Friday, April 30, 2010

Yet some more progress on the horses and cats

This view is a tad askew-tilted a little-sorry. 
Just a quick post today.  I worked on the horses and wanted you to see what happened.  The horse on the left needed some pizazz.  So, I lightened some areas and put a burnt sienna glaze on it.  Then darkened some of the shadowed areas.  Then it seemed harsh.  So, I put a beige-mostly white-veil over it and toned down the boldness of it.  Mostly the veil went on the lighter areas.  A veil is some medium-remember I use Liquin by Winsor Newton- with some color.  A glaze uses more of the medium and is more transparent.  Veils are so great for pushing your background back and other things that need to recede.  I'll tell about that more later.

Then I worked on the little kitty-lovingly as I miss my kitty that looked just like this one.  It's a matter of lighten and darken, over and over.  The horse on the right was sort of a short forward paint job.  I still have more work to go on all of these but thought you'd enjoy seeing it.  The veil on the horse on the left gives it more of a dreamy quality and I like that idea because I've already named this painting as my paradise.

Oh, and I decided to show you the progress of my hollyhocks.  It's getting there.  I will show you the older version as soon as I get a chance.  My broccoli cheese pie is done, it's 9:00, and I'm starved.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mosaic with broken china-new project!

I am having just toooo much fun now that I'm out of school.  I have a spot above my kitchen sink that really could use a little personality.  As you can see it's a long narrow strip.  So I thought a broken china mosaic would be just the thing.  It will be my biggest mosaic project, yet, but I'm up to the task after doing all of the broken china hearts (see earlier posts to view some and also a tutorial).  My daughter is a terrific photographer and she took a pic of some flowers that we gave her for graduation quite a while ago.  I'm going to use that as my starting point for the composition.  Normally, you know what a stickler I am for getting permission, I would get authorization for using another person's photo but I think my daughter is okay with my using this.  After all she might end up with the mosaic someday-maybe as I have 4 kids. She has a better chance since it's from her idea.  
So, my first step was to measure above the sink and decide how I thought it should look.  Artist that I am-I thought, "Oooooh.  smaller related mosaics on either side would be so pretty also!"  So, I'm going to make the main one a little smaller than I had originally intended.

Above you can see some of the china I needed and the pic.  Locating the orange china was really holding me back but I found some-plus some glass plates.  I love to mix the china and the glass because the glass gives the work sparkle.  Oh, your local thrift store is your best bet.   It's so entertaining because you can tell them not to worry about wrapping it carefully.  You'll get an odd blank stare that really is funny! I always have mercy and tell them I'm an artist.  Then they get it.

This second step I do love so much-even though it's messy and noisy (not a big fan of messes).  SMASHING THE CHINA!
Here is where you can take out all your aggression for the week.  So, you might want to save this event for when you are really needing it.  When I first started doing the hearts I had lots and lots of china to smash.  It got old after a while because I wanted to get it done and clean up the mess.  I like the paper bag because it seems to be thick enough to do several pieces before you have to get a new one.  Don't worry about having the right sizes and shapes because you won't know until you start the design what is needed.  You can adjust them later with the tile cutter (that you will definitely need).

There.  That's better.  Left brain artist that I am I like things to be orderly or I just go nuts.  I really like the thick paper plates because you can fish through them for pieces but BE SURE TO WEAR GLOVES when you go fishing.  I have gotten some nasty little cuts because, after all, isn't broken glass and china dangerous when it breaks in the kitchen?  Yeah.  You know it (sorry I fall into the stupid lingo of our household but we have fun!). 
Step 3: You can see under the plates the white sheet of paper?  That's where I'm going to build my design.  Notice I've left a border around it in case pieces fall off.  It just gives you something to slide your work around if you need to move it.  Now if you were REALLY organized you would have the wood for the finished piece underneath that you could lay the paper on top of and pick that up if you need to.  But I don't know if I would go to that trouble yet because, whoever is cutting the wood, might be crabby about helping you and that would further delay your work.  Okay.  I know.  I know.  But I have my husband do it because he is sooooo good at cutting wood (notice I keep him thinking that?) and I don't want to go into his domain unless I have to.  He has other thoughts about neatness in the work area.  He's an electrician and you can well imagine all the stuff he has pulled out all the time on the work bench.  That's his job.  Anyway, you might change your mind about the size, etc.  Good to wait, I think.

So, not we, I mean I am ready to begin.  I haven't yet because I'm working on my horse/cat painting at the same time.  Oh, I also have the flower painting going.  See how smart this is?  When I get bored, stuck, mad at one of the projects I can just turn around and do something else.  This is so freeing and sometimes you've go to take that break to see things differently.
Art History Moment:  Just reflecting on my class I came across some works from the Gothic period of the 1400's.  This is that excruciatingly awful time of the Black Death.  Yuck.  That's why I love art history.  You can't study the art without the history along with it.  These poor people.  They didn't realize that it was their sanitary conditions that brought it on.  The rats thrived on it.  Even if they didn't have a problem in their particular village-all they had to do was get something off a ship from Asia and take it home to spread the disease.  There were lots of rats on the ships.  So gloomy, I know.    So here we have a print from the 1400's.  It's European and I can't tell you the artist (it looks like possibly German? A woodcut or etching?)  I learned in my Human Heritage class that along with the plague came the witch burnings.  Some anthropologists think they were a scapegoat to take the attention off of tithing and noble excesses.  Interesting?  Marvin Harris, noted anthropologist, says that the church and the ruling element invented the witch craze to create a new enemy for the suffering-dying from plague, starving, landless-peasants, to focus their wrath on.  Incredible.  Oh, and it was a good way to keep women under control too.   Did you know that the old nursery rhyme, "Ring Around the Rosies", is all about the plague?  Apparently one of the signs of the sickness was a ring around an area of the body.  The "ashes, ashes...."  well, you know what that means.  Posies?  You got it.  Fascinating.  I love history.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friends and horses-alright! Progress on the painting.

 The other Julie.  Julie T and Julie E. (maiden names).  You know we never have a dull time together and always laugh!  That's one of my favorite sports.

Well, I deserved a little break, still.  Would you believe that I was all set with my popcorn last night after my final to watch the Masterpiece Classic.  Just really enjoying my comfy chair.  Started the show and realized that this was part 2.  Grrrrr.  Oh well.  They had a recap of the week before.  I'm thinking I will see if I like it.  I like it and after about 1/2 hour the screen goes blue and I couldn't even blame anybody except myself!  That's always a drag when you want to say, "You guys!  Who turned off the recorder in the middle of my recording?  You knew I had that going, didn't you.  Men!"  But you can't because it was dummy you.  So, I got my exercise ball and bounced in front of the computer to get rid of my tension while cheering up with an episode of "The Office".

Today I had lunch with one of my childhood friends, Julie.  We have known each other ever since before kindergarten.  We can't even remember when we met.  We went to a good Chinese restaurant-good and cheap-and reminisced about when we had substitute teachers and how we would hoot at each other like owls.  Okay.  Well, that was so long ago that I can barely see it through the mists of time.  I did love junior high.  Lots of fun with friends.

On the way home I drove by some horses and because I had my camera with me I took some pics of one of my favorite animals.  This bunch were a little feisty and 2 of them were trying to kiss each other  It was so fun.  I'm always looking for good reference photos and I need one of horses to get the feel for how to paint their hair.  That's coming up on my painting.  As you can see, I worked on the bushes and the trees in the background.

  Just wanted you to show the latest progress.  If you want to view how it looked, before, just scroll back a few days and you can compare these pics with the other one.

  Notice how I keep it vibrant because of the brilliant under painting that I still allow to show through?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Took my final and now I'm going to relax!

Would love to post tonight but I just have to have to go make myself a bowl of popcorn and watch a Masterpiece Classic that I taped yesterday.  Now, I know I deserve it as I studied so hard.  Time for some R & R.  Until tomorrow........

Sunday, April 25, 2010

911 drawing revisited

 Drawing by me done a few days before 911
Tomorrow is my big final in my class and it's going to be a killer!  I just can't wait to get it over with but I sure know a lot about human nature that I never knew before.  I worry about losing my testimony of God in all of this because there's a lot of philosophy getting thrown around.  Actually I've had some "aha" moments about how wise our Heavenly Father is.  I reposted my drawing I did a few days before 911.  You've seen my work.   You know this is not my style but this strange imagery came out as I was feeling so sorry for the children in Ireland being threatened on their way to school.  Funny how that subject dropped when 911 happened within a few days after.  Not a word was reported about it.

That was a horrible historical moment for our country but through my faith and insights I have every once in a while-you could call it personal revelation-reflected on the fact that I know that Heavenly Father knows each one of us.  I've felt his love so many times.  I have been struck by his wisdom as part of the "ahas".  It's hard to explain but just, in short, I feel his presence in my life.  That's what is important.

For more about the strange story about this drawing if you look back under the category of artist's life-you'll find it.  It actually starts with the eerie photo of Charlie, Grace and I in the building that's connected to the beginning to the entrance to the World Trade Center Mall (3 weeks before 911)-that's under personal thoughts.  Then there is an entry about the above drawing.  It's one of those artistic experiences that you find hard to believe and know that there is definitely something/someone out there.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Horses and Cats--Oh my!

 "Julie's Paradise" - unfinished painting by Me (notice the addition of the poppy leaves-not there before).  The stage as of yesterday.  I know.  I'm getting to the cat (the small blob on the back of the horse)

Good good good.  Finally I'm disciplining myself to get back into the studio and work on finishing my painting.  Just thought I would show you where I'm at now.  In the future-talking to all of you-if I want to do a painting surrounded by poppies will you please remind me how I could hardly force myself to do this one?  Oh, no!  Just as I had that thought I envisioned one surrounded by another kind of flower.  Doomed.  I'm doomed.  Oh, well.  It's a nice kind of doomed.

*Picture directly below was the stage of painting before yesterday's concentrated effort.  The next 3 are from yesterday and, even if I do say myself, I quite love the way the poppies are turning out (notice how I say that NOW after I have worked hours and complained constantly about them?).  You know, I don't know how I ever made them work out. It must be that angel that's got my back.

The other part of this post is the DESTRUCTION of my painting!!!  Ha ha ha ha ha (maniacal laughter).  I told you before-many pages back, that it was okay to throw away a painting when it's not going to work no matter what.  Then I related a little while later how I almost got my husband to take a chain saw to another-thank goodness he wasn't in the mood to do it at that crazy time.  Back to this one.  In another post I showed this one and said that I was going to work on it and show you the progress-the post about sometimes you have to ruin a painting to make it work.  Well, I just plain old DON'T CARE ANY MORE about this one.  I made a print of it when it was at a very good point.  I have a record of it.  I wish I had done that with another painting I did of a blue house in the avenues (calling all garbage men:  anyone have that one?). make sure I don't change my mind this time I cut it with my scissors

and it went into the waste basket last night (sound of hands spanking each other).  What a relief that was!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Grant Clawson: Utah Artist

Well, I had more stuff to put on here today but for some reason my camera won't load onto the computer and Charlie, my son, isn't here to figure it out for me.  Drat.  Must wait until tomorrow but this is the main thing I wanted to post.  Grant Clawson is my neighbor and we are so fortunate to be able to see his work all the time.  Whenever he finishes a major work he invites our neighborhood to come to his studio and enjoy it.  He sets up chairs in front of the painting and answers everyone's questions.  We also get to see all his other great work.  He and his wife, Irma, are very hospitable.  They make everyone feel at home.  Some of the paintings are so large that he has to have a 2 story high ceiling to accommodate them.

I wanted to put a link on here but realized that because this is for a periodical it will change.  So here is the article in it's entirety.  I know it's long but I couldn't cut out any of it.  It's worth a read.  Grant has had some very bad health and Irma was hit by a car.  They are an amazing couple.  Just love them!

 Portrait of President Monson by Grant Clawson and the artist on the right

Portrait of an artist: Grant Romney Clawson
By Trent Toone
Mormon Times
Published: 2010-04-22 00:18:08
MURRAY, Utah -- Grant Romney Clawson is the most famous Mormon artist no one has ever heard of.
For the past 42 years, his brush has created hundreds of precious paintings depicting the Lord Jesus Christ, the prophets, scriptural scenes and other gospel artwork. His works hang in LDS temples and church-owned buildings around the globe.
"I am like a guy who is famous in a way because my paintings are all over the world, but no one knows my name," said Clawson, a self-described perfectionist. "I believe I was born to do this. I feel like the most blessed guy who ever lived. What a privilege to paint portraits for the prophets. It's beyond my imagination. I thank my Heavenly Father every day."
LDS artist Grant Romney Clawson poses with his recently completed portrait of President Thomas S. Monson. The painting will hang with the other presidents' portraits in the Salt Lake Temple. Photo: Trent Toone, Deseret News
Sitting in his home studio on his favorite 50-something-year-old wooden dining chair (one leg held together by a pair of C-clamps), the longtime freelance artist for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently completed his portrait of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson. He devoted approximately 325 hours to perfecting the prophet's likeness on canvas.
The painting will hang in the council room of the Salt Lake Temple next to its 14 predecessors, all but one painted by the 82-year-old Clawson.
"Brigham Young was already there," said Clawson, who is President Young's great-grandson.
Not too bad for a guy who taught himself to paint.
Clawson was first interested in art at a young age, but almost gave up when a fifth-grade school teacher accused him of tracing an assignment he had worked on at home.
"I was very distraught," Clawson said. "I wanted to be recognized as an artist at school."
The heartbroken lad was sitting outside the school reflecting on what had happened when he had a spiritual experience. He said his mind was opened to see a day in the future when he would paint for the temples of the Lord. "From that day forward, I knew what I was supposed to do," Clawson said.
Years later, after serving in the army as a cook in Korea, Clawson had a 16-year stint with KSL-TV. He started as a floor manager and worked up to production manager. He takes credit for discovering Dick Nourse, KSL's longtime award-winning television news anchorman.
Clawson, who has been painting portraits of LDS presidents for decades, poses for a portrait in his Murray, Utah, home. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
"My brother was my boss. I told him, you need to see this guy," Clawson said of Nourse.
But Clawson's heart wasn't in television; it was in art.
In 1957, he began painting on the side and entered as many art contests as he could find. The more he painted, the less interest he had in a television career.
One day he was walking through the Salt Lake Temple and saw a 1964 Harry Anderson painting of the Lord Jesus Christ ordaining the apostles. He describes the experience as "an awakening."
In the late 1960s, through a series of events, Clawson was given the opportunity by Elder Mark E. Petersen to paint an enlarged version of Harry Anderson's "John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus." After months of work, it was accepted, and Clawson was commissioned to produce several more enlarged paintings, which now hang along the wall at the North Visitors Center at Temple Square.
The paintings are admired by people from around the globe, like Yair Koshet, a recent Temple Square visitor from the Middle East.
"They are very beautiful," Koshet said. "It's a wonderful idea to tell the story with vivid images. Having lived there, the landscape and scenery is also very accurate."
Clawson also painted the 66-by-14-foot mural titled "Go Ye Therefore" that resides in the lobby of the Church Office Building.
If you look closely at his paintings, you will find the faces of Clawson's family members. Take the face of a sibling, son or daughter, add a beard, long hair and ancient clothing, and you have another subject in a scriptural depiction.
"Jesus at 12 in the Temple," by Clawson, hangs in temples around the world. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
"It's the greatest compliment to be in one of his paintings," said Megan Clawson Doezie, Clawson's youngest daughter and art agent. "He has a way of making everyone feel important. It's fun to go to the visitors center and see the faces in the paintings."
While Clawson has produced several original paintings, both religious and nonreligious, much of his church-commissioned work has involved painting enlarged murals of Anderson's smaller originals. Each time, Clawson added his personal touch to small details.
When Anderson saw the size of the mega-canvas in the Church Office Building, he said if he ever had to paint something that big, he would faint.
"He was just trying to make me feel good," Clawson said. "He was a master artist. I learned a great deal from him. He has been a big part of my life."
Clawson has drawn inspiration through the years from daily reading in his Book of Mormon. The influence of the Holy Ghost has also played a role in his numerous paintings.
"I have only missed about 20 days (reading) in more than 20 years," he said.
His other daily chore is to record his hours, details and thoughts in his spiral-bound journal. He has filled 38 such volumes since 1968.
Clawson and his wife, Irma, are the parents of six children, 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. They are all big fans of grandpa, but so far no artists have emerged to take up the brush. They have, however, already started to stake their claims on his artwork.
"Rather than watch the family tear each other apart after he is deceased, they say, 'You want it, take it,'" Doezie said.
In addition to LDS art, Clawson has also painted for the western art market. He has even done portraits of some of his grandchildren. For more on Clawson's art, visit
Clawson doesn't know how many more projects he will do for the church, but he has enjoyed associating with church leaders and seeing others enjoy his many pieces of artwork over the years. He credits his wife, family and friends for their support.
Perhaps now people will know his name.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just couldn't resist this funny comparison

