Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Best Friend

Chloe will always be treasured and remembered forever.

I miss her dearly.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Take Time to Paint

It's a busy holiday season.
The holidays are always busy.

Painting is often times very relaxing. You can enter your own little space, your own little world.

You can spare a few minutes from the hustle and bustle to paint, even if it's just a little tiny painting.

Take a little time out for yourself to simply paint.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Paint a Triptych

A triptych is a set of three pictures intended to be grouped together. Usually a scene or graphics that flow from one into the next having something that ties them all together.

Try your hand at painting a triptych. It can be any size, any style, any medium. It can be a landscape, floral or even an abstract.

The other day, I chose to paint a snowy winter landscape triptych. Today, I woke up and the sun was shining brightly on 4 inches of freshly fallen powdery snow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Painting A Day in December

December Snow - December 1, 2010
Early Snow - December 2, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

I have continued my Painting A Day Challenge through December and plan to keep it going through to the end of January. Then I will have one complete year of painting every single day.

I love the colors in December 1st and 2nd's paintings and thought they went together so well. I am offering them up for sale as a pair in my Squier Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Spread the Love with Your Watercolors

For the love of watercolor painting, a fantastic way to give back is to donate a small piece of art to a charity event. There are a number of events that put out a Call for Artists. Many are only looking for postcard sized art.

I donated a 4x6 postcard sized watercolor to the Twitter Art Exhibit and also Visual Aids. Both these deadlines have already passed. The Twitter Art Exhibit is on right now at the Moss Bibliotek in Norway and will be on display through January. The Visual Aids Post Cards from the Edge will take place in NYC in January 2011.

This is a great way to give to a charity in need. They collect the art, put it on display, hold a fabulous opening and sell it to raise money for their cause.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Twitter Art Exhibit A Success

The Twitter Art Exhibit in Moss Norway

I learned today, the painting I donated to the exhibit has sold.

There is a little sold red dot under my painting. This makes me very happy!

Click here to see my "Dew Drops in Blue" up close.

A few fabulous links:

The Moss Bibliotek Website:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

White Highlights

When painting in watercolor, the white in the painting is usually the white of the paper. Often times we forget to use masking fluid or forget to simply save the white areas while painting. Or perhaps you didn't realize you needed just a little touch of white to highlight something to make it pop.

Using a little bit of white titanium gouache to add a highlight can save the day.

Yes, white paint is often a no no in traditional transparent watercolors. There are rules in watercolor and then there are rules to be broken now and then.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Day After Thanksgiving

Bouquet of Thanks

by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
ACEO Art Card

Hope you all had a wonderful and very Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a very peaceful and quiet Thanksgiving. We were able to get everything cleaned up and put away in time to watch the Charlie Brown specials that were on TV last night.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

The Uses for Kosher Salt in Watercolor

The use of salt in a watercolor painting creates a very unique look. It is a technique that is a bit tricky and it's all about timing.

I prefer to use the coarse kosher salt because of the size of the crystal. It's larger than the regular very fine table salt.

In this painting, I painted the colorful sky in gradating colors. As the shine goes off the paper, I used a tiny splash of clean water in two spots of the sky. This gives a similar look to the salt effect, however the bursts are much larger. Then I sprinkled just a tiny amount of salt near the water splatter. This will give it the look of a few stars beginning to sparkle in the night sky.

Low on the horizon I added bright colors to simulate the tops of a forest of trees. Be careful not to work in any previously salt sprinkled areas. When I got the look I wanted, I allowed the shine to go off the paper and sprinkled salt within my colorful tree top area. Sometimes the degree of wetness is different in the various areas. You may need to sprinkle a little here and a little there as the shine goes away.

Timing is so important with the use of salt. If you add the salt too soon, it will melt. If the salt melts, it will clump and stick to your paper. If you add the salt too late, nothing happens. If you add the salt as the shine goes away, the salt will suck up the color of the pigment.

Allow the paint and salt to completely dry. You can not speed up this step, you have to allow the salt to do its thing. When it is completely dry, using your hand, brush away the bits of salt. When you have removed all the salt, you can continue to work on your painting.

