Tag Archives: acrylic ink

Craggy Crow



Cragy Crow

Craggy Crow

Last week the weather was so nasty I stayed inside and made the most of being cooped up by painting, experimenting, and just plain having fun in my studio.  The rain was coming down so hard the yard and the patio were flooded, and you couldn’t see in front of your nose if you went out.


Being stuck in one place gives us opportunity.   To curl up and read, bake cookies, watch a movie, or Paint are just some of the possibilitiess     So paint I did.

I played with colors, sketched out possibilities, played with different papers, and much more.  In my mind, I try to  play like a 3-year-old.  Just like my grandson use to do when he’d play in my studio.  I think letting him play in my studio was the beginning of me letting go, and not taking myself so seriously.  I’d give him a huge pad of paper, and he picked his own brush, and watercolors.  (After all I could wipe them up when he was finished.)   He’d pick the longest brush he could find and make a huge puddle of blue watercolor, he loved blue.   After he went home, I’d find blue paint all over my studio, the kitchen, and into the garage.  How can you ever get mad at one of your grandchildren? He loved blue, and he loved the way it looked on everything.  He is now twelve going on thirteen, he still loves blue, but fortunately doesn’t find the need to splatter it all over the house.  He’s a great kid, and is very creative.

The crow, well  crows speaks to me.  I love them, and can’t find enough places to put them in my art.  This time I just thought I’d make a big crow,  wet him all down like a watercolor, and drip blue ink into him.  This is how you get craggy!  Of course, once he’s big as life on a sheet of paper, he needs something to complement him.  Journal style seemed to work for me on a cold, wet, rainy day.  This is my version on playing in my studio this winter.

Experimenting With Ink!



My plan is to do a whole lot of experimenting with all types of medium this year.
What about you?  Are you set on the same medium?  Maybe you are really successful, or maybe your stuck!   Either way I always think there is something to be learned by just about everything we see or read.

I get bored with the same thing all the time, some people don’t.  They love doing what has worked for them, I can relate to that, but my comfort with doing the samething still runs out after a while.  I’m ready to learn, or grow, sometimes even just stop and refill my reserves.


As far as I’m concerned, if I’m not pushing myself, I’m not growing and learning.   I love to learn and I always loved going to school and learning.  I’m always amazed at how diverse my community can be.  I’m facinated with people from different cultures;  how they love different colors, have different ways of living.   I have always loved people and their diversity.

The little painting above was created with  Acrylic Ink.  After painting three or four with watercolor, and experiencing the excitement of using watercolor, I decided to use something a bit different…like acrylic ink.  Ink works much like watercolor, and I love how it bleeds.  I make a real effort to incorporate each medium with other mediums like tissue, or stamps.  Who knows what will end up, as always?

Since this is Thursday, and that means it’s “Time out for Art!”  Check out Zebra Designs & Destinations and see what thay are doing in the New Year…

Happiness IS Art!






There are so many things that I love about art, the form of expression, the versatility, meeting of new friends, even the creative energy that is absorbed by going to a gallery.   It’s really difficult to narrow down what I like best.  I do know that if I don’t have time or energy to drag out all my paints, the easel, or  a canvas, I can always sketch.   That takes up very little energy, and maybe a little time, but it still gives me a feeling of accomplishment.



If I have even less energy than usual, I could always doodle.  It’s funny how doodling, or zentangling is so meditative, and calming.  They are good at distracting my mind from something that is bothering me, or if I’m having a good old anxiety attack.   Working on a tangle will cure that every time!

When I’m at a loss for something creative to work on, or blocked from my creative energy, I paint rocks.

Can you believe I don’t have one picture of a rock I’ve painted?  I either give them away, or place them out in the yard, and they weather.


Crazy?   Well there is that, but this goes even further than that.  Painting rocks is somewhat like a zentangle, or a doodle.  I get lost in it, and pretty soon I find myself thinking of larger projects, and before I know what’s happening……..I’m pulling out something larger, and working on a painting,  or a cigar box, or maybe even greeting cards.

My Studio should be three times the size for all my supplies…..


