Sunday, September 19, 2010

getting serious about loosening up

Watercolor on gessoed watercolor paper. My daughter, Kajsa, went to Yellowstone this summer and took several photographs of the wildlife - I painted this once and it was stiff and awful so I tried again and this time it turned out much more like what I was aiming for -  I have never painted on gessoed paper before but it sure helped me to keep it loose - 8x10 -

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I like this one!

This started out to be an acrylic under painting for an evening sky and distant treeline water color painting.  I realized that the foreground was too dark to go back in with watercolors which had been my original intention. (OK so I wasn't thinking straight from the get go ) Anyway,  I started messing around with pastels on the under painting and this is what I got and I'm very happy with it- Surprise!!! I never like my artwork and I like this. 11x14 on 300lb water color paper.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Having more fun with watercolors

Still having fun practicing watercolors -  working on getting looser --- for my birthday I got four new watercolor books that have inspired me to try new and different styles and techniques - I'm thrilled because I feel good enough to practice several days a week - small 4x6

Friday, June 11, 2010

Painting Little Jewels

I am having lots of fun wrinkling up wet watercolor paper and then dropping or painting with watercolors--I then let it dry a little and go back in and do a little negative painting - My paper does not hold up to this technique very well I'm using a student grade 90lb -I am going to try some other papers - 

I'm not very familiar with negative painting techniques and sometimes I  just define an area or two - but talk about loose - this is very very loose - two of these pieces I have done in other media I think I blogged them if so I'll post a link to my original versions - I have no idea if these are any "good" but I do know that I enjoy making them and looking at them so I guess that is all that counts for me- these are all small 3"x5"-
This is rock creek I did it in colored pencil as a thank you note to my uncle here

I tried this scene in pastels here  I like this version better.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

another try at Pastel landscape

Still working on getting looser and how to do leaves against the sky so the leaves and the sky do not look choppy.  I do not like the leaves and sky area in this and it is not fixable so I think I need to do some small practice studies so I can figure out how to get the look I want.  I tried a watercolor underpainting on wallis sanded paper on this piece.   The watercolor caused the paper to buckle even though I had taped it firmly - next time I will dry mount and see if that holds the paper flat while wet - it did flatten back out when it had dried.  As usual I overworked this so the entire underpainting is gone-   there were several areas that would have been lovely had I restrained myself and  let them peek through the pastels - this is small 8" x 10" -  It has been so long since I posted on blogger things have changed and I can't figure out how to left align the text - there it's fixed-

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mangoes and Crayons

I spent the day in my studio - Worked on a pastel landscape I had started last month - and then decided to work with crayon - I've always loved the colors on mangoes and I had two in the kitchen - For some reason I feel very relaxed when I work with crayons and the best part of crayon is you have to quit before you are ready to because plain paper will only take so much crayon - 5"x7" on plain paper

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ashley's Iris #3

I'm not sure if I'm done with this Iris or not - the series may not be done- but I think this piece needs work - however, I'm going to leave it alone for a while - Pastel on colorfix paper 8 1/2" x 11 1/2".  The background is weird but that is what happened -  it reminds me of some old fashioned William Morris motif - I just love the colors in the central large petal on the blossom - and have yet to do them justice -

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ashley's Iris #2

Since the last Iris had a failed background I started with the background on this one - Ink on watercolor paper approx 6" x 11" -  I am having fun with the ink - this one was fun # 3 will be pastel - maybe later this week-

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ashley's Iris

Took lots of reference photos when we were at Lars and Ashleys this spring this iris was from her garden- the black background evolved when the original watercolor pencil background failed - watercolor pencil on fabriano HP 140lb paper approx 5" x 10"

I really want to get back to making more art and watching less TV

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Something Different

Ink on watercolor paper- obviously inspired by fall - I had fun doing this and I like the finished product - except I now have black India ink freckles

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Impressionist Landscape - A Sad Story -

