its been awhile…


“Take the obvious, add a cupful of brains, a generous pinch of imagination, a bucketful of courage and daring, stir well and bring to a boil” ~Bernard Baruch

I have no excuses, just haven’t been particularly creative lately.  I am looking forward to a new class with Mary Ann Moss that begins next Tuesday.  She is closing this session after July 4.  She will offer it again next fall.  Go here to read more about it.

I did manage to complete three sets of 4x4s.  I wanted to do something different.  This first set is doodling with a Sharpie markers, both fine and ultra fine.  Here’s what it looked like before cutting into four sections:


This set numbers 81-84:





This blue and red set numbers 85-88.  I used inks, acrylic paints, graphite, and lots of gel medium.





This last set is collage, charcoal, oil pastels and acrylic paints.  I used Mi-Teintes Pastel paper by Canson.  This paper is the darkest shade in the pad…a dark gray.

This set numbers 89-92:





Have a great rest of the week…until next time…

no pressure…


“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”  ~Salvador Dali~

My husband is always saying to me, “perfection is an illusion.”  I tend to be a perfectionist about some things.  Some…

I have been making books based on Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16 page Journal.  Her ” how to”  videos are available on You Tube.  The journal is made from one sheet of  22 x 30 inch paper.  I used Stonehenge print making sheets for mine.  I painted the big sheet first before tearing it down into pages.  I used Dick Blick Matte Acrylic Paint.  It’s my new favorite craft paint and comes in so many colors.  The torn edges are kind of rough from tearing the paper using a big metal ruler.  I can leave them as they are or use a stamp pad along the edge.  I found that I can also blend  an oil pastel along the edge of the page as well.

This is the first book I made.  It was my practice book.  The finished books measure 8 x 10 inches.  I plan to do a lot of collage:


…one inside spread:


I added some Washi tape along the spine of this book:


…one inside spread:


The third book is best, I think:


one inside spread:


I also finished my next set in my 4×4 series.  These number 49-52:





sketchbook snippets….I didn’t make the first picture…It was my inspiration for the ink and brush drawing:



I wish I knew the secret for drawing hair :)

Have a good weekend!


“Your job is to collect good ideas.  The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.”  ~Austin Kleon~

I didn’t know it until yesterday,  but Jeanne Oliver has mentioned Austin Kleon numerous times in conjunction with her new workshop,  “Studying  Under the Masters, ” which I am taking, by the way.  It started yesterday.  It has over 700 people enrolled so far.  Jeanne kicks off the workshop with her study about Henri Matisse.  I haven’t watched all the lesson videos yet.  I like how Jeanne starts her portion of the workshop telling about Henri Matisses’s life.  To find out more about the workshop, click on Jeanne’s name and it will take you to her personal blog.  This workshop will be open for two years.  I’m happy about that because I’m taking the other workshop I mentioned in the previous post.  Sometimes, I wonder about all the time I spend watching other people do art instead of doing my own.  I need to stop doing that so often :)

I have some 4×4’s started.  I figured out if I make 8 per week, I’d have over 400 tiny pieces of art by the end of this year. Since my goal is to make 200, I can slow down.   In the meanwhile, I have some collage and sketch work to post.

I made a page with markers that bled through onto the back.  This is a sketch I made using the makers blobs.


This a doodle collage piece I made during the holidays.  I used blue and black ball point pens along with a green Sharpie pen.  The collage pieces are from a magazine advertisement:


4 x 4 Project

“Remember Bob Ross? The painter on PBS with the ‘fro and the happy little trees? Bob Ross taught people how to paint. He gave his secrets away. Martha Stewart teaches you how to make your house and your life awesome. She gives her secrets away. People love it when you give your secrets away, and sometimes, if you’re smart about it, they’ll reward you by buying the things you’re selling.” ~Austin Kleon~


In my last post I was telling about a new project I have started for 2014.  My goal is to make 200, 4 x 4 inch tiny pieces of art this year.  This idea came to me after watching some videos by Jane Davies. Jane gives some of her secrets away.   Check out the 4 x 4 group at Flickr.  Here are the requirements as stated by Jane:  “This is a group to show your 4″x4″ art.  It can be in any medium or technique; the only requirement is that it meet these dimensional requirements.  I encourage you to make 4″x4″ art in groups or series.”

I have completed eight 4 x 4′ s.  The next ones I do will NOT be on watercolor paper.  Jane suggests using a smooth paper like Stonehenge.  I do have some Stonehenge paper and I also have a nice Bristol vellum pad I ordered from Dick Blick recently.  My pad is the biggest one, measuring 19 x 24 inches.  I figured out that I can get 20 of the 4 x 4’s on a single sheet of that.

All of these pieces began with three shades of blue paint on the background.  These first four have several layers of paint.  Some have collage papers and stamping with some of my foam stamps making impressions in the wet paint.  I finished by doing some line work with an ultra fine Sharpie marker.





