I am a mother, a grandmother and a contemporary realist painter currently living in Montana. I was encouraged to be an artist when I was younger due to some sad events in my life. Through this experience I started to learn and understand how much of an impact being an artist and the art world in general could have on a person if given a chance. Later, I wanted to be a seascape painter and went to school where I received my Associates in Fine Art/Humanities (2007) and have been able to continue my artistic education through books, the internet and personal experiences. Today I do not just paint the ocean but I paint anything that inspires me. Through my artwork, I want to encourage happy thoughts, happy memories and positive perspectives in order to stimulate a happy heart within my viewer whether it be from a nature scene to something as simple as a favorite coffee cup. - Frankie Stockman 2021

Please continue down for more information, interviews with artists and some painting tutorial and ideas! ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

First Friday Art Walk

I was a part of my very first "First Friday Art Walk". I had never heard of them until I became a part of the Art League that I am now associated with. Since I have been renting out my own little studio, I have met many new people and been inspired by them all. 

Wait! I didn't tell you about my new studio did I? I have so much to tell you! I have been a little busy trying to get it all together and it is finally here.

I still haven't gotten around to repainting the walls but I will very soon. I have just been trying to get comfortable and I am learning to love this space. Sometimes I lay my yoga pad down and just lay on it and stare at the room and tell myself what about it I love so much. It actually works! 

This little wall is my space for hanging art. I don't have much out yet, as you can see the walls space is limited. 

My space is really small. Actually I believe it is the smallest space up here. However, I have something no one else has. MY OWN BATHROOM. So I don't mind. 

I am very glad that I moved up here instead of sitting in the corner of my house where no one else but me paints. It is nice to get around other artists and talk about things. There is mixed media artists here, acrylic painters, metal smith, wood, rocks, a quilter and even a tattoo artist. 

I like being here. 

Ideas for Mixing Tones

Here are some ideas for mixing tones.

A tone is any pure hue with a neutral gray added. When you mixing from these lists, you are just making each color less vibrant. I have been told that most people find tones very pleasing to the eye. 

When you look at each list of mixes, know that if you do not have a certain color, then just play around with what is suggested. You may end up creating a mix that you really like and can use. Keep in mind that these are strictly starting points and suggestions.

Pink Tones
Violet Tones
Brown Tones
Green Tones
Red Tones
Yellow Tones
Blue Tones

Gray Tones:

  • Prussian blue, umber and white
  • Ultramarine blue, umber and white
  • Cerulean blue, umber and white
  • Black and white
  • Black, yellow ochre and white
  • Black, umber and white
  • Umber and white
  • Black, naples yellow and white
  • Venetian red, viridian green and white
  • Venetian red, green (cadmium yellow and blue) and white

Pink Tones:

  • Venetian red and white
  • Venetian red, yellow ochre and white
  • Burnt sienna, yellow ochre and white
  • Cadmium red and white
  • Indian red and white
  • Indian red, yellow ochre and white
  • Naples yellow, venetian red and white
  • Naples yellow, Indian red and white
  • Naples yellow, cadmium red and white
  • Naples yellow, burnt sienna and white

Violet Tones:

  • Venetian red, ultramarine blue and white
  • Cadmium red, ultramarine blue and white
  • Alizarine crimson and white
  • Alizarine crimson, venetian red and white
  • Alizarine crimson, cadmium red and white
  • Alizarine crimson, ultramarine blue, prussian blue and white

Brown Tones:

  • Black, yellow ochre and burnt sienna
  • Black, burnt sienna and white
  • Black, umber and white
  • Umber and naples yellow
  • Umber and yellow ochre
  • Burnt sienna and yellow ochre

Green Tones:

  • Prussian blue and cadmium yellow
  • Prussian blue and cadmium orange
  • Prussian blue and yellow ochre
  • Prussian blue and naples yellow
  • Prussian blue and burnt sienna

*for the above list of colors, you can substitute Prussian blue for Ultramarine blue and Cerulean blue.
  • Viridian green and yellow ochre 
  • Viridian green and naples yellow
  • Viridian green and umber
  • Viridian green and cadmium yellow
  • Viridian green and cadmium orange
  • Viridian green, ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow
  • Viridian green, ultramarine blue and yellow ochre
  • Viridian green, ultramarine blue and naples yellow
  • Viridian green, prussian blue and cadmium yellow
  • Viridian green, prussian blue and naples yellow
  • Black and cadmium yellow
  • Black and cadmium orange
  • Black and naples yellow
  • Cadmium yellow and umber

Yellow Tones:

  • Cadmium yellow, yellow ochre and white
  • Cadmium yellow and white
  • Cadmium yellow, naples yellow and white
  • Yellow ochre and white
  • Naples yellow and white
  • Naples yellow, yellow ochre and white

Blue Tones:

  • Ultramarine and white
  • Prussian blue and white
  • Cerulean blue and white

If you had any mixes to add, please let me know in the comment section below! 

