Sunday, January 31, 2010

Website Excitement

I want to thank you all for visiting my website and leaving comments for me to view. I am just so excited to have an actual website that I keep pinching myself to make sure it's real. Although I have been working in the Creative Industry for the past 15 years, I finally feel like a legitimate business. The web offers a lot of limitless exposure and I can't wait to see what happens next in my business life!

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Website

It's finally up and running YEAH!

We have been working very hard and I'm pretty pleased with it. We used a template so importing was extremely easy to do. So, if you are looking for colored pencil or acrylic patterns to do or want to join my colored pencil of the month club just visit

This colored pencil rendering is called Nuns Orchid just in case you would love to have it for your own!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Borrowed Inspiration

The inspiration for this section on Wall of Flight was a picture of an antique fork in a long elegant frame. I loved the simplicity that the photo had so I incorporated the idea into a piece of colored pencil art. I wanted the buttons and the butterfly to resemble bronze and the curved ribbon helped with the flow of things. So let your imagination borrow from outside sources, just create your own images from them.

If you are just starting out and want to keep some things for creative stimulation, use magazines. I rip apart every magazine and keep the idea pages in folders according to the group I would look for them in. I have titles such as: garden, threadwork, bugs, french country, seaside etc. I also have a folder for flowers that are broken down into colors. I usually don't know the specific flower I am looking for when designing but I will know what color I'm looking for so that's why I arranged it like I did. It's easy to do and before long you will have a nice reference point to help your ideas grow. We all need help from time to time and some days it's just nice to look through them and arouse your brains activity. I especially like when it jolts an idea that sends you right to the drawing table - always a pleasant surprise!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Artful Annie

Here are some great words the Thesaurus had for "playful" - cheerful, comical, elvish, frisky, gamesome, impish, jesting, joyous, lighthearted, merry, mirthful, mischievous, snappy, spirited, waggish, and zippy.

I am a fan of really weird looking raggedy annie dolls and this one was just so lighthearted that I had to buy it. Her crossed eyes and beaded heart hair was all it took to make me smile, perfect for the studio. Yes, playful was her intention but I like it because it keeps me going. When working on a project if I am having a difficult time with it, I only have to look up and my mind starts going again. Creativity is a strange thing, one that constantly keeps you on your toes. I love the process of creating but coming up with a peculiar way to present an old idea is what matters most to me. It's a challenge I give myself when starting or finishing any project. Challenge yourself to look at things differently, move them around, change the angles or levels, anything you wouldn't normally do. It's a good thing to think outside the box once in a while. If you happen to get stuck there, look for me, I'll give you a push!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two Friends

These little playful bears are in my studio and I couldn't help but take their picture. All propped up in a chair with a tiny suitcase, I wonder where they are trying to escape to. They just look like two great friends who share all of their secrets with each other. Who do you trust that much? I only have a few really close friends like that and I treasure them dearly.

The definition for friendship that I just love: one attached to another by respect or affection. Isn't that the perfect meaning? Now, let that wonderful person know how you feel!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Word - Playful

The word for this week is playful.

There are many meanings for the main word play but I would like to share a couple that I really like. The verb meaning: to engage in recreation; frolic; to handle or behave lightly or absentmindedly; to perform for amusement.

Its noun meaning: the course of a game; recreational activity; the spontaneous activity of children; a brisk or light movement; scope for action.
I like to use playful items to set around my studio to remind me not to take things so seriously. I'm sharing my favorite little figurine with you so you can all feel the energy of her. She was given to me by a friend who knew me so well - don't you think? I love this photo because of the shadow cast behind her, it just makes me smile. So, do yourself a favor today and laugh out loud!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Milk Weed Seeds

I love, love, love seed pods of any kind. Not only are they the end of a flowers life but to me they are also a beginning just waiting to happen. What careful attention was given to this species of flora so that they will live long lives.

This specimen is just a fascinating example of one for me. Not only do they have an interesting name, Milk Weed, but they are also an ugly bumpy teardrop shaped pod that when they crack open reveal these tiny little treasures of dazzle. The sun catches every extraordinary detail of the white fuzz that provides the airborne travel necessary for the seed pod taking it to its final location to sprout. Yes they are a weed, but I find them wonderful to watch and document from seed to seed.

