You can now find my art at
I've moved my blog!
You can now find my art at
Sometimes when I finish a painting I almost don't want to be done.....Usually because I get on a good creative roll for the final leg. I've also discovered some awesome pen & ink artists on Instagram so I was inspired to spend my day off doing an ink version of my little spotted owl. Now to be honest I wasn't going for species accuracy when creating my spotted owls. I just decided to call them spotted cuz well....all the circles aka spots....it seemed appropriate
Here's the play by play of my adventures with ink today
I seriously needed to talk a break and walk my dog after all those circles
And in case you were wondering what an actual spotted owl looks like
This past month has been a unique mix of trying some new things & revisiting and reworking something old.
First new experiment
Focusing on texture. My son gave me the idea to try painting black on black and having it be all about the texture. I had toyed with this unexpectedly on another piece and was interested enough to give it a try.
Some works in progress:
I was also asked to paint a pair of Toms shoes for a wedding gift. It was a challenge working out a design for a three dimensional object then to get the design on the shoe. Thank god for disappearing ink fabric pens!
Another challenging aspect of this was its a total reverse of my work methods. I am used to working from dark to light. I always start with a black background.
Working from light to dark was a challenge to reconfigure my crazy brain around.
I can say I was finally successful and I think my brain appreciated the workout :)
I share my adventures in reworking an old idea in my next blog.
But I'll leave you with a hint - turtles
The most important artistic advice I ever taught my son was that mistakes aren't the end of a piece. They can be opportunities to try something new and previously unthought of. As a young budding artist he would be frustrated and sometimes heartbroken when he "messed" up on his artistic creation which was usually for a school project. He was not a lover of anything scholastic so being creative in his school projects was usually a great way for him to connect with the assignment. However one mistake after working so hard on something almost had the power to derail him. I had to work really hard to convince him that "mistakes are opportunities"
I'm happy to say he's grown into a very talented artist with awesome creative problem solving skills.
The reason I bring this up is as a parent we put so much effort into nurturing, encouraging and inspiring our kids to try their hardest, be the best they can and to be proud of themselves.
I just forget to apply some of that tutelage to myself.
I'm a chronic re-doer. I'm constantly painting over major parts of paintings that I can't quite get to work. I start out each piece with a vision but the vision and direction often changes. Sometimes because of "mistakes".
This painting is a perfect example:
Now this piece.......my Styracosaurus
This piece has really challenged me many times.
I've stopped and restarted so often. I think my problem is I'm still clinging to the original vision but not in a good way. In a hold me back way. Now while I can't say I've got a total handle on this piece I can say I had a bit of a break through.
I tried something new.......didn't like it so tried to scrub it off before the paint fully cured and got a big surprise. Gotta say that mistake (painting on the skull face)turned out to be a great opportunity to discover a new technique!
It makes me think of tattoos
Which started out like this
To me there's a very ancient tribal mask quality to this piece.
Now if I can just finish it.......
Life can be so distracting
Work, school routines (not mine thank god) and of course the holidays.....ugh
Add getting a new addition to the household
Needless to say I have not made much of an effort to get over my creative block. The funny thing about my "blocks" is that they usually stem from dissatisfaction over how a painting (or two, or three) are turning out. So I just stop working on them until I can figure out how to fix what I don't like. Sometimes it takes a week or two. Sometimes it takes a few months...ugh
I have found that the best way to get back on track usually requires a deep clean of my studio space. I purge the junk and reorganize.
In this case it also required painting over parts of paintings I wasn't happy with.
This is how this one started
I loved what I was doing with the center but the flower motif started to really bug me. The yellow was also a stumbling block. I like to use a lot of shades and hues of a certain color and for some reason I really struggle with diversifying yellow.
I painted over the part I didn't like and went in a new direction.
I'm much happier with it now.
I'll keep you updated
Decided to do a little "sketching" on board. Well... to be precise there was a lot of painting involved too
What do you do when you're in a bit of a creative slump,
You're annoyed at your spouse for ......well just annoying you on purpose
and you have a bunch of pieces that you really should work on and try to finish
but no motivation to do so
Well you doodle
Hello Mr. rapidograph pen
So again I've been a very neglectful blogger. However it's not because I've been too busy or haven't been working on my art. I've actually been pretty prolific on the creative end. My only excuse is I haven't been able to force myself to sit down and organize/write/post anything interesting.
So here's a wee bit of what I've been up to -
First off there was Mr. Cardinal. He just looked too nice and I couldn't put my finger on what wasn't working. Finally after retrying with a slightly different approach (colored cardstock, ink and paint) I had my eureka moment. It's the eyes. Now just to be precise I knew it was the eyes I just didn't know what to do about it.
Here's also some of my other experiments
The last experiment reunited me with my white ink
I've been having fun with that stuff!
I've also been working on this big guy.
I think I'm close to being done. Sometimes the hardest part is knowing when to stop.
Granted I've changed my mind and redone parts of this piece so many times......
I crave whatever wildlife comes to my backyard. Now just so you know I live in suburbia.....somewhat urban suburbia so my wildlife is limited to bunnies, squirrels, birds and an occasional hawk. The baby bunnies absolutely kill me they're soooo cute. I posted an adorable video of one on my Instagram (check it out - acwaltz)
My latest joy is putting out black sunflower seeds in a terra cotta plate (one of those ones that you put under your pots so water doesn't get all over your deck). Well anyway the squirrels come (these are the most spoiled squirrels ever!), the sparrows come, the morning doves come, the robins come, the bluejays come (they're bullies btw - I tend to yell at them when they get too obnoxious), sometimes nasty grackles (they're also big bullies and I yell them away too) but my favorites are the Cardinals. We have a family of cardinals that appear on my deck. The male was the first to brave the new unknown Waltz buffet. Soon came his wife. She tends to be a bit shyer. Well apparently now I'm totally in with the whole family cuz now the kids are coming to visit!
Anyway.......the point of this whole random story I just went on about is Cardinals are gorgeous and so inspiring. As if I didn't like them a ton already I got a great video of the daddy feeding his kid (also on my Instagram)
Now in typical Amy fashion my plan of action in creating always changes. I tried to do a portion of this piece in ink but I hated how it looked. I also (as I've mentioned in previous posts) sometimes really struggle with the pen as my tool. I'm much happier and more comfortable with a paintbrush.
Why you ask would I then continue to torture myself with pens?
Answer - I can get a really fine line with a rapidograph pen. I mean a REALLY FINE line. It's empowering.
And not all my pen and ink projects are adventures in frustration. Some work out great. It's the ones that don't that really irk me and tweek my crazytrain button.
Here's what I have so far.
Now here's part of the journey
I've been a neglectful blogger...sorry
But I've been busy so now I have a lot to share -yah!
First off remember this little sunflower sketch that I wanted to put on board?
Well I finally got my butt in gear and got down to business.
I tried to document the steps as much as possible cuz that's what I'd be interested in looking at if I was reading this blog
I also pulled this piece out of limbo land and went to town on it
For some reason it makes me think of Mardi Gras
And the last pic I'll leave you with is one of my baby crossing the finish line of a 5k.
Just FYI the little twerp didnt train or anything - just went out and ran a little over 3 miles in 26 minutes.
Grrrrrr.......oh to be young