Tuesday, October 29, 2013

loving your work

 This is one my my 6-inch exchange quilts to be given away in November. I have found the whole experience to be liberating, making a quilt without the commitment!! I have done trees or birds on each, metallic thread, paintings, fused bindings, and often beadwork. They are all different and I love each one of them.

Remember...Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. ~Buddha
I read that quote on Sonja's blog click here 

I love to create, to make things, and to write. I am a recovering social worker, now doing what I love.

I'll be off line for a few days, hope you all make wonderful stuff in my absence. Feel free to tour my labels for older posts. Some of them are pretty entertaining.       Are you doing what you love??
you may also enjoy this fall post taking a walk  or the label "painting on fabric"

Creativity Roadblocks #5 Perfectly Imperfect

uh oh          (c) lapaylor 2013
Do you strive for perfection??
There is a difference between perfection and excellence. I value a person putting themselves into a project and doing their very best.
I think chasing perfection is unnecessary and counter productive.
Perfect for who anyway?
 I either work intuitively letting the art grow as I sew, or there is a vision maybe a sketch and I see the finished quilt in my mind. Even then I am willing to let the piece change as I go, but am often really happy if it comes out looking like it did in my mind.
Mainly it's perfect if it makes me happy.
"Perfection" goes hand in hand with judgement, so if you are entering your quilts to be judged for ribbons/money they will be judged against technical perfection. Even entering your work in a local show opens it to this kind of judgement by your peers, and you might think it needs to be perfect or it will be  found lacking.
Do not confuse this game with beauty or worth.
I have seen many a beautiful antique quilt that would receive negative judges comments in today's world.
Some judging comments actually tell you how a quilt might be improved in a judged situation, but some comments seem  more about justification for prizes, not always, just sayin'. (If you're a judge, don't hold that against me, I am absolutely sure I'm not referring to any of your comments)

In striving for excellence, you do your best at a moment. You bravely make choices, learn what you need to do to make that quilt, make the effort to match and press well, and fill the quilting evenly, etc.
A person can improve their skills to the point where they automatically do technical work "perfectly" and they no longer fret over them. If you are ripping out repeatedly to make points match -that are supposed to match, then there is a class out there somewhere with your name on it. Learning is good.

Trying to be perfect might be interrupting your creativity if.....
--if you are constantly unwilling to share your quilts because you don't feel they are good enough, then perfectionism is interrupting your creativity.
---if you can't enjoy the process of experimentation in making art, perfectionism is interrupting your creativity.
--- if you never finish anything because you can't choose the perfect fabric, the perfect quilting pattern, the perfect binding corners, then perfectionism is interrupting your creativity.
---if you don't even try to make the quilt because other people are so much better at it than you are, then perfection is interrupting your creativity and your fun.

Creativity is coming up with something original, something that hasn't been done, or done that way before. It's making a new path instead of staying on the one with roadsigns. It can be exciting or scary.
How can you do that perfectly and who's to judge?

Changing perfectionistic tendencies is a process, and will take awareness and practice, but we are a patient group, we art-makers. We know how to take apart a problem, and put it back together into a solution. 

 Self judgement wastes time you could be having fun. Go have fun. (go on)
you may also like CLICK HERE

Sunday, October 27, 2013

painting with pine needles

Ah, paint, we've been here before, n'est pas?  In my creative life everything looks like an experiment, so when I nearly skidded off the pine needle covered sidewalk yesterday, I thought how can I bend these to my will, evil laugh, twirling of moustache.

 I scooped up a handful, alined them, put a rubber band around the bunch, and got out my ironing board again.  This time I got out a styro meat tray and dabbed on four paints to blend with a foam brush.
The first attempt was probably the best. The needles were fresh, I was fresh, no one wanted to burn the other yet.
I might like the paper that was under the twigs the best of the day see below...

