Sunday, March 27, 2011

Working on Art and Soul Trades

Didn't have very much time for art this week, but I did have some time today to work on trades to take with me for Art and Soul.  I'm trying to make items to trade that are small and packable, since folks travel a long distance to come to the retreat.  I've made some ATCs, but I worked today on some tradeable canvases (small ones).  I enjoy a very whimsical art style, and I hope that will be enjoyable to the people at Art and soul ('cuz I'm not too good at creating anything else...).

So I had a page on heavy watercolor paper where I had been practicing drawing whimsical faces.  I finished the faces using watersoluble crayons, and I decided to use them in combination with some bodies I had cut out of magazines or books.  I combined them collage-fashion on some 5x7 and 8x10 canvases along with some mixed media background techniques.  Here's what I finished today:

Here is "Style"  on 5x7 canvas board:

The next one is "L is for Love" on 5x7 canvas board:

Next is "High Maintenance" on 5x7 canvas board:

The next one is "Diva", and she's on an 8x10 canvas (this is a very poor picture, I think she looks lots better in person):

And the last one I finished was done in conjunction with some paperdoll clothes from a book my friend Heather got for me.  It is on an 8x10 canvas also.  I called her "Magic", and I really like this one.  I may decide to keep this one.....

All in all, we've had quite a lazy weekend, which we really needed.  I think I'll go read some art blogs now, and see what you have all been up to in your art adventures.  :)


Sunday, March 20, 2011

A stressful week

Wow, it's been a crazy stressful week.  My Husband and I are in the process of selling a house that has been on the market for over a year now.  It's an extreme relief to have this almost done, but working out the logistics of how to close and how to get the rest of the stuff out of the house (it's in Texas, and we're now in North Carolina) has been crazy stressful.  Thankfully it will all be over tomorrow, when the buyers sign the closing papers.  *whew*

Haven't had much time for art this week, but I did finish a piece yesterday.  I had been browsing the current issue of Somerset Studio magazine before bed one night and was really enjoying the Kelly Rae Roberts artist portfolio article.  So yesterday while I was waiting for Husband to get back from Texas, I dragged out an old canvas that had been living in the box of shame.  The box of shame is where all the unfinished canvases I'm unhappy with go to stay.  It's the box of canvases that are started but just never went anywhere know, the train wrecks that you just want to paint over and start again.  :)

I decided to rework one of these canvases into something in the style of Kelly Rae Roberts.  I find her work very inspiring, very sweet, almost vintage in appearance, but whimsical as well.  I really enjoy her artwork.  So just as we did in the M3 course where we worked in the style of another artist to inspire something of our own creation, I used the work of Kelly Rae Roberts to inspire this piece. 

The canvas is 16x20, with many, many different materials:  lace, cardboard, crackle paint, scrapbooking paper, loose canvas (for the girl and the text), hand made papers, glitter paint, acrylic, and water soluble crayons.  Can you see the Kelly Rae Roberts influence?  I see it, but I see a little of myself in there too.  :) 

Have a wonderful week ahead.  I'm hoping to maybe get in some more art time today.  Need to work on art and soul trades, but there's some fabric tutorials online I've been wanting to try. 


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Adventures During this Beautiful Weekend

During the cold, winter months my Husband and I stay in the house a lot.  Neither of us enjoys the cold weather, so when decent weather arrives, we take every advantage of the chance to get rid of the cabin fever.  This weekend, we had WONDERFUL weather here....sunny, about 70 degrees.  We broke out the adventure backpack for both Saturday and Sunday.  The adventure backpack?  That's our name for the backpack we use to carry into the wilderness for our adventures....hiking, biking, boating, etc.  The adventure backpack holds basic survival stuff (hey, don't laugh...we've watched too many shows about being lost in the wilderness), binoculars, trail maps, water, camera, etc. 

On Saturday, the adventure of the day was mountain biking!  I love mountain's really challenging, but so much fun.  There's also an element of risk and thrill involved.  Especially when my Husband is in the front, and I'm trying to keep up.  He absolutely flies over rocks and roots and ravines at a veritable speed of light, while I'm in the back trying to keep up muttering 4-letter words under my breath, convinced I'm about to do a face-plant into a tree.  But I'm also laughing the whole way, getting an adrenaline rush, and enjoying the journey.  Here's a photo of our mountain bike trail by the lake:
Beautiful, huh?  Trust me, the trail looks easy in this photo, but there's more parts of it that's rocky, rooty, steep, and narrow.  We stopped half-way  for a much-needed water break, and I snapped a quick photo of us:

Love the helmets?  :)  Mine has pink flames, lol.  I love how my handsome Hubby can rock a dorky-looking bicycle helmet.  We managed to finish the trail with only a few bruises, but a whole lot of fun. 
Here's me at the end of the trail:
Forgive my sweatshirt, bandana, totally-exhausted look.  :)  We wandered down by the lake to finish our water and relax for a bit.  What a great day we had. 

On to Sunday.  The Sunday adventure was the first hike of the year, with our two dogs.  Now our dogs are not the typical hiking dogs.  We have a min pin and a daschund.  LOL, we have ankle biters, but we take them ruffly harnesses. 

We chose a relatively easy trail, 'cuz we were a little sore from the biking.  Our min pin lead the way:

Can you see our min pin in the picture?  Notice, if you can, the pink ruffly harness.  Complete cuteness!

Here's another picture of complete cuteness....Dixie, our daschund, with her own ruffly harness:

The dogs really had fun.  And so did we.  :)  Here's my Hubby during one of our rest stops:
Notice the adventure backpack??  Anyways, we hiked on a bit, and Dixie got tired.  She decided that the trail was a good place for a nap:

She takes advantage of every stop to take a rest.  :)  The vet says she needs to lose a little weight, so I guess I understand.  But when we start moving, she's ready to go again.  You'll notice I don't have a lot of photos of our min pin, Pepper.  The problem is she wouldn't sit or stand still long enough to snap her picture.  She doesn't take as many rest stops as Dixie.  I did manage to get some wonderful scenery pictures:
I have no idea what these little plants are, but I think they are gorgeous, and so so green!  It's a tangible piece of evidence that Spring is upon us.  Next photo is the waterfall over the dam:

It's a beautiful place for a picnic lunch.  But we were ready to head on home, so we hiked on out of the trail.  Dixie was more than ready to go home, as you can see from the picture below:

lol, She was definitely tired, as we all were.

All in all, we have had a super weekend full of adventures.  Tonight, I had some oil paint leftover from the painting I shared recently, so I painted this:

It's nothing really frame-worthy, but it was nice to practice and use up paint that would have otherwise dried up or gone unused. 

It's been a full weekend, and I'm definitely headed to bed early tonight.  Hope you all have a great week ahead!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

2 Finished Projects

Good Morning!  It's a bright, sunny Saturday here in North Carolina.  The temperature is still a little cold, but once it warms up a bit my Husband and I are planning a mountain bike ride.  Yay!!!!!!  This will be our first ride of the year, and I can't wait to get out on the trail.  Hopefully it will be warm enough to wear shorts today.....the last time I wore pants on the mountain bike I had a very embarrassing incident with my pants stuck in the bike chain.  Yeah.......not too graceful, lol!!  I ended up riding all the way back to the trail head with one long pants leg and one cut off above the knee.  Can't complain though, it's a memory my Husband and I still laugh at anytime we think of it.

So, in recent art developments I completd a couple things this week.  First, I completed my fatbook pages for the Loving Mixed Media fatbook swap for Art and Soul.  I got them mailed off yesterday, and I'm glad I was able to meet the deadline.  This was my first fatbook page, but it was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see what the final bound book will look like.  Here is my finished page:

(OK, so no matter what I do, blogger turns this picture on its side.  Very irritating to have to tilt your head to look at it, but you get the general drift.)  The text on the page is an Irish blessing which says:

May the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing wrong. May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true! --Irish Blessing

The background was done with watercolor crayons, acrylic paint, ink and stamps, oil pastels, torn book pages, and gold leaf.  Essentially, it's the everything but the kitchen sink technique.  :)  I put eyelets on the side and threaded gold ribbon through them to create little gold streamers to hang outside the finished book.  I hope the group will like my page, as there are some very talented people in the group.

Also this week I finished a Bob Ross oil painting.  I haven't done one of these in a while, so it was fun to do.  This one is probably going to be a gift for a co-worker because she saw the painting I have in my office and asked if I would complete one for her as well.  I really enjoy working with this particular lady, so I may gift this painting to her.  Her favorite colors are purple and gray, so I think she may like this:

I'm by no means an expert in oil painting, but I really enjoy creating these.  Bob Ross was right when he called them Happy Trees.  :) 

Time to go gear up for our mountain biking adventure.  Hope I remember how to ride, lol.  Have a most wonderful day filled with your own adventures!!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lotsa ATCs

Since finishing my mermaid for the M3 course, I have done a lot of ATCs for swapping.  Hopefully these will go with me to the Hampton, VA Art and Soul in late April.  I need to get started on my fatbook, but I don't have any composition ideas yet.  So until inspiration strikes, I will work on ATCs for trading. 

I thought I would share some photos of the ATCs I've completed:

First is Floral:

Next is Pocketful of Posies:

From This Day Forward:
A Moment in Time:

First Love:

Lady Luck:

and Blue Christmas (lol, I'm either really late or really early for the Christmas season....)

Besides the ATCs, I also dabbled a little bit in my encaustic paint.  It was an utter disaster.  The videos I've watched and the books I've read make it look easy, but it's NOT.  I put them away until I can take a class because I was getting so frustrated. 

I think I will go get started on my Fairies and Unicorns video for the M3 course.  I believe this is the last installment in the course.  I have utterly enjoyed it, and am already thinking about the next class I can take, lol.  There is a landscape oil painting class I've really got my eye on.

Have a most wonderful weekend!!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

M3 Course Mermaid

Well after really struggling with the M3 Course Mermaid week, I have finally finished.  Why did I struggle with this lesson?  We were to create a Chagall-inspired mermaid.  And quite honestly, I really dislike Chagall.  I can appreciate the dream-like quality of his work and the whimsical, nonsensical (chickens????) style, but in terms of his figures and composition I just can't dig it.  I tried to work through the block that the lesson presented, but in the end I have to admit that I caved in and returned to the style that I enjoy. 

My mermaid is on an 11x17 wood panel.  She started, of course, with the initial sketch:
Next, I laid down some base colors with water-soluble crayons and acrylic paint:

The next step was to start the background.  I used torn book pages, stamps and ink, brayered paint, and mica flakes.  I also added strands of hair to add some interest:
So I finished her up tonight.  I added some oil pastels, some crystals to give the illusion of bubbles, and I gave her (and the fish) mega-thick eyelashes.  *grin*  Here she is, finished:

And although I did cave in and not truly complet a Chagall-inspired mermaid, I do enjoy how she turned out.  And really, that's kind of the best thing about art.....when you "cheat" it's really just expressing your own artistic vision.  At least that's my story....and I'm sticking to it!  lol

I've also been working on some ATCs for Art and Soul.  I have 3 completed especially to take for trade and need to complete many more.  Luckily I have plenty of ideas, just need the time to work on them. 

The weekend is coming soon....hope you have wonderful plans!