My Journey Into Art

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

End of Month

Since my spreads are weekly beginning on Sundays and with the end of the month here, I made a 3 day spread so that I can start on a fresh spread for February.

I heard a bit of Viola Davis' acceptance speech from the Screen Actors Guild awards on the radio on my way back from dropping off the boys at school. She said, amongst other things; "Dream big and dream fierce!" I LOVE that. I'm still playing with faces. I have a bit of experimentation going on here with the big eyes. I'm not sure I like that stylized feature very much. She was fun none-the-less.

Yesterday was my 43rd birthday. I have no problem with admitting to my age. I think part of it is because no one believes me when I say I'm in my 40's. They think I'm younger. And another part of it is having young children, they keep me young. I play games, I color and I feel younger than my years. And I'm just grateful for life in general. I try really hard not to sweat the small stuff. My cake has eight candles on it. One for each decade, one for each year and an extra one for good luck. In my family, we have always added an extra candle to the birthday cakes for good luck. It's kind of a silly tradition.

I went to another figure drawing session this morning. I'll journal about that later to complete the spread. I had an embarrassing moment there. I was moving my stuff to a different table and my box of supplies fell and spilled all over the floor. I felt like such a newbie. Broken charcoal and conte crayon all over the place. HA!

BOD week 4.5

BOD Week 4.5

BOD week 4.5

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Journaling Week 4

I attempted something new, a drawing from imagination including a face. I was inspired by Effy's prompt. In her Monday video, she used the word 'surrender' as her prompt and incorporated a face into her spread. The word 'wild' came to mind for me and really fits the wild ride that life is. That's not a bad thing. I've come to realize that life can swing wildly in both good and bad directions but keeping a sense of equilibrium through it all makes the ride that much smoother.

The mushroom drawings were inspired by the stamp that I received earlier this week. I even used the stamp on the bottom.

I really enjoyed making this spread and will try drawing from imagination more regularly. I'd like to get better at drawing faces.

I think I will pull some magazines that I have around here and try some portrait drawing. Or maybe, I should just finish my Faces 101 homework!

BOD week 4



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life Drawing

I went to my first open studio life drawing session on Tuesday morning. I was both nervous and excited on my drive over there. Traffic was terrible and it took me almost an hour to get there when normally it would have taken 20 minutes if I wasn't in rush hour traffic.

They started with 1 minute gesture poses. Boy, that minute goes fast! I need to build some speed. I was unsure of myself when I started but as time went on and the poses became longer, I started to relax.

I was way out of my league as far as talent goes. There was about 12 people in the studio and all seemed like pros. I had a retired art teacher on my left, a sculptor from France on my right and a recent architecture grad with a minor in art in front of me working from a low art bench. I felt like a kindergartener playing with the high school kids. No one made me uncomfortable when walking by and looking at my sketches. I hope to improve the more I do it as time goes on. I had a really good time and look forward to the next one.

One minute gesture sketches:

1 min

5 minutes:

5 min

7 minutes:

7 min

30 minutes:

30 min (1)

30 min (2)

45 minutes:

45 min

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Catching Up

I haven't posted in several days due to all of life's craziness. Although I have been creating in between. I continued to work on my art journal. I'm very proud of myself for keeping up with it consistently. I continued with a doodle theme.

Art Journal week 3

Through one of the Facebook groups I belong to, artist Kristen Powers asked us what our word for the year was for a project she was working on. I, of course, said mine was "brave". Several days later, she posted what she did with these words. She made glass rocks with them. I had to buy mine! It arrived on Monday and inside was a little unexpected gift of a hand carved stamp. I loved her attention to detail in the packaging and her business card is just beautiful. My rock stays on my art table where I can see it while I work.

Brave Word Rock

On Sunday, we took the family down to San Antonio, Texas for the day. We walked along the Riverwalk, went to the Alamo and then hit a Mexican Market. Every store at the Market is filled with an abundance of bright, bold colors. It's actually quite overstimulating but so wonderful. I bought some Mexican Cut Out Flags. I traced one onto watercolor paper then used masking fluid to protect the shapes. I added watercolors and then removed the masking. I think it needs something else like some doodling around the shapes. I find it kind of lacking. What do you think?

Mexican Cut Out Flag

Friday, January 20, 2012


I finished this painting this morning. I've had it sitting for several weeks now and wanted to get it done. There's something satisfying about finishing a project. Next up is a Rottweiler for a friend. It's a bit slow going but I hope to finish that one soon too. I'm ready to break from realism and try some whimsical for a change of pace.

8" X 10" on 140 lb Cold Press Strathmore 500 paper and M. Graham watercolors.


In other news, I reserved my spot in a life drawing studio on Tuesday. I'm both nervous and excited. I haven't done a life drawing since I was 19 and not knowing anyone in the group is a little intimidating as well. I'm embracing my "brave" and going with it.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taking a Leap

I am really running with my brave word for the year. I had been thinking on and off about opening an Etsy shop for awhile. I'd waffle back and forth on the pros and cons and whether or not I really wanted to sell my work. My friends and family have been encouraging me all along to do it. What started this whole thing now was while I was I still muddling over what I should do, I had someone reach out to me on Flickr to inquire if a painting was available for purchase. This seemed to be the push that I needed. This wasn't my friends or family asking to buy my work, this was a complete stranger. I have no idea whether or not she will end up buying the piece or not, but I'm taking it as a message coming from the Universe to move forward.

Yesterday, while still doubting and overthinking, I came across this post in my blog list from Creative Something and felt like it was written for me.

So I bit the bullet. I had my first item in draft form to list on Etsy all day but didn't push the "Publish" button until after I read that blog posting. On the sidebar on the right you will see a link to my Etsy shop.

I created a Facebook page as well. The badge is on the right if you want to become a fan. Wheew!! Scary stuff.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Another Week of Art Journaling

I'm onto week two! To ease myself in and to keep going at it, I prepared the two page spread for the week and journal a little bit each day. This is manageable bites for me. I have so many things I want to do and experiment with and only so much time. There never seems to be enough time to paint and create. I need to find a way to manage my time better. I have two watercolor paintings in progress, my Faces 101 work to complete, art journaling, and I want to make more of the doodle paintings.


Connections - Journal week 2

Connections spread

Saturday, January 14, 2012


This month's Sketchbook Challenge theme is doodling. I love to doodle so I knew this was going to be an easy challenge for me. I got some new doodling ideas from Strathmore's online workshops. The first workshop is hosted by Traci Bautista. She is the queen of colorful doodling.

The following is my mixed media doodling inspired by Traci's workshop. It was done on 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. There is a combination of watercolors, watersoluble crayon, acrylic paint, acrylic ink, india ink and artist pen.


Thursday, January 12, 2012


I was inspired by my Faces 101 homework to experiment a little bit. I wondered what the result would look like if I painted with plain water and then dropped in some black india ink.

The result is this:

Experimenting with dropping ink into a water drawing.

He was done from imagination. Once the ink was dropped in, I lifted the paper and tilted it back and forth for the ink to spread. The result is very similar to the ink dropper paintings in my previous post.

This got me thinking about what would happen if I did the same plain water drawing technique again but this time dropped in watercolors. It was fun and exciting to see the colors mix. I like the first one best. I'm not sure why. I think it's the expression on her face. She's kind of sad looking but at the same time her coloring is so vibrant that it's not really a sad painting.


More experimenting.

Later in the afternoon, I was experimenting with repeat pattern stacks. I really like the effect and will experiment more. You can find the tutorial at The Rainbow Elephant.


And then I ended the evening with this whimsical being. I just wanted to paint quickly and not think. My muse brought me this. I'm not sure what I think about it. It was quick and fulfilled my urge to paint whimsy. I used watercolors, colored pencils and marker.


I had a very creative day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Catching up with Faces 101

I finally got a chance to work on my homework from Carla Sonheim's class. I feel bad that I wasn't able to keep up when the class was going on.

The first exercise was cheater blinds. I used photo references from the most recent issue of Cooking Light magazine because that was what I had handy. Boy, they don't have many photos of people in there!

