Thank you for visiting. Please also take a moment to check out http://www.andakettsfineart.com/ and my page on Facebook, titled "Fine Art by Anda".

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Long term project

I've been quite busy doing commissions in the past 2 months, and now that they're done, I can go back to ideas of my own.  I do enjoy commissions, don't get me wrong, they're a nice break, and it's nice to have a specific goal and purpose in mind.  But now I can go back to all the great visions I picked up at the Fair and the Plowing Match!
Usually my pieces don't take that long... I don't rush, I'm just a fast painter, and spend a lot of time doing it.  I would like to do a piece that will take me a longer time to finish, one that is more difficult, ambitious, intricate, and eye-catching.  I've been mulling over this concept/idea/subject  for a while, and have started it.  Finding the right size canvas - done.  Initial layout - done.  Base-coat with background and positioning of the subjects - done.

The scene is from our local Fair, as the 12 teams of 6 horse hitches line up for judging.  An amazing scene to witness, an amazing collection of horses, dressed to the 9's!  You can see the whole piece in the first picture,  1' x 4', and in the close up is the first team on the right.   One horse, one team at a time.  We'll see how long this one takes!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

the marathon continues!

I'm in the middle of a few pieces at the moment, as they rotate around me, touching up here and there as I see fit.  There are actually 4 on the go, and a 5th to be started soon, all commissions for Christmas.  I love doing commissions... it helps me see things with a different, more critical eye.  It also forces me to keep working till I'm 110% satisfied, because I don't like to send off a piece unless it meets all expectations.  And I like the fact that I'm not rushed for time, yet! 
While working on these pieces, I'm getting lots of practise on horse anatomy etc, and find it's getting easier, and better.  This is good, because a future idea that I have for a 'masterpiece' will require this skill!
This one still needs some work, but you get the idea.  I'll show all 3 pieces (same 4 abreast team, shown 3 different ways) when I think they're 'done'.

Monday, October 11, 2010

the marathon begins!!

I just finished spending 5 wonderful days at the Simcoe Fair, watching and taking pictures of all sorts of horse events.  I took almost 3,000 photos in that time, of every horse/team from every angle, several times, just looking for the right shots of energy and conformation!  So far I've done 2 paintings, with so many more to go!  In that time I also got a few commissions, for Christmas.
To top all that, my piece "Prep for the Lesson" that was accepted into the Sanders Visual Arts Competition was sold!  Only sale in the show, so far.

I'm pumped!

Monday, October 4, 2010

some tiny pieces!

                                                                       the Blue Jay is 4 x 6

These  4 are 1 3/4" x 2 1/2"
which is close to actual size

next step!

Well, my piece got in.  I'm pretty happy with that, and I got some good comments from the judges.  Nothing I didn't already really know, or feel in my bones!  It goes to show that you should follow your gut!  I should have put a larger, deeper fancy frame on my piece, like in the museums, to fit the style of the painting.  Next time, whether I've seen it done before or not, I'll do what I feel is right.

So, now to the next pieces!  I have so many ideas, and lots of little frames, and a couple of shows coming where small would work, so I'm doing a few small pieces.  Actually I did 4 last night... really small!!!  They're not even quite 2" x 3".  Still need to take their pics... will post them later.

Friday, October 1, 2010

wish me luck!

Well, I just took in my "Prep for the Lesson" to a juried art show.  I'm pretty certain it will be accepted, but I want to get to the next level and get a prize or recognition, something!!  When I took it in, there were a lot of huge pieces submitted... I hope size doesn't matter!  Good things come in small packages, right!?  Skill is one of the 4 categories for evaluation.  There were some pieces that were quite bad, sorry to say, but quite a variety of skill too.  I'm looking forward to seeing it all set up...I'll find out tomorrow!

On another note, I just finished my first piece of a Canadian Cowgirl.  Quite happy with it, but may make a few subtle changes, touch ups.  I like the splash of red that spices up the usual horsey colour palette, and am now planning one of the group in action.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'm bombarded with ideas at the moment.  Between the Int. Plowing Match and a recent horse show, I've got lots of images going through the old brain.  Then there's a bank of ideas still from my existing inventory of images!  So I'm working on a smaller scale for a while... you could call them studies.  Quick ones, 1 or 2 a day, depending on the size.
 I also had a commission as a result of my show... specific in colour, wanting teal.  That was fun!  Working in my fav colour, so bright, and pretty, for lack of a better adjective!!  I need to do more like that once in a while.
The teal pieces are 4 x 5, all the others 8 x 10.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

There's something about it...

