Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oops... I gave them away before I took my photos.

My artwork this past week was for gifts and I forgot to take photos before I gave them away...  they were wall hangings.  I used fabric that I had painted and added a quote that seemed to me to be appropriate for the person I was giving them to along with quilting, beading and some embrodiery.  They turned out quite nice if I do say so myself.  I also did some pen and ink miniatures and I did scan those.  They're from photos that were included in a Wet Canvas Weekend Drawing Event.... two from Connie in the Netherlands and two from Beth in North Carolina.  The two from Beth were photos taken especially for me when she was in Barbados... she knows I love old boats.  Here are the drawings... all miniatures, 2 1/2 x 2 1/2...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow People and a miniature

If any of you of you read Cloth Paper Scissors magazine you may recognize the Snow People.  I made them as favors for an event at my church last week.  I also made the trees... they're Sycamore Tree bark that I picked up on my morning walks... a couple pieces each time I went past the spot where the trees lived.  That was my major focus this past week.  The event was Thursday so I did manage to get a miniature done before the week was over... then it was on to Holiday decorating....
I hope I can keep up during the holidays.  So far I'm quite pleased that I have managed to maintain a schedule and post pretty near the first part of each week.  Now I need to figure out what I might add that would add more interest to the blog.  I think if I concentrate more on writing in addition to adding an image that would be a good thing.  Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More miniatures

I'm having such fun doing these little ones... they are a challenge for sure.  How much detail can I get; how little can I get away with... what techniques will work.  For the Winter Woods... which I've titled Christmas Woods and am using for our Christmas card this year.... I tried a technique I've used on larger pieces to see what the results would be and while it didn't work as well as it does on a large piece,  I think it came out just fine.  I masked all of the trees and the snow, put a small piece of cheese cloth down on the page and began putting color down, mostly darks.   Once that was dry I removed the mask and added color to the birch trees and a shadow line on the snow.  The other two were a matter of determining what detail to include and what to leave out... the gondolier's face could have been better but over all I like the results.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Miniature Watercolors, Encaustic Frames

This one is my favorite... I'm a hat person and I loved the two white hats they were wearing.  I finished it last week but didn't get it posted.   I also finished the elephant earlier but added the frame this week.  The frames are encaustic and New York Times magazine pages again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Encaustic Frame for a Watercolor

This week I've been working on more encaustic frames; however, instead of the navigation maps I'm using New York Times Sunday magazine pages that have been treated with Citra-Solv. I spray the Citra-Solv on the pages and hang the magazine over a line to dry. When it's dry I get some wonderful shapes and colors. So far this is the only magazine I've found it works with. Here's the first piece framed with one of the frames, it's 2 1/2 2 2 1/2". The next photo is one of the pages of the magazine so you can see what happens to it. If you aren't familiar with it, Citra-Solv is a cleaning solution that I get in my local health food store.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The house that Grandpa Built

I wasn't going to do this but.... last week a friend and I talked about doing a house for a project being done by the Holland Area Arts Council. Another friend has recently taken the post of program coordinator for the Arts Council and she is in charge of the event. I had decided building a house wasn't my thing and wasn't going to do it. Then I learned that friend 1 had told friend 2 we were going to and friend 2 was so excited because it's one of her first programs and she so wants it to succeed... what could I say... I built a house. We used a template provided by them. I added a porch because we were suppose to tell the story of our growing up in the house, illustrating our favorite room... well, my favorite wasn't in the house... I lived on a lake and my favorite place to be was either in or on the lake. But going inside I did have a place I was most comfortable... the porch. The house is 8"x8" without the porch. And yes, the house I grew up in was red... fire engine red actually. It's the house my dad grew up in too. In fact, my siblings and I still own it... anyone want to buy a house on a lake? I used foam core... it's stamped all over, then glazed with the red. It was a fun project even though it brought up some not so good memories.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Three more this week... new miniature paintings and new collaged frames. I wish I had purchased a few more of these frames. I'm finding the small images are fun to do and the encaustic on the frame is a challenge I would love to master because I really like the look. It has a nice sheen to it when it's buffed.

