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Monday, October 19, 2015

Going 60 MPH

I am moving along at 60 MPH -(Mature Personal Happiness)!

Saturday was my 60th birthday. Holy Cow! that seems old, but I really don't feel any different than I did, say... 30 years ago! Or maybe even 45 years ago. This was especially noted when I had breakfast with my elementary school friends. You'd think we were still school girls- at least we thought so until a young woman came up to our table and referred to us as elderly ladies! (She came back and apologized later).

A couple of my friends commented that this (60th) birthday bothered them. I guess it did me too, since I had started thinking about it several months ago. My grandmother had passed away at 65, which at the time seemed old to my 17 year old mind. Now, it seems pretty young!

I have to admit that I have been dying my hair for years to cover that "premature grey". Now that I can honestly claim it, I decided to bleach out the color and let it grow in naturally. I am now a platinum blonde with my new/old(?) hair color growing out happily unchecked.

Here is a watercolor painting of my grandmother that I painted 12 or 13 years ago.

Grandma was a wonderful cook and introduced me to many a comfort food. Thinking about her made me seriously consider my health and weight. Too many cookies for me in the past few years! I really don't want to be a fat round little old lady at 60. So I am now participating in a 'biggest loser' contest with my family. To date, I have lost 25 lbs with a number of pounds left to lose that won't be named.

So it's official now, I am buzzing along at 60 mph. I am determined to make the best of the next 30 years, enjoying my age and not shaving my legs anymore (just kidding!)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Retrospect: Two Weeks Gone By

I do intend to write in my blog more often, but before you know it a week has passed and then another. Tonight I am heading to Bountiful, Utah for the BDAC Statewide Show and Grand Opening of their new facility. I was fortunate to have a painting selected to be in the show. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of if before I took it in. I will get one tonight.

Mother's Day Gift by Catherine Darling Hostetter

Recently I finished a portrait for a girl in Canada. It is to be a gift for Mother's Day for her mom. Due to longer shipping times from the US to Canada, it will get there late. She ordered it a week and a couple of days before Mother's day and I shipped it the Wednesday before MD.

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I am reading and studying a book called 'Success Principles'. My goal was to read a chapter a day and really try to change all my habits into positive ones. I am on Chapter 6 (obviously not a chapter a day), and I have come to realize if you really want to do something life changing, you can't restrict it to a chapter a day. So I decided I need to focus on a chapter until I feel like I really get it.

I am currently working on a painting titled "Walk With Me" it is about half way done and is acrylic on cradled panel. I plan on finishing it tomorrow, and making at least one print of it to frame and donate to a fundraiser. I should have a picture of it to post in the next few days.

In June our Gallery, Local Colors of Utah is having a group show of our artists and we are doing a 'Green' Theme. The art has to be made of recycled or re-purposed items to be in the show. After I finish the "Walk With Me" piece, I will start on my upcyled piece. Busy times ahead!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Success is in Your Head, if You Want to Dig it Out!

"Follow Your Inspiration"  Catherine Darling Hostetter

This weekend I was reviewing what I had coming up on my calendar, and realized that I am not accomplishing nearly enough. I am one of those artists that is not the most organized. I thought "what am I going to do to change this situation"! 

I remembered a few months back when my son and I were reading a book together, called The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. I recalled during the time that as I was studying it and applying it's principles to my artistic existence, I was accomplishing more and felt very productive in all aspects of my life.

So... I dragged the book out yesterday and determined to read a chapter a day and work it like I was going to school with assignments and all. This time through the book, however, I am not going to read it and then forget what I learned. I will diligently try to make it a part of my life habits. Having experienced already that if I don't focus and make a goal of this, I will fall back into old habits. I know that for a fact, it's the story of my life!

Chapter 1: Take 100% Responsibility of Your Life.  Don't worry I am not going to go through the whole book here on my blog. But I will summarized some of the amazing info found there.

I would like to quote from the book something that made a lot of sense...

"Ninety nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses"
George Washington Carver

Great advice, take accountability for your own choices and don't make excuses. Another great insight from the book - If you don't like your outcomes, change your response. Sure, a lot of things happen in our lives that we don't have direct control of , but we do have the choice to determine how we respond to it. 

The last thing I want to mention is: You have to give up blaming and complaining. 

That's it for today. If anyone is interested in joining me as I change my life and would like to change yours, get yourself a copy of the book, and lets go for it!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Art Mingled with Friday

I consider my Fridays my day off. In addition to working in Local Colors of Utah art gallery as president and working on my art whenever I can, I tend my handicapped grandson Anthony 4 days a week, for 3 hours each day Monday - Thursday. Plus this month I have my 3 year old grand-daughter, Lily Rain during the weekdays. She lives in Portland OR with her mama and is here to visit.
Being an artist is nice because I am able to be flexible for my family and grandkids. 

So what am I doing today? Well next Friday I am participating in a fundraising event hosted by the Bradley Center at the South Towne Mall in Sandy, Utah. Today I am getting art ready for that event.
The Bradley Center supports children who have lost one or both parents. 30% of the sales go to the Bradley Center. Come see me next week!

Another particularly nice thing about today is that I am a featured artist on Jennifer Love's Blog!
Jenny is a good friend and has interviewed me and featured some of my art.
As she said we are kindred spirits, which I totally agree.:-)
I have been thinking of doing features on other artists and Jennifer has provided a great example of how to do it!

Also on my friday agenda is to paint a couple of paintings I have been working on. I hope to get them done for the show next week.

"Juggling Life" by Catherine Darling Hostetter

How is your friday going?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Six Sisters and a Dog Painting

Patience is a Beggar's Virtue by Catherine Darling Hostetter

Do you have a sister? I do and a very good one at that! Saturday I was planning on going to a Utah Watercolor Paint-out in Salt Lake City. They were going to paint train cars. I don't really have a set up for plein air (painting outdoors), so I was looking through all my stuff for something to use (like a folding chair, folding table etc). It wasn't long before I heard my phone ring and guess who? My sister Debbie!

She was calling to see if I wanted to go to "What a Woman Wants" at the South Towne Expo Center. My sister is a lot of fun, and I love hanging out with her, so I said yes!
We planned on going at 10:00 am and I figured I could make it to the paint-out which was at 1:00 pm.

So what does a woman want? Apparently the vendors there thought clothing, jewelry, crafty decorations and essential oils was what was wanted. It was fun to look at all the stuff. I have an art show in a couple of weeks, so I also looked at the way the vendors displayed their merchandise.

The WWW show featured guest presenters on stage. One that interested my sister and I were "Six Sisters". They are sisters that grew up in Utah and when they began to reach adulthood and some were getting married and moving out of state. To keep in touch with each other they began blog. They shared recipes and craft projects and soon they noticed they had a following.

Since their blog start in 2011, they have published cookbooks, do blog conferences and I don't know, sounds like they have a lot of fun together. I can understand this having a fun sister myself. Only in their case it's "the more the merrier"!

Anyhoo, on Saturday they demonstrated some of their recipes. One that I thought was interesting and tasty (they served samples afterwards) was the Funfetti Cake Batter Dip If you like to lick the bowl when you bake a cake, this dip is for you! You dip Vanilla wafers in the dip. Yum!

To make a long story a little shorter, I didn't make it to the paint-out. No worries though, there is always one another day.

I mentioned a dog painting in my title, didn't I? My artist friend, Sandi Olson curates an art display at Great Harvest in Sugar House. She asked me to pick up my aspen painting from the last show and to bring in an animal painting. It inspired me to paint a new painting for the show, a cute black lab-mix.

I titled the painting: Patience is a Beggar's Virtue

If you are a Salt Lake City local, and love animal paintings visit 
Great Harvest in Sugar House at 21st and 21st. 
Be sure and check out the Six Sisters blog for lots of yummy looking recipes.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Spring has Sprung with Portrait Commissions

Spring has sprung here in Utah, and I have been keeping
busy doing portrait commissions from my etsy store. 

The first commission came from Canada, a lady asked me to paint in 
watercolor her son Archie and her baby daughter Rosemary. 

It has been a wonderful opportunity to brush up on my drawing watercolor skills. 

About the same time I received another commission from California to paint a lady's brother and sister in law as a gift for their 25th anniversary.

For more information about watercolor portrait commissions, click on my etsy store!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Daily Painting 5: Experimental

Yesterday was Sunday and I decided I will not be doing daily paintings on that day, so here is today's painting. I chose to do a little portrait; 
 size 3.5" x 2.5"
Title: A Red Head

It is done in watercolor, and I used the same technique that I used on Daily Painting #4

This art card is available for sale 
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Daily Paintings 3 & 4: Trial and Error

I am continuing painting in watercolor. Since these daily paintings are studes, I have been painting on Canson 140 lb. paper. This is not my preference of papers, but I had a pad of this paper so why not use it! I have a few sheets of the really good stuff, but thought I would use it for the Spring Show for the Utah Watercolor Society.

The Canson paper is not too bad though, better than some papers. This Canson is not bad if you don't over work it, and if you like to lift color, it is good for that. All in all, I figure if I can learn to paint successfully on this paper, I should do ok on the better paper. Is that logical?

So on day three, I painted 3 sheep. I did them with a little landscape behind them. I am not big on doing landscapes, but I have a many friends that are excellent plein air painters, and they go to plein air paint outs and have a lot of fun... so I decided I needed to practice painting landscapes so I could do some plein air this summer.

As I did the landscape, I really overworked it. It turned out ok, but it's not my favorite painting. I will show it to you anyway, just because I feel kind of obligated since it's one of my daily paintings.

Three Sheep
6"x 10"

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You can be sure that I will be working on landscapes again... You know, practice makes perfect, or so I hope! But for Valentines Day I am not going to do a landscape!

Oh by the way, I forgot to mention that I may not post daily paintings everyday, just because I figure it is more important to get the painting done for the day, and sometimes that doesn't leave time to blog about it. So today is a double whammy!

Watercolor takes a lot of thought, and I decided that my daily painting for today I would put down color and try not to go back to it,so I don't over work it.

I drew another sheep, a big woolly one and since the paper is great for lifting, I decided I would do some lifting. I like the way this one turned out. I still overworked the trees in the background though. *sigh*.

Fancy  Ewe
8" x 10"

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Daily Painting 3 - Disaster!

I was so discouraged with my painting yesterday that I didn't post it. I had a busy schedule with tending my grandson, taking my daughter to the airport, and going to an opening of a friend's show (more about that in a bit!).

For my painting subject I picked something that I thought would be fairly easy, a sheep. I have painted many sheep over the years and thought it would fit best in the amount of time I had to paint.

It is a watercolor, and I thought I would do a sussex sheep image that I had taken at the State Fair a few years back. I felt in a colorful mood so I started painting the sheepy's head in purple and windsor blue rather than shades of black and grey. I also thought a few flowers would be nice.

What I ended up with is a very pastel looking painting, and it was awful! It was time to go and tend my grandson, so I had to leave it. Painting something you don't feel good about is really a downer!

Thank goodness I had a reception for an artist friend of mine to go to! Jeff Clay is a wonderful photographer who really puts the art into his photographs. Here's his link:  Jeff Clay PhotoBlog

Jeff has recently returned from Cambodia, and he has photos from there that are featured in his show, along with international scenes as well as the amazing shots of New York, the beauty of southern Utah, and it's northern deserts.

Looking at good art always cheers me. Jeff had 75 images in his show! If you want to see it here is the info: Jeff Clay Exhibit

Ok, so back to my 3rd day of Daily Painting. I woke up this morning kind of blue... like my sheep. So I went to my desk and looked at it. Now if you are an artist, you know you can't keep your hands off the painting if something needs to be fixed. So I spent about 20 minutes with it and I think I can post it now.

It was a bit whimsical to start with but when I finished touching it up, it is now definitely whimsical!

I darkened some of the colors as it was pretty low on contrast. Then I scanned it in... On the computer you can often get a good idea of what needs to be fixed next. It was still too pastel. So I did a wash of a golden brown over the whole painting. I knew I needed a pretty wide brush so that I wouldn't wipe out the painting with a lot of small brushstrokes. I grabbed my trusty Sterling Edwards flat brush and painted a light wash over the painting. I love those brushes! It's a must have. Visit the link, Sterling also has a bunch of free painting demos too.

Ok, back to the painting. After the wash was dry, I lifted some of the white in the sheep and surprise! A halo also developed! So suddenly I had a title as well: Angel of the Morning.

Angel of the Morning
8" x 10" Watercolor on 140 lb. WC Paper

Click on price to purchase. US shipping free
Contact me for international shipping costs.

Now on to the daily painting for today! What to paint? I am doing watercolor all this week, now for the subject matter...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 2, A Painting a Day

Today wasn't my usual schedule. Even though it is only day 2 for my painting a day, I found I had to really make an effort to get my painting done. Here it is 9:30 PM and I am only posting it to my blog now! If I wasn't trying to do a painting a day, I probably wouldn't have finished it today. So see, it's doing me good already! 
This painting is 11" x 6" on 140 lb. watercolor paper. It is painted to the edge. It is titled
 "A Girl and Her Dog". 
It is available for sale here:


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Monday, February 09, 2015

A Painting A Day

I recently read a book by Carol Marine called Daily Painting. Carol discovered daily painting in 2006. Her theory is paint small and often to become a more creative, productive, and successful artist.
I agree that if an artist would do that daily, they are bound to improve their art.

Since that is one of my new year resolutions to improve, daily painting makes sense to me. Another thing that Carol talked about is selling your daily painting online for $100. So today I begin my daily painting! My first painting is a study in watercolor, titled "A New Day"

                                                            A New Day - 8" x 10" Watercolor

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Friday, January 30, 2015

A Commission that Takes the Cake!

This week I have been busy with working on this commission. It is done, hooray! Maha, the client is very pleased with it. That is always good. :-) Maha has her own business called Arty Cake. She decorates beautiful cakes with butter cream frosting, and has won many awards. Here is her website:
She is a very good artist.

Tonight I am going to the Hogle Zoo Art Show. I didn't enter this year but had a lot of friends that did. So it will fun to see them and their artwork.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Commission for Arty Cakes!

I was contacted last week about doing a watercolor commission for a lady in England who has her own business called Arty Cakes.

When I do a commission, I work from a photo generally. In this case, she didn't have one with the cake she wanted in the painting, If you can't tell from the drawing, it is a hat with flowers on it. I had to use photoshop elements to create the image to paint from by combining different images she had emailed me.

She makes beautiful cakes, many that are florals. She is really an artist herself with butter cream frosting!

I had to enhance the drawing so all the pencil lines show clearly, but it also makes the background a bit grayed because of doing that. It really isn't gray at all. In my process of doing a commission, I then send the drawing for the client's approval. I also ask for any suggestions if they have any. I find that helps in producing a final painting that the client will be satisfied with.

Once approved, I then paint it. I will post progress of this painting in the next day or so.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Watercolor Studies Continues; The Midnight Bunny

Today I completed another study, this time of a bunny. As I am doing these studies, I am trying out different kinds of paper, graphite pencils and color palettes. The bunny today was painted on 90 lb. Arches Cold Press. It is too thin for my liking, but wasn't too bad to paint on. Because of it's light weight, it absorbs the water like a sponge all the way through. That can result in a unflat painting when you are finished painting. Last night I put weights on the 'Vintage Lady' Painitng which I mentioned in my previous post. It was painted on this same arches 90 lb. paper. I sprayed the back of the painting with water, put a paper towel over it, then a heavy book with 2 three pound exercise weights (gotta use those weights for something!)

This morning I looked at the Vintage Lady painting to see if it was dry. It was and it was pretty flat. not perfectly flat, but reasonably flat and ready to mount in a mat.

Ok, so back to Midnight Bunny. As mentioned I have been trying different graphite pencils to do my sketch for the painting. This time I used a 6B. I liked it, you could get a nice dark if you want. On Vintage Lady I used a HB. Which is very hard. It was a lot lighter lead color and didn't smear much.

If you don't want your lead to show up in your watercolor, the HB is pretty good for that.

On Midnight Bunny, I used the same color palette as I did on "Vintage Lady". Three colors; cobalt blue, rose madder genuine, and azo yellow. Although I used a lot of layers on this painting and it has some darks, it still has some luminousity in places. I guess that's what you get when you use transparent paint, right?

In this painting I lifted color out on the bunny, the grass, and around the moon. A few years ago I took a workshop from Joseph Alleman, and he lifts color out. His work is wonderful and he has the awards to show fpr it. Here's his website:

Look at Joe's paintings, especially those that have darks in them and see if you can see where he has lifted the paint out. If you are new to watercolor, you may not know what this means. When you put several layers of color on the paper, you can go back after it's dried with a wet brush and lift out spots. I you look at the bottom of my bunny painting, you can see blades of grass that I have lifted out.

I am finding as I am doing these studies, that I have picked up and implement some things from the people I have taken workshops from. I hadn't realized that I had done this till now as I am re-evaluating my painting skills.

I have to admit that as I got into this bunny painting, I wasn't liking the way it was turning out, but committed myself to finishing it. Lifting really saved it. It's not a great painting,but it is ok and was a valuable study. The purpose of doing studies is not only to practice, but to also find what techniques and color palettes I like and don't like. So I am satisfied with what I learned today.

How's your painting coming along?

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year's Resolution; Improve my Watercolor Skills!

Vintage Lady 10" x 8" Watercolor
I am sitting in my studio, cozy warm, looking out the window. It has been raining on this very grey, overcast Monday morning. I have bread baking in the kitchen anticipating a delicious union of homemade pumpkin soup for lunch. My plan for my art today is painting watercolor studies. I have been watching videos on youtube by fantastic watercolor artists. One of my resolutions for 2015 is to improve my technique and style.                                                                                                                                                                               Over the weekend I watched several videos by Sterling Edwards. He paints very loosely and my mission today is to loosen up my watercolor style. Although I am not trying to  paint exactly like Sterling, there is always something to learn from a really great teacher. Several years ago I took a workshop from Sterling, and although I have notes from then, I felt like I just needed to see him paint again. 
Once you begin watching these demos, you need to be careful or you will find yourself on a  youtube watercolor demo binge! It's the next best thing to taking workshops. I also watched demos from Don Andrews who I took a workshop from. He paints quite loosely as well, and does it so effortlessly!

Learning Twitter 10" x 8" Watercolor.

I have attached a couple of watercolor studies that I have done the last few days. The first one, Learning Twitter was done in the way I usually paint. The second one was done after I watched the Sterling Edwards and Don Andrews video demos. It is definately a lot more looser.On the first one, I did try to do a loose background, but failed with the subject matter.  I think the second painting was more successful, but I still have a long way to go. By the way, on the second painting I used a limited palette of 3 colors; Rose Madder, Cobalt Blue and Azu Yellow.
I am trying to find a palette that I like working with too. That's another goal!

I am going to keep painting, and it's time to do another one. I will keep you posted. You can bet I will be watching more demos on youtube!

Monday, January 05, 2015

What to do? I have an artist's brain.

I have so many things I want to accomplish and I get sidetracked. I am supposed to be writing my blog and what do I do? I get looking at other artist's work online. There is so much wonderful art out there in cyber space.

So I thought... That is enough, Catherine, write your blog and stop looking at all that art!

I have a lot to do for my new years resolutions. Here are some of them:

Carry around a sketch book and USE IT.

Paint a watercolor a day.

Learn about how to become an illustrator.

That's just a few.

Oh oh...My daughter just text me and has tempted me to go to lunch with her.... I should be working! I always value time with my kids so it's very easy to say yes. But I will take my sketch book with me and get some sketches done. That's killing two birds with one stone, right?

The image above is a crop of a painting I did called "Follow Your Inspiration".

I guess I shouldn't feel too bad about looking at other artist's work, and let's see how can I categorize going to lunch... how about... It's all very inspiring!
What do you do to get inspired?

Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year, New Ideas!

A new year is always refreshing, it seems to be a start over for many of us. Although today is probably not much different than most days. It's just how we think about it.

This Christmas I made many gifts for my family. One of them was a portrait of my son. He loves the Green Bay Packers and has since high school. So it seemed appropriate to reflect that in this painting of him.

It is done in watercolor on Arches hot press paper. It's not very big, an 10" x 8" painting. I often use my kids as models in my paintings and Brock has been known to complain that I have never used him. So it was time to paint him!

Today being the first day of the new year, I have been planning what I would like to accomplish this year. I paint a lot in acrylic, but I thought I would like to improve my watercolor techniques for 2015. I belong to the Utah Watercolor Society, and it is a wonderful organization with many talented painters. I hope to benefit this year by participating more in the paint-outs and workshops they hold.
If you would like to join us, here is the link to the website;

The meetings are the first Tuesday of each month and they are held at the Sons of the Utah Pioneer Building. Here's the address:
Sons of the Utah Pioneers Hall, 3301 E. Loiuse Ave (2920 S.) Salt Lake City, UT, 84109

I also am planning on writing on my blog more often and sharing my artistic process.Comments welcome!

One more thing I would like to say on this fresh new day in 2015... I am full of gratitude for my life, and my family. I am so thankful to be an artist and through my talent am able to show appreciation for the beauty of this earth. May we all be blessed with a happy and prosperous New Year!