Friday, December 25, 2015

12/25/15

I am finally here in Tucson for Christmas vacation! Yesterday was a long grueling day of flight delays and schlepping through airports. Traveling on Christmas Eve is a tough one since no one wants to be working and everyone just wants to be home with their families. I get it but jeeze.....I am still recovering from the stress! Everything hurts today!

My house was a sight for sore eyes. Although as soon as we walked in the door a giant spider was here to greet us! When I left this summer these cactus plants were much smaller. My upstairs neighbor is looking out for it by bringing it off the porch so it can get rained on. What a nice thing to do! People out here are so nice!

Today we are off to a friends for a Christmas day BBQ which will be lovely! I look forward to each and every day out here.

Happy holiday  to everyone and Happy New Year as well!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

12/8/15

I have mentioned before that I have been taking many online courses to keep me engaged with my art and with some new forms of it. It helps with the stress which is still ongoing.

There are some good classes out there and I am always looking at Carla Sonheim's web site to see what new classes she is offering. I really like her classes a lot. She has some really interesting people teaching them (as well as herself). I recently discovered the classes of Lynn Whipple on there. I took one called the Joy of Collage and another called WordPlay. This is a collage utilizing what I learned in each class.

I have to tell you that I am really, really starting to miss my studio. Collage work is so messy! It is hard to do it on a tiny desk, in a tiny bedroom, in a tiny apartment.

But I must go on. I can't let it stop me from working.

15 days until school vacation and Tucson.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

11/29/15



I guess you might be able to tell that I am ready for my mountains. We are all looking forward to the Christmas break to spend at our home in Arizona. We miss it so much it will be a sight for sore eyes. We leave on Christmas Eve and return on New Years Day. Waiting with baited breath.

This is gouache on hot press paper with micron pen.

This week we will be celebrating my grandson's 16th birthday! I can't believe he is that old already. Old enough to drive. Driving lessons begin in March! Argh!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

11/18/15


Sometimes I do my best work at night, on the bed with my wooden drawing board on my lap and the TV on. I love to watch old episodes of Breaking Bad for some reason. I have seen them all a million times but I like having something on that I don't have to pay attention to. Does that make sense? It is like comfort food or something. Anyway, that is what I have been doing lately and some of the drawings are better than anything I do during the day.

I think this would make a lovely pattern.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

11/15/15


Working on some holiday cards. They will all be done by hand. Each one a little different than the next. It is is all I can do right now. I have been doing most work by hand. The computer is holding very little interest for me as far as designing or illustrating goes. If you would like to receive one of these cards, send me your address in an email and I will try to get one out to you. The inside can be left blank so you can send it to someone special or you can frame it.


I am also working on hand lettering right now. Taking some online classes and trying to get better at it. I thought that the seven deadly sins would be a good place to begin. As you can see I still need lots of practice. But that is OK. It keeps me focused.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

11/5/15


I have been trying to practice my lettering lately and incorporating it into the work. 
That pesky left handed tilt gets me every time though. Whatever.....

Thursday, October 22, 2015

10/20/15


I am still working on this series. It is very satisfying and so far shows no signs of ending. I know it will but not today anyway. I have decided to stop naming my pieces. I hate thinking up names for them. So I have decided to just date them going forward. That way I will always know when I did them and will be able to compare them at some point by the date they were completed.

I have also set up a small Big Cartel shop here if you are interested in purchasing any from this series.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Aerial View?


 These are beginning to look like aerial views to me. Whenever I fly across the country I am mesmerized by the way things look from up high. I am especially enthralled by the views over New Mexico and Texas. The vast expanses of nothingness with circular green crops a midst squares and rectangles of brown dust. I am following this series along where it takes me but this is the closest I have come to painting what I see from a plane.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A New Series


I am enjoying this new series that seems to have come about as a result of an online class I took recently with Lisa Congdon. I love the way the white lines enhance the colors and the way a similar pattern can look so different depending on the color of the background and the direction of the lines.

There is a lot to be learned from this series and I intend to keep going as I usually do until the work says "enough"!  I will then move on to the next series of work.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Bad Week Results in a Satisfying Painting


After what turned out to be the most horrifying week of my life as a parent and grandparent I was finally able to paint yesterday. I painted this in gouache on 140 pound hot press watercolor paper. I loved mixing the grays. Here I used Aureolin Yellow, Cobalt Blue and Alizarin Crimson plus white. I admire artists who can use bright colors but I simply cannot. Sometimes you just need to paint gray.

I don't know how I would manage without my paints and my swimming right now. These two things together are keeping me from a total collapse.

Friday, October 2, 2015

More Sketchbook Explorations

More from my online class with Lisa Congdon, Sketchbook Explorations. This class is really exciting to me. This is done in watercolors and it was like old home week for me. Watercolor used to be my medium many years ago. Since then I have worked in oils and acrylics mostly. But the watercolors really feel like home to me. The colors all come easily to me since they were part of my DNA. Viridian, alizarin, aureolin. I don't even have to think about them. They just mix on my plate.

