Sunday, 31 January 2016

2016 January Challenge - the end!

To finish off the 30 Paintings in 30 Days most of us will do a collage of our work. It is a good way to see where you have been and what progress - if any - has been made.
January 2016 Collage
My plan for the challenge was to work primarily in acrylics with a few quilled pieces added for variety - mission accomplished. Over the month I revisited an number of subjects that I haven't done for a few years -  flowers and birds. I also reaffirmed my dislike of still-life paintings. One of the things I learned is that I can create a similar look with a brush that I create with the palette knife and it is easier - lol.

It has been great following the work of some of the other artists in the challenge and having them follow mine. The support and encouragement from such talented people is wonderful and so greatly appreciated.

I look forward to seeing more wonderful art from these new 'friends'. I want to thank Leslie Saeta for hosting these challenges that help to inspire us to greater  heights.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

2016 Day 30

Well here it is! The end of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenges hosted by Leslie Saeta. My final painting continues the flower theme with a reference from my garden.
Purple Cone Flowers
Once again I have used watercolor paper with my acrylic paints, letting the colors mix a bit on the paper so there is a wide variety of shades in the petals. I like the soft distant background and think it makes a nice balance with the sharp petals and stronger colors of the foreground

"Purple Cone Flowers" is an unframed 7 x 10 acrylic on watercolor paper.

The challenge has been an adventure. I learned a number of things and stepped out of my comfort zone a few times. The beginning of the month was rather frantic as I had a number of commitments and had to fit the painting and blogging in when I could. I cursed myself a number of time for joining the challenge but I feel that I managed to pull through and acquit myself with reasonable style.

It is always wonderful to see the work of other artists and find new artists to follow. I hope those who checked out my blog enjoyed my work and I hope that they will add my blog to their email list so they can follow me all the time.

Friday, 29 January 2016

2016 Day 29

Since my friend Linda visited, I have been on a flower 'kick' and today's painting is once again a flower.
Big and Bold (Sunflower)

I used to paint flowers all the time, especially in the winter. I think they were an antidote to the grey skies we get here and they were always cheering. In the last few years I have done fewer flowers, so each time I do one it is almost like starting over. I think each different subject an artist tackles needs a different mind set and technique. Or, like this piece, a different approach depending on the mood, the surface and the ultimate goal.

"Big and Bold" is acrylic on a 5 x 7 gallery wrap canvas.

Only one more day to go!

Thursday, 28 January 2016

2016 Day 28

After my success with the free flowing watercolor style piece I showed you yesterday, I tried another. BUT, this one didn't work nearly as well.
Parrot Tulip
H'mm, it actually looks better in the photo than it does in person! (I think)

This piece started out much larger; there was a bud and a purple flower as well. I was ready to scrap the whole thing but Linda quite liked this flower so I cut the paper down. I added some leaves to disguise the stems from the discarded flowers, made a few touch ups and voilĂ , I was done!

"Parrot Tulip" is an unframed 5 x 7 acrylic on watercolor paper.

Only 2 more days to go!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

2016 Day 27

I did today's painting yesterday when my friend, Linda, was visiting. She brought some of her recent watercolors with her to show me and I decided to try to reproduce one of her pieces.
Flowing Sunflower
Instead of using watercolor paints I used acrylics which have the advantage of versatility. If you add enough water they almost behave like watercolors when you are working on paper. I guess because I am a watercolor artist first, I find that painting on paper, regardless of medium, is less stressful than other surfaces. This painting was great fun and I am pretty happy with it!

"Flowing Sunflower" is an unframed 7 x 10 watercolor on Arches 140 lb paper.

Only three more days to go!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

2016 Day 26

I really goofed today. Last week I invited a friend to visit today so that we could paint together and I completely forgot! Bob and I were in the crawl space under the living room so we were deaf to anything happening up stairs. Fortunately, Bob stuck his head out and happened to hear the doorbell. So, we finished up our chore while my friend sat on the stairs and talked to us. Then we crawled out, cleaned up, had lunch and then Linda and I spent the rest of the afternoon PAINTING!

A lot can be accomplished in 3 hours of uninterrupted painting so I am now ahead of the game! Here is today's piece.
In the Spotlight
This is a redo of a painting I did a number of years ago and I have no idea what I used for a reference. My first piece was done in watercolors but this is acrylic.