The more I look at The Lesson, the more I feel there's something that needs changing.  I'm thinking that the subject is just too big for the painting... sorry you can't see what I'm saying because you can only see a small pic of the painting... but I feel that this piece is just a study for what should be a much larger painting.  I think I'll start to work on it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Lesson

I think I'm done this one.  Have spent a lot of time on the little details.  I may touch it up a bit (hard not to when I'm studying it!)... trying to get the movement of the horses in... the littlest stroke at the right angle can make such a difference.
On another note, we have an art competition coming up in the local fair.  I'm having such a hard time deciding what to put in it!  It's a juried show, where abstract usually wins, but that doesn't deter me.  My choices are between the last 2 I've just done,  (Prep for the Lesson  or The Lesson) ... any opinions out there?!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

work in progress

I have mixed opinions about sharing works in progress.  I don't want to share things that aren't at their best, but I do like to share the process.  Not everything looks good in the beginning, and if you saw it, you might not want to look any further!  This one has been a work in progress for quite some time.  Getting the composition right was the toughest.  I had 2 riders in it, but then realized one rider had a column coming out of her head, so they're both gone.  This is the riding arena of Manege, the academy in Amsterdam.  Like a palace.  I'm putting lots of work into the architectural details first... the riders will come soon.  How many, I haven't decided yet.  You'll have to wait and see!
Even looking at this, I see so many flaws... please be patient!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lucky me!

My show was supposed to be taken down this weekend, but fortunately it's able to stay  until the 28th of Sept. instead.  I have some procrastinating friends who will like that!  There's pros and cons to being in a small town venue, and this is a definite pro!  I like the flexibility allowed... it's definitely more my style!
I've just finished working on another horsey piece, and think it's done.  I took the ref photo while in Holland... at the Manege... what an amazing place.  I think I'll do a painting of the actual riding arena next... we were there during a semi-private lesson... I really want to share it with you.  I hope you like this one... the lighting is something I've always wanted to work on, like this one, resembling Vermeer or Rembrandt.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'd rather be painting!

I seem to be spending too much time on the computer lately, when I'd rather be painting.  Tomorrow and the next few days, when it's nice, I'm going out to do just that! 
My show is soon coming to a close, and I'm in the process of setting up some future venues so there's a goal ahead to plan for.  I need that. 
I really love painting, but am developing quite a collection downstairs!  I believe my work is good,  & my prices are reasonable,  (let me know if I'm wrong please! ), but they're just not moving.  I've just added quite a few more pieces to my site on FAA (Fine Art America)  so maybe if someone likes a piece but can't afford it, they can at least get a print or some cards.  I've always held the belief in the value of originals.  Once an original is sold, I won't touch that file.   This digital age sure has its pros and cons!

BTW. Just finished this piece on the right!  Old doors in Paris with no door knobs!  Very interesting!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm back!

at the easel that is!!  I have been busy doing so many other things lately, my painting has not been happening, but I've finally gotten back and now have just finished 2 and have 2 others on the go.  When I get doing one thing, it's difficult to stop!  Maybe I'm a little obsessive compulsive!!  I have this thing though, that once I start something, I want to finish it.  Now, a big garden is never finished!! LOL  maybe that's why I'm out there so much... but a painting... it can be done.  I won't admit what a fast painter I am. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Post Show Blues

Now I know what they're talking about!  I've heard the term often, and thought, how can you feel blue when you've got a show on?!!  My show's not even over yet, and it's starting.  It's all the stuff that goes through an artist's head....

- relief after all that work is done, but then the "what next?" question.
- wondering if anyone will go to the show!
- wondering how it's being received, will there be any sales?
- contemplating any future shows... how to improve from this one?
- and the almighty question... what to paint next?! 

