Friday, February 16, 2018

Missing the river

I can’t get down to the water with all the snow we’ve had so I am missing the river lately. Instead I have been enjoying painting river rocks! The first two pieces shown are 6x8 and have already sold but the third is larger and will be listed on my Etsy shop soon. 

They are pretty much painted exclusively with hand crafted watercolors. It is so easy to paint a rock when you are using colors ground from rocks!!!! Not by me, of course, but by redwood willow and by rivervalewatercolors. I normally get bored with subject matter easily but I think I could paint rocks forever.

Friday, February 2, 2018

My messy art desk and yellow.

Here is a glimpse of my desk and some of the yellow dot paintings I have called insomnia circles as I see them when I can’t sleep at night. I imagine a whole series of them, I am thinking I may make them into an art book. Not to print or anything, just a handmade book, because I paint them in the front and back of the paper...

This is what I see lately, but I also imagine a series of white on white art, so those may show up someday as well....

I really can’t explain why yellow polkadots.... it is just what appears. But I do love yellow. 
And the song: 
Yellow by Coldplay

“Look at the stars 
Look how they shine for you 
And everything you do 
Yeah they were all yellow”

My daughter, Jess couldn’t say yellow when she was young, so she called her yellow blanket her “lello” .

This piece is called ‘yellow planet’

I looked up the symbolic meaning of yellow in the internet and got this.....”Yellow, the color of sunshine, hope, and happiness, stands for freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honor, loyalty, and joy”

This piece is called ‘hope floats”

According to “If the dream is a pleasant one, then the color yellow is symbolic of intellect, energy, agility, happiness, harmony, and wisdom. On the other hand, if the dream is an unpleasant one, then the color represents deceit, disgrace, betrayal, cowardice and sickness.”
But then I am deliriously awake and not dreaming......

According to 
this site yellow does the following: 

  • Makes it easier to take decisions and think clearly
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Sharpens memory and concentration
  • Encourages communication
I don’t know about any of it,.....

I just like yellow!

Friday, January 26, 2018


Michael and I’s daily sketchbook plan is going along wonderfully.... the two of us and a few others who have joined in, are sketching regularly. You can see all the posts using our hashtag here! It has been fun to see the wide variety of subject matter going into everyone’s books!!! Monsters, portraits, plants (mine) and cool characters!

Here’s is what I have put in my book this week.....

My process for my found poems is just this:

My son, Jace, ripped apart an old book... Zane Grey. So I decided to use it for the poems. I randomly rip out one page and limit myself to only the words on that page, just one side. No flipping. Cut them out, glue them down using a glue stick and tweezers. A quick and fun way to fill a page in my sketchbook.  It is almost like fortune telling.... you don’t know what you have to say about your life or your day until you are limited to 100 words on a page. Plus I think the vintage book factor makes it more fun. 

On top of sketching daily I have also been taking a photo a day.....

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Scribble picnic and a new self imposed challenge

Michael Macvean (see his website here) posted a question in his Instagram stories this weekend asking for ideas to use in his sketchbook for a daily project, and in answering him and in our further conversation we came up with a plan. We both have a new unused sketchbook and we both want to create a daily habit of drawing. So to keep each other accountable or just to know we are not creating alone, we are starting this project together on the 20th. We probably will fill our respective journals very differently, I am leaning more toward an account of what I am seeing and doing each day, whereas he is leaning toward creating characters and other things from his imagination, but we are both leaving it open so we have lots of options if we get bored with our chosen topics. 

It would be great if anyone else out there wants to join in too. No rules. No sign ups. But we will sketch daily and possibly post daily (for the most part,  but no pressure or obligations) to Instagram, (we plan to use the hashtag #dailysketchplan2018 on Instagram), and possibly even do weekly blog posts as well. 

So if you already sketch daily, consider joining us. If you don’t yet, but would like to, please consider joining us! You have till the 20th if you want to start when we start, but since there are no rules and no set timeline you can join in anytime, just use that hashtag and we will see you and follow along in your progress too! And if you are not on Instagram just leave a comment once in awhile so I know you are creating too.
I plan to post here: @fallingladies
And Michael’s is here: @a_dotty_hill

When considering how I wanted to fill my sketchbook I came up with a list. (Of course, since I am addicted to lists) I would love to just pick one theme and fill my whole book with that, but I would get too bored too quickly. So maybe I will pick 3 or 4 topics to use, but most likely is I will do a little of everything and just throw it all in my book! 

 So here’s my list and here’s my sketchbook (cool huh!) I have been holding this book for a year, not knowing how to start it or what to use it for....

Daily Sketchbook ideas:
Lettering practice
Found poetry cut from old books
Rock cairns
Seed pods/ nuts/ nature sketches
Life drawing
Perpetual sketchbook (I’ll explain later)
Abstract designs
Things you used to own 
All birds 
All fish
Under the sea 
Beach scenes
Imaginary boats
Tea cups
Packaging that inspires you
Things that fit in the palm of your hand 
Use a Limited color palette 
Or just Pen and ink
Or just pencil and one bright color 
Do a Sketch but use one piece of paper or fabric as well
Glue down a magazine cut out and sketch off it
Cute Animals 
Realistic animals
Anthropomorphic animals
Kid characters
Character expressions & moods
Character movement
Fabric design icons 
Tea bag landscapes (I’ll explain later)
What you ate today
“What’s in front of you: breakfast, art supplies, your feet, your backyard, spouses face etc
Things in your purse
Collections: postage stamps, keys, favorite things: clothes you love, pens
An event from your day: scene at lunch hour, a chore you did 
Your pets 
Imaginary pets
Tarot cards
Illuminated quotes
Fictional characters
Things in jars 
Pattern design 
Your shoes
Your jewelry
Children’s book rough draft 
Artifacts from a world you create!!!!! 