Shortly after we moved to the country, we heard some strange noises in the evening so we went to investigate. Just armed with flash-lights, we wandered around looking and, half-way up one of the trees near the deck, this is what we saw. We still have a raccoon hanging around as he likes the sunflower seeds the birds drop but we usually only see his tracks in the snow.

"In the Spotlight" is acrylic on a 5 x 8 plastic canvas paper.

Four more days to go!

Monday, 25 January 2016

2016 Day 25

You had to know I was going to try it again! Here is another painting featuring  walking in the rain.
Walking the Dog
The colors are different and so is the format but otherwise it is pretty similar to my painting from yesterday. I was just going to have a solitary figure in this piece but he seemed to be just standing there so I had to give him a reason. I think the dog adds a bit of suspense too - you just have to wonder what he is looking at so intently.

"Walking the Dog" is acrylic on a 5 x 7 gallery wrap canvas. I used a brush today instead of a palette knife but I think the look is pretty much the same. It will be interesting to see if this color scheme is more popular than the purples/blues/ reds of yesterday's painting.

Only 5 more days to go!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

2016 Day 24

We went out for dinner last night and the lights shining on the pavement gave me the idea for today's painting. Of course, I didn't want to do a night scene so I just went for  "A Walk in the Rain".
A Walk in the Rain
This is acrylic on a 6 x 8 gallery wrap canvas and it was mostly done with a palette knife. This style of painting was very popular on Facebook last year but I haven't seen any so far this year - I am often out of step - lol.

With just 6 days left in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, if you haven't already checked out the work of the other artists you should. It is a great way to connect with other artists and to find new ones to follow. Here is the link -

I hope everyone - wherever you are - are surviving whatever weather that is being thrown at you!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

2016 Day 23

I liked yesterday's painting so much I decided to paint it again - well, not the whole thing! Considering that yesterday my focal point was going to be the birch trees but ended up being the reflections and sunlight on the water, I wanted to focus on the birches today.
Birches by the Stream
I think I am going to start using my Thalo colors more, at least the blues and greens because they are really popping for me.

There is only one more week to go in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge but I won't have much time to rest. I have been asked to do a couple of mini-workshops with the local TAPS (Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors) in February. One will be to make cards with paper flowers and quilling; the other will be to draw some of the places they lived using alphabet art. The seniors will be paired with students and it will be interesting to see the interaction. I have also been asked by the Creston Art Club to do a workshop on quilling. So I will be doing a lot of prep work for the next few weeks to get ready for these workshops - no rest for the wicked!

Friday, 22 January 2016

2016 Day 22

I am really happy with today's painting - it all just seemed to flow. I love it when that happens!
Fall Reflections
I use a modified stay-wet palette and a pretty limited number of paints, so I am often 'using-up' whatever is there. Today I was finishing some Thalo green and getting some interesting colors by mixing in ultramarine, burnt sienna and alizarin crimson.

"Fall Reflections" is a 5 x 7 acrylic on a gallery wrap stretched canvas.

Don't forget to check out Leslie's blog to see some of the wonderful art shared in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge -

Thursday, 21 January 2016

2016 Day 21

I spent most of the morning working with some other ladies decorating/making bookmarks for the local library to use as a fund-raiser. Not exactly painting but they are my submission for Day 21.
I must admit the a lot of the work had already been done! Local artist Win Dinn, supplied the paper/card already cut to size, she had a wide range of stamps, stickers and other embellishments for us to work with. There were a number of sheets of 'library' relevant words and quotes for us to cut up and use on our creations, as well as painted cheesecloth, dryer sheets, ribbon etc. to use for the ties. To see some of Win's wonderful and unusual art check out her blog -

Now it is time for some housework - no rest for the wicked - lol

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

2016 Day 20

I still have some of that strange plastic canvas paper left, so I figured I would try it again for today's painting.
Wild Columbine
This is a reprise of a painting I did a number of years ago; a mixed media with a watercolor and pen & ink background with the flowers done in acrylic (below). I have always liked painting on watercolor paper with acrylics and I must say that I like it so much better than this strange plastic stuff.
By the Old Log (SOLD)
"Wild Columbine" is an unframed 5.5 x 8.5 acrylic on plastic canvas paper.

Only 10 more days to go before the end of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge and I am looking forward to the finish, although I will be sad not to see the paintings that are being shared daily.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

2016 Day 19

I really didn't think I was going to get my piece finished in time - actually the glue is still wet in some places - but it is done enough to take a photo.
Spotted Sea Serpent
I have been working on designs for more quilled pieces and finally decided to get some quilling done. I can see a few places on this piece that I would change if I could: the yellow should have been small highlights and the dull green should not have been used at all. Although there are 2 or 3 tones of green, they all seem to be dark, especially in the photo, so I might even add some white next time.

"Spotted Sea Serpent" is approximately 5 x 6" and made with 1/4" hand made quilling paper. To give him lots of room it will probably be mounted on a 10 x 13 mat for framing. I have found that the these quilled pieces fit metal frames (just) once they are mounted on mat, have a separator of foam board and a finish mat. So there is no need for a special deep shadow box frame which is nice.

Back to painting for tomorrow but I am sure I will get another quilled piece done before the end of the 30 days.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment.

Monday, 18 January 2016

2016 Day 18

I worked on three pieces today and none of them turned out very well. The first two got washed off but I continued with the third until I figured it was finished.
Lightening Strikes
More work might have improved this piece but I was all out of umpf so I left well enough alone!

Lightening Strikes is acrylic on one of my home-made 5 x 7 x 3/4" canvas boards. It may get painted over in the future but for now it is what it is.

I hope tomorow will be better!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

2016 Day 17

Well I managed to do something with the second painting I started yesterday. It isn't wonderful but I think it turned out okay considering it was a bit of a mess.
Silent Forest
Before Christmas I bought a bunch of small acrylic 'Folk Art' paints from a box of items donated to the Art Club. Yesterday I decided to try them out. This painting started out with Plum, Rose and White. The intent was for a flowing abstract like the green piece I did, but what I got was purple mud. I sprayed, blotted, sprayed again - nothing seemed to help. Finally I decided to just paint over the whole mess, so I grabbed a deep purple and slathered it on, then scrapped away with my palette knife. Once the whole thing was dry I added some white and a little bit of blue and ended up with Silent Forest. The painting is a 6 x 10 acrylic on mat board.

To enjoy a wide variety of art check out the other artists in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge -

Saturday, 16 January 2016

2016 Day 16

I think it is interesting how some colors just resonate with me and others don't. This morning I was working on two pieces and the first just seemed to flow.
Wetland Wraiths
The colors worked well together and where it blended the result was very pleasing to my eyes. I was aiming for a free flowing abstract look and think I hit my mark. The problem with abstracts - which way is 'up'?
Weeping Wetlands

I think this piece could be hung either way and I almost wish I had two of them - lol. The painting is a 6 x 11 acrylic on mat board and will probably be mounted on canvas or framed.

I hope you will let me know which format you prefer - landscape or portrait?

As to the other piece I worked on - I hope to be able to do something with it tomorrow but don't hold your breath.

Friday, 15 January 2016

2016 Day15

Today is the halfway point of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge and I can only hope that I manage to finish the rest of the month.

A friend asked me yesterday how I manage to come up with enough ideas for my paintings and I really didn't have an answer. I find that each day brings what it brings: today I was inspired by a frame!
Boat Race
I was looking in my stash for a frame for the Quilled Seahorse I did the other day and came across a little 5 x 10. It is too shallow for the glass and mat that a watercolor needs and has been stacked away for some time. It immediately gave me an idea for today's painting - something tall and skinny.

"Boat Race" is a 5 x 10 acrylic on mat board and is based on a painting I did a few years ago at a workshop with local artist Richard Mitton. It was painted with a palette knife.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

2016 Day 14

I was really looking forward to painting this piece but the longer I painted the less I liked it.
Touch of Summer
It got to the point where I really wasn't much interested in how it was going and I finally just sort of slapped on the paint.

I think the problem was that my mind was not on painting. Today I started sowing seeds for my bedding plants. I have been starting many of my own flowers every January for almost 10 years and I will be spending time tending them daily for the next five months. (I have found, in spite of having an abundance of them around, that I rarely paint flowers any more.)

So that is why this painting is a little rough and ready - too much distraction and impatience.

Don't forget to check out Leslie's blog to see the wonderful art from the over 300 artists who are participating in this 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

2016 Day 13

I am really happy with today's piece. Once again it is not a traditional painting but a quilled paper piece. I have seen this type of quilling a few times - on YouTube, Pinterest and on Facebook and thought I would try it myself.

Quilled Paper Seahorse

I mostly used my own painted papers and an expanded design from my Quilled Critters. This piece is made with 1/4 inch paper on a painted paper background. It is approximately 7.5" x 3.75" and will be mounted on an 8 x 10 or 9 x 12 mat.

Quilled Critter Seahorse

I am sure that I will be doing more of these - I just have to come up with some designs that work well with quilling patterns.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

2016 Day 12

Today's painting was suggested to me by a Google + friend, Diane Rushton. She asked if I would paint a bluebird because of their beautiful wings. I didn't like any of the reference material I have in my files, so I searched for photos of the birds on the internet. I am afraid that I didn't pick something that showcased the wings because the picture I used really caught my eye.
#924 Eastern Bluebird

I think the contrast of the blue against the grey and black is wonderful, and it has wood grain which is always a bonus for me. We don't have this bird in our area (southern BC, Canada) and I have not seen any of the type of bluebirds we do have, so I need to rely on photos that are in free domain. Thank heaven for the internet!

"Eastern Bluebird" is a 5 x 8.5 acrylic on plastic type canvas paper. This paper must have different finishes on each side because when I painted the onions it was really easy to use but today's painting was much harder. Now for a coat of sealer and I will be done!

Don't forget to have a look at what the other artists in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge are doing -

Monday, 11 January 2016

2016 Day 11

My piece today is a Quilled painting.
Quilled Owl
The owl is 4.5 x 5.25 inches made with 1/8" quilling paper and mounted in an 8 x 10 mat. I worked on this piece off and on for 4 days. This is my second quilled painting and a valuable learning experience.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

2016 Day 10

I feel like a slacker! I noticed in my emails that some of the artists have already posted tomorrow's paintings and I am just getting my blog together now.

My malaise of yesterday is all gone and I had a fair bit of success in my studio today.
Three Onions
I rarely do still-life paintings but every once in a while I will do a picture of onions. I really like the variety of color to be found in this lowly vegetable and the contour is interesting too. This painting was done on some kind of plastic canvas paper that I inherited when an artist friend passed away a few years ago. It has just been hiding away on a shelf but I decided to try it today and quite liked working with it.

"Three Onion" is a 5 x 8 acrylic on canvas paper; it just needs a coat of varnish and it will be done!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

2016 Day 9

It is not a painting although paint was involved, as well as a number of other things. I suppose 30 Paintings in 30 Days makes a better title for the challenge than something like '30 Things that you have created using painting supplies....'

At any rate, as I am not feeling too well today (I think I have spent too much time with people with the flu, coming down with the flu or just getting over the flu) I just did one of my cards.
handmade card #35

I stuck one of my own painted and stamped papers on a 5 x 7 card then added some quilling. I paint the paper with watered down acrylics and love playing with different mixes of color. It is fun to see how they change as they dry. I've made most of my own stamps and use the same paints instead of ink pads.
Here is a angled view so you can see the quilling better. I find it difficult to get a good photo of any of my quilling projects. When you see them in person a straight on view works fine but the camera does not work the same way I guess.

Don't forget to check out Leslie's blog to see what the other artists have been up to -

I hope tomorrow will be a better day!

Friday, 8 January 2016

2016 Day 8

Here we are a week into the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge and I have already run out of steam. My mind was a complete blank today; not one idea sparked to enable me to do a painting so I just played.
When my grandkids were young, I would sometimes set them to 'playing' in my studio. They would get a piece of mat board, 2 or 3 colors of their choice and a mat board 'stick' to use in place of a brush. I don't know if they were just better instinctively than I am because, I have to say, the pieces they created back then were much better that what I came up with today. First, I used way too much paint. Second,  my 'start' was almost exactly like a piece I did during the summer. Anyway, I just kept working at it until I ended up with the piece above. It feels unfinished but my mind is still a blank so it will have to wait for another day.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be more productive!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

2016 Day 7

I did NOT feel like painting today! But I did it anyway - lol.

This morning I attended a "Values" workshop hosted by the Creston Art Club and instructed by local artist Eileen Hirota. It was very informative but tiring (all that concentration!) Then, after lunch my husband and I moved a ton of snow that had come thundering down off the roof of the house.

At any rate, I am very tired and achy so this painting is a 'quickie'.
Snow on the Mountains
Another 5 x 7 x 3/4" home made canvas board painted with acrylics and a palette knife. Now I just have to sign it and seal it and it will be done!

