Sunday, December 31, 2006

Studio Friday: Proud Artist Of...

"How about you show a piece of art, or something that you have made in your studio, that really nobody has seen and you are proud of. "

I had to think about this for a while. My goal this year has been to actually show off my work, rather than just stashing it away. So I went back through my old stuff, and I mean really old stuff, and came up with this one. Up until this point, I viewed my sketchbook as just a place to practice my drawing technique. This painting came right out of material in my sketchbook. That's when I realized that my sketchbook was a good source for future paintings. You can see the transition in the type of material in this sketchbook from that point. I like it because I see it as a transition.
See more art at Studio Friday.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Studio Friday: Purely White

This week's topic for Friday December 15th suggested by Jo: PURELY WHITE!

"All these colour combos have given me an idea, especially with christmas do a 'white christmas' studio friday...where artists put together whatever they want...only using neutrals...or to be really strict....white, (being a textile artist its great to get back to basics and to restrict oneself to just one colour, then see how many different surfaces or textures you can find.)"
~ Jo

This is a postcard-sized collage (5.5 x 4.25 inches) using several specialty papers, some tissue paper and some ribbon.

This week's Studio Friday got me thinking how versatile white is. Right now when I think of white, I think of ice and snow and fog. In the summer, white reminds me of clouds, white sandy beaches, sea shells, and white cotton clothes. White in painting gives us those wonderful highlights.

You can see more Studio Friday at here.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Studio Friday: Favorite Color Combos

Travel watercolors and watercolor pencils.

This week's topic for Friday December 1st suggested by Sharla: MY FAVOURITE COLOUR COMBOS!

" I make jewelry and I find that I have certain color combinations that tend to be my favorite and I use more often. So I would love to see what color combinations everyone likes to use".
~ Sharla

Hmm... I always have trouble with questions like this. I don't really have favorite colors or color combinations. It's like asking a parent which child is their favorite child. The colors I choose are affected by the subject I'm painting but they are also affected by my mood. Sometimes I'm attracted to certain subjects because of their color. I notice that I often focus of certain colors when I paint. This year I went through a noticeable red phase, followed by a brief blue, green, and brown phase. Right now I'm more attracted to yellow and orange or yellow, magenta and purple to brighten up those gloomy days we've been having. It's nice to wallow in a certain color or color combination to get the feel of it and explore its limits before moving on to a different color.

See more Studio Friday here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I haven't used pastels very often and even though I have a lot of animals around me, I haven't drawn or painted very many. So I decided to practice both. This elephant is done in pastels on a 9 x 12 inch sheet of beige pastel paper. It ended up being too close to the edges of the sheet and it doesn't quite fit on the scanner.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Studio Friday: Comfort

This week's topic for Friday November 24th suggested by Lisa: COMFORT!

" I recently splurged on a new office chair, and it is making a huge difference in how my back and neck feel at the end of the day, since I spend a lot of time at my computer. Now that the weather has turned a little chilly in the mornings, I'm using my heated lap blanket on my chair to make my work spot even cozier. I wonder what other artists do to make their studios more comfy. Comfort foods? Family photos on the wall? A cozy spot for an afternoon nap?".
~ Lisa

My major comfort is the day bed that I talked about for Studio Friday Indulgences. Since my studio is also the guest bedroom and home office, it serves a useful purpose but it's also the spot where I can read, nap, and think about my projects. My other comfort, especially on these colder days, is my woven shawl that I keep on my desk chair. It keeps me toasty warm on cold mornings or evenings when I'm writing, reading, or sketching.

See more Studio Friday here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tree Bark

Ink and watercolor pencils

I've always been fascinated by tree bark. It forms such complex designs. So yesterday I drew peeling bark from the birch tree in our yard. The colors are brighter than real life but I actually found it to be quite colorful in real life.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Studio Friday: This Is Me!

This week's topic for Friday November 17th suggested by Jill: THIS IS ME!

