Friday, September 30, 2011

"Staccatos" (unavailable)

"A life filled with staccatos is marked by quick movements and decisions." A staccato in music is indicated by a dot over the music note. It tells the musician to play the note(s) with a quick detached movement. In comparing this term to real life, it aptly describes the person who gets a lot done with quick movements and decisions.  (Tonight is show time for the pieces I've created this past week.  They will be given away tonight at the Opening Reception for "Perspectives".  Details can be found on

Since my college degree is in music, I do enjoy building a piece around music or making analogies between music and art. The easiest way to include a "snippet" of music in your art is to transfer it to the piece with graphite paper. Begin by making a copy of the music and watching how the paper passes through the copy machine. Take that copy and place a piece of tracing paper over the part that you've selected. Tape all four corners with removable tape. Hand feed it back through the copier the same way it went through the first time. Transferring an image with tracing paper works better because it's so thin. Plus, you can see where it needs to be positioned on the piece.

This same technique works very well with lightweight Japanese papers for the purposes of a collage. You will need to spray it with spray acrylic coating for inclusion in a piece. Just something to try or think about.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Fall Landscape" (unavailable)

"Aspens flicker like golden lights in the fall landscape." The drive from Durango Colorado to Silverado is known as the million dollar highway. The name is not describing the cost of the highway, but the brilliance of the aspens littered across the mountains. The leaves in this piece were collected in Silverado last fall.

Great form plus multiplicity is a good way to describe an aspen tree from a design viewpoint. By including the actual leaves from one of these trees, the viewer can recall their own experience of this spectacular display. When gathering leaves, it is best to press them in an old phone book until you have an opportunity to spray them with Spray Acrylic Coating (Krylon). That will retain the color for a long period of time.

Liquitex Pouring Medium was brushed onto this piece with a sponge brush. The leaves were pressed into the medium.  They were dried with a hair dryer and then brushed with one or two more coats. The leaves are then embedded into the piece.

Of course, it also helps to have a dynamic background of random shapes in the right colors. These were created with gesso and diluted acrylic. Just something to try or think about.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Listen to the Music" (unavailable)

"Listen to the rhythm of the music in your heart." Scott Joplin is the king of Ragtime Music. It's "catchy" and has a definite jazz feel. Each of us has a definite rhythm that could be compared to a style of music. What is your style? (This is piece created for a give away at an Opening Reception this Friday.  Details can be seen at (

Rhythm is best described visually by repeating one or more design elements. In this piece, there are repeated verical bands and also repeated lines, color, and texture. As in music, rhythm can be very regular (like a march) or it can be syncopated. Syncopation happens when the strong beats become weak and vice versa. Visually, it can be described by throwing in an unexpected interruption in the repeated design element. In this piece, the line in the background that has the word listen is a very strong departure from the straight and softly curving lines. So in essence, the principle of design is to repeat an element of design with variation to achieve a sycopated rhythm. Just something to think about.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Turquoise and Fushcia" (unavailable)

"Color my happy landscape with turquoise and fushcia." We are all affected by color, positively or negatively. That's why a good interior designer is worth their weight in gold. The right proportion of color in the right saturation can make or break an environment. May this happy color combination brighten your day.  (Another piece created for a give away this Friday.....(

There are only two colors in this piece, but the mingling of the two plus the first layer of randomly applied gesso yield several more tints and tones.

When experimenting with color, technique comes marching into the process. Several questions will help with the experimentation process. What happens when the color is applied on dry paper?..on very wet paper?...or slightly damp paper? What happens when painting over gesso?...over unprimed paper? What happens when another color is painted over the previous color while it is still wet? What happens when the first layer is completely dry and then painted over with a different color?

