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Sunday, March 6, 2016


According to female sleuth protagonist Serena Jones, Sandra Orchard is a pretty decent writer, if you can believe the judges of the awards she’s stockpiled, including a Daphne DuMaurier, a National Readers’ Choice & an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. Of course, Serena is convinced she’s Sandra’s best character yet.

When not plotting crimes, Sandra plays make-believe with her grandchildren or hikes with her hubby in the serene forests of Niagara, Canada. Learn more about Sandra and her books at her website. 

Paint to Purge your Problems

Adult coloring books don’t do it for me. I know, I know…they’re all the rage, but after a really bad day, I need to wield a paintbrush and swoop dollops of bold colors across a big canvas. 

You should try it. It’s way more cathartic than trying to color inside the lines. Of course, by day (and too many nights) I’m an FBI agent on the nation’s Art Crime Team, so it’s only fitting that I should take out my frustrations over unsolved thefts with a paintbrush and paint.

I’m sorry, I guess I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Serena Jones, soon to be made famous by my author’s retelling of my latest art crime caper in A Fool and His Monet.

Most of the time, I paint soothing waterscapes, much more Monetish than the Jackson Pollack spatters you might’ve been imagining I do. If you’ve never tried your hand at painting, painting a sunset over water is easier than you’d think.

Grab the purest primary colors you can find, plus black and white, in acrylic for easy clean up, and you can have fun blending every color you could possibly want. If you really want to delve into the inner child, you could even mix the colors with your fingers. Not that I’ve tried it.

My cat…another story.

The painting above is an example of how I play with the colors.

This is a northern lake with a big rock in the foreground. No, the ground wasn’t red but the pine trees really did have all kinds of shades of colors in them and playing with them was fun. <grin>

Picasso once said, Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” And that’s how I feel as I paint. I don’t get bent out of shape trying to reproduce some image in my mind or in front of me. I take joy in creating.

Okay, yes, I did get a tad upset when my mouse-chasing cat made me streak an ugly swath of dark blue across my river scene and my apartment superintendent (who also happens to be a fellow art enthusiast and really good-looking guy) critiqued it with another artist’s quote:

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

I mean…what did he mean by that? It couldn’t have been good!

No matter, I hope you’ll take me up on the challenge and try your hand at painting. Of course…

If you’d prefer a more laid back way to forget your troubles, you can always check out A Fool and His Monet.

A Fool and His Monet
Sketchy politics and a palette of lies can't stop Serena Jones from exposing the mastermind behind the daring theft of a priceless work of art.

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art--one that's surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about who murdered her grandfather. She's joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother's pleas to do something safer--like get married--Serena's determined to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Serena leaps into action--and a whole heap of trouble.

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Sandra Orchard said...

Anastasia, thanks so much for inviting my heroine to share her passion for art with your readers!

M. Johnston said...

Loved the personal tidbits in the blog. Re the dark-blue streak. here's a quote from David Bowie: “I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture I was living in.” Seems like the mouse-chasing cat did just that. %>)

Best wishes, Sandra, for great successes with your writing and your painting.

Sandra Orchard said...

Love the quote and take on the mouse, M! And thank you so much for your best wishes.

Angela Adams said...

Lovely artwork! Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Orchard said...

You're very welcome.