February 28, 2008

365 photos

I committed to the idea of doing a photo a day for a year, but I have decided I really don't like it. I feel like I am forced to find something to take a picture of, and when I run out of time, the creativity disappears, and it becomes an onerous obligation. I guess I am just not comfortable working that way. I don't seem to be able to work on demand. I certainly feel more creative when I cultivate it, but not when I am under a deadline.

However, when I was driving to work this morning, I looked to the west and spotted this incredible cloud formation that looked like a huge grey wing. Of course, by the time I got the camera out and focused and there were no more trees in the way, I had moved so far that the resemblance to a wing was gone. It was a pretty cool and inspiring thing to see, even if I didn't manage to get a good picture of it.

February 26, 2008

Learning to paint

I subscribe to the Sixty Minute Artist (http://sixtyminuteartist.blogspot.com/) and get a very valuable art lesson delivered to me fairly regularly. Jerry is currently writing about how to find and mix the correct color for a painting. I find it rather amusing that I hated doing the color mixing assignments when I was in school, but now I recognize the need to do them, and the need to focus my attention while doing them. After all, it is only through complete and undevided attention that the lesson can truly be learned, and by repetition that it can be internalized and become automatic. I hated those assignments when I was in school.

I also love his techniques, and often try to copy his paintings. I never succeed, even when I just try to replicate his little studies.

February 25, 2008

antique doll

I took some photos of my oldest antique doll and altered it a bit with Photoshop. She is painted composition, and she has sleeping eyes and her head is attached to a stuffed rubber body. I created a second layer in black and white, and then decreased the opacity a bit, just enough to let a bit of the color show through.

February 24, 2008


It was one of those weekends that just wasn't great for art. I did manage to get a bit of time to play with creating clouds in encaustic.

February 21, 2008

Not just another day

It was an absolutely spectacular day. I had to run errands at lunch, which I avoid like the plague. However, the break from the routine always brings a new awareness of my surroundings, and makes the day special. I don't like just going for a walk in the area where I work, and I can't afford to go shopping every day, so I usually just stay in and work through lunch.

But today I had to go across town to pick up a supply of contact lenses. It was a beautiful, clear and sunny day. There is still lots of snow, but the temperature was above freezing, and it felt like early spring. On the way, I passed a house on a busy street that had a tiny, handkerchief-sized front yard with a chicken wire fence around it, and a huge pile of snow in the middle. Two big labs were perched on top of this pile of snow, getting the best view of the street possible. It was so funny to look at, but I couldn't stop in the middle of heavy traffic to get a picture.

I also stopped in at Hallmark cards, and found this adorable little rabbit, which I HAD to buy.

The vapour trails from the jets seemed to stay in the sky forever, and I managed to take this picture of two big Xs. I started the 365 photo project as a way of infusing more creativity and awareness into every day.

I also managed to get a few pages written for a fiction book, while watching the total eclipse of the moon.

You can't get a better day than that!

February 19, 2008


The idea of organizing all my supplies into clear (see-through) boxes and putting them on shelves in the garage seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turns out it isn't. I find that I am less likely to go dig around and get out the supplies to make a particular thing on the spur of the moment, and instead I feel somehow that I have to plan ahead and dig out the supplies on the weekend. By the time the weekend rolls around, I have forgotten what I was inspired to do, and I don't bother getting out the supplies at all. It was a mess and lots of clutter before, but at least everything was accessible! After looking at some of the wonderful blogs featured in Somerset Studio's Artful Blogging magazine, I was totally inspired to "go make (jewellery) art", but decided to finish this encaustic instead.

It is 5.5" x 8.5" on .5" solid board.

February 18, 2008

Trees and fall foliage

I didn't manage to get much done yesterday after all. I found a great Somerset magazine called Artful Blogging, which featured Paris Breakfasts. I spent a glorious hour reading her archives, and dreaming of Paris, which took me off on a search for a good recipe for chocolat macaron, and Framboise Nougat, which continued on today as well. It is so easy to get sidetracked with surfing.

I have been looking at this little encaustic on my table for the past couple of weeks, trying to think of what I could do to replace little fern fronds, but I finally just decided that I like it the way it is, enough to call it finished. I tend to prefer my artwork to be understated and clean, and I think this image is nice because it is simple. It is 5.5 x 5.5 inches on board.

February 17, 2008

Studio Tour

When I first started writing this blog, I was using it as self-encouragement to do a painting every day. After all, there is no better way of improving one's art than to paint every day. I thought that the public commitment of promising to paint every day would be a strong incentive. Turns out I was wrong and it seems to be a common misconception. Not because any of us suffers a lack of commitment to our art. It is just that life gets in the way.
Creative Every Day is a commitment to just do something creative every day, and to recognize that creativity is a part of daily living. No obligation to create a finished painting every day - just to do something creative, instead of scurrying through life head down. That I can do, even if it just means that I spent 15 minutes working out the subjects of the chapters in a book I am writing, and even if the book never gets anywhere other than my imagination.
BWO is a little bit different twist - it stands for Blogging Without Obligation. No more guilt because I haven't lived up to my obligation to paint every day and post something.
It is early in the day, and I have no obligations to do anything today other than paint until supper time. However, I thought that you might like to see my 'studio' space. For most of my adult life, I didn't have a dedicated space where I could leave everything set up, and drop in to paint or glue when I had a few moments. I finally live in a house that is big enough to provide such a space, although I have to share it with our library. I have two large portable tables that, when put together, form a 4'x8' work space.
This picture shows the left corner of the table and my easel:

And since I like to work in a variety of media, I have created work stations around the table where I can leave the supplies for a particular medium. I know it looks like a bit of a mess, but there really is a loose form of organization to it. This is the encaustic station:

And the watercolor station:

This is the area next to my easel where I was painting with purple:

and this is another acrylic station, with two oil paintings in progress (there isn't quite enough room for all the stations I need):

I also have a huge storage area where I keep all my supplies (like wool for felting, and collage papers, and polymer clay and beading and ... you get the picture), and a spare bedroom where I store all my finished works.

February 11, 2008

lavender angel

I have been working on this painting on and off for several weeks, and I think it is finally finished. This is based on one of my favorite photographs of my daughter, which I use to create images in a variety of different media.

This one is acrylic on canvas

16"w x 20"h

February 6, 2008


I worked on this encaustic collage over a number of days. It is 14"w x 11"H, on hardboard

February 5, 2008


I put some finishing touches on this encaustic painting last night. It is 5" x 5" on .5" poplar.

February 4, 2008


I was looking for a book I had misplaced last night, and came across a great book about making felt hats by Chad Alice Hagen (it was in my own library, but I had forgotten it was there). I was inspired to dig out my wool and make a few, but ended up looking at all the wonderful examples online, like this one and this one, and that was as far as I got.

I also joined the Creative Everyday Challenge and will be tryign to post something creative every day. It is really hard to find bits of beauty when I spend all day in a sterile office and the weather is -20, but that is the purpose of accepting a challenge!

February 2, 2008

Goddess pendants

My Stone Goddess Pendants will be included in a wearable art show at IS Gallery in Red Deer, from February 5 to March 1, 2008. I created this panel for the gallery to use to display them. It is about 12 inches square and is made from the same polymer clay as the pendants hanging from it.
The gallery is holding their show opening from 6 to 9 pm on Saturday, February 9th. Please drop by.