Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Happy Return to Art and Blogging

  Thank you all so much for all your comforting thoughts and wishes whilst I battled an acute attack of osteo-arthritis which affected my neck. It. was. Awful. Nothing like a pain and discomfort I had ever experienced before. And it lasted much longer than I would have thought, but thankfully things have finally improved enough that I am driving, reading, typing and making art again-albeit a bit more gingerly!
 Here is another similar card to the one above:

 They were created with the latest sketch challenge in mind from Freshly Made Sketches:

 I am also linking these to - the Simon Monday Challenge (thank you theme), and the Simon Wednesday challenge (anything goes theme).
 That colorful vibrant floral imagery down the center of the cards....Duck tape!!!
In this post I shared a wip journal page of a portrait I had begun. I finished it and this is the result:
 This is the first time I have attempted painting a face with deeper colors and in a more exotic ethnicity other than the typical Caucasian girly-girl I have always done. I allowed the initial drawing to lead me and I have to say I am over the moon about her appearance and symbolism! This was done in a 9" x 12" journal. Linking to Art Journal Every Day, Art It Friday- Show Your Face, and Paint Party Friday!
 And by the way, who all is going to join the amazing Kristin Van Valkenburgh for another 6 week adventure of the "Summer of Color" blog challenge ??? Don't know about it? Well, you don't want to miss it so check this post she recently published which explains a bit about it-and includes a cool and fun little quiz about color! The challenge begins June 1st so mark your calendars and be ready for some major fun and creativity!
 I am so looking forward to catching up with you again!
     " I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new."
                                                                                         Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Little Bit of Art, a Lot of Healing

  Well, what a week it has been! I typically post to share my art and love of creating and don't get into health issues. However, this time I'll let you in on my current status. For several weeks now I have been trying to alleviate a flare up of my spondylosis and osteo -arthritis by taking OTC ibuprofen, applying moist heat, stretching , etc. And then overnight last week it worsened-terribly. Nothing gave me relief. My dr. wasn't in so I waited til the next morning and called. Thankfully she saw me despite a FULL schedule. When she saw me she understood. So, I am now on some heavy duty meds temporarily because I developed an acute flare up. She knows how I feel about taking meds but I also trust her implicitly-and to be honest, I would have taken anything for relief! I am also wearing a cervical collar to keep pressure off my neck. As of today, it's slowly getting better. Anyone who has either of these diagnoses can understand. I am very lucky though to only have a flare up once in awhile-and very rarely to this extent. It makes me feel even more empathetic for those who suffer more often. And it was killing me just as much not to be able to create. But I did manage to get a bit in. Earlier today I did a few quick sketches and finished a journal page, and it felt good!

 This one was sketched on watercolor paper using a Stabilo pencil and then gone over a bit with a wet brush. Looks like I was channeling Modigliani again:)


 The above two were quickly sketched very loosely on notebook paper with a pen. I have never done this before and have learned that it's really not so scary after all. This was a practice Christy Tomlinson suggested before creating her project in the Radiant Faces online class I'm taking. When I wasn't able to art I watched more of the class videos. Anyone taking this class? It is PACKED with vids, PDFs, painted faces projects, and detailed instruction! You can click on the link at the top on the sidebar for more info. Linking these sketches to Art It Friday-Show Your Face.

 This journal page was inspired by two art challenges for the month of May- Art Journal Journey (theme is "the sea"), and Mix It Monthly (theme is "a happy couple") :

  I forgot to take a pic of the original background but the page was covered with a deli paper gelli plate print. You can see the pattern in the seahorses. I drew the images on the page using a Pitt pen. I found the template online and then also made a reverse image. Then the remaining background was painted in with several colors of watered down blue and teal. Seaweed was painted in using a very small brush. Images were edged with charcoal pencil and smudged. Drew in hearts with a Signo uni-ball red pen. Wrote words with a  Faber Castell Pitt artist pen (big brush). It was the first time I used this pen and I love it!

 Linking also to Art Journal Every Day and Paint Party Friday.

