Tag Archives: drawing

“Bubble Time” – Feels so good……….


.. to be hitting the art page again.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!  Ready for the beach, sun, surf, swimming?  After all, it’s is coming on summer, right?  NOT THIS YEAR.  It’s damn cold here in Mass.  We had rain here all day yesterday.. but, psst.. come closer… I secretly love the rain and a dreary day.  I took advantage of it and after cleaning the house and after dinner, I went into the garage and pulled out my “sit down” art bag , made a cup of tea and sat in my comfy chair and prepared to go into my “art bubble”.  Yup, that’s what I call it… my “art bubble”.  I’ve always told my daughters when they were young.. “everyone needs their bubble time”.  Time away with yourself, some peace time, doing what you want and no one can bother you… a refresher, from the crazy days.. all the talk.. all the busy-ness in your life.

As a mom, it’s hard to find “bubble time”. I remember when the kids were really little, all I wanted was to go to the bathroom in peace.  Can I just have a little time to myself?  Nope, here comes my 5-year-old, Megan.. “mom, whatchya doing?”  Then comes my 2-year-old, Rachel … calling “Megaaaan, Megaaaan”  She found her.  “what you doin in heeya?”  Then the dog comes in and hubbie shows up eventually, saying “what’s everyone doing in here?”   Um, hullo.. why don’t you all just invite the neighbors!!!    Well, the girls are 22 and 19 now, so thankfully those days have been over for about 3 years.  No, I kid I kid.  But, I have to admit, my dog pushes her nose and opens the bathroom door now, as if to say “is it safe to come in”.  NO……..go away!!!!  God, no wonder I have irritable bowel syndrome.. sorry TMI.

So, off in my art bubble I went. And I tell you, it was so nice after being away from it for a couple of months or more.

What was the first thing I did? I pulled out my Moleskine watercolor pad, pencil and Koi watercolor set and played with drawing eyes, faces and doodling.  I never get sick of drawing eyes and other facial features, because I keep thinking… this will be the perfect eye, the perfect mouth, the perfect nose.  Nope, not gonna happen.  As my cousin, Wayne (great artist-read my post about him here), tells me.. “you gotta draw to draw, Judy”.  That IS true.

I went onto YouTube and found tutes on drawing eyes/faces.  Check them out.  What was nice about that, was I could pause the video when I wanted and took my time to try to get the hang of what the artist was doing.

IMG_3478 IMG_3479

Not too bad, huh?   I really like the left one.  Just goes to show if you take your time with the details, you can achieve a pretty realistic eye.  I really need to work on noses and mouths.

Here are some others I’ve done in the past.. they are so so. But practice makes you better. .. and shading… shading changes everything.  I couldn’t do this 5 years ago.

IMG_3481IMG_3480  IMG_3489IMG_3490IMG_3482 IMG_3483 IMG_3484 IMG_3485 IMG_3491

Then, I doodled some goofy pods and flowers then used watercolors to give it a boost.  So meditative.

IMG_3492 IMG_3493 IMG_3494 IMG_3495 IMG_3497 IMG_3488 IMG_3487 IMG_3486

As some of you know, I am moving and we are selling our home.  I’m excited for the next chapter in our lives.  Get away from all the big house responsibilities, downsize and enjoy a simpler life in a coastal town.  But, if I can anyone who is thinking of moving soon or in the next few years ahead of you… PURGE NOW, as if you were going to move next month. Seriously, do a little at a time and continue to get rid of things you have not used in years. Sell, donate, throw away. There, that’s my 5 cents worth.

I’ll keep trying to get some creativity in my life to share with you.. and some summer recipes too.

Thanks for stopping by.  Love hearing from you.


Faces Inspired by Artist, Michael Lang


I came across Michael about a year ago on YouTube.  I was fascinated. You will see what I mean if you take a look at this video.  If you don’t have time in your day, just watch the beginning, skip to the middle and then the end. You just won’t believe the end result.   He mixes a small amount of acrylic medium with his acrylic paints to make the colors just flow, blend and shade.  If you have time, watch some of his other videos.  Amazing!

