Fall Forward with Grace

I don’t seem to be alone with wanting to fast forward to Christmas. I am looking forward to the lights and the smell of orange, cinnamon and ginger all of which bring good cheer and warm memories. However, I am called to slow down and appreciate the messages that come with the Fall season and Thanksgiving. I scanned through my watercolor collection to find this abstract floral that I did in early 2020. When I turned it on its side and embellished with gold, I was ready to send notes of gratitude.

Even though 2020 has been a trying year, let us not forget to count our blessings and list all the “silver linings.” Though we are far apart, I have had more contact with my children this year than in previous years. I am grateful for the technology that enables that. I am grateful for the creativity that my daughter has to assemble a unique and what promises to be a fun virtual Thanksgiving experience that will bring our family and her fiancee’s family together.

Be grateful for what we have and not bemoan what we don’t have. I have been and will continue to count my blessings and will hold off on Christmas decorations to at least the day AFTER Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

just when the caterpillar thought life was over…

I have been playing around with various approaches to creating a watercolor of a butterfly. After several attempts: some that I love, some that I don’t and some in between; I decided to take a step back and appreciate these creatures.

Butterflies are symbols of change and transformation and with that hope. 2020 has been and continues to be a difficult year. Here is to the hope that we emerge from it with grace. Life is not over….

So far this is my favorite creation. I wondered if I could include a Jackson Pollock effect in watercolor. The best I could do was splatter globs of water around the wings and blow through a straw. I imagine the butterfly is displacing water in a pond. Doomsayers might say otherwise.

The final touch is silver tulle to replicate shimmering veins. I love the tulle. It’s my new mixed media favorite. Here’s to hope and a shimmering and beautiful 2021.

Never Give Up Hope

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I don’t however need any reminders that I lost my mother to Breast Cancer which eventually took her life nor to be reminded of the women in my life who have lost their loved ones or the women I know who fought the fight and survived. To celebrate and to remember and to keep fighting the good fight so that our sons and daughters are free from this disease….Cheers.

Walking on Sunshine

and don’t it feel good.

The weather has been very wet and rainy these past couple of days as a tropical storm system runs its course. Finishing a sunny card is one way to keep spirits lifted. Finishing a card that supports an important cause like GO Lisey is even more uplifting.

I created this Sunflower watercolor last year. While looking for inspiration, I settled on a unique perspective of the flower by getting up close to it. When it came time to reproduce the note cards, I embellished them with black Tulle that I was using for another project. The Tulle, makes the image pop. Check out GO Lisey and GO Lisey note cards. And may the sun shine on you!

As Tender As Rose Petals

A friend’s new born granddaughter inspired this card and motivated me to search for an image of a rose that would suit a new born’s innocence and celebrate her name. At first I tried loose petals which reminded me of the wall paper my Mother had in our living room when I was a child. I also tried a deep red rose which presented an image that seemed too mature for a baby. Then I found a white rose tipped with deep pink. It was lovely to watch the color spread and bleed into the flower, a technique that is better than meditation. Although it took me longer to finalize this, it was a wholly satisfying experience when I looked at the finished card.

Note From a 5 Year Old

After focusing on producing the first official GO Lisey notecard, I realized I had stiffened up. I had awakened my right brain and it was overtaking the creative freedom that I have been enjoying.

To loosen up, I sat in front of a blank piece of paper, several different brushes and left over paint, some pens and just started to whisk colors across the page with wild abandon.

I almost became giddy. There was no judgment. No fear. I changed colors and directions and splatted on drops of watercolor and swished some more.

During this process, I found myself grinning from ear to ear and laughing like a Kindergartner, freely experimenting with no purpose other than to have fun. Then the 5 year-old self embedded (scribbled) a note in the painting to remember just that. Have fun! What will be will be. And I managed to tame my right brain.

Note From A Kindergartner

GO with the Flow

So much for “going with the flow.” I have been working on this image for quite some time and trying different techniques to get “flow.” Flow for me is that sensation of feeling present and fulfilled in a moment. That is not happening as yet with this project.

I finally decided to test out a different approach on a scrap piece of Arches watercolor paper which is so lovely to work with. Using the wet on wet method, I placed streams of water and then dropped in various colors of blue, blue-green and silver.

Creating flow of watercolor with silver and a dash of rubbing alcohol

Watching the colors move as I turned the paper vertically, up and down was like meditating. Because I approached this as a “test,” I decided to place a few drops of rubbing alcohol on the watercolor to see what would happen. Oila! I liked the result so much that I started seeing this as an original and not a draft.

All I needed to do next is to figure out how and where to place the Globe. The globe is symbolic for my Go Lisey series.

I took my time creating the streams on the globe and layering on silver water color. When I was happy with the painting, I took a photo and uploaded the watercolor for printing. The image was either too washed out, too pixelated or too vivid.

With my husband’s support and using his camera, we came up with a picture that captured more of the texture. The colors however were not translating to the print media.

I feel like I am spending too much time to ensure the original translates satisfactorily when printed. The reproduction needs to evoke as much joy as the original. I even tried scanning the original and then converting it to jpeg so that I could embellish the color.

Too Pale

The scan-converted-to-jpeg with color edits seems to be getting a little closer to the result I seek. But the print version was too pale.

After stepping away from the project and starting with a fresh image of the original watercolor, and without changing the brilliance or tint, I have a naturally warmer hue; more than I envisioned for this image. The warmth however is a nice companion to the coolness of the blue and silver.

Here is a picture of the final note card with its message. It is ready to be reproduced. Once copies are made, I will hand embellish the art with some silver shimmers and dots. Here is to Go Lisey. She has taught me a lot about flow.

Finding That Artistic Center

In my quest to satisfy my artistic hunger and at the same time unclutter my life, I came up with the idea to re-purpose some old books as a Christmas gift project.

Among the many art supplies, I had a quilling tool. Quilling was something that fascinated me many years ago but I never had the patience nor the time to create or complete a project. The tool came in handy when I decided to fill Christmas balls with pages from books.

For one of my projects, I took a chapter that I had contributed to a business book and folded it and then used some of the pages to create scrolls for the Christmas ball. I also filled the ball with glitter balls for added fun.

For the Angel Book, I painted over some of the pages with gold acrylic before cutting and quiling them into scrolls. I added gold glitter balls and feathers.

Projects like these are truly a labor of love. I find that when I make these, I am thinking of the person who will receive these gifts.

Smart Business
Angel Letters

Dancing Purple

After giving my daughter roughly 30 watercolor panels that I had created in 2019, I set a new goal to send her one new watercolor a month in 2020. I needed a theme and decided to try my hand at doing the flower of the Month. The list that I found said that the Violet was the birth flower for February. Different lists claimed the Iris or the Tulip for February.

I struggled with the Violet as well as with a style that gave me joy. I tried just about everything. My husband challenged me to do an Iris. I had a hard time creating a loose Iris so I tried my hand at something more realistic. (Damn you Steve!)

My favorite one is that of the whimsical dancing flowers. I have NO idea what type of flower it is. It is purple. That counts for something. And I had fun splashing the color on the paper and then doodling.

Giving Thanks

When I first started using watercolor, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought the medium was unfriendly and required an expertise that I was unwilling to develop. Then I found artists on YouTube who were so encouraging. I have to thank them for their teachings and their willingness to share their techniques and their ideas: CreationsCeeCee, EmmaLefebvre, and Sarah Cray at Let’s Make Art. Thank you for making me feel like I can and for making me laugh and smile.