Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bye Bye Christmas

Well the busyness of Christmas is once again past and now we look forward to a new year. And trying to remember a new year when writing the date.

Last year I did the end of year overview and the new year's plan. That turned out to be the most terrible year I have had. So I'm not doing that this year. I found out the hard way that no matter how you plan, nothing is guaranteed.

This year instead I will try to make a new start. I still don't have a "normal" to my life. I can't seem to find what fits for me. I don't do anything on a schedule and that leaves a lot of things that get put off or left out. Right now that left out stuff is my art. I have hit another dry spell.

I do so pray that I will find my normal, find some organization in my house and body, and find the joy that left last year. I want to look forward to getting up again and facing a new day. I just have to remember that my Father is the reason I am here, and He will be by my side.

Penny, Dizzy, and I hope that everyone has a very Happy New Year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

The time is fast approaching. Before you know it, Christmas will be here. I have been having some very emotional days with the realization that I won't have my husband next to me at Christmas dinner this year. I didn't realize how hard the situation was going to hit me.

I will be having lunch on Christmas Eve with my nephew and his family. That includes a very active 1 yr old which will make the day enjoyable. Then on Christmas Day, I will have dinner with my husband's sister and her husband. It will be very difficult as it has been only the four of us for the last few years and now one will be missing. I just hope that I can sit at the table without bursting into tears. His sister is still having a hard time too and we will be a wet mess if we can't hold it together. My tears are staying pretty close to the surface the last few weeks.

I may not post again before Christmas so I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. And don't forget to remember the reason for the season. Thank you God for sending your son to die on the cross for my sins.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Scavenger Hunt #204

As promised here is the new Scavenger Hunt which will run from Dec 17-25.

tail, tell, or tale
seam inside a garment
closed eye
jar with a lid, stopper, or cork
still life with 5 totally unrelated items
something in or on your desk
something that represents peace
something that starts with the letter "C"
the strangest thing you own
a handle
open book
your hand with your fingers curled - bonus holding something
inside of an envelope
a luxury item
something new
something bumpy

For this one I'm not putting any challenges. I pulled items from many different past hunts hoping to have quite a few that haven't been listed for awhile.

If you have to have a challenge, then do as many as you can twice but in different mediums.

It should be interesting to see how many will be able to keep up with their sketches while still doing all the busy work of Christmas preparations.

Scavenger Hunt

I am the host of the next Scavenger Hunt. It starts the 18th and runs thru Christmas...the 26th in fact. I decided to take that one as I have the time to keep up with the posts. I have no idea if we will have that many but our group is pretty loyal to their sketching. I figured if I do the hosting, everyone else can just concentrate on getting stuff done.

Tomorrow I will post the list if I don't forget.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Every Inchie Monday

I joined a new project at Every Inchie Monday. You can visit it at the link on the right. I thought that ATCs were small. Well I have committed to making art at 1 inch size every Monday starting Jan 3rd. I haven't done one yet so I don't know how that will work. But I'm game to try. I guess I had better get a magnifying glass ready. My eyesight isn't the best in the world.

The last few days have been non art related. I have been browsing a lot of blogs. Starting at one, following their links to other links, to other links, and on and on until I can't even remember where I started. It gives me a chance to see and comment on art I don't usually see. Like sewing, knitting, etc.

I have been kind of blah lately. Can't seem to concentrate. Maybe it is the season or my lack of interest this year. I am sleeping a lot, puttering, but not accomplishing much. I did make brownies tonight. Maybe chocolate will help.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Today there was a post in the Drawspace forum asking some questions. I decided to put my thoughts out there for the person asking. Below are the questions and after that my answer.

"Well its been just over a year since i joined this great site and took up drawing/art. I have some questions for all of you and would love you opinions now i feel im in a position i will understand.

ok first am i just drawing or am i doing art i don't know.

How do i move on from needing reference photos and be able to pull it out my head is this going to be just practice and let my work go back ten steps to be able to make it go forward or is the use of ref photos used for even the greatest drawers/artists?

Paper!! why am i finding it harder to get (thinking how to word this) my pencils down on a more quality paper card than i seem to get it down on my sketch pad paper (lot less grain so i can force it on even though i want to use the stiffer paper/card as i know the finish is better

Its nearly Christmas :D I want some mechanical pencils BUT how many should i get i was thinking 3 one for HB one for say a 5-6B and one for 3H , what do you all have, is there a best type and a best type of lead, i want to up my game .

Colour pencils, this is a struggle should i just leave it and play some times as not to get despondent or have i just got poopy pencils. what would you recommend ,, do you use these lightly as i think i press to hard?

look forward to the replys :)"


I'm no expert but can give you my 2 cents worth. I think if you can produce art and have a great passion to do it, you are an artist. It took me a long time to admit that I was one. I think that is because there is always someone you think is better. The problem is that even the best artists have the same feeling. They are never satisfied with their art and feel they could do better.

I started out using photos and a grid. I thought that was not quite what an artist would do and strived to be able to draw without a grid. So I started drawing from life. I drew anything that came in front of me. And I drew something every day. Art is like anything else you want to learn. It takes lots of practice. The more you do from life, the better you get. Your confidence grows, your hand eye coordination improves. I was scared to death but continued and I never use a grid now.

