Sunday, December 28, 2014


Below is my Christmas card.

How did I do it? It was not a one step process.
First, I created this quilt.

The quilt was my hand dyed fabric that I quilted and then painted with black acrylic.
A friend steered me to a Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 program. This computer layout provided many templates (a section that was repeated) that you put place over any photo. That was a fun part of the process. I chose the design and then added the background color (in this case the dark purple). Next I cut the image and the two background papers which I glued to the card. There it is.

To all: may the joy of the season be with you throughout the year!

Friday, December 26, 2014

An honor

The Friends of Calligraphy in the San Francisco Bay Area is celebrating it's 40 Anniversary. Four times a year they publish a journal that is now 28 pages thick. In the latest issue they reviewed a sub group called the Robins. A group that has been in existence since 1997. We make books for each of us that include the work of each member. Although I have rotated out, the group gathers and continues to inspire. For some reason, one of my pieces was featured on the cover! This is was done in 1999 and I am so humbled to have me piece so prominently displayed. The Alphabet has featured the work of some really famous and talented calligraphers.

Here is my 15 minutes of fame:

The back features a piece by my dear friend, Barbara Parke-Wolff who also was in the group.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hanging in there

Oh, has it really been a month since I posted! The computer part of my life has been slow, but drawing and traveling have kept me busy. Feeling grounded I was able to attend figure drawing. Trust me, we had a tall lanky model. Sri is about 6 feet tall and loves to wear 6" heels.

I decided that the lowly pencil was enough of a tool for me to use. Also, I placed myself between two very talented artists and took time to observe their techniques. One guideline was taking the time to observe. Even on the short poses, it is wise to stop and look before you place the first stroke.

On a day when I was so unsure about my ability to draw, it was delightful to be encouraged by the results.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Learning to Draw

Sketch Skool, a creation from the mind of Danny Gregory, has offered a series of classes that are very informative and inspiring. There is a get moving, no excuses attitude from each of the talented instructors. The realization is that there are many styles of drawing and all are correct. One just needs to do it!

This mandala is done with micron pens in a moleskin journal.

Figures are another challenge. So much that they even stand on the heads of others!

Step by step I am getting a better image of people I know. 
This is one of my 4 year old granddaughters.

Yes, the drawing bug has bitten me. One goal is to go out and draw, but I am pretty content learning in my own space in the comfort of my home. I know that practice and more practice will bring a better understanding and the pieces will improve!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pumpkin sketches

Yesterday I went to a fruit/vegetable stand with two friends and we had a delightful time sketching. Here are my two pieces from our outing. It's nice to really get out instead of just thinking about it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hidden Views

Hidden Views was the latest quilt challenge for my quilt group. Other than the title, the only guide line was that the size was to be in multiples of 6". Examples: 6x6, 12x 24 or 6x30 up to a maximum of 36". I chose to think of view as a mental thought. So, I bush lettered a quote on white fabric, cut it into squares and then added color using a Gelli plate.

The first design had all the squares without the black spacing and I found that people were spending too much time trying to play a game and figure out the wording. So, I ripped it apart (as ye sew, so shall ye rip), cut the squares smaller and added the black.

I also discovered that there are two sides to the fabric! By flipping nine squares over, the piece was not so "in your face". I hope that people will reflect on a hidden view that they might have. 

You can see work by other members on our blog, Pins and Needles Art Quilters.  

There has been time for sketching, something that has been encouraged by the teachers and talented students in Sketch Skool.

This is a model from a magazine.

 This is after Mary Engelbreit's wonderful people.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sketch Skool

Here is the first page in my new Moleskin journal of work inspired by /Andrea Joseph. This paper seems best for using the many new ballpoint and Micron pens that I have purchased. Oh boy, so many more pages to fill!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Seeing the Figure

Friday morning figure drawing sessions have begun again after our summer break. I joined this group because of inspiration from members of the Everyday Matters group. Slowly I can see progress and its so relaxing to sit with other artists. Being around some very talented artists helps me to set goals.

Now I'm accepting the idea that it is OK to draw from images in magazines. Onward!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sketchbook Skool

My life has been on slow down for a few weeks. The upside is that I sit and draw, sew, read and take naps. Pretty nice. So I've done some self portraits and will continue to do them as I learn so much with each attempt.

Flowers are always a nice subject, so I've done these with Inktense pencils. I'm  beginning to appreciate their qualities. I can draw the shape and have it gently disappear with a touch of water.

The last picture is of a mug as I don't have any pretty teacups, a subject that Liz Steel loves. But, her guidelines certainly help in understand the subject!

Finally, I seem to be enjoying the process and feel better about my understanding of the art of drawing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Guest Sketcher

Recently I had a dear friend, my "sister", come to help me. There was time to sit and draw. Isn't that the dream of all of us sketchers? Barbara Parke-Wolff creates her own journals and had participated in Danny Gregory's Retreat in Rowe, Mass. She is also taking part in Sketch Skool. Barbara, on the left, a mutual friend, Judi Sullivan, joined us today. Judi left before I could get a picture of her drawing. Most important was the comfort of friendship. Oh, that is Cody, keeping guard.

My backyard has never looked so good!

The following is of a bush that is called "Lion's Tail" and if fun to watch grow.

Last is a drawing from some quiet time in and out of the house.

Tomorrow she will be leaving. I was so blessed to have her here, but now she will return to her home where her sweet husband has been patiently awaiting her return. Thanks, Gary.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fabric Art

Painting and dyeing on silk has been one of my latest interests. The colorful squares are from fabric that I dyed and the purple background is hand dyed silk that was a pair of pants.

This is a close up that shows the beadwork that I added.

My latest piece is one that I painted, lettered, quilted and beaded. I'm just learning this technique, so there is lots of experimenting to try. The few beads are on the rose petals.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gift for Hole in One

A dear friend sent my husband a plant for his Hole-in-One. Encouraged by Sketchbook School I took the time to sit and focus on this gift. Intense pencils and my Lamy pen were used.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Small mandala

This freehand zentangle was meaningful as it did help to center me.  I would pause trying to balance the lights and darks. Maybe it was better just in black and white, but this is what I've produced as a finished project. It measures about 4.5 inches.
 I have a series of mandalas that are on 10" paper and each is seven inches.
Think that it is time to go back and create some more. 

My philosophy with quilting is that each quilt prepares you for the next. 
Certainly that holds true for each drawing and/or mandala.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Zentangle on Watercolor

During the World Cup games, I've been doing zentangles on a piece of watercolor that I had in my "someday I'll doing something with this" drawer. But, I didn't get much done during the USA vs Portugal games. Up and down emotions with sports.

One rule that zentangles seem to be teaching me is to balance a drawing. 
A technique that I can use in all my compositions.

Monday, June 16, 2014

World Cup

The World Cup is in full swing AND the USA won their first game! It may be the only win, but at least they made a positive presence. The following sketch is of Neymar who plays for Brasil. A strong player who seems to have his priorities straight.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

More of Barrett

Here is another page of work copied from Pickles to Pittsburgh. Yes, I can see that I have learned!

Sitting inside to draw is a good idea as the temperatures are over 100 degrees for a few days.

Monday, June 2, 2014

After Ron Barrett

Following the advice of Tommy Kane in one of his Sketch Skool lectures, I copied the work of an artist whose work I admire. Ron Barrett is a cartoonist who has published several books. These figures came from one of his children's books, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

The idea expressed by Tommy is that you continue to learn and will eventually pull out your own style of drawing. I certainly admire Ron Barrett's style!

In the previous post I presented a zentangle done in my moleskin. Well, I decided to add more. I am just more comfortable with the added lines. Basically, I continue to learn.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Home again

Aaah, travel pictures. Here are some sketches from airports. There was no time to sketch while visiting. This is done in my moleskin which I previously had decorated with Gelli printing.

During the part of the trip when I saw the grandchildren, the twins were totally delighted to again
be allowed to watch Frozen. I must admit that it is a fun movie and think that my favorite character is Olaf, the loveable tiny snowman.

At home I found some time to draw a piece in my zentangle moleskin. This is not an intricate piece, but one that I just had to do. Inktense pencils and ink were used.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Discovery and Diane

Discovery is the title of this quilt piece  (21x19"). The reason for the title is that I have learned there is more that I can accomplish. What a discovery! The fabric is cotton sateen that I hand dyed. Next, I quilted it using some designs which I had not previously attempted. Last, I painted the black. This is a very brave move after having completed the quilt.

My figure drawing session was lucky to have Diane pose for us. She has modeled for about 25 years and was able to hold the last pose for one hour! This piece did not last that long.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Study of Figures

Until May 10th, there is a figure drawing show at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. 
Here are two pieces that I submitted.

This was thread drawn on fabric. I'm happy to be moving in this direction. Trying something new!

Using the same image, I did a fabric collage figure. I was going to use the same method on the background, but realized that I had this glorious cotton fabric that I had dyed. Each piece is 11 x 14".

Tonight I was trying to be motivated to draw and realized that my husband was sleeping in his chair and was, therefore, a perfect model. Golly, he even recognized himself after his nap!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Grandma's love

Sewing for grand daughters is so fun! The twins are three and do not wear clothes that exactly match. Variations of the same dress are acceptable.

I wandered into a children's shop and discover dresses
 that were more simple than these that cost $70.
My heart went pitter patter. I didn't know that I was making something priceless.