mARTa's ATC's

Sunday, April 29, 2007 at 7:25 PM
I set up a blog where I'll post my artist trading cards: mARTa's ATC's. Go take a look! These, as my friend Dianne says "are so much fun to do!"

Little Artists

Saturday, April 28, 2007 at 9:11 PM

at 8:35 PM

You know what kind of day it's going to be when it's 7am and already in the 80's. Then you get lost getting to the location you are supposed to meet your group at. Once you've gotten to the "assigned" home where you are going to paint 'plein air' and pick the perfect spot, supplies at the ready and discover in all your perfect planning you've forgotten your paint!!!!!
Dianne and I only met last December and are fast becoming good friends. Today I think the friendship was solidified.......the lady 'shared' her watercolors with me. She threw me a life preserver and saved my butt today. Thank you again dear friend.
This home wasn't anything spectacular. The owner wasn't the friendliest sort, but hey, what the heck, we were there to paint. She seemed irritated that we didn't have art work to sell, that we weren't real artist maybe? At one point during a very hot day we overheard her tell a group of people touring her gardens and home, "and over there are little artist painting." That's about the time we should have picked up our little wc blocks, paints and taken our little selves home. Dianne and I exchanged looks and that was it...the women was a my book. So I turned my chair around and painted the view across the road of a vineyard with the purple mountains in the background. I didn't feel like sketching any more of her home/garden.
I don't know if today was a success or failure. I only posted the better of the 3 paintings from today. But after the day was done the group of 10 of us went out for a wonderful Italian dinner and did a show and tell. Some of the artist did such beautiful work. I aspire to paint as well someday.
As a side note. Thank you all who come to visit and leave comments. I appreciate that you take the time to look and comment. I've got the time off for the next 12 days so hope to catch up with all your great blogs and see what you are all up to!

101 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius)

Friday, April 27, 2007 at 10:46 PM

This was our first day to turn on the ceiling fans, open windows and test the ac. I some how was enticed to go into work today (my 3rd day in a row) and take Monday off. I was let off early and was driving home around 4p when I noticed the outside temperature at 101 degrees. This is when I wish I lived in Alaska.
I worked some more on the tomato painting (will post later) and found a few minutes at work to sketch this cheetah from San Diego Zoo News magazine. It's sketched with a no.2 pencil on doctor's progress note pink lined paper :) My young patient and friend, Steven now owns a signed copy.
I've spent the evening gathering my art supplies for tomorrow. Dianne and I are participating with our Plein Air Group painting at private homes on a garden tour. I'm a bit nervous as I rarely paint in public but feel a bit more secure since I'll be with my friend. Will post success' and disasters on Sunday!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 7:24 PM

Dianne had a brilliant idea!!! We recently discovered ATC's and she's been having fun creating little masterpieces to trade with other artists. I love to travel and so this just sounds like so much fun! She's come up with Travel Artist Trading Cards for us to do together. Let's see what I can come up with to share with her! How fortunate I find myself to be called her friend. She has been an inspiration as have all the other wonderful artists who continue to praise and encourage.

Trois Tomates

at 6:59 PM

Two of my favorite online artists: Casey and Ronelle (who live near each other in France) get together to paint weekly. Last week they gave themselves and others a weekly challenge to do a painting larger than a small sketch. I got excited to join them but unfortunately work got in the way and I wasn't able to get my fruit painting done by Monday's deadline. Here I am a day late and not really excited about this 10x14 watercolor on 140#arches cold press block. oh yeah, tomatoes are a fruit and my favorite!

One More Try

Saturday, April 21, 2007 at 7:32 PM
Well here is the second rendition. I think this one works better for the toy series. I'll wait before cropping the first painting. Who knows, I may have two good paintings or two duds. For now, they are fun to do and I'm having fun with the colors!
Friday, April 20, 2007 at 3:23 PM
I am not happy with this El Balero y El Trompo painting and already have it sketched out to do over again. I think the composition is bad and I have so much empty space around the toys. They seem to float. I don't think I did a good job on the reflections on the balero either. The top looks alright to me. I do like the colors I used. I was hoping to give the impression that they were left outdoors against a reddish color stucco wall. I also used gold metallic watercolor paint in the balero as the one I was working from is decorated with gold stripes. This painting might work if I just crop it but before I go cutting up a painting I'm going to re-do it once more and see what happens.

