At Year’s End

Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2015 by rcscreations

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~ Hal Borland

I sit here, overwhelmed with thinking about the year that is just about to end. I blogged less this year, only 15 blog posts, but I tried to fill those few posts with ALL the art goodness that I could. And there was a lot of it…Art Goodness!  

The year started off with abstracts…and at the end of this year, I was back at it…adding collage to paint and playing with shapes and textures. It is a great way to cleanse the art palette, and work freely.







These last three are a triptych.

This year, I have only sold one abstract painting. But I keep persisting, because I love the way making this art makes me feel.



I took FIVE online classes this year, starting with the fabulous Misty Mawn, and her Art Entwined class…this was not the normal Misty class, but an immersion in art research, exploring artists and styles, art theory, color theory…just a HUGE amount of art goodness that I am still reeling from.  

My favorite painting from that class…


Time Will Tell – she hangs on my wall where I can see her every day. She is a combination of my style, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt

Misty’s classes always stretch me way more than I imagine they will. She has such a love for exploring with paint and color…that passion is contagious. 

The second online class, was the last of the Studying Under the Masters classes. Which I LOVED. I am sad Jeanne is no longer offering those classes, because immersing myself in learning one artist at a time, is a great way to really learn their style, and incorporate it to your own.  


My favorite painting from this class, Lady Agnes – inspired by the art of John Singer Sargent (just about all the paintings I did for this class, are sold)

This summer, I did a self study course, Summer Sketch, by Alisa Burke, and discovered the art of playing in a journal…and trying out my new Koi watercolor set.  


It was a no pressure class, but made me want to draw more. I was on vacation, when I worked through many of her assignments.

This past fall, I learned Soulful Art with Annie Hamman, whose art I have loved for years (she and I are fellow Misty Mawn class students). It was a short one week online class, but it was fun to let go and have fun.


And lastly, and the class that probably altered my art course most profoundly this year, was Scribble Art, by Julie Johnson. Little did I know that I would fall HEAD OVER HEELS in love with ink.

Here are my newest experiments…


Yes, with a fountain pen and ink!


I tried out different pen nibs, until I found one I liked. This is from my cheap fountain pen set I bought from Michaels years ago. It’s finally come out to play!




Experiments on thin typewriter paper…


So thin…that this is what it looks like from the back.



I just love those ink splats!

My husband took me to a wonderful art exhibit a few weeks ago, drawings from Albrecht Durer and his contemporaries from the 16th century…it was SO awesome! Ink drawings from 500 years ago! In tact, and so interesting to look at. The museum had magnifying glasses that you could carry around with you, to see the details in the drawings. You can bet that I studied those line marks VERY carefully! I came home so inspired, I picked up my pen, and sketched from a self portrait painting of Albrecht himself. 


My husband says he looks like a 70s hippie, and maybe he does. But goodness, was it fun to draw those curls!


This week, I am still experimenting with pen, wash with water, and Inktense blocks and aquabrush. I am in constant experimental mode with these drawings.




Earlier this month, a friend and I had a mini art day, at the local breakfast spot. 


It was so fun to draw and chat about art and life, while she was sketching and using her watercolors. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon!


This is the drawing I left with the waitress, who also loves to draw.


I’ve bought SO many pens in the last two months, it’s not even funny. But I have been using them! And loving them! Staedtler is becoming my favorite brand! And this is one of my favorite drawings for the month. 


I have tried not to forget my pencils…they were becoming a little jealous. So I took out the mechanical pencil late one evening, and started sketching from photos, mostly from magazines or Pinterest.


And thanks to my hubby, I have a new “tool” to play with. My early anniversary present…an iPad Pro (with it’s humongous 12.9 inch screen!) AND an Apple Pencil. You can see the screen above. Crisp and clear, and SO fun to use! I am spoiled, I admit. But he knows me well, and he knows what I love. After almost 30 years together, he “gets” me, and my love for being creative.


