March 31, 2016

Painting With The Girls 91

March 31, 2016.

Day 91 (275 days to go)


Postcard, ink wash 5X7 Matted

Seven years ago, I was pretty much involved in art through weekly meetings with my best friend Christy, attending watercolor classes or going to painting sessions. I was also taking oil painting classes at the Smithsonian with the greatest teacher ever, Trinka Simon. The reason I bring this up is because there was only so much I was producing in a monthly basis. And for each artwork, a relationship developed between it and me. I know this sounds pretty stupid, but since I wasn’t able to come up with many paintings on a regular basis, I would fall in love with the process with each one of them, creating an attachment much different from my relationship with my daily postcards. In 2009, I took a month off to study, and immersed myself in the works of JMW Turner. I came up with many watercolors and a few oil paintings.

Which brings me back to the present and the 90 daily postcards I have now completed with this project. I am not able to really deepen my work with each one of them, but I am sure deepening the exercise of thinking more quickly and efficiently about my work. This daily process has been very good for thinking about time and  how I work to come up with an idea.

I never had the opportunity to do this, and I realize that in the pace of the world today, we always dream of the time we don’t have or imagine for the future. I am glad I can be in the here and now and make a decision just for today. This process will also enable me to think how much time I would like to devote in the future to each completed project.

I also love the process of reading all of the art books I collected all these years!!!!

I am hoping for warmer days so I can be outdoors sketching more often in April. The cherry blossoms were incredible this year, and in this area there are about two more months of other flowers and trees blooming. 

Cheers everyone! And Happy Spring!

March 30, 2016

Painting With The Girls 90

March 30, 2016

Day 90 (276 days to go)


Postcard, ink wash 5X7 Matted

March 29, 2016

Painting With The Girls 89

March 29, 2016.

Day 89 (277 days to go)


Cherry Blossoms Series 1                                                   Watercolor

Watercolor Postcard, collage. 5 1/2 X 8 1/2 Matted

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was one of the seniors of the Impressionist movement founders.  He was close to Cézanne and Seurat, and a father figure to many painters who approached him. Pissarro’s main difference from Impressionists was he infused his subject with his political intent. Being a socialist, painted urban scenes as a form of social commentary. Towards the end of his life, he painted city life from viewed from above depicting people as ant-like specks.

During his final years, he suffered from eye infections that prevented him from painting.  He lived in poverty and sold very few paintings while he lived.

In 2014, Le Boulevard de Montmartre sold for $25,000,000 at Sotheby’s.

Boulevard Montmartre

La Place du Theatre Français

Orchard in Bloom

March 28, 2016

Painting With The Girls 88

March 28, 2016.

Day 88 (278 days to go)


Seeds                                         Monotype Collage

When doing a monotype keep in mind the paper you use, such as watercolor paper should be thin. When mixing print paint make it not too thick, so that the paper will not absorb too much. Also try to draw without putting pressure on the paper. 

Monotype Postcard, collage. 5X7 Matted

Why is the Impressionistic movement so popular? It did not impress many viewers at the time. They thought the paintings were unfinished.

Now a museumgoer can purchase prints or souvenirs featuring the art of Degas or Monet. Most would agree that their popularity rests with their fresh interpretation of people enjoying life. Their colors are bright and the subjects provide a glimpse of what the end of the 19th century was like.

I personally think Impressionism is popular because it is a loose depiction of reality, in terms of technique. Impressionism focuses on showing a moment in time of a place or a person. Humans identify with either the subject, or the beauty of the colors, or something pleasant about the whole thing.

Degas (1834-1917) was trained by Ingres in the traditional Romanticism way to paint.  But as his worked matured, he cropped his subjects, so that the viewer would focus on what was happening only. He also used the idea that someone was watching secretly. His subjects seemed to be doing something we are not supposed to see. Degas used forms and colors to enhance and achieve perfect composition. 

He was a key person, for holding and organizing the exhibitions for their Impressionistic movement to make progress and thrive.

March 27, 2016

Bird Hidding On Tree

Watercolor Postcard, Monotype 5X7 Matted

I enjoyed doing this monotype. The shades of pink are spray paint applied to bubble wrap and then applied to the paper. The monotype then applied when paper is dried. In this case I did the monotype first. That's why the Bird is hiding. 


