Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beginning my Jane Eyre painting...

This is what I drew in the first 20 minutes as I work on my painting for the Jane Eyre Challenge. (see sidebar)
I'm painting a cormorant perching on the mast of a sunken ship. I think I'm overdoing the feathers.
The great thing about art is that you can throw away your first, second, TWENTIETH attempt and nobody needs to know! So I'll do a lot of fiddling with this before it's finished. No hurry or time limit on this one.

Paint on, my friends!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My fourth Modigliani finished...

Well, I'm going to call this finished. (Is a painting ever finished?)
This completes my submissions for the Ayala Art Challenge. I enjoyed it a lot!

Now I'm on to working on an altered book with the tutorial over at the Altered Book Lover blog. I also want to get started on a painting for my very own Jane Eyre Challenge. Good thing I didn't put a time limit on that one! (See the button on my sidebar.)

I'm in a time crunch. Have to go to work in a little over an hour.

Keep on creating!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


What's on my workdesk? A pleasant clutter of paints and a work in progress for the Ayala Art Challenge. This is my fourth Modigliani copy for the challenge. I got tired of painting women with long necks, so I chose a landscape instead. It's sort of a mess, but I will fiddle with it some more before calling it quits. I'm enjoying just messing around with paints!

Sometimes I find myself thinking that I have to have a goal for my art, such as becoming a professional and selling artwork. Why? Do people who knit have to become professional knitters? Do people who play baseball have to become professional baseball players? No! So, I'm going to try not to feel guilty for taking the time to enjoy art for art's sake. How about you? :)

Click the button below to see what's on a lot of other folks' workdesks! end in themselves.

Sometimes the thought flits across my mind: "I wonder when I'll paint something good enough to frame and put on the wall?" Then I realize that I really don't care about putting my paintings on the wall. What's wrong with letting them live in my sketchbooks and just perusing them when the spirit moves me? Filling sketchbooks just for the joy of it is a worthwhile goal in itself. The joy of creativity is a gift from God and comes from the fact that we were created in His image.

Still working on my fourth Modigliani. It looks like kind of a mess, but I think I'll try some pen and maybe some colored pencil details. I'm enjoying just slopping paint onto paper. It doesn't always have to work out as planned! :)

Keep on creating!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Stormy Weather

The theme for Inspiration Avenue this week is "Stormy Weather". I thought of doing a new painting, but I remembered this sketch I did for Sketchbook Challenge last summer and I thought it would be good for this challenge. You can't get much stormier than this! (Not brilliant drawing, but a lot of action going on.)

I was kind of going for the contrast of the calm above the clouds and the storm beneath. Mostly a good excuse to draw lots of pen lines! :)

Sketch on!

My fourth far...

Doesn't look too promising at this point, but I haven't given up yet! :D When I finish the watercolors, I look forward to trying some colored pencil details. After this, I'm finished with Modiglianis for the Ayala Art Challenge. On to other things!

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Beginning my fourth Modigliani...

I changed my mind about the next Modigliani I wanted to do. To be honest, I'm getting a little tired of drawing ladies, SO I decided to do this Modigliani landscape instead! It's a fun change of pace!

Here is my preliminary sketch:

I'm going to enjoy painting this!
I've also been experimenting with using old hymnal pages in a collage. I have a lot more experimenting to do before I post anything. ;)
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Modigliani #3

This is the third Modigliani for the Ayala Art Challenge.

Well, I'm pretty happy with her.

I'm thinking of doing this painting for my fourth and last Mo.
I think I may have overdosed on art the last two days! Off to bed!


Twenty Minute Challenge and Illustration Friday

This is why I don't do sketches of my grandchildren! :D
This is my darling grandson, Nathan, who lives far away in Ft. Worth, TX. (More proof of his cuteness on the sidebar!) When IF came up with "shades" as the topic of the week, I thought immediately of this photo of Nathan.

My sketch of him surely doesn't do him justice, but it will fill the bill for the challenge and since I did it in less than 20 minutes, I'll submit it to Twenty Minute Challenge as well. Sorry, Nathan! I didn't mean to insult your wonderful cuteness. It's just the best old grandma can do right now! Mwah on your chubby little cheek!
Proving once again that only God can make a tree...or a baby.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Paint boxes...

M.K at Through a Glass Darkly mentioned that she uses cheap kids' watercolors and so I thought I would display my impressive array of watercolors. I just love to look at pics of watercolor boxes! Is that weird? Some of them have zillions of colors and others more humble combinations, but they all promise artistic adventures. Someday I may invest in something more expensive, but for now, my little boxes keep me happy dabbling along. (I stuff them all into the basket you see in the background.)
I'm working on another Modigliani. Having fun with that!
I have a collection of old hymnals. Some of them are so antique and unique that I wouldn't dare to disassemble them for art projects, but these three seemed right for that use. I'd like to find some favorite hymns and do pen and ink sketches having something to do with the message of the song. Maybe I'll add some watercolor as well. I'll have fun experimenting with this.
I love looking at other people's creative spaces, so I'm really enjoying What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday on the Stamping Ground blog. Visit and see where others do their artwork!

