"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keeffe

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Arlington Gardens

Artist friends of mine, Jill and Gail met at Arlington Gardens to sketch and paint. I ended up taking photographs as everything was in bloom and so beautiful!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let's go to the Races!

"Don's Racehorses"  watercolor   12"x28"

Last year I painted "Don's Racehorses" as a commission for a High School pal. I must admit I was a bit nervous about painting horses as I had never done it before but ended up really having fun doing it. It was great visiting with him after all these years! Thanks Don!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Foil Still Life Watercolors:

"Foil Leaves", 14"x18"
Copyrighted by Kathleen Ballard 2012,
All rights reserved.

"Silver Heart", 19"x27"
Copyrighted by Kathleen Ballard 2012.
All rights reserved.
"Anticipation", 9"x12"
Copyrighted by Kathleen Ballard 2012.
All rights reserved.
"Heavy Duty", 18"x19"
Copyrighted by Kathleen Ballard 2012.
All rights reserved.
"Day Leaf", 16"x15"
Copyrighted by Kathleen Ballard 2012.
All rights reserved.
"Night Leaf", 17"x15 1/2"
Copyrighted by Kathleen Ballard 2012.
All rights reserved.

Here are a few examples of my "Foil" series watercolors. The process I use to do this series is (1) I take a small piece of aluminum foil and press it onto an object, (2) then photograph it in different places for different light reflections. The foil picks up colors from surrounding objects so they appear different when photographed in different surroundings. (3) Once I have selected my digital photo, I manipulate it in photoshop by cropping, adjusting the color and contrast, etc, (4) then transfer the image via tracing paper to my watercolor paper using the photograph for reference when I paint.

To see more of my "foil" series paintings, go to my website

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Books for Artists:

The Artist's Way - A Spiritual Guide to Higher Creativity
by Julia Cameron

This book is like a bible for artist's. My copy is a bit ragged because I re-read it and do the exercises in it every other year or so. It is the reason I continue to journal, "write the morning pages."

For more info, check out Julia Cameron Live

Art and Fear - Observations on the Peril (and rewards) of Artmaking
by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Now and then, I feel artist's block. I first checked this book out of the library and loved what it had to say that I purchased my own copy. It's nice to review this book every now and then for supportive perspective on the dreaded artist's block!

Order "Art and Fear" at Amazon
I'd rather be in the studio - The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self Promotion
by Alyson B. Stanfield

This is the book I am currently reading. I'm learning that success in the art field doesn't just drift our way, we have to work at self promotion. This wonderful book shows the way to set goals, quit the excuses and gives you tools to work toward being a successful artist.

Check out Alyson B. Stanfield's website

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I use more than one brand of watercolor paint. Each brand's color varies from a little to a lot. "Winsor & Newton Artists' Water Colour" (England) are what I use the most but I also have "Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors" (USA), Holbein Artist's Water Color" (Japan), "Sennelier Aquarelle Extra-Fine Watercolour" (France), and "M. Graham & Company Artist's Watercolor" (USA). These are just the tube colors! I also have pan colors of "Schmincke Horadam Finest Artist Watercolors" (Germany), "Rembrandt Extra Fine Water Colours" (Holland) and "Yarka St. Petersburg Artists' Watercolours" (Russia). I guess you could say that my paints are truly international!

Daniel Smith (Seattle, WA) has a huge range of watercolors and have "Dot Try It Cards" available for purchase. They are so much fun! It's a wonderful way to discover a color you may love and want to purchase by trying it first.

What are your favorite watercolor brands?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Artists Studios:

! found this online. Bradford Bohonus, a Seattle Photographer compiled 135 Artists' Studios in 365ยบ panoramic images as a personal project. It is fantastic!

My studio consists of a table where I paint, a desk area with my printer and computer and some storage in a spare bedroom which I share with my Husband. I dream of a large, beautiful studio with great lighting, lots of storage and plenty of room to work large if I desired. On the other hand, I am grateful that I do have an area where I am able to leave my projects set up ready to work on.

Someday . . . .


What is your studio like?

Friday, March 2, 2012


With more than 400 plants featuring 250 different types, Descanso Gardens’ Lilac Garden blossoms into life in spring. From mid-March to the end of April (all depending on nature, of course!), the lilacs put on spectacular showcase of blooms.

Descanso Gardens in La Canada, CA is one of the most inspiring places for me. I love strolling through the gardens, enjoying the beauty and photographing the landscape, flowers and ponds there.