Tuesday, August 11, 2015

This is just funny!
Maybe at some point I will do some artwork again. 
Looks like I am taking the summer off.
Actually I adopted a new little doggie that was not
housebroken so I can't take my eye off of her when she is out of 
the crate so I haven't been able to gear back up.
Here she is--she is smart!


This just made me laugh...
and also...
thank you all so much who
bought classes through the 
in July Sale!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Thank you!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Play Area!

The More Space Place here in Jacksonville are such a great company and I loved working with them. I really do enjoy sitting here and painting and whatever else strikes my creative juices at the time.
They wanted a picture of my area so this is the one I sent for their Facebook page. The small floating shelves on the left are from Ikea.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Little Country Cottage

I don't have many photos that I have taken myself that are paint worthy.  I am so glad that the
Paint My Photo has great copyright free photos that you can paint. That's the point of the site. There are some really nice photos in this site can can be painted exactly as is or modified with cropping etc. This is one of those photos. I did modify this one because in the foreground were rows of lavender and after painting all those rows I decided it was just too busy so I painted over it to let the little cottage be the focus.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I Love Anything Boho!

I have been wanting to make some of these Boho bangles for quite some time now.  I had all the the supplies here at home except for the zip ties. I got the 8" which wasn't long enough. The 11" would be much better. But I just taped two together to get the size I needed. I used Artist Tape rather than Scotch tape and small duck tape would even be better. Can't wait to wear them.

Here's link to the how to video by Mark Montano. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pretty and Really Smart

I have been having so much fun drawing these girls. Danielle Donaldson
has the most wonderful class called "Creative Girl--Storybook and Studious Girls"
and her girls are so just adorable. I highly recommend her class.
My girls are a bit different which is what I was striving for. It's all about
"creative practice"---learning from someone you admire but then making it your own.
Take lots of practice!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

For the Love of Duck Tape

 As I was painting some fun girls (ala Danielle Donaldson--love her!) the thought occurred to me that I should do something to this boring 'ole folding chair so I whipped out the only patterned Duck Tape that I had and went to it. So easy and fun. Just used a box cutter to trim it. Goodness, think of the possibilities!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Steal Like An Artist

Today, I am going to get up on my artist soap box just for a minute.  In this age of blogs, Facebook  Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr, etc, it seems that art work is out there ripe for the pickin'. 
 And yes, you would be right.
If you love someone's art, or style and you copy it and post it as your own---
well, this is not stealing like an artist. It's just stealing. And I do understand that some 
people just don't know that it's wrong. In the beginning, I didn't either.
But if you study someone's art that you love, copy it, figure out the process and work on that style long enough (this might take time) and begin to transform it into something that is your own--- then, and only then should you post it as yours. The original artist's flavor can still be there but in many ways it has evolved into something different--something that is more you than the original artist.  But even then you should give the original artist credit for your inspiration. All artists learn this way. We are inspired by other artists and even the Bible says:
"...there is nothing new under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9
Ok, I will step down from my soap box and let you watch the video.
This is a highly recommended book for any artist new or old.
Thank you Jeanne Oliver for this recommendation.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spotlight Artist for DLP!

Hi Everyone! 
It's me, Martha, in my favorite hat. 

I just can't express my excitement for being a
Documented Life Project Spotlight Artist
for this week!

This month's theme has been "Making Your Mark"  (Doodles and Mark Making). Goodness, how can you not love that one!!
The art challenge this week is "Create a Custom Element" and the prompt is a great quote by Gabrielle Roth--
"Ride the Energy of your own unique spirit."

As I thought about making my custom element within the mark making month I got to thinking about what a custom mark or element could be. I first thought I would make a rubber stamp and go with that which would have been fun. I love making custom rubber stamps! Then I thought that I really wanted to try and make a unique mark that I hadn't done in a while.  So I rummaged through all my ancient supplies in search of this soda pop folded pen that I made at a calligraphy conference many many years ago.  I hadn't used it since then so I decided that the marks this pen would make would be my unique calligraphic marks.  By the way---ANY mark that YOU make whether made by a brush, a pencil, a marker or whatever is your own unique mark.

I love the quote so I decided I just had to make some word marks.
So I just started marking while still thinking about where my quote would go.
Sometimes trying to figure out the layout with lettering can be quite challenging.

I also added some water to make the ink flow and run a bit to add some unexpected excitement!

As you see in this one I did use a regular calligraphy pen and a Tombow marker brush pen.
I was thinking about what type of layout would go into my journal so I decided to try and find some interesting 3x3 squares to cut out that might work.

