* Carmen Beecher * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Monday, October 12, 2020

Talkeetna Cafe, Alaska Landscape Oil Painting on Canvas Panel by Carmen Beecher


This is an out-of-the-way spot in Alaska, Talkeetna, a little town at the base of North America's tallest peak, Denali. This cafe was rustic, beautiful, and served delicious food. 


Sunday, October 4, 2020


Coq au Vain
by Fay Picardi

Here he is, the rooster that incorporates three challenges; the gold, the crazy color and the chicken one. Just check out the strut, not to mention the eye, and you will see why I have called him the Coq au Vain. The collage looks simple, but paraphrasing Dolly Parton, "It takes a lot of time to look this easy." 
(This is a repost. The one posted with the rest of the challenges was somehow erased.)

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Bwauk!! Late chickens and some other fun, by Jean Thomas

 I was working on these chickens, really I was. Lately though, I'm not good at drawing in the car, which is where I've been lately. The chickens in hats were inspired by my old "chickens in underwear and high heels" sketch. (don't ask where that idea came from!) I saw a picture of some women in big hats and that was the inspiration for the three. Hope to make you smile. 

                                                        Chickens in Hats

Chickens in Pants

Bonus Sketch
This guy was inspired by a new ink pen I received.

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Challenge for September, Chickens

 The theme for this month's challenge is, simply, Chickens.

* * * * *

Carmen Beecher's Chicken

Are YOU Talking to ME?

I love the comical look that chickens can have, and this one made me think of Robert di Niro's classic scene in Taxi Driver. Sometimes the title comes before the painting.


* * * * *

Kathy Garvey's Chickens
Rulers of the Roost  6"x16" Watercolor on 140 lb Cold Press Paper

I went and photographed chickens for this challenge, and sketched up my plans, but then ran out of time for painting as I'm prepping for a trip and will be out of town before the challenge ends. Since I haven't painted chickens in over twenty years, I had to dig deep to find a stand in for the challenge. Here it is...from 2001! 

More Watercolors and Home Goods at  www.snailflower.etsy.com.

Fabric Designs at http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/kgarvey.


Donna Vines Chicken

Miss Chicken 

12x14 collage

I used this beautiful paper that reminded me of eggs in a nest as the nest.

I wanted to do a collage chicken for my challenge.   Up until now I had only done landscapes or stationary objects, doing this was a great lesson in the difference between a living subject and a teapot. I am o.k. with my first attempt but am going to try again using my lessons learned. 


Monday, September 21, 2020



by Denette Schweikert

8" X 10" 

This has been really fun painting.  I think I took the picture on a family trip in the coast of New England twenty years ago. Going over old photos, I have found so old gems that I am starting to paint. 



Monday, September 14, 2020

Gelli Plates mania

 New toys are a dangerous thing to an artist and there is no such thing as too much of a good thing!! I got my new Gelli plates a few days ago and I have been playing ever since.  I have been making lots of new papers trying everything from rice paper to copy paper.  I have also been experimenting with lots of different textures, design and next is lifting magazine photos.

I can justify all this because A. I have lots of papers from rice, tissue, cotton and copy  B. I need these papers for my collages and I know I can squeeze them in with my reams of other papers which I have for my collages  C. I have lots of unused acrylic paint and..... D.  I wanted the darn Gelli's.

There are lots and lots of YouTube videos out there to help you with anything you might want to do or try.  They are a lot of fun and the results are always interesting if not beautiful.

The tools of the trade
  Gelli plate, brayer and acrylic paints

tissue paper with two colors

tissue paper with bubble wrap texture 

the gelli plate is clear and clean when you get it and cleans off pretty easily

this piece is for a special project.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Doodling 101: Taking a Line for a Walk

 Doodling 101, Lesson 01: Taking a Line for a Walk

by Kathy Garvey

I've always been a doodler and I find it's the fastest way to get children drawing and to loosen up adults. It's also my way of not feeling guilty watching mindless TV when I feel like taking a break from physical activity. And, it often leads to fun results or  inspiration for other artwork. 

During Covid Isolation I've had a lot of time for doodling and thought I would write up some of my methods for anyone who wants to play along for themselves or the little ones in their lives.

Here is a totally easy simple method to get started and I think it was one of my favorite artists, Paul Klee, who gave this exercise it's name "Taking a Line for a Walk."

  1. Grab a piece of paper and a pen or a pencil.
  2. Draw the pencil from one side of the page to the other- but don't go straight. Meander, wander, loop, scribble, and zigzag your way across.
  3. You can then go fill in loops, add crosshatching, shadows, doodads, etc. Does it look like something? Have fun with it.
  4. If you want, take another line for a walk right above or below. Again, meander, wander, etc. You can even let the first line guide you.
  5. Two lines are great as they give you a space to fill in between them. But don't let that limit you. There are no real rules. Need a new line? Add it! Let the design grow as you work.
  6. Have fun filling it all in.

Below is a step by step example of my process from the multiple lines to the finished picture.

Most of my doodles are in a sketchbook and made with a micron pen. But during Covid Isolation, I've made some much bigger ones on good paper. The size of the paper you use doesn't really matter for doodling.  It's the quality that can make a big difference. I use anything from 4x6 card stock to 9x12 multimedia paper. If you use heavier weight paper, or even good watercolor paper, then you are not limited by the media you use to fill in your design. 

Challenge: See what you get if you close your eyes and draw your lines. I call this Blind Inspiration because it usually takes me someplace new!

If you doodle anything from this exercise, let me know in the comments. I can show it off and write about it in a later blog.

Upcoming Doodling Lessons: The Robot You Need, Mystery Monster Challenge, Shape Shifting, X Marks the Spot, Growing a Pattern from Seed. 

Visit www.snailflower.etsy.com for some of my watercolors and home goods.

Visit http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/kgarvey for some of my fabric designs.