Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out With the Old

 Butterfly Card

Bird Card

I'm back from our Christmas trip to visit family in Arizona and wanted to finish up the year with a blog post. These are two more alcohol ink experiments on which I stamped. I found that it will take some practice to get the stamp done correctly on these. Since they didn't turn out too clearly I outlined them with silver pen. I think it helped but I'm not sure. Perhaps black would have been better. 
Some bloggers that I follow; Myrna Wacknov and Karen Knutson, both wonderful artists, are setting about to have goals for the new year. It got me thinking that perhaps, for growth, some goals would be a good thing. Myrna says they are not goals unless you write them down. So, with that in mind I'm going to venture forth and commit to some goals of my own. Here I will just state my artistic goals, personal goals will be a more private thing, but I will write them down, which is goal #1.
#2 is to explore of placing a figure or face in my abstract works.
#3 is to work in a larger format, beyond 12 X 12. This for me is very ambitious. I like the instant gratification of small collages and paintings.
#4 is to join and participate in the local Fine Craft Association, something I've said I would do for the last 2 years but haven't done. 

I think 3 art goals are enough for a beginner in writing down goals. Kind of scary for my personality type. 

I signed up for the 30 day Challenge again. What was I thinking?? My January is going to be crazy but if I don't challenge myself, I won't be creating my art. 

Blessings in the new year to all! May your goals all be accomplished and dreams realized.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

All Buttoned Down

All Buttoned Down
Collage on gallery wrap canvas
8 X 8

This is my first attempt at making a collage on gallery wrapped canvas. It was formerly an acrylic painting that didn't make the grade so I covered it with gesso and tissue paper. There it sat for awhile until I decided to try to collage on it. I saved an envelope with the button closure because of the button and the plaid interior (see the upper right corner). Then I went looking for compatible papers and finally a similar button to the top one so that the string would have a place to go. It seemed sort of masculine in color and design to me so I used the words "because I know best" and the picture of a man on the lower right from a piece of art paper. Everything is coated with gloss medium and fused together with heat. When it's finished I coat it with UV varnish and paint the edges of the canvas.

It seems I have more time to create art than I do to post it on my blog. This time of year seems to accelerate everything and before I know it a week or more has gone by. I don't think time will slow just for me so until next time, enjoy the season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Alcohol Ink Cards

 Card 1, Moon Flower
4 X 5.5 on card stock

Card 2, Moon Flower
4 X 5.5 on card stock

Yesterday was my second class for alcohol inks. Instead of tiles we used it on Yupo, a non porous plastic "paper" and also tried a few other non porous surfaces. It was emphasized that we should try to stick to no more than 2 or 3 colors in order to avoid muddy colors especially if we were working on small surfaces. For these two cards I used slate, black and silver. There was so much silver on the first card that I made mono prints on two more cards. The slate and the black reacted to the blending medium and alcohol and separated into lovely blues and greens with black edges. I was really pleased with the results and mounted them on a light aqua card stock. I will post my other cards in a day or two.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Three Tiles

Three Tiles

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted a blog. Time has a way of getting away from me this time of year. I had an opportunity on Friday to take a class using alcohol inks. We put the inks on glossy white porcelain tiles, played around with the colors, the medium and alcohol until we had a tile that we liked. Then we allowed them to dry and coated them with epoxy. It was lots of fun to just play and discover what could be done with the inks. On Monday we will continue the class and perhaps do some larger tiles. I'm not sure what I will do with them but they are fun to look at; they can be displayed on a stand or a ring can be fastened to the back so they can be hung on the wall. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Making Collage Art Again

Collage 3 X 5

Collage 3 X 5

Collage 3 X 5

I have a long narrow frame with a mat with 3 openings in which I thought 3 collages would work well. My problem was that I didn't measure the openings before I made the collages. I needed 4 X 6 and, as you can see, I made 3 X 5's. I'll just have to consider them practice and start over. But, I do like the way they turned out so I may be able to find a frame and mat that they will fit into. They are made with printed papers, altered magazine pages, hand painted papers, and acrylic gloss medium on watercolor paper.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Watercolor on Yupo

Monet's Pond on Yupo
Watercolor 9.5 X 12.5

I painted the same scene as before but this time on Yupo. Yupo is a synthetic paper that is a slick plastic. Because it's nonporous, the watercolor sits on the surface instead of sinking into the paper. The result is a much brighter painting. The paint is hard to control if you get too much water and the colors will bleed into one another. The trick is to do an area, allow it to dry and then do another area. The fun part is to take away or add color with a damp brush after the painting is dry. With a little practice it's quite a lot of fun to work on, especially with a landscape painting. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Inspired by Monet

Monet's Pond
Watercolor 11 X 15

If you are an artist, travel to France and go to Giverny to see Monet's Garden it seems like you are almost required to paint the pond and the famous bridge. It's such a complex scene that you can easily get caught up in the details. Photos seem to capture every one and it can be confusing. I tried to keep it simple and not too busy. I am pleased with my first attempt now that I am finished. I'm ready to try another one of a different view of the same pond.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Beach Time
Watercolor 4 X 6

I'm slowly getting back to normal and over the jet lag and other maladies that come with travel and long flights. I went to class and started a painting of Monet's garden which is not yet finished. While waiting for the first washes to dry I did a little watercolor from a photo I took at the beach. I love the bright yellow umbrellas against the blue of the water.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I've Been in France

Nasturtium Path in Monet's Garden

We had a wonderful opportunity to be in France last week. An artist friend and her husband were renting a house for a few weeks during her show in Giverny. They invited us to share the house with them for a week. We had a perfect sunny day when we went to Monet's garden. There was this amazing bed of nasturtiums that were arranged to make a zig zag path. 

Lily Pond with Bridge in Monet's Garden

Of course we had to take dozens of pictures of the famous lily pond with the bridge. The grounds are beautifully kept and there are profusions of flowers everywhere, even in October.

 Old Gold Clock, Rouen, France

One of our side trips was to Rouen, where there is a huge monument for Joan of Arc. This is a grand cobblestone street going under a huge clock. Such an interesting city, I had no idea how amazing it was. 

Vincent Van Gogh
In Auvers Sur Oise, this is "Van Gogh-ville". The house where Vincent spent the last 3 months of his life is preserved as is the room where he died. It's just an empty room now. Nearby is his statue, grave site and the church that he painted. The little French flag was painted and left by our artist friend. She calls it "A Random Act of Art Kindness" and has her contact information on the back for whoever finds it. 

Hotel Baudy, Giverny, France
When artists would go to Giverny to visit Monet, they would stay at the Baudy Hotel. They got so tired of the artists painting in their rooms and getting paint on the sheets they built a studio behind the hotel and also made a terraced garden for them to paint in. I don't know about the rooms but the food at the hotel is wonderful and reasonably priced. It's just a short walk from Monet's Garden.

What the Fashionistas Are Wearing

I thought I'd add a little fashion tidbit (a la Paris Breadfasts blog). It's true, the French are now wearing athletic shoes, gasp, and fringe is in. Here's a link to one of my favorite blogs.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A Collage of the 30 Day Challenge

A Photo Collage

I used Picasa to make my photo collage. I tried Picmonkey like Leslie suggested last year and found it confusing. All my photos of my pieces were already on Picasa and it practically does it for you, then you can move them around the way you want to. 
Now it's time to start something new. Show season is starting this month so I'd better get busy, those monthly shows come around pretty quickly and I'll be out of town for a week as well. 

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Need to Post Something

Blue Bird Sketch

I think the 30 day challenge has me addicted to posting on my blog. It's like my day isn't complete without it. So, today I'm posting my attempt at doing a loose, watercolor bluebird. I've seen some lovely ones in the National Geographic and have found that it's going to take some practice to get them to look like I want them to. These are the best of three attempts today, I like the one on the left the best.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 30--Which One?

 Sunset Silhouette 2
Watercolor 5.5 X 6

Mail From the Past
Collage, 7.5 X 5.5

It's the last day of the 30 in 30 Days Challenge and I can't decide which piece to put in for the last day. I think it will be the watercolor now that I see them both up on the computer. It's been a fun challenge and has certainly stretched me to put aside time to do my art almost every day. Even now in the mess it calls me to do more. Other voices are calling too, mostly in the form of dust bunnies in the corners of every room. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Day 29--Running Free

Running Free
Collage 5.5 X 5.5

The second to last day of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge! Wow, this has really stretched my imagination and made me see that there is really no excuse for not working at my art every day, even if it's just for a short time. 
This collage is made from altered magazine pages, hand painted paper and manufactured paper. The little horse is an acrylic transfer. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 28--Shell Collector

Shell Collector
Watercolor, 7.5 X 11

This is a common sight on our beaches which are full of sea shells. The shells are so pretty and unique it's hard not to get involved with searching for the perfect specimen. Even when you've been here a long time like I have they are hard to resist. It's always amazing how many varieties, colors and sizes there are. Our Creator's imagination far surpasses mine. After a couple dozen I think I would have said, "That's enough." and quit. 
I enjoyed this picture for the light and shadows, and the shoreline. I had some fun with iridescent medium in the water which does not show up in the reproduction. 
Only 2 days left in the 30 Days Challenge and I actually have a couple of left over collages. When I do them, I do several at a time and pick out the ones that interest me the most. So, we'll be back to collage tomorrow. See you then.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day 27--Sunset Silhouette

Sunset Silhouette
Watercolor, 5.5 X 6.5

Yes, a watercolor for today, day 27. Watercolor is and always will be my first love and I can't go long without returning to it. It seems like there is always something to learn about it that's new or challenging. For this painting I was using a new set of Mission Watercolors. I only had the small 8 tube set so I limited my palette to those colors. I have so many different things to try since coming back from the Florida Watercolor Society last week end.  
I love the collages, too, so I know I'll be going back and forth between the two and probably combining them as well. Right now my studio is seriously in need of cleaning and organizing, the daily creation has not left much time for that. My home chores have suffered some, too, so when the 30 Day Challenge is over that will be my focus for a few days.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 26 Bye, Bye Blackbird

Bye, Bye Blackbird
Collage, 7.5 X 5.5

We are winding down to the last few days of the 30 Day Challenge. I must admit that the subject matter is getting to be one of the biggest challenges. I think I'm just about out of the collage ideas for this format. This one is not one of my favorites but I do like the bird flying by. It needs something else in it to tie it all together but so far my imagination has not helped me. Any ideas out there? I'd love to hear your comments and I so appreciate the comments I have had during this challenge. Thank you!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day 25- Sea Grapes

Sea Grape
Collage, 5.5 X 7.5

The sea grape is one of my favorite Florida plants. The smooth, round, leaves change colors from reddish to shinny green and back to a deep red and brown. In the spring there are long clusters of small white flowers that mature as a grape like cluster of fruit. They get eaten by the wild life before I even get a chance at them. I'm told they make a good jelly. The downside to them is that they grow at an alarming rate and must be trimmed often if you don't want them to take over. 
This collage was made from painted tissue paper for the background and the leaves, stems and berries were made from altered and painted magazine pages. They are heat fused to 140 lb. watercolor paper and finally coated with UV varnish. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 24 Sailing the Sound

Sailing the Sound
Collage, Acrylic 5 X 6

I can't let the month go by without doing a sailboat collage. The background is from a tourist brochure with a map of the waterways around the area, the sail boat is from painted tissue. The little sailor is painted in.
The water is pretty shallow, especially in the winter, so I don't think there is too much sailing unless you have a boat with a shallow draft. But I do see lots of sailboats that motor out to the deeper water through the waterways and on the river. It's a very lovely place to sail or motor or paddle a kayak or canoe if you prefer. A day on the water is almost as good as a day making art.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day 23 I've Got Mail

