An Extra Day

each day color.jpg

Somehow I feel as if I was given a bonus today.  A whole “extra” day!  I have one more day this year to live and love and create and do than I have had the last three years.  It has got me to thinking about the treasure that each and every day is.  A chance to do better than yesterday, to love more, help more, and just live a little brighter.

To help you bring a little creative fun into your day, feel free to right click and download this coloring page!

each day

 

And, to help you celebrate, type in LEAP2016 when you check out of my etsy shop for 29% off your entire order… today only!

 

Paint organization

I know that many, many artist’s have Ikea’s Raskog cart as part of their studio essentials.  I use mine to store my paint so that I can wheel it to wherever I am working.  This week, during a much needed cleaning spree, I decided to get my paints more organized.  Specifically, I was using the top shelf of the cart for my fluid acrylics, and the second shelf for my tubes of heavy body acrylics, which were a jumble that I had to sort through every time I needed some paint.  That is a waste of valuable painting time!

I decided to make myself a divider so that there would be eight sections to sort my paint into by color.  It only took a few minutes, making me wonder why I hadn’t done this sooner!

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All you need is some heavy cardboard, a ruler and scissors or a mat knife.

  1. Cut one piece of cardboard 3 x 16 inches.  This will go down the middle of the cart long ways.
  2. Cut three pieces of cardboard 3 x 11 3/4 inches.  These will be the side to side dividers.
  3. In the first piece, cut two inch notches every 4 inches.
  4. In the other three pieces, cut one two inch notch in the middle (about 5 5/8 inch)

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5. With the notches facing up on the middle piece, and down on the side to side pieces, slide your cardboard strips together to look like this:

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6.  I had to do a little trimming, but make sure that the pieces fit snugly in the tray,

7.  Fill with paint!  I sorted them into:

  • blacks
  • whites
  • reds
  • oranges and pinks

one one side, and on the other:

  • blues
  • greens
  • yellows
  • browns

I love it!  I still haven’t decided if I need to add labels on the outside of the cart for quick reference, but that will be easy to add later if I decide to.

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So beautiful and inviting!  And there is so much more room! Ahhhh, sometimes it is the little things that make life so much nicer!

Happy organizing!

Princess on the Prairie

 

 

Prairie Princess watermark

This piece was inspired by my Kansas home.  The prairie princess clutches a loaf of bread in her arms, and is surrounded by a field of wheat and sunflowers. At her feet sits a jack rabbit, which were very plentiful in my childhood. In fact, I had one named Peter as a pet.

I began the sketch right on the canvas.

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The painted the background around her in golds, yellows, and browns. Over that I did some reverse painting in a chalky mint, leaving the golds to be the sunflowers and wheat heads.

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I tried out a few different skirts before settling on what I wanted.

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After I settled on using some paper that I had printed recently, I made some more paper to add more wheat heads.  I used white tissue paper which is really flimsy and fragile until it gets some paint on it.  Then it makes wonderful paper to collage with!

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Then it was time to focus on the details.  Collage work, the corner of a linen napkin, dip pen and gold ink….

I think it would be kind of fun to do this with all of the states… What would represent your state?

The original 15 x 30 inch canvas can be found at Tessera Fine Art Gallery in Wichita.  Call (316) 262-2435.  

For a print, find them in my etsy shop here!

Update on 365 Faces

It has been awhile since I shared my progress on the 365 faces project I began at the first of the year.  The only way to improve artistically is to practice, Practice, PRACTICE! So, I challenged myself to draw an average of 1 face a day so that by the end of 2016, I will have a drawing, or sketch of 365 faces!

Here are some of the faces to catch up on… up through Face #74…. Yep!  I actually got AHEAD!  Although, some of these are just pencil sketches that I may go back and paint later.

They vary from two per page to one per double page spread.  The handmade paper in the book is super absorbent and hard to paint on, so it is very hard to do much detail work.  That is probably good because it forces me to work more loosely than I am accustomed to, especially on faces!  Once in awhile one turns up that I did entirely with a palette knife (top right above).  Watercolor and marker bleed alot, so I am trying to figure out how to use that to my advantage!

I am very lenient on myself whether they are “finished” or not!

Sometimes I added in paper. Sometimes I skipped a page to come back and do later when there was a drying issue! The woman to the left is a magazine clipping that I will go back and paint over as a way to practice proportions.  Her flat head from being at the top of the page bothered me, so I gave her a crown!

I am sure I missed some, but that gives you an idea what I have been up to in my little book!

For those of you with year long goals, we are almost 1/6 done!  Keep up the good work! (and cut yourself a little slack now and then!)

 

New Stencil – Circus !

circus stencil copy

I have been having fun designing stencils the last couple of months, and just added a new one to my line up.  “Circus” makes a lovely background pattern on this journal page, with the help of some acrylic paint mixed with airbrush medium in mister bottles.  I like the resulting juicy look of the page.  To finish it off, I simply stitched a tiny little photo on with my sewing machine.

circus watermark

This stencil is currently available in 6 x 6 inch size in my etsy shop, or for local folks, look for all of my stencils at Tessera Fine Art Gallery in Wichita.

The Little Ladies

Mama Hen watermark  The Shepherdess watermark   The Fish Monger's Wife watermark  Foxy Little Lady watermark

One of my goals for 2016 is to work in series.  Not only is it more efficient, but it is also fun to have collections of like themed pieces.  This series of four canvases I affectionately refer to as “The Little Ladies”.  They are each a diminutive 4 x 12 inch canvas.  Here are shots of them from the beginning.

the sketch was done right on the canvas…..

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Then I shaded in the faces, I guess so we could get started making friends…

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From there it was a process of adding paint, then adding paper, then adding more paint… and then all over again!

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So, now let me introduce… the Fishmonger’s Wife,

The Fish Monger's Wife watermark

Mother Hen,

Mama Hen watermark

Foxy Lady,

Foxy Little Lady watermark

and, Shepherdess…

The Shepherdess watermark

Which is your favorite?

Be watching for these to turn up as bookmarks….