Sunday, December 28, 2008

Getting the most out of "An Illustrated Life"

For Christmas I received a copy of Danny Gregory's An Illustrated Life it was a wonderful surprise ( from me to me)- -
It is a beautiful and fascinating book but I don't want to miss a thing - I followed Winna Jill's advice to getting the most out of every page

Saturday, December 27, 2008

If the shoe fits AKA - EDM # 1

this shoe won't fit anyone - it is very small and the front half is solid -- no place for toes - A gift from my niece It is made of some kind pottery - I enjoyed sketching it - my sketch is larger than the shoe-
then a really quick sketch and a few blobs of water color I liked the water color so much I put color on the first version too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Water color and micron pen in moleskine watercolor sketch book 8 1/2" x 5"

My husband was born in Sweden and came to the US with his family when he was 13 years old--- that was many many many many many years ago. We have a big Christmas eve meal that includes many traditional Swedish dishes. We decorate the house and tree with a lot of Swedish Christmas decorations. My favorite decorations are the straw goats they are called Jul Bok - In Sweden there are trolls called tomten who bring gifts on Christmas eve in a sled pulled by goats - so these straw goats are kind of like reindeer - sort of --

I'm not sure how many of these we have this one is about 12" tall I have one that is close to three feet tall - Our tree has lots of straw ornaments, red hearts, paper Dala horses and sometimes Swedish flags.

Here is Boogie and the Jul Bokken waiting for Santa

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Sketch of some Hammers

So back to practicing water colors and sketching - a pair of hammers that I seldom use but they were interesting to sketch -water color on a very strange paper I have no idea where I got it but it is not really like paper more like plastic 4 1/2" x 8" fairly quick 45 minutes maybe - I am learning but I still need to work on my quick draw - drawing skills

I buy lots of hammers it must have something to do with BEAS disease some related syndrome but hard to diagnose - maybe I think I'll play better if I have better hammers but mostly I think I'll play better when I practice more - mmm do ya think practice would work?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

my first public performance

I don't "Play Out" as they say in the hammered dulcimer world - it means I only play in my studio and I never play for any kind of an audience - I have severe performance anxiety - I choke- big time -and my playing is an absolute train wreck if I think any one can see or hear me play - but at night if I am not making art I am making music-

I am mostly self taught and I just love the sound of this instrument - my Hammered Dulcimer is a Chromatic Grand built by David Lindsey of Bennington Oklahoma - I bought this one about 6 years ago when I lived in Illinois-- David had a booth at the Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival in Morris Illinois - and I had to have one of his dulcimers- they have the EXACT sound I was looking for (it is bright, brassy and loud- like me- without much sustain- also like me -) my first dulcimer was a Dusty Strings ( not enough notes) so then I got a Master Works (too much sustain and too soft a voice) and then I got my Grand it is absolutely just right

Thanks to the extreme kindness and supportive remarks that my EDM friends make regarding my attempts at art - I have the nerve to post my first public performance on the hammered dulcimer - It took about 10 takes to relax enough so I could get through this short version of Carol of the Bells - just knowing I had the camera on made me nervous

anyway thanks to everyone for the kind comments and support you have shown me both on my blog and my FLICKR I am wishing you all the very best in the coming New Year

Saturday, December 6, 2008

December Virtual Sketch Date

Pastel on Brenda Mattson paper 11"x15" for Virtual sketch date

this paper has very little tooth I don't think I like the paper -I am, however, satisfied with the drawing -

This is not what I would call a sketch it took about 3 hours - I did make an attempt with watercolors but that went straight into the trash - I am thinking more and more about - not learning to sketch in ink or watercolors but just play around with my standards pencils and pastels - I am so much more relaxed when I do -

Friday, December 5, 2008

Different Strokes - Her Boots - (maybe final version)

This is the version I submitted to Karin's Different strokes from Different Folks - I'm having fun with the crayons but I think maybe this background is boring -I found a box of 64 crayola brand crayons - Kajsa gave them to me when she was cleaning her craft area out - and I discovered them while I was reorganizing my studio -- I enjoyed kind of scribbling with them -

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm trying to blog less create more

this was a demo/lesson on the Painting & Drawing channel that I watched on you tube last night -- the lessons change weekly so it may not still be there - I watched the video and then went straight to my studio to practice - It turned out ok but I don't like the sky - scan is not quite true to color but close enough -

This is the new challenge on Karin Jurick's Different Strokes from Different Folks I did this real quick in crayon & I like it way more than my water color for the last challenge -- but I'm posting the good and the bad so that was bad this one is pretty good - I'm considering if I want to do more or leave it as is -

