April Showers

April Showers Red Umbrella Watercolor 11x14

April Showers Red Umbrella Watercolor 11×14

April Showers.

We are expecting April showers today.
That’s okay, because they will be bringing May flowers.

The daffodils and hyacinths and forsythia are already painting a bright and beautiful Spring.

I woke up early yesterday and felt like painting, but didn’t know what to paint.  Scrolling through Pinterest, I found some lovely art done by Antigoni Tziora of Greece.  This artist uses oil, acrylic, and watercolor mediums to create romantic figurative work.  I tried recreating one in just watercolor, and this is what resulted.  I’d like to try more experimenting with this.  It was a fun practice to do.

Wishing you showers of joy, love, peace, and happiness!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

A Bright Poinsettia

Bright Poinsettia 11×14 Original Watercolor

A Bright Poinsettia.

I so enjoyed painting this bright and happy poinsettia recently.
(And it’s nice to think bright and happy thoughts with all the dark and sad news of the past few days.)

Using my dagger brush (which I need to use more often),  it was fun to just let this painting evolve and happen on the paper.  The dagger brush is “floppy” and loose, yet also allows for wonderful control changing wide strokes to points.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out!  It actually makes me smile to look at.

I’m also thrilled that my new printer is able to produce gorgeous 11×14 prints that look so much like the original, so this option will be added to my paintings in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop.  I also added this design to the Society6 shop, so it can be made into pillows and mugs and other fun stuff.

Wishing you a bright and happy day!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Only 55 days until Christmas  😉   and only 2 1/2 weeks until the big Mars Craft Show  (Saturday, 11/17/18) AND Christmas in the Woods at Berry Vine Gifts (11/16-18/18)

Christmas in July

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree in My Little Red Wagon – 11×14 Watercolor

Christmas in July.

Today is July 31, 2018, and it is the last day of #WorldWatercolorMonth 2018.

And even though I’m wearing shorts and the air conditioning is on, I’m starting to think about Christmas.

Just a teensy bit.

Christmas is such a fun time to create art.

I chose to use my little girl character created for this painting (inspired by my first granddaughter) to feature in this first Christmas watercolor for 2018.

My oldest daughter-in-law and I are starting to think about what we are going to create for fall and the holidays for our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop and Berry Vine Gifts and the big Mars Fall Craft Show this year.

I’m looking forward to seeing what we come up with and sharing it here.

I’m looking forward to another Christmas, but with TWO granddaughters in our family this year!!

I’m looking forward to finding time for art.

I’m grateful to Charlie O at Doodlewash for hosting #WorldWaterColorMonth again this year and for honoring me wth the privilege of being a World Watercolor Month Artist Ambassador.  (Today is your last chance to purchase the souvenier pouch that supports the Dreaming Zebra Foundation in giving art supplies to underprivileged children throughout the world!)

I’m grateful for your visit here today.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles (Cookie Balls)

Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles  (or Cookie Balls if we’re being less “fancy!”).

If you are looking for a simple, sweet, but festive little treat to share with friends or neighbors or with those you love, these little Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles might be just the ticket.

They are so simple to make, but turn out so elegant and delish!

You simply crush red velvet (or your favorite flavor) Oreo cookies in the food processor, mix with a block of cream cheese, and make into balls that you dip into chocolate.

Easy Peasy!

Sprinkles make them even more fun! (always!)

I gave little bags to neighbors with silly notes like “You are a SWEET neighbor” and “We LOVE having you for our neighbors.”  I shared others with friends and family.  They were a big hit!

Here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles (Cookie Balls)

Ingredients:

Directions:

Crush oreo cookies in food processor to fine crumbs.  Add softened cream cheese and combine until “dough” forms.

Roll dough mixture into approximately 30 one-inch balls.  Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate.  I put mine in a tall, microwave-safe cup for one minute, stir, and then microwave for 30 more seconds.

Dip balls into melted chocolate with a fork, allowing excess to drip.  Place on parchment paper.  Decorate with sprinkles if desired.  Allow to set approximately 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Red Crimson Abstract Flower Watercolor

Red Crimson Abstract Floral Watercolor 11x14 140 lb coldpress

Red Crimson Abstract Floral Watercolor 11×14 140 lb coldpress

Red Crimson Abstract Floral Watercolor.

I was reading a blog post by one of my favorite artist bloggers, Debi Riley, where she discussed a technique where she starts her watercolor painting with white….

White!

Those that know a little bit about watercolor painting know using white is almost taboo – as the goal is to “preserve” the white by not painting where you want white/light to remain.  Which, by the way, is a constant challenge, but one that makes watercolor so exciting!

So Debi talked about applying a wet white wash down first and allowing another color to merge into it while it is still damp.  The white paint acts like a soft velvety foundation that the other paints react to in beautiful ways.

I first tried it just on a small 6×9 scrap piece of paper, and then I made three large 11×14 versions (the first two of which were torn up for more scrap practices).  I rather liked how this one turned out, and I want to play more……  more with these colors and more with others.  Such a fun, different way to watercolor!

Paints used for this were Daniel Smith Alizarin Crimson, Indigo, and New Gamboge, along with Winsor & Newton White Gouache.

I first spritzed my paper lightly and randomly with water.  I then painted on some white gouache with a large brush in bold strokes that resembled flower “petals.”  I then dropped in Alizarin Crimson and dragged it a bit in similar flower petal strokes.  I then lightly spritzed again to create movement, and I moved my paper around a bit.  I then dropped in some new gamboge and indigo and lightly spritzed again.  Then the hard part…. wait…. wait… wait – and don’t fiddle.  Walk away and allow it to do it’s own blending while drying.  A couple hours later, I returned to it and saw the fun blooms and splashes created by all the water on the paper.  I added a few more touches of indigo to darken, splashed a teensy bit of crimson, and called it a painting.

What do you think?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

A Bright Spot in the Storm

Red Male Cardinal - Backyard, Mars, PA - taken through glass window - January, 2018

Red Male Cardinal – Backyard, Mars, PA – taken through glass window – January, 2018

A Bright Spot in the Storm.

Need we really look
any further

than out the window
amidst a storm

when searching
for a bright spot?

Nature’s examples
teach us

there is always a bright spot
amidst a storm.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Bright red male cardinals fill my backyard in the winter and seem even more vibrant when the snow is swirling and blowing and the tree branches are bare.  Such a bright spot in my day.

Red Poinsettia Watercolor

Red Poinsettia Loose Watercolor 11×14 140lb cold press

Have you ever heard the old Mexican legend about how poinsettias became the flower of Christmas?  It’s a sweet little story that has several versions, but basically goes like this:

There was once a poor Mexican girl named Pepita, who had no present to give the the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a a small bouquet.  When Pepita knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene, the bouquet of weeds suddenly burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the ‘Flores de Noche Buena’, or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night’.

The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought to be a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.

Do you decorate with poinsettias for the holidays?

I always have a few around in December.  They add such festive color.  I also love to grow some potted paperwhite narcissus for their beauty, but most of all their amazing fragrance.

This watercolor painting is my loose rendition of the Christmas poinsettia.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Red Truck Christmas

Snowy Red Ford Truck with Christmas Wreath on Front Watercolor 11×14

Red Truck Christmas.

I can think of a few peeps who would love a new red truck for Christmas (one is the guy I’ve been living with for the past 35 years!).

But he already has one, and it was the model for my latest Christmas watercolor painting.

When I painted my previous classic red truck carrying a Christmas tree, my red truck man informed me since it was a Chevy, I needed to paint a Ford too.

So here it is.

It was fun to paint it this past Sunday afternoon en plein air.  Sunny and 77 degrees F outside in late October painting Christmas snow!   Gotta love it!

This painting makes great prints and cute cards for Ford truck lovers.

They will be available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy Shop, at Berry Vine Gifts, and at the Mars Fall Craft Show on November 18th.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi