Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas! 

Hope Santa is very good to you this  year!

(And me too)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Studio Cleaning

Cerulean Snow 
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 5x7 inches

140 lb. Watercolor Paper

I have been working on reorganizing and cleaning my office and my studio.  Here is a little painting I painted back in 2008.  I love it!  I will be adding it to my website for sale.  I love painting landscapes.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December is Here Already

Peaceful Snow
by Artist Rita A. Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 4x6 inches

140 lb. Saunders Waterford Cold Pressed Paper
Maimeri Blu Watercolor Paint
Winsor & Newton Brushes

I cannot believe December is here already!  Where did the year go?  Where did my November blog posts go?  I thought I blogged at least twice?  I plan on painting everyday this month.  This little painting I painted yesterday, December 2nd.  As soon as I completed it, I signed it.  Then I remembered the charity I was going to donate it to wants the paintings signed only on the back.  So, I painted three more 4x6 watercolor paintings today.  Which I have photographed, but I haven't decided which one to donate yet.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ACEO versus ATC

What do those letters stand for?

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

ATC = Artist Trading Cards  - Traded amongst artists.

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 major requirement is the size, which is 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. The same size as other themed trading cards, like baseball cards. 

Artists from all over the world create these little works of art in a variety of mediums and subject matter. Artists will 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.

Collecting Art Cards or Artist Trading Cards is a wonderful way to start or add to your own art collection.

I now sell my original watercolor Art Cards through my own website: 

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

Monday, September 30, 2013

One Fall Day
by Artist Rita Squier
Original Watercolor Painting
Size:  8x10  inches

I have been painting more and more through out the month of September. This is one of the paintings I have created. 

I am also testing out what it is like to post on my blog through the little iPod app. I even took the photo using the iPod. It seems as though I don't have access to some of the features the web browser offers. Next step is to post this then see what it looks like on the computer screen.

Update just minutes later:  Through my computer, I have already made two edits.  I made the picture smaller, instead of original sized I clicked it down to medium.  I moved the text below the image.  The app would only allow one line of text next to the image and even using my computer I cannot adjust the text to wrap to the right of the image unless I remove the photo and re-upload it.

I don't like the quality of my photo either.  So for me, the app would be good for posting to my blog without an image to go with the blog post.  

Second Update:  I couldn't stand it.  I deleted the original post and started over with the proper layout I chose for my blog.  It bugged me as a designer that all the text was under the image.  I used the original picture and included the original text too.  So much for trying to add quick little posts using the iPod app which is most likely the same as the iPhone app.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Twitter Art Exhibit Call For Artists

My entry for the Twitter Art Exhibit - Orlando

by Artist Rita A. Squier
Size: 4x6 inches

The Call For Artists has been put out for the next Twitter Art Exhibit which will be in Orlando in March 2014.  The deadline is February 21, 2014.  The sale of the postcard sized art will benefit The Center for Contemporary Dance, Special Needs Classes.

For more information check out their website:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

NEW My Art Turned Christmas Cards

Holly Day Flamingo
by Artist Rita A. Squier

My original watercolor painting has been printed up as a Christmas themed card.  It is blank on the inside which makes it perfect for you to use as a Christmas card with your own handwritten personalized message, a note card, an invitation to a Christmas party, a thank you note, rubber stamp the interior.  The possibilities are endless.

They are available through my very own website and will be shipped out directly from my studio.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Blow Dry Your Watercolors 

Impatiently waiting to get onto the next step of your watercolor painting?

You can use a hair dryer to blow dry your watercolor painting.

If you're not waiting for the paint to react on it's own or with other colors to create a cool effect then yes it is okay to use a blow dryer to dry the paint and water.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sets of 10 Postcards

I have added Sets of 10 Postcards of both designs from my Mahjong Obsession series to my Squier Etsy shop.

I recently received the 2013 Mah Jongg card from the National Mah Jongg league.  I cannot wait to play!

The ladies at the library no longer meet to play Mah Jongg there.  What will I do?

View the Prints & Postcards currently available in my Squier Etsy shop.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Watercolor in 5x7

Forest Clearing
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 5x7 inches

140 lb. Lana Aquarelle Paper
MaimeriBlu Watercolor Paint

An early Spring watercolor landscape.

Available in my Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Wet Your Brushes First 

Always completely saturate your brushes with clean water prior to painting in watercolors.  This will help soften the bristles and get that capillary action going. You can damage the bristles by trying to pick up watercolor paint with a dry watercolor brush.

If the bristles are wet, they will be able to hold more paint and more water.

Doing a large background wash with a half wet brush will most likely end in disaster.  Dry streaks, splotchiness, skips, etc.  You will have more trouble keeping that nice big background wash evenly wet across the entire page.  So make sure your brush has been completely saturated with water before your begin.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Landscape in Watercolor

Lil' Island
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 8 x 10 inch
140 lb. Watercolor Paper

Today's painting.

Available in my Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mahjong Prints

Mahjong Tiles
by Rita Squier

A 9x12 inch print of my watercolor painting.

I love the way these prints turned out!
The paper is amazing.
The quality is excellent, looks just like a watercolor.

I have had prints made in a range of sizes:
2.5x3.5 - 5x7 - 8x10 - 9x12

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Blocks

Your style of painting should be a factor in deciding whether to purchase and paint on watercolor blocks of paper.

They are fantastic in some ways.  They are a sturdy block on which to paint.  Ten to twenty sheets of cut to size paper is pre-mounted on a sturdy backer.  Paint on the top piece of paper, slice the gum around the edges remove it and paint again.  Great for a not so wet way of painting with watercolors.

If you are one who loves to paint very wet with watercolor, a block of watercolor paper may not be a good option for you.

Painting wet into wet, over and over the water seeps down through the paper into the block, into the next sheet down and the sheet down below that one.  The gum edges begin to wear away without notice, the water will drip over the sides and seep into the edges of the watercolor paper.

The watercolor paper that is wet and dried over and over will lose it's sizing.  Your paint will not react in the normal way over the entire piece of paper.  You may end up with a mottled look around the edges, often darker than color should be.  Sometimes it can occur through out the entire piece of paper.  It mainly happens with the pieces of paper that are towards the bottom of the block.

The sample here shows a very pale blue sky wash that normally floats on the top of the paper.  The watercolor paint soaked oddly into the paper around the edges.  The majority of the time, this odd effect does not fade away when the paint dries.

To avoid this happening, I remove one sheet watercolor paper from the block and mount it onto a separate board.  Yes, it defeats the purpose of using a block.  But it is a way to use up the block you have.  Or it is a way of using the pre cut to size paper blocks with the beautiful simplicity of painting watercolors very wet into wet.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Watercolor Painting

by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size: 5x7 inches

I think I'm going to do a variety of paintings in this small size.  Fun to paint.  Easy to ship.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Color Charts Are Important

Creating color charts using the paints you have in your palette is such an important tool to learn your colors.

Creating a chart with a simple square of color with the name written below is a great way to keep track of all your colors.  Make a little code or key of the various brands along with names of the colors.

Your own color chart is a great reference tool.  Sure you can find them in many books, but having a chart of what is actually in your own palette is extremely important.

Take it a step further and create color mixing charts, check out this old Tuesday Tip:

See more color charts on my blog:

You can see the variety of colors you have at a glance.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Artist's Onion

My First Onion
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
5x7 inches

Sometime last week, after seeing someone post a photo of onions growing in a garden I had said the onion is a popular subject for artists.  His reply was something like Let's paint onions this weekend.  A challenge!

I had never painted an onion in watercolor or in any medium.

It brought back a memory from years ago.  I had typeset a lady's memoirs in which she had written about how many artists loved to paint onions and it was something just about every artist did.  She also had written about how artists loved to attempt to paint Pierre Auguste Renoir's Onions.

