Thursday, April 21, 2011


CREATE retreat in Costa Mesa is now less than one month away! If you haven't checked out the classes at this retreat, it is not too late! There are still some openings left in both my classes and I'd love to have you join me! Check it out... just click the CREATE icon to the right! Come join us! It will be a blast! You'll learn new techniques, make cool projects, meet new friends, etc...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Moon Rise

Last night, the moon was huge and beautiful as it rose over the tree tops.


Not sure why I seem to be attracted to motorcyles right now... actually, ever since 6th grade, I've had a secret attraction to them but am a big chicken. For now, I'm finding myself drawn to photograph them when the chance arrives. Snapped these at church on Sunday! It belongs to a friend.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lessons learned

Upon completion of this last painting, thought I'd share a few lessons learned with the practical side of this creative process.

My initial intent with this painting was to paint on the un-stretched canvas thus allowing me to sew onto my painting and create a quilted painting.
1.) The painting was too large to do this because it was heavy and difficult to maneuver through the sewing machine.
2.) Even if I were going to try it, I should have done the stitching before adding the light source because the stitching would have interrupted the light source.
3.) How I did complete this painting was quilting the backing fabric with the batting and then adding it to the painting and binding them together. Because the size and stiffness of the painting, it had to be done where the entire piece was kept flat while sewing so I had to take it to the church, pop up tables to create a large enough work space and sew. It was not easy to move through the machine and keep the entire piece flat and smoothly moving.
4.) I discovered how much easier it is sewing on binding when the piece is laid out flat on a table surface! I love the hand sewing in the binding process but have never tried laying the piece out flat and doing the hand stitching while sitting at a table. It made it easier. It took over 2 hours of hand sewing on this binding because of the size.
5.) I would not use the highly textured mediums on un-stretched fabric of this size again. Too much movement causes little bits to break off leaving white specks.
6.) I think the concept of having a quilted painting would have worked for something large had I done all the stitching on my line drawing before painting. Then it would have been quilted and I would have been painting a quilt.
7.) Storage for this piece will be a bear due to the fact now that it cannot be folded and, my original plan of rolling won't work on a small tube roll now that extra thickness of the quilting process has been added as it caused the painting side to buckle. If I had a tube larger in diameter, I believe it would work but not sure where to find something like that!
8.) I still am drawn to the concept of being able to quilt my painting but will try it next time on a small piece that can easily be maneuvered through the sewing machine not requiring the fold over of fabric to get it through the machine's opening.
9.) And have I said how much I love products by Golden's? They just cannot be beat. Yes, they are crazy expensive but they are the absolute best!!!! I just went to an art materials trade show and spoke with the Golden's reps about some of the products I had not tried. I've wanted to try their new Open Acrylics giving a longer drying time. They are sending me some samples! Woohooo! I'll let ya'll know what I think when I get them and try them out. I also found that they have a product I can add to my current heavy bodied acrylics to allow for a longer drying time! Cool beans!

Okie dokie... think that is it for the lessons learned in the practical sense for this project. I need to print these out and put them in my journal along with process photographs so I remember. You always think you'll remember stuff like this but ya' don't. I don't, anyway. Thanks to all of you who have followed along with my process through this piece!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Artwork hanging

Well, my latest artwork titled "How did You find me here?" is now hanging for our week of 24/7 prayer. If you live in the Phoenix area, I invite you to head over to Open Door Fellowship church on the corner of 19th Ave/ Butler any time over this next week. There is security and the church will be open 24 hours a day for this entire next week. Today, we spent hours transforming the entire sanctuary into a beautiful room of interactive prayer stations designed to invite you into intimate time with God. He's waiting for you there!

This piece of artwork measures approx. 4 ft. or so, sorta' square! The final piece is hanging along with the scripture passage from Psalm 130:1-18. Here are a few close ups too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It is finished.

Now to get fabric to back it and trim the edges. Need to see if I have enough batting too.....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A little change

Because I have been getting some odd Anonymous comments here on my blog, I made a change hoping to eliminate any more anonymous comments. I'm sorry if this affects a legit person but the comments are just really .... well... they make me go "Huh? What does that have to do with my post?" Anyway, I hope I correctly made the change in the blog for it to work right! I should ask my 11 year old. He seems to know how to do everything...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Let me direct you....

to the blog of Quinn McDonald. If you want to be able to do something for people of Japan but don't have money to send and feel helpless, you just have to go to Quinn's blog and read about something she is doing. Something simple that any of us could do. Just go. Why are you still here? Go on now... click on her name and it will take you right there in one second flat.

