Saturday, December 21, 2013

solstice heart ~ colored pencil and pencil on a shell from the outer banks of NC

on this beautiful solstice day i want to wish you a happy solstice - or a merry christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate!

i'm still getting out when the weather's warmish, wandering and visiting trees.  this is the tree i sat beside today,

drawing, listening to music, dancing - going barefoot!  my favorite things!


i wish you the most joyous of holidays!  and for those of us in the northern hemisphere, here's to more light!

Friday, November 1, 2013

'madame butterfly' ~ acrylic paint, soft pastels, mica, and caran d'ache neocolor II crayons on canvas panel, 4" x 6"

a few weeks ago i took the plunge and ordered enough acrylic paints  to give them a fair try...

acrylic paint in stillman and birn gamma

this was my first painting.  i figured the writing could only help...  :)

 acrylic paint in stillman and birn gamma

hours later, this was my third.   i think i quit for the day after this - exhausted from the effort of learning!

i ordered all heavy body paints, mostly sennelier.   these are the 'face colors': white, titan buff, flesh ochre (i am unable to resist an ochre), yellow ochre, raw sienna, brown ochre, raw umber and payne's gray.

and this is the masterson's sta-wet palette (i got the small 'handy palette') that i learned about from gillian.   it makes *all* the difference - you can paint with no worries about your paint drying out.   most of the paint on the palette in the pic has been there for days.  flesh ochre and raw sienna dry out overnight no matter how moist i keep the sponge, so i only put tiny amounts of them out at a time.   the palette 'paper' seems to be indestructible.  i use a palette knife to scrape any dry paint off, and then put fresh down.   it took a while to figure out how wet to get the sponge - too wet and your paint gets watery, too dry and it starts to dry out.  with a little practice, you can figure this out, though.   i add a little water to the sponge every day, which seems to work best once you've got your paints on there.

'short story' ~ acrylic paint, caran d'ache neocolor II crayons, and soft pastels on canvas panel, 4" x 6"

i'm having a blast with them...  it's so easy to put down a bunch of layers and play.  i like that i have to work way faster than with oils or watercolors.  i think it helps keep things spontaneous.   and if i don't like what i've done, i cover it up.

now i just need more colors...  :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

after balthus ~ acrylic on canvas

the holes on the left are

for this little notebook.

it's a 'memo book' made by meade - 4 1/2" x 7" on the outside.  so i can have a book to stick oil - and all  kinds of - paintings in, on different kinds of paper.  the paper sticking out beyond the cover is the kind that comes in shoe boxes.

as much as i like the 'book boxes' that i made for loose paintings, there's nothing like flipping through a book of paintings. (it seems  ; ) 

p.s.  i switched to the mosaic template but the sidebar was way messed up,  so i've gone to a template similar to the old one.  but different, ha!   onward...

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“As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language.” 

~ Pablo Picasso 

Monday, October 14, 2013

ink, colored pencil and graphite in softcover pocket moleskine.  stamp carved and given to me by another crazy diamond...

a couple of weeks ago my sister sent me a photo of a small memorial plaque (on top of a fencepost, i think).   i slowly read the writing, and i *thought* it said "shrine on you crazy diamond".  whoa! the thought of someone telling another person to "shrine on'' made all of my cells emit a burst of joy light!!     then i reread it and saw that it said "shine on you crazy diamond".   hunh!   well, that was a little disappointing, but i decided that it really didn't matter because for a brief moment the message for me was 'shrine on'...

i'm going to make a few changes on my blog; try them out and see how they feel...  i've been blogging for five years, with the layout pretty much looking like it does now the entire time - mostly because one of my least favorite things to do is sit in front of the computer and fiddle with font sizes, colors and layouts.  bah!   but i'm feeling like i want/need to make some changes.  shake things up a bit.

i'm going to change the format (template?) so that when you come here it'll look like a mosaic, with the newest post in the top left corner - you just click on that image.  if you don't like that format, you can click on the tab that says 'classic' and the blog goes back to (more or less) looking like it does now.  ha!  this is in theory anyway!   in the mosaic format, if you hover the cursor on the right edge of the screen, the clickable stuff in the sidebar pops up.

