Friday, June 24, 2011

Eyes of Another, Finished

This finished piece has been ready to post for a good couple weeks...i've just been lazy! 

I decided to title the piece "Interbeing"...a word that Thich Nhat Hanh uses to describe the inter-connectedness between all beings.  I love his quote...
"I See You In Me, And Me In You"

Interesting....i just googled Thich's name to make sure i had spelled it correctly and found a site of his quotes.  Thought i'd add it here...everything he says is wonderful. :)  He's a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, living in France,  for those who aren't familiar with him.

Displaying this piece...
The 2 white, illustration board pieces were mounted to the orange paper, as you see it.  Then that was mounted onto a 10" x 10" mirror...framed, under glass.

The eyes are my son's, when he was 5. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

After the Rain

We have a very large deck off the back/side of our house.  After a recent rainstorm, and clearing skies, i was captivated by the reflection in the pooling water on the deck...and decided that i had to see how it would translate into an artpiece.

The entire piece was stippled onto matte mylar, and colored pencil was added afterwards to differentiate, even further, the areas of pooling water from the drier areas.
Dimensions... 4" x 5.5"

Sitting here at the computer, i can turn my head and look out at the deck.  Today - being a sunny day - i see the same trees as fuzzy shadows on the planks.  Nature is constantly communicating with us...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eyes of Another #1

This is the other piece i'm working on for that Compassion Presentation, in a couple weeks.  The first piece i did for this presentation is "God, in all Things"...seen here:

This new piece, Eyes of Another (altho' i may change the title), is an entirely stippled piece, approx. 3" x 5", on illustration board. It will be mounted onto a framed mirror. It's actually only 1/2 the finished piece.  Next i will be working on another similarly sized panel that will be mounted above the eyes panel.  I'm still considering how i will do this, but i will be stippling words, that i wrote, onto this 2nd panel, to read...

When we look deeply           OR...        When we look deeply
into the eyes of another                           into the eyes of Another
we can not help                                      we are given the gift
but see ourselves                                    of seeing Ourselves
and the divine.                                        and the Divine.

I may put the words onto 5 prayer flags...or maybe just have the words by themselves...not sure.

The reason for using a mirror is so that the viewer can gaze from the stippled eyes to their own.

The inspiration for this piece, by the way, came from my participation in the Awakening the Dreamer symposium during the winter. ( and scroll down to post at bottom of page).  One of the exercises was to pair up with someone and look into each other's eyes for a good few minutes.  The effect was profound and caused me to realize the truth of the above words.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blue Glass Bottle...Finished

I finally decided to use a real watercolor wash for the bottle.  I had been thinking of using the pigmented inks that i have (Daler Rowney FW acrylic artists ink) but i found them to be less brilliant than watercolor.
I like that the background (looking out the window) is black and white as it reminds me of the fact that there was snow on the ground when i started it. :)

God, in all things...Finished's the finished piece...i'm really pleased with it. :)

I did put a wash on the snail, and it's subtle, but looks really good with the rest being black and white. 

I also tried scanning the piece for this post, rather than taking a photo like i usually do.  I really like that the whites are whiter.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blue Glass Bottle #3

I had to spend some time unclogging my Koh-i-noor .13mm Rapidograph pen today. :(  I thought i had run out of ink, but that wasn't the case...i think maybe it was a fiber from the paper that caused the problem.  Anyway...i was able to put the finishing touches on, and now i just have to add color to make it a 'blue glass' bottle.  I've been experimenting with different inks and pigment inks...

Hopefully i will have it done tomorrow.

About 4.5" square
Stippling done with a Kohinoor .13mm and .18mm pen
Surface is fairly smooth watercolor paper

God, in all things #3

This is finished, except for a color 'wash' on the snail...which i'm still not 100% sure that i want to do. I'll decide shortly.

5" x 5"
stippling created with a .13mm Rapidograph
surface is illustration board

Saturday, April 30, 2011

God, in all things #2

I'm finding that stippling hands takes a different approach than an element - say, the snail - that is made up entirely of dots.  Keeping so much white requires more sensitivity when deciding where to place the dots...and there is more 'consideration' involved.  So, the process is actually a little slower.

I'm trying to decide if i should use color (a light wash) on the snail.  That was part of the original idea...but it's also what ruined the first attempt with the tree frog.  I probably will use color...i'll just start with a super light wash and build it up slowly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blue Glass Bottle #2

I've made some progress on this piece.
This is a view of a small glass bottle that sits on the windowsill in my kitchen...and is based on a photo i took.  Since the camera was focusing on the bottle, the woods - in the background, well beyond the glass - are shown blurred, and i really like the interesting design/pattern that results.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

God, in all things #1

In early June there will be a presentation at a local church called, "Choosing Compassion"...part of the ongoing Belko Peace Series.  There will be a couple speakers, music, and artwork.  I was asked to contribute any artwork that might fit the theme of compassion for one another, compassion for our earth, and tolerance for all who exist on our planet.

Two ideas came to mind and, below, is the first one...i've just gotten started on it.  To be honest, this is my 2nd attempt...i ruined the first piece. :(  Instead of a snail, i had used a tiny tree frog, and by the time i added a color wash (the last thing before calling it finished) it was no longer identifiable.  Bummer. Yup...thousands of dots down the drain.  But i'm actually liking the snail better.

This piece is about 5" square and i'll be stippling the entire thing with my Rapidograph .13mm pen

And yes, i'm still working on the blue glass's just that this 'compassion' piece has a deadline.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

While waiting...

My Blue Glass Bottle piece (see last post) is on hold.  I decided that i needed to order a Koh-i-noor .13mm Rapidograph in order to do the very light areas of the bottle.  I started the piece with the Koh-i-noor .18mm, which is fine for the dark areas, but i really wanted an even tinier dot for the light areas.

Now, true, i do have the Rotring Rapidograph in both the .13 and .18, but those pens take an ink cartridge, and the ink is not at all as waterproof as the Platinum Carbon fountain pen ink that i'm using to fill the Koh-i-noor.  It's really nice to have both the Rotring and the Koh-i-noor....they have advantages in different areas.

So, in the meantime i worked on this tiny automatic drawing piece...2.5" x 3.5".  Stippled with the Koh-i-noor .18mm and colored with Daler Rowney FW inks.  The first picture shows the piece before color...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blue Glass Bottle #1

I attended a symposium, yesterday, called "Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream" led by my two sisters, Laura and Lisa.  The symposium focuses on bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just, human presence on the planet.  A very worthwhile 5 hours!

A couple websites for those who might be interested...  (play video)

I've started a new stippled's of a blue glass bottle (which means i'll use watercolor near its completion) that sits on the windowsill in the kitchen.  I'm working from a photo, but i've used a grid system in drawing it freehand.  For those who aren't familiar with it, the grid allows you to, basically, work on one little square at a time.  The old masters used this technique and it works great!

I will post photos of its progress until it's done.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Geranium in Sun and Shadow, finished

Well, i will probably discover a needed dot, here and there, over the next few days...but i consider this piece to be finished...and i'm happy with how it turned out. :)

It became evident to me, while working on it, that this new direction for me - stippling - has amazing possibilities!  I feel like i've only scratched the surface.  I'm pretty sure my next piece will use black dots and areas of watercolor.  And i don't think i want to lock in to anything, content wise...but i'm really being pulled to work with images in the a mandala.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

World Thru a Teleidoscope

About 5 years ago i discovered just how amazing the world could look through a teleidoscope.  Unlike a kaleidoscope, which allows you to look at beads, buttons, etc. in a mandala effect...the teleidoscope does the same mandala effect to the world around whatever you're looking at.  Very cool, to say the least!  And i found, right away, that my camera fit into the end of the scope so that i could take pictures!!

At the time, we had a lighted peace sign hanging on our garage...the green/white in the background is the tree canopy above the garage...

And here's a seed pod that i found on a walk.  I can't remember what the B&W background is...

I love the use of mandalas in artwork and go this direction now and then.  Here's the above seed pod done as a stippled piece, using a .18mm Rapidograph, on 2.5" x 3.5" illustration board.  I can see doing many more of these...and i like using the photo just as a starting point and then 'working it' in a more intuitive manner.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Geranium in Sun and Shadow #3

I'm getting close to finishing the leaves...then i'll work on the background.  I've decided that i want dots in the background - not leave it white - and i'll be experimenting with different colors before i choose.

Often i'm asked how long a piece takes matter what medium i'm working in. Usually i don't have an answer 'cause i don't keep track.  The stippling really is time intensive...even i'm curious how long a piece takes me to make.  So, i'm going to buy a kitchen timer and try it on my next piece.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Geranium in Sun and Shadow #2

I've made a bit more progress on this piece.  What's going thru my head right now is wondering how i will deal with the background.  Do i leave it white?  Or perhaps use a light amber dot...spaced not too close together?  Any opinions/ideas?
 (we have just had our 5th day of sunny skies!!)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Couple Minis

I'm finding that while i'm working on more 'serious' pieces it works well to have a 'doodle' going on the side.  It allows for a break from the need to be really mindful and attentive, as a 'real' piece requires.

