Monday, October 31, 2011

The Story Unfolds

I'm taking a 2 week photo e-course and this was the result of day one. I thought the title was just perfect for the shot shown here. The intimacy between the two children is accentuated by the dramatic evening light casting about a wonderful glow. The overgrown carrion vine which still has some of the fruit left on it creates an intriguingly shaped shadow on the little girls dress making you wonder what is causing it. I really noticed the fruit after the fact because of that shadow, thank you miss muse for making me see that detail :) The dirt, grim and all of the rubbish within the book pages makes it all the more interesting for my creative side. How does it inspire you? BTW, did I tell you I shot this with my eyes closed, not bad, huh!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cherry Trio

The light, the comple-mentary colors and the overall composition made me want to share this with all of you. The strong straight branch holding the interestingly curvaceous leaves and a trio of luscious red cherries is what made me post. I love when everything lines up and just works together cohesively making my blogging a lot easier. I also hope it put a little smile on your face thinking about what to do with all the cherries in the future -cobbler, pies, ice cream, jam - ahh, the flavor is just so good. The only problem for us, the birds always beat us to them. We have been known to grab a couple as we pass by on the mower, warmed by the heat of a summer day, just like fresh baked pie - yummmm.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Red Heart

While browsing through my photos for inspiration this charming red heart popped out at me from nowhere. It's on our cherry tree and even though I took this last year and have looked at it many times, it is the first time I noticed the little red heart hanging all by itself. Who knew it was there? I just wonder what I was thinking about this time to make me notice it. No matter what it was, I'm sure glad my muse pointed it out to me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For the love of Texture

Is this photo the greatest? No. Is the composition the best? No. Is the texture captivating? You bet. I just had to share because it was raining and I couldn't get the best shot at all. What I did get was my whole point for stopping and shooting this picture, all the fabulous textural elements all rolled into one frame. I loved the weathered phone pole, the thick branch, the hanging fruit, the rotting seed leaves, the vibrancy of the great orange berries and the blurriness of the white background. This in my book could keep my creative, artistic side going for a long time. I am so inspired by the different visuals that it will make me stop over and over just to see what I have missed looking at it the first time. So, I hope you are keeping a fresh eye out wherever you go, you never know what's lurking at the side of the road just waiting to be discovered!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rose Hips

I wanted to share these rose hips with you, especially the left one because I like the way the light reflects off of its surface giving you a chalky effect of color. It took so long for my little roses to produce rose hips and when they did, I must have taken 1,000 photos of them not sure if they would return or not. The color is just so red orange on these and the interesting calyx at the end, sets my creativity into high gear. What could I do with that shape? I could use it as a background, as a monotone maybe, as a repeated pattern in a nice stripe - the possibilities are just endless. As an artist, you have to think about using things that are everyday in a new and exciting way, after all, there is nothing that hasn't been done before. I'm up for the challenge and can't wait to get out my pencil and paper. What kind of idea did you think of?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ruffles Galore

Some Thesaurus words for "characteristic" - appropriate, differentiating, distinctive, emblematic, essential, fixed, idiosyncratic, inborn, indicative, individualistic, ingrained, innate, marked, native, original, particular, peculiar, proper, regular, representative, singular, special, specific, symbolic, unique.

Well, there is definitely no way to mistake kale for any other vegetable. I just fell in love with all the distinctive ruffled edges and don't even get me started on the great color combinations of this variety. From the palest sage green to the vibrant magenta center, what's not to love about this peculiarity. Add all the wonderful veining that shows on each leaf tipped by the rolling delicate ruffle, oh yeah, I think we have a winner. If only it was a perennial, my yard would have a huge amount of them. I would love to do this in colored pencil but I know my instructions would just be painful, not the intention of a project at all. So, for me, I will just gaze into it one petal at a time wondering if I could actually pull off the drawing. Humm, was that a challenging thought or what?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Word - Characteristic

The word for this week is characteristic.

Its noun meaning: a distinguishing trait, quality or property.

Its adjective meaning: serving to mark individual character such as individual, peculiar, distinctive.

This luscious flower was discovered outside Olive Garden in an urn full of fall specimens. I thought the color was just scrumptious with all its golden yellows turning to the side of warm orange. But oh, the center, that is really what caught my eye. First of all the limeade coloration surrounded with spirals of various textures and specks of yellow flakes. The muse knew what she was doing making me look closely into this flower. Intrigued by the peculiar (loved this definition most) center helped make my decision for this weeks word. Who knew Olive Garden would provide such inspiration, can someone please pass me the bread sticks?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Great Spikes

This little clematis was out in the new garden area of Threads of Time and I just couldn't help snapping the photo. I loved the multi colored spikes against the black trellis. Although it looks quite prickly, the flower is actually nice and soft. This one was newly planted and I can't wait to see how it shapes up next year. Aren't the colors just wonderful. If you were to use that color combination on something, what would it be? I will definitely have to think on that one since I'm not a huge fan of the violet color. But if I could do the chartreuse of the center and the black of the iron, we are now in business. I hope you take the challenge and let everything inspire you, no matter how large, small, young or old - see the creativity and discover its possibilities!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Seeing the Light

Okay, it's Sunday night and I haven't been a very good blogger lately and I am truly sorry. Between running around and traveling here and there something had to give and well, I am just not disciplined enough to plan everything ahead of time. I guess that is why they say life sometimes gets in the way.