Lisa Graham - Sharing Stories of The Heart

Lisa Graham - Sharing Stories of The Heart

What is best for Nigel - Oil on Canvas by Lisa Graham

- Can you please share a little of your background? For example, where you are from and how your artwork ties into your culture or where you live.

I have lived in Colorado for a year, but most of my life has been spent in Kansas.  Once in a while the Kansas landscape shows up in my work whether it be a figure standing in an open field or an old farmhouse.  Only recently have I started to explore painting mountains, but this landscape is still very new to me.  

- Which situations or experiences have helped you evolve as an artist? For example; what makes you who you are?

There are many experiences that have contributed to the artist I am today.  The first was starting my blog.  I met so many other artists and creative people through blogging and their work as well as their support and feedback really helped me to grow and just keep painting. Online classes and workshops also helped me develop my style and skill as a painter.  Being a part of a gallery was also another incredible time of growth for me.  Spending time with artists and art collectors taught me so much about art and art business.  

- Does your work carry a message? If it does not, then can you tell me why you make it?

Great Grandma's Kitchen - Oil on Canvas by Lisa Graham
I would not say I have a specific message to deliver through my art.  I tell stories.  My stories are about love and belonging, about loneliness, about relationships and life events.  I like to capture emotion in my figures and often those emotions are quite serious and people can relate to the figures in my paintings because it reminds them of their own life experiences.  I make art because for me painting is as relaxing as a good book and a bubble bath. I simply enjoy it.  What I paint depends on my mood.  I might see a mother and daughter one day on my walk and it makes me want to paint a mother and daughter.  I might purchase a pretty coffee cup and paint an entire scene just so that I can paint that cup.  I also like to paint from memories.  Recently I painted a kitchen with a red and white checkered floor which was from an early childhood memory of my great grandmother's kitchen.  I feel so inspired by these things, by everyday life among people, pretty places and spaces and things, and my own memories.  These are things I enjoy painting so much.  

- Who are your biggest influences? Why?

Early on I was lucky enough to make good friends through my blog.  One in particular is Julie Ford Oliver.  She is an incredible artist with a strong business sense and I learned so much from her about painting, marketing and art in general. Lynne Hoppe is another artist I met through my blog and it was through her I learned to stay true to myself as an artist - that painting what you love and finding joy in art is more important than selling it. I was also very influenced by gallery owner Teressa Sliger.  I was in her gallery for three years and her wisdom and guidance on the business side of things during that time was invaluable and her encouragement was endless.  It was through her gallery I started painting with a group led by Wichita, Kansas artist and teacher Brian Hinkle who also had great influence.  He taught me so much about oil painting and perspective, viewing art and also the business side of things.  I feel lucky to have met all of these friends.  

Do you have a current project that you are working on?

I am trying to incorporate more animals in my art lately.  I have a golden retriever who is getting older and knowing my time is limited with him, I want to capture him while he is still with me.  I also have been going through my thousands of photographs and picking out ones that might make a good painting. It's a great way to revisit your memories. I start by drawing it in my sketchbook using charcoal just to establish values.  If I like the drawing  and if I think it will "read well" as a painting, I go ahead and paint it using my drawing as my guide.  I don't look at the photo anymore because I want to take liberties with color.  This has been a great thing for exploring color.  I am just getting started with this method and have not shared any of these paintings yet.  I will soon though!

- What has been your biggest challenge as an artist when it comes to your work and/or career?

The biggest challenge is making the time for painting.  There are so many other activities that compete for my attention.

 - Do you actively seek out opportunities or do you just go with the flow? Why? How is that working out for you?

Early on I was more aggressive about seeking opportunities to show my work, but now I just let things unfold.  If the opportunity to show comes up and the timing is right of course I say yes, plus I have my online shop on Etsy where I sell my paintings.  Once in a great while I teach one on one painting lessons.   It feels more right to just let things flow this way for now and I sure do enjoy painting more with this relaxed attitude.  

