Fifty Fifty



Cyclamen. 6.25 x 9 in. watercolor Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Cyclamen. 6.25 x 9 in. watercolor Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you don’t. Both of these paintings are blasts from the past. I wasn’t happy with them. At least, I didn’t think they were finished.

watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © Sheila Delgado 2013

Cyclamen, watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © Sheila Delgado 2013

Here is a look at where I left off. In the original post, I mentioned that I was happy with the painting, and that it came together quickly. This was Day 22 of September challenge 2013. 2013!

The background on the bottom half is a washed out green, showing almost white here. Very washed out as a whole. This sat on my desk for a week. I had to think about where to take it.

Finally jumped in, by adding dark to the bottom right corner. I worked piece by piece, covering the areas between the stems. Looking at the results, I think that I probably could have gone a little darker still. It’s a done deal though. Sealed in an envelope ready to fly to a friend.

I am happy with how the greens and blues mixed on the paper. Happy with the whites I left. Happy with the jewel-toned sky. I really like this piece now.

I wish the same were true for Bloom. I like the wonky shape. I could not find the original image post, but the petals were solid yellow, and the leaves were not as defined.

I tried to improve this, adding a warm rusty Neocolor. I kept adding, and adding. To the center around the head. Three or four colors. And you know what’s wrong. I know you know. Value.

Think I botched it even more that it was to begin with.

I was trying for depth at the base of the petals. Didn’t achieve that. I don’t think you can see it here as well as in person, but the head almost looks 3-D.  It looks really cool. Seems to bulge. That was a nice surprise.

Bloom. 8 x 8 in. watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bloom. 8 x 8 in. watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado


Oh well, can’t win them all. It was good to take a blah and make it a thumbs up. Good to challenge myself, even if it did not pay off.  Good to have a brush in my hand!







W.I.P. – Trees Revisited



Trees revised. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Trees revised. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

When I first posted this painting, Janet gave me some golden nuggets. I know I need practice with my values. I admit, I was not really thinking of values when I did the painting. Janet explained that my yellows and the Shiraz were reading as the same value. Blew my mind. But you can see below, she is absolutely right.

Trees desaturated. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Trees desaturated. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Scroll down further still, and you will see the original painting.

Trees. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Trees. 6 x 6 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

To the original I have added digital dark areas. I will tell you, I have struggled with this for weeks. Because I do not know where the dark areas should go. I am not “seeing” them.

I was so… worried about going forward. It finally came to me to play with it in Photoshop. I can try it several ways, and no harm done. Looking at the original, there are “hints of dark”. In the foreground, the trunks, and the base of the tops. I followed those areas, with a deeper, darker shade of the Shiraz. Janet suggested adding another value, and maybe adding some black to the Shiraz for more dark. (Click here to see her comment on the earlier post.)

I am not very good at drawing or painting in Photoshop, I don’t have a tablet and stylus, so I work with the mouse. I am not fond of the result, the jerky lines, but you get the idea. What do you think? Am I on the right track? I do like what is happening in the foreground.

I don’t want to differentiate between the tree tops. But I could. Set a few of them in the back, and their trunks as well. I like though, that they look like a group of friends hanging in the school yard.

Well, still thinking.

Changing subject.

I am really enjoying our summer storms. These photos are ALL about the clouds. Enjoy!

Clouds over Mingus.

Clouds over Mingus.


Light up the sky

Light up the sky.

Today I watched a dark grey storm move in from the south (Right). It obliterated the mountains. Seemed like five minutes, but maybe it was ten. And then it was gone. The mountains were visible, and there were bits of blue sky in the clouds. Nice show!


More photo album fun.

More photo album fun.

Finally got organized with my Spoonflower color map.  There are about 1500 color chips, printed out on one yard of fabric. This gives us a better idea of what the colors look like on fabric instead of back-lit by the monitor. And the hex codes are there, for easy use in the programs. I cut them into long strips, and had to shuffle through them all when working on a design. Such a mess. Fold and unfold again. Threads falling loose.


Don’t know why it took me so long, but the idea finally came. Why not stick them in a book! A mini photo album. Perfect. I mean really, they fit perfect. (Whew! Got lucky there!) Now I have a color chip flip book!


Pale-WindscorpionChanging subject again. Had a visitor the other night. On my bed.  It was about an inch and half long. Looks upside down in the photo, but his legs came up over his body when I grabbed him. (With a tissue, no I am not brave around BIG ugly bugs.)

I usually climb into bed in the dark. But for some reason, an angel on my shoulder, I turned on my phone light. And I saw something move. Fast. So quick on with the light. And I swear he came running towards me, which is good. I could have lost him in the corner.

It is a Pale Wind scorpion. Terrific.  But it is actually in the same class as spiders. And it bites, but it is not poisonous. I also read that they are aggressive. Ha ha, he was running towards me!!

That will teach me to clean and organize.

Still checking my bed before I get in it. ;/






Creative Retreat



Secret Garden. 5.25 x 6 in. mixed media. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Secret Garden. 5.25 x 6 in. mixed media. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

I took part in the Art Is Magic online creative retreat this weekend. I thought I had missed it, but I am so happy that I didn’t. Each session was an hour-long. Nine on Saturday, and eight on Sunday. The artist instructors are amazing! They each created a nurturing, welcoming space to explore in.

I started took notes of the lessons, and will come back to them as time allows. Sharing just a few with you today.

