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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just the Bling

Here is the same subject with just the jewelry. It takes a long time to get deep or bold color into a hand painted photo. The color is added a layer at a time, wiped and then after some time has gone by added again. You follow this process until you get the color you want.
The oils I used were special oils made just for this process. You also need special additives to mix with the paint and seal it. All the color is added with cotton swabs, not the ones you buy like Q-tips, but ones you make yourself from pure puffed cotton you can buy in a drug store. You then wrap the cotton loosely around long slender sticks you can send for.
I just love the colors on this one.
Donna Vines

Just the Bling

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Project Periwinkle: Symbols and Patterns from Illustrator to Photoshop

by Kathy Garvey

I gave myself a digital project this week to create designs using Periwinkle (Vinca) as the inspiration. (I want to do this with other flowers but started with one of the simplest.) Below are my results so far.  (Click on any image to enlarge it.)
1.) Picked fresh Periwinkle and drew the flower parts in Illustrator and used those to create symbols and patterns.
2.) Drew more flowers, leaves and buds and used them to make more symbols and patterns.
3.) Experimented with the symbols and patterns created so far.

4.) The next plan was to build a poster with the symbols created in Illustrator.

5.) And experiment with different color options.

6. Tried to create the look of an old botanical print in Illustrator.
7.) Added texture and a little age to it in Photoshop.

8.) Went back to seeing what I could do with this as a quilt pattern.
8 a.) Made a few changes and experimented with what a quilt block of this might look like.
8 b.) One possible Hue change

8 c.) Colorized

9.) Experimented with my symbols again in Illustrator for a new idea and took that into Photoshop.
10.) Did what I like to do best in Photoshop, add more pattern!
It was nice to concentrate on just one idea for the week and see how far I could take it. These will be used to create prints or fabric somewhere down the road. I'm working up to doing something similar with my passion vine. They're so much more complicated they should be a real challenge!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Alexandra, 5x7 Oil Painting on Canvas, Portrait in English Garden by Carmen Beecher


My sister took this picture of our friend Alexandra during the week of her wedding. I was struck by the colors, the pose, and her reflection in the water (I'm a sucker for reflections). I broke the rules of composition by placing her smack in the middle top half of the picture, and I like it. Her beautiful red hair is the piece de resistance.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Bottle Still Life | Small Oil Painting | Daily Painting Beach Treasure by Carol Schiff | 8x10 Oil | SOLD

This was the result of a request from a client.  The client's friend found this crusty old bottle in the surf of the Virgin Islands.  She wanted to surprise him with a gift and thought a little painting of a special day would be perfect.

I panted from a photo she supplied.  The main challenge was to achieve the crusty appearance of the bottle.

Both the client and her friend were happy with the results.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Weekly Challenge by Carmen Beecher

Fairy Cottage

Monday was my turn for the weekly challenge, so we did Zentangles, or, as Kathy says, Doodles. My drawing above is a fantasy drawing filled with patterns. I like to use patterns that have different values to give some depth to the little world I have invented. 

The above drawing started as a freeform doodle and built from there. When I begin a painting I usually have the the title in my head already. With a freeform Zentangle, the title comes after I figure out what pops in my head when it's finished. In this case I was reminded of those silly little hats called "Fascinators" worn to the Kentucky Derby and royal weddings. Even though I am calling them silly, I'd love to have an excuse to wear one!

Mary was quite inventive with her Zentangle, so I hope she has finished it and will post it in the future.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shells and Bling

Another favorite subject of mine to hand paint were everyday indoor scenes.  Everyday objects next to each other or that seemed very different but belonged together.  I like this one because it has the soft shells in it and some razzle dazzle.  Both are beautiful in their own way.
Donna Vines

Shells and Bling

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tropical Landscape Painting | Daily Painting | Small Oil Painting | Palette Knife Art | Tropical Glow by Carol Schiff | 6x12" Oil

I was down at the inter-coastal one evening in late November, just as the sun started it's journey below the horizon.