- Do you find it difficult to price your work? Why?

At first I found pricing very difficult, but now I keep it simple and price my paintings by the square inch.  If I have a painting that I feel is worth more than my current pricing, then I don't sell it.  I hang onto it until either I raise my pricing or I am willing to let it go at my current price.  

 - Which pieces are you most proud of? Why?

I am most proud of my intuitive paintings where I paint from my own ideas rather that using photographs.  What is Best for Nigel is a good example of that.  It was inspired by a song called Making Plans for Nigel.  I was cooking dinner one evening and the lyrics to that song put this very strong image in my mind.  I was able to execute the painting with ease and I find this very exciting when it happens this way.

 - How do you feel after completing a project?

Sometimes really good, sometimes really disappointed.  I am always working on letting go of my expectations.  

- How has art changed or challenged your life?

I am so much more self confident and more mindful of who I am since becoming a painter.  But I am also more humble.  I started painting in my 40's and I truly felt like I had tapped into a part me that was meant to be found, that needed to be found.  Art helped me make more sense of myself, my past, my memories, and the people and places around me. Painting made me think about things more as I painted the people and  the scenes. It makes you reflect a lot.  I have more gratitude, more joy, more love, and more faith since becoming a painter and  I cannot imagine a world without art and without artists who help us see things.  I think that nature and people are God's creation and therefore painting them is a spiritual thing.

Night Beach - Oil on Canvas by Lisa Graham

You can find more information about Lisa and her recent projects and paintings here: 

The Supernatural Breath by Dr. Joe Dispenza

Listen as Dr. Joe Dispenza explains how to properly execute the Supernatural Breath. 

Sometimes we just need that tiny little push to get us going in the right direction again or to even let us know that we are headed in the right direction and today for me, was that day. I found this man for the first time and I could not wait to share his knowledge with you. I tried to do the breathing exactly how he describes it and I felt it! I am going to forever be grateful for this knowledge. 

Towards the end is when he really guides you through the breathing process but I recommend that you watch the entire video. It is worth every second. If you are ready and eager to push forward and heal then you will not just click out of this page. You will open up your mind and your heart and you will listen and learn. If you do not and find it a bore or just not for you then you might not be ready just yet. 

However, I do recommend that after you turn away, keep the idea of pushing forward and healing in the back of your mind because I believe you will be ready for his teaching eventually. This will cross your path again. You will see. 

To learn more about Dr. Dispenza, go to his website: Joe Dispenza

What Should I Paint?

It isn't always easy deciding what to paint even though you have the craving. There are many times when artists sit around extremely frustrated because they want to paint but have no idea what to do. If I were to explain it, it would be like wanting ice cream but there is none in the freezer! 

You can go online and search for other artist to get ideas but it doesn't always help. How many times do you get caught up on what they are doing or working on instead of what you want to be doing? 

Of course you can find a list of "what to paint" on sites and blogs where they give you long lists of ideas but it becomes overwhelming at times. So I decided that I was going to use my own experiences and share with you some of the things that I do when I get stuck and am unclear of what to do. 

Finding Inspiration through Complementary Colors: 

Sometimes when you are trying to decide what you want to paint but are overwhelmed try taking away some of the rules. Why not make a painting with just two colors? Challenge yourself! Find objects of complementary colors. 

For example, I was in a slump and I had no clue what to paint. I saw somewhere that someone was challenging artists to paint only in 2 colors and I thought it sounded kinda fun. So I took the challenge and I realized that it actually made me feel more relaxed and I wasn't so frustrated. 

For my challenge, I chose red and green. 

Red Barn, Oil on Canvas by Frankie Stockman

I supposed I did cheat a little and use different colors with it but only thinking of the two colors allowed me to open mind and put things together as I went along.

The Orange Chair Oil on Canvas board by Frankie Stockman

Remember, you can paint any objects you see around the house, you just have to choose which two colors you are going to use then allow it to just flow as you go along.

Finding Inspiration Through TV or YouTube:

Have you ever been watching a TV show or movie and saw a beautiful landscape or even a scene that you thought would make a lovely painting? 

Why not try pulling it up on YouTube and pausing it where you found your inspiration? This might sound crazy but it can be done.  Here is a scene from a Sherlock Holmes episode! 

