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.

Abstract Fall Landscape

….from the Queen of Autumn *she says, as leaves swirl around*

0927I was playing with some new Neocolor II water-soluble crayons and my Cotman travel watercolor palette and conjured up this little scene, which brought some peace at the end of a looooong day.   Refreshing!   That’s what art is for me.    And oddly, doing a painting like this before bed can even help my sleep.   Weird, huh?

I hope you have a wonderful, crisp, colorful and creative Sunday.   Peace.

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!

Abstract Landscape, Take Two(hundred and fifty)

Conjuring up some peace in my art journal the other night. *waves wand*

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And really wishing I had a whole bunch more of those Neocolor water soluble crayons. With watercolor paint, they make a dreamy pair. Not barely into September, and I’m starting my Christmas list! hehe.

Happy, peaceful, water lily on a still pond Wednesday to all of you today.

Neocolor II Experiment

I recently picked up a set of Caran d’Ache water-soluble artist crayons , and let me tell you, they are a joy.  Abstract work has really been helping me to clear my head lately. Kinda like a spring cleaning and reorganization.   Except, with fun and color!  They don’t claim to be art, but they are in my art journal, and it’s been so much fun to just sit down and play with art supplies and color.

Here’s a photo before adding water to liquefy them (ok, I’d added water to some of the yellow and orange before remembering to snap the photo):

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There were lots of stages in between that I was having too much fun to stop and photograph….but here is the final:

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Aren’t they so vibrant and amazing? They turn to liquid butter after hitting them with water, and it doesn’t take much effort at all to see no lines at all from the initial color lay-down.   This piece was brought to you primarily by those Neocolor II crayons, a bit of acrylic paint, bit of watercolor pigment…..and water.  Just like magic.   I really enjoyed making this one.   And I hope you enjoy the view.   I highly recommend those babies!   (And, not to be an enabler, but Blick has free shipping on orders of $59+ through today.)

I wish you and yours a blissful and serene late August Sunday.   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.

Inspired by Indigo

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I took another break from portraits to answer the call of the Inktense pencil.  It’s a call I can’t deny for long!  They are a joy to work with.   I sooo enjoyed doing this little watercolor card.  It was just what I needed at the end of a long day working with numbers.  I used lots of other media too:  Polychromos colored pencils, Tim Holtz Distress Stains, and Portfolio water soluble oil crayons, a little tissue paper, and of course the paper on top.  I will really enjoy doing more little projects like this, especially while work is so demanding.  I kept adding more color and more color because it was so much fun.  I plan to work on another one tonight.

I should have taken the photo in daylight.  It’s looking like it has a pink tinge on the screen right now, and hopefully that’s just because of the lightbulb in my face, as I’m a little bit late getting this posted.  🙂  We are due for another 6-10″ of snow tomorrow, but once the weekend comes, the forecast is for 40s and 50s, so we are all looking forward to that!  Thank God tomorrow’s Friday!  I hope you get some art time in today.  See you for the Friday dance tomorrow.

A is for Abstract-ish

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I don’t consider myself an abstract artist, and I’m not even sure this is considered abstract art, but I really enjoyed making it.

I love watercolor, but I’m finding the learning curve pretty steep.  In fact, watercolor is what drove me to drawing, because I found that it took longer to do the underdrawing for a flower than it did to paint it.  This was done with watercolor pencils.  I got a set of Derwent watercolor pencils for my anniversary last year (it was the only thing I wanted).  I fell in love with them right away, because they allowed me to have the control of a pencil with some of the feeling and effect of watercolor paint.

I learned a great technique from The Frugal Crafter’s YouTube videos, which is to touch the pencil tip with a wet brush, and paint using the pencils as your palette.  I experimented with the technique with tulips, which are pretty simple to draw, and found that I liked the look of the flowers better without the leaves.   I was painting at the local Open Studio one night with just a few pencils, and since I had a couple shades of blue, I decided to have them growing out of clouds.  (Maybe next time I’ll try adding the leaves, and I’ll just change them up a bit to make them a little less clunky.)

Now that I think about it, it would be cool to pick a few colors at random, take them and a watercolor sketchbook to a coffee shop, and just see what comes out.  I’d have never come up with this painting otherwise, and I like the clouds better than a flowerpot or a vase….or maybe it’s just my weird sense of what’s pretty.

Returning to the human form tomorrow, and I hope you’ll stop by then.  Go make something, and have fun!  Clouds like this only rain tulip petals.  🙂