My Journey Into Art

Monday, January 31, 2011

Who Are You?

The first thing that popped into my mind after I completed this drawing was, "Who are you?" I didn't have a photo reference or any other visual aid when drawing her. She came from my imagination. For some reason, she needed to be drawn. It came to me intuitively. So who is she? She looks strong, self-assured, a leader. Maybe she's a tribal leader or a warrior princess. Whoever she is, I like her.

Unknown

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Poppies

I love poppies! I can't wait until spring to photograph the wild flowers here in Texas. The bluebonnets are abundant and so are poppies. I love their delicate petals and their vibrant red color. I watched this youtube video about 3 or 4 times now. I want to paint like that!



I pulled out my art journal and played with my watercolors to create some poppies. My art space is downstairs and my PC is upstairs so I couldn't paint along or refer back to this video while painting. I had to wing it from my own memory. Unfortunately my memory is not so great. Getting older kind of sucks in that way. And today is my birthday so it's readily apparent that I'm getting older. They say the 40's are the new 30's right?! At least I can hope!

Here's my version of poppies. I hope to improve as time goes on.

Poppies

Friday, January 28, 2011

Still Playing with Watercolors

Watercolors: A New Way to Learn How to Paint (Barron's Easel Series)I borrowed Watercolors: A New Way to Learn How to Paint from the library. I had seen it at the bookstore on my way out and looked at it just long enough to know that I wanted to explore it more fully. I was happy to see that my library had it. Being new to watercolors, I figured there was a lot I could probably learn from it.  I liked how it showed step by step on how to do the painting.

I really like how the fish came out but kind of meh on the tulips. I don't like how the leaves look.

goldfish


tulips




Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some Techniques Don't Transfer Well to Other Mediums

Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultra-Realistic EffectsThe other night I wanted to see if I could replicate some of the colored pencil techniques I learned from Colored Pencil Painting Bible with watercolors. I had done a strawberry in colored pencil using the techniques in the book and was very happy with the result.

I quickly found out that, no, you can't use the same techniques with watercolors. HA!

This is the one is colored pencil:

Strawberry

And here is the one in watercolors. They are similar but I couldn't get the level of detail like I could with colored pencils.

watercolor strawberry

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Fish

These fish are so fun to make. I really like the way the colors came out on this on this one. I think I'll try something else tonight, perhaps a bird. I'll see what strikes my fancy when the time comes. A lot can change between now and tonight. I wish I had the time to make art all day. I was in a meeting this morning and all I wanted to do was doodle all over the handouts. I stopped myself because I didn't want the speaker to think of me as rude. It was a small group so I wouldn't have been able to hide it. It's funny how this urge comes on. I just want to do something, right then, right now.

Colorful Fish

Monday, January 24, 2011

Owl

I painted this owl last night with watercolors. I participated in a Pay It Forward thing that was going on at Facebook. The first 5 people to respond to the post would get a handmade item and promise to repost and offer the same to the first 5 people to respond to their posting. I responded to someone's and in turn, posted the same to my profile. One of my friends that responded is have a baby girl in the spring. I've noticed from her previous postings that she is doing an owl theme for the baby. With her in mind, I painted this owl and will mail it to her.

Owl at Night

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Batik Fish Take 2

This one is on watercolor paper. I like it much better! Also did a tree yesterday. I've become an art making fool (and I love it).

Batik Fish Take 2


Tree

Creating Daily

I've been sticking with my resolution of sorts to create daily. Another mandala, this time in just micron pen.

Mandala


And an experiment in a batik-ish looking watercolor in my art journal. Flickr is a wonderful place. I get lost clicking away looking at other people's art and getting inspiration from what I see. I somehow landed in someone's stream and saw watercolor batik-like looking work. I was intrigued. I love batik fabrics and used them when I quilted. I was trying to figure out how this technique was achieved with using watercolors. Watercolors flow so much and can be hard to control. I did a search on batik watercolor techniques and came across a site that mentioned masking fluid. Ah ha! I have masking fluid! This fish was done in my art journal on base of gesso. The watecolors don't seem to absorb very well on it. Next time, I'll try it on watercolor paper to see if it comes out better.

Batik Fish

Friday, January 21, 2011

Watercolors

I bought some watercolor paper awhile back and have been saving it until I felt more comfortable with watercolors. It's a 5X7 block of Fabriano Extra White Rough paper. I wouldn't say that I really know what I'm doing with watercolors at this point but having used some in my art journal, I felt daring enough to try the 'good' paper. Here is the result:

Flowers


Flowers in watercolor and micron pen outline. I am pleased with the way it turned out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Old and New

I completed my first sketchbook the other day. I started it in August and at first was very fussy with it. I wanted only the best work in it but after my first major screw up about 10 pages in, I really relaxed about it. It became my book for experimenting with new things. It's 6X6 and was perfect to throw into my purse.

1st Completed Sketchbook

I had a new sketchbook waiting for me in a drawer. This one is a 7X7 with white pages. The first one had off white pages and it bothered me when working in black pen. I felt that if the pages were white, the contrast would have been better. I've been pondering about what to do with the first page of this new one. So it sat for several days before I was ready to crack it open. I worked on a mandala in prismacolor color pencils. It was so hard to find an ending point. I felt like I could keep on adding elements. This is my first one in color.

New Sketchbook

Mandala

Monday, January 17, 2011

Birthday Boy

My middle child is 8 years old today. The time seems to have just flown by. I think back to the day he was born and I remember it like yesterday. So much has happened in the last 8 years, it seems like a blur at times. I cherish the fact that he is still a little boy and not so independent that kisses and hugs make him squirm away. I relish those moments because I know that all too soon these displays of affection will probably embarrass him.

I used watercolors on the background and then sprinkled salt while the pages were still wet. I hadn't done that before but have seen it in a book. It's a cool effect and I will do it again. The balloons are in watercolor with micron pen outline. I used collage for the other elements.

Birthday Boy

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Star Light, Star Bright

The January theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge is Cosmos. In thinking about cosmos, the night sky came to mind. I used Portfolio pastels for this along with alphabet stamps and ink. The girl was collaged on. It was cut out of magazine but it was a boy wearing jeans and a plaid shirt. I applied gesso over it and painted in the skirt, shirt and hair.

Star Light, Star Bright

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Patterns

Journal prompt #5 from artJOURNALING daily was patterns. I experimented with the Portfolio pastels for this one. I covered the Moleskine pages in pink and then washed them with a wet brush. I was happy with the way the background came out. Traci used vintage fabric as her inspiration for pattern. I wasn't sure what I was going to use for my inspiration, I sort of just went with whatever came to mind in the moment. I put the squares in first. They started out as being three colors one inside the other but after I tried to blend it, I wasn't happy with the result. I ended up using a wet brush again and completely blended all three colors together. I scraped in the designs with a stylus. I used gold metallic acrylic paint for the dots. When making these pages, it got me thinking of behavior patterns that we tend to do over and over again.

Patterns

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sketching

Everyday MattersI read Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory at the beginning of my art journey. It's a memoir of his life after his wife's accident and how drawing came to be a refuge for him. In the book, he talks about how he sketched every thing in his house from the contents of his medicine cabinet to the food in his fridge. Once he felt comfortable with his drawing skills indoors, he ventured out with his sketchbook and started drawing his surroundings and the interesting things and people in New York City.

I was thinking about this book while I was in my bathroom waiting for my hair dye to process for 30 minutes. What?! Hey, I'm in my early 40's, I have gray hair I need to hide! My youngest is 5, I don't want to look like his grandmother.

One of my goals this year is to improve my drawing skills. In order to do that, I should draw every day so I grabbed my sketchbook and thought about what I could draw. I wasn't going to tackle the medicine cabinet. That seemed too daunting. So I picked my contact lens wetting drops. I really tried to 'see' everything, the shadows, the ridges on the cap and the roundness of the bottle. I have a ways to go but I was somewhat pleased with the result.

Eye Drops



You Can Paint PastelsAfter my hair was done, I picked up the book, You Can Paint Pastels by Marie Blake. I was going to experiment with my new pastels. Instead I worked on an exercise from the book on creating accurate foreground and background in a drawing. I used a regular HB pencil to sketch and colored with watercolor pencils.


