Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I had the best day with great company. One of my friends from Las Vegas came to visit and brought her mother along, but I didn't know her mom was coming before they got to the restaurant.
The place had just started crowding up and we were lucky to get a spot overlooking the ocean.
Because Laguna is a cove, the waves are usually pretty serene, but they were huge today and larger than any waves I've seen in that area before. We were pretty sure that the waves came from tropical storm Flossie and they made the view extra special for my guests.
We had a great time talking, laughing, and taking in the wonders all around us.
We made it to the sawdust art festival, but spent a good deal of time sitting and chatting again. It was just so good to be in their company today and it felt like I was surrounded by angels.

When I got home I finished my ICAD for the day. its a nice collage that includes some souvenir items and images of a fun day, including a chocolate chip cookie.

I'm so exhausted, but I had such a good time today! It is such a blessing to be surrounded by good friends.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Much can be celebrated from the ICAD 2013 project. I have little bits floating around that are specific reasons, but for now, I will focus on the fun had by all.

"Daisy Yellow", or Tammy Garcia, has brought about a sense of artistic community even with thousands of miles between all of us. She has built a safe world where we can keep our sanity, yet create fun art works and leave the serious behind.

Thank you, Tammy Garcia, for all the work you have done to make this one of the best challenges, ever.

No, really!

Thank you!

Monday, July 29, 2013


No matter the speed, progress is motion. Lately, it's been sort of a mantra for me; "just keep going".

Maybe it's my phrase, or the words of wisdom I seek, but it really is just what I do.

Just keep going.

"Don't forget!"

I thought that was appropriate considering the elephant prompt. And, I would have written the source of the circular scribbling, but it was a paraphrase from Bonnie Raitt and the original source was not there, other than "a psychiatrist". 

I saw those words in an Oprah mag last fall, as I moved into a new world, from Vegas to California, and struggled for what pace to claim for settling my things.
I sure am hard on myself- and have finally stopped beating myself up over not being unpacked. I'm sure there are roots of my being still clinging to the really good times there in Vegas. It's clear too me, the roots of the worst have died quickly and have been replaced with new growth. That is me. It is a transition.

Yet, it is progress, no matter how slow.

The card is a bit bigger than usual, a 4x6, but what else would one expect to contain an elephant?

I used a watercolor background that was made at the start of July. I collaged the elephant and used a Pitt pen for the writing. Next, I used some Gelatos and blended them with my fingers. Finally, some Stabilo pencils and more Pitt pens were used on the final touches. I tried white gelli pen, but it just wasn't dry enough.

Have a great week-and hug your sweetnesses!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


My goodness, how June and July have gone by so quickly!

We are down to the last set of prompts and today is drips of paint for me.

I tried to let the paint drip all on its own, but it wouldn't drip alone. Also, I create most of my pieces while sitting on the couch, do I didn't want to get too crazy...

So, it was just runny watercolor in some spots and then I changed the color now and then by putting the tip of the brush into an established drip. It was fun to watch the colors run.

It seems like I see people moving on this card. The design is interesting, even if I tried controlling it.

What will I do tomorrow?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Snowman Beach Doodles

The ICAD challenge is winding down and this is one of the last prompts:

Doodles Galore.

So, weeks ago, I was supposed to try using coffee as a background and I put my fingers in it and made coffee spots on the index card. It wasn't until today that I was inspired to use it.

All of the doodles came from the coffee spots and suddenly, I saw snow people.

I see snow people.

I used coffee and black micron pen.


Blew it!
I stayed up too late and fell asleep before midnight, then woke up a few minutes past. Them woke again at a few minutes after one.

Sleep won last night.

Regardless, I just wanted to put a few touches on this Ogee pattern and I guess that was too much to ask of the sandman.

I didn't know the name of this pattern until I looked it up during the ICAD challenge. I have used this pattern before and have had mixed results.

With the monster of perfection always riding my tail, I continued to draw the pattern without his regard. Perhaps the title might be, "fighting perfection". Hmm.

The card has some oil pastel along the edges from another experiment, brush (B) Pitt pen, Stabilo fine markers for color, and a water brush to spread the color.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


In some languages, 'pastel' means candy. I'm loving these oil pastel pieces so much, they are my candy today.

The other day, I watched a tutorial from Julie Gibbons on oil pastel portraits and got some ideas like how to spread the color into a large space, layer color, and then blend the pastels.

I saw how to drop in the lighter colors first and then build upon them with darks to get fuller color.

I used the techniques I learned and then departed into techniques of my own, but mostly because of necessity; my oil pastels are likely old and they are tough to work with. My pastels cake up in places and small markings unintentionally marr the appearance of an otherwise interesting and smooth piece of art.

So, to get the caked bits off of my piece, I used a palette knife. I made a couple of scrapes accidentally, then realized the texture could be really great.

So I kept going.

I love the result. It's sort of like scratchboard, only I didn't need any special equipment- just a pencil to start, followed by the palette knife.

I'll keep going~ I always do

And the best part? No sugar.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Green Dress

Sometimes, dreams stay with us at any cost. Last night, I saw old classmates and their families. But the image that stuck with me the most, was a little green dress.

In the dream, I'd seen friends I'd not seen for many years. One of which told me she world be leaving her husband, whom she'd had been together with since high school. Shaking head...

Probably the best part was the fitting room, everything was a dollar. Even better, it was all fifty percent off. Woo hoo!

Also, the part about Paris- I've never been, but apparently, my subconscious would like me to prepare to go! I was telling  everyone.

Dreams are good!

What is your dream?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


To be revised, an article must have started somewhere, as it does with painting.

Upon revision, the article is improved and second glances are taken.

Some thing might be added, while others are taken, and new material can be brought in and subtracted all in one fell swoop.

The piece is worked.
And worked.
And ugly.
And muddy.

This painting was revised probably ten times (a thousand) while I worked it. It started with the plain index card and from there, I added layers of punched scrap paper, watercolor pencil (that got covered), acrylic and gouache paints. I just kept going until something said it was done.

This is where the written word and a painting differ. Words can be combed, structure proofed, and many sets of eyes can read and approve of a final product.

The painting is solely in the eyes of the painter. Only the painter knows when it is done.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Back in Time

Like it was yesterday:

Sitting on the 'pizza' carpet at our family home way back in 1990, I had my boyfriend over and we were using my new Prismacolor markers in a Mead Academie sketch pad. I got the art materials for Christmas that year and we were giving the markers a run for their color. The paper soaked up so much that the markers died soon after. Or, maybe a sibling used them without asking...who knows.

Why do I remember so much about that day? I still have the sketch pad with all of the doodles. It has survived more than three inter-state moves and the color remains unchanged. The paper has yellowed a bit, since the pad was made in the pre-acid-free days.

But the color! Wow! I had no idea what to draw with them, so my boyfriend and I doodled page after page of colorful goofiness. There are some caricatures, scribbles, and big sculpted words. We had fun, and that's all that matters.

Today, I tore out a page of those scribbles and made new art with them. I used three different paper punches and strategically removed color by cutting circles and flowers.

Next, I arranged the shapes to be like flowers and then the piece took a life of its own. I glued and arranged the shapes until I thought it was done.

Something was missing. I liked the vibrant color of the scribbles showing on the shapes, but the flowers I'd intended to create didn't show up like I thought they would. So, I picked up the waterbrush, and voila!

I'm posting a before and after picture to help visualize the project. If the pictures post out of order, which they often do, the final is the one that looks like a vibrant watercolor painting.

I'm just amazed because the ink and paper are more than twenty years old!
The age is hard enough to believe as it is...but I'm only twenty-six, so go figure!

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The best of plans

There exists a type of art called 'Zentangle'. The type of art I made may have been inspired by the formal 'tangles', but at the heart of it is me.

I have been going over some of the decisions I've made in life- not a whole lot, and not in a regretful fashion, but sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I had altered my plan in any way.

The art I made today is sort of like life: it has structure, patterns and, at the same time, random designs. The designs are the most flexible and the foundation really is not.

Art is life and life is art.

The look of this piece relates to decisions over time and the personal timeline one creates on her own canvas. Once the designs have been created, they can be altered just a bit, depending on the circumstances but, for the most part, they are permanent. The designs created today even bleed a bit, if given the chance, and it makes them that much more beautiful from the bleeding.

What are your designs like?

Free and easy?
Deliberate and intricate?
Mild and miraculous?

Think of your art every day. Every thing we do has an effect on our designs.

How would you like yours to appear?

Through the Pains

If only I could tell my friends everything will be ok and their problems would be solved by done magic little pill.
If only.

If only I could cure my friends of illness, pain, and suffering.
If only.

If only I could have been a listening ear for someone who took his own life.
If only.

But, I know these things are not all for me to handle, solve, or advise. They are all part of a much bigger plan and it is not all about me, but I am a part.

I care so much and sometimes feel hopeless, and other times completely filled with hope.

I pray,
I cry,
I rejoice,
and worry.

I'm not God.

I am human and believe God can heal us beings. I believe. Not everyone believes and that is not for me either.

I believe.

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's Hot !

Thoughts go out to those experiencing the heat have. My snow man decided to go to  the beach. He's under some sand to keep cool- I suggest you do the same!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Set

There was a piece of watercolor paper that caught the drips and drops of paint from "Her Vegas is on Fire", so I cut it into three index cards and continued the mess. I started with the one in the middle, the right one second, and the third is on the left.

The first one came along pretty well, as it had a good deal of splotches already. I just love using the Stabilo markers as pseudo watercolors, so in went some of those. There had between some gelato crayons on the paper and that crated a neat texture. I just continued on the other two and had fun.

Have a good night!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Seasons of Love

The "Rent" soundtrack was played many times in the car on our way to MN from IL. My younger sister had to have it playing and my brother (secretly) knew all of the words as he sang them.

Until I played it many times in a community band, I really didn't know it very well. I should have left I it alone but now love it.

This painting was a scrap from a larger painting and I had fun making now. I used Gelatos, Stabilo markers, water brush, and Pitt marker.

How do you measure a year?

Monday, July 15, 2013


After an amazingly fun day of wine tasting yesterday, I found I'd missed a call from a relative. I just don't talk on the phone very often anymore, so it must've been important.

Oblivious, still, I checked email today to find a different one of my distant relatives took his own life after the death of his fatter earlier this year. It is so sad to know he was in so much pain that caused him to go through with this.

Being alone is no fun. His life had just started to get good and then his father was gone. Seems like everybody thought he was doing ok- we want to believe that is true. But, nobody really knows anyone but his or herself. This shock is hard to bear.

I'm hoping better days for his family and an end to the suffering. It is so hard to keep going when the losses pile up, but I hope everyone will be ok.

The painting was made with watercolor crayons, prang watercolor, and Sakura gel pen.

Hug everyone around you and take nothing for granted.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Just around the corner....

Today's Index Card was a step in a different direction for me. I chose collage because a.) I'm tired, b.) I found a lot of fun magazines while sorting my junk today, and c.)well, I just don't do it very often and it's fun.

July has been filled with some fun fireworks, celebrations and new beginnings. The door shows August peeking in, yet it also welcomes love, sweetness, and song.

I found the magenta page with "July" already printed on it in an ad for the Rod Stewart shows that happened last year, about this time, in Vegas. I like Rod, but not enough to frame that page or anything.

It was fun to just create using pre-printed images, or somebody else's art, to make something new. I didn't even muddy it up with paint this time....

Oh, and I used some already reused Christmas gift wrap. Because, we all know what else is right around the corner.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Velvet Elvis

Velvet Elvis is what came to mind when I finished this card. The vibrant colors spoke loudest and the heavy outline took the place of the velvet. 

I love doodling flowers, and the color comes from my heart.  

The paint is Acrylic and Gouach plus, Staedtler PITT pens. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Seven Eleven

One of the prompts for this week's Index Card a Day is "mosaic". I kept thinking of how I might do it, by using magazine pages, or found scraps, but nothing really hit me like the hotdog holder from Seven Eleven. We had the hotdogs a couple of days ago, but the cardboard holder had made it into the recycle bin.

