Friday, August 28, 2015


I've been an unwilling witness to a life falling apart on social media.
A beautiful artist that I know.
Watching her personal chaos has affected me quite a bit,
even though I don't know her very well.
I was thinking of her today and this is what I saw in my mind.  
I've never really painted anything like this before.
I wish I could tell her she inspired me, but I don't think she'd hear me.

Let me know what you think.
Be honest.
Sharing on Paint Party Friday.

Paint Party Friday

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Art for Kids - part 2

The frame

Here is part 2 of the project my daughter and I did this week.  In part 1 we created pretty pictures of poppies with crayons and paint.  Now I'll show you the process for the frame.

I bought pre cut picture mat boards but you can easily cut your own.  With a pencil lightly draw your pattern on the frame.  Use white school glue to go over all your lines.  Let dry over night.

Once completely dry, paint over the whole frame.  We used metallic gold paint.  Let dry.

When the paint is dry apply black show polish with a soft cloth.  Be fairly liberal with the polish so it sticks into the edges and grooves in the dried glue.  Wipe away any excess but don't wipe too much, you want some of the black to stay behind to create that antique look.

Aren't they great?

Sharing at Sunday Sketches today.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Art for kids - part 1

I've volunteered in art class at my children's elementary school for many years and pondered the idea of teaching my own art to kids many times.  This week my 10 year old and I did a "beta test" of the first project I'd like to do.  It involves crayons, school glue and poster paint and was so much fun!

We decided on a flower theme and both of us are drawing poppies, mine are California Poppies while Rose is drawing the Icelandic variety.

I am amazed at how nice a crayon drawing can turn out.  I might have to use crayons more often!  Besides being fun to draw with the color variety is astonishing.  I loved digging through the crayons and being amused at the names.  One crayon I used was called "Outer Space."

Once we were done coloring, we crumpled up our paper.  
This was kind of scary...because wrinkles are usually avoided!  I crumpled mine up 2 or 3 times for good measure, flattening out after each so that there would be lots cracks in the crayon wax.

Then we painted over with blue poster paint, making sure it got in all the nooks and crannies.

Before the paint dried we rinsed in off with water.  I learned that you must act quickly or the paper will become too saturated and tear.  Not too worry, though, I put it on a metal rack (a cookie sheet!) and set out in the hot sun to dry.  As soon as it was dry I was able to apply clear tape to the back to fix the rips.

Stay tuned for the next step where we make lovely antiqued, gilt frames for our works of art - see part 2 here.

I'm sharing at Paint Party Friday, it's been far, far too long and I'm happy to be here!

Paint Party Friday

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Algae Bloom

A couple of months ago there was an algae bloom off the coast of Santa Barbara that turned out water from it's normal blue to a brilliant Caribbean turquoise.  A friend saw a picture I posted and asked me to paint it for her.  I LOVE the way the painting turned out and so does my friend but the process was different than my normal process.  Follow along below...

It started with this photo taken from a cliff above the ocean.  See the original post and more photos here.

Before I started painting I covered the whole canvas with yellow ochre.  As a self taught artist I had never heard of starting a canvas with an all over color.  As much research and reading and video watching I have done on painting I'm surprised I had never heard of this, but the recent article I read insisted that starting with a color will make all the difference in the world.  Besides the depth created by some of the under color peaking through, painting on a colored ground is supposed to help your colors stay true.  Painting directly onto bright way may distort the way you choose your colors.

Filling in more color.

As this point I thought I was pretty close but the foreground was really bothering me.  I posted this picture online and immediately my brother started texting me about perspective and how he didn't like the foreground.  I've never gotten such instant feedback!  So back to work I went.

Adding more detail to the foreground.
Finished!  It didn't photograph as well as I had hoped.  It looks even better than this and my friend is happy!

Sunday Sketches

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A is for...

I'm at it again...trying to create my folk art alphabet.  I like this full version a lot.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Our vacation according to Instragram

Last month we had to be in Truckee for a lacrosse tournament so we rented a cabin on Donner Lake and stayed for a week.  I had never been to the Truckee or Lake Tahoe area before.  I fell in love with Donner Lake and Truckee.  We had a comfortable cabin right across the street for the lake.
It was heaven.

Here are the pictures I posted to Instagram.

Sutter's Mill on the American River
View from the passenger side window
Cool, California
The cabin had a great view of Donner Lake
Donner Lake
Gorgeous place for a tournament

Before the first game

Cooling off after a long day of lacrosse
I love Truckee


Wildflowers behind the cabin

Obi cried on the dock every time the kids went out to far

Wildflowers on our hike

Flora Lake

Azalea Lake

Beautiful trout