image

Little Artist Update

Have you been wondering why a blog ostensibly about art contains so many book reviews? Mainly by the publisher Hay House?

It’s because I am an obsessive bookworm. When I was little, and believed that ‘Artist’ was not a Job, I thought a good Job would be a Publisher, which to my elementary mind, meant I would have no job to do but read books and mark them Yes or No as suitable for publication.

Well, I now am an Artist and when I chose to accept a job it is either because I love it and because it is a worthwhile expenditure of my energies.  And I have a steady stream of books- unlimited, really – to read and review Yes or No on my website. If I don’t like a book I choose not to review it, and Hay House and Watkins Publishing reliably send me free books I enjoy for review.

When I create artwork, I often forget to post it on my blog. You really should see my etsy for the selection of available work- my portfolio on this site unfortunately is rarely up to date and almost all of the work in it is unavailable. I love filling up other people’s homes with artwork – Cana Vines is a wonderful example – murals at the winery entrance and on the camper van, paintings in the tasting room and in many of the rooms of the private residence.

But when I promise to review a book, I must keep my word. So I always  remember to post the books I enjoy here. If you notice that I have not posted artwork in some time, please remind me. Especially now that I am teaching children’s art classes again and running the after school program at the International Montessori Academy in Bellevue, Wa.

Schoolbus art watercolor artist katanaleighThe children are incredibly inspiring- from their sweet requests for help, the sometimes demanding requests for yet another drawing of a Schoolbus or Princess Elsa, to the way that they enthusiastically focus on creation and their absolute purity in giving their creativity to parents and friends. I am starting my own collection of drawings, of dumpling people and rainbows, of school buses and wondeful markmaking by these creative children.

So I am so very busy that sometimes all I can do is keep my word and that means only writing blog posts that I have promised to do. If you would like more, please ask…. It’s always nicer to know that my words will be read and my art will be seen.

My Most Popular Etsy Open Edition Art Print

Last year I did a series on Hibiscus – from loose and free pastel drawings, to more detailed pen and ink lines, and finally a series of watercolors. I sold or gifted the originals as Christmas gifts, and chose a few for prints.

This pink mint Hibiscus has proved to be one of my most popular prints on my Etsy shop. 

watercolor hibiscus art pink mint
Printed on high quality paper, this open edition art print of a Hibiscus in Watercolor and Oil Pastel is my most popular print.

I don’t have them all listed on Etsy right now – too many choices simply confuses shoppers – but if you see one you prefer, feel free to request it.

Book review all is well Louise hay

All is Well Especially with Louise Hay

Hygiene is a vital component to good health. Just as hand washing was once considered an unnecessarily time consuming procedure in healthcare, I believe that mental ”cleanliness’ is too often over looked in the impact it has on our health and our bodies. Louis Hay is the next Ignaz Semmelweis (the advocate of hand hygiene in 1858), as she teaches a revolution in thought patterns and the use of intuition in conjunction with modern medicine.

Her book is absolutely useful for any person inhabiting a body. Who wouldn’t feel better when their thought patterns run along the lines of “All is well” instead of “the world is out to get me.” Don’t we naturally see improvement when we think thoughts of vitality instead of depression? Doesn’t the brain run every function of our body, the same brain which may be thinking “all is well” or, more often than not “nothing is well?” I think so. The better it gets, the better it gets!

Louise Hay’s book is well organized, so that you can find sections relevant to you immediately, or you may be the type of person who just loves to read positive transformational anecdotes (in which case, like me, you will read from start to finish). You will find a favorite thought to keep thinking in this book- mine is “harmony and beauty dwell within me,” and wouldn’t you like to believe they dwell within you? Might as well, right?
ALL IS WELLimageimageimageimage
I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

 

 

A meditation in a merkaba dreamcatcher sahasrara

Dreamcatcher Meditation Open Edition Art Print

Four years ago I could not sit cross legged but after a ten day meditation in Joshua Tree, I could sit for an hour without moving, although to this day my legs are still asleep when I am finished meditating.

I created this image to inspire meditation, in myself and others. I think that it is beautiful and the color vibration reminds me of the energetic sensations of meditation, which are part of the larger patterns of life. Here, these spiritual attributes are represented with familiar symbols.

The crown chakra, the sahasrara, radiates outward, a high vibration enveloping the entire body. It is the connection to source.

A meditation in a merkaba dreamcatcher sahasrara
A meditation in a merkaba dreamcatcher sahasrara.

The dreamcatcher, the sifter of thoughts, the catch and release system of negativity, is also invoked in the pattern of the sahasrara and the ribbons trailing from the meditator who levitates above the ground.

The merkaba star, the symbol of light and the divine vehicle, surround the meditator.

The crosslegged pose is a symbol of sitting comfortably and peacefully, a goal that I long for at the same time my chaotic thoughts resist. But with this image, I am reminded to give myself a little more time to sit.

Available in a print from Etsy.com Dreamcatcher Meditation.

The Washington MidSummer Renaissance Faire

An inspiration post filled with people who wear wonderful costumes and are creative small business owners, two admirable traits! After spending time at the Washington Ren faire I was inspired to paint this fairy painting of my stepdaughter which we gave to her mom as a birthday present. I would accept a commission to paint someone as a fairy in their chosen costume.

Original painting by artist Katana Lee Fairy, butterfly wings, red rose full moon
Full moon and a red rose, a fairy butterfly wings contemplates her magic. Original painting.

 

Agate slice night lights and the Daylight Artworks proprietor.
Agate slice night lights and the Daylight Artworks proprietor.
Yet old times sheep.
Yet old times sheep.
Craftsman at work
Craftsman at work
The Noble Court & Household of Queen Elizabeth I portrayed by Victoria Dzenis of Seattle
The Noble Court & Household of Queen Elizabeth I portrayed by Victoria Dzenis of Seattle
No parchment needed! One of the improv comedy group!
No parchment needed! One of the improv comedy group!
Little crowd of fairies.
Little crowd of fairies.
Little fairy and her mom the sprite!
Little fairy and her mom the sprite!
A fine fairy pair.
A fine fairy pair.
Costuming goddesses.
Costuming goddesses.
Agate oak night lights
Agate oak night lights by Daylight Artworks.
Medieval woman with a parasol.
Medieval woman with a parasol.
Butterfly winged fairy and bodyguard.
Butterfly winged fairy and bodyguard.
Costuming goddesses.
Costuming goddesses.
Master Payne that Purveyor of Japes, Cheap Tricks and Minor Amazements
Master Payne that Purveyor of Japes, Cheap Tricks and Minor Amazements

 

This has been over for a few weeks and I am just now getting to it.
Here are the merchants whose business cards have websites, sorry I am no longer sure which business card goes with what photo:

Ravenswood Leather

Horse n Round Studio

Seven Meadows Archery

Ace of cups meaning feelings water

Ace of Cups Meaning

The Ace of Cups card is the second of the Four Tarot Aces, corresponding to the suit of hearts in a traditional card deck. In this card, the suit of cups is summed up: overflowing abundance and the flow of feelings.

Cups represents the flow of energy, feeling, a flow often perceived as feminine. Thoughts, the suit of Swords, (Air) create feelings, and feelings create flow. Clouds lead to rain. Rain leads to rainbows, the refracted light appearing in the bowl of the cup.

The alchemical symbol for water, an inverted triangle, appears at the top of the stem. Superimposed is a heart, the well know symbol of love and emotion. Water overflows the cup and the stem of the cup itself appears to be a waterfall, flowing in abundance from the mountain ridge.

Ace of cups meaning feelings water

In the sky, the Crater (Latin for cups) constellation appears. A new moon hangs in the sky, the promise of a full moon on its way. What is empty always becomes full.

The Ace of Cups is about feelings and beginnings. Go with the flow!

This Tarot Deck is a collaboration with the Prosperity Priestess Mary Malinski of Walks Within, creator of guided meditations.

Tarot ace of wands meaning

Tarot Ace of Swords Meaning

The Ace of Swords card is one of the Four Tarot Aces. Like a standard deck of playing cards has four suits, so does a tarot deck. The Suit of Swords corresponds to the suit of Spades. The Aces are the origin cards, the first card of the suit, the beginnings. In this card, the theme of the suit is summed up.

The sword represents thoughts. In the Elements of Abundance, thoughts are the first stage of manifestation. The Sahasrara chakra is the crown chakra, the home of your thoughts, and radiating from the point of the sword, representing the focus of your thoughts creating and radiating a vibration into the world around you.

Thoughts become things tarot card aces meaning

The alchemical symbol for air appears at the hilt of the sword, and the handle of the sword is shaped like a feather, another familiar symbol of air and thoughts.

The colors of purple and gold in the clouds represent richness in thought, as the clouds could be any size, from cumulus clouds in the sky, to galactic nebulas in the universe. The sword rises above the confusion caused by these clouds. Thousands of sparkling stars represent the many wonderful thoughts available to you, and this Ace Tarot card represents the importance of choosing your thoughts for your journey.

These Tarot Cards are a collaboration with tarot card reader and Prosperity Priestess Mary Malinski.

Original painting by artist Katana Lee Fairy, butterfly wings, red rose full moon

Fairies and Renaissance Fairs, New Paintings

Magic red roses, original painting with process photo
The beginning stages of the original painting and the final work with the subject.

I’ve been doing a lot of painting lately. Much of it has been plein air, painting outside because I happen to be staying at somewhere beautiful, close to nature where it’s peaceful outside. And some of it has been more imaginative, using elements of what I’ve been painting from real life.