And actually I didn’t follow my own plan... I started sketching in it already instead of waiting till the 20th, just to see how this new paper takes pen and watercolor..... so here’s my entry to this week’s scribblepicnic!!! The theme this week was hot chocolate.

What are you waiting for, grab a sketchbook and get ready to join us! ...... pretty please.....

Friday, January 12, 2018

It all started in October

It all started in October...
I fell in love with the way ink blooms into water color...
Now I have all these completed pieces.
If you want to see extremely short videos of creating parts of them you can go to my Instagram accounthere
Or if you want to purchase one just message me and I will set up a listing for you....
They are 5x7 and the first person to claim each one can have it for $20.00....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 goals

I have been taking this week to figure out my 2018 goals, to reorganize with my new purse (that always feels good to do in the new year) and come up with a new bullet journal system that will work for me. 

I am using Jane Davenport’s butterfly journal from Michael’s because I can customize it however I want. Here’s the cover and a few calendar pages I did myself. Still not sure if I want to see my calendar weekly or monthly. I am going to try both over the year. And I added a page for goals, books read, a gratitude list, a bullet style goal tracker page, and blank watercolor pages, and blank paper for notes and ideas.

 I always go overboard joining challenges as they come up on social media. I am going to try to limit what I join and just set my own art challenges.... like sketching or journaling a little every day, and taking a photo a day. And continuing my practice of keeping a daily gratitude list..... things I am thankful for, things that make me happy.... little things (besides family, which of course I am thankful for) like mushroom soup, orange flavored dark chocolate bars, cats in car repair shops, a white fuzzy blanket..... 

I am participating in one or two challenges though. As usual I will join in with Scribblepicnic over at @a_dotty_hill on instagram, and paintpartyfriday blog. 

Here is one which I think will be fun because it’s only 2 illustrations a month, and it will force me to read these classic kids books. I am reading black beauty now. It should be great for building a portfolio to submit ,which has been my goal for awhile now. 

And if I don’t stick to any of it , then so what. I am not going to make these things into chores or work. The purpose is to learn and grow and enjoy it. If it isn’t fun anymore I can quit without feeling like a didn’t succeed because it is not about the end result. 

And I came up with my word of the year which I have done for about 6 years now....


Simple as that..... just accept what is .....that is my plan,

Happy 2018 to you!

Friday, December 22, 2017

2017 look back

Everybody says it but it is too true. Time passes too quickly anymore! Hard to believe this year is coming to a close. 
Looking back I created a ton of art!!! Almost a painting everyday! I started off finishing up my alphabet kids....

And though I never put it into a book I may still do that some time.... 
after that I went on to making paperdolls and practicing my lettering....

Then I started the 100 day project and created a “joyous watercolor” everyday for 100 days!!!!!

Shortly after and during that I worked on some assignments for the make art that sells boot camp class with Lilla Rogers! I don’t seem to have pics in my phone of the final projects....but it was fun and inspired me to really want to try to start submitting my art to different types of companies.... housewares, kids clothing, fabric etc. still haven’t done it but It will be at the top of my 2018 list. 

Then I did 30 days of painting cabins...

Then Inktober....

Then the cabins inspired houses with quilts

And then a 3 color series 

And then these yellow circles that I dreamed up well laying awake with insomnia

And then these baby images came  about

And really there was more art than this but if you want to see almost all of it you can just follow me on Instagram where I post daily. 
I have a new series started which you can see there if you go....

And through all of this art I really did manage to work full time, spend time with family and live a normal life. 

According to my goodreads page I read 26 books in 2017.... some on audible, some actually paper books. Alot of the books I read were, like last years, about bookshops. A lot were set in the highlands. Some were about knitting, some about writing. Many that I listened to were actually read by the author, which makes it really nice. You can see my list 

We went on vacation to a cabin in Allegany state park that I don’t think I ever posted about..... we hiked, watched hummingbirds, shopped at the huge antique store in town or at the gift shop which, like many buildings there, was built by the civilian conservation corps and still looks like a 50’s camp lodge, like ‘dirty dancing’ could have happened there. And we sat around and read. 

We enjoyed our garden and did some canning

But the hardest part if the year was having all my children, but Jace, move not only out of the house but across the country. Bran the oldest was already in Arizona but now Jesse, the next in line,  moved out there as well.

They drove across the country together and I loved seeing all their photos but I was so anxious about their trip. I thought if they didn’t get killed they might kill each other. But on top of that type of worry it was just hard to have them gone.... kind of like the worry I had during each of their senior years.... like you are losing them or it’s too late to do all the things you meant to do as a parent. It really was quite a difficult time for me. 

But they made it there, and they are both doing great!

And it also meant no more babysitters, or help with our son Jace. That has been an adjustment. I finally found a great sitter to watch him after school till we get home from work.  But the girls still miss him too.....

I do have another son, Wade, who moved out to Ohio at the same time, but no photos to show.... he is not always agreeable to photo taking. I miss him just as much but it is a little different with  a son. He, also seems to be doing well away from NY.  
All this moving out left me with an empty room to remodel into the art room I have always wanted. I will do a post soon with detail photos of my room. I am loving that!!!

Well, that is the highlight reel of my year! Hope you enjoyed it. Now onto plans for 2018.......

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all to everyone reading.... 
see you next year!