What do you think?  Cliff looks the same in both pics-don't you think?  Ha ha!  I just noticed this again today and had to post it!
Just so you can see-he was a very happy baby.  He just never has liked being awakened and funny how he'd get that same expression as an adult.  I'm sure he didn't just wake up in this photo.  Oh Cliffy!  Funny guy.  He's our oldest and will be 32 next month and a daddy for the first time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Liking/loving what is best in yourself = confidence!

 Julie Jacobsen - My work - too lazy and busy to sign it tonight.  I'll fix it later.  I need to study!

First I want to start with some dandy advice from a great actress, Rita Moreno.  Now, for all of you young kids-Rita was in "West Side Story".  She was not the female star-that role went to Natalie Wood.  But she is a huge star to me.  I'm going to lay it on you right now.  This is her advice for aspiring starts:  Quite your whining, "don't complain.  Get so good at what you do in life that they'll beg you for your services."  She said that on a Thursday as she received a Walk of Fame Star on Hollywood Boulevard.  Wow.  Just soak that in everyone.  These are pearls of wisdom and I need to heed it time and time again.  In other words-don't let the trials in life keep YOU from achieving what is meaningful to you.  Got it?  I hope so.  Will you remind me of it someday if I get whiny?  Thanks.  Now that's a good friend.

That's why I like my drawing above.  Yes, it's another drawing I did in church when I was supposed to be listening and I was.  But I hope you can sense that at the time I drew that I was quite satisfied and happy in life.  I still am.  Remember what I said in a post a long ways back that our sketches really tell how we are feeling about the world?  This one reflects how much I love being a mom.  But I'm not just any mom and I think you can see that also.