I used the ProCreate App for this drawing above.

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More iPad Pro experiments with the Apple Pencil. I LOVE IT!!!!



This is with the app, Art Set.


I believe this is with the Pen and Ink App.


And another Art Set App drawing. I love that you can use colored and textured “papers” as your background. And the art materials look like REAL art materials, not a computer generated art material. All this iPad drawing, doesn’t mean I have been neglecting my painting.

These are the last of the 2015 paintings.







A couple of these have already sold, but you can see the rest in my Etsy shop, ArtcyLucy Studio.


As far as the Etsy shop goes…this was my best year yet!!! Total paintings sold, 88! Last year, 60. So, it is definitely getting more traffic. And it has been REALLY wonderful to see people respond to my art. It really is the boost that keeps me learning and growing, and painting!

Best art trip of the year…


Going to Chicago!


Specifically to see THIS place, The Art Institute. A dream come true!


There was a Degas exhibit!





Mary Cassatt


Georgia O’Keeffe


Grant Wood



More Degas?  Yes, please.


Vincent was there! Oh, those eyes!!!!


And so was Vuillard. Be still my heart.

These few photos really just scratch the surface. I had a HUGE list of artists I wanted to see, and found ALL but one on the list, at this museum (and that’s because Caillebotte’s, Paris Street, Rainy Day was on loan to another museum).  I literally have thousands of photos (no kidding!) and I haven’t even gone through them all. But suffice it to say, after two half days in this museum, I was walking on clouds… a true art “high”. SO much inspiration to soak in. A truly overwhelming experience! And one I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone interested in art. I really had NO idea of the amount of art that would be represented there.  

So, to wrap up this year in art… it was really a wonderful growing experience for me. It marked my 10 years of art exploration, starting in September 2005, my first experiment with Artist Trading Cards…all way through so many mediums and so many classes! And so much painting! And drawing!  


My word for 2015 was Simplify. Was I successful? Well, when it comes down to it, how much more simple can you get, then a pen and a piece of paper? So, yes, I succeeded. And in other ways, I am simplifying my house and specifically my art space, to keep only the things I love and use. It’s a process… more on that later.

My word for 2016?


…first of all, because it is a cool word to say. And secondly because I love the definitions of this word – to mix or merge so as to make a combination; blend; unite; combine: fusion, consolidation. And so, with the five classes I have taken this past year…and the dozens before that, I want to combine all I have learned, a bit of drawing, collage, painting, and see what I can come up with for 2016.  Sounds like a recipe for a delicious year of Art Fusion.

I hope when you look back on this year, it will be one of fondness. Try not to remember the sad moments, the stressful moments. There are enough of those to be overwhelming at times. But try to think of the precious moments, the beautiful ones, the ones that made you smile.

The practice of art making, makes me smile. I hope to do more of that in the year to come.


You can find me here  

Pinterest   Daily Paintworks   ArtcyLucy Studio blog  Etsy shop




Really??? December????

Posted in Uncategorized on December 9, 2015 by rcscreations

Wow, the end of the year is JUST SO CLOSE! I didn’t post much here in November, because I was dealing with sciatic pain…from painting…not fun, artistic, portrait type paintings, but nasty wooden lattice to put up on our porch! I say “nasty” because painting lattice is SUCH a pain!   Thankfully, I am back to “normal” now, and thankfully, I am back to a sort of regular kind of schedule, when it comes to painting.

Let’s get caught up on the things I actually DID finish in November…in between the chiropractor and massage visits!


Mail Art!!! Part of the Seasons Swap I have been in with the art gals…this is the second year. For Autumn, I decided to scribble leaves…I had such fun with these! Pen, markers, colored pencil, on tanned paper. Then attached to orange cardstock, then put in cellophane envelopes. I really LOVE drawing things in pen!


