State of the Art, April 2022 – Spillin’ dat tea!

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  “Spillin’ dat tea!”

It’s really not, although I guess it could be. I’ve decided to try out tea staining my watercolor paper to see what effect it will have on my paintings. I first heard about this technique when I discovered the artist Tea Kitsune (Instagram | Twitter) but didn’t bother experimenting with it until now. Partially because I’ve been busy with “real life” and partly because I’m stuck with deciding where to go with my art. I mean, I love doing my layered paintings but want to push further somehow.

So tea staining isn’t exactly hard, per se, but it does take a bit of time to do.  You have to let the paper sit in the tea for a bit so the color soaks in.  The longer it soaks, the darker the color can be.  

Watercolor paper soaking in tea water

Watercolor paper soaking in tea water

Two pieces of watercolor paper soaking in tea water.

Two pieces of watercolor paper soaking in tea water.

As you can see, the trays I’m using are perfect for two pieces of 8.5in x 5.35in paper but just a tiny bit too small for a 9in x 12in piece.  Either way, letting all the water evaporate from the trays leaves some beautiful marks on the paper and I loved using my first two attempts with the smaller paper in paintings.

8.5in by 5.5in on tea stained watercolor paper

Contrails | 8.5in x 5.5in | Tea stained watercolor paper and white gel pen | 2022

Contrails | 8.5in x 5.5in | Tea stained watercolor paper and white gel pen | 2022

(This one let me try out my new white gel pen and it worked BEAUTIULLY!)

“Fox and Butterfly”
8.5in x 5.5in on tea stained watercolor paper

Fox and Butterfly | 8.5in x 5.5in | Tea stained watercolor paper | 2022

Fox and Butterfly | 8.5in x 5.5in | Tea stained watercolor paper | 2022

I hadn’t planned to do a little forest scene with a fox and a butterfly but there you go.  It was a nice change of pace for me to do, actually.  I so very rarely do non-abstracts that it’s a nice to do something different.

I’ve also been doing some beginning bookbinding, and completed my first book.  It was a wonderful learning experience and there are some steps I’d do differently now that I’ve finished, but overall it turned out great! I’m already starting on a second book, this time with parchment resume paper instead of gridded paper. Here’s the quick little video I did of my first completed book over on Instagram.

So that’s all I’ve been up to lately.  I’m having fun making my own faux leather from paper bags to use as eventual covers for the handmade books.  It’s enjoyable and somehow soothing to crumple and smooth and work the paper into it looks kinda-sorta vaguely like leather and then use it to create a book cover.  I just need to get my workspace organized a bit better so I don’t have things drying in odd places and I’ll be set!

Until next time, be creative!


State of the Art for January 2022

So I’ve finally gotten myself motivated enough to make some changes around the site, update and add missing photos of paintings from previous years, update the galleries to better show my art, and I’m making a blog post.  This is a momentous day!

I’m seriously not motivated enough to dig into editing CSS of free WordPress themes in order to edit them.  I used to do that far more.  Now I just look for themes what I like and I think will work for me.  The theme I’ve been using for a while – Vantage – worked but I wasn’t completely happy with it.  So I finally started looking at the built-in customization options that the theme has and found that I can change things up to much better match what I’m looking for.  Along with actually digging into the options for FooGallery to show photos, and I’ve made a lot of changes to the galleries and to the front page.  I’m very much happier with the overall look of the site.

I changed the galleries from Illustration/Abstracts/Digital Works to 2019 and Older works/2020-2021 works/Current works instead.  At one time I thought it made sense but the pieces I had in Illustrations were all very old, nothing recent which reflects that I’m focusing more on abstracts now so it makes sense to remove that as gallery.  I didn’t want to have too many links so kept it at three for now.  I may add a gallery for the past postcard swaps/ATC swaps/TAE charity specific pieces I’ve done, if only to call those out.

I still keep telling myself I’ll update a Writings page to link to the various stories and fanfics I’ve written in the past.  Maybe if I do that, I’ll get my writing motivation back and finish some of the outstanding stories I have going.