These are done on 2.5" x 3.5 (63mm x 89mm) illustration board....using my .13mm Rapidograph.  I start with a light pencil drawing (automatic drawing style) and then work over it with my pen. So fun! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Geranium in Sun and Shadow #1

I started a new stippled piece yesterday...and i thought i'd show its progress 'til it's done.  Unlike my first piece,  The Glass Snail, where i used a .13mm Rapidograph...this piece is being created with a couple fountain pens.  I have a whole bunch of different fountain pen inks to choose from, and i decided to go with colors that will enhance an 'abstract feel' rather than 'realism' when its finished.

The pen that's laying down the darker dots is my Pelikan XXXXF nib pen (custom ground)...and the lighter dots are from the way-more-cost-friendly Pilot Penmanship with XF nib. There's not a whole lot of difference in dot size.  With fountain pens you can get a thicker line (or heavier dot) by pushing harder, as that spreads the tines of the nib and allows more ink to come out.  So, i try to keep a light hand.

More's 3" x 5.5" (8cm x 14cm) and the paper is a rather stiff, smooth watercolor paper.  There's a bit more 'bounce' when working on it compared to illustration board, but not bad.  Yes, this is a small piece.  As an artist, i generally work in's just my thing.  Will be interesting to see if i allow myself to go bigger with this medium.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Free Play

I've read a few books over the years on creativity and the creative process.  I'm especially liking the one i'm currently reading so i'm going to give it a little 'plug'.  It's called, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch.
 I'm currently reading the chapter on 'practice' and i love this thought...

" Technique can bridge this gap. (he had just been talking about the gap between what we feel and what we can express)  It also can widen it.  When we see technique or skill as a 'something' to be attained, we again fall into the dichotomy between 'practice' and 'perfect', which leads us into any number of vicious circles.  If we improvise with an instrument, tool, or idea that we know well, we have the solid technique for expressing ourselves.  But the technique can get too solid - we can become so used to knowing how it should be done that we become distanced from the freshness of today's situation.  This is the danger that inheres in the very competence that we acquire in practice.  Competence that loses a sense of its roots in the playful spirit becomes ensconced in rigid forms of professionalism."

 Hmmm...let me read that again...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I mentioned that i do micrography in my last post. For those unfamiliar with this artform, micrography uses tiny writing to create an image, or to perhaps compliment an image.

This first piece, called "Hold Me In Your Hand" is my son's hand in mine, when he was younger.  I created it with an XXXXF nib fountain pen, and the original is about 5" (13cm) in diameter.

This next piece...The Whole World...was also done with the XXXXF fountain pen and is 4" (10cm).  The phrase 'whole world in a single flower' came from some book on Buddhism...i love the phrase.

And last summer i really got into devotional chanting music, and decided to use some of the phrases i was listening to/singing in micrography pendants.  These are original pieces sealed into 1.25" (30mm) silver bezel cups.  I used the .13mm or the .18mm Rapidograph to do these (on matte mylar) with colored pencil on the reverse side.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Glass Snail

Interesting....i always assumed it would be rather difficult to get a blog up and running...but not these days!  This has been relatively easy.
The fact that i'm even here is due, in large part, to Niall Young and his blog 'Dancing for Beginners', and to Christine Farmer, who told me about Niall's blog and suggested that i start my own.  After spending time on Niall's blog i decided that i, too, wanted a place to share my thoughts and artwork with other artists and people in general.  So, thanks to you both.

I always seem to be going in new directions with my artwork. About a month ago i started thinking of ways to use my super fine point Rapidograph pen.  For awhile i've been using the .13mm pen for micrography (tiny writing in art)  - more on that in a future post - and when i found examples of stippling, or as some people call it, hyperpointillism, i knew that was a direction for me!

I don't find the .13mm Rapidograph to be very good at 'drawing', but it is perfect for making dots!!  This is the first piece i've made using this technique...the original is about 3.5" x 5".  The image is of the glass snail that my husband gave me for Valentine's now sits on the windowsill above the kitchen sink where the light plays with the blue glass beautifully.

While working on this piece i was struck by, and fell in love with, the meditative quality of the process!  And yes, it's slow going...but of course, i like that.  It didn't occur to me until i finished that the process and the image speak of the same thing.  Made me smile.