Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Garden Is A Happy Place

In my journal
Ink and Water soluble color pencils

I've managed to spend a lot of time focused on art this week, learning more about how water colors work and having fun drawing in ink.  Of course, I don't have a garden that looks like this...except in my head.  It does reflect how I feel about my current enjoyment of getting things done in my yard...and I hate to keep saying...since I retired...but it's true...I have time for the yard other than mowing!  Last night I did the sketch...

I debated whether I was going to add any color...but it is a garden after I very lightly added color.  This mixed media journal doesn't like too much water, so that's why I used the water soluble color pencils with just suggestions of color.  A little close-up....

It's important to keep the mind in a happy place...this little garden drawing takes me there.  Wouldn't you like to sit on that bench?

It's A Peachy Day

Earlier in the week, I drew and painted the 3 peaches.  They were about to be consumed so felt I better paint them first.  I enjoyed the colors and the process of looking at something "real" and actually making them look like they are peaches. 
The page on the left side, I actually did after the one on the right.  I had recently taken a book out of our library on the artist, Kaffe Fassett, simply titled MOSAICS.  He is an extraordinary artist on many levels and if  you're not familiar with his mosaics....they are unbelievable.  I'm not someone who would do mosaics, but it was incredible eye candy looking at his designs and colors.  I can't begin to imagine the amounts of broken dishes, glass & tile he has accumulated over the years...not to mention organizing it.  And mosaics aren't his only medium.  What the book did for me, is give me inspiration with regards to colors and shapes.  I decided to try and draw a similar page of peaches on the left side page and I actually was going to paint it...but I don't believe I could capture the same effect if I had used color.  So I just called it "Un-ripened Peaches" and left it.  Hopefully, the 3 darker spots you can distinguish as the stems of the peaches.  It was interesting to get in sort of a mosaic mind-set to do the page. (At one point, I had considered painting papers the colors needed for the peaches and background and was going to cut them up into tiny pieces and glue them to the drawing.  The thought of the messy glueing process sort of ended that...)
And that led me to...

The Pear
Ink and water color and collage

This page didn't actually start out as a pear.  It started out with me trying to press a Queen Anne's Lace flower into the green, wet water color.  Failure.  The flower was just to fragile to make the imprint.  Queen Anne's Lace is so geometrically a snow flake.  Even the underside is interesting...but obviously you don't see it here.  So I came up with Plan B...going back to Kaffe and mosaics.  I drew the pear and painted it like a mosaic.  I was just about finished with the page and was painting a border around the date on the bottom right (which you don't see because I had to cover it) as my hand grazed the page and smeared the black paint.  Now I was in rescue mode.  I tried several things and ultimately was afraid I was going to wear a hole in the paper so I grabbed some patterned paper, cut a couple of leaf shapes that would cover my mistake and glued them to the page.  Phew. 

It's been a fruitful, educational week for me in my art room.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Watercolor Sketchbook

In my 5 x 7 sketchbook this week, I sketched some of the backyard of my friend, Jan's home.  It was a beautiful day.  The red building is the horse barn...perhaps I should have had a horse's head looking over the fence, but I already had a lot going on on this small piece of paper.  And Boomer came with me for the day.  Here he is checking out the pool....couldn't get him to test the waters though....he was very curious about the horses on the other side of the fence!

Friday, July 15, 2016


Stencils - Rubber Stamps - Ink

I started a new art journal today....back to a small one ( 5x8 I think).  Taking a new tact with my approach to my art. Instead of sitting in my chair thinking about what I'm going to paint...I went to my art room and got started.  I have to do that if I'm going to see growth in my approach to art. So I put some paint on the background (which I then changed). I glued pieces of newsprint from my local paper this week.  There was an ad for sidewalk sales and a map of the stores participating.  That ended up setting the tone for my pages.  I hadn't intended to do buildings, but that's what I ended up with!  In the close-up below, you can see the map under the "2".  It reminded me of windows.  I'm happy with how it turned out.   Close up..

