Pink Flowers and White Stairs

"Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem."
Rollo May

Painting with reference images from interior design magazines... drawn in pencil and painted with gouache.


9x12" Strathmore watercolor paper, pencil, gouache

I woke up early yesterday with an achy jaw after unpleasant dental work the day before. So as I sat at the breakfast table drinking leftover coffee waiting for the Advil to kick in I decided to try to paint some pages from a magazine like Architectural Digest or Elle Decor. I looked through the magazines for a living room but the green shutters in the bathroom photograph caught my eye. The photo is of a bathroom in a house in Chile. I didn't want to draw the full page in portrait format, just way too big, so I drew a vertical line down the middle to make two smaller portrait style spaces.

Anyhow, I started with the green shutters and then built out the room in pencil from there. My nemesis is definitely perspective. The tub probably wouldn't hold water! This was really an interesting exercise - I usually draw in pen - but I didn't want the pen bleeds in the finished pages - I wanted the lines to be softer. But I didn't use an eraser - they just frustrate me - if a line didn't work I drew another better line and when I painted just ignored the lines that didn't make sense.


So then I paged through a magazine and selected the foyer with the rustic white stairs. I think what pulled me in was the composition and the painting on the door under the stairs. I started drawing the second one with the diagonal line of the stairs and built the page out from there. 

As for painting, I really got into mixing colors, especially colors I don't often use. Really got my mind thinking! Like to make the taupe-terra cotta-sort of color for the bathroom wall I mixed sepia, scarlet and white! I just love gouache. So full of wild opportunity.

PS. I'm using W&N gouache and M. Graham gouache. These are luscious and rewet nicely {I squeeze out the paint onto a covered palette and then rewet with a spritz of water. These have been out of the tube for months}. I have a few tubes of Maimeri gouache, but I don't like it as much. It's good out of the tube but doesn't rewet nicely.

Drawn and painted while standing at the kitchen counter!

Rainbow Paint Chips

"The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts."
James Allen

ICAD #58 and #59, paint chips, stitched.

And in an unrelated non-scientific paper-stitching study, I've determined the absolute limit for paint chip layers on my particular machine = five (5). That's pretty darned useful information to know. That's a stack of 5 paint chips on the second card ☞ the machine was not loving that very last light blue chip so I went very slowly, a stitch, pause, a stitch, pause, etc. But the needle didn't break or bend, and that's considered a win.

Marit's Quirky Dutch Summer

This summer I'm taking part in the art escapade known as Quirky Dutch Summer. This endeavor takes place at Marit's Paper World along with artists Marcia BeckettRoben-Marie SmithRevlie Schuit and Jessica Sporn. How fun is that list!?! 

If you are looking for inspiration, pop over and see what's going on! The posts are shared in both English and Dutch. There's an opportunity to share your work in response to the prompts/techniques as well as a FB group called the Quirky FB Group.

To date, the fun includes book-binding ideas, watercolor masking techniques, tracking shadows, a mixed media project on heavy artist boards, cryptography, a mixed media on canvas.... that could keep you busy for months!!! I can imagine the ideas that all of the prompts will inspire.

My guest post goes live mid-August and Marit will be translating my words into Dutch! 

PS. I interviewed Marit a few years ago as part of my Interview Series. Plus! Marit created Daily Paper Prompt #61: Create to the Rhythm of the Music.

Stitched Abstracts

"That's what I love about poetry. The more abstract, the better. The stuff where you're not sure what the poet's talking about. You may have an idea, but you can't be sure. Not a hundred percent. Each word, specifically chosen, could have a million different meanings... a symbol for another idea? Does it fit into a larger, more hidden, metaphor?"
Jay Asher

Index cards 50-57, same theme, sorry so repetitive:) I painted abstract blobs of gouache {a more sophisticated term would be shapes} and then after they were dry I stitched them in different patterns. And this is silver metallic thread!!! Not that you can tell! This is a fun way to get more familiar with your sewing machine. I tried to stitch paths that had nothing to do with the shapes, so that there would be a fun contrast. 

PS. The new Zine is available!!!