" How about photographing a collage of the things we work with? An arranged collection of papers and embellishments, or fabrics and trims, or paints and paintbrushes, or whatever it is we do that says "this is me." I know we did tools and supplies already, but I thought it would be fun to create a little collage of all the things we use - tools and supplies both, and even other things like a favorite cd, dvd, cup of coffee, nail polish etc that say "this is me and this is what I do".
~ Jill

This is me, or at least me when I'm painting, drawing, or doing some other creative thing. Starting at the upper left is:

  • Coffee
  • Fiber for spinning
  • Color wheel
  • Traveling art supplies
  • Sock knitting
  • Paint
  • My reference books
  • A variety of sketchbooks and journals
  • Brushes

You can see more Studio Friday here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Playing with Rainbows

Rainbow Pumpkins by Sydney Harper"Rainbow Pumpkins", watercolor on paper, 10 x 7 inches

One of my favorite sites is Wet Canvas. Besides having a lot of good information on the site, they also have a Weekend Drawing Event every weekend. Even though it's called a drawing event, people use painting, collage and other techniques. I haven't participated in a while, so it felt good to play with some new techniques and styles this weekend. This weekend's challenge was to use a not so good photo to make your picture. I haven't participated in a while, so it felt good to just play with some new techniques and styles this weekend.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Studio Friday: Studio Indulgences

This week's topic for Friday November 10th suggested by naomi: STUDIO INDULGENCES!

" What can't you live without in your studio."
~ naomi

My "studio" has always been a multi-purpose room. It's my home office, my studio, and the guest bedroom. But the last purpose, the guest bedroom, has been because it has the daybed in it. In reality though, we have other places guests could sleep. The real reason I have the daybed in this room is because I want it there. It's the place where I relax and take naps. It's the place where I read books and magazines (another indulgence).

Most important, it's the place where I sit down with a cup of coffee (yet another indulgence), spread out books and papers and contemplate where I'm going with my next project.

Read about more studio indulgences at Studio Friday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Studio Friday: Interconnected

This week's topic for Friday November 3rd suggested by Nancy Bea: I AM INTERCONNECTED!

" I am not thinking of connections one might feel to other "great artists" of the past or inspiring, high-profile contemporaries, but the connections that help keep you happy in the studio. Artist friends you get together with for critiques or just coffee and supportive conversation.
For instance I am in a group of four women who get together for all of that, plus find venues to occasionally show together, and we encourage each other in every possible way. Maybe you are part of a class or group that gets together to try out new techniques once a month. Or do you have a beloved teacher you still talk with on occsaion who helps you feel connected to and strengthened by your past. Isolation can cause fear and despondancy: the artist alone in the ivory tower is often the one who commits suicide or stops working! We are all interconnected and honoring and recognizing that is an immense comfort and inspiration and source of strength for me, and I am sure for others too."
~ Nancy Bea

What an appropriate time for this topic! Lately I've missed my fellow artists and teachers. My interactions with the Internet community have been important to me lately but I've missed flesh and blood people around to discuss art. Last weekend I went to the artists' reception for the Tennessee Valley Art Association member exhibit where I was showing a couple of my pieces. It was so nice just to hang around and talk about art for a while. This is a very welcoming art association and this exhibit is one of my favorites. It's an exhibit where almost anything goes. You can see sculpture, pottery, painting, drawing, photography, collage, and fiberarts. The artists range from high school age to artists in their 80s and 90s. It's a wonderful reminder of the various forms that creativity takes. I had a great time. It was also a reminder that even though I have local friends who are artists, I don't get together with them enough. The interaction renews my inspiration and gives me the courage to try new things. Speaking of which, I think I'll go exercise my creativity a bit.

View more Studio Friday here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Studio Friday: My Collection

This week's topic for Friday October 27th suggested by Silvia: MY COLLECTION(S)!

"Most people collect something, it would be fun to see what others have in their collections."
~ Silvia

When I first started thinking about this topic, it seemed like I didn't have a large collection of anything other than books. (I love books of all kinds.) I tend to get a few thing that interest me and then I'm off to something else. Then I remembered my pottery. My collection of pottery has been with me a long time. While it's not very large, it has grown steadily. Whenever I'm at an arts festival or a gallery and have some extra money, I'll often buy a piece of pottery. Family and friends have given me pieces over the years. These are a few of my favorite pieces. They have a variety of styles, but all are loved and used. There's just something about the care and inspiration that has gone into each piece that makes it a delight to use.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Sketch Habit

I've set a goal to do a sketch at least every day. I haven't been completely successful but it's getting better. Note to self: Next time you set a goal like this, make sure it's not during your busiest time of year. Some days it's a quick 5 minute sketch.

Some days it may be a quick 15 minute sketch.

Usually it's a sketch of whatever is in front of me. I used to sketch all of the time, but somewhere I got out of the every day habit. It's good to see it coming back.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Studio Friday: Autumn Inspiration

This week's topic for Friday October 20th suggested by Kerri: AUTUMN INSPIRATION!

"Autumn inspiration - According to my calendar, today (Sept 22) is the "Autumnal Equinox," and it's my favorite season, so show me what you love about the fall - the colors?... the leaves?...etc."~ Kerri

Here's some pictures from around the house, except the tree. The picture of the tree was taken down the street. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I love the crisp, clean feel of the air. I love the colors of the leaves, the berries on the bushes, pumpkins and winter squashes, and the bright blue sky on clear days. It's also the time of year when the smell of homemade breads, soups, pies and warm apple cider permeate the air. Autumn is full of good days for staying at home, planning projects, painting, knitting, and cooking.

See more Studio Friday Autumn Inspirations here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Studio Friday: Fear

This week's topic for Friday October 13th suggested by Casey: FEAR!

"I have been away from Studio Friday for a while, and I really struggled with the toot your own horn topic. It actually made me do some free-writing and I thought of another topic that might be helpful for some of the studio friday artists: Fear."

What an appropriate time to join Studio Friday than when the topic is Fear. I've been meaning to join for a while now but I keep finding a reason to put it off. I don't really have a fear of things like spiders, flying, heights, snakes, hideous accidents or anything like that. My art is another thing entirely, though.

First there's the fear of failure. Not the fear of individual failed pieces but the fear that they will all be failures, that I will be a failure. I'm getting past this though. I have to remind myself that I mostly do art because I enjoy it and because it's who I am.

Then there's the fear that comes with the start of each individual painting. Every painting seems to go through it's ugly stage. Early on you wonder if you're just wasting paper and paint. I have to keep reminding myself to push on. I learn something from every painting, even failures. So with each step I take, the fear gets better. Each painting is a stepping stone to who I am now.

The painting here is one of my favorites, an older watercolor painting on the news media and fear.

You can see more Studio Friday

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Still Here

White Iris by Sydney Harper
Don't you just hate it when someone starts a blog, posts a first message and then never comes back? Yeah, me too. It's not easy for me to put my art out there. Once I started the blog, I had to take a step back before I could continue. Enough of my quirkiness though.

My first love is painting in acrylics. Well I love oils too but I just don't have a good place to use oils. My studio is also my home office and spare bedroom. The solvent smells would be just a little too much. Plus I like the quick drying aspect of acrylics.

I also like painting with watercolors but I still have a way to go technique-wise. So I try to practice my watercolors whenever I get the chance. It gets better with each painting. Here's my latest watercolor of an iris bloom. I've been getting home late this week so I had to take the picture at night. The colors are close though. I'm pleased with this one. I learned quite a bit with it and I like the end result. There is a lot I could have done better but that will always be true. Anyway I'm going to post regularly and not let so much time go by between posts.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

New Beginnings

I finally did it. I finally started an art blog. I have a knitting and spinning blog, but I didn't want to clutter it with art stuff. It's off topic enough already. I wasn't sure I wanted to keep up another blog though either. Plus I wasn't sure I wanted to post my work to the world. In the end, I decided it would be worth it just to document my own progress. If it doesn't work out, I can delete it.

Why Mockingbird Works? Other than painting some magic illusions for my husband, I hadn't done much painting for a few years. About a year ago I decided to start painting seriously again. The whole time, this mockingbird has been singing his heart out, day and night, outside my office / studio / spare bedroom. Mockingbird Works just seemed appropriate.

I will start out with some of my recent paintings and new stuff as it comes along.