Friday, April 18, 2014

Abstract Portraits

I have tried for a few years now to paint portraits.  I am realizing I just do not enjoy creating realism.  Maybe because it is too much of a challenge for me (very possible)  or maybe its because abstract is just more interesting to me.  Either way I grabbed a canvas board the other night along with some paynes gray and white welcoming whatever showed up.  

Whenever I paint this way I always feel as though parts of myself spill out onto the canvas.  I suppose each of us leave small parts of ourselves within our work.  Whether its images or words it would be hard not to.  As artists our work comes from a deeper place, one that we may not even be aware of.  And that place can be very powerful . . . 


Linking up with Paint Party Friday today :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Sketch, Some Butterflies, and IPhone Apps . . .

I found an old sketch I had done very quickly on watercolor paper using a stabilo pencil and water.  I hated it.  lol  Well, hate is a strong word.  I just didn't vibe to the image.  

So when I saw it again yesterday I grabbed my butterfly stencil and some homemade black spray paint.  After a few pumps of the black paint I felt I was on to something.  

I quickly took a pic of it with my iPhone.  It traveled from there to my iPad where I started playing with apps.  I added filters to it with Distressedfx and Pixlromatic. If you have not checked out these apps they are really cool!  I also put it through one last filter via PicTapGo another of my go to photo apps.  

You never know what you can create with a limited supplies!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Playing With Quirky Faces . . .

I have been so enjoying my digital art that sometimes I forget where the paint is!  The past couple of days I have brought out the canvas boards, a surface I loved to paint on, the paints, and some watercolor crayons.  

Its been awhile since I have created faces and backgrounds this way.  I even got out the stamps!  On this piece I collaged pieces of one of my photographs on the left and top right.  Not sure if you can see it but the word scratched into her shirt says "Trust".  Something I continue to try and do daily . . . 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Paper53 and Snapseed . . . A Great Pair!

I am back with more Paper53 love!  I enjoy drawing and painting on my iPad.  The Paper app is one of my favorites.  I created this gal last night.  I wanted to share both versions to show you what you can do combining an art and photo app.  The above image was created in Paper and then filtered in Snapseed.  I added some grunge filters.  I am loving the effect.  

Here is the purely Paper version before grunge . . . 

I like them both but I think I am partial to the grungy version :)

Would love to hear your experiences with either of these cool apps!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunday Sauce

Or as my Grandma used to call it "gravy".  That is often a debate among italians.  My husband's family referred to it as "sauce"  Every Sunday without fail she would be up early starting the gravy that would cook for hours.  Dinner was always at 2pm another italian tradition that I am sure she grew up with.  As the years go on I notice that I miss those little things.  

So we decided a few weeks ago to start our own tradition.  We are bringing back Sunday gravy.  Lou does most of the cooking.  Its a combination of his mom's meatball recipe and my grandma's gravy recipe.  Today I want to share that with you.  Its on the sweeter side but we always enjoyed it that way.


1 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 28 oz can tomato puree + 1 can of water
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sugar

Heat oil, add onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Sautee the onions and garlic till fragrant and they begin to brown.  Add can of tomato puree, can of water, and paste stirring together.  Then add the basil and the rest of the spices.  Simmer for about 3 hours.  The longer the better!  

Oh and we also watch Goodfellas while the gravy is cooking!  That is one of my fav movies and definitely my favorite mob movie ever!  

Hope you try this recipe and enjoy!  Let me know what you think!  

Would love to hear about any family traditions you have!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Landscape . . . Trying to Loosen Up

"field of longing"
acrylic on paper

I don't know what made me do it but the other night I decided to try a landscape.  It has probably been over a year since I dabbled in it.  Mostly because I have been on an abstract and digital art super highway but probably out of fear.  

Landscape always seemed to have too many rules for me.  Those that have been following my blog know that I don't vibe with that!  However after discovering an amazing artist named David Dunlop that all seemed to change.  He is a landscape painter, using primarily oils but his approach is one of looseness and freedom.  I found him so very inspiring.  I felt encouraged to try even knowing I would make mistakes.  It became more about the moment of fun in creating rather than creating the perfect horizon line.  

For this piece I used a limited palette of cerulean blue, cadmium red light, and titanium white.  I chose those colors knowing that as complimentary's it would create a nice effect.  I used chip brushes from home depot (similar to those David uses) and found them to be great for texture and just plain old fun to swoosh around.  I approached the paper with speed knowing that I had to keep my mind quiet to be loose.  I didn't use a reference photo, just an image that popped up in my mind's eye.  

I have to say that I enjoyed the process for the first time in all my attempts at landscape painting.  I am nervous about painting another but I know that I will go at it in the same manner which should help me be more successful.  

For more info on David Dunlop check out his website HERE

Sharing today at Paint Party Friday :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Full Circle With Misty . . .

I cannot remember the last time I took pencil to paper.  I used to sit with my drawing pad and graphite for hours, always keeping it close by.  That was quite a while ago.  I am talking maybe 2 years.  Since I got an iPad last summer that has been replaced with digital drawing.  

I signed up for my 3rd class with Misty Mawn, an artist who inspires with her amazing, raw, soulful artwork.  If you have not yet experienced a workshop with Misty it is definitely worth it!  There is always something for everyone from drawing to painting to photography to writing and more.  I am always amazed at how much she packs into a class!  Check out her latest class HERE.  

I worked on this charcoal sketch last night upright on the easel.  I forgot how messy charcoal can be.  I tried not to think to much as I went along.  Tried to silence the inner critic who is ever present threatening to ruin my art!  She is messy, a bit dark, but has a message of love.  

Sharing today over at Sunday Sketches!  

Click HERE to join