Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dancing Fools

This was homework for class, to draw fruit or vegetables in a grid.

We headed down to Alive after Five, since a friend was playing in the band.  I can't sit for long so a dancing fool is what I became.

Here Dave and I take a twirl or two.

Here my friend Amy was taking photos so I just had to get my silly on.  We had a great time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More Sketching

I've been continuing to do sketches from every day life. They are not perfect but then that is ok. I am just trying to capture a memory. This is out at Market Lake.

This was some random things while having lunch.  I didn't get the proportions right but it was still fun.

I sat in the car and drew a business, then I added color to it later.  Its amazing how if you add a little color that a drawing starts to look a whole lot better than you thought it was.

Went out in the backyard on Sunday and saw this.

This is a young Swainson's hawk that was born in one our pine trees.  He was checking out the neighborhood.

I was able to get quite close to him before he flew away.   What a beauty he or she is.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Creating With PanPastels and Stencils.

I finished up these pages I had started when I had insomnia Sunday night.  The backgrounds were made with stencils and panpastels.  I love using them this way.  Since I learned from Carolyn Dube how to set them with a gelli plate I am ready to role.  Its so easy.  Check out her video on the process below.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Art Journal Play

I pulled out my old moleskine sketchbook recently. It was started in 2009 and I never finished it. I figured its time for some play, so I pulled out my favorite gelatos and just added color. Just pure play in my art journal is one of my favorite things to do.

I did the left side first and it felt like a womb to me so I took up the idea of birthing. Birthing new ideas, new directions to go in my art and creative life. I didn't know it was foreshadowing of events. I have something new I will announce in another post.

This one was created with spray ink and a stencil and gelatos.  I sprayed with hair spray but that wasn't enough to be able to write on well. Oh I would love the perfect pen that would write over oil pastel all the time.

I used some of Julie Balzers stencils over a spray inked background. It was all about play once more. When working in your journal do you always have a plan or do you just play and see where it takes you?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Icon Portraits

So one of the exercises in Spectrum's offering on Nourish this month is all about seeing the divine within and painting an icon like portrait.

My first one didn't work that well. The gold leaf adhesive I use wasn't working and I didn't like the effect of the cardboard.

The second on in process for you. First I added clear gesso and some stablio pencil to highlight areas.

Next I used watercolor pencils and blended with a brush.

Then I added acrylic paint to the face and hair.

Lastly I added gold foil in the background.  I like this one a lot better.

This is one I tried in Panpastels, it really looks different.  I skipped the color pencil stage and it really made it look different.  This process is really fun.  It interesting painting on your own portrait, sometime it looks like you and other times it seems really different. I don't think this one looks like me at all.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lacy Mandala

I thought I would start doing some posts that are a little smaller. I tend to save things and then lump things all together in one big post. Smaller tidbits mean I can blog more often. i hope you enjoy the change.

I made this mandala the other day in a small traveling sketchbook.  Sometimes making these are really satisfying. I thought I would try a lacier look today.  It was fun. Do you like making mandalas?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Montana Folk Festival

Sarah came home for a visit, its been 2 years since she has been home.  We went out for mother daughter haircuts. Don't we look ravishing?

We headed up to Butte, Montana for the Montana Folk Festival. The main stage was right under an old mining frame.

I don't remember this bands name but they played Jewish music and had a man leading everyone in a dance.


This was one of the Peruvian Scissors dancers.  They were pretty amazing to watch.

This was my favorite group the Dardanelles, from Newfoundland, Canada.  Yes I bought their CD, their music was fun and full of stories.

We got to see the Super Moon when we were there too.

There was a showing of all these fun decorated cars. This one was my favorite.

It had empowering words all over it.

Plus some beautiful flowers, my kind of car.

We also got to see the babies.  Kyle, who is Sarah's boyfriend, has twin nieces born.  They spent 2 months in the hospital but were now home. Sarah is holding Adrielle, the tiny one, she was under 3 lbs when born.

Brenna, Sarah's good friend is holding Ryleigh. She is so much bigger.  They are both doing well.

Brenna and Sarah enjoying the music.  I love hearing all the different music. The were so many different kind of music that I can't mention them all.  I learned to love Quebecois music.  I also got a CD from Yves Lambert Trio. Its all in French so I can't understand a word of it but I love the beat of the music.  What a great time we had.

I thought this was so cute, the way the girls walked with arms around each other.  Old friends just happy to be together again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sketchbook Skool

I really have been enjoying the course Sketchbook Skool. Although I art journal a lot and often sketch in the same journal I have long wanted to make it more of my life. To be able to draw things from my life that I don't think I can. I follow all the teachers in the course so it is a real treat to be able to learn from them. The format is wonderful. You meet the teacher, spend time with their journals, get a lesson and homework from them and then share and bask in the wonder that everyone thinks you work in lovely. I had Roz Stendal comment on one of my drawing and you would have thought I had won the oscar, I was so excited. What follows is some of my work in my sketchbook. We work in pen, so no pencil, no erasing nothing big is invested in the drawing.  Once you get over the fear its pretty freeing.

The instructors are Danny Gregory, Koosje Koene, Prashant Miranda, Jane LaFazio, Roz Stendal and Tommy Kane. What an amazing group and that is only semester one. Check out their amazing blogs.

Tommy Kane has a book out of the last 8 years of his drawings, he is so amazing, and his book is incredible. You can only get it through his blog.  It was worth the wait to get it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finding A Routine

When Sarah was here for a visit she brought me a gift. She had gotten some free samples from Dick Blick.  So I got to try out their studio acrylics.

I uses them in the background of this journal page.  I only had the three primaries and then I used some white Liquitex Basics to blend some colors.  Oh, I really like this paint. Its an equivalent to the the Basics line of Liquitex but it seemed to be a better paint. There was more pigment and it comes in so many more colors.  I'll be getting a supply of them soon.  I like to use the studio grade paints for my fearless painting projects and in my journals too.  

I ordered this when I was in Ireland so I'd have some great reading when I got back home.  Its a riot of color to be sure.  There are many other contributors but it still feels like Tracy's book. She has included a lot of her own personal stories which I like. I feel I know her a little bit more. Many of the exercises I have done before but there is still a lot for me in this book.  I am about half the way through the book and am enjoying it. Tracy is one of the presenters for Spectrum this month. So I have gotten to see her on video as well as in print. That's a plus in my book.

I have been having a little difficulty getting back into the swing of things with my art.  I've done a few pages in my journal but not much else.  So many things seem to be pulling me away.  Ive been watching videos from the Spectrum months I missed.  Now making the time to do some artwork has been harder. My computer has been in the shop to get a new battery and now that its back I feel like I am playing catch up. I have been having fun sketching but I'll leave that for the next post.  My writing coaching group that I am a part of is going to be taking a lot of my time. So the blog is going to be suffering a little but stay with me.  Soon I'll be back to a regular schedule again. Finding a routine that will work for my art and writing time is my goal for this coming week. It might end up that there really is no routine, that I just need to do it, to forget about schedules and plans and go with the flow.

I've been reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods.  Have you read anything fun and enjoyable this summer?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Finding My Way Back To Making Art

I slowly am getting back to normal. Coming back from an overseas trip involves lots of adjustments.First getting used to a very different world again, catching up on sleep and discovering that you have a million things to do.  I was gone 23 days so I have a lot of catch up to do. I really missed my studio but haven't managed to spend too much time there yet.  Too many things pulling me away.

After seeing this book on another blog, I felt like it would be fun to have. It doesn't tell you how to draw a tree but does have some nice examples along with a lot of other items from nature.

So far I tried out some mushroom and one of the trees.  I think it will be fun to play with in the remaining pages of my small moleskine.

This is a face I did on my trip, I was taking the ferry back to Ireland.  I needed something to pass the time.

Then I did this one as a response to my friend Claire, who had asked if I ever did women with short hair. Here is one just for you Claire.

This is an art journal page, my first in a long time.  I am delighted how it turned out since it was really ugly in the beginning.  Just reinforces the idea to keep at it, you don't know where the page might take you.


I decided to sign up for sketchbook skool at the last minute.  I love Danny Gregory's work and all the other artists who taught in semester one.  I am so glad they offered it again. Sketching is something that I really want to improve upon so this class seemed perfect.  Its called Beginnings.

This is my first page.  we were to draw someting that had meaning for us.  Its an excellent class and you can still sign up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wicklow and Glenadough

My last day is Ireland I took a tour with Over the Top Tours.  They are a small tour group, only 14 people so it was more intimate and we went places the big tour buses don't go.

Tom our knowledgeable tour guide had the gift of the gab as many Irish do.  I loved hearing his stories.

The tour took us about twenty miles from Dublin to the Wicklow Mountains.  That's a view of Dublin In the mist.

The scenery was beautiful.

Lovely streams and rocks wee everywhere. 

Everywhere we stopped was beautiful indeed.

Tom showed us where some turf was being cut.  You may know it as peat.  It's that accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter that is found in the bog areas of Ireland.

In this photo you can see where it has been piled up to dry. He explained that it is cut with a spade and then has to dry some before it can be stacked up like this to dry further.  The whole hillside had the scalar mark from turf being cut. The Irish govt is no longer letting it be cut on public lands but if you own property you can cut it there.  They tell me a peat fire has a pleasant and unique smell.

There have been several tv and movie productions filmed in the area. I got to see some of them.

I am standing in front of a field that was used for scenes in Braveheart.  This was where Wallace brings his wife after she has been killed.  I need to watch the movie to see if I recognize it.

Here I am on the bridge where Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank meet in the movie P.S.I love you.  I was waiting for Gerard to come and sweep me off my feet alas that didn't happen.  We also saw the village where Ballykissangel was filmed but we didn't stop there.

The countryside was rugged and beautiful.  I imagine that when the heather is in bloom it would be quite the sight to see.

Lots of rocks and streams to see.  Then I saw something I hadn't expected to see. It was down a ravine so we were a little ways away from it.

It was the cast and crew of the A&E series Vikings. There are long boats on the shore, people in costume mulling about and some of the village sets.  I could see people in the water and some on the shore so it looked like either two scenes were being filmed or they were rehearsing. I had my binoculars with me so looking through them I had a great view.  It was pretty cool to see this.

These longboats were a little closer.  I love how they look like dragons.

Who wouldn't love a face like this.

The poor little guy found himself on the other side of the fence from mom.

Then we headed to Glendalough which means two lakes. To get to the lakes you got through St Stephens church and Abbey ruins.

There was a tower and graveyard and several walls that remained from the original structures.

Lots of stone structures that never fail to amaze. Then we took a hike to the lakes which were very beautiful.

They were very serene and I could have spent time there just soaking up the ambiance.

It was a wonderful way to spend my last day in Ireland. I hope those who followed along with me enjoyed my trip to Ireland.  It was full of ups and downs and fantastic connections and wonderful experiences.  I was so delighted to meet my relatives, to see where my grandparents had lived, to meet some internet friends and enjoy some of the sights of Ireland and England. It was a thrill to meet you, Claire, Lisa and Donna.  What a fantastic summer it's been so far.