Recovery day…

I don’t have a lot to say today. I got chemo and my bone builder yesterday and it always makes me extremely fatigued, borderline sick for a few days. I spend most of the next couple days sleeping and resting in bed.

That being said, I did get my shipment from Ikea. I ordered picture ledges that I plan on mounting to the upper part of my bedroom walls, and maybe more, so that I have more space for finished paintings that have yet to find a home. I have a message out to my handyman, so hopefully he can install them next week!

Unexciting pic of picture ledges in the Ikea box

Practice makes progress

It’s that time of year when I start to think about painting my self-portrait again. This year I’m thinking of painting it in soft pastels and I had sketched it out on some inexpensive unsanded pastel paper.

This morning I started my practice piece. It turned out ok, but I realized that I neglected to include the part of my face that was in the deep shadows. I didn’t notice it until I went in with pastel pencils to add some details. It’s ok. I’ve learned a lot and will be doing this again on a bigger sheet of paper so I can get ask the details using the pastel sticks instead of needing pencils.

Top: my finished practice piece, Botton: my portrait sets of soft pastels

My plans are to sketch on the grid again for the bigger piece but try and remember to erase the grid lines once the sketch is in place. They blended into the background in a bunch of places but not on the face itself.

Funeral cake?

Have you seen the Facebook post with the recipe for an easy cake recipe. Apparently it was something easy to make to take to a funeral ceremony.

I started feeling noshy earlier this morning and decided to make this recipe because I had all the ingredients. It’s egg free and dairy free, similar to the depression chocolate cake recipe except for a bigger cake pan. My son is severely allergic to egg and nuts and I am trying to avoid dairy and gluten, as it seems I am sensitive to them. I substitute King Arthur Cup- for- cup gluten free flour. I tasted the batter and it was delicious; o haven’t tried the cooked cake yet because I just took it out of the oven

I have also started to take steps in my self-portrait that I will be entering into the Jerry’s Arterama self-portrait competition this year.

I decided to attempt my self-portrait in soft pastels. I don’t use them often but I just love them so much. If I had a way to store them in a way to see them too I’d be so happy! Right now, they are in wooden trays that get pushed under a shelf when not in use.

First step… make it green!

I’ve read the using a green underpainting for portraits makes the skin look more natural so observe – the paper is green. The lighter color is for where my face will be and the darker area is for the dark area in the reference photo. Stay tuned as I make next steps.

Up next, set up an A4 page of lined paper in photoshop. Should be pretty easy now that I’ve done it successfully yesterday!

I achieved my goal for the day!

As part of my creative outlet, I’ve decided to start creating stationary as a digital download. I am looking forward to creating small paintings to use as the design for multiple sets of stationery that people would download from Etsy and use as we try to revive snail mail – let’s rebrand it as happy mail 🙂

documented proof of lined paper!

The first step I needed to achieve was how to create lined paper in Photoshop. After watching a video (about 20 times) and reading suggestions on the Adobe forum I have finally done it. I’ve made lined paper. (It doesn’t sound so impressive as I say it out loud, but this occupied about an hour of my day yesterday and about 20 min today. But, I persevered and finally figured it out.

My idea for creating the stationary is to have lined and unlined versions of it. It will come in 8.5 x 11 size and A4 size that can be printed for the full sheet or the end-user can print 2 pages per sheet. I will also create a template for a coordinating envelope that can be printed, cut out, and then glued/taped – then everything will coordinate.

What do you think? Do you think snail mail is dead or can we revive it with easy to obtain creative stationary?

Getting back into the swing of things…

I’ve just learned of the #100daysproject and think it’s just the thing for me to get back into blogging regularly.

My goal is to create a short blog post daily for 100 days related to art. There are no limits to the relevance to art. I may write about art I’m creating, art books I’m reading, ideas I have for future projects, etc.

I’m trying to start this project a little early, so this weekend I got back into my art space and painted some cute notebooks for a local shop. Rainbow and hearts – I’ll never stop loving that theme!

Sketching Consistently

In addition to painting in a semi-abstract way, I also enjoy drawing. I think my drawing skills have grown a lot in the last couple years, but I still have so much room for improvement. So, to that end, I plan on trying to do 4 sketches a week in my sketchbook.

Last Sunday, while recuperating from a biopsy of my spine (yes – it was a painful as it sounds), I spent hours reading Alison Fennell aka The Pottering Artist’s blog: https://eastwitching.com/

I remember one of the posts talked about having a regular sketching habit and Alison described printing out 7 photos at a time and attaching them to the left side of her sketchbook so she could look at them while sketching on the right side. I thought that sounded like an awesome idea, so that’s what I’m planning on doing.

I dug through my photos from 2014 and picked four that I thought were interesting. I think I will sketch with charcoal pencils, though may change my mind and use graphite. I’m not certain about that yet.

Do you have a regular sketching habit? If so, how did you start? How do you keep yourself on task even when “life” gets in the way?

DaVinci watercolor paints

Have any of you tried DaVinci watercolor paints? I have purchased some watercolors in the past (Denise’s 24 earth friendly set and a couple individual tubes.) I have enjoyed them all. So, when I saw DaVinci was offering up to 60% off around Thanksgiving, I decided to splurge and purchase more.

I picked up the Mother green 11 color palette and a tube of thioindigo. What beautiful colors! I am loving thioindigo – it’s absolutely gorgeous. I made a very messy swatch, so I think I’ll refine it and update with a pic.

I also purchased a slew of fluid acrylic paints but I’ll share those another day.

So, do you have a favorite color by DaVinci? Let me know, so I can add to my wish list for the next sale 🙂

Custom Christmas ornaments

I was so pleased when a friend of mine, who has purchased several pieces of my art, asked me to create her custom Christmas ornaments to give to her family. I jumped at the chance… And then I sat and didn’t do anything.

I had originally wanted to gelli print them, because I love the look you get from transferring the shape of the actual item (in this case, holly.) But, I couldn’t find holly of a size that would fit the size of the wooden discs.

After a bunch of “hemming and hawing,” I decided to just paint the holly and add some berries. In a short couple of hours the ornaments were all done, complete with a custom message to her family on the back.

I’m pleased with how they turned out and she is too, which is what matters most.

Monoprint Love :)

I have been having such a good time making monoprints with branches, weeds, and flowers – I’ve done this before with my gelli plate, but recently I have been doing it with a sheet of aluminum foil. What have I done differently? I have been using chaos layers or a surface with paint of some sort on it and then doing the monoprint on that surface. After the paint dries, I go in with Posca pens (acrylic paint markers) or soft pastels and add line work. It’s so much fun!

I will be delivering my first round of monoprint art to a local shop to be for sale. The second round will be taken to the shop once my mat boards arrive. Fingers crossed that they sell! I’d love to start paying myself back for all the art supplies that I have been purchasing.

This is one of my favorite monoprints from this first round!