Thursday, June 30, 2011

Whimsy Girl

I needed to fill some spaces in my little cabinet thingy here. I still have a few on the bottom but they get covered up by ones that won't fit in so I decided to paint a little whimsy girl.  I really don't know why she looks so forlorn. Sometimes as hard as I try I just can't cheer my girls up. I really don't like to think of her as sad, I think she is just deep in thought. I think her name is Jessica and she is thinking about the boy she has a crush on and he doesn't seem to notice her. Well, actually, that could make her sad couldn't it? She is on a 5x5 wood canvas.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

AH--the comfort of the big journal!

It had been a long time since I wrote in my big journal and I miss it when I don't do it for so long a time. When I start to put together this type of spread I start with a word that I usually write in CalligraFun letters and then just start building. I also like to put a face of some sort and some stamps, preferably hand carved. It's very relaxing to do these journal pages. I like the blue girl. I painted her after taking Michelle Brown's watercolor faces class.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Snippets hanging around on the art table..

Snippets are always hanging around the art table. Sometimes snippets like these have helped me develop online class ideas but sometimes they will just end up in the trash. Usually I just stick them in a chunky book if they avoid the trash.

 I love pears. They are so easy using the color drop method.

Denis Brown Workshop

Yes, we has lots of fun here at the Red Door Art Studio with Denis Brown. Geez, what a genius he is and it will take lots of practice (maybe even another lifetime) to master his style of calligraphy but hey, it's a start!
If you are not a calligrapher, I apologize for the gushing because you are surely thinking, what's the big woop? As I said before in my last post (a long time ago!) Denis is from Dublin, Ireland, and is one of the foremost calligraphers and teachers probably in the world. It was quite a feat to get this to work out where he could come here to Jacksonville. I hope he enjoyed us southern women. He couldn't understand a word I said and he had to say politely, "Pardon?" every time I asked him a question. 

Below we were all done and about to send him off on the plane before a quick stop at the pub right down the street. Yes, he is a true Irishman!
Look at Lori below. I know what she is thinking...
Holy cow!
 I was thinking the same thing. Denice is scratching her head.
His calligraphy is amazing.

And look at this: He signed my wall! How cool is that? Ok, now, back to work on letterforms from Calligraphy.TV.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Palette Knife Class

OK, this was challenging for sure but I really enjoyed it.  I had oil paint all over me but everyone else did too so I didn't feel so bad. I have hardly iced a cake much less this. I really want to do more if this kind of painting if I can just make myself do it. They are tulips but as I painted them they grew very big but there was really no turning back at that point. We only had one afternoon to paint them. In the morning we watched the teacher paint one in 30 minutes. This one will take months to dry in this high humidity down here!

 Denis Brown, calligrapher and letter designer extraordinaire from Ireland is coming to my studio Wednesday and Thursday to do a workshop for 9 of us.  Denis is one of the foremost calligraphers in the world and we are very lucky to get him to come this way since his first stop is Miami. This class is certainly not for sissies, that's for sure! So we just need to buck up and go for it! Bring it on, Denis!! I might not get to post anything for a few days but I will try and get some pictures of the famous Denis as he is teaching us and demonstrating.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Countryside All Finished

Here is the Italian countryside all finished. I think I got tired or frustrated toward the bottom because it seemed so monotonous but then I decided to add some fluorescent red paint to give it an extra punch. I never use that paint so I was glad I could use it. It really is very bright. I think it is finished. I will probably tweek it maybe after I look at it for a few days. This is big for me (12x24) as I said yesterday I really want to try and paint bigger. I think I am warmed up for my oil painting class today painting with a pallet knife.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Poppy Whimsy

Here is another whimsy painting. This one is 5x7 and didn't take very long to paint but for some reason I had trouble with it and changed colors all around and struggled. I am working on a larger piece but it is taking much longer. This is actually not a very quick process! But very fun though!
Here is the WIP below. It's 12 x 24. That large for me!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Italian Countryside--sort of...

I am enjoying painting in this whimsical style. It's really fun and for some reason it takes the pressure off because I know that it doesn't have to be realistic. That's the battle that wages within me when I paint. I fight against trying to paint it realistically because I don't want it to look realistic but more impressionistic. But I think my left brain is screaming at me to make it look real and my right brain is wanting to make it look impressionistic. I don't know about you but there is a war going on in my brain when I create art and sometimes the left brain wins and sometimes the right brain wins. I think that I am a calligrapher because (I don't know this for sure) that both sides of the brain have to cooperate together to create the letters. Maybe it's only the left brain because it has to draw the letter as exact as the muscle memory will allow.  Just a little digressing musing here...

This was a wooden thing that was painted black that was hanging around my studio and bugging me so finally it got painted. 
It was fun and very right brain charged. That's when it is really fun! Chalk another one up for the right brain! No wonder I couldn't do algebra and geometry very well growing up. If I had known then that I was just very creative and not dumb, I would have come out of my childhood with a lot less whacks from beating myself up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here's something cute!

When I saw this Whimsical Landscapes class by Mechelle Harrison  over at Creative Workshops I knew that this would be fun. I love this impressionistic style of painting and she goes through the steps very clearly so anyone could do it. I am taking a palette knife oil painting class on Saturday so I thought this would be a great thing to warm me up for this class. I decided for my first try I would just use her layout just so I could concentrate on the painting and not stress out about a drawing from scratch. This style could be used for just about anything. I think I will try some flowers. Wonder how Poppies will look in this style! Actually everything is cute with this style. Thanks, Mechelle!
This is on a 5x5 canvas with some knobby feet.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What's on my art table...

Since I have been out of town at the workshop and then Macaulay and baby Marc came right after that I have not had a chance to do any finished pieces but I always can sneak away for just a minute and add to my conglom-a- doodle sheet. This one has been building up for a week or so. This is actually how I experiment on new ideas and techniques. I normally don't post my doodle sheets but I thought this one was nice and colorful.

Below is a drawing that we drew at the workshop. The teacher gave us the image and we had to turn it upside down and fold it in half so we actually didn't know what we were drawing. We knew it was a Geish girl but we just drew the lines. Everyones' turned out really good. When our left brain is not screaming at us to draw what we think it looks like then our right brain can just take over and draw the lines. It was a fun exercise.  Maybe I will paint her.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


cindy b  !!!

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments!
Cindy, please  send me your email and let me know which class you would like to take.
I added two email submissions into the drawing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Another Giveaway

In honor or Color Drop Flowers being back up for registration...YAY! I thought I would do another giveaway. Just leave a comment and that will throw your name into the Mr. Random.Org drawing on Sunday night at around 8:00 PM. Now, if you have already taken Color Drop Flowers and would like to have CalligraFUN instead and your name is drawn then it's yours!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm a Cool Dude

We had lots of fun today riding the train at the Town Center Shopping mall and shopping at the Baby Gap. This is what he wanted and he has had them on most of the day. He is so funny. One more day with him. I think we will go to the zoo tomorrow morning. I haven't been to the Jacksonville zoo in ages but I hear it's really great. Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Mistake Tulips

This is a drawing I did from a vase of Tulips I saw that was very pretty. I drew it on an envelope when I saw it and decided to try to paint it. This paper is Rives BFK which is one of my favorite papers for watercolor. It is extremely soft that when I tried to mask some of the flowers off with painters tape so I could add the background embellishments it pulled just a bit of the paint back off. At first I was a bit miffed but then I thought...hummm. distress-ness! So I guess it was a happy mistake. Maybe I will try that happy mistake again. I am sure it has to be done on this type of soft paper though.
Oh, and guess who's here with me? Baby Marc and his mama, Macaulay! I probably won't be able to post any art but maybe some pictures. I will post about my workshop in Orlando after they leave on Friday.

And here is one of the best things about being a grandmother. He runs to me even when he hasn't see me in a month. I am smitten.

Marc runs to Nana from Martha Lever on Vimeo.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Faith Bird

I tried something new on Mr. Faith Bird. I had seen a video that I bought several years ago about using masking fluid to mask off areas on watercolor paintings. I decided to mask off the bird and paint the background. All went very well until it was time to rub off the making. I think my masking fluid was very old so it didn't come off very easily. Never the less I think I saved him although  next time I will stick to my original way of painting. The original way is painting the bird first then adding the leaves and background or just adding a light background first and painting the bird next. I still like him though.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

In a Doodle Mood

Yep, just in a doodle mood. It was fun and relazing.

And thank you Leslie! Molto Bello is flying over the ocean right now to you!

Oh and also later today I am heading down to Orlando to take a workshop with the Scribes of Central FL. Always so fun to go down there. I will see you all next week!


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