Waking Up To Paint

Over the past few months I seem to get inspired to paint things a little after 2 am. I wake up out of a sound sleep with these ideas. My initial reaction was ugh... is then to just lay there and wait til the inspiration passes. But it doesn't pass, and I can't fall back asleep. So I have decided to just get up and do these very fast paint slinging sessions in a drawing sketchbook.

You just never know when inspiration will strike!


So out of these late evening painting slinging things comes another watercolor football painting.

I was very drawn to the form of this player's hand and the fold of the fabric.

This one is close to be finished. Just 2 sessions..


Father's Day is Just Around the Corner!

An original NFL painting would make a wonderful gift the man cave or office! Drop me an email at Deborah@DeborahBollman.com or have a look at what is currently available here.. Football Art 

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Painting NY Giants Rookies into their Uniforms

And now for something a little different. One of my current projects is painting NY Giants rookies into their uniforms.

Yes. You heard that right. In my other life I’m a horse trainer and one of the  writers for GiantsBigBlueBlog.net for SportsBlog. I’m a huge football fan and I love doing NFL art.

Odell Beckham, Jr #13 is my first creation.

Happily, Mr. Beckham, himself liked his painting!

Next victim is rookie Weston Richburg.

You can view my gallery of football art here... Football Art

Be sure to check out my Giants blog if you are a fan! :) GiantsBigBlueBlog.net

Stay tuned! You get to see them in their new uniforms!

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Crow Impressions

Crow Impressions. The models were not incredibly cooperative. No mucking about, in one go. My preferred way to work. Part of the 99 Paintings/99 Days/ $99 Series.

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Taking Flight-A Watercolor Work in Progress

Last week; I completed my latest painting.. a falcon.  I get a lot of requests for information on my process so I took photos of this one. )I'm toying around with doing some videos in the future.) So I took photos of this one through the various stages.

  1. The sketch-  After taping off a sheet of 12 x 18 Arches Cold Press paper, I use my nice mechanical pencil to lay out the basic sketch. No too much detail. This helps me conserve my whites. 

2. Working very quickly a lay down wash using Cobalt, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue. I work wet on wet and on an angled board at this stage. I use large brushes. My favorites are my Pointed Squirrel Mops my Rekab.

3.  I'm using a really simple palette. Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt, Ult. Blue, Yellow Ochre and a touch of Payne's Grey. That's it. It gives the painting unity. 


I'm an "all over" painter.  I don't work left to right or top to bottom. I go where my intuition takes me. 


I'm also and impatient painter! I put in my lightest glazes and then like to hit it with some really dark darks pretty quickly.


My basic technique is to wet the area I am working on first with clean water and then I  lightly mix my colors on the palette. Then I drop color into the wet area and let them mix on the paper. The dry edges act as a brake and prevents the color from bleeding out. I, also move the board around letting the water run, which allows the pigment to mingle until I get the effect I'm after.

4. Adding some more darks and detail. As you start to add the darks you see the light and form just start to appear.

5. Continuing to build up layers and working quickly. The tree branch is a mix of Burnt Sienna and Payne's Grey with some dry bruising for texture.

Completed Painting

Taking Flight

12 x 18


I'm quite pleased with this one. It's not tight, and it really captures the feeling that I was trying to convey.

If you's like this one to hang on your wall.. click here! 

Taking Flight

I've gone ahead and entered it in the Bold Brush Art Competition. 

Click on over and give it and Like!

Taking Flight- Bold Brush Entry

 Thanks so much and Happy Painting! 



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Painting Out & Are You a Good Noticer?

Fall Foliage, Watercolor, Plein Air,İDeborahBollman, Sold

I was asked a question on the subject of en plein air painting and why go outside in the sun, elements, and bugs when I could just paint from a photo in the comfort of my studio. 

I mulled this one over on one of my early morning hikes with my dog, Tess.

And the title of Chapter 8 from the book Doctor Dolittle popped into my head which is... 

Are You A Good Noticer?

