Inspired To Paint These Cows :)

Reference Photo, ©June Rollins

Reference Photo, ©June Rollins

I’ve grown fond of the these cows I drive by twice a day 6 days a week on Brasstown Rd. Even though I’m often in a hurry, pre-occupied or tired, I always look for them. On this day, soon after they had just gathered around a fresh hay bale, I knew I had to stop and take some reference photos for a painting. I was delighted and inspired to paint from this humorous image I received.

Later, I described the setting to one of my co-workers who laughed and responded with, Sorry, Private Party. I immediately knew Kayla had just given me the title for my painting.

How To Receive Inspiration During a Typical Day

Notice what you are repeatedly drawn to during the course of a typical day. Zero in and become more aware of whatever it is. Each day, even while rushing by, consciously, take note. Wait for and be ready to receive perfect, and perhaps unexpected, picture-perfect, moments 🙂

Cows Traveling To Tennessee In April

Sorry, Private Party, 12 x 28, Watercolor, ©June Rollins

Sorry, Private Party, 12 x 28, Watercolor, ©June Rollins

Sorry, Private Party, has been accepted into the 38th Southern Watercolor Society Annual Juried Exhibition to be held at the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, TN, May 8th – July 5th.

Next post will share the painting steps behind this watercolor.

Enjoy The Journey.

Follow The Red Railed Walkway

Several times a day, almost every day, I tell people to:

“Follow The Red Railed Walkway.”

This has taken on deep significance for me….because here is where I am spending most of my time now, the  John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. I tell people to follow the red railed walkway because I work at the Craft Shop and am giving newcomers directions….to the Keith House, the History Center and to the Studios where discoveries are made and potentials tapped. New students arrive each week, all following the red railed walkway in hopes of where it will lead…

I was in the right place at the right time to take this photo earlier this month. Just after a rain near 5pm made the red railing and the slate/stone path more color saturated and the background woods a darker value. Add the spring blooms and I have a reference photo for my next watercolor.

Working on a full sheet, I studied the photo and made adjustments to my sketch.

I began the masking process.

And continued with the masking process : )

I’m posting images during the painting process of, Follow The Red Railed Walkway on my Facebook Art Page and I plan on  elaborating on some of the processes used in the next few posts here. Like the students, I’m following the red railed walkway in hopes of where it leads.

Florence, The Special One

If you’re keeping up with my Facebook Page, you know my latest fascination with Edward & his four lady friends 🙂

Edward & his friends: Marilyn, Margaret, Floosie and Florence, “Flo” to her closest friends, live at John C. Campbell Folk School and I am loving getting to know them through camera lens and paintbrush.

I was delighted to get this reference photo of Florence and have spent the day working on her portrait. She is an Ameraucana and the special one of the group. Maybe because her eggs are a pretty, mint green.

I’ve not yet been accepted into her inner circle to call her “Flo,” but I think she is considering it as she finally posed for the camera. Up until the two photos above, she has pretty much ignored me.

Here is the watercolor of Florence, last, but certainly not least of Edward’s Four. Portraits of Edward and the others are in my Daily Paintworks Gallery.

I’ll share most of the process of this painting over the next few posts. As usual, the first thing I do after the sketch is experiment with colors I want to use, this time, with Florence’s approval, of course 🙂

Edward and his friends are making my Spring a happy one!

Hoping for a happy Spring for all!



Busy Wren – Basics & Background

In my January 1, 2013 post, I shared the 2012 stats for my blog and mentioned an upcoming return to watercolor. We’re entering the second quarter of the year. My 3rd DVD, Piñata Alcohol Inks On Ceramic Tile DVD is now available which includes six demonstrations along with all the basics to work on and seal glazed ceramic tiles. I have a sense of completion and the timing seems right to turn my energy and focus to explorations in watercolor and water media.

While I will continue to play in alcohol inks as they are quite relaxing, freeing and fun, and occasionally showcase some outstanding work by artists who have purchased my alcohol Ink Dreamscaping DVDs, it’s time for me to do a little dreamscaping in watercolor. Let’s begin with the basics and background of one of my newest and cathartic, (dreamscaping can be cathartic) watercolors, Busy About Her Business.


I used Daniel Smith’s Extra Fine Watercolors: Mostly, Hematite, Tiger’s Eye, Genuine, Sedona Genuine, Purpurite Genuine with accents of Turquoise Genuine, Amozoninte Genuine and Rhodoninte Genuine. Also used Maimeriblu Raw Sienna.

I worked on 140 lb. Fabriano CP using sable and sable blends flats and rounds. The background and gourd were painted loosely and quickly using Winsor Newton granulation medium and a lot of dreamscaping, dropping  and guiding. The next post will be a slideshow of the process steps. Below, you will see where I began by masking some of the details.

Now, The Background

Here is the reference photo for Busy About Her Business.

I took this reference photo while in Virginia visiting my mother Spring of 2011. I have fond memories of the two of us sitting around her kitchen table in front of her sunny picture window watching this busy, Carolina Wren build her home. I took about 50 photos while we laughed at her antics, flying in and out, in and out. Talk about a purpose driven life 😀

We didn’t know it then, but that turned out to be the last spring we would sit around my mother’s kitchen table. Nov. 2011 brought with it a move into longterm care. My mother’s house has recently sold. That chapter has ended.

Is there any wonder this painting set-up felt more like a healing station for me? As I worked, I heard my mother’s laughter and felt the sun and the joy and the urgency of this little wren, fully present, busy about her business. She was so intent on building her life as each of us are so intent on building ours.

I am thankful to have my mother’s kitchen table, to touch the smooth oak and feel the memories made around it. So thankful for the joy shared and rekindled in the painting of this unassuming, little Carolina Wren…the gateway for me hearing my Father once again sing, Precious Memories, How They Linger…


Anything calling to you to be painted?

Consider following where it wants to lead.


May Each Of You Have A Spring To Celebrate & Remember.

Murphy River Walk Morning

Thanks to all our friends here and there who are thinking of us and wishing us well in our new home, Murphy, NC. We appreciate the cards, e-mails and FB messages. One couple, all the way from Wadesboro, even stopped by yesterday for a surprise visit. It was great to see you, Lucy and Whit!

Rob and I have been walking the Murphy River Walk in the evenings, but this morning, after mustering my courage, I ventured back out with my camera. I had to muster my courage because earlier this morning, little Clyde, my 10 lb., 14 yr old, silver poodle, and me had quite a scare when we were escorted back to our driveway by the neighborhood bully, an unleashed, growling dog. Now I know, not to walk to the end of Hilton Street.

The bullying, soon forgotten, when I came upon this…

I’m amazed this is only a short walk from where we live.

I was told this gentleman feeds the ducks almost every day.

I followed him, caught up and we chatted a bit.

He told me when people ask him what he does, he tells them,

I watch the grass grow,

And the river flow.

I think I’m going to be doing the same.

Make that, avoiding bullies and doing the same…

with paint brush and camera in hand 🙂


Let’s Keep Dreaming 🙂

Summer Bouquet Documentation

I’m documenting the flowers from my garden. 

2012 Summer Bouquet

Why? Because we’re moving July 2 to Murphy, NC. That means I’ll be leaving this flower garden I’ve worked on for the past 3.5 years. While I’ve divided and dug up a few things to take with me, I can’t take them all. Photos and probable references for future paintings will have to do.

With 2012 Summer Bouquet I can see the yarrow and bachelor’s buttons I grew from seed, the day lilies that were a gift from Peg, the coral agastache with lavender stamen I was delighted to find while nursery hopping with my friend, June W. and the blue hydrangea Alan delivered two years ago from Michael Horne’s Florist when my husband was out of town on my birthday. Big Rob didn’t forget…

“Baby, I have my moments,”  he said when he phoned that night.

“Honey, you are a moment!”

Anyone who knows him, knows it’s true.

So, while it’s a little sad to be leaving my flowers,

I’m glad to be going with the one who broke the clay, moved the rocks, amended the soil, tilled the ground, dug the holes and planted the shrubs.

I’m glad to be going with Rob.


Yep, I’ll need to paint this one.

As soon as I’ve finished packing… and unpacking…

Until then, I will remember.

Guest Artist – Stacy Wills

Stacy Wills

A new feature on my blog will be Guest Artists. People, processes and art that have had an impact on me that I want to share with my readers. Here’s the first Guest Artist Post. Enjoy!

 I met Stacy earlier this year during an online Lenten retreat with Christine Valters PaintnerI loved her artwork and her process.

She creates mandalas in two different ways – by hand, mostly using a combination of watercolors, acrylics, gel pens, dimensional paint and swarovski crystals, and digitally, utilizing source images such as photographs taken, existing hand-drawn artwork, or  images which are made from National Geographic pages that have been treated with a cleaning product called citra solv. 

Her digital explorations began when she enrolled in Eyes of the Heart:  Photography as a Contemplative Practice.  She wanted to find a way to incorporate the nature images she was receiving into a mandala format and began using Kaleidoscope Kreator

Abandoned Paper Wasp Nest
Stacy Wills©

Natural Stained Glass by Stacy Wills©
Digital Mandala created from abandoned paper wasp nest photo

Learn more about Stacy’s journey here.

See more of Stacy’s inspiring artwork at a magic mom and her mandalas