My Journey Into Art

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blue Jay

I finished the Blue Jay last night. I really like how the branch came out. I was avoiding it until the very end because I wasn't sure how I was going to do it. I'm pleasantly surprised with the outcome and think I like it better than the bird!

Now onto finding a watercolor project to work on.

Blue Jay

8" X 8" on Stonehenge paper and Prismacolor pencils.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Work In Progress

All the Bluejays in the backyard inspired me to paint one.  I was going to do it in watercolor but at the last minute decided on colored pencils.  I really do need to get back to watercolors soon though.  It's been too long and I'm worried I'm going to lose my feel for them.

Here's the start of the drawing from this morning.


Friday, May 18, 2012


I've been really enjoying the backyard. I sit out on the deck pretty much every morning after everyone is off to work and school. I drink my coffee and have breakfast out there. It's so peaceful. I enjoy listening to the birds. Since the house backs up to a greenbelt I get to hear and see lots of them. I've noticed a lot of blue jays and mourning doves. And there is a small bird that has a song that sounds like it is singing "cheater, cheater". it makes me chuckle. At dusk, the deer come out. I sit outside after my boys go to bed and relax for 15 minutes or so. I stay very quiet to not spook them. They come right up to the fence line and graze. They usually come in groups of 3 to 6 deer at a time. This painting was inspired by all the birds I'm noticing. I'm not sure that it is done yet. I'm going to let it sit for a few days and decide if it needs something more. I'm not sure if I want to add features to the birds like I did with the Funky Cat. Maybe they are fine as they are. Thoughts?

20120518-2012-05-18 11.15.20-1

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Muse

Is returning....

My new art journal spread for the week.  It's simple but getting my feet wet again, so to speak:

2012-05-16 11.16.37
2012-05-16 11.17.10

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Place To Call Home

I'm back!  The move went rather smoothly.  We got a lot unpacked within a few days.  We still have some boxes to unpack and lots of pictures to hang.  I find the decorative touches is what makes a house a home.  This doesn't quite feel like home yet but it's getting there.

My new art space is better than my last one.  While I did have my own room before and I don't now, I have much better light and more table space.  Before I worked on one table and had another small table stacked with supplies.  I also have a storage unit to house a bunch of other supplies and paper.  Now I have three tables that form an L along two walls.  The natural light fills the room from a large window from early morning until afternoon.  It's really the perfect space and set up for me.

Here's the problem,  I've been here almost a week.  My art space has been assembled and ready since the weekend.  My supplies are all out and arranged to my liking.  But I sit there and look around and don't know what to do.  I lost my muse with the move.  Even my art journal where I'm usually very free and do lots of experimenting sits open with blank gesso'd pages waiting for me to make some marks.

I think I'm just tired.  We have been working hard on making sure the family has adjusted well.  We've been trying to get everything unpacked and normal for them so the transition would be smooth.  I think we accomplished that well.  Everyone seems happy.  I hope my muse returns shortly.  I got a bunch of supplies delivered the day after I moved and I want to try them out!

Monday, May 7, 2012


This is the start of my journal spread for the week. Her expression looks like she's worried. I didn't intend to make a worried looking woman but maybe she came out that way because I'm experiencing lots of changes right now. I'm not feeling particularly worried, more like harried and feeling like there's not enough time.

I'm posting all of this from my phone including the photo. I have no way of checking the formatting or colors because I don't have internet or access to my computer. So bear with me if it looks wonky. I should have my computer up and running by Thursday.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mourning Dove

For the last several weeks, whenever I'm in the art studio one or two Mourning Doves appear outside my window. At first I didn't notice a pattern but after awhile I came to notice that within 20 minutes of me working in that room the bird(s) would appear. They seem to just graze in the patch below my window. Once I began noticing this, I would look for them at other times of the day when I wasn't in the art room. No Mourning Doves around, ever. Weird.

Several days ago while coming home from dinner with my family, my husband turned onto our street and in the middle of the road was what looked like a duckling. We thought it was strange because there is no water nearby. It just sat there not moving. My husband pulled over because there was no way to get by with the bird in the road. I jumped out of the vehicle and went to it. It wasn't a duckling, but rather a baby Mourning Dove. I carefully shepherded it off the road to a safe spot on the sidewalk. There was a big tree and some bushes by the sidewalk so I figured the nest must be nearby.

After that experience I started thinking about what the symbolism of the Mourning Dove meant. I googled and found this:

Some things to pay attention to when a Mourning Dove appears: 

People often find that unexpected and unseen support and assistance comes when they need it most. 

Travel is often indicated when Dove appears prominantly, and this may include relocation to a new home.

A death, either physical (of someone one knows or is close to) or symbolic (within the individual) may occur and while it may bring grief, there is also quite often a sense of relief and gratitude that suffering has finally ended and peace will soon be at hand. 

A new relationship may begin or an old one rekindled. 

The ways and means of leaving a destructive or difficult situation is at hand. Life is about to become much more peaceful and satisfying on all levels.

Some of the these things apply to me right now and after I read it I was feeling a little bit of "ohhhh spooky".

So in light of all this, I decided to draw (paint?) a Mourning Dove.  If it is my totem or medicine then I felt I should honor it.

I normally draw from a printed photo.  My printer is packed for our move next week (see...fitting with the dove) so I drew this from a photo reference on my phone.  I think it came out well given the small viewing area I worked with.

It's funny that I can draw pretty well from a 2D image but can't draw from life or imagination.

This is 8"X 8" on Stonehenge paper done in Prismacolor color pencils.  I haven't done a color pencil drawing in ages and I really enjoyed it.  I liked the slow process of adding layers upon layers of color.

Mourning Dove