Sunday, July 1, 2018


Three pieces of watercolor paper and ink.

These three seemed to make an interesting triptych when laid one on top of another, although they were painted separately without thinking about the previous one prior to doing the next.

Another ink on watercolor paper.

I'm taking some time off in July.  

Friday, June 29, 2018


Thought you might be wanting something with color after all the inky and conte crayon stuff in the sketchbook.

Just a scrap of yupo and alcohol ink.

Northwest Dunes

More yupo and alcohol ink.

Rise Up

Monday, June 25, 2018


In my Strathmore sketchbook.  

Not finished yet but getting there.  

Thursday, June 21, 2018


India ink in my Strathmore sketchbook.  It bleeds through a bit - and then you can create something differnt from the bleed through on the other side - like this next one :)

A Picasso-ish creation?  This one on the back of the previous inked one but this one using charcoal.

(Have you been watching the NatGeo series Genius: Picasso?  What an ass the man was!! )

Charcoal in the sketchbook.

Again, the the sketchbook but using charcoal and conte crayons (chalk) along with blue pencil.  

If it wasn't so hot (heat index of 105!!), I'd go out to one of the cemeteries that have the angel statues and draw and/or photograph them as angels are on my mind.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Inky angels...using the Strathmore Mixed Media paper (400 Series) and black ink.

Trying to just hint at the thing...

Ink on paper in my sketchbook and then wiped away the shape...

Sometimes one needs a few angels.  Not sure why mine are so dark - but they are.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Back to the birds.  Another painting based on a photo reference Sweetie took in Costa Rica :)  Only needs a bit of touches to finish it.

Remember that song, "hummingbird don't fly away, fly away, fly away...."  Can't remember who sang it - a duo...Seals and Croft?  

Here is a closeup so you can see the hummer (the painting is a half sheet watercolor on Arches 140# cold press paper).  You can't see it but I put down irridescent medium on the globes and the hummer's body before painting (and his eye isn't filled in yet).  Will show again when it's finished.

Are you having a good late spring/early summer so far?  We have a mama deer and her spotted fawn hanging around in our yard and the neighbor's yard (the house was empty for a long time so they felt safe in the woods behind their house).  The fawn stays over there because he's too tiny to jump the fence (yet), but mama comes over and eats our clover and violets and other stuff in our yard, including the bird seed I put out on the ground for Donald and Daisy (the two mallard ducks that visit our pool every spring).  It is a nice menagerie of animals around here.

Saturday, June 9, 2018


Lack of focus?
(Anniversary card for Sweetie!)

Or just trying out the new paper I got (Strathmore 400 series mixed media)?

Fluid acrylics on the 400 series paper.  (Not great - not even good, but I would need more experience with the acrylics to get better.)

This one is better, but I just sponged on the top shape of the tree in 3-4 colors.  

Perhaps I need to stick with the birds?  Okay, more of them later...

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Just a couple of cards from Sweetie's photos of Costa Rica nature.

There are 50 species of hummingbirds in Costa Rica and Sweetie saw quite a few.  This handsome fellow is the Fiery-throated Hummingbird.

This is a Red-rumped Trogon (I think).  I like the black body with the bits of bright red on it.  Can't find it in any of the small, travel books of Costa Rica Birds, though.  Could it be their version of a Red-winged Blackbird?

These are on Strathmore blank cards (either watercolor, or mixed media).

Friday, June 1, 2018


Just a little charcoal sketch in my sketchbook.

Sweetie just returned from a fabulous trip to Costa Rica with some great folks.  He has hundreds + hundreds of photos to edit and use - and I am using some for reference photos for paintings (of course).

Here is the first card I painted on Strathmore watercolor blank cards (they are great for painting on, as are the mixed media cards and the printmaking cards).  It is an Acorn Woodpecker from Costa Rica.  Nothing like that here in Kentucky.  This is a female (the red tuft meets with the white front if it's a male).  

It seems like everything is coming up in June, including a granddaughter's graduation from high school (we are so proud of her!), our 23rd anniversary (seriously, 23 years??), and my mother's 80th birthday.  Lots of plans for parties and family gatherings.  I'll try to keep up, but can't promise anything!

Hope you all have a good June!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Fluid acrylic on Strathmore Mixed Media 400 Series.  I'll be adding greens to this next because everyone knows purple and green are a great pair :)

Sunday, May 27, 2018


Another fluid acrylic start on Strathmore Mixed Media 400 Series paper.

And I had the start of a nest-shaped thing on a small scrap of YUPO so I coninued to work on it using alcohol inks.

I scraped into it with a sharp needle tool, then added more alcohol ink colors.  I then lifted some of the middle color with plain rubbing alcohol, and finally painted in the eggs with alcohol inks.

I think it turned out okay.  Small enough to fit in a card (or use as a card sometime).

Friday, May 25, 2018


Stopped in at Michael's art store and picked up a pad of Strathmore Mixed Media paper.  It's heavy enough (400 series) to use acrylic and other things on it without it tearing.

Made some acrylic starts - we'll see where these go and what they turn out to be later.

Sticking with a couple of colors and stamping on the paint while it's wet.  

Didn't see it until I posted it, but this has a wooded look to it.  Sunlight and spring light after a rainy day?

A slightly creepy puppet/doll in my sketchbook.  I tend to doodle and sketch while watching t.v.

I ordered a pad of 500 Series Strathmore (even heavier paper to use with acrylics, inks, etc.) and a new small bottle of Pebeo Drawing gum as my bottle was getting awfully gummy.  It doesn't last forever but I really prefer to Pebeo drawing gum as it's thinner than other masking fluids/miskit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Sketchbook stuff:

Not sure where this guy came from but he looks like a friendly ogre so don't be afraid.  Perhaps he guards the town as it sleeps?

After a very colorful sketch, I like to return to graphite with just a touch of color.

Then back to some colored scribbles.

Monday, May 21, 2018


Sketchbook Revival has come to an end, but I hope to continue playing in my various sketchbooks this year.  

Artist Whitney Freya took us back to our heavier sketchbooks to use acrylic layering and stenciling as an underpainting/start to a finished piece.  I didn't get any farther than this underpainting, but she suggests you do a lot of these at a time and have them ready for use when the muse arrives.  It would be a good way to just put down color when you're not sure what you want to paint or draw.  I used only 3 acrylic colors and ended up with the southwestern-type background to add stencils to as a first layer.  Who knows what will show up later?

After a few days of this one sitting, I thought more about the southwestern motif and came up with some pictographs/petroglyphs on stone walls and it's done :)  (Sorry but it looks like I got a bit of glare from the lights which faded out some of the color - it's really vibrant and bright like in the top painting with the hunters added on in acrylic.)

This was a freebie demo given to the participants of the Sketchbook Revival course - by Val Webb.  My colored pencil is rough because I did this on my Strathmore Visual Journal #90 (she did her demo on copy paper, which I didn't realize until later).  So...better to do this on smooth paper to get a better look.  I could go in with watercolor pencils and wet that, too, to smooth things out, or just leave it rough like this.  My eggs didn't get light enough, either (I am limited with my set of colored pencils).  Enough excuses!  I could work on this a lot longer, if I chose.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


On Wednesday of this week, my brother-in-law, Mac, treated me to breakfast out and then a trip to the Taft Museum of Art to see the Tiffany glass exhibit (and the willow branch installation by sculptor, Patrick Dougherty - called Twisted).

It was a fun day and I had already painted this for Mac and my sister to commemorate the day.  They both loved it and that made me happy.  It is a copy (kind of) of one of the Tiffany windows called River of Life.  

If you are in the Cincinnati area and get a chance, go by and see it SOON because it will be gone May 27th - and the willow tree saplings (6 tons of material which took 150 volunteers to help produce into the swirling, hobbit home-like shapes) is amazing!!!  It is on the front lawn of the museum and you feel like you've stepped into a "Willow Wonderland" (Mac's words for it) as you walk through and around, touching the entwining saplings and marvelling at what imagination and teamwork can do.   Right now, the peonies are in full gorgeous bloom and set off the willow dwellings perfectly.  Check it the information here.

I also did this little doodle in my sketchbook (thin paper for dry media only) - I am trying to follow through and work in my sketchbook even if it's doodles and lines and scribbles for now.  I put the sticker on there after our visit to commemorate the day.  

Of course, we are getting rain but maybe you can get there in between showers today or tomorrow?  Tomorrow is a free day, I think?

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Painting in the Strathmore Visual Journal #90 (it holds up well to collaging and to using acrylics and stamping.

