Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Journal

New Journal
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
This is the journal my wonderful friend Malinda custom made for me! The watercolor paper I love, a beautiful natural looking cover, all I asked for and MORE! I love it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
I just started a class with Martha Lever called "CalligraFun" and it is. Several of my online art buddies are right in their with me trying to see if we can learn the art of Fun Lettering! This is my first attempt.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christ Candle

Christ Candle
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
This is the card I ended up with as my Christmas card for this year. Kept it really simple. I actually like my journal page better but that was too many layers and to much stuff to think about for a card. I used Kate's suggestion of simply drawing through wax paper as a resist for the cross. I couldn't believe how well it resisted the wc. This one is a postcard. I thought it would be cool for the mail people to actually see one of the cards they deliver. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christ Candle 2009

Christ Candle 2009
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
I have played all day. Rainy and cold and the perfect day to stay in and work in my journal. Tried lots of media today working on lesson #3 of a great journal class with Kate. Quick sketches. Really really bad sketches - but good experience. I think all of those "bad" sketches helped me work out the plan for my Christmas card for this year. Hopefully tomorrow I will turn this into a 4x6 I can mail to friends and family. No PROCRASTINATING! We will see...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Cactus -pen and marker

This was entirely too much fun! The excercise suggested using materials that are "at hand". Nothing special, no great art toys, just do it! Sooooooo - a felt tip pen and Crayola markers and there! You have to read the written part of the journal to see how I "clean my brush". HA!!!!!! Maybe a totally new fad!

Christmas Cactus -Pencil

Trying to work, take a wonderful journal class with Kate, read e-mails from my incredibly talented classmates and get ready for holidays is a little overwhelming. Problem is - I love it all - so nothing can go. So here is my drawing for this lesson using only pencil. This Christmas Cactus is sitting on my desk at school and I took about 15 to 20 minutes to do a sketch and write in my journal. It's amazing how good I feel when I'm done - even its something small!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Virtual PaintOut

Novia Scotia
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
Novia Scotia

This is my first attempt to join the "virtual paintout" online group. I found this picture after much searching on the online map. I still have problems trying to paint from photos. I seem to see things more clearly when I draw and paint from life. Maybe practice will improve that.

Thanksgiving 2009 - Revisited

Thanksgiving 2009
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
I revisited this entry on Friday (after all the food settled) and added some finishing touches. A photo from my little pogo printer and some wc pencil to Burger.

I noticed the color of the paper was entirely different from yesterday. Same page, same scanner, etc. The paper really is this color of creamy tan and not the white from yesterday. I have no idea what created the difference.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2009
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
So much to be thankful for.

Lunch with family. Great food. Great time. Ate too much - as always! Later KittyBurger was nice enough to sleep close by while I watched football with hubby. Great day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lil' Bear

Lil' Bear
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
Finally got a minute to work on my journal and actually did it. Having time and actually putting the pencil on the paper are NOT the same thing. It seems every time I have a minute my inner gremlins will insist I do something else. Procrastination is always a problem with me. This journal is one of the Lama Li types and has a beautiful tobacco leaf cover. The paper inside is supposed to be watercolor paper. Well...maybe it is, maybe it isn't. It's terrible paper to watercolor on no matter what they call it. The dry wc pencil worked well, so maybe I will concentrate on that media. We will see.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
So often my journal entries are of my purse while I wait on someone to meet me. I wait a lot but it always seems to be a difference purse I draw. I guess I change them often. Maybe that keeps the waiting interesting! Maybe I should just put all these purses together and draw them - Never mind - that's too overwhelming to even think about! HA! The collage portion is from my recent visit to the Nasher Museum at Duke University to see their Picasso exhibit. Had a great time! I'm going back tomorrow with a small group of school kids. We're going to sketch in the museum. I'm excited - especially for them!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
Had fun with this one. The challenge was to see what I could do with only the three primaries. I was pleased with the small sketch as a first try but the fun was in getting there!

First was making the new little palette. It's only about 2" square and has full pans of color. In Art Escapes, Dory Kanter refers to these three as her "full triad". Working with the tiny palette was fun. And then...

I took a photo of the tiny palette with my digital and printed it with my little Kodac Zinc. For those of you who haven't run across this new toy, it's a small Kodac printer that you carry with you (you can also use it plugged into an outlet if its battery is low). It prints out a photo about 2 x 3 inches (I didn't take time to measure) and when you peel off the back - it's sticky paper!!!!!! How much fun can you have with one little journal entry.

I may have used "little" and "tiny" to much - but HEY, they were! LOL

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers

I think each time the season changes, I say "this is my favorite time of year". So I guess it is. The colors of fall are impossible for me to capture, so I have to be satisfied that my sketches will remind me of that particular time and that particular place...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Manic Monday

Manic Monday
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers

Remember 1984 and the Bangles "Just another manic Monday? It went to #2 and was one of those songs that I just couldn't get out of my head. Well I guess I'm showing my age. So anyway...

I just bought a book called The Awe-Manac - as in Almanac - but with AWE instead of ALL. One of the suggestions is to name the day. So I did. The book is cheerful, inspiring, creative, gives you quotes to think about and ideas for things to journal. What fun!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#21 Draw Something Old Antique or Vintage

This is my room when I stay at Bald Knob Farm House in Sparta, North Carolina. The home is an old farmhouse and everything in it is antique. The farmhouse sits in the middle of acres of Christmas trees and each time we have visited the weather has been perfect. I love sitting in the bed and just looking at the view around the room and having "girl talk".

Stayed there two years in a row because we (my girl cousins) couldn't seem to get enough of it!

Drawing in bed has it's own advantages and disadvantages as you can imagine!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#139 Draw Something With a Handle

This is a great bag! Not as big as a book bag. Bigger than a purse and wears like a backpack. Pockets for all your stuff and sturdy! I always seem to have what I want when I carry this bag. For example - I had my sketchbook and pen while I waited in the dentist office for my Mom.

Love this bag! Not unhappy with the drawing either. LOL

Monday, September 21, 2009

#54 Draw Something You Love

The top corner of this page was an excercise in getting the right side of your brain working. Sometimes a short warm up helps me get over the "white page" thing. It certainly didn't hurt. This particular EDM Challenge was to draw something you love and I do love flowers of all kinds.

This drawing was done earlier but not posted and since I got home late tonight and had family here, I didn't have time to do anything new. The family included Mom and she brought me soup and pie. I just added had sandwiches and we had a wonderful meal. Love is good.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

#37 Draw Some Keys

#37 Draw Some Keys
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
The Every Day Matters group really reminds me that - everyday does really matter! And what better way to celebrate that than by recording small moments of my life in a sketch. I don't do this everyday - as much as I wish I did. I finally decided that the more pressure I put on myself to do something "everyday" the more likely I am to put it off.

I am really good at procrastination - EVERYDAY! HA!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sand and Sea

Sand and Sea
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
Raining. We need it - but that doesn't stop me from wanting to stick my toes in the sand!

One of the things I loved about living at the beach all those many years, was being able to sit on the beach and relax when things in life got stressful. The sound of the surf and the gulls were quieting. Looking at something at awesome as the surf rolling in tends to remind you to not sweat the small stuff and let God handle the rest.

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#233 Your Favorite Drink

WOW! How can I be this frazzled and worn out. I must be way too out of shape. I think I need to drink the coffee rather than draw it! Tomorrow is staff development at school so at least I can sit some of the day and not be on my feet. The weather and my knee are giving me a fit!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

#104 Draw a Salt & Pepper Shaker

Since I seem to be overwhelmed with a lack of time right now, I am going to try just drawing/painting something/anything daily. Maybe trying to make a painting that I liked everyday was just too much pressure to start with.

This little contour line drawing was done at Chili's while I waited for my girl cousins to come and celebrate one of their birthdays. Had a great time and a tiny piece of art to show for my time!

Monday, September 14, 2009

#1 Draw a Shoe

#1 Draw a Shoe
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
Today I was teaching my 5th grade students to draw from life using their shoe. It had to have laces and if they didn't have one, I keep a box of old tennis shoes in my room just for this purpose. I remembered that the first EDMs challenge was to draw a shoe so after school, I took time to finish what I started. I LOVE drawing with my kids. Watching them "get it" is awesome!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Forest Scene

Forest Scene
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
This small (4x6) forest scene was done from a photo reference using watercolor on hot press watercolor paper. The details in the trees were added with colored pencil. It seems that I am always short on time - I'm sure this is a problem many of us suffer :o). My home is surrounded by trees and I would rather be outside trying to capture the beauty I see there. Getting home at dark from teaching school doesn't lend itself to painting from life. As nice as that would be, doing something is better than...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Daily Practice

Inlet Scene
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
This small inlet sketch (4x6) was done after school today. It's hard for me to stop and try to create after teaching all day. I tend to want to finish up my day and stop. Not what I need to do!

I have so many online friends that create everyday. I don't know how they do it, but I am always please to see what they have done when I finally sit down at the end of my day. I know part of that is just discipline and that seems to be one of the places I am lacking. I am going to work on that! And in multiple areas!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
I saw this stringy blue/violet flower on my way out of the drive this morning. Beautiful. Pulled off a piece of it as I came back in to add to my journal. By the time I could get in into the house, the flowers were folding up. Nothing I could do changed that fact. I looked through my North Carolina wildflowers book and finally decided that it must be an Astor. Opposing leaves, star-like petals, multiple varieties...Maybe...Maybe Not...

I felt I caught the feeling of the flower if not the detail. I gave myself an "atta-girl" for at least doing something!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
Another photo done from reference photos taken during my Sparta, North Carolina weekend. This one is again, watercolor and watercolor pencil. The paper in this little book is not a very good quality of watercolor paper and I have to be very careful not to overwork it. The painting reminds me of the cool evenings there even though it was July! Great memories...

I haven't done a very good job of journaling since school started. Too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, too, too, too. You get the picture. I read an article today in an old Sketchbook magazine (I wish they still published) about staying creative if you had 5 minutes, or 10 minutes and it reminded me that each moment is an opportunity. I will do better...

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
This painting was done from a reference photo taken during my weekend with cousins in Sparta, North Carolina. I spent many hours that weekend on this old wooden bench enjoying the quiet, reading and relaxing. The painting brings that back for me. One of the joys of summer for me is "time". This summer I tried daily to take advantage of every moment I was blessed with.

I will strive to continue in that vein now that school is starting!

Friday, August 21, 2009

RC Airplane Fly-In

Going to fly-ins with my DH is always is always a wonderful fun way to spend a day and the guys in Sanford really go out of their way to make their fly-ins great successes. Great planes to watch fly, friendly people, good food - so what's missing? Well, this time I decided to "rate" the fly-in from a female point of view. I rated the bathroom facilities...Totally different point of view! Now on a more serious note - I HAD A GREAT TIME!

PS - The hornet image is the decal on my DH's giant scale model plane..."Stinger"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Journl Practice

Busy busy day and sad to say I did not have time for any art of any kind today. Meetings and classroom preparation left absolutely no time. This picture is from several weeks ago when I was taking a watercolor pencil workshop with Kate Johnson (and I'm ready for her to start another class!) Tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bird Watching

Today it was up early and back to school! NO sitting on the deck and bird watching over coffee today...or tomorrow...or...Well anyway, it was a great day and as much as I miss my morning deck watches, I'm ready to get back to work. Lots to be done before the kids come back next Tuesday!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Queen Anne's Lace

Between the heat and trying to enjoy every last minute of summer break, I haven't been outside to weed or to draw. I found this picture from earlier this summer of the field that attaches to my yard. Weeds and nature combine and this particular Queen Anne's Lace was at least 3 feet tall. My Mom always told me they were full of chiggers. My DH's mom told him a chigger lived in the very center of each one. True?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Black-Eyed Susans

Yesterday I decided it was really time to pull up what was left of my Black-Eyed Susans. They were beautiful this year - all volunteered from last years two tiny surviving plants. Oh the wonders of God's world. Well most of the seeds had fallen and the plants were stringy and dying from the heat - so time to move on. This is a watercolor pencil sketch I did of them for a class with Kate Johnson (she is a great teacher!) I really enjoyed investigating the different stages of the plants. Drawing really really makes you look.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunset in the Blue Ridge Mountains

I can never capture the beauty of the North Carolina mountains. Not with a camera. Not in a painting. But I do love to try. This small painting is a combination of watercolor and watercolor pencil. In my attempt to put the peace and tranquility of that evening on paper, I of course fall short. What the painting does do though is spark my memory of that beautiful day spent with a dear dear friend.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bald Knob Farmhouse

Bald Knob Farmhouse
Originally uploaded by Connie Vickers
Sparta, North Carolina is a wonderful small town just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. For the past two years, four of my cousins and I have been blessed to spend a quiet weekend in this beautiful old home named Bald Knob Farmhouse by its owners.

Spending time in a beautiful home with beautiful women that I love is truly a gift.

In this small watercolor, I tried to capture a small part of that peaceful time.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Maggie Valley North Carolina

Just got home from the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Wonderful days spent looking at the beauty of God's earth with a dear friend.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bodie Lighthouse

One more lighthouse memory and I'm off to the mountains to see my dear friend Peggy. I know the mountains will provide lots of visual inspiration. Now the question remains - What will I do with that inspiration?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cape Lookout

With my extended summer about to come to an end (back to work August 18th), I ran across this watercolor painting I did when my students studied North Carolina lighthouses. I think working with the kids keeps me from overworking my paintings because you have to work fast and instruct at the same time. I added a link above (click on my title "Cape Lookout") for you to see some of my 4th graders watercolor paintings from the past. These kids amaze me!

