Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I wrote this calligraphy today for the picture below but it just didn't look right on the piece below any way that I tried it.   I hated to waste it today since it was a creation for today-- so here it is. Just so if anyone is looking at this blog they will know that I am a calligrapher, first---then a painter, etc, next.  I love the art of calligraphy and no matter how far I stray into other areas of art and mediums, I will always come back to my first love--LETTERS!!
And...it's on paste paper from my stash, scanned and put together by the magic of Photoshop. The letters were written in black.


My art buddy, Lori, came over today and we created a college. I actually started this one yesterday and finished it today. Lori's collage was absolute adorable. She will post is on her blog tomorrow so be sure to check it out. Check it out today too because she really has a cute handmade book up right now.  I hope she will do more of these collages.

This piece, above, has a collage in the background that I had done( posted a week or so ago) and I started by pasting that whole sheet of paper on the canvas. Then I started adding layers of paint and rubbing off layers so the backgound would show through. I actually wanted more of the Scripture to show through but anyway, it's there. The Wind is a Biblical concept representing the Spirit. If you look closely in her hair, there is something there. These faces are really fun to paint.  I am enjoying painting them.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Here is the final piece. I like the colors although if I was to critique it with a fine tooth comb--it might be a bit busy and I probably should have made the flower smaller and the faces bigger. But it works ok for me. I used the Shiva oil sticks for the faces and I love the texture and the look although the faces were a little small to use your finger to smear it.
I really love doing these collages. It really is fun.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I was just so proud of myself I had to post it. Of course these are only a fraction of all the rubber stamps I have but these are the background ones.  I cut the wood with my miter cutting thing and glued them in the back side of the frame and painted it black. I put a little nail to secure it. I don't know how secure it is but for now---it's up there!  Yea, Me!

And check out the cute light switch. I bought it from Etsy.

"FRIENDS"--8x8 on Poplar Wood

I have always wanted to do a progression of a piece. So here is the first scan. I really could have scanned much earlier in the collage process but I really didn't think of it until now.  This is a piece that will say, "Friendship is a flower that blooms in all seasons."  I think that it is coming along pretty good so far. Just to figure out where and how big to put the heads was a challenge. Thank goodness for tracing paper. If it works it will be a sweet piece---but that's a big IF. I really should do the quote in my calligraphic lettering---after all I AM a calligrapher---remember??!  Sometimes I forget too. But as for the lettering-we will see.  Tomorrow I will post the final---that is if it isn't too bad. 

Ok---even if it's bad I will post it.  I learn by my mistakes.   That is, if I am still conscious after I have beaten myself to a pulp.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Have you heard of the saying, "He who dies with the most toys wins?"  Well, except for the dying part, (don't like that part) I could surely win that one. Here are some new toys I have been unpacking from my Chicago trip.  I went to Pearls and to Ulrich and had to send it all home because it wouldn't go in my suitcase.  This is only just the half of it.  I have paper and little calendars with great images and Golden paints and other stuff. But I already put those things away.  The paint brushes are Windsor Newton One Stroke brushes that I had been looking all over for; the Shive oil sticks are for painting faces (yeah, right,we'll see how that goes!)) and the Dymo label maker will keep me organized (yeah, right).  The Color book by Betty Edwards  will clear up all those color issues that I have, hopefully.  I am taking an online class from Paulette Insall and she highly recommends this book.  So today I will be organizing and hopefully will create something.  I really want to use the oil sticks as shown step by step in my new favorite book Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts.  I wrote a review for her on Amazon.  As you see,  I am putting in hyperlinks just like Donna Downey and Claudine Hellmuth does.  I'm coming up in the blogger world!  Also, I sent in a piece to Donna Downey for a challenge request through her blogsite to do a piece with our circle punches and if she picks it then she will put it in her October newsletter. Oh. please pick me!  That would be great exposure Anyway, I will post it after the results.  I thought it was cute anyway!


Here are two new ACEOs. I tried to make them a bit more colorful for fall. We will see if they sell.  They are ACEO size--2.50 x 3.50.

Friday, September 26, 2008


The one thing that I have always wanted to do is draw faces. As a child I drew and drew and never never liked any of them.  I even beat myself up way back then!  So 48 years later I have decided to give it a try. I think I was about 7 or 8 when I drew that first picture and I think it was a self portrait. I remember hating it---but Mama saved it so here it is. I have other things also that maybe one day I might post. They are very funny.  I always wanted to be an artist---always.  The second picture was drawn  looking at a picture of a little girl who was probably about 5 and when I drew her she aged about 10 years. I tried to keep her young but as I fiddled with her she just kept aging. So I just decided to put some lipstick on her.  I will work on it more---her eyes might be a bit big and mouth isn't quite right but anyway---I'll keep trying.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I wanted to relate this story because it is just so great. Last night about 10:00 I received an email through my ETSY shop from a wonderful lady who had this story to tell me. Several years ago in 2003 while she was living in Albany, GA, she was having some terrible troubles in her life.  She was very upset and discouraged and really didn't know what to do. During those times she was at WalMart one day buying bread and as she reached for the bread this little card was right where her hand was! She read the Scripture on the card and knew that it was just for her. She said instantly her countenance changed and she knew that God had heard her prayer. And isn't God clever, leaving it in the "Bread" isle! But the rest of the story is that she has had that card in her day timer for all these years and she just happened upon my Etsy site and saw this print I had for sale. What are the odds of that!? I don't think this little card is even printed any more---and this one was in Albany, GA! Anyway, that was a great blessing for me because sometimes we just don't know when God is using us but it sure it nice sometimes when He lets us know. This is a very small business card size card called a "Pass It On" card that was printed from Universal Designs Inc.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This one took me about 3 hours but I enjoyed every minute of it---I guess because you really can't mess up-- everything is fixable---and if worse comes to worse--GESSO!  I tried to do an encaustic overlay but I didn't like the way it dulled it out and added a film. Encaustic overlay is bees wax melted and brushed on which is a very ancient way of preserving art used back in the Greek and Roman era and even as far back as the Egyptians. I melted some in a tin with my dryer but I really didn't know what I was doing. I will read up on it because it does add a very neat dimensional overlay but I didn't think that was needed here. But boy did it smell good!  

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I didn't paint a collage face today (but the day is still young!).... although I have to watch Dancing With the Stars tonight so my painting for today day is probably over. This is watercolor and I sold one similar on Etsy so I decided to paint another and post it.  I also have been organizing my studio. I made a paint brush holder out of PVC and put it right in front of me. Things are constantly moving around my painting area. Here is a picture.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This collage is on 1" Poplar board 8x8. I wanted to paint on wood and in my new favorite little collage book, "Taking Flight..." the author uses wood sometimes. She says that Poplar is the best and it's very inexpensive. The very nice fellow at Lowes cut them all for me. These are all collaged first with paper without too much thinking then layers are added. The mission for me here is to try and create intutively without over thinking (I still overthink it but it's getting better.) I know that this is a far cry from the Art of Classical Calligraphy that I was trained in but I always go back to it. It is my first love and I actually practice quite alot----- but nothing blogworthy recently.

The "Day" in the piece holds very special Biblical meaning for me but it can really be any day in the future that you are looking forward to and dreaming of---getting married, having children, or grandchildren, when you feel better, when you are rich----whatever!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I am home now from the Windy City---my new favorite city!! and while I was on the plane and other times (when I was not shopping and/or eating) I was reading the most wonderful book that I hightly recommend called, "Taking Flight--Inspiration and Techniques to give your Creative Spirit Wings" by Kelly Rae Roberts.
That's funny actually, I just realized this...--- While I was really taking flight I was reading and being SO inpspired by this book. Her techniques are great and I have always wanted to draw faces that were not really anybody but evoked an emotion. And I have always tried collage to no avail and I was determined not to let either defeat me! This book actually brought both together so I tried her techniques and this is what I created tonight (while Chauncey is yelling for Auburn in the background.) It is on an 8x8 canvas panel. It was very fun and I tried not to think too much in laying down the collage for the first layer. That's my problem---I over think everything then I get frustrated when it doesn't turn out like I expected. Yes, we all know I'm-- ......you know what.
Her heart pendent is real gold--14 Karat gold leaf---guilded. That's fancy for--I slapped a little bit of Sobo glue on and stuck the sheet of gold leaf over it and it sticks---very simple.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Just a few more journal paintings while resting in the hotel room---resting so I
can hit the Magnificant Mile and shop till I drop.


This is the beginning of trying to paint some faces. They all have different personalities and some turn out rather scarey. I will try and avoid that.


I am in Chicago and I have decided that I LOVE Chicago---and the Magnificant Mile! The weather is wonderful---75 degrees and 60's at night. I have had a great time so far, shopping, walking, eating, walking, eating some more, shopping some more---FUN! So late today, I was tired so I painted these flowers in my journal. Tomorrow Chauncey and I are heading out to the museums and to the Newbery Library where there is a copy of many manuscrips written by the scribes of old and an original copy of the King John's Bible 1620. And if there's time---shop some more!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

JUST ONE LAST THING --before I go to Chicago

I started this this morning and couldn't just let it sit all weekend. It is a passage from my Bible reading today that I especially liked, Psalm 16:11. It's a good one. It was an experiment actually to see if an acrylic background wash would hold up to gouache lettering. It will if you use good paper---I think this was Stonehenge and it was too absorbent. But I think this will be the way to write over washes---it has to be acrylic rather than watercolor to keep the letters from bleeding. I am packed and ready to leave in the morning for the Windy City. Hope you will come back to my blog next week and if I can get my laptop to work I might be able to create something Plein Air and share it. We'll see.


