Tag Archives: Sheila Delgado

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-Windscorpion Changing 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.


Sprout Worked 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?








June Sunset



June Sunset, Mingus Mountain SMD

June Sunset, Mingus Mountain


Recent Mingus sunset. Hope you can see the warm hue that blanketed the hills. Subtle, but caught my eye. The next view is of shapes usually unseen. This section is to the right in the photo above. Most often it is a long stretch of blue or green, one solid “piece”. I love how the shadows brought out the shapes. I see a painting there.


Hillside shadows

Hillside shadows

Started with a little spackle…

Ended up tearing down walls and laying a new foundation. Prior to last month’s design frenzy, my Spoonflower patterns were at about 85 total. I now have 128, and about 40 more to add. I knew when I started, that this re-design, clean up project would take longer than a week. Still, that was my goal. Could have been done days ago, if I didn’t add new to-do’s to my list as soon as I cross items off.

The project will be complete today. I am on the last two design redo’s.  Wooo – Whoo!  I will share those with you soon.

Your comments on my last post made me aware of my terrible explaining skills. So here is an explanation of one part of making a repeating pattern. Hiding your seams. The edges of your design.

One task was to create more complete collections. Some are just the same design in different colorways, others have a main pattern with coördinates. Both of the samples below are part of the Farmers Market collection.

I took the lemon from Bountiful, and made a quick toss pattern. There are only nine lemons in the design. Below you can see two sets of lemons. (For this design, I only used one painted lemon, very simple.)  I place one element on the edge of the design. Make a copy, and with the help of Photoshops design guides, line them up to match top to bottom, and side to side.


Start of a repeating pattern.


Object guides.

Object guides.

Sometimes you can “cut” the element in directly half, and then matching them on the edge is quick and painless. Often that does not work with the overall pattern, (and you can’t have all the elements line upon a seam). The guides are a frame around the object. The edges are clearly marked, and the center is marked as well. And when you have copies of the same element centered, highlighted lines appear to let you know you have a perfect match. You get top and bottom, and center lines in bright pink.


Elements are centered.

Elements are centered.


When I am trying to match up two uneven halves, I look for a mark I can use to measure. A leaf, a spot. On the left and right lemons above, I used the end of a line detail. Got lucky on the first try, without even having to zoom in. What makes it so precarious, is that you will see the matching point on one half only. On the other half, that point is past the edge, off the canvas and invisible. So zooming in is essential, and you get really good at counting pixels.

Once you have your edges, disguised, it is a matter of placement. Fussing and fidgeting. You save the pattern (define), open a new doc where you can see it as a full repeat, and zoom in to check your edges. You also zoom way out to see it smaller, and that is when you will start to notice a different set of mistakes. You might define your pattern 20 times or more on a complex design, before you get it all right. I work in Photoshop CS5, and I am sure this part is quicker in newer versions.

So, after quickly finishing the lemons, I came up with the brilliant idea you see below. (Brilliant Sheila, make more work for yourself! LOL) I have never done a pattern like this before. But there seem to be quite a few on Spoonflower, so I thought why not give it a try. Not as difficult as I had thought, just time-consuming because there are so many elements.

Pears pattern edges.

Pears pattern edges.

There are seven rows, of seven pears. SEVENTEEN sets of pears to be matched. I first lined up the top and bottom edges, and left and right. Lucky score on the sides, three pairs matched right off. Hands in the air! None of the top and bottom matched. As expected.

I learned, that I should have just started at the top, and worked my way down. I was working in reverse. Big mistake. Oh well, one thing I won’t forget soon.



When I reached the end, the top, the last layer covered up the edge. My previous matching was under new pears. Another lesson learned. One of the things I love about designing and Photoshop, always learning!! Click here to see the finished pattern. On that page you can click on the test swatch drop down to see it in “yard” view.

All designs for sale, were revamped, or copy was edited. The same is true for Designs not for sale, 41 of which are new additions from this week. I also have private designs that will be edited and posted later today. So blessed to have had the energy to focus on this much-needed project. I will explain more about that soon.

I usually take anywhere from a day, to three days to complete a design from scratch. That includes researching the theme, choosing a palette, creating the elements digitally or by hand. And finally, creating the pattern.

I am floored by how much I have managed to work through. But my new normal is, that this burst of energy will be followed by a need for rest. Another reason I am so focused on completing the work before I move on. As it is, when I finish list one tomorrow, I have an additional dozen items that I need to address. But I will take a week or two to get through those.

Whew! Hope that answered some of your questions. I appreciate your interest and support!