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.


Friday, July 25, 2014

EXPLORING ART

ART JOURNAL
ACRYLICS - GELLI ART

"Imagination is everything. 
 It is the preview of life's coming attractions."
----Albert Einstein

I've been exploring different ideas lately.  I went to a local art supply store this afternoon and bought a canvas.  I want to do a larger painting so with that in mind, I started adding paint to my journal page.  I'm leaning towards a landscape of some sort and by experimenting here first, I hope to figure out what's going to go on the canvas.  I always end up with something that is more folk art in style and I have to say that I like the way this turned out.  It's primarily acrylics except for the tops of the trees and the tree trunks which are Gelli art prints I recently printed.  I like the way the colors look on the treetops.  I had absolutely no plan when I started this page except that I knew trees were going to be somewhere on the page.  I'm not sure I can pre-plan whats going on the canvas because there is a certain serendipity to art that makes it unique but I have to decide overall what colors I want to use and that will dictate somewhat the direction of the piece.  Will it be a daytime landscape or a night time landscape (I always love stars)!  What season?  Total fantasy or some realism.  So many thoughts flying through my head!  It will be colorful, that I do know!  TGIF!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

HEXAGONS OF COLOR


ART JOURNAL
INSPIRED BY CARPET HEXAGONS
from Kinderground found in
House Beautiful

These were apparently originally designed as 3' carpets for children's rooms.  I collaged them to these pages.  I added the black, blue & red paint around the shapes as well as the checkerboard border for some more punch.  You could embellish them more, but I didn't want to take away from the carpets that attracted me in the first place.  I added a tag that says Source of Inspiration, House Beautiful and on the back of the tag is info on the carpets.  I decided that since this journal is going to be about shapes and color and techniques, that I should have information on the original source of the inspiration.  I saved a small piece from one of the carpets and added it to the tag.




DO WHAT PLEASES YOU!

ART JOURNAL
Collage circles using Gelli Art prints
Rubber stamp vine pattern
Pens and Washi tape & Acrylic paints


CLOSE UP
I've come to the conclusion that some of my art journals are intended to have some kind of message incorporated into the pages and actual drawings of people and places and things.  After doing these two pages which are not any of those...just playing with shape and color....I decided to start another journal that is nothing but playing with shape and color and trying out different art supplies and techniques.  So....this is what I started this morning...


Strathmore Watercolor Journal
Gelli Art print on deli paper for background;
Water soluble crayons around the borders;
$15 Sherwin-Williams paint coupon provided
the words Paint Palettes and the paint cans.

I often find great inspiration in home design magazines...for shapes and colors and patterns and the Pottery Barn catalog!  Can't forget that!  I have all of these blank journals....I might as well use them.

 I have a tendency to over think my art.  When I look at some artists work...their style is consistent, always recognizable as theirs. I know I've commented on this before.  I don't see that necessarily in mine...so does that mean I'm still trying to figure out my style or don't I have one that I can say is unique to me?  Who am I?  Perhaps it all boils down to doing what makes you happy.... :)  Less thinking....more ART!



Sunday, July 13, 2014

REFLECTION

Rhododendron

It's a quiet Sunday morning. The sun hasn't come through the clouds yet.   I've been wandering in and out of blogs and looking back through my own.  I chose this photo that I took earlier in the spring as I thought it was a good one for this particular post....The flower shows you how perfectly nature was thought out in Creation.  
That brings me to what is it exactly that I want my art to say?  And what do I want my art to be?  I do love working in art journal format  but I don't want it to become a scrapbook.  I find art journaling to be a very meditative activity.  It is also fun....not to leave that out.  Sometimes, I can't get the inspiration in my head down on paper fast enough....and if I don't, it often leaves me and I move on to something else.  I hate when that happens. 

Don't you ask yourself why you're here? 

 I do feel that art is a way of making my mark on the page..my life...this is who I am and why I was here and I hope you like what I have to say or, perhaps, understand a little better who I am and things I care about. I don't use many words in my art journals; I hope the art tells you the story. On the other hand, what I've painted may have particular meaning to me....but to the viewer, it's just a painting. 
  
 I don't want my art to be "kitschy".  Surfing blogs of artists can be intimidating.  Do I use "time" as an excuse for not committing to doing work outside a journal...a canvas or larger painting on paper?  I'm always saying I don't have enough time....If I devoted more time...would my work be better, would I work more slowly and carefully.  I don't know.  I think it's more about...would the art on the canvas be good enough...that's always been my struggle on many levels...being good enough. 

