Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Please Persissssst....

Untitled as yet
16 x 20, oil on panel
 By Johanna Spinks, copyright

Close up
Johanna Spinks

Morning friends:

Every felt like giving up on a project or task? Well, I did on this one.

I told myself 'please persist"... it will come to pass. I tell myself that quite often in life actually.

That is exactly what I did on this still life...almost finished bar a few tweaks and value adjustments. That yellow cup on the right needs to be glazed down as it competes with the head. And the fan needs a bit more work.

I started the gold head months ago but then changed direction a few times to finish it.

It's early days after such a long 'persist' to know if it was worth it. But I learned from the persistence so that is reward in itself. A bit like your husband cooking a marvelous dinner in the kitchen, but you have to do the messy clean-up.

Nothing in life is gained without a huge period of persistence sometimes, don't you agree? And then there must be a pregnant pause

Now Go Take On The Hour.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Sleepy Hipster", Palette Knife Portraits

"Sleepy Hipster"
Oil, Palette Knife Portrait
By Johanna Spinks
For Sale
Contact artist

Morning All:

All I can say is I had a blast with this palette knife portrait of a sleepy hipster done in one life sitting around three hours.

I don't know why she was so sleepy but you know how those hipsters are. Up all night doing creative things. 

I think I am going to be a hipster today.  For 24 hours. Better run out and grab some black-rimmed glasses and get a cropped hair cut.

What say you?

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Pastel on paper
Johanna Spinks
Happy Thanksgiving All. Even if you don't live in the U.S., it is good to stop for a moment and think what we are thankful for...

Plus, I get to eat turkey and pumpkin pie today on top of all the over things I am thankful for.

Not sure I want to draw a turkey ever again though.

What about you?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Follow Your Bliss

Teacup Madness continues thru' November. Join my mailing list, button above, and I will send you a free teacup print via snail mail, absolutely FREE.

Opening Night
16 x 20
Oil on linen
Johanna Spinks
To purchase contact artist

Morning friends:

There is always a story behind a teacup. I painted this still life, most of all,  wanting to paint the pink vase, an unusual color for a vase I thought. 

These flowers and vase were given to me by my mentor for the Opening Night of my 365 Days of Drawing Show in 2010.

I need just that little something 'extra' to make things sing. And sure enough, this little silver Christening Cup was waiting for me at the local thrift shop near my studio where I am often to be found.

I found my bliss and it was a snap to paint to complete the painting.

More bliss followed when this still life was later chosen for the cover of the Jack Richeson Still Life Show Book cover.

Always important to follow your bliss, don't you think?

Have a blissful day now.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stick at it...

The Early Hours
Palette Knife, Oil.
Johanna Spinks

Morning friends...

I started this portrait in the early hours of the morning when, unable to sleep,  painting seemed like a good idea. Of course, I lost much of the next day feeling tired but I liked what I got on this portrait, done with a palette knife and nothing else. The face was done very quickly.

Inspiration strikes! Don't we love it when that happens?

 I finished it up yesterday but it was much slower going than at 3am in the morning.  Stuff that should have been easy was like walking in molasses. But I got there.

I am glad I stuck with it. I believe in sticking with things. What do you stick at for results? Now, let's take on the day.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Kensington Getaway"...

Kensington Getaway
Oil on canvas
12 x 16
$575 including shipping

It is always good to get away. This is one of my favorite spots in London. A scene of many good times over the years. And we all need those.
The Finished Painting 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making It Your Own

My Very Own
By Johanna Spinks
8.5" x 11"
Watercolor, oil and gouache.


Good afternoon dear friends:

One of my art students yesterday, an absolutely charming Italian man, came over to me as I was finishing these ordinary teacups up,  and said something like:" You have shown me how you take something (ordinary teacups) and make it your own".

This comment passed over my head somewhat as I was a bit tired from election night and art school coffee was giving me more heartburn than caffeine lift.

 But then I really started to think about his comment today and what a compliment it was.

Making it your own is the key to whatever you do. And it sure takes time.

 It can turn the mundane into the extraordinary, don't you think?

