Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More stars...

This image below is the original with the calligraphy written on the piece. I used black gouache and I added a bit of Pearl-X pigments in gold and you can see it but the letters have some bling. The Stickles are on this one too---but the scanner won't pick it up. I suppose I could have mixed up some gouache and written it in purple but I like the graphic look of the black lettering. They are both on Strathmore 400 Series 9 x 11 watercolor paper from the pad.
This image below is a scan of just the stars without the lettering but I added the lettering in Photoshop from my calligraphy lettering file. Anytime I write something in calligraphy if I like it I will can it for future use. As you might see, if you follow my blog, I use this one quite often. I have one more star piece that I might add some lettering to it with a different quote. I guess my calligraphy comfort zone is image on the left, writing on the right. One of these days maybe I will change that up a bit.
Writing make me extremely happy...extremely...that is when it works. Not always does it work.  Then I am sad--but only for a moment!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Earth has no sorrow...

I like this quote so I decided to play around with my star stencils and see what happened. I kinda like the way it turned out. I have two more similar ones ready for lettering. This is why calligraphy is a nail bitter sometimes because you have the background all ready then you have to take a deep breath, steady the hands and go for it. We'll see how the other two turn out. I'll let you know and post it if it passes the juried stage (me!)  There is also Frosted Lace Stickles swirled around on the stars that you can't see in this photo. It just gives it just a little bit of bling and sparkle. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scripture added...

I do love this Scripture. Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Sunday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's not finished...

What to do ...what to do...? This is a border and watercolor background that I did several nights ago when I couldn't sleep. It is in my larger watercolor journal and I don't know what else to do with the page. The leaf is one I carved of an Acanthus leaf. I could do some lettering...or maybe just leave it as it is. I'll look at it in a few days and maybe I can figure out something then. Maybe a quote in that watercolor blue that is light and airy like to border.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sweet 16----

Slow art day so this is what you get today!

Well, ok...age is just a number, right? It's been 40 years since this 11th grade picture, actually 41 years but whose counting?   I don't know why I posted this. I came across this picture and since I didn't have an art du jour I thought I would post it.  I think this picture just makes me laugh and I remember the photographer made me laugh.  Thank God that I am still here in one piece!!!
Also, here she is from yesterday's post without the half border--she looks better I think. Thanks Caatje--I agree!
One more battle under my belt.
Hope everyone has a good art day! Here is my quote I made up for today,
"In art as in life, fight the good fight!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fall colors are in the air

 I think this piece was just one of those paintings that I just keep fiddling with and fiddling with determined that I would win the battle this time. With this one I kept hearing Tim Gunn's voice saying, "make it work...!" Do you ever feel that sometimes you are battling with your art? I know we are suppose to enjoy the process and whistle while we work (and I surely do that lots of the time!) but that is not always the case with my art. Have you ever heard of or even read the War of Art?  I didn't have a copy myself since my son lent it to me but I just ordered a copy for myself and it arrived yesterday. I am going to read it again.  I felt like the author hit the nail on the head--a least for me. He talks of the resistance that we frequently experience in our art journeys. With all the art I create you would think that I have no resistance... but I do.
This is a collaged napkin around the girl. I purposely did not put the border all the way around. I didn't want to box her in too much. I had drawn her in my little journal and I scanned and printed her on Strathmore 400 series watercolor paper. I like this paper--it takes acrylic nicely as well as watercolor and collage. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Side tracked artist

Would anyone like to join the "Side-Tracked Artist Guild"? I think I should start one up and be the president. As I was blog "strolling" I strolled over to Alma Stroller's blog and found these to- die- for beads. I have seen them before and drooled then also but today I decided to give it a go. I am suppose to be going back to my roots and lettering! Ok, I'll get back to that but really, my blog should actually be: "Art du jour: The Journeys of a Side-Tracked Artist." But it's all ok 'cause there are lots of goodies along the side of the track!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Carved flower stamps

These are a few of the flower stamps I carved the other night. I think I will enjoy using them in my journal.  I decided to arrange some of these together and add my favorite verse. This is a font of my handwriting so it really was very easily to set it up. I made the font in Fontifier and it costs about $9. I made several of them a while back and I do occasionally use them. I don't know even if that program is still available.

Monday, August 23, 2010

11:00 pm ditty

These are the left over pieces from the rubber stamps I carved the other day. I couldn't let them go unused so they made pretty neat shapes. I quickly cut the heart and then wrote one of my favorite Scriptures. These left over pieces are almost better then the ones I cut---well not better,just different. I will post the carved ones tomorrow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

..how sweet the sound...

I have been playing around with drawing some Sickels Alphabet that I did at conference. They are fun to draw but very meticulous because everything needs to be straight. You have to draw it on a grid.  On the top image I used the warp tool to  stretch the sides. And of course the last image ("ama-zen") was fun too! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Slow start up--

I really am having a slow start gearing back up to do art. Yesterday I was putting up all the 100 lbs of supplies I didn't use and the more I bought at the conference and then the organizing bug hit. I went through all my brushes (Lord, help me!) and pulled out my "expensive" brushes that had melded in with the cheap ones and then came the paper (Lord help me again!!) and I organized that and the other "tuff" (ditto ditto, Lord!!!!) Well, now everything looks so nice I don't want to pull anything out. I'll get over that real soon. So since it's such a slow art day, here is just a little art du jour sent out to the sweet gal that doggy sits Bucky. I have all these things swirling around in my head that I want to try. Oh I forgot I do have the carved stamps. I will have to post that. They turned out pretty cool.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I forgot to post my blue and orange girl

I have been taking Alisa Burke's online class, "Color Your World", and I must say the whole class with her photos and examples are a work of art and eye candy galore. I have been a bit behind on the homework because of going to IAMPETH but I did paint her right before I left. She is a study in complimentary colors. I put her on Flickr so it might be that you have see her. But anyway, I meant to post her last week. She was fun to paint and I actually think that if I had not taken Sharon' class in Technicolor Faces I might not have had the boldness to paint her in these colors. It was fun. I love painting faces.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ornamental doodling at 1AM

Well, it's 1:oo am now and I can't find sleep yet so I decided to just mess around with some new stamps I carved tonight of some historical ornamental flowers and acanthus leaves. I will show you the stamps individually tomorrow maybe but I made this hodge podge ornamental doodle. Nothing was planned, I just stamped around a d tried to fill in the spaces with some filigree. It was fun actually. but now I am yawning and typing things wrong. So good night for now. Hopefully Mr Sandman is coming my way.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to drawing a face

Even though I have a new passion for letterforms I still love to draw the face. I drew her on notebook paper and colored pencils. It's a relaxing thing for me to draw a face--even more relaxing than zentangles. Actually zentangles give me a headache for some reason although I love the look of them. I think it's the decisions I have to make about what shape to draw next. For the face the choices are very few--two eyes a nose and a mouth. It's so interesting to me that every face turns out different. I am going to practice my letterforms and all that I learned at IAMPETH but I have been so tired. I am still recouping. Whew!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Mighty Michael Sull

Michael Sull,
Master Penman
and teacher extraordinaire.

Well now, seriously folks.... is he not just the cutest little guy in the whole wide world?? His bow tie is the Palmer Alphabet that we learned as a child and we all fondly recognize and earlier today he had on a matching vest. He is soft spoken and shy and truly a gentle-man. I was expecting furrowed brows on growling men with rulers to whack our hands as we wrecked havoc upon our paper with our pointed pens. I really feel like I have traveled to Calligraphy Utopia where the letterforms are perfect and powerful and magical and the teachers' temperaments are mild and generous. We had a demo by Jake Weidmann, a young, muscular and very handsome guy who did off- hand flourishes so beautifully that I couldn't even believe my eyes. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. I am completely awed by these wonderful masters.
Ok, I can't do it quite like Victoria did when she wrote my name but I'll get there hopefully. I have two more classes. One is actually Italic and the other is Gwen Weaver's funky looking pointed pen lettering. Then I am leaving at 3:00 so I can be back home to my wonderful hubby to celebrate our 34th anniversary. What a wonderful end to a wonderful week!
Oh, and that wooden pen holder...Michael Sull makes those by hand and they are so so beautiful, all made with different woods and designs. This one is Koa Wood from Hawaii. I am sure I will be able to write just like him using this pen holder---I'm sure of it...:))

