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In My Art Studio

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Practicing the basics

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  If you receive my monthly TinyLetter, you know that I've been working on improving my art studio.  However, it has been the worst weather for taking interior photos lately: The weather has been dark, gray, and cold for Central Alabama.  I'm unable to share the studio at this time, and I'm hoping I will be able to share before the end of the month.  *fingers crossed*

I can share a few things I've created in the studio, though.  I've been drawing a lot, and I've started painting again.

I began a colored pencil series, illustrating one of my favorite poems.  When I went to get one of the drawings framed, it was so expensive that I decided not to spend so much time on the drawings because the framing is just too prohibitive.  It was very discouraging because I don't want to spend tons of time on drawings that I can't afford to frame!  Below is my favorite drawing from the series, a European goldfinch.

colored pencils on 11" X 17" Strathmore colored pencil paper

I've also been working on drawing botanicals, both in graphite and silverpoint.  I'm thinking about drawing all the state flowers.  It might help keep me focused because I tend to be all over the place with my art.

"Red Rose:
Symbol of the United States of America"
graphite on 11" X 17"  Strathmore 400 Series drawing paper

I am very excited about M. Graham paints.  M. Graham uses walnut oil as its binder, and uses no solvents.  Since oil paints have heavy metals, it's good that M. Graham uses walnut oil because it is much healthier than other binders.  It doesn't seem to hurt my allergies at all!  I love how this paint feels so buttery.  Below is my latest painting:

"Coffee Cups Stack"
oil on 18" X 24" gesso panel

This painting was difficult because of the hand-painted details on the cups.  The patterns were similar but not just alike, and I tried to use thicker paint on the designs to make them look painterly.  Another challenge was painting on the gesso panel.  I prefer oil-primed linen, but I was trying to use canvases and panels I already have.  A friend actually gave me this panel because she doesn't like them, either, and I told her I'd try it.  I've decided that life is too short, and I will be painting on linen from now on.  

I used a booty load of white paint on this painting.  I almost used an entire tube of titanium white because to get the aqua color, I had to add white to a tiny amount of viridian green.  Mr. Sketchy Reader bought me two more tubes for Valentine's Day.  He drove all the way downtown to purchase them for me.  I think I'll keep him until next Valentine's Day!  

Icy weather is supposed to come to Central Alabama.  Hopefully the sun will return, and I can take photos of things I want to share here on the blog.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. You have such a gift and should spend as much time as you need. Your creative heart and mind work well. Have you thought about framing them yourself to save a little bit of money. The Goldfinch is gorgeous. Happy New Week. xoxo Kris

  2. Wow!! You are an amazing artist. Your work is crazy good and the tea cups? I had to look back three and four times, I thought it was a photograph. Outstanding. I adore your thoughtful Valentine's gift. How perfect!!

  3. RJ, you are so talented and creative, especially drawings and painting. The "Goldfinch" is stunning, I love the detail. And, the "Coffee Cups Stack" is beautiful. You've captured the delicate detail of china. Stunning work! Sweet and thoughtful gift from your husband......

  4. Far more talent then many haven including me

  5. These are just beautiful. I truly love your style and your attention to the detail. That bird is fabulous. That bird is spectacular and the silverpoint rose -- wow! What a great gift!

    I've been impressed with the archival mats from Dick Blick and the Ribba selection of frames from IKEA. They're very inexpensive (in the store -- not sure about mail order) and very clean -- black or white, quite plain but the art shows up very well. These do deserve to be framed!

  6. Ricki Jill, your art is stunning! Oh my gosh, I thought the teacups were a photograph, so realistic. The goldfinch detail is incredible. You have an amazing gift. Worth framing, you just need to strike up a relationship with a framer and get the best deal you can.

  7. I'm so glad you're finding joy in your studio! Your drawings are fantastic, and I LOVE the tea cups, stunning! They really pop off the surface...I have tried the gesso panels too, and find they are hard to work with, so slick...I much prefer a more absorbent surface like canvas for my acrylics. Your oil paintings are always so fabulous, I loved seeing them when you were posting on Daily Paintworks. I have a canvas primed and ready on my easel, you have inspired me to get going! It's been so cold in my kitchen where my studio is, I haven't wanted to paint, but with warming up this weekend I'm going to get back in there! So sweet of Trip to get the paint for you. Check Amazon, they have almost anything you might need, I order art supplies from them all the time.

  8. I hope you all are safe. I lo e your art work as usual. You are very talented.


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Hello, Lovelies!

I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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