I dabbed, and pressed, dabbed and pressed thinking I'd get some cool thin imprints sort of grass like. I didn't count on the paint blending to a muddy icky brown on the muslin. Then in my belief that more is never enough, I thought to save the mess by adding some more, and it got steadily muddier.
I think I'll be able to add ink lines if it every dries. Metallic quilting lines will add a lot, and it was a stimulating day. It took about 30 minutes to get flicked paint off my person, maybe my eyes, and hey, painted clothes are cool right?  at least the dog is black, and eventually the evidence will be trimmed off.
go experiment, people, nothing to see here!
you might enjoy some other paint stories CLICK HERE

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ghost jokes

can I get a wooooooo?
We have taken ghost walks in many cities, and always had a great time. These ghosties  line our walkway and light our way home each night.
Two jokes  for you:
Why don't mummies take vacations? They're afraid they'll relax and unwind.
Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers? No, they eat the fingers separately.
a quote by Rita Rudner  "Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, "Never take candy from strangers." And then they dressed me up and said, "Go beg for it." I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, "Trick or treat." "No thank you"

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pressing matters, paint tutorial

 I saw this perfect little leaf on my walk today. It was shaded just so, and had the cutest little hole, like a beauty mark! I thought, wonder if there is anyone who hasn't painted stuff, then pressed it onto fabric?? This is the way I did it today...
 I gathered some textile paints, some muslin scraps, a foam brush, the lid from a plastic bin, some freezer paper, and my ironing board so I could do the whole thing outside at a comfortable height. I can lift my I.B. but not the tall table, so this becomes my makeshift work station when I do smelly stuff.
I placed the real leaf on the freezer paper, painted it mixing colors as I went. Then laid it paint side down on the fabric, put a piece of paper over it, and smoothed it gently with my hands til I felt all the paint transferred. Then I lifted off the paper, then gently lifted off the leaf  (see pic below)

I continued with the same leaf, repainting over and over until I used up my scraps and got tired of it.

I used a sea sponge to dab paint around the leaf shapes to give it more depth. 
 Let the prints dry, place between  plain muslin as a pressing sheet, iron,  and there you go! They needed a bit of ink pen detailing for impact, and boy oh boy will they look cool with metallic threads and quilting!
I am mostly finished with my Thankful Exchange squares and have had such a great time. I'll post pics later but decided to add one of these leaves to my exchange blocks. I put fusible on the back, cut around the leaf and fused to the 6 inch square, ready to be quilted and embellished and join the others.

Happy painting y'all
you might also like to see THIS CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This is a little table runner made with halloween fabrics. I looked  for the pattern, but couldn't find it. It was a free pattern and went something like cut 36- 6 inch squares. Pair them up face to face, and sew along two opposite sides, cut halfway between the rows of stitching. When you open them you have two blocks with  two different fabs.Sew these pairs  into three long strip sets. Cut one of the long strip sets in half lengthwise, and sandwich the other two sets in the middle. It really mixes a lot of prints and makes a quick runner. Size 14 in by 46 inches

Of course our dining room table top hasn't seen the light of day for a long time, so I put the runner along the back of the sofa.
linked to .liveacolorfullife.  thurs threads

Monday, October 21, 2013

Roadblocks #4 Ideas

so many choices
I imagine some of you have trouble coming up with ideas and some of you, us, have trouble narrowing down the constant flow of ideas. For me it's like I need an organizational system for my brain! It's very crowded in there!!

For those who face a roadblock in getting ideas:
Brainstorm. This is not the time for censoring, this is the time for wild and crazy possibilities. This is the time to sit down with a piece of paper and 30 minutes, the challenge rules or concept , and just get some flow.
 I choose to sketch or write out ideas in groups of 12.  These are quick, rough sketches, one leading to the next. Sometimes it's just words, thoughts, like "I want it whimsical, with lots of thread, all in reds" "what if I took a close up of a petal, showed just the veining, and only used paints" and just go for a list of 12 ideas or 30 minutes whatever comes first. I review at the end and decide if any of the ideas are worth tweaking or all evidence should be destroyed and never spoken of again.

The discussion of how to get more ideas will be for another day, such as magazines, friends, music, poems, experiments, combining ufo's, etc. 

For those of you with too many choices:
Sometimes you just feel closer to one over another. Sometimes you want to try a technique so you'll try that one. Sometimes the deadline is so close you just pick one and go with it. Keep the list for later and  there is always another chance to use your other ideas, so you aren't abandoning them.

When you choose an idea to try, start with the components that are the easiest, and just start.

 I am comfortable not knowing exactly where I am going. I have worked from a detailed sketch, but I'm not the person who draws out a pattern, as it becomes a ball-and-chain to me.
I feel free to change mid stream also.
The piece changes as it grows, and so far I usually like the finished piece.

