Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Tis the season...

... for colds! We have all been under the weather and I think my 14 month old and I got the brunt of it. We are both now on antibiotics treating an ear infection (Jacob) and a sinus infection (me). But through it all I have still been water coloring. I truly think art is a form of therapy.

I deviated from my flowers a few weeks ago and decided to paint a fairy mainly because I found a book on my bookshelf called How To Draw 101 Fairies by Barry Green. It's sort of a juvenile book in that anyone could draw these simple cartoon-like fairies. I love how my little fairy girl turned out but I haven't come up with a name for her yet.

I'll spare you the trouble of pointing out what is wrong with my painting by telling you that the inside part of the wings are going the wrong way.
In keeping with my New Year's resolution to send birthday cards to everyone I decided to try my hand at painting a colt on a birthday card for my mother-in-law. I took this picture a few years ago while visiting her and we both fell in love with this little guy because of it's piercing blue eyes. Again deviating from flowers and fairies.

This was a little 4" X 6" painting but I wanted to paint bigger. My mom bought me this wonderful 12" X 16" watercolor paper for Christmas so I took that out again and drew sunflowers all over it. (My fairy above measures 12" X 16" also).

While I was working on my sunflowers I had another friend's birthday roll around so I decided to paint her a sunflower birthday card, again measuring 4" X 6".

So I'm back to painting flowers because that's what I really like to paint but right now I'm having a little bit of a "writer's block" if you will. I want to paint but I'm not sure what I want to paint. So I'll go play with my boys and hope that insipration hits me again soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


...of-all-trades" that is. I listen to a podcast called Craftsanity (see link on this blog) with Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood and to steel a quote from her she said "I'm a jack-of-all-trades in my creative endeavors". And I think that would best describe me too. I've been thinking over the past few days what I've dabbled in and my list kept growing and growing.
Cross Stitch
Quilting **
Sculpey Clay
Wood Burning
Photography **
Painting (Acrylics and watercolor) **
Sewing garments **
Glass Fusing
Mosaic Tiles
Colored Pencils
Cake Decorating
ATC's (Artist Trading Cards)

Soap Making
Linoleum Block Printing

(These are my "staple" crafts that I will always return to)

And as the days go by I may remember more things I've done. I may also add new endeavors to the list. In the comment section please share your creative endeavors with me as I'm always interested in seeing what other people are doing

Monday, January 11, 2010

Any spare moment I get...

I try to do art of some sort. My husband had outpatient surgery last week and while waiting for him I took my sketch book and The Flower Painter's Pocket Palette by Elisabeth Harden (the same one I referred to in another post). To tell you the truth I was looking forward to my husband's surgery because it gave me an excuse to sketch for hours on end and to get away from my boys for a while. The quietness of a waiting room... loved it!

I was able to do three sketches. I'm still at the point where I need to sketch out my watercolor painting before I actually dive in. The first sketch was ivy, the second was calla lilies and the third was daffodils. I couldn't wait to get home to take paint to paper. The first one I finished painting was, ironically, the first one I sketched.

And then the second one I finished painting were the calla lilies:
Every painting I finish I'm inspired to do another one. That doesn't happen much with me because I'm one of these people that will try something just to see if I can do it then move on. But I think watercolors is going to be another one of my staple things I do. My other staples are photography, sewing garments and quilting; I may put it down for a while but I will always go back to these 4 things.
I have so much to learn about watercolors but unlike my other whimsies I'm taking my time and not rushing through things just to see what the end product will look like... I'm enjoying this watercolor journey.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quilling if willing!

My sister-in-law knows that I like arts and crafts stores. I never know what is going to inspire me or what I'm going to want to try next. This past summer when we were visiting my sister-in-law in Wisconsin she took me to this neat arts and crafts store. I forgot the name of it but we don't have them here in Virginia. I wandered every aisle slowly. Then I walked down this aisle with paper for quilling. Interesting. Quilling.

But I didn't buy anything to get started. It looked very interesting but because I didn't know the first thing about it I decided to get a book and read up on it first.

(From Wikipedia)
Quilling or paper filigree is an art that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is wound around a quill to create a basic coil shape. The paper is glued at the tip and the coil shaped, these shaped coils are arranged to form flowers, leaves, and various ornamental patterns similar to ironwork.

I now have 4 books, quilling paper and a quilling tool. I have practiced a few techniques and it is surprisingly easy.
On page 26 of the book Quilled Borders and Motifs by Judy Cardinal I fell in love with the rose trellis. I decided to create a lattice for my roses instead.
Then I made the individual leaves and roses before assembling it. The roses were kind of difficult because it involved more than just making a coil. The very first rose I attempted was the red one and I think this one turned out the best.
Then I assembled everything. I'm not sure if I'm finished yet. I wanted to do a lot more roses and creeping vines but I really like the simplicity of this.

The last book I ordered on quilling, and received about a week ago, is called Thrilling Quilling by Elizabeth Moad. I haven't tried any of the projects yet but isn't this "beach life" fantastic!! I love the yellow starfish.

This book has hundreds of cute and innovative designs from little baby footprints to bugs and a fairy queen. Of course my favorite is the black cat.

So stay tuned! But right now there is a feud of sorts going on in my head... do I quill or watercolor? Lately watercoloring has won out.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lovin' the watercolors

About 6 months ago I bought a book on quilling. I knew that eventually I wanted to try this but not right then. When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas I told her that I was interested in learning how to quill and that I had only purchased one book so far. She's a very artsy type of person too so I knew that she could find me the right stuff. As Christmas got closer I decided that I wanted to learn how to watercolor (previous blog post). And when my mom asked me if I still wanted to learn how to quill I said "Of course!" I knew quilling was going to be one of those things that once I learned how to do it I would say "Ok I got it, let's move on..." My next post will be on my experiments in quilling.

I still haven't learned all there is to know about quilling but I think I have somewhat of a grasp on what it entails. And sometimes when I have two new mediums I'm working with at the same time I like to cross-breed them and that's what I did with my mom's birthday card. I first painted a watercolor background then quilled a cat and the sun on the front of the card.

My mom's birthday was January first and my best friend's birthday was January second so I decided to paint her a yellow flower on a card...
Watercolors, watercolors, watercolors. I am really starting to like this medium. I'm starting to loosen up. I've borrowed some of my mom's books on the subject plus some of her watercolor paintings to get even more ideas. My first "loosening up" project was to paint pumpkins.
My favorite one is the furthest one to the right NOT touching the edge.

I am also borrowing a book from my mom called The Flower Painter's Pocket Palette by Elisabeth Harden. My first love has always been photography and I have millions and millions of pictures of flowers so here again is my opportunity to combine two mediums... paint pictures I've taken with my camera. My first flower attempt was the gerbera:
They are ok but they look like they're floating in mid air. But I have to keep reminding myself that I'm still practicing. I'm one of these people that likes to get it right on the first try. Last night I practiced painting pansies and I really like the way these turned out.

Yes the bottom right hand corner has a green wash on it. Again, experimenting. I wanted to paint the entire background a very light green but when I did it halfway I liked it just like that.
If the artist Georgia O'Keefe comes to mind when you look at my pansies I will take that as the highest compliment. I love her work. I'm still trying to feel my way around this medium though... will I be a landscape or a seascape painter? Flowers or animals? Portraits? I don't know. But what I do know is that I will try each one. (Right now flowers are in the lead!)