goofy collage

For "G" week I had the goal of creating a gracious and attention grabbing digi collage, but instead ended up with ....hmmmm  It feels a little like "where's Waldo" on some other planet..... :)  Instead of using the grid as I have been, I decided to try something different.

This green grassy meadow is host to a group of grasshoppers, George the groundhog complete with glasses, a lovely bunch of gerbera daisies and gladiola.  Through the gate the gorilla is gazing longingly.  While there's no glitter or glamour, there's plenty of "G"!  I don't know that it's very good, but it's certainly goofy.

I also wanted to represent G in Zentangle so strained my brain trying to think of what I could fill with great tangles.  Finally!  Gifts!

These gorgeous packages sure must hold some grand goodies!  To better grasp the excellent exploits of this group of bloggers, visit ABC Wednesday and check it out!


ideal coffee break

Over at Creative Tuesday the theme for the current challenge is - Ideal Coffee Break and it had to include a cuppa coffee/tea.  I actually don't drink coffee, but somehow the idea of an "ideal" break appealed to me.  I created a page in my fledgling art journal (I've almost filled my first one!) and then I used my camera to show a different take on the perfect coffee break.

I used a page from a recycled address book for the body of the mug and only glued the edges so I was left with a little pocket.  The "steam" from my coffee is from scraps of scrapbooking papers; the background is watercolor; my steam tendrils say Read, Feet up, Quiet, Tangle, Friend, Daydream for the elements of a perfect break!

The first photo is as taken and then I added a little vignetting texture to the next one .....  I'm sitting right there, feet up, daydreaming away!

Be sure to check out all the other entries for Ideal Coffee Break over at Creative Tuesday.  ED to add:  Also discovered a new artist sharing site Artists in Blogland which is serving as a directory of artist blogs and she has a Saturday sharing where you can share whatever you've been working on that week.  So, I'm sharing.


zentangle: starry eyed

I'm still playing catch up and practicing my tangles by playing along with the I am Diva Zentangle challenges.  Week #4 was Starry Eyed so here's my efforts:

Tomorrow is a new challenge (#37 I think) so I have a ways to go to do the past ones....I'm figuring I'll manage a couple a week.  It helps me focus and practice when there's a theme or prompt...... Surely you've figured that out when you see how many different challenge sites I participate in.  I love the community, the friendly folks who comment and share helpful advice, the fun of creating something and putting it out there for others to see (it's my baby steps toward calling myself an .... (whisper) 'artist').  Whether I'm photographing, painting, doodling, stitching, attempting to sketch or whatever - I love the sense of completeness and satisfaction of accomplishment when I finish a project!


new colors

I haven't worked in my journal in awhile and it's been buggin' me!  I had this taped grid for quite awhile but no inspiration about how to use it.  Then I ran across an interesting site today:  GPP Street Team by Michelle Ward.  She offers a challenge per month (I can do that, right?).  This month was to take a word, concept, song title, book title, whatever, as your inspiration and create the color that fits that word.

OMG - how fun is that?!  I look over to my paint table and here's this grid sitting there, waiting for inspiration - I think I just found it!  Immediately I had the first few words and even knew the basic color they evoked for me.  I built from there and as I thought about it, I liked the progression of one color way blending into the next.  I absolutely love watercolor for this easy blending/melding of color!

So here's my first offering in the challenges offered by Michelle.  Feel free to join in - she gives you a whole month to develop and post your idea - but I was so inspired I finished mine in a couple hours!  Check in on Sept 1 for the next challenge.


inspiration ave: sunflowers

Who doesn't love a good sunflower picture/painting/sculpture/card?  Inspiration Ave is hosting their weekly challenge and it's all about ..... yep, sunflowers.  I love my macro lens and sunflowers are such a cheery, bright, happy flower, it's easy to take successful shots. - Since I've been on vacation, I didn't have time to create something new, but I love my photos.  Visit Inspiration Ave for even more sunflowers.

challenge: assunta

Challenge #36 from I am the Diva is to use the new tangle Assunta.  I tried it in a couple of different scales and with variations (making tangelations I think).  Instructions for Assunta are here.  Visit I am the Diva every Monday for the new challenge and to see all the great pieces done by some very talented folks.

I could NOT get my teardrops to be the same size or even the same basic shape.  That will definitely take some work.  But, I found that even when uneven, the pattern works and can actually be very adaptable for curved areas, etc. so I won't give up on it yet.  Practice, practice.

catching up on Zentangles

We went camping for a few days and I fell behind in photo posting, tangle posting, comment posting, etc.  As I think I mentioned, I'm going back to the beginning of the I am the Diva challenges and working through all of them to catch up (she's on 36 this week).  Here's #2 (two pencil string) and #3 (eyes wide shut - draw the string with eyes closed).

I'm still in the process of learning new tangles - there are SO many and then how to incorporate them into a tile - how to pair them up successfully.  I have some favorites, but it's fun to try to add at least one brand new one each week.

Visit I am the Diva to see some really talented interpretations for this week - a new tangle called Assunta.


