Friday, January 31, 2014

Shredding photos

I keep coming across these same photos every time I sort through the studio area in my dining room and I often wonder what's made me keep them decade after decade other than seeing which of my paintings have been with me a long time and how they've been displayed over the years.

What I see when I look at them now is a fondness that I had for my dogs and my very first house and of course I think of who most of this went to because there's only one painting in these photos that I still own.

Now that I've looked at them all again what I'm left with is a good feeling that my work and my skills have improved over the years. There's nothing here to hang on to. Two of the photos will go to people who have some of these paintings, the third will get tossed and I can move on without running into them again. I call that progress, don't you?

Brush stroke practice project

Pick any easy shape and divide it into sections.

Paint sections in with a few simple colors.

 I aim for 3 or 4 main colors to keep the focus on the brush stokes themselves without worrying too much about what sort of picture I'm actually painting.

Have fun practicing a few simple brushstrokes or just lay down a lot of dots to get the feel of your brushes. The harder you press, the larger they will be so practice a light touch and see just how tiny they can get with the same round brush.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Envelope art

The Iris is the photo was painted in acrylics but I chose watercolors for a lighter touch on the envelope.

This set is all drawings and a picture of drawings.

Remembering Spring Tulips

With all of the snow and below zero temps around the country right now I thought it might be nice to remind ourselves of what we've got to look forward to in the next few months.

I'm looking forward to getting back to my little tea table out in the front yard. it's my favorite place to watch the world go by as I enjoy the garden.

When these tulips open all the way they're often mistaken for poppies. Especially when I try to paint them in acrylics from photos.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A forgotten painting

I came across this photo while sorting things. This was a large painting featured in the front page article on me in the Forest Lake Press Newspaper. March 2, 2005.

This was a very large painting that took up most of the wall on one side of the room so I was really happy to have sold it later that year and have some wall space again.

I hadn't seen or thought of it since then...until I "found" this photograph.

A bit of card making while sorting out the worktable

Photo of a watercolor painting I did for the insert in a thermal mug. Bits if paper and card stock.

A bit of double sided tape puts it together into a nice little card.

This stuck me funny because I'm using a picture of a card I made to make another card for a friend that likes to make cards too. I decided to grab the pencils and pen and add another flower to it.

Changes to the Dala Horse Design


Adding some more white and blue


Designing a new dala horse

I had a few traditional ideas in mind but like to get creative with finishes, brush strokes, design and color. I basecoated it in a red orange and sponged two different reds and oranges over that to create a more aged and interesting effect.

Lines and dots are easy and my comma strokes are improving the more practice I get.

Another thing that effects the design is the width of the horse you're working on.

I'm going to do some more painting on this because at this point it seems that there's too much green and not enough shades of blue. What do you think? I'll be sure to post pictures of any changes that I make.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Watercolor mail art

Sitting around the campfire

Made you look! Clearly, we won't be doing that anytime soon. The temps are so far below zero here that the schools are closed again. All of this snow and cold has put me on the mood to design Christmas cards again. This time I'm taking the idea I used for horses, butterflies and cats and using it with Christmas Trees. 

The nice thing about Christmas trees is that I can practice a lot of different border strokes and use them as garlands on the trees. A little hot, spiced cider helps set the mood and I may go for a bit of holiday music as well...

As you can see by this scan I'm taking a couple of different approaches to the idea and working in flat, liquid acrylics. When I come up with a completed design I'll clear coat it  for protection before it goes into storage.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Relaxing with a couple of drawings

As usual these are just a couple of things drawn on the corners of envelopes on the outgoing mail. It's a great way to unwind and brighten things up at the same time.

I've got a couple more painting ideas for that series I'd been working on but am not sure whether or not I want to work on them today. There are a lot of things rolling around in my mind but I just haven't decided
which dream to chase right now.

I started cleaning off the work table and stuck misc. photos and scrap paper together to make note cards and then grabbed the pencils and drew on them too.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The second finished butterfly painting

I like the way the roses,sunflowers and daisies turned out on this one but i think the green background on the cone flowers was a mistake. I may re-paint both the green and the yellow ones when everything blooms in my garden this summer and I've got something live to work with but in the meantime this will have to do.

The finished cat painting

I've got to say I enjoyed painting this acrylic a lot more than I did working the designs out in drawings and  watercolors. Time will tell how much I like the finished result but I loved working on it and that's the most important thing to me right now.

As always I'll experiment with the design on products on Zazzle to see what else I can do with it. Meanwhile I keep it with my other items for sale in the glass front cabinet in my dining room. We may put it up for sale on etsy but haven't decided yet

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Finishing the first painting

The light really streams in here in the afternoon. Working in changing light is always a challenge.

There are still a couple of these in progress but I think the results are promising so far, don't you?

I'm planning to have a lot of fun with this image and am heading to Zazzle to see what I can make out of it.

Back to painting again