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Happy New Year...Cheers to 2014

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quote Monday turned into Reflections of 2013...Bring it on, 2014

Monday, December 30, 2013
Yes, every New Year is like a fresh start with a brand new shinny tool kit included.  On the other hand, every new day has the same option.  My decision to be a better person and a better artist isn’t a yearly focus, its daily for me.  That’s why I keep a ‘to-do’ list and a get shit done attitude.

I’ve really spent the last three years changing mediums and moving fully to mixed media.  It’s been a long journey and I’m finally feeling more secure with my artwork.  No, I’m not an expert by any means but I’ve been driven to understand my raw materials, how to display in a professional manner, and doing a lot of experimental work.  It’s all been prep for the year to come.

Season Greetings!!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Quote Monday....Ms. Karma

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Solstice

Saturday, December 21, 2013
I look forward every year to Winter is the turning of the wheel and the signal to longer days.  It is the quite, peace part of the year but it's also the gateway to spring. 

My hubby and I are celebrating with a houseful of gamers today...

Stay warm, stay safe...may you and yours have BRIGHT BLESSINGS!


White Ink...FW Artists Ink wins hands down...product review

Thursday, December 19, 2013


White ink is wonderful to work with; ink is wonderful to paint, sketch, and use in art journaling.  It’s just so multi-functional in my work.   My favorite manufactures are Noodlers and Private Reserve for foundation pens.   Higgins, Daler-Rowney, Calli,  and Liquitex for dip pens and brush work.
Daler-Rowney’s FW Artists Ink trumps every other white ink out there.  It’s acrylic-based, water resistant, lightfast, and permanent.   It works well with a brush, technical pens, and dip pens.  I haven’t had any luck using it in fountain pens.  

My favorite dip pen is an  E+M Artist nib holder with a 2062 nib…I also use a Brause 66 extra fine Arrow nib for very fine lines or a Brause Blue Pumpkin. (both are in the top photo)  Both are calligraphy nibs but I also use a few comic/manga nibs as well.   E+M Artist nib holder is a lot like a paintbrush, lightweight, and ergonomic. It’s the first that I pull out and seems to find its place on my desk fulltime.  BTW, my pens normally don't look this clean. For mainstays on my desk, I normally keep an extra. 

The above is the result of several steps.  I used 300lb Arches paper, that has been sectioned into four 5x7's.   I've laid down watercolor in heart shapes for the base color.   Then added designs in white ink.

The next step was to highlight and accent in black ink.  I use the above dip pen with Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Universal Ink.  I normally use this ink for my technical pens but it was on my desk at the time.  It is a very versatile ink...paper, cloth, even film or plastic supports.  It's waterproof, fast drying, and permanent.  It's another ink that I use almost on a daily basis...but that's another product review.
Later, these designs will be photographed and turned into printed notecards...maybe simple Thank-You cards.
Someone recently asked me why I blog about product reviews.  There are so many different raw materials out there currently and I search online for information to figure out what to use in my work.  It's just another way to give back for all the information that I've gleamed from others.  Thank you to those that do product's helped me along my artistic journey....
Later Gators...

Wordless Wednesday...Woman in Thought

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Woman in Thought

A couple weeks ago, if got involved in an art challenge...I've gone back to complete it.  It is a busy season but sometimes I take time to finish what I start...
Comfort and Harmony,

Quote Monday...Winter Whites...

Monday, December 16, 2013

I have come to the conclusion that the quote “Collect moments, not things” speaks to photographers. Photography captures of a little slice of time, sometimes shared with the rest of the world.  More so, if you post something on Facebook.


Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.

~Stanley Horowitz  

Without winter, there can be no spring. Without mistakes, there can be no learning. Without doubts, there can be no faith. Without fears, there can be no courage. My mistakes, my fears and my doubts are my path to wisdom. 


Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours."
~Robert Byrne


IPad Thursday...Paper by 53 is still my favorite app, waiting until my Pencil stylus arrives...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yesterday, I received the 'your order has shipped' notice from Fifty Three.  I know it's so juvenile to be so anxious for the Pencil stylus to be arrive....but...I am.  I just can't help it.  I ordered the stylus before November 24th and I knew it would take a while....but I've been waiting and tapping my foot for the past couple of weeks.  Then...I got the email, it's in transit...due to arrive December 14th!!!!!

Back to waiting...

Wordless Wednesday...Art Photography

Wednesday, December 11, 2013



Currently I'm working with online class that deals with greeting cards.  So maybe you are viewing the beginning of a series...

Little Free Library...helping with a local community project with my art

Thursday, December 05, 2013
Several months ago, I got involved with a local community project hosted by Plainfield | Guilford Township Public Library.   It is one of many different programs spreading across the US.  Here's a blog link that makes for interesting reading. Give a book, return a book. That's the motto of the Little Free Libraries.
During the painting process.
One of the libraries that I painted, installed outside Plainfield Library

There are four more that are waiting to be feels good to help my local community with my art.



Quote Monday...distractions

Monday, December 02, 2013

The internet is wonderful; it keeps me in touch with friends.  It also lets me view artist friends’ art new work.  It’s a learning tool for me as well BUT it’s also one of my biggest distractions.  
This week, I’ve been working on an online class.  I started keeping a tally of the times I peeked at Facebook or took a ‘break’ to read a blog.  It’s time for a detox…



Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
 Small Town Starlings
A small town in Indiana, this time of year, is naked trees and shades of grey.

Quote Monday...with a dash of cupcake...

Monday, November 25, 2013

My last show of the season was this weekend.  The displays, artwork, etc, etc, etc have been stored; the studio picked up and ready to go. 

I'm taking the day off just to goof off in the play around with some ideas. These are cupcake days.


Wordless Wednesday...after the storms, what really counts...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Last weekends' storms removed the changing leaves from the trees. In some places removed limbs, entire trees, and roofs. In other places in the Midwest, it was complete devastation. Life after the storms turn into a grey, surreal world sometimes.

My husband and I have gone though that once, little over a decade ago.  A tornado inserted a 70+ foot pine tree though our house.   When disasters such as these happen, it's just not the cleaning up after.  It is dealing with the insurance company, trying to find contractors, sifting though the mess of your house, and then it's months of getting a life back together.  Looking back, I can still find a little humor in the situation.  Not much, but a little... 
Last time, I stood at the window watching a five legged funnel cloud twist trees and turn structures into toothpicks.  I’ve seen tornados before, who hasn’t in Indiana.  That time I was absolutely memorized by the noise and raw power of the storm.  Now, nope…I just count myself lucky every time one misses us. Once in a lifetime is enough.
We were lucky then, as we are now.  Nobody died and our pets were safe...isn't that what really counts? 


Quote Monday...with a dash of iPad art...

Monday, November 18, 2013
Creativity is one of the tools in any artist's arsenal.  Something a little different from me...

Creativity is one of the tools in any artist's arsenal.  It’s the spark of imagination that drives many artists to create…me included.

cre·a·tiv·i·ty    noun \ˌkrē-(ˌ)ā-ˈti-və-tē, ˌkrē-ə-\

: the ability to make new things or think of new ideas
1: the quality of being creative
2: the ability to create

Digital Sketchbook...40 portrait challenge

Sunday, November 17, 2013
I joined a new group on Facebook, a 40 portrait challenge. Faces are not my typical, so rare for me that this is the first I've ever done.  

The challenge is to create forty portaits, in any media, and to your own timeframe.  I decided to work mostly on my iPad.  Jan Spakowsky sponsored this one on Facebook. The inspiration over there is amazing.  


Morning Coffee Sketches...more iPad sketches

Saturday, November 16, 2013
Sketching and my morning coffee used to be my daily routine.  Some how, some way I got away from it.  Life happens. 
Here's a cute little fishy.  If life doesn't get in the way again, I'm hoping to do a 'morning sketch' series that I'll make into cards. This is also from my iPad sketchbook...again, Paper by 53.  This app has made it a joy to be sketching again.  We life in such a busy, fast paced world so when I find easy and still functional, I'm overjoyed. 

Laters...hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!!!

Illustration Friday...iPad apps, Paper by 53

Friday, November 15, 2013

I miss my Fine Art and/or Illustration Fridays…it’s been a while.  The realization hit me yesterday that I spend way too much time on Facebook.  Which means I don’t spend enough time blogging and sketching.  That needs to change…it does for me.  Facebook has become more of a scream of information than the steady flow it used to be.  Maybe I just need a change…I’m betting that’s more like it. Burnout is burnout...
Anyway, I'm still playing with my iPad...this is from Paper by 53.  This is app has everything I want right now.  It's taking way the prep work, less cleaning time on my desk. That means I have more time to work on my other artwork. Time, can be either friend or foe to an artist. 
Have a wonderful weekend!!!

IPad App Thursday - Paper by 53

Thursday, November 14, 2013
There's a tone of drawing and sketching apps out many choices, too many choices sometimes.  Paper by 53 is a simple app, in other words it doesn't have a huge dashboard of bells and whistles. Starting off, it's a free app and great for note taking or jotting down an idea. Think of a white board and marker sketching, that’s what it is Do you need a stylus? No but it is easier.  It's a try it until you buy the rest of the tools sort of app.  If you like it, then the add on tools are so worth it. 


It’s an intuitive app, one of the best of them.  The Pros of the app is that it’s quick to learn, it’s a great way to store sketches, and customizes to my needs.  The Cons, it’s not an Art Rage or Procreate type of app.  If that’s what you are looking for, there’s a ton of those types of apps.  Paper by 53 is more of a brainstorming/sketch/doodle app but it’s also very responsive with a zoom feature that I like.

