Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Poppy ACEOs

I just posted two new ACEOs with poppies to my Etsy store, DreamON. Have started to run out of them, so today was poppy day. These two have a teeny bit of collage with sheet music and bits of fibrous, old handmade paper that a fellow artist from Studio 1212 brought today. Had fun creating these! Things have been so busy lately, it was fun to actually sit down and paint with the group and not have to worry about all the things I had to do. Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot to get done, including lots of shopping, but I have gotten enuf done so that it's not making me CRAZY right now. So I had freedom to paint!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Made It To Front Page!

AuclairBlueSquare's Treasury made it to the Front Page of Etsy this morning, and right there in the middle is my little "Poppy Smile." I'm also happy to say that it sold while it was on the FP! It's exciting to have been on the FP. Thank you, Mary of AuclairBlueSquare for creating this wonderful treasury and for including my little Poppy! Also, a big thank you to Etsy for selecting this treasury for the FP!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Small Things - Just 5 x 5

New collages --- What great fun it is to make collages!

I posted on Facebook a little while ago about artists being great hoarders. Well, in order to make collages, we just have to be - a little bit, anyway. Otherwise, where would you ever come up with the "stuff" to make a collage?

So I have these big red sunflowers - silk flowers that I have had in a beautiful twisted glass vase with some smooth little pebbles. I decided that the stems were way too long, so my wonderful hubby set about finding some snips to cut through the heavy wire stems. He cut them off, and then asked the crucial question: "What do you want to do with these?" The "these" referred to the remaining stems. At first I said to throw them out, but I saw them just laying there on top of the trash, and I just had to rescue them.

I had just painted these little 5 x 5 canvases black, so I laid a few of the stems on top, and decided they looked pretty cool. So I asked him if he could go and cut me some 5 inch even cuts from the stems, and he's great and cut them for me.

I had rescued a bag of dessicant, you know a bag labeled, "Do Not Eat!" and determined the little stuff inside was clay balls. So I set about mixing up some thinned red acrylic in a small lid to see if I could get the balls to accept the color. After awhile I got some nice red ones, some pink ones and some that lost their shape and were melting.

I had some lovely gold paper that another artist (Thank you, Raquel) had given out to us that she said came from Brazil, and some other paper that I thought was rice paper that I bought in a bargain bag. First I glued on the "rice paper" and the glue showed through after it dried, so out came the gold acrylic to paint this which turned out great. I cut out a round shape from the gold paper and glued it onto the other canvas, then I proceeded to lay on the stems and the little colored balls and glued them down. Voila!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Finished, But Why?

Family mementos saved over a lifetime, among them paintings, books, letters, photographs, collections of various kinds, trinkets, souvenirs clippings, etc.: presumably they meant something to the person who saved them. Some of them are antiques, some collectible, but for unknown reasons they have become popular to keep. The question could be asked, why? Some people have no need to keep anything, and others can't throw out anything. Why?

A week or so ago I read an article in The Art Biz Blog (August 2, 2010) that presented the question: Why does an artist paint a painting? Sometimes, for me, there is a clear reason, but since I really enjoy the process, many times I am painting a subject simply because I like whatever it is I am painting. I don't go through a huge psychological self-examination to ask myself, why? Is that what most artists do, or do most of them have a story behind each painting? I have no idea, but it would be fun to find out, I think.

This particular painting comes from a photo that interested me. First, it was a really old photo, and I wanted to see if I could paint it to look that way. Second, the subject is a young woman wearing a coat with a fur collar who was standing in front of a school bus that has curtains in the window. (Hello. The school buses I rode on sure didn't have any curtains! Maybe this is because the distance I had to travel to school wasn't long enough for a nap, or could be that school bus riders a long time ago were more civilized than the ones I went to school with.) Last, from other photos I unearthed from a relative's lifetime collection, these fur-collared coats were apparently as much a fashion statement of that time for young women as today's fads are relevant today. Later, after I had painted the painting, I found out the girl turned out to be the "matchmaker" who introduced my mother-in-law to her husband.

And that is the story of why I painted the painting, or as Paul Harvey used to say, "That's the rest of the story." (Oh, I had to Google the saying, because I couldn't remember WHO said that.)

This is the finished painting from one I wrote about in an earlier post, and showed the painting unfinished. I have titled it The Matchmaker.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Crowning Glory Girls - New Series at DreamON on Etsy

Lady of the Locks Original Watercolor Painting On Tissue Paper Collage

I am sharing the beginning of a new series tonight. I have called it the Crowning Glory Girls, because it is all about ladies with long, long, long hair, and that's what makes it so much fun. I was brainstorming all day and crunching on a name for the series. These are some of the ones I came up with on the way there:

The Crowning Glory Girls. Hair They Come. Ladies With Locks. From Tops To Bottoms. Tails of Hair and There. Heaps of Hair. Curlie Girlies. From Heads to Tails. Big On Hair. Heavenly Hair. World of Curls. Locks To Love. Looks and Locks. Curlilocks and the Bon Bons. Curly Ladies With Locks. Hair Hoopla. Cougar Curlers. We’re Out of Hair. Ladies of the Lock. Hair Watch. All About Hair. Out of Their Heads?

