Resource Library / Mentors/ Inspiration / Sharing of Knowledge

Today is a snowy winter day (LOVE , absolutely LOVE days like this) so I am working on my resource library that I "go to" when I need inspiration for a drawing or a painting.  I will take the clouds from one, house from another, pond from that one, etc. color from this one, a tree to the upper left of that picture until I have a nice array of inspiration...

I really like designing my own art in this I gain a lot of skills and challenge myself at the same time.   Because I don't trace, don't use a projector for casting a pattern, etc.  I  derive inspiration from a variety of different sources;  from my own photos, magazines, catalogs, etc...   Once I am this far I can begin putting together a composite and take into consideration the many skills and techniques I have learned regarding composition, perspective, etc.  It gives one a better feeling with a completed piece that has been totally done through your own resources and have used your own style to achieve the desired effects based upon the inspiration.

Choose mentors wisely.  Artists who provide not just a design and some written words.  Choose from artists who provide the "how to's"... these are the important artists in the world.  Those who share how to get to where you need to be.  One of these artists is Jerry Yarnell.  I will always sing his praises as he has got it all together and everything he says and does comes from his heart, from inside and he has a glow about him because he is a true example of a kindred, loving, Christian spirit.  His love of painting and his love of sharing along with giving credit where credit is due....... is profound.  They just don't come better than this man.  His books, dvds, on line classes, etc. just scream with inspiration.  Something one just DOESN'T see in all artists.  Some artists profess to "provide" when in reality their  "sharing of art" is more "see what I can do".... and their involvement is just NOT geared towards being a sharing source artist of any type of good information.   Comtemplate what you read folks. makes wise decisions. and remember that  instincts also play a BIG part in this decision.


I am in the process of listing new items into my etsy shoppe at

These items are awesome tools for collage, clay, mixed media, and I am sure those of you who are creative will look and immediately find a special way to use the item.  It will take me a couple of days to list all of the items so check back in a couple of times in the next few days.  

The INNIE and OUTTIE Steampunk mold/stamps are so exciting.  Gears, watch parts etc. in different sizes.  They are FINELY DETAILED for a gorgeous finished design... 

 The bottom photo is the metal border mold for clay, glue, enamels, etc.  The picture is close so you can see how intricate and gorgeous these molds are.  I already have SEVERAL ideas on how I want to use and can hardly wait to go play.  Check out the bamboo  

If these products by Lisa Pavelka sell I will order and sell the entire line that is available to me. 

Don't you just love new things?  I have never seen any of these in Michaels or Joannes' so I am hoping others will have the excitement I have. 

Don't forget to click on the pictures so that you can see the detail(s) even better.

Brush Kit Winner......Jay or Me?

Jay V.  is the winner of my Dynasty Brush Kit.....  Not only was he a winner but I was too.   He is just getting ready to open a full service Tole Shop (goodness but I hope these are on their way back) and ordered a dozen of my brush kits as well as a dozen basins to have for his Grand Opening.   What a pleasant surprise.   Good luck Jay.



By going to this blog you will be able to veer off in many different directions for additional knowledge regarding all of the different lines of painting and make up brushes, painting, etc.

The featured artists are Jillybean Fitzhenry, Christy Hartman, Chris Haughey, Tracey Moreau and "me" (which is really an honor).

How to Paint Glass Objects (Acrylics and Watercolors)

Jars, eyeglasses, drinking glasses,  window glass, glass vases, etc. are amongst the most challenging things to paint.  One needs to paint the transparency AND the solidity of the object.

Don't worry about painting "glass" itself.

Glass has a tendency to distort objects which are are placed inside.. therefore focus your attention in painting on the distorted shapes "Inside" the glass.

Forget the "shoulds" and paint exactly what you "see" (which is distortion and NOT a clear, sharp, item)  by activating the right side of the brain.

Glazing with acrylics when painting glass allows you to capture subtle shades and hues that you see as "reflections".

Glazing mixtures are created using watered down or medium diluted colors.   Whites and blacks will be very important when painting well as many different "shades" of grey.  Grey/green, Grey/blue,
etc.  Greys are best created using colors rather than one that is sold as  Ebony black, Mars black, Lamp Black etc.

