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!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Back from Art and Soul

All I can say is Wowwwwww.  Art and Soul retreat in Hampton, VA was simply amazing.  It was strangely exhausting, but in a good way.  I know that doesn't make sense, but every night I was so tired after the class, but exhilerated at the same time.  I'm glad I took today off to recuperate.

I have so many experiences and photos to share, but I want to break it down into various posts so that it's more manageable and I can stretch out the fun of revisiting what a great time I had, lol. 

So on Wednesday after work I began my drive to Hampton, VA.  I first drove to the Newport News airport to pick up my best friend, and it was great timing because we both arrived at about the same time, despite various delays for both of us.  We stopped to get snacks for the hotel then checked in. 

On Thursday morning we had "A Fluid Romance" by Kari McNight.  Visit her blog here!  She was such a sweetheart, and I really enjoyed her teaching style.  We learned about how to better work with fluid acrylics, how to better use matte medium (the bestest of mediums, I am now convinced), and details about optical color mixing versus physical color mixing.  Great stuff!!

I did a piece in the class where I mixed one of my own sketches with one of the images that Kari provided for us.  The theme of my piece is supposed to envoke a sense of the central figure (the guy) being conflicted between his sense of duty and his love of a woman.  I was so happy when I brought it home, my husband loved it, and when I asked him what it said to him he explained exactly what I had intended to convey.  Yay!  Here is a picture of me with my work (messy hair and all):
And below is a pic of my finished piece:
And aside from the class, there were the trades.  OMG, the trades.  I can't even begin to describe how cool trading art or supplies with other artists is.  I got such good stuff in return for the things I prepared to trade.  And the warmth of the people was just beautiful.

So I'll post tomorrow about day 2.  It was equally amazing.  :)  Off today to go do some art and some real-world errands.  Have a great day!