Next step was that I found out that a lot of really good artists use a grid. Or they will transfer a basic outline onto their paper. And I have done that when I wanted to make sure I got proportions right with a face.
I draw with a mechanical pencil only and colored pencils for color. I have only #2 pencil lead in it and use pressure or layers to get darker. I haven't the patience for using different levels pencils to get darker. I started drawing on my lunch hour at work and only had one pencil and computer paper to draw on. I also use a fine lead of .5. They break easier but I don't like the thicker leads.

Colored pencils are a challenge. I like a dry pencil instead of a waxy one. I tend to go in dark and heavy right away. many people say they do anywhere up to 25 + layers. I really don't have the patience for that many layers. With colored pencil I think you just have to keep doing it and trying new things until you come up with a style that you are comfortable with.

Paper is just a matter of preference. I started with cheap stuff. Now I work almost only on Bristol Smooth or cardstock thickness paper. I sometimes will use the smoother side of watercolor paper. If you want more tooth, try the watercolor. Another paper is pastel paper. I have used that. I like the textured ones but not the ones that feel like sand paper. They use up the pencils too fast.

I've been seriously doing art since 2006. In that time, I have read everything I could on blogs and the internet. I have tried the style of lots of different people, adopted some and not others. Listened to and read about things that are wrong and right. I don't think there is a right or wrong way of doing things. You just have to find "your" way of doing them. And that takes trying them all. Finding what is comfortable for you.

If you are happy with the way you do artwork and enjoy what you are doing, just keep doing it and continue to learn and evolve your talent. I don't let the rules and restrictions keep me in a box. I do my artwork for me and hope that others like it as well. If I do a commission, I usually don't show it until it is finished. If they don't like it, they don't have to pay and take it. If I do it someone else's way, it becomes a chore and no longer fun.

Just enjoy and I hope this helps.

Friday, December 03, 2010

2 More Christmas ATCs

Well I have finished all the Christmas ATCs. At least until more sign up. There are still a few days for sign up.

Even though the heat in summer here is just about unbearable, I have discovered I just do not like to be cold. And cold for Bakersfield is nothing like cold in "cold" places. We don't often get to freezing level. And we have had snow only about 4 times in my lifetime. Not even a lot of ice. Just fog. And even the fog has gotten less dense than it was in the late 1970s. During that time, you had to drive with your window open so that you could see the white line on the street (or to hear the traffic) because you sure couldn't see anything in front of you, not even the hood of your car. You pretty much said a prayer and drove.

The cold makes me want to sleep all the time. I turn into a big old hibernating bear. And the figure to match. The dogs enjoy our "naps" up to a certain point. They don't want dinner to be late, or their barking time outside to wait. Plus they want to play. I sometimes wake to several animal toys in bed with me. At least with these 2 dogs, I don't wake to their faces in my face.

Our Golden Retriever KC used to stand over me and put her face right in front of mine and wait for me to wake up. If I didn't soon, she would lick me. Nothing like waking up looking at a face right in yours and a threat of a wet kiss. But on the other hand it was wonderful. I miss her so much and would love to wake to her beautiful face again.

I miss most of my passed babies but I think I miss KC and Friday the most. If you have never had a Golden Retriever, you have missed a wonderful experience. I have never had more lovable companions. They always knew when I was sad and would sit against me for comfort. And they could sure share in any happy times.

I would love to have another but at this time in my life, I'm not sure that would be a good idea. I don't want to raise another puppy (not exactly true, I'd love to but don't have the strength). But maybe somewhere down the line I will find one that is older and needs a forever home to ride out the last days of it's life. Will be bad for me to lose another at some point, but I hate thinking of Goldens out there with no forever family. That breed of dog just lives for family and interaction to humans and/or other dogs. They aren't the kind of dogs you just put in the yard and feed. They need to be a part of the family.

The two dogs next door are outside during the cold. I feel so sorry for them. Mine are nice and warm inside with me. They really don't know they are dogs and they know that they are an important part of my family. Please just make sure your animal babies have somewhere warm to sleep, plenty of food and water, and plenty of love.

Christmas trade

I am in a trade at for Holiday Traditions. So far there are 10 people signed up. I have finished 7. All are ATC size (3.5 x 2.5) and in colored pencil. Some ink was used on the eyes and noses. I am doing my cards from my stash of Christmas ornaments and stuffed animals. The one of the door is my front door with a dog stocking hanging on it. It has new toys for my 2 dogs for Christmas.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Steve's Birthday

Today would have been my brother Steve's birthday. He was 4 years younger than me and the youngest of 3 of us. He passed away several years ago from complications from drugs. He was only 46. Such a short life but he wasn't having a good life. He had been on drugs for years and just couldn't get off of them.

His son is Stephen, my nephew who just got married. I feel bad that Steve never got to meet his granddaughter. He would have been so overjoyed at being a grandfather, and he would have adored Kylie. I know that I still miss him a lot.

Today I went shopping. I got a couple of Christmas gifts and some new art supplies. Always a good thing when I get new art supplies. I think every artist agrees with that. No matter how many pencils, paints, pastels, etc you have, you still want more. I guess we are afraid we might run out. Not likely at my place but it still doesn't keep me from buying.

I bought a small candle that smells like cinnamon rolls. I'm not sure that was a wise purchase. I have been hungry for sweets since I brought it home. I haven't even lit it yet. Now I'm scared it will smell like baking cinnamon rolls when lit. I'm not sure my will power can handle that. The shopping bag sure smelled good tho.