I really find success in using a product called Liquid Shadow which was developed by a very talented artist  (Kerry Trout).  Colors can be added to this medium to heighten a color within this medium;  which is a fantastic tool.   (In a past blog post I have provided information on how to do this effectively).  This product can also be thinned even more using a glazing medium.   I reach for this product many times when I am painting.  This is a product which WORKS....and works well.

Prayer Shawls

I have been trying for a little over a year to find either a knit or crochet pattern for what I call a sleeve shawl.  Finallya about a week ago I found what I was looking for in a book called Prayer Shawls and tonight I was able to get started.

I had heard of Prayer Shawls but what I thought they were was not really close to what they are.

Here is what the book I purchased has to say about them...

" When stitching a prayer shawl, crocheters petition God with every stitch they make on behalf of the person who will receive the shawl.  The petitions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl.  Upon completion, a final blessing is offered before the shawl is given.  

If the recipient of the shawl is known, the crocheter can pray specifically for the recipient's needs,  for the concerns of the family and friends and for the circumstances.  In some cases, if the person is unknown, simply petition God on behalf of the unknown recipient to provide comfort, fill a need or bless the person.    

Once you begin to stitch the shawl, think about the recipient and how much you love and care for him or her.  Give thanks that you have been blessed with the talent to make a gift that will give another comfort, warmth and joy.  With each stitch you make continue to pray for the needs of that person and ask God to bless the person.  

Upon completion you may want to create  a tag or card, and write a prayer or blessing on it.  Some include this card...." May God's grace be upon this shawl, warming, comforting, enfolding, and embracing.  May this shawl be a safe haven, a sacred place of security and well-being, sustaining and embracing in good times and in difficult times.  May the one who receives this shawl be cradled in hope, kept in joy, graced with peaces and wrapped in love".  The card is signed and dated on the back by the individual who stitched it."

We think you will find the ministry of making a prayer shawl blesses not only the recipient, but the stitcher as well."

I find this such a neat idea that once I finish the one for me,,,,and know that the pattern "works" 
(some don't, as I have discovered in the past) I will be making additional shawls to be given away to people who are important in my life  and/or someone who might really need the comfort of a prayer shawl.   I was so impressed I thought it was worth sharing with others who might not know (as I didn't) what a prayer shawl is and how to make one.  I am anxious now to complete mine and decide who will be the recipient of the next one I make.


Since moving to Bend I have missed the students I had in 3 sometimes 4 classes I taught per week.  I miss the look on their face, their smile and that expression of YES as they accomplished a new technique to their satisfaction.   That is the payment a teacher who "cares" loves the most.

I guess this is one reason for my blog.  I love to share and I love to give.  Both....because I care and maybe, just maybe;  what I have to share will help someone out there

My Landscape Dynasty brush kit  was put together by Veronica, her staff, and me.  Dynasty did the professional photography, printed the insert and put the 4 brushes in a beautiful clear plastic case.   I use these brushes every single time I sit down to paint and I truly believe that the brushes and ANY brushes within the Dynasty line are the best on the market for performance and the difference they make in a successful, fun painting.  AND they are reasonably priced.

 No artist likes the frustration of not being able to "do" something that is really important to them or to the design/technique  which they are trying to master and cannot understand why what they are doing is not working.  It could be the type, or size of the brush, how the brush is loaded, where the brush is held,  how the brush is broken in,  bristles flared, etc.  for use.  Some of these things are never explained in a painting book, pattern packet, etc.   So hopefully some of the blog posts on techniques, brushes, etc. will help.

