Monday, October 5, 2015

Pam Garrison Download

Pam Garrison, Artist
Faber Castell Pens
Printed on Card Stock

I have done absolutely no art since my last posting.  I have such a love/hate relationship with this time of year.  My weekends are filled with to-do lists.  I can't be creative unless I have enough time to "get in the zone".  
So I was searching some of my favorite art blogs and came across this download from Pam Garrison.  How nice that she provided this!  Not only did I download it, but I sent it on to a couple of other people who I thought might enjoy it.  Pam has such a wonderful, light, doodling, creative kind of art so I sat down this weekend and colored it with my Faber Castell pens.  You might say....I love color!  I also love the saying she chose.  I can look at this every day and be reminded that each and every day can be good if I choose it to be.  I choose it.  This is a no-brainer!  Thank you, Pam Garrison.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Training The Eyes to See

Art Journal
Mixed Media

On the left is the inspiration photo
On the right is my interpretation
I love this photo.  There was a series of photos in the magazine I took this from.  Some had several young women in the hats...they were all wonderful so it was hard to choose which one was going to be my inspiration.  More than the face on this one....I was intrigued as to how the dress would come out in the end.  And I decided to just leave the background with the texture from the papers I had glued and gessoed and not add any color or even the item she's leaning against to the page.  I debated adding some shadows...but again, decided that I was done.  I like her the way she is. I guess that's when you know your painting is finished!

I added some papers to the page

Added white paint that I spread all over the paper

A close up of her skirt

and, alas, her face

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Front Cover
Ink Sprays, Stencils, Pen
My Recycled Art for the Letters

I decided it was time to do something with my art journal cover.  The "grocery store brown bag" color was boring.  So I got out my ink sprays, sequin waste, pens, and even a prrint of some of my previous art.  I decided that art would make very colorful letters for the name of this journal, RE-IMAGINE.  

When i started this journal earlier this year, the very first page in the book...has the word re-imagine in my art.  What is art if it isn't something re-imagined???
It's what the artist feels and sees.  Below is that first page in the journal which I posted earlier this year....

You can see the word re-imagine more than once on this page.  Is re-imagine all about the "woulda, coulda, shoulda's" in life?  Does  re-imagining give you that do-over opportunity?  Or is re-imagining taking something that's already great and ....turning it into something even more wonderful?  I love the word re-imagine.  It conjures up all kinds of thoughts.  I keep revisiting it as I go through the completed pages of this journal and think about that have lots of pages yet to fill.  Letting my imagination...or re-imagination take flight.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Documented Life Project

A Face Altered from a Magazine
My art today in my journal is a face I chose from a magazine to alter.  You can sort of see the outline of the magazine page.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the original picture.  She had blue eyes and looked straight at you.  I gave her some rather voluptuous lips, extended  her clothing and collaged a little bird and flowers to her hair.  I would have fixed the distance between her nose and the top of her lips, but I didn't.   Using a magazine photo is a great way to practice a face...  a closer shot...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Challenged by Flowers

3.5 x 5

At my sister's prodding, I've started a small journal to practice drawing flowers.
She's doing the same with faces.  I have a love/hate relationship with flowers.  I've seen so many wonderful paintings of flowers might not even be able to identify what flower it is...but nevertheless, you know it's a flower.  I don't really want to paint realistic flowers....just impressions.  It's not that simple.  Sometimes, they look like blobs.  I bought this little book to practice  different mediums, different flowers.  I need to loosen up!

Here are two more....the one on the left is done with watercolor pencils and the one  on the right....I just drizzled ink straight from the dropper.  I actually like it better than the stylized flower on the left.
These are coneflowers, painted with acrylics.  There was a photo of these on the  cover of the Home section of our weekly newspaper this week so I tried to copy them.

And with these two pages, I made a copy of one of my journal pages and cut it up to create these two pages....which I kind of like.  Is this cheating?

I'm going to continue this exercise of trying to paint a flower(s) almost everyday.  It's a nice little exercise and being that's it's on 3.5 x 5 in. pages, it's do-able.  I want to do paintings with flowers...I have to get over my fear of them!

Saturday, August 8, 2015


for a prayer book
Rosin paper, oil pastels, acrylic gold paint
Lots of elbow grease

Several years ago, my sister and I attended an art workshop hosted by Lynn Perrella. She taught us this interesting technique where you take rosin paper (it's the paper that roofers use) and you spread a thick coat of gesso on it.  While it is still wet, you take your texture tools--bubble wrap, combs, stencils, sponge, paper towel, ...anything that will make an imprint in the gesso. Once you've added the imprints, you let it dry.  This could take awhile due to the thick coat of gesso.  We used Portfolio oil pastels to add the color.  Lynn swore by this product because it is inexpensive and they work well.  You take the crayons and cover all of the gesso...overlapping colors and such.  Use lots!  Then comes the workout...take a clean rag and start blending the colors.  Go over it and over it and over it until you get a look that you like. You can rub it to the point where you see white ridges from your imprints and that looks really nice.  I even sprayed ink with a stencil.  I wasn't sure that would work on top of the oil pastel, but it did.  (Chemistry was not my best subject in school and when you start mixing different's kind of like a chemistry experiment)!

