Friday, February 27, 2015

Designing Dala Horses

There's a lot of carving and sanding involved in making a dala horse and not all of my designs and ideas work out so I've begun painting them on paper before I commit to making them into a real horse.

These are acrylic paint on heavy watercolor paper:

If I actually make the red one I think I'll make the saddle area inside the white brush strokes either blue or yellow.

I'm not liking the blue one enough to make so I think I'll just be using this to make into a paper card for one of the people that I write to.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Flowers in watercolor and colored pencil

These days I'm using cards and envelopes that are designed for mixed media and am enjoying the possibilities that they open up.

At this point I decided to add some detail in pencil.

I'm kind of pleased with the results and
 hope the gal getting this letter will be too.

Fun with Garden Catalogs

 I started with some photocopies of letter paper I made by recycling some old wall decals of orchids and then I cut a lot of flowers out of garden and flower catalogs to dress it up in different ways before I write letters today.

What's fun about this project is that it takes the catalogs from yesterday's mail and turns them into the letters that will go out in today's.

This version was my attempt to send a friend the perfect day (flowers, tea, birds singing). It was a fun way to use a photo of my new electric kettle and the cover from an old purse calendar. this time I actually used the lumpy original with the wall decals on it. The added texture makes it really interesting.

Tulip Dala Horse

After finishing that 16x20 inch acrylic tulip painting I still had them on my mind as I painted this Christmas ornament for one of my collectors. I put a photo of the painting on the card I sent along with the ornament and the story behind it. 

The colors in these photos aren't true but they will give you an idea of the composition and basic look at the design.

I'll be adding a small brass screw eye and gold hanging cord to this before I send it out today.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Inspired by garbage

I decorated this card with bits of catalogs,photos and old note cards,even a bit of gold paper from inside a food wrapper and finished it with some colored pencils.

I started here with a picture of a rose shaped night light from a catalog and used that to inspire a watercolor and a pencil drawing.

Here I worked some colored pencil over the watercolor to better define the image.

Well, I couldn't put the pencils down and just kept working over both drawings. Sometimes I just don't know when to quit.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Before and after views of the tulip painting

As you can see I've made quite a few changes along the way and am wondering if I'm over developing the subject as I attempt to move beyond just painting it and working it until it begins to have a life of it's own and begins to be more about how it feels than how it actually looked.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Decorate with crochet and paint

I had made this patchwork and hand quilted pillow back in 1988. It looked a little sad on the chair that I have now so I decided to crochet arm covers to lighten the look and make it look better.

I'm down to just one of the live tulips to work with so I'm hoping to finish painting those today.

I changed the tulips and the leaves today and will be moving on to other areas of the painting tomorrow.

I didn't have a pattern for this so I just kept holding it up to the chair to see how big it needed to be.I'm using regular yarn and a size I hook. I like the look and it brightens things up in here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Back to the background

The blue I'd used earlier was too bright and intense

I resolved that problem by mixing it with unbleached titanium white and softly blending bits of red and yellow into areas to give a soft look and break things up a bit. It bounces the light around and make it more interesting to look at.

When I've finished the background I plan to paint a doily under the teapot and then I may rework bits of the teapot. It's always hard to decide when I should be finished with a painting. I've got one around here that I've been working on for 17 years...and I'm STILL not finished with it.

Working through Artist's block

  I remain more or less stuck on the background of the tulip painting so I'm taking some time to relax with my colored pencils and entertain the gals that I write to at the same time while I think about it.

Taking a step back to look at the subject in a different way usually helps and even if it didn't great mail cheers us all up so it works for me.

I took a crack at it in watercolor too.

I'm still stuck on the background so today, I focused on the tulips themselves and the leaves. It took nearly 3 hours to do just the stems, one flower and five leaves but I do think it was an improvement.

The tulip on the right is the one I re did.

Time to get to that background. A more or less solid color would be easiest, but which one? Red was nice next to the teapot but wouldn't have worked by the flowers. Blue doesn't appear anywhere else and might look nice but I'm not sure...

I cropped this detail view to help me decide.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

Painting fresh Tulips as they bloom

I often like to hold the real flowers up to the one's I'm painting to make sure I'm capturing them in the way that I want to.

I find that it can help me avoid overworking the painting.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

crafting the mail

Here's what I started with.

Here's what I ended up with.

 The hearts came from a note card, a greeting card and a garden catalog.

A lot of people would probably throw this stuff away but I enjoy the challenge of doing something useful with it and making people smile.

It made letter writing fun and interesting for the day.