So, I sat myself down to play with some faces, Michael inspired.  I did not use his method of mixing the paint and gel medium.  I used watercolor paints in a Moleskine watercolor journal. Whatchya think?

Watercolor Face1      Watercolor Face2

It’s really freeing when you don’t have to make a mouth, eyes or lips perfect.  I loved using crazy, bright colors on the facial features.  Portrait rules are out the window.  Thank you, Michael.

Hope you enjoyed this fun little escape from the norm.

Thank you for stopping by; I’d love to hear from you.


Playing Around with Expressive Drawing


Ok.. I just want to scream.  Somehow, someone stupid (me) must have deleted all my pictures off my camera.  I had LOTS and LOTS of pictures on there.. art, food, family.  I don’t know what happened.. I just don’t.  I had done some recipes which included homemade mozzarella cheese.. I know… and it’s gone.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I digress.

I feel better now.. thank you.  AND I will make another batch of Mozzarella cheese and blog it.  So fun!  AND I was able to download some other recipes on Picasa a couple of weeks ago.  Thank goodness.

So, what I do have on the camera is my little art time I had this weekend.  First, it rained all day on Sunday.  Now, call me crazy, but I LOVE a rainy day.  I was so happy.  It was also great, because we needed the rain badly.

Nope, I wasn’t going to vacuum the house or wash the floor.. no way no how.. I was taking advantage of the perfect day.

I gathered my little art bag filled with watercolor Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, gel sticks (these are great), water, paintbrush and black tip marker.

I was in the process of reading a new book that I got called “Expressive Drawing – A practical guide to freeing the artist within”.  This book helped me realize that not all drawing is about portraits and perfect lines.  This freed me to just go ahead the make my marks on paper.

Here is the first one I did.  I just took black oil pastel crayon and just make lines and whatever I wanted.  Then I took advantage of areas to put color in.  These gel sticks are creamy goodness.  Once you make your mark with them, you just take a paintbrush, dip in water, and just brush it over the color… It’ turns into a watercolor, semi-transparent yumminess.

This next page was a little more doodily. I used my black tip maker and just started making lines and shapes and didn’t think too much about what I was going for.  Once I had it all outlined, I took my gel sticks and colored in the open areas.  Fun, yes?  Can I get an “ohhh” and a “ahhhh”?

I did have other steps on how I got to these pages, but the camera ate the pictures.  Now, really, do I have to start having a love hate relationship with my camera now?

As I begin to face new challenges and bigger responsibilities at work very soon, I keep asking myself, how the heck am I going to keep this life/work/art balance thing going.   Well, I’ve done it so far and won’t give up my love for my blog, my art and my readers.  Give me an “HELL YAH”!

So, that’s just a little diddy on what’s shakin over here.

Thanks for stopping my.. I mean it.


Teenie Tiny Faces


I haven’t been in the studio to create for a few weeks.  Life/work gets busy, I guess.   I really miss it and can’t wait to create more pieces to share with you.

But… I’ve been playing around in my 3.5″ x 5.5″  Moleskine Grid Notebook.

I started making these little goofy faces in some of the squares.  Mind you, each is 1/8″ square.  I don’t pretend to be any sort of good drawer or sketcher, so I just started pencil sketching tiny people while I was just watching tv or relaxing . This was very fun and zen-like.  Gets the creative juices flowing.

It’s best to use a mechanical pencil so the point is really small.   Try it.  It’s definitely a challenge to stay small.

I try to do something creative everyday and that does not always happen.. but getting little creative things like this in, makes me happy even though I can’t  won’t get in the studio.

The weather here in Mass, has been OUTSTANDING.  We have lots of bloomage.

I hope you are enjoying good weather wherever you are.

Thanks for stopping by…. again!


Sketchbook Challenge – January


If you notice over in the right column of my blog, I have the Sketchbook Challenge badge.  I posted about it at the end of my last post.

I have to say (yes, I have to)…. I took the time to sketch.. Something I am not used to doing.. nor have I really ever done much.  I went to an fine art store recently and found some small visual journals.. one with watercolor paper and one with bristol board.  The notebooks only measure 5 x 3 1/2″.  Adorable.

