue paper, sponge, and rubbing alcohol.  Here are a few of my results.  Not quite as amazing as the ones I found on flickr, but a good start to adding some interest to my paintings.  Do you have any unique techniques for texture to share? 
Washes of Winsor Violet and Prussian Blue with drops of rubbing alcohol and sprinkles of sea salt in the corners.

The beginning stages of a field of flowers.  Trying to establish a more textured background
with splashes of rubbing alcohol and some sea salt. 

Experimenting with tissue paper laid on top of a wet on wet technique.

Monday, March 21, 2011


So after my 28 Flowers in 28 Days Challenge, here is what I've learned....

1.  Painting negative shapes can really bring a painting to life.
2.  The best greens come from mixing colors.  (Although I love Sap Green)

3.  Clean water is key and it helps to have a sink nearby (I don't).
4.  A spray bottle is handy for wetting your paints and paper.
5.  It helps to have multiple surface areas to rotate paintings your working on.

6.  A space heater comes in handy for not only staying warm, but for a quick dry also.
7.  Always have a plan before you paint.

8.  "Uglies" (i.e. bad paintings) are inevitable and necessary to appreciate the "beauties".
9.  Step away from your painting frequently to critique it.
10. Paintings photograph best on an overcast day outside.
11. Jack Johnson is wonderful music to listen to while painting.
12. Dog noses smear dry paintings.

I had someone ask me if I would do this answer was yes, I would, but not for another year.  But now I think this challenge makes me want to paint as much as I can because I've grown as a watercolor artist and have learned so much by painting daily. 

Those who follow my blog may have noticed I haven't posted anything in a month.  My focus turned to my son's school yearbook which I am the advisor for and today is my deadline.  After today, I'll be continuing work on a piece which is meant to be kept secret.  I'll post it once it's been given to the recipient.

So thanks again to all who followed my challenge and supported me through your wonderful comments and critiques.  A special thank you to those who purchased one or more of my paintings from this challenge.  And a extra special thank you to Maria Reichert at Maria's Watercolor for prompting me to take on a 28 days painting challenge in February!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"The End"

5" x 7" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

Here it is!!  My final painting of the "28 flowers in 28 days" challenge.  It took me awhile to decide on my final flower, but after seeing this image in the Wet Canvas reference library (which by the way are copyright free and free to use) I knew this would be the one.  Poppies are so papery and light and I absolutely loved the colors.  The oranges were brilliant!  I'm pleased to have this as my painting #28.

I have to admit, once I finished, I gave out a huge sigh of just felt good to wrap up the challenge.  The last week was particularly tough.  Painting every day isn't easy.  It's even more difficult when you set high expectations for yourself.  I think I did that toward the end and it resulted in a few "not so beautiful" pieces.  It seemed the less I forced the painting, the better the piece.  This quote sums it up for me.....

"Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better." ~André Gide

I do have some final thoughts I've compiled about my experience and will share them in a later post.  Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me and provided warm and supportive comments.  Many more thanks to all the newest followers who found my blog through this challenge. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


4" x 5.25" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

Painting # 27 features a pink Hibiscus flower.  One could go into such great detail with this flower and I even found myself slipping into that mode.  All the veins in the petals of these flowers are very defined.  You can see where I began to detail the veins in the petal closest.  I had to stop and step back .  I found my nose was getting closer and closer to the paper.  I was able to keep it fairly loose and watery, but might need some darks under one of the petals where it appears more muddy.

Reaching the end of the challenge, #28 is ready to post, but I'll give it another day and try to post it later tonight....

Monday, February 28, 2011

Just A Bit Behind....But Not Giving Up!

"Calla Lillies"  #25
4" x 5.25" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson
"Sunny Day" #26
4" x 5.25" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson
NO WAY am I giving up on this challenge.  I may be a little behind, but I will have 28 flowers painted by the end of this month....which would be today.  February has definitely gone by much quicker than normal since starting this experience.  I have learned quite a bit about technique, timing, paint, paper, and the list goes on.  Later this week I plan to post in greater detail the lessons learned from this challenge.  I will post painting 27 later today or early tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Painters Block

2011© Gretchen Bjornson

How many days are left in this challenge?  I've hit a rough spot.  I suppose I should be thankful I've had as many agreeable paintings as I've had so far.  I am.

It's so disappointing to sit down with big expectations and then watch it slowly decline.  This one isn't quite as disappointing as yesterdays.  I think this piece still has possibilities.  The background needs work and the flowers need "something".  They just seem dull.  Yellow is a tough color for me for some reason.  How do you make yellow sing?

This is #24.  Four days, four paintings, four flowers to go.

The Good, The Bad, and The UGLY!

Not one of my prouder moments, painting #23 is the result of a busy day yesterday.  I usually get my posts completed before the end of the day.....that didn't happen.  The paint brush didn't even touch the paper until sometime around 7:30 p.m.  In my attempt to go simple I ended up going horribly wrong with every aspect of this painting.  It had potential in the beginning if I had spent more time and put more thought into it.  The color choices were poor and the brushstrokes were forced.

Well, no need to beat a dead horse, right?  I'll chalk this one up to lack of time and preparation.  This one doesn't deserve a caption or title and will most likely find a home in my reject closet or the trash bin.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Mood Flower II"

"Mood Flower II"
3.5" x 5.25" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

This piece is reminiscent of an earlier piece I painted titled "Mood Flower".  I used the same reference photo, which was taken by me, but kept the background lighter and airier than the original "Mood Flower".  In this painting I laid down a wash of Quinacridone Gold and followed that with a layer of Prussian Blue once the first wash dried.  I love the green that was created in areas near the bottom.

This is painting #22.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Sunflowers in Full Bloom"

"Sunflower in Full Bloom"
2.5" x 3.5" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

This painting completes my series for the weekend.  I hope you all enjoyed my series of paintings documenting the various growth stages of a sunflower! 

This also makes 21 paintings for my February challenge.  I have to admit, February seems to have gone by a little quicker than normal since I've been busy painting each day.  However, March seems to be coming in like a lion with everything I have on my "to do" list.  I'll be glad when I don't have to paint every day. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Painting #20 is #3 of the series

"Flower in Bloom"
2.5" x 3.5" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

Can anyone guess this flower?  Notice it's not quite fully bloomed yet.  The petals are just beginning to spread.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

#19 "Sprout"

2.5" x 3.5" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

"Sprout" is painting number 19 in my monthly challenge and painting number 2 of my series of 4 this weekend.

Isn't it an adorable little sprout?  I wonder if any of you have caught on to the theme of my series yet?

Friday, February 18, 2011

#18 "Seedling"

2.5" x 3.5" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

Painting #18 is the first of my series of 4.  Technically this is a flower.  It's just not in the "pretty" stage of growth yet.  This painting depicts the emergence of the seed from the ground.

Stay tuned for tomorrows painting! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Black Eyed Susan Duet

"Black Eyed Susan Duet"
4" x 5" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

Today I chose to go simple with my painting.  My oldest has a 4 day weekend so we're spending it in Cincinnati.  I had packing to do today for myself, two boys, and a dog.  I'm leaving the husband at home to spend time in his garage.  I'm looking forward to a break from the routine.

Now don't worry, I've prepared for being gone this weekend.  No excuses from me not to turn out paintings the next four days.  I had taken this trip into account upon accepting the challenge and knew I had to do something different. 

The next 4 flowers will be part of a series.  I had to "cheat" a bit as I realized I wouldn't want to drag my painting supplies along, so I've been working on these four pieces daily for the last two weeks.

I will post one for each day and if all goes well (I'll be using my Mom's computer) I will post the series as a whole on Monday.  You won't want to miss a day!  I hope you all have a great weekend!   

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


"Butterfly Bush"
4" x 5.5" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson

Every so often I get lucky and finish a painting in time to take it outside in natural light to photograph it.  Today, I had no such luck.  As you can see, my image looks "dirty".  I photographed it under the light in my dining room without a flash.  Hopefully tomorrow I can rephotograph the painting and post a better image.

I would love to set up a mini photo studio just for photographing my artwork.  It would be of tremendous help during the winter months when it's difficult to get outside.  It's much easier during the spring and summer to take my work outside and capture a good digital image under natural light.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beginning Halfway...

"Pink Rose"
4" x 5.25" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson
 I just had to paint another rose.  This time I wanted to paint a deep, dark red, velvety rose.  Well what do you know, I ended up with a pinkish rose!  My reference photo was actually a yellow rose.  At one point I was so focused on the photo I started adding greens to the darker values in the petals.....big mistake.  After correcting those areas with some Winsor Violet, I stepped back from the painting to evaluate my darks and lights.  I love the color combination of greens and pinks and I'm fairly satisfied with the results.

This marks the beginning of the second half of my painting challenge and I'm very glad I took on the challenge.  The rewards truly are great.  Thanks for sticking with me during the challenge so far!

Monday, February 14, 2011

#14 Goodnight...

Add caption
 I've yet to title this one....#14.  It's late and I'm going to bed.  I'll include details about this flower tomorrow when I can fuel up on coffee and not have to hit backspace so many times.


Happy Valentine's Day

Since painting #14 won't be posted until later this evening, here is a Valentine for all my blogging friends........painted courtesy of my son.

He actually made these for his classmates, but I couldn't resist sharing them with you today!  He did a fantastic job.  What girl could resist a hand painted Valentine?

Hope you have a wonderful day filled with lots of love!


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