Thursday, May 31, 2012

Beauty in Decay Part ?

Painting station moved outside today.

I workout just about every day. Running and lifting keeps me grounded and I enjoy it. I get some of my best ideas when I workout and I've learned to keep paper and pencil close by for unexpected ideas.

When I run I mostly see things I want to draw. This spring my neighborhood has been ripe with many cracked bird eggs and of course baby birds who fell out of their nests, both of which I really love to draw. Not one of the baby birds I have found have been the same. They have all been different and have offered their own set of challenges. Today the most challenging (and dare I say, goriest) bird lie on the sidewalk as I ran the park square. I circled that park square a few times and each time around stopped to look at the bird. In the end I decided it would probably be way too smelly an adventure to pick up that bird and then sit and draw that bird.

Thoughout the rest of my run though I couldn't stop thinking about the baby bird and at one point my mind began to draw it. By the time I started in on my weights my mind had sealed the deal...I was going back and getting that bird. He'd definitely still be there.

With a porcelain dustpan and large palette knife in hand I went and scooped up that baby bird from the sidewalk and brought him home. Yep, he was pretty ripe so I decided to draw outside on my stoop which actually proved to be very pleasurable and afterwards when I sat down to work on a few model horses that needed meticulous detailing the time just flew. Studio work will resume, once again, tomorrow outside on the stoop.

Pencil drawing of bird.

Adding color.

More detail. No, I didn't forget the head.
He sorta didn't have one.

"Beauty in Decay IV"
Graphite and watercolor on archival bristol

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I love looking at real horse hooves. I can stare at them for hours and not get bored. My reference notebook is filled with many different hoof samples and I can always manage to find something new in those photos that I never saw before. Hooves are probably my favorite part of the horse to paint. Today I decided to document this horse's hooves as I painted them.

Primed hoof.

A base coat of naples yellow.

Adding varying brown stripes.

Using glaze washes of lighter browns and tans to
"Push back" the stripes.

Repaint the hair along the coronet band.

Add more hoof detail with oils.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sidewalk Treasure

A found egg.

While walking her dogs my neighbor saw an egg and immediately thought of me. She thoughtfully scooped it up and brought it to me to draw yesterday. I can't stop staring at this egg. It's just magnificent. The color and the spots and the shape are all intriguing to me. Unfortunately, there is a tiny crack in the egg and it is heavy with a tiny baby still inside. I'm going to keep it and see what happens. At some point I might be tempted to open it just to draw what is inside.

My drawing is a poor rendition of the real thing.

Graphite and watercolor on watercolor paper.

Aside from all these still life studies there is quite a bit of model horse painting happening. These are just two of many that are near finish. I have the urge to take their final studio shots in a full background set up complete with trees and props. I haven't taken shots like that in a long time.

"Maggie" getting final tweaks.

"Lil Pumpkin" getting final tweaks.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm thinking 275-3

Pantone color swatches always
coming in hand

I'm thinking Sp 275-3. Thats the color that came to mind when I found this spider hanging around on my front door. Despite his goreiness, there was beauty there in the form of color around his head. Im sad to say, he did not get drawn. We are not talking about him any further, but his green color is now in my head. It was a very pretty green. lol

Vistor with pretty colors

He even had a heart on him.

Graphite, Watercolor, and acrylics on
watercolor paper.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fresh Flowers

Color, glorious color!

If I had more room on this messy desk
I'd pick myself flowers every day and keep them here.

Some small adventures outside the studio found me purchasing some flowers for the front of my house this morning. Without a doubt, the orange colored flowers attracted me. That color has been very intriguing to me as of late. It has infiltrated into my model horse work by way of a tube of Cadmium Red Light and now it has found it's way into my flat work.

I wish the end result of this piece turned out better. It was a complete failure and after a while I just wasn't feeling happy about adding more paint. The shape of the flowers proved to be a serious challenge for me. I'm still rather baffled by this. In instances like this, where pieces are complete failures, I need to look at other artist's work. In this case I need to see how it was drawn at the very start to understand where I went wrong. Of course, the pieces seemed to start out ok. In the end I bagged it completely and just drew a sparrow.

Pencil drawing on watercolor paper

Adding watercolor to the shapes.

Photo taken very far away
cause I hated it at this point.

