Friday, December 10, 2010

In my little studio...

I set up a little studio at work and I'm enjoying staying late or working in the slow moments of the day. If I had running water in that room, it would be the berries. Apparently I need lots and lots of paper towels!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Fear vs Curiosity

Have you all checked out Pinterest? You know as you surf the web, you come across all kinds of images you'd like to save? Pinterest lets you save them to pinboards that you create around a certain subject. I have one for "journal prompts" and one for "inspiring interiors"  and one for "things that make me smile" and several more. It's easy and the images you collect link right back to where you find them....very handy! This page was made from one of the journal prompts I saved. You can check out my pinboards by clicking on the Pinterest link in the sidebar.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wise Old Dr. Seuss...and what to do about sticky journal pages

It probably seems to you all as if I have been doing no artwork, but actually I have been doing some almost every day. I've been working in my art journal, but most of it is pretty personal, so I just keep it to myself. However....I've been experimenting and learning a ton!

I normally draw with india ink and paint with watercolors in my journal. Lately, in addition to those favorites, I've been using acrylic paints, paint pens, and acrylic medium to collage elements onto the page. It's been fun, but I found that later when I closed my book, all that acrylic sticks together....and peels off when you try to open the page...UGH!

Some journalers put a nonstick paper between the pages, but I like to do double page spreads, and it kind of ruins the experience of flipping through the book if I have to move a paper every time. 

I went searching for answers and found that you can seal the page with wax when you are done. I did not have the wax recommended, but they described it as "kind of like clear shoe polish" on the website I was reading. Sooooo....I used clear shoe polish and it worked great! It created a wonderful finish and the pages no longer stick together....but they smell terrible! So I broke down and ordered some Dorland's Wax Medium, which is what many journalers use to seal their pages and prevent sticking.

Dorland's Wax works great. You just apply with a soft cloth, wait for it to harden up a little, and then give it a good buffing. I actually prefer the way the finish from the clear shoe polish looks, but Dorland's is good and does not smell...and is supposed to be archival, so I'm sure it's probably the better choice. Unless of course you really love the scent of shoe polish.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rainbow Falls

A friend is going to the Big Island on her honeymoon. It was motivation to get out my Hawaii photos and do a drawing! I marked up a guide for them with stuff I thought was wonderful and made them a little book to stick their ticket stubs, menus, snapshots and such into.
I cut out some pages to leave room for the things they will stick inside.
I'd say I hope they have a good time...but, hey. They are young, in love, and going to Hawaii for their honeymoon...of course they are going to have a great time!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"It's yours, take it!" at ArtPrize

These little tags will be given away at a unique art show/booth at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI. At an "It's yours, take it!" (IYTI) show, art work is donated by artists around the world....and the public is invited to take a piece  home free. The IYTI booth will be set up as part of the huge ArtPrize event in Grand Rapids.

I hope to get up there to check out ArtPrize this year. It runs Sept. 22- October 10. More info here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

John's Modern Cabins...

Added John's Modern Cabins to the side of the car tonight. I'd love to see these cabins one day. They are in ruins...but imagine what they must have been like back in the day!
That empty field is the site of the Rainbow Bridge in be painted tomorrow hopefully!
If you're having trouble reading that little rhyme, just click on the image.
 Because I like Burma Shave slogans, you will see quite a few of them on the car.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Route 66 Travel Journals

 (as always, you can click on the image to see it larger)

As you can see, I'm kind of taken with all the neat signs along Route 66. Each journal has an orginal sketch on a 5x8 Moleskine cahier.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Show me....Missouri!

Did a little more on the car today...took care of Missouri and on Wednesday I'll finish up the "show me" state and move on into Kansas.

Here's the future site of a Burma Shave advertisement.

I'm liking the quotes and lyrics stamped on and will probably be adding those all along the road.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cozy Dog Drive In

I added a few more places in Illinois to the car tonight.
Here are the romantic little hot dogs from the Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois.
And the Maple Sirup Sign from Funk's Grove.
 And here is the Sky View Drive in sign from Litchfield.
I think we are now driving into Missouri!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gemini Giant-Wilmington, Illinois

Tonight I added the Gemini Giant from the Launching Pad in Wilmington, Illinois. For some reason I had a lot of trouble with this dude, but I think he is finally OK.
This poor car has been last on the list of things to do with my son's wedding, the shop and various other craziness in my life. There will be some serious action on it in the next month. I'd like to be all done with it by the end of July.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Dell Rhea Chicken Basket

Added the famous Dell Rhea Chicken Basket sign to the car. Tonight, instead of tracing an old drawing from my journal, I free handed this right on the much more fun! And it results in a wonkier drawing that I actually like better. I'm also diluting the acrylics down to look more like the watercolors I use in my journaling. Next up, the Gemini Giant!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Adding a little color...

to my car tonight. And some journaling. I've got a lot of hours to go on this baby. Lately I've been kind of swamped and haven't had a chance to work on it. Maybe in the next couple of days, I'll get a chance to hit it pretty hard and make a big dent in the work yet to do. I found some photos of great old signs that I want to make sketches of and work into the car. The signage along Route 66 was/is amazing.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

At the Opening of the Walldogs Museum of Murals and Signpainting

Visiting with tourists to Pontiac

Today, Pontiac opened a new museum showcasing the history and art of mural and sign painting. Many of the Walldogs who painted our town's murals last year came back for the opening.

