Sunday, February 28, 2010


Changing the colors a bit in the green/yellow hills. I can see a big "whoops" just by his tail - that bright yellow strip isn't going to remain like that (putting this on the computer monitor does show those mistakes you didn't see while working on it). When I work on the crow, I'll be able to overlap and cover up the hard-edged look around his tail, too.

So...I varied the colors in the hills. I added a bit of white rice paper to the sky where some of the canvas/board was showing through just to keep the textured effect. I did the post and I think it's done. And I began gathering dark papers for the crow - reds and greens and blacks and...have to get in some dark blues, too and purples...

Still more work to do and maybe some more layering of the green hills - that single green color needs more breaking up with bits of something else - blue-greens, darker greens toward the bottom, etc. Maybe I'll do that while gathering the darks for the crow.

Again, this is very enjoyable - my only nitpick is all the "glue" I end up with on my fingertips from holding the pieces while gluing the backs of them. But that's a small thing and it won't deter me from doing it (putting on Gloves in a Bottle hand cream before starting seemed to help - I didn't have as much sticky dried glue on my fingers as last time).

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Here's a bit more of the crow I began using white gesso on watercolor paper. Put the colors in the bird. He looks a bit scary, not having an eye yet.
I like the "texture" that shows hints of feathers and shapes and I can lift back to white or pale colors on the gessoed part. I haven't begun the background yet but I have some ideas about that (thinking of using some irridescent copper I bought from Daniel Smith and have never used).
The crow, being shaped with the gesso, stands out from the background.

I'm still working on my collage, too. The hardest part may be finding papers that are dark enough to use in the crow body.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I began this collaged crow after watching Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelsons' DVD "Paper Paintings" for a second time to get the details right. (See her blog for more info on getting this DVD from Elizabeth).

I didn't have the birch wood panels Elizabeth uses, so I used an 11" x 14" piece of Fredrix Watercolor Canvas Board - it has a hardboard core so it's rigid enough to push the "glue" into the paper to get it to stick.

So I started with that, drew my image, then used Da Vinci fluid acrylics to paint the scene - I should have painted it looser but it's fine (going to be almost completely covered when I finish, anyway).

I didn't want the background "sky" to be too busy so used this single sheet of artisan paper I've had a long time. It has inclusions of little green weeds and rose/violet flowers that I think work well. Looks like spring to me.

I've collaged the sky and most of the background hills/grass. Elizabeth says to start collaging the background, then finish with your foreground subject. I tore each strip/piece of the paper so no hard edges but I see a few that need to be covered over to soften them.

Haven't touched the post or the crow yet - that's just fluid acrylic paint so far. So I have work to do to finish it and I want to include some words, perhaps in his legs or feathers. I'm liking the way it looks so far...and there is something meditative about this process. I thought I would get impatient and restless with the process, tearing the paper and gluing each bit here and there, overlapping, etc. - but it calmed me down and took me into a nice place where I enjoyed it very much. (And to think I kept putting this off, making excuses because I didn't have the exact acrylic gloss medium to use as glue, didn't have the birch panels, etc.!) Thanks, Elizabeth, for being so open and sharing with your technique!! I'm already thinking about painting some of my own papers for next time :)


The wonderful, talented, lovely Christiane Kingsley sent me this:

And before I could get around to sending it to some of my favorite and most interesting and creative bloggers, I got it again from Barb Sailor - one of my favorite watercolor painters and teachers! And then my dear friend and artist buddy, Ann Buckner, also "sort of" awarded this to me - I was in the top 12 sidebar blogs for the day so I'm claiming it! ha ha

Now - that's 3! I'm in an Olympic spirit and I'm going to try to get as many as I can of this award. So if you get it, pass it on to me! haha We'll see how many I can accumulate - without having to ski downhill or do a triple lutz!!

And I will pass it on to 12 of my all time favorite, sharing, creative, wonderful blogger artist friends. Anyone whose work touches me - makes me smile, makes me laugh, makes me weep at the beauty of their work, I'm going to send it to you so...please go to these blogs and check out their work - you will NOT be disappointed and you might just fall in love with their work, their words, their wisdom and their open, sharing minds:

Of course, I'm paying it back to:


so 9 more...

Easy as pie - hard to just choose 12!
Sending it on to:

4.Mary Beth of The Common Denominator
5.Katharine of Katherine A. Cartwright Studio (and creator of The Twenty Minute Challenge blog)
6.Elizabeth of Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson's Paper Paintings
7.Deb of Deb Ward Art
8.Teresa of Lost in Wonder
9. Deb Leger
10.Dawn of Vulture Cafe
11. Jeanette of Illustrated Life
12. Gillian of The Fading Rose

13. Myrna of Creativity Journey

Originally, each recipient was supposed to send this to 12 more bloggers deserving the sunshine (we can all use it, right - well, my friend in Brazil says she's had enough sun and heat for now but everyone else could use a bit), but I bent the rules a bit, sending it to a lucky 13 (or a baker's dozen, however you want to look at it). It was hard to stop at 13 - any artist on my sidebar is a gold winner to me.

