Friday, February 15, 2013

Passing it on with Kindness

"With an Angel's Help"
This morning didn't start out so well.  I spotted a cold sore and thought sarcastically, "Oh, that's just great!"  But after driving my granddaughter to daycare (her smile that could melt ANY bad mood), I was again off to a good day.  I stopped at Caribou Coffee, (my favorite coffee place) and ordered my Northern Light Latte, and headed to the restroom to put on my makeup.  Then, I spilled my coffee all over the floor!  The girl who had waited on me, came into the restroom just then, and I apologized about the mess that I had made.  I told her that I would have cleaned it up, but there weren't any paper towels.  "Don't worry, we'll clean it up", she said.  I thanked her, and joked, "That was a very expensive sip of coffee this morning, since I spilled most of it".  She said, "No problem, we'll get you a new one!"  I also had purchased the keurig single serve cup coffees and she had said earlier, "Did you know that there are now dishwasher safe containers where you can put your own coffee in these little containers, and it would be far cheaper for you?"  (It reminded me of one more way that I could use less plastic and be more "green", to be nicer to our world.  Something, I really need to work on!)
What service, and what a difference she had made to my day!  Sometimes, people have no idea what a small gesture can do for someone else who just might be having a bad day.  A smile, or a kind deed can really make the difference!  I asked for her name, so I could write a letter about her kind deed, and her supervisor overheard me doing it.  I gave her the "thumbs up", and told the supervisor about her kindness.  I'll follow up with a letter to Caribou Coffee too.
This painting was done last year, using Elegant Writer pens, which I LOVE.  (Just click on this link and you can order them from Karlyn Holman.)   Karlyn introduced me to Elegant Writer pens some years ago, and I find them so much fun!!!  I've done many of these kinds of paintings.  I call them Story paintings.  They are very simple paintings, and are done totally free and easy with no forethought of what will be done.  I do a contour drawing, and then smear the pen marks for shading on the people.  A few glazes for depth, and they are done.   "With an Angel's Help" is a story about simple good deeds helping others around them. These story paintings are usually 14" x 7" images and are available for $95.    "Statuesque" (Day 28 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days) was also done using Elegant Writer pens.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Happy Valentine's Day"
For many years, I have hosted a painting group at my home studio, and every Valentine's Day, we would all paint only one handmade card and then, we would draw numbers to see which card we would get.  Change is hard for me, but sadly, we finally had to stop meeting every Friday, due to "snow birds", teaching schedules, grandchildren duties, etc.  The list goes on forever.  We really LOVED painting together and sharing ideas, and critiquing each other's paintings.  So, we changed our group to a Critique Group and we will be meeting seasonally, (4 times each year).  I just realized this morning that this is the first year in about 15 years, that I didn't paint a Valentine painting.  This one was painted several years ago, but I do like the abstract quality of it.  Maybe I'll get time yet today, to paint a valentine painting.  I love the romance of this holiday, and wish all my blog followers a very Happy Valentines Day! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day 30- 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Party Time!"
Can you believe it???!!!  I'm done with the 30 paintings in 30 Day Challenge!  This portrays my excitement for reaching that goal, I think.  I did a contour drawing of some friends,, and then basically doodled with the Elegant Writer pen.  I think this would make a great card!  Now, all my friends are going to be wondering, "Is that me?"  I'll never tell!  What I learned from doing this 30 in 30 challenge:
1. Perserverance pays off!'
2.  It is madatory that you have a very understanding family before attempting this.
3.  Practice makes perfect!  I am a better artist than I was 30 days ago!
4.  Doing a series actually increases my imagination and creativity.  I have so many more ideas of people to paint!
5.  I lost weight during this challenge.  Perhaps staying busy keeps me from snacking????
6. Balance is a must in my life from now on.  Everything else fell by the way side this past month.
7.  It really helps to have friends cheering you on during this huge undertaking.  Thank you dear friends!

Now, what am I going to do with my time?  Organize..... for one thing!  Clean my studio, and I've made a new goal to create a 30 minute daily sketches every single day in the next year, starting now.   I love doing those, and we all have 30 minutes every day!  Hope you'll all keep checking in to see my blog.  I enjoy staying in touch!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day 29- 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"One of a Kind"
I'm interested in everyone's reaction to this painting.  I think this may be my favorite of all 30!  (It's either this one, or Day 19, "Girl with a Secret" or Day 16, "Sassy Girl". Maybe it's because I really enjoy the friendship of Carolyn, who approved me doing this painting of her.  I love the way she's peering over the top of her glasses.  Carolyn was one of the first people who I met when I taught in Springfield, Illinois last year.  What a great community; Carolyn and her husband showed me around and hosted my husband and me one night at a local restaurant.  I named this "one of a kind", because we artists definitely dance to our own drummer, and I kind of feel sorry for all those who aren't artists, don't you?  Carolyn has a real zest for life, and enjoys every minute of painting.  And I think she just might crunch in as much fun into one day as I do!!!  We artists have the luxury of seeing any object as beautiful, even when someone else might just walk right by it, OR even call it junk.  I like that I have influenced my husband to be more aware of things, due to seeing things through my eyes.  I love it when we are out for a hike, and he will be the one to mention the color of the sky or pick up a simple little flower and admire it for it's simple beauty.  Anyway, this painting is pure watercolor, so I might enter it in the Transparent Watercolor Show next year.  How cool would that be if this would get accepted?  This painting is 10" x 10" image.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 28- 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

Today, I felt like using the Elegant Writer pen and doing a vignette.  OK, I took the easy way out, by letting the bottom of the painting just fade away.  I like it because she might or might not be nude.  Who knows?  I forced myself to use gray tones, and just a little yellow tone added subtly.  I thought she looked almost like a statue when I was done, so that's why I titled it "Statuesque".  I did the sketch of this girl in April, 2011 while waiting for our plane to take off.  And I did the background abstract then too.  We were on the runway for over 30 minutes, all loaded up, but going nowhere.  I was so glad that I had a pen, so I could sketch.  Below are the 2 sketches that I combined to make this painting.  I turned the abstract upside down.  For those who don't know, an elegant writer pen is a marker that smears when you wet it, so it adds great shading.  Karlyn Holman introduced me to it years ago, and I really LOVE working with it.  This painting is 10" x 10" and available for $125.

sketch from April, 2011

Sketch from April, 2011


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