I completed my VERY first elephant painting! (the first one was painted over before it was finished…it was THAT bad!) I loved that I found this gray frame, and I was able to add touches of gold and teal to match the painting. “Ella” is now in her new home, with my niece and her husband.


I painted two Rococo inspired paintings for one of my “collectors”…it is so strange to type that, but yes, she has about twenty of my paintings now! She asked if I could paint something for her from the Marie Antoinette era, even sending me photos for inspiration, and color choices. I did drawings first, showed them to her, and she picked which elements she liked, or didn’t like. Here are the finished paintings.

Maria Christina above, 8 x 10 inch acrylic painting on cradled wood panel


And Maria Amalia, also on 8 x 10 inch cradled wood panel. The sides are an antique gold color. These two names I chose for these paintings, are really names of two of Marie Antoinette’s sisters.


Here are the drawings I did first. I haven’t been working in pencil much anymore, but I do love the subtle shading in these pencil portraits. I am happy to say that the paintings have been shipped to their new home, and happily received!


Baroness Bristol is an 11 x 14 inch acrylic painting on Mixed Media art board (which is much thicker than watercolor paper…a great surface to paint on!)  This was also done for a lady who saw one of my sold paintings, and asked if I could do one similar, but a full body portrait. She sent me inspiration photos too, of Anna Karenina costumes, and the colors she liked, and let me do the rest.  I love the deep dark tones of this one. It was hard to get a good photo of this one…it is more richly colored in person. Baroness is now in her new home, and is much loved!


I also painted a colorful still life as a 50 year wedding anniversary gift for some friends I have known most of my life. “Fifty Years” is a 9 x 12 inch acrylic painting on cradled wooden panel. There is shimmering gold paint in the table, and in a few of the flowers. This one is now hanging in it’s new home.

On the days when I couldn’t paint, I still had my scribble art pens and papers at the ready, near the couch in the living room, so I could practice, practice, practice. I REALLY love drawing with a pen!!!


I freeze framed the TV one evening, and drew (and embellished!) what I saw.


I have gray paper and cream colored paper that I practice on.


A few of my favorites, I now have as prints in my Etsy shop. This is “Portrait of Heidi”. 


Portrait of Vivienne


Portrait of Helen


Portrait of Rosie

These four, and a few others, are now available as 5 x 7 inch prints. I am excited about that, because I have never offered prints before, OR pen and ink sketches! I hope to add a few more prints soon.


The Russian Bride


    Patience Escalier – based on a van Gogh painting


Cute Girl with Pretzel Braid…at least that’s what I call her! I am trying out different pens, to see what I like.


I have also been testing out pens to see how they react with water, or a bit of watercolor. Some are permanent and don’t move too much. Others are VERY water soluble.


I’ve even tried India ink, put on paper with a glass pen I bought years ago in Italy. Messy, but FUN!


I am still scribbling in my little tanned paper journal.


Usually it is late in the evening, and the lighting is not great for picture taking…but it is nice to sit on the couch, covered in crocheted blankets and soft pillows, and just sketch with pen!


I try to do a little pen sketching every day. It’s my goal, though I don’t always reach it.


Sometimes I scribble sketch from paintings I like.


Sometimes from a face of a model I see on Pinterest.


And sometimes, I draw from a “selfie”.

I’ll be back soon for a year end wrap up, and to let you know what I am working on this month, as well as what I have planned for 2016. I hope none of you had to paint lattice in November! And I hope you are enjoying a pain-free December!




Still Scribbling…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2015 by rcscreations

I’ve become SO enamored with the whole scribble art technique. I can’t seem to stop.


It kind of all came together at the beginning of last month. I was on a plane to Chicago, and I brought along my Moleskine journal and pens to pass the time on the flight. And while I was drawing from references on my iPad, something just c.l.i.c.k.e.d.  I kind of figured out the whole scribble art thing, that I was trying to learn from the online class… it’s all about mark making and finding the values. And it’s about relaxing, getting into a rhythm, and enjoying putting pen to paper. 


