Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goals for the New Year!

"Waiting for Mr. Right"
I usually make several goals on New Year's Eve, and sometimes I follow through and sometimes I don't.  So, this year, my plan is to make a goal every month and maybe that will be a short enough time that I may possibly follow through!  In January for the past 2 years, I have done the "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge posted by Leslie Saeta.  Click on the link and you can join me!  For me, it's a great way to get back into painting after taking all of December off to party and all that goes with the Christmas holiday for our family.  (4 trees this year!)  The deal is that you can paint 2 paintings in one day, if you need to get ahead.  You just have to paint 30 paintings in 30 days.  I usually like to get ahead in the first week, so that I can post them early on her website, AND if I'm possibly called to babysit, I will be ready for that day.  I told myself last year that I would have soups, etc. frozen ahead of time, but that didn't happen.  I think I'll take advantage of the crock pot this year.  My goal is to do people that are part of an abstract background like the painting pictured here that I actually painted many years ago.  Any medium, but my goal is to keep them loose.  Wish me luck!  Happy New Year, you all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santa Collection- Here's the whole collection!

Happy Holidays to you all!  The final 3 Santa prints are still for sale, but the first 10 are collector's items.  They are 9 x 11.5 with mats and sell for $29 (matted).  I have only a few left that have frames, and those sell for $39 (framed).  Contact me at if interested.

12th Day of Christmas- Santa Series

"Santa 2004"
I was making a political statement of sorts with this painting.  I truly believe that Santa is a good thing, but I also believe that the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Christ.  So, this one combines the two, so as far as content, this one is a favorite of mine.  I'm going to post the last Santa in this blog too, since I'm going out of town tomorrow and most of you will be too busy to read this tomorrow too, right?  Below is my Minnesota Santa, who is a great fisherman.  May you all have a very blessed, safe, fun holiday with your family and friends! 
"Santa 2005"

Monday, December 22, 2014

11th Day of Christmas- Santa Series

"Santa 2003"
This was a full sheet watercolor!  It was painted in 2003.  I got tired of having to do the same size, year after year.  We artists don't like being told what to do, right?  Anyway, I'll never forget my framer's reaction when I brought in the prints.  He had already cut 50 mats of my usual size.  He thought he would be saving himself the last minute fury by doing them ahead.  After all, I had done the same size print for the past 10 years!  I told him to save them for next year and I would go back to the other size.  My favorite part of this Santa is the toes sticking out of the socks!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

10th Day of Christmas- Santa Series

"Santa 2002"
This Santa was fun to paint, but anytime hands are involved, it's an extra push for me as an artist.  Still I loved the fact that Santa is telling us to keep the secret and be good.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

9th Day of Christmas- Santa Series

"Santa 2001"
This Santa was especially dear to me because this was a friend of mine that I used to teach at the Minnetonka Senior Center.  He had such a great attitude and a twinkle in his eyes always!  I wrote Peace in the background due to the tragedy of 9-11, which happened in 2001.  Still hoping that our world can settle their differences and live peacefully.

Friday, December 19, 2014

8th Day of Christmas- Santa Series

"Santa 2000"

Remember back at the millennium? Celebrations galore!  So, I had to have Santa in the party mood at such a big event! I'm hosting a Christmas party of my own tonight, so I'll have to keep this short this time. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

7th Day of Christmas- Santa Series

"Santa 1999"
The face of this Santa was my very favorite!  I just want to pinch his cheeks!  I love how gentle he turned out, and so I decided to have him holding a cat.  I, myself prefer dogs, but I like cats too.  Each to their own.  Anyway, I thought that this Santa looked like he loved cats.  By 1999, I had quite a following who purchased my Santa paintings every single year.  So, you can imagine how surprised I was when one collector actually returned her Santa.  She really despised cats and couldn't stand to look at it.  So, that's my interesting story about this one.  Evidently, some people are very final about their opinion about cats versus dogs.  :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

6th Day of Christmas- Santa Series

"Santa 1998"
I used one of my students as my model for this Santa.  I started my teaching in 1988, at the Minnetonka Senior Center, and I have so many wonderful memories of those retired ladies and gents.  This particular one was always up to mischief, so it was my own bit of mischief by using him for my model.  I thought if he were playing with a puppet, it could remind us that there's always someone higher than ourselves who is in charge.  :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Days 4 and 5 of Christmas- Santa Series

