Thinking Small with Rock Piles

Rock Pile #1~ Balance~ 6x6 ~ mixed media
(pardon the silly watermarks... sign of the times, sadly)

Rock Pile #4 ~ 6x6~ mixed media
I am happy to have these two paintings juried  into Lawrence Street Gallery's "Think Small" show. The opening is tomorrow night. (Dec. 6, 6-9 pm) It's always an interesting exhibit... all works must be less than one square foot in size...easy for holiday gift giving...  ho ho ho! :)

Going in Circles

#73 Going in Circles ~ 20x17 Mixed Media on Board
This one started as a trash painting...and I mean that literally.

At the Mary Todd Beam workshop last October, Mary had us collect collage material from the trash can for use on a painting. Under the paint is plastic paper towel packaging, bits of doily, classmates failed paintings, foil and other trashy treasures adhered with matte medium. Today I wanted to clean my palette so I used what was left on play around on the highly textured surface... I guess you could say that I used trash paint too. hehehe.

#73 Going in  Circles 20x20 Mixed media (c) 2013
Not sure if it's completely done... I've cropped it a bit on the right side (with Photoshop, not actually) And I might try to make it work as a square composition, my favorite. I'll look at it again tomorrow.

Worked some more and ended up here... (on the left) Calling it finished. :-)

sweet pea 5

#63 Sweet Pea 5 ~ 15x11~ acrylic and collage on paper
This sheet of paper is the first "real" sheet of watercolor paper I ever bought. It was expensive and because of's 25 years old. Seriously. I have carried this precious sheet around with me for years, afraid to do anything on it. This last studio move had me reconsidering things like that... What the heck was I waiting for?  The poor paper was just sitting in my flat file year after year. (Makes me think of the island of misfit toys.) Finally, last week it came out...was quartered and is now supporting some paint and collage.
"Well, hello beautiful!"

sweet pea one

#56 Sweet Pea One ~ 11x7.5 ~ acrylic and collage
Last week, I went out with some of my friends from the old "hood. Jill asked me about one of my challenge paintings that was of sweet peas. I drew a blank at first... then a few moments later thought of the painting she was referring to. I'm pretty sure it was this one. When I painted it, I wasn't thinking of any specific flower, but after she said "sweet pea" I realized, Oh Yeah! I love sweet peas. My sister grows (and fights with them) every spring.

Perfect subject to do this experiment with. I painted (too quickly... i was excited) some sweet pea shapes with watered acrylic onto water color paper. Then I painted more watery acrylic  sweet peas on a crumbled sheet of soft transparent paper. (I have a roll of it from somewhere... maybe my mom's sewing pattern making paper?) Let them both dry then glued the crumpled paper on top of the painting. I love how it veiled the previous painting... and it took the paint really interestingly after it dried and I added a bit more. I love me a new technique.

Midnight Tulips...

"Midnight Tulips"
11 x 15 Watercolor and ink on paper

The daffodils are all peeking up from the oak leaves in the woods. I hope it's the sort of spring that the daffodils and tulips last longer than a week.... Some springs come in too hot.

We are still basking in the glow of our Michigan State Spartan victory yesterday afternoon...

Unbelievably... the feed to the local cable station froze with 11 seconds left in the game.... We were scrambling around as much as the players were, trying to find the streaming video online. We saw the last second of the game ...but missed the more important 10 previous seconds... and the celebration after....Which is always my favorite part. :(... Oh well... wadda ya gonna do.
Go Green!

Michigan Holly...

"Michigan Holly"
8 x 8
oil pastel and watercolor on paper

Michigan landscape in November has mostly neutral tones...umbers, dark green pine ...sienna oak leaves... Then there is flash of brilliant red orange berries and bright green moss. An oasis for color starved eyes! This is another small one inspired by my daily walks in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore park.

I'll be taking a break from the park walks since deer hunting season has begun with a literal "bang" this morning and will continue for 2 weeks. And no more wearing my reindeer hat for a while! :)

Thoughts on Walks

"Thoughts on Walks"
watercolor and colored pencil on paper
8 x 8 inches

Those of you that know me... know that I've been helping out my mom as she deals with acute myelogenous leukemia, and the stroke she suffered because of it. I've been here in Honor, Michigan for just over 8 months (with a few quick trips home). I really feel lucky to be in the position to be able to do this for her. It is a gift to be able to help out where it's needed and appreciated.

Though, obviously there are some challenging parts to helping out a sick parent. One thing that's kept me somewhat sane and calm are my walks in the "Sleeping Bear Dune National Lake Shore" park. I can walk from the house straight down a dirt road that leads to Lake Michigan.... On some days I won't see another soul for the hour and a half it takes me. Imagine that! The most beautiful forest that leads to the dunes and then the lake in all it's magnificence enjoyed in complete solitude (other than the wildlife...and occasionally Ranger Jim). I listen to my Ipod... and have a notebook and pen for the wonderful insights that seem to pop into my head during these long walks. I really feel quite lucky.

The watercolor was painted from memory...and then the word stream that seems to ramble out of my head, was added with colored pencil. I can't even really read it, since I chose a pencil close in value and tone to the painting.

Strength In Numbers....

"Strength In Numbers"
6 x 6
Mixed media on acrylic paper

I have a stack of "almost finished" paintings in the High Road series. I'll be able to get my acrylics next week so I can finish some of them when I come back up to northern Michigan. This one just needed a few colored pencil marks added to complete it. It's a very strange color combination. Complementary colors, but just a touch off. Jarring perhaps? hmmmmmmm.

More Valentine Patterning

Hearts Galore 5 x 7 mixed media

Just playing around with valentine motifs.... As I look at this on the would have been fun to hide a red and white striped heart. Then we could have played "Where's Waldo." :)
I framed 5 paintings today too....and worked on CD cover art for our youngest.
Quite the productive day!

Sisters... Sisters... :)

"Sisters....Sisters" Mixed media ~ 8 x 8 ~ on paper

Ali and KT both want the same toy, but neither seem all that interested in a struggle for it. My aunt sent me the photo that I used for this painting... It made me laugh...their noses are squished together...

I like the pose so much that I'll probably do it a few times with different backgrounds. I started with all watercolor...then added sepia ink....then added acrylic around the dogs. I love the negative shape at the bottom of the paper....

It takes me a while to get in a painting "zone" after an absence...One thing I've learned though... Just paint...Just plod along and paint. It's awkward, and full of stops and starts...but after a few days I should be back in the swing of things.

Plein Air Trip!

"Deadstream, Honor MI"~ 8 x 8 ~ watercolor and casein (sold)

This is an older painting from my "year of painting" series....This stream meanders it's way to Lake Michigan....I'll be driving by here later today. :)

I'm off for a week to paint Plein Air with two of my Canadian painting buddies. We are headed up to the Traverse City area....the weather forecast looks stupendous!!! (knock on wood)

Wax Resist and Watercolor....

This was a day of experimentation!!!! While cleaning up the studio (I've been such a good girl) I uncovered my batik supplies! So i decided to devote the afternoon to play.....complete ideas in mind at all...really a lot of fun to do once in a while!

Started with an unfinished watercolor, and painted over parts with bees wax....then more watercolor....

Started with a watercolor....found my Batik wax pen thingy...(i know that's not the right name)...and drew and dripped (accidentally...and then on purpose) with the hot wax.

Watercolor, then used a black crayola crayon on top of the paper that was sitting on a food warming tray turned up high...paper gets rather warm!