Art, sketching… new Dual Brush pens

Recently, I walked by an art store. It was actually open, so I went in. I’ve always  loved colorful markers. I immediately went to the marker and sketch pad section. After being quarantined for a few months, it was refreshing to be in a store and see all the beautiful marker colors.

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These Tombow markers caught my attention, because they were dual brush pens, which seemed like fun. Also, they came in different packs of colors. I liked that idea too, rather than buying individually.

This was going to be an investment toward COVID creativity.  The markers are expensive, but testing one out made me feel HAPPY, so why not give it a try.  If we need to be at home, why not touch on our creative side, right. Also, I smiled to myself, now that we have to wear masks, women can’t wear lipstick, so money saved on lipstick, goes toward markers. An even exchange!

I did a quick YouTube search and found a great video of an “experienced artist” showing the versatility of these markers. I didn’t realize they could be used with water, so they become like a water color pen. I’ve always wanted to try and paint with water colors, so I’m getting my feet wet, starting out with the markers.

It’s been FUN, I have to say.

BUT, now I need MORE colors. We KNEW that would happen!

On to the next drawing. One day soon, real water colors.

Create ART using water; Buy a Buddha Board

86F99B28-B5D9-4164-9D01-13AC68056F8DA friend of mine sent me a picture of this Buddha Board. She knows I have been practicing drawing, but also focused on a zen lifestyle.

Founder and CEO, Eric Thrall, created the Buddha Board to give children and adults a fun, relaxing and quick way to “be creative” and “in the moment.” With the Buddha Board, you draw with water, within 10 minutes your drawing fades away. So, you don’t have to be perfect, instead you are FREE to be as creative as you like.

This would make a great gift. Also, be wonderful at the office. We have a candy jar and employees come by for a treat. I bet if we had a Buddha Board by the candy jar, people would enjoy being creative.

When I was young, we all had an “Etch A Sketch.” We LOVED drawing, even though it was a bit cumbersome to use, we enjoyed it. The Buddha Board is modern and allows for more freedom in drawing and a lot easier to use. I’m excited about this, I want to try it out!

Happy Lunar New Year 2020 – Year of the Rat

I was at the Post Office this week mailing a package. I was almost done with my transaction when I asked for some stamps. GUESS WHAT — the Post Mistress brought out these stamps for Lunar New Year! She asked, “Would you like these?” Why, of course!

I believe the Year of the Rat starts off the 12 zodiac signs. If that is true, looking at the sheet of stamps, it appears the Post Office has their next 11 stamps set up for the next 11 years. We will see.

This illustration of the Rat is really beautiful. Personally, I think it looks more like a jaguar than a rat. However, as I keep looking at it, this rat clearly has a magical look.

I realize I am a little late, but better late than never!

Wishing you ALL a Happy Lunar New Year!

Chicago – Art display on Michigan Ave

Owls in Chicago 1I was walking down Michigan Ave rushing in the cold weather to an appointment. Suddenly, I came across these adorable owls. I had to stop, smile and take a photo. I’m not sure who the artist is, there was no sign, but certainly this is a winning art display.

I share this with you, hoping it makes YOU SMILE TOO!

If you are writing for NaNoWriMo, keep at it! We have the weekend to catch up on our word count!

Have a great day!

Art, drawing class – tapping into our inner artist

FEAF1040-3ADC-4C9C-AA23-31734AD893B6When I was young, drawing and painting were not encouraged. My parents didn’t go to College, they wanted “better” for their children. Anything to do with art was frivolous, would get us “no where.” Focus on studying to get a “real job,” they said. We had to support ourselves. It’s a tough world out there. Sound familiar?

Fast forward, zillions of years later…

I decided — it’s time to have fun! Treat myself to an illustration class, see what it is all about. Is it true that I have no artistic abilities? I needed to find out.

I was AFRAID, none of us want to embarrass ourselves with the worst drawing ever.

What have I learned? First, drawing can be done anywhere and it is fun! Artists practice, a lot. The more you practice, the better you become. I had no idea. This sounds silly, I know, but I thought being an artist was EASY. It’s actually hard work! Second, being an artist takes determination and dedication. To be good at anything, we need to be passionate and put the time in to practice.

