Tag Archives: photography


No, just some blur photos taken at Brendlinger Library, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA, in September, 2018.

It’s not the tropics, it’s the library! I mean it!

Blur Montco 9-2005

A couple of photos of shelves of books? No, the second one is of the open stairwell.

Here’s a color and B/W version. We always have choices, right?



Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending March 30

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Saturday, March 24 – This week will be one of catching art on the run. We have out of town guests coming on Monday, so, we’re busy getting ready and then during the week it’s hard to say how art will fit in. Let’s see how it goes.

This afternoon my husband and I stopped by Home Depot; I took some pictures of ordinary things. I have always loved how they display mundane objects in such interesting ways – there are patterns and vistas galore. I took shots for two reasons: some of them were for references for paintings or drawings.

and some of them were for the pattern or arrangement, just because I liked the look.

See what I mean? Visual carnival.

I had some time to work on small tiles this afternoon. First I put black on all the edges of the ones done the other day. It makes a nice finished look.

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Next I worked on the new set. I use a Chinese brush and a pointy tip small brush, as I see fit.

I also did these three round clay disk things. They are made from the clay left over from the tile making session, being bits of clay too small to make another tile. Roll a ball and smash it, that’s what I do to make these.

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Sunday, March 25 – More tiles.

Monday, March 26 – More tiles! I’ve finished up the white clay tiles and am moving into terracotta. Given the way I’m working with them, the change doesn’t make a difference – you may remember I was using the remainder of the bag of clay in each type when I originally made these tiles, and I knew the actual clay didn’t matter for what I was going to do.

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I was a little better at some process photos this time. My working style has settled into this: Usually I work through the whole group, then go back and add more details, and so on, until I tire out or time runs out or… they look done.

I also opened the erosion bundles I had set outside last August (for info on what they are and how I got started on this path, look here, and I give credit to Evelyn Flint for the idea).

I admit to three things: first, I forgot all about them until not too long ago, when I went around the yard collecting them. Oops! So I took them inside and I dried them out in preparation for opening them.

Oops #2! I realized today that there was still one outside, soaking wet. I grabbed it. No waiting.

Oops #3: I was hasty in making up these bundles and slapped together any old papers. Well, now I’ve learned some things (such as, pay attention to coatings on paper, bind the bundles more loosely so that more weathering can occur, etc…) and I’ll do better next time. Because in the end, it was fun.

Here’s the dried out stuff:

and here is the still-wet one (remember, we just had 9″ of snow that’s melted in the last couple of days). It consisted mostly of a notebook, one of the many I use to jot down notes and reminders. Flip through and take a look.

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I’ll let it all dry out and then I’ll see what I can make of these weathered veterans.

After I cleaned up from that experience I started on a gesso project – I recently bought a lot of these 6″ x 6″ masonite panels for painting. Now, these are dirt cheap, about 60 cents each, I think. So I can use them as freely as if they were paper, pretty much, and I like durability of the material much more. My painting style is hard on brushes and on supports, so paper is not a great option. And when these paintings are done, they are easy to store, to give away, or to sell at very reasonable prices.

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Tuesday, March 27 – More tiles. You know, when you do a project like this, you are in a different mood each day and your work process and results reflect it. Today I needed some structure.

I lined up the tiles (I’ve been doing 20 at a time) five rows of four. I chose a color, did a bit on each tile in the row, and then changed colors.

I then made another pass, working in columns this time. Alternating rows and columns, I repeated the process, skipping tiles as I felt they were finished, until all were done. I managed to keep them in the same positions so I can show you the progression.

Wednesday, March 28 – I needed a rest from tiles. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I went to my studio and looked over the offerings strewn across the table tops for inspiration. I decided to pick up a book I’ve had for some time and work with it.

This book:

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I had borrowed a copy from the library and I liked it so much that I bought one to keep. The book consists of all kinds of ways to draw human figures – illustrations and a line or two of explanation on each page. I intend to go through it and try everything. I haven’t had the time to do a thing about this goal, so I decided today was a good day to start.

