Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tools (Treats) of the Trade

This morning I've spent some time on the Daniel Smith website drooling over all the endless products available for purchase.  It's kind of like picking out the best piece of candy in that box of chocolates.....they're all good, but you always have a favorite.

Recently I cleaned my palette and refilled it with the colors of choice for my current paintings.  I do have some favorites and tend to choose colors based on my test sheet I did almost a year ago. 

While squeezing out more paint, I've noticed certain tubes are past their prime.  The paint is really thick and almost impossible to coax out onto the palette.  I think it's time for new paint.  Winsor Newton has dominated my paint tackle box for the main reason of availability.  However I'm very intrigued by the Daniel Smith watercolors....everyone raves about them.  In an interest to try them out, I'm tempted to purchase one of their dot try it cards.  I'd also like to know what YOUR favorites are and how you use them.....for instance in florals, animals, landscapes, etc.  If you've purchased on of these sheets, I'd been interested on your thoughts about that as well.

My birthday is Sunday, I keep hinting to my boys that art supplies make for a great gift......we'll see.

Here's my current palette.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

28 Days of Painting Challenge

It's been a long, cold, miserable winter where I live.  I've never been more ready for spring to arrive.  I miss opening my windows and hearing the birds chirping.  My hands are always as cold as icicles and I can never seem to get warm, no matter how many layers of clothes I wear.  Oh, and I can't forget to mention having to wear a warm winter hat every time I leave the house.  Once you commit to wearing the hat, you can't go back....especially when you have bangs. 

My spirits were brightened a bit when fellow local artist, Maria Reichert, invited me to join her challenge for the month of February.....28 paintings in 28 days.  I gladly accepted the challenge and added a personal addendum to the challenge to paint 28 flowers, in hopes of staving off cabin fever.

So I welcome you to join us in our quest to make the month of February an exciting and productive month of painting!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Studio....Relocated

Here is where the painting happens.
Tackle box doubles as a place to keep my paints and brushes.  I've had this since high school.

A small sampling of pastels.

I love re-purposing spaghetti sauce jars and aluminum cans for art storage. 
I decided I needed to try a new workspace and relocated my "studio" to the basement.  In the past, I've managed to work out of our spare bedroom, a comfortable, but small space that allowed very little storage and was difficult to organize.  In addition, I was kicked out of that area whenever we had company.

So I know what you're thinking.....basement = dark, damp, and cold.
Yes, it can be cold, but I have a great space heater to utilize if need be.
It's not dark because we installed a nice fluorescent overhead light.
I do have to share the space with our black lab, Sota.  But I'm okay with that and I don't think she minds the company.

My new area is still a work in progress as I will continue to organize and reorganize to get things exactly where they need to be.  Once I begin painting in my new space I'll be able to iron out the kinks.  It may not be as pretty as some of the studios I've seen, but it will serve the purpose for now. 

Ultimately I would love to have a separate space to call my own.  My husband has an entire shed dedicated to his mower, quad, and lawn tools.....why can't I have a shed to turn into an art studio?

I'm always looking for creative ways to organize my art supplies.  What unique storage solutions have you discovered?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Are You Ready??!!.....

Get ready for some mega monster truck excitement from 6 year old Nicholas when he sees his new monster truck painting on his bedroom wall!!!

Okay....I had to include the monster truck rally reference.  The only other thing missing is a sound bite of the revving engine of a monster truck.

I finished the painting last night and I'm thrilled with the way it looks.  I hope Nick enjoys it for years to come.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monster Truck Mural WIP

Nicholas is the name of the lucky 6 year old boy who will have this monster truck on his bedroom wall "tearing things up".  I was able to transfer the image onto the wall fairly quickly, so I began painting last night.  The wall was prepped and painted with a fresh coat of paint earlier this week, which allowed my acrylics to go on very smoothly.  I haven't painted a mural in some time.  It really is a stark change from the watercolors and a bit easier to work with.....because I know what the paint is going to do.

I was able to get a majority of the black areas painted and still have quite a bit more to accomplish before I can call it finished.  It's current state is still very flat and one dimensional.  Once it is complete it will be more three dimensional.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Didn't Intend To Be Gone That Long!

 Well, I didn't expect to be away from my blog for an entire month.  But I also didn't expect to have a relentless cold virus that left me feeling miserable throughout the weeks of December and rendering me useless over Christmas break as well.  I'm very grateful to have my good health back and very thankful for all my patient blog followers who didn't give up on me.  I'm looking forward to catching up with my painting.

This week I created some invitations for a Super Bowl Party and next week I will be painting a monster truck mural on a little boy's bedroom wall and will post my progress.  Here are a couple of murals I've painted in the past.


The images above are a map of the eastern half of the United States detailing a boat trip my parents and my aunt and uncle took down the Mississippi River, into the Gulf, around the tip of Florida, up the eastern seaboard, and into the Great Lakes.  They accomplished this trip on my aunt and uncle's private boat, stopping at various bed and breakfasts as well as other key locations along the way.  It was quite a challenging and difficult trip, but they made plenty of great memories and have some very interesting stories to tell too.  I was asked by my uncle to map out the trip on the wall of their basement.  I projected the general outline of the map on the wall and detailed the rest by eye.  It's a great conversation piece!

 This is a photo of our boys' bathroom in our old house.  A few months after having our second child, I decided to faux finish this bathroom over a weekend while my husband was away for a business trip.  It took the entire weekend to complete, but I was very happy with the results.


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