Dad is Teaching Me To Paint

I am pretty comfortable with watercolors,  but my father is using part of our family vacation to give me a few oil painting lessons. I am a beginner all over again,  but it is interesting to learn.  This is my first oil painting.

Dad made the easel for me too.  Thanks Daddy!

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Outdoor Fun

We are having a great time with family in Maine. The weather has been very favorable.  Every other day we run into another family member or friend in these tiny woodland towns.  We have had some fun with these unplanned reunions. This week we went to my Dad’s church with him and my stepmom for Father’s Day. Yesterday we went to the Common Ground Fairground for Farm & Homestead Day. IMG_20170618_125401We watched a blacksmith at work and got a paper-making lesson.  We had delicious fresh made and foraged food. Sweet clover is really a wood sorrel,  and the heart shaped leaves are sweet and sour yummy.  My grown son learned how to use a scythe to cut hay, and we watched a window glazing lesson. Today he is out on Grampy’s woodlot with an axe. IMG_20170618_145953

I have been painting every day.  If you would like a painted postcard from Maine,  email your address to Lucy.artlover@gmail.com

Happy summer!

 

Visiting The Frugal Crafter’s Blog

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Inspired by Lindsay at The Frugal Crafter, blue skies and birch paint-along:  https://thefrugalcrafter.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/lets-paint-blue-skies-and-birch-trees-today/

Sometimes I overcome painter’s block by taking a walk outdoors,  looking at snapshots from previous outings,  revisit a sketch, or finish a painting that was not sparking properly at first go.  Lately a purse sized portable set has been easy for short sketches and cards.  Today I tried another fun video paint-along/tutorial from The Frugal Crafter. Thank you for posting Lindsay!

https://thefrugalcrafter.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/lets-paint-blue-skies-and-birch-trees-today/

Another try it from The Frugal Crafter, watercolor teacup tutorial (around here it is renamed,  “Moxie after Midnight”).  https://youtu.be/M1EGRDF3Qso  Though lacking a Naples yellow,  or the decadent pies,  it was still fun to keep my brushes busy until I have more time on the weekend.  This is the last week of school,  and the kids are so very excited!

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My Moxie Babies

My babies are now officially grown.  Both had milestone birthdays this week (18th and 24th) so today’s mini painting is from my Maine Moxie and was critiqued by the younger (who has renamed himself in my phone as “the Moxiest”). It reminds me of my oldest sitting on “mermaid rock” when she was little.

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Enjoy the very merry month of May,  celebrate every day,  as we do.

Fun to be Done

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Now that I have graduated with my Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences at UT Tyler, there is much more energy to fill up my sketchbooks. For my trip to Maine I am trying out portable painting options and experimenting with ideas from my notebooks.

https://visualfling.com/sketchbook/

I am excited to go to Maine,  despite the long drive. I look forward to the reward of seeing my father,  who was so moved with pride and love when he told me that I  am the first in our family to graduate from university, for I know I could not have done it without his example and encouragement.

Backdoor Garden

Trying out some portable paints, sketchbooks, and water brushes for our summer travels, I am attracted to April flowers. My neighbors are probably just wondering why we put off mowing.

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Pale Violets in the Leaf Litter,  White Nights watercolors, Bee Creative 8×8″ marker paper book (smooth paper,  and I like the hard covers on this book)

Nature Journal Curriculum

This time of year most teachers are evaluating and adapting their curriculums for next year.   I am really excited about videos from John Muir Laws for my own plein air painting and sketchbook journaling, and this led me to a free resource from CNPS.  Law’s naturalist expertise is evident in this free curriculum from the California Native Plant Society –

Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts 

http://johnmuirlaws.com/cnps-curriculum .

 I am sampling the lessons and learning so much for my own nature journals.  I hope to also teach some of the activities during camp this summer, adapting for K-6, and then integrate with drawing from life lessons during the school year. I usually match my lessons to the curriculum whenever possible. Yeah STEAM!

The finished works being collected for our Academic bowl are great.  Insect wireframe and tissue sculptures with exoskeletons!

Bird sculptures, paintings,  and pencil drawings.  We also did some ocean creatures in clay.  I wish I could share them all.

