Category Archives: nature

July Square-A-Day Project

Perhaps you remember my post regarding my inspiration for my first ten days of my July Square-A-Day Project? If not you can find it here: 10 Watercolor Squares

I created in watercolor for July but also some gouache for each day on a 1.75 x 1.75 inch square:

Nature was my inspiration for most of my squares. Yet, I did include a couple of abstracts and a little whimsy!

Painting outside at the lake was something I truly enjoyed! I encourage you to paint outdoors.

Cheers! 🙂

My Lucky Bamboo

A friend bought me a houseplant. I tend to forget to water them so I figure this one must be lucky… it is still alive!

My lucky bamboo collage, cut with scissors and paper:

I like how bright the colors are, how about you?

The second “houseplant” was from my imagination:

It was fun experimenting with positive and negative shapes.

Do you like to grow houseplants? What do you like to grow?

Happy planting!

Cheers! 🙂

10 Watercolor Squares

I am experimenting with watercolor and gouache for my “Square-A-Day” project for July since it is World Watercolor Month at Doodlewash.com

Charlie at Doodlewash has excellent creative prompts for each day but I decided to go with the flow and allow my brush (or imagination) tell me what it wants to do!

Below are my first 10 watercolor squares for the first 10 days of July:

Perhaps my inspiration will spark an idea for your art too:

1. New watercolor brush – #4 Raphael Kolinsky from Blick. First expensive watercolor brush I have purchased. I like the fine tip for tiny details like the petals on my imaginary flowers. I used gouache and added a few details with a black Micron pen.

2. Used dip pen with Saji nib to draw my sunflower and colored it with watercolor. Inspired by Susan Feniak’s  post on July 2nd.

3. Painted background in watercolor – looks like summer colors to me! Drew leaf with black .01 and .03 Micron pens using inspiration from Peggy Dean’s book, “Botanical Line Drawing.”

4. 4th of July! Ate corn-on-cob for dinner. Started by painting paper yellow, drew corn with a black Micron pen by looking at an online image. Added a little watercolor to some of the kernels. The actual corn was delish!

5. FINALLY a sunny day at the lake! I splashed in the lake and watercolors on paper. 🙂

6. Inspired by a pattern I saw in Uppercase Magazine. I painted in watercolor and added doodles with black Micron pen and a white Signo gel pen. This reminds me of summer camp and a badge earned… I never got to go to camp as a kid but I always thought it would be fun.

7. Eating creamsicle popsicles on a hot summer day! Watercolor and Signo white gel pen. It always amazes me how color and patterns takes me back in time…

8. Blueberries ripening in my yard. Love the sweetness of these blue gems! Messed up a little on the shading so added dots with a Micron pen.

9. Daddy Long-Legs – see my previous post. Nature inspires a lot of my art!

10. Wings from a Common Buckeye Butterfly – thanks Mike Powell for your awesome photo to inspire me on this one!

I hope you enjoyed reading what inspired me to create my first 10 watercolor squares!

I will post the rest of my squares at the end of July…

Happy Painting!

Cheers! 🙂

Planting Patterns

I have declared the month of June to be doodle month for my Square-A-Day project.  I look forward to showing you all my squares at the end of this month… but here is a sneak preview:

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Drawing doodles or patterns is something I find calming and relaxing.  I did this one in my art journal with color pencils recently:

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It looks like I am planting patterns like rows of flowers or vegetables in a garden!

Patterns and inspiration are everywhere… 

Like this photo I took recently at the lake.  The moon was almost full!

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There are patterns in the water, the trees and the sky!

I hope you will be inspired by the patterns in your world!

Cheers! 🙂

 

Red, White and Blue

Today is Memorial Day in the United States when we proudly wave our American flag to thank ALL who have served our country so we can live in freedom!

Hoorah for the red, white and blue!!

On a side note, it has been a windy, rainy and cool weekend at the lake.  We have spent much of it indoors; reading, napping and eating! 😉

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What have you been doing over the weekend to relax?

Cheers! 🙂

A Spiny Family

I enjoy giving myself little challenges when drawing… and learning more about my subjects.

Painting different colors of watercolor in my art journal helped add color to a blank page…

I then challenged myself to use mostly black pens – each pen a different variety – to draw Cactus; from the book I showed you in this post: Drawing Cactus and Succulents

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According to Dictionary.com; Cactus (noun) and plural can be cacti, cactuses and cactus!  

As a definition:  Any numerous succulent plants of the family Cactaceae, of warm, arid regions, having fleshy, leafless, usually spiny stems and typically having solitary, showy flowers.

I never really thought about a “cactus” being a succulent plant!

I challenged myself to create these “succulents” with a variety of green pens:

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Succulent (noun):  A succulent plant as a sedum or cactus… and as (adjective):  Of a plant – having fleshy or juicy tissues.

What I learned from this challenge for myself:

  • Calligraphy pens are great to draw with…
  • Going outside the color “square” is OK!
  • I really do have eight green pens.
  • Creating challenges makes drawing fun!
  • I enjoyed learning the names of plants… must be a weird bird idea in there somewhere!

Do you give yourself challenges when you are creating?  I’d love to hear what you do!

Cheers! 🙂

Outside A Window

I love the view of this crabapple tree outside my kitchen window:

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This photo was taken in May when the tree was showing its spectacular pink blossoms!

I decided to add a photo of it to my mixed media sketchbook as the tree inspires me all four seasons!  I colored the photo with color pencils so the flowers stood out.

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And below is the Robin that I painted and showed you in my last post:

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Inspiration of place can sometimes come from what we see outside a window in our home… Below is a photo of both pages together in my art journal.

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What view inspires YOU, outside a window?  I hope you share it with me!

Cheers! 🙂

Collage Exploration

I recently purchase this book from Amazon:

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It has some fabulous ideas that have sparked my imagination!

Such as this collage exploration:

It was inspired by the recent “winter storm” we got over the weekend!

Yesterday, I did some organizing of my art supplies.  It inspired me to create these three collages that I glued in my art journal:

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Each collage above has hand-stitching, can you find it?

Cheers! 🙂

Landscape Vignettes

Perhaps you recall the online landscape art class I told you about from Anita Lehmann?  If not, you can learn more about it here:  Exploring Landscape

I enjoyed painting these 1.5 x 1.5 inch landscape vignettes in watercolor; the first 2 rows were from my imagination and the last 3 rows were free photo images of lake and wheat field images from unsplash.com

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I discovered a limited color palette and subject matter made the exercise more cohesive and less busy in my last 3 rows:

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New materials I used for this project were removable tape – 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch in diameter that I purchased locally at Michaels and Art Graf watercolor graphite that I purchased online from Dick Blick:

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I encourage you to give this exercise a try…

I learned to see landscape shapes and elements of design instead of focusing on small details.  It also helped me to work quickly and get a feel of the landscape instead of focusing on minute details.

Cheers! 🙂

So Noted…

I have discovered two fabulous ways to get one’s creative juices flowing as warm-up exercises in art making.

I learned these ideas from Anita Lehmann in her online class, Translating Landscapes, hosted by Carla Sonheim.

The first idea involves creating marks with a variety of art mediums and tools.  One “natural” tool was a stick!  I had so much fun dipping a stick into ink and “making marks” with it… And using a variety of materials to create this piece:

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The second idea was making marks while listening to music.  I created this piece while listening to Eva Cassidy and Natalie Merchant:

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I enjoyed both exercises.

So noted, my favorite was the one with the music!

I encourage you to turn up the music and create!

Cheers! 🙂