Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Trip to Annapolis

Last week we had the pleasure of traveling to Annapolis, Maryland, home of the United States Naval Academy.  My nephew Ryan Turner graduated and was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy.  He is on his way to flight school in Pensacola, Florida.

Here is Ryan with his mother, Patti, and dad, my brother John.

The Turner family was well represented, as quite a few of us traveled up for the week's events.  One of the most spectacular was the Blue Angels air show on Wednesday afternoon.

They also did one more fly-over at the graduation ceremony.

Before we left Raleigh, I painted a Blue Angels graduation card for my nephew in watercolor.

It got very hot as the proceedings and speeches went on and on.  Charlie and I hopped a bicycle rickshaw on the way back to the motel.  I had to share my seat with Lewis, the pug with the batman cape!

We loved being on the water.  Some of us enjoyed a boat tour of the harbor and a water taxi ride to dinner.

Dinner on the waterfront was a nice treat.

My brother Jeff and his wife Anna came up from Florida.  It was great to visit with them without having to go for cancer treatments!  (We stayed with them during Charlie's treatments in Sarasota.)

It was a fine way to spend Memorial Day weekend...and to see the making of a new officer and a gentleman!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Last Stop on the Amazing Race Art Journal Challenge...India!

I finally finished my journal page for the last country to "visit" on the Amazing Race art journal challenge on Facebook.  Last stop was India.

I had several ideas, but as I was browsing the Internet for ideas, I fell in love with elephant eyes.

I used painted and spattered with watercolor paint, then used Inktense pencils to work on some of the facial crevices and the eyes.  This was so much fun.  I love adding unexpected color to add an element of surprise to familiar objects.

Here is one more Bible page, this one from the very end in Revelations 22:2.

I embellished the tree of life a bit by having all of the twelve fruits (or thereabouts) ripening at the same time.  Watercolor background and Inktense pencils for the tree and fruit.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bible Art Journal page

Not feeling very productive...I have had a sinus headache for about a month.  Today I started my second round of antibiotics, and the doctor also suggested Claritin to see if allergies were part of the problem.  I took one of the "non-drowsy" formula and felt drowsy all afternoon!  I may be going to see the ear, nose, and throat doctor soon.

Meantime, here is one more page that was fun to do and did not require much concentration.

The Bible pages are thin, so I prepped both front and back of the page with clear gesso.  The background is watercolor.  I find that it just splashes around on the coating of the clear gesso, but I like the haphazard mixing of colors.  The birds and branches are drawn with an Inktense pencil in Deep Indigo, and the text is Winsor and Newton watercolor marker.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Strathmore Online Workshops- "The Mind of Watercolor"

Once again I am participating online in a free art workshop offered by Strathmore Artist Papers.  This time the theme is The Mind of Watercolor, and the instructor is Steve Mitchell.  Steve has many instructional videos on You Tube.  For the Strathmore workshop, we did a landscape first, and are now working on a botanical painting of a rose.

Here is my finished landscape.

I am finding the rose more difficult.  It requires more precision and taking the time to paint petal by petal.  I have tried two versions for the first layer.

I think the first one is a little dark for the first wash.

The second one is in my watercolor journal  I don't like the drawing as well, but am pretty happy with the first wash of watercolor.

And here is one more Bible art journaling page.  The other side of this page was already painted and lettered with very dark colors that showed through.  I gave this side two coats of clear gesso.  Then I painted mostly with my new Inktense pencils and blended with water.  I added some dark Royal watercolor.  There was still some ink showing through in the yellow sky, so I printed the scripture and added it there.  I was pretty pleased not only with saving this page, but the outcome of the painting.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mountain Weekend

This weekend it was back to our mountain cabin.  Finally, there are leaves on the trees there!

I went on a walk looking for signs of spring, and found many!

I thought it was about time for the wild "flame" azalea to be in bloom.  I found some on the very top of the mountain.

The pink ladies' slipper orchids are somewhat elusive, but we have a nice crop growing along our driveway.

Before we left home, I started work on a watercolor painting  Here is a preview of the unfinished scene.  It does not have much left to do except add some detail.

A few weeks ago I gave my sister the Inspire journaling Bible.  She had seen what I was doing with my Bible art, and was interested, but not sure how to get going illustrating the pages.  The Inspire Bible has line drawings and text in the margins on many pages, but also has many blank margins to fill as desired.  She came over this afternoon and we painted together.  She was doing a page from Revelations, so I turned to the same page and chose to illustrate the Tree of Life from Revelations.

I tried out my new Derwent Inktense pencils.  They are a water-soluble colored pencil, but not watercolor.  The color is acrylic ink.  Once it dries, you can not reactivate the color by wetting it.  I love the vibrant, rich color and the ease of drawing with pencil rather than paintbrush.

Must stop...time for Game of Thrones!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Voices Art Quilt Exhibit

Yesterday I paid a visit to the PAQA-South Art Quilt exhibit called Voices.  You may visit the show for free at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in Cary, North Carolina through July 2, 2016. 