Ideas swirl, they bloom, one comes from another, if you LET them. If you sensor them, they will be sporadic, they will go into hiding. Do not despair, they are always there in your head/ psyche/spirit.
 The muse may be silenced temporarily by your inner critic but I think if you find a way to quiet the critic, the ideas will flow. The ideas may be disorganized in your mind, so you need a filing system (idea journal)         Be like a gold-miner and let most of them flow past, but catch the gold ones and make something.

Next time, perfectionism
LeeAnna giving it to you in a sound bite, little by little

you may also like to see the other roadblock discussions CLICK HERE

Saturday, October 19, 2013

VooDooPoodle (I've come for your bones)

voodoopoodle  I've come for your bones....
The voodoopoodle has come for your bones...wooooo!

We walked past a neighbors yard with a plastic skeleton embedded in her grass. There were bones sticking up like legs, feet, etc. I didn't think about the poodle's eye view til we got a few houses down, and he had a leg bone in his mouth as we walked!! Hilarious! Several days later the neighbor and her son were out front as we walked by and her son said to watch out so the dog didn't take a bone. She chided him, saying, that nobody's going to take a bone. heh, heh.

It's plenty spooky around here right now, and not  just the pile of scraps mixed with cutting utensils on the table!!
This is Cole out front with the happy halloween sign.  Cole isn't much of a dog for costumes, so undignified you know. If WE wanted to dress up as poodles, that would be fitting. He has been a flower, a pumpkin, and a few other things, but he just isn't keen for halloween.
The treat part is okay, so just send him treats via the post office, as he won't be going door to door this year.
Old bones.
LeeAnna (and Cole)
you might like to read some of these CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Paint play, Thankful

Wall O' Stencils
I spent some time yesterday playing with paint and stencils. I have a mission to create 12 6 inch blocks to exchange with my bee mates. The theme is thanksgiving/ Fall/ Thankful.
Some paints had dried up, and  had to throw away  half a jar of rubber paint. What a waste!  The paint I currently love the best is SETA color shimmers for impact. I still like the Jacquard metallics, and for watercolor effects love SETA transparent. All are textile friendly and wash off with soap and water.
Next step here is to make into 6 inch blocks, quilt, embellish and then in November trade with friends.

I can tell you now, I will have trouble letting them go. Why do I get so attached to my work??

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My prayer flag

Prayer Flag
 This is a picture of my prayer flag being taken to trade at the Houston Show in a few weeks. It is primitive, not quite straight but neither am I. It is painted on raw silk/linen with jacquard metallic paint, machine embroidered with metallic madeira thread. The  words obviously hand written, crookedly too, in zig calligraphy pen,  hand stitched to a felt backing with ArtFabric thread and some beads. ( I have removed the butterfly button but can't get another photo as there is no sun today)

I dithered over the prayer to send. I considered "connect"  as that's my thing. But at the last minute I was drawn to "grow strong".

My prayer is that we find the strength to  persevere through hardships, grow with challenges, become stronger in our daily outlook. Strength isn't force, it's quiet, day to day choice to keep trying.

Love, Lee Anna

you might like to see    hOME AGAIN

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When a good machine grows older...

 This is my sewing machine. I use it every day that I'm home. Every day, the two of us sit down together and make stuff. Until we met, I was sewing on a 1948 Singer. That was a good machine but it was never hired to do free motion or work with metallic threads and it resisted having those thrown into it's job description.

After hearing cursing coming from the sewing hole for the meeelionth time, DH said, "maybe it's time for a new machine" Wooosh! The sound of me closing the front door and the tires squealing out of the driveway!

I am a good shopper, and had decided I wanted a Bernina in this line months earlier but the money, oy!
This time, the line was being closed out and I got this machine for nearly half price. SCORE!

It was so fancy I was afraid of it for a month. (I know, the neurosis gets in my way) This was in 1998.
 When I began to see the merits of this fancy machine, I grew to love it. So much so that when I began to hear stories of motherboards going out I went into denial...that will never happen here at Chez Paylor.

A year ago my machine went crazy. It all started with the needle position jumping around by itself. That's an unnerving noise, to be standing at the cutting table, look over and the needle is jumping back and forth.
It quickly escalated into refusal to do any stitch.

I considered buying a new machine, and couldn't decide what to do, but ran across Hinkletown Sewing Center in PA who replaces the boards with reconditioned ones. I got that done, and went home expecting to sew for years with my newly happy machine.

Last weekend I heard the needle jump again. Then the screen went out, then it left the stitch I was using and returned to home... oh, no!! It's only been a year!  The resident electrical engineer said they fixed the problems with the motherboard, but the rest of it remained old, and will continue to break down.

I'm old school, I thought this fancy machine would last my sewing career. DH says electronics break down, and I just had to pass through the stages of loss to acceptance.

But but...
I'm now in the market for something comparable. I will be out a lot of money. I hope I like it as much. I don't want a learning curve, I want to sit down and sew.  Especially don't want to open a manual!
I do want to sew, every day.

This is one of my dolls, a hydrangea. Doesn't she have just the same attitude I do??  ( btw, I teach a doll-making class using the pattern Flora Bunda by Barbara Willis  SEE HERE )  I have a garden of dolls because I love flowers, and they have personality.

Happy sewing, LeeAnna

Monday, October 14, 2013

Please do not disturb Creativity Roadblock #3

"Please do not disturb, I'm disturbed enough" (c) LAPaylor 2013
Today's Creativity Roadblock series continues with a discussion of interruptions.
I get so lost in thought sometimes, so focused on an idea, that when DH says something I jump!
Women multi-task well, but how does it effect your body?

This world is very distracting. One is expected to do more than one thing at once. An interesting quote from THIS ARTICLE says "Do two or more things simultaneously, and you'll do none at full capacity"

I am totally guilty of this and have been for years, and beyond that, thought it was a gift. I can't sit in front of a tv without my ipad, or a math puzzle or hand sewing. I think I am hearing it all til suddenly DH is mad at me for asking what's "going on in the story?" This ability to juggle was adaptive in my previous life as a caseworker. There were constant interruptions throughout the day, and each one was top priority and each one needed to be done first.

What if we decide making art, and the creative process is as important to us as say, answering the phone/doorbell, or folding the laundry, or watering the grass? What if we give the process, either the idea part or the production part, the time it's due? What if we schedule time for that part of ourselves that makes us a better us?

The hard part is on you now... I can't tell you how to prioritize your tasks, or how to turn off the demands of a child/dog/parent. I can tell you I am no longer at the whim of a phone ringing. I no longer feel the need to go to the door for every salesman. I often do not want the radio on when brainstorming ideas.

The tasks that have to be done, like making dinner, picking up children, going to an appt, a job, need to be done. I say, your creativity enhances your whole existence and deserves time as well, and so I encourage you to put yourself on the schedule. If you decide you are most productive in the mornings, then dedicate time each morning, or more time once a week, what ever works for you, to your process. Your mileage will vary, but put a bit of thought into how to give yourself some time to create.

My mommy friends have to schedule creative time, well creatively. The older the children are, the more you could explain to them about mommy's needs being as important as theirs. You can't ignore blood or fire, but you could remove yourself from being referee for a bit. I think it takes the decision that your needs are as important as other people's, then you won't feel guilty for taking a moment.

I do not know what interrupts your process. Is it your own thoughts that something isn't good enough? Is it the phone or checking social media? Is it another person? I can only suggest you start to notice what interrupts your art, and see if any of it can be removed as a roadblock.

LeeAnna, trying not to multi-task today
ps dh called while I was writing this, and said his plans for the day were interrupted by other demands at work.  Someone else prioritized his day for him! How annoying.... we can only control what we can.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

stencil and paint, update

sky WIP   "Sound Waves" (c) LAPaylor 2013
I decided to play with paint yesterday and made some awesome samples that I am not sharing yet. I learned a lot, and developed a technique that needs fleshing out before sharing.  After having to throw away all my Jacquard StarBright paints, and drying my tears, I pulled out my favorite new paint, SETA shimmers.
I'll have one of each please. Or two of each, just to keep my hoarding license up to date.

I pulled back out the sky wip discussed previously  CLICK HERE  and decided, why pick one idea when you can do two! So I put the bird on with a mix of Seta and Jacquard paints, and then will also add the sound wave bits. I can hear heads shaking from here... it's a teensy bit busy. It is, and will be okay. Wait and see.  LeeAnna

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall Flamingo Sketch

Fall Flamingo
I am still trying to do a sketch/watercolor a day. I think it's good visual training, what to include, what to leave out, how colors blend or not, just how weird my mind works... er... use of imagination.

You won't be seeing any poodle love around her for a while. I came back after a short walk alone last evening to find carnage. The poodle-who-must-not-be-named had visited my cache of watercolor sketches on the coffee table, opened the notebook, chose the one I loved the most and ATE IT.
Granted, he only ate half of it, but the message was clear.

Someone said he probably wanted to go on a walk too. Probably. He had been on two walks already, gone to the store with me including actually going in, shopping every shelf he could reach and greeting several people, eaten three bowls of food, chased critters and in general had a fairly good dog day. Since he turned age 11 he mostly walks like Tim Conway playing the little old man on the Carol Burnette show, remember him? It's an exercise in frustration for me, and like trying to ride a bike too slowly, you feel like you might fall over just walking.

Back to the sketch. I tried drawing from imagination again in the above sketch. Prismacolor watercolor pencils, blended while dry, then I applied water via a paintbrush. This time I wet, then re-wet the brush not to muddy colors on the paper. Then I dragged the brush from object out into the background paper.  The proportions are wrong, but it was a quick attempt, not too much thought, just running amok with paint.

Please scroll down to join read the second part of my series on Creativity Roadblocks, thanks!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Going south for the winter?  A sure sign of Fall.

Psst! sorry for the second post of yesterday's leaf picture. We had a blogging disaster here at chez paylor this morning. While trying to delete today's mess of a post and start over, the computer and I lay ALL the blame on it, deleted yesterday's post too. OMG!  Blogger had not cached the week's posts so we had to go into DH's computer memory and find the post he read this morning.Luckily it was cached. We nabbed it, and I reinstated it. Whew! I need to learn yet another computer skill of how to back up blogs. I am exhausted of learning all the computer skills. People ask why I am not on other social media, and I say, it's all too much! I re-ran it because the blog keeps some memories for me as well as giving me a way to connect with others.
There are many things I have to do, and other things I need to do, just like all of us living in the real world.
In my heart... 

  Really, I just want to sew and paint and play with shiny sparkly things. You know?

Beauty in an ending

Fall leaf on white mums

This leaf was brilliant! DH probably wonders why I walk with my head down, but I don't want to miss any of the individually "painted" leaves! Nature's art show. Let's face it, some sunsets look like abstract paintings.

This leaf looked tie-dyed and I didn't want to miss an opportunity to paint it, or make a quilted one. Sometimes life really is in the details, no? I did not find the leaf laying artistically on the mums, I found it hiding on the poor excuse for grass in the backyard. I picked it up, and arranged it on the mums, then took several pics from different angles, and it became like a composition study in a moment. For instance:

here is is on the deck railing. Doesn't show well.

The one thing I didn't photo was the original grass location. It would have popped against the green.

You do see the tie-dye effect better with the lighting here. 
This is on the deck table, with side light. It glows but you don't see the color change or veining I liked.

Moving the leaf around and playing with contrast is like auditioning background fabrics. There is an interplay of color and contrast that impacts a piece of art, even a leaf.

Now I wish I had taken photos in other locations. The leaf is gone, it's beauty was momentary, so I'm really glad I noticed it. Notice the beauty you stumble over.

You might remember this picture of spooky bark
from an earlier post,    LOOKIE HERE

I often stop on walks, and rearrange the leaves I see into pleasing compositions. DH is used to me stopping to see a detail others wouldn't notice. There was that time the walls of a display at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore struck me as a quilting pattern. The display items were just in my way.

So that's a peek into my creative life. It's just a way of viewing life. Leaves are falling all around me today, beauty is momentary, I hope I don't miss any of it. 
dedicated to Lisa Q an art quilter who passed away this week, who shared her beauty with us daily

Monday, October 7, 2013

Roadblocks to Creativity 2 (Raining with a chance of poodles)

First of all, if you can read this, thank an electrical engineer. Our internet system went down this morning, and despite being late for work and looking at impending storms all day, DH fixed it. Oh he says he knows nothing about computers, but he always saves the day. Thankful, that's me.

So let's talk about roadblocks again. It's Monday, as if that isn't a roadblock enough.

I have a long list of possible roadblocks and abandoned the one originally chosen for today to discuss weather. Yep, sometimes weather actually gets in the way of creativity. I heard someone last week say she'd start a new quilt but the weather was so wonderful, she had to be outside instead. Lots of people have a hard time staying in the studio when gardening is a possibility. Some are more productive when it's cold and snowy. Once again, you have to know your preferences,  know what turns your mojo on or off.

