Butterflies everywhere…

blog batik pink and blue butterflies © Lynne Medsker

I’ve been working on two large pieces of art featuring butterflies. Today as I was waiting for some of the layers to dry on those two pieces I took time to create three smaller butterfly pieces. Using the batik style I’ve been fond of lately I started by drawing them with a Sharpie on some hand made paper.

blog, butterflies in progress 1

After the outlines were down I added color with my Pitt pens that are full of india ink. Love me some Pitt pens!!blog, butterflies in progress 2

The next couple of steps involve wax being applied on the surface to make a resist when I spray liquid watercolor onto the paper. The first layer of wax just covers the part of the the drawings I don’t want to blend with the background color. After that has been sprayed on and dried I cover the entire piece with wax. Then comes the part that continues to make me nervous – wadding up the paper into a tight little ball to crack the wax in a random kind of way. Then (gently) unfolding it and spraying the piece again, this time with a contrast color to make random lines throughout the piece. I used black watercolor on these pieces but have some white ink on order than I’m anxious to try for a different result.

The final step is to place the waxy art between sheets of newspaper and iron it with a hot iron, which pulls the wax out of the art and leaves it on the newspaper. Sometimes this takes a few ironings before it’s totally wax free. Ta-da! Art! Well, okay, I did go back in with some gel pens and add a few details. Then the ta-da happened. 🙂

blog batik blue butterflies © Lynne Medsker


blog batik orange and purple butterflies © Lynne Medsker

Rather amusing is that these quick little pieces are more exciting to me than the larger ones are right now! Go figure. I’ve added these three to the “Giftables” page on my website so go pick out your favorite and give it a home!


Rocks on my brain

It seems like the prep and creativity for the new show in November centered around rocks! I’ve had a blast exploring on the different ways they can be painted, colored and incorporated into artwork. Here are a few images of my explorations, I’ve left a pencil in the photo of several to give you a gauge of the sizes.
painted stones © Lynne Medsker
Painted stones © Lynne Medsker

Painted stones © Lynne Medsker

mandala painted stone © Lynne Medsker

Painted stones © Lynne Medsker

blog, stones with ink © Lynne Medsker

blog, stones, detailed © Lynne Medsker

blog stones, copper and black © Lynne Medsker

blog, watercolor stones © Lynne Medsker

How I’m incorporating these into my artwork? Aaaah, well, you’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂  In the meantime I can tell you that, after some requests, I’ll be scheduling a couple of workshop in the next month or two so YOU can create your own art on stones. Look for those to be posted soon!



Monochromatic, mixed media drawing © Lynne Medsker
Monochromatic, mixed media drawing © Lynne Medsker

This piece was created last winter/spring and never made it to the blog. So, belatedly, may I present “Monocromatic”! Creating using a mixture of markers, charcoal and ink here are images of the piece in progress:

As you can tell I was busy creating instead of taking photos of my process. It happens sometimes!

Next post will be another tree from winter/spring, this one with a tropical feel. Look for it soon.


Mandala Tree

A recently finished piece!

Mixed Media (Marker, watercolor, Ink) on Paper © Lynne Medsker
Mixed Media (Marker, watercolor, Ink) on Paper, 36 x 24″ © Lynne Medsker

This was a fun project that I started for one reason and finished just because I loved making it. 🙂 Originally thinking I’d enter it into a competition, I didn’t get it finished before the deadline but that didn’t stop me from completing it. The drawing/coloring of all the mandala “leaves” was much more time consuming than what I thought!  email  10357770_10152180144962233_4458660241400057369_o


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After getting them drawn it was on to adding the background paint and then it needed to dry for a while, it had gotten quite saturated!email  20140708_231350

Once it was dry, the first details I tackled were in the tree trucks.email  10423728_10152216335267233_6552598702240167785_n

Then on to the leaves. That was the slowest part of the process. email  20140811_202220-1

I used a semi-limited pallet so that the piece would have some continuity, which added to the challenge. email  10570467_10152241064412233_6741666186836582498_n

The finished piece is still in the studio as I decide how to frame & display it! I’m also thinking it needs a better title than “Mandala Tree” – what do you think??



The start of a series…

Okay, so I know I’ve been trying to catch up with all the upcycled/recycled artwork from last year but in the meantime I’ve been doing some other fun art so I thought I’d take a little “time out” and share something new with you before we finish up with the last half-dozen or so pieces from last year. My obsession with trees continues, both in my art and at home.  Both in the form of bonsai trees! I’ve adopted a little juniper bonsai tree and have two other types I’m trying to grow from seed (as I wait impatiently for sprouts!). I’ve always loved the “personality” of trees, how they branch this way and that, twist, lean and each just seem to have a story to tell us if we listen closely enough. With the way bonsai trees are pruned and trained into such interesting shapes I suppose it would be inevitable that I wouldn’t be able to resist them and, after trying for several years, I gave in. My sketch book is slowly filling up with trees from my imagination and now I am producing some in a more presentable manner. The first three started together with a (very) rough outline of the trucks and limbs.