i'm going to try more short posts with less talking, but i'll still pass on helpful info that comes my way.  also more variety - not just paintings, but other stuff i doodle/draw.   make it more representative of what i'm up to art-wise.

finally, i'm going to go back to replying to comments here on the blog instead of via e-mail, because more and more people don't have e-mail addys associated with their blogger account. 

so, i'll give all of that a whirl.  

ink, watercolors, and colored pencils in softcover pocket moleskine.  stamp carved by the same crazy diamond as above

because i once saw a sign in a window that (i thought) said ''meditation services''.  wow! my mind was reeling with the concept of meditation services for hire!!   then i turned around to read the sign again and saw that it said ''mediation services''.  ohhhhh.... well, that's nice too...

shrine/shine on you crazy diamonds...

: )

Sunday, October 6, 2013

'mrs. anna markowski' ~ oil paint on chocolate bar wrapper

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

'red 22' ~ watercolors and gouache in stillman and birn 'zeta', 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

i've been practicing painting with gouache and watercolors right out of the tube - no water added.   it's (usually) best to be patient and let each layer dry before adding another, which i'm not very good at.  the other thing i do is add too much paint - get carried away with layers until i'm confused and don't know whether i'm coming or going.    i do a lot of wiping off...  

colored pencils, graphite, and gouache on collaged and painted page in 'zeta'

the right side of a page - i wiped off most of the paint and then used colored pencils to color the eye and lips back in.  colored pencils never cease to amaze me.

gouche, watercolors, stabilo marks all, and colored pencils in 'zeta'

in the end i wiped almost everything off of this page..

 i liked the smiling dog so i drew a line around him for good measure.   ; )

gouache, stabilo marks all pencil, and watercolors on collaged page in 'zeta'

the page i'm working on now.  i can't see where to go with it, so i'll wait 'til i do.  actually, as i sit here typing, i can see a couple of things right away that  need to change!

but i'm resting from intense gouache education right now...  : )

i wanted to tell you about this staedtler pencil sharpener.  i picked it up a couple of weeks ago at a small art supply store, and it's *the best* handheld pencil sharpener i've tried - and i've tried a bunch.   it's the only sharpener i've found (besides the faber-castell handheld sharpener) that sharpens albrecht durer watercolor pencils.  it sharpens every colored and graphite pencil that i have: tombow, prismacolor, faber castell polychromos, cretacolor, derwent, and lyra.  and that little lid closes so the shavings don't fall out in your bag.

stabilo marks all in stilman and birn gamma - 4" x 6"

i've been having a bunch of fun doing watercolor transfers, which i learned about in this book about gauguin.   all you do is get a piece of watercolor (or any) paper damp (just brush water on until it's damp but not runny wet), then press the damp paper against your watercolor painting - or line drawing, like i've done here.  when you lift the damp paper off you'll have a 'print' of your watercolor.  

on the page above i went over my pencil drawing with a stabilo marks all pencil, then i put a damp piece of watercolor paper (i used saunders waterford 200# cold press) on it, so now i have this image in two places. 
 in case you're wondering, the dark thing in the bottom of the pic is a rock holding the page down... 

watercolors and stabilo marks all in stillman and birn gamma

this is what it looks like now...

watercolors and gouache on arches 100# cotton drawing paper

this is a watercolor transfer of the painting in the last post (in my daily book).  i added more color around the edges, and on her face...

watercolors and gouache on arches 100# cotton drawing paper

from a painting in my daily book - this was the first 'transfer',

watercolors and gouache on arches 100# cotton drawing paper

and this was the second.  of course you can add as much  paint as you want to the new images...    it's truly a lot of fun.

back to the gauguin book...  it's very good and i highly recommend it.  while i love his oil paintings, what stole my heart in the book were his watercolors (and watercolor transfers) and woodblock prints.

colored pencils on rusty can

oh!  the walking days are getting short!

this tree is still alive...

