Tag Archives: houses

Houses in Pen and Ink and Photography

As you know, I really like houses, viewing houses, learning about house styles, wanderingthrough neighborhoods look at houses…I could go on and on. It’s a lifelong interest of mine, house and neighborhood architecture, and I enjoy looking at not only is what here today but what clues there are to the past.

Back in August 2020 my husband and I walked through Ardmore, PA, and I took photos of houses. Later on I drew them in pen and ink. Here are a couple for you to look at.

The drawings are all done in a sketchbook of 8″ x 8″.

Here is a side view of a house on a corner.

Here are two buildings in the same neighborhood. They have commercial premises on the first floor and apartments on the upper ones.

Little Houses in Terracotta Land

Here are some little clay houses I made in August, 2019. They are just little houses. Not boxes, not condiment containers, just little clay houses. That is all I wanted to make, some little houses!

Terracotta clay, Velvet underglazes and clear glaze, fired at cone 05. About 4″ tall.

Here are two views of the first two. They are decorated on all four sides but I only took photos of two sides.

And the second two.


Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending April 20

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art! Art! More Art!

Saturday, April 14 – On Friday night I drew a scene in my ongoing Large Artist Sketchbook in pen and ink, while I was watching TV. I meant to take a photo in the black and white stage but I didn’t get to it. So on Saturday I colored it and here it is:

AD 4-14 #1001

Well, things are on a slant in this picture, due to the fact that I was half-lying on the sofa when I drew it and didn’t have as good a view of it…as it obviously needed. Oh well.

I glued in some people and all of a sudden the picture had a story.

AD 4-14 #6002

This book is almost filled up. I’ve been doing a lot of art in it lately. I added this page, collage work (not done on the sofa but in my studio) inspired by scenes I’ve been greatly enjoying from a fellow blogger’s site, Jessica’s Nature Blog. I won’t tell you more, go and look for yourself, but here’s a landscape from my point of view:

AD 4-14 #2006

and here is a selection of the papers I used. Many of these are old book pages that I painted with watery acrylics – the soft old papers absorb the paint so beautifully.

Sunday, April 15 – I checked on the terra cotta clay tiles I cut the other day. They are drying nicely, and they have firmed up enough for me to clean up their edges with a small damp sponge. By doing this now, the clay is actually stronger then when dry – it then becomes very brittle – so I can wipe harder and make nice smooth non-sharp edges. By doing with a wet sponge rather than sanding the bisqued tiles later on, I also avoid creating and breathing in a lot of dust.

AD 4-15 #1008

Then I cut tiles from my remaining white clay. I’ve used up all my clay now – I’ll be needing to buy more to make anything else.

AD 4-15 #2007

I then zipped up to the studio and got out my sketchbook again, randomly gluing in leftovers from yesterday’s collage work, plus some other papers, plus a little paint. I’ll see what develops from this beginning later on.

AD 4-15 #3009

I worked on my two paintings. I think the reading lady is finished. Pretty much, anyway.

AD 4-15 #5010

The other one, we’ve decided, is a waterfall. We’ve narrowed the scene orientation down to two ways. Here’s how I worked on it today, yellow part at the bottom, and then the opposite, blue at the bottom. Getting close to finishing this one, so I’ve got to decide…

And I don’t like to waste paint on the brush. I usually slap it on to postcards or ATC’s – the latter are what you see here. I’ll save them and they will show up later on in my art practice, transformed or added to.

AD 4-15 #7006

Monday, April 16 – A dreary day, with pouring rain, ultra-pouring rain! I’m staying home and doing chores etc., today.

AD 4-16 #2004

I decided to take the opportunity to put my initials and date on the back of the small tile group I recently did.

AD 4-16 #1005

This step is the last one in getting these tiles finished. With the help of my cat, Paul Drake, and Perry Mason,

and Sharpies (I say the plural here because it’s a foregone fact that the rough clay will destroy at least one, wear it down right to nothing, so you’ve got to have a group of them) I got this job done.

AD 4-16 #4002

Tuesday, April 17 – I pulled out some little boards I bought a while back. I think they are Claybord and I have a shoebox full of these ATC-sized boards covered with a scratch-into-able surface. I bought a ten-pound supply of various sizes and used the other choices up – these are what is left and they’ve been waiting for their turn. I feel like embarking on a large series of something very simple (kind of like those 2″ x 2″ clay tiles I recently completed).
Here’s a look at the materials.

I was not sure what I wanted to do with them besides using acrylics. I chose about 15-20 pieces and I started putting color down. As I worked, I decided I wanted to do some faces and some landscapes. By the end of the session here is what I had.

Wednesday, April 18 – The two larger paintings have been sitting upstairs in my living room, “resting”. I brought them downstairs to work on a little today. The lady reading continues to evolve – guess I wasn’t done with her yet – but she still maintains her essential theme and form.

AD 4-18 #2004

The other one, well, I chose the orientation with the blue at the bottom, and I have decided it is a picture of a waterfall. So, what you see is a waterfall, just making sure you know it! I worked on it today as well. It has now reached a stage in which it needs more rest and and it is making me uneasy. So more will be done to it.

