Saturday, January 31, 2015

Posting and traveling

Huh! It never occurred to me that I'd have trouble posting pictures to the blog from my iPad! In truth I don't paint every day but on the days I do I try to paint a lot. So I have paintings to cover this weekend while I'm in Spokane. But last night I couldn't get that day's painting posted so I put it directly on Facebook. When I get home I'll try to catch up on the blog....

I'm visiting my niece who is in graduate school in Spokane. Last night she and her roommates were talking about their 'like lists,' things they like a lot bordering on obsessions, and how it was useful if you needed an idea for a project. I do that with my Inspiration file of pics on the computer. But I can see making a list would be a fun thing to do. Topping my list this morning would be 'strong coffee,' which I do not have yet! I made the motel coffee per instructions but less water....and it's still pretty dilute! But we're going to Shauna's favorite coffee place this morning....,wonder how late grad students sleep on a Saturday?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The colors of Shadow

Shadow is a very black dog.....she has a few white hairs on her belly and that's about it. In the painting I used I used Payne's gray knowing it would read blue....but the actual painting is much blacker than the photo. I messed with the color balance and still can't get it to read true. But I like her with the color, too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weston on a crevice walk

My sister, who lives on several hundred acres in Central Texas, loves to take her grandkids on what she calls a 'crevice walk.' The kids and Mary walk out to the tank on their property, which apparently has lots of irregular ground around it, some crevices a foot or so deep. Her youngest grandchild and only grandson (so far) went on his first crevice walk recently and she took a picture of it. I tried to paint the picture based on the photo....well, as my husband says, it was a picture of a whole kid, the face was small and easy to mess up. I just insisted on putting that spot of light on the dark side of his face, as it was in the photo, and I'm not sure that it reads well. It's not nearly as cute as Weston is so I'll have to try another picture of him again.....What struck me about this picture was how much a he looked like a big boy....I don't know if it was the hair cut or the new status as a crevice walker, but he looks like he's grown a lot just since Christmas!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

acrylic and watercolor face

This is another face that started in an effort to not waste extra acrylic paint. But then I combined it with Shauna Maple's favorite wet in wet method to get more of the features.....she said I taught her that technique. She reminded me of it---it was fun!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Spring awakens, 3

Another spring flower girl....this one makes me think of those windy early spring days...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why is a likeness so hard to achieve?

We are having a beautiful spring like day here in the Pacific NW. Seahawks are on their way to Arizona---I'll be driving home from Spokane during the Super Bowl! Not a good plan....but hopefully someone will text me with the score.

Our neighbor, Jerianne, just came up to pick up the picture of her dog, Charlie, that I posted yesterday. She thinks it looks just like him! I sold my first painting....for a batch of chocolate chip cookies! But then I worked on this painting today, of a familiar face but without an image transfer.....and it could be anyone! Or no one, but not the person I was thinking of at any rate! Oh, well, what to do but keep plugging away...I'm not 30 days into this daily painting thing so can't expect much progress yet. But I am having fun!

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I am much more confident painting pets! I don't know why....maybe the likeness isn't so obviously off or something. This is our neighbor Jerianne's dog, Charlie. I see them almost every day out walking on our road and Charlie is always happy to see me. Gotta love anyone who feels that way! It was fun trying to get a likeness....

Friday, January 23, 2015

Skin tones, better?

After I took this picture I went back and tried doing more blending on the face. I thought I got rid of some of the lines, but when I took another picture it looked about the same! My husband, probably responding to my stress level rather than the picture, thought I should call it done and I am. I like it better than the first one....I may try again, but maybe with a newer picture of Dino! He's growing right up!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Does this count?

I say yes! But then I AM trying to make that daily count....this is another face I did when I was trying to use up paint.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Long day

It's a good thing I was ahead a painting or two...I didn't come home until after 7 and am not about to pull out the paints and stuff now!

This is another in the Spring Awakens vein.....but no French poetry was used in collage on this one....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ah, the first sunny yard work day of the year. It is not hard to believe that spring is on the way. When I weeded down to the bottom of the border in the front yard I found all kinds of things coming up under the insulation of the grass. If we get a freeze soon (and it is still January so that's entirely possible) I'm going to have to protect those new exposed plants....I only got about half of the border done before I got too cold to continue. But it was great while it lasted!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dino, first try with apologies to Leilani and Susana

I've been thinking about my friend, Susana, who would like nothing better than to be here at home, playing with her new grandson. Instead she's been in Chile since before Christmas due to a family emergency. I knew I'd never get a likeness without doing a transfer first, but it was a crappy transfer. My mistake was that I persisted, figuring this is just the first try. And in spite of the transfer I don't think it much resembles Dino----he's way cuter! But I have to post something today and this is what I've been working on.....