It all started with this drawing…and went from there…


I did these two on the plane, and then I tried to keep the momentum going, and practiced scribble art in the hotel room.


And then on the trip home…


And then I decided to try at least a drawing a day. This one was a lesson in OVER scribbling…. live and learn.



Purple ink!


Oh, I LOVE this one!

Slowly but surely, day by day, I was filling up my formally dusty and blank Moleskine journal with marks…and faces…and goodness…

ABoyAndHisDogOne of our assignments was to draw a child and their pet. I found this image on Pinterest that I used as a reference. Look at me…I am drawing ANIMALS!


Yes. I. Am.

And I am trying out new papers too…this was on gray drawing paper, Neenah brand bristol vellum.


And a Pembroke Welsh Corgi!!! I want this puppy!!!  It was so fun to extend this drawing across two pages.


Instead of watching TV, I was drawing…paper and pens were my new obsession.


And I was trying images that I had never dared before.





And I was experimenting with different brands of pens, and the thickness of each pen. This one was started with a thick Sharpie marker…because I just wondered, “what if…?”  I went in with a thinner Copic liner pen for the smaller lines.


And I was drawing MEN.  Here is brooding Ross Poldark (complete with facial scar and furrowed brow)


There was a painting of Auguste Rodin that I used as my reference for this bearded man. I love the vintage illustration look of this…


I am working on eye intensity and correct proportions, but still having fun with scribbles.


And I LOVED drawing the graying hair of this handsome gentleman.


And you know, Vincent had to show up…in color! This is black pen, white pen, and colored pencil. I had filled up my Moleskine journal with continuous line drawings and scribble art…I had to move into another little journal that has tan paper in it. I love it. It is small, but filling up with good stuff!


Late at night, I scribble…




And sometimes a silly scribble shows up!


And the thing with scribbling…the more you do, the more confident you get, and your hand can just have fun putting down marks. And then the white pen comes out, and you get to play with highlights.


Can you see more confidence in my mark making??? Look, I drew a girl with a nest on her head (how’s that for confidence! :-)

Processed with Moldiv

These are my latest scribbles…done today, as preliminary sketches for an upcoming painting.

You see, I haven’t forgotten about painting. There has still been some painting, between the traveling and the scribbling.


In fact, one of the assignments was to use Payne’s Gray paint with Titanium White, and do a scribble painting. In the video, the instructor was scratching into the paint with a metal tool. I tried that too.


I found it difficult to translate scribbles into paint strokes…. but it was a learning experience. I worked on this Frida scribble painting twice. The instructor encouraged me to try adding the brush scribbles coming out from the portrait, like my drawings. So, I took her advice. It gives it quite a dramatic feel. 


But eventually I went back and tried this again…my style, my paint colors, my subjects, with a bit of swirly scribbly fun.



Bristol, Devon, and London – three acrylic beauties on 5 x 7 inch gessobord (Bristol and London are already spoken for, but Devon is still available in the Etsy shop)


I got an email from a lady who found my online shop, and asked me to paint two larger portraits to go with a painting of mine she bought.

This is Sienna II – 11 x 14 inch acrylic on Bristol paper


And this is Emily Rose  

When all three paintings arrived at her home, she sent me this message… “I received the paintings and they are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to have them framed.. Thank you so much again!”  Though at one time, I said I wasn’t going to do custom paintings…when I get these kind of messages of appreciation, then I know I did the right thing. (Look at all those exclamation marks…this makes me happy)


And last, but not least…

I have been playing around with continuous line drawings as well. This was inspired by one of my photos from The Art Institute in Chicago. I will have to spend a whole blog post just on ALL the wonderful art inspiration I found there! Wow! I was overwhelmed…but in a VERY GOOD WAY!  Degas Exhibit… magnifique!!!


And Renoir was there too. 


I will be painting more Rococo/Marie Antoinette paintings soon, so here are some of my continuous line drawings to get me prepared. The idea behind this, is to NOT pick up your pen while drawing…one continuous line. It’s not easy. But it is fun!


And I am a little addicted to this kind of drawing too!





Who knows…maybe one day, my continuous line drawings will be in a museum somewhere! (made with the PhotoFunia app)

This Scribble Art class with Julie Johnson was AWESOME…and it has provided me with skills and confidence to keep going. Julie is an awesome teacher, and the fellow students, and their art and feedback, has been a real treasure. I am SO glad I made the decision to take this class!


Many ink pens were harmed in the making of the art on this blog post…but they served their purpose! And I will remember them fondly! :-)




Teach me to scribble???

Posted in Uncategorized on October 2, 2015 by rcscreations

You probably didn’t think that scribbling was an art, or even needed to be taught. 

Well…let me surprise you…

Once I saw Julie Johnson’s scribble art, I knew I had to jump at the chance to take her first online class, through Jeanne Oliver’s creative network. Julie and I had been in some online classes before this, and I have always loved her work. I knew this would be awesome…and it was!


My first drawings of the class…contour and continuous line drawings were the first assignments. Love the looseness of the line, and learning to hold the pen farther back (less control, but more scribbly!)


I had to do a few self portraits…trying out different papers and different pens.


I worked quite a bit in my old abandoned Moleskine journal…


It is starting to fill up with continuous line drawings… I was sitting out in the backyard one afternoon, just enjoying the birds, cats and drawing exercise.



GracieContinuousLineThe point was, just care about the lines, and not picking up your pen…not about accuracy or perfection. Boy, was this fun!!! AND relaxing!


It was so much fun, I thought I would try more faces…so when I went to spend the day with my mother in law, I took my art supplies with me, and chatted with her, while doing continuous line faces, from portraits I had found online.

Continous2 Continous3 Continous4

I kept going…and going…


I embellished this one…quite a bit! She looks like a character from Cirque du Soliel!


Profiles are tough for me!

Continous7 ContinousLineMarie

And this one was drawn from a photo of a Marie Antoinette doll.


From our engagement photo…oh so many years ago, when we looked so young!

It is safe to say, that I am now a bit addicted to continuous line drawing!


This was the toughest assignment yet…Directional Line…all drawn in ONE DIRECTION…up and down…no hatching or cross hatching. This was H. A. R. D. It took a lot of discipline to stay focused on up and down lines!


Here’s a drawing I did while I was on the phone…trying to keep my lines loose, in order to try more scribble art…


Telling a story…with scribbles. Micron pens and white gel pen, in my moleskine journal


This is what was on my lap…a pillow, my iPad, my journal. And in my hand, a Micron pen.


Then I took the drawing slowly into the “scribble zone”…making loose circular and swirling motions with the pen.


It takes some practice to let go…


…and just keep going. I went a little wild with the scribbling. FUN!



So many scribbles… I am getting the hang of this now….


…and I just love the effects! This is a Micron pen, with added purple Stabilo fine line pen on top. And at the very last, a white Sakura gel pen.


And THIS is my favorite drawing of the class (so far!). I bought four Copic fine liner pens to try them out. I DO love them. This is drawn on 8 1/2 x 11 inch Neenah cream colored Bristol Vellum drawing paper. THIS is what I wanted to achieve by joining the class. Julie was an AWESOME teacher…SO many videos! Enough for a month long class! I haven’t even done all the assignments yet, but I have loved every minute of it. I am learning to love pen and paper…two simple drawing materials, that look sooo lovely together.




Even on my iPad.

I used the Pen and Ink app and a simple micro fiber tipped stylus to make this portrait. VERY cool!

If you are on Instagram, check out Julie’s drawings and paintings. They will inspire you! Her class is still available. She is an awesome teacher, with a big heart! And so passionate about art and drawing and scribbling!

I have a feeling there is way more scribbling to come!


Besides lots of drawing and scribbles, I have painted too! Mostly for friends and family.


Anniversary Sunflowers – It is kind of a tradition now, that I paint sunflowers for my friend every year (though one year, it was Jane Austen characters instead)


I painted four sunflower paintings at the same time on my easel. I used a painting by Monet of a bouquet of sunflowers…zoomed in, and used the placement of the flowers as a reference for painting these.

Three of these are now available in the Etsy shop.


I painted waterlilies too…for my sister who loves Monet’s paintings. I’ve missed painting these…the colors are very calming, and I find painting waterlilies very peaceful.

I had an idea earlier this year, to paint Mt Fuji for a friend of mine.

I have always loved Hiroshige’s views of Mt Fuji, and learned he did 36 of them. I have also loved Hokusai’s The Great Wave, which also features Mt Fuji in the distance.


So, I tried my own version… a 5 x 7 inch acrylic painting on gessobord, of Mt Fuji and Blossoms. I even found the Kanji script for the word “Japan” and included that in the upper left corner. I gave it to my friend, just as she was about to leave for a visit to her mother’s homeland…Japan.

This same friend, was kind enough to carry these works of art to my sister and her family in Thailand.


Hmong Beauty – 5 x 7 acrylic on watercolor paper (something lightweight for carrying so far)  

For my niece in law, that I hope to meet one day!


Thailand Beauty – 5 x 7 inch acrylic on watercolor paper  

For my sister…so far away


And for my niece-in-law’s sisters. 4 x 6 inch gouache portraits with lots of color.


Sometimes, I have to get away from the normal things I love to paint…to get out of my comfort zone. I saw something similar on Pinterest, and decided to paint a rock Minion, for my friend.


Hardest painting YET!!! It is tough to paint on a rock! I used all surface craft paint from Michaels. About $1 a bottle. Rock…free, from my yard :-)

And last, but certainly not least…are the little kitties that have adopted me and my backyard for the last two months.

Thunder and Bolt



When I am taking a break from art, and need to stretch, I love to go outside and play with them…and sometimes I catch a very silly face, just by accident!


If a cat can laugh…so can I :-)




Painting, Drawing, and Playing

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2015 by rcscreations

I planned to come here earlier, to show you what I’ve been up to, but it’s been a full month of painting, drawing, playing…and a little vacation tossed in too! 

Let’s start with VACATION!

I am always thrilled to get away to the ocean!



Oh, those sunsets!!

And this trip was EXTRA special, because we unexpectedly saw humpback whales feeding so close to shore! It was an awesome sight!



We were standing on this pier, taking the photos.

It was so much warmer than I expected, so I ended up getting a sunhat, just so I could stand out there for hours and take photos with hubby. I also took a little mobile art kit with me, which includes lots of journals, paper, pencils, pens, gouache, watercolor…and more.



It was so fun to draw what was in front of me! Listening to the sound of waves and birds…doesn’t get much better than this!


I took a few journals with me…but this tiny one works well for drawing on the spot, in the shade, under a tree.


Back in the hotel room, still with the sound of waves coming through the window, I could get a few more of my supplies out. I bought a new Koi watercolor set. Watercolor is not my favorite medium, but that is because I need more practice with it. It intimidates me…and I need to get over that fear! So, before we left for vacation, I signed up for one of Alisa Burke’s online classes. Summer Sketch. 

I loved it, because it gave me assignments…and they were all about getting out of our own way, and having fun!



I brought a tiny Strathmore book with thick Bristol paper…you can see I am trying to get familiar with this brand new set of watercolors.


And I brought a larger Strathmore sketch book…




and I made LOTS of notes! Alisa’s online classes are wonderful…lots of videos, lots of instruction, and she is just so peppy!!! Once the notes were made, I started playing with pens and watercolor and markers…

JustDoodling feathers Kelp NewSunHat

(There’s my new sun hat!)

