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

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Forcing Myself -#2

It's like a switch was turned off and the lights went out - I have not felt like making art in weeks and I miss it but I am having a very hard time getting switched back on - tonight I just forced myself - I found a photograph in a book about old houses and used it as a reference not good art but not awful - I think I just burned out for a while and now I'm trying to get going again - watercolor 8" x 11"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Art of Baking

OK I found this on line recipe for no knead crusty bread so I tried it - started it around 8 last night and finished baking at 5 pm today - easy and good was VERY crusty so I rubbed the loaf with butter which makes it softer try it both ways - I'm surprised how good it tasted and had a very nice texture See it done here
No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Different strokes from Different Folks week 19-20

Another challenge from Karin Jurick at Different strokes from Different Folks her reference photo was a night time scene of the Jefferson Memorial. The challenge was posted just when we had a beautiful full moon at perigee. Every time I saw the reference photo I was reminded of the beautiful moon we were seeing and so the dome became the moon in my version of this challenge -
Watercolor 9" x 11"

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Lately it's been hard to get motivated - but today I did a couple of little things in my sketch books (and dated them incorrectly)- so here they are -
I'm still learning -- this watercolor sketch of a cherry started out O.K but then with every glaze I went out side the lines so I had to fix it -- and the cherry kept getting bigger-- then I did not wait for the stem to be completely dry or else I used to much water when tinting the back ground - Live and learn -

this was a based on a sunset of a farm it started out so bad I was tempted not to finish it but then I messed around with a micron pen and it turned out much better than I had hoped for

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I've been Tagged

over on Flickr they are playing a game of tag - if you are it you have to list 16 facts about you and post a photo of yourself - (I photoshopped my sister right out of this picture )

1. I'm the second of five children - I was also born a blond

2. My husband and I owned and operated an industrial manufacturing company

3. I love my children more than life itself - Two happiest days of my life were the days we brought our babies home from the hospital (we adopted both at birth)

4. My horse was named Cowgirl I loved to ride bareback

5. I taught snow skiing (snow plow classes)

6. I'm afraid of the dark (like a moonless night out in the woods no flashlight -)

7. My favorite food is Nachos

8. I listen to books on CD

9. I am a cancer survivor - I have been bald

10. I cannot sing - But I love to play music on my Hammered Dulcimer

11. Favorite music to listen to- Folk Based Blues -(Guy Davis)

12. I played the Cello when I was in Jr High School

13. Favorite summer drink is a Tanqueray Gin & Tonic

14. I had a flock of sheep and spun their wool and wove it on my loom

15. Gunnar & I lived in Ogden, Utah and Bellevue Washington in the 1970's

16. My sweet husband of 38 years makes me breakfast every Sunday

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


yahoo!!!!! this is a sketch under an hour- this is what I joined EDM to learn to do - If I did it once I can do it again - I'm happier with this than any other piece I've done since June - except of course I am not happy with the handwriting and journaling but YEA!!! ME!!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Forcing myself

Forcing myself to learn water colors -
I recently did a pencil sketch from the same black and white reference photo of my niece Arena. I tried to fix the eyes on the pencil sketch and I think I ruined it.
Arena was about 4 or 5 years old in the photo ( she is very old now -- at least 30!) This was one of her favorite photos of herself - and I've had the original or a copy of it for a long time --at least 5 years -- and never did anything with it ------- so then I was chiding myself for resorting to pastels for my recent self portrait and decided I would do a watercolor based on Arena's photo even if it was in black and white - In the reference her smile is so sweet and her eyes are all most elfish - She was and is very cute and sweet - this water color is not as sweet or cute as the real little person - but is the best I could do - I Love you Arena - AK

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Zentangles & Mandala Zentangles for your relaxation

First I went to Barbara's Blog and saw some Zentangles - I really liked them - I had seen them before but did not quite get how to do them - mine just didn't look right . Barbara gave me a link to the Zentangle site where I could read about them and it helped me to see how it's done so I did a little page with just boxes to practice making some of the designs

So here is my first Zentangle - it was very relaxing and kind of meditative to do it I added color with pitt pens I like the bottom half better than the top halfThen I found another site how to draw a Mandala Zentangle I enjoyed making the mandala design. I will make more-- this is the perfect kind of art for those times when you don't want to do something big but want to do something relaxing and fun . Thanks Barbara.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The evolution of a self portrait

New Years Day -I did not get dressed all day - watched HGTV and did some zentangles ---then decided I wanted to do some real art - There was a portrait exchange over at Karin Jurik's Different Strokes but I missed the sign up so I decided I would just do my own portrait -

I put a rough sketch on water color paper but lost my nerve about doing it in water color - I thought I should do it in crayon- but then I thought maybe I would do it in the style I like to use with crayons but use pastels -

I scribbled random colors in the correct values to get the light and dark areas established -then started adding the correct local colors -It got real muddy so I sprayed it with water and pushed stuff around and wiped off some color then I reapplied some colors and real color and told my self to stop my mouth is very weird and wrong,--- some of the dark blues I used in the original value scribbles show through ---but mostly I like it and I tried something different -

happy new year !!