Friday, June 29, 2012

Experimenting with Texture

Well I love it when I can experiment with something new. I bought some crackle texture and applied it to a canvas, thicker in some parts so that it would crack deeply and thinner in some areas where there would be less cracks.  I left some of the canvas not covered so the texture of the canvas would show through.

Then I used a stencil to put a thicker layer for a fleur de lis in the lower right corner.  Using acrylic (Americana) paints, after it dried thoroughly I base coated the canvas, did my painting of grapes &; then antiqued it at bit with burnt umber. But that made the grapes look darker so I rehighlighted the middle grapes so they stood out more.

I found this old frame I had laying around the house and it was perfect because it has a raised design in it.
I call this piece Tuscan Memories......what do you think.

Happy Paint Party Friday.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Did I Get Myself Into?

Ya'll know how I love to paint. I am a pretty prolific painter and I always see things and think I want to paint that.

Years ago (must have been at least 15 or so) I saw a painting of the Holy Family in a china painting magazine and tore it out. I have had it for years thinking one day I'm going to paint that.  Well the day has come. LOL.

I'm not crazy about portrait tones, etc. Oh and how I hate clothing folds...I struggle with it but it's like landscapes I hate to paint them and I think I suck at it but I make myself do it. You can't  paint all the cutesy stuff  forever and you can't grow as an artist if you don't push yourself.

Soon after I started it, I could see that this piece was going to take many paintings and kiln fires. The whole time I'm praying to the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph & Infant Jesus! I need big time help!

 In this photo I was just starting the 2nd fire (painting) process.  I was working in the face area (where the colors were being darkened). You can see the rest of the plate is very light, that was the first fire area.  Yesterday I  finished working on the 2nd fire painting and it's in the kiln now. It looks much better. Things are more defined and taking shape, however, it's got a very long way to go and the background....well to get the depth of color I want...more fires. When I get it out of the kiln I'll take another photo of stay tuned folks.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some Interesting (and entertaining) Sights in the 'Dena

Making the walk this morning I had some interesting sights. It was almost along the Three Bear was very pleasant, one was very aggravating & one was just funny.

The photo to the right was the pleasant sight. I walk past this lady's yard every day. She always has the prettiest flowers coming out of her fence. I think she plants them so they will go out of the fence into the sidewalk. It really softens the look of that fence.  Last couple of years she had sweet pea plants with these black eyed was really pretty. Wonder where the sweet peas went?

Then there was the aggravating sight. Why can't people pick up their dog poop. I almost stepped in this mess. UGH!!!!

The reason I almost stepped in this was because I was looking at the next sight...I had to laugh!  A neighbor's house had a fire and for the past couple of months they have been working inside. The port a pot outside there for a while but today it had an addition....I wonder how many use the outdoor toilet? I guess that's it's the back up plan for a dirty port a pot.

Well looking at the flowers above remind me. I had 2 pots of flowers out front....they both had flowers like the ones on the left.  Actually the other pot had even more flowers on the plant. The other morning I was outside talking to my brother's girlfriend and I said "whoa look at that". It seems that something had eaten the flowers and part of the leaves off the other plant.....Megan said, "Well atleast it was neat about it."  That cracked me up. Well hopefully it will grow back.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Won --- Woo hooo!

Debbie & her turtle

Yesterday my son's sister in law, Debbie, and I went to Polish Pottery Bingo at Savage Mills. I ran into a friend from my Hat Group, Deb Talbot. It was nice to run into her. She didnt win but she had some close encounters.

But Debbie and I were another story.  The last time I went  to this bingo, I didn't win....didn't come close but it was a lucky day for both of us. We won multiple times but they did a call off since others had bingo as well.  But we did come away with some loot!

First Debbie won the turtle. It's so darn cute.

My condiment bowls.
Next I won and picked the 2 little condiment bowls. It was a hard decision because they had lots of things to pick from. I picked them because I am always using little condiment bowls. The thing I wanted (a plate with bunnies on it) was already taken.

Leaf and bug for Brenda.
 Then Debbie won again and selected the leaf bowl with the little bug which she plans to give to her mother in law, Brenda who usually goes with her to bingo.  So what a great day it was. I was tickled to be a winner! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Sketches

It's been a while since I've done Sunday Sketches but I'm back! LOL So this week I thought well if I'm going to do this I need to do something new! And I sat down and did 3 little ACEO colored pencil sketches.

I had planned to scan each one individually but I really like how they look together since I used pretty much the same color pallette. I wasn't as happy with the one at the top. I need to redo that one at some point. The angle of the flower on the left drives me nuts for some reason. Or maybe I need to just darken that flower to put in the background. Well it will give me something to think about.

