Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Month of Recovery"

Many of you have been concerned about my family emergency. First of all, I am fine. My husband, however, is at home now, recovering from bypass surgery. This is a difficult recovery process which necessitates me being fully available to him. Consequently, I will not be posting the month of July, but fully intend to resume on August 1st. Thanks to those of you who have already expressed your concern and have given me encouragement through your cards, phone calls, and e-mails. I look forward to entering into this process again.....and it will be here sooner than we think. Until then, enjoy any time that you have to be creative and progress with your own process.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Due to a family emergency, my postings will be delayed for a few days.
Thank you so much for understanding.  -dd

This is a photograph of Dee Day taking photos of wildflowers on Monday.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Los Pasos"

This is a (12" x 12") exhibit piece. It is presently hanging in the Open Doors Gallery at my church. It is based on a scripture from Proverbs. The title and verse are included in Spanish and English which is something I like to do to create more texture and interest. I am also motivated by the fact that we have a significant number of people in our Spanish Ministry.

In this piece I have distressed the paper with deeply incised lines before applying a paste and acrylic in the first layer. You can see softly defined divisions of space with the steps being the only reference to realism. If you look at earlier postings you can see clearly that steps or stairs have become one of my contemporary icons. This one is my favorite thus far because of the placement of the stairs. My goal was to create an imaginary interior inviting the viewer to come up the stairs and into the white doorway where the main quote appears. The verse also appears in pencil and in Spanish at the very top of the piece. Every other design element is obvious. At this stage, I hope you can see some of the possibilities of abstract divisions of space. The most important part of this process is starting with blocking in the color on wet paper without brushing it to death. This is what will give you the soft, diffused lines. It is a deeply satisfying process and I strongly encourage you to give it a try.

(Any interest in this piece will need to be sent to me in an e-mail or in a comment on this blog.  All the pieces posted this week are exhibit pieces and are not listed on ebay.  The (6" x 6") postings will resume next Monday.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Extreme Focus"

All of this week, I will be posting exhibit pieces from the Open Doors Gallery at my church.
I am taking a week long painting trip. The regular (6" x 6") postings will resume one week
from today.

This particular piece is a 12" x 12". The horizontal bands of color represent a race track as competitors line up to win the prize as referenced in Philippians 3: 13, 14. One of the prerequisites to winning the race is to forget those things in the past and press on to what God has called us to do. It is a call to quit reflecting on past failures or past disappointments.

The surface of this watercolor paper was texturized with patching plaster before the painting began. The key word in this product is plaster and can be purchased at Home Depot. Writing in it with a stylus while it is wet enriches the surface. Allow it to dry over night, lightly sand, then paint. After the bands of color were painted with acrylic paint, it was lightly sanded to break up the surface. If you like texture it is a technique worth trying.

(None of the pieces this week will be listed on ebay. Any interest should be directed to me in an e-mail or comment on the blog. Also, I am having trouble with my e-mail at present and if you are on my daily link, you might not be receiving it this week. Just go directly to the blog.)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


This piece was (8" x 14") created for the Open Doors Gallery at my church. The image is a reminder to all fathers to relax today and enjoy the fruit of their labors.

Even though it looks like a traditional landscape, there is a fair amount of abstraction going on in the right half of the piece. If you covered up the left hand side, it would simply look like an abstract piece of art. It is the color that unites the two halves. This is one of the devices used to relate realism with abstraction. It is called fracturing the picture plane to break off into something totally different that still integrates well with the whole piece.

You can try this yourself by starting with a realistic image. Choose a portion of your design space to divide geometrically and create something totally different, but keeping it united to the whole with color. It's really quite exciting! Just something to think about.

This is not listed on ebay so any interest in this piece should be directed to me personally via e-mail or by commenting on the post.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Rio Grande" (unavailable)

( the permanent collection of dee day)

This quote is so appropriate since there are two rivers that form our western and northern boundary lines. Besides, I just like to say and write "Rio Grande". There is something about it that has a tremendous amount of grandeur and presence.

This piece was created with overlapping forms and a progression of built up texture. The first layer of color was applied wet into wet to form diffused and gradated edges of color with minimal texture such as the vertical gestural marks on the right. In the second layer, white gesso was added in upper left and lower right hand corners with expressive marks written in the gesso followed by additional color added to those areas only. The third layer was created with overlapping forms such as the stamped image of Rio and the pencil drawing of the state of Texas. Finally, the quote was added.

This posting was designed for my class in Houston. They will be creating a (6" x 6") tomorrow using geometric forms.

Please visit my ebay listing to bid on original art from Dee Day Art Journal Painting a Day.
Dee Day ebay

Friday, June 17, 2011

"La Vid Verdadera" (sold)


This (12" x 12") piece was created for a recent exhibit at my church. The pieces I create for this venue are generally passages from the Bible. This passage happens to be from John 15. "La Vid Verdadera" is Spanish for "The True Vine."

The cruciform format simply means that the design space is divided into four quadrants. I've made each quadrant unequal to add variety, drama, and movement. The green and orange combination is a split complement and has a power punch because the green is diluted, but the orange is intense and undiluted. Using a diluted color right beside a bright undiluted color creates a glowing effect. It's a wonderful way to "kick it up a notch". (Color can be diluted by adding white...some of the direct complement...or another neutral color.)

Notice, too, that every corner is different. Designing the corners helps to ground the piece and keep the viewer's eye focused within the piece.

Since this is not a (6" x 6"), this piece will not be posted on ebay. Any interest or questions should be directed to me via e-mail or leaving a comment.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Texas Fashion" (unavailable)

( the permanent collection of dee day)

There's nothing quite like the combination of burnt sienna and cowhide to inspire thoughts of Texas as well as the entire Southwest. With five cowhides on the floor in my own house, I have the privilege of being inspired everyday. And...I am very proud to be a Texan!

The wonderful texture in the first layer of this piece was created with paste (flour and water) plus acrylic paint. I did some brush lettering in the wet paste...sprayed lightly with water and hung to dry. That action created the white shape on the left.

When it is unclear to you how to divide your space...try looking at the first layer of your background and see what lines and shapes are already there. Basically, in this piece I created a mirror image of the white shape when I created the cowhide shape. Rather than placing the lettering in the middle, I chose existing edges and "sandwiched" it in to create another shape. That allowed the brush lettering texture in the middle to stand out and be seen. Try your own ways of creating texture and shapes. It's very exciting!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Collision" ($30.00)

(adjusted price......$30.00)

Collisions happen everyday and not all of them take place in vehicles. There is nothing quite like the collision that happens when actions collide with reality. It's excruciating! The good news is that it can all be avoided by giving ourselves a "reality check".

As you have probably noticed, I am enjoying playing around with intense colors in a neutral background. A geometric icon was the perfect vehicle to introduce the intense color. It becomes more integrated by bringing some of those colors over into the lettering. It is also good to have soft, diffused, and gradated areas to give the eye a rest. Burnt sienna and olive green are good neutral selections to contrast with cadmium orange and linden green (WN gouache). Neutrals go way beyond brown, black, and white. A neutral is any color with less intensity as a result of being "grayed down" with its complement or another neutral. Anyway, it's a wonderful experiment to try.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Colorful Details" ($30.00)

(adjusted price......$30.00)

How do you garnish your life with colorful details? You can do it in any number of ways, but I like the idea of saying good and encouraging things to yourself and others. It is so easy to harbor negative thoughts. Enrich your life today with brilliant and colorful details of positive thought patterns.

You can see what happens when intense color invades a neutral background. It doesn't take much. Tiny, colorful details form rich backgrounds, and believe you me, I did not sit around "doodling" to come up with these particular patterns. They actually came out of a book called Paisley Designs by Gregory Mirow (Dover Pub.) Up to four plates can be used without copyright infringement. They are really quite fascinating (and also time consuming.)

Patterns are a wonderful way to incorporate the principle of a motif with variation. There are common denominators such as color in all three patterns and even though they are different, using some of the same color throughout unifies the piece. It is exciting to do fun, "off the wall" pieces like this. It's summer...give it a shot!

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"A Day Called Manana" (sold)


This is a week where I could use another manana. Unfortunately, the last time I looked at the calendar, there was not one day called manana! It's an illusion..."pie in the sky" thinking. The only way to get things done is to schedule only what can be done in seven days a week. It's the only way.

This piece will wake you up on a Monday morning! You might not have noticed at first glance, that the zigzag black marks in the background actually spell manana. It was first written with a ruling pen, enlarged and reduced on a copier. Stamps were cut of this image in all three sizes. So what you see here is a portion of the word stamped in three sizes. The black lines at the bottom are also a hand cut stamp. But what really makes this a bold and aggressive piece besides the color are all of the hard edges from the stamp. The hard edge can work if your desire is to communicate aggressive drama. The texture created by the stamp will offset and break up the edge a bit which is one reason I've always been drawn to stamped imagery.

