Saturday, January 25, 2014

When life give you a lemon....

grab your sketchbook and draw them.           I found the Strathmore Toned Sketch paper pads at Michaels yesterday and bought one with tan pages, and one with grey.   I had been watching Aaron Bros to pick one up, but they still don't carry them.      May I stop here a  moment and grouse about our local Aaron Bros?     One clerk for the entire store.     12 customers waiting, wandering, wasting time while he works on a framing order.     Grrrr.....     Some of us put down the things we would have purchased and left the store.       I feel sort of compasionate towards the clerk, there is only so much he can do with one set of hands and eyes.     But, this happens so often at Aaron Bros, management is to blame.     Or the corporate level who determines staffing needs and budgets.       Grrrr......

Okay, I feel better now.  

Here are the lemons.    

The lemonade part of this post is that if Aaron Bros had been on their toes, they would have made more sales, but then I would not have gone to Michaels, and would not have found the new sketchbooks.     Sorry the color didn't show of the tan page.    Looks purple on my screen.        

The saga continues. The blue eyed cowboy.

Looking for a quick subject to paint, the fickle finger of fate pointed to the blue eyed cowboy I had drawn in my sketchbook.     
Late yesterday evening with poor lighting and tired eyes, here is what he turned into in a larger journal.
This morning I decided to try a new palette and use blue for shading instead of green.      So, I started all over again.

I'll probably attach this poor cowboy a few more times, because I like the sketch much better than the paintings.   Maybe they will get better.    LOL

Friday, January 24, 2014

Panic Attack

This morning I could not find my blog online.    The whole blogspot site was not working, and it gave me some moments of panic when I think how many years and how many posts I have here.      It really is my working diary/journal.   I'd be devastated if it ever just disappears.    

Step one of a new piece

Yesterday I sketched in the arches on some watercolor paper.   Today  I went back over it with heavier pencil and then a light coat of gesso scraped over it.      I'm still puzzling about what direction to go  next.    Collage, paint?   More drawing?     Time will tell.    

I've used these arches or similar ones in a previous work and just like the lofty feeling.     

Post cards galore

An art group is having a swap.   I needed to make 9 post cards.     I got on a roll though and ended up making 33 extra for other friends.   They are off in the mail now.      

Once you get into the rhythm of scraping paints with an old credit card, the colors do their things over the previously rubber stamped images.     All this started with a sale on some new rubber stamps from Michael's.   LOL     The last step was to stamp the three hears with embossing ink and using red embossing powder with a heat gun to set it.      This way it will also count as a Valentine card.   LOL     

Black. white gesso, plus Jenkin's green and red iron oxide

Hardly seems like enough colors to paint a portrait, but some how it works for me.    Here are two I just finished.    Quick studies from previous sketches.     It feels really good to be painting again.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

The color of the month is red

 The first red I selected for today is a brilliant crimson red amaryllis which resides in my garden.

Next is the little red owl that lives on top of the microwave.

Then there's a red trivet on the counter top. 

This lush rich textured pillow sits on the side arm of the couch.      I just love looking at it and the shadows and lines.       Red is beautiful.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oh Boy! Another challenge

This one is very doable.      Posted by my friend Diane on her blog, she is taking the challenge posted on this other blog.      
Those of us who are answering the challenge are supposed to photograph and post pics of anything Red in the month of January.  Each month the color will change.   I like red in the winter in particular.  Its warm.       I'll post  more pics later, right now I'm cooking dinner.      LOL

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Still sketching

Sketching is such a relaxing pastime.    These first two are in the big art journal I started for January.    

I did a self portrait this week, graphed it out to get the proportions right and eyes in line.       This is from a photo I took a week ago when I had a pink streak in my hair.      Thanks to Granddaughter Candis.        

While digging through family photos I came across a portrait done of me at the age of 17.     Senior Class Photo.       Thought I'd sketch it as well.       The photo had my mouth open with teeth showing.    I didn't like my clumsy attemt at drawing an open mouth, so I erased it and drew it closed.    Even though I had blocked it same as the one before, I didn't get the eyes right.   Maybe I should measure them   It looks a lot like my granddaughter.

Here are a couple of the artists portraits from their own self portrait paintings.  
 The first one is Giovanni de san Giovanni, 1616.
The last one is Hendrick Goltzius, 1600.   All were done with a common #2 pencil.      

Giving up the ghost

Recently I've had very good sales of my small keepsakes at the gallery and they have run out, so I needed to turn my attention to producing more inventory.  At first I was just using things from a previous art show that I didn't take part in.     Now, I had to start again.    A lucky find in my oh so cluttered studio made it easier.     I thought a box that was marked slide mailers was full of ones that had not been touched, but instead I found I had started a stack of them, then boxed them up unfinished.      So, I have set aside the 30 day painting challenge in order to restock the gallery.    I'm still fighting a cold and this is keeping me inside and warm.      Here are a few little keepsakes I've finished.   

