Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Quad at University of Illinois, Urbana

My granddaughter loves this view of the Quad with New Main University Hall (built in 1905) anchoring the end.
Watercolor • 8 x 10 • Sold - Giclee available 
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Gloria J Zucaro's "Wishful Thinking"

8"H x 8"W  Original Oil on Panel
Unframed $75.00/ $7.00 S&H

It has turned completely frigid and prospects of 4 to 8 inches of snow loom ahead.  Although I love to have cool sleeping conditions and love the four seasons, it is usually around this time of year that I really appreciate the thought of 70 degree temperatures with a slight warm breeze and sunny skies.  I saw these flowers near a weathered chair and vintage rusted car in Door County Wisconsin last July.  Take me there oh my imagination!  This is my Paint Party Friday entry for this week.  Happy PPF!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gloria J Zucaro's "Pokey's Pals"

8"H x 8"W Original oil on Panel
$75.00 Unframed/ $90.00 Framed


I had a lot of fun with this Daily Paintworks challenge because as you may have noticed, I love the color orange!  Apparently the designers have designated "Tangerine Tango" as the color of the year.  Our challenge was to paint a picture with the color of the year predominant.    My friend Ann Feldman beat me to the orange vegetables, so I raided my grandsons' toy box in my basement.  I kept calling "Pokey" " Gumby", until someone reminded me that "Gumby" is a little green rubber man, and this is his horse" Pokey"!  The fire truck is broken with its' ladder missing, but "what the hey"!  I like the weird little cross-eyed ball, too.

Below is a photo of "the beginning", my value study and start of putting in color.

Gloria J Zucaro's "Colorized Peacock"

5"H x 7"L Original Mixed Media Design
This is my final version of my thank you card to my daughter Faye and her family for the Christmas presents they gave to me.  A necklace and earrings, a journal and note cards all with a peacock motif were my lovely gifts this year.  I used ink pen and some metallic gel markers on watercolor card stock to make my artwork.  I think she will really like it, I do! :-)  Below is the card before I added color.  I would be interested to know which version you prefer.  Market research for future projects ya know!

Friday, January 13, 2012

9/50 Paintings in 50 Days - Ode to Robin

"Ode to Robin" - Gouache on paper - 15" x 11" 
Yesterday I was really fighting with two paintings I was working on. For the life of me I could not get anything to work. Today I awoke fresh minded and decided to take the advice of past instructors who would say "If you mess up keep can't mess it up more and you just might save it." Another common phrase was "If you make a mistake, make it look on purpose." 
It's amazing how sometimes you have to take a step back in order to take a step forward. I revisited the bird painting I was working on and when I finished I wanted to dedicate it to someone who has inspired me at different times. (Though she may not even know it)
Thanks for the inspiration Robin Pedrero!  (go check her website out, she's really awesome)

Ode to Robin (c) 2012 Shoshanna Bauer All Rights Reserved

Progress Pic - The muse did not show up today


The muse did not show up today, but I did. I attempted not one but two paintings tonight and I just wasn't feeling either one of them. I took the "better" one downstairs to show my husband and asked him what he thought. I could tell he wasn't being completely honest with me when he nodded and said "cool.". He fessed up and I told him I didn't like it either.

He suggested not posting them but since this Challenge isn't about painting 50 GOOD paintings in 50 days I am going to post at least one of them. I'm a horrible judge of my own work anyway. Sometimes the paintings I like least are the ones people connect to. If I had any idea how this worked I'd be pretty rich by now.

Blogging about recovering from Artist's Block while in the midst of it is ironic. I can't help but remember Julia Cameron's book the Artists Way, where she says recovery is not linear. Sometimes for every step forward we take two steps back.

At least I showed up. Hopefully the muse will be back tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gloria J Zucaro's "Lucy's Box of Socks"

5"H x7"W Original Ink Design on Watercolor Cardstock

I spent an enjoyable evening preparing this "Thank You" card for my daughter Lucy and Grandson Alex to thank them for the Christmas gifts they gave me.  One of their gifts to me was a big box of all kinds of socks.  Some were black and some were white.  But there were also Christmas socks, socks with polka dots, socks with hearts, socks with penguins,socks with diamonds,socks with kites,socks with rainbows,socks with cupcakes,socks with polar bears,socks with cherries.  A whole lot of really fun socks!  I had told her I needed socks when she asked what I would like for Christmas...what a great surprise, a great big box of socks! Designs inspired by Zentangles.

This is my entry for Paint Party Friday.  Happy PPF.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

8/50 Paintings in 50 Days! - Fire Sorcerer Miniature

"Fire Sorcerer" - Acrylic paint on 25mm Reaper Miniature sculpted by Bob Ridolifi



Some of you may not know this but I am a Gamer Nerd. I love RPG's and one of my "artist hobbies" is painting miniatures for fantasy games like Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder.

My friend commissioned me to paint his Pathfinder character's mini and so I'm counting it as 8/50 of my paintings since I never made any rules about the paintings being all two-dimensional. The description I was given for painting this guy was "very white skin, tribal tatoos on his face, and he should look like he's engulfed in flames."  Since the sculpt is actually for a wraithlike ghost and not flames persay I had to improvise a little bit by letting the colors tell the story rather then the miniature.

The cool part of doing this was after tweeting the Progress picture on Twitter I actually got commissioned to paint another mini by one of my Twitter followers! How cool is that? Gotta love teh interwebs!


Monday, January 9, 2012

7/50 Paintings in 50 Days - Chinese Water Dragon

"Chinese Water Dragon" - Watercolor and Gouache on Paper - 15" x 11"


The Chinese New Year of 2012 is the Dragon  (element water)!  I painted this guy with larger brushes and used some dry brush techniques to achieve the wispiness of his beard.  I'll admit I fought with him a few times and I'm still not sure I tamed him.  I finally decided to leave well enough alone before I mess up the painting all together. 

I love Asian mythology and culture and will humbly admit I am far from mastering this ancient subject in painting.  I hope you enjoy anyway. 


Chinese Water Dragon (c) 2012 Shoshanna Bauer All Rights Reserved.

Gloria J Zucaro's "Green Plate & Ham"

6"H x 8"W Original Oil on Stretched Canvas
$75.00  Staple-free sides painted black.  May be hung with or without frame.

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The Daily Paintworks Challenge for the week of January 8- 14 is to paint a picture of your breakfast.  Well, this was not my breakfast because I couldn't cook in the studio!  I actually had 2 slices of bacon, two fried eggs, and a healthy juiced fruit and vegetable combo that was made from 1 beet, 1 carrot, 1 apple, 1 orange and a one inch square of fresh ginger.  Oh, not to forget the large cup of Colombian coffee  "straight"! I haven't posted for a week because my children celebrated Christmas with me on the 7th. of January.  I was busy last week with some extra shopping and wrapping, and preparing or picking up food for the weekend.  So the ham in this picture is part of a Honeybaked ham we had.  I still have too much leftover, even though they each took some home.  Ham anybody?! 

I painted this over a previously used canvas.  I have photos of the canvas and my value study on my blog 

6/50 Paintings in 50 Days - Medley

"Medley" - Watercolor and Gouache on paper - "15 x 11"


I decided to go the opposite way with this next piece from my last one (Rainbow Trout) because I felt my last painting was a little overly fussy.  I got some feedback from another professional watercolorist who reminded me of many tricks of the trade I already knew but had forgotten to use.  He said "Use a big brush and bigger paper if you can.  Bigger paper was out because I've already ripped up my supply into 1/4 sheets so that I can be sure to have enough to complete my challenge.  

Another thing he reminded me of was to use a watercolor board.  He reccomended masonite but I already had a board I had made in college out of a piece of pine covered in shellac.  The waterproof board holds in the moisture of the paper better and helps it dry more evenly.  Once I remembered these techniques I went back to an old subject (or non-subject) of mine..the abstract.

It's actually difficult to make good Abstract - Non-Objective art.  Usually when I make non-objective paintings I am explorting color relationships and form.   

I'm hoping as I get more and more in touch with my creativity again I will make more vivid paintings along this vein.  


Medley (c) 2012 Shoshanna Bauer All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

5/50 Paintings in 50 Days - Rainbow Trout

"Rainbow Trout" - Watercolor on paper - 15" x 11"
Trout leap
against the stream
heading Nature's call

I wasn't nearly as productive today as I would have liked but I managed to start and finish this painting all in the last bit of the evening.  This painting spoke to me and told me of the fish within it, leaping against the current of a wild river.  I used to fish every summer with my grandparents when I was a kid and later with my Uncle and Aunt as an adult.
I love the taste of fresh caught trout, foil cooked over a campfire for breakfast in the morning.  Whenever I see trout it immediately brings me back to those wonderful summers in the mountains.

Rainbow Trout (c) 2012 Shoshanna Bauer All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 6, 2012

4/50 Paintings in 50 Days - Roses' Desire

"Roses' Desire" - Watercolor on Paper - 11" x 15"
It's Friday!  I've completed 10% of my goal to paint 50 paintings in 50 days!  It feels SO good! I am going to try and crank out some more paintings this weekend that way I can get a chance to substitute teach sometime this week.  I'm missing the social interaction being holed up in my studio all week.  Which is why I LIVE for your comments on each painting.  So please don't hold back.  Even if you hate it.  I'd like to hear from you.
This new painting didn't start out having anything remotely to do with my past work "Wishing for Sun" when I first started it.  So when it started to have similarities I figured "Why not? Maybe it will become a series." So I pushed it to looking closer to the older work.  I'm not that into florals but hey, I let the paint tell me what it's supposed to be.  I like that these "florals" are very figurative.

Roses' Desire (c) 2012 Shoshanna Bauer All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

3/50 Paintings in 50 Days - Ocean of Clouds

Allowing the process to unfold is a huge part of overcoming Artistic block.  There are so many opportunities to be self-critical and for me an excuse to back out.  The 50 Days project is perfect because it forces me to do the work regardless of the outcome. I have to ignore the snide comments in my head as my inner critic tells me I am a hack.
There was once a time when I even had to create an alter ego in order to create art.  I assigned all the bad paintings to the alter ego.
Here's the 4th painting in my 50 paintings in 50 days challenge.
"Ocean of Clouds" - Watercolor and Gouache on paper - 15" x 11"
Ocean of Clouds (c) 2012 Shoshanna Bauer All Rights Reserved

Progress piece


One of my friends asked me "How do you crank them out so quickly and so well?"

There is actually more then one answer to that, but what it really boils down to is me having a little ADD which ironically allows me to Hyperfocus, a little OCD which allows me to work a little obsessively, and a touch of perfectionism (ok a lot of perfectionism). That all combined with a serious dose of impatience (which is why I do NOT work in oils) makes a perfect amalgam for working with Watercolor!

I try and have a couple paintings going on at a time. That way if my ADD kicks in and I get bored, or some paint needs to dry I can work on something else.

Here is a glimpse of one of the paintings I'm working on.

2/50 Paintings in 50 Days - Cosmic Portal

I'm starting to feel good about this.  I've gotten a lot of great feedback and encouragement on my different social networking sites.  All this sort of stuff just helps me.  Ultimately what helps me the most is to remember that my paintings are not ultimately meant for me.  They are meant to go out into the Universe to bring Joy to others.


This painting explores the Inner and Outer Space and the connections between them.  

A glimpse
from beyond
the next Universe


"Cosmic Portal" - Watercolor and Gouache on paper - 11" x 15"







1/50 Paintings in 50 Days - Firefly Gathering

I did it!  I made my first completed painting in over a year!!  And the best part is I like it and the feeling made me want to paint more.  There are a few things I had to do to get the painting done.

  • I had to clean out my studio which had become a catch all for "you name it" clutter.  
  • I had to "Just DO it" as the Nike Ads always say.
  • I had to keep working through it even when it got to that "ugly stage"

"Firefly Gathering" - Watercolor and Guoache on Paper - 11" x 15"




As promised Artist Block ending as of 2012!

Beginning today I will be starting a personal challenge called 50 Paintings in 50 Days. I've attempted this challenge in the past and the most I've been able to manage was 30 paintings in 50 days. The nice thing about the challenge is that it has helped me break out of creative blocks because the task is simply to paint and not judge the results. I will be posting each painting on my blog and of course every painting will be for sale. 

The way I look at it is even if I only get 30 paintings again I will still have 30 more then if I never undertook the challenge. One last thing...the challenge is not "one painting a day" it's 50 in 50 days. That allows me to go a day or so without posting and lets me complete more then one painting a day as well.

If you take a look at my last blog post you can get a glimpse of the first painting I'm working on.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gloria J Zucaro's "Butterfly Apples"

91/8"H x 113/4"W Original Pastel on Sanded Paper
$125.00 Unframed

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I love stacking things and making off-kilter arrangements.  I had decided on flowers and fruit, but it needed something, so I added the butterfly.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Gloria J Zucaro's "Purple Apple,Blue Orange,Green Lemon"

6"H x 6"W Original Oil on Canvas Panel
$65.00 Unframed $5.00 S&H

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This weeks challenge from the Daily Paintworks site is called "Change the Color!"  My original and actual colors were red apple, yellow lemon and an orange orange.  The soup bowl is actually shades of teal,blue/ green, & purple.  This was hard but fun!  I did the value study over my first panel with the four 10 minute pumpkin paintings on it that I had done for that challenge in October.   The colors underneath were orange, yellow and blue/green.  It made it a little confusing when I started my value study and painting, but once I got in most of the basic colors it felt better.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gloria J Zucaro's Zentangle Inspired "For The Holidays"

3.5"H x 3.5"W  Pencil and Ink on Official Zentangle Tile.
Unframed.  May be framed with mat as you would for watercolor.
$5.00 $1.00 S&H

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I thought up some of my own tangles for this one to have a holiday theme.  It includes one official Zentangle pattern as far as I know.  The upper left corner that looks like snow flakes is called "AHH".  I then made the branches of an evergreen tree, a pattern of candles, and another of stars.  In the little loops, I put squares to represent boxes and "barbells" on top to represent ribbon bows on top of the boxes. This is my entry for Paint Party Friday.  Next week it is back to my oil and pastel paintings!  I have been away for quite awhile.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gloria J Zucaro's Christmas Card "Already!?"