Questions like these will yield a working knowledge of any color combination you might want to try. Just something to think about.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Charismatic" (unavailable)

"Color has a charismatic personality." Charismatic is a very descriptive word that defines a person who inspires enthusiasm. I thought it would be fun to attach that association to color. And isn't it the truth? Color is the design element that always takes center stage. (This is a 4" x 6" piece created to be given away at an Opening Reception this coming Friday......details are

The first layer of color in this piece is a dilute application of Cobalt Turquoise (Golden). The second step is three colors mixed individually with approximately a 6:1 ratio of Liquitex Pouring Medium. (6 parts medium to 1 part paint) It must be mixed with a palette knife because of the "tacky" nature of the medium. These three mixtures are then applied to the surface with a palette knife. The next step is to take a fine tooth comb with the ends cut off to run through the paint, revealing the first layer. (If you have signed up for my upcoming Color Workshop, this is one of the techniques you will be creating.)

The end result is a thick, high gloss image that makes a compelling statement. There are endless arrangements that can be done, with or without lettering. You can now call yourself a "colorist"....since color is the main attraction.

For those of you who do lettering, this surface, as is, will not receive gouache. So you will need to mix up (2) parts water to (1) part Gel Matte Medium and use your hair dryer simultaneously with brushing on this solution to get it to attach. It also helps to use painter's tape to attach the back of this piece to the surface so it won't move. Persistence pays off when the entire surface has a matte look. Apply (2) more coats and then you can write. This same technique works with metal leaf. Just something to try or think about.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Core Strategy" (unavailable)

"Prayer should be the core strategy of life." A strategy is a plan. Prayer is communication with God. Pairing these two together is a wise thing to do, especially if life has gone off the "rails". (This is another 4" x 6" to be given away at an Opening Reception this coming Friday...for details check out

This piece is a perfect illustration of how to solve the design issue of all straight lines. If you can imagine the piece without the round image, it would be too harmonious and boring. By introducing a circular image, the piece automatically has a strong contrast which adds drama and interest. Placing the quote in close proximity to the image in a color block of gray unites all three shapes to form a focal point.

It is always a good idea to place the design elements with the greatest detail together. The eye needs a place to rest. If the entire design space has "wall to wall" detail, it can easily become visual overload. It is also good to remember that paintings are made up of shapes. Thinking of shapes from start to finish will keep us all out of the sea of confusion. Not everyone agrees with these design principles, but you can test it for itself as you view other people's artwork. If you cannot view a piece for more than (5) seconds, visual overload is probably the culprit. The viewer's eye is always looking for a place to focus. Just something to think about.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Cowhide and Leather" (unavailable)

"Cowhide and leather are happy companions." Sometimes my thoughts can be so serious, I scare myself!  When I've reached my limit on that path, painting cowhide makes everything better. It has a comforting presence and adds drama to everything. (This is a 4" x 6" piece to be given away this next Friday

What prompted the pairing of this quote to this background was the burnt sienna color block at the top. After randomly writing words and lines on a large parent sheet, I applied gesso...also in an erratic way. I "kicked it up a notch" by mixing Transparent Burnt Sienna with Pouring Medium (Liquitex in both cases) to achieve that "splotchy" effect that is so characteristic of worn leather. Other shapes help create a contrast of shape and size. By not painting over the entire shape of diluted Burnt Sienna where the cowhide is, I was able to create two additional shapes.

My hope is that my "die hard" followers who want all the details will begin to see how exciting it is to use color blocks, gesso, and pouring medium to create many interesting shapes. You then have the choice to simply leave as is or add a painted image, collage bits, or only lettering. These type of pieces pair up well with lettering because they're both abstract. Adding a touch of painted realism will also give you a strong contrast between abstraction and realism...which I have done often for this blog. Just something to think about and if you feel adventurous, you can try it for yourself.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Color and Texture" (unavailable)

"Color and texture fit together like pen and ink." This (4" x 6")piece is the first of several in this size created for the "give away" at an Opening Reception one week from tonight. The details for the "Perspectives" Exhibit can be found at ( There will be well over  (100) of these art pieces created by the (40) exhibitors for this "give away". You are cordially invited.

