Saturday, February 28, 2009

Portrait Practice in the Journal

The one thing that I have been searching for is to find out what medium paints the best face---for me. I have tried watercolor, acrylic, Caran d'Ache and Shiva and the winner is---as of today---Shiva Oil Sticks. I didn't really know the way to use them so I just decided to use them like any other oil paint and add some Gamsol. So this is the result. She probably doesn't look too much different from my other girls but I have struggled so much with the acrylic which leaves lots of brush strokes. Maybe that's ok but I am still searching. So this face was a pleasure to paint---you can change it and add more and change it and add more and it's just dreamy. I love it- so for now---I will use Shiva for all my faces---but will still use acrylic for the backgrounds. You can paint Shiva over acrylic but not acrylic over Shiva. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Having Fun at the Red Door

Rynda, Lori and Denice and I had a great time yesterday making backgrounds. We are all old calligraphy buddies and have such fun being together. Their backgrounds turned out great and I put the link to Lori's blog entry from yesterday. There is nothing better than an art community. it is so very important!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Little Birdie on the Background

Here is the painting on the background. Part of the bird is collaged but I painted more stems and flowers and repainted over the bird. It is 8 x 10. The flowers are heavy body Golden acrylic which gives some dimension. For some reason I'm just kinda ho-hum about this one. Not sure why...but daily art stop's theme today is "birds."
I think the ho hum is that I didn't paint the bird from scratch because if I can paint a face-surely I can paint a bird. I think I feel like I cheated-- but that's just me---I am hard on myself sometimes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Transforming Background

This started out as a nice little background that had some yellows and greens that I had painted several weeks ago. I had painted a little head and a face and was proceeding to paint her hair when the wind suddenly blew her hair across her face and ruined her completely. The wind was actually me trying to blow her hair across her face in a natural manner which turned out like she had a mustache in the most unattractive manner. I just couldn't fix her so I got frustrated and painted black gesso all across her and covered the whole thing up. I was mad---but not to be defeated. So I just started putting down colors and as you see--not much black left-- although I intended for a little more to show through. So I think this little $2 canvas panel was saved for now. I will post the finished painting tomorrow---if it works.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Neat Technique

Here is the background. It is on an 8 x 8 canvas panel.  See the textures? Neat, huh?

I think it is because the rubber backing of these stamps is sticky and tacky and that helps pull the paint off of the canvas. Anyway, I thought it was a cool texture. I love geometric shapes.

I am also very excited to be starting another online watercolor class with Michelle Brown. This time we will be painting Spring Flowers. Should be fun! We are studying and drawing the flowers now. If we don't understand the flower then it will be more difficult to paint it.

I will post a better picture of it soon--when I get over to my studio. Come back and see it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Visual Journal Entries

I have been carving some stamps which is very fun. I will surely carve more at some point. Milliande has a great tutorial about carving stamps on YouTube you might want to check out if you are interested in carving. She is great. She works for coffee money and I do send her some from time to time. She is very inspiring and I would like to meet her but she lives across the big pond.

On the first image I used a rubber bath mat I saw at Babies R Us that I just had to have---of course not for the grand baby but for stamped textured backgrounds! Then I stamped with watercolor. The second image is a swatch of fabric that I wrote on with a calligraphy marker and stamped with watercolors. These are from two different journals, the first journal is something called Alternatives Art and the next is a Moleskine. The Moleskine is by far the best.


Christi from 2ifbysea has given me this blog award. What a sweet one and oh how we need to spread more love. Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone---and spread the love!!!!
I need to think about 5 more to give the award to. Let me work on that one ... SO SO many spreaders of love

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Donna Downey $5 Journal

Donna Downey has a great little journal download for $5 and it was fun to do. It wasn't hard but it sure took me a long time to fill these pages ---and--- I think I had fun. The problem with me and these types of visual art journal pages is this: for 25 years I have been striving for a beautifully layed-out and designed, hand- lettered calligraphic art piece. Calligraphy is an ancient art form and although some calligraphers are artists---some are not. There are some very talented calligraphy and lettering artists in this world that I greatly admire. Some use mixed media but they don't call themselves a mixed-media artist--they call themselves a lettering artist. Charles Pearce and John Stevens are two of my most admired lettering artists. I took a class with Charles Pearce.

So, all that being said, this type of journaling goes against the very core of my calligraphic training that I have been striving for for 25 years and it is very hard to free myself up and journal this way. BUT, all the wonderful artists and teachers like Pam Carriker, and Pam Garrison and Teesha Moore among others who teach this type of journaling are just as much an artist themselves as the calligraphers that I admire. I just need to give myself permission to do it.
Jump on out of that box, Martha!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Place Cards

Macaulay, our daughter, is coming today from Greenville, SC, for a baby shower that her good friend and her mother are giving her.   I volunteered that I would be glad to do the place cards- so here they are. Pretty good---I can always  over scrutinize my calligraphy but I actually enjoyed doing them,  It was a "labor of love" for sure. For the blue, I used Peacock Blue and white Windsor and Newton Gouache which is what most calligraphers use to get opaque color. I used a oblique pen holder and pointed nib.
I wish I were a better photographer.......

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just Having a Little Chat

She is painted on a 12 x 12 Ampersand wood panel. I decided that I would try a faux beeswax finish so I followed a recipe that I saw in a book and I have to say that I wouldn't try it again. I will just go ahead and use beeswax. In fact, I could beeswax over the faux beeswax but I probably won't. The birds are collaged on. I actually painted them first and didn't like mine so I collaged---but I think I will try and phase in my own painted birds. The collaged ones just look so much better!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Girl with a Bun

She is small---5x7. I used Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Paints by Ranger for this background. I really do love these paints and all the colors are great. They mix really well to make other great colors. As you see, I am in a portrait phase---from Poppies to portraits. I was thinking that I need to call these girls something other than portraits because "portraits" give the ideas that I have literally drawn someone real. Hummmm....I will have to think about that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Poppies in Oil

This is a 9 x 12 canvas that I had painted a background in oil paint over a watercolor painting that I didn't like. Since you can't put acrylic over oil I was committed to oils if I was to put anything on this canvas. So I took a deep breath, took out my Cad Red, Aliz Crimson, Sap Green white and Yellow Ochre and painted. I also used a script stamp for the background. So after I finally took a breath, it turned out pretty good. But it was Poppies--- so I had an advantage. Love those Poppies!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Handmade ATC Book

Lori and I had a great time at A Small Cleverness making this darling ATC book. You can actually put an ything in it but we covered the book with canvas and sewed in the signatures. FUN!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wonderful Old Book

Well, I just had to blog this. I just love old musty books...I love the tatters and the stains and the musty smell. I went to our HUGE Chamblin Book Mine here in Jacksonville in search of books I could tear up and use in my mixed media pieces and I came across this one. It is from 1879 and it will tell you all about being "proper." Of course being a little southern bred Georgia girl, we were taught much of this but not quite " assisting a lady to alight from her horse!" Anyway, I don't think I can tear it up. I think I might read it. It's a treasure.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Have A "Lovely" Day Everyone

I do hope everyone has a wonderful day with lots of love coming your way! And love from me also.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Telling Secrets

This is on 8x8 canvas panel and is the third of the three backgrounds I posted several days ago. I tried a different technique on her by using more Caran d' Ache water soluble crayons for her face. And I painted a bird! I love birds and if you look around blog and etsyland---they are very popular in many paintings. Besides her being just a little bit cross-eyed--she looks pretty good. I enjoyed painting her. Some come easier that others.
Hope to see ya tomorrow! Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Daisy Girl

I used the background that I posted several days ago (the third image). It is 8x8 on a canvas panel. I need to go to the store and get a deep edge canvas to adhere her too. I am seeing that all my girls are looking the same so am going to try and change them up and bit--just so they will not be the same girl every time. Actually these girls kinda look like my daughter, Macaulay, so maybe there is something sublime going on here.(Or is it subliminal--or both??) Hummmmm...except she has brown eyes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More POPPIES in my journal

Here is the next page. These pages in this Moleskine are great--thick enough to take a drenching of water.  I am trying to let these journaling pages be freeing and not get uptight about the blank page.  It's just paper!  yeah yeah yeah...we've all heard that one...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am going to start to work in my (many!) art journals. This one is a Moleskine watercolor journal. I have all sorts of journals on order to try and see which is the best for me. I will let you know. So far, the Moleskine is the best but I will try all other kinds. I am funny about writing in my journal. Although sometimes I will write things, I have another personal journal I keep in a Composition notebook. I really dislike my handwriting and being a calligrapher, if it isn't written in calligraphy--well, it just ain't right--- so most of the time it'll be just art. These are---guess what???---POPPIES!!--in acrylic.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Metal Embossed Puffy Heart

Lori and I had fun at the metal embossing workshop although it will take some practice. My borders aren't so straight. (Lori's looked way better) Hopefully I can incorporate this technique on some mixed media pieces. It takes a steady hand---and being a calligrapher you would think I had one!
Well, I do like distressed things...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dear Lord

I have had out of town guests staying here with us for a few days. They are leaving today. I have really enjoyed having them but it's hard to do art when you have to do hospitality. (That is an art form too but I don't know how to blog that!) So, sometimes I will reach back into the archives and bring up something. I wrote this several years ago and I still think it is funny and laways relevant. The letters are Italic capitals and the title is done in Versals.

