Because Art Should be Play and Not Work

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Studying Under Van Gogh

The second session of Jeanne Oliver's course "Studying Under the Masters: Portraits" opened several weeks ago. First up Van Gogh.
We started out using only pen and ink and looking at the many lines and patterns he uses in his art.
I noticed how my grandfather Coy Seward used many of the same lines in this lithograph of his grandfather. Then we tried our hand at a monochromatic watercolor of "The Knitter". Enjoyed these--but I wanted COLOR!!
Isn't that what we love about Van Gogh? His sunny yellows and beautiful blues?
Even in some of his sadder paintings as in my copy of this one after he had cut off part of his earlobe--there is color.
And my painting of the postman Roulin -lovely color and patterned background.. And finally--this is a class on portraits and self portraits, so here I am ala Van Gogh.
Throughly enjoyed  really looking at his paintings!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Magical Mushrooms

Over the weekend we discovered these mushrooms growing in the grass near our condo. I have never seen mushrooms like this before.
The tops of the mushrooms look like they have been painted with gold metallic paint! My neighbor told me the name of the mushrooms is shaggy mane.
I thoroughly expected to find a little elf sitting underneath!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Imaginative Painting

A little more than a year ago I belonged to a group run by Jeanette House and several times a month we did a type of painting called 'paint what you see".

This process involved putting down lots of paint using stencils, different types of brushes and strokes and then "looking" at your finished page to see what images you could find. It was great fun and I started making a book out of the pages I made.

 I finally finished my book and following are the rest if the pages from the book. Their are lots of photos here. The story is that they first met at a dance, then they married and acquired a rather cute little dog. They are fast asleep in their bed while dreaming of (if not sugarplums--many interesting things) drift through their heads.

I had so much fun making this book!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Nature Sketching

I started a sketchbook devoted solely to all things in the natural world and I have also discovered how satisfying it is to put these things into little frames.
Interesting pods that I copied from a botanical book.
Shells from my shell collection.
Succulents and cactus-more fun to look at than they are to draw.
Some floral designs--not sure if I will color all of these in or just leave them in black and white.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper was a "new" artist to me. He is the final artist in the first Studying under the Masters course. Many of his paintings depict small town America-. Again I created pages for my artists sketchbook. The portrait of him is copied from a self portrait that he painted. I was very happy with the way this turned out--especially the hat. Most of his paintings are architectural with many angles and light streaming in from one side--all big challenges for me--not being a straight line type or particularly precise with measurements--but a good exercise. All the pieces I did are reproductions of his work.
Very interesting to try these pieces and all well out of my comfort zone. Stay tuned--I have signed up for the next Studying under the Masters course which I will begin soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

We have a winner!!

Congratulations to Jo Murray!! She is the winner of the Danse Macbre stencils from Artistcellar. Thanks to all of you who left comments!! Jo-you will be contacted by Artistcellar for your mailing information.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Danse Macabre

I am so excited about the new stencils from Artistcellar called Danse Macabre. by their new signature artist Beatrice Coron. In fact I thought they were so cool that I decided to challenge myself to use all four using different mediums! Be sure to read all the way to the end of the post to see who else is participating in the blog hop and also for a chance to win your very own set of stencils,. Leave a comment no later than September 28th.
For the first piece ( up above) I painted the canvas with black gesso. Then I spread.modeling paste through the stencil. It's a little messy and leaves lots of texture on your canvas but I like that "chunky" look. I then painted it with Silks paints.
The next piece is mixed media on canvas.  It's mainly paint and collage.  In Spanish it says "but mom, the dog ate my homework". You have to look closely to see all the details.
For my third piece I decided to make a small art quilt with machine and hand embroidery and beads. The stencil with the dancers was the only choice for this one!!
And for the final piece a composition book cover using metallic pens on black card stock.
Be sure to visit all of the other artists who are participating in the blog hop using these fun stencils.

Lisa Cousineau Artistcellar   September 20
Jill K. Berry                         September 21
Janet Ghio                            September 22
Cheryl Sleboda                    September 23
Sarah Trumpp                      September 24
Diana Trout                          September 25

Leave me a comment and tell me which piece you like the best and I will draw a winner for these stencils from Artistcellar the first week of October.

Be sure to leave an email so I can get a hold of you and get your mailing address.
If blogger won't allow you to leave a comment (sometimes it is contrary) just click on my link above or go directly to my blog and leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Francoise de Felice

Francoise de Felice is a current artist one we studied in the Studying Under the Masters class. She has been influenced by the French impressionists and by Sicilian baroque. Her paintings have a muted, soft look and many times have two figures in them. On the left of this journal page are photocopies of  two of her paintings and on the right my painted copy of one of hers.
This is the opposite page in my large journal and is a copy I made of one of her paintings.
This is my original piece based on what I learned in the class about her paintings. I enjoy looking at her paintings, but not so much painting in this style. I did enjoy the challenge of putting two entwined figures in the painting. And finally
I added a fold out page with other information about Francoise de Felice. I found these fashion illustrations in "W" magazine which looked very much like her paintings.

Friday, September 12, 2014


I've been taking Mary Ann Moss's class and let me just say that I ADORE this class and am having lots of fun sketching. I just love her loose style of sketching. I'm taking my time working my way through all the videos. One of my favorite exercises is doing blind contour drawings and then a more controlled semi blind contour drawing next to it (meaning you get to peek a little as you go along)

They are fun to look at and fun to make. Some other more controlled sketches below not done for her class, but done earlier.
The chair and table in our living room
A little collection of jugs and vases.
A drawing of my grand daughter which looks surprisingly like her--she was keeping her mouth closed for her school photo because she had several teeth missing which is why her mouth looks so odd (besides my drawing skills). Sketching from real life is a real challenge for those of us who are spacially challenged. I do much better drawing from a photo that is flat as opposed to the 3 D items up above. I took an aptitude test once where you had to mentally fold up flat patterns into different shapes and I failed it miserably. The only one I could do was a square--spatial relationships score was almost zero!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Henry Clive

Henry Clive was another artist that we studied in the "Studying Under the Masters Course". Henry Clive is best known for his illustrations in the 20's, 30's and 40's. His paintings of beautiful woman and famous movies stars graced the covers of many magazines. Henry Clive began his career as a magician which inspired me to create the drawing at the top of him. the two woman on this page are photo copies of two of his illustrations. I believe that my mother when she was about 14 (1928) must have been influenced by his illustrations, because in the pocket above are four small drawings that she made, very much in his style. Here they are below:
The second journal page has drawings that i did in his style. The top two are copies of illustrations that he made.
The two on the bottom are my interpretations of his style. The one on the left is of my mother when she was in her 20's. The one on the right is from a photo of Nicole Kidman (sorry Nicole). Below are the photos that I used.

I really enjoyed the Henry Clive study and my "Masters" journal is getting quite full!