Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Starting Again

It has been some time since I really felt like drawing.
Zentangle is supposed to be relaxing, soothing,
healing, but it just hasn't worked for me in awhile.
Last night I watched The Voice (cheering on Aliyah Moulden and Chris Bruce!), then I started catching up on missed episodes of Marvel: Agents of Shield (poor Fitz!) and this happened. 
It just came together.
Didn't really have to think about it.
And it's the first time I've used ropuz in a drawing.
It's that crazy ropey looking one that goes
up and down. 
It kind of feels like old times. 
And I'm so thankful. 
(And not a single Printemps anywhere.)

The Creator's Leaf

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Playing With Resist and Watercolors

Zentangle All Around recently had a prompt to
think outside the box.
Try something you've not done before.
A product, a technique, anything that
breaks the block we artists all feel at one time
or another.
Christine called the prompt:
Break the Block!
 Months ago I bought a Prima product called
Watercolor Resist Pen.
A bottle of liquid that allows you to mask off an area
so you can have contrast when you watercolor.
It has a needle tip on it and you just squeeze.
I used a piece of mixed media paper and
made scrolls and loops using the resist pen.
Then I put it somewhere safe from Aurora
to dry overnight. 
 The next day, I used a small watercolor set
also from Prima and watercolored my paper.
I slopped on a lot of water to start with -
then added the color. 
It was cool to watch how the color moved to the 
borders of the resist and sat there.
I was curious about the amount of water I added.
I really thought it would seep under the edges
of the resist lines.
 Here is what it looked like dry.
I did not use a heat gun to dry this.
I wasn't sure how the resist would react 
with the heat, so I just stuck it back in 
the safe spot and waited.

I really love how the colors mixed with each
other. Notice - when the color bumped up
to the resist lines, as it dried the resist pushed 
the color back in on itself. And made those
cool little wiggly edges all around.
I love it!
 Yesterday, I started peeling off the resist.
It pulled up in a little rubbery strip,
kind of like rubber cement did when
we were kids. 
Notice that the color did not seep under
the resist like I thought it might.
It left a good crisp, clear line.
And the white line left behind looks exactly like
the resist line did. 
All the little blobs and blunders I made -
not thinking ahead of time where I wanted
to go -
all still show up.
But that's ok. I like it!
Next, I will take this sheet and start
tangling it up!

Resist and frisket are the same things.
And I truly believe rubber cement
would do the same thing. Just remember
with it - the fumes are killer for headaches.
We don't even have any in our house just
for that very reason.

Just have fun and play some today.

The Creator's Leaf

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Finally! An Animal!

After a long winter and snow that stayed
on the ground forever -
we finally had an animal show up in 
the back yard today!
 I love that the raccoons in Maine are brown.
The Florida raccoons are gray.
These are much prettier and warmer looking.
(I still don't want to get close to one, though.)
 I was starting to worry that the animals
wouldn't find Mark's corn feeder again.
And I really enjoy watching through the
studio window to see who will show up!
 Patience has paid off.
Another life lesson right there!
Hahaha! For sure!
 He pretty much found a good spot with corn
on the ground and stayed there.
Didn't move around much at all.
And he ate. And ate. And ate.
Then, when we was full he slowly ambled
off into the woods.
To hopefully tell his friends that the
Hendon Buffet
is once again open!

The Creator's Leaf

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Stinking Benjamins

You did read that title correctly.
We have a bunch of these little plants
blooming in our yard.
Our neighbor Mike came over today to
help Mark move some of the dragons back
out into the yard. Mike spotted these flowers
and told us they are called Stinking Benjamins.

Apparently they smell really bad.
Like rotting meat bad.
I did a little google research -
cause we know it's right if we see it online -
but truly they are called Stinking Benjamins.
They are a type of trillium that grows in
wooded areas around us. 
The flower sits about 4" above ground
and blooms for 2-3 weeks.
The foul smell attracts flies that act as
Identifiers of the flower -
three petals that curve backwards
and three leaves that are diamond-shaped.
And they are growing around the edge of the
dragon den.
Speaking of dragons -
it was time to move the dragon bench
back into the hollow where my dragons live.
These two dragons are the end posts for
a dragon bench.
They are carved out of pine tree stumps -
with a chain saw made for that purpose.
They are pretty awesome!
Learning new stuff in Maine every day!

