Sunday, March 29, 2015

Whales, Snails and Puppy Dogs

When I titled this I thought I was channeling that old rhyme, "What are little boys made of ?".  "Whales, snails and puppy dog tails". Apparently it goes, "Snips and snails and puppy dog tails". I also discovered a snip is a type of eel. Who knew?! Anyway, when I chose the collage papers for the base of this piece I hadn't done my fact checking yet so it is what it is.

I also discovered what a mess I can make with gel medium and collage paper. I managed to ruin another fleece shirt too but I'm still happy with my results. This is not a great image but I did my best. The colors are a little off but close. I wound up using collage papers, matte and gloss gel medium, Sharpie pen and acrylic paint, all on 174# Yupo. It was fun, enough fun that I'm on to another.  

Yup, cats are next.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lots of Puppies

Paul Kemp posted the cutest photo of a litter of puppies on PMP. So cute it knocked me out of my current funk and got me back on track. I took up an 8B pencil and did this line drawing the other day. You know the method...all one continuous line without raising your pencil. I made it....mostly. I did back track a little to add a missing paw, etc. The whole thing took me all of 10 minutes and I liked the result. Now what to do next. I think I'm going to try laying down some collage papers on Yupo, then do another continuous line drawing in ink over top. I may get some acrylic into the act, too. Lots of possibilities and at least I have a direction now. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Playing in GIMP

I was playing in GIMP today and came up with these digitally enhanced images, in this case a photo I took of cherry blossoms a few years ago. Same image, different enhancements. GIMP (link) is a free photo editor available online and has far more features than Irfanview (link) which is also free. GIMP is much more complicated so occasionally I open it and just play. There are many tutorials online but my eyes tend to glaze over when I try to read the instructions. I'm a visual learner and wish there were video instructions out there instead. Maybe there is! Come to think of it, I've never checked!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kitty Kocktail ~ complete

I finished this one up this morning. It sat staring at me with those big soulful eyes so I had to finish it. I didn't do much actually. Just a bit here and there. Some reflections in the granite countertop, adjusted some values, darkened the tile backsplash, etc. A lot of little fiddles.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Kitty Kocktail ~ WIP 2

I had hopes this was complete but I see some things that need a tweak or two. When I first saw the image on my PC screen I thought I had gotten my grout lines in the background crooked. Turned out to be camera distortion thankfully. I think I may have breathed in enough pastel dust for awhile so I'll fiddle with this just a little bit each day until I'm satisfied and post the final end of the week.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Pigments of Your Imagination ~ the book

Back in February of 2013 I was contacted by Cathy Taylor (link)who I met on Facebook via an alcohol artists inking group. She was planning on self publishing a book featuring a variety of techniques employing this medium and wanted to know if I would like to be among the artistic contributors. Sure! How exciting and what a great way to have my work published. I was both flattered and honored.

Cathy stayed in touch with all the ink artists by email and in June announced that Schiffer Publications had picked up the book. Of course we were all over the Moon for Cathy but a lot of work still lay ahead for her. Long story short, after much work, stress and a few delays the book, Pigments of Your Imagination (link)is now available on Amazon. Yesterday I received my complimentary copy and I have to say, all Cathy's work was well worth it. Schiffer did a wonderful job with the book, too. The book is a nice size, roughly 8" x 9", and the pages are heavy weight glossy paper held together with a spiral binder so the book can be opened and lay flat. My waxed paper faux batik technique (link)is featured in one of the chapters and several of my ink paintings are in the gallery section. I believe there are 14 contributors total, each with a unique perspective and some really lovely work. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone considering trying alcohol inks. The instructions are clear with an abundance of photos for guidance.

Pigments of Your Imagination ~ Video review by Jill Berry

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Kitty Kocktail ~ WIP 1

I've finally begun work on this little fella. I decided not to try this in watercolor(I didn't believe I could achieve the soft fuzziness of this kitten) and opted instead for dry media. So far I've used various pastels, Caran D'Ache water soluble crayon and water soluble graphite. I also decided to work on artist quality kraft paper. I love the look of a toned paper with pastel.

Monday, February 02, 2015


Sorry I've been MIA for so long. Having lung issues again among other things this winter and I haven't felt at all creative. I'm so tired of opening my blog to see the New Years clipart so I'm posting a couple colored pencil portraits I did about 6-7 years ago. I was asked to join a 5 day challenge on Facebook recently so I dug these out of some old files to honor that challenge. The goal was to post 3 pieces of artwork every day for 5 days. Each day another artist had to be named to do same and so on. It caught on and produced a steady stream of fabulous work in the FB newsfeed which is still running! I enjoyed participating and got to discover some talent I may never have otherwise.  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy 2015!

Here's wishing all my visitors a Happy New Year and all the best for 2015!

2014 was a mixed bag for me. I'm hoping 2015 will see things improve. I'm leaving you with a photo of the Charlevoix Bridge Drop , an annual event in my hometown to herald in the new year. I think I'll be skipping the festivities this time. It's going to be very cold and windy so I'm staying home, warm and cozy with a nice pepperoni pizza and a good movie.

 Photo Courtesy of Walter Barkley