I bought the packaging for mailing my portrait I did for the swap. It is all packaged and ready for the mail tomorrow. I'm not sure how long it will take to get to England but I hope it gets there safely.

All my trades are finished and my cards for the Christmas card exchange have been mailed. I received my first one today. In fact I got 2 cards today. One from the trade and one from a friend in Las Vegas. Christmas is coming fast.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Missing Bill

Today has been hard for me. I'm glad I have made it thru my first Thanksgiving without my husband. It was bittersweet. I had dinner with family and enjoyed it but I kept thinking of last year when Bill was there with me. I sat there and had dinner and "made happy" but inside I just wanted to go off by myself and have a good cry.

It has been 8 months. Eight long and lonely months. I keep busy, I'm not hiding out or living in misery but I am just not whole. I'm not sure I will ever be completely whole again. I am sure that I will heal eventually. It will never be better, but will get easier. Time always heals to a certain extent.

I know one thing, I will be grateful when it has been a year since he passed. That may sound strange but to me it will be the end of all the holidays and major events that I will have gotten thru without him by my side. All those firsts, which is what I call them, are very tiring. Sometimes I feel like all the stuffing has drained out of me.

I did enjoy thinking about how this time last year Bill held Kylie and fed her for the first time. She was around 2 months old. And this year I held her as she tried to play with the food on my plate. And when I started out the door to leave, I turned back for a kiss, and she gave me the sweetest hug. It was all worth it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gary Finished

Here is my finished portrait of Gary and his photo which is used with his permission.

More Color

Here is more color added. Only the second color plus a little chocolate to define.

Now For Some Color

I have the first color started. I'm happy with the way it is progressing.

Portrait Next Update

I am finished with the drawing. Now to transfer it and start with color.

Portrait Started

I finally got a start on the portrait I am doing for the portrait swap on Wetcanvas. It is barely started but I thought I'd post anyway. His left eye I'm working on. going to make it bigger. That's why his iris is in front of the lid. Weird huh?

This is Gary and he has finished my portrait. I need to get busy and get his done. It needs to be in the UK by Christmas. I will probably be doing it in colored pencil. The style is one I learned on Wetcanvas from Alfredart. It is done with only 3 colors. Of course I may use a couple other colors to get the dark in the pupils.

Well I had better get back to it. Times passing fast. If he says ok, I will post the one he did of me in pastels. And his when I am finished. Or maybe even as I work on it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I have been lazy this week. Nothing new to post. I will post some of my cards that have arrived at their new places a bit later. Too lazy at the moment. But will be back.

Monday, November 15, 2010


The scavenger hunts on Wetcanvas have made it to #200. I can remember just wanting to make it to #100 and here we are now at 200. And still going strong.

The new list has been posted and we already have some items uploaded. I'm hoping we have a lot of participation in this one especially. I would love to get all the items done this time. I haven't been able to do that for quite some time. But hopefully this will be my first of many.

I did get one more thing on my list finished today. I got my Christmas Card finished, printed off, folded, and ready for the envelopes. We haven't gotten the address list but at least after my slow start, I am caught up.

Now I need to get busy on the portrait I need for the portrait swap. I can't wait too long to mail it as it has to reach the UK by Christmas. I haven't even started yet but will soon.

Here is a tiny peek at my Christmas Card. I used a photo of my Friday. It was the first photo I ever took of her. I added a hat to make it Christmas-y. It will soon be a year since we had to let her go.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tangle Trade

I thought I had finished the Zentangle II Trade. But 2 more names added. I got one finished and will do the last one soon. I also finished the Chimney trade. Now I am working on the Anything That Doesn't Walk trade. I have worked on those tonight and have only two more to go. And still one more Pet Portrait to do.

I also received the photo of the person I will be swapping portraits with on Wetcanvas in the Portraiture forum area. But before I start that, I have to get a pen and ink Christmas card finished so that I can get the copies made and ready to send.

I played around with two different Christmas cards but I am not satisfied with them. Thankfully I only have to make one and send copies. I'm tired just thinking of all the things I still need to do.

Here are two photos I took at my nephew's wedding a couple weeks ago. It was at a resort hotel in Pismo Beach, CA. It is on a bluff overlooking the ocean and the wedding was set up facing the water. Beautiful but it rained. We all got wet but everyone still had a good time.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I Made it Through

I know it sounds like a weird Title. But it is pretty appropriate. I made it thru Halloween which would have been my husband's and my 40th anniversary. I had dreaded it for a couple weeks or so. It was a little nagging dread in the back of my mind.

Sunday I spent the day alone. At 12:01 midnight, I said a Happy Anniversary to my husband even tho he is no longer here. It just felt right. Then I spent the day here at the house, cleaning closets, watching tv, playing with the dogs, and remembering. It was a very long day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trading Cards

I worked for two days on my trading cards. I finished several each for the Chimneys one and the Anything That Doesn't Walk. I mailed 4 today and will mail another two tomorrow. Hopefully I will get those finished up soon. I still have one more person to do a pet portrait for. And I lead the next Drawspace trade which will be posted on the first.

Here is the latest Pet Portrait Card that has been received at its new home. This is Comfort. 4x6 inches and colored pencil with a touch of ink.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I guess I have taken a break. I didn't know I had taken a break but I haven't posted for a long time. I have no idea why. I have no reason, no excuse.