The focal point in this piece is the texture of the pot. It is in direct contrast to the color blocks that have little to no texture. Of course, the perfect location for the pot was inside the area that looks highlighted. It looks that way because of the gesso applied to the paper before the color.

Harmony and contrast create the tension in any piece of art. If there is too much harmony...the piece is boring. If there is too much contrast...there is chaos. The way to achieve harmony is to allow each design element to have a dominating characteristic. For instance, one color needs to occupy the largest percentage of the design space. The line work (which includes obvious lines and edges of shapes) needs to have more horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. One of these directions needs to dominate. In today's piece, it's horizontal lines which also includes the horizontal format. And on it goes with the remaining elements.

However, there also needs to be contrast which would be the opposite characteristic found with each design element. Once again, look at the color. There are several contrasts of color. There is a contrast of light and dark, warm and cool, complementary, saturation, and extension. In the design element of line, there are obvious vertical lines and two lines slightly diagonal which are in direct contrast with the dominating horizontal lines.

Some of this may sound confusing, but it is very important to learn how to analyze and define what is happening with these design elements to know how to correct your own work as well as appreciating what is happening in another artist's work. A whole new world will open up to you as you begin observing. After all, the elements and principles of design are the language of design. Just something to think about.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Connect the Dots" ($30.00)

(adjusted price....$30.00)

"Connect the dots you have to receive more numbers." I am sure everyone has completed a "dot to dot" picture or has a child or grandchild who has. This quote takes that concept a step further by equating what we know in any given area to the dots in a coloring book picture. If we act on the information we will open the door to new insight...and we will receive more numbers.

The first thing you will notice in this piece is that I left a word out of the quote. Now I do know how to correct a mistake like this, but it takes time and tends to be tedious. I was very tired so I decided to add another dot and leave it as is.  These things happen!

This is a piece built upon geometric shapes making it totally abstract. It is part of my continuing color series. It has huge color impact from across the room because of the powerful contrasts. Three colors were used. The first color was applied on dry paper that already had lines and gesso applied in a random fashion. Using a sponge brush, I painted this dilute Turquoise in horizontal bands in two directions leaving white space for the other colors. I did the same thing with Quinacridone Violet , making sure I overlapped the turquoise in areas to create "grayed down" purple. The last color was Raw Sienna.  It, too, "grayed down" the turquoise and violet wherever it overlapped.

This method of paint application over paper randomly primed with gesso and leaving some portions untouched gives an array of colors and shapes that lay the foundation for total abstraction or the inclusion of a realistic image either painted on or presented as a collage element.

If you are in my upcoming color workshop, this would be a good way to experiment before the class begins. A wise instructor once said that if you really want to learn something, try doing it on your own first, and then find an instructor. By doing this, you will catch on right away. That instructor was Donald Jackson. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Simplicity" ($40.00)

(adjusted price.....$40.00)

"Good design favors simplicity." In my own life, I tend to get bogged down in endless detail. So once again, a principle that applies in art also applies in daily life. Deleting unnecessary things and details is the path to freedom through simplicity. It also keeps your house clean!

Most important things are not completely learned in the first go around. That's why going back to the basics is always a good thing to do. It also develops your aesthetic. I have found this to be especially true in the area of design. Even though I can rattle off the elements and principles of design, I keep learning more about it as I blog every day. Most of the oil painters and instructors in oils suggest that you really cannot make great progress until you've completed at least (100) small paintings. It is only when these (100) are done, that real progress begins.

Having said that, I am close to having completed (200) small paintings on this blog and I am still stunned at how much I keep learning about design. So today I want to list the principles of design. Look at design as though you are making a cake. The elements of design (from yesterday's posting) are the ingredients for the cake. The principles of design tell you how to mix the ingredients and bake the cake....or artwork. Unity is a sense of oneness. Dominance is one characteristic of a design element dominating. Contrast is the opposite characteristic of a design element. Balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Gradation is one element going from large to small...small to large...light to dark or dark to light. Repetition is repeating any of the design elements. Alternation is alternating any of the design elements.

