Friday, November 14, 2014

Imagination....


24 x 36 - Acrylics

I started this painting last Saturday.  I haven't worked on anything outside of an art journal or altered book for quite a long time.  But the time had come.  It's the dramatic mountains that set this painting off.  What I love the most is how all of the colors work.


I bought the canvas a year ago and had started a painting with a blue background and I had added some collage elements.  I wanted to start over with a new idea.  This photo shows where I used gesso to cover some of the collage elements.  I painted a deep blue sky and sketched in a village.


Because the painting is large, I can't get a good close-up of the entire painting so I took photos of individual parts.


They look a bit like individual paintings.


I'm still adding things here and there...I don't think it's quite done.  I am happy with how it looks...it needs a name!  It was so much fun to work on. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Paint and Wine Class - November


Paint & Wine Class
Acrylics
Original painting by Leonid Afremov

Last Saturday I went to the monthly class and this was the art chosen for November.  Now we are all our own worst critics, but I feel like it needs more work.  I brought the paint pallet home with me, but haven't done anything further. There was so much to do for this painting and our class went 1/2 hr overtime.  I love the colors, I love the globes lit and I like the trees going down the sides.  But I don't feel like I have enough of the reflection in the path.  I would do some things differently if I decided to do it over.  It is quite a colorful painting and I like the artist.  Mainly, I just like to paint. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

JUST DO IT!

Just do it....probably one of the best advertising slogans ever.  This morning I got up and made my coffee and went right into my art room.  

I started a new art journal last weekend.  What I'm using as the journal is a book I made out of manila file folders that I covered with gesso and then used stencils and spray inks...I made this journal/book months ago. I also included other types of paper in the book.  I bought a journal at the Mall last year, mainly because I love the cover of it which is a printed fabric of someone's art work.  The journal inside of the cover is useless, however, because you can't open the pages enough to lay flat for art work or even writing in it...so it's all about the cover.  So...I basically bought a cover!  Here it is:

.
This book I plan on adding art work to, but also words about the "gifts" in my life that I am grateful for.  Here is the inside of the cover:


The left page is still the fabric cover and the right side is the 1st page of the manila folder book which I stenciled.


This is the 2-page spread.  If you only knew how many changes I went through with the art on the left.  At one point, I wanted to rip it right out of the book, but I have lots of words written on the other side of it, so I just couldn't do that.  You know how many times you work on a piece and think...this is just never going to amount to anything?  Well that was clearly going on with this page.  It was a disaster.  There are layers of stuff here that I ended up covering.  In the end...I'm happy with it and glad I stuck it out.  The right hand page is a very simple painting.  It reflects, as it says, joy in the morning, quiet moments, cup of coffee, etc.  



Back to this particular page.  What I learned is not to give up.  The background was in blues and yellows before I changed it to black.  It didn't pop with the blues and yellows, even though I had done shading and everything.  As soon as I added the black, it made a big difference.  This page is done on a very thin piece of paper,  like computer paper.  It was a bit of a challenge with the wet mediums, but gesso always comes through to hold it all together.  I didn't know this page would end up being a vase with flowers. The close-up gives you a better sense of the flowers.  Sometimes the scary part as you are going through the process is, will this end up looking like something? You hope that ideas will start to trickle in and it will come together.  Phew on this one.  You just have to sit down and start...just do it! (thank you, Nike)




Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mystele Kirkeeng -Artist






ART JOURNALER
INTUITIVE ARTIST

I got excited when I saw a new video from this artist, Mystele.  First of all, her name alone is "artistic"!  Wouldn't you want to know more about a person with such an interesting name...Mystele Kirkeeng.
The first time I saw one of her videos, I was intrigued by her approach to art.  She paints and draws with both her right and left hands!  She does very interesting, layered backgrounds.  As I watched this particular video this morning, I'm thinking...where is this going to go....how is it going to end up looking like anything...but it does in the end.  She's using up some old art supplies in her stash on this video and it's these little pieces that she transfers to the pages, that give her direction as she applies colors and marks on the pages.  Mystele loves to do faces.  
The most important part of this video is what she shares about the process, why she does art journaling, what it tells her about herself.  As you watch, listen to what she says about this at the end of her video.  
I'm always hearing people say....I don't know how to draw or paint.  On the other hand...I think a lot of people would enjoy art journaling....you don't have to know how to draw and you really only need a few supplies.  We all have something to say....you can do it in color and without words if you like.  You'll still get the message across.  And it's fun.  


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ART - Fantasy vs. Realism


Acrylics - 10 x 10 Canvas Board

I'm taking time off from work this week to do "work" at home...preparing the house for winter.  So much to do....it's exhausting!  I also want to fit in some time for art work.  I go back and forth on what kind of art to do.  I went to an art supply store today and picked up a couple of beautiful inks and was dying to try them.  So I spritzed the canvas board with water and then drizzled the ink colors onto the board and let them "run".  And then I started filling in colors around the drizzled shapes.  It's all about an explosion of color.  It's not the type of art I want to do all of the time, but it is a fun exercise to see where your art will go.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Yellow Picture Frame


YELLOW FRAME
I have a slight obsession right now with yellow picture frames.  First of all, they have to be the right shade of yellow.  So far I have 5...they're not all the same shade of yellow, but they are all warm yellows.  And they each have something unique about them....none of them are plain.  The one I'm showing here has the vines cut into the frame.  I did a little painting for it...not sure it's going to be the one for this frame, but I was dying to see how the frame would look with a painting in it.  It actually might be fun to emulate the vines of the frame into a painting....I don't know.....As far as the yellow frames, I was thinking it might be fun to do a feature wall with them. I need a few more.  The vine frame has a 5 x 7 painting in it to give you an idea of the size.   The frame below holds a silhouette of Tom we had done at a local church fair a long time ago...so it's my  first yellow frame....and probably my favorite.  



Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Pumpkin and the Cat


The Pumpkin and the Cat
Canvas Board
5 x 7 Acrylics

This is a small little painting...not sure why I didn't just create it in my art journal, but these small canvas boards are kind of fun to use for a quick painting.
When I first thought about doing a painting on this canvas, I was going to do a pumpkin with an interesting background.  This painting started with a green background with some other colors as well....and this is how I ended up.  I do like the whimsical nature of folk art and I also love paintings that are filled with pattern...nothing left plain.  I sometimes get into trouble with my art because I don't think things through...I go backwards which can make it actually more difficult to do.  For instance, the window was put in last....If I had sketched the idea lightly on the canvas, painting it would have gone a little bit more smoothly.  I think of the legs of the desk as sort of like the legs of a cat...rather delicate with similar feet.  This is all I had time for this weekend. The leaves are changing and it was too nice to be indoors!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IF YOU KNEW SUSIE...


ART JOURNAL
Mixed Media

 "If you knew Susie"...
Susie is someone I met only once, 16 years ago.  She was organizing a golf event for breast cancer and I work for the company that enlists people to have these events for Susan G. Komen.  We talked on the phone quite a bit because I'm in CT and she was in southern VA.  She hosted many of these events over the years until she was unable to....and there's not much that kept her down.  About 10 years ago, I was fortunate to attend her event and meet her in person.  She was hard to keep up with.
  Susie was a breast cancer survivor who had been diagnosed at age 36 when she was the mother of 3 young children.  


The flower I collaged to this page
 (from a Pottery Barn catalog) 
reminds of Susie...

The photo you see here of Susie....is a card from her funeral that tells you about the amazing person she was,  because her cancer did not define her and she lived with cancer until January of this year.  She was born in January 1948 and died in January 2014.  You can do the math on how long she lived with cancer.

 This photo is of her attending the Kentucky Derby last year.  You can't tell from
 the photo, but she's wearing a sweater that has a flower stem down the front and the flower is up at her neck....kind of like the flower I put on the page.
More photos from the journal....


I don't want to go into the details of the art except to say there is lots of pink....I made a pink house for Susie with a big heart inside the front doors.

You know how sometimes your life crosses paths with someone who you know is special and you don't ever want to forget.....well, I could  never forget Susie.
She's touched more people's lives than she could have ever imagined.  She touched mine.  I had to put her in my book.  If you knew Susie....

(doors from Pinterest)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

ARTFUL WEEKEND

ISLAND WOMEN
ART JOURNAL
WATERCOLOR PENCILS

These paintings came out of my head.  By that, I mean that I didn't have any photos to get my bearings.  I wanted to do a face....and from there it became the island woman.  I did the single painting first.  And I like her.  That left me with the left side page....what to do.  My book is getting difficult to work in because the left side has so many completed pages that I can't lay the book flat.  I decided to continue with the island women theme and painted some friends for the single woman.  
I drew the shapes first and then colored them in with my watercolor pencils.
Not sure what's on her mind, but I like the way the skin tones came out.

These young women are ready for a cool stroll on the beach.  Here's a close-up of them....
I decided to forgo faces on the smaller surfaces, but I should have added a big flower on a headpiece or dress....oh well.
OK...so it bothered me that I didn't have any flowers for the island women... so I went back and added a couple.  Now it's done.


