Palette Pondering

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Brian Jensen Part 3: Clay works

  Pitcher  Thrown stoneware ******* Bowl #8911-1  Thrown stoneware ******* Bowl #8911-2 Thrown stoneware *******   Bean Pot Approx. 20 cm. Thrown stoneware Brass closure *******   Sake Set Plate – rolled stoneware Decanter and Cup – thrown stoneware *******   Sushi Serving Plate Approx. 40 cm. Rolled Stoneware ******* Another view of the Sushi… read more

Fun With Sponge

  Sometimes artists just have to let themselves go and just have fun. Today is this day! Let us grab the textured sponge roll and have a blast. What is wonderful about this textured sponge roll is that the core is not cardboard, as in olden times. This roll has a plastic core, which enables… read more

What is Art?

  Today I saw an artist’s artwork that grossed me out. It was not vulgar but it repulsed me all the same. An artwork consisted of a line of identical legless armless naked doll bodies, with each having a different head. All the heads were not normal, but grotesque and ugly. Some of the heads… read more

Brian Jensen Part 2: Cutlery Metalwork

  “Art Inspires Art” previously announced that “Brian Jensen Part 2” would include both jewelry and cutlery. However, with the opportunity of being able to present more of Brian Jensen’s metalwork in the cutlery category, jewelry will exhibited in “Brian Jensen Part 4. “   Enjoy. Featured Artist: Brian Jensen Folding Knife #72911-1 0-1 tool… read more

Un-clutter That Mess!

  It has been a glorious past few weeks, as I have been painting in series. In the last three series of paintings, I used the same color scheme. Subsequently there was no need to clean my palette. I used the same brushes, same paints, same rags, and same space, since they were all the… read more

High Tech Thumbnails

Thumbnails. Artists have learned to use valuable thumbnails when sketching for eons. However, technology has now given artists another thumbnails tool via the computer to help us perceive future artworks through our photos.   Let us say you have a folder of photos you have taken on your computer; photos that you are considering for… read more

Brian Jensen Part 1: Metalworks

The ability to visualize beauty in raw materials is evident in the artwork of this “Arts Inspires Art” guest artist. Brian Jensen, ranking high in the art field, capitalizes on his God-given ability to convey the essence of beauty of each material through his artwork. Although it is a change for us from the two-dimensional… read more

Gaga on Reflections

Capturing reflections on one’s artwork has always fascinated me. Whether the reflections are on a pond, on a river, or even in a puddle, the truth is water reflections inadvertently draw viewers to one’s artwork. Angles and lengths of reflections are trouble spots for some artists. Because the laws of physics govern reflections, one just… read more

Re-train That Brain

Many have asked me what methods I am using to re-train my brain to paint depth aptly. Remember that movie about Helen Keller, the famous American author and lecturer, who was deaf and blind? In the movie, there is a famous scene where Helen’s teacher Anne Sullivan and Helen are wrestling at the water pump… read more

Tamara Jensen Part 3: Surprise

  Tamara Jensen Part 3: Surprise Watercolor Artwork   Millennium *******   Overtopping the Levee ******* Coral Reef *******   Lifting Fog ******* Shades of Grey *******   Shenandoah ******* Acrylic Artwork   Cadence *******   Caldera *******   Through the Rain ******* Mood paintings are an excellent way to describe Tamara Jensen’s artwork. Tamara is… read more

Explore and Discover

The small world of Flat Flat Flat had been my world for the last three years. I had been totally blind in one eye and the sight in the other was fleeting fast. After my surgery, (I now can see and praise God for this blessing every moment!) I have discovered that I need to… read more

House Portraits by Jean Parry

  A dear fellow Creative Artist, Jean Parry, 90 years old, passed away June 29, 2011. Known as the “House Portrait Painter”, Jean specialized in painting and drawing houses and buildings on commission since 1984. She loved to travel and inspired many by her memorable scenes she painted in watercolors from her travels around the… read more

Tamara Jensen Part 2: Ethereal

  Featured Artist: Tamara Jensen Sunrise ******* Mourning Sky ******* Forest Citadel ******* After the Rain ******* Prairie Sky ******* Summer Clouds ******* Fire Light ******* Sunset on the Lake ******* Next Friday in “Art Inspires Art”: Tamara Jensen Part 3: Surprise! Tamara shows some of her latest works! Tamara Jensen Being creative can… read more

Great White Attack!

Whoa! Hold them horses! I am not talking about a great white shark attack! I am talking about the huge 8-canvas conglomeration of white that is staring me right in the face! Here I thought one white canvas was intimidating, and then I put eight together to work in a series. Oh my! However, I… read more

A Blessing by Willson

This Fourth of July celebration, as we honor America’s best and pray for her future, it would be profitable for us to remember one particular work of Meredith Willson, a famous American composer and a homegrown Iowa boy. What do we know of Meredith Willson? Born in Mason City, Iowa, he was educated at the… read more

Tamara Jensen Part 1 Drama

Once in a blue moon, one might find a person intertwined with their art. To find a married couple so inclined is a real treat; I have found such an artsy couple in Tamara and Brian Jensen. They support and encourage each other, which in today’s world is sadly becoming a rarity. Both are accomplished… read more

Pool of Pours

Ever look at the white canvas/paper before you and wonder, “Where do I start?” The vivid whiteness is intimidating and often stops even the best artists right in their tracks. Tired of this feeling of not knowing how to start? Be bold and use pours! The fastest way I have found to get rid of… read more

Music Man Square Update

  Mason City’s Music Man Square provides the viewer with an informative historical of an age when an extremely talented man, Meredith Willson, lived. Upon entering the museum, at first glance, one is transported into 1912 by the streetscape of the Warner Brothers movie “The Music Man.” The street is lined with small shops; some… read more

Daily Painters

  Many years ago, my artist friend Noma Lucas sent me the link to a site called Daily Painters. I was impressed then and am still impressed today. These incredibly fast painters each paint a new piece roughly every day and promote their original artwork on this site. There are approximately 150 members at a… read more

Cherish Depth Perception

In the Marion Heritage Center hang two of my acrylic paintings. One is “Forged Into Steel” which was the last painting I did before my eyesight was restored. Many have asked me how this could be, that I could paint this powerful painting (their words) without seeing. It seems mission impossible, does it not? I… read more

Music Man Square

There is music in the air. Ahh, 76 Trombones are calling, lead by the Music Man! You probably have seen that delightful Warner Brothers motion picture of The Music Man, one of America’s favorite musicals. Meredith Willson was one of America’s favorite storytellers and songwriters. Meredith Willson’s hometown of Mason City, Iowa with rich musical… read more

Iowa Artists 2014 State Art Show

 The Iowa Artists 2014 State Show was held Saturday, May 3 at KTOS (Kirkwood Training and Outreach Services) in Marion, Iowa. The Judge and Presenter was Richard Dutton. It was a great day meeting artists from around the state of Iowa. Every art piece exhibited was interesting and inspiring, being a First Place Winner in… read more


Indulgence…what does that mean to an artist? Many times non-artists envelop artists with the erroneous thought that successful artists are only those who sell zillions of paintings. What occurs is that artists are stifled and made to feel guilty when indulging on a painting that we do actually for ourselves. Non-artists feel it is a… read more

You Can Do Anything But…

Regarding the choosing of art subjects, a good Artist Jack White quote is, “You can do anything you want to in life, you just cannot do everything you want to do.”   This quote goes along with one of Jack White’s fabulous soul-reaching stories. The tale has to do with an artist by the name of A.… read more

Dell B. Magnuson Secor: Part 2- Abstracts

All pieces are untitled; however, each piece has its own gallery number. Featured Artist: Dell B. Magnuson – Secor Abstract No. 61011-1 ******* Abstract No. 61011-2 ******* Abstract No. 61011-3 ******* Abstract No. 61011-4 ******* Abstract No. 61011-5 ******* Abstract No. 61011-6 ******* Abstract No. 61011-7 ******* Next week “Art Inspires Art” features pine needle… read more


An artist friend in Iowa City recommended that I try Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic Paint.  He is an oil painter, who has crossed over into acrylics. He likes the similarity of oils and Heavy Body. Nevertheless, having spent many years painting in watercolor, I am finding this Heavy Body consistency to be a challenge compared… read more

Road Construction, Detours, and Dust, oh my!

Today my day was a day of running errands, road construction, and detours, oh, and dust. I say, plenty of dust. Although summer has returned with 96 degrees and “the livin’ is easy”, errands take more time to accomplish.   Waiting is the norm when one-lane roads exist with flagmen (or flag women) directing traffic.… read more

Dell B. Magnuson Secor “Violet Series”

Dell B. Magnuson – Secor is an abstract artist whom I greatly respect. She often paints in series, such as this week’s “Art Inspires Art” artwork, “The Violet Series.” Although her violet paintings display different violets, her series format is similar to what Monet used in his “The Stacks” series. It does not only involve… read more

Essence of Joy

One of my favorite things to do is just plain ol’ painting, which is a blast of fun. I forget all the pressures of creating art and just concentrate on releasing what is inside of me. My painting may not end up as an abstract or it may not even turn out at all! Who… read more

Personal Memorial Day Observations

My first observation was the huge American flag at half-mast, flying above the sepulchers at the Oak Shade Cemetery. This cemetery is composed of rolling hills with many tall trees in the midst of the town limits. Oak Shade Cemetery is a place of peace and calm, where one feels close to God. Years ago,… read more

Joan Cimaglia Part 3: Florals

Burst of Spring ******* Lilies ******* Joan’s Pots ******* Bursting Out ******* Christmas Flowers ******* As one can see by her artwork, Joan Cimaglia is enthusiastic about trying new painting techniques and different art materials, such as Unru (Thai rice paper) and Masa paper. Her “What can I do with this?” curiosity pops in her… read more

Behold the Ruby!

Many artists use the red filter as one of their vital tools in creating values. My red filter, the Ruby Beholder, is among my most valuable art tool treasures. Using the Ruby Beholder enables the artist to magnify the principle of values even further. What does a Ruby Beholder look like? This is a Ruby… read more

“But Wait! There’s More! “

The 2011 Marion Arts Festival was another extravaganza hit in Marion’s art history. What fun it was! With 50 top-notch artists, art demonstrations, empty bowl fundraiser, 5 K run and walk, plenty of hands-on activities, and of course, good food all located in the city’s square, the surrounding atmosphere was engulfed with excitement! One could get depressed… read more

Joan Cimaglia Part 2: Different Views

Featured Guest Artist: Joan Cimaglia  A Different View ******* A Church ******* The Flower Bed ******* Hummer ******* A Pair of Angels *******   Next Friday in “Art Inspires Art” Joan Cimaglia Part 3: Florals  With spring upon us, Joan’s flowers next week will be appreciated by any person with or without a green thumb. Joan… read more

Valuable Values

In preparation for my painting session today, I had previously painted a faint, or weak in color, acrylic painting of a waterpot. This technique suffices as a light sketch. In my studio, before I did anything else this morning, I created some valuable value scales of each of the colors on my painting. The value… read more

Marion Arts Festival 2011

  The art news is out! This Saturday May 21 there will be a huge art happening here in Marion, Iowa. Now in its 19th year, the Marion Arts Festival keeps reeling in the accolades and more importantly, brings in the audiences to enjoy fantastic art! Although, nearly 350 artists from all over the world… read more

Joan Cimaglia Part 1: Abstracts

Joan Cimaglia is one of those people anyone would be proud to call a Friend. I have the utmost respect for this woman. Throughout the years, Joan and I have worked together on many projects. She is what I call “True Blue,” meaning her word is her bond. Whether it is for art events, workshops,… read more

“Free as a Lark” Painting

Today I am free to paint all day! I look forward to these complete days of painting! When I paint, I usually start out with a composition in mind. This morning I decided to use the Checker Board composition, which I call the “H Checkerboard.” The opposite corners match in value, color, or pattern.  For… read more

A Website: An Ongoing Education

  At first, the title of this blog may sound like I am speaking of the education and art experiments I share with my readers, but it is not. The title, in truth, signifies the education I myself am receiving when running this website. My website has been and continues to be an ongoing education… read more

Noma Lucas Miniatures Part 2: Summer and Fall

All pieces are untitled; however, each piece has its own gallery number. Scenes of Summer Summer Artwork No. 5611-1  In the private collection of Kathleen R. Huebener *******   Summer Artwork No. 5611-2   In the private collection of Kathleen R. Huebener *******   Summer Artwork No. 5611-3     In the private collection of Kathleen… read more

John Marin Part 3: Charcoal IN Watercolor? Oh My!

  Adding my observations from viewing the artist John Marin originals in the Art Institute of Chicago to what I gleaned from studying John Marin’s Watercolors – A Medium for Modernism, I have a revelation about the substances Marin added to his watercolors to achieve his improvisational expressions. He was not concerned about traditional watercolor… read more

Twenty- Fifth Anniversary Dinner

I attended a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary dinner party last Saturday. The mood was festive, and extremely elegant, complete with a harpist, playing Christian music.   It was around 6 PM. The sun, just above the horizon, arrayed the room with golden beams that, through the wine and water glasses, bounced rainbows around the room. Decorated… read more

Noma’s Miniatures Part 1: Winter and Spring

Noma Lucas is one of the finest miniature artwork artists in our country. She has created 3” X 5” miniature art pieces, known as “mini’s”, that are phenomenal! Each miniature is a stunning work of art. They are the perfect size for a focal point on a mantel, an end table, or a nightstand. In fact,… read more

John Marin: Part 2 Double Elephant

If you are assuming that the double elephant title of Part 2 might refer to John Marin’s artwork titled “Circus Elephants”, I say “Good guess.” Wrong, but a good guess. Although an indirect connection between the title and the painting may exist through the paper. “How so?” you may ask. To begin, I have been studying… read more

Noma Lucas: Part 2

  Former Livelihood *******   Wandering *******   Reflections *******   Viburnun Opulus *******   A Place to Rest ******* Next Friday in “Art Inspires Art”: Noma Lucas: Miniatures Part 1 Believe me- you will not want to miss it! Totally Cool! Noma Lucas A three-year correspondence course was the beginning of my passion… read more

Creative Artists Spring Art Show

Hey Art Lovers, take time to visit the Creative Artists Spring Show & Sale on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at Hiawatha Community Center in Hiawatha, Iowa. The Art Show runs from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. In addition, there is no entrance fee. Throughout the day, Creative Artists will be giving away an enormous amount of… read more

John Marin: Part 1

Recently I was fortunate to view 46 originals by artist John Marin at the Art Institute of Chicago with Creative Artists, a fun group of artists. As always, the Art Institute provided an extremely informative exhibition. I have been asked to share my notes. John Marin: Part 1 will be my first impressions and observations of Marin’s… read more

Creating a New Habit

During our annual family clean up, we collect all items unfit for either donation or recycling in our screened-in patio. Then on the day assigned, we carry everything to the curb for the city pick-up. It was sometime during the middle of the process to the curb, when I decided without a doubt that I… read more

Noma Lucas: Part 1

In all my years I have known Noma Lucas, she has worked passionately and prolifically in promoting the arts. She has been a role model for many of us in the art field, because Noma has worked tirelessly in providing opportunities for artists to exhibit their work. She enjoys painting both abstracts and realism. Noma… read more

Tom Lynch WC Canvas Guru

  Tom Lynch is well known and an excellent demonstrator of art techniques on watercolor canvas board. However, after participating in his workshops, I left with these deeper maxims. Whether one is a realist or an abstract painter, watercolorist or an oil painter, these maxims concerning the way artists portray images would apply.  First… read more

John Salminen Abstraction

Providence opened to me the door of abstracts through the artist John Salminen. John Salminen thinks in abstract forms before creating his world-renown paintings of urban life in the big cities. His no-nonsense method of creating an abstract from a few curvilinear and geometric items has enthralled me from the beginning. From John, I learned some… read more

Bob Naujoks: Jazz Part 2

  Bob Naujoks A talented man who is an artistic catalytic combustion of energy that bursts into myriad directions. He confirms his deep appreciation of jazz in the following pieces of artwork. Enjoy! Bob Naujoks: Jazz Part 2   Flute Player 2010 Watercolor & ink *******   Four Brothers 2009 Watercolor *******  Modern Jazz (MJQ) 2009… read more

Fun With Frames

Framing for watercolor paintings and acrylic paintings are as different as night and day. For my watercolor artwork, I usually stayed with a white or off-white mat and a simple metal frame, because of the many art contests’ requirements. For example, the Iowa Watercolor Society specifies such mats and recommends a simple frame for its… read more

Bob Naujoks: Jazz Part 1

  Whether it is hot jazz, cool jazz, progressive jazz, or modern jazz, the Line Meister draws all the lines needed to portray the movement, the richness, and the sensation of jazz expression. The music flows with each line.   Bob Naujoks: Jazz Part 1 Benny Rides Again (Goodman) 2010  Watercolor *******  Bird Lives (Charlie… read more

Curly, that’s a lot of bull!

Randi Fladland Nogosek, a childhood friend, passed away from cancer a few days ago. I was unable to attend her memorial. If I were able to attend, I would have shared my favorite story about our adventures together. This is what I would have said: The day began with a taste of freedom. Randi had asked me to stay overnight… read more

No Toss of the Coin

  Cold rainy weather is not good for working outside on the memorial stones. However, the weather is perfect for a good cup of tea and time to reflect.  Life is like two sides of a coin. One side is good, while the other bad. The people who inspire, encourage, and expect the best of… read more

Bob Naujoks: Scriptures Part 2

Bob Naujoks: Scriptures Part 2   My Father’s House (John 14:1-4)   2010 Pen & ink, watercolor, color pencils ******* The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:8-32) 2000  Pen & ink, watercolor, color pencils ******* The Woman at the Well (John 4:5-42) 2011 Pen & ink, watercolor, color pencils ******* Yeast Parable (John 13:33) 2009 Pen &… read more

Crowing Time

There comes a time when an artist has to do some crowing. Well, I feel like crowing! I am ecstatic to have found a framing company with good products and good prices. That is a great blessing in itself; however, that is not what I feel like crowing about. Do you know that feeling an… read more

Memorial Stone for a Child

  Saga of Jasmine’s Garden continues:   I began to design the memorial stone for Jasmine. I created life-sized cutouts of both stones on which I could sketch ideas. At this time, I was planning to use just one stone, as suggested by Linda, Jasmine’s grandmother. Which stone would be the best one for the… read more

Bob Naujoks: Scriptures Part I

    Throughout my art career, there have been special artists who encouraged, inspired, and aided the cultivation of the artistry in me. An artist that comes quickly to my mind is Bob Naujoks. He and his wife Sharon are devoted Christians whom I consider brother and sister-in-Christ. I personally call Bob the “Line Meister”… read more

Interactive Illumination

  I am finding these Atelier Interactive Paints are a hoot to experiment with when painting. Atelier is pronounced as a (as in fat) – til’ – short i – long a. Here is what I have discovered so far in my quest for different effects of Atelier Interactive Paints when painted together with traditional… read more

Dilemma of the Stones

  Continuing the saga of Jasmine’s Garden… In my studio, I closely examined the two possible stones for the memorial. The stone sides differed in textures. On the backside of the tallest stone, the texture had furrows and a circular gouge that would create great shadows as the sun passed by. The backside of the shorter stone… read more

Great Balls of Fire! Watercolor-Acrylics!

  Recently at a celebration party at the Dick Blick Art Store in Iowa City, Iowa, I won a tube of Atelier Interactive Acrylic Paint. I had never heard of it; but after listening to the clerk, an artist herself, I was excited to try it out. She just discovered these acrylics herself, after seeing… read more

Gung-ho Grandma

  This is where the saga begins for me. I am an artist. I was at Mr. Bean’s in Marion having a spot of green tea, as many artists do. We meet, have a hot drink, and talk shop. Linda Maske, who works there, spotted me and having a free moment, came over to chat.… read more

Killers of the Creative Spirit

  Wednesdays are my paint days; every Wednesday, an established day, when friends and family know to leave me alone because I am painting the whole day. It is a peaceful time for me and the creative juices flow freely. But today I had a disruption, the funeral of a dear old neighbor.   I… read more

Saga of Jasmine’s Garden

Jasmine Jean Maske was a beautiful ten-year-old girl who loved her family and friends and, in fact, loved life itself.  She especially loved the outdoors, gardens & butterflies, and her curly black puppy “Taylor Swift” named after her favorite singer Taylor Swift. Jasmine was a fourth grader at Francis Marion Intermediate School in Marion, Iowa and… read more

Fresh Perception and Passion Ahead!

Dear Fellow Artists, thanks to the encouragement and suggestions from my “Best-in-the-World” Web Site Meisters www.foliotwistcom, I am aspiring to compose new informative blog posts beginning this Monday that will reflect art in my life.   Creating art, as you already know, takes many steps; for me, it begins first with the pondering of an abstract thought, emotion, or fervor within… read more

Chevreul Rules!

  Artists, if you are one who fully likes knowing your colors and how they interact with each other, you would appreciate Michel – Eugene Chevreul and his findings. His book The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors provides us with many important principles of colors. Here are just five of his Color Principles. Principle1… read more

Winslow Homer Speaks!

  On April 29, 2008 Winslow Homer spoke to my soul! This shocking phenomenon occurred while I was attending the Winslow Homer Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Never had my soul been so moved by any other master’s artwork! What made me stop and take notice was the fact that I had been previously… read more

Economical Good Ventilation System

  I discovered another interesting and useful tidbit about varnishing, something my artist friends will appreciate.  I was having a dilemma finding a place to varnish with a good ventilation system, since it is impossible to varnish outside in the winter.  Then it came to me. I do have a room with an exhaust fan-… read more

Experimenting With Varnishes

  As I have said before, there are many good tutorials, articles, and videos on varnishing. I needed to see the effect directly on my artwork. The varnish process consists of three levels. Top layer: Final Varnish Coat Middle layer: Isolation Coats (gloss, satin sheen, or matte) usually two or three coats Bottom layer: actual… read more

Is Varnishing Acrylics Necessary?

  Previously I had thought it wasn’t necessary. But I changed my mind after viewing the artwork of Winslow Homer that was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in April of 2008. It was the museum’s eye-opening “before” and “after” photos of Winslow Homer’s artwork after cleaning that convinced me. What dramatic changes the… read more

New Vision Plus

New vision is complete! Both eyes have new lenses now. I am still recovering from surgery and a reaction to the anesthetic, but my eyes see! Wow, what a miracle to look out my window and have DEPTH PERCEPTION! For three years I have been missing that great asset of sight. One never knows how much depth perception… read more

New Vision

Last Monday I had nuclear cataract surgery done on my left eye. Nuclear cataract is where the cloudy lens is replaced. I will have the right eye’s lens replaced a week from tomorrow. To an artist, sight is imperative! To you who have never undergone such surgery, what can I relate the difference I have… read more