Castle; Oil on Panel by Frankie Stockman
Paint Your Favorite Painting That You Will Never Be Able To Afford:

I am not against coping the old masters! I believe that it helps you find your own technique and helps you figure out how putting together a painting works. Plus if you can pull it off and make a reasonable facsimile, then it becomes a win win for you! 
The Guardian Oil On Canvas by Frankie Stockman

Paulus Potter, The Wolf Hound
When All Else Fails:

There are times when no matter how many ideas people throw at you or try to tell you to try because it works for them, it isn't always going to work for you. Maybe that is when you should finally decide that painting might not be what you really want to be doing after all. Maybe you are in the mood to just be creative in general and need to release that energy. The next best thing to do is just draw! Draw a tree, a pencil, a cup, your dog, your cat - anything. Just be creative. 

I would really like to hear what your ideas are or what you think of these ideas. 

If any of these ideas inspire you, please share them with me here! I would love to see what you come up with! 

HAPPY PAINTING - or drawing! 

Finding Quotes for Inspiration

I was thinking about the reason why we tend to look up quotes. I thought maybe it was just a recent internet trend but it really isn't. When you think about past presidential speeches or even Biographies or Memoirs, the author always seems to quote others. 

Do we want to find confirmation for our thoughts and actions? Possibly. 

Do we need to comfort the uncomfortable or make the comfortable uncomfortable? Maybe.

I tend to look up quotes to inspire me and to show me that I am not the only one who has troubles with certain ideas or makes certain mistakes. It is healing to know that people who have made a large impact on others in a positive way, didn't always make the best of choices and struggled through times. Still, they set out to do what they said they were going to do. 

Please post the quotes that have inspired you or made you change a direction in your life in the comment section below.  

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.
Margery Williams
We cannot stay home all our lives, we must present ourselves to the world and we must look upon it as an adventure.
Beatrix Potter
I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever.
Beatrix Potter
Thank God I have the seeing eye, that is to say, as I lie in bed I can walk step by step on the fells and rough land seeing every stone and flower and patch of bog and cotton pass where my old legs will never take me again.
Beatrix Potter

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches' for the Creator, there is no poverty.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.

Rainer Maria Rilke

No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. 

Leonardo Da Vinci

I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have.

Leonardo Da Vinci

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance


No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.


Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny


You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes. 

A.A. Milne

One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.

A.A. Milne

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.

A.A. Milne

Herb Rogers - The Artist With A Heart and Purpose

Herb Rogers - Art With A Heart and Purpose

- Can you please share a little of your background? For example, where you are from and how your artwork ties into your culture or where you live.

I live in a place called Cossayuna, N.Y.  It’s just a few hops, skips, leaps and jumps from Vermont. I live on a back-dirt road that can be tricky in the winter. The post office doesn’t deliver mail because they say it’s too scary in the winter months, but that’s ok because I can go check my mail at the post office at 3 a.m. if I feel like it. 

By Herb Rogers - [Post Office]

- Which situations or experiences have helped you evolve as an artist? For example; what makes you who you are?

I have wild life all around me. I guess that's where I come up with the idea to do wild life art. I can't really say what gives me the notion ta create. I just woke up one morning back in December of 2011 and had the yearning ta paint. 

By Herb Rogers 

- Does your work carry a message? If it does not, then can you tell me why you make it?

At first, I would paint just ta paint but now I do art I call with a purpose. It’s usable and it has a cause.

- Do you actively seek out opportunities or do you just go with the flow? Why? How is that working out for you?

The only place I advertise the art, is on face book and a few stores, creative works and rustic charm you can find them both here on facebook. 

- Do you find it difficult to price your work? Why?

I never find it hard to price my work. I try to keep the prices low so the poor person can afford it. If they want a piece, I let them take it and tell them to pay when they can. 

- Which pieces are you most proud of? Why?

I guess the piece I’m most proud of is the Elephant pot holder rack I made cause it's something my wife wanted. 

- How do you feel after completing a project?

Before I get a piece finished, my mind is working on what’s next. If I’m not working on art then it's a guitar, banjo or key board. 

By Herb Rogers

You can find more information about Herb and his recent projects and paintings here: 

Frankie Stockman - Learning That It is Okay If It Isn't Perfect

Frankie Stockman - Sometimes It is Okay If It Isn't Perfect

- Can you please share a little of your background? For example, where you are from and how your artwork ties into your culture or where you live.

