Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Daniel Smith's Having a Big Sale!!

Daniel Smith is having a big sale—30% OFF your order, including sale items and outlet items! Good until midnight, September 6th! Please click the logo in the right column and use code WBTHSEPT.

Thanks!!

Now, where's my list.....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Once Again, You Just Never Know What You Might Find!

Look what I've found!! An unfinished painting! Oh, be still my heart!!
Mr. Snowman

I've been starving for something to paint that wasn't sketch related, but loathed stopping and taking the time to plan out a painting! So you can imagine my surprise, when on a hunt for hot press paper, I flipped the cover back on this block of paper and there was an unfinished snowman!! YAY!!!!

I've no idea why he wasn't finished in the first place. No doubt, I wasn't pleased with some little something and abandoned him, mid-painting. Bad me. But yay! for me now!! I have something to paint!! He may wind up being a Christmas card. Then again, maybe not.

I worked on him for a couple of hours this afternoon and I've sketched in the jacket which wasn't there before. Still need a background and other refinements. What color would you paint the jacket? I'm kinda leaning towards red.....not sure whether to add texture or not. Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wow! There Goes Another One!

Another month! And another class!
Dandelion Snow
Artful Journaling: Explorations just finished up and the image above is from our last assignment! It's salt and sand! This class was so much fun and it was made so by the fabulous students in the class—so much creativity and talent! Totally fun!

The cool thing about these classes (IMO) is that we learn as much from each other as the students learn from me. I put an idea out there and they come back with several of their own that I wouldn't have thought of in a dozen years! I love it when those creative sparks fly and we're all able to see different thought processes and approaches to the "technique."

Artful Journaling: Explorations is about learning new ways of looking at the journaled page as well as learning new techniques to give your page a different look. And these techniques can carry over into painting an actual painting as well.

If you're interested, I do hope you'll check it out here. The next Explorations class starts on Tuesday, September 21st!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

FALL Class Schedule Now Posted!!!

Detail of Texture from Autumn Tree, Watercolor Painting

The kids go back to school in our county today. The football season has begun and the voter booths are open today, and even though it doesn't feel like it.....it's gotta be Fall! And it's shaping up to be a busy Autumn with lots of new classes on the schedule! Please visit September's i•Trav•e•logue for all the details!
Detail of Texture from Autumn Tree, Watercolor Painting

The two images above are details from a recent painting exploration we did in the Artful Journaling: Explorations class. As I was talking with my husband about this painting, I found myself calling it a failure.....and I knew that wasn't right. I stopped to examine what I was saying. I was a bit disappointed that once again the need to be perfect had slid back in.

You see, I had judged this painting a failure because the end result, the "product," is not destined to be a show piece, a gallery piece or even a display piece. When I looked at the process and what I learned, this painting was a tremendous success! Once again, I found myself needing to redefine "failure" as well as reminding myself of what my goals for the piece were to begin with!

A failure, to me, would be when I didn't learn anything, when my goals are not clear, or when I repeated an action from a past experience that had already taught me it would not work. I did not set out to create a show piece with this painting. My goal was to learn a simple technique and how I could push it and do different things with it. That goal was accomplished. So where did this word "failure" come from?

It came from fear. Fear that I would be judged as a bad watercolorist at the very least and a complete idiot at the worst. Because it wasn't a "perfect" painting. Fear of not being "good enough" is an insidious thing....and it requires vigilance to keep it out of our thoughts!

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's the Simple Things!!

Below is an image of my studio as it looked back in January, all clean and tidy after the big remodel....

....and it was working fine. Well, kinda. Ummm, well, no, actually it wasn't. Not if I wanted to work on more than one project at the time. Because I only had one work surface. That meant I had to move the current project to start another one and rotate them back and forth. With more than two things on the go, it could get kind of confusing, not to mention messy!

Comfy Studio Chair
 I could (and do!) climb up in my big, comfy chair in the corner to paint or go to the breakfast nook and paint at the table (which I also do a lot). Something had to change, but what? I didn't want to give up my antique drafting table!

I don't know if you've picked up any of the Where Women Create magazines or Cloth Paper Scissor's Studios magazines, but they're full of artists' studios and are quite inspiring. Chris and I have both found some cool ideas for storage in our studios:
An awesome storage solution!

It's an old leather holster that Chris now uses to hold paint brushes so they're not loose in the drawer—pretty clever, huh?!! The featured studios are for all types of creative work, in every kind of configuration, space and location imaginable! Pick one of them up for a visual treat!!

