Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking For Color

As the dark days of winter set in, I am looking for any ounce of color.


The unique flower that blooms year round. I have always loved the grace of the cyclamen from the early rise of the bud similar to a fern's uncoiling, to the flowing dance of the blossom. Not to forget the beauty of the fluid curve in the rise of the leaf as well as the heart shaped leaves.

Another watercolor sketch to add to the sketchbook:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No Excuses

I am using the holidays as an excuse for not painting even though I do not believe in excuses.

In order to set the record straight, I will gear up on artistic creations since I have one month to complete the sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project 2012.

I am amazed by the spectacular blooms of the tropical plant,Anthurium, which has a predominant spot in the living room window that faces south. It just loves this spot and graces me with blooms year round.

After completing this sketch and watercolor of the Anthurium, I am considering a full size painting.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I do not know if I have a Christmas Cactus or a Thanksgiving Cactus?

Either way this cactus blooms twice a year! Maybe it is an Easter Cactus?

I could not resist capturing the beauty of its shapes.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

What Is This???


Frosty the Snowman's baby photo :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Original Dog Paw Print Wrapping Paper

Here is a great idea for original wrapping paper and you will not have the mess of letting your dog walk all over wrapping paper with painted paws.

Make a paw print stamp!

What you will need:

1. Clay (regular modeling clay, modeling compound, or Play-Doh)
2. Petroleum jelly
3. Hot glue gun & glue sticks
4. Several small blocks of wood, a little larger than you do's paw
5. Sandpaper
6. Roll of plain paper
7. Nontoxic, washable poster paint
8. Paper plate
9. Paper towels

How to make it:

1. Work the clay with your hands until it is soft and pliable, then form several disks of clay, about 1/4 inch thick, a little larger in diameter than your dog's paw. The disks should not be very thick, so the paw print will be as flat as possible, to make a good stamp.

2. Press your dog's paw gently into each disk. The paw print should be shallow, while still being clearly a paw print.

3. Coat the inside of the paw print and the surrounding area of the clay with a think layer of petroleum jelly.

4. Plug in the hot glue gun. Fill the paw prints with hot glue, filling in each indentation, then covering the whole paw print and about 1/4 inch surrounding it with a thick layer of glue.

5. Gently place a wooden block on top of each paw print. This will be the back of your stamp. Allow the glue to dry for about five to ten minutes.

6. Gently remove the blocks and glue prints from the clay mold. If some of the clay has melted or stuck to the mold, just wipe it off.

7. Sand the glue to be somewhat flat, or rub it against concrete, such as a front step or your driveway. This will make for a better stamp.

8. Spread paint thinly on a paper plate. Dip your stamps in. Make a few sample prints on the plate to find which stamps make the best prints. Use the best ones for your wrapping paper project.

Stamp away on your wrapping paper or use the stamp to "sign" cards, seal envelops, or letterhead.

Be sure to treat your dog for helping you with this art project.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Image After Meditation

Into the dark days, but I surprisingly found a sunny spot.

One might think I have cat blood, but just a positive reaction to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

On another note, have you ever seen a depressive cat?
They totally know the benefits of sunspots.

After meditating in the sunspot dressed in hat, gloves, and blanket, I went indoors to paint a mandala. This image appeared.

I know not where this is going.........

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Sketches

This is a watercolor sketch.

I was demonstrating to a group of women at an assisted living center how to use watercolor to paint a bouquet of flowers. To my surprise I liked the way this quick painting turned out and did not want to mess it up with details. Take a close up view of the flowers to see what I mean.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sand Canvas

While humankind has surely been creating artworks out of sand since long before we have been able to preserve any trace of their fleeting existence, few sand artists can have worked on such a scale as Peter Donnelly.

Sunday morning when the tide goes out, Donnelly cycles down to the beach below New Brighton pier in New Zealand, with a rake and stick for paintbrushes and creates.

Elaborate patterns integrate seamlessly with more recognisable forms as Donnelly's works come to life beneath his dancing feet and the deft movements of rake and stick.

Peter Donnelly has been the subject of an acclaimed documentary, directed by Valerie Reid, extracts from which can be seen below.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I could not resist the urge to paint the Peruvian children's faces as they gathered to have their picture taken the day we visited the mountain school. I love the faces as well as the colors and designs of the textiles.

I am thinking of creating a painting on a larger scale in oils.....

This one is for the Sketchbook Project 2012.....

What Does 3,000 Paintings Look Like?


I went to Seattle today to see the art show featuring 100 artists creating 30 pieces of art 8" X 10" for the 30 Day Challenge. That's right.........3,000 paintings! Being there the second day the show opened not all 3,000 were still displayed. But, I must admit, it was an awesome sight!

