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Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm Busy Making Cards!

Hi everyone....I don't want to make you feel bad (especially anyone living on the East Coast) but I thought I'd share what is happening to the raywood ash tree in the back yard....



It's budding!!! The picture isn't too good but I think you can see all the buds on the tips of the branches. We've been having some very nice weather....nothing like what's happening in other parts of the country.

Ok, enough of that. I also want to share with you that picture I did several days ago of the woman in the blue hat. I haven't permanently added anything but I'm thinking about it. What do you think of this??



I think the "flower" adds something, especially since it sort of picks up the red and white from her blouse.

And lastly, I have been busy making cards with some of my artwork. Just playing around. I'm slowly adding them to my etsy shop so I hope you'll take a look over the next few days. I'm only adding one or two at a time so be patient. If there's a piece of my art that you'd like to see on a card just let me know and I'll try to do it. Plus I'm adding words to some of them but if you'd like a card without the words I can do that, too.

Here's a few I've finished....



I have this one finished with a few different colored background layers. None of the photos show the true depth of the colors.



I love this bubble girl and thought she would make a cute birthday card.



I chose this image because it gets "favorited" quite a bit on flickr. The picture really doesn't show the true colors! No matter what I do....scan or photograph....she doesn't look as good as she does in real life.

Ok, back to work for me! I have lots more cards to assemble. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spring is #1,126!!!

When I logged on to do this post I noticed that I've done 1,125 posts! I'm such a chatterbox! I don't pay close attention to the number of posts and had just been thinking about doing something special when I hit 1,000....guess I'm too late! So here goes 1,126....

Yesterday was laundry day but since the laundry room is very close to my studio I was still able to get some art finished. I was in the mood to work in my art journal but which one. I got out several and looked through them and finally found a couple of pages with painted backgrounds ready to go.


(all photos are clickable to view larger)

The pages were done in sort of a drab green/olive color that wasn't too cheery so I added just a touch of gesso. I used one of my hand-carved eraser stamps to make some little white circle designs and they reminded me of flowers. That gave me the idea to use the print-out of one of my art pieces.

I had printed out some of my art and this piece somehow got water dripped on it and when I wiped it off it took a little swipe of the color with it. Good for an art journal page though so with that in mind I pulled out some pink scrapbook paper and the right side page was born. It made me think of spring. (The words were added later so they don't make sense unless you look at the spread as a whole.)



On to the left side....I work backwards, I guess....I used another pink paper and then added a little ATC that I had made a long time ago. I didn't like it and so had never done anything with it but for this it seemed to work. After that all I did was add some words with my white paint pen, outline them with black and do a few doodles here and there and the left side was finished....



Today is another busy day so I'm not sure what kind of art I'll get done but I'm sure something will happen in the studio.

Have some fun today....laugh and smile....and think happy thoughts.

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Stamps and a Journal Page....

Did you get a lot of art done over the weekend? HB watched football all afternoon yesterday so I got out of the house for a bit. Went to the dollar store and found more erasers!



I think the small round ones with the stars are the same as what Traci Bunkers is using for her stamps. If you haven't checked it out, do so....she's carving a stamp a day for 30 days.

Last night I carved a few more quickie stamps....



A few people asked about what I used to carve with....my carving tool is at the bottom of the photo....that bright pink handle. It's from Speedball. The end of it screws off and there are extra tips stored inside the handle. It's very easy to use and cuts the erasers like butter!

I also did a page in my art journal. Way back in 2000, I wrote a bunch of stuff on this page....mostly just crap! Then at some point over the past year or so I painted over it and added some collage paper. Later I roughed in the outline of a girl wearing a hat. And so it sat unfinished for months and months until yesterday when I decided to actually do something with it.



It's nothing great....just a face on a messy background....




I may add a flower to her hat and do some more doodles but for now she is finished.

Today it's laundry and chores so maybe I'll just carve a few more stamps tonight. Or maybe I'll start using them in some backgrounds. Whatever, I'll do some little bit of art just to keep me happy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Carving Eraser Stamps....

Thank you for all your comments about my last drawing. She was fun to work on but I'm really glad she's finished. I've been resting my hand....not doing too much art over the past few days but I did manage to keep busy in the studio.

I puttered around, organized some things, and generally just did a little straightening up. I try to keep my chaos under control because I know I work better in a somewhat tidy room.

And I carved some little stamps. Once again I used some erasers I got at the dollar store but this time they were the little white plastic ones. I think I got them five for $1 and as you will see I used both sides so I got 10 stamps for $1....not too bad. And I still have more....



I tried to stay with designs that were simple. And I wanted one with my name.



I doubt if I'll ever use the flower stamp but I was fun to try it. That one stamp on the right is not a white eraser but one of those cheapie plastic ones that are colored with a design already on it. In the previous picture you can see it has a sort of scroll design....I just carved what was on the eraser. Then on the backside I just did lines both ways but it's difficult to see them because of the scroll design of the eraser.



Here you can see how they stamped on a scrap of paper....



The one that has the big "X" on it reminds me of the English flag but I wasn't trying for that when I carved it.



