Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye, Bye, 2009

Children's Fairyland, Oakland Taken with Nikon D40 March 30, 2009

I can't say you have been all that good to me. In fact maybe a little too harsh. We did have a lot of good times, eh? But all-in-all, I think we need to come to an end. Sorry to have to do it this way.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

DH's Pictures

Various sizes, Bristol Board, Primacolor Pencils
I have been asked by DH to post his pictures. He doesn't have a blog nor a Flickr/Smugmug or any such account. He doesn't want one. He is the better artist in the family so I don't mind.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Virtual Paintout - Jacaranda Tree Mexico City

9 in by 12 in Canson 90 lbs watercolor paper, W&N and Grumbacher watercolors

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I wish the true colors scanned better than it did.

9 in x 12 in Canson 90 lbs watercolor paper, Sharpie Poster Paints, Magazine cutouts, "Doodling" article from "The Week".

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Almost 100th Blog Post

I am slightly surprised this is my 100th blog post. My original intent for the blog was to post knitting, belly dance and my art work.

I ramped up my blogging in October when I began the Everyday Matters challenges which led to other challenges and online workshops.

I began the blog and the year with continuing my addition to sock knitting. Though I have slowed down with my knitting considerably I did finish 42 projects. Not bad as only four projects were completed in the last four months.

Belly Dancing and the troupe I belong to, Rising Stars, are still important to me. We had our last performance of the year for a private party at the Falkirk Mansion. We danced in the main parlor. It was different and very fun. I like to perform for people who are not familiar with belly dance.

Mostly my focus has been to regain my actual drawing and painting skills. I was looking over the pieces I created this year. For several years I have been using a distress, vintage look. My color palette primarily was in the brown, orange and yellow range.

6 in x 8 in Canvas panel, acrylic and clip art

Around April I started painted more acrylic backgrounds using muted shades of pink, green and blue. Around July I began to get more in to various painting backgrounds.

9 in x 12 in Canson 90 lbs watercolor paper, acrylic, scrapbook papers

My color palette became much brighter as I started using heavy body acrylics and oil pastels.

8 in x 5.5 in Canson 90 lbs watercolor paper, acrylic and Sharpie Poster Paints

I had a few false starts with art journaling as the books/journals I was using or creating just wasn't work.

In the last two weeks I found I needed a larger sketchbook (9 in x 12 in), a smaller sketchbook (6 in x 6 in), and a journal (purchased several years ago, forgotten and unused). The sketchbooks allow me to work on sketches in pencil, pen and ink as well as acrylic paint. The journal is now for my everyday lists (grocery, errands), lists of books I want to read, quotes I like, doodle pad, remainder calendar and ephemera/articles I want to keep.

Bottom - 9 in x 12 in Canson 90 lbs watercolor sketchbook, Middle - Nick Bantock Journal, Top- 6 in x 6 in Canson Sketchbook

Left - Large sketchbook, Center - Nick Bantock Journal, Right - Small Sketchbook
Therefore, a couple changes are coming to the blog soon!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

9 in x 12 in Canson 90 lbs watercolor paper, Sharpie Poster Paints, Copic Markers, Various magazine cutouts

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Seasons Greetings

9 in x 12 in Canson 90 lbs watercolor paper, Sharpie Poster Paint, various magazine and catalog clips.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ready for the Holidays?

Every year we celebrate the holidays with DH's family. My family is mostly in Canada and back east - just me and Mom here. It is nice to have family to celebrate this time of year.
Last night I was up late again (very late, very very late) working on holiday and gift cards. I always try to make these cards. I don't measure just do. I created a fairly simple method to customize envelope to any card size (I have to post a video).

Only have to address the envelopes and create the greetings in the cards - (gift cards are done inside). Only three days to Christmas Eve - no problem. Oops still have to wrap gifts and buy one.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

EDM #249 - Draw a Coffee Pot

9 in x 12 in Canson 90 lbs watercolor paper, brewed coffee grounds, PITT Pen #175 Dark Sepia
I painted a piece of watercolor paper using the brewed grounds of a French Roast (either Peet's or Starbuck's). I simply took the grounds from the strainer and put them in a paper towel and "painted" the surface of the water color paper. I let it dry a few minutes and then dropped half of the grounds on the paper. I let it dry then wiped the grounds off using a paper towel until no grains of the coffee grounds were left. This made some interesting patterns similar to using salt on watercolor.

I hadn't done cross-hatching in a very long time. I still need practice.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

EDM #125 Draw a Bird

Late last night (very late) I broke out an early Xmas present I received. Two Stabilo Woody pencils in Ultramarine and Burnt Red Umber. There is a intense color to these which I didn't use to its advantage. I just wanted to test. I used sketch paper and not watercolor paper so it buckled which doesn't bother me that much. Even thought these pencils are pricey (and Stabilo is marketing these for children?), I may run down to the art store to get a yellow/orange pencil to complete the triad. For a five minute sketch I am happy with the results.

6 in x 6 in Canson 65 lb sketchbook paper, Stabilo Woody, Graphite Pencil

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's Not Much But I Liked It

We visit Larkspur Landing down the road quite a bit. There is a Starbucks and a nice central fountain to sit out and enjoy. I drew it once in October 2009.

Earlier in the year a new company took over this shopping center. With the intent to drive in more business, they are working on some renovations. Oddly enough their vision is pretty darn similar to the original one that was there in the late 70s and early 80s when they tore down the original Hutchinson's Rock Quarry. The final scene from Dirty Harry was filmed here.

However, I was quite dismayed when we went for a coffee break to see some men demolishing the fountain. I love the fountain. I think they are going to put a children's play area there.

To commemorate the occasion, I sketched this (with my new watercolor graphite pencil):

DH took over and sketched this.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Virtual Paintout - Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez Terminal 2 Puerta 3

6in x 12in Canson 90lbs watercolor paper, PITT pen, Copic marker, Cretacolor Graphit Aquarell and Aqua Monolith

Another submission for December 2009 Virtual Paintout.
Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez, Terminal 2, Puerta 3. And yes, the Google Map people went inside the terminals. I used Cretacolor Graphit Aquarell and Aqua Monolith for the first time. I previously had not used a Copic marker in a drawing. I wanted a bright color for the taxis as I planned the rest of the drawing to be in gray. The Cretacolors and Copic were an experiment I extremely happy with.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Knitting

I normally don't have more than one work in process with my knitting. The multi-color yarn at left was a last minute purchase to make yet another of Brooklyn Tweed's Noro scarf. A possible last minute gift. I like to have some knitted items on hand just in case. For this project I am using Malabrigo in Novembre and Cinnamon. The striping is much more subtle. The middle project has been on the needles since the beginning of September. A bit of a love-hate relationship. Loved the yarn (Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool #53), but the pattern, despite beginning very easy, got to me. Hence the hate portion. Will finish knitting it tonight as I only have five garter stitch rows and a bind off row left. The third project(right) is Dreams in Color Classy in Cool Fire. Love the color, love the pattern.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mixed Media Monday - Just Hanging Out

9 in x 12 in Canson 90lbs Cold Press Watercolor paper. Various pieces from magazines. Sharpie Poster Paint, Portfolio Pastels
Submission for this week's Mixed Media Monday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More from Creative Lettering

I worked late last night (this morning) on the two pieces for my Creative Lettering Class.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

AJS Lesson 9

I haven't posted a lesson from my Artist Journal and Sketchbook class in a while. I liked how this page came out. The lesson was to use a journal prompt card we made or received in the class swap. I scanned and copied the original I received from Deby. I loved the colors and the word.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Coffee Painting

Coffee Painting
Originally uploaded by NeonFog
Literally, it is painted with coffee.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Monthly Sketch Project - December Water Feature

The second of my submissions for Monthly Sketch Project. The picture was provided by Martine. The link to her website is just for her sketch of this water feature, but please check out the rest of her blog. She does some amazing work.