The “Sketchbook Challenge” theme  for the month of January is “Highly Prized”

I’m really loving this..  Take my little notebook with my black liner pen and my little  water color paint set and hunker down with a cup of tea and play… fun and portable. I plan on doing more of this.  Talk about feeling like a kid again.. hits the spot.

So, to me.. my home and my family and what’s in my home (not materialistic things, but family and love) means so much to me… is “highly prized”.

Here is my funky doodle-like home… made with love

Remember this is only 5 x 3 1/2″.

I’m determined to learn how to draw trees better.

You can see the flickr group HERE for this challenge.  Run, don’t walk.

Thanks for stopping by.


A Dedication to ….. …my daughters!


Hey Blogsters..

I’m going to just jump in here and show two lovely young ladies how much I love them and how proud I am of them.  So, I’m dedicating this post to my two daughters, Megan and Rachel.

Their fun and humorous creativity just touches me.  How many times have I said to them “want to do some art in the studio”?  Their reply was usually “no”.    Is it not cool to sit with mom and be creative?  Maybe when they were younger, but the last several years has been a big fat NO.

With that said, take a look at creativity in action with some of their work.

First, there is Meg.. She’s going into her Sophomore year at college in the Fall.  She brought home her art portfolio from her drawing class; take a look.

These are canvas boards are 16 x 20″

This one below is a huge sheet of drawing paper about  18 x 26″.

Another large drawing; 22 x 30″.

Rachel is going into her Junior year in High School.  She made this book from the both of them for mother’s day; I just love it and will treasure it forever.  Sneak a peek at a couple of pages.  Size is 5 x 5.

I guess being creative myself all these years did rub off on them somehow.. I’m so proud of them in everything they do.

Love you, Meg and Rach♥


Thanks for stopping by.

Next up….. my favorite new books and dvds – a review

… for the birds


Hey Blogsters:

I recently went to a fun filled workshop at Ink About It called Beeswax Birds. These were created by Autumn Hathaway.  Autumn is such a great teacher; one of the best.  What a fun time we had with her sense of humor, kindness and patience.   You can read about her, our class and see the “flock” of the birds made at the workshop on Autumn’s blog.  Thank you Autumn.  We hope you come back to Ink About It very soon… please!

Here is my bird (2 different lightings):

My next little fun project was a surprise find from a garden center store that was closing.  They were selling all their display shelving.  This was hiding in th corner, calling my name.  I knew I needed something in my studio to put my gels, mediums and smaller paints on and keep on my art table.

Here it is how it started:

I gave it a light sanding, painted everything but the shelves and started to add decorative papers/cardstock to the shelves.

Here it is after I painted the front of the shelves and added a crackle technique and stained it.

After everything dried, add did some rubber stamping  and paint doodles to the sides.

I am so loving that this sits on my table and at my reach.

Thanks for stopping by



Open Your Hearts


Hey Blogsters!

For the past few months, on my walks, I’ve found some interesting heart shapes I’ve captured with my camera………BUT…

… Let me begin here with a quote from Melody Beattie’s book “Journey of the Heart”. She does daily meditations that are so touching.  I thought this would be appropriate for my heart post.

“Let your heart open-gently, safely, surely and certainly.  Do not let others decide when or even if you will open your heart, when or if you will embrace love.  Those choices are too big, too important to let others make for you.  Only you can decide when and how.” ….

“Look around.  It’s not your location that makes you safe.
It’s where you are in your soul, your mind and your heart.
That place is good.  That place is safe.
Open your heart.
Embrace life.
Go joyfully on your way.”
– Melody Beattie

So………….. I share my hearts with YOU:


puddle on ocean rocks in Maine – I know this is pushing it a little.. but can you see it?

stones off my driveway; at this glance it’s a heart of stone.

vine leaf coming through brick walk

heart rock

… and finally I reveal to you my wooden heart collage that I’ve been promising.

I just love this piece.  You could even say I put all my heart into it.