When the sunlight hit the trunks of  palms, they seemed to glow, almost like they were on fire.

Some times, I like to display my paintings on a shelf instead of framing and hanging on the wall.

This painting has been licensed and reproduced as a hand-distressed solid wood plank wall decor.  You may have seen it on OneKingsLane.com, JoshandMain.com or Wayfare.com.

Thanks for viewing my daily paintings.  Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Harbor Beach

Looking at some more hand painted photos I thought it would be interesting to post some New England scenes.  This is Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA.  It is one of the most popular beaches in Glouceste, especially with the locals. 
One one side you have to walk over a bridge from the road to get to the beach and the bridge goes over a natural inlet that the kids love.  It is a shallow, safe place for the little ones to play and the water is not as cold.
You can see the creek on the right in this photo. 
Donna Vines

Good Harbor Beach

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wildlife Painting | Blue Heron Art | Small Oil Painting | Daily Painting | Flight by Carol Schiff | 6x18x1.5 Oil

I was standing on the dock with my camera when this gorgeous Great Blue Heron flew towards me and landed on the railing nearby.  My lucky day!  I snapped several photos of this beautiful specimen and have painted him twice.

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I was thrilled to get a photograph of him flying, something that usually doesn't work out for me.

I used my palette knife to obtain the texture of the water.

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You may remember seeing this first painting a short time ago.

I don't think this bird was friendly so much......just determined.  Behind me on the dock were several fishermen and he was hoping for an effortless meal.

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Monday, July 14, 2014

The Pieces have a Georgia O'Keeffe Day in Grant, Florida

by Kathy Garvey

Change of venue for the Pieces of 8! Today we (a whopping 7 of the 8) met in Grant (Florida) at the beautiful home of our fellow Piece, Fay Picardi, who presented us with books and calendars containing images by Georgia O'Keeffe. Our challenge was to replicate or emulate her work and we had a great time trying. Here are a few images showing our efforts from about 15 minutes after starting to about 10 minutes before cleanup time. (Click any picture to enlarge it.)
Fay moved tables so we could enjoy the view while painting!
Carmen amazed us by completing a huge image of a hibiscus in our few hours!
Carol has also finished in our short time! Compare her barn to Georgia's!
Denette created a masterpiece and then wiped it out! I captured most of it before it was gone!
Donna is working on an unusual O'Keeffe featured in one of Fay's books.
Fay surprised us with her Georgia sunflower! She says she had an advantage by starting it twenty years ago!
I am poking along with my miniscule spider plant flower but blowing it up big like Georgia would!

This picture of Mary missed getting in the first round, so here she is! Sorry, Mary!
After a relaxed time painting in this beautiful setting looking out over a pool and small lake, Fay treated us to a mini slide show of her visit to Ghost Ranch! We then moved on to lunch at The Old Fish House Bar & Grill in Grant. We highly recommend it!  Fish Tacos, Coconut Shrimp, Fried Plantains, and lots of other good seafood later - we were full. Wonder what we're up to next week?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Rhino: From the Zoo to the Sofa/Wall

By Kathy Garvey 

I'm getting better at combining the things I love! I just finished a project that took an image from one of my favorite activities - a walk through our own local Brevard Zoo - to a print in Photoshop (no secret how much I love Photoshop) to a design printed to fabric at Spoonflower (ditto!) to a potential spot on my sofa (best place in the house for a nap)! Click on any image to enlarge it.
Brevard Zoo has an awesome raised platform for photographing their Rhinos!

This was my first pass at the image in Photoshop - mostly adding texture and colorizing.

When I realized how beautiful the front Rhino was, I extracted him to a background composed of textures
from my sidewalk and then added the word Rhinoceros in other languages found by googling them!

