Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Diva's Challenge: Zentangle String # 004

Cadent (v), Rain, Black Pearl, Striping.  3.5"

This was my first "string" challenge.  Kind of fun. Someone sends along the pencil lines or outlines that we all put our tangles into.  Everyone sees what they can come up with from the very same lines.

With all the Cadent tangle designs coming around these days I thought I'd try two new ones.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Last WC session at Clearwater Camp for Girls

July 30: Clearwater Camp for Girls, Minocqua, WI

This is the second session group of girls...I met with them just twice...Monday and Tuesday morning of this week.  I met with session I girls 4 times. We managed a small landscape, a continuous line drawing (see tomato and bottle in middle of table) for still life, a few wet in wet watercolor book marks with Zentangle, and lots of good art!  (note, one girl is missing in the photo as she had to be somewhere and had to leave early).  There were 11 in this group.

It was a coolish morning here...many had on sweat shirts and I closed all the windows today.  

I stayed for lunch with them and loved the singing.
Lots of humor and music and fun times for the girls.
There is a great website for this camp...just google Clearwater Camp, Minocqua, WI.  

The Ballenchain Zentangle Challenge

3.5" square Zentangle with Ballenchain and Rain
Title:  "The Manta Ray"

Monday, July 29, 2013

Remembering Vincent

"Vincent van Gogh died on this date in 1890. He had shot himself in the chest in a wheat field two days before, and managed to make it home to his own bed. The doctor decided not to remove the bullet, and his brother Theo was sent for. He rushed from Paris to his brother's bedside and reported that van Gogh's last words were "The sadness will go on forever."

I just finished reading Van Gogh's biography...the HUGE one!  Such a terribly sad life indeed.  I had no idea that his mental illness started so soon in life and that he had so much suffering for so long.  

The quote above (from Garrison Keillor's daily poem blog) is basically correct but according to the authors in my most recent book about his life, the gunshot wound was VERY mysterious and his painting equipment which he was seen leaving with in the wheat field was never found...they completely disappeared. The location of the wound was strange for a suicide attempt and Vincent did not own a gun and why would he then walk a good distance back into the village after wounding himself if it was a suicide?  The circumstances of anyone having a hand gun in the town where he was located was unlikely.  

Another plausible theory is that he was assaulted, robbed, and shot.  But he never told anyone that even though he died slowly and was able to talk for awhile.  All very mysterious. 

The painting above is my favorite, by the way.  Sorry it's not a good clear picture.  I love the sunflowers and Starry Night, of course.  But this is my favorite.  When I first came upon it in the original I stood for a long long time before it.  It's quite small.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Re-do

140# Arches  11 x 15 watercolor

Today I had a about an hour in the studio to "play around" a little.  On my "short list" was to take a few of the watercolors that I had done in the past few years that just "didn't make the cut" and see if I could maybe make them better.

This one, entitled "Bed and Breakfast", did not have a center of interest, not enough darks, and poor cast shadows.  The "bones" were good.  I liked the painting.  I loved the white porch and the lantern light with the fun shadow against it. 

So all the shadows got darkened and I added a surprise shadow across the walk in the left corner area. I added some darker interest lines along the roof line in the center area. I darkened some of the window panes in the center.  I brightened the flowers close to the center of interest and softened the edges of the painting with a wash of gesso. 

What d'ya think?

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Happy Birthday Zentangle

Knightsbridge, I-1 Grid, Owlz (v), Rain, Eez, Tipple, Fiore, Ving (v), Fringe, Black Pearl, Paradox (v)

Aunt Cordelia will turn 99 on August 4.  
Happy Birthday Aunt Corkie!
What a woman she is!

Here is her birthday card.
It is a two pencil string (one of my favorite string techniques these days.)

4 x 6 card stock (ZIA).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Quiet Cabin Moment

5.5 x 8.5 Stillman & Birn Sketchbook

"There is the beauty of the moment and 
and of the moment gone.
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendos,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after."

Wallace Stevens
Wabi Sabi
The Art of Everyday Life 
Diane Durston

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cool Summer Days in the North Woods

5.5 x 8 sketch on wc paper
Continuous Ink Sketch

We are having VERY coolish days in the north woods of Wisconsin and setting cold records right and left for mid to late July!  We are down in the 40s at night!  Good Grief!  Highs in the high 60s and very windy with clouds.  Rain predicted tomorrow.

This is so disappointing as this is the time of year we send for the grandkids so we can go boating and swimming and fishing and tubing!!!  We want campfires and marshmallows and jig saw puzzles on the screen porch (whine whine).

My daughter brought her kayaks up and so far no one has been very inspired to go out in the wind!
We could use a break here!!!  :-)

I am running around in jeans and sweatshirts which should be September clothing!!!  Sigh and double sigh.  I am doing a sketch now and then down at the lakefront.  The big pile of beach toys stands waiting by the kayak.  The kids are doing a lot of fishing off the pier and the shore with some success!  That's fun.  Hoping for better days ahead!  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Zentangle Demonstration last Thursday morning

Zentangle Demo July 19, 2013

It was fun sharing Zentangle again with folks who have never ever even heard of it!  Always amazing to me.  I had a lot of small book marks cut out of Canson wc paper strips that were left over when I cut out my 3.5 squares.  Just right for two or three small sample tangles to make.  

I think the Manitowish Art League wants me to teach a Zentangle class next summer some Wed afternoon after their meeting.  That would be fun.  I did it for the Lakeland Art League last summer.  

The Manitowish Show is over today (Sunday) and so I have to go up and pick up my paintings this afternoon after church.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Manitowish Waters, WI Art Show


Restsu Wabi Sabi

Lovely reception for the new show last night!
Harp music, lots of people, wonderful food.  
Here are two of my three pieces.  

The show will hang now through Sunday.  9-8 each day and Sunday until 2:30.  If you are in the area...drop by.  Lots and lots of interesting art.  Door prize is great and there is a raffle going on with 9 pieces in that as well.  Demos going on most days.
I am doing my demo this morning (10-1 pm).  I switched my time with Florie Enders as I have a conflict.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Diva's Challenge: Opus and Cirquital

Opus and Cirquital

The Diva's challenge is to put these two tangles together this week enough even though I am not a fan of Cirquital.  Still I feel that that is the reason for doing a "challenge". You should try a tangle that you didn't like the first time around or that you haven't tried in a long time.  See if it maybe changes your viewpoint.

Well, I am still not a big fan of it.  Which is funny cause I adore "Jetties" which is somewhat like it.  I do like it better with an "aura" around it.  

The string for this is a two pencil string again, ala Margaret Bremner.  You hold two pencils in one hand at different angles and draw the string at the same time.  It never fails to look interesting to me. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Space of One's Own

My little north woods studio has taken years to evolve.  It's still NOT on the art tour (hahaha).  

But it is MY space and has evolved for what I like to do which is watercolor, acrylic and mixed media work.  

First it was a just a corner.  
Then hubby put in a picture window...ah...natural light and a view of the lake and forest.  
Then came a ceiling fan...ahhhhh.
Then I got walls and a door!  Well, that seems a sensible next step.  
The some old but functional carpeting.
Then an actual enclosed I can heat it!
Then this season, the back shelving went in in the second picture...a place for framing, matting, and art work in safe spot.  No more stacking things up!! And more space for working in acrylic and mixed media so that I do not have to put one thing away before I start another!  

Monday, July 15, 2013

THE best garage sale find ever!!!

Original publishing 2000...this edition is 2005
On Saturday we went to garage sales (normal for us) and I think I may have found THE best bargain I ever  came up with.  This is a two-volume paper back set of books that has never been opened.  Gorgeous high gloss quality paper in them. (about 300 pages each) in a book cover set. I picked up the two volume set for 50 cents.  I kid you not.  

I looked it up on Amazon this morning.  I can't find this exact "set" but I found lots of separate books. This one included. The two authors are Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen.  My set is Vol 1 and 2.  

Some of the paperbacks new were as high as $95 to $165!  But I did find one 700 page volume used for about $20 which might be THE bargain of the year guys (in case the review below is interesting.) Since my books are about 300 pages each...this might be Vol 1 and 2 together.  

Did the Greek gods play tennis? What is the ambassador from the land of Alchemy telling us? What secrets are being told on the shores of the Island of Venus? And what is the monk doing on the Ship of Fools? These and other questions are asked about famous works of art in this book from the successful "Examining Paintings"-series. Suddenly the pictures come alive and relate previously untold stories. In their own language they recall earlier fashions and opinions, trends and intrigues, and tell of love, sin and lifestyles from the past. Powerful men and their mistresses, painters and models all come together in this illustrated history of culture. They cease to be two-dimensional figures of art and become flesh and blood before our eyes. This is thanks to the forensic sixth sense with which the two authors expose the secrets of the paintings under scrutiny. They spotlight each individual section of the painting, analyse them, and then put them back together again like a huge jigsaw puzzle, revealing the history of art as a lively panorama of forgotten worlds. For once, works of art are not to be enjoyed simply as art for art's sake, but as a living testimony of bygone times. 

And they do it with delightful language...easy to read and sometimes tongue in cheek.  I have NEVER read anything quite like it.  It is mesmerizing!  Here is a book not about painting technique or the painter's life but about the SUBJECT matter and how the artists rendering of it tells the story of the times and the life of the people at that time period.  ABSOLUTELY fascinating.  There is "some" discussion of the painter's style and rendering of the subject matter but mostly it is about "what does it mean" and what are symbols in the painting.  Things you NEVER would have noticed in a million years!  

I read the first 50 pages out on the screen porch last evening and I am absolutely in LOVE with this set of books! There goes my summer evening this year!  

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Y.A.F. = Yet Another Flower

Beez Ink Studio is having a little contest on her Facebook page to uses the Y.A.F. tangle in some unique way.  I am not quite sure from the way the challenge is worded exactly what the deadline is.  So I could be too late.

This time there is a prize of Yoga for Your Brain card pack.  Sounded like fun.  The tangle is inspired by henna designs from India.  

Sketch of Torpy Park Craft Fair

Craft Fair: Torpy Park Sketch 5.5 x 8"
It turned out to be a lovely day.  I would not have given you a nickel for the weather at 7 am on Saturday.  But oh ye of little faith!  It blew off and was warm and breezy.  The tent craft show in the park in Torpy Park had great weather after all.  Participants told me that the crowds they had hoped for didn't show. And sales were "moderate".  Which everyone says is partly the economy and partly that there are tons of craft shows in the summer.  

We were there from 2-3 just before they started close up.  It was a nice selection of things from soap to candles to jewelry to pottery to children's toys, to north wood furniture, etc.  The "fine art" that I pictured in yesterday's blog was held indoors and about 3 blocks from the outdoor show.  That show ended at 3 pm also. 

Today I will be dropping off 3 pieces for the Manitowish, WI Art Show.  That opens with a "Patron's Night" on Wednesday for the artists/guests and for those who have given $ to support scholarships.  It is a catered affair with live music and very fun.  I think I heard Jane say we have 95 artists and 240 pieces of art!  (I am glad I am not on the arranging committee!)  I do have three brand new pieces in this show.  As my blog followers they won't be new to you.   But I will make you look at them in this nice new setting anyway!  Hahaha.

Show hours to the public are Thursday-Sat 9-8 and Sunday 9-2:00.  Take Hwy 51 to Manitowish and the Community Center is next to the library on the left side. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lakeland Art League Show TODAY

The Garden Gate (wc)

At the Lake Side (wc en plein air)

Island Art Walk Fine Art Show is being held in Minocqua this today until 3 pm.  It's a really nice location at the Campanile Arts Center and the first time our new display boards for the Lakeland Art League are being used.  

It's a small show...only about 30 paintings, I think, which is kind of a shame.  Lots of room there.  We were only allowed to bring two paintings.  Maybe next year three?  The downside of this show is that it is only one evening and then one day 9-3.  A lot of work for such a short show.    

This show had it's opening reception last night (with dessert, coffee, and punch.  I was a judge for the Young People's art (along with two other gals) and that was fun to do.

The show runs in conjucntion with an outdoor Craft Fair held in Torpy Park in Minocqua and unfortunately it looks like rain today!    

Tomorrow I'll be bringing my 3 pieces to the Manitowish Waters Art League Show.  That one starts Wed evening with Patron's night and runs Thurs-Sunday noon.  If you are in the north woods of WI during this time, do drop in.  95 artists showing work...especially nice show.  I'll be doing a demo Thursday afternoon but there will be live demos going on all through the show.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Killing Two Birds With One Stone

Knightsbridge Mono-tangle  3.5 square

Of course, this is technically a ZIA because there is something somewhat recognizable in it AND due to the color added.  But I couldn't help myself.

Roy's challenge this week is a Knightsbridge Mono-tangle.  Zach's challenge this week is to create a "postage stamp" with an elephant on it.  

So, since time is a limiting factor...I combined the two challenges.  Here is a postage stamp with an elephant with Knightsbridge mono-tangle!  Voila.

Being a bird lover, I kind of hated to use the "killing two birds..." but it does say just what I needed to in a few words.  Audubon, please forgive me.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

En plein air on July 11

Kemp National Resources Station Woodruff, Wisconsin

Kemp Station Boat House on Lake Tomahawk...continuous line drawing 3.5x 8

Slightly different view of same boat house...unfinished 10 x 11" on Arches 140#

I can't remember a nicer weather day to be outside in the North Woods!  Wow.  Kemps is about 30 minutes from us on Lake Tomahawk in Woodruff, WI and you get to it on a 2.5 mile winding road through the American Legion Forest.

It is one of THE prettiest wooded roads around winding through thick gorgeous tall forests.  I saw 5 deer (one a speckled fawn)on the drive down.  The lakefront is gorgeous and has many lovely log cabin structures with stone foundations.  But we all congregated around the boat house and did various point of view on it or surrounding lake and forest.  One person did an abstract of the "feeling of the forest" in acrylic!  Four worked in oil and I was the only watercolorist I think.  Joan where were you????

Mosquitoes were not "too" bad.  I did spray up before starting and did wear long sleeves and long pants and socks.  I know how to dress for the woods!  We all went to Hoggie Doggie's for lunch and a critique and fun art discussion.  Sue took a nice photo of some of the art to put on the Outdoor painters blog.  Definitely a great spot to paint. 

My small sketch went fine...the larger painting needs more work...darker darks for sure...more interesting shadow work.  I may post it again.  

Lakeland Gallery at the Great Northern Cafe in Minocqua

Minocqua Brewery (two pieces acrylic) and Thirsty Whale (acrylic)

The Great Northern Cafe in Minocqua is adjacent to the US post office.  On the street facing the parking lot.  You will see "Lakeland Art Gallery" sign in the window of the cafe.  

They serve a delightful lunch with neat unusual sandwiches and unusual teas etc.  Fun place for breakfast and lunch.  In the back area of the restaurant you can sit in "our gallery" area and look at great local art or even buy great local art.

While hanging the show, we sold one piece before it even got hung!  My two little pieces here are en plein air pieces I did of local business (both restaurants) that are well known tourist spots.  So I thought I'd give it a shot to sell them.  

Today (Thursday) is sunny and cool with a forecast of about 80.  So I am off to my outdoor painters. Am late. Gotta go.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Diva Challenge: Tangle with a Stencil

Crescent Moon, Vortex, Henna Drum, Shard

The Diva's idea here is to find one of your stencils OR to use something in your studio or home "as" a stencil, then to tangle it.

Actually, I think it might have been more creative to do the latter.  Now that I think about it.  But it's a terribly busy week and I am not quite as creative as normal! 

Anyway this is a stencil I had in my multi-media bin. I traced it once right up and once upside down sort of making a "floral" arrangement.  Whatever in the world possessed me to chose Vortex for the petals?! I obviously was demented.  They took forever!  

I am not too thrilled with the "stencil" thing in general BUT I do think that if I looked around the house to find some really "cool" shapes I know that I would enjoy it more as I have worked in shapes before.  

Am getting ready now for my "demo" which is a week from tomorrow.  And my hubby has completely demolished my studio this afternoon putting in new shelves which will be "swell" when finished but totally upsetting everything for the moment!  The price of progress! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Clearwater Girls Watercolor Class

My last session with this group of girls for summer 2013

Some of the girls small sketches (with format and printing) note blue finger nails.  I love it.

Thanks for a great 4 sessions girls!!!  Very fun.
I had the same group of 6-9 girls for 4 two hour sessions.  Some really creative kids!  13-14 years old.  

I have two more sessions the end of this month but it will be with session II girls.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sketching on the Fourth of July weekend...

"Waiting For the Fourth of July Parade"
5.5 x 8
(Clothesline Alphabet from Hand Lettering by Marci Donley & DeAnn Singh)
Lettering in Derwent Inktense Pencil: Sun Yellow, Teal Green, Fuchsia

"Time to Bail the Boat" 5.5 x 8
Winsor Newton Pan Watercolors (Field Box)
Water-filled pen
#02 Micron Pen
"Bungalow Alphabet"

I have been using that old "field box" by Winsor Newton for YEARS and years.  It has it's own little water bottle & travel brush but this time I just brought along a water brush which is pre-filled with water. I did the little truck sketch in a folding chair while sitting and waiting for the parade to start in Lac du Flambeau!  

I did the second sketch down at our deck on the lakefront the next morning after hubby and I had our walk.  I take my coffee down (he takes his Suduko puzzle) and we sit about half an hour and just take in the beauty of the morning.  I am reminded of how many times I have been told you don't have to walk around a lot looking for subjects to sketch...they are everywhere!  

We have had gorgeous weather the 4th and 5th of July in northern Wisconsin!  What a nice break after a miserable June!  We may get one more day of this paradise and then they say rain on Sunday afternoon.  But I think we can safely say that summer has come.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Zentangle Demo on July 18

Left book mark: Hibred, W2, Dex
2nd bookmark:  Schway, Fiore, Hurry
3rd bookmark: Flutter Pie, Jester, Rain
Last on right: Loopy, Coil, Twistie, Tipple, Black Pearl

On Thursday, July 18, from 1-4 pm I will will be demonstrating Zentangle at the Manitowish Community Center. This is on Hwy 51 next to the Manitowish, WI library.  

I will have multiple book marks like these (only blank, of course) about 5.5" long and 2" wide for you to fill in if you would like to make one.  You can choose a pattern from these above or I'll have many other patterns available. 
I will furnish pens, pencils, shading stumps for the activity...most of these take from 20-30 minutes to complete but you could shorten this by choosing only two patterns instead of 3. 

I will also have some paintings and items that I have created using Zentangle patterns for you to see.  I hope you will drop by.  The Manitowish Art League Show will be there and it is a wonderful show!  It opens Wed night the 17th with a private Patron's night.  But then is open to the public Thursday the 18th through Sunday noon the 21st.  This is one of THE best shows in northern Wisconsin. 

There will be live demos going on at the show each in the morning and one in the afternoon Thursday through Saturday.  

Weather in the north woods is improving now...we are seeing some 75 degree sunny days!  Yippee.
(Note...Thursday Manitowish has a farmer's market right next to the community center.  So lots to do!