Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year!

The New Year is right around the corner and it holds endless possibilities for each of us. Wether you make resolutions or not I hope you take some time to set some goals for the coming year, some creative goals. Ones that grow you as a person, that will bring you creative growth and satisfaction. Take some time to jot down some things you have always dreamed of doing but keep putting off. Keep going, your list can be as long as you like. You can also add to it over the next few days, even months. Now take your list and put it in the pocket in the back of your sketchbook or put it in an envelope and glue or tape it to the inside of your sketchbook. You may decide to look at it often as you check things off your list. You might decide to add to it over the year to keep yourself motivated or you may decide to not look at it again until next year and see how successful you have been about following your creative dreams. It's a nice time of the year to reflect, record your hopes and dreams and goals as you move into the new year.

For January's sketch challenge and your homework paint and journal about one of your gifts from Christmas, why did you decide to paint the gift, why is it special, etc. Our class this month will be on January 19th, we will be painting birds so if you have some pictures of birds you like bring them. See you then, Happy New Years lets get painting and creating!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Reflective surfaces - Happy first day of Winter

Boy, this was a hard class and somewhat frustrating.  I do believe I will need a lot of practice to work on this. Satin was easier but dropped water on the shadow by accident.  Enjoyed the day of class and seeing friends, as always! 

Took this photo out my kitchen window yesterday and think I will try painting a bird instead.  These are migrating birds that love the seeds on our tree. They didn't sit still at all but I took repetative photos and caught some nice ones.

Today is my birthday and I'm in the sewing room working on some new projects. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Falling For Art!- Tina

Falling for Art with Desiree and the 5150s
I am so grateful for this class and Desiree
I am starting to see shapes an colors in my everyday world thank you all

Happy Holiday Ornaments

Today we worked on shiny and satin ornaments. I'm very happy with the satin but less happy with the shiny reflective one... More practice needed!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Did you paint something Red???

This is something I started outside one beautiful sunny morning while having coffee. I started off doing a negative painting and it just wasn't coming together so I took it inside and set it on my painting table. When I was in the mood or needed a break from some of my other projects I would pull it out and work on it. I did part of the background dark and then a few days later I lifted it all out which left this dark line around the "strawberries" and I like it better. I work on it now and then. I don't know if it will turn out or not but I am enjoying playing with it. I have learned that I hate the paper that was in this sketchbook! Terrible, and it came all the way from France!

I can't wait to see what all of you have been painting in your sketchbooks tomorrow! Don't forget that we need to share our sketchbooks here during the month so we can support each other. It is so nice to post something and see comments. Please take the time to comment on each others artwork.

For those of you having a hard time posting please let me know so we can go over it after our class tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Butterfly House

As I am busy decorating I thought I would take a minute to pop over to the alliance for the American Quilt and check out the audition fundraiser when I noticed my little butterfly house quilt is up for auction! I hope you will take a moment to check out all the amazing quilts being auctioned off for a good cause!


Monday, November 26, 2012

My Christmas Card

Didn't get to the Christmas Card class, but did work on this at home.  Did a large painting on my Arches paper, with a couple of washes on the background first.  Did several washes on the flower itself and then went back in when dry to refine the colors.  Starting adding darker background around flower drying in between layers. Ordered it from Shutterfly.  Back has a couple of photos of Charlie and me from our summer trip.  I like the way it came out.

Friday, November 23, 2012

So Beautiful!

When Randy and I went outside this morning to have breakfast I was amazed at how beautiful it was! I thought how many places in the country can you eat breakfast outside and it's 75 degrees the day after Thanksgiving!? I took some time to sketch my side yard where the lemon tree is growing. This tiny tree has struggled since I bought it as it was sick with something called leaf miners. For years we tried everything to kill them off but nothing seemed to work. Last year we heard of an organic spray called captain jacks and it worked! The tree started putting on new growth and setting little lemons! I was so excited since I had only gotten one or two prior to that. Well, it kept setting and setting and now it is practically laying on the ground with the fruit it produced this year! Wow, as everything else is preparing for winter this little tree is still ripening fruit! I will be buying ice trays so I can freeze the juice I cannot possible use fast enough this winter! Lemon aid, lemon tarts, lemon meringue pie, lemon bars, I will also be making lots of lemon things!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!! As you walk into my house I have this little vignette set up with a framed painting of course. Your leave paintings would be perfect for your fall display too. Have a great day and I will see you on the 1st!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November Sketch class

