I always wanted to write a children's book but never got around to it but my time has come. After signing up for the on line class Storybooks and Studious Girls I got inspired. Pondering the subjects that I could write about I thought of the adorable things my two grand kids have done, therein lies my inspiration.
My first attempt is: Never Put M & M's Up Your Nose. Of course my grandson Luke did just that and his mom caught it on camera. The on line class had a link to a book binder who makes hand bound watercolor journals with a gold binding just like the golden books we read as kids. As I watched the how to video I said no way am I doing all that so I bought two blank books and off I go.
They finally arrived so now I really have to write a children's book.
While I was waiting for my blank books I collected photos, did some tracing onto vellum and wrote the script for the story, then it dawned on me; how do I do all that lettering? I shortened the narrative quite a bit and will just do the best printing I can and remember that it doesn't have to be perfect.
I'm proud of me.
Thought I would confess to some of my weird sojourns during my years of artistic ventures. As a volunteer for the Heathcote Botanical Gardens I was asked to donate art work done on coconuts which are so plentiful in Florida. I collected dried out coconuts and began designing. All of them are sold or donated to good causes and I did not want to be labeled the "Coconut Lady" so I stopped producing them.
My Wilson Football coconut I could have sold four times when I participated at Art in the Park, an outdoor tented art show and my favorite one is this cupcake coconut. First you look at the shape of the coconut and then let your imagination go. It was fun but on to more serious art.
Later I will tell you about my Calendar Art....Year of the Bugs.
Oh, an update on my two children's books that I am writing for my grandkids. I have ordered the hand bound books, written the rough draft of the script and have started on the illustrations. I'll give you a sneak peek when I can. All of this came about after watching the on line class: Storybooks & Studious Girls.
I am so impressed with the Jeanne Oliver on line class offerings so when I saw the 50% off sale my eyes lit up. What better thing to do when you are staying home due to illness? Oh, by the way, two doctors and meds later I am feeling so much better. Next week I will be back to my normal self.
In the past I taken, Gathering Beauty & Painterly Portraits, now I am lined up for a free business video, free art video, Living Studio, Storybook & Studious Girls and a webinar today at 4:00 pm today. Every time I run creatively dry an art DVD or an on line class perks me right up.
Danielle Donaldson, the creator of Storybook & Studious Girls, was easy to listen to and so uplifting. She made me feel that I too could develop a character illustration and a story line. It looked so easy when she drew her whimsical girls. For many years I have thought about writing a children's book so why not now? For some reason I may be ready for this new adventure.
Now on to create a character or characters with a story line plus paint watercolor illustrations for the book. How hard can it be? What could possible go wrong with my past history of fleeting focus; "Oh, bright and shiny..... on to a new project"?
How many are betting I will accomplish at least one small book and how many are betting, nice idea but it ain't going to happen?
I have been feeling under the weather so I missed our little talk. I seem to have developed asthma which has taken four long months to figure out. You know the routine; doctor after doctor until you end up at a pulmonologist. At least now my emotional self feels better knowing what it is.
Oh, I'm not done. For a year my eyes have been allergic to something but who knows what. Many visits to three doctors, many prescription tries and nada. One night I desperately went on line to You Tube ( my head is hung in shame) for help.
Did you know that you can use: rosewater, cucumber, potato and home made saline solution on your eyes? I had tried tea bags, cucumber so I thought I would give saline solution a try. After watching 4-5 videos I got the recipe and I already had an eye bath cup. Much to my surprise it helped... oh a little relief from the itching. Just to cover my bases I see an allergist this week.
Needless to say I have been a little cranky and my art work has suffered. I even stopped painting for a week to see if I was allergic to the paints. My retired scientific mind went into over drive so I researched all my cosmetics, shampoo, no nail polish and on and on. Amazon Prime loves me as I order more and more of "no this or that" products. I even researched the ingredients in tissues and cotton swabs which to my surprise do have added ingredients. I resorted to using some of my husband's white cotton hankies when cleaning my eyes.
I look/feel tired and old. I don't mind the old part but I do mind losing my sparkle which is attached to my smile.
The sun will come out tomorrow.
My best for this lesson.
I have a problem painting faces especially the eyes. My studio hides numerous paintings where I am stuck on the face therefore they are never completed. I know start with the eyes then work from there but you know me; start with the easy and inspiring.
I signed up for an on line class with Julie Johnson via the Jeanne Oliver web site. It was recommended by Chris in my Monday painting group and she is usually spot on with her recommendations.
PAINTERLY PORTRAITS is my new class and it is full of information. I know I am learning because I am taking notes and feel out of my comfort zone. I will listen to the numerous videos once all the way through then I will repeat, experiment then repeat again. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with the color mixing so I am trying to simplify it so that it make sense to my style of learning.