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 3 at IAMPETH

Usually by day 3 at a week long conference I hit the wall and have to regroup and take a break. I really debated it but I played hooky this morning and went to Sam Flax, the wonderful art store here in Orlando. I missed Jerry Tresser's guilding class (I call him the "Gold Police") in guilding. I say that fondly though because he really is a treasure trove of guilding knowledge but I had to cut something and guilding is something I know pretty much how to do. So, this afternoon was " Vertical Ornamental Penmanship" with Bob Hurford. I was a bit vertically challenged though because I love a slant. He was great although the ornamental capitals will surely take some practice. After a couple of hours I started feeling a bit better with the flourish strokes. I absolutely love a pointed nib so it was all was very fun! Well, I think I might go to the one spot that is to me, heaven on earth, the Mall at Millennia. It's only 10 minutes away! I'm tired though----but not too tired to go to heaven. :))

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day Two at IAMPATH

Today was fun with Bodacious Borders in the morning and the Painted Illuminated letter. I love the bodacious borders and what was really bodacious was that it has great potential for doodling in the journal. The "B" is quilded with gold and it was very easy because there is a guy here that sells the adhesive that is his secret recipe --so guilding is a snap! And I wish I could claim that beautiful flourished "Martha" but I can't---but I am taking her class on Friday so I will be able to do it after the class! ha ha
All in all, a good time is being had by all. Now if I can just stay out of the John Neal shop!
I'm off to the silent auction and more demos.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day One at IAMPATH

I am all settled in with my 100lbs of unneeded suplies plus more that I had to buy I coudn't live without but having a great time. Today was really good. I took Old English and Sickels Alphabet. I was going to show you some of the Old English but Old English in the early morning ain't a pretty site. I did better this afternoon with Mike Sull with this fun Sickels Alphabet. This is a form of drawn letterforms that can be seen on old certificates and documents. They are fun to draw. The classes are only 31/2 hours long which seems like a long time but to go through a whole alphabet plus capitals--the time goes by really fast. I couldn't keep up this morning. But I think I was half asleep anyway. I have the exemplars so I can figure it out. We have lots of demonstrations tonight. These IAMPETH charter members are very illustrious and
very nice people. I met one of the official calligraphers for the White House last night and he says he sees them all everyday, Obama, Michelle, the girls...the whole crew. More tomorrow if possible.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bye for now...sending you a heart...

I am excited because, as I have been saying all week, I will be driving down to Orlando in the morning for a week at IAMPETH-International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting
I was picking out a chunky journal to take for the area where members can display what they have been working on---and of course I will "survey the land" before I put mine out there. Things might look like this-- YIKES! so a chunky journal(which does contain lots of original calligraphy) just might not fit in. Well see---I have never been to one of these Master Penman conferences so I am not sure what to expect.
So this little heart from the backgound pieces was going into the chunkey journal and I decided to write a little quote on it. This calligraphy is buy no means the standard of which I will be seeing and re-learning this weekend---but it's fun and quick and easy.
Have a wonderful week and hopefully I can post some pictures as I go along.
and oxox

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stars in their eyes...

I haven't painted any girls in so long I thought I would see if I still could paint some. They are mostly watercolor with some acrylic and punchanella thrown in. If you look closely, they really do have stars in their eyes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I believe it! I really do...