"Santa 1996"
Santa has to be an artist sometimes, but not without the help of an elf who is whispering an idea to Santa. I'm actually going to post 2 Santas today, since I was busy babysitting all day yesterday. 
"Santa 1997"
This was one of my favorite ideas.  Santa woke up one morning to find that a bird had built a nest in his beard!  And being the really kind soul that he is, he left the nest there for his friendly bird friends.  They sang songs to Santa while he worked hard making toys for all the good girls and boys. All is good in Santa's world!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

3rd Day of Christmas- Santa Series

Santa 1995
Yesterday, I told you that I would have to use my imagination for future Santa paintings, so what's better than a book of the girls and boys who made the Santa list?  One of my son's friends noticed a big flaw in this painting.  Do you see it?  Our son was in middle school at the time, and I found it ironic that this friend happened to see the mistake right away.  He wasn't the type to notice such things.  So, this Santa brings a smile to my face every year, remembering that conversation with Jeremy.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2nd Day of Christmas- Santa Series

Santa 1994
This was my second Santa, painted in 1994.  It was after this, that I realized that the Santa paintings would have to have a theme.  After all, how many times can you paint a white haired Santa with a hat and not get bored with the whole idea.  So, tomorrow's Santa will be a nice surprise.  BTW, I think I mistakenly said that yesterday's Santa was from 1992.  It actually was featured in 1993.

Friday, December 12, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Santas!

Someone posted on Facebook that they were enjoying one of my Santa prints that I had painted years ago.  Then, several people asked me to post photos of my Santa paintings, so I decided to post one each day from now till Christmas!  I actually painted 13 different Santas, or as I like to say, "12 plus one", cuz I'm not a fan of the number 13.  Baker's dozen is lots better.  This was my first Santa, painted back in 1993. It seems like a dream now, that I ever painted these.  It's so different than I paint now!  Anyway, hope you enjoy the 12 days of Christmas coming up!  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Flying by the seat of my pants

"Helga, the Housekeeper"
Sometimes, you just need to fly by the seat of your pants!  Upon arriving at my Buffalo destination last night, I discovered that there was no mirror for the audience to see my demo.  So, I held the painting up with my left hand, while painting vertically with my right hand.  Then the audience could see what I was painting.  It actually went pretty well.  I finished the details on the hair this morning, using Tombow markers and permanent black markers.  But otherwise, this was my demo for the Buffalo group.  I was asked when I started painting funky ladies.  I think it was after watching a video by Anne Bagby, one of my favorite artists.  She has been a great influence on my work.
 And I finally discovered what my imaginary housekeeper looks like.  "Helga, the Housekeeper" has been my nickname for myself whenever I do my monthly deep cleaning.  I just know that this is her!  Got her hair all tied up in rags, but she's a bit of a diva, having to wear jewelry while she cleans.  And let me tell you, she is a minimum cleaner! I have no idea why I keep her around.  :)  When I arrived in Buffalo at the airport building, there was a blackboard, so I again flew by the seat of my pants and did the drawing on the blackboard so that all could see, as we did a funky lady drawing together.  They all loved learning the tricks!  It was a fun evening.  Below is my blackboard drawing. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Another Wire Drawing

"Heartfelt Wishes"
This was my demo for the Two Harbors, MN workshop on Day 3.  We had a fabulous time, starting out with Funky Lady paintings, then Charcoal Pour bird paintings, and lastly, wire drawings.  I told them how hooked I am in this process, and I think there are several of them that are just as hooked as I am.  This painting started out with random collage pieces positioned in a cruciform manner.  I keep the colors of the fiber paper very neutral. After the collage dries, we add the drawing of the bird, using permanent markers.  Lastly, we paint the background, using neutral colors.  My favorite combination colors for this is neutral tint and aureolin yellow.  It makes an army green/grey color that I really love!   These drawings sometimes lead to abstracts, by cropping into certain areas. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Another Funky Lady!

"Something Fishy about Karen!"
I'm preparing for another charcoal pour workshop and funky lady workshop that I will be teaching in Two Harbors, MN in 2 days.  I've done 3 of these "Something Fishy" paintings.  I really enjoy the play on words and creating the unexpected.  This particular workshop is my favorite workshop to teach.  We pour the charcoal on the first day, in prep for the bird painting, but since it has to dry, etc., we work on our funky ladies paintings the rest of that first day.  There's always lots of laughter and everyone succeeds!  In fact, the ones who aren't very good drawers actually produce the best ones, in my opinion.  I will be giving a demonstration on Drawing Funky Ladies, for the Buffalo, MN art group on November 17th at 7:00 p.m. It is held at the airport there.  Join me if you're in the area. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Teaching Design"
Magazine Collage