Painting a pretty girl from imagination, along with
Tamara LaPorte.  Using watercolor paint and markers of all kinds (the kinds that bleed and run).

This little clown showed up the next day as I took out the paints and markers again.

And children's book illustrator, Nina Rycroft, showed us how she creates her characters from reference materials, drawing shapes, reshaping things to make them more human, and so on.  Pretty cool!  I did all mine with a blue erasable pencil for no other reason than that I picked that one up.

The fox shapes become little girls = Florence Foxx :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Continuing to work in my various sketchbooks (Strathmore Visual Journals, both 140# and 90#, as well as a plain paper sketchbook 6 x 9 inches using light-weight paper).  Some of the videos from the Sketchbook Revival are sooo inspiring and interesting and others don't move me much, but it's still interesting to see other artist's sketchbooks (and see how many some artists have created over the years)!

These are in the 90# sketchbook using acrylics to lay down color on the pages - from the video by Anna Maricle.  She does this as a way of priming the pump of her creativity and it takes little thinking effort at the time - just pick some colors and put them down, then you can always go back and paint, collage, draw, etc. over the base colors.  I liked painting the bottom layer in black acrylic paint and, before it dried completely, going back in with marking tools and scratching into it for designs = kind of like a sgriffito?

Interference Blue (acrylic heavy body paint) over black acrylic (after it dried).  This is just a start and could lead to other things...or not! ha ha

Caran d'Ache crayons and water only.  Playing in the 90# Strathmore Visual Journal.  Although only 90# paper, it holds up pretty well to wet media.

I hope, if you are following along with the course, that you, too, share some of your work!  And are you getting your freebies along the way?  I'm looking forward to delving more into those, too - but not right now as I would be overwhelmed with artwork!!  The Sketchbook Revival is available until May 18th (then, maybe the links are gone?).  I have one more to finish and then some other freebies to get into.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Botanical artist, Wendy Hollander, led us through her steps to create volume and 3D effect using nothing but graphite, colored pencil and watercolor pencil.  

Botanical artists don't put in shadows (why is that - does anyone know?), but I put in the shadows for my little acorns.  

I didn't finish the leaf yet, but I will.  This on ~ a fourth sheet of Arches 140# hotpress paper.

I really enjoyed doing this as I rarely work with colored pencils - and have a lot to learn from them as to layering lightly to get into the darks slowly (I tend to rush the color and value).

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2018


More from the Sketchbook Revival online course hosted by Karen Abend:

The top two were done (in a 6 x 9 inch sketchbook made from light-weight paper) while watching and working along with Amanda Grace as she talked to us about the importance of scribbles and using them as more than warmups - and what you can add to scribbles.  I like the bottom right = scribble all over your page with Caran d'Ache watersoluble crayons, then paint white gesso over that and, before the gesso dries, scrape into it, allowing the colors underneath to show = pretty cool.  The top is just scribbles and then collage bits on top (I didn't get my materials together ahead of time so just rushed to pull out some bits for collage).

This silly bird was something I'd begun in the same 6 x 9 sketchbook but never did more than a light pencil drawing.  So, I got out the colored pencils and colored him in, making him very colorful, indeed!  He's perched on top of the ice waiting for a fish.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


This one began with some heart work in one of the videos (I think it was the Shelly Klammer session).  

It began as this heart, some lines, and then tracing a leaf pattern from a sketchbook I had (I cut out the sketch from the thin paper and just taped it down and traced around it, then painted inside).

It was probably done, but Sketchbook Revival is all about the process - so do more and see what happens...

And this happened :)

More Caran d'Ache water soluble crayons, more linework, and more color.

Sometimes you have to know when to stop!

There are SO MANY videos shared on the course, it's hard to "keep up" but I'm trying not to pressure myself about it.

We have the videos available until May 18 - plus, each sketchbook artist in the course is offering freebies that could take you to more play and fun, too.

This one was done while watching Val Webb (LOVE HER!!) sharing her ink technique for a great blue heron = fun and interesting shapes using an old chip brush (from the hardware store) and India ink only.  I've taken 2 online courses from Val and she shares to much information, holding nothing back - it's worth checking out if you like painting birds or plants.

I'm looking forward to the botanical artist videos, too.

So...more to come!  

If you want to join in, you still can - just look for 
Sketchbook Revival (Karen Abend - the host), and you'll find it.