Monday, October 31, 2011

The Book of Life and other Stories

"I could write a book", is a phrase usually used when someone has a lot to tell about a negative experience, or something they've learned through trial and error. I just thought about that, weird, huh? Why not, "I could write a book".... about all of my blessings?

Well, unfortunately, I've been saying that phrase a lot lately about a not-so-wonderful experience we are going through with finding a developmental therapist to work with my son....but the road ahead looks brighter, so that's a good thing!, and my "book" will be published soon! Haha! But seriously, after what we've experienced, I feel for those with disabilities who don't have an advocate in their corner.

Well, that's where I've been for the last few weeks, and will still be busy with doing for many weeks ahead.

But there is ALWAYS time for creating!!

And, it is the beginning of the month (can you believe it?), and time for updates on TDIPT.

This month I went "a little Colonial" with my Christmas offerings.

Please meet AnnaBeth (this was the "girl name" choice that my husband and I had for a girl... if we had had one.) I used my "girl name" for the doll I made for the update. She is made of quilter's muslin and is 17 inches tall. Her facial features were created using Inktense pencils (like the Troll Dolls, but cuter!)

My second offering is a painting of a Rocking Horse. This was fun to do~ I cut up some burlap and adhered it to an 8 X 10 canvas with some gesso and Modge Podge ©, then painted on the burlap. I cut the burlap so that the edges would extend over the canvas. The edges of the burlap are painted and sealed so they won't fray, and they look neat!

You can visit both offerings on my selling page:
Pear Tree on TDIPT


This is also the time of year for TDIPT's annual Open House! Which means Give Away Time!!

There are several ways to enter your name: Buy an item from one of the artist, sign up on our blog.....and a few other ways listed when you read the post.
Here is a link to learn more about the give away:

TDIPT Open House Give Away

(This is my "gift" for the Open House Give Away~For a chance to win this funny little guy, and other prizes, be sure to enter the give away!)


This is the first year no one asked to "dress-up" for Halloween. After 16 years of making costumes for two boys, I'm actually not too sad about not making one this year.
☺Happy Halloween Retirement to me!☺

Stay safe this evening~

PS. I finished the painting of the sisters walking hand in hand. It's my new "fall-ish" banner!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whatcha Working On: Wednesday

Lookey Here~ I'm actually updating on the correct day! :) And, I'm about to show you a few unfinished pieces, which, I guess is the literal meaning of what I'm working ON at the moment.

Here is what I've been working on......... (other than the Trolls in the last post)~
A Custom Portrait in the early 19th Century Style:

This painting started with a VERY patient customer sending me photos of her son. (I say "VERY" patient because this portrait process started awhile ago, and I'm working on it when I can.).

From the photos she sent, (it helps to have several photos to look at), I drew up a sketch.
After the sketch is approved, the painting begins.

Here is a photo of what is on the canvas now....mostly basecoats and some shading. You can see that we rearranged some things from the, boulders were added, the kite was erased and a sling shot/ bag of marbles took it's place.
The face looks a little spooky, but it will get filled it soon. (Although, it's a good look for Halloween!)


A Watercolor Painting:

And the other painting I'm working on is a watercolor. I started "experimenting" with watercolor about three years ago. I say "experimenting", 'cause it's just that when I try to teach myself a new experiment! I love to try new things, but there is always a learning curve and my "methods" would probably shock a true watercolor artist.

I would never presume to teach anyone what I've tried to learn by trial and error! But I do enjoy the learning process, especially when something turns out the way I envision it.

So, after three years of painting with watercolor, I decided to treat myself to some really nice paint, albeit more expensive paint. Up until now, I've used student-grade paints that you might pick up at Michael's. I did a little online research and discovered Daniel Smith watercolors. These were recommended on blogs, and websites of professional watercolor artists, so I thought I would buy a few and give them a try. I went with basic primary colors to start out, and this gives me the freedom to mix many more colors.

After using them, I don't know how I was painting before with just student grade....'cause now I'm hooked! These watercolors are easy to work with, and flow beautifully on the paper. I don't think I can go back now! (They are quite a bit MORE expensive than student grade, but I think they look much nicer. So, I guess I'll have to figure out a way to afford them from now on! Hmmm?, maybe I can convince the family to go without food once in awhile?! Ha!).

And, I'll let you in on a little secret......I would love to illustrate a children's book someday. That has always been a little dream. But, I don't know how good I would be with deadlines, etc.! :) Plus, it seems to be a difficult industry to break into. Ah, well, I can dream.

The painting is of sisters walking along a path on a windy day. The first step was to sketch or draw the scene. Then I stretched the watercolor paper (notice the brown tape around the edges) by soaking it in the bathtub. The graphite pencil sketch stays in place even after the paper is soaked in water.

After it dries flat with the tape securing it to my plywood board, I begin to paint. The painting part is the unconventional part of the process. Everything else I just mentioned is the "norm" for stretching watercolor paper. My painting process involves things like paper towel blotting, dry brushing (which seems weird when you are doing watercolor!), and a few other "made-up" methods.

Not sure where this will go, probably Etsy when it is done, or I might just keep it and hang it on my bedroom wall! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Published and Other News

We've had a crazy week. Nothing new there! Under the weather a bit with the season's change too. We've had rain and cold(er) weather, which somehow brings on sniffles, sneezes and other sinus-related "S's"! :)

The last post eluded to fun happenings and goings-on in my very small "art world".

("Belle of the Fall"~ Pumpkin Princess was one of my paintings that was featured.
She shares the page with Patti's pretty pumpkins Winding Vine Blog)

A magazine article!~ The group I belong to (and update monthly in), To Dwell in Primitives Thymes (TDIPT), had a 10-page feature in the latest PRIMS publication. PRIMS is a magazine published by Stampington and Co.

Here is a link to Stampington and PRIMS mag: Stampington & Co.

We were asked to send in an original art piece and then we filled out a survey sent to us by the coordinator of the article (and TDIPT member), Karen Brady.
She collaborated with the leaders of our group to write the article and then Stampington staff took photos of our art!

It is fun to see your work in print...thanks Stampington!

(My Pumpkin Patch silhouette with ribbon hanger up on the top left)

I couldn't decide what to send in, so I sent in two items thinking they would choose for me. It was a nice surprise to see both of my items in the article! (And, when you look through the article, you'll see that other members of the group sent in more than one item too.....that made me feel better, and not so much like a "greedy-goose"!)

(Plug: Both of these items have traveled back to my house from their photo shoot and are available in my Etsy shop: Pear Tree Primitives' Etsy Shop)


Did you freak out a little when you visited my shop? If you didn't click over there yet, let me prepare you for your visit!

What is that thing on the first row? What did she create? Is she trying to sell that?
These are valid questions you may ask yourself when you see my "latest" creation!

(Troll Twins~ up to no good)

( One of our chickens asking herself the same questions...."What has she painted now?")

My ever- diplomatic husband saw me painting these "troll dolls" and said, "Hmmm, those aren't your 'usual'." Nope, they are very UN-usual, and even kind of creepy (so say my children).
But, I kind of like their squishy little faces! :) ....the Troll dolls, not my children's faces!

I really have no rhyme nor reason for these little creatures other than I was just playing around with my new Inktense watercolor pencils! These were fun to play with, and I tried to create a "vintage-y" lithograph style for their faces. I'm not sure how that "look" will translate to anything other than a creepy little Troll doll face, but I'm going to continue to play with them and find out!

Here is a link to the Troll dolls on my Etsy, they aren't really scary.....just think " a character in a Brother's Grimm fairytale"! See them here: Troll Twins

Thanks for stopping by.....and next on the list of blog posts: New watercolor paints (LOVE these, and can't wait to share, and a custom portrait in the works.

See you Wednesday~