The little wire wrap hearts are such fun, keeping my fingers busy.  They make delightful little gifts.

 I don't really feel bad about giving up on the 30 day painting challenge.      I paint better in the studio.     Sometimes I can paint in the solarium, but painting in the house does not feel right.      That zone we get into when we paint is something I didn't seem able to reach inside.   Perhaps there are too many distractions.   Whatever it is, when the studio is open for work again after a good spring clean up and toss out, I look forward to the painting days ahead.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another journal page

This is another  little drawing that I enlarged in my bigger journal.
I'm calling it painting as I am behind in "real" paintings.     

Another owl - sort of

For the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge I tackled a stylized owl.     I don't like it, but I'm committed to posting regardless.   Otherwise how can we track our own growth and skills.  

In the words of Ru Paul - Other peoples opinions of me is none of my business.    

Drawing faces in the journal

Here are some of the newer sketches in my faces journal.   I really like the variety of faces I'm finding to sketch.   
 These are all done with#2 pencils, or in some cases, a 2.5.   And lots of use of an eraser.  LOL

Paint a little, draw a little

There are only so many hours in a day.  The question is how to divide it up to do everything you want to do.     Some days it just does not work.    So, here is a little journal page with a little paint over a drawing.     I'm counting it as a painting, although it is only a starting point.    

This is part of the series called "waiting".     Last year I did Waiting at IHOP.  This is Waiting at Kaiser.      Eventually I hope the series becomes real paintings.      In the meantime, I'm secretly snapping pics of peoples feet and legs while they wait.     

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 4 of 30 day challenge

I have a cold.   I'm stuck in the house.   So, I am more ambitious with my painting challenge today.    I've been wanting to do a mixed media winking owl for the last few weeks but didn't have the time.       I spent about an hour cutting tiny feathers from a page from an old book.     That I could do sitting in the solarium, soaking up the sun and enjoying it's warmth.   I started the painting process out there too, but the paint dried too fast and I was getting roasted at 80 degrees, so I came inside to finish it.      I used white gesso, and golden acrylic paints.    Jenkins Green, Paynes Grey,  burnt umber.      Here he is, painted in my art journal.    

Journal has a new face on it - and in it.

The journal I use for my sketches of faces has paper with a right and wrong side.   But the covers are solid black.   I neverr know which way to open it, so I printed out the torn paper collage of a face and glued it to what I consider the front.    The little quote at the bottom of the photo says "there is absurbity in the face", cut out from an old book.   Don't you think it fits the sketch book.  

This is the drawing I did yesterday.   I wish I had made it smaller so I could make corrections more easily.   
This is Titian from a portrait he did of himself.

Friday, January 3, 2014

30 day painting challenge

Leslie Saeta announced today that there are 411 artists signed on for the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge.      Think of all those busy hands and paintbrushes this month.     If you have not signed on yet,  there is still time to catch up if you hurry.      Here's her link.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day three of 30 day challenge

This third day  my figure is more confident and already to move on.  I had a good meeting with art pals in Lodi today at the gallery and then went to visit my friend Bobbi.    She liked this one best, so I'll paint a larger version of it for her in her fav colors.      Again this is from a smaller sketch I'd done earlier in another journal.    That's kind of a good use of a journal to test out ideas and images.    You might be able to use them later.    

One of the hardest parts of a 30 day challenge is to think up a daily subject.     I'm painting ahead a bit so when I'm out of town in a few days, I won't fall behind.     I have already sketched in four more pages and hopefully tomorrow I can have some painting time.      

Day two of thirty day challenge

Still in the mode of the new year - this  is another little sketch which I drew again larger in this journal and painted it.      The blindfold represents our entering the new year not knowing what lies ahead.    The bristles on the back represent a certain apprehension, but yet, ready to tackle whatever comes head on.

My little dog bristles up when she's fearful.     One day soon, I may tell you about our little walk and meetup with a wandering pit bull the other day.      Yikes.   Don't need another walk like that one.        \

Day one of thirty day challenge

I decided to do my paintings in a new journal instead of on canvas, as you only have so many walls, and I don't need more clutter.     Here is my opening piece, which is a figure I had previously drawn in a smaller journal.   This time I painted it.     So it counts as a painting?   Right?      Works for me.       The sentiment is obvious.  We never know what the new year will bring.     


Little did any of us guess a few years ago that we'd ever need an Avatar,   Let alone know what one is.       I want to use one of these photos on a group site but can only do it by posting it here first.  Go figure.    I guess I'll use the first one because I use it other places and I think it is more identifiable and a clearer image.   

But this on is kind of fun too,so I'll just post it as a sample of what can be done with Photoshop and a couple of images.