Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Watercolor and Ink

High up in the Cimarron
"In the high-up world of the Cimarron
I wander to a place I've known
Sheltered there by giant peaks
I hike the trail along the creek
And do a little day dream chasin'
"Til I finally reach the West Fork Basin
The stream surfaces beneath a boulder,
And no water was ever colder.
Fed by rain and winter snow
It begins right here as a narrow flow.
Low banks grow thick with luscious grass
And wildflowers bloom en masse.
Lying on the grassy bench above the stream
Is like being part of a peaceful dream;
Watching the weasels at their play,
And eagles soaring up and away,
I could remain has the clouds float by
'Til the moon turns green and theses rocks learn to fly"  bj

Chimney Rock
The two paintings above are small sketches in watercolor and ink, each one is 8x8, matted to 12x12

Landscape Quilt
This is  my first attempt at a landscape quilt using my own pattern.  It is quite an involved process of layers, contours and colors.  The small painting at the bottom was my reference.  It is a painting I did many years ago called "Patagonia Grasslands"  and depicts Mount Wrightson in southern AZ from the Patagonia side.  The hanging quilt measures approximately 16x22"

Spring Quakie Study
I entered this small 8x8 painting in the Alpine Artists Holiday Art Show this summer, along with 2 other works.  This one sold!

Monday, June 25, 2018


"Hayden Mountain"  
 A friend of mine was recently traveling in Norway and Sweden.  Amazingly she was painting En Plein Air almost every day and sending images back of her art.  It inspired me to dig out my paints, and so this was what I accomplished thanks to Sheelagh.  This piece is matted to 16 x 20.

Dutch Garden quilt
This is a 50x50 quilt that I made for my niece, Kelly, and her husband John
I loved the color combinations and all the flower patterns

"Looking NE from Full Moon Trail"
I recently watched an online class on ink and watercolor sketching.  I remembered that I used to do that years ago and so found a couple of pens and tried a small 8x8 sketch from a photo I took last fall.  It was so fun to do that I ordered a whole set of pens.  I am looking forward to doing more of these.  This one is matted to 12x12"

"Zion East"
I have struggled to paint the canyons of Zion for years, but I so enjoyed doing this watercolor and ink sketch of one of the canyons on the east side of Zion.  There are so many of these intriguing slots and not many people explore them.  This sketch is also 8x8, matted to 12x12.

Monday, January 1, 2018

T-Shirt Quilts

T-Shirt Quilt
Back before Caleb and Kelli were married, I made a quilt for Caleb for his birthday.  Kelli asked me if I had ever made a T-shirt quilt.  I did not know what was involved in making one, since I had never tried.  Kelli had been saving old T-shirts for many years and hoped to preserve them somehow.  A year or two later, I found a class on the Craftsy website for making T-shirt quilts, so I purchased and downloaded the class.  The next time Kelli was here, I told her to bring her collection of T-shirts and I would try to put them together for her.   Her collection turned out to be a huge container full of shirts
representing many facets and times of her life.

Each T-shirt was cut to save the logo or appropriate design, then each piece had to be stabilized with a light weight iron on interfacing.  Here some of the pieces are set into a design to indicate a placement that would work as a quilt.  The directions for the "class" warned against making the quilt too big, and suggested that 20 or 30 was the max number of squares.  I pushed that number a little here, but ended up with 27 squares in the finished quilt. 

To make each row, choose the layout then cut the borders to suit the size of the block.  This is challenging, everything needs to be cut to a specific size for the math to match.  There was a size chart included in the download.

I made 5 separate rows, then sewed them together.  I wanted to machine quilt the whole thing on my machine, so figuring that out was another challenge because the class stopped at the quilt top and did not have any information on putting the whole thing together and quilting it.  I ended up stitching around each logo so it would "puff" up a little, then coming up with a design for the borders of each square.  The blue border that goes all the way around the quilt was quilted with a different design

Completed T-shirt quilt

There were so many T-shirts, I ended up making two quilts.  They are challenging but really fun to make.  Kelli received these quilts for Christmas.  She was thrilled, which made me very happy.

When we got back from our fall travels, I felt like I needed to try painting again.  To warm up, I found a demo in the watercolor magazine for showing distance.  My rendition is above.  It is not great, but it got me ready to try something else.

I have always found it difficult to capture the red rock cliffs of Zion, tho I have had some success in the past, I have thrown away more than I have kept.  Roland Lee is a watercolorist from St. George, Utah.  He is well known for his paintings of Zion.  On his web site, he has several demos, they do not show all the details, but they are a snapshot into how he creates his renditions of this amazing landscape.  One of these demos is from the Taylor Creek trail in the Kolob Canyons area of Zion.  We have done that hike a number of times and I had some photos from it.  So after watching his demo, I tried my own version.  Again, it is not great, but it helped me capture the essence of the sandstone formations.  These two watercolor studies are small, 8x8.