Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017: Year of the Dog

2016 ended up being "Year of the Cat" for me after I finally fulfilled my promise of a cat calendar.  And the calendar had a great response, in fact the only negative comments I received were, "But what about a dog calendar....?"  Unfortunately, I am a sloooow painter and I know realistically I can expect to complete 15-20 paintings a year, on a good year- that's more than 2 paintings a week, and I just can't whip them out like that!
So, with my top priority this year to be producing enough pup paintings to have a calendar by October, 2017 is now (at least for me) YEAR OF THE DOG!!!!
The only problem is I don't have dogs of my own so I need dog photos and permission to use them as models!  My favorites are holiday themes, garden settings or goofy, "Character" poses- please help!  If you have any great photos, you'd like me to paint, I'd be thrilled to see!
I'm almost done with my first painting- this is Daisy, a regular customer at my farmer's market....I think it's perfect for April!
I have two basic rules; after I've drawn in my "map, I always start with the background bc it's the hardest part, and I always do my underpaintig with the shadows first

getting there......

Annnnd almost done!

I'm hoping to finish Dotty Daisy by the end of this week- fingers crossed!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Peach Cobbler with Pearson's Georgia Peaches and finished with my Peach-Amaretto Jam!

Makes 6-8 servings
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups fresh Pearson's Peaches
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for (optional) sprinkling
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 4oz jar Dragonfly Design Studios Peach Amaretto Jam, warmed to drizzly goodness
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butter in a large (10- to 12-inch) cast-iron skillet (may substitute a large ovenproof baking dish) and place in the oven so the butter melts; this should take 5 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the fruit in a large mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the fruit just enough so that it releases some of its juices. If the fruit is tart, sprinkle a little sugar on top.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate medium bowl. Add the cup of sugar, milk and vanilla extract, stirring until well incorporated.
Remove the skillet from the oven. Carefully pour the melted butter from the skillet into the batter, stirring to combine, then pour the batter all at once into the skillet. Add the fruit and juices to the center of the batter. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out mostly clean. 
Drizzle with warmed Peach Amaretto jam and serve warm  vanilla ice cream if you like, straight from the skillet.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Virginia Willis's "Bon Appetit, Y'all" (Ten Speed Press, 2008).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

O'Keeffe marks the end to this years traveling art journal journey!

Well here I am, just a bit late with my entry for Gemma's art journal.  Her artist of choice was Georgia O'Keeffe- one of my all time favorites.  I've always loved O'Keeffe's use of color and shape with that touch of surrealism- YUM!
I knew I wanted to do a combination of flowers and bones and I've always been inspired by her white on white on white paintings, so I decided to do a triptych spread with the outside a collaged nod to her bones and flowers series opening to a double duo of poppies.
For the cover entry, I took advantage of having a blank canvas to play with (the artists that went before me did the front and inside covers) and being the last, I could be selfish and take over the whole cover (insert evil grin here ;-)) so I did and had a BLAST doing an O'Keeffe-ish landscape with another floating skull and flower.

What a perfect way to end this year's art journey with one of my favorite artists!
Have a blessed day!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Modigliani meets Kahlo!

Here I am again to walk you through my journal entry for the month of July.  This month, I had the pleasure of working in Priti Lisa's book, and her artist of choice was Modigliani.  I decided that I wanted to do a piece honoring his style and giving a nod to one of Lisa's other favorites; Frida Kahlo....and off I went!
First I did my addition to her back cover- I don't know why, but this is often the hardest part of each journal for me and I find myself procrastinating over doing it- so I've started making myself-work on that first!

I love his figure paintings, and as I was playing around with it, I noticed that the lines of her body worked well with a rendering of his signature- so, WHEW, my entry for the cover was planned, painted and executed!  
Next, Gemma and then Maggie will add to this cover to complete it before it makes it way home to Lisa!

I designed my spread for Lisa to be a triptych with a Modigliani inspired landscape 
framing Frida's face- I must admit to becoming a bit hooked on village it is:

And here is my Frida a la Modigliani- had SO much fun doing this and of COURSE I had to include some words......just because I love doing them so much!

Each month, I've struggled and dug deep to come up with a design for each of these artists we've chosen.  And each month, the artists have seemed deceptively easy and simple to emulate their styles, until I've dipped my toes in and found that NO, it's not simple or easy by any means.  But it HAS made me grow and grow and GROW!  I am SO grateful for my little group of artist friends- I hope we continue this inspiring exchange of art for many years to come!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Traveling Journals.....Jennifer Judd McGee

Ahhh, it's that magical time again; time for me to share my entry of the month for our Traveling Journals Journey!  This month I had the joy of playing around in Kat's (gorgeous) journal.  Her artist of choice was Jennifer Judd McGee and while she was totally new to me, what a delight she was to discover!  Her style ranges from illustrative botanicals to lovely layered collages rich in color and texture.  I fell in love!

I decided to to a series of layered pages that could each be seen individually but also as a whole.....I asked Kat about her favorite flowers and she told me she loves lilies and hedgerow flowers- I went with lilies and based the lead in page on Spider Lilies....which led to a wandering lady which in turn led to a painting of a village......

For her sign in page, Kat created a wonderful patchwork of squares for each of us to add to.  Here's mine:
So there you have my journal pages for the month of June- next up; Modigliani for Priti Lisa- I can't wait!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Going with Matisse for Lisa Wright

So it's that time of the month- time for me to send the traveling art journal on it's way.  This month, I had the pleasure of working in the style of Matisse- Lisa Wright's artist of choice.  Henri Matisse has long been a favorite of mine- I love the wildness of Fauvism and the way the care and attention is emphasized more on color and it's unexpected use than on realism.
I started out doing the outside of a double page spread by free painting a woman inspired by Matisse's "Woman with Green Stripe" and somehow she insisted that she needed to be holding a cat.  So, my cat Mojo made her way into the painting as well- sporting a purple stripe!  Because, why not?
I finished the spread with a cut out interpretation of Mattise's signature- 
it wraps around to the inside pages....

which were inspired by his simplified doves and stars- another favorite of mine.

I had every bit as much fun playing in Matisse's world as I hoped.  Can't wait to see which artist I get to play around with next month- bring it on!

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Taste of Duy Huynh for Tammy's Dreamy Journal

So it's the end of the month, or actually a couple days past and Tammy's pages inspired by her artist of choice; Duy Huynh are ready to go!  He is a "new to me" artist, but what a joy to discover him and his amazing surreal style!  His backgrounds are made up of layer upon layer of glazed paints overlayed with wonderful, quirky paintings.  Far more illustrative than anything I've done in ages- which is ironic since that's what I majored in in college!
Anyway, here are my pages for Tammy....
I was a little scared of the glazing technique, so I came up with three designs to paint for her.
Duy Huynh uses a lot of circus imagery in his paintings, so I thought I'd do a little acrobatic scene:
And the for the back, I did a simple series of glazing in lime, yellow and white
 (I think I may be hooked on this technique!) 
and a quote from the Eurhythmics 

For my next page, I featured a lady painting in wings to fly with
And on the back, another glazed background with a C.S. Lewis quote:

For my last page, I did a lady holding a tree
and on the background more glazing and a note to Tammy.
So there you have it, my Duy Huynh pages for Tammy!
The next artist coming my way is Matisse a long time favorite of mine!
Can't wait!