Welcome to the Creative Catalysts web site. Blog of Artist Marion Corbin Mayer about her art and other adventures.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Trying to catch up!

Spartina Grass, 6x12", Oil on Panel
5 of 30
I guess it's apparent I've fallen behind on my 30 in 30 commitment, but I am still having fun & slinging paint around.  I have let life get in the way (again). My dog's health is failing. He was adopted 10+ years ago and they said he was 2 at the time, but who really knows how old he is. Over the weekend he was very puny. Congestive heart failure, heart murmer, fluid in the lungs. I was really expecting to have to put him down yesterday but the vet increased his heart meds and he has bounced back from the brink. So glad I did not take him to the emergency vet on Sunday...

This painting is based on an image of Little Tybee Island in Georgia.  I love the waving Spartina Grass in the marsh.  Many thanks to @sundialcharters for posting the image on Facebook!  They offer fabulous personalized nature-themed cruises of #LittleTybeeIsland. If you are in the #Savannah area, give them a call!


my painting set up. 
 I hook my ipad mini up to a larger monitor when working with digital images. It makes the colors so much brighter!

Transparent underpainting
 I use a panel holder created by Leslie Saeta. I imagine she's way too busy to make them any more.

Adding opaque layers
Final version.
It was great to be back in the studio painting, especially since the AC unit is brand new & working nicely.  I am grateful that the weather has cooled off in Cincinnati this week as well.  Now if only my dog would magically be 8 years younger...

Bubba aka Party Dog
I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Monday, September 05, 2016

4 of 30

Just Peachy, 8x10" watercolor
4 of 30
Watercolor again today. Tomorrow the AC is installed (YEA!) At the moment I am being tortured by a neighbor who is grilling some chicken. It smells fabulous. I guess I'm hungry...

Today I used a photo that I created in July after buying half a peck of peached from The Peach Truck.  They come to Cincinnati and dispense wonderful peaches from Georgia.  It was a highlight of my summer and I wanted to preserve the beauty of the HUGE peaches.

I'm still one painting behind but plugging along.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's painting!


I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can


Sunday, September 04, 2016

3 of 30


Fading Flowers, 10 x 8", Watercolor, 3 of 30

Today I am painting at home so I am using watercolors. My cats make it impossible to use oils.  Even so my youngest kitty wanted to paint along with me at times.  I felt inspired by the early morning light on some coneflowers.

I have a painting area at home and always keep my watercolors nearby.
Cheap Joe's Killamanjaro watercolor journal gives a nice painting surface.


I may choose to fool around with pastels on this later, once the AC gets replaced in my studio. I miss having that space to work in, but my home studio area is fine for now. Maybe I will head outside to paint tomorrow because all my supplies are ready in my car...


I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Friday, September 02, 2016

2 of 30 - Daisies & Chicory

Daisies & Chicory, 9x12" Oil on linen, 2 of 30

What a crazy day! Today I stayed close to home to take delivery on some furniture. Thankfully I had "painted ahead" and had this painting ready to launch.  However tomorrow I need to really buckle down to this challenge.  It is Labor Day Weekend.  I no longer care about pools closing and have no plans for travel this weekend, so there go a few of my excuses.  Funny how easily I can be distracted from painting,  And yet I do love to paint. It's a conundrum.

To be able to paint is such a blessing.  One of the best parts of doing this challenge is that all of my excuses fall away.  The negative voices in my head don't matter, only creating on painting a day does.  Just for today, I choose to paint...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Day 1 of 30

 1 of 30, French Vines, 8x10" Oil on Panel
Day 1 of 30
Yea! Finally back at my blog again. Nothing like the 30 in 30 Challenge to get me going again.  This month will be a mix of landscapes and pet portraits. A reprise of "Precious Pets & Places".

Being a full time artist is a blessing and a challenge. I am torn between settling in to paint and "waiting for my family to need me".  As a reformed stay at home mom with a 26 year old daughter, it's really time for me to get over that.  (Sigh.)  This week I am also dealing with the death of the air conditioner in my studio, with no hope of replacement until after Labor Day. I did manage to score a 25,000 BTU unit though, merely because it was lost on the top shelf at Lowes & I just happened to meet the associate who noticed it...

I am blessed to have a 1400 sq ft studio that I share with a really nice guy. Thankfully he agreed to share the cost of replacing the ac unit.  This is the third unit in 12 years.  This month I am celebrating 15 total years at Essex Studios. I committed to a studio on 9/11/01, after seeing the World Trade Center get hit by those planes.  Amazing how the time has flown.

Today's image was painted in a workshop with Bill Farnsworth. I met bill in France, where I took a workshop with him.  This image was taken just down the street from where we all stayed at Haut Baran.  I really recommend William & Rosalee Haas as hosts. It is a beautiful area to paint.

Working from photo reference
Final painting
I really enjoyed hosting Bill for a week here in Cincinnati. It was special to have an art playmate for that long. He was an excellent,, effortless guest & gifted us with 2 paintings.  That was totally unexpected and wonderful.

So here's to September and the 30/30 challenge!  Stay tuned.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Catching up

Rasha, commission, 16x16 oil on canvas

This is one big doggie! Its a Leonberger.   It's head is bigger than my dog.  I am always happy to receive requests for pet portraits & unusual breeds are even more fun..

Wow. I crashed the 30 in 30 after six, then got cracking on this portrait commission. I plan to be painting once we arrive in Florida later this week. The big snow storm really threw a wrench in our travel plans. We are gonna give KY & TN an extra day to clear I-75 & hit the road Monday instead of tomorrow. Here's a video from a band stuck on the road: 

I am grateful that Cincinnati was spared with barely an inch of snow.  Lucky us. Now I'm dreaming of rum drinks and Jimmy Buffet songs.

Gosh, I should call this the "Lots of Links" post!

Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Thursday, January 07, 2016

6 of 30 - Birds of a Feather


Birds of a Feather, 6x6" oil on panel
6 of 30

Still running one behind.  I spent today planning a pastel to start tomorrow in class so thought, what the heck, why not do a sunset?  I have been saving the reference image for a while now, I just loved the bird shapes. This time I played around with a palette knife and cold wax medium. It was really fun.

I have also signed up for an online workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry.  It looks like it's gonna be a blast. You can find out more here. There's a private Facebook group & for one of the fun ideas we are posting a "mug" shot. Here's mine:



Stay tuned for more paintings. If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, see http://marioncorbinmayer.weebly.com/pet-portrait-commissions.html for details.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can