Monday, April 30, 2012

Quick Sketches Build a Page

I started this page by sketching the iced-tea glass on some cheap memo paper because I hadn't been drawing anything and felt a lack of it. I did the drawing in probably a minute and didn't like it. So I didn't have anything to lose by adding some watercolor. Still didn't like it but set it aside to dry. In the morning I sort of liked it (isn't that how it goes?) and grabbed another paper scrap, this time a bit of watercolor paper, and drew my little plastic bowl with Dove Chocolate Easter eggs in it. The color really shows differently on this paper doesn't it? So now what to do with these is the question. I threw them in my journal and didn't look at them for a few days. I ate a couple of Dove chocolates and realized the foils I peeled off them could go with the picture. I adhered the two pictures and the foils to the page but it was lacking something. Aha! I dug the Lipton teabag wrapper out of the trash where I'd just thrown it and added that to the page plus some writing. I'm pretty happy about my page and it's truly a bit of my life here. What do you have laying around to draw and add to your journal?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Po-tae-to, Po-tah-to!

Here is a little something else I have worked on lately. When my dad died I took some of the cooking utensils he and my mother had used in their daily life. I've used them often and it keeps their memories close. This potato masher was used so often it only had a bit of the original yellow and black paint on it when I got it. After so many years and a trip through the dishwasher even the last bits of paint disappeared. I decided it wouldn't bother the memories I have on bit by redoing the paint. I didn't even worry about using the same colors. In my mind I can see my dad mashing the potatoes no matter what.

  Although for nearly 30 years I've been a yellow and blue person (with mandatory touches of pink, white and green), I've changed over the last few years to liking red and yellow (preferably with touches of blue, green or others) so I painted this to go with my new taste in color. I used acrylic paints to paint it yellow and red with a touch of green. This goes with my kitchen pretty well although there is also a rusty red in the kitchen. (.I've got enough of both now for a thorough blending of the reds). To top it off with a nice shiny, hard finish I used Delta Air-Dry PermEnamel Clear Gloss Glaze which goes on thick and smooths out like glass.

Now I've got Dad's masher to use and to look fun in my kitchen. If Mom's rolling pen ever loses the green paint on the handles, it'll get a new paint job too! I'll never beat what my grandma did to her old aluminum kettle to keep it going though. She lost the knob on the lid so stuck a prune on the screw and let it dry. It's still there (I know because I have the kettle as one of my memory pieces) after more than 50 years!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This 'n' That

I've been working. Not finishing much but I guess that doesn't really matter. As Jennifer Edwards, Laure Ferlita and Cathy Johnson keep teaching, we can take the everyday stuff and turn it into journaling, life recording, memory stuff.

  I cleaned my bathroom a couple of days ago (you really don't want to know how long it'd been since I'd last done it) and moving all my polishes I thought perhaps the colors should go into my journal. Now that I am typing this, I realize I should have drawn a couple of the bottles too! Maybe I still will. Anyhow, I had a page I didn't care for so put the polishes on that page and with gesso, rubbed out a bit of the center detail on the page so I could write my entry. I think it will be fun to see what colors I choose in another decade!

For my kitty, I saw her just lying on my bed so thought "ah ha, I can sketch her now!" but no, not really. She kept moving and I kept redrawing her ears and then she'd move again. I put down the pen. In a few minutes she started watching my bird so I picked it back up and got a really quick sketch in before she moved again. I added a bit of gouache from a kit. It added a bit to the page but it really isn't opaque enough. I'll have to try my tubes next time.

Then we had a rainy day. I thought I'd try doing a rainy colors page as Jennifer Edwards did once. Well, I like hers! Mine is okay but it will need something added to it to be complete. I'm thinking of a window in black ink, open to the colors of the rain. What do you think?

I was thinking of putting a fairy on my rain page but didn't want to risk ruining it. I guess my journals have different levels of risk. This one is a re-purposed puzzle book from my daughter so I guess I felt "safer" trying it out here. I added the watercolor rain afterwards rather than before so that may have added to the safety net! So now, one rainy day turned into two journal pages!

The last page isn't finished. I'm not quite sure what to do with it. I meant to draw a happy lady but I have trouble doing that. Mostly I get pensive ones! Any suggestions welcome.

  Lastly, I want to leave you with two more pictures. These are not done by me. The Easter card is a very thoughtful gift from my blog friend Helena Sullivan. She makes many beautiful cards and I have been lucky to receive a few. This one is stitched with metallic threads that show up so much better in real life. Thanks so much Helena!

This last picture is a watercolor called "Dancing Pears" which I bought from Dabs who drives truck with her husband. She is learning to paint smaller than she used to since they actually LIVE in the truck and there isn't a lot of room! I love the bright colors and the fun of this. It will go perfectly in my kitchen. As soon as I get if framed and on the wall I'll share a picture of that here. I love it Dabs!


Well, this is a long post from me! Hope you are still here and you enjoyed the visit. Till next time....hope you have beautiful spring days!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  I made this picture on a pre-done acrylic background. The drawing was done first in pencil, then pen and watercolor.

  I had scanned in this recipe for candy as my daughter wanted me to email it to her. I have made it every year for many Easters but this year I am not with the kids and grandkids so she was thinking of trying it on her own. This recipe tastes just like See's coconut candy for anyone who knows the See's chocolate shop. Yummy. I had no idea I had the recipe but when my daughter wanted coconut eggs and we didn't find any at See's one year I tried to make some for her. What a delight that it turned out to be just the right recipe! So now, even if the book gets lost, I have the recipe here and in my computer.

  See's had a contest this year online and the prize was a $50 gift certificate. You just had to tell your See's story so I did. I told them they wouldn't like it too! We still buy plenty of See's candy though and for this year I bought a one-pound gift certificate for the girls and their mother so See's is not suffering any by me making this candy.

My husband and I are spending a quiet weekend here in Arizona. He (and I) got tired of me traveling every month to California last year. This year it'll be every two to three months for the most part. I do miss being with the grandkids on a holiday though. Actually I miss being with them all the time! Being as the youngest is now 11, there aren't too many years before they just don't care about being with Grandma on the holidays. I've got candy and ham for the day and it's supposed to be around 80 degrees so it should be a nice day. Maybe I'll challenge my hubby to a dart game since he loves to be outdoors so much and we'll take advantage of the day being not too hot or too cool!

Jennifer Edwards at Drawn2Life is having mini lessons on drawing. It's about drawing your life and lesson 2 gave us ideas on what we could gather as drawing possibilities. Check out lesson one here and lesson 2 here. You'll see my Easter page fits right in. Whew, I thought it would be harder than that. Maybe on a day to day basis it will be so I have to keep her ideas in mind. Hey! I could make a page listing her ideas so I can remember! You could too!

Till later - Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mixing It Up

I was over at Jennifer Edward's blog Drawn2Lifewhere she has started some mini lessons on drawing. Not the technicalities of line but on why or how to do it really. For the first lesson she asked us to draw up a chair and ... well, go to her blog and read it yourself. I can't see repeating it and you should get it straight from her rather than letting me paraphrase and mess up the message. Anyhow, the end result was a challenge to draw some chairs we use. So I drew three of the chairs I use a lot in my home. I just didn't have room for my dining table chair and now that I think of it, the stool I use when doing crosswords with my husband. I have more chairs in my home but these are the ones that don't sit and collect dust! Why don't you draw your chairs but first read what she has to say here. I used a page with a background treatment I really didn't like. I don't like to tear these out of my journal so I wait and hope something will come up to use it with. For the chairs it seemed to work okay. Drawn in pencil first, I moved on to a fine pen as I didn't think just watercolor would be enough on this background. Then I added the watercolor. I thought about doing colored pencil or gouache but I really love watercolor so used it. This was fun and just what I needed! Oh, the top of the picture got a tad cut off in the scanning. The top of the rocker is actually in my picture.