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: http://www.cheapjoes.com/art-instruction/

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: http://rasquier.com/painting_a_day_august.html

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? http://rasquier.com

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.

Etsy.com 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.



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