Painted Tiles

I decided to paint some tiles with my birds, using Pebeo Porcelaine paints (which are dishwasher proof after drying for 3 days, then baking for a half hour in the oven).

bird tiles all.JPG

It was fun painting with the Pebeo paints. They are more like watercolors; most colors are transparent, and require several glazes to build up color. I have tested my mugs (some of which are at a local art gallery) in the dishwasher, and they do hold up well.

So, overall: these work well, and I can mix them a lot more easily than the oil-based markers, so I will probably use these in the future for porcelain painting.

I would love to hear from other artists about their experiences with porcelain painting. What works for you? Any other tips? Any negatives? I know others would like to hear, too.

 

What Michigan Artists Do in the Winter

The past few weeks it has snowed a LOT. Here’s a picture of what it looks like outside my front door:

Michigan scene in the wintertime

Outside my house

Since before moving here two years ago, I lived in warmer climates (California, and then Texas), I was amazed by the amount of snow that falls – and stays – each winter. The landscape will pretty much look like the picture above, until the end of March.
When I first moved here, I went “ooh, aaaah, how beautiful.” (I still do).

I have also become acquainted this past year with something we never used in California or Texas: a roof rake.

For those of you from warmer states, here’s what one looks like:

photo of a Michigan artist's roof rake

My roof rake

Okay, I can hear you southerners asking, “What in the heck is a roof rake?” (Especially those of you from counties in Texas with only 1 snow plow for the entire county). Well, when 6 inches of snow fall each day for 3 days in a row, the snow accumulates on the roofs.

Enough snow accumulates that the weight could actually cause a roof to collapse, especially if an ice dam occurs. An ice dam is something that house owners up north dread; when cold snow melts, it creates a ridge of ice on the roof, and then more snow and ice keep collecting on the roof.

So, in the winter, people in this part of the world participate in one of Michigan’s winter sports. They get out a roof rake and rake – yes, rake! – the snow off of their roof.

This is really good exercise, especially when it is 10 degrees outside, My friends all assure me that the cold temperature makes it even more invigorating. My friends are very enthusiastic people who were born here.

Raking roofs involves getting up on ladders, climbing up on the roof, and not slipping and falling to the ground, while raking the heavy snow off. The real challenge comes when you are up on the roof: seeing how long you can last until a chunk of ice under your feet breaks off, and whether you can jump to another part of the roof without plummeting to the ground below.

I have gotten pretty good at this. So good, that I have even helped friends rake their roofs. So, when I’m not painting, I’m…roof raking.

The forecast tonight is for 6 – 9 inches of snow during the night. So….ooooh. Aaaaah. Pretty. And plenty of exercise this next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cardinal Cup

I am still working on learning how to paint coffee mugs using different media. Here, I painted a female cardinal using oil-based sharpies that I baked.

Coffee Cup with female cardinal painted on it

Female Cardinal Cup

I like the way the colors turned out. Next, I am painting some cups with Pebeo Porcelaine paints, which I understand are more permanent. I have one almost done, and will post how it turned out next time.

I also plan on painting some ceramic tiles that I got, after doing a series of cups. I am really enjoying the process of painting on porcelain. The cleanup is a lot faster than with oil paints!

 

More cup painting

I’ve decided to try hand painting ceramic cups with oil-based sharpie markers and baking them. The first two, I baked at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.  The second two, I baked at 350 degrees for the same time. Here’s the result:

I had seen recommendations for both temperatures online. At the higher temp, the colors bake out and turn grayer; I also lost my whites (they turned yellow on the jay). At the lower temperature, the colors retain their bright hues.

I then tested both batches in the dishwasher, and they all came through fine. Although if I give them as gifts, I will tell people “handwash only.” So, I learned some interesting things about painting cups.

I did have a friend commission four cups for her mother, after she saw the ones on the right. And the great part is that the cups are inexpensive; I bought them at thrift stores for 25 cents each; I got a set of 8 blue cups at this price, and 2 white mugs.

 

 

New Gallery

I am very pleased that some of my art was accepted at Art Reach Center in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. They have some wonderful art there, and it’s well worth visiting if you are in the area. Kim, the Director, is very knowledgeable, and has her own art there.

Yay! Now my art is at three galleries and one gift shop (Ludington Gallery and Gifts, which is selling my cards after two weeks, and wants to move the display to the front of the store). The owner there, Karen, is really nice. Plus, the beach is great, and the restaurants….