Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hello from Colorado!

Hi all... just a very quick update to let you know I'm still in Colorado visiting. We went out to Canon City and then by train to Royal Gorge today and we all enjoyed it very much. Although I haven't been painting I've gathered lots more painting material and spent time visiting in a few local galleries - there are LOTS. I'm looking forward to getting started painting again in a few days. Meanwhile, I'm catching up on my sleep and staying with Ron at the Westside Bungalows in Old Colorado City near Manitou Springs. Here's one of my favourite shots for my photo reference file on this trip...
Here's an interesting fact - some of the cars on this train were previously owned by VIA Rail... It makes sense when I think about it - they couldn't scrap them all, right? Kalista and I made a trek forward in the train and when I looked up after manuevering one of the halls, I was face to face with a little metal plaque that read "Transport Canada - this service subsidized by the Government of Canada". Sadly, that is likely a true statement... I doubt the feds got top dollar for these lovely old cars back in the day when VIA was downsized so drastically, so quickly. Ron and I were reminiscing about several trips we took on VIA. When I was 15 I travelled from Saskatoon to Montreal and we took 2 train trips with our little family - one from Regina to Saskatoon and one from Regina to Salmon Arm. Travelling "via" rail is a great way to go... so relaxing compared to jetting here and there. Enjoy your week! Retweet this

Monday, May 18, 2009

Golden Hearts (acrylic, 10”x14”)

Golden Heart

I’ve added the final touches on this painting primarily by varying the left background.  Throughout the evolution of this painting the gold hearts have remained…  thus the name. 

This wraps up the works in progress and I’ll be taking a blogging break for most of the time I’m in historic Manitou Springs, Colorado awaiting my 7th grandbaby.  I arrived on Saturday and we’ve been busy getting baby things ready and puttering around the house.  Today we attended Kalista’s “nastics” (aka gymnastics) and Thursday we’ll go to Kiera’s “renastics”.  I’m astounded that Kiera (5) is just as fearless in the gym as she was before she fractured her arm a few months ago.  A great lesson in bouncing back. 

Manitou Springs is a very artsy community with a downtown (1 block away) featuring many art galleries,interesting revolving sculpture, beautiful red rock buildings, live performances, and a the BAC – Business of Art Center.  I’ve visited a few galleries and I hope to cover a few more on this trip.  The BAC will have to wait but it certainly interests me.  If you are interested, you can read more about the Business of Art Center here

When the baby comes I’ll be posting some photos here…  meanwhile, I’m certainly enjoying the Colorado weather!  Tomorrow and Wednesday are forecast re-runs of today’s weather – mid 80’s and blue sky. 

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sonoran Staghorn (watercolor, 10”x10”)

SONORAN STAGHORNI succeeded in keeping most of the light on this beautiful Staghorn Cholla.  Without the bloom I wouldn’t have given this cactus a second look.  But now I notice how beautiful and durable this plant is.  It’s color varies from green to blue to purple…  and that’s just the branches.  These flowers are yellow with pink tips tips and veins but they can be orange and red.  The light shimmers off 7-10 spines per reddish aerole.  Fruit follows the flower and stays for up to a year.  I love learning about new plants…  maybe I should have been a botanist.  Ciao!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Staghorn Cholla watercolor start

staghorn cholla start

This painting is based on a photo I took on our drive up the Apache Trail on April 27th.  One of the pull=off areas had a path that led upwards to what turned out to be great place to view Apache Lake and the amazing vegetation of the Arizona Uplands from.  This Staghorn Cholla was beside the path and I still can’t believe how beautiful it’s blossoms were.  They looked a bit like roses but MORE beautiful because of their unexpectedness.

I’ll finish this one off with a bit more definition of the flower petals and not much more…  I need to retain the freshness and light that I’ve got so far.  The challenge for me seems to be knowing when to stop.  So, I’m going to force myself to stop more often and take stock of where I’m at.  Wish me luck with that…  cheers!

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Green Dawn

green dawn This is another example of a painting emerging from a chaotic start.  The technique is identical to the what I described on my May 7th post.  I’m planning to work into this more during class tomorrow.  It seems moody with the figure just up from bed and not excited about her day.  Stay tuned!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009


Golden with background

After the last post I reworked the top half of the flowers and added a background.  I like the shapes better now that the purple flowers are in proportion to the rest.  I added the background texture by rolling paint over a stencil.  Enjoy!

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

New floral… work in progress

purple floral Image 1 – taken just after I started step 5 [oops}.

  1. I began this painting by coating a quarter sheet of 140 lb watercolor with a layer of Golden soft gel gloss medium. 
  2. Once that was dry, I painted Golden fluid acrylics wetly across the piece using a limited palette (Green Gold, Transparent Red Iron Oxide, Indian Yellow, & Dioxazine Purple). 
  3. I applied a variety of texturing materials including bubble wrap, plastic & wax wrap, shallot mesh, & lace randomly over the surface.  I rolled a brayer across the entire surface firmly pressing these items into the support.  I set it aside to dry.
  4. The resulting surface was covered with interesting colors and textures and I could see floral shapes immediately.  I imposed a cruciform composition & determined which of the random shapes to keep.  Then I painted 2 coats of white gesso around the large dark floral shape.
  5. I formed  some white flowers with rubbing alcohol, a rag, and a mask.  I painted some of flower shapes directly and some negatively.  I added a bit of greenery and line work to break up some of the solid edge. 

purple floral2 Image 2 – as it is tonight.  Two major item need to be addressed:

  1. The purple flowers need a serious tweaking.   I’ve got to reduce & rearrange the purple flower shapes.  They’re just too stiff, high, and dark.  [I love this process that lets me remove the paint !!
  2. I haven’t decided on a background yet but I’m thinking it needs to be very simple with such a busy floral.  Maybe a white on white – interesting but subtle.

This is a fun painting process.  Comments and critiques are always welcome folks.  Ciao!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Good Shepherd (Mixed Media, 7x10)

Psalms 23

This began as a collage weeks ago and I picked it up today.  After staring at the start for a while I could see a figure at first.  After I collaged more background to better define the figure, I recognized what could be a sheep over one shoulder.  It’s funny how that happens – see something, pursue it, THEN you see something else…  continue until complete.  Doesn’t that sound like life?

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Monday, May 4, 2009


self portrait in blue and orange

I began this mixed media painting 2 months ago.  March 8th I described how I applied the transfer of myself as a happy little girl of 3.  In summary, the large image on the bottom left is a black & white image transfer painted with acrylic.

I picked this up again a few days ago.  I transferred text, collaged tissue paper, created texture with Golden light molding paste, stamped the dragonfly, and painted the rest.  I’m done and it’s definitely been enlightening to think through this painting, examining my heart for what I wanted to say.

This piece is about my belief in the transformative power of God’s love for me.  I depicted this in my painting with the image of the aquatic nymph’s transformation into the gossamer dragonfly as well as the use of the cruciform.  I see the defined squares near my childish face as the self-confidence and security of childhood.  The middle phase of life is represented by the hazier, off white areas.  A level of comfort with ambiguity and the unanswered questions of life makes faith that much more precious.  The squares in the top right symbolize the answers I’m looking forward to when I meet God face to face.   And that about sums it up folks…  Blessings!

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today in my art world…

This afternoon I took in Absolutely Art, the local FCA chapter’s tulip sketchspring show.  There was lots of lovely art there including a nice demo painted this morning IN AN HOUR by Sharon.  Impressive!  Next year I hope to be an active member and have a piece or two in that show.  One must have goals, and now I may just have the time and energy to pursue this one.

Later, I puttered a bit with my Caran d”Ache crayons drawing tulips.  It’s fun to see that creamy color dissolve in the water as it’s brushed on.  

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