Wednesday, March 25, 2015

pssst...I've got a secret…an Online Class...


So here it goes… I am over the moon and a little cray cray here.
A few weeks ago... one of my favorite online teachers, 
bloggers, and all around wonderful human beings 
asked if I would like to do a segment on her next online class.
Enter the "woot! woots!" and "happy dancing".
After spending the past couple of weeks figuring it all out, 
and prepping… 
I am thrilled to announce the launch of 

Sign up's are taking place right now 
for the early bird price of $29
Open House is March 28th
Class starts April 1! 
I guarantee there's nothing more fun than getting creative with Junelle. 
Between her loosey goosey journaling style, 
happy flowers, recipes and her forever loving farm family of sheep
there will be plenty to play with as Spring arrives!

Oh, and then there's my part too… 
I've decided to teach a project using watercolor, 
wherein I can demonstrate some wet into wet watercolor technique 
and lots of glazing of color.
The image above shows my rooster and a couple of flower pieces 
that will be part of the little watercolor booklet we'll design...
along with the fun script lettering styles I'll teach how to draw.
Just enough of a simple project to share some watercolor 
love with you all!

So, here's the dealeo… sign ups are going on now…
I have one "FREE" spot to give away in this lovely class.
If you leave a comment HERE on the blog mentioning the class
or on my FACEBOOK page, (include the code: SPRINGART )
your name will be entered into a drawing 
for that FREE class space.
A name will be chosen by 4pm on Friday March 27th
and that person will be notified by email or personal FB message
or on the blog if I don't have your contact info. 
Good Luck everyone! 
This class is truly a blessing in so many ways!

http://yesandamenblog.blogspot.com
 p.s. my website is getting all spiffed up and ready for a launch in the very near future…
keep your eyes open for  http://valerieweller.com  …more watercolor… coming soon



Sunday, February 15, 2015

What have you been up to?

It never ceases to amaze me how fast time goes. 
I wanted to send out some  artsy  l o v e  to everyone 
and to fill you in on my artful expeditions this year.

I've been spending a lot of time teaching watercolor & mixed media 
privately while building up my own body of work.
I've been working toward crafting my artful life, 
and am seeing clearly now how it's falling into place.
The teaching is incredibly rewarding and has inspired me to grow in my own process.
Nothing speaks more volumes than working with people you  l o v e
and doing what you  l o v e.

I've also finally found the right vibe for my website 
that I've been trying to build for quite some time now.
I can tell you that I am getting closer and closer to a launch 
and I'm over the moon about it. 
I struggled to find the right way to share myself with the world, 
and even felt a bit embarrassed about not having a "real" website by now
but as with everything
when you work through a process, really good stuff comes.
I've learned so much and am getting close to sharing all that.

Next steps will be the concept of workshops. 
I am doing all of that privately, but so many have asked me about 
online courses and workshops on location.
That is all part two of the big plan.
I will have more information on all of that after the launch of the website.
So… good things ahead in this year of 2015. 
All having to do with  l o v e!
l o v e 
for what I do and why I do it.
l o v e
for the people I am so blessed to work with and share an artful life with… and…
l o v e
for the ability to be a creative!





Pure happiness working with all these lovelies!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thankful time...

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; 
they are the charming gardeners 
who make our souls blossom.
- Marcel Proust 

I've been missing out on giving my blog some love lately,
 as I've been consumed with the joys of teaching watercolor, 
building my website, and planning online classes…
seemingly...a "never ending process" these days.

This time of year, always brings pause for 
thoughtfulness & thanks.
I can't tell you all how grateful I am, for the support, from so many 
on my artistic endeavors. 
There is so much joy that comes from this artistic life 
and the connection to all of the lovelies 
we meet along the way...
you are all the ones 
that make my soul blossom.

In that spirit…
here's a tutorial on how to watercolor a "couple" of pears.
Afterall, what's one pear without the other?
A quick sketch and some water wash on the sheet ( I used arches 130LB)
Then a little leaf green- loosey goosey.
A little water where you want the color to go and some cad. yellow.
we're working light to dark… the leaf green has yellow properties.
more cad yellow...
A  little quinacridone gold in spots where you see the bruises and the darks on the pear.
A little cad red medium glazing over the still wet yellow...
Building up the cad red a little...
A touch of leaf green for some sparkle… 
careful, as it will get a little brown when mixed with the red. 
A light hand is best… a little brown will be ok, but too much will look muddy.
If it gets too muddy, lift it lightly with a corner of paper towel and add more.
The cadmiums aren't as transparent as other colors.
a touch more….
Quin gold over the wet cad red …gives that pear a little texture, 
almost like the rough skin on a pear.
Introducing…. indigo over the wet leaf green area. 
The darks are going down!
(I normally might go to ultramarine, but indigo has a dark blue black feel- 
looking for some drama here.)
a touch of leaf green again...
a little more indigo...
Drying down… the color fades a touch as it dries…
quinacridone started in the stems… 
For the stems… a little clear water first… 
a touch of quin gold over the water.
Then some paynes grey ever so lightly dropped into the stem.
Paynes + Quinacridone Gold make a beautiful earthy branch, twig, stem color.
This image also shows me adding a touch of cad over the dry area.
Finishing some paynes gray over the quin gold on the green pear's stem.
Background time… a wet wash in order to drop some complimentary color on...
I'm feeling some turquoise, 
to add some glow and enhance the color in the pears...
Viola! 
Signature time… or whatever style you prefer to finish with.
I chose a little rubber stamp today.
Two haPPy friendly pears with a glow of color.
My gift to you! 

