Sunday, June 23, 2013

New books and new technique……….


This week I received two new/used books that I ordered through Amazon…… is “The Creative License” by Danny Gregory.  So many artists recommended and referred to this book on their blogs, I had to read it.   I was not disappointed.  I like his writing style and his drawing skills, just know this is not a how-to book…more a “you can do it book”.  Sometimes people just need a little encouragement and this would do it.



The second book, titled “ A Pacific Northwest Nature Sketchbook” was written by Portland, Oregon artist Jude Siegel.  I haven’t read this but I have browsed and I’m looking forward to learning more about her color choices and sketching style.




All of this encouragement and great sketching has encouraged me to experiment a little.  I have these great Pilot Parallel pens that I bought for calligraphy but I’m trying to learn to draw using the wide edge and the thin edge of the nib.  Fun stuff happens!





There are two pens, each nib is a different width, and they hold a changeable ink reservoir so you have several choices of colors.


The drawing on the left is with the wider nib and so it makes a bolder, thicker line, where I used a thinner nib on the right and the changes of line width are more subtle.



The photo below is just drawing with a pen….no pencil allowed, that can get interesting.










In keeping with my new, freer style I did this………………….









It’s spring and it’s Sweet Pea Time!!!!















So, I’ll leave you with some Danny Gregory thoughts:  make time to practice drawing, painting, sewing, cooking, singing…whatever it is that you do that is creative…..JUST DO IT!

Why are athletes held in higher esteem than artists?  And he will introduce you to some of his interesting friends.










Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Being Inspired.........

I'm still taking Roxanne Stout's Nature Journaling class and this is a subject that just gets my creative juices flowing! 

I've said before, I'm not much with watercolors but I have noticed an improvement each time I paint with them.  I have a long way to go to get the free look I'm going for.....more of that practice "thing", I guess. 

Roxanne has encouraged her class to get out their cameras and shoot a few still life here is mine.  These are some things that sit on a wire shelf on our patio year 'round, I just tightened up the arrangement and added some art supplies.

Played with some watercolor and a sunflower.......

 Last post I shared some pictures of the Swallowtail Butterfly that visited our garden Sunday.  So, on Monday I needed to paint him!

Then it was collage time.  Roxanne presented a collage challenge and I love collage and a challenge.
I am planning on binding the work I've done, so far, in this class and making it into a small book and I had started work on the cover.  I needed to finish the inside of the cover, so, I decided collage would be the way to go.

Here is the collage I made.........

You can see where the collage will fold.....the left side will look something like this when it is bound.
......and the right side will look like this!
 My nature journal is really, three journals of different sizes, in different stages and I have different plans for each book.  This is book #1.  I hope this enthusiasm and inspiration last.....till I get them all finished!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

We had a very special visitor today……….


A beautiful yellow and black Swallowtail butterfly came to drink from my Alstroemeria




I love this blossom color combo, apparently my new friend did too!





I’m still having a fun time working on my nature journaling class………





Also, still trying to figure out the new computer and programs……I’m back to Windows Live but, of course, it is an updated version and I’m LOST!  So, let’s just call this a practice run.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nature journal pages.......

Well, here I am posting in Blogger.

I haven't done that in years but I'm giving it a try today!  I've been using Windows Live Writer to write and post my blog but we just updated our computer and that program isn't on it, yet!  When I first started blogging I used Blogger and got very frustrated with how it posted photos, we'll see if that has changed.

I've been practicing my sketching and trying to improve my watercolor skills by taking a Nature Journaling class from Roxanne Stout.  Great class!

Four pages, very fun pages.....a few more paintings and I'm going to bind them into a small journal.

Hope Blogger isn't listening but I think I still like Windows Live better.

Saturday, June 8, 2013



CPS cover

Last Spring, I submitted a proposal to the magazine ClothPaperScissors for the mom/baby book that I had made for my great-granddaughter, Ava Rose.  I did not hear back from them until January of this year! 

That is when they asked me to write a how-to article, make some samples and send them, along with the original book, to them by the first part of February!  Heck ya', I can do that. 

I've been dying to see the finished product ever since and, finally, it arrived yesterday.  I was not disappointed.

I'll show you the magazine pages first.  You really can't read them, but you get the idea........





























I don't know if I'm more excited about the by-line or my first paycheck as a writer!  In any case, I'm pretty excited.

Here is the book cover and a few of the pages that were not shown in the article.







































Miss Ava Rose....the main character in this book!

These are fun, labor of love kind of books and the third one I've made for some very special little girls.

Before I forget.....the whole magazine is filled with great book and journal making ideas.  I believe you can find them for sale at places like Barnes and Noble but, mostly, they are sold on-line through Intererweave  Store HERE!  There is a digital and a print version of the magazine available and they cost $14.95.

If, you have submitted something to a magazine and not ever heard back from them....don't give up!  Keep submitting, one day it will be just what they were looking for.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nature Journaling.......


I'm celebrating Spring by taking a nature journaling on-line class taught by Oregon artist Roxanne Stout.  You can learn more about the class at River Garden Studio and see more of Roxanne's lovely work.

Lesson #1.......Set up an outdoor studio!  Why not?  I already have every available surface inside the house covered with my art "stuff".............




This will do!

It is on the east side of the house so it works better in the afternoon or early evening, that's my usual playtime!




IMG_4125 This is the view from my new "studio" space and I will be accompanied by my "flock"..........





....low maintenance and very quiet, no complaints from the neighbors!






Class started off with making color charts.  I am such a watercolor novice.  I took classes years ago, I mean YEARS ago and was totally intimidated by the medium and never tried again, until recently.  I hoping this class will help me overcome some of that fear and negativity.







Class project #1.  It's O.K. but there is too much pink in the center.  I'm playing around with watercolor pencils using them to add highlights and clean up edges.









Project #2....I had a hard time drawing the shape of the Campanula's petal, so I'm happier with some of the flowers than others.  I did not capture the cup shape as well as I would have liked, either.  It's all about those crazy and illusive lights and darks!

As I keep saying...practice, practice, practice!

Loving this class and being inspired...that counts for a lot in my book!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Creative few days......


The weather has been anything but.......spring like!  Record rain fall in the last two weeks of May.  So, I've put my indoor time to good use.

I drew........IMG_4104 and I experimented with my Stabilo water soluble pencils.......


and added, yet, another layer of paint to my Gelli prints.......


and started stamping them.......




I'm going to use my prints for book pages!






Then when the sun broke through......I admired my bike!



I think I share my bike every spring......but I change the flowers out every year, so it looks a little different!





I hope you have sunshine in your life and if not, I hope you're finding other ways to brighten you life!