Virtual Studio

Fagan studios

Welcome to my Virtual Studio

If you are here for the first time, check your inbox for my email. If you don’t find it, check your promotions or spam folder. 

I am so excited to see hear what you have to say about COLOR!

You may wish to bookmark this page, so you can find my list of articles easily.

Pick one and join in the discussion!  Post your comments below the articles. To post your art, hop on over to CreativSOUP group on Facebook.

Come Paint with Me!

I invite you to come paint with me! I am hosting weekend and week-long Painting Holidays throughout the year. Check the schedule or join me for Painting in Tuscany or Painting Footsteps on the Chesapeake.  CreativSOUP is a heart warming way to connect with other creative people who are engaged with living, and share ideas and inspiration.

My awareness of all this about color, really kicked into overdrive when I went to France. Realizing I couldn’t take EVERY tube of paint in the studio with me, I whittled it down to just six colors! You will find this and plenty of other inspiration, ideas, examples, and discussion in my book, Joy’s Garden Embrace the Mountain.

Joy’s Garden

Joy's Garden book 1

Returning from my artist residency, I had more questions than answers. While I found the start of a new direction by picking up watercolors I hadn’t touched since college, mixing them with willow charcoal drawings and oil washes occurred serendipitously. I’ve included my palettes, the split-complimentary palette, and the palette I am using now ~ all in BOOK I.


The Mystery of Two Sisters

Another short book I believe you will enjoy, is about a painting that hung around my studio for decades. I wondered why? A series of sketches in my journal, and a few other clues, really opened my eyes to the power of painting.

Two Sisters gr

Another book that will cue your awareness of your creative prowess is The Mystery of Two Sisters. Though short, this story ties oil painting to fiber art, pastel, and unfinished business with a soul mate who died 25 years ago. Who knew she would still be aiding my artistic journey all these years later? 

You know those little things you throw in the drawer and forget about? Well I pulled one out of the drawer and it’s colors dissolved a mountain of problems. CreativSOUP article about Watercolor Postcards …

How Tiny Watercolor Postcards Sent My Dreams Cascading Down the Mountain

A picture story shows how a tiny, insignificant painting can hold big, important clues to your artistry. Having the courage to pull it from the bottom drawer and let it speak to you, opens your door to creative gifts. How Tiny Watercolor Postcards Sent my Dreams Cascading Down the Mountain

I’d painted in opaque mediums for three decades. After 25 years working in pastels, and 20 in oil ~ on a whim I packed watercolors when I went to France. Painting 30 watercolor postcards in France, changed my way of working with color from opaque to transparent. And it changed my way of doing life too!

So how does an accomplished painter start over? Awkward in a new medium, I took to doing experimental watercolors. Color took over and opened my eyes. Experimental Watercolors will walk you through some of the things I did to get it flowing.

Experimental Watercolors It’s All About Color!

Experimental WatercolorsAn experimental approach to painting promotes stress relief, mindfulness, and creativity. While this book covers basics, the emphasis is on color, fun, and creative expression. Book for beginners in watercolor painting, how to set up palette, experiment, color tips, watercolor crayons, traveling with paint, mixing colors. 

For 25 years I painted with pastels. This intuitive way of grabbing color and mixing on the painting itself trained me to trust my color instincts. When I tried to do the same in oils, I longed for the paints to behave like pastels! Finally after 20 years of trying and failing, I gave up. Then suddenly, a new palette changed everything again. CreativSOUP article show how a Bridge Between Pastel & Oil worked.

Bridge Between Pastel & Oils

After a second residency in Tuscany, I expanded my palette with Charvin paints. You will find this palette in My Bridge Between Pastels and Oils.

Some days are just overwhelming. Some days a girl just has to be still. We are so addicted to the big creative energy, we forget how wonderfully supportive and rejuventating simple Color Meditation can be. Tonalist Painting is a great practice for nurturing creativity, especially on those not so productive days.

Tonalist Painting ~ A Meditative Stimulus to Creative Powers

You know all those artists out there doing daily paintings? It sounds like a lot of busy work to me. It also sounds like an assignment that I would fail at in the first week! In a way, the Mindfulness Painting Project is a bridge from the CreativSOUP article on Tonalist Painting. Both offer ideas for creative expansion.

Mindfulness Painting Project

When I returned from my France Residency, I began a daily painting project to paint every day for 365 days. It didn’t turn out the way I planned. See how failing my project led to something better than I ever imagined. I’m sure it will give you ideas …  Mindfullness Painting Project

Even if you don’t consider yourself an ‘artist’ per se, your creativity is still responsive to color. The body chakras respond to color as music to the soul. A musician friend points out how the first, third, and fifth notes in a major chord correspond to the primary colors!

Indeed the primary red corresponds to the base chakra. Yellow, the third chakra, solar plexis or gut. And the fifth note of the major chord, the throat or creative voice. Coloring is a meditative way to activate the chakras, connecting energy centers, and clearing the flow of creative life force.



CreativSOUP is designed to promote the flow of colors, while providing lined journal pages to collect snippets of flow. It is important to have an honored place to collect Creative inspiration. When we put it in a journal, we are saying ‘thank you, I heard you’ to the Creator. And we are honoring the relationship. One needn’t act on all inspiration! Saying thank you is sufficient.

This opens the channel. It is only a human responsibility to keep the channel open. Appreciation and gratitude are expressed by keeping the process sacred. Selecting a few for further exploration or action is reserved for those which speak to the soul.

Promote the flow of creativity with creative cues, lined journal pages, and coloring pages. Intricate pen and ink drawings of my French architectural and landscape paintings alternate with blank journal pages to train the flow of creativity. COMING IN APRIL

Color Field Painting or Something More?

color field painting book

Working on this painting for five years, I knew there was more to it than pigment and canvas. Its title, Lavande Magic, came from the lavender fields of France where I’d first had the vision for the painting.

How I finished the painting, pictures, dreams, and all ~ that’s in the book.