  • Have you ever stopped to just watch a hawk soar overhead?
  • Have you noticed lately the beautiful changing colors of the clouds at sunset?
  • When was the last time you pulled the car over to marvel at a beautiful view, not because it is your destination, but just “because”.
  • Have you laid out on a blanket at night to contemplate the stars and Universe lately?
  • Did you ever notice that the dandelion flowers open in the morning, and close up their blooms at night? How about the color? Such an incredible happy yellow!
  • Have you ever gotten close enough to a wild animal to look him in the eye?
  • How about just walking and listening to the silence in a forest?

What does this have to do with painting outside? Everything. Painting outside is about unplugging from technology, and tuning into Source. It’s about slowing down and noticing that there is a whole world going on out there while we humans are running on the wheel. 

When you set up an easel outside you have to really observe things. the colors of shadows, the sweep of a mountain, how the different parts of the landscape relate to one another. And then the painting is done quickly to capture the light, or the weather changes you or the heat gets you. 

Painting outside teaches you to notice. It teaches you to marvel. It teaches you that you really are part of something bigger and grander. 

It teaches you to notice what an amazingly beautiful planet we live on. 

And that’s why I paint outside.

Why do you paint outside? Or why don't you?

Add your comments below!

Happy painting!

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Perfectionism and Doing It Scared

Misty Trees, Watercolor, Sold

Boy, that title just about says it all. I’ve just gone through that dreaded period in the life of a creative where the well feels like it had run dry. As a painter I had nothing..nada....zip.... there is nothing quite as intimidating as staring down a blank, glaring white sheet of paper when you feel like you have lost all inspiration.

Judging by my email I can say with assurance that this seems to be a fairly common thing among those of us who create... be it painting a painting, writing a book or blog content, or composing a song... 

I’m going to be very transparent here. I was doing everything in by bag of tricks to avoid that sheet of paper that was staring accusingly back at me. I would “get” busy. If I’m busy, well, then I don’t have time to paint. There are too many other important things that need to get done! 

I had finally reached a point where the guilt from not painting had become so bad that I had to take a step back and re-assess. I had to get to the bottom of things and I decided to work with a mindset coach to try and figure out why I was trying to avoid doing something that I loved and what I discovered wasn’t pretty. 

One of the key insights that I learned is that it is not laziness or procrastination that was stopping me. It was...wait for it.... perfectionism. Yes, you heard that right. My artwork had gotten to the point where I was making good sales and had I put the pressure on myself to make every painting count. I no longer was painting for the fun of it anymore but for the market and a living. 

The fear of “getting it wrong”, screwing up and the prospect of what if the next thing I paint doesn’t even come close to being as good as the last thing that I painted was stopping me in my tracks.

I work in watercolor and those of you that know watercolor know that the odds of “getting  it right” (whatever that actually means) every time is pretty slim to none. And that concept of possible failure was death to the perfectionistic ego that I was starting to become a slave to.

“The Solution”

My coach said you simply have to “do it scared” and just show up. You can’t wait until everything aligns and the fear will  magically go away. It just doesn’t work that way. Just do it scared. So I did. And you know what? It works. It feels really uncomfortable at first but I had to give myself permission to be imperfect and do things imperfectly. And guess what? The fun came back.. it led me back into the fun of seeing what the paint could do and pushing the envelope. And the bonus some of those paintings that I considered "mistakes" sold right off the easel.

An Even Bigger A-ha

And from this came an even bigger a-ha moment when I realized that we aren’t just talking about about perfectionism in just painting anymore.

We were talking about life.

How do you handle that blank paper, canvas...sheet of paper and perfectionism? I'd love to know.

Leave your comments in the section below!

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It's Plein Air Time Again!

Althought I paint out during the winter nothing makes me want to paint outside more than warmer weather. Today's post will be short as there is a hawk sitting outside my studio window that is asking me to paint him! Photos of my new studio will be coming shortly! 

So without wasting any time, here is today's effort, 9 x 12 watercolor on Arches, 140 lb rough.

Happy painting!

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Where's the Peeps?

A much loved face from a really  fun perspective otherwise known as "The Mooching For Peeps Face".  

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Chilly Squirrel

This morning's little attempt. I sketched this little watercolor through my back door. With these super cold temps its just too freaking cold for the water not to freeze! Does that count as plein air? I tossed some sunflower seeds out to this chilly little squirrel and I worked quickly to capture him in the beautiful light.

Unmatted and unframed. Free USPS Priority Mail Shipping.

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A Fun Perspective

I have transferred the pencil sketch from the last post…here  to watercolor paper and I am thoroughly enjoying working on this painting. It's such a fun perspective of a really great mare who happens to love Peeps. This is the Peeps face!

WIP #1

First and lightest glaze.

WIP #2

Pushing some of the darks and some detail. When I start adding the darks the light just starts to appear out of nowhere

Stay tuned for updates!


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Sketching Out a New Painting

Playing around with sketches for a new horse painting. I'm thinking of going with this very familiar face from a fun perspective otherwise known as "The Mooching For Peeps Face". Not sure yet if this will be watercolor or acrylic.. 10 x 8 graphite sketch.

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Autographed Joe Montana Painting

My newest offering!  This is an autographed (by Joe himself!) watercolor paintng of legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana! Complete with Certificate on Authencity and a Hologram/Authenticity sticker on the paintng itself. This comes unmatted and unframed. Price includes shipping and insurance. 



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Beauty in the Storm

Beauty in the Storm

These types of paintings are the ones that I love to do the most. It is watercolor at it's best. Painted from my car during a Nor' easter, it's has joined the ranks as one of my favorites. 

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Alex Smith

Football season has the brushes flying! The watercolor depicts former San Francisco 49er turned Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback, Alex Smith. I think we can all agree that he is having an amazing season! Great holiday gift idea for the football fan!!

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Chilly Morning

This is an early November morning's quick, little sketch done en plein air. Chilly!!!

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Back to painting my other favorite subject which is horses. One on my favorite breeds of horses is the Thoroughbred and this painting is of of an event horse named Bailey who is owned and loved by a wonderful vet friend. I painted this mostly wet on wet simply dropping in color and allowing  the pigments mingle. So much fun to paint this way! This painting already has a home but I'd be happy to create a painting for you!  Drop me an email at Deborah@DeborahBollman.com

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Playing With Watercolors


 When you paint for a living it sometimes takes an icky painting day to get you to break out of work mode and just play with the paints again and that is exactly what I did this week. Just freaking played. And playing is fun. So that means work is fun!  I set the timer and did some more timed sketches of one my favorite subjects - NFL Football. When the timer goes off it's done. No chance to muck it up, or dab, dab, dab, dab... paint and go. And *that* for me is what watercolor is all about. Spontaneity, freshness, deliberate and confident brushstrokes.. And sometimes when I'm working on a big project or a commission I forget that and end up in it muck- it-up-land. Doing that ....one more thing.... which usually is the kiss of death for a watercolor painting. 

     I taped off a sheet of watercolor into approximately 6 x 5 rectangles and went through my wonderfully extensive football reference photo library. Wonderful because I took the photos myself! 
I did contour drawings and then had at it..  Simplicity is the name of the game, basic shapes and suggestions and just let the eye fill in the details. It really is a great exercise to make me stop thinking to much and just let my instincts take over. And did I mention it's fun!
First attempt 20 minutes... okay 22 minutes because Eli's helmet needed a tad more of detail.  Keep in mind too that these are bit larger than the originals.
Quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants

Next came Frank Gore from my favorite team the San Francisco 49ers. I gave myself 30 minutes with this but it was actually too much time. I started to fuss with it so for the next one it's back to 20 minutes. I may do a larger version of this one.

     And finally another 49ers painting... Vernon Davis who is himself and artist and actually owns an art gallery. Check it it out here. With this one it was back to 20 minutes again. And I 'm quite happy with the result. Mission accomplished!

All of these are available for purchase! First emails to me at deborah@deborahbollman.com gets them. $60 each~ How fun would these be for stocking stuffers? 

     And speaking of stocking stuffers I am booking for those holiday commissions and this year I am adding NFL paintings to the list! So if you have a dog, horse or football fan ( and who doesn't?) then a commissioned portrait would make a treasured gift! I can do watercolor or acrylic on canvas.  The process is super easy to get started. Drop me an email if you have an interest! Deborah@DeborahBollman.com

Have an awesome day!


