Monday, April 30, 2012

Ending April and entering May with emotion….


The last weekend, of the month of March 2012, was one of ups and downs for me.

On Saturday, I attended the funeral of a woman who was a friend, mentor and inspiration.  She was every inch a southern lady and a very talented oil and acrylic painter.  Years ago, she took a tole painting class from me and said “you should be painting on canvas”.  I was sure I could never do that….but she assured me I could and taught me how!  A chance meeting that changed my life.  I will always remember her and be grateful.

Then on Sunday… daughter-in-law and I got up early and drove to Eugene to watch our granddaughter/niece run the Eugene Marathon!

Here she is at the finish…………….


…….and this is what you do after you’ve finished running for 4 hours and 8 minutes and 25 seconds…..sit in a baby pool filled with ice water and eat chips with your crown firmly planted on your head and your medal around your neck!  Ya’ gotta love it!

IMG_2216Wow!  Another reminder of the strength of the human spirit….all of these people, over 4000, had just run, or walked, a half (13 miles) or full (26 miles) marathon.  Staci is 33, the mother of two little girls, who works part-time and has been training for six months!  Her husband completed his first marathon last year, this was her year.

Her Aunt Jan, who went with me, is a runner,also, and has finished two half marathon.   I don’t know how they do it….I did walk a 5K once! Woo Hoo! 

On a whole different note, but celebrating the beginning of a new month…..I’m once again sharing my calendar at Kate’s blog The Kathryn Wheel.

April’s calendar ended looking like this…….I think Saturday and Sunday deserve their own special journal pages and I’m going to do that this week.











Here is to kicking off May with lots of color and texture…..


Let the adventures begin….we are off to see what this month brings!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A girl can never have too many tabletops……


I’m running out of tables!

I have a six foot one and two three footers in my craft room, a dinning table in the dinning room…..all are covered with projects in various stages of completion, so now…….

IMG_2194I’m working on the patio table!  Nothing like spreading out….I haven’t used this table before but this won’t be the last time, I like working out-of-doors.  I was free to splash, spray and sprinkle paint without worry of damaging floors or furniture.

I’ve been taking an on-line sketching class from Jane Davies and one of the exercises has been to cover large sheets of paper with random marks using very wet paint, thick paint, India ink and different tools to vary the thickness and density of the lines.

After selecting areas of the pages with interesting design, I cut the large pages into 6x6 inch pieces.


Voila….. background papers for my journal pages.

IMG_2197                                                                                                                                              Add a little paint to the background of the page, tear or cut the newly hand-painted paper add some lettering or marks made with oil pastels and you have created some fun, new journal pages!


I think I still have some room on a table in the garage, maybe, I should get out there and make something!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Up for a challenge?


I decided I was and you might be, too!

In the March/April issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, the editors issued an art making challenge called “supportive art” because it is based on: the ever supportive bra!  In October, CPS will be showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness month by publishing  reader’s art, based on the bra, and entered in the magazine’s challenge!

Having had a bi-lateral mastectomy in December of 2006, and being fortunate enough to have had the cancer detected early and treatable,  I thought I might try to express some of the experiences and feelings in the form of art.

IMG_2175 My bra is made from metal window screen material!  To me the mesh signifies the harshness of cancer with it’s tough, sharp, prickly edges, yet, like a cancer survivor it is malleable and strong!

With one breast missing, I’ve given the piece the title of “Loss and Gain” because we may have lost a body part but we have gained a heart full of things like…..strength, bravery, courage, hugs, creativity, love and so much more!





My heart is FULL!!!






Most of us have had some experience with cancer, be it ourselves or someone we know and love, this could be your opportunity to share your feelings and support the cause of breast cancer awareness.  But hurry, pictures of your challenge art work need to be submitted on-line by May 1, you can go to ClothPaperScissors web-site to learn more or pick up a March/April issue of the magazine.

I, also, encourage all of you to have an annual mammogram, if you aren’t already!  That is how my cancer was discovered.   I had a tumor in each breast and both were malignant and they were very small…..not detectable by self exam.

I could have had a lumpectomy and radiation but because of my age and my reluctance to having radiation….I elected to have the bi-lateral mastectomy.  I’ve never regretted it and I am very appreciative of God’s granting me these extra years with my family and for his gift of creativity.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inspiration flags……


I’ve been reading a lot about prayer flags lately and wanted to make some for myself.


For now, mine hang over the valance in my “playroom”!  I plan on putting them outside when the weather gets a little better and I may add a few more flags to make it longer.


