Saturday, May 28, 2016

Flowers from Tom

Art Journal
Pen and Ink
Flowers from Tom
Left hand pages is scrapbook paper

This is my 2nd floral sketch today.  Tom sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I am happy enough with the sketch and have decided not to add color to it.  Instead, I've attached information from the florist which has a pretty water color pattern on it.  I used my sewing machine to stitch the card on to the page ...that was a challenge as this journal is cumbersome and I'm not adept on the machine!  I used washi tape to attach the art to the journal page. (the corners)

  I didn't want to glue the card on top of the drawing and thus lose some of it so this way you can lift the card and look at the rest of the drawing underneath.  

When you open the card, it has Tom's message.  And below is the bouquet itself.

Tori's Gift

Water color and ink

This is a sketch of a birthday gift I received this week from my young, former colleague at work...a beautiful Gerbera daisy.  I started a book just for sketches this morning and selected her flower as my first entry.  Below is the ink sketch I started with....

and then I went over it with my water color pencils...
and this is the photo of the original flowers!
Now I'll always have Tori's gift, saved in my sketchbook!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

Art Journal
Water colors and pen
By The Sea

Memorial Day Weekend kicks off tomorrow.  To me, this is one of the most important holidays on our calendar.  I have to say, I always feel odd saying to someone..."have a Happy Memorial Day"...what is really happy about Memorial Day?  Yes, it's what we think of as the start of the summer season...but it's really about those who have served our country...those who died serving our country.  God bless them.  
My art incorporates the beginning of the season...and pays homage to those who have served.  
A closer look...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Playing with Colors...more

Art Journal
Water colors
This is the page opposite the one I posted yesterday, studying colors.  Plates are from Pottery Barn catalog.  I love these me, art has to have color.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Playing with Colors

Art Journal
Water soluble crayons, water colors, pen

I'm not inspired by any particular "thing" today, not feeling the frenzy of a thought that I have to get in my journal.  So I pulled out a couple of pages I tore out of a Pottery Barn catalog as well as House Beautiful to play with color.  I only went with colors from the left photo for this exercise.

I started with my crayons and put down shapes on the page

Looks like my kindergarten self coming to life.  I say to myself, there's no pressure here because I'm not trying to replicate a face or animal, etc. (Seriously, I'm always thinking about how something is going to turn out, but I shouldn't...this is a journal)!

Once I start moving the crayon around with water, the colors to me become luscious.  At this point, I also added some water colors to the background.  I suppose I could have ended it here.  But as you see in the top photo, I started using my black pen and my Bic white pen.  
I will say that doing this meditative.  It's quiet time.  I think a lot as I'm going through the motions.   I might not be done with this page.....I see more opportunity for adding color.  I knew a woman once who was a rug hooker and she was quite good at hooking and even dyed some of her own wool.  Unfortunately, she didn't have a really great sense of color.  I would look at her work and think about how much time it took to create it...but only if the color choices were just a bit better.  The important thing was her work and she got such pleasure from it.  What we see in magazines and catalogs is not random...a lot of thought goes into the colors that have been chosen.  I know I can learn (continue to learn) a lot from studying them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Room Service

Pen and Water Soluble Crayons
In Boston last weekend for my son's graduation from grad school, I had a yummy breakfast in my hotel room.  This art is in a 4 x 6 journal that has craft paper pages.  Craft paper isn't the best for wet media, but I didn't need to use that much water with the crayons.  I love the "sketch" look of art and it's something I'd like to continue working on.  I did a couple of more quick drawings....
The Fairmont at Copley Plaza
This could use a few more tweaks....practice, practice, practice!

