Saturday, November 29, 2014

Calla Lilies - mixed media

~ Three stems of Calla Lilies ~

I did this piece for my daughter-in-law's birthday. She is all about calla lilies. This is an 8"x16" canvas with acrylics, paper and pen shading. I learned a new technique for this painting - how to shade with Faber-Castell PITT artist pens. These are ink pens (in fabulous colors) and you have about 20 seconds to smudge with your finger tip to get a blurry shadow. AHA - I discovered you can also use a wet brush and softly blend and shadow. I love shadowing and now have a new love for these indispensable pens.

Happy Birthday, Yana!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A couple more mixed-media canvas creations

My daughter is a life coach and journal instructor ( and asked for a large canvas of her craft for her new office. Acrylics, paper, stamps, ink and lots of cut-outs. I started with postcard paper and added vintage postcards from around Oregon (where Andrea calls home) and painted the canvas with the side of an old credit card. I used a die cut for the basic butterfly and layered underneath with dotted paper, dictionary page paper and white that I attached with medium gel so the butterflies are 3D.

This is a canvas I did for my daughter-in-law, Chris. Chris is our families jig-saw puzzle champ and I started the background using a puzzle die-cut and scrapbook paper -- each puzzle piece is a different paper (yes, this took days to match, contrast and attach). It was very bright and I toned it down with a white/ivory wash and bits of green and distressed the edges. The lotus is paper edged in ink and shadowed around the edge. I love shadowing and learned a new technique AFTER this piece was done. Always the way while exploring techniques, challenges and trying to figure out "how do they do that?" Next time I post, I show you the technique I did learn -- I love it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

For the Grandkids - Mixed-Media

I did these for my granddaughter - Abigail. When she was a little tyke (still is but growing daily and now 2 years & 3 months) she was fascinated with birds - birds - birds. So I had to create a couple of canvas bird panels. These are 8"x16" with acrylic paints, paper, pens and the like.
(claimer: The bird on the left was inspired by an Australian mixed-media artist.)

My grandson (step-grandson and we love him to bits) is into everything lacrosse -- he plays, eats, talks, is passionate, sleeps and dreams lacrosse -- he's 13. Of course, I had to do a canvas to show my support (besides going to each home game -- usually in the rain with a chill that goes right through ya). This is a 10'x10" canvas with a 2" profile - acrylics, paper, pens and well, you get the picture (as it were).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gerber Daisies - mixed media

My latest mixed-media attempt -- I followed an artist (Sara Barnes) instruction technique using paper, and pen work to create a pot of Gerber daisies (adding my own take on the work). This one will hang next to the flower panel I did last week on the wall in my craft/computer/painting/journaling/play room. More to come ----

Sunday, November 2, 2014

On To Something New (for me)

Every 5 years or so I find something to get excited about and with retirement time on my hands -- that's a good thing (keeps me out of trouble). First it was scrapbooking 40 years of photos (that had been dumped in a box). I started with cut-n-paste techniques and graduated to doing digital scrapbooking pages. I have a bookcase filled with all but the last 2 years of photos. My kids (and grandaughter) all have scrapbooked albums of weddings, first grandchild and major events. I won awards for my pages, was published in a few books and magazines and then started looking for something new to do.

Next it was writing -- I always wanted to write, just never sure what, when or how. But when I found some discarded vintage photos, I started writing and I wrote and wrote and re-wrote their history into a manuscript called Lost and Found and a web site: Attic Whispers. It is out and about in the publishing world just waiting for an agent to get excited (a few have) enough to take on the project to get it published. It's a waiting game (game being the optimal word). Wait-Wait-Wait.....

Then a couple of weeks ago my daughter and daughter-in-law and I stopped at an artist's studio during the Bellingham Artist Tour (she just happened to live on my street). Maren Larson is a mixed media artist with a studio/home filled with her amazing creations. We ou-eed and ah-eed over her talent, picked up a couple of pieces -- and I had an "Ah-Ha" moment. I could do that! So with my knowledge of scrapbooking supplies, being an art major in collage (no biggy - everyone was) and needing another exciting thing for an excuse to get messy -- I started doing some mixed-media art. And like all my previous endeavors - I can't get enough. So, I've invested in some canvases, paints, medium gels, gesso, brushes and the tools to make magic and went to town (as it were).

Here are a few of my first attempts --- next week I can display a few I did that I really love (but they are going to someone special and I don't want to spoil the surprise of opening a box off the FedEx truck) and one that was I was commissioned to do.

This 8" x 16" (my favorite format) is now hanging in my studio -- as most scrapbookers do when they stare at a blank page (or canvas as the case may be) we scraplift an idea from another artist. I found something like this one on the web and put my mark (and papers) to the sample I scraplifted.

It took me weeks to figure out what to use for shading (and lots of bucks spent experimenting) but finally found some wonderful Faber-Castell PITT pens that are fantastic over and under gel medium.

These 2 canvases will hang in my kitchen (I couldn't wait to hang them to get photos) on our red kitchen wall. I wanted something powerful with very white backgrounds to pop-off the red wall.  The white background is textured and the flower petals are all shaded (just hard to tell in these photos).

I'll separate them by a couple of inches when I stack them on the wall -- photos of placement to follow.

I also tried my hand at some colleges -- This 8" x 8" canvas was for my daughter


Another one I did for my daughter-in-law (they were with me for my "Ah-Ha" moment and got the first of my new adventure. (again, an 8" x 8" canvas).

So there you have --- I'm painting with paints, paper, vintage post cards and photos and using up my huge stash of scrapbooking supplies in my new found love -- mixed media.