Saturday, January 19, 2013

30 in 30 Days, Day 17

I woke up this morning and decided that I wanted a dragon for my 30 in 30 days painting.  For most of my creatures, I've combined them with flowers or something else in a setting that they're likely to be in, and dragons are known for guarding their treasures.  And then I giggled.

Because the thought I had was that one of the places you'll see dragons most often is in a good rpg.  And I knew -exactly- what kind of treasure my dragon would be guarding!

'Here Be Dragons'. 9.8" x 6.5". Acrylic on dictionary page.
Prints and other merchandise available for purchase at

Kids + 1 = Fun, First of the Year (:

This morning at Studio 116, we had the first Kids + 1 = Fun of 2013!  It's a monthly Saturday morning gathering of art for children 3-7 with the assistance of their grown up (:

We started by reading Leo Lionni's "A Color of His Own".

It a cute little story that introduces the idea of color and the importance of friendship.

And then we moved into today's art project (:

All set up to begin!

With our colors all ready!
Today's project was Raised Salt Painting.

Using watercolor paper, our young artists filled their pages with elmer glue shapes and designs.

With the help of their grown up, we completely covered the painting in salt, then gently tapped the salt off onto a paper plate.  And then we started adding the pretty colors.  It's a small bit of water color mixed with a lot of water, though food coloring would work just as well.  The key to this project is NOT running the brush through the glue-- it's just touching the color wet brush to the paint and watching the salt soak it up.


And they made such lovely artwork!

Favorite shapes (:
And lovely color combinations.
A bit of home.

The Solar System.

Not only did they make some absolutely lovely art, but everyone had a really great time (:

Thank you so much to our young artists and their grown ups for coming out this morning!  Hope to see you again next time (:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Studio 116 Weekly Art Lessons #1

This Thursday, at Studio 116, we had the first Weekly Art Lesson.  We had an excellent turn out!

The first hour is centered on drawing.  For this first lesson, we focused on seeing and shape.  The kids got to take artist boards into the gallery side where we pulled objects for quick studies.

 We started with one of Mr. Hollis' fantastic bird houses.  One of my favorite quotes about drawing is that it's based on drawing lots of light lines, then choosing the right one.

 Moved into a bust with beautiful felt flower pins.

 And finished our quick studies with a lovely quail gourd creation.

The purpose of the quick studies were to loosen them up and get them focusing on the -shapes- they were looking at, as opposed to honing in on the details.

After making tone scales with the 2B pencil, we moved into drawing our own hand.  The best thing about drawing your own hand is that you always have it with you if you want to try practicing drawing from observation.

Again, we were focusing on seeing the over all shapes and working on light initial lines.  One of the most important things about learning how to draw, is learning how to -see-.  And these kids have great sight (:

As we wound down our first hour, I had them drawing their favorite animal.

One of absolute favorite parts of the last bit of our first lesson were the conversation (:  There were discussion about trying new and unusual foods, what critters eat other critters.  And the beginnings of new friendships.

As I told the parents when they came to pick up these wonderful young artists-- the purpose of these weekly lessons aren't necessarily to walk out with a finished product-- but to learn a new skill. (:  Next Thursday, we're focusing on Tone.

For the second hour, we had our first lesson in water color.  It's always amazed me how little actual paint is needed for this medium!

We started with small samplers and color theory.  Even though the pack came with green and orange, the only colors I put on the palettes were red, yellow, blue and black.  The sample was for practicing mixing colors and an introduction for some of our young artists to how colors blend.  It also gave them a chance to experiment with a variety of paint brushes.

For the larger paper, we were working on techniques:  wet on dry vs. wet on wet.  But first, I let the kids head into the gallery for inspiration! (:

And then it was on to the painting:

We'll still be painting in water color next week, exploring more techniques (including the awesomeness of salt!)

One of the most satisfying parts for me was hearing the occassion "Ooo!" or "That's cool!" when they learned a new technique (:

And I think they all had a good time-- which is what really matters!

Looking forward to next week's Lesson and seeing these fantastic young artists again!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

30 in 30 Days, Day 16

I'm really feeling the sepia today, so after finishing the painting for Day 15, I decided I wanted to stick with it for today's painting.