By 1874, the artists we know today as Impressionists, Morisot, Monet, Degas, Pissarro, Sisley, and Renoir, could not wait any longer for the Salon to accept their work. They had all experienced rejection by the jury in recent years and felt they could not afford another year between exhibitions with no financial prospects. Organized and guided by their friend and painter Edouard Manet, the artists collectively rented a studio for their own exhibit and set a date for their first show called Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers. A date was set for May 1874.

As the public was still very much used to the ideas of the Romanticism and Realism movements, the exhibit was highly disapproved by the critics, in response that mixed hostility and ridicule. The critics thought it absurd to exhibit paintings for sale that looked like unfinished works.

March 26, 2016

Painting With The Girls 86

March 26, 2016.

Day 86 (280 days to go)

Bird And Cherry Tree

Watercolor Postcard, Monotype 5X7 Matted

Today Part VI  

Next Week-  A Retrospect on her work.


Berthe Morisot wrote in her journals that she wanted to fully dedicate herself to her work and family. For that she allowed less people and social events into her life.

Just as her mother had done, she taught Julie, her daughter, to write and paint and disapproved of sending her for formal school education.

The family left Paris on summers and visited with relatives in the countryside. Berthe would spend some time sketching and painting outdoors, and her daughter Julie would busy herself with her cousins.

During their marriage, her husband Eugene dedicated himself to helping Berthe with painting sales, and exhibitions.  Her main focus in painting became domestic life and the world of a woman. She painted Julie many times, as well as other female relatives. Her husband also posed as a model for several sketches and paintings along with Julie.

By the time Julie was 10, Berthe had lost her dearest friend, Edouard Manet. The death of Edouard’s brother Gustave, and a few months later, their mother, Mrs. Manet, followed this tragedy.

After all, life expectancy at the end of the 19th century was less then 45 years for a white male in Europe. Eugene, Berthe’s husband, was no exception. When he reached his mid fifties he became ill and never recovered. He died in 1892.

Berthe became a widow at age 51, and by her writings, expressed deep unhappiness with the losses in her life.

She moved to a smaller house and dedicated Thursday evenings to visits  and soirees with her very close friends, Degas, Mallarmmé, Renoir, Mary Cassatt and many others. Anne Higonnet writes in Berthe Morisot, “Work, concerts, theater, and dinners visits to and from old friends - the rhythm of the year before resumed. Morisot was producing more pictures then ever. She painted everyday, concentrating, never satisfied with what she had done, always striving toward an ideal”.

Her life went on like that for three years after she became a widow.

On February 1895, Berthe Morisot became ill. She caught a cold that turned into pneumonia.

A short time later, Berthe Morisot passed away.  Her dearest sister Edma was there, holding her hand.



March 25, 2016

painting With The Girls 85

March 25, 2016.

Day 85 (281 days to go)

A Is For Apple II             Watercolor, block printing, spray painting and collage.

Why is there another letter A? I got excited! Sorry!  

Watercolor Postcard, collage. 5X7 Matted


Edouard Manet (1832-1883) was a French painter who is grouped sometimes with the Impressionism movement. He rejected Realism and Romanticism, and even though the great masters such as Titian and Raphael inspired some of his paintings, he is perhaps better described as the bridge between Realism and Impressionism.

His main innovation was the idea of how to paint.

E. H Gombrich writes in The Story Of Art, and explains, “The art students were trained from the beginning to based their pictures on the interplay between light and shade… The public had become accustomed to seeing things represented in this manner that they had forgotten that in the open air we do not usually perceive such even graduations from dark to light…it may be said therefore, that Manet and his followers brought about revolution in the rendering of colors… They discovered that if you look at nature in the open we do not see individual objects each with its own color but rather a bright medley of tints which blend in your eye or really in your mind.”

Furthermore, Manet did not use the traditional methods of layering painting. He painted from life and he wanted to paint a model or a landscape in one sitting. He chose a color for each area and never came back with more layers or even a finishing touch of glaze. That made his paintings look flat but at the same time closer to the viewer.

He met with other painters and writers at the bohemian Café Guerbois in Montmartre. Even though Edouard Manet was never considered an Impressionistic painter in technique, he was regarded as the inspiration and spiritual leader for the Impressionist movement and their uprising against the Salon.

He organized them and helped them with their first exhibit away from the traditional Salon.

By 1874, the artists we know today as Impressionists, Monet, Degas, Pissarro, Sisley, Morisot and Renoir, could not wait any longer for the Salon to accept their work. They had all experienced rejection by the jury in recent years and felt they could not afford another year between exhibitions with no financial prospects. The artists collectively rented a studio for their own exhibit and set a date for their first show called Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers.

