Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sketching in Jamaica

I am in Jamaica on vacation with my family. I am trying to post some sketches but I am running into some technical difficulties.
Look for some vacation posts when I return.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sketchbook Project Opening

The wall on the left is sketchbooks. The entire wall. There are approximately 10,000 sketchbooks in this year's tour and mine is one of them. They come from all over. John and I looked at 4 and they were all from different parts of the country. We wanted to stay and look at more but the place was crowded with lots of people. It looked to be a very successful opening.

These books will be touring around the United States. It is one of the most amazing art exhibitions I have been to because each of these 10,000 books are their own work of art. Each one is different, each artist approached their theme in their own way. And they are amazing.

I thank Steve and Shane for coming up with this idea and realizing the importance and value of a sketchbook.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Sketchbook Project 2011 Tour

My Sketchbook that I worked on for The Sketchbook Project will be on tour starting with the opening today in Brooklyn. This is exciting for me because this year I can attend the opening. We'll be heading out shortly to Brooklyn to attend the opening. This sketchbook was a lot of work but it was a lot of fun and I tried a lot of new things in that book.

If you are interested in the can copy the following link for more information.

or just go to

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Still going Strong....

Some ladies from my sketch group came over and we played with some of creative journaling techniques. I am having way too much fun road testing these books. The ideas just keep popping into my head and it's a great way to get loose and experiment with materials.

I am still testing the Strathmore Visual Art Journals, so far, all three are holding up pretty well and there are things I like about all three of them as well as some limitations of each. I am testing the 140 lB watercolor book, the 90 lb watercolor book and the mixed media book.

What you see above are two techniques I tried, on one page is a watercolor sketch I did of Chloe that I had scanned into my laptop. I printed it out, glued it to the page and then gesso'd over top. I will use it as a base page... for what? I don't know yet, but it's all prepped and ready to be used. The darker page is a mixture of prints, used post it notes, fragments of a menu. I spread Soft Gel Medium over top, then a layer of acrylics. Then rubbed on some ink and stamped some red hearts. One page even had some magenta that I accidentally rolled onto the paper. This page is also prepped and ready to go.

Overall, things are going well and these books are pre-prepped for further use. The idea of prepping the pages ahead of time gives you something to work on whenever the mood hits and takes away that "white page" anxiety that some people get. I can do anything on top of these pages, including sketches. It adds more depth to the sketchbook.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

My husband gave me this birdhouse he painted for Valentine's Day. He wrote a little verse as well, you can see the card next to the birdhouse. I walked into my studio today and this is what I found on my desk, along with a handmade card. I got other goodies as well, a box of See's candy and a dozen roses. I am easy to please, give me Lore's or See's chocolates and I'm happy. But this birdhouse made me smile and warmed my heart. He scurried around all weekend making it, it was cute, hiding while he worked on his project. I made him a Valentine's ATC card and a handmade Valentine's Card, plus he got some goodies, too. We also made handmade cards for the two girls still living at home. Everyone liked their handmade cards.

In this digital age, the handmade stuff means a whole lot more. There's something special about knowing the love that was put in to something, made just for you.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Note to Self.....

Don't buy anymore Moleskine sketchbooks! Ugh, they don't take wet work well at all! Almost like they have a resist built into the paper that when you try to do any wet work, the paper fights you back. What a big disappointment. That one gets a FAIL.

Here's all the sketchbooks in the line up, along with the Moleskine in the foreground. I am typing this as I am waiting for them to dry. I am still experimenting and road testing the three Strathmore books. The pages you are seeing here are some things I am trying, a gessoed newspaper page and something new I am trying....I did an Ultramarine Blue background with Titanium White clouds layered over top while the blue was still wet. I also cut out cloud shapes out of scrapbook paper to make a cloud "pocket." I am testing out making pockets on the page to put things in. This is fun!

I will probably take the 140lb Strathmore Visual Journal with me when I go to Jamaica and use that one as a travel journal. One of the other two will be used to demonstrate all the different techniques in my journaling class.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Multi tasking

Oooooweeee. I have a bunch of things in progress right now. Trying out some things for my sketchbook journaling class coming up next month. I have three different Strathmore Visual Journals that I am testing out. Each one has it's own quirks and all three have different paper with different textures. In the meantime, I was finishing up something in my sketchbook AND working on my husband's Valentine's Day Card. These pages you see here are me working with tissue paper and paint splatters. As I do each one, I am taking notes and writing down stuff for my class. So far, those paint splatters are taking FOREVER to dry....maybe I should pull out the hairdryer.

So many ideas and techniques....I am also staring at a watercolor that is screaming to be completed that I might just finish as a pastel.

That totally awesome worktable that I have these visual journals spread out on... is a table my wonderful husband built for me. It's on wheels so I can move it around, it has shelves where I store supplies and paper and it has a high polished surfaced he varnished, built to take a beating. It also has a slot for my mat cutter and it has a big enough surface to cut mats and frame paintings.

Every surface in my studio has an ongoing project and I still have ATCs to work on, they have base coats of color but need to be worked on....busy busy busy......

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tonight's Sketch...

Put the squeaky puppy to bed so that I could quickly come in here and scan in this sketch I did tonight at the Roast Coffee & Tea Company....they roast their own beans and I found the burlap bag of beans intriguing. Plus the added challenge of the perspective of the floor boards receding, this was a good exercise.

They have a great hot apple cider there, tastes like a liquid apple pie, YUM.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Sketch Book/Valentine ATC

Working on a few projects right now. One is for the ATC Trading swap coming up in March. Since it's Valentine's Day, I have been working on some Valentine Themed cards. I like pink so I mixed a few pinkish colors to get the card above.....some white pearlescent paint, white and red gel pens to add some final touches.

Also, since I finished two sketch books in the year 2010, I have been working on my new one for 2011. Above is the first page out of my new book. It's a new year and time for a new start and overcoming big obstacles, like Seabiscuit did. Time to map out a game plan on what is to be accomplished this year. To move on, to boldly go where I have never gone before, to take it to the next level.

Tomorrow I will try to list some weekly goals while going over what was accomplished.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And now for something different....

There is an ATC/ACEO (aka artist trading cards/Art cards editions & Originals) event coming up in March so I was playing with some different techniques and styles. I mixed some liquid acrylics on the two cards left and right, then I added an image over top. The one in the middle I did a while back from a photo I took of a Jersey back road near the Delaware Bay, done with ink and watercolor pencil.

I am playing with some ideas for a show that's coming up soon for ATCs.

ATCs are 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches big. They are a lot of fun to swap with other artists and is a great way to add original art to your collection from other artists that you may like.

Valentine's Day is coming up and I will be working with pinks and reds to see what develops next.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The end, at last!

Here are the last pages of my Art House Co-Op sketch book. Hope you all enjoyed viewing them as much as I enjoyed sketching them!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Almost at the end of the book!

The sketch on the left was done at one of the South Bay meetings. George Wybenga was doing a gift box making demo which was very interesting.

The image on the right was done with pan pastels....I was doing it quickly to catch the colors of the evening sunset over the house across the can see a ghost of the pen and ink drawings on the other side of the pages, I didn't treat these pages first. I was in too much of a hurry to capture the image.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Open mic night, goddess and goldfinch

At the Roast Coffee and Tea Company's open mic night, I did this sketch while the group was taking a break, unfortunately, when I gesso'd the other side of the right page, the ink bled. I thought it was permanent, it was a different pen than I normally use. I learned a reminder the hard way to test new materials. I should have tested the pen to familiarize myself with it.

The goldfinch was done with pan pastel over a gesso'd page.
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