I did some brush figures – this came very easily to me. Love making the swirly figures.

I also did these scribbley figures.

I will be working from this book again soon. It is easy to pick out one technique and try it, and it was especially good for today, when I am somewhat mentally scattered. I want to devote good attention to it, though, when I come back to it, and take my time. I think I can learn a lot from this book.

I then went to my current Large Artist Sketchbook and worked on another one of those pages where I pasted in an image with the idea of adding to it later. I got a good start on this page, using acrylic inks (they are growing on me) and some of those cut-up pieces from last week:

I also ended up with an interesting page (a piece of bristol board) that I used for excess ink, or to mix it. I’ll see what if anything can be done with it, or I can cut it up, too.

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Thursday, March 29 – My out-of-town visitors left today, and I had some time this afternoon for art. I’m a real creature of routine and it will take me a little time to get settled from the activity of this week. I decided to putter around and work on this little thing or that, nothing too involved.

I gessoed some more of those 6″ x 6″ panels.

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Now I’ve got a good number to get some painting series going with. I like this brand of gesso:

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It is so goopy. Somehow that appeals to me, plus it covers well in one coat.

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I got out the figure sketching book I mentioned yesterday and tried another technique. The idea was to be outlining figures. I went off in a bit of another direction (I couldn’t help adding details) but I’m going to take that as a sign of how the initial inspiration of the simple figures in the book was able to involve me so fully.

I also did some blind contour sketching, at the book’s suggestion (now it’s speaking to me?) with photos of mannequins for inspiration – they were what I had right there at hand. I liked these; I cut them out, and I think I might color them and put them in a composition somewhere.

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Last, I added India ink outlines and fill-ins to that acrylic ink sheet from yesterday. Where this is going, well, we will find out sometime.

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And I forgot – last night I finished up the page from the current large Artist Sketchbook. Thank you to two episodes of the original Star Trek show for settling me on the sofa to work on it!

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OK, that’s it for this week! Thank you for coming along with me.

Tiny Paintings Part 3

In February I made a set of eight 4″ x 4″ acrylic paintings based on photos I had taken. Now I’m showing you the finished results, in three stages.

Look here for Part 1.

Look here for Part 2.

And – I urge you to take a look at the Art Diary post chronicling their creation, if you are interested – it shows them in various stages of their production.

Here is the set of photos I worked from. Today’s focus is on the third column, on the right.


Allentown bridge and car.

Cars on highway.

Woman and purse at lunch table.

Tiny Paintings Part 2

In February I made a set of eight 4″ x 4″ acrylic paintings based on photos I had taken. Now I’m showing you the finished results, in three stages.

Look here for Part 1.

And – I urge you to take a look at the Art Diary post chronicling their creation, if you are interested – it shows them in various stages of their production.

Here is the set of photos I worked from. Today’s focus is on the middle column.


Woman at lunch table.

Car and person at corner.

Tiny Paintings Part 1

In February I made a set of eight 4″ x 4″ acrylic paintings based on photos I had taken. Now I’ll show you the finished results, in three stages.

And – I urge you to take a look at the Art Diary post chronicling their creation, if you are interested – it shows them in various stages of their production.

Here is the set of photos I worked from. Today’s focus is on the first column from the left.


Restaurant kitchen and table.

Conversation at the bar.

Car and building at a corner.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending March 9

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Saturday, March 3 – I worked on the last of my assortment of small boards in the afternoon. These were 6″ x 6″ Claybord.

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I just started painting. No idea what would develop.

Finally I ended up with 4 small bright paintings.

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While I watched TV, I drew this scene on top of a page in my ongoing Large Artist Sketchbook (I had thought the page was finished but I got the urge to draw on it, so…I did.)

A pleasant way to start off the week.

Sunday, March 4 – I worked on mail art postcards. I seemed to have circle-moon-sun ideas in my head.

Monday, March 5 – I was thinking about the small paintings I did on Saturday. It gave me the idea to try something similar, I mean, to do something abstract on a larger scale. I tend to like making abstract work in a small scale but bigger things, well – I tend to go back to more representational (my version, anyway). So I got out three 16″ x 16″ boards.

