Thursday, August 27, 2015

Almost September. . . . .

Whew! Here it is almost the end of August and I haven't posted since the end of January. How time flies when you're having fun. . . . and being busy!

I'm in the middle of a big project--writing an Art Docent program for one of the elementary schools here in Sanger. As soon as that is finished, I'm hoping to get back to painting a LOT again and to blogging. Just wanted to let you know that all is well and Life is Good!

More soon, I promise!

P.S. This is a new painting called "Kitty Caretakers" which is entered in the Madera "Celebrate Agriculture" Show coming up very soon. I have two shows to write about so that's where I'll begin when I do my next blog post. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why didn't I think of this sooner?

As I was framing all of the most recent paintings, I thought of using some of my gelli print papers to mount the Funky Five Minute tree on and this is how it looks. I wish I'd thought of it sooner but my mind was occupied with the painting and not too much else.  I mounted the approximately 4" X 3" painting on two different papers with double sided tape and didn't use a separate mat at all. I really like the look! I also recycled a frame that had a badly dinged up corner--refurbished, sort of, by dinging up the WHOLE frame! I also remember Monte Guyne's advice--when you have a problem area in a painting, try to analyze what's wrong with it and either "wipe it out" (remove it) or add more of what ever it is--repeat it until it becomes a pattern instead of an eyesore. I applied that advice to this frame--I didn't want to refinish it and I couldn't hide the ding, so I used the sanding block and smoothed out the ding and removed the finish from the edges all around. I like that, too!

Day 28 and Day 29--almost there!

Day 28:  Once again, small was all I could manage and this time I did 3 trees in watercolor. This is only watercolor, letting the colors run into each other. Size is 4" X 6" and it's framed in a narrow, shiny black frame. Price is $32.50. I call this one "Zero to 3 in 15 Minutes!"

Day 29: This one is watercolor and pen and a little larger at 8" X 10". It's an abstract of the mountains, sky, clouds, river, and trees and that is all. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 27--posted at midnight and it's #9 on the list of paintings posted so far. :)

Well, since it was almost midnight and that's when the posting begins for each day of the "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge, I decided to stay up a few more minutes and post the smallest, most primitive painting of the month. I did one of today's paintings with my left hand, but, despite what you may think, it was NOT this one. It's about 4" tall and 3" wide and I call it my "Favorite Funky Five Minute Tree". If it was supposed to be a fir, I could call it my "Favorite Funny Funky Five Minute Fir"! In any case, here it is--

Monday, January 26, 2015

Day 25 and Day 26 in the "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge

Yesterday, Sunday January 25th, was a long, wonderful day with 2 Fresno Community Concert Band concerts. We left home at 11 AM and got home about 10 PM. Consequently, I didn't do yesterday's painting. I took a sketchpad and planned to do a hand-drawn and painted map to use as a template for a new art hop map but it didn't work out. I scanned the hand done image just fine and added some digital photos to it as well as some drawings but it just didn't reproduce well enough to use. Maybe I'll work on it more later, but, since it wasn't really appropriate for the challenge anyway, I scrapped it for now.

This morning was spent sleeping in (important!) and creating the Art Hop flyer and a map to accompany it. So I didn't start painting till 3:45 this afternoon. Knowing I had to do a minimum of 2 paintings to just "catch up", I challenged myself to see if I could do 6 in 2 hours--20 minutes a painting. They were small, so it was possible. They might not be my best work of the series, but sometimes you do what you've gotta do. And one nice outcome of doing all these Sanger paintings is that now I can almost paint them with my eyes closed, so to speak, and I don't have to think very long about what to include in them.

So, at 5:45, I had 6 paintings drying--well, actually 5 because I threw one away. I rushed it too much and it was just a muddy mess. And if you know me, I HATE "mud". The others aren't great, they are pretty small, but they are finished. I let them dry and added a few touches, signed them, photographed 2 of them and posted them on the challenge blog. Woo Hoo!

Yesterday's painting--5" X 7", watercolor and pen--an abstract of the Sanger area. Fresh and fun, but not the greatest compositionally. But I'm thinking that right now, done is more important than fabulous since I'm agonizing a tiny bit about getting to work on my state sales taxes which are due on February 2nd. Getting a little close to put it off much longer!

