Friday, October 15, 2010

Winnie Mars Art Works

If you go to Etsy and check out this shop: you will see artwork, jewelry, and etceteras by my very own Aunt Winkie!  Here are some of my favorite things from my aunt/artist:

A lovely hand-painted silk scarf -- see detail below.

Detail of above scarf.  One of a kind, unique wearable art.

Lovely hand-painted silk pillow.
A sweet little collage.

Another sweet collage.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pastel Portrait

Here's a pastel portrait I did quite a while back:

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Visit Busch Gardens

Went to Busch Gardens Wednesday; here are some pics below.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan recipe

Here is one of my favorite recipes.  I discovered it years ago in a Reader's Digest cookbook at the library.  It is healthy, easy, AND tasty:

EGGPLANT PARMESAN                  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1 medium eggplant, peeled & sliced crosswise into about 1/2" thick slices
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 small can of mushrooms
1/2 cup of cracker crumbs (use about 10 crackers)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (2 oz)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
olive oil to drizzle

1.   Grease a couple of baking dishes.
2    Beat the egg, add the water, put into a bowl.
3.   Mix cracker crumbs & Parmesan & put into a bowl.
4.   Dip eggplant slice into egg, then into crumb/parmesan mixture.  Do all the slices.
5.   Single layer eggplant slices in baking dishes.  Drizzle olive oil on top.
6.   Bake 30 minutes.
7.   While baking, heat spaghetti sauce & boil spaghetti according to package directions.
8.   Remove from oven.  Spoon hot sauce over slices, top with mozzarella.  Bake additional 5 minutes or til cheese melts.
9.   Use rest of spaghetti sauce for spaghetti.
10.  Serve with a side salad.

This will really fill you up and it's really good too!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Downtown Tampa

I did not get to paint today.  I had to go to a big office building in downtown Tampa, and then to another big bastion of bureaucracy on 40th Street.  Took nearly all day.  Here are some photos I took of downtown:
                                             I liked the look of this old brick building.

                                               Isn't this a neat twisty old tree?

The tall pinky skyscraper is where I thought I was supposed to go, but actually I needed to go to a big building 3 blocks behind it.  I walked.  No way was I going to unpark and try to find another parking space on all those one-way streets!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Here is my latest anatomy sketch, taken from Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger.  I love this book.  I am working my way through it, and have gotten up to the patella.

Have you ever read Oliver Wendell Holmes' Anatomist's Hymn?   I read it many years ago, and thought of it tonight in connection with my anatomy studies.  Couldn't find it at first on the internet, then it turned up under the title "The Living Temple":

The Living Temple
By Oliver Wendell Holmes

NOT in the world of light alone, 
Where God has built his blazing throne, 
Nor yet alone in earth below, 
With belted seas that come and go, 
And endless isles of sunlit green, 
Is all thy Maker's glory seen: 
Look in upon thy wondrous frame,--
Eternal wisdom still the same!
The smooth, soft air with pulse-like waves 
Flows murmuring through its hidden caves, 
Whose streams of brightening purple rush, 
Fired with a new and livelier blush, 
While all their burden of decay
The ebbing current steals away, 
And red with Nature's flame they start 
From the warm fountains of the heart.
No rest that throbbing slave may ask, 
Forever quivering o'er his task, 
While far and wide a crimson jet 
Leaps forth to fill the woven net
Which in unnumbered crossing tides 
The flood of burning life divides, 
Then, kindling each decaying part, 
Creeps back to find the throbbing heart.
But warmed with that unchanging flame 
Behold the outward moving frame, 
Its living marbles jointed strong 
With glistening band and silvery thong, 
And linked to reason's guiding reins 
By myriad rings in trembling chains, 
Each graven with the threaded zone 
Which claims it as the master's own.
See how yon beam of seeming white 
Is braided out of seven-hued light, 
Yet in those lucid globes no ray 
By any chance shall break astray. 
Hark how the rolling surge of sound, 
Arches and spirals circling round, 
Wakes the hushed spirit through thine ear
With music it is heaven to hear.
Then mark the cloven sphere that holds
All thought in its mysterious folds;
That feels sensation's faintest thrill, 
And flashes forth the sovereign will; 
Think on the stormy world that dwells 
Locked in its dim and clustering cells!
The lightning gleams of power it sheds 
Along its hollow glassy threads!
O Father! grant thy love divine 
To make these mystic temples thine!
When wasting age and wearying strife 
Have sapped the leaning walls of life, 
When darkness gathers over all, 
And the last tottering pillars fall, 
Take the poor dust thy mercy warms, 
And mould it into heavenly forms!

Editor's note:
[The Professor, who is credited with this verse, was supposed to call it The Anatomist's Hymn.]

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blub, Blub, Blub

Here is a goldfish painting, watercolor with pastel on paper.

Title:  Going Up, Going Down

Norman wanted to know what are the speckles at the bottom of the page?  The gravel at the bottom of the fish tank of course! :)
Here is my 1-minute fishy video:   Goldfish Galore!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dipping into OIls

Making color charts with oils; getting used to my palette, making brush strokes.  I am using the limited palette recommended by Kevin Macpherson in his book Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light & Color:  alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow light, ultramarine blue, and white.  Here are my color charts:  the first one is the pure spectrum hues across the top, with tints of each hue below it in its column (as you can see, I accidentally transposed Yellow-Orange and Red-Orange).

The second chart, below, is a mish-mosh of grays.  I grayed down each color by adding its complement. It was hard to keep it in any sort of order with only 3 hues, so I just practiced adding different amounts of each primary to a puddle of "mud" (all 3 colors mixed together) to push the gray toward a certain hue.  

I found an article on the web that is very helpful:  It is called Bill Martin's Guide to Oil Painting and it is both concise and comprehensive.  He assumes you're a newbie and he tells you the nitty gritty.  I would have wasted a lot of paint already without his tip about tin foil packets.

I like the feel of oils:  they are so creamy and go on the canvas like butter.  I have discovered that you use a LOT of white --- which is good, since white is less expensive than the colors.   I have also discovered that it takes longer to get ready to paint, and a LOT longer to clean up than watercolors.  I have pretty well got my system organized now though.  

Monday, August 2, 2010

Homemade Pochade Easel

Here is the "pochade" easel I made for doing small paintings.   I found a mini-display easel at Michaels for around $10 (made by Artist's Loft) which is pretty neat, as it will adjust back and forth & up and down just like a large easel.
 I already had an old tripod which I bought years ago at Goodwill for $6 or $7 --- I never was able to use it much because the screw attachment didn't fit my camera ...  I took the screw out, leaving simply a hole in the plate.
I cut a small squarish piece of wood & drilled a hole in the center, then got a bolt & wing nut so it could attach to the tripod through the hole in the plate.

Then I just screwed the mini-display easel to the block of wood (after pre-drilling) and voila!  a pochade easel that will hold 6X8, 8X10, and 9X12 (horizontal) canvases!
It's not as nice as one of the ones you can buy --- but for what I paid for it, it works great!

I also made an easy brush holder simply by cutting notches in a shoebox lid.