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Friday, November 17, 2017

Making the Most of your Work



The mind is an amazing thing and I was startled today to discover the similarity between my Tea Time painting and this ceramic button that one of my sisters had given me years ago when I was making some crazy quilt Christmas Stockings.


I was absolutely stunned at the similarity. Do you see it too? Apparently even things we're not thinking of or hadn't really noticed can really influence or inspire our thought processes.


I've been doing a lot of things with that painting since I finished it. This was a bone china cup that I had made for my Mom. It's a gift for one of her friends who hopefully isn't one of my readers. I'd hate to spoil the surprise.


I've been designing a lot of different things with that painting (or parts of it) on them in my zazzle store and I 'm pleased to say that I've already sold it on a postage stamp.

I love the design process and am so happy to see my art go out and play in the world.

It's always a challenge to see just how far I can push a design or how many different things I can turn it into.

It inspires me every day and seems to take on a life of it's own.

I can't wait to see where it takes me next!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Getting it Right: A Series of Changes to an 8 x 10" Tulip Painting


There's not much I can say about this except that I thought the painting was a bit darker and duller than I wanted it to be so I Thought about ways to brighten it up.


I wanted to be sure to stick to flowers that I grow in my garden so I decided to add daisies. Here I'm deciding where I want to place them.


I liked it better with the tulips but began to think they'd thrown off the balance.


I felt more changes needed to be made so I decided to pull my garden photos from spring and summer and add some lily of the valley to it.


It made it more interesting but I felt that I'd added too many blossoms, too close together but was afraid to tamper with it further right now.


I'm trying it under different lighting conditions and living with it a while before I make any more decisions on it.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pulling Ideas Together: Hats, Flowers etc.


There are a lot of things I've been wanting to try for a long time and I've finally gotten around to working on them.



I started with a red hat and a purple hat to honor my Grandmother and my Mother.



Next I added a straw hat to honor my other Grandmother who used to take me to her little County Fair.



I threw in cups, saucers and a teapot to honor my friends who visit me for tea.



As you can see here part of the designs that are on the purple hat are the same ones that I used on the wheelchair ramp that I painted in front of my house.



So is the band on the red hat.


Of course the daisies began to creep in too.


Did you figure out why I put stripes in the background? I just had to continue with the theme I used on my wheelchair ramp project. I guess you could say the stripes represent the posts.



Grandma Julia, the straw hat is for you.


The design is still evolving and I'm working in some fun touches that remind me of my siblings as well.





I've wanted to include all the favorite things about my family and my garden so I needed to add roses here as well.


Things were looking pretty good at this point but I decided to add some lilacs because as kids we loved to play in the lilac bushes and I continue to grow them now because they make me feel happy and young again.


There are so many other things I want to say and do with paint but only so much room on this one canvas so I'm wrapping this one up and moving on to 2 other paintings.


All that remains now is to take this to Zazzle and find as many ways to share it with others as I can.

As always I will start with postage stamps, cards and stickers so that I can write everyone that's been asking me about this. Then on to all sorts of products for everyone else.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Daisies, Inspiration and the Creative Process

I was thinking about adding some daisies to some of my older paintings so I rounded up photos of this seasons garden and a one from 5 years ago and began putting together an inspiration page to work from that shows the flowers from all angles.


First I rounded up the photos and trimmed off any distracting bits.


Next I arranged and attached them in place.


I figured I'd make the project a bit fun and unwind a little by drawing around them. First in pen. And then in colored pencil.


After that it was time to move on to the painting. 


I added the daisies in acrylics and think it improved things quite a bit.


I'm considering adding different types of flowers but hung the painting back on the wall until I decide.

 
Back in the frame it went...at least for a while.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Winter Lettuce


I've wrapped things up in the garden outside and just have a bit of celery, lettuce and strawberries in the house for the winter.

I'd have loved to leave the strawberries outside but they are the wrong zone for my part of the country and I'd have lost them.



It's fun to just reach across the table when I want a finishing touch for a meal. The baby celery leaves make a nice garnish and the tiny stalks are just the right size to cut up in ham salad, egg salad or soups.



In this little plastic cup is a small amount of water and the base of a head of lettuce we'd had from the grocery store. The dark green leaves on the top are the beginnings of a new head of lettuce from scraps that most people throw away. Also recycled and re-used is the plastic jello cup that I'm growing it in.


I'm also growing some lettuce from seed. Instead of waiting for it to mature I clip it and use it for sprouts. Kind of my little idea for growing micro greens indoors.

I still don't have any grow lights so the plants aren't doing quite as well as they could be but it cheers me up with snow forecast in my part of the country by the end of the week. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fall Colors


I love the colors on this tree a couple of blocks from my house.



There are a lot of trees around my place but not much seasonal color. The funny thing is that I live in the middle of a city but you'd never be able to tell from this photo.



 The 2 tall, green trees are in my front yard which may explain why growing a lot of things in my garden is a big challenge.



My favorite view on the way home.

Working Together on Halloween Designs


It all started when I sent a photo of sunflowers from my garden to a pen pal and she sent it back with pumpkin stickers on it.


I started to take the idea further with watercolors.



I layered on some colored pencil and then finished it with ink.
 I'm also continuing to try different ways of drawing pumpkins as I try to continue to develop the design idea.
Another approach I may try is to go to Zazzle and combine my existing sunflower and pumpkin designs and see how that looks.

Either way it's been fun and brightened up letters for my pen pal and I.

I'll start with putting it in stickers.




Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wrapping up the wheelchair ramp project

After 2 years of painting and planning I'm down to just the last two posts. I'm also doing a border design on the rails but it feels good to say it will be finished and I can move on to other projects.























The next question will be what to do with the 2 years of project photos and the story behind them. So far I'm considering a video or a paper scrapbook of some sort.


I love the way my projects go together and hope that someday others will appreciate it as well. You can see more of this on my Dala Horse Blog.