Jewelry Additions and Presentation

In the last batch of pendants that I created, I used some dichroic glass. This is glass that has metals added. It gives a foil effect. I didn't think I was fond of it, but all of the my favorite new pendants include it, so apparently I am a fan.

I started making these pendants in January or February. I was having fun, but I didn't have a long-term plan to do an entire line of jewelry. Things have kind of snowballed. I have a lot of pendants these days and in several types. I've added a few new ones to Etsy this week, but I will not be adding the entire inventory until after November 8th, when I am doing a show. If you see a pendant in this post that you can't live without, let me know by commenting or by sending me a message. The line of fused glass pendants range in price from $35-$55 depending on the size and kind of glass used. Let me know if you would like a silver snake chain. The chain isn't anything fancy, but it gives you or the recipient a way to wear the pendant immediately.


I try to photograph the pendants on both a black background and I white background. It is astounding how different they look. The pendant pictured above is a periwinkle color, somewhere in between the two photos, but more like the one on the right. All the wire is silver coated copper wire. For some reason it photographs more gold, even with the daylight bulb lighting.


This pendant isn't for sale. I made it as a gift for the owner of the boutique I have jewelry in in Old Town Alexandria (Virginia). If you live near DC or come for a visit, you should visit Local Colour Old Town. It features artwork and crafts produced exclusively by local artisans and artists. You won't be disappointed!

My new cards came in! I ordered them so that I have the option to attach pendants to them if I do not include a chain. Since I am new at this jewelry thing, I want to see what works best for display, transport, etc. These cards are approximately four inches square. These are among the larger pendants that I have made. The majority of them are closer to two inches tall, but the two here on the cards are closer to two and a half.

For my fellow Auburn fans, I did a few orange and blue pendants too. I think I will make some more and add "AU" charms to some of them.


Pretty, Pretty Pendant

Double Blossom
Ink on Shell
1" X 1"

I just love this pendant. It is an example of alcohol ink doing what it does best. I love the pinks, reds and oranges with the contrasting lime green. I set it onto a silver square and added a red bead and a cut crystal bead to finish it off.


Striped Dragonfly

Striped Dragonfly
2" X 2"

This one started so well. I had high hopes. I don't like it. I do, however, like the white over the ink. Even in "failure" you can learn things. I might work on it more going forward. I might not. Happy painting and enjoy your tour!


Single Berry

Single Berry
2" X 2"

This sweet miniature painting depicts an individual blackberry on a colorful abstract background. The third painting in my tiny painting series and an exploration of my new grass effect. A little ink is used to define some edges. I have a crush on the strong coral color, which is new to me. I believe it is quinacridone coral. 


Lovely Lilac

Lovely Lilac
2" X 2"
$45 (includes mat and 5" X 5" frame)

This is the second of my series of mini watercolors. It features a stem of lilac blossoms at peak bloom. It is the second of my luminescent watercolor paintings and started as a doodle. After a few flowers, the idea took shape. I like the flowers, but the grass idea is something I would like to explore to a greater extent. I began painting grass this way last month while working on a commission. (See below)

I'm considering doing a large painting of "just grass." What do you think? Is it worth pursuing? For the time being, I will probably do a 2" X 2" study of grass. Stay tuned!


Teeny paintings and luminescent watercolors

Glitter City
2" x 2"
$45 (includes mat and 5"X 5" frame)

This charming watercolor of an imagined utopia was a joy to paint. It all started because I had some scrap pieces of my super high quality watercolor paper that needed to be put to a good use. Also, last time I ordered watercolor paints, I ordered a sample sheet from Daniel Smith. The luminescent watercolors on the sheet have been taunting me. I was curious. I was afraid to commit. What better way than to give them a try on something that didn't invest a lot of time and material.

The above photo is clear and you get an idea of the subject, but to truly experience the luminescent effects, you MUST click on the video.


For the Love of Fringe!

These painted shell tiles (1" square) were painted a while ago, but the metal squares that I was going to attach them to were missing something. I decided to hammer some wire into swinging metal tassel fringe. The pink one has seven pieces of straight fringe and the yellow one has three pieces of wishbone shaped fringe. I added a large bail at the top.

Each comes with an 18" silver-colored chain. I think they look fun and fresh!


Announcing...Wander Tram Jewelry Designs

So...I've been making and selling several different kinds of jewelry since about February, but in a rather "unofficial" capacity. I've been handling the sales as part of my nmdART business, but sending or giving my artwork business card with the items is awkward because it directs customers to my art website, which doesn't have my jewelry designs on it and the card doesn't have my Etsy shop on it either. Obviously, it is time to get new cards.

I didn't want my cards to say Nancy Murphree Davis Jewelry, so I sat pondering what to call it. My son suggested that I make an anagram of something, which I found an intriguing idea. Wander Tram is a fun name that encompasses all letters of nmdART(wear)! Do you think it is completely random? Here is why I don't think so...One of my favorite quotes is:

"All who wander, are not lost."
                        J.R.R. Tolkien

That is what my jewelry is about...creative wandering. I love making the fused glass pendants. I love painting the domino pendants and the domed glass pieces. It is fun. I hope they make people as happy to wear as they make me while I create them.

I also love the idea of a tram! When do you ride on a tram? 
  1. The airport? That says travel and new places to see and explore! 
  2. From a stadium or amusement park parking lot? That is always exciting!
  3. Downtown? Playing tourist at home or while traveling is one of my favorite pastimes!
I'm currently ramping up for a craft show on Nov. 8th. After that, I will be putting all of my remaining items in my Etsy Shop or taking them to Local Colour Old Town. Here is a sneak peak of some of the items.




Loving Yourself and Loving Your Art

I've been in a bad mood for several days. Why? Because, I have overcommitted my time and the things that are personally important have had to go to make room for the obligations that I knowingly agreed to take on.

This morning, I went to the 30 in 30 Challenge link ups and realized that the Saturday and Sunday "linkz" are now CLOSED. My heart sank. I knew this was possible, even likely, but the reality of it hit home. WHAT AM I DOING? WHY AM I DOING IT?


Falling behind has made me feel inadequate. That is ridiculous.

What HAVE I done while I wasn't painting the last three days?

1. I've taken a day to connect with other women and grow in the Spirit at my church.

2. I worked at a festival to support an art organization and ran into a few friends and sold a couple of pieces of art/jewelry.

3. I've taken my daughter to a tea for her friend's birthday.

4. I've packaged and shipped some online orders.

5. I've done the shopping to ensure that my dogs and children have food.

6. I've sketched several future compositions.

7. I've driven countless miles and listened to a good book, The Invention of Wings.

8. I played with ink on canvas and started some teeny tiny watercolors.

9. Today, I'm going with several good friends to a military spouse event which will be fun, but more importantly, will likely enable me to fully engage in activities in DC in the year to come. (i.e.- INSPIRE ME creatively)

There will be plenty of time to paint (and get my hair cut) in the days to come. I need to enjoy each moment and stop being so hard on myself.

I'm hoping to paint this afternoon. I'm not quitting; I'm just re-starting.


In Maria's Garden

Pink Coneflowers
4" X 6"

My friend Maria is a portrait painter. Early in the summer, my daughter sat for her as a model. I was mesmerized by her lovely flowers by the driveway. So, technically, I provided her inspiration for a painting and she provided mine!


Avian Blues

California Jay
4" X 6"

This was a really beautiful bird. The photo that I got of him was unimpressive. I'm not sure that I did him justice. I think the problem is that when your paper size is 4" X 6," you don't have room to paint the feathers in a convincing way. Here's a detail; it comes across a bit better.

I guess that I can't be pleased with all my results. This one is only okay. I had fun painting it. The next bird that I paint is going to be on a LARGE piece of paper.

Painting in Your Car

Small Pinecone
4" X 6"

If you follow my art page on Facebook, you probably saw the photo of me painting in my car last night. 

On occasion, I have a day so busy that I can't sit still to paint. Yesterday was one of those days. However, my daughter had rehearsal for a little over two hours, so I decided to take my paints and work in the car. The arrival of night was a bit of an issue. I alternated between running the car, leaving the interior light on with the car off, and using my iPhone flashlight. It worked out pretty well. I should probably look for unlocked rooms at the rehearsal space and stake out a desk or table for the future rehearsals this month.

Back to the painting itself... There are certain objects in nature that have always been visually appealing to me. Some of these are acorns, mushrooms, seed pods (including pinecones) and tendrilled vines. Add to this innate attraction, my current love affair with the Daniel Smith Lunar Blue watercolor and you get the above painting. I hope you like it.


What I See, Is Not Always What You Get

Peaceful View
4" X 6"

One of my walks, on a nearby street, I saw this line of chairs. The shadows and shape were interesting. I took a photo. Later, when I looked at the photo, I kind of laughed to myself thinking, "Well, no one will want the driveway and street in a painting." Then, I thought of a photo that I had taken at the lake over the summer, where Adirondack chairs do face a lovely view. So, I decided to add an abstract "lake" to the composition I had. To see the inspiration photos, look further down. Enjoy! (I may paint a nighttime version too, when I get more paper.)


