Category: art

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Being that I adore dragons (always have, well since I gave up on unicorns in the 4th grade) and thoroughly enjoyed Donita K. Paul’s Dragons series I thought I would share some of my favorite dragons for Appreciate a Dragon Day.  (My two very favorites are in the bedroom where my hubby is asleep so…. they are sleeping dragons and we let sleeping dragons lie.)

First is the one I did when Cat mentioned feeling like a dragon the other day (and which you have already seen):

Dragon doodle

Then there is the wonderful antique dragon coffee set my in-laws bought us last January for our anniversary (which is next weekend).

Dragon tea set

Also in our home is the Guardian of the Futon: the dragon I bought for Issac for his birthday last year at IKEA and which migrated downstairs so often that he eventually became our futon guardian.
IKEA dragon
Another favorite who often gets overlooked (because he sits like a gargoyle atop the shelf in the office is the Guardian of the Video Games.
Dragon guradian of the video game shelf
Below you will find my Bibliophile Dragon Horde painting (still unframed) above the awesome paper Chinese dragon Rachel made me.
Dragon horde + Rach's Chinese Dragon
And finally, because my favorite dragon shirt is in the summer clothes and because all my favorite dragon books (including The Enchanted Forest series, Here There Be Dragons, and “Max’s Dragon Shirt”, as well as the books mentioned above) are elsewhere, are two small dragons that keep me company at my desk:

Purple dragon

Rock dragon

And our favorite household dragon quote?  “Dragon shirt” said Max.

Valerie Comer also has a post up for Appreciate a Dragon Day.

Artsy Fartsy

Due to eye issues (long story short I can’t see to read or work at the computer but can see for everything else–  Hoping it clears up soon) I have been spending my time away from the computer.  Lots of snow outside (constantly snowing for the last week and the next week to come) means lots of snow shoveling, which helps my eyes feel better so I am doing lots of snow shoveling.

Also have picked up the paints again, this time trying out acrylics which I have a natural aversion to.  They are made of plastic and despite my love of computers I can’t stand anything plastic.  I prefer materials I could make myself and I can make oils and watercolors no problem.  However due to the RA oils are out of the question–oils are surprisingly hard ont he hands.  So, I am giving acrylics a go–  which is interesting as I am completely and totally out of all reds beyond bright orange.  In case you haven’t notice I LIKE red and use a lot of it in my paintings and attempting to work without red until I decide if I can even bear to work with acrylics is an interesting challenge on top of not having touched acrylics since I was in high school (at least 20 years since I touched them).  And in that time I have spent most of my time working in oils and more recently watercolors.  Watercolors are very different from acrylics, you work them differently, the support is different, everything is different (even the palatte of colors I have available to me).  And I refuse to go out and buy any acrylics until I am sure I am going to use them.

So I have a work in progress and have also joined several weekly painting inspiration groups (attempting to get back into doing Illustration Friday as well as the other art groups I am a part of.  And likely will do so if my eyes continue to be a problem (can’t do too much database work when I can’t bear to look at the screen for more than 5-10 min at a stretch–typoing this while looking at my keyboard. :))

I do have a new-to-me computer to work on which has plenty of space fo photos of my work plus a dual boot which will allow me to work in Ubuntu AND use the Windows programs I need to use.  Now if I could just get a new camera to replace my “dust in the lens making it impossible to take decent art photos” camera  I will be doing good.  God provided the computer box (my brother-in-law’s cast off) and so I will have to trust Him to provide a decent camera, and maybe even a printer/scanner so I can get prints of my work done.  I have a feeling I will be doing less website work in the future (hoping– health issues make it too hard to be diligent) and I much prefer doing painting and photography anyway.

We’ll see where it all ends up, every year I think I will do this or do that and then find myself doing the thing I thought I was done with.  And yes, when I get some work done, or at least further along, I will post it.  Right now my husband is loving what I have done with acrylics but I am finding it pretty creepy looking.  If I just had some Payne’s grey and some crimson I would be much happier– why yes I am a color snob, why do you ask?


Once upon a time there was an artist who had a habit of putting too much on her plate (or more often others serving way too much and she just went along with it.)  One day she had many artistic projects coming her way, more and more people commissioning her to do paintings, not to mention 3 lovely children who wanted a lot of attention at inconvenient times, plus a side business of webhosting and design.   And whilst she had too much on her plate she would get an idea and decide to run with it.


Part of the process

I am currently working, in my head, on a project.  It has taken me a long time to realize that part of the painting process, for me at least, is in my head.  The process goes something like this:

  1. Get an idea–usually it is a request from someone or an idea that is inspired by something or someone.
  2. Push the idea to the back of my mind since I am busy with something else.
  3. Idea keeps coming forward, eating at my brain.
  4. Chew on idea, consider beginning but decide to keep working on it before I start.
  5. Consider idea some more, start thinking about possible execution.
  6. Come up with multiple ways idea may present itself.
  7. Chew on it some more.
  8. Begin to consider paper size and possible colors for idea.
  9. Change mind multiple times.
  10. Get sudden bee in bonnet to just do it already.  Push all other projects out of the way while work on new pet project.

Am I the only one who works this way?  I am surprised to realize that despite it only taking me an hour or so to execute a painting it has taken me weeks of brain work to get it right–and the paintings I have put the most thought into are the ones that turn out the best.  Some of my favorites–like the shoe painting took years in the making even though they only took 3 hours from the moment the pencil hit the paper to finish.

And what got me thinking about this?  I have a project for an illustration for a Homeschool Zine that has been running round and round my head and I am itching to begin but am forcing myself to wait until I have it worked out before I start.  I have learned that that makes all the difference.


Idea: 3 years in the works Painting time: 3 hours start to finish.

Idea: 1 year Painting: 4 hours

Idea: 3 days Painting: 1/2 hour (small painting–5x 7″)

Idea: 3 weeks Painting: 1/2 hour


I have a potential project for which I am doing some ACEOs (art cards–2.5″ by 3.5″).  I am not going to go into it now in case it doesn’t go through but it is rather exciting to me and I wanted to share the results so far.  The ACEOs need to work in black and white so these are ink (Micron pen) with a bit of watercolor wash instead of straight watercolor.

The 2 photos down below are actually larger than actual size–which is why I took a few photos with my brushes and whatnot–to give you context.  After working on the much larger series it was surprisingly fun to go back to working small scale.  Tiny details are fun to do and get lost  and forgotten when working larger scale (when I was working on the large series I was too sick of the painting by the time I was at the end to do small details).  An ACEO only takes maybe half an hour or so from start to finish including a detailed beginning sketch-which I usually don’t do when working straight watercolor.

And yes, as you can see from the photo I like using cheap mechanical pencils (.5 preferably) –I HATE broken pencil led and sharpening pencils and like the crisp line I get from a plain old #2 mechanical.  And the gumband on my paint brush is to make it easier to hold–when my RA is bad thsoe tiny brushes are tricky to keep hold of–most of my pencils and brushes have gumbands on them as grips.

Fruits of the Spirit series

I finally finished the series–despite many setbacks.  I am not thrilled with all of them but content with them I think.  I will try to get decent shots of them before I take them tomorrow.  For now here is the entire series.

Faithfulness, Peace, Patience, Love

Self Control, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness

Half of Love, Joy, Self Control, and half of Kindness

And there you have it.  We will see if I manage to enter the whole series in the art show–it is my intention and thus far, despite many setbacks, God has blessed it.