Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Finishing a painting with hand rubbed wax


I have posted this painting in an earlier stage before.  It's a small watercolor/ink done on clay board with gallery wrap wood finished 1" sides…unusual for a watercolor.  I liked that I could "scratch" out whites if I wished and lift like Yupo.  It is a little easier than Yupo to work on but similar.  Laying a wash is very difficult (note blue shadow at the base…no way could I smooth that out entirely.  Am hoping it will "read" that the floor was uneven since the walls are stone and it obviously out of doors.

The painting was finished by coating it with wax.  
It is a soft paste wax made for finishing paintings called Dorland's Wax Medium. Usually it is for acrylic or oil painting but some artists actually use it on paper with water media as well.

I put the first coat on with my fingers.  I put a second coat on 24 hours after the first using a soft paper towel.  Now I hope to leave it to dry for at least a week.  My hope is that it will dry enough that I can "burnish" it some.  It has a nice soft non glare finish to it, but I would like it more to "glisten".  I think the trick is to let it dry thoroughly now before touching it again.  I am wondering about lambs wool or something very soft for the burnishing.  Ideas?

Meanwhile I am preparing the 7 paintings I'll need to go into the Hawthorne Park Library exhibit for the month of December.  I have one that needs framing but otherwise I think I am set to go.  I'll be interviewed on in-house TV on Dec 5th.  That's always fun!  



Zentangle Challenge: Mixing it up



Okay so this challenge was to take a tangle that was designed to be more "free flowing" and put it into a grid OR take a tangle designed to be a "grid" tangle and make it free-flowing.

Does that make sense?

So I took out Wheelz (more free flowing) and designed it into a grid pattern.  Then I took out Warble (a grid) and tried it as a more free flowing tangle.  

I think the graphics are self explanatory.  
Where they are labeled is the original design.  
You didn't have to do both but once you get started on this challenge you then HAVE to try to see what would happen the other way.  I think for me, it's much easier to take a grid and let it flow than the other way around.  

Thanks Sandy Hunter for this interesting challenge as I would not have thought of this!!!  Fun.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Zentangle calendar through Nov 24


No color on these for awhile as I am away from the studio desk and working on a lap desk in a chair.  But that's okay.
Keystone turned out to be kind of a funky tangle.  (In the stripe.)  I can also see that when I get my new glasses I am going to enjoy them!  


November Tangle a Day is almost up to date...


Well, this set of calendar tangles was done on pain pills.  I am not sure about how it looks, but the only part I see is that some of the "fill" didn't get exactly all filled in.  But I was working on a lap desk in a lazy boy chair.  The first 3 tangles are new to me but were fun.  Warble is not new to me but I did see that Helen Williams posted something very similar and called it "Sails" so now I am not sure which name is correct.  But that is not so important.  It's a lovely tangle.

The knee surgery recovery is going pretty well.  I am still dosing with pain pills as needed so that I can do the simple exercises required at this point and zipping (zipping being relative of course) around using a walker for support just as a little steadying device.  

I was able to take off bandages and shower today.  And that is always a nice thing after surgery…makes you feel human again!  Nothing like clean hair and a little lipstick again!  My hubby is an attentive nurse and is keeping me hydrated, and making me nice food and bringing me the newspaper and my meds or whatever.  I am getting used to being pampered.  
Stitches come out Monday.  Thanks to all my blogger friends who have sent prayers and well wishes.  It means so much.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Square One: Assunta

Assunta

This is the challenge for the Square One Facebook Zentangle group.  Black, white, gray and 3.5" only.  I decided on a mono-tangle this week.

I am back from the hospital and working on my tangles on a lap desk in a big old lazy boy chair with a big ice bag on my knee.  

I am on pain pills so am wondering if my tangles will reflect my sort of dippy view of life right now.  :-)

The surgery went well and was successful but like all surgery requires now some healing time.  This apparently requires "patience".  Something that does not come easily to me.  It is going slowly but I think it's going to be a good deal at the end!  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Keeping Busy


I think most of us tangle some bookmarks at one time or another…saving scraps of tinted or painted paper that are just too fun to throw away.  They can be dropped into birthday cards or with a Kindness Sticker on the back can be left places for people to find.  Some folks give them away at Zentangle classes as little door prizes.  You get the idea.

Doing a few of these was fun at the Art Gallery last Tuesday afternoon.  In between guests and while visiting with Carrie (another artist sitting the show).  