Some of these bloggers are friends, some I've known for years, some I've just become acquainted with through their blogs and have come to look forward to seeing what they post every day or so. Some are so sharing of their talent and skill and knowledge, it's amazing. Some paint or photograph beautifully but find themselves doubting their talent at times - we've all been there! So take a moment to visit these wonderful artists. Drop them a comment if something they have created and shared moves you. Every one of us could use a sunshine award - something to tuck away for those dreary, cold, winter days that keep hanging on. And remember, I'm collecting them - so if you get one, send me one in my race for the most gold! ha ha I'm going for at least 5...or maybe many medals did Apolo Ono get? At least that many - but I'm not wearing that racing suit and helmet - I'd look like a dork (how come he looks so good in it? - oh, yeah, he's young and cute!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I finished Their Commitment to Black and began two more (of course, I am crow-crazy!!).
I cropped this one in a bit so that post wasn't just hanging in the air. Touched some colors into the black and left some lights. Done.

And for my next trick....

I took some white gesso and painted a crow on white paper with it and waited for it to dry. Can you see it? You will...

And the other crow painting is actually a Paper Painting, done like Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson does her paper paintings. I finally got myself in gear and started one. I've been thinking about it for a while - ever since I received her DVD showing her technique - just didn't get started until today. How hard was that? Just starting was the hardest thing and it's flowing well so I'm pleased.
Won't share it yet...have to give you something to look forward to...

OR are you SICK TO DEATH of crows??

Monday, February 22, 2010


I did a bit more painting on Crow 2 Crow. It's as done as it's going to get without going too much and overworking it.

Then I worked a bit more on Their Commitment to Black.

I still have to remove the misket from the crows and see where this one takes me from here.

All of the crow paintings (so far) are 1/2 sheet size.
The snow is melting....!!!! I can see parts of the ground.


Opening this Crow 2 Crow painting up today and I was disappointed. It looks - wrong. Somehow doesn't go together the way it should - I've lost some of the sparkle and shine of the crows and the piece just

Maybe I can get some ideas from the Arts Graphica free online lessons in watercolor and drawing and acrylics and...

Do go over and see them - and all the free lessons you can print out and try.

I think to finish this painting, I need to loosen whatever is trying to get out and stop shoving her into a box of lines and colors and shapes...okay, that doesn't make any sense, I'm sure, but I know exactly what I mean. Just can't seem to get there.

What does this painting need? Another painter! Perhaps I'll sit now and try to channel an artist who isn't afraid to take risks, who doesn't paint to be pretty, and who can slap that bold color on the paper without hesitation - someone like Nicholas Simmons or Carol Carter get my idea!

Speaking of fearless painters who know what they are doing: Sandy Maudlin is giving a demo and talk on painting with fluid acrylics on yupo at our next watercolor society meeting - to be held Wednesday, March 3 at 10 am. If you are in the area, you might want to visit that day and see what she can do on yupo.

Why do we always want to paint
"like her/him!"
instead of
"like us, only better!"

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I made myself get over these blahs this weekend, and go back to the Crow 2 Crow painting and finish it.
I think it's finished.
Comments always welcome.
Question: Is the top section just too light and airy compared to the rest? Does it work - or not?
I won't go darker in the crows - I like the colors, except, ooops, just saw that the crow at top has no legs!!! Well, I'll have to fix that...

I also started on the geometric shapes for the black crow painting - for now, I'm calling it Watching - but that's not a great title. I'm thinking of "Their Commitment to Black" from something Susan Roper said she liked about crows once in a post :)

It's a work in progress, of course, with more to be done. And the crows have misket on them so when that's lifted off, it will change things and I'll be placing more yellows in the broken circles, too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Can't stay on the roof. There's just too much snow that's melted down to ice and icicles hanging off - dangerously long and ferocious looking things! So I'd have slipped off anyway.

Looking through the window, the snowplow trying to clear off the road, pushing the snow to the front of our drives, up around our mailboxes, up the sides of the road. The joys of winter weather. More snow in the forecast? Don't want to hear it!

The sun did shine yesterday - hence the 4 ft long icicles hanging from the roof...when those babies crash down, look out! I can't reach them to knock them off - did a pretty good job on the ones right over the front door but the sides are too high up. It will be interesting to see how long they get before breaking away.

Smudge doesn't go out - he just sits at the windows/doors in the sunroom and looks out. Wonder what he thinks of all that white stuff?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


OK, I think we've had enough snow now. No more, please. And let's have a bit of warm up so some of this will melt.

