Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fun Painting Surface

I thought it would be fun for you to see something different. So for a quick post today, here are the details...

Signature Canvas has this interesting canvas style on offer. It does not come inexpensively, however. If you receive the Empty Easel Newsletter, you can use a discount offer to purchase one of these fun canvases.

If you purchased one (or more) of these, how would you paint it? Would you use the indention as a painting and the exterior part of the canvas as a border for the painting or would the indention be part of a 3-D collage? But you might have another completely different idea.

Have a Wonderful Tuesday in Your Part of the World!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Past To Understand The Future

Any of you who have been reading my blog for any length of time know I come to painting via design...interior design specifically. The image above is a basic design project I did which needed to be based on a grid. It is marker on vellum.

We all have a great story to tell as our progression to art and many of those have been revealed in the Conversations I have had with artist here on this blog (please see the list to the right to go to any of those conversations). Also, you can read about the way other artist have gotten their start in this article. I have always found hearing these stories helps me recognize my own story. Still, this is a way of better understanding where we are going by were we have been. Do you find this is true for you, as well? Can you tell I like contemplation and processes?

And I am still very interested in hearing from you about your Myers Briggs if you are willing. The post before this one is all about that and reading the comments is really great fun, too.

If you have a moment let me know how you are doing!

Enjoy Your Day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekend Ponderings

I just had to share this with you. Yesterday Andrea sent me this photo of the Metro Stations I spoke about in the comment area of the Signs Post. While this is not a sign as we normally think of signs, it clearly indicates this is the way to the Metro trains. Isn't it fantastic? I have to tell you I would love it if Washington Metro Station Signs were as artistic as this.

Also yesterday, my son and I began talking about the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, and how he and I tested. We did this test years ago, but sometimes go back to it and re-evaluate. Have you ever taken the test? If not, you can go to this site and take one which is brief, but comes out the same as the longer tests (at least for those of us in this family).

I am an INFP, which means I am Introverted/Intuitive/Feeling/Perceiving. There are links to full explanations of each of these personality types online. I know really odd little details about my personality type. For instance, for all of these indicators I am more than 90% them...like I am 95% feeling...that basically means I am not someone who thinks my way out of things by any stretch of the imagination. I also know INFP's are the rarest personality type. So these two bits of information tells you I am one unusual personality as personalities go. :) But I do not mind.

But I am interested in knowing if you know or are willing to share your Myers-Briggs type? I think it would be interesting to know how we are the same and how we are different as artists or people who love art. Are you willing? Are you interested? Either way, I would love to hear from you.

Have a Great Weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Creative Gifts

Here is another little bookmark for you today. This one was just a doodle on watercolor paper with a plain old blue ink pen. I have been really busy with a lot of things here lately, but thought maybe you would enjoy this.

I have been watching for some article somewhere to catch my eye to share with you, however even the articles lately haven't been that exciting. There was an announcement this morning about Life Magazine beginning to post their archive of incredible photographs online. Now that is exciting.