Then you can add rubber stamps, collage materials...anything you want to it. The back of this book cover is a little different from the front. 

 The front I kept fairly simple.  I used a tree-of-life stencil which is barely noticeable in the background.  And I added gold paint to make a cross embedded in the tree.

This book cover I made for a pamphlet-sized prayer book we use in the summer at our church.  For whatever reason ( I don't know) these booklets don't have covers so I made one to give to our Rector for her copy.  Here's the inside....

I used a sheet of scrapbook paper inside.  After you rub the oil pastels into the rosin paper, it no longer feels like almost feels like leather.  It's an amazing product.  The one thing I did make sure our Rector doesn't end up with any blue I sealed it with some matte decoupage.  I loved making this book cover...and I have a huge roll of this paper.  Fun to play with...I highly recommend it.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Ink, paint, collage
Working in my art journal is like having a tangible "Pinterest"'s a place where I can practice and store ideas, just whatever is whirling in my head at the moment.  I love that photograph that I got from a magazine on the left-hand page, but I decided I didn't want to really paint it.  I like looking at it.  And then the lyrics to this song came into my head..."The Windmills of Your Mind".  Such poetry and imagery.  It's a beautiful would the words translate into a painting?  "Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning as an ever spinning reel".....and that's only the beginning of the imagery in the words of this song.  So I sat down yesterday and wrote the words down, going around in a circle.  The song was written by Dusty Springfield...if you're old enough to remember her...and it's a song I don't want to forget...."As the images unwind, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind..."

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Watercolor Pencils

Practicing some sketching today.  This is another page created from a magazine photo inspiration...

This page was a challenge...the hardest part are the straps on each of these shoes.  Having the inspiration photo...I can't recommend this enough.  I find it's training my eyes to really look at the shadows, angles, negative space, etc. etc.
I sketched them first, and then used my watercolor pencils and, lastly, a paint brush to go over all of the colored pencil work.  The paper in this book is not for watercolor and I did not gesso it...not sure why.  It might have been better if I had put the gesso down first.  All in all, happy with the results.  
A close-up of one of the shoes... Just have to keep practicing my art.  Before you recycle your magazines, see if there are some photos that speak to you and give them a try in your journal.  

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blue and more BLUE!!!!

Another great find on my trip
to Barnes & Noble today
I love going to bookstores.  I didn't really have anything in mind today....I just wanted to wander and look and touch....after all...the feel of different papers is really sublime.  At least to me it is.  
Before I left the house, I sat out on my deck reading the latest issue of House Beautiful that had just arrived.  The July issue.  Sometimes, I find the designs too modern and cold for my taste;  this issue I loved.  The first house featured is a charming home in Charleston, SC.  Then there's a studio apt in Manhattan (525 sq. ft....for some that's a nice closet).  The resident is a 27 yr old male designer.  I would just like to know how a guy that young could already have acquired what he has and I can only think that he is an "old soul".
There are other sweet designs in the magazine which I won't go into detail on here.  One thing I do often wonder, however, is when they give you the sources for the fabrics, lamps, whatever....they rarely tell you "who painted that amazing painting that hangs over the sofa!"  Why is that!  
Another thing...I love seeing books stacked here and there in these designs.  I have books stacked here and there in my living room and they are a true reflection of who I am and what I like.  When visiting someone's abode for the first time...don't you kind of like to look at the book jackets to see what they've collected?  One last note on the designs...I think that designers tend to put too many chotskies all over the place. Perhaps everyone inside the pages of House Beautiful has someone who dusts frequently.....otherwise that would make me crazy.
So the BLUE book above I spotted today and low and's from House Beautiful!  350 ways to decorate with blue!! Wonderful photographs inside.  The book is 5 x 7.  Sweet.  It's my 2nd "blue" book this year...the other I blogged about fairly recently...from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  While I'm on the subject of books whose title are just a word...I also have a RED book that I bought quite a few years ago.  It has no jacket, just the word RED embossed in the cover.  

It has an unusual assembly of photographs...people, art, fashion.  It says it was translated from the French.  So I have two BLUE books and one RED....I wonder if there's a YELLOW somewhere?  This new BLUE book I'll save for later this afternoon, sipping a glass of wine on my deck and enjoying this beautiful summer day....

