Monday, January 31, 2011


I flew home from Portland this afternoon and found several wonderful surprises!  First was this tote bag I had custom made by Flashbag.  I didn't know they had sent it already.  This is a practical form of advertising if you have them put your artwork on one of the bags.  It cost extra to have a custom image, but what the heck.  I can't wait to take it out for an airing!

The second wonderful surprise was finding all three of my blogs mentioned on Donna Zagotta's blogsite highlighting 29 blogs to watch this coming year.  She had asked for nominations, so a big "Thank You" to Donna and all of you who mentioned my blogs.  It is such an honor to be singled out.  There are some other terrific blogs on the list, so check it out.

Tomorrow night is another live drawing session at the Palo Alto Art Center, so I will have something new to post to Drawn from Limb to Limb.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I had a nice visit from  a blogger friend,   Gary Everest , on Friday.  It is one of the great things about this internet opportunity to make friends you would never meet any other way.  Pen pals with faces and interesting work.  Check out his blog and his work.  This is a very talented individual.  He was immensely flattering.  It's always a surprise to find people think you are famous and intimidating.  I'm just "regular folks".  Stop by if you are in my neighborhood and say "hi".  I would love to meet you, too!   

Thursday, January 27, 2011


As luck would have it, my draw paired TEXTURE as a secondary element with LINE as the primary element.  These just happen to be my two favorite elements.  Here are my demos for the day.

The first painting is done on YUPO.  I used watercolor crayons, watercolor sticks and Dr. Martin Hydrus liquid water color straight from the dropper full strength.  Then I spritzed and sprayed with water and alcohol.  I am very pleased with the results.  I will work with this idea again!

The second painting was drawn on top of  an old painting that had been collaged with different hand painted tissue papers.  I used a Daniel Smith watercolor stick, a Stabilo watercolor crayon and acrylic inks.   I will be developing this combination of materials more in the coming months.

The class did some exciting work today.  Everyone is very engaged in the process.  I love when everyone gets into the spirit of experimenting and trying new things.  Sometimes what doesn't turn out is the best lesson.

I finally found a new place to create a slide show.  Thank you, Photobucket!!!!  Here are the paintings from day two dealing with shape and texture.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Computers can be so darn exasperating!!!!  I have had the worst time trying to connect to the Internet using my host's wifi connection.  Somehow I figured something out tonight because I finally was able to get it to work.  

We just completed day 3 of the workshop.  All 21 participants are having too much fun!  They are embracing the concept and running with it.  I am hoping to be able to create a slide show to share with everyone.  That will be my next tehno challenge!  In the meantime, here are the first two demos I painted on Tuesday.  The first one is showing VALUE as the dominant element. Painted on Tyvek. Everyone, including me, draws a slip with a color combination to work with.  This one was green, violet and orange.  

The second painting has SHAPE as the dominant element with analogous colors of yellow green, green and blue green.  This one was painted on textured gesso.

The group talked me into dealing with texture tomorrow instead of Friday.  Half the group are already texture junkies.  I think I draw them to me.  The rest of the class will be texture converts by the end of the day.  

Friday, January 21, 2011


I bought another Daily Boxed Calendar.  I decided to pass on the quilt one and settled on DOODLE A DAY...unleash your inner Picasso!
I am not much of a doodler but I thought this would be fun way to practice some of my pattern designing.  If the prompt suggests a figure or face, I am going with that.  Otherwise, I am dividing the space up and filling it with various patterns.  I am trying to remember to photograph the initial squiggle.  You will have to guess where it is in the first doodle.  The hand came out a little lame,  but the rest came out satisfactory.  This should be a fun project.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This was my favorite drawing from the Tuesday night model session at the Palo Alto Art Center.  Only $5 for 2 1/2 hours.  I am focusing on figures this year, so I am making the effort to get to lots of live drawing sessions.  I am tired at night, so it is a effort of will to drag myself out.  The place fills up very quickly.  I barely had a place to work.  Initially I was sitting on a tall stool.  My back was paying the price, big time, so I found a chair.  Fortunately, I was able to see the model when I was seated in the chair.

I have started another blog dedicated to my figure drawings.  You can see the rest of the nights efforts there.  I had a difficult time finding a name that wasn't taken!  Lots of bloggers out there. was available.

I found a fabulous new book EXPRESSIVE FIGURE DRAWINGExpressive Figure Drawing: New Materials, Concepts, and Techniques by Bill Buchman.  He has some different approaches to drawing the figure.  I love the combination of materials and the looseness of his work.  I also got a dvd of his creative painting techniques. Creative Breakout, The Art of Freedom [Interactive DVD] I am excited and ready to try out these ideas.

I received great news while in San Diego.  The trip to Bruge has enough participants to be a definite GO!  There are 3 spaces left, so if you are thinking about joining us, contact French Escapades asap.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


This is the last demo I did for the San Diego workshop.  It is acrylic ink on very thin YUPO.  I am still not happy with the background.  It turns out that alcohol removes acrylic ink very easily, so I will wipe out some stenciled letters, I think, to make the background more interesting.  I was experimenting with the surface.  Lots to explore here.   I am very frustrated that the website isn't working properly and I can't get the slide show accomplished.  I can't figure out the Blogger version, either.  Maybe when I get home I will try again.d

I am on my way home for the next few days.  Repacking and leaving for a workshop in Portland the week after next.  I had such a good time with everyone in San Diego.  A wonderful group of artists and an amazing workshop team.  Overall a very impressive group of people.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Portland again.  I love going around the country making new friends!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I am trying to create a slide show of the work from Day 2 but the web site is not working properly and I cannot get it to "save" the slide show.  If anyone knows how to fix this problem from my end, let me know.  

This painting started out as a failed painting.  I collaged several hand painted and stamped tissue papers I had made previously, leaving a little of the original paper for contrast.  When the collage dried, I painted on top with Hydrus Liquid Watercolor by Dr. Ph Martin.  I used a little white gesso for the opaque areas.  The challenge was I brought the wrong set of colors.  All my favorite colors are sitting in my studio!  So this was done with Thalo Green, Sepia, Cobalt Violet, Permanent red (practically day-glo [yuck]) and lemon yellow.  Somehow I made it work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today is the second day of the Variations Workshop.  I am working with an exciting group of artists.  Everyone is so helpful and friendly. It is a real joy to be here.  Yesterday we worked on creating shapes and changing shapes in the morning.  The afternoon was spent working on value patterns for the morning drawings.  Today we had something to start a painting with.  Everyone made at least two paintings today.  There was amazing creativity exhibited.  We had a little show and tell at the end of the day.  I took photos but I am too tired tonight to make the slide show, so stay tuned for tomorrow night.

Tuesday is the meeting night of the society and I was the program!!  The top painting is my demo for the evening.  It was drawn and painted in less than an hour.  It is a fairly straight forward portrait.  The bottom painting is my demo for the class this morning.  It is a very stylized version of the same gentleman.  I want to do another painting of this image with a few changes,  The second image is painted with acrylic inks.  This is the first time I tried these paints on this particular paper.  It dried very fast, which I liked but the lines feathered quite a bit.  Not sure  why this is happening.  I will have to explore a little more when there is more time.  

Between the end of class and the demo, we made a little trip to a Dick Blick store which was lots of fun. Across the street was a great Italian restaurant where we had an excellent dinner and time to visit a bit.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Monday starts my workshop in San Diego for the San Diego Watercolor Society.  I am looking forward to meeting lots of new friends there.  There are over 15 people in the class, so it should be very exciting.  Because I can drive to this workshop, I have practically emptied my studio of supplies.  The van is such a great vehicle for carrying everything.  We started out Friday afternoon and arrived in Cambria (down the road from the Hearst Castle) in time to meet our son and his wife for dinner.  They have just purchased a fantastic vacation rental house in Cambria with an ocean view.  I brought down the last of the paintings I finished framing to dress up the walls here.  In exchange,  we can stay here when ever we want as long as it isn't rented out.  I am even thinking of conducting a small workshop here at the house.  That is on the back burner, for now.

I just bought a new Moleskine small watercolor sketchbook.  I decided I needed to do more live sketching, so I have done 3 little paintings in it.  This is the best of the view from the restaurant at lunch.  We had just come back from seeing the Elephant Seals.  There were hundreds on the beach, many with brand new babies.  I was hoping to see one birthed but after watching for quite awhile, we gave up.

Tomorrow we will drive most of the day to reach San Diego.  There we stay with our oldest son.  It makes it extra special when I can combine teaching with visits with my children.  It is a wonderful way to start the new year.  Life is good.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I do think there is a difference between setting goals and making resolutions for the New Year.  Each day flows into the other in a seamless stream but there is something about a fresh start, a beginning point.  New Years is a good time for that.  Especially, after the crazy rushing around in December, it feels cathartic to be still and think about ideas and goals for the coming year.  Focusing in on a few things helps me to learn, grow and be more creative, and this is actually my true goal which doesn't change from year to year.  Working in a series, each successive painting growing out of an idea from the last helps me to delve deeper into an area of interest.  This year I have decided to work with the figure, explore pattern, and experiment with acrylic materials.  I have exhausted my interest in self portraiture ( I am so sick of my own face) but still am intrigued with collage and the potential of working with a grid.  Lastly, I want to explore color using Robert Burridge's color wheel based on Munsell's color system.  This gives me lots to work with.

I have had very little time to paint since I returned from Israel but I did find a fabulous new way to create
a stamp for my exploration of pattern.  This stamp was created on a sheet of colored foam.  This is a very inexpensive material found in craft stores.  It is usually in the children's craft section.  The beauty of this stuff is how easy it is to cut into shapes and can be incised with a ball point pen to create a pattern. Even better is this nifty tool I bought at Michael's Craft Store.  It is a wood burning set PLUS a soldering iron, all in one.  All you have to do is change the point.  This set has quite a few tips.    The one I have used has a good point on it so you can do precision work.  I not only used it on the foam sheet, but I used it as a stencil cutter on clear contact paper.  Fabulous!!!  I used my 40% off coupon, making it a good value!

Since I am not a doodler, or natural pattern designer, I have found Zentangle to be a wonderful resource for pattern ideas.  has lots of patterns organized alphabetically by name.  Each pattern is shown step by step.  I am keeping my eyes open for other pattern ideas.  They are everywhere when you pay attention.

I hope everyone is off to a good start on their 2011 goals!

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