Each time I went around the room looking at the displays of paintings, I saw ones I missed the time before.

By popular demand, The 30 Day Art Challenge Annual Gift Sale Event will be open next Saturday, December 10th, noon - 4PM.

Location: T.K. Gallery, 115 Prefontaine Place S., Seattle WA. 98104

Friday, December 2, 2011

Early Christmas At My House

Keeping surprises is not my strong point.

Fedex delivered my grandson's Christmas present today.

It so happened that Mom and Haeden were coming to visit me on their way to Portland.

So, I opened the box.......

Good thing there were two of us to figure out how to put it together!

First, finger paints; Next, Haeden's own art desk.

An artist in the making

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oodles of Art at Affordable Prices

Over 100 local artists created over 3,000 original paintings, drawings, photographs, silk screens, etc. for The 30 Day Art Challenge Annual Gift Sales Event which opens December 1st during Seattle's Art Walk from 5-10PM.

It is the 11th annual Holiday Gift Show Exhibition at the T.K. Gallery located at 115 Prefontaine Place in Seattle, Washington.

Free Admission!

Original Art Work selling for only $40 each.

Standing on a ladder, I photographed my 30 oil paintings of "Peruvian life":

Monday, November 28, 2011

Seagull or Penguin?

Before Thanksgiving my friend, Elaine, and I spent a few days at Rockaway Beach on the Oregon Coast. It was stormy at times, but we managed to get in a couple of beach walks despite the weather.

I enjoyed watching the huge waves and was delighted by our frequent visitor we named, Arthur. I think he wanted to come inside out of the storm.

For additional entertainment, we decided to visit some of the thrift shops in the small beach towns nearby. My unique purchase was this metal sculpture; at first sight I thought penguin. He became our table center piece. Arthur would join us at the table (we pushed it next to the window), and it became clear to me that the sculpture was a seagull.

What do you think? Seagull or Penguin?

Elaine asked me if I found this metal sculpture at a thrift store in Olympia, where we live, would I have bought it? Probably not!

Or.......maybe as a humorous gift for a friend or relative?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Sketches

In Honor of Gypsy

My dearly beloved kitty died. I wanted to honor her with a sketch today. First I drew the lines with ink and then applied watercolor.

She has the sweetest face :)

I had been her hospice nurse focusing on making her quality of life the best possible which meant spoiling her with food and special privileges. She spent her last evening finishing a bowl of ice cream and snuggled next to me in bed.

She is missed by all.....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Last week I was excited by the vivid colors of the maple leaves. This week it is the array of browns in the leaves on the ground which catch my eye.

This sketch was started with splashes of color, followed by the ink line, and then additional watercolor was applied. Not my usual pattern, but found it fun and refreshing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It is Just Paper!

My classic line when I work with people creating art who are critical of their artwork is, "It is just paper, not to worry."

Well this line takes on a new dimension after viewing paper sculptures by Canadian artist Calvin Nicholls.
My good friend and artist, Judi Colwell, introduced me to him.

I use the expression this time as.....
"Oh my gosh, it is just paper!"

There is nothing simple or ordinary about his paper art. Where we would use a piece of paper and a pair of scissors, Calvin uses everything you could possibly think of to carve, cut and rip perfect details onto his creations. The motifs are mostly wildlife and the details are truly amazing. One can not even fathom the time it must have taken to create these masterpieces of art.

Here are two of my favorites:

Be sure to visit his website to see more ASTONISHING JUST PAPER creations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stellar Day in the Pacific Northwest

Yes, sunshine and fall colors!

One of our rare fall Pacific Northwest STELLAR DAY.

I took my dog, Ebony, for a walk on the Chehalis Western Trail here in Olympia, Washington.

I love the arches of color and the depth seen down the trail.

It is like a fairy land.

The leaves are a still-life in themselves.......

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Finished another sketch for the Sketchbook Project 2012. I took Carol's advice to use better quality paper and glue it into the sketchbook.

I have been looking at this photograph of the Quechua school children waving good-bye to us after our visit to their school. It was a memorable day for both the children and us.

I love the line up and knew one day it would be a painting. It was challenging to capture their faces with a single line of ink. The watercolors were applied after the ink drawing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guessing Game

Creative people alert!

I love sculptures and came across this one recently.

Try to guess in the first three photos what it is made of.

Any ideas?

Okay, for those of you who need more help......

Did you guess right?


Thousands of pairs of recycled plastic flip-flops live on in a large-scale outdoor art installation in San Paulo, Brazil. Local art students created the Giant Flip Flop Monkey Sculpture community art project.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Start Them Early

Finger painting with my grandson at 19 months old!