I am also proud of the brush basin I developed for cleaning your brushes as you paint.  You will have your brushes longer by taking care of them and washing them as you paint.  There are 3 sections to the brush basin.  One section has 2 soft,  plastic,  surgical /gardening/ nail brushes  glued to the bottom of the basin, and one brush in another of the 3.  I add soap in the 2 bristled section and this is clean #1.    I go to brush section #2 and this is clear rinse water.  The last section has no brush and this is where I go for clean water.   When I am done with a painting session I can clean up quickly.  I use tepid water in my basin.  If the brush comes loose in one of my brush basins the glue will very easily "pull off" and Welder glue which can be purchased at Lowes will re-glue your brush back into the basin.  (This is not an option with Sharon's brush basin as there are bristles top and bottom and when one comes is history.  The brush is a mess and so is the basin bottom.)    There is a lid to my basin which is slightly recessed so I fold a paper towel to fit and I use this to lay a semi cleaned brush on while I am painting in the event I need it again.   The basin is very smooth so it cleans up  easily with a Mr. Clean Magic White Sponge.  It almost looks new again, which is how some like their basins....

Prior to my becoming a seller on Ebay/ Etsy  I recommended Sharon Teal Corays' basin.  I had also purchased one of her basins to make sure that mine was different.  The item could not, and can not be patented unless the profit is shared with the mfgrs. of the brushes and basins.  A lot of legal "fall-de-rol".

I don't know which one of us developed the actual "idea" of the brush in the basin first and who designed/made the basin first (Sharon or Me) , not that it really makes any difference as no "laws" have been broken, but there has been much resentment and anger by Sharon towards me for what she  adamantly proclaims was HER  "idea"  and I had  "stolen" this " from her ".   She has never once asked me for any type of documentation as to "when" my brush basin idea was "conceived. designed" and made. ( I was a hairdresser and teacher for quite a few years, and next in to medical till I retired so these handy, dandy little brushes were used in both professions.)    Probably because there is a 50/50 chance I  just might have been first.  OMGoodness, what a concept .   What I have is date documentation...what she seems to have  is verbal documentation which is not substantial in this type of a situation.

 Since 2004 this resentment , hostility and anger has accelerated by Sharon and others to the point of what can best be described;  in todays' terms,  as cyber harassment by her and others whom she has evidently " convinced"  that  "she"  is "most definitely" the "injured party" and have  joined in with  taunts, emails, blog posts, groups posts (and deletions)  to phone calls which I receive early in the AM and late at night.   I have no other enemies so it has been pretty easy to determine the reason / if not the source of these irritations and why.  It can also be pretty much described as "stalking".

Many of the accusations, quotes, etc. which Sharon posts on her site as pointed accusations towards others I have found are actually pretty good verbal pictorials of herself based upon her actions...even though I am pretty sure she has no idea how her posts are visualized by others in relation to her..... if she did...I don't think she would be posting them.

I have noticed that it is ALWAYS Sharon who has been wronged.  People just always seem to be doing things to her.  From an accusation of theft in Vegas,  the selling of one of her books on Ebay when she accused the seller of copyright infringement to even the  proclamation  on her blog that she has "toxic" siblings that she has had to alienate herself from.   (I wonder what her sibling(s)  thought and felt when they read this post from their sister that was written for the world to see?)  Some things are just too personal to be posted in such a manner and should be handled discreetly.  

Sharon  also accused me of  stealing her idea of cutting a brush for a need I had in painting Santa beards, mustaches etc.  when I couldn't find a brush  which was working as I wanted it to.  As you can see I "tried" Sharons and I  also didn't realize that there was a moratorium on "cutting a brush".   It seems she is constantly being wronged by someone.  She has stated that I must be a very unhappy person, but just the opposite is the case....and in reality by what she is doing points a direct finger at her unhappiness in life....

The brush to the left is Sharons' Feather Soft Stroke Brush 4/0.   No, no, the brush on the far right is  not the brush I cut.  It is a brush called the Ridge brush which is sold and comes exactly as you see it in the photo.  It is a 1/4" Simply Simmons Brush and resembles Sharons feather soft stroke brush.   The brush which I cut is in the middle (honest injun) and is sold as  a 3/8" Langnickel  #7930 Royal  Knight Filbert rake.  I cut into the right and left sides of the brush (only)  to meet "my" needs and use it for wispy Santas' beard, mustache, grasses,  feathers, etc.  Can you see how I "copied" Sharons' brush and/or idea?  One woman wrote me that she would NEVER think of cutting a GOOD brush in this manner.  I looked at her statement as "her loss".....  The brush costs under $7 and now I have a brush that does what I want it to so I don't look at it as a "ruined" brush.  If you look at the one I cut I think you can see from the long and short hairs the mfgr. has input into the ferrel and the softness of the bristles that this brush just might do the trick ...   I use this brush tilted slightly towards me, load it with inky consistency of paint/water, and touch just the tips of the bristles to the surface.  By tipping the brush back towards you and loading the brush well with the watered down paint it acts much like a brush with a built in reservoir and the paint flows freely and easily to achieve these nice fine lines that one is wanting to should I say I am trying to achieve.

