Sunday, December 02, 2012

Maze journal drawings

I've been working on completing  journals  with drawings before starting a new journal.  This is my completed  maze journal that I made back in September.  I just finally got around to scanning.

A maze journal can be created with one sheet of 18" x 24" watercolor paper folded, creating a accordion type of  book with 8 pages and a pocket to hold notes or reference photos.  

Google bookbinding maze journal "how to" for various takes on this really simple journal to make.

I loved the feeling of finishing my little book of drawings.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fabric from Spoonflower

I finally got around to having two of my watercolors made into fabric over at  I just ordered a fat quarter of each design.  I wanted to see how my images translated onto fabric.  I really like how my French Bull Dog painting looks on fabric.  The tulips I had made into a mirror image design.

I plan to make a pillow with the French Bull Dog and with the tulips,  I used a piece to create book cloth to use on the spine binding of my journals that I've been making.  I'm still learning the In's and outs of, hopefully with patience everything will start to make sense.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Linocut printmaking class

Today I took a linocut printmaking workshop @ the Red Brick Gallery in Ventura, California with Phyllis Gubins.  Phyllis gave us a lot of information about printmaking materials and introduced me to Blick wonder-cut linocut blocks.  The wonder-cut block is so easy to carve out designs and apply ink to the surface.

So this is my linocut design and printed on white card stock.  I used regular ink from a stamp pad, but tomorrow I'll pull out my printmaking ink and pull another image.  I can see the possibilities of creating my own design for cards and even creating larger pieces.  Now I just need to order some of this Blick wonder-cut linocut blocks.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Today I was a busy girl.  I drove down to Pasadena so I could spend some money at Dick Blick.  I've been wanting to try Caran D'ache Neopastel  oil pastels.  So I treated myself to a set of 48 Caran D'ache
Neopastel.  Not that I needed another set of pastels.  I have a lovely 120 piece Sennelier Oil Pastel set that I got several years ago in Paris at the Sennelier Art store.  Before I use my Sennelier , I thought I'd practice with these.  

I've been trying to paint and draw more with an impressionistic feel, instead of  painting realistic with a lot of detail.    The colors of this set are rather vibrant.  I did this meadow scene in about 30 minutes on color pastel paper.

Tomorrow I'll experiment on watercolor paper.

Set of 48

Set of 48

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin patch

You know it's that time of year when all those pumpkin patches appear out of no where.  When I lived up in the San Francisco Bay area it was a yearly tradition to drive over the hill to Half-Moon Bay for the yearly Pumpkin Festival.  

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Cranky Birds my way...

I've been enjoying reading and working through Carla's new book "Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals".  Over on her blog  she's been having contributing artist show their take on the book.   The one artist I really enjoyed her tutorial was Dor Hosta on Cranky Birds.

Needless-to-say, I've been drawing cranky birds all weekend.  Even taking it a step further and using the technique on other animals.  Here's my own cranky bird.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Bunny with floppy ears

Saw a cute bunny today that had these long floppy ears.  To irresistible to not sketch.    I've been painting all weekend.  Just dropping paint blobs and looking for a animal to paint.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Autumn in the air

It feels like autumn is in the air.  Saw these two birds fluttering in the trees in my back yard.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Ipad sketch warthog

Over the weekend my husband and I took a trip up north to Lee Vining and  ghost town Bodie so he could take more pictures in Bodie of Coco and Jolie.  It was definitely an adventure, one I could of stayed home for.  It was about a 5 hour drive to the hotel in Lee Vining.  We explored Lee Vining and drove up to Bridgeport another town that if you drive through main street, you've seen the whole town.

On this trip we only took Coco my border terrier and Jolie, my Chinese Crested Powder Puff.  Sophie and Maddie got to stay home, those lucky dogs.

Lately when I travel I've been carrying my art supplies.  I think I've finally got it down to the right art supplies that I need and will use.  After taking over the the round table in the motel room, I got down to work.  I had bought a small set of cheap oil pastels in Bishop, a town we drove through.  For some reason I thought they were water soluble, but they weren't.  After applying the oil pastels to my journal, I was not happy with my drawing.  So while the drawing was drying, I created this Warthog on my Ipad.  It was a quick sketch and was rather pleased with the result. 