I don't know if it has been the rough canvases or the fact that I have been using gesso instead of white paint but I have found these little canvases so easy to photograph. I haven't had to worry about the flash glare which has been a blessing because the last few days have been pretty gloomy and the light outside has not been optimum for photos - at least not for me - lol.

Don't forget to check out Leslie's blog to see art from the other participants in the 30 Painting in 30 Days Challenge -

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

2016 Day 6

I managed to get finished well before dinner time today! I planned my painting last night and worked on it at Art Club this morning so I just needed a few finishing touches after lunch and here it is!
Which Came First?
Once again I have used a home made 5 x 7 x 3/4 canvas board painted with acrylics. The canvas I used to make these is quite coarse and I skimped with the gesso coatings so I had a heck of a time getting the edges of the egg smooth - lesson learned. My reference was a photo I cut out a a magazine many years ago and this is the first time it has been used. You never know when something will strike your fancy.

Just a few words about the Creston Art Club: we have over 40 members and many of us get together every Wednesday morning to paint, share knowledge, help each other and just visit with like minded people. Two of our members travel over an hour to join us; one from Troy, Montana and one from Salmo, BC. Throughout the year we offer a number of very low priced workshops to members and non-members. An art club is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing and gives us a reason to take time from our busy lives and enjoy art.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2016 Day 5

I really didn't think I was going to get this done or that it would turn out as well as it did.
"Sunflower" is on another homemade canvas board, 5 x 7 x 3/4"; painted with acrylics even on the edges so no frame is needed. I used one of the cards I did during the September challenge as a reference for the flower and sort of made up the old barn.

Now I have to put my mind to figuring out a subject for tomorrow!

Monday, 4 January 2016

2016 Day 4

Today's painting was done with another page from my palette book.
Book Art #6 with Quilling
 I glued the page onto a 5 x 7 x 3/4" piece of plywood, then embellished it with some Quilling. It is a shame that quilling doesn't show to advantage in most photos because this looks much better in person. I started adding the quilling when this was vertical so that the printing made sense but decided it looked better horizontal. I had one problem - the page was not big enough to cover all of the edges of the wood block. Fortunately, I had some preglued veneer edging in natural wood which fit really well and looks great on the edges.

Here is the link once again to Leslie's blog so you can check out some of the other art in this 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2016 Day 3

I wonder how many of us doing this challenge feel like we should have our heads examined. What was I thinking? I am writing this in between fixing dinner and I am afraid that I am going to burn the rice or have something boil over because I get caught up and forget what else I am doing. See? Crazy!

At any rate, I did manage to get a piece done for today's post. Another challenge participant gave me the idea when I read her blog for Day 1 -

Three in a Row
 "Three in a Row" is a 6 x 8 acrylic on a gallery wrap canvas. It was painted using a palette knife - oops! I just caught the rice - I think I had best leave this until after dinner - lol.

.........Time lapse.........

As I was saying, I used a palette knife, some left over paint and white gesso. The canvas had been painted black so I was able to scratch out the back ground trees and some of the branches. Although this painting has some things that are frowned upon (like straight lines and an object smack in the center) I am quite happy with it.

I hope tomorrow's piece works as well!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016 Day 2

Am I every glad I did a bit of work last week when I had some time, because I certainly haven't had time to paint today! I spent most of the morning at the Creston Public Library setting up a new art display and then part of the afternoon my husband and I were down in the crawl space under the living room checking and fixing insulation. We are always trying hard to become more energy efficient.

At any rate, last week I spent some time in my studio cleaning up and  I found some interesting pages in an old book I have been using as a palette. I have never been one to let 'interesting' go to waste so...
Book Art #8 With Flowers
 I stuck a page from the book onto a white painted gallery wrap canvas, added some of my paper flowers and Quilling paper and voilĂ  - a finished painting!

I hope that I get some time tomorrow and some inspiration so that I can really get into the spirit of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge.

Friday, 1 January 2016

A New Year - A New 30 Paintings Challenge

I really hadn't planned to enter Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge this January but I just couldn't help myself. My first thought was to do a series of small acrylic pieces but, due to my continued interest in Quilling, I think I will work in both media over the month.

Here is my painting for Day #1.
Copper Beech Tree
"Copper Beech Tree" is acrylic on a home-made 5 x 7 x 3/4" canvas board. The painting is based on a photo of a tree in my yard.

To see some of the contributions by other artists go to Leslie's page;

See you tomorrow!