Through my many years of teaching, the most rewarding workshops are the design workshops.  Although it's the hardest workshop that I teach, it's definitely the most rewarding.  I love it when several students write me wonderful letters afterwards about how the light bulb went on and they now understand what makes a good painting. Many of them start winning awards and getting into national shows, where they had never been accepted before. It doesn't matter whether you are a traditional painter or abstract painter, the rules apply to both.   I just finished teaching a 4 day workshop in Lacrosse, WI and the group were very talented in artistic ability, but lacked knowledge for good design.  They were very willing to do the fun exercises that I laid out and several of them stated that they were willing to do 30 minute studies for 30 days, a challenge that I told them I had done.  I loved teaching there and we all had many laughs together.  A great group!  This painting is 5" x 7" and is totally magazine cut outs.  By starting with the largest pieces, you lay in the simple shapes in 3 values.  Then adding opposite colors and blacks complete the design  I loved the students' finished pieces so much!  I use these magazine collages as studies for larger paintings.  I owe all my design skills to John Salminen. Check out his website. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another Charcoal Pour Bird Painting!

"Deep in Thought"
Here is the finished painting that I demoed for the workshop last weekend in Bethel, MN.  Below is the painting 3/4 finished.   When I am at this point in a painting, I ask myself many design questions, in order to complete the painting.
 1. Do I have a dominant value?  In order to see that, I take a black and white photo of my painting.  Then I see the values of each color. In this case, the lights and medium values were equal, so I decided to add more aqua collage paper.
2.  Have I linked the center of interest to the sides of the paper?
3.  Repeating the busy shapes within the bird by adding the stripes on the side is a good idea!
4. Cropping the picture so that the bird isn't right in the middle of the painting.
5. Added shadows under the feet.
6. Worked on details of the eyes.
By the way, the aqua colored paper was handmade by painting on deli paper and stenciling layers of different colored paint after the main first layer of paint.  To read more about how to do the charcoal pour, go to Virginia Cobb's book, Discovering the Inner Eye.  I absolutely LOVE this process! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Monoprint, Patchwork Quilt style

"In Stitches"
This is from my second day teaching the Monoprinting Workshop that is in my home studio.  We learned how to make our beautiful handmade papers into a painting.  Seeing values was the most important lesson of the day.  The students also learned many design tips for better paintings.  My studio looked like a tornado hit it!  But everyone  had lots of fun, and very successful paintings. 

Gelli Print Mania!

I'm still enjoying playing with the gelli prints.  This one was a lesson on patience and being reminded of some important rules to good design.  I added the red collage papers (that were from my used acrylic palette) for a center of interest effect.  Then I took a photo to check out my values. (see photo below) The two big circles were contrasting too much with the values there.  So I subdued them with another printing, and that's why I added the light tan color over them. Lastly, I allowed myself to doodle with a permanent marker. Yesterday, at my critique group, we discussed being true to ourselves.  Figuring out what we really love and making it our own!  I love to doodle, and have always loved the paintings of Gustav Klimt. Yes, I think you'll be seeing much more doodling from me in the future!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

More Monoprinting!

I may never buy another collage paper again!  I can make incredible ones all by myself, with the use of monoprinting and the gelli printing pad.  This painting has four layers. I like starting with a dark color, but am still experimenting as to different results.  My hands are a mess, full of acrylic paint.  Glad I don't spend money on manicures!  Anyway, I really recommend that you all give this a try!  Even the ones that don't turn out make wonderful collage papers. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

My new love, Monoprinting with Gelli printing plate

"I've got my Eye on You"
I'm having an absolute ball, making handmade papers.  This painting is completely covered with collage papers. By using the Gelli brand, gel printing plate, it is made so easy and fun!  I really recommend checking out their website for tutorials on printmaking without a press!  The trick is making the collage papers into a painting.  So, the first thing I do is to make a value study, using only 2 values. (white and medium)  Then I place the papers on the medium value, making sure to repeat the papers in other parts of the painting.  I can see that this painting is a little too complicated for my workshop students, so I will do more that will be a better example for them. (I'm teaching a home studio 3 day workshop next week.)  This painting is available for $295.  It is 11" x 11" image. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stencils and Mixed Media

"Morning Meeting"
I'm preparing for my home studio "Painting Birds" workshop, and wanted the last day's lesson to be a very easy one.  So, I decided to emphasize stencils and show them how to do a very easy illusionary painting. BTW, I only used 2 colors in this painting. (quinacridone gold and neutral tint) I will be having a mail order lesson on this process available soon, if you are interested.  It's a fun way to paint!
The image is 11" x 14" and is available for $145.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Warm-ups to kick Artist's Block