Aside from the miniature paintings, I am once again trying to reorganize my studio to make it more efficient. I waste so much time going from one space to the other and leaving things laying around so I don't know which space they're in or which pile they're under. I visit a friend's studio every week and it is heaven to work in there because she is so well organized. Frankly, I don't know how she has time to sleep but perhaps it's because she's so well organized. I wonder... can I get there... and then I look at the sign above my desk...
"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

Monday, October 27, 2008

a new way to frame miniatures

I picked up 4 small frames on sale at a local hobby store on a whim. They sat in my studio for a couple weeks and suddenly inspiration struck. Old charts from our sailing days, a bit of glue, archival foam core backing, acrylic glaze, beeswax and one of my miniature paintings (2"x2") and this is the result. The frame is 5"x5" and it's an inch deep so it can either hang on the wall, sit on a shelf or sit on a table. There is no glass so I put two coats of acrylic glaze on the painting and on the foamcore backing. I put a beeswax finish on the frame itself because I like the soft finish when the wax is buffed. I do need more practice putting the beeswax on so it's even. I have plans for the other 3... more marine paintings. However, I went back to see if I could get more of the frames and can't so I think maybe I'll make some. I really like the look.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Workshop and other stuff

I spent last week teaching a pouring workshop and the piece I worked on turned out to be an example of some things not to do. I did it on purpose... sure. Oh well, it's the piece that got done last week and it isn't that bad. I do have some other's in process that I hope will turn out better. Some of my students did fantastic work. In addition to pouring I talked about some of the postcard exchanges I've been involved in and between my students and some artist friends I have about 10 people interested in doing an exchange. If your interested in joining us let me know. Twenty is a good number... it's not too many postcards to produce. Those I've participated in have been through Wet Canvas, this one will be just between friends, or friends of friends.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another painting and a drawing

I've added another piece to my Sacred Spaces series. Some in the series are churches or missions, others are quiet spaces that I find peaceful places to contemplate or meditate. This particular piece is a Country Church. It's 7"x7" poured watercolor.

This second piece is a graphite drawing. I may eventually do a painting of this subject but for now, I'm content with the drawing

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another old photo

I missed a week. Twenty lashes... but I did finish a piece that week and another for this week. I still need to scan one of them but here is last weeks. Another old photo. I have no idea who it is but I did recognize that it was in the back yard of my mother's family cottage so it must have been a friend of either her or her sister... I had fun with it anyway. I'll be back later in the week, after I've scanned or photographed the painting.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another photo transfer

I'm late this week... posting last week's work. I did another photo transfer and more experimenting with the technique. This time in addition to using a stamp under the paper to to get the image, I also stamped on it, but first I transfered an old letter... it's backwards because I didn't think to reverse it before I printed it but it's not readable anyway and it's an experiment so I went ahead with it anyway. I also used stencils, colored pencil, oil pastels and ink. The photo is my mother's group of friends... who remained friends all their lives.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

mixed media mom and a daily

Yesterday I started a challenge... a painting a day. The "canoes" is my first day. It's a small one, just 2" x 2". I'd like to zero in on a size that I can do consistently but haven't determined that yet. I think I'll experiment with different sizes for awhile and see which works best for this project.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A new drawing and an update on a painting

Two pieces this week... First a drawing that will be the basis for another painting but that will be another day. The second one I posted earlier but felt it still needed something... I worked on the background buildings across the bay and now I'm happier with it.

Another thing we did this weekend was the annual block party on our street... we had to take a dish to pass. We took a tuna salad, called Tunasian Salad, that has been a big hit every time I've served it. I got it from an artist friend, Peter Johnson, and I thought some of you might like it... it's not your usual Tuna Salad.
Mix together:
Washed Rice, brown or white, we use brown
Frozen Peas
Black Olives
Whole Vidalia Onion, Chopped
Albacore Tuna
Juice of Fresh Lemon
Black Pepper
Proportions are determined by the size of your onion... with a medium sized onion I usually use a couple of cups of rice (that's the uncooked measurement) and two small or one large can of tuna. The rest of the ingredients depend on your taste.

Olive Oil equal to the Juice of the Lemon
A bit of Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
and add to the above ingredients

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mixed Media Transfer

This has been a busy week for things other than art; however, I did get a couple of small pieces done using the technique I used on the Foster Girls from last week. My cousin's daughter is getting married so I swiped a couple of photos of she and her intended from their web-site and did a couple pieces... one has been matted and put with her shower gift which is on it's way to the shower so I can't show it to you. This is the second one and I think I'll give to her parents... it's a photo of the couple the night they got engaged.

Monday, August 11, 2008

an old photo, caryns and a couple pours

I've been away... my week of R&R at Spider Lake... and while I was there I was very productive. In addition to swimming three times a day I managed to get some artwork done. But first... what a thrill to come home and learn that one of the artists I admire so much has given me a Brillante Weblog Award. I'm honored... truly. And there are so many artists I'd like to nominate... have to think about that one.... I digress....