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Quick Little Sketches

Having a bit of an icky painting day, finding myself getting bogged down in too much detail. So to loosen up I decided to tape off 5 x6 squares and do some really quick, timed watercolor sketches. Twenty minutes.....that's it. That's all she wrote.. Here's the first one.... now for some chocolate.. and then onto the next...

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Completed Football Painting _ San Francisco Forty Niners

49er's Defense

 My painitng of the San Francisco Forty Niners Defense is finished! All matted and framed in a gorgeous gold  frame. I've blogged about the process of this painting. You can follow these links to see more.

Step One

Step Two

This one will be avaialble for sale. Details to follow on my website or drop me an email at Deborah@DeborahBollman.com for more info! 

I'd love to know what you think~ Feel free to post your comments down there in the comments section.

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Horse Work In Progress

    I currently have six paintings going right now It's amazing what feeling inspired will do for you! Three of them are horses and since you have asked here is a Work in Progress of one of them. I won't be divulging the name or final of this boy until it goes to it's new home. 
Step #1

    The sketch. I did several variations on the sketch and I like the composition of this one the best. I'm using Arches 300 lb Hot Press with a very smooth, bright white paper and is probably one of favorites because it is very suited for the way I like to work. This piece measure 14 x 11.
Step #2  
     Laying down the lightest glazes first and saving the white of the paper.
Step #3

     Starting to lay in the darks and modeling the musculature. As soon as I start adding some of the darkest darks the light seem to appear from nowhere. 
Be sure to follow my blog or sign up for my newsletter for studio updates!

Holiday Portrait Gift Commissions

      The holidays are right around the corner! Time to start thinking about commissioning those holiday portraits. I've already have a few spots spots booked! If you are thinking of giving the gift of a horse, dog or NFL football portrait/painting, please, don't hesitate to contact me. The process is super easy to get started! For more info drop me an email at deborah@deborahbollman.com

Have an amazing day!


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Misty Road, Pawling, NY

Today's blog post is another  little atmospheric watercolor done en plein air near Dykeman's in Pawling, NY. This one IS available!  9 x 11, watercolor on 140 lb Arches Rough.

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Atmospheric Watercolors

One of the things watercolor is made for is painting these atmospheric, misty scenes.  You just control that water and move the paper and the watercolor just does it's thing.  Love, love, love watercolors for this. This is an 8.5x10 watercolor on 140 lb Arches, Rough Press. SOLD.

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Forty Niners Work in Progress Update

     More work went into this watercolor of the San Francisco Forty Niners Defense last night. I took the reference photo for this one at the Jets/Niners game at MetLife Stadium last year. How about that game against the Rams on Thursday night?!! 35-11!! Go Niners!!  I'm really looking forward to getting this one finished. The image is a little bit washed out because I took this photo with my phone but you can get the idea of where it's going.  I'm really not wanting to get too fussy with the details. and working wet on wet, dropping in pigment and moving the board around and just allowing the watercolor to do it's thing. I love this medium, and this team for that matter! :) It's going to look awesome in that gold frame that I have picked out for it. To see previous progress photos of this painting you can click here... Niners WIP

Have an awesome day!


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It's Football Season!!

San Francisco Forty Niner's Work-In-Progress

It's that time of year again! NFL Football season! Have a mentioned that I am a HUGE football fan? And have I mentioned that I am even bigger San Francisco Forty Niners Fan?  There is probably nothing I enjoy painting more that the color and action of NFL football. 

I had started this painting of the Forty Niners a while back and got caught up working on commissions so I never got around to completing it.. I took the reference photo for this painting last year at MetLife Stadium in E. Ruthersford NJ when they beat the NY Jets. I love the interaction of the players. Don't you just want to know what these guys are talking about? Who else is a football fan? Favorite team? 

I'm tightening it up, pushing those darks and it should finish up pretty quickly now. It's an odd size...6.5 x 19 but I have a really nice gold frame for it. Watercolor on Arches 300lb, Hot Press.