I'm happy with these little stamps and will probably make more today. And I have some other drawings floating around in my head but I don't want to start one right away. Maybe next week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Finished Her!

Finally! I finished the drawing I've been working on for several days. I showed some sneak peeks of her back on the 9th and the 13th. It was slow going because of all the detail. I first did it all in pencil and then went over it with Micron pens. Because my hand kept going numb I could only work on it for a few minutes at a time. I'm not 100% happy with her but at this point I think I've done my best....


(remember that all photos are clickable to view larger)

The picture above is fairly close to the correct color. I did this in the over-sized journal that I won from Lark Books and the paper on this page is a soft golden brown color.



The background color is washed out on the picture above but you can see the details better in this picture. I'm not sure why there's a blueish color on her eyes. I did all the shading with a graphite pencil.



And above you can see a close-up of her face. I'm not thrilled with the shading but then that's always been one of my weak points.

Sadly the problem with my hand is going to be a challenge since I LOVE to do very detailed things like this.

I think I'll give my hand a rest for a couple of days. Maybe I'll just do some collage or something that isn't too detailed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My World of Circles....

I hope you're all having as beautiful a day as we are. It's expected to be about 71ยบ today and the sun is shining. I should be outside enjoying it but I'm not! Instead I'm in the studio still working on that textured painting I gave you a sneak peek of earlier this month.

Yesterday I also played in the studio. I made this journal spread....



Like many of you, I'm taking Strathmore's workshop with Pam Carriker. Her work influenced me to use these colors.


The page above is the left side of the spread....


And this one above is the right side....


I love using circles and dots in my art. You can also see Pam's influence in the long neck on my woman.



I finished this spread last evening but didn't post it right then. This morning when I went online I watched Milliande's latest video and saw that she used circles in her latest page....and she used them as hair! I guess those thoughts and ideas floating around out there in the universe find more than one place to land!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Art and a Couple of Kitty Butts!

Did that title grab you? Read on....

Can it be almost the middle of January already? Yikes! I'm not sure how good I'm doing with my word for this year....I'm trying to focus on art but some days it just doesn't happen. We still have to eat, wear clean clothes, and have a somewhat tidy home. If I could depend on the maid and the butler to take care of those things I'd have so much more time for art. Unfortunately they're on strike!

I managed to finish the journal page I showed you a couple of days ago....



Nothing fancy but at least I finished it.



I used my Portfolio and Neocolor II crayons for the background. I added some little swirls with white ink but they don't show up in the photos.



Mostly I used acrylics and colored pencils for the flowers, then added details with a paint pen.



I must be really confused about the seasons right now. I'm painting springtime flowers and have an autumn background on my blog! I never do like to follow the pack!

And just for fun I'm including a photo of Harley (bottom) and LuLu (top) watching "kitty TV" ....and showing their best sides!




They love to sit and look out the patio doors. This was taken back when we still had a little bit of snow in the back yard.

I'm off to work on my latest drawing. I promise I am making progress on it and soon I'll have something more to show than washed out photos of pencil lines!

Have a fun day. This is a quote I saw recently.... "the world looks brighter from behind a smile"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Year, A New Look....

I'm always late with things....with the exception of being someplace on time. That I can always accomplish but when it comes to getting things done I'm late. I meant to re-vamp my blog at the very beginning of the year and here it is the 13th and I'm just now getting it done! I guess better late than never.

Mostly I put off doing things like this because I'm not techie in the least. Everything about that kind of stuff is just gobble-de-gook to me! And each time I manage to make a change in my blog I can't remember how I did it the next time and have to go through it all again.

I'm still working on my latest drawing....



She's coming along very slowly. There's a lot of detail and I'm doing it all in pencil before I begin adding ink or anything permanent. The problem is that my hand keeps going numb while I'm drawing! So be patient with me and soon I may have a finished picture to show you.

In the meantime I'm also doing some art in my journals. This page is just getting started and I have a lot more to do to it before I'll be happy with it.



I like the colors and will probably keep going with colored pencil, markers, etc....

That's all for today. I hope to get around to visit some blogs later. I know I haven't been doing much of that recently. I hope you all have a fun day....smile, laugh, play. It's good for you!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Doin' a Little Bit of Art....

I've been monitoring all the art journal/sketchbook groups going on right now but really haven't been using any of their suggestions or prompts. Mostly I like seeing all the inspiration and ideas, pack it all away in my brain and drag it out at some later date when the mood strikes me.

I did do a journal page though....no theme or anything from the groups. I just pulled out a few things, stuck them down, doodled, and called it done....


all photos are clickable to view larger

Sometimes things like this inspire me to do other art....



I have another face in the works. Here's a sneak peek....



It's not easy to get a photo of pencil on brown paper! I hope you can see her.

On another subject, do you keep all the clear acrylic packaging to use in the studio? Things like this....



become flat like this when cut apart....



and can be used for stencils or for palettes that can easily be cleaned if you don't let the paint dry too long.



As you can see I let the paint dry on this one! This piece was the "bubble" over some item and it's the perfect size for putting out just a little bit of paint plus my small roller will fit in here, too. I left the sides on this one because it was very solid and I knew I could use it that way.

Today I cut up several clear plastic boxes and later I'm going to make some stencils using them. I can't guarantee the healthfulness of using a heat cutter on this stuff because of the fumes so wear a mask if you have one. If you just cut with a blade there are no fumes to worry about. This way I get "free" stencil material!

HB and I are having a lazy Sunday....I'm still in my jammies. It's chilly and windy today so I'm staying in. I hope you have good weather wherever you are....and have some fun today!!

Friday, January 07, 2011

I'm a Failure at Shopping!

When we left off the other day I was on my way to do some shopping at the mall. Wanna know what I bought?? A big fat NOTHING! Zero. Zip. Zilch. I spent the entire afternoon trudging from one store to the next only to find exactly what I saw in every other store I'd been to already! No one has anything different anymore. If you don't fall into that narrow marketing band then you're just out of luck....and I fall way outside of it! Skinny jeans and skimpy little tops just don't work for me!!

Soon if some of these designers don't get wise to the fact that we aren't all young and skinny then they're going to be looking at a bunch of chubby older ladies running around naked....and if you look anything like me it won't be a pretty sight!

Ok, that's enough on that subject. If I really get wound up I could rant on that for a week but I won't bore you that way.

We also left off with a sketch in my over-sized art journal. And here it is now....



I really love working in this journal but when it comes to getting a photo of the finished picture it's very difficult. The book won't fit on my scanner bed and when I try to take a photo the pages don't want to lay flat.



I used the Shades of Gray markers to do the top hair and they look very streaky. I hate that about some markers. But all in all I'm happy with how she turned out. I went round and round with myself over how to do the hair because, as you all know, I hate drawing or painting hair. Actually I love to draw the outline of hair like I did in this one but I hate filling it in.

There's already another face floating around in my imagination so I'm going to try to get her down on paper today.

I hope your imagination is running wild today! Have some fun!!!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Make Art Journal Page....

This year I plan to only blog when I have something to share and to not feel bad if I go for several days without a post. So naturally I've had something to share for several days now!

Yesterday I did this art journal page....and remember all photos are clickable to view larger.



I had already painted the background and stenciled some backwards letters on it and as I paged through my journal it just caught my eye. The little printed piece is from a new daily calendar I have on my computer desk. I thought the message was good for a journal page so I stuck it down and then just went from there with stenciled letters, some random words scattered around and a few lines here and there.



Make art is my mantra right now. I'm having some trouble focusing which I knew I would....that's why I chose focus as my word for the year! I always lose focus so easily. Some glittery new thing always catches my eye and off I go. But at least so far I've been able to rein myself in a bit.

One thing we all love is getting snail mail and I recently got this cool handmade card from Phoenix Peacock....



Then this morning as I read a few blogs I came across this post over on Diva's blog. It's all about making a commitment to send at least one piece of snail mail each month. I didn't officially sign up for it but I've made myself a mental note to do just that. I already have a card and a letter ready to send out today. If you would like to possibly receive some mail from me just send me an email (it's in my about me profile) with your mailing address and I'll add you to my address book.

And lastly, here's a sketch I just did this morning....sorry about the quality of the photo but maybe you can see it....



I think I'll just do her in pen and ink. Sometimes the simplest way is the best.



Now I'm off to do some dreaded mall shopping! I need some clothes and personal items so I have to bite the bullet and go to the mall. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Doin' Some Art....

Let's get back to some art! It's been awhile and I've actually been doing some things recently but nothing is finished.

You may have noticed a couple of new buttons over there on the right side....one for Traci Bautista's daily art journaling and another one for Milliande's journaling prompts. I'm not saying I'm going to be doing either one of them every single day but I am keeping an eye on both of those sites and learning new things and putting some of them to use. I've found when I try to do something every day I usually lose interest and then have to force myself to participate and that's no fun. So this year I'm doing what I want, when I want, and that's it!

One of the things I'm working on is a 20" x 16" canvas that I had previously played around on a few years ago. Here is a link to see what it looked like before. Just a big mess! So here's a couple of close-up shots of where it's going now....remember all photos are clickable to view larger....



I used Golden's Fiber Paste to give it some texture.



I love this corner and the texture that I achieved....I just don't remember how I did it! It was part of the original and I did that back in early 2009 so I can't remember what I did! I guess it does pay to keep notes on what you do.

I also made a simple journal page about the recent snow....



I used two shades of light blue on the background and then rollered some white paint over a stencil. I used one of my photos and just added the date and a small mention along the bottom.



I didn't have an actual snowflake stencil so I just chose something light and airy.

And lastly I made myself a zebra print stamp with inspiration from Milliande....



I carved it from an oversized pink eraser I got at the dollar store!



Here it is next to the ink pad so you can get an idea of its size.



Since the eraser is so thick I was able to carve another zebra design on the other side. I may also do some small designs along the edges. All this for one dollar!! Not bad, huh!

I haven't used the stamps in my journal yet but I have plans to do so today. Have a fun day whatever you do!!!!