I have done a few cards lately. I finished my trade cards for the Zentangle II trade on Wetcanvas. I mailed all the cards either Saturday or Friday. So far I haven't heard if any have been received.

My nephew and his fiance (now wife) had their wedding yesterday at the beach. It was a very wet wedding. Rained all day. They did the ceremony in the rain as there were no other alternatives. No place inside where they booked it large enough. They did buy awnings to put up over the tables but everyone still got very wet. But at least it is over and they can get on with their lives.

When I went into my bedroom tonight where my birds are, I found my parakeet dead in the bottom of the cage. Poor Freebie. It appeared that her neck was broken. I have had her for a couple years. I know she had a good home her last couple years and enjoyed listening and talking to the birds outside when I would open the window. That's just about the only time you heard her get loud. I will miss that happy sound. But just one more loss among so many this year.

Goodbye my sweet little bird.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rocks/Stones Finished

I finished all the cards for the Rocks/Stones trade on Drawspace. I had 9 to do. I decided to do this trade in graphite. I like to do that every so often to get back to the basics. I miss graphite when I constantly do colored pencils. All of these were from my own references. They are all in the envelopes and ready to mail on Monday.

The two cacti were at CSUB (Cal State Bakersfield University). They have a program called FACT where they nurse birds back to health and reintroduce them back into the wild. Some of the students work there. It is outside and has a small pond with brush around it. Cages for the birds, lots of native trees, and a huge area with native cacti. We went there for one of our plein air outings.

The rest of the photos were taken at the cattle ranch where my friends Shari and Ron work and live, and the small day park we went to at Stallion Springs in Tehachapi. Both were plein outings as well.

I also finished the zentangle cards for the Zentangle II trade on Wetcanvas. We don't have the list yet so they aren't ready to mail yet. I can't show those as they are supposed to be a surprise. I never know how many of the participants check my blog.

Now I have to concentrate on the other two Wetcanvas trades. "Anything That Doesn't Walk" and "Chimneys". And I joined for the 3rd year the Christmas Portrait Swap on Wetcanvas. Looking forward to it. They are still signing up for that one.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nothing I can Show

I haven't done anything this week that I can show. I have been working on some Zentangles for the trade on Wetcanvas and some Stones/Rocks for the monthly trade on Drawspace. I have 5 of each so far. And one finished for the Wetcanvas Trade called
"Anything That Doesn't Walk" A little bit of a mouthful isn't it?

Yesterday I worked on Bible study questions. It was really a good study. Today I did nothing. Well that isn't exactly true. I slept some and worked on a blouse I ordered. It was too big so I decided to fix it myself instead of sending it back. I don't want to pay for the extra postage. And if I got a smaller size, chances are it would be too tight. Can't win for losing so they say. So I pay a price just to remake it. Fun, fun, fun.

I actually don't like to sew any more. I did when I was younger. Is that because I was younger and had more patience? Is that because I could see better and my hands worked better? Is that because it was cheaper back then? Well all of the above is true.

The patterns today are an outlandish price. They cost as much as the Vogue patterns did "in the olden days". And we poor people couldn't afford the Vogue patterns back then. And the Vogue patterns were more like "Project Runway" compared to what most women wore back in that more conservative time.

My hands are terribly arthritic, my eyes have the start of cataracts, and I pull more stitches out than I put in when I sew. And there is where the eye sight comes in to play. Try taking stitches out of black fabric that has been sewn with black thread and then get back to me. Also try it with your eyes closed. That pretty much sums up what it is like for me. fun huh?

But like other problems for people who carry too much weight, clothes aren't made the way I would wish. The sleeves are way too short and tight for my "wings". The length is too short for my backside and belly. And I can guarantee you that no one wants to see my midsection sticking out from under my blouse or anything else that might be in that area.

Yes maybe I am a prude. But I don't think anyone has a good enough body to go around showing their mushroom over the tops of their pants. And it is annoying to watch someone forever pulling up their pants every few seconds. And for the view, you don't want to see mine and I don't want to see yours.

So I still make my tops. And I still buy my pants with elastic and make sure they fit "at the waist" and not hip area. The biggest part of me is not where I want the focal point. I will continue making my tops with long loose sleeves, my long tailed hems and loose sides as long as I can manage, and keep from frightening myself in the mirror or viewers on the street. I know what's under there but don't find it something I want to see every time I pass a mirror, or share with anyone on the street.

Now have a good day, take a look in the mirror (front and back) before going out, and pray that my hands and eyes hold out until I at least am in the throes of dementia.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Scavenger Hunt

I was the host of the latest scavenger hunt on WCd. This was the last day and I got one item sketched and posted tonight.

As I was watering my back yard, I picked up several leaves that had fallen and sketched them for the hunt. They will come in handy as a leaf is on the next hunt also.

I will be mailing out one more pet portrait today. I have 7 more to do. Then I have the October trade at Drawspace to do which is "rocks". And 3 trades at Wetcanvas to get started on. Another pending project is the Sketchbook Project for the Art House Coop. I have it started but haven't gotten very much done (the inside cover and a couple pages or so.)

Plus my Bible study started again in mid Sept and we have daily homework for that. If I don't wade thru the debris in my house and do some housework, I soon will get lost as a wander thru the house.