Secret Garden came from spending time with Tiare Smith Woods. She calls it her “Garden of Tranquility”. Tranquility. That is hard to come by. She worked in acrylics, pouncing them on with a sea sponge. I used watercolor. I was working late, and knew they would dry quickly. I used a sea sponge as well, grateful for the reminder to pull it out.

I mixed several blues for the sky, and greens for the grass. For the girl, I used acrylics as a base, and then layers of watercolor. (The dress is acrylic.) Listening to Tiare speak as she worked was so relaxing. Joyful! I think she is a wonderful instructor.


Day One – Mark Making

Mark Making. 9 x 12 mixed media. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Mark Making. 9 x 12 mixed media. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Galia Alena started us off with a tour of her gorgeous surroundings. We took a walk through the trees, listened to the birds and visited the loch. Oh and the joyful sights and sounds of her dog exploring! Again, the elusive peace.

Mark making tools.

Mark making tools.

Next we headed into the studio to loosen up with some wise mark making. I used a Le Pen, Inktense, Neocolor, Derwent watercolor pencil, a pencil eraser, pencil, a brush (just the tip) and a palette knife. So lovely listening to Galia’s soft accent, with musical interludes while she sped up the video.

Dipped the eraser in watercolor to make dots. I used the knife at the end to smear water over the marks and let the colors flow.

I was reminded of  a book I have from childhood. I have been told I was reading it at a very early age. (All parents say that right!) If true, then I have been making marks from very early on as well.


Early marks.

Early marks.

And there it is. My true self. My happiest moments. My soul. The signs have been there all along.  I am an artist. The need to make a mark. The need to play with color. And can you see it? The need to make a pattern. (V’s or check marks on the bottom image.) That made me laugh. And I would make my own books. Pictures cut out of magazines. Color added, lines and patterns. Short stories.


Stick Figures and Flowers

Stick figures and flowers.

Stick figures and flowers.


My notes are incomplete (dang it!!), but I am pretty sure Catt Geller showed us her stick figures while working on her Cosmic Smash book journaling. I always tell myself I can’t draw figures, but Catt made it look easy! She just started with sticks, and then fleshed out each figure slowly. Catt has so much energy and her session was a blast!

Louise Gale, who many of you know from her heART Postcard exchange, showed us how to draw lovely flowers. She created a lovely clay mandala using the drawing as a start. And I found some Celluclay the day before. Cosmic forces at work there, no? She has a new book project she is working on with her Botanical mandalas. So fun!!

We had a wonderful lesson from Laly Mille as well. Remember when I ruined those 4 x 4’s trying her technique by guessing? Well, I was VERY excited to spend some time with her creative genius!

Such a terrific weekend! I was familiar with several of the artists, but most were new “discoveries” for me. And THAT is always JoYfuL!

Learning is powerful. And being surrounded with like-minded creatives, who value the things I do. Who cherish creative energy and the life of the soul. Who know that desire and intent are treasures. Well even this brief encounter, feeds my soul. And gives me courage to continue.

A few of the projects were meant specifically as visual reminders for ourselves. You know, “You are worthy, you are loved, you are enough”. Valuable truths that we so often forget.

My water wells were dry! It had been so long since I had painted. Trying to take care of business, so I can continue. But I injured myself by not creating, and not posting. Because when I do not hear from my followers (and dear friends), then most days I do not hear anything positive at all. I think perhaps that is why I am so effervescent when I comment on other blogs. Because I know the power that kindness holds for me.
The simple acknowledgement, and acceptance. Priceless.
So blessed to have you in my life!

Thunder is starting, rain maybe.







Mingus Landscape




Looked like we were going to get some rain today. It just stayed hot, and grey and windy.  I ran errands, and took a detour.  Checked out the new houses going up behind us. We only see two, but there are five so far. Drove past them a bit, and pulled over to snap photos of the hills.  Click on the image below for a larger view. This is looking east.

Mingus Landscape




In my last post I mentioned not being happy with the scale of some of my items on Roostery. This image will help explain. On the right is how they appear on the site. The left is closer to what I have in mind.

On Spoonflower, for many of my designs, I let the customer know that the scale can be altered at their request. That option is not available on Roostery as of yet.

The check chair is showing at a decent scale. I think the boat pattern should be reversed. Large on the pillow, small on the napkin. The Kenya black and white pattern is far too large, just doesn’t make sense.



Some of my patterns do not work at all for the Items on the site. I wish I had the option of not including them.


SproutWorked with the Sprout site as well today. Here the process is:
1. Choose a sewing pattern.
2. Pick a design.
3. Customize your project.
4. Project is printed for you.
5. Cut and sew at home, or Sprout will sew it for you.

The site is very easy to use, and you have many options. You can have  a dress made in just the pattern. Or you can mix and match with solids pulled from the pattern.

Creating projects, gets them listed on my Sprout shop page, the main site gallery, and  Spoonflower’s design page. So it doubles the exposure.




I spent most of the weekend adding new items to Zazzle. They are not visible yet. The site offers a quick create option, allowing you to create many items at the same time. It is quicker in some respects. But each item still needs to be scaled, and the printing placement needs to be double checked. To make sure the design completely covers the item.

More work behind the scenes. Hoping to finish by the end of the week. It has been far too long since I picked up a brush. And I have new surface patterns swirling thru my head. Crazy but I sometimes dream them. Might be a sign I need a break huh?