I took a marker to a palette paper that I could place under a glass palette which has the value scale down the left for reference, neutrals on the far right and mixing of warm and cool for a double primary limited palette. After obtaining the mother pile I made three values of each. Julie altered the colors so easily to make a color warm or cool or change the value.
I am learning so much that I think I have given myself a headache.
Every Monday at 9:30 am 8-10 ladies meet at Rita's condo club house to paint together. These women are true friends with whom you can share you life happenings without judgement and with confidence. If one of us needs something the others will be there to help. At about 11:30 someone will say; "Where are we going to eat", today? We always go to a local restaurant to have lunch, eat half of it and take the rest home for dinner or a treat if there is a husband at home.
We were eating at an Italian place one time when a younger man came up to us to say he enjoyed hearing our conversations but mostly our laughter. The stranger said a group of young professional women were in the week before and each one of them was on their phone or I Pad. To be with people and ignore their presence by being on a phone would not even cross our minds but it was a kind observation from a stranger.
Another time another stranger said to Meave; "I like your hair", she wears it in a lovely white mohawk! White is the preferred hair color for the group but I am thinking of surprising them with a temporary pink tips. Why not? That is the same resason I got a tattoo the day before I turned 60.
........"Let's give them something to talk about".......
We have lost a few precious members over the years; two had to move away to be closer to the kids or a fewpassed away but each is remembered in our hearts. This leads me to the most important lesson I have learned from these gals; you alway (no matter your age) must keep meeting new people and share you life with the ones that are worthy. Guess I thought that when one got old life would be static and unchanging....wrong again! Accepting the changes makes all the difference in the happiness quotient and camaraderie of friendships can be the life jacket to help one keep on keep'in on.
To keep myself in shape for painting I go to a Silver Sneakers exercise class twice a week, I am going on my sixth year of being pretty faithful. In the past I have pooped out on all attempts to stick with exercising program but this time I have gotten to know the other students and the teacher. It is hard to walk out in the middle of a class with;" Oh I have a pain" or "I'm tired already", so I stay to the end which pleases me.
One of my fellow students was telling me how he had painted a few rooms in his condo ( the dear is 86), bought a new used couch from Habitat for Humanity and even got new lamps at Home Depot. After class I said I would like to paint him a picture to add to his redecorating, my gift to him. I could tell he was so tickled at the thought as we discussed how big and the subject matter.
The next class he said; "I love Great Blue Herons" so that was our subject. I started three different designs of herons and settled on this pose. The other two poses are under this painting.
I hope Mike likes my loose style of painting and I hope it brightens his day each time he looks at it.
Paint it Forward!
It won't take many words to walk you through to the final painting. Wendy had us sketch, paint with watercolor, add colored pencil then top it all off with creamy oil pastels.
You know how much I love painting flowers and I was definitely outside of my comfort zone with the oil pastels. Discomfort is not a good reason not to try new things so I followed Wendy's lead.
I needed to refill my artistic well so I signed up for an online workshop with Wendy Brightbill; "Gathering Beauty". A class helps me to rein in my scattered thoughts of what to paint or experiment with next. I fear I am one of those that abandons a new style half way through the learning process, I see something bright and shiny so off I go in a new direction.
First Wendy said to gather photos of my own still life set ups: OK done.
Next Wendy covered line, value and color. All are important topics and Wendy did a great job for teaching a beginning artist but I must admit that I did do a little fast forwarding until I came to the subject of color.
I used the black and white plus the color still life from Wendy's class, tracing it onto my watercolor paper. Now I am ready to watch the two color videos.
Points observed: * first set out a palette of warm colors plus black and white to paint a variety of warm colors into the flowers, (I normally use a full temperature but limited color palette) * black and orange give a brown,* Wendy adds gray to "dull" a color . ( new to me)
Next she sets up a separate cool palette of greens and blues, the colors are not from a limited palette which I am used to using.
*vary colors with in an object frequently, * finish off with a silver and white metallic pen, (new to me)* complete the painting with colored pencils and oil pastels for more delicate details, * use a dull color (gray)for the background ( new to me).
It was not the most informative on line class but I do like her impressionistic style and her enthusiasm for painting. If I only learn one new thing it is worth my time and I did learn. I will now complete the still life using her method so look for the results next week.
I left off with this odd crystal like painting having no idea where it would go.
It has a charm of its own but the style felt uncomfortable so I began imagining the original still life done in a 3D format similar to my butterfly mini mural. I have chosen a pink background to begin building my idea.
I will work from the background up to the foreground trying to stay focused on the end goal, a 3D still life of two bottles.
My hope is that the background floral print of the cloth will peek through the bottles when I paint the foreground. The background has a cooler temperature and I will do softer edges. When I finished the detailing, I did a cool soft blue wash over the vertical portion so it will recede more.
OK, now what? I've already lost the fire in the belly for this still life, maybe I should paint a large figure for the third layer of paint. After all I am trying to hone my figurative skills.
I need some ideas!! HELP
Mary Ellen Koser