Today's painting-- 7" X 5"--and the same description applies to this one as to #25. :)
Which one do YOU prefer, of these 2?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 24--A Game Board

In the same book about making maps, I saw an idea for making my own game board. Since time was limited today, I decided to do a quick version by using printed copies of the small paintings I did for a painting called "Definitely NOT to Scale!" Here is that painting:

I used cards of the individual paintings in the large painting and I left them in their plastic sleeves, put them on the printer, resized them and copied them in a smaller format. I cut them all out, slapped them on to a full sheet of watercolor paper with a glue stick, addeda caption box below each and then started thinking about
how to proceed. LOL

Next, I added a banner and Sanger, CA. I proceeded to ask a question about each of the locations, add some arrows and finally, a little watercolor paint. This is the final product and it's more of an illustration/composite than anything else. It's the first "product" that I see no reason to frame, because I'm not sure what I'll do with it. It could be a conversation starter, but not much else. So this might be my "fail" of the 30 days of paintings. It was a fun idea, but not fine art and probably not salable.

Yesterday was Day 23, and it was too late to post when I finished painting!

But I'll catch up now, on Day 24. I had it in my head to do some kind of a map yesterday. I have a great book about making/painting maps and as I paged through it, a few projects caught my eye. Here is a photo of the cover of the book and then a couple of ideas about "Word Mapping".


I decided to use watercolors to do"free hand" lettering inside the shape of a tree, since Sanger is the "Nation's Christmas Tree City". I quickly sketched the outline of a giant sequoia and started filling it in with place names, words, locations, businesses and more.

This is the finished painting--full of words about Sanger, California. The finished size is 14" X 11" and it's all watercolor and permanent pen. I'm surprised I managed to finish it in one day since it turned out to be a LOT of work! I do like how it turned out, though, and I think it will look nice matted and framed in a 20" X 16" frame. 
Several people commented on it on Facebook as soon as I posted it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 22 of the 30 Day Challenge!

Day 22's painting is the 3rd one done with FW Daley/Rowney artists acrylic inks, watercolor, and permanent ink. Here is a photo of the 4" X 6" image.

What do you see in it? Can you find orchard trees, a highway, a river, fields, mountains, wildflowers, and more?
Use your imagination!
And here is a detail of a place in the painting before it dryed and I added the watercolor. Even though it's recommended that you NOT mix colors on the paper, but rather in your palette before you put them on the paper, I got some beautiful "mixing" effects by letting the colors run together, undisturbed, to dry.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 21--another ink experiment!

Day 20, 21, and 22 are all related paintings--done with ink, watercolors, and black pen. Yesterday, I posted the wrong painting but I just realized it and corrected the mistake. This is the Day 21 painting-can you see orchards, wildflowers, a river, mountains, roads, and a fence? I can! Use your imagination and you'll probably even see other things in these 3 tiny (4" X 6" paintings" which look quite nice as a small grouping that could sit on a shelf quite happily.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 20 of "30 Paintings in 30 Days". . . .

. . .  which means I am now 2/3's done. And I have mixed emotions about whether I'm happy or sad. I like the focus and the serial nature of doing 30 paintings on one subject, with many variations. I'm happy to have 30 new paintings at the end of the month. But I'm also needing to catch up on some other things that I'm running behind on--like getting my state taxes done. :( But it will happen.

I did 3 "random" small paintings/drawings with FW Daley-Rowney acrylic artist inks. They come in a bottle and I just painted with them straight out of the bottle onto watercolor paper. They ran and bubbled and dripped and this is what the 3 paintings looked like, last night when they were wet. I was thinking of trees, orchards, blossoms, fields, mountains, a river, a highway, and wildflowers as I played with the inks with their eyedroppers.

The one on the bottom left is the one that became today's painting. The other 2 will become Day 21 and Day 22, giving me a little time to catch up on framing at the gallery tomorrow, I hope! Here is the finished Day 20 painting. After the inks dried--which took overnight--I added watercolor to fill in the areas between the inked lines and once that dried, I added a little black pen linework.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 19--a "primitive" effort, so to speak. . . . .

On Day 19, yesterday, I did a "quicky"10" X 8" on smooth, nonporous mat board. I used a scrap of mat board, scraps of collage papers including rice papers and metallic paper, gold glitter, spattering with a toothbrush, darks made with a brushtip Sharpie pen, and mountain highlights applied with a fingertip of gilding wax. And that is all. . . .

It was fun--sort of like fingerprinting--and not at all serious. But I think it works fairly well and, you know, sometimes finished is better than good. :) Especially in a 30 day challenge done during tax month. When in doubt about what to do--tearing, fingerpainting, glueing, and glittering always work for me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 18 of 30-- a different approach. . .

Today's painting is done on an 8" x 10" scrap of mat board, collaged with little pieces of different papers in a very random fashion. Here is the background, made yesterday during my childrens' class while the girls were collaging their 2 backgrounds. I demo-ed on mine and finished it after the class.

And this is the finished "painting" which has no painting at all in it, just collage and pen. It is 8" x 10", so not large. I started with the 3 trees and made them part of the "dark pathway" through the painting. The trees represent the giant Sequoias from which the "Nation's Christmas Tree City" gets its title.

