Art du Jour 78

Sketch of a little dog I never met.

Sketch of a little dog I never met.

My life lately has been one big series of breaks. I’m running out of reasons (excuses) to take them. Maybe I’m just resting up for non stop November blogging from hell. (That’s not exactly what it’s called, but close.)

A couple of weeks ago I flew/drove/crossed a river by boat to spend several days on our little island in gorgeous fall weather. My sister and brother-in-law drove from the other direction and all of us helped W close up camp for the winter. It’s a two-day drive for both of us to get home. And then straight away I drove 5 hours north to spend some time with 4 of my grandchildren. Not sure how useful I’m being, but I’m here for a couple more days. Number one grandson turns 14 tomorrow.

W is busy at home preparing himself with appointments and paperwork for his hip replacement surgery. We are hoping it will be scheduled for early next month if not sooner. I will be his chief post surgery care giver. How scary is that? Not for me, for him. I’ve got my own scary stuff going on with two ultrasounds and a mammogram booked for next Friday. October is health month at our house. Flu shots are coming up too.

For the next three months I’m on a diabetic medication because blood work revealed that my blood sugar levels are all out of whack. I hardly ever eat sugary things, but I guess sitting on my retired ass for a year has messed up my metabolism or something. There’s always something. So yeah. Working on that.

So that’s my missing-in-action excuse list for now. The sketch is from a photo. I will get back to working in my “art studio” soon, and back to reading your blogs. I miss those things.

I have all the paraphernalia at home to check my blood sugar levels.  It involves sharp things and a bio-hazardous waste receptacle, so when I work up the nerve to start using all that, I will share the experience with you.  Self inflicted pain coming up.  Woohoo.

Have an awesome October weekend!


Art du Jour 77

For something that started out looking very much like a baby quilt, this turned out okay in the end.
First there was the design and drawing. Look at me being all precise and disciplined and using a ruler.
All those little squares were boring so I changed a few of them, added random colours from my box of acrylic tubes, realized my sail boat is impressionistic rather than realistic, and then sat back and looked at this for a long time.
Then it was cut and paste time, with this result.
This morning I finally finished it, adding layers and some shading and bits of chaos here and there lest anyone think this might be meant to depict smooth sailing.  It was much too clean and organized.  There will be none of that in this house.
It’s a lovely sunny warm Monday here. It’s also my daughter’s birthday which means another July is winding down. Hope your day is beautiful.

Art du Jour 76

Since a lot of my pictures don’t have any real focal point, I tried to create one here. It’s a bridge over a muddy stream in case you missed it.

My home decor has about ten thousand focal points in every room too. I have inner calm amidst outer chaos.

Although I did get annoyed with the ink in this one, because even though I sprayed it with fixative it continued to seep up to the top of whatever I layered over it. Bad ink. Doing what ink does.

Here’s another thing I learned. A really expensive facial cleanser I don’t like works well to remove dried on gel medium from my hands. Now I don’t have to throw it out and feel all guilty about it. Or scrub my hands like I’m trying to remove my fingerprints.

This was a three-day long labour intensive project because I had a vision and a goal. Sometimes I think things turn out better when I don’t have either one of those things.

Art du Jour 75

Among the many reasons why I don’t like to draw the faces of men, these two are the biggest. Their ears are so visible and over all they are generally so incredibly hairy.

So,try to ignore the ears which I couldn’t be bothered finishing, and the inaccurate directions in which the stubble appears to be headed. Other than that, I am calling it okay. Not just another pretty face, and more challenging than anything on a Friday really needs to be.

Today the weather is cool with gusty winds and welcome rain. Perfect for staying inside and messing about with charcoal. I’ve lost track of how many coffees I’ve consumed.

I should tell you that this drawing was inspired by a photo of Hugh Laurie. Now you don’t have to wonder who it vaguely reminds you of any longer. This information might even give you something totally different to wonder about.

And on that note, in this world full of wonder, have a wonderful weekend!

Art du Jour 74

I watched a YouTube video yesterday and it inspired me to create this. The artist used acrylic paints, brushing various colours on to the canvas, letting some dry, and spraying others while still wet with water. She then used a paper towel to blot some of the water and colour up, letting the base colour show through and dabbing the excess on to other colours here and there on the canvas.

Well. Doesn’t that sound easy? I think my paper towel must be better quality than hers, because it lifted everything up and refused to let it go. So I was barely started and already breaking the rules. This is why I don’t take art classes and prefer to just wing it and see what happens. A couple of sea sponges worked way better than the paper.


I took a picture of the background I was finally happy with, just in case it all went downhill from there. Although I don’t know what difference that was supposed to make. It was really bright so I toned it down and blended it all with some watered down gesso.

Then obviously as you can see I don’t know which way is up, and flipped the canvas so the flowers would fit. I sketched them in pencil, went over them with gesso, painted them with acrylics and did some shading with gelatos. The lady I watched did a lot of ink outlines everywhere but I tried to keep the ink to a minimum. I added some texture and stamps instead.  Because that’s what I do.

Finally, as instructed (what? really??) I added white splatter, let it dry, and then added some black. This is supposed to keep the splattered dots from mixing and turning grey. And it worked. Whaddaya know.

I really admire the artists who make these videos because of their ability to stay serious and not swear. Someone should do a tutorial on that. Sorry, it won’t be me.

And that’s how I spent my Wednesday.  How was yours?  If you were serious and didn’t swear, never mind.

Art du Jour 73

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a black and white charcoal face on brown paper, so I’m very happy with this result. Especially the hair. And the lopsided smile. And the fact that the eyes are not too big. I like doing eyes, so I tend to exaggerate them too much sometimes.

Practice, practice, practice. And then practice some more.

Originally I intended to incorporate this in to a collage, but I think she’s fine on her own.

And look at me, all organized and industrious and posting in the morning! It’s a beautiful one too, sunny and breezy and not yet hot. Perfect for whatever comes next.

Art du Jour 72


Previously I mentioned somewhere that it was too hot to breathe. I like breathing and don’t want to stop anytime soon, so I’m thinking a fierce and crazy thunderstorm might help to disperse some of this heat which appears to be happily settled in for the duration.

“For the duration” is an expression my mom used a lot about many things. It’s a good one and I like it. It means for the whole time that something continues; for the entire period of time required for something to be completed; for as long as something takes.

This 16 x 20 inch (40.6 x 50.8 cm.) work of art on canvas took me about three days to complete. Here is a breakdown of actual time spent on it.
1. Ripping up paper and map pieces – 20 minutes.
2. Pasting stuff everywhere, including on canvas, desk and fingertips – 30 minutes.
3. Spritzing on ink and colour and water and letting it meander – 10 minutes
4. Staring at unfinished piece during drying time while thoughtfully contemplating next step – 2.5 days.
5. Adding final touches and sealer – most of this morning in fits and starts while doing many other things.

I don’t know how to speed up the staring time. There is a lovely ghost-like dementor shape floating across the canvas and I didn’t want to obliterate it. But it did fade into the background. Perhaps I’m the only one who will ever notice that. Excessive staring has its perks.

My plan for the duration of this heat wave is to keep the ice-cube trays full and the fans on high. And listen for the distant rumble of thunder bringing cooling summer rain.