WAtchingSunset Pelican

My first time drawing and painting a pelican! From one of my husband’s photos… I used Micron pens and gouache for the bird, and watercolor for the water.


This one took the most time, and quite a few art materials, but I DID love how it turned out…look at those colors! Watercolors and markers and gouache and Micron pen.


The most fun :-)


I took photos during the day, to practice drawing in the evenings. It was a blissful six days!

Before I left for vacation, I did A LOT of painting!

These are all 5 x 7 inch acrylic portraits.


Jade (available at the Etsy shop)


Sapphire (available)


Savannah (sold)


Cornelia (sold)


Serena (sold)

And I made three commissioned portraits, for a lady and her young daughters, who picked out their favorite portraits of mine, in the Etsy shop, but they wanted them larger…


Lost in a Daydream – 11 x 14 inch acrylic on gessobord





When she and her young daughters received them, they loved them. It made me so happy to make these paintings for them…and to know they wanted to hang them in their home (how cool is that?)

The week after vacation, another online class started. This time, it was with first time teacher, Annie Hamman. She and I have been in quite a few online Misty Mawn classes. I’ve admired her work for a long time! So, I was thrilled to take her “Soulful Art” portrait class. Art that tells a story.


I started off doing some quick sketches, based on fashion images I found online.

And then I worked on two 8 x 10 inch acrylic paintings at once.

IMG_1284 IMG_1289 IMG_1298 IMG_1305

I really LOVED it at this stage…


After this, I let them sit for a few days…then I went in and added more detail and pattern…


Second Chances (sold)


Entwined (in the shop)


and finally…she came along. All whimsy and fun! And look…a hand! :-)

Blossoms and Butterflies – 11 x 14 inch acrylic on stretched canvas (SOLD)

I really enjoyed Annie’s videos, on her process of compiling, drawing and painting portraits…I learned SO much, and want to continue making more expressive portraits.

But, guess what? I am taking yet ANOTHER class!

And I will be back soon (I promise!) to show you what fun I am having! Here’s a hint…I am doing a lot of  

s c r i b b l i n g !!!




A Midsummer Art Making

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2015 by rcscreations


I pretty much hate summer.

Yeah, I hate to start off a blog post that way…but it’s honest. And true. I hate the weather.  Thankfully, there are some days when the wind does blow, and cool us down. And then there are days like today, when little unexpected things happen…

Today, my first sunflower of the summer opened. Yes, it is late…I planted them late, so they are just now showing signs of blooming. But seeing this one open up…put a huge smile on my face! It made the summer day bearable.

Finishing art projects puts a smile on my face too! (Working on art in an air conditioned room, is NICE too!)

I was asked by my sister and my massage therapist, if I was going to paint any more hummingbirds. I was nervous to try again…soooo.I did a little research online about painting hummingbirds (I had only painted two before!) and found a nice step by step video…the artist painted the birds a dark color, then went lighter on top.

So, I went to work…

IMG_9963 IMG_9967





These four were all painted on 5 x 7 inch Ampersand gessobord. Two went to my massage therapist (and she loved them!), and the other two to my sister (who also loved them!)

I had so much fun with the first four, that I painted two more smaller ones to give as gifts…only 2 x 4 inches on stretched canvas.


On the days I can’t paint, I try to draw.

This is with a mechanical pencil, in a small journal. Drawn in a hotel room, from an photo I had on my iPad. 

JaneEyre DrawingConvention


And this was done at home, on a large 11 x 17 inch piece of cream colored drawing paper, with a bolder pencil…the cardboard backing behind the paper, made an unexpected, but nice, pattern on this man’s tunic.

Klimtdrawing223 Klimtdrawing222

I’ve been doing some pen sketches too…these two were inspired by a Klimt book I borrowed from the library.


I really enjoy the Pilot Precise V5 and V7 pens, especially for late night sketching!


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I am learning that I don’t need tons of materials splayed out everywhere, if I want a little art time. Sometimes simple is better. Sometimes a line can say so much.

