Friday, September 30, 2016

Yet more monsters

These watercolor monsters are fun!
Maybe it is the fact that they are unplanned.
Or maybe it is the pretty colors.
Or maybe even that i was NOT going to "use" them in any way!
Sometimes, when i start a piece that I have plans for, like if i want it to "become" fabric, or a card set, or a page of a book, then the pressure is on to do it perfectly. 
With these, as with a mandala, there is no right or wrong really, and i can just have fun.

In my head, as i have been for weeks, i am still trying to come up with the cutest, friendliest and at the same time slightly scary monster for the fabric series I wanted to make, but this type of watercolor monster was just a bit of practice in my sketchbook, and so i was free to play. I don't have any idea what the monster will look like when I start just smudging on watercolor paint. But then it appears!

Sometimes a bit of play is just what you need, and sometimes the play ends up better than the planned piece. 
And if that happens, even if it is in my sketchbook, i can still use it for the end product since most of my end projects now involve a print or photo of the art and not the original anyway.

So really, after saying all that, now I realize The Difference is all in my head. 

If i could start every piece with the same attitude i start these watercolor monsters then painting would ALWAYS be just fun.
(Well, it mostly is just fun anyhow)
but my point is; I do sometimes get caught up in wanting perfection right from the start. 
And by wanting it, it becomes more a chore than a joy. 

We all need more joy!

And why is it these two of my five cats ignore me completely until I sit down to create?

Happy PPf!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Painted blocks and my newly decorated mantel

I love fall, and it is finally not so hot in NY. Still in the 80's some days but not humid anymore and nights are cool enough to sleep now. But it's late September and should be cooler. My daughter loves fall even more than I do apparently and she has gotten me into the mood to here's my first of many fall posts. 

2 rectangular blocks (i used my carving blocks and after the season i plan on carving them into birds)
Acrylic Paints in brown, off white, orange and gray
Liner brush and medium brush

Step 1: gather supplies and get sidetracked right off the bat by the cat playing on your table.
Step 2: paint the edges of the blocks a dark brown.

Step 3: paint over the whole block in a parchment or off white. Mine wasn't dry yet so the brown smeared into the white. If yours dried quickly you can wipe the white off here and there with a baby wipe.

Step 4: draw the words you choose on each block in pencil.
I almost wrote "give thanks" but decided on "pumpkin spice" instead. Something even more random would be fun too..."candy corn" or "crunchy leaves" or "cider and donuts"or "caramel latte".... Whatever makes you think of fall....

Step 5: paint over the words in gray with your liner brush.

Step 6: draw lines for a border with your pencil, and add orange dots or squiggles as accents. 

I'll show you how I made the little green pumpkins soon. 

Happy PPF!

Little green pumpkin tutorial

I said I would show you how to make the little pumpkin I posted a few days ago with two newly decorated mantel. It's not complicated or all that unique but it was a quick fun fall decoration. So here it is......

1/2 yard of any fabric, (I used scraps of green linen)
Hot glue gun
Twigs clipped from outside
Polyester fiberfill
Needle and thread
Twine or cord

Easy step #1:

Trace a large plate and a small bowl (anywhere around 12" diameter for the large pumpkin,and for the tiny pumpkin I traced a candle about 4" diameter.)

Easy step#2:
Cut it out on the line, and run a loose stitch about 1/4" from the edge.

Easy step #3: pull your stitches tight. 

Easy step#4: stuff each pumpkin, and sew the opening closed. I wrapped more green three around the larger one to make the sections of the pumpkin.

Clip a stem from a branch outside or use a cinnamon stick and hot glue it to the top of the pumpkins. Tie a piece of jute or raffia to the stem.

Happy Mabon

The Autumn Equinox....
We celebrated with a bonfire...
Sprinkled with dried sage leaves and sea salt....

There will be stars over the place forever;
Though the house we loved and the street we loved are lost,
Every time the earth circles her orbit
On the night the autumn equinox is crossed,
Two stars we knew, poised on the peak of midnight
Will reach their zenith; stillness will be deep;
There will be stars over the place forever,
There will be stars forever, while we sleep.” 
― Sara TeasdaleDark of the Moon

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A mandala and an unexpected cat

I received a comment a little while ago asking if I still paint mandalas as I haven't posted one in quite some time. I do still paint them and this one was one I had painted this summer for the e-class i was creating. That class is on indefinite hold but...
here is the finished mandala....

And here is the cat I was not expecting to see in my older son's apartment. Cute huh?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Small Magic at the river

Last month I mentioned an ongoing series of posts I plan to do every month on the 13th, about where I find small magic. You can see the first post explaining what I mean here....
And my first monthly post here
I invited you all to join in too, and last month Nicolas joined in with this post....
This month I hope you will consider joining in as well and adding a comment with a link to a post about where you find small magic in life! you have all month to create one and link up.
(Blogger will not let me add a linky tool from my ipad so I am afraid I can't get that up and running till I buy a new computer)

One last link.....
Click here for the following song on you tube....

"Climbing under the barb wire fence by the railroad ties,
Climbing over the old stone wall, I'm bound for the riverside, 
Well I go to the river to soothe my mind,
Ponder over the crazy days of my life,
To sit and watch the river flow.
Find a place on the river bank, 
Where the green rushes grow.
See the wind in the willow tree,
Branches hanging low.
Yeah, I go to the river to soothe my mind.
Ponder over the crazy days of my life
Watch the river flow,
Ease my mind and so,
Where I go....
Well I go to the river from time to time
Ponder over the crazy days in my mind
Watch the river flow,
Where the willow branches blow,
By the cool moving water
Moving gracefully and slow
Oooooh, child it's love, it's lovely,
Let the river take it all away
My pace, the hurry, the hurry
Troubles, the worries, the worries just
Let the river take them all away,
Flow away, flow away"
        - Natalie Merchant
          'Where I go'

I feel like I could have written those words as I do go to the river on my lunch hour every chance I get. And it does soothe my mind, 
And i do love to watch the river flow....

It is slow and peaceful,
And it is always 10 degrees cooler when you get close to the water on a hot day.....
And for me, if work is hectic, the river is enough small magic to make a bad day better.

“The river and the garden have been the foundations of my economy here. Of the two I have liked the river best. It is wonderful to have the duty of being on the river the first and last thing every day. I have loved it even in the rain. Sometimes I have loved it most in the rain.”
― Wendell BerryJayber Crow

“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.”
― Laura Gilpin

“It is said that the Magic of Air or Fire or even Earth is the most powerful magic of all. But that is wrong. The Magic of Water surpasses all others, for water is both the lifegiver and the deathbringer.”
― Michael ScottThe Sorceress

"Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
― Margaret AtwoodThe Penelopiad

“He understood her affinity to the water, inspiring as it was beautiful, and soothing to the soul."
-D.A. Henneman 'Sea if Dreams'