Washington Renaissance fair
Me and one of the wonderful people at the Renaissance fair

My husband, his daughter, her mom, some friends and I went to Washington Renaissance Faire last weekend (happy little family outing special occasion) and I will soon be posting photos and links to some of my favorite merchants from the fair. The wonderful costumes as were so inspiring, and I wanted to create characters from so many of the outfits and people that I saw. I also got to meet fairy artist Amy Brown.

While I was unable to purchase any of her artwork to have signed, which was disappointing, she did sign for me a little card with a beautiful illustration she created. I also got to ask her,”What is it like to be a famous artist?”

“well,” she said, “it’s not so different from being a normal person, except I get to work at home in my pajamas.”

It was really the best answer, because I already know how to work at home in my pajamas. So I can continue to do what I do and perhaps one day I can be as awesome as Amy Brown. So in light of that inspiring conversation, one of the paintings I did this week was of a fairy and the full moon.

Original painting by artist Katana Leigh Fairy, butterfly wings, red rose full moon
Full moon and a red rose, a fairy butterfly wings contemplates her magic. Original painting.

My stepdaughter is the model for the fairy in this painting and her mother’s rosebushes are the inspiration for the flowers she sits upon. I have done a lot of Monarch butterfly paintings so I painted the wings directly from my imagination as well as the full moon. The background of the constellations and stars had been painted sometime ago when I first started painting constellations and the night sky.

The moon is outlined in silver enamel, and silver paint pen was used to create the constellations and tree of life in the sky. It was the fairy’s mama who suggested adding the real rhinestones to the dewdrops on the Rose, the staff and circlet on the fairy’s head.

Original acrylic painting sold for $75
This is the same composition, painted a second time, the next day at the same hour. Acrylic on canvas board, sold for $75.

Another new painting which has already been sold, was created by sitting outside one morning in my pajamas, looking at the lake and the beautiful trees. You can see more of it at this portfolio page. I love how I was able to photograph it in context, so it looks like a painted window of the senior looking at.

And here is the first version of the same painting.

Original acrylic landscape painting photographed plein air
I painted this original acrylic painting plein air and photographed it inside the scene.

Here is a photograph of my Muses, the lovely rose bush. I hear that there used to be seven more rosebushes, and I wish I could have seen them. However I think I would be overwhelmed with painting subjects if those bushes were still alive.

The rosebush full of muses.
The rosebush full of muses.

 

Red roses painting
Red roses painting

I created two paintings of rosebushes. The first one with the blue background, was created by painting the negative space over textured dark colors, then adding in the saturated read and brighter lights. I liked this painting so much I began a second.

You can see that the yellow and magenta were much brighter before they dried.
Wet paint: You can see that the yellow and magenta were much brighter before they dried.
Nail art blue and white

Crystal Clear Water Nail Art & Dress

Here are the mail polishes I used for these nails.
Here are the mail polishes I used for these nails.

My fingernails here are inspired by one of my favorite ModCloth summer resses, Everything’s Crystal Clear dress. I love the water pattern with the white lines as trim, which remind me of the lines in a pool.

 

White lines blue water inspired nail art
White lines and blue water nail art.

The basecoat is a royal blue. When it dried, I sponged on an icy mint color, and smudged it with another icy tinted topcoat. Then I used a white liner brush to paint narrow white lines across the nail bed. Finally, a solid topcoat brought it all together!

 

Join ModCloth’s nail art klub for more nail art designs inspired by party dresses.

Look at this range of colors and hues and tints for medium skin. I picked this portion of her tutorial because medium is MY skin tone, and I've never seen such a wonderful tutorial that includes my skin tone.

How to Paint Realistic Skin

I grew up reading American artist and The Artist’s magazine, and my mom has almost as many of those two magazines as she has of National Geographic. Between those two magazines, I learned a lot about seeing. My mom has always asked me to crit her paintings when she has been looking at it for too long, and I love talking about art with her. So I really enjoy reading the Procreate forums. Procreate is the art app I use on my ipad to create my illustrations. The Procreate forums inspire me with other artist’s work, crits, and custom brushes.

Even if you draw effective 3D shapes in a portrait, it's not realistic until you add the flesh!
Even if you draw effective 3D shapes in a portrait, it’s not realistic until you add the flesh! Tutorial from Navate.com

So when I was reading about art and found this skin tutorial today I decided to share it because it is the best resource I have found about skin tones all in one place. While most portrait painters will freely share their palette, seeing faces in tones from light to dark in different undertones really hammers home the variety of colors. There is no one ‘flesh’ or ‘Nude’ color even on a single person!

SKIN: A Tutorial Part 1
SKIN: A Tutorial Part 2

Look at this range of colors and hues and tints for medium skin. I picked this portion of her tutorial because medium is MY skin tone, and I've never seen such a wonderful tutorial that includes my skin tone.
Look at this range of colors and hues and tints for medium skin. I picked this portion of her tutorial because medium is MY skin tone, and I’ve never seen such a wonderful tutorial that includes my skin tone.