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Art Journal
Acrylics with some glass bead gel

From an inspiration page from a magazine:

Love her beach look.  I adore stripes (have a Pinterest board by that name!)
Here she is early in the development:

I cropped the photos when they were in my iPhone and here they're not....not sure why, but maybe will figure it out later....At any rate....still having fun using an inspiration page and then putting my interpretation on the opposite page.
If I hadn't already glued the photo on the page, I probably would have done the hat across the two pages...making it even larger, and then just the top of her cleavage.  I do like the pop of red for her straps.  And I decided to use a deeper shade of blue-green behind her so that she would stand out more.   I really like doing these magazine inspiration pages in my journal.
Oh to be able to wear that suit!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Maryland is for CRABS.....

Art Journal
Memories of 4th of July
at the Delaware-MD shore....

It's not my usual red, white & blue that I would normally do today, but there is an essence of those colors here.  I recently acquired the crab napkin.  First I used my Gelli plate (the red-orange colors) and then I glued the crab on top.  I filled in around the edges with the blue and some yellow ochre.  And I stamped a couple of more crabs unto the page.  This page was a quickie, but I like it.
I haven't had those crabs for several years but they are the have to go there and eat them.  The Fenwick Crab House is the place we normally went for the's a messy job to eat them, but that's part of the experience.  And you need a cold pitcher of beer as the crabs have a lot of Chesapeake Bay Seasoning on them and that has a bit of a kick to it.  On your way back to your beach's a stop at the Dairy Queen for a chocolate dip vanilla cone.  It doesn't get any better than that....Happy 4th!

Mystele is so fun to watch.....

Saturday, June 27, 2015

She's Slightly Bohemian....

Art Journal

I'm back in my art journal today, and decided to try painting one of the magazine photos I had glued in the book.  For the most part, I had fun with her, but she became a bit "labor intensive" (the skirt) and I started to get a little impatient with it.  

Here they are side by side.  The one in the photo definitely has more of an "attitude" than my version.  The "come hither" look?

Here's how she looked in the early stages.....

And here's a close-up of her. No doubt about it, a journal is a great place to practice your art.....

Monday, May 25, 2015

HOME OF THE BRAVE - Memorial Day

A journal page from several years ago
in honor of all who have served
so that we can enjoy the freedom we have

Friday, May 22, 2015


 Iris Apfel  - Designer

I'm back in my art journal today.  I recently read an article in the New York Times about this very interesting designer (now 93).  Iris  is an "over the top" designer/fashion icon.  She is all about color if you've ever seen her NYC apartment featured in a magazine.  The jewelry alone that she wears must add 10 pounds to her weight.  So this was another exercise in my journal where I take a photo and glue it in the book and then do my interpretation on the opposite page....

The hardest part for me is always trying to do the eyes.  

This is how she looked earlier in the process....

And here you have a close-up. She's quite the character and I hope she wouldn't be offended by my interpretation of her.  Her face is such a caricature that I'm sure she's been done by many artists.  She was definitely a fun face to do.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

MOTHER'S DAY - The Girl with the Paint Brush

The Girl with the Paint Brush
24 x 30 canvas
Mixed Media
I've been working on this canvas for a couple of weeks now.  Had to paint it in my kitchen because I don't have an easel so I painted it leaning against shelves in a hutch that I have there.  I kept making trips back and forth from my art room to the ultimately, my kitchen was covered with paints and art know how that goes.  This is one of those paintings where you could keep adding a little something here and a little something a matter of fact, I came back from church this morning and I'm still dressed for church....I didn't even want to take the time to change into some "paint" clothes.  So far as I can tell, I haven't got paint on my skirt!

I'm going to show you a little bit of the progress of this painting...

I knew from the get-go that I wanted a checkerboard pattern in the painting.  I also knew that I wanted to have a female figure.  That is all I knew when I started to create this.  I drew the floor, sketched a female figure on another piece of paper and traced it onto the canvas and added  a simple table.  I hadn't intended, originally, for the girl to be painting the wall...I was going to have the figure standing in front of the wall looking out.  

I made up the flowers and I have a school of fish on the bottom.  After I had collaged the clothing onto the figure, the flowers are what I worked on next....just punches of color in lots of shapes.

A close-up of "the painter" as she works on her flower.  At one point, I had thought to put myself in as the painter, but in looking at the colors I was working with....I opted to give her red hair (not me!) to add more color.  However, I am a lefty, so I guess in my mind....there is a part of me here.
More detail.....

She has a little bird to keep her company as she paints.  The bird is probably thinking that the caterpiller might be a nice treat.  I added 3 to the painting and one is crawling on the floor.  I also added a couple of lady bugs.  

Doing this painting for me was like reading a good book....something I don't want to put down and in some ways, you don't want it to end....because now I have to think of my next idea.

I'm enjoying my Mother's Day.  Mom's put their families first for most of their lives, but I have to say, today is all about me (I have an empty nest)....having the time to do what I love to do.