Fun with Neocolors, Part 296

….or something like that. It’s always fun when I drag out the Neocolors!

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This painting was a fun unwind at the end of a busy day. Gives me that mesmerizing feeling you feel when standing on the shore and watching the waves come in. I hope it gives you a little break in your day, too! Happy Monday……Friday’s comin’! (And Bird Day is Thursday – I hope I remember, lol!) Peace.

Top of the Quilt (and the Morning!) to You

Here is the little art quilt I’ve been working on lately. This one is 9 3/4″ by 11 3/4″. I would love to get your knee-jerk reaction to this. Don’t be shy if you don’t like it, but if you could tell me what it is you don’t like, that’d be most helpful.   Or tell me what you do like, even better, lol!  😀

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I have not “faced” it yet (added the trim that will bind it with the backing and batting to make the quilt sandwich), or quilted it together. I’ll be adding whimsical buttons and some handmade beads to the top and doing some fun hand quilting to finish it off. I see it in a funky beach house. How about you?

The next one I’m planning will have warm fall colors, with more subdued fabrics. But I really love the free-form feeling I get from this, both as a viewer and as the creator. I was inspired by Rayna Gillman’s book, “Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts”, which I highly recommend!

Happy Autumn Tuesday to my northern hemisphere friends today!   Peace.

Painted Art Quilt (progress post)

I have finally made some progress on my art quilt. You might remember the unbleached muslin panel I painted from this post. I added some layers of pigment to deepen some of the tones since then, cut it into three pieces (a scary prospect at the time), and I’ve finally assembled the quilt top!   (Click on the image if you’d like to see it more closely.)

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It is fairly small right now at 9 1/2″ x 12″, and I’ve added some hand quilting, but I haven’t bound it off yet. Not sure if I should add another border to it?     ***EDIT:   I’ve now removed the sculpture due to early feedback!***  The small white sculpture between the first two panes was made out of Sculpey (polymer clay) and fired, but not yet painted. I’m also thinking of possibly making small seagull beads from Sculpey and adding them to the top.   And might add a funky beaded fringe to the bottom.  Not sure if I’ll stop there or not!   The border fabric is a primarily dark green and blue batik fabric – not black, as it may first appear.   Here is the fabric next to an ivory piece, so that you can see the colors a bit better:

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I’d love to get your thoughts on this. As always, constructive criticism is helpful and most welcome. I would really like to open an online shop before Christmas and sell this kind of thing. I’ve wanted to do it for years, and just starting to feel the urge to really DO it. If you think it needs something added (or subtracted), please do let me know! Thank you so much!   Happy glorious almost Autumn weekend to all!   Peace.

Watercolor Paint Plus Neocolor II Crayons

…equals a good time, and vibrant color! This one started with watercolor pigment (mostly by M. Graham), then added some Neo II water soluble crayons (which I am falling harder and harder for every time I use them). Threw in a bit of a crooked horizon for good measure, and woo….here’s another mini-vacation. I hope you enjoy!   This was done on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper, which made adding some texture to the water very easy to do.

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I am still working hard on that art quilt. The hardest and most time-consuming part of any quilt project for me is the many decisions to be made, since I work without a pattern. I had a vision in my mind, but didn’t want to cut up the image with too many seams, so I finally decided to take it in another direction…..and hopefully it won’t take too long to finish.  I probably started about five quilts in the meanwhile though, so I guess following this next one up with more won’t take as long 😉

Peace, and I hope you find some space to create a meaningful break for yourself today.

Zenning out at the Beach

Would you like to take a little vacation? Come with me…..

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Can you hear the waves gently lapping and whispering? The gulls are softly calling. The sun is spreading warmth. Aahhh……

This is why I love painting these scenes! 😀 Every painting is a mini-vacation. More fun with Neo II crayons! I hope you enjoyed this little break in your morning. Happy Weekend to you!

Your Opinion, Please….

I painted this with Caran d’Ache Neocolor II watersoluble crayons on plain old cotton fabric (muslin). It was so much fun, and so zen.

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I’d like to incorporate this, or something like it, into an art quilt. It reminds me of the abstract landscape work I’ve been doing in my art journal (with the same crayons)!

I’d love to get your thoughts on this fabric piece. Am I on the right track, do you think? Could you see this as part of the focal area in an art quilt? It dried lighter, as water media usually does, so I think it needs to be punched up a bit first.   And I didn’t make it wide enough either – I wouldn’t leave the white spaces on either side if it was going into a quilt.   Just didn’t have time to redo this one.   What kind of feelings does this piece evoke? And please don’t be shy. If you think it wouldn’t work, any hints on what’s wrong or how I could make it better would make my Friday!

I hope you all are shaking your various talons, tails, whiskers and tail feathers on this wonderful September Friday. Peace.

Seashell surprise

A quick watercolor sketch from my art journal, brought to you by the mighty Inktense pencil (outline) and my Cotman travel watercolor palette.

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I’m enjoying the freedom of taking the color in whatever direction I choose. It feels more like creating to me, and allows me to be more expressive, something I’m reaching toward in my artwork.

I wish you a joyful September Wednesday. (Even just typing the word “September” makes me happy!) Peace.

Art Journal Recommendations

I created this mixed media painting in my art journal yesterday.   I’m curious what thoughts or feelings it might evoke for you?

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I also couldn’t resist giving Strathmore another plug.   As some of you know, I absolutely love the Strathmore Visual art journal series.    I’ve now filled my second one and started on my third, which really has me stoked!   The Visual journals come in several flavors.  I started with the Drawing product, then tried the Mixed Media, and now I’m hooked.   So I ordered a couple more, in two sizes.   Why?  I’ll tell you.   I can throw any medium at this paper:  pen, watercolor, acrylics, colored pencil, graphite, Tombow markers, water soluble oil and wax pastels, even collage.   No bleed-through. Is there rippling?   Sometimes, but only a slight bit.   I’ve worked with (140 lb.) watercolor paper that has buckled a lot more.

While working in this journal, it seemed to me that every medium I tried just loved the paper.   It is smooth, with just a slight tooth.   It reminds me of Stonehenge paper, which is much more expensive.   And yet, these little journals (the 5.5 x 8″ size) start at just over $5.   I definitely had to have more of this paper.   So I called Blick, and talked to a product specialist (Blick-speak for artist).   Long story short, the paper in the Mixed Media Visual Journal is their 500 Series paper.   This is 100% cotton paper, their top of the line!   It’s archival, acid free, and sized for wet media.   It is a joy to touch and to work on.   It turns out that I couldn’t even buy the paper and make the journal myself for less money.   These journals are an amazing deal.   I just had to let you all know!

The painting was a journey.    I needed some space to sort out my thoughts, and my little journal was the perfect way to do that.    It includes watercolor and acrylic paint, as well as water-soluble oil and wax pastels.   I really enjoyed marrying all these mediums together on this delightful paper.   By the time I was finished, I felt like I’d been on a mini-vacation, refreshed and at peace.   Just what I needed.    And I wish the same for you this Sunday.

High Time

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11 x 15″ (1/4 sheet), Arches 140# CP

I guess it’s high time I posted the painting I alluded to in this post from last week. I spent a few hours last week on this, and then added the trees and rocks and a few details yesterday, and for the moment, I think best to give this one a rest.

sky and far treeline detail
Detail: sky and far treeline

This was my first 11 x 15″ painting. The paper seemed humongous when I first sat down to work with it. I worked very closely with a tutorial by Grant Fuller that’s available on Artist’s Network TV. All in all, I’m not sure I’m ready to work this large, but it was a good learning experience.

Detail:  reflecting sand
Detail: reflecting sand

I’m pretty happy with the sky and parts of the glowing wet sand in the foreground, and I’m slowly learning how to add in a bit of forest (rocks are a bigger challenge for me).   I may go back and add more variation in the foliage.  The breaking waves are a whole different story, and unquestionably the most difficult part of the painting for me.   I learned from the experience that I need to do the softening off step MUCH faster. I think when I practice breaking waves next time out, I won’t try and do a scene at all. I’ll just work exclusively on the waves until I feel I have a better handle on them.

Detail:  part of the trees/rocks
Detail: part of the trees/rocks

As always, suggestions for improvement would be humbly received and greatly appreciated!    Thank you so much for your comments and visits.    I am bound to follow this watercolor train, wherever it may lead!   Happy Monday, and let’s dance anyway, huh?   Peace.