Oil Painting Mudpie

Last Updated When?

I went to check out my About NCD page, since it’s been ages since I looked at it, and lo! I did direly need to update it.  The self-description is now cut down (yes, that’s cut down. :/), and my newer activities have been added.

One of those is a casual mention that I was taking an oil painting class this fall.  Did I ever mention that here? No?

I really wanted to take the drawing class (and anyone who has seen my non-digital, non-tree sketch work would agree that I really really need to), but it was on Wednesdays when I had something else going on.  So, oil painting class on Tuesdays it was.  It turned out to be, as I feared, about 80% older folks who have been taking this “class” for years with the result that it was essentially just studio time and basically no actual instruction.

Because I Could

After a couple awkward starts (one of which was a mandala I will eventually finish), one day I just plain forgot my working canvas and only had on hand a tiny 3″x3″ canvas.  Fine.  I’ll use that.  And I’ll look through my gallery of images on my phone until I find something I can use as a reference image.  Hey, this looks good!

tomato still life smallThis is a small bowl of cherry tomatoes I picked in our garden.  It’s under artificial light in the dining room.  Maybe not the best photo ever, but I had it on hand at a moment I needed it.

Here’s the final result (though I need to fix a smudge and sign it):

oil mudpie-smallThe background here is a shawl made for me by a friend.  Sorry – the flash washed everything out a bit.  Ah well.

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Tentacle Mandala

Tentacles! Tentacles!  Tentacles!

I mentioned a while ago that my latest mandala was sprouting tentacles, yes?  (I did.)

Here’s the final version, which revealed itself to have a somewhat undersea theme:

2015-10-17-a-2-blogThere’s a larger version suitable for printing if you click through.  If you like it and print it, please leave a comment!

And a microsample!

Still working on more of these.  Here’s a sample of the next piece:


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Mandala Doodle Roundup, November edition

Doodles Are Good Practice

As I posted about a while ago, I got started on mandalas when I found this free app for my phone to make some.  Well, I am still using it, because the phone is more convenient than the laptop far too often.

Also, doodling is good practice to try out new ideas.  The challenge of making colorable mandala type doodles with this very limited tool is an adventure.

Everybody Loves a Mudpie

Since I am producing them far more often, I’ve been putting them up on social media.  Every Monday, they’ve been going out on FaceBook and Twitter (but not G+ for technical reasons*) with the tag #MandalaMonday.  Hey, I’m an artist, not a social media tagging expert.

All of which is to say, hey! Let’s get them on here for posterity with a lovely roundup post!  I might even remember to do this next month!


Mandala_2015-09-12_004 Mandala_2015-09-12_001 Mandala_2015-09-07_005Mandala_2015-09-24_005 Mandala_2015-09-22_008 Mandala_2015-09-22_002 Mandala_2015-09-20_003 And, the last being the special Halloween-themed special one:
Halloween 2

* I think it’s really the content ownership wars between FB/Google/Twitter/etc. that prevent my social media management app from connecting with G+ on my Android phone, because it wants me to use the G+ app for more data mining, but the G+ app won’t let me pre-schedule posts, so …

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Spontaneous tentacle action

I’m gonna admit straight up that the mandala-style designs I’ve been working on lately are something I’ve never really tried before.  So, much of my inspiration has been coming from, well, image searches and flipping through books.

It shouldn’t be too big of a surprise, however, that they’re starting to branch out.

Ok, sprout tentacles.

White background with black-outlined swirls and arcsShould I be concerned?

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Mandala Microsample

Can I interest you in a sample?

Here’s a tiny sample from my latest mandala work:


How about a bigger sample?

The final version of the one I sampled in my last post:

A geometric black-on-white mandala patternClick through to get an even larger version.

My heart is a fish.

Completely unrelatedly, I really loved Ancillary Mercy, which complete’s Ann Leckie’s trilogy.  Get the series! Read it! Good stuff!

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A Bumpy Road To Art

The perils of ancient software

I mentioned in my last post that I found some lovely tutorials on the internet for making mandalas with Illustrator.  There’s one catch – they’re all for much newer versions than I’m using.  While one might think that this wouldn’t be such a problem, oh yes, it turns out to be one.

You can even see it in the mudpie in that last post – there’s an unintentional overlap along the edges of the wedges where it repeats.

If it works, it’s not a trick

With the help of my favorite librarian, I was finally able to get that resolved and everything lining up properly.

Which means I’m on to creating the second one. :) Here’s a sample of it so far:

white background, black lines and dots making a geometric pattern

A small sample

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