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From there I added some softly blended layers of color to the background areas.

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After that dried I began adding the areas where the leaves would fill in the image.

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I am always amazed at how much difference adding some shading can make in an image. Suddenly the tree has some dimension and looses that flat feeling!

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If you know how I like to make art you might have guessed what happened next.  Yes. Doodling, Zentangles, whatever you want to call it…lots of tiny detailed patterns!

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After the patterns were all added then came the color! I’ve clumped together the rest of the progression shots, you can click on them to enlarge the images and scroll through at your leisure.

All of which leads us up to the finished image:

"Bonsai One" marker, ink & watercolor on 12x12" watercolor paper, $175 unframed/$350 framed © Lynne Medsker
“Bonsai One” marker, ink & watercolor on 12×12″ watercolor paper, $175 unframed/$350 framed © Lynne Medsker

Since this is the first one that I finished I took lots of progress shots with my camera. When I share the other two finished pieces there is not near as much to see!

Look for them to be posted soon,


Abstract, Contact, Watercolor

Another recap of a spring class, this one from May when we created abstracts on illustration board.

waterecolor, wax, marker
watercolor, wax, marker on illustration board

The process begins by rubbing blocks of wax around the surface of illustration board, creating an unseen design with the edges, sides and corners of the wax blocks.

drawing a design
student, drawing their design
design on contact paper
design drawn on contact paper

After that the entire surface is covered with contact paper and the design is drawn onto the contact.

removing contact
removing contact layer with x-acto knife

After selecting a color scheme then the contact paper is removed, section by section, using an x-acto knife and watercolor paint is applied.

adding paint
student adding color to their design
watercolor added
watercolor added, wax design showing

When the paint is added then the wax design pops out from underneath as white lines and dappled areas of color.

still painting
still adding paint
more color
adding more color
getting close
almost finished

As one area dries we moved on to a different section until the entire piece is covered with paint – if that’s what the painter desired. When the painting is done then the areas can be detailed and/or outlined with marker, paint or ink if desired.

Mandala Monday…

mandala 14 (framed) marker & ink on paper (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
"mandala 14" (framed) marker & ink on paper (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
mandala 18 (framed) marker & ink on paper (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
"mandala 18" (framed) marker & ink on paper (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker

Well, I’ve gone two weeks without posting any mandala images, that’s all I can stand!  Honestly, I don’t want this to become a blog by “that crazy mandala lady” but I really am into them lately!  As with most of my projects I just jump in and do them and then later on realize I need to figure out how to present them.  I had several of the earlier pieces matted so that they can be put into a standard size frame (8×10, 11×14) and then finally made a trip out one day and found that they sell frames that are pre-matted with square openings.  I bought several of those on sale last week (plus found a few here at home that I had put aside for another project).  Between the two slightly different size/styles they fit several pieces I had already made and now I know what the dimensions are I can work within those sizes.  I dropped off six pieces to be included in my show at Healing Arts Indy, I am excited to have them hanging in a gallery space! Five of the six pieces that were hung are shown in this blog post.  Want to know which ones they are?  You’ll have to come see – the opening reception is from 6 to 10 p.m. this Friday night, I would love to see you there!

I am showing the rest of the images without the matting/frame around them so you can get a better look at the details.

mandala 13 marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala 13" marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
mandala 16 marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala 16" marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
mandala 15 marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala 15" marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
mandala 17 marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala 17" marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
mandala 19 marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala 19" marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
mandala 20 marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala 20" marker & ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

I really had fun with the first piece, I hadn’t tried using any text in these images and I thought “live life” was both a good message and an easy to use pair of words.  (Although now the more I look at it I see “life live” instead!) Can you think of other words or sayings that might look nice on a piece?

Until next time,

“That Crazy Mandala Lady”/Lynne

Guess what? More mandalas…

mandala #10 marker & gel ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala #10" marker & gel ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

I hope you aren’t getting tired of these!  I have been doing a few other things, but nothing that’s finished and ready to share.  SO…for your immediate viewing pleasure I will post the four newest mandalas, created during the last week.

mandala #9 marker on blue paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala #9" marker on blue paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
mandala #12 marker & gel ink on black paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala #12" marker & gel ink on black paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
mandala #11 marker & gel ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"mandala #11" marker & gel ink on paper (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

Spent some time outside in the lovely weather this weekend, making art with my grandson.  I will post a few of those images soon.

Welcome to a new week!