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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Flowers Winding Down

I can't believe it is already the middle of October, makes me wonder what did I do to make the time go by so fast.  Oh yeah, I know, I was studying a new art medium most of the time.  Watercolor.  I am so engrossed with it that I barely came up for air this year and I promised myself that I would start reposting to my blog.  I have ignored it long enough.  These rose buds are the last from my garden.  They were pruned way back this past week to encourage them to produce more roses next year.  They were absolutely gorgeous this year so I can imagine them next year.  The variety of colors, has been wonderful.  The rose hips were gigantic this year too, so I'm wondering if this is a sign of things to come.  The weathermen/women are predicting a harsh winter ahead.  Time will tell. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blind Contour Drawing

I recently challenged the Friday painting group to have a little fun with me.  Way back when, I had an interesting assignment that allowed us to use a model in class.  A model who was dressed in a silk kimono, sitting a wicker peacock chair.  The assignment was to draw this image using only blind contour drawing.  In other words, do not let your eyes move from the model.  No looking at your paper until you were done with the whole drawing.  I simplified my challenge to just one thing.  Either a sunflower, a lotus seed head or a small group of rosehips.  Each participant could draw all three or just one, but they had to draw without looking at the paper.  Here is one of the drawings I made:  I did the rosehips first and followed it with seed heads.  The next step was to add splashes of color, which I have not done yet. 
In my original challenge, our next step was to create a collage using magazine pages and I think I might do a collage instead of splashes of paint for this as well.  It's a long time since I've done a collage and it might be fun.  Next week we will exploring watercolor painting without the aid of a drawing.  We will be focusing on flowers, specifically the sunflower. 
If you live in the Salt Lake City valley and are over 60, I would like to invite you to join the group.  We met at the Taylorsville Senior Center every Friday from 9 'til noon.   

Monday, September 22, 2014

Updating This Blog

Our recent move has been completed and we are finally-well almost-settled into our new home.  We are loving the new location, which is central to the whole valley and closer to most of our friends.  We have changed a number of things over the past few months, downsized a whole lot and I'm able to devote more time to my beloved passion of painting.  I have started a new "Open Studio" paint group at the Taylorsville Senior Center on Plymouth View recently and it has been well accepted by the community.  Each Friday AM we have a small group of artists get together, but the group will be growing as the word spreads that there's a new paint group opened for seniors to join.  You don't have to live in Taylorsville to use the beautiful facilities, but you will have to be a member of at least one local senior center.
We recently went up to the canyon to grab some pics of the amazing fall colors.  This is a shot of Bonnie getting a shot of our darling hubbies taking a break in the shade.  An interesting photo, the shadow from the trees looks cave like.  There were so many people that we ended up parking in a no parking zone and of course, anticipating the outrageous crowds of illegal parkers, the state raked in the bucks from all the tickets that were issued!  Probably met their whole yearly budget!  LOL!  Seriously though, the parking needs improvement! 
We ended our day by having the experience of watching a D-box movie: "The Maze Runner".  If you have not had the experience of a D-box movie, save your money!  The chairs were the most uncomfortable chairs ever in a theater!  They were suppose to move, but ours rarely did.  They actually kept me awake the entire movie though.  I liked the movie but you can tell there will be a sequel because it leaves you guessing about what's next. 
I will be updating and working on this blog again in the near future.  I also will be participating in a new blog hop in October, so I hope you will follow the blog to get updated as the fun approaches.  I will have a stencil tutorial to share with you and there will be a blog giveaway!  Add your email in the sidebar to follow....

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