Friday, December 09, 2016

Secret Sister Happy Mail from Galina

Gel Prints from my Secret Sister

Small book, Watercolor paper, Chinese Watercolor paint kit and Rice Paper
A few days ago I a wonderful package.  It was from my Secret Sister Galina Kariean.  It is so exciting to get a package such as this.  Two or three times a year the Friends in the Box have a Secret Sister exchange.  While I love sharing with the sister I am assigned, I love getting a box from the sister assigned to me.

This box reminds me of my trip to China, the Chinese watercolor pit with Chinese paint brushes is exceptional.  The Japanese Rice paper is perfect for use with the watercolor kit; and the Canson Watercolor paper is also perfect.  I received a book made by Galina and some really colorful and lovely gel prints that I will use in my art journals and on post cards.

Thank you so much Galina for being able to know what I wanted and providing a great surprise.

Merry Christmas everyone, especially Galina.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

#Nanojoumo Day 11 Finding Beauty in Chaos

Finding Beauty in Chaos
Given the events of the past week I decided to exercise creative license and not use all of the prompts for Nanojoumo and do things that talk to me.  I have been very tentative when it comes to collage and abstract painting thinking it had to be perfect and this week has taught me that no matter how hard I may try to put things in place that seem perfect, there will always be something to change my trajectory.

As a result, I am going to spend some time practicing with collage and the art of abstract painting.  Again, this is a way to find ways to express the feelings I have inside of me.  I have struggled for years trying to figure this out mainly because I was too literal.  A tree must be a tree, a flower must be pretty, a face with perfect shading.  I see it clearly now, no one has to see what I see, they can have their own interpretation.  I just have to create it.  whew, the weight of a 10 ton whale just lifted off my shoulders.  Who know where this will lead.

Year 67 is going to be great.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

#Nanojoumo Days 7-10 All I Have to give you is my heart

My Heart

This spread covers a few days.  I actually worked on over a four day period because I wanted it to say something in light of the events of this week.  I had to get quiet and go within to think about my feelings and how I could translate them into something positive.  Something that would not fall into depths of despair and anger.  

There is some things I need to think about before I address them, it may be in words or it may be in art.  I am just not sure which way it will go because there are words and feelings in me that need to come out.  

Monday, November 07, 2016

#Nanojoumo Day 6

I am a day behind and that is ok.  This has been a busy time for me, but I am still keeping up with doing some kind of art daily.

Quirky Bird - Being Me
Sometimes I feel like this bird, quirky and not part of the norm.  That is ok because I am accepting who and what I am.  I am just being me.  it is a privilege to have art as a release and a way of expression.  I am just learning to appreciate this wonderful privilege.  Knowing that I do not have to be like anyone else, that I can keep learning every day how to use art to heal and express.  How blessed am I?

Also including a copy of my other art project today, putting up my Christmas Village

My Christmas Village.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

#Nanojoumo Day 5 - Rosy Cheeks

Rosy Cheeks
This is the first time in a long time that I have done a face.  I am still very insecure (and it is all in my head) when it comes to painting faces; however, I think I am going to practice more.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

#Nanojoumo Day 4 - Smashing Pumpkins

Yesterday's painting was a coloring book page combined with a painted background.  Today's is an original painting using acrylic paint and a simple idea.  The one think I appreciate about this challenge is that you can use a wide mixture of media.

My second takeaway is that I am doing this for fun and to establish my daily art practice.  I am learning to be vulnerable and to take that vulnerability to the page.

Third, this month is about fun, I just want to have fun.

Pumpkins Running Away

Thursday, November 03, 2016

#Nanojoumo Day 3 - Fashionable


Ok, I really had fun with this one. I was looking through magazines for an image to use as collage fodder for this prompt when I happened upon this gorgeous page in Flow Magazine.  The paper in flow is very thin so I copied it on card stock because I wanted to paint the lady.  I used Derwent Inktense Block for painting and glitter gel pens for shading.  The shading process was color a line and then smear with finger while wet.  The background around my lady is painted with adirondack ink from an ink pad using stencil brushes.  The page that it is glued to was finger painted with acrylic paint.

