Simply Simplify

January is almost gone and as usual I am behind! But what's the hurry, right?
Starting the new year, I like to look back at the previous year and then look ahead and plan somewhat for the new year. I tend to over estimate what I can get done reasonably in any given amount of time! Thus it goes. For the upcoming year, I continue to take classes, drawing and panting, as well as a mentorship. Hopefully, I can make some decisions on what to keep and what to leave behind. I have decided my word for the year is "SIMPLIFY!"

The painting below, Closely Woven, was accepted to the Visual Art Society of Texas, 125-Mile juried show. It received a merchandise award from Richeson Art Supply so I am salivating on what colors I want to order!
Closely Woven
20" x 20"

I taught my first class in Oil and Cold Wax in September at Artist's Showplace Gallery in Dallas, Texas and had the best experience. I will teach again in October. This class is "Finding your Voice using Oils and Cold Wax". I am not sure if we continue to search for our voice in art, but there are many ways to explore what we want to paint. Oil mixed with cold wax as a medium allows us to play and explore, then cover and obliterate, all the while creating scrumptious texture to go back into. It is slightly addictive.

Artist's Showplace invited me to exhibit in the New Beginnings show with two other lovely artists, Jo Moncrief, and Sarah Joseph. the show is up until February 2, 2018. I have 15 paintings in the show, mostly oil with the cold wax and a few with acrylic finished with cold wax. 

I am lucky to have so many opportunities to study with amazing teachers, both locally and away. Michael O'Keefe and Ellen Soderquist offer life drawing classes,  both amazing teachers. Jay Bailey offers sessions as well and I try to go when I can, he is awesome. For my painting classes, I am studying design with Jane Jones through March. Jerry McLaughlin, Oil and Cold Wax book co-author will be here in May, and I look forward to that also. Lisa Pressman is also on my list! (Teacher extraordinaire!) And this past year, I have found an artist I can't wait to study with, Dawn Emerson. Check out her book and videos! 

I also turned my garage into my studio this past year and it has been so great to be outside of the house, both for the mess and for the lack of distraction of working at home. Even if it is just across the driveway! Pictures at another time!

So, back to SIMLIFY. I hope to simplify my work, simplify my processes, clean out unused art supplies and slow down and enjoy each new piece I work on. I need to focus on what I know and not feel like I need to continue to know everything that is new and exciting out there! That is a tough one, there is so much to learn! My list of what to simplify, needs to be simplified! 

Thank you for taking the time to check in with me! Hope you are having a great new year!

Challenge 30 in 30 days - #2

Beyond the Damage
12" x 12"
Oil and Cold Wax on Panel

Day 2 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. 
This panel was damaged while traveling to a workshop. Packed in my suitcase, it had several places as if a knife had pictured it. SO I decided to paint on it anyway. And I pictured it a bit more, I don't know if you can see where it is broken, because the damage has been camouflaged with the wonderful cold wax medium. I love painting with this, it is like frosting, and who doesn't like frosting!

Encaustic Monotype and Carbon Workshop - Paula Roland

Last week I was fortunate to study encaustic monotypes and carbon mark making with Paula Roland.
It was a challenging and mind boggling week of many new ideas and moving with the flow of your intuition. We used mops and large brushes on many types or paper of black and white marks. Each day was filled with many new to me techniques and ideas. I am recharged and ready to create!
Mark Making with graphite pigmented waxing he hotbox.
The one on the lower left also had some colored pigments added.

Walking With Friends

Walking with Friends won one of four Jurors Awards in the Society of Watercolor Artist's 2016 International Exhibition. The juror was Frank Eber, well know watercolor artist and teacher. The show includes work by artists I admire and have followed for a long time. Of course I am humbled and excited just to be included in the show. The exhibition will run until through May 28. 

The painting is watercolor and acrylic on paper. I enjoy painting layers of color, texture and line and then trying to make something come out of the shadows. 
Exhibit Location: Atrium Gallery, Central Library of Fort Worth, 500 W. Third Street, Fort Worth TX 76102 (corner of Lamar & West Third)
The on-line catalog is available here: SWA 2016 International Exhibition

Walking with Friends
22" x 15"
Acrylic on Paper

MB's Circus

MB's Circus
60" x 20"
Mixed Media on Canvas
This painting was for my sister, MB. The layers are many and it is one of a kind. I had members of the family write, draw, scribble, fingerprint and add something to the canvas, at various stages at of the work. Many of the marks are partially buried or reoccurring. Some of the family members wouldn't even let me know where they marked and it is truly hidden. Some were far away and I took something they did and did a rubbing or collaged it in here. This was truly a fun project of love and has taken much longer than it should have, but now I share it with you as it is being shipped to her! The title comes from one of my favorite phrases, "Not my circus, not my monkeys"! But hey, these are her monkeys and thus MB's Circus!

These three photos below are closeups of some of the texture and marks. It was hard to photograph and post as it it so tall and narrow.


22" x 30"
Acrylic on Paper

I was honored to be accepted in the  39th International Exhibition 2016 with Watercolor Art Society Houston. This painting is a bit more colorful than most of mine and I had a lot of fun with it. Adding watercolor crayon on top of the many layers gave me my chance to make marks, which I am loving to do anymore. I think it is like hidden messages, those in my head that I can't ever verbalize!

I am taking an on-line course right now with Nicholas Wilton which is really stretching my brain to think about where I want my art to go. If you have a chance, check out his web site and blog. I have been following his blog for many years. He is an excellent artist and teacher and shares his processes with such grace.

Then There Were Five

Then There Were Five
Acrylic on Paper
15" x 22"
I am excited to be included in the Texas and Neighbors Exhibition sponsored by the Irving Art Association for the second year in a row. The reception will be April 17 at the Irving Art Center from 2-5. It's a wonderful reception with amazing floral arrangements individualized to coordinate with paintings on the wall nearby! Come and check it out!
Link to preview the art accepted in this years show:

Just the Three of Us - Silent Auction February 27, 2016

Just the Three of Us
14" x 11"
Mixed Media on Panel
I am honored to have my painting, "The Three of Us, My Echo, My Shadow, and Me" in the show sponsored by Arts for Rural Texas (ARTS) to create funds to support art. The show is presented by ACT (Artists Changing Tomorrow) in which artists contribute a painting for the silent auction held every other year. This is my second time to have a painting in the auction. The auction will take place February 27, 2016.

The exhibit and silent auction raise funds for ARTS, a 501(c)(3) foundation which applies their funding to expand art education in an effort to offset cutbacks in art education in the schools.
All art donated for the auction can be viewed here.

This painting started with India ink on paper with lines drawn with a pen, string, and more including a stick from the yard. Adding acrylic made the ink turn a dark blue. Then I just played with the figurative shapes that came out of the mingling of the colors. and added more acrylic paint in muted colors. More lines were added with Caran d'ache, which are lovely water soluble crayons, (so much fun to play with), they can have that mind of their own! When the painting was finished, or so deemed finished by moi, I attached it to a Ampersand panel and sealed it, ready to be framed in a black floater frame by the sponsors at ACT.


15" x 22"
Acrylic on Paper
I was honored that Southwest Watercolor Society accepted this painting for the Annual Membership Show juried by Mike Bailey. There were 75 paintings selected and all are either watercolor or acrylic.
I was also excited to receive a Holbein Award for this painting.

Entering juried shows is a bit intimidating, but I feel as if it is a next step in learning and building a consistent body of work, that is something that looks like the same person did them! Of course that often means that for every 10 paintings I complete, only 1 or 2 are deemed possible show entries. Characteristics an artist develops with each work include humility, perseverance. and a thicker skin. Not everyone is going to like the same thing. We are all different. I am learning this as I get older and more experienced. And with each painting that is accepted and sometimes even receives an award, I become more encouraged to stay with it, furthermore to improve and learn from others. Artists are so generous with their techniques and information. For this I am so grateful, as well as the kind and encouraging comments they share.

This painting started with many layers of acrylic and lines. As it developed, I started seeing shapes that are figurative, so I pushed that to where it is. There is also a lot of line work created with watercolor crayons.

Thank you for looking at my work!

RCAS Award - Second Place Mixed Media

I have been a little lax in posting so I am going to play catch up! I have entered several shows and have been excited to be accepted and receive some awards. The awards are definitely a bonus as just being accepted in a juried show is an honor, especially when I see the competition, quite intimidating.

In June, The Richardson Art Society Regional Show accepted two of my paintings and I received 2nd place in Mixed Media for the The City Beneath the Sea. The second painting accepted was Read Between the Lines. Click here to view!

The City Beneath the Sea
30" x 30"
Mixed Media on Paper

I also received the Prismacolor award in the Visual Arts Society of Texas Membership show.
The painting that won that award is shown here. Among Friends has also been chosen for several other awards which has been exciting!

Southwest Watercolor Society Annual Membership Show

My painting Shadows has been accepted for the juried membership show of Southwest Watercolor Society. The show juror was Mike Bailey. The show is up now and the reception is Sunday, September 20, 6:30-8:30. Come and join us if you can. I was honored last year to be accepted and to have my painting hang next to my teacher and mentor, Jane Jones. Jane proceeded to win Best of Show last year with a beautiful painting. I was excited to see that I am again on the wall next to Jane's painting, again a beautiful one. I am showing a photo of the section with our paintings. The other painting belongs to another talented artist, Lynne Buchanan. I apologize for the quality of the photo. I will post a better picture of my painting tomorrow.
The top left painting belongs to Lynne, the painting on the right is by Jane, and my painting is the one on the lower left.
Lynne Buchanan, Kathy Elliott, Jane Jones Paintings

If you are interested in seeing the catalog of all the work accepted, click here.

Forney Arts Council Top 40

The two paintings below were juried into the Forney Arts Council Top 40 exhibition. The show is running now through October 29 at the Crumbzz in Forney. If you haven't been there and live in the area, it is a delightful bistro open every day from 7:30-2:00.

The first painting below, I posted in process earlier. It seemed to need a few more characters to complete the scene, some are coming and some are going away. Kind of like people in our lives for whatever reasons or for no reason at all. But for each of them, I like to think they are there for a reason!
Abstract Figuration, Kathy Elliott
Going Away
Mixed Media on Paper
15" x 22"
The second painting started as overlapping bottles. It was fun to fracture and combine them into many different shapes.

Kathy Elliott, abstract artist,
Acrylic on Paper
15" x 22"

Bottles Part 3

Although I have played with over 50 paintings of random bottles and adding some other containers, I am still exploring. I am going to revisit them all and try to accomplish a finish to each. Sometimes letting the painting in process hang out a while on the wall gives me a fresh way of looking at what can be done to make them complete, or complete for now! Thank you for looking and your comments or suggestions are welcomed!
15" x 22" Mixed Media on Paper
I like that this one is becoming questionable as to what it really is?
15" x 22" Mixed Media on Paper

I am enjoying the prompts "what if?", "what now?", "what next?".
Have a good day!

New Work: Bottle Series Part 1

I have taken a break from posting, but not from painting. It appears my time is spent researching, drawing, and playing with concepts, colors, or really messy paint! When I first started painting, I just knew I wanted to learn to paint, but really didn't have a subject matter in mind. Just paint! After almost 8 years, I have gone in so many directions, it makes even my head spin! What I have decided is only what I don't want to paint, realistic portraits, folk art, and waterfalls! Probably a few more, but I will stop there. What I have decided is to play with series, and boy do I have about 8 of them going right now! And I like to abstract whatever it is! So first I will post some from my bottle series. And sometimes the bottles become people or buildings or whatever. But it has been fun and I have over 40 now on paper with acrylic. These were started from drawings, adding paint and more line work.
15"x 22"
Mixed Media on Paper

Red Bottles
11"x 15"
Acrylic and Ink on Paper

April 22 - What Do I Really Do with My Time?

