Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Reflection - He Climbed Higher

He Climbed Higher - The Journey
10 x 10 Canvas Board

It's been quite the weekend/week around here as my son was gathering his belongings to move to Boston.  So happy and excited for him with a twinge of "I miss him already."  

I did this painting with him in mind.  It is loaded with symbolism...obviously, that only I would I'll share with you.  This painting didn't start very well and I wondered at one point if it would amount to anything.  But I persevered.  

Here's the first step...

A little bit of midnight blue paint and my hand what?

Hmmmm.  Where am I going to go from here? 
 Nothing is  working for me yet....

I've altered the colors a bit and covered the background....

My idea is taking shape...I have a mountain, a curvy path, some water at the bottom and a ladder reaching up to the collaged moon.   This painting is about a journey.

At the very bottom of the painting, is a school of fish (you have to scroll back up and look at the finished painting).  While Tom loves to fish....this is a "school of fish" he's gone back to school.  He loves the water...he lived at the beach this summer.  Lots of stars...he is my star.  The curvy road...his certainly has been from college to Afghanistan, back to college, to Morocco, to the beach and Boston.  He's climbed mountains to get where he is...perhaps I should make that mountain higher....I still could...and the final part is the ladder up to the moon that says, "He climbed higher."  He has, and I couldn't be more proud...he's still climbing.  I can be as corny as I want to here....
That's plenty of reflection for this Sunday!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting My Mojo On!!

10 x 10 canvas board
Intuitive painting

This is how it started

I love how this small painting turned's the colors that do it for me.  I started by taking two shades of blue and some white paint and spread it on the canvas.  Then I took some paprika colored ink and dripped it on the canvas.I blotted with a paper towel that gave some nice texture.    I used my brush and added the round circle and the blue marks on the left side. I rotated the picture.  I added some yellow....

The image began to change

The ball became a flower and the colors at the top right became a house.
Red, blue and yellow are my favorite colors to work with.  I really like how this little painting turned out.  I didn't start out with a pre-conceived idea of what I was going to just evolved as I kept adding marks and colors... I'm working my way up to the larger canvas I bought.....

The thing about just have to start....and see where it takes you.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Reflection - Letting Go

Acrylics, water soluble crayons, water color pencils
pen, yarn

Where to start this post so it flows and makes you know how sometimes things occur that cause a "shift" in how you think about things?
I had a shift....maybe it's an awakening...since I discovered Tracy Verdugo's approach to art.  I am excited.  I've been reading her book which arrived in my mailbox this week.  It's about much more than art and I love it.  I would love to have a cup of coffee with her!  So I bought a canvas this week....yes, art outside of a book or journal....and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can create.  I have an artist friend who gave me her old easel that has been stored in her needs a little bit of TLC but once I take care of that....I'm used to working flat, but the easel is really the way to go when you're working on a larger piece.

I just finished reading a book call "Learning to Walk in the Dark" by Barbara Brown Taylor.  She's a NY Times best-selling author.  I'm mentioning this because it ties in with art for me...which is all about the dark and the light.  She says, "I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light"..... She writes, " I need darkness as much as I need light."  

Segue to Tracy Verdugo who says something very interesting: "a creative block is merely the darkness from which all light originates.  It is the crisis from which surrender emerges."    

I had a quiet moment yesterday afternoon, sitting on the floor in my attic.  I opened up a trunk that for a number of years when my son was young, I just kept putting his elementary school papers in. I haven't opened that trunk in probably 18 years!  I'm in the process of organizing the attic and getting rid of stuff and my son is getting ready to go to grad school.  I just loved sifting through his art work, compositions & poems, report cards, school photos. There were even all of the cards sent to us when he was born.  Life.  What to save and what to toss.  Some things were put back into the dark trunk.

 Dark to light.  Light to dark...                          

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Somewhere over the Rainbow -Tracy Verdugo

Tracy Verdugo....absolutely love her approach to art.....