Because it is the eleventh today, Seven Eleven was giving away free slurpees. We didn't partake because the line was too long, according to my sweetie, but the date and coincidence hit me.

I soon found myself cutting the hotdog holder into sweet little pieces and the mosaic was born. I glued them down with a glue stick on a "Smash" pen and used the other side for all of the cross-hatching. Of course, I used neon acrylic paint and wasn't very careful about it. It dried quickly and the highlights followed.

Have fun,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Her Vegas Is On Fire

For many, Vegas is an escape to a strange sort of paradise filled with sunshine, casinos, water attractions, incredible shows and amazing food. Beyond the tourist experience is a world of people who make it all possible. And where, one may never even wonder, do the local Las Vegas people go to escape the tourist world, but to the place called Mount Charleston. 

Plenty of people hike her trails, ski her runs, breathe her fresh air, and climb her steep facings. Young and old have enjoyed a hot chocolate in the restaurant and have probably heard polka music there, or visited the Christmas gift shop at any time of year. Some people have chosen to get married further downhill at the Mount Charleston Lodge, and they have done so, especially, in the snow. 

We have marveled at her changing terrain as we make the half-hour drive up to the top to take in the valley from above. The aspen trees twinkled in the sunlight and welcome visitors with the cheery exterior of a getaway for the day. Yet, in winter, it is wise to watch weather reports in order to be prepared with required snow chains on cars and trucks. So many have felt snow for the first time and thown plenty of snowballs, even if there is a little mud mixed in. 

School buses have brought loads upon loads of kids, even college-aged kids, to the picnic and camping areas. For a midwestern college-age student, the thirty degree temperature drop was so refreshing compared to the extreme hotness of the valley floor. Most would wish they had packed a sweatshirt. 

This week, a fire was started by lightning on the west side of the mountain. It quickly spread to the other side and some structures have been lost, the fight to put it out goes on, and the fire rages. There have been reports of coyotes in North Las Vegas that are running from their habitat having been destroyed. Many animals, including wild horses, will surely be affected by this fire. 

People are being evacuated from the tiny village on the eastern face, but one man refuses to leave. An article mentioned he cannot afford insurance because his payment doubled after the last fire. I know I should have a source, and names and dates, but I'm not making it up, just telling it like it is and this is a different kind of story. 

It is easy to mourn this fire because the smoky evidence clouds up a usually cloudless sky that Las Vegans are accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. From pictures I have seen, the fire seemed visible from about fifty miles away from the source. My Dad used to say, "There's not a cloud in the sky. Oops, there's one." Though he was joking, he wasn't far off. 

The evidence clings to the valley spreading ash onto homes and all types of properties. The smoke will stay until the winds kick up and spread all of it over more of the desert southwest. The atmosphere will be filled with the remnants of an escape. The place that used to comfort so many will be burned and look so different from the memories. 

Probably one of the only things that is calming my spirit about this fire is the fact that life comes after. 

Life comes after fire. 

In biology, we learn "Mother Nature" has a way of cleaning house. She has done it this time by setting fire to a place that really doesn't belong to us, but it does belong to the earth. I believe God cleans house like Mother Nature, and that He does it for similar reasons. I do not believe the purpose is to hurt anyone, no matter what anyone believes.

With that in mind, my painting today was driven from the fact I am mourning this beautiful place with so many others, but I am doing just that from a distance. It is my hope, that even as she burns, the firefighters will have the strength, stamina, courage and faith to fight this fire from hurting anyone. I hope people come and pay forward with bottles of water and all of the supplies the command center is collecting. I hope their fire-safe equipment and uniforms stays that way and most of all, I hope for a sense of calm so they can get their job done. 

Fire is scary. 

Major upheaval is scary. 

After fire is life. 


New texture

Many weeks ago, I attended a workshop where we painted tote bags. As we sat down, we found a bag filled with sweet surprises to thank us for coming. The bag was tied with a cute and frayed piece of fabric and I knew I had to keep it.

As part of the theme for ICAD this week, there is a prompt for fabric, stencils, stamps, but most of all, texture. I found the stencil I made recently and cut the cute fabric piece into strips to fit on my card. Next, I used a brown micron pen to fill in the "notes", and soon after, my card was done.

