Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

 I thought I'd take a moment to thank you all for your wonderful support and friendship throughout the year. We have a generous, and creative community here on Blogger, and I have met many delightful people.
I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.  May you all have a magical season, and may you be blessed in the coming year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Owls and Beagles

 hi friends, I couldn't think of a more creative title for this post, it's late, and I'm tired, lol!
After a busy few days, tonight was going to be a painting night (after I got my hair done), but instead watched a video that was sent to me....and then of course, had to click on another video and another....I love youtube, but it's easy to spend lots of time there.  Oh, and while watching videos, I had a plate full of the crappy  shortbread cookies I baked yesterday. I make these simple ones for the holidays, but for some reason, they were not coming out right.  Every cookie I removed from the baking sheet  cracked, so I guess that leaves them all for me, haha! They taste ok, they just don't look so pretty.
And as I was writing this post, I got up and had another...oh boy! they need to be removed from my house immediately!

Artwise, I am still creating my little owl ACEOs (see above ). I love doing them, especially the Christmas ones. So many ideas, but running out of time!
I've been wanting to try some  larger paintings and my recent trip to Montreal has really got me inspired. I'm just afraid that if I wait too long to begin,I will put it aside for another year.
There are so many ideas in my head I don't know where to start! so I don't. That's a big problem for me..I look through my sketchbook, and can't seem to settle on one thing. And because I can't decide, I go back to what's comfortable, which are my owl ACEOs, and my whimsical girls...not that there's anything wrong with that, lol! but it feels good to try something that might intimidate you at first.  We shall see....I have an idea in mind for a Christmas present, and if I ever get started on it, you will be the first to see (as the recipient doesn't read my blog).

So I will end this  post with the video that got me started tonight. It's about 9 beagles that were released from a research lab, and this is their first time outside in the sun. Having had beagles in my family for so many years, I am very partial to these beautiful creatures.
thanks for reading!

ps- please double click on the video to see the larger screen, I have no idea why it is cut off at the sides!

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”

Anatole France

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Two New Snow fairies

hi everyone. Did you all have a nice Thanksgiving (those of you in America)?Now the countdown to Christmas begins. Can you believe it's less than a month away?
This year I wanted to get some seasonal fairies done before the end of the year, and the one above is the first. She is on a wood panel, my favorite base, and this time I let lots of the wood show through. Maybe she will sprinkle some flurries my way, lol!
The original is listed in my Etsy shop (I'm also offering prints of her as well), and hopefully, will have some blank greeting cards as well. If I manage that, it will be the first time I've been this organized for the holidays!

For the second fairy, I think I went a bit crazy with the sparkle, but I think she will appeal to those who love fantasy, and sparkly things, lol!
Prints are offered in my Etsy shop, as well as the original.

Well, that's it for the night. I thought I'd give a quick update. Hopefully I can get some Christmas photos up next time. I was in some cute shops today, but  haven't checked  the camera yet to see if they turned out.
thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Yule Witch

hi friends! still waiting for a bit of snow to come's hard to feel like decorating for Christmas with green grass everywhere. At least I was smart and got my outdoor lights put up when it was mild.  Even though I don't feel like decorating, at least my muse is back, and I am anxious to fill my Etsy shop with some new art. I finished this Yuletide witch  last night, and right now finished woodburning a precocious go-go boot wearing snow fairy, lol! no traditional snow fairies for me :-)
Now let's see if I can make it work. I want glitz, and lots of sparkle! Once she is done- unless I ruin it, I will show it here on my blog.
Thanksgiving is coming up for my American friends, and from what I hear, the crazy holiday season starts right afterward.  Black Friday I think it's called? I'm excited for you, even though our Thanksgiving was over a month ago. It means countdown to Christmas, my favorite time of year.

Well, time to get back to my fairy, thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Art

hi friends. Did you remember to turn back your clocks? This is so much better than in the spring when we lose an hour. However, be prepared, because it will now get dark a little after 5,  lol!

I've always loved painting shabby folk art girls, but never used beeswax as a finish. Normally I use a nice satin varnish, but for the next few, beeswax will be the way to go. It smells divine! and it really does give your paintings a glorious, dreamy finish.   I see these little canvases as experiments, where I get to play, and try out new things. 
The first one I did yesterday  looked great,  until I added the beeswax. I must have scraped off some paint, because there was dark smudges on her face, and there is no way to fix it. I should have known not to experiment on the more expensive wooden canvases,  she is now heading for the trash...oh well, live and learn.

 This angel painting is more my usual style. She was made  for an auction for charity. I can't seem to get away from putting little kittens in my angels' arms though, lol! She turned out pretty good, that I will be offering prints in my Etsy shop. With all the craziness of this world,  we can all use more angels.