Off to Papa's Taverna's to perform tonight in this year's Christmas show. This is my favorite show to perform in. Muddy parking lot (and it is raining hard today), dressing rooms in the upstairs seating with a view of the kitchen, low ceiling, big Christmas ornaments that we always manage to hit and the dip in the floor next to the stage. Love it.
Solo at last year's Christmas show.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Virtual Paintout - Mexico City

This month's submission for the Virtual Paintout:

After Belfast and Nova Scotia as monthly subjects for Virtual Paintout, similar in landscape and had lovely windswept vistas, Mexico City was a nice change. I found colorful building everywhere and some surprising modern architecture. One of the first locations I visited with Google maps was the Mercado de Plantas y Flores or the Flower Market. Buildings and stalls filled with merchandise and plants all in vibrant colors. It was difficult to choose a location to paint. So much color and so much merchandise it would take weeks to complete the details. I decided to draw the building roof structure with more detail and very loosely paint the stalls and merchandise.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Card 2009

Holiday Card 2009
Originally uploaded by NeonFog
Card for some friends. The spelling and the idea for the red nose came from DH. Odds and ends of magazine and catalog clippings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Creative Lettering

Already up to lesson four in my Creative Lettering class. One of the assignments this week was to copy this poem by Shel Silverstein in a mix of lower and upper case letter. Not as easy as it sounds. Good practice for the circle border which I wanted to use later.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Fine Line

A Fine Line
Originally uploaded by NeonFog
One of my favorite quotes. I love the way this image turned out. She has a dress for a hat and a chess piece for a body and the arms somehow worked.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Actually I Really Do... to journal.

Journalling done for my Artists of the Round Table class in Creative Lettering.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My first zentangle

My first zentangle
Originally uploaded by NeonFog
My first attempt at a Zentangle. The hand was made from a stencil I made a few months ago which I rubbed pastel around to keep the color of the hand light. Originally intended for some journalling but I thought it might be a good place for trying this out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mixed Media Monday - Bedtime Stories

This week's submission to Mixed Media Monday.

Immediately upon seeing this week's challenge topic I did pencil sketch in about two minutes in my 5 in x 5 in Canson sketchbook. I then gessoed some 9in x 12in watercolor paper and painted it with some lovely creepy green acrylic wash I created. I pulled out a bunch of papers to make paper collage quilt, pillow and window/night sky.

Then I got artist's block.

Then I hurt my arm.

Wanting to get the collage done, I decided to ink and watercolor in the original sketch. The lines on the window aren't straight - arm still hurts just enough .

Only it didn't look dark enough, plus it wasn't mixed media enough (though I think technically ink and watercolor are mixed media).

I found a sheet of woven scrapbook paper. So I just put it under the ink/watercolor sketch in the scanner:

Though I have a new computer, I have not yet installed my old copy of Photoshop Elements. But new computer came with Windows 7. I played around with the saturation, tint, and color temperature that program provides and I am kind of happy with the one I submitted.

London Beanie

London Beanie
Originally uploaded by NeonFog

Pattern from Mark Thrailkill
Leftover bits of Brown Sheep Yarn Lamb's Pride in Silver and Black. Originally intended for DH who is an Oakland Raiders fan but he decided he doesn't like hats.

Lamb's Pride has been one of my favorite yarns to use for many years. Brown Sheep still makes it and doesn't discontinue it. I have had so many favorite yarns disappear (Ballybrae, please come back).

As for DH, he asked for this hat. It will get cold enough for him to wear it. Or maybe it's the Raiders colors he doesn't want to wear - really 3-8 (as of this writing).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boom De Ya Da

Boom De Ya Da
Originally uploaded by NeonFog
Another in the series I have been doing of Teesha Moore inspired pages and with a little inspiration from the Discovery Channel's ad campaign. When I was in the 6th and 7th grade I used to make whole pages of dots. I find this very relaxing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monthly Sketch Project - December 2009

The original was a color photo that I intended to watercolor as the color was so gorgeous. I got so in to drawing that it got a little to late to erase all of the pencil I put down. I still might do him in watercolor.
Monthly Sketch Project
Photo credit:


Originally uploaded by NeonFog
Just some doodling I did today. I might make this over in a horizontal format as I think it would make a good banner.