Friday, December 31, 2010

Heart Felt Ornaments

Everyone's a little sentimental at Christmas so I find that all of the little odds and ends a person tends to keep can shine at this time of year when you attach them to felt ornaments. You can cut holiday shapes freehand from felt or just trace a cookie cutter.
Cut 2 pieces of felt for each ornament, You'll be pinning or sewing your collection to one of them and when you've finished that you'll slip a piece of ribbon between the two layers as a hangar, tack that in place with a few stitches and then do a blanket stitch around the edges to attach both pieces and give the ornament a nice finish. For the photo ornament just fold one of your shapes in half and cut a half circle for the picture to show through (yes, you slip the photo between the layers). It's a project with endless possibilities depending on the colors or themes you want to use to display your treasures. Trace around the bottom of a glass for a ball shape to display your kids sports memorabilia...there are as many different design ideas as there are people to enjoy them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sharing the Sky

I spent a few hours today doing this little 8 x 10 inch landscape and showing a couple of gals the way I do it as they worked on projects of their own. I haven't decided whether I'm really finished with this or not but will post any changes that I make.
It's still moving day around here as I continue to convert the dining room to studio space until we can finish the other space (the old garage). All of my art supplies have been going back and forth in a couple of big storage bins so it feels good to unpack and settle into some of the cabinets and shelves in here so that it's easier to work during the week.
The best part of the day was when my Christmas present arrived. Doug bought me a great table easel like the one I'd been borrowing all of these months and we discovered that it had been delivered to the wrong house when a woman from the neighborhood said they'd been gone for the holidays and found it when they got back. It was sure nice of her to bring it over so I feel like everyone has been good to me today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Daffodils to Iris

I wasn't really happy with this daffodil painting so I re-worked the sky to cover the flowers and then added some Iris which really changed the look of things and allowed me to move a bit further with the ideas I had for shading and composition in that last Iris painting.

Iris Card and Envelope Set

I made the card from a photo of one of my paintings but I did a pen and ink drawing on the envelope so that it would go nicely with the card. You'd be surprised how many people love it when the mail carrier comments on the artsy envelopes they get from me. I also drew 3 more poinsettas on envelopes today but they were in pencil. This is by far the best thing I drew today, now I'm wondering who to send it to...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Last Cards of the Year

Time was getting away from me so instead of painting each and every one of my cards, I printed photos of my card designs and made cards out of those then added pencil drawings to the corners of the envelopes to make them a bit more special.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting the Hang of it Now

Recent interest in my work has prompted me to get more of the pieces framed and hung as well as displaying some free standing ones on a shelf. If nothing else it's been helpful to see the evolution of ideas as I've returned to some of the same subjects in many types of media over the years.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Are We There Yet?

I'm at that point again, where I can't decide whether to stop now or continue working and risk spoiling it. Perhaps a bud or flower on that tall bunch of leaves at the center? I'd just paint them out to sky but the texture and shape of the leaves would remain which of course would cause its own set of problems...I'm walking (or running) away from it for now...
I enjoyed the way the way the painting turned out so much that I used a photo of it to make this card and let it inspire the drawing that I did on the envelope. Who knows what it will inspire next.

Orchids and Random Thoughts

I just scanned this old drawing for Imagekind and thought I'd share it with you as well.
At the dining room table I'm attempting to finish that 2 ft. square Iris painting and as I work I'm wondering whether to price it to pay the trash bill, Qwest or to have enough money to buy an easel like the one I've been borrowing from the Senior Center. It would be lovely to be able to do them all but with the economy the way it's been I'm certainly not expecting it. On the other hand it sure doesn't hurt to dream and in the midst of it all there's the work. The simple act of painting makes everything else fade into the background, your troubles become background noise and soon fade so far into the distance that they're mere static. Your breath slows and you've stepped into that other place that people call "flow" and all sorts of other things. I don't worry about what to call it, I just go and leave the rest of the world behind for a while.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pinecone Projects

I've been receiving Christmas cards faster than I can paint replies so I started making cards out of photos of that pine cone I painted in watercolors. I mount it to green paper,trim that and then mount both to a blank card. I've been doing little pencil drawings on the corners of the envelopes which adds a personal touch and gives me lots of practice drawing. The postage stamps I've been buying lately also have pine cones on them so it works out real well.

Over the Edge

Here’s a fun alternative to painting around the edge of a canvas. This frame had an old, stained linen liner so I painted it to match the painting. The effect really makes people look twice and was a great way to recycle that frame.
This painting is several years old and I pulled it out of storage to share the border technique with a friend. The timing was interesting because I'm working on a much larger Iris painting now. It looks like my style has changed a bit over the years but I always come back to my old favorites in new ways. No wonder people think artists are crazy-I've been painting the same flowers for decades and I don't think I'm finished with them yet.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Latest Iris Painting in progress

I took that little Iris photo out in my back yard a few months ago and played with the idea in watercolor a time or two (there'd be pictures of those in old posts) before moving on to trying it in acrylics on canvas. I'm happy with the sky so far (instead of the tall grass and weeds in the photo) but haven't quite been able to get the petals on the flowers to look as if they're bending in all the right directions. I may move on to painting the stems and leaves before going back to work on the flowers themselves. How am I doing so far?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For My Sister Far Away

Chris sent this photo and I thought I'd attempt an acrylic painting of it as a holiday surprise. It's not much of a Christmas present but there's still time to  do some more work on this one or try to paint another one. Whatever I do, I'll post the results before I post the package. I should have done it at Thanksgiving...The nice thing was that we were thinking of each other today. Just as I got home from working on this, there was a meassage from her on my answering machine.

This picture of the painting was nearly 3 hours of work since the last one. The painting is only 8 x 10 inches and took nearly 7 hours start to finish. I've spent years and sometimes decades re working paintings in the past so this feels like a breakthrough for me. It will be interesting to see how I approach subjects from now on.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Cards

I painted both of these today along with matching envelopes for them. I didn't scan the envelopes because I've already addressed them and they'll all go out in todays mail.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A few more Asiatic Lily Drawings

I found these in an old sketchbook I had packed away years ago. As far as I know these are the last of them unless I grab a pen and get started again.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Asiatic Lilies in pencil, pen and ink

While sorting through things I came across this in a scrapbook from a few years ago. I started with the pen and ink drawing and then drew the same flowers in colored pencil to frame it on the page. It was so much fun that I made a second page for the next drawing and a photo of the project. It never occurred to me at the time that I may want those drawings for something someday. They're firmly glued in with other work stuck to the back sides of them. Oh well, If I want drawings of Asiatic lilies I guess I'd better go, buy some and find out if I can still draw...keep checking here and I'll post it if I do any.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What Goes Around...

I finished painting these horses last year so imagine my surprise today to discover I'd actually owned a similar one over 50 years ago. It's funny what we don't remember, but we do...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Old Drawings and new ways of looking at them

I came across these old drawings while sorting through things today and thought I'd better at least scan them in case I ever loose track of them again. They're all from the 1980's and 90's. I'd framed some of them once but there doesn't seem to be much of a market for my drawings so they've been pulled out again and dropped into some scrapbook pages until I find anyone interested in them. I hate to think how long they'll be there but they're safe and at least for now that's good enough.

Variations on a theme

Yes, I'm STILL painting Christmas cards and sticking with this one basic design while I focus on teaching myself to add more dimension and shape the leaves and petals with shading. It's easy for me in pencils or acrylics but not really something I've gotten used to in watercolors yet. Having a LOT of cards to make will give the the opportunity to practice, practice, practice until I get tired of this design and ready to move on to something else. I'm wishing I had the live flowers to work on because I find that really helpful. It also explains why you see the best floral drawings from me during gardening season. Happy Holidays Everyone! (if you're one of the folks on my list you'll be getting one of these soon)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An assortment of Painting Projects

I was trying to decide whether to change the dark background on the teapot painting but both of the people I asked about it this morning thought it should be left alone so I moved on to the painting I wanted to start of the Iris in my yard this summer. There had been several different paintings on this canvas before so there are a few texture "issues" to work aroound but if the lower left corner is any indication, I think it's off to a pretty good start. I took a short break from the acrylics around lunchtime and did this small watercolor on the corner of an envelope so I can get back to making a few nice Christmas cards for folks. Wow! no wonder I'm tired...but happy...and I  invited even more people to join our painting morning so it was a good day all around. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Inspiration, hope and a fresh start

What has that got to do with it turns out EVERYTHING! I have a solar powered crystal in my window, when it gets enough sun it begins to spin and fills the room with rainbows and I find it really keeps my spirits up because even though sunny days are rare this time of year you really appreciate the ones you get and it's really hard to be cranky in a room full of rainbows.
We quit working on the studio last year because finances have been scary and we're not sure we'll be able to stay here let alone get any work done on the place. That hasn't changed but my attitude has. There was recently some interest in filming me at my know, the one I don't quite have yet and it got me to thinking that whether it's really finished or not it's warm, safe and dry and that's so much more than a lot of people in the world can hope for so the least I can do is clean it up enough to get my knitting machine in there and start making all the hats, mittens and slippers I can to bring a little warmth to everyone I can while I've got the chance and the place to do it.
Most of my painting is happening at the dining room table and down at the senior citizens center so I think I can spare the space for it until I run out of yarn then of course it will be on to the next project that I've got materials or someone has a need for.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A couple scraps of fabric end up as holders for gift cards

I guess I could have called this post "saving money is my bag". a friend enclosed these 2 bits of fabric in a recent package and it worked out so well because I'd been wondering what to put some gift cards in this Christmas. They were just the right colors so I folded and cut them until the pieces were small enough. A few straight pins and a bit of sewing was all it took to slide one bag in another, turn in the ends and finish with a bit of embroidery and of course the best part about that is having the embroidery floss given to me by another friend. Lots of positive energy in theis project and a perfect way to use up some odds and ends.