Saturday, May 30, 2009


I've been taking an on-line class, Layer Love, with Julie Prichard, who can be found at:
She teaches how to make interesting backgrounds for art work, journaling and so on.
This is project number three. The base coat was yellow, next was lots of transparent washes with anything leaning toward brown. There are a few pieces of collaged elements added when the colors were just getting more aged. The final layer is made by making the paint drip down the page.
This was fun to do. It reminded me of all the color washing I did on the walls of my office at home.

This is what my walls look like. Two walls are painted in layers of blue and dioxizine purple. I started with a sky blue base coat, then with a sponge and the mixture of dark blue and purple with lots of glaze, I did lots of spongy circles all over the two walls. Three layers! For the fourth, I sponged paint here and there and sprayed water for drips.

It is dark, beautiful and restful. The other two walls are white. One wall has a bifold door closet. The other is a wall of dark wood book cases.
Funny how I never thought of it as artwork, but it is!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Finished Mixed Media Project.

This is from the class I took with Willowing. She has a wonderful workshop that shows lots of ways to paint, make backgrounds and also talks a lot about facing fears of making art. She showed how to create this image through her videos and though this painting isn't an original, she is the first I ever completed from start to finish.
Art is taught by copying. This is a copy and it was fun.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A colored pencil face -

Taking a course with SuziBlu, Petite Dolls, got me to playing with colored pencils. This is the first face I colored.

Amazing how scary it is to actually color in a drawing. I had tried watercolor pencils - what a disaster! Everything has to be wet at the same time in order to have smooth transitions of color. NOT an easy thing for a novice. And, using student grade watercolor paint doesn't work well either. There really is too much filler for the color to lay down smoothly. Professional grade is a must!

I wouldn't even try acrylic at this point. The paints dry so fast, you are often chasing color after color and soon end up in a mud hole. I know using an extender is supposed to help, but I haven't yet found the correct proportions for mixing it with the paint. Another task to master.

Colored pencil, however, is a great tool for a beginner. It goes on in layers that just sit where you put them. Once a color or two is laid in, you gently burnish it to blend and soften the waxy application. If you are careful and go gently without crushing the paper, you can get a nice natural shading going. I was pleased and surprised with my first attempt. If not for this first face, I might still be cringing at the thought of applying color to anything I draw.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Art trials-

I am changing my idea about myself.

For the past several months, I have been monitoring/taking mixed media classes online. Being very timid about drawing and totally afraid of what I might create, I have not been fanatically creating stuff. The fear has been getting in the way. A lot.

Slowly, however, with pencil and watersoluble oil pastels in hand, I have been splashing paint on watercolor paper. Most of the time I want to rip the page out and never see it again. Lately, though, I have just been accepting my first efforts as, just that. First efforts. Not really important in the scheme of my daily life. No one sees them. No one can make hurtful, wise-ass comments. No one can ask, "Why bother? What are you doing this for?" Enough of that goes around and around in my own head to keep me cringing at the sight of all my new art supplies. Little is made, but that's where I am, for now.

I haven't even turned on my sewing machine since March! Unheard of in this house! What? No new skirts? No new tees? No multicolored nine patch quilts? Nothing at all for my two granddaughters? sigh.

I have found this about myself. I am solo-focused. Is that even a word? I cannot switch from sewing to drawing easily. For now, if I want to learn how to draw and color, I have to just draw and color. It's bad enough trying to turn off my work brain to switch to play brain without also trying to do sew brain.

Now I know why people say childhood is a fun time. All you are expected to do as a child is learn stuff. Words, numbers, manners, concepts, ideas, new foods, walk, run, rollerskate, ride a bike. No body cares if you misspell, add it up incorrectly, or burp out loud - at first. Imperfect behavior is the natural domain of a child and if you are lucky, the adults around you gradually and patiently show you how to do all of it better. If you do fall off your bike, most likely your mom or dad or auntie will bandage you up and put you right back on the seat of that bike to see that you keep going. How nice is that!

All of that is harder as an adult. Things have become hardwired. Beliefs about limitations have settled in. New activities with body or brain come slower. I have forgotten how to be patient with myself. Now, when I was a kid, my parents often fast forwarded me to act more grown up. I was the firstborn of four and did everything first, fast and perfect. This is not easy to change, but I am trying. I don't want to get older and not have explored my abilities for fear of failure. When I am 90 (G-d willing) I want to be busy. I want to indulge my curiousity without all of this fear hounding me. And, I don't want to apologise for being born anymore.