Monday, December 1, 2008

Different strokes from Different Folks

Karin Jurick has an interesting weekly challenge at her blog Different Strokes from Different Folks- (see all the entries for this week here )
the reference for this week's challenge was the photo below - my version is 5" x 8" on 90 lb watercolor paper it is done in watercolor, - this is my second time to participate it is a fun challenge.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Clean Studio

This may not happen again for quite some time - but I got my studio in order - It does not look this neat today as I played in it yesterday ---and so it is now lived in - this is my favorite room in the house -

I had wanted to paint the walls and ceilings when we moved here but it was one of the better rooms in the house and now it has been close to three years and there are still MANY projects ahead of this one - we might even get to do the kitchen this winter !!! Yahoo!!!!! my kitchen is vintage 1970 it can use a lot of updating - at this rate maybe in 3 or 4 years I will get my studio painted, replace the old patio doors and get rid of the carpet which has some pastel dust stains - but I still like this room - it is my first room totally devoted to art and music -no computer -no TV -no guest bed (but it has been slept in a couple of time using blow up bed)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

balancing my life

Little 4x6 pastel on a scrap of velour mat board - my studio is a wreck - I got sidetracked while organizing and worked on this instead - I need to finish organizing it so I can work in it - after all it is the most important room in the house!
It is so hard to find a balance - when you have four hours per week day and 16 hours each Saturday and Sunday to do all the things you want to do - but as I write 52 hours seems like a lot of time -

9 hours blogastinating & other computer related stuff
8 hours doing art
6 hours house work + laundry
6 hours TV
6 hours reading
4 hours playing hammered dulcimer
4 hours shopping
9 hours for everything else-
time with Gunnar- visiting with the neighbors- talking on the phone- daydreaming-going out to eat- motorcycle riding - etc.
Well after thinking about it I guess I don't waste as much time as I thought I think this is a realistic list (except maybe I spend less time on house work) I get a huge amount of enjoyment blogging and visiting blogs so to me it is not wasted time -

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A work in progess - it's all about ME!

I'm working on this little sketch of Arena her left eye is wrong & I'm not sure what about it is off or how to fix it-
but mostly the work in progress is ME -
I am working and learning at many levels. Here are some things I've learned so far -
Making Art is Hard Work
I like to work horizontally
I want to use sketchier looser lines-
Artistic styles and subject matter I admire are not necessarily styles or subject matter I like to use
I like working on landscapes and portraits of things and/or people
I don't enjoy doing still life arrangements or abstractions
I am easily distracted and like to try new things
I like to work in pastel and colored pencil
I want to take more workshops
I want to learn to use water colors
I'm not interested in selling my art work
I am interested in and enjoy the creative process
I love to buy art supplies and art books
Blogging is time consuming
I learn a lot when I try new things
I love interacting with artist's and creative people on line
I need to practice sketching people more
I don't want to make a cool journal
I do want to make good sketches
I am glad I joined everyday matters
I am still searching for my style
I need to improve my drawing skills
I want to be more aware of composition in my larger pieces
I need to get off the computer and clean house or make art!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

post card swap

Post cards for the swap - I am working on learning to use watercolors for sketches - I like how fast they are but you do need to practice techniques - and learn some control - I meant to get this to the post office today but I was blogastinating and so they will be mailed on Monday -

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dusty the Hen (originally posted as "Liz's Rooster or maybe its a Chicken)

I can't find the original link to this critter that I used as a reference but here is the blog where it came from- I did it a couple of weeks ago 3x5 watercolor in accordian fold sketch book --I didn't like it at first but now I do and oh well it is what it is (making chicken sounds for myself as I type .. bawk bwahck bwa bwa bawk)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I love the Sunrise

This was a hazy morning with a mist over the lake sometime in the last week of October

This Sunrise was taken on Thursday November 6th as our ship came back to Galveston and our cruise came to an end.

Getting ready for work in the fall this is my morning view of the lake and the sunrise - Here is another new day-

I am happy every day because I get to see this beautiful view - I have to remember how fortunate I am to be living in this time and this place-

I love the sunrise at this time of year because the sunrises in the sky where it is not hidden behind the mountain and I can see it and take pictures of it - Sometimes I take pictures every day of the week it is just so beautiful - Last year the best sunrise was on my sisters birthday - January 11th here is what I saw that morning -

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


4" x 7" Color pencil and water colors - I actually have been doing lots of little art's I will post some on flickr no time to blog - I'm sure I won't post again until after my CRUISE!!!! I'm going on a five day Carnival Cruise to Progreso and Cozumel courtesy of my employer -

Monday, October 20, 2008

October Virtual Sketch Date

Crayons on inkjet paper with black sharpie marker background - I see things I could fix like the shape of the plate but this is how it's gonna stay - another fun challenge if I have time I might try it in water color- 81/2" x 5"
Visit VIRTUAL SKETCH DATE to see other participants

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Practicing Lessons

I have been watching the Painting & Drawing channel these are two little watercolors I did using the techniques I learned in Interactive Acrylics Three - Watercolour but of course I used watercolors and he used acrylics - but I did learn some techniques and it was a great practice exercise
I thought the mid ground got a little muddy in the top, first piece, so I redid it and I thought the second trial was stiff - But I enjoyed the lessons learned and I love the cloud techniques


Blogastinate -Main Entry: blog·as·ti·nate
Pronunciation: \blog-as-ti-nāt, \
Function: verb Inflected Form(s): blog·as·ti·nat·ed; blog·as·ti·nat·ing
Etymology: Mixed English Blog short for Weblog a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer ; also : the contents of such a site and the Latin procrastinatus, past participle of procrastinare, from pro- forward + crastinus of tomorrow, from cras tomorrow
Date: October 2008 (coined by Kathleen Okmark)

Transitive verb : to put off intentionally and habitually the posts in ones own blog by spending too much time reading the blogs of others.
intransitive verb : to put off intentionally the blog postings that should be done.
blog·as·ti·na·tor noun - preferred (alternately blog·as·ti·na·ter) one who blogastinates

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Morgan Marie

Morgan Marie - my brothers daughter - Quick study from a photo my sister posted I set my timer for 15 minutes but I was totally not done so I gave myself 15 more to finish - so it was 30 minutes total and I quit before I was done - I am working on sketching but instead I think I made a small drawing - This is colored pencil on colorfix paper about 5"x7"- I have only used this paper with pastels and I must say it absolutely eats the colored pencils up -

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boogie's Breakfast

This is our little dog Boogie (as in Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) he finds it hard to wait calmly while I make his breakfast KONG -
His Kong is filled with one thin slice of ham chopped into little pieces - Sometimes he can sit calmly and wait for breakfast for as much as 10 or 15 seconds at a time before he forgets himself and starts to levitate.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Hmmm I don't think I have a style -- in looking at my sketches and drawings I don't see a trend yet -
But.... I am getting looser and sometimes I can do good things pretty quickly - I only spent about 2 1/2 hours on the Chicago Bean - I liked how that turned out -

I am doing much more art now -- and I have come to realize I probably will never have wonderful sketch books or Journals - I'll just have the messy good and bad mixed up drawings and sketches with messy writing -
but then my goal has never been to become a good journaler - I just want to learn to draw better, faster and have more fun doing it - and that is happening.

Thank you Delph (aka Kazumiwannabe) for the reference photo as you can see this 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" watercolor sketch is based extremely loosely on this lovely photo. - I am still learning how to use the water colors - and these little bushes were my practice for tonight I think they turned out better than my landscape - but I am allowing myself to learn and not be too self critical - Next --- Liz's chicken Dusty

Monday, October 6, 2008

Different strokes from Different Folks

Karin Jurick has an interesting weekly challenge at her blog Different Strokes from Different Folks- kind of like Virtual Sketch Date but weekly-- the reference for this week's challenge was the photo below - my version is 11" x 6" on 90 lb watercolor paper it is done in watercolor, black sharpie marker and a little color pencil - this is my first time to participate it was a fun challenge.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Serious Relapse

Just when I thought I was getting better -

I have had a serious relapse of BEAS Disease (Buys Excessive Art Supplies)

I was just browsing around on E-Bay and there was this auction for 90 tubes of Winsor Newton 5ml watercolors and some how I bid on them- and then I guess I won the bid -and then I got all these tubes with 56 diffefent colors--for about 25 or 26 of the colors I got a single tube -for 24 of the colors I got two tubes -and for 6 colors I got three tubes -

but they are luscious and I have been experimenting see Brushy Creek #3 or4

And they were a great buy $107.00 which included shipping -

Brushy Creek #3 or 4

I have worked from this reference photo several times I have done it in pastel in colored pencil and this time in watercolor - I'm not happy with the scan - it seems if you get the darks right you don't get the highlights if you get the highlights the colors are off but this is as good as I could get - close but I like the actual painting much better than I like the scan- 5.5" x 8" on strathmore 140 lb cold press about an hour or so of working time not counting drying time no preliminary sketching