The next pages....

Inks, Acrylics, Collage

It's a really warm summer day here, so I'm not doing anything in my yard...I decided to start another painting in the journal.  Where it started and where it ended up....whoa!  I started by using my colored inks with their eyedroppers and dripped paint on the page.  I thought I was going to do something edgy and modern.  Well...the inks had a mind of their own and it wasn't working. The black bottom of the pages changed colors 4 times.  Where the large flower is...a large blob of ink dropped from my fountain pen. just get creative and do what you can to "save the page".  And you learn in the process.  These two pages were more challenging than the art above because of the issues I ran into.  In the end...a fun, colorful painting.  Close up....

Yes....color outside the lines.....

Monday, July 11, 2016

More Red, White & Blue....I can't help it.....

Rockin' July 4th
Collage - Acrylics - Watercolor - Ink
In my art journal
I was gathering the newspapers to recycle for the trash pick-up this week when I remembered that I wanted to save the front page photo from our weekly town newspaper, celebrating July 4.  The photo is super! 
I glued it to the middle of my journal page and added some blue paint around the top and sides. Then I painted a "flag-like" stripe across the bottom portion and added some people to watch the fireworks.  I also added some more drama to the fireworks with acrylic paint in order to make the photo and my art a more cohesive piece. 
It sort of reminds me of my younger years of watching a movie at a drive-in (without the cars). Kind of lovin' this page.  I'm all about the red, white & blue.
Some close-ups...

Love the 4th of July!

Sunday, July 10, 2016


I've been doing little sketches in my 5 x 7 sketchbook.  For the first one, it was one of those days where the sky just kept getting darker...and then the heavens opened for some much needed rain. It was so oppressive that day...the air was heavy.  I didn't know how to capture that...but I still like my sketch.
Stormy Weather

The Bethel Cinema
I took some artistic license with this sketch.  I drew it prior to catching a matinee recently while sitting in my car.  I drew the theater and took photos so that I could paint it when I got home.  The tall sign piece on the right, actually is up by the road, to let you know what's in the shopping center.  I thought it added enough interest to include.  If I were to paint this sketch the way the building would have been entirely beige.  There are really no interesting architectural features to this place, so, at the suggestion of my artsy sister,  I added purple to the glass and orange to the roof and the pops of greenery to give it some kind of color.  If they were to paint the brick façade on this shopping would give it some zip!  That's my favorite theater to go to as they show great films.  And the last sketch I did today....

It's The Berries
I have a mini red colander that I put my blueberries in.  So...prior to eating them...sketch!  The berries outside the colander show today's date.  And I splattered it with some of the blue paint...blueberries can be messy!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Making Me Crazy!

This painting of Gloria Vanderbilt has made me crazy!  I've made some slight changes...changed her jaw slightly, her nose is better and I worked on her teeth.  Still not quite Gloria, but improved, I think.

More sketching I've done this weekend:


My Garden Blooms

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Gloria Vanderbilt

Art Journal
The Rainbows Come and Go
Watercolor, acrylics, ink, water soluble crayons

I've been doing a lot in my sketchbook, and haven't done anything in my art journal recently.  So today was the day.  I recently saw the documentary that Gloria Vanderbilt and her son, Anderson Cooper did called "The Rainbows Come and Go".  I also read their book and those are the inspiration for my journal pages today.  I haven't quite captured Gloria....her eyes don't look like that and, while she has a big smile...this isn't quite her smile.  However, I hope that between the hairdo and the big smile....she looks a little bit like Gloria.  I had fun doing the pages nonetheless.
In progress..

I think to look more like Gloria, maybe her top teeth should be shorter, her cheeks higher, mouth wider...neck longer.  Not sure about her eyes.  Perhaps I'll try her again sometime!


Kousa Dogwood

The Gilded Nest
a store in Georgetown

The Early Bird
Coffee Shop

Buckets of Fun

Sketch from photo
Christ Church
Trying to catch up on posting.  Just been too busy creating.  Enjoying the process and learning as I go. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Reading

Sitting on my deck for awhile today....

