Monday, February 24, 2014


Sunflower detail

and then there were sunflowers

When I wrote that last post I'd planned to stop painting for the night. I felt the images were beginning to tell my story and as those thoughts drifted and I began to go to sleep an image came to mind that just wouldn't be put off until morning. Every time I closed my eyes, there it was so back to the easel I went. 

My story just wouldn't be complete without the sunflowers that have become so important to me in the last few years, choosing the different varieties, planting them, growing them and watching the animals enjoying them as I draw and paint them.

The difficult thing about adding them was (and continues to be) finding a way to transition between the various areas of the painting so that the sky doesn't appear to be a blue puddle in the middle of everything.

Beginning to add some leaves around the edges seemed to help. After all this doesn't need to be art, it just needs to be me, my story in pictures in case I forget someday.

 Art can do many things, for many different reasons. It's always meant a lot to me and I'm glad that I've been able to share it with you.

Work will continue on this when I've had some sleep and the next idea comes. Thanks for joining me on the journey. I don't know where it's going but it's been pretty interesting so least I hope it has been for you, there's no real way to tell you what it's been for me but I'm looking forward to getting back to it and trying once again to describe it all.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

paintings progress to the end of the night

 I was having quite a bit of fun with this and managed to make quite a mess of my clothes and the worktable in the process.

This pot of flowers represents a series of paintings that I've done off and on since 1968. It's surrounded by Iris because I began to paint them in the 1980's and 90's.

I go away to a lovely place when I paint and I sure hate to get pulled back into the real world. I plan to ban phones from the studio...and visits...and real life in general. There's somewhere else I need to be right now and it's very hard to explain  that to people.

This painting is meant to show the journey between the Dala horse I had as a baby and the first one I painted as an adult. I plan to fill the canvas between them with all of the other sorts of things I've painted over the four decades and more since I fell in love with paint.

 It's been hard to photograph this so far, as you can see there's quite a difference between when I do or don't use a flash.

Important notes on the upper corner

I wanted to get a photo of this before I get back to work on it. The upper right hand corner of the painting will represent my early work and be done primarily with my hands, found objects and palette knives. for those of you that are wondering why, the simple answer is that I didn't start painting seriously until the 1960's and art was at an interesting point back then. There was an "anything goes" attitude that you don't see much anymore. I've missed it so it will be fun to be heading back again.

Progress on the new painting

My style has changed a lot since this first wooden horse and I just couldn't make myself do some of those things again. I think the painting stays true to the spirit of things even though it doesn't represent it exactly but there may be some out there that would argue that choice.

I do question my choice to make the center of the big dots yellow instead of dark blue. It looks fine in person but gets lot in the photo.

We sat back to think about that a while...

A good day to stay in and paint

It's going to be a LONG time before we're sitting out by the campfire ring again.

The back yard looks pretty bleak in the winter.

I'm back at the dining room table and ready to get some painting done before I have to return that horse. It's the first actual Dala horse I ever painted so I wanted to include some of the things that make it special to me into this painting.

A few of my other little horses have a home here in this little box I bought at target. It was on sale and had a blue side so I just couldn't resist it. It will be handy to store them in and can be carried to wherever I'm teaching a class or have an opportunity to sell some of them but the main thing of course is because I enjoy arranging them in this little display in the meantime.

Well, I guess it's time to face that canvas and see where it will take me.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wrapping up the rose project and moving on

These are working out really nicely on balloons and stationery and have been pleasant to draw and paint on as well. A few of them went out on my mail but most will go to someone who does banners and things with them so they'll be enjoyed by a lot of people in a lot of different ways.

As I'm wrapping this up I'm clearing up my work area and getting ready for some easel painting. There isn't room in here for a floor easel but I do have a nice table model that works well for the smaller paintings that I'm doing these days.

I keep an eye on the weather but as you can see by recent photos it's going to be a long time before I can get outdoors to carve and sand more Dala Horses. I've discovered that I miss that so I'll try harder this summer to have a lot of them ready to paint next winter.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The blob and what became of it

 Isn't it amazing what you can do with some good pens?

Minnesota Snow

The view from the coffee machine.

The view from my worktable.

Stepping out the front door.

No tea out in the garden today!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Back to the brushes but still having fun with pencils and ink

  I'm just checking out my watercolor supplies, trying out some of the brushes and checking out some of the paints while waiting to see where they'll take me today.

Even bits like this aren't wasted. I write letters on them and find that whether they go to painter's or not everyone seems to enjoy the process and it sure beats a lot of things people could write or read about.

I went back to watercolor pencils and ink for the envelope art.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Project update, The motive behind it and the letter J

I spend all day, every day trying to make people feel better so I'm loving this alphabet project because often in hospitals or nursing homes it's hard to keep track of peoples things. Making my letters distinctive will make that easier and the fact that I design so many products to match means that there are balloons and teddy bears for Get Well or Birthdays. Diaper Bags filled with everything for a  New Baby and Duffle Bags or Tote Bags with a snuggie , blanket or pajamas and other supplies for anyone else. There are as many ideas as there are situations and I love to see the smiles they bring. There are even lunchboxes, thermos and office or school supplies.

Right now I'm designing for both cafe press and zazzle because what one company doesn't have, the other does and the products go together nicely.

It's a good start and my best effort to make my dreams come true and make everyone happy at the same time.