Thursday, June 30, 2011


The magnolias have been so beautiful this year that I wanted to share with you one of my photos.  Isn't nature just incredible?!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


As I spent most of the day with dealing with medical professionals (i.e.lab tech vampires!) I didn't get in much creativity.  I drew a young woman sitting across from me waiting to see if she was pregnant (she was), and when I got home, I found a few antique chinese tiles and a funny brass bird, also from China, that I think is a game piece.  I arranged them and drew for a bit.  The rest of the day was spent artistically rearranging the furniture and creatively vacuuming!  I also did some still life arrangements with newly cut Canna Lillies from my garden and chased a wasp all over the house in an effort to evict the unwanted insect.  That was my exercise for the day.  Absolutely the most dull of days, and I sincerely hope that tomorrow is more exciting, unique, entertaining and different! However, it is my intention to draw every day, even a little bit, to continue to get better, and to look at everything in a new light.  Even the dull and every day things can be exciting if looking upon in a creative way. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Tangled Up Inside

I was sketching a variety of things yesterday, and while trying to figure out what to work on next, I mindlessly doodled.  What came up was this mass of threads tangled up and completely psychological, I swear!  My mind is all over the place right now, so I guess I communicated it with this.  Whatever, I liked it and embellished on it, added shadows and light, and enjoyed where it was going.  The creative process is never predictable, and certainly never boring!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Charcoal rendering has to be one of the most exciting ways to do portraits!  I find it very satisfying to draw BEHIND the subject and then hit the highlights with white chalk.  This portrait was especially interesting.  I was taking a life drawing class, and the model wasn't able to get there.  We bribed the first person we could find loitering outside the building and he sat for us.  He was scruffy, interesting, and had a wonderful sense of humor.  We loved trying to draw his inner interesting self!


Still Life with a Tea Ball

I worked with Maroger medium in this oil painting.  It is beeswax based, and was amazing and different to work with.  The paint went on silky smooth in thin, transparent glazes.  Each color that I worked with has about 14 glazes.  A very time consuming painting, but well worth the effort.  A word of warning...maroger medium is very toxic!  I only did a few paintings with it and chose to switch mediums.  Many artists use just beeswax and linseed oil mixed.  I found a little art supply store in Brigham City, Utah that sells that by the quart.


Eye See You

I chose an abstract design for this kitty.  It was so much fun layering the color on the eyes and burnishing to blend the colored pencil together.  I used the back of a spoon to finish the blending so as not to tear the paper.  This piece won an honorable mention in an art show in San Bernardino, CA.  Not my best work, just a fun one.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


As life is a bit of a puzzle right now, I created my own.  Now that I have made them, I am wondering how they open up...deep, huh?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


BORED!  I have been so bored, cloistered indoors while the outdoors swelters with humidity, allergens, and the smell of the paper mill 40 miles away!  I have been sketching a lot lately, but you can tell that I have run out of inspiration and am in a deep creative block with my latest pen and ink....a drawing of nail clippers!  It shows my lack of enthusiasm for doing much of anything right now.  The most creative thing I have done this week is bake brownies for hubby and thaw out some soup made back in November (ahhhh, the good old cool days...)  I have a desperate need for more color.  I really am excited about getting a new painting on the easel.  So why and where did my creativity go?  It left for a bit and I am trying to wheedle it back, lure it in with tiny sketches and promises of joy abundant.  Lordy, lordy, I'd give anything for a cool, dry day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This is so much fun!  I made this green slime just to play with and see if it was workable for my grandson.  It's a blast, and super easy to make!  Best of all, if you have a lot of frustrations to get out, the slime was fun to squish and throw and be a kid again.

1 cup of cornstarch

1/2 cup of water

food coloring (liquid kind of any color)

Pour one cup of cornstarch into a medium size mixing bowl.  Slowly pour 1/2 cup of water into the bowl.  Add a few drops of food coloring.  Use your hands to mix the water and cornstarch together.


Sunday, June 19, 2011


Happy Father's Day to my husband, the best Dad in the world!  He changed diapers, sang lullabyes, taught all the lessons he could to our children. When they grew up, he became their friend and strongest supporter.  I wish all Dads could be as great as he has been.  The world would be much happier and more peaceful.  I know that our children love and appreciate you.  So do I.

Saturday, June 18, 2011



When there is so much happening in your life that you can't think---

When changes are flying at you like bats fleeing a cave--

When you are making life choices that will relocate you, reposition you, and rearrange you into another time zone, family zone and even art zone...

              Well, you seek stability in the small stuff.  I have been seeking the calm in the eye of the storm by sketching in my smallest sketchbook.  It is only 4"x4", so I can narrow my focus to a tiny area.  I have been drawing singular things...a peanut, a marble, a wedge of lemon.  I draw it tight, detailed and concentrated.  I used to abandon all of my creative endeavors when life became overwhelming, so this is a vast improvement to my artistic expression.  Don't get me wrong - I still curl up in a corner with my cup of herbal tea and a cookie and snarl at any invasions to my personal space.  But I am handling it all so much BETTER these days!