The Art Store on a Rainy Day

at 3:05 PM
Today Dianne and I drove out to Orange County for a quick trip to Sterling Art in Irvine, California. She wondered if we would have time to do the place justice since it was her first trip there. I told her, "oh sure, we can browse for about an hour or so." Gosh, where did the time go???? We quickly paid for our purchases and found ourselves rushing back in the pouring rain because she had a class to teach in the afternoon. I got off cheap for once and spent about $45.00 on 3 art boards (16x20) in cream, dark taupe and deep sienna on which to place art work to see how mat color influences the painting, some water brushes where you fill the handle with water to paint, some tacky stuff to put sketches up in the studio since the thumbtacks hurt my thumbs and we came across graphite sticks in 2b, 6b and 9b and the holder. Can't wait to try all of these out!!!

Life Drawing at Riverside Art Museum

Thursday, April 19, 2007 at 10:39 PM

Spent the evening at Riverside Art Museum for the monthly Life Drawing Session. The place was packed and we were promised a larger work space next month. I asked if they would do weekly sessions and I was told if they continue to have such a large turnout they will. I had a great evening. These are all done on large sheets of inexpensive watercolor paper. I didn't like how it handled the pigments and may use better quality paper next time.
at 10:37 PM

Can I be an artist and be thin too?

at 2:13 PM

I'm not one for flowers. I love them...smell them, display them in vases, have some in the yard...but paint them? In case you can't tell what these are, they are a little bunch of sweetpeas I picked during yesterday's morning walk. Yes, I picked them from someones side yard, hoping it was early enough that I didn't get caught. I just love the smell of sweetpeas! Comments please, which of the two appeals more to you, if they appeals at all?
Ok, here's the thing. When I find myself immersed in my art I begin to gain weight. It creeps up on me like a slow growing vine. Not too noticeable at first but by the time my clothes are a bit too snug I am see it in the mirror as well. So, can an artist be in good shape and still be productive? I sure hope so! I began this week with morning walks and watching what I eat. Really watching, like counting fat and calories and drinking lots of water. I have gone down this road before so I know if I stick with it in a few months I'll be back to being comfortable with myself. Maybe what I have to do is incorporate sketching into my get fit plan. Carry the sketchbook with me on walks, draw my food intake for the day, eat my pencil...well, maybe not.

El Balero y El Trompo

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 11:04 AM
I want to thank all of you for such kind words on my Los Baleros post. I think in that painting I poured my sadness into it and also the hope we all wish for; for ourselves and those we love. Our family is moving on and healing.

I have some exciting news about Los Baleros. A new art friend, Fernado at Sol Digital Studio in Ontario, Ca. has put up Los Baleros in his gallery for sale and/or giclée copies of the original. Everyday brings forth a new venture!

I bought some new Mexican toys during last week's trip into Los Angeles and Olvera Street. This pencil sketch is a preliminary study for hopefully another successful painting. My dusting and vacuuming will just have to wait!

Annie's Adventures With Nina mARTa

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 7:41 PM
Annie is my grandniece and on April 10, 2007 we went on a great adventure into Los Angeles on the train, subway and bus; her first on all three. Please go to "our" blog for a glimpse at our adventure: Annie's Adventures With Nina.

Los Baleros

Thursday, April 5, 2007 at 1:52 PM

Today is a day to relax and re-group. A family member died tragically on Tuesday evening leaving behind 3 young children and a loving husband. I spent the day yesterday with all my family huddled together, quiet and missing our family members who are gone now. My husband and I returned home and fell into each other's arms, both of us feeling the same emotions. How could we, would we, go on if we didn't have each other.
I did get an evening in with a nice group of artist who are starting a monthly gathering. I wasn't prepared to paint and really just spent the evening doodling with what I had in my bag. I played around with sumi ink, watercolor and pastel. I had fun despite the heaviness I was feeling.
So today I opted out of the studio watercolor class, canceled some dinner plans I was looking forward to and decided to just 'veg' for the day. But this addiction I have lately with water and paint won't let me go. So I blew off my value study, my sketches and precise drawings. Instead I grabbed some 300# wc paper, pastels and watercolors and just lost myself for the rest of the morning. I think I fed the addiction for today.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 9:15 PM

A Balero is a Mexican toy where the object of the game is to get the little ball on the string into the cup that sits atop a long handle. It is a brightly colored and varnished toy made from soft wood. I have NEVER been agile enough to get that little ball into the cup, yet some members of my family can do it quite easily.

This is a small 5x7 monochrome watercolor I plan to use as reference for a colored version. I have some values to work out and some decisions to make about the background as well.

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