Thursday, July 31, 2008


When I get too far away from my lettering the letters call to me..."Come, come... and write something with us....we're waiting..."

So I have to go and write something. I wish I could do more involved art pieces with calligraphy
like my current hero--
Check her out. Well, maybe one day I can do that---sometimes I come close but hers is so great and her letterforms are great too. (There I go again---comparing myself to others---) But admiring others is good. And she is great!

So here is a little ditty I did. I am bad about writing things just once. If I would just write them one more time it might be a bit better. I should do that---write it a few times and pick the best. Usually the first one turns out the best though. The more you write it---the more the pressure to get it perfect. AHH--there's that P word again!!!
APR (Artist Approval Rating)--9---I like it---simple and colorful. I might post something else today. I think I will paint today. We'll see what happens.

Come forth, painting muse....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I have been playing around with watercolor today. Yes, you could say I am trying to find myself. Oh, yes, the existential question...who am I??  Well, for me, it depends on the day. One day I am a watercolorist, the next, an acrylic painter, the next, a calligrapher, the next Mattie Lou gets to play.

 Mattie Lou, my little free, happy artist self, should not be suppressed so much!  But the other artist selfs (selfs?) have fun too.


Just messing around with watercolor. I still think it might be the hardest medium but I do love watercolor. I wasn't looking at anything for this picture and I think it is WAY better to be looking at a picture or photograph. Then you can see the darks and light much better and where the light is coming from. Where is the light coming from in this picture-----who knows??!!!

ARP-artist approval rating?---51/2---not great.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Fun flowers---quick fun flowers. I didn't have much time at all today to create so it is always fun to fall back on fun flowers outlined in black. An old standby for sure but so much fun to do. The background is actually a wash I did and had saved in my image file. Not fine art.......but-- is it???....hummmmm....Maybe--maybe not.
I am very much looking forward to my Canon Rebel coming in because my intention is to start to create an image file of pnotographs I want to paint. I don't have any photography skills but hopefully my eye for layout and design might help---if that eye is open that is.
Remember the APR---artist approval rating?---I always forget to add that on my pieces. This one would be a 7.50because it's ok but doesn't blow my socks off---except that it was fun. For that it gets a 10.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Here is the watercolor from my class. I really enjoyed the class and want to do some more landscapes. I am getting a new camera so I can take some good shots. I am getting a Canon Rebel---my sweet husband is giving it to me for our 32nd wedding anniversary.  Can't wait to get it---it should come soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This is actually not from my watercolor class this weekend. This is my current doodle obsession. It is fun fun fun. Love to do it. I colored it in with markers but watercolor pencils will be my next thing to try with it.
My watercolor class with Tead Head this weekend was great. I enjoyed it and painted a fairly passable picture that I liked. I learned alot. I don't have my camera here at home so I can't take a picture of it. I will post it tomorrow. I will take more classes with him. I do love all paint mediums but actually watercolor may really be the hardest. Acrylics might be the easiest but knowing your colors and what makes mud (arggggg!!) is very important to know! Shadows and values are most important too. It is a learning curve. If you don't go around that curve then you will never be a good painter. I am still turning around that curve.
Teds site is:
Check him out.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I have been in the watercolor workshop today and have learned so much from this excellent teacher, Ted Head. Watercolor is the complete opposite from acrylics or oils but I really love watercolor. I am actually working on a landscape in class but this is what I tried out here at the studio. He showed us how to do wood. I could critique it until the cows come home--but I won't. It actually looks pretty good but I will take it into class tomorrow and ask him about some of the leaves and the darks around them. Painting is fun---but the secret is......JUST DO IT!!!

Also....again... I heard this from a painting teacher---IF YOU CAN'T DRAW IT YOU CAN'T PAINT IT!!

So, we must draw----we just must!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Here is a Poppy picture that I had misplaced and wanted to post a week or so ago. I just found it so I thought I would go ahead and post it since hopefully I will have something  to post from my class. I probably won't get to post anything tomorrow since I will be in the class all day then off to a dinner. So here are the Poppies---and below are the doodles.


I am in the doodling phase as you can see. It's Mattie Lou actually---she likes to doodle.  What can I say---she's free!  Martha Lever Lettering and Design is taking a bit of a rest. She will come back with some calligraphy and fine art at some point. She gets tired and overwhelmed sometimes.

