Monday, August 29, 2016


Several years ago I heard of paper made from stone.  I think Jeanette Jobson was working on it, or had tried it.  Now you can easily find it in the art supply catalogs.  It's called Terraskin paper. 

I bought some sheets many months ago and played with it using acrylic inks.  Now I'm just using watercolor on it.  

These pieces are cut down from a full sheet (a full sheet is larger than 22 x 30 inches but I cut the large sheets down to that size so I can pin it to my Gatorboard) - the excess pieces are long so I cut them in half, giving me 2 pieces that are 7.5 x 14 inches.  A nice size to play with.

Little landscapes without drawing (you don't have to draw because you can lift back to white if you want.  I like the way the granulating colors work on this stuff (which is like Yupo but not as slick and thin) - you can see dots of granulation where the pigment separates.

I like to let the color dry a bit and then run my finger over areas, creating some texture and lines.  You can add colored watercolor pencils to the piece, too.  I imagine you could do anything on this "paper" that works on regular watercolor paper - but drawing on it with a sharp pencil will cause indents in the TerraSkin and that's not a good thing.  

I think you would probably be wise to spray seal the paintings once you are happy with them, just to protect them from rewetting and smearing.

In order to get darks, you have to stop lifting and fiddling with the color, but sometimes you get some nice shapes and edges by just rubbing the drying pigment with your fingers.  

I bought my paper from Amazon (which, I think, gets it directly from the manufacturer here 
but you can order smaller sheets (10 in all, each sheet 20-28 I think) from now.  Check out here if you're interested.

My only question?  Why not call it TerraStone instead of TerraSkin?  

And that 22 x 30" sheet is still pinned to a block of Gatorboard, waiting for me to do something interesting with it...

Thursday, August 25, 2016


There is a medical condition called White Coat Syndrome that is very real.  You go in to see your doctor for a rountine check-up and your blood pressure goes up.  Your blood pressure at home is fine, but every time you see your doctor, it's high.  That's White Coat Syndrome.  Your blood pressure is effected by the stress of just seeing your doctor!!  

We artists have White Paper Syndrome.  You all know what I am talking about here. You see something that inspires you, you get your paper and materials together.  Then you just stand there stopped dead in your tracks.  Stuck.  That's where I'm at right now.  

I have been thinking about monotones and greys - all the beautiful greys that can be made.  But the white paper is just sitting there on the table, daring me to do something wonderful with it!

I know it won't happen today.  I seem especially tired, unenergetic, flat, uninspired, sleepy.

I could just make a lot of greys and see which ones I like the a warm-up stage before even touching that paper.  Or I could just take a nap! I think a nice nap gets rid of White Coat Syndrome and White Paper Syndrome, too.

Hope you are inspired and creative today.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Sweetie and I both entered work in the Southeastern Indiana Art Guild show which opened with a very nice artist reception Saturday evening.  We weren't rained out, there was a very good crowd, and Sweetie won 2 awards for his photos!  I did not win anything this year (2 year's ago I got a top prize in this show) but that's fine - it was fun to hear his name called out and he got ribbons to put on his photos, a nice check for each, plus he was told that the local library purchases work and may be looking at his - how cool is that?

The show continues through Saturday, September 3:
Open Monday-Friday August 22 - September 2, 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
and Saturday September 3, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

If you are in the area, stop in and see the show, located at the Art Guild Studios, 2nd and Main Streets, Aurora, IN.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Well, this is pretty.  
This is okay.  
But this is not what I wanted.  

Perhaps I'm not doing enough thinking prior to putting that paint on the paper.  And I'm mixing too many color inside the palette instead of on the paper.  

So...time for a do over.

Stay tuned.  

(This is a half sheet = 15 x 22 inches).

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Nothing is more beautiful than watercolors flowing across the paper.

Build upon your successes.  (That doesn't mean do the same thing over and over.)

So, for this next one, I took this as a start - a small (fourth sheet) painting done over a year ago.  From Florida trip photos, I'm sure.  

Redrawn and done in lighter, cooler colors.  It's also larger = half sheet.

We must learn to just enjoy what we are doing during the creative process.  The joyful act of creating something beautiful or meaningful (or both) means more than an award or getting into a show based on a single judge's opinion.  Create for you and the viewers will come!

Sunday, August 7, 2016


This is NOT a good painting.  
I wanted the splatters/drizzles to happen when you drizzle or splatter on Pebeo Drawing Fluid (a grey-blue masking fluid that makes more organic/not hard edged lines when lightly sprayed with water), but it is OBVIOUSLY not working here for me.  You have to plan those splatters and drizzles to work with the composition of the painting, don't you?

Here it is with the masking fluid off.  All the values look the same except the crow is too dark.  The shoes don't stand out enough...her skin is too golden...UGH!

So...started another that was just as bad and ended it before I got too involved.  Maybe I can return to these messes sometime when I learn more about fluid acrylics.

This is how I set myself up for failure before a major entry/juried show = I begin working on some new or unlearned technique that takes more learning than 2-3 weeks!  So...back to watercolor.  This is crazy.  Just do what you know how to do and continue doing it.  (Me talking to me!)  

Do you ever do this to yourself: Set yourself up to fail and then say, "Well, I can't enter that show; I'm obviously not good enough!"  And the fact that I got in 3 out of 4 times I entered a painting in the juried show (with different judges each time) should mean something...we dwell on our failures and forget our successes - why?

I should be very thankful that I don't have to live off my art earnings because I would have starved a long time ago! 

Okay, enough negative talk/thoughts...
Time to get back to watercolor and something that might bring pleasure when seen...

Take care, all.  Keep those blue meanies away from your work and mind!  And remember, we all feel like failures at times - even those we think are having great success and having a great time in their lives.  So...have a colorful day and hug an artist today (if you see one - they are pretty solitary creatures).

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Experimenting with drizzles...possible bee series painting, not sure yet.  But I could see these becoming bees flying like an airplane squadron up up and away...

I am feeling the pressure to create something new (and good) for the upcoming juried show I want to enter - have until mid-month...tick tock...tick tock...