I was inspired by the beautiful flowers I see along my morning walks. Recently I have been trying to walk to the 7-11 and back (stopping of course for a sugar free mango slurpee to bring on the walk home). It's about 1.1 miles -- just right. So I guess when I walk past those flowers I'll have to take a look at the values again.

Have a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy the Sunday Sketches and for more awesome art visit

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Madagascar 3

Yesterday I took my grandson Mason to the movies. He wanted to see Madagascar 3. I hadn't seen 1 or 2 and had no idea what to expect. The movie was so cute.

It was fast moving with a great sound track. Mason was chair dancing and singing through out the movie. I don't know what was more entertaining him for the movie.

The story line is about the 4 main characters (Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe) who are trying to get back to the zoo where they lived in New York, But instead they end up getting chased through Europe by an  French Animal Control Officer taking shelter with a group of travelling circus animals going by train to Rome where an American promoter will be watching to see if they are good enough to go to NY. It's absolutely hysterical & action packed. I jumped in my seat a couple of times! Watch the trailer.

It was so much fun. You've got to go see it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Painting Outside the Comfort Zone

I belong to a China Painting club, The China Painting Artists of Maryland.

After business meetings we generally do some sort of painting or demonstration. One day we did this new technique with our china paints. Instead of mixing the paint pigments with oil, we used sugar water and then painted the tree design. Then it was fired in the kiln.  The next go round I used lusters dabbed on as leaves and then a luster to indicate the ground.

It's different from the kind of painting I'm used to. I like the traditional painting and I'm not much into abstract or modern art but this was a fun experiment.

Happy Paint Party Friday.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Heat Didn't Keep Us Down!

 So today we ventured out in the 100 degree heat wave out to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore to go to the new Ripley's Believe it or Not. What fun we had. Originally it was to be my husband, me and my grandson, Mason but my son's HVAC job got cancelled today so Joe was able to come with us.

That place is great. Mason was so excited. He was running all over the place, "Was he (or she) real Granny Jo". I'd tell him yes and he squeal with laughter. It was so cute.

Ready for battle.
Peak a boo.
Mason is such a ham. He loves having his photo taken and he seems to always find the perfect pose for the shot. Like look how sweet he looks with the lady with all the rings on her neck. And then he's tough and ready for battle with the Transformer. He's going to be in theater one day, just mark my words!

Joe making a gear man for Mason to play with.
Mason hamming it up with the giant.
Afterwards we went to the new Bubba Gumps next door. Originally Phillips occupied that space but they moved down the street. The food was excellent and the waitress Julianna was so sweet and good with Mason. He just loved her. There was shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp so guess what we ate? LOL....and some crab soup too. Mason had the pepperoni pizza on the child menu. It came with fries and jello. The jello really made a hit. So if you are in the Baltimore area. I highly recommend both places.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Rock and Indie Sort of Day

The Annual Rock, Roll and Ride for the Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Martin's Home was today. Jackie and I painted garden rocks with quotes from Blessed Theresa of Calcutta, Blessed John Paul II and St. Jeanne Jugan (their foundress) for the fundraiser. This is our 3rd year doing that.  Before the Rockathon started there was a Motorcycle Ride. I believe 27 bikes showed up. It was so cute as they were leaving, the Sisters were waving and the bikers waving back. So cute.  
 Sister Lawrence was out there with a ball cap that was over her veil and 2 balloons attached. She took the hat off at one point and it nearly floated away! And then I thought a few more and she could float away. All I could think of was the flying nun but wait, that was  a Daughter of Charity, not a Little Sister.

Inside was the Rockathon. Rockers were rocking in rocking chairs to the sounds of the DJ. There were games. Jackie and I won quite a few of them. They had great prizes. I walked off with a frying pan, mug, 2 candy bars and 4 plants!  There was also a cake walk. I played 3 or 4 times but I didn't win a cake :( but the Oriole Bird won 2 cakes! Can you believe it? Wonder what kind he picked...maybe  poppy seed cake? LOL
It was nice to see Ms. Rose (one of the residents). She just celebrated her 100th birthday. She is pictured here with Jackie. I enjoy talking to her every year.  She is always full of interesting and entertaining stories.  Well I guess if I were 100 I could spin a few tales too, huh? Doesn't she look great for 100?  I hope I look half as good should I live to be that age.

On our way back from the Rockathon we went to an Indie craft show. Beautiful stuff but I had spent all my money on the Little Sisters....but that was more than okay. They really need it.

So tomorrow is Father's Day and I'm ready. My patio looks great...see the brick. You can see them now. I used my power washer to clean them. They were black! They were nice and clean but I was a mess. All the back dirt flew on me..I looked as if I had measles! LOL...but it was worth it. It's so pretty now and ready for my family to come for the cookout.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More Sailabration!

Indonesian Tall Ship
 Well today was second day of  Sailabration for me. The DH (Darling Husband) wanted to see the Tall Ships so we headed out early for the Baltimore Harbor. I didn't have too much trouble finding parking thankfully.
Indonesia notice the carved wood on mast.

We walked to the Harbor and jumped right on the Indonesian tall ship. It was beautiful lots of carved wood. The crew was very friendly.

Then it was over to the Tall Ship from Ecuador. It was also very beautiful. I had to chuckle, they had a jolly roger flag and also a skull painted on one of their mask. When we got on it, there was music playing...latin salsa! People were dancing around. It was fun watching them.

USS Monsoon
The Tall Ship lines were getting really long so we high tailed it over to the Gray Hull ships.We were one of the first groups to get on the USS Moonson (coastal cruiser). The young man who did our tour was noticeably nervous but he did a great job and was very thorough. It was small but powerful little ship.

Some fancy gun...I forget what it was called
There was a little boy with our group and he was so smart. He was asking very pointed we thought out questions about the engines and also weapons. I wonder how he knew all that? He was only about 10 or so.

Well as if I hadn't had enough of harbors and ships, in the evening I was off to Annapolis to meet a friend for coffee at the Harbor. And what did we run into? 

You guessed it another Tall Ship. This one was the Bounty ...built in the 60's for the movie Mutiny and the Bounty with Marlon Brando. It was closed so we couldn't get on it but it was cool to see it.

Sunset behind the State House in Annapolis
So what a fun day...not planned it just all happened. I love spontaneity.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It's a Sailabration



The Fire Boat...welcoming the ships
     Today was a special day in our area. I live in Maryland not far from Ft. McHenry the home of the Star Spangled Banner. This week marks the 200 year anniversary of the War of 1812.  Today 40 tall ships and navy war ships sailed down the bay and into the Baltimore Harbor past the Fort. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful sight and I am blessed to have been able to witness it with my friend Charmaine and her sister Dee.  The ships slowed down at the Fort and shot blanks off at the Fort and then the Fort in return fired back.

       There were lots of people all along the shore, some on blankets, some in chairs and some like us sitting in the grass.There were lots of kids there too. I wish my son had my grandson this week. He would have loved this. 

As each ship passed by those on the shore would wave and clap.  The sailors would respond with waves.  Some of the ships, like the Mexican tall ship played music which you could hear along the shores.

    Park Rangers were all over the place pointing out the ships and which countries they hailed from. 

         The weather was perfect, low humidity, warm temperatures and a wonderful breeze off the water.  Everyone it seemed had a camera. But the guy on the right had the Big Daddy of Cameras! LOL. I couldn't resist sneaking a photo of him.

  There was so much to see on the land and in the water.  We even saw a rare sight. Off the bulkhead I spotted a sea ray going all over the place, fins rising up from the choppy water as if to say welcome, we are glad you can come celebrate with us.  The ships will be here until Tuesday. There are lots of things going on in the Harbor. Including concerts, the Blue Angels, ship tours, you name it. I hope I'm able to fit more.

It's days like this that I'm thankful that I was born in Maryland.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Student Projects

So my china painting students are starting early on their Christmas ornaments. This is the second project. The first series of classes were a wild rose plate. Every china painter starts with the wild rose.

This time they wanted to do ornaments. The first step was for them to trace the design & do the line work with pen. The powdered china paint is mixed with oil made to an inky consistency and they use a crow quill pen to do outlines. Line work is then fired. You can see from the poinsettia below how it turns out. The next class they do the painting "between the lines" as shown in their cardinal ornaments.

Then after that, they will do one more painting (and firing) where the colors are deepened.

The little dog is my ornament. It is not pen work. I just sketched it on with a stabilo pencil. This is the first fire for it. There will be one or two more paintings and firing, depending on how deep I get the color the next time around...Merry Christmas a little early! LOL

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday Adventures...

Saturday was a fun day. My friends Patrica and Marie and I went to the Annapolis Arts & Crafts Festival in Annapolis at the Navy Marine Festival. There were lots of upscale craftsmen & artisans. Not to mention 17 wineries for wine tasting.  In the wine tent there was music. When we were there it was a jazz band. They were quite good. I wasn't flush with money but I did buy this heron for my garden. It spins and tips with the wind.  Afterwards we went to Art Things and I got some art supplies (I'm such an addict) .
On the way back we stopped at the flea market at the fair grounds. It was all but closed but there were a few places opened. I found a cool vase--hand blown glass. Anyway the woman wanted $5 but when I picked it up she said I'll give it to you for $1 because otherwise it goes to charity....wooo hooo.

At another table I found new children's books. Lots of them! I bought 7 first reader books for my 5 year old grandson Mason who agreed to read a book a day this summer on the days he is with me. What a great day!

A Day in the Past

Facebook reminded me that  8 years ago I was at the coliseum in Rome. The most amazing observation I made was that it was so quiet. People s...