Sunday, August 17, 2014


August - 50 Degrees at 7 AM

There is nothing that wows me about these two journal pages, but I don't like to add a post without some kind of photo....

I feel like I do more thinking about art than actually DOING the art.  I'm trying to find my "art groove".  I recently came across the art of Tracy Verdugo, an Australian artist, and she has a great YouTube video where she talks about intuitive painting and you get to see her approach to a canvas...which is absolutely fascinating.  Initially, I was attracted to her use of color but ultimately, it was how freely she paints.  

Sometimes, I think my early Catholic upbringing has infringed upon my "free creativity."  I get hung up on doing a "pretty page"...but why?  These are just art journals....isn't that where you should be playing with ideas?  But then the little voice in my head says...but other people see these...don't you want it to be a nice book of art???  Holy mackerel, I get stuck.  God forbid I put myself out there for criticism.  It didn't hold Madonna back....

I had a lot of surprising feedback on the boat painting (earlier post) that I did in my last paint & wine class... who knew!  Yes...I like my boat painting.  It tells me that I can paint something that looks like it's actually supposed to with correct shadows, etc.  Do I want to do more of that?  Maybe, but not all of the time.  I do learn something every time I go to the class, however, and all of that can be brought to the canvas/journal of whatever I want to do.  

So what do I want to do?????  I have the canvas ready and waiting....but my mind is like a ferris wheel...going round and round and waiting to get off...there's some imagery for you.  And not for nothing....I do appreciate my God-given talent.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Penny for your Thoughts

Art Journal
Acrylics, Collage, Stamping

These two pages in my journal were an exercise in layering colors.  I love circles..these aren't the first ones I've done on a journal page. Sometimes I think I'm just going around in circles!  It all started with a shiny, 2014 penny that the grocery clerk gave me with my change.  It was so shiny, I decided that it couldn't be just thrown in my wallet.  It is now glued to the outside of an envelope....

The envelope is attached to the page with washi tape and I put a tag in the envelope referencing where the penny came from and asking the question, "Is  this a lucky penny?"  What makes a penny lucky, anyway...that it will multiply a zillion times while you're sleeping?  Or that having it will change your luck?  I'm sure I've been handed a shiny 2014 penny in change on many occasions this year...but never paid any attention until this one...
Yesterday would have been my mother's 92 birthday, so on the back of the envelope I added a birthday message...I got the creativity gene from I guess I am very lucky already....

Sunday, August 3, 2014

She Walks On Clouds

Art Journal
Collage-Mixed Media-Gelli-Art

I was chatting with my sister on the phone this morning about our various art interests...she had emailed me about an article she had read by Elizabeth Gilbert...who says you should take 30 minutes out of every day to do whatever is creative for you....whether it's writing, or painting name it for you.  We all know what we should do...the question is, how often do we do it!
So after we hung up....and still feeling the creative juices going after taking the Paint and Wine class last night...I started to look through some of my papers.  
I came across the bold, black graphic on the right hand page in my napkin stash...that was the start  Then came the pink paint...finger painted...don't underestimate finger painting!  You can get nice techniques, especially doing a background.  The "wing" of what became the angel, I cut from a scrap of floral wrapping paper. I didn't know I was going to do an angel initially, but the more I looked at the wrapping paper...that one little piece looked like a wing to me.  I then went through some of my Gelli-Art prints and found the paper that became the angel's robe...pinks and metallic was perfect.
A close up of some of the robe and the loops of gold I added with a pen..

Close up of the napkin and quote.

My Paint & Wine Class

Acrylics on Canvas
Finally, back to my monthly paint & wine class....!  The painting chosen by our instructor, Susan Jackson, was this boat scene.  The original version is by a Dutch artist, Ria Hills.  There were about 20 of us in the class last night and how great it was to see everyone's version of the painting.  When you see someone who has never held a paint brush....and what they take home at the end of the class... and how excited they priceless!  I think next month we're tackling a Gauguin.....y'all come!