I am totally jealous of natures beauty and humbled by its sense of humor. How else would something so hideous open to share such beauty?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Little Green Jewel

This little jewel is part of a bigger colored pencil rendering called Circle of Color but it is my favorite of the five butterflies/moths featured. I just love the contrasting tail and reflective wings. The colorful antennae also caught my attention when browsing the many field guides I have. I wished this attractive moth called the Large Green Aporandria was from this area but unfortunately they are from the Indo-Australian region. I know I would love to see a group of them in flight or on the flowers - can you imagine the striking image that would be?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Amazing Water Drop

I took this photo while travel teaching in Phoenix last fall. It is a leaf of a bright white pansy but what caught my attention were the beautiful water drops. Brightened by the intense sunlight and colored by the sage green, I couldn't help focusing on this part of the photo. The flower was just so so in my opinion, but the contoured values in the droplets are just amazing. I haven't seen a drop quite like this one so I wanted to share with you all. Want to study water anyone?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Emerald Jewel

This little green jewel caught my eye while sitting on the porch this summer. Its emerald sparkle made me run for the camera. I watched it crawl along and was totally captured by the idea of the dazzle complimented by the interesting shadow it created. Who knew this little insect would grab my attention the way it did. My only regret is that it didn't stay very long.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dripping Wet

Some great words from the Thesaurus for "sparkle" - animation, bubble, dance, dash, dazzle, flash, flicker, glimmer, glint, glow, life, panache, radiance, shimmer, show, spark, twinkle, vivacity, wink, zip.

Which one is your favorite? I like dance because that's what the water drops do for me - dance in the light giving great depth and value. I promised the share my colored pencil rendering of the wet peony and here it is in all its glory. If you happen to be crazy enough to count all the drops, can you leave me a comment on this post? It was a lot of fun for me because the peony is my favorite flower and the water drops were just an added bonus that got my creativity hopping. Enjoy the dazzle!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Word - Sparkle

The word for this week is sparkle.

Its verb meaning: flash, gleam, to perform brilliantly, effervesce.

Its noun meaning: gleam, animation.
I just love the way water drops reflect and show off light brilliantly. I'm sharing this photo of a water soaked peony loaded with these tiny mirrors because it is the true definition of the word "sparkle" to me. I also like the way the shadow from leaves fall on the flower giving it interesting darks that only accentuate the water drops. Don't you agree? With the little touches of red highlighting the pink, I couldn't think of a more perfect word for this picture. I have done a colored pencil rendering of this entire peony, I'll share with you later this week. Don't want to put everything out there all at once or you wouldn't have anything to read and follow :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ornamental Bird

While putting away the Christmas trees - yes, we leave ours up a couple extra weeks so we can enjoy them without the holiday rush of running from one place to another. So, I thought I would share my favorite bird ornament with you. This one with a fluffy feathered tail just looks fantastic with the lights on or off because of its brilliance. I even put it in a painting a couple of years ago for Painting Magazine. All of my trees have some kind of feathered bird and usually a fruit or floral ornament. I don't pack on the pretties because I do like to see the greenery from the tree. I look at them as an extension of the outside brought into the house. When it's time to decorate the tree again, give each ornament a little extra room so you can admire it for its beauty and unique qualities. After all, you are giving it a very special place in your home for all your family and friends to see so show it off to its best advantage.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bird Stamp

I just loved this bird stamp when I saw it and have used it on several painting pieces but this one is my favorite because of its simplicity. It is put on a small paper mache box that I keep postage stamps in. For the design, I kept the stamp muted and let the egg (done in this years trend color - turquoise) take center stage. Notice how the stamp angle, string and small branch keep moving your eyes in a definite circular pattern bringing you all the way through your design. To me, that is so important and one many designers forget to do. My philosophy is once you have the viewers interest, try and keep it. It also helps you notice all the small details the more you study a piece of artwork. For instance, the soft shadow around the stamped tag, the darker one under the egg, the bright turquoise highlight on the tip of the top leaf - all details that would have been missed if you hadn't kept their attention focused. So the next time you are observing or doing a piece of art, see where your attention leads and try to bring it there again going over all the connecting pieces. Have fun and get creative!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Beautiful Visitors

I like to look up words in the Thesaurus. Here are some synonyms for "bird" - feathered creature, fowl or game.

