Wednesday, December 31, 2014

French Bulldog

I am waiting for the first isolation coat to dry on a recent painting...a great opportunity to grab a mark-maker, in this instance a ball point pen, and sketch away.

One of my favorite subjects - dogs :-)

This little guy:

"Smiling French Bulldog"

These dogs are rare in my neighborhood; there are more Goldens, labs, and even great Danes living here than any variety of bulldog.  However, my Golden, Remy, and I saw this sweetie at the local pet food store.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter white

Single-digit temperatures for quite a few days now.  Looking out the window... snow caps on the leaf-less shrubs.  Are the birds okay?  I hope they are keeping warm.

Perhaps these thoughts prompted me to paint a warm-weather scene with plenty of color :-)


Friday, December 19, 2014

A Perk of Flower Crazy and a Thank You

I love doing class assignments as they provide specific focus and prescribed boundaries.  Each assignment is an opportunity to use new materials and techniques or to further explore seemingly familiar ones.  I have taken away something positive every time.

"Flower Crazy" (online class from Carla) was fun and full of play and color.  I loved making several mixed media canvases and boards.  One of the assignments yielded this:

"Flower Swirls in Pink and Yellow"

And the perk?  Recently someone liked it and purchased it :-)  I appreciate everyone who supports art and artists by attending events, spreading the word and buying art.

I am fortunate to have some paintings and prints at Studio Three in Fort Collins, CO.  Meeting and chatting with people at the Holiday Open House a few weeks ago was a pleasure.  Thank you so much Evelina - Studio Three owner and incredibly supportive friend.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Scandalous - Word Art

I love writing on black paper.  With the variety of gels, paints, inks available in pens and markers well, I find doodling irresistible.  So here is the word:

Fun stuff :-)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's Still Life :-)

A bit tardy, the final painting for Table Top: Drawing and Painting is finished.  Class was so enjoyable and I explored still life painting, a subject that never caught my fancy before.

Here's the still life:

"The Oval Table"

This is how it began:

Whoa, something is different...

The table changed, the flowers changed and some of the veggies became fruit.  How did that happen?  As I think back, I was focused on the paint and I let go of the power of the "line"; the application of paint and the colors indicated the direction of the painting.

As odd as it sounds, relinquishing control is empowering :-)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fairy tales' end

Carla's online class, 2014: Year of the Fairy Tale drew to a close this month.  A great experience, I enjoyed the class structure where there is a research period followed by drawing, painting and mixed media work.

Final fairy tale art: adding some color to the title page.

Graphite, ink and colored pencil.

I benefited from this year-long class through exploration of techniques (new, old, experimental) so much so that I am eagerly awaiting "2015: Year of the...???"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Miss You, mixed media journal page

The feelings reside in my heart and at some point crystallize into words:

My sweet Romeo.

I appreciate that creating art around the memory and emotion helps me in some indefinable way.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Table Top Paintings

More still life work from Diane Culhane's online class, Table Top: Drawing and Painting.  I am finishing up the painting assignment.

The emphasis again is on laying down transparent layers and then building more layers, both transparent and opaque, on top.  I became so involved with the technique, I let my improvising slide (see this post).  I figure I will get better with practice :-)

Beginning with a graphite drawing (on a birch panel), transparent layers of primary colors are quickly applied, a nice way to get the paint brush moving and paint on the panel:

Initially two green peppers and a pear...

However, after laying down more and more paint, I decided that apples were calling me more than peppers, hence:

"Pear of Apples"

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mixed media, glazing

The world outside has gone cold and snowy white, but in my studio it's color-wow time :-)

Glazing (the current Table Top: Drawing and Painting lesson), layering transparent color upon color is a lot of fun and perks up this gray day.  Choose some acrylic color, gel medium.  Ink a simple still life sketch and then go...

The colors glow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


No color this time, simply graphite line work and smudging - and still life, an assignment from Diane Culhane's online class, "Table Top: Drawing and Painting":

I love to sketch.  Vellum is a fabulous surface.

This drawing was fun.  First placing some objects, playing with a variety of line weights and levels of intensity - basically improvising the foreground and background :-)

Monday, November 10, 2014


Ink and colored pencil on vellum - so enjoyable.  There is something about the application of either medium that is rewarding; very smooth, not slick, which results in a nice amount of control.

More class work from Diane Culhane's online class, Table Top: Drawing and Painting:

I have a greater appreciation of bottles :-)

Still life as subject matter... its appeal is growing.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Usually I don't gravitate toward still life drawing; and that is why I wanted to explore it.  When Carla Sonheim offered Diane Culhane's online class, "Table Top: Drawing and Painting" for a second time, it was an opportunity I had to seize :-)

I have taken two other class by Diane, Between Speech and Silence and Paint Your Garden and I thoroughly enjoyed them.  I like Diane's whimsical, exploratory approach to drawing and painting and her teaching style is fun.

So on to some drawing.  This is a warm up sketch, wonky lines and all:

graphite and charcoal

Next, all kinds of, begin with a quick sketch for placement and then just let the colored pencils go:

colored pencil on black card stock

Monday, November 3, 2014


I completed an imaginary landscape:

It is waiting for color...but I haven't chosen a medium.

I documented this drawing from the initial sketch and over time the changes and additions.


Interim 1:

 Interim 2:

Interim 3:

Interim 4:

Documenting my process helped me to limit the population of objects.  Each time I stopped to scan the drawing's progress, I could evaluate the density of images and rein-in or just stop the addition of imaginary things :-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gesture drawings

Remy, my sweet Golden retriever will be celebrating his 6th birthday next month.  I can hardly believe it.  Being a typical Golden, he still behaves like a young goofy dog.  My spirit Golden, Romy, was a "kid" until he was at least eight years old, as odd as that may sound :-)

So I couldn't help but make some gesture drawings of dogs in motion:

Zig-zagging around the yard...

Leaping for joy :-)

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Tangled" Magic Horse

Over the past few weeks I have used different techniques for few versions of the Magic Horse:
Quick sketch

Last December I took Beckha Krahula's online class, "One Zentangle® A Day".  I found it relaxing and also an easy commitment; one tile is very small, 3.5-inches (89mm) square,

 so I could make one or several depending upon time and inclination :-)

However, I thought it would be fun to use the Zentangle® method  for this final horse:

Larger than a tile, this horse is 8-in (203mm) by 6.25-in (159mm)

 In addition to Beckha's class, I found more information here at the Zentangle website and also here at the tanglepatterns website.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Magic horses that are basically the same... but different :-)

My sketch:

The use-the-paint-tube as a tool technique (Carla's 2014: Year of the Fairy Tale) yielded this horse:


Using the same sketch for inspiration, here's the next drawing:

I immediately thought, "Inktense colored pencils".

And here he is:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mixed media - wax pastel washes

Another color version of the sculpted magic horse, this time with wax pastel wash.

Sketch, sketch...

Pen and ink and graphite.

Used a nice, wet brush to take color from the wax pastels; applied it using lots of water:

Layering and blending colors.

I enjoyed using water soluble wax pastels in this manner... and it's very easy and quick, too :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gosh, another mixed media magic horse... in w/s Neocolor II

Some photos showing another magic horse, this time playing around with Caran d'Ache  water soluble Neocolor II wax pastels.

Graphite drawing of an imaginary horse; I drew this with the horse sculpture (see this blog post) in mind:

7B pencil on 140# hot press water color paper

Choose some colors and lay them down in a sketchy manner:

Define some features, too.

Blend the wax pastels with water and add more depth with graphite and charcoal:

I like the intensity of the colors.

Neocolor II wax pastels are lovely to work with; they "melt" onto the paper.  With water, a little bit goes a long way.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A magic horse and washable markers... a test

As in my previous post, the creative impetus for this comes from Carla Sonheim's 2014: Year of the Fairy Tale.

Never having worked in washable markers where I add water to them, I thought I'd do some testing.

First, sketch an imaginary magic horse in graphite and then color with markers.  Use a brush to add water:

Get the colors down.

Next, more layering and blending:

Add the eyes :-)

Then details with graphite and charcoal:


These washable markers are a bit difficult to blend using water but they are easy to clean up and very inexpensive.  This was a fun experiment.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

From sketch to sculpture

The creative impetus for this post is from an assignment for Carla Sonheim's 2014: Year of the Fairy Tale online class.

This is the sketch:

Hm-m-m, I wondered how I could fashion those legs... ones that would allow this horse to stand on its own.  I used a spool of wire.  I didn't know how to create proper "joints", therefore, conceptually I would be creating a three-dimensional "one-liner".

With my wire as my "ink" and needle-nose pliers as my nib, this is the result:

Begin at one point and keep going.

3-D one liner :-)

For bulk, I cover the wire form with aluminum foil and then applied the modeling "clay":

Yay, still standing.

Big head and big tail.

I really enjoyed making this little guy.  I still have a lot of wire left on the spool...

Friday, October 3, 2014

More Mixed Media Horses

Horses for 2014: Year of the Fairy Tale.

I had never used washi tape before except in creating a few greeting cards to send to friends.  However, I had seen several instances of its use in collage and I liked them a lot.  So-o-o, combine washi with paper collage... et voici, more horses :-)

And then just washi tapes:

If you'd like to see more from before, click here for yesterday's post :-)