Friday, May 30, 2014

The Earth Laughs in Flowers

  Is it really Friday already? And almost June? It's a busy time right now with baby showers and graduations, and spending more and more time outdoors. It also means I may not be spending as much time on some of the art challenges for awhile. However I will NOT MISS Kristin Van Valkenburg's Summer of Color challenge which begins on June 2!!!

  I love seeing all the flowers in bloom this time of year and that is what inspired this journal page and title for it:

  It began like this:

 I was just playing with watered down paints in my watercolor journal to add color to some pages. But as soon as I looked at this I saw the flowers:)

 Here are a few more lettering practice pages in my composition book. These were taken from prompts in JoAnne Sharpe's book The Art of Whimsical Lettering.

           Exercises on using pens, markers or paint on black card stock or over black gesso.

                                  Here I put some of  my geli plate printed deli papers to use :)

 The print on the right was a happy discovery. I had done the left page in another comp book using alcohol markers (Spectrum Noir). When I went to tear the page out the print on the right was underneath, having bled thru. I really like the whitewash effect!

  This week the Simon Wednesday Challenge blog theme is "Anything Goes" so I'm sharing this card:

  Although you can't see it , the background cardstock (The Glitter Stack-DCWV), is sparkly with glitter. I found an image of the college logo (Marist College in NY) where our godson Anthony just graduated from, trimmed it and adhered it to the card with 3M foam tape. A personal message was typed and added inside.

     I'm also linking to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, and Paint Party Friday.

  In ending this post I'm leaving you with a favorite Maya Angelou quote. We lost this amazing woman a few days ago but her words will be imprinted in our hearts forever. Rest in peace Maya, and thank you.

" If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."   Maya Angelou

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sunday Mornings and More

  A few posts ago I mentioned a free five week class being generously offered by Mindy Lacefield.  I believe you can still sign up if you're interested. These classes are a way to combine faith and art, and each week there is a video along with a new journal page prompt. For this past Sunday, our first, the project was a "Prayer Portrait".  I can't begin to tell you all I learned in just this one video. I'd never done a face painting like this. Nor would I ever have thought about the colors and technique used for shading. But I dove in and am thrilled with the way my page turned out! Here are two versions of the same page. I added the words digitally. These were both going through my head as I painted my girl.

 The stencil in the background is  Balzer Designs, recently purchased and used for the first time on this page. Acrylics were used here but now I am dying to try out the same techniques using oil pastels!

 The next project I want to share involves continuing practice with abstract art and using my deli paper prints.
It started like this:

  And here are some tips I wanted to pass along in regards to using the deli paper:
  When using a punch to cut shapes of deli paper, first layer a plain sheet of paper (like printer paper) behind it and punch thru both layers. This prevents tearing along the edges (you can see a few here although it didn't bother me for this project, and you can clearly tell which ones had a paper under the deli paper). Save those plain paper shapes for another project.
  Gluing deli paper: I used Collage Pauge Matte. What ever your glue preference you want a glue that's very thin so the deli paper doesn't tear.

 This is my completed canvas:

                                                     Infinite Possibilities  ( 10" x 8")

  There are layers and layers of acrylic paints and glazes. The circles were outlined with India ink after the first yellow layer of paint. Oil pastel was then used after the final layer of paint. I penciled in " the world's possibilities are infinite".

  One more note about Sunday. Last Sunday afternoon I went to a drumming/ yankadi/ makru workshop. I've been going to a drumming circle held the first Wed. each month and really enjoying it. The leader and teacher Moe mentioned this workshop. I didn't sign up immediately but it kept coming to mind and my intuition kept telling me to just do it. So I went after looking at these two You Tube videos:

  It was a small class of 11 of us different ages (23-65) and let me tell you that I LOVED it even though I worked my a** off trying to keep up with two hours of dance and choreography!! The instructor teaches all over the US, including at the local university our son went to. She often goes to Guina and other  West African counties to learn as much as she can about the culture and traditional dance rituals. (Mind you, I never had any kind of dance class in my life). It was a fabulous workout. I was half afraid I wouldn't be able to get out of bed the next AM, but aside from some muscle tenderness here and there I was good to go :) I only wish there were regular classes like these to whip me into shape and have fun at the same time. Despite hubby not getting it -at all- I did it for myself and am ever so glad I did. Perhaps age is making me a bit more fearless? How about you?

 I am linking to the Art Journal Journey challenge blog hosted by froebelsternchen Susi for this month's challenge "what goes around comes around-circles".  Also linking to Paint Party Friday, Art Journal Every Day and Creative Every Day.

 This Monday is our Memorial Day holiday here in the US, and besides having a long weekend and picnics it is especially a time to remember and honor those who gave their lives for our safety and freedom. Hear my prayers.

   " The journey between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place." Barbara DeAngelis


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Daily Life

  What is part of your daily life? That got me thinking since it is the current theme at Paper, Paint, Pencils and Pens hosted by Lynn Cohen. I have to say that coffee is definitely on my list, as is creating something each day whether it's just a sketch, a practice, a card or a WIP. I am never without something nearby to write or draw on. Paper and pens are everywhere! A few days ago I decided to get more drawing practice in by doing a few things in my DYAY journal. This lesson from JoAnne Sharpe's class was about drawing the ordinary. So I sketched the pen holder that sits on my art desk:

 Then I also sketched one of my composition books (before decorating the cover). I used masking fluid to make marks that resemble those on the actual book cover before filling in with color.

 The theme at PPP & P changes bi-weekly and you can join in at anytime!

 And you know what day it is??? It's T Stands for Tuesday with Bleubeard and Elizabeth! So for Elizabeth and friends I am sharing a photo I took after Mother's Day dinner with my Mom, hubby and son.

 My Mom brought French wine  (we're French for a reason :) and Todd gave me the card and sweet bouquet of carnations. They are still on my table today looking and smelling as fresh as the day he brought them. It was a lovely surprise because we are not big on gift giving for every occasion and as most mothers I tell him not to get me anything, just to spend time with me, and save his money. That darling little blue vase on the left I picked up at an estate garage sale for $3!! I love to go pluck a single flower to have on the table each day. Not sure how old this vase is- it may be from the 40's or 50's and I believe it is a specific style but I'm not familiar with it.

 The theme at the Simon Monday Challenge Blog is "botanical" so I'm linking this card I recently made for my friend LuAnn's birthday. ( We're meeting for lunch and whatever kind of trouble we can get ourselves into at Hobby Lobby).

                                     I do enjoy decorating envelopes whether it's stamps or paints.

  Thanks for stopping by and I'll be visiting you soon.

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The truth is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out."   Ray Bradbury

Friday, May 16, 2014

Steeped in Spring

  Finally Spring is truly here with warm days AND nights. My Mom and I went to our favorite place to pick up our annuals which are grown in Amish country not far from us. I got everything planted and not an hour afterwards our first female hummingbird was not just sipping the nectar I put out but also checking out my newly hanging baskets-what a joy to see!! Now if only she'd let me get a pic of her :)

 Since May now is half over I thought it time to share my calendar spread for the month. Again, this was inspired by a prompt from my online class with Joanne Sharpe-DYAY. (See sidebar link). I need to link this to Kathryn Crane's calendar challenge-of which I am in it for my third year now).

  This is the spread once I figured out the layout and went over it all with a Pitt pen:

 And this is May painted in with Peerless water colors:

  Freshly Made Sketches has a new sketch challenge for this week:

 I combined this challenge with the Simon Wed. blog challenge - "die crazy" to come up with this card:

  Products; yellow, white card stock (Bazill); patterned card stock (Stampington and Co.); clear stamp (Mega Mixed Messages set - Papertrey Ink); Versafine Onyx Black ink (Tsukineko); washi tapes (Recollections); brad, tissue paper, green felt (JoAnnes); Grand Calibur die cut machine and  dies- Big Scalloped Circles Lg., Floral Doily  Motifs, Standard Circles Lg. (Spellbinders).

 And  lastly , a mixed media piece I did in my watercolor journal which I am linking to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Mix It Monthly (theme is "coffee"), Paint Party Friday, and the Simon Monday Challenge "M" ( my entry is mixed media).

                         It started with this page of mopped off stencils from another project.

 I then added a mix of Micaceous Iron Oxide and matte medium (Golden). Once dry I added layers of acrylic paints and reinker glazes. After many more layers of  paints, pencil, glazes and pastels this is how I finished it:

                                                           Steeped in Strength  (5" x 8")

  Besides being inspired by the coffee theme it also came about thru an exercise on scraping and incising in Serena Barton's book Wabi Sabi Art Workshop. LOVE this book which has taught me so much and continues to move me "outside" my box yet "into" the heart and spirit I wish to convey in my work!

 Thank you for your visits and comments. I so appreciate it.  Wishing you a wonderful weekend whatever you'll be doing (which I hope includes some art time:) !

      " Whether you've found your calling, or if you're still searching, passion should be the fire that drives your  life's work."                    Michael Dell

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Play

  Welcome Tuesday! Almost didn't get a post in with new art as it has been a busy last  couple of days. But  here I am just in time for T Stands For Tuesday with Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

  First I want to share an envelope I decorated using some of my geli printed deli paper. I have a nice stack of them after a day of play last week with my friend LuAnn. And I am determined to use them. So be on the look out for future projects and techniques :)

 I actually just mailed this out early this AM to someone who mentioned wanting to find deli paper to play with. So I offered to send her some :). The flowers were punched circles of printed deli sheets. I glued them to the envie then doodled them with markers. Tip: when punching deli paper use a piece of printer paper behind it for stability. Otherwise the deli paper will not punch cleanly and will have some torn edges. Keep the plain punched circles for another project. Also, it's best to use a wet glue to adhere the deli paper.

 Just before Mother's Day on Sunday I received this beautiful RAK card and ATC from Joy:

 What a gorgeous card and ATC and a sweet surprise. Thank you so much Joy!! Joy knows how much I love Magenta (their stamps and style). She wasn't able to participate in the swap she made the ATCs for so I was the lucky recipient of one of them. And the card is beautiful-so finely detailed-and very typical of Joy's wonderful cards. Just take a look at some of them on her blog.

 I'm still working hard on improving my lack of drawing/sketching skills so I grabbed this mug from my cabinet and gave it a try.

  It's just OK, but I thought I'd share anyway. I used Peerless water colors and this is on watercolor paper.

    I'm linking today to T Stands For Tuesday;  and Paper, Paint, Pencils and Pens- hosted by the very talented sketch artist Lynn Cohen. the theme is animals-real or imagined. It changes bi-weekly.

" He respects the owl, because you can't help respecting anybody who can spell Tuesday, even if he doesn't spell it right."   an excerpt from Winnie The Pooh.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Print Play

  Last Tuesday I mentioned the possibility of being away all day and promised to share what I was up to. So here we go...
 I went to my friend LuAnn's house for a day of gelli plate printing-and for the first time on deli papers too!!!

  We had a BLAST printing on paper, deli paper, tags, and envelopes. We had so many prints lying all over the place to dry that poor LuAnn even stepped on one :) Luckily her sweet cocker Ginger didn't though.

  Even my hands were printed:

  We did move things aside to have a quick lunch break since my stomach was crying for me to eat:

Simple turkey and cheese sandwiches and bottled water to drink. Then back to more print play!

 Those are some of my prints drying on the stove. This is why we had water instead of tea to drink :)

   Now to come up with some projects to use these prints:) Thanks LuAnn for an awesome day!! Linking to T Stands for Tuesday with Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

  The challenge for this week at Inspiration Avenue is "water". I think everyone knows of my love for the beach and ocean. Here are two cards:

 The base is a collaged, painted paper I printed. I stamped the image, colored it in  then cut and glued it to the paper. The pen and words were then stamped on it.

  For this card I glued a napkin onto watercolor paper, collaged and colored it a bit before making prints of it, then stamping the words on.

 The theme for the Simon Monday Challenge blog this week is "Five".  They listed several ways to incorporate the theme. I chose to stamp the same flower 5 times for this card:

                                  this Hero Arts poppy stamp is one of my very favorites!

 Products: large white note card (Canvas Corp); white, red card stock and patterned paper (the Paper Studio); flower rubber stamp (Hero Arts); sentiment clear stamp ( Stampabilities); Colorbox Fluid Chalk inks in Warm red, Rouge, Lime Pastel and Olive Green (Clearsnap); Versafine Onyx Black ink (Tsukineko).

 And I just realized I used  FIVE ink pads too:).

 With the weather improving and Mother's Day approaching I'm hoping to finally get out this week to buy my annuals for all my planters and flower boxes. I was always told that by Mother's Day it would be safe to plant everything. Off for a walk on this gorgeous sunny day in between visiting blogs :)

 Edited in: I am also linking this to Paint Party Friday since I didn't get any other painting time in. Busy week and weekend with Mother's Day :) Wishing all of you who will be celebrating this holiday in the US on Sunday a blessed day!

                      " Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."  Gerard De Nerval

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday's Mix of Art Projects

  Thanks to all who shared your favorite challenges to create for last week! There are so may wonderful ones out there I agree with Giggles who said "wouldn't it be great to have them all listed in one place?"

 Lots to share today so let's get to it. My completed calendar spread for April:

  I've just begun planning out May's and will post it another time. Linking to Kate Crane's 2014 Calendar Project.

 Continuing the Art of Whimsical Lettering practices:

And of course I'm also continuing the abstract art practices/variations exercise #30. You can get details, links and see the first practice here.

                                                 This time I began with a light oil pastel.

                                                                  Scribbled in color

                                           More mark making after smearing previous scribbles.

                                                                Completed practice.

   For this variation I used acrylic paints on a wet watercolor paper. You can see how buckled the paper became. I don't like this so much. These are meant to be exercises not completed art but I couldn't help giving this series a title anyways- Blurred Lines-:) They'll probably end up being cut or torn and used as background bits.

  My last bit is a card for the Freshly Made Sketches challenge using the above sketch. I'm also linking this to the Simon Wednesday challenge blog (anything goes theme).

  With Mother's Day quickly approaching I thought it a good way to get my card done and apply  the challenge themes at the same time. Mom doesn't have a computer so I know she won't see this.

  Products: lg. white note card (canvas Corp.); soft pink patterned paper and card stock (the Paper Studio); Mother's words and dotted papers (DCWV); clear stamp (Stampabilities); Versafine Onyx black ink (Tsukineko); Grand Calibur die cut machine and Big Scalloped Circles Lg. (Spellbinders); crochet trim (JoAnne's); Diamond Stickles glitter glue (Ranger); paper flowers (the Paper Studio); pearl stickers (Queen &Co.)

 On a last note, I recently discovered (thru Missy K's blog) a free online class being offered  by Mindy Lacefield. I've always admired her art but have never taken a class with her. This is a special and beautiful offering. Just click on this underlined link for the details. Thanks for posting about this Karen!

  Would love to have you join in on all the fun (and amazing art) at Paint Party Friday too, a great place to be!

                               " Learning never exhausts the mind."     Leonardo da Vinci