Watercolor Bird Painting #6

Friday, October 2, 2015

I finished #6 in my bird painting series.  What do you think?

If you like these, I have a step-by-step of parakeets here. I have more colorful birds here, herehere, and here.  

Some prints of my bird paintings are available in my shop as greeting cards.


Watercolor Bird Painting

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This is a recent watercolor painting I completed.  #5 in my series of watercolor birds.  Read more to see detail shots.

Beautiful Things Art Journal Collage

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Here is a recent art journal page.  

The picture below shows the design before I added the text.  The words were computer printed and glued to the page.

I updated my header.  Do you like it?

Art is Basic

Painted Circles inspired by Kandinsky

Saturday, September 12, 2015

This is a circle painting "study" in my art journal/sketchbook.  I was inspired by the circle paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, a favorite artist of mine.  Here is his original.

School has started again and I am getting back in the groove.  I update my art teaching blog about once a week, so if you are interested in that aspect of my life, check out Art is Basic.  My classes this year (knock on wood) are really really good.  I mean, so far they are hard working, behaving well and fun.  I have much of the same students as last year, but it really makes a difference which kids are placed in each of the classes... balancing personalities is key and this year I think the classes are balanced really well. 

My daughter Daria started kindergarten this year!  Finally!  She is almost 6 and her birthday is just right after the cut-off so she is old for her grade.  I feel like she's been in daycare forever ($$$).  She is having a good time in kindergarten and everything they are doing so far is pretty easy for her, but she is learning some new things and meeting some new kids.  It helps her comfort level that our next door neighbor, one of our good friend's daughter and several kids from her preschool are at her kindergarten so there's a whole group of kids she already knows that she can play with at recess.  I think the transition to school would have been much harder if she didn't know anyone.  

Desmond, my son, is almost 17 months old and he is totally into all the stereotypical boy things... climbing, running, trucks, trains, cars, dirt, sand, hitting things and so forth...  He is super adorable (of course I think so) and happy most of the time.  He isn't saying very many words.. just mama, dada, "duh" for dog, Dah-i-a for Daria and we think he said ketchup the other day.  I don't think he feels like he needs to learn actual words because really he just points to whatever he wants or grunts and we can figure out what he needs.  

I miss updating this blog and honestly, I know it sounds like an excuse, but I just haven't had time.  In the summer, when I was home with the kids, if I'd try to get on the computer Desmond would come over and start banging the keys.. or Daria would want to go do something and I feel guilty if I'm "playing" on the computer.  Desmond does not sleep super well and still wakes up most nights.  He also often does not fall asleep until after 9 pm and by then, I am so tired I just want to go to sleep myself.  And then, same thing with making art, it's pretty hard to paint or do anything artsy when Desmond will come over and grab my paints or markers.  At this point, he is pretty young to be doing much with art materials and he just likes to put them in his mouth or color the walls! 

Art is Basic

Triangle Paper Collage

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pam Garrison had a very fun art workshop on Creative Bug with different collage and doodling techniques.  Here is one of the triangle collage pages I made.

Art is Basic

Alcohol Inks on Yupo Paper

Sunday, September 6, 2015

These are experiments of alcohol inks on Yupo translucent paper. I played around with it a bit and discovered that if you lay the ink down too thick, it won't dry! Days later I came back and the ink was still wet. So the trick is to lay it down, dot other colors in it and then just leave it without building up colors too thickly.  

These might be turned into backgrounds or collage elements for other pages. Maybe I will write out quotes and put them on top.

Art is Basic

An Art Journal Page In Steps

Friday, August 14, 2015

Would you like to see me create an art journal page with a quote in steps?  Of course you do!  Here goes.

First I started practicing some watercolor lettering.  While the watercolors were still wet, I dropped in other colors to create the multi-colored or ombre effect in the letters.  The quote is going to read, "All the colors I am inside have not yet been invented." (Shel Silverstein)  I used a waterbrush and  Peerless Watercolors. But any watercolor paints will work just fine.

Then I prepared a background.  I started by selecting different patterned papers and cards from my scrapbooking collection.  I tore them and cut them into squares and rectangle-ish shapes.

Next I rubbed on some white acrylic paint and drips of lightened aqua and turquoise paint from the Handmade Modern line at Target.

Finally, I cut around the watercolor words and glued them on to background.
Voila!  All done!

Art is Basic

Stencil Craft Book Winner

Monday, August 3, 2015

Shelly Pruit of Drip, Drip, Splatter Splash... you are the winner of the Stencil Craft book.  Please email me your address.  Congrats!

