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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Foothills Depth

Since I've been spending a lot of time this summer working on learning Alcohol Inks, I've neglected my work with mixed media acrylics.  I did, however, get one that I really like, but previously did not get a very good picture of it to post.  While I had my big camera and detachable flash unit out, I decided to try to get another shot of this one and it does show the depth this layered painting has.  This one is finished with a "deep pour" using Golden Paint Company's GAC 800.  This finish too nearly 10 days to fully dry but I do like the end result and will probably have the patience to try the process again!

Here is Foothills Sunrise.

New Alcohol Inks

Some new inks to show you.  My focus has again shifted to doing more with ceramic tiles and frames for them. 
In the process of figuring out what was possible with tiles, I discovered that black ceramic tiles are elegant and dramatic in their appearance.  Add color to them and they sparkle.  In "Cactus Trio" above, I have use 3" X 6" tiles, each painted separately and at different times.  After I'd done each of the tiles on the ends, I saw that they were very bright and very "busy," and needed a calmer space in between them.  They are all done with a special mixative ink called "Snow Cap" which makes the color show up and varigates them so they have texture.  In the process of dealing with these odd size pieces, I soon discovered that frames for them were NOT readily available.  My solution to that was learning to use my husband's power mitre saw and router to make exactly what I wanted from 1" X 2" pieces of pine and routing them as "floater frames," meaning the tiles are in set on the front side of the frame. 
My next project used a white 6" tile and inks applied with a small paint brush, then sealed with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel).  This frame was not an odd size so was purchased unfinished.  I used thinned fluid acrylics to paint the frame, then used the UTEE to coat the frame as well to get a unified look. 

Finally,  a couple more 3" x 6" tiles, one white and one black, one framed and one yet to be framed.  All of these will be on display at the Village Art Gallery in Yuma, Arizona in about 3 1/2 weeks!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Doodling with digital art

 "Sail Around the World"
 "Light Show"                                              and   "Pueblo"
For the past 3-4 weeks I've been doing some work with digital art platforms on my I Pad thanks to some instruction from compatriot Alexis Bonavitacola.  I have a few of these now that I think are worthy of posting here.  The two programs are Procreate and ArtRage and are available as I pad apps and ArtRage is also available for desktop computer.  Fun Stuff!  Procreate has better brushes, but ArtRage is the best program for excellent texture.  On some paintings I've been using both programs by using my photo program as a bridge.  Hope you enjoy these!

Digital Art

For the past couple of weeks, I've been playing with a couple of digital art programs on my I Pad and getting what I think are some nice results.  This impression of Bryce Canyon was done with both of these programs:  ArtRage, which is a program that creates beautiful texture, and Procreate, which has an excellent and expansive variety of brushes.  Will upload more of these later today!

Monday, July 28, 2014

More new art pieces-variety of media

I've been busy the last few weeks learning all kinds of new things and sharpening my skills on some old things.  So here goes with a display of things I've been working on:

First is a Snow Cap and alcohol ink pour on black tile called Fire Flower.  Enhanced with gel pens.
 And then a watercolor portrait of a fascinating Montana rodeo cowboy named "Johnny."
 The next three are all alcohol inks enhanced with an acrylic medium called Acrylic Glazing Liquid to enhance the texture in the inks.  This is a technique learned from a wonderful ink artist named June Rollins, who teaches classes, does DVDs and books.  I would highly recommend her if you want to learn to do inks and do them well.  The first is the falls just below Logan Pass on the east side of Glacier National Park. 
 The second, also an ink is an Arizona scene, Moonlight on Devil's Peak.
 Next is one of my favorite places I've been in the Southwestern US, Organ Pipe National Monument on the Arizona/Mexico border. 
 And finally, is another 4" ceramic tile done with Snow Cap and ink pour enhanced with gel pens. 

I currently have 3 mixed media acrylic paintings in process that I will display sometime in the next month. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

One that worked and one that didn't!

I have been playing with some new techniques-eggshells on ceramic tiles, alcohol ink, embossing and embedding and finally pouring resin to seal everything.  A couple of weeks ago, I tried doing a 4X12" tile, but got the background color so dark the later butterflies hardly showed at all.  In short, it's a mess.  Decided to try it again and the second project is much better and has given me an idea of how to modify this kind of design and make it work.  The second one, just finished is a 6" tile, also using eggshells, MUCH lighter background and butterflies that actually show up!  Two are embedded metal charms, the other is an embossed heavy paper piece.  I sealed this one with resin, which was a messy process, but it looks like it worked!  Learning a lot here!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A little Arizona homesickness!

I've been back in Montana now for just exactly two months.  While my saner self KNOWS it's too hot to be in Arizona right now, it doesn't keep me from missing the place; the colors, the texture, the amazing skies. . . Here's my latest, a 20x26" alcohol ink on Yupo of the Painted Desert.  Love this area.  Absolutely amazing!

And while I was thinking Arizona, I was also thinking about the hummingbird and butterfly garden in West Wetlands Park in Yuma. 
Again, an alcohol ink painting on Yupo, 11X14", smaller but NOT easier.  Lotsa detail here that took a long time!

Love these inks.  Colors are AMAZING!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lewis and Clark Trail

Lewis and Clark Trail in Central Idaho west of Lolo Pass.  Alcohol ink on Yupo.  Done for my alcohol ink landscape class taught by Karen Walker.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Two new alcohol inks today.  I'm currently doing a landscape class online with Karen Walker and these are both done for that class.  The first one shown here is titled "Rivulet" and is from the Northern Idaho Macgruder Corridor wilderness. I have been trying to paint this picture since I visited the area 3 years ago and have not been able to do it in watercolor.  I think I've found the right media now for scenes like this one.  Rich in color and texture, alcohol inks fit the bill perfectly!

The second painting is Morrell Falls, east of Seeley Lake, Montana, early last spring when there was a lot of runoff from the snow of that winter.  Also an alcohol ink.  

Both of these paintings are doing on Yupo, an opaque plastic sheeting.  Both are masked and poured first, then detail is done by lifting and replacing color with the use of isopropyl alcohol.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Newest alcohol inks on ceramic tiles

Two more alcohol inks on tiles.  Really liking this new art media form.  Very fluid, bright, colorful and exciting.  There is not a lot of controlling it.  If you can get past that, you'll do well with this!
 This one was sold yesterday!
 This one is alcohol ink on photo paper, called Grotto.
 And finally, another one on 4" tile that is in process.  Will post again when this one is finished!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Salute to the Yuma Art Community

Ten years ago, when I began spending the winters in Yuma, Arizona, I unexpectedly became part of an adventure which has been a superb journey accompanied by a growing number of folks that I have both learned from and learned with, while in turn, I have shared information with new folks who have come into our sphere of influence.  As a result, we have all grown in skill and expertise.  Yuma is a retired person's paradise, particularly in the art arena.  People from all over the US and Canada, as well as often from other parts of the globe, arrive with expertise and skill from their respective areas and communities and are not only willing to share what they know to enrich others, but in turn, take away new knowledge which adds to their own repertoire.  What is both interesting and wonderful is the willingness with which people impart information to others.   Unlike many other places where I have lived, the Yuma art community has an openness and vibrance, a beckoning welcome to those who wish to develop new aspects of their own craft as well as add related skills in other art areas.  I have been told by many artists that Yuma is a unique kind of place in that the willingness to share knowledge flows so freely and easily.

To Yuma Fine Arts, Mountain Shadows Artists Association, Desert Artists of Yuma, North End Artists Co-op and all other groups I have failed to mention, Thank You!  You have created an environment for learning that deserves recognition and honor!  To my personal mentors, Elaine Larson, Linda Calahan,  Barb Thorvilson, and Lian Qahn Zhen, you are all truly amazing individuals who have been the cause of my personal growth and development.  Because of you, I have just completed a winter season which I can hardly believe as relates to my "second career."  Kudos and salutations to you all!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A bit more mixed media acrylic play!

The result of another online workshop with Sandra Duran Wilson titled "Connectivity."  Fun stuff, lots of color and experimentation!

A few musical notes from an old piece of sheet music, a page from an old dictionary and colorful paint in this "faux encaustic" piece from earlier in Sandra's present workshop.  Sold this one already!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Workshop results from the weekend with Lian Zhen.

Another exciting workshop with Lian Zhen here in Yuma this past weekend.  I have been trying to paint Lunch at the Paradisio since last summer and requested that Lian do this one at this workshop.  Participants were jokingly telling me they were going to confiscate my camera before I go down to Los Algodones, Mexico, again.  LOL   Love this scene in the little open air cafe which I photographed with my I Phone last January.  Lian also commented that this painting is the most difficult project he has ever taught in one of his workshops!

A simpler, easier project was a colorful little rooster.

Great workshop, Lian!  Thank you so much!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fun with textures!

Mixed media acrylics opens all kinds of possibilities for new ways to paint.  This one, called "Parched,"  was an experiment with some stuff called "crackle paste," a lot of paint and a photo I took last year in White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico.  The photo is a laser transfer onto a surface called Dura Lar matte and then embedded into the painting surface.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

And now for the watercolors!

During the winter season in Yuma, I teach two watercolor classes and occasionally get some good demo paintings as a result of those classes.  Since prepping for classes is usually the only time I have to paint watercolors during the winter, I want to share these two.  First is Painted Desert, a lovely part of Petrified Forest National Park in Northern Arizona along I-40.  

The second painting is from an very old photo from the distant past.  I lived in Colorado for a very long time and Rocky Mountain National Park was one of my favorite hang outs for scenery, particularly on mountain hikes.  This one is titled Rocky Mountain Stream.