My Journey Into Art

Friday, September 30, 2011

Words to Think About

All of us who stumble and struggle to find our way as artists should read this. The more we do, the better we'll get, confidence will be gained, and our style will emerge. We just have to do it! Lots of it! Push past the limitations that we place on ourselves. Stretch ourselves to grow all the time.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nujabi Watercolor Paper

I went to Jerry's Artarama last week to use a Groupon that I purchased. Who can resist $19 for $40 in art supplies?! Amongst other things, I bought 3 sheets of Nujabi Watercolor Paper in the 9 X 12 size. It's 200 lb cold press paper that is individually handmade. The paper is very absorbent so once the color is down, there is no way to lift off without damaging the paper. It's actually quite a delicate paper. The watercolors also bleed into dry areas. It was a challenge to paint on it.

This painting was inspired by a photo from my friend, Kim.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Poppies One Last Time

I think I'm done with poppies for the time being. This one was done on better paper than the last and I added an extra flower, changed their direction and added more greenery. I chose not to do a wash for the background this time and left it white. I'm very pleased with this final one.

Poppies -Take 2

10" X 14" 140 lb cold press Fabriano watercolor paper. M. Graham watercolors.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

If I Were a Shoe...

My 8 year old son brought home this piece of work that he did in school. I was blown away by his rendering of his shoe. He keeps telling me that he wants to learn to draw like me and wants me to teach him. I'm by no means a drawing teacher but I have told him that he must really look at his subject if he wants to get an accurate sketch of it. I think he did great! He put in a lot of details.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Addicted to Poppies

I love poppies. I want to master painting them. I'm still working on trying to do them the way Martha Lever taught. In the meantime, I picked up the book Watercolour Flowers (Ready to Paint) by Wendy Tait. I was drawn to this book because she has step by step instructions on how to paint poppies.

Here is my first go at it. I used 90 lb hot press paper but next time will use 140 lb. cold pressed. The 90 lb has too much buckling for me.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Emperor Penguin

I felt like working with my watercolors last night. I seem to go back to realism time after time even though I really want to paint more intuitively and whimsically. I find something satisfying about trying to make something look real. Also, there is less thinking and pushing of limits when working from a photograph, magazine or book photo. Believe it or not, this type of painting is much easier for me.

Emperor Penguin

5"X7" M.Graham warercolors on 140 lb Strathmore 500 cold press paper

Monday, September 19, 2011

An Odd Pod

I parked in a lot by a short tree or bush. It had these weird looking pods hanging from it. I got out of my car and took a couple of them to draw at home. I have no idea what kind of tree/bush it came from but they were so odd and interesting looking I couldn't help myself.

Odd Pod


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Total Alignment

I came across Connie Hozvicka's free workshop called Total Alignment at her site Dirty Footprints Studio. The first video talks about opening your heart center. It's about getting unblocked and letting creativity flow out of you onto your paper without overthinking or judging yourself. That's sometimes hard to do but I was up for the challenge. She likes to work big and I love that. As I go through the workshop, I will be challenging myself to paint big and try to let go and paint intuitively. I have to admit setting up the big blank 18" x 24" page was a bit intimidating because I didn't know where to go with it. She said to start with a heart.

I did start with a heart. A big one. You can't see it because I painted over it again and again. I think it will take time for me to paint with abandon and not think too much. As the time went on, it started to become a bit easier. If I didn't like something I painted over it. I would like to not do that. I want to be okay with painting and not judging. I realize that these are not going to be framed works of art and that helps me let go a little bit. This painting was totally out of my comfort zone and I loved the process. I'm not thrilled with the result, but the process was so fun! Give painting BIG a try. You won't be sorry.

Heart Center

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Something Different

I had this 8" x 8" canvas that I painted but didn't like the final result so I put gesso all over it and started something different. Different, that is a good word for this. HA! I was playing with acrylic paint and adding background and textures. I didn't have a plan for it, I just went with it. It was becoming quite dark so I stopped and left it for a couple of days to ponder what I'd do with it. I was thinking another gesso cover up was inevitable. Then I got the idea to do a white illustration on it.

I started out by drawing the mushrooms lightly with a white charcoal pencil. When I was pleased with the illustration, I started inking over it with a white gelly roll pen. I felt like it needed a little more punch on the outlines so I used a very small brush and some white gouache.

I'm not sure I like the overall look of the canvas but I love the mushrooms. I think I will try them in black ink on white paper next.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Cock A Doodle Doo

I painted this rooster from a photo I took a couple of years ago from a farm visit. It turned out a little too tightly painted than I wanted. I think at some point, I need to step back and just live with the painting as it is before going back to 'fix' things and prevent overworking. That's what happened here. He's still a cute guy, so he'll stick around.


Thursday, September 8, 2011


It felt good to paint today even it was just a quick sketch. Turns out the best laid plans don't always work out. My 'free' day wasn't so free after all. I had to pick up supplies for a 3rd grade project. I went to Hobby Lobby and spent way more time than I needed to. I didn't just get the project supplies. I ended up roaming the art supply section as well. I picked up some watercolor paper that was on sale, a natural hair size 14 round watercolor brush that was on clearance and a Pilot Disposable Fountain Pen.

Then I got a call from the school nurse that my 8 year old wasn't feeling well and wanted to come home. So I picked him and the 5 year old up at the same time. No use in going back twice.

This is approx. 5" x 7.5" on hot press watercolor paper using watercolors and the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. The white highlights were done with Winsor & Newton White Gouache.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Need To Paint Something

What, I don't know yet but I must paint. I haven't worked on anything in what seems like a long time. I have the desire, I just have to sit down and do it. I seem to be back on track as far as getting the boys off to school and starting my routine. I've adjusted to the early rising. I even went so far today as doing tomorrow's daily chores today so that I really have an open day to do what I want tomorrow.

I have an unfinished acrylic painting of one of my old cats that needs to be completed. I have a large canvas that has abstract flowers that has been sitting for almost a year untouched. I have an idea for another abstract acrylic painting I want to try out. But I also want to paint with watercolors. See, this is my problem. Too many choices and then I choose none.

I bought a Pentel Pocket Brush and it arrived today. What a fun pen! It actually has a bristle brush tip. Depending on how much pressure you apply you can get really thin wispy lines or big bold ones.

I also bought some Tombow Dual Brush Pens in gray scale. I look forward to experimenting with my new goodies.

I finished the trilogy I was reading so now I have no excuse to get back into art making!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm Hooked

I've started The Hunger Games Trilogy and I'm afraid I won't be making any art until all three are finished. I'm near the end of book 1 and I'm totally hooked. It's a good thing they are fast reads but with the kids home for the long weekend, I'm only able to read after they've gone to bed. This is a young adult series but very suspenseful and thrilling. I now see why so many people have raved about this trilogy. I can't wait to see what happens next!