Oh, and I should probably figure out some way to list paintings for sale if I actually want to do that.  I certainly wouldn’t mind letting my art get out there into the world.

Also – I have my first painting of 2022 completed!

Watercolor on paper
7″ x 10″

Connections | Watercolor on paper | 7" x 10" | 2022

Connections | Watercolor on paper | 7″ x 10″ | 2022

Catching Up – 2018 Art

So as I mentioned last month, I’m trying to catch-up with posting my art from the past two years here on the site instead of just on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter.  Today I’ll do 2018.

Looking at the total output of paintings I finished, it wasn’t a very productive year overall, BUT I did create art.  I wasn’t totally shut down and sucked into online gaming (which I started back up in December 2017 as stress relief) but neither was I doing art every day either.  I still haven’t arrived as a happy balance and there are days I want to create but get lazy and log on instead.  I’ll figure it out eventually.

Warning!! Image heavy post! Continue reading

Wow. Such empty. So missing.

That about explains my lack of anything here on the site.  Looking at when I stopped posting, I can tag it to right about when I started playing Final Fantasy XIV, shortly after my husband had surgery in December 2017.  And I fully realize and acknowledge that online gaming tends to suck my creativity in ways I can’t explain.  However, I’d resisted playing this game for quite a long time, so I’ve managed it a bit better than previous times I’ve gamed.  I have made art (some of it quite lovely, matter of fact!) and I’ve posted said art online… just not here on my own website.  Which makes no sense and yet it does.

Taking a photo of a piece of art with my phone and just popping it online via Instagram or Twitter is just so simple and easy.  Snap pic, open app, post online, profit!  To update the website take effort, something that I was lazy about.  I always had the idea that this site should be the “good” one, where the more professional looking images are posted and not the crappy lit ones taken at my desk.  I’d edit them properly and save with appropriate file names and and and… that all got lost.  And the more it got lost, the more I felt guilty about not keeping up with the site and letting it languish.

I finally sat down and finished updating the images in all the blog posts to be larger and from the same media library.  I still need to work on getting all my actual galleries to be in the same media library but that’s not as vital as the rest.  And because my art output lagged in the past two-ish years, I don’t have a huge amount of art photos to add here.  That’s a good thing.    I also have some stories/articles I want to write and post, stuff that doesn’t work on Twitter and certainly wouldn’t go on a Facebook page.  I always had aspirations to make this a “professional portfolio” site but I’ve come to realize that’s not me.  I’m more than just my art images.  I’m a gamer who plays probably way too much.  A writer who needs to take the stories I write in my head as I’m falling asleep and write them down. I’m someone who can babble on about a topic when I’m invested in it.  And keeping all those items spread out across the internet in separate places doesn’t make sense.  

So, I’m going to try to keep here updated more often and instead of putting content elsewhere, I’ll put it here and link it elsewhere. That will hopefully make me pay attention to this website I’ve had for so many, many years now.

State of the Art – 9/9/2018

So I thought it might be a good idea to revive these semi-regular art updates to let folks know what’s going on (and to make it seem the site isn’t inactive). I’ve slowly been going back through all my posts to update the image links in them. It’s frankly a huge pain to do but it also allows me to make sure the images are all correct (a few have been broken) and that the images are stored in Word Press’s media library instead of via a gallery plug-in. There’s nothing actually wrong with the gallery I had been using but I also don’t want to be reliant on a plug-in which needs to be updated anytime WP changes. I do still use a gallery plug-in, but it builds its albums from the WP media library, so the locations of the files themselves don’t ever change. If I want to change an album (or even delete it entirely) that doesn’t affect the image files at all, whereas with the other plug-in, changing the albums and galleries affected all the images in there, hence some posts had broken image links. I don’t want that, so I’m taking the time to change it all.

Other than that, I’m still creating art. I post works-in-progress (WIPs), completed pieces, and random photos of my doggo Jasper over on Instagram if anyone feels like following there. My own website tends to lag behind in updates because I’d rather post my scanned photos of art here and that takes more time than sharing a photo from my phone. I promise I’ll get caught up sooner or later, but my preference is sooner.

