Saturday, January 31, 2009

Moley Doodle #24

Under the sea...under the sea....

And here is the crescent board with the drawing and misket - more is better with the misket for me because I need to maintain those whites to make this work and I tend to...well, you know...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Moley Doodle #23 + Homework Drawing

This Moley Doodle was inspired by watching the Australian Open tennis matches - Serena and Roger: will they win this year?

And the drawing I need to transfer to the Cresent board for the poured painting:

Florida gators from a photo I took last year at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine.

If you have never used Cresent board, here is what the back looks like. This is hotpress watercolor paper glued to a fiber board (heavy cardboard). This was a Christmas present from Sandy and we are all going to use our piece in class to do a poured painting.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Moley Doodle #22 + Homework

I started out with some "bling" inspired by one of the news anchors - nothing on TV until afternoon yesterday but weather information and news. It was bad all over.

Not going anywhere today, either. Poor Betty-Blue is buried and we haven't tried to dig her out yet. The driveway is icy and snowy and it's cold and - not used to this kind of weather here.

Have you dug out yet? Or are you somewhere warm and sunny, with a beach and wearing shorts and a tee-shirt?

Oh, well, I have homework to do for class Tuesday - that is, if we have class Tuesday (it seems like Tuesdays are really Snowdays around here lately). I need to get the Crescent board Sandy gave us all for a Christmas present, draw what I want to paint on it and then pour the misket on it to get ready for class. Think I'll do that - instead of sit around and veg out like I did yesterday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Moley Doodle #21

Yep, that's me at the bottom - having a wobbly day but like the toy jingle:

Weebles wobble but they don't fall down!

So that is Weeble-me thinking about January, another birthday, snow, ice, the music of snowblowers in the neighborhood.

"All things are impermanent." "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."

January in northern Kentucky

About 3 inches of snow by Tuesday morning, then a sleety rain staight through to Wednesday morning which coated the trees and cars and everything except the cat. Power outages around our area but we're still up and running - for now.
The sound of cracking limbs all around makes one a bit nervous but what can you do? Just hope nothing big comes down on the roof and know the cars aren't under trees so they are okay. (I saw one poor person on the news this morning who had woken to find a power pole through the back window of her car! Surreal looking.)

And now the sleet has turned to huge goose feathers of snow falling slowly through the air. I wouldn't be surprised to have 8 inches on the ground by this evening. The weathermen/women got this one right.

So tell me, which one of you really ticked off Mother Nature?

Watch out for falling branches. Look down where you're walking so you don't slip and fall. Drive slowly. Better yet, stay inside and stay safe!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Moley Doodle #19 and #20

Don't know where I was going with #19 - it didn't go where I thought it would, anyway.

I like #20 a lot - maybe one of my favorites so far.

Class was cancelled and Jerry was told not to come to the Aquarium today - we are supposed to have our first winter storm event of the year - well, it is only January! So snowed in and just reading and watching TV, being lazy and trying to adjust to glasses that still aren't right :( I'm going to give them one more try to get it right with adjustments and then I'm going to have them check the bifocals to make sure they are in the right place and then I'm going to have a hissy fit!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Well, he says, "Put my photo up there, mother, and show your friends how beautiful I am." Guess I'd better obey! ha ha

"Did I hear that right? You're having another Birthday? How OLD does that make YOU in cat years?"
"And when are you going to fill my food bowl again?"

Have a Colorful Day

January is such a dreary month, in this part of the world. Cold, grey, icy, snowy, windy, blah...I often wished I was born in another month...maybe April when spring is in the air and pale yellows and citrine greens are sprouting up everywhere; or perhaps October when the trees are ablaze with golds, reds and oranges. But no, I get January. So I have to make my own colorful day!

So, which colors should I use today?

(I tried to create a slideshow of Smudge grooming but it didn't work :(
Slide used to be so much easier to use and now I get error messages.

Oh, well...who wants to see a big old fat black and white cat grooming anyway?

Snow prevented me and my Mom from sharing a birthday lunch with cake and presents yesterday. Hope today is better.

I asked my mother, "Why did you have to have me in January?" She informed me that, in spring, a certain young man's fancy turned! ha ha That young man being my father. My brother was born in November, my sister in December, and me in January - I see a pattern here!! ha ha

This morning I get to fast until after my blood test for cholesterol - whoo hooo, what fun!!! That's the way to celebrate your birthday! Seriously, I'm old old old now...gotta face it. With the new no-line bifocals that are like looking through magnifying glasses and the cholesterol tests and the body becoming a pear-shape...well, I need chocolate!!! ha ha

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My friend, Susan M., from British Columbia, had a birthday yesterday.

My friend, China, from Indiana, had a birthday earlier this month, as did my friend, Teresa, from Spain.

My step-daughter, Moe, from Cincinnati, had a birthday mid-month.

And tomorrow is my birthday. These things are happening too quickly now and I don't get half as many TOYS as I should :)

Today, I am having my mother, sister and BIL over for a meal and some cake (Mom's bringing the cake - homemade from scratch carrot cake - yum!!!). It should be fun. If we get a chance, we are going to play Pythonopoly - a monopoly game with Monty Python characters and sayings and things from The Holy Grail movie. Things like:
Bring me some shubberies!
We are the Knights that say NEE!
You stupid English k-niggg-ettts, your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
Run away! Run away!

Total nonsense and fun :)

Well, the best laid sister is sick so can't come which means just my Mom here. And that's fine...but no games. We'll just have a quiet time to visit :)

When is your birthday???

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Surprise in the Mail from Peggi Habets Studio

A few days ago, I signed up to get an e-newsletter from Peggi Habets who has a blog called Faces and Figures. If you sign up, you get a free present: 3 of her cards, either animals or musicians. I chose the musicians and the cards came today and they are wonderful! They are 3 of the portraits of musicians Peggi has done and I'll have to choose someone special to receive them, or I may just keep them myself :)

Sending little freebies online or in the mail - isn't that a wonderful way to share your artwork and gain new viewers and possible clients? Check out her blog, it's wonderful, especially if you're interested in painting portraits or figures.

Thank you so much, Peggi! And since my birthday is next week, I consider this an extra birthday card (well, 3 really!).

The Revenge of the Sweetpeas

Again - sorry - it's still not "right" to me. I will try one more time with just a pale to medium wash of color behind the flowers and see if that makes me happy. If it doesn't, then the Sweetpeas have won!

I am trying to adjust to my new glasses and I think they are just a bit off - I can see for miles, it seems, in the regular part but in the bifocal part it seems off somehow - not clean and crisp and almost like looking through a blurry magnifying glass. And walking around is like being on a ship that's hoving to and fro at sea! ha ha I'm giving myself this weekend to adjust and if I don't, it's back to get some adjustments.

I would share a photo but these are so close in look to the previous pair (rimless at the bottom and a gunmetal grey at the top) that you wouldn't know the difference - except the prescription is even stronger and I probably look like an owl! It may be time for lasix :( No lovely fashion-wise glasses like Joan for me - just something to do the job and not make me look like a doob at the same time.

And so you won't run screaming from another attempt at a stupid silly sweetpea painting - here's my latest Moley Doodle:

This one has the look of birds and baskets, to me.

Moley Doodle #17

Just pen and ink on this one.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Helga Paintings

I received this book from an Amazon bookseller - a birthday present from my sweetie, Jerry. I ordered it, he will pay for it when my bill comes due - it works out great. This is hardbound and has so many pages - I will enjoy slowing going over the sketches and paintings in it. Can you believe he spent 15 years of his life painting this woman, over and over, in various poses and stages of dress and undress? That's dedication to a subject! And here I am complaining about those silly sweetpeas - I've only done them 3 times so far, including the "sketch" I did.

I also got this lovely painting from my friend, Marian, in class Tuesday - she painted it as a thank you for the Christmas presents I gave her (one of the presents was the Arches 4" x 6" travel journal and that's what she used for this painting). She has a very limited palette she uses.

Moley Doodle #16 + Sweetpea with Some Background

I like the ribbons but not much else about this. It's pale because it's done with the gel pens.

And here's where I am on the Sweetpeas - I just can't seem to like this once I put in a background. Maybe I should go back to leaving the bg white...

Here are the stages I've gone through and the different outcomes:

So - which one is the best? Without bg, with a lighter green bg and darker flowers, with darker bg and lighter flowers? I really can't tell at this point - I'm wondering why I can't seem to get this - it's not that hard - a simple little pretty flower and something behind it to set it off - not hard, right?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cards I've Received

I was very remiss not to share the handmade cards I received for Christmas. I have to warn you all that I NEVER throw anything handmade away - I keep it forever.

This first card is about hope - and how wonderfully painted!!! By Dawn (yes, Dawn of the light-filled photographs!).

The second card is by my sweet friend, Teresa, living in Madrid. Can you see Santa in his sleigh?

And this third card arrived early for my birthday! From my friend, China, who got me through some very tough times when I was living in Indiana. Flowers that never wilt and a scrumptuous cake that has NO Calories!!

There is something so wonderful about receiving a handmade card for whatever reason. I used to make more cards than I do now. I should get back to that.

And thank you, ladies, for thinking of me, and for taking the time to put pen or paint to paper! Sorry I did not get around to sharing until now - it still seems like the holidays just past...time is flying already in 2009!

Moley Doodle #15

Number 15: Simple, elegant and feminine. Left it very open with a nice roundness.

Now I've got to get back to the Sweetpeas and finish that before it continues to haunt me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Well, I'm Not a Quitter!

I'm still trying to get a decent painting of the sweetpeas! Did this, from sketch to where it's at right now - in class yesterday. I let the color bleed out to white at the bottom because I had to finish and leave - running out of time - it's not finished, needs some darks and some interesting shapes in the area behind the flowers and if I don't leave a few whites I am going to smack myself (since there's no one else here to do it for me)!