Another quick sketch, the focus is the street sign where Tom lives.  We walked for two hours around Boston and had a great visit.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Art Journal
This is the time of year when many graduations are taking place.  Tomorrow, I'm headed to Boston for my son's graduation from grad school.  This particular page in my art journal takes me way back to my high school days, back in the '60's.  High important time in our lives.  The Beatles were going strong and I love their song...."In My Life".  The art above takes me back to a neighborhood I lived in back then.  That's me with my little black poodle, Sachet.  I'm not going to go into the details of the importance of that time or that place....suffice to say I have wonderful memories.  When I was writing the lyrics to the song on this page, and had almost completed the page....I realized I had left a line out and had to paint over all of the words and start over.  The words are important, so I couldn't let it go.  I had to fix it.  If only all of life's issues could be fixed so easily.  Memories...scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind...aah....but that's a different song, isn't it.....?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

It's All About the Hat

It's All About The Hat
 Inspired by Gloria Vanderbilt
Watercolors and watercolor crayons
I watched the wonderful documentary on CNN last night, " Nothing Left Unsaid" which was co-authored by Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.  It was so well done.  One of the things they featured in their story, was Gloria's art.  Well, I knew she was an artist and overall creative person, but I never really looked that closely at what she's done.  I just never paid that much attention...until now.  For someone who has had a very complicated (and interesting) life, her art is very light and whimsical.  I loved it.  So the picture I did above was done on a piece of scrap watercolor paper that I had been using to wipe my brush when I kept changing colors.  Today, I added more colors until I had filled the paper.  I kept turning it this way and that, trying to decide what to do with it...could I make it into something...and all of the colors made me think of a garden party a woman back in Gloria's mother's day might have gone to and worn a big, flowery hat with lots of spring colors.  
A closer look....
I pulled the face out of the background.  She was there.  She's not smiling...more pensive.  Life isn't a garden party after all....

Friday, April 29, 2016

Goats in the Garden

Art Journal
Mixed Media
I couldn't think of what else to call this, but Goats in the Garden.  Originally, I was going to do cows.  I used various papers... some are painted deli paper (for the background); the goat body on the left is from a magazine and the one on the right is just a special little piece of paper I had.  The goat on the left looks like it just consumed the veggies in the garden and the other goat looks dressed up for ...what?
You may not see the connection, but I was inspired to do the page above after doing this page yesterday...
This page is also mixed media, focusing on the color orange.  The orange block on the bottom left with the white blossoms made me think of a cows body which is why I segued to the art posted at the top with two goats.  Makes perfect sense!  Not.  I was experimenting with the body of an animal not having it look like a traditional body.  My art lesson to me today.   Think like a kid.  Think outside the box. Or goat body.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

By The Light of the Silvery Moon

Art Journal
Watercolors, pen, rubber stamp, stencil

This page in my journal had some "leftover" stuff on it,  i.e., some paint that was leftover on a couple of stencils that I just "smudged" there; some textured gesso.  I kept going back to this page to try and figure out if there was something there that I could pull out of the page.  I'm sorry I didn't take a photo before I started so you could see what I'm talking about.  I kept looking at the black diamond stencil smudge and ultimately decided that was going to be a floor....a dance floor.  My art today was going to be something about Havana....and this is where I ended up...not Havana....although it could just have to listen hard and see if you hear that great Latin rhythm!  

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Mini Journal
A Cure for the Common Cold

This morning I did these pages in the mini can see what's on my mind!  My gosh darn cold is driving me crazy.  I used the Waterlogue app on my iPhone to capture the box of Kleenex.  I debated sketching it, but the app is so cool...

I cropped it to fit

and added some text re the word sneeze. 
Easy peasy and you know where I'm at today!

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Mini Art Journal
2-1/2 x 3-1/2 
Another Bright Idea
Smaller version of Composition notebook
I posted about yesterday
Okay...I never thought I would enjoy working in a journal this small or one with ruled paper!  Guess what?  I am having more fun with this journal.  I did several pages in it today as well as the front and the back cover.
The front cover has a Gelli-art deli paper print as the background.  The title of the book I cut out of my ever favorite source of collage stuff...the Pottery Barn catalog.  I also included a photo I had of a window in my art room.  And the words Art Gallery are also from the Pottery Barn.  Here is some of the inside...
Gelli-art printed on sheet music
with rubber stamp and bird stamp
Under the Yum Yum Tree

The Red Shoes

The Back Inside Cover
Envelope pocket
Diane and Kathy's business card inside
Feather stencil

So these are just a few of the pages I have done in the mini journal. The wonderful thing about a mini journal...I feel like I'm accomplishing something.  Another perk...I love the way it feels in my hand.  Paper lovers know what I'm talking about.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Art Journal
Using a College Ruled Composition Book

This morning I took advantage of an art journal class in a neighboring town's library.  Love that I can do these things now that I'm retired!  As it turns out,  Kathy and Diane, the class organizers, both live within walking distance of my house. They brought all of the fun stuff to create...and when you're doing art journaling, that can be a lot. Above is what I came up with.  I tore images out of magazines, used a paper doily, some tissue paper and a bit of text... the hand was a nice find since I'm left handed!  This page is really in my "wheelhouse" so to speak,  because I love reds, blues and yellows.  

"On life's journey, attitude is everything." 

Part of the fun of doing a class like this, is the creative energy you take home with you.  For the class, we also received a mini version of the composition book and I have already done about 10 pages in that.  (I haven't taken photos of that).   It's so much fun!  Maybe a small book like that is less see results fast and the ideas just keep on coming.  Great class, great fun....great day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Altered Book Journal

Altered Book
I decided to get another journal going and haven't worked in a regular book in awhile.  I'm altering a book that is titled, Roads of the Heart, by Christopher Tilghman.  I picked it up at our annual book fair last summer.  It's smaller than what I've been working in.  Loved the titled...perhaps that's why I bought it.  I only hope that the binding holds looks like it's stitched, but hmmm....not sure.  I started with the right hand page.  The author has a quote there..."All the true fragments are here."  That became my inspiration for the page.  I took a magazine photo of a woman's face and did an image transfer on watercolor paper and glued it in.  It looks like fragments....I also used my metallic watercolor pencils and some water soluble crayons for the background.  A close-up of her face...

I used some gelli prints on deli paper opposite her.  I added the word embark.

A simple couple of pages.  No theme here, I'll just go with the flow

My Homage to David Beck

Art Journal
Mixed Media
My Homage to David Beck
My previous post told you how inspired I was about the documentary of artist extraordinaire, David Beck.  Yesterday, I did the pencil sketch of him and I printed a copy of it.  I was going to go over it in ink, but I decided to stick with it the way it was.  He loves dodo birds, so I included one on the page.
On the right-hand page, I printed a doorway I found on Pinterest and cut it down the middle so that the doors would open.
When you open the doors, you see two pieces of his work.  The whimsical fish and a larger piece that is exquisite with many doors and places that open.  He is a master of this and I included rubber stamps of keys, keyholes.  And that's a photo of him in his studio on the left.  Below is a close-up of the left-side page.  He is also a musician...thus the musical notes here and there.

This was one of those mornings where inspiration took me by storm.  My favorite kind of journaling.  I wish it happened every time!

Keep an eye out for his will be on PBS in the fall.  Thank you, David Beck....

Monday, April 11, 2016

Creative Genius, David Beck

Documentary Film is a must see
We have a terrific library in the town where I live, and yesterday I went to see a documentary film about the artist, David Beck.  His creative genius blew me away.  I really can't stop thinking about it because he is one of a kind.  There is no one who does what he does on the planet.  There's not even a book on him to buy and yet his work is in the Smithsonian.  He is a workaholic artist.  If you have a chance to see this have to go.  I understand it will be on PBS in the fall and I look forward to that.  
So meanwhile, today, I was attempting to draw a pencil sketch of him because I want to capture the feeling of what I saw yesterday in my journal.  It's a beginning...
and here is the photo...
My face is a bit too long and I'm having trouble with the right side.  OK, it needs work. Don't know whether to just go with it, or start a new sketch.  What I'm most interested in capturing, is that tiny little bit of a smile.  He's looking down, so you can't see his eyes hardly at all, but I can see in this photo of him....that sense of humor coming out in his face...which is evident in his art. He is truly gifted.  I don't quite have the vision of the journal pages yet, but I did think that including a sketch of him should be part of it.