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.

Painting Peonies

I am a member of the Amanda Evanston Insider’s Studio group on Facebook and one of the weekly lessons was on painting peonies in a loose, semi-abstract fashion. I have yet to complete those peonies in acrylics, but… I painted loose, semi-abstract peonies in soft pastels! I love it.

I shared this painting online and a friend of mine loved it, so I am sending it to her, but I am not done with peonies yet. I have plans to paint at least one more in soft pastels and I also will be painting a few in acrylics with soft pastel accents. Can you tell I love soft pastels?! They are just so luminous and I think they give so much dimension to the paintings.

For my acrylic attempts I am going to use a stretched canvas instead of watercolor paper. Here’s my starting point. I’m so excited to get started.

Stay tuned for updates – hopefully I’ll be able to complete something this week! {I have a lot of “in process” paintings happening right now}

Thank you for checking out my blog today 🙂

I’m still here!

Hi Guys! Sorry for the radio silence. We spent most of July having house guests and traveling – plus it was my birthday, so I was happy to celebrate turning 42! If you know me personally, you may remember that I celebrated my 40th birthday by being discharged from the hospital after having my right cancerous breast removed. Woohoo! So although I turned 42 years old, I celebrated this as my 2nd birthday without cancer in my life. I took a month away from social media in August, and I just didn’t feel like writing a blog post.

So here we are – September! I was somewhat productive in the time I was offline. I have started making journals, in addition to painting with watercolors and soft pastels. Let’s see if I have any good pictures to share.

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These are a couple watercolor greeting cards I painted the other day. I will be making more, I’ve just fallen down the rabbit hole of journal-making currently (reference photos: Photo on pmp-art.com  and Photo by Breno Machado on Unsplash)

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This was one of my first hand-stitched journals that is not just a simple pamphlet stitch. It contains four signatures that are bound together, and they are then attached to the cover, which I painted with watercolor crayons, by a ribbon. I think it turned out quite pretty. Reference photo – Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Then I made some personal size traveler’s journals using Kraft-tex, hemp cord, and vintage buttons. I also found some really pretty patterned cardstock in my stash from a decade ago as well as my local Michael’s. I used that, as well as some vintage typewriter paper that was my grandmom’s, to make the inserts and coordinating folder.

Then I modified a tutorial that I saw on Youtube by Lyriclover810 to make another variety of journal. I used some of that patterned cardstock that I bought at Michaels’ to make the cover and the journal inserts and folder. It is about 5×7.

Let me know if I should record a video with flip-through of the different journals. Leave a comment with your opinion.

Lastly, I also started gelli printing with my homemade gelli plate. I made a journal out of the print on the left side above. It has four signatures sewn into it. The prints on the right side are on canvas sheets from the pad. I am still thinking about how I want to make those journals.

I have quite a collection growing, so have decided to set up a table at the craft show at the church we attend. I might also start up an Etsy shop or something similar. Watch this space…

So what do I have planned for the rest of the month? Probably make another journal or two and paint a few more watercolor cards. I hope to sell enough to at least pay for my table fee – if I can sell more than that, that would help offset the cost of my art supplies. Wish me luck!

 

Wow, has it been a month already?!

Well, I didn’t think it would take me so long to write another blog post, but here it is – one month later. Sorry about that.

I have been doing a lot of things though. One thing that has consumed a lot of my time for the last few months has been my garden. I think I mentioned that I purchased a few raised bed gardens in early spring. In addition to the purchased raised beds, I built another six raised beds. I raised my seeds using old 2L soda bottles and gallon milk jug – I basically made miniature greenhouses for starting the seeds. I transplanted seedlings for tomatoes (3 varieties), cantaloupe, watermelon, jalapeno peppers, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, Thai basil, cilantro, dill, eggplant, and tomatillo. I ended up purchasing some locally raised seedlings for some interesting varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, and additional herbs, plus I started cucumbers and corn.

I have put so much more work into my garden this year than last year and it certainly shows. I have about four baby watermelons, a couple baby cantaloupes, an enormous butternut squash, and lots of tomatoes just waiting to get ripe. I’ve been picking (and eating) yellow squash and cucumbers! Strawberries from last year’s planting produced several but they are over now.

I’ve also done a lot of sewing. I finally finished my mother in law’s birthday gift dress. Her birthday was only LAST SEPTEMBER. Every time I sewed something for myself, I felt guilty that I hadn’t made her dress. I finally bit the bullet and went for it, after making a muslin of the bodice to check for fit adjustments I had made. I got scared when I ran out of fabric, but realized it was because I was trying to cut the fabric in two layers  – once I laid it out as a single layer and traced all the pattern pieces I was able to play pattern piece tetris to make all the pieces fit. It was helpful that she didn’t want the elbow length sleeves though, because I’m not sure I could have made that work with the length of fabric that we had chosen.

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I made two versions of the Zadie jumpsuit by Paper Cut patterns. One in a lightweight yellow/green slinky fabric and the second in a wax print that I got years ago from my sister.  I also made one more pair of shorts for myself. I started working on another pair this morning and had to walk away. I made silly mistakes that required me to rip out seams twice. I decided I should take a break from it all. I’ll probably pick it up again Monday after a weekend away.img_20190609_135901833_burst000_cover_top

In the art world, I have not done a lot. I’ve done a few doodles with watercolors, and one pastel painting, but that’s it.img_20190616_150044623

I have, unfortunately, spent a lot of money on supplies. Most of it occurred today. Terry Ludwig pastels released the Karen Margulis curated set of 60 soft pastels today. They are expensive but had a significant price reduction for their release and I lost self control and purchased them. About an hour earlier, I had a bit of a binge on the LA Finch fabrics website. Suffice it to say, I have spent pretty much all my disposable income for the next few months. I am actually extremely excited to get both of those purchases though. I am looking forward to adding to my self sewn wardrobe over the next few months. I also can’t wait to swatch out the new pastels and see for myself just how soft and creamy the Terry Ludwig pastels are.,

I will say that I have been thinking about the planning process as it pertains to making art. I tend to just wing it when I paint (watercolors or pastels). I will sometimes often take a good amount of time to do a sketch – often in my sketchbook, and then transfer to watercolor paper. But what I don’t plan is the color scheme. Obviously, I think about what the colors should be, I mean I’m looking at a picture that I took of flowers, or whatever. But when it comes down to it, I just start to grab paint. I do try to limit the number of colors that I choose, but I don’t plan ahead to pick harmonious colors, etc.

So, I plan on implementing two changes to my art practice. 1- I will be doing thumbnail sketches to try looking at a subject from different angles or zoomed out vs. zoomed in and 2- I will try to do a value thumbnail and a color theme thumbnail. I think it may be easier to do the value and color thumbnails with pastels than watercolor, but I’m still going to give it a go. I have several attempted paintings that I haven’t finished because I just don’t like the way it starts to look. I want to finish creating the paintings! I don’t mind if it ends up being a mixed media project.

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Oh, speaking of mixed media project, I did actually finish a painting that ended up getting some colored pencil finishing touches. It was a tutorial that I had access to because I belong to the Critique Club on Lindsay Weirich‘s teachable website. Despite some technical difficulties, ie. I forgot to turn off the ceiling fan and my wet paper dried out very quickly, it turned out really well. The colored pencil may not have been 100% necessary, but I prefer the way it turned out with the colored pencil.

Hope all is well in your part of the world and I’ll try to get back here sooner than a month, but I’m not promising it!