I've Got Mail
Collage, 5.5 X 7.5

It's bound to happen; when you start making collages, you start saving things. In this case, a beautiful red envelope and stamp from Nepal. The envelope looked like it was hand made paper and such a gorgeous red I knew it was collage material. The other more unusual piece of material in this collage is a dryer sheet which is the red stripe on the left. The rest of the papers are altered magazine and reproductions of manufactured papers. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 22- Favorite Things

Favorite Things
Collage, 5.5 X 7.5

I couldn't decide what I should call this collage until I realized that I used a lot of elements that I like to use the most; the checkerboard design, the snail swirl, calligraphy, gold and a touch of red. This isn't a particularly good design but it has the things I like so that makes it OK with me. What it lacks in balance it makes up for with fun. Now I must get to work on the project for tomorrow.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Day 21 Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon
Collage 5.5 X 7.5

Twenty one days down, nine to go! I'm really glad that I'm keeping up with this challenge. I feel like I've grown and I've gotten a lot of good ideas for future work, both in collage and in painting. I think I'll be incorporating some of these designs in my watercolor work and into larger collages. This collage has copper acrylic on it to blend with the peachy color scheme. I've worked in a horizontal format this time instead of vertical, I need to switch it up now and then. The papers are all altered and painted magazine pages. I really like all the textures and colors I can get working with these pages.

I just got home yesterday from the Florida Watercolor Society and I feel energized by all the creative "juices" that were flowing all week end. We saw some marvelous artist demonstrations, took lots of pictures and notes to keep the information fresh in our minds. The trade show was terrific and the vendors had artists doing demonstrations in their areas, too. Lots to see and take in. I wasn't going to buy anything but that resolve cracked when I saw that there were Gelli Plates for sale. I've wanted one for a long time but didn't want to pay shipping on top of the price. So, now I'm the proud owner of a Gelli Plate and I'm sure I'll have fun experimenting with that.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 18 A Snail's Pace

 A Snail's Pace
Postcard Collage, 3.5 X 5.5

Today I'm traveling to Boca Raton Florida for the Florida Watercolor Society convention. It's something I look forward to every year. Each year it's in a different location. The artist's demonstrations and lectures are so interesting, full of new ideas and innovations. There is also a section of vendors that come and they sponsor artists to demo as well. We travel at anything but a snail's pace. The time goes very quickly and we're home, exhausted on Saturday night. 
This collage is done with altered magazine pages, and tissue, heat fused to watercolor paper, and sealed with acrylic medium.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 20 Musical

Postcard Collage
3.5 X 5.5

Day 20 means there are only 10 days left! When I look over all the marvelous paintings that are posted at the 30 Day Challenge web site I'm amazed at how good they are and how they are getting so much better. There are really so many that I could spend all day looking at each one of them. Being in the studio or wherever you create each day is so beneficial. 
I love using player piano paper in my collages for the slightly yellowed hue and the interesting perforations that are on it. The little dashes at the bottom of the collage are from that. The other papers are hand painted and decorated tissue and altered magazine pages. The wavy keyboard transfer is in reference to the player piano. 

Day 19 Blackbird

Postcard Collage
3.5 X 5.5

By itself this little collage just didn't seem to be very interesting. I looked through my transfers and nothing seemed to fit. Then I thought of the phrase from "Portlandia", "Put a bird on it!" Why is it that anything seems more interesting when it has a bird on it? 
PS, If you don't know about Portlandia, put it in your browser, I think you find some you tube videos. 

Day 17 The Sun Will Come Out

The Sun Will Come Out
Mini Collage, 4 X 4

Sometimes we have those "iffy" days, maybe the sun pokes out once in awhile. I'm wishing I had put my sun transfer a little more in the yellow section but once they are down, there's no changing it. It reminds me to not be too hasty in my decisions. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 16 Stormy Day

Stormy Day
Postcard Collage

One thing you learn about Florida is that a rain storm can pop up at any time. You don't leave windows open or convertible tops down, especially in the summer. Today, for instance, it was bright and sunny until suddenly dark gray clouds rolled in, lightening flashed, thunder rolled. It will be raining buckets in one neighborhood while two blocks away it remains dry. Not like the area wide rains we would get "up north". So this little collage shows the blue skies and the thundercloud with the wind whipping everything around. It's made from tissue and altered magazine pages and heat fused to 140# watercolor paper. It is sealed with acrylic medium.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 15 Halfway 30 in 30 Days Challenge

Wine Time
Collage 4 X 4

I don't know about the rest of the many artists who are doing the 30 day challenge, but this is getting into the "challenge" part for me. The hard part is keeping the momentum of the theme going and keeping the work fresh. Some days I'm just lucky to get a collage or watercolor put together. At the same time I'm trying to keep it fun and not be too hard on myself. I'll be going to the Florida Watercolor Society convention at the end of the week so that's when things might not get posted. I'm sure I'll come back with lots of fresh ideas and creative energy to finish the rest of the Challenge.
Wine Time was made with hand painted papers and altered magazine pages. I like the subject and I would like to try to make a larger one.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 14 Transformation, Mini Collage

Collage, 3.5 X 4.5

I'm back to my small collages; this is the size that is required for the donation to the Art League that I am associated with. They are matted and put in a clear bag, then they are displayed at our annual show and sold for $10.00. It's our major fundraiser for the year. I thought the organic shapes that the painted tissue made were perfect for a butterfly transfer. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 13 Red Reflections

Red Reflections
Watercolor 9 X 12
For day 13 of the 30 in 30 Day Challenge I did another watercolor. It was the reflections on the water that captured my attention when I looked at this red sailboat. Red is like that isn't it? It demands to be noticed. I was at a marina outside of a restaurant where we were having lunch. The line in the background is the bridge over the Caloosahatchi which connects Ft Myers, FL and Cape Coral. It's a very scenic spot to have lunch looking at the boats on the river which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. This time of year the traffic is pretty sparse but in the winter it's very busy with visitors and snow birds. 
I used masking fluid to protect the white on the sailboats, dock and water, something I don't usually do but there's no other way to get around the light areas of railing and deck top. For the clouds, I dampen the paper and just paint around them, that way some of the edges are soft. We are almost to the halfway point in the Challenge, I hope I make it to the end.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 12 A Watercolor Day!

 Rainy Season
Watercolor 7 X 10

One neat thing about doing a painting a day for 30 days is that you can try things that you've always wanted to try but haven't. I've wanted to try to paint rain for a long time. Summer time is the rainy season in Florida, we see a lot of rain storms, usually in the afternoon. The wind will blow, there will be thunder and lightening and the rain will come down in buckets for 10 minutes to an hour. Then, it's done. 
For this little painting I painted the palms first and let them dry, then I made a big puddle of gray-blue paint and painted over the palm trees with a big brush with one swipe so that I didn't move the palm paint too much. Then I spattered and spritzed clear water to make the dots and drips. After that dried I enhanced the drips and drops with white and blue paint.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 11 One of My Favorite Subjects

Paris In The Fall
Collage, 10 X 10

Yes, I admit it, I'm one of those people who loves Paris. Something draws us back to that city again and again. I can stay a few days and I'm satisfied, although I often wonder what it would be like to be able to stay for a month and really be able to explore in a leisurely fashion. Our first trip to Paris was billed as a Christmas shopping trip, three days in Paris, three in London in November. We just got a taste and knew we had to go back even though we had a tiny hotel room, it was expensive, confusing, cold and rainy. We since have been back spring, summer and fall, each time to a different neighborhood. It's a wonderful city to explore, there seems to be no end to the interesting new place you can find each time. 

This collage is made with stamped and painted tissue, altered magazine pages, printed pages and acrylic paint. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 10 One Third of the Way!

