Monday, September 28, 2009

Free Falling

This is how I have been feeling lately: like I'm falling, falling, falling... I have had an inner ear infection for the past week or so and it is really playing havoc with my balance. I'm okay as long as I don't move my head... not so fun.

I've tried to paint without much success. I resorted to sitting in my chair and painting with the canvas on the tabletop. It's not ideal but I did manage to finish the latest class painting from Jared Knight. I am always amazed at how I can follow along with him each step of the painting and use the exact colors he's using yet end up with different hues and a totally different look.

Yes, he is an experienced, wonderful artist! He's painted all his life and I love his work. I'm a newbie. He says that you learn to paint by ... painting! So I stuck it out. First I'll show you his painting. This is what the latest class taught you to paint (or, at least, your version of it):

I love his colors and his knife work! I still struggle with the knife but am working on a few different tips he gave in this class. I love his shades and blue. His is size 18 x 36. Now, here's my version:

First off: there were NO 18 x 36 canvasses at all in town. Aaarrghhh! I tried every store. So I had to use 24 x 36. Maybe it was the dizziness but this one reminds me of outer space, looking out through the window of a spaceship. :) It also makes me dizzy just looking at it so I'm starting the paintover on it today. I thought I would post it now because it's not going to last.

I like the blues in his a lot better but I'll keep some of the deeper blues in this one. I'll show you the paintover when I finish (if it's worth showing). I just know that I can't look at this one without getting dizzy so it has to go.

He says to substitute the colors you like for what he's doing and that may be my strategy. My colors tend to be more toward purples, violets, pinks, etc. (see top photo). So, along those lines maybe something more pleasing to me will emerge. And hopefully I'll be able to stand up and move around while I paint....without free falling to the ground!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Well, isn't this different! I was in the mood to create something digital and found some awesome free images here. So, what to put into this room? I've been playing with the idea of reflection, self reflection, the future self, etc. and this came together.

It's not my usual type of thing but it speaks to where I am right now. Taking a look at myself (no, that's not me. I wish!) and wanting to change so many things; physically and mentally. I like where I am with my art. I like that I'm experimenting with all the different media and finding out what I want to concentrate on.

But physically (both with my body and my living space), there is definitely room for improvement. I think it's time for another good de-cluttering of the studio as well as the entire upstairs. I'm avoiding the studio because it is so cluttered with current projects, future projects and a lot of items that I've saved "just in case". So, tomorrow I begin the purge. I need to clear my space so I can work in there!

I think a lot of this has to do with the arrival of Fall. This is my favorite time of year. Some people love the Summer but I come alive in the crisp air, the turning leaves and sweater weather. Bring it on! And I become more physically active; something I have neglected for way too long. I love long walks in the cool, or even cold, air. I am not a fan of heat, humidity and temps over 80 degrees.

So I'm having a little confrontation with myself; facing hard facts and finally beginning to act on them. I know the results will be worth it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Halloween Fun

Check it out! Get a head-start on your Halloween fun starting Friday, September 25th at Hands and Heart. Monica has planned lots of games, prizes, giveaways and, of course, fantastic classes! There are also free projects that will teach you some cool techniques. So join us on Friday and check out all the Halloween Happenings. See you there!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Exploring Possibilities

This is one of my favorite sketches so far. I found the model for this one in a fashion mag. I often use fashion models as the base for my sketches. I'm not real good at producing a face completely out of my imagination. I'm still having issues drawing the nose, as you can see. And drawing at an angle gives me fits but I keep practicing. I'm also trying to give them more emotion. I think she looks like she's exploring possibilities.

I'm certainly doing that. I'm enjoying the abstract painting. It really is fun! The whole idea of painting with no image is very freeing. You paint your emotion. Good stuff. I put on some music that reflects my mood for that particular moment and then go with it.

I am finding the artist tube paints very nice to work with. They don't dry out as fast as the Golden fluid paints. And my new best friend is Titanium White. I have gone through three tubes of it so far. Between using it for practicing with my knifework and then using it in my paintings it doesn't last long. I found you can order a gallon of it online and that's what I did. In the long run it will be cheaper. The next painting we will be doing in class will be larger: 18 x 36. That will be a blast! Hopefully Jared will have it up soon!