I find it funny how my faces got larger and larger as I progressed. So much so, that I wasn't able to fit the last two on the page. I will end up with only 99 faces in the end, instead of 101.

Faces 101 Day 2

The painting exercise was to paint with ink from an ink dropper. That proved to be quite unpredictable but very fun. Again, these were references from the Cooking Light magazine.

Ink Dropper painting

I'm really enjoying doing the exercises.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Week of Art Journaling

I'm hoping to make this a daily habit. I think about what a treasure this would be at the end of the year to reflect back on and I hope that will be enough for me to keep moving forward and doing it. I'm terrible at keeping up with things like this but I'm going to do my darnedest to make it happen this year. My first two children have mostly empty baby books. I didn't bother getting a book for my third because I knew I wouldn't do it. Sad, huh?!

I've blocked out bits and pieces of the journaling to keep some sense of privacy. I'm working on the journal from the point of view that it's mine and not from the point of view that I'm making this for an audience. I don't to have to censor myself. I found some of my previous art journaling posted to Pinterest and I have to admit it made me feel funny inside. I didn't write anything super personal but the idea that someone else put it in a place where I hadn't intended it to go felt weird for a bit. I'm not sure why I felt that way about it because I did post it here on my blog and in my flickr stream which are both open forums. In the end, I was fine with it because it was obviously a source of inspiration for them.

First week of art journaling

Friday, January 6, 2012

Book of Days

As I mentioned earlier, my word for the year is brave. I found this quote by Buddha that I felt was especially fitting for me. It says, "No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path."

I bought this handmade watercolor journal with handmade 100% cotton paper that says it's 90lbs. I love the look of the journal with all it's deckled edges. I bought it at Hobby Lobby using a 40% off coupon. I wanted a fresh journal for the Book of Days project.

I was initially very disappointed with the paper once I added watercolor to it. The paper doesn't hold up. I thought it was going to literally fall apart when it got wet. The colors seeped through to the back of the page and the watercolors don't move once it hits the page. But, I'm going to make this journal work. I am going to use very limited amounts of water, or just watercolor pencils on one side of the page. On the back of the page, I will add gesso to reinforce it so that I can use both sides.

Here is the first page:

BOD: First page

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Carla Sonheim's Faces 101

This class is so much fun! At the end of the class when I complete all of my homework, I will have 101 faces. I'm a little behind and have some catching up to do. I completed the first day's homework and have started Day 2 but didn't finish it last night. If time allows, I will finish it today and work on today's homework tonight so that I'll be caught up.

This work is completely different for me and I had a great time working on it. It feels good to stretch my wings out of my comfort zone.

Here's a sampling of what I worked on yesterday. The first is blind contours and you can tell that I really didn't look at the page at all. The second is watercolor and pencil from imagination.

Blind contour

Watercolor and pencil from imagination

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year

WOW...I started this blog last year and a scroll back to see how I have progressed left me feeling like I've come a long way. My goal (resolution) was to create everyday. And I did for the most part unless I was sick. I feel a real sense of accomplishment in that.

For 2012, my word for the year is Brave. I want to step out of my comfort zones and push my boundaries to see where they lead me. I want to do this from an artistic standpoint as well as in life experiences. There are so many things I want to do, but my negative self talk stops me. No more! I'm ready to take on 2012 with a vengeance to see what new things I can accomplish.

I am continuing with The Sketchbook Challenge this year, I signed up for Carla Sonheim's Faces 101. It started today and I need to do my homework. I've also signed up for Effy Wild's Book of Days. I'd like to take more classes/workshops this year as well.

Some of my goals this year are to better my sketching skills. I want to try life drawing. I want to draw/paint/journal from imagination more. I want to find a local group of creatives to paint/draw/sketch with and being inspired by. I want to really jump in with both feet and see what comes out when I reflect back on 2012 next year. I feel that I have gained so much in the last year. I started without much confidence in my skills to where I am today, and wonder what I will be able to accomplish this year now that I have more confidence.

Happy New Year!