It sounds simple, but in the beginning, it can seem overly complex. The only way to become adept is to create artwork..and lots of it and analyze your work to see what you did with each design element. It will eventually become intuitive.  Hence, one of my reasons for blogging. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Blending and Moving" ($60.00)

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

"Blending and moving color is the most stimulating design element." It is a truth in the visual arts and an excellent metaphor in thinking about relationships. When we can be happy for others and even assist them in their hopes and dreams, we are blending and moving in relationship.

This old antique bottle with a hazy patina has been sitting on my drafting table for weeks. I was waiting for the right quote and right background. So this is a perfect illustration of allowing spontaneous processes and materials do their thing and then putting the remainder of the design elements in their places. It is a very exciting and contemplative process.

The basic design elements are present in most works of art. But knowing what they are and how to bring them together is the essence of good design. So in case you have forgotten...line (straight or curved)...direction (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal)...shape (formed by lines and their direction)...size (small or large)...color (actual hue(s) and combinations)...value (light or dark)...texture (simulated or real).

Observing what is happening with each of these elements is the first step in creating well designed work. So put on your exciting glasses today and really observe what is happening in your artwork or in someone else's art. Tomorrow I will list the principles of give you something else to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"In or Out" ($60.00)

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

"Editing is the process of deciding what's in and what's out." Every artist is an editor and must decide what design elements are in or out. Actually, everyone is an editor of their own lives as well. We each decide what thoughts are in or out. Enjoy your life by being a good editor.

You may be wondering why I painted a light fixture in this piece. It represents the big moment in art or in life when there is a paradigm shift that often results from good editing. In artwork, it is that awesome moment when nothing needs to be added or taken away. In real life, it is allowing the right thoughts to occupy your mind and disallowing the negative ones to dominate.

So I definitely wanted to use a random application of gesso to create light filled shapes in the background. The band of black gesso on the right grounds the piece. You are able to see clearly how a dilute application of acrylic in Green Gold and Cobalt Turquoise (Golden Fluid Acrylics) reacts when painted over the gesso and the more saturated areas where the paint hits unprimed paper. It is important not to keep "fussing" with a piece until it's ruined. Let the process and materials do the work. Observe why something turned out the way it did so you can repeat it again. Acute observation is essential to the editing processl So turn the light on by becoming a good editor. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"A Sweet Spirit" ($40.00)

(adjusted price....$40.00)

"A sweet spirit is like the wind...felt but not seen." We can often see the effects of the wind but the wind itself is not seen. The same is true for a sweet spirit. And the effects are ever so lovely. Another word that aptly describes this type of spirit is kindness.

This piece could be described as an abstract landscape. The gradation of color from yellow to orange is a great contrast to the sharp lines of the brilliant violet and blue. The white haze is a very dilute application of gesso applied before the paint. This "veiled" effect was the closest thing I could create to represent the wind. The diagonal sweep also helps to indicate movement.

Referencing my notes from yesterday's post...the bright and stained colors in this piece were created by greatly diluting the acrylic paint with water. (It is probably (20) parts water to (1) part paint.) It also helps to choose colors that are intense like Nickel Azo Yellow..Pyrrole Orange...and Quinacridone Violet. The rich blue at the bottom is Anthraquinone Blue. (All of these colors are Golden Fluid Acrylics.)  They work together because the top three colors create an analogous color scheme and the dark blue at the bottom is a direct complement to orange. This is the power of color and it is (10x) more intense in the original.   Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Bright and Early" ($40.00)


"Bright and early reflections fuel the day." To some of you, this may sound like an oxymoron, especially if you're not an early riser. So after you've had your first cup of coffee, think about your day and what thoughts will help you navigate through your schedule in the best way.  It makes a huge difference.

The color studies I've been creating involve changing the surface to react differently to the paint and changing the properties of the paint to create different saturations and texture.

