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Archive for 'painting'

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Busy, Busy, Busy…
Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

So, it’s Wednesday. Tomorrow, I have to load a book I have to finish today. I have to have my art ready to cart to the festival that begins on Friday. I’m a bit overwhelmed this morning and on my second cup of coffee. Think I’ll make it?

Oh, and do you like the bookmarks? I have a huge stack of them ready, almost as huge a stack of postcards, plus art in plastic ready to be framed and some framed pieces. I’ll take pictures when we’re set up on Friday to share. So nervous!

Almost forgot!
Thursday, May 25th, 2023

It’s a thing. I don’t miss my daily posts. I think I’ve only failed to do so a handful of times over the last few years. I know it’s weird, but I’m obsessive that way. Anyway, I didn’t have time to post this morning because as soon as the kids were on their way to school, I had to shower and pack up because I volunteered to sit at the Art Center all day. When I go, I spend the entire day painting. I finished a couple of things, including this water-doodle. It was a happy, stress-free day.

Do you make time for yourself, away from home and obligations, to do something that gives you joy?

Sometimes, messy is best… (Contest)
Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Cindy!

I didn’t have any notes for what I wanted to talk about today. I sat at my desk, turned to my computer, and opened an empty “page” for the blog. Then, I clicked on a few news/gossip sites because I can’t be still for a second on line.

Still no ideas, so I turned to my desktop which is littered with open paint palettes, a basket of paint pens, dried paper towels with dabs of dried paint, which make them very pretty, my planner, which I’ve been underutilizing lately, and my cups and pots full of pens. Not to mention the plants that line the back of my desk that are waiting for me to take them back outside since we’re done with freezes. It’s a very messy desk.

I left the palettes open last night so the paint would fully dry. This is the messiest and most used.

It’s also the first watercolor palette I ever purchased. It’s a Van Gogh travel palette–a kind of medium, student-grade palette. The Azo Yellow and Madder Lake Deep (that dark red) in the lower left corner are almost gone. I started to close the palette, but all that lovely messiness reminded me about how far I’ve come.

When I first purchased this, I was so careful not to get different colors mixed in their paint pans, and I’d CLEAN the mixing wells at the top after every use. I loved the pristine look of the palette and wasn’t comfortable with the messiness that comes from paint. Now, look at it. The white has yellow in it. The Azo has green in it. The ochre has more green in it. And those wells haven’t been cleaned in forever because that’s where the color magic happens after you mix and forget what you mixed and then mix some more…

And there aren’t enough wells for color mixing, so I use the logo space at the top to mix more colors. I love this palette. I love getting a wet brush and working the water into the dried paint until it’s buttery, and then stroking it across paper. That sounded almost sexual, didn’t it? Hmm. I need to write a story about an artist…

And off I go again. “Squirrel!”

Do you have anything you let get really, really messy because it works best that way? Comment for your choice of a download from my backlist!

Exploring a New Passion… (Contest)
Thursday, April 6th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Sandra Marlow!

It’s weird, but I thought of myself as a writer when I began writing. “Author” was a title I gave myself when I published my first book. It was easy for me to claim those sobriquets.

Calling myself an artist doesn’t feel as easy or comfortable. And yet, I’ve sold many pieces to people who actually wanted to hang them on their walls. To me, it’s thrilling, but maybe it has to do with my mother whose birthday fell two days ago—and no, I’m not blaming her. She was a wonderful mother. It has more to do with my own confidence.  Now, she was an artist. She could paint very realistic oil paintings and did lovely watercolors and sketches. I pattered about with jewelry making when she was alive, but my art consisted of more crafty endeavors—using stamps and inks on things like tiles and dominoes. It wasn’t until she was in need of 24/7 care here at home, and my daughter and I were providing that care with assistance from nurses who stopped in a couple of times a week, that I began painting and doodling.

She never saw my work, and I know she would’ve encouraged me, but she wouldn’t have taken my efforts seriously because I don’t care about realism or learning “the basics” of color mixing and perspective, etc. Still, it almost felt like the passing of the baton when she left. Suddenly, I found my next passion (the first was writing!). I haven’t looked back, but I’ve certainly grown restless, wanting more time to do what excites me most.

Yes, I have a “day job.” Being an author is work. Editing is more work. They pay the bills, but one day, I would love to spend at least as much time painting as I do writing and editing. Of late, when my local art guild has exhibits, I volunteer to man the center to keep the doors open for the public, because, guess what? I can paint all damn day. Having time as opposed to having minutes here and there makes a huge difference.

Take for example what I accomplished this week:

These are pretty but quick. I can do them very, very easily. They take about 20 minutes each, mostly because of drying time.

And then there’s this, which I accomplished while I sat waiting for “the public” to walk through the doors. This took time, and I’m thrilled with the “depth” I managed with watercolor paints. I used 4 different colors on those yellow flower petals to get that 3-D effect. I was in the zone when I stroked that brush again and again, trying not to let the colors “muddy” up. And the leaves? Don’t they have texture? Can’t you almost feel them?

That doesn’t mean that if I have time I want to do more realistic or well-defined pieces all the time. I also worked on this:

I did the watercolor work at the art center but used my acrylic paint pens to finish up the doodle work last night and this morning. It took easily as much time to complete this as the flowers above. It’s not perfect, and I can see balance issues and so many things I would do differently if I attempt another. Still, painting this brought me joy.

So, yes, I’m carving out time to devote to painting. Time I could be writing. Sorry.

My question to you for a chance to win one of the hand-painted bookmarks above is, what is your passion? Have you found it?

Sunday Catch-up & a Puzzle-Contest–When, Where, and Who is he?
Sunday, March 19th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Becky Byers!

First, had to share…

Our little town had their first annual St. Patrick’s Day parade! Okay, so it was a parade of only children. They decorated their skateboards, bikes, mini cars, hoverboards, etc., and had a parade around Main Street. This is the 9-year-old. Wish you could see the full picture of the bike. My SIL hot-glued the hell out of it. LOL That’s a leprechaun’s hat attached to her handlebars. The parade was fun and afterward, we went out to dinner to celebrate the holiday. It is an Irish household!

I’m working hard on finishing a book by next Friday. Just wrote the first sex scene. It wasn’t what I expected. That’s all I’ll say. 🙂

I’ve been painting every day of #the100daychallenge. So far, I haven’t missed a day. I passed the 1/4 mark of the challenge yesterday. Here’s a couple of things I finished this week…

So, I’ll keep my nose to the grindstone and power through until Friday. I’ll get ‘er done (I really detest that phrase!).


For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, solve the puzzle, then tell me when, where, and who is he?

Breaking Bad Habits (Contest)
Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Preston!

I have lots of bad habits. I’m sure you do, too. The one that causes me the most stress is the one where I think I have to conquer one mountain at a time. By that, I mean if I have a huge edit job, I have to work through it to the exclusion of writing. Which causes me to go down to the wire when it comes to finishing a book. I wrote Guarding Hannah in a ridiculously short time. Yeah, I’m really happy with the story. In fact, I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever written, but that isn’t the point. I need to destress, not run on adrenaline.

That’s my big goal this year. Destress the work. Get little bites done in an orderly fashion as I march toward completion. I know how to do this. I was a program manager in a past life. I used to work on multiple story projects at one time using some advanced planning techniques, but I’m not going for that now. I don’t want to write MORE. I want to write in such a way that I have time to devote to something that gives me greater joy—like painting.

Yes, doodling things like these makes me happy.

I want more time to sit with paint and paper. I want more time to take some classes and learn how to do it well. I feel like I did when I started writing—I want to know everything, try everything, right now! Not that I’m looking to make it another gig for money. I just want to explore an artistic path for passion’s sake.

But to get there, I have to rope in my chaotic work habits. I’ve begun this year anew. So far, so good. I’m making progress on my new story, Mica, and I’m working on a set of edits I’ll finish this week. In the meantime, I’ve been painting in the evenings and organizing my studio space (does that ever end?). I’ll get there…in incremental steps rather than putting all my energy into fits of activity. That’s so exhausting, isn’t it?

So, I’d love to give away one of these postcards. Winner’s choice. Tell me what bad habit you’d like to tackle this year.

Another “Books Need Bookmarks” Contest! (Three Winners)
Monday, November 14th, 2022

UPDATE: The winners are…miki, Pansy Petal, and Carol Burnside!

I’ve been painting so many bookmarks that I need to find homes for them! I know some of you mostly read eBooks, but maybe you have an old recipe book lying around you can use this in.

Anyways, this is such an easy giveaway, and I’m feeling lazy. All I need is an envelope and a stamp, and it’s gone!

Three bookmarks, three winners!
All you have to do is tell me what you’re reading. I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winners.

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