Wednesday, February 14, 2024

I'm going to do the 100 Day Project again

 I'm changing the way I do the 100 Day Project this year. I can’t believe it’s the middle of February already and almost time for the Project to start. Yes, I still do a a quick sketch every day but that isn't what I think the 100 Day Project is about, at least not for me.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I want to do this year.  In the past I’ve done repeats of the same thing, flowers but a different one every day, collages but a different one every day – you get the picture.  It’s hard to stick to past 60 or 70 days. I'm easily bored.

One of my objectives is to get in a habit so you can keep doing it and maybe have some good pieces of art when I'm done. If I can’t stick to it past 60 or 70 the habit hasn’t formed.  I do make some sort of art every day but I’m not consistent, sometimes I work on a couple paintings, sometimes I sketch, sometimes I draw, sometimes I just dust in the studio. This year I am going to try something different, complete a small painting every day. And work on doing it without overthinking.

Yes, a painting every day but not always the same medium, substrate or subject and not always the same size – just small, anywhere from 4x4 to 10x10 and anything in between.  Some of them will be watercolor because I’ve been getting back to that, some will be collage and/or mixed media because I enjoy doing them.  And if I can make the 100 days I will continue working toward a years worth of small paintings.  Some may even be worth showing at the gallery.  We shall see.

I plan to post what I’ve done on Instagram and here on the blog. What I haven’t decided is if I will post daily or weekly.  I’m leaning towards daily Instagram and weekly blog post.  It’s too easy to slide if I don’t post somewhere daily, I know me.

That’s it for now, I’m off to prepare some supports for my project.  It starts February 18. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Wow! It's Almost February

 Time keeps moving faster all the time.  But I'm trying not to waste it.  I'm still doing my morning quick sketches and I've vowed to do more with Urban Sketchers West Michigan.  It usually gathers on Wednesday afternoons which doesn't work for me; however, it does do other days and this past week was one of those times.  We met in Rockford at Herman's Boy.  Fun place and lots to sketch. This is mine --

It's going to be back to Wednesday but it will be in Spring Lake and I can leave anytime.  Wednesday afternoons my grandson is here and yes, he is old enough to be by himself but I like being here when he is.  There are also weekend gatherings which I can usually get to.  I hope to do more.

Another major happening here in my studio.  

This table may never be this clear again!  

The overhead light in the studio went out just before the pandemic lockdown.  I got new bulbs and put them in but it still wasn't working properly.  Eventually I gave up but the pandemic meant no electricians available.  And after the pandemic they were all too busy to spend time on this little job.  I have some Ott Lights so I've placed those around and I have track lighting on one wall so I could work, just not at night. Recently we've had a few more electrical issues for reasons I don't need to go into.  Finally, an electrician is coming and my dear husband bought me a new overhead fixture -- guaranteed for 45 years.  I plan on living awhile longer but not 45 years.

So why is the table so clear you ask -- it doesn't move and the light is right above it.  Standing on the table is how one gets to it.  And once the light is in I think a new coat of paint is in order.  And I've had room to spread out for another project that can easily move when the electrician arrives.  I'm so looking forward to being able to pop in here at night and do a few things.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

New Year and a Renewed Practice

It's been awhile since I did quick morning sketches regularly.  I'm trying to do better in 2024.  I started Jan 3 and so far so good.  It helps that I have some fun twigs from my friend Ann Trowbridge.


and I have some of my own branches and pinecones

I'm still working on improving my brushstrokes in watercolor.  I saw a video of a unicorn and had to try it. It would have helped if I knew horses better but not too bad considering.  It's just going in the trash but what fun it was to try. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Happy New Year!

This little piece done in a sketchbook and clutter free work surfaces is how I started the new year.  Another sketch done this morning with Tuesday Painters but I haven't taken a photo of that yet; I will post it on my website sometime this month. I also delivered 4 pieces to the Gallery for

Evolution VIII 

 which opens Friday, January 6, for a First Friday Reception 5:30 to 7:30PM.  Several of the gallery artists are showing work that is a little different than what you normally see them do.  For me it's watercolors and in a different way than what I was doing back when watercolor was my primary medium.  Back then my work was a series of masks and pours, the only brush work was putting the masking fluid on before pouring the paint.  Now I'm actually using a brush and washes for my watercolors.  Here is one of the pieces in the show.