A Tough Nut to Crack

Tough Nut to Crack
4" X 6"

Have you ever heard a hickory nut fall from a tree onto a roof over your head? It can be a startling experience. They are almost impossible to open without a hammer, but somehow the squirrels manage it.

I was drawn to paint this image because of the lovely shadow...and the color of the outer husk. I hope you see it in a new way after viewing my painting.

Home Portraits

Obviously, I knew that artists often paint houses for clients. I had never thought to call them "home portraits" until I heard the term used last year. In some ways, I think it is an apt description. Our homes are special places. I often think I should do a painting of each "home" that we have had as a couple/family, but now that we are in number twelve, it is a daunting thought...perhaps someday. Very soon, I will start another home portrait. I'm excited about that. Ages ago, I thought my dream job would be architectural rendering. This is perhaps, even better.

Above is a home portrait that I painted for a local artisan who wanted to use it for her website. I had not met her and I did not know where the house was until I delivered the finished piece, but when she told me, I knew immediately which house she was speaking of. I had been curious about that house ever since I first saw it, because I have an affinity for stone.

Hetty is a lovely lady. She is a fiber artist and she also does furniture refinishing and painting. Visit stoneHOUSE workshop and look at her work. Contact her with a project. Leave a comment. Bloggers love comments.

Not Quite Ripe

Not Quite Ripe
4" X 6"

Sometimes you like a photo so much that you are afraid to start painting it...which is silly, because you could always paint it multiple times until you achieve what you are looking for. I really wanted this painting to "come out right." Thankfully, I like the first result. I think it is a little bit looser and more spirited than some of my small paintings. I hope you like it too!


Cheating in so Many Ways

Aspen Grove
Watercolor (on Yupo)
4" X 6"

I didn't take the inspiration photo for this painting on a walk. A friend took it while riding a horse in Colorado. But, it was so lovely (see below). Plus, I'm a day behind. And, this is what I wanted to paint first today. So, there you go. I hope you like it anyway.

Back to your regularly scheduled paintings. Day 6 before midnight...I hope.


The Walk I Miss

Pacific Star
4" X 6"

Although I love Northern Virginia, I wish I could put on my running shoes and walk five blocks to the beach. This painting is based on a photo taken on a California walk in 2011 when we lived on the Monterey Peninsula.


Cornflower Blues

Something Blue
4" X 6"

In early June, I began to notice these blue flowers blooming in the medians. I wanted to take photos of them, but with all of the end of year school activities and such, I kept putting it off. The linger I waited, the more I admired the color. It was the exact shade of my childhood "cornflower blue" Crayola blue crayon. Which, incidentally, always disappointed me when I put it to paper. The lovely color barely showed up.

When we pulled out of town for a road trip at the end of June, I thought to myself that I had likely missed my chance at photographing them. I was certain that they would be finished blooming when we returned home weeks later.

Imagine my surprise when I found them as pretty as ever upon my return! I think I took the photos the same day.

It turns out that they are the flower of the Chicory plant. It likes to grow on the roadsides because it loves sunshine and heat. Apparently, the deer love to eat the leaves in the Fall. I sure hope they don't eat it out of the medians.

On the Bike Circuit

This is my friend's teenaged son. He is on the racing circuit. I can barely stand my son driving a car flat on the ground. I'm not sure how she manages to be "heart attack-free" watching him fly through the air, but as in all things, I am sure it happened by degrees.

Several months ago, she posted some photos online and I commented on them. She commissioned me to paint one as a gift for him.

I love the image. I love the painting. I hope they like it too!


Canadian Goose

Friendly Goose
4" X 6"

Sometimes when I start a painting, I wonder why I chose the subject. I wasn't entirely sure that this goose was a smart choice, but as soon as I was underway, it just worked. I love days/paintings like that. It doesn't even bother me that the goose has it neck centered in the painting, because the sky reflection adds interest to the composition. I hope you like it as much as I do.


Yes, I Used Purple

Dusty Miller
4" X 6"

Upon returning home from a walk earlier this summer, I noticed that my front flower bed was looking particularly nice. I am somewhat partial to lamb's ear and other fuzzy plants, so this year I planted Dusty Miller.

If you wonder why I gave the blog post the title that I did, it is because I almost never use purple in my paintings and my friend and studio mate, Bryan Jernigan LOVES purple (and pink) and uses them in at least half of his paintings.

When this painting began, I started with the silvery sage green. I decided that I wanted the background to be a contrasting color and the purple just seemed to be a good choice. I like the combination and may have to work a bit harder to use purples since I have fallen in love with Shadow Violet in the past few months.