Let’s face it, there’s a tone of apps out there period.  It doesn’t have layers and it’s a simple swipe up menu.  The latter works great for me but I can see where it wouldn’t for a lot of people.  There’s always Penultimate too, it was bought by Evernote.

The in-app purchase of Draw, Sketch, Outline, Write, Color, and Mixer are so worth it for me.  So I did...the above sketches include those tools.  BTW, this app is so easy to use, I've played with it for less than 24hrs.  So we are talking a quick and sweet learning curve.

The iPad is an incredible tool for's portable and easy to organize for me.  I don't have to tote my paint & brushes...wait for it to dry.  I don't have to clean up ink spills nor worry about space.  It's a compact way to carry a mini studio. 

Can an artist create art on an iPad...YES!  It's a tool, just like a brush or masking fluid.  How an artist embraces the tools, it how an artist will grow and learn.  There's been so many advances in apps in the past couple of years. For me, it's worth taking the time to mix technology with my creative endeavors. It pushes my imagination and creativity...isn't that an artist's greatest tools?  Even more so on a mobile platform.  Points to ponder, huh?  Think about it, you won't be sorry in the long haul...

Later Gators...

Trying my hand at digital illustration...Fly

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This is a drive by post...I've got a 'to-do' list a mile long today.  I have been trying my hand at digital illustration.  I like's a medium that I'm hoping to develop in the next couple of years.


Mixed Media...Cat Series

Monday, September 23, 2013
I've been spending a lot of time in the studio...

She's the result.  Anyway, I've got a couple more projects to get done. I really need the room, there is no room in the inn to add anything else.  I'm packed in like a rat. 

My website is just about done.  Until I finish up on a project, I can't get to my photography area.  Once I get that area opened up, I will start working on the new Etsy shop.  The pieces are finally falling together.

Changing mediums have taken me a while to get all my ducks in a row.

Have a wonderful week...

It's beginning to look a lot like Fall here...

Saturday, September 21, 2013
This is my favorite time of year in Indiana, mostly because it isn't the heat of the summer and isn't the dreaded winter.  It's also because of the mix of color outside.

Fall cleaning in the house and business has already started.  The new website has been launched, with more updates coming. 

The house has been cleaned. I mean cleaned, re-organized, and a new couch ordered.  I've found that the old one wasn't comfortable to me.  So I was spending more time in my office and studio than in the rest of the house.  There comes a time, that all work and no play makes me grumpy.  I hit that point. 

We are also getting ready for winter...that's cleaning gutters, stacking wood, cleaning out the pantry, and the washing of winter clothing and bedding.  Geez, this is wearing me out.  Just about done, then I won't mind what winter brings. 

Next, before the trees get naked, it's time for some lens action. 

Have a great weekend!


Wordless Wednesday...favorite photo shots of the week...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hope your week is going well...

Busy in the Studio...Testing Watercolor Papers...Kilimanjaro & Arches Board

Thursday, September 12, 2013
The last couple of weeks, I've had the 'winter nesting' kick in.  It's still in the 90's but I just have this feeling that winter is going to be a long one.  So it's also fall cleaning time.  I had every room in the house in pieces for a couple of days. Isn't that how it works? 
During my cleaning phase, I decide to also do light redecorating.  Which turned into more of a major furniture for the living room and hearth room. My justification...well, both my husband and I have our offices out of the house.  If he isn't on site, we both spend a lot of time both working and playing in the house.  Sounds good huh?
Well the deed is done and now all the work takes place.  I'm re-doing most of the artwork in the house.  The below is for the bedroom.

The above is how it starts out.  This is a 22x30 piece of 300lb Kilimanjaro Natural White Watercolor Paper.  This is Cheap Joe's House Brand and it is made in the US.  The sizing and tooth is perfect for a lot of my work.  It takes washing very well.  I didn't tape it down nor did I stretch it. I wanted to see what it would performed magically.

I started out with the basic design in the colors that I wanted to pop up.  This isn't my typical painting style but I was looking more for a happy, smiling sort of style that I would work in my sketchbook or art journal.

As you see...I used several different techniques on it. Everything from printmaking to inks to embossing to watercolors.  I just tossed everything at it. On top of that, I work very wet.  I even mixed my watercolor directly on the paper.  It took it well.  All-in-all, I'm very impressed with the paper and how it turned out. Framing is next.

Since I'm redoing the master bedroom in shades of a pale buttercream and indigo, it's a rather boring color combo so I decided to perk it up with art.  I mean, even the walls are buttercream, the bed covers are buttercream, and the carpet is even a very light ivory tan. So I will be adding accents of indigo and maybe sage pillows.  That's the reason behind the bright artwork.

The second piece is smaller, 16x20 on Arches Watercolor Board. This was hot pressed, smooth as silk. Since I did not pre-mist it, the inks and washes just floated on top until they dried.  Also it's a very slow dry because of the sizing. So if you aren't careful, it's very easy to smear the color.  The board is very smooth, wonderful for illustrations, and just pops up the color. It almost has a Yupo quality with the color.

It is a rather busy, colorful piece.  Which I was intending because there are only two large framed works in the entire room. I wanted a bold, light, and colorful room without clutter.

Ok...I'm off to the studio...I'm working on another project!!! 


Wordless Wednesday...Never. Ever. Ever. Forget...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Rainbow Birdy, quick studies...using FW Ink as a resist/mask and a Pentalic sketchbook

Thursday, August 29, 2013
I had a couple people email to ask how I come up with my critters.  The answer is, I use a sketchbook. If I don't use the idea now, I will in the future.  Or at least a version of it.
Here's how I do it...each person is different.  By no means am I an expert on watercolor or painting in general.  Yep, that's the disclaimer...
My sketchbooks vary but this one is Pentalic's 6 x 9, 130lb, 'Nature's Sketch'. The size is wonderful, it has 50 sheets, and the price is affordable.  You do get what you pay for, the paper doesn't lift watercolor well and it's really more for drawing than wet media. It's thick enough that I can use both sides of the paper, which I do. I like it and the company donates to the American Wildlife Foundation.
I start with a basic sketch in pencil, typically a Staedtler 3B. It's my favorite on this paper because I get the outline I want and it's easy to erase. I typically use either Prismacolor or Generals brands on this paper because it pills so easily.

Since a lot of my critter development is over my morning coffee, I want to keep it quick and sweet. I use Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Artists Ink.  Great color, it dries quick, and doubles as a resist.

I don't want to spend the time at this point waiting on a frisket to dry. I use a product by Masquepen, called Fineline.  Wonderful but it takes forever to dry. Not really, I'm just not the most patience of artists.

FW inks are not bulletproof...
but they are water resistant and it's enough that it sets a barrier on the paper. If you don't have that, you can use a wax birthday candle, a crayon, or even wax paper with a pen. I've used all of then in a pinch.


Next, I lay down my watercolor.  My pref is Daniel Smith with add on's like Blick's Phthalo Blue, Holbien's Crimson Lake, and Winsor & Newton's Indigo. 

I use the same colors in my travel palette (above) as I do with my larger palettes. Just more colors.  Hey, again, it's just what you get used to. 

I use ink for highlights and Mr. Rainbow Bird is done, waiting to be used in the future. 20 minutes over coffee and ready to start my day in the studio.

Mr. Rainbow bird might get used in a children's book I want to write.  He's rainbow because birds know that birds are birds, no matter what color they are. Birds believe that it takes all kinds to make a backyard village, not just the 'cool' birds.  They even realize that the bullies can be stopped by team work. quick, the FW Ink dries quick but the white ink is fabulous with wet watercolor. get extra texture, use a rubber tipped object to draw lines. 

Tip...don't worry about perfection, it's a sketchbook.



Wordless Wednesday...from the studio...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
From the studio....
I'm working on a children's series...the above is the first....



Thursday, August 22, 2013
HJR-6 was passed in 2011 but HJR-6 must pass through the House and Senate again in 2013. If it passes, unaltered, it will be on the ballot in 2014. This means that Hoosiers will cast their vote either for or against HJR-6 as a referendum.  In other an amendment to Indiana’s constitution.
The bill reads:
“Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana.  A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
The result would be, depending on the wording:
Prevent any future attempts to allow for same-sex marriage
Eliminate health care benefits for same-sex partnerships
Eliminate legally binding documents for same-sex couples that are “substantially similar to marriage” such as wills and trusts
Eliminate inheritance laws from being applied to same-sex couples
Eliminate hospital visitation rights


I find this piece of legislation vile because of the obvious blatant disregard of human rights.  This type of discrimination has been found repugnant to the United States Constitution. 
I also believe that this would have an economic impact on my state.  Both Lilly and Cummins have opposed the ban on same sex marriage because of the impact on their employees.  It also has an impact hiring the best and the brightest to many of future positions.  
It also has a huge impact on economic development for the the state.  Companies that might entertain opening offices or hubs in Indiana would have to think long and hard. How will it retain it's white-collar workforce?   Why would a business, with a national or international platform want to come to an area that promotes bias and discrimination? Just because it might be OK locally, doesn't mean that it's OK in other parts of the US.

The worst is…it writes blatant discrimination into my state’s bill of rights and constitution.  Huh…this is being billed as anti-freedom…to me, it’s anti-human.
Rant over but not forgotten.