I have lots of ideas, but can't seem to decide where to start next.  I need an image to 'grab' me!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

working on a mac now

I've had a few computer issues lately! My old laptop was 8 yrs old... time to retire!   Luckily my show is up and open till Sept 11 (easy date to remember!) so I'm not too stressed.  I've decided to try a mac, since my son is a mac fan, and I trust his opinion!  plus he can help me if I have questions.  There are some issues that I've had to work out, and another is that the website program is not compatible with mac, yet.  A new program will come out in 2 weeks, then I'll be able to update my site on my new computer.  Not much will happen in the next 2 weeks... I'm taking a break.  Getting that show up was a lot of work!
I feel the need to paint coming on again though!  The nice thing is that I don't have anything else scheduled, so I'm open to new plans again.  I'm one who does need a goal though, something to work towards.  This weekend I'll be meeting some new contacts, and who knows, there could be more shows in the future before I know it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Once in a while, and not often enough, we get something that tells us we're on the right path.  I guess that's life... testing us to the limit!  You plod along, start to doubt yourself, plod a little more, but eventually something will happen to keep you plodding!
My presence here has resulted in a call or two that have given me hope that I may be getting somewhere!  I don't want to be famous, but would like to share my work with as many people as possible.  My site is now up to over 1000 visits!  Keeping in mind that some are regulars, checking back, that's still a pretty awesome record.  My presence in other internet venues will also result in something in the long run, I'm sure now.
Even if it doesn't though, I'm still as happy as can be doing what I'm doing.  Isn't that what it's all about?

We've had a heat wave here the past few days.  The heat drives me to top gear, and I went on a blitz - a series of 4  poppy paintings. 2 done, 2 to go.  Plus a couple of other boards have been started.  I sometimes find great frames, but odd sizes, so these need to have masonite boards cut to fit.  Sometimes I look at the board, gessoed, and it tells me what it should have.  No, I'm not crazy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm still here!

I'm sorry it's been a while... we went on a trip to Amsterdam, Normandy and Paris.  If you follow me on FB, you already know that.  The pictures and inspiration I brought home from that trip were a little overwhelming, to say the least.  But when we were home again, I had to get into gardening mode again to get the place ready for the local garden tour that was on Father's Day weekend.  For the tour I also put out some art.... so had to get that ready too!  Plus, I had to paint from time to time, naturally.
Now I'm in 'get ready for the August show' mode... will have the Waterford Old Town Hall all to myself!  My first solo show.  I'm really excited about it, and want to have some fresh, recent stuff for it.  I've done about 6 pieces since the trip, which is pretty good.  The garden tour sales were disappointing... not as good as my own "Art in the Garden" show last year.  I guess they were mostly gardeners, not art seekers.  So for this show I'm hoping for a little more in the way of sales.  I believe my prices are reasonable, and my work is good.  The 'bad times' don't help much either... but I continue to paint just because I love to.
My subject matter is all over the board!  I've done 4 from the trip, but then did a dog commission, and a waterfall in the winter.  Go figure... then I paint flowers during the winter!   Today I did some work outside in the shade of the trees.  I paint whatever moves me at the time...  which relates to the theme of my show - time.  I'm calling it "Spots in Time", and will add a quote or explanation with each piece to its meaning in my times.  I hope it's something different from other shows.

I've attached this one, in progress still I think.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

what's next?

I've just returned from a 2 week holiday to Amsterdam, Normandy and Paris.  The purpose of the trip was to get closer to Rembrandt, and come back with more subject ideas for future paintings.  Well, I sure accomplished what I set out to!  In all, I took 3217 pictures (thank God for digital!!).  I have enough ideas to keep me busy for a few years.  I walked through Rembrandt's house, languished in his studio, examined his easel (probably a replica though), and went back in time.  The paintings at the Rijks Museum were  beyond words... the Rembrandts, Vermeers and other Dutch artists were so inspiring.  The Van Gogh Museum was pretty amazing too, showing his contemporaries who inspired him.  Then I saw Monet's huge water lilies at Orangerie - interesting from an artists perspective.  Pretty rough looking at them close up, but from a distance they sure have the effect his was working for.
So the big question is... what will I paint next?!!  I feel quite overwhelmed at the moment, and have gone over the pictures to organize them into folders to make it more manageable.  I don't want to just copy the photos though, but create the atmosphere I felt with each one, using techniques from the masters that I observed.  I guess you'll just have to wait to see what I present next!!  ;)
I also have gardening to do - lots of weeds got ahead while I was away, and I'm on the garden tour this year... just a month away.