PAINT & WINE class last night.  We did a Gauguin painting.  Not my best effort and it wasn't one of my favorite paintings...but perhaps that's where the inspiration for the colorful island women came from.  It is always a fun time!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Reflection - He Climbed Higher


He Climbed Higher - The Journey
10 x 10 Canvas Board
Acrylics/Collage/Stamping

It's been quite the weekend/week around here as my son was gathering his belongings to move to Boston.  So happy and excited for him with a twinge of "I miss him already."  

I did this painting with him in mind.  It is loaded with symbolism...obviously, that only I would know....so I'll share with you.  This painting didn't start very well and I wondered at one point if it would amount to anything.  But I persevered.  

Here's the first step...


A little bit of midnight blue paint and my hand prints.....now what?



Hmmmm.  Where am I going to go from here? 
 Nothing is  working for me yet....


I've altered the colors a bit and covered the background....


My idea is taking shape...I have a mountain, a curvy path, some water at the bottom and a ladder reaching up to the collaged moon.   This painting is about a journey.

At the very bottom of the painting, is a school of fish (you have to scroll back up and look at the finished painting).  While Tom loves to fish....this is a "school of fish"...as he's gone back to school.  He loves the water...he lived at the beach this summer.  Lots of stars...he is my star.  The curvy road...his certainly has been from college to Afghanistan, back to college, to Morocco, to the beach and now...to Boston.  He's climbed mountains to get where he is...perhaps I should make that mountain higher....I still could...and the final part is the ladder up to the moon that says, "He climbed higher."  He has, and I couldn't be more proud...he's still climbing.  I can be as corny as I want to here....
That's plenty of reflection for this Sunday!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting My Mojo On!!



10 x 10 canvas board
Intuitive painting
Acrylics


This is how it started

I love how this small painting turned out...it's the colors that do it for me.  I started by taking two shades of blue and some white paint and spread it on the canvas.  Then I took some paprika colored ink and dripped it on the canvas.I blotted with a paper towel that gave some nice texture.    I used my brush and added the round circle and the blue marks on the left side. I rotated the picture.  I added some yellow....


The image began to change

The ball became a flower and the colors at the top right became a house.
Red, blue and yellow are my favorite colors to work with.  I really like how this little painting turned out.  I didn't start out with a pre-conceived idea of what I was going to paint....it just evolved as I kept adding marks and colors... I'm working my way up to the larger canvas I bought.....

The thing about art....you just have to start....and see where it takes you.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Reflection - Letting Go

ALTERED BOOK
Acrylics, water soluble crayons, water color pencils
pen, yarn

Where to start this post so it flows and makes sense.....do you know how sometimes things occur that cause a "shift" in how you think about things?
I had a shift....maybe it's an awakening...since I discovered Tracy Verdugo's approach to art.  I am excited.  I've been reading her book which arrived in my mailbox this week.  It's about much more than art and I love it.  I would love to have a cup of coffee with her!  So I bought a canvas this week....yes, art outside of a book or journal....and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can create.  I have an artist friend who gave me her old easel that has been stored in her attic...it needs a little bit of TLC but once I take care of that....I'm used to working flat, but the easel is really the way to go when you're working on a larger piece.

I just finished reading a book call "Learning to Walk in the Dark" by Barbara Brown Taylor.  She's a NY Times best-selling author.  I'm mentioning this because it ties in with art for me...which is all about the dark and the light.  She says, "I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light"..... She writes, " I need darkness as much as I need light."  

Segue to Tracy Verdugo who says something very interesting: "a creative block is merely the darkness from which all light originates.  It is the crisis from which surrender emerges."    

I had a quiet moment yesterday afternoon, sitting on the floor in my attic.  I opened up a trunk that for a number of years when my son was young, I just kept putting his elementary school papers in. I haven't opened that trunk in probably 18 years!  I'm in the process of organizing the attic and getting rid of stuff and my son is getting ready to go to grad school.  I just loved sifting through his art work, compositions & poems, report cards, school photos. There were even all of the cards sent to us when he was born.  Life.  What to save and what to toss.  Some things were put back into the dark trunk.

 Dark to light.  Light to dark...                          




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Somewhere over the Rainbow -Tracy Verdugo





Tracy Verdugo....absolutely love her approach to art.....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

SUNDAY REFLECTION


ART JOURNAL
August - 50 Degrees at 7 AM

SUNDAY REFLECTION
There is nothing that wows me about these two journal pages, but I don't like to add a post without some kind of photo....