One thing I like about Nanojoumo is the ability to use many different types of media while creating journal pages.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

#Nanojoumo Day 2 Prompt In Bloom

A Bee can never resist a flower in bloom
Today was a real adventure,  I am trying to learn and get comfortable with layering and blending in the colors.  In fact that should be one of my goals for the next 30 days.  I am getting much better drawing flowers.

What will tomorrow bring.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

#Nanojoumo day 1 up in a tree.

Up in a Tree
New challenge for the month of November.  Not sure if I am going to be able to complete a painting every day because I have a lot of projects for this month, but I will be posting something as often as possible.

I love NANOJOUMO which means National non-stop journaling month. This is one of my favorite challenges.  My journal is an altered yearly journal I purchased in Italy two years ago.

See you soon....

Monday, October 31, 2016

#inktober Day 31 - A day at Sea

A day at sea before winter

Today is the last day of #Inktober.  I cannot believe how quickly this month went by.  I had such a great time making a little drawing each day for 31 days.  It is amazing how much you can fit on a 4x6 page.

When I first started I was using prompts I found on Creativebug as part of their 31 days of creating classes.  After a while I realized that I did not need this help.  I could think of things I wanted to draw.

Lessons learned:

  1. the swatch of color was a nice way to add texture and contrast to the black ink
  2. drawing small can be fun
  3. I need to learn how to photograph my drawing a little better
  4. I really can draw, I just need to take my time
  5. you can create everyday regardless of you have an hour or 10 minutes, do something
  6. i have to keep up this practice.
Well I am putting my Inktober book up until next year.  Now it is time to work in my new Nanojoumo journal starting tomorrow.

#Inktober Day 30 - Camera

Oops, I forgot to post this last night.  It was late and I was tired, what can I say.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

#inktober Day 28 - Hand Zentangle

Hand Zen Tangle

I will readily admit, I need MUCH more practice on hands especially when I try to draw them Free hand (no pun intended).  I also feel tangle challenged, so I wanted to give them a chance also.  It was fun to think of this and give it a go.

I must say that Inktober has given me an opportunity to really try new things and have fun.  November will be the NANOJOUMO Challenge. I cannot wait to continue to stretch.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

#Inktober Day 27 - Friends in a Tree

Friends in a Tree

Used a pen with a .025 nib today, very small, but I really like it for delicate work.  The pen writes really well too.

Until tomorrow.....

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

#Inktober Day 26 - Lighthouse

I love the look of the lighthouse and wanted to draw one.  This month has been a month of adventure and trying new things.

until tomorrow.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#inktober Day 25

Some of my fave tools
Drawing some of my favorite tools was a great adventure.  The POSCA marker will write on nearly anything.  Sakura pens especially white and black are wonderful for detailing.  The Neocolor II's are wonderful for watercolor painting especially when doing Mixed media art.  Tombow watercolor markers last FOREVER.  The set I have is nearly 15 years old and only a few have dried up, the remainder are still yummy and juicy.

Until tomorrow

Monday, October 24, 2016

#Inktober Day 24 - Rose


I am learning so much from this challenge, the merits of practicing my art in some way everyday; attempting to draw things that you are definitely uncomfortable with and just having fun with it.

Never too old to learn.  I think I am going to participate in more challenges.

Until tomorrow

#Inktober Day 23 - Butterfly


Saturday, October 22, 2016

#Inktober Day 22 - Desert Landscape

Cactus Scene - Desert

Added a little color to the flowers on the top of the Cacti because it just made sense to me.  I am loving these little vignettes.

Until tomorrow

Friday, October 21, 2016

#Inktober Day 21


Drawing these Sunflowers was a lot of fun.  I love flowers and want to perfect sketching them.

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

#Inktober Day 20 Feathers

Day 20, woohoo.  This is really getting to be inspiring for me.  I have only drawn feathers once before so it was fun to see what I could come up with without looking at an inspiration photo.  Time to think about what I will try tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

#Inktober Day 17 Glass and Bottle

Glass and Bottle
Day 17 of #Inktober, this is getting to be really a learning experience.  I am trying things I have never done before.  Today it is making shadows and texture by using cross hatching with a black fountain pen.  I love my little book.  When October is over, I will put it away until next year's challenge.  However, I will not stop these little drawings.  This is really giving me diversity.

