Effects of water hardness on watercolour paints

Way interesting

Lee Angold

For the past couple of years,  my tap water has been curdling my paints.

It all started with a tube of Quinacridone Rust (PO48)  from M. Graham.   I was attracted to this paint partially because the pigment is listed as non-granulating,  and I fell in love with the colour, but ever since I got it, the paint has had a tendency to clump and curdle when mixed with water in the palette or dropped into a wash, resulting in an incredibly pronounced granulation pattern.  This pattern becomes even more pronounced when Quin. Rust is mixed with another dark valued, non granulating paint such as a phthalo.

13934947_10205655508741469_4385919295537911773_n Colour mixing experiments with Quin Rust (PO48) and Phthalo Turquoise (PB16)

I searched the internet extensively, and could find no other reports of quinacridone rust granulating like this.  For months I was actually convinced I had received a dud tube, but avoided investigating…

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Cedar Key

Pinks, purples, aquamarines and sun collude and collide everywhere in this Florida city. We came up here airplane shopping, had dinner in a dog-friendly joint on the beach. Now it’s time to sleep, but I have these colors swirling around my brain. Here’s a sunset. Paint flinging tomorrow.

‘They never asked to be extorted, raped, threatened and beaten’

Irish Investigations

Banner in ... Translation: Migrants work all over the world and are human beings, not illegals under the xenophobic politics of Donald Trump. Photo by Theresa Barry. Banner in Oaxaca City, Mexico, Jan. 20. Rough translation: Migrants are workers everywhere. No human being is illegal in the world. Stop the xenophobic policies of Donald Trump. Photo by Theresa Barry.

“She was told that if she failed to pay again, they would first rape her once more and then kill her son.”

My brother recently returned from a 10-day volunteer stint representing women and children who have crossed the border from Mexico to seek asylum in the United States. They are being held at a detention center in Dilley, Texas, euphemistically called a “family residential center.”

My brother is an attorney and represents these families in “credible fear” interviews that ultimately lead to a judge’s ruling that decides their fate.

There’s more to the legal process than that, but I need to share the stories of three women my brother met this month. These women, and potentially their children, are at…

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Interview with Charlie O’Shields – Creator of Doodlewash and founder of World Watercolor Month and World Watercolor Group

Follow them for fun and learning

I am so excited to turn the tables and interview Charlie O’Shields! Charlie has been featuring other watercolor artists from around the globe since he started painting and blogging. Charlie has built an amazing and supportive community of artists who love watercolor.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAworld-watercolor-group-page-header-for-emailCharlie O’Shields is the Creator of Doodlewash and founder of World Watercolor Month (July) and World Watercolor Group. He currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his Parisian partner, Philippe, and a temperamental basenji named Phineas.

What made you start drawing and painting AND posting?

Well, my partner, Philippe, decided to try watercolor and it looked fun so I started doing it with him and I was immediately hooked. I began by Urban Sketching, which was super fun, but ended up just learning many fast sketching techniques, as I didn’t often want to sketch only what was in front of me. I also use a mixture of reference photos and bits of…

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Red hot tulip watercolor

I shared this one on Facebook the other day and got lots of positive responses, so I’m doing it again. We need more positives now. The world is a mess, all colors, sizes and political practices. We are so polarized in this country that I am sad.

So I stop political rants, yes, again and post or share only art, music and things which feed us.

Ergo, Peace on the day after. Thanks. More to come.

Today I have to rant. Then I’ll go paint

I’m so pissed off about Donald John Trump–AKA the yapping yam–that I am going to repost this spectacularly well-writ piece by Keith Olbermann. All of the attributions are there, the way journalists were taught to use them. As a former journalist–now artist, blogger and ranter–I just cannot stand it anymore! Even an exclamation point!
Wake up, America. Trump is a danger to us all.
Now I need bourbon.
Go watch Broadcast News for the late great Albert Finley. After you watch this video by Keith Olbermann

Work in progress

Celebrating the colors, heat and humidity of Florida. I’ve survived eight months now, including the h0ttest month ever. The natives tell me I will make it. 

Color here is just so HERE. From living in upstate NY and wearing black, seeing gray skies and loving it there to here has been a culture shock. I love, love the hot food, always fresh produce, the choices, and even the nightly fireworks sounds from, I think, Disney. 

We accidentally got caught in the come-hither-purple Disney web the other day. Moving toward the gates, I screamed “No, no no!” But thankfully a worker there told us how to get out. It is a machine, Disney. People like zombies in the heat waiting in line to pay too much money. Enough.

Here’s a work in progress for today.


A week way south (the Everglades and the Keys, w00t)

This week has been full of adventure: a dead Jeep (being repaired); our first RV trip with Charlie (below) our beloved rescue dog. Charlie is almost as hardheaded as James Michael Pensinger, my first and now last sweetheart.

Charlie goes south. Our handsome rescue dog.

James Michael Pensinger, my beloved, driving our RV down to the Keys. Just because.

A work in progress of a beauty in the Everglades

The old bridge to the Keys, from the seven mile bridge. Whoopeee 

The view from our windshield on Sugarloaf Key. This is a seven-acre saltwater lake.

Now I go out to the day. Stay tuned and thanks for reading. Watercolors await.



One from my bucket list. We are in a park here in the titillating swamp with our little house on wheels. Today I will try to ride an airboat. May chicken out. Stay tuned. Meanwhile here’s last night’s sunset looking east toward Miami. There was a big storm which caught the sun’s last rays. 

With classical music in the background, we watched the coming storm.

This week

Hello reader,

I have gotten my life back together, am divorced and happily living in Florida (!) with my first–and now last–sweetheart, Michael Pensinger. Even entered Watercolor Artist annual competition. I was a finalist in 2014, so I’m gonna brag, just a little and post it here. 

Watercolor painting is interesting down here. I paint outside our home on wheels (RV) and sometimes need to take paintings inside to dry. Humidity is a factor. Anyway, that’s all for today with my 2014 painting:

Feeder fodder for the birds, donated to the children’s center for an auction fundraiser. 

For your critique

This is a quartersheet watercolor, taken into Paper53 to add the orange. I can’t decide if I want to add the orange in real paint. Any observations are welcome. I think this painting has something to do with the heat and humidity here in Florida where I live. The colors here and the stretching blue skies are whelming, maybe overwhelming at first. It rains every afternoon lately so we get all kinds of sky shows.

Thanks, as always. Martha Keim (-used-to-be-St.-Louis)

Now that they are hung …

I am happy to have donated five 4″ by 4″ inch watercolors to the Just Add Water exhibit at the Kirkland Art Gallery in tiny Clinton, NY. The hook for me was Golden QoR watercolors. Participating artists were given QoR sample packs and paper. Great fun to be splashing and flinging on small sheets. Thanks to Linda Bigness for inviting me.

And here they are:

They are only $20 apiece. All proceeds go to KAC.

Thanks for looking.

Martha Keim (-used-to-be St. Louis)