Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunday Art Inspiration

My son has been mountain-biking for over a year now.  That means that I spend a lot of time at various parks hiking while he mountain bikes with his team.  That is great for me because I love being outdoors in any kind of weather.  I find that being outside inspires me continually.  I see things and it is almost like it goes in a file cabinet in my brain to recall when I need inspiration.  I find this especially true on cold, dark winter days.  Sometimes I think that those memories are what get me through winter.

I thought it would be nice to share images that I took on Sunday as I hiked close to 6 miles in Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County, Virginia.  I had never been there before and I won't make it my last visit.
Light reflecting off of leaves is something that I find myself over and over again taking pictures of or just staring at.  Sometimes it's trying to figure out all the different colors of green that I am seeing.  Or it might be how the light shines on certain leaves almost making them turn white.  How the limbs of trees intersect each other and the designs they create entertain me.


Being outside in nature relaxes me in a way that nothing else does. I don't feel anxious at all being by myself even if I am miles away from the nearest parking lot or road.  My senses are more in-tuned with what is around me.  I feel comfort being there at that moment.

Sometimes I fantasize about hiking the whole AT.  I would love to have my body synchronize to the light.  I would love to wake up in the early morning and go to sleep when it's dark.   Most of all I would love to experience everything that the Appalachian Trail has to offer me as an artist.  More things to file in my file cabinet in my brain.

Thanks for reading my random thoughts,



Week 1-Elementary Art-Wayne Thiebaud-inspired sculptures


Yay!  It's fall!  That means that school has started and I am back teaching art lessons to students.

I am teaching at Williamsburg Classical Academy which is a  homeschool co-op.  I have 2 classes-an elementary art class and a teen art class.

I wanted to get the elementary students excited about this year so I wanted to do a project where we could complete it in one class.  

Wayne Thiebaud is a contemporary artist who has made himself famous by painting everyday objects production style.
The kids were interested in knowing that Wayne Thiebaud is still alive.  I had them figure out how old he was since he was born in 1920(it's always good to throw some math in there!).

 The kids and I discussed things that we like to draw and create which lead itself into showing them that you can use just about any subject for your art piece.


The cupcake painting was a good transition to introducing our project.

I found this lesson plan on the Dick Blick educator site.The problem was that one of key supplies for the project is discontinued.  It was a spreadable thick acrylic-based paint.  I had to find a substitute so I searched Pinterest and found this recipe for a homemade modeling paste.  This was great because modeling paste is usually pretty expensive and I didn't want to be stingy when I was handing it out.

I picked some bright colors for the cupcake "frosting" and pre-made a bunch of it before class.  I did have to mix some blue later on when we ran out but it wasn't that big of a deal.   I was getting used to eye-balling the measurements.
The kids really enjoyed "frosting" their cupcakes.

Then then decorated them with bead "sprinkles" in various colors.  I had some little red pom-poms in case they wanted to put a cherry on top of them.  They all seemed to enjoy the project.  Here are their results:









I hope you enjoyed these.  Next week will be our Paperclay leaves which the teen class started last week.  Fun, beautiful project.

Thank you for reading!


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Williamsburg Plein Air Art Show 2017



Today I got to spend a relaxing day in Colonial Williamsburg.

The Williamsburg Celebrates Contemporary Art Show was this weekend along with the Plein Air Event sponsored by Williamsburg Housing Partnerships.  I had done the show once before about 2 years ago and it poured rain that day.  It was so rainy and humid that the acrylic paint on my canvas was taking a long time to dry.  That had never happened to me before.

After skipping last year, I thought I would do the show again but decided to use watercolors.  I have been playing around with watercolors a lot the past year especially when I am out "urban sketching". I bought some Derwent Inktense pencils and blended them with water and liked the effect.  It is fun to change up doing things every now and again and I am finding I am more satisfied artistically speaking if I allow myself to do multiple mediums.

I walked around Colonial Williamsburg the day before the event trying desperately to find inspiration for something to paint the next day.  Nothing really stood out for me although I did have some good ideas of places that I could go.

I got a horrible night's sleep the night before and as soon as I knew it my iPhone was sounding an early 6:15am alarm to wake me up.  Got ready, made coffee and I was off!

I am so used to seeing so many people around Colonial Williamsburg that it was odd seeing so few people there on a early Saturday morning.  I checked in at the tent and proceeded by pulling my red wagon full of stuff to the Governor's Palace.

I really thought that I would paint the Governor's Palace today.  I got there and I just wasn't feeling it. I took one look at all the windows of the palace and let out a sigh.  I have been working on a painting of the Nelson House in Yorktown and I was feeling a little burnt out from painting/drawing windows.

I spent the next hour walking around CW(Colonial Williamsburg) trying to find somewhere that I would be happy painting.  I finally decided to go behind the houses and paint in one of the backyards of the houses.  The Raleigh Tavern was to my right and I could hear the staff working.


As soon as I started I realized that I didn't bring an eraser.


I soon found myself tearing through all my supplies and found a small pencil with a usable eraser in the bottom of my purse.
Finished most of the "hard stuff" at this point.


Problem 2 arose when I let the sun shine on my Inktense pencils.  My yellow was pretty much too soft to sharpen anymore.

The sun soon moved and I had to keep positioning myself out of the sun less I get sunstroke.  The artist life is hard!

I painted from 8am-1pm.  Checked social media for about 15 minutes.  I was posting work in progress reports and enjoyed reading the comments.

I handed in my art work and learned that I was the first one in.  Immediately walked in the William & Mary bookstore to cool off.


I didn't win a prize but better yet I sold the painting!


An employee from the Housing Partnership bought it for her office.  What a compliment!  It totally made my day.

Thanks for reading about my day!



Sunday, September 3, 2017

"Longing", Mixed Media on Wood, 4"x4", AVAILABLE

I finally finished this piece and it is now available for sale on Daily Paintworks.

It's a mixed media piece that started out as an ACEO trading card.  I liked it so much that I wanted to incorporate it into a painting.  The ACEO is drawn in Prismacolor pencils and put on an acrylic painted oil that I also used ink on.  I then put vintage lace on it before using Liquitex Pouring Medium on it.

I have it framed in a nice black frame.
FREE shipping to the lower 48 states.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

#30paintingsin30days Challenge Day 14-Painting #9

"Sol-fa-mi-sol", mixed media on gessobord, 4"x4"

It's Day 14 and I should be on painting 14 but I'm on painting 9.  Who's counting, right?

Finally found something to add to this small 4 inch square canvas.  Perfect size for a chickadee.

Not sure how I am going to varnish this one.  I might use Liquitex Pouring medium.

Thanks for looking at my work!


#30paintingsin30days Challenge- Painting #7

"Raven", Mixed Media on wood, 4"x4"

This is painting #7 that I skipped posting on.  

I painted the wood background in Liquitex acrylic gold paint and transferred on the wood the words to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven".  Raven was created separately on mixed media paper and attached onto wood.

Thank you for looking!



Thursday, January 12, 2017

#30paintingsin30days-Day 12 (Painting #8)


"Symphony #9", mixed media on canvas, 8"x8"

Okay.  2 things.  I know that I should be on painting number 12 since it's the 12th of January and I know that I skipped painting number 7.

I'll scan and upload painting 7 tomorrow.  I coated it with Liquitex pouring medium and had to wait for it to dry.

I'm trying my best to not feel guilty that I haven't done 12 paintings and that I am 8 short.  After all, it's my challenge and it's not like I am going to kicked out of the challenge.  I am still accomplishing something and starting the new year off on the right foot!

The canvas for this piece I have had hanging around my studio for like FOREVER.  I just couldn't figure out what to do with it.  I loved what I did with it.  I painted it and textured it with rice paper.  I also used gold ink to highlight the music sheet pieces and the high points of the rice paper.  I also stamped fern leaves using real fern leaves from the woods in the back of my house.  This is kind of tricky if you could imagine because one slip-up and I would ruin the canvas below and I would have to fix it somehow or start all over.

The inspiration for the bird came once again from our Virginia snowstorm last week.  We had some cute yellow-rumped warblers at our feeders.  I couldn't remember what their name was since they are more or less a winter resident down here.

I woke up at 4am in the morning and couldn't sleep so I ended up drawing the bird and then applying him to the prepared canvas later.

I am really happy how it turned our.

Thanks for stopping by!