February 12, 2016

Plein Air Painting and John Muir...

I'm so inspired by our beautiful country.  Landscapes are definitely my favorite thing to draw and paint, whether it be from a photograph, a vintage postcard, a book...but especially right from nature itself.  Today I have a mixed media spread from a small artist journal, featuring a landscape inspired by this postcard below. 
 This was my set up of supplies.  I'm painting inside because it's still fairly cold for outdoor painting for me.
 Some of my colors inspired by a small travel palette from Green Earth and Blue Berry.
 My finished painting.
 I found this wonderful quote from John Muir to add at the end.
 Although this painting was done outside, I went out later and did a watercolor sketch from my vehicle.  Sketching outside just brings all the senses alive.  It's really the best way to capture the true essence of a landscape.
 That brings me to Plein Air painting.  It means paint outside, simply.  And John Muir?  You've probably read a lot of his nature inspired quotes.  He was a conservationist and a leading role in why we get to visit beautiful places that we call call National Parks.
I'd love for you to watch this video about John Muir's role in the history plein air painting.  It's fascinating to me and I've watched it several times.  If you have an interest to paint landscapes, especially from the great outdoors, this is a must see short documentary.  It's from the great people of Plein Air Magazine and the Paint Outside website.  It's called Outside The Lines and direct link is HERE. I hope you enjoy.....and let me know what you think.

February 2, 2016

Vintage postcard inspired watercolored flowers...

The past two weeks I've been enjoying Jeanne Oliver's classed called Reflections: Paint Your Story.  Today's art session was inspired by a video Jeanne posted about abstract flowers.  I used the vintage postcard shown below for my inspiration.  
 The sketchbook I'm using is a Dylusions small journal with a snippet of vintage ledger pasted on.  The papers aren't high quality watercolor paper but perfect for some sketching with paints.
 I used Pan Pastels to add the blue and yellow shading in the background.
 I'm loving the look of scribbly drawn lines with watercolor added.  Graphite will always be a favorite medium of mine.
 Soft and airy, such a good sketch for staying loose.
 A good day to make art.
Thanks for joining me today.

January 28, 2016

New aprons just listed....

JUST LISTED....a fun new batch of embellished, vintage aprons have just been added to my online shop.  If you've been following my blog, you may remember my recipe box project a few posts down.  These darling aprons would be a fun gift to go along with the recipe boxes, especially for a bridal shower or wedding gift...a graduation gift....or someone who just purchased a new house.  If you're the artsy type, these would be fun art aprons to wear while painting.  You can find them HERE.  

January 27, 2016

Floral Journaling Pages....from Jeanne Oliver class

Gosh, just when I got back to posting regularly on my blog, I have Blogger issues.  I'm back and today I'm excited to share some current artwork with you.  I'm taking the latest Jeanne Oliver class called Reflections: Paint Your Story and it's a good one.  You can find Jeanne's site here...amazing classes by her and other artists. 

This was my work in progress yesterday.  There's something about a beautiful mess of art supplies, don't you think? This journaling entry was all about trying to create pages about me but it turned into a wonderful tribute to my mother.  
 The beautiful verse on this vintage postcard that belonged to my great great grandmother is a special wish for my mother. It sparked ideas for the rest of my spread and I ended up sketching and watercoloring more hand drawn flowers.
 Just loosely drawn flowers over the gesso covered surface.  Photocopies of the photos were used for ephemera.
 This is a copy of the back of the vintage postcard.  Miss Cora Beams was my great great grandmother.
 Jean emphasizes mark making in this journaling class. Here I used lines that imitate the gingham pattern on my mother's dress.  I filled in the loosely drawn squares with gesso.
 Here I used scrapbook paper and extend some hand drawn leaves.  That faint glimpse of the photo has three little girls in an old horse and buggy.  Some distant relatives and I love their little bonnets.
 More mark marking, a strip of scrapbook paper and some vintage fabric in the corner.
 The full, finished spread here.  Such a fun day of creating art.  This will be lovely to look at each time I reach for my artist journal.
Thanks for visiting today and I'll see ya soon.

January 15, 2016

So I got a Traveler's Notebook...

Last year I got me a leather Traveler's Notebook.  A fun leather cover with calendars and notebooks to tuck inside a fun binding system.
Along with my calendar, I had a handy sketchbook nearby at all times.  I made myself a small, tool wrap and kept it all nearby so I could sketch when the desire arose.
Quick sketches added with just a touch of watercolor.
Value sketches with simple pencil hatching. These country prairie scenes are some of my favorites.
Found objects from the garden and yard, a little fun lettering.  A new orange Lamy pen.
Blue ink sketch with non-waterproof ink.  Just add water to the outlines for instant shading.
Pen and ink sketch from a Pinterest photo.
Another fun way to add daily art to my life.  Remember, practice is art.

Today I'm setting up a still life of my first oil painting.  It's a new journey for me and I'm excited and intimidated at the same time.  And just like that I have my One Little Word for the year.....journey.

January 13, 2016

Watercolored bouquet...

I did this watercolor of a bouquet of flowers picked from my gardens around Memorial Day.  I always love to have fresh flowers sitting around and if they come from my gardens, that makes me even happier. 
I take lots of photos of my flowers, knowing that I they make great pieces of art to frame or stick in a clipboard.  I had the idea that I'd like to paint many of the photos too so I'm glad I snapped lots...especially when there is not a flower to be seen in my gardens right about now.
I sketched out my photo first in pencil.  I will always have a love of drawing.
Then I just filled in colors kind of like a coloring book.
I love doing color studies to match colors to my photos too.  I'm much better at doing that with watercolors than other paint mediums.
I'm now inspired to create a little stash of flower photos to practice my watercolors on.  

Thanks for the inspiring words on my art journey recap thus far. It's fun to visit all of my projects again.  

January 11, 2016

Morning coffee sketches..

One of the popular subjects for sketch artist Liz Steel is her teacups and coffees.  She does amazing sketches and even though she does a lot of them they never get old.  There's always something new to them.  So I tried my hand at it.  My sketches today were done way early in my watercoloring beginnings and I can see how how far I've come in nearly a year.  
 I have learned to look more closely when I draw and get better proportions.
 I have learned a ton about values and color although I do love this mug of coffee.
 Here I took some more time to sketch my subject in pencil.
 You see on the bottom left that much of that wonderful was lost when I added the watercolor.  My painting looks pretty flat.  I've since learned how to layer some colors and that if I can, I start my sketch with a waterproof pen.  It just saves time and that spontaneous drawing is the look I'm going for.
Two great additions to my sketchbook.  It's really fun looking back on this journey.  For those who haven't seen any of my journey on Instagram, should I catch up with all the back sketches.....or would it be fun to see some of my current work mixed in?  Just curious...

January 9, 2016

Sweet peach jam..

Maybe I got back into my art just so I could stare at the beautiful colors...
 It was a double page watercolor sketch of a packaged up jar of sweet peach jam.
 Practicing some hand lettering, sketching and watercolor all at the same time. 
 I think it would be so awesome to have the lettering talents to design posters and the like.
If you like this type of travel watercolor palette, they are a fun investment.  You purchase the palette, the little plastic pans and tubes of watercolors.  I purchase most of my supplies at Blick Art Supply online.
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