Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Last Day Of The Challenge, Art Prize And A Roster

I had a full day of art today so didn’t do a daily; instead I did a lot of starts and a sketch.  The sketch was done with my Tuesday morning painting buddies at Park-King Farm, owned by Pam Park and Jean King.  Jean is one of our Tuesday morning group.  This is two views of Captain Midnight and one of the hens.  He wasn’t cooperative; none of them were.  They just didn’t want to stay still.  Oh well, it was fun anyway and I did get some photos.

day 30

Checking my e-mail after lunch I learned that another artist friend is one of the top 25 in Art Prize, here’s a link to Catherine McClung’s “Birds of the Bible” Mural.  It’s outstanding….

Then this afternoon I spent with another fantastic artist, Annie Morgan.  I played with my Geli plate and have several starts.  Here are a couple of those

blue bottles print


green bottle print

And tonight, my class at church and more Geli plate printing.  A good day making art.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Because A House Is Being Lifted

day 29

I did a pear today.  The house a few houses down from us is being raised up so the basement can be used.  Warner was curious so we all wandered down to watch as they work on the area around the foundation getting ready to move.  Warner also found a pear tree and brought a pear home with him.  When he was off to school I said I was going to draw the pear.  “Don’t draw on the pear.”  I assured him I wouldn’t but asked if it was okay if I drew it on paper.  “Yes, that will be fine; but not on the pear.”

Back home from school he saw the little painting, he said he liked it then added “but you didn’t draw on the pear did you?”  No, the pear doesn’t have a mark on it and my challenge is done for today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Painting That Isn’t A Painting

day 28

Today I spent some time in my sewing studio so the challenge painting is actually fabric, a small placemat.  It’s small enough for a cup of coffee and a roll…. or a glass of wine and some crackers with cheese on them.  It was good to be stitching because I remembered that I haven’t mastered a nice mitered corner binding on a quilt and I have one that really needs to be done right.  So more practice is needed. 

But the same is true for my sketching, daily practice in that is good and this challenge has got me back into the habit so I may get one of those done too.  There’s still time since we have nothing on the calendar tonight.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Art Walk and I Got A Sunflower

Neutrals have a place –

but not as the dominant colors of your life!


day 27

Grand Rapids has Art Prize, Grand Haven has Art Walk.  Both started this week and one of the fun events here in Grand Haven was a concert outside the bookman, one of our favorite haunts.  In addition to some fun music, I got a sunflower so that’s my painting for today.

Friday, September 26, 2014

More Challenge Than I Need At Times

“Don’t ask the Lord to guide your footsteps

if you are not willing to move your feet.”

And yesterday and today I haven’t been willing to move my feet.  A cold has taken hold and I’m hoping it will let go soon.  I didn’t get another one done yesterday as I said I would; however, I did manage to get this one done this morning.

day 26

And now, in spite of feeling lousy, I see outside it is sunny and bright so I’m going to take a walk.  Perhaps that will be the cure, get those feet moving!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Challenge & A Different Kind of Challenge

day 23

First the 30 day challenge, day 23 finally got downloaded today.  Tuesday my Tuesday Morning Painting Group went out to Rosey Mound, a dune that is part of the Ottawa County Park System. 

We were hoping for color but there wasn’t any; that;s the nice part about being a painter rather than a photographer, one can add or change colors.

artisan's gallery

This is one of several experiments I did yesterday.  The orange and turquois was the start done with a Gelli Plate.  The photo was added using hand sanitizer and a transparency. This is one of those “I have no idea where this piece is going but I’m liking it so far.”

Yesterday was one of those fun art days when artist friends get together and do some experimenting.  Annie Morgan and I did just that yesterday morning. Brenda Mattson joined us in the afternoon.

I’ve used this image in an earlier work. This is a small watercolor monotype.Artisans Gallery #2

It’s available at the Gallery Uptown.

Annie and I both love old buildings and doors and we don’t know if this is one of my photos we shared or one of her photos we shared.

