Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Happy New Year!  With the year 2014 upon us, I have decided to make a few new resolutions dealing with my creative side...well, it is not so much a resolution as a REVOLUTION! I am revolting from my old ways, and attempting to change my habits to grow creatively.
First, I have decided that I am not progressing in my painting.  While my drawing skills have developed over the past year, I miss working with paint, and bringing large color into my life.  So I will be doing a painting a week (inasmuch as my life will allow it: with an ailing mother-in-law, and a lot of trips north ahead of us, I will do my very best!)
Second, I have been rather scattered in my art time.  I will be scheduling my time better, and making it a priority in my week.
Third, I will utilize my studio.  Lately I have gotten very lazy with my drawing, and have been working at the dining table or even (shocker!) in my easy chair!  That does not place my art in the priority level that it should be.  I will be working in my studio, where I will feel professional, and not such a hobbyist.
I am hoping that these changes will help me to focus.  I am trying to redefine my own idea of art.  What do I want to say?  What is art to me?
I am a procrastinator...or just plain lazy, but I know that somewhere deep inside me is an artist with a lot to create.  Over the next year, I will be exploring, developing, and creating that which is hidden away.  I am reminded of a quote: "She was like the moon...Part of her was hidden"  I am searching for that part of me that is hidden.  I welcome you to come along and help me to discover it!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I am working on some sketches for a possible still life painting.  My oil paintings are always a major event in my life, because they are so involved and the drawing and perspective gives me panic attacks!  I don't do many of them, obviously!  I love using antique childrens' toys in my still lifes, as they seem to be timeless and joyful.  The Fisher Price jalopy is one of my favorite old toys, but his head is bent at a funny angle, after so many years of use, and the composition is going to be key in getting the right emotional response from it.  I have a lot more drawing to do!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


This is a page from my sketchbook of notes and thumbnails for an upcoming painting.  I quite like the process as much as the finished product.  I do wish that I was as organized as those artists who are publishing books on their art journals.  Every page they create is so beautiful and inspiring!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


This spirit doll design is based on my passion for tea and comfort.  I will sculpt the face of clay, use a sugar spoon for the body, and add tea leaves like a halo around the head.  I plan on using some peppermint and rosemary sprigs for the back, and add teabag papers and possibly a tiny antique tea infuser.  My mama always told me that anything can be cured with a good cup of tea, whether it be a broken heart or a headache.  My belief in her and the tea ritual finds it to be true, for the most part!  Thanks, Mom!

Monday, December 9, 2013


I am working on some designs for spirit dolls this week.  I plan on making them after the holidays, when it is too cold to go anywhere, and I am needing a project.  I love the idea of gaining strength from an object that you have put your heart and soul into.  The dream catchers of the Native Americans inspire me.  I thought that I could work on a spirit doll that would encourage me to rely on my own strength, so this is my first attempt at a design.  I will sculpt the face from clay, make the body from oak twigs, and add a sort of wing made from a post oak leaf.  We have some red buffalo grass in the area, so I will use that as well.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I am posting a drawing that I did in 2003, just to see if I have been improving, or remaining stagnant in my artwork.  The glass candleholder was a real challenge to draw, but I had more uninterrupted time to get it done.  These days I am distracted and not as focused, so I am really unsure as to whether I am better, or not.  Maybe I just need a lock on my studio door!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Bored tonight!  I couldn't find anything interesting to draw, so I found an antique tea spoon that my mother had given me.  I don't think that the bowl of the spoon came out right, as you can't tell if it is coming or going, but I really like how the handle came out.  Also, don't you think that I gave it a bit of a bend where there shouldn't be?  It would have been nice to take some of those graphic design classes in college so that I could be more accurate in my drawing!

Friday, December 6, 2013


Should you do a drawing simply to fill a particular frame?  I drew this acorn in an attempt to get something specifically for a 1" frame (that's right...1"!  So cute!)  It is still too big, as the acorn grew into being an inch and a half in size.  It seemed to have a mind all its own, and refused to cooperate with me at all!  Maybe I should draw something smaller...a ladybug?

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I only added this sketch to my blog as a reminder to those fellow artists to NEVER have your sketchbook, your water bottle, and your cat on the same surface!  I lost half of my sketchbook, and never did finish this particular drawing.  Now that I have learned my lesson, you should see more drawings in the future!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I loved the face on this squirrel...a study from a photo I took along the coast.  This is not the usual midwestern squirrel, as it has a more streamlined face, and a thinner tail.  I do love doing detail and abstraction together.  It simplifies and captures the essence of the animal, I think.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Laugh if you want, but an artist will draw just about anything...even her own unshaven legs!  In an exercise in foreshortening, I drew my chubby little feet, and it actually came out fairly true to perspective.  Embarrassing, yes, but not something I plan on selling!  What kind of 'unpublishable' sketches do YOU do?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I always feel like creating with textiles in the fall.  This week I cut out leaf shapes in felt, and embroidered and beaded them. The MO Conservation Education Dept saw them, and...well, I am now doing a class on making them in the spring of next year.  I am already designing a template for a variety of leaves...tulip poplar, dogwood and oak.  And because the class is in March, I am going to choose yellow, acid green, and kelly green for the felt colors.  Fun!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I am weirded out by this grouse...really, I am not sure what is wrong with it, but I love the colors that I chose.  It is the shape of the neck that bothers me.  However, I vowed to put even the bad drawings onto my blog, so that you all can laugh at them, and remind me that everything doesn't have to come out perfect...we learn from the bad ones, not the good ones!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The latest in the series of left leaners...while the photo of this one didn't come out quite true to form, the original was stunning!  I was very pleased with the colors, the linework, and the curvature of the apple.  I think the angle of the camera was off a bit, because it is more oval than this...anyway, this really shows my attitude.  I am happier today, so I chose colors to reflect that.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I am really pleased with this pear.  I used a scribble technique that I don't normally use, and it gave it a bit more life and dimension than I usually get.  I wanted to convey the age and decay that was developing with it.  The fate of the pear? Juiced along with a small beet and a stalk of celery for a yummy, healthy drink!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I was working on a series of fruits and veggies, just to keep my hand in with color inks, and I noticed a funny thing...I always arrange them leaning to the left with a slightly right lightsource.  Weird!  Is it because I am left handed? Hmm...

Saturday, November 9, 2013


This sketch just goes to show you...ALWAYS use a good quality paper!  I was going along just fine with my budget sketchbook, and the ink bled into the eye in the wrong spot, virtually erasing the white paper that I had left for the highlight.  I was disappointed in the sketch and frustrated with the choices that I made to use that particular ink on that particular paper.  RATS!

Friday, November 8, 2013


I am back after a nasty bout of flu.  I thought I would refresh my sketches with a sweet puppy face.  For some reason, when left to my own devices, I like to draw one eye...usually the left side, and abstract the rest of the face.  I do so for no conscious reason...do I need therapy?!

Friday, October 18, 2013


Back to doing a few bird sketches today.  Some days I really like birds more than people.  I love the expression they have with just a tilt of the head, a dip of the beak...I wanted to get over to Shiloh park to do some landscape painting, but they closed it down due to the government shut down...politicians!!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Just doing a bit of doodling today...I was playing with some odd colors of felt tips that I had left in a bunch of old pens.  I rather like the sepia feel of them.  Just scribbles, really, but I am in a strange sort of mood today...

Monday, October 14, 2013


Here is a silly little sketch that I have been playing with...I have an idea for a children's book that involves a man, a tall hat, and an owl.  Illustration is new to me.  I have no formal training in it, and I wish I did!  I used to love several illustrators when I was a child that brought the book to life for me.  My favorite..."The Borrowers".  The illustrations were incredibly detailed, yet loose and lively.  I think this has real potential!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Well, here is something silly for the Halloween season!  My niece collects antique keys, and I was thinking of her the other day when I drew this.  She has such a good sense of humor, I think she would like this!  I have been innundated with family drama lately, and have had little time to think of art, but things are looking up!  I am working on the preliminary sketches for a Meditational Landscape...a painting where the motivation in painting it is too create something one can escape into, dream a little, and be at peace.  I have just the place in mind!  The hay is being harvested in Shiloh Military Park, and the turkeys are running about in the newly mowed fields hunting for a bit of food.  A lovely and peaceful place, especially in the late afternoon light!  Can't wait to get started!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Yeah!  I really like how this sketch came out! It works as a completed portrait, and the negative space works great.  I like the eye, and really enjoyed putting in the 'fluffy' feathers at the edges to give it a rugged look.  The eyes were a real challenge, as I wanted to add the extra layers of feathers below the eye to give it a 'had a hard night' kind of look.  All of the little extras really gave it a look of character that I wanted.  Now to work harder on that acorn...

Saturday, September 28, 2013


I really am trying to get the zentangle...I guess I just am not letting my doodle spirit loose to play! I started off with a basic face, widening the areas to doodle in them, but I think I am just to rigid...and my meditational skills really didn't get a chance with this as I over thought the whole process, and tried to get it to work aesthetically.  Nope!  Ugly, and a bit scary...perfect for the Halloween season though, don't you think?

Friday, September 27, 2013


I have always been especially fond of the raptors.  We saw a nesting pair on Biloxi Bay in Mississippi when we were living there, and spent several hours watching them, photographing them.  This is a small portrait, and I am afraid that the eye isn't quite right...the light was at an odd angle and that messes up what you see...and what you THINK you see!  Sometimes it is better to go with artist intuition than to draw exactly!  I have to work on my intuition and creative choices.  I could have done so many different things here to make it work!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Life occasionally gets in the way of art...this year it is really testing me.  Due to a family crisis, of which noone cares for me to expand upon (I hope), I was gone unexpectedly for a few weeks.  I am back with renewed feelings of creativity and resolve!  I chose to do an expressive drawing today, as I contemplate my own plans for growth and purpose in life...a temporary and frighteningly brief time on earth!  What impact do I want to make NOW...immediately and without waiting for something to get in the way?  I think that simple, elegant line is the most expressive thing I can do, and this drawing works on my personal level.  Hope you like it!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I was quick sketching yesterday, doing a kitten portrait to loosen up a bit before a more detailed drawing.  I came back to it today, and thought it might be interesting to add just a touch of watercolor to make the eyes pop.  I really like the effect.  I used yellow, orange and green watercolors.  Meow!

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I was playing with my watercolor pencils today.  They did fairly well, though I didn't use sturdy enough paper, and it warped a bit.  I added pen for the details, and felt it came out OK, but not great...I need to practice a LOT MORE!

Friday, September 13, 2013


We have had several Phoebes at our feeder this year.  They are an unassuming little bird with a lot of personality.  Their brown feathers have the look and texture of rich velvet.  This one sat quietly for me while I drew his profile...I find this kind of sketching to be the most peaceful. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I was reading an article about Jane Goodall today, and was fascinated by the wiseness, the knowledge in her eyes.  I did a quick study in pen to see if I could capture even a small amount of that peace and stillness...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I had the brilliant idea of going out into the woods with my sketchbook and drawing the forest floor.  I started in drawing the sticks, some of the fallen leaves, and some pine needles...when I notices the tiniest red spiders on my page.  Then itching...lots of itching...I ran indoors and showered, but too late!  I had sat in a 'chigger' infested area, and was eaten alive!  A week later (and an antihystimine-induced coma later) I am on the road to recovery, having discovered an allergy to the bites...dozens of them!  Nature is not so much my friend this week, and I never finished the sketch.  I am drawing from photos and from the window...

Thursday, August 29, 2013


 Yup! I am still feeling crafty...or artsy-fartsy, as my little brother used to say.  Today I did some leaf pounding, with a bit of an artistic bent.  I used a board. Put an art paper down (I used 140 lb paper). I picked a 'juicy' evergreen frond from my back yard.  By juicy, I mean that it has a lot of chlorofil in it. Fall leaves aren't usually very good for this because it is the end of the season, and the plant isn't producing much fluid.  Leaves are really best in the spring for this (Flowers, too!).
 I covered the evergreen with a sheet of waxed paper...
 I covered the whole thing with an old washcloth, doubled, and beat the crap out of it!  You have to really hit it hard to transfer the color from the plant to the paper, so choose a day you need to get your frustrations out.
 This is what my paper looked like after the pounding.  I am going to try this again in the spring...

 I used the evergreen, a wild grape leaf, and a dogwood leaf.

 Then I dug out my fine tip Sharpee, and started sketching in some of the finer details.

 I think that they came out fairly well.
I plan on matting and framing these three for a Christmas gift.  They are 5X5, and a nice little set for a surprise.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I am working with watercolor pencils today, and ink outlines in sepia pen.  I have been reading about some of the beautiful illuminations that the monks of long ago used to draw. Inspired! It made me think about doing initials and quote samplers for a Christmas gift, and that led to playing with shapes that might work for the letter 'A'.  These three leaves might work...look for additions to this illustration in the next week!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


 I am feeling crafty this week, and thought I would try a new origami pattern...a turkey!  The hickory trees here in Tennessee start to turn crimson in mid August, and the tulip poplars are already turning golden, even though we are having 90 degree weather!  I will take any sign Mother Nature will throw at me, however, to look forward to the fall. If I can perfect this origami turkey, and find some better dual sided paper, it is going to be a part of my Thanksgiving decorations!  I am not too happy with the tail...

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I am working my way back into realistic nature drawing again, and decided to go with a fish rather than a bird...felt I was getting into a bit of a rut this year.  I am actually anxious to get back to some painting, but it has been 6 months since I last dragged out the palette, and I am feeling a bit nervous.  Fish are interesting, with lots of different textures to draw, so it was a fun sketch.  What shall I draw tomorrow....?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I chose a more intricate pattern to do today for my contour line drawing.  I am thinking it would be good as a quilting pattern, right?  Well, maybe not...even I got a bit confused when I was working on the bee wings.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I am back!  I had a glitch in the computer, and a glitch in my back that had me unable to move for a bit.  I was feeling a bit intimidated by the blank page when I started back to my drawing, so I chose contour line to loosen up again.  It is always my favorite starter.  I used a Sharpee fine tip, and a photo of my daughter to do this drawing, and it is actually one of my favorites!  Hope you like it...

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Photo by Rose...oddities collection.
I was posting my latest contour line drawing when a NOTICE came up on Blogger stating that I was unsecure...unsafe...and must immediately install this program to secure and save my blog.  OOOPS!  It was a lie, and I have spent the past week trying to undo BING as my 'new' server.  Never again will I press a button willy-nilly without first consulting the tech geek (hubby) first!  Please stand by while I completely rid my system of malware.  I will be up and running again in another 24 hours!


While recovering from some dental work, I thumbed through an old magazine and came across an advertisement (I think for dog food) with this little girl in it.  I decided to do a contour line, just to keep up the drawing, and came up with this...I really like it!  It captures the moment, the feel, but doesn't copy photographically.  I am finding more joy in contour line lately than in any other style of figurative art.  Yes....I think I am inspired!