Image Gallery testing in progress

I’ve been somewhat dissatisfied with my image gallery plug-in for a while now, but haven’t gotten motivated enough to do anything about it until now.  I’m testing something new and want to see how it looks.  The upside is if I like this, it’ll look much nicer on the site.  The downside is having to completely re-upload and redo all the images on my site. 

Oh, and as anyone can tell by the dates on the blog posts, I’ve been a lazy slob about updating.  I’ve been much, much, MUCH better about updating my Facebook art page and Instagram, which needs to change.


UPDATE Tuesday – I think I’ve found the setting I want to use.  The gallery adjusts based on the images, so it’s not all same sized boxy pictures.  It has captions and a lightbox setting.  So far I’m loving it.  Yes, it will be a hassle to redo all my galleries, but I’ll take the opportunity to clean them up as I go along, which should be a good thing.  Below is the starting point for the “Abstracts” gallery. 


State of the Art (2017) #1

Continuing with my cleaning and organizing theme, I finally took the time over this weekend to put some items sitting out in my office/studio away in the closet and slightly straighten up my drawing table.  The room feels much bigger now, even though it wasn’t as if I were cramped for space or anything.  It’s a psychological thing, I guess.  In the process of cleaning up, I went through the things in a plastic storage bag that was still struggling to survive the twenty years plus since I got out of college. 

The bad? Here’s what remained of a triangle that didn’t make it and instead crumbled into a lot of dust and little pieces.

20 year old debris

The good? I finally FINALLY found my French curves!  Yay!  I knew they were around here somewhere, and I thought I’d checked this bag in the past, but apparently I didn’t check well enough.

French Curves

I’ve been getting close to just buying a new set, but all the ones I saw at office supply stores were small and as you can see, these are nice and big.  It’s giving me ideas and I can use them for the first of my Art for the Paws canvas.

Here’s to a creative and fun 2017!  It’s off to a good start!

2016 in Review

It’s New Year’s Eve and looking back, this year has been one of my most inactive for art in a long time now.  I was frequently distracted, uninspired, lacking motivation, and just plain didn’t feel like doing anything, including creating art.  I managed to write a long, multi-chapter fanfic (which I need to post here) but other than that… close to zilch.  Thinking about it, I still feel the need to create art, but I tend to procrastinate far more than I should.  Or if I do complete something, I’ll post it to Instagram or Facebook and call it a day, completely forgetting to update this site or deviantArt. 

So this is my goal for 2017 – be more open about myself as an artist.  Be more organized about posting my art – whether that be WIPs on Instagram or finished pieces on dA or just sharing other pieces of #artilove – I need to make a concerted effort to just do it.  If I ever want to do more with my art, then it’s not going to just fall into my lap.  I need to be pushy.  I need to put myself out there.  I need to get more visible and seen, somehow.  I need to dedicate periods of time to the art and not just lazing in the chair reading or playing my mobile games.  So that’s what I’m going to resolve to do. 

And right now, I’m going to go through my stack of paintings (there’s a bit of an advantage to working on paper) and make sure I have everything photographed and catalogued.  That’s going to be a challenge, for sure!


Happy New Year!  Welcome 2017!


Peace Offering

I have been incredibly lax about updating the site and posting any images here.  I have the remainder of the January 30-in-30 that I did plus a few other pieces that I’ve managed to do in the past six months as well, but the truth is – I’ve been incredibly lazy in general.  Just haven’t put a priority on making art, which isn’t good.  I feel better when I’m creating at least something.  But near the end of July, I got my creative vibe back and have two new pieces to offer.  I’ll be going back and figuring out what is missing from the galleries here and updating those as well.

“The Gates of Tomorrow”
Watercolor and white ink on paper, 8 x 11
Prints are available through my deviantArt account, if interested.

The Gates of Tomorrow

The Gates of Tomorrow | Watercolor and white ink on paper | 8″ x 12″ | 2016


“Untitled (Blue Layers)”
Watercolor on paper, 5 x 7

Blue Layers

Blue Layers | Watercolor on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2016