Tag Archives: Painting

Creative Juice #202

Creative Juice #202


Wow! Creative stuff this week.

Index-Card-a-Day and World Watercolor Month Wrap Up


I’ve been participating in the Index-Card-a-Day challenge, and World Watercolor Month, which ended yesterday. Here are my final cards.

The ICAD Day 54 prompt was outline. This is my interpretation:


Day 55’s prompt was paisley. I painted a wet-on-wet watercolor background and drew on top of it.


World Watercolor Month’s prompt for Day 27 was shine:


ICAD’s Day 58 prompt was tea set:


Day 29’s prompt for World Watercolor Month was yesterday. My response is based on the Lennon-McCartney song. This is the most liked post on my Instagram page this week:


For Day 30, I decided to fiddle with an idea for a logo for ARHtistic License:


I went off-prompt for the final day of both challenges. Months ago I tore a page out of a magazine that had a picture of paper plates printed with folk-art florals, which inspired this. It’s my personal favorite of the week and possibly of the entire challenge.


All in all, I completed 54 cards. Technically I only participated on 51 of the 61 days, but one day I painted 4 cards.


I love doing challenges because it stretches me, encourages me to try new things, learn things I didn’t know before. I hope you’ll join me next year.

Creative Juice #200

Creative Juice #200

Beautiful stuff to look at:

  1. Zenbutton technique.
  2. Awesome murals.
  3. Drawing ideas for kids of any age.
  4. Dads at their daughters’ weddings.
  5. The hardest part of writing. Yep.
  6. Have you always wanted to paint a mural in downtown Phoenix? Here’s your chance.
  7. It’s never too late to learn to paint.
  8. Things to see (from a distance) in Austin.
  9. My friend, artist Vesna Taneva-Miller, has one of the most eclectic Instagram pages I’ve ever seen.
  10. Who says you have to use a pen or pencil to draw?
  11. A reading list of classics by Black authors.
  12. Go to Egypt and tour Ramesses VI’s tomb—virtually.

Creative Juice #199

Creative Juice #199

All sorts of ideas to enhance your creativity, plus things that are just plain beautiful.

Creative Juice #197

Creative Juice #197

ABC: Art. Beauty. Creativity.

Video of the Week #256: Surprising Butterfly


Creative Juice #185

Creative Juice #185

Either you have nothing to do, or you have way too much to do. Either way, take off an hour to look through these artistic articles.

  1. I have a fantasy of getting a second masters degree—in art history. Maybe this second-best idea is more realistic.
  2. I laughed at the first 15 of these vacation pictures. And then I just got sad.
  3. Use these online resources to expand your creativity during lockdown.
  4. When the people are away, the goats will play.
  5. Do you know what ATCs are? Artist Trading Cards. Check out this bunch.
  6. Paintings of Yosemite.
  7. Introverts, our year has come.
  8. I am so jealous of people who keep art journals. (I know, I know, I should just do it. . .)
  9. How to make art a habit.
  10. Don’t you just love exploring a new friend’s house and seeing all the beautiful things she has? Quilter Frances Arnold has so kindly let us into hers.
  11. Do you like squirrels? Then you’ll just love this Instagram account.
  12. Sketch yourself with a mask.


Creative Juice #180

Creative Juice #180

Pretty things and creepy things. Great ideas and sad thoughts.

  1. Gorgeous creepy crawlers.
  2. A different kind of book nook. I didn’t know these were a thing.
  3. Do you have lots of scraps in your fabric stash? Here are some ideas of what to do with them.
  4. Photography on grass.
  5. Suicide’s painful legacy. Don’t do it. Ask for help.
  6. Amazing underwater photography.
  7. This Vile painter will make you see through walls.
  8. If your favorite cartoon characters were fossils. . .
  9. A gorgeous travel-sketch-journal to inspire you.
  10. I’m sharing this post about the Road to California quilt show especially because it features a quilt made by the fabulous Cindy Stohn.
  11. Read these 25 excellent suggestions for improving your life and be encouraged.
  12. Nathalie goes to Austin. (I have a friend who lives there. Now that I know how cool it is, I’ll have to go visit her. . .)

Fra Angelico, the Angelic Friar

Fra Angelico, the Angelic Friar

Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro circa 1395—died February 18, 1455) was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. His nickname in English-speaking countries, Fra Angelico, means the “Angelic friar,” referring to his devout and humble demeanor.  He earned his reputation primarily for with the series of frescoes he made for his own friary, San Marco, in Florence.

The earliest recorded document concerning Fra Angelico dates from October 17, 1417, when he joined a religious confraternity at the Carmine Church, still under the name of Guido di Pietro. This record reveals that he was already a painter. The first record of Angelico as a friar dates from 1423, when he is first referred to as Fra Giovanni (Friar John), following the custom of taking a new name upon entering a religious order.

These images from the Linaiuoli Madonna Alterpiece by Fra Angelico are available from the Metropolitan Museum Store

Images from the Linaiuoli Madonna altarpiece by Fra Angelico: store.metmuseum.org

According to Vasari (a sixteenth century artist and art historian), Fra Angelico initially received training as an illuminator, possibly working with his older brother Benedetto, who was also a Dominican and an illuminator. The former Dominican convent of San Marco in Florence, now a state museum, holds several illuminated manuscripts that are thought to be entirely or partly by his hand. According to Vasari, the first paintings of this artist were an altarpiece and a painted screen for the Charterhouse (Carthusian monastery) of Florence; neither still exist.


Annunciation, Fra Angelico

From 1408 to 1418, Fra Angelico lived at the Dominican friary of Cortona, where he painted frescoes, now mostly destroyed, in the Dominican Church. Between 1418 and 1436 he was at the convent of Fiesole, where he also painted a number of frescoes and the Altarpiece for the church.

In 1436, Fra Angelico was one of the friars from Fiesole who moved to the newly built  friary of San Marco in Florence. This was an important move which put him in the center of artistic activity of the region and won him the patronage of Cosimo de’ Medici, one of the wealthiest and most powerful members of the city’s governing authority and founder of the dynasty that would dominate Florentine politics for much of the Renaissance. Cosimo had a cell reserved for himself at the friary in order that he might retreat from the world. At Cosimo’s urging, Fra Angelico set about decorating the friary, including the magnificent fresco of the Chapter House, the often-reproduced Annunciation, the Coronation of the Madonna with Saints, and the many other devotional frescoes depicting aspects of the Life of Christ that adorn the walls of each cell.


San Marco Altarpiece, Fra Angelico

In 1439 Fra Angelico completed one of his most famous works, the San Marco Altarpiece at Florence, which was unusual for its time. Images of the enthroned Madonna and Child surrounded by saints were common, but they usually depicted a setting that was clearly heaven-like, in which saints and angels hovered about as divine presences rather than people. But in this instance, the saints stand squarely within the space, grouped in a natural way as if they were able to converse about the shared experience of witnessing the Virgin in glory.

442px-Fra_Angelico_012 Crucified Christ

The Crucified Christ, Fra Angelico

In 1445 Pope Eugene IV summoned him to Rome to paint the frescoes of the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament at St Peter’s, later demolished by Pope Paul III. Fra Angelico was offered the Archbishopric of Florence, but he refused it, recommending another friar for the position. In 1447 Fra Angelico was in Orvieto, creating works for the Cathedral there.

404px-Fra_Angelico_ Transfiguration

The Transfiguration, Fra Angelico

From 1447 to 1449 Fra Angelico was back at the Vatican, designing the frescoes for the Niccoline Chapel for Pope Nicholas V. The scenes from the lives of the two martyrs,  St. Stephen and St. Lawrence, may have been executed wholly or in part by assistants. The small chapel, with its brightly frescoed walls and gold leaf decorations gives the impression of a jewel box. From 1449 until 1452, Fra Angelico returned to his old convent of Fiesole, where he was the Prior.

635px-Angelico St. Lawrence

St. Lawrence Distributing Alms, Fra Angelico

In 1455, Fra Angelico died while staying at a Dominican convent in Rome, perhaps while working on Pope Nicholas’ chapel. He was buried in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

When singing my praise, don’t liken my talents to those of Apelles.
Say, rather, that, in the name of Christ, I gave all I had to the poor.

The deeds that count on Earth are not the ones that count in Heaven.

I, Giovanni, am the flower of Tuscany.

— Translation of epitaph

Information for this article came from Wikipedia.

Creative Juice #179

Creative Juice #179

Art, beauty, and surprises.

  1. These lovely photos make me want to go exploring in the woods.
  2. Best of Beethoven.
  3. Stuff inside of stuff.
  4. Standing out as an artist.
  5. Smithsonian acknowledges the 50th anniversary of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
  6. Look! Up in the sky! Anything you can imagine! (Clouds.)
  7. One person’s thoughts on the presidency.
  8. David Hockney makes big money painting swimming pools.
  9. A watercolorist’s journey.
  10. Quilts at Atlanta High Museum.
  11. Check out these beautiful Zentangle® designs.
  12. Wish I could go to this sketching workshop in Mexico City. I love this artist!