Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

To all who celebrate this time of year, no matter what the holiday, may it be filled with love and laughter.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sexy Sixty Somethin's ~ mixed media

Watercolor, marker and cut paper collage on w/c paper

My best friend's 65th birthday is nearing and I wanted to create a special card that would give her a laugh. She's had a rough few months. In September she had a stroke that left her paralyzed on the right side and affected her speech. Bad enough for anyone but especially for her as she loves to be on the go-go-go. Her speech has come back and this past week she took her first steps with a walker. At the rate she's now recovering I wouldn't be surprised to see her walking without the walker very soon. We've been friends since the 4th grade and we'll both be 65 very soon hence the title.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Lunch Rush at Chez Dumpsta ~ complete

Almost nine months in the making, it's finally done. Like giving birth, huh? Well, not even close but I'm certainly glad it's done and I'm pretty happy with the outcome. Again, it doesn't photograph well but I did my best with my photo editor. I gave it a final coat of gel gloss medium last night, then today I added some of the cat's whiskers with white gelly roll pen. One coat of Krylon gloss varnish spray this afternoon and it was ready for it's close up.

Reference photo courtesy of Margaret Wiles on PMP

Thursday, November 12, 2015

More Inky Things

I've added a little white Gelli pen to this one.
This one reminds of reef diving. Lots of lovely little organic shapes.

It's always fun to simply play with alcohol inks and see what comes of it. I work with Adirondack inks exclusively. The colors are vibrant and clean and I like how they react with one another. Most all the colors spread quickly when they hit the surface of the Yupo. Without the use of the blending solution, one color will push aside another color creating a ring or bloom. One exception is the Pitch Black. Aside from the mixatives, Pitch Black is slightly thicker or more viscous and a bit easier to control. It can act as a dam to stop the other colors from running wild and getting into places I'd rather not have them go. The mixatives can be used in the same way.  

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Back to the Inks

Red I
Red II

I made a trip to the gallery recently to drop off 50 greeting cards to sell. was having their 20% sale last month so I had a collection of my favorite cat paintings made into cards. Moo does an amazing job and their quality is superb. I did a review a few years ago on their cards if anyone would care to read it. FYI, even though I think their greeting cards are an odd size, Clearbags carries an acetate sleeve (B46) that fits them perfectly. Another FYI...Moo is currently running a 25% sale which ends midnight Nov. 10th. But I digress....

While I was at the gallery I was asked to produce more ink paintings and other small works. They've proven to be quite popular. I love creating small works. Anything in the 5"x7" range or thereabouts. They go fast and I can try out all sorts of ideas without ruining reams of expensive paper if an idea fails. I've been working on some free form alcohol ink paintings and I just completed a small series focusing on the color red which I'd like to share. These were scanned so the colors are a bit off but not too bad. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Lunch Rush at Chez Dumpsta ~ WIP 2

I've been putzing away at this over the last several days and it still needs a lot of work. I thought I should post an update anyway. BTW, the camera absolutely hates this painting. It actually looks much better IRL which is a switch from my usual. I didn't like the look of the yellow/orange water soluble crayon so I removed it. I was surprised to see it stain areas of the painting. I'm glad I laid down a coat of gloss gel medium over the initial collage paper or it could've been worse.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I'm Back with a Work in Progress

This past April my COPD flared up which landed me in hospital for the better part of a week. This flare was a real doozy and it was August before I felt human again. During my recovery I found out I now have severe arthritis in my spine so pain management became an issue. Things are looking up at last and I think I've found my art groove once again.

I've decided to start out where I left off this past March ( has it really been 6 months?!) and finish up these kitties. So far this is collage, acrylic, gel medium and crayon on Yupo. I love working with collage on Yupo. No buckling which is a huge bonus. My current working title is 'Lunch Rush at Chez Dumpsta'.

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.