Anyway, after browsing through several articles about studios having separate work "stations" for various types of work—painting, jewelry, sewing, journaling—I realized I was underutilizing my space but could not see how to change it without giving up my table. As usual, it's the simple things that trip me up!!

'scuse the mess!

Tada! I doubled the size of my studio! At least, that's what it felt like when I turned the table long-ways and moved the lamps to the far end!! And yes, there is a glorious mess in here, but I have no less than 5 projects going on at the moment! Woohoo! Just this one small change put me into "creative" heaven! I am sooo loving it! The new arrangement doesn't take up that much more space and actually works quite well. I can even have playmates over to play in the studio now!

Speaking of projects....I am working on a fall painting, two new wc journals with coptic binding (thanks, Lisa, for the inspiration!), I'm outfitting a new wc palette, and Sam won the battle.....we're working on a new tote! More on these as they get completed. It has been a super good, super creative weekend!

What "small" change could you make to free your creative spirit??!! Please share!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hummin' Right Along!

Summer is just flying by. Ridiculously so. What is the hurry, I keep wondering. Well, since I can't do anything to slow it down, I might as well scribble in my journal a little bit faster!

Rollerball Gel Ink Pen and Watercolor
5" x 5" on Watercolor Paper

I will never forget the summer we went on vacation with two of my aunts and uncles, all of their children and my grandparents. We stayed in this big old house on Lake Junaluska (North Carolina) and it had three floors! Of course, stairs were so enchanting to a four year old that I could hardly contain myself! At the top of the stairs, in my parents bedroom, were windows that looked out on a Mimosa Tree.

That tree was constantly covered with hummers! There must have been hundreds of them and they were so tiny and perfect flying bloom to bloom...something that made an incredible impression on little me. I've always wanted to go back and find that house and stay there again to see the hummers, but I'm sure the house, the tree, and most certainly the hummers, are probably gone. So they will live on in my memory and my journal.

This little beauty was sketched for the Artful Journaling Explorations class currently going on. In this lesson, we explore getting more out of the common rollerball gel pen. Another starts on September 21st for anyone who is interested in exploring alternative materials!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Crave Organization

And no one could be more surprised to see that statement on my blog let alone in my head! However, there comes a point in time where enough is enough and I'm past that point! I crave organization and systems and a place for every blessed thing in my house (life) and every last one of those things in their places!! Arrrgh!

In true muse fashion, Sam (my muse's name for any new readers) has risen to the occasion and is trying to help me out by convincing me I need to (stop everything and) make a purse/tote for myself since I haven't been able one I'd have—regardless of price. Now don't get me wrong, my purse is another one of those areas desperately in need of some tender, loving organization, but it is a small area as compared to everything else.

Not to mention this will require copious amount of time I don't have, new material (her eyes just lit up!) and who knows what other paraphernalia. ("No, Sam, we do NOT need a new sewing machine!")

Sigh.

Still....she actually had me sketching out what I thought my ideal purse/tote would look like:

 This is based on my two current favorites that both have features and designs I like.

Then she wanted to go to JoAnn's to look at material. I told her no. She left in a huff.

Now maybe I can get the office cleaned.



That girl!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Two "Poppy" Paintings!

"Poppy"
5" x 7" 
Watercolor and Gouache 
WN 140 lb. CP paper

Meet Poppy! Isn't she just a doll?! She lives with Laura over in the UK. Poppy is a Yorkie and Laura was kind enough to let me paint her lovely face! (If you click on Laura's name, it will take you to Laura's Flickr Photostream where the image I used to paint Poppy lives.) I have had the best time with this! My muse was so excited she was doing little pirouettes all around the studio.

This was painted entirely with a waterbrush. You can see the gouache most clearly at the top of her head in her white "bangs," however there are actually touches of gouache throughout the image. There are also touches of turquoise, purple, red, orange, blue and green.
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The image above was painted in the morning. I kept thinking about it most of the day and finally decided to have another go.....
"Poppy, Fast and Loose"
5" x 7"
Watercolor and white ink
WN 140 lb. CP paper

This painting of Poppy was done in 45 minutes—top to bottom. I couldn't have done it that quickly without having created the first painting. This looks a bit more watercolor-y to me. Not as many color variations as the first portrait. There are touches of turquoise, purple and blue.

Not sure what to think about the white ink.....

Hmmmm, now I gotta go find something else to paint.....this was fun!!!!!!!!