I added more black to connect the trees to the sides of the painting and to direct the viewer's eyes through the painting. The "You are here" is a little joke, I guess, and there are a lot of hidden elements throughout the painting, taken from a recent copy of the Sanger Herald, our weekly newspaper.

Here are some of the little "secrets" in the painting:

Pastor Sam (upside down) and "Art Hop" 

Sanger Unified School District's contact information

The Sanger Herald's contact information
"Sanger" title, split apart

Sliver of SHS Basketball team schedules
Detail of the 3 trees

And, once again, the completed painting, bigger this time! When I started out with the wild collage background/under"painting", I thought this would be one of the weakest paintings in the series of 30 or more, but it surprised me! I think it's one of the better ones. :) And I had fun doing it. I actually like it a lot when I do NOT know what's next--I like the mystery of letting each piece I glue down guide me to the next piece to glue down. No drawing, no planning, really, just a "jump in and see what happens" sort of approach. Of course, I can move things around until I glue them down and that's exactly what I do--I "audition" each piece in a variety of places until I find the one that my intuition tells me is the right place. And then I glue it down and select and audition the next one. :)


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day 17--directionless until late in the day, but done now!

I'm wondering if I'm running out of ideas, but I don't think so. Today was a busy day with a 90 minute kids' class this morning, errands, deliveries, decorating my Sanger Tree Challenge tree (finally!) and some important emails. I did manage to do 2 quick 8" X 10" collage backgrounds with the kids this morning so at least I had those as possible starts. The first one was done with torn encyclopedia pages--print pieces on the bottom and blue map backgrounds on the top. So that one cried out to be a landscape. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph it before I started working on it. The second one, we just put random sizes, shapes, and colors of paper over the whole piece of mat board. I gessoed them both lightly and later wished that I hadn't gessoed them at all. But, what's done is done. Here is the second background--colors, with a thin gesso layer over it all. It will become Day 18's painting, most likely. It has some awkward areas near the middle, but I can easily change them once I start working on it tomorrow.

The first background was landscape like and this is what it became, the Day 17 painting. It's not anything terribly special but I don't think it's awful. Overall, I like it and find it rather interesting--a more abstracted, simplified view of the landscape and it's elements around the town of Sanger, CA.

Day 16 of "30 Days of (Sanger) Paintings!

Today's painting was a rather slow one to paint because it has a lot of small detail and uses a lot of colors. It was all done in watercolor and pen. It was the 3rd small painting using the Zentangle "dangles" approach. I really enjoyed doing it because, of course, it's all about DESIGN--which I love!
The piece is 8" X 10" and will be matted in a red anodized brushed metal frame tomorrow. Price will be $135, signed, matted and framed. I show it here in 2 stages:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 15 of 30--"Sanger Dangles"

Today is a significant day in the month of January because today is Day 15--so we're half way through the challenge. Even though it's taking a lot of time to keep up with the paintings, the framing, the posting of them and the blogging about them, I think it's well worth the effort in several ways. Some of the reasons I'm enjoying it are:

1) It makes me think!

2) I definitely paint something every day.

3) I will have 30 or more new paintings at the end of January.

4) The theme I picked--Sanger (my hometown)--makes them paintings that should sell at my gallery     which is IN Sanger.

5) I'm learning something every day.

6) I'm taking time to explore new materials and techniques as I develop the same subject multiple times. The new materials and techniques keep the same subject "fresh"and interesting--at least it seems that way to me.

7) I'm simplifying my thoughts about what is unique and special about Sanger and that can carry over to whatever subject I choose as my next series.

8) I'm having fun doing paintings of different sizes in order to provide different price points for buyers.

9) I'm using up small pieces of paper, odd frames and mats, and collage scraps and cleaning up my materials and supplies as I go.

10) It's interesting to see the paintings done by others in the challenge and read about the processes they use on their blogs and Facebook pages.

11) I've been more FOCUSED in the last 15 days because I know I have something that I need to do each day. It makes me do other tasks quickly and efficiently (or skip them altogether! LOL) so that I can get to work on the day's painting.

Here is my Day 15 painting, completed. I'm also posting the partially completed painting. I will be using a similar style for tomorrow's Day 16 painting but it's larger (8" x 10") than today's 4" X 6".

Day 16, part way finished

Completed Day 16 painting--titled "Sanger Dangles"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Almost HALF WAY there!

Today is Day 14 of the "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge. I had a busy day yesterday and today and I finished today's painting quickly and late, both. It's not one of my more successful paintings of the challenge but there was an upside to the experience.