 

King of Kings

I have had a period of sickness, and even after it passed it left some weakness behind. This has given me more opportunity to listen to books and consider how to apply the learning. This week the book was Second Samuel of the Bible.

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When I am strong I sometimes put too much faith in my own power, but I really have everything by the grace of God. I called my mother, who is weak from muscular dystrophy, to remember humility and to add compassion to my prayers.

Doodling in Church

I have a busy head, and note taking with doodles helps keep me engaged. I also create along with www.RebekahRJones.com and try new materials and techniques in my art journals, with variations.

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These notes are for listening and make it easy for me to recall the key points I learned, so they are not as pretty as the work I plan out and carefully paint. Also, not everything I note down is an exact quote of the speakers, so I will link to their sites and podcasts whenever possible. Here are two weeks of notes from Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church. 

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It intrigued me that BOASTING (and not boasting) has come up in several studies lately, even in the review of the 3-part 2015 Women’s Retreat — Unhitching from the Crazy Train.

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We used to get in trouble for this at school, but that’s how my brain ponders ideas.

Those were the fun notes, now I have to start my homework for UT Tyler. After that, preplanning for teaching my art classes this week.

Have a super inspiring week.

I Just Cannot Keep A Sketchbook For Long

I just used up all the pages in another sketchbook. I keep telling my students how important it is to practice. Some of them have such a joy in doing it, they need no reminders. I hope most of the others will catch the spirit of creativity and let it refresh their free time, no matter where life takes them.

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One of the meditative activities I do is Bible art journaling, except I do it in my devotions notebook instead of my Bible. I use the borders in my Bible for some pictures and notes, but I do not want to cover up any of the actual scriptures. And I doodle a lot to work on ideas that may or may not make it into my paintings. My sketchbook never judges, and my mistakes are valuable learning experiences.

Some of the resources I look to for ideas is the 52 week devotional from Rebekah Jones Bible Art Journaling. She has begun a new challenge, but I am still working on the original one. I also find inspiration from Tiffany Zajas Living Life Joyfully. I find it very meditative to create these illustrations and think about the meaning in the living words.

If you find illustrations help stick key ideas in your head but do not feel artistically adventurous, you may enjoy one of Zondervan’s Beautiful Word Bibles with many illustrated pages to enjoy as you read the scriptures. There are great coloring devotionals like Krista Hamrick’s pages on Etsy which are easy to print to size on vellum and insert to your Bible as overlays or bookmarks. I could also recommend a scripture coloring book like “Be Still Inspirational Adult Coloring Therapy Featuring Psalms.” I have this one!

I also like the CBN Super Book App and the MySword Bible App. They are both easy to read and search for keywords. The Super Book has videos and a daily verse with games to help remember, plus a link to the full chapters.  MySword works offline with several translations from which to choose, plus optional maps, images and commentaries.

New School Pencils

A fresh pack of new school pencils, chalk, a box of unbroken crayons, sketchbooks and notebooks full of clean paper – and a new year has begun. At open house children who had been doodling through the presentation proudly approached me afterwards with their art. Again I am blessed to be an art teacher. It is the best job in the world.

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Even so, I enjoyed the last of the vacation with some 2 minute figure drawings and a few 30 minute paint sketches.o

Bonus: A few glimpses at the chiaroscuro  by fellow artists, Don and Rich in Ocala.

The Gallery Wall

I have been using my summer break to work on figures and portraits. A few pictures here are by my friends at art club, gifts because my son was the model today and twenty days ago. I can see the improvement from my recent paintings, top two, and my earlier attempts.

What an artful week we’re having!

Writing a Mini Book on Vacation

Mini-Album-9Just for fun, I am jotting, in very tiny print, an outline for my next children’s book. I am using the folding instructions from this document [Mini Book Instructions] to transform a single sheet of paper into a mini book. I have lost my original instructions, so I created a printable document in MS Word.

Have a creative day!

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Page layout template. Cut on the dark line.

 

 

 

 

Getting There or Getting Off-Track?

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I have been pretty busy this week with two job offers near our new house, back to school busyness, and rushing about with car repairs that could’ve come after the new paychecks start. I feel like I sidetracked this painting and it needs a do over instead of more work. Interestingly, this is my first painting with 140lb paper  prepared on stretcher bars. Here is a snapshot of the back:

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