 I give directions on my blog for others to cut a filbert rake in the same manner as I did  be it a newly purchased filbert rake or  one they might have in their "stash"...   I DO NOT sell the brush.... and I have no intention of doing so.   Why should I when it can so easily be cut yourself?   To the best of my knowledge there is no patent on Sharons' brush, but even if there you can see, there is not much of a "likeness" when you compare the one I cut and  hers.   Sharon has cut down a fan brush....I have cut down a filbert.  The brands, type of brush, and the actual cutting and finished look of mine vs hers is ENTIRELY different and not the least bit similar in my book.

Sharon also did an expose' of my painting abilities on her older blog which she has since which she named the Design, Magazine, Month, Page and even went as far as to provide my name in the blog for easier identification to her readers.  She then proceeded to negatively critique,    , etc. the design, and my painting ability.  If anyone would like a copy of this post I would be more than happy to provide it to you.  I have quite a portfolio.  It seems she is constantly being wronged by someone; or so it is written .  She has stated that I must be a very unhappy person, but just the opposite is the case....and in reality by what she is doing points a direct finger at her unhappiness in life....  I have noticed that since this blog post she has gone into her blog and deleted nearly all of the negative posts.....hmmmm.

There is no way I have ever, or will ever attempt to "compete" with Sharon artistically.   Her painting techniques, designs, etc. are very much different than where my interests lie so I have been unable to really pinpoint the reason for her hostility and can only relate it back to the brush basin.   My sales on my Etsy site for the brush basin and to private parties  are relatively low compared to the " thousands"  that Sharon documents she sells so I don't interfere with her sales.....unless, unless....... she doesn't sell thousands and I do sell more.  So why....why has she felt the need to do the things she has done, and say the things she has said?   Why the intense hostility on her part?    I paint mostly from photos which "I" take and tend to be more of an impressionistic painter on the edge of realism so that I know I won't ever be "rightfully"  accused of any type of copyright infringement by anyone.  I respect an artists' copyright clauses but I also realize that to sell pattern packets, books, be published in magazines and to teach techniques can result in a similarity.  But then I think isn't this what the artist is trying to do?  To help another learn their particular technique?   I create  and or compose my own art and am able to document most of my designs.  I have MANY mentors who have taught me so much and to whom I will be forever grateful.  Yvonne Kresal, Chezza, Jamie Mills Price, Ros Stallcup, Dorothy Dent, Roni LaBrae, Jerry Yarnell,  Kay Quist,  and those that I continue to look towards for more learning on my journey.     I have learned from  Sharon that I must cover my bases in everything that I do and in everything I say.... because of accusations.  I need to be able to document everything and I guess for that I should be thankful...because I know I am within the right parameters.  I have never had another artist accuse me of anything....ever.  I read copyrights and I either contact the artists for special permission....OR I stay completely away from books, pattern packets etc. if the copyrights are so confusing with mumbo jumbo.
It isn't worth the hassle ....

Some of the visitors to my blog are back door visitors.  They come in the back door and then erase themselves as they leave.... so that others don't know of their "involvement" or maybe actual interest.  I have had to remove the pleasurable "comments" section from my blog options because of the nasty comments that  have been  left for me....kinda like a a juvenile tagger...only these taggers are women who "should" know better but seem to delight in this type of activity.  Sad that they have nothing better to do with their time, these Christian women.  I still proclaim that if you are truly a Christian you don't have to tell anyone you are, and no one else needs to say you are, it is just "known" by actions and words that "you are".   Proclaiming just doesn't work in my book.

