Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Yahoo!  I finally came up with the image I will demonstrate next Tuesday night at the Kanuga Water media Workshop.  This is a process I can complete in the hour and a half allotted.  Now I can relax and figure out how to pack all the art supplies and keep within the weight limits imposed by the airlines.

Friday, March 25, 2011


The last painting was more detailed than I really wanted, so I thought for awhile about a new approach.  With the help of Photoshop Elements, I created a "notan" 2 value pattern.  Using a failed painting, I drew the shapes of the light pattern on with a brush and gesso.  Then I brushed a dark value of Dr. Martin's Hydrus over what was left.  When that layer dried, I collaged some stamped collage paper over part of the painting, then covered the entire page with plain white tissue.  So far I like the effect.  I going to go slowly so I don't get too fussy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I have been procrastinating finishing this painting because I was "stuck"  It wasn't coming together in a way I was happy with but I couldn't figure out how to make it work.  Things got so bad, I started cleaning house.  My husband asked if we were expecting company.  As it turned out, our grandson was on his way which was extra motivation to clean.  I took the painting to my critique group this morning and their expert eyes gave me the information I needed. This was the extra motivation to paint!  I was able to come home and finish it up.  It feels good to be able to move on to the next one.  

I hope all of you have a critique group to attend.  I love seeing what others are doing and learn so much from everyone's comments about each painting that is presented.  I also find it extremely helpful to hear what others see in my paintings.  Because I know the intent behind each of my paintings, I don't always see what they see.  I think I get eye fatigue, as well, where I don't notice every detail after looking at something for an extended period.  I get by with a little help from my friends and I cherish them.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Here is the latest drawing from my iPad using the Sketch Club application.  I posted the beginning drawing on my other blog, Drawn from Limb to Limb.  To see how this drawing started, check it out.  I start by enlarging the screen but I don't really have a sense of how big the drawing will be or how much space is available.  I guess that comes with time and practice.  This is the finished product without any cropping so you can see there is quite a bit of white space around the drawing on the left and bottom.  The next attempt will be in color.  Once I master that, I think I am really in business.  I wish I had timed this drawing.  I think it took around 1/2 hour but I'm not sure.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011


This painting is going much slower than I had hoped but it is coming along.  I am using Dr. Ph Martin's Spectralite liquid acrylics and they have a very bright quality.  Hopefully, I will be able to finish it up tomorrow.  The weather report is for rain, perfect for staying inside and painting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Here is the latest sketch from my iPad.  I did quite a few but erased most of them.  I thought she was kind of cute, so I saved it.  I purchased a stylus to draw with more accuracy and I am having so much fun, it should be ilegal.  

I am working on a serious painting but, for some reason, it is going slowly and I am working too tightly.  I am photographing my progress, which I shall share when the painting is done.

I took the day off to go with a friend to a major exhibit in San Francisco.  Every year top floral designers are selected to create amazing pieces that are based on different art pieces at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.  The exhibit runs for only one week.  The museum opens at 10.  We were at the parking garage at 10:15  and it was full!!!!!!!!!  This is a huge underground parking facility.  Naturally, I wore my "cute" shoes instead of serious walking shoes so I couldn't hike very far.  This also meant that the crowd was going to be 10 deep inside the museum making it very difficult to see the pieces.  We gave up looking for a parking place within walking distance and drove to another museum, The Legion of Honor, where there was an amazing exhibit of over 60 trompe l'oeil masterpieces inspired by the history of costume. all made entirely of paper!  We happened to arrive just as the docent was starting to take a group around.  I sometimes forget  how much more enjoyable an exhibition is with a docent.  This woman was outstanding.  The show was called Pulp Fashion, the Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave.   If you ever have the opportunity to see this exhibit, don't miss it.  In the meantime, look Isabelle up on the internet to get a feel for what she does.  There were no photos allowed.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I spent a lovely day yesterday at a Fine Crafts show at Ft. Mason in San Francisco.  It was a terrific show full of wonderful objects, clothing and jewelry.  I must have been in a spending mood because I gave a definite boost to the economy.  My favorite purchase was this wire sculpture.  I discovered the title "Goddess" after I got home.  I particularly liked that the body type had an eerie resemblance to me and the gesture was perfect.  I was able to loop the filament wire around the ceiling recessed lighting canister which is on a spring.  I just pulled it down a little, looped the plastic line around and pushed it back!  So my inspirational goddess is soaring high in my office.  A scene from the movie "Logan's Run" pops into my mind but I push it down and go for the positive influences.  But this sculpture wasn't my exciting discovery!

At one of the booth's where I made a purchase, she used her iPad to process the transaction.  There is now this wonderful application available for electronic devices such as the iPad and iPhone, Droid and similar devices.  It is called Square which is a FREE SERVICE!!!  As a merchant you only pay when you process a card and it is 2.75% if you swipe the card and 3 something% if you don't swipe a card.  The card swiper is this small white square device that plugs into the iPad (et al) which they send you , FREE.  There is no monthly fee or any other charges.  There is no minimum activity required. This means that artists can now afford to accept credit cards at their open studios or other venues.  The Square service includes sending a receipt by e-mail to the customer AND the vendor gets an email describing the transaction.  If you have every looked into the possibility of being able to accept credit card payment be sure and check this out.   I am signing up today.  I want to be ready to handle all sales that may come my way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