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When I do have a little more time, I enjoy bringing out the pastels, or the Conte crayons, or Inktense sticks, to play around a little. I like these “free-form” faces…just playing around to see what happens.

I had some time for painting last week, and posted these three in my Etsy shop. They are all 5 x 7 inch acrylic on Ampersand gessobord.


Once Upon a Daydream (sold)


Lost in a Daydream (still available)


In Her Eyes (still available)

I am loving the bold brush strokes and the color here…inspired by Matisse, Jawlensky, and of course, van Gogh.

Earlier this spring, during my Art Entwined online class, Misty Mawn drew my attention to the art of Egon Schiele. And while I don’t particularly care for all his art…I DO love his use of line, and simplicity. Schiele was a friend of Gustav Klimt…so there are similarities in their art.

This was a canvas…a LARGE canvas…18 x 24 inches to be exact, that I started last year. I started with just an idea that I wanted to do a large portrait, but I didn’t really think it out. I just started painting. Sometimes that works…sometimes it doesn’t.

I’ll show you how it started…and how it evolved…and where it ended up.


Obviously, the ugly early stage…


I kinda liked where it was going…


Then she sort of turned into a self portrait… and she sat around like this for a long time (months)…but I didn’t know where to go next. I liked it…but it sure was a large face. And I knew she needed something…

Until one summer evening, I decided to gesso over the whole thing…and use my Schiele inspired pen drawing as my reference…


A little gesso, a little acrylic later…


Time Will Tell  –  18 x 24 inch acrylic painting.

Not my usual kind of painting, but I DO love the feel of this piece, and I love the line and pattern in it too. At the moment, she is hanging up in my living room.

Sometimes it is good to shake things up a bit…and do something a little different.  You never know what the results might be. And if I hadn’t been drawing in pen, and practicing sketching, and learning about artists of the past…I probably would have never tried this.

I am so glad I did.

So, it is the middle of summer…my least favorite season of the year. I try not to get too grumpy (I make no promises!). But I am making the time to escape into the cool art room, and make some art…so I guess it isn’t all that bad!




125 years ago today…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2015 by rcscreations

VincentSelfPortrait…the world lost a gifted painter.

It always makes me sad thinking about his life, his story, his surviving, his end. His art has become so much a part of my daily life…it is part of what makes me be a painter, it’s what makes me want to be a better painter.

I see Vincent’s face a lot… I’ve downloaded images of his self portraits, I have beautiful art books, and I have also seen a few of them in person, on my trip to Amsterdam. Vincent was the reason I chose Amsterdam in the first place.

And that trip was…remarkable.

I stood in front of THIS painting…quite a few times, staring in to those eyes. And it made me cry. How could it not, knowing the story behind those eyes. Of course, we don’t know the WHOLE story, or even the REAL story. But what we do know, is from his letters to his brother, Theo. They are quite personal and tell very much of his struggle…his struggle in everything. And we also have his paintings.

And we have those eyes, staring back at us.

I’ve painted Vincent’s face before…quite a few times. And I never get tired of trying to replicate his brush strokes…his colors, his love for putting the paint to canvas.

Well, I was at it again…using his self portraits as my inspiration. Eight portraits, on one 15 x 20 sheet of watercolor paper. They were painted in one day. 


It started with a pencil…


then went to paint


a lot of paint!









If you are thinking of Vincent, like I am today…you may want to take a virtual visit to the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and read about his incredible story, and look at his remarkable art. It will make you happy. It will make you sad.

It will make you want to paint.


“Well, right now it seems that things are going very badly for me, have been doing so for some considerable time, and may continue to do so well into the future. But it is possible that everything will get better after it has all seemed to go wrong. I am not counting on it, it may never happen, but if there should be a change for the better I should regard that as a gain, I should rejoice, I should say, at last! So there was something after all!” letter to his brother Theo. 





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