I just love this picture of this little girl. This is in the watercolor journal with a few textures
added. I just stuck her in at the last minute and it worked for me. I am actually feeling a bit better today. I have spent the last few days arranging all of the supplies for the conference this weekend and I think that I am about ready. I made a notebook for my notes and organized with labels. That is unusual for me. I usually just throw it all in and hope for the best.
PS--the rest of the quote says,
"It's a success to be one."
-Charles Horton Cooley

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It worked! Xylene Transfer!

Well, just when you think that you will never ever create anything again (the new Somerset Studio had a name for it) Creative Deficit or something. That is what I have been feeling lately. I don't know why, but I still say that it might be a wind down to get back to my roots with the conference next week....but here is something that makes me so excited that I am about to do the happy dance. I decided to try a Xylene transfer. I thought I had thrown out my Xylene in the move several years ago but I came across it and decided to just go for it and see if it would transfer. I used to do it all the time. The lettering is a font from my computer but I turned it backwards and printed it on my laser printer. You have to have a laser print--at least I think you do.
The top one is on painted muslin and the second one is on watercolor paper from a previous background. I thought it turned out pretty good. And the xylene is kinda like smelling gas--either you love it or hate it. Here below are a few more backgrounds that were passable but have potential.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2 pages...

I decided to cut out the girls I drew from my bulletin, collage them in and add some color. After I added the color later I decided I liked them better just with the pencil sketch. I drew them very fast. I really thought I was nearning the end of this little journal but the blank pages just keep coming. Below is more of my backgound paper that didn't work as well--just a few small parts worked.
Ok, well, the colors are pretty good but this little piece is about all that I could redeem on this fairly large piece. I didn't throw it away and at least it wasn't a dead bug this time. Oh Pat Dews, come and save me from this dreadful art I am creating! I admire her even more after I see how hard good abstract is to create. I am realizing that I probably know nothing about the principles and elements of design and thinking about it...well, it makes me feel like I did when I was having to prove theorems in school---overwhelmed and more overwhelmed. Hopefully after creating art for so many years I do that intuitively--but sometimes I am not so sure. I think it's all good I am feeling this way because in 5 days I will be off to IAMPETH and back to my roots.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

All about trust and faith..

Some Neuland lettering with my trusty Zigs in my lined composition journal.
Now starts the countdown to IAMPETH in Orlando. 6 more days to go. I will be going back to my calligraphy roots and re-ground myself with how my art journey all started out--calligraphy. I have certainly felt like I have been unsettled lately, although, not really in a bad way, just...something doesn't seem quite right in my journey. Could be hormonal..well, we, 50 somethings can just about blame everything on hormones, can't we?
Anyway, here are a few journal pages with some of my background art.
And yes, it is all about trust and faith...keeping it...always...in everything.

Monday, August 2, 2010


There is a KISS that is running around in my head today and it's this...
When I was organizing some "stuff" today I came across these flowers that I painted a while back and I remember not liking them for some reason. Today, it makes me happy. I think that it is because they are so simple and ...well--just something I needed to see today. I love all kinds of art adventures but sometimes it's good to just go back and be simple. I love throwing paint around (a la Pat Dews) and putting on textures but in doing that I have to relinquish control and be willing to possible create something really ugly. I am struggling a bit with that. I created a background with textures (actually I have created several--a la Pat Dews) and let it dry over night and it looked like a dead bug. I turned it upside down--it was a dead bug on it's back--- vertical---even scarier. It was an ugly demon like looking bug. So that is why this made me happy today. I don't like dead bugs. I should post it but I already tore it up into pieces. I have a few little pieces that I will put into my journal that looked ok---so I will post a few of those this week.
PS--Pat Dews is wonderful. I would like to be her--in a very abstract way, of course!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Create the Art of your Heart

Just writing in my favorite journal, the composition notebook that is collaged on the cover and doesn't look like a composition notebook at all. I can open it up and feel happy because there are lines....ahhhhhh....lines, I love lines. I wrote this with my Zigs. I write this quote quite alot because that is what my art journey is all about--creating what I love...with a little happy dance thrown in!


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