Archive for January, 2009

Painting on Yupo paper is one of my favorites!  While the fluidity can create anything from happy accidents to real disasters, learning to manage the flow and mix of the paint on the slick surface can create some really stunning works! In the video below, (yes, another FREE one!) watch the lifting daisies technique in action and then try it yourself!


YouTube DirektLifting Daisies           Send Page To a Friend

Painting on Yupo paper is one of my favorites!  While the fluidity can create anything from happy accidents to real disasters, learning to manage the flow and mix of the paint on the slick surface can create some really stunning works! In the video below, (yes, another FREE one!) watch the lifting daisies technique in action and then try it yourself!


YouTube DirektLifting Daisies           Send Page To a Friend

It intimidates.  At least, so I’m told.  “Oooh, but watercolor is so hard!”  Come now, really?  Water, pigment and a wide array paintable surfaces, from paper (of all kinds) to canvas to wood (even a violin!) bring me nothing but delight! Scary? Not in the least.  Soothing….for sure.  Take a look:


YouTube DirektAhhhh..painting on Yupo Paper!

It intimidates.  At least, so I’m told.  “Oooh, but watercolor is so hard!”  Come now, really?  Water, pigment and a wide array paintable surfaces, from paper (of all kinds) to canvas to wood (even a violin!) bring me nothing but delight! Scary? Not in the least.  Soothing….for sure.  Take a look:


YouTube DirektAhhhh..painting on Yupo Paper!

Learn to Draw

Hello, and welcome!  I’m Katherine, and I’m working on a full fledged video course in drawing and painting. You can read more about me on the “About Katherine” page, but to get a FREE taste of some of the upcoming content, check out the various videos here. This one is an introduction to my drawing method, The Shape Memory Method ™.  It is actually taken from my DVD, “How to Paint a Poppy that Pops”.


YouTube DirektLearn to Draw
Send Page To a Friend




Learn to Draw

Hello, and welcome!  I’m Katherine, and I’m working on a full fledged video course in drawing and painting. You can read more about me on the “About Katherine” page, but to get a FREE taste of some of the upcoming content, check out the various videos here. This one is an introduction to my drawing method, The Shape Memory Method ™.  It is actually taken from my DVD, “How to Paint a Poppy that Pops”.


YouTube DirektLearn to Draw
Send Page To a Friend




News and more!

Looking for a great online home for artists of all levels?  Or a place to get great reference photos….FREE?   Then by all means check out www.wetcanvas.com

Once you register (yes, free) you have access to all manner of delightful info, chat rooms, a huge online gallery of reference images, painting groups and more!  Check it out, choose your own reference photo and use it to create your own painting once you’ve gone through the courses here, you’ll have all you need to do that!

News and more!

Looking for a great online home for artists of all levels?  Or a place to get great reference photos….FREE?   Then by all means check out www.wetcanvas.com

Once you register (yes, free) you have access to all manner of delightful info, chat rooms, a huge online gallery of reference images, painting groups and more!  Check it out, choose your own reference photo and use it to create your own painting once you’ve gone through the courses here, you’ll have all you need to do that!

General Art Info and Tips

So, once you’re completed a painting that your pleased with, the next step is to frame it and get it on your wall!  Here’s some framing tips from my perspective as a gallery owner!

A Guide to Why it’s Framed…or Not

We’ve all been there.  We find a great little piece and think “I love it, but I don’t love the frame.”  The Gallery owner may say, “No Problem..I’ll take it out”  or…No Can Do.”  Why?  What’s the difference and what can you do about it? (This custom frame job would make me reluctant to unframe!)  tradition

First, “why can’t I buy that without the frame?”.  I’ve heard the question enough, I know a good percentage of you ask.  Most of the time, the answer is simple.  In many cases, shipping or packing a piece of work without framing may significantly increase the likelihood of damage to the piece.  Take a pastel, oil pastel, or traditional watercolor, and taking the piece out of the frame, and in this case, the glass, put’s the piece at risk.  Pastel is loosely affixed to it’s media, usually an archival “sanded” paper.  It is framed substantianlly away from the glass and the mat.  This is done to prevent static electricity from pulling pastel from the paper and sticking it to the mat and glass.  Taking it out of its frame requires great care in packing and shipping (read: $$).  Not that it can’t be done….just that it takes much more care in packing.  Similarly, oil pastel works on paper require framing behind glass, because they never really dry. Shipping without adequate protection increases the likelihood of smudging. Traditional watercolor (on paper) is susceptible to damage from moisture and scratching.

That said, there are still ways to avoid the dangers and get the frame job you love.  The first possibility is to take the whole piece to your favorite framer and have it unframed, and reframed by a professional. Why go to that expense?  If your piece is not a “stock” size, then cutting mats, mounting, spacing and framing can make the most prolific artist shudder.  I seldom frame my own work.  I’m the professional at painting.  Let the framing professional do the framing.  I tend to wind up with bloody fingers and great stress.  If, on the other hand, your piece is a “standard” or “stock” size, it may be as simple as picking up a precut mat and frame from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. So, what is a stock size?  4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 9 x 12, 11 x 14, 12 x 16, 16 x 20, 18 x 24 (all in inches) are standard stock sizes for most pre-made frames, many premade mats and many pre-packaged paks of glass and foamcore.