The sketch is done in colored pencil and outlined with a marker pen.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Different Medium

This is Sammie.

After seeing the pet portraits done with the markers in the Wetcanvas Project, and some drawings that Robert did for a scavenger hunt, I decided to try one with my Pitt and Prismacolor Brush Pens (plus a little colored pencil). It turned out a little rough looking but looser and I actually like the way it turned out. Hopefully the one who is to receive it won't visit my blog but I did post on the thread that it would be here in case anyone wanted peek. I may do a few more in this style. Especially as most of the ones I have left to do are cats. I have more trouble with cat hair than I do with dog hair. I will practice one a cat and see.

I did use the brush pens the last time I was out doing plein air with my group. I haven't finished it yet but I like the way it is turning out. I have no problem mixing mediums and enjoy finding new ways to do it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For the next 9 days, I am hosting the Scavenger Hunt on the Wetcanvas Forum. If anyone wants to get some practice drawing from life, and they don't know what to draw, please come and join us. You can find us here.

Every 9 days someone hosts the scavenger hunt and posts a list of 26 items to find and sketch plus some extra challenges. Everything has to be sketched from life. We upload our "finds" and share with the others.

The most fun part is seeing how each person interprets each item on the list. All mediums are welcome. It is a place to try new techniques, mediums, and brush up our skills. We are a fun-loving bunch and most people who participate for awhile, notice that their skills get sharper and their eye hand coordination gets much better. And the list means you always have a list of things to sketch.

Some lists are specific, some vague, and some make you stop and think. But they are always interesting. Some of the challenges have been to draw with your non-dominant hand, draw the back of your head, dryer lint, balled up aluminum foil, and many others. We even had one that had 26 items you could find and set up on shelves to make a still life and do them all in one picture. Also one as easy as finding something for each letter of the alphabet.

I started with the hunts on the first one and have participated in just about every one. We are now on #194 and they seem to be going strong. We get enough newbies to balance out the ones we lose. And after participating in at least one hunt, you are eligible to host and provide your own list and challenges.

Don't worry if you don't feel you have time to participate. You can do one item or finish the whole list. And if you don't have the time to make comments, we want you to show up any way. Just come join the fun. This is the latest list that I posted to give you an idea.

Here is the list:

stack of books
dryer lint
crushed aluminum foil
baggie or plastic wrap
items tossed in a drawer, box, or bowl
something inside out
something you see outside
something you see inside
paper clips
key chain
inside of an envelope
toilet paper/tissue (Challenge: many different versions or poses)
something used when bathing
tree/tree part
still life of fruits and/or vegetables
leaf (Challenge: several different kinds)

Final Challenge: Draw your hand touching your foot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Buster and Maggie

These are two more dogs I have done for the Pet Portrait Trade. These two belong to Bigs/Sue in Australia. I will be putting them in the mail hopefully tomorrow. Depends if I get them out to the box on time. My mailman can surprise me sometimes and show up early.

Busert and Maggie are Dachshunds. Buster is older. They are the pampered babies that live with Sue. Not long ago Buster tangled with a snake and it was a close call. But he made it and is now able to keep the house in line while Sue works. Let's hope his snake patrol is over.

Pet Portrait Trade

I have been working today on another pet portrait. A Doxie this time. One of two that I am doing. They will be going to my good friend Sue in australia. I still have the second one to do.

Here is one more that has been received. Meet Sparky for kittierue.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I decided to do some "playing" like Teresa at Blueberries Art and Life Blog. She has been doing some experimentation with her watercolors. Well I just ordered some Cobra brand water soluble oil paints from Dick Blick. I didn't order any medium, but they sent a bottle free. I'm glad now as the water just doesn't do it.

The oils are too thick to use dry and the water doesn't last long with the paint. It seems to disappear on the brush. I was constantly putting the brush in water and couldn't get the consistency I wanted. I had either too much or too little water. Never in between.

In the 80s, I painted with the old type oil paints. I loved them. I just didn't love the smell, the turp, the cleaning up, the messiness, or the long drying time. Plus I went to work full time and just didn't have the time.

So to be able to do artwork and not spend so much time before and after, I started to draw with graphite. I loved it and still love it better than any other medium. I can do it anywhere, with a minimum of supplies, and no cleanup or wait time.

Then everyone kept asking why I didn't do color. Well I finally decided I would try some color and that led to colored pencils. I used Derwent Watercolor pencils but used them dry.

After awhile, I wanted to try the watercolor pencils wet. Then I tried watercolor paints. I can live with watercolor pencils and a waterbrush, but watercolor paints and regular brushes just aren't my thing.

And now I have been getting some wonderful art cards of my dogs in a trade and some of them were done in water soluble oils. They were gorgeous. I decided to give the oils another try. She used alkoyds but I didn't want to have to use a medium as I have two birds and didn't want to kill them with any unnecessary fumes. They have delicate vascular systems.

Now here I am full circle with oils and they aren't working with the water only. One thing is good. The oil paints don't have an odor. The other brand I had tried did have a slightly faint odor and even tho it was several years ago (and they were also water soluble) I believe they worked better with just the water.

Another thing I found out. The brushes didn't clean up with just water. I still had to use soap to get the green paint out.