I'm proud I quit working on this before it was finished or ruined WOOO HOOOO!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September Virtual sketch date

My first virtual sketch date except I don't think I registered in time - next month I will -

I just saw Susan's and loved it-- Here are my two little water color sketch versions - in the first one I did not have a reference just memory from looking at the picture in the second one I had printed out the picture to have a reference -(computer and studio are at opposite ends of the house so I can't just look at my screen)

I did light sketches with gray watercolor pencil for both but went back in with a micron on the first one because it looked dull

Friday, September 26, 2008

now this is more like it (I think)

I couldn't listen to the debate any longer so I tried one more time to get this -I'm sick of it-- but this was quicker and I think better than any other try -at sketching this particular scene.

My goal with these sketches is not to make great paintings but to acquire the ability to sketch a good approximation of a scene - I want clean lines and color in a fairly short period of time - so this try is much closer to my goal than any others I don't know why this is so difficult for me but this try was better and took under 10 minutes

I used a timer when I did this sketch - micron pen time was under 10 minutes and the painting part was very close to 10 minutes- I have been saving these dried out sunflowers for a month so I could sketch them and tonight was the night.

Both done in my home made accordion fold sketch book small page size 3.5" x 5.5"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Never Ending Vista in Watercolor & Brownies

Another very small (4"x7") version under 30 minutes --but this time in watercolor - much better than my first (never to be seen by anyone) trys of this in watercolor --

I think doing it in colored pencils, which I feel comfortable with, helped me understand how to do it in watercolors which I still am just learning to use- it is still not as sketchy or as quick as I would like

(I was baking heavenly brownies so I did this while they were baking after I cleaned up my kitchen mess - I had 27 minutes to paint )

Here is a great Chewy Fudge Brownie recipe
2/3 cup cocoa
12 TBS butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour

Butter & flour 8x8 baking pan preheat oven to 350 F

Melt butter and cocoa in sauce pan over low heat stir until smooth remove from heat and let cool a little - stir in vanilla, eggs, sugar and salt then add flour and mix well- spread in pan and bake about 45 minutes until top is dry and toothpick inserted in center come out barely clean - cool and cut and ENJOY

These are very very rich and moist MMMMMMM good I wish I could share them with you all

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Never Ending Vista (revisited) in colored pencil

The Never ending Vista (revisited)

Is a 40 minute 4"x7" piece of mediocre art a sketch or a drawing?

A favorite spot of ours in Wisconsin-- I did a larger version in colored pencil this was an exercise in speed - but it was not as speedy as I wanted it to be it took about 40 minutes to do this little 4x7 sketch - I tried it in watercolor and am not posting due to the extreme terribleness of the water color painter (me) -

I did a larger version in colored pencil about a year ago here is a link to the larger version which took about 8 hours working time -

Never Ending Vista original 8 hour version

Monday, September 22, 2008

Neanderthal valley - Not as seen on TV

I have become a slug-- I am not posting -- not that anyone cares if I post - but I care because the whole point of this blog is to do it for me-- I want so much to learn quick sketching techniques to capture the moment and not slavishly copy my reference photos - and make up tight works of art -

- I sketched this in ink with a ball point pen while we watched a national geographic special on neaderthals last night- Kind of an imaginary landscape- I quickly painted it tonight so I could post something- I do like it and hope I can do more like this - I am becoming more comfortable with the paints and I do think they encourage speed and looseness

And thanks to Donnna aka the happy painter for sharing her link to the Painting and Drawing channel They have several great watercolor demos -

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm having more fun now

I finally have time (because I gave up cleaning house and doing laundry) to play around with my watercolors and its getting to be fun - thank you Capt Elaine for the link to How to Draw and Paint

I've been watching the watercolor lessons and they are very helpful - trees and distant hills etc. I watched my favorite PBS show this morning "Landscapes Through Time" with David Dunlop-- he talked about soft focus distant hills & lights and dark - he does oils but the basic principles are the same regardless of medium - so I did a couple of soft focus hills with skyline -in the handmade 3.75" x 5.5" accordion fold sketch book - - but then I saw the tree tutorial and put the tree in front of the hills - I'm having fun and learning lots -

I really needed to see someone actually painting with watercolors - how wet is the paper how drippy are the brushes what size brushes etc. you just can't get all of that from books - the videos are very helpful - wish there were workshops close by-