Sandi Hester

Paintings by Sandi Hester

Category: Trips

Travel Sketchbook Flip

New video up on my Youtube channel – make sure to go and subscribe so you don’t miss any videos!

Gouache Supplies



Here are my gouache sketching supplies:

  1. Dirty Palette. Just a vintage metal pan thing I found at an antique shop – I love it! And yes I leave it dirty for the most part – the old mixes are invaluable to me!
  2. Sketchbook. This is a Derwent black page sketchbook – I love black pages to paint on – the colors really pop!
  3. Gouache paints. Holbein. Colors: White, Lemon Yellow, Primary Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Permanent Magenta, Flame Red, Primary Cyan, Ultramarine Light, Burnt Umber, Primary Black. (brown and blacks mixed with yellow make amazing greens!)
  4. Water bottle – this is one of those light mist ones – I LOVE it!
  5. Viva paper towels – no other will do
  6. Water and water container
  7. Any paint brushes you like to use. These are Winsor & Newton Series 150, Silver Ruby Satin 2500S Round, Daniel Smith Pure Squirrel 1.

Meet Birdie – Our Airstream


Day we picked up Birdie – my dad joined us and that made it even more special!

I know this isn’t about my art (even though I do have two paintings I did in the airstream so maybe that counts ūüôā ) but I thought you guys might like to see this any ways. A¬†couple of years ago Grady got this wild idea to get an airstream. We’ve only camped once together, even though I camped with my dad as a kid, it was not the kind of vacation we take now. I was NOT sold on the idea. But as we searched for an old airstream, visited dealerships and looked at new airstreams, and drove through campsites while we were on vacations I started to get the airstream and camping bug. We thought we’d get an airstream to try – we didn’t want to put a ton of money into something we had no idea if we would even like it. Grady searched for almost 2 years to find this beauty and last summer we went and picked her up! And my dad went with us to pick her up, a memory I will always treasure!

IMG_0830Over the next several months we spent cleaning her, decorating her, and fixing her. Due to life (sickness, work, weather, etc) we just took our maiden voyage a couple of weeks ago! I really really really wanted to take it with my dad and we were able to do that!!! It was the perfect camping trip – we had a total blast!IMG_3914

And Cooper (our wire-haired pointing griffon) was the perfect camping dog. He was better at the campsite than he is at home!!



I took a short video (it actually ended up being 2 short videos because I didn’t know how to work my camera) of our airstream – you can see it here and part 2 here. Or you can click on part 1:¬†Airstream Part 1¬† part 2:¬†Airstream Part 2¬†IMG_3510Hope you enjoy the video and pics of our little home on wheels. We love her and can’t wait to take our next trip! And Daddy and Pat (and Patches), thanks for a great maiden voyage!


For the Men

4x4 oil

4×4 oil

¬†This post is a little more for the men – it leans towards¬†the masculine¬†side of subjects for my art – which isn’t much. I tend to paint more “girlie” subjects – birds and flowers. But for the men that follow my blog – this one is for you :)! I think my dad would like this little truck painting. I thought of him when I painted it. I was driving home from the grocery store one day and in front of me was this neat old blue truck. I loved the glowing red lights with the blue and the great shape of the old truck so I grabbed my phone and started trying to capture some quick pictures and stay on the road and not hit anyone :).¬†I don’t have a clue what type it was – I’m not good with car types, but Grady on the other hand could tell you what kind of car every neighbor drove in our old neighborhood. We’d be at Wal-mart of somewhere and Grady would say – oh, they live 5 doors down from us – we wouldn’t know the people’s name but Grady knew their car.

The boat is one I painted from our Maine trip.

5x7 oil

5×7 oil

Trip to Maine – Part 2


8×8 oil

In the previous post I shared about our trip to Maine last fall and as promised here are the paintings from that trip. I painted these two the day I was on the beach while Grady hiked. The rest are other scenes from our balcony or from around the local area.

8x8 oil

8×8 oil

blue boat

6×6 oil

boats at bar harbor

8×8 oil


8×8 oil

yellow boat

6×6 oil

Trip to Maine – Part 1

    hiking view trees ocean

We usually take a painting trip for me and last year (yes, I know I’m a little behind :)) we took a trip to Maine.¬†We agreed that it was our all time favorite trip. It was BEAUTIFUL! I painted a ton while we were there. We had a wonderful view from our room so I painted a lot from our balcony. We had a great view of Porcupine Island (don’t you love the name!) and there were colorful boats out there all the time. Here’s our view & our hotel…

view from rm


We also went to the beach one day and while I painted Grady hiked the hill/mountain¬†I was painting. Here’s the view from the mountain¬†– Grady took a picture of me on the beach waaayyy down there.

painting bh beach

view from hiking - Copy

I will share the paintings I did on the trip in the next post – you can see one of my paintings on my easel in one of the pictures above.

Muck Trees


These are my muck trees – what is muck you ask? Muck is the left over paint from your palette that you scrape up to throw away. Here’s a visual for you…

I had a lot left over one day and painted these trees and the lady below from just sticking the end of my brush straight down into the muck and putting it down on the canvas. Paint doomed for the trash made something pretty!

I also thought I’d post this watercolor I did for a friend of mine a while back – it’s from a special trip she went on and I loved this little old blue shed with its green shutters.

Getting All High-Tech Here – A Video!