Salt can be used to create little stars in the sky. It can be used to create texture in clumps of trees and foliage. It can be used to create snowflakes in a winter scene. If you use too much salt, you will create a blizzard! Less is more.

For a step by step of how to use kosher salt, check out this old Tuesday's Tip:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday's Painting

Black & Tan Forest
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

In the spirit of the autumn season winding down, getting ready for chillier weather to come.

This little painting and more are available for sale in my Squier Etsy shop:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Painting A Day Meets Frames

I'm all caught up on photographing my Painting A Day paintings. I found some nice frames and displayed a few in groupings of 3. The sun cooperated this afternoon, so I was able to get some nice photos.

On the left is:
Cinnamon Forest - November 15, 2010

On the top right is:
Mustard Forest - November 20, 2010

on the bottom right is:
Black & Tan Forest - November 19, 2010

All painted by me, Artist Rita Squier
Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
Matted and framed for display only to 8 x 10 inches

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cigar Box Guitar

Country Boy Guitars

This evening I figured out how to add a sound clip to a web page, something I have never done before. The help guide in my program was rather confusing and no help at all. I have designed many awesome looking websites with cool features. This was the first time I added sound. Ah, the silly things that make you feel so proud of yourself.

Yes, these 3 stringed instruments made from a real cigar box by my husband Michael, really do sound good. Click the link and have a listen:

Maybe you too will want one of your very own!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Sepia Tone Watercolor

The color sepia is perfect for doing a monotone painting. The pigment in sepia has the ability to span a wide range in value from very dark to very light. A wide value range is important when using only one color of paint to create a painting. Sepia is an opaque watercolor paint.

It gives a painting an old fashioned feel. Reminds me of sepia tone photos. Did you know the old sepia tone photos used the ink from a cuttlefish?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Random Painting A Day

Nature's Dawn
by Artist Rita Squier

Painting A Day: October 11, 2010

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

A random miniature watercolor painting from my Painting A Day Challenge series.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Paint Something New

This week, try something a little outside your comfort zone. If you normally stick to a few different subject matters, think outside the box and attempt something new, something different, something you've never tried before. There has to be something you've never tried to paint in watercolor, try it now.

Have you ever done a landscape? A floral? A still life? Crystal? A stuffed animal? A totally abstract painting? A completely realistic painting? Fruit? A portrait? A self portrait? A painting of a house? A sunset?

Here's my recent and first attempt at painting a teddy bear. I think he turned out kinda cute.

I dare you to try and paint a totally new to you subject matter.

What are you going to paint this week, that you have never tried before?


Mr. Ted E. Bear
by Artist Rita Squier
Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 11 x 15 inches.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Painting A Day Challenge

October's Painting A Day

With all that has been going on with my dog Chloe, I have finally been able to get all of October's Painting A Day paintings up on my website:

I love viewing the little painting a day paintings on my website. As you scroll over each of the little thumbnails it appears larger on the left side. The larger image is approximately the actual size of the painting, at least it is on my computer screen.

If you click on any of the little thumbnails it may take you to my Etsy shop listing for that item. All the little mini paintings are for sale. If they have not been listed in my Etsy shop, you may purchase them directly through me and pay via PayPal. Simply click the little email link on the pop up page and let me know the title(s) of the painting(s) and I will get back to you as soon as I can with the prices of the painting(s) and shipping costs. I ship out the paintings fairly quickly, sometimes even the same day if I have received your payment before 3 pm eastern.

All of my Painting A Day paintings are 2 1/2 inches high by 3 1/2 inches wide. I sign the front and title, date, etc. on the back.

I love my website!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

ATC Swap

Last night in my watercolor class, we had an ATC swap. I had my students paint 12-18 little Artist Trading Cards.

Shown here are the 12 cards I painted just for trading in class.

I had everyone spread their cards out at one end of their table for everyone to be able to go around and see what each person painted. I had a class project for everyone to paint last night as well. We began the lesson.

We all had at least one extra card. Half way through class, I had everyone choose which card they thought was their best card and we placed them all in a box. We painted a little more on the night's painting. Then I announced they could all start trading. Each person was able to make at least one trade with everyone else in the class. If you had extras, you could make more than one trade with someone.

At the end of the night, everyone propped their paintings up in the front of class for the critique. After I critiqued each painting, I allowed the critique recipient to chose a card from the box without peaking. The very first person to pick from the box, picked her own card, so I took that from her allowed her to pick again and then I replaced her card in the box. No one else picked their own card.

At the end of the night, as people were packing up and leaving, I decided to peak into the box to see the one card that was left. The card I would take home as my bonus ... it was my own Artist Trading Card!

The top middle card in the photo, the all payne's grey landscape with two trees.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Trimming Your Own ACEO/ATC Paper

Quality paper is an important key to painting in watercolor. Trim your favorite watercolor paper down to ACEO/ATC size. A 22x30 inch sheet of watercolor paper can be trimmed into 72 cards with only about an inch of scrap along one edge. A quarter sheet of watercolor paper will yield 18 cards. I love painting on Saunders Waterford 140 lb. 100% cotton rag acid free watercolor paper. If trimmed wisely, you can even trim off all or at least most of the watermarks.

Measure your watercolor paper. Because of the paper making process, not all sheets are exactly 22x30 inches. Most of the time, they're slightly larger. The brand of paper I use the 30 inch length has pretty much always been 30 inches and the 22 inch length has been slightly longer.

You will need to use a ruler, a pencil for making tiny measured tick marks, an exacto knife for slicing the paper and a cutting mat to cut on. Or you can use a mat cutter for trimming down the paper. Use the straight edge cutter blade. Either method, I suggest cutting with the backside of the paper up. This way if you make any marks, finger prints or scuffs with the ruler, they'll be on the back of your paper.

For Trimming a Full 22 x 30 inch Sheet of Watercolor paper:

The 30 inch length can be trimmed down to create 12 - 2 1/2 inch strips.

The 22 inch length can be trimmed down to create 6 - 3 1/2 inch cards,
with approximately one inch of scrap leftover.

For Trimming a Quarter 11x15 inch Sheet of Watercolor Paper:

The 15 inch length can be trimmed down to create 6 - 2 1/2 inch strips.

The 11 inch length can be trimmed down to create 3 - 3 1/2 inch cards,
with approximately one inch of scrap leftover.

Save the scraps for test strips!

One full sheet of watercolor paper yields 72 cards at 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
One quarter sheet of watercolor paper yields 18 cards at 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twitter Art Exhibit in Moss Norway

Dew Drops in Blue
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 4 x 6 inches (approximately 10 x 15 cm)

A Call for Artists was put out on Twitter by David Sandum for a Twitter Art Show in Moss Norway. It is a charity event that will open on December 1, 2010. The postcard sized artwork will be sold to purchase children's books for the local library. Artwork from around the world will be showcased.

Shown here is a sneak peek at my entry for the exhibit in Moss Norway.

Search Twitter #twitterartexhibit to learn more.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Hand Painted Bookmarks

Recently I had to trim down several sheets of watercolor paper to create a variety of smaller paintings. After I was done, I ended up with a bunch of one inch wide strips.

Normally, I save these strips for doing color tests before proceeding on a larger painting. I have used them as practice strips, when I want to test out a certain stroke or shape before attempting it on a painting.

A one to two inch wide strip of scrap watercolor paper makes a perfect sized bookmark. I trimmed the strips to 5 inches long. Then painted a vine of pretty little flowers.

Enjoy a little bit of your own artwork as a bookmark.

Tuck one into a book you plan to give as a gift. Slip it into a birthday or greeting card as a little extra something. People will cherish them and use them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Framing Little ACEO Paintings

How to Frame an ACEO

Since ACEOs are so small, it looks really cool to mat and frame them into an 8x10 inch frame. I love the drama of either a white or a black mat with the little work of art floating in the middle. Even though this one is set in a wooden frame it has a modern contemporary flair.