I decided he was handsome enough to print to fabric so I created a file to upload to Spoonflower
that would give me a single large banner and three small pillows when printed to their Linen Cotton Canvas.
Spoonflower did an awesome job! I love their Linen Cotton Canvas.
Here's the completed banner ready to hang and three pillows.
Nap time!
I have made the print available for sale at Spoonflower so if you like it, you can order a yard of this print on Linen Cotton Canvas and create your own pillows and wall hanging. Click here to view the order page.

Note: Shortly after I printed this fabric at Spoonflower, they announced a contest featuring fabric with Rhinos. Since I had just completed this one, I couldn't resist entering and created a second larger print sized for the contest. If you'd like to see some of the other awesome rhino prints the many other designers created, click here. You can vote for as many as you like!

That print is set up for Spoonflower's Kona Cotton and will yield one 21x18 pillow top per fat quarter or four 21x18 pillow tops to a yard.  Click here to view the order page.

New England Scene

I am going to Massachusetts for a visit in a week or so.  One of my goals when I am up there besides visiting family and friends and eating all those local treats is to take lots of photos.  I love going on photo shoots when I am there.  It is a great excuse to just drive around and re-acquaint myself with the ocean, marshes and rugged coast line.
Years ago one of my favorite things to paint was black and white photos.  I loved the old post cards and portraits from the turn of the century that were hand painted.  They had such a wonderful hazy glow to them.  They always looked liked they were someones dream of how a place should look.  I still have a few of the ones I did.  This one is in Rockport, MA.  These cottages overlook the ocean and as we used to say, "Next stop England".
Donna Vines


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Another Spoonflower Adventure: Crayon Monsters

by Kathy Garvey

It's no secret that I love Spoonflower, a company based here in the good old USA that will print an artist's designs to fabric. I've been printing with them for several years and while the cost is a little high, the results are always great and they respond immediately to any issues.

Spoonflower also offers frequent design challenges to artists with their almost weekly contests and I have entered several times. The competition is amazing. I cannot believe how many beautiful entries there are for challenges like creating a fabric with fishing lures or sewing notions as the theme.(To see what I mean, click on this link: Spoonflower Contests.)

Several months ago, this was the challenge: Crayon-drawn monsters

It's time to dust off the crayons, we're going 'old school' (kindergarten, that is!) for this week's contest. Create a monster design by hand, using only crayons (the kind you'd doodle with as a kid). Previews will be sized as quarter yards (21" x 18"). Deadline for entry is Tuesday, May 13th, 2014.

I love little monsters so this was a contest for me! I doodled a tiny idea in my sketchbook of little monsters trying to catch stars. The crayon drawings themselves went pretty quick. The really time consuming part is making a design that repeats well and for this I brought my three different drawings into Photoshop to combine them and experiment. (The trick for creating a repeating pattern in Photoshop is to build your initial design at the size and resolution you want. Then use the Offset filter to offset in both directions by exactly half of the original size. Then fill in any empty spaces on the new offset result. Then test, redo, test, redo, etc. until it works! Challenging but fun!) Click on any image to enlarge it.)
The little sketch in my sketchbook, the three designs that I composited in Photoshop
against the printed fabric back from Spoonflower. Don't they do an excellent job!
After submitting the design, I put out a plea on Facebook for any friends and family to go online and vote for any of the wonderful designs they liked. You are not limited in how many you can vote for - I voted for more than ten myself. I was surprised to make it into the Top Ten!

Getting in the Top 10 in a Spoonflower Contest was Awesome!
  The fabric made a coordinating pillowcase for the children's guest bed.

This shows the original design on a pillowcase of Spoonflower Kona Cotton and
resized smaller and printed to their cotton knit for baby clothes.
I'm having a lot of fun with the fabric. I'll probably be making something tiny and soft for a new baby with the little print soon. Thank you to any friends who voted! And keep Spoonflower in mind if you are looking to print your own fabrics or interested in finding unique custom made fabrics.