Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween - Beach Bum-kin - Halloween Pumpkin 2016

This year's Halloween Pumpkin - "Beach Bum-kin"

Beach Bum-kin

In process. .  . I loved mixing all my beachy blues and greens and turquoises before adding the starfish and peel and stick rhinestones.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday Tea Time - Bonus Round

T2 Just Lavender -- one teaspoon Just Lavender to two teaspoons Blue Mountain.  Yummy, soothing, relaxing, sip by sip.  I love when they combine different teas.  And this one is exceptional.

Thursday Tea Time - Hold it!

This would be cool to find and useful - it holds your teabag!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How do you like them apples? Part 2

And here is a view of the branches of an autumn crabapple tree in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Autumn Santa Fe Crabapple Tree
12" x 18 1/2"
This was fun skill-building and patience-building to paint.  First a wash of Winsor-Newton Blue (Green), then layers of Auerolin and more yellows, mixing greens, Alizarin for the apples with more glazing of additional reds, and finally, finally the sepia, burnt umber, cobalt blue to create warm branches.  I had to redraw my branches figuratively and creatively, for I was having too much fun making all the different leaves and leaf shapes and background.

I also gave myself points for painting bigger -- this is 12" x 18 1/2"

I really like how the variety of colors played nicely together,  pushed forward and back, and the assortment of shapes.

My paper is  always up and ready for another pitch - of paint with brush in hand.

How do you like them apples?

An apple a day helps improve your watercolor skills!  Having fun practicing working wet in wet, and glazes, and the elusive shadows.  I actually painted them actual size!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Flight of the butterfly

The Giant Swallowtail butterfly visiting the Asclepias in the backyard this afternoon.
Because everything is bigger in Texas. . .

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Tea Time, Madame

Two more tea hits from Madame Flavour and Australia --

Ginger Masala Chai (looseleaf) and Soothing Mint Lavender Tisane (18 pyramids)

First the chai. . .

One cup of water, one tablespoon (I suggest umping up the from the suggested two teaspoons) in a small saucepan, bring to boil, add milk (I used 2%, might be worth upgrading to whole milk for a creamier mug), two teaspoons of honey.  Adding a 1 cm piece of grated ginger to the water boiling stage would also be worth a try to the Ceylon and Assam leaf teas, cinnamon, cardamom pods, fennel, ginger, clove, red safflowers and Australian mountain pepper leaf.   Wonderful peppery ginger bite and finish.

Rating:  Grabbing more of these next visit!

Soothing Mint Lavender Tisane. . .

Never would have thought, nor have seen this combination.   But it is sensational.  Caffeine-free, too. Soothing to all your senses.

Perfect plain, it needs no other additions.

Nice paper lined packaging!

The fragrance is minty, lavender is subtle.   How good is this?  As soon as I drank my cup, I turned around and made more for my Hydroflask to take to afternoon watercoloring class.
Yup, grabbing this one, too!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Art of Pumpkin

Hunab Ku - Mayan Galatic Butterfly
Also the logo for Hooked on Acupuncture

It's October and I like to paint a pumpkin of the logo for my favorite acupuncturist at "Hooked on Acupuncture" in Galveston.  This is my fourth one, and each year I like to try something different.  Of course, that means trying new art supply toys!

Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen Big Brush in White 101 and Black 199

Good coverage, the white was really opaque.  Juicy ink for both, no pull up of color when going over a second time.  One drawback, especially on a pumpkin, the black will rub off a little bit if said pumpkin rolls around the back seat floor on the trip to Galveston.  A little touch-up and good as new. I did not use a protective sealant this time, experimenting with longevity.  The black also makes a great marker, as hubby discovered.   They are considered India Ink and are waterproof, and acid free.   Texas Art Supply carries them - the large in black and white, and smaller sizes in additional colors.  I highly recommend these...for pumpkins and other art projects.

Faber-Castell Texture Luxe in Silver

A few weeks ago, I found this at Hobby Lobby in the Clearance section for $5.39, originally priced at $8.95.  I saw it at Texas Art Supply in silver and other colors, so it is still a current item.  I can also vouch this works great on pumpkins.  It is an opaque acrylic paste and permanent, and you have the option to build up layers for texture.   I used my finger to apply (washes off skin easily) a moderately thin layer to add shimmer.  The package also says it is good for stenciling.  This is definitely another addition to my art supply stash to be used again, post-pumpkin.

Daniel Smith Luminescent Watercolors in Iridescent Gold

I'm getting my money's worth and fun from this color.  It also works great on a pumpkin!  I learned that watercolor straight out of the tube is considered "paste" - which I applied to the pumpkin with a brush without using water.  I liked the result.  The watercolor was the pinch hitter, for I originally planned to use a copper or bronze rubbing accent compound for the flames around the Mayan Butterfly design.  Alas, the pot had completely dried out, which I returned to the store for a refund.

Schneider XPress Fiber Tip Pen

One of my favorite writing pens, I used it to draw the design outline on the pumpkin.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Tea Time - Getting ready for the Weekend in Monte Carlo

At least with a sip of this tea from Madame Flavour, another Australian tea.

Weekend in Monte Carlo, Tea No. 47 is an unusual blend of of Pekoe and Green Leaf Tea scented with spearmint and bergamot.  Didn't see that combination coming, did you?  A surprising and refreshing discovery, it tastes best plain -- you don't need to add anything.  I tried the Italian cream - it hid all the good flavors.  A packet of Splenda didn't work either.  Nope, just enjoy it hot from the pot.

It is a loose-leaf tea, with gorgeous, unbroken leaves unfurling into wonderful strands of flavor.  Just use a teaspoonful in your tea bag or infuser.  The fragrance is intoxicating and the taste is nothing like you've experienced before.

The well-designed box seals up nicely for storage, too.  I will definitely look for their additional flavor combinations next time I'm in Australia.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

“Faites des lignes. Faites beaucoup de lignes.”

Inspired by Picasso The Line exhibition (through January 8, 2017) at The Menil in Houston and Imagining Backwards:  Seven Decades of Picasso Master Prints McClain Gallery (through October 29), our classwork including doing line drawings, learning to make our own mark.  Trying to make a continuous line using different marking techniques and not looking at the paper, was an interesting exercise.  In fact, I've used one of my drawings twice as cards to send to friends for birthday and get well by adding watercolor.

Here was my first attempt in class --

Kangaroos feeding in the Australian Bush
India Ink and stick, charcoal, graphite, Conte crayon

Then a few days later, I woke up at 3:44 AM, went out to the kitchen table, grabbed my sketchbook and started drawing a slightly wilted vase of sunflowers in front of me.  Each variation I started my line at a different place on the paper, as indicated by the arrow.   I even tried drawing with my left (non-dominant) hand!

(I did look while drawing this)
Perhaps I can draw better left-handed?!

Outlined with Micron pen

Using Tombow 977 Saddle Brown
over graphite tracing from
Enlarged copy of first drawing

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - 1780 – 14 January 1867) French Neoclassical painter. 
(This was his advice to a young Degas who had announced he wanted to become a painter)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Walking along the Seawall in Galveston, I kept seeing all these twos. . .

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sidewalk Arf

Clever use incorporating tar or gum splotches on the sidewalk along the Galveston Seawall --