This is also a sneak peak at Painting A Day: October 20, 2010 - Autumn Brown Drops

ACEO = Art Cards, Editions & Originals
ATC - Artist Trading Card

Pretty much the same, a 2.5 x 3.5 inch little work of art created in any medium. They can be originals or print editions. All of mine are original watercolor paintings. ACEOs are bought and sold. ATCs are traded. It's a great way to start or add to an original art collection.

Things are beginning to get back to normal here and I am doing my best to get my Painting A Day Challenge posted to my blog again. I have managed to get all of September's Paintings up on my website. Take a look here: Painting A Day for the Month of September.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chloe's Story

On Chloe’s 10th birthday, September 18, 2010 we took Chloe and her two best dog friends Ashley and Dutch to McDonald’s for a special treat. Chloe got a McDouble, no cheese, no bun. She’s allergic to soy and wheat, plus 6 other things.

Chloe got a bright pink frisbee for her birthday. She loves a frisbee!

It was that afternoon, running around the fields, we noticed Chloe’s troubles. She was squatting to pee constantly. First thing Monday morning we called our vet and got her an appointment the same day. They asked us to bring a sample. Ut oh. Not much is coming out, just a few drips. Not even a half teaspoon full.

Our vet ran a bunch of tests, expressed Chloe’s bladder and started her on meds for a urinary tract infection. They took x-rays, ultrasounds, urine test, blood tests. Two days later we visited the vet and they expressed her bladder again. Ran a few more tests. The same thing again two days later, she added another medication. The new meds made Chloe leak urine while laying down and in the process of standing up. Turns out that was a very good thing, it saved Chloe’s life. If you don’t get rid of your urine, you can die.

We were sent to see specialists at a university veterinary hospital. They ran lots of tests on Chloe, blood tests, urine tests, MRI, scope through her urethra to her bladder and took biopsies. They inserted a catheter. The tests came back. Chloe was diagnosed with TCC cancer, transitional cell carcinoma. They’re recommendations were to first try NSAIDs, then chemo, then radiation, have a stent or a side body catheter installed. All with the same results. Chloe had 6 to 8 months to live. My husband took Chloe home Sunday night, with her catheter still in place, figuring our local vet could remove it the next day. Which is what the university was planning.

That weekend we did a lot of research on the internet. One of the university doctors mentioned some guy in NJ did laser surgery for this type of cancer. I searched Google for TCC Bladder Cancer Laser Surgery NJ. The first four links had some information. It lead me to a couple of blogs and even the Facebook page for the Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital in NJ, which had a link to their website:

We found Dr. Cerf, “the guy in NJ”. We read all about the surgery, we read the blogs, we watched the videos. We knew this is what Chloe needed. We contacted the vet over the weekend. His head technician, Kathy phoned us on Sunday. Kathy had advised us to leave the catheter in until Chloe saw Dr. Cerf. It really isn’t hard dealing with a catheter. The hardest part is waking up every 3 hours during the night to do so. On Monday, we had a phone consult with Dr. Cerf. We learned the good, the bad, the ugly. The median survival rate which was a lot longer than the university’s methods. They are very positive and

hopeful caring people. Dr. Cerf came in on Wednesday, his day off to perform Chloe’s TCC laser surgery.

We were told by the university, there wasn’t a tumor, maybe in the future the surgery would be a good idea. For now, they suggested NSAIDs & chemo. Or perhaps a stent. The stent would make Chloe incontinent, she would be a miserable dog.

Wednesday, we met with Dr. Cerf. We told him of all our concerns, including the university not being able to see anything with the scope. We left Chloe with Kathy and Dr. Cerf and hoped for the best. We sat in their parking lot, eating our lunch. Just minutes later, Michael received a call on our cell phone a message from Dr. Cerf “We have tumor to work with.” Chloe’s surgery lasted 2 1/2 hours.

Dr. Cerf had a special small laser for him to be able to perform this surgery. He goes in through the urethra, no need for incision on a female dog. Chloe’s tumor filled her entire urethra. Actually, it was protruding out both ends of her urethra. It was one among the worst cases he’s seen. Before the surgery, he tried to express her bladder and was unable to do so. Maybe it was the tumor, maybe it was swelling for having had a catheter in for a week.

Chloe’s surgery went well. She was given a new catheter. She stayed at the Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital from Wednesday through the following Monday. On Saturday, they removed the catheter. Chloe was unable to urinate all day. That evening, Dr. Cerf went back in with a scope and his laser to check on what was going on. Chloe’s urethra was developing a bit of scar tissue, which was lasered away along with tiny bits of tumor that were hidden the first time around.

Monday, we had a meeting with Dr. Cerf. He expressed his concerns for Chloe, the swelling, the scar tissue, the not wanting to remove the catheter for another few days. In the end, we took Chloe home with a catheter. A slightly different type, but still a catheter. We had Chloe at home for a whole week with her catheter in place which needed to be drained every 3 hours. By the following weekend, she was able to pee a little around her catheter, a good sign.

The next Monday, October 18, 2010, we brought Chloe back to Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital. They removed the catheter. We were able to bring Chloe outside ourselves to see if she would be able to pee. We carried a little metal tray, we needed to collect the urine for them to run tests and measure the amount of the sample. Chloe did not make it across the driveway to the potty area. She squatted. We collected her sample.

Chloe peed for the first time in an entire month, all on her own!

She still needed to stay overnight for observation. Sample collecting, measuring, etc. Chloe was given a diuretic, which made her have to go every 1/2 hour during the day. During the night Chloe convinced her caretaker Kathy to take her and all the other dogs for a walk at least every 2 hours.

The next night, Tuesday night we were able to take her home.

December Updates on Chloe

Chloe is very happy, very playful, very friendly.

I'm starting to think she believes we are boring. We try to work and she wants to run, to play, play with her frisbee, visit her two best friends (also german shepherds). Touch a set of keys and she knows it's time for her to go to work. Her job is to ride to the post office and the bank.

If she does get mopey all you gotta do is pick up her frisbee and if that doesn't work then a 10 minute visit to Dutch & Ashley is all it takes to lift her spirits.

December 7, 2010: We take Chloe to NJ for a check up. They scope her urethra and find a few bits of tumor and a little scar tissue to remove. She is expected to stay there two nights.

December 8, 2010: Chloe will begin her chemo treatments.

Chloe did extremely well after her chemo treatment. We drove 2 hours home. No bad side effects at all. She was her happy normal self.

December 27, 2010: Chloe passed away, after an accidental complication.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Just Paint!

Grab a brush, fill a few containers with clean water, choose your favorite palette and find a piece of watercolor paper.

Sit down in your favorite painting place and simply ... Paint!

No worries, no cares, have fun and enjoy yourself.

Just do it ... just paint.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Carving Rocks in Watercolor

I love creating rocks in my watercolor landscapes. Here is how I do it:

1. Start with a mixture of thick, sticky paint, it doesn't even drip when tilting the palette vertical. I mix a combo of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. Blended in the middle to make a deep, dark rich black. I do not totally mix the color on the palette, I want variety of color in my painting.

2. I wet the top 2/3 of the paper with a pale ultramarine blue.

3. While the sky blue is still damp, I add in greens and browns to simulate the trees. Below the tree area, I add in my thick mix of grays and browns.

4. Using a palette knife with a long diamond shape blade, I carve in the rocks. I hold the blade between my fingers and drag the paint towards myself. The flat edge of the blade rests on the paper, tilting the blade between a 30 and 45 degree angle, sometimes steeper, sometimes not so steep.

5. Twist and turn the blade slightly to form the rocks. Remember to shape your rocks so they are not all exactly the same size and shape. Occasionally clean the knife on a tissue.

6. I like to drag the paint slightly below the painted line to a ragged edge across the bottom.

Give it a try and show me your results!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunrise Over Manhattan

The peace and serenity of a sunrise over Manhattan is simply amazing. The past few weeks have been rather chaotic around here. Our german shepherd Chloe has been diagnosed with TCC bladder cancer.

