Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For December's Show

I rarely use sketch books.  I don't know why.  When ideas pop into my head I just do it.  If I don't have the materials I find them and fast.  But when I go on trips I take a sketch book because I can't just go up to my art room and work on an idea.  When we traveled to Illinois last week for Thanksgiving I took a sketch book.  A few days before we left I had an idea for December's show at Olde Towne Art but knew I wouldn't be able to execute it before we left.  While driving there I asked my husband if I bought a large canvas in IL could we get it home in the minivan.  The show goes up December 1st so that meant I would only have a few days to work on it when we got back.  I thought I could get a jump start on it in IL then finish it in VA.  He said yes we would manage to get it home, HORRAY!!
The initial idea:
When we got there I found the perfect size canvas, 18" X 36".  I then bought some paint and got underway.
The next step was to "build" the shelves.  I went to the local hardware store and looked at the crown moulding section thinking I would find something ornate but eventually settled on a simple piece of wood.  I knew my flower idea would be dramatic so I didn't want it to get too busy.  The pieces of wood were 36" long but I needed them to be 6" so thanks to my sister-in-law's boyfriend I could saw them down right there.
Then paint them black.
I then glued them onto the canvas and painted the pedestal bases.  Next was the fun part, creating the flowers from fabric.  I wanted the centers of the flowers different and the larger perimeter to all be the same.  I wanted to quilt the centers to give it more depth so here I have all of my centers laid out on the batting.
Cut and ready for their backing:
I couldn't quilt the centers yet because I didn't have my sewing machine with me so I pinned the centers to the backing for the drive home.  On the ride home I cut slits from the perimeter towards the center because after I quilted it I wanted to wash the flowers a few times to give the edges a scrappy look. 
The last thing I needed to do before we traveled back home was to make two vases the flowers were to go in.  I needed to do this there because I knew it would take a few days to dry out.  I used air drying clay, sculpted them after Thanksgiving lunch while everyone was taking a nap, and they air dried on the dashboard of our car on the drive home. 
We made it home Saturday night and by Sunday night I  had quilted the flowers and washed them a few times.  They still weren't giving me the depth I wanted.
So when I started making these flowers I ended up with 30 but cut it down to 20 before quilting the middles.  After I quilted the middles I realized that I would only be able to fit 10 onto my canvas.  The 10 that I set aside came in real handy when I went to create that puffy middle I was looking for.

I am going to try to explain it so stick with me.  I balled up pieces of aluminum foil, squirted hot glue into the back center and stuck the ball in there then wrapped it up.  Before it was completely dry I took the second quilted flower, squirted hot glue into the right side center of that and fanned out the first flower (with the aluminum ball) and stuck it to it.  Hence four pieces of fabric and two pieces of batting for one flower.
I couldn't decide what color to paint the vases.  My initial thought was to paint them black but the pedistals were "too black" if that makes sense.  While in my garage I noticed a can of silver spray paint and it was perfect! 
And the final product:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My notecards

I have always loved photography and believe this was my first step into the creative world.  My dad taught me how to use a camera at the age of 6 but that's another blogpost in itself (when I can dig up some old pictures).

A few years ago I started selling my photographs at the local Farmer's Market and the item that sold the most were my notecards.  I love making notecards because I can reach a larger audience.  I literally have thousands of pictures that I can turn into notecards but I like to see what the people like.  Since getting into a lot of other mediums as of late I have fallen away from my photography, and my notecards.  But I have a few relatives that keep asking me when I'm going to be doing more notecards so guess what?!  I'm getting back into my notecard business!

I have a lot of new photos to showcase plus I've gone back into my archives and have printed a lot of classics too.  I will be taking them to Olde Towne Art today just in time for Black Friday so please stop by if you get a chance.

Here is a sneek peek at some of my photography:

I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.  I'll be going out of town to spend the holiday with my husband's family but I'll return with a lot of new and creative ideas for Christmas, I already have my sketchbook (and camera) packed!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I beat my deadline

In the last post I said that in the gallery (at Olde Towne Art)  a lot of artists paint on canvas and that's how come their studios look "full".  I decided that I needed to create a few larger pieces to "cover my wall space" but I had never painted on canvas before.  Well in the art world I'll try anything once so I bought myself some canvas.  I had no idea what I was going to do so I started with my favorite color pink.  The first thing that popped into my head, that was pink, was the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbons.  I have a good friend that is battling breast cancer right now so this is in honor of her:
I wanted to add dimension after I painted the background silver so I added black paint to ceramic stucco and painted the door and ground.  I then mixed varying shades of pink with a heavy gel medium.  The ribbon is made out of pink sculpey clay.

While I was researching quotes to put on my first piece I came across a quote that inspired me to make my second piece.  This one is called Sunshine.

Again I mixed reds, oranges, yellows and gold with my heavy gel medium to create texture in the sun.  This piece, and the previous one, both measure 9" X 14".

For my third one I knew I wanted more texture whether it be fabric, yarn, paper or anything else that inspired me.  I went to a local art store where I knew they had a bin of cheap craft yarn and there I found inspiration.  My third one is called Under The Sea:
First I painted the canvas in swirls of greens and blues.  The inspiration was the bumpy yarn, it looked like seaweed to me.  Again I wanted dimension so I made the fish out of sculpey clay then painted them.
While digging through the yarn bin I found 2 more skeins of yarn that also inspired me.  My last one was made with red, grey and silver yarn and acrylic paint.  It is untitled.
I was aiming for three finished canvases before we went out of town for Thanksgiving but I managed to do four before my creativity slowed down and I am very pleased with all of them.  I will be hanging them on my studio wall this afternoon just in time for the Christmas shoppers!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Watercolors and ACEO's

Since I've gotten space at Olde Towne Art I've been looking through my "creative endeavors" that I've tried over the years.  About a year ago I decided that I wanted to learn how to watercolor.  I've only worked with acrylics and thought "it's time to try a new medium" so I did and  I LOVED it!  I have done a few larger paintings but then I decided to try 2.5" X 3.5" which is the size of an ACEO (Artist Cards Editions and Originals).  They are quite small and I normally like to work on a much larger scale but I loved the results.

I have never framed them but since I now have space to display them I decided to look for frames for my little masterpieces.  A 2.5" X 3.5" frame is harder to find than you might think.  And even if the frame says 2.5" X 3.5" it's usually cut smaller, thank goodness I carry my ACEO's with me wherever I go.  So I found the perfect size frames but I didn't like the plaid design on them:

So I stood there with these frames in my hand deciding how I could change them... of course... deconstruct them!  The plaid was fabric so I easily ripped that off then primed it for painting.  I have eight mini masterpieces that I had to keep in mind while picking colors.  Here are three that are painted, clear coated and ready to be framed again.

And the end product looks like this:

The yellow goldfinch is my favorite.

My other favorite that I don't have pictured in a frame is my two owls:

Jacob and I will be putting these in my studio space tomorrow.

While thinking of my space, and everyone elses, I've noticed that a lot of people have works of art to hang on the wall.  I don't.  And what better reason to go out and buy stretched canvas than that... to fill up my walls!  I had an idea in mind for my first canvas piece and it involves 3 dimensional objects.  As soon as I bought a value pack of stretched canvas all of these other ideas came to me (I love when that happens!).  So hopefully I'll have all three done before Friday when we leave to go to Illinois for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Dream

These are a few quotes I found on the Internet about loving what you do:

Do what you love.  When you love your work, you become the best worker in the world.   Uri Geller

Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.  Dr. Wayne Dyer

Never continue in a job you don't enjoy.  If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace.  And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.  Johnny Carson

Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life.  Harvey MacKay

I have never had a job that was my "dream job".  I majored in psychology with a minor in sociology and because I couldn't find work in my field I fell into the retail industry.  At night and on weekends I would explore my creative side: photography and quilting.  Over the years my tastes have changed but one thing still remains the same... I love to create.

I have sold my stuff at local farmer's markets and on Etsy but a dream of mine came true last week when a studio space became available at Olde Towne Art in Portsmouth, VA.  Just think I could display my stuff year round, I don't have to be there in order to sell something AND since it's my space I can put whatever creative thing I'm working on at the moment in there... from my art dolls to my zentangles.  My little art studio for everyone to see.

I believe that God works in each of our lives but most of us can't see it, or don't recognize that it's by God's hand, but when we do it is so powerful.  And it's yet another testimony of His loving grace.

Here is a peek at my studio space.  I'm still trying to fill it up but if you're ever in the area please stop by!

My space 

A few of my art dolls

My zentangles

One of my painted mirrors

My painted button pendants and brooches

Follow this link: Olde Towne Art