December 13, 2012

13 days 'til Christmas, oh no...

Where has the time gone?
13 days until Christmas. I'm making all my gifts this year and I have not even started.
So from today on, it will have to be one or two gifts a day, oh no!
Can I do it? I certainly hope so as buying gifts this year is not an option.

News from the last several weeks...
My latest mixed media painting:

This shows an example of the texture:

She took several weeks to create to the point where I just had to say "she's done" whether I thought so or not. 
Below are a couple pictures of her beginnings:


Her face, body and hair were made from a crumpled brown paper grocery bag.
The flowers were made from random pictures from magazines.
The butterflies were cutouts of butterflies repainted to match the painting.
I still don't think she's done but I have to get on with Xmas presents :)

Oh, I have a new bedroom/studio!
Great lighting and a comfy warm feeling.
These pictures are the room in progress as I was arranging things:


One thing I have realized in the past month is that everything most people do is out of habit. And habits can be good or bad. 
This blog will be two years old in a few months and I have slowly gotten out of the habit of blogging.
I also have gotten out of visiting all my favorite blogs, continue my friendships with my fellow bloggers and finding new wonderful ones.

Since I have 13 days to make my Christmas presents, I thought it would be fun to blog every evening with what I have made. 
This will work good as none of my family reads my blog anyway :)
It will also get me back into the habit of blogging too!

Is anyone else making presents this year? If so, what are you making and where did you get the inspiration?

Have a Terrific Thursday!

November 19, 2012

happy monday...


When your eggs crack open into a bowl and create a smiley face,
you know it's going to be a great day!

Hope you have a Marvelous Monday!

October 29, 2012

lost in time...

I save every single piece of clean-up paper towel from my projects. After painting I have all of these messy, colorful papers hanging from every inch of my easel (and yes I can be that messy!).

Meet the newest, "clean-up paper towel" art.
She is named "Lady Lost In Time".


Using clean-up paper towels is so fun and creative.
Your imagination will find the picture wanting to emerge.

First, the paper towel is affixed to a board, canvas, or watercolor paper
using your favorite collage medium. I used Golden's Soft Gel Gloss.

Its difficult to see the deep textures created by the paper towel and gel medium

Once the paper towel is dried I rotated the board until I could see the picture emerging.

Then just add a little bit of watercolor, using the same colors that are in the paper towel.
Watercolor has a cool effect when used over the gloss gel medium.


Since she will be entered into the upcoming Christmas Show at our local Art Space for consideration, I had to get her matted and framed. Here is a HUGE SHOUT OUT to Aaron Brothers Art & Framing.
Aaron Brothers always helps me get just the right mat and frame, especially for entering my art in shows.
The staff have a great sense of color, something I totally lack.

So here is Lady Lost In Time, matted and framed and ready to go...
(well maybe, I am getting a little attached to her)


As normal for me, my lack of patience and photo skills really do not show the deep textures, color and details of the paper towel or the finished piece.

The first one I ever did was Hummingbird Lady.


Its a creative and fun way to recycle acrylic paint clean-up papers along with (for me at least) getting those imagination juices flowing when I have been in a non-creative mood!

Try and let me know what happens.

Have a Marvelous, Messy Monday!

October 17, 2012

making a journal was "almost" done...

Our local art council is looking for different types of art for the Christmas season. I spoke with the Gallery Manager about making unique, one of a kind journals. She thought the idea was good but had to see one first to make sure it would fit the theme.

So I created 40 pages of various 5"x8" pastel cardstock, 
hand drew lines, added dragonflies, flowers or doodles to the pages
prior to having them hole-punched:



I painted a 10"x12" cover to wrap around the journal:
There were layers of paint sealed with Golden's Soft Gel Medium.
The cover felt like soft leather.

Feeling SO excited I went off to our local office supply/print shop which I have used for years.
Holding my pages and cover like it was a newborn baby, I explained to the girl in the print shop exactly what I needed and what the outcome would look like.

I need two holes punched through the cover and pages so the journal could be bound with yarn and charms.
Simple, right?

I explained that the holes would have to be punch all at once to ensure it would all line up.

We drew it out, wrote out detailed instructions as I nervously explained this was my prototype for an art show.

No problem! I was told it would be a very simple job and ready for me on Saturday and I would be called to pick up my job.

Saturday came...Saturday afternoon came...Saturday evening came...no call.

I went to the store and asked if my job was completed and was told there was a "little" problem.

It seems the cover was folded in half and punched by itself so it would not be able to wrap around.
They cut the cover in half and as I took a BIG breath I thought it would be okay.

Then I noticed that the holes in the pages were not centered!



There are only two ways to sort of fix this problem.
1. Cut 1/2" off the bottom of the cover 
                 however then the holes will still not be center.

2. Cut 1/2" from the top of the journal pages to center the holes
                             although this option would look awful on the pages as they were drawn to fit.

Either way it's not going to work.
Today I talked to the Gallery Manager and asked if I could bring in a prototype of the journal
although the holes would not be centered.
At least that would give her an idea of what the finished product will look like.
I am going to bind this with thick wool yarn and charms hanging from the front.

It's not the end of the world and I even have gotten some better ideas for the pages so it will all be good, even though I did shed a couple tears Saturday night.

Keep smiling and remember that for every mistake something good will come from it!



October 04, 2012

is summer over yet...

I was so happy when warm weather came our way.
I rejoiced in the heat while my friends complained.
I drove around with my windows down, even though I had air conditioning.
I always enjoy Summer!

However when the beginning of October is almost 100 degrees here,
something is just wrong.
As much as I enjoy Summer, Autumn is my favorite season.
And I am ready for the Fall season to begin.

I think between the weird weather, back epidurals and not feeling well,
not much creating has been accomplished lately.
One thing I have half-done is a handmade journal.


I am using 5"x8" blue, grey, pink and green pastel textured cardstock for the pages and adding lines and images with matching colored pencil. Then going over the image with a very light touch of glitter watercolor.
The journal will either be spiral-bound or hole punched and use twine to bind it together.
I still have to make the cover and the back using watercolor paper, collage and paint.

There are such easier ways to make handmade journals and I think it's the drugs I was on that started me in this direction...it must have been because this is a lot of work.
At least it can be done from a recliner.

I have a question about the "NEW" blogger.
How do you add someone's badge to your blog?
I want to add her Badge to my blog and I cannot figure it out anymore???

Please comment or send me an e-mail if you know how.
Either way, check out her site.
Traci ROCKS when it comes to getting creative!

I've opened the windows and feel a cool breeze coming in.
Tomorrow is suppose to be in the 70's, YAY!!!
Have a great evening.

September 19, 2012

green is healing...

Colors of my Soul, acrylic on 11x14 canvas
This is the latest painting I finished.
I really enjoyed layering colors on top of colors.
Playing and letting the colors talk to me feels good.
And when it's done, it's just done.

I have been trying to use lower pixels on my posted photos and I think it really takes away from the original piece. Another good lesson to learn about taking photos.

Here's the beginning of the next painting.
This one is on a 16x20 canvas and I have used acrylic and watercolor paints so far.

I'm also starting some handmade journals for Christmas presents.
I'll post the first one as soon as it's ready.

I forgot to mention that the ArtSpace Art Reception was last Saturday and I had a blast meeting other artists and talking to the visitors. I am learning so much from the more experienced artists. I had two paintings in the exhibit which will be showing through the end of the month. I'm still in awe to be there amongst all these wonderful artists. It really feeds my creativity and I am slowly getting less shy about putting my art out there in public.

Hope you are having a fantastic week!!!!

September 12, 2012

my internet is back up...its a good day...

I have lots of good news today! 
  1. Our wireless internet is fixed!
  2. My car is running again!
  3. The sun is shining!
  4. And 2 of my paintings were accepted for the art show!
The one below and the heart painting that has been hanging at the ArtSpace for the past two months!

I've been having fun playing with my acrylic paints and mixing colors.

Now I am off to work on some handmade journals and coloring books for Christmas.

Yes Christmas is now right around the corner and I would love to have some items to sell at the local craft fairs.

Let me know what you are up to.

Have a wonderful day and try to focus on the GOOD in your life!

August 28, 2012

entering another exhibit...

The local art council's ArtSpace is having another exhibit
"Colors of the Soul".
I entered four paintings, including the one above.
Today the judging is taking place and I will find out if any of the four will be accepted.
(deep breath!)

I still find it so hard to put myself out there.
Its also challenging to get the pieces ready to show without much resources, pushing me to get more creative.

The painting above was part of an 11"x14" background I was working on:

I liked it so much that I stopped and couldn't decide what to do with it.
I cut it down to 8"x10", used a mat and frame I already had
and VOILA!
It really did come out nice.
I think it will be accepted.

I wanted to enter my latest painting although I had no idea how I was going to get it "hang-able" as it was painted on a 9"x12" flat canvas. I did not have a mat or frame to fit so I found an old 11"x14" canvas that I had messed up and painted the sides to match the painting that would be glued on top of it:

Ummm...too plain....so some matching fabric spray paint took care of that problem:

I used Gorilla Glue to glue the flat canvas on top and this is the finished piece:

(glue don't fail me now!)

I also entered "Hidden"

and one of my Dragonfly Fairy Girls:
(you can tell that I am still learning how to take photos
of framed pictures without reflections showing up)

The picture on the bottom from the July show has already been accepted into this exhibit:
The Association actually kept this picture on display at the ArtSpace
since the July show!

I'm so excited (and nervous) that I had to share.
Please share anything exciting happening in your world!
My laptop has not overheated (yet) as it is a little cooler today.
This will give me an opportunity to blog hop a bit.
Hope to visit you soon.

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

August 16, 2012

new painting...


Here is my latest playtime painting inspired by

Traci is one (of many) of my favorite artists.
I have another painting started already inspired by her.
In her first workshop she shows some great tips on how to clean your tools while creating a start to a new background for your next project.

Now I need a new laptop or a new hard drive (if they make it for my dinosaur laptop still).
I don't have enough hard drive to clean up my photos to make them look more like the real thing. Its all baby steps, right?

Up here in Northern California we are working on breaking the record for over 100 degrees in consecutive days. I think today will hit it!

Hope you are having a Terrific (and cooler) Thursday!


August 10, 2012

her name is hidden...

Happy Friday!

I just finished this painting yesterday.
Her name is Hidden.


She's much prettier in person. I had a hard time getting a good picture of her (maybe that's why her name fits so well) and she still needs a coat of gel medium and sealant which I think I left in storage...ooops!
(Now those are the items you don't leave in storage; they rank up there with paint, clothes, toothbrush and deodorant, haha!)

I took the original 9"x11" drawings, glued it onto an 11"x14" canvas, drew the edges out onto the canvas then painted with watercolor.


She already has a home as soon as she is completed.

I want to thank everyone for their encouraging words, advice, support and friendship! It really has helped me get through so many days! Big hugs to all of you!

Now I am ready to paint with some acrylics! What projects are you working on?
Have a great weekend...

August 05, 2012

feeling overwhelmed...

Last Thursday I finally got four spinal injections to help with the chronic nerve pain in my legs that has been going on for three years. The doctor was awesome and went through everything wrong with my lower back. I also have mid-back and neck issues that will be dealt with later, so that gives me hope on returning to a normal functioning person at some point in the future.

Hope is returning on my health and I thank God every day for my friend Cindy letting my stay with her and for the hospital's Charity Care to allow me to see the specialists and get the treatment I need.

For as much as everything I can say that is such a blessing in my life, there are twice as many unknowns that are realities I have to face.

I have no money coming in and I am out of anything that was left, even though the bills still need to get paid.
My family and friends say to sell my art. I am going to network with every event possible and see what I can do. One of the problems is that I keep drawing the Dragonfly Girls; partially because it is easily done laying in a recliner and it just keeps coming out of my.
The same people who say to sell my art are also the same ones that keep telling me to stop drawing the Dragonfly Girls and get back to painting. Everyone says the Dragonfly Girls will not be something anyone would buy and I am wasting time doing them.

I sketched this one last night watching TV:

I finished this one a couple days ago when I had to stay in bed:
In order to get back to painting, I will have to be creative on my physical limitations and space (after all I am living in someone else's house on the couch)...but hey look what Freida could create from her bed!

I need to finish up this painting in order to move forward:

This will be one overwhelming hurdle to get past and then I can focus on the others.
God says he will never give us more than we can handle and that there will always be blessings from struggles. I pray I can keep that attitude and find where this is leading.

Hope you are having a Super Sunday!

July 30, 2012

another new chapter begins...

Last Friday my primary care doctor told me I needed to apply for long term Social Security.
The hospital program I applied for accepted me and I have another appointment this week to hopefully start spinal injections.
I thought the injections would "fix" everything however that is not the case. The injections will get me out of the daily pain and allow me to be more comfortable, however they will not "fix" me.

Somehow knowing all this calmed me inside. I can deal with anything as long as I know what my reality is.

And here it is:
  1. Unless I can find a job that I can do with my disabilities, I can't work.
  2. I do not know when I will have any money.
  3. I thank God every day for my friend who has opened up her house and couch for me, along with lots of hugs and support.
  4. The fuel pump in my car went out and I am praying my church's Auto Ministry can fix it. Luckily I was able to buy the parts with my last check. I will find out tomorrow if they can do the labor.
  5. I don't know my purpose or what tomorrow is going to bring.
Instead of giving up, I am looking at this as just a new chapter in my book of life.

So here's my plan:
My new job is to blog every day and paint every day.
I've cleaned up my email inbox and have only 38 emails to go.
I made all the bill arrangements I can and have asked for help.
I'm going to create whatever I feel like creating and set up at every event I can.
I'm going to network and learn as much as I can from everyone, hopefully including YOU!

God's on my side and I know I have to go through this to get where I need to be.
I'm scared, really scared. Accepting this truth and not knowing what this process is going to be like is a dark unknown so I have to stay in the present and surround myself with positive, artistic, honest people.

This is what I am going to do tomorrow.
Turn this broken cardboard shoebox into a box to hold my acrylics:


And finish this painting on canvas:


My boys do not like my Dragonfly Girls and feel I should go back to abstract painting if I want to make any money.
I already have so many Girls done that I am going to create mats and put them in cellophane bags to sell.
Maybe put a few on canvases also.
I thought about making a few custom coloring books of flowers, dragonflies and fairies? What do you think?

I really do not know where to go from here except forward.
If you have any advice on selling at events, on line or getting recognized please share if you don't mind.

Hope you had a Marvelous Monday!
Love, hugs and blessings to all.

July 28, 2012

i'm officially an artist, yikes...

Last Saturday was our local downtown Art & Wine Art Walk. The downtown association sponsors this event every 3rd Saturday throughout the summer. Most of the stores stay open late with wine tasting and plenty of local artists displaying everything from handmade jewelry, pottery, handmade porcelain, sculptures and paintings of every medium imaginable.

I have been attending the Art Walk every summer with dreams of someday being an "artist".

Well my two paintings were still part of the ArtSpace exhibit last Saturday. As being part of the exhibit it gave each artist a chance to spend the evening greeting and talking to people at the exhibit's Reception.

I was so nervous not knowing what to expect or what was expected of me. Once I got there it became a magical night. I was introduced as one of their newest "Artists".
Really, ME? An artist amongst all the artists I have admired for so long.
I felt like I was a princess for a night.

The exhibit did well and one of my paintings was the first to be SOLD!
A wonderful lady bought my painting "Flowers in the Forest".


Its taken me a week to even post this and there are so many new changes taking place in my life, but that's for the next post.

Hope everyone has a Wonderful Weekend!

July 20, 2012

matted and framed dragonfly girls...

I matted and framed several of my dragonfly girls.
The next exhibit at the Art Council's theme is BIG and I don't think I will be entering that one since I have nothing BIG...yet.
The following exhibit will be "Healing".
I want to enter some of my dragonfly girls since drawing, coloring and painting these pictures have been helping me through my healing.

Here are a couple I matted and framed to see what they look like. I am still trying to be able to take pictures of my art once there is glass on top....Ahhhh!!!! Still learning.



The last one I named Laura in Orange. After I drew and colored her she looked just like my childhood best friend Laura Joy who passed away at 22 from childhood Leukemia.
Cancer has taken so many people from my life and I wanted to honor her.

I would really appreciate your feedback and critique!
I have over 20 dragonfly girls now and continue to create them daily. I have several that I am now painting on canvases.

Tomorrow is the Art Council Reception where I have to be present as an "Artist".
I wonder if I really am an Artist or just someone who doodles for myself.
I think it has to do with my low self-esteem and health situation.
Again, I would appreciate any help with that too!
Hopefully I won't hyper-ventilate and pass out, haha!

Have a Fantastic Friday and a Wonderful Weekend!
Remember to tell your loved ones how much you love them.
Each day God gives us is so precious.
Big hugs to all of you!

July 16, 2012

two paintings framed and on exhibit...


I have learned that it is extrememly hard to take a photo that is on exhibit.
With lights and reflections off the glass this is the best we could get.

No photos are allowed of the other art without the artist's permission, of course, so I will be taking lots of photos with the other artists on the exhibit's reception night!

I am SO excited to have two of my paintings included with all the wonderful local artists in our area.

Hope you are having a wonderful beginning to a brand new week!

July 02, 2012

i'm on exhibit...

Two of my paintings were approved, have been hung and (deep breath) for sale at this month's exhibit at the El Dorado Art Council's ArtSpace!
My son Philip and I went downtown to see them and take some pictures to share!

Philip is an awesome photographer. I have been telling him to enter his photos for years,
so who better to take with me, right? Plus he and his brother Jacob are my biggest fans!
I tried taking a couple of pictures myself. With the lights and fans reflecting in the glass I handed the camera over to Philip.

Oddly none of the pictures came out. The ArtSpace is closed today so we will go back later this week and try again. I believe in "all things happen for a reason"
so there must be a reason I need to go back.

Here are the ones that were chosen. I would have entered more however most everything I have done is in storage. These just happened to be in my portfolio in the back of my car along with the pencil and ink drawings I have been doing.




I was amazed at the transformation of these two paintings once they were matted and framed!
And then to see them in this month's exhibit! WOW!

I am still in shock. Now I want to paint again! I'm still staying at my girlfriend's house on her couch. I am so grateful to her for a roof over my head, internet access (smiles) and the great love and comfort she has given me through this difficult time. Even though it's really getting hot outside I could take my stand up easel out there and paint a little! I really want to get back to being me again.

My chiroprator has been treating me which has been keeping me walking. She is terrific and very honest as she told me that there was just too much damage for her to fix, I needed a specialist and possibly a surgeon.

So I prayed! Something had to give. I know God never gives us more than we can handle however I have wondered about this lately.

Then more good news came! I was accepted into a major hospial's program for uninsured patients. A spine surgeon reviewed my case and set me up as a patient with their orthopedic doctors!
What a blessing! God always shows up, and prayers are always answered.

Hope your Monday is full of Beautiful Blessings!

June 28, 2012

playing with pencils...


I have mainly been doing only pencil and ink art lately as I have not had access or a place for my paints and other stuff.

I started off using a regular pencil...you know, the #2 lead pencils to start my drawings. They work okay but as all of us find out, there is always something better.
So I traded in my #2 and got this pretty Primsacolor Turquoise 2262 (375) HB. I have no idea what any of that means but it was a step up and I really liked the color of the pencil :)

Then there was the problem with going over my pencil drawings with ink. I had to erase my pencil lines and was having a hard time erasing the lines with my #2 pencil eraser. Back to the local news stand/art supply.store. I purchased one of those square beige-y colored erasers and that worked a little better but not much.

I was then told that I need a different pencil. Something about the lead. Now I really should have taken notes if I planned on sharing this info but I was just too excited to find something that was going to make drawing "better". The saleslady failed to mention it would not IMPROVE my drawing however.
So here is my new pencil that I love!

This pencil is a 19 Derwent Graphic 6B, and again I have no idea what that means however I like and it doesn't seem to leave scratches in the paper once its erased.

I was also told to start using this gummy grey eraser. It was a skinny rectangle shaped eraser that felt a little soft in the package. I gave it a try and soon found that not only did it erase great, it morphed into what reminded me of Silly Putty.

As for the colored pencils I have been using for coloring in the drawings after outlining them in ink, I originally started with Crayola colored pencils...I can hear you laughing probably as hard as I was when I bought them at WalMart. I soon got some Prismacolor wood colored pencils to add to my collection. 

Then I found wood-less colored pencils and fell in love. 

No more sharpening with the lead breaking and shading is amazing.

I will post the drawing above in a couple days once I have completed her.

PLEASE leave any tips, tricks, advice, critiquing or anything else you know about pencils.
I would love to hear your experiences.

Now something really exciting I want to share!
I entered several of my paintings and drawings into our local El Dorado Art Council exhibit.
The judging was done earlier this week and I found out that TWO of my paintings made it in!
I am so excited, not just because my artwork was chosen...I gathered up my courage at one of the lowest points in my life and entered!
I am going to the ArtSpace today to take pictures and will post them tomorrow.

I also will be out visiting all my blogger friends very soon! I can't wait to see what everyone is up to. Its amazing how much can happen in just a few short months.

Have a wonderful day! 
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