To see the progression of this painting  can read the previous post on this work in progress by clicking here - Forty Niners WIP

It is an interesting size painting at 6 1/2 x 18 but I really like the size. It is a bit further along than this but I'll save that for the next post. Watercolor on Arches, 300lb Rough Press. 

Be sure to check out my other football painting in my gallery here.. Football Gallery

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My Porch Studio

Porch Studio

     Today I'm going to blog about my new studio space. As many of you may know we moved at the end of June and one of the fabulous perks of our new house is an extra wide wrap around porch. This porch is like have three extra rooms on the house. Since I'm an outdoors-y kind of girl I decided to make use of some of it by setting up a studio space. I used my Cheap Joe's Signature Watercolor Easel... which I reviewed here and created a nice, simple work space. I found this easel to be too cumbersome and heavy for actual plein air work but it works out perfectly as a portable studio easel. This is the next best thing to en plein air painting and I'll be using it for as long as the weather allows.  I'd love to hear about your workspaces. Feel free to post links in the comments section below. 

      On another exciting note! Who is interested in doing a painting workshop/vacation with me in Tuscany, Italy in Ocober 2014?

Artists (all levels) and non-artists welcome. You know you want to!! Contact me for more details!


The 2014 is not up on the website yet so email me for more info! I'm brushing up on my Italian as we speak!





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Fire Island Seagull

Watercolor Seagull, 9 x 5 on Arches, 140lb, RP, SOLD!

Ahhh.... the beach. Nothing like the beach to entice the artist in me to hit the brushes then the beach in summer. I am thoroughly entertained by the antics of seagulls at Fire Island and they are quickly becoming a favorite subject! This little fellow (or is it a gal?) posed for his portrait. :) A fun little note... I actually used beach sand to get the effect of sand in the foreground!

This little watercolor was a quick sketch just look to get the idea across without too much detail.  Part of my $99 series of sketches.


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New NY Giants Painting WIP

I have five paintings that I am currently working on including this rather ambitious watercolor of the NY Giants playing the NY Jets. Guess who won? This measures 14 x 22 and I'm working on 140lb Waterford Saunders Rough Press. My main goal is this piece is too capture the intensity, excitement and movement of thr game. I don't want to get too tight and I'm really just letting the paint do it's thing. 

In this second image things are starting to throw a shape. I'm finding my darks and establishing my center of interest which will be the player facing the viewer. He's got the ball! As far as technique goes I wet the paper and drop the pigment in and move the board around and then lift out the light spots. Anything goes to achieve the effect I'm after. 

I have more on this on my studio Facebook page. You can check it out at Deborah Bollman Fine Art on Facebook. As always comments welcome! 

For you football fans I am one of the Official bloggers for the NY Giants for SportsBlog.com at our blog GiantsBigBlueBlog.net so be sure to pop on over to Facebook and like our page and then check out the blog! GiantsBigBlueBlog.net on Facebook

Happy painting!


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Running For Glory

Running For Glory, Watercolor, 8 x 10 İDeborah Bollman

Just a short post today  becasue I have some very cool news! My painting Running For Glory was one of the FAV Top 15% for January's Bold Brush Painting Competition!  It's a rather non-traditional theme so I am thrilled to even have it recognized. Here's a wonderful comment that I got on this painting-  "Running For Glory" - Brilliant! It's seething with power. I think you captured the anonymous brutality of the game. Whether you were going for that I don't know. But it's in there." I'm a painter, not a wordsmith,  but this description sums up, better than I can write, exactly what I was going for.

Have an amazing day! :)


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Work in Progress-Football Painting

The sketch

    Another update on the San Francisco Forty Niners painting.  So I'm back to the drawing board with this  (so to speak)  adding light glazes and starting to push the darker values. I'm pretty happy with how this is progressing. As so many of you know with watercolor there are so many ways a painting can go terribly wrong. So fingers crossed! 

To get updates to my blog be sure click the Flollow my blog link over there on the right and you will get updates delivered right to you mailbox!

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Forty Niners are Going to the Super Bowl!

