Friday, March 30, 2012

Collage, Mark Making And Where I've Been . . .

5x7 journal page

I just realized that I hadn't posted anything since last weekend. Well, let me tell you why. I have been pretty sick this week. Some of you may know about my angry arm cyst from a previous post. I was on antibiotics for a week which ended Monday. Then Tuesday evening I started not feeling quite right and woke up Wednesday morning with what I thought was just a bad headache. It turned out to be a really bad stomach bug. So I was pretty much down for the count all day Wednesday and finally yesterday made it up off the couch in an attempt to celebrate my husband's birthday. So not how I planned it!

Anyway, I am happy to be posting today and sharing some new art! The above journal page was done with collage, a wash of raw umber, and lots of mark making with my sharpie fine point marker. That was the best part to me. I love scratching and scribbling. Helps to get out the angst! Despite the fact that this piece looks as if a crazy person created it I do like it.

This piece was inspired by techniques I am learning from Julie Prichard in her new solo class "Act Natural". I am really enjoying learning from Julie about all things grunge! If you like grunge, a neutral color palette, and the look of worn papers than do check out this class!

I am sharing this piece over at Paint Party Friday. So glad I made it this week!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Scene From My Sunday . . .

processed with snapseed and instagram

Just popping in to share part of my weekend. I went for a walk near our house that takes me on a trail along the water. I had my iphone with me and couldn't resist capturing the moment these two beautiful swans were enjoying.

Right now Lou has just put some brownies in the oven, The Notebook (my absolute fav movie!) is on TV, and the sun is setting outside our kitchen window. I wish all of life could be as easy as these moments.

Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2012

More Graffiti Fun!

First I wanted to say thanks to everyone who commented on my first graffiti post last week. I am really enjoying this style (for now lol) and it makes me smile to hear how much you are all liking where I have been going with it!

For this piece I decided to continue with bold colors using the same blue shade from the last piece but this time I added a violet color. I never use these types of color palettes. I am not so afraid of bold colors much anymore. I had a butterfly theme in my head this time and whenever I think of butterfly I see the word "Free". Maybe cause they can fly and sometimes I wish I could too! lol

I took pictures once again during the process. Here is how the messiness began . . .

Once I had laid down most of the color I went for my stamps
and sharpie to write some words. At this point I truly had no idea where to go with it so I stepped away from it for quite a few days. As you can see from the finished piece above I even turned the paper around. Once I did that it felt better to me. Isn't that weird how you can just "feel" that sort of thing?

I am sharing this over at Paint Party Friday this week. Looking forward to seeing all the great work being shared! Hope you will join us too!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Moment In Time . . .


Our lives are filled with moments. Some good, some bad,
some that change our lives forever.

10 years ago today was one of those moments for me. A great moment that changed my life for the better. This picture of Lou and I was taken all those years ago about 5 months into our relationship. We met online and today is the anniversary of our very first date.

I remember feeling so nervous. I was bald from chemo, very self conscious just hoping this guy I was about to meet would not run screaming when he saw me. I put my wig on that night and a little bit of makeup. Some eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara on the 2 lashes I had left. I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize myself although I hoped this new man I was to meet would see past all of that.

It was a simple date. We met at a local diner for coffee which turned into hours of chatter, sharing, and getting to know each other. He was a complete gentleman, one who held doors open for me. At the end of the night he walked me back to my car and held out his hand. It was in that moment that I figured he didn't like me. I was not used to a guy being so polite. As he shook my hand and we said our goodbye's I hoped to see him again. And that I did. We began our relationship as I was recovering my chemo, while my hair was growing back, and as he was surviving the loss of his mother.

Everyone thought we jumped in too fast. At that point each of us had gone through experiences that showed us how short life can be. We didn't want to waste a moment. One month after that photo was taken he proposed. And we married 8 months later.

These are the moments I love to reflect upon especially when life gets to be overwhelming, when maybe stress gets the best of us and we just need to remember where it all began . . .

Sunday, March 18, 2012

She Was Ready . . .

"She was ready to share her love . . ."
5x7 graphite sketch

Another week has zoomed on by. Hope yours was a good one. We are enjoying lovely weather here in southern NY but I am distracted. And sketching sometimes helps.

I have a dermatologist appointment in the morning. I thought I got all of my doctor stuff out of the way over the past 2 months with my oncologist checkup, breast surgeon, and annual mammo which all turned out fine thankfully. However about a week ago a benign cyst I have had on my upper arm for 15 years decided it was time to get angry and cause a ruckus. It is painful, and inflamed. It grew back after having been removed all those years ago. And I am a nervous wreck over it. Mostly because I do not want to have surgery to remove it. UGH!!

So I tried to distract myself with this whimsical sketch that I have had running around in my head for a few days now. I love hearts and I could see this little girl hanging them on a clothesline. I was going to add color but I think I will get her on a canvas with some collage and paint.

I am sharing this girl over at Sunday Sketches. Wishing you a delightful day! I on the other hand will do my best to not continue to stress out over tomorrow! (fat chance! lol)


Friday, March 16, 2012

Graffiti Fun!

As you may already know I am a big fan of Alisa Burke. I have taken many of her online classes. Most recently I signed up for her Graffiti Chic class. This is my first piece created for that class. If you haven't taken a class with her I highly recommend it! She is fun to watch. Her classes are affordable and you always have unlimited access to them.

I took pictures as I was working. Here is the first layer. Being messy is not always easy for me. I often have difficulty with abstract layers and just letting go when I create. Well, this time I did not. I actually enjoyed this process and loved the result! I used the blue and red having been inspired by this color palette from my textured heart painting. I used 9x12 hot press watercolor paper. I like the smoothness of it.

Being messy is not always easy for me. I often have difficulty with abstract layers and just letting go when I create. Well, this time I did not. I actually enjoyed this process and loved the result! I used the blue and red having been inspired by this color palette from my textured heart painting. I used 9x12 hot press watercolor paper. I like the smoothness of it.

Once I got that first layer down it was a bit easier for me to start adding some
fun stuff to the next one . . .

And as you can see from the very first image how much I changed things up in the end! I actually want to have this image put on a t-shirt. I think it would look cool!

I have already started my next graffiti piece this time using blue and violet. Hoping to share it with you soon!

I am sharing this today at Paint Party Friday. Click Here to join us!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mac And Cheese Please

Growing up one of my favorite comfort foods was mac and cheese. During Lent on Friday nights it was always mac and cheese with fish sticks. Of course I hated the fish but gobbled up the mac and cheese. Even during my cancer treatment 10 years ago that dish and grilled cheese sandwiches were about all I could hold down.

Having said all that the only mac and cheese I ever ate was out of a box. It was that blue box from Kraft with the silver packet of squishy cheddar cheese. My husband on the other hand grew up eating homemade mac and cheese. We met 10 years ago just one month after his mom passed away from breast cancer. At the time I was finishing up my own breast cancer treatment convincing myself that this guy I had just met would never stick around. Obviously I was wrong!

Anyway, over all these years he has been telling me about this amazing mac and cheese his mom used to make. A couple of weeks ago he finally got me the recipe. I think it was emotional for him to get her recipe book, see her handwriting again, and take that trip down memory lane. But he did and last weekend we tried the recipe. It was amazing!! She put her little italian spin on it with mozzarella instead of cheddar. We had fun cooking it together and I think for him it was a nice way to honor her memory. I wish I had met her.

So today I want to share her recipe with you! It is so simple and delicious and low fat.


8 oz penne pasta
3 cups 2% milk
3 tbs flour
3 tbs salted butter
1/8 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 oz part skim mozzarella (thinly sliced)
flavored bread crumbs 2 tbs
9x13 baking dish

While the water is boiling for the pasta, melt butter in saucepan, then add flour 1tbs at a time, whisk together, add the paprika, salt, and pepper. Slowly wisk in the milk and heat through (don't let it thicken too much) Add the cooked pasta to the baking dish, pour the sauce over pasta. Shake some paprika over the pasta, then add the mozzarella slices over the top to cover the pasta, lastly spread the breadcrumbs over the cheese as your last layer.
Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese browns on top.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Its All About The Hair

Today I am not feeling like myself. I am a bit bummed out, a bit sad and anxious. Its just one of those days I guess. I don't even want to create. And yet I know that would help. Instead I went out for a walk alone with my ipod. It worked for awhile but then the yucky stuff came back on in.

Anyway, I was happy to share this latest sketch with all of you. I did this one the other day in a 9x12 sketchbook which I have decided is rather large! However it did give me ample space to fill in her crazy hair. It was fun taking the graphite pencil and just scribbling. I even had it on my tabletop easel as I worked on the hair. I loved creating the smudginess around her eyes.

I am sharing her over at Sunday Sketches. Hope you are all having a joy filled day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Digital Collaging . . . Love And NYC

I knew it wouldn't take me long to get back into photoshop. Early this morning I created this digital collage. At first I really didn't like it. But then I tried to invert the image to its negative. Well, that is when I fell in love (no pun intended!) :)

I started out wanting to use my latest mixed media painting. I had so much fun creating this painting with layers of collage, paint, stamping, and molding paste for the heart! I really love the contrast between the red and blue!

And I felt like it would be cool to layer it with this image I shot in NYC and altered in snapseed. Its a grungy view at the corner of 42nd and Park Ave.

Feeling as though it was just missing something I layered this azalea up in the top right corner. And it just seemed to fit.

Each time I get away from my other art and head for photoshop I always get scared. Its weird how I feel that way. Its as if I will never return to the other mediums. And yet somehow I always find my way back!

I am sharing this image today over at Paint Party Friday. I just couldn't miss the First Anniversary party!! It is sure to be a fun one! Thank you Kristin and Eva for hosting this amazing party each week!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rocky's Power Nap

Not only is this pug crafty but he knows just what to do when he needs a quick nap. Lou's slippers were on the floor the other night and apparently Rocky thought they would make a good bed!

He gave me quite the photo op I must say. He slept there for a good 15 minutes. For me, I would choose the comfort of a couch or bed. Although I am sure given the chance Rocky would too. As a matter of fact this week he just learned how to jump up on the couch. So now in the evenings when Lou and I are watching some TV guess where Rocky is?

There is just no stopping him now! And boy are we in trouble.

It has taken me a long time to start to like this little guy as I am still sad about Bosco. But I am just starting to notice that the ice around my heart is beginning to melt and he is working his way in . . .

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Sketches

This girl looks a bit more relaxed and happier than the girl in my last post. Its funny how each face I sketch is completely different than the last. I couldn't replicate one if I tried. Its as if they have their own soul that I bring to life. So far though my girls have been quiet! No words or names are being told to me. lol

I would really like to try and sketch a little everyday. Whenever I say that though I somehow distract myself with something else! But in the past 2 days I have already seen improvements in my sketching. The noses don't scare me as much anymore! I think I like this girl just in graphite rather than watercolor.

I am sharing her today over at Sunday Sketches.
Hope you are all enjoying the last moments of your weekend!

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Portrait And Another New Class !

I laughed writing the title to this post! My online class addiction continues! I have lost count at this point of just how many classes I am taking and sometimes I forget. lol I hop around from one to the other taking little bits and pieces from each artist. Somehow that just works for me. And I get tired of slapping myself on the wrist for it.

So, having said all that I was excited to share this new portrait sketch with you. Truly if you asked me to pick one medium that I enjoy the most I would have to say sketching. And sketching faces is my favorite! I recently signed up for my first class with Pam Carriker. I have her book "Art at the Speed of Life" and love it! I refer to it often. Go out and get it! You will not be disappointed! When I found out about her "Pursuing Portraits" online class I just couldn't resist. And it is super affordable too.

I sketched out this portrait using techniques I am learning from Pam. I used watersoluble graphite so I could make her into a watercolor piece (not part of Pam's class) I also used my black sharpie marker to bring out the details which is always fun! This girl is so different than my other faces. And I like that about her. She looks very serious as if there is alot on her mind.
I wonder what she is thinking.
I am sharing this girl today at Paint Party Friday.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

First Kiss . . . A Writing Exercise


Today I thought I would share more of my writing. I again did this as a writing exercise. It was a memory of my first kiss the summer I was 15. Above is an image of one my favorite mixed media paintings that I felt fit well with this piece.

It was a very hot summer nite in August of '86. I had just turned 16. I could smell his Drakkar cologne mixed in with the exhaust fumes from his father's maroon Chevette. As we quickly rounded the corner I heard the squeak of the breaks. I didn't want to look up. I didn't want the ride to end.

Janet Jackson's "When I Think Of You" was blaring from the radio speakers. The windows were rolled down. I felt the warm humid breeze blowing through my hair as I turned to glance over at him. He gently touched my hand with his. His hand was big and strong overpowering mine. I wanted his big arms wrapped around me. I could feel goosebumps riding up my spine. As his hand lightly squeeze mine I felt very warm and tingly. It was the first time a boy ever held my hand. I was too shy to look in his eyes but I could almost feel his smile. The moonlight coming through the car window showered light on our hands. The moment seemed never ending. I wanted time to stop.

I felt his hand gently pull mine closer to him as if to lead me into his arms. The other hand touched my face. I was afraid he could hear the sound of my knees shaking. And just like that I felt his lips quickly touch mine. It was a soft, wet kiss that brought the goosebumps back again.

So unsure of what to say or do I said goodbye and practically jumped out of the car. I could feel my smile getting bigger as I approached my house. I turned to look back at him and heard the whirring of the engine getting louder. I was just about to wave when I heard " that you?" in my mom's concerned voice billowing out of the kitchen window. Rolling my eyes with a sigh escaping my breath I clicked the latch on the door. I walked inside, headed straight for the stairs and up to my room. As I felt myself bounce on my bed belly flop style I licked my lips. I touched them as if something big had just happened. I tried to remember the feeling, the softness of his mouth. All of the other sounds in the house were quickly drowned out by the song playing in my head. I began to replay that moment. A thousand times would never be enough. I could only hope it would happen again. . .

Do you remember your first kiss? Would love to hear about it!