Now, what is black and white with a touch of red? My bird for the day, a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak and its latin name of Pheucticus ludovicianus. We like to learn the latin names for the common birds just because they are so much fun to say. I had never seen a bird like this until we had moved to the country. It is just so striking with the touch of rose on the snow white breast. I welcome it every spring just about Mother's day and it stays until late fall. It is a friendly bird and it lets you get pretty close to it before flying away so a photographers friend for sure. Hope you get the pleasure of seeing this beauty in the spring, I know I am really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Orange Visitors

Last Spring we were overwhelmed with Baltimore Orioles and we loved it. Anywhere you looked there was a sudden flash of orange. Needless to say we got to the fridge as fast as possible and put out some oranges for these brightly colored visitors. I was taking photos all day as captured as many as 7 on the feeder which was just insane but also a lot of fun. I'm saving a photo where an oriole is on top of the orange half with a piece of fruit hanging from his beak. It will make a very striking colored pencil project, I'm thinking this would be a perfect piece for the Colored Pencil of the Month Club.

In keeping with the exploration of the word "bird," so far we have covered blue and orange (which are complementary colors) visitors. I know you can't wait to see what brightly colored bird I'll share with you next. Keep a look out, you never know what you'll see if you start actually looking!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Word - Bird

The word for this week is bird.

Its noun meaning: any of a class of warm blooded egg-laying vertebrates having the body feathered and the forelimbs modified to form wings.

The verb meaning: to observe or identify wild birds in their native habitat.

I appreciate the variety of bird species all around us and rendered this beauty in colored pencil as part of a larger design. I have always found the peacock to be an intriguing and lovely bird. The colors are luminous and I think I captured the sparkle quite nicely. Look for the full design in an upcoming Decorative Painter.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blue Visitors

I just loved this shot of the bluejays in action. They are one of my favorite birds and we have dozens around here. When the snow is deep we have been known to have up to 18 at the feeders at one time. The sea of blue, a background of white with a splash of brown is just an awesome sight. So don't forget your feathered friends in the winter, they will give you so much pleasure watching them!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Colorful Bunch

Do you know what inspires you? I can be creatively jumpstarted by color, texture or just something plan odd. And usually it is the something odd that attracts my attention like nothing else out there. I like to think outside the box so when I'm out shopping, driving or taking the pups for a walk I am always on the lookout for inspiration. So, on this grocery shopping trip the fresh produce just looked so inviting. The colorful arrangements and various textures just made me want to pick up and touch everything. These Easter colored radishes called to me from across the aisle because I could see the various shades of color plus the long winding roots were just the thing I am always looking for. Not only are the colors great but to tell you the truth, it was the white roots that sold me on them. I imagined them on top of the word radish with the roots winding around the letters, wouldn't that be a fascinating piece of artwork. Maybe one day it will be a colored pencil pattern, only time will tell. So next time you are at the market, check out the produce, you never know what kind of inspiration you will find there!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Poppy Pod Painting

Today I taught pasted Poppy Pods at my local decorative painting chapter, Old Mill Decorative Painters, in Hobart Indiana. Using DecoArt's Decorating Paste and a palette knife the poppies stucco-like texture was a great addition to the piece. The tops of the pods actually were quite raised, more so than the poppies which had just a bit of texture. I also added paste to the thumb tack giving it some importance as well. The article was customized for each artist and their city so it personalized the artwork for the individual. The little round tag is a scrapbook find that included a sticky pad at the back for easy adhesion. The reflective pods at the bottom were done in pen and ink to add another texture to the piece and also something new to learn. Overall, the group learned a lot and all of the students went home with great looking pieces. So pull out your palette knife, a jar of decorating paste and start having some fun!

For information about Old Mill Decorative Painters you can go to - we have a great retreat planned for March!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Pups

It continued snowing all night and we awoke to another 6" of the white stuff - it sure is pretty. When the sun shines, the picture outside the window is just delightful. John made a path around the pond so I decided to take you on a tour with the pups Princess Sophie and Captain Jack leading the way.

I hope you take time to cherish the miracles of nature. I know I appreciate the changing of the seasons because you just never know what awaits you around each and every corner. Enjoy the day with family and friends!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I woke up this morning to a blanket of white covering the landscape from the ground up. I just love the way the snow wraps itself around the trees creating a painting of brown and white - striking is all I can say. These yucca seed pods looked like miniature snow cones and I just couldn't resist the temptation of sharing their photo so enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year, New Tool - Blogging

Today I'm celebrating my first Blog YEAH!

Always a learning curve so bear with me.

Here's to many more - CHEERS!!