Gesso actually creates a resist if applied to the surface before the paint.  If it is applied randomly, you can create interesting shapes because the paint reacts differently on the unprimed areas. It creates a "veiled" effect if applied over color or imagery. Technique becomes very important at this stage depending on how much or little you want to reveal of the previous layer.

Changing the property of the paint is also exciting for the same reasons. You can choose how much light you want to have by how saturated or unsaturated the paint is. If it is diluted a lot with water you will get the equivalent of a stain. If you use a thick application of pigment or add a medium to the paint, you will block out the light. It's quite like adjusting the light source to spotlight or backlight an area.

All of these effects are great experiments to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"The Human Spirit" (unavailable)


"The fires destroyed everything except for the hope of the human spirit." Churches and individuals in Texas are now involved in coming along side the families who lost their homes. What I have noticed is that hope is rising out of the ashes.

This piece and particular quote gave me the opportunity to visually express the power of contrasts in color saturation and texture. The dark green band on the left is very saturated representing the trees and foliage before the fires. The center band of color with a grayish / green and texture created with gesso looks charred. The bright and intense band on the right represents the hope of the human spirit.

By knowing how to "gray" down a color or to apply an intense stain on unprimed paper is a part of being a "colorist". Color is the most emotional design element and a never ending learning process. I hope you're enjoying these color studies. Go one step further and try them yourself. Any effort to understand color takes you one step closer to a satisfying way of expressing your concept. Just something to think about.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Seeds of Thought" ($60.00)

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

"Seeds of thought grow in silence." If you've ever tried to focus on two thoughts at the same time, this quote will make sense to you. It's impossible and yet we try to do it everyday with all of the electronic media at our fingertips. That's why in most of our life experiences, silence is a "hot commodity". Creative thinking and prayer are just two of the things that require silence. I vote for silence.

Ramping up the color is the path I am least for now. There are several ways to do this. Choosing to use bright and intense color combinations is one way. The path I am experimenting with is showing a contrast between diluted and saturated color. A more saturated color appearance can be achieved with acrylics by adding a medium to the paint as well as using more paint. The medium suspends the color equally and gives a good coverage.

In this piece I used Liquitex Pouring Medium on the top portion. Mix a ratio of approximately (1) part paint to (4) parts or more of Pouring Medium...with a palette knife. This mixture can be applied with a palette knife or poured from a bottle. It is self leveling and has a "slow motion" blending quality with any adjacent color or color dropped into the mixture.

My favorite "colorist" is Rebecca Bennett. She works exclusively in oils and has a beautiful website. We are fortunate to have several pieces of her work in the upcoming exhibit at "Open Doors" Gallery at Hill Country Bible Church NW here in Austin. The Opening Reception is Friday, September 30th. Further details can be viewed at our website (www. Forty artists working in all types of media will also be included. I will personally have a kiln formed glass piece with lettering. It is free and open to the general public. Invite your friends and enjoy a fabulous evening of art, music, and refreshments.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Inertia" ($30.00)

(adjusted price.....$30.00)

"Inertia dissipates with action." Inertia is not a word most of us use everyday, but we feel its effects everyday. To be inert is to be without power of action, motion, or resistance. It is a passive state. The best way to overcome inertia is to decide and take action even when the feelings to do so are not present. It is the essence of discipline.

Those of you who have been following along each day have noticed my obsession with gesso. I now have a desire to marry the light and veiled effects of gesso with intense color contrasts. A "colorist" is an artist whose primary focus is color. The actual color fields in the painting become the center of interest.

In this piece today, I am showing an extreme contrast between the stained and veiled effects of gesso and the dense, dark, concentrated color. The first layer was gesso and very dilute acrylics. The second layer is Prussian Blue plus a Liquitex "Pouring Medium" which increases the flow of the paint. (It has the texture of Elmer's Glue.) I applied it with a palette knife. My desire was to have some of the previous layer showing through in a random way so I held the piece up and over a plastic disposable plate and poured rubbing alcohol over this area until portions of the previous layer peered through. Look for more of these color pieces in days to come. It also gives me opportunity to include more expressive and gestural writing. Just something to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Declarations of Faith" ($60.00)

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

"Declarations of faith are the water that nourishes my dreams." A declaration of faith is a statement of belief that you already have or can do what you feel stirred in your heart to have or do. The Bible says it this way in Hebrews 11:1..."Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

For much of my youth, I lived thirty miles from South Padre. It was easy for me to turn this gesso piece into my familiar memories of the tide coming in. It can be a bit overwhelming to see that much water and no shoreline in a piece of art. However, I had in my mind some big declarations of faith so I wanted lots of water. (Not to mention the fact that all of us living in Texas right now have visions of water! It's called rain!)

Initially I had painted over all of the water area with greens and blues. To give the illusion of waves crashing, I needed to reveal some of the white gesso. It is easy to do with a stiff flat brush and some rubbing alcohol. Alcohol removes acrylic paint, especially if there is gesso underneath. The lettering is not easily read (on purpose) because I chose to make it the secondary focal point. From across the room, you will not even see the lettering, but it is totally legible when you are "up close and personal." These are design decisions that every lettering artist has to make. I personally don't think it works well to have the image and the lettering share "equal billing". Just something to think about.

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Colorful Atmosphere" ($40.00)

(adjusted price...$40.00)

"The colorful atmosphere of continual thought needs to be sorted and organized." This image was designed to create texture with text piled upon text. The truth is ...we cannot always control thoughts that come to mind, but we can do an immediate deletion of the negative ones and feed our minds with the positive ones.

Even when creating pieces with abstract concepts...the underlying shapes and structure are still important. The first layer ended up being an assortment of different sized vertical bands with a decision to paint over one of them with black gesso to ground the piece. A very dark brown, blue, or deep red would also have worked. Black, however, is a good choice when you want drama. The overlapping text created a contrast to the vertical bands of color, but then there was the issue of too many straight lines. The medallion created a point of interest and a round shape.

The medallion was created with a modeling paste designed specifically for gouache. It is a Turner product with an acryl base. (Jerry's Artarama carries this product.) It behaves much the same way as Golden Acrylic Light Modeling Paste, but I think it has less polymer. It receives gouache with no problem. I also created texture by stamping into the medallion. It is a "dicey" proposition because the paste sticks to the stamp. However, a light spray of cooking oil on the stamp (remove excess) will allow you success. Just something to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Tolling of the Bell" ($40.00)

(adjusted price...$40.00 )

"The tolling of the bell marks the reflection of memories past." This day of National reflection reminded me of all the times I've heard bells tolling to mark significant events. Let us all be diligent in prayer for our country as we reflect on the most devastating event against our Homeland.

Grays and black work well with any color combination. I returned to my favorite mixture for gray...Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. With these two colors plus white, a whole range of grays can be mixed. Of course, the first layer is dilute acrylic painted over a randomly applied gesso.

Those of you who are or have taken Spencerian Script can appreciate how just one or two lines gives a historical look to a piece and has a "quieting" effect. As much as I love Copperplate, it has a heavier visual weight and will not accomplish what Spencerian does. Hopefully this kind of look will give you even more motivation to include it in some of your work. I seem to have fallen in love with it as soon as Pat Blair hit our city limits with her pen! Also notice the division of space and what's going on in all four corners. As always, these are just a few things to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Creative Friends" (sold)


"Creative friends provide the soil where seeds of thought can grow." I have many friends who are creative. It is my joy to be with them and have creative discussions about the art process. Thanks to all of you!

(You may have noticed there was no posting yesterday. My husband is back in the hospital with pneumonia. Everything is okay and he is getting better. Those of you who are in my script class tomorrow afternoon....the class is still on. Jim is exactly where he needs to be and will remain there until he recovers.)

Tropical plants are fast growing and seem to go hand in hand with the concept of creative thought. This one is not a completely realistic interpretation because I got carried away with the colors, design, and watercolor techniques. Notice that the plant divides the space nicely by going completely past the edge on three sides. The color palette is the star attraction with two sets of split complements...violet / green and orange / green. Any time I can squeeze in two sets of complements, it's a happy day! The visual impact is always compelling. There is also happiness when I can include my two favorite violets. The violet band at the top is Light Violet (Golden Acrylic). The darker violet in the plant and lettering is Perylene Violet. (WN Gouache) The next time you see some tropical plants, notice their colors. Consider using them even if you don't want to actually paint the plant. You cannot go wrong. Just something to think about.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Seasons of Life" (unavailable)


"Memories are the verbs that conjugate the seasons of our lives." Memories are accumulating in our lives everyday. But there are some memories that punctuate our lives and create a dramatic shift. Those are the ones that move us into a different season. Enjoy what you have today before a new season comes.

I'm geting ahead of myself in this piece and wanting to jump ahead to fall and leave summer behind. The colors were originally too light and weak in this piece, so I did what I know to do. Take one color and cause it to dominate in a big way. So I gessoed over the weak part, stamped into it it with a hand cut stamp and let it dry. The only trouble with using a substantial amount of gesso is that it forms a resist. What I ended up doing was stick my fingers into the gouache I used to paint the orange leaf and smear it over the gesso with my fingers. I now have a new technique when I want opaque coverage over gesso. Acrylic will not do what the gouache does in this instance. And the gouache needs to be almost dry when applying.

The one thing to take away here is the principle of allowing one color to dominate when a piece "goes south".  Just something to think about.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Feelings" ($60.00)

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

"Feelings alone will not get you where you want to go." Most of us do things every day that we don't want to do. This is the pearl of truth on the path to wisdom. It involves choosing. In this piece, I chose the image of a sand dollar because of its spiritual symbolism. The four smaller holes are symbolic of the nails used to crucify Christ and the larger hole stands for the spear that pierced His side.

Symbolism is a part of creating artwork. Even when you may not be conscious of any symbolism, the thing that inspired the piece to begin with is symbolic.

The blue in this piece inspired me to make the connection between the seashore and the sand dollar. The vertical lines already in the background guided me in choosing where to place the sand dollar. The black circle in the opposite corner is also symbolic. Even the placement of the lettering was guided by a line created in the first layer. So everything in this piece is about lines and placement. By placing lines randomly in the first layer, you create a spontaneous way of assisting yourself in intuitive design thinking. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally for inquiry about this piece.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Attitude" ($30.00)

(adjusted price.....$30.00)

"A good attitude sees roses where there are thorns." Life is not always fair and there will always be people who may not treat us well. However, the right attitude will bring joy and peace. It really is the best way to live.

This is a simple piece with more of an illustrative look. Actually, I painted the rose with all of the shading to make it realistic, but it seemed out of place. After blotting it with a damp paper towel and removing some of the color, and adding black line work, it looked like it fit more with this flat color block. Larger shapes with very little going on can automatically cause the viewer to look at the part that has the most detail and contrast. In this case, it is the bottom band of white gesso peering through the color that becomes the focal point. Making the rose flat and more like a line drawing tied the image, lettering, and textural marks together. The greatest contrast is between the totally flat areas and the ethereal, textured areas. It's just something to think about.

Please contact me personally for inquiry about this piece.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"The Fragrance of Nostalgia" (sold)


"Lavender fills my senses with the fragrance of nostalgia." It's one of those fragrances that never seems to go out of fashion. I even have spray starch that smells like lavender! Yes, it 's nostalgia that perfectly describes this scent.

In this piece I began with a very dilute yellow and alternated that with Transparent Raw Umber (Liquitex) and dilute applications of gesso. Throughout this process, I made sure my one dominant window of darks remained that way.

Everyone that's taking a script class from me knows I have a love affair with pencil. Most of the time, I use a Bic mechanical pencil (.5mm) and sharpen it on a sandpaper block. Graphite and gesso go together well, so it's a great choice in those types of pieces.