You can see the difference between brushwork and poured in my last post.  The doves were poured, only the darkest darks where showing when I finished painting, the rest was covered in masking fluid which had to be removed to reveal what I got.  On the other hand the poinsettia is brushwork, I could see what I was getting every step of the way.  I hope you can make it to the exhibit, it's fun seeing what new things the artists are working on and you can do some comparisons.  What you normally see from each of us is still there on our walls at the gallery.


Saturday, December 23, 2023

Wishing Everyone A Joyfilled Season


I wish you all a happy winter, a joyous holiday and a super 2024.

And I have to get back to my sorting and purging as the end of 2023 is fast approaching.  I have surfaces clear, not I need to tackle shelves and the floor.

I'm also working on goals and my word for 2024.  As I look at goals for this year I did okay, not outstanding but okay.  I'll tweek those a bit before I'm firm on them and, as in years past, I adjust quarterly.  The word is a different story.  That stays with me all year.  In 2024 I have highlighted two of the many on the list of possibles.  The two are FOCUS and BELIEVE.  Focus is a biggy, I am so easily distracted it's a wonder I get anything accomplished.  Believe is another one -- I need to learn to kick the critic out of the studio and believe in my own instincts.  When the critic gets in everything stops -- I have a hard time moving forward.  Does anyone else have that issue?

I think I'll put the words in big letters in an easy to see spot on my two work surfaces. I have manged to get more stones done and will be putting some in the Gallery Uptown January exhibit.  And I've really had fun with the poinsettias.  Here's another one...

Now it's time to get back to work, I'll be back next year.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Best Layed Plans...

 I started December with a plan to do a small painting and clear a section of clutter every day.  Well, it's day 9 and I have 2 done and one partially done.

The problem was the clutter clearing.  I had a pile of art journals and writing journals and, of course, I had to go through them to see what I had done.  Among the written ones I was reminded of something I had done with a Jane LaFazio class and I immediately had to look to see if I still had that class on my computer.  I did so I decided I had to make another one -- a Christmas one.  This is one that I put on the back of a denim vest.

They're fun to make and I have lots of red and green fabric.  Since I didn't make a new table runner this year I'm making one of these for the center of our kitchen table.  The process is addictive so I may make a few of them.  Perhaps they'll become another table runner, the first one I made many years ago has seen better days. I've since made them in a variety of styles and sized. I enjoy putting the parts together and then in the evening while watching TV I add embroidery and other embellishments.  

So sewing a patch every day has replaced the daily painting but the clutter clearing continues.  As long as something else I find doesn't distract me.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

The Jam Jar That Started It All


Recently I've been doing a quick morning sketch of some of the many items I have in various places around the house, things that are memories.  Some used often, some out where I can see them and some in other places, not always visable but always there.  I came across this one as I was looking for something to sketch.

This little china jam jar is what started me on this journey as an artist.  It was a gift from my mother one Christmas when I was a young bride.  My mother was a very talented designer and fashion was her passion.  I knew she could also draw but it definitely wasn't her strong suit.  When I asked her where she found this adorable little jam jar she said "I painted it."  She had been taking lessons and this was one of her first pieces.  My mother was always supportive of any craft I wanted to do but she did not support the idea of me as an artist.  I always felt I didn't have real talent because of the many ways she discouraged me.  I know now the reasons but that's another story.  For now -- the Jam Jar.

In my mind I immediately thought -- if you can do this I can do this and I set about finding someone in the area where I lived who taught china painting.  I found Joan Potere.  Joan has since died; however, she is the teacher who really started this whole wonderful adventure in art.  We became fast friends and often talked of wanting to learn oil painting because we wanted real art on our walls and budgets were tight.  While she wasn't a young bride, she did have a big family so money was tight for both of us.  This is one of the dinner plates from the set of six different floral place settings I did with Joan.

Another of her students was taking classes from a wonderful oil painting artist and teacher, Marion Zooner.  That student, Margaret, brought in a couple of the paintings she had done in Marion's class.  After she left Joan said to me, "if she can do that, we can do that."  We tried to get into Marion's class but it was full.  We talked Margaret into teaching us.

We studied with Margaret for a couple of years.  I still have some of the paintings I did in her class.  Joan had a son going off to college and her own health wasn't good so she stopped.  I had moved back to Flint to go back to school and the drive got old so I quit.  But neither of us quit painting.  Hard to believe that was over 60 years ago.  Some days it feels like I still have no clue what I'm doing when I come into the studio.  Other days it seems I've gone back to the beginning.  This poinsettia is one I recently did and I am reminded of china painting with Joan.

Wishing you all a Happy Thankgiving