This is how I feel right now, small and overwhelmed, dwarfed by a multitude of ideas... just like I'm dwarfed by this huge column at the Grand Palais of Paris.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Now that I have so many pieces listed (I just finished #200) I'm getting into quite a complicated web of "what price to put on this one?".  So after researching many artists' sites and policies, I've decided to adapt a common practise of pricing by size.  It seems the easiest, and fairest to buyers... not necessarily to artists.  It seems that many times I spend more time on the little detailed pieces than the larger ones, but after doing so many, I'm not as attached to those that took so long, and see how a buyer would find these prices more fair, when compared to the others.
When making such a change, I had to keep in mind what previous pieces have sold for.  It was important that those works at least maintain their value!  So in the final analysis, previous buyers will be happy, and future buyers will be able to see a clearer relationship between pieces and their value.
It's a dilemma... the worst part of making art... I'm not in it for the money, but need to do something with all the paintings I've collected!  You can't make yourself look too cheap, nor can you make the prices beyond reach of those who you think would love to have your work.  Maybe I've found a comfort zone now...??

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

technical difficulties

My apologies to anyone who looked at my site the last couple of days.  We had a little glitch, but I solved it.  The more I play with the site, the more I learn. 
I'm also getting into a time when I'm out the in garden quite a bit (there's a lot to do!!) so will be painting a little less... at least not all day like I do in the winter!  So be patient, more is coming, eventually. 
There's also the issue of sharing everything I do when I have a show coming up in August... but that's still a long way off.  I hate to spoil the surprise for those who take the time to come to the show, but know that a lot of you can't physically manage to come.   I may keep a few secrets, but will post them all for sure after the show.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Befores and Afters!

     (to suit owner's decor and arrangement)

(after) -adjusted the beard shape

Sorry about the rotation!  I really worked on this one, changed a lot.  The feeling is a lot better in the final product (the one on the right), to me anyway!

Relief in the sharing of ideas

I subscribe to Robert Genn's letters, and find them very enlightening and reassuring.  The latest letter was all about style and subject exploration.  I always felt I was a little different in that I did so many different subjects, and that each piece was unique from all the others.  It seems I'm not alone!  There are many out there, like me, who do what they do because they do it for themselves.  I realized, after reading many letters reacting to Robert's, that it is a good thing to not be boring just to satisfy a market.  I see now that in my quest to keep my life interesting, I'm also keeping any viewers interested too!  You never know what you'll see next! 
Some artists are easily recognized for their subject (eg.Trish Romance or Robert Bateman), which is 'nice', but after a while I'm sure a collector of their work will be bored too, and seek some variety.  It's nice to be recognized, sure.  But with so many artists out there, it's not likely.  So I 'work' for me.
'Work' is the wrong word.... it's my favourtie thing to do for enjoyment, (other than gardening) and I'm very lucky that I don't rely on my art for income!  
So now I shall continue, in the way I have been, knowing I'm OK, and not as unique in my dilemas after all!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Great stuff out there!

I just checked out one of my fan's blog, and really got inspired!  It always amazes me how many good artists are out there, and we're all working together, supporting each other, inspiring each other,... all in the name of good art.  You get a lot of insight to a person's character by their art and their words.  I feel a connection to Robin through the similarities I see in her work, and by her methods.  We both take lots of pictures, (from the car),  and love painting horses!  I just wish I could paint more en plein air, but alas, we have winter.

I've been redoing a few old pieces lately that I wasn't completey happy with.  I'll post the before and after pictures later, when I think the 'after' is up to what I'm after.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

so many ideas, so little time!

I've been busy painting, and traveling, and watching the Olympics!  We had booked the cruise so it wouldn't interfere with the games.  We had a wonderful time in the west Carribean, got some sun, took a ton of pictures, zip-lined, snorkeled, saw some Mayan ruins, got some more sun....and the food!   I have some very nice tropical pictures that I could use as reference material, but almost find it too cliche to use.  Not too many people want tropical themes unless they can actually relate to it personally, I would think.  I'll probably do a couple, just for the sake of variety, which I like.  Nothing worse than an artist who only sticks to one theme - they end up all looking alike, boring.
The garden is starting to call, and I realize I better get painting before I really do need to get outside.  This year the pressure is on because my garden is on the Garden Tour in June.   Pressure!
Before that however, I'm on a trip of my dreams... of inspiration... to see Amsterdam, and Paris again, plus a little detour to explore Normandy.  I know there will be tons of subject matter from that, so I better get busy on my current ideas.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Re: when is it really finished.

I think I'm done this one.  I worked on it again.  See if you can tell what's changed since I posted it earlier!

When is it really finished?

