It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived. Helen Walton

Friday, May 26, 2017

Playing with gesso

The past ten days, I have focused on my plants.
We had a wonderful trip down to Homestead, FL to the Redland Orchid Festival.
It is a long drive but it is SO worth it.
We always enjoy driving through the Florida Everglades.  One year the bromeliads were
blooming in the trees and it was quite spectacular.
I only purchased one orchid and some supplies, but totally enjoyed each of the booths
from all over the world, each with it's own selection of plants.
So my art this week is a happy accident.
I always use gesso to prepare my watercolor paper for the paint.  More and more,
I am using a second layer of texture to add more interest to the painting.
Often because of all of the color, the texture is lost.
So this week I tried something different.


I only used a couple of shades of red.  It has two coats of paint.
The first layer had bits of color added here and there (Mexican Serape colors)
but I didn't like the additional color so did a second coat of light and dark red.

Look at this little beauty.  My husband treated himself to the bromeliad this week.
The bud was the solid pink and then today these little purple flowers appeared.
Quite spectacular.


Happy news, the dendrobiums are blooming again.  
Wishing you all a happy PPF and thank you to Kristin and Eva.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A geometric week




I finally got my "weave" back framed.  The framer had some difficulty as we
had wanted it floating between two pieces of glass.  It was too heavy so she had to 
redo it between glass and plexiglass.  It will hang on the navy blue wall so I think
it will be quite striking.
In the meantime I was back to my comfort zone with geometric sort of designs



I can't believe I stuck with the same colors...weird!
Wishing everyone a happy PPF

Friday, May 5, 2017

Three Turquoise Rocks

Years ago we visited Albuquerque, New Mexico and ended up in a pawn shop down
in a sketchy part of town.  The clerk was very interesting and most accommodating and ended up
showing us a room full of unbelievably gorgeous turquoise Native American jewelry
that had been pawned.  It was the most amazing array of jewelry I have ever seen, from
floor to ceiling, wall to wall.
So when I was painting this, the pawn shop was on my mind.  I wanted to add silver,
but just couldn't figure out how so here they are, three turquoise rocks.

I am taking part in an abstract art class, Painting Without Brushes.
I can tell I am trying and thinking hard because when I get home,
I am exhausted and am usually in bed by 8:30.
But thinking and trying sometimes doesn't get it.
I brought my piece home and 48 hours later, covered it with a thin film of white paint
and started over.  It is tough using your fingers (encased in ill fitting gloves).
So this morning, I tried again.  The thought was "bloom"


It has been terribly dry in Florida this spring.  Finally last night we had a good rain and when I went out on the lanai (to paint) this is what greeted me.  This is a cattleya orchid.


Wishing everyone a Happy PPF

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Seeking ideas

I have been at odds with myself since our art friend/instructor retired.
She was always challenging us with new techniques.
She worked through them, step by step and carefully supervised us in each new technique.
She told us "you do it my way today and from then on, you can take off in any direction."
As a result, we were usually delighted with our results.
This past week I have explored different ideas found on the internet.
I was delighted to find Gerda Lipski on YouTube.  She does a lot of wonderful things and her 
instructions are easy to follow.


This was one of her ideas.  The only board I had was really too long.  This looks better
when done as a square.  It is cardboard triangles set in gesso and painted.


Another one of her ideas but I used one of my old backgrounds rather than doing a new one.


Again I used an old background here but I really like the look of it.

I have also scoured Amazon for books that might give me new directions to pursue.
I got Jo Toye's Book, Abstract Explorations in Acrylic Painting and it is a GEM.
It is packed with ideas and step by step instructions.


This was my first ever attempt with Tar Gel.  It is a bit of a mess to work with but you will see some lovely things she has created with it.

And blooming in the side yard is my orchid Schomburkgia tibicins


This orchid hangs in a basket and has 6 foot long stems reaching for the sun.  As a
result, the blooms are up by my neighbor's roof.  This year there are three stems of flowers.
It is a favorite of my husband and mine partly because of the dramatic presentation.
Wishing everyone a Happy PPF
And if you have suggestions for things that have boosted your creativity, I would love to hear!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ladies (and gentlemen) start your glue gun!


Recently I took a class at our local art center.  The instructor brought in stencils of trees
which we placed on watercolor and sprayed with assorted colors.
I was admiring the tree and wondered if I could make something similar.
I dug around in the closet until I unearthed my glue gun, some twenty years old, and
a bag of glue gun "bullets".
I made my first tree and when I placed it on my paper, decided to leave it on the paper.
I used matt medium to adhere the tree to the paper.
Then I painted the tree and paper gold.  It was too bright so used a mix of paynes gray
and burnt sienna to wash over it all.  After the wash I wiped it down like I had used a stain.  I added bits of gold and silver paint to brighten it again.
So here is my first stencil/turned artwork.


Once I got going, I decided to do some flowers to see if I could do something with them


Here they are resting on wax paper.  When cool, I peel them off.


Here they are.  After I do the staining, I touch them up with gold and silver (it looks blue here)
paint.  The results are primitive so I decided that surely glue guns have improved from my
20 year old one so off I went to the local craft store.
Glue guns are identical to the old ones!
The 'bullets' I had had a price of $1.99 for 10 on the old package.  My new ones were $9.99 and I got 20.   Well, maybe this week I will make a real stencil and use it the way we did in class but I will be using my 20 year old glue gun.

Blooming has slowed on the lanai.  It has been in the mid 80's and no rain and little humidity.
I have repotted 15 orchids and have about 5 more to go.  It is muddy, messy work but the results more than make up for the work

And my little "Yellow Bird" is blooming this week.

Happy PPF!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Creative Play

This week I have been playing with my matt medium in different ways.
I have used it to collage, I have used it to transfer pictures.  
It has been warm with a gentle breeze so the lanai functioned as my studio
Here, I have collage elements and I played with stamping color




 This one I transferred a figure from a magazine on an old piece.


Here I reverted to my old favorite stencils over a colorful background.



And these beautiful dendrobium orchids opened this week.
It has been a colorful, creative, playful week.  I hope your's has been the same.
Wishing all a Happy PPF

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Earthly vein






I am a native of Colorado and the colors, textures and flavors are always with me.
This is the result of one of those middle of the night brain storms.
I love it when that happens but am usually disappointed with my results when I try to
create whatever I had dreamed.
So this is a vein of turquoise as I imagined it would be, an "earthly vein"
The process was fun (and messy).



A rough sketch on gessoed paper.


The messy part!  I added another layer of thick gesso and created my rocks.
When all was dry and about 24 hours later, I set about painting it.







Can you guess what these are?  The last one should give it all away.  These are circus wheels.
I was very lucky to have a visit from my daughter last week and we went to the Ringling 
Circus Museum.  It was amazing!  And these were so colorful, I had to take a shot of them/.
Wishing all a Happy Paint Party Friday

P.S.  My bloom this week is a teeny, tiny dendrobium