Enough, already!

Is anyone listening to me?


still snowing...

the cars look like big marshmallows in the driveway - the driveway I shoveled out twice yesterday and it looks the same as when I began shoveling yesterday morning.

This is getting old.

This is getting me down.

This is...


I think I'm going to get up on the roof and jump off - see what kind of snow angel that makes.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I thought the Dark Crow painting on Yupo didn't really use the qualities of Yupo very well since I put that black on really thick so I washed some off, added some other colors. I like it better now but it's still not a "good painting" - just something to get the brushes wet again after a long time.

And did a bit more on the Crow 2 Crow painting, working on the tree, the diagonals and a bit more on the bottom crow - just a bit, didn't overwork or ruin him.

Here's a close-up - and I almost like it cropped this way but maybe I'm just getting lazy with this one?

Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day, a Happy New Year (Tibetan and Chinese), and are going to have a Happy Presidents' Day.

What we need

right now


a little more

fricking snow!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


It felt like forever since I last painted anything at all so it felt good to get right into this. Started by putting a dark grey/black color over a half sheet of Yupo and then going from there. This is what came from just an idea of a black crow.

And here is a heart I carved in the snow for my sweetie - and then threw some pink paint at it.

A few more snow scenes with a bit of sun shining now. We have enough feeders out to keep all the birds - and squirrels - happy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Don't forget, tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I got my sweetie this beautiful little white chocolate raspberry cake at the grocery the other day. He got to eat almost 1/2 of it :) hee hee (Don't worry, he wasn't suffering without - I made him a pan of chewy brownies.)

I hope you get something good from your sweetie - or that you treat yourself, if you see something you want.

I am going to get my brushes full of water and pigment this weekend, no matter what - that is my Valentine's gift to myself!

And if the sun shines, I may get out and take a few more snow photos - it's still pretty pristine around except for the roads and driveways.

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." --- Anonymous

Friday, February 12, 2010


No, I haven't had time to paint but I did have this at this stage (with misket on the bills and on the tree for future work on the background to come) before Jerry's surgery - and since I have nothing else to share, I'll share this.

Here's a close-up of the bottom crow, showing the eye and head a bit more.

And a snap of the snow - seems like everyone is putting their snowy photos on their blogs and this was early this morning (awake at 5 am again and felt great, 8 hours later, not so great and feel a cold coming on - oh no!!!).

Anyone ready for a cold dip in the pool? No? Me, neither! And I've given up trying to get Jerry's car shoveled out - it can sit there until someone tells me I have to move it.
Are you going to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics tonight?

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Just read this post from Brett Blumenthal at Sheer Balance:

6 Personality traits to admire and acquire (Brett thinks these are also the rarest or most difficult to find):

1. Selflessness 2. Tolerance 3. Genuineness
4. Sensitivity 5. Integrity 6. Humility

Go to
to read the whole post.
(I only wish she'd listed people who fit all these categories, not those who don't - or are they really so rare, it's hard to find someone for each category?) Do you know a person who fits a specific category? Or perhaps a rare person who fits all six?

I'm working on all but not feeling like I'm doing a very good job lately. Stress brings out the best or the worst in people - maybe I'm somewhere in between?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


No painting or even doodling for almost a week. But I did create this card for my sweetie to give to him in the hospital. It's watercolor and collage bits and pieces.

The top lacey doily bit hangs over the paper on the top right edge.
We got another 4-5 inches of wet snow which I shoveled out of the driveway in front and behind my car twice already - just in case I need to get out. Then the snow plow shoveled me right back in at the top of the drive, as usual. I think it's time for chocolate...
I am enjoying stress relief by catching up on all my favorite blogs.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Today is not only Super Bowl Sunday but, to me and my sweetie, it is a Super Sunday - because he came home from the hospital today :)

After a scheduled and planned total hip replacement on the 3rd, we thought he'd be home and fine by the 5th (he'd had the right replaced and did so well 6 year's ago). Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Some complications led to 2 more days and nights and lots of sleepless hours (for me - he couldn't stay awake or alert or even breathe well), he was discharged this afternoon and is doing well.

Thanks so much to those who sent emails and sent good wishes, thoughts and prayers!

Now for the real recuperation to begin. (I will catch up with comments soon, I promise.) And I saw crows every day but Friday and Saturday (his two worst days) so I'm still saying they bode well for me...and I'll get back to the painting of crows soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


While the second crow painting simmers, I've begun a third. Yep, it's official, I've got crows on the brain - even dreaming about them now.

Here's a start - going to use some neat shapes in this one, too, if you can see the pencil marks.

Close-up of the 2 on the left to show I've used some misket in these and gone really dark with the colors this time.