Tag Archives: Mystical Art

Merry and Bright…


Moments in Time Impermanent 003

“May Your Days Be Merry “

Journal page – watercolor and oil pastel 5 x 7 inches

Wishing you all a happy Christmas!  I’m flying out to Denver tomorrow to have Christmas with my 5-year-old grandson!  He has a lot of plans this year: 1.) hoping to catch Santa in his task of stuffing stockings, so possibly sleeping under the Christmas tree Dec 24, this undoubtedly includes me as well.  2.) A visit to see Santa and we won’t tell him our plans to surprise him!  heehee

 Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year ahead!


Air, Fire, Water, Earth – again


“Air”- Oil pastels, gouache, on vintage book page 4×6

I know I’ve already done this concept – but I wasn’t totally happy with the first series so I did them over.  Are re-do’s okay?  I think they are. The other thing that happened (unexpectedly) was that I sold the first set of this series and I had planned on giving it as a Christmas gift.  Selling art is always a good thing, right?  Don’t know if I will gift this set or not.  Doing them over was an interesting process – and I learned something in the process – I wasn’t bored with doing them over at all.  Its odd how the “air”  and “water” look very similar to the first set.  But “Fire” and  “Earth” look very different.

“Water” – Oil pastel, gouache, on vintage book page 4×6 in

“Fire” – Oil pastel, gouache, on vintage book page 4×6 in

“Earth” – oil pastel, gouache, on vintage book page 4×6 in

This one looks a little wonky – but I like it better than the first one,  I like the long braids.  Looks very much like a goddess of the earth to me.

(The shadows in the corners of all four of these are just the weights I used to hold them flat for photography.)

Air, Fire, Water, Earth


“Air” East

Oil pastel, watercolor, graphite, gouache on vintage book page 4 x 6 inches

“Fire” South

Oil pastel, watercolor, graphite, gouache on vintage book page 4 x 6 inches

“Water” West

Oil pastel, watercolor, graphite, gouache on vintage book page 4 x 6 inches

“Earth” North

Oil pastel, watercolor, graphite, gouache on vintage book page 4 x 6 inches

The ancient Greeks theorized that the elements of air, fire, water, earth, was manifested by spirits called Elementals, which corresponded to east, south, west and north.  Each element had a host of other Slyphs, divas, or sprites  in charge of different aspects of the major element.  I thought it would be fun to depict these major elements personified as beautiful women or goddesses, as I imagine the Greeks might have.  These are very small portraits, only on a book page of 4 x 6 inches.  Working this small has its challenges!  Oil pastels do not have fine points, so its often difficult to work the eyes, and sometimes I use graphite to further enhance the eyes after the drawing is complete. Watercolor is used for eye color, and gouache is used for the whites of the eyes and as a layer over the oil pastel on the face.

The Guardians – Red Riding Hood


“The Guardians-Red Riding Hood”

Watercolor on scrap wood with plaster 7 x 18 inches

Once upon a time. . .  In the forest where the great wolf roamed, the trees stood guard over the small creatures who lived in the wood.  The wolf was well aware of these powerful tree spirits and did his hunting beyond this enchanted forest…

I have been experimenting with plaster over wood, and although it requires a different technique of painting than I am familiar with, I am growing more accustomed to the way the plaster soaks up the paint as it dries almost immediately, but with the watercolor it can be re-wet and moved around as necessary.  I do  not like the appearance of acrylic on this substrate, it looks plastic and too shiney, so I chose to use watercolor.  The wolf is done in graphite and charcoal.  The graphite has a silvery sheen on the plaster, and I found I liked it for this part of the painting.  I contemplated putting a layer of beeswax over this painting, but since I have not figured out how to do that properly yet, I will leave it as is.  I can always add that later!




Red Riding Hood

Acrylic on canvas 11 x 14 inches

I saw this movie recently, Red Riding Hood, and the luscious fairy tale cinematography really caught my imagination.  I have always  loved fairy tales, and this one seemed just right to try painting a few of those fleeting still shots from the film, and my own imagination!  This was a difficult painting for me — I used Golden’s gel medium “Fibre Paste” as a texture layer – not so good for this kind of a painting.  It dried to a really hard finish that looked something like 1950’s California stucco.  I couldn’t even sand it away.  I probably should have started a new canvas, but I was already partially invested in the painting before I realized it was going to be an issue.  The plastic surface was the thing that really put me off.  On the jar it says “A flexible film with a handmade paper appearance.  Use as a texture or as a ground on canvas or board.”   I liked the idea of a handmade paper appearance – but that isn’t what it looked like at all, and I kept thinking I could make it better somehow.  No.  It made all the acrylic layers turn very patent leathery, and I kept trying to sand them off, I tried matte medium, I tried all my tricks for decreasing the inherent plastic look of acrylic, which I usually do not have a problem manipulating into a less plastic looking surface.  I can only assume it was the “Fiber Paste” ground layer.  Anyway – this looks about as good as its going to look.  I can’t seem to figure out why they call it a “look of handmade paper?”  Doesn’t look like any handmade paper I’ve ever seen.  So I gave up painting and just attacked it vigorously with sandpaper.  I do kind of like how the sandpaper made the stucco look like snow, I thought that was kind of neat.  Anyway, I’m working on some other paintings in this theme without the ” handmade paper” look.  Now I’m trying encaustic, just a clear layer of beeswax – this hasn’t worked out to well for me either — you will see what I mean in my next post!

PS:  Do visit Michele’s blog http://michelemeisterart.blogspot.com/ to see her really powerful images of Red Riding Hood – her’s are so beautiful I am totally inspired and a little daunted – she is an amazing artist!

Nyx – Greek Goddess of the Night



“Nyx”  36″ x 48″ Acrylic on Canvas

Nyx was named by the Greeks as the goddess of the night.  She was said to be mysterious, beautiful, and more powerful than Zeus.   One account I read online stated that she was said to be often wrapped in mist.  I’m not sure why I didn’t give her any hair – she just seemed more powerful and beautiful without hair. The idea for this painting began about 3 years ago from a journal sketch. 

Even a journal doodle can sometimes turn into a finished painting!  Someone had given me the moon stamp and I used it in my journal, then drew the figure in after I had stamped it.

It took me a long time to finish this painting – I just couldn’t seem to find the way.  I always think when I begin a painting that its already there,  just waiting there for me to discover a way to bring it out.   This is the last unfinished painting I set myself to finish for 2011, there were two others.  Now I can begin with new thoughts!

 I only used four colors for this painting.  I tried to set a feeling of night,with  the only light coming from the cool light of the moon.  I used Titanium White (Liquitex), Unbleached Titanium (Liquitex), Anthraquinone Blue (Golden), and Payne’s Gray (Grumbacher), which I like because it has a very blue tint, more so than other brands of that color.

Nyx – Goddess of the Night