Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Night Sky Over the Canyon / Alcohol Ink on Yupo

Artist June Rollins brought alcohol ink paintings to the forefront when her gorgeous "dreamscapes" began appearing all over the internet.

Almost everyone who has tried alcohol inks is seduced by their vibrancy and flow.
Although they have been tamed by some artists, alcohol inks force most painters to
loosen up and to embrace UNhappy accidents.

When the results are really disappointing (not too often), the ink paintings can easily be cropped or chopped and used for mixed media projects,
a win-win scenario.

Hope you give them a try!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sauvie Sky

Sauvie Sky / Oil on Ampersand gessobord / 8X10 (20.32  X 25.4)

When we lived in Portland, Tim and I spent a lot of time on Sauvie Island.

Sauvie is a big island along the Columbia River.  It hosts wildlife sanctuaries
 and dozens of private farms that sell fruit (every berry imaginable) and vegetables.

It's also great destination for artists who love to paint skies.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Starry Night

"Starry Night" After Vincent Van Gogh /watercolor batik/ 8X10 (20.32X25.4cm)

Van Gogh wouldn't have to worry about any competition here,
 but it was one of those things. 

 I just HAD to try it. 

And we're all friends, so I decided to post it anyway. 

It was fun, I learned from it, and  I will try another Van Gogh sky soon.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Lost at Sea

The weather has been great, so I've been outside pulling weeds and sowing flower seeds for cutting later this summer, hence only two small watercolor skies.

Even so, we made time to go to a few estate sales. 

 I met an artist named Charley who was offering art supplies at deeply discounted prices.  For example, I picked up a box of resin mix for a future project this summer; regular price $23.49 / sale price $4.  Picked up some beautiful paper and acrylic paint, too.
Thank you, Charley.

And then yesterday, we (daughter and I) went out to the coast for a casual lunch in the beach community of Yachts.

There was a bit of coastal fog, 

but then the skies cleared 

and we went for a long walk on the beach.

It got a little chilly, so we decided to go shopping and came home with a small bag full of goodies:  candles, flavored olive oils, a small purse
and (what else?) beach rocks.

(Lost at Sea.  Come Find Me.)

Hope to see you in a few days. 

 If not, have a happy week!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pastel Sky

Pastel / 5X7 (12.7cmX17.78cm)

I've been doing pastel warm-ups like this one, but I don't own too many colors and the sketches are all starting to look alike.  Time to start painting.

Our springtime skies in the Pacific Northwest are still moody, so it will be nice to sit outside and paint.
. . . . . . .

Thanks to watercolorist Rhonda Carpenter, I've also been having lots of fun with an art journal.

 Rhonda's been featuring some of her creations from the Sketchbook Revival sessions on her blog:

 Check them out when you have a chance.  They are pretty nice!

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Sky's the Limit

Light Show - Oil on gessobord / 6X6in - 15.24X15.24cm

Morning sky, night sky, stormy sky, big sky, winter sky...
Skies are kind of magical.

And then there are things that fly in the sky - meteors, rockets (fireworks), birds, balloons, butterflies, planes, fish, squirrels, dragons...

There are a variety of ways to paint skies (oils, watercolor, gouache, pastel, ink) on a variety of surfaces (paper, wood, linen).

So, I think I'll start a series on skies.

Northing shocking or provocative or political - just skies.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Five on Friday
Around Town - Eugene

"Clever Disguise" (bronze sculpture) by artist Peter Helzer /Avery the Alligator and Rembrandt the Raccoon

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Up Close and Personal

Sometimes I need to get started on something, anything, just to generate new ideas.  

Chuck Close - WikiCommons

The wisdom of artist Chuck Close has been taken to heart.  He says, "Every idea occurs while you are working.  If you are sitting around waiting for inspiration, 
you could sit there forever."
I've done that.

So, I started with these two pieces.  I was using them to practice the gouache resist-India ink technique and wasn't necessarily going to post them.  But then, I thought, "Why not write about it?"

Later, while still painting, I thought of the word "parameters."  It is a word I heard over and over while watching Sketchbook Revival yesterday.

Hence, the plan for working in a series was formed for the summer months.  I like the idea of thinking very deeply about a subject or an emotion, theme, color, technique, ...

I also like the idea of working in a short series (6-12 paintings), and not concentrating on making some big "official" body of work.

So, a number of smaller short series projects sounds like a good plan for the summer since it will also free up time for other adventures in creativity - art projects, crafts & gardening.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sketchbook Revival

A weekend of weed pulling was just what the garden needed.

And since Cobie is better now, Tim and I got a chance to leave the house together and go to a few estate sales over the weekend.

Always on the lookout for art / drafting supplies, we picked up a few things:

 Got up yesterday morning, though, with an awful cold. Thanks to watercolor artist Rhonda Carpenter mentioning a free video course on her blog,  I spent much of the day watching a series called Sketchbook Revival.

It is an online workshop featuring drawing / journaling videos from two dozen artists.

Although the workshop officially runs from April 23 through May 4, the videos will remain available to everyone who registers until May 18th.

Thank you, Rhonda.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Gouache Resist - India Ink

Gouache - India Ink on Arches 140# WC Paper
5x7 / 12.7X17.78cm

Just a touch of color here while having more fun with gouache & India ink.  

And these three pieces, using the same technique, will remain as they are and go on the pile.

