Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rest In Peace, my brother Mike

This is a mixed media piece I created for my brother, Mike Telfer, who passed away last night. I made it for him last Christmas and he told me it was the best gift he ever recieved. I am so grateful for that.

If you look carefully, there's a photo of Mike in the upper right corner standing behind one of those Sox cut outs when we went to a game a couple of years ago. In the lower right is my brother, Bill, same pose. My daughter Liz, showing off her Sox tatoo in the lower right and lower left (next to the photo of Uncle Jim) is my daughter, Helen at the batting cages. Upper left is my dad when he was in the army.

It's a collage about them winning the World Series in 2005 and also about our family. The Chicago White Sox were one thing Mike and I connected about very regularily.

At the rally in '05 I stuffed my pockets with the confetti that was dropped. I knew I would use it, but I didn't know in what way. I put it in my mixed media piece here. To some, it may look like newspaper pieces crumbled and torn, but any baseball fan knows they're much more than that.

I love art, combining media, family, the White Sox and I love you, Mike.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So, a squirrel stole my tablecloth...

I'm not kidding. Oh, and I appologize for not blogging this week - I had the flu. So, I haven't done any artwork lately, but needed to tell this story. I'll bet this squirrel is building a very artistic nest with my tablecloth.
I looked out the window and noticed that the squirrel who had already tore up and stole the plastic, yellow and white tablecloth my Aunt Sally gave me for my picnic table was back and taking what was left. I ran to get my camera, and although the photos aren't great, I hope they tell the story.
He started a couple of days ago, ripping it up and stuffing it in his mouth. At one point he was hanging off the table with it shoved in his mouth... I really thought he might be choking. My dogs barked and he ran away, but returned. It was kind of unbelievable so I'm glad I got some photos. Aunt Sally says we'll have to buy him another for next year's nest. : )

Friday, September 17, 2010

Watercolor landscape Step by Step

I don't do too many traditional watercolors. I find they take patience and planning - and I'm usually not patient enough to plan. But here is one.

I worked from a photo I took of somewhere in Nebraska while on a trip to Colorado with my daughters and dogs. I thought the scene was beautiful and peaceful, but not quite outstanding enough to paint – so, I decided to change it only slightly to make it a little more interesting.

To make the wash for the sky I mixed up cobalt blue with ultramarine blue. I wet the paper where I wanted the sky. Then painted in the blue left to right, moving down and using slightly less paint – with a wide, flat brush. While the paint was still wet I dabbed on a piece of Kleenex to look like clouds. I painted the hills in the far background using a lot of water for a fuzzy, far-away look with cadmium yellow, violet, and dabs of cadmium yellow and a deeper green (mixed by adding cadmium red to viridian green). I then mixed beige for the ground with cadmium yellow, cadmium red, and violet. Wetting paper first (leaving a space for the stream) I swept it in horizontal strokes working fast to make a smooth wash. When it was dry I took the deeper green with a pointed brush and made short vertical strokes to look like trees far away.

I made more greens by mixing viridian with cadmium yellow and red in different amount using different amounts of water. I painted in more trees. Some looking more like fir trees skinnier at the top and wider at the bottom. I left the far right side of the paper more empty because trees in the foreground will block out most of that area. The water is viridian green, cobalt blue, and ultramarine blue. I laid it in horizontally with some brushstrokes showing to show movement. The water further away has more color and less water because water sometimes looks darker the further it is. Also, some of the darker shapes can be reflections of the trees.

Take a damp Kleenex and blot out 3 small spaces for bushes in left foreground. Paint in foreground bushes and trees using a wet-on-dry technique. This will show details in focus. Mix brown with viridian green and a bit of cadmium red and paint in trunks of trees on right. Put in shadows going one direction in same color, but more water. Paint in weed like plants in left foreground with pointed brush in upward strokes using an almost dry brush approach.

Use ‘funny brush’ (a small bunch of rubberbands cut and bound together) to dot on leaves of trees starting with yellow, then light green, then dark green. Stroke funny brush upwards for more greens in left foreground. Mix pine color using ultramarine and cadmium yellow. Start at bottom of tree, with brown add shadow. Then make branches in short diagonal strokes making the strokes aim upwards the farther up the tree you get. Use a little water to drag out highlights on branches. Add a little brown here and there. Finish by adding darker pine color to weeds in left foreground and far away pine trees to give balance to painting.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wausau Festival of the Arts 2010

A couple of years ago a friend from college, Zoe Morning found me in a catalogue for the Peninsula Art School in Door county, WI. After catching up, she asked if I'd be interested in judging their art fair up in Wausau some time, the Wausau Festival of Arts. Of course I would!

That is what I did this weekend and it was a pleasure and a real honor.

It was an impossible job - but I loved it. ALL of the artists were juried in and deserved to be there. It was a great experience that I will always remember - and I hope to keep in touch with some of the extremely talented artists I met.

Here I am (right) with Zoe (President of the festival) at the banquet after giving the awards.

Above is the booth of one of the Merit award winners, Gary Nelson from Minnesota. What impressed me about Gary was not only his gorgeous nature photos, using the complementary colors found in nature, but his process. In this digital age he still uses large format film with an Ansel Adams type of camera.

Thank you to everyone involved. I appreciated it all!

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Abstract Flower

But not quite. This is a very loose, almost abstract mini-painting that I did recently. I actually used kids Crayola markers for the initial sketch and blended them with water, adding unison pastels on top.

Although I have worked large for many years I've recently (the last two years or so) done several series of smaller work. This is part of a floral/nature series.

All of my work (except commissions) is for sale. Contact me if you are interested: My 5" x 7" series are each selling for $50. matted.

Go to my site to see more:

Monday, September 6, 2010


This lily is done in unison pastel and painted on an 11" x 14" sanded Richeson pastel board.

I like the white lily as a symbol of hope and do-overs.

I once told my best friend, Vicki about how one of my students was afraid to make a mark on her paper because while growing up her mother made her do her homework in pen. She felt she had to get it right the first time. Inspired by this idea - Vicki, being a Pastor, said she wanted to tell her church that "God lets you write your life in pencil... and that do-overs are fine." I love that, Vicki!

I would love to hear your comments!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lois DiPerna Colored pencil paintings - "Pandas"

Artist, Lois DiPerna, does colored pencil paintings, mainly wild animals. This is a one that she had in my art show in May.

If you want to see more of Lois' work contact me at: