Thursday, January 29, 2015

Channeling One More Master

    Jan 31st is the last day for Art Journal Journey's monthly challenge of "Inspired by The Masters II" and also Mix It Monthly's challenge of "Color Blocks". It has been so much fun for me mostly combining the two into one journal page. Thank you Susi and Conny - I can't wait to hear about February's themes! Now, I hadn't planned on creating another page around the themes-until I read a comment from Arnoldo regarding a portrait painting I did last week. He said my portrait resembled the work of Modigliani. Well, I had not heard of this artist so of course I looked him up. I channeled this artist without even knowing it! After looking at Amedeo Modigliani's paintings I decided I had to do a portrait specifically inspired by him. And here it is:

                                                               "Woman In Big Hat"

 Modigliani is known for his portraits and nudes with elongated faces and figures in the modern style. What I did differently was to use a colorful background, where as his backgrounds were very muted.

 Here is my initial sketch:

 This was done with a Stabilo All pencil over a page I had glued strips of gelli plate deli paper prints. Not sure if I'm done with my portrait yet because something is telling me to give her a flower for her hat:)

 Much thanks to Arnoldo for inspiring me to learn about and create around another master! If you don't know of Arnoldo please visit his blog. You can find his art on many various challenges. Arnoldo is a diverse artistic talent whose dedication to his family and his God is admirable. I am so glad to have met him through the awesome Paint Party Friday blog!

 Linking to Art Journal Journey; Art Journal Every Day; Express Your Creativity; Mix It Monthly and Paint Party Friday.

 Valentine's Day is just around the corner so I am finishing up a few more cards to get in the mail on time. I'm not going to show the group of them I am finishing but here's one I did while making the others:

  I used scraps of gelli plate printed papers along with a bit of washi tape. Linking this card to the Simon Wednesday challenge blog (theme is "anything goes").

 Thanks so much for popping in, for all your comments, AND for inspiring me! Have a fun filled, art filled weekend. I know some of you will be having Super Bowl parties and watching the game :)

                         " It is your duty in life to save your dream."   Amedeo Modigliani

Monday, January 26, 2015

January Winter

 That's the theme this week at Inspiration Avenue, and for many of us in the Northern hemisphere and especially in the northeast states-wow! We got hit with an unexpected 7 1/2 " of snow Fri night into Sat AM. They were predicting up to 4 inches only-so much for all the new technology to predict accurately.

 The first two photos were taken out my windows when I opened the curtains and shades. Once I had my coffee I took my snow stick outside to measure the snow on our picnic table. Luckily it warmed up enough to melt much of the residue on the streets and sidewalks so Bill and I did venture into town to one of our favorite places Tapas on Main to hang out and hear Lorenzo who is not only a very talented musician and singer but also an amazing artist who paints canvases, walls, creates sculptures and more. FUN! I even told Lorenzo that he was special because I do not venture out much in this kind of weather:)

 And here we go I am typing this (6PM) we are getting more snow. It's been snowing at various rates since this AM and it's supposed to get pretty windy, much colder and have heavier snow into the night! Poor hubby is working til after 10PM so I will be brave and at least shovel out the drive so he can get the car in...

 The other week I mentioned a cheesecake I was making for dessert for hubby's birthday for our friends' dinner party. Here are a few pics:

  and for my friends at T Stands For Tuesday I will share the fabulous wine we had with dinner!

               Of course Bill LOVES that sign and promptly hung it in "his" work basement.

and the cheesecake with raspberry coulis I made...well, it was decadent and it was divine! Everyone loved it so it was definitely worth all the time and effort!

 Of course I spent time in the art room making more valentine cards:

  These came together pretty quickly with the coordinating papers coming from a paper pack by Canvas Corp along with kraft note cards, a button, felt heart and a Valentine from my stash. Linking to the Simon Wednesday challenge blog whose theme is "Have a Heart".

 Since I will be mostly inside hibernating Tuesday I'm looking forward to visiting you. Sending a special hug to my dear friend Patty :)

 "Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself."
                                                                                                       Paramahansa Yogananda

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dear Courage...

   Thanks to the wonderful challenges I find on blogs, the techniques found on You Tube and in books, I continually get more courage to TRY new things without fear of "messing it up". I have learned that if I don't like it, even after letting it sit a few days (or more) it can always be covered up and a blank slate is ready to begin again.

 It says "dear courage , I've been looking for you." This thought came to mind as I was tackling techniques to create this portrait page as described in Dina Wakley's book Art Journal Courage (pgs 36 - 45). Oh sure, I can pick apart what I'd like to change about this but it IS after all a learning experience that takes practice. And practice  with doing faces/portraits especially is what I want to keep working at.

 The page began like this:

 The basic face was drawn first with pencil then gone over with a Stabilo All black pencil over a deli paper printed page in my journal. I am discovering that I really like working over a painted pattern or page as I love when bits of the background peek through!

 Linking to Art Journal Every Day, Art Journal Journey, Express Your Creativity, and Paint Party Friday.