Sunday, June 12, 2011



I am not fond of is my time for hibernation and introspection.  And pouting.  I seem to lose my inspiration and enthusiasm, just to hide away from the heat and humidity of the season.  My health falters this time of year, so I am sure that is a large part of it.  I am allergic to anything growing and dust.  DUST!  So as you can imagine, my creativity is suffering heavily right now.  I am trying to get the old juices flowing with some creative writing.  I have an article coming due for a magazine in July, that I hope will be picked up.  It is a 500 word piece on living your art, and I am enjoying the process of it.  I am also trying to improve my art vocabulary by learning new terms.  If you will notice off to the right, next to the blog lists and other gadgets going on, I have started up an 'Artipedia'.  I will be changing out the words and definitions frequently, as I try to memorize different art terms and increase my knowledge of my chosen career.  Meanwhile, I am taking a few days off to deal with family issues, and will be back with something new and exciting hopefully in about 4 days.  If you have anything inspirational to impart about nasty old hot summer, I would welcome your trying to change my mind about the season.   Otherwise, I will continue to dream of cooler places and times!

Thursday, June 9, 2011



I just read the most unusual article about doodling and the psychological benefits to it.  Seems that doodling, like meditation or music, can open your mind up enough to let more information in.  Duke University and California State University have found that doodling enhances your information retention up to 29% more than if you were not doodling...I am assuming that is during business meetings or lectures.  They have done brain scans that show which type of doodling activates which area of the brain and what effects the whole thing has on your mood, etc.  These people have more time on their hands than they need!  However, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and give it a try.

Draw circles:  get calmer

Draw happy faces: have more willpower

Draw with your non-dominant hand: boost your memory and creativity

Draw randomly: solve a problem


According to some writer in the Woman's World magazine (I couldn't find the authors' name)  doodles tell about your personality, too.

Draw Circles:  you are searching for meaning

Draw  Zigzags: you are about to change your life

Draw Flowers: you are imaginative

Draw Geometric shapes: you are assertive

Draw Faces: you are a problem solver

Draw Abstract shapes: you are a free thinker

Ah, well,  in my opinion doodling is just plain fun and helps me to get new ideas for some of my paintings.  Some work, some don't.  Doodling also gives me something to do when I am at a lecture or business meeting!  When I am really bored, I draw eyes.  Do you think that there is a psychological significance to that?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011



If you look closely at this colored pencil drawing, you will see one of my biggest mistakes....using poor quality paper.  I was going through my portfolio this morning and ran across this study that I did many years ago.  The paper has yellowed, and is slowly disintigrating.  The years have warped the pages with humidity and drying, and the colors are slowly leaching out of it.  Lesson learned?  Use high quality, acid free paper, stay away from thin, flimsy paper if you want to keep the drawing forever.  Newsprint drawing paper is for practice only.  Lastly, keep your drawings away from the sun.  The UV rays will damage the paper and fade your drawing into nothing!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I discovered the most exciting site!  If you go to Google Art Project, you can navigate masterpieces in several art museums, and they are adding more all the time.  Google is using gigapixel technology.  The average resolution for each of the paintings you will see is 7 billion pixels - 1000 times that of the average digital camera.  That means that you can zoom in and inspect each and every brushstroke that Rembrandt made!  You can check out paintings that we can only dream of seeing in person.  I am having a wonderful time checking out this site.  I hope you will too.  Just click on the link below and go right there.  Have fun!

                                                       google art project

Saturday, June 4, 2011



This small drawing is a bit of a combination.  I used a lot of colored pencil, and a tiny bit of watercolor.  After the fact, I should have been more bold with the watercolor and less with the pencil.  That will be another project, I suppose! I drew this with my daughter in mind.  When she was 17, she had a goldfish that was most unusual.  It would rearrange it's tank daily.  By that I mean that it would spend hours moving the little plastic gems in the tank back and forth on the sandy floor.  First it would move them to the front, then push them all the way to the back.  I don't know if that is normal for a fish, but it kept my daughter highly amused, and will eventually be the subject of a children's book for me.


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Special Memories

I painted this from a photo I had taken and sketches I had done.  It is a place near and dear to my heart, up in the mountains in Utah.  My husband and I spent many hours here picnicking and hiking.  Nearby is a grove of aspen that turned the most glorious gold in the fall!  The wildflowers were brilliant patches of color and the rutted dirt road reminded me of the many trails we have yet to follow. This is a tiny painting...4x6 inches, done in acrylic.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I chose a monochromatic palette for this particular subject...especially after doing some studies on Durer, and going over Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks.  I loved those artists' simple sketches, concentrating on just learning their subjects.  I saw this set of shoes in a military museum...I will admit to actually being a tour guide volunteer for a few years in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was such a fun job!  I loved meeting the interested tourists, and spending time getting to know about the history of the military base I was living on at that time.  These particular shoes amazed me...can you imagine having to wear such uncomfortable things?  I decided on a weird little composition of completing one detailed shoe and adding a line drawing of the second 'shadow' shoe. I only used 2 colored pencils for this. I drew it during a quiet moment in the museum.  I was wearing an 1800's costume gown (minus the cramped corsette) with shoes similar to those I was drawing.  They were the clothes we were supposed to wear as tour guides.  It was storming something fierce that day, and the lights kept flickering in that ancient old building.  I was alone, as the other guide wasn't able to make it, and I swear I kept hearing footsteps coming down the hall!