Looking at it made me long for "sand between my toes" and the friends I left at the beach. I don't see them nearly often enough.

I am about to remedy half of that tomorrow when I go in the other direction (the beautiful mountains of North Carolina) to see my wonderful friend Peggy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Oops! Too!

This morning I copied and painted the broken geranium stem from last night. The stem actually survived the night. It seems to make the painting easier to start if I have a pencil value image for reference. Wait! Isn't that what all those art teachers told me all those years. I seem to be a little slow catching on! Good point...Listen to your teacher :~) !

I tried using artist tape for the edges of the image but for whatever reason the tape really stuck this time. I've used this tape before and never had a problem. ??? No idea.

This painting actually completed a journal. I got really excited because I seem to start lots of journals and never finish any of them. Well this makes #9. YEA!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Every afternoon I try to walk around my yard and check on my flowers and plants. One of the things I always try to do is "deadhead" my geraniums. Today I accidentally broke off a flower in my struggle to deadhead a particularly stubborn dead stem. Maybe it wasn't that dead after all! Anyway - oops!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Backyard Goldfinch

The goldfinch in my backyard are numerous this year. I have seen as many as six feeding or waiting ( in pairs) and they are beautiful. Between picture references and bird books, this was as close as I could come to what I was seeing...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Lily Pads at Duke Gardens

This is the watercolor resulting from yesterday's value sketch. Finally had to just leave it alone before it turned to mud. It was a wonderful day and this small painting will remind me of how incredible it was to spend a day outside painting with a good friend. What more could I ask!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Duke Gardens

Wonderful day painting with my friend Lin in Duke Gardens and then a long leisurely lunch and talk! You can see her work at "View From The Oak" She is such an inspiration to me! You will love her paintings!

I started with a drawing. It seems to get me started when I feel overwhelmed and surrounded with that much natural beauty - I was totally overwhelmed. After the sketch, I started a watercolor. Wasn't really happy with the result, so I stopped before I totally made mud of the work. I will look at it again tonight and see if it can be salvaged. Salvaged or not - it was an incredible day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This is an "oldie but a goodie". This is my cat KittyBurger and he still looks the same except the black spot on his nose has gotten larger. This morning he has red paint on his ear and his back. Couldn't help himself from getting to close to hubby and his painting project. Curiosity!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tree Farm

Sitting in one of the many porch rockers looking out over the acres of Christmas trees made me want to come back at Thanksgiving and pick out my own. Each field had trees that were approximately the same size and shape. Closest to me were the six foot blue spruce - beautiful.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Just spent a wonderful weekend with four other girl cousins in Sparta, North Carolina. We stayed in an old home named "Bald Knob Farm House". The house is surrounded by Christmas tree farms and filled with antiques. Each day I found time to do a quick sketch to remind me of this incredibly peaceful place and the wonderful women I shared it with. For the next few days I will share those sketches.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hot Press (smooth) watercolor paper is not always easy to find in journal form, but I love the texture. This is a spread from a small journal I made using that paper. In May everything in my yard seemed to come alive at the same time. The two flowers in this journal spread were particularly vibrant at that time. The purple iris are flowers that I grew up seeing in almost every yard but the weigela is a small shrub brought home by hubby. Stays green all year and blooms twice in the summer. Gotta' love it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Virginia Spiderwort

Early in the morning in my backyard, my Virginia Spiderwort opens for a short time. For most of the summer months I can count on the beautiful periwinkle color to stay with me. This pencil sketch is in preparation for a small watercolor I want to do. Hopefully soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yellow Door

This is the second painting I did on the Paint Out at Cedar Hill Farm. The owners were so gracious to share their home with us and there seemed to be beautiful scenery and still life setups at every turn. New to this experience, one of my biggest problems was deciding where to set up and paint. Surrounded by talented artist - including my new painting friend Lin - it was intimidating and inspiring at the same time. What an incredible day...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Garden Gate

Painting plein aire is another new experience for me, but Alamance County has a wonderful group of outdoor painters that are very supportive and encouraging of beginners. This watercolor was done during one of their all day "Paint Outs" at Cedar Cliff Farm in the Piedmont area of North Carolina - an incredibally beautiful setting. The owners have filled their own lives with art and a landscape that screams to be painted!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Yesterday I tried to catch up on my scrapbooking, so today's work is an older piece. It is a watercolor woodcut and was created just like it sounds. The drawing was done on a piece of birch plywood, cut, and then instead of the regular printing process - watercolor was used as the printing medium. It's a time consuming process but I always like the soft effects it creates.