I started slapping down some color. I almost hesitate to show these stages, because it reveals the utter randomness of my working process.

I got three things going pretty well. I took them upstairs to set them in the living room to “rest” and for me to eye them for improvements or additions. (Please excuse the photo quality, we go for a cozy light level in this room at night, it looks like.)

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Tuesday, March 6 – I didn’t have much time today for art, but I got in a little bit of painting. After yesterday’s session I felt like trying another abstract painting, and this time I chose a different color scheme to start with, motivated by the idea of using up this really nice dark brown paint – I had a tube that was gasping up its last drops and I was getting impatient. I used a 16″ x 16″ gessoed board.

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Look at all that brown. There was more left in the tube than I thought. Here’s where I ended the day:

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I took it upstairs to join the earlier ones to “rest” for a while. Otherwise, I laid out a group of those @ 2″ tiles I made some weeks back and put a couple of coats of Jet Black Velvet underglaze on them. This is the first step I take in my coloring process. I’ll be working one these soon, I think. Look at that photo with all the underglazes lined up. They look like they are about to march out and demand something, don’t they?

I’ve also got a lot of semi-finished ATC’s I’m working on (they are perfect for when I am sitting on the sofa watching television at night). And I’ve also got a few miscellaneous odds and ends I’ve accumulated – I’m thinking of making a small artist book, maybe. When I get some more to put in it, anyway.

Wednesday, March 7 – More snow. I think about 8″ fell over the course of the day. I knew things would be catch as catch can in my routine – my husband was at home, we spent some time shoveling, and I worked on poetry editing, so not much art work done. I spent a pleasant hour this morning watching a Perry Mason episode and coloring the second of those pages of pen and ink drawings from my ongoing large sketchbook:

During one of our shoveling sessions I took a few photos in our back yard. There is such beauty in a snowfall and how it changes the look of bare branches and landscape. I think these photos will inspire me in some art way in the future.

I took this photo of daffodils in the afternoon. By evening I noticed the snow had already melted from them and they were standing upright again. Spring!

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Thursday, March 8 – I spent today at Montgomery County Community College, doing a session of the Day Trip Poetry Marathon (for those who are wondering what this is, look here. Short answer, it’s a day+/- a week that I devote to writing poetry. Maybe you didn’t know I did that?).

I stopped at the college’s gallery on the way to my car. I wanted to see the current exhibit, artwork of Montgomery County (PA) high school students.

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The arts building is new and beautiful. The gallery is in the entrance lobby area.

The students had done themselves proud. Lots of nice work. I took some (not so great, I apologize) photos of several I really liked. I was amazed by the variety of mediums and artistic visions on display.

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Friday, March 9 – I had a lot of ideas for this afternoon but I ended up working on two of the 16″ x 16″ paintings begun earlier in the week – the brown one and then one from the group of three. Well, things changed. I am not sure if they are getting anywhere yet but…there is always tomorrow!

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I’ve been working on a side job all week – I’ve got some larger-sized ad cards (you know the kind, they come in the mail urging you to buy tires, get your a/c tuned up, donate clothes to charity, etc). I’ve been painting at random on both sides, as I want to collect a few,  fold them in half, staple them, and make them into book pages. You may have seen these before – I refer to them as artist books; sometimes they are embellished with collage, and I write text for them after the books are finished:

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I’ve also collected some folded brochures and will be seeing what I can do with them.

I finished up my afternoon listening to a favorite radio program, “Funky Friday”, musical funk on WXPN Philadelphia – but most of the day I was involved in a new audiobook. Music, books, and art. A nice place to be.

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See you next week! Thanks for reading and traveling this art week with me.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending March 2

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Note – the Diary has come out on March 3 because of our big nor’easter snow storm and wind extravaganza yesterday – we lost our computer connection. 

Saturday, February 24 – More Olympics on TV and I decided to try pen and ink renditions of the small sketches I made for those tiny 4″ x 4″ paintings from a week or two ago. I put them in my ongoing Large Artist Sketchbook. I think I’ll color them in later on.