 And for my T Stands for Tuesday friends ( I know, I did things a bit backwards this week:) -

 This was the dessert I made for Mother's Day. Although I don't eat much dessert I cannot resist a slice of homemade sponge cake topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. I make this fairly often for a dessert throughout summer because it is such a hit! Know why? Homemade whipped cream baby! It is so easy to make that I never buy whipped cream. And yes, I'm going to share the recipe (below) and do hope you give it a try.

 Thanks for stopping in for a visit and for your thoughtful comments. Here's to art and healing!

                    "Healing yourself is connected to healing with others."    Yoko Ono

                                                   Whipped (Chantilly) Cream

  2 Tbsp. cold water      1 tsp. unflavored gelatin     2 c. whipping cream      4 Tbsp. sugar

 Combine cold water and gelatin in glass measuring cup. Place cup in a saucepan of boiling water. Cook and stir 1 min. or until gelatin is completely dissolved. Beat whipping cream and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer while gradually drizzling the gelatin over. Beat well until stiff peaks form.
Note- the gelatin adds stability to the cream allowing it to stand up well in the summer.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Art, Food and Drink!

                                            (see the complete painting towards end of post)

 Hello all! Thanks so much for popping in this past week again. Always good to hear from you! I hope that those who celebrated Mother's Day this past Sunday had a really lovely day. I was lucky to have a two day celebration. Saturday hubby and I walked into town to have dinner and ended up hopping around to several of our favorite places, then seeing a phenomenal band before getting home late:)

 We started out at Tapas on Main which I have mentioned many times (think sangria!) for a drink and a small plate of cheese, bread and a dark cherry compote. It was a gorgeous day and so many of the outdoor tables along the way were full. Sadly we were too late to catch the sidewalk art show (you can see some of the closed tents in the back). From there we went to dinner at the Hotel Bethlehem for a fabulous meal. I was so into it I forgot to get pics - our crab cakes were divine!

 It was still fairly early so we went back to Tapas to check out the evening's entertainment -and stayed til the end. The Craig Thatcher Band was there -guitar, drums and violin-and wow!! They played a mix of rock and blues standards and some Celtic and all three guys could not have been any nicer. I even got to hold the special 1932 violin the young player used when he told us the story behind it. Awesome evening.

 Sunday I made dinner for my Mom and our son joined us too. His girlfriend Kyra stopped by for dessert . It's only been a few times since we met her but she is the sweetest girl-and she even brought me a bouquet of flowers...awe

 The art part. Last week my friend LuAnn and I got together for an afternoon of some serious gelli plate printing!

                       Lots of paints, stencils, mark making tools, and paper products to print on!

 We used up every space we could to lay our prints out to dry:

                                                     from the stovetop and counters...

                                                                       to the floor

 This is a print LuAnn did that we both thought was just the coolest:

          I love the bold colors and it appears to be multi-dimensional even though it isn't!

 We also tried printing on stickers for the first time and they turned out great! Have you ever done that? If not, go to your office supply store and get a variety of sticker sheets to play with next time-FUN!

  This is a page in my 9" x 12" journal. I used scraps of gelli plate printed deli paper to cover the page.

  And this is the start of a portrait:
 I'll share the completed page in a future post. Not quite sure where I'll go with this yet. The face template is courtesy of Effy Wild.

 Another journal page:

This is only the background which was done by collaging various napkins to the page. I decided to try a technique shared by artist Melissa Johnson on pgs. 28-31 in Somerset Studio Jan/Feb 2015.

 And here is the completed page:

 In the detail photo at the top of the post you can kind of see the bits of mica flakes sprinkled on the page. I'll definitely be doing this again!

 Linking this week to T Stands For Tuesday, Art Journal Journey ("the sea" theme); Mix It Monthly (theme is -"a happy couple"); Art Journal Every Day; Art It Friday-Show Your Face; and Paint Party Friday. See you there!

          "The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."    Jacques Cousteau

Monday, May 4, 2015

Lots of Celebrations!

  First of all, happy Cinco de Mayo!!  Hubby and I made our toast(s) on Saturday evening at Tapas with our first sangria of the season and it was a FAB nite!! Met some lovely and interesting people and couples, and our friend Lorenzo was the entertainment -