'Jumpin Jack Flash'. 9.8" x 6.5". Acrylic on dictionary page.

Prints and other merchandise available for purchase here
The whole time I was painting this jack rabbit, I had the ear worm of the Rolling Stones "Jumpin Jack Flash" running through my head.  I figured it was the painting naming itself (;

And just because I love to share my ear worms:

30 in 30 Days, Day 15

As midnight approached last night, I knew I was going to have to finish up yesterday's painting today.  I was ready for bed and no longer feeling in the mood to paint.  I knew I could try to continue and finish it on day 15-- but I also knew the finished product would suffer for it.  So instead, I packed up my paints, cleaned my brush and headed to bed.  Part of what helped with that decision is knowing the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge doesn't actually require a painting every day.  It's forgiving that way (:  And recognizes that some days, it's just not going to happen-- but you can always do more paintings on another day to reach the target number.

So after some slight procrastination, I finished:

'Waiting for Moonlight'. 9" x 12". Acrylic on Sheet Music.
Prints and other merchandise available for purchase at

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Adventures in Bedtime

So my boys asked to snuggle tonight.  As my youngest and I were getting ready for his turn, I noticed he hadn't cleaned his room...again.  I told him I was very disappointed and he'd be losing his privileges until it's clean.  He was so unhappy with this announcement that when it was time to snuggle and I asked how his day at school had been, he buried his head under the pillow and shouted, "Horrible!"

I said, "It was Horrible?!?!" And he grumbled, "Yes!  It was -HORRIBLE-!"

So I said, "Okay.  Tell me what was the most horrible part of lunch!"

He said, "I had gravy!"

I said, "You had gravy?..."

(and in this moment, the boy remembered he likes gravy...particularly with mashed potatoes)

 ..."Well...the gravy was good.  I also had mashed potatoes.  And an orange."

"So what was horrible about lunch?"

"The orange had a seed in it!"

I said, "Oh NO!"

I looked just like that.

"The horrors!  The orange. had. A. SEED!!!"

^ Now -that- is a scary orange!

And he growled, "I could have choked!"

I said, "True.  True!  Well then we'll both be very grateful that you didn't!...So...tell me the most horrible thing about PE today!"

"All of it!"

"Really?  All of it?"


"Okay.  You have to give me all the gory, terrible, horrible details!"

"We started two games and didn't get to finish -either- of them before PE was all over!"

"That IS terrible!..... what were the games?"

"I don't know what it was called."

"...Was it 'Tag'?"

"I'm not in TAG."

"No, honey.  Wrong Tag.  I meant 'Tag'."

(and touched his shoulder.)

He rolled away buried back under the pillow, "We're not allowed to play tag."

(Defeated.) "Oh." (Excited again.) "Was it dodge ball?"

"We don't have the right kind of ball."

"Oh.... Was it kick ball?"

"We didn't play with a ball, Mom.  It was  running six times around the cones and then sitting down at the cones and they pull numbers out of a hat to see if you're out and you don't get a prize."

"Oh!...So they kind of combined 'Duck, Duck, Goose' and a Cake Walk..."

"Yea, but then we had to leave and we didn't get to play very long!" (As he dodged back under the pillow.)

"Well that IS terrible!....  Did you have to read today?"


"What did you have to read today?"

"They made me read four whole chapters!"

(As I leaned in conspiratorially) "But that's not horrible!  It means you can read four whole chapters!  And I bet you learned something new."

"Uh-uh! We took turns.  I didn't have to read the whole thing.  It was the whole blue group."

No.  Not them.

(In mock horror) "Oh No!  You had to listen to -other people- reading?!?  ...That's HORRIBLE!"

"...It wasn't -that- bad, Mom."

"Oh....well how about writing?  I bet they had you writing today.  And I bet -that- was horrible!"

"The writing was actually pretty fun."

"WHAT?!?  -Fun- snuck  in on this horrible day?!?"

"Well...we didn't get to finish...."

(Hopefully) "That sounds like it might be horrible!... But tell me more about this interrupting 'fun' thing you were doing."

"We had to write and then we got to make a pumpkin!"

