Greta’s Butterfly Watercolor

Butterfly, watercolor on paper, 9×12″, 2014. 

This watercolor painting started off as a painting for another person having a baby.  Then, Greta discovered it and took it to her room so she could  hang it up.  She fell in love with it and said, “For my big girl room,” so many times that I caved and started another painting for the gift.  She is getting a big girl room soon, as we are moving her into the empty bedroom and turning her room into the nursery for her baby brother.  She is so excited for this change and this artwork just makes it all that more special for her.

 I started with taped off watercolor paper and a pencil sketch of a butterfly and flowers.

I used black India ink for all the black sections of the butterfly.  This way, I could use watercolor paint and watercolor pencils without fear of the black bleeding and smearing into the colors.

Lastly, I added color to the butterfly and flowers.  I used watercolor paints for the flowers and watercolor pencils for the wings of the butterfly.  My last step was to use gradations of a light blue-green for the background.

As always, prints and artwork are always for sale, please inquire by e-mail or through my Etsy shop, which is currently empty.  If you are interested in purchasing something you have seen on this blog, I will create a custom listing for you.  I also do custom commission pieces as well.  

Golf Baby Art

Whew!  It’s been a while since I completed an artwork that wasn’t a demonstration artwork for my classroom.  This piece was created for friends who had their baby back in August.  I know, I am behind, right?  Mom and dad both like retro themes and golf – so there you have the theme.  You can check out the cutie on her blog, at Iowa Girl Eats

 They started off as three paintings of retro golf apparel.  (I’m thinking tweed bike ride theme may need to be next on my list).  I sat around on this for quite some time, trying to figure out what on earth to do for a background.

I had been playing around with different papers, making small weavings, when I realized the weavings could work as a paper collage stand-in for fabric.  After all, the Scots invented golf and they also have some pretty amazing plaids.

 Paper weaving isn’t too bad, you just need patience.  A paper cutter is also a big bonus.

The final two backgrounds were draws with oil pastels (above) and painted with watercolor with added magazine collage for texture.

Instagram turned Painting

Instagram has proven to be my favorite phone app again and again.  I have taken quite a few photos with Instagram only to say, “I should make that into an artwork.”  I finally did just that.  I took an Instagram photo from Sticks and Stones and turned it into a watercolor.  See below.  
Beer Lace, watercolor on paper, 2012. 
Here is the original Instagram.  
This blog was originally started to document my art making processes.  It was a way to keep myself working and producing, and then Greta came along.  I soon found the only creating I was doing was in the kitchen, since we all have to eat.  While I love cooking and baking, I need to make art.  So, I am trying to get back to the beginning of all of this and make more art.  I know now I need to carve this time out during the week.  There will still be recipes on here, but hopefully better balanced with art.  Enjoy. 

Art Day + Hot Toddy recipe

I am home with a sick Greta today.  
That means cuddle time, drawing time, snack time, nose wiping, and nap time.  
Nap time = art time for this mama.  
This is just a sneak preview of the current watercolor. 
This is the chai I have been loving lately.  It pairs well with almond milk and honey.  
Speaking of tea, I have a new recipe we tried out this past weekend.  Introducing, the Mommy’s Medley Hot Toddy:
Start by using freshly filtered cold water, and bring it to near boiling.  Remove from the heat just before boiling – when you start to hear it bubbling away the water is hot enough.  

Place 1 bag of lemon ginger herbal tea in a cup.  I used the brand Stash, but really any citrusy or ginger tea will work. 

Next, add 1 shot ( ~ 1 oz.) of bourbon per cup – I used Evan Williams Honey Reserve.  

Add a drizzle of honey and one cinnamon stick

Pour hot water into cup.  Mix well. 
Allow tea to steep 3 to 5 minutes.  

Enjoy on a cold, rainy night, as we did.  
Mommy’s Medley Hot Toddy 
1. Start by using freshly filtered cold water, and bring it to near boiling. 
2. Place 1 bag of lemon ginger herbal tea in a cup.  
3.  Next, add 1 shot ( ~ 1 oz.) of bourbon per cup.  Add a drizzle of honey and one cinnamon stick
4. Pour hot water into cup.  Mix well. Allow tea to steep 3 to 5 minutes before enjoying. 