Sunday, February 25 – Because the weather was rainy and cold, my husband and I decided to mall-walk at the King of Prussia (PA) mall. This mall is enormous, the largest mall in the US, 2.9 million square feet of retail space, if you are interested.

I’m not very interested in shopping, but I figured I could get some shots of mannequins and maybe some photo some reflections, too, not to mention getting in a nice long walk.

It’s been some time since I’ve been in the mall. Years, in fact. Originally, there were two malls and they have been recently connected to make one. We covered the whole place and I got a lot of nice shots. It will take me some time to figure out what to do with them. Samples from three categories:

Artsy, like this B/W one of the lot where we parked. I tried to make it look scary. I don’t like this kind of parking place.

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Reflections, like these merchandise shots. They depict the images bouncing around in my overstimulated brain, a result of even ten minutes’ shopping (I am only half-joking), but I love the reflections:

And then my reason for being there: mannequins. What a rich vein of inspiration I struck. Couldn’t stop snapping the shots. Here are a few:

Great future inspirations. And I’ll include this shot – the stores were not open when we were there, so actual humans were only sparsely scattered around, often camouflaged by the mannequin population. I stopped to look at this red-devil kind of fellow and realized a human was quietly at work, altering clothes, right next to him.

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Monday, February 26 – I worked on the mysterious secret mixed media/collage project today. I promise all will be revealed not too long from now.

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Once again, a look at the aftermath of the frenzy of paper cutting. Supplies lying around in utter exhaustion.

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Here things are a little better. Take a look at the black lined-looking paper. I make these papers by painting a fairly light sketch paper very thickly with the color, making sure brush marks show. Then I press it on to another sheet of paper and pull off this interesting texture print. I love this particular pattern of brushwork and have used these papers for years in many collages.

Tuesday, February 27 – I finished up the secret collage project today, except for some finishing touches. You will be seeing it in the near future. I then puttered around with some odds and ends of ATC’s and postcards and paints and printing and generally getting some small things further down the line to completion.

I had cut apart small sketches I had made of field hockey players some time back and now I glued them on to ATC’s. I also had a couple of magazine images. And, I layered colors on a lot of ATC’s. All of these will get more work done to them. Or maybe not! We will see.

I glued dictionary pages on recycled cardboard cut to postcard size. Future mail art.

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I have a pile of sketches, smallish, that would fit on ATC’s or postcards, maybe. I might color some of them and see what I can do with them next.

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Wednesday, February 28 – I was out a lot of the day, poetry activities and otherwise, so I contented myself with cleaning up the studio to be ready for another work day. Oh so pretty, I say to myself!

I did make one artwork – inadvertent as it was. I had some black acrylic paint on my finger (I was repairing a teeny little area and did not want to make a brush dirty). I then tapped my finger across a piece of scrap paper to clean it – you know how you do.

Well, I’ve made all kinds of fingerprint people on purpose in my art over the years. No surprise, I turned these prints into people, too. I make a note to myself to do some more of these soon.

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Thursday, March 1 – I was out all day at Poetry Marathon. At night, I colored in one page of my B/W drawings in my current Large Art Sketchbook with Tombow and Prism markers, while watching TV.

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Friday, March 2 – As said at the beginning of this week’s Diary, we had a nor’easter, starting as rain and turning to snow, only about 4-5″ of the latter, but the winds were 60 MPH.

Quote of the day, heard on the traffic report: the Schuylkill Expressway is open again and moving – the tree that fell on the bus was just a small one.

That kind of day. The weather unsettled me and I didn’t focus well. I got a couple of boards set up for future paintings:

I worked on a few ATC’s. I decided to listen to my audiobook to drown out the howling wind, and I needed a project. I took two small boards and decided to paint a snowy tree set. One cold and one warm.

I fussed around with them too much, I think. Maybe I’ll paint over them. Anyway, it kept me distracted. Sometimes the point of art making is just to be – making art.

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All right, that is it for this week. See you next week.