I hope everything is good where you all are, thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Let's talk about Raw food.

hi everyone, so much for being more consistent in blogging, lol! Not much has been going on here, I've fallen behind on my Halloween art, but this autumn witch above is the last one I did.  I'm not sure if I can fit another one in before Halloween, I've got a commission due by the end of the month, which is coming quickly! And then of course, my favorite season of all!! oh my, I'm already excited, lol! and don't laugh, but I start decorating the first week of November :-D

The last few months I've been trying to get a bit more healthy. I found the scale started to creep up, without me doing anything different. I ate the same and exercised the same, but all of the sudden my clothes were getting tighter. Does this sound familiar? It should for those of you that hit your 40's...seems like no matter how carefully I ate, my waist kept expanding, and the scale was heading towards a number I could never imagine reaching when I was younger....well I did something about it, but not intentionally.

Let me explain: I was searching for kale recipes on Youtube, came across some very interesting ones, and was surprised they were raw. And of course if you've ever been on Youtube you know how easy it is to get sidetracked. I ended up finding so many raw food recipes that actually sounded great, and easy, as well as some 'experts' which I watched, and found myself intrigued.  I won't bore you with all the details, but let's just say when I discover something different, I usually do lots of homework

So I joined a website called Raw food Rehab, which is free to join, and was so pleased with the incredible amounts of information, recipes, and support. No I am not a raw foodist, although I have incorporated more fruits and vegetables in my life, and I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in increasing their health, and dropping some weight to check it out. After many years of struggling with the excess pounds, I am now very close to my perfect weight. I can't tell you how great it feels to see your jeans almost falling off because they are now too big.

It's not as hard as I thought. I used to think people who ate only raw foods were crazy, but I do understand that once food is cooked, it loses many of it's nutrients. So why not eat more fresh, organic foods? I'd sure love to hear your stories or your thoughts, especially anyone who has tried this.

I will leave you with my favorite  green smoothie:

1 banana ripe - or frozen
big handful of greens (dandelion, spinach, romaine, your choice).
2 mejool dates
1 spoon of peanut butter
1 1/2 cups water (it's up to you how much you'd like)
I also add coconut water and coconut milk/almond milk for extra creaminess.
Blend and enjoy. I usually blend the greens in water before adding the rest slowly.
There are many green smoothie recipes out there, and they are delicious! A great way of adding healthy fruits and vegetables to your day without too much trouble.

I guess that's it for now, I could seriously talk for hours about this, as I have watched many videos, and have found so many people who have changed their life by changing their diet.  I sincerely want to help people get healthy and feel good about life, so sometimes my blog will go off course, and talk about things other than art.  Hopefully no one minds too much :-)
thanks for reading,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Here come the witches!

It's hard to think of Halloween when we are still in September (well not true, I think of Halloween year round, lol!), but I thought I'd better get a head start on my paintings, otherwise I find myself scrambling to get some art done. I finally finished this one, which I started 3 days ago. She is my first in a series of little Witchlings, and I named her Nina.In my initial sketch, she was supposed to be a red head, but she had other plans, lol! For my next one I will try to do red hair, but that is not a promise- my fellow artists know how a painting will tell you what it wants, and there is nothing you can do about it, lol!

I love doing these kinds of paintings where you use so many layers, and keep covering stuff, adding even more layers on top. It just makes it more interesting, rather than a plain background, which although is easier, there really is no mystery in it. I was lucky to find a book on the history of magic that was being discarded from my library, which I used for the tree. It is from 1854! How cool is that?
Nina can be found in my Etsy shop. (Sold)

hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. It's very chilly here, perfect weather to stay in and paint, and drink lots of coffee :-)
thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New folk art princess

hi friends. Hope your week has been going well. It was so nice to wake up to a sunny day, I even managed to get some color!  Thought I'd show my latest painting. After my last post, I sat down and finished this little princess. The girl was drawn out weeks ago,and since I wasn't too crazy about the drawing, I let it sit. Finally a couple of days ago, I thought I'd start painting and see what happens. So she is now a little blonde girl, and the teddy she was originally holding turned into a kitty, lol! She is  listed in my Etsy shop. (Sold)

Can I just say that bloggers are the nicest people? You are all so sweet and supportive. I'm always struck by how close the blogging community is. This is from reading the comments on my blog, as well as other blogs. People truly are ready to lend support when they can, and it helps us all grow.  Thank goodness for this wonderful forum for us to share our lives and our art.

thanks for reading!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Time is a flyin!

hi friends, it's September already, and it sure came fast!! We had a very late start to our summer, basically it was crappy until July, then we got record heat. August was so-so. The past month we had overseas guests, my aunt and uncle were here, so we did the usual tourist things, and we probably visited most of the malls in our area, which my aunt loved, lol!
 Yesterday we took them to the airport, so hopefully now, I can start working on my art again. 

  Looking back at the last few pages of my blog I am a bit disappointed in myself. I don't feel like this blog has been well maintained. I feel like I let my readers down, and know some of the posts have been forced. It's true I wanted my blog to be about more than art,  but I can't believe some of the stuff I tortured you with! I had a post about the location of a bird's nest!! Good grief, what was I thinking, lol! 
I just haven't felt all that creative the last few months, and I hope my muse is coming back. I did a little illustration last night of a fox and an inukshuk. That's a good thing for me, as I tend to procrastinate...still, after all this time, and after all I know.  How many times can I write myself little motivational notes? At some point, you have to just do it! 

Especially now, when time seems to be speeding up. 
Art is my refuge, I take comfort in it, and it never fails me, but I fail it.  By not creating, by spending more time than I should in front of the TV.  The excuses come way too easy : I'm tired, I was at work all day, it's too late to start, and on and on. There is no shortage in excuses when it comes to not doing what needs to be done. Art isn't a chore, and once I start, it feels so good, that I wonder why on earth did it take so long to start? I guess this is just the ebb and flow of creativity, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Sometimes we need a break to refresh ourselves, I just wish that break wouldn't take so many months, lol!

That's it for today...but I'd first like to say thanks to those of you who replied in my last post, letting me know my blog opens up quickly for you. I won't need to remove anything then.

I also said I was going to blog about my perfume obsession, it's coming soon, as well as new art, and maybe some sketch book pages.
thanks for bearing with me during my ups and downs, I look forward to the new fall season, and getting back into the groove :-D

thanks for reading!

Monday, August 1, 2011

August update

hi friends! It's been a while since I blogged. I thought I could be more consistent, but apparently not, lol! Do you find that the longer it takes to update your blog, the harder it becomes? I feel like I need to post something interesting and witty, and I'm just not feeling like I have anything interesting to say.
Although I regularly check out my favorite blogs,  I haven't been commenting as much as usual. This is simply because I'm trying not to be on my computer too much. I can't stay away from reading blogs though, lol! I find it very relaxing, and I'm always interesting in finding out what my wonderful blogging friends are up to.

After a lousy spring, once July hit, we got lots of sunny and very hot weather. I couldn't be happier! so most days, after work, are spent in the garden, or reading a book. I finished a wonderful novel called 'Sarah's key' which was recommended to me, and just found out it is coming out as a movie.

My latest novel is a classic:  Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'. I've seen the BBC movie, and thought it was time to read the book. Boy, it sure is a difficult book.  I find I really have to concentrate to understand the language.

Not much is happening with art, maybe I just needed a bit of a break from it. I'm still painting little owl ACEOs, but not as many as during the cooler seasons.

I've been wanting to do a post about one of my other interests: perfume, but haven't sat down to write it out yet. I am a perfume addict, which is something none of you know about me, lol! It started when I was very young, and has continued on and off all these years. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I will do a fun post where I just 'chat' about perfume, and of course welcome all of your thoughts on it. Since this blog is not just about art, it's about other fun things, why not spice it up a bit?
I hope you are all having a wonderful summer (or winter for my friends in the Southern Hemisphere).

***a quick question, is anyone finding my blog takes too long to load? if so can you let me know, I may have to remove some things...I've noticed some blogs taking a while to load up and it can get frustrating waiting for it. xoxo

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mother's love

hi friends, this isn't really a post, but I wanted to share some photos with you. I noticed yesterday a blackbird built her nest in the neighbor's eaves trough! Right over their garage. I saw the tiny babies popping their heads out waiting for mom to come with dinner. Today it was a very hot sunny day, and I saw the mom covering them to keep them safe from the sun. I ran and got my camera, went on the porch and tried to zoom in. Even though my camera is a cheap crappy one, it did a reasonable job, lol!

In this photo you can see one of the babies with his mouth open. I told my dad I thought this was a strange place to build a nest as it has no protection against the elements. We may be getting rain tomorrow, and I really hope the babies are ok. It's a steep roof, and all the rain will be falling down and collecting in the eaves troughs.  Poor little babies :-(

Since this is the first nice weekend in a long time, I will be out enjoying it. I hope you all have a wonderful week end wherever you are.
thanks for reading

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Short Sunday post

  hi friends. I thought I'd show those 2 lilies I mentioned in my last post. The white one is a more traditional one, but I've never seen a deep purple one! Are these called peace lilies? ( thank you Cameron, for correcting me, these are calla lilies, not peace lilies).
  I took the photos when the sun finally came out...however, just in time for the weekend, those damn thick grey clouds moved in. I don't think I have seen a decent weekend in quite a while. It's getting a bit depressing, and I haven't felt very creative lately. Do you ever feel just 'blah' about everything?

The only thing I am excited ( a wee bit at least) about is trying some new raw recipes I've been looking into on Youtube. Today I made a raw pasta with marinara sauce and it was so delicious!
For the pasta you use zuccini, which you use a potato peeler to make into thin strips.
For the marinara sauce you use tomatoes, red bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, olive oil, and a touch of cayenne.  I added avocado too. Since I don't have a processor, I just used my blender to blend all the ingredients. All you do is pour your sauce over top of the zuccini, and you have an easy dish. I also added nutritional yeast for extra flavor.  If you want to see details, check out the video on Youtube.  You will be surprised at how good this is.  I decided that it's time to eat healthier, so I've been searching for easy ideas.  One video led to another, and before I knew it, I have a notebook filled with very healthy and nutritious meals.
If any of you have raw food recipes, feel free to share. I may add some more a bit later, once I have a chance to try them and make them my own.

thanks for reading

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Love Shy

hi friends, thanks to all of you who left comments on my last post letting me know that Blogger was acting up. I thought it was just me. I see the curser problem is still not fixed, you click enter and you never know where the curser will end up, lol!

Above is my latest small painting titled 'Love Shy'.  I thought her expression looked hopeful, and vulnerable at the same time....which I didn't plan, but you have to let the painting go where it wants.
She is now listed in my Etsy shop.

We had quite the exciting thunderstorm this morning. I was just making breakfast, when I looked outside and it was pitch black. A big storm rolled in, and luckily I made my first coffee, because we lost power for a bit.
Can you imagine not being able to make a nice big cup of coffee in the morning, lol!

If the sun ever comes out, I want to take some photos of this gorgeous lily my mom bought me.  After the storm ended I thought the sun would come out, but once again, all we saw is a totally white sky...those damn thick white clouds that block out the sun don't want to go away. Sounds like various parts of the US have the same crap weather.  At least the sun shone all of last week -- while I was at work- and surprise! clouds and rain, just in time for the weekend, lol!
Oh well, gave me a chance to get all my housework done :-)

hope you are all having a lovely weekend wherever you are,
thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

new mermaid painting

It's been a while since I did  a mixed media paintings on wood, so here's my newest. I must have spent at least 10 hours on it, the background originally had seaweed, but I hated how that looked, so I kept playing around with it until I was happy with the result. I forgot how much fun it was to use my wood burner. It also gave me a chance to get out my glitter and gold stars, lol!

Since the weather is still crappy and overcast, I will take advantage and stay inside working on more art.

I have a question for my fellow bloggers: does this happen to you?  when I am writing a blog post, and I hit the enter key to move to a new paragraph, the curser jumps to the top of the page...what's up with that?? and I noticed last night, Blogger won't let me sign out. Is there some weird glitches happening?

hope you are all having a lovely weekend where ever you are, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Journal book (almost) done, and a new friend

hi friends, Here is the cover of my first altered book which I filled with paintings of girls, and song lyrics  .I may add a bit more embellishment, because all I have right now is some baby pink pom poms on the bottom, lol! and I think she needs some more glitter.
I can't wait to start another one soon.  Using these recycled board books was a great way to practice my faces, with no worry about ruining a canvas. I was able to try different faces, and even paint a portrait without starting with a sketch first.
Now I also want to make my own journal. I've seen some artists with those really big juicy journals, with thick pages, and torn edges. I've been looking on Etsy hoping to find something similar, but had no luck.
However, I can make something similar, and the very talented Teesha Moore has a fabulous Youtube video, showing you how to make a 16 page journal. I love Teesha!

Last Saturday we finally saw the sun shine, yay! so me and my dad drove to a greenhouse to buy some flowers and vegetable plants for my garden. I wanted to go to this particular place since hearing they have animals, like chickens, goats, pigs, ponies,  and of course parrots. This cute little guy was hard to photograph, each time I would move back trying to get a good profile pic of him, he would follow me, lol! 
I used to want one of these birds since seeing one on the tv show Baretta,! does anyone else remember that one? I'm showing my age now, so I will stop :-)

thanks for reading! and have a blessed day

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today I got dirty....

Hi friends, now don't get any ideas.....I got dirty with paint. 
I know many of you love to paint using your hands, and don't mind getting messy, but not me,
In fact I can be a bit of a princess, and head to the sink to wash off the slightest paint on my fingers, lol! Well, this little painting got me messy, and there was nothing I could do about it. There was no plan, I simply sat down and put some colors down on a canvas and played. The green bits looked like flowers, so I went with it. Normally I tend to over control things, to know in advance what I will be doing, so this was very freeing!  I got sick of the excuses I kept making for not creating art larger than my ACEOs (not including my journal pages from the previous post).  I love painting whimsical girls, and my sketchbook has been filled with these little folk art ideas for several months. It's about time I let them out on the canvas to play :-)

I don't know about you, but lately I have made a conscious effort to appreciate every moment, to be grateful for each day I am given on this beautiful planet. We have so much to be grateful for, and we mostly go through life without noticing. I guess maybe we are waiting for the big moments to come, but life is made up of small moments, every single day. Life is in the yellow tulips from your garden you bring inside, it is in that first delicious cup of coffee in the morning, it is spending time with people you love.
There is so much going on in the world right now,  to help us keep our balance we need to make the effort to be present in every moment.
Something has changed for me last few months, and for the first time in my life, I am paying attention.. And it has made a world of difference.
Many blessings to you all and thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More rain, and art

hi friends. I hope you are having great weather where you are, because it's been crappy all weekend here. Friday was a gorgeous day, the first one where the weather was warm enough to go outside without a jacket. On my lunch break I sat under a magnolia tree. It was so filled with blossoms, that the branches looked like they couldn't hold them up. Of course I never have a camera with me when I need it! The scent of the blossoms was just heavenly. I enjoyed sitting in the sun, and letting the fragrance wash over me for a few moments. Little did I know it would start raining that evening, and hasn't stopped since.
I sure hope this is not going to be like 2 summers ago, where it rained the entire summer! 
Hey, at least it's a great day to stay inside and paint.

I managed to get a few little ACEOs done, mostly owls. There are several cards that turned out so bad, I don't think there is any way of salvaging them. Don't you hate it when you have a great idea, and it just doesn't work for you?

I am almost finished my altered book of girls and songs. Below is one of the illustrations,  and on the left side of the book are the lyrics to the song Wildfire.  My handwriting is so bad, I'm embarrassed to show it, lol!
Painting in a children's board book is wonderful! I will definitely be looking to pick up more used books to recycle, and to give new life to.  The pages are so sturdy, you can do anything to them and they won't warp.
Great way to experiment with mixed media techniques, without ruining a good art journal.

That's it for now, thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

More art journal pages

hi friends. Well, I'd hoped to update my blog more frequently, but looks like I failed again, lol!
I guess we all go through phases where you feel like you have nothing interesting to say.  Since my last post, I continued working on journal pages. The above is more my 'style', and I attempted to paint a fox with the fairy girl. He didn't turn out too great, haha! but if you don't practice, you will never learn. So far I've been adding lyrics from songs I love with these pages, and I wasn't sure what to write with this one. I had some oldies music playing in the background and when this song by Marvin Gaye came in, I knew it was the perfect song to add. Funny how it's still appropriate today, in fact, even more so.

Now this girl gave me lots of trouble, I was trying for an innocent look but I think she looks more irritated than anything, haha!
I can't tell you how much fun I have had working in a recycled children's book.  There is no pressure to make anything look perfect, and it's a great way to experiment, and find your style. There are a couple more pages to go before I finish, then I need to paint something on the front and back, and maybe embellish it with ribbons, or lace. The entire book is simply girls, with lyrics to various songs on the other side.  I'm not happy with the 2 pages I showed  in my last post, and will go back and add more 'stuff' to them, just to fill up the pages. Do you know that there are dozens of art journaling videos on Youtube?? You could spend hours getting ideas, and being inspired! If only there were more hours in a day to fit in everything. I could never be bored :-)
thanks for reading, stay inspired ♥

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some journaling portraits

hi everyone.  I finally started doing some of the workshops I had signed up for. I am forever behind , it's worse when they are ongoing. It gives me an excuse to postpone working on them. Last week, I decided it was time to get to to Jodi Ohl's workshop called 'lets face it'. The above is my first page using her instruction.
I was watching American Idol, and Casey sang Nature Boy, which was going through  my head as I painted the girl, so I thought I'd write some of the lyrics down, changing it to 'girl' of course. The rest of the page is blank, as I am stumped as to what else to add, lol!

This next one is another fun portrait I did. For this one, I didn't do a sketch first, but started painting the face free lance. This looks nothing like my usual whimsy faces but I am very happy with it.
I am trying to get more creative with journaling, as it's been something I love when others do, but I have such a hard time with it. Practice makes perfect I suppose. I love the quote used. It's a reminder for me to work on what I love and stop wasting so much time!
Once I finish this post I will be working on my next face. Who knew this would be so much fun?
Maybe my renewed motivation is due to spring coming? Or the fact that it feels like time is speeding up, who knows?  With everything going on in the world, art is a refuge for me, and I know for many of you as well. It's what makes us happy. It's also a way to leave a bit of ourselves in our art.  When I paint, everything is beautiful, and time stands still. I could do this for hours, taking only short breaks to make some delicious coffee.
After the long slump I  had this is a refreshing change. Hopefully my muse will stick around longer this time, lol!


PS -Regarding my last post,  Thanks to everyone who mentioned stretching my watercolor paper. Of course!! How did I not know that? That's exactly what I needed to hear, so thanks to those of you kind folks who  took the time to remind me of something that should have been so obvious. The art community is filled with the best people on the planet, and I adore you all :-)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just one of those days...

hi friends. Do you ever have one of those days when you plan to paint all day, but by the end of the day, you've accomplished so little? that was today for me.
I woke up looking forward to a day of painting. My goal was to create at least 5 or 6 ACEOs, and work on a portrait workshop I am behind on. Well, everything I painted came out just awful! I spent hours on a flower fairy, changing it, trying to make it better, and in the end scrapped the whole thing. My owls, which I paint regularly, were also giving me a hard time.  The above painting is the second version, the first was a disaster, so I started that again as well. I couldn't do anything right!

I'm going to blame the paper.  I know most people when using watercolor, use 140lb paper. How do you all do it?? I find it warps so easily. Am I adding too much water? Also, I find the colors are dull.
I ended up starting over again on 200lb paper, which I normally use. So what am I missing, is there some secret? The 140lb paper isn't cheap, it's Arches brand. Any of you watercolorists out there, do you have any tips for the rest of us?
In the end, I worked most of the day and have 2 lousy ACEOs to show for it...I swear time sped up! Before I knew it, the day was over.

On a happier note, on Friday I went to my nearest art shop, and picked up some Copic markers. Folks, if you haven't used them before, they are a joy! I will be going back for more. They're perfect for little details, and the colors are gorgeous! Unfortunately they are a bit pricey, so I can only pick up a few at a time.

Well, that's it for today, hope you are all enjoying the spring weather (or the fall for my friends in the South hemisphere).


Sunday, April 3, 2011

And just like that the snow is back...

It's been sunny and mild (for this time of year) the last couple of days, so naturally you would think we were on our way to spring right? Forget it! As I was at my desk painting, suddenly it started snowing, and blowing around.  Well after a few hours, we now have a winter wonderland out there, the trees are covered with snow, and it is beautiful! Thank goodness I didn't remove my snow tires yet, you just never know what crazy weather you will get from one day to the next.
It didn't stop me from creating some new spring time art though, like the ACEO above.

This weekend was one where I mostly sat and watched movies. Yesterday I finally watched 2012, which I enjoyed. I'm probably in the minority but I've always loved disaster movies like War of the Worlds, the Day after Tomorrow, Independence Day.  Besides, I've had a crush on John Cusack for a couple of decades, lol, so that made the movie more enjoyable. He still looks great after all these years.

Next movie on the menu was The book of Eli. Fantastic movie, but it did have a bit of violence in it. Loved the premise, and would not have been able to predict the ending.

Today I watched Brothers, and boy it sure had some intense scenes in it! Another great movie which I would recommend.

The only dud of the bunch was an old one called Baker's Hawk. Sorry if anyone likes this, but I could only get through 15 minutes before I was bored, and moved on.

I'm still in that phase where I can't get too motivated to create, even though I did manage a couple of cards. Hopefully as the weather improves, I can feel like spending more time painting. For now I will just go with the flow.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Easter Owl artwork and a Film recommendation

What? you haven't heard of Easter owls yet??  Well my friends, they exist in my silly little head, and I like nothing better than bringing them to life - unfortunately I've been slow in creating Easter themed art this year.
Do you ever go through phases where you just want to be lazy, and sit in front of the tv? I have some favorite shows I watch, like American Idol, and Project Runway (yes folks, the one  you in the USA saw last year, is finally airing in Canada!).  But mostly I've taken the time to borrow lots of DVD's  from my public library.

**This is an update, I have removed the documentary recommendation that I had here yesterday, after reading a news report of some barbarian behavior from the country in question. Violence is never the answer,
and because of this report, it has made the entire country look bad. I can not leave my review of this film  up on my blog
Any country that resorts to this kind of behavior will be judged accordingly, and cannot expect the world to treat them with respect, or understanding. 

If you are only now reading this post  obviously you won't know what film I talked about.  Sorry to be so cryptic!
For those who read my blog yesterday and know of what film I wrote about, I'm sure you will understand why it would be offensive to leave it up.

I will definitely be talking about interesting films in the future though.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 21, 2011

And the winner of the Dorothy print is.....

Hello everyone, the winner of the print from my Celebrate Oz giveaway is post # 24 which is MARLENE!
thanks to all participants, it was a fun event!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's the Celebrate OZ blog party!!

Hello everyone, I mentioned in my last post that I would take part in the Celebrate Oz blog party, hosted by Linda. There are many other blogs participating, so if you click the banner on the side of my blog it will take you there. Some are even having giveaways, woohoo! So grab a coffee and muffin, and join us in our celebration of all things OZ.

The above painting is my whimsical take on Dorothy, when she runs away with Toto in her basket. Originally I had a tornado in the background, but decided to paint over it.
I will be giving away a print of this painting to one winner, whose name I will draw on Monday March 21st, so if you are interested, just leave a comment on this post.

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite classic movies. I watched it again last week, and it is still charming and sweet, a feel good movie - for me at least. 
Needless to say I have been humming  'We're off to see the Wizard'  all week, and almost started skipping along, haha!
As a child I used to be afraid of the flying monkeys, now I think they are adorable, lol!

Thank you for stopping by, don't forgot to visit all the participating blogs

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore

hello everyone! I've decided to join the  'Celebrate OZ' blog party on March 19th. It is being hosted on Linda's blog: lindaomasoldebaggsnstuftshirts.
Check out the button on the side of my blog, which will take you to her blog, where you can read all the details, and possibly join.

I have no idea what I will do for this event, but you can expect a new painting...way to put pressure on myself, lol!

The above painting is one of my older ones, and part of my fairy tale heroine series. When it sold, I was so heartbroken.
I had just started selling my art, and wasn't used to letting them did get easier over time, but there are still quite a few paintings I've kept, and sold only prints of.

Time to dig out my copy of Wizard of Oz, and get ready for March 19th :-)
thanks for reading

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New ACEO series

hi everyone. I started a new series of ACEOs (for those who don't know what they are, they are miniature artworks, the size of a baseball card).
I love painting whimsical girls, and I love adding text, so why not do it with my ACEOs?  I have two finished so far, and will see how many I end up doing. I was hoping to do a large painting this weekend, but time got away from me again, lol!
Is anyone watching American Idol this season? What an impressive group of talent they've got! Thank goodness it's not on for several hours a week,  because all I seemed to do lately is watch tv!

A couple of days ago I went to an art show in Toronto, it had quite a few artists, maybe 200? It was great to see the types of art out there, and I tell you, people are so talented! Some of the artwork really inspired me.
I wanted to come home,and paint a big abstract...except I haven't a clue how to do so, lol! it's not a matter of just throwing things on a canvas, it takes a great amount of skill to make an abstract really work. Abstract art used to be something that I just didn't understand, but I found as the years went by that I can appreciate it for what it is. I guess that's it for now, thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cobwebs on my blog

hello everyone, it feels like  a long time since I posted. I've had so much I wanted to blog about, but couldn't get started.

First off I want to say welcome to the new readers of my blog.  I appreciate you following along with me, especially since there has been no new material since the One World One Heart event, lol!
And thank you to my regular readers, I appreciate every one of you.
I don't know how some bloggers manage to post so regularly, it's something I need to push myself to do.

Artwise, I've been working on ACEO's (art that is the size of a playing card) but am feeling the need to paint larger, maybe some angels. The events in our world have made me a bit melancholy. I've been watching some of the news coverage, and wonder what our world will look like next year.
These are interesting times, but also scary. Protests, earthquakes, unusual weather, solar flares,   the economy....doesn't it feel like things are speeding up?

I was remembering an ice storm a few years back, where many people had lost power for several days. They weren't ready for it, and it caused panic.

 I think a good idea for everyone reading this, is to go out and stock up on any foods and supplies you may need if something unexpected occurs.  That's what I did last week, bought lots of bottled water, canned foods, just whatever could be used in an emergency. We've been lucky so far, the bad snowstorms have missed us, but it is smart to be prepared. Just leave it in your basement, and keep an eye on the expiry dates. You are not losing anything by doing this, but during an unexpected event, this could save you from  finding grocery stores empty.
If you doubt anything like this will happen, then how about the fact that food prices right now are skyrocketing? Stock up on things  like flour, rice, coffee, sugar. The prices are rising right now, and in some countries there are riots because people cannot afford to eat. Of course, none of this is being shown on TV, but it is happening.  Hope this doesn't sound too negative, but I really want you all to be safe, and  be prepared, just in case...

Most of all, live your life to the fullest every day, because we are so blessed to be alive on this magnificent planet, and during this most incredible time!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And the Winner Is.....

Hello everyone. It's time to announce the winners of my One World One Heart Giveaway.
It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I tried to get to as many blogs to say hello as I could.  Hopefully I got to everyone who commented.

Thank you everyone who participated, and to all you lovely people who commented. I really appreciate you stopping by, to me everyone is a winner. 

Now to get to the giveaway:   I decided to pick 3 winners instead of 2, so here they are:

First prize - Original Painting - comment # 130 Audrey  Magic Miracles and Joy

Second Prize- Choice of print - comment # 83  Lorri   Artivity

Third Prize -Choice of print - comment # 72  Brenda  The Creative Chook

Congratulations to you!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's here! the One World One Heart Blogging Event.

hello everyone! this is an exciting day. It is the 5th and final One World One Heart event, an idea brought to life by the wonderful Lisa Swifka.
This is an event for bloggers worldwide, in which we get to visit new blogs, make new friends, and even have a chance to win a prize.  This is my third time participating in this annual event where I have discovered many new blogs and met some fantastically creative people.

I will be drawing two winners  for my giveaway.  The first prize will be for the original mixed media angel painting you see on the top of this post (size: 6" x 8" canvas)  (15 x 20 cms).
The second prize will be for your choice of any print from my Etsy Shop.

For those who don't know me, I am a self taught artist who likes to create all kinds of whimsical art including ACEOs, angels, mermaids, and big eyed girls.

How to enter my giveaway

In order to have a chance to win, all you have to do is have a blog, and leave a comment on this post. Very easy, right?
The giveaway ends on February 17th, and I will use a Random Number generator to pick the winners.
I will announce the winner on my blog, as well as contact them.

For more information, and for a list of all participants,  please go to the OWOH blog, and enjoy your trip around the world!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Deep Freeze

It's been so cold the last few days! This morning when I left for work, the temperature was -24 C (-11F). By the time I got to my building my fingers were so frozen it was difficult getting my keys out. lol! Seems a lot of you bloggers are in the midst of the same weather pattern from what I've read :-)

 This past week I've been in a rut. With Valentine's Day coming I was hoping to make more ACEOs of my whimsical owls to sell, but everything I touched  turned to crap! What do you do when you just can't get it right? I've done hundreds of owl ACEOs, but nothing was working last week. At least 6 or 7 were thrown out, after spending so much time to get them right. That's not including the many drawings that just weren't working.  It's frustrating, I feel like a beginner, lol!