Gouache - India Ink on Arches 140# WC Paper
6X6 each / 15.24X15.24cm 

They will stay on the pile for a while because
I made an unscheduled stop at a yard sale today and bought some vellum and oil paint sticks.  

Vellum - oil paint sticks

I also stopped at the library and picked up a couple of books that looked interesting.

If it rains this weekend, I'll be in the studio.
 If not, I'll be in the garden.
Sounds great either way.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hear Me Roar

Watercolor batik on rice paper

While going through some old photos, I found this batik from 2008.  It was originally the size of a half sheet of watercolor paper, but I eventually cropped it because it seemed as if the lion's head was just floating in the middle of the painting.  There was a problem with the values (tones), but I didn't know how to fix it at the time.

I found a couple of nice lion references yesterday and decided to try something new (for me).  Here are two small paintings done with a technique using water-soluble gouache as a resist (like masking fluid or frisket) with waterproof India ink on Arches 140# / 300 gm cold pressed watercolor paper.

These are fun to do because the final step involves covering the entire painting with the black ink, letting it dry, and then putting the painting under running water to remove bits of the ink.

Here is a very short YouTube tutorial:

Here is a written tutorial:

Hope to try it again later this week with different subject matter and some color.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Back to Normal

Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper / 8X10 (20.32cmX25.4cm)

Things are starting to get back to normal. 

For the last two weeks, my husband Tim has been out of town visiting family and friends in Michigan.  He is coming home tonight.

Cobie is feeling better, too.  Soon, he will be back in the routine of going on
 long morning and evening walks around the neighborhood 
and spending lazy afternoons in the backyard.  
. . . . . 

In the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed with short winters and long seasons of spring and autumn.

In our yard, the daffodils have finished blooming, the tulips are here and the rhododendrons are ready to pop.

Last fall, Tim constructed a cold frame as an experiment to see if we could grow some greens during the winter months when we get occasional frost and snow. 

The veggies were placed in grow bags filled with good soil.  We planted arugula (rocket), swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, bok choy and garlic.

The frame was then covered with greenhouse plastic and held in place with staples and large rocks.

The experiment worked.  I took this photo of the lettuce yesterday.  We have been harvesting the outer leaves from the same plants once or twice a week all season long. 

We had good success with the other greens, too. 

There is lots of room in the rear yard to expand the veggie garden.

We are looking forward to spending the first summer here in our new home.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Day 100

Rain gear for Cobie's bandages:  a poop bag, a slap bracelet and washi tape.

Cobie has had a rough week with visits to the veterinarian, sometimes every day, to have his bandage changed.  His vet was unable to suture the surgical wound completely closed, so it has to be professionally dressed.   It's been very traumatic for him, but he has stopped limping and everyone is happy about that.  We're hoping the bandages come off next week.
. . . . .

In the meantime, I received an order of black glossy card stock.  Beautiful alcohol ink art has been done on this paper, but I still can't figure out exactly how to do what I want to do.

alcohol ink background on black card stock for mixed media (did lots of these), white ink on black card stock, watercolor on photo paper (the flip side)

Also, over the weekend, I received the final two postcards from Liberate Your Art swap members.

Below:  from artist Madeleine Jones

Below: from photographer and Liberate Your Art host Kat Sloma

Today, April 10, is the 100th day of the year 2018.  
Where did those days go?

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Thank You

A sincere thank you to everyone for your prayers and good wishes for Cobie.  

The good news, of course, is that he is still with us.  The bad news is that the vet removed a nasty tumor, his front dew claw (digit) and a newly discovered cracked molar.

He's had a rough few days.  Tim has had to carry him around (outside and back to the vet for bandage changes).  We've been with him 24/7; our daughter even sleeps on the floor with him.   

With the worst behind us, we are all very relieved.

. . . . . . . 

And then two postcards appeared in the mail, both brightening our weekend.

The first is from Texas artist Sharon Lane.  
You can find Sharon at

"Nine Lives," Mixed Media on Index Card, artist Sharon Lane

The next postcard is from German artist Heidrun Siebeneicker.
You can find Heidrun at

"Paper Cut Heroes," artist Heidrun Siebeneicker

. . . . . . .

Not much artwork done lately, but here is a peek at the sketchbook:  a two value lion done with a thick Sharpie marker and an elephant drawn with a charcoal pencil.

And again,
 thank you very much for your heartfelt comments and prayers for Cobie.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Resort to Alcohol (Ink)

A routine trip to the veterinarian at the beginning of the week has turned into a nightmare. 

Our sweet labrador Cobie is having surgery tomorrow to remove a soft tissue sarcoma (the vet thinks) from his left leg.  

Please hope for the best for my boy...
. . . . . 

In the meantime, swirling translucent alcohol ink on Yupo paper has been a nice diversion.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Postcards and Patterns

These are the first two postcards I received thru the mail in the postcard swap.
Photos don't do them justice.  They are really beautiful!

Photographer Lisa Comperry - Texas
You can see more of Lisa's work on her website:

Jane Ross - Rainy Day Sunshine 2018 - Digital Manipulation
Jane's link is unavailable.

. . . . . . .

Watercolor batik on rice paper

The batik here is a little different from how I normally do them.

 I found a free online pattern & printed it on regular photocopy paper.  The pattern was then covered with wax paper and rice paper & was ready to go.

 It was quick and fun - nice for a change.