Since I was in the collage mode I thought I would post one that I use alot to cover journals and other books. It is a combination of many pieces.  

I will be out of town until Saturday so I probably won't be posting again until Monday.
Please come back and visit next week!  

Monday, September 15, 2008


I have been so busy today getting my ducks in a row for our Chicago trip on Wednesday that I really didn't create any "masterpiece" (ha-ha) today. This is actually a collage of all my recent practice scraps. Remember, I am a scrap artist---or if you prefer "scrappy artist." For those you you who are first timers to my blog, I create great masterpieces on scraps of paper because at times I am very intimidated to create on my expensive canvases and paper. I know, that's crazy. But sometimes even my scraps are crap. "Scrap crap"-------I don know about you but I got a little chuckle out of that. I get my chuckles wherever I can.

But this is lettering that was done on scrap paper (it's nice paper---just scraps) and I scanned and collaged it in Photoshop. Not too bad---I do some of my freer lettering on scraps of torn paper. That's why I don't do diplomas or things where you only got one shot at it. That freaks me out. Hopefully tomorrow I can settle down for a while and create something before I leave on Wednesday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This is Allison Watson, showing us her technique and it was probably the most helpful class I have ever had. I learn by seeing it done and this was very helpful.. This is a triptic (three paintings that go together). I will definitely take more classes from Allison and will enjoy getting to know her.
Look at her website and all of her paintings are for sale. They are beautiful!

And here is the piece that I painted in the class. It's not Stonehenge---it looks Celtic.


I absolute love my workshop teacher, Allison Watson.  She is very very funny and I love the way she paints. It is always so great to find a teacher that you feel comfortable with. Here is her web site. She is a great painter.

This is not a piece I painted in the workshop but I came home so inspired that I sat down and painted this. It is probably only a 5 x 7 size but I wanted to try some of her techniques by myself.  I like it---of course if it has a Poppy in it you know I like it.  I'm addicted remember. If the piece in the workshop today turns out ok then I will post it. There are no Poppies in that one---no Poppies---yikes!  We'll see how it turns out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


This is a 5x7 of ----POPPIES~~~!!! This is acrylic. Husband and art critic/encourager, Chauncey, liked this one the best of all my Poppies.
I have an acrylics class today so I will post what I paint and it won't be Poppies, I promise!! I think opium comes from Poppies so I must have gotten addicted. That explains it.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This is a combination of of original and digital.  Fun to do. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I actually lettered this quote in red gouache first and then scanned (on my new scanner!) and then changed the color in Photoshop with the gradient tool. The second picture is made from an original ACEO that I painted then combined with lettering. I used those cool fun brushes again for the corners.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


 I have found the coolest thing. I was checking on Donna Downey's blog (the goddess of scrapbooking) and she had listed these brushes as something she loved. Of course I had to buy them as a download (fortunately only $3.99) and after I figured out how to get them into Photoshop I played around with them and created this distressed look with one of my pots of flowers.  They are called distressed corner brushes. This took me about 30 minutes because you keep adding and adding and turning the canvas and changing colors and changing brushes etc....
Love it!  It will be fun to enhance some of my pictures with this great digital look. Fun fun fun!

I also got my replacement printer from HP yesterday and I set it up, wireless and all ---all by myself! I'm getting to be a pretty good tekie! (I did have just a little muscle help from Chauncey)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I did this lettering today today after a miserable failure with oil painting today. I am trying to paint larger things and it just didn't work. I smooshed all the paint together on the pallet and slapped it on the canvas and made a big mud painting. (That was a just a small meltdown). I think that I am learning my limitations as an artist and painting big oils might not be my thing right now. It might be later. I like acrylic and watercolor better---and lettering. AHHH--comfort zone!

The pot of flowers is from my "pot file."


This is a book I made for Stephanie, at VillaRiva, for her son, who is 12. It is a journal for him to write his journeys and thoughts. I love this idea. The Scripture says, "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me." Psalm 138:8

It turned out really cute. It is a composition notebook and I love these covered notebooks. I use them for everything; journals, doodlings, art ideas and whatever. They're great. I have a few of them on ETSY and maybe I will do a few more of these for kids. I think I need to be pumping up the ETSY site with stuff for Christmas too. This would be a good Christmas item. I think I will paint today also so maybe you will see something else today above.

Monday, September 8, 2008


This turned out to be a pretty cool effect. These are two watercolor background washes that I scanned and put into Photoshop and used the filter "swirl" and this is what happened. I scanned the lettering and put into Photoshop and changed the color. I love to do that---so much fun. Instant gratification! I'm into that!


I know that this is probably not very interesting but this is a very useful tool for me and one in which I will be glad I did. It took quite a while to do this and cut the swatches out but these are my M. Graham Watercolors.  They are rich and creamy---and I thought I had better make a chart. Windsor Newton is good too but this is what I am using now.  This is how I set up my pallet ---from warm to cool.

 I also did some lettering today that I might post later when I get back home.  My scanner died here at my studio so I am waiting for the new one to come. Should be here tomorrow and then maybe I can post earlier.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This was a $5 frame, 5"x10", that I found at the junk store and this little ditty (Poppies of course) just happened to fit fight in. It looks better in person. This is also my old camera---my new one is recharging so the picture isn't as good.  I might put this on ETSY. I plan to find frames for $5 $8--maybe up to $10 depending on the frame to frame these little pieces. You would be surprised at cheap frames you can find that work great---sometimes you have to paint them but---that's fun.   The other creation de jour is below---  Poppies again---bored yet??


Ok, well, so much for Digital poppies. These are different.  I tried the transfer paper-on-to canvas technique and it didn't really work like I wanted it to but you can slightly see the image in the background if you zoom in. I kinda like the look of these, I think. Maybe I will do some more in different colors. Maybe this will help to stretch me into some other colors with acrylic flowers.  

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I was just playing around with Illustrator and coloring some objects. Here are some graphic Poppies i drew and colored. I'm learning the use the program. Not sure why this technique of digitally coloring seems to get fuzzy when converted to a jpeg. I will have to figure that out.


This is a small canvas, 5'"x 4", and was painted with acrylic. As you see I love Poppies and it must be my comfort zone for painting. And I guess reds, greens and yellows are my favorites also. One of these days hopefully I will venture out and paint something else! But for now---it's Poppies Poppies poppies!!

Friday, September 5, 2008


We haven't had a drawing class in a while because Stephanie has been out of town but it was good to start drawing again. I was very rusty because I haven't been drawing but after I got warmed up and my courage up--it got a bit easier. Drawing is hard for me but it is essential for any artist worth their salt. If you can't draw---you can't paint---and it goes on from there.
So, it is imortant to jump into the deep and draw. Amen.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Marker Doodles at 12:00

I was staying up so that I can try and buy a spot in the main showcase at ETSY. You have to wait until 12 so they can all come open again. Bur while I was waiting I was doodling with my new ZIG Brushable markers. I just love these markers. Five minutes to go---guess i better check Etsy now. Don't forget to check my ETSY site for all your art needs! :)


I have just been playing around with digital coloring and drawing. I see on ETSY that some successful sites use digital coloring with original drawing although I drew this one in the Artweaver program. It is really fun to digitally color something. I used Art Weaver-demo download-- for this one but I also have Illustrator which is more powerful and can do more. The resolution isn't very good on this image---don't know why.

I have also been sawing more wood for frames again and my muscles are bulging! No more bone loss for me if I keep sawing! I think I have gotten the hang of it---maybe. I think I might venture on over to the hardware store today and get some more wood. (because yesterday I forgot my rule--measure twice--cut once) I will try and adhere some of my newly sprayed watercolors (Golden Varnish Spray Satin) to the wood frames. So, this might be the only creation to display today--but you never know--the calligraphy muse might come. She has been tapping me on the shoulder lately.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Mattie Lou painted this. She has been creative today. Maybe she will do a series of Diva Fish and put them up on ETSY.


I painted the landscape last night. it is kinda hard to paint that small but it's a lot  quicker.  And Mattie Lou wanted to paint today so she painted the pink flowers. I think I might put it up on Etsy today.  Maybe Mattie Lou's art will sell.  Looking at other Etsy sights it seems that the "fun-er" art sells better. But really---who knows? Both of these are ACEO size--2.50 x 3.50.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Trip to Saluda and Greenville

We had a wonderful time at our daughter, Macaulay's, house in Greenville, SC. this weekend. That's Macaulay in the picture. She makes quilts and the first picture is of a quilt she made and gave to me that I hung in my studio. So cute! She made the brown quilt for Marc, her husband---and oh, and the dashing man sitting next to the quilt on the wall in Chauncey, my husband. 


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