I am taking a watercolor class tomorrow and Sunday afternoon so maybe I will turn out something good. The teacher is Ted Head a very good teacher and water colorest here in Jacksonville. I really love watercolor so it should be fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


It's been a doodle-day today as I spent some time and watched fabulous YouTube videos of people doodling and drawing fastastic art stuff. YouTube is a must for all artists. There are so many genius undiscovered artists it just blows my mind. I can sit for hours . It is also a great thing especially if you hit a dry spot---or your muse gets bored with you!
So I scanned a few of my doodles which I always do in my wonderful composition notebooks that I cover with fabulous scrapbook paper and embellish with ribbon or co-ordinating paper. So fun and every easy. (I should sell some on my Etsy site.) I tried to get rid of some of the lines. I probably should doodle in my "sketch pad" but for some reason I am freer in my composition notebook. I am crazy that way---the finer the sketch pad the more up tight I am. I'm very wierd that way(...........a blank sheet of white paper--YIKES!!!!!!!)
Any way, Mattie Lou preferes the lined paper anyway.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Mattie Lou is at it again. (That's my artist alter ego)

I was playing around trying to learn Illustrator. I have had that program for several years and do you think I know how to use it---NO.. Well, I started clicking around and started learning about the Live Paint Bucket. Very cool! Actually I was watching YouTube videos on how the people paint the grafitti (I am very intrigued with graffiti). I saw one where they created it first in MS Paint. HMMM---so that's how they come up with those designs. I figured I could do in in Illustrator so after playing around a bit I think I know more about Illustrator. We better watch out for Mattie Lou though---she might just get a spray can and head out into the night------just kidding!---:)


I have been so busy today that I haven't created anything that I can post. Lori and I did go to our favorite shop, A Small CLeverness, and make a really darling sewn book but I didn't finish it so I couldn't post it. Then the rest of the day I have been setting up my Etsy shop. I will create someting tomorrow! Hopefully!
Anyway, I did post this on Etsy today so I will post it on my blog. It is my book, Run for the Prize. It is a Christian children's book. Hope I sell some!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I got my Etsy shop up and running and I have had  my first sale!  I am so excited. This is what I sold today and if that sweet person who bought it sees this---THANKS!  It feels really good to sell something!!! Affirmation --mucho mucho.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Art Journals and Red Door

Today I have been working on my Etsy store trying to get the print files ready and hoping someone will buy something!
The first two pictures above are of my handmade art journals. I have a Rubicoil that coils the books (I love that thing!) so I try to put someting in my art journal every day. But since I have been blogging the art journal has fallen behind. I spray the pages with my favorite perfume so when I open one up---ummmmmm---so nice!
The third picture is my art studio--The Red Door! You can see why and you can also see my little buddy, Bucky, guarding the Red Door. Beware all intruders!!! You have to zoom in on him--he is just too cute.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I think this painting was partly due to Mattie Lou Muse. She likes to create fun stuff. Actually the lettering is another one of my fonts from Fontifier and the painting is acrylic on a 6x8 canvas board.  

Tomorrow I want to put up some pictures of my studio. 
 I have been creating my Etsy site today. I will add the link when I get it ready.
Who-hoo finally an Etsy site!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Today my funky-fun muse came for a visit. I like her because she is free and fun. She needs a name, I think I will call her "Mattie Lou the Funky Muse".. (Actually Mattie Lou was my grandmother's name and I came very close to being called Mattie Lou since my name is Martha Louise as well as hers). But--- So much for that.....This is all watercolor, Sharpie and gel pens. I added a few dots in Photoshop---just couldn't resist. I have been looking at other artist's blogs today and I get really inspired by their freedom and joy so I said to myself, "I wanna be like that!" So my quest is to--->be like that! Sometimes my "Fine Art Muse" will come out and we will paint still life in oil or acrylic; sometimes my "Sketchey Muse" will come and I will draw----and sometimes the "Calligraphy Muse" will come---she is very serious and uptight but she is beginning to loosen up a bit. She is actually my favorite because I have known her the longest. She needs a name---but I am not sure what that would be. Anyway, I was inspired today. Thank you, Mattie Lou!
Thought for the day---"Art has many different personalities!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008


That's what it is---just a rainy day diddy---fun painting. It is a 9x12 acrylic on canvas board. The center is from my image file library since the checkerboard I painted didn't look quite as good. My lettering didn't turn out as well either so this is one of my fonts I created in Fontifier. What can I say---just fun. I love Photoshop.


This is from my daily Bible reading and actually this one didn't take long. The flowers were from a practice sheet and I wrote the Scripture only once. I am into one time , no layout planning writing. You can write it out several times if you want to and fix the spacing and letterforms but sometimes the first time turns out the best. Plus, it is not intended to be a masterpiece anyway---just fun, free, unstressful calligraphy---the best kind! Art is fun!! Be free!! Don't take yourself so seriously! (I am speaking to myself)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


These boots were made for walking.... in puddles---not necessarily for sketching! It was very hard to draw and since they were black I thought I needed to fill it in  but then you lose the shadows. The little table was hard too. It's kinda deceiving when you start to draw something. Even though it looks so simple, it's really not but I am new at drawing so everything is a learning experience and this blog will keep a record of my improvements.
The first drawing is just a pencil with no ink and it was actually the second one I drew .  Maybe a bit better--the shapes are more defined.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



This is a watercolor of a pot of flowers I saw in a magazine. I drew it, then inked it, then painted. Hmmmm...this gets an APR of 61/2-7 out of a 10. A bit muddy in areas. But it is all a learning experience. Some days are good and others aren't so good. Plus, I wasn't at my studio, I was at home, so I will blame it on that. Got to blame it one something, right?
I am also studying up on color theory and the more I learn the more confused I get. My theory is this---if you mix two primary together you get a third color---and if you mix in the other primary in with that-- then you have mud. So the theory is---avoid the mud. Also I read that the "dreaded black" really can be used if you want to. So each theory will be different for each person---but I haven't figured out my theory yet but I am getting closer. Apparently different artists start with different "primarys".
I also need to do some lettering. I had good intention of lettering a small Scripture verse from my daily Bible reading but I haven't done that. Calligraphy lettering, even a small Scripture, takes more time than painting---believe it or not.

Monday, July 14, 2008


This is a small 4x6 acrylic on a panel with gold edges. I like these panels and might get some more but they don't work well at all for watercolor. I have painted these Poppies before with a different background and composition but similar in feel. I painted these last night so I thought I would post them today although I am planning to paint something today depending in the muse.
(I refer to the muse as my artist self that comes out sometimes and sometimes not).

Sunday, July 13, 2008


This is a cup from my studio kitchen.  It was a practice in drawing the cup then I decided to watercolor it. The cups are very cute--coffee tastes really good out of them! 
I am really enjoying drawing. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Here I am with the one child that is still at home, Bucky. We are standing on the porch of my art studio after drawing class yesterday.  I am still trying to create something today but the my muse must be taking a day off today.  Maybe later. I did paint a birdhouse that I drew trying to use the warmer and cooler colors for values---just for practice.  Well ok---here it is.

Friday, July 11, 2008


We had such fun in our drawing class today. Stephanie has really done a great job of giving us technique, shading and composition. It is amazing what you can do if you just LOOK!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


That's about all the time I had today was about two minutes to create something. When I have a day or two where I can't create something I get very antsy. My niece and her three small children have been visiting for a few days. It has been a fun, busy time with them. My daughter was also here with her dog, Dixie. The kids created great art at my studio. I should take a picture and post it. Maybe tomorrow. I love children's art. So creative and free!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

This is a watercolor that is 11x14.
I drew it out first with non-smearing waterproof black ink (Black Cat Ink) then I watercolored it in. It was a bit intricate and next time I probably pencil it in then add the ink last. Trial and error but I really enjoyed painting this. I guess it was the fact that it was already inked in so it was just a matter of painting it in. I do love watercolor---but I like oils and acrylics too. All are different. Mixed-up media artist for sure. I need to calligraphy something like I sid I was but I guess I have been sidetracked with drawing and painting.
Ok, now for the Artist Approival rating--APR-------..........ummmmmm.....81/2.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


This is more of a graphic look. I painted the Poppies (I am into Poppies--you will surely see more) and then added the text in Photoshop. I do have my own Chinese chop but it is at the studio and I am at home now so I found this one online. Who knows what it says but I will use it for now and then transfer mine. I don't think it is anyone's name--but some sort of virtue, I think. (I hope)

I am going to rate my pieces from one 1-10 as to the artist (me)approval rate for each piece instead of talking negatively about any piece I do. I do not "love" all of them but some I like more than others. Anything under 5 probably won't be posted but 5 will be--not very satisfactory, 6--pretty good---worth posting with the work that went into it, 7-some really good elements but not as good as expected  8---good, I am pleased,  9--really good, worked out as expected and 10-- really, really good and worked out more than expected and I am extremely pleased. So there you have it.
Artist approval rating--or APR for "Beautiful Poppies"---(9)

Friday, July 4, 2008

I actually painted the Poppies last night about 10:30. This is a print on Arches Test Wove Paper so I might try and paint it again for practice. I think I will make the Poppies a bit more red. So again---Have a Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


This is a sketch that is actually on notebook paper that I did while I was watching my favorite TV show, "So You Think You Can Dance." (Love that show) This is just a preliminary sketch for watercolor. I tried to get rid of the blue lines in Photoshop. If I have some time on the 4th tomorrow I might paint it. I have another layout also that I drew which I might use, but for now---this is today's creation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

AHHHH...I love to paint pots. Love it love it. This is actually watercolor gouache which allowed me to lay the red and the yellow in after the leaves since it is an opaque watercolor. It blends great. I just might start to incorporate gouache for all my watercolors.  It's brighter and I really like it. We calligraphers, use gouache a lot for adding color to our letters because it is opaque and can go over backgrounds (as long as it is not watercolor--it bleeds). 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This is one of my favorite Scriptures. I wrote the word, "STRENGTH" in brush lettering and added the text graphically and combined all in Photoshop. I painted the flowers a while ago and saved them in my image file--- and from time to time they come out to live again.


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