We had an awesome class today, there were six of us that dove into our paints and worked on mixing basic colors to produce secondary colors, beautiful grays and toned down primary colors. Everyone took lots of notes in their sketchbooks so they can refer back to them in the future. This is a great way to test colors when you are planning on doing a painting. By pretesting color combinations you don't run into big mistakes. We then painted some beautiful fall leaves that Randy picked for us to paint from.
While we painted we enjoyed delicious snacks, Marianne brought bear claws and Penny brought homemade persimmon cookies to munch on. Three people did the homework challenge and were able to choose something from the goodie bag! I am hoping that everyone can post their leaves on the blog so those of you who were unable to come can see how wonderful they turned out! Here are mine
Remember to allow your colors to blend on the paper instead of trying to mix all your colors on your palette. Practice, practice, practice!!

Your next challenge is to paint something RED! Its Christmas so it seems appropriate. Remember what we learned today about values of reds and letting colors mix on your paper. So when you paint something red don't just use one red from the tube but mix other colors with it. Yellows, blues make wonderful additions. The yellow will warm and area and the blue will cool, making wonderful violet shadows. Remember to leave the lightest areas the white paper and also create lighter areas to give the painting depth. Also don't forget to add those shadows to ground your items, you don't want them to appear to be floating! Have fun and surprise me!

I will be working on a video about our lesson which will be available to watch or purchase if you were unable to attend the class. Happy Painting!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cup O'Cheer

Finished my Christmas card project this evening - and got the cards ordered!  I started with a photograph of a small drive-thru coffee place that was on Hwy 76 at Bonsall for years!  Then when they widened the Hwy - it was torn down.   I really miss seeing it when I drive that way!  Desiree found the clip art Santa in his pick-up we added to the original photo - and then I made a pencil sketch from that.  After initially getting the building and Santa down - at Desiree's suggestion, went back to the background painting in some loose detail and darkening that area at the same time.  Am happy with the way it came out - Thank you Desiree!  Now on to the November challenge!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Some sketches

I am cleaning up for the Fall and taking out the old spent flowers, trimming trees, taking out the summer garden and getting ready for the winter one. It is a great time to journal and sketch. Things are so interesting at this time of year. The seed pods, rose hips, colored leaves all make for great sketchbook paintings. Take the time to draw something today! If you like first use your pencil to get the lines right and then go over them with your micron pen. I do several sketches, often in different positions.

I then scan them as line drawings and save on my computer for using later for either a quilt design or another painting etc. Now that I have recorded this step I am free to move on to color and painting them and journaling. 

The seed pods were added with my brush only,directly to the paper. I didn't outline them either, which I like and it sends them back behind the flowers a bit. I also added a border, some color, and notes about my garden. Ok lets see some sketches!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall things

I have been doing some sketching, I hope you have too. I did this little bird auditioning it for my Christmas Cards. I was thinking something really simple but still am undecided.  I also did this car,not for my Christmas Cards, which was in the drive thru at Mc Donald's, don't tell me you can't find anything to paint or draw. I posted this on my blog but I wanted to share it with you. You might be saying why would she paint a car in the drive thru? Well the way the shadows were hitting the building and street. The way the early morning sun was hitting the side of the building.

Does the painting feel like it was in the morning, can you feel the scene. If so I did my job, if not it didn't work.  The shadows on things can be so beautiful. The surface I painted on was a bit of a struggle and it hurt the overall painting but its all about learning from each sketch and painting. Remember good tools, whether paper or paints, can make a huge difference.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Leaves

I love this time of year, the warm colors that cover everything. The sun is setting lower and it seems to paint everything it touches with a warm orange/pink color. The trees are turning colors and everything that has been growing with exuberance is now slowing down, to hibernate for the winter.

I was driving down the street the other day and the wind was blowing, there were clumps of leaves that were twirling around in the street as if they were dancing. It was so inspiring that I started to think of poems, and I am not a writer. But everything at that moment was so beautiful, and perfect and it was speaking to me. I had to write it down when I got home, this bit of magic that happened on the road. I journaled about it and I wanted to share it with you too. Are you open to these magical moments in your life? As an artist you need to be, you need to take the time to really look at what is in front of you. The beauty that surrounds you at all times. It is the job of the artist to record that moment for others that don't have the same vision as you do. The more you stop to notice, the more you will notice. The more time you take to look for colors the more colors you will find. Its all about practice, awareness, fine tuning your artistic vision, your artistic eye.

Your assignment or challenge for this month is to notice something about this time of the year that speaks to you. It can be a color, a memory, something that your thankful for, anything that really speaks to you. Now draw or paint it and record your thoughts. These pages will become the most important ones in your journal when you look back. Take the time to really share some or your inner thoughts.

