summer of color: orange

So, today in Summer of Color, the color of the week is orange.  It's a bit early to start painting fall, but that's where my mind went, so .... I had to follow along right?  This watercolor painting is an attempt at a new style or technique - first, not necessarily using all actual colors and also to paint more loosely (always an effort) and not so literal in forms. I was moderately successful.

I still find it difficult to show a stream/road looking like it's going round a bend instead of just running off a page.  I think the left, shady side of the stream is a little more successful with the use of color - the right side just looks like random blobs.  The water color is a little reflective of the shore colors but could probably be stronger.  Is it too light - is that what I don't like?  Then, my splash of orange.  The trees in the distance are getting a jump on fall and I'm actually pleased with their loose shape and coloration.  There's a little of the more subdued orange down at the bottom of the painting...should there be more?

Tell me how you think I might fix the weird end of my stream and if you think my stream should be darker....
Be sure to visit all the other Summer of Color artists - there's lots of cool stuff!
PS - This has been such a fun experience for me - meeting other artists via their blogs, seeing the stellar work that's going on out there, building my confidence to keep trying and giving me a little focus each week to set a goal and work on my art.  I think there's just a couple more weeks, but if you've got a minute, it's definitely worth checking out some of the other players.


PPF bouquet of sunshine

I've missed the last several weeks, but was reminded of PPF when I saw Diane's purple bird entry.  So, here's a watercolor I adapted from a photo - my first attempt at really painting flowers facing different ways and adding the ribbon instead of trying to make a vase.

Visit LOTS more artists with LOTS more ideas and styles by checking out Paint Party Friday.


journal page: summer fairs

"Street fairs filled with art.  Farmer's markets filled with the freshest food.  County fairs with rides, corn on the cob and animals.  Fairs bring memories of noise, crowds, cranky kids, smelly animals, and eating too much junk food."  I haven't been to a fair in years so when I dredged up those memories from years ago, clearly not my favorite activity :)

I started this page with a premade background of abstract watercolor.  I layered on some tissue paper for texture (but it made the writing hard & sloppy), music, stamps, stenciling and I scraped my black stamp pad around the edges for some grunge.

Natty is continuing to provide some fun, light hearted prompts, so join in or see what others are doing by visiting the flickr group.


collage of b's

There are so many artistic challenges out there and I keep finding more and more.  Some day I'm going to have to rein it in, but for now I'm enjoying playing and experimenting and creating in all sorts of ways.  For the ABC Wednesday challenge I created a digital collage using my photos, some digital scrapbooking alphas and clip art to represent some of my favorite B words.

I Began the project By Browsing my Billions :) of pictures Because I wanted to have a Blast Building a Beautiful collage to Bestow on other Bloggers.  I wanted a Bright, Bold, Brash But Beautifully Balanced page.  

You get the idea :)  From birds to beaches to bridges and blossoms, I gathered my photos and Built a jigsaw puzzle of a collage.  If you'd like to see LOTS of other examples of how people portray "B", or if you want to join the fun, visit ABC Wednesday.


journal page: patterns

Natty's prompt today was about patterns - what patterns do I see in the summer and what personal patterns might be different.  I'm always much more conscious of patterns in nature in the summer: leaves, shrubs/trees, petals, clouds.  I created the page starting with a photo of mine of fern fronds.  I covered it in gesso to soften it, stamped and added more patterned pictures (mine of tree branches).


summer of color: purple

I played with my watercolors and inspiration came from my garden - of course, all tied together by the color purple.  This is a mixed media sketch tablet, but I was working on the wrong side of the paper, so there was no tooth for my watercolors ...lesson learned.  I like the idea so may explore it further later in the week.  The grid helped organize and contain my drawings - creating a collage in this style could be fun too.

You can visit Twinkle Twinkle for LOTS more great artwork pieces (in lots of different mediums) in purple.

edited to add:
I realized I also have a couple of photos I've taken recently that have beautiful purples in them!

Mother Nature provides gorgeous examples of purple every day!!!


journal page: smells of summer

"By far my favorite summer scent is newly mowed grass followed closely by the fragrance of flowers."  I tried the tape/paint technique again on this page, but less successfully.  This time I laid down some random spots of green watercolor (grass, after all), then put the random tape, then more paint.  I think the problem was that the first layer of paint might not have been completely dry so the tape didn't hold back the next layer of paint.  I don't even really see any happy accidents in this color exploration - mostly it feels muddy rather than reflective of the way I feel when I smell newly cut grass.

Although I'd originally intended it to be only paint, I was so displeased that I opted to add the doodle flowers, but they feel too random and not connected to the background.  So - definitely not one of my favorite pages, but a learning page none-the-less.  Thanks to Happy Painter (on flickr) for the original inspiration though hers are SO much more appealing.  Also, thanks to Natty for the In The Sun prompts this week exploring our senses.  View what others are doing on the flickr page.


journal page: taste of summer

My mouth is primed for the scrumptious, delicious flavors of fresh fruit in the summer - all fresh fruit!  The colors I chose speak to that theme, though the pics of fruit themselves are small.  I tried LOTS of layers for me.... repeating words, bubblewrap dots in paint, tissue paper, scrapbook paper, stamps, spatters, a computer F over fresh fruit text.  Unfortunately my sideways paint drips didn't work very well - too much water maybe?

To see more, visit the flickr page - lots of talented folks hang out there.


ABC wednesday: A

I found another interesting, ongoing challenge.....Wednesday ABC - each week features the next letter in the alphabet (starting with A this week) to be illustrated in whatever manner desired.  Hmmmm - this could be fun.  This is the 9th round of this challenge!

So, here's my A - it's a collage of photos of signs using the letter A.  I made a mouse pad from the photo collage.

Do you recognize any of the sources?  The ones I remember (from top left): Sahara casino (vegas), Wild Oats, "A"sset (bank), Outback, cAsino, USA (computer store), Planet Hollywood casino, small one Harrah's casino, green A from Black Jack sign, small red A from Michaels, fat A on a slot machine, Old Navy, slot machine art (on purple), Market sign in front of new design center in Vegas, Phantom of the Opera billboard and finally an unknown....

Visit the link above to see other interpretations of A!

journal page: sounds of summer

Continuing the daily prompts of each sense this week, I had a brainstorm with this one.  After thinking for a bit about how to illustrate sound, I came up with using an old CD.  I wrote on the shiny side & when it was scanned it made this cool rainbow effect.  The bottom border is composed of my photos to illustrate each sound: laughter, fireworks, splash, sizzle of BBQ and crack of baseball.

You can check out even more cool pages at the flickr group page or visit InTheSun Online Course and join in.


Summer of color: red AND journal pages Sight & Touch

I have 3 red things this week.  I love red!  It's such a bright, bold, happy color - I wear it, I have it in my home and I'm always drawn to it in art.  I made a greeting card using some scraps of scrapbook paper, a paint chip for background and a stamp - simple and effective.  Of course, you have to have a coordinating envelope!

Next I worked in my art journal (haven't done that for a few days) and worked in red again.  The InTheSun prompts for this week are about the senses......Monday is all about sight.  I started my page with a base of red tissue paper, stenciled over that, painted (acrylic) over that, then added my words - all my favorite red summer sights!

 The second page for InTheSun is about the sense of touch and to make a very textural page.  I poured on gesso and marked it with a wide comb, waited for it to dry (and waited!), added a piece of screen, some puzzle pieces, added red paint and a short list of things I touch/feel in the summer.

Summer of Color is all about red (obviously) so I really wanted to play in as much as possible.  To see even more great RED stuff or more journal pages, visit Summer of Color and the InTheSun flickr page.

(edited to add) I took a photo of our newly blooming dahlia and did a little experimenting with moving the camera as I took the photo.  I ended up with this great abstract.  In red!  I'm thinking it will be a great base to experiment on further.


journal page: black and white

Today's prompt from Natty didn't push any buttons for me:  Nightmare or Disastrous Trip/Vacation.  While I could think of a mishap or two, nothing came to mind worthy of that description.  So I went a different direction.  I've been wanting to do something all in black and white to try out a new gel pen.  I painted the background w/ a combo of watercolor, then acrylic on top (acrylic on the left, darker).  Then the prepped page has been sitting in my journal, waiting.

I gathered some black/white magazine snippets, a ruffle of tulle (lower right corner) with black ribbon, and then lots of doodling with the new pen.  It was fun to avoid color.  The tulle is probably unnecessary to the design, but I felt like I wanted something dimensional and that was at hand.  It's finger pleated and glued down so it really is a poof of texture in that corner.

As usual, more great journal pages using Natty's prompts are on flickr.  I'm sure others will have had a blast with this prompt.


journal page: fave flower

I made this floral page a couple weeks ago and kept saving it for the right prompt.  It arrived today:  Favorite Summer Flower!  Well, I love every flower....truly, can't think of one I don't like.  So then it became a matter of what I thought I could reasonably draw.  We grow dahlias in the yard, so I tackled that.  They're a bit stylized, but pretty recognizable I think.

I used my watercolors to create a random, colorful collection of daisy-like flower shapes, covered them all with gesso (I haven't used it a lot so wanted to experiment) and liked the faded effect it created.  Used black acrylic to add the strong flower on the right, then just waited for the right prompt.....the dahlias were colored in with my Inktense pencils and blended with water.

Thanks again Natty for the prompts and for the inspiration provided by all the other journalers participating!  It's such a pleasure to wander through all the other pages.

summer journal: picnic

I thought about this prompt off and on all day and couldn't come up with a visual that encompassed my picnic memories (it's been years since I've been on one).  I actually used my watercolors and painted a quasi park scene with hills/trees, etc. but it felt boring and not at all reflective of how I FEEL about picnics.  Then I had a brainstorm.  Though this is simple (no layering or multi-media goodies), it's fun and playful - exactly what a picnic should be.  A page totally different from anything else I've done so far.  Yay!

See more great journal pages and share yours on the In The Sun Online Course flickr group.  Can't wait to see what you add!


journal page & summer of color

Today was tough - apparently my creativity is at an ebb and I just wasn't finding the inspiration for either of these prompts.  Twinkle Twinkle's Color of Summer prompt was brown with a splash of color.  Hmmm - I thought about it all week and was having trouble making brown work with summer.  Then today's prompt from InTheSun was about a summer lemonade stand.  Never had one of those and don't have any memories or inspiration there.

So, I made a generic collage using a kraft paper wrapping paper as my base - I made it larger than my book and folded over a flap that has my journaling under the flap.  I used some of my stash of worldwide postage stamps, some magazine clips, rice paper jigsaw puzzle pieces and screen mesh.  Not terribly inspiring, but I do like my splash of coral color (stamps from Taipei).

My hidden journaling says:  "I never had a lemonade stand but loved drinking koolaid.  My adult summer drink of choice is Long Island Ice Tea."   (yum!)

Next week's Color of Summer is red - I LOVE red so look forward to being creative with that bright color!  See other entries in the Color of Summer or the InTheSun journal pages for lots more creative ideas.


journal page: vacation @ home

Vacation at Home is the prompt from Natty at InTheSun Online Course and there's lots to see and do in Seattle. I used some previous techniques like junk envelope to make a background and a pocket, the background is a dictionary page w/ "vacation" highlighted, a Seattle postmarked stamp, etc.

journal page: secret siestas

Secret Siestas: At first I thought this prompt didn't apply to me cuz I never nap. But as I reflected further, I realize that I usually doze off when I'm sitting in the sun, reading and baking. (though not much baking going on in Seattle these days!)
My lounger photos are from online, books from my bookshelves, a little doddling on a premade background. I actually really like this background - it's bright, easy to work with and colorful.