I've said before that I love to experiment with different media... that was the case this week.... Here's what I did...
Sculpture... I built small caryns out of stones I picked up on the beach every time I went for a swim.
Paintings poured... I finished San Miguel which I've been working on for awhile... it's a full sheet; I did a larger version of the sunlight table top.... a quarter sheet; and I've almost finished a half sheet version of "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay". I'm going to look at it for awhile... I think I want to bring out the shore just a little more.
An old photo... it's a mixed media piece... the photo is of my mother and her sister... I was going to call it the Foster Sisters (their maiden name) but when I told a friend that was the title she wondered who's foster children they were so I've changed it to the Foster Girls.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

a study and a poured piece

This week I have two pieces.... one is graphite, it's a study for an eventual painting. The working title for it is "Sittin' on the Dock by the Bay." The second piece is a poured painting... a strong graphic pattern subdued by the soft colors.... I haven't titled it yet.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

colored pencil drawing

This week I have been dealing with some issues that have taken away from art making time but they've been important issues so I'm not minding that. I did finally get a drawing done on Friday... the image was on wetcanvas, an internet art site that I visit alot. The challenge was to do a figure with as little detail as possible and still have it recognizable. Well, I certainly flunked the challenge... there's way more detail than there may have been but I was in love with the guy's sweater and detail just kept creeping in.... here is the poleman done in my sketchbook.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oil painting

Well, I missed a week. Actually, I was busy clearing clutter from my studio so I could find a space to work. That done, we had house guests... enjoyable guests so it wasn't a burden. We did some artist things like visit the Art Museum one day and a friend's studio the next. Once they were on their way I did a couple quickie things while I continue to work on a couple of major pieces. The wetcanvas web site had a challenge... work on a different surface... so I did. I hadn't worked in oil for a very long time so I tried two little 6"x6 pieces... both on wrapped canvas (the type that doesn't require a frame.) The first is with Shiva Paint Sticks and a brush, the second is watersoluable oils done with a palette knife. Both of them were great fun... I just may try a few more oils.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Bunch of Buoys

This started out to be a quick sketch to determine values for a painting... I got carried away. The subject is something I came upon by accident while I was in Petoskey. Walking in sandles in sand is not a fun thing so I went through the boat house to get to the other end of the beach.... what treasures I found in there.... lots of material for drawing and painting during the winter months.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Watercolor Sketches

This past week I was fortunate to be Artist In Residence at the Terrace Inn which is located in Bayview, Michigan, a Methodist Chau·tau·qua just a bit north of Petoskey... a great area but the weather didn't cooperate this year.... it was cold and rainy until the last two days. However, the Terrace Inn was full of interesting guests and the food there is outstanding. If you're in the area do visit. They serve lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. While I was there I worked on some pourings but those aren't done... I also did some watercolor sketches which I may turn into note cards for next year.... I took lots of photos too.... so I can have some Bayview paintings when I go next year.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Colored Pencil this week

I've been clearing clutter from my studio which means I haven't been making art... it was a total disaster. However, I promised myself, at least one piece a week so Friday I did a something I haven't done in a very long time... colored pencil... a turtle that was one of the images from the wet canvas weekend drawing event... I'm quite pleased with how it came out. I like turtles... they are a good reminder.... if you're going to get anywhere you've got to stick your neck out.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Another chine collé print

I'm still experimenting and still thrilled to see the result when I pull up those felts... even when the result isn't as good as I would have liked. This week I did several prints but only one chine collé and it's going to hang in my studio. I didn't cut the grey quite right so the chine collé part is a little off. I also decided, after seeing the finished piece, that I should have used a lighter color for the grey. I'm pleased enough to hang it in my studio but not enough to put it out there to sell. I still have much to learn about printmaking.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I've done another print that I am so excited about... what a thrill to lift the felts after rolling the plate and paper through the press and see that your print came out pretty much like you hoped it would. This is my first chine collé print and I am thrilled with how it came out. I used the same plate that I had used last week but added the color with the chine collé technique and I inked it a little differently. This one is going to hang in my kitchen....

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Well here it is... unmasked and untouched. There are some things I like and some I don't. Because the mask was left on this for longer than normal, some of the color got lost. That's not always a bad thing... I'm really liking the muted colors in the weeds and the bow on the right. The problem is I'm not sure they go with the subject. The boat on the left needs strengthening. I need to decide.... make everything stronger.... brighter or just work on adding more dimension to the boat on the left. The piece will now hang on the clip on my studio wall for a week or so.... the answer will present itself somewhere along the line. Meanwhile, I'll go on to something else... take my mind away from this one until it's ready to tell me what to do.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

final pour and a print

Here is the final pour... you can see that it's almost all mask and looking a mess but this week I'll be removing that mask and I'll see if I got what I wanted. If I don't like it there are things I can do to save it but that's getting ahead of myself. I'll show you the result even if I'm not happy with it... and if that turns out to be the case, I'll show you what I'll do to save it.

Meanwhile... printmaking... something else I'm playing with and the pears are the first print I pulled... the very light color on the pears is not from the print... I added that because I had a mat and frame that fit but it's a cream color and didn't look right... since I'm not going to be selling this piece it doesn't have to be authentic so I used a light touch of colored pencil to make the pears match the mat....