My darn left handed tilt is a little annoying though.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sketchbook Explorations


You know how much I love taking classes online. Anytime Lisa Congdon offers a class I am right there to take it. Her classes are really fabulous. Not only is she a great teacher, but she goes slowly so that you can really get a feel for her meditative process. I took her first sketchbook explorations class a few months ago and now I am taking her second one.

Her classes are really the only ones I can take lately. I have been so stressed out with everything that has been going on that I cannot concentrate or focus for long periods at a stretch. In fact I had signed up this summer for the third section of the Make It in Design school class called "Monetizing your Designs"  when the shit storm hit my life full throttle and I might as well have been trying to learn to speak Latin. There was no way to concentrate on that class and so I ended up losing a lot of money.

So I have been extremely careful about taking online classes right now and I know that I can do Lisa's classes since the repetition is very helpful to my fragile mental state right now.

In a couple of weeks this could all be over or not. I am going to try and continue my swims, my art and seeing friends. Those things help.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Experimenting

I haven't worked in gouache in many years so I am re-learning how to work with them. I love the creamy consistency and the lovely flat matte colors that I am able to get. They are also easy to clean up and I can work here at my desk by the window in my bedroom without getting paint all over the place. I do miss my messy acrylics but the gouache will do for now.

Still working very abstractly and with mostly meditative and  repetitive strokes.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Summer is Over

We are back from Tucson now and my computer is fixed. On my last day there my computer hard drive failed completely. I took it to the genius bar at La Encantada Mall but they would have had to keep it for a few days and I was leaving the very next day, so I brought it home dead and took it to the Apple store here in Boston.

Luckily I had backed it up just a few days before I left for Arizona so no data was lost and my photos were all backed up on the cloud so I didn't lose anything.

I did do some drawing while I was out there. I was mesmerized by the deep maroon colors of the prickly pear fruit. In Florida the fruit was a lightish pink, so quite different. I couldn't sit out on the porch to draw though as I usually do since it was much too hot out there. Even with both ceiling fans going at full speed! It was like sitting in a convection oven!

All the cacti are so plump when it rains out there though. They all look quite happy.

There is still a lot of stress in my life right now which I can't/don't want to speak about. Suffice it to say that we are all under extreme duress and my artwork has really taken a back seat. Hopefully it will come back at some point and I will be able to concentrate on my work again. But not right now.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summer in Tucson

Desert Spiny Lizard at Tohono Chul Park

The heat is on here in Tucson but it is still delightful to be here in our new home for the small slice of time that we have. We haven't been here since April and the house was needing our TLC just as much as we were needing the peace we feel here. We really do feel like we are home here. Boston doesn't feel that way anymore. We don't even say "back home". We say "back east."

We have been taking our grandson around to some local places that we have been to as well as some we had never been to. We visited the Pima Air and Space Museum for the first time. We all really liked it. It is a fascinating place. Especially the tour of the "Boneyard". When you see it for the first time, it makes you realize how much money we spend on war! Yikes! Your tax dollars at work!

We also spent a day on Mount Lemmon and my grandson and I took the ski lift to the top! The views were amazing but my camera was full and so I couldn't take any photos. I will just have to go back! Which I will once we are out here for good.

We also introduced him to a few of our favorite restaurants. The Westward Look, El Charro and Risky Business to name a few.

We are enjoying the pool in the morning and evening. Daytime is too hot to be outside. The rains are amazing! And the lightning displays beyond description.

I will be sad to go "back east" but counting the days until our next visit home......

Friday, August 21, 2015

California Garden

A few years ago when I visited my aunt in California, I took photos of all of her garden statuary. They hide in every nook and cranny of her incredible yard. I had these photos sitting on my computer until recently when I was inspired to add some of my digital art to them and combine them in photoshop! Et voila!






 See you in September!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pattern #234



This pattern began with this simple sketch. I am enthralled with triangular shapes right now. The possibilities are endless.


Next weekend we head out to Tucson for 12 days. Camp will be over and school starts on September 4th so this is the last chance we will have to get out there before Christmas school vacation. Please don't tell me how hot it is going to be. I already know that. But I need to see my house and know that it is still there for me. I need it more than ever right now.

Our summer has been so stress filled and traumatic that we are hoping this will be a good get-away for the three of us.

We are planning to do things where air conditioning is available. The Pima Air and Space Museum is something we have never done yet and I think my 15 year old grandson will like that. Also the Titan Missile Silo Museum. I would like to get out to the Desert Museum but getting him up early enough before the heat sets in could be an issue. They do have things going on on Saturday nights there as well when it is a bit cooler. He is a bit of a night owl and so perhaps we will spend some time staring up at the stars.

I also would like to visit the U of A campus. They have a planetarium there as well as a tour of the Mirror Lab that sounds quite interesting. I am going to treat it like a bit of a college tour to get him inspired for his future.

We won't be able to go hiking but we can drive up to Mount Lemmon. I have never been there either because when we go in winter there is snow up there and who wants to see that? Not me. But summer up there is supposed to be quite lovely and cooler.

