Little Taters

Some animal (probably a deer) laid in Larry's potato patch which was really growing great.  I pulled a couple of stalks to see if there were any potatoes growing and these two little "taters" were the result.. ....  SO...we will have homegrown potatoes this year.  Yummy...

Colors to use to Stain (Delta)

I found this when I was cleaning a bit today and thought I would share as I haven't seen one of these charts in a LONG time.  To use American colors some could be converted straight across and for others you will need to refer to a conversion chart.  I used this technique many times to save a few $$.
Delta recommends Gel Stain Medium..   What is needed is a dilutant for the color giving it the ability to move smoothly and evenly.   I don't find myself using Delta paints at all but the converting over is easy.

Stain Color                                     COLOR:
Cherry                                            Red Iron Oxide                                1:2 Gel Stain Medium
Fruitwood                                      Spice Brown                                     1:2
Modern Walnut                              Traditional Burnt Umber                  1:2
Mahogany                                      Burnt Umber                                    1:1
Maple                                             Brown Velvet                                   1:2
Golden Oak                                    Spice Tan                                         1:2
Walnut                                            Brown Iron Oxide                            1:1 Gel Stain Medium
Antique Oak                                   Walnut                                              1:1

Studio Colors......Wood Slab

I purchased this "slab" of wood at a swap meet.  FINALLY today I decided it was time to get it sanded and stained (natural) is gorgeous.
A friend of Larrys "offered" to purchase it and now that it is stained he must have seen "in the wood" the same things I did.   I put on several coats and I am letting it dry overnight and then I will put several coats of topcoat sealer on it.   I am going to seek the help of another of my husbands' friends to help me transform this piece into a table for my studio (I THINK) and I have a couple of ideas for "legs" or a foundation.

The colors for the room are going to be:  Burnt Spice, Peach Fizz and Melon Glamour.  I will also use a soft green... Green Mist color (in Decoart Americana) but I will have it premixed in the same brand of paint as the other 3....  One whole wall will be the Green Mist shade....the other wall is going to be a gradual stridation from the darkest to the lightest color or visa versa....light to dark....  It will require some blending but I am really looking forward to this aspect of the the paint job....out of the box.

Over the weekend I started my "Workbook" which will host ideas, things to look for, etc.... so that by mid October when I hope to start I will have a general idea of where I am going..and the rest of summer to look at garage sales for things I might be able to use....

Something to look forward to.........


Photo of the Day

Copyright 7-2012  DP
Today we took a road we had never been on to get to our daughters' in Sunriver.  There were 4 sets of falls, an Eddy, meadow and a Slough to stop, and take photos of and at.  

This is one of my favorites as I have shadow, light, point of interest, etc.  Taking a photo is just like painting a picture.  You have to use your viewfinder to frame out before clicking the button to take the photo.    I got so many great shots I am going to order prints and make some personal greeting cards.

This photo was taken using a compact Nikon 35mm camera with an auto focus.  This is the second time I have used the camera and I have fallen in love with what it does with landscape and scenery shots.  The color is awesome, the colors are distinct, bright and do the subject justice in beauty.

Vintage Handmade Crochet Hooks

Today, at a local thrift store I found these 2 handmade crochet hooks.  They are about 10 inches long and here and there you can see "whittles".  By looking at them, the wood, etc. I feel that they are really vintage and not replicas..  I bet there are stories to be told by them if they could talk.....

What do all of you think?  Replica or the "Real Deal"?


Copyright 7-12     DP
My husband and I went up into the close-by mountains today to find out which of the trails are
legal for off road vehicles,  which ones are still closed (still 4 foot of snow back in away from the main roads) and what the requirements are.  So next week we will be back out being able to ride.

This picture was taken at Todd Lake and is about 23 miles from where we live.  I talked to a woman who said if we would walk about half way around the lake there was a gorgeous meadow of wild flowers...(and my battery was conking out  in my camera so I knew that I would get no pictures best to wait till the "next time".   I need to be more organized and have a "trip pack" that I can just pick up and go with....that way I will always be prepared).

  1.  If you could pack the perfect trip pack what would it contain? 

Altered Bottle / Theme "Children at Play"

Copyright 7-2012  DP
Copyright 7-12  DP
Copyright 7-12     DP.
The item to make  was an "altered jar" (mine was for kalmata olives in it's first life). The theme was
"Children at Play".   It was for a swap I have been a member in for a long running Yahoo group..

When I got up this morning I decided today was "the day".... and it was time to make my jar.   (I had exceeded the due date..... )  Walking down into my studio shop I had absolutely NO idea what I was going to do.  My table was in shambles from whatever I did the last few stuff was everywhere but I didn't want to take time to do ANY picking up, putting away, etc. so I decided to just use what was out....  First I chose my jar.  This one had some nice "innies" and "outties" so I began.  Next was the Gallery Glass Faux stained glass paints which I kinda had an inkling I might use, and I had to choose colors.

My inner child arrived about that time and he REALLY took over... .(maybe this is why I like steampunk and altered art, a masculine viewpoint to art).  First was to lead the jar with my design so I just "did it".... with no thought process.  The colors I used were  blue, green, clear, brown, ivory and coral ..  and I wanted the colors to "just be there"... so I pounced them on with a deerfoot brush which worked great because it is a slanted brush which comes to a chisel to get real close to the leading with the paint.  The colors show up the best in the last picture..which I took inside my lightbox....the others were just taken against a wood backdrop with an overhead light only so the colors look a bit different....kinda washed out.  I guess this is the importance of a light get much truer, brighter color.  (Mine Son in Law made mine for me for my birthday one year.)

In the largest section I used pattern tissue paper with Gloss Medium..  I added a soda bottle cap with a vintage child collage embedded in resin.

Then came a vintage aged brass bobeche (turned upside down) with another lamp part which was round and reticulated edges.

Next the flowers for my vase.  I used metal rods and since I only had one which my husband cut so I would have 2 and a wooden skewer for the third...I had my stems.  2 of the flowers are once again bottled caps with a picture of 2 women, and the other simply says LIFE.  For the leaves of two of the flowers I used a hot/cold  handle and for the other 2 small little iridescent glass bulbs.  The third flower is a copper key....  

Once I had finshed and assembled the piece and began to look at what had evolved....I was led to the following interpretation:
The photo of the two women are the children at play... working with things they had on hand back 100 years ago.  .One of the KEYS of LIFE is FRIENDSHIP..and the little boy in the other bottle cap is my inner child.....  So TURN ON the LIGHT BULB and let the fun begin as you create.  The pattern indicates the roadway to our creativity, and the colors of nature with the blue, green, brown, etc.  Neutral colors for a neutral piece....A piece that is not "relative" to a specific room, or decor.  It just "IS" and kinda fits in with just about anything and everything,  so it works for everyone providing a great conversation piece, accent that is out of the ordinary... one of a kind, etc.  Others might think of it as just a "dust collector".  Negative opinions are just part of art....but when you create to please yourself...there is always an option to sell or keep.

This is another hard one to send "on its' way" but I send with pride because I love it....and I like sending things I love to other people with the hope that they too will find it quirky, quaint, out of the box, and it will be something they might treasure.

And to the woman who sent me an email asking me if I ever had my "OWN IDEA" .... you betcha'.  I have a lot of them and I love it....I love creating, love being different,  and what the art gives back to me.

This swap is on its' way to the "East Coast" to a town that isn't  too far from where I was born and raised.... FUN....

Thanks for looking....

Lifes' Little Bits

Copyright  7.12     DP
I noticed this bud today and love the bright red, with the white and the greens....  This I planted in a vintage wheel barrel with some alysiam ground cover.  When I was transplanting the red flower I broke off the stem but I decided to plant anyway and hope for the best.  I was so happy when I saw new shoots coming below the break and then today to have a bud.  It is the little things in life that accent and create the big overall picture.  When a "whole lot" of neat things come together...   Some people just look for the big things and when they don't happen....unhappiness roots.    It is sorta like setting mini attainable is easier this way and provides earlier "returns"...

Night Photo

Copyright 7-12  DP
Tonight I went outside and took some night photos .....  There are times when I don't want any background coming through....  I have snapdragons in Purple, pink, white, yellow and orange/yellow mixture.  This was one of the nicer of those that I took.   Snapdragons remind me of Glads...only smaller.  Maybe they are in the same "family"...


I fell in love with this material when I saw it and there was not very much on the bolt so I purchased it.
Michelle has another room added on to her studio and she is planning on doing a deer head/with antlers and I thought maybe this material just might be the "cover" for she molds the material of her choice to the shape of the deer and the antlers.   (She has a LOT of real deer which she loves so I am not surprised with her wanting to do one to hang on her shop wall).   There is a LOT of sewing lines showing on the right side which really adds a lot of texture with the loosely sewn stitches.    I am hoping she won't need it all because I want to do "something" with it.  It doesn't match my studio decor so I will have to come up with a different room...or something for someone else.

This is how creativity happens.  You find something you love and then go from there.

Flutter - Byes

Today my "goal" was research butterflies and backgrounds, leaves, stalks of grass, colors, and compiling a a list of ideas for a set of 3 butterflies on canvas, and framed that will be one of my next painting pieces.  I know where the frame is so I just have to hope there is one is metal so I want to do some work on the frame as well as the canvas painting.  I want to use 4' x 6" canvas so I am hoping that the triplex frame that I want will be this size for the inserts......  

It is sometimes difficult to get everything you want when you are creating a scenario.....  I would prefer not to mat these because they are the smaller pieces of canvas....I don't want to loose any of the design.

There are so many medium options so this is also going to be a lot of fun....which to me is all part of the painting process.  Having everything "come together" .....  There is iridescent paint, glitter paint (my ultimate favorite) and the use of other mediums in other art forms other than decorative painting that could just be a perfect alternative for one of the pieces.  

Being creative is so much is the research...

Sunflower Canvas

Copyright 7-12  DP
The Tradition paints, portrait grade canvas and Dynasty brushes really do work well together.  When I was painting this it was more "play" and "I wonder" as I painted. Mixing Colors is something I REALLY enjoy....along with  how different brushes "react" when doing a technique... problem areas I need to research,  critiquing the final piece on what I would change if I painted it again or "can I do it now", etc.    

The design for this originated from several of my sunflowers photos.   A
composite piece....

This is an 8" x 8" canvas.  The frame is from Michaels and comes 2 to a package.   This size canvas is nice...not too big, yet large enough for be comfortable.  I think I would like to add "something" to the upper left area/corner/side and so I need to determine just what.  Some options would be:  Mixed media by adding an item or items?  Some calligraphy?  Areas of "crackle"?   A stencil or mask?  From news I have read on the Craft and Hobby Show the big thing is a mixture of art medias in one piece.  So on some of the pieces I paint I need to take this into consideration...  I am EXCITED to see decorative painting progress forward with a fresh, new, different approach.  It is going to be so NEAT to see some of the  new "artists" I fully expect to be coming well as artists who are able to make the transition in an acceptable way.
More is sometimes "better"... but differently than what you might be thinking of.  

Maybe tomorrow some time I can play around with this with tracing paper seeing what something might look like, size, etc.    Sometimes thinking of a painting in the arena of fashionable clothing provides an interesting "concept idea"....  

Out of the box is most definitely "in"....

Ros Stallcup

Ros Stallcup has a new book coming out in mid August........Gran's Journey.  Keep your eyes out for this as I am SURE it will be a great addition to a library.

If you want to learn to paint looser I really recommend one of Ros's books.  Her workbook is an awesome learning tool.

I feel very fortunate to have taken a seminar with Ros...she is a one of those artists who can design AND teach...

Art Apprentice Online / Magazine

Copyright 7 -12    DP

The newest issue of Art Apprentice Online Magazine has just been released for viewing, and active participation.

This will be my first experience with this magazine and to say I am impressed is to put it mildly.  I am anxious to paint the beautiful colorful bird by Connie Clark for a friend I have ...  so it will not only be a learning experience I will have a little giftie.  Thea article on waves will be my reading material this evening before I go to bed.

I have done 2 paintings using the Traditions Paints and I am ready to start my 3rd.  I have been painting on canvas using portrait grade canvas,  Dynasty brushes and the Traditions paints.... the designs have worked up quickly,  easily and good learning experiences.    I have done a sunflower, a winter mountain/water scene and my next will be another flower design.

 I just purchased some awesome metal frames that have a lot of "openwork" which I like with a removable back easel which means these frames can be tabletop or option that is neat and one I haven't seen till these.  I purchased them on sale which is GREAT, and on top of it I had a 20% coupon so I got them for 70% off.  A great buy which I love.

There are videos which can be viewed with this online if I am lucky I may be able to watch one of these tonight also.  There are so many different categories...which make this magazine a
great learning experience for those wishing to further their education, brush up on a technique or learn a new one, videos so you can see and hear "the way"....  just a super all around magazine for artists of all mediums.

So go on over and take a peek at the first issue from about 3-4 years ago, the classes that are offered, and supplies to purchase.  Great site, wonderful customer service, etc


Clouds, atmosphere, fog, light, nature in its' awesome beauty NEVER ceases to amaze, delight and excite me.  
Copyright 7-12  DP

The other night we had a magnificent thunder and lightening show for about 45 minutes.  The sharp, bright flashes of light followed by the deafening cracks of thunder echoing down the valley.  I laid in bed and just rode the storm so to speak as it traveled to the East of the house and slightly south.   I prayed for no lightening strikes but enjoye the stacco effects of the storm.  

The colors are gorgeous and intense.  Slivers of light, colors in oranges and even red in the storm clouds as they roll, big, and  luminous in front of the sun.  The magnificence of a summer storm in the West is just awesome.  And the clumpy pine tree gives a a dark stopper....  A formation may be only for a couple of seconds so you have to be camera quick, and yet  patient for the next good shot.  

In photography you have to frame your picture, zoom in or out, do horizontal and vertical...different shots provide different effects,  seen in different ways of the same thing and it amazes me.

Enjoy the storm...the stirring up of it, the climax and the mellowing....  I love the emotion that is involved....and the emotion is what sparks the creativity.  I don't like photos out of books....I love the photos of life and energy.  Not words on paper,  but words of excitement, description and emotion. 

Stumbling on Happiness


Tonight as I sat watching So You Think you can Dance, I made the personal decision that Choreographers have to be the one of the most creative artists in the world....  Where do they tap into that creativity, what is the button to push?  And they are so diversified in their talents to choose into several different categories (styles) and then choose music and moves, match it to the dancers, costumes, etc.  and just hope they can portray exactly what you want portrayed,  no mater "what".  I admire Sonja.  She is her own person.  She is on the edge  of accepted..   She loves what she does, you can see it in her face, and probably in everything that she does..... she enjoys everything, she makes magic, she has has charisma as well as modesty..and a finesse that makes her elegant. " Admirantion".

Stevie Nicks...another fantastic artist.  I love her voice, her music, that off beat rytythm.   This is also  what I enjoy about reggae music.  I love the haunting, imaginative beat that enables you to create your own story while you listen to them.   With both you get lost in the music, but in different way, for different reasons.   " Diversification".

Mariah Crawford.  A spiritualist that helps me to relax, to look, and see.  To solve problems, to
re-arrange that which is not working for something that will, to bet organized, to alienate oneself in
certain instances, and to believe in "Spirit"

So in a nutshell.....IMO to be an artist you have to have a creative mind... to design or make a decision.
Creativity comes from a feeling,  an emotion,  a time in life and this has to be executed into your art....
How you get "there" will vary from artist to artist....."there" may never happen, ( in a monetary way) but you will have gained from the doing so you haven't have won,  No one can teach you to become creative and there are so many aspects of creativity....   If a form of art dies out some women are just "doomed"....but if you are creative....your art goes on and on just like life.  It changes, it turns curves in the road, you have rough spots, and a times of success.....  The more art forms you do the more creative you seem to least that is what I have found from my own personal experience(s) .  And those who don't have creativity.......they enjoy whatever their participation is in the art field for the joy it provides....those who are stubborn will just "be".... and unhappiness happens...and festers and grows and........

In this photo I feel that I have obtained the following....and I consider it an artistic expression:

Viewer Participation / Emotion / Thought / Disection, etc.
Ability to use artistic license
Warm and Cool Colors
Eye does not fall off the edge
Options into several different art forms

Stuck in the Muck

People spend too much time finding other people to blame ; too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past and getting on with their lives.


I think of it as their being "stuck in the muck" ...  lost in life and blaming others seems to make it easier (they think) for others (and themselves) to accept their failures....someone else's responsibility other than their own for their unhappiness in life.  They never "own" themselves.  Their inability to have the joy and creativity they so desire and admire, their desire to destroy... and this desire only creates a deeper pit for their self pity...and they become more and more "stuck in the muck".... People like this seem to draw others with the same lack luster personalities.   They lack excitement, creativity and the true meaning of contentment.  That place where you go for rejuvenation.....they don't have's lost to them.  They are stalemated in yesterday ... the pizazz is gone...and in reality just maybe it never really existed....and was someone else's all along.  They just kinda "drag on" in life.... and it is hard for me to understand why they are so intent on trying to poke negatives into others life?   It is fun to take the negatives and transfer them into positives in my life.... I just kinda shake my head, give a chuckle and go on with the "good life" which I am forever thankful for.   My friends, family, spirituality, art, failures and successes... and no, I don't feel one bit sorry for these stuck in the muckers....they deserve all that they have which is negative ...for what they do to others. 

  Professing to be "Christian" just makes matters worse in my eyes.  Hiding behind the cloak of God making taunts thinking what?  That they won't be seen, punished, or that because they say they are Christian people FOR SURE won't imagine that they are capable of what is being said......a good Christian woman?  Not by the standards I learned from my Christian upbringing....what I witness is what I call the Hypocritical Christian.  They say they are, they go to church, etc. but once out the door of the church and for the next 6 days they become "that other person".  The non Christian....right back to the same "ole" ways "thinking" that they are safe under their "Christian umbrella".  A protective shield that allows them to do whatever they want..say what they want, etc.  About the only ones who really know the truth are the victims....those of us who have encountered the "real" person behind the facade'... the sugar sweetness is gone....the smile fractured and out pops the innuendos of sharpness aimed to hurt...  My shield against  has become  super strong and I am actually proud of my resiliency...but despite this I feel that the truth still needs to be brought forth against people of this type.  Those that they continue "to fool" are their type so they don't matter either...but I am pretty sure there aren't many ... as the armor is falling apart...and the true identify of the person within is becoming more apparent as "links" are identified and exposed...and I might add "deleted".... number gaps on "on line" posts then they retaliate as if they "never did that, said that"...etc.  deleted as their safety net and posts taken out of context to topic.  (Already the quote I posted first has been deleted....not to my surprise I might add, as this is the norm, when exposed, but I am sure that many saw and read it before it was zapped, into the land of "I never posted that"....)    What can't be found...and tied in can't be proven...  What a thought (less) process.  But they may be realizing that in all actuality with their little "quotes of the day"  and editorial "stories" that people are beginning to realize they are self exposes'  and where they blame others for their failures...which makes them feel better.....until someone exposes them.  These people get friends through fear...fear that the same will happen to them unless they join forces..and then pretty soon they have been drawn in and have become an accomplice...  The editorials have tapered off so it makes one wonder if these women have seen the light....or are just "laying back"...

From Photo to Painting...Musing By: diana

Copyright 7-12  DP
Snapdragons.  These are so colorful.   Or do you see just black and white?  See all the different colors:  Whites, greys, greens and  what some might say cream color??   

These flowers look as if they are going to jump or blow they seem so real in photo...and I found myself asking some questions.  What is beyond the trees behind the flowers, there seems to be a bright area?  And I see just a little red off to the far right but when I paint this I will leave the red I cannot balance the color realistically on the other side bottom left.  There are shadows,  highlights, depth and because these flowers are full front, there is no strong concern regarding not having the viewers' eyes fall off the edge of the painting. 

 In all actuality this particular photo if painted would only require about 6-7 colors but some mixing skills.  I know exactly what types of Dynasty Brushes are needed to do justice to this photo.   Next is choosing, finding or hunting for a surface.  One that will not detract from the painting but will somehow enhance it.   If it is done on canvas, what size?   Do I matt the canvas or let the frame do it?   To help you decide more think of where you want to hang the picture when you have finished painting it.  