These next four pieces do not have as many paint layers.  I used collage pieces, graphite,  white charcoal pencil,  and a little bit of  line work with the ultra fine Sharpie marker.





My goal is 200, 8 down…only 192 to complete.  I am having fun with this.  Anyone wanting to play along, check out Jane’s tutorials.  There is something to be said for having a goal and working in a series.  NOTE: Check out iHanna’s blog for more inspiration about getting started on your own project for 2014.  Hanna gives her secrets away too!

watercolors and faces…

“Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better,  do better.” ~ Maya Angelou~

We have been snowed in since last Friday.  It’s been very cold for Arkansas but I heard the temperatures will be on an upward trend by the middle of the week.

This piece is watercolor background on watercolor paper.  I let it dry completely and did some pen work on it.  I started to use Caran d’Ache crayons to highlight some areas but the pen and crayons didn’t mix very well.   I had fun making circles :)

NOTE:  I linked this to Paint Party Friday

IMG_1335to see more details, click on the photo to enlarge it…



Some sketchbook bits:




no title…

“In seed time learn,  in harvest teach,  in winter enjoy.”   ~William Blake~

A quick post this morning…it’s been a busy week.  I did have some time to sketch.  One night, I had a sleepless night and sketched and sketched :)

This first one is another page that started with  magazine collage:



This next spread is a graphite sketch on the left, and a left hand drawing with my uni-ball Vision pen on the right:


Another quick sketch with a ball point pen…her eyes are kind of wonky :)


…playing in my big sketchbook with some patterns…






“If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.”  ~Norman Vincent Peale~

I have a painting started but I haven’t worked on it lately.  I’m fighting a sinus infection and haven’t felt up to par this past week.  It’s been cold and damp in my little basement art room…so, I’ve been relying more and more on my sketchbooks for art.  I can grab a pencil, pen, or marker and work while trying to stay toasty and warm.  I’m fortunate that I don’t live in a really cold part of the country.  The winter seems colder to me this year,  or maybe, it’s bothering me more this year.

I used a Pilot permanent pen and a Blick Studio marker (basic gray 2) on this face.  I think I drew it first with the pen and added the shadows of gray later.


This doodle piece was done with the same marker as above but this time I used a black ball point pen.


I did this last night.  I tore out some interesting pieces from a magazine.  I really had no set plan when I started.


Here are some little bits of some pages in my little sketchbook:




misc art…

“Never regret.  If it’s good, it’s wonderful.  If it’s bad, it’s experience.”

~Victoria Holt~

This was previously a background page in my altered book/ art journal that I couldn’t decide what to do next.  I started doodling on the page.  I knew that if I didn’t like it I could always gesso or paint over it and begin again.  I used a black ball point pen and a Blick Studio marker (Basic Gray 2) for shadows.


The next four photos are from my little sketchbook:

The first one is a doodle collage.  I divided the page into six smaller boxes and started filling in the boxes with drawings and collage bits from fashion magazines:


This is a doodle drawing with a Sharpie fine point marker:


The last two photos are just little snippets of experiments…magazine bits and my mechanical graphite pencil:



beyond the fartherest star…

“Yet even beyond the fartherest star God knows the way”

-from the Little Golden Book about God

I used this quote on a journal spread I did for Andria‘s journal.  We exchanged journals (from the round robin group) again because we discovered we had gotten each other’s journals once instead of twice.  I have already gotten my journal back from her.  I finished her last spread yesterday.  This spread has about four layers ….it wasn’t coming together for me.  I finally got fearless and started spreading paint and gluing down magazine collage pieces. I wish I hadn’t put the doodles on it….too late now.  Here it is:




This next spread features a stencil by Christy Tomlinson and some of my mark making.  I didn’t write the quote correctly…I hate it when that happens :(



Here are some snippets from my sketchbook:






My hubby loved the comments about the frame he painted (see previous post).   Art is our main job now that we have retired :)  We don’t sell any of our work, it’s mainly for our own enjoyment.  I have an Etsy shop but haven’t put any items in it (yet).  Have an art-filled week!


guest artist & more sketches…

One thing that most of you do not know is that my DH is an artist.  I’m trying to talk him into doing his own blog.  We are redoing a half bath in our house. The new color is a lavender gray color.   There was an ugly wooden framed mirror hanging on the wall.  I like to recycle what we have, so, I asked him to do his magic on the frame.  He likes to do lots of geometric shapes in his work….here’s the frame after he finished with it…I waiting for it to completely dry before putting the mirror back into the frame.  I really like how it turned out:



Here are three sketches with my Progresso woodless graphite pencil:





 I think these were a combination of mechanical and woodless graphite:



I put some color on this sketch:


That’s all for now…Have a creative rest of the week!!!