  We are a society that moves so fast that we don't often stop and think...and then it's too late.  That's my Sunday morning reflection.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

For The Love of Sisters

ART JOURNAL
Acrylics, collage, gelli art print, washi tape, water soluble crayons
The inspiration for these pages started with a "coupon" I received in a Valentine card from my younger sister, Kahlie (Karen).  We live on opposite ends of this country and haven't seen much of each other over the past 20+ years.  So, in 2013 she gave me this "morning stroll" coupon with no expiration date...a cute idea, and I've saved it.  You'd think I'd do a Valentine's Day spread using it, but floating around my art room, I was afraid I would lose it.  
The coupon was quite colorful, so I just grabbed color from it to do my doodling around it with paints and a black pen.
This might be my favorite part of the spread.  It has quite a bit of texture.  The background is a gelli print in pale pink and white and green.  Then I took a floral napkin and cut out three of the flowers and glued them to the page.  The piece of paper scrap with the whirls of color down the left side is a piece that I love and almost have none left, but it found a home here, also up in the right side corner.  Last but not least, the page needed a quote.  I am one of 3 sisters and I have 3 flowers on this page, which says "Sisters are different flowers from the same garden."
When you flip open the right-hand page, here is more about sisters including a photo of us from 1968...it's faded a bit.  Make A Wish is from artist Mary Engelbreit.
Does this close-up help?  My sister, Dianne, on the left, had some blond locks then so it's a little harder to see her in the light color....I'm in the middle and Kahlie, the coupon provider, on the right.
Three-page spread open

I don't usually post so many photos for one subject, but there was a lot going on here.  I love the black-eyed susans....flower for the state of MD where we grew up....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

THE BEACH BOY


ART JOURNAL
Acrylics, collage, photo
When I posted the right-hand page, I didn't have an idea yet for the left side.  Combing through some photographs, I came across this photo of Tom at Bethany Beach.  I'm prejudice, but isn't he just the cutest little beach boy ever??!!!!   Now the 4th of July art is complete.  Hope you had a good 4th.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July Spirit

ART JOURNAL
Paint and Pen
Dog Under A Table

Having fun with a little bit more red, white and blue.  
Using Boomer as my model.....

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

ART JOURNAL
COLLAGE
I love this holiday.  I turned on WMNR this morning and Yankee Doodle Dandy was playing on the radio.  This was a quick page I did in my  art journal.  I can always count on Coastal Living or the Pottery Barn catalogue to have a great photo of our flag and this one practically fills the page.  Then I cut out the word HOME and added it in several places.  What you can't see is that at the very top of the page I had cut out "One of a kind"...I didn't quite get that in the photo!  
And how perfect is this sticker I saved from my recent purchase of American flag stamps!  Have a great day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

I ADORE STRIPES

Art Journal
Acrylics, Pen
I had a lot going through my mind when I created this page in my art journal today and when I started it, I wasn't sure about painting it without the upper half of the body.  But it is the lower half that speaks to me more.

I have a new colleague at work and she's downsizing.  She is having trouble parting with some of the sentimental things, especially from her daughters childhood.  I told her how I always loved Raggedy Ann...although I never had one.  I wasn't a "doll" person. But Raggedy Ann is in a class of her own. She's more than a doll.  She's whimsical....and she is "artsy"... a girl who truly has her own style.

So I am now the possessor of this Raggedy Ann and she inspired me today. 
What do I love absolutely the most about her?  The painting tells you...her striped leggings.  I ADORE STRIPES.  I even have a Pinterest board by that title.  I think I can credit Raggedy Ann with my love of stripes from an early age.

Fast forward to June 2014, and my thoughts turn to all of the graduates...they're in this week's paper.  How could it be 8 years since my son graduated from high school???  This painting is a message for these graduates.  Put your best foot forward...find your passion....be true to yourself.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

GENESIS


Art Journal 
Collage, Acrylics, Washi tape, Business Envelopes 

The DLP (Documented Life Project) prompt for this week is to use a biblical quote or quote from a favorite, book....etc.  So I chose Genesis...the story of creation.  My interpretation is a little bit funky with the mermaid in the window.  
A closer look at the left side page.  The bottom half of the page has pieces of bank envelopes torn to create the water....
I took some artistic license by adding the bank envelope window and putting a mermaid in there...there are no mermaids in the story of creation.  I put her in an aquarium...And you see the Holy Spirit in the middle of the page.
Here is a close up of the mermaid with a large sea shell in the "aquarium".  I found her in a Coastal Living magazine. God, after all, has a sense of humor.