Monday, September 2, 2013

'lu ella'  ~ oil paint on sewing pattern paper, 6" x 6"

it seems like only yesterday that summer was starting...   on my wanders i've watched plants from blossom to seed.   i feel like i've seen this summer from start to (almost) finish...

.25 slicci and watercolors in old medical dictionary

until a few weeks ago i painted very little.  i mostly drew with pen,

pencil drawing after otto dix's 'lola'  in pocket moleskine

and pencil.

.25 slicci and colored pencils in old  medical dictionary

i used colored pencils with pen

and pencil.

gouache, watercolors, and stabilo 'marks all' pencil in my 'daily book'

then one day lisa graham sent me a link to gillian lee smith's blog.   i watched this video about her palette and the wheels started turning...  watching her paint here got more wheels rolling...

oil paint on pattern paper, 5" x 7"

a week or so later a friend wrote telling me to try oil paint on sewing pattern paper.

oil paintings on pattern paper drying

my little painting wheels started spinning wildly at that point! 

watercolors, stabilo 'marks all' pencil, oil pastels and gel medium on pattern paper

and so it's been ever since.

i've wondered things like why i never used a palette knife with gouache before, and why did i think a painting had to be done with either a brush or a palette knife but not both?   crazy!

oil paint on pattern paper glued to cover with gel medium

this is the stillman and birn 'gamma' that i started back in april - i've been painting with watercolors in it again.  this morning i glued this painting to the cover...

i'm still drawing...   i got this kind of pocket moleskine - it has thin paper, which i like because pen shows/bleeds through, so i do

'reverse drawings' on the back of the page. 

colored pencils and 8B pencil on stick

 i've drawn on a lot of sticks and rusty cans!

i left that stick at the biggest heart rock  yet.   

it's been a marvelous summer...

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“Painting is to dream. When the dream is over, I don’t remember anything I dreamed about. The painting, however, remains. It is the harvest of my dream.”

~ Friedensreich Hundertwasser (via tumblr)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

colored pencils and graphite in pocket moleskine

'fern' is the theme of this week's drawing challenge - hosted by norma, and since my going on and on about a giant fern i saw is one of the reasons norma chose this theme, i wanted to participate...  

it was in early july that i told her i'd just seen a *huge* fern - i don't remember the overall reason for our correspondence at the time, but i do remember that when i told norma about the fern she was, well, norma...   she responded to my excitement as if she herself had seen the giant fern!  we wrote back and forth about it  three or four times!

now, exactly one month later, it seems like lifetimes ago that i came across that fern on one of my wanders.   here it is in all of its fern glory (not that my picture even begins to capture it);  if i were standing next to it we'd be about the same height - a little over five feet tall.

i found it one day when i was walking up this stream, which is one of the headwater streams of the creek that i live on.   we have a lot of water here - and a lot of mossy rocks like the ones in this pic, but because the relative humidity is so low there are very few ferns.  there are some, but they're not very tall or robust.   this is, after all, considered to be high desert.

if you've been exploring an area for 15 years and have never come across a fern of any size, and then one day you see one that's more than 5' tall, believe me, it gets your attention.   you can hardly believe your eyes.  you feel it may be the most wondrous thing you've ever seen in your life...

the pedestal the fern sits on;  it's formed from the previous years growth and is about a foot tall....

watercolors and colored pencil

the 'fern pages' in my daily book.   i drew on the can here at home and took it back to leave at the fern a couple of days later.  the deer flies were way too intense there to sit and draw.

i think i'll visit it once more before winter.  i don't want to go too often because the area is a fragile wetland,  but once in a while i'll visit and treat myself to its presence...

for more fern goodness be sure and visit norma ...

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All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”

~ James McNeill Whistler

Sunday, July 14, 2013

'nola' ~ watercolors, gouache, pan pastels and matte gel medium in my daily book

truly, i'm feeling little desire to blog these days...  

colored pencil and watercolors in daily book

i'm working in my daily book - and experimenting with tracing paper, still!

and still finding a lot of great rust, and going out wandering...  soaking up as much sunshine and fresh air as i can...

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 “You study, you learn, but you guard the original naïveté.  It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.”

~ Matisse