We hate rainy days around here. The "check poodle" light comes on and he hides in the hallway or becomes comatose.I have a similar reaction but fight against it.

I have always been depressed when the sky is cloudy and gray.  My emotions are down those days and creativity can suffer. ( people with Seasonal Affective Disorder  know what I mean)
I cope by lighting up the world! Then I turn up the sound, comedies or old musicals for me.
 I turn on all the house lights. The studio is loaded with  daylight  ( full-spectrum)  bulbs so that when I flip the switch it's daylight in there. As my eyes age, I could use even  more.
 If I can get to the studio and  turn on the lights, my mood will lighten too,  which allows me to focus on making something. NOTE:  These are the days for  mindless sewing, since I'm creative but not on full-power.

  Those are the days I will pull out the scraps and sew, either pull out paper piecing patterns and make components to combine later or sew free form curves.

 I love what I call medicinal sewing, and teach a workshop called "from tiny scraps come great quilts", which you could check out CLICK HERE

The important questions to ask yourself  are:
> does weather effect your emotions or not  IF SO
> does weather effect your emotions (creative mojo) in a positive or a negative way?
If it's positive, and for instance you love rain, then as much as possible go with it. Plan to spend the day making art when rain is predicted.  If it's not positive...
> how will you overcome emotions to get back to your energetic creative mood?
Again, my solutions may help you or you may need different solutions, say chocolate and caffeine, rock n roll, paint by numbers, whatever.

However you cope with weather, keep making something through the low moods. It's easier to change direction than start from nothing. Even if you aren't creating something original today, make something that brightens your mood, and the muse will return. She always does eventually....

Sunday, October 6, 2013

halloween video, you're welcome

Just in case it doesn't load on your computer,    HERE'S THE LINK TO CLICK

Just remember to TREAT the dogs in your life (no chocolate) this Halloween!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sky Wip

sky wip
My good sewing friends often gift me with their scraps. I LOVE scraps. So this week when I needed some medicinal quilting time, I pulled out the latest offerings which included a few little leftover bargello strips, mostly one inch wide unfinished.
I placed them as they were meant to be. NAH!

Then I moved them around, resewed some bits until I liked the blend of intensity.
I thought it would become some kind of pieced sky component for another quilt. After matching all the tiny squares, and pressing I put it on the design wall and decided it might be okay on it's own.
 I considered stencils, maybe this time with inks, or maybe my favorite seta shimmers. The following pictures are different stencils currently under consideration.

While considering this I pieced another strip of the tiny bits, and placed it over the background. Whoa!
Now it looks like a sound wave.

 I called DH, our resident electrical engineer into the studio. He called it "insert-technical-name-here"
I asked if he'd like to see it in an office boardroom.

After careful consideration of just how much trouble he'd be in for honesty, and considering the weekend coming up where we'd be in close proximity for two days, he gently said,

 "I'd prefer some of your other work over this"
After 20 years he's getting good!
Anyway, I like it, but like most experiments, there are many options, so I get a bit lost in all the choices and don't want to limit myself to one so it might languish in the wip pile. I need to learn to just choose one and move forward with the next scrap adventure, there will always be another. Thanks to good friends with left-overs to share.
Tell me what you would do!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Realism and sketches

Realism anyone? 

 Okay, yesterday I showed something sketched and painted from imagination. I stretched my skills to include graphic fillers, using another medium, allowing myself to share personal artwork that could possibly be mocked. The process was important for my growth, and for those of you who actually read my words, I thank you for taking that little jaunt with me.

 Today's sketch/turned painting is more in my wheelhouse, if I have one other than fabric. If I can see it, I can try and draw it. Easier to go from real objects to paper for me than from photos or imagination.

From my perch on the porch I see the rattan chair, the porcelain bird, the flamingo and the fountain.
Still, perspective is a challenge so there was learning from doing. There was the mix of pencil colors, and I've decided that DH who is generous but gift impaired has an easy gift for Christmas.... prismacolor watercolor pencils in a larger selection, Dick Blick honey.

After sketching and coloring in like a child would, I dipped my finger in water and went over the images blurring the colors.

I decided realistic paintings are easier for me because I am somewhat limited by what I see whereas when I paint from imagination the choices are unlimited. So many choices to make!

On my walk today I heard my favorite bird singing. Some birds have found their note, their song and that's what they sing. Many artists have found their style and that's what they want to make.

 The bird singing today is one who sings two bars of one song, then sings two repeats of another song, then two repeats of a third song, and so on.
That bird is my style. Sing it all, try it all, enjoy the diversity, repeat what you find enjoyable, learn new songs every day, sing what you want to sing.  There is room in my world for realism and abstract and all the area that intersects. I revisit different series on different days, some days I want to do abstracts some days I want to do whimsy, and who am I to tell the muse she's wrong? That's my style!

LeeAnna , making what she likes

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


wag more (c)lapaylor 2013

This is my latest sketch. On vacation, I splurged at an art supply store for a small pad of heavy watercolor paper and have been comparing this to the non textured, thin paper I was sketching on previously. I used to paint on good paper, back when I painted a lot. I did a lot of landscapes and painted from real life. Disclaimer: I am not a trained drawing person. I sketch like a four year old but with more self-judgement.

They say, write what you know... so I usually draw what I see. Not this time, unless someone slipped a drug into my iced tea...   The process:
 I started with a purple ink pen and drew the words making up a font as I went. Then the poodle, the swooping lines went on around the letters, then filled in the areas with random patterns. I've been drawing star people for the last thirty years. I wanted to channel Klimt so I compartmentalized the areas.

Then I got out the prismacolor watercolor pencils instead of regular paints and colored in the areas, and could still easily see the inked pattern under the color. I blended them a bit while coloring. Then I took a wet foam brush to the whole thing, and it began to go south, the inked lines blurred, the pencil color got muddy, and intensity was lost.

Lesson learned, use a small brush and go slowly to wet the pigment.
Then I went back in with lime green because adding a neutral like lime is always appropriate and makes a piece sing. I went over some of the lines again with a black marker, and  then brushed on some old Jacquard starBright paint.
Back when I started painting on fabric instead of paper, I discovered the soft glittery detail of star Brights. Then after I was hooked, they discontinued the line. I found a source and like all good crafters, hoarded the 12 jars I found.

Then they sort of  dried up as if they knew their days were numbered. All my other textile paints, still good with half-lives of a million years in the jar.

Anyway, as artists do, I thought "what else can I do with these? Let's try them on paper!" I brushed on some of the slightly tacky paint, and oooooh the effect was glowing and sparkly. Wonderful! Except.... it's been almost 24 hours and it's still tacky.
(Around my house I could just leave it on the table and let dust coat it) 
Anyway, my old inner critic is going on about how childish the whole thing looks. My NEW inner voice is saying, hey, that looks cool, it glows, and the pattern is interesting and let's just admit, it's just like me!
That's what art is supposed to be right? Fun to make, and expresses the artist. So there, critic.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Taking a break, taking a walk

Fall berries
The orange fall berries are in full color. Next to mums and pumpkins, they are a brilliant reason to take a walk. When I am stuck in a design decision limbo, a walk clears my head. This walk turned into a clown event though, and I couldn't think for the poodle antics happening. I'll let Cole tell you about it...

Cole: We started out the way we always do... "Cole stay with mommy, no pulling Cole, Cole stop sniffing and come ON"   Mommy just doesn't get the need to leave a calling card, come to think about it, I've NEVER seen her or Daddy pee on anything outside... (shakes dog head)
I had been on a chipmunk hunt because they have  gone bonkers this fall, scampering around with those little squeaks, running up our gutters, eating seeds, drinking water from the fountain, taunting me.
I ran into my friend Sam
and he told me there was some excitement up ahead. He's a great one for chat, never stops barking actually but like a lot of big talkers, sometimes a soundbite of real news comes out.

After a bit of sniffing I continued on to find this:
ALL Riiiiiight!  Paw pump!

 Perfect! a new cat all puffed up, and within jumping distance, wait, curse the arthritis...

 well, I can stop and stare at it ALL DAY if need be.

Crazy squirrels and wacky chipmunks, branches of dried leaves to be shaken, cooler weather, cats on walls,  now THAT's Fall to me!

I got dragged away before the cat came down, I tried to reason with mommy but she was all, "I've got quilts to make, we have to go home" She has definitely not learned that it's better to sniff now, and hunt while you can. Priorities!

Happy Fall hunting ya'll and remember don't spend so much time in the studio that you miss the chipmunks.