Size: approx. 18″ x 14″

This piece started out as an old wooden painting I found at a consignment store.   What I used:  spackle, caulking, molding paste, vintage papers, tissue papers, fabric lace, gold leaf, old jewelry, polymer clay (face and button flowers),  found objects, charms, gesso, acrylic paints, stencils, rubber stamps, metal hinge.. whew.. that’s about all I can think of.

I hope you enjoyed my heart post..  Would love to hear back from you.

Next up:  Two weeks vacation from work for the holidays.  I’ll be in the studio to share some fun projects with you.

I hope all you have a wonderful and safe holiday… 2010.. can it be?


Studio Time !


Hey Blogsters..

Time for what’s been happening in the studio lately.

In a previous blog post, I mentioned I was taking an on-line class with Julie Prichard.  You can still join all her wonderful lessons.  Check it out here.

One of the books we made was called LTS (Long Tall Skinny).  I had a hard time with this book so for many reasons. I could write a whole blog post on my mistakes.   When I take a class, I usually stray from the original lesson and take a detour and make it my own.  With this journal, I used scrapbook paper with designs to use as a deep background as my first layer.  I also wanted to use what I already had and not purchase more paper.  These pages were much bigger than the instructions, but I wanted to see how this could come out.

I used Weldbond glue, to glue the folded edges together to make the binding.  The glue was very stiff when it dried and seeped through the paper.  When I tried to open the journal and turn the pages the next day and after being clamped together overnight, they were all glued together and I mean TOGETHER, as in FOREVER.  I had no choice, really, than to pry open the pages and the centers tore apart.  Note to self: don’t do that again.

I love Weldbond glue, as it  is extremely strong; it’s used by NASA, however it’s not a PVA glue nor flexible in working with paper.  It’s great for gluing objects in your mixed media work, however.  Maybe the scrapbook paper was too weak for the glue also.

Anyway, long story, short… my pages were a mess… I had worked so hard on it by cutting the book board, preparing all the ribbon hinges and ironing them all.. yes, you heard it.. I ironed.  When I tried to open the journal pages and they would hardly budge, my jaw dropped and I said “what the bleepety bleep am I going to do” (I really didn’t say those words, I just bleeped out the swear).

I salvaged the center of the pages with scrapbook paper strips, textured the front and back covers with molding paste, tissue paper, stencils, caulking, fabric and polymer clay.  I started filling the pages with mediums, textures, objects and paints.

In the end, I’m happy to say, I love my misfit journal that I brought back to life.  I felt like I was in “Grey’s Anatomy”… “CLEAR!”

Here are some pictures of the book and some of the inside pages that I haven’t finished playing with.  It measures about 12 1/2″ tall x 6 1/2 ” wide.

front cover:

front cover, details

back cover:

back cover, details:

Some inside pages:

I enjoyed this learning process.  Making mistakes really challenged me and I embraced it.

Thank you, Julie, for a fun workshop and sharing all your ideas.  You are a great teacher.  I hope you like the journal.   You made it look so easy to make, but I guess I took the long way around to get the job done.

I’ll leave you with this eye candy for now… I do hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by and leave a comment.

Next up:   mixed media collage on wood and very cool funky fabric cuff.

Mini Canvas Graffiti Art


Hey Blogsters…

This will be a small post to match the small art, so I thought I’d share some fun mini canvases I created.

First, let me say that I am, by no means, a good drawer and I’ve accepted that.  However, I was doodling around on some newsprint paper that was used to protect a fragile something I purchased and came up with some of these fun graffiti/cartoon-like faces.  I only drew half a face on the edge of the paper and tore around it.  I used gel medium to glue them down over a painted and stamped background.  I loved the way the thin paper just melted onto the canvas using the gel.  Tissue paper is awesome using this technique.  I then painted a bit more over and around the images and here are the results.   Seriously, these faces were a result of just goofing around with my black pen.

P9170040The size of the canvases are 3 1/2″” x 2 1/2″.  Very fun to play with.  I got them from Dick Blick; see them here.

Just start with smearing some paint on a background, let it dry, add another layer, then stamp around it.. no rules… just fun play.

Give it a try.. go on.   I’ll wait here.

Thanks for stopping by.