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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Birth of a painting

I have been working the past month [seems like non-stop] on a painting. It started out as a fun idea and has turned into a logistical nightmare. [Yes, I have had nightmares about it.] I haven't posted much on my process of doing a painting, except to say that I do lots of layers when drawing and painting. Plus I always forget to take photos as I go along. This painting isn't typical of how I do a painting, but I encountered so many issues and learned so much that it might be fun to share.

#1 Planning. I start with an idea and many, many thumbnails of how I am going to lay it out. Usually I don't have to change much as I paint but often times things just don't work right. Or maybe nightmares cause me to add things that weren't in the plan. This idea started as a 'Where's Waldo' type of painted collage of old time actors and actresses. Originally I wanted a black and white painting with a light path through the middle and darker tones on the actors on the sides. The initial trial was deciding who to include, with so many great actors to choose from. I wanted black and white films at first, say 20's, 30's and 40's. This changed a bit. {nightmares]
#2 Background and initial lay out of painting. The nightmares began. It started with Henry Fonda. He demanded to know why he wasn't included. Wasn't 'Grapes of Wrath' a great movie, one on my favorites? Next night it was Vivian Leigh and Judy Garland, and they were furious. How could I leave out 'Gone With the Wind' and the 'Wizard of Oz'? So what if they were in color. That's when I quit sleeping and began to work on the painting 20 hours a day.

My plan to mix my own grays worked for round one, but my careless measuring and mixing caused my grays to morph into different colors. I kind of liked the color and decided I could work with that. I'm still just using 5 colors for the entire painting. White, alizarin crimson, thalo green, ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow.

#3 I moved some of the figures around and started adding some detail. The color added itself, and I let it happen at first. Portraits are very difficult and I knew this would be tough. But I had no idea how hard it would be to make someone easily recognizable. I knew who the actors were, so I thought they resembled themselves, but every-time I asked an opinion I was informed , "Nope doesn't even look like them." It seems like some of the figures got worse every time I would work on them. I changed Jimmy Steward into Cary Grant, until another nightmare made me add Jimmy back into another spot. My Paul Newman looked like James Dean so I added James Dean, re- dressed Newman and turned my old James Dean into Marlon Brando. More of the actors are becoming recognizable, but every-time I sit and look I find more mistakes. My eyes are tired from all the detail and working with such a little brush for the faces. I could stop, but I know that I won't. I do have a bad habit of over working a painting.

#4 I began to re-think The 'fun' part of this idea. It started out fun. Now I'm interchanging actors and they're keeping me up at night. My colors started to get too bright, so more layers toned that down, then I didn't like it again. Now I'm looking at the very beginning, and I kind of like the wider path and more black and white. Do I start again with new actors and no color? Do you like it in black and white, or does the limited pallet of color work?

My original idea included attaching movie reels and weaving film strips through the canvas. Do I have the nerve to cut this now that I have so much time into it? Well I went and did it. I think that it messed it up, I put the film strip in the wrong place, it looked so much better in my imagination, then actually doing it. I think I may take out the bottom 2 film strips in the middle, so it doesn't frame it so much. So what do you think? Honestly, now. Be critical. How do I improve it? My next painting will be simple, very loose and I'm going to only use very big brushes.

I still think this will be fun for for the viewers. I can only hope for great crowds surrounding this painting trying to guess all the actors. No, I'm not going to include a key. You can figure out who's who. [All right, If you get stuck you can ask] I did have fun painting this. I think I will try an old rock and roll musicians one next, 50's, 60's, 70's. The nightmares could be very interesting.

[And yes, I already forgot that I said my next painting would be simple and very loose.]

Friday, March 26, 2010


Hello, fellow DAWG members and anyone who might be stopping by to read our humble blog!

Today, I have been told, is my day to blog. Sorry I'm a little late in the day!

I wanted to bring to your attention a fairly new style that seems to be all over Etsy lately, and that is Steampunk.

You can look up what Steampunk means here on WIKIPEDIA. Personally, I simply love the style when it comes to ACEOs and jewelry.

Here are just some of the items I love that are Steampunk... pics from around the web!

I myself have been working on Steampunk items for my Etsy shop, from hair jewelry to ACEOs... and having a total blast while doing it.

If you want to expand your horizons and check out something new, take a look at Steampunk, and try your hand in it... wether you're painting, sculpting... whatever! It is a ton of fun, and you'll be surprised what you can come up with!

Remember, today is the day that the Lord has made, so rejoice and be glad in it!

Take care, every one!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dawg Group Fun

We have so many things starting in the Dawg Group,
 We have started several new mini groups of things that we all love!

