Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sketchbook Inspiration

I’m still doing Valri’s challenge and had an aha moment in the process.  I love to draw and often do the drawing first before painting; however, having done a very careful drawing, I end up being too tight when I paint. 

When I started doing the poured paintings I thought I had the answer; however, being a master at being a Jack of All trades and masking fluid having a shelf life, when I finally got to painting my masking fluid was too gummy.  The only answer was to buy it fresh when I was going to paint.  That has other complications but it’s doable.  If you’re not a regular follower, here’s an example of one of my poured pieces,

carefully drawn and then mask and pour the paint so it isn’t tight.

With the challenges I’ve been doing them in a handmade sketchbook made from junk papers that I’ve used to mop up paint or clean a brush or roller when making monoprints or monotypes.  Since the paper was already marked up with paint I could do a careful drawing and not worry about how I painted it.  The result is a loose look that I like very much.  So, the AHA moment – why not put some marks down on a larger sheet and do the same thing.

Next week I’ll be in Harbor Springs, one of my two annual art retreats with my friend Terry.  She doesn’t have a web presence for her art so I can’t provide a link.  However, I can tell you she is an excellent pastelist.

I’ll post the results of my week when I get back – good or bad.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


England trip 1

More sorting and reorganizing in the studio and this is one of 4 sketches I found that I had forgotten about.  It’s from our trip to England back in ‘98.  I love the sketches’ have to figure out what to do with them.

Here are the other three….

england trip 2


England trip 3

England trip 4

For now I think they’ll live on one of the walls in the studio.

Monday, May 18, 2015

More Challenge Images

Day 14

I have no idea what kind of fish this guy is but I sure do love all of his wavy lines and colors.  A couple more from the fish challenge,..

This one was just there in the tea bag…

Day 13 finish

And the last  day I did two on the page, the bottom one I planned to do, the top one was just there.

Day 15

I may flush him out later but for now, it’s on to the next challenge, Pigs.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sorting and More of the Challenge

day 4 more pears

I’m in the midst of sorting, rearranging and getting rid of stuff in my studio so I’m not getting much art done.  I am managing to work a little by continuing with Valri’s Art Challenges.

The next round of Valri’s Challenge was Still Life.  The pears and strawberries is my favorite of the ones I did.  I’ve been doing all of them in the same type of sketchbook I used for the birds, handmade out of junk papers that I used for picking up paint or cleaning a brush or roller. 

I shouldn’t call it junk paper, some of it is Dick Blick’s cheap drawing paper and it’s a decent paper. After the Still Life challenge we did people.  I decided if I was going to do people on junk paper it ought to be me that is looking a lot less than perfect so I did some self portraits.  This is my favorite of those….

day 4

The next challenge was boats which is a favorite subject of mine; however, it was during my husband’s rehab from the knee surgery and I was not getting much done.  I did manage to do one very day but not as well as I would have liked.  Here’s my favorite of those…

Day 6

And now we’re doing Fish…. It’s another subject I like but I do more fantasy fish than the real thing.  I did manage do do one that is real, a rainbow trout, and I’m pleased with how he turned out….

Day 4 Rainbow trout

The partial circle top left is part of a coffee filter from our hotel at Disney World and the rectangle lower right is a tea bag.  Both were glued to the junk paper just to add another dimension.

Time to get back to my sorting….

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fiber, Disney and a New Knee

photo 1

This piece is a small art quilt that will be part of the Gallery Uptown’s May exhibit, Uncommon Threads.  It opens this Friday, work is to be delivered by tomorrow morning and I have one more piece that I hope I can finish in time. 

goofy ride 5That’s my son and grandson in the front car.  We spent a week at Disney World and I had planned to come home and work none stop on the last piece I was doing for the exhibit.  That was until my spouse mentioned that he was having his knee replaced.  And it was scheduled for the Monday after we returned.  So, the last two weeks have not been spent stitching.  The best laid plans….

The patient is doing remarkably well, a full week of therapy helped. And fortunately I had some work done before we left.  This is another piece that will be in the exhibit,  A small table runner or it could be a wall hanging.

liz blue

Now off to see if I can’t finish that one last piece…..

Friday, March 27, 2015

The rest of the birds; on to the next challenge


Day 12, Robin

It’s spring so I had to include a robin.  Here are the rest of the birds…...

day 13 the sparrowday 14 bird on a wire

day 15 the orioleDay 16, Bonapartes Gull

Day 17, chickadee day 18, tufted titmouseday 19, Michigan Loonday 20, hummingbird

I’m really pleased with how the birds came out; not so thrilled with the still life sketches in a similar sketchbook. This one is only 10 days, after tomorrow I’m half way home.  One thing that has surprised me about these sketchbooks is that watercolor crayon in many cases can be used right on top of the acrylic and show up.

Day 1, a pear Day 2, 2 pear

day 3, wine and bread day 4 more pears

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Bird Challenge & Handmade Sketchbooks

My most recent work has been non-representational and mixed media.   And most recently, I’ve been working on a Challenge my friend Valri Ari threw out on Facebook.  More on that later but here’s today’s piece for the challenge.

Day 11, Lin's shorebird 

The mixed media is a combination of monoprint and collage.  I’m  using more acrylics and one of the things I do when I’m using them is keep an extra sheet of paper next to me that I can use to blot some of the paint off a piece.  I also use the paper to clean my brayer as I’m printing..My intent in using that paper was to create papers for collage.

page for day 2

Enter sketchbooks.  I use a lot of them.  There are always a couple in the studio and I keep one in my purse and in my car.  I thought I would try to make some signatures of my own using the same paper but without anything on it.  The idea being to use the signatures as the sketchbook and eventually putting some of them together into one book.

One of the blogs I follow is Jane Davies.  She is the one who gave me the idea of lifting paint onto a separate sheet and she sometimes puts those sheets together into a handmade sketchbook.  I thought it would be a good way to work out some non-representational ideas so I made a few of those too.

some sketchbooks

A spread in one can end up looking like this….

sketchbook spread

The idea is to connect them somehow or use each page individually. I hadn’t been brave enough to use them until Valri Ari’s bird challenge came along.  The first challenge was birds, 20 in 20 days.  One of my signatures has 20 individual pages so I got brave and decided to give it a shot.  I am loving the results… Here’s the cover of the Bird Challenge…

day 1 the cover

For this one I’m doing individual pages, here are the rest that are done to date..

day 2 owlday 3 cardinal

day 4 crowday 5 female cardinal

day 6 roosterquail, day 7day 8 another owlDay 9, a gull

Day 10, a shorebirdDay 11, Lin's shorebird

You can see that the last two are from a spread that is in the middle. 

I’m looking forward to the next challenge and using another of my signatures.