Wednesday, December 18, 2013


It has been a while since I was able to settle down and focus on my moleskin. I felt out of practice. To some it certainly seems like doodles, but to others it is meditative process that challenges one to remember to use the many rules about balance that they have learned (and continue to learn) over the years. 

Often I find a few days before Christmas where there is calm and there is the opportunity to center oneself. Hope that you can enjoy that time.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Home again

On my trip to Ohio I did more reading than drawing, but here is a zentangle that I drew 
while on the airplane. Oh there were some sketches of people, 
but none were interesting enough to share.

There are more family pictures, but this one of the 3 year old twins is just plain fun!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Zentangle mandala

A friend reminded me that I haven't posted in a while. I have excuses, such as spending six hours helping to set up the quilt show today or painting walls at the art center or working on our Christmas card.

 Oh wait, there is excitement over the birth of my latest grandwonderful-Miles Christopher yesterday. Mom and baby are fine. Erika Ray took photos of the happy event and there are a couple of very lovely pieces at her blog under 13-30. For a grandma who is 2,000 miles away this is a special way to connect.

But, I have managed to sit and enjoy drawing. Here is zentangle that is drawn with a Lamby-Safari pen and intense pencils.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Snowflake zentangle

There was a need to do a powerful zentangle with strong color. So, I created this piece that is done with watercolors in the background and black ink. The layout was a snowflake cut from tracing paper and used as a guideline. Inner connections were added in my freehand style. I plan to enter it in December for a show that begins January 2. 
We'll see if it is even accepted.

A new grand baby is due this month. Of course, the child will need a quilt! This dragon quilt is a panel (a design already printed) surrounded by 1 1/4 inch squares that I pieced.

Below you can see close ups which show how zentangle designs can be used in quilting.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sketch outing

Today was another lovely autumn day with plenty of sunshine.
 A friend and I went to a local outdoor market to sketch. It was so nice of them to have
 hay bales, pumpkins and a scarecrow set up.

There were some interesting shapes and colors with the pumpkins on the bench. 
Yes, the second from the right was light green (almost blue) and pink.

Most important was the opportunity to settle down and be in the moment. 
No pressure and no time limit. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I was roaming the internet and came upon See Jane Run by Jane Eileen. Her biography says that she Nona of 2 A+mazing grandwonderfuls. She won my heart even before I attempted the zentangle. This design is quite a challenge, as you can see below.

Confusion, a little idea, better understanding and then more practice to get a better grasp of the design. Yet, I think that it's worth the effort.

Today I mailed a card to my dear 99 year old friend, Esther, using this zentangle.

This type of drawing has helped me to settle down today. I seemed to have to much energy to settle on any one project.There is just so much to do!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Zentangle and figure drawing

This week I did another zentangle mandala. I cut a snowflake from tissue paper, traced it with a pencil and then connected points with my ink pen. This approach means that if I traced it a second time, I would most likely have a different design. I've used ink and colored pencil.

Figure drawing still draws my interest. One of my big hang ups is making the head to skinny. Oh well, I'll keep trying.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Seasons challenge

My art quilt group issued a challenge with the theme of "Seasons" in a 20 by 20" format. My mind went to dividing the space into four sections and depicting each season. Nope. Then I thought of doing a picture of my neighbors crab apple tree in full bloom. Not just what I wanted to do. Then I found a quote by Helen Hayes: Childhood is the shortest season. Perfect. While visiting the grand kids, I took them to a park. The twins were swinging and enjoying. I did a close up of Isla and added the lettering.

We had our reveal last week and it was delightful to see how many different ways "Seasons" could be presented. To see work by the others, go to: Pins and Needles Art Quilters. Yes, drawing can be done with more than the traditional media:)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Silk Painting and more

Painting on silk and the different techniques for dyeing fabric is one of my current interests. Previously I mentioned using the Shibori method of adding color. This time I used a "scrunch" idea. I laid the fabric out flat and beginning in the center, I started gathering it until I had a scrunched ball. Then I wrapped twine around to hold the wad in place. Two different colors were randomly placed to give the uneven print. Love it!

A few years ago a friend passed away. I was asked to help go through a trunk with her art supplies. There I found this flower which was outlined in gutta the resist that is put down to contain the shapes. I finally got my courage to paint the flower. I am learning so much.

For the second time, two friends have chipped in to buy the fabric for a quilt to honor a veteran. This quilt will be sent to the Quilts of Honor program.

One more project! This looks somewhat creepy but it is the first time that I've tried this technique. Mary Pal is a quilter who devised a way of presenting portraits by using cheescloth as the main media. She mixes watered down glue with the cheesecloth and has done dramatic pieces. Please look are her terrific art. A true study in lights and dark. Well, here is my first attempt!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Trying to do it all

 Figure drawing has started again and I'm beginning to grasp the art of drawing after three years. I'm lucky to have people who are willing to mentor struggling artists!

For the grand kids I found this panel (one solid piece of fabric with the design printed) and spent hours quilting it with love. Really, it was educational for me as I do not know the capitals of each state. Hope that they have hours of fun.

This old engine has been in hundreds of movies and television shows, including Petticoat Junction and Wild Wild West. The people restoring this old trains have a real passion for their work.

The last picture is an update of our garage wall. I don't work when it's 100 degrees and since I know that there is no deadline for this project, I work on it "whenever".

Hope that you enjoyed looking into this mixed bag.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Zentangle ladies

These ladies present the next pages of my zentangle moleskin book. 
They are done with Micron pens and colored pencils. Such elegant gowns!

By the way, I'm having trouble locating more of these accordion fold moleskin journals. 
Think that they are also called Japanese fold. The size is 5 1/2" by 3 3/4". 
If you have a clue where to find them, please let me know.

Last week, my husband and I went to Jamestown and Sonora, CA. 
These towns are part of the gold country and now survive on tourist trade. The Rim fire had only been burning for about two days, but we could see smoke from the Yosemite area which was about 25 miles away. Each day the fire has exploded in size and is now among the top 12 big fires that have ever burned in California. 
We wish the best to all the fire fighters and residents of the area.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mini sketchcrawl

Today a friend and I went to a park near the river where there are deer and lots of little critters. We are, along with another friend, planning of getting together every other week. Luckily for me, Bobbie Lou is a former art teacher! The importance of that is shown in the following pictures.

This is my rather anemic sketch that did include a live deer.

This is my sketch that has some personality!
 There is more interest in the tree with the addition of tapered lines,
 long and short shadow lines and color.
 I'm so lucky to have such a kind and helpful friend.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Park sketch

This evening we , my husband and I, went to the local park for a free band concert. They have them every Saturday and Sunday during the summer. There is play equipment for the children and the rest of us bring our own chairs and some bring their dogs. I sit and sketch. I tend to do a lot of  "backs" during these events.

Click to enlarge.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Yesterday, a friend who has a big studio that is dedicated to silk painting, let me come over and play. I took my silk, folded it, placed it on a tube (waterproofed with scotch tape), wrapped it with string, then I squished the fabric to created mountain and valley folds. 
The last step it to add color (I used three colors) with an eyedropper. 
To a beginner like me, it is a total guess how the piece will look when it's done.

I put it in a pillowcase, dried in in the dryer for 60 minutes 
and then rinsed it to wash out the excess color.
What will I do with it? That is part of the fun. Somehow it will go into a quilted wall hanging.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sketches and The Garage Wall

Last month I went to see the grand kids and was able to again enjoy one of the Shel Silverstein's books. Since it seems that he learned to draw by tracing Al Capp's cartoons, I'll assume that it is OK for me to copy free hand. He says so much with so few lines.

At the airport, I caught Mr. Sexy Time sleeping. His wife was watching the kids.


Below is the latest installment of the garage wall. I'm finding that doing about two sections at a time is my limit as I have to turn my head in awkward positions and their is a limit to that discomfort.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Snowflake Mandalas

The next lesson that I decided to follow in The Art of Zentangle included this pattern that was provided, a snowflake that had been cut and traced.

The next step was to connect any points that I wished and then fill in the spaces.

Well, apparently one did not satisfy my need to zentangle so I complete a second version and this time I added a bit of shading with a graphite pencil and colored pencils.

The difference surprised and pleased me!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Art of Zentangle

Apparently I can't seem to get enough of doing zentangles. I found a workbook on Amazon, THE ART OF ZENTANGLE 50 inspiring drawings, designs & ideas for the meditative artist. Margaret Bremmer has a blog Enthusiastic Artist that is very inspirational. I thought that she was the author. Well, there are three other contributors, each with a different perspective. The first action, however, was to take the book and have it spiral bound. I need flat pages for drawing.

This silly page shows three examples with my creation in the box on the lower left.

Again, there is an example at the top of the page with my hummingbird in the lower section.
The hippo is reverse zentangle and I deliberately left if unfinished so that you could realize the need to fill the entire page. What a delight to see the image emerge.

There is a step by step description of how to complete the fairy.
The mandalas are actually part of Margaret's lessons. I've complete about 50 of the 140 pages, so there is much to practice!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


There was a fiber arts show at the Sacramento Fine Arts Gallery. I submitted a small 17x18" piece titled Potpourri. It sold! This was very exciting as I believe that it was the only piece that did sell.

I used lots of trinkets, buttons, Angelina (polyester fibers that melt and sparkle when heated), purchased hand dyed fabric, feathers and whatever else grabbed my fancy.

This is a close-up from the piece.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Watercolor and more

No surprise for me, I've been going in many directions. Sometimes I wonder if I'm stalling from doing one project by becoming busy with something else. After a long delay, I decided to continue my projects from Dawn McLeod Heim's book, Painting Realistic Water Colors. This is lesson six. Because I don't know enough, I haven't really decided what type of watercolor I like to do.

Meanwhile, I found these quilt patterns at a bargain sale and couldn't resist making the blocks. They are the Kitty Cityseries, each about 10" x 13". I have realized that I like to do pieces that make me smile and these characters with names such as Mona (with the paint palate) and Carmen (with the fruit basket) are so cute. I have given them to our Community Service program which will make them into quilts (probably two quilts) and give them to children in the hospital. Don't ask why the background is so different, just one of those days.

Last week this huge mosaic was revealed on the side of a new building downtown. I love this gecko/lizard (the feet are different on the front and back, thus the double name).

Later I'll share the silk that I painted and am now quilting, plus lesson 7 in watercolors, and more on the garage zentangle project. Humm, I do seem to keep busy. Oh wait, on to Ohio to see the grandkids:)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Garage Zentangle

OK, this is one of the projects that I've been working on for some weeks. It will be many more weeks before I am finished, so I've decided to show you the progress. We had our garage sheet rocked and suddenly I had a blank canvas. So, I started painting two foot squares with left over house paints.

Trying to guess where I used all these colors in the house got to be quite a game.

This zentangle is my profile and it's located so that I know exactly where to park the car. I just pull in, look to my left and can tell the right spot. Of course, after many years in this house I finally hung a fluffy netting so that it touches the windshield when I park the car. Anyway, I have used Sharpie pens and have discovered that the markers do slide on the more glossy paints.

This pictures gives some perspective on how little I've done. However, there is no timetable and it's fun to spend a few minutes adding to this piece of art!

Giant flowers are going to grow on this part of the wall. I must admit that today the temperatures are to reach 106 so I may skip the outsides activities today.