Water colors and Ink
In my Sketchbook
I know this is a strange angle....looks like I'm "morphing" into the chair!  Maybe I was...the drawing is a bit distorted, however, it gets the point across.  Being that I was the person I was sketching, I couldn't distance myself to get a good perspective and I couldn't include hands or arms...because I was using them.   My favorite part of the drawing is from the book to the shoes.  All in all....I like it a lot.  I'm putting things in my sketchbook that would never have occurred to me to draw and paint and put in my art journals.  I'm S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G myself to sketch!


Monday, June 20, 2016

Love Me Love My Dog

Ink and Watercolor
Love Me Love My Dog

I am loving sketching.  I feel like everything I look at now....I picture as a possible sketch!  It's crazy...and it's fun.  You don't have to be perfect because you're capturing just a piece of what you're looking at.  How divine and stress free.  I was watching a video on sketching (yeah) and I looked up and saw Boomer snoozing on the couch....he just looked so sweet....had to be in the sketchbook.  In the early part of sketching him...he changed position!  I had to did those paws look exactly...especially the one closest to his face....In the end it all came out.  (I see I forgot to finish his nose!) 
Here is a sketch I did this morning...

The Early Bird Cafe

I went out for breakfast this morning and sketched The Early Bird Café when I got home.  This was more difficult than sketching Boomer...there were reflections in the glass, perspective and all of those chairs and table legs to make sense of....which I didn't really, but I'll keep practicing 'til I get the technique down.  The great thing about makes me want to draw, and drawing can help my paintings whether in my art journals or on a canvas.  So much fun.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Art Journal
Mixed Media
Feelin' Fishy
In the home stretch in this journal, so I've been going through it and tweaking things here and there.  The above page had some stencil paint remnant on it.  I took a different stencil, the one I call fish scales, and added spray ink to the page.  Shades of favorite.  I then took a piece of "delicious" paper, aka deli paper, that my sister and I probably created on a vacation a couple of years ago using the Gelli plate.  I have a nice stash of papers from that time...but I could always use more.  I cut fish shapes out of it.  The paper has wonderful colors and lots of metallic paint and it's semi-transparent.  The fish came out great.  The crab is a Maryland Blue Crab (is there any other kind???) and it was in my stash.  I carefully cut it out and added some paint to it.  So that's another page done...and I like it...
Here's another fish page I did today...I'm into fish...what can I say?

Water soluble crayons
Water Colors - Ink
Weathervane Fish
Back during Memorial Day, I had painted a beach house scene and posted it here and the page opposite that was blank.  Today I painted this weathervane fish.  My mind is actually spinning with some kind of fish painting in mind...whether on watercolor paper or canvas...I just don't know yet.  Fish are a great subject that come in myriads of color....endless options...maybe too many, which is why I'm still pondering the fish...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

There's Always A Song In My Heart

Art Journal
Mixed Media
"There's Always A Song In My Heart"
I'm coming close to finishing this art journal.  I don't always totally finish is what it looks like...

I love all of the colors you can see when it's standing like this.  What amazes me most about it, is how heavy it is, and that's due to all of the materials glued and painted and pasted on the pages.  The gesso alone is responsible for a lot of it!  This is a Dylusions large journal and the first time I've worked in a journal of this size which I think is about 9 x 11. 

Some of the materials I've used here: stencils, ink, rubber stamps, collage materials and Lindy's Stamp Gang powdered paint from her Hawaiian Islands collection with colors named Aloha Avocado and Magical Mai Tai and Plumeria Pink.....You just mix the powder with water and the colors are beautiful.  This page has a lot of pink which isn't generally one of my colors...The brightest pink is an ink pink it almost hurts my back molars!  Sweet!
When I first sat down to do this page, my intention was to do a paper mosaic, but things kind of went in another direction.  The one thing I didn't change, is the theme...There's Always A Song In My Heart.  I love music, all kinds of music and it is often a song that will inspire a journal page. 
My Re-Imagine Journal is almost complete!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Graveyard Sketch

Christ Church Parish Graveyard
In the sketchbook

After I sketched my garden shed, I took a drive over to my church to see what I might sketch in the graveyard.  The graves are very old, from the Revolutionary War, and many are broken or you can  no longer read the engravings.  It's a very interesting place. I chose the stone above because I could still read the words had an American flag on it to indicate that a veteran was buried there.  I took photos while I was there as there is potential for more sketches but I might just pay another visit.  There's nothing like natural light.  The two locations I chose to sketch driveway and the graveyard...there were no people around.  I'm trying to gain confidence so that I can sketch in a public place where there are people around and not feel self-conscious.  Haven't tried that yet....I'm a work in progress!

The Garden Shed - in the sketchbook

The Garden Shed

It was a gorgeous day here yesterday, so I plunked myself down in my driveway and decided to sketch the garden shed.  Not the first time I've painted it, but this is in keeping with "sketching" vs doing a painting.   Working in pen, I sketched going from left to right, trying to keep in mind the perspective.  I wasn't going to include the house on the right which is my neighbor's.  I actually didn't think I  would be able to place it correctly, but because it's a sketch...the vagueness of the drawing works and the house is in the distance.  There are so many different "greens"...from the pachysandra to the grass to the holly to all of the woodsy stuff in the background.  I draw it all with a vague sense of noting that there is a green "something" growing here and there.  The trees in the back become a wash of green with some pen strokes.  But you don't want them to look like they're lined up behind the shed.  I probably have more detail here than necessary for a sketch, but you can go as far as you want with it.  What I love is getting lost in the moment of the creation of the drawing and actually hate when it's done!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I Don't Follow Directions.....

Art Journal
"I Don't Follow Directions"
Acrylics, Stencils, Mask
I could have titled this page...."I just don't listen".  That's kind of the way I fly.  It's the way I'm wired.  Sometimes the learning process just takes too long.  I want to know how to do things RIGHT NOW.  I'm certainly not a millennial, but I do like instant gratification.  I think this silhouette looks like that of an independent person.  I started painting a background, first used my fingers to smoosh color around the page.  Then I started using some stencils and spray acrylics. 

I had thought about leaving this as is....just a colorful painted page.  But not.  I decided to add a figure.  I took a piece of cardstock and cut a shape and then I took black paint and using a small sponge, wiped the paint around the mask.  That was scary....I could have ruined the above page!.   But not.

One more close-up before the mask.  I decided to glue the mask to the opposite page, where I had wiped all of my excess paint. 

Just listen to your heart and you won't need direction(s)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Yesterday's Lunch
Tuna Salad, Tomatoes and Grapes
on a glass plate
In my sketchbook
5 x 7
Working directly with a erasing, I see the errors of my ways.  I learned from my sister, that when include every line so to speak, around the perimeter of the drawing.  In other words, I shouldn't have drawn the entire circle (plate) without including that one grape hanging over the plate at the top.  So, unfortunately, it has a line through it.  Secondly, because I wasn't drawing "live" from the plate, but used a photo of the lunch...when I finished the drawing, I realized that I didn't have the entire fork....and that's because it wasn't in the photo!  The drawing looked funny with the fork cut off.   So I cheated a bit and added a longer fork after I had written the words on the page.  It worked OK. The fork looks like its seen better days!  I did not include the dark wood of the table underneath the glass plate...not sure how that would have turned out. 
The food do you paint tuna salad??  Below is a can't see my mistakes here!  Next time I should sketch the lunch before I eat it....note to self. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

GINKO...a memory

Art Journal
Ginko...A memory
Water color, Acrylics, Ink, Stencil

Haven't done what I call a "true" journal page recently, but I consider this page one.  I did enjoy creating it.

The opposite page is just...what it is.