Another cool thing I learned about was painting with skewers. Who would have thought! My painting buddy, Kimmie, sent me a YouTube video showing how to paint Jackson Pollock style using skewers. You have to have liquid paint, of course, to be able to fling the paint but it looks so cool! You can vary your marks, drips, etc. I'll have to work that into something...maybe just painted backgrounds to scan for digital works.

Like I said, exploring the possibilities...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inner Storm

This is my first finished painting from Jared Knight's class. It's 11 x 14, Acrylic. This was not the painting that we did along with him in class. I'm still working on those. This one is from inside me. It's funny because I started painting along with him in his class video called Black Ice. For some reason I can't finish the painting like I want. I'm having issues using the palette knife. The best part of that painting is the knife. I have the everything else finished but I don't want to mess it up. So I've been practicing with that knife on everything I can make a mark on. I hope to finish it by tomorrow.

I love this one. I'm hanging it in our living room. Hubby really liked it, too. Of course what else could he say? ;) It's been fun challenging myself to do something I've never done before. What a rush! I had Melissa Etheridge blaring on the stereo today and painted my soul. Lots of paintings in the works so things are moving along. Now it's time for Jared to make a new class video!

Other things I'm working on: I have a bunch of new sketches that I'm playing with. I am in love with one of these. She's so ... not spooky, but I can't find the word. I'm working on giving the portraits more emotion. Looking over the earlier ones they all have the same frozen expression. So, hopefully, you'll notice more emotion in these later ones.

That's it for today. I wanted to post this while I still had the nerve.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rebel Spirit

When I sketched this gal I noticed right away that she had an attitude. I liked the rebel spirit I saw in her so I placed her in an appropriate atmosphere. Btw, part of the background is from the mega-talented Christine Honsinger (Fidlette Designs) at This is from her black and white collage series. I added a bunch of brushes and lots of color, a cool font, etc. but the background was a great starting point!

So it's with this attitude that I'll start my painting with Jared Knight's videos today (see previous post). I've done a couple of preliminary warm-ups while following along on his videos. Now I'm ready to try one "for real". I finally have all the supplies I need (can you believe I was out of black paint!) and I'm ready to go. I don't have any preconceived expectations, I just want to experience the freedom of the abstract design. I acknowledge to myself that I'm a beginner and I will only learn by doing. So I'm off to do just that.

Oh, I wanted to say THANK YOU to Michele for her comment. Check out her awesome artwork on her blog, "The Cat's Pajamas (see sidebar for link). I'm glad to hear that others are "struggling" with some of the indecision issues I mentioned in the last post. Your comments were most welcome and I absolutely love your collages!

OK, off to paint...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This little lady was a sketch I did last week and she certainly proved to be prophetic. Have you ever had just so much stimuli coming at you at once that you didn't know where to focus your energy? That's where I am right now. Funny, I have had this same conversation with three different people this past week.

Anyway, it's ALL good! There are so many new things I'm learning and being introduced to right now that my mind is reeling. It's just all coming at me at once. Recently I was introduced to a new artist through my friend Kimmie, an awesome artist in her own right and the wonderful host at her ning site Digital Whisper. She introduced me to the art of Jared Knight through her paintings and then through his website. He's a fantastic, energetic, totally cool abstract painter. I loved his work as soon as I saw it. And, guess what, .... YES, he teaches classes!

So I watched his intro video and now am completely hooked on his process. I've just ordered my first class and plan on starting the painting later today. Yes, yes, I KNOW, I'm already in so many classes right now going off in so many different directions. Where do I focus?

Who says I have to? You are only limited by the boundaries you set for yourself. Right now I want to immerse myself in all kinds of media. I want to experience it all! I want to draw, paint, do mixed media and whatever else comes my way. Maybe someday I will focus on one particular media but right now I have a passion for ALL of these things and I am pursuing them all with the same zeal.

So, in addition to more faces (YAY! Monica's lesson this week is on drawing the mouth), a new SuziBlu class on Marie Antoinette, and a Frida Kahlo shadow box (ha! You didn't know about that one, did you?), you will also see some abstract art thrown in just to mix things up even further. Keep your mind OPEN to the possibilities. You could decide to combine them all and come up with something totally awesome!

