Thursday, June 22, 2017

6/22/17

Desert Heat
My friends in Tucson are in the midst of a record breaking heat wave. One of my neighbors there  said that the thermometer on her porch read 120 degrees. That is pretty hot. I thought that this painting looked like that. Maybe I should call it 120 degrees.....

Anyway, school is officially out and my grandson is now a senior in high school. This is not easy for me at my age but we are managing somehow. So we have a little less than one year left here in Boston and then we too can be in 120 degree heat.....lol

He has a summer job again as a camp counselor and that starts on Monday. I am glad about that. I can't imagine what I would do if he weren't working. I know that some of his friends don't have summer jobs. Teens need to work. Period. I do have strong opinions on that!

I have been trying to make art every day.  It is finally getting warmer here. Although the pool has been closed now for a couple of weeks for renovations. I miss my swimming and I am eager to get back to it!

That's all for now. Have a good week!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer is Here!


It is finally summer here. It was way too long in coming. For the last two days it was in the nineties. it felt like Arizona to me and it was wonderful. Meanwhile my grandson hates the heat and kept nagging me to turn on the AC. Wait. What? Close the windows again? The ones that have been closed for the last 9 months! No way. Sorry. Use the fans. I hate AC. Except under extraordinary circumstances. For example when I am in Arizona and it hits above 98 degrees, I will use it. Or in the summer here if it is extremely humid and the air quality in the city is bad, I will use it. But I was not ready to shut myself in just yet.

On Saturday we went down to the south shore to visit my son and his family. They live right near the water. It is literally a 2 minute walk to the ocean from their home.

I sat and stared at the water for what seemed like hours. I really needed it. I have been so overwhelmed lately and the extra long cold weather did not help my state of mind. The ocean soothed my soul.

I have been continuing the art though. No matter what. I have been experimenting with using gold under painting. I have tried using red as I love how some artists use that as well as black. Neither color seems to work for me. But the gold does. So I will continue down this rabbit hole and see where it takes me.

Bye for now!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

6/3/17


Here it is June already but the weather certainly does not feel like it. It has been cool and rainy most of the time and I have only had the windows open a few days if at all. It is depressing to say the least. Especially since it has been in the 90's out in Tucson. I would really enjoy that right about now. I love heat.

I have been working every day at my desk. Trying to stay creative in spite of my mental state. Between the terrible things happening in our government and my own difficult situation, I have to say that without my art I don't know what I would do.

I bought a small Moleskin sketchbook with lovely watercolor pages. The acrylics sink in to the paper and lose all their shininess. Which I like.

So here are a few sketches from there:

The Triplets of Belleville

Have a good week. Try to stay sane. I will too.

Friday, May 26, 2017

5/26/17


A few weeks ago I began a class with Dar James called "Stained Glass Trees". It was a great class but I was unable to complete it due to my dad's passing.

I did, however download all the videos. That is the nice thing about Carla Sonheim's classes. Once you sign up for them they are there for you to view forever. In fact, I always look for that feature in other classes since I can't always complete these classes in the time allotted.

Dar is a fantastic teacher. In fact she is one of the best teachers I have had so far in all my online classes. She is really informative and generous with her knowledge as well as what supplies she uses, paint brands etc.

When I signed up for the class I knew that I didn't want to paint trees but I wanted to learn the techniques she uses for these trees in my own art. That is what I did in the above painting. My biggest takeaway from her class was the creation of the under painting. Something I have never been very good at. I am not sure why this is. Perhaps it is due to my watercolor background where an underpainting would not be a good thing. Other than a very light wash that is.

So I am still in the process of taking her class. There are many videos all chock full of important info.

The only thing I am not a fan of is the way she paints with her bare fingers. I just cannot bring myself to get all painty. In fact I keep baby wipes on my table and use then often!  So I use gloves when I put the paint on the first layer and it works out just fine.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

5/24/17


This block makes an interesting pattern. I like the crosshatching effect as I think it makes the design stand out well.

Here is the pattern it makes. I almost forgot how enjoyable making patterns is.




Monday, May 22, 2017

5/22/17


I am still exploring carving and printing. I am trying to make some patterns again but this time not on the computer. I am going to try my hand at block printing on fabric. In the early 80's I did some fabric painting but never with a carved block. First I have to remember everything I forgot about tiling in order to make a repeat pattern.

As you can see, this one doesn't really work as a repeat pattern but I like it anyway.



Also rather than using block printing ink which is so thick, I am using screen printing ink. I like it much better as it is thinner and doesn't rub off.

These are some fun experiments!

Friday, May 12, 2017

5/12/17

Tucson Mountains

I seem to have fallen down the rabbit hole of printmaking! It all started with the making of stamps.  I was reminded of my days creating linocut Christmas cards back in the 1970's. I can't carve linoleum any more due to hand issues but the new carving mediums are really easy on the hands. I began with something called Speedy Carve which is the pink stuff. I liked it fine until I tried the Soft Cut. That was dreamy too but then I found Moo carve and all my prayers were answered. The stuff is amazing. It is soft yet firm and carves like "buttah". So Moo Carve it is for now unless I find something better that is.

I also discovered a great use for some old gelli prints that I had laying around. Anyone who does any sort of gelatin printing will know what I mean.....they take up a lot of space. So I tried printing on some of them and that worked really well.

Tucson Mountains

Here is another one I did that I really like as well in two different colors.

Desert Flower

Desert Flower
And finally this one:

Reaching Flower

I am thinking about making some cards again. Perhaps I will even re-open my Etsy shop again. Although I never had a whole lot of success with that. We will see. Right now I am enjoying the meditative and repetitive process of the carving, inking, and printing.