As you can see, I do a lot of experimenting with creating different moods by the way I handle the elements and principles of design. Perhaps you might feel a bit creative today and think about painting a dramatic piece.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Three In One" ($60.00)

(adjusted price.....$60.00......mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

Today's visual inspires me to think more deeply about the Trinity...Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This glass mosaic sits on the coffee table in my studio. It describes visually what is often difficult to describe verbally. Thank you Louise Gunn for your gift of creativity and permission to use your image.

In yesterday's posting, I talked about the contemporary icons in my work. And I realized that geometric forms that represent a concept are just as viable as the realistic ones such as doors, chairs, and windows. It is always instructive to think deeply about visual communication because doing so gives the artwork passion. And passion is the blood flowing through the veins of any visual concept.

Forgive me for going off the deep end philosophically. Just as the Trinity inspires deeper thought, so does the question about why any of us create artwork. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Eye of the Beholder" ($40.00)

(adjusted price.......$40.00)

It takes much effort to create. There is often a path of obstacles one has to go over, under, or through. It is all worth it when the creation leaves the eye of the artist and goes to the eye of the beholder. (Click on image to enlarge lettering.)

Much of the inspiration for my pieces comes from contemporary icons. An icon historically means...a devotional painting or carving, usually on wood, of Christ or another Holy figure. It also means an image or statue that represents something. One of the icons I have used is the flower which represents beauty, special occasions or thinking of someone. Another favorite is chairs. They can represent relationships, or private moments of meditation. Some of my other favorites are stairs, doors, windows, trees, missions, cathedrals, church spires, fruit, etc.

It is not an uncommon thing to use contemporary icons which give a nod to realism. What has really been creative for me is packaging these icons in an abstract setting. The possibilities are endless. To sit and think about these kind of things and what you personally gravitate to is a way to really develop your artistic voice. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Friday, June 10, 2011

"The Spin Cycle" (sold)


There are days when I cannot seem to put three words together to make a complete sentence. My thoughts seem to be in the spin cycle. If you can identify, this quote is dedicated to you.

There are some acrylics that come in transparent colors. Transparent Burnt Sienna is one of them. (Liquitex Brand) Mix it with a lot of water and a palette knife first. Apply this glaze over the entire piece to unify the color. Alternate "dilute" layers of white gesso with more of the burnt sienna and writing with pencil. A dilute solution of cobalt blue was also used.

All in all, the cool looking textures that can be achieved are worth all of the alternating and drying of glazes. The depth you can achieve is extraordinary. If you apply your glazes with a sponge brush, you can simply press down a bit in some areas to have a more pronounced bit of color. It's worth a try!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Space Arrangement" ($30.00)

(adjusted price....#30.00)

Whether you're creating artwork or creating a lovely room, you are arranging space. It's not complicated, but some people get fearful when the "design" word is mentioned. Really, it's not life's simply space arrangement.

Color, values, and edges create shapes and shapes create a painting. You can absolutely control what you want the viewer to notice in your artwork. The eye will go where there is detail and hard edges. The piece today is a perfect example. Notice that all of the edges from each color are soft and diffused except for the small window with the palm tree and the lettering.

I went to a lot of trouble to set up this vignette. A vignette is an image floating in the space with no lines / edges connecting it to the edge. On the other hand, I made sure the lettering was connected to a shape and the expressive lettering which connects it from edge to edge. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"The Two Step" ($30.00)

(adjusted price....$30.00)

Growth is often difficult, especially when any of us feels like we're taking two steps forward and one step backward. Just remember that two minus one equals one. Even in these instances, one step of progress was achieved.

This piece has a lot of lines running through it because I took a stylus and made erratic lines by impressing them into the paper before applying color. It's a wonderful way to add more divisions of space and energy. If there are intersecting lines, it can give you a window to place lettering or an image such as the words...."two step". This technique can be addictive so beware of that when you give it a try. It also helps to close your eyes and make some lines going from edge to edge. They will be more spontaneous that way. The idea is not to make them look contrived.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Success" ($60.00)

(adjusted price.....$60.00....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)
It is human nature to look at what someone else has achieved and think we can do likewise. And we probably can if we take all the steps that will bring it to pass and we are wired in that way. However,  there is often a gap in our thinking that assumes we can take a shorter path and achieve the same thing. Not! It amazes me how often I come up against this reality and how often I perceive it in others.