There are several reasons to develop the pencil habit. First of all, it's extremely portable. It can also be used to write in any direction with no resistance. It enables you to practice and develop muscle memory without having to think about pen and ink at the same time.

Here is a hint or two. If you do decide to pick up a pencil, turn the pencil in your hand after every letter or two in order to be writing with the sharpest part of the point. Hold it vertically to make sure you're writing on the sharpest part. After every few letters, twirl on the sandpaper block again. Just something to do or think about.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Circular Activity" (sold)


"Worry is a circular activity with no destination in sight." It is equivalent to enclosing yourself and the problem within a circle. This is a great day to pray to the God who changes things and can break you out of this circular thought pattern.

This piece is an abstract metaphor of the quote. It is a great solution when communicating an abstract thought. The circular pattern, of course, represents the worry thoughts and the small purple dot represents the problem. But the large light band of color taking up the majority of space represents the activity of prayer and the power of God to calm the troubled waters and give peace.

One approach to creating a piece to represent an abstract thought is to begin by determining the essence of what you want to communicate. Then choose shapes, colors, techniques, and placement (division of space) that give visual weight to your concept. Even if you choose to create a piece with no lettering, this is one way to move into pure abstraction. Just something to think about.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Dear Friends" (unavailable)

( the permanent collection of dee day)

"Pen and ink are like dear friends." (Several people have ask me to type the quote in my commentary. I will now include it as the first sentence.) My inspiration for this piece was this inkwell made in the 1800's. It is a prized part of my collection.

All week long I have included gesso as the first layer of my process. It will continue because I am fascinated with the process. Anything that adds a look of spontaneity is a good thing. Also, by working on a large sheet of paper and cropping, you can take it up another notch.

I know I sound like a broken record, but cropping is the only way you can come up with these totally random looking layouts. I heartily recommend experimenting on "parent" sheets of paper so you can experience the thrill of the "crop"!   Just something to think about...and do.

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

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Lines and Spaces" (unavailable)


"Lines and spaces are good for writing and for music notes." This quote is self explanatory. I was just in the mood to do something with music and Bach Preludes and Fugues were required practice every semester while I was in college.  J.S. Bach ended up becoming my favorite composer.

In a Bach Fugue, counterpoint is the structure. Three or more different melodic lines are having a conversation back and forth. This piece includes the first line and one voice beginning the conversation. Eventually there are two more lines saying different things but all being played at the same time.

In this piece, there are two separate "voices" or patterns of space division taking place. There is the black writing, the black lines, and the line of music dividing the space horizontally from edge to edge. The other shapes are created with the gesso and they are in counterpoint to the horizontal lines.

Before your head spins off from that analysis, let me say that contrast is the name of the game and this is simply another way of dividing space. Explanations give feet to the process. It is my belief that any of us will be dependent on "accicdentally" creating unless we have an understanding of what makes a piece successful. Putting it down in writing will serve you well. It's not that each piece needs to be done the same. The issue is choosing techniques that lead into a spontaneous and successful direction.  Just something to think about.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"The Southwest" ($40.00)

(adjusted price.....$40.00)

With each of us, some color(s) have more significance because they are associated in our minds with special memories. Burnt Sienna is one of those colors for me. Clay pots, adobe, and the beautiful rock formations in New Mexico and Arizona all look as though burnt sienna dropped from the heavens. What color does it for you?

This is an abstraction of the Southwest that includes the colors and texture without all of the detail. We all have so many details in our lives. It is very refreshing not to feel compelled to interpret every memory or image down to the last detail.

It can be a liberating challenge to create an abstract piece by observing the characteristics of a place or thing. But by being very selective and resisting the urge to interpret in a literal sense, new paths of expression will open.

In this piece I used the gesso and Transparent Burnt Sienna to partially hide some lines and lettering that were written on the paper initially. More texture was inscribed into the gesso to mimic the texture of canyon walls. The brown band of color at the bottom is Caran d'Ache ink called Grand Canyon. This process was fun and worth a try.  Just something to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.