Whoa! Busy Busy Busy

exhbit show at TAF Tippecanoe ARts Federation

Wow! Time really got away from me. I did not realize how long it’s been since I last posted. My apologies for that.

I feel like I’ve flying by the seat of my pants for the last few months, but here is a brief recap of activities. Continue reading Whoa! Busy Busy Busy

Lullaby of Singing Wind Woman

My two older children are Sioux Native American. I think I mentioned that in the blog post about Half-Blood Whole-Heart which used my son as a model. This time I used a photo of my daughter and grandson as the models for LULLABY OF SINGING WIND WOMAN.

Sharayah Burrell Sharayah Cornwell

This drawing was not an attempt at a portrait, I was using the photo as a reference only. After playing with the sketch and changing her hair to a braid, I used tracing paper and a white charcoal pencil to transfer the sketch to my final drawing paper, Canson Mi Tientes Touch black paper.

Lullaby of Singing Wind Woman

I first trace the drawing with a graphite pencil on tracing paper. Then I turn the paper over and, on the back side, trace the graphite drawing with a white charcoal pencil. Sometimes I use a pastel pencil. I can then position the sketch, with the white side down, on my final drawing paper and trace over the line again to transfer the white sketch to the black paper.

Lullabye of Singing Wind Woman

I decided to start with the background first. I was trying an experimental idea and if it didn’t workout I wanted to be free to chuck the whole thing in the bin without losing the time invested in the main composition. I chose turquoise, orange and yellow as the main colors for the background and used Prismacolor Art Stix to lay down most of the color.

Prismacolor Premier Art Stix
Woodless colored pencils

These are fabulous for covering large areas in a short amount of time. They are the same waxed based pigment found in the regular pencils, just without the wood casing and in a different shape.

Unfortunately most of my work-in-progress photos were lost to cyber oblivion, so I only have what was already posted on my Facebook page. I have no clue what happened to all the other photos. No doubt they will turn up after I no longer need them.  Here are the photos I do have.

As I stated earlier, my daughter is Sioux Native American and her native name is Singing Wind Woman. She was not actually singing a lullaby at the time the original photo was taken. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, she had just changed a very nasty diaper. I changed quite a few things about the piece. Her hair was changed from a messy bun to a braid, I added an earring, and changed the t-shirt to a leather fringed tunic. I also changed the baby sleeper to just a blanket. To make these changes I researched pictures online to get a better understanding of braided hair and dreamcatchers. I also looked at numerous photos of leather fringed jackets to be able to better visualize what fringe should look like. I had to imagine the beading on the fringe and just wing it.  For the baby blanket, I used a saddle blanket that we have here at home and wrapped it around a baby doll from the grandkids toy box. I was very pleased with how the blanket turned out.

I couldn’t decide if I should try adding a dreamcatcher to the background when my older son suggested that I make a color copy and pencil it in on the copy to try it out first. Brilliant idea. I did just that and after conferring back with him, my husband and my daughter, we decided the dreamcatcher needed to be there. I couldn’t find a detailed photo that I liked of a dreamcatcher to use as a reference. Then I remembered that I have a dreamcatcher necklace buried in a box. Perfect! I knew I wanted it to be simple and the necklace I have worked great as a reference.

Small color copy with penciled in dreamcatcher background.

Here is the finished work. LULLABY OF SINGING WIND WOMAN, Prismacolor colored pencil on Canson Mi Tientes Touch black paper, 12 x 16, matted and framed to 16 x 20. Photo reference, my own.

Lullaby of Singing Wind Woman
Lullaby of Singing Wind Woman

This piece is on display at the Logansport Art Association 108th Annual Spring Art Show in Logansport, Indiana through the month of June 2019.


Kokomo Art Association (KAA) Annual Spring Art Show

I entered FREE SPIRIT and HALF-BLOOD WHOLE-HEART at the KAA Annual Spring Art show and I am pleased to announce that FREE SPIRIT was awarded First Place in the Professional Category. HALF-BLOOD WHOLE-HEART received an Honorable Mention.

The show at the Kokomo Art Center ran throughout the month of May. The closing reception and awards presentation will be held this evening.

Prints of each drawing are available on my website.

FreeSpirit award

FREE SPIRIT, colored pencil


HalfBlood WholeHeartSM

HALF-BLOOD WHOLE-HEART, colored pencil

Half-Blood Whole-Heart

This is my most recent colored pencil drawing. I estimated that it took me 50+ hours of actual drawing time and countless more hours of thinking and planning.

This drawing has been rolling around in my imagination for about a year. I had my son pose for some reference photos when he was home for the holidays last winter, but I didn’t actually start on the drawing until about May. Honestly, most of the time I was working on it, I wasn’t sure if I would ever finish it. Many times I considered ripping it off of the easel and throwing it away. Half-Blood Whole-Heart is a conglomeration of many different reference photos as well as sheer imagination when I couldn’t find the references I wanted. Continue reading Half-Blood Whole-Heart

Juried Show

I am pleased to announce that two of my works were juried into the 2018 Juried Art Show at the Blackford County Arts Center. This is the first time I’ve entered this show so I didn’t quite know what to expect. Both FREE SPIRIT and COLORS OF FLIGHT were accepted. Artists could submit three works for one entry fee. I also submitted TULIPS OF FIRE, but it was not accepted. I received a call yesterday from the gallery director informing me that COLORS OF FLIGHT had been awarded 4th place over all, so that was wonderful news.

I was not able to attend the opening reception due to the distance from home to the gallery so I have not yet seen the rest of the show. The evening of the reception I was delivering other artwork to the Indiana State Fair Competition and Sale. The Blackford show is about a 2 hour drive east of home and the State Fair is about 1.5 hours south of home. My husband’s workplace is halfway between home and the Blackford show so he has been delivering and picking up [the unaccepted piece] for me after he gets off work in the evenings. Makes for a very long day for him. He’s awesome.

Here are the details for the Blackford show if anyone local would like to check it out.

2018 SummerFest Juried Art Show, Arts Place Blackford County Arts Center, 107 E Washington St., Hartford City, IN  http://www.artsland.org

Prints of each drawing are available on my website at www.lisablissrush.com

FREE SPIRIT, colored pencil drawing
colored pencil drawing, feathers
COLORS OF FLIGHT, colored pencil drawing

Free Spirit

I finally have another drawing to share with you! I am very pleased with how this one turned out. It was a very challenging piece for me as I really didn’t know for sure what the end product was going to be when I started drawing. I usually have a very definite plan, including detailed reference photos, before I start a drawing. This time I was “winging” it, so I spent a good deal of time just staring at it and planning what I wanted it to look like and how to achieve what I was imagining. Continue reading Free Spirit

The Highlander

I finished it! Just in time. I wanted to finish this piece to be exhibited in a local weekend art show and just barely made the deadline. Work was to be delivered on Monday October 30th. I finished the artwork in the morning on Sunday the 29th and spent the afternoon framing it. Nothing quite like a deadline.

I’ve assembled quite a few work-in-progress photos to show the steps along the way.



I was very pleased with the clasp on the headband in the above photo.

The very last thing I drew on this piece was the beard. I was so anxious to get to the beard. I knew it would really “make” the piece. I used seven different colors of pencil for the beard. They included: Black, Polychromos Dark Sepia, Polychromos Warm Grey II, Prismacolor 90% Cool Grey, Prismacolor 90% French Grey, Prismacolor 70% French Grey, and Prismacolor White. I don’t remember which brand of Black I used. I just know I didn’t us much of it.


colored pencil, drawing, art,
Image Size: 17.5 x 22 inches Medium: Colored Pencil – Prismacolor Premier, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Walnut Hollow, Caran d’ Ache Pablos Paper: Canson Mi-Tientes Touch Photo Ref: My own, Shawn Parker

Wax On Wax Off

using a kneaded eraser to remove layers of colored pencil

Wax on wax off. The title might seem unusual, but it truly applies to this post. I use mostly Prismacolor colored pencils in my drawings and they are a wax based pencil. Sometimes I add pencil layers, sometimes I take them off.

In this post I want to explain in step-by-step detail how I approached the plaid fabric in The Highlander. Continue reading Wax On Wax Off

Tentatively Titled “The Highlander” WIP

Finally a new work-in-progress. Albeit, very slow progress. It’s so hard to get any artwork done during the summer. So in between freezing corn, canning tomatoes and digging potatoes, I started a new colored pencil work.

I’ve drawn everyone in the family except my husband, so he is the star of this work. It isn’t really a portrait, I’m just using him as my model. I am working with a variety of reference photos to put together the final piece that I “see” in my mind. Continue reading Tentatively Titled “The Highlander” WIP

Artworks Gallery

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, my artwork will be on display at Artworks Gallery in Kokomo, IN through the month of July. Here is the link to the newspaper interview I also promised in that post:  Kokomo Herald/Perspective article.

I recently spent the evening at the gallery for a meet and greet event with the public. This event was for all of the downtown businesses, not just the gallery. Artworks Gallery is a very nice space. They have two levels and some small classroom space. They featured work by quite a few talented artists. The monthly featured artist works hang on the “gray wall” on the lower level. I took this photo from the landing area upstairs during a slow moment in the evening.

Artworks Gallery

My work featured on the gray wall.

The gallery staff provided guests with tea and lemon water, cookies and pastries. It was a lovely evening with the doors left open and the sound of music from down the street. Even though I am very uncomfortable meeting people at events like this, it really was a very nice event and I appreciate the effort the staff put into the evening.

I am really anxious to get started on another drawing. I’ve drawn everyone in my immediate family except my husband. He’s up next. Now if I can just get the 4H projects, the weeds in the garden and landscaping under control, I’ll be able to get started on his drawing. I am hoping to have more artwork on display for the month of August. I’ll let you know if this works out as soon as I can.

Have a great day.