I’m sharing some of my sketches with you.

Last year, I was on the train in Italy. I noticed a woman writing in her journal the entire hour. I thought how dedicated she was. When I got up to leave, I walked by her. Guess what, she wasn’t writing, she was sketching a portrait of a man on the train — unknown to him. It looked beautiful.

Yes, practice makes perfect. My instructor said, “Everyday, you must sketch. As you sketch, you become faster at sketching anything (draw the perfect circle, the perfectly straight line, arms, hands, cars, houses, etc.). Through practice and mistakes, a head that seems too large, might turn out to be your nutty professor.

That is the beauty of art, what seems like a mistake, might be your next masterpiece!

Next, painting with watercolors.

Art, any form of it, does make us HAPPY!

This is the just the beginning…

Las Vegas Desert Art… Have you seen “Seven Magic Mountains”

2D667E2E-7BD6-46DB-9AC1-7C107452F32ESwiss Artist, Ugo Rondinone, created this colorful boulder display called, “Seven Magic Mountains” in the desert of Las Vegas. The exhibition started May 2016 and has been extended due to its popularity.

What do you think? If you went to Las Vegas, would you rent a car, drive out to the desert and see this exhibit OR would you stay in the casino and gamble?

Chicago: Painted Lighthouses by artists, many with disabilities

Lighthouse 2If you’ve been to Chicago, you know our Magnificent Mile is gorgeous in the summer. The flowers are in bloom in front of all the shop windows, the Chicago river looks fantastic and tourists are everywhere. We really enjoy summer, because we know that soon winter will be upon us.

Lighthouse 3A few days ago, I was walking down Michigan Avenue and I saw a lot of painted Lighthouses. Each one had it’s own theme. The Lighthouses on The Mag Mile™  are displayed for the public to enjoy celebrating people with disabilities. There are 51 six-foot lighthouses to see. I found a few and took pictures.

Lighthouse 4My daughter saw one that looked really spooky she said, with hands painted as if they were coming out of cracks in the wall. I was looking, but didn’t come across that one.

Lighthouse 1It’s a wonderful project, fun to see how creative the artists have been. The Lighthouse Art Display runs from June 19 – August 11, 2018.

Art: Gallery in the Dungeon, visit Cortona, Italy

3E1B71C3-2F09-4709-A95E-4E32D4B1B9F5When you see a sign that says, “Gallery in the Dungeon,” you’ve got to check it out! Going in the doorway was a bit dark, so I admit I was tip toeing in, wondering if this was a good idea, but I kept going.

I found this staircase and started my decent, looking at the artist’s paintings on the way down. The artist, Daniela Piegai, is an Italian woman living in Cortona now.

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She paints in a very interesting 3D type of style. There is movement in her paintings, you can see this in this painting of the buildings as if the wind is swaying the houses. She uses bright bold colors. While her paintings seem childlike, they are interesting even for an adult audience, because they are unique.

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Once you are down in the dungeon, you’ll see a room that looks like THIS photo below with the sofas. If you zoom into the photo, you can see she does some interesting paintings with people, children, cats, funny looking owls, and more.

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I was hoping to meet the artist, while I was there, but she was not in. I would have liked to better understand how she developed her style and painting technique.

So… never pass up a chance to visit a dungeon, never know what you might find!

The Australian Brush Maker (home made paint brushes)

While I am not an artist, I’ve always been inspired by painting and various forms of producing artwork. The other day, I came across a story about an Australian artist named, “Lorna Crane,” who creates home made paint brushes.

On her beach walks she finds materials that she uses to make her paint brushes. I grew up on the beach… well, I mean near the beach, so I know the feeling of walking and finding rocks, feathers, dried grass, driftwood, wires, and more that wash up on the shore.

Crane’s paint brushes are works of art BEFORE they are even used. This was a brilliant idea. If you watch the video, you’ll see how beautiful and unique each brush is. Based on the brush she chooses, when she paints she uses a different painting technique. Painting is really freeing.

It’s the start of a new year. She’s inspired me! I’m going to make a goal for myself of producing one piece of art in 2018.

Hello fellow artists, how are you challenging yourself this year?