The magic of gesso showed up in this background. Until I made the decision to cover the portion I didn't like, this piece almost made it into the trash can. However, I did love the texture in the black areas, so all turned out well. The butterfly shows the power of one image with some intense color in a setting of neutrals. By including this one image, I have a "star" with a supporting cast. Keeping the lettering out of that white area and keeping it simple also helped the star of the show take the stage. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Tunnel Vision" ($40.00)

(adjusted price.....($40.00)

There will always be excellent goals that can fill our time. When any goal consumes every single moment of our lives, tunnel vision has become operative. Everything always boils down to balance. The pots represent that one thing that becomes all consuming.

This piece is a good example of the power of repetition, especially a repeat with variation. It doesn't work as well if the repeated elements are exactly the same. Sameness equals boredom. Repetition, with variation, equals compelling and dramatic.

Perylene violet (WN) comes to my rescue everytime I paint pots. By mixing perylene violet, raw umber, and viridian, I was able to give more life to the darks in this piece, including the lettering. Raw umber by itself would have come across rather lifeless. And not all raw umbers are created equal.  M. Graham gouache has a far superior raw umber than Winsor Newton. It's richer and darker and very finely ground. It can be difficult to find in local art stores, but is available from Paper and Ink Arts. I will go so far as to say that I cannot function without Graham Raw Umber. Try'll like it!

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Text Me" (sold)


It seems everyone is texting these days and isn't it nice to receive a lovely text that lifts your spirits? What a great idea!

In two other postings, I chose to create division of space by folding my (6) inch square into (12) squares. To offset the very straight squares, I painted an irregular line around the perimeter with bleedproof white. This not only offers a contrast in edges but gives the illusion of another layer. It's also a great way to introduce a strong presence of color that will be used in the piece. In this case it was white. Just something to think about in your treatment of edges.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"A Work of the Heart" ($30.00)

(adjusted price....$30.00)

The process of creating artwork should and eventually must stem from the heart to survive. Even when pieces are not as successful as we hoped for, they are still valuable and need to be treasured.

I will never forget sitting in a workshop instructed by Hazel Dolby when she retrieved one student's crumpled up drawing from the trash. Hazel was horrified (literally) that this particular student did not value her work but threw it in the trash. The point she made was that if the artist doesn't value their artwork, no one else will either. Remember that the next time you feel like throwing your work away.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Potter or Clay" ($40.00)

(adjusted price....$40.00)

This quote has a deeply spiritual meaning as well as an indirect way of stating the importance of focus. I'll let you decide.

Soft horizontal bands of gradated color work very well with a vertical image. Because I'm always concerned about the division of space, I chose to brush on some soft pastels lightly over the lettering. The lettering can still be read, but when this piece is viewed from across the room, that vertical band flows right into the pot which flows right into the expressive script at the bottom. By connecting all three things, I have created one strong contrasting division of space to the horizontal bands. Think carefully about these connections because they really do enhance the design.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"The Itinerary" ($60.00)

(adjusted price....$60.00....mounted on 1.50" depth clayboard)

Webster defines itinerary as a detailed route. I am absolute positive that every woman on the planet has a story about the man in her life getting lost! The underlyin meaning of this quote is that you don't want to end up in front of a shack when you thought you were on the way to a mansion. This has meaning on so many levels. Think about it.

Edges are very important in this piece. Actually, they're important in every piece. I wanted to convey the idea of being lost by creating very diffused edges. Think about it...the feeling you have when you're lost is something akin to a mental fog. Even the edges of the lettering blend in by virtue of their value.

It's all about the kind of mood you want to convey. Yesterday's posting was very intense with well defined edges. In today's piece, the colors are muted with soft edges throughout. It's all about setting the mood to fit your visual story.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Forward or Backward" ($30.00)

(adjusted price......$30.00)

Every day is filled with decisions. Most of them are not life threatening unless...the negative ones are done repeatedly over a period of time. The good news is that positive decisions done over time can give you a glorious future. I think the important and often overlooked point is taking the time to analyze each decision separately to see which direction it is taking you or me.

What appears to be the simplest background on the planet is not as simple as one would think. I am an analyzer (to a fault) so I naturally like to understand why something works or doesn't work.

This piece is divided into (4) quadrants with a huge contrast in size. It is made more complex by having two sections with smooth texture and two with rough texture. The expressive line at the bottom offers a contrast to all the straight vertical lines and also further divides the space again. The two colors are fairly intense and also direct complements on the color wheel. The lettering offers another contrast to the straight vertical lines. Design is what this piece is all about. Every piece involves these kind of decisions. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.