So I got out my sketchbook and worked on my faces.  I've neglected my girls, and it's time to bring them to life again. The above was drawn on good quality paper, she is not done yet, but once I finish,, she may find her way into my Etsy shop.

 I finally got out my Pan Pastels to try on the background. They are fabulous! They are a nice creamy pastel, which you add with an applicator that looks like a makeup sponge, and I can't believe they'd been sitting on my shelf for months before I finally opened one up. You can't see it well in the picture above, but they truly give such wonderful, soft color. Remember, this is the year to pull out all your good supplies, and stop saving them for when you are a 'better' artist.

I have a question for anyone who draws on paper with pencil, do you spray your finished work? I know pencil smudges, but spraying it makes me nervous. I've gotten spotted results before...there must be a better way.

thanks for reading, and stay warm :-D

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Illustration Friday - Chicken

There once was a little girl, who loved animals so much! One summer, she went with her family to grandma's farm. Grandma had recently gotten four new chickens, but they had yet to lay any eggs. She said to the little girl's mother, "if they don't start laying soon, they're going to become our dinner". Well, this would certainly not do! thought the little girl. I have to do something to save the chickens!

So she devised a little plan. Every morning, she would sneak some eggs from the house to the barn, then she would come running inside saying 'look what I found!'.
Mother and grandmother were pleasantly surprised that the chickens started earning their keep.
This went on for a few days.  How strange though,  that the amount of eggs  in the bowl on the table never seemed to increase, considering 3 or 4 new eggs would be brought out from the barn.

Ahhh, finally the women got wise to the trickery of the little girl!
So were the chickens safe? well, they were while the little girl was there. She would throw a crying fit if anyone even mentioned having them for dinner. What happened after she went back home? who knows, but at least for a few weeks, they were safe......

and that my friends, is the basis of my Illustration Friday painting, called 'Save the chickens'. I know it's Thursday, but I had to get it finished before the deadline. As soon as I heard this week's theme, I knew I had to illustrate it.
Oh, and the above story is true, I'm sure you know who the little girl was, lol!

thanks for reading

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fireworks ACEO

hi everyone, I just finished this ACEO for the ACEO Challenge blog. This month's challenge is 'fireworks'. It's fun and lighthearted, and anyone can join in. I've missed every single month, and was determined to finally get something in there, lol!
Last month's topic was the Northern Lights, which I really wanted to illustrate. I was so proud of myself after finishing my entry, then when I went to add it, I saw that it was too late and we were voting, lol!

hope you are all doing well, lots of crazy weather going on in the world. Please stay safe :-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Feeling nostalgic

After work, I happened to catch the Oprah show. They were re-visiting teen heartthrobs, hers was Michael Jackson's big brother Jackie. You should have seen her face when he showed up in her dressing room unexpected.  I think I would have passed out if one of my teen idols showed up, lol!

I was a child of the 70's.  I had pictures on my bedroom wall of David and Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garret, Robbie Benson, John Travolta, and I was absolutely in love with the Bay City Rollers, haha! I would spend hours listening to their music, reading about them, dreaming about them, like any typical teen I suppose.

 Oprah had Shaun Cassidy and Peter Frampton on the show as well as the Backstreet Boys.
Watching some of the older women in the crowd go crazy when Shaun Cassidy came on the stage was so beautiful, because in that  moment, I could see their younger selves. I could see the girls they used to be before family and responsibilities changed them. That youthful spark though, was still inside.

I totally get it now. When I see young girls screaming over Justin Bieber, I get it. That was me, many decades ago. Maybe it's a rite of passage for girls? I don't know.

Man, aging is tough! Seeing your teen hearthrobs age is tough, but it's worse seeing what time has done to you.  I still remember those days when I was young and hopeful, and full of dreams. It felt like a more innocent time, but maybe I'm just feeling nostalgic. Sometimes I wish I could go back just for a day, to experience a different world, a world without cell phones, internet, texting, video games...a world where we spent time outside, when we could go downtown without parents worrying about us.  A world with cute boys like Shaun Cassidy who we could dream about.

I'd love to hear about your childhood crushes, don't be shy! Who's poster was hanging up in your locker, lol?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

hello everyone, Happy New Year! It is my wish that 2011 brings you all everything your heart desires. I wish you much prosperity, perfect health, happiness, and unconditional love. May 2011 be the best year ever!

Is anyone making any New Year's resolutions? I haven't thought about it too much, since I tend to break every  one I make, lol!
However, just because you break your resolutions, doesn't mean you have failed. In fact, every day you wake up you have another opportunity to make any change you choose. So what if you eat a big piece of cheesecake when you said you were dieting? Tomorrow, you simply try again.
I like this gentle approach to change.  If we don't forgive ourselves when we fall down, who will?

This is a good time to reflect on 2010.  What I did was take a sheet of paper, write down all the wonderful things that have happened, and all the things I am grateful for. It was not a perfect year, as I did not exercise regularly, nor did I cut out sugar.  However, tomorrow morning is a fresh start, and another chance to make the changes that will improve my life.
How about you?