As you can tell I had a really hard time getting the skin tone I'm throwing in the towel on this one and moving on to the next project.....Hopefully the transfer will go smoother on my next try.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Seahawk in the rain

But still out there playing, with odds stacked against them......what a team.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday, all day

I did not sleep well last night! So maybe I was projecting a little when I did this piece....Betty Wilkins does beautiful art with collage. I sort of randomly painted a panel to get rid of the white then glued down part of a poem (in French, found on the street in Revel in September. Someone had apparently left the text block in the trash while rebinding with the original covers). If the Google translator is to be believed, the title of the poem is Spring Awakening.....with those big eyes and that look on her face it must have been a hard winter!

I thought I'd get lots more painting done today but instead went to an excellent lecture on Golden products by Barbara dePirro. Golden's products are superior, but what I really like is how much emphasis they put on education. They pay practicing artists like Barbara to talk about and demonstrate their products...and they have a wonderful web site with lots of information about their products and ways to use them. And with Derek Gundy giving discounts on art products purchased today by those of us who came to Artist's Edge in Poulsbo to hear Barbara's talk it was win/win. But a lifetime will not be long enough to use all the art stuff I have....I think I need to have an art open house soon...

Oh, yeah, the painting...which was really mainly collage (thanks for the colored paper, Chris Cuneo).

Friday, January 16, 2015

From the Skagit flats

This is a picture I painted from our birding expedition last week, three trumpeter swans. They love the mud! It was fun to paint but I have a lot to learn.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

In the meantime, a glass face!

I started a painting this morning but it is not done and will not be done today! I thought about just skipping a post but kind of think I need to keep some momentum here's a glass face I made this week. She's an 8 inch plate, going to Liberty Bay Gallery tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

save the acrylics face

I was painting with acrylics recently. Whenever I have left over paint (which is all the time when I paint with acrylics!) I hate to waste it. I had been wiping my brush off on a page in my journal when I realized I was contouring a face with the paint. So I finished it up and that's what I'm posting tonight.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Letting watercolor do what it does

My favorite paintings are like this...this is really a sketch, not a painting...but I love it when watercolor gets juicy and runs together and it works. Sometimes, of course, it does this and it turns into mud. But I like the look of this one! I don't even mind that I got the proportions wrong and it ran onto the other page!

Monday, January 12, 2015

foggy sketch

One of my favorite pictures from our day in the Skagit flats yesterday was the line of trees in the fog. I thought that would be a quick one, but I just kept working on it trying to improve it. I finally decided it was just a sketch and to let it be. Although this was a day off for me and I had planned to get more painting done (to get ready for going back to work this week) I ended up not getting another painting done. I did get another glass face put together and it's fusing now. I may end up posting it if I don't get anything done tomorrow!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The advantage of extra paintings

Today I did not paint but I went birding with Patti and Ellen, over to the Skagit River flats. One of the first things Ellen asked me was how I was doing my blog today.....and thankfully I had an extra painting from yesterday!! That darned Max, Betty Wilkins' puppy, is so adorable. This is the third or so painting I've done of him....I don't know if the resemblance is there by the time I'm done but I sure have fun with that spiky hair!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Weston's a little young for an eye job

But I do think it helped. Now I'm going to call it good and go on to the next one....

So far so good

I worked a good part of the day yesterday on this picture of Weston (although the resemblance was better in the drawing). Last night I finally quit knowing it was not done. This morning I got back and replaced his eyes...added some stuff....Never quite got it to be Weston but I am finished! Except, crap! Now that I look at the picture I need to go back and make those eyelids blend a little more! Well, if I change it I'l post it. Otherwise I'm going back upstairs to work on another glass face. I can only fire one large face at a time so I will need to buy another large shelf soon...or plan a little better!
It does feel good to be working upstairs again---pellet stove is burning and dogs are keeping me company. I'd better finish this latte and get back upstairs!