I feel like I do more thinking about art than actually DOING the art.  I'm trying to find my "art groove".  I recently came across the art of Tracy Verdugo, an Australian artist, and she has a great YouTube video where she talks about intuitive painting and you get to see her approach to a canvas...which is absolutely fascinating.  Initially, I was attracted to her use of color but ultimately, it was how freely she paints.  

Sometimes, I think my early Catholic upbringing has infringed upon my "free creativity."  I get hung up on doing a "pretty page"...but why?  These are just art journals....isn't that where you should be playing with ideas?  But then the little voice in my head says...but other people see these...don't you want it to be a nice book of art???  Holy mackerel, I get stuck.  God forbid I put myself out there for criticism.  It didn't hold Madonna back....

I had a lot of surprising feedback on the boat painting (earlier post) that I did in my last paint & wine class... who knew!  Yes...I like my boat painting.  It tells me that I can paint something that looks like it's actually supposed to with correct shadows, etc.  Do I want to do more of that?  Maybe, but not all of the time.  I do learn something every time I go to the class, however, and all of that can be brought to the canvas/journal of whatever I want to do.  

So what do I want to do?????  I have the canvas ready and waiting....but my mind is like a ferris wheel...going round and round and waiting to get off...there's some imagery for you.  And not for nothing....I do appreciate my God-given talent.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Penny for your Thoughts


Art Journal
Acrylics, Collage, Stamping

These two pages in my journal were an exercise in layering colors.  I love circles..these aren't the first ones I've done on a journal page. Sometimes I think I'm just going around in circles!  It all started with a shiny, 2014 penny that the grocery clerk gave me with my change.  It was so shiny, I decided that it couldn't be just thrown in my wallet.  It is now glued to the outside of an envelope....

The envelope is attached to the page with washi tape and I put a tag in the envelope referencing where the penny came from and asking the question, "Is  this a lucky penny?"  What makes a penny lucky, anyway...that it will multiply a zillion times while you're sleeping?  Or that having it will change your luck?  I'm sure I've been handed a shiny 2014 penny in change on many occasions this year...but never paid any attention until this one...
Yesterday would have been my mother's 92 birthday, so on the back of the envelope I added a birthday message...I got the creativity gene from her...so I guess I am very lucky already....

Sunday, August 3, 2014

She Walks On Clouds

Art Journal
Collage-Mixed Media-Gelli-Art

I was chatting with my sister on the phone this morning about our various art interests...she had emailed me about an article she had read by Elizabeth Gilbert...who says you should take 30 minutes out of every day to do whatever is creative for you....whether it's writing, or painting or...you name it for you.  We all know what we should do...the question is, how often do we do it!
So after we hung up....and still feeling the creative juices going after taking the Paint and Wine class last night...I started to look through some of my papers.  
I came across the bold, black graphic on the right hand page in my napkin stash...that was the start  Then came the pink paint...finger painted...don't underestimate finger painting!  You can get nice techniques, especially doing a background.  The "wing" of what became the angel, I cut from a scrap of floral wrapping paper. I didn't know I was going to do an angel initially, but the more I looked at the wrapping paper...that one little piece looked like a wing to me.  I then went through some of my Gelli-Art prints and found the paper that became the angel's robe...pinks and metallic gold...it was perfect.
A close up of some of the robe and the loops of gold I added with a pen..

Close up of the napkin and quote.



My Paint & Wine Class

Acrylics on Canvas
Finally, back to my monthly paint & wine class....!  The painting chosen by our instructor, Susan Jackson, was this boat scene.  The original version is by a Dutch artist, Ria Hills.  There were about 20 of us in the class last night and how great it was to see everyone's version of the painting.  When you see someone who has never held a paint brush....and what they take home at the end of the class... and how excited they are....is priceless!  I think next month we're tackling a Gauguin.....y'all come!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Heavenly Post.....

ART JOURNAL
Acrylics, Collage

What is Heaven on Earth for You???
Inspired by a great sermon at church on Sunday...I created these pages.  What IS Heaven on earth for you?  My first thought was a symphony!  Think of all of the components that make up a symphony that together....make heavenly music.  
I love all kinds of music and old movies....and the top song from 1935 (before I was born, thank you) was "Heaven I'm in Heaven" from the movie Top Hat.  Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced "cheek to cheek."  


I added this flap that has the lyrics to the song.

Here is the centerfold photo of Fred & Ginger.  I added a piece of embossed white paper for her skirt and I painted that pant leg for Fred.

The inside of the flap says, 
"What is Heaven on Earth for you?"
Fun to think about and so many possibilities.