Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I'll be transitioning all my blog posts to my website blog in the near future. I hope you'll continue to follow me there, and please sign up to receive notifications via my email sign-up that is at the end of my current post. Thank you for following here! I hope you'll continue to follow me in my new location here: http://kathleeneatonart.com/blog/93970/on-being-an-artist

Saturday, May 16, 2015

More Information for Beginning Artists

Yesterday was the last of four consecutive Fridays that I spent teaching art to 6-8th graders at a local school. I think I may have overwhelmed some of them with information that was too advanced, but I also think some of them came away with new knowledge that they wouldn't otherwise be exposed to in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

This time we painted. I wish I could have taken and posted photos of some of their work. At their age, that would have been inappropriate. I gave them full artistic license to do whatever they wanted with the image that I projected of a back-road scene that I took a photo of last summer. Every one of their paintings was different! My guess is that, at their age, they may still be working in "coloring book" methods that provide a similar outcome to each of their works. This is a great way of learning, but I wanted them to know that they are individuals, with individual senses of color, design, etc.

I showed them how to find shapes in an image -- to simplify the beginning painting process. (See photo) We worked with only red, yellow, blue, and white. They did a great job of color mixing!

At the end of the class, I handed out a supply list that they can take home to their parents for future reference. There are basic supplies that every beginning artist should have. I also gave them names of places that they might find some of these materials, both physically and online. Being beginners, we worked in acrylic on canvas panels. I didn't provide them with brushes, and we had to use the small, basic brushes that were available at school. Brushes are extremely important!

I also provided them with some notes:
Use the best materials you can afford. Inexpensive materials are great for practice and learning, but nothing compares to high quality materials.
Some artist supplies are toxic. Be sure to read labels and study the materials before using. Many paints have cadmium, cobalt, lead, and other heavy metals that can be dangerous. Wear vinyl or plastic gloves when using paints and mediums made with toxic materials.
Always paint in a well-ventilated area.
CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES WELL after using them. They will last longer and work better.
Allow time for paint to dry. Put your finished painting in a safe place. There is nothing more heartbreaking than working hard on a painting and ruining it because you accidentally scratched or bumped it.

Where to find inspiration:

Read Art books (the Library has a good variety) – I like to look at books that show photos of great art, but I also read many How-To books – books that teach you various skills.

Study art and artists that inspire you. These internet searches might be good starting points:
            Impressionist Art
            Modern Art
            Figurative Art
            The Hudson River School
            Plein Air
            Perspective Drawing
            Great Masters in Art
            The Tonalists

Nature can be one of the best inspirations!

Take a walk, look at clouds, rivers, trees, boats, cars, and roads.

Be a people-watcher. Look for the differences in every human being.

Go to museums, art fairs, and exhibits.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York now has its work archived on the internet: http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online

Practice How to See:

Find the “shapes” in different objects by looking for different colors and shadows (values).

Practice seeing where the light is coming from and how it affects what you are looking at.

Do “mental” comparisons of how objects relate to each other in size.

Constantly sketch! By regularly doing small drawings, your skill will improve.

REMEMBER TO PRAY! Thank God for the gifts He has given you.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Now Showing at Fine Line Designs

It's an honor to be able to say that my art is now available in one of the premier galleries in Door County, Wisconsin. I've been visiting Fine Line Designs Gallery (http://www.finelinedesignsgallery.com/), north of Ephraim, for several years, and finally got the courage to submit my portfolio for consideration. Here are a few of my paintings that are now available there:

"Fireflies" by Kathleen Eaton
on the far wall of this pretty vignette

Three more paintings in the stairwell leading upstairs.

I have a total of eleven paintings at Fine Line Designs, so please ask to see more if you don't see them all! Thank you for your support!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Helping Students Learn to Love Art

I'm teaching art to 6-8th graders for four Fridays in a row. Not being a teacher, I had forgotten how students can be on a beautiful Friday afternoon when it's the last class of the day. When it came time for the second class, I told them that I'm not a teacher, and I'm volunteering my time because I have a passion for art that I would love to pass on to them. I think that woke some of them up. What?! She's not being paid?! She actually WANTS to be here?!

Not knowing how much art background they have, I started slowly by covering relational, or site-size, drawing in the first class. In the second class we learned how to draw in perspective. (No easy task in a 35 minute class.) I was happy to hear that some of the students actually had been practicing what they learned during the week.

Today, the third class, we took on color mixing. Yikes! I forgot how challenging this can be for even a seasoned artist. I had prepared a "color chart" that they could fill in using tempera or acrylic paint. I'm attaching it below for anyone who would like to use it. If you have a hard time downloading it, please contact me and I'll email it to you.

If you're not familiar with color charts, it's a method of learning what happens when different colors are mixed together in varying amounts. It's amazing what can be achieved using only a few colors. This chart was set up based on the Zorn Pallette. I used red, yellow, and blue since the students I'm with are beginning beginners. Anders Zorn used Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, and Ivory Black with white. These were the main colors he used in his work.

I was happily surprised when one young man sat upright and said "I see what I'm doing wrong! Can I start over?" It was like that "Ah-Ha" moment that artists sometimes get. If I can help even one student feel the passion that I have for art, my time will have been worth it! Next week is the final week. We're going to attempt to paint an actual painting on canvas. Wish us luck!

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Gallery Representation

I've been just about crawling out of my skin in anticipation of delivering work to new and current galleries for the upcoming summer season. After painting like crazy, and traveling even more, I'm happy to announce that I'm now represented by five wonderful galleries. See where they're located by clicking HERE. Most recently added are Kelly Galleries in Woodbury, MN and Hudson, WI, and Fine Line Designs Gallery in North Ephraim, WI (Door County). I'm happy to say that all of the galleries I am represented in have a nice assortment of my paintings.

 Field of Sunflowers, 20x48, Now available at DCF Art Gallery, Grosse Point, MI

 Baby Blue Eyes, 24x36, Now available at Kelley Gallery, Woodbury, MN

Strong Falls, 18x36, Now available at Kelley Gallery, Hudson, WI

 Fish Creek Marina, 11x14, Now available at Fine Line Designs Gallery, Ephraim, WI

Saturday, April 4, 2015


I was blessed to be asked to paint a portrait of a young puppy recently. Everything about this dog is adorable, from her beautiful, clear eyes to her pink belly. Her name is Roxie. After taking a photo of the painting for my portfolio, I couldn't get a tune out of my head.... "I'm too sexy for my --"  Do you see it too? She is so precious!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

New Work

I've been visiting family in Arizona for the past few weeks. During this time, I'm focusing on creating new work for placement in two new galleries, as well as for the galleries I am currently in. A new season brings many opportunities and I'm grateful for the time to focus on my work. I'm finding that I can't paint fast enough these days! Here are just a few of my new pieces:

Monday, January 26, 2015

From the rising of the sun to its setting

Day 26 - A friend challenged me to post a scripture verse alongside my painting. Challenge accepted! Here is one that called to me in painting this today. Psalm 50:1, The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken, And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

11" x 14"
Available from the artist

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Another Portrait

Day 24 - I taught an art class at a local nursing home yesterday. It's a joyous time for me and for the residents who attend. There is no pressure, and we always do something easy and fun, so everyone can enjoy the process. So I did "work" on art yesterday, but have nothing to post. Today I invited a model to come and sit for me. This painting (obviously) is not done yet, but I got far enough along that I felt I could pass it off as today's work. I haven't been doing as many portraits lately. I always enjoy the practice!

12" x 16"
See more at

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Two for One

Day 22 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days - Time flies when you're working hard! I did paint yesterday, but didn't take the time to post it because I had to go to a meeting. I'm posting it here with today's painting. Today's (the farm) was a tough one for me. I scraped it twice before finally being more content with the finished result. This challenge, to me, is all about the practice, experimentation, and getting myself painting daily. As I've already said, by late in the day it's difficult for me to get a good photograph under my studio lights. I need to do something about that!

The Schooner Ride
11" x 14"
Available from the artist

The Farm
11" x 14"
Available from the artist

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When In Doubt

Paint a rose! This is Day 20 of my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge sponsored by Leslie Byrd Saeta. I've been going to physical therapy this month as a result of a fall I took last October. My neck, spine, shoulder and head where pretty beat up. I probably used it as an excuse not to paint. I needed a jump start to get back on track with regular painting, and this challenge was just what the doctor ordered! But after physical therapy this morning, I wasn't sure I wanted to paint at all today. They're starting to push me harder, which is a good thing (I think), but I ache afterward. I decided to go back to one of my favorite subjects - roses! My husband bought me these beautiful, glowing roses today and I had to paint one! I praise God for his goodness and am ever thankful for good health and healing.

Glowing Rose
6" x 6"
Available from the artist

Monday, January 19, 2015

Woodland Sprite

Day 19 - I decided to paint something I've been wanting to for a while and haven't had the "courage" to take the time to do it. This 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge is perfect for paintings like this. It gives me a chance to have some fun and try something new. I hope you like it!

Woodland Sprite
14" x 11"
Available from the artist

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Day 17 - This wasn't one of those good days. (Smile) Weekends are particularly challenging for me when it comes to this 30 Day Challenge. I chose a subject I've painted several times before, with a twist. I like the concept, and the composition, but I felt rushed. I either need to paint smaller or just give it a rest on busy days like this. I hope you're having a great day!

11" x 14"
Available by contacting

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 16

I spent the better part of the day yesterday taking care of art-related business, so didn't get a chance to paint. Shame on me! But I'm happy to say that I've sold 3 of the 14 paintings I've posted so far!! I think this "fast and loose" concept is helping me to really see the shapes, values, and colors that need to be there, and leave out what's not necessary. You wouldn't think so with some of the detail that I've been able to achieve in these little works. I'm looking forward to being able to translate some of these into larger works with the same look and feel, but slightly more detail. Thank you for stopping by!

Upper Falls at Bond Falls Park
14" x 11"
Contact kathleen@kathleeneatonart.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Peaceful Setting

Day 14 - I really didn't want to paint today, for a variety of reasons, both personal and professional. I chose a peaceful image to work on and pushed myself through it. At the end of the day, it helped to have a peaceful scene in front of me all afternoon. This one took longer than some of the ones I've done during this 30 day challenge ... I'm guessing about 4 hours. These smaller works are mainly quick studies to help me learn and work out the kinks in what might be re-created as a larger painting.

I'm having a hard time getting good photos of my work after dark. My studio lighting creates glare on the wet paint and doesn't do justice to the color, but I can adjust some of that in Photoshop. It's just one of those days. I hope you are having a great day and will look forward to hearing from you!

Wooded Stream
14" x 11"

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Into The Woods

Day 13 - I've been painting a lot of trees during this 30 Day Challenge. I knew that painting trees was not one of my strengths, so I took the opportunity to practice. I had a hard time getting a good photo of this wet painting without glare, but you get the idea.

I've had a number of people ask me how to purchase my paintings. I'll be setting up a page on my website soon.

Into the Woods
11" x 14"

Monday, January 12, 2015

Staying Loose

Day 12 - I didn't post yesterday because I needed to prepare two large canvasses for work that must be done. I did paint, just not a finished painting. When I paint large, I work in layers, and sometimes the layers need to dry a bit before I can do the next step. I'm doing another "field of flowers" painting and a new experimental piece that may take a little time. I hope you're not too disappointed that I didn't do a "painting a day" but I have to make a living too! The canvas sizes are 20" x 48" and 24" x 36." I will post these paintings when they are done.

This painting was, however, fast and loose. I'm working hard to let go of my need to make every line perfect. After all, if my clients wanted a photograph, they would get a photograph. The paint on this is thick! I'm still working in only 4 colors plus white. It was a fun one to paint.

Botanical Garden Woods
14 x 11

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Two Become One

Today is Day 10 of my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. I'm 1/3 of the way there! This painting is from a photo I took this fall. I don't often paint trees, and this challenge has got me experimenting with a variety of things I wouldn't normally do. I have thousands of photos that I've taken over the years that I've never gone back and looked at. I would guess that's true of many artists. I prefer painting from life, but there's enough stress with this challenge in trying to do a painting a day that I think it's best not to attempt to paint in sub-zero temperatures. I do enjoy painting in winter, and one day soon I may get brave.

Two Become One
Available from the artist

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fall Color

Day 9 - This 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge has definitely been a challenge to me. I don't prefer painting fast, and the stress is starting to get to me. Breathe, breathe... Yes, I know. I don't have to do this. It's a great way to jump-start a year of painting, and I do wake up looking forward to what the day will bring!

Fall Color at the Bridge
Available from the artist

Thank you for looking!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Day 8 - I knew today would be another busy day, but I insisted on attempting at least a small, simple painting in order to continue my journey of 30 Paintings in 30 Days. Part of the purpose of doing this challenge is to help me focus on my art, set regular hours, and be consistent in painting every day. As I was racing to complete this one, I realized that I had regressed to my "old" habits, and wasn't working loosely. I did, however paint this using only 3 colors and white (Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, and Ultramarine Blue). Sometimes I even surprise myself. At the end of the day, I scraped it. I was actually hoping that by scraping it, I might achieve a looseness that could be perceived as having been done on purpose, but I don't think it worked. It's a learning process. I'm posting both here to show you what I did. Thank you for following!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Challenge - Day 7

I made it through the first week! Well, almost... this painting isn't quite finished, but as you can see, I did make a strong effort today. This is one of the models I've enjoyed the pleasure of painting in a number of my works. I treasure our time together ... it won't be long before she'll move on to a new life in marriage. I'm blessed to know her and her family! And so thankful for the practice of painting from life.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Testing, Testing

Day 6 of my 30 day challenge. Today's painting was definitely a test of my ability to "loosen up." One of the goals I'm trying to achieve during this challenge is to learn to be more impressionistic in my work. For me, at least until I master it, that means to work quickly and use large tools. I hope you're enjoying the journey!

Botanical Garden
Available from the Artist
Contact kathleen@kathleeneatonart.com

Monday, January 5, 2015

Summer Memories

Day 5 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days. Thank you, Leslie Saeta, for inspiring me to get back to serious painting! The high temperature here today is 0 degrees (F). I'm "channeling" summer thoughts to warm my heart and soul. I hope this warms you up too!

The Monarch
10 x 10
Original Oil Painting
Available through the artist.
Visit my website at

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Monet's Ducks

Today is Day 4 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. There are some amazing works being created during the month! Here is a link to Leslie Saeta's blog where you can find more daily paintings posted by my artist friends: http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/. I REALLY didn't feel like painting today. But I toughed it out and am semi-pleased with this one. The photo has some glare on it, but you get the idea.

Monet's Ducks
11 x 14
by Artist Kathleen Eaton
Contact the artist at kathleen@kathleeneatonart.com

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Winter Continues

This is going to be harder than I thought (I knew it would be difficult)! I chose a simpler study to work from today knowing that I have a lot on my plate. I kind of rush this one too. I hope to get back to focused painting tomorrow!

Winter Continues
by Artist Kathleen Eaton
For more information, contact the artist at kathleen@kathleeneatonart.com

Friday, January 2, 2015

Winter Serenity

This is Day 2 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. So far, I'm 2 for 2! All the paintings I'll be doing during this challenge are available. And don't forget to look for some of my older works on my Ebay store at http://www.ebay.com/usr/eatonsplace. This will be your last chance to purchase my work at reduced prices. Those that don't sell will be permanently removed from my inventory (i.e. BURNED).

Winter Serenity
Original Oil Painting by Kathleen Eaton
Contact the artist at kathleen@kathleeneatonart.com

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Out with the Old, In with the New

Happy New Year! I'm starting it off in grand fashion by challenging myself to participate in Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days. My personal goal in this challenge is to loosen up my style of painting by working more spontaneously, while limiting the color pallette that I use. I hope you'll follow my progress! It's a little nerve-wracking to be honest. I have some larger paintings in the works that I may also post as I complete them. Today I am Number 267 of about 1,000 artists who signed up to join this challenge. I'll be posting daily and will try to let you know where to find my work in this massive undertaking. Leslie, if you're reading, I salute you! Here is a link to Leslie's blog:  http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/. Here is my painting of the day:

 Snowy Day on the Farm
8" x 16"
Original Oil painting by Kathleen Eaton
Contact the artist at kathleen@kathleeneatonart.com

Now for the rest of the BIG NEWS! I have decided that it's time to reduce my inventory of unsold paintings. My style is constantly evolving, and I want to offer an opportunity to my followers to obtain my work before I burn it. (Yes, this is truly a FIRE SALE.) Please click the link below to view the paintings I am offering at auction on Ebay.

Thank you for your support! I wish you and yours a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!