Friday, January 9, 2015


A whole day to paint....except I went to Pt. Townsend on an errand (love those errands that take me to Pt. Townsend!!), then came back by the Liberty Bay Gallery where I dropped off another glass face, this one:

It really looks so much better in person. Then I came home and scribbled on the quickly sketched daisy I started this morning....then I took a nap! So this is my painting for the day and I hope I make better painting choices tomorrow...but I did have a fun day!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My style is wonky!

But I do kind of like this sketch of Bill's folding reading glasses. I noticed them on the edge of the bar and they were making such cool reflections and shadows....and I even the the sketch is fairly accurate, in a wonky kind of way.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

And then there are dogs....

I should have had a plan for this daily painting thing....I paint a lot of dogs....not the animals, either (although I do some of those) tonight I'm home late, tired, and going to post the sketch that I thought I wouldn't post yesterday! It was exciting to open the 3 bottles of Hickory Flat Basics that I made at Mary's over Christmas that's what I sketched last night. Now I'm going to post that sketch, open the bath salts and soak!!! And then use some of the shea butter lotion and grease up....but don't worry, I'm NOT going to sketch any of that!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quick and wet

That's my recipe for doing sketches after a 9 hour work day....but to be honest, I did this one yesterday, trying to get one ahead. Now I gotta get to work for something to post tomorrow.....3 weeks to get into a habit, right? I think it's worth the effort...

This is a watercolor done from an Internet picture. Unfortunately I 'clipped' it a few months ago and did not get the source to credit. The reason this quick sketch works at all is because it was a strong photograph, I think....

Monday, January 5, 2015

Weston....or his dad?

I keep trying to get a better likeness with family. I particularly liked this picture of Weston that I tried to paint a few days ago. I think this is closer to a likeness.....or does it look like his dad did at this age?! Painting is still ahead and I hope I can keep the resemblance....

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Daily Painting, another view

I just listened to a Webinar with Mary Bentz Gilkerson on 7 tips to improve your painting skills. The first tip, and the one she continued to stress, was daily painting. To paraphrase, you develop your own style with a brush in your hand. You can't do it without putting in the work. And people who paint daily will improve. So to that end I'm posting today's sketch (yep, according to Mary daily sketches and work ups to get ready for a painting count as daily painting)'s a watery mess, but I do love the way things look when watercolor runs I need to learn how to tighten it up after it dries without overworking....Wet in wet was also a good summary of today's weather, gray and rainy and just plain soggy. I love the Pacific Northwest!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015


I used the background from yesterday and acrylics to paint something inspired by Chuck Alverson's butterfly picture on Paint My Photo. But didn't like it, so collaged a variety of rice papers to add some texture (and push back the color)....then did the butterfly. Somewhere in there I just decided to have some fun with it and added sparkly paint in accent areas.....once I figured it was trashed I was more free to do things! Could never get the closest flower (the focal flower, anyway, the one the butterfly is on) to look defined enough....but I finally bagged it. So on to the next occurs to me I should really spend some time planning these paintings a least thumbnails...


Seems like I might have planned this better! Who knew I'd have so many paintings in a row that I didn't want to post?! Well, I guess I would have known that if I hadn't gotten carried away with enthusiasm from reading Daily Painting. So far today my daily painting has been interrupted by road work (spreading rock in the pot holes on our 1/2 mile gravel road) and pruning apple trees (which really was more butchering apple trees)....but now I'm elbow deep in a sodden mess and realizing that once again I may not want to post it....I think I'm out of options for today, though, so check back if you want to see it!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Daily Painting...procrastination

I spent the whole day NOT painting today, avoiding the sketch I'd already put down on paper to try the painting from yesterday in acrylic. Finally started, and stopped. And found other stuff to do. And started again. Long story short it was a wiper....but it was in acrylic so that term Carol Marine uses for paintings that don't work out didn't even apply! So I flipped the paper over and did a colorful background, then sprayed and manipulated the paint a little. Much more fun!! It may become something tomorrow...or I may start from scratch. But it does raise the question of how am I going to continue daily painting when I go back to work?!! I'm going to have to get a lot more efficient and directed with my time, that's for sure!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Weston loves Pawpaw, getting a likeness

One of my favorite pictures from the family holiday was my brother-in-law carrying his two year old grandson. That little boy loves his Pawpaw! My three nephew all have children but Weston is the only boy so far and he's popular with everyone. While this was inspired by his grandfather carrying him, it looks more like one of the uncles! But I hope the feeling is communicated! Now to try it in acrylic...watercolor is hard but it is my go-to media.