By the way, it turned cold here again and is raining! Thank you God for the rain for my trees AND, cool weather a little longer!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Painting progress

(click image to enlarge)
After much debate and many opinions from friends on Facebook, I have finally made the decision about the color for the jacket in my painting. Initially, I wanted it to be red. However, when I put a glaze of color down, I knew immediately that it was all wrong. I ended up combining a couple of "FB opinions" and feel that the jacket is exactly the color it is suppose to be. Hearing the views of other people after explaining the emotional feel I was going for with the painting really helped. When I shared this, one friend gave her response as feeling invisible when in this emotional state. I felt that to be profound and feel I captured that in the painting thus far as the jacket somewhat blends in to the wall but not quite. Anyway, I still have to add some highlight once I pull in my bigger light source, although I have added some already, but it's mostly done. Next, on to the jeans... or should I do that shoes next.... ??????? I think the jeans. Yes, definitely the jeans... the painting looks really weird with the white area left! Eek!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Acrylic Revolution

This is one of my favorite books about art. It is written by Nancy Reyner and gives instructions and amazing photographs with steps to create every imaginable technique using acrylics. Nancy has been a rep for Golden's Acrylics for years so that is what she uses for all techniques in the book. This is a must have book for any artist. I have landed an extra copy. If anyone is interested in purchasing it, I'm selling it for $20. and that includes stateside shipping.... or make me an offer I can't refuse! The list price in the cover is $27.99.


I wrote a post fairly recently about sending socks to Japan. The man who started this drive is Jason Kelly. I insist that every person who reads this go to his blog and subscribe for updates. He is giving the most heartbreaking account of his one on one interaction with the Tsunami survivors as he and his team deliver socks and letters of hope. Powerful stories and photographs. And to find that such a small gesture as a pair of socks has such an affect on those who lost everything. Amazing! Please go read his latest post!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Decisions, decisions....

Today's progress with my painting consisted of adding in the floor and then transferring some of the floor color up into the stones. My big decision is in the color of the jacket. My initial thought was deep red. I've thrown it out there on FB for opinions and am only getting more confused. Votes have ranged the full spectrum of the rainbow! It gets harder to work late in the day because of bad lighting so I may have to stop for now. Besides, trying to cook dinner and paint at the same time is a really bad combination!

A morning walk

Yesterday morning, I was feeling anxious and stressed. My friend with whom I usually hike, was unable to go as she got sick so, I decided to walk my neighborhood instead, with camera in hand. I have always said Autumn was my favorite time of year because the leaves turn my favorite colors however, there really isn't much of an Autumn in Phoenix. But we do have Spring! It is my favorite Phoenician season. Here are a few glimpses into my neighborhood.

First of all, I have to get past this:
My cats perch at the door every morning enjoying the fresh air. While Kenzy races to the kitchen for canned food as soon as my feet hit the floor, Bob racing to the door and meows at me. Because it's been so nice out, if I'm home, the doors are open so this is the usual scene at my front door. Got this shot of Marvin from overhead. I love how he lays with his front paws stretched way out and crossed! He looks so proper! This poor guy is going to be my bank drainer as he has autoimmune issues. We went back to the vet again yesterday. UGH! But we love him so!
This was my first shot out the door!

The following two photos are cut rocks in a yard. Aren't they amazing?

And on to the sure signs of spring in the Sonoran Desert!

This photo below is my favorite. I MUST get one of these cacti... have to find out what kind it is. The flowers are just exquisite!

And yes, in the midst of my neighborhood are several HUGE, old pecan trees! Quite a mix going on around here! Unfortunately, the photos of the chickens didn't turn out well. Maybe next time!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Amazing giveaway!

Trudie Davies is having a giveaway on her blog. She makes beautiful jewelry so go check her out! This is the amazing ring set up for grabs in her April giveaway! Gorgeous, isn't it?

Movin' right along, folks!

Ok, so I finally finished the base color for the stones. And, did you know:

1.) When you work on a big painting, it is literally a pain in the neck?
2.) If you are short like me, a couple of phone books duct taped together make a great little step stool if you don't have one. Unless, of course, you live in a little town in the sticks where your phone book is the thickness of a brochure. In that case, you made need a case of them. However, if you are in a big city, a couple work perfectly!
3.) Your hand goes numb after painting a while if somewhat overhead.
4.) Your elbow sorta' locks up from holding a palette too long at a time.
5.) If you have any type of vision problems or wear glasses, you will need an assortment so you can change out depending on what part of the painting you are working on and the distance between the brush hitting canvas and your eyes! LOL!

Have to take a break for now to work on a few other things... and hopefully get full feeling back in my fingers of my right hand.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mid-day progress report

Ok, it's slowly taking shape. But painting this size is really hard on my body. My neck and lower back hurt. I'm heading to the shower for a break and hope to get back to this later this evening.