Okay so yesterday I didn’t actually finish a painting, Art Walk is underway and after leaving my art buddies I went to a reception.  No more art finished; however, I will get something done today. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Challenge, A Drawing


day 22

This time it’s more a drawing than a painting.  it’s good to practice getting around the object without masking so that is what I did today.

I have no idea why I like to draw feathers but I do; these two came home from the beach today. 

Short post, it’s been a long day.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Challenge & A Collection

day 21

Today’s piece is from a collection that started when my aunt gave me the brushes my uncle had used in his work.  He was a commercial artist though he called himself a sign painter.  I’ve given some of those brushes away to special folks who would appreciate them.  Some I use regularly and some I just enjoy looking at and remembering.

uncle d's brushes

Some in my collection are much used and beyond help but I still love them because they were my dad’s.  He too was an artist, his passion was model boats but I only have art he did as a child.  I do have some of his brushes though.

more brushes

And then there are two shaving brushes, one from dad and one from my husband.  And my favorite, the one I painted, was a gift from my husband for my birthday last year.  The brush is for wiping away the eraser leavings… the white end is an eraser.  Here are those three along with the bottle I painted yesterday.  And as I look at this I think it would make a nice still life… maybe one a day when I have more time.

shaving brushes

I had extra time after church today, it’s a rainy one so afternoon plans changed.  I had planned to go to Nature’s Creative Edge in Fruitport but it’s not much fun in the rain.  It’s 5 plus acres of groomed trails with displays by floral designers and artists from around the nation. Worth seeing but I’ll have to miss this year.  It’s always this time of year and this is the first time since I learned about it that it has rained.  It opened Friday and that was a beautiful day but I was out of town, bummer.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Challenge & Remembering Family

day 20

This is one of the squirt bottles I have in my studio.  It doesn’t work anymore but I like the looks of it so it stays.  I did it today, missed yesterday.

I briefly considered doing two today but decided that really wasn’t fair; besides I had a clutter clearing project going on and that took up most of the day. 

So the missed day… I traveled back and forth across the state for a burial.  It hurts to be losing friends and family.  As I thought about it on the drive home I realize that as much as I love where I live and the many friends I have here, I miss the family feeling that is still very much alive in the block where I grew up.  Jerry Taylor was part of that family.

Actually, his wife is my sister’s husband’s sister so we are family. We’ve known Caroline and her family since early childhood, I think I was 9 when they moved into the neighborhood. There are 4 houses between their house and ours and everyone in between and on either side are also family, and all of their kids.  That was truth when I was 9 and is still truth today.  I don’t get over there often but when I do it’s like I never left.  Even if someone new moves into the neighborhood, they immediately become part of the family.  It’s a good feeling and I’m glad to see that the feeling continues.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Challenge Continues

day 18

Lemons from the bowl on our Hoosier Cabinet.  This time I combined watercolor and watercolor crayons.  I think it may be time to start a bit more experimenting on these small pieces. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A short post

It’s late but I want to get this posted before the day ends,

day 17

the flowers are fake but I love all the color on the pot and the flowers were in it when I got it at our church bazar.  Day 17 is done and I am off to bed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 16 and an Art Day

day 16

This one was fun, done in Central Park with my Tuesday morning group.  I usually do two on Tuesdays but not today. Today I left early to join a couple other friends for what I consider artist dates.  Yes, I read Julia’s book and I think it’s a great practice – the artist date.

Anyway, we spent the rest of the day in Holland, first in a delightful shop called Seedlings.  All sorts of things from beads and fabric scraps to metal things and glass jars and bottles.  I will be going back there often.

From there, lunch and then to the Holland Arts Council for the All Michigan All Media exhibit.  I’d be interested to know what others thought of that exhibit.

Once back in Grand Haven I had my Creativity Class at church.  Now day is done and I’m ready to sleep.  I’ll be back tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Challenge

Half way there.  Today was a busy one but I did manage to get day 15 done, a simple apple but as I look at it, I’m really quite pleased with the colors.

day 15

In addition playing with my grandson I also did a bit more on the Art Walk project  though I didn’t take another photo.  I have no idea how it’s going to end up because it is going in a totally different direction than I had planned. I’m not judging yet.