Until tomorrow.....

Sunday, October 16, 2016

#Inktober Day 16

Day 16 Apple
Wow, day 16.  Keeping it simple is harder than I thought.

Friday, October 14, 2016

#Inktober Days 12 to 14

I have had a few busy days.  Day 12 was drawn on the Bus as I went to church.  So I am posting three days in this blog post.

Day 12 Tulips

Day 13 Owls
Day 14 City Scape

Day 14 is go rogue Friday, so no prompt.  I really like drawing cityscapes.  So far I have made through 14 days of Inktober taking it one day at a time.  It has really been fun,

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#Inktober Day 11 - Jack-O-Lanterns

This is getting to be more fun everyday.  I am learning from this daily challenge to just have fun.

Monday, October 10, 2016

#Inktober days 9 and 10

Hi, today I am posting two drawings, day 9 which a bird and day 10 dedicated to mushrooms.

#Inktober Day 9 - Bird

#Inktober Day 9 Mushrooms

Until tomorrow....

Saturday, October 08, 2016

#Inktober Day 8: Leaf

The drawing today is of a leaf.  It was drawn with an Elegant Writer and activated with water.  Elegant Writers are like magic because of the blue, pink and green hues that can peak through once the ink is activated.  This is only my second time using this supply and I really need more practice, but I love the concept.

Friday, October 07, 2016

#Inktober Day 7 - Mr. Bunny

Today was a fun day.  My Bunny is one of my favorite characters.  I drew him for the first tine in June of 2015.  This is day 7 of #Inktober.  Until tomorrow.....

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Inktober Day 6 - Pitchers

My Inktober journal

First page of journal
#Inktober Day 6 Pitcher
Today is day 6, so far so good.  I am keeping up.  I thought I would share the journal I am working in, it is a small Journal (probably 5x6 inches).  I love the paper in it and wanted to use it for something; Inktober seemed like a perfect idea since I am making small, simple stylized sketches.

I have seen some of the most beautiful sketches, very intricate and stunning, but; I am determined to stay the course with my small simple sketches which for me is fun.  I normally work much bigger, however; I want to develop a comfort level with working small and folksy.

Until tomorrow....

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

#Inktober - Day 5 Sneakers

My prompt today is sneakers.  It was fun to draw a shoe, but just a shoe was not enough so I created a scene,  High heeled sneaker in the store window, you know you want a pair or two.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Inktober Day 4 - Crocuses

Ok, I have to be honest.  The prompt for today on Creativebug was Roses.  Well I have a phobia against drawing roses, so I got my oriental garden book and chose crocuses.  I love the simplicity of this flower.

until tomorrow.....

Monday, October 03, 2016

InkTober - Day 3 Comfy Chair

Today I drew a chair.  As part of Inktober, I am sketching things I have never really tried before. has some great draw something  day for 30 days.  I am following Lisa Congdon and today's prompt is a chair.  Seems simple right?  No it is not, but it is fun.  I will have an arsenal of objects to add to future paintings and journal pages.

I have to say this is fun.  Please excuse the shadow on the photo.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

#Inktober - Day 2

Day 2 of InkTober a rendering of my favorite tea cup.

Here you can see the actual size of the book I am using and the type of paper (I love the texture of this paper).  The paint I used for the swatch is Paper Artsy Fresco chalk acrylic paint.  It has a very matte finish and I love it so much.


Yesterday I started working on the #Inktober challenge and toyed with the idea of posting everyday about it.  This morning I thought why not, so here goes.

Inktober is a challenge to draw in pen and ink for 31 days.  I am using a small journal I purchased last year while at the Shakespeare Festival in Utah.  I painted a swatch of paint on each page, just cause I like the look and will draw something each day for 31 days.

