There Are Angels

There Are Angels
Colored Pencil Drawing

Monday, August 31, 2009

A new Camera

I jumped in & bought a Canon SLR camera & telephoto lens. I paid big bucks for the system, but I doubt I'll ever buy another, its a once in a lifetime purchase for me. I'm learning how to use it & I've decided that the only other lens I'd like to get is a macro lens. But, according to what I've read they cost big bucks too. Maybe for C
Christmas or my birthday coming up soon. The camera does take nice pictures & it can be fully automatic, for us beginners, then, as I learn to use it, it can go manual. I plan to use it in my art, taking photos of things to paint or paintings & quilts I've already done and so forth.

I made the jump into the world of professional art. I put up 2 pictures of paintings I'd recently completed on a site for art shows. We'll see how that goes. It took several tries before I got the photos set up correctly to go on the site (they're picky about format), but I did finally succeed. I have, however, gotten some of my art published in an online community called Elfwood. Its about sword, sorcery & magical beings, all in the name of fiction. Its in gallery #824 if you'd like to look.
Gotta go, the mail just came & I need to separate the bills from the junk. Stay tuned, more later. . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Behind the Art

lately, I've posted more paintings than quilts. I thought I'd tell you how I got into painting, or how painting led me to quilting. Anyway, I've tried all kinds of media, short of print making, I don't have the set up for that. I've settled on 2 types of painting, watercolors & colored pencils. Both are relatively simple in procedure & supplies, and its non-toxic too. The techniques are similar too, both use build up colors through layering techniques. Colored pencils can be used dry or with a blending medium, depending on the type of pencil, water soluble or wax/oil based.
I've been using colored pencil since the late 1980s when an artist friend introduced me to real, artist quality colored pencils instead of the cheap ones used for school projects. I use a variety of both wax.oil based & water soluble pencils, usually one type per drawing. I even use colored pencils on quilts. I came across a technique whereby the design is first quilted, then colored with wax based colored pencils, then sealed with textile medium. Its pretty cool. I've done a couple of small quilts & hope to do some larger pieces soon. The thing I like about colored pencils over other art mediums is that they are clean to use, need a minimum of equipment, are portable and need not special surfaces to be applied on, just paper or cloth. I use a variety of brands, Swiss made, German made, British made, just whatever I can find that suits the purpose. And I get as many colors as possible, making sure they are available open stock to replace what I use.

I've painted & drawn since I was a kid, even learned to draw with a pencil held between my teeth while I was sick with a nerve disorder as a child. Anyway, art is something I've done all my life & probably will continue to produce for the rest of my life, baring any complications. So stay tuned to see what comes from my pencils or my brush & I hope you'll enjoy the art.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Look what I found . . .

I was going through some older drawings that I had stashed away & found these colored pencil paintings I'd forgotten about (the first 3), the angel is a new piece that is till in progress, I think. Its one of those things you have to look at a while to see if it is truly finished or not. At this writing, I'm at the "looking" stage.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Paper Piecing Class

Today was quilt guild meeting day & we had a class on paper piecing. The instructor, who's normally very good, cut the fabric pieces in the provided kit too small to finish the project. We spent 2 hours becoming frustrated with the whole thing. I've done paper piecing before & its tedious at best. I got part of one part of the project sew together, but left shortly after I finished it. We'd though about putting the finished blocks from this class together to make a raffle quilt for a fundraiser next spring. However, there weren't enough people taking the class to make enough blocks for a quilt, & those who took the class were completely confused & may not finish the block anyway. We'll look elsewhere for designs for a fundraiser raffle quilt. Perhaps a "house" block quilt, who knows. Otherwise, I'm working on a quilt for my son for Christmas, once I figured out that pattern, it hasn't taken long to put the blocks together. As it looks, I'll have it finished before Christmas.

More Later . . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Life, Art, & School

This week was crazy, getting Emily in first grade. So far, she likes it. And we discovered she car read, how much we don't know yet, we'll find out. I now enjoy most of my daytime hours free from Elmo & Dora, the quiet is sometimes weird. I've begun a quilt that will become my son's Christmas present. At least, I hope to have it done by then. I'm still doing colored pencil work & have discovered how to apply colored pencils to a quilt, sort of like fabric painting but the quilting is done prior to applying the color.

I bought Julia Child's book on french cooking, inspired by the movie which I haven't seen yet. I've made a couple of things from it & liked them. The problem I have is translating the arcane methods she calls for into use of modern equipment, For instance, I used my blender to puree the potato leek soup where she used a food mill. I got the same result with 1/10th the work. I'll plug on.

Speaking of cooking, with Emily back in school and holiday season approaching, I will be making stuff for school goodies. That's always fun, but the kids in the special ed class might have food allergies so I'll check with the teacher on it, if so, that means I'll have to modify the recipes to fit the need. That could be fun.

Anyway, here's the latest colored pencil painting I've done.(top of page) Its in Caran 'd Ashe Supracolor water soluble pencils. The photo doesn't do the actual painting justice, I think the light source was off. My photography skills are lacking somewhat.

More later on life, cooking, art, quilting, whatever . . .

Monday, August 10, 2009


I'm slowly getting back into quilting, I have 2 in the works, the early stages on both. I've been getting my autistic granddaughter ready to go back to school. She's in first grade this year which means a new school and going all day for the first time. Tonight we attended the open house which was a near nightmare. Everything was fine until she had to give up the cards (her current obsession) & go to another room. She quickly exploded into a tantrum, which ended a minute or 2 later, after everyone in the crowded hall starred at us. School begins Wednesday, so I'll have a whole day, almost, to myself. Understand that my daughter also lives with me & is primarily responsible for granddaughter's care, but most of the time it takes all 3 of us (hubby, me & daughter) to keep up with her. I'll be grateful for the break anyway. By the end of Sept. daughter will be going to school during the day & I'll have the whole house to myself. I won't know how to act with all the time, its been years since I had the house to myself during the day.

My guild is planning a fall show, the first Saturday in October, 10 am to 4 pm at the same church we hold the spring show. the minister was so impressed with the spring show that he's asked us to do one this fall. We took him up on it.

I took a recent art quilt class with local quilt artist, Sheril Drummond. We learned the stained glass technique. Her blog is "" if you'd like to see her work. She's just beginning to win at national shows.

I've begun reading the Julia, Julie book (movie of the same name.) Its interesting with colorful language I didn't expect. I guess I'll wait till the movie is on dvd to see it. I can't seem to get to the movies any more.

Gotta Go, awaiting heavy storms- again, later tonight. Its been a very wet summer here, not too hot until yesterday. More later, stay tuned. . . .