This is a "wire drawing" of an eye, done while I was up at the North Shore, relaxing.  Whenever I have art blocks, I have 3 or 4 tricks to get myself back into the mood.  One of these involves sketching anything with a pencil.  Then I use an ultrafine marker to connect all the lines, and finally, I add thicker lines with a fine marker.  Before you know it, an hour has passed, and now you'll be ready to paint the moon!  Another trick is to paint color studies, using only 3 colors, and starting with only 4 shapes.This color study started with a blue square surrounded by yellow.  In the middle of the blue square was a yellow olive shape with a red center.  Do you see them? I used manganese blue, cadmium yellow, and red rose deep.  At the very end, I allowed myself a mixture of alizarin crimson and winsor green for the black colors. Now you have 2 tricks to keep that mean old artist's block at bay!  Good luck!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wire Drawings with my family

Karen's drawing

Janine's drawing

Nancy's drawing
I just returned from a trip to Spearfish, SD to visit my parents.  My sister, Nancy, and niece, Janine, were also there visiting.  One evening, I taught them how to do a wire drawing of a sewing machine.  The plan is for Nancy to use one of the drawings for her new business card.  Her business is Functional Art.  Check it out!  Great texture art for the home! To do a wire drawing, you must scribble, then do a contour drawing, and then link all the pieces.  Kind of hard to explain without a visual.  Someday I may do a video on it.  Sorry I haven't posted for awhile.  I'll catch up in the coming days, OK?  It's been a very busy spell for me!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crazy Lady Paintings

"Sending you a Big Hug"
This is one of my latest crazy lady paintings. If you look closely, along her neck there's a message. It probably looks like hair at first, right?  :)   I just finished teaching a 2 day workshop in Watertown, SD at Jennifer Stone's beautiful new studio.  What a great time we had!  So many laughs and new friendships were made!  I had 19 students, and they all did a fabulous job at creating very imaginative crazy ladies of their own!  Below is a collage of their paintings.  (Remember, I made this on  It's a great site to make collection photos. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Healthy Eating

I will be out of town for the next week, without access to my computer, so I wanted to post a new favorite recipe for all of you who want to eat more healthy, plus it is gluten free!  It's easy to make and really good!

Cauliflower Crusted Pizza
Nonstick spray
2 ½ cups cauliflower, grated
(about ½ of a large head)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
 salt and pepper
½ cup tomato sauce
1 cup (about 20) grape tomatoes,
sliced in half
2 cloves garlic, sliced (2 teaspoons minced)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Italian seasoning
5 slices bacon, (lightly fried and cut up into small pieces)
Fresh basil leaves

1.      Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 425degrees.
2.      Grate the cauliflower using a box grater until you have 2 cups of cauliflower crumbles.  Place in a large bow and microwave for 7 – 8 minutes, or until soft.  Remove for the microwave and let cool.
3.      Mix in the egg, one cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.  Once combined, pat into a 10 inch round on the prepared pizza pan.  Spray lightly with nonstick spray and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, till edges look light brown.
Top the pizza with the sauce, ¼ cup mozzarella, Italian seasoning, garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and bacon.  Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes.  Top with basil before serving.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.
*This recipe is a revised version from the website.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The value of a Design Sketch

"Family Roots", Acrylic, $1500, Image:  21" x 29"
I started this painting in early February at Karlyn Holman's Paint-in.  Then, my teaching schedule got in the way, and it just sat unfinished for 2 months.  I knew that the deadline for Red River Watercolor Society Show was coming up, so I decided yesterday to tackle this painting.  I think it's really hard to pick up where I left off so long ago, don't you?  Anyway, I didn't even have the inspiration piece to look at, since I had given it to my friend, Jennifer, for her birthday.  It's 5" x 7" and is pictured below.
5 x 7 inspiration painting
I knew that I didn't like the design in the inspiration piece, but decided to keep painting, since I had a deadline looming over my head.  ( I liked the colors, but not the design.)  I would have been so wise to stop and do a simple 2 value design sketch.  The painting took me about 2 hours longer than it had to, due to me making corrections and wiping out with rubbing alcohol to reclaim my light pathway. Anyway, the good thing to come out of me flying by the seat of my pants, is that I really like the circular design of the finished painting, "Family Roots".  It's almost like the painting is swirling, directing the viewer's eye to the center of interest.  Still, I'm of the "old school" way of thinking, making a design plan before I start a painting.  Lesson learned!  I was up till 3:00 a.m. last night finishing this painting!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How many tomorrows will I waste?