I read a great post today on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog.  A reminder for all artists and number 2 is where I am with my Artwalk project.

“Fifteen things to give up to be happy with your art…..

1. Give up your need to always be right.

You guys, art making should be fun!  Needing to do it "right" can be very inhibiting to the creative process.  I believe that coloring outside of the lines and using materials in ways that feel good to you -- even if they're "wrong" -- is awesome.  

2. Give up your need for control.

Watching every brush stroke and needing the finished piece to look like the image in your head can be very discouraging.  I work very hard at embracing "mistakes" as creative opportunities.  I try to let the art take me where it wants to go.  I believe that spontaneity is vital to art making.

3. Give up on blame.

We all wish we had more time, more talent, and more supplies.  I think that when you get rid of that blaming talk and embrace what you do have, you're a happier artist!  Do the best that you can with whatever you've got and be proud of yourself for it!

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk.

Tell the voice in your head to shut up.  Mine is very loud, so I crank up the  music in my studio so that I can't hear it.  Someone once said to me, "People are always going to tear you down.  Why would you give them a head start by tearing yourself down first?"  You are an awesome artist!  Say it every day and one day you'll start to believe it!

5. Give up your limiting beliefs.

I have heard so many people say, "I can't draw," or "I'm not an artist."  I've said those things myself.  They're not true.  I always felt that because I couldn't draw a photographic representation of something that I wasn't an artist.  I've learned two things: that's not the only definition of an artist and I am a better draw-er than I thought, especially with disciplined practice.  Whatever belief is holding you back from being the artist you want to be -- let it go!  You can fly!

6. Give up complaining.

Complaining takes away energy and focus and makes the arting process less fun.  Focus on what you love about your studio, your supplies, the art you're creating...all of it!  I once read a happiness study that blew my mind.  They tested people's happiness and then divided them into two groups.  Group one was left alone as a control group.  Group two was told to write down five things they were grateful for every single day.  Guess what?  At the end of the study group two was markedly more happy than group one!  Focus on the positive rather than the negative and you will be happy with your art making!

7. Give up the luxury of criticism.

Criticism and critique are two different things.  Looking at a piece -- yours or someone else's -- and analyzing what you like and don't like about it and why, is a good thing.  It's a learning experience.  Simply criticizing art -- yours or someone else's -- is a negative experience.  I believe the trick is analyze why something works for you or doesn't.  If you can't answer why, it's not useful feedback because the issue can't be fixed or learned from. 

8. Give up your need to impress others.

Man, oh, man, this one is tough for me.  I want people to love what I do.  On some level I need people to love what I do.  I have to remind myself daily that my worth as an artist is not tied into blog comments and instagram likes and Facebook comments.  It's difficult.  That said, some of the best art I've ever created was when I let go of doing what I thought was "cool" or would sell, and did what I wanted to do.  

9. Give up your resistance to change.

It's so easy to get stuck in an art rut.  Something works so you keep doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it.  Remember, you learn more from failure than from sucess.  I believe that to grow as an artist I must keep taking risks and doing things that make me uncomfortable.  That's why I love my art journal so much!  It's a super low risk forum for exploring new ideas and materials.

10. Give up labels.

People ask me all the time what kind of artist I am.  I'm the kind who makes art.  I'm also a crafter.  I'm also a scrapbooker.  I'm also a beader.  I'm also a quilter.  I'm lots of things and having to shove myself in one box is silly.  It makes me feel limited.  Labels are limiting.  Why do we need to define creativity? 

11. Give up on your fears.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."  Or how about, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it."  Fear is a self-imposed limit.  Don't limit your art.  What's the worst thing that can happen?  And even if that terrible thing did happen, we're not talking a life and death situation, right?  I say, kick fear in the pants and keep pushing onward!