Above is my try with the water soluble oils (Cobra) using water only.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pet Portraits

Some of my pet portraits have arrived that I have done for the trade on Wetcanvas. I did a horse head tonight and it was a real challenge. And a black and white horse no less. I have a lot easier time with dogs. Cats are more of a challenge than dogs, but I have several more of them to do. I'm not sure how many more I have to get done but I think I have done around 10. The horse will go in the mail tomorrow.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pet Portraits

I bought a card table with the intentions of putting together some puzzles. I did one puzzle and was so sore and blind from doing it, that I decided I should wait awhile before doing another. I am obsessive when doing a puzzle. Just can't stop and don't go to bed.

So I moved my colored pencil supplies from my bedroom to the living room to the card table. The table is full and I still don't have all my pencils out. I arranged them so that I can get to them easily. The daylight lamp is there as well as the electric pencil sharpener. And the table is next to a window so during the day, I have better light. So far I am enjoying my supplies in there as I finished 3 pet portraits today. That is the last 3 that I needed to mail along with my last Zentangle like cards.

For the Pet portrait trade, we need to do 24 and I now have 8 of them finished. The three I did today will be mailed tomorrow. And hopefully I will get a few more finished this weekend.

I do have some Bible studies to do. The new Bible study starts next Tuesday and there is homework that needs to be done before I go. We will be studying the Book of John. I think it will be a very good study.

Here is the latest Tangle to reach its destination.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

More Fruit & Veggies

I did 6 more cards for the Drawspace trade. I think I have one more to go. Haven't decided what to do for the last one. I went shopping today with my eye on the produce as a model not as a food source. It was quite fun. I didn't want to present a bag with one piece of okra in it so bought 3 or 4 pieces. Have no idea what I will do with it as they aren't enough to make a mess of fried okra. Maybe I will make a soup and add them to it.

Oh I just remembered. I bought one small turnip. I will do that one. I'm glad I remembered or it would sit in the veggie crisper of the fridge and ruin. Those drawers in my fridge these days are known as the death trap. I still can't get the hang or the "want to" to cook for one. Just not worth the effort. So I buy the stuff then don't cook it. I need to get better and eat better.

Now I'm off to find that turnip in the death trap drawer.

Friday, September 03, 2010

3 More

I finished 3 more of the fruits and vegetables for the trade on Drawspace. I have 3 more vegetables sitting on a plate waiting for their turn. Hopefully before bed time I will get them. So far there are around 10 signed up.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Fruit and Vegetable Trade at Drawspace

The September trade at Drawspace has the theme of Fruit and Vegetables. I have already finished 3 of them. A few days before I knew the theme, I had purchased an onion sprout a the grocery store to sketch. I just loved the small size, the color, and the little green sprouts coming out the end. That is the first thing I drew for the trade.

Then I looked in the kitchen and found a small apple and pear from my fruit trees. The pear tree is probably on its last few years. And the apple won't be far behind.

When we moved here 17+ years ago, there were 4 fruit trees. Apple, peach, pear, and apricot. I don't think we ever did get any peaches as it died about the first year. The stump is still there as a reminder. Next to it was the apricot. We had wonderful fruit and a terrible mess every year till about two years ago. Then it didn't even leaf out.

At a lower section of the yard, is the pear. It has been wonderful and very producing. Sometimes it would bloom off and on for several months and produce pears. The last ones would be really tiny but still full of wonderful flavor.

A lot of the limbs in the pear tree for the last few years have been dead. It was still over abundant with blooms this year but only produced about 4 pears. One is still in the top of the tree where I can't reach it. I guess that one is for the birds to claim. I have been gradually cutting out the dead limbs and hope to top the tree back to the largest branches and see if I can give it a jump start and new life for next year.

The apple is a dwarf of about 4 feet. It has wonderful red delicious apples. One year the apples were so large, we had to prop up the limbs. People stopped on the street to look and point at them. They were the size of a large grapefruit or a small melon. Over the years it has had limbs to break off. Some with the help of my dog Friday. As a puppy, she liked to break the limbs off and carry them around for chewing.

It is pretty lopsided but still puts off some really sweet apples but they are smaller now. Since the dogs can reach them, a lot of them get eaten before they are ripe. I think I have got about 3 or 4 and there are still some on the tree. Dizzy is the latest to figure out that she can get them for herself.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wetcanvas Trades

I finished my Zentangle-like trade, working on my Pet Portraits trade, and just signed up for the Christmas card trade. I felt like I needed something going on at Christmas time to keep me occupied and keep me from feeling so sad. Getting Christmas Cards in the mail hopefully will help.

One of my Zentangle-like cards.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I finished the last of my Zentangle-like cards. I am mailing most of them today but have to finish pet portraits for the last ones. But at least I am finished with the cards.

It is hot, hot, hot here. Supposed to be 107 degrees F today. I have a funeral today and so thankful it is not graveside. And I'm sure the mortuary will be cold. They usually are.

I haven't slept good the last couple of days. Probably the heat. Hard to sleep when the temperature doesn't go down much (in the 80s all night). And I don't have AC. Just fans thru the night. I have already read a couple Facebook entries that said it is miserable outside now and we get our hottest around 4 o'clock.

I hope everyone out there is having a great day and staying cool or warm according to where you are.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Night

Tonight I spent some time doing a few more Zentangle-type postcards for the trade. I now have 13 of the 20 I need finished. Some of them I need to do a pet portrait card to send along. I have the address lists for both trades and now I just need to get them done and in the mail.