The days goes so quickly and sometimes I need to just stop and reflect on what I have done. Besides enjoying my family and playing with my three precious grandchildren, I have spent a lot of time painting, drawing and experimenting. Starting with January, [text deleted, a whole lot of text!]..... Ok.... I had to put it all down her, but when I looked at what the last four months looked like, I decided, nope..... I can't let it be known how much time I really spent doing art, looking at art, entering shows, taking classes and workshops, spending money on supplies, etc...... blah, blah blah.... nope, you would think I have no other life! By the way, I am having way too much fun and this is my life!!

Spring brings a lot of juried shows to enter, and I am excited to report I have received more acceptances than regrets! (a good sign!)
Two of my paintings also received awards and this makes the process even more exciting, although to me, just being accepted is a reward in itself. The paintings are shown below with the information about the show and the award if there was one.
Between Friends
14" x 11"
International Society of Acrylic Painters On-Line Show
Fourth Place
Walking Side by Side
14" x 22"
Texas Friends and Neighbors (Irving, TX)
First Place Acrylic
(woo hoo, a blue ribbon!!!)
Among Friends
14"x 22"

Texas Visual Arts Association Show Citation
Mixed Media
14" x 22"
Texas Visual Arts Association Show Citation

I continue to draw from models with guidance, a lot of guidance, and that seems to be sneaking into my work, mostly unexpectedly, and often a big surprise. I still have lots of layers and scrape back in, playing a game of push and pull, add and subtract, and more often than I care to admit, I just cover it up and start over!! Although these are all on paper, I am also playing with oil and acrylic on canvas or panel. Thanks for dropping by!

Untitled. Acrylic on Paper

12" x 9"
Acrylic on Paper
I have taken a break form posting but not from painting. I am finishing a short online course where we painted 100 small and not necessarily finished drawing/paintings. Layers and layers of paint and scraping back into the surface are some of the techniques used. These are done with acrylic on paper from Dick Blick that is 90 pound and very inexpensive. It has a nice weight for simple studies and the more paint you layer on as well as matte medium, the nicer and more like leather the paper becomes.
It has been a fun exercise and a a nice diversion from the weather. I hope everyone is starting to thaw out!

Day 28 of 30 - Study 4 - January 29
Study 4
12" x 9"
Acrylic on Paper
The last section of the larger painting is shown here. I have an app called Value Viewer I like to use when I think a painting is almost to the point of stopping before I go too far, as in add too much or totally paint over and start again. Value Viewer lets you view the image in several ways including Notan - just black and white, grey scale, or modified values. The slider allows you to modify the values somewhat. I use it mostly to see if I have a good balance of lights and darks and if your eye follows these areas to keep you inside the painting. You can do some of these same things with your camera with the Black and white or sepia options. That is my next step with these four paintings and I will post those tomorrow.

Day 27 of 30 - Study 3 - January 28
Study 3
12" x 9"
Acrylic on Paper
This is the third of the dissection of the larger painting. This one really shows where alcohol was sprayed on one of the layers while the acrylic was wet. I need to tone that down a bit. I like to be able to look at a painting and wonder what created the texture, not thinking to myself, that is bubble wrap, that is corrugated cardboard, that is alcohol. It is a challenge to figure out how much to cover and scrape yet still keep that mystery of what caused it. This is my challenge for the next step. How much to tone down? The last of the four will be posted tomorrow. But I will keep tweaking them I have a feeling!

Day 25 of 30 - Study 1 - January 26

I am going to finish off the challenge with a few studies on a large sheet of watercolor paper that has been layered between colors with matte medium. The matte medium allows me to lift layers with alcohol and go back to a previous step, like a redo button on a photo editing program. This is a piece I have been trying to solve for a very long time and end up doing another layer or dissolving a layer. I plan to dissect the piece into smaller sections and hopefully create four smaller works that are complete, yet will hang together as a cohesive grouping.