The Creator's Leaf

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Letter Art

In my Facebook group -
Zentangle All Around - 
we are working on letter art this week. 
I set up a Pinterest board showing different
types of lettering - some fun, some serious, 
some decorative. Just examples - you can
see them here
I chose this page of letters to work with.
 I knew that I wanted to work in an arc,
so I set up two lines in pencil
and roughly divided the space into the
number of letters I was going to use.
 Next, I sketched out the letters in pencil -
knowing that I would eventually erase the lines.
 Once I was happy with the placement,
I outlined the letters with a sharpie fine liner.
I elongated the top legs of the letter K
and put a spear through the crossbar of the F.
 Happy with that, I erased my pencil lines
and began tangling some of the letters.
 For me, this was the difficult part.
Deciding what patterns to use in the letters.
Where I made mistakes, I just thickened the
lines. Yes, it is supposed to look like that.
Thank you :).
 I wanted the letters to look like they were floating
over the background, so I drew some
ribbon lines and began adding some airways -
that's the flower looking designs along
the outside.
I used Schmincke watercolors to add some color.

(And I just noticed that I forgot about the arc
and made those ribbon lines straight.
Oh well. The best laid plans of mice and men.
Or some such nonsense.)
Once I had all the color added that I wanted,
I added shading around each letter -
to give the letters that 'floaty' look! 
Super easy and it didn't take very long.
My final step will be to frame it and
mail it to a special little Frankie that I know.

What kind of letter art might you work on today?
Feel free to check out that Pinterest board
linked in pink
and see what ideas you might come up with.

The Creator's Leaf

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Birds Are Coming Back

Mark put new birdseed out about a month ago.
It's taken this long for the birds to find it.
(These first three photos were shot through
the kitchen window.)

 Actually there were about 8-10 blue jays flying
around the front yard. 
 I took a chance and stepped out onto the porch -
hoping they wouldn't all get scared and fly away.
 The jays put a little distance between 
them and me to start with.
 Thankful for my long lens.
When I bought it I had no idea we would be
moving to Maine where wildlife teems in
And you can see - the trees are all bursting
into bloom. Green everywhere.
 And apparently not all the bugs froze to death
over winter. Hahaha! At one time this spot of
ground was buried under about 3 feet of snow.
 Distorted when enlarged,
but you can see the bug more here.
 I guess these Maine insects go down smooth.
I love the crisp colors of the blue jays!
 Before I went outside,
the jays were hopping all around my dragons.
In this photo you can see two in the tree
branches above Maleficent and Prince Charming.
If you look closely,
you can see a total of four dragons here.
Pretty soon, there will be two more joining them.
When all the mud dries up.
The Creator's Leaf

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Urge to Fish is Strong

 This is the first sunny day in a long time!
Mark came into my studio and asked if I wanted
to ride and look at the lakes.
He is so bored sitting in the house and is itching
to get back out onto the water.
On the way to look at lakes, 
we ran into this girl just down the road 
from our house.
 She was patient and stood still for a long time.
Seriously, I have like ten photos of her being so still.
So Mark started talking to her and she moved a little.
 Not much. Hahaha!
I am guessing this is a new deer since
last hunting season.
She needs to learn quickly to run and hide
when people stop and stare.
 Just a little further down the road
we started seeing flowers along the road side.
Mind you, we still have snow in parts of our yard -
and flowers in other parts of our yard.
Go figure!
 In case you weren't following my blog last spring
and summer, Mark and I just moved to Maine
a year ago. One of my favorite things to look at
here are the wind turbines.
These are literally just down the road from our house.
By fall you will be tired of seeing them here.
Hahahaha! Sorry.
Pleasant Lake. On our road.
Up till the past day or two, this lake was covered 
in ice. It can melt so fast.
 This is one of Mark's fishing spots.
And it's beautiful!
 Different lake - Mattawamkeag Lake
in Island Falls, Maine. 
 From the boat ramp.
I noticed the little sparkles on the water.
Didn't catch them very well here . . .
 . . . but had better luck with this photo.
Such a beautiful day with the sun shimmering
on the water.
 This bit of driftwood reminded me of Florida.
And Newfoundland.
When we visited Newfoundland two years ago,
I found an awesome piece of driftwood but I
was afraid the airlines would make me throw it
away. So my friend Christy mailed it to me.
It is currently sitting in a window in my studio.
This pile in the photo was the size of a small dog.
So it is still at Mattawamkeag.
 Traveling to the next lake,
we drove through Smyrna where a community
of Amish reside. They have the best jams and jellies!
 I don't know if the buffalo belong to the Amish or not.
They are always good for a few pictures.
Just don't walk too close . . .
 . . . or they do this . . .
 . . . and this. Then they walk away.
In the opposite direction.
 This is Nickerson Lake.
Probably the lake Mark likes to fish the most.
Lots of fish to be caught here.
And - apparently - the occasional tree.

When we got home, Mark got his boat out of
the garage and it is sitting out front.
Ready to roll!

The Creator's Leaf