Art a different way….

The month of July is a busy one for me!! Clients need 2nd quarter financial statements, payroll reports need to be filed and fiscal-year non-profits need tax returns prepared. Consequently, I wasn’t sure exactly how much creative time I would have.

I shouldn’t have worried!!

As it ended up, I have even found time to get in some “other art” practice!!

A few weeks ago I posted about playing with watercolor and this past week I found time to do a bit more. This new class that I found starts with brush strokes I had fun seeing exactly what I could do with just a few brushes.

We started with a fully loaded brush and looked at what happens when it starts to run out of paint…..

We played with adding paint to wet paper. It was interesting to see what the paint would do….

Next, we played with making lines of various widths all from the same brush…..

Finally, I played with a large brush that wasn’t in great shape…..

It was fun to see what this bristle arrangement could do…..

I loved making ribbons with this large brush……

…..and I really love the shading that “happened” with this ribbon…..

Finally, we had to find an object at hand to paint, and since I was at my cutting table, guess what I used as a model…..

As far as realism goes it isn’t great, but I loved the fact that I painted it without drawing first.

AND, if you get REALLY far away from it, it actually looks good!!!!

I have NO idea whether I will EVER use anything that I am learning, but I am surely enjoying trying different mediums!!!

Now back to quilting!!

Some non-quilting fun…

Is it possible to have fun when you aren’t quilting????

That is the question!!!

One of my plans for this wide-open summer was to spend time trying some different things…..things that would push me outside of my comfort zone

To this end, I purchased an online lesson series about watercolor painting!! As a teaching tool, It has not lived up to its hype, but at least it made me START!!!

In the first sessions, she spends a lot of time talking about all of the best equipment and supplies to buy, but I simply couldn’t justify the expense. So, one day I took all of my art supply store coupons and purchased paints….Watercolor, Gouache, and Acrylic.

This past week it was time to break the out and give them a try!!!

It got everything set up……

….but facing the blank page was a bit much!!

I watched the videos for a few minutes and finally mixed up some yellow paint……

….and made the first stroke…….

Well……THAT was anti-climatic!!!

Then I realized that I hadn’t added any WATER… know, the thing that WATER-colors work with!!!

With the addition of a bit of water and a peach color paint, it started looking better……

I let it dry for a few minutes while I watched more of the videos. The tutor makes lots of flower bouquet arrangements so I watched her and decided to try to copy what she was doing. The first step was a stylized flower vase…..

Well, it is a start!!!

Next, she suggested adding leaf groups around the outside of the “bouquet”. I watched her paint the leaves, starting with a thin line for the leaf stem, pressing the brush down for the leaf proper and then releasing off of the brush to make the leaf point.

I practiced a few times……

….and then took the plunge……

After making lots of leaves, I followed the teachers lead and started adding stylized “flowers”…..

It was fun to think of details that I could add to the flowers……

This is the final result……

It certainly isn’t fancy, but I am happy with the effort!!!

I have since found another class on Craftsy (which cost me $1.25 for a one year membership….check out their specials). I had looked at this class last summer but didn’t have time to play, but remembered that she starts with basic brush strokes and then goes from there.

Now I am REALLY looking forward to the next day that I can…….

What other creative outlets do you have???

One more watercolor

The other night I was sitting on the couch and started staring at the basket of flowers that were sitting on the coffee table…..


After a few minutes of thinking about it, I got up and grabbed my sketchbook and started having fun.

I actually “finished” the painting several times, but then would go back in and add a “little something” to it.

I wish that I had stopped with this one….


…because after I added the borders, I think that it completely lost the perspective…

DSC02785 ….once again, not wonderful, but a lot of fun!!!

Art of a different kind…..

Every so often I get the bug to do something creative in the evenings while we are watching TV so I get out my sketchbook which is slowly being filled with drawings and such.

The last few times, I have had fun playing with a Travel Water Color set that my D-I-L , Amber, gave to me a few years ago…..


When you open it up, the magic begins…..DSC02680


The two brushes that I am using are wonderful for traveling or for sitting in the living room.  The well on the brush can be filled with water and then squeezed slightly to release water onto the paint.  The only other thing that you need is a paper towel to use in daubing the water off of the brush or cleaning the brush between colors.  To clean it, you simply squeeze water out while you are wiping the brush on the towel….

A while back I purchased a DVD by Jane Lafazio where she talked about different drawing and painting techniques.  A few of the tips that I learned from her were….

  –  delineate a square or rectangle that you are going to use for your drawing.  That way you are working in a small area and not worried about the rest of the page.

  –  begin by lightly sketching in your object with a pencil

  –  when you are happy with your sketch, use a fine point pen to draw in the outlines and then erase the pencil (I always forget this part)

  –  when you begin the painting process, re-mix your paints with each dip so that the color changes slightly as you move across the picture.

  –  finally,  leave bits of white in the picture to bring a sparkle to it.


SO, with those ideas in mind, here are my last three paintings…..

 DSC02502  DSC02501DSC02682

No Rembrandts here, but at least I am learning to see my objects better….

Anyone can draw….even me????

I recently purchased and downloaded a video from Interweave Press by Jane LaFazio entitled “From Art Journaling to Art”.   From the first minute of the video, she insists that she can teach you how to create art…..and she delivers!!!

Her work starts by making  a light pencil drawing of her inspiration.  She then uses a permanent pen to outline the design and add interest lines.  She suggests using a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen…..


Next step is to use water colors to add color to the drawing.  She used four different types of color…..

_5232534…Watercolors, Water Color Crayons, Inktense Pencils and Water Soluble Oil Pastels.

BUT, the best tip that she gave was the type of brush that she used…… a Niji Waterbrush.  A waterbrush has a barrel handle that allows water to be stored in it.  You simply squeeze the barrel and water flows onto the brush.    I bought one Niji brand (on the right)  and also a   Koi brand (on the left).

_5232535 They both work fine, but I really prefer the shorter brush.

The really nice thing about using the paint brush is that you dont have to carry around a cup of water when you want to paint.  All you need is a few layers of paper towel to wipe the brush on.   To clean the brush, you simply squeeze out some water and make a few brush strokes on the paper towel!!!

Jane had one other tip….use a water soluble pen to draw your design and then take the brush and pull out some of the black to add shading to your drawing.  It really works!!!!


I had been playing with some doodles before I purchased the video, so I went in and added color to the page, using all four of the paint types, as well as the water soluble ink……

_5232536SO MUCH FUN!!!!

I think that I will take this exact packet of goodies on my China trip and try to spend some time sitting at the numerous parks and doodling, drawing, painting…sounds like fun!!