After taking several leaves of absence from the Yahoo Brush Bunch group  I have had to put myself on "read only".  Most  recently  I have taken the necessary steps to have my home phone disconnected and purchased cell phones for both my husband and myself.  I am not pleased with having to make this choice because with hearing aids a cell phone is not the best of options for me, but it is what it is.   Now it is time for those who have been drawn into this matter ,  to make a decision based on both sides of the story now that mine has been "told".  Hopefully things will begin to taper off and stop....   I have pretty much done everything I can do to protect myself  and my family from any future victimization.

I am sorry that I have had to address this issue on my blog where persons who are not involved are aware of what has been going on;  but it had progressed to the point where I knew it was time I took a stand to defend myself.  So this is kinda a "TO WHOM'S IT MAY CONCERN" blog post.

Bottom line:  the brush bottomed basin works great and really does prolong the life of your  brushes...especially that dried up paint that sometimes can build up at the ferrel of your brushes if you don't clean as you paint.  I have left water in my basin for as long as 2 weeks and I am pleased to say I have only had one brush loosen up; but remember the brush in my basin can be reglued and adhered as securely as when you first rec'd the basin.  I  have cleaned the basin with hot water and have not had the glue weaken or soften.  It is not that I recommend leaving water in the basin or cleaning with hot water, it is simply that I am saying doing so has not resulted in any problems......but it might or could .   I don't make any do so would be foolish.



Photo-realism is an extremely realistic stype of painting where the artwork is based entirely upon a photograph and was primarily an art movement that emerged in the 1960's and flourished in the 70's.

Photo realistic artists were rebelling against Abstract Empressionism which was the predominant painting style in the US during this period.

Photo realist paintings usually contain commonplace objects, scenery and sometimes portraits.  The imagery is most often banal and ordinary.

Photorealistic paintings are often quite large depicting objects many times larger than they are in real life and the paintings were normally done in oils and care was taken to make the surface as smooth as possible with no visible brushstrokes.

Photo Realistic artists transfer the image from the photograph to the canvas using a projector.

(This helps me to understand why some photo realistic artists have not been successful in doing their own designs when trying to transistion into todays art world and why they don't  approve of those who like and do impressionistic designs).

NEXT:  How to paint glass objects.....

Acrylic Paints and Glazing

HEAVY BODY acrylics mean that the paints have a thick, buttery consistency which means great coverage and opacity.

Stay away from Student quality acrylics because they usually contain more fillers and less pigment which means paint coverage and consistency is not strong.

ACRYLIC GLAZING:  Liquid or acrylic retarders are MAGIC tools for creating acrylic glazes by extending the dry time and work ability of acrylic paintings, allowing them to stay wet for longer periods of time.
Squeeze out a tiny amount of medium on your palette about the size of a dime.   Dab color into your brush, move around on your palette to work paint into brush (very little is needed) and add your glazing medium.

You want your paint to be thin in order for it to be a glaze.  If the consistency is that of water colors, thin and watery you are on the right track.

Always make sure that a glaze is TOTALLY dry before you work on the area again.

REMEMBER:  Altho' acrylics are very forgiving it's easier to add paint then subtract it.

I LOVE Brenda Harris' mediums.  She has a White, Clear and Slow Blend that are mixable with ANY brand of acrylic paints.

In choosing paints to glaze with...use paints that are labeled  or are known to be TRANSPARENT.

Glazing is used mostly when painting photo-realism pieces.

Stay tuned for more on this "type" of painting using acrylics.

10,000 th VISITOR

If you are the 10,000 visitor to my site please send me an email and I will send you out one of my landscape brush kits and the packet of information that goes with is a nice reference tutorial for the brushes.

In just a few short days over 1000 people have logged into my site....Unbelievable....  Thanks to those of you who visit in friendship, artistic comradery and maybe because something I have posted interested you, helped you, or just helped pass some time.

                                            Whatever the reason....thank you for stopping by.


I think that one of the most exciting things I have accomplished is transitional blending....the ability to blend well with no harsh lines.  This technique is so important when doing skies, grassy areas, water, mottled effects, clouds, linen many different effects that use a transition in values and colors.

