Archive for the ‘water colors’ Category

Had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving at the Farm with my family.
The view of the Tetons from their place.

My brother playing the upright base.

The chickens we love. All of us get a lot of enjoyment out of these girls.

From an old bird watching book.

The railroad tracks “in-town”.

My dad’s bluegrass group. Growing up, there was always music in our home. My dad playing, practicing with my grandma. My dad just got back into playing music a couple of years ago and it’s so wonderful to hear him again.


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A date by myself

This summer my family went for nearly two weeks to see my husband’s family in Montana. I really couldn’t be gone that long with the classes I was taking and my thesis project so I stayed home. It was weird to be home alone with just the dog, and it was the first time my husband had taken the kids on a trip by himself. I worked a lot but I also took advantage of a saturday to take myself on a date.

First, I went to LeCafe de Paris. A french cafe, that is one of my favorite spots. It’s usually packed so we rarely go when we have the kids.
I treated myself to a lovely breakfast and did some painting while I waited for my breakfast.



breakfast: yum 🙂

Then I browsed the saturday market where I enjoyed a local singer-songwriting duo. I did a quick painting of them singing. After they were done they asked if they could see it and loved it so I signed it and gave it to them.

Next, I wandered to the Basque Festival. Boise has one of the largest Basque populations outside of Spain. I did some sketching/painting enjoyed a basque wine beverage and watched the dancers.

I did a quick watercolor while watching these kids and a guy came up and asked to buy it. I quickly explained, I’m not an “real” artist and it wasn’t done. He really loved it and his daughter had been one of the dancers I had painted. So I gave it to him. He insisted I sign it and take 5$ for it. He was thrilled and I was too, I’d just sold a painting!

Loved the contrast of the old sheep camps against the modern downtown.

Home of one of the founding Basque families.

Here’s the thing about painting out in the “real” world. People are always curious and want to see what you’re doing. It’s hard to hide! And I have to work on being more confident about my painting. Is it the best ever? No, but it’s also not the worst either! And I’m working on owning up to being a “real” artist.

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This summer I made an effort to pack my watercolor kit with me and do a little painting. All of these are approximately 4×6 on hot pressed Arches paper.
Went to a lavender festival with my sweet girl.

I packed an extra water color kit in case my girl wanted to paint.

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Just got two new pens. Lately I’ve been playing with patterns from nature and making them very abstract, I can be such a realist sometimes that it helps to shake things up.

First the new Sharpie pen. It’s waterproof and archival safe. And writes like a Sharpie. Love it!

I was thinking of grass with morning dew, or seaweed with bubbles.

Second, Sharpie Liquid Pencil. I don’t love this one as much as the pen but it’s fun to work with and erases well. Be warned if you write hard it will leave an impression in your paper.

This one I was thinking of microscopic paramecium. Can you tell I’m a science teacher?

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I just finished up my grueling research class and have a week before I start another class. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s December!
In the meantime, went on a “team-building” golf date with my fellow teachers. I took lots of pictures and was mostly focused on the birds and landscape. There were several red-winged blackbirds flying about a few of the water features. I love how their yellow and red patches are hidden until they start flying.

I started a large experimental piece centered around the red-winged blackbird. This is on a 18×24 Arches watercolor block pad.

First, I taped off rectangles that loosely inspired by the idea of the golden ratio.

Then I started cutting out my inspiration pieces, a bird from a calendar, definition of a blackbird and image from a dictionary, along with some of the birch bark I have saved from my tree.

I have done some watercolor painting, here and there, collaged my images. And so far I’m liking it.

Here a close up of a colored image and painted scene.

And here another scene of reeds with a nest hidden in the reeds. An image from my vintage bird calendar and information about blackbird nests, along with birch bark.

Right now, this is really making me happy. I like the paintings I’ve done and I haven’t yet decided if I will cut these into small pictures or frame this as one large collage. I like the idea of a large framed piece with the white spaces in between each scene.

Have a happy day.

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While trying to maintain my balance I am reminded constantly that I’m not a very coordinated person most of the time and I stumble and fall. One thing that has made me very happy is my “new” art journal.
Originally, a 50 cent book that smelled funky.

The title amused me, and I thought to actually use it’s ideas but that didn’t happen.
Last summer I ripped a few pages out of each signature, randomly stuck pages together with acrylic medium as part of my grand scheme to make a book about our summer. I randomly painted a few pages and ignored it for months.

Then this February I grabbed my new paint brush (from my sweet hubby who missed his wife who painted and was happy) and my small watercolor kit and started to paint in the book. Mostly doodles with paint but still it felt good to paint. As I played I tried watercolor painting on a gesso surfaced and this caused a big AHA! moment.
My method is to scrap a light layer of gesso on the book pages with a credit card (best use for those evil things!) and as I scrapped I let some of the text or images to show through. Very random.

Then I started drawing big flowers, thinking of bright colored hibiscus type of flowers. Added a lot of color, and then took a pencil that came in a big set of drawing pencils and it’s called “3b wash”. I found accidentally in another experiment that this pencil smeared and ran when it got wet. And these just made me incredibly happy!

Next page was a self portrait-sort of. I want spring, I want growing green things almost more than I want my statistics course to end!
So I thought of how happy I am digging in the dirt, how crazy excited I get when I spot the first crocus or tulip bit of green pushing through the soil, and my self portrait became something entirely else!

This page had some oppsy color drippage from my earlier experiments that were not covered very well by the gesso so the face is a bit odd, but again this makes me pretty happy.

And I have come to understand that I need to paint everyday, and that watercolor is really my preferred medium. Every morning I get up at 4:30 to study, do some homework and then I take a little time to paint in my book before I go get ready for work and get my family up and ready to head out the door.

What makes you happy? Remind yourself and try to fit it into your day if you can!

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hand bound book

So what can I do with a watercolor experiment that didn’t quite turn out to be the masterpiece I thought it would? Rip the pages down into a smaller book. In my last post I shared my Susan Cornelis inspired watercolors. I had used my favorite Arches watercolor paper and I have a very hard time not using every little scrap of that paper, or re-using it by painting on the back.
I decided that I would use some of these paintings in a handmade art journal.
First I ripped down the pages to the size I wanted, turned out that was approximately 3 x 4 inches give or take. I created my “signatures” in pairs and alternated folding the paintings so that there would be plain facing painted surface.

I found this roll of upholstery thread at my favorite thrift shop. It’s great for sewing book pages or for sewing buttons that you want to be able to hold up to a lot of use!

I am always experimenting with new ways of binding books. This time I thought I’d try making a book with a glued spine and glued the signatures in to the spine.

Finally finished it out with a bird button I’d been hoarding and a bit of twin to loop around for a closer.

In the end, I had a small cute journal that is just the right size for carrying in my purse. I’m not 100% with the binding part of the book, as some of the pages stuck together and it doesn’t lay flat like I’d like.
Now on to the next project!

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