Thursday, July 28, 2011

Three Little Piggies

“We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies.”
– Etty Hillesum

Three Little Piggies – 10″ x 14″ Watercolor & Sharpie

Today is the first day of Eufaula’s 27th Annual Whole Hawg Days.  I thought it would be a perfect fit to post the little pigs I painted on Sunday.  Click that link to see the logo I designed this year.  They cut it off some, but you can still see it.

If you’re a local, come on out and join the fun.  The folks at the Eufaula Area Chamber of Commerce work really hard to make this a great event every year.

About Etty Hillesum

Etty Hillesum, less famous than her contemporary, Anne Frank, lived a short life of great courage. She was born in 1914 in the Netherlands to a Dutch father and a Russian mother. She studied law, Slavic languages, and psychology. Hungry for knowledge, she cut down on food in order to buy books. She went voluntarily to the Westerbork camp to help fellow Jews interned by the Nazis. Her letters detail her experiences; her more meditative diary focuses on issues of faith. She died at Auschwitz in 1943.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Patches the Cat

“Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.”
– Louis L’Amour

Patches the Cat – Gouache on Black 5″ x 7″ Greeting Card

Saturday, I needed a card for a baby shower, so I did this little cat on a black greeting card.  It was a hit at the party, but then… so was the cake.  :D

The reference is from Catherine at WetCanvas.

About Louis L’Amour

Louis L’Amour, the author known for his pulp westerns, wrote more than 100 novels in his lifetime. Born in North Dakota in 1908 as Louis LaMoore, he worked across the southwestern U.S. on a string of backbreaking jobs including longshoreman, elephant handler, and cattle skinner. He saw his writing as akin to telling tales by a campfire and wanted to be remembered simply as a good storyteller. He won the Medal of Freedom in 1984 and died in 1988.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ohio Barn

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
– Carl Jung

Ohio Barn - 10″ x 7″ Watercolor on Masa

This was another fun one.  I quit fiddling with it after an hour and a half, to let the simplicity remain.  Masa paper makes me want to fiddle with detail, because it’s so much fun to see it develop.  :)
The image was from Catherine at WetCanvas.

We got a little rain shower this morning!  It was wonderful.  It may not do much to help our drought, but it was great, just the same.

About Carl Jung

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who originated such well-known psychological concepts as the archetype and the collective unconscious, has provided inspiration to people ranging from Joseph Campbell to Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was born in 1875 in a small town; he studied with Sigmund Freud before parting ways due to the radical difference in their views of human nature. Jung is considered second only to Freud in his influence on modern psychology, particularly in the area of dream analysis. He died in 1961.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Corner of Masa & Watercolor

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”
– Samuel Johnson

Corner of Masa & Watercolor – 7″ x 10″

This was an exercise in pure joy!  I spent 3 hours on this.  I just couldn’t quit fiddling.   I think that is part of the fun of masa.  Each brush stoke brings new discoveries.

The great reference photo was from Catherine at WetCanvas and was actually a corner in France.  I changed the signs because I am, after all, a sign lady.  :)

About Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson, the sharp-witted British essayist, wrote the first English language dictionary; his definitions still form the backbone of current dictionaries. He was born in Staffordshire in 1709. Johnson married a widow 20 years his senior and lived in poverty before achieving success with his essays when he was in his forties. Later in life, he befriended the young James Boswell, whose Life of Johnson became the quintessential English biography. Johnson died in 1784.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mountains - The Abreviated Version

“Be not afraid of life.  Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”
-William James

I LOVE that.  It’s so true! 

Mountains – 2″ x 10″ Watercolor on Masa

Okay, I admit it…. this was a 4″ x 10″ painting with reflections in the water.  It was a real DOG!  I wasn’t even going to post it because I didn’t like the foreground.  But, I do like the mountains, so “crop” became my friend!   This painting would make a nice bookmark.  :D

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
–William James

William James – Early Life:

William James was born into an affluent family. His father was deeply interested in philosophy and theology and strove to provide his children with a rich education.
The James children traveled to Europe frequently, attended the best possible schools, and were immersed in culture and art, which apparently paid off – William James went on to become one of the most important figures in psychology, while brother Henry James became one of the most acclaimed American novelists.    MORE…

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Border Collie Pup

“Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”
– Ovid

Border Collie Pup – 6″ x 10″ Watercolor on Masa

And cropped to the 5″ x 7″ version.  A painting within a painting, while I played with color on the masa paper.  I had so much fun with this pup.  I kept adding blues and hot pink and purple to Cleo, while playing with warm colors on the background.

Thanks to JustJean at WetCanvas, for the photo.

About Ovid

Publius Ovidius Naso, the Roman poet known as Ovid, best known for the epic Metamorphoses, is considered one of the greatest poets of Latin literature. He was born in 43 B.C. in what is now Italy. He rose quickly in Roman government and was on track to become a senator when he chose to devote himself to poetry instead. His tale of Pyramus and Thisbe is the source for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Emperor Augustus exiled Ovid from Rome for unknown reasons in 8 A.D.; he died in exile in 17 A.D. “

Monday, July 18, 2011

Patio ala Masa

“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience.”
– Henry Miller

(Kinda like painting on masa.)

Patio ala Masa – 8″ x 10″ Watercolor on Masa Paper
I loved this reference by JustJean at WetCanvas.  I painted it on masa that had a thin coat of  Mod Podge on the surface.  The paintings I posted last week didn’t have any medium on the surface and this was much easier.  The paper is less fragile and you can blot off color, where the uncoated masa is too fragile and the paint is permanent once it hits the paper. I would have used acrylic matte medium, but I didn’t have any.   For some reason, I seem to have plenty of Mod Podge.   :)

This was pure pleasure to paint.  I especially love how the fence looks.  Check out Leslie White’s fence here.  Leslie’s painting  is what inspired me.

About Henry Miller

The bohemian American novelist Henry Miller is best known for his sexually daring autobiographical novels, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, and for his love affair with benefactor Anaïs Nin. He was born in 1891 in New York. His writing blossomed after he moved to Paris in 1930 but was banned in the United States for its erotic content. Miller eventually won the right to publish in the U.S., becoming an icon of the sexual revolution. He died in 1980 in California.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pelican in Flight

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
– Grace Murray Hopper

Pelican in Flight – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

I painted this little ditty a couple weeks ago.  I had fun with it.  I am finding myself a bit obsessed with thoughts of paintings I can do on masa paper.  I can’t wait to experiment some more this weekend (hopefully).

About Grace Murray Hopper

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, the American computer pioneer, was the first woman to become a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society. She was born in 1906 in New York. By age seven, she was taking alarm clocks apart to see how they worked. She worked for the U.S. Navy developing the first compiler, which allowed people to write computer programs in real language rather than machine code. When she found a moth inside a computer, she coined the term “debugging.” She died in 1992.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Group of Gourds

“Courage is very important. Like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.”
– Ruth Gordon


Group of Gourds – 4″ x 4″ Watercolor

This was a fun one…. if you consider I was out of prepared masa paper.  :D

Have a great day!

About Ruth Gordon

American actress Ruth Gordon is best known for her roles in Harold and Maude and Rosemary’s Baby. She was born in Massachusetts in 1896. At age 19, she moved to New York to pursue acting; she performed in plays for the next 20 years. She and her first husband, Garson Kanin, wrote five film scripts for Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, including Adam’s Rib, which was based on the writers’ own marriage. She died in 1985.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cow in the Snow

“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”
– Thomas A. Edison

Cow in the Snow – 7″ x 10″ Watercolor (& a Dab of White Gouache) on Masa

This was the first painting I did on the masa paper.  I loved it!  In real life, the colors are a little more vibrant.  I am loving the whole masa thing.  I can’t wait to do more.

splattered some white gouache across this, to simulate the snow, but when it dried it had faded away.  I may come back in and do it again with acrylic, because it added a nice touch.  I just need more hours in my day.  :)

The images from today and yesterday are compliments of Just Chaos on WetCanvas.


About Thomas A. Edison

Thomas Edison, the American inventor who made his early fortune with the stock ticker and the phonograph record, is credited with inventing the light bulb — although he simply improved upon the original idea by making the bulb burn longer. Edison was born in 1847 in Ohio. He was a dreamer in school; his teacher called him “addled,” and his mother taught him at home. He used the money from his inventions to set up a lab with a number of employees; he held a record 1,093 patents in his name. He died in 1931.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Watchful Bear

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order,
confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

–Melody Beattie

Wow!  I love that one!

The Watchful Bear – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I was playing last weekend with the help of a book I have on wildlife reference photos.  I tried to paint an elk for my brother, since he is an active member of the Elks, in Idaho.  He has been such a good brother and son lately, taking great care of my mom, who is in the hospital.  Anyway…. The elk looked like a demented cow/sheep/moose/alpaca.  I had a good laugh and threw it in the trash can.  Moving on, I painted this bear… just for fun!  He looks like he’s watching something really interesting.