Also something to think about is are you a tight or loose painter?   You may find the need to change the size of your brushes vs the ones the artist recommends...  She is using what works best for her,  the paints she uses and the surface/size she is working on....  Her choices may not work for you at all.  Since I learned this and began choosing and using the brushes that worked for me...there has been a big difference in the ease in painting, and in the completed piece.  

My painting is going to be small.  probably no larger than 8" x 10" because this is my preference.  And secondly you can always find a neat little niche for a painting this size vs a larger, more expensive surface.  Mine is going to hang in my studio and  I am  going to use salmon and yellow as my colors with a lot of wood...when I work on doing a bit of a transformation this I am pretty safe with the colors of the actual photo.  

Next is choosing your colors...and try mixing and noting the colors mixed on a dark grey background of "something"....  so that you will be able to refer to your mixture recipe as you paint the design and it will flow smooth.  

Have your Extender handy... to co-ordinate with whatever paint brand you use.   I don't use it very often but there are times it has helped and/or saved me.  Other artists use it as a staple with their paint and there is nothing the matter with that....if it works better for you use it.  

I am going to use Traditions Paints as I am "playing with them".  They are brand new to me so I need to get "used" to how they act and react.  I am so thankful for my mixing experience which I have been working on for years...but the Traditions are just a bit different so I will have to learn the difference.   There is no way to "teach" paint mixing ... it is all about "doing it" yourself.   I have an Acrylic Paint Recipe book that I refer to if I get "stuck"....  and everyone that paints the same design, using the same paints will get a different look depending on "their third eye" and how they see the colors, or WANT the colors.  

Do you feel comfortable doing the muted background, trees, etc?  You want it dark, lacking color, and different shades of the main color you decide upon.   Depending on you the artist---- you may decide on a cool background using Paynes Grey in Americana, or maybe you want warm shades of Charcoal Grey both used with either Cool or Warm White.  Since I like mixing my colors I will be dirty brush mixing on my palette so that I get MANY shades in my background which will give me more what I want as it will create more depth....this is the GREAT advantage of color mixing.  MAGIC DEPTH.   It is like taking your painting to that "next step";  AND it is an exciting one.

And some artistic license.....hmmm.  Right now this is Mother Natures' picture, she was the artist, and I was lucky enough to capture it.  The seeds, fertilizer, dirt, water and planter is where I started, then a great digital camera...patience and many different shots..... so I might decide to use some of my own artistic license to add to or subtract from the photo......or maybe I will leave it just as it is and use artistic license in the surface, mat, frame, etc.

There is a lot to think about when you are going to paint from a photo.... I like to do this, prefer to do this, and it helps me to become my own artist... and yes, I consider myself an artist...

So thanks for those of you who read this.  Maybe it will set you thinking about your art, your medium, etc.  I know it has helped me to know where I am going to be going when I start this painting.

So now to print this off and add some more of my own personal notes...kinda what I want to do,  how to do something,  suggestions to myself, etc.   I am always more comfortable in memory when I write things down

Happy Art.....

School Pencil Sketch of Miss Pru

Copyright 7-12  DP  "Miss Pru"

This is a pencil sketch I did of my black and white Shitz Tszu "Miss Pru".  I feel that I have really captured her personality which is sometimes so if she is trying to really figure out what I am saying to her.  She is a one of a kind most of them are of this breed.  She is my constant companion....

Somewhere along the line I will probably do this on canvas but I am not sure just what the medium will be.   Right now this is simply framed and hung down in my studio.

Rambling Rose

Copyright 7-12  DP
What a pretty shade of pink.....and the bush is just LOADED with buds.... Larry always could grow gorgeous roses....and gladolias...  They are way tall but so far no blooms; but the snap dragons are  popping out.  So far I have a white one and I think Pink.  The Globe Basil got transplanted today, as well as the Pineapples sage..and I think there are 3-4 types of tomatoes,  some peppers, etc.  so it is kinda neat watching things grow...bud...bloom...  

 I harvested 4 small, tiny globes of garlic....  The radishes were hard as rocks and HOT so I don't think I would waste my time on these again....and the lettuce?  Goodness sakes but it just never seems to quit producing...just over and over and it is so tender and good.  As I transplanted I have been using a product called Tims Tea which is a fertilizer product that is made here in Oregon and it sure is good....It has NO chemicals, all organic as well as the topsoil which is made right up the road from us which we got by the trailer load as our ground here is almost totally volcano rock, ash, soot, etc.  

Thank goodness for the little potting stand as that helps me keep things a LITLLE neater... and Larry says maybe next year we will do a little greenhouse.  We have a dog kennel "thing" that I guess he is going to  put  clear lexan/plastic on with windows, roof vents etc.  That way I can just brush everything right on the ground which will be nice.  

My husband even planted potatoes (finally found out what they were) over by our fence and they are REALLY growing well....  goodness might we have a little harvest of sorts here?  

I even set up a photo tonight to use as a reference for painting.  I haven't done a still life, and this is kinda "out of the box" but maybe just enough so that it will be published.  I already have the frame which is different...and the canvas will be a 5" x 7" which is a small, non intimidating size and it will work up quick.  Since I have been working with the Traditions will be another learning curve...but I like learning.... developing my own style in the different things that I do...  It is so much fun to know that this piece will have style, texture, grown by me, staged and painted.  

So now it is down to my little studio area (which I think I will redo/revamp this winter....a good indoor project).   I never did like the color green that is down there so I think I am wanting to go with a salmon color....maybe 2 tone?  Will need to do some looking around.....  I love my spare bedrooms which is this color ... it is cool and calming...and will go with the rug OK that is there.
Just have to think of accent colors beside white.....  maybe a studio journal is  what I should begin with items, things I like so I will kinda know where I am going when October gets here and with garage sales...I might pick up some good finds....reasonable price.  I have a vintage wood stool .... and a neat chair so these are two starting points...

Summer Fest of Bend

I was able to talk my husband into going with me to the Bend Summer Fest in the old downtown portion of Bend.  Nearly all of the little shops that are down here are boutique type stores, specialty shops,  art galleries, restaurants, etc.  I still have not made it down here to investigate what all is here.

For the art festivals that they have here they block off about 6 streets.  One street is beer and wine, one is handmade items, another is the food court and rotating band area,  on another we had Bend business booths,  and 2 were just vendors of merchandise.  They say there were well over 200 vendors.  I was able to pick up a couple of Christmas gifts...and just enjoyed browsing so many different things in onearea.  The weather was agreeable, warm only with a nice breeze.  A perfect day...

I saw a LOT of sea glass jewelry (I just ordered a lot of it last night) , photography, unique and different  handmade jewelry and some fine art with pastels, watercolor and acrylic.  I get so inspired when I see the work of other artists....  I also noticed that although I don't think it was the Decoart Glamour Dust paints one artist had something added to his painting that provided just a bit of bling that made you go back and look was a water landscape and the water was super........ahhhhh.

The stinters are usually at all of the festivals so they must be from the Bend Area.
A nice afternoon.
Ahead is one of the shorter streets.  I believe this was the Bend Business Area.

Trash to Treasure

Kirk (a friend of my husbands) had been looking for a way to supplement income in these tough times and I started showing him things he could make.....then I told him that inside him were the seeds to become creative with his own designs.....( as we see here with his rocking chair).   Every time he creates something himself I always say to him " I thought you said you didn't have a creative bone in your body".... and I think he kinda amazes himself....but it is so neat to see the items he comes up with...  He has four of these spools in different sizes so he will have four of them for sale.... YEA....Kirk.  Another artist has been born.....

 Some of his other items are just as creative as this is and he has sold everything he has made....which is the REAL important thing....


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I wanted to design/make a bracelet which would give me and hopefully others the feeling of an ocean wave at the beach.  I didn't have any idea where I was going with this until I started.  I just gathered up elements I thought I "might" use and began.  I have 4 strands but I think that I want to add one more layer but I am not sure just where within the bracelet....  The main focal bead is a clear lamp work bead made by my daughter Dragynsfyre and has silvered ivory that kinda looks like sand in the middle as the crest of the wave....I have also added some manzanita twig beads (s) which were made by my son in law and the beige beads that I used are from my granddaughters' Etsy site.    It worked up quickly but took me 2 nights to complete.  

I find that I have better luck when I design and create if I just have a theme and go from there rather than have a definite idea of each and every element..... this gives my inner child time to play too.

My inner child...hmmmm.  My imaginary playmate when I was a child was GooGoo ....I wonder if this is who comes forth now?   LOL.

Robin Cramer of RobinsJunqueArt

Robin makes these Stained glass runners and they are certainly colorful and pretty.  She hails from Kingman, Arizona.  This is her fall design....  Would love to see a "water" one.    I don't believe I have seen anyone do anything quite like this so it is a uniquely different piece.  Very nice Robin.   LOVE IT...

Oh, you can find Robins' art at   

Support our artists by choosing your gift, supply and home items from ETSY vendors.  They will appreciate it.

Vertical Cloud

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                                                                                          This was a "different" cloud.... we have had a lot of different clouds with the heat, threats of thunderstorms,  and normal summer weather ....  I love clouds, watching them move, change color, shape, etc.  Of all the places I have lived I think the clouds when they happen are the most gorgeous here....

I am hoping that the T-storms they are predicting this weekend will "happen" but that there will be NO fires connected with them...just thunder no lightening please...


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It has been really neat to go outside and pick a strawberry, grab a couple of leaves of Pineapple Sage for a salad, and watch the tomatoes get bigger and bigger.  This is my first year ever for "gardening" and I am still "not sure" about it but do like reaping the fruits of the labor.  The tomatoes are going to be sooooo good, and my husband planted some potatoes...which are going gangbusters.  I am doing container gardening because our soil here is mostly volcanic elements, real fine like cornstarch so good growing areas are hard to find....

Red Rose

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The newest "flower" to our garden area....I love the true red of this one...and a real, real pale pink is "on its way" on another bush.

Thunder Clouds

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The forecast was for thunderstorms and when these clouds began to roll in I thought we were in for a doozy but it went right around us.  Drat.  I enjoy sitting on the patio when we have thunder, lightening and rain which doesn't occur very often.

Got several awesome shots of clouds.  


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My husband came in this afternoon and wanted to know if I wanted to take some photos of some LARGE dandelions that were pretty close to "poofing".  Grabbed my camera and out I went.  I love nature to capture things that are so short lived......  get it now or it is gone....

Traditions DecoArt Paint

I have fought these paints.... I tried them about 9 years ago when they had Jansens' name attached to them....and wasn't impressed.

A few weeks ago I signed up for a class on the AOL site which I felt would really be a challenge and teach me some techniques in a different way so I ordered the paints I needed for the class and today I had the time to play with them a bit.  

Emailed a friend of mine and told her I guessed I was going to have to eat crow.  (Preferably crispy with some Pepto Bismol on the side).....    They performed...oh yes, they performed.  With the brushes and the canvas pieces I use these paints just danced.... so I went online and ordered the palette of colors
I normally use that I hadn't ordered/needed with my first order for the class.  

These paints come in 3oz bottles, a light and dark primer, watercolor medium as well as the Extender.

My first painting with these paints is going to be of a sunflower on an 8 x 8 canvas.   I will use one of the photos of my sunflower for color and detail assistance.

Sunflower Wishes

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This particular sunflower stalk has 7 blooms on it ... so I will be having sunflowers for quite awhile.  I only thought I would get one so this is a nice surprise.

Sunflower wishes to you....


I really enjoy making jewelry to match a purchase.  These jewelry sets were made for my sister whose birthday is coming up this month.  The top lamp work beads were made by my daughter and the bottom lamp work was done by a lamp work artist in WA.  The accents are from Tierra Cast (all but the elephant clasp)  and they are sold by my daughter Dragynsfyre on Etsy.

It is a lot of fun to create.

An Artists' Rambling....Brush/Paint/Surface and Techniques A little of this and that

As I watch Jerry Yarnell paint I look at the abuse he gives his brushes and he is one of the first to admit he scrubs with the brushes to where they are just the right shape for him...  He uses the bristle brushes to lay down his colors and then  Dynasty brushes which have a great chisel edge to do the fine tuning in his paintings.  The brush always snaps back to do what needs to be done even though he wraps his brushes wet in a towel between sessions.   When someone like Jerry endorses a brush you have to know it is a good one because not only his work Outstanding but the Dynasty brushes continue to perform despite not being taken care of as decorative painters take care of their brushes.

Take a look at some of the artists who use Dynasty brushes....and endorse them wholeheartedly because they are REALLY the best brushes available.   Christy Hartman, Jillybean, Anita Morin, Tracey Moreau....  Artist brushes.    Check out the work they do with these brushes.  Gorgeous, gorgeous work.   These brushes are really an extension of self,  They are comfortable to use which is important to me because I am a "bit" older than a lot of the painters.  I also like brushes which cooperate with what I need or want a brush to do for I want it to "perform".  Brushes are an important part of an artists success....  With so many lines of brushes in the Dynasty family of brushes you are bound to find one or a mixture of several to meet your needs.  I love the Eye of the Tiger Brushes and use them a lot when I am working on ceramic or porcelain...  The Micron Brushes are for tiny little work such or ornaments, jewelry, ATC's etc.  And the Faux Squirrel Line of brushes are just the cat's pajamas for me.  Might not be for someone else but by golly I like what they do "for me"...  The hold a lot of paint, have a certain soft snap yet rigid control.... just what I want in a brush.  Stop and think what you want a brush to do?  Then go and find it.  A brush to stand behind and recommend because they ARE the best, the best in Quality, Reasonably Priced, and you will definitely see a difference in your work when you use them.  Another line I love are the APC brushes for Acrylic, pastels and Charcoal... these brushes make  the best stipplers.... and I even use the Dry Brushes in the Faux Squirrel line as well as the Dynasty Decorative Series dry brushes for "rolling in the fog" blending water, skies, clouds etc. because of the way the brushes are tapered.  Shorter on the sides and wider/longer in the middles.  These brushes are made to do and act like a "broken in" brush.  Just no other way to describe them....and many I lovingly abuse to get them just the way I want them.  Artist conditioning....   When one needs a brush to do something and it is not available to purchase you go "outside the box" and improvise .....  part of the fun in being an artist.  Improvising....which leads to your own style....not someone else's...but yours.  Not color book finished products but what we kinda see "when we see"  innuendos of color that make you wonder what is there, lights and darks and a wide range of in-betweens...   It feels good to sit down and paint and have things "work".....  no fighting with the brush or the paints....they just do what you want them to do.  Then you also have the wonderful line of Dynasty make up brushes.  WOW are they ever nice....and soft as a bunny's tail.  I use their facial brush when I paint some of my backgrounds on larger surfaces because of the way the bristles are cut...what a chisel edge you get with this once again it is using what works.

 Your surface is another thing that is important in creating ones own style.  When you find a surface that "works for you" stay with it.   I love the portrait grade canvas boards that I purchase that are hand made the best.  I could probably do them myself but why when someone else does such a professional, job?  I also prefer smaller canvas pieces cause I love the walls of art that you see....I don't care for huge, big pieces.  The smaller finished pieces are also more affordable ...  and I love owning other artists work who also do art and have pieces that are affordable vs. thousands of dollars....  Just my preference....but if it is my preference on a limited income.   Seems as if you can always fit in a little piece of art somewhere...maybe somewhere where just an extra something is needed/wanted.   I like element painting where just a piece of something is painted and not the whole thing....  Much like the half car that I painted on a clock that was published and is in a current issue of PaintWorks.  Out of the box, different, is fun.

