Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Microsoft Artist


Check it out for all the details.

Artist at Microsoft Grand Opening

Today I was trained to work the Microsoft grand opening in The Woodlands Mall. Wow!  This is going to be fun!  They will have a 55" screen out in the mall in front of the store, and artists will be drawing and painting on it to show what it can do and being people in. So... Check it out at:

And come on out and see us!!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Artist Expo Houston is Coming Soon! It's the place to go!  Happening in just inside of a month, people will be descending upon The Woodlands from all over!  I've already got people signed up in my classes from Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma and Louisiana and towns in Texas I've never heard of!

If you're interested in:

- taking a myriad of classes
- testing out new products
- getting some great deals on art suppplies
- enjoying fellow artists
- learning in art-themed seminars
- checking out a judged show of paintings from the 110 mile radius of Houston

As for myself, I'll be teaching metals classes.  Here's a sample of one I did.

Wanna try any of the above? Then this is the place for you!  Come and check us out!

Artist Trading Group - New Card

This is another theme based on the Big City that I just finished (see previous post about my Artist Trading Card group.)

There are only a couple rules about artist trading cards - they must be 2 1/2"x3 1/2", and you must have your name and contact information on the back.  Some time ago I made these stickers from a self-portrait I did, and they've come in really handy for ATCs.

For this set, I simply couldn't resist giving myself a hot orange 'beauty mark' on my cheek. :)

If any of you are interested in joining a group - check out  It's a great way to experiment with your own art and generate new ideas for your own work, and collect some wonderful art from others!  Try it!  Then I won't be the only one tripping out to my mailbox!

Artist Trading Card Group (ATC) - Fun!

 In the summertime I always try to do something new, because the rest of the year I don't have time to even THINK about it!  If I've carved a few new paths during the summer, then it's easy to continue them.

A couple weeks ago I joined an artist's trading card group.  You know, we are ever-hopeful people - walking optimistically out to our mailboxes each day, dreaming they might 'today' be stuffed with personal letters, cards from friends, money and gifts.  Alas, it is generally the opposite case.

So... I joined an artist's trading card group.
Pretty simple premise, different trade themes are posted, and if you want to join - then join!  Mail the three little pieces of art you've made off to the host and she'll send you back three lovely little surprises.  If I were the Cat in the Hat, I'd call it 'Fun in a Box!'

These are my first two themed trades which I sent off - the above one was 'By the Sea,' and the second picture shows the cards I made under the theme 'Postage Stamps.'  The only rule for that one was that each card had to have a real postage stamp included.

So... if I'm not home, you may find me hopefully skipping out to see if there's 'fun in the box!'

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Metal Embossing at the Artist Expo

Here's another metal piece I did which I will take to the Artist Expo.  Palm trees, almost abstracted, in complimentary colors.  This one is a little unusual in that I didn't let any of the metal shine through, only using the texture of the metal for interest in the piece.
If you're interested in coming to the Expo, look up
.  Great fun - artists from all over a number of states with whom to commisserate and exchange ideas.  Come out and see us!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Teaching Metals at Artist Expo Houston

I'm working on metals for my metal embossing classes at the Artist Expo Houston at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott in July. Here's a fun piece.  This is going to be a great time with artists coming together from all over the South.

There will also be a juried competition with prize winning paintings coming in from a 200 mile radius of Houston, four of which will be mine!

Come and join in on the fun!  Take a class,  enjoy demos, get great bargains on art supplies and HAVE FUN!!! gives all the sign up details. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Travel Sketchpad, Part 3

 These are more entries from my sketchpad, continued from my previous post.  As I mentioned, I always keep a small sketchpad in my purse, using it as a 'recipe book,' if you will, for ideas for future paintings, and for memories.

This first sketch was done in a restaurant called Kurobata, where we had THE BEST Japanese food we have EVER had, bar none.  I particularly liked the garage-style work lights they had everywhere.  The atmosphere was fun and the people friendly. I even had our waiter sign his name down in the bottom left corner.  This restaurant was close to our hotel in London, in the Marble Arch area.  We walked around looking for a place to eat and innocently wandered in here.

 This page is some of the graffiti art I found on the streets of London.  You never know what you will find, and I find it all fascinating.

The graffiti sticker on the next page I found in Brugge, Belgium - a rarity to find graffiti - what a clean place!  Brugge is called 'The Venice of the North' and leans heavily on tourism. These people are seriously fanatical about keeping their streets clean, and it was really one of the most beautiful cities I've seen.
While in London, we went to Queen's rock opera, "We Will Rock You."  Wow!  It was GREAT!  As you can never take photos in a show like this, I made some sketches in the dark.  You can see that this drawing is really loose and imprecise - remember - I was drawing in the dark!  I actually do this a lot during shows.  If my work is imperfect, it doesn't matter - I've recorded it for my own memories and cherish them. Each time I look at them, it brings back the show in detail.  Later that night, I added the color with a little field watercolor kit I'd purchased down by the National Museum.

 I like this one.  We rented a car, actually, a new BMW with six on the floor with a LEFT handed shifter, the driver's side on the RIGHT, and drove out of London to Canterbury on the LEFT side of the road. Hoping for a nice change from hotels, we had booked a bed and breakfast there, and were delighted.  We had a room in the upper floor of an extremely old home, and this was our view - the rooftops of other homes!  Note - the chimneys are terra cotta, as well as the roof tiles.
The rubbing over the picture I did somewhere in Canterbury as we walked around.

We stayed in Canterbury a couple days and then headed over to Dover, right on the English Channel.  Our plans were to take a ferry to France and drive up to Belgium.
We were amazed at the SIZE of our ferry boat - I was expecting a typical boat the size of the ones here in the U.S.  Nope.  It was more like a small cruise ship.  These ply the waters between England and Europe and do a brisk business.
As we waited for our ferry (on the way back) we counted 98 semi trucks with loads coming off the boat.  That was the bottom floor of the ferry.  The next to the bottom floor is trucks, cars, bikes, motorcycles, etc.  Then the next two levels are reserved for people, with restaurants, shopping, etc.
ANYWAY, this little drawing is what I saw looking down at the docks from our vantage point high up in the ferry.  A small boat, with a few men working around it, loading something down onto the deck.
Each one of these drawings were simple and quick to lay down, but gave me the chance to take a moment and look closely.  When I look at them, the memories come back powerful and precise.  Whether or not I make anything 'professional' out of them, they have already served me well.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Travel Sketchpad, National Museum

Here's another entry from my little travel sketchbook.  It shows a couple more graffiti tags, and a sketch I did at the National Museum.  I really loved this artist's composition and the really exaggerated, oversized 'talking' hands.  I probably stood and copied it for about five minutes, and laid in some color that night in the hotel.  The colors are not true as I only had the three primary colors, and I was going by memory for color.  I DO particularly remember that the man on the left had red tights.  It draws your eyes up and into the painting, and he had nice legs! :)

Once again, nothing special about this sketch, and all kinds of flaws.  But, it serves its purpose in that I can now remember and look this artist and his work up sometime.

Travel Sketchpad - London

 I always keep a small sketchpad in my purse - ALWAYS.  This one was a big bigger - about 6"x9" or so.  This particular sketch pad I took on our cross-Atlantic trip.  REMEMBER - what you will see here are unfinished things.  Sketches quickly put down to preserve a memory, notes as to what's going on, ideas for later works, etc.  These are to look at for enjoyment, and not to be viewed as anything finished.  They at least have some entertainment value!

We just got back from England and Belgium.  Gary was working in Germany and I flew into London, having two extra days before he came in to visit art museums.  This first little sketch was drawn in the Bush International Airport.  I whizzed through customs and check in, and had time to spare, so I ate a nice dinner and drew this, looking down at the other hanger-arounders waiting for planes.

Interesting, it's the first flight I've taken where I noted

 that everyone was plugged in.  They have new stations everywhere amongst the seats now.  Charge your devices as you wait!

Before Gary flew into London, I took the Underground over to the National Museum.  Oh, what a place!  We've been there before, but this time I had an entire day to treasure its art!  These two pages are my lunch - it was so unique I had to draw it before I ate it - and a one-minute sketch of one of my dining companions across the way.  I also wrote in notes of my tube path, so I could make my way back to the hotel!

This was a little sketch I did of a Caravaggio I copied - a close up of his Supper at Emmaus.  Note - I only used a pen - later that night I colored it in with a little field kit of Windsor and Newtons.  Thought I'd go opposite of his chiaroscuro and do bright.

I didn't mention that throughout my sketchpads you will find stickers.  They're graffiti stickers I pull off of wherever we are.  The entire history of graffiti intrigues me and I love collecting
artists' tags and stickers.  I try to note where I found them.  As you can see by the one below, I found it stuck on a light pole down by the Queen's Palace.
The page of walls and pipes all thrown together was the lovely view from our Marriott Hotel room in London down by the Marble Arch.  Not the nicest view, but I actually really enjoyed drawing this.  I think it would make a fun painting sometime.

That's it for now!  More sketches from our travels next time!