Have a great day!
Life, Kim

Monday, July 8, 2013


I love leaves! I pick up many different ones on my morning walk and always wonder how there can be so many different types.

The leaves on the painting are very simple and look a lot like lemon leaves- only they aren't that. They are just doodle leaves that have been "trimmed", just so, in order the full tree gets exactly what it needs.

I've used Prang watercolor for the background, a Sakura white gel pen, and Stabilo fine markers for the bits I colored in.

I used a green Stabilo marker for the shadow and enjoyed taking the time to really give the shadow its place.

This was fun to create!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


There are two challenges in which I am talking part this summer: Summer of Color, 2013 and Daisy Yellow's Index Card a Day (ICAD) 2013.

Each has its own theme by week, and this week it was "pale pink and charcoal grey" for the Summer of Color. Honestly, since these colors were announced last week, I've not been able to get these shoes out of my head.

My Dad bought me this first pair of Nike shoes while I was in fourth grade. I'm pretty sure I wore those puppies out and held onto them for gym shoes as long as I could.

I cherished those shoes and nobody I knew had them at school, so I felt special. I studied every nook, cranny, fold, wrinkle and speck of dirt so the image of my first pair would remain ingrained on my imagination.

They wore so well, eventually the color layer began to slip through the the gunny rubber.

The second painting was made by squooshing different colors of paint together. I was inspired by Beth Valley Kingsnorth and her ability to have fun with the colors to match the "psychedelic" prompt choice for this week.

I had fun with these today and look forward to more!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


For the first time, I tried gouache today. I'd only known it to be mysterious watercolor until now and I am quite pleased at the prospect of using it in the future.

The index card is really a swath I cut from a piece of 140lb watercolor paper after I'd doodled sufficiently to test (play) with this slightly different medium. The color is so smooth and opaque like acrylic, yet soluble and respondent like watercolor.

It is so nice to be able to play and feel like I am accomplishing something!

Today, I also found some new Gelatos and will be playing with them to have sone fun this week, as well.

Have a great one!

Friday, July 5, 2013

A piece of cake!

In the morning, it is my sister's birthday. She deserves a piece of cake, so here goes! Her week of fighting kancer wasn't very fun and I only hope this one is better.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


The holiday is tomorrow and we'll be having a couple of kids over to use the pool. The kids are friends of Buck and Louis, my dogs, and their dog Roxy is the girlfriend to both of mine  but mostly Buck.

I spent a good time raking and sweeping to make it look nice around the pool and soon I realized it was time to jump in! So I got my suit on, grabbed my new floatie, and stepped into cool bliss.

Just floating and looking into the sky felt so nice and I felt light and free. I sat up in the floatie and used my arms to paddle a couple of laps.

When my fingers got pruney, it was time to go inside. I showered and took a nap.

Boom! I could have slept through the night I was so wiped out!

Fresh air? Check
Pool water? Check
Relaxation? Uh, you could say that!

I walked the pooches and felt just wasted- sunshine wasted! I'm not burned or anything, just totally exhausted.

So the card is related to the day- SWIM!

I used Stadler watercolor crayons and a bit of Prang watercolor as well. I'm working on waves, but I felt better about them after I added the lettering.

Have a great holiday, everybody!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Second Arrangement

This is another piece I made from the same sheet of music for yesterday's post. It was so interesting to see some crazy pattern develop, I just had to try it again.

In one corner, I've included the stamp of the store where the music could be purchased, back in the day. The "No. 10" is probably just of the series that particular arrangement was part. Maybe it's a 'perfect ten' for me?

Again, I folded and tore the sheet music into strips. Next, I wove the pieces together, used Allene's Craft Glue to affix the weaving to the card, and then Prang watercolor to get the sepia tones.

It's fun to experiment with an arrangement of an arrangement.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Thirty cards done, now thirty one!

ICAD 31, neutral color and pattern. I folded a piece of old music and it was so easy to tear, I just kept going to get the strips. I like this non-traditional way of looking at music. I wove it and glued the pattern down with Alleen's craft glue, then used Prang watercolor for the sepia effect.