I really would love to get back to the studio, however I only seem to have these snippets of time and am looking for big blocks. Maybe I need to pull out the sketchbook and find another faster form of creativity. The problem is my creativity has never been one of those speedy things. Oh well, I will find something. Of course, I am completely open to ideas. How does it work for you? Do you need larger blocks of time to be able to express your creative side?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Have you ever considered signs? No, I don't mean those which lead you down your own path in life, but the ones which lead you around the world. If you remember when I was in Vermont, I showed you some signs I thought were really fun and interesting. Where I live now, signs are not all that interesting, but in some places they are a peek into history. Vanessa Thorpe wrote a short article talking about the need to save the vanishing pub signs in the United Kingdom. These signs are so interesting, colorful and insightful. They are not only full of humor, but they are also full of history as Thorpe describes. I like taking photos of various signs from time to time and thought I would share a few with you here.This sign gave information about a trail we hiked (through a sheep pasture) in the Pen-Y-Fan area of Wales. Go ahead and click on it to read it in the Queen's English as well as in Welsh. The Welsh language is being revived (as it was close to being lost) and a most interesting language to be sure. So this simple sign gives a lot of information about the land conservation.
This is the sign over the door of the Sally Lunn home in Bath, England. Of course Sally is best known for her delicious buns. Note how this sign really catches the eye next to this simple architecture. Also note the height of the door.
In England we lived near a town called Barton-on-Sea which sits on the Channel Coast. We would go there to walk along the sea a lot, and we came across this sign used as a simple warning to keep people safe. Here is the catch...we had just come off the path and did not see a sign on the other end before we began!
This was the sign giving the name of our cottage. We did not have a house number, but a cottage name. It was lovely and quaint. I felt very special living in a home with a name.
This last sign is clearly intended to inform people to please clean up after your pet. While this was not a huge problem, apparently this home owner had some issues to contend with. My son thought this was the greatest sign, although art was clearly not a part of the plan.

So please read the short article, because signs really can be a huge part of art, I think. If you do an image search for English Pub Signs, you will find some of the most amazing photos of some fabulous art. Oh, and if you come across "The Hare and Hound" in Sway, our little cottage was just a short distance behind that pub.

So do you have artistic signs in your area? I am sure you do if you are in Europe...even the Metro Stations Signs in Paris are amazing. And if you live in New England, US...there are some wonderful signs there, as well. Let me know of sign art which has caught your eye!

Have a Beautiful Day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Autumn Picnic

Happy First Day of Autumn! And if you remember, today we are having a blog picnic. If you are participating, you are to post photos of what you choose to bring to the picnic to share with everyone else.
Andrea had a lot going on today, so I am also posting her contribution to the picnic. She has brought along these wonderful French Macaroons. Aren't they beautiful? You can see she is sharing four different flavors...Citron (Lemon), Pistache (Pistachio), Fraise (Strawberry) and Cassis (Black Currant). Don't they look delicious?

So I thought I would bring along something to go with these wonderful French Macaroons. How about a Cafe au Lait (coffee with milk)?

Sorry this really only comes in one flavor, but you can add sugar or honey if you wish. And if it is cool where you are, someone will bring a lovely blanket where you can cuddle up and enjoy this bit of sweetness and a smooth hot beverage.

So as you visit your favorite blogs today, make a note of all the lovely things people will be bringing to this world wide blog picnic!

Isn't this a beautiful way to begin a season...not to mention the week?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Celebrating YOU!

This blog award was given to me by Marianne and by Jess. Both of these women write the interesting and different kinds of blogs. If you have not read them, I urge you to check them out.

Clearly I hesitate to name names for this award, since I worry about leaving people out unintentionally. And it is Friday, so here is my gift to everyone who reads my blog and leaves a comment between now and Monday! Yes, enjoy this last weekend of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and have a cupcake (fairy cake) on me!

You are all so special to me and bring light into my life each day. Some days I come here not feeling so positive, but once I begin to read your blogs and your comments here, my day turns into glorious expression thanks to you!

And, you know, speaking of Monday.... don't forget the wonderful First Day of Autumn Picnic! Dig out those photos and find out what you want to bring. :) I do look forward to seeing you there!

So in the meantime, enjoy today's cake, consider the picnic and most of all...Enjoy The Weekend With Those You Love!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another WIP

Okay, so here is another WIP. I really don't know what I am doing with this one. I began it back in JUNE! Yes, June! I can't decide how I want to proceed with it, either. When I first started, I was thinking jewelry...layers of jewel tones and silver...big collar of metal and color kind of thing.

Now, my apologies for stuffing here, but I am not able to post tomorrow until late, so I thought I would pop this one on here for you to see now. But if you haven't seen the post just below this one, don't hesitate to comment there, too...or anywhere!

Have a Beautiful Day!

Playing Around...