A little drawing of a sparrow
saved my creative sanity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Quick shot of the work desk

My thoughts and creativity is off in many directions today. As I was going about my day I was noticing a ton of stuff Ive been meaning to incorporate into various posts but never got around to it. So this post will be random. Random pictures and random thoughts….oh and a quick shot of the work desk.

The mice play everywhere about
my studio. They keep me entertained.

There are the tiniest clovers
growing in my front yard. I've been
meaning to capture them.

I hear the babies and their parents
all day long from my studio window.
The babies seem to be ready to fly soon. Hope they all make it....

Isn't he delicious!!!??
I've been busting to draw this thing since January! Soon!

I love my rock wall.

Lastly, because I just love to blog and read other people's blogs I wanted to share this little lady's blog. She's doing a great job and it was fun to read. Never Seconds Blog.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Decoupage, Graphite, Watercolor and
Acrylics on watercolor paper.

I love reading books. After finding a nice little lounger at a local store this past weekend I've decided to seriously finish two of the four books I started. I promised myself I would make time this summer and just lounge and read. I miss reading. Funny how this was my fortune in my fortune cookie tonight. I guess it tops off the theme of part of my weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


"In the Nest."
Graphite, watercolor and acrylics on watercolor paper.

During breakfast the other morning my son asked me, "Mommy does the little girl mouse get saved?" He remembered that I never brought that story to a close. He had a smile on his face and I could tell he was hopeful in being the first person to see the final images once they evolved. In a way I think he was making sure I didn't forget to show him what happens in the end. I think he likes the fact that he is usually the first person to see my art and my images once they are created.

"No", I said, "She did not get saved." I told him I had not yet finished the story and he seemed satisfied that he didn't miss out on any part of the ending. He went on to finish his breakfast while I sat there with my coffee contemplating the story.

The plan WAS to have the little male mouse save the little female mouse old fashioned style with a dramatic climb up the owl nest and a flick of the fancy ribbon would seal the life saving deal. Then, they would run off into a beautiful sunset together.

But is that truly how it works any more? I don't really think so. There would be no one there climbing the nest successfully to the top, no ribbon to grab, and nothing to save her but her own self. And if she couldn't save herself she would just have to succumb to whatever was bearing down on her.

Release, surrender and accept the situation and in that release somehow it all becomes right in the end. It ends as it's suppose to end. And with that thought I wonder, how can she save herself?
Perhaps another cup of coffee will help reveal that answer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Broken (Part II)

Sometimes pieces break and in the first part of "Broken" I documented the repair of a Lil Pumpkin resin who took a huge fall off a shelf onto the floor. Her leg broke and was never found again. A new leg had to be constructed from scratch. This is the second part of that repair. In the end she looks good as new.

Epoxy leg pieces are attached to stump
using Zap a Gap and ordinary baking soda.
(The baking soda helps the glue dry instantly.)

Glue is allowed to set and dry for a few minutes
then the entire area is sanded.

Once the area is sanded I like to
buff the entire repair.

Repair and stump meet perfectly
and are sanded clean leaving no bumps or lines.

New leg is painted to blend in
with the rest of the piece.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Faux Marble

Dresser taken from a dumpster.

I've been on a roll since this past weekend working on faux marble. I'm enjoying the process of painting this faux finish very much. The other piece to this bedroom set (that was also in the dumpster) was definitely in need of painting and painting just the top changed it dramatically. Both faux finished pieces have become my favorite to date.

Prepping the top.

Adding marble design.

Finish with high gloss.

Another view of the finished dresser.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dumpster Diving Take....?

Old nightstand taken from a dumpster.

I love dumpster diving. At this point I've completely lost count of the amount of times I've dove into other people's garbage to retrieve choice items that could be restored. Believe it or not, this cherry wood nightstand was retrieved from a huge metal dumpster last fall and it's been shoved in the corner of my living room since then just waiting for a vision.

Sometimes I get a vision for a piece immediately, other times it takes a while for thoughts about a piece to surface. The purchase of a new
lamp that would eventually sit on this table prompted me to finish the piece. Almost immediately I saw a black high glossy marble top.

View of the top.

Entire piece was cleaned with soap and water
and then further cleaned with tung oil. Top is painted black.

Marble details painted on and gloss finish added.