For the last two months I have been looking forward to a weekend workshop entitled "Painting the Impressionistic Landscape in Pastel" at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa -My friend Rosemary signed up with me and came down from Chicago for the class-

We made reservations at the Marriott for Saturday night - we packed our supplies our clothes and got up at 5:00 am on a Saturday so that we could arrive on time- we were 15 minutes early but the building was locked I rang the bell and a guard came from the museum and checked to see who I was & what I wanted - I told her we were here for the class and she called in to check and see if we were in the right place - we were - she was surprised no one else was there but said maybe people were running late -

We waited and still no one came - to make a very long story short - There was no workshop!!! - it was still on the museum's website and the artist's website and they took our money - but somehow - there was no class - I cannot say how disappointed I was - The people at the museum were very nice and very apologetic but - there was no workshop -!!!!!!---- ????? We made the best of a huge disappointment and spent the morning at the museum - it is fabulous - lots of Remingtons, Morans, Caitlins, and even a newly acquired Georgia O'keefe - it is an outstanding collection of paintings, bronzes and artifacts - definitely a world class collection - and then we went to a local street fair with art - not so great but interesting -

Arena had invited us to have dinner at her house - Heath and Noah came too - and we had a wonderful meal Boeuf Bourguignon a La Julia Child and panna cotta with raspberries for desert - Arena is a wonderful hostess and cook we enjoyed our evening-

So... on Sunday Rosemary and I held our own little Impressionist workshop and these two pastel sketches are the results of my efforts to create an impressionist landscape in pastel - both are 6" by 9.5" on hahnemuhle paper- it is a very soft paper and has a velour like texture the top sketch is from a photograph I took at Darlene's house the lower sketch is a copy of a Richard McDaniel Landscape

Monday, September 7, 2009

one more try

I tried this one once more- this time on canson mi tientes smooth side - I got some things right but I'm still having trouble with the leaves and the dark bunches of leaves-- I think I keep making them too much alike - I like the background and the sunrise and the fore ground- but I have to study trees with leaves - they are very difficult - for me at least - Ive had a great labor day weekend-- I made three pieces of art - They were great practice pieces and I learned from each - We also had a nice day on the boat - and dinner at red lobster -

baby steps no acrylic

This is how I wish this piece looked .... but I used photo shop to enhance the contrast 9x12 pastel on colorfix - the lower version is more accurate-- maybe a little faded on screen when compared to the actual piece - it is hard to get a good scan and then I guess it looks different on every monitor - I wanted to try to paint this in acrylic but I could not face putting pastels away and cleaning up my studio and setting up for painting so it is in pastel - I think I will just keep practicing in pastels but the next time I will be braver with color & contrast

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Portrait Practice

Ashley's dad - this guy has a great face -- very open and friendly and relaxed --with lots of character - pastel on aubergine colorfix - does not scan well 9x12 - not quite done but almost - tomorrow a sunset in acrylic - maybe

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thanks to Uncle Richard

My Uncle Richard made this beautiful Shaker Sewing Basket from a piece of silver maple - I received it just in time for my 60th birthday-- what a wonderful gift! He made several other boxes (a total of 5) and a bowl out of the same piece of silver maple and gave them to my sisters, my mother (his sister) and my brother -The sketch below was the front of my thank you note to Uncle Richard -

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Correcting Mistakes

In school you had to go back and correct your mistakes -So I went back to see where I went wrong - how else will I learn???