 The Foliage Wave brushes in the Designer Series are the ultimate for lacey, light, airy foliage.  I have been known to (better plug your ears) clean the fabric softener resitue in my washing machine and also clean the lettering to make the brush flare like I want it to do.  Sometimes I even cut brushes to get what I think I want when I can't find one somewhere else.  I don't sell them....I just tell others what I have done to fulfill a need in my paintings in hopes it will help someone else.  There are a lot of artists who support to support and others who support because they feel so adamant about the product. ( Kinda like I am with Glamour Dust Paints by Americana Decoart.  I LOVE these paints..and use them whenever I can.  They just add a special little glow to a finished piece when used appropriately within the painting.  Some on water for that sparkle, in a eye a speck will make the eyes seem to follow you wherever you go.  Just special, special paints.)

Since I love nature and all that is soft, and beautiful and spiritual landscapes are my favorite to paint.  I love the fall and winter so that is mostly what I paint.  I love old, rusty, out of the box, etc.  I love to feel my art,  depth and leave a little to everyones' imagination.  I love when my snowy scenes make me actually feel a bit cooler, love a waterfall design when I can get someone to identify with smell of the trees, mustiness of the air, etc.

And portraits when you can catch "personality".  Not just a statued portrait but one that has life to it instead of stiff and animate.    I paint what I like...what is fun, etc.

So I guess I am saying when surface, brush, paint type/brand, and "person" all work together what happens is pretty much a whole lot of fun, for a whole lot of people when you journey, and learn, and
try, and succeed and even fail.  To fail at something is to learn...

Who needs a LOT of technical, book learned jargon when you paint what is inside?   Purchase some good technical books written by artists not those who are just literary authors....practice what they provide in knowledge and you are on your way.  As artists we want to know how to achieve what we see in our minds eye....  The best way to paint is "to paint".


Painting / Paint and Brushes vs Surface

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Today I have been working on painting a waterfall, moss, rocks, boulders, etc.  I am determined to overcome the block with the rocks.... Perseverance will pay off.  Just need to walk away for awhile....  

My surface seemed to be fighting me so I went back to my portrait grade canvas.....what a positive difference.

Loved the new Dynasty Duet Brushes  and the mop on the one is super;  just as I expected it would be.  The canvas I am using was too small for the Palmers so maybe next time......

Choose your paint, brushes, surfaces, etc. based on how you interact with them.  If something isn't working make a change...and continue to make changes until you achieve your goal.   If something IS working don't change it.....   every artist has their favorites to achieve....and they just might be different from what will work for you.    The important thing is technique.

Once you learn technique tweak it to work for you...

Artist Creativity

The creativity of others
is amazing and wonderful.

This is just the neatest

Hats off to the artist.

Periwinkle Iris?

A hard color to identify.  So periwinkle....????  and so very quiet in soft color;  yet it makes such a fantastic visual statement.  Dark and Bold is not always the way.  My husband had just watered when I took this photo so it was neat to have the drops of water on the petals.  I love the crinkles....they remind me of my childhood crinolines.  You can tell these are "aged" iris the way there is a mottling of colors....some things do get better with age.   Makes me anxious to see what the next blooms color will be?

Hope everyone had a colorful Fourth of July.

Zipper Pull

I have a lot of problems with zippers on jackets, purses, etc.  They just aren't big enough it seems.    My fingers are not as nimble as they used to be so I decided to take one of  the domino focal pieces I made and add on this lanyard so that I can attach it to wherever I might need a little "help".... with.


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Today was a gorgeous day in the 70's so it was a great day to take a vacation day and a drive to an area outside of Bend that we had not been to and have a picnic lunch along the way.  The air was so cool and smelled so fresh.  The scenery crisp, sharp, and magnificent.  Clouds were soft and billowy and soooo many different shades of blue....and even shades of white, which many see as "just white"..

This is Mt. Batchelor which we can see from the corner by our house but we are about 30 miles closer where I took this photo.

So many different landscapes in just a few short miles.  Our area here is just amazing.  I feel so fortunate to call this state

Journey of Art's Life

For me, it seems as if every day is a journey.  Sometimes it will continue in the same path for several days and other days a different road is encountered and the landscape in my mind is different.  It is neat the way some things "stand out" and others just kinda blend in.   Sometimes the journey is my own and other times shared.  Somethings are planned and others are impromptu, but never the less it becomes MY journey...and differs from others.

These day to day life livings are full of emotion, color, shapes, temperature, etc.   These same elements are found in the art we create, in the artists' we seek out to add to our life, our inspiration, etc.  We search for what we need, we welcome the sharing of knowledge and technique.  We  learn from the experience and adapt it to our needs, desires, etc.

This photo has color, emotion, shape and temperature and makes an impression.  It may mean nothing to someone else but everything to me.

Confusion, turbulence, cold, warm, fear, calm, etc.  I love the many feelings a picture, a painting can
impose upon me and yet change on a daily basis based upon my frame of mind.  

Some art styles do "nothing" for me.  They are "just a painting".  Objects upon a canvas.  The ones that move me .... have to have emotion, mystery,  allow me to participate and to make it my own.  

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Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.