Houses

Monday, January 10, 2011

Circles

Collage UnleashedThe second prompt from artJOURNALING daily was circles. I had a lot of fun with this one. I love circles. I doodle circles when I'm talking on the phone. I searched to see what the meanings of a circle were. Some of the terms that came up were; goddess, mother earth, sun, infinity,and earth. I incorporated those into the journal page. I posted the photo this morning to flickr for the artJOURNALING daily group and was giddy this afternoon when I saw that Traci Bautista commented on it.


Circles

New Goodies

I've been saving up my Swagbucks awards to buy some art supplies. In the mail today, I received some new goodies to experiment with:

Wreck This Journal and Crayola 24ct Oil Pastels Portfolio Series

Wreck This Journal received excellent reviews and looks to be a good way to really stretch my comfort boundaries and let loose. While the pastels are student grade, this is my first set and the reviews were pretty good that they were buttery and smooth. I figured it was a good starter set to get my feet wet. They are water soluble too so they should be good for a watercolor effect. We shall see!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Goals for 2011

I got together with a few friends last night to put together vision boards for the goals we want to accomplish in this new year. I didn't do a board but rather made mine in my art journal. My attempt at a self-portrait is a bit laughable but the essence of me is in there.

While looking through magazines, I chose words that spoke to me. After I cut them out and had them spread out on the floor in front of me, I saw that there was a theme. Most of the words have to do with me and not some external 'thing' I want to accomplish. Last year my goals were different and seemed to revolve around my business. This year it's more personal; about inner peace, happiness and getting back to the basics.

Goals for 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Personal Mantras

With the new year comes reflections and new goals.  I'm not really a big resolution-type girl.  I don't like to set anything in stone and say with an absolute that I will do this or that.  I prefer a more generalized approach so that I don't set myself up for failure.  One of the things I have set out to do is to create daily.  For me, getting into a flow state while doing art is important to me.  It's my daily meditation.  It can be as short as 20 minutes or as long as several hours.  However long, it's refreshing to me. 

Personal mantras keep me focused.  I can remind myself at any given time what is important to me.  It helps me get centered when things become chaotic.
 
Personal Mantras

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Flowers Make Me Happy

As part of my ongoing resolution to create daily, I made another journal page last night. I love flowers. I love the way they look, the way they smell and the way the petals feel. I take lots of photos of flowers in the spring and summer. They are one of my favorite subjects.

Lone Flower20100506-IMG_8761GlowMovement

I enjoyed the freedom of painting big bold flowers on the page with abandon. In the end, I felt that they were too bold so I softened the focus a bit with painting white flowers over it. That was fun too. I thinned the paint and loosely painted on the flowers. I ended it by doodling some flowers in sharpie marker.

Flowers Make Me Happy

Monday, January 3, 2011

Highly Prized

I've completed my journal page for the Sketchbook Challenge theme for January. The theme is "Highly Prized". I like the way it turned out. The photo really doesn't do the colors justice. The background is very blue green but it's not showing up in the photo. No matter how many adjustments I tried with Lightroom, I couldn't get it to be a good representation. This is close though.

Highly Prized


Originally, I cut out Oscar statues that I was going to collage in the arms of the octopus but I couldn't find a good way to do it. Instead I drew trophies and painted them gold.

I'm really excited about this art journal thing. It's so fun!

Art Quilts

Free-Style Quilts: A "No Rules" ApproachI was looking through some old photos that I have on my computer and came across some photos of a couple of art quilts that I did several years ago. I started out making traditional quilts and then moved onto applique. I think I was drawn to applique because it seemed more 'art' like. I didn't particularly care for the geometric shapes of traditional quilting. I liked a more free form look. As I progressed, I became drawn to art quilts. The following photos are quilts made from patterns in Susan Carlson's Free-Style Quilts: A "No Rules" Approach.

Art QuiltArt Quilt

Art QuiltArt Quilt

I haven't quilted in several years now. I started a business three years ago that requires me to do lots of sewing. At the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is sew. It's kind of too bad because I was a total fabric and quilt fanatic. I had built up a huge fabric stash that filled a walk-in closet and was a total quilt book junkie. I had a library's worth of books. I recently donated all my fabric to a non-profit and sold most of my quilting books. I did keep Susan Carlson's book amongst quite a few others. I needed to make room for my art supplies.

I have a quilt cut out for my youngest child that has been sitting on my worktable for the better part of 2 years. It's an alphabet applique quilt that I hope to start AND finish before he reaches college.