Kajsa's head got way to wide and tall - I think part of the problem is that I work flat I think I should work on an easel and work vertically - parallel to my reference or subject -

This looks much more like Kajsa mostly I changed the width of her forehead and hair and enlarged the glasses I also narrowed her shoulders - Not a great or even a good work of art but definitely a learning experience -

Plus after seeing the corrected version on a computer screen I could see the bridge of her nose was not shaded correctly so it looks even better now -Pastels are great for fixing mistakes - I fixed them so I could see what I did wrong next time I might try to fix the art work - I am very please with the corrected version - and what I learned by doing it - ;-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

portrait practice

Went to Oklahoma City Art Museum for a portrait class - it was VERY basic but we had fun - this looks nothing like Kajsa but--oh well the next one might -and I will spend more time- I think the forehead is wrong - the mouth maybe looks a little tiny bit like Kajsa's mouth - this was quick about two hours -
Heath and Arena both did excellent pieces -in fact I believe they both "out drew me" or is that beat me to the draw- I'm quite impressed with their work

Thursday, July 23, 2009

over worked but improved

this is about learning so I forgot about loose and tried to fix some of the things I did not like about this the first time I "finished the path" (see previous post for first version) -- I added more- and lightened the sky --- darkened tree foliage -- warmed up the path-- added a few foreground darks -- -

I think experience and understanding of what works imparts freshness and looseness and that means lots of trial & error -I need way more experience to get fresh and loose without overworking - I might try this again and see if I can get a better cleaner version - this particular piece is way over done but I did learn a lot

Sunday, July 12, 2009

still working on loose - A Path

I'm just practicing - I tried sketching for all most one full year and I guess I'm not really a sketcher - I like making bigger pieces - so I'm going to just bite the bullet make bigger more finished pieces and work at making better art - this is OK but I am not happy with the upper foliage I like the path and the foreground contrast - But in looking at this ( it's a photograph as the piece was too big for the scanner 11x13") I'm surprised at how blurry the leaves on the tree look - I think I worked on it for four or five hours today -

Friday, July 10, 2009

still working on loose

I bought lots of pears in december they were all photographed then eaten - these were the yellow ones but they look red in this sketch- pastel on colorfix paper about 10 x 7 - Just practicing -

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

working on loose

I like this a lot 11 1/2" x 7" on bristol - crayon & colored pencil - I took reference photos of these pears last December but never did anything with them - I want to get looser and working with crayons is helping me do that - it is also hard to overwork it because you can't get anything to stick to the paper after a layer or two with the crayons -

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Myriad Gardens Orchids

I tried this same Orchid reference in pastel on black paper a few weeks ago this is Colored Pencil and black marker on Strathmore velum bristol - 8 x 10" I like this better - but it took a lot more time to get it to where I liked it -

Sunday, June 21, 2009

La Partida

I am not a musician and never will be but, I just love to play my hammered dulcimer - it makes me happy (click this link or on the link below to hear me play this)
 -this is called La Partida I learned it several years ago at a dulcimer festival from Rick Thum there are lots of mistakes and unevenness in this but I love this piece - so up it goes -
I'm also practicing one called The Meeting House - It's my sister Jan's favorite piece and I always played it for her when we vacationed together over the fourth of July in the North Woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula- aka UP NORTH - this is the second year - we won't be there - or maybe the third - I miss her and our vacations with family and friends - so watch for "The Meeting House " coming soon to a blog near you!
This month my blog is one year old - I've posted 95 times and have done a lot more art work than I would have made without the blog - I think my focus has changed and I'm going to use the blog as a sort of record - to me, for me - of the things that I am doing to support my need to be creative - but I'm trying to not spend so much time on the internet because like TV it is very easy to end up just watching and not doing - and the last thing I want to do is watch others live their lives and not have time to live my own - One of the bloggers I know calls her blog "Progress - Not Perfection" - I like that - and I believe I am learning to give up the idea that I need to be perfect or even especially good at anything before I do it or post it - It is about the journey the enjoyment, the lessons learned and the time spent being very much in the moment .