Pretty cool!
So I guess it's time to show you how I made the marks. I used different colors
of fountain pen ink. Did I mention that I LOVE fountain pens?
So, here goes!

Making My Unique Marks! from Martha Lever on Vimeo.

Here is what finally came out. I had so many marks that I loved it was hard to choose so I did two layouts.  The one on the right was rather "energetic" so I decided to just write the quote
out on the left using the Italic calligraphy hand with a Speedball C-4 nib with red gouache.  
The paper has gesso on it to make for a better writing surface. 

It was so much fun to make my own unique marks for this week. 
Just remember--you are unique so every mark you make will be uniquely your own.

On your mark,
 get set,
(I just couldn't resist that one! :))

Friday, March 27, 2015

Elegant Writer Tulips

One thing that I always strive to do when I draw is to start with a pen and just go for it. Yes, some lines will be wonky and some will be off but I just try and go with it.   It makes for a freer, looser drawing. I used an Elegant Writer calligraphy marker to draw the lines then dampen the lines with water. It makes a wonderful blackish, pinkish color. Very fun to do!

Tune in tomorrow because I will be featured as the Spotlight Artist for the Documented Life Project!
So excited about that!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Little Still Life

I have been sick all week with either the flu or a virus--whatever it is it's been terrible.  I haven't done anything art wise so today I just had to rally enough to paint a little watercolor from a set up I put together. This is one of my new pitchers from ebay.

I didn't have the energy to get out the oil paints but hopefully this little set up can become an oil painting too.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mixed Media Batik-ish

This was from a guided lesson I bought from Katie George.  Her batiks are so beautiful so I thought I would purchase a few of her batik step by step lessons to make sure I was doing it right.  I lost my way at some point but saved it with painting the whole thing in acrylic. I am sure it was just me not following directions properly. I am "follow directions" challenged sometimes. She is great so if you want to learn to batik--she is the one!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Russell Portraits

Precious little Russell, the Piglet.

Monday, February 16, 2015

More Batik Pears

I decided to paint this pear design again with different colors and added Sumi ink for the final coat. I learn something new everything I do one of these watercolor batiks. They are really fun--and you never know what you'll get!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What Lies Beneath--Cover up the Good

This is a combination of a couple of weeks about this month's theme for DLP
February Theme
Layers You Will Love!
February 14
Art Challenge:  Cover Up Good Stuff
Journal Prompt:  Going Undercover

A few weeks back I didn't get a chance to do the "What Lies Beneath" challenge so I decided to just try and combine a couple of weeks.  What lies beneath the layers of paint in this one is sticky shelf liner and an image from transfer paper. I still haven't been able to get the transfer paper to work properly but it was enough to see the girls face.  I haven't don't this type of mixed media layering in quite a while and it was fun to go and revisit!

This is Batik #3.  This one is ok but I don't think I am experienced enough in batiking quite yet to do something so intricate.  It's all still really fun though but actually quite time consuming with all the steps.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pears Watercolor Batic on Rice Paper

This is watercolor batik #2 on rice paper. I think it's such a fun process but it really is like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're gonna get.  I had to do a little color correcting in the background with some acrylic and I lost some of my wax splatters but for try #2 I'll say it's done---and ok.  You know how I love pears!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Don't stop!

I wanted to do a double page spread in my DLP journal for this week for the challenge but couldn't figure out what to do with the quote, "Don't stop till you get enough."    All I could think about was Michael Jackson who BTW I loved and was so sorry when he died. I think that this is what ultra superstardom does to people. It's a curse--not a blessing. But so much for that...
I decided to give myself about 30 minutes and not stress too much over it and just get come color down on the two page spread. I always love spraying paper with spray inks and adding some lettering. The quote is stamped with my hand carved Neuland stamps. I always love using them.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Batik Watercolor on Rice Paper

I have been researching how to do this batik technique on rice paper and today I decided that I had read enough, watched enough and was ready to jump in.  It's a rather lengthy process with hot wax used as a resist for the watercolor but I think it will be something that I might enjoy doing more of. I love texture in paintings and with this technique there is definitely texture! I think this one is a bit too much texture but I think I know how to fix that, hopefully. I ripped the paper in the process hence the "deckled" edges. Anyway,  here's to embarking upon a new fun creative adventure!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Thy Word

I love this Scripture form Psalm 119.  I am really enjoying journaling in this "journaling Bible" with the wide margins.  The journaling does take quite a while to figure and lay out how all the letterforms will work together. Trial and error for sure.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


This is my latest entry for Journal Bible Community. 
Love this Scripture about Love.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I have been drawing and doodling in my bible for years. I can listen to the sermon and draw. But I have always tried to sit on the end on the row with Chauncey to my left or right so no one will see me.  But now this Journaling Community has given me "permission" to come out in the open and draw, doodle or sketch in my Bible. I think it's great and I am really enjoying thinking about the Scripture that I am featuring. I am thinking that I will try and fill 2 up for my grandchildren as an heirloom for them.  That will take a while!