Painting is exciting.  Learning is exciting. ********and RESULTS are rewarding when you feel the accomplishment.

Being positive is much more rewarding than negative thinking.  Negativeness is not part of who I am.


Although these brushes were designed for Ink, Pastel and Chalk their use with acrylics are WONDERUFL.
The small and large IPC 2 (Ink, Pastel, Chalk)  Flat Blend brushes are a fairly new line to me through Dynasty and I can't say enough "good"  about these brushes.  I use these as foliage brushes and to stipple.  The ones I was using prior to these had bristles which "curled" at the end and so far these have stayed nice and straight.

When I break in a new Flat Blend I clean it and dry on a nubby terry towel rubbing briskly but gently and I use the brush damp dry.  These brushes should always be cleaned, damp dried, and laid flat on a terry cloth towel to dry at the end of a session.   They should never be set "upright".

To paint foliage I almost always use the narrow ends of these brushes and I load only about  the first 1/4
of one end.  There are other times  I will load the bottom 1/4 with another color and that way I can use both ends.  (Probably because I enjoy painting on smaller sized canvas rather than a large one)

The IPC2  Flat Blends come in Small and large and they are in my Landscape Brush Kit on Etsy.

If you notice in the last photo you can see how there are long and short hairs.  This  adds to the "fluffiness" of this brush; yet,  because there are so many bristles it is a sturdy, strong bristled area that makes it work really well.  This brush has such a comfortable handle and is also a bit shorter than their
other brushes.

If I am highlighting bushes or trees, moss, making a flower, etc.   I hold this brush clear down at the ferrule of the brush as I want total control when I drop on color to my surface.  I also tip the brush narrow end back towards me so that  the 1/4 of the  front narrow end which is loaded with the color I am painting with is used at an angle.  I do not use these brushes with a full load of the entire brush or flat onto my surface.   How and where these brush is held, loaded and used can make a BIG difference in how well you paint, highlight or stipple.

My next brush will be the Dynasty Decorator Dry Brushes.


I thought it might be fun to introduce others to some of my favorite brushes.  Those that are staples in my jar of paint brushes on my table.  I am going to start first with the brushes that are available in my Landscape Brush Kit that was put together for me by Dynasty.

I use several different types of brushes within the Dynasty line because they do what I want  in performance and achievement.  And in my opinion are the best quality brushes available at a reasonable dollar amount.  
  • The DYNASTY FOLIAGE WAVE brush is one of my favorite brushes for landscape painting and is found in my brush kit that is on Etsy for sale.  My store name is "artistic renderings".
This is a bristle brush and is used for creating light airy foliage "tops" for trees, bushes, grasses, splashes in water, etc.

Photo #1 shows the full brush, and #2 focuses in on the structure of the zigzag bristle cut, which by the way is patented. 

PHOTO #3  and PHOTO #4
In order for this brush to "perform" and do what it has been designed to do there is a period of breaking the brush in.  When I begin using one of these brushes new I soak it in tepid water for about 5 minutes to soften the bristles and then I dry on a terry cloth nubby towel BRISKLY.  (I do this same procedure EVERY time I am going to use this brush and then again when I clean my brush after a painting session).     In Photo #3 you will see me exerting pressure on the brush after it has soaked for about 5 minutes, as I splay these brushes out to use.  Photo #4 shows my brush (which is about 4 years old)
and you can see how it would do a soft, airy top to trees, bushes, etc.  The more this brush is broken in the more excited you will be with the results you achieve.  

When I paint with this brush I load only the TOE of the brush (the end with the longest bristles).  Sometimes I use quite a bit of water like a watercolor load if I want this type of effect and other times I use the brush just damp dry.  There are many ways this brush can effectively been used once it has been broken in correctly.  You will easily develop your own wonderful "style".  


I love using this brush when doing a waterfall to apply splashes of water drops to where the falls hit the still water below.  Once again I use just the toe of the brush in the paint.  I hold my brush at mid point on the handle.

When painting grasses, once again just load the toe of the brush.  Lightly touch the toe at the grass bottom and pull up with your arm.  I find that when doing this effect I have better results holding the brush more at the very tip of the handle.

