Sunday, January 30, 2011

A couple of finished pieces

Just got back home from a Fabulous weekend with friends.  We had such a great weekend, as we always do.  Although we had a very busy weekend, we were able to fit in some art time.  My friend Heather had seen a great tutorial on Suzan Buckner's blog, and we used that to guide us.  We both tried to use different color schemes or different subjects than what we normally use, and both pieces turned out so great!  I love both of them. 

Here is my finished piece from this weekend's art day.  It's called "Love Song".  Notice the "143"?  143 is code for "I Love You".  ("I" has 1 letter....."Love" has 4 letters...."You" has 3 letters, hence 143).  And of course the birds are love birds, singing their love song to each other.  :)  It is on wooden panel, so that's a bit different for me, but I loved the texture of working on wood.  And the colors are not a pallette I normally use, although I love the "shabby chic" look of it. 

Speaking of my friend Heather, I have to share my Bob Ross that she got me. 
I love Bob Ross.  I love doing oil painting landscapes using his techniques.  Bob Ross landscapes totally got me over my fear of oil paints.  So this little guy is a finger puppet, and he now has a permanent new home perched on the top of my easel.  I think he's going to make a wonderful muse.  :)

Another art-related development is that I got my fingerless gloves that I purchased on ebay.  Tam (Willowing) uses these in her art course videos, and I love them.  I seem to always have cold hands, and these babies are sooooo warm!  Lookie!

I have one more item on my "show and tell" list today.  :)  I finished my M3 course Goddess!!!!  I am so happy with her.  I could probly tweak small things forever on her, but I've decided that she is "done".  She is the goddess of strength and serenity.  She is a reminder to me that in the face of turmoil, a woman can be beautiful, strong, and serene.  That is what I hope for myself and what I am working toward. 

Here she is:

OK, that's all I've got for today.  Hope each of you have has a weekend that was as wonderful as mine was!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Creating An Inspirational Space

Over the past couple of months I've been slowly trying to make my art room more of an inspirational space instead of a cluttered mess.  I tend to create and work in our living room, lol, although I have a whole room dedicated to art space.  I prefer to sketch, draw, paint, etc., in our living area where I can hang out with my handsome Husband.  But the drawback to that is that our living space ends up housing a lot of my art clutter.  :)

So I thought it was time to make the art room a little more inviting.  I can always use it when Husband isn't home, and I can use it to display finished pieces to gain inspiration, and also to store my supplies in a more orderly way. 

So I cleaned out all the storage cabinets and labeled everything so that I can locate supplies easier.  I hung up most of my canvases using a display idea I got from my friend.  And just lately, I found a display idea for loose artwork on a blog I was reading.  Here's a picture.....I have done this with both windows in the art room, and I love the way it looks!

I had all these loose pieces in a portfolio stored away, but how much more fun it is to have them out where I can see them!  They seem to brighten up the room and I've started hanging out in there more.  I find myself wandering in there just to look around at everything and think about how I have improved and what I want to work on improving. 

In other art news I am loving the ATCs For All site.  I've mailed 2 ATCs for swaps this week, and I've joined another ATC swap for mixed media ATCs.  I have some ideas for some ATCs, but I am engrossed with my M3 course and finishing my goddess.  I've made some progress on her, but I don't want to post another picture of her until it's done.  I hope to finish it this week, but I'm starting to think that I could tweak it for quite a while until it can be called finished.  :)


Sunday, January 23, 2011


I recently joined ATCs for All.  I began to photograph the ATCs I have available for trade in order to post them to the site.  Thought I would post them here as well.  :)

This is Bachelor #3.  He has a beeswax background and a very dashing bowtie and hat!

Here we have Spring:

Petals #1:

Petals #2:

Mermaids have more fun!:
Naughty & Nice:
Abstract #1 (which funnily enough has a nice shot of my finger in one of the mirrors....):

 And finally, Santa!:

Anyone want to trade?  :)

Goddess in Progress

As part of the M3 course over at I have been working on my goddess.  I racked my brain trying to come up with a goddess that I primarily identify with.  So I decided to start in the style of Klimt and in the style of the course and see what developed.  So as I worked on her she began to give me the impression of strength and serenity.  That's what she "spoke" to me of.  That often happens to me when I create.....I start off with a very general concept and as the piece develops it takes on a life of its own and IT tells ME what it wants to be.  Sounds crazy, I know, but thats my experience. 

So here are some pics of my Goddess of Strength and Serenity.

Here is a picture of the initial sketch.  She is on a 24x36 she is HUGE!

Sketching on canvas is a pain.  Graphite does not want to come off! 

Here is what I have accomplished so far:

I'm unsure what to do with the background right now.  I'm thinking of torn book pages or texture paste, or gold leaf.  Not sure.  Perhaps I'll just paint it. 

I have had so much fun making this goddess. My Husband jokingly said she could be the Goddess of Patchwork Quilts, LOL.  Obviously He doesn't know the style of Gustav Klimt.  :) 

We are supposed to get snow tonight .  I have my fingers crossed that I will be snowed in tomorrow and can do art all day.  We have bread, milk, cereal, and paint in the house.  We're all good for a nice snow day!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Lady was Framed

I posted this lady a few days ago, but today I found the perfect frame, and I love the way it brings the whole piece together:

I bought a huge canvas to start my M3 Goddess tonight.  It's 24x36 and by far the largest canvas I will have ever worked on.  I'm excited, and off to start my sketch.