"Fancy Pants", Acrylic and Collage, $295, image: 15" x 15"
This painting was so much fun to paint.  I painted with 2 friends and we tried to channel a new artist friend, Tonja Sell.  We met her at Karlyn Holman's Paint-in, and have so much respect for her talents, plus she's a really nice person to boot!  I tried to make this painting funky, but this girl just insisted on being pretty, so I decided to title it, "Fancy Pants".  The thing that was most fun was using colored pastel pencils on the face. Below you can see the close up view of the pencil marks. That's one thing that Tonja Sell does so well.  She scribbles lots and it sounds like a little chicken scratching in the dirt.  I grew to love that sound while I painted across the table from her at Karlyn's Paint-in.
So now you're wondering about the title of this post, right?  That is for my Healthy Eating Challenge Group.  I basically wasted this past week, doing little exercise, and going out to eat lots.  I made up this saying, "How many tomorrows will I waste, till I FINALLY REALIZE that TODAY is the DAY?!!"  Today, I feel focused and ready to take on the week.  One thing that I will do is to prepare meals ahead of time.  I tend to make bad choices when I just have to grab something on the run.  BTW, I haven't heard from any of you who are joining me in this challenge.  Am I all alone in this challenge?  Reporting in, I lost 1/2 pound last week, bringing me to a total of 2 pounds since I started on March 19th.  Please email me and tell me how you are doing, and whatever challenges you've had these past weeks.  We can share recipes too!  I've been watching Jaimie's 15 minute meals, and there's some really great healthy meals, and easy like I like them too!   We can cheer each other on! Have a great week, and we'll report back next Wednesday! Here's a writing that is so profound.  :) 

Make Small Commitments. Get Big Changes.

Excerpted from Rules of the Hunt
Taking Care of You
Drink plenty of water.
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.
Eat more fruits and vegetables and eat less that is manufactured in processing plants.
Avoid eating food that is handed to you through a window.
Live the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
Play more games.
Read more books than you did last year.
Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
Sleep for 7 hours.
Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Your Outlook
Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Don't have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
Don't overdo. Keep your limits.
Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
Dream more while you are awake.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Days 23-30

Here's a recap of the past 8 days. ( I did 2 on Day 28)  The last row is my attempt at doing a self portrait.  Obviously, I still have a ways to go, because none of these look like me, but I think the last one on the right is getting a little closer.  This is my new challenge.  You will see lots more attempts of self portraits in the future.  Below is all 30 Days.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Darwing Challenge, Day 30

I can' t believe that this is the last day of our drawing challenge by Kathie George.  She asked us to do whatever we wished that would be a gift to her, so that she can make a collage of all of our paintings.  That ended up being one of my hardest challenges, because Kathie is a dear friend, and I wanted to do something great for her!  I looked around my studio and saw my Omi Da statue that I bought years ago, and feel like it brings me good vibes in my studio.  It was made by Vern, who I was told, is a member of the Ojibwa Indian tribe.  Everything on the sculpture has a hidden meaning.  I like to think that the clear ball that he is holding is our world and we are all responsible for protecting our earth and making it better for the next generation.  (This is my own made up story, but I like it!)  Anyway, there is leather, antler, bones, fur, clay, feathers, and a multitude of other textures on this sculpture. Even though the face of this being isn't beautiful, it has such a good spirit overall.  Even my husband really likes this sculpture, and he tends to like realistic artwork.   I wanted to do more shading, but tried to keep this to a simple drawing.  I want to thank Kathie George for hosting this challenge, and for giving such great direction and lessons along the way.  It's been such a fun month!  I really hate for it to end!   

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 29

Today's challenge was to draw something from a distance, where you put the subject shape within an imaginary square or rectangle and then draw the negative shapes that happen because of it.  I've always struggled with boat drawings, so I decided to draw Kathie George's reference, but I can honestly say that it was hard for me to see the detail in her photo, so I left it pretty plain.  What I do like is that my boat honestly looks like it is floating, unlike most of my other boat paintings where the boats look like they should have legs.  They never did appear to be floating.  So, I like this drawing for that reason and no other!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 28

