Jul 1, 2013


By Sue Hulen
Lately, I’ve had to deal with more people than I usually do. Many of them all had conflicting attitudes and I found that pretty interesting. Only a few of these people knew one another. It’s amazing how one person’s attitude can rub off on others. Some have good attitudes and some are bad. Some are positive and some quite the opposite.

People who have an up beat attitude just naturally attract others. One lady I spoke with last week has a wonderful attitude about her art work. At times she may question her ability as a painter and maybe the way her projects are coming along, but she has never lost her love for painting or the wonder of it all. She always seems to come up with something creative and interesting. Such a lovely person.

Another lady was always putting her painting down and claiming her inability as a painter to do anything that anyone else would like or even approve of. First of all, I’m not sure why she gave so much credence to what others thought and secondly she will never be any more than she thinks she is. As a man thinketh…..! She has a self-fulfilling prophecy as far as her work and being able to paint anything of worth. Sad, really.

One lady was so busy putting down and talking badly about all the other artists that I’d be surprised if she ever accomplished anything else. Sometimes we need to see our own flaws and deal with them before we start pointing out the flaws of others.

This type of person is my least favorite. You know the ones. The ones who get out on the internet in social networking sites, and others, and toots their own horn about their work. They brag about their projects, having their projects in magazines, blasting others and having others who give her glowing comments in such sites. Nothing like promoting yourself almost on a daily basis. If her work was truly worth all of the time she invests in bragging about it I would give her kudos. Like I said, I don’t like giving fake compliments so I won’t comment on such posts. A hypocrite I am not.

Some were needy in that they wanted compliments in order to feel viable as an artist. Constantly in search of someone to say “Great job,” “Nice work,” or “You are so talented.” People like that seem to have been neglected somewhere along the way. I am not one to give out fake compliments so it’s hard to converse with such people. I don’t dislike them, I just find them too needy all the time. They’re exhausting.

Others had an attitude of “If I’m miserable I will make sure you are miserable, too.” Those are the ones I try to avoid at all costs. WOW! They can bring me down in a heartbeat. I’m so sorry they’re so miserable, but I didn’t cause their misery. They are so hard to deal with because of their negativity and baggage.
None of us see ourselves as others see us. We all have our flaws and our shadows. I guess we really need to not be so judgmental and start being more compassionate. We all have our own story to tell and some are in much need of compassion rather than judgment.

We’re all capable of change no matter what our age, so maybe we can all do a bit of tweaking in our own attitudes and try to see ourselves as others see us. If any of you can figure out how to do that please let me know, because I still haven’t been able to. It’s tough when you’re already so darned perfect! : )

Happy Fourth!

"Oh Say Can You See"?

Abstract Art
Sharon Teal Coray

Painting made by a Monkey!

Have you ever walked into a gallery only to see nothing but Abstract art hanging on the walls?
I have and you know in all the years I have studied art I still don’t understand or like it.

Most of it looks like an immature child painted it. And oh am I sick of the gallery owners  sidling up to me to “explain” the art piece! I don’t want to look at a piece of artwork that has to be “explained” According to many who paint this way they have a ‘story’ that goes along with the creation! Yeah I bet they do!

Oh come on…a canvas with paint dripping down it and splotches of colors are not what I call skilled or creative art do you?

Let’s just get to the point here; a monkey, horse or elephant etc can make abstract expressionism art! But a true work of art where the artist is skilled is completely different.

I have heard this reply many times: “my 5 year old could have done that”! Then behind their back I have heard the artist say; “that idiot just does not have the mental ability to appreciate good art”!

To me the remark about the 5 year old rings true, there is a lot of artists out there that are just plain lazy, they want the people to believe their explanations of why their abstract art is so good and meaningful! When in reality they are just "hacks".

I find it very disturbing when I see terrible and boring abstract art in top galleries, replacing real art. I find it offensive that someone would try to sell me a painting that anyone could do for thousands and I really hate to see people brainwashed into believing that it is great art!

Mondrian, Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, Rothko, Malevich, Warhol, are not really great artists they are designers but not artists. Even Picasso hated what he had done in his later years to make money, he felt like a fool, he knew his art was no good! He never learned to paint academically; instead he faked the signature on some of his father’s paintings and passed them as his own.

Today art is about convincing others about why abstract art it is art.

I love the critic who has an incredible imagination and can see things in a abstract painting that no one else sees, when there is really nothing but color!

Here are some good examples of what I am talking about!

Let's see...maybe I can concoct a story about this one...
This is called My Moods.
It represents how I feel, the blue is when I am depressed, the red is when I am hot and angry and the yellow is when I just want to be left alone and be a coward in the corner. The pink represents my lipstick that I use to write love letters on the windows of my apartment to my lover. The green is how I feel when I see my lover in someone else's arms....and so on..blah blah blah......

I did this in kindergarten!

