Saturday, June 6, 2015

See How They Shine?

Today I've got a spread for my DOCUMENTED LIFE journal.  The art challenge was watercolors and the prompt was "It's water under the bridge."  

Here's what I made:

"All your dreams are on their way...
...see how they shine?"

The words are from the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and here's my favorite version, sung by Johnny Cash and Fiona Apple:

I love how this painting came out...not perfect...but still right.

I've been noticing that I add black outlines to a lot of my work, especially watercolors...I think of that as an illustrative style...many people do it...and I love how it looks!

But I've been noticing, especially recently, in old children's books, images like this:

I feel like this picture asks a lot of questions...why are the pigs wet?  Why are they sitting on top of that wood crate?  Who leaves a wood crate that close to a lake...that can't be good for the boards...   Why does the fish care...smug little jerk?  How did he manage to catch two pigs in the same net?  How does he plan to carry them home...look at his muscles...those pigs are almost as big as him...he better have leashes...  Why is his mustache growing upside down? (I actually think that might be an open mouth, not an upside down mustache, but once you see it, you can't un-see it..)

No black outlines...I've noticed this style before, but it wasn't until recently that I thought of it in relation to my art.  And I thought...HOW DO THEY BLOODY DO THAT?  

So this spread was my first attempt at making this non-outlined style of art...and my thoughts on this afterward are that either a) I need WAY much more patience in order to create those crisp lines without using black pen or b) there's some kind of special secret technique that makes this style a million times easier once you know it...

But, despite all that, I still like my painting...  I think that the imprecise edges in has make it look hazy and in a dream...which is (after I realized I couldn't get the crisp lines!) the effect I was going for.  :)

So, my b-day was a couple weeks ago (May 19 to be exact), and I got some awesome things from two of my beautiful friends:

First, from Boo, an awesome doodled cake card:

I love this!  I will always remember how Boo once told me she couldn't draw and how ever since then, she's been proving herself wrong! :)  I love it, Boo!

And then from my Pamikins, I got this assortment of goodies:
I can't wait to use all these goodies!

And a close-up:

These are Wallpaper samples!  I love that textured gold one all the way to the's my favorite one (although the rose one she used to make the card with is right up there too!)...I can't wait to make something special with it!

Thank you ladies for remembering me!  I love you both! <3<3<3

And lastly, I've got a picture of Frida...because I get fussed at if I don't! :)

Ain't she cute?!?

This is what Frida does when I go outside to smoke...sits and stares at me...I think my mom probably trained her to do this in order to add one more person to the list of guilt trippers nagging me to stop...

Then again, she does the same thing when I go to the bathroom (sits outside the door and waits for me), and no matter how much I get nagged about that, it's not gonna stop! (Haha!)

She does the same thing when I go to work in the morning as in the picture above...sits by the door and stares at me till I'm a little kid watching their parent leave for work.  Don't leave, Mom!  She doesn't sit there all day, but the fact that she waits till I start pulling down the road before she goes on about her business is more than a little heart melting...  

I am always a little uncomfortable with her displays of unconditional love, loyalty, and devotion...I don't quite know what to do with it and always feel more than a little unworthy of it!  And yet, despite that, she persists in her determined, sometimes belligerent, ways of showing me affection.  To the point where I've often wished that humans could see each other with dog eyes because I know it would end all the bad stuff that goes on in the world.  But, for now I will have to settle for Frida...always staring up at me with her loving goo goo eyes, loyal to me for reasons I can't understand.  

It is more than enough.


  1. So glad you like my doodle cake. I love your boat. It reminds me of a drawing from a children's book. As for Frida I just be so happy to have that time each day of unconditional love and acceptance. It reminds me of a drawing from a children's book. As for Frida I just be so happy to have that time each day of unconditional love and acceptance. I too wish people would see the world through the eyes of the dog

  2. I love the journal spreads you've been making lately Sweet Red Clover and I just love them, especially the boat journal spread...I reecenlty heard something that your boat reminded me of: 'Build and sail your own boat' and it sounds as though you are doing just that in your life these days. A Happy Belated Birthday to you! I hope you took time to celebrate yourself WILDLY, because you deserve it for all the changes you're making happen in your Life!
    BTW, I think the techniques you are wondering about from the children's book illustrations is simply the artist using good old fashioned pencil to make the drawing, then coloring it in with watercolor (or markers) and removing the pencil marks with a white gum eraser. White gum erasers are the BEST at removing pencil marks (even hard lead!) and it's the only eraser I ever use in my artwork. Illustrators back in the day didn't have Photoshop to draw and color their work so they did it the 'old fashioned' way ;)

  3. Your boat is so cute! I too have wondered at the talent that creates these pictures without black lines, I guess it just takes practice. years of practice. I'm so glad you got delicious goodies for your birthday. I'm sure you had a lovely day. Frida is adorable sitting there watching you. I hope the 'stop smoking' guilt looks continue ;) hehe
    Have a great week ahead :o) xo


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