So we will find things to do. Of course a trip down to Tubac will be most welcome. I will find lovely, colorful things for my home in Tucson.......

Perhaps we will even finally be able to experience some monsoon weather as well.........




Monday, August 10, 2015

Pattern #228

I find it endlessly fascinating how one simple pen and ink drawing done while watching mindless television can end up looking so lovely and elegant when used in the designing of a pattern.......


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Some New Work


I have been working with my gouache paints lately and getting some interesting results. This is just a sketch I made. I can see some interesting possibilities for patterns in here. Sometimes I just like to make triangles. They fit together easily and I don't have to think too much. Right now I cannot think too much. Life is still in turmoil due to a family crisis and I can only tell you that it will be for some time to come.

In August we are going out to the Tucson house for a couple of weeks before school starts for my grandson here. Then we won't be out there again until Christmas vacation week. A long time. Light years really as our retirement plans have been put on hold. Don't ask.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pattern #216


This is the first artwork I have done in a few weeks. Life is in turmoil right now. That is about all I can say about what is going on.

About a month ago I bought some new gouache paints. I have always loved working in gouache but my paints were so old they were hard as a rock for the most part. So I bought fresh new ones. Today I played with them and created a new pattern. It felt good to finally do something creative.  Especially in a medium I really enjoy.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pattern #215


I found this lovely flower on my walk back from swimming yesterday. I loved the way it was decaying and had lost one leaf. It made it more interesting to draw. When I lived in Florida nothing gave me more pleasure than drawing dead and dying banana leaves. They really get interesting when they are past their prime.

So I made this pattern from the drawing. I am still working on the colors. When you make patterns in Illustrator it is easy to change the colors. In photoshop it is not that easy.



This weekend I worked on getting my logo/header to match all my other web sites. Every one of them had a different look. Not good. So now I think they have a more cohesive look.

I just love making patterns so much. There seems to be no end in sight and I am grateful for that!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sakura Souffle Pens

I got my pack of Souffle pens the other day from Jet pens. These pens have the same lovely matte finish as the Moonlight pens do, however, the colors are pastel. They are very lovely and go on smoothly the same way as the rest of the Gelly Pens do. I love the way they resemble gouache but with the pointy pen tip I can really get a tight drawing.

For the one below I put it into Photoshop and using the offset filter, created this lovely pattern. It is not perfect yet. The offset filter is a bit trickier than making a repeat in Illustrator.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Moonlight Pens

I am really enjoying these pens from Sakura called "Moonlight" pens. I just wish they came in more colors since I am not a fan of the neon colors that come in the set. I wish they had another set available with non-neon colors. The colors are so rich and have a lovely matte finish. I took the above design and rather than make it into an illustrator pattern as I usually do, I created the pattern in Photoshop. Making patterns in Photoshop is a little tricky with the offset filter but I like the idea of not losing any quality in the original artwork.


Enjoy your week!

Monday, June 8, 2015

More Patterns

This is the original drawing from my sketchbook. I thought it looked very much like falling seed pods. That seems to be an ongoing theme in my artwork. A few years ago I sold a collage that I titled "Falling Seedpods."

I seem to really enjoy making what is called a "tossed" repeat pattern. A tossed repeat is a pattern that can be used in any direction. Seams don't need to match up when sewing with it and I think that is a good thing. When I used to sew I never enjoyed matching seams up!

So here is the pattern I created from this drawing in 3 different colorways.






Monday, June 1, 2015

#200th Pattern Design


I have been making patterns Since September of 2014 and this is my 200th pattern! I thought it was worth noting this milestone! Of course not all 200 have been noteworthy but it is interesting to see how far I have come with these and how they develop over time.

Here it is in a second colorway:


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Behance and Skillshare


This pattern from this sketch:
A couple of months ago I bit the bullet and joined Skillshare. Skillshare is an online community of teachers and classes in the creative field. It is quite inexpensive if you join for an entire year rather than monthly. I really like their classes. Not all their teachers are fabulous though. In fact some are unwatchable. But then they have artists like Bonnie Christine! She alone is worth the membership price! Plus you can go back and view your classes as much as you like. I really like that about it.

I recently signed up for a rather quick class on using Behance for uploading your portfolio online. I had heard of it before but I had no idea what it was exactly. Now I know and I decided to give it a try. If you want to see some of my pattern and illustration work all in one place, here is where it lives on Behance. I decided to just number my patterns as I don't seem to do collections. Not sure why. Maybe some day I will have the patience for that.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Some New Work


 Lately a new shape keeps popping up in my sketchbook. This:
So, from that shape I made this new pattern in a few colorways.


That's it for now. I am busy cleaning out cupboards and closets, as well as donating goods we no longer need or use. A good friend of mine is going to house sit for us this winter and take care of our cat. I am so relieved that I don't have to take the cat to Tucson. She is much too old to be flying on planes and moving. It will be good to have someone living in our place while we are gone as well. Even in an apartment bad things can happen. Especially leaks from other units!

Have a lovely week!