I mostly just photographed the quilts from across the room.  Downstairs, the quilts are in a salon-like setting with a fireplace, grand piano, and window drapes, but lots of room to move around.

Don't forget to go upstairs to see the rest of the exhibit.

 Here is a quilt by my friend, Peg Henderson, which uses pieces of the beaded dress she wore at her daughter's wedding.

In the showcase display is this lovely arrangement of semi-sheer circles representing harmony.

The Page-Walker is an elegant old building that once was a railroad hotel.  I love to see what is blooming in the gardens and grounds, and also check out the sculptures and other interesting features of the gardens.

I noticed information about the Pollinator Garden.  It is an effort by the Cary Woman's Club, the Cary Garden Club, Friends of Page-Walker, and the town of Cary.  It is to encourage pollinators such as butterflies, bees, birds, and more.

This large sculpture is called Child's Play, Revisited.

They have opened up an area beside the Page-Walker where there is a small stage, open grass for a concert area, a pond with fountains, and beautiful landscaping.

There are some historic buildings such as the old smoke house from the Page-Walker.

I have seen this horse sculpture before, but I think he has been moved to this strategic location next to the small stage area.

I always enjoy a visit to the Page-Walker...and when there is a quilt exhibit as well, it makes for a nice day.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Whacky Ladies Quilt Bee

I actually made it to a monthly meeting of my quilt bee on Thursday at Whatever's Quilted in Wake Forest.  They have started meeting in the afternoons instead of evenings since so many of us are now retired and don't like to drive at night.

I just have to show this wonderful quilt top made from baby garments and accessories.  Marie assembled it for one of Donna's customers.  She stabilized all the knit outfits and shirts to keep them from stretching.  I think it turned out great!

Next up is a Yellow Brick Road pattern quilt in luscious pink and navy fabrics made by Mary.

Mary also showed us a series of table runners featuring fabric strips and a leafy applique on the side.

We switched gears and tried our hands at crocheting a V-stitch pattern under Lori's instruction.  I used to know how to crochet back in the 70's, but have sadly forgotten both the procedures and the feeling.  Arthritis in my hands has made them a little awkward.  But it was fun to try with help from Donna and Lori.

Today I went out to the Voices art quilt exhibit at the Page-Walker House in Cary, NC, and was able to take a few photos, which I will share next time.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Signing Back In

It has been a very busy couple of weeks!  A weeklong stay in the mountains, four days at Merlefest, a house full of company, and then a sinus headache that has lasted for 13 days have kept me occupied.  

We finally got the propane gas heater installed in the basement of our mountain cabin.  Just in time for summer!  Doesn't matter, I am looking forward to being able to quilt in the colder months.  One of these days, we will also have a ceiling, sheet rock walls, and a floor!

Here is another journal page on the Amazing Race Facebook challenge...next stop Italy.  Of course I thought of the great wines of Italy, and decided to try to paint wine glasses/bottles.  For this I looked once again to the free Bob Burridge videos on You-Tube and on his website.  He gives such insight into how light is reflected and bounced around in glass and liquids.

Both of these paintings are in acrylic, and are blatant copies of Bob's paintings as I try to learn his methods.

Then...off to Germany.  I decided to try to paint like Wassily Kandinsky, who although a Russian, spent a great amount of time in Germany.  Here is my impression of his painting Houses in Munich (1908).

I love the bright colors of his palette and the freedom of his brushstrokes.  I painted this freehand with no drawing ahead of time.

I am also working on two paintings of flowers inspired by Bob's videos.  They involve painting bright splotches of color, and then forming the shapes of the flowers and vase by negative painting around the original colors.  Mine are both works in progress on top of some old unsuccessful journal pages.

You would never believe what these two pages once looked like.  I like being able to paint over some bad attempts.  These are both done in acrylic paint. It is much easier to do the negative painting with a more opaque paint than watercolor.

Next up are some more Bible art journaling pages.

In the first one, I used Bob Burridge's techniques again to apply the light pastel colors of the angel, and then use darks to negative paint the shape of the angel and wings.  This one is done in watercolor. I like that you can still see some of the original bright colors under the dark blues and purples of the background.

Judges 6:12
Here are some other recent pages.

Psalm 145

Hebrews 4:10-11

Romans 5:8

Jeremiah 31:3

On Wednesday, I babysat for my three-year-old granddaughter, Charlie.  I used to keep her two days a week until last summer, and I still enjoy having her stay with me when possible.  We did lots of painting together, and I used her paintings to make a Mothers' Day gift for her mommy.

We painted the butterfly and bubbles together, and she painted some vast expanses of paper with colorful glitter paint that were cut up and used in the flowers. 

And here is a beautiful bouquet of my own from my South Carolina family.  Inspiration for a future painting?

We are lucky enough to live close to our other son and his family.  This morning it was church and brunch.  Here is Charlie with the balloon from her Mack-Mack that did not get away or get popped all through breakfast.  I am looking forward to my luxurious pedicure with which they gifted me!

That's it for now.  I went to my quilt bee meeting last week and have a few photos from that meeting.  

Happy Mothers' Day to all of you beautiful mothers out there!