Edouard Manet’s most rejected paintings, Olympia and The Luncheon on the Grass, both at the Museé d’Orsay in Paris today.



March 24, 2016

Painting With The Girls 84

March 24, 2016.

Day 84 (282 days to go)


As I have mentioned before, I love doing collages. It is so relaxing!! I decided that I will do the entire alphabet. I would like them to look very different from each other as in technique. If nobody buys them I will hang them in my office starting by letter Z. I will finally learn how to say it backwards, in case I ever need it!

Watercolor Postcard, collage. 5X7 Matted

Meanwhile in the United States, American painters followed the traditions developing in Europe. Realism became very useful as painters were depicting the majestic American scenery. They called themselves the Hudson River School, but painted sceneries from east to west.

Notable painters from this time were Thomas Cole, Bierstadt, Edwin Church, Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer.

March 23, 2016

Painting With The Girls 83

March 23, 2016.

Day 83 (283 days to go)



Watercolor Postcard, 5X7 Matted


Three British students founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. They named themselves after Raphael out of respect for his naturalism. Rossetti, Millais and Hunt were in their early twenties when they decided to stay away from the Royal Academy of Arts instruction and focus on medieval techniques of painting, and use literature and nature for inspiration.  Their paintings depict nature in an almost photographic realism with bright colors. 

March 22, 2016

Painting With The Girls 82

March 22, 2016

Day 82 (284 days to go)


Watercolor Postcard, 5X7 Matted



According to a 2001, Current Population Survey, there were 300,000 painters, sculptors and crafts people in the United States.

I assume that number has increased after 15 years.

These numbers reflect the population that was working in the related areas of art.

In such a developed nation, we can also assume that a lot of people do a little art here and there and consume art supplies on a regular basis.

I often reflect on how much we all need to have or consume. It’s a very difficult issue, but we should all focus on how our consumption impacts the environment.

I hope all of us artists are mindful about recycling and buying strictly only what will get used.

I also often think about all the things that are around us on a regular basis that could be recycled into art.

It’s a challenge, but it is worth thinking about some more as we express ourselves with art. 

March 21, 2016

Painting With The Girls 81

March 21, 2016.

Day 81 (285 days to go)


Watercolor Postcard, 5X7 Matted

What has really changed in the past decade are sales of art through the Internet. Major Art Galleries report that 15-35% of their sales are made through the Internet.

Younger people feel more confortable buying this way because they were raised with the Internet. Art Galleries that weren’t very successful to start with had to close down or reinvent themselves. Getting people to enter an art gallery these days is a lot more difficult. Art Galleries and auction houses promote their events and sales through e-mails.

According to a report by an insurer Hiscox, based in London, in 2013 sites such as Global online, art sales reached a $1.57 billion.

And the image-posting site Instagram has become the art world’s chosen medium for keeping up with the latest hot names and who’s selling them.

March 20, 2016

Painting With The Girls 80

March 20, 2016.

Day 80 (286 days to go)




Watercolor Postcard, collage. block printing, 5X7 Matted

How many of us, in the comfort of our homes, ordered art supplies on the Internet?

In the last decade artists buying art supplies spent billions of dollars worldwide. Stores in the US had to keep up with these changes and either closed some stores or improved their sale sites.

One of the oldest art supply store, New York Central, had financial problems at their only location at Greenwich Village last year. They said sales were down and people were just not coming into the store.

Others stores as Flax stores, founded by four brothers in 1911, had to change their line of products and close stores in different locations.   

Always buy art supplies in the store if you can. It helps the local economy and secures jobs. 

March 19, 2016

Painting With The Girls 79

March 19, 2016.

Day 79 (294 days to go)


Watercolor Postcard, 5X7 Matted

This is the V Part installment of Berthe Morisot's life story. 

In 1873 at age 32, Berthe Morisot wrote that she was reading Darwin. This was considered unsuitable for a woman, especially an unmarried one. 

It was around this time that Eugene Manet became more alluring to her as a prospective-spouse. After all the negative press on Morisot’s work by the critics, Eugene became more devoted and supportive of her work. They had been friends for many years and he wooed her with letters, companionship and constructive criticism of her paintings.

Berthe was thirty-three years old when they got married. In a letter to her brother, she describes Eugene Manet as an excellent man who sincerely loves her.

