Saturday, 12 March 2011


One of the things I plan to do on this, my new blog, is to feature some of my paintings which represent signs of the Zodiac. I don't really believe in horoscopes but I do think it's fun to play in the Zodiac. We are coming to the end of Pisces, the last of the signs, so I'll be working backward for the rest of the year. (Some of you may have seen these images before.)

From my 'Fairy Fossils' series: it comes with a poem...
Tho' I am old I'll never die,
or cry
or lie.


Pisceans keep a low profile and seek vast amounts of knowledge. 


Pisces are gentle.


This is my alter-ego. Yes, I am a Pisces.

Monday, 7 March 2011


Sometimes I like to try a different approach to painting. Here's a way to begin a piece with no preconceived idea of what the subject will be.

Start by wetting your paper and dropping some colour in. 

Add more colour according to your whim. Tip the paper around to let the colours flow.

Tear up bits of tissue paper and place them randomly on the wet surface. You still have no idea where you're going and that's fine. Now let the paper dry. Go do something else. Have a coffee or go shopping. 

Remove the bits of tissue and stare at the result. You now have the matrix for your painting. Organic forms usually present themselves to be developed this way. Make a thin mixture using all your original colours to begin isolating the forms you want to define. You will have a neutral shade to set off your shapes.

Keep going, adding by subtracting. This is known as painting negative space. You are painting what's NOT there in order to show what IS there.

Combine hard edges and soft edges. To keep an edge soft let it trail off with clear water. 

Strengthen your composition with darker washes and glazes in the background. Add a few details but don't be too literal. When you can't think of anything more to do your piece is finished. Resist the temptation to overwork it. If you're not sure just put it away for a while and look at it with fresh eyes. That's always the true test.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

In Like A Lamb

The snow looks like cellulite today, a sure sign of Spring
caused by the warming sun breaking down the once flawless mantle of winter. We can still get more snow; my birthday is coming, an event that usually guarantees a large dollop of the stuff, but it won't last long because Spring is scheduled to fix that later this month.

These mourning doves will soon be looking for a place to build their flimsy nest.

I expect we'll be seeing fox cubs in the back field within the next month.

But we still must bundle up while we wait. (No, it's not fox fur. It's fake.)

Frannie's New Blog: Going Through the Looking Glass

Frannie's New Blog: Going Through the Looking Glass: "A strange thing happened to me lately. I fell through a virtual rabbit hole and couldn't get back on my blog. 'Frannie's Blog' no longer a..."