If you like this and would like to have it in your home, go to your local craft store, purchase a canvas and some paints and just have at it! You will suddenly become an artist and have a beautiful piece of artwork on your wall. Viola!

Jun 12, 2013

Sue's View's

Venting on Social Networking Sites

By Sue Hulen

For some time now, I’ve been noticing artists/painters using social networking sites to vent about other artists and even businesses that supply artist’s tools and other supplies. First of all, I was amazed that anyone would do that and secondly I was shocked at the things that were said.
There is a saying that I’d heard many years ago that said “Be careful who you walk over on your way up…. you may need them on your way down.” Those words stuck with me because they’re so true. We need to be careful of the things we say about others. If there were a problem we would be doing ourselves a huge favor by keeping it to ourselves and not putting them in the spotlight of social networking sites.

By bad mouthing your fellow artists, suppliers or publishers you are doing yourself a real disservice. I’ve read some things said about others that just blew me away. Professionals should conduct themselves as such. So much harm can come from such indiscretions and lack of forethought. One person’s opinion of another may not be that of someone else. If there is another artist or someone else involved in the artists community that I may not care for there may be many who hold them in high esteem.

Let’s say I’m having a problem with an artist or someone who supplies what I use. If I were to speak badly of them on the Internet, especially social networking sites, it could harm their reputation and could affect their business in such a way that they could lose everything. That’s just not fair and it certainly isn’t an ethical thing to do.
I’ve actually seen things written in artist’s pages in social networking sites where they say some pretty negative and harmful things about a supplier. Unbelievable. The really unbelievable thing is that others would actually post negative things just because one person had a problem with someone else. Many people would comment on the post and take the side of the one posting such negative and unfair comments about another. They were like sheep following their shepherd…. one after another. LOL. What’s so despicable is that the one of the people they were speaking so badly about has a wonderful reputation, is hardworking, dependable, and does fantastic work on what he produces for them. He is one of the most honest gentlemen in the business. To think that his business and reputation could be damaged is truly disturbing, at best.
When you do such things you are actually being bullies and overbearing. To sit behind a keyboard, possibly in your jammies, and besmirch someone else is very telling. It seems a bit cowardly to me that someone would think that what he or she’ve done is ok. Amazing! What must you be telling yourselves that makes that mess acceptable?

We need to conduct ourselves as professionals. Possessing character and being ethical, as well as being very discreet, is vital. There are some things that should never be done nor said. Withholding our judgments of those we don’t like or have disagreements with is so important. To put all of our “stuff” out there is not only harming others, but harming us as well.
When we gossip, agree (publicly) about others in negative ways, put others down or intentionally try to harm them (financially or personally) we look bad. You learn more about the person talking than whom they’re talking about. You begin to look like troublemakers, gossips, unprofessional, petty, mean and lacking in character as well as being unethical. Pretty ugly stuff, huh?
We can harm others in irreparable ways just by saying one or two nasty things about them. And for those who post in agreement with them are just as bad. It makes you all look really mean. It’s not attractive.
Be very careful what you say on the social networking sites such as Face Book and other popular sites. Once you get a bad reputation for being a person who will paint someone in a bad light just because you have an unfavorable opinion of them, will come back to bite you. It won’t be long and people will start distancing themselves from you and some will not want to have a working relationship with you, either. You will have lost the trust of others as they would wonder if you would one day post something negative about them should you have a problem with them. Can you blame them for feeling that way?

Be someone of true character and keep the personal opinions away from the Internet. You will be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run.
By the way…. some heartfelt apologies to those you’ve harmed or attempted to harm would be a nice step towards redemption. Think about it.

Be safe!

Jun 10, 2013

Brushes I can't live without!

Time for cleaning and boy do I have a lot of useless brushes sitting next to my canvas!  I decided to scale down to the ones I really use and love! Years ago when I was affiliated with a brush company they sent me brushes to try out. Most of them have gone by the wayside because they either didn't do what I wanted them to do or they didn't last.
Why do artists need to have so many brushes anyway?  I think it is our passion, like women who love shoes and have tons we need brushes!
However, in reality I really don't need to keep all the brushes I have that take up space and ones I will never use...so out they go!

I sat in the studio and studied the brushes and here is what I decided I could not live without!

I used "brights" for most of my work. A natural hair brush especially suited for oil painting.This short hair Shader works well for 
 moving oils for blending.

  This filbert is perfect of paint things where I want soft edges. Its rounded edges give the perfect soft touch.
A natural hair brush especially suited for oil painting. This short hair Spotter is perfect for small areas on a portrait! 

This is the only brush to use to make "clouds" look real!

This Flat is the one I love to base coat with, makes it easy!

Golden Taklon Champagne Handle
This is really good for floating and blending especially in small areas.
I use this brush for acrylics.

The Moon Mop is a natural hair mop it is soft and it's short length gives me extreme control. Perfect for blending techniques, I love this brush!

