Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Ostara!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Some things that are inspiring me right

As I develop my painting skills, I continue to be inspired by many artists and books.

Right now I am reading The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp - I am so inspired and motivated by her approach to developing creativity and to producing works of art. She writes that you must first hone and re-hone your skills so that when that lucky break comes along, you are ready to take it. She feels that creating a routine - a ritual if you will - is vital to improving and excelling in your chosen field of endeavor, be it painting, writing, dance, or business. Once you have the skills for creating in your craft, you can use them to express your ideas in a coherent and artistic way to which others can relate, learn from, and enjoy.  I can't recommend this book enough to anyone who is striving to be an artist or writer, or to anyone stuck in a rut in their chosen field.

In addition, I am inspired by Brenda Swanson's blog - yesterday she had a great post on making swatch cards in which you can identify which watercolor paints are transparent, opaque, or semi-opaque. It seems so many people continually ask instructors in workshops how to know which paints are which. I cut out 2 inch squares of watercolor paper, marked them with a black Sharpie line, and this afternoon will paint on them and label them. Then into a notebook so I can always reference them.

Another blog that I truly enjoy is Terri Windling's The Drawing Board - I think I have mentioned her blog before but I can't tell you how much I enjoy her blog every morning (as well as that of Amanda Soule's Soulemama.

Just a few happy ramblings today - thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another voyage to Artica

Playing with paints again
in my Wednesday group last week
and using a fun technique in which you paint on the paper and then layer on a coffee filter
You then paint between the pleats and leave it there for a while to soak in (you can leave it until it dries if you want) 
Pull up the filters and then do some more subtle very wet painting
I let it dry as I went home
and after lunch I wet the paper again and used more paint and actual leftover coffee to tint the paper
I then stamped a bit on it and then finally scrubbed some of the lines off
I really love the textured shapes created by the coffee filters

Are you having fun today?
thanks for reading,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I remember fun times on St Patrick's Day when I lived in Denver.
I worked near a bar with an Irish name so on SP day, we would go over there for lunch -
 Irish stew,
green beer, and schnapps!
Hope your day is filled with fun!

Friday, March 16, 2012

March - right now

 Right now
I am eating lots of strawberries (we are just past the height of Florida strawberry season)
 Bringing in the last of the azaleas to decorate my table (don't you love the Arizona tea bottle as a vase?)
And thinking and dreaming about what to make with all of these fabulous yarns and flosses -
I bought the big divided tray for 25 cents at a thrift store
and all of the yarn for $5
I am particularly enamored with the Caron Watercolours floss in the middle
Handpainted pima cotton and the colour is Caramel - so yummy
And you can't tell it from the photo but there are some silk flosses mixed in with the white, creams, and blues
Not included in the photos is a linen sleeveless blouse that I got for $2
It is an unbelievably subtle stripe of variegated blues on creamy white -
and since you know I love blue from many of my recent posts,
you know that I just couldn't resist it!
I can hardly wait till it's warm enough to wear.

Ah - the colors of Spring!
Hoping your day is filled with your favorite colors!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just can't get enough blue and yellow

A little bit of fun painting with my Wednesday Experimental Painting Group
I began by lightly sketching in some flower shapes
then took a palette knife and scrubbed some Cad yellow, Pthalo Blue, Sap Green, and a grayish mixture
as flower centers
Then I wet most of the paper leaving the whites for the petals
Lots of pthalo blue, sap green, and gray
Finally I used a clean wet brush to spread a bit of the paint onto the petals
and used a folded up paper towel to carve leaves into the background

What are you creating today?
Whatever it is, have fun!

Friday, March 9, 2012


What is it about doors that always intrigues me?
Who lives behind that door?
Nothing fancy today -
Just some sketchbook pages
thanks for looking,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Study in Blue and Yellow

Tulips are in the grocery stores right now so I just had to buy a bunch and then paint them.
Tulips speak to me of Spring - their clear colors, the shortness of their time - quick, enjoy life while you can.

Hope your day is filled with sunshine and flowers!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Painting the blues

Phtalo blue - one of my favorite colors - but then again there's Ultamarine and Cerulean and Cobalt and Sky and Lapis Lazuli and ............
Just a bit of playing with an idea that I saw in a book that I bought at Chamblin's Book Mine in Jacksonville (did I mention my 2 day quickie trip up to Jax to attend the UNF alumni luncheon (I lived in Jacksonville for 10 years) and then do some serious book shopping at Chamblin's (a fabulous used book store on the Westside of Jacksonville). The book is Realistic Abstracts and is written by Kees van Aalst.

I'm really painting the blues right now!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Playdate!

I meet with some painter friends on Wednesday afternoons for a playdate
We play with paint
Some with acrylic
and Some (like me) with watercolor
You just never know where the play and the mischief will lead you

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Images of Venice

I'm taking a class at the Vero Beach Museum of Art entitled Images of Venice (teacher is the wonderful watercolorist Joel Johnson!) so I have been obsessed with images of canals, buildings, light and shadow, and boats.
This particular canal reflection scene was taken from one of Joel's photographs, and everyone in the class was required to paint it. I am not very happy with the dullness of the scene and plan to revisit this scene (once the class is over) with my own take on it - I have played with the photo in Photoshop and made it into a sunny day with lots bright brights and dark darks - should be fun!

The first painting in this post is one I did at home while taking this class. It is from one of my own photos, and Joel chuckled when I told him where I had taken the shot - in Epcot!
I painted this image of gondolas at rest from the cover of the Viking River Cruises catalog (changing it a bit here and there). I hope to go to Italy in the fall of 2013 (saving my pennies!!!!). I want to visit northern Italy, perhaps begin in Tuscany and move across to Venice - want to go with me?!

Hope your day is going well and filled with happy times,

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Shot in the Dark

"I think every work of art is an act of faith or we wouldn't bother to do it. It is a message in a bottle, a shot in the dark. It's saying, 'I'm here and I believe that you are somewhere, and you will answer if necessary across time, not necessarily in my lifetime.'"    ---Jeanette Winterson

The above painting is a bit of creative mischief - it began its life as an abstract of colors, shape, and lines - I began to view this piece as it grew as a map of my artistic journey, a journey in which "I shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time." (from "Little Giddings" by T.S.Eliot)

I haven't visited my blog for almost 2 months as I have been so busy painting, painting, painting, and quilting (a new lapquilt for Dan and a new tablerunner for our spring table (oh yes, it is azalea (spring) time in Florida), watching movies (so loved Midnight in Paris and The Artist), reading 18 books(fiction), trading books on The Paperback Book Swap, sketching, cooking, doing yoga, enjoying the beauty of the beach, taking a class in which we are painting the beauties of Venice (check back to see some of my works), volunteering at the Art Museum library and the Used Book Depot, and living life to the brim. What a joy it is to be Alive - my heart is full of gratitude for all the abundance that has been given to me.

If you live in or around Vero Beach, be sure to check out the Art Walk tonight, Friday, March 2. Sharon Sandel is showing her paintings (oil, acrylic, and watercolor) at the Tropic Frame Shop, and I know that all of the other galleries have some great pieces of art.

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow,