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Sunday, October 30, 2011

My First Sunday Sketch....

Two posts in one day! That's unusual for me but I decided to join in Sunday Sketches....


I did this quick sketch last night while watching TV. I hope it qualifies since I did it yesterday! I may add some watercolor to her at a later time but for now she's just a sketch.

Re-Doing Some Art Journal Pages....

Thanks for all your comments on my Paint Party Friday painting. I almost gave up on her but I'm glad I didn't.
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After all that painting I was ready for something a little less stressful so I got out one of my art journals and was leafing through it. I came across this page....


I mostly used this to test some sprays. It wasn't anything I was attached to so I decided to cover it up with something else. I wanted to do something fast and easy so out came all my scraps of paper.


I used some paper tape and also some printed packing tape, a few stickers, and some rub-ons. It took me about 10 minutes to do and I was happy with it. Then I moved on to another page that I hadn't done anything on. It was a single page like the other one so I went to the scraps again....


It was difficult to photograph this one because of the dark violets in the center and the pale lavender along the border. I love this picture and have had it in my stash for quite awhile. I added some striped tape to the corners and Voila!!....I was finished. Plus it's good for Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Paint Party Friday - From Bad to Good

If you visited me last week then you know about the awful painting I showed. I talked about how frustrated I was with the whole thing and I was thinking about gessoing over it and just starting over but I loved the background.

I read all your comments and thought about what you said and I kept looking at the painting. I finally realized her hair was the problem! It was just too dark so I gessoed over the black hair and decided to blend her hair into the background a little more....


I like her much better now. Sometimes you just have to keep trying until you get to a place where you're happy with what you've done....she's much better than she was before....not a masterpiece but then I'm not Picasso!


I added a bit of the washi tape on the left side along her hair and it tied in with the tape on the right side. You can see my paint palette along the edge of the photo....


I learned about this in a class I took with Shiloh Sophia . She used a small, flat Huggies container for her palette. You can wipe it out easily or close it up and come back later and your paints will still be usable. Plus if you want to hold it, it isn't heavy and bulky. I really like using it.

Please be sure to stop by at Paint Party Friday to see what everyone else has been painting.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Food For Thought Thursday #2

Here it is again; time for the second Food For Thought Thursday (FFTT)....Wednesday is not the best day in the week for me to photograph the food I eat since it's usually the day HB and I run our errands and do our grocery shopping....and yesterday was no exception.

I did'nt eat any breakfast yesterday morning so we decided to have lunch at a restaurant owned by a friend of ours. It just happens to be very close to one of the stores where we shop so it was perfect.


The photo above is very close to what I ate. I would say that 99% of the time I eat vegetarian with the occasional meal of turkey or fish. Yesterday I had a turkey, avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwich on a croissant. It came with a small dish of pasta salad that I traded with HB for his slice of watermelon....yum! I ate almost the entire sandwich before I remembered I should have taken a photo of it for today. So I found a photo online that was pretty close....my sandwich did not include bacon and I think it's in the photo.

After all the shopping was finished and I was back home I "grazed" most of the evening. I don't like eating big meals. I had a banana, a couple of rice cakes with peanut butter (my favorite snack), some grapes, and a cup of my faux coffee. Last week several people asked me about the coffee drink.

I buy Roma Kaffree at my local health food store. It's just like instant coffee but it's made with several roasted grains including chicory. I drink it both hot and cold like an iced coffee.

So that's my food for thought for today. I hope you'll pop over to Robin's blog and check out what everyone else had to eat and maybe join in with us. Not only is it fun but it's a good way to keep track of what you're eating.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Paint Party Friday - An Awful Painting!!

Sometimes no matter what I do nothing seems to work. And I KNOW when that happens that I should just walk away and leave it alone....but this time I didn't. I tried to "force" it and when I do that it never looks good.

Today's painting is a prime example of that! You may remember this disaster of a painting. Later I showed you the same painting after I gessoed over the face.

A couple of days ago I decided to drag her out again and see what would happen. It just went from being very bad to just plain AWFUL!


One of the problems is that I'm "attached" to the background. I know it but I still can't seem to do anything about it.


This is the only part that I really like! The face is horrendous! For some reason she just doesn't want to be here on this canvas. So this painting is going to get gessoed over completely and I'll try something else.

Some days I really question my abilities! I seem to be either "hot" or "cold" when it comes to adding color to faces. I can draw a face, no problem (although you wouldn't know it to look at this one!)....but when it comes to color and shading I'm just not there. I know all the "rules"....I have watched a ton of videos on the subject....but none of it is sinking in to this thick skull of mine.

I'm linking to Paint Party Friday because I think it's important to show when things go really bad. Maybe someone else will benefit from my mistakes. So go take a look at some good paintings over at Paint Party Friday. I'll continue to frustrate myself!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Me and My Food....

There are so many daily blog hops going on around Blogland. There's something for every day of the week. I usually forget to participate on the correct day but this time I managed to do it.

Robin over at Robin Panzer Art Studio 33 is starting Food for Thought Thursday and since I like food I thought I'd join in. We were supposed to take photos on Wednesday and then post today. So here goes.

My day always starts with a glass of ice water! Yes, even in winter when it's cold I like my ice water. Here it is in my favorite insulated glass, sitting on my work table where I keep it all day long....I just keep refilling it.


A couple of hours later I had some toast made 
from my homemade (bread machine) cracked wheat bread.


I had some of my homemade spiced caramel pear jam on my toast....



along with a cup of "fake" coffee....another of my favorite things. I have this same thing every day unless I have oatmeal.

Since it was Wednesday HB and I did grocery shopping and ran errands all afternoon so I didn't have lunch. I had a banana when we got home and for dinner I had a big salad and stir-fried veggies with a few udon noodles. Later a small dish of rainbow sherbet....Yes, I was bad! And that was my food on Wednesday. Not very exciting but I'm not a gourmet chef!

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I bought all those new clothes last week and yesterday I wore one of my new tops. Here I am ready for the day....


It looks like I only have one arm the way the sleeve is hanging but I actually have two! One is just behind my back.
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I hope next week I remember to take photos of my food again. Be sure to visit Robin's blog and see what everyone is eating!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dreaming and Remembering Art Journal Spread....

It's been awhile since I've worked in my art journal. I wish I could be one of those people who religiously work in their journal every single day but sadly I'm not. I go in spurts and streaks. It isn't that I don't think about it; it's more that I just don't do it! Yesterday I did....


This spread began as morning pages.
 I simply emptied out my mind onto the pages 
and then covered over the writing with gesso and paint.


I used a stencil and added some dots. 
I almost always have to have dots.


An image, a few swirls and a stamp with white paint and I was finished. She seemed to be dreaming and remembering the past so I added the words on the other page and called it done.
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Now I have a technical question for you. When I go to blogger, choose "edit posts" and click on one of my posts to view it, there are usually a bunch of  "links to this post." You have to scroll down through the comments and then at the bottom of the page are the "links to this post" section. What does this mean? I've clicked through to several of the ones listed and none of them have mentioned anything about my post. And they seem to be the same ones over and over on different posts. Can anyone explain to me what is happening with this?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Doodles and TV....

Not much has been happening here at Chez Art....I play every day in the studio but that's mostly what it is....just playing. I have several projects either in my head or partially started but each day I continue to play and not get serious about doing them. I guess we all need some play time now and then.
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HB and I are on a Mad Men kick. We had never watched the show before but decided to give it a try on Netflix. We're into the second season and love it. I know....I'm way behind everyone else. I've heard about this show for a long time but just never thought it would capture my interest. Since it takes place in the early 60's, a time when I was just graduating from high school and starting into my adult life, it has made me stop and think about the way things were back then....especially the way men treated women. I guess while I was living it, I didn't always notice things but in hindsight it was terrible!
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While I'm watching TV I usually like to doodle. This time I doodled in my 5" x 8" moleskine journal....it may or may not be finished. I never know with a doodle. I might keep adding to it sometime later.


And that's all the art I have to show you today! I hope you have a fun day....

Friday, October 14, 2011

Paint Party Friday....

Here it is Friday already....but I finally finished the painting of the girl. If you remember last time I showed her, she only had one eye as I had gessoed over the other one. She now has two eyes and I think she's finished although I'm not completely thrilled with the painting as a whole.


I used napkins to do the flowers. I just couldn't seem to come up with anything for her to be gazing at....no words came to mind, no image. I was just not feeling it. HB suggested maybe some wisteria hanging down from the side but I knew I wouldn't be able to paint that! When I went through my napkin stash I found these flowers and decided to try them.

This painting is done on a 14" x 18" canvas. I don't know what possessed me to draw her but when I picked up the blank canvas and began drawing this is the face that appeared so I went with it.

Please be sure to check out all the fabulous art at Paint Party Friday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Won!!!

I'm sure you've all been seeing things about the Life Book class that Tam is offering for 2012.


It's a year-long class with several teachers....something new each month. I've been drooling over it but at approximately $100 I had to think about it. Well, I don't have to think anymore! I won a space in the class over at Mystele's blog! I couldn't believe it but it's true. I've been dancing all around the house ever since I learned I won.

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I have nothing artsy to share with you today because that painting of the girl is still sitting with only one eye. I hope today I can finish her.

Have a terrific Tuesday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shopping and Playing....

Happy Monday!! Did you all have a great weekend? Mine was sort of fun....I went clothes shopping. If you know me at all, then you know I hate shopping but everything in the closet was beginning to look a little tired and thread-bare so I bit the bullet and with credit card in hand I hit the shops. Surprisingly, I found several items I actually liked and best of all they fit! So the wardrobe has been spruced up and all I need now is a new pair of boots.

Not much art got done although I did play with Nevr-Dull. In the past I've had mixed results using CitraSolv and Nevr-Dull but this time I was pleased with the results. Here are a few examples....

These are all pages from old National Geographic magazines....
mostly from the 60's and 70's.

The one above showed hands holding blueberries.

This one was a porcupine!

This one I tried to keep most of the faces because 
they look as if they're looking through an icy, frosty window.

To get the designs I placed the magazine pages over textured paper. I only had a few pieces but I found they worked better than anything else I had. While I was out shopping I popped into Joann's and bought some texture plates made by Fiskars. I haven't tried them yet but I hope they work for this.
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And then back to that painting I showed last week or so. I'm just not happy with her one eye so I gessoed it out again and am starting over. I gave her a good base coat and will begin to add the shading all over again.
She just didn't look right and it was bugging me. I gessoed over her eye once before but I didn't get it right that time. Wish me luck on this one. Third time is the charm!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Mail Gods Are Smiling on Me....

Yesterday HB brought in the mail and I was shocked and surprised. Several days ago, Carmen asked if I'd like a couple of old magazines for collage and I said sure, thinking that she would send me one or two magazines from the 70's or 80's. What arrived at my house was beyond amazing! Magazines from the 50's and one that's actually from 1906! But that's not all....


She sent all this beautiful ephemera....


So much I had to take two photos to show it all!
And then there was this....


To say this journal is beautiful is an understatement! It's a gorgeous black silky fabric encrusted with beads and gems, and the paper inside feels handmade....not to mention the journal is almost an inch thick! And I almost forgot....she even sent me tea so I can enjoy a cup while I journal.

I was in tears as I opened each package inside the box. I'm not sure what I did to deserve such a beautiful gift, Carmen, but thank you so very much. I love each and every item you sent and will use them in my art.

If you don't know Carmen be sure to visit her blog. She writes from her heart and it's beautiful. And her journal pages are wonderful....filled with layers and layers of yumminess.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Me as Cleopatra....

I haven't worked in my art journals for quite some time so this morning I got one of them out and decided to finish a spread that I had started a couple of months ago.

If you've read my blog for a long time then you know I have lots of clothing from my childhood, as well as things that belonged to my mother and grandmother. I'm a "keeper"....I can't throw away things that have been saved for a long time.

Recently while going through some boxes I found a little red and white checked sunsuit that was mine as a child....


It's a little faded and tattered but you must remember it's probably about 66 years old! I like this little piece because I have a picture of me wearing it....


I think I'm about two or three years old in the picture. We were living in housing on the naval base near Bremerton, WA....my dad served in the navy during WWII. This is one of those photos that always makes me smile so I decided to create a journal page about it....


As the story was told to me by my mom, we had a neighbor couple who didn't have any children. The guy thought I was just great and he called me Cleopatra because I stole his heart.


One day as I played outside, he plopped a hat on me and took this picture. My mom didn't much like the photo because she thought I looked messy. I love the photo because it's one of only a small handful of photos of me as a child where I'm not "perfect"....


This was a fun journal spread to do....even though the writing part was a challenge. Nothing would show up very good on the background but at least I know what it says.

It's a rainy day here and I'm making soup. It's the first really chilly day and I always like to do soup when the weather is like this. I hope you're having a good day wherever you are....

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Walk in the Park....

No art today. Just a walk in the park. This morning I woke up early and went for my walk. As I came around the back part of the park I noticed how incredible the clouds looked so when I finished the loop I walked home, got my camera and walked back so I could get some shots. The clouds were rolling up over the mountains and draping down....not sure if you can see that in the pics but click on them and maybe it will show up. I like seeing the clouds when they drape over the mountains. This is weather coming up from the LA area. We might get a few raindrops today or tomorrow!





We're having our first day that feels a bit like autumn. Yesterday it was near 90º and today it will only reach about 70º and the next few days even cooler. This is my kind of weather! As I was walking this morning, the air was crisp and cool and everyone seemed to have more energy. If it could stay like this all the time I'd be happy.
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Yesterday HB had to go up on the roof to make a repair to one of the vent pipes. It was a bit scary watching him climb all the way up to the top of the house....


I zoomed in on him....


He's wearing his crazy hat with the wild hair sticking out the top. I want one of those hats, too....you know, for bad hair days! The repair was made and he came back down safely....and I could breath again!

I hope I have some art for tomorrow. Things have been frustrating in the studio. I've been trying some new things and they aren't working....but I'll keep trying.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Snail Mail is Great!!

Don't you just love snail mail? I do! And recently I've had some pretty amazing things in my mailbox.

Lee sent me this gorgeous WOOD postcard....


It came through the mail just as it is....no envelope or anything and it's perfect. I wish you could see this in real life because the photo doesn't do it justice. It's collaged with lots of wonderful papers and ephemera and has a time-worn aged look. It's beautiful! Thank you, Lee....I love it.

Also recently I won a giveaway over on Eden's blog. She gave away one of her complete Doodle Directories! How lucky am I?


It was difficult to get a picture of it. I placed each card into a 4" x 6" photo album so they would be protected. These are so fun and colorful and I love all Eden's doodles. Plus she's a fantastic artist. Her pencil drawings are great. Thanks, Eden!!

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Thanks to everyone who gave me advice about my blog. I finally got some basic things done but I'm still not thrilled with how it looks. I'll keep poking around with it and maybe I can get the look I want.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

What Can I Do???

Grrr!! What is the secret to having an interesting background on this blog? I see so many other blogs change their backgrounds all the time and they look great. I go to the same websites, get a background and it looks like crap and barely shows around the edges.

A few days ago Blogger said they had some new formats to try and I did....bad decision! Apparently in the process I lost the way my blog used to look and I didn't like the new format. Well, that's not entirely true. I did like some things about the new look but I got numerous emails telling me there was something wrong with my blog. So I tried to switch back to the way it was and that didn't happen.

Now my header has gotten smaller and I haven't even touched it! Why can't I figure this out?? Blogger says they have made it simple, the websites all say it's simple and yet my blog looks terrible. I need help!!!

NOTE: I just changed my header....found some info online and it helped a little but I'm still not happy with the way things look.