Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Brush Strokes

Claude Monet's "Waterlily - Details" could easily be interpreted as a painter's color palette.   Here Monet uses what appears to be an almost dry paint brush to define the ebony lines and colored shapes that form the illusionary water lily leaves.   With interesting placement of complementary color notes and value, Monet created a masterpiece.     

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mail Art

I've always been skeptical of "on-line" classes questioning how can one really learn without  the live classroom setting and interaction with an instructor and support of fellow students. I recently discovered "Coursera" a 100% free and credible website offering classes sponsored by major universities and taught by their professors.  I enrolled in their virtual "Art Concepts" class which was a little off beat but interesting enough to keep my brain active.  Once enrolled in a class, students are able to interact virtually with other students of all ages and backgrounds from around the globe.

One weekly lesson was an introduction to the history and development of "Mail Art" as an artistic genre.  I was surprised to discover how the development of the modern postal system brought about an entirely new means of personal communication.  

Since the beginning of time, people have been communicating with one another through some form of mail. Whether the correspondence was in the form of a story, letter, parcel, or picture, it carried a meaningful message. Throughout the ages, mail has gained power in its ability to make a statement to the masses. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, envelopes and postcards became tools for social, political, cultural, artistic, and personal expression. 

Vincent Van Gogh's letter to his brother is an example of mail art.  The drawing likely depicts a subject in a Van Gogh painting.

One assignment was to design and assemble our own piece of mail art.  My interpretation of "mail art" represents a story or event from my childhood to be shared with someone who had shared the experience with me.  For instance, picking fruit in an orchard when we were kids -- a nice memory!

Watercolor Notecard insert

Envelope made from junk mail

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Collagraphy is one of my favorite techniques for creating interesting and unusual art.  This art form was taught in a design class I took several years ago.  Collagraphs are created by applying material onto a flat substrate such as plastic, paperboard or wood.   I used yarn to shape what looks like fiddle head ferns.  I then glued the yarn shapes onto the substrate.  Once the glue dried completely, I applied printmaking ink pigment onto the textured image using a roller and paintbrush.  Next, I centered the imaged substrate onto a wet sheet of 140lb watercolor paper and positioned the paper on the print press. The final result is a collagraph.  I used green and yellow gouache on the final image for interest.  Lace, yarn, saran wrap or fine wire mesh can easily be molded to create interesting shapes or images.
Collagraph, Fiddle Head Fern (Abstract Study)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Old Age. . . .?

Although the focus of my blog is to inspire and create (not about aging), I must mention a blog whose author has compiled a myriad of real life topics relevant to many seniors (  The blog explores what life is really like as we get older.   What happens when we are forced to move or relocate from places we love and familiar surroundings?  What about ageism and job discrimination?  I've experienced both first hand.  I'll admit to feeling "OLD" at times ---but in the meanwhile, let's have a laugh or two about "old age."


ATD – At the doctor
BFF – Best friend fell
BTW – Bring the wheelchair
FWIW – Forgot where I was
GHA – Got heartburn again
IMHAO – Is my hearing aid on
LMDO – Laughing my dentures out
ROFLACGU – Rolling on the floor laughing and can’t get up


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Color Matching

The spring semester of "Art Color 214" is coming to an end.  I have a greater understanding of color theory, color application and how a single color can appear different depending on its surroundings.  Finding the correct color mix to achieve the true color of an object can be challenging.  Below is a simple color study I painted using acrylics.  Darker and lighter areas are still needed to create contrast, value and temperature change.   I'll post the final painting once completed.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

What do I wear today?

Since "retiring" from the corporate world after years of wearing "business" casual and walking the "fashion runway" of office corridors, I need a major wardrobe shift.  How do I dress smart and chic for those mundane shopping errands or a casual lunch with friends?  Thanks to "Polyvore," a clever online concept for the fashion savvy, one can gather trendy fashion ideas at any age.   For me. . . less is always best!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Color Wheels and Palettes

It's hard to believe it's been many months since I last posted.  I offer no excuses other than an attempt to do better.  I admit my preference is reading and following more interesting and creative bloggers who post frequently and have something profound to share.   Earlier in the year, I enrolled in a "color theory” class at the local junior college.  Much can be said about taking "accredited" classes of which I highly recommend.  Time has been well-spent expanding my knowledge of color principals and application.  Our first assignment was creating a color wheel using Liquitex Basics acrylic paints, an important lesson for aspiring artists.  
Basic Color Wheel (Pure hues, tints and shades)

My Personal Palette (Acrylics)