"Oooo!  What kind of pumpkin?  Was it drawn? Or cut and glued? Or 3D?"

"It was already drawn, Mom.  But we got to draw on it and make scary monster faces."

(In absolute terror) "Scary monster faces?!?!  OH NO!!!"

(giggle from under the pillow)

"What -kind- of scary monster faces?!?"

"I gave it big scary monster eyes" (A squeak from me.) "and a big scary monster nose." (A moan and tremble from me) "but we had to stop" (back to grumping under the pillow) "and I didn't get to give it a mouth!"

(shaking in terror) "...Well....what -kind- of mouth were going to give this scary monster?..." (He peeks at me from under the pillow)

(waving my fingers in front of my mouth) "Would it be tentacles?" (He raised his eye brow skeptically.) "Tentacles can be scary!" (as I picture Cthulhu).

Man!  ^ That would have -totally- sold him on the scariness of tentacles!

" about... FANGS" (as my fingers become fangs and I lunge towards him.)  He giggles, leaves the pillow and says, "How about -spikes-?!" (and I quake and moan.)  He says, "How about -Fire-?!" and I tremble and shriek, "Oooo!  Fire would be -scary-!"  And he giggles and says, "What if it was a GIANT fire?!"

"That would be -terrible-!"

"What if it was a giant pumpkin with both spikes AND fire?!?"

"Oh No!  THAT would be terrifying!  That would be the most scary pumpkin -EVER-!!"

And he outright laughed and gave me a hug before heading off to bed.

My oldest and I got into a discussion about girls.  (Aack!!!)  He told me he wouldn't mind kissing a girl.  And I told him:

"Mom...I found out in second grade that cooties aren't real."

"Yes they are!  And...And...And GIRLS have them!!!"

As he laughed, "Then I want cooties, Mom!"

"Aack!!  No you don't!  No cooties for you!  ...And NO kissing girls!!"

"Yes. Mom.  Woohoo! Cooties!"

"Aack!!!  That's It!  I'm just going to have to kiss your father in front of you!  That's sufficiently icky!"

"I've seen you kiss Dad plenty of times.  And it's not that bad."

"Yes it is! ...It's horrible!...It's....It's...scarring?  Yes!  Scarring!  You've been -scarred- by seeing me kiss your Daddy!  Because...because ...(lamely) it's icky, right?"

Giggling, "No, Mom."

"Well! about your Grandpa Tom!  HE knows it's icky!  Why! He only kisses Grandma Judy -once- a year!"

"Grandpa Tom is feeling old and cranky."

Pausing to reflect, "Okay...maybe Grandpa Tom IS feeling a little old and cranky...but he still only kisses Grandma Judy once a year.... POOR Grandma Judy!"

As he laughs at me, "I'm -telling-!  I'm telling Grandpa Tom you said he was old and cranky!"

In indignation, "I did no such thing!...I merely agreed with YOU when you said it! (He laughs) ...It's totally different."

And then he asked for a glass of water.  I told him sure.  He asked if he could get it from the fridge.  I said sure....and verbally remembered, "Hmmm...I'm going to have to throw the cabbage in the fridge away.... It's been there for -17 days-!  If I don't get it soon...(as I ran my hands like a slow moving blob up his arm and onto his head) it's going to leave the fridge on it's own and come looking for me!"

He laughed and said, "Then I'll just get my airsoft gun and shoot it."

At that point, I couldn't stop laughing".... How do you kill a zombie cabbage?.... You shoot it in the head.

(Get it?  Shoot it in the head? ....HEAD of cabbage?)  It's ALL head!"

He rolled his eyes, hugged me and told me I must be insane.  I said, "You know:

(which, it turns out, is actually a quote!)
 He groaned, shook his head and said, "You know GOOFY is hereditary too, right?"

I squealed, pushed him lightly away and started brushing the goofy off of me, "Aack!  No!  You can have your goofy back!"

He laughed, gave me a hug, and said, "It's way too late for YOU, Mom.  You're stuck with that goofy.  It's not mine.... I'm pretty sure you were born that way..."

Rotten kid. (;

Although...he -may- have a point...