When using specialty brushes many must be broken in,  used in a different manner, loaded differently and held differently in order to "ACHIEVE" the desired effects.  

These brushes are available in 2 different sizes and I use them both , but the one included in my brush kit is the  1/2" size I find myself using the most.  (the other size is a 1/4" and great for small bushes or small canvas pieces such as ATC)

These brushes are in the Dynasty Decorator brush line and are available at:

NEXT I will introduce you to the Dynasty Decorator Dry Brushes.  The #12 is in my kit.

Big Bucks

This is the first we have seen our "big bucks" this year so we were excited.... The buck in the back is an 11 pointer,,,and he is sooooo big.  His belly comes as high as the bottom of our front window.   These two have been down here in the woods for a good 5 years and we have watched them grow and develop.

Altered Art Glasses / AFTCM Swap

In one of the mixed media groups I belong to the swap theme was "altered glasses".  That's all...just altered glasses ....  and it sounded like fun, but what to do?

Ahhhhhhh the bag of computer parts I had purchased a couple of months ago.  Computer glasses.  Everyone who spends any time on the computer, and has eyes as bad as mine needs "computer glasses"....  Do your look like this?   Tehehehehe.

SUCH FUN..... "out of the box".

Giraffe n Zen

I belong to a real special group of artists and we have swaps and exchanges that we are
encouraged to participate in.  One of the swaps coming up is to do a Zentangle.  I know that there are many different designs that are considered zentangle and I am not sure if mine meets the "guidelines" set by "whom", but it is out of the box, and was a hoot to work on.  It is done on a 4 x 6 piece of portrait grade canvas, a sharpie extra fine black pen, Ice Crystal Glitter paint, along with other paints by Americana (one of their newest paint colors I used was Margarita)  and then framed with one I had in my stash.   Now that I have done this one I want to do another similar one;  but different.  

I am not sure yet who my partner will be but I am in hopes she will enjoy it.

BTW....the background on this piece is done using the mottled technique.  I have used 5 colors.

Artistic Technique Terminology

Talk about CONFUSING.... Some of the terminology in painting makes you just sit there kinda unsure of how to proceed...... and then when the terminology stays the same but the artist does something different from what you have been taught you are REALLY lost.

These terminology descriptions are used when doing landscapes...... so pull out your notebook and jot yourself a note.

For all of the following techniques I soak my brushes in water fro about 5 minutes and then rub briskly on a terry towel to fluff out the bristles.   The brushes should be damp dry when loading and using.   The fluffing out of the bristles does NOT ruin your helps them PERFORM.  

My brushes of choice (after MANY years of trying others)  are Dynasty.

 DRYBRUSHING:  Load a very small amount of color or colors to your brush and wipe most of it off on either a paper or terry cloth towel.   Test.   Very lightly touch the surface with your brush....I refer to it as tickling the surface with your brush as you paint.   **** I love the Faux Squirrel Single Blenders and the Decorator series Dry Brushes.  Both lines are different,  come in several different sizes and work WONDERFUL.

FEATHERING:  This is a form of dry brushing where you are blending the color on your brush into another color on the surface until it blends with no harsh ridges or edges of color.

MOTTLED:  I love this technique and use it mostly for backgrounds.  Several different colors can be applied to your brush (I use the Faux Squirrel line in angles and flats, or the Eye of the Tiger brushes depending on my surface) tapping gently to just merge colors and then apply directly to your surface using random strokes in different directions.  Do not work the colors or you will end up with mud rather than a "mottle".   This technique also works great for skies, grassy areas, foliage, walls on houses, etc.

STIPPLE:   I use several different kinds of brushes depending on the effect I am looking for.  I use this technique when I am doing foliage, clumps of bushes, etc.   For the first application of highlight I choose a color which is just SLIGHTLY lighter than the foliage color and form the tops of bushes, clumps of foliage on a tree, etc.  For the final highlight  I hold my brush right down at the ferrel as I want TOTAL control of the brush and where the paint is going to go.  I use a heavier load of paint on my brush and just drop little pieces of paint to highlight on  bushes, trees, etc.   The application is done with a quick, tapping motion.  ( I love using this technique for teddy bears also).
****  I use IPC Brushes, Faux Squirrel Blenders, Decorator Series Dry Brushes,  Decorator Series Foliage Wave brushes and Debbie Mitchell Stipplers.

