Sunday, August 26, 2012

Self-Portrait of the Artist in a "Dark Matter Mirror"

Self-Portrait of the Artist in a "Dark Matter Mirror," for Andrea.  (by me, Mary stebbins Taitt). I haven't had a Moleskine sketchbook from the exchange in a long time. I've been filling in some of the old Moleskines (may post some of them later), and I also bought two strange nonMoleskine sketchbooks. This one I got at our local Renaissance Festival hand made paper and cover, leather. The piece is done on the inside of the front cover on the leaver with markers.  The leather is very rough and stained with droplets of leather stain from the outside of the front cover.

The outer red, yellow and orange circle represents the persona I present to the world--sunny and pleasant.  The inner circle represents my hidden dark thoughts and feelings, my anger, rage, pain, shame etc.  The rays are the love I give out to the world and the snakes are the anger, rage, pain and shame that escape from their internal prison and cause hurt feelings and misunderstandings.  They also represent the chaos that underlies and spills out of the "safely" imprisoned negative qualities.

This book is too big to fit on my scanner (what was I thinking?) and the leather is thick, sturdy and doesn't lie flat, so I apologize for the quality of the photo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What the Heart Feels

Botanical Gardens
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
photo by me
click image to view larger

Haiku: What the Heart Feels

What the heart feels when
anger and hatred are set
aside: love, peace, joy.

Yes, I know this is not a traditional haiku.
And NO I do NOT know what the flowers are, please enlighten me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Faces: Gwen

Gwen at Big Sur
click to view larger

Faces: Gwen

We met Gwen on our trip to California and fell in love with her. She was living in her car in Big Sur because she wanted to be in a beautiful place. Big Sur is certainly beautiful.
She told us the cops said that she couldn't sleep in the roadside turnouts "forever." Then added wryly, "But I won't be here forever."
She shared water with us from a spring in the side of the mountain where we had stopped. She told us about her life, and we told her about ours. We stayed and talked with her, and she mentioned good spots to stop along the way to see elephant seals and striking vistas.
We were reluctant to leave her and be on our our way. She half wished she would be discovered in Big Sur by the right man. We sure hope he finds her. Soon. A good man, a kind one who loves beauty, true beauty.

"Zen" Beach

I call these my "Zen" beach pictures, because of their simplicity.

The last one is a door latch at a Catholic Monastery, included for
its Zen-like simplicity.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Photographer at Yosemite

Photo Friday's challenge for the day is "Youngster." I took this
picture of a boy at Yosemite (with his parent's permission.) He's not
only a youngster, but also a photographer.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Carrying the House of Fear

Carrying "The House of Fear"
Digitally altered watercolor painting.
You can see here a story that goes with this illo.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Love's Fleurs Quick Sketch

Love's Fleurs, Mary Stebbins Taitt, for Keith, artrage on iPad, quick
sketch. Keith gave me these for our anniversary. (Click image to view

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Emerging from the Flood

Emerging from the flood
Manipulated digital photographic composit, by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Acrylic Sketches while Camping

I did these while camping at the Pinery in Ontario, Canada.  I was hoping to finish the book up there, but we had too much rain--and you can't paint in the rain.  (I can't, anyway.)  The first two are in Ellen's Moleskine and the the third is in my own sketchbook--I painted it with leftover paint from the other two. I'm including it as a peak into our life in the dunes up there.  I have one more piece to do, the half collab for Ammon.

I like to participate in the Virtual Paintout sometimes, where you go to the monthly chosen city and paint something visible from google maps street  views, as if you were at a real paintout.  Interestingly, in Jerusalem, the old-city srtreet views include scenes inside the bazaar, which is what I painted in Ellen's Moleskine.  It was strange painting these dark scenes in the brilliant sun of the dunes of the Pinery.

Jerusalem Old-City Bazaar #1
in Ellen's
Jerusalem Old-City Bazaar #2
in Ellen's
"Reading in the Dunes"
Biker Buddy relaxes
(This is in  my own sketchbook)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Self-portrait of the artist at the gates of Hell

Self Portrait of the artist at the Gates of Hell, by Mary Stebbins
Taitt, for Mick Mather. This is a digitally altered composit of
photographs. The photograph of me is a self-portrait taken yesterday,

Friday, March 30, 2012

Benny and the Urchins Preliminary Sketch

Benny and the Urchins
watercolor sketch
9 x 12
Canson Multimedia Paper
This is my sketch to prepare for the final one that will be in the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Library.  The final one will be smaller.

There are four urchins in this picture.

I'm excited and pleased because I did the whole thing without looking at any reference photos--maybe it would be better if I had, but there it is--completely uninfluenced by anything but my own mind.  Yeah, there should be another rock in front of the tide pool, but no one is perfect.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Benny and the Ferret

Benny and the Ferret
5 x 7
on arches cold-pressed 140 lb/300 gm paper
This is my watercolor painting on the actual page of the sketchbook for the sketchbook project for the Brooklyn Art Museum (as opposed to the earlier one which was just a quick sketch.)  In the final final version, I may or may not make a few adjustments.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Self-portrait of the Artist as a girl with worms
digital, small
Self-portrait as a girl with worms, by me, for Cowbird, to go with a very short story I wrote in response to someone else's story: We walked a quarter of a mile from home to the bus stop, and on rainy days, the bus would honk and honk for me to hurry, because all the other kids had run up to get out of the rain, but I was dawdling, picking up worms off the road and moving them to dry ground so they wouldn't be run over by cars.
I joined cowbird, which is a place for personal stories. 

I needed a picture of myself so I created this self-portrait:

Self portrait with Self Portrait

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

E is for Eel

Benny and the Electric Eel
5 x 7
Copic pen and multiliner
on Canson Canvas paper
I won't be doing this project again--5 x 7 is too small for me to work.

D is for Dinosaur

D is for Dinosaur
For the Sketchbook Project for the Brooklyn Art Library and for Frankie, 5 x 7 Canson Canvas Paper, Copic markers and a touch of Copic multi-liner,  I probably will not do any more 5 x 7 sketchbooks.  My hand isn't steady enough to work that small.  This one is maybe my favorite so far?

Somehow, in spite of the fact that this is my art blog, I've been posting my art to No Polar Coordinates.

I think it's because I never think my art is good enough to post to the actual art blog.  :-(

This one might be good enough?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Renaissance Multimedia Paper Test Day 2

Testing Renaissance Multimedia Paper (Arches)
colored pencil, Copic Marker, Sakura Pigment pens, pastels
The paper had enough tooth and enough smoothness to work well for all of these media.


of the seven media I tested today and yesterday, only the Copic markers bled through the paper strips.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Multimedia Paper Test #1

Multimedia Paper Test #1. Erica Chappuis gave me some samples of paper from a sketchbook she got and I have tested them with, from top to bottom: acrylics, watercolor, water soluble oil pastels (Portfolio) and gouache. Subject, my hubby, Keith. The paper did not bleed through with any of those media and the results were excellent ((barring my own incompetence and, since this is just a test, lack of time commitment to make it more excellent.)  I think it is important to not have bleed-through so you can use both sides of the paper.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Cheetah, by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt, from the ten-minute sketch series. Done in Portfolio water soluble oil pastels on Canson Multimedia 9 x 12 paper (in my sketchbook) at dinner tonight, drawn quickly and then painted with plain water.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Super-Quick 5-minute Marker Sketch of Biker Buddy

Biker Buddy (keith
in wide-tip Copic Marker
9 x 12 watercolor paper
less than 5 minutes
I did this at dinner last night--it is, like all my work, imperfect, but I am pleased that my skill has developed to the point where SOMETIMES I can make a quick sketch and have it come out relatively well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Light in the Forest

A Light in the Forest
5 x 7 Copic Marker and pen
on "bleedproof" paper (NOT!)
I bought some bleed-proof marker paper today--it does make a more precise line, but it bleeds through.  I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to do double-sided marker images for the sketchbook project.  This paper is very thin, almost like tracing paper.  The Copic blenders do NOT work. (or else I don't know how to use them).  By the way, the actual image (drawing) does not look as dark as this scan.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Companion IV, Sketchbook Project

Companion IV
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
5 x 5, colored pencils (and a tiny bit of micron pen)
This is my friend's cat.  The friend and cat prefer to remain anonymous. Unfortunately, the drawing on the previous page shows through, to some extent (too much to make me happy.)

Next time, I am going to take the book apart and replace the paper.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Monita the Mannequin Revisted

Monita the Mannequin.

This is an unfinished painting, so I may post it again, if I do more work on it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Runway

The Runway,
By Mary Stebbins Taitt
Sakura pens
Prismacolor and Big Mark-it markers
Snakeskin Hat
I also did a little more work on the Snakeskin hat.

Snakeskin Hat

Snakeskin Hat,
Mary Srebbins Taitt
Snakeskin Hat, by Mary Stebbins Taitt, Sakura Micron 05 and Sakura Brush.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

At the Coney Monday, January 2012

At The Coney on Monday, January, 2012
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
Portrait of Graham and Kristina at the Coney Island, Mack and Moross, by Mary Stebbins Taitt, artrage digital painting from SCRATCH (no photos were damaged or abused [or even used] in the making of this art piece.)   The likenesses are BAD, because I'm not that good with likenesses anyway and they got up and left before I finished (drawn from life).

Friday, January 06, 2012

Icky Fingers (half a drawing)

This is my last piece in Stephanie's Moleskine for the Exchange group, so I will be sending it to Ammon as soon as I can get it together, hopefully tomorrow or Monday,  It is done in 005 Micron pen black.  Also a little splash of black gouache.  The green bit on the mouth is from a dirty scanner, sorry.

Icky Fingers
Micron Pen
1st half of a collaboration with Ammon
It's my husband, Biker Buddy (Keith), in case you don't recognize him, working on my son Graham's car.  However, Ammon could make it into something else and that would be OK.  I'll be interested to see what he does with it.
Here's what Ammon Perry did with this piece.

Hellebore, digitally altered photograph

Around here, Hellebore or Christmas Rose (not a rose!) is one of the earliest spring flowers.   e had a kind of Spring-like day today.

This is from another year, the flower that is.  I just made the painting on artrage--it is a digitally altered photograph--I took the photograph and altered it on artrage.

Hellebore, by Mary Stebbins Taitt
digitally altered photograph
altered in Artrage
This was an experiment and is NOT the way I normally work.  However, I consider this an "art" piece for the following reasons:

  • I took the photo, an artistic composition decision
  • I altered the photo with additional choices about lighting and so on in Photoshop raw
  • I "painted" the photo in artrage
  • I further manipulated it in Photoshops again after the fact.
Photography purists don't like manipulated photos and art purists don't like manipulated photos.  Perhaps there should be a category for them, because I think this is a piece of art.

Here is the original unmanipulated raw photograph.  I have friends who always like the original photos better than any "art" I make from them and that is their prerogative.  Yes, I recentered the art piece.  If You click on either of them, you can view them side by side.  I don't normally do this remember--it was an experiment, one of a number of such, for fun.  I feel as if I am sounding defensive, and I am feeling that way because so many people attack this kind of work.  In my opinion, they do not appreciate the kinds of artistic decisions that go into it.  You can choose to like or dislike it--what matters most to me is that I LIKE IT and I enjoyed doing it.

I am also not sure this is done.  It needs more work. Whether or not I will choose to do that remains to be seen.

Turning the Eggs, Collaboration with Gretchen Owen

Turning the Eggs
Collaborations with Gretchen
Turning the Eggs, Collaboration by Gretchen Owen and Mary Stebbins Taitt
markers and pens.  Dedicated to Hennie Mavis.  Gretchen did the eggs and I did the chicken and background.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Under the rte 70 Bridge, Silverthorne, Colorado

Under the rte 70 Bridge, Silverthorne, Colorado

This is another virtual paintout picture from Silverthorne, Colorado.  Gouache on AG Plainbook.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Virtual Paintout, Aspen Colorado

Aspen, Colorado
the walking trail

Two more pages completed in a two-page spread.    This is another for the Virtual Paintout.  Aspen, Colorado.  I scanned the pages separately and didn't get the register quite right in the image.  Sorry.  It doesn't look like that in the book (in the center.)

Here is the google maps street view image I used to paint this from (for the Virtual Paintout).

Screen capture of street view used for painting above
Problem is, I MISSED--Aspen is in Pitkin County, not Summit County.  :-(  I MESSED UP YET AGAIN.