Flying Koala Bear Collage

Sunday, August 2, 2015

I made this flying koala bear collage to show my art camp kids what they could do with magazines and paint markers.  It spoke to me because of the mama koala and her kid on the back.

Artsy Project Life Cards

Friday, July 24, 2015

I have some more colorful, fun Project Life cards in my shop.  I wanted to make my scrapbooking artsier (is that a word?) and more creative and fun... so I took some of my watercolor paintings and collages and printed them on to miniature cards which are perfect for Project Life and scrapbooking with pockets.  These little cards are also fun to write little messages on to tuck into gifts or you can use them as a launching spot in your art journal. 


Sunshine Quote - Watercolor Painting

Sunday, July 19, 2015

If you like my artwork, be sure to visit my Etsy shop where I have some original Project Life cards, some miniature art cards, greeting cards, postcards and collage packs.  It truly makes my day when someone purchases my art. 

An Interview with Margaret Peot

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you an interview with Margaret Peot, author of the new book Stencil Craft.


Earlier this week I wrote a book review, with the chance to win copies of this book (there is still time to enter).  You can see that blog post here:  Stencil Craft Book Review and Giveaway.

Since I am an elementary art teacher, Margaret is also going to share a fun project to do with little children.

1. What is your art background?
I have a BFA in Painting and Fibers from Miami University of Ohio, with further study at The Center for Book Arts, NYU and SVA.

2. What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started using stencils?
The easiest way to get started is to start playing around with found stencils. Collect leaves of different sorts, paper doilies, sturdy ferns from a florist, tape, Avery sticker dots. Make compositions with them on paper—a sticker dot for a moon, a fern for a tree, doily lacy for clouds in the sky, painting tempera paint with a brush or sponge in and around the found objects. This will give you ideas for stencils to cut, too. Maybe you’ll decide you need a howling wolf stencil in your moon and tree composition, and have to design and cut it out!

3.  What do you like about stencils?
I like stencils for their reusability. I have some bird and paw print stencils that I cut out years ago that I have used to print holiday cards, tea towels for gifts, and totes for sale. And in my job as a costume painter for Broadway shows, I use and reuse stencils all the time: a texture that might have been originally cut to be the shadows on a fan coral might be found in a floral border in one show and in the texture of flying monkey wings in another show.

4. What other kinds of art do you enjoy?
I like prints of all sorts, especially stencils and wood and lino cuts. My current favorite artist is the Japanese artist Yoshitoshi, from the Edo period, for his wonderful characters, narrative, and design.

5. What advice do you have for an art teacher who works with young kids?
A fun project for very young kids might be this Four Image Narrative project:
Cutting stencils with a craft knife is out of the question for the very young artist, but they can cut with scissors, and so this might be a way to introduce them not only to stencils and also to making an edition of something, in this case, a printed book. This book has a decorated cover (using masking tape as a stencil) that can have a title printed in the border, and four stencils depicting the life cycle of a caterpillar: a caterpillar, a branch, a cocoon on the branch, and a butterfly. 
The four part story could also be a seed growing into a little flower, four stages of the moon, paw prints in the snow, a snow man being built (or melting, for that matter!). The kids can augment their design by drawing inside the stenciled shapes, or adding explanatory text. This little chapbook can be bound with a ribbon, and can be made in multiples. The students can number and sign the edition on the back or inside the cover.

This not-too-sticky painters tape can be used to tape off a brushy acrylic border for the cover of the chapbook.

Little fingers can easily cut out this caterpillar shape, hold it and brush off the edge of it to leave a white caterpillar shape than can be drawn into.
The chapbook can be bound with ribbon or string, and the stencil cover titled and decorated further.
The edition of the little book is indicated inside the front cover, signed and dated by the individual artist.

Kids can include words in their narrative as well, or make their picture book a wordless one.

The end! The back blank page can be used for adding additional caterpillar to butterfly facts, or to dedicate the book to a special someone (Mom, for instance).
Thanks so much, Margaret, for this lovely art project for children.  It was a pleasure to hear your answer and to learn about your new book!

Art is Basic

Summer of Color: Orange, Orange, Blue

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I made this scrappy collage for the Summer of Color Week 6 Challenge.  The colors were one orange + one orange + one blue.  This is the first week of the challenge that I've had time to do.   I don't think I've ever used a color scheme like this in my artwork.   


Art is Basic


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