Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I am still working on my sparkley new still life, albeit at a snails pace.
But I am enjoying the subject and the process so no complaints here.

Because my studies are often color saturated it can be challenging to seek out 
the true high and low key areas of the composition.  
To this end, I keep a black and white copy of the set up near by.
This makes it much easier to pick out the highlights and shadows.

The cut crystal bowls are a delicate balance of refracted color from the underlying fabric
and the various twisted planes of the glass.  
But that's exactly why I chose this subject to study.

It may take a while but I do love coming down to my table every morning to have this waiting for me.
I'll finish it…eventually!

In the meantime I have weedy gardens to tame, a shore house to organize and a 
little grandson to get to know.

Meet Henry.
Born May 6, 2015

Have a good Holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Little Exhibit with Charm

Last night we attended the opening reception of a show in Skippack Village featuring artists from my local art league.  Skippack Village is a little town about 20 minutes west of my house in PA.
A beautiful little place with shops and cafes galore and last night was First Friday.

There was a juggler and various musicians performing on the sidewalks and the shops were all very inviting and quaint.  I loved the shop our art show was featured in.  The art was displayed on scraped, shabby chic old doors within the center of the shop.
Larry and I met interesting artists and patrons alike.
It was the most unusual show I've ever had my work in and I have to say I kind of loved it! 

It was a perfect Spring night for walking around the village and we also enjoyed a great dinner sitting by an open doorway and sipping wine.

Our weekend is off to a great start and I hope yours is too!

Monday, April 27, 2015

A little painting gets the spotlight.

It was so nice to recieve this e-mail last week.

Greater Norristown Area Art League - 
Features Six Committee Selected Artists

Congratulations! Your work has been chosen to be included in the GNAL show at the
Green Wolf’s Village Barn show in Skippack, PA for the month of May. 
There will be a wine and cheese reception with the artists on
Friday May 1st from 5-7pm. 

"Sapphire", original watercolor, 8" x 10" with frame 16" x 18",
will be on display and available for purchase.

I just finished preparing this little painting for the show.
I found this vintage frame in an antique shop and I think it compliments the painting very well.
Whenever possible I like to find a one of a kind frame especially for a particular painting.

The back was in rough shape and the picture it came with was tossed aside.
But the corners were solid and no chips anywhere within the frame.
And with a little furniture polish, window cleaner and fresh backing 
it now looks like a professional framing, as it should.

The GNAL is my local art league.  They do a fantastic job of making venues available 
for its members to show their work.  This is my second GNAL show to be juried into.

A local art league provides these show opportunities as well as great classes, demos and lectures.
A very active member of GNAL is James McFarland, 
the current president of the American Watercolor Society (not too shabby!).  
And last Fall he gave a slide presentation of all the entries into the Aud'Aquarelle world wide watercolor competition, of which he was one of the jurors. 
He talked about what worked and what didn't, which he liked and why, etc. 
Possibly the most enlightening lecture I've ever had the pleasure to witness.

 But what local art leagues really provide is contact with other artists in your area.

Well, back to work! 
I've got something started and will be back once I really get it underway.
Thank you. Have a good week!

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Weekend in New Orleans for the LWS Show

It has been a busy time for me the past two weeks traveling to California and New Orleans 
for long weekends.  But, of course, there's no place like home. 
 I am very happy to be home and back at my table.  Before we left for New Orleans I had a bright sunny day out on my patio photographing a new still life set up that I am very excited to start.  
So today I will be going through my options, editing and beginning the drawing.  
I don't mind telling you that I feel a bit rusty after such a long break so it could be a slow start.

As you may know we were in New Orleans for the Louisianna Watercolor Society Exhibit.
I am so excited to have one of my paintings in this beautiful show!

While at the show I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with two artists who were my inspiration when I began to work seriously in watercolor five years ago.
Marsha Chandler (center) and juror Chris Krupinski are still life painters of masterful works and they continue to awe and inspire me in my own work.
Chris even gave me a critique of my painting and reasons why she choose it for the show.

I also met many other impressive artists and wish I had taken more pictures!
But at the time I was more interested in taking in the experience.
It was some effort to plan and travel to New Orleans for the show but I am so glad I did.

And all the credit for getting me there goes to my sweetheart of a husband, Larry.
He's always so supportive and the first to make travel plans when I learn I am lucky 
enough to get into a show across the country.
I am also a bit timid about walking into a room of strangers and talking about my work.
Having him there is wonderful to share the experience with and a confidence builder.

Our nephew Brian and his wife Amelia, who live in the New Orleans area,
 stopped in for the show.  And after took us to a great little local restaurant for dinner.
So nice to spend time with them.

Brian and Amelia also took us by the Edgar Degas House on our way back to the Quarter.

A stunning house that can be toured and used as a special event venue. 
There was a wedding reception happening while we were there. Can you imagine that!?

We stayed in the French Quarter while there and here are a few of our experiences.

We walked the entire French Quarter our first morning there.
Stopped in a jazz bar on Bourbon Street for a couple of hours.
Visited Jackson Square

We cruised the Mississippi on a steam paddle boat.

I just loved these old live oaks!

There was so much more than I can share here but safe to say we packed as much of 
New Orleans in three days as possible!

Sunday live jazz brunch at The Court of the Two sisters and then off to the airport.

Our next trip will be the Baltimore Watercolor Society Show where my "Daydreamer"
will be exhibited.  We know Baltimore very well, as it's close to Philly, and our son attended undergrad there.  So we are looking forward to a return in June.

I hope I didn't go on too long!
It was all really great but now back to work on my new project.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

An Honor and a Thrill!

An Honor and a Thrill!

I have just returned from a business trip to California with my husband.
This announcement came Friday and I can't tell you how honored I feel by this.
We are planning a trip to Seattle, our first time there, and I will share the experience with you.
I just feel so darn lucky!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thrift Trip

Wether or not you are an artist, if you have not discovered the joys of a good 
bargain at your local thrift store, you are missing a lot.
As a still life painter, I am always looking for unusual props for my set ups.
I mostly have an idea of what I want to put together and go on a hunt.
But sometimes I get completely side tracked by what I stumble upon.

Before we got socked with yet another snowstorm, 
I took a trip to my favorite thrift store looking for inspiration.

I'm still holding onto my glass fascination and I spy a beauty on that top shelve I did go back for.
(Fair warning, if you see something you really like pick it up and carry it around while you think about it.  I have walked away and gone back many times to have my object gone)

Frames everywhere for really, really cheap.
I try to complete my paintings in a standard size to make it more affordable for 
myself and my buyers to frame.  Now the art in most of these thrift store frames are usually not anything you or I would hang in out homes but the frames are a gold mind.
Check that they are real wood and have good corners.
The rest like backing, wiring, scratches you can easily mend to be just a good as a new frame.
Add a new backing with heavy brown kraft paper and double sided tape around 
the back edges of the frame.
And did I mention they are really cheap!

Here I have to confess a rookie mistake of mine.
The first time I did this I bought a beautiful frame with a broken glass.
So, I thought, I'll go to my hardware store and buy a piece of glass for just a few dollars.
Very wrong!  Window glass is much heavier and thicker than picture glass.
The whole thing was ridiculously heavy and I have to redo it.

Fabrics!  As you may know I love pattern and prints in my set ups.
And most of the ones you have seen in my paintings were thrift store finds.
And don't forget ties and scarves.

How fun these would be to paint.

My take of the day for a whopping $8.00!
I have been looking for unusual bottles for an upcoming painting, 
the glass platter is perfect for my next painting (and as a serving tray for company)
and the scraf is for me.  I think it will be fun with a tee and jeans.

Btw, here's the view from my front porch this morning.
We are in the middle of what we all hope is the last of winter snow storm.
There's a street and other houses out there somewhere.
Very pretty as long as I dont have to drive in it!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Daydreamer" finished

I was just putting the finishing touches on this when I learned 
another painting of mine had been accepted into the LWS show in New Orleans.
So yesterday was a great day.
There are so few days like that in this work that you just have to soak it up 
and store it for those slow days ahead.

You may notice that I cropped this in a bit from the right side and more from the bottom.
As I got into the work more something felt off.  
I realized that all that greenery at the bottom was distracting 
from my focal point of the girls face and the flowers.  
So if it doesn't contribute it has to go!

This was a different subject for me but a pleasure to work on.
I don't paint figures often and when I do they are usually of some random person out in public just minding their own business.
Interesting to think of how they will never know the many countless hours
I spent over my work table painting their likeness.
Well, where ever my daydreamer is I hope she found her dream.

Watercolor, 17" x 21"
©Carmella Tuliszewski

Laying in the first washes and setting the warm color palette to come.

Focusing on the girl because if I cant make her work, there's no need to continue.
The mask over the flowers has been peeled off.
I absolutely love Winsor and Newton's Art Masking Fluid.
I add a few drops of water to it for an easier flow and it works like a charm every time!

What I enjoy about watercolors, even though it is one of the most difficult media to work in,
is that it takes only a few simple supplies to get you going.
Here I am working on Arches 300 lb cold press.
On paintings this large its nice to not be encumbered by a large board under the paper.
Also I prefer not to strip away the sizing that soaking will do.
And I love my butcher trays.
I usually keep two or more going while working.

What's next?  I have an idea brewing.
But first I might take you with me as I shop my favorite thrift store in search of propts.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by!
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