Friday, July 31, 2009

Silly Phrases Magazine Collage with Recycled Watercolor Painting Background ACEO

I keep rejected watercolor pages to use if possible somewhere else. These are pages with washes that I cut into ACEO size, 2.5" x 3.5". I cut phrases and words from magazines and made little ransom style cards.

silly phrases glued onto a watercolor scrap of paper

Stuff we love. Small dogs. Mad puzzle props. Cool finds. Exotic costumes. Summer. Pirate's math. Art. There is a gorilla glued on a painted rock.

silly phrases glued onto a watercolor scrap of paper

The modern dog's guide to red-carpet Oscar inspired looks for pups. The background has a white rose.

silly phrases glued onto a watercolor scrap of paper

No wonder I feel warm inside, my chips are made with enchanted chicken.

silly phrases glued onto a watercolor scrap of paper

If dogs could speak... Freak out cats. Go in the yard. Last lick. A ball. Play Frisbee. Dog trick. You like us! You really do!

silly phrases glued onto a watercolor scrap of paper

Why sail through big business. Who says you can't make crooked house calls.

silly phrases glued onto a watercolor scrap of paper

What do you desire? Online domination. A rare event. Abundance. Party. Play!

silly phrases glued onto a watercolor scrap of paper

I got up at 6:20 this morning. My otherwise perfect doggie found an xtreme doggie styles shop and my Master Card.

silly phrases glued onto a watercolor scrap of paper

Why does my dog go berserk with worry if I demand she vacuum.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wisconsin Stream Watercolor Painting

watercolor landscape with stream
Streams in Wisconsin are different than Minnesota. Our shores are edged with gravel and foliage, Wisconsin tends to have large rocks with a drop down to the water.

Both are picturesque in their own way. The rocks had lots of orange which complemented the blue spruce nicely.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back To School Supplies

package of color pencils
eraser experiment with color pencils

I adore back to school supplies. New crayons, smooth paper, folders, and little gadgets. I spotted these interesting color pencils at Target. Crayola makes twistable colored pencils which is cool, no sharpening, but wait there's more. They are erasable!

Admittedly one of my color pencils cost more than the entire package but there is no way it would ever erase.

I did a little experiment with the twistable Crayola color pencils and they do erase smoothly only leaving a slight shadow stain. I didn't try to keep erasing to see if you can get rid of the shadow stain. The eraser is on the end of the pencil. I tried a white eraser to see if it only worked with the Crayola pencils and the white eraser worked as well.

I doubt they are archival and the blending is only fair but for quick little sketches they are very handy and I don't need to keep a sharpener in my purse. The pencils are a lot tidier than the Pitt pens that made such a mess last week in my bag.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sketchbook Pages

caricatures in an artist journal

I enjoy looking at other artist's sketchbooks so I thought I'd share a few pages out of my current book. I use the books to record random notes, doodles, things that caught my eye or sketches of things I plan to explore further.

ink drawings in an artist journalStaycation is a new word in the dictionary; it means to stay home and live as though you are on vacation.

Billy Connolly said on NPR if you want to lose weight don't eat food that comes in buckets. This cracked me up since we had just bought a bucket of chicken.

ink drawings in an artist journal

I love to draw robots and monsters.

The small drawings are ACEO sized. I keep these sheets of paper in my purse along with a Micron pen for quick sketches when I have small spaces of time. I discovered at Blick yesterday aluminum ACEO paper cases, sure beats a zip lock bag.

Jamaica phrases with a mermaid drawing

Jamaicans have a unique form of English and here are some phrases. A surprising number of the phrases concern having sex, names for the naughty bits, quality, results and well, sex...

Jamaica is my favorite Caribbean island. Parts are very dangerous and should be avoided, the vendors are outrageously aggressive but I love the way people sing at the resorts while they work.

fairy drawing

Frig Fairy

caricatures in an artist journal

We were at the cabin and heard an announcement on the radio that swimming lessons were canceled due to the cold weather, it was mid July.

artist journal page

Some good advice—never give yourself a haircut after 3 margaritas

I used to paint these branches on company thank you cards when I had an insurance agency.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Serenity ACEO

drawing of a town named serenity where mayhem is occurring
I was watching the movie Watchmen from Red Box and drew this.

I'm a little vague on their back stories and what some of their superpowers are. My daughter who is an expert on all things superhero couldn't fill in the gaps either.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Put A Bird On It

many birds on a power line

many birds on a power line

These photos show my Alfred Hitchcock moment. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of these birds sitting on the electric line as far as you could see and as I drove past they would fly up and move down the line.

The odd part wasn't the shear number of birds but the way they peeled away from the line to move down the road. It was cool in a rather creepy way.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tepee One Mile Ahead Sign

teepee one mile ahead sign

There was no tepee in a mile but I got a kick out of the sign.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Too Hot To Handle

magazine burning in a wood stove

I finished this magazine and tossed it in the fireplace. The back cover had an underwear ad and I thought the flames surrounding the magazine looked really interesting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Blackboard Jungle

chalkboard drawing on a closet door
I recently painted my closet doors with blackboard paint. The kids and I had fun drawing on the doors.

They actually looked nicer black so I may just leave them that way and wash off the chalk. Washing the doors will remove the gray color which is from the chalkboard being seasoned with a coating of chalk. I think they will look better after I change the door hardware.

The dogs keep waging the chalk off the bottom and the inside of the closet fills with chalk dust. I need to resolve these problems before I use colored chalk since I know the dogs would spread it to the upholstered furniture and some shades of colored chalk are difficult to wash off.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Textures For Photoshop

log cabin in woods

We were at the cabin and I took some photos that I will use later as textures in photoshop.

Sap running down a pine tree and turning into amber.

Sap running down a pine tree and turning into amber.

Gnarly pine sap and bark.

Gnarly pine sap and bark.

Burned wood.

Burned wood.

Decomposed wood.

Decomposed wood.

Moss on a tree.

Moss on a tree.

Rusty stove pipe.

Rusty stove pipe.

Cross section of an old cut tree.

Cross section of an old cut tree.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Plant Stand That Roared

concrete lion

My neighbor was going to take a hammer to these lions but I did a feline rescue and turned them into outdoor plant pedestals. The concrete lions have flat surfaces on the top that originally held a glass table.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gaillardia Micron India Ink Line Drawing

ink drawing of Gaillardia flowers


It seems like a disservice to do a black and white sketch of such a brilliantly colored flower but here it is.

I drew the flowers while sitting in the front yard on a purple and black cow spot patterned cream can...we're the odd ducks in the neighborhood.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Effectiveness of Magnetic Paint

label for magnetic paintI have a home studio/office with bifold closet doors on one wall. I was going to paint a mural on it but decided to try magnetic paint with a blackboard painted top.

I painted the doors following the manufacturer's guidelines and did the suggested 3 coats, then I covered it with 2 thin coats of blackboard paint.

Small weak magnets tend to slide down. Sheet magnets adhere, probably due to the greater surface area, but only hold their own weight. Heavier, very strong magnets stick but won't hold a single piece of paper for long.

The doors look nice in black but I consider the magnetic paint from RustOleum to be a failed experiment.

The latex blackboard paint worked well.

Friday, July 10, 2009


painting of a crow perched on a witch's foot

The blackbird is perched on a witch's purple shoe on this acrylic painting. I have a fondness for gnarled witch shoes and striped stockings. I particularly like the way the background reminds me of straw.

I'm not quite sure why I'm on such a Halloween kick lately. I kept drawing monsters and vampires in my sketch book today. The vampires are a little goofy and not the dark, brooding, Twilight variety.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rhubarb For Sale Sign

funny sign for rhubarb

I saw this sign today in a Minneapolis suburb and had to add it to my collection of unusual sign photos

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm Having A Good Flower Day Today

moss covered rock in a pond

I love how the moss is growing on a rock in the Koi pond and there is a beautiful reflection of the trees on the water's surface.

backyard pond

I was going to paint a mural on the garden shed but this is such a pretty shade of blue I'll leave it as it is.

The raccoons knocked the pond pump loose but I think you can see why I enjoy our backyard. The other side has a screened gazebo with a hanging chandelier and some over sized hammocks.

The pond attracts birds, frogs, raccoons, and an occasional turtle. When the outdoor frogs sing in the evening; the dwarf aquatic frogs inside the house sing back.

Some of the pond rocks are from our travels; the others are field stones that we got from farmers. We have concrete hand prints that we made when the kids were younger and they decorated the hand prints with marbles.

I used a plastic box that food came in for a mold; the concrete is quikrete and is very easy to use. Make sure you use rubber gloves since you don't want direct skin contact with the concrete mixture.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ladder Pot Rack

ladder turned into a hanging pot rack

I've had this ladder for years. It's only 12" wide so it was too narrow to use and rather short. My husband kept petitioning me to sell it but I always resisted: I was waiting for my aha moment and it finally struck.

The handmade ladder is extremely sturdy. The rungs are totally surrounded and it is disproportionately well made considering no one ever stood on it. I painted it black and I hung it from heavy duty chain. I used to have cast iron pots hanging from it so it needed to be secure. The pot hooks came from IKEA. The moths on the ceiling are visiting.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hawaiian Petroglyph of Man Walking A Dog by a Palm Tree ACEO

drawing of a Hawaiian petroglyph of a man walking a dog

This ink and watercolor drawing is my interpretation of a Hawaiian Petroglyph. I textured the background to resemble sand.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Concrete Sunflower Stepping Stones

concrete sunflower paver stepping stone

I've been busy lately molding concrete. I have two of these molds and one bag of quikrete fills both nicely. We discovered that cabin water won't work since the concrete never sets up properly (it crumbles); city water works fine. Time doesn't make it set up any better. We had some made with cabin water stored along the edge of the cabin and they were stolen. Normally I would be unhappy about theft but they actually did us a favor hauling them off since they were unusable. Karma is a bitch with a sense of humor.