I haven't done a lot of Zentangles, but I have done some. I bought a book a while back called "Zenspirations, Dangle Designs" by Joanne Fink. It is about extending the zentangle process to include creative, freeform"Dangles". I've been wanting to try it for quite a while but haven't taken the time. The nice thing about something like this challenge is that when you have been doing the same subject for 14 days, you're open and receptive to taking time to try a new material or technique to "change it up" a little. That's what I did today--quickly reread the thin book and did a couple of quick sketches and then jumped right in. This is what the cover of the book looks like--I think you'd enjoy it if you like "doodle-inspired" drawing.

I wasn't sure what subject related to Sanger I could use the dangles as part of, so I decided to start with the old standby, a giant Sequoia tree. It wasn't a terribly qualified subject for the position, but I persisted since I needed to complete something in order to not get a day behind. Here is the result--a 6" X 4" tiny tree that's not compositionally very interesting or very effective. It WAS fun to do and it led me in a different direction for tomorrow and I'm already liking tomorrow's painting MUCH better. Here is today's--

It makes me think of a giant deformed FROG, somehow. Oh, well, it was fun! And here is the beginning of tomorrow's painting--

I already like tomorrow's MUCH better! Maybe I'll try another approach to the Zenspirational "Dangles" for Day 16--any thoughts on what Sanger subject would lend itself to the design technique? I know! Maybe a road map? Or fields? Hmmmmmmmm. What else? I'd LOVE your thoughts on this, please.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Playing with some composite ideas. . . .

I'm playing around with some of the paintings from my "30 Sanger Paintings in 30 Days" to show how you could make an arrangement from a combination of paintings. Sanger-ites, take note!

"30 Sanger Paintings in 30 Days"

Here we are in the new year, 2015, and I am 13 days into a "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge. I haven't done one like this before and this one, hosted by Leslie Saeta Fine Art and discovered on Karen Knutson's blog, has been going on for years and has hundreds of participants. I decided to focus on paintings of my town and the local area around Sanger, California. I should have blogged from day 1 but was having enough trouble keeping up with the challenge itself. I'll try to catch up now.

On Day 1 and 2, I did 2 tiny (5" x 5") watercolor and pen paintings combining the images of "The Nation's Christmas Tree", fruit trees on the Blossom Trail, citrus trees, the nearby river, wild flowers, and sunlight, all enclosed in a circle surrounded by a white "self mat". They are labelled #3 and 4 because I had done 2 previous ones in December 2014 and both sold quickly. All framed 5" squares are priced at $32.50.

On Day 3, I did a much larger pure watercolor painting--matted size, 26" x 18", of the same subjects with more emphasis on the river and the mountains. This one will go into a frosted green frame with a white top mat and is priced at $220.

On Day 4, I did a  watercolor which filled a 40" x 15" "orphan" frame. The painting reminds me of stained glass with bold colors and shapes and black "leaded" outlines. The paper was too short for the frame but I made it long enough with strips added at the top of the painting. This one is dramatic in a simple black wooden frame. Price: $310.


Days 5 and 6 saw 2 more small (6" x 4") watercolors, with permanent pen. These were done in vignette style, color touching the edges but with the images surrounded by white.
Each is $32.50.


Day 7 was a departure from what came before as I did an abstracted "Sanger" in a monochromatic, subdued pallette. This one is 10" X 10" and has symbols for the highway, the river, blossom trees, citrus orchards, Academy Avenue, the horse farms near Centerville, the nearby mountains, Sanger's downtown and the water tower. This "aerial" view is in very abstract form and was intended to capture the elements of our town in a different way. Price: $99.


On Day 7, I also finished a tiny 5" x 5" colorful abstract that was previously started but never finished. I didn't count it as one of the Sanger 30 because it has nothing to do with the theme. I call it a bonus! Price: $32.50.

Day 8's painting is a round mandala (10" X 10") called 
"We Believe in Sanger" with blossoms, citrus, the Sequoia trees, and other orchard trees.

 On Day 9, I painted what might be my favorite, so far, another "I Believe in Sanger" painting, also in a circular format and somewhat of a vignette because of the white space surrounding it. This one has blossoms, trees, the river, and fields as well as some landmark buildings and streets. In the center is "The Nation's Christmas Tree". This one is an 8" square.

By day 10, I needed a break so I painted a very simple 5" square that is like a road sign--
"Small Town, Big Heart, Deep Roots"!

Days 11, 12, and 13 are a trio of 5" square watercolors with words, colors, and patterns. I think of them as "Sanger Color 1, 2, and 3". They are much alike but #3 (on the far right, top row) has collage and the other 2 do not. All three are priced at $32.50 and are framed in small black shiny frames.


So now, I'm "caught up" on telling you about the first 13 paintings. Two are sold, so far. Please let me know if you are interested in any of the other ones and I will hold them for you. I will continue telling you about the rest as I go and will try to NOT get behind again. :)