Archive for the Painting Category


Posted in art, How to Paint, Painting, Watercolors with tags , , , on August 22, 2017 by sebland

image.jpegSometimes you just have to trust your intuition. I’ve been wanting to paint a rose up close and personal. When I began, I was afraid it wouldn’t work out. I had a beautiful blob but it did not resemble a rose! I tell my students to trust themselves and don’t give up, so decided to follow my own advice. After a while the petals began to reveal themselves little by little. I’m glad I stuck it out. A rose is a rose, after all!


Posted in Painting, Watercolors with tags , , , , on August 21, 2017 by sebland

image.jpegI have discovered that it is possible to paint every day! It isn’t easy, with classes scheduled, meals to prepare, a husband who needs a little nurturing, a very demanding old lady cat, and a few civic duties. It is doable, however, and the rewards are amazing. Not only did I become better acquainted with new techniques and media, I learned I am still capable of learning! After twenty years of painting I find I can’t wait to see what each new day will bring! I’m very grateful to those collectors who bought my work, and look forward to new growth in the future. My advice to my students: just show up. Something will happen. Learning will take place and you may surprise yourself!

Posted in Painting on August 20, 2017 by sebland

image.jpegIt’s Sunday morning in South Texas and already promising to be hot and dry. I dream of far away, cool lakes and mountain air. It’s not so easy to get there any more, but in my studio I can go anywhere. This piece, going  up tomorrow  for auction on, cools and calms like a tall glass of iced tea. Enjoy!

New Beginnings

Posted in art, Painting, Watercolors with tags , , , , on August 19, 2017 by sebland

imageJuly in South Texas is, to say the least, hot as forty hells. It takes about five minutes outside to convince me there are better places to be – like a cool air conditioned studio. Looking for inspiration I accepted a 31 day watercolor challenge. Now watercolor is not my area of expertise. In fact for a long time I refused to teach it. Remaining in my comfort zone seemed the wisest course of action. Boredom pulled me out of that zone, and for the entire month I did a watercolor every day. Guess what? I grew to like the entire process, from sketching my subject to selecting the colors, seeing how easily they blended, posting them on social media, and selling a good number of paintings for the first time in months! It appears I should have followed my own advice and just shown up! More later about how much I am beginning to appreciate my own advice and why.


Posted in Painting on May 1, 2015 by sebland


Three weeks ago, when I fell off a three foot stepladder, I landed hard on my right wrist – broke two bones, the radius and the ulna. Fortunately it was a clean break, and surgery was not needed. I count myself lucky – it could have been a hip, or my spine!

I was facing six weeks without holding a paint brush. Not happening! So I decided to see if I could train my left hand to hold a paint brush. After all, they train elephants to paint with their trunks. What’s so difficult about using my other hand? Plenty, I found out. Just trying to open a tube of paint was a challenge, but with trusty old pliers, I soon figured it out.

I thought I’d start with watercolors – easier to clean up.

The first attempt was pitiful.BROKEN WING 1 - LOW RES

I tried again, going for softer colors and more water: BROKEN WING II LOW RES (2)

Not quite as bad, but not terribly impressive.

The next attempt was a study in reds, in Acrylic on canvas board. I’m pretty happy with the results this time.



Liking the monochromatic palette, my next piece flowed more easily:



Feeling the flow, I decided to move on to some blues and greens.

stormy seas low res “STORMY SEAS”

I may want to work on this a bit more – still a good start, I think. Maybe not.

Trying to regain a little more control with my brushes, I recalled memories of a sunset at Big Bend:


and in class Tuesday, a student asked for help with her clouds, so with my right arm in a sling, I came up with this one:



Posted in art, How to Paint, Painting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 13, 2014 by sebland

LOBSTER BOAT As we drove through the park on our last day, I wondered what I would take away from this wonderful adventure. I believe first of all, the cliffs and trees:

ROCKY CLIFF COASTLINE CLIFFS AND TREES the beautiful colors of the water as the sun shone on it,

COASTLINE IV COASTLINE II the rose colored granite rocks and the amazing mansions hidden in the coves,


CADILLAC VIEWthe view from Cadillac Mountain, the neat little eateries hidden away in the tiny coastal towns:

BREAKFAST BREAKFAST III BREAKFAST II the eagles and the seals on the tiny islands offshore,

SEALS EAGLE II the lighthouses, still functioning.

LIGHTHOUSE and best of all the beautiful sunset on our last day.

SUNSET II SUNSET I As we packed up and headed home, I was so glad we took this opportunity to see a part of America we hadn’t seen. Now I have 689 images to inspire me. I hope I can paint a few of them and do justice by them. So long, Downeast Maine!

Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island

Posted in art, How to Paint, Painting with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2014 by sebland

ME VII You’d think as time goes by, the memories would begin to fade, but coming home just seems to help me look back with fondness to the beautiful places we saw. Bar Harbor is about 90 miles south of Lubec, and we drove down to spend our last four days exploring Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island.

Bar Harbor is very busy. In fact, other than eating there and buying a few groceries, I chose to avoid it as much as possible. One exception was an excellent brunch at Two Cats Restaurant. BAR HARBOR I BAR HARBOR II With a beautiful garden as the front lawn, they served one of the most generous and delicious breakfasts I found. In fact, it was at least twenty four hours before either of us could think of food. Mostly organic food, the presentation was beautiful, and it’s easy to see why the place was packed every time we drove by. Jordan’s, a well established restaurant up the street, is famous for its blueberry pancakes and muffins. We managed to weave our way through the masses (literally) of bicycles, cars, delivery trucks and zany pedestrians several times, just to sample the food there. Our waitress, a young woman from Kiev, held us spellbound with her description of life year round on the coast of Maine. But I suppose coming from the Ukraine, a Maine winter was a breeze to her. For a flat-lander from Oklahoma now living in South Texas, thoughts of cross country skiing and wearing snowshoes to go out for a walk really sparked my imagination!

Even though we much preferred the natural beauty of Acadia National Park, we did enjoy the harbor and the old inns and hotels clustered around the bay.

BAR HARBOR III This sailboat offered a view that I enjoyed, and I would have liked to take a short cruise, maybe all the way down to Boston, if they’d offered it. A half hour ride around the bay just wasn’t that appealing.BAR HARBOR IV

Most days, we preferred driving all over the island, pulling out at every vantage point and taking photos of the cliffs, the rocks, and the beautiful blue water. One of my favorite spots was Thunder Hole.
THUNDER HOLE During high tides the water rushes into this spot, and it roars and sounds like thunder. It merely gurgled when we were there, but I still found it beautiful. I also discovered I didn’t like tourists very much, even though I was one – there was this one man who popped up in every photo. I sort of wanted to throw a rock at him, but restrained myself. They frown on such things in our national parks.


Probably my favorite time of all was sitting on the rocks near Otter Cove, pulling out my little watercolor kit and just trying to capture the shadows on Otter Cliffs. I probably will never forget that hour sitting in the sun, hearing the roar of the surf and feeling at perfect peace.



We wanted to see the lighthouse at Bass Harbor and spent a pleasant morning driving up and across the island. Unfortunately, we saw a lot of fog!

LIGHTHOUSE FOGI LIGHTHOUSE FOG II I would have loved to climb down the rocks and take photos from below, but caution prevailed. The cool, the quiet and the sound of the foghorns did leave a really nice memory.

Next, the view from Cadillac Mountain and a Happy Hour Sunset Cruise. Lots of inspirations for paintings, for sure!

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