"Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits can become tedious." St. Thomas Aquinas

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Passions

Most of you know that I have been studying the art of watercolor for several months now, I think it's going on like 9 months and I'm still overwhelmed with all the information that I have yet to devour.  LOL!  I recently purchased a video of Soon Young-Warren's painting water and have watched it several times now, trying to get a feel for the methods she uses in her own work, while incorporating a few of my own tricks along the way.  I haven't been sharing any of these paintings with you only because they were either not good enough, or barely good enough to be juried into a local show.  I have 2 currently hanging at the Sandy Senior Center here in town for our Spring Show-2014 and one waiting to see if it will be juried into the UWS Spring Show in Provo this year. 
Anyway, this little painting is of a photo I took of a koi down in the pond at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vega, and using some of my mixed media techniques, I was able to get a pretty good likeness of the real fish.  To do this again on a larger scaled painting will be the challenge! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Carving Stamps

Are you a Pinterest Addict?  I sure am!  I had to set a daily, limited, time allowance so that I can actually get things done each day.  One of my boards is for hand carved stamp patterns, which is an art project I love to do, especially when I see the end results.  A couple of weeks ago I carved a few small stamps to use for my other addiction---art journals.  I had to experiment with adding color to these stamped images, so I decided to use watercolor.  I stamped the image on a Strathmore "Toned Tan" sketch paper first, then I painted an area with cobalt turquoise and stamped again.  I have to say I like the painted background image the best.  It's more dramatic!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Left Behind

Whenever I go on an adventure to a park or a road trip, I'm always on the look-out for things that people have left behind.  While on a recent road trip down by St. George, we ventured out into the middle of nowhere, in the Arizona desert, where we found a single picnic table.  There wasn't much to be found but I did bring home some interesting rocks and some great photos that I will be using in the future as painting references.  Photo opts can be fun, when combined with what is now a 2-year series, of "Left Behind" photos.  You can see more on my photo blog listed in the right hand side bar.  Just click the link and go....

Kandinski Circles

I recently found a new project that inspired, motivated and relaxed me all at the same time!  Kandinski Circles.  I painted these with watercolor but you could color these easy designs with just about anything.  A great art journal project or a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon with the kids.  They're simply circles drawn inside of circles and colored in.  When drawing these move your hand to the end of the pencil and loosely move your wrist to get some interesting shapes/circles.  Follow up with crayons, watercolors, pencils, markers, acrylics, etc.  Relax, listen to music, talk to friends, and just have some fun!

Trip to Denver

Most of you know that recently my daughter had a house fire and I rushed to Denver to give her a hand with the grandkiddos.  While I was there, we ventured over to a rodeo one Sat. and I spotted this amazing long horn steer.  He was so docile that these cowboys were taking photos of rodeo guests sitting on the steer.  I wasn't too worried......LOL!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014-The Beginning of a Great Year

On New Years Day we started our very short-but felt really long, trip down south to explore and take photos.  After 1110 miles and over a 1000 photos we arrived back home, exhausted and sore from all the miles of hiking, climbing and dragging our feet through the snow.  It was a wonderful adventure to kick start the new year.  Lots of inspiration for new projects, workshops & some experimental photography thrown in.  Here is a star trail (composed of three-10 minute time lapse images).  My first attempt at doing this didn't work since I didn't have my camera settings correct and the time lapse remote control would not work, but the second night, it worked like a dream.  Loved the experience, the dinner picnic in the dark, and the scary stories we told each other while we were waiting for the exposures & processing of these images. 
NOTE:  It's really dark and scary out in the middle of nowhere with not a single light visible in any direction!  Makes you think of zombies for some strange reason!  :-D

More Photos

Here are a couple more images I took while visiting Southern Utah, Northern Arizona and Nevada. 
We had beautiful blue skies, 60+ weather and lots of fresh air!
This first image was taken from the car of our first stop.  Little Black Mountain in northern Arizona.  Outside of St. George, about 20 miles on dirt roads, you will find some wonderful petroglyphs, grinding stones, etc. left by ancient Indian tribes.  They could have been Fremont Indians, Pueblos, Hopi or even Anastazi.  Nobody really knows for sure, but it was a fun place to hang out for a few hours, eat a picnic lunch and explore the many rock formations.  Incredible views!

Lucky New Year

Another really fun thing that happened while we were on our trip, we stopped at Mesquite and I won a Jackpot on a penny machine.  The first pull and this is what I got!  What a way to start the New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Finishing Up for the Year 2013

Just a couple of months ago I began a series of watercolor field journals and I've already managed to finish 2 of them.  I filled the pages with experiments, drawings, notes from books, etc.  What a wonderful feeling to have completed a project for a change!
So for the new year, I have begun 3 more of these journals, one for value sketches & compositional layouts, one for experiments using a variety of techniques for water media and another for notes from all the books I read and videos I watch.  There is so much information out there and so many fun things to try, that I will have no problem keeping busy during 2014. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Gift for You!

