Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I have been a huge Melanie Testa fan for quite some time now. It seems that no matter what new technique I am admiring, Melanie has written an article or book describing it! So I was elated when the latest CPS arrived and she had an article in it about drawing with opaque watercolors in your sketchbook. So I picked up the Pelikan opaque watercolors that she was using and began to play. I was at the condo, didn't have any tracing paper as Melanie prescribed, so I decided I'd just play with the paints. I love the colors...I love the paints!

So when I got home, I started playing around with the technique that Melanie described, drawing on tracing paper (only I was tracing from a Dover book on tracing paper!), writing in my sketchbook, and then gluing the tracing paper 'drawing' over my writing, and adding more of the lovely Pelikan paints after the glue dried.

Did I mention yet how much I love those Pelikan opaque watercolors...and how fond I am of Melanie Testa???? Blogger, however, has disappointed me by not turning this picture clockwise(which I had turned but Blogger 'unturned'!).

Here is another sketchbook page, using the Pelikans and tracing paper, but straying from Melanie's technique just a bit. I just love those intense colors, don't you?

I was also drawn (no pun intended!) to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's article in the same CPS issue about Canvas Photo Quilts. The Grace quilt series continues!

I've used inkjet transparencies to transfer my Grace photos onto canvas. We have some incredible stained glass windows from the Lamb Studios, and I decided to include two of my favorites on this piece, plus a transfer of our wonderful old church/chapel. The next step in Julie's process is to use oil pastels to 'enhance' the photo transfers. I got a little carried away here, but that's ok.......there's always gesso! LOL I do love how the steeple comes alive in the lower right. There is more to do to complete this piece, so stay tuned!

And did I say we were painting? Yup: Charlie and Patrick are here to remove the ugly 'popcorn' from the ceiling in the foyer and living and dining rooms PLUS paint the little bit of wall in the kitchen and all of the walls in the other rooms where the ceiling is being redone. Here's Charlie scraping off the horrible popcorn.

This is a shot of my monster rubber plant in our livingroom. I have no idea how old this plant is, but it has been here for at least 15 years. Sadly I am going to sacrifice it for the well-being of the livingroom. On a brighter note, it is not very healthy and requires an incredible amount of care. It will be replaced with succulents, which will love the sun!

Here are a few more pictures of the momentous job that Charles and Patrick are facing! In a past life, I did all of the interior painting...I'm so glad that I have graduated to fiber!

and at the close of the day:



Jeannie said...

I like the journal paintings and the latest Amazing Grace is wonderful. We have the dreaded popcorn also - even in the kitchen! Whose idea was that!LOL! Keep having fun! Cheers.

Carol said...

I love your sketch book pages, such ethereal flowers. Looks like a lot of fun to do. I had popcorn in my last house; really awful stuff. Don't envy you while the work is being done. XX

Karoda said...

I joke that I'm going to write a book of poetry entitled "NO MORE STUCCO CEILINGS!"

connie said...

Oh my I love your journal painting. It sounds like such fun. I have a bit of a phobia about dealing with paint. I am not sure why. I am just a bit strange :-).

Good luck with the removal of the Popcorn....

Eva said...

As a school kid, I had a 12-colour paintbox by Pelikan, as all the kids I know. Later, at my 8th birthday, I got the 24-colour box and I was enchanted by the new tones: Indian yellow, Prussian Green, Raw Umber...It had a major impact on my painting development. I am grateful to my mother for this gift until today.
Have fun painting -- and don't forget to show the results!

Anonymous said...

I admire you for having the popcorn ceiling removed. It makes such a mess and leaves dust all over the place, but you'll be happy with the results. Your climate may be too cold for an outdoor rubber plant, but if you put it a sheltered part of your garden, it will grow over two storeys tall. We had some neighbors whose rubber plant was taller (and almost bigger) than than their house. Good luck!
Carol your sister-in-law

Sue B said...

great sketchbook pages! I think I might have to put some of those paints on my shopping list.

Rayna said...

I'm leaving the popcorn ceiling removal job for the next owners.

Your sketchbooks are lovely.

Elizabeth said...

Hey Judy!! Great post!!! Ok where do you get the Pelican watercolors?????? i love your paintings great job!!!Have you seen Melanie's new book??? It is awesome and I have seen it in person- pricey at 29.95!!! CT publishing- what is up with that price???? I ma goin gto check and see what amazon has it for!! it si wa wonderful book but 30 is too high for my blood!!
So glad that you don't have to deal with all of that painting!!! I ahv etwo bathrooms to paint but I can't even seem to get excited about doing that- I have fun things to keep my attentions else where!!