Collage 10 X 10

This collage was made from altered magazine pages, hand painted paper and tissue, printed paper and acrylic paint. It has lots of texture that can't be appreciated in a photo. When you get into making collages you start to save interesting papers. The red in this piece was from an envelope of unusual paper that was sent from India. The hand made papers often hold memories of when and where they were made and who was there creating with you. Making a collage, like painting a painting, carries a piece of the artist in it. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Day 9 Getting Bigger

Collage 10 X 10

I've been saving this one because I wanted to show the smaller ones first. This whole piece is done with pages from the National Geographic that were altered with the Citrasolv. The organic quality of the pages lend themselves to a landscape format and with the layers I thought it looked like the side of a cliff. I found this giraffe transfer in my stash that just seemed to be waiting to be put on this piece. Is that serendipity or what? 

For those who are kind enough to leave comments, I'm sorry that I've had to reinstate the comment puzzle thing. I found that I had hundreds of spam comments in my spam box which I was unaware of until I stumbled upon it while looking for something else. I do love the comments and appreciate the time it takes for you to leave them. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Day Eight, Before and After

Landscape, Day 8

Heron Lake, Day 8-revised
Collage, 4.5 X 6.5 in 8 X 10 mat

As I looked at this collage I felt that it needed something. So, I looked through my images for image transfer and thought the heron was just the thing. The size and scale was right and it fit the feel of the piece. To transfer an image I coated the printed image with several coats of gloss or gel medium and allowed it to dry. I cut it as close to the image as I could, placed it face down on my artwork and fused it with the iron. Then I rubbed the excess paper off with a small, damp cloth. What is left is the printed image on the layer of medium minus the paper. I first learned about the process in a Golden Paints workshop, I think they have tutorials on line if you want to know more. Just search "acrylic transfers".

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Day 7 Abstract Collage

Writing On the Wall
Collage 4.5 X 6.5

I have one week down and three to go! I hope we all make it to the end. This collage is made up of altered magazine pages, stained tissue and printed tissue. All of it has been coated with gloss medium and heat fused, then sealed with gloss medium and UV varnish. I love this process because you can design your collage and fuse it without taking it all apart to glue the individual pieces down. Once you arrange it, it's practically done. I like the limited palette on this one; red, black and gray are always a good combination. Did you know the phrase "The writing on the wall" comes from a story in the Old Testament? You'll find the story in the book of Daniel, chapter 5. It's quite interesting. 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Day 6, Autumn Day Collage

Autumn Day
Collage, 7.5 X 5.5

The next few day's collages are a bit bigger, they fit in an 8 X 10 mat for framing. This one, with the orange and green made me think of the early days of fall when some of the leaves have turned and some have kept their green for just a little longer. The papers are painted tissue, water stained tissue, and an altered magazine page. Acrylic paint is lightly wiped on and wiped off in places to bring the piece together, then it is coated with gloss medium.  

Friday, September 05, 2014

Day 4, 30 In 30 Challenge, Postcard Collages

Collage 4 X 5.5

This collage came together when I was looking for a piece of orange to place in my collage. I spotted this orange with camels on the back of some prepared paper  that had not been affected by the Citrasolv. I like to put in something that is objective now an then and people really like to see something recognizable in an otherwise abstract piece. I have gotten a very positive response to this collage and I think that's why. All the rest of the papers in this collage were magazine pages that were altered with Citrasolv and coated with gloss medium, then heat fused.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Day 4 Post Card Landscape 3

Mixed Media Collage
4 X 5.5

Here we are at day 4 and I have another postcard sized collage. The papers are hand painted tissue, jelly printed paper and magazine page with the ink altered with Citrasolv. The circular forms on this paper remind me of photos of the moon with the craters. I hope you are enjoying the 30 Day Challenge as much as I am.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Day 3 Postcard Collage 2

Postcard Collage

This looks like a sunlit cliff shoreline to me, especially in the photo. You can't tell that the little strip of yellow is the gold acrylic that I put on the torn edges of the paper. That is what makes the cliff look sunlit as well. These are the same kinds of papers that I used yesterday. I'm loving experimenting with these little landscapes. Check in with me tomorrow to see the 3rd in the series.


About Me

My photo

I started watercolor painting earnestly in 1991 after I moved to Florida. My husband and I are retired, and we are both artists. We both have works displayed  at the Wildchild Gallery in Matlacha Florida.