A boring political speech into a teary masterpiece

A hum-drum piece of writing into a Nobel prize-winning tour de force

A simple apple pie into a mega monster pie hard to beat at the annual pie contest

A simple rose bush that flourishes magnificently with crazy blossoms year after year

You get the idea.

So let's all go out there and be extraordinary for the next 24 hours.

What will you do?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Positive thoughts...

"French Brew"
Johanna Spinks

Join me email newsletter list for a free tea cup print thru' November Tea Cup Madness

Morning Friends:

This cup of brew was painted while I was in France doing an international art residency in Dinan with Les Amis de La Grande Vigne. It is very sentimental for me. I was a little nervous on arriving. Would I be able to paint well? What would I find to paint? Would my schoolgirl french get me through. Well, that was rediculous, but you know how those negative thoughts spiral.

So, on my first day I ran into the local cafe off the beaten track and nervously ordered this in said SG french. It was a cold misty morning by the Rance River and the hot brew, and bright sugar packets, hit me just right. Restored my confidence.

This cup was begging to be painted and it was. It was the first painting of about 25 I did the whole month. Every time I look at it, those memories come flooding back.

Isn't it funny, how an image can do that? Much like a song.

Take on the day

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teacup Madness

Tin Cup of Old
By Johanna Spinks
Oil on Linen Panel
Morning friends:

Yes, you can still get your free teacup print thru' November by signing up for my newsletter above!

So what's the story behind today's teacup? I am often inspired by stories from the Old West so when I saw this beaten-up little tin teacup, I knew it had stories of old trails to tell.  A welcomed  cup of tea by a  night camp fire after a hard day battling the elements, traversing a brutal and windy terrain.

I painted this little guy with a lot of love thinking of those bygone historical times, particularly important on today's Election Day in The United States.'

I am proud to be an American having gotten my citizenship a few years back, but only after quite some effort to get it.  Today reminds me of that.  The journey. The trail.


And have a cup of tea while you are at it.

Cookie on the side. American chocolate chip, all the way.

See ya

Monday, November 5, 2012

Teacup Madness Free Print

Morning friends:

Yes, here's another one. I have painted this little blue cup quite a lot over the years. Now, unfortunately it is no longer as I broke it.

But its' permanent record is here and I hope I did this humble cup justice through my brush.

Don't forget a free tea cup print awaits for joining my mailing list. See button above. My thank you gift to you for following my teacups - and work.
Green Envy
Johanna Spinks
For Sale
email for full image

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tea cup madness -Free tea cup print

Double Spode
Johanna Spinks
Mixed media on paper
8.5 x 11

Morning all:

November Tea Cup madness continues. Join my email newsletter, button top, for a free tea-cup print!

Personally, I love this one. I have a thing for blue and white Spode china and collect it. But I also make sure I use it daily, hence many chipped and broken pieces. The earthquake in the 90's didn't help. I lost a ton of old Spode then which still makes me sad.

I did this at my First Friday Atelier Day this week. We sure had fun. I served PG Tips (strong British tea) in these very cups after I finished sketching them.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sign up for my list,,,free tea cup print

Hi All:

Day 3 of November Tea Cup Madness...hope you like my humble teacup...any good names for this teacup folks?

"Teacup in White"
Johanna Spinks
Come back tomorrow. I love the one for tomorrow.


Friday, November 2, 2012

November Tea Cup Madness Continues.

Day Two of Tea Cup Madness running through November...Get you free tea cup print by signing up for my email newsletter.

Come know you want to.

Cup o' Gold,
Johanna Spinks
Mixed media
Why do you think people like tea cups to much?


Thursday, November 1, 2012

November is Tea Cup Madness and Thank YOU month.

Tea Cups By Johanna Spinks
Mixed media
Prints available, see below.

Hi all:

This blog has been running quite  a while now. Many of you have been with me through thick and thin sending nice notes. My cup runneth over with gratitude.

Therefore for the next 30 days during Thanksgiving month, I am running 'Tea Cup Madness' month,  giving away a free print  of this tea-cup print as a 'thank you'.

All you have to do, is join my email list to receive this 'thank you' gift using the link above. Or just email me at

Yes, that's all you have to  do!

Take on the delicious day and make sure your cup is full with a cookie on the side.