Have a good weekend!  If life goes according to plan, I’m going to play with masa!  (No… I am not making homemade tamales.  Been there, done that,  and once is enough!)  Masa is a paper that I can’t wait to try.

Melody Beattie is one of America’s most beloved self-help authors and a household name in addiction and recovery circles.  Her international bestselling book, Codependent No More, introduced the world to the term “codependency” in 1986.  Millions of readers have trusted Melody’s words of wisdom and guidance because she knows firsthand what they’re going through. In her lifetime, she has survived abandonment, kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and the death of a child. “Beattie understands being overboard, which helps her throw bestselling lifelines to those still adrift,” said Time MagazineMore…..

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mother and Baby - Mixed Media Painting

“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”
– e. e. cummings

 My mother gave me a beautiful framed quote of this.  I have always loved that quote!


Mother and Child – 6″ x 8″ Mixed Media Painting

This was inspired by so many things.  First of all, the background paper was from my unused paper stash.  It was prepared by wetting the paper, dropping watercolor onto it and the covering it with crinkled up grocery sacks until it dried.  I did that months ago.

Then I found some transparent wrapping tissue paper with glitter on it, in another stash.  I attached it to the watercolor paper, using Mod Podge, and let it dry overnight.

This part was inspired by what I have seen Leslie White do with masa paper.

The next inspiration came from Elizabeth’s (edtree at WetCanvas) photo of her niece and child.  Elizabeth challenged us to do some negative painting, so that’s what I did.  I paid special attention to the interlocking fingers.

I was sure the mother did that before she fell asleep, to keep her baby safe.

I painted this with watercolor and a little white gouache for highlights on the skin.

I had a great time doing this while listening to some old Big Band music.  :D

Click on any photo to see it larger.

About e. e. cummings

The writer who became known as e. e. cummings was an experimental poet whose idiosyncratic typography complements the music of his poetry; he published more than 900 poems, two novels, and four plays. He was also an accomplished painter. He was born in Massachusetts in 1894 and entered the ambulance corps in World War I but ended up in a detention camp after expressing his pacifist views. He died in 1962. His most famous poem was “In Just-”.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kitty Friendship

“There is nothing permanent except change.”
– Heraclitus

Kitty Friendship – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

This is a little painting of Chloe and Big Ears.  They are from a photo by edtree on WetCanvas.    Of course, the cat glasses were from a separate reference photo, but I couldn’t resist.

It was so hot over the 4th of July weekend, that I stayed inside.  My sign shop has been so busy that I have been tearing around, chasing deadlines, like a crazy woman.  It felt great to paint and read and do some crossword puzzles, while leaving the lake to the tourists.  I am a homebody when I can find the time.  My husband was gracious enough to let me get away with it last weekend.   :)

Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ancient Greek: Ἡράκλειτος ὁ Ἐφέσιος—Hērákleitos ho Ephésios; c. 535 – c. 475 BCE) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the riddling nature of his philosophy and his contempt for humankind in general, he was called “The Obscure” and the “Weeping Philosopher”.

Heraclitus is famous for his doctrine of change being central to the universe, as stated in his famous saying, “You cannot step twice into the same stream”. He believed in the unity of opposites, stating that “the path up and down are one and the same”, existing things being characterized by pairs of contrary properties, and other explorations of the concept of dualism. His cryptic utterance that “all things come to be in accordance with this Logos” (literally, “word”, “reason”, or “account”) has been the subject of numerous interpretations.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Climbing Ivy

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Climbing Ivy – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

This is the finished painting that I started a week ago and finished Saturday morning.  The photo I used for a reference is compliments of Dominic at WetCanvas.  Here are the steps I took…

First, I wet a piece of watercolor paper and dropped some color onto it.  Then, I added rock salt and rice.

After it dried, it looked like this…

Then, I negative painted the bricks and mortar into it.  Just for fun, I then splattered a little watercolor over it.

Here is what it looks like without the tape, before I cropped it for the blog.

I had a great time!!!  :)

Click on any photo to see it larger.

About Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson helped spark the transcendentalist movement with the essay Nature, which described his belief in the spiritual essence of humanity and the natural world. He was born in Boston in 1803. He was a Unitarian minister until he resigned in 1832 to become a philosopher and writer. He suffered the untimely deaths of many of his loved ones: three brothers, his first wife at age 20, and his eldest son at age five. Emerson died in 1882.