Current Goings-On

I know it’s been some time since my last post. I’ve been so very busy lately! I’ve hardly had time to do normal everyday things, much less any of the arts I enjoy. I have been teaching our daughters for summer school and we are really enjoying our study of the history and geography of Japan.ย  We’re also continuing our science studies in physics and having fun with many science projects. In our study of Japan, we’ve studied some of the arts practiced in that country:

Zen Painting on fan shapes - The one on the left was done by Magiba, and the one on the right, by Starshine.

Zen Painting on fan shapes – The one on the left was done by Magiba, and the one on the right, by Starshine.

These are our attempts at Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. It really isn't that easy!

These are our attempts at Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. It really isn’t that easy!

Moku Hanga is the art of woodblock printing. We created ours using an idea shared by Consie Sindet. She blogs at www.atopserenityhill.com so I hope you'll stop in at her blog. She's a wonderful artist!

Moku Hanga is the art of woodblock printing. We created ours using an idea shared by Consie Sindet. She blogs at http://www.atopserenityhill.com so I hope you’ll stop in at her blog. She’s a wonderful artist!

We also studied a bit about hiragana.

These are the worksheets we used to work on our hiragana skills.

These are the worksheets we used to work on our hiragana skills.

The above photos were taken by me and edited in either Pixlr or Instagram. They are not for sale and you do not have my permission to use them in any way.

I have been working on little art projects here and there when I can but time is scarce. The storm season is upon us and we’ve been out storm spotting quite a bit. This in itself could produce some interesting paintings, if I didn’t mind the havoc it would reap in my spirit. I’ve got two current projects to share with you. One is a work-in-progress and the other is a collaboration with Magiba. I hope you enjoy them!

This is a simple line drawing base that I plan to paint and add a poem or lyric to. If you'd like to download a copy, you can do so by clicking the link to go to my deviantArt page. It's free but if you use it for any projects of your own, please link back to my deviantArt page, and give me credit in the caption. Thanks!

This is a simple line drawing base that I plan to paint and add a poem or lyric to. If you’d like to download a copy, you can do so by clicking the link to go to my deviantArt page. It’s free but if you use it for any projects of your own, please link back to my deviantArt page, and give me credit in the caption. Thanks!

This is the collaboration artwork Magiba and I created. If you'd like to purchase a print or photo gift of this, please click on the picture to visit my deviantArt page. Any earnings we receive with be split down the middle.

This is the collaboration artwork Magiba and I created. If you’d like to purchase a print or photo gift of this, please click on the picture to visit my deviantArt page. Any earnings we receive with be split down the middle.

Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful, wonderful, and whimsical day!

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Yesterday’s Art Challenge: Dusk

About 3 days ago, before the steampunk costumes were completed, I had an idea pop into my head for an abstract drawing. No colors really came to mind but I wanted to use curved and straight lines to form what I hoped would be an interesting art piece. This is the result of my efforts. I think it would translate well to graffiti but, alas! I haven’t got the spray paint, nor is that product in my budget at this time. This is mixed media art done in Sharpie marker, pencil, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, and Bic permanent color markers. I’ve always enjoyed making these kinds of odd shapes and then adding in little details. I hope you enjoy the piece! Also, if you’d like to be among the first to see my work, then do check out my deviantART page. I have started using it to post my work first, since they offer the creative commons license as you upload each piece. I left the icon in my sidebar because it allows people know my work is my own and asking permission before use is necessary. Without further ado, here is my piece for yesterday’s challenge. I haven’t gotten a lot of feedback on it yet. I guess we’ll see how that goes in the future.

"Dusk" - mixed media artwork by me - Please click the photo to go to my deviantART page to read more about it.

“Dusk” – mixed media artwork by me – Please click the photo to go to my deviantART page to read more about it.

Farmer’s Market and New Artwork

I learned today, that it is indeed possible to pack up some paint, water, and tools and bring them along to the Farmer’s market. Just having to sit still while I know I could be doing something productive or fun is really tough. So I pulled out my travel watercolor kit, filled a plastic container with water, and “carefully” packed some acrylic paints, a straw, and a small palette in our market basket. (We have a huge basket that stays packed with our display things and the items we feel are appropriate to sell at the Farmer’s Market.) The paints arrived safely, I’m happy to say, as did everything else in the basket. And I was able to paint.

It’s been quite a while since I was able to do any straw painting so I decided to try doing that today. I like straw painting because while you /can/ control the flow of the paint to create fabulous and intricate pictures of exact things, it can also be a random, crazy, thought-provoking roller coaster ride. I like the second option better. I like to see what the paint, the paper, my own breath, will present to my imagination. What kind of story will my artwork tell me each time? I don’t always know!