Have a happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

5 Minute Chinese Ditty

This didn't scan as well I I had hoped. It dropped a bit of the flower but anyway this is a ditty that I painted with my Chinese brush. I love Chinese painting and I am very intrigued with Chinese Calligraphy and the whole brush thing---and it's harder than it looks and I don't have it yet. Anyway, here is a ditty. Here is my favorite Chinese calligrapher,Yanghaiying. She is addicting---to me anyway!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Confession is good for the soul

I must confess, I am having a scandalous online affair with a fellow named Cheap Joe. He sends me presents very often. Here are my latest presents. He gets jealous very often because I cheat on him with another fellow from an online affair named Dick Blick . He sends me presents too.

Aw yes, and I can't forget about my occasional fling with Daniel Smith---ok, I admit, I'm a tool tart.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Virtuous Woman

This is on the background of the first canvas I posted several days back. The Scripture is from Proverbs 31--"Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the days to come".... and there is Scripture along the sides.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I was tagged yesterday by the very talented Lisa.
you are to post the fourth image in your fourth folder and tag 4 others to do the same. Can't believe I did the tag thing promptly. Please forgive me if I have not sent the tag on properly before in previous taggings. MY bad :(

My fourth folder was just some notes I had taken so I had to move on the the next folder and this was the 4th pic. I did this piece several years ago at a Calligraphy conference in Boston with the famous Charles Pearce (famous to calligraphers, that is!) It is 48 x 48 on un-gessoed canvas. arggg... I remember crying... a lot...
Now to tag 4 others. No obligation of course to the "tagged ones" but I do enjoy following your blogs. :)

And I just read Misty Mawn"s journal prompt, which is something I really want to do---and today's prompt is song. Well, this piece above was prompted by the song, Amazing Grace, so maybe I can start today! hopefully I can keep up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Paint the Art of Your Heart

Here is the collage piece with the white Gesso. Also Sharon Tomlinson was so very kind to write me a note and share how she does this---she used Golden Zinc white. I ran right out and got some. I haven't adhered it to the 12 x 12 canvas yet with the Scripture around the sides. I was just trying it out to see if it worked. I used black gouache to letter it with my calligraphy pen. The tiny hearts are a carved stamp and the white hearts were already punched out when I pulled it out from my scrap drawer.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Near God's Heart

She is collaged and painted on 11 x 14 wood cradled panel. She has a metal embossed heart--yea! i used the metal embossing! Lori and I are going to A Small Cleverness tomorrow and take the metal embossing workshop and really learn how to do it. That will be fun!

On this piece I tried to not let the word strips quote be too prominent. You can read them if you walk up close---but then, isn't that the purpose?! She also emerged looking maybe of Indian descent? I think Indian women are so beautiful. Go see Slumdog Millionaire and you will see. Great movie, by the way--and usually I am a very tough critic.
Also, I will post something tomorrow that I am very excited about that I created totally intuitively. I think it is a breakthrough for me for a look I have been trying to achieve. I love a specific style that I have been seeing in the art of several of my admired artists that I follow--DJ Pettitt, Sharon Tomlinson, and Misty Mawn---among a few others. I am not sure what they do to get this dreamy, whitish effect on their art but I think I figured it out. White paint--or gesso! Who would have thought??? AND--I can't tell you how excited I am---I can even put my calligraphy on it. I will post it tomorow. I also have another girl that I painted on the first background that I posted yesterday. Stay tuned! My several days of research have recharged me.
Also, I forgot Milliande--she's great too.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Marie Antoinette Award

Marie Antoinette Award!

I received this very kind award form Brenda at the Crafty Chook. She is so encouraging to me and I love her blog and her art.
Scroll down for today's art entry of quick backgrounds.

Backgrounds for...something

I enjoy making backgrounds---when they turn out. I actually like these but then, I have been watching people do great backgrounds on Youtube for several days so this might have helped. The top image is on a a 9 x 12 canvas and the square ones are 8x8 canvas panel. I am really trying to just create intuitively and not think or plan too much. I also have a girl that has been in progress that I will post tomorrow.


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