Today's assignment was to do a gestural drawing.  First we get the main shapes in (like circles, or squares) and then very quickly draw the subject.  I love this way of drawing, and I actually got the size correct and got the whole subject within the page!  Progress!  Kathie George asked us to draw with a pencil and to NOT erase.  I went by the rules. (Those who know me are raising their eyebrows right now, but truly, I did go by the rules. :)  Then afterwards, I used a permanent marker and followed the lines that I liked best.  This only took me about 15 minutes to do.  I also used Kathie's past lesson about extending your arm and measuring things with your thumb, that's how I got the inside of the cup to be the correct elliptical shape.  The rest of the cup was 2 1/2 times the width of the elliptical circle.  The sculpture was given to me by Joye Moon as a hostess gift when she stayed with me years ago.  I really treasure it!  Joye teaches workshops all over the country too.  Check out her website. Love her portraits!

Drawing Challenge, Day 27

These attempts of drawing a self portrait are in order from the top down. The first one was done on Day 26 of my blog.  I liked the shadows on it, but it didn't look like me at all.  So, attempt #2 was done on Day 27, but I truthfully wasn't feeling good, and was babysitting all day, so was out of steam.  I learned a valuable lesson about getting the shadows too dark.  There's no going back from that.  Also, someone told me that my first sketch didn't look like me, because I'm always smiling.  So I tried one with a smile. Wow, that was hard to draw teeth!  So, Attempt #3 as actually done on March 28th but I wanted to post them all together so that you could all see that I didn't give up!  I kept trying and learned from each experience.  On the third attempt, I did a gestural drawing, first by putting in circles, and rectangles to get the right shape.  Then I quickly sketched, looking at relationships between everything and even had a good hairdo to sketch!  :)  I don't think this looks totally like me yet, but it's getting closer.  Thanks for this challenge, Kathie George.  By the way, this collage was put together using the website,  It's a great site!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 26

Today's challenge was to draw some part of our body, so I picked my face, looking in the mirror as I did it.  I have a bad cold, so it's not the best time to be doing a self portrait, but I did it anyway.  I've been studying shadows lately, and have found Jan Kunz' book, Painting Watercolor Portraits that Glow, very helpful to remember to connect shadows.  Kathie George told us to do a contour drawing, not lifting our pencil, and that really helped to connect the shadows.  I don't think this looks anything like me, but I do like it as a portrait of someone. 
So, Today was Weigh In Day for those who joined my Healthy Eating Challenge.  How did you do? If you want to, you can report back to me privately OR you can just keep it to yourself.  I honestly ate my yogurt and coffee before remembering to weigh in, so I'll just go by the weight that I was 2 days ago, which was down 1.5 pounds from my starting weight.  I have a bad cold right now, and lately caught myself using that excuse for not exercising.  A couple of years ago, I took a Community Ed class about dieting.  The leader asked us all the reasons why we were there, and wrote them on the blackboard.  I thought to myself, "Finally, I'll get that answer to my problem!"  (My excuse was that I always gained weight on trips and with my teaching schedule picking up, that meant for a lot of roller coaster weigh ins.)  So, there were about 15 excuses, including winter weather, stress, having too much to do, cravings, etc.  The leader then erased all of the excuses and said, "No more excuses!  You either want to do this or you don't!!!!"  Wow, I never forgot that phrase!  So, what's it going to be, fearless group?  Are we done with excuses?  Do this:  Whatever your excuse was that came to mind, find an answer for it, and make this week better than last week.  I sit in front of the TV too much and tend to eat there.  So, this week, no more eating in front of the TV.  There, that excuse is history!!!  Have a great week! :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Drawing Challenge, Day 25

Today's assignment was to draw something in an unusual format.  I chose long and narrow, since my sculpture is tall and thin too.  I ran out of room on my 5" x 7" page, so she's a bit shorter than I wanted.  But you ignited a new series for me, Kathie George!  I think I will do many funky women in this long format on canvases.  I have 3 canvases that are size 30" x 40", but that may not be thin enough.  Food for thought.  The image that I drew today is one of my favorite sculptures by a local Minneapolis artist, Krissy Catt.  I am fortunate to own 2 of her sculptures and I really LOVE them! Below is a photo of the real sculpture.
So, those of you who joined me for the Healthy Food Challenge, Wednesdays are our weigh in day.  Are you ready?  How did you do this past week?  I would rate myself about a C+.  Still ate a couple of protein bars (processed food) and didn't exercise.  BUT, I made pretty good food choices, even with being out of town for 4 days. Make today a good day, everyone!  Take a walk, or just move more in your house, if it's too cold outside.  I like to walk in the Malls too, but that can cost you, if you stop in at a store!  :)


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