This started out as a nude from a Don Andrews workshop.  It wasn't terrible but it wasn't ever going to see a mat or frame so it was a perfect candidate for "repurposing" (I love the new phrases that come along!)
The colors were quite nice so I wanted some of that to show through.  I took a sheet of Japanese lace paper that had a very small grid pattern and layed it ontop of the painting.  Then I squeegeed gesso through the weave and lifted the lace paper off.  For some reason, although an acrylic product, does not act as a glue so I was able to get the paper off and let it dry.  It will be reusable many times!  The actual figure was still too obvious so I took some cheesecloth and layed it over the head and squeegeed more gesso over that and lifted it off.  I then proceeded to repeat this last action in several different areas.  When the gesso was dry, reversed the orientation of the painting with the (former) head on the bottom and then I positioned the tissue drawings onto the page, trying out various compositions, and settled on this one.  I drew around the figure with a damp brush and pulled the excess tissue away giving a soft broken edge rather than a cut one.  I glued the pieces down with diluted matte medium and was very impressed with the strength of this tissue paper.  I was surprised to find such a difference in the paper.  
Here is the result.  I like the mottled background with the little squares.  I am anxious to start painting on it.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I sat at the gallery today and took lots of art to work on.  It was a very productive day.  We had a fair amount of visitors for a change, including my friend, Bonnie, accompanied by Beth.  Beth has a great sketch blog you can check out at  What a wonderful surprise.  

I found some different tissue in my supply bin.  It is archival acrid free tissue by Lineco and it is stronger than what I normally use.  I think I bought it because it was on Anne Bagby's DVD but I never used it.  I was able to draw with a coffee stirrer stick on this tissue and I used red India Ink.  Some went through the tissue and caused the paper to stick to the gator board in spots but it didn't tear when I carefully pulled it away.  Here are the two drawings I did.  I can move them around and even turn them over if I want to change the direction of some of them.  I am excited about this way of trying out various compositions.
After I drew these images, I decided to paint on another page I had prepared a few days ago.  This one is  sharpie pen drawing on good quality tissue, collaged on top of an abstract collage design.  I purchased some Dr. Ph Martin's Spectralite Liquid Acrylics and wanted to try them out.  I like the paints very much.  I added some white ink where needed.    I'm not sure if I should cut this painting apart and mat each image separately.  I may use a little gloss medium as it looks quite matte and I can't decide if like the contrast that exists now.  Always so many little decisions.  

Monday, March 7, 2011


Here is the painting I did as a demonstration for the Cambrian Art Club in San Jose, California.  Actually, this is how the painting was finished .  I had to move the right eye over a tad.  I wasn't sure if it was possible since I was using thalo blue, but fortunately I was able to do so.  Here is the painting after the demo.
I have to work flat so I am never sure how it looks until it is dry and I can stand it up. This was a good start but it needed some serious work. You can see the adjustments I made.  I am happy with the final results.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I am working on my Kanuga presentation.  I am thinking I will collage a drawing onto the altered surface and then paint from there.  I am trying different variations of this idea.  This drawing was done on some sort of Japanese paper I have.  The drawing was done with a coffee stirer and ink.  I really liked the results.  The surface of this paper is very soft  and is difficult to collage down because it starts to fuzz up a bit.  I put it over a surface that I had used ink and bleach on.  The bleach causes the ink to turn brown and yellowish. It continues to bleed through with interesting results.  I like this piece the way it is and don't think I want to add color to it.
This piece is tissue paper with a sharpie ink drawing on top collaged onto a piece that had very colorful, high gloss collage on it.  I love the random color that shows through the tissue.  I will definitely paint on top of this page.

This page had a red ink drawing on tissue collaged over a collaged background.  I am leaning toward this idea but need to see how the red line works into the painting.  
This was an experiment to see how a drawing on newsprint would work as collage material.  I was surprised to see it allows the background to subtly show through and works well as collage material.  I added the magenta ink while it the sheet was still wet so it bled.  I'm not sure I like that result but I can add paint on top and modify the effect.  

I need to finalize my ideas so I can stop stressing over this demo.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Everyone who has been to Bruges says it was their favorite trip of all.  After seeing the movie "In Bruges" I dreamed of seeing this magical place, myself.  That's why I was so excited to accept the "artist in residence" for a fabulous week in Belgium this August.  I will be working with the artists, creating watercolor sketches of our adventures, taking tons of reference photos while our tour guide, Jackie, will be making sure the non-artists in the group are soaking up the Flemish culture!  I love that it will be a small group experience with such an experienced and knowledgable guide.  I have heard from a past participant that the accommodations and food are really special.  Can't wait!!  I just bought a few books on the region so I can enjoy the anticipation even more by reading a little every night.  There are 3 spots left if you wish to join in.  Just click on the blog post title and it will take you to the website for additional information.
In the meantime, I am working on a few fun lessons to share on the trip.

Indulge your inner artist. Join me on a painting workshop in Belgium, August 27-Sept 3.
You will be enchanted by the Capital of the Flemish painters, Bruges or the Venice of the North as well as Belgium's specialties like chocolate, lace making, beer, diamants and waffles.
The workshop is limited to 7 participants and we only have 3 spots left. 
 To learn more or sign up, visit

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I read about a new application for the iPad so I decided to download it and see what I could do. It is called Sketch Club and I love how it gives the look of charcoal or conte crayon.  This one is less complicated than some of the other drawing programs and I am finding it easier to figure out.  Here is the first image I created in this program.

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