Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm ready - Or Not!

I have my new journals ready for my trip and classes. I have one for Laure's upcoming class (The Imaginary Trip To The Garden where there is still openings available). It has the butterfly on it. I have the blank white journal for Mitzi the pink poodle to decorate and write in for Roz's International Fake Journal Month

and I have one with a bird on the front filled with 90# paper, both hot and cold-pressed to see if I like working on it. This should cover me for my whole trip and more.

The reason for the second picture showing the bottom edges of the journals is to show you what happens when you don't want to waste the cardboard so cut it where it will barely fit. The journal with the butterfly barely fits in the cover. It saved me a lot of wasted cardboard but I will not do this again. I'll probably have worn or dirty pages later because I tried to save a few cents. The journal on the right is much better and I will do it like this from now on. Sometimes it doesn't pay to skimp.

I also have a large bag full of my art supplies, some knitting and I even have my suitcase almost filled with clothes. Still have to pack up my computer but I am waiting till the last minute for that. So I am almost ready but I always hate leaving home and most of my pets even though I'll enjoy the trip. So I am almost ready but not quite!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fake Journal Month for 2011 and A New Class

It's time for Roz's International Fake Journal Month again.  You can find out all the info by clicking on the button (I can't seem to remember what the clickable pictures are on the sidebar) of the blue dog on pink background over at the top of my sidebar or you can just go here.  Just be sure to scroll down and maybe even go to previous posts to read the whole thing.  There is a description at the top of the blog but if you want to join in do read the whole thing.

I am going to be Mitzi, a pink, standard poodle who happens to be very unusual in that she can do art but hey, my family insists I live in lala land and if that's true then I get to decide what dogs can or cannot do in my world.  I decided that although I prefer toy poodles, I do not want to keep my nose to the ground for a month.  I want to be able to see what's on the table at least!  So stay tuned and we'll see how this goes.

I'm going to be in California for most of the month and I am also going to be taking Laure Ferlita's newest class "An Imaginary Trip To The Garden" so I believe Mitzi will be seeing lots of interesting stuff.  I think Laure still has some open slots too so why don't you join me in both the Fake Journal Month AND Laure's new class? 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Odds and Ends

 I've finished this house picture I've worked on at times over the last two years.  I started it before I began using watercolor.  It's in my moleskine journal and I used watercolor pencils which work in that book unlike watercolor.  This is purely imaginary; a fun escape when I wasn't feeling so cheerful. 

The bluish faced creature is me!  This was done as an exercise suggested in the group The Sketchbook Challenge.    This is a blind contour drawing done in white crayon on white paper so you can't see it even if you peek.  I stood in front of a mirror and drew what I saw, then painted over it all with aqua.  The outline showed up but I went back and wiped out as much blue in the face as possible and added more realistic colors.  One person who saw it on flickr
said it looked like I was looking up from under some water
which I think fits.  My eye got a little off to the side and it's
not any great piece but it was fun and I plan to try it again.

The next piece is a bookmark I made after the bigger picture that looks similar.  I did these in Jane Lafazio's style with the bigger one made for a class of hers I am currently taking at Joggles.  This is ink without using pencil first and then adding watercolor.  I got the pink too dark on the large picture so really went lighter on the bookmark.  It looks better.  I'm having fun in this class and if you are wanting a beginner's course in watercolor journaling this might be the ticket for you.  It's fun even if you aren't a total beginner.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Sun is Out Again!

Nope, I didn't match the title to the picture again. Today is finally sunny after a week of clouds and finally rain. I loved the rain but hated the week of cloudiness. We got enough to water our trees so I am happy. That means water for the well too.

I didn't do anything spectacular to the rest of this page. I really just wanted to let my pear shine. You can see the blotches I mentioned in my earlier post behind the flowers I stamped on the page. Now that I look at it online I'm thinking the white is a bit bright. Maybe I'll go back in and try something else or maybe that will wait for another day. I'm pretty happy overall and ready to do a new page. Hope you are having a sunny day too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rainy Day!

This pear has nothing to do with the title. I just wanted to show it as I am happy with how it turned out. It's done in an old journal I made for a class so the page had white spatters on it and in another spot some really ugly bleedthroughs. First I drew a graphite pencil sketch and then used colored pencil to color it in. I made the pear in response to a green challenge and now have the challenge of finishing my journal page to work around the ugly spots or to incorporate them.

Mostly I just want to shout out "it's raining, it's raining"! Not a deluge by any means but over 1/4 inch to be sure and maybe 1/2 inch. That's a big deal for us here in the desert. Of course it also means all the little weeds are going to grow and then make stickers that attach to my dogs, gets transferred to the carpet and maybe my bed or bathrobe and that part is no fun at all but still, it's raining!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Jacqueline Newbold of Art in My Heart just gave me this award. Thankyou Jacqueline! As part of this award I am supposed to tell you seven things about myself. Hmmm... and then I am supposed to pick up to 15 others to pass the award on to. Well I can certainly tell you seven things about myself. Let me think a moment.

1. I am a tea drinker. When everyone around me is drinking beer, wine or soda, I drink iced tea if it's available. Go out for dinner, I want iced tea. My favorite warm up is hot tea although I don't drink it first thing in the morning. Then it's hot coffee. And Lipton tea is my all time favorite. I tried herbals and other brands of black teas but being a person of basic tastes, I now just stick with Lipton.

2. I am one of the few women who hate clothes shopping. I don't even care about fashions. To me, that's a waste of time and effort trying to keep up with what someone else tells me is the "right" style for this season or the "right" color for that one. I wish my daughter would just buy me some basic, good quality clothing and leave me out of the whole process. (She's beginning to get that idea and I get clothes as gifts :).)

3. I have four dogs who I love dearly but someday, instead of a shelter or mistreated dog, I want to have the tiniest poodle and I want to color it's hair pink.

4. I want to have a brightly painted house. One that everyone in the neighborhood says "oh, no, we have a hippie living here" kind. I want to combine pink, purple, yellow, turquoise and red somehow. It might get to be a bit toned down but I may just do brighter colors although not in their primary deepness. I can't do it now because my husband doesn't want it but someday...

5. I cut my own hair. I've cut it for probably the last 35 years. I didn't get good haircuts when I paid for them so I just do my own. Sometimes I do better than at other times, lol, but so far I haven't had to hide indoors to let it grow out.

6. Popcorn is my favorite snack and just plain oil and salt is my favorite way of having it. I am thinking of buying some sea salt to see if that is better. I don't eat it quite as often as I once did (almost every day) due to a little problem with weight gain because when I eat it, I eat a huge bowlful (think big mixing bowl). I share some with the dogs but I eat at least 2/3 all by myself. I am not super heave but I can no longer eat absolutely all I want without gaining some weight.

7. I lived for two years in Sasebo, Japan while my husband was stationed there in the U.S. navy. While others took off to Korea or Hong Kong for clothes shopping, I stayed and toured a ceramic factory where I got to paint with glaze on a tea cup, a sake factory where I couldn't drink the vile stuff given to me so the woman who took me got to drink everyone's including mine, a pearl farm, a Samurai home now museum and a traditional family home where we climbed stairs down the hillside into a bamboo forest which felt like being in a beautiful cathedral.
I also got to go to a kimono show (like a fashion show) where I saw kimonos that cost upwards of $20,000 or more. They were hand-dyed, hand-stitched and embroidered. Very beautiful. I participated in a tea ceremony and basically just enjoyed my stay thoroughly.

Well now I am to list some new people to pass this award on to. I know many people don't like to participate in these so I am going to point you to some blogs you might enjoy. These are either new, underexposed or interesting. And if these bloggers want to pass on the award great, if not I totally understand.

1. A new blogger, Elizabeth Rose Stanton of Penspaper Studio.

2. Robin who is in a group and class with me whose blog I have been enjoying called Pink House Studio

3. Kelly who draws, paints and photographs nature, especially birds and is found at Red and the Peanut

4. Anne Huskey-Lockard who makes delightful mixed-media art and has a predilection for rust and found objects can be found at El Milagro Studio

5. Dan Kent who does pen and ink sketches, watercolor and tells such great stories. He can be found at Dan's Canvas

6. Laure Ferlita who I talk about all the time here but besides teaching watercolor journaling through her Imaginary Trips but also has an interesting blog at Painted Thoughts Blog

7. Jennifer Edwards a wonderful watercolorist and blogger who just started a new blog to record the happenings of Genevieve at Drawn2Be
but check out her old blog too at Drawn2Life

These ought to be enough to show you something new and interesting. Have fun looking around at these blogs.

Now, if the bloggers mentioned above want to pass on the award, you do it by copying the picture of the award and pasting it on your blog. Link back to the one who awarded it to you. Then you tell seven things about yourself and list links to up to 15 blogs you want to pass the award on to.
That's it and its interesting to find out something about bloggers we admire but don't feel you have to do this. There should be total freedom and ease in blogging.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Wow, was this an exhilarating trip! We went all over Ireland visiting so many types of places from cities to the countryside to the seashore. Ireland is a land of many beautiful sights.

I've shown almost all the pages I painted for this class. These are the final versions after corrections or enhancements were made after the gentle critiquing from Laure was done. I still need to come up with a cover and I am not showing one for which we didn't have permission to share our work with anyone outside of the classroom. (I guess that means if you want to know what it was, you'll just have to take the class and remember that is with Imaginary Trips with Laure Ferlita as the tour guide).

If you are wanting to paint flowers, keep an eye on Imaginary Trips as I do believe there is going to be a class for that soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Few of My Recent Pages

 These are some recent pages in my journals.  They each stretched me a little.  To start with, my cat was drawn in colored pencil on red paper.  That meant getting my whitish cat to show up and I did that.  I didn't get the blue comforter to look as much like a comforter as I should have but after working so hard on the cat I was getting tired of it not coming out as I would have liked.  What is wrong?  To start with, she looks like she is colored in with a white pencil.  She doesn't look like she has fur.  I did okay I think on her face and it does look like my cat so I am happy about all that.  Also, I did this live with my cat turning her head this way and that and finally shifting even her body position so I feel good that I got her down as well as I did.  When I look back in years to come I am hoping to see that I have improved on her over time!

The next page was done with a pre-done background of a red dry brushed corner added to the page.  It took me a long time to figure out what to fill the page with.  I ended up doing my canary as he sat on his perch.  This was another live drawing but I probably will try for a photo next time.  He doesn't like me to stay so close and I can't see him if I'm not!  Reading glasses only make it worse.  I am happy with him but not his beak.  I didn't really get his whole face right but I have plenty of time to try again.  He was done with watercolor and a waterbrush.  I added a bit of penwork to finish him off as he seemed to need a little something after I added the background.

Next up comes my plastic, thermal, iced tea glass.  I decided to try out my new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen which I have heard such good things about.  Many of the people whose sketching I enjoy use these pens.  It actually is a fountain pen with a brush instead of a nib.  It was harder to draw with this pen over a pencil or regular pen than I was expecting.  The ink wasn't running strongly yet and I thought that was the way it worked but later found it started flowing very well.  Then I learned that I was going to need some practice to learn to control the thick and thin lines this brush can make.  Lastly I learned that on my multi-media paper at least, the ink does not dry very quickly and smeared when I went back in with watercolor.  So...

...I took another page to do some practicing!  I tried to see how it would do with comma and S strokes like I'd use in Folk Art painting.  I doodles little pictures quickly and just some lines, a couple of letters in calligraphic style and just tried to get used to the way this brush works.  I'm thinking if I can learn to control it, I will like how it can make the various lines and marks. 

At any rate, this is some of what I have been working on.  I have been taking a few classes, some better than others.  My favorite again, is the Imaginary Trip to Ireland with tour guide Laure Ferlita.  I'll be posting a few of the pictures later on. 

So what have you been working on?