Have a happy weekend!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Magical Mythical Makings

This week has thus far been incredibly busy.  The kind of busy that makes you want to come home and go straight to bed.  Work has been crazy, and it has sadly left me little time for art this week (or much of anything else either).

I have been able to fit in time for the beginnings of Magical Mythical Makings (M3) over on  I highly, highly recommend taking one of willowing's courses if you have not done so.  I love them. 

So far I have not even had time to put a pencil to paper (or canvas) so far this week, but I have been enjoying chilling out on the couch with my puppies and my art videos before bedtime.  (See afore-mentioned puppies below)

Not many plans for this weekend, so hopefully I can get a good start on creating my magical mythical makings.  Come join me!


Monday, January 17, 2011

A Quick Link to Awesome-ness

I last posted about my weekend art day with my friend.  You saw my finished piece, Guarded Heart, but you gotta check out her finished piece, Amour.

Click the link here to view her awesome-ness!

Notice how different they are?  Although the technique was nearly identical for both pieces, you can clearly see our individuality.  How cool is that??  :)

Here's hoping your week started out with .... awesome-ness!  :)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Guarded Heart

So we just got back from our weekend trip to visit best friends in GA.  I have a TON of things I'd like to blog about, but I just can't wait to post the mixed media piece I did with my friend.  I have had a "phobia" about working with clay due to recent attempts that resulted in utter failure.  My friend, however, makes wonderful things with clay, so this weekend she taught me a little about working with polymer clay.

The whole process started with a lump of polymer clay (white) which we ran through a pasta machine and then shaped into a heart form.  Once that was done a vintage-style lock was pressed into the clay and rubber stamps were used to give it some texture.  We also coiled some wire and placed that into the soft clay to form a mechanism for attachment. 

Mine's the one on top in the picture, and as you notice they are lying on wooden frames that we'll dress up.  Next we baked the clay in the oven until we thought it was dry.  Meanwhile we began working on the wooden frames.  I decided to paint mine a blue undercoat with the middle insert covered in a silver metallic textured scrapbook paper.  Then when the hearts were dry, we removed them from the oven.

The next step was to gesso the heart and cover the frame with crackle and silver topcoat.  Then once the heart was dry, I painted it a crimson red with silver dry-brush accent.

 Then it was time to assemble.  I chose a red ribbon from my friend's supplies, and decided on eye hooks to insert into the frame and tie the ribbon onto.  Also, the middle silver insert was cut to size and inserted easily into the center of the frame.

So I wanted to add a caption of sorts to tie the piece together.  I decided that this spoke to me and said it was a "guarded" heart.  One that obviously had seen turmoil and strife, but still held some inner beauty and elegance.  I think of this as a heart that is only accessible if one if willing to brave the defenses and be bold enough to seek out the key that opens the tightly locked heart.  But obviously a guarded heart would not allow just anyone it would be highly defended.

With all that in mind, here's how it turned out:

I enjoyed making this for so many reasons:  I got to work side by side with my best friend, I learned a little about clay and may be brave enough to try it on my own now, this piece was one of those rare ones that told me its story as it went along, and plus I got to use flechette rounds, LOL (that's what the arrow things are....).    It's also one of the rare pieces that I truly felt was done when I got finished.

More about my wonderful weekend later, I'm all tired out now and need to go to sleep.  :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Art Room and Excited for the Weekend

So I spent some time in the art room yesterday, and was enjoying looking at all the past art I've done and the way it's arranged on the walls.  It's nice to see it all together and see the progression over the years.  I completely stole the idea from a friend, and I love the way it looks as a display.  I put most everything up,even the ones I think aren't great.  How else to see improvement unless you consider the "not so great" items along with the "great" ones too?  Here's a peek:

and another wall:

and another wall:

One of the paintings on the top row of the first pic is the work of my friend, whom I will get to visit this weekend!!  I am very excited and can't wait to get in the car and GO.  We always have a lot of fun and I find a lot of inspiration by spending time with her.  We will leave Friday after work, and drive down to Georgia....a few hours driving.  I think I'll take my sketchbook for the trip.  I have some ideas floating around in my head that I'd like to get on paper.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Post and a Work in Progress

After much internal debate, I took the plunge and decided to start a blog about my art.  Not sure if I'll get a lot (or any) followers, but I thought it would be nice to have for myself to document my thoughts and skill progression.  (Hopefully that skill progression thing improves over time, lol).

So this is my first post, in which I discuss my newest work in progress.  :) 

She is untitled as of now.  She started with gel medium to add texture and some buttons and swirly metal things pressed in.  Then a wash of color and a printed photo from flickr that I modified with colored pencils.  Along the way I added some ephemera (gold doily things and paper flowers and gold leaf) and some smooch spritz (love, love, love that stuff).  I think I will add some beading to the top and she will be done. 

Now to think of the title for the piece.....I am trying to summarize in my head what "feeling" she conveys to me.  To me she is suggestive of remembered pleasure and past splendor.  I'm sure she will tell me what to call her eventually, I just need to listen.  :)