Mt. Whitney, Oil On Canvas by Frankie Stockman
 I am originally from California. I grew up in the In-yo Valley. The only time that my paintings really tie into my past or where I grew up is when I am painting certain scenes in the area that remind me of home. I have even painted a still life of Apricots because when I was a kid, me and my cousin thrived off them in the summers. Her parents had a huge tree in their yard. Cousins really are the best.

- Which situations or experiences have helped you evolve as an artist? For example; what makes you who you are?

My grandparents and my mother are very creative people. My grandfather was a writer, jewelry maker and even made arrowheads. My grandmother crocheted some of the prettiest things I have ever seen and she was a master on the sewing machine. My mother is a poet but she wouldn’t tell you that about her. I grew up around people making things constantly but never knew why until I got older. Then it all made sense. I wasn’t born wanting to be a painter. I wanted to be a fashion designer or a writer.

- Does your work carry a message? If it does not, then can you tell me why you make it?

My work does not carry a message. I always want it to because I always feel that it is supposed to. I try to come up with secret messages, but it never works. I like to tell people that I paint to keep my feet on the ground. It helps me focus and keep my mind straight through the details of the paintings. It is like meditation at times. I forget that the world exists, and I forget that sometimes life is hard. When I am focused on the drawings or paintings, I am free.

- Who are your biggest influences? Why?

When I think of artists I think that my biggest influences are Leonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Thomas Moran and a few more. I seem to always look to them for answers.

- Do you have a current project that you are working on?

I actually have a couple projects that I am working on. I wrote a children’s book a couple of years ago and have not finished it because I am really having a hard time with the illustrations. Other than that I just do what I want when I want. I am also trying to get The Troubled Artist up and running strong. Soon I would like to be able to teach art and teach the pros of being an artist.

- What has been your biggest challenge as an artist when it comes to your work and/or career?

Mentally my biggest challenge has been to accept that I am a real artist. To accept that not everyone is going to love what I am working on and to keep pushing forward even when I don’t want to and to love my own work.

- Do you actively seek out opportunities or do you just go with the flow? Why? How is that working out for you?

I have not in the past and I know I should at some point. But there is always that excuse in the back of my mind; “I am not good enough to be in a show” or “I don’t have many pieces that I’ve done” and let us not forget, “I don’t want to sell most of them because they are for me.” There is always something. I then complain about not making money or getting recognized but, you get what you give, and I don’t really give much.  However, I have shown my art in a couple auctions, gift shops, libraries and even coffee shops. I did actively seek them out for myself. I have also had a few commissions through friends and family.

- Do you find it difficult to price your work? Why?

Yes. You have so many people telling you one thing and then others telling you another. I have heard that I should price by the amount of hours I put into. I have heard that I should price it by how much I would pay for it. I was told once that if you sell a painting for a certain amount, that is what your value becomes for later paintings. I don’t know how much truth is in that. At this point, I just price it by the size and if there is a frame that comes with it.

- Which pieces are you most proud of? Why?

I am super proud of the copy that I did of Paulus Potter’s “the guardian” because it was one of my first paintings and also my pomegranate and lace. I did a really good job on those!
Pomegranate & Lace, Oil on Canvas Paper by Frankie Stockman

- How do you feel after completing a project?

I admit, sometimes I cry. The pride that I feel for myself makes me so happy. Plus, the energy that you put into a piece of art is so intense and when It works out for the best, it is one of greatest  feelings. I can't explain the self-gratification. It’s addictive! I can’t live without that feeling anymore.

- How has art changed or challenged your life?

Art has changed me and helped me grow by making me feel more confident and creative in all other areas of my life. For example, dealing with how I deal with problems or even how I communicate with others. It has changed how I look at myself as well. Sometimes when I am struggling I can always remember that I am good at something. I do have something that not everyone has. I have my talent and I have my art. Before I felt like I was just, here.

Art has challenged me by teaching me to keep going even when I don’t want to. It challenges me when it “tries” to teach me that it’s okay if it’s not perfect. 

You can find more information about Frankie and her recent projects and paintings here: 

Facebook Fan page: Frankie's Love of Art
Twitter: Frankie On Twitter
Pinterest: Frankie's Pinterest

Small Works For Sale

AFFORDABLE SMALL WORKS OF ART All artwork on this page is for sale.   *****************************    2 1/2" x 3 1/2" ...