Well, at least this is high-tech¬†for me :)! I did a little video tour of my art room for you guys. I shot it with my iPhone¬†so the quality isn’t too bad but it’s rather shaky, Grady says it’s too long, I tripped on the stool, and I rambled on, BUT other than all of that I hope you enjoy it. If you have trouble playing it you can go directly to youtube here and watch it Please let me know if you have any problems with viewing it.

I also wanted to mention that I’m heading to a painting workshop next week – I’m major excited about it! A few months ago I stumbled onto an artist I really like – Peggi Kroll Roberts She has a very¬† loose style which I love and she’s a great teacher. She has some wonderful DVD’s available’s.htm¬†that I highly recommend for anyone painting in any medium.

Peggi Kroll-Roberts

Painting by Peggi Kroll-Roberts

She really covers some of the fundamentals and gives some great painting exercises. I’ve watched the videos MULTIPLE times (if that tells you anything!). I’m sure I’ll have lots to share from the workshop when I get back! Also, she’s coming here to Nashville to do a workshop in July, if you’re interested check out the information on her website about workshops.

Meet The Newest Addition…


to our family – Cooper! We¬†started looking for another dog about 6-7 months ago. Grady thought since we were buying property we needed a bigger dog ūüôā – I jumped on the chance to get another dog. So I started researching larger breeds that don’t shed (since I have bad allergies) and that are laid back – I didn’t want a large spastic house dog. We came across a rare breed that seemed to good to be true. Cooper is a Korthals¬†Griffon – also called a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. They are hunting dogs that are low shedding, love people and children,¬†and are couch potatoes.

Before we got Cooper I took my niece¬†and nephew to the¬†pet store to pick out a toy to give Cooper (they’d never been in a pet store so they were fascinated). Of course Hannah would have bought the whole store for him. Here she’s giving love to the “snake dog” she picked out for him¬†and Aidan liked the “snack” aisle (that didn’t surprise me :)) and thought this would be a great treat for Cooper. That’s NOT what we ended up getting for Cooper though :).

We have fallen head over heals in love with this little guy. He is a snuggle bug and a lover boy – he loves kisses, rubs, and snuggling. He’s VERY laid back! And he is beyond cute – seriously good-looking.

The breeder lives in Iowa and were kind enough to meet us half-way. So Saturday we hit the road and met up with them at a rest stop (the happy new parents below). We were on the road ALL day (5:15am – 6:30pm) but it flew by for me :). Cooper slept in my arms the whole ride home. This breeder is top-notch¬†and has 3 more pups (it was a very large litter) if you’re interested let me know and I’ll hook you up with them. You can click on any of the pictures to see that cute little face larger. I’m sure you’ll be seeing paintings of this little guy soon – he seems to like to pose for the camera and hopefully for his artist momma. This little guy is a real blessing to us!

Peep Peep

Is that a bird sound? I was having a hard time thinking of another bird noise :). This wraps up my bird posts for now. The middle painting is what inspired the bird painting you saw that I did for my friend’s wedding gift. The last painting is a sketch I did on the trip I did all these bird paintings. It’s a sketch I did of the dining room table of the place we stayed. I went down for lunch one day while Grady was skiing and painted the table setting – I was drawn to the crayons, flowers and the light hitting the table.

Well, we have some exciting news… we’ve been looking for a house or some land for a little over 4 1/2 years – WAY too long in my book, but in God’s book – well, let’s just say He’s got His own plans :). So 4 1/2 years later we FINALLY found some land to build on! Yahoo!!! We are SO excited! In stretched out fashion, we’ve actually been working on buying this land for 6 months now – it’s taken forever, but we finally closed on it last Friday. It’s been quite a journey since we sold our house but well worth it for this property (I’ll tell you a little bit about it in a minute). Last summer we sold our house – in one day – which was a miracle in this market – but we couldn’t find a house fast enough and had to move into a rental. That was NOT what this “nester” wanted to do, but again, I realized we weren’t following my plans but the Lord’s. So we found a great little house that got Grady a little closer to work and we settled in… for 3 months.

The week of Christmas we got a call from the rental agency saying the owner of the rental house let the house go into foreclosure and it sold at action and we had to be out IMMEDIATELY. The rental agency said we could have to vacate as soon as 24 hours – I totally freaked (that could even be an understatement – you’d have to ask Grady). Thankfully the Lord had mercy on us and He gave us one week. But over Christmas we had to find another rental (again the Lord had mercy and allowed us to find one fast) and¬†pack – we moved 2 days after Christmas. To make it even better, the day of the move Grady woke up with the swine flu and I had to do the move by myself. It was an exhausting day! My Mom was a blessing from the Lord because she took care of my sick husband and helped me clean our old rental.

So after all that we finally found a place to live – an amazing¬†place – more than we would have ever thought to ask the Lord for. I’ve always wanted a little bit of land out in the country – just something private and we found just that but more. We just purchased 20 acres out in the country – but still just 20 minutes to Grady’s work (that was the whole purpose of this move – to get Grady closer to work) and 25 minutes to Hendersonville where my family is. The land is beautiful and even has a pond on it with a walking trail around it and a boat dock. We’re beside ourselves with excitement. We start the building process this week. We’re going to build a¬†small new/old farmhouse. We’re calling it that because we want it to look old but it will be new. I’m going to use as much salvaged/vintage stuff as I can find – sinks, doors, fireplace mantels, windows, etc.¬†It’s been a while since I’ve posted but we’ve been pretty consumed with this land thing and building and one other thing that I’ll post about next week.