I introduced Haeden to the big crayons, but finger paints are definitely more fun.

I spent three days babysitting my grandson and decided it is time for finger paints. First, I covered every possible inch of the table and chair. Haeden watched as I opened the four containers of washable finger paints.

I placed a blog of blue, his favorite color, on the paper and he tentatively touch it with his finger. With my encouragement he moved the paint slowly across the paper. I placed another blob of color on the paper and encouraged him to put a finger in it, too. This might have been my first mistake. The artist in me thought he would like all four colors. Maybe I should have stayed with the one color for a while because Haeden kept asking for more paint.

After a few paintings done in this manner, the next thing I knew he had his hand in one of the paint containers. I again encouraged him to spread it around on the paper. He went back for more and seemed to be enjoying the squishy feel of the paint in the container. I was getting nervous about the possible mess danger of allowing him to get his own paint from the container.

By this time Haeden had done several paintings and I thought he was done or I was done as his hands were full of paint........more so than the paper! I juggled him with my painted hands to the sink which was a feat in itself.

Cleaned up and let loose, Haeden headed back to the table to finger paint again. Okay I thought, this time I will put four small blobs of paint on the paper and hide the paint containers. Even with encouragement and help finger painting, Haeden insisted on more and did not fall for my hiding act.

In fact, he got angry and slapped his hands on the paper. "Yes, let's paint with our hands," and helped him to smear paint on the paper with his whole hand. He did like this........for a little while.........and then asked for more paint.

One more time I carefully rationed out the paint and this time I painted with him drawing circles in the paint. I decided it was time to quit as I thought this was plenty for a first lesson. Besides, I was trying hard to keep the mess to a minimum and know it could at any time quickly get out of hand (pun!).

As a good grandma and artist, I left all the painting materials in plain sight so that Haeden would ask Mom to paint again. Oh boy is she in for a treat!

Haeden's art.........and Mom's favorites:

This painting was created with a fist full of paint

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Still learning about this Sketchbook Project 2012 process.

Today's lesson; Joanne verses "the paper."

I wanted to give a blast of color with watercolors to emphasize the leaves' fall color. The paper got saturated and started to shred. Immediately I took out the hair dryer before disaster occurred and I would have to remove another page from the sketchbook.

I remembered that my ink pen leaked through this paper, therefore, I opted for colored pencil to bring out the leaves and trees.

Hey, it worked! Score one for Joanne!

I have to figure out what to do with the next page because it is now wavy from the use of water on this page.

Ah, the challenge continues........

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mini Art Show

I enjoy entering the annual miniature art show in Cannon Beach, Oregon. For one, it is a fabulous place to visit and many people visit the gallery. Two, because the art is small, they can be boxed and sent by mail.

When I first learned of this annual show, I talked two of my artist friends into the challenge of doing miniature art and entering the show. At that time we added the adventure of traveling down to Cannon Beach and spending the day. One time we even spent the night at the youth hostel in Seaside. I have many fond memories!

For two dimensional art the size limit for the miniature art show is 6" X 6," not framed. Because I was on a roll with painting images of Peru, I continued with the subject matter on two 3" X 5" stretched canvases.

This year there was no entry fee and you could submit eight pieces of art. I did, and that is when I got really creative. As I was looking at the stack of Sunday Sketches, I thought there were sections of the paintings that would really make great mini paintings. Out came the scissors!

These are the mini paintings that were submitted:

watercolor & ink
5" X 5"

watercolor & ink
5" X 5"

watercolor & ink
5" X 5"

Even though these paintings look the same size, they are smaller.

watercolor & ink
3" X 3"

watercolor & ink
3" X 3"

The oil paintings on canvas did not photograph well and I forgot to photograph the pastel of the fall hillside in New England. Thus, eight paintings were sent to the 25th Annual Miniature Art Show in Cannon Beach.

I found out today that ONE of the eight paintings was accepted.

Which one???

I will delay my gratification until later this month when I visit the area to view the art show.

Stay tuned.......

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Last Four Peru Paintings

I realized that four of the oil paintings from the 30 Day Challenge have not been posted. Therefore, time to catch up!

I have enjoyed painting the lovely Quechua children and their colorful clothes. In our little English and Spanish exchange with the young girls, I learned that they make their own clothes especially the dark embroidered skirts.

The Mothers with their babies swaddled on their backs are touchingly beautiful.

The Peruvian textiles are bold and bright.

I do not know how many artists have submitted art for the 30 Day Art Challenge. Just the number of artwork will be astoundingly amazing. The art show premieres November 30th at the T.K. Artist Lofts on 115 Prefontaine Place S. #308 in Seattle, Washington. The sale begins on December 1st and I am waiting to hear how long the sale will last.