haPPy Fall…Winter…
Season of Blessings…
Season of Giving.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

At Long Last… and a Video too!

 Finally… at long last… woo hoo!
Thank-you, thank-you, everyone... for being patient with me.
 This is the second installment of my blog series… 
step by step watercolor.
In my last post, I had shared a bit about what kind of materials 
I like to use when painting my watercolor sketches, 
as well as a bit about my palette. 
I mentioned that I would do a colorful veggie sketch...
but actually was inspired by this lovely bunch of flowers I found 
at the Ballard Farmers Market, while visiting Seattle.
(No worries...I'll definitely do a veggie sketch on another post.)

I decided to put a little video together, so you'd have 
a true step by step experience.
The biggest take away I believe, will be 
the way I like to use my color wet into wet,
 and glaze over color, 
both, when wet & dry.
Many have asked me how I get such vibrant color…
I do believe it's the combination of mixing paint,
 to create great color
(not straight from the tube all the time)
as well as layering, 
one on top of another.
And of course, leaving some sparkling white of the paper 
to keep those little shimmers of highlight, on your subject.

Here's a little
step by step...
Take a peek and see what you think…



The sketch in this video is done in my Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook ...
a perfect paper for watercolor and glazing.

Next post will be another glazing process- maybe veggies… 
then we'll roll into some how to's... of the script handwriting 
that I like to do on my sketches and my signature block.
Stay tuned…. 

Feel free to leave any comments or questions... 

Check back if you're interested 
or join this blog site by signing up on google connect.
( see connect block in left column.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Step by Step… watercolor

I'm sooo excited to be doing a series of blog posts about this 
fun, fun, loosey, goosey outta control process of watercolor!
Frequently, I've been asked about my process...
the paint I use, the palette, my signature block 
and…. most often, how I get my colors.

 What better place to share then here!
Above is a selection of brushes that I use on a regular basis.
There are a couple of pricey brushes here, as well as a few inexpensive ones. 
I am a big proponent for trying different supplies to find what feels best to you... 
In my experience… I generally see, that quality 
does matter with those end results.

From left to right: 
Cotman square wash 1"
Royal & Langnickel (2 of them) 1/2" angle
Loew-Cornell #10 filbert
Windsor & Newton 1" angle
Princeton Neptune #4 quill 
Isabey #12 Squirrel Mop 
all watercolor brushes…

In a nutshell… the square brush is for making background washes, 
and strands of color.
The two angle brushes are cheaper brushes that I use for most of my small sketches. 
I love the shape, as it allows for a thick or thin stroke. 
They are great for glazing colors. 
Because they are inexpensive… I usually keep a few on hand.
The filbert brush is great for smaller work too. 
It feels good to use on curved shapes and smaller solid areas.
The 1" angle serves the same purpose as the smaller brushes, 
just covering a larger surface.
And lastly… the quill and mop brush allow for loading up of water & color 
 to achieve a loose wash, or free form shape, 
or mingling of color…
whatever your fancy.

For anyone that likes more detailed info about brushes, 
their content, shape and purpose...
I've included a couple of helpful links below.          

and… the palette...
and… the paint...

My paints are a selection of Holbein and Windsor & Newton 
with an occasion random tube thrown in.
I think I found a couple of Yarka brand 
(really dated paint that I've had for a long long time) 
and a few Sennelier in my repertoire. 
For the most part 
I am a Holbein-Windsor & Newton kind of chick.
I tend to like Holbein brand a lot, 
because they are more saturated and brilliant in color. 

Holbein Artists' Watercolors are imported from Japan. 
Holbein's colors are known for their brilliance, 
with clean and crisp characteristics. 
Their content is designed in a way, that makes them 
ideal for preserving brushstrokes 
and color vigor over long periods of time.

The Windsor & Newton's are my standard, base… welcome home… 
I'm here for you paints.
They are known for their incredible quality and permanence as well.
Between the two, I've found the flexibility to make some luscious colors.
Definitely check out the new Windsor & Newton website
It's chock full of art supply information, 
as well as ways to connect with community
and share in the artists gallery.
I've been asked many times about my palette color choices.
Funny… I know it looks like I'm ready for a refill on the one above...
but I'd be remiss in not mentioning how long these colors last.
I love using this small palette for sketching 
I have a large palettes with big wells, for larger paintings.
This is one of my favorites for watercolor sketching right now.
The pages take layering of color… "glazing"... pretty well for a sketchbook. 
You can definitely see that the paper is substantial with a nice tooth for grabbing the color.
I have yet to try the Zeta series which is a smoother sheet.
And for the finale…Drum roll please…
my palette colors….
lemon yellow (H)
cadmium yellow(WN)
cadmium red orange (H)
windsor orange (WN)
cadmium red deep (H)
quinacridone gold (WN)
burnt sienna (H)
yellow ochre (H)
alizarin crimson (WN)
rose madder (H)
quinacridone magenta (WN)
prussian blue (H)
indigo (WN)
mineral violet (H)
cobalt blue (WN)
leaf green (H)
paynes grey (H)
permanent violet (H)
viridian (WN)
turquoise blue (H)
cobalt turquoise light (WN)
permanent green (H)
terre verte (H)
and a few extras… lilac, brilliant pink, lavender, cobalt violet light all (H)
a little sketch… a little water… and a beginning layer of wash starts the process.
I'll be breaking down the steps 
on how I do a color-FULL veggie sketch on the next post.

I hope this has been helpful! 
haPPy summer sketching!


Check back if you're interested… 
or join this blog site by signing up on google connect. 
(to sign up- see connect block in left column.)





Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Watercolor time...


Some days I find I am writing more than painting. 
Who knew? 
Some days I find I am building my website more than painting… 
Who knew?
Some days I find I am tending to others needs more than painting…
Who knew?
This path of growing an art life will always be riddled with stops and go's...
making that time spent painting 
so much more appreciated.

So with those moments…
I've been working in my S&B sketchbook painting a series of veggies. 

This time of year, brings back memories of summers 
on the east end of Long Island…
where a farm stand resides
on many a small town road.
Fresh strawberries abound, for making jam.  
and..veggies brighter than the sky, 
delight the eye with their homegrown goodness.
I got to thinking about my affinity for painting elements 
from different seasons…
the flowers of spring, fruits & veggies of summer, the leaves of fall… 
and the flowery greens of winter. 

I find myself returning to them, just like home.
In the wake of developing this little series...
I've been getting tons of questions and requests regarding my palette, 
my process, the brands I use, the glazing, the calligraphic words, 
and my little signature block.

I've decided to do a series here to provide answers to those questions.
Woo hoo! Went through a dry spell with words,
and now have an array of informative posts planned for you all. 
If you have any specific questions about my process, 
feel free to leave a note in the comment section.
I'll be posting once a week…
starting with my palette and brands of paint.

Grateful for all of your artsy support friends!






Monday, February 24, 2014

What's so BIG About January & February?

(working as an apprentice under the masters, allows one to explore 
the master's style… and later apply to your own works)
Part of my BIG for this year 
was a commitment to learning & growing…
a promise to myself to develop my own art with intent, 
as well as the art that I am teaching.
Kind of like those New Year promises that we make
that involve a gym, losing weight, and eating really healthy.
I am happy to say, that I haven't joined a new gym- 
haven't been drinking green blender drinks either...
 but I have kept the commitment to develop my art 
and I am really happy with what I feel is happening.
Part of the BIG 
was taking two online classes while juggling the rest of life.
Turns out to be one of the best decisions ever!
The quality of the two classes, along with the content has stretched me, 
pushed me, disciplined me, and opened a sense of freedom 
beyond what I was accustomed to in own my process.
So… the recommendation's go like this…
Studying with the Master's
a Jeanne Oliver class with some all-time favorite teachers 
(including my beloved Junelle Jacobsen)...
and Full Circle Workshop with Misty Mawn.
Both are in process, but are accessible online for a year or more.
Both have been instrumental for creative growth bigtime!
The charcoal sketch above and two pieces below are from
The variety of work Misty teaches is amazing, and the techniques she shares, 
soooo allow you room to build upon. 
The parallel I found here, 
was whether working from 
the "masters" or working 
from a "master"…
you're going to learn about yourself & build upon your own style.

Just as "art learning" should be… 
I can see the BIG part of the past 7 weeks or so... 
to be that self-discovery 
that will only sharpen 
the process, and make my art 
and teaching better for the people I share with.
So grateful that we can learn so much from and with other kindred spirits
through this crazy thing called e-course!
…more master's study with Matisse..

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