Pastel Tulip

The Color Purple in Pastels

Honest, I did not get lost — only sidetracked.

I am sooooooooooo soooooooo ready for spring!  I have found myself to be restless and not very motivated.  I am thinking it is time to revamp the website and blog.  Time for something fresh and new.  So watch for some changes to come soon.

Pastel Tulip
Breath of Spring

I have been hanging around the wet canvas site and I can get so lost there for hours and hours as there is so much information to be found.   I joined the spotlight lesson for March which was the color purple.   The gentleman that set up the lesson did a great job and so did everyone that participated.    When working in pastels you can find yourself hunting through your pastels looking for the right hue and value.  Testing it to see if it is right..nope it is not..argh.   If you are like me there is  not have a local art store so I have to work with what is the box.  So I ended up using pinks, mauve, and blues as well as purples to paint this tulip. The thing I am learning to do is to go with “What if”.  One reason I think this turned out so well for me was the mixing of the colors rather than relying on just one hue.  There is no perfect hue or value but you can get close when you layer and softly blend.

I tried using the Uart sanded paper this time and I really enjoyed it.  If you are looking for some great advice and free lessons, check out the wet canvas site as they have so much to offer and everyone is so helpful.    And yes I am headed to an online art store, to see if I can find that perfect color I was looking for …shhhh don’t tell .

Soft Pastels.

I am in so much trouble  

Soft Pastels
So pretty!

…a new addiction.  I am falling in love with soft pastels!!  So pretty in the box, wonderful colors that make me want to pick them up and play.

So much to learn —

Paper, surfaces to use.  Fixative.  Types and Brands of soft pastels…let alone the learning curve that goes with it but so much fun.  I have only completed three so far but looking forward to doing more.  My plan is to complete one a week for the next two months as I am heading to a workshop in April and would like a little practice under my belt so I am not a complete newbie!

Pastel Painting
Determined to grow

I will share my discovery of books, techniques and sites that might help you if you are starting in pastels or are just curious.

It will be an interesting journey as I compare using them to oils.  The one big advantage I see so far…no brushes!  Make sure to check back next week for an update on this weeks learning curve!

Purple Pastel Painting
Trying on the Purple

Impressions of the Monet Exhibit

What I loved:

It was awesome to see the collection of the paintings of a river that Monet painted.  Loved seeing the brushstrokes and how the paintings changed and evolved over the years.  The use of color and how it changed the mood of each painting.  Monet was a master of that.

My biggest pet peeve?  

Perfume!!          The perfume scents were overwhelming.  What am awful chemical smelling mixture it was.  So after 30 minutes I had to leave because the perfume gave me a headache and my eyes started to burn.    I am not normally sensitive to perfume but that many people you did not have a choice so I had to leave.   I wish museums would ask their patrons to go to the exhibits scent free just as so many offices are doing.   Would you be willing to give up wearing perfume and scents to attend a public function?   I know I am but then I see what suffering my husband goes through when we attend large gatherings.  I am not sure if I will go again to a similar exhibit, but I am glad I went.  It was an experience to remember!


Seine near Giverny

3 Reasons to visit an Art Museum!

There are many reason why you should visit an art museum, and everyone has their own reasons.

Seine near Giverny

1.  There is no comparison to viewing the painting!  Books and the internet can never give the viewer what the real painting does. No matter how hard they try, they can not duplicate the colors and strokes.  Seeing the real scale of the painting is part of the experience.  The nearest comparison I can come up with is a picture of the Rocky Mountains.  There is nothing to compare to the moment when you are actually standing there taking in the view.

2.  It inspires you to see what others create.  There is so much to view.  Some of it you won’t like, but it always make the viewer wonder what they were thinking.

3.  It allows you to explore a variety of genres of art.   All genres of art share something, whether it be color, form, or design.  And it is all eye candy.

Unfortunately I do not live close enough to the big Art Museums to go regularly but love going when the opportunity arises.  I have found that there is treasures to be found in all sizes of museums.  I have gone to some small museums and found some awesome paintings.

I am so thrilled and  excited to be going to the Museum of Fine Art in Houston tomorrow.  I am so excited as they are hosting an exhibition of Monet.  My artist’s brain will be on overload! If you could go to any Art Museum which one would you go to!


Do I need to draw to paint?

This is a question you quite often hear.  In my opinion the answer is a definite yes!

small sketch
Small doodle

It does not matter what medium you use, as soon as you apply a mark to a surface you are drawing.   I have found that I quite often like to take the time to draw my painting before I paint it.  A drawing allow me to work out so many areas that I need to consider.  It also gives me time to really think about the painting and what I want to say.

Drawing or Painting is about seeing and transferring it to a 2D surface.  The better my drawing, the better my painting is.   Sometimes I struggle with the perspective, or portions and it comes to seeing and drawing.  Drawing slows me down and makes me really look.  The next thing is keep it simple.  Drawing does not have to be masterpiece.  It allows you to explore your subject before you commit to painting.

There is great books out there to help you learn to draw, but don’t make the mistake of just reading..draw.   Don’t judge, duct tape the inner critic that tells you someone in kindergarten could do better. Remember you are in kindergarten if you just learning.

One thing all good artists have in common –  is that they can draw.   So one sure way of improving your art is drawing.  With that said, it is something I am going to strive to spend more time doing.  This means carving a time everyday just the same as brushing my teeth every day.  I do brush my teeth everyday so the challenge for me is can I make drawing an everyday habit?  Could you commit to that or drawing for 20 minutes 3 times a day?

I would love to see your drawings, if you have them posted on the web make sure to leave a link so I can find them.




Have you set your Art Goals for 2015

Have you set your Art Goals for 2015?

Welcome to 2015!  Have you thought about what and where you want to go in 2015 with your Art?  One of the most important things you can do is to focus on the journey to get there, not the result.

Goals are not written in stone, they can be revamped as you discover things along your journey.   So if you need to rewrite your goal then do it!

“Make Good Art” is a definite watch on you tube, and a good way to kick off 2015.

Remember to say this yourself:

I started a notebook where I write inspirational things in that I find, and this is one to start your day with:

Keep Going;

No matter what you do, no matter how many times you screw up and think to yourself “there is no point to carry on”, no matter how many people tell you can’t do it – keep going.  Don’t quit.

Don’t Quit, because a month from now you will be that much closer to your goal than you are now.  Yesterday you said tomorrow.  Make today count.

All you have to do is start and you are on your way to reaching your Art goals.  Even if all you have is 5 minutes, that five minutes will put you that much closer to your goal in a months time.

Looking forward to seeing where your goals take you in 2015.  If you had to choose just one goal for your art what would it be?







Monet! I am so excited!!!!


The Seine near Giverny, Claude Monet 1885

“I have painted the Seine throughout my life, at every hour, at every season. I have never tired of it: for me the Seine is always new — Claude Monet.


Dancing in the studio I am so excited!!!  Monet in Houston TX in January..I am going!!  with a BFF who loves art as much as do!  I am so thrilled!

I booked my flight this morning.  A whole week with my girlfriend, and going to the Monet Exhibit at the MFA in Houston is just the icing on the cake!  I am so so thrilled to be going.  Did I say how excited I was.

You can look at the paintings in books,  and on the internet but they do not do them justice.   The computer screen and books do not show the subtle colors and value changes.   Nothing compares to standing in front of the painting where you see the brushstrokes.  There is more than 50 painting on the Seine that will be on exhibit. Monet painted more paintings of the Seine than he did of the Water Lilies  He often worked from his “studio boat” on several paintings at a time.

It feels like Christmas today!  Awesome, Awesome..yeah I am a tad excited.

Artist’s are a curious lot!

Coffee is poured

 and  I sure could use some interesting conversation.  I am always curious about what inspires artists to paint what they do.  What do you want to paint?  Why do you want to paint it?  These are age-old questions.  Do you every wonder why an artist chose that subject?

I just wanna know,

Why do you paint the subjects you do.  Do you really know or are you just drawn to them.  Do you paint to tell your viewer something or do you paint simply because the process of capturing something to tell your audience about that time and space.   Do you paint because it make you smile,  makes your cry, or just to share the moment.   These questions apply to any one who makes anything or captures a moment.

Artists are curious lot, as you find a million different answers to the questions above.   Some have good answers and  for some  it is for the ego involved.  It could be the light, it could be that they  try to capture the beauty or horror of life.  Every artist has their own answer and only you can tell someone why you create the art that you create.  There is no right answer as creating art is a very personal thing.  The more an artist knows about themselves the more they understand why they paint what they do.

For me it is a variety of things and there is just something about captivating a moment on a  2D surface.  I put on music,  fill my brush with paint and the magic begins for me.    I don’t have to name anything, it is simply shape, value and color.  It is watching what I see evolve on the 2D canvas.

Can you answer any the questions above? As one of my favorite  art teachers used to say to me tell me what you are thinking?  

Ready for a refill?  I know I am!



Studio Furniture

Studio News

Hey,  How you been?

Sorry about the lack of post but  I have a habit of letting life pull me in so many directions.  My girlfriend likes to tell me it because I am a Gemini.  Not sure it that is true or just that I want to do it all!


One of the problems of being an artist is that you have to wear so many different hats.  Finding balance in them can be difficult and a challenge.


I have a new piece of furniture for my studio,  and it contains everything I need in reach.

Studio Furniture
Studio Furniture

This inexpensive Kitchen cart is making a great work station for my oil paints.  The best part is that it is on wheels and I move it whenever I want.  Not to mention that it holds wine glasses and bottles.  Come for a glass of wine!

White Lily Painting
Portrait of Lily

The Lily Painting

I completed the Lily painting this week.  It has turned out differently than I planned.  I went to the flower shop to purchase a white lily for a still life.  The clerk brought out the most beautiful lily.  It was such a show stealer than I painted the lily by itself.


 And on social media..

The other thing I have been learning about is the use of social media to sell your artwork.  Another hat to wear but if your interested in seeing it you can check me on on instragram @susanrichardson.artist.  I will keep you updated as I explore this and other social media!    I will leave you with this question today.

Tinker the cat
My studio companion


Junk Store Treasure

junk store treasure

There is just something fun about searching out a treasure in a junk store or flea market.  I often cruise the aisle looking for textures, different shapes  and colors that would intrigue me to place them in a still life.

I recently met another Artist through the 30 painting in 30 days challenge.  It has been one of my blessings to have someone to talk to about art without their eyes glazing over.  We also both enjoy looking in the second-hand/junk store for treasure.  The two of us have decided that we will meet once a month and find something in the junk store that we will paint in the week afterwards.  I am so looking forward to doing this.  The best part is I am making a new friend, and we both will develop a series “Junk Store Treasure”  Once a month there will be a new painting in this series.  Why don’t you join us?  I would love to see your painted treasure!

Time to paint.  Talk soon.