Okay…so now this morning I am off to have my knee surgery.  No coffee this morning!  ARRRGH.  Haha.  What a whiner!
I am happy the surgery is at 9:30 am so I don't have to wait to long to have it over and done.  We have to be at the hospital at 7:30 am so we are about ready to take off.  Wish me luck.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Honorable Mention


I was pleased to find out this past week that I got an honorable mention at the Fall Leesburg Art Association Show.  This was an 11 x 14 wc and ink on canvas that I did en plein air last spring.  Title: Pete's Model Sailboat

I was careful to say "model" in the title so people wouldn't think that I was way off base on proportion in the painting!  Hahaha.  This is a painting of Serenity Lake (pond) that is beside our home here in FL.  But it is our neighbor's view…he is an extravagant and delightful gardener and so we get the benefit of having an even  prettier view and he does all the work!  :-)

I "sat" the gallery yesterday afternoon so I took the photo at that time.  

We are having our "cold" front now in central FL so no more gloating about weather.  I woke up to 40 degrees this morning and the heat on in the house!  Whew. Just north of us we know they had a hard freeze…hopefully not for too long as that is tough on citrus!  High of only 60 predicted today but back to 80 by Monday so not to worry.  

Meanwhile..where are my gloves?  (We are such wimps down here in FL).  Locals wear ski masks when it gets to 40!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Staining Your Tiles


Tangling on hand-stained tiles.  
Normally, I have NO trouble tangling on transparent wc stained tiles.  For some odd reason I struggled with these two.  I could not get my brown pen to flow evenly on the painted surface.  It could be the pen's problem, not mine.   I'll have to try another pen.  

Or I remember that I was using some white Gouache just before I worked on these two tiles.  And it just could be that I "contaminated" the transparent paint.  It's VERY easy to do if you don't wash the brush well enough.  I think that this could easily be the problem.  So I need to re-stain a few tiles and try again.  I've been encouraging students to stain their tiles doing Renaissance ones because you get intriguing and interesting colors that way.  Not just "tan".  

I like to use combinations of New Gamboge, Indian Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Quin Gold, and any number of yellows.  Keep things as transparent as possible.  

I do like the way these turned out. 
The second tangle is really just a variation on the tangle Chainging that Cherryl Moote put online recently.  It is a concentration tangle but very lovely.  In the top one I used black pearl as "drippings" from the top…again a creative idea shared by another CZT.   



Monday, November 17, 2014

Home Made Washi Tape on a Rainy Day

Step One: take the paper tape and lay it out in rows very close together on
a slick surface (I use a clear acrylic sheet).  This cotton tape is "gentle" paper tape in first aid
section at the Dollar Store or Walgreens.  Comes 20 yards to a package. Maybe $3?
Then using just cheap craft acrylic paint (WalMart  or Michaels .75 cent a bottle) I just paint the tape with a thin coating.  You can use any acrylic paint watered a bit.  Dry an hour.  

The fun part:  using stencils and stamps of all kinds, make all kinds of prints on the paper tape.
I use make sponges for the stencils, dipped in acrylic paint.  Sometimes I print with black ink but usually not much of that.  I use hand made stamps, edges of old credit cards, bottle lids, Q tips etc etc.
Very fun and relaxing.  Obviously i just make the marks all over from one tape to another. Dry and hour or two.  Be sure everything is very dry. Don't use a hair dryer.  

Now, using a large "shake size" drinking straws I carefully begin to wind up the Washi tape 
on itself as I pull up about 2" at a time.  The tape is low tac so it will stick to itself but will also
unwind later quite well.  You need to work slowly so you don't tear the tape.  You can see the residue left on the plastic from between the tapes and a little that came through the tape.  

The designs are so interesting as you pull them up…you are never quite sure what you
are going to get!  The residue on the plastic wipes up with regular alcohol and a paper towel.  So you can do it all over again some day!!!  

We had a VERY rainy day here in central Florida today.  We got 1.3" of rain from noon to 5 pm!  Whew.  A great day to snuggle into the studio and make more "washi" tape.  

The tape comes in handy for lots of things…I use it as borders on envelopes and cards, in collages, as a colorful binding in Zentangle Friendship "books" and I even use it to mark things like taping my colored pens so I can find them amidst my black ones.  I was amazed at the all the places I find to use it.  But this supply will probably last me most of the winter.  

You can find videos on how to do this on line by goggling "home made washi tape".  Hope it will inspire you!  

Tangling With Your Non Dominate Hand: the Diva Challenge this week

Rain, Merryweather

Tangling with your non-dominant hand.
Now THAT is a humbling experience.  The guest challenger on the Diva's blog this week asked us to just buck up and try it.  I think this challenge has come around before and I have passed.  I KNOW that my left hand is really weak and the idea that I'd be brave enough to actually POST what happened was just not a very comfortable thought.

But this time I got brave.  

This was REALLY hard.  I couldn't even get the DOTS in the corners with a pencil!  ARRRGH.  

First off it took 2-3 times as long.
I thought maybe I'd get better as I went along but what happened was my hand got tired and started cramping up and actually got worse!  I tried a little shading but basically had to give that up and picked Rain because it didn't need shading.  

My husband has ET (Essential Tremor) and has had for almost his life.  In 2011 he had DBS surgery to help with his right hand.  But he still struggles with small muscle tasks.  I am suddenly VERY aware of what he must go through just to sign his name on his credit card bill.  Also someone who has broken an arm or has had a stroke or a tremor.    

Well, I challenge you all to try this.  You don't have to post it.  Just try it.  Very enlightening.  I picked tinted paper so you maybe would notice it as much. (hahahaha).  

Calendars inch toward the holidays….


This 3 day spread turned out a tad bit busy.
But I found some interesting "knot-like" tangles and decided to give them a try and before you know it I was off and away.

I am amazed looking at the "few" number of days left to Thanksgiving now. Like 10!  That really is the "starting gun" for the holidays officially.  (Stores have been off and running since way before Halloween, of course).  

Our park's decoration group is in full swing now and Venetian Gardens, the Leesburg FL public park, is always an extravaganza of light and corresponding music.  So they are well into that decorating already.  Most of the local towns have their Christmas banners up on the light poles.  I mean you HAVE to start early!  Up in Wisconsin the snow at our cabin at two feet deep and I hear they are ice fishing because the temp is 6 above zero and the lakes are all frozen already!
THAT part I can skip just fine.  

No matter how many Christmas holidays I spend in FL (which I really enjoy) the lights on the palm trees, Santa on the beach, and shopping in your shorts and tees just seems wrong.  Hahaha.  Cards and Christmas letters, wrapping paper, poinsettias and carols…it's all just around the corner again.  I barely have my ceramic pumpkin wrapped up and put away!!!  Hahaha.  Till then I need to get past my knee surgery this week and then…football and Thanksgiving…all about family and pecan pie.  That's fun too.  


Sunday, November 16, 2014

What Would Happen If...


Hurry and Mak-Rah-Mee

I liked this tile…it was the "challenge" for the Square One Facebook group this week.  Well, just the tangle "Hurry".  You could add anything else you wanted to.  

The top tile was my submission to them because they only accept "black, white, and gray".  No color.  But to me the tile begged a little color.  Unusual for me as I am a classic tangler.  But what do you think…isn't just a little more interesting with a touch of blue?  So after submission I added the blue.  

The string for this tile was a "Z".  So if you stand the tile on it's left side you will see the Z line appear.  But as in all Zentangle, when you start saying "what would happen if", then things go awry.  What would happen if I turned it on it's side?  What would happen if the border disappeared on one side?  And so on.  Then at the very end…What would happen if I added some blue (ultramarine blue from Qor).  
Qor is the new watercolor from Golden Paints.

Gorgeous sunny day here in central FL…the cold front devastating the midwest has not pushed down here (yet).  

We will have a big drop on Tuesday when it gets here but still…not that bad.  Our 80s will suddenly drop to 60 for a high on that day. (We will have a VERY cold night that night and might even see 35!)  But start right back up again on Wednesday.  But it will start back slowly with a few days of highs around 71.  That's pretty cool for us for Nov.  

But I can hardly complain.  We watched the snow conditions in Madison, WI at the their football game yesterday!  And at our little cabin in Lac du Flambeau, WI it will be 6 degrees tonight!!!  Pretty nippy for pre-Thanksgiving weather!!!  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Watercolor on clayboard



I am having a little fun playing with watercolor and ink on clay board.  As you can see, just a small one.  Working on it is a cross between hot pressed wc paper and Yupo.  In addition you can scratch out whites if you wish!  But layering and glazing is difficult.  

The subject is one of our favorite little outdoor restaurants in Mount Dora:  The Garden Gate.  This little gardening bench is out by the umbrellas on the sunny patio.  Very charming.

My idea is when this is to finish it off with rubbed wax.
This will be a totally new idea for me.  I am not sure yet if I'll seal this with a clear acrylic spray first.  I have seen it done but have not tried it myself.  Paintings have a soft patina.    

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zentangle Calendar


Moving into mid-November already…this Tangle a Day thing really keeps you mindful of the time.  

We are having great weather in central FL but I know we are getting photos of heavy snow up in Rhinelander, WI area.
OMGosh…Christmas snow if I ever saw it!  All kinds of meetings begging cancelled all over the place up there.
And the cold is amazing too.  NOT that polar vortex thing again?  Gosh.

Hoping to get some studio time this weekend….am working on some watercolors (my sister will be happy) and having quite a time finding several hours at one time to work at it.
Lots of interruptions.  But Greg is off to train show this Sat and that is my big day!!!

I don't do anything amazing like my blog friend Deb Ward (see side bar under blogs I follow).  She is a finalist in a wc competition with thousands of good painters.  I am so excited for her!  

Am getting ready to teach my Zentangle 101 part II class on Friday morning here at the park.  I have 13 signed up so it's a perfect size.  


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Diva Challenge for this week.

Trio, Huggins, XYP

This the Diva Challenge for this week and it's a "trio" of tangles.  The more you put in the harder it gets for me!  And none of these tangles is easy for me.  All are concentration tangles.  

Nice day today.  I did spend part of it in a routine doctor visit which was all good, thank heavens.  So my prep is all finished now for the surgery on the 20th on my knee.  

So now I will just work on getting my new glasses and getting things ready here at the house…stocking up the fridge and getting things ready for Thanksgiving (at a friend's home).  And trying to finish up some art work.

I am sitting the fall art show at the public library on the 18th.  That's always fun.  Details on the side bar.

Out to lunch with friends tomorrow..we are trying a Cuban restaurant.  A first for Greg and me.  
Here's to a good week everyone.



Lucky Me!

Acrylic painting: 16 x20

Sometimes you just get such a delightful gift.  So surprising.
My friend, Marlene Russ, is an accomplished painter…she specializes in acrylics.  For my birthday she painted a lovely lovely painting that includes ME.  The two couples visited a beautiful park in Winter Garden, FL in early spring.  Here I am strolling across the lovely shaded park with my little backpack on that I always wear!  How fun is THAT!!!

Lucky me!  

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Monday Morning blues….


Reflections and Yny are two of the newer tangles but the one for Nov 11 (Veteran's Day) is more just allowing whatever tangle happened to come to mind appear.  Wrapped together in a sort of collection of strings and tangles.  Some of Mary Chadsey's wonderful work on the CZT Facebook page has inspired me.  No blog reference has been found for her.  She says "she's thinking about one".  Blogs are not for everyone.  

Today is one of those "too busy" days following a very nice birthday yesterday..many good wishes…thanks to my family friends, bloggers and neighbors.  My girl friend painted a painting of me (to be posted later) as a gift.  Another brought down cupcakes and my sister left a singing birthday wish on my answering machine!  My two youngest grandsons in Illinois (8 and 9) called to sing to me.  I am worn out with love!!!!:-)

So having to come down to reality is really a bummer!  
But the clouds are breaking up this morning.  It will only be 70 which is cool for us but back to 80s tomorrow.  Never mind.  It is snowing back up north at our WI cabin with a high of 27 which keeps that in perspective!!!  

Have a good week everyone.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sharing my birthday….

Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids,  May 2012

It's always interesting to know with what or whom you share a birthday.  One thing Google will tell you is that today is the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down.  Note the little video they have posted online today.

Pieces of the wall went everywhere in the world.  Here I am standing by a piece back in 2012 in Grand Rapids, MI!  

I think it is sobering to think of this in light of the tension that is again building between Russia and the rest of the world! 

I also share a birthday with Carl Sagan.  (see below) 

It's the birthday of astronomer Carl Sagan, born in Brooklyn (1934). His father was a hard-working Ukrainian immigrant garment worker, and his mother was an intellectual housewife who doted on her son. He said: "My parents were not scientists. They knew almost nothing about science. But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method."

Saturday, November 8, 2014

MOOvin along with my Zentangles


You have seen an image VERY similar to this before if you've been a follower of my blog.  I used the same cow last spring when I was preparing for a "cow exhibit" to be held in WI over the summer.  It was slightly larger than this one AND I with that first one I painted a zentangle frame to go with it.  It was done on paper.  And it sold for $75 at the Manito Art Show in July!
Everyone smiled.  Not GREAT art, but certainly made people happy to see look at it!  

And I did not use the same tangles as last time.  I repeated the same on the ears but then the nose is different.  

Whimsical art, I would call it.
SO…anyway down here my Fine Art group is hosting a brunch in January and everyone got a little 5 x 7 canvas board to do original art on.  The little paintings will be table centerpieces and, I think, will be given as door prizes.  

I did not want the ink to "bleed" on the canvas so I prepped the board with clear gesso (two coats and sanded in between each one).  This makes a good ground BUT it can easily smear while you are working so I had to use a piece of paper under my hand at all time.  On the plus side, I could remove anything with a wet Q-tip!  

At the end I spray coated the piece twice with Krylon clear acrylic varnish.  And in this project we were not asked to frame them.  I think they may be matted later.  I am not sure.  
Because they are all the same size, I expect that mats will be prepared all the same.  A mat will cut off a little of the image but I don't see it as a problem.