One thing I did learn is to take two journals, so while one is drying, I can work on the other journal.  Also, take a small jar of gesso and neo crayons.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I was going through my clothes closet this morning and came across a straw summer hat and a colorful orange/red scarf which was my inspiration for this bird collage.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My latest bird collage and watercolor painting.  Getting lots of practice using Photoshop.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

I'm back....

Well I'm back after a much needed break.  Even though I haven't posted in a while, I have been busy painting and doing lots of book binding.

My trip to Italy was interesting.  Took lots of photo's  and finally created my first travel journal.  I've traveled a lot in my life and usually have good intentions to create a travel journal; this time I put one together before I left and just added postcards, tickets, receipts, photo's and any other item that would bring back the memory of the trip.

The journey to Fabriano was rather long.  Had to change planes 3 times before I arrived in Rome.  From Rome took a train to Fabriano, which took another 3 hours.  

There were total of 7 of us in the workshop including the teacher.    For seven women together, we surprisingly all got along.  We  were all in the same age group which probably helped.  Each day we would do something different.  I learned how paper was made and had the opportunity to actually go through the process of making paper. Also learned how to bind books using the long stitch and dos-a-dos.  Went to a local art store which carried a lot of the products we can find in the states, but had brands that can only be found in Europe.  Spent the day at the beach sketching and painting. Went to the local caves and spent one lovely afternoon at Maggie's bed and breakfast, which over looked the town of Fabriano.  

From Fabriano I went to Florence for 2 days.  Lots of shops, outdoor vendors, and historical sites to see.

After two weeks of living out of a suitcase it was time to go home.  Getting home seemed to be a problem.  I was so tired by the time I got onto the plane that I put my head back and fell asleep, only to be woke up by some announcement. The plane had taxi down the runway only to stop.  Apparently the air condition for the plane engines was broke.  US Air attempted to repair the plane as we sat on the run way.  After 3 hours US Air canceled the flight.  That is when the night mere began.  US Air's ground crew was  disorganized that it was total chaos.  By the time we got to the hotel that  US Air put us up for the night, another 3 hours had gone by.  In all the years I've traveled I've never been with such a rowdy and rude group of travelers.  The next morning getting onto the bus to take us back to the airport was awful.  People pushing their way onto the bus was rather disturbing.  Once on the plane we had to wait another 2 hours for a flight plan.  Boy were people angry...shouting and screaming demanding to know what the delay was now.  We finally got our flight plan approved and we off.  I was never so happy when I finally went through customs in the US.

I can really relate to the old saying "there is no place like home".  I told my husband to remind me the next time I want to go to Europe.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I'm off to Italy

In a few hours I will start my journey to Italy.  I'm so excited and tired at the same time.  Packing for a two week vacation has had it's challenges.  I can't wait to speak Italian, eat lots of pasta, and just drink in all the beautiful sights that Italy has to offer.  I'm so looking forward to my workshop with Diana Trout.  Not sure if I'll blog well I'm gone, if not, until I return Ciao!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Always sunny in Southern California

I can't get enough of my sunflowers.  Just a quick study of dropping color.  Only 4 more days until Italy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm dreaming of sunflowers

Only 7 more days until I leave for Italy.  I'm dreaming of lots of sunflowers.  This was a quick small painting of sunflowers on my table.  Can never get enough of those happy faces.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Next Sunday I'll be on my way to Fabriano, Italy for 2 wonderful weeks of art.  I'm hoping to see fields of sunflowers that I can capture on canvas.  During my 2 week stay, I'll be learning how to make paper, make books , do some bookbinding, go on daily sketch outings, and eat lots of pasta.  I'll also be going to Florence for 2 days before I make my way back to Rome to catch my flight home to the states.

So the count down begins!!!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Peerless watercolors

Always on the look out for portable watercolors, Diana Trout mentioned on her blog Peerless Water Colors.

I was intrigued so I decided to buy the Complete Edition which has 15 sheets of colors  and the Bonus pak which has 40 sheets of color.

I  cut 1/2 strips of each color  and attach them to a piece of watercolor paper using double sided tape. I can fold these in half and there good to go.

I was rather surprised how vibrant the colors were once applied to a painting.  It's true that a little paint goes a long way.  I painted these goldfish on a  9.5 x 7" piece of watercolor paper and only used a tiny corner of the various colors in my painting.

Next I used one of my photos from the San Diego Zoo of flamingos.  I really liked how saturated the color went on without having to over work and reapply additional color.

I bought mine from Peerless....

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coco's adventure to a ghost town Bodie,CA

Last weekend my border terrier Coco went on an adventure to a ghost town in Bodie,California.  He was expecting to have the same nice weather that we have in the high desert, but was rather surprised to be caught in a mild snow storm.

The next day Coco traveled to Mono Lake where the weather was much better.

On the way home he stopped at Red Rock.

Happy to be home!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Here's the latest image I uploaded to  This website is suited for really small format images.  Each IM Flash Card mixes art with a simple instant message. I uploaded many of my images to help enhance the website. I (we) think that this new format offers new opportunities for aspiring artists.  Check out the website and let me know what you think.  Pass the link to other artists if you like it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I had this left over scrap booking paper of  cherry blossoms that I wanted to use on a collage sheet for my journal. 

So I took a 8.5" x 11" Kraft card stock sheet, folder over a 3" flap, leaving a 8" x 8" square to paint on.  Next I used double sided tape to attach the cherry blossom piece of paper. Then I painted black branches and added flower outlines to add color.  When the branches were dry, I went back in and dropped some pink/lavender to define the cherry blossoms.  I let the paint dry, and then I came back in with teal gouache. When every thing was completely dry, I slapped on some white gesso on top of the teal gouache.  To add more texture, I dropped in some teal gouache and mushed it around the paper.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm in love with Gouache Paint

Caran D'ache Gouache Studio 15 Pans
I'm in love with Caran D'ache  gouache paint I had bought when I was in England last October.  When I had gotten home from my trip, I had opened the box and looked at the paint but put off using them.  After reading a lot of  Roz Stendahls blog,,who use gouache in a lot of her work, I decided to test them out.  Boy was I pleasantly surprised.  The pigment was deep and rich without that chalky look that you can sometimes get with cheap gouache.  Not that this is a cheap box of gouache, because it's not.  I think when I bought them in the UK I spent about $50 dollars.  I'm happy to say I can buy refill tubes in the US at a decent price.

This morning I painted this collage of flowers using only the gouache paint.  I was very happy with the results and how well they performed on the watercolor paper.

I decided to make an accordion book which measures  6" x 19".  When folded, each accordion  measures 6" x 2.75".   I was amazed on how quickly painting 2.75" squares at a time could go so quickly.  

I'm happy that I finally used my gouache and will be experimenting with them a lot.  Also this accordion style book is something I'll be incorporating into my daily painting.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Piano hinge handmade books

Last night I was busy making piano hinge books.  I found this cool video on you tube.

The large book was 6 x 6; the medium size book was 4 x 5; and the small book was 4 x 3.   The large book I made as per the video instructions.  On the smaller two I decided to use 6" flat sticks for the hinges.  Instead of  securing the bottom ends, I used double sided heavy duty tape along the length of the 6" sick and layed each hinge section on top of each other.  I only wish I could find longer flat sticks because using the double-sided tape was so much easier than having to wrap the ribbon around the bottom ends and then glue the ribbon.

I'm not sure what I'll put in these little books...maybe pictures of my dogs.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A vase of poppies

This is another quick watercolor done on toned paper.  I just used my paint brush to outline the vase and dropped in color for the poppies.

Handmade watercolor journal

I seem to be my most creative at 9pm.  Last night I cut down some 140lb watercolor paper and made a watercolor journal using my rubicoil that measures 7" x 10".  I used illustration board for the covers that I covered with decorative paper from Dick Blick.
I think I really need to spend more time painting than making these watercolor journals.  My stack continues to grow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wildlife barn owl

Did you know that there are over 130 different kinds of owls all over the world?  I didn't.  Learn something new everyday.  I found lots of information on

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

K & C Company Smash book

Today I was in Michael's and found a larger version of a smash book.  So with my 50% coupon from Joann's I bought my self one.  It's called "Pretty Pocket".  It measures 13.5 " high and 11" wide, and comes with 42 pages and 6 pockets.  I also bought these page hinges that allow you add more pages to the book.

Page hinges.

 And of course I had to have these stickers too.

If you can't find any of these items in your Michael's or Joann's, you can always find these items at :