Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Oil Paintsticks

 I got a new toy - new art supplies!  Paintsticks.  Oil Paintsticks.  I've never used them before, and I admit, they sat for a long time because I didn't know what to do with them.  I finally decided it was time to dig them out and figure them out.

Here's my first picture.  Okay, let's get this out right away - I know there are all kinds of proportions issues going on here.  It's not very good, and that's okay with me because I was playing - practicing, to see what these oilsticks would do!

What I found was that they are a PLEASURE to use!  I tried them on YUPO, which has absolutely no tooth, so wouldn't hold the layers, but nonetheless, I liked them.  They're buttery and rich - smooth and heavily pigmented.  You can wipe out entire areas if you mess up and start again, and you can scratch out designs for texture and highlighting.  The gleams in his eyes were simply where I lifted paint by scraping with my fingernails.
I originally purchased them because I understand that you can use them on cloth, and I'm hoping to do a     cloth painting project with my high schoolers.

As for myself, I think the next time I use them I'm going to try them on something with a nice tooth.  My next step will probably be a heavy pastel paper.  After that, maybe a nice canvas board or some framed canvas.  I'll give you my report!  In the meantime, if you've used them, give me YOUR report! :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Illustrations Finished!!!!!

YAY! YAY! YAY!  I'm finished illustrating the book!  It's now undergoing final editing and it in the capable hands of the graphic designer/printer.  Publishing soon!  I'm going to start putting out the pictures, so stay tuned!

New Nail Polish Style!

Making art.  It's a dangerous game.  If I have any polish on my fingernails, the type of paint I often get into will absolutely adhere to it.  Here's my nice black paint job.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Painting - Traveling Girl

I had a lot of fun with this painting.  Meet one of my high school students.  I saw this great picture of her and told her if she didn't paint it I would.  Well, we both did!  Here's mine.

First I drew her in.  Easy and straightforward.  Actually, the initial drawing was on a smaller paper, but I was really satisfied, so I decided to use some acrylic medium to adhere it to a bigger board.

Then it was time for color.  I used both liquid acrylics and watercolor and painted the entire thing.  You would note that half her face is pink and sparkly -  well - that's fingernail polish.  This, as many good things in art, was serendipitous.  My daughter broke a bottle of fingernail polish.  Seriously, has that ever happened to you?  We've done lots of polish over the years and it's never happened to us!  BUT, at this point in time, I stood with a broken bottle in my hand, polish filling my palm thinking "Pigment.  Raw pigment.  What can I do with this?"  Because it was the perfect, sunny, sparkly color, it ended up on my young friend.  Here's a closeup of the painting, showing her sparkly side.

At this point, I was ready for collage.  As she's strapped into a car looking pretty and happy on a sunny day, I added happy things - music and maps.  Maps which include some of my favorite places.  If I was strapped into a car on a sunny day, I could take off to any one of these places and be perfectly content.  My other papers collaged down are from many sources - I choose them for color, interest and texture.

The last bit of serendipity was when I was walking down by Hubble and Hudson.  Looking down, I found her earring.  Well, it's an earring now.  I'm not exactly sure what it WAS... maybe something from a combination lock or somebody's watch.  At any rate - I knew what I was going to do with it!

Once finished, another fairly thick layer of gel medium over the entire painting, and voila!  Traveling Girl!  Of course she's for sale - let me know if you're interested.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Ok, I did this one in my purse sketch pad. First I drew him, then painted and collaged his hair and beard. At that point I wanted to add some mystery, so I painted some waxy paper yellow and laid it down with some gel medium to partially cover him. This represents the things within ourselves that we keep hidden from the world. Glazing over the entire painting at the end, I collaged his right eye to make him look a little disturbing.

I call it 'Hidden.'

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Discourage Artists

Tonight I found this really well-written article, and I'm afraid that I have to agree with it.  It speaks well for me tonight.  To be fair, it's not just the church, it's really just everyone.  As an artist, I often feel used, and wonder if there's a profession that matches professional artists for people coming to them to ask for paintings, time, advice and talent.  Often I am GLAD to give it, but it's just finally been recently where I can actually say no without feeling guilty.  I have simply come to the conclusion that I need to protect myself.