Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Painting Class

I started a new painting class today with a friend. The teacher/artist is Tracy Marshall, and I was thrilled to find a weekly class so close by. It only took 20 minutes to get there from my house. Check out her cool artwork at

Here is the image I used as an inspiration.

Here is the result of my first 2 hour class. I will work on the bear next week.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Art journal sketch

Today's art journal entry was done while I was watching the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera on HBO today. I suppose I was subconsciously sketching Christine, lol.

I was going to finish it with acrylic after I finished the sketch, but I ended up liking her just the way she is.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today's art journal entry

Know where this quote is from? I think it's a great daily affirmation.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Reworking an old canvas

Today I dug an old canvas out of the scrap pile and used a paint swatch to guide me for color inspiration. The canvas is 16x20 and the color pallets inspiration was as follows:

Here is the initial start at covering up the old content:

And here is the pile of collage papers I used to work with in keeping with the teal, cream, and light brown pallette:

I simply began placing papers at whatever place seemed right to my eye, being careful to turn the canvas often to get a fresh perspective. Herr are some in progress photos:

Next I brayered on some white acrylic paint to soften the look and added other circular collage elements as well as a focal image.

And lastly I added text. I wanted to leave this open to viewer interpretation a bit as to the meaning behind the piece. Here is the finished canvas. What does it say to you?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Recycled Materials Art

I recently joined the Hands and Heart ning group, and there is such a wealth of good information, tutorials, art discussion groups and just good people over there.  I encourage you to go check it out here if you are interested in mixed media art. 

One of the groups on the site is Artful Recycling.  There's been a lot of good discussion about how to recycle materials such as cardboard, old cassette tapes, coasters, etc. by turning these things into art.  I love the fact that this is a "green" way to create as well as the challenge aspect of stretching the imagination to figure out how to incorporate various materials into my art. Also, I find this to be extremely thrifty because cutting a piece of cardboard out of a trash box is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new canvas. 

I wanted to share some photos of the pieces I've done using materials that were destined for the trash can.  These are all on cardboard from old cereal boxes, etc. and they are all approximately 4"x12" (ish).  Some of the other materials I used include old phone book pages, scraps of scrapbook paper that I dug out of my art room trash can, candy wrappers, old styrofoam which was used to give embellishments some dimension, acrylic paint (of course), old maps, and various embellishments I've had lying around for a while.  I hope to keep creating these so that I can have enough to use for trades for next year's Art and Soul in Virginia.

After doing these for a while you start to look at your trash in a whole new light.  My Husband has even started asking, "Is this trash or is this art supplies?" before He throws anything away.  LOL!!!

Have a great weekend all!!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

A link to the fix that repaired my "comment" issues

I recently posted a gripe about how I was having problems replying to comments on my own blog.  That was so very frustrating for me, and I did an internet search to see if anyone else was having the same problems and might have a fix.

I found a wonderful post that detailed how to fix the problem.  I followed these steps, and my comment issues are fixed.  Yay!!!!!!  I wanted to post this link in case any of you were having similar issues.

Here's the blog with the repair post that details the fix:

A Cool Technique for Polymer Clay

I have not yet used this technique, but I wanted to share the link since it looks like a very cool technique.  The folks at Craft Test Dummies have posted a video to share a way to use the Cricut machine to cut polymer clay.  It looks fairly simple and yet a really novel way to combine two crafty items that I wouldn't have thought to put together.  I hope to try this out, and I want to use the cut items to embellish mixed media pieces or to use in art journaling.

Here's the link:

I'll share my results when I get a chance to try this out. 

Happy weekend!


Friday, August 12, 2011

A Gripe about Blogger

OK, I lovew blogger...seriously, I do.  But the last couple of weeks I have been having issues that make me irritated with it.

I can't upload more than one image at a time in the compose view.  It simply won't let me browse my folders for more images after I upload one already.  Seriously irritating.  I've been working around it by going into the edit posts screen and uploading images one at a time, but that's time-consuming and irritating.

And lately, I can't respond to any comments.  How wrong is that?!?!?!  It won't let me log in as myself, and when I FINALLY get logged in it says my account doesn't have those priviledges.  It's my own blog!!!!!  What the heck does that mean that I don't have those priviledges?

Have any of you had these issues and found a fix?  Help?  Somebody....anybody?  :)


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Art journaling

I've been working on some art journaling lately. My subject matter has mostly been the things in life lately that are bringing me peace and happiness lately...the growing plants around our house, my new horse, friendship.

Here are some photos:

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Flower Power

So I just can't get enough of finding and trying these flower-making tutorials lately.  I'm trying several different methods with the thought of incorporating these into my art journals or mixed media pieces or even home decor.  Check out this site for a whole list of different ways to make flowers out of tissue paper, crepe paper, etc., etc.

I made this one today in less than 5 minutes out of wired ribbon.  So easy, and I can think of so many different ways to use these.

and another view:

Have any of you found ways to use a 3-dimensional type embellishment like this into your art?  Any ideas you can share?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Banner and journal page

Today I finished my "Play" banner that I started a couple weeks ago at my friend Heather's house. The banner is made of gessoed muslin with a variety of materials including felt, wire, paper, and ribbon. I will hang it in my studio to remind me to take time to play.

The other thing I finished was a journal page using the crepe paper rose tutorial I found last night online.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jackpot on the App Search

This is a test to see if I was successful in my mobile blogging app search.

However to test the photo upload function, I thought I would share a photo of another art journal page I completed a couple weeks ago. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wow, what a hiatus....

It's a good thing I have the blogging without obligations badge on my blog, cuz it surely has been quite a hiatus since I last blogged. 

My Husband and I bought a new house and moved in.  I'm happy to say we are settled in nicely and loving it here.  I resigned from a job that was making me miserable and stealing the joy from my life (no pun intended), and right now I am a stay at home wife which both my husband and I are really enjoying.  I have enjoyed making a better quality of life for us at home and taking care of other errands and such so that my Husband doesn't have to bother with things once he's off from work.  Life is pretty darn good right now, I must say.  :)

As for my art I have been a busy bee.  I have really been enjoying art journaling, and I've also done a couple of mixed media pieces, one on a wooden board (a repurposed shelf, lol) and the other on a 16x20 canvas.

Here are a few of my art journal pages:

And here are the larger pieces:

I am looking for an iphone app that would allow me to use blogger on my mobile phone.  I haven't had much success in the app store, so if anyone knows of a good blogger app for iphone please let me know. 

I have more to share, but I'll save the rest of the updates for a later post.  I'm anxious to go check on my favorite blogs and see what you all have been up to while I was away!

Have a great day!!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Landscapes, Art Journal, and Jess Reno-inspired art

I've had a pretty creative week and have finished some landscapes, an art journal page, and a Jesse Reno-inspired piece.  Since my Husband was on call this weekend we weren't able to take a road trip, so today was devoted to hanging out around the house and doing art.

Here are the two landscapes I finished.  These are part of the misty forest landscape class by Tim Gagnon that I signed up for recently.  I'm enjoying the class very much, although the videos are glitchy.  The class is turning out to be very interesting for learning about shading and light sources.  Here are the first two finished landscapes of the class:

Today I also finished an art journal page: "Soar".  I've noticed that a lot of my art journal pages have a growth or serenity theme.  My life is professionally at a cross-roads right now, so I understand why the theme keeps coming through, although it's definitely a sub-conscious thing.

And lastly I finished a piece in the style of Jesse Reno.  His style is very very different than my own, but I have enjoyed playing around with the technique since returning from Art and Soul.  It is definitely a very free experience and also a method that tends to invest much more of your self into the finished piece.  Here is the finished piece "Chrysalis":

Next time I try this method I really need to take in progress pictures.  This piece looks totally different than it did when I put down the first layer of paint.  It's very in keeping with the change and growth theme that seems to be showing up in all my art lately.  Sometimes the universe speaks to you so loudly it's just hard to ignore!  :)

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  Hope you have a great long weekend.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Heather!!!

"It takes a lifetime to thank a true friend for everything that they have given you."

Happy birthday to my best friend Heather!  Thank you for all the times you've been an inspiration, a partner in crime, a shoulder to cry on, and an influence on how to view the world.

If you have a moment, go over and visit her blog, see her great art, and wish her a Happy Birthday!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Assemblage and Art Journal Pages

Work has been so crummy lately that only the following things are keeping me sane:  my Huband, my Friends, my art, and my martial arts.  I've been creating a lot of things lately, mostly as a way to decompress.  Truth be told though, Art and Soul really left me feeling inspired as well.  It's like I just can't get in enough art time lately.  :)

While at Art and Soul I picked up the Zentangle book I've been wanting for forever.  I did my first Zentangle in my art journal here:
The background is nothing special, just a way to eliminate the whiteness of the page.  But I did enjoy doing the zentange....very relaxing and stimulating as a way to warm up creative thought processes.

This art journal page was done with papers and images I had left over, and was a very intuitive collage-type work.
This little guy is an image transfer (contact paper method) of a sketch I did years ago from a drawing tutorial book.  I did the image transfer and then attached it to scrapbook paper and finished him off with buttons at the appropriate areas.

I also completed a day of the dead inspired assemblage last weekend.  Here is the beginning materials:
And since I needed some metal from one of my metal cigar tins, I got my Husband to help me deconstruct it:
And here are a few shots of the finished product:
The church is a modified bird house, the base is the top of an old cigar box.  There are various bits of metal from a metal cigar tin, and the garland on the church is made from wire, beads, and string.  I found the day of the dead figures at a local antique mall.  It's a very simple assemblage but was a lot of fun to make. 

I'm off to do a landscape painting from a tutorial I've been looking forward to all week.  I hope to share the results a little later.

Have a great weekend everyone!!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finishing up the Art and Soul recap

I wanted to share the finished pieces from the last 2 Art and Soul classes, Freedom to Create with Jesse Reno and Wabi Sabi Wax with Serena Barton

In Freedom to Create, I really had to stretch my own ideas of how to create art.  We started with no particular subject in mind and just immersed ourselves in the process and let the painting talk to us.  For the first portion of the class we didn't even pick up a paintbrush....we used our hands.  I enjoyed that tremendously, but it was strange how mentally challenging it was to pour so much of your own thoughts and symbolism into the work.  When we had a foundation of color laid down with our hands we examined it for areas or portions which emerged as a focal point, then we painted out the rest.  It is a raw, primal way of creating and is very much more difficult than I thought it would be.  Here is my work:
and the other:
Funny how I managed to make something very primal and raw in construction still end up feeling whimsical, lol.  Something tells me I didn't quite "stretch" enough. 

And the last class was Wabi Sabi wax.  I had looked forward to this class since we signed up, since I was so intimidated by encaustic.  I'm so happy I took Serena's class, because I had such a major epiphany.  I feel much more confident with the encaustic medium.  Confident enough at least to have fun experimenting at home and trying to improve my skill.

Here's my work from the encaustic class:
and these ladies:
I framed the last two today and gave them to a friend as an anniversary gift.  She seemed to really like them (yay!!).

I hope to go to Art and Soul again next  year.  This retreat fed my creative soul so much.  I have been inspired to create every single day since I've been back.

In other non-art news, we are buying a house.  I am excited, but it is at the time in the process when we are getting inspections done, evaluating the inspection results, etc.  I'm trying not to become emotionally attached to the house, but I do like it very much.  If everything works out (we have some concerns about the inspection results) I hope we can close by the end of the month. 