20"H x 16"W on Utrecht Linen Panel$100.00 Unframed $10.00 S&H

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 I painted Santa from life in a portrait class.  His real name(don't tell the kids!) is Rich.  He is tall and thin and has a wonderful smile.  Santa was wearing his Santa hat but had a green or blue flannel shirt on in November, when this was painted.  As some of you might know, when you paint a human from life, the sitting is about 3 hours long with 5 minute breaks every 20 minutes.  Well, when you are sitting and staring at something across the room on the wall for three hours, you are not going to be holding a smile!  I also exaggerated the creases and lines.  I love the way it seems that Santa is already tired when he thinks about all that needs to be done before Christmas Eve. We all know that feeling.  I had this painting made into postcards for Christmas and had "Already!?" printed down along the bottom.  I wish all my friends at Paint Party Friday, and at The Daily Paintworks and Contemporary Fine Art International a Merry Christmas.

Gloria J Zucaro's "Cactus Christmas"

6.5"H x 7.5"W Original Oil on Linen Sheet Canvas.
Unframed  $65.00, bidding starts at $32.00 on the Daily Paintworks auction site.
I don't think these cacti would be still blooming, but they certainly show off a Christmas color palette!
Have a good week, remember to take time to smell the Christmas cookies baking!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gloria J Zucaro's "Season's Greetings"

This is one of my two holiday cards for 2011.  I painted this one in watercolor and had Seasons Greetings printed on the front when I had it made into postcards at Office Max.  I sent these to all my Jewish friends and if two people in the same family group on my list were getting cards from me, I sent this one to one family and another card that I made with a portrait of Santa Claus to the other family.  I will post Santa next week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gloria J Zucaro's" Learning Something New"

3 1/2" Square, Ink on Zentangle  paper. 
On Friday I was invited to a Christmas luncheon by an artist friend.  She had not only planned for great food and wonderful companionship with other artists, but had a project for us to do.  We sat at her kitchen table with the supplies she had set out for us to introduce us to an art form called Zentangles. We each had one official Zentangle paper square, a pencil, and two pens with different line thicknesses.

First we were to put dots a little inside of each corner, then connect the dots.  I went wrong right away, by making my connection "bumpy" on two of the sides instead of making it look like a "pillow shape".  But she said it is okay, just have fun!  Then we were to put dots on the edges of the pillow in pencil, then connect the dots across the pillow with our fine point pen so as to divide the pillow into sections.  The first section was filled with lines running parallel to our section line.  See my upper left and lower right bumps.  Then in the same section to go across those lines to make diamond shapes.  Then fill in every other line of diamonds with our thicker point pen.  Next we picked another area and made dots in parallel lines as if you were going to play that connect- the-dots game to complete squares.  See my area in the upper middle.  After that we connected our dots with an "S" line, then connected the opposite sides with the same "S", which resulted in a curvy shape.  Some of us then put squares in the middle of our curvy squares.  And we darkened the little circles that had been the substructure for the design.  Next we were to make scallops across one section.  I got that all mixed up!  I was to make the same scallop shape one on top of the other and then darken with the thick point, every other row.  I went around my perimeter by mistake with the scallops, which did not keep their "scallopy" shape.  So when it came time to darken alternating rows, I ran into areas where two white scallops or dark scallops met.  That meant I started randomly darkening areas and so it looks like Indian Corn instead of a reoccurring pattern which I think is one of the main ideas of Zentangle. See two "bumps" top and bottom.
Next section we were to draw a set of parallel lines in a slight curve across that section.  Then continue with sets of lines but never going over that top set.  We continued to fill that section with parallel lines.  Then we filled in the open areas with"bubbles" or small circles.  See lower middle section.  After that everyone else was done but I had areas that were still open, so I just followed the lines of the open areas to make a maze effect. The other artists were adding some pencil to have more values.  So I started to fill in, with pencil, some of my maze lines.  Again I ran into the problem of having a darkened area meet another already darkened area that would lessen the effect of contrast!

This was a lot of fun and took us about an hour to do.  After I got home, I researched Zentangles on Google.  The originators of the craze are Richard Roberts and Maria Thomas.  The website if you want to find out all about it is .
  Also, there are many patterns which have specific names and their creators name are listed with them.  There are also challenges just like on the Daily Paintworks site.

"Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Our square red logo, "Anything is possible one stroke at a time", "Certified Zentangle Teacher", "CZT", and "Zentomology" are trademarks of Zentangle, Inc.