Last Wednesday, we took her to NJ to have surgery. Thursday morning, we awoke to a gorgeous sunrise. Chloe is doing well and is still in the hospital. Hopefully she begins to heal quickly so we can bring her home real soon.

I miss her! Her kitties miss her too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Square Watercolors

Blue Drops
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)

I love it! I've created a new slightly larger size to add to my Dew Drop Series.

I have a few paintings of this new size now listed in my Watercolor Drops 5x5 Section of my Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Photograph the Fall Foliage

It's Fall! The beautiful days of Autumn are upon us right now. Get outdoors, take a hike, take a drive through the country. Photograph the gorgeous fall foliage. Use those photos to inspire you to create wonderful new paintings back in your studio.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sacrificial Anodes, What's That

Rusty Water Drop
by Artist Rita Squier

Painting A Day: September 22, 2010

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
ACEO - Art Card

This lovely little water drop was painted on a day, I tried to fill the tub with water to give the dog a bath. The tub filled with rusty looking water!

Turns out the sacrificial anode rods inside the water heater needed replacing. Who knew? Sacrificial what? Anodes? But the tank looks nice and shiny on the outside.

A little internet research and a trip to the hardware store was in order. Followed by my darling husband replacing the anode rods. Then he drained the tank, bucket by bucket.

Now we have clean, clear water! And the dog got her bath.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What is an ATC and ACEO?

Golden Drop
by Artist Rita Squier

Painting A Day - September 21, 2010

Original Watercolor
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
ACEO Art Card

What is an ATC & ACEO?

Artist Trading Cards (ATC) - Traded amongst artists.

Art Cards, Editions & Originals (ACEO) - Sold to artists and collectors.

Artist Trading Cards and Art Cards are one in the same.

They are referred to as Artist Trading Cards when traded and Art Cards when sold.

The only requirement is the size. The size is 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. The same size as other themed trading cards. They fit perfectly into the sleeves and sheets that are created for regular trading cards.

Artists from all over the world create these little works of art in a variety of different mediums and subject matter. Artists trade them with other artists.

Artists sell them to those who love small art and to those who would love to collect art but cannot really afford to buy the larger pieces the artist is selling. This also allows people to collect a larger variety of art since they are only buying little pieces. The art cards are meant to be sold at lower prices and to reach a wider audience.

They can be framed in little frames. They can be matted and framed singly in an 8x10 inch frame for a very contemporary look. Mat them in groups in a single mat to fill a larger or longer frame.

The Art Cards I have created have all been original watercolor paintings. I store them in a 3 ring binder filled with sheets of trading card sleeves. I sell my original watercolor Art Cards through my Etsy Shop.

Collecting Art Cards or Artist Trading Cards is a fabulous way to create your own art collection.

Start your art collection today if you haven't already!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Entered An ACEO Challenge

Escape to Nature
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
ACEO - Art Card

Painting A Day : September 16, 2010

I have decided to enter my Escape to Nature ACEO
in this month's Nature Challenge on The ACEO Challenge blog.

Voting begins tomorrow ... please head over there tomorrow and vote for my ACEO!


9/24/10 Voting is now open for 7 days!
Vote for me #27 Rita!

Silly Place to Nap

What do you do with dried out summer flower pots that have gone to seed?

Daisy believes it makes the most comfortable bed for nap time!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Technique for Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Classes & Workshops

My tip for this week is take a class!

If you've never painted before in watercolor, a beginner class is for you. If you have painted in watercolor it is fun to take a class or attend a workshop to freshen up your skills and try new techniques. It is an excellent way to get out of the house and be around other artists.

Is that blank sheet of paper intimidating you too much or too often? Check your local artist groups, adult ed programs offered at local public schools, continuing ed classes offered through colleges, you may just find the perfect class for you right in your own neighborhood.

Cheap Joe's Art Supplies offers watercolor classes and lists workshop all over the US. A three to five day workshop makes an excellent vacation. Check it out here:

Classes are starting up now! Mine just started.

Monday, September 20, 2010

An Article I Wrote

Here is an article I wrote for a blog last month and I thought I would share it here with you as well.

Life of an Item with Squier

Hi, my name is Rita. I am one of two people from the Squier Etsy shop. I am here to tell you about the life of one of my items. As soon as I was asked to write this, I thought well, I create a painting everyday for my Painting A Day Challenge I started on February 1st and why not take step by step pictures as I do this day’s painting. Perfect timing. The light in my studio was fabulous on Thursday morning, August 12th.

I start out with a large sheet of Saunders Waterford 140 lb. watercolor paper, which is 22 x 30 inches. I measure and trim a full sheet into a bunch of 2.5 x 3.5 inch little pieces of paper. This is the required size for ACEOs which stands for Art Cards, Editions & Originals. Also ATCs which stands for Artist Trading Cards. They are basically one in the same. They can be made in any medium, the only requirement is the size which is 2.5 x 3.5 inches and basically flat like any sports trading card. The difference is ACEOs are bought and sold, ATCs are traded. All of my ACEOs are original watercolor paintings. I use archival quality paper and superior artist quality watercolor paints.

I now have my paper trimmed to size and a nice little stack for future paintings as well. The next step is to decide which palette to use. I choose my palette and a brush and I’m ready to go. Normally I do not decide what I am going to paint until I sit down. I do not do any drawing first.

I am now ready to paint. I have chosen to use a number 6 round brush. I decide to paint a landscape. I am inspired by nature and my trips to the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. I dip my brush into clean water. You must always wet your brushes first before beginning to paint with watercolor. I spread clean clear water across the top portion of my paper. I add a little cobalt blue for the sky. At this point, I still do not know what the painting will be, I let the paint and the colors help me decide as I go. I drop in some green for the background trees. Then I mix up some darker green for some evergreen trees. A bit of yellow for interest. Some burnt sienna mixed with ultramarine blue for the ground and the rocks. I use a palette knife to carve in a few rocks, scratch out a few trees. Back to the number 6 round brush, I add in some ground and then decide it needs a bit of water as well. It needs to be, it wants to be a painting on the side of a lake or a stream. Perhaps you call it a brook or a creek where you’re from?

Then I hit it with a hair dryer for a few seconds. I take out my little round brush and create a few fine lined tree branches. Add some leaves to the trees. Hit it with the hair dryer, again. Then add in a few little birds. Sign my name with a waterproof india ink pen.

Voilà, an original miniature watercolor painting don
e by me, Rita Squier.

I have completed the painting. On the back I have signed it, titled, added my website and Etsy addresses, added “Painting A Day” with the current day’s date.

I then photograph the painting in my high tech photography studio. This photography studio consists of a South facing window, a small trash can, a canvas panel board, a book and a hand held digital Canon Rebel SLR camera. I take 5 or 6 shots, download them onto my computer and crop them in Photoshop. The digital photos get uploaded to Etsy, my blog, my Facebook page and my website.

I then put the little painting into a 3 ring binder filled with trading card sleeve pages. There they wait to be sent off and cherished in their new homes around the world.

This little Painting A Day challenge painting can be found right here:

I love to paint landscapes in watercolor! --Rita

Friday, September 17, 2010


Blazing Ruby Drops
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches
ACEO Art Card

The evening hours and a camera with flash does not do this wonderful little painting justice. It is even more spectacular in person. But I just had to share my latest Painting A Day painting. I love it! It was inspired by a request.

I finally have my own computer back and can work with my own programs and files. I have taken tons of photos of my Painting A Day Challenge, those are up to date now. Today, I was able to update my website through the end of August.

Check out my website if you would like to begin catching up on my Painting A Day progress:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Accepting Compliments Graciously

Stop being your own worst critic. If someone compliments your work and you find yourself constantly making excuses of why this went wrong or that went wrong or you tell them you hate it, this is a terrible habit you need to break right now.

If you have nothing good to say about your own work, don't say anything at all.

If someone says, "Oh, I love this piece!" or "Isn't this great!" simply reply, "Thank you." It is as simple as that.