Also, in class I shared the Tangled painting and Sandy cropped down the top = not right; then she cropped in a bit, giving it a strong vertical feeling = I think this is what it needs.

Moley Doodle #14 - I Think

Still working on colors but also a Moley Doodle while the big celebration balls were on TV last night. Maybe they are all dancing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Although I was at watercolor class today at the time of the swearing in, Sandy had a TV ready for those of us who wanted to watch and listen. (Thank you, Sandy!)
Hope, like the gleaming taper's light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night,
Emits a brighter ray. --- Oliver Goldsmith (1730 - 1774)

Monday, January 19, 2009

When Your Painting Has the Awwww Factor

I just checked Ali Cavenaugh's blog and she has a couple of paintings there that definitely have the "awwww" factor! Not only that, but they are so well painted! Check them out - and be prepared to say, "Awwww!"

Nothing to share in sketches or paintings today - I've been working on a painting SWAP for a group and am creating another group (I must be insane!) to learn about and discuss and share COLOR :) So doing some reading and writing and also painting swatches - you know, it's harder than it looks to get a good color chart without getting blossoms and runbacks! Especially when you have Rushing Rhonda Syndrome :)
So - what's YOUR favorite color?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Moley Doodle #13

I think the Cheshire Cat got into my Moley Doodle!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Moley Doodle #12

Some Japanese influence is sneaking into some of these...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Andrew Wyeth - Gone at 91

I just read that the artist, Andrew Wyeth, died this morning. He was 91. He no longer gave interviews but he continued to paint. What a lifetime of achievement and mastery he lived!

May we all continue to create beauty until the end.
I just ordered the Helga paintings book and hope it comes in today or tomorrow. Pouring over that would be a fitting response to his passing, I think.

The Ugliest Sweepea Ever Seen

Sweetpea - before I ruined it by tossing in a horrid background.

And with a horrid background and trying to save it by misketing the flower and working on the background separately - not a good idea - especially since, when I removed the misket, I made a nice large smear of grey on the flower to the bottom right :( Yuck!

So, time to put my big girl panties on and start over. I am not going to let this get me.

I turned the painting over and began with a loose sketch and color study. Yes, a color STUDY - like, what color do I want to use and where - good idea? It couldn't hurt! And what did I decide? That I need to leave some important whites in the background and flower - in both places - paper that is untouched with any color. Leaving whites - one of my failures is that I just slap that color on everything - and no, pale yellow doesn't count, it has to have whites!!!

It may just take repeated attempts at a painting before I get it right - maybe my skull is so thick, I can't just get it right the first time? Can you say, "slow learner?" That must be me. And, of course, I can't take these concerns to class because Kathy (yes, I'm talking about you, Kathy!) will say, "There is no background and foreground. Stop thinking that way." If I could do that, I would, right? But once again, "slow learner," that's me! And you know the easiest thing would have been to leave the background without a spot of color - just plain like a botanical print. But easy? Nope, not me, I like things to be as difficult as possible!

Shapes + Integrated Whole + Leaving Whites = A Better Painting

If you can't laugh, you just might cry - so go ahead and laugh! And try again. Keep trying until you get it right.

If this was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Moley Doodle #11 revised + Tangled is Done

I couldn't leave this one alone (even though I liked it the way it was before).

Since I ruined the Sweetpea painting - yep, I did. Why? Did not integrate the background into the flower and it got too dark (I wonder why I think it needs dark, yes it does, BUT I put too much dark in, unable to just drop a bit here and there?). So...I will try again. Seriously, it seems like I'll be painting these same few paintings for another month or so - at this rate!

But I did go back to Tangled and it is finished. I won't do anything more to it. So...what do you think? you think I should crop off some of the top to give more of a feeling of pressure on her? I didn't do any leaves on the vines - just twining vines throughout and I like it that way.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Once More with Feeling!!!

Thanks to Chris for her suggestion to create texture and interest in the background using the old saran-wrap trick: Put down your color, nice and rich and dark - then put crumpled plastic wrap over it and cover that with paper towels and books to weigh it down. When that dries or you can't wait another minute to see what it looks like, take the books, paper towels and wrap off and there you are! Interesting broken bits of color blocks that may need nothing else done to them (except to carry over into some little areas I didn't paint the first time.

So - this is the third try on this. We'll see what happens...

I'm also working on finishing the Sweetpeas painting - I, apparently, don't know how to integrate my backgrounds into the painting well enough for it not to look painted on in a rush without much thought. So - 2009 goal = work on integrating the whole painting smoothly? I won't show the stage it's in - it would scare you too much!

My sister asked for her portrait the other night - and she got it. I'm glad she wanted it even though she doesn't like her looks, she said it did look just like her. I'll have to call and see what her husband thought about it.