I have fountain pens, regular pens, watercolor pencils, acrylic inks, watercolors, charcoal, and pencils.  And that’s just the short list.   Brushes, well brushes are all over the place…short ones, long ones,  fat ones, and skinny ones.  Brushes for watercolor, and brushes for oil, or acrylic.   Do I have a favorite?  Yes I do, they are all my favorites.  And my grandchildren can pick the brush they would like most to paint with.  Usually it’s the longest brush in the bunch, blue is almost always the boys choice of color, while my granddaughter will use all colors.  Interesting isn’t it?

Canvases are neatly organized above my bookshelves filled with supplies.  There are canvases larger than myself, some smaller than I will ever work on, and some are in between.   I purchase smaller canvases at Aaron Bros for my grandkids to work on by the pack.  I want them to get the feel of the canvas, and of course they must have decent art supplies to work with.

I remember when I was learning to paint, and only had student grade paints.  It didn’t take me long to figure out how disappointing a piece of art work can be if the colors didn’t sing.  My grandchildren will never know that feeling.  They are all special, and when in my studio they will have special supplies to work with, and most likely go home with some of them also.


So now you know what happens in my studio.  What about yours?  Do you do the same thing, or do you limit the use of your supplies?  Write to me and let me know, I’d love to hear all about it!

Let’s Talk About That Sharp Left Turn Again!

Let’s Talk About That Sharp Left Turn Again!

In my post last Thursday, I spoke about how if a project isn’t flowing like I expected, I’d make a Sharp Left Turn, and keep going!     I don’t believe in mistakes, only opportunities to be more creative!     But every once in a while something happens and, the project makes me wonder if it’s worth the effort or the agony…

I’ve worked with these darn pods for over four days now, and after getting more of the green pods, I decided to soak them in water, an attempt to keep them soft! Good idea or not, here’s what happened…..

These “green” pods that caught my eye last week sat in water, and hardened.     Can you believe it?     Instead of getting pruny like I would if I were left in water for a day and a half, they called my bluff, and started to get tough and dried out feeling.     I have been working with them to see if in an attempt to prevent them from getting the better of me, I could do something with them.     I’m determined to win this game!     It just occurred to me I might just as well use green beans, even the tough, old beans are more flexible than the green pods.   I wonder what the green beans would look like dried, or if they would draw ants?     Would they resist being used in an art project, or would they rise to the occasion, and become elegant, royal looking green beans worthy of an art project such as this?

Finally my thought process was;   if I put the pods on a canvas, cover it with burlap, maybe it would give them the message that they were not going to escape being the object of an art weaving, and maybe it would help me see where I need go with this!     The other day, I purchased three colors of burlap thinking, “Organic.” I bought dark brown, light green, and a wheat colored neutral.     All beautiful, but I had thought the green would be perfect, and it turned out there wasn’t enough contrast!     Remember, “It’s the journey!”    I’m now leaning to the dark brown for contrast.     What do you think?

Originally, I thought of just weaving the pods all alone by themselves, but as I worked with them, I’m  realizeding they needed to be beaten into submission if I wanted to use them at all!     Next, I thought of using wool roving and dry felting them so they would stay in place, but after running the needles through my finger, I’m not so sure! Then maybe using other fabrics such as yarn, or gauze?     I’m going back and forth on this, all the time wondering if it’s worth the effort?    Again it occurred to me that, “It’s the journey!”     I’m thinking this only applies if the journey is going well!     You can see why I’m wondering if it’s worth it!

By nature I rarely let things get the better of me, whether it’s figuring out the use of electronics, creating art, or reading a book that isn’t holding my interest.     I usually finish what I start!     Problems simmer in the back of my mind until around three in the morning, when an idea or solution   awakens me, and  won’t allow me to return to sleep!     This hasn’t happened as yet with the pods, I’m trying to conquer them before they conquer me!

Have any of you worked with pods in this way?     I’m finding them not as easy as I thought originally, these are actually kind of a pain!     But I love pods, and  pick them up regularly! Read the rest of this entry

Inspiration Comes From Everywhere!