At my Friday watercolor class with Sandi Olson, we painted some fun whimsical ice cream cones which I just had to make into earrings for all of my Granddaughters.  Here is a download for you if you would like to make some these darling earrings or charms for your favorite girls.  They are so very easy to make.   Just follow the simple directions on the print out.  Enjoy!
(Creative Commons License is granted).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A New Blog

My local watercolor guild here in Sandy Utah is interested in having an on-line presence and sharing their work in one central place that is easy enough that all can participate.  I have been working on getting the blog set up and will be adding more fun things soon.  Please take a moment to go explore the home page, along with an experiment for textures page and get signed up to follow us by e-mail.  The guild's new blog address is:  Sandy WC Guild  (Click the name and it will take you to the blog). 
This blog isn't just about watercolor, it will feature many other things.

All water/wet media will be included, along with monthly challenges for our show & tell (which I hope we will start doing at our local monthly meetings beginning 2014),  (you can play along with these challenges too and post your results on your blog!  Simply leave us a link in the comments.) There are additional pages that share experimental results at the moment, but I will be posting techniques for: stenciling, carving textures, acrylics, inks, book reviews, etc. etc.  The possibilities are endless.  Please join us and don't forget to leave comments! 
Feedback is always monitored due to spammers, so your comments will not appear until they have been approved.  You may also share a link to your own website or blog in your comment.  We would love to venture over and take a peek at what you are creating. 
If you are interested in sharing a technique you have created, or a link to a good video you think would help inspire us, please leave the link in the comments and I will check it out.  If you host free tutorials, we would love to know about them, if you have written a book, a pdf zine or an e-book, again we would love to know about it. 
I recently set up a Facebook Group as well, but to keep life simple for me, I will be posting only to this blog and to the Sandy WC Guild blog.  No sense in duplicating my efforts. 
Not sure I shared this work in progress (above) with you all yet, but this is an enlarged area of berries in a bush taken from a photo I took up in Idaho at a fish hatchery.  I got kind of carried away with making the little streets on the leaves to make them look like maps viewed from space.  So, OK, I'm not always "photo realistic".  :-D

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Available Now

"Art & Place" an in-depth look at art in unconventional settings throughout the Northern & Southern Hemispheres of the Americas.  If you are an "Arm Chair Traveler" this book will take you on a road trip that expands time.  The journey begins in Canada and travels in a zigzag style to finally reach the great countries of Brazil & Peru while showcasing major historical & current contemporary art in between.  From the carved totem poles, to Diego Rivera in Detroit & Mexico City, to a spiral jetty here in my home town of Salt Lake City (as seen on the cover) and reaching across the country via Chicago, Boston and DC to New York where you can visit an amazing array of places & art pieces, via high quality photos. In Los Angeles you can visit Simon Rodia's "Watts Towers" that took him 34 years to construct and is now a National Historic Landmark or visit the Lightening Field in New Mexico for a show from Mother Nature.  (A storm would be required if you were there in person, but visit through the photos in this book and you won't have to wait months to see the show.) Throughout this vast space of land, there is art in the form of rich carvings, faded paintings and works that took years of pain-staking labor.  This one book brings it all together for us and provides us with detailed descriptions and a wonderful glossary of the various art styles & movements throughout our history.   A must have book for the "arm-chair traveler" and art lovers everywhere.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A New Blog

I've decided to create a blog for a new adventure exploring water media, which has unlimited options and I didn't want to bore everyone by posting all the time about this one topic.  Over the past few months I have been so engrossed in this new love that I've spent 90% of my waking hours learning more about water media, i.e. watercolors.   I've read every single book and magazine I could get my hands on, watched a ton of youtube videos and now I am ready to branch out.   I want to include my true loves, all water mixed media and I would like to invite you to join me.   You can participate by leaving comments, posting links to your own work and of course, share your own knowledge.  For a more detailed description of what I am proposing, visit this new BLOG.
And I started a Facebook group.  Please come and join me HERE.

Another Creative Art Book Review

If you love surface design, making altered books or even art journaling, along with incorporating snippets of fibers and adding various textures, this is the book for you.  It is chock-full of ideas to give you plenty of inspiration for utilizing texture, color, fibers, design elements, resists, "Brusho" (a product from the UK which is fabric dye in powder form-use caution), oil paint-sticks, wax, papers and options for recycling products we all have available.  This book covers multiple projects and materials such as: mark-making, block printing, mono-printing, hot & cold wax, tie dying, collage and guess what-this is only half of what the book covers! 
The other half of this book will give you plenty of ideas for hand & machine stitching, embellishing, fabric manipulation, applique and ideas for creating your own unique textiles.  Plenty of eye candy to get your thought processes working, so grab your copy today!