Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today I started the process of getting my sketch on canvas.  My hubby gave me a wonderful new gadget for my birthday...a mini projector!  I took my beginning sketches and transfered them into the projector digitally, and projected them onto the canvas, where I then sketched in charcoal.  I made a few changes to the position of the ducks, enlarged the rubber ducky for better effect, and bowed the legs of the duckling for a bit of whimsy and humor.  Now I am ready to get the painting started! The hardest part of the whole process? Facing that white canvas!  If I can only conquer that fear of not being perfect (which never happens anyway!) and just paint, I would be a much happier person. A new painting is terrifying!  And wonderful! Crazy!! They are going to send me off to the looney bin one of these days....

Monday, October 29, 2012


I am working on a painting for my Art Critique class coming up November 1.  The assignment is to use a 'mother' color, choosing a particular paint color, and using it throughout the entire painting, in EVERY mix!  I am choosing for my mother color Cadmium Yellow Medium.  It is a warm color, a bright one and a color I am drawn to.  It reminds me of golden afternoon light and comfort.

We were encouraged for this assignment to pick any subject that we wanted, but as I was doing a 'mother' color, I chose to do a tribute to my own mother.  I will explain further when the painting is completed, but this will have a rubber ducky in the painting!  I loved the basic color, and the challenge of making it come to life and work throughout the painting.  Thank goodness for taking the occasional art class, and getting together with other artists.  Despite the stereotype of the hermit artist, we need that stimulation, and the inspiration of talking 'art'.  Not that I don't LOVE getting some alone time....

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I have a new class coming up in a week, in which I must paint something, anything, using "mother" colors.  My instructor explains that this means that you pick your predominant color, and then use it in every mix in the painting.  Your darks must have that color, your lights must have that color.  If I were to choose purple as my 'mother' color, I would have to use it throughout the painting. No exceptions!  At this stage of the game, I am in a bit of a panic, as I haven't decided what I will actually paint.  A landscape would be fairly easy, a still life is much too time consuming...I want to do something for this particular class that I have a real, personal connection to, as the instructor is a stickler for communication.  What are you wanting to say with your painting??  Are you communicating your message clearly?? What is the reason for your painting?? If you don't have a reason, then you are wasting your time!!!  I am panicked!!!  I will come up with something, just wait and see....

Friday, October 26, 2012


 I have been thinking about illustrating a of those artist dreams that may or may not happen, as my ambition alone will tell.  I took these photos a few years ago in Brigham City, UT.  Someone was in the midst of renovating their 'Painted Lady' home, and the dog found it's way out onto the roof and was having a lovely time looking around.  My imagination was captured by all the possibilities of the scenario!  Being a children's book enthusiast, I hope to someday make a book come to life for some young person!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


This is a photo that I took this week while hiking at Shiloh National Civil War Park.  The colors are really starting to show themselves for the time of year, and it is a wonderfully beautiful landscape to behold.  So now what do I do with it?  Is it better to just leave it alone, a photo worth admiring? Or can I use it as an inspiration for a painting?  Where is the composition?  Where should I start? Should it be done as an illusionery, impressionist piece? or maybe crop in close and concentrate on a path in the woods?  Is it too much of a photo to really make a painting?  I am asking YOU what you would do with this autumn inspiration...I am overwhelmed by the possibilities and stumped!

Monday, October 22, 2012


I have had a busy week, as my delightfully creative mother has come to visit me.  We have a tradition each fall of creating a tiny tree for our 'forest'.  Over the years, we have created trees from fleece, polymer clay, washcloths, buttons, etc.  This year I came upon hundreds of what I think are False Turkeytail Polypore mushrooms, right in my own front yard.  I discovered after a heavy rain that they were extremely pliable when wet, and dried into a lovely parchment-like material.  So I gathered enough to make a tree for each of us.  This is the result!  I love it...we used styrofoam as a base, soaked the mushrooms and pinned them onto the base, allowed it to dry, and added some tiny birds to nestle among the 'branches'.  Finally, we sealed it with a gel medium, and cut a tiny trunk from a branch outdoors.  While it is not traditional 'art' , it is creative, and great fun!  I love making crafting memories with my mom.  Can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


This is the painting that I have submitted for the latest Artist Challenge #72, landscape.  It is a really large painting, 24" x 36", done in oils.  This was the view that I had every evening when I was living in Biloxi, MS.  We were fortunate enough to have a house on the Bay, and my sunroom looked out over the water.  It was one of the more exciting places that the military sent us, as we had an abundance of wildlife right in our backyard! (In case you are wondering, U.S. military bases are also wildlife preserves.  They are very conscious of preserving our precious land and resources.  I have dealt with antelope grazing in my front yard in Wyoming, roadrunners roaming the streets in New Mexico, and in Mississippi, we had nutria, alligators and herons in our back yard!) Our house in Biloxi is gone, a victim of Katrina several years ago, but my memories of living here, watching the dolphins in the bay, the lurking alligators, the herons catching lizards in the bushes, are still vivid, and wonderful!