Jared has a website at This is where he describes himself and his art and where he offers his video tutorials. Right now he is offering a free class where you get acquainted with his style and you paint the painting along with him. It's WONDERFUL! I watched the video this morning. It's called Mountain of Mine. Once you watch his process and his teaching style (totally cool!) you'll be hooked. He has a ning site as well: where the students in his classes show their paintings and discuss the classes. It's a welcoming, friendly place like all of the other incredible ning sites out there. I highly recommend that you check him out. I plan on being a student of his as long he is teaching.

I wish I knew how to make these links "live" but I'll add a badge from his ning site to my sidebar as soon as I finish this post.

So, to answer the little lady in the above piece, indecision isn't a bad thing. You don't HAVE to decide on ONE direction! Go where your Muse leads . . . and follow your bliss!

Friday, September 4, 2009


This is my latest sketch. I told myself I wouldn't make any more until I painted the ones I have mounted on wood first. But my Muse didn't listen and I started this one yesterday. So now there are three mounted on wood waiting to be painted.

I like this color palette. I can't take credit for the poppies (aren't they gorgeous?) I got them from Scrapbook from their Labor Day kit. There are some awesome digital scrapbook kits out there that make gorgeous backgrounds for digital art. I don't scrapbook but I love the papers, embellishments, etc. that they have. This paper was just the plain peach color with the poppies. I had to add some overlays and brushes but I loved the soft color of the peach and the contrast with the poppies.

I wasn't sure what to do with her after I looked at the raw sketch. I just stared at her for awhile and I thought she looked like she was waiting on something...or someone. A secret meeting? A rendezvous, that was it. Scanning the sketches into Photoshop does open up a lot of possibilities. We'll see where she goes when the real painting begins.

I also told myself I wouldn't sign up for any more classes until I finished the ones I am taking. Wrong again. Suzi Blu has a new Petite Dolls workshop starting Saturday: Petite Marie (Antoinette). I wasn't going to sign up for it at first but then I saw Suzi's painting. Now I have to do it. My obsession with faces and fashion keeps growing. I had so many ideas of things I want to try with these paintings that I woke up twice last night to write them in my bedside notebook so I wouldn't forget them.

Ooh, speaking of classes. Suzi also has a Petite workshop coming that has something to do with Tarot. I'm already planning for that one without even seeing what she's going to do. And I think there's one that has to do with the circus. And then there's the Goddess & Poet 2 in December. I may as well just get a permanent spot in her little school! Plus, Monica's class should have the next lesson up today or tomorrow. I hope it will be about the mouth. I seem to keep drawing the same mouth; I want to learn different looks. So I'm looking forward to that lesson.

I did finish the art pin and I really liked it. I'll post it next time. Now I need to try and get some sleep. But I do have my notebook right beside me just in case...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rose-Colored Glasses

This is the latest face I've been working with. I scanned the sketch into Photoshop and started "painting" with the mouse again. I'm getting the hang of it better, but still not where I want to be. Once I get the opacity down I hope to be able to blend better.

In Monica Zuniga's drawing class we are working on noses this week. This is a rough one but I have all week to practice them. :) Then we are to try to sketch what we've learned so far by combining the eyes and noses. I did this sketch and filled in the mouth and hair from what I've learned in Suzi Blu's classes. Monica is such a fabulous teacher! Both she and Suzi are number one with me. ;)

I know she doesn't exactly have glasses but I think you get the idea. By the way, the rose is a temporary tatoo! Suzi showed us how to add those to our art. (Who would have thought to do that!) So cool!

I've got this sketch mounted to wood right now and am playing with the composition with other things I want to add. I'll post the finished piece when it's ready. I also mounted another sketch to wood (a very rough one) and now I've got two different themes going.

But right now I have to finish an art pin I promised to make for a swap. I've never made a pin before; jewelry is NOT my specialty but I love it so! I'm really trying to put something nice together. If it isn't too horrible I'll post that as well. It has to be completed by tonight so I can get it in the mail tomorrow. That's me: always work under pressure!