Yes, this my art blog and, yes, the title of this blog post is about football but my passion for football and art are intertwined. I paint what i am passionate about and I am passionate about my San Francisco Forty Niners! And they are going to the Super Bowl!  And on that note I am in the middle of a 49er painting that I have composed using reference photos from my day at the 49ers/Jets game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey back in September. Anyway, over the summer I found a really great gold plein air style frame at a yard sale and I had a great idea for an interesting composition for a football painting featuring...ta da... the Forty Niners. 

This first photos is the intial sketch all laid out..

Then comes the first glaze. The next decision I had to make was do I paint the jersey in the away colors of white or their home color of red. I am partial to the red but I took a poll on Facebook and the answer was a resounding yes to the red. So red it is!

In the image below I have started laying in the first glazes of the red and am playing around with the background. What to see more? Be sure to stop back as I'll be posting more of thei work- in - progress!

It is an interesting size painting at 6 1/2 x 18 but I really like the size. It is a bit further along than this but I'll save that for the next post. Watercolor on Arches, 300lb Rough Press. 

Be sure to check out my other football painting in my gallery here.. Football Gallery

Go Niners!!!

Follow me on Facebook- Deborah Bollman  Fine Art

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Watercolor Classes at Front Street Gallery

Watercolor painting classes starting May 7 at the Front Street Gallery in Patterson, NY. The sessions will run for 4 weeks. We will start with getting to know out materials,wet on wet, wet on dry, finding basic shapes, color value and basic color mixing. A great way to get a jump start on painting skills if you are looking to get outside and paint! This class will be limited to 8 students. Materials provided by student and list is available on sign up. Mondays, Jan 14 from 2-4 pm, 4 sessions $175. Drop- in $50 per class. 

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Happy Holidays From Deborah Bollman Fine Art

Wishing You and Yours a 
Very Merry Christmas and an
 Amazingly, Awesome and Creative New Year!
This one is for you! This egg nog will not disappoint and is not for the faint of heart!   This recipe has become a tradition  for me so I'd like to share it with all of you. This Egg Nog is  one sinfully delicious concoction and totally worth the effort. If you have snow it benefits from sitting out overnight in a snow bank but a few hours in the freezer will work, too! The icy snow or freezer will make the nog thicken and the flavors come together even more.

Bert's Egg Nog
6 eggs, separated
1 C sugar
1 pint bourbon
1 jigger Bacardi rum
1 pint whipping cream 
1 pint whole milk
Whip Cream
With mixer, beat yolks until very thick and pale lemon color. Add sugar gradually, beating well until all sugar is dissolved. Add bourbon and rum, pouring it in a very fine stream and beating constantly. This cooks the eggs, so do pour it slowly. It helps to have a second set of hands here, especially if you're using a hand mixer.
In a large bowl (that has been chilled, along with the beaters), whip the egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into them the whipped cream.
Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the whites and cream, folding carefully. Thin with milk to the consistency you like.
Set out in the snow or freezer overnight.
Serve in a mug on Christmas morning with freshly grated nutmeg. YUM!
I serve this with the mother of all frittatas but that recipe is fo another day! But goes just as nice during the game!
Generously shared to me by Alyson B. Stanfield, Art Biz Coach. Thank you, Alyson!!
~source: Aunt Susan's How-To Cookbook (1951)

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San Francisco Forty Niners Art and Etsy Sale!

SanFrancisco Forty Niner's Patrick Willis Original Watercolor

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

I have this one finished and it is ready to go! I love this painting of San Francisco Forty Niner (my favorite team) linebacker Patrick Willis! This one literally flowed off the brush and I feel it captures the power and determination of an athlete. I was half thinking of hanging onto this one but if you ask me nicely it could be yours to hang on your wall! :) Or what a great gift it oquld make for that 49er/football fan!

This is unmatted and unframed which significantly reduces shipping costs and will need to go under glass. Feel free to contact me if you simply must have it! To purchase-  Patrick Willis/ SanFrancisco Forty Niner Painting

I am havin a 3 day sale in my Etsy Store and I am offering my followers 15% off anything in the store! Simply add Coupon Code FBThanks on check out! My thanks to you for your loyal following!