 You can visit the Artist Challenge website here:

Sunday, October 14, 2012


This is another of my home still lifes.  I was inspired to put these items together because of their color. The green has a lot of depth, and the turquoise blue just pops! It is unexpected enough to keep it from being boring.  I look for lots of color in my life and in my paintings, and this is a tiny scenario that shows that off.  I used the texture of the bamboo fan behind for some interest as well.  Many years ago I was inspired by a science fiction artist who painted alien portraits...he used texture in all of his backgrounds, posing his aliens before backdrops of limestone walls, Egyptian murals, and crumbling frescos.  What an inspiration it was!  I seriously considered portraiture because of this artist, and I hope eventually to use this idea of texture in more of my paintings!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


One of the things that I learned with the self-portrait class, is that some people find it easier to express their inner selves in an abstract manner.  One especially talented artist named Tuva (beautiful, right!?) did the most amazing piece of art by layering, spraying and building up colors.  She developed a truly wonderful piece of art that was filled with all of her emotions.  She added some light areas that were truly inspiring, contrasted with some of the hideously dark bits that are humanity.  Wow.  Really, WOW!  I am not nearly developed enough as an artist to be able to create something that deep and emotional, but I did decide to play with movement and shapes for a visual emotional play.  This little doodle is my attempt to show what my joy looks like.  Ladders climbing up out of the depths, bubbles flowing upward and bursting into tiny feelings of happy, and waves of movement forward.  What do you think?  Too deep?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


This painting was for a critique class that I am taking.  Our teacher, Fred Rawlinson is a former art professor for the Memphis College of Art, and a well-known watercolorist.

Our assignment was to paint a self portrait, not portraying ourselves figurally.  We were to paint ourselves in such a way that we revealed something noone else knew about us, and to make it unique to us.

I chose a cat. My state of mind at the beginning of the painting was not good, as I was feeling particularly self-defensive.  Backed into a corner, and trying to maintain a bit of dignity in losing all control of the situation around me!  The painting became a real learning experience for me, however.  As I did my preliminary sketches, and started laying out the basic painting, I found true self coming out.  I am a bit of a mischievous soul.  I hate being bored, and am always coming up with new ways to stay occupied.  That imp in me, that bit of the devil, started to show in the eyes of the cat.  I took the eyes in an Egyptian direction, to show that bit that few know about favorite art teacher in college was fascinated with Egyptian art, to the point that he spent every summer there working archaeology digs.  I did many assignments dealing with the cultural pyramid paintings, and the perspective of Egyptian pictographs. 

I kept the attitude of the aggressive cat behavior to show my constant battle against my low self esteem, and my determination to beat it!  When I painted in the whiskers, my final touch, I felt such joy!  I danced around the entire house! It isn't my best work, but it is certainly my favorite.  It expresses so much about me, and I learned that I need to put ME in more of my work.  I can't wait for my next assignment!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012


This is a painting from a year ago, and still one of my favorites.  It is simple, colorful, and not too detailed.  The size of the painting is 3"x5", so you are probably seeing it larger than life.  Hubby hated it, and actually, I don't think that I have run across anyone who much likes it, but for me it signifies the first time that I ever saw a red fox...a burst of surprise and pure pleasure in the seeing. One of the few paintings I have done where I didn't ask for anyone to like it but myself!  That in itself was a tiny bit of growth for me, because I long to please everyone.  I have spent my whole life trying to please everyone, and as the saying goes, 'try to please everyone, and you please noone.'  Ah, well...

Monday, October 1, 2012


Here again is an older drawing of mine, and an experiment in computer drawing programs.  The wonderful thing about using the computer, especially in these economically challenged times, is that you can experiment with all kinds of 'media' and you aren't wasting precious paint and canvas on trial and error.  This is a 'pastel' piece, and I was trying to find a more colorful way to work.  I was excited by the purple shadows on the rust colored feathers, and will definitely be using that combination in a painting later.  Also, I find that I enjoy the more abstract backgrounds.  I find doing too much detail stressful and my hubby concluded that it is stressful to look at as well when I am not having fun with it.  Smart hubby!!!