My Journey Into Art

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

29 Faces in September

I'm going to give this challenge a try! I was intrigued when I last saw this challenge in May but I didn't have the time to commit to a month of faces. I'm generally not great with challenges and keeping up but I figure if I cut ATC size paper and have them ready, I have a good chance of completing them since they will be small. Or maybe I'll do them in my handmade art journal...hmmm...

The details are here if you want to play along too. I hope you will!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Playful and Loose

I'm really enjoying my handmade art journal. I feel free to just play and not worry about what the end results will be. I start out by finding a quote that speaks to me and then go from there. I don't necessarily have a plan when I start, I just see where it takes me. I pull colors that appeal to me in the moment and start filling in the background.

I seem to have a circle theme going on in this spread from the mandalas, her cheeks, her hair and the circle doodles on the side. I love circles. They are my go-to shape when doodling. If I'm on the phone and I have paper and pen handy, by the time the call is over the paper is filled with circles of all sizes.

art journal

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Tiger. A Real One.

I was looking through my photo folders for some kind of inspiration for my next piece of artwork. I came across a photo of a tiger that I took way back in 2006. That was the year we moved to Texas, so I know the tiger is from Texas. What I don't remember is which zoo he's from. We had visited the Austin Zoo, the San Antonio Zoo and Cameron Zoo in Waco all within the first few months of arriving here. I think it's time that I start labeling my photos better!


8" X 8" on Stonehenge paper, Prismacolor colored pencils.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Third Time Is The Charm

After I painted the portrait of Mittens, I knew I wanted to do one of Tiger too so that I could hang them up together.

I tried to paint Tiger in acrylics and that failed. I tried again using soft pastels. Another big fail. Finally, I went to colored pencils and figured that if it he didn't turn out I was probably going to give up. I am happy to say that the third try worked! Tiger and Mittens now hang proudly in my family room. I mounted the paper to a canvas so that it would look cohesive next to Mittens. The painting of her is on canvas.


"Tiger"  Colored Pencil

2012-08-12 14.34.54

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recycling and Repurposing

I use sour cream containers to hold my supplies on my table. I have one for acrylic paint brushes, one for watercolor brushes, one holds markers, watercolor pencils and other miscellaneous things. For the longest time, it didn't bother me to see the plain sour cream containers sitting there. However, since I started my new art journal and have been using scrapbook paper and gel medium that I keep handy next to me, I got the idea to cover the containers. This was quick, fun and looks a little better. I've come to the realization that we as a family eat a lot of sour cream!



Wednesday, August 15, 2012


This is the first spread in my handmade art journal. I found the quote and then drew the lady to go with it. Sometimes, I feel like I need to put my Super Power cape on too!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Macro View

I'm on a painting tear and enjoying it immensely. I finished "Tiger" in colored pencil a couple of days ago. I will have a separate blog post about the trials and tribulations of that in a day or two. Then I completed the Bird of Paradise the following day. Last night, I started this painting and put the finishing touches on it this afternoon.

I keep a folder on my desktop called 'Inspiration'. In it, I put photos that I took that I may want to paint in the future and other inspiration that I find from the internet. The photo that goes with this painting has been sitting for a over a year. I no longer remember where I took it or what kind of flower it is. It looks sort of Lily-ish but I don't think that's what it is. Any guesses?

macro view

8" X 10" Strathmore 500 140 lb Hot Press Paper. M. Graham watercolors

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bird of Paradise

I bought a book called Painting Flowers with Impact in Watercolors by Julie Collins last weekend. I have been intrigued with the way some artist's watercolors are very transparent but not washed out and have a loose feel to them. This books shows how to do this. This was my first try and it's very loose compared to my normal way of painting with watercolors. This is still a bit more heavily saturated than what she shows in the book. In any case, I'm very, very pleased with the outcome. I love learning new things!

Bird of Paradise

12" X 16" on Arches 140 lb cold press paper, M. Graham Watercolors

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Playing with Whimsy Again

There's something so freeing about whimsical drawings and paintings. There's no end result perfection that I'm trying to achieve like when I do a photo realism piece. This boy looks kind of clownish and I'm perfectly fine with that. Give whimsy a try if you haven't already. It's crazy fun when you don't know what the end result will be!

Clown Boy

8" X 10" on 140 lb cold press watercolor paper, watercolors, derwent inktense pencils and ink

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Handpainted Card

I have been starting to think about what kind of things I want to sell in my Etsy shop in the fall. I have been considering selling handpainted cards in addition to paintings. I decided to do a simple sketch that I thought wouldn't take too long to paint in order to sell the original, not a print of the card.

This "simple" sketch took me 45 minutes to do. I don't think it's worth my time to sell it for $3.00 like I was originally thinking. I don't know that anyone would pay more for a card, original or not. So this card will not be for sale. My mother's birthday is in a couple of weeks, I sent it to her. She doesn't have a computer so there is no chance of her seeing it here before it arrives to her.

Handpainted card

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Art Journal

I borrowed from the library Pam Carriker's book; Art at the Speed of Life. In it she has a tutorial for making a 10 minute art journal from one sheet of 22" x 30" watercolor paper. I bought a sheet and made the book yesterday. It comes out to an 8" square journal with 12 pages (24 sides) to paint. It was very easy to make and I will be making more in the future. The page size is right for me; not too big and not too small.

I wanted to try my hand at art journaling like I see so many other artists do. I have an art journal that I started at the beginning of the year that I have posted here but that doesn't have any collage or ephemera. I am continuing with that journal as a daily (almost daily) ritual of snippets of my life and what is going on.

With this journal, I just want to experiment with techniques and keep this as a light but inspiring self contained little book of quotes and other affirmations.

I have a rather large stack of scrapbook paper to work from for collage elements that has been sitting for years. I once thought I would be a scrapbooker so I bought lots of paper and supplies and started a scrapbook but didn't get very far and abandoned it. I think the problem was that I was too fussy with it. It became a really big chore, lots of thinking about lay out and the just right element to be placed, etc.

This cover was extremely fun to do! I have to admit, I did spend way more time than I anticipated but I enjoyed every minute.

Art Journal cover