If your original is 15 1/2 x 22 (a standard 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper) or other non-stock size, you may find it difficult to do it yourself.  The warehouse stores (like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s) are often a less expensive option, though they won’t offer as wide a range of high quality framing options as most professional frame shops.  Personally, I use the services of Jim and Lisa Cox, (yes, Jim is an excellent artist) at Taos Do It Yourself Picture Framing, in Taos.  No, you don’t have to do it yourself…but they’ll help you if you’re so inclined.

What about those new watercolors on canvas? Those oils and acrylics on canvas…all with painted edges, unframed?  They are actually suitable as they are..and often hang that way in galleries and homes, and museums.  Unframed canvases don’t work in your decor?  Ask your frame shop about “floating Canvas frames”.  These frames, are as high quality as any other wood moulding, will  “float” the canvas in the frame, allowing those painted edges to be seen while giving a more traditional look to the piece.  More and more artists are moving to the canvas, with new canvas being “watercolor ready”.  I love it.  I love that the canvas can take layers and layers of watercolor, that I can finish it with protective, invisible, non yellowing varnish, and that there is no glass or frame necessarily reguired, saving me and my customer LOTS OF MONEY!  If I can save $200-$400 in framing, just think what you save when you buy it!  Plus, remember those standard sizes above?  Most stock canvases are in those sizes as well.  It’s not until you get into large, custom stretched canvas that you get outside those sizes.

So…next time you feel prompted to ask about that frame, consider this article..What is the medium?  Are you shipping it?  Can you get it safely home? But by all means, ask.  I’ll answer your questions and help you choose the best course.

General Art Info and Tips

So, once you’re completed a painting that your pleased with, the next step is to frame it and get it on your wall!  Here’s some framing tips from my perspective as a gallery owner!

A Guide to Why it’s Framed…or Not

We’ve all been there.  We find a great little piece and think “I love it, but I don’t love the frame.”  The Gallery owner may say, “No Problem..I’ll take it out”  or…No Can Do.”  Why?  What’s the difference and what can you do about it? (This custom frame job would make me reluctant to unframe!)  tradition

First, “why can’t I buy that without the frame?”.  I’ve heard the question enough, I know a good percentage of you ask.  Most of the time, the answer is simple.  In many cases, shipping or packing a piece of work without framing may significantly increase the likelihood of damage to the piece.  Take a pastel, oil pastel, or traditional watercolor, and taking the piece out of the frame, and in this case, the glass, put’s the piece at risk.  Pastel is loosely affixed to it’s media, usually an archival “sanded” paper.  It is framed substantianlly away from the glass and the mat.  This is done to prevent static electricity from pulling pastel from the paper and sticking it to the mat and glass.  Taking it out of its frame requires great care in packing and shipping (read: $$).  Not that it can’t be done….just that it takes much more care in packing.  Similarly, oil pastel works on paper require framing behind glass, because they never really dry. Shipping without adequate protection increases the likelihood of smudging. Traditional watercolor (on paper) is susceptible to damage from moisture and scratching.

That said, there are still ways to avoid the dangers and get the frame job you love.  The first possibility is to take the whole piece to your favorite framer and have it unframed, and reframed by a professional. Why go to that expense?  If your piece is not a “stock” size, then cutting mats, mounting, spacing and framing can make the most prolific artist shudder.  I seldom frame my own work.  I’m the professional at painting.  Let the framing professional do the framing.  I tend to wind up with bloody fingers and great stress.  If, on the other hand, your piece is a “standard” or “stock” size, it may be as simple as picking up a precut mat and frame from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. So, what is a stock size?  4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 9 x 12, 11 x 14, 12 x 16, 16 x 20, 18 x 24 (all in inches) are standard stock sizes for most pre-made frames, many premade mats and many pre-packaged paks of glass and foamcore.

If your original is 15 1/2 x 22 (a standard 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper) or other non-stock size, you may find it difficult to do it yourself.  The warehouse stores (like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s) are often a less expensive option, though they won’t offer as wide a range of high quality framing options as most professional frame shops.  Personally, I use the services of Jim and Lisa Cox, (yes, Jim is an excellent artist) at Taos Do It Yourself Picture Framing, in Taos.  No, you don’t have to do it yourself…but they’ll help you if you’re so inclined.

What about those new watercolors on canvas? Those oils and acrylics on canvas…all with painted edges, unframed?  They are actually suitable as they are..and often hang that way in galleries and homes, and museums.  Unframed canvases don’t work in your decor?  Ask your frame shop about “floating Canvas frames”.  These frames, are as high quality as any other wood moulding, will  “float” the canvas in the frame, allowing those painted edges to be seen while giving a more traditional look to the piece.  More and more artists are moving to the canvas, with new canvas being “watercolor ready”.  I love it.  I love that the canvas can take layers and layers of watercolor, that I can finish it with protective, invisible, non yellowing varnish, and that there is no glass or frame necessarily reguired, saving me and my customer LOTS OF MONEY!  If I can save $200-$400 in framing, just think what you save when you buy it!  Plus, remember those standard sizes above?  Most stock canvases are in those sizes as well.  It’s not until you get into large, custom stretched canvas that you get outside those sizes.

So…next time you feel prompted to ask about that frame, consider this article..What is the medium?  Are you shipping it?  Can you get it safely home? But by all means, ask.  I’ll answer your questions and help you choose the best course.