Our sketching workshop will be on the 17th this coming month, see you them. More info coming on my newsletter! I have added tabs to the top of the blog, I will always have the workshop info posted there incase you can't remember dates, times etc. Happy Painting GF's!

Friday, October 26, 2012

It was a beautiful southern California fall day for our journal sketching class - I chose to sketch this lamp on the old weathered wall across the pond - it's a great group with a great teacher - Thanks Desiree!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Learning to post

Desiree is very patiently taking me thru the adventure of posting. First we have the painting from the October sketch class at canyon crest shopping center. The weather was perfect and everyone had a fun time enjoying the day. The other is a pencil sketch done at home a few days later. I'm committing to sketching more often, even if its not every day!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Working on some Christmas card ideas

It's that time of year again, time to paint my Christmas cards. I love doing it and I love watching my students paint their own cards. This year that class will be on the 27th of October, next Saturday!

I am just playing with some ideas and photos I found, doing some small paintings to see if I like them enough for my cards. While i was in Vegas this week i saw the most amazing candied apples and the strong lighting in the hotel made them so shiny, they almost look glass! I think with some fun lettering and maybe some bows and tags added they would make a nice card. For me, the hardest part is deciding what I want on my Christmas cards every year!

Are you painting your cards this year?

I think I am going to do some birds next!

I am not happy with the puppies, they're off and I won't paint them again since its not what I want for my cards.
- Desiree

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saturday Sketching

I enjoyed the fun outing we did to sketch and paint with our friends in Watercolor class.  Enjoy meeting all the new people who came.  Everyone had something different and it is really fun to see so many different styles, looking at the same pond.  I had a site a little further away from the large pond, where there was a small, narrow stream of rocks and reeds.  Enjoy the outing tremendously.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October Sketch Class with Friends

Another great day learning how to paint with Desiree. Weather was perfect to sit outside and sketch. Food was great too!! Although we were looking at the same pond mine doesn't look quite like Desiree's!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October Sketchclass

We had our October Sketch class at the beautiful Canyon Crest Center. Marilyn is back from Oregon!! Welcome home Marilyn. Christa missed last month too so I was excited to see her and Marilyn show up at my door this morning. We missed Karen, Marianne and Ghurtej, hope to see you at the Christmas card class or next months class.

We sat next to the Koi pond where everyone picked a spot to paint and we worked on how to approach painting an outdoor scene. We talked about editing, what you put into your painting and creating good value. This was a big project for beginners and I am so thrilled that everyone jumped in and did an amazing job. We had three new people and they attacked this challenge like a pro.  Everyone did a wonderful job and I hope that all of you will post your paintings. Here is mine, I decided to leave it the way it was when I left, it is a good representation of our small pond and I am happy with it.

I wanted to remind you to journal about what you learned today. The dark line at that runs between the rocks and the water. How to lift out the reflections after you lay in the color and while its still wet. How to soften your edges. Write about anything today that rang a bell and helped you to understand the process. This is the best way to learn, taking learning notes as you go. They will be a valuable tool later and you will be glad you took the time to write it down when it is fresh in your mind.

I will be adding a tab onto this page called supply list, this way you can see what supplies might be needed. Please use it as a wish list not a mandatory list of must haves. If you cannot afford to purchase everything at once please do what you can and grow slowly. This is an ongoing journey and you will find that art supplies will happen! I am happy to share. I will also be adding things to the list from time to time so keep a look out.

Friday, September 28, 2012

OCT Challenge, bring to class on the 13th!

In my studio I have a east facing window that floods in wonderful morning light. I often will set up a still life to photograph or sketch for fun. The strong light makes wonderful shadows and reflections. I wanted to challenge everyone to try to do the same. Set up a still life, think about your lighting, think about what you will edit out and sketch it. You are also welcome to sketch my set up here. Bring it to class on the 13th and lets talk about it!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Sadly our sketch class was canceled. I had so many of you worried about the heat so we will do it next month instead! It has been really hot and muggy so trying to keep up on your sketching is going to be more challenging.

Last night the tempurature became almost enjoyable as the nights are starting to take on that feeling of fall and cool off. I made roasted vegetable enchilada for dinner last night and roasted all the fresh veggies on the barbecue. As they were cooking I grabbed my sketchbook and sat under the covered patio and Chloe came to visit. I was needing to do my overdue international postcard and Chloe was the perfect subject. I quickly did a pencil sketch of her laying there, making sure I got the proportions correct and then began to paint. Not much colors on this one but I like the way it turned out. Can you grab a moment in time this week, paint your pet, a bird, something living? The best way to do it is try and draw from life but take some photos with your camera so you can capture the face or position you like and incase they are moving too much!

Show off you pets week!
Chloe's painting before I added text

My finished postcard going to Albrecht in Germany, he requested animals!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Seashore Treasures

This morning was very foggy, but I did a walk at the beach filling a bag with many little treasures of broken shells, agates and sea glass.  While still very cold outside I took time this afternoon to sketch and paint a couple of my colorful finds.  On the way back on the trail, I saw the Slala Berry bushes turning their leave bright reds, oranges and browns - some with a little green. Picked some to take back to the trailer.  Also sketched a couple of those.  Tried to loosen up with my watercolor and am happy today with what I did.

The other  day, we went through Neahalam Bay and stopped while the town was still asleep. All the stores were closed, but sidewalks of this beach town were covered with large hanging baskets of all sorts of petunias, lilies and lots of foliage around the small cottage shops.  I took time to photograph and also did this painting of one of the shops' porch.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Plein air in Big Bear

We took Jennifer up to Big Bear to participate in a skiing and jet skiing adventure. While we were there we had to exit the lake and seek cover from lightening and thunder showers. It was an amazing few days, I even had a chance to run through a few antique shops while Randy stayed with Jennifer. I managed to paint a little bit and even left one up there in a restaurant under a glass cover on a table next to the window. If you are up there at B's Barbecue Resturant off of Big Bear Blvd I hope you get to see my little moment from the rain storms of August 2012.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Still practicing

Hi Everyone - end of bike ride!
Trip is getting a little long and I begin to feel un-creative.  While in Pacific City there were lots of berries coming to ripen.  I decided to try some natural dyeing with the Huckleberries and Slala Berries.  Took several days, of boiling fabric in salt and then the berries. I got 3 nice pieces of fabric from the testing - all various shades of purple.   I tried to draw the berries, but think I worked too small - keep trying different things with my sketching and painting. Getting the water and paint to work, is not working well for me.  Never quite sure this is a medium  for me.  Have been playing with just some pencil sketching too.

Today we did a bike ride in Seaside where we are this week.  Nice ride down the City Boardwalk along the ocean and around town.  There are many wonderful little cottage homes all around this beach area and I have been snapping many photos.  One house had a
yard railings with all kinds of weathered bird houses and cat silhouettes.  I tried another sketch and paints. 

This is for Christa - Porch with bird houses and cats.
Huckleberry fabric from natural dying

Monday, August 27, 2012

Biding my time

I posted this picture on my blog with the story but I wanted to post something different for our group. It is so easy to take one of your sketches and make a stamp out of it by using either erasers or a lino block and some carving tools. I am going to be making more old key stamps but what about a stamp for you, something you can use over and over again to stamp onto papers, envelopes, postcards etc. Maybe a special momento from a trip or anything. What you need to do is choose a more simple sketch, since you will be carving this you don't want to have it be so complex you can not do it. Then take your sketch and trace it onto either a piece of paper or tracing paper with a nice soft pencil. Next turn your drawing over onto your surface and burnish. You now should have a pencil drawing on your stamp material. Remember that what you carve away will be white and what you leave behind can be textures or black. Have fun!

- Desiree

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our toasty August Sketch Class

Saturday was our monthly sketch class and with the weather intolerable we met inside! I had some photos and went over the benefits and draw backs of painting from photos. I divulged some of my watercolor and pastel painting secrets to the group and we tackled painting a small painting of peppers from a photo. After transferring the drawing to paper I did a demo on how to approach and tackle their paintings. Everyone did such a great job that I don't think you will be able to tell the teachers painting from the students painting! I have had an interest in doing more watercolor painting type classes so we can discuss that for maybe our next year! Here are some of their amazing paintings! Thanks to all the students that ventured out in the heat to come to class and a big thanks to Randy who ran over and got us burritos for lunch which we also enjoyed as the time seemed to fly by as we busily painted!



My demo 

Everyone's painting together, see you next month!!


                                           After our July 2012 class at Desiree's,  I got busy
                                            using the method to design cards.  Using tissue
                                           paper upon which to trace designs  and then colored
                                           pencil to add color our method was simplified.  My
                                           daughter (home from college) joined me to create
                                           greeting cards and trading cards.  It was so fun to
                                           be able to share this technique with Paige and to work
                                           together on something creative.