Between the new museum, the Red Carpet Corridor Festival, the carnival, unveiling the "Crusin' the Square" cars, and regular Route 66 traffic, Pontiac was a hopping place today!

Catching up with friends, Sarah and Steve

Lots of folks stopped and watched my "car in progress." Many of the other cars were unveiled today, and I have them posted on my other blog if you'd like to take a peek. So fun to see what everyone came up with!

I did make a little progress on the car today, but I'm going to have to generate many more sketches of various places along Route 66! I wanted the car to have a bold look from a distance, but plenty to look at up close....I hope it's going to work out using both the detailed and the simple things together. We'll see.

I so wanted to make the headlights into eyes, because I think kids would get a kick out of it....but if I can't make him look happy instead of ticked off, those babys are going back to straight headlights! I've tried the eyes several different ways, and so far, no luck. I think part of the problem may also be that I've got the road going down between his eyes and it looks like a furrowed brow. Maybe I'll try changing that too. Any ideas?

Here's a little start on Chicago stuff at the beginning of the route.

The Livingston County courthouse in Pontiac. As you can see, I've had it easy with the first few sketches, because I lifted them right out of my sketchbooks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Moleskine Car?

My car is going be covered with paintings and line drawings, as if I used it as a giant travel journal on my imaginary trip west on Route 66. So when I was trying to decide on a color, I gravitated to the warm cream color of the pages in my Moleskine sketchbooks. It's a little more interesting than white, but still easy to paint other colors over. If you like to peek in the sketchbooks of different artists (I do!) there are lots to look through at their flickr group Moleskinerie.
Here's a look at the inside of the windshield.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Whenever I grout something, I wonder if I've ruined it with this huge mess...but never more than this time with black grout. Yikes! Looks like my car needs some mentos for his dirty mouth!

But when I clean the grout off it's kind of like looks so different! I especially like the rims on the tires. Time to get the paints back out and get busy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rolling along....

Slowly coming along....just doing big surfaces and still have a looong way to go, before I'm doing something interesting to watch for Red Carpet weekend.
I'm liking the windshield, though I might be a little high from the adhesive. Yikes!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Art Car....

Pontiac will be have a public art event called "Crusin' the Square" this summer. There will be cars and pick-up trucks created by local artists all around the square. They are just the right size for a photo op for the kids. You can come down May 1st and 2nd for the Red Carpet Corridor Festival and see everybody's cars. And you can watch me work on mine at the new Walldogs Museum on the square. I'm nervous about working in front of people, so be really, really nice to me :)

I'm just getting started, but hopefully by May I will have something a little more interesting for you to watch. Here I'm multi-tasking...painting and talking to my future daughter-in-law about the upcoming wedding.

My back is already appreciating this little cart Joe made to get the car off the ground a little!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

And in the spirit of getting off my duff and doing more artwork, here's a page from my sketchbook. I'm working from some of my vacation photos from Hawaii. The mark in the middle is a postmark that I got while I was on the trip. In the future, I'll be sure to tell them I want it over on the edge of the page.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Did you ever paint on rocks as a child? I did. My sisters and I had a fabulous time collecting rocks from the lake and painting them up. I think there are still a few of those rocks floating around the cottage and my parents' house. Last summer we painted rocks with my niece and nephews and the magic is still there.

I've been thinking about inspiration a lot lately. What did I like to do as a child? As a girl I was drawing on everything all the time...not just paper. I knew I'd be in trouble for drawing on say, the furniture, but I knew it was all right to draw on other my mom would open the fridge and see all the eggs had faces, or all the chalk in the junk drawer had little drawings on them, or you might find yourself in the bathroom using TP that had words doodled on the squares.

Painted Rocks by McCabe

Recently I ran across McCabe's wonderful blog, Dancing Mermaid. I had to smile when I saw that this woman is still painting on rocks and rockin' her whole world with inspiration.

These days I find myself drawing on paper more, but sometimes I get the chance to paint a mural on a wall, and of course there is plenty of old furniture in my life as an antique dealer and I sometimes take advantage of that. I'm also working on a piece for a local public art project (you'll see more of that soon). The main thing I'm realizing is that I just don't do enough drawing and painting.........lately it's mostly when I have a deadline that I get something done. And since I'm not making a living as an artist, I have very few deadlines! I used to paint when I was happy, when I was sad, when I was goofy, when I was serious, when I was madly in love, and when I was royally ticked off.

So I'm on a mission. More paint, more lines, more chalk, maybe even more eggs with faces.