If you drone on and on about your displeasure in your own work, you will definitely lose a possible fan or more importantly a possible collector of your work. By making discouraging remarks about your own work you may be insulting the taste of the viewer who just paid you a compliment.

If you feel the need to carry on a conversation about your work. How about saying "Thank you." and follow it up with "What do you like about this piece?" Perhaps you will learn more about your own art in the process?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Coming Soon

Hip Hip Hurray!
I've got my computer back and it's running just fine. Next week I will begin posting my Painting A Day Challenge paintings. Nope this is not a sneak peak of the paintings from the past two weeks, it's a photo of some of last years ACEO paintings. A few are still available if you're interested (hint, hint.)

I have also been working on a new line of items for my Etsy shop. I will unveil those next week too!

Thank goodness it's Friday and have a fabulous weekend.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Silly Straw Technique
To create this type of fun abstract watercolor you will need watercolor paper, three colors of watercolor paint, water, a medium round brush and a straw. Yes, a drinking straw.

1. Wet your brush in clean water.
2. Pick up a single wet, juicy color with the brush.
3. Drip a drop of color onto dry watercolor paper.
4. Using the straw, blow air through the straw to move the paint around the paper.
5. You can either allow that color to dry or move onto the next color while it is still wet.

When dropping color onto the paper, if the previous color is still wet, you will be able to mix and mingle the colors. Twist and turn the paper as you go. Try wiggling the straw as you blow through it to create interesting wiggly lines.

Remember to take a break and breathe a little as you go, so you don't turn blue.

Have fun with it!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Have You Seen My Website?

Computer Issues
A week ago today, my computer screen went black. Ugh! As an artist and graphic designer, that's definitely not a good thing. I am still painting everyday, I am just unable to photograph and upload my Painting A Day Challenge to my website or Etsy shop. I am unable to do any graphic design work.

Luckily, the last week of August through Labor Day is normally a very slow time work wise. Everyone is on vacation, tending to kids getting back to school.

I am using a borrowed laptop. I can take screen shots of stuff. :) Yesterday, I shared an Etsy Treasury I created via screen shot. Today, I'm sharing my website via screen shot.

Have you seen my website?

You can view my Painting A Day Challenger there by month. The little thumbnail images are all clickable links to the paintings for sale. Mouse over the thumbnail to see it larger, click to view the painting for sale. The ones that have sold have little red dots under them. The little green dots notate paintings that I don't want to part with ... they're mine! :) Some of the older thumbnails take you to my absolute favorite web page I designed. It still makes me laugh. You'll have to let me know if you found it and if you think it's funny too.

Hopefully I will be back in business and up and running next week. Time for pen and paper to dream up new business ideas!

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

An Etsy Treasury

Scandinavian Dream
An Etsy Treasury I created featuring items from the various countries in Scandinavia. I hope to someday travel there to research my ancestral roots. is such a cool place to find all sorts of hand crafted and hand painted items from around the world. It's like the world's largest fine art & craft fair online.

Please take a look at the Treasury and leave a little comment.

Click a few of the items and see the amazing quality of work these Scandinavian artists & artisans have created.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

My Favorite Paint
I Love MaimeriBlu Watercolor Paint!

The colors are brilliant. They are extremely colorfast (they don't fade over time on me.) They are excellent for adding to your palette and letting them set up and dry before using. They liquify easily when swiped across the top of the well with a wet brush. The texture and smoothness of the paint is excellent. It is a superior artist quality watercolor paint made in Italy.

Shown in the photo are the colors I suggest using in my painting classes.

A bonus tip for today ... just paint!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lots of Dew Drops

Sweet Peridot Dew Drop - August 26, 2010
Honey Dew Drop - August 25, 2010
Chocolate Raspberry Drop - August 24, 2010
Emerald Dew Drop - August 23, 2010
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Four more additions to my Painting A Day Challenge and my Dew Drop Series. All of which can be found in my Squier Etsy Shop: A variety of these dew drops would look awesome framed together as a group!


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