Of course I could not paint without my Shining Feather Soft Stroke Fur brush!

My brush I use for my blankets is a inexpensive Taklon bright that I have cut with "Pinking Shears" This brush gives the texture to my blankets!

Supreme Script

I adore this brush and use it for all scrollwork, linework, filigree, tendrils, borders, and highlights. When loaded properly it will do most or all of your pattern without needing more paint. Used in all mediums!
This is a Red Sable spotter, I use this for all the tiny areas on portraits especially

This bristle brush is really good for landscapes, foliage especially!

 I love to use this for painting and blending pottery, flowers and backgrounds.
This long handle bristle brush is used for painting on canvas I love to used this brush for textured backgrounds and scumbling.

My brush source is Scharff Brushes. They offer a wide assortment of top quality brushes for great prices.
Here is thier website:

They will also be at the following shows and if you are lucky enough to get to one be sure to check them out! They always have great specials at the shows!

South Carolina Ceramic Show – Columbia, SC
Show – June 7-8 ( Fri-Sat)


Artist Expo – Houston TX

Show – July 17-20 (Thu-Sat)

Heart of Ohio Tole Show – Columbus, OH
Show – August 7-10 (Wed-Sat)

WOCP - China Show - Midwest City, OK

Show– August 15-17 (Thur.-Sat)



Raindrop Chapter Tole – Portland, OR

Show – Sept. 20-22 (Fri-Sun)



New England Traditions – Marlborough, MA

Show – Oct. 11-13 (Fri-Sun)


Jun 8, 2013

Artist of the Month Frank Covino

Frank Covino is an artist who has had his talent passed onto him from a string of Italian grandfathers. Frank did not choose to be an artist. He was ordained. He paints the Florentine method with oils, portrature being his true talent.
Frank earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Art Teacher Education in 1959, from the most honored Art College in the country, Pratt Institute. In 1960, Frank was hired to teach the portrait course for The Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut, before establishing his own Academy of Art in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1963
twenty-four years later, Covino closed the doors to his Academy and took to the road, where he still conducts realistic seminars in major cities from coast to coast. His students have produced over 30,000 paintings under his direction, all executed in the Classical manner. Some of these oil painters and sculptors have been loyal Covino students for over three decades.

Frank’s life size portrait of singer Dinah Shore was dramatically unveiled during the popular national television show 20/20, and was displayed for years at the Mission Hills country club in Palm Springs. Covino was also commissioned to paint a large portrait of film actress, Gloria Swanson, shortly before her passing, and another study of the late Marvin Gaye, when the singer was at the height of his career.

Frank has authored three major Art books to guide aspiring artists, The Fine Art of Portraiture (Van Nostrand/Reinhold, 1970)… Discover Acrylics With Frank Covino, (Watson/Guptill,1974), and Controlled Painting, (North Light Books, 1982).
He also has produced 12 instructional DVD presentations for oil portraitists, portrait sculptors and pastel portrait artists seeking demonstrations and private guidance in the craft, and is working to complete a fourth art book, defending The Classical Academic Painting method  as  “...a highly intellectual, Left-Brain activity, of no less value than academically composed Classical Music.

 Some of Franks work

Frank's Controlled Palette

Franks Books

Nationwide Workshops

In the May 2000 issue, The Artist's Magazine named the Frank Covino Workshops to be ONE OF THE FIVE BEST WORKSHOPS IN THE COUNTRY. Student testimonials often remark they have learned more from Frank's instruction and demonstrations than from four years of study at their college or university!
83 year old Frank Covino conducts more Nationwide Workshops than any other professional artist in the country and two Graduate Credits are now offered for 60 hours of Frank Covino Workshop attendance in the state of Colorado; this honor is unprecedented!

If you want to be in one of his classes go to his site for a list of times and dates. You will not be sorry you did!

To see some of his students work go here:

My Experience with Frank Covino

Who is Frank Covino?





During the middle 90's my son John, owned his own Art Supply store. He wanted to be an artist and somehow found Frank Covino.  John wanted to learn how to paint like Covino so I set up a workshop in my art academy that brought him to our state.
This was a week long seminar, and it was absolutley wonderful!  I learned so much from Frank in that one week it was just so inspiring.
We learned how to mix and apply flesh tones over Verdaccio underpainting.

This is my first sketches of my daughter Teal

Here I have laid in the Verdaccio values

I am just starting to add the flesh tones here.

Finished Portrait

Because I have admired this man for many years and learned so much from him he is our Artist of the Month!

May 27, 2013

Free Download

  This is one of the best books on this subject I have ever read and now you can download it for free! Plus there are other Loomis books that are free also!

Downlaod you copy now!

Drawing the Head & Hands – by Andrew Loomis.

New Free Pattern Blog

New Free Pattern Blog
Sharon Teal Coray has a new blog offering free patterns! Updated often! Check it out!