Well, you get the idea, I couldn’t decide what to call this bunch of ladies. They are loosely inspired by R.C. Gorman, Native American artist of the Southwest. What I do know is that these are (mostly) all watercolors, a layer of tissue paper, and then more watercolors with archival ink to finish. 8x8, 7 x 7 and 7 x 6 ¾ . Pastel colors in the background with stronger colors in the girl’s lovely outfits.

I say mostly watercolors, because I have almost finished one in black and white for the Studio 1212 Black and White show's 40 paintings for $40 wall in October.

The painting I have chosen to share here at "Dreams About Art" is called "Lady of the Locks," the dreamy girl with purple hair. She can be found in my Etsy shop, DreamON.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Black and White and Fun With Photochop

The Black & White Show in October, at Studio 1212 is going to be something special this year. It is the 40th anniversary of the group of artists who represent the longest lasting artist's cooperative in the Tampa Bay area. While there are none of us who have been there 40 years, it is an accomplishment for this type of endeavor to have that kind of longevity.

Among other things, we will have a wall of 40 works of art to be created on 12 x 12 inch canvases for $40 each. So I am starting to think of what to do this year for my two 12 x 12 paintings, as well as the regular size pieces for the show - all black and white.

My two kitties were last year's pieces I did for the show. I had to mail them back to the gallery, so they were on smaller 8 x 8 inch chunky canvases. I have just now put them on Etsy. Meet "Research," the white aloof kitty, and "Ambush" the dark, attack-planning cat.

I have listed them together, because they look cute that way, but also because the cost to ship them priority mail would be the same, whether they are together or separate. These canvases have wooden stretcher bars that are made of heavy wood.

After playing with Photoshop to come up with some way to show both paintings in one of my views on Etsy without having to photograph them again, I stumbled onto a couple of techniques that were new to me.

Now, I am completely self-taught in the art of Photoshop, and this may be kindergarten stuff to those who use Photoshop all the time, but I discovered this function of the paint bucket yesterday completely by accident by pressing the right mouse button when I was trying to do something else by pressing the left, and presto, my white cat turned pink. Thought it looked so cute, I used it in a poster.

Then I made another one that looks like the moths have eaten part of it away by finding out that Free Transform has some other interesting features associated with it.

Ah, if not to play and have silly fun with simple things, what would life be?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wildflower Season

With the exception of two Springtimes spent in south Texas, I have never lived anywhere that has a real Spring. Certainly in Colorado where one day is 70 degrees and the next has two feet of snow, there is no Spring! Daffodils peak out forlornly when the snow melts.
This painting is titled "Give Me Lemonade."

Now, here on the west coast of Florida, there is a definite change, but other than fallen oak leaves everywhere and new green leaves replacing them and a few azaleas here and there, no true Spring. So our Spring Break to the Panhandle of Florida and Alabama was a treat for me, and I went crazy taking photos.
On the way home I fixed a water bottle in my map compartment and painted "little things" most of the way while hubby listened to ball games and sports things on the radio. Here are a few inspirational photos and some results so far.

"Daffodils Say Spring" below and "Renaissance Bouquet" at left are now in my Etsy shop. They are both 2.5 x 3.5 inches and are original watercolor paintings that are artist card size ACEOs.
"Daffodils Say Spring" [SOLD]

It was a fun way for me to pass the time, and when I am painting time really flies. I just loved the flowers everywhere. I took pictures and painted wild growing things with pretty blossoms that many would call weeds, I am sure, but they were lovely to me.

I had never seen Wisteria growing anywhere until a few years ago in Oregon, but that was planted and in someone's yard. In the panhandle region, it grows wild and is beautiful.

This last ACEO original watercolor painting is titled "Flowerlets Gone Wild." [SOLD]

Ahhhh, Spring!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Old Photos, New Fun

A few months ago, we took a trip out west to meet with my husband's family members to go through and clean out the contents of a relative's apartment when she was no longer able to maintain her independent living status. A few layers of dust and dirt gave way to uncovering a lifetime of memories. Among her things were photos of young girls on the threshold of womanhood, being silly and laughing about the things young women do together. A couple of them revealed that fur collars were quite the "in" trend of this day.

One photo in particular was a picture of a shy, young girl standing beside a school bus, smartly attired in the fad of the day.

This photo interested me, and I have chosen to paint her in the sepia tones of the photo. This project is a work in progress, and shown as it is today in my watercolor version.

I am fading out the background to give the affect of time in a misty, vague sort of way. Here the painting is shown after the first session working on the it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Here Comes Mischief in Cat Form!

Misty Gray Cat is a painting about a kitty that we used to have. A soft, pretty gray-colored shelter kitten we got when my son could hold her upside down in one hand, she grew into a beautiful, although squirrely, cat who could be gentle and loving or as fierce as a tasmanian devil when she visited the veterinarian (which thankfully she rarely needed).

Misty, the painting, is done in pure watercolor on Arches 140 lb. Cold Press Watercolor paper with mostly Winsor-Newton paints. (I have a few other brands, all professional quality, and intermingle them on my palette.) It definitely reflects the personality of this loving tasmanian, split-personality, kooky kitty. Cool colors dominate the composition.

Misty Gray Cat can be found at DreamON by clicking here. Enjoy!

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