This is a quick shot...clearly not centered and not well lit...of one of the things I have been doing in my studio. Yes, I even threw some paint on the wall...but I had not painted that room on purpose and will have to prime it anyway (wallpaper).

I seem to do this. When I have been out of the studio for a while, I tend to want to do something which is poured or thrown rather than brushed. I wonder why that is? This is actually a bit of all three (poured, thrown and brushed). First it is a canvas which was painted before, and I wasn't crazy about it at all. So I painted over the original with Paynes Grey and allowed some of the paint from before show through. Then I poured some paint (pinks, lavenders, blues). Once that dried...took a while...I mixed some pearl acrylic with some of the clear glaze of which I have become so fond and painted that over the whole thing. I did this 4 times...once vertically, once horizontally and in two different oblique directions. The last thing I have done here is to pour and throw the same colors over the dried pearl effect.

What techniques appeal to you when you have been away from your studio for some period of time? Do you paint over or use parts of previous works you are not pleased with? By chance would your studio wall be reminding you of a Pollock?

I have no idea where this is going, if it goes anywhere. But I thought why not show you messes, too. It is all acrylic on a 30" x 40" canvas.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

End of Summer Housekeeping Day!

Marianne has issued this invitation on her blog and has extended it to all readers here, too. I thought it sounded like a fun way to begin autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. I will be making a post here. Would you like to join in?

The plan is simple: decide what you would like to picture on your blog for the picnic on September 22.
Use your imagination - It can be anything you would like to prepare, bring or do at your picnic.
You may want to take a picture of picnic places, picnic things you have, the wonderful foods you will prepare, birds that might visit us, something you might wear, a pet you would like to bring with you, flowers, games to play, books to read, poems to share, anything at all. Anything.

Take a picture that expresses your Indian Summer Picnic. Post it along with whatever you would like to say about your contribution on your post. This is an all day event that transcends time zones.

And Thank You Marianne for this lovely Award! The rules are similar to most awards:

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2.Link to the person who gave you the award.
3.Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4.Put links to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on those blogs.

I offer this Award to all the blogs listed on my blog list on the right hand side of this page. You are all amazing people and wonderful friends.

And Suki has shared this award on her blog. Isn't that sweet?

These are the rules which go with this particular award:

1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls or boys you've nominated.

Like Suki, I also wish to offer this award to everyone listed on my blog list. You all deserve these awards for the most amazing blogs I know.

So these are a few things which have been collecting lately and I wanted to share them with you...lots of fun and lots of positiveness! I am focused on positive things these days and my blog friends help keep me focused on my goal.

Thank You All and Have a Beautiful Day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pondering the Light

I thought you might like to see the results of a painting I have been working on lately. While I still would like to add some glazing, I thought it would be easier to photograph without that added light reflection.

Pondering the Light
30" x 40" Deep, Gallery Wrapped Canvas

This is a detail of Pondering the Light which includes the edge.

So what have you been working on lately? Have you had much time to spend in your studio? I have been in and out a bit more this past week, but still would like to spend more time in there...I just can't seem to find the space to work on a lot of canvases at a time...you know while one is drying kind of thing. Anyone have suggestions for dealing with this issue?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Game To Play...

Here is another bookmark for you!

This is a game Marianne has posted on her blog. I thought it would be fun to play with on this Sunday! Here is what you do, post the list, highlight the things which apply to you and add your own at the end.

So let's get going:

01 .Bought everyone in the bar a drink.
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s nappy
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten tipsy on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse of both the sun and moon
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had/Have amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain.
65. Gone to a drive -in theater.
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted a river
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music

87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in a Rocky Horror Picture Show
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were collected in the wild.
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept 30 hours in a 48 hour time frame
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read “The Iliad”
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
151. Organized a HUGE event!
152. Seen something you can't explain with science.
153. Had a book published
154. Solved Rubik's cube.
155. Been married three times, twice to the same man
156. Been to Petra
and my addition:
been an expatriate

Friday, September 12, 2008

Influencing Your Art

I want to share with you a book I completed reading yesterday. And if you have been reading this blog for a few months, then you have already heard about it.Catching the Light is written by Susan Pope. You know Susan, she is our very own Sukipoet. I have to tell you this book was a real page turner for me. I just had to see what this young woman was going to choose for herself. She had so many obstacles to overcome, but behind it all she was drawn to her art. And Susan shows how she used her life to influence what she so loved doing. This book is so well written and draws you into the location and into the lives of the characters. In addition, an underlying message is how we come across people who influence so many parts of our life even after they have gone from it. I highly recommend you locate a copy of Catching the Light...I know it has become a treasure for me. And thank you so much, Suki, for such a beautiful gift and such a beautiful message. You are an inspiration in so many ways.

And I have something else for you to play with this weekend. You don't have anything else to do, right? Take a look at this image:
It looks like some people at MOMA, right? Well it is not! This is a sketch of mine...a lowly sketch you have already seen on this blog before. I used an online service called Dumpr where I uploaded this sketch to be placed in this setting! This kind of thing has been making its way around the blog world, so you probably have seen it on other blogs. My apologies to the blogger who made the recommendation, I can't remember the blog I first saw it.

One of the things I thought was so interesting is how you can use something like a sketch to get an idea of how that might translate into a larger painting. For example, I think this looks better as a painting than it does than a sketch...I had no idea it would translate that way.

Dumpr has some other fun things to play with on their site, too. Some of them you have to pay for, but these I am showing are free. One of the toys I have had great fun with is the Amazing Circles feature. See what a photograph of a red tulip translated into with that feature:
So now, here are a few fun things to do this weekend. I really hope you have so much fun and enjoy reading and playing with images...believe me, when you read Suki's book, you will want to get in there and do some serious creating!

Have Fun!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11, 2001

(this is an AP photo provided by CNN)

Today we remember all of those who died on this day seven years ago. This is an image from the Pentagon, the site closest to my home. But we do not forget those lost in New York at the World Trade Center where so many died and in Pennsylvania in that lone field where the hijackers were overtaken by passengers. Let us remember how important peace is in this world.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Finally Found It...

I did not plan to post today, but now I can't resist.

First of all, this is a little gift to you. I did a few of these when I was in Montana as bookmarks. You can print this and use it as a bookmark if you like. If you print it on watercolor paper it will be stable enough. I used Inktense Pencils for these little doodles.

Now, what I am so excited about... You might remember some months ago I asked if anyone knew of an easel which would expose the edges of a canvas and would turn to give access to not only the front of the canvas, but also the edges. I had seen these used on a BBC show called "Art School" several years ago. Well, I have found that easel! It is called the Windmill Easel! And that is just how it works, too! If you visit this site, you can see some videos and an explanation of how it works.

While I am not sure it is currently in my budget, I plan on exploring them further. Anyway, I feel very excited to have found this product. I had written Chelsea College of Art in London (as that is where the program was filmed), however I did not hear back from them. So this was a great treat for me.

Does anyone own one of these easels? Do you like it? Does it work as it is supposed to work? Do you think it looks like a good product? Would you like to own one?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Just Never Know...

The Heart 9x12 inches Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

You may remember seeing this painting before, but I have a story to tell you about it. I was never crazy about this piece and really considered it a test. It was hanging out in my corner of shame waiting for me to do something else with it when it was spotted by a woman visiting me. She said, "I really must ask you about this painting." Now she had seen a lot of my paintings and never asked much about them. Of course I said it was mainly a test canvas and there was not a lot to really tell about it as I was trying out some techniques. She said how much she loved this painting and how it resonated with her. Of course I had to ask more. So here is the story.

She is a nurse and during some of her training she was called in the middle of the night to come to the hospital to observe a heart transplant. While many parts of that process was miraculous to her, one of the things which stood out was the lack of blood in the heart...it was white! Pure white!