 "Country Road Cottage" - LeConte Stewart
Art History Moment:  I want to talk to you about a very famous Utah artist (speaking of keeping it fresh!), LaConte Stewart.  I went to an exhibit of his-he's long since passed away-where they had searched to find as much of his work as they could.  It was held at the Church of  Jesus Christ , Latter Day Saints (us Mormons) Museum in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.  Talk about inspirational.  I wanted to go home and whip out any old cardboard box and get to work wherever I was (really...don't do that.  Remember our little talk about using the best art supplies that you can afford....think lasting it?).  Some of the paintings in the exhibit were just that-painted on pieces of cardboard.  They are all about freshness and just going for it.  I hope you can feel that from the sample I have displayed here.  I wish you could have seen these paintings in person.  In the painting, like the example above, you could just feel the heat rising from the road.  Truly wonderful!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Zombies by Josh Pincus

Okay, you guys.  Just when you think I'm obsessed with zombies I have to explain that another blogger named Josh Pincus commented that he really had zombies to show the world.  So, I took a look and it was very fun to see and read about.  So one more time....let's hear it for the zombies!  This time Josh Pincus style.

but dogs CAN look up

A zombie is a reanimated human corpse. Stories of zombies originated in the Afro-Caribbean spiritual belief system of Vodou.
One origin of the word “zombie” is “jumbie”, the West Indian term for “ghost”. Another is “nzambi”, the Kongo word meaning “spirit of a dead person.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the origin is from the Louisiana Creole or Haitian Creole “zonbi”, and is derived from Bantu. A zonbiis a person who is believed to have died and been brought back to life without speech or free will. It is similar to the Kimbundu nzĂșmbe ghost.
But, zombies were brought into popular culture by director George A. Romero in his shoestring budget film “Night of the Living Dead”. Originally conceived as an allegory for the dire times of late-1960s society, “Night of the Living Dead” emerged as a cult classic. A film historian described it as “subversive on many levels”. Although it is not the first zombie film, “Night of the Living Dead” is the forefather of the contemporary “zombie apocalypse” genre of horror film, and it became original model of all zombie films that followed.
Filming took place between June and December 1967. Props and special effects were fairly simple and limited by the budget. The blood, for example, was Bosco Chocolate Syrup drizzled over cast members’ bodies. Roasted ham was used for consumed flesh. Costumes were purchased at second-hand clothing shops, and mortician’s wax served as zombie makeup.
Romero produced the film for $114,000, and after a decade of cinematic re-releases, it grossed some $12 million domestically and $30 million internationally. On its release in 1968, “Night of the Living Dead” was strongly criticized for its explicit content. In 1999, the Library of Congress included it in the National Film Registry as a film deemed “historically, culturally or aesthetically important”.
And in the course of the entire 96 minutes that the movie runs, the word “zombie” is never spoken.

Here's a link to Josh's Blog - Josh Pincus is Crying 

Monday Art Day - Ancient Civilization

I know.  I know.  This doesn't look like an ancient civilization with all these teenagers at Halloween but I really stretched the theme.  We can do that on Monday Art Day and that's part of the reason I think it's too much fun!  Okay, so here's the deal.  Who do you think was the only dummy to dress as an Egyptian princess, Hatsepshut, in October for Halloween in Salt Lake City, Utah?  Yeah.  Me.  Okay, I found that out.  I almost froze to death and stayed out the whole night.  It was so long ago that I don't even remember if I got sick.  Dare I say it?  Okay, I will-1965!  Gag, gag, choke, choke.  Don't get out your abacus (oh, horrors!  I admitted that I know what an abacus is!  I should have said calculator...fiddlesticks) and figure out my age.  It doesn't matter.  I'm still a fun person even though I' stop it!  I'm saying that to myself-not you.  I have to go to bed before I start telling all my secrets (well, they aren't that interesting-so don't feel bad that I didn't tell and there aren't that many either).

