Monday, February 27, 2017


Oberon / Watercolor batik on rice paper - 18 X 18

We updated our Apple computer last week and I'm disappointed to have lost iPhoto.  The new Mac photo application completely changed the way years of photos were arranged and now we have thousands of individual pics to put into computer albums.

The good thing, though, is that I found this photo of a batik that has never been posted on the blog. I met this beautiful horse when I lived in Michigan a few years ago.

Well, it's time to get back to those photos, and then onto some artwork tomorrow.

Hope to see you in a few days.

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Here's a watercolor batik tutorial, if you're interested:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday with Frida


                                      These are photos of Mexican painter Frida Khalo.                                         

After painting off and on for a few days this week,  I didn't produce anything I was crazy about, so I switched gears to experiment with photo transfers to use in mixed media artwork.

I've always liked Frida Khalo's face, so I cropped a photo of her (upper left) and printed it on a laser jet printer.

Using a plastic palette knife, the photocopy was covered in four coats of Omni Gel transfer medium (dry between coats).   It was then allowed to dry overnight.

In the morning, I soaked the gelled copy in a bowl of water for 20 minutes and gently rubbed the paper off of the back.

Parts of the image are translucent, so the transfer can be pasted on top of a colorful background if desired. 

The only problem with this particular transfer is that I made it a little too big for my art journal, so it will be put aside for future use - maybe I will make a smaller "tester" for the journal.

The image on the upper right is a practice piece for a photo booth style arrangement.  To make it a little more realistic, of course, I would have made the background identical each individual photo.   I don't have a paint program, but I could I could paint them with an acrylic next time.

And that's it for Friday.  Hope everyone has a safe, happy weekend!  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


5 X 7 / Faber Castell Graphite Aquarelle 4B on hot press watercolor paper

Since I love black and whites, I thought I'd try a graphite aquarelle pencil on hot press watercolor paper. The black is deep - like ink. Values are not my strong suit, so this pencil is made for people like me. Some lines were drawn with a dry tip and then wet with a brush, and some lines were drawn after the tip was dipped in water.

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As far as journaling goes, I attended a two hour class on alcohol ink on deli paper over the weekend. Deli paper is a thin translucent material, and is becoming popular with mixed media artists.  It will accept inks, watercolor, gouache & acrylic paint, and is usually used in collage, art journals, and altered books.

Per the teacher's instruction, we covered each individual sheet of deli paper with alcohol ink mixed with blending fluid using small pieces of felt.  When dry, the sheets were India ink stamped with a variety patterns (the teacher loaned us her stamps).

Here are a couple of pieces I did in class.

Deli paper / 12X12 / with alcohol ink & asst'd. stamps

All of the background papers can be stored flat in a box or kept together in a roll.  Our teacher said it was really nice to have a big stash of these printed background sheets so you're ready to go when you're in the mood to journal, but not in the mood to paint.  They can be torn in random pieces or used in one sheet.

I don't think I'll use deli sheets as backgrounds for every journal page, but making them is  relaxing - really a creative pleasure.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Road Trip

Gouache / 5X7

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Oops.  I think the Cheshire Cat said that...

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Look

Gouache / 5X7

Tim and I visited friends in Montana several years ago, and decided to drive down to Yellowstone National Park.  We knew the park entrance was closed due to heavy snow, but thought we would enjoy the drive anyway.

Well, we got to the entrance.  And we also got a full appreciation of the size of some bison at the side of the road.  One in particular seemed bigger than our small rental car.  After he gave us "the look," this city girl put the car in reverse and headed north back to Bozeman.

When I asked my friend how fast a buffalo can move, she smiled and said, "Faster than you."  She also mentioned that more park visitors are injured in attacks by bison than wolves or bears...

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Art Journal - 10X7

As far as art journaling goes, I've been experimenting with applying color to deli paper.   For this page, I used alcohol inks, but deli paper will accept watercolor, gouache and  acrylic, too.  

What I like about deli paper is that I can control the color and shapes (by tearing the deli paper and collaging it into the journal).  I also love the translucency of the paper.

I'm taking a short class on inks and deli paper this weekend at a local craft store and will write about it next week.  Hope to get a few more supplies (white markers, stencils, ..), too!

"Clarity" tape transfer removed / added arrow & heart in marker

Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 10, 2017

Horsing Around

Gouache - 5X7

This week got away from me.

As far as journaling goes,  I've been collecting images from old magazines & watching beaucoup how-to videos on YouTube (which is why there are no journaling pics here).

But it's all artsy - all good.

Hope you have a happy, safe weekend.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday, Monday

Julie - Watercolor / 7X5

A weekend filled with a little rain and a lot of art was just what the doctor ordered.

After finishing this small watercolor, I thought I would dive into art journaling.   It is something I've wanted to do for a long time.

Silhouettes are favorites of mine, so I started the journal with these.   I don't have stamps, stencils, modeling paste or many other supplies used by journalers (not yet),  but that is just an invitation to be more creative.

Journal Page - Gouache  /  7X10

After finishing the tree, I used my husband's hole punch to pop out a few circles from an old painting. The circles were then glued onto the page.

Journal Page - Gouache / 7X10

This page is pretty tame, but I wanted to do something serene.  For the word "Breathe," I printed out the word from a "picmonkey" font, trimmed it & covered it with a piece of 3M clear shipping and packing tape.  It was then plopped into a cup of water for about 15 minutes.  When removed from the water, the printer paper easily peeled off but the inked word remained on the tape.  Then the tape was placed onto the page.

Journal Page - Alcohol Ink & Gouache / 10X7

Since all of the journal pages are being individually covered with gesso prior to painting, I thought I would experiment on the image above with alcohol inks.  I ran out & picked up three bottles of ink:  red, yellow & blue.

The inks were splattered over the gessoed page.  When dry, I painted around the silhouette with the purple gouache.  The page was finished by a quick spotty rub off of the gouache in a couple of places around the silhouette.

Journaling is more fun than I thought it would be.  Hope to get into a routine of blogging twice a week and include some small paintings and journal pages.

Have a great week.  See you Thursday or Friday.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Freak-Out

The Scream - Edvard Munch

This is me after having endured TV, radio, and internet news since the political primaries.  I'm up for a quiet, non-partisan, non-toxic weekend - just ONE weekend.

Hope you'll join me.