Friday, April 4, 2014

PHOTO CHALLENGE: 30 Themes for April

Here are 30 themes for April, if you want to give it a go.  Try to take a photo a day for each theme.  Sorry, I know it's now the 4th, but I'll list all 30, anyway.

Doing a photo challenge like this allows you to capture little moments in your life, instead of just the really big ones.  Plus, you will start seeing your everyday life differently, and you may just see some things that you normally miss.  I don't always do this everyday, but I try when I can.

I post my photos on Facebook, Pinterest, and on this blog.


1.  Reflection

2.  Melting

3.  Rainbows

4.  Break

5.  Tiny

6.  Sunshine

7.  Grains of . . . 

8.  Showers

9.  Younger You

10. Giggles

11. Mellow Yellow

12. Stairs

13. Something You Found

14. Flat

15. Sunset

16.  Flower

17. Life

18. Balance

19. Pastels

20. In Your Basket

21. Bottle

22. The Last Thing You Bought

23. Buds

24. Something You're Grateful For

25. Looking Down

26. Black & White

27. Somewhere You Went

28. 1:00 pm

29. Flip Flops

30. Circle

Happy Snapping!

Monday, March 31, 2014

MONTHLY RECAP -- What I've Been Up To

March felt like a creative month -- lots of painting, designing, and drawing.  New projects started and work done on my re-creation project.  I do like my "starts" very much, but nothing actually finished this month.  Lots of photos taken & a 4-day trip to Denver.  Also, following the progress on my son's mural project in LA.


This is the bottom half of a painting, which (when finished) will go to the Sorrel Sky Gallery, here in Durango.  I plan on completing a total of two paintings in this "mosaic" series, which will both be hung at the gallery.  

I'm painting this on cradled Aquabord, so I won't need a frame, mat, or glass.  I decided to stain this with an oak finish, before starting to paint.

Then I drew some horizontal lines for reference, and a few swirled lines, from top to bottom.  I then did an underpainting, with a primary triad.

Using my own reference photos (most of them taken in my own backyard last June) -- I started my painting, working from "the ground up".  I design as I go, without much planning, and with minimal drawing before I start painting.

After finishing the bottom section, I sprayed it with a fixative, before moving to the next section.

I really enjoy working this way, and am liking how it's turning out . . .

to be continued . . . 


Work is coming along slowly, but it is coming along nicely, I think . . . 

Drawing the lines in Pearlescent liquid acrylic, using a quill pen . . . 

Now, it's time to paint in watercolor . . . 

It's tough to know whether I am getting the colors exactly right, but as long as it's close and looks good,  it will be fine . . . 

to be continued . . . 


One of my sons -- Zach -- is painting a big mural out in Long Beach, California.  He's doing all this with spray paint, on ladders . . . 

I was worried when I heard about the two earthquakes out in LA, because I knew Zach was working on those ladders.  Luckily, he was fine . . . as was the wall he was working on!

I think it looks amazing, but he says he's not quite finished.  I don't know how he did this without using a grid ???


"Kids, Grandkids, & Grandpups, Too!"

"Up In The Air"

"Go Green!"

"My Bedside Reading"

"Favorite Toys"

"Me & My Backyard"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Creative Process?

I thought this was funny and true.  Is it true for you?

 - Mark Kielkucki

The trick is making it all the way to #6!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Before I paint the first strokes of color on my paper, I like to "prepare to paint".  It's sort of a ritual for me, and I do this at the beginning of a series of paintings, or before I start a portrait.  This ritual takes place AFTER I've planned the painting, or series; and usually after I've done the drawing and mounted my paper on a board.

I like to start with a clean palette, which is not this . . .

I wipe off the inside area of the palette, as well as all around the palette.  I also clean up the yellow wells, which have usually been contaminated with greens, blues, and reds.   

After I've cleaned up the palette, it is ready for some fresh paint . . . 

I gather all the tubes of paint that I have on hand, or have recently purchased, and line them up at the appropriate wells.  (You can see that I don't always have every color.)

Then, I squeeze each color into the well -- right on top of what is already there.  

I use a palette knife to spread and smooth out the paint . . . 

I continue this way, squeezing out and spreading the paint, working my way around the palette -- until I've used every tube that I had.  (I usually don't have to use the whole tube.)

It's kind of a messy process . . . 

To set up my "painting station", I choose the brushes that I think I will need, and have them handy.  I prepare a "pad" of paper towels, made up of about 10 pieces of paper towels, folded in half and stacked.  I put this just to the left of my palette and to the right of the paper/board.

I fill up a plastic container with water and fill up my mister with clean water . . . 

 . . . and, I'm ready to paint.  Just need to turn on my music . . . 

Friday, February 28, 2014

MONTHLY RECAP -- What I've Been Up To

February was a busy month for me -- a portrait commission, a one-day workshop here, beginning the duplication of the "fire" painting, and more picture taking.  Because I was busy, February seemed to fly by.  (I used to love it when February flew by, since it was never my favorite month.  But the older I get, the less I like for anything to just "fly by". . . )

But, at least it was productive.

I finished, matted/framed, and shipped the portrait, "Teagan" to my friend in Ohio.  

I hope they love it.  She was so much fun to paint!  Her hair was a challenge, but I'm pretty happy with it.  

On the 18th, I taught an all-day workshop, here at my house/studio -- "Painting Irises like Van Gogh".  We had a full house -- 14 ladies, plus me.  

You can see by the beautiful results what a success the workshop was -- 14 gorgeous iris paintings!

I love it when everyone's happy at the end of the day . . . (tired, I'm sure, but happy!)

Started work on the duplication of the "fire" painting.

I picked up the painting from my friend, Libby, with Libby Brown Restoration.  She had cleaned off the first layer of soot, so that I could see what I was doing.  And, she went a little further, so that I could see what colors I had originally painted.

I had thought that I had painted this on Aquabord, but it turns out it was on watercolor canvas which had been mounted on a board.  Really?  Why can't I remember that from just 7 years back?  

Because of that, I was able to peel off the canvas from the board.

Then, I mounted it on my lightbox, put tracing paper on top, and traced the shapes.

A few hours later, I'm done with the tracing.  Did I really tell Libby this would be a "piece of cake"?

So, first step is done . . . 

Here are my pix from the weekly Photo Challenges for February:



"NEAR & FAR" --