So, I did this in stages so you could see the process:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh cool! Sharpies sharpies sharpies!, I always have said for years that if I listen to my kids I will find out about great new ideas.  Case in point:  When my son, Cliff, was about 12ish I finally listened to him about leather Keds/sports shoes.  He kept telling me that they are better than canvas for several years.  I wouldn't listen to him.  I thought leather would be the worst for kid's shoes.  At last I gave in and found out that the leather is the best and canvas shoes are a dud.  Tonight I looked at my daughter, Gracie's, blogs that she has joined and noticed  Wow oh wow.  It is too much fun.  Now I want to buy all the sharpies they have.  Have all of you looked at the variety of Sharpies these days?  I had no idea that they have oil based ones.  On the Sharpieuncapped blog I saw a CAR that someone had drawn designs all over the place with a black, you guessed it, Sharpie.  Too cool for words.  Now I should know that Gracie would be a genius about this as she works for an online office supply company called  She knows her company's products and then some.  I say "then some" because she spends all day looking at blogs to try to find out original ways to use the products that her company sells.  I think you'd find her office blog,, very interesting and it isn't just because my daughter writes it.

  You should check it out.  One of the things I really like about it is that she presents services and great ideas that people do-like the guy that wraps gifts in a very creative way.  I always like it when someone goes out of their way to support others.  I mean, we can all use a helping hand every once in a while, right?

Whew!  I finished the baby quilt and pillow and now can get back to some art work-although I have a final next week in my class and if it's like the last test it will be a humdinger-must get studying.....blaaaaaaaa.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quick Paintings/Keeping it Fresh

 Holiday Park, Utah - acrylics

It's late.  I've had a hard day substitute teaching, computer class, no lesson plans, etc., etc., whine, whine, whine.  I decided I'd show you some FRESH paintings that I have done (since I don't feel very fresh right now).

Every once in a while I just prep quite a few canvases with a general under painting of a red violet, diazonine purple and cadmium red light.  I don't mix them together.  I just put blobs on  my glass palette and then blob the colors on haphazardly and quickly on the canvas.  I let it be thick  or whatever.  It's just quick.  Then I dry it thoroughly.

("Blue House/Gardner's Village - acrylics)
After that I get a photo that I HAVE TAKEN and paint quickly.  It's a great way to force yourself to just see the contrasts of colors, values (lights and darks) and composition.  I just go for it and let things fall however they do.  Because I've practiced so much with these artistic elements I kind of know what I'm doing.

  So, I can zero in, quite quickly, to the essential elements-get them in simply.  I've managed to come up with quite a few jewels.

I do have some that aren't my favorite but they often turn out to be a find for someone else.  I've sold a lot of these.  Because I don't have to spend a ton of time on them I can price them very reasonably.

("Gully/Hogle Zoo, Utah" - acrylics)

I just thought you'd enjoy seeing a few.

                                                                                        ("Park City, Utah, Houses" - acrylics)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Zombies Revealed

Okay.  What a coincidence that I would happen to read about Zombies in my class yesterday.  I answered a comment about it.  So, I decided, rather than rewrite the Zombie history, I would just copy it here.  It's so interesting!

 Speaking of Zombies-I just read an article for my Human Heritage class.  It was so interesting. The gist of it is that it's the Haitian form of capital punishment.  They rub poison (the voodoo priest or some such), derived from a puffer fish, on someone's skin-an undesirable/unpopular no good-and they actually become      like they are dead.  It lowers everything, like breathing, to an undetectable rate.  They get buried legally and dug up, clandestinely, as soon as possible.  That person's luck has run out if it actually kills them.  If not they are kept continually drugged with another tranquilizer-hence the zombie effect and forced to work as laborers.  This scientist that went to live there and solve the mystery said that apparently the only thing worse than being a zombie is the thought of becoming one.  I think that would be a great deterrent as the thought of being forced to go through that would be so frightening. It all stems from the slave uprising against the French in the 1600's and the fact that these poor Africans were forced to live in Haiti as slaves.  There's your history/science lesson for the day!  I love that class and will be sad when it's over with in 2 weeks.

Whenever I think of Zombies I think of the old movie with Bob Hope called "Ghost Breakers".  There are zombies all throughout the movie but it's in Cuba.  Fair warning:  politically incorrect for all of you that are sensitive.  It really stereotypes African Americans but if you can put that aside it really is a funny and entertaining movie. It scared the heck out of me when I was little because of the ghosts in the mansion.

Want the zombie magnet up top? Head over to tinaseamonster's Etsy Shop. (she has lots of cool zombie stuff!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The zombie chicken award, I'm almost a week over due!

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.
Well, I can't believe it but I'm almost a week over due posting the winners of this prestigious award.  These are the blogs that I return to very often.  There has to be a reason for that.  Could it be because they are well written, interesting and I can feel the warmth behind them?  You're darn tooting it's the reason! 

There are also some others that I think are very good also (see my Favorite Blogs) and need to add some new ones also.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The quilt that has kept me busy

So, here's the culprit.  This is the fun thing I've been working on.  I have to get it done for the little girlie that will be born in May.  It's the first child of my oldest son, Cliff and his wife, Lorien.  I know.  I know.  It's too exciting for words!  I am almost done.  On top of the quilt is the unstuffed pillow that goes with it.  All I have to do, besides that, is tie the gray part of the quilt with yellow embroidery floss.  This has been a tricky one with all the appliqueing.  It's actually from a pattern that I bought in the 70's and had made for my second son, Kip, when he was a baby.  That one was in green.  I love the design.

By the way-I found the company, The Gingham Goose, on line.  You can still buy that old pattern plus some others.  I made another one of a train for my other son, Charlie.  It's very cute also (I know, all you men out there, this isn't the post for you but I doubt you got this far.  Probably zipped off of it at the beginning, right?)

Anyway, I fell in love with the bird material and thought how funny that is that the cat would be surrounded by birds and its happily asleep.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Yaaaa-that's what I'm talking about-happy customers

Color sketch for "The Parkin Mansion".  Sorry-I had to take the picture while under glass

Not everyone will want to pick up on this tip but for those of you that are serious about making your customers happy a color sketch before starting the real thing is a wise choice.  It will even save you some, "But I don't like it"(said in a whiny voice), grief.  That equals to, in the long run, time saved, essentially.  When I really became serious about commissions I decided to take this upon myself.  I did a very simple color sketch and went over it with a client to get their thoughts.  The one that I've included in this post is the sketch I've done for "The Parkin Mansion"-which is really the "Christmas Box" house.

"The Parkin Mansion".   I have cards as well as prints of this for sale on Etsy (see link)

For those of you (2 in America) that don't know about that book it was a NY Time bestseller by Richard Paul Evans and made into a movie with Maureen O'Hara (hey, she means a lot to the Baby Boomer Gen.).  Anyway, he didn't like the carriage that I had put in the painting.  Now think if I had done the final painting without consulting him and then had to take it off?  Carriages wouldn't be a skip in the park as far as creating them on canvas.  It only took me a small amount of time to do the color sketch carriage-so, no grief here when I banished it from the finale.  As it turned out he liked the painting enough to hang it by his desk in his office (last time I saw) and I went on to do 2 more paintings for him.  It was an incredible experience.  Any of you want to hear more about it-just let me know and I'll tell you about it in a post.  It was just miraculous, no kidding.

Art History Moment:  These are mosaics that Gaudi did in Barcelona and they are unbelievable.  You painting guys-look there's a whole new world of art to explore out there! As I said in previous posts, I did a lot of broken china mosaics last year.  For the few left brainish artists in the world-me for one-that love jigsaw puzzles, well, I can guarantee that you would love to do it.  It's so much fun and one of those things that you go into the studio for 5 minutes and come back out after 2 hours.  It's addictive.  Anyway, just wanted to show you some other aspects of Gaudi-the unusual Spanish artist from around the early 1900's.  I really didn't know about the mosaics until I ran into one of my former customers and he had just been to Barcelona.  He expounded about how much he loved seeing his work.  So, ENJOY!