The real answer is practically -never.  I've redone paintings that were done as long as 10 years ago.  Ones that I just wasn't happy with.  Overpainting is one technique that I've only done once - where you paint over a painting with an entirely different idea.  Some artists burn the ones they don't like, some paint over them.  I hate to be wasteful, but the feng shui just isn't right for me knowing there's something else underneath.
I just sold a piece.  It was to be picked up a few days ago, but wasn't.  In the mean time I was looking at it, and ended up touching up a few things.  I figure the longer an artist looks at something, the more critical we are of ourselves.  We have to decide when to quit though.  I've touched things up and ruined them... but that was a long time ago.  I think I'm getting better with each piece... at least that's my opinion.  I let that piece go today, and I believe it was at its best.  

Friday, January 22, 2010


How does one measure success?  I think it has something to do with how you feel, about whatever it is.  If you feel good, you're successful.  I see I have readers!  That's success, for sure.  It means what I'm saying has meaning for more people than just me, and whatever one can do to make the world a more enlightened place, the better!  Just look at all the people helping Haiti,... that gives one a renewed confidence in mankind.
As for art, I was really successful today.  I worked all day on another door, it's almost done.  I feel so great about it.... that's my way of telling if the painting really worked or not.... that gut feeling.  It's not quite done yet, but I'll share it now anyway. 
It's the door of the address that Jim Morrison lived at in Paris.  My hubby's a real big fan, so we seeked it out when in Paris (France) a few years ago, and I took a picture of it with hubby, of course. At that time, I had no idea I'd be doing paintings of doors!  This door was huge!  For my painting I included Jim instead - more fitting, don't you think?  I'll post it again when it's really finished.

Looking at it here helps me to see where it needs work too.  Another strategy for self-evaluation.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Not doing too bad!

Well, I've got 4 out of the 6 that I started done.  The last 2 don't do anything for me now, so I'm starting a new door.  I feel like doing something bigger.
I've been spending too much time on this computer!  I've joined a few art groups on the internet and on Facebook.  There are so many artists out there... it's discouraging.... I guess I should just follow hubby's advice, and Robert Genn's, and just paint because I love it, and not worry about the selling part.  They tell me that will take care of itself.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

So far, so good

Well, yesterday I followed the plan, and got 6 paintings started.  One even got finished!  Mind you, it was only a 5x7, but I'm still happy with it, and that's what counts.  The others have the whole canvas done in underpainting, ready to go.  Here's the proof.... the swan on the right is complete.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If you're reading this....

I just saw the movie "Julie-Julia".  I could totally relate to someone who craves a purpose, who needs to make a difference, and leave a mark in the world.  I see my art as an on-going legacy to my life, a visual diary.  My problem now, today,  is I have too many ideas to paint, and don't know where to start again. I go through this whenever I finish one, and am ready to begin another.  I must have over 1,000 pictures in my Art Ideas folder!  I could easily do what Julie did in the movie - but do 1 painting a day - problem is, hubby would be an art widower!  I wouldn't do that to him.  And holidays, trips, would interfere.  But, I could do a month, or 2, or 3.  Would you like that?  What do you think?  If you're reading this, let me know what you think of the idea!

PS.  As for today's problem, I've selected 6 subjects, and have begun base coats for them.....  3 done, 3 to go.  Then I can pick which one I feel like working on each day.  Let's see how this goes! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Finished another door!

It feels so good to finish a piece, and it's even better when you can see progress.  My latest, completed today, was Red Door #3.  Not to say my other doors weren't very good, I feel that there's improvement with each one I do.  It's  nothing I'm consciously doing, it just happens.  The more you do something, the better you get at it.
This one was actually commissioned.  But I'll be doing more!  I'm looking forward to a Carribean trip where I'll be able to take more pictures of really cool doors, that are in the French and Dutch style. 
I have a couple of pet portraits to get to still, and I'd like to do some wildlife again, and some horses too!.  Maybe I should try getting more than one going again?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

2010.... sounds like something way off into the future!  But it's here.  I've done a couple of things to make it seem different from yesterday:
- as suggested by Robert Genn, a good artist's prices should go up slowly, 10% a year, so I've gone down my list and done that to some of my pieces, not all.  The higher ones I left as is.  Their time will come though.
- I'm signing my work differently this year: I'll use my full name, and leave the date out, putting it on the back for reference.

I'm in the process of working on another door.  They've all been real doors that  I took pictures of in Paris, France.  We're planning a trip to Amsterdam and Paris in the spring.... I'm excited to be able to take more pictures of doors, architecture etc. for my art.