SCUMBLE:  Although nearly the same as mottling I call it sctumble when I am working in smaller areas such as the top of a background tree line, clouds, hair, etc.  The strokes are going in different directions and overlap.  **** I use IPC Brushes, Faux Squirrel Blenders, Decorator Series Dry Brushes,  Decorator Series Foliage Wave brushes and Debbie Mitchell Stipplers.

SCRUBBING:  This technique is used when underpainting areas (some call it base coating) where you don't need refined coverage.   Many times an overhand method of holding the brush provides a stronger motion of the brush for this technique.  It is a more aggressive painting procedure to simply cover the canvas.  I like this technique when I want a weathered look for a house, door, etc.  

I am hoping that this will clarify some of the questions you might have had referring to the different technique terms.  

Dynasty brushes can be purchased at:

If you have any questions please drop me a note at:

Art by Nicole Martensen

The artist for this piece is Nicole Martensen and it is a piece that really intrigues me.  The depth she has managed to obtain  on a flat surface using color, the drips of paint, the mottled background etc. is amazing.   An inspiring piece that makes me want to fly down to my little studio and create.

Artists who provide this type of inspiration are my "awes" in life.  They make the heart go pitter patter, and I love studying the piece to see what went where and why.  It is art I don't just "glance at" but art that is meant to be totally enjoyed.  A "stand in front of" piece.

Hats off to Nicole.

This piece was published in the May/June issue of Cloth, Paper, Sissors which is one of my favorite magazines.

Little Girl

The Vet called me and had the pathology report on the mass that was removed from Miss Pru's tummy 
(mammary tumor).  The mass was malignant, but the vet feels confident that she "got it all".  It was not the type of tumor that metastasizes to other parts of the body so for that we are grateful.  

Dr. Ladyga said that while Pru was "under" she felt her entire body and right now there are NO additional masses.  I am to check her weekly and I plan on taking her back every 3-4 months for them to check her tooto check her to as they know right where to check and what is a mass or normal. 

I took the news much better than I expected to but think I have actually been preparing myself for the worst when I realized how much it had grown in just a weeks' time. 

We have a cancer survivor.  

It is day 4 after surgery and she is knawing away on her Busy Bones same as before, though I don't know active, wants to play, and is back following me,  making her wants known, and wanting 
attention.  YIPEE. 

If  you have a female dog and she was neutered later than recommended please check your dog on a regular basis for cysts and or tumors.  Prus' was the size of a kidney bean, hard and we could move it but it felt "attached"..

I also thought I would share with you who have dogs to check all of their treats/food, etc.  on the back of the package.  If the contents were made in China as so many of them are I found out, put them back on the shelf.  They are harmful to our pets.  One of Pru's favorite treats was a China product so I am in the process of replacing them with products made here in the US.   The Vet provided us this warning when we were in the first time, and I also did a search on the computer to learn more.  BAD
for our fur babies.......

Little Girl

Our Little Pru girl had major surgery this AM and she wants nothing to do with me OR Larry.  She had
a kidney bean sized tumor on her tummy (I took her to the Vet last Monday right after I found the lump,
which hadn't been there longer than a week) and they also found an abscessed tooth which  they were going to remove as well, and do a tooth scraping and cleaning.  When they called me at noon to let me know she came through the procedures great they informed me they had removed 10 teeth.  3-4 were abscessed and the rest were real loose...  The vet said she has a tiny mouth that was full of way too many teeth.....  Needless to say she is not happy with us; and I am sure in a lot of pain....   She has a good 4-5 inch incision on her belly...and we won't get the pathology report until the end of the week so we will be on pins and needles.....  She is our fur baby....and she is going to feel so much better and I am hoping when she recuperates she will be back to her normal loving self.......

Bennacht (Blessing) by John O'Donohue

Beannacht ("Blessing")
by John O’Donohue

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.


Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.