Monday, August 29, 2016

One More Watercolor Card Front

I did one more watercolor greeting card front before I caught the "reorg bug".  Hopefully I'll soon be able to turn them into birthday cards!

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Friends with birthdays at this time of year should receive a card with sunflowers on it, don't you think?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Basket Weaving

My art (and this blog) have taken a bit of a beating this week as I got the inspiration to reorganize my office/art studio.  But I found a few pictures on my camera from before I caught the "reorg bug".

Last Sunday at the Vancouver Artist Trading Card swap we had a session of for those of us who wanted to learn basket weaving.  The teacher was incredibly generous and patient, and I've almost finished my first basket.

I can't overemphasize how patient this teacher was, nor how difficult this was for me to learn.  I've always known that I was spatially challenged, but while the other dozen people continued on their own, she had to sit with me for 10 minutes urging me on and correcting my missteps.  I'm getting used to being the worst student in every art class I take!  LOL

She also provided and precut everyone's jute and gave me this wool, as I hadn't brought anything suitable.

Will my newly organized studio allow for any wool purchases?  Perhaps it will!  When I finish my basket I'll post another picture.

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Watercolor Blooms Greeting Card Size

My birthday card stash is running low, so I'm going to do a few watercolor blooms.  This was done wet-on-wet with a size 4 round brush.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Baby Shoes

Gouache, watercolor, handcarved stamps, stabilo pencil

I have enough drawings in my various journals and sketchbooks that I can reuse the images on new pieces.  Now I just need to go through all the books and extract the ones that I like.  This will be an ongoing process, I suspect, but it is fascinating what I find when I browse through them!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Silly Scraps Saturday

The instructions were to make a landscape collage from torn postage stamps, and the exercise was to take 20 minutes.  He listed a pencil in the required materials, so I don't think I cheated too much.  We'll call this "Westcoast Mountains and Rainforest". 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Flower Experiments

I've been doing more Watercolor Bloom Flower Experiments.  Alisa Burke tells us how important it is that we really play with our supplies and understand what they can do.  We won't like all of them (or maybe even many of them), but we'll find a couple of things that we really do like, and incorporate them into our art, making them our own.  This seems like good advice to me, although I rarely follow it.

What I learned:  
  • I don't like the gouache as much as the watercolor for this watery style.
  • I'm more comfortable with the round brushes than with the flat brushes for most things, but I do like holding the flat brush with the tip against the paper and making feathery marks.
  • The flat brush has some potential for diamond shape petals (like hydrangeas), but I need to practice this.
  • I like the flat brush for the gold flower below.  It makes nice white/light spots.  I took a session in flat brush strokes at the Westcoast Calligraphy Society last year, and learned this "ballet slipper" stroke.  It is useful for making bows and pinecones too. (See this post.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

More Crazy Quilts

I've made a few more Crazy Paper Quilt ATC's for the upcoming Vancouver ATC Swap.

I used a few different things for focal points (the starting point for the quilt), like postage stamps and pictures of flowers.

I added embroidery to a few.

And of course, there had to be another bird:

Stamp by Inkadinkado

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beach Treasures

I picked up a few "treasures" at the beach the other day and put them in my sketchbook.  I spent a most absorbing morning, researching and painting them.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Playing with Framing, Cropping, Drawing with Paint, and Contrast

Sketchbooks are wonderful places for experimenting.  At the beach, I made two quick decisions while sketching and painting the stranded boat.  Firstly, I left the sketch unframed; this may have been an unconscious decision, as I have a tendency to dive right in without thinking.  While painting, I deliberately left the foreground trees mostly white, in order to draw attention to the boat.  Before I left the beach, I took a picture of the scene for later reference.

Back home, I did a couple of experiments.  I mostly wanted to play with adding more color and framing, so in the first experiment, I first drew a frame to draw the picture in.  I did no drawing, but started right in with the paint.  (Thanks to Alisa Burke for giving me the confidence to try this!) Only after painting did I add a few details to the boat with pen.

I didn't like this much, the boat had "disappeared", so I tried another, cropping the photo so that the boat was more prominent.

I didn't like this as much as the original sketch either, which had more contrast between the elements, thereby emphasizing the boat, making it more dynamic:

These experiments were useful, although I realize now that I might need to do another one to fully decide about the framing.   

Saturday, August 13, 2016

More Watercolor Blooms, and Thoughts about Alisa Burke

I did more wet-on-wet watercolor blooms last week and forgot to post them.  

Strathmore Cold Press 140lb Watercolor
6" x 9"

I painted this in the journal I started in Palm Springs last December.  That too was inspired by Alisa Burke.  I find both her approach to art making and her process wonderful.  I love her insistence that making art doesn't have to cost a lot, and I have found a lot of information on her web site.  She is a very generous artist who shares her knowledge with beautiful photographs and interesting videos.

Silly Scraps Saturday

Follow the Bouncing Ball, ATC

Malaysia, ATC

One Bird, Two Bird, ATC
Stamp by Inkadinkado

Friday, August 12, 2016

Beach Day!

A number of things conspired and got me to the beach today, including some fabulous weather.  Some people swim, but I went to walk, sketch and poke around the tide pools.  Here's a quick sketch I did of a sailboat on the rocks:

Thankfully, there were lots of boats out there which were faring much better:

I don't get to the beach too often, despite fantasizing about it in the wintertime.  I'm glad that I stirred my stumps and ventured forth!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Amassing another Unused Catalog

I seem to be amassing a large catalog of individual flowers, painted in watercolor from my inspiration photos.  Alisa Burke (in Watercolor Blooms) suggested we play with our supplies by doing this.  One of the objectives was to really test out all the things that our supplies can do.  Mine seems to be evolving into another catalog.  (Obviously I like to sort and name things.)  Unfortunately, when I go to paint I don't seem to refer back to these.  Maybe that wasn't the point; I'll have to watch the video again. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Birds of a Feather

Artist Trading Card
Alcohol Ink and Krylon on Glossy Paper, White Embossing
Stamp on Background by Magenta (Feather unknown) 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Travel Sketching, Victoria, BC

I took a small sketchbook on my recent weekend trip to Victoria.  My travel watercolor kit is housed in an Altoids tin; the watercolors in a chewing gum tray.  I didn't do much sketching, but here is a shot out the window of the BC Ferry on the way over.

I thoroughly enjoyed Victoria on this trip.  Not so much the usual touristy bits, but some of the areas that were totally new to me were wonderful.  The Government House gardens, for example, are an unpublicized gem of the city.  There are some lovely neighborhoods in Victoria, and the city is just the right size for me.  It is more the size of Vancouver of my childhood, rather than the big city that we have become.

We stayed in a lovely Bed & Breakfast called Heathergate House.  Our little suite had a private entrance and I loved their approach to breakfast - they stocked our fridge with a variety of breakfast foods and we made our own when we wanted, without the fuss of a breakfast with strangers.  The courtyard with flowers is a beautiful place to sit, and the host and hostess are very nice.  I would definitely go back here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Need a Card in A Hurry?

Hubby whisked me away for a weekend getaway to Victoria.  We visited family mostly, and I needed a birthday card to take.  This ATC made a nice seasonal greeting, don't you think?

More on the trip later....

Thursday, August 4, 2016

More Watercolor Blooms

This lesson from Alisa's class is Painting on a Dry Surface.   I had a bit more control over this one, but it was equally quick and fun.  Alisa's a very good teacher; these are surprisingly easy!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Last Three Days of Thirty Days of Bible Lettering

For the last three days of  #30daysofbiblelettering we had a nice selection of scripture passages:  the gospel of John, the prophet Isaiah, and Paul's letter to the Galatians.

I'm pondering a similar project based on a Norman Vincent Peale publication.  Norman Vincent Peale wrote the successful (and controversial) book:  The Power of Positive Thinking.  Call me sappy, but it did have an influence on me some years ago.....

Monday, August 1, 2016

More Bookmarks

Here are two more bookmarks from #30daysofbiblelettering.  The lettering is a bit wonky, but they're serviceable.