Sunday, January 15, 2017

A re-do on the Mote Morris House

wc and ink on Multi Media paper: Strathmore

Here is a little re-do of the Mote Morris house drawn from the photo I took.

I still have a lot to practice on architecture...but the thing is to keep trying.  Took an online class from Craftsy this fall and I like going back to that.  Jim Richards I think is his name.  He has a lot of interesting tips like how to keep your buildings from leaning in one direction (which often happens to me).  Uh oh.  

Also trying lots of pens.  This sketch was done with Faber-Castell Pitt pens...a fine and a brush.  So many pens are not waterproof ink. These are.  

Hoping to get out again next week although it seems a VERY busy one and the pollen is beginning to float around which is going to make me sneezy and stuffed.  We are in a string of unbelievably lovely weather for January!  Close to 80 every day.

Hope you are no where near the ice storms!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Urban Sketching in Leesburg, FL: Mote Morris House

8 x 10 watercolor on Multi Media paper

Sketch before color

Enjoying a gorgeous 78 degree morning.

We had 12 artists show up today to paint in Leesburg.  
Wonderful to see so many talented folks.  We started around 10 and had lunch at 12:30 at Blooms.  Some folks stayed on to paint on the streets of the town in the afternoon.  

My Palette

My palette colors follow Brenda Swenson's palette...mostly. Most of them are Daniel Smith brand.  Leaf Green, Hansa Yellow, Raw Sienna, Quin Gold, Winsor Orange (Winsor Newston), Scarlet Lake, Aliziran Crimson, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Violet, Ultra Marine Blue, Cobalt, Antwerp, Cerelean, Bamboo, Viridian, Quinn Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Magnetite (a granular black).  

You can follow Brenda' blog here.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Poster Child

large poster 4' by 4' on foam core painted with black Gesso

4' x 4' foam core poster

I found a really nice use for some of my gelli prints this week.  I got asked to make two posters for the Lake County Florida Fundraiser being put on by the Women for Hospice.  They put on a luncheon here at our park in late January each year.

The theme this year is "Empty Your Purse for Hospice".  The co-chair have asked people to donate flat bottom purses in order to put a vase of flowers in each one as centerpieces for the tables.
The posters continue the theme.  

In these photos I have not yet glued the papers to the foam core.
Actually they look a lot more professional once glued down.  I added a few tweaks with white opaque pens.  The purses have some "bling" on them with buttons, ribbons, fake rhinestones, and lace.  The toy money is "spilling out" as donations.  So they are ready for pick up on Monday.  

I painted both sides of the foam core with black gesso.  I had hoped to do just one side but the whole thing warped pretty badly.
So I had to do both sides to get it to flatten out. I probably spent a good 6 hours all told putting these two together.  Not counting the dry time between things.  

But it is for a good cause.

Boy we are getting a cold spell here in central FL tonight.  A direct result of the horrible midwest cold and storms up north.
And the Chicago area will have bitter cold the next two days...tomorrow night they will be zero.  So that means we will plunge for two nights too...we'll be 44 tonight and 33 tomorrow night.  Whew...have to bring my hanging plants in tomorrow night.  My sister has snow in South Carolina!  But then we make a huge swing back up almost immediately with 80 for a high on Thursday.  Whew...that is better.  

Homes down here are not geared for bitter cold. We don't have insulation and thermo pane windows or serious central heat.  What is killing us tonight is the bitter cold north wind.  Bringing wind chills way down.  I've even pulled the drapes on the windows on that side of the house.  

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Little Tangling

8.5 x 11

A little tangle fun...using some new tangles and a few more that just seemed right.  Felt they looked better in black and white this time.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Urban Sketching on a Gorgeous FL afternoon

The Tropic in Leesburg
10 x 12 Moleskin

A beautiful afternoon...just snuck downtown to meet Lee Kline and another friend to do a little sketch.  This is the old Tropic Theater.  Fun.  

Friday, December 30, 2016

Tangle holders

Tangle Keepers

I make these up in groups to give away at my Zentangle workshops.  Top and bottom are just reinforced "tags" from an office supply store.  I use my gelli plate to decorate them in acrylic paint, adding embellishments with stencils, oil based markers, stamps and stencils.  I do both sides.  Then I cover them with a final coat of gloss medium and varnish.  They are quite durable and have a nice shine to them.  

I add about 20 small white pages (cut on a paper cutter) and hole punch them to match the tag, holding them all together with a ring (see finished one in blue).  These are popular with my classes and I use them as door one or two away at each class depending on the # of students.  This is where they can keep their tangle patterns.  

We had a cool day here in central FL...only got to 60 and partly cloudy with gusty winds.   We have company arriving any time.  So I thought a short project was in order.  Weather man promises that we'll be back to 80 by Sunday.  

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Do not disappoint the squirrel of judgement

Someone posted this on Facebook and I am sorry I don't have a reference for where it came from.
But it hit both my funny bone AND my "uh oh" bone.
You wouldn't want to disappoint the "squirrel of judgment"!!!  Hahaha.

Having TWO new computer devices arrive for Christmas has "sucked" a LOT of time over the last two weeks...getting things "migrated" from one computer to the other, getting used to a new format for my Apple (Sierra) and then also a new format on my new iPad.  How nuts with THAT decision.  Hahaha. is that for a confession!  

Back to art...I have a huge array of ideas on my studio problem about what ideas to create...more a problem of where to start.  I usually start with clean up and organization.  This NEEDS to get done.  I want to throw open the studio windows this morning (it's 85 again here in central complaints there).  

When perplexed, I always start with re-organization.  I finished up the paper clay projects (for now) and I'd like to move back to wc painting and sketching for part of January. Some new ideas on the back burner there.  And I'd like to work a bit on the ZenAgain workshop I am planning for later in January here in the park (for folks who had basic course already). 

I haven't done any gelli printing this fall at all.  
That studio table is mess.  Sigh.  A catch all.  

I am trying to work up a group here in the park for a "drawing a day" challenge until Feb 6 (about 4 weeks).  I think I need the support for that challenge too.  I am always inspired by Danny Gregory.  That link by the way takes you to a little video about drawing every day.  There is a new course on Sketchbook Skool if you want to get serious about it. off to that organization excitement.  Hahaha.  Photos of neat and tidy studio to follow.  I hope.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Luminaries

Luminaries for Christmas Eve

So I was watching a recent video about gel-printing luminaries.  One of the most recent ones.  Very nice by the way.  The luminaries in the video were, I expect, meant to be in your home rather than outside but I think they could also be outside.  These above are outside ones.  

When she finished with the demo I realized that mostly what people would see is the dark outline (silhouette) of the snowflake against the candle light inside.  So I went and got some dark paper...this happens to be blue Christmas wrapping paper which is fairly thin.  And I cut myself 8 fun snowflakes and glued them down with gel medium. 

The candles sitting in front of them show the size of the candle in the kits.  Our park sells kits of 8 bags, candles, and sand to raise some funds for other projects.  $6/kit.  We bought two kits or 16 this year but I only decorate half.  So on Christmas Eve our park of about 1,200 homes has their 9 miles of streets totally lined with candles.  It is magical.

Most of us have discovered over the years that it's not enough sand to really support that large a candle and so folks improvise all sorts of "holders" inside the bags.  A friend made us some wooden candle sticks that work slick.  Small bathroom paper cups slit on the bottom and used upside down also work pretty well.

Sometimes if it is not windy or rainy the candles are still burning in the morning!  Amazing!  Gorgeous weather in central FL right now with 85 today and right through Christmas.  

It will be a lovely Christmas Eve...we plan to attend the candlelight service at our church at 6 pm.  Then have some friends back later for "grasshoppers".  

Monday is my hubby's birthday and we'll have a nice little party for him on Monday night.  Tuesday is my daughter Julie's birthday.  She is far away in Madison, WI.  Boo hoo. Only 27 on her birthday there!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sketchcrawl in the Villages

Moleskin journal 5 x 10

Ink with wc

We got lucky with the weather yesterday up at The Villages, Florida.  We met at Spanish Springs town square in the afternoon with the skies sunny but lots of interesting clouds.  

I put some of those in the second painting but it didn't come through the scan very well.  The temp was about 85 and the humidity high with the feeling of rain or storms hanging in the air.

 But they held off all afternoon and didn't hit us until about 5 at which time we were safely in the Gator Dockside restaurant being interviewed by a reporter from the Villages Sun newspaper.

I think there were 6-8 of us there but not everyone came in for show and tell/drinks.  It was fun to meet some new artist friends who like to paint out of doors.  

Cloudy again on Tuesday and we may get a little more rain...temps dropped into mid 70s today but then back up to mid 80s for Christmas next weekend.  Nothing to complain about.  And we REALLY need the rain.  

Sunday, December 18, 2016

9 x 11 Mixed Media Sketchbook 90#

Discovered when I updated to my new MacBook Air last week the   scanner did not migrate over to the new computer.  I read on line that people updating in Apple sometimes have this problem.  Sigh.
My old iMac is still working and the scanner works on that computer so I scan in and then email myself the scan.  That will get old soon, right?

I have a feeling this is going to be complicated.
So will save for Apple Care to walk me through it later.
Otherwise the data migration seems to have gone pretty smoothly and I did the back up for the first time a few days ago and that went pretty okay.  New computers and updates are stressful, are they not?

I even have Siri on this new computer.  Weird to talk to your computer and have her answer back.  I asked for Madison, WI weather this morning and she said, "weather is not looking good in Madison."  Ha.  But she was right.  BLAH weather there in the minus digits.  Gosh. 

So these were a few little random sketches from the concert this afternoon.  I used ink and watercolor pencil.  Supposed to go on a sketch crawl up in Spanish Springs tomorrow afternoon.  Temps look good but 40% chance of thundershowers.  Boy, we DO need rain in central Florida!  Not taking too much to carry...small notebook, pens, a small wc set, wc pencils, pencil/eraser, and my folding chair. Idea is to try some "urban sketching".  Kinds of new for me. 

Finishing up the paper clay sunflower...

During this step, the paper clay has been coated with white gesso (let dry) and
two coats of gloss varnish (dry between each). Then I applied a thin glaze of acrylic paint (burnt umber) and let that dry.
Directions are not to let this glaze stay on for longer than 24 hours.

So then using rubber gloves I removed the burnt umber acrylic with rubbing alcohol.
This process sort of antiques the clay...leaving dark residue in all the crevices.  

In this step I applied acrylic (thinned with acrylic glaze).
This photo also shows that I did apply a thin coat of gesso on the canvas as well in the earlier step.

This is the point where I have to give some serious thought to how the piece will be finished.  I am tentatively thinking of painting some dark green leaves (small) around the behind the petals.  Possibly I might paint on some soft background flowers...not sure yet.  The whole thing will have a gloss varnish when it is done.  
This may be a "wait time" while I ponder this.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Zentangle® on Glass Vase

Zentangle Vase: Oil based marker-8" high

second view
So the co-chair of the Art Show at Hawthorne Park has requested that 15 of the members each take a vase and decorate it any way they choose.  They might just fill it with something interesting.
They will decorate our "tea tables" at the very nice show we have on March 12, 2017 (1-4) in Leesburg, FL (open to the public).

Naturally I thought of Zentangle!  I have filled mine with cotton balls only to show off the designs a little better for the camera.  But I do think I'll need to find something white and interesting for the actual show.  It need not be edible but it could be.  Suggestions?

I thought of mini-marshmallows.  Or white mints.  
I also thought of using some skewers I might have some little flags (in black and white) with "welcome" on them or something.
If anyone has a good suggestion about how to finish this off in a clever fashion put them in the comments.  I think the vases will be saved to use another year but I am not sure.  

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Paper Clay 2nd project

10 x 10 on gallery wrapped canvas

My second paper clay project is for a scholarship giveaway up in WI this summer.  Nothing like getting it done early!  But I can show it the Hawthorne Park show IF I deem it worthy.

Okay so in this one, with a photo reference, I decided on a wild bright yellow/orange/green background.  The I drew the flower on heavy tracy paper and cut out the pieces to assemble.  Whew.  
This took hours.  But I am pleased with the result.  But it's hard to imagine the finished piece yet.

So now it dried overnight and still isn't completely dry.  So now it is in the sun on my desk by the window (good hot FL sun) and it should be dry today.  

I think the steps I'll follow will be slightly different for this piece.
I will cover the WHOLE piece with a wash of white gesso.  While wet, I'll wipe off most of the gesso from the background leaving some wispy glazes.  Or that is the plan anyway.  Let dry.

Then I'll add two coats of clear gloss acrylic over just the clay.  Letting dry between each coat.  Then…this I am not sure yet…then I think I cover the clay with a thin glaze of burnt umber and black acrylic and let dry.  (Scary, huh?)

Then comes the antiquing step with rubbing alcohol.  I'll rub off most of the dark paint leaving just dark in the textures.  Let dry.  I may hard some dark around the outside of the clay edges as well.  THEN, I can finally add color to the flowers and leaves.  

If everything is as I wish (hmmm) then I have two coats of gloss acrylic medium/varnish.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Finishing the paper clay project

I've completed the paper clay/acrylic project.  See previous post for information on how I put it together.  The final two coats of gloss/varnish have been put on.  

If you wanted to frame this you would have use kind of a shadow box format.  Or it could most likely be displayed on a little easel of some sort.  

Now what I "should" do is complete a second one right away so I remember the steps but try a little different technique.  This one is an "appliqué" type where I glued the clay on canvas board at the end.

Many of the projects in the book just have you put the wet clay onto the board or the canvas and let it dry there.

Happy holidays.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A first attempt at Paper Clay

5 x 7 canvas on board...unfinished         

So this is a real multi media piece and my first try at Paper Clay using Rogene Mana's wonderful book Art of Paper Clay: Techniques for adding dimension to your Art.

There are multiple varieties suggested so this is just a beginning.
There are quite a few steps to getting the clay to the finishing point.  In this piece I chose a piece of hand-painted paper (gelli print paper) as a back ground which is adhered to a canvas board with mat medium.  (Acrylic paint). 

The gulls were rolled out of the clay which comes pre-packaged and is easy to work with.  (and not expensive.)  The feathers, etc, were pressed into the clay with various items around the studio or paper clips, tongue depressors, and etc.  Then left to dry. And because this was not pre-attached to the background and will be glued on later, I had to turn the piece over for quite awhile to get it to dry thoroughly.  I think they can be baked in a 200 oven too.  

Rogene likes a kind of "distressed" look to her clay so I went along with that...putting a coat of white gesso on (dry) and two coats of gloss medium on next (dry between coats).  Then painting over the birds with a watered down black acrylic (let dry) and then removing it again with alcohol.  Let dry.  Then adding color. 

And the "stems" that I decided to add at the end will have some of those steps still to go through.  That is the way the clay looks before all the steps begin.  I think I will use some of yellow green and blue already in the background for the stems.

At the end I will glue them on the background board with Elmer's white glue.  (In some projects they are attached to the board earlier in the project.)  Then several coats of medium/varnish is brushed on at the very end to seal everything.  Title: "At the Shore".

This is my give-away piece for the Fine Arts Show in January.
Only 5 x 7.  But a good practice piece. 


Friday, November 25, 2016

Zentangle Along

Icanthis, Drawings, Noom, Waybop, Reel, Moowa, Prasima, Remo, Tumbleweed, Panzee.

Lots of new tangles to play around with.  

Thanksgiving over and now the holiday fun really rolls into gear.  Here at our FL park the first two weeks of December are really full of things to do…caroling, plays, orchestra events, cookie exchanges, and tree lighting just to name a few.  Whew.  

Pacing is everything.  AND keeping well.  
So everyone keep safe and have a good holiday season.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Back to sketching!

pencil and pen and wc in 90# Strathmore Mixed Media Sketchbook

I can't believe how little I've been in the studio the past few weeks…that is in the studio to make art or record art making.  ARRRGH.  (as Charlie Brown would say.)

I've been "teaching" art…taught a wc botanical class one morning and taught a Zentangle beginner's class one morning.
And I now am set up to teach another Zentangle in January (see side bar).   Okay Susan…this is your chance!

In between all this hubby and I hit the ground running here in Fl. In addition to teaching two classes, hubby had some minor outpatient surgery, I survived a nasty fall (all recovered now) and then we had this wild and wooly list of things that needed to get done like 1)buy a new golf card 2)buy hubby his new Laziboy recliner for Christmas and 3) host a luncheon with old friends 4) meet another old friend for a day at the Plant and Garden Show 5) publish a newsletter for the art group and yadda yadda yadda.  

So where is daily ART in this picture?  See what I mean?
Okay I need to get back on track.  AND somewhere in the next few weeks I need to get to the Apple store to discuss a new computer which you KNOW will consume a bunch of time too!

The String Ensemble concert yesterday was a wonderful quiet interlude and Marlene and I were fortunate to get guest passes to see it!  Very nice!  Thank you Carolyn! 

I did get up to DKs to get a painting framed for the spring LAA show.  And this Sat is the first Leesburg Art Association meeting I'll be able to make!  That should get me back in the groove.

I have several "major art projects" I'd like to get to, but first I'll finish the Christmas letter which is very late this year!  I have an interesting twist on how to do that this year.  BUT I need to get to it.  We've had a little stretch of chilly weather hit central FL while our neighbors to the north in WI and MN got SNOW!  
But we'll be back to 80 by Tuesday.  Meanwhile TO THE STUDIO!  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Diva Challenge is Eaxy

Calendar A Day

So my 2015 Tangle A Day did not get finished last winter.
Now I am filling it in using THIS year's date and days! 

The Diva's challenge this week is Eaxy Tangle.  I really really do not like this tangle!!!  Once it is completed it is sort of cool looking but there is certainly nothing contemplative about making this one!  STRUGGLE.  Funny how some tangles just DO not resonate with me.  

Merryweather is painted with Twinkling H20 watercolors so in real life they sparkle like crazy.  A scan just doesn't show that of course.  

I DID like this new tangle pattern "Sea Wave".  Perfect to me to help me "balance" my sadness and fear and lost feeling in reaction to the election results.  We ride now on rough and uncharted seas.
I thought Hillary's concession speech was amazing.  I cried through the whole thing.  What a class act.  Grace under pressure.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Zentangle Calendar 8.5

8.5 x 11

Imagine being a year ahead…in anything?  Hahaha.

We are gradually (VERY gradually) settling in Fl but as soon as we think we have one problem solved another pops up like one of those whack-a-mole games.  

So we get through Greg's battery replacement surgery and then we get home from the hospital and everything in our fridge has completely defrosted.  ARRGH.  AND it's Saturday night.  No one is coming to fix anything on Sunday.

Bless our neighbors who have come to our rescue bringing ice and coolers and offering their fridges and freezers.  
So more on that saga later.  We all have those.  They are fixable.

Voting tomorrow.  Thank heavens.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Farewell to October

Toward the Solstice
by Mark Perlberg

We burned our leaves on the bluest October day,
the sun still warm on our backs,
frost just a ghost in the shrubbery.
We raked the leaves into shifting piles on the lawn,
scooped them into deep round baskets
and spilled them in the street against the curb.
The vein of fire, unseen at first in diamond light,
whispered through oak leaves brown as butcher paper,
and maple still flushed with color like maps
torn from The Book of Knowledge.
We were letting go of October, relinquishing color,
readying ourselves for streets lacquered with ice,
the town closed like a walnut, locked inside the cold.
Since I was born in November, my memories of THAT month are keen as well.
I used to fell gypped that I had that birth month so stark and so windy and tinged with the smell of coming snow.
SO quiet with the song birds gone.  Smells of nature gone cold.

Days tinged just slightly with the smell and promise of the holidays to come AND often filled with exams and tests at school.  A turning inward slightly due to the weather pattern and the shortness of days.  Warm scarves again and soft sweaters.  In southern WI the corn fields left to be harvest rattle in the wind, deer hunting started, we would awake sometimes to dustings of snow in the old corn rows or frost to be scraped from a car window.  As I grew older I began to see a certain stark beauty of the gold against the grayness.  Old weed pods and spent cat tails in the marsh making shadow patterns against bare trunk.  But it took a long time to notice the beauty.  I think it is the same with old age.  It takes awhile to appreciate it…you rail against it, as you rail against November, until you see that it's part of the whole picture and just as the colors of gray are needed in a painting allowing you see the other colors fully, November comes to offer up  kind of foil against which you can lean the beauty of the other seasons.  Beautiful in it's own subtle ways.  And then toward the month's end, a gathering of the clans to celebrate the harvest and food and football.  

November is a lovely month in central FL…foggy mornings give way to 85 degree afternoons.  Perfect for whatever you want to do.  The "Golden Rain Trees" blossom in Oct and Nov and are filled with rusty orange blossoms reminding one of changing leaves in WI but actually are flowers!  Beautiful to see.  Our hibiscus in bright pink in the afternoon sunshine.
So farewell then to October, past and present, and onward to more subtle but lovely November.