AD 4-18 #1005

I also worked on the tiny paintings. Now we have people:

AD 4-18 #3003

and we have houses in landscapes:

AD 4-18 #4002

and we have trees.

AD 4-18 #5001

I never tire of these themes. I believe that the landscapes and trees are close to finished. The people, I am planning to give them faces and details with India ink, next time I get a chance.

Thursday, April 19 – I don’t usually do any art on the same day as I do a Poetry Marathon session, but – I started looking at the larger painting (it’s been sitting upstairs in the living room where I’ve been eyeing it for improvements) and I was just going to do “one little thing” to it, and ended up working on it for about an hour plus.

AD 4-19 #1006

I did feel better about the direction of this painting when I was finished.

Friday, April 20 – I worked on both large paintings this afternoon. They inch toward completion, but I think I am REALLY close (have I said that before?).

I got out those ATC-sized paintings I was working on earlier in the week. For the portrait set, I added details with India ink and acrylic inks. I will post individual photos sometime in the future so you can see them better, but here is a group shot:

AD 4-20 #5003

After looking over the landscape and tree groups, I liked them as they are, so – they are finished. Once again I’ll post close-ups in the future.

I went down to the basement to check on the tiles. I believe they are ready to be fired. You can see they have a different appearance than when wet – they are paler and chalkier-looking. Terra cotta and white clay are shown here.

Another test for dryness is – you put the item to your face. It will feel cold at first, always. Then, if it is dry, it warms up. If it still has water in it, it will stay feeling cold against your cheek. These all are showing the signs of readiness for the kiln. Not cold! I will try to get them and the sculptures in there next week.

Thanks for reading!

See you next week! Thanks for following along with me.

Real and My Real: House in Allentown, PA

Here is a photo I took of homes near West Park, Allentown, PA, in June 2017.

Here’s a painting of the same scene. Suitably altered to fit my mood on the day I did it, some months later. I like the repetition of forms. And the beautiful architectural details, but that’s for another painting. This one focuses on the large shapes I saw.

Acrylics on wood board, 8″ x 10″, October, 2017.

Sun, House, House, People

Acrylic paintings done in June, 2017. Each one is 6″ x 6″ on wood board.

Two Paintings with Pointy-Roofed Houses

Move to this town and live in a house like one of these.

Acrylics on 3/8″ board, 6″ x 6″.

More Home Decoration

Here are the rest of those little clay house/room interiors. If you want to see the first group, look here.

Inside and Outside

I recently received a commission to create two paintings for a specific space in a stairwell. The prospective owners had a theme in mind, buildings and furniture, and let me make of it whatever I wanted. The only restrictions were the sizes of the pieces – one was to be 20″ x 24″ and the other 36″ x 24″.

I thought it sounded like a great assignment. Now, usually I don’t accept commissions; I find them nerve-wracking. Past experience has taught me that it can be difficult to work freely when there is a specific buyer with specific wants, and I don’t like to disappoint anyone, including myself! But this particular couple was familiar with my work and I just felt that things would go well for all of us.

So, I set to work. I had decided to make extra paintings and therefore would be able to give some choices, since I had plenty of time to work. I have learned that if it’s practical to make multiple pieces for a commission, it’s a great idea to do so for me, since I don’t feel that the fate of the world rests with one picture!

For the buildings, I used some photos I had taken of houses in Allentown, PA, for models, putting them in my own arrangements and colors.

For the furniture, I used my imagination. I really love to paint interior scenes like these – I have always thought chairs and sofas and tables have as much individuality as people do.

But what made this assignment special was the chance to concentrate on the theme of houses and homes – I have a life-long love of residential architecture. Houses under construction, open houses, house tours, model rooms in furniture stores, dollhouses, house plan books – I’ve spent many happy hours involved with houses and homes. And to make things even better, I learned that the buyers also felt this way about houses, inside and out. What a nice addition to the experience for me!

In the end, I think everyone was happy with the results, and two were chosen and taken away. The other three are still in my studio – I’m enjoying looking at them and remembering the experience.

Thank you, Geoff and Susan, for your faith in my work.

Short, Simple, Fun to Paint

I received some masonite boards, 8″ x 8″, from a friend – she had painted on them but now was discarding them, and thought I might use them for new paintings myself. She was right – I created this little group.

They are simple and the small size makes them quick to do, but I have to keep remembering not to overwork them.

I don’t know why I did so many trees. But, I will say, I have always liked to paint trees. Guess there’s no reason, I just like it!

Thank you, Diane, for the donation that started off this process.

Tiny Houses Again!

The question was asked: But do you like houses wearing acorns as hats?

And the answer is…I must, because I made these little houses, and lots more, many with hair-dos. They are all about 2″ tall, or a tiny bit more.

Looking at the pictures, I think I might make some more. I haven’t created any like these for a couple of years and I had forgotten how much I liked them. This time I think I’ll change the glazing, and try some other things. Just have to see what happens!