F for a fun digital collage

Once again this week I've scoured through my personal photos to find representations of "F" words for ABC Wednesday.  Then I put them together in this simple collage - all in celebration of F!  Be sure to visit the ABC Wednesday site to see tons of expressions of the letter F.  If you're intrigued by the possibilities, as I was, then you're welcome to join us for "G" next week.


inspiration ave: icy

Icy, huh?  Here I am, in Seattle, in our two weeks of warm summer, you want me to think about cold and icy???  Okay, let me see what I can come up with.....

Since I'm headed out of town this weekend, I didn't want to start a painting or even get stuff out for a journal page, so I tried my hand at a little digital collage.  It's kinda fun and definitely cold!  I used my photos - the bear is actually covered in white carnations and was part of the Christmas display at the Bellagio, Las Vegas a few years ago.  The snowy palm is also from Vegas (it did actually snow one year!) and the mosiac was from a texture I found somewhere (sorry I can't give credit).  A few layers, color adjustments, etc. and voila!  Icy.

It will definitely be interesting to see what everyone comes up with this week.  Join the fun and post something before Sunday 4pm or just check in on Monday at Inspiration Avenue to see the roundup of everyone's entries.


challenge: simplicity

I came to the Diva's party late - she's on challenge #35, but I only just started tangling and her challenges kept showing on on flickr and other blogs.  So, now I have to play too.  But, I want to go back and try all the ones I missed.  So, here's the very first challenge:  simplicity.  Some funky looking fish thing and an even simpler one featuring mooka, one of my fave tangles.

I'm going on a camping trip for a few days and will work on some of the other challenges....can't wait to see what I come up with!  This is fun!

zentangle inspiration

I just got my new Elle Decor and look at all the Zentangle inspiration I found!  I'm not experienced enough to try to deconstruct those cool pillow patterns, but I may give it a try soon.  Or is there already a pattern similar to this?  I'd love someone with more skill to tackle this cool pattern!

5 things I'm lovin'

Life if full of creative endeavors.  I find pleasure in discovering and sharing what I find inspiring or fun or unusual. Since this is my personal space, I figure this is the perfect place to share those inspirations now and then.

I'm reading:
900 pages of great story-telling set in India.  It has love, action, crime and passion, a little philosophical musing and characters that make me understand India a little better.

Music that makes me smile:
The Lazy Song, Bruno Mars
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLexgOxsZu0   the official video
   "Today I don't feel like doin' anything; I just want to lay in my bed."  :)

This beautiful room:
Designed by Hershon Hartley Designs for the Marin Show House.
Isn't this the most serene, simple bedroom?  Almost Candice Olsen-esque but she'd have more furniture and more bling in it!

A blog I recently discovered:
Nathalie Nayer is such a talented artist and I just love her style.

Memories from our trip to China.  I'm working on digitally scrapbooking the photos to put into a memory photo book. Thanks to my sister-in-law for sharing some of her favorite photos so they can be included.

All D's siblings & spouses went (I'm in the middle & it was when I was still coloring my hair- let it go white now), it was a wonderful cultural experience (adorable kids), the Summer Palace in Beijing.

journal page: idea overload

Again borrowing liberally from the Happy Painter (flickr), I worked in my journal with tape and watercolor to express the swirling of ideas in my brain.  I think that's half the reason I don't accomplish more; I'm too unfocused - I want to try everything!  Now!

Without the daily InTheSun prompts, I find that I don't work in my journal every day.  However, I only have a few pages to fill and then I get to start in my new one, so I'm working on it!  AND, I definitely work on something creative every day.... I've found a number of creative prompts across the web that connect to all sorts of amazingly talented folks and keep the ideas just tumbling - everything from card making, to Zentangles, to painting, art journaling, creative writing, and definitely photography.  Check out my sidebar for some of my favorites....


Extraordinarily E

I'm excited to share my exploration of the letter E.  As I examined the essence of the letter and wondered how to express it most elegantly, I encountered indecision!  Should I use my energy to embody an eggplant? Perhaps an elephant or even eight elephants?  Or something more esoteric like envy or enthusiasm?  

All my photographic efforts, exhibited here for your enjoyment.

Be sure to visit all the other enchanting entries at ABC Wednesday.


tile in tile tangle

The Zentangle challenge of the week is to create a tile within a tile look.  Here's what I came up with.....

I feel like the top one is more successful - the inner tile is very apparent - less so in the bottom one.  I don't seem to know many dark/black tangles or couldn't think how to use them or something to make the larger, outside box the darker one.  At any rate, it was a fun exercise for my second outing.

You can see lots more tangles at I am the Diva, who hosts the weekly challenges.

creative tuesday: moon

This week's theme for Creative Tuesday is moon.  I had a very vague, unformed idea to paint something .... maybe an abstract landscape-ish type thing (I generally love that genre), possibly use some mixed media.....  So I tried my first major attempt with acrylic paints.  Here's the progression of my WIP, incorporating the moon theme.....

Here's my start - kinda liked the touch of yellow in red (sunset-like) but I took the red all the way to the bottom of the canvas (16x20) and couldn't get a smooth meeting of the blue to the black edges.  Didn't like the not quite straight but not curved "horizon" line of red.  So....

Went back in and added torn pieces of textured rice paper to diffuse the black and red, plus I had the thought that it might add texture to the "land" part.  Moving on......

Above I added my moon, tried to drip paint a bit for the moonbeams (not terribly successful), used tape to create a sharp line which I like better.  But, I added the yellow back in but if that's the moon, the reflection should be white (doh!), a red angled horizon line was disturbing BUT, I did like the bottom section mix of colors and the soft line between the red and blue.  So.....

Here's where I am so far - straightened my red horizon line and turned the angle black, added a balancing black angle at the top, changed the yellow highlights to white.  I like that you can see the textures randomly through the paint; I like the blend of colors at the bottom; I like the composition; still not crazy about my drips but not sure how to fix them; may have too many white highlights so have to get rid of some?  Does it need another black "land mass" triangle into the red?  So, now I'm trying to decide if it's done or if I want to add more mixed media elements, another color? hmmmm

Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated since I'm truly a novice and certainly don't know what I'm doing....just trying stuff out!

Be sure to visit all the other creative types at Creative Tuesday hosted by Hot Toast & Jam!  And, join in if you're so inclined - any and all mediums are encouraged!  I'll also be sharing this on Paint Party Friday.


journal page: scraps from the table

My worktable was getting a little out of control so clean up was in order.  As I started to clean/organize, I realized that's a perfect opportunity for a journal page.....so......

I used bits of paper, a stamp and stamping, tissue paper, cut up watercolor painting, map & music paper scraps, a jigsaw piece, a few text scraps, lace, stamps with a cork, stamp pad rubbed against the edge, etc.  Actually kind of fun to make and still try to keep compositional elements in mind.


Inspiration Avenue's theme this week is "sunkissed".  I thought and thought and no new painting idea came to me.  So, I'm sharing an early watercolor painting I made for my son that I think fits (he loves bare trees).  It's the first one where I actually was aware of a light source and worked to keep it consistent throughout the painting.

Then I kept worrying the theme around in my mind and pulled up all our old beach pictures.  I found one with yellow loungers (sunkissed color, right?) so played with a little digital enhancements.....and came up with this.

The beach is in Salou, Spain and the palm tree overlay is from a Tahiti trip (there weren't palm trees in Spain).
What should have been a pretty easy theme actually was more difficult than I expected - can't wait to see everyone else's interpretations!


sketchbook challenge: a beginning

Let it be said:  I'm not much of a drawer, sketcher, whatever.  As an interior designer I took some classes in perspective drawing - I still suck at it!  And I find it SO frustrating - it seems like it should be easier!  Just draw what you see, right?

While I don't feel the need to be a perfect representational artist, I do want to be able to sketch or draw the most fundamental of shapes or items.  So the challenge at sketchbook challenge this month is to draw "every day things".  That should be right up my alley.   Hmmmmm.

Many of the blogs I follow participate in this challenge and their sketches frankly intimidate me more than a little. It seems like everyone else is so talented.  But, I'm going to try - practice, practice and I'm sure I'll improve (right!?)  I have to get over the "I can't do it" mentality and give it my best shot.

Since you can usually find my behind a camera, that's the first "every day" item I attempted to draw.  Here's my novice but earnest effort.

It's recognizable, right?  My art journal has now expanded from collage and watercolor to include an occasional sketch and I look forward to adding more.  Any and all advice / suggestions / helpful intro books, etc will be appreciated.  I have a very thick skin and am more interested in improving.


postcard swap wrap up

I participated in the Liberate Your Art postcard swap where Kat (Kat's Eye) collected 5 postcards from over 100 participants then redistributed them so we all got 5 new cards.  These are my last two cards.  I LOVE that they arrived sprinkled over a couple of weeks and that they're SO different in style and subject.  This was really a fun project (though Kat really did all the work) and it was certainly successful as my first ever swap of any kind.

The above card arrived from SassyAngelac.blogspot.com  and she's posted pics of the cards she's received so it's fun to go look.  I honestly can't remember if I put my website address on my cards....silly to have left it off, but I haven't heard from anyone, so I'm assuming I forgot.  Damn!

This lovely card looks like it should have come from a beachy town, but no, it arrived from right here in Seattle!  What are the odds?  It's from "M" at SunBreaksInTheForecast.blogspot.com so stop by and see what else she's up to.

REV to add:
I wrote about the first three I received earlier and you can see them here.

Thanks ladies for the fab cards!


decorative diamonds

ABC Wednesday is here again.  I was determined to develop a drawing deserving of notice so my decidedly detailed diamonds are decorative and delicate.  The designs are divided with deliciously curvy demarcations and distinct edges.  The development of these diagrams is NOT dull but in fact delightfully diverting.

Drop in at ABC Wednesday and see SO many other treatments of the letter D in all different mediums.

Since I also adore flowers, I wanted to include a few truly dramatic photos I took:





Can't wait to see everyone else's D's.