Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away....

Can you guess what inspired me to do these pages?  April showers bring May flowers....that's what I keep telling myself.  And hopefully they also bring lots of veggies from my garden as well.
I've been playing in my art journal lately, in hopes of channeling my inner creative voice.  There are no rules to art journaling, which at times is a challenge for me.  Sometimes it's hard to let go and let loose.  I tend to get caught up in painting the details in my watercolors and I think the art journal will give me the freedom to play and not worry about "getting it right".  It's more about having fun with the process and trying new art tools and techniques. 

These pages were covered with white gesso.  Later, while listening to the never ending rain, I pulled out some old Crayola watercolors, tipped my journal upright, and just began adding lots of paint allowing it to drip.  I love drips and I loved the results.  The paint made a wonderful background for my words.  I was amazed by the brightness of the colors......and to think they were in my kids art supplies!  Who knew?!

Do any of you have an art journal?  What tips and tricks have you discovered while playing?

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Black Horse

I've been working on this painting and would like to know if I can improve on anything.  As I'm looking at it now I've noticed a few water blooms that need softened.  Any thoughts fellow blogging friends?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"I asked the Zebra...."

"I asked the Zebra,

are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on and on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes...again."

— Shel Silverstein

I really had some fun painting zebra stripes in a girl's bedroom these last two days.  I cannot take credit for the idea though......that goes to my cousin and her daughter.   

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keeping Secrets Is Hard!

Whew!  This portrait was my project for the month of March.  It had to be kept under wraps since the recipient (as well as mother of these children) frequents my blog and Facebook page.  In addition, we're cousins and live fairly close to one another.  This was a gift to my cousin and her husband for their 40th birthdays from my cousin's in-laws.  (Did that make sense?) 

I don't typically do portraits and I haven't worked in pencil in awhile.  However I love getting the opportunity to go outside the wonderful world of watercolor to play with different mediums.  I feel very comfortable with most mediums including, pencil, charcoal, oil, acrylics, etc.  I just don't find myself switching around very often.  Once I began the process, I remembered how much I loved getting immersed in the fine details of drawing.  That's something I generally avoid with my watercolors for fear of overworking them. 

I especially loved watching each child come to life before my eyes.  It's probably the most rewarding part of doing portraits, aside from making the recipient cry when they see the finished piece.  That doesn't go without saying, the most difficult part of doing portraits is making sure each child looks like themselves.  I spent many hours trying to get one of the girls to look "right".  I simply could not put my finger on what it was about her.  In the end, I was content with the results and I believe the customer was as well.

Keeping it a secret was a feat all it's own.  More than a few times I almost let the cat out of the bag, but caught myself before doing so.  I'm pleased to say this portrait is in the hands of the intended recipient and I hope it brings them much enjoyment for years to come.   

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


 The other day I was browsing through various watercolor websites and images and came upon some really beautiful watercolor textures and backgrounds.  I found the images on flickr, but can't find the name of the person anywhere to give him/her credit.  I was inspired by the interesting layers and textures and researched more to see what different techniques I could try myself.

I found four items around the house, one of which I've been using with some of my paintings already...sea salt.  The other three were tissue paper, sponge, and rubbing alcohol.  Here are a few of my results.  Not quite as amazing as the ones I found on flickr, but a good start to adding some interest to my paintings.  Do you have any unique techniques for texture to share? 
Washes of Winsor Violet and Prussian Blue with drops of rubbing alcohol and sprinkles of sea salt in the corners.

The beginning stages of a field of flowers.  Trying to establish a more textured background
with splashes of rubbing alcohol and some sea salt. 

Experimenting with tissue paper laid on top of a wet on wet technique.


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