(This is a little iPod photo that I may just have to take a better photo tomorrow afternoon.)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Paper Quality 

I cannot stress enough how important paper quality is when it comes to watercolor painting.

Here is a recent sample color chart I created.

The large piece of paper is Saunders Waterford 100% Cotton Rag, Archival, Acid Free, 140 lb. watercolor paper.  It is awesome!

The little strip of colors contains the same exact high quality MaimeriBlu watercolor paints as in the far left column of the larger sheet.  Notice the colors are not as rich and dark.

The little narrow strip of paper is a synthetic watercolor paper.  It has the texture and feel of watercolor paper but it does not react like 100% cotton rag.  It does something odd to the paint.

If you're just learning to paint, stick with the good stuff, it will make the learning process more enjoyable.  Inferior and cheap paper & paints will only frustrate you as you are trying to learn techniques.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Paper Testing

Dew Drops on Garza Papel
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Painting
Size:  14 x 20 cm

Several months ago, perhaps last Autumn, I received a few sample sheets of Garza Papel Artisan Paper made in Spain.  As soon as I got the paper I created one small landscape and this swashy blue background in my own style of painting to see how the paper reacts.

This is 100% recycled cotton, acid free, watercolor paper and the weight is 300 grs.  The paper has a great white tone.  It has a very nice soft feel and texture to the paper and it accepts the paint extremely well.  I even like the little embossed heron in the lower left corner.

It has been months since I painted the background.  Just the other day, I decided I would test out my dew drops.  Lifting color on this paper even after months worked effortlessly.

I am very impressed with this 100% cotton recycled paper!
Thank you Garza Papel!

Friday, April 5, 2013

I am Back

Forest Fog II (vertical on the left)
Forest Fog (horizontal on the right)
by Artist Rita Squier

Original Watercolor Paintings
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Tons of stuff has kept me busy, preoccupied, etc. over the past few months and it left me with very little time and ambition to blog.  I've realized I have missed blogging.  I have just started regularly painting again as well.

I have decided to use the little calendar app and actually schedule in some painting time each day, Monday to Friday.  Being able to paint on the weekends will be a bonus! And it will also be unscheduled fun.

To start off my painting time yesterday, these are two little ACEOs I created.
ACEO = Art Cards, Editions & Originals - These are original watercolors!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Tips & Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Work Vertical 

Have you ever tried working vertical while creating a watercolor painting?

It's not impossible.

If it scares you, go for the abstract look to try it out.

Tape your watercolor to a board, prop it up on an easel and paint away with no worries or cares!

Work wet into wet.
Splatter on some color.
Spray on a bit of water.

Yes, the colors will drip and blend one into another.

Give it a try, you may be pleased with the results.

Normally, watercolor is painted on a flat surface or a slightly tilted surface, working vertically with the board literally straight up and down can be a challenge.  The reason being, you're working with water and it drips.  I have done several vertical abstracts that have turned out really well.  I love them.

I have been thinking of trying a more detailed landscape or maybe buildings will working vertically.  Could be fun.  Could have a very interesting and unique look.

If you have given it a try ... I want to see your results!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

For the Love of Mah Jongg

Mahjong Tiles
by Artist Rita A. Squier

This is the second painting in my Mahjong Series!

It is currently available in my Squier Etsy shop as an ACEO print.  A fine art giclee print.

Mahjong, Mah Jong, Mah Jongg ... I love this game!

Hope you love the prints of my new watercolor.
Soon it will be available as 5x7, 8x10 and 9x12 prints.  And post cards too!

Can't wait for the post cards to come back from the printers.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mahjong Postcard

I have had my Mahjong 2013 watercolor painting turned into postcards.  I love it!

I will be soon be selling them through my own website and a few are currently available in my Squier Etsy shop.

These are awesome!
Excellent quality.

I would love to wholesale both my postcards & prints, if you're interested, contact me.  Thanks.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting


Be extremely careful on how you handle your watercolor paper.  Make sure your hands are clean and dry.

Oily fingers, sweaty hands, recently applied hand lotion, cold clammy fingers can all leave fingerprints on your watercolor paper.  And guess what?  They often don't show up until the paint is almost dry.

This is a great tip, especially for this time of year when the air is dry and you need hand lotion.

I have notice with hand lotion, the color seems to be attracted to it and the fingerprints dry darker.  The natural oils in your hands or the oils from those chips you're snacking on can cause a resist and leave the finger print area paler.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Millefiori Clay Pen

I have been wanting a fountain pen for quite some time now.  I decided that was going to be my birthday present to myself.  After doing a little research and putting some thought into it, I chose to make my own pen.

I ordered millefiori clay canes on Etsy.  I purchased a fountain pen kit that was meant for woodworking projects.  The kit even included a cartridge of black ink, which I chose not use.  I purchased some blue ink cartridges.  Instead of turning wood for the outside, which I have no clue on how to do or the equipment to do it, I covered the pen with clay.

A little slicing, sticking, rolling, baking, assembly and voila ... a pen!

Love it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Lost and Found Background

In the past I have talked about lost and found edges, hard and soft edges.

This technique can help you create a very unique and interesting background to your watercolor paintings.

A recent Tuesday Tip from a few months back explains the how to:

Apple Blossoms
by Artist Rita A. Squier
Original Watercolor Painting
11 x 15 inches

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Splatter Away! 

Have you tried the splatter technique?

Wet your brush, swash it around in some watercolor paint, then tap the wooden part of the brush against the wooden part of another brush held firmly in your other hand and let the paint splatter onto your paper.

You can tap one brush against another brush, a ruler, a pencil or something firmly held in your other hand. It's just likely clanking two sticks together.

Practice over a test sheet of paper.  Tap onto dry paper.  Tap onto wet sections.  Tap one color into another.  Vary the amount of paint and water you have in your brush.  Try different sized brushes.  A round brush versus a flat brush.

Before you know it, you'll have a neat abstract painting!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mahjong Obsession

Mahjong 2013
Fine Art Giclee Prints
by Artist Rita A. Squier

Last summer, I learned to play Mah Jongg at the local library.  I became obsessed with the game!  I love to play Mah Jongg.

I did my research, picked out the perfect new set for myself.  Occasionally, I still love researching vintage sets.  The engravings are amazing.

This brings me to my newest watercolor painting series which I am thinking of calling the entire series of paintings Mahjong Obsession.  Painting one and two in the new series are complete.

My first watercolor painting in the series has been turned into prints!  I received the box of prints last night and finally found time to open the package this afternoon.  The prints are amazing!  I am so happy with them.

Mahjong 2013 is the first print in the series.  If you're interested in purchasing a print, please contact me.  I have them currently available as 5x7 and 9x12 inch prints.

They're printed on Somerset Velvet paper with a one inch border all around.  The 5x7 print is on 7x9 paper and it is perfect for matting and framing with an 8x10 inch frame.  The 9x12 print is on 11x14 paper perfect for matting and framing with a standard 11x14 frame.

Soon they will be available on my website or in my Etsy shop.  If you can't wait, contact me!

Mahjong 2013 - Giclee Fine Art Print 5x7 inch

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Too Many Brushes? 

I would say this is not even half the watercolor painting brushes I own.  These are the ones that sit on my art table.  Okay, so I stuffed them all into one cup for the photo.

When learning to paint in watercolor and being successful at it ... less is more when it comes to  brushes.

Select a few brushes.

Concentrate on learning how to use those few brushes and use them really well.

It's easier to practice techniques with the same brush over and over and over than to figure out how to create it with a dozen different sized round brushes.

Five brushes.  One small round, one medium round, one large round.  A 3/4 inch one stroke flat brush and a 1 1/2 inch wash brush.  Those are the basics.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Let's Sing!

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ Happy Birthday to Me!!! ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two Thousand Thirteen

Happy New Year! 

Let's make it a wonderfully creative year!


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