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Different strokes from Different Folks Summer Vegetables

Another challenge from Karin Jurick at Different strokes from Different Folks Summer Vegetables -
I'm not sure why I did an abstract version I generally don't like abstracts--
in fact I generally dislike abstracts
but when I first saw this image I thought there would be LOTS of abstract versions
I'm surprised that there are not.
I started a realistic image and kept thinking it should be an abstract so here it is
"three tomatoes two onions and a bunch of corn on a plate"
crayon & colored pencil on vellum bristol approx 10" x 7"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


My niece Heath graduated from Medical School she is now officially a Dr. ! Congratulations Heath! We went to Oklahoma City for the Graduation - I had never been there before - What a nice city! no traffic and a great botanical garden / conservatory -it was called Myriad Gardens I took lots of pictures this orchid is based on one of my photos - working on whites and keeping it loose- 8 x 10 " pastel on black paper - very tough keeping the background black-

Monday, May 25, 2009

Different strokes from Different Folks Week 35&36 Pennsylvania Landscape

Another challenge from Karin Jurick at Different strokes from Different Folks her reference photo was a gray scale photo of a Pennsylvania Farmscape. Karin asked everyone to invent their own color version. I made my fields the color of late summer fields - yellow orange and green . 6x9" pastel on Hanemuhle velour paper.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A work in progess - it's all about MOM

For my beautiful Mother

I Love You Mom

In progress several hours more to go - Unfortunately I plan to age you a little

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Working on Whites

Little 4.5" x 5.5" pastel on Wallis paper- White on white study - not easy - not a total success-- but not a total failure either. I'm in Artistic rehab now and just trying to find the best exercises to get my artistic muscles back into shape.
I brewed a whole pot of decaf for this sketch and I can hardly see the coffee - I guess I'll go make another cup and this time I'll drink it -

May #3 the luck of the draw

I have kept my word to myself and spent an hour a day in my studio - the day after I did Carolyn in pastel I did a second version in watercolor pencil which I did not like and will not be posting -

the next day I found myself blogastinating and forced my self into my studio shut my eyes and pulled out a photo from my photo reference drawer -and this is what I got - It took a couple of days to do - not what I envisioned but it represents about 3 hours of fiddling I did not like the paper I need to stick to Wallis and Colorfix papers for pastels -- what a huge difference paper makes-
tonight I will try a value study in white ? HUH??? OK just a study in white
Approx 6" x 7" best viewed from a great distance in very low light

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Carolyn & My life as a Slug!

Pastel on Wallis paper 9" x 12" this is my brilliant and talented niece Carolyn she is an ALL American pole vaulter- She recently placed seventh at the nationals we are extremely proud of her.

As for me -- well I have recently been living the lifestyle of the all American SLUG - I go to work come home eat dinner and watch TV -no computer no email no drawing no dulcimering - It was all that I could do - but now I seem to have more energy - The slug lifestyle is easy and nice but eventually I got a little bored with it- I believe I burnt out during our recent kitchen remodel and it has taken 4 months and a visit to my mother to get fully recovered .

I made a vow to my self that I would spend at least an hour a day in my studio doing something - ANYTHING every day in May - so this piece is the result of my first couple of studio hours. I was inspired by a wonderful photograph of Carolyn that was taken by her younger sister Cecille - Cecille is a very talented photographer- Thanks Cecille hope you don't mind this unauthorized use of your photo. And the cover of the most recent issue of Drawing magazine - I love the scribble style -

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Boogie waiting for me to get busy!

Ok so my current excuse is we just finished remodeling our kitchen - and we are way to old to be doing these DIY projects!!! I am still recovering - I can't believe we survived -- but Kajsa (who helped me tile and grout the kitchen floor -while the boys worked the tile saw ) is having severe back pains - poor baby -

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pastel version

I thought the water color was flat and boring so I tried the same reference in pastel-- I like it much better -- of course-- it took quite a bit longer to do about two or three hours compared to maybe an hour on the water color version--- this piece is 11" x 15" (on Brenda Mattson paper which I don't like )- I actually enjoyed doing this so maybe I will allow myself to do some more pastel and pencil pieces and work on watercolors and sketching a little less - AHHHHH it feels good to do something fun again