Inspiration Comes From Everywhere!

Good Morning Everyone!  We have another cool morning here in Oceanside, California, and I am loving it!  Inspiration comes more easily for us all when we aren’t surrounded with heavy, humid, hot air!

Yesterday I said I’d do a sketch with charcoal, but I admittedly didn’t do that.  I used Shades of Gray PITT pens.  They come in a Pac of six with three being cool gray, and three being a warm gray.  I love grays, and always have fun with them.  These pens are a great addition to our supplies.  Everything is a great addition to my art supplies!  My motto is, “You never have too many supplies!”   Oh, and  “You never know!”  (Mixed Media artist coming out!)

Each day I put out a challenge however, I’m only giving suggestions.  We are all inspired by different things, at different times, and the thing that triggers me, might not trigger you.  So by all means, do your own thing, don’t be limited by my ideas!  After all, I’m only  trying to keep going and get better at my craft!  Some of you are very precise in your renderings of a subject, some  ” wonky ”   like myself.  There isn’t any right or wrong .  Each of you has your own way and  that’s what makes us all so special!  If I can inspire you to do the same, it’s a double win for all of us!

The sketch I’m putting up for you today is one of a pod I found on a walk with my son Dennis, and grandson Nolan.  Dennis noticed me eying this pod, and on the second pass said to me, “Mom, pick it up, I know you want to!  You keep eying it!”  I didn’t want want my son to witness me grabbing yet another treasure off the ground, but he understands, being a musician, and gathering inspiration from nature, his surroundings, and experiences!

Inspiration is all around for artists, whether they are writers, painters, photographers, or musicians.  We inspire one another with ideas, our creative energy, places we visit, a walk, it’s all good, and it’s all valuable.

For Thursday, I’m going to look for a picture that inspires me to either paint, draw, collage, or in some other way use my creativity.  I invite you to post your pictures of intention on FaceBook or  talk  about them in the comments here on my blog.   I also need your input to give me inspiration to keep going!  Get your intention out there, that will hold your feet to the fire!    So,  look for something that inspires you to sketch, or paint for Friday!

Green With Envy!

Green With Envy!

There are many things in this world that are green, but I wanted to sketch and paint something not normally green.  It wasn’t cool for me to sketch the things I suggested, especially since I wanted to be a little more outside the box! My feeling is I missed the mark on this one, because the more I tried to think of something, the fewer ideas I came up with.  It was starting to feel more  like a chore, and less like the fun it’s supposed to be!

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Today my sketch was of our cat Kramer.  A rough sketch I must admit.  After I sketched him on paper , I used acrylic ink on him for his “Green with Envy” color!  Here’s what I have learned over the weeks since I’ve been sketching regularly.   I mix media, literally!   I’m always working with different kinds of materials.  Sometimes fabric, sometimes acrylic, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, and yes even metal!  The sky is the limit for me.  I always purchase mixed media journals, and finally I realized that’s not cutting it!  I really need to purchase watercolor journals, and here is why….

If I use anything wet, such as acrylic, or watercolor, even glue, the paper buckles and looses its integrity, sometimes even tearing.  I guess I’m rougher on my materials than I realized!  Watercolor paper is much hardier, and will take the beating I give it!  I just started a new “Mixed Media” journal  and it dawned on me,  there are a hundred pages, and I am not liking the paper.  Now, that in itself isn’t the problem.  I could give it away to one of the grandkids.

Prior to ever using a journal, I decorate the cover and make it look “artisie fartsie!” (This is a technical term I use often.)  So now I’ve spent time embellishing the cover just the way I wanted it, and I really don’t like the paper inside the journal….What to do?   I could coat each piece with medium before I sketch.   Does anyone have any suggestions, because I really don’t think I have an answer?

Do any of you decorate your visual journals, if so send me a picture, I’d love to see what the rest of you do.

Tomorrow I’m going to do a charcoal sketch, maybe even use watercolor crayons for shading instead of charcoal.  Join in on the fun, I’d love to see what inspires you.  remember to post on FaceBook, or email the pictures to me at Karensamenow@me.com