The wedding was a civil ceremony and not ostentatious. She wore a plain dress since she was an older woman.

They spent the next four years, traveling, painting together, and enjoying marital bliss. Manet’s mother wasn’t very keen on Eugene’s choice for a wife, but all was forgiven and forgotten when, in 1876, Berthe gave birth to their daughter Julie.

She had kept a distance from the Impressionists group meetings and avoided participating in making any political decisions. Degas seemed too demanding and not very diplomatic or popular, mainly because he kept the policy of not accepting applications from painters who also wanted to exhibit at the Salon. But now being a young mother and dedicating herself to her family, Berthe withdrew from the second exhibit for the Impressionists.  More then fiftteen thousand people showed up to the exhibit, and even though there were still negative reviews from the critics, painters were able to sell their works. The exhibit was finally a financial success.


March 18, 2016

Painting With The Girls 78

March 18, 2016.

Day 78 (288 days to go)


Cherry Tree About To Blossom

This is the biggest cherry tree I know in Washington DC. It sits alone in the open space park at the National Arboretum. 

Ink wash Postcard 5X7, Matted

The Windsor & Newton company in London is one of the oldest art supplies stores in Britain that is still in business.

William Windsor and Henry Newton founded the company in 1832 in a location in an area where many painters had studios including Constable.

They sold a variety of art supplies, but it was their Kolinsky brushes ordered by Queen Victoria in 1866 that made them well known. In 1937 the firm introduced their very well known gouache paints, and after the war the World War II, they opened a brush factory in Lowestoft. In 1970, their line of acrylic paints was put on the market.

Their products are sold worldwide.

Another famous art supply store is Sennelier in Paris. Gustave Sennelier founded it in 1887, selling many mediums related to pigments. He was fascinated with the chemistry of colors and created many shades and tones requested by many artists, including Cezanne and Gauguin. In 1949, Sennelier created oils pastels specially developed for Picasso, who requested a product that could be applied to any surface without having to be prepared. They are among the few companies that still sell dry pigment to their customers worldwide.

Blick is the oldest art supply catalog still in business in the U.S.

Dick Blick opened the company in 1911 as an art supply catalog. Blick and his wife used their kitchen as a warehouse and their local Illinois post office as the firm’s shipping department. The company is still run by family members and their materials cover any type of art supply demand one could imagine.



March 17, 2016

Painting With The Girls 77

March 17, 2016.

Day 77 (289 days to go)



Watercolor Postcard, collage. 5X7 Matted

I will pause for a little on the subject of painters to take a quick look at the history of painting materials.  

We took a look at cave painting and the first murals in antiquity. These were followed in antiquity by art in the form of painted vases and mosaics. All of these techniques used pigment. Pigments in pre history were available from the surroundings, such as charcoal from fire and burnt bones, and minerals, such as limonite and hematite, for white and red. These are called earth minerals.

Any pigments used before the Industrial Revolution were very costly and their origins were plant, animal or mineral.

During the Renaissance, frescoes became very popular and the technique of painting with water-based mixed pigments applied to lime stone was replaced by the practical and simple technique of applying pigments mixed with egg whites (tempera) or oils (linseed and others). Towards the end of The Renaissance, these methods were used to paint on wooden boards and panels.

That all changed with the Industrial Revolution.

In Europe, pigments were prepared ahead and put into tubes and sold in art supply stores. Also, brushes and materials to stretch canvases and boxes were created for the artists to be more mobile.

Painting outdoors (plein air) became popular in the 19th century, facilitated by the creation of better traveling boxes and art supply storage. 

March 16, 2016

Painting With The Girls 76

March 16, 2016.

Day 76 (291 days to go)

Fish in the Pond


Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) was a French painter who wanted to depict peasant life and workers in the field the way they really were.

In 1850 Millet was accused of stirring revolutionary ideas with his paintings because two years after the publication of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, the public mood was tense with class conflict. He was not an artist painting political views. He actually liked the solitude of small villages and the quiet life of the peasants who were readjusting to the Industrial Revolution and contemporary social conditions.

His best friend was Daumier. He also played a part in the Barbizon school of landscapist painters, along with Theodore Rousseau and Corot.

Vincent Van Gogh admired his work immensely and copied a few of his paintings.

March 15, 2016

Painting With The Girls 75

March 15, 2016.

Day 75 (291 days to go).


