My Journey Into Art

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hoot! Hoot!

The owl is done!  I almost gave up on it because the feathers were very challenging.  This is done in watercolors however the white feathers are done with white gouache.  I needed the opacity that gouache has.

I think this is up there as one of the most challenging pieces I've done.  I'm very pleased with the outcome.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Indian Princess

More experimenting going on here! This is another mixed media piece that has watercolors, watersoluble markers, india ink, and shimmering watercolors. Initially I thought this would just be a watercolor painting but it didn't have the oomph that I needed for definition so I added some india ink outlining, then the markers got into it and finally some accents with the gold and bronze shimmering watercolors. Oh, wait! There's also white acrylic ink in there too!

The owl keeps looking at me and asking when he'll get done. Soon, soon...

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Thoughts on Friendship

I redid this canvas probably three times before I called it done.  After it was done, I wasn't so sure that I liked it.  It seemed kind of bland and boring to me.  I posted it to Facebook and asked my friends their opinion about whether or not I should keep it as it is or repaint it.  Those that responded said to keep it.  One of my friends liked it enough to ask for it.  So off to Sweden this goes.

When I think about my friendship with my friend from Sweden, it makes me smile.  You see, we met online before we ever met in person.  I know that some people feel that the people that they interact with online are not 'real' friends so to speak.  Well, I considered her a real friend online before we met in person.  We shared lots of common interests and shared a lot about ourselves through email exchanges.  While the anonymity is there at first, I feel that it can act as a bridge to be more open about who you are and what you share because there are no expectations as there may be in the beginnings of a friendship that starts in person.  A couple of years into our friendship, she came to the US for a visit and stayed with me and my family for several days.  Our friendship blossomed even more after that.  It's been a little over 10 years since that friendship started and while we may not interact in the same depth as we did initially, it's really easy to pick up where we left off when we do catch up.

I bring this up because I have been making connections through this blog and other blogs and I want you to know that I consider you 'real' and look forward to seeing where these interactions take us.

This is 8" X 8" canvas with acrylic paints.  The sides are painted black and a gloss sealant applied to the whole thing.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Having Fun

I've begun to experiment with mixed media. I have to say, this is so much fun and very freeing! I just go in and put down lots of color that make me happy and not think too much about the outcome. No rules, no restrictions, no trying to replicate an image.

I've been working in my Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook. It has 100 lb vellum finish paper for mixed media work. These paintings contain acrylic paint, oil pastel and india ink. The paper holds up really, really well.

The first spread kind of represents how my son was behaving shortly before I sat down to paint. I was marveling at how fast he went from happy-go-lucky to a terror in a span of a few minutes. Luckily for me, he goes back to happy-go-lucky pretty quickly and stays that way for the most part. I showed this to my husband explaining that I was experimenting. His reaction was priceless. His face kind of screwed up and I could tell he didn't quite know what to say so he asked, "Why?"  And I answered because it was fun!  I don't think he liked it but that's okay.  It's not my usual style and something completely different from what I've done thus far. Not everyone is going to like every piece I do.  I did it for me, and it made me happy.  I think that's what art should really be about for an artist.  I don't think an artist should create for the sake of getting other people's approval.  I don't think it's as authentic if you're worrying about what someone else thinks about it.  I know that if I overthink some aspect of the process, I tend to not be as free as I would have had I just gone with my instinct and not thought too much about it.

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I did these girls this afternoon.  I think they're best friends forever.  Again this is in the Stillman & Birn Sketchbook and done in acrylic paint, oil pastel and india ink.  So fun!  I'm not game yet to do it on canvas or on good watercolor paper yet.  Working in the sketchbook makes for a lot less pressure.  I have expensive paper and canvas and I unless I plan on doing "good" work on them, I tend not to use them.


I've stalled on the owl because I've been having fun in the sketchbook, but here's some more progress.

Work in Progress

Monday, June 11, 2012


That is what the feeling is like to be painting in watercolors again.  I feel as if I have come home.  I finally found inspiration in the form of an owl.  Another bird, surprise, surprise!  I must be on a bird theme for some reason.  This is just the beginning that I completed last night.  I find that if I can nail the eye on whatever animal I'm working on, then the painting will end up going well.  Overall, I'm pleased with the way this eye is turning out.  It needs some tweaking but I'm happy with where it's going.  Given the depth of owl feathers, I think this piece may turn into a mixed media painting consisting of watercolors, gouache and ink.  We'll see once I get further along.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Little Bit of This and That

I'm kind of struggling with finding my new summer groove with the kids home. I really want to make it a great summer for them. We've put together a "Summer Fun" list of the things we want to do and places we want to go. This means I have to squeeze in some art making whenever I have the chance. I'm finding that when I do have the time, I'm kind of stuck on what I want to do. I still haven't found an inspiration subject that I want to do in watercolors. It's been way too long since I worked on a piece.  My search continues...

In the meantime, I got the idea that I wanted to fill a page with nature drawings. This is as far as I got.


I used a nature encyclopedia for the wasp and then I drew the flower around it from imagination. It looks poppy-ish. The leaf was from imagination too but after that, I kind of stalled out and put it aside. Here's a closer look at the wasp and flower.


Then another day, I decided to play with oil pastels. I really like the creamy consistency of them. But they sure are messy. You can see my fingerprints where I hadn't intended to leave them. This was the result of me sitting at my table not knowing what I wanted to do. This took about 10 minutes and then I walked away sort of creatively filled but not quite.


And finally, here is the beginning of June spread in my art journal.  I seem to be on a bird kick.  Must be all that time I sit outside in the back enjoying the birds.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Black Gesso

Last month I ordered some new art supplies.  One of things I have been wanting to try is black gesso.  I finally had a little bit of time to play with it.  I like it.  The white Pentel gel pen I used to draw the mandala worked really well on it.

Black Gesso
I have been using the white gel pen to journal on the pages. Now that my boys are out of school, I'm not sure how much art time I'm going to get. My hope is to still get some time in and blog at least twice a week.