Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 29: Double Dip

Spaghetti & Meatballs, Paradox, Crescent Moon/eyelet Re-mix, Auraknot, Scraper, Knightsbridge, Neuron

The last "double-dip" for the 30 Day challenge.  The Diva's Zentangle challenge for this week is a "string". For non Zentangle folks that is the "lines" drawn inside the tile.  These "strings" generally disappear after the tangle is put in.  The Diva's Challenge blog is one of my followed blogs if you want to take a look at all the other ways that this string can be interpreted.

This tiles is Canson Montval cold press watercolor paper 3.5" square.  I use a .01 Micron (Sakura) pen.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 28: Outside the Box

When you have 12 grandchildren you HAVE to get on the stick and get going!  Trying for some "outside the box" Valentine approaches this year.  Watercolor applied to Strathmore greeting cards and then tangled.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 25

I did a very quick wc sketch in my moleskin sketchbook during a few moments before we got on the bus again.  Solomon's Castle is quite an amazing place.  We had a lot of fun...great lunch, beautiful weather and I took lots of photos that will share later.  

But here I am standing by one of the "recycled art" knights in the gift shop.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 23: Watercolor

Morning Light
This is a quarter sheet watercolor on Arches 140 # cold press.  Mostly Winsor Newton watercolors.  The photo is a photo reference from Wet Canvas.  (online artist source of photos).

It's been a while since I've done a watercolor other than a sketch and it felt so fine to get back into washes again.  It was a challenging piece with the shiny surfaces and the reflections and the shadows.

Although I am submitting it the challenge as finished I probably will tweak it a bit more.  But it's at the stage where you set it aside for awhile and then come back to it.  I'd like Barb Sailor and Deb Ward to look at it and make suggestions.  

Beautiful Florida weather right now and I am off on an all day bus trip tomorrow to Solomon's Castle in Ona, Florida.  Should be a great photo shoot.  I don't think I'll try to carry a sketch book but I might take a small moleskin and possible get in a small one at lunch time.  If you google Solomon's Castle you will see it is a funky place to visit!!!  More on that later!

30 Day Challenge Day 22

Brax, Black Pearl, IX, Diva Dance, Neuron
CZT Margaret Bremner (always experimenting) is trying out the technique of erasing string lines in just a few places and letting the tangle pattern "fall" out or "bleed" into the design.  Kind of a fun idea.  So that is what this is about.

IX is sort of falling out into the open space.  
There is something pleasing about this Zentangle®, at least for me.  It just has a nice rhythm about it.  It is my first time to try Brax and Neuron as well. 

 Remember if you would ever want to see all my Zentangle posts, you go to the side bar marked "labels" and scroll all the way down to Z and note there are over 70 posts on Zentangles now.  

ps...The watercolor I am working on has been stalled with too much interruption but am hoping to get back to it while there is still daylight this afternoon.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 21: Moebius

Double Dipping Day again...this is also the Diva's Challenge for the week.  To tangle a moebius strip.  
This is the symbol for the Moebius Syndrome Foundation.  The challenge is to help create awareness of a rare childhood disability.  (Purple is the foundation's color symbol.)  

Moebius Syndrome is a congenital nerve disorder affecting cranial VI and VII nerves controlling the lateral movement of the face.
It creates delayed development, club meet, low muscle tone and poor immunity just to name a few.

30 Day Challenge Day 20

Time to start on the Valentines again...with 12 grandchildren you HAVE to start early.  Pat and Mike are 6 years old.  Kind of fun to start with a sticker and tangle from there.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 19: The Hat

It was only a matter of time I was back to tangling something standing still.  This little visor hat was less than $2.00 at WalMart.  But I could easily sell it for $15 now, right?  Hahaha.

I did this is an ultra Fine Sharpie pen.  About 45 minutes or maybe an hour.  You lose complete track of time when you do a Zentangle®!

Boy are we ever happy to be in Florida today.  (It is
-14 at our summer cabin in the north woods of WI.)  Oh boy!  It is a gray morning here but hoping for some sunshine later.   75 predicted.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 18: The jewelry box

The Little Jewelry Box
I found this little jewelry box at a garage sale a few years ago.  Somehow it found it's way into this painting!  Acrylic on stretched canvas...8 x 10. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 17: Valentines

Gingham, Rosé, Heart-rope, Crescent Moon, Poke root (variation) Striping, Laces

This is a directly creative plagiarism of Margaret Bremner's Valentines in her blog post.  Click here for that.  She is so amazing, of course.

I did try out the tangle called Rosé for the first time as I had not used that tangle before.  But I added Heart-rope myself  and re-arranged things differently. Still, it was her inspiration.  AND it is time to start thinking Valentines too!  I did this on a 5 x 7" note card from Cheap Joe's Goof Proof Card set.  

Margaret used red Micron pens in her tangles.  Since I do not have any red red was added with Inktense WC pencils and then I used a tiny watercolor brush to wet the color and make it permanent.  The cool thing about Inktense is that the  wc pencil turns into a sort of acrylic when you wet it. Completely permanent.   

Believe me I won't spend this amount of time on all my Valentines!!!!  This one is special for my hubby.  But I am inspired to try some simpler ones now for the grandchildren!  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 16:

Ziggy, Meer, Heart-rope, Munchin, Phicops, Tipple, Floatfest

Cynthia made me do it. I mean really.  I did not see her at first.  But of course, after Cynthia saw her, there she was and there was nothing to do but "expose" her.  Haven't decided if I'll leave her in graphite or go back and put her in ink.  What do you think?  Cynthia..what do you think?

Now she is a ZIA, of course.  (Zentangle-Inspired-Art).  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 15

Well, you can tell I haven't done a figure sketch in a long time and I NEEd the practice!  This is Cheryl Courtright of Comfort Keepers giving a talk to the Essential Tremor Support Group in The Villages, FL this afternoon.  (My husband has ET).  

I knew I would not be home ALL day today. I volunteered in the local kindergarten as an aide all morning.   So after lunch when we left for the talk, I threw my sketchbook and some pencils into my purse before I left.  It was a very good talk by the way.  

After that we headed to Home Depot for some errands and then directly to church to see the film "Gasland" which was an exposé about fracking.  Fascinating.  We didn't get home until 8:30 pm tonight!  Sigh.  Too much in one day.  That happens now and then.  Hoping tomorrow I can get to some of paintings again!   

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Double Challenge Day

Bunzo and Auraknot
Okay...I admit it. I am "double dipping" today.
This is an entrance into TWO challenges.
This is the Diva's Zentangle challenge to do a tangle with just Bunzo and Auraknot.  AND this is my 30 Day Painting/Art challenge Day 14.  

Hey's 85 out there and I want to go to the pool.  Give me a break!  :-)

Monday, January 14, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 13: Scratch Art

Well, this is something totally new for me.  But my friend, Dee, offered to show me how she does this.  I know many people do "scratchboard".  But Dee does her on aluminum.  The scratched out areas shine with a silver gleam!  Very fun!  

You can use any sharp tool...she uses one of those craft knives.  My friend, Peg, uses a roofing nail put through a cork.  This allows her a more comfortable "handle" to scratch with.  Works great!.  This is 8 x 10 (black spray paint on aluminum flashing).  I used a photo I found in a magazine and you can trace it on using white carbon paper.  

We worked on this about two hours.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 12: Zentangle

Please be clear...the painting itself (Lake Dora Lighthouse) was not done today.  This was previously painted (wc on canvas).  9 x 15.

I had put a "mock" white mat on this painting by taping off the white area.  Today I Zentangled (with Sharlie fine line pen) the mat area. took a LOT longer than I thought it would. Almost two hours!  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 11: The Dream

Sometimes you actually have most of a day to paint.  That sure doesn't happen often to me.  But today I tackled a 16 x 20 canvas in acrylic.  The photo reference is of an old house we came across in Leesburg, Fl while we were out to a garage sale next door to it.  I think this was earlier this fall.    

I loved that the house had so much darling gingerbread and looked like at some point someone had such great plans for this house.  But right now it is derelict...lost and lonely and empty.  Someone's dream has been lost.  (Actually, I haven't painted the gingerbread trim yet.)  That may have to wait to tomorrow.  I plan to put a tall thin palm in the background too to place it in a tropical setting.


30 Day Challenge Day 10

This is a small graphite sketch in my Moleskin sketchbook (5 x 8"). It just goes to demonstrate that you can make some art just about anywhere you are. I have a lot of friends who sketch in restaurants...there is always down time between orders and serving.  This is in a little cafe called "Beef O'Brady's" near our park in Florida and we are on our way to see the movie Life of Pi. 

I slipped a couple pencils (one a sketch-and-wash pencil by General) and a water-filled brush (Japanese...I can't remember the brand right now.) I love those water soluble pencils as you can then blend them with a brush after you sketch.  The dark background was an Ebony pencil.  

Incidentally, the movie was wonderful.  I highly recommend it.  The visual effects were astounding!  (It is 3D as well) and the original book's message came through clearly.  I hadn't read the book for over 25 years but it all just came back so vividly.  

If you have time stay for the credits.  Seriously.  Over 14,000 people had something to do with the making of the film! Although they don't name everyone,  it appears to have been a Canadian-Indian joint venture but it looked like a United Nations joint effort.  Quite thrilling and I hope they put out a DVD and add some information about how the film was made.  I fell for it immediately and just found the ocean scenes to be ethereal.  

Beautiful day in central FL again and I hope to make two pieces of art today and get ahead!  Hahaha...I say that every day.  I am now in the Diva's Challenge for doing a Zentangle a week.  In that challenge, however, you must use her suggestion. But you only have to post once.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 9

My friend, Dottie Usher (D U), is having a birthday this weekend.  So I made her birthday card with her initials on it for the Challenge today. I have done with for birthdays before and folks seem to really love that.  In addition I did 4 "tiles" that I particularly enjoyed so I am sharing them too.  

When I went online to post this early this morning the letter "s" on my keyboard would not work.  BLAH!  ARGHHHH!  Turns out, yes, my keyboard had died.  So off to the Apple Store in Orlando this afternoon...we had other errands thank heavens.  But it was not the way I intended to spend a gorgeous 80+ degree Florida the mall.  What a strange world the mall is.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 8

Day 8 was one of those extraordinary beautiful days in central Florida (about 15 degrees above our normal temp in mid January!).  So 83!  

My neighbor's garden is just such a pleasure to paint in.  Here we can plant our poinsettias right out doors and they thrive! And I love he has lots of interesting pots and beautiful colors.  

So after my hubby and I had lunch out in the adirondack chairs under our umbrella I gathered up my painting supplies.  I took my folding chair and wc and pens and my umbrella and spent a happy hour here.  As I worked the shade moved in across the painting.  In the background you can see our little Serenity Lake (more of a large pond) around which our group of homes is built.  

You will see the ink sketch I did first posted second.
And a photo of the scene I was looking at.  This is small 5" x 8" in my Moleskin sketchbook.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 7

Again a little "indoor en plein air" as I call it...where I am not in the studio but somewhere else in the house with my little travel bag.  I wonder if I am the first one in the challenge to make some art and then paint a picture of the art I just made?  Is that cheating?  :-)

I put the coffeepot that I just did a Zentangle® on a few days ago into a still life!  I did this little watercolor and ink sketch out on the Florida room on the glass table which gave the challenge of trying to infer the transparent glass.  I have a lovely poinsettia left from the holidays that I wanted to put into one of my sketches.  

I wanted a cup in the painting and made the mistake (a beginner mistake, what was I thinking?) of leaving it "tangent" to the pot instead of slightly in front.  Blah!  Oh well.  It's just a sketch.  I will remember next time.  Again this is in my Strathmore wet media 90# 9 x 12 sketchbook.  

Afterwards I went to Brenda Swenson's blog and asked her if she does her ink sketch first and then wc or the reverse.  (In this one I did ink last.)  But she has encouraged me to do the ink first (no pencil) and then add color.  Her recent wc and ink sketches done in person at the Rose Bowl are off to the right side of my blog.  She is amazing!!!  I am taking a class from her at Dillman's in Wisconsin in June.  Can't wait!!!
If you want to find a workshop in almost any medium with top quality artists google "Dillmans Resort" and see what they offer.  How lucky I am so close!!!  

We will be 82 here in central Florida today...I WILL be en plein air now!!!  Oh yippee.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

30 Day Painting Challenge Day 6

They say that anything that stands still long enough can be tangled.  This certainly goes to prove it!!!

I expected to put Zentangle® designs on the whole front of the cart but decided to hold it down to a small section for now.  Partly due to time.  Partly due to experimentation.  I did these with Sharpie Fine point ink pens.  (not PAINT pens.)  This is usually not recommended for anything out of doors.  Ink tends to fade after awhile.  

But I decided just to experiment with it first.  I can always go back over it in paint pen later.  And I will watch this section to see how it "weathers".  I did spray it with a light coat of clear mat acrylic spray.

I did also do some "shading" on the tangle using mat medium with a tiny bit of black acrylic paint making it a transparent gray.  (Just like the coffee pot.)  This took me about 1.5 hours to do.  

I found the working position to be difficult as in "real" Zentangle® you can move the paper tile around to get at the angle you work most comfortably.  Obviously not an option here.  I have seen photos of whole sides of cars that have tangles on well as walls.  So it can be done with patience and care.  You have to work at it in small time frames.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 5: Peach Crisp

Saturday...Day 5.  A very busy day around our house but this particular Saturday, my hubby was off to a model train show.  Somehow having him out from under foot always makes scheduling a little easier.  Ya know what I mean?

I had wanted to paint en plein air with my watercolors but the morning dawned gray and the timing was such that I decided to "pretend" to be en plein air in the dining room instead and combine two needed things.  Baking for the church coffee hour AND Day 5 of the challenge.  

So I assembled the ingredient for the Peach Crisp on the dining room table, gathered my sketch bag and sketch book and borrowed my hubby's stool and spent a lovely hour there.  (9 x 12" on 90 lb. on Strathmore wet media paper)

I once illustrated a cookbook in watercolor as a wedding gift.  It is a totally fun thing to do.  So gathering ingredients into a still life seemed a very natural thing to do!!!  In fact one of my favorite watercolors is the ingredients for Grandma's Nell's Sweet Tomato Condiment.  

Anyway, it was totally fun and I told Sherese later that before she baked her sugar cookies yesterday she should have sketched the ingredients!  (Sherese is in the Challenge too). You will get rave reviews on this Peach Crisp.  It's an old RVer's recipe.   

Ginny's Peach Crisp
9 x 13 pan. Heat oven to 350.
1. Layer 1- 28 oz can of sliced peaches (in heavy syrup) on the bottom of the pan.
2. Sprinkle over this 1 box of yellow or white cake mix (17-18 oz).
3. Chop up one stick of butter or margarine layering the chips all over the top of the cake mix.
4. Sprinkle over the top 1 cup of chopped pecans.

Bake 55 min to 1 hour.  Serves 12-15.  Use serving spoon to scoop out.  Serve plain, warm or cold, with or without whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 4

Well, I am hoping that my blogger friends will realize that creative plagiarism is a high form of a compliment.  Tangling a coffee pot was not my original idea.  I saw two of them done on Margaret Bremner's blog a week or so ago and I was mesmerized.  I mean, I had to try this.  

I purposely did not go back and look at her blog again until AFTER I tangled my pot because I did not want to be influenced into using the same tangles she did.  Which did not happen, by the way.  

I used Sharpie oil-based paint pens (Margaret used a different kind of pen) and then I did the shading with a tip from another experienced Zentangle blogger, Sandy Bartholomew, and I mixed a tiny bit of black acrylic paint into acrylic medium to make a transparent gray.  
After everything was dry I lightly sprayed two coats of  clear acrylic over it.  I am pretty happy with the results.  

I am guessing that of the 200+ artists in the 30 day challenge I am the only one that tangled a coffee pot.  :-)  

Friday, January 4, 2013

30 Day Challenge Day 3

This is acrylic on canvas board 11 x 15"
Done from a photo I took over on Siesta Key a few years ago.  

Everyone in FL paints coconuts.  We LOVE coconuts here.  Hahaha.  So I decided to go sort of funky by priming the canvas with all kinds of abstract images first.  I even used some molding paste which doesn't really show up in this photo.  The result sort of looks like a night-time image under a moon.  Not really what I was aiming for...but this was one of those "let it all just happen" paintings. I think I'd like to fuss with it some day...add some more's really a pretty dark painting.  But for's day 3.

I am thinking of going back to Zentangles for tomorrow briefly...and then may get out my sketch book and watercolors for a few days.  I like the idea of slipping back and forth in the mediums I enjoy most depending on time and mood.  My studio looks busy and very used!  

We are having a rainy few days here in central FL...not good for en plein air I'll be relying on photo references or still life for awhile.  

It's been so fun getting comments from new blogger friends/artist and to see what others are doing.  I have to smile at the plethora of fruit paintings going on.   They are simple and have wonderful colors and shapes and will stand still for you!  I love them too....apples, cherries, pomegranates, pears, etc.  And I jumped right in with my clementines the first day!   I guess coconuts is in that theme too!  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

30 Paintings Challenge Day Two

Tee Shirt Zentangle®

Cubine, Coaster, Striping, W2, Featherfall, Hollibaugh, Paradox, Hibred, Auraknot, IX, Laces

Well, a trip to Joann's fabric/hobby shop yesterday led me to this Day two art work.  You knew there would be tangles in this challenge, right?

They had a lot of post season sales and two things were tee shirts 4 for $10...very nice quality and fabric pens. Actually the pen is called "Tee Juice fine point fabric art marker."  Supposed to be washable and dry cleanable.  I did not find any white adult Tee Shirts in "large" so I ended up with a pretty bright yellow.

I did do light pencil strings but they were a little hard to see...but helpful.  And I did not plan anything in true Zentangle style but just picked some of my favorite tangle patterns and "had a go at it".

Another idea would be to trace on a simple recognizable shape like a bird or or tree and then tangle inside it.  If you made it as a gift it could be initials, etc.  For shading a simply used the pen itself and made tiny light lines where I wanted it to look shaded.  This took me about an hour.

I am very excited looking at the other samples of day one.  All different approaches.  Some people attacked a fairly large & complicated piece but that was just if they happened to have an "open day" to paint.  If you just have an hour or so to give to the project then you need to enter something much simpler and smaller.    

The 30 day challenge is one of my "blogs I follow" now off to the right side and so you can click on it and scroll down to see what people have posted from day 1 or soon day 2 will be up.

Great weather in central Florida on Wed and we are now looking at a little cool down into the 70s and maybe a little much-needed rain.  Warming up again next week.  Back in WI where we summer it is 16 degrees this morning!  Yikes.    

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Clementines

Acrylic 8 x 10
"The Clementines"

Day one of 30 painting challenge.
Just playing a little with my acrylics again after a long long time away from them.  Tinted the canvas with gold before starting (my favorite prime coat lately).  Just a little still life.  Gosh I need a lot of work in acrylics!  But fun.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Organizing the studio....

My Floida studio (divided from my Florida room by a folding screen) is a sunny corner with lots of windows.  A very pleasant place to paint.
I've taken Leslie's admonition to "organize" and "prepare" for the 30 day challenge ahead seriously.  I spent most of New Year's day morning (in my sunny Fl studio) sorting through odds and ends and counting out my paper/sketchbooks and canvases so that I don't have to think about supports during the month.  (note in the corner studio I have opted NOT to use that entrance to the house.  It's a very pretty glass door but I need the space!).  

Since I am a multi-media person I have decided to do about 10 acrylics, about 10 watercolors, and about 10 graphite sketches and/or Zentangles®. 

I've given serious thought to the subject matter.  I am leaning toward still life/floral but have also gathered up some of my favorite photographic references so I can allow my mood to dictate the direction a little.  We are having a beautiful spell of near 80 degree weather in central Florida which may draw me outside too.  Lots of options.

It was fun to see U of WI marching and playing in the Rose Bowl parade this morning.  GO Wisconsin.  The game is later this afternoon. You can see who I am rooting for!