I focused mostly on red and black but my favorite work has golden green and coppery brown added to it. I watered down my black and red to an ink-like consistency. I practiced with the different brushes on one of my 4 sheets of paper to see what kinds of lines and such I could create with them, as well as how much paint on the brush achieved what shade of color. Here are the results, in the order they were created. I’m happy with them! I hope you enjoy them, too. The last photo is of our table at today’s market.

For some reason, I worked in sets of three for this painting. Each section of black lines was created with three dots of paint. I had a lot of fun with the maned spirals. I think they might be baby dragons but I suppose that's up for interpretation!

For some reason, I worked in sets of three for this painting. Each section of black lines was created with three dots of paint. I had a lot of fun with the maned spirals. I think they might be baby dragons but I suppose that’s up for interpretation! Oh! And this photo is a scan of the original. The only adjustment was the ‘autofix’ option I clicked to smooth out the lines and show the red a little better.

Again, I used sets of three for the black. I didn't count the red streamers because my goal was to create a pleasant background for the focal points. I called this one "Lines Of Third Connection" because the three dots connected to each of the other sets of three. The lines are crazy, but they still connect. Again, this is a scan of the original, using only the auto-correct button to smooth out the harsher texture of the paper and bring out the vibrancy of the red.

Again, I used sets of three for the black. I didn’t count the red streamers because my goal was to create a pleasant background for the focal points. I called this one “Lines Of Third Connection” because the three dots connected to each of the other sets of three. The lines are crazy, but they still connect. Again, this is a scan of the original, using only the auto-correct button to smooth out the harsher texture of the paper and bring out the vibrancy of the red.

As the sun sets, the tree showers down a few leaf-kisses in farewell..."Golden Goodnight Kisses". I used the same black and red and the intensity alters with how much paint is on the brush and how many times you paint over the same area. The tree trunk was created with a good bit of paint and a straw. Yes. There is a bit of white shining through, here and there. I left it. I'm truly satisfied with this picture. It's one of my better ones. This is a scan of the original and I only used the auto-correct button to smooth out the harshness of the paper and bring out the color vibrancy a bit more.

As the sun sets, the tree showers down a few leaf-kisses in farewell…”Golden Goodnight Kisses”. I used the same black and red and the intensity alters with how much paint is on the brush and how many times you paint over the same area. The tree trunk was created with a good bit of paint and a straw. Yes. There is a bit of white shining through, here and there. I left it. I’m truly satisfied with this picture. It’s one of my better ones. This is a scan of the original and I only used the auto-correct button to smooth out the harshness of the paper and bring out the color vibrancy a bit more. This one is John‘s and my favorite of the three.

I use acrylics. I haven’t done much with watercolor, or the watercolor pencils that came in my portable kit. I needed to use a medium I knew very well today. I did use two watercolor brushes because I knew they’d be better for the ink-like consistency of my paint. My brushes: Royal brand, Round #2; Master’s Touch brand, 785 Round #8; Master’s Touch brand, 7520 Oval Wash 1/2″. This is the first time I’ve used the Master’s Touch brushes, though I’ve had the kit for about 2 years. I really liked them! (I don’t do the affiliate thing. Probably won’t ever do that because it seems like an extra hassle I don’t need.)

And here’s the photo of the table we set up today.

This is our small table set up for the Farmer's Market. I didn't put out much of my chainmail today. Most of our items were John's paracord items he's been experimenting with. We also had the girls' painted glass stones on our table and my three paintings as I completed them. You can get a better idea of the small size of the paintings in this picture. I took this picture with my cell and edited it in Pixlr Express, an Android app.

This is our small table set up for the Farmer’s Market. I didn’t put out much of my chainmail today. Most of our items were John’s paracord items he’s been experimenting with. We also had the girls’ painted glass stonesย  and charm bracelets on our table, and my three paintings as I completed them. You can get a better idea of the small size of the paintings in this picture. I took this picture with my cell and edited it in Pixlr Express, an Android app. (Magiba was ready to call it day.) I am loving my birthday present. I think this new phone will make it easier for me to present better photos online.

Of necessity, we had to limit our wares as we had to go straight to the theater for practice. We had to leave before the market closed, even, in order to get to practice on time. It all turned out well in the end. It’s my intention to blog about the nightgown I finished up today in tomorrow’s post, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading and feel free to leave comments or ask questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron