Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Website, New Blog

Well, this has been a great spot to share artistic techniques, new paintings, new projects and other artistic endeavors, but I've recently built a new website and have a blog there I'm going to be using instead of this one. If you'd like to continue to see my paintings, please visit:

and if you like to continue reading my artist blog, here's that address:

Change is good!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Snowflake cards and heart cards - More Monotypes!

For our holiday cards this year, my husband Brad and I played with the Gel Plate again, this time using snowflake stencils we cut out of vinyl and mylar. It was so much fun, we made extra to sell at Art In The Valley Gallery.

Here are a few photos of the process, along with some of the snowflake cards:

Above: Replenishing the paint on the palette.

Now I'm rolling the paint onto the gel plate.

Getting ready to print using the snowflake pieces. 

Pressing firmly to pull the print and transfer the paint onto previously printed background.

As you can see they're not always successful! This particular print didn't pull up all the paint from the corner, and one of the snowflakes wasn't very crisp. Each print run was an experiment and the possibility of a bad print is occasionally hard to avoid. Luckily, acrylic paint can be layered multiple times and if a print doesn't meet our high standards (ha!) we could layer more paint and print a new background or more snowflakes once the paint had dried. 

As you can see, each is unique! 

This month I've been making monotype heart cards and prints using stencils I cut out of mylar. I also made letter stencils from scans of my own handwriting, using my husband's laser cutter. As a sign artist, he has some pretty cool tools out in his shop! 

Some of these cards are available to purchase at my Etsy site and I hope to have some at Art In the Valley later this week. 

Here's one that you can purchase right here! Of course, the watermark won't be on the card that you purchase, and it will arrive with a white envelope. Each is an original acrylic painting, suitable for framing. 

Heart Card "3"  4.25 x 5.5 inches
$7.00 + $1.00 shipping

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Let me know if you have any questions! I'm really enjoying all the textural effects from this new-to-me method of creating artwork.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Gel Monotypes

Some artists can stay focused on one medium and produce a body of work in that single medium. Some artists bounce around from one medium to another, focusing on one for a bit, then discovering a new technique that looks interesting and jumping ship to experiment with that medium, shooting off in a whole new direction for a bit - until something else comes along to bend that focus again! I bet you can guess which kind of artist I am... especially if you visited during the Philomath Open Studio Tour.

By the way, if you did come to see us during the tour, Thank You So Much! It was terrific seeing so many people out braving the weather and enjoying the adventure of exploring the backroads of Philomath and finding new artists and studios to discover! 

Yes, I am a pastel and watercolor artist, but I also like to knit, make beaded earrings and necklaces, and recently learned how to make my own gel plate for printmaking. These are one-of-a-kind prints - made by placing acrylic paint and printers ink onto the gel plate, manipulating that paint, then placing paper on top to make a print. That image is left to dry, then more paint or ink is added using a brayer, or squeegee or paint brush and then another print is made on top of the previous image. 

I LOVE the texture and mottled colors that result from this technique, and have been playing and producing Monotypes these past couple of weeks using this gel plate. Here are some photos of that process:

This first photo shows the gel plate, clean and ready to be used. 

Here it has paint added on top after some brayer manipulation. 

More brayer action. 

Pressing the paper on top making the first background print.

These are some of my finished prints that have been created with the gel plate and some added brushwork to complete each design. Several are now available on my Etsy site  and here's one below that you can purchase right here:

Crow 2
5x7 inches
Acrylic on paper
$25 + $3 shipping

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Below is how it looks on the paper. This is how it'll arrive, ready to be framed.

This shows a close up of that delicious texture: 

If you have any questions about this piece or the technique, go ahead and ask using the comments link below. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Philomath Open Studios Tour This Weekend!

This coming weekend, and the following weekend I'll be sharing a studio in Philomath Oregon with another artist - Mike Bergen  during the Philomath Open Studios Tour (POST). We'll have our paintings, some prints and I'll also have several new little tiny canvases I've been working on which can be displayed on the wall, small easels or hung as holiday ornaments. We'll be there from noon to 5:00 Oct. 26th & 27th, then again Nov. 2nd & 3rd. Here's a link to a map showing where each artist and studio is located. Below are some of the in-progress shots of the tiny canvases I'm still working on and a few photos of some finished canvases that will be available.

These are painted with ink that's been mixed with acrylic gel medium, then spritzed with alcohol to get some cool textural effects. They're then sealed with the same gel medium. Some have brass or aluminum leaf added for a bit of glitz and shimmer. 

Come on out and visit us during this studio tour - we drove to six of the studios tonight for a "pre-tour" and there are some amazing artists, artwork and beautiful studios that are truly a treat to discover! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Vistas and Vineyards Show is up!

This October the Guistina Gallery at the LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University campus is hosting the Vistas and Vineyards 24th Anniversary show. This is a local en plein air  group that meets each Wednesday mid-May through mid-October at a new site somewhere in the Willamette Valley.  I was happy to finish up three paintings that are now on display at this show through the end of this month. There is a reception on October 8th, 6:30 to 8:30 but sadly, I'll not be able to attend since I have a different event going on at the same time. However, that doesn't mean you can't go see the show - that evening or any other time this month! Here are the three paintings I have in the show: 

This piece is called "Clematis" and is a sealed pastel painting on smoothly primed canvas over a watercolored background. I started it at Garland Nursery at the first paint-out of the season this past May, then finished it up in my studio.

This is another sealed pastel on watercolor that was painted at Bruce Starker Arts Park.

And last, but not least, the barn at Peoria Road Farm Market. This too is a sealed pastel on canvas. I used watercolor to block in the main shapes after drawing out the piece, then painted in pastel over the watercolor, going back in with a brush and water to push some of the pastel around before finishing with multiple sprays of diluted pva size and a couple final coats of UV protective acrylic varnish. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Painting Poppies

We have the most amazing poppies that bloom each May in our backyard that I bought from Shreiner's Iris Garden several years ago. They're a gorgeous red that's almost impossible to capture with photography. I try every year to do just that, knowing they're only going to bloom for a couple of weeks, but the best way to catch that red is by painting it. I still take tons of reference photos of poppies to draw from (ha, pun intended) but I love painting them from life, especially on a lovely sunny afternoon. The rain has returned, and they're looking sad out back, with their ragged and bruised petals, but I'm hoping they'll produce a few more buds for me to paint when it dries out again. Here are two of the four paintings I created - they're pastel on canvas with a watercolor painted background that was dry and finished before I applied the pastel. 


This shows the watercolored background with my pastel pencil drawing. 

Day two - finishing the first poppy pastel. 

The canvas has been primed with a water based primer that helps fill in the rough texture of the canvas so that it won't eat up my pastels too quickly. I seal the pastel as I progress on the painting as needed with diluted PVA size.  

Here's the canvas with just the watercolor, dry and ready for pastel.

Drawing the flower with a charcoal pencil.

First layer of pastel after it's been sprayed with the diluted PVA. 

Probably finished! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Virtual Paintout - Bulgaria Backroad

During April, the website The Virtual Paintout has chosen the country Bulgaria as our painting location. One visits the city virtually using Google Maps' little yellow man to view city scenes from the streets. You travel around until you see something to paint or draw.  Here's the painting I did from this Google map location: 

It's 4x6 inches - Ink and watercolor. "Bulgaria Backroads"
Unframed - it is available for $25.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling.