My Journey Into Art

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Satisfying an Urge

I get moments where I need to paint or sketch. It's an internal urging that won't leave me alone until I satisfy it. Do you ever get that way?

I sat down and played with some watercolors and my urge was satisfied. It didn't take me very long to do these but it hit the spot. I made a bookmark with one of the scraps that you see. And I will doodle on the other one as well. I think I will be making mandalas on the square pieces.

We've been going to the library a lot this summer so it's perfect for me to use a bookmark. I tend to fold down the corners of my own books, terrible I know. My 9 year old goes through books like water. We bring home stacks for him and within a couple of days, he's read them all. I love that he's a voracious reader. My 6 year old gets tired of reading pretty quickly. The reading bug hasn't bitten him quite so much just yet.

Playing with paint

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Passing the Time

When I work on a watercolor piece, I need to wait for some areas to dry before I can go any further. If I walk away from the table, chances are I won't return for a long time. Instead I find something else to do to pass the time. I work on this Mandala doodle and keep adding to it while I wait. It's slowing growing in size and detail.

Doodle in progress

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Mittens

Long ago we had two cats, Mittens and Tiger, that were a part of our family for almost 10 years. The last couple of years that we had them, my husband was chronically ill. It wasn't until going from specialist to specialist for chronic coughing and chest pain that it was finally determined that he was allergic to cats. He took two allergy medications at a time in order for us to keep the cats but after a year of worsening symptoms while on the medications, we made the hard decision that it was time to find them a new home. His allergist warned that asthma was on the horizon for him if we didn't do something.

We lived in Vermont at the time. A couple from upstate New York came to see them and took them home. I had talked to the wife at length to make sure they would be a good fit before inviting them to come out to our home. They didn't have children and were looking for a cat(s) to love and take of. I cried so much when it was time for them to leave. I kept in touch with them a lot especially in the beginning because I was so worried about their transition to a new home. Over time, our contact was less and less. I felt at peace knowing that they were well taken care of and loved. She told me that Mittens loved her husband most and that she would sit in his lap from the time he came from work until bedtime made me feel good. Mittens is really shy around people and won't come out of hiding unless she's truly comfortable. Hearing stories about Tiger's antics made me miss him terribly but I knew he was happy.

I started this painting last year and then left it sitting untouched. I wanted to finish it to see if I could create better fur texture with acrylics compared to the watercolors. I like the acrylics better. I think I will do one of Tiger next so we will have a painting of each of them to hang in the house.



8" x 8" stretched canvas, acrylics

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gary - Completed

I worked on Gary for what seems like a long time. I'm not thrilled with the outcome. I guess fur is not really something I can achieve well with watercolors. I don't like how he doesn't seem well blended. I think I would have had a better outcome had I done him in acrylics. It was a learning experience so I don't regret putting in the time and effort into the painting.

Gary - Completed

8" X 10" on Strathmore 500 watercolor paper, M. Graham Watercolors and M. Graham Gouache

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Watercolor in Progress

A few days ago, a friend posted a photo of her cat, Gary, on Facebook. It was an Instagram photo and his eyes just captivated me. I asked her permission to take a copy so that I could try painting him. I haven't painted a cat before with watercolors but I figured if I could do the owl then I can probably do the cat. Here is the photo from Instagram she posted:
You can see why I was inspired by his eye. It's gorgeous! My friend then gave me the un-Instagram photo and that is what I am using as my reference to paint him.
Here is my initial stage. I've worked the eyes first which is generally what I like to start with. It generally helps me stay motivated through the painting if I do the eyes first and if I'm happy with them. And I am!
Gary - Work in Progress

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Whimsy Lady

I painted this Whimsy Lady a week or so ago.  She is done with watercolors and Derwent Inktense pencils.  Again here, I'm experimenting with a different style.  She was very fun to do but I'm not so sure if she has overall appeal.  I asked my family and I got a pretty cool response compared to very warm responses to my realism paintings.  I don't think they know what to do with this new crazy style that I'm experimenting with.  Like I've said in past posts, I paint for me and for my fun so it didn't really bother me that they weren't enthralled with her.

Whimsy Lady

Friday, July 6, 2012

Art Journal Spread

This is my second spread for June in my art journal. I had intended to post this earlier, like in June, but time got away from me. I noticed after I finished it, I used the same color palette as the spread before which hadn't been my intention.


It says Transformations on the horizon on the side of her head. I feel this is a reflection of me. I certainly don't have red hair, blue eyes or a mottled colored face, but she appears to be in some kind of transformation. I feel like my art is beginning to change and I'm changing within as well. I feel that I have come more into myself. I've been doing a lot of reading on topics that seem to resonate with me. We'll see where it leads! It's all good stuff.