 Art Journal Journey and Mix It Monthly are two favorite monthly challenges of mine because since discovering them my eyes have opened up to SO many new possibilities! Both Conny (Piarom) and Susi (froebelsternchen) provide participants with wonderful monthly themes and you can tell by all the links these challenges have that they are extremely popular! DO have a look and visit -I dare you not to be inspired! On that note, here is my final (I think:) contribution to this month's themes:

                                                                      "Rain Dance"

 This was inspired again by Mattisse's "cut outs" art and the theme and colors were inspired by all the dark , grey rainy/snowy days we've had recently. You can see my other "cut outs" pages here and here.

 And another favorite past time of mine - cards!

 This is the sketch for this week at Freshly Made Sketches:

 And this is my card:

 It was very difficult to get a really good photo of because the pink heart is silver embossed. It was from a pkg of older valentines that had been given to me. I'm also linking this to the Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog (theme is "Have a Heart").

 Are you working on Valentine projects? What are you doing to be more courageous in your art?
 I'd love to know!

        " What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?"   Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

T is for Tea Cups

  It's another Tuesday and time to share with Bleubeard and Elizabeth and friends over at T Stands For Tuesday. It's a wonderful gathering so go have a peek at the varied links and please feel free to join in any week. We really are a nice group to have a cuppa something with :)

                                                                    "Tea For Two"

  I have been having so much fun since discovering Henri Matisse's "cut out" art that I am continuing to explore the simplicity of the concept. You can see my first one here if you haven't seen it and I also have links about this master and the art. Of course, I am keeping it VERY simple but it still takes some thought on theme, composition and color. And I must say that I am proud of the fact that I was able to cut those tiny, tiny paper swirls AND glue them in place without a magnifying glass:):) There is another I'm working on and will most likely post it on Friday.

 Linking this to Art Journal Journey(theme is to be inspired by the masters); Inspiration Avenue (theme is purple) and Mix It Monthly (theme is color blocking).

 Finally I have gotten back to some Indian cooking which I had also posted about awhile back. You can see the beginnings of it in this post.

 This is a set of tiny dishes I got from my great
grandmother. As you can see, they are not quality makes and were most likely given away for some particular purchase or something but I adore them and use them all the time-mostly for this purpose:

  They are the perfect size for putting all the 
spice ingredients in place ( the term I use
and most will know is "mis en place"-the French term for "everything in place"). It makes cooking SO much easier! So, what did I make?

  Sweet Potato Poriyal! And I must say that it tasted divine! The combination of spices (not too much -I go easy on those), and sweet , and the coconut....YUM!

 We had a terrible day of icy roads in the northeast US which even closed down bridges and highways so I stayed put and made a few more Valentine cards like this one:

 For the background I played with a technique I hadn't used in quite awhile. I smeared several Distress inkpads (Tim Holtz-Ranger Inc.) onto a craft mat, spritzed it with water, then dragged card stock over it. If you haven't tried this yet you must! If you don't have a craft mat use a piece of glass instead. The image is from Retro CafĂ© Art. The stamps are pretty old and I don't know the manufacturer.

 Off to hop along with my coffee and visit some friends:) Have a great day!

" Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious."
                                                                                                                          Oscar Wilde

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sing Your Art Out!

 So how is your new year going so far? Mine is going fairly well. Our son has had a job offer and several other contacts for possible employment-YAY! Hubby's great uncle and his great aunt (whom I had been doing some errands and caregiving for) seem to be doing pretty well. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and wishes the last few weeks-I've tried to keep up but not quite so successfully. Know that I SO appreciate  your words nonetheless!

 In the beginning of the year I signed up for a free online series of podcasts titled "Thriving Artist Summit". Every  day there have been two to three experts ( shop owners, gallery owners, writers, artists, coaches, agents, publishers, etc.) with helpful information about goals, plans, organizing, prioritizing, taking action, the best tools and ways to reach people, licensing, showing, etc. etc. Each podcast is about a hour long and although I have not listened to every single one they have been so very informative! I have been taking notes and have seen common threads spoken by most. If that's all I take away from it that means so much! One of the speakers Samantha Bennett suggested making a sign for yourself-literally-not just thinking it. And so it inspired the above journal page. That, along with the movie "Big Eyes" which I so want to see! Unfortunately it was only in one theater in our area and it may already be gone:(  Rest assured I will see it eventually!

 Linking to Art Journal Every Day, Express Your Creativity, Inspiration Avenue, Mix It Monthly, and Paint Party Friday.

  I also began working on some cards for upcoming birthdays and this is one:

 Products: ivory card stock; patterned card stock (the natural matstock-DCWV); die cut tag (K & Company); rubber stamp (Hero Arts); Versafine Onyx Black ink (Tsukineko); button; cotton thread; Grand Calibur die cut machine and Standard Circles Lg dies (Spellbinders).

 The composition was inspired by sketch #169 designed by Jen T at Freshly Made Sketches. I am also linking to the Simon Wed. Challenge Blog (theme is - "It's a Guy Thing" ).

 And speaking of guys- wishing my dear sweet hubby a very happy  birthday on Saturday!! We will be having dinner with a small group of close friends and I'm taking a homemade marble cheesecake with chocolate crumb crust with a chocolate  raspberry liquor swirl and sauce . Wish me luck as I haven't baked a cheesecake in ages! (good thing to have bakeries close by just in case:)

                                          Wishing everyone a great weekend!

     " Art is like singing. Some do it better than others but everyone can and should be doing it for  their soul."     Barbara Mason