As usual, check out more journal pages with Natty's prompts at the flickr group page.


postcard swap submission

I participated in Kat Sloma's postcard exchange - she ended up with over 250 participants from all over the world!  We were each to submit 5 postcards, she'll do the exchange and send each of us postcards from 5 other people as well as one from her!  The cool thing is that all kinds of art was welcome, so it will be interesting to see what arrives in my mailbox.

I used my photography and printed 2 different prints - peony and rose for summer.  I'll be sure and share photos of the cards I receive in exchange.

PPF landscape

After missing a couple weeks, I'm joining Paint Party Friday again with a watercolor landscape attempt.  I liked this one enough to mat and frame and hang it.  I'm pleased with most of it though I feel like my tree leaves still need some work.  I can do naked winter trees okay (love painting those branches) but add leaves or the evergreen look is tough......will keep trying.  Any watercolorists out there with some tips?

I'm continuing to work artistically in a couple of ways this summer and enjoying every minute of it.  I'm making time to do a journal page a day following along with InTheSun Online Course, I'm trying to be looser with my painting, I'm practicing sketching (less often than I should because I don't think I'm very good - kind of reverse psychology there, huh?), I'm dabbling in Zentangle doodles.  All are great fun!  I'm also loving finding and visiting the sites of so many other artists and taking inspiration from all of them in one way or another.

Today (Friday actually) you can join me in visiting artists participating in the PPF around the web as well as those creative folks at InTheSun flickr group.


journal page: summer quote

InTheSun's journal prompt today was to find and use a summer quote - I wandered around online and found this one (forgot to note who said it :(   I also tried a technique I saw on The Happy Painter's flickr page; she's done quite a few with tape and paint and I loved the idea.  I scribbled with Inktense then added watercolor over my randomly taped design.  This would be a good way to practice alpha as well, so I imagine you'll be seeing more of it.  Thanks for the idea!  You can see more at InTheSun flickr group.


journal page: memories

Today's prompt from InTheSun Online Course is Summer Memories.  As I thought back over my summers, my favorite memories revolve around our vacations, inevitably to a sunny locale.  We've arrived at the excellent travel compromise of 1 day of 'power' sightseeing, 1 day of R&R by the pool, 1 day of sightseeing, 1 day of poolside drinking.....works beautifully!  From Scottsdale to Orlando, from Tahiti to the Canary Islands, we choose the sun!

I used a pre-made page (made several days ago) and worked my watercolor stripes into a beachy theme and then included only photos of pools at some of the resorts we've stayed at.  A really simple layout today.....but filled with great memories.

Visit InTheSun flickr group to see more.


journal page: life is good

Though no prompts for the holiday weekend, I had such a great one, I journaled about it.... I used one of my pre-made backgrounds (paint, drippy paint, bubble wrap stamps) then added a few more embellishments - stamping, an Oscar Wilde quote from a gardening book, etc.  Best of all?  Got to spend a couple of evenings with the kids!

Summer of color: yellow

The Summer of Color challenge for this week is the color yellow.  I made this digital collage using bits of my photos with shades of yellow.  This was really a fun exercise to wander back through old photos looking for interesting elements in yellow and then arranging them in a roughly gradated color range.  80 picture snippets make up my 'collage'.

Visit Twinkle Twinkle to link to more delicious yellow art in an array of styles.


journal page: chore to give up

The prompt today from InTheSun Online Course is:  What chore would you give up for the summer?  COOKING!  I don't particularly like to plan, shop, cook or clean up so that would be high on my list of chores to give up.  I want to be the first on my block to have a Star Trek food replicator:  "Earl Grey, hot"

I experimented a bit by making several pages of generic backgrounds, ready for collaging - this is my first.  A little watercolor and stamping is all, then adding the other elements - the recipes are accordion folded which doesn't show up in the scan.  My cool stamp (in the white columns) is made from a kid's foam alphabet piece ("C") that has this great basketweave pattern on one side.

See more journal pages at the flickr group.