March 16, 2008

The Creekbed

This is another tiny encaustic painting (5x5). It actually looks a bit more vibrant in the photograph than it should, but that just gives me ideas for the colors in the next one.

Prairie winter

I started out trying to make a fairly abstract prairie winter landscape, but it ended up being quite detailed. It worked, though, so I didn't want to ruin it by making it more abstract.

March 12, 2008

I have a lot of partially completed projects that I have stored away over the years. Often I get halfway through and find I need a particulary supply or something that I don't have, and the project gets put on hold until I can find or buy the missing item. Then it gets packed away for some reason or other, and I never get back to it. Other times, it isn't working the way I thought it would, and rather than go with it, and risk embarassment if someone should see a failed attempt, I hide it away, waiting for some kind if inspiration that will resolve the ugliness and let me make it into something wonderful.

I had a lot of failed attempts at doll making too, before I heard about Art Dolls. I thought that dolls all had to look perfect, and life-like and beautiful. Then I saw images of other people's interpretations of the doll - funny, quirky and sometimes ugly on purpose. That inspiration gives me new purpose to finish those ugly attempts, and turn them into something that makes a statement, or makes someone laugh.

And it gives me an excuse to dig out 'failures' and turn them into successses, which has got to be a good thing!

March 11, 2008

cactus flower

The sun was just setting when I got home after work, and I had time to take pictures of this beautiful flower on my Christmas cactus. It is supposed to flower at Christmas, but since flowering is triggered by the number of hours of sunlight, mine flowers twice a year in the fall and again in the spring. I never noticed it before - probably because I never really sat down and looked closely at a flower before - that the flower is a true red, or maybe even slightly orange-red, but the stamen is actually hot pink.

March 10, 2008

signature stamp

The little encaustic paintings are so small that it is very difficult to sign them. Wax is quite globby, and it is very had to make a signature that actually looks like anything recognizable. I had what I thought was a brilliant idea to create a small stamp, using my broken heart image, that I could use like a Chinese chop. I found a small stamp mounting kit, and created this heart stamp. After I got it mounted and was satisfied with the image, I went to use it on my latest encaustic, and realized that it is still WAY too big, even though it is only about half an inch across. It will be a nice chop for bigger paintings, but it is back to the drawing board for an image for the encaustics.

March 9, 2008


I have been having a lot more difficulty fitting in time for creativity than usual these days. Unless one can count looking at other people's blogs and looking at all the incredible art out there in blogland.

I have been trying to track down a copy of a How To book on sketching while travelling. I know there are a lot out there, and I have looked at them and thought that I would like to buy one but of course nobody stocks them now when I need one. And it is too late to get one via mail order - we leave for Costa Rica in less than two weeks.

I did manage to get out to the art store to get the necessary supplies to take along, though. I bought a new sketchbook of watercolor paper with a coil binding (so I can work in confined spaces like airplane seats). I bought a new mechanical pencil and an eraser. I also bought a set of pencils of different weights with a pencil sharpener, but I'm thinking that might be overkill, and I really don't want to have to carry stuff I won't use, so I may not take those. Then there's a glue stick, a small plastic magnifier, and a set of black india ink pens. I already had a small W&N portable watercolor set that I will take along as well. I keep thinking I am missing something, but since I have tried to keep a sketch journal while travelling before, and never managed to even get it out of the box, I guess I shouldn't stress too much about it.

I am also quite unsure which camera to take. I keep thinking that I should be taking my digital SLR or my film SLR, because the scenery and wildlife will be spectacular photo-ops. But they are both so heavy, and I hate to lug them around, and always worry about getting them stolen. I also have a new light little Lumix, which would be a dream to deal with, but the pictures won't compare to either of the two SLRs.
Any recommendations?

March 5, 2008

box brownie

I was so inspired by Carol Gillot's beautiful still life paintings that I decided to try to paint a teacup still life myself. I obviously have a long way to go to get the sponteneity and freedom that shows in Carol's work.

March 3, 2008

Heart charm necklace

I was trying to buy a heart of some kind every time I went somewhere on vacation. I planned on loading them all onto a necklace and imagined the necklace like a very full charm bracelet. It is harder than you would think to just find a heart charm that could be put on a necklace. I found earrings, and boxes, and lots of other heart-shpaed items, but not very many hearts.

However, I thought that I was getting a good stash of hearts, so I started to put them all on the chain. It was much better in my imagination. I imagined a chain full of hearts, so many that it was hard to tell how many. I guess this is a work in progress. And an excuse to buy more hearts whenever I go somewhere.

March 2, 2008

Distracted by Shiny Objects

I recently met someone who described me as being a Crow person, and he suggested that the Crow was my totem animal. After doing a bit more research, I think he was quite insightful, and spot on. A crow is curious. About everything. They can get easily sidetracked from their purpose by shiny objects (or shiny ideas). Crows are farseeing, and warn other animals of impending danger. They are also quite playful. People who have a crow as their totem animal are much like the crow.

I know a lot of people don't like them, but I like crows. They make an awful lot of noise, and their normal cawing is quite grating. They are also one of the most intelligent birds. They can make an incredible range of different calls, and sometimes they seem to be just playing with new sounds for the fun of it.

The crow has a bad reputation, so at first I was a bit insulted about being compared to a crow (particularly at my age!). However, there are lots of good things about being a crow person or having a crow totem. I was most particularly intrigued by the curiousity aspect, because that is so descriptive, and much moreso than the concept of a Renaissance Soul. During the Renaissance, it was fashionable to develop a level of expertise in variety of different fields (key word fashionable). Crow people are just so curious that they can't help themselves.

I can't imagine how boring life would be if I didn't have at least three totally distinct activities going at any given time. I guess that driving curiousity interferes a bit with my creativity time, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


As I mentioned a few posts ago, I keep my table set up with little stations where I can do different types of creative activities. Although I have a number of things in the works, I end up doing encaustic more often than not, because it is quite easy to just do a little bit at a time.

This one started out as a collage, and I didn't like where it was going and couldn't figure out how to rescue it, so I wiped most of it off and started again. Now it is just a simple little landscape.

Simple is perhaps not a very good descriptor, though. I have a lot of difficulty getting the wax to stay on the surface when it is hot, and I spend quite a bit of time making sure that the wood doesn't show through from underneath. Sometimes the wood grain is nice to see, and adds to the picture, but it is difficult to control when and where it shows.