Apparently this painting was a perfect example of her experience that night during the heart transplant. With her story, the painting came quickly out of the corner of shame. She now owns the painting.

You just never know what is going to be meaningful to someone. I am glad this painting was meaningful to her. Interesting isn't it?

Now, this brings me to another somewhat related topic. I read this article which talks about a study done showing art classes helps teach physicians to better diagnose illnesses. Sad, though, isn't it that we have to introduce physicians to the arts in medical school! Shouldn't this be happening all along? Oh, I forgot, you probably can't test for that very well! When in the world did we let go of a balanced education? I suppose it is when we decided intuition wasn't good enough to follow...oh, I am getting on my soapbox now!

So I am interested in your thoughts.... on do you ever know?...and do you think it is sad we have to backtrack on arts education?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tiny Bits, Daydreaming and Unfinished work!

Some of you may have seen these on the work surface (read: bed) of my mobile studio in Vermont. Well, this is how they turned out. I quite possibly will add some clear glazing, but photographing them now is easier than with the glaze. These are 4 x 4 inch canvases...so tiny for me. I also have some 4 x 12 inch canvases I might place along side these for a complete look, but for now this is the way they have turned out. They are all acrylic and have no name...but I am sure that will come. :)

Today Suki asked if we leave our art unfinished and if that bothered us that it would be sitting there needing to be completed. For me, leaving it there for me to contemplate is not a problem...it will either tell me what it needs to have happen or I will paint over it in time. I actually have two paintings in progress right now which have not been touched for close to 2 months (so sad for me). But as I was thinking about this, I recalled an article I read about daydreaming. The article, not surprising to many, talked about the importance of having the time to daydream. But I thought how much unfinished work is like daydreaming or it encourages daydreaming...clearly depending on how you approach it.

What do you think? Is unfinished work like daydreaming? Or does having unfinished work stimulate you to daydream?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mobile Art and Looking Forward...

Since I am moving slowly back into my life here at home, I thought I would share with you some of the bits of "mobile art" I did while I was away. I did not have paint with me when in Montana, but I did take paint when I went to Vermont (easier to take paint when you drive).
This is a 10x10 inch canvas. I had a very limited number of paints with me, so I was bound to using what I had. That was fun, though. I did have to purchase titanium white, if you remember I did forget that one. I have no idea what this is about. There is a part of me which thinks it may be a response to all of the green in Vermont as well as the hint of those fabulous colors of the autumn maple leaves.

Sorry about the skewed photo of this canvas. I really need to set myself up again and get some good photographing done. This is a 10x12 inch canvas. I have to say I very much missed working large and think that must be the movement difference. Can you see that here? I think I really wanted to dance. Again, I was limited to the paint I had on hand there and this is something which came out on it's own.

I did a lot of doodling and worked with the inktense pencils and charcoal while I was gone. I will share some of those as time goes on. Hopefully, next week, I will be able to find a bit of time to get back into my studio...I hope so, anyway.

Do you think the autumn will provide you some additional time for your art?

Have a Great Weekend!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Eastern US Mountains vs Western US Mountains

In Vermont, the mountains are very different from the ones on the west coast...the Rocky Mountains. These are older, smaller and more rounded mountains. Westerners (US westerners) might just call these "hills".
This is a view from the inn where I was staying...you can see it is a bit hazy there. There is a lot more moisture in the air in Vermont to be sure.

Here it is a clearer day and you can see the soft roundness of these mountains better.
And you can just have a seat and enjoy the view, if you like...and can tolerate the misquotes.
I just liked the burst of lavender among all of this green.
This is a view of the area around the cross-roads in the village of Plainfield. I like the stone wall.

So this is the end of Vermont photos. By Thursday, I hope to have some art to show you!

How was your weekend? I really hope to begin doing a better job of getting around to visiting all of you very soon.