Saturday, March 21, 2015

Gloria J. Zucaro's "Wonderful Swap From Carmen Jones"

Today I would like to show you the wonderful hand painted greeting cards I received from my February Swap Partner from Community Thrive. Carmen Jones lives in Bermuda and really outdid herself making these gorgeous cards! 
Carmen's theme choice was "Bold" and using a brayer and stencils then over-painting figures or adding 3-dimensional flowers onto the stenciled backgrounds. So well done! Thank you Carmen, I love them.

During this last week I did some small changes to a pastel I had done earlier. I changed the rather larger leaf that was in front of the apples and added more variation of color to the leaves and apples.
I am happier with it now, but not sure if it is done.

I am linking this to Community Thrive and Paint Party Friday

Friday, February 27, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Square Bird" and "Be Brave, Forge Ahead".

I recently returned from a visit with my Mother in San Antonio.  While I was there I was helping her with projects, so had little time for art.  But I did this personal birthday card for my grandson Chris.  He will be graduating from high school soon and these are places where I think he
will go in his"exploring life" years.

When I got home, I had some back problems, but was able to do a little artwork for Community Thrive.  I had the February Art Challenge using squares to do.  Here is the process for my Square Bird.

The finished project below, done with gelli printed papers, matte medium, and acrylic paint.
"Square Bird"

The second project was to make an Art Swap postcard for my swap partner in Bermuda.
The Swap Challenge theme was the word "Brave".  I chose "braving the storm" as my inspiration.
The process below...

Finished card below, and then the back of the card also covered with collage paper.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Intuitive Painting"

Well, I wouldn't call this a success, but at least it is a start.  I am trying to learn about intuitive painting.  I have seen beautiful work by many artists who "see shapes" and and are able to bring them out of a background in such a way, it looks mystical. 
My process was to layer some warm acrylic colors and spray them with water to get them to mix.  After that layer dried, I added some blues, greens and purples and sprayed those.  I didn't like that layer at all so immediately sprayed some red, yellow and orange ink on top to warm it up again.  When that dried I searched for the "shapes".  I came up with some very cliche shapes!  A puppy, bunny, bird, angel, butterfly and what I call a "Hippo Bird"   He is probably the most interesting!  I traced them in with a pencil, then painted and decorated them.  I added "Try Something New" in glitter alphabet letters, and "Be Brave"
 in black pencil.  I added a little white pen around a few things.  It was an "experience"!  Oh well, maybe next time!

The final painting in all it's glory below!!
I am linking to Community Thrive and Paint Party Friday.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Too Much to Comment"

Although I worked on both of my unfinished projects from last weeks blog, I received sad news this week about my mother and just seemed to be drained of energy.  My mother 93, was in the hospital from Thursday until Monday evening when she was taken back to the nursing wing of the retirement residence where she lives.  After 2 CAT scans and 2 MRI's we had not been told much.  Finally yesterday afternoon, her doctor called my brother who lives not far from her, and said she has a tumor on her kidney which is cancerous and it has spread to her lungs...hence all the coughing she has.  She refused chemo, radiation or surgery, stating "It is silly at this age".  She told me she is not in any pain at all.  I am planning on going to see her this next week, and to relieve my brother who lives near-by.  We both feel in limbo because the doctor has not told my brother who has the Power of Attorney for health care what her timeline is!  They won't talk to me because of Hippa Laws.  So we don't know, does she have 2 weeks, or 2 years!

I hope you have a better week!  I hope to talk and art again soon.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Three Down, Two to Go"

This week I finished three small projects and got two others started.  I finished "Rope Jumper". Here she is below with her rope.  I watched a champion rope jumper on You Tube to see the handles in her hands and how the rope would drape.  I gave her a face and took away her chunky forehead.  I also added more paint all around her.  This painting is Oil on a gessoed board and is 7"H x 5" W.
We finally had our family Christmas on Sunday the 11th.  On Monday I wrote my thank you notes.  I made a special one for my 7 year old grandson, hoping he would take notice.  He called today and he was so impressed!  I got a big kick out of it!  I had drawn with black ink the two presents that he had picked out for me especially.  One was a new wallet.  He had given me one the year before last and it was shot.  he knew that and picked a new one.  He also gave me a little cache pot with a young boy kneeling near a cross.  I printed his note rather than using script.

Before I forget..My friend Polly who lives in Anacortes, Washington gave me the neatest "altered" book.  It has 96 multimedia pages and was made by "slow art studio & bindery" on Lopez Island, WA .  It also has two little pockets on the front and back inside covers.  And look at the neat covers!!!  

Inside Front
Inside Back
Some Pages
Back Cover

I also did a Zentangle for the first time in quite a while.  I did it on a 4 x 6 card.  The prompt was from Laura Harms at the "" website.  It is Laura's 200th post and she asked us all to do a monotangle.  We were to use just one design, our pick.  I used a pattern called "Stiricles".

The card is sitting on a journal page that I am doing for Community Thrive, a new group I joined to learn more about journals, collage and art forms other than painting.

One of the two projects I started but haven't finished is a pen drawing of an impromptu music concert at The Clearing Folk Art School in Ellison Bay, WI a couple of years ago.  I plan to finish it in watercolor.  I think next time I will need to use a different pencil for the initial drawing. This one is too smudgy.
The reference below
And finally the last item this week.  An oil painting of a mission church in Arizona just barely blocked in in some areas.
The initial steps of the painting, with the reference below.

Have a good week and check the Zentangles and paintings done on the sites mentioned.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Composition Gauguin"

I decided to do another in the floral series using an "Old Master" painter's work as a reference.  I picked a Gauguin floral still life this week.  I researched his color palette and a little about his technique.

These were the colors mentioned.  They are oil colors.  I am currently using pastels.  Since an oil painter can make many combinations from these colors, I started with these basic pastels but added to them to get the colors I needed.
  • Prussian blue
  • Cobalt blue
  • Emerald green
  • Viridian
  • Cadmium yellow
  • Chrome yellow
  • Red ochre
  • Cobalt violet
  • Lead white
  • Zinc white
  • The basic colors mention in the article on
  • Typically Gauguin painted outlines of the subject directly onto the canvas in diluted Prussian blue. These were then filled in with opaque colours (rather than building colour up through glazes). The dark outline heightens the intensity of the other colours. 
Here is that original photo of my set-up

The first thing I did was draw my original floral on the canvas in pencil.  I then added some new parts to the composition to mimic Gauguin's composition.  He had put a Japanese woodcut into the background and had a very South Seas looking jug.  Since I had neither, I made up an abstract in the background and added a jug-like vase in the area where he placed his.  I then outlined everything in "Prussian Blue" as the article mention.  Gauguin's painting seemed very flat with no real light source.  He also had some stray leaves pointing up at his still life, so I did the same.  I used many of his colors rather than the Fall colors of my original reference.
Below is my first step

Next starting to color in the background.

Then I totally forgot to take pictures until I was finished!

Here is my reference from Gauguin

Here is my final "Composition Gauguin"
8" x 10" Soft Pastel on Sanded Paper Unframed.
Contact me with questions.

I hope you enjoy my paintings :>)  Gloria

I was invited by Valerie & Susi after posting, to join in to Art Journal Journey.  Their site is featuring each artist's version of a "Master" painter that they like, so my current theme series fits right in.  Thank you ladies.  Pop-in to see each artists' rendition of their favorites painter.
I was also invited to share my work on "The Queen of Creativity" by Kate. Thanks so much!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "January First 2015"

Happy New Year to Everyone,
Today my post is some photographs I have taken lately and how I altered them in Photoshop Elements.

Here is a photo of the bench in my back yard and my pesky squirrels.  
It is called "Squirrel's Christmas Party"
Here it is after using Photoshop Elements Filters called Artistic Cutout
It looks abstract, which is kind of neat.
Then below I used Enhance-Adjust Color Curves.  I increased the highlights and shadows, it looks much more dramatic and rich.  So much fun.  You can click on the images to enlarge to see the full effect.

The next photograph captured some crystals I had hanging in the window. 
First the original photo and beneath it, the photo enhanced with a filter called Misc. Effects, Fluorescent Chalk.  People really liked it and I had a purchase offer, but they thought I had painted it!  I told them it was only in my hoo!  Oh well, I had fun with these.


I am linking to Paint Party Friday, Twitter, Facebook and 

Have a wonderful week,


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Mainstreet Art Center Christmas Projects"

The week before Christmas is always a celebration at The Mainstreet Art Center where I go to paint twice a week.  I am one of those artists that does enjoy being in the company of other artists when I paint.  It doesn't distract me at all, and my main circle of friends is with other artists I've met since I started painting at Mainstreet in 2004.  Every year before Christmas break we do a special project and then we all eat lunch together with the morning classes staying late, and the afternoon classes coming early.  We each bring a dish to pass.  There are about 30 painters all together. The goal of our project this year was to add interesting backgrounds with different values to figures facing away from the camera.  We picked a specific color palette.  We were to bring references of figures seen from the back or side, one figure preferred, as we were to complete the painting in about 2 hours.

I got my references from Paint My Photo.  They are copyright free and all you need to do after you use a reference is let the photographer know, and link to your painting so they can see it.  If you have a page on their site you can show your painting there also.  Below is the reference called "Dancing Down The Road."  

Dancing in the Road

Below is my painting from Dancing Down The Road. 
10" x 8" Oil on gessoed panel, unframed

My other reference from Paint My Photo was called "Cuban Dancers", see below. 

Since we were only to paint one figure, I had to change the arms and balance of the figure.  This is not finished.  I need to put something in her hands.  I am thinking a jump rope(?). and I need to shape her face better and put a hint of  her features but not enough to distract from the overall figure.

See my WIP painting below.
7" x 5" oil on gessoed panel, unframed

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2015!


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