I also signed up last night for the Art House Co-op Sketchbook Project. My theme is "Trading Forever". A perfect theme for me as I join so many ATC trades. I plan to do some tangle-type pages for the sketchbook. That may not be the only thing I do in the sketchbook but I plan to do quite a few. They go pretty fast and are so colorful and each person can see different things in each one.

This is one that I have done this week.

Pet Portrait

This is the first of the pet portraits I did for the trade on Wetcanvas. I really enjoyed doing this one. I love all the wrinkles. And at least dogs don't complain when you add their wrinkles.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scavenger Hunt #188

Here are the scavenger hunt items that I did today. The list is to do one hunt item for each letter of the alphabet.

Monday, August 16, 2010


This is Pirate. The second of my pet trade cards to arrive at its destination. It is postcard size done with colored pencils, a bit of fine line pen, and a touch of graphite.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In The Nick of Time

I barely got some items finished for the scavenger hunt. The list was made to see if all the items could pertain to a pet. Robert has a cat named Ari and he wanted to use Ari in part for each item.

I used my two dogs and pieces of them. I finished 7 items and slid them in at the last minute.

The new list is something from A to Z. One item for each letter. I haven't started it yet. If I follow the lead I have done the last few hunts, I will be rushing to do a few at the last minute. Hopefully not but.....


I didn't know it had been 10 days since I posted. Shame on me. I almost fell out of my chair when I noticed. I guess when I come to my blog and look at the ones I follow, I think I have posted. I will have to do better. Sorry.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Second Pet Portrait Finished

I finished another pet portrait for the WC trade. I can't post that one either as the person it is for visits my blog. We haven't received our address list yet but I have done trades with a few of the participants so have a few addresses to get a head start on my mailing.

At church today I got another shock. One that felt like a punch in the stomach. A friend passed away.

I met her and her husband when I first started attending my church. In fact he was one of the speakers at my husband's funeral. Very good friends and very nice, spiritual people. I will miss her so much.

I'm ready for this year to get a little better. It seems to be a really bad year for me. So many losses. So much change. And change is not that good especially at my age. The older you get, the more you get attached to the way things are.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pet Portrait Card Trade

I finished my first pet portrait tonight. It is postcard sized. I can't show it yet as we haven't gotten the address list and I can't mail it yet. I will show it after the person receives it. One down and at last count, 19 to go.

At one point during the process, I almost gave up and tossed it. It is a dog done in colored pencils. When it reached the ugly stage, it didn't seem like it would get past that stage. So a little erasing and a little more pencil, and repeat that a couple of times, and I finally reached a stage where I am satisfied. Not thrilled, but satisfied. Now on to the next one. Hopefully I will get a couple more sketched soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wetcanvas Down Time

This was posted on Wetcanvas on the 27th.

" Important! Server Upgrade: Thurs. July 29th

Hi All,

This Thursday, July 29th we will be performing maintenance and upgrades to the site servers. We are very excited about these upgrades, because you should notice some improvements in the speed and responsiveness of the site.

However, during these upgrades, you may notice a service interruption that may last up to 48 hours.

We apologize in advance for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sadie Finished

I finished Sadie tonight. Not exactly excited by it but it does look like her. I find that I should take more time with the hair. After awhile, I just seem to pile it on. Kind of like the tinsel on a Christmas tree. I don't have the patience to do each hair.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


When I went to lunch with a friend last Friday, I stopped at her house on the way home. I had never seen her little Yorkie Sadie. Sadie didn't much like me, but I did get a few photos of her. I started this last night. Cps on colored mat board. About 8x10 inches.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hong Kong - Virtual Paintou

I just finished my picture for the Virtual Paintout. It is about 4 x 4 inches and done with pens and colored pencils.


I had one more ATC to do for the Drawspace trade. I did this one tonight. It shows that I like to read books. Two of my cards were mailed out last week. The final 5 will be in the mail today.

Now time to start doing some pet portraits for the trade on Wetcanvas. There are 17 people signed up so far and they have some wonderful photos posted of their pets. It will be hard to choose just one for each person.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Plein Air Day

I went out with my plein air group today to a private house with wonderful shade and lots of little enticing places to paint. Only 3 of us were there but the hostess fixed coffee, ice water, and had cookies for us. What a nice hostess. Done with mechanical pencil in my Moleskine Sketchbook.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Colors Trade

Here are the last two of my ATCs for the Colors Trade for Drawspace Forum. The dog and the happy colors represents my love of dogs and how happy they make me. The other is a California Poppy representing the state I live in. I have most of the envelopes finished; at least the ones I have addresses for. As soon as I get the last ones, they will be on their way.

Now that I am finished with one trade, on to the other one. The Pet Portrait Exchange. I'm not sure what size I will do. I thought I would do postcard sized but some collectors only collect the ATC size. So far there are only 11 signed up. Hopefully more will sign up. We already have a lot of very nice photos and of many different animals. Birds, goats, cats, and dogs so far. Anxious to see what else comes along.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Scavenger Hunt #185

We are on Scavenger Hunt #185 on WC. I remember when I was worried that we wouldn't make it to #100 and here we are almost to #200. It has gotten a new surge of energy and we have quite a few new sketchers and still have quite a few oldies but goodies who are so faithful. I have no doubt we will make it to #200. And who knows? #300? Wouldn't that be grand?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Drawspace Trade

On Drawspace forum we are having a July ATC trade. The theme is using colors to represent ourselves, country, etc. I did Zentangles using fine line markers and colored pencils.