My Etsy Store 

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Football Work in Progress and Other Musings

Quarterback Watercolor

    I have been quite a bit remiss in my blogging efforts as I have been working on diversifying my art business. Many exciting changes on the horizon!  By getting out of my comfort zone with business decisions as well as the artwork itself I am making discoveries that  last year I would have never have even dreamed possible. I had found myself becoming intimitated by that blank sheet of paper and not knowing what to paint.  I have,also, found myself wanting to avoid the acrylics and focus only on watercolors.  I have expanded my interest from painting my usual subjects of horses and dogs to football paintings and plein air landscapes.

    I am particularly passionate about painting en plein air with watercolors. There is no better medium for me for capturing the immediacy of the moment, atmosphere and light than with watercolors. Plus, I find my muse out in nature. I work with the bare minimum of a sketch, find the big shapes, lightest lights and darkest darks and just run with it.

      There is one part of myself that I have discovered and that is I'm a very impatient painter. It is a part of myself relative  to my work that I have struggled with and I happy to say I have finally come to terms with. I have learned to be okay with my impatience! Oddly enough in every other area of my life I am extremely patient.  Go figure! The better my technical skills and understanding of the medium the easier it is to be successful in the outcome. When I have an idea I need to just get it down and out. Otherwise, I tend to lose interest. I'm not one to have painting languishing on the easel for days as I work glaze upon glaze! Nope, not me! I get in there and get out. And this is where I love, love, love watercolors. It is perfectly suited to my style. I'd love to hear how you other artists deal with aspects ands pecific traits of yourselves  relative to the painting process.

I'll be blogging a lot more about my process in the coming months. So be sure to bookmark or sign up for updates.

A super fast plein air piece done in the very early morning hours.

Watercolor, 10 x 8 on Waterford Saunders, 140lb, Rough



     I have been busy in the studio painting and playing with watercolors and exploring light. My favorite moment in a painting is throwing in those dark darks. Adding those darks just makes the light jump off the paper and brings the whole painting to life! And as  I become more fluent in watercolors I find that I don't wait until the end of a painting anymore to throw them in there. 

   This work-in progress is an 8 x10 of San Fransisco Forty Niners Quarterback Alex Smith. The painting is just about finished so I'll get the final up this week. This piece was basically about exploring light and dark and keeping the whole conception loose and fresh. Big brushes, juicy washes and working standing up ( so that can I use my whole arm) with broad brushstrokes helped me to achieve the effect  that I was going after in this painting.

Happy painting!


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Deborah Bollman Fine Art


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Watercolor Classes

Running For Glory, Watercolor, 8 x 10 İDeborah Bollman

I'm teaching a new watercolor painting session starting in April at the Front Street Gallery in Patterson, NY. We will start with getting to know out materials,wet on wet, wet on dry, finding basic shapes, color value and basic color mixing. A great way to get a jump start on painting skills if you are looking to get outside and paint! This class will be limited to 8 students. Materials provided by student and list is available by request. Mondays, April 2-23, 1-3 pm, 4 sessions Contact me more for more info or to sign up! Deborah@DeborahBollman.com

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Running For Glory

Running For Glory

     Running For Glory is a real departure from my usual subjects of horses, landscapes and dogs. Those of you who know me know that I am a huge football fan. I had been playing around with the idea of doing some type of sports art for a while. I have had some success selling quick baseball sketches from my son's Little League games. I was thinking painting various stadiums might be fun but that didn't feel right.

    It always seems that I need to hear exactly what I need to hear at the right time. A friend gave me some really nice suggestions on how to approach the paintings and with his encouragement I decided to just jump in and give it a try. On my first attempt I totally crashed and burned. I tried too hard to control the medium and I was afraid to make a mistake. For those of you who are not familiar with watercolor ...controlling watercolor just isn't possible. Not for me anyway. The medium is unpredictable and tempermental. I handled the small brushes by the ferrule and worked sitting down at my painting table.....trying to get every detail. The result was rubbish! One huge mistake. I produced one very stiff, forced, boring painting.

   So now that I had gotten the mistake out of the way I gave it another try.  I figured I couldn't do any worse than the first attempt! I cranked up the music, worked standing up, handled my biggest brushes from the end furthest from the ferrule and just painted with abandon. I focused on painting the big shapes and eliminated fussy details. Running For Glory painting is the result of that attempt. I received this comment on the painting.. "Brilliant! It's seething with power. I think you captured the anonymous brutality of the game. Whether you were going for that I don't know. But it's in there!"   That is exactly what I was going for.

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Running For Glory

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Plein Air Sketch, Lakeside, Pawling, New York

I'v started getting out and painting again after taking a bit of a break. I have missed painting outside and haven'n doing it as much as I would like to this fall. BUt I'm back at it. I have a cople of others and I'll get those posted as soon as I scan them.

This is a quick sketch that I did en plein air at a lovely park in Pawling, NY where I like ot run my dog every morning. The light was changing quickly so I did finish up some of the darks in the studio. Measuring 7.5 x 10 this watercolor is  painted on Fabriano, 140 lb Rough Press Paper. Available for purchase ..here. Unmatted and unframed.

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Midnight Rendezvous

Midnight Rendezvous - is the title of this original acrylic painting. This painting depicts a very manly stallion that I brought a mare to. After a late start with horses not wantng to load I  arrived up at Saratoga around midnight. When the mare was being prepped for breeding I caught a glimpse of this very handsome boy peering out at us from his backlit stall watching us. I thought it would make a wonderful impromptu painting. So here he is. Gallery wrapped canvas.

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Art Show Opening

Plein Air by Deborah Bollman-OSullivan

Patterson, NY – What happens when fourteen artist meet for an artist salon? They plan a show. ArtWorks, an Artist Salon Show will open Saturday, April 9th, at The Front Street Gallery, Front Street, Patterson, NY. The opening reception will take place from 5-8pm.

Focused on art and marketing the ArtWorks salon meets at the Front Street Gallery every other week and currently has 14 members. The salon is led by equine artist Deborah Bollman O'Sullivan, using the book, I'd Rather be in the Studio by Alyson B. Stanfield, as a reference. Members vary from artists who have shown widely and with great success to artists just getting started. For each artist Bollman-O'Sullivan's salon is an opportunity to focus on how give their their work greater exposure and make use of new technologies.

“I was sitting at the first meeting of the marketing salon,” says Jeremy Wolff a co-owner of Front Street, “when I thought, why not finish with a group show? Most of the artists have experience exhibiting but this is an opportunity for them to put new marketing skills into practice.”

Participatng artists are Deborah Bollman-O'Sullivan (Pawling) painter of equine, canine and nature themes in water media, Amy Brenner (Wingdale), a studio art potter showing sgraffito stoneware portraits of iconic musicians, Tela Cook (Pawling) a photographer specializing in the alternative process of Polaroid transfer, Victoria Hayes (Pawling) who creates pastels and prints inspired by the landscape, and ceramic artist Kathleen Heidemann (Holmes) who hand-builds pieces with a sense of whimsy and animation.

Anne Huibregtse (Wingdale) will show her iconic cow sculptures in steel and bronze, Lonna Kelly (Pawling), photographer, will show contemporary scenes with an eye for the ironic, Elizabeth Palmer-Buchman (Pawling) designs and handcrafts one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry and wearable fiber art, Donald Partelow's (Pawling) pencil illustrations of spirits are semi-realistic distortions of the human form and Karen Presser (Pawling) – creates nature, architectural, and Buddhist images using digital photo collage.

Jeanette Rodriguez (Patterson) will show her richly colored kiln fused dichroic glass pendants, Mary Smoot Souter (Pawling) is a contemporary, fine art oil painter of still life, landscape and portraits, Rebecca Tocci (Pawling) brings a background in painting and love of vintage photography to her photography, and Liliana Washburn's (Holmes) abstract watermedia paintings focus on emotions.

The Front Street Gallery opened in Patterson in April, 2010, as a artists’ cooperative and community resource. Front Street features nationally recognized artists, as well as group shows of local and regional artists. Art classes, for children and adults, and musical event are on-going. For more information call the Front Street Gallery at 917-880-5307 or email info@frontstreetgallery.

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