Here is Day 1 - A group of Trees

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Integrative Portraits with Orly and Katie

On July 21st I travelled to Bainbridge Island, Washington to attend the Integrative Portrait with Katie and Orly Art Retreat.  I have taken several classes with Katie and Orly.  It was a real treat to have them collaborating on a retreat about portraits.  I spent many days anticipating what the classes would be like until I decided that it was much better to be open and receive whatever was presented with open arms and spirit.  I was not disappointed with this decision.

Each morning started with some method of meditation and setting intention

Katie Kendrick
Katie presented on day one and we began with an exercise related to mark making.  There was a different feeling from previous classes because instead of using an 18x24 or 24x24 canvasses we used an 8x10 watercolor journal.  The mark making involves graphite and white gesso and is very organic.  I love this process because there are no mistakes.  It really gives you a base to explore and use as a starting point for more work.  The beauty of a journal is that you can take days, weeks, even months to complete a spread.

Our next project involved using a small sheet of transparency film and making a sketch of our table mate to the left.  My mate was my dear friend Michele Unger,  once the sketch was done, we painted the underside of the transparency and with the paint wet, pressed it onto the journal page.  It was so cool and I definitely plan to try this process many more times.  We then painted the journal page.  I absolutely loved this process, it was fun and challenging at the same time.

Our final project for the first day was to pick a picture and use it to tell a story.  Now this sounds pretty safe, right??? Well let me tell you.....after working for about a half hour cutting out paper images to collage and tell the story, Katie said pass your book to the right, Huh???? your neighbor was to add to your page.  The book was passed around the room one person at a time until you got it back.  I was so happy to get it back and then..."Ok, not pass your book to the left."  What the What???? this time we were to add paint to the page, so once again it travelled around the room until you received your book back.  My reaction?  " What the Hell?"  To say it looked a mess is putting it mildly and I did not think to take a photo, you will have to trust me on this one.  Anyhoo,  our task was to embrace the page and use it as a jumping off point for further creating.  I was initially overwhelmed and then thought, "just look at one spot and fix it".  This kept me from getting overwhelmed.  I decided to make an angel but could not get the face to work.  I sat there thinking for a while and remembered a course I had in January taught by Brian Kasstle and Roxanne Coble.  I picked up my paint brush and painted a blue block on the page, then curated some ephemera and clued to the page and I was off to the races.  My page changed completely.  The original work became texture under the paint, collage and detail work.  The lesson of this project is truly process, do not get over attached to your work and being able use anything as a base for future work.

Mark Making with graphite and gesso, great warm up

sketch of my table mate

Redo of class collaborative page (still in progress)
Orly Avineri

Friday Orly led the class.  One of the projects was using a rusted scroll and wrapping all types of ephemera around it.  I used a lot of different items including napkins, deli paper sprayed with dylusions spray ink; lace, half a doily and other papers; then tied the package with string.  It was put in hot tea to soak for a few hours and then laid on a table to dry.  The outcome was fantastic.  I forgot to photograph the bundle before I pealed the pages (boo hoo); but I do plan to do it again.

The next project was to paint 95% of a spread (making sure to leave some white space) with black gesso and tracing picture from a magazine on the gessoed page using white graphite tracing paper.  We exchanged our page with our neighbor to the left and then worked on painting our pages.  Mine is still a work in progress but truthfully, I love the way the tracing looks without completely painting it.

We also did a process inspired by artist Marlene Dumas with water and watered down black gesso.  It was interesting and I think my portraits came out pretty well.

The rusted scroll and a portrait to be used on our scroll of ephemera

Tracings on black gesso with white graphite paper

Portraits based on the process of Marlene Dumas
All are works in progress and that is wonderful.

Orly and Katie

Saturday was less intense a day, we did a smash technique where we were to use two colors of paints on a spread and our neighbor to the left used two colors and then we smashed and dragged our spreads to mesh the page colors, it was so great.  We also unwrapped our bundles and the reveal was simply amazing.  I just was overcome by the process of revealing each piece.  I cannot explain it really.

I worked on the smash and drag page and the outcome was stunning especially the page with the whales.

ephemera soaked in tea
Smash and drag pages

We had a picnic dinner on the beach, dinner with friends who drove up from Seattle and a lot to really open my eyes.  I love Washington State and Bainbridge Island and the time here with this class was memorable.

On to Maryland.....