Landing II

Postcard watercolor, 5X7 Matted


Honoré Daummier (1808-1879) was a French self-taught artist who mastered lithography and caricature. His style of Realism could be categorized as expressionistic. His art leaned towards character and atmosphere more then detailed realism.

Paul Johnson writes in Art: A New History, “He detested authority in any shape, whether it was the authority of the government, the law or money. He savagely attacked King Louis Philippe who put him in prison for six months. He was again in trouble with Napoleon III. Virtually all newspapers he was associated with were suppressed or censored.”

March 14, 2016

Painting With The Girls 74

March 14, 2016.

Day 74 (292 days to go)



Rain Reflections

Postcard watercolor, 5X7 Matted

Gustave Coubert (1819-1977) was a French painter who gave the name Realism to the new art movement.  Courbet was born in Ornans, which he depicted in two of his most famous paintings, Burial at Ornans and The Stone Breakers. Both represent real events and people of his own town. People found it to be crude and harsh and scandalous to represent people in a realistic way. Courbet was also obsessed with sexuality and political issues.

Paul Johnson writes in Art: A New History, “Through the nineteen century we come across cases of artists being procured to provide pornography for the great and the rich. Courbet’s pornographic drawings have either been destroyed or are deeply hidden in the national archives, but at least three of his lubricious paintings survive. All were done for a rich Turkish diplomat, Khalil Bey, and had to sold when he went bankrupt after endless excesses.” Turkish Bath, The Sleepers, and The Origin of the World.

He is also well known for his self-portrait at his studio that caused great commotion on its first exhibit at the Exposition Universelle.  The Painter’s Studio depicts Courbet’s at his studio, with a nude model, among more than thirty men and women. 

The Stone Breakers         Gustave Courbet

Burial at Ornans               Gustave Courbet 

Painter's Studio              Gustave Courbet

The Sleepers                 Gustave Courbet

Origin Of THe World

March 13, 2016

Painting With The Girls 73

March 13, 2016.

Day 73 (293 days to go)


Fish Reflections

Postcard watercolor, 5X7 Matted


Jean Baptist Camille Corot (1796-1875) is believed to have played an essential part in the 19th century landscape painting.  

Corot’s art naturally falls into two periods, divided from by about the year 1843. During the first period he painted like the contemporary classicists, very detailed, with careful and severe drawing, but not without a certain charm of color. The influence of his classical training may be seen in the nymphs he loved to fill his landscapes with, and the absolute mastery over technique, which we see in his second period. This shift began with his return from Italy in 1843, when he adopted the method of painting in the open air, which Constable and others had introduced from England. The works of this second period are what Corot is best, known for.

Corot became very successful financially with his work. He also was known for being a philanthropist. He helped his friends, he financed a day care for children of factory workers in Paris and he gave his friend Millet’s widow ten thousand francs when he died. He also helped his other friend Daumier by buying him a house when he became blind in old age.

March 12, 2016

Painting With The Girls 72

March 12, 2016

Day 72 (294 days to go)


Postcard watercolor, 5X7 Matted


Although Berthe Morisot portrays herself as a very insecure person in her journals and letters to her sister Edma, she continued to break out of the common grounds expected at the time from a professional painter.  She persisted with her outdoor paintings, and the exploration of technique and subject.  She explored with her fellow colleagues what it meant to break away from the rules of painting. She familiarized herself with the subject of the world as experienced by women as her main theme.

Berthe Morisot’s life was completely immersed in creating paintings, socializing with her fellow peers and sometimes modeling for Edouard Manet.

Even though Edouard Manet was never considered an Impressionistic painter in technique, he was regarded as their inspiration and spiritual leader in their uprising against the Salon.

By 1874, the artists we know today as Impressionists, Morisot, Monet, Degas, Pissarro, Sisley, and Renoir, could not wait any longer for the Salon to accept their work. They had all experienced rejection by the jury in recent years and felt they could not afford another year between exhibitions with no financial prospects. The artists collectively rented a studio for their own exhibit and set a date for their first show called Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers. A date was set for May 1874.

As the public was still very much used to the ideas of the Romanticism and Realism movements, the exhibit was highly disapproved by the critics, in response that mixed hostility and ridicule. The critics thought it absurd to exhibit paintings for sale that looked like unfinished works.

Nevertheless, it was just the beginning for Berthe Morisot’s career, and the birth of the Impressionistic movement.

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