And here is the painting from yesterday. It's the lighthouse on Sapelo Island near Darien, GA.
Fun to paint.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Today's Art

I have a couple of things to post today. I am in two groups that I am really enjoying but are keeping me busy. But busy is good! Here is my lasts entry for the Bible Journaling community.
I love this Scripture.

And here is my painting from Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 days but I will certainly not have 30 paintings when the month is over. But I do have some. Here is today's painting. It's wet on the easel.

This is the Sapelo Lighthouse near Darien, GA. It was fun to paint. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bible Journaling-TRUST

I am suppose to be painting 30 paintings in 30 days but I much prefer journaling in my bible.

Here are the tabs I made from a circle punch. I used painted papers that were thin enough to punch from my stash.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bible Journaling

 I have joined a new Facebook group called Bible Journaling. I just got my new journal
bible in yesterday with wide margins so there is room for art journaling. 

This is the first page on my bible.

And this is my first entry.  The paper takes the markers pretty well.

I will be busy this year because I am apart of several Facebook groups including the Documented Life Project 2015 as well as 30 Paintings in 30 Days so...
I think I better go paint something!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

St. Catherine's--30 paintings in 30 days

I won't make 30 paintings in 30 days but if I can get 3 a week I'm doing good!  This is St. Catherine Laboure right across the street. I have always admired this little gazebo so I decided to paint it. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Documented Life Project 2015

 This is week one and two combined along with the journal prompt quote. I think it's a good quote!
We were to use book paper and the next week was gesso.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Blue Hydrangeas

I had a still life all set up ready to paint when I found this partially painted hydrangea that I started who knows when and decided to finish it. I didn't have a reference so It was rather challenging to paint from memory--especially the glass.

I am not sure what painting this is in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I am pretty far behind but any day I paint is a good day. Brush miles!! I need my 10,000 hours.  Any one who as read Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" will know what I am talking about.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Day 9 of Painting Challenge

These are the same tulips as yesterday in a different vase. The tulips were beautiful and lasted for two paintings.  It was fun and challenging to paint them. Flowers are always a challenge and the challenge is to not put in every detain you see. That's actually hard!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tulips Day 8

It's Day 8 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. Looks like I will get one done  about every 3 or 4 days!  But There's always tomorrow!
12 x 20 Oil on canvas
"Tulips in Blue"

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Painting #3 for 30 Day Challenge

Very month I get together with my painting friends, Rynda, Betty and Sylvia and we paint a picture for an artist we like. This painting is inspired by the great Florida artist, Roger Bansamer. Since this was painted from his painting, I don't sign it and can't sell it and give the painter credit. It was fun to paint and hopefully I can go out and paint something like this in plein air.

Thank you Roger Bansemer for your great paintings and TV show too.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Painting #2--Pink Peonies

This is Day 4 or Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. Although it's Day 4 it only the 2nd painting for me.  These are Peonies set up and painted from life.

"Pink Peonies"

Saturday, January 3, 2015

30 paintings in 30 Days--Day 3

Not sure if I will paint all 30--actually I am 2 days late but at least I will try. That's the ONLY way to get better---JUST PAINT!

"Wine and Red"
12 x 12 Oil on Panel

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Thank you so much, Art to the 5th Gals!  What a great year it was and what a great job y'all did.
Thank you again for the honor of being a Spotlight Artist.  It was the icing on the cake for my year!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2014

New little handmade sketch journals

I really enjoyed making these little handmade journals to add to my sketch journal travel pack. I had so much fun making them. I love to sew books and this is a type of a 4 needle coptic stitch that I did. I would show you the simple stitch but I think where I learned it from is copyright protected. But there are many ways to sew a book in a coptic stitch where you journal will lay flat.

I used paper that I had in my stash that I sprayed with my many stencils and Adirondack spray inks. I even did some lettering on them. It was fun!

Happy New Year!!
# Liz Steel,  #Kilimamjaro

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Documented Life Project--Artist of the Month!

So very honored that the Art to the 5th gals have chosen me to be the December Artist of the month! It has been such a wonderful journaling year with the Documented Life Project
and I am looking forward to next year---which will be here soon.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

This week for the DLP challenge was "Arrows".
So here is my arrow. Stay tuned, the DLP Facebook Art to the 5th gals have chosen me to be the spotlight artist for next week.  I am very excited about that!


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