Take the Time to Look at them and Join a Few

If you have a special Interest and want to start a mini group, please do so!
Here are some that we have started
*Photography- We have 2 challenges going on
*Springtime Bud
*Black and White

Come join in the Fun, talk and challenge!

If you are not a Dawg Team Member and Would like to be check out our Wonderful Group!

Thanks for Stopping By!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A New Start

Spring is so encouraging. I love the blooms, they are everywhere!

Even the shrubs have blooms!

Oregon Grape

First Tulip





All this has put me in a "Spring Cleaning" mood. That's a miracle!

I even planted a few new bulbs that will bloom in summer.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottentail

Easter Greetings!
Well before you know it Easter will be here! Hope you stop by GCU to send a few Easter Greeting Cards our to friends and family!
We have a special sale going on right now! If you purchase 5 or more cards, enter code
during your checkout and you will receive free shipping!!!
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Spring in the Air

Spring is in the air here in Arkansas, after a surprise snow storm last weekend. Today it is supposed to be in the 60s, sun is shining, and the snow is leaving us. I thought I would share some of my spring themed art pieces today to celebrate my favorite season finally getting here.

~~ Elizabeth Hannah

He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. ~~~ Daniel 2:21

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Featured Artist - AnnaMarie Armstrong

AnnaMarie Armstrong is a self-taught artist. She mostly paints Parrots, but loves to express herself with other subjects as well. AnnaMarie is addicted to the art movement of ACEOs (art card editions and originals), which came through the evolution of ATCs (art trading cards). AnnaMarie Armstrong's favorite medium is watercolor. She mostly paints ACEO's, but will do larger works on commission.
She has been featured in several youtube videos for artists on ebay, and was a contributing artist for the 2009 ACEO playing card deck. Her works of art are collected around the world, and she has works on display in galleries in the USA.

Here are a few of my favorite paintings by AnnaMarie.

Poppy Valentine


Surfer Bird

Miss Polly


Annamarie Armstrong's Etsy shop Art By AnnaMarie

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Also called St Patrick's Day, St Paddy's Day, Patrick's Day, Paddy's Day

St Patrick's Day is a yearly holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Christian holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland's culture and celebrated by many people of all nationalities.

It is a public holiday on the island of Ireland; including Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is also widely celebrated in places where there are large numbers of Irish immigrants and their offspring – this includes Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Montserrat, among others.

Wearing of green came about, according to legend, because Saint Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish people.

Originally the color associated with Saint Patrick was blue. However, over the years the color green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day.

Then in 1798 in hopes of making a political statement Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching attention with their unusual fashion gimmick. The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from the song of the same name.

In the United States Early celebrations:

The Irish Society of Boston organized what was not only the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies but the first recorded Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the world on 18 March 1737. [unreliable source?] The first parade in Ireland was not until the 1931 parade in Dublin. This parade in Boston involved Irish immigrant workers marching to make a political statement about how they were not happy with their low social status and their inability to obtain jobs in America. New York's first Saint Patrick's Day Parade was held on 17 March 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army. The first celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1766, the parades were held as political and social statements because the Irish immigrants were being treated unfairly. In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence." This event became known as The St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780.

Irish patriotism in New York City continued to soar and the parade in New York City continued to grow. Irish aid societies were created like Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Hibernian Society and they marched in the parades too. Finally when many of these aid societies joined forces in 1848 the parade became not only the largest parade in the United States but one of the largest in the world.

Today, Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike. Many people, regardless of ethnic background, wear green-colored clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched affectionately.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Easter Is Almost Here!!!

I love Easter! Next to Christmas, it is my favorite holiday. I love that it is celebrating our Lord's resurrection, the Spring weather,the blossoming of the trees and flowers, the crisp fresh feeling, a new beginning!!! {sigh} Love it!

Everyone knows I love to paint and I love to paint on anything and everything that is paintable! Here are some of my hand painted ceramic Easter eggs. Hope you enjoy.

Happy Easter in advance!
Elizabeth Hannah

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Zebras Puzzle

I recently opened a new shop on the web at
I'm pretty excited about this shop, and as you can see by the photo they have puzzles. They have tons of products and gift ideas that some of the other shops don't have. So if you have a chance, stop by and take a look.

Saturday, March 6, 2010



We have enjoyed a few days of mild temperatures and SUNSHINE so best to celebrate Spring!

I'm off to take pictures of the blooming trees and bulbs to help me make it through our next batch of rainy days (and get a few reference photos for more watercolors).

Dutch Tulips 4

Dutch Tulips 2