Window to a Birch Forest

The timing of my finger splint coming off lined up perfectly with the start of school.  Due to the possibility of damage to the soft tissue, I had to wear the splint all day and all night for 7 weeks.  I was able to start weaning off of it just before heading off on our vacation out West.  Long story short, artwork was severely stunted this past summer.  I was able to do sewing projects because I could keep my finger straight while feeding fabric through the machine.  The only snag, no pun intended, was when I was hand sewing something and the Velcro on the brace would catch the thread or fabric.  
Due to my extended hiatus from art, I am currently playing catch-up.  First up – the belated wedding gift for my friend Hannah and her husband, Joel.  They were married in June and we missed the wedding due to the coinciding date with the last days of school.  
She has a love of Colorado and its stunning birch forests.  So, here is her own window to a birch forest.  It’s on its way to you soon, Hannah!  Check back for more catch-up art projects over the next couple of days.  
Window to a Birch Forest, oil pastel and watercolor on paper, 9 x 12″, 2012.  

Cosmic Dance of the Universe

I finished this watercolor painting of Shiva and the Cosmic Dance of the Universe, before Easter.  It was one I have been working on for a little while.  I used a photo of a statue from a college text book as inspiration, Art of India.  The painting was for some friends for the upcoming celebration of the birth of their second child.

Shiva, watercolor on paper, 2012.

The camera was not cooperating on Easter, and so my original shots were somehow lost.  Just took these today.  The saturated colors on this watercolor painting were especially fun to work with, I added the black outline for a a little punch.

Buddha next?

Baby Handprint Watercolor

I started this painting quite some time ago.  I won’t tell you how long I have been procrastinating finishing this, other than my daughter’s hands and feet are much bigger than they would have been had I finished it when I started it. 

I started by painting simple abstract design using patterns of shapes and lines – nothing too fancy about this watercolor.  I used watercolor paints for the background on a 140 lb cold press watercolor paper.

I added in some etching by scratching into the wet paper and then painting over it.  This creates areas of color much darker and more precisely defined because the pigment pools and dries in the etched lines.  This photo above shows the orange lines and yellow dots are etched. 
When the paint dried completely (over a much longer time than I had planned), we stamped her little hand and foot.  
I needed Eric’s help holding her still while I applied the paint.  I rolled black acrylic paint onto an old magazine (for a smooth surface) with a brayer, pressed her hand into the paint, and then pressed it onto the painting.  If you don’t have a brayer, you could also use a paint brush to smooth the paint surface out.  
She was so intrigued by the black stuff on her hand, she did not put up a struggle at all.  Make sure you have a wet rag or paper towels handy if you are going to paint your baby’s hands or feet!  
Now we just need to frame it and hang it somewhere where it will make me smile for years to come.  

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s Saturday afternoon, my daughter just goes down for her second nap of the day and I am struck with the urge to go up the street to the local coffee shop, Spring Garden Bakery for coffee and their delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  What am I to do?

Make my own muffins and coffee and enjoy a half hour to paint and relax!  More on that painting later this week.  

Pumpkin Muffins:
1 -1/2 c. sugar
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 -3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degree. Prepare a standard 12-cup muffin pan with spray or paper liners. 
Whisk together sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, and oil until smooth. 
In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and beat 1-2 minutes.  The batter will be thick, do not over mix.  
Spoon batter into prepared pan.  
Bake until top is browned and crusty, 20-25 minutes.  Knife should come out clean.  Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.  Remove muffins from pan to cool completely.  
Two of my favorite flavors: cinnamon & pumpkin.  Yes, I do keep cans of pumpkin on hand all year, it’s not just for autumn cooking!  

owl watercolor & etsy

I am back on the world of etsy.com after realizing my artworks’ potential as nursery decor.  I also realized I have a homebound summer ahead of me and wouldn’t it be nice to cash in on some of that time between feedings, diaperings, and naps.  You can view my shop here.  I am in the process of going through my work and will be adding more over the next few days.

I re-posted a jellyfish print, this time complete with glow-in-the-dark photos.

Jellyfish, lino cut block print, 2010. 
Today I posted my second artwork, an original watercolor painting intended for nursery art.  The owl craze has been interesting to me, I seem to find them in every baby store and baby aisle.  
Owl at Dusk, watercolor on paper, 2011.