I used 5 by 6 inches pieces of painter’s drop cloth for the flag bases.  I did coat both sides with gesso before I painted them with acrylic craft paint and I used Sharpie pens for lettering and highlighting the designs.


Since everything about my flags is non-traditional, I am calling them “inspiration flags”  instead of  prayer flags.


The goal of sending positive messages into the cosmos remains the same.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time flies……….


This past week just got away from me…..little time for art, not much blog reading, no blog writing….I’m attempting to make up for that today!

Actually, I have noticed that some people share artwork they have done in the past on their blogs.  I’ve, for some reason, always thought the art I shared had to be fresh off the presses, so to speak!

So, for today I am taking you on a short trip down memory lane!  Without admitting I am much over forty (haha), I will tell you that I started painting in oil paints in the 1970s when I first discovered tole (decorative) painting.  Over the years, I taught classes and sold my work and switch from working in oils to using acrylic paints.

I just thought it might be fun to take a look back on some of the work I did yeeeeeeeaaaars ago!!!

IMG_2152 This really is “tole” painting… is painted on tin tray!  The rest are some fun decorative painted wood plaques.

IMG_2154 IMG_2155









It is kinda’ fun to go back and take a look at what you’ve done.  Sometimes you see how much you’ve progressed other times….not so much.

These aren’t too bad!  There, also, seems to be a resurgence of interest in this painting style.


What I do now is freer and less realistic but this was a great learning experience and we had a ton of fun doing it!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Still working on simple……


Now that I’ve had my fill of chocolate bunnies, peeps and Easter bonnets….I’m ready to try again to make my work simpler.

So the latest journal page looks like this…….
















I’m not overly impressed by the circles drawn on the top of the page but…..too late now!









So, when I’m not doing simple I do this……


Let’s hope for more sunshine, beautiful spring days…..and time to create!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter


From the Easter Bunny and two of our “Snuggle Bunnies”…….

IMG_2132…..and all of the blessings of the day!

My art journal page nod to the season.

IMG_2115 I know I can get a lot of “stuff” and texture on a page….now, I’m trying to make my work simpler.  Strange….simple is harder.


Gesso and watercolor on the background, dyed paper towel for color, touch of paper and sequin waste.


The bird is a book page and more sequin waste sitting on a piece of dyed paper towel, a torn coupon and the top of a card game tally sheet.

Happy Easter from my family to yours.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Playin’ in the rain…..


Actually I’m inside, not outside, but Oregon has just experienced the wettest March on record!  What a lovely record!!!  Since it won’t stop raining and we are stuck inside, I’ve been playing.

Recently, I’ve seen some great portraits people have been doing.  I don’t really love to draw (and portraits require some drawing)….it’s a lot like work, sometimes.  Lots of things are easier….but if you want your art to get better, sometimes you just have to do the hard stuff.

So, I decided to make it fun…..I drew this kinda, sorta, looks like me sketch….


and made a copy, then drew and painted over it!


The pink hair isn’t too bad but I’m not too sure about the big black nose!











This one I tried a brush pen, a fine tip pen, watercolor painting the negative spaces and most fun of all, oil pastels.

For those of you who are now convinced I have lost my marbles…these are cool little exercises in drawing free-style.  Not to be taken seriously but great little practice pieces.

Now, I’m going to try drawing with my left hand.  Who said drawing wasn’t fun!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Journal pages…..


For some time, now, I have been admiring the monthly journal pages posted on the wonderful blog “The Kathryn Wheel”. 

I haven’t participated because I don’t follow her recommended format of using “tidy” squares in which you write your daily activities…..but this month I am throwing caution to the wind and jumping in!   If you, dear reader, have an interest in journaling you will find a ton of inspiration if you go HERE!

I have kept a journal for a few years now.  I started with a garden journal and have progressed to a very messy, but interesting, everything journal!!!  I mean everything, this is my art journal, my daily journal, my list making and idea journal, as well as, a record of daily coming and goings!

The other thing I don’t do that Kathryn recommends is journal on facing pages….so, I am a rule breaker….big time!  March just happens to be on facing pages, like this….


An example of “notes to self”……these are some ideas I’ve had for adding color to my garden…….

IMG_2109 you get the idea….this is some of the stuff I keep in this journal. 

Because this is my first time joining this monthly journaling event…..I’ll share January (not facing pages) spread with you and February (facing pages), too.










Thanks for inviting me….I look forward to seeing all of your journal pages!