Personal Style


Art Sherpa Tutorial

Unable to sleep, I arose at 2:30 a.m. and have been incredibly busy since.  Here is one of the paintings I did so far today.  I also spent a great deal of time on my book.

I have been struggling with the issue of my own personal style in my art practice.  I copy the work of others fairly easily, but to create unique work that is my own is challenging.  I have been following the advice I read somewhere:

Copy, copy, copy until you no longer need to copy.

It’s like following a recipe.  You make the same thing over and over, but then you start to tweak it.  You add a dash of this, eliminate that, until the recipe you began with is uniquely yours.  In art, you learn the techniques, duplicate art by other artists until you reach the point you create your own unique artwork.

Here is what I have written down to describe my personal style.

  1. It must be able to be rendered quickly.  I am easily bored.  If a painting takes longer than a couple hours, I am sick of it.
  2. Riotous color.
  3. Use paint or multi-media materials
  4. Layers

There will be more, but it’s a start.

I’m looking into subjects I find interesting.  Architecture, vintage tools, flowers, old barns, boats, zoo animals.

Pop art is interesting to me too.  I really enjoy the pictures that have these elements.

Lots of color, fun designs and a real sense of joy within the art.  It’s possible to do this to any image, really, but my concern is that I won’t get the tonal values in where they are needed.  It looks exciting to try and I will begin this particular part of my art journey tomorrow.

Have you checked out this fantastic website?  Paint My Photo.  This website is a gift to every artist.  Photographers upload their photos and allow artist to use those images free of charge and copyright-free.  What a blessing to all of us!  This website is a game-changer.  I use the images all the time.  Earlier today I made 5 or 6 sketches of ballerinas.  Then several elephants, tigers, boats and boots.

Check it out, if you need some spectacular photographs to work from.


Quest Everyday


Here is today’s fantasy eye/Face Quest.

You know, I have tried to encourage everyone who reads this blog to do something.  I have a daily art practice, which I often share here, and this keeps me going when times get tough.  By that, I mean when I am struggling with physical limitations.

Each day I take up the challenge to create something is a victory for me.  Each day I tell my disabilities to “bite me!  I’m gonna do it anyway!”  is a successful day.  All of us have limitations we are facing.  Those may be physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial, whatever.  That’s just our personal reality.  This does not mean we are without the ability to do something.

Each day, no matter how miserable it might be, can be made better if we have a positive attitude and a willing spirit.  Our struggles can crush us or make us stronger.  That choice is ours to make.  Our situation may not be what we would want, but how we react to it is all in our hands.

Today is not my best day.  But you know what?  I don’t care!  I am going to live my life in spite of it.  I refuse to give up and give in.  I will continue to create whatever I want, however I choose and whenever I feel like it.  I will fake it ’till I make it!  It’s the power of positive thinking here people!  If I can do it, you can to.

Remember the challenge for this year?  Using the Secret?  Well, where are you on that journey?  Have you made your vision board?  What about your daily meditations?  Are you focusing on drawing the positives into your life rather than focusing on the negatives?  The Law of Attraction does work and it will work for all of us too, if we use it.

If today is not great, how can you re-focus and change that?  What steps can you take to improve your situation.  One thing I know for sure, no one can want it for you more than you want it for yourself.  And if we allow bad days to overtake us, they lead to bad weeks.  Then the weeks add to bad months, months to years and years to a life.  You don’t want a bad life, so change your bad day.  You have the power and the strength to do it.

One breath, one step, one moment at a time and you can change your life.

Now that’s a challenge worth taking!

Grace and Frankie

are the best!  If you haven’t watched these two incredibly talented and funny women in this show, you need to.  Grace, played by Jane Fonda, and Frankie, played by Lily Tomlin, are just delightful.

Made more so because they are just like me and my dear friend Mary.  She’s Grace and I’m Frankie.


We are these two women, just younger.

I am always watching this with the two of us in mind.

It’s so true, it’s scary.

I love the way Frankie dresses.  I have several things similar, but have never fully embraced my bohemian gypsy-which was the name of my first art-related business.  I think I’ll just go for it and wear the clothes that really reflect who I am as a person.

And since this new medicine is causing me to pack on the pounds-I need new clothes anyway!

Mini-Art Quest and 1500 Color

mixing recipes book arrived in the mail!  So did the Color Mixing Recipes for Landscapes.



I really like the Walter Foster art books and have a few of them.  This one is particularly interesting to me, as it has 1500 paint recipe mixes in it!  I have another color mixing book for skin tones. I have found there are mixes for both skin tones and landscapes in the 1500 one too.

Now I can use the recipes as they are, obviously, or as bases to create my own unique blends.

Here is the conversion chart for Oil paints to Acrylics  and Oils to Watercolors which are used in the book:


It is nice to have consistent colors throughout your art practice, by paint type, for ease of mixing.  I am not an oil painter, nor will I ever become an oil painter because I don’t care for it, so my art practice does not include any.  I do, however, use acrylics and watercolors every day.  By having the same colors, by number not necessarily by name, I can develop a consistent palette for both mediums to create my colors.

This isn’t required or even necessary, it’s just an option I have with these pre-determined mix recipes.

Art Quest, mini-quest:  three simple skin tones and three hair colors.


You may have noticed, I am easily bored.  I switch what I am doing often, so as not to get sick of it.  This morning was all about paint, this afternoon will be all about writing.  Maybe tonight I’ll make jewelry…

One must have options.


I was in the middle of this mini-quest when my computer started to yell at me:

“Your computer is infected with spy ware which is currently stealing your credit card numbers and passwords.  If you exit this warning without contacting Microsoft we will be forced to shut down your computer to protect our system.  Contact Microsoft immediately for assistance.”  And it repeated that, over and over again.

REALLY loud and it scared me silly.

Scott came downstairs and shut the computer down while I was asking “what on earth is going on with this computer, blah, blah, blah…”

He said there is a new thing, hostage-ware, where you click on the warning and then someone takes control of your computer and you have to pay to get it back.  I am guessing they claim to be microsoft and want access to your system in order to help you prevent further stealing of your information.  Only you are talking to the people trying to steal your information and then you give them access to do just that.

My husband says if they catch these people, take them into the middle of town square and publicly execute them,  it will greatly reduce the problem.

He’s kidding, obviously.

All I know is my blood pressure went through the roof and I nearly wet my pants.  How that message could come out of my speakers at that volume, I don’t know.  Nothing has ever been that loud from my speakers before.

How do these computer-creeps do that?

Who do you report this crap to?  Isn’t there some sort of agency somewhere that can track this harassment and do something about it?

Just a heads-up, in case it happens to you.

Here’s the mini-quest sketch.  IMG_0276


Corrected Color Chart and Odds and Ends

Here is the corrected color chart using the colors I most often use.  The tutorial is from Clive5Art.

The four squares at the bottom of each column are:  The straight color, toned with raw umber, toned with the complimentary color, then with black to make the shade.

Every time I looked over at the chart it sort of set my teeth on edge because the 4 toned boxes were not beneath the color, but along side them.  This was unacceptable and I finally had time to fix it.  Even though I did not re-tape the squares off this time, I am satisfied with the way the chart turned out.  If perfect squares are important to you, please feel free to tape yours off.  It’s not that important to me, so I skipped it.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a paint recipe book I ordered weeks ago.  I like the idea of having a ready-made book of recipes I can use as jump off points for more of my own recipes.  This, quite frankly, is becoming a bit of an obsession with me.

There, I said it.

Maybe I’m a frustrated chemist.  I just love adding this color, that color, then some of this and a touch of that…then the surprise of the colors that show up when I do that.  I love it.

My next project for the day will be watercolor cards.  I donated all mine to the youth group auction last month and need to make more.

Lindsay, the Frugal Crafter, just gave a great suggestion:  When using an art technique, use large tags or a journal and put that technique in there.  Add what materials you used, how you did it, any information relevant to the technique and the results.  If you make a tag, add them to a ring and keep near your work space.  If it’s in a journal, make sure it’s a dedicated techniques journal and keep it close to your work desk for reference.

This is a brilliant idea, as I often purchase materials for a project and then forget what I bought them for.  If I use the techniques on a tag or in a journal, I’ll have the materials list and instructions right there no matter when I get to the project.  Leave it to Lindsay to come up with these great ideas.  I just think she’s a genius.



Another delightful castle:  Hogwarts. 

Cinnamon Cooney, Angela Anderson and Lindsay Weirich, the Frugal Crafter each have painting tutorials for a castle.  Lindsay’s is in watercolor and I’ll do that one next.  Clive from Clive5art also has a paint tutorial for Big Ben and the London Westminster Bridge, which feels rather castle-y to me.

Just in case you’re in the mood to paint castles, you have some options.

In addition to painting Hogwarts, I did some minor clean up to the work room.  Seems as though I should have accomplished more than that, but there you have it.