Paint on!


Two challenges in one!

The challenge on Inspiration Avenue is to create art featuring a doll. The first doll that sprang to my mind was a colorful Babushka doll. I've always liked these wooden nested dolls. So here is my rendition of a doll I found online.

I will also use this painting for the Sketchbook Challenge: flowers. I really enjoyed making the flowers on this doll!


Inspiration Avenue Challenge

It's a good thing that I have today and tomorrow off. I set Audrey in her playpen and my back decided to go into a spasm! Out of the blue! So, here I sit, comfortably ensconced in my art chair. Hubby Bob is keeping me supplied with iced tea and delectable tidbits and I am indulging in alternately reading from "Jane Eyre" and drawing and painting! What a day! I really had planned to do some useful things today, but I have been forced to take it easy. Shucks! (Ha ha ha haaaaaa!)

I must say, I've been quite productive, in an artistic way. The new challenge for Inspiration Avenue was posted this morning. We are to create a doll in whatever medium we desire. (As I read over this post I do believe my reading of Jane Eyre is getting to me!) The first doll that came to mind was a Babushka doll of the wooden, nesting type. After surfing images I came upon a pretty one and here is what I have so far...

I will be adding some ink lines and some details with colored pencil. I'll post an update when it's finished.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Modigliani # 3

Just began work on my third Modigliani for the Ayala Art Challenge. Since I did this sketch in less than 20 minutes, I'll also submit it to the Twenty Minute Challenge! I love it when a plan comes together, hee, hee!

Ideas are coming to me thick and fast. I started a notebook just for writing down ideas so I won't forget them!

Happy creativity!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Jane Eyre Challenge

Welcome to the Jane Eyre Challenge! While reading Jane Eyre I was inspired to offer this as a challenge. Many of you are probably Jane Eyre fans. Some may have seen only the movie versions and others may have read the book. I do love several of the movie versions, but I first met Jane through the book and I continue to prefer it to the movies, though I'll always imagine Mr. Rochester looking like Orson Welles! (I think he fits the book's description to a T!)

Anyway, as I read Chapter 13 I came across the descriptions of three strange pictures which Jane had painted. Mr. Rochester has just met her and he is examining the paintings and trying to learn more about her. I thought it might be quite a challenge for each of us to choose a painting and paint our interpretation of what it might have looked like.

Now, I can't remember if any of the movies showed what they thought these paintings looked like, but if so, I hope we'll try to come up with our own ideas. If a whole painting is too daunting, then it is perfectly okay to paint some aspect of the whole picture.

Below you will find the descriptions Jane gave of her three paintings. When you complete your painting you can come back here and attach a comment to the Jane Eyre Challenge page (the link is in my right hand column) with a link to the blog page where your painting is posted. I would love it if you would put a link to my blog in your blog post. I do not have a commercial blog; no Etsy shop or anything of that sort. I just love to paint and draw and would like a little more traffic on my blog! :D This is an open ended challenge. No time limit. Maybe it will go on FOREVER! Woo-hoo! Sorry, no prizes! Just the fun of creating something with your own two hands. I'm partial to "real" paintings and drawings made with real materials, but if you prefer digital or other media, give it a try. We'd all love to see your results!

I hope you will enjoy trying this! I look forward to seeing some wonderful paintings!

And now, here's the excerpt from Jane Eyre. (I hope you'll read the book if you haven't already!)

He spread the pictures before him, and again surveyed them

While he is so occupied, I will tell you, reader, what they are:
and first, I must premise that they are nothing wonderful. The
subjects had, indeed, risen vividly on my mind. As I saw them with
the spiritual eye, before I attempted to embody them, they were
striking; but my hand would not second my fancy, and in each case it
had wrought out but a pale portrait of the thing I had conceived. [I know exactly how she feels!] Lisa's note!

These pictures were in water-colours. The first represented clouds
low and livid, rolling over a swollen sea: all the distance was in
eclipse; so, too, was the foreground; or rather, the nearest
billows, for there was no land. One gleam of light lifted into
relief a half-submerged mast, on which sat a cormorant, dark and
large, with wings flecked with foam; its beak held a gold bracelet
set with gems, that I had touched with as brilliant tints as my
palette could yield, and as glittering distinctness as my pencil
could impart. Sinking below the bird and mast, a drowned corpse
glanced through the green water; a fair arm was the only limb
clearly visible, whence the bracelet had been washed or torn.

The second picture contained for foreground only the dim peak of a
hill, with grass and some leaves slanting as if by a breeze. Beyond
and above spread an expanse of sky, dark blue as at twilight:
rising into the sky was a woman's shape to the bust, portrayed in
tints as dusk and soft as I could combine. The dim forehead was
crowned with a star; the lineaments below were seen as through the
suffusion of vapour; the eyes shone dark and wild; the hair streamed
shadowy, like a beamless cloud torn by storm or by electric travail.
On the neck lay a pale reflection like moonlight; the same faint
lustre touched the train of thin clouds from which rose and bowed
this vision of the Evening Star.

The third showed the pinnacle of an iceberg piercing a polar winter
sky: a muster of northern lights reared their dim lances, close
serried, along the horizon. Throwing these into distance, rose, in
the foreground, a head,--a colossal head, inclined towards the
iceberg, and resting against it. Two thin hands, joined under the
forehead, and supporting it, drew up before the lower features a
sable veil, a brow quite bloodless, white as bone, and an eye
hollow and fixed, blank of meaning but for the glassiness of
despair, alone were visible. Above the temples, amidst wreathed
turban folds of black drapery, vague in its character and
consistency as cloud, gleamed a ring of white flame, gemmed with
sparkles of a more lurid tinge. This pale crescent was "the
likeness of a kingly crown;" what it diademed was "the shape which
shape had none."

"Were you happy when you painted these pictures?" asked Mr.
Rochester presently.

"I was absorbed, sir: yes, and I was happy. To paint them, in
short, was to enjoy one of the keenest pleasures I have ever known."

I will look forward to being surprised by some unexpected entries in this challenge, long after I've forgotten I put it on my blog, lol! I'm going to have to look up images for the Eastern Star and cormorants and such. The one with the iceberg, I'm not sure I understand at all. It will make for some interesting research! :)

Go for it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 commissioned this painting! :)

I hope the tree is recognizable as a tree! I can see now why "only God can make a tree"! We can only "represent" one. :) And I think Toad must have gone on a diet, lol!

Hope you enjoy it! Are the boys still with you?

Shalom my friends!

Modigliani #2

Here's my watercolor version of Modigliani's oil. At least, I think his is an oil painting! I enjoyed doing this, but I may work on other things for a few days. I think I'm ahead of schedule on this challenge.

I'm off to work on my Ancient Swamp Willow painting!

**Click on my Jane Eyre Challenge button at the top of my homepage to see what it's all about! Should be fun!**

Monday, March 12, 2012

Inspiration Avenue challenge-Vintage sketch

The challenge for this week over at Inspiration Avenue is to photograph, paint or sketch something vintage. Something that brings back memories of the old days. This brought to mind a sketch I made recently using a drawing of Ernest Shepard's from the A.A. Milne book "Now We Are Six". It awakens memories of children playing in the sunshine of an open meadow.

**Check out my Jane Eyre Challenge by clicking on the button at the top of my page! Should be fun!**

Saturday, March 10, 2012

So far...

Lots of erasing and redrawing has taken place this morning. So far I've only used colored pencil. I may resort to watercolors for some of the larger areas and then add some colored pencil detail. It's all experimentation. I'm a little unsure of what she has in her lap. At first I thought it was part of her dress. Now I think it's a fur coat because of the white highlights. So that's how I'm going to interpret it. At least this one looks a little more sad, which I guess is what Modigliani usually wanted in his paintings. (Hey, none of that happy stuff! Stop that smilin'!)

The saga continues. ;)

My next Modigliani...

I think I'll try this painting next. It's very different from the first one and should stretch my "person drawing" skills.

I also have an idea for another drawing. It came to me in the night and involves a person clinging to the foot of the cross, an armor clad angel standing over him and demons hovering in the air overhead. It might be a bit beyond my abilities, but I figure if I begin now I may get it finished someday!

Now to find some good music to play in my headphones while I draw...


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My first Modigliani...

Made some boo-boos, but I did my best! Now on to number two.

Rookie Painter Challenge #35

I tried doing a watercolor of this still life and it was a disaster! So, when beginning again I decided to try something different with an old book I've been wanting to do some art in. This is the version I submitted to Rookie Painter Challenge. I did add some more details later and didn't like it as much as this simpler version.
The type in the background may be too busy for the stippling, but I did have fun giving it a try and I look forward to more artwork in old books!
I finished my challenge for Ayala Art also, but my camera battery went kapoot. I'll put it up when the batteries are recharged. Trying to follow my resolution and just relax and enjoy what I'm doing. After these two are posted I may scale down to one challenge at a time. Since the Ayala challenge involves 3 more paintings over the next 3 weeks, I could probably handle that well.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Whoa Nellie!

That's the sound of me reining myself in a little! Do you ever get the feeling you're becoming obsessed with something? I know myself well enough to know that when I find something I love to do I can go overboard on it. When my little ones were small and in diapers I had to give up needlework and designing cross-stitch pieces. It began to take over my time and I would occasionally surface and realize that the babies hadn't been changed for a while and it was way past lunchtime and I hadn't fed them! That was a wakeup call and I knew I couldn't handle just doing a little. I was like an alcoholic; I had to give it up entirely until the kids were bigger. I did that and actually don't have a hankering for that particular vice right now, but artwork has been threatening to become just as obsessive.

We all know that the art opportunities on the internet are endless. There are millions of folks out there doing art of one type or another, tutorials to no end, wonderful bloggers to visit. I don't plan to quit entirely this time. My kids are grown, but I still need to help with my granddaughter, keep my hubby company and clean the house. I have responsibilities, just not the same type I had as a young mom. So I can afford to indulge now and then in this wonderful hobby. Like anything good in this world, Satan would like to pervert what God has put in our hearts. Discipline is required to order our days. The internet provides many good opportunities, especially for those of us who live in remote areas where art classes and other goodies are hard to come by. But as Alisa Burke was pointing out in her free online class called Finding Your Muse, we need to turn off all of our electronics now and then and find inspiration in our REAL world.

So my resolution, for now, is to return to my first love of pen and ink drawing with the occasional foray into colored pencil or watercolor. I have a wonderful book by Arthur Guptill called "Rendering in Pen and Ink". It's an old book,they actually used pens with nibs, but it has lots of good exercises for practice. I would still enjoy posting some of my drawings on Twenty Minute Challenge and I may even do some other challenges, but instead of trying oils or watercolor, I might try a pen and ink rendition of the subject. Much more doable and less time consuming for me!

I also found that I was a little too envious of folks who have endless boxes of watercolors of every imaginable hue. I was using some leftover watercolors from my kids' homeschooling days (YEARS ago!) and wondering how I could afford new ones! But then I realized that some of the art I enjoy looking at most is very simple. So I'm sticking with a simple style and setting myself the goal of becoming good at that before thinking about doing other mediums. I can't afford expensive colored pencils, but I could get a new set of Crayola pencils that would have more color choices, and pens are not that expensive. So, for now, I'm going to be content with what I have and spend less time online.

Oh, I'll still be here, probably every day. I'm just going to try to control my urge to participate in every challenge I see and I'm going to concentrate on pen and ink and colored pencil. Maybe I'll have to change the name of my blog!! :D

Vaya con Dios!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Some sketches...

This is the Modigliani painting I'm trying to copy for the challenge at the Ayala Art blog.
This is my sketch so far. I'm wondering how I'm going to replicate what looks like an oil painting using watercolors. We are encouraged to give it our own twist, so I guess whatever I do will be MY twist! :)
This is the photo for the Rookie Painter challenge.
This is my beginning sketch. The burlap cloth is the most daunting part of this challenge for me, but I can change that if I need to. People get pretty loose with their interpretations in this challenge.

Since I finished these two sketches in less than 20 minutes I can also submit them to the Twenty Minute Challenge! Woo-hoo! I'm off to do that now!

Happy artsiness!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sketchbook and Twenty Minute Challenge...

The theme for March at Sketchbook Challenge is "flowers". I've been browsing images to find drawing models and was irresistably drawn to this little flower which I found at the website "Flowers of Israel". I'm not sure of the name. I'll have to go back and look, but I wanted to get this posted before I run off to work! This will be my submission for Sketchbook Challenge:

I don't feel like I quite captured it's delicate beauty. The pen lines are too harsh, for one thing. I'm very impressed by the fact that this beautiful flower is growing right out of the rock! There's a sermon there somewhere! I may try doing a watercolor later using this photo as a model:

Anyone else want to try?
This is my submission to the Twenty Minute Challenge. I call it killing two birds with one stone! :)

Off to post these!
Have a great and peace-filled weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rubbing my hands together in gleeful anticipation!

It looks like a fun week of challenges! The Sketchbook Challenge for the month is "Flowers". I'll be looking around for an unusual subject. The Rookie Painter challenge is a still life of pears, which looks, well, challenging! I will check in on Illustration Friday and Inspiration Avenue to see if they have anything interesting going on and, of course, I can always draw something in 20 minutes and post it on the Twenty Minute Challenge blog! I'm really enjoying all of the challenges. It really helps to get so many ideas and being able to post your art on other blogs is exciting.

Oh, and Mags, drawing people in swamp willows is on my to-do list! :D

I discovered a new blog today, and I look forward to browsing further. For some beautiful nature sketches visit Bur Oak Botanicals!

Happy creativity!