glows, reflections, and shadows

Art Study:  Caregiver Reflections

I am sitting here drinking two drinks. Somehow I made it through the day without drinking much water so I’m making up for it now. So I’m downing the ice cold water and sipping the hot tea. It’s like fire and ice.

I can’t help but notice how cool the amber tea glows in the table. That cup is double walled and keeps the drink hot a long time. Then there’s the lights in the base of all three. The shadows are a grayish translucent, sorta almost purple. I am considering how that would be painted.

If got paid by the hour for my art I’d count this tea time in for sure…like the old lawyer time billing joke:

”I saw you on the street. Thought about your case. Turns out it wasn’t really you. Time:  two tenths of an hour”

This is precious time. The house is quiet.

Acrylic Work in progress: Brunette Beauty

 I went back to acrylics for this painting because I was working in the basement with a group of other artists and I was concerned that my oil paints would be to caustic since there wasn’t good ventilation. What I learned about doing the acrylics that has really made them easier to use is a technique of using a fine mist spray bottle to keep my pellet my waist since the acrylic paints tend to dry so quickly.  

Baby rolls and pink boots… The process as I do it. 

I had such bad rumples from the watercolor see below. So i wet the back and pushed it tight between books and in the process got out most of the rumples but put a crease in.  So i think this one is jist a practice and will be beginning another sans watercolors.  I learned a whole lot!!!

  Adding layers of pastel. 

  Adding in color with watercolor pencils. 

  Below is the first sketch with blocking in a bit of color with watercolor pencils. I plan is to first paint washy watercolors and then lay on pastels. 


Woodburning stain and bottle caps. Just Another Day in Paradise

My mom and dad retired to the Texas Hill Country after being raised here and being gone from it for most of their married life. The first picture is the saying she wanted for me to wood burn and include bottle caps she had been collecting to go on an outdoor wall. And below see the Texas flag I blogged about before. After she hung it up on her garden wall it was just too bright so i gave it an antiquing treatment. Better. And the last is Mini and Pub, her dogs. I didnt make them but i found them on a shopping expedition in fredericksburg. Grabbed them right up. 


Art Camp advertisements for Music and the Mind and my first window painting experience 

 I spent lots of time online learning about how to paint on glass worried about how it would work. What I learned is if you first block the whole thing out with white eggshell paint from the hardware store and then paint with craft acrylics the colors will show up more vividly and wash off more easily. I really sweated it ahead of time so this preparation of learning through all those YouTube artists who put their tutorials out there for free was almost like apprenticing. Here is the one I did on my dining room window. I let it sit almost a week and it washed right off. 


Backdrop in progress for Music and the Mind Stone Stories Adventure Camp

I originally was making the backdrop for storytelling from painters drop cloth and a tension rod but the space was just too wide and tension rods have their limits. 

So here is the backdrop in progress … 


4 x 8 insulation board is very easy but messy to cut. I have used to paint on for different projects in the past. Basically is paint on thin sheet of plastic but it works. I am presently painting a thatch roof for it. That will add an additional foot.  I created cardboard hinges and duck taped over it so it folds up nicely. I would make something like this out of plywood but I don’t like messing with heavy wood. However would be nice if it would be used over and over again. 

And those pretty curtains are Vera Bradley paper napkins stapled on. 😀

First attempt: stone cookies

The Oreos are coated in vanilla frosting with a little Oreo cookie dust sprinkled in. The dirt is Oreo cookies ground up along with white sugar and brown sugar. I will work on the grass next time I will have much thicker frosting and a smaller tip. I tried to use fork tines to lift up some blades of grass. But not bad for the first attempt I think.  Once I get this perfected will be a nice snack for our Music & the  Mind Event:  Stone Stories Summer Adventure Camp scheduled in mid July. Maybe I will get a few little characters and cars to go off roading through this imaginative dessert. 


Paint and bubbles on watercolor paper. Love. 

First pour some bubbles into a bowl. I used a cereal bowl.  Next add a few drops of paint. Then use a straw and blow to get some bubbles. Lots of bubbles without spilling over the edge is ideal. Next take your watercolor paper and place it on the top of the bowl. Remove the bowl after a few seconds and allow the bubbles to pop. You can help them along with the end of a pencil. Here’s what you get.  


They are just like clouds. You can see all kinds of shapes. Here I have outlined some.  


Stone Soup Story Tiles

 What I did:

1.  Painted the illustrations on watercolor paper using acrylic paints.  See previous post below.  

2.  Took photos of the paintings with my iPhone.

3.  Used Microsoft word tables to make the 2″ tile size pictures.

4. Sent the page to local quick copy center. 

5. Cut out the pics. Could just cut squares for younger folks.  But I carefully cut out closely around the objects. 

6. Decoupaged using very thin layer of mod podge. Put a few additional costs of mod podge. Here’s a close up:  



These tiles will fit very well in the wipee box from the dollar store. The printed story is my version adapted from a very old fairytale I found online.



I have had such joy creating story stones. Actually I painted the stones before painting the large paintings. 

Stone Soup is s story of bringing together the little of what you have to help many. 


Music Rocks


I made these for a local preschool music class. Nowadays there is so much plastic stuff for kids and not too many different feeling things for learning. I think that the weight of the rocks will be interesting and effective for little hands and minds. Besides all that: music rocks!

The Cypress By the Green Guadalupe

If you walk to the banks of the Guadalupe you will see that it is basically a tangle of Cypress tree root systems. I will be using this picture as a backdrop display for turtles I will be making from clay. I started a birthday gift for my dad today and used all but 2 penny size owls worth of clay. So I think the owl count will be 90. 😄

Today’s owls

I may not do any more if the quarter inch owls. The painting is difficult as holding onto the little guys is difficult. Yesterday I dropped one and it was betweenthe carpet fibers.

Almost done! About 2 dozen clay owls are almost dry enough to paint. Then I am moving on to make the display. The owls have been easy to form with really only using my fingers. However yesterday I formed some that I pressed in my sizzix embosser which is a whole different look. Tomorrow I will sidetrack to making some hair bows. My goal is to fill up a craft booth and the teeny owls don’t cover much square footage.

Projects in the wings

These little guys are drying. If you look closely you’ll see the second from the left is more white than the others it’s all dry and the fourth from the left is a little lighter it’s almost dry the one that is all the way on the right side Will probably need another 24 hours to dry.


This is a teddy bear head that I have drying on a pencil. Maybe it will be a pencil puppet.


This fabric is going to be hair bows.


This canvas is going to be some more backgrounds for my owls I’m not sure if I’m going to sell my paintings or just leave them as backgrounds for my display.


Little Red Riding Hood Story Stones

Little Red Riding Hood. She should’ve listened to her mother and stayed on the path to take those blueberry muffins to grandma. These stones can be discussed as a moral lesson. Parents know best and have reasons behind seemingly arbitrary rules.

Try using these stones as a family game. Place them in the middle of the table and the youngest takes a stone and starts off a story. Either the well loved tale or a new one. Each family member must restate the story as they go along and add a detail as they draw their stone.


Puzzle Stones


In this set of story stones a little gray mouse has just taken off with a gust of wind on top of the red umbrella. The boy in the blue jacket is just almost able to reach the umbrella to save the little mouse. I am sure that the raccoon in the tree knows exactly what has happened and maybe could tell his story. Perhaps the red cardinal perched on the branch is a secret agent who knows exactly what the mouse is doing.

I think you get the idea. Begin with a character or an idea and build your story. Enjoy making different combinations.

There are no limits to your imagination.