The purple one represents my favorite color.
The red, white, and blue one (with a star and stripes) represents my country.
The purple and gold one with a cross represents my faith.
And the two gold rings represent my 39 years of marriage.

Sign up is still going on and so far there are 6 of us signed up. So until sign up closes, I won't know how many I will need to do. Back to the drawing (thinking) board

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I joined a new project trade on Wetcanvas. It is a pet portrait trade. Each person posts photos of their pets and each person is to do one card for each person on the list. They can use any of the photos they choose. I uploaded some of my present and past pets on my Flicker site here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Wetcanvas Project

JustChaos of Wetcanvas just opened a new project trade. It is for pets. Each person uploads pictures of their pets and they will receive a card with one of their pets on it from each person who signs up for the project. I was in one once before and it was great. I even got pictures for some of my passed dogs. Here is the link for the trade.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Last Night

Last night I took the dogs to bed and while they settled down for the night, I did some artwork. I had wanted to do a Zentangle since that doesn't take a lot of thought. I didn't get the colors just right as the light in the bedroom isn't the best for art. Up close you can see white and the pencil strokes. But as it was just for me to get in some artwork practice, it doesn't have to be perfect.

The second one is from a photo I took at the California Living Museum (CALM) the first time I was there. I don't know the little critter's name but he/she was very friendly. Stepping up on the fence rails looking for food. He has little hard nubs on his head like where horns should be. I don't know if they didn't grow or were damaged. I was able to scratch his head.

Until I was petting the goats, I didn't know that the pupils in their eyes were horizontal. It gives them a strange look. I have seen photos of goats and I have probably been near live goats but for some reason I noticed the pupils this time. When I visit CALM, I always go to see the goats, sheep, and the mule. The pony was stolen but there is a new horse in the pen so the mule has company now.

I started the goat picture probably a year ago. Put it away, found it and put it in a storage box with other unfinished work. I think I dreaded going back to it in case I messed it up. When a picture is looking the way I want, I am better off finishing it then. When I put them away and later go back to them, sometimes they get ruined.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Happy birthday to the US. It's that day of the year that brings about barbecues and picnics. Get-togethers and family fun. It is also a day of worry that someone will use illegal fireworks and start a fire at a neighbor's house or use firecrackers or some other explosive and blow up a body part.

When I was young all we had to celebrate were sparklers. Our parents lit them and we stood there and watched the bright sparkles. The most we did was move our hand around in a circle to watch the colors turn around. We didn't throw them or do anything unsafe. We got one small box of sparklers each and that was it. We only did it at home and with both parents there participating.

Now the fireworks packages cost hundreds of dollars and are much more sophisticated. They go airborne which is dangerous and the children use them for hours. Sometimes for several days.

And then there are the adults who don't live by the law. They smuggle in illegal fireworks or make their own with gunpowder or gas. Really dumb. And it teaches their children that illegal is ok. Then after someone gets hurt, they blame everyone but themselves. I don't know about you, but I don't want to live with any fingers missing or burns on my face and hands. Is it really worth a long time in pain and medical problems for just a few minutes of ill gotten pleasure?

I lived in Oregon for 4 years. They had the right idea. They had fireworks that they set off at the lake. I believe they were in or on something and were working from the center of the lake. Anyone could park around the lake (for free) and watch. It was a wonderful show. Reflections in the water. Safe with the water and just as pretty and better than doing them for yourself.

So tonight after watering down my yard, dry grass, and wooden fence, I will be tucked inside with my fur babies trying to keep them from being totally freaked out. And hope the time for the loud firecrackers is short so my dogs will go out to potty before bed time.

So not only a Happy 4th of July but also a safe one.

Saturday, July 03, 2010


I read a lot of blogs almost daily. Today I was reminded about my word of the year. That word was Appreciate/appreciation.

On March 29, 2010 my life changed completely. That is the day my husband passed away. I know he went to a better place so I have tried not to be too sad at least for him. His pain is gone, he doesn't have to work when he would rather be retired, and he no longer has to worry about paying bills, not enough money, how will we manage with health insurance if he does retire.

But I was sad at the same time losing my partner of 39 years (plus 4 we dated). I think what I miss most is not having him to talk to about things that go on in day to day life. Now alone I have to worry about the lack of health care insurance, the bills, the money, and taking care of our house and babies. Sometimes it is just about overpowering.

I think I always appreciated my husband but it took his death for me to realize how much I should have appreciated him. Some widows at church let me know one day when I was complaining about my husband that one day I would wish to have him back flaws and all. Now that is my reality. I would take him back in a heartbeat flaws and all.

I am afraid I will have to opt out of my goals and my word of the year. I am not the same person who made the list of things I should accomplish this year. I am not the same person who had those hopes and dreams for the year. Since March 29, 2010, my only hope and dream is to make it thru such a traumatic time of my life. Just to make it to the other side of a horror I couldn't have imagined. A dream of finding some kind of normal again whatever that is.

I have been in an ATC trade for Primary colors. Some of the cards have reached their new homes. Because I still have no new art, I will share some of the cards with you.

Remember to appreciate what you have and who you have in your life because you never know when it will be taken from you. Don't wait until it is too late.