That's all for now....gonna go see what all my blog friends have been up to.  :)


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Art and Soul, Day 3

On day 3 of Art and Soul we took the Resin Journal class with Ty and Marcia Schultz.  Visit their blog here.  We actually made several different things with resin in the class:  a ring, several resin papers, and either journal covers or collage-type works on canvas boards.  I decided to make collage works on the canvas boards and coat them with resin rather than making journal covers.

First we made the rings and filled them with resin so that they would have time to cure by the time class was over.  I happened to have some Art Chix images on hand, and they fit perfectly in the ring blank.  I used an image of a beautiful lady for my ring, but I want to make a more 3-D ring with structure sometime soon at home.  Here is a pic of the rings my friend Heather and I made.  My ring is on the left, and her beautiful ring is on the right:
While our rings were curing we went on to start our canvas board collages.  I tried to use a mix of papers, images, and 3-D embellishments.  Here is my first one:
And here is my other, the beautiful princess:
I really enjoy how the canvases turned out.  We also made some gorgeous resin papers, which can be glued, sewn, etc.  I didn't photograph my resin papers, but I had some origami paper which is stunning when coated with resin.  I did try coating fabric with resin, which theoretically will work, but I did not enjoy how it looked or felt.  I can't wait to see how I can use the resin papers in other works. 

So on Saturday night after class we met up with some folks from Gary Reef's ning group.  They were a fun group, and one of the members brought berets and fake mustaches for everyone.  It was HILLARIOUS to see everyone wearing them.  Here is a pic of me and Heather in our berets and mustaches...cuz every "real" artist should have a beret and a mustache, lol.
So after this pic was snapped I called it a night to prepare for the next day.  Art and Soul is truly an exhausting experience, packing in so much fun in so little time.  :)

Ok, another post about day 4 coming soon.  I have had a great weekend creating assemblages and art journal pages.  I'm addicted to the art journaling experience, and I'm blaming Ophelia for that since she inspired me so much at a recent visit to Jerry's Artarama in Raleigh.  :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recap of Art and Soul, Day 2

More about Art and Soul....cuz really, I can't say enough about how wonderful it was.  Day 2 my class was The Women of Juarez by Linda and Opie O'Brien.  Go read their blog here.  This was an assemblage class which is completely not my forte. 

We made assemblage shrines dedicated to the women of Juarez.  To quote Linda and Opie's blog:
"Our love of Mexico is a well known fact. We’ve been going there since the late 80’s. The art, the colors, the food and the people continue to touch our hearts, enrich our lives, and influence our art. This Friday workshop is a bit more personal and pays homage to the women of Juarez. The violence there against women is ongoing and no secret. Movies have been made, stories have been told, yet it continues.
This workshop is about awareness and empowerment and adding our voice once again to stopping violence against all women by creating a unique box construction shrine to house a dress that we will make from colorful tin cans, a vintage tin type, and some of your favorite beads, charms, Milagros, fibers, etc., using our favorite collage and assemblage techniques. " 

I think their statement pretty much sums it up.  It was a very moving topic to inspire our assemblage, but in addition to that I also learned so much about making attachments without using glue.  I have so many ideas about what I want to do with my leftover tin!!!

Here is the piece I created in class:
I like it a lot.  I am so inspired to use these techniques again. 

So also on Friday I took an evening class as well called A Trio of Transfers by Lesley Venable.  Visit her blog here.  Her husband made home made cookies and brownies for our class, and let me just say YUM!!  I learned a lot about transfers with transfer ink solution, contact paper, and saran wrap....yes....saran wrap.  I didn't necessarily do a full canvas work or anything, but I did finish an art journal page and 2 tags with techniques I learned in class.

Here is my art journal page using the transfer ink solution:
And here is one of the tags I made using the contact paper transfer technique:

By the end of Friday I was just so tired, but also excited by all the things I had learned. 

I'll continue my Art and Soul recap soon.  Hope you are all having a most wonderful week!