So, I went digging through some photos looking for some kind of inspiration since my muse has also been very busy with someone else I might add :) and came across this wonderful shot of light. Let me ask you this, which did you see first, the hole or the light on the leaf below? I see the light but then my curious nature makes me see what caused it. I hope you are finding yourself looking for such things, it is what inspires me beyond belief.

Friday, October 14, 2011

3rd Color Pencil Workshop

Here are the lovely ladies with their favorite projects from my 3rd Colored Pencil Workshop held at Threads of Time in Danville Illinois. Not only did they do the four projects from my workshop, they also did Jingle All the Way Wednesday night as an added project. Oh yeah, these are some crazy maniac colored pencil artists and I'm glad I got to spend some time with them :)

I'm already planning my May and September 2012 dates. If you would like to know more about this fun, project packed three days, please visit my website at The all day project for May is going to be Seashells No. 2 just to get you excited about joining us!

Monday, October 10, 2011


I've been needing an "art challenge" lately, something to stir my creativity yet give myself some boundaries or limitations. So, looked around my mess of a studio and found this scrapbook paper die cut. Well, now you're talking. I usually like my designs to match the paper and look as if they are printed on it as well. Challenge accepted. Knew from the paper that a muted color palette was a must but on these papers I also like to use 8 pencils or less. The paper was screaming for an insect and it has been a while since I did a bee, so what else can I put with that. Flowers of course, to the photo files I go. I was thinking balloon flowers and so glad I found a great one with a lot of extreme light and dark values, perfect. I armed myself with 6 pencils, oh yeah, just 6, and away I went. Hummm, can this be done - well of course it can, you are looking at the picture of the finished piece :) Don't be afraid to challenge yourself, you might just be surprised with the outcome!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Colored Pencil Workshop

My booklets, patterns and all inspiration are packed and ready to go. I'm working on our name buttons and let me tell you they are so cute, can't wait for the girls to see them :) I can't believe this is my third workshop at Threads of Time in Danville Illinois. Never thought that would happen and am so grateful for the students signing up. If you have never been, it is a great place to relax and learn a lot about technique. Plus, the studio is open 24 hours because you never know when inspiration will strike. We even had an impromptu beading class at the last workshop - thanks Theresa! Hope you can join me in 2012, sometime in May and September.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

R U Nutz?

The title of my latest Colored Pencil of the Month Club project came from how I went about getting the reference shot. Picture me, camera around my neck, holding an armful of stuffed things (a bird, squirrel and a couple hearts) walking around the neighborhood. Oh yeah, the neighbors probably think I'm crazy because I was sticking these items in the branches, on tree limbs, our wooden swing, even a couple of rocks. But the kicker, to get the shot I really wanted, I actually had to lay on the ground for the interesting perspective you see in this photo. The squirrel was too heavy for the tiny sunlit branches so I was the thing that had to change position. To make it even funnier, I started laughing out loud, imagining the neighbors looking out and seeing this picture wondering what that crazy artist girl was up to now. So, you see why I titled this as I did, I was the nutty one, imagine that :)

If you are interested in more information about the Colored Pencil of the Month Club please visit

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blazing Bonfire

Some Thesaurus words for "glow" - blaze, bloom, brighten, brilliance, color, effulgence, flush, glare, glimmer, gusto, heat, ignite, incandescence, intensity, kindle, light, luminosity, passion, phosphorescence, pinken, radiance, redden, smolder, splendor, thrill, tingle, vividness, warmth.

Are these not some of the greatest words on earth? They are just so powerful in their own right, love that! I have to say gusto and ignite have to be my favorites in this long list. Not only because I'm trying to keep my creativity ignited by chasing that muse of mine here and there but also approach my art with playful gusto so I enjoy it a little more. I hope this blazing bonfire keeps the fall nights full of s'mores, laughter and a couple ghost stories shared among family and friends!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Word - Glow

The word for this week is glow.

Its verb meaning: to shine with or as if with intense heat; to have a rich warm ruddy color; flush, blush; to feel hot; to show exuberance or elation.

Its noun meaning: brightness or warmth of color; redness; warmth of feeling or emotion; a sensation of warmth; light such as is emitted from a heated substance.

Don't you agree that I couldn't have found a better picture for this word? The sun was setting and casting such a great glow on these sassafras leaves that it just made my job easy. There was no bad photo, just a cropping that showed off all the gloriousness of the warm light. I also love the color range from the palest of pink to the deepest red orange. Who knew one set of leaves could give you so much personality and a myriad of hues to explore? I'm so glad we have a lot of these trees along the woodline, I can't wait to see what they have in store for me this season!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Light & Shadows

The dramatic light in this photo captured my muses attention which lead me to the tiny branch of japanese maple leaves. The cast shadows on the large green leaf just makes me want to get out my paints and record it as artfully as possible dancing with each brush stroke. I loved the extreme light at the right of the photo ensuring that it gets proper attention as well. But, oh, my heart sings with the mysterious shadows lurking on each and every leaf. The tangled web of light and dark just ignites my creative soul down to its core. I hope you find inspiration wherever you look, even if it is in the shadows (a vincent price evil laugh is now playing in my head, sorry for that).