12. Give up your excuses.

Sometimes it's easier to find a reason why you can't make art than to go into your art space and get going.  I'm a great believer that you'll find time to do what is important to you.  If art making isn't important to you, that's 100% okay.  Excuses are guilt-inducing.  Art is guilt-free zone.  Seriously, it has no calories!  ;)  And, anyway, we all go through phases. There are plenty of times that I don't feel like making art.  Rather than make an excuse, I embrace my mood and go do something else I enjoy, guilt free!

13. Give up the past.

So you were told that you couldn't draw or you weren't creative. So what?!  This is now.  

So you tried art journaling or scrapbooking or crochet and you weren't good at it.  So what?!  This is now.

Don't let the past dictate your future.  Art making is a practice like any other.  Practicing daily is the key to getting to where you want to be.  Looking back isn't helpful.

14. Give up attachment.

If you take away one thing from this list, please take this one.  The single biggest leap in my art has been from letting go of the preciousness of things I liked in my art.  By being brave and covering it up, cutting it in half, or "ruining" it, I have created works of art that I love love love!  I have grown and flourished as an artist because I don't let myself get attached.  When I teach, I call it "killing your babies."  Sometimes in art, you have to kill your baby.  It will be okay.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations.

There are plenty of people who smile sympathetically when I tell them I'm an artist.  In fact, at a recent event for "professionals" -- doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, finance people – they frowned on me calling myself a professional. After I left I had to it shrug it off,  I love what I do!  Let's not lose track of that fact!  Oh, I gave up one being a good housekeeper years ago.  I'd rather spend that half hour in my studio. “

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Challenge & Sunday on the Grand

art walk

Today I worked on the Art Walk project, Sunday on the Grand.  It’s a long way from done but it is taking shape.

Here is the start


And when I last posted….artwalk project wip

So, I didn’t get to a daily today; can I count this even though it’s a long way from done?

I did day 13 last night when I returned to Grand Haven after celebrating a friend’s 75th birthday celebration on the other side of the state.

day 13

I also got a bit of sorting and clearing of clutter in my studio so it was a productive day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 12 A Day Late


day 12

It was a busy one and I didn’t get to this until last night while we were watching a movie.  The geraniums sit on our coffee table. 

Today I’m heading across the state for a birthday party and may not get back until late so I’ll be playing catch up again. But I will catch up!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

30 in 30 Days, Day 11

Today I was remembering 9/11 as were many here in the U.S.

However, I was also remembering Commerce School, the two room schoolhouse where Miss Dewey came once a week to give us art lessons.  It was my favorite time in school.  My little painting today is why I was remembering.

day 11

This little mosaic votive candle holder is one I made.  I don’t know why I don’t do more mosaics because I do love them.  So why do they remind me of Miss Dewey?  Because she taught us about mosaics, showed us pictures of some beautiful mosaics done with glass and ceramics.  I was in love and so excited that we were going to learn how to do it.  That is until I learned that we were going to cut up construction paper (horrid colors) and make a fake one.  That was the only time Miss Dewey disappointed me. 

Today I also did a bit more on the ArtWalk project I talked about earlier.  It is a long ways from done but you can see a few changes and a bit of color.  Much of what you see may not be visible when it’s finally done; I really don’t know where it’s going to go from here.  I still need to add more grass and a sky and then I’ll begin adding collage materials.  Who knows.  Here is where I am now and what I started with.  This one is definitely an experiment.

artwalk project wipartwalk project

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

30 in 30 Challenge, Days 9 & 10

I got one done yesterday; however, I didn’t get a chance to get it scanned, downloaded and posted so …

Day 9, a pot at Grand Haven Garden House

day 9

And day 10, back in my kitchen

day 10

I’m pleased that I’ve managed to stick with this and that it has me back at doing at least one small piece every day; good practice!

Monday, September 8, 2014

30 paintings, 30 days, day 8

day 8 vincent

Whenever I go to an exhibit at one of the major galleries, I buy a mug that has an image of a painting by the featured artist.  So, most mornings I have coffee with an artist.  One of my favorites is Vincent; that’s who I had coffee with this morning.

The art actually goes around the mug and there is much more to it but I flattened it out and did the art I could see rather than the mug.  It’s not exactly like Vincent’s work but I’m happy with it anyway. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 7 of 30 in 30


day 7

This is a leftover from the opening reception at the gallery uptown on Friday.  One of the featured artists wasn’t able to be there and the corsage matched my shirt so they gave it to me. It was sitting on our kitchen table when I got home today so it is my 5x7 for today.

I almost didn’t get to this.  I teach a creativity class at our church and it starts on Tuesday.  After church today I came home, changed and went back to church to sort supplies.  By the end of the year last year our cupboards were a real mess and I had no idea what we would have to work with and what need.  Now I know. 

And now that I’m done with both of those, this quick post and change so I can go back to church and hear a concert given by former member Joy Smith.  We watched Joy grow up in the church and have always admired her talent.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

30 in 30 Challenge, Day 6 and ArtWalk

day 6

Today I’m at the gallery.  This is a bouquet that is on the counter, it’s left from the opening reception last night.  It’s number 2 in my series of small watercolors; I was able to spend a little more time on this, between customers.

Another project I’m working on at home is for this year’s ArtWalk.  In the past we’ve done large sculptures, fish, dogs, lighthouses and cows.  This year the all community project is a plaque, Sunday on the Grand.  Two sizes are available, 12 x 16 and 24 x 32.  I’m doing a 24 x 32 inch.  This is a before photo….

artwalk project

Does it look familiar?  It’s very close to this one…

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

but our version is from this photo with a few modifications, the pier is not visible from the park; however, it’s Grand Haven.

sunday-on-the-grand grand haven

I’ve gessoed over mine and plan to do a little redrawing to make it more mine. Once that’s done I’m planning to do some collage along with painting and more drawing.  When the initial drawing is done I’ll post,

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 5 of the 30 day challenge

day 5

I missed a day.  We had a power failure which meant Warner didn’t have school which meant I had him.  That’s never a chore; however, it did mean that everything I planned to do didn’t get done.  And then last night I had a meeting sooooo, no painting done. 

Lesson learned, I need a theme and it has to be something that I can do while my grandson eats a snack or has lunch.  No, he isn’t here every day but there are other things that get in the way as well.

All of which is to explain today’s entry… my coffee cup.  I may not do a cup every day but it will be something small either in my kitchen or my studio.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day 3 and a new wireless connection


Another abstract for day 3.  I wasn’t going to call this done but if I don’t, tomorrow I’ll be working on this and I need to move on to day 4 so….

day 3

The time I would have spent working on this went to moving printers around and finally connecting a wireless printer to my laptop.  That took way longer than it should have but it’s done.  Now all I have to do is find a place to keep the printer and still get the wireless connection; old houses and wireless aren’t real friendly.

That’s a task for tomorrow, along with working on working on my Sunday in the Park for Art Walk and finishing the backing on my actual ArtWalk entry.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

30 Day Challenge

I signed up for Leslie Sieta’s 30 paintings in 30 days challenge so I’m going to try to post every day this month, starting today.

Yesterday was the first and I did an abstract.  It’s actually non-representational but for most folks, it’s abstract so from here on that’s what I’ll be calling them.

everyday challenge 1

My first reaction was ugh, I don’t like this; however, the challenge doesn’t say we have to like everyone, just do it.  So, there you go.

Day two is done, actually I did two today.  One because it’s Tuesday and I always paint with plein air group on Tuesday morning.  When I finished the first one I decided I needed to do a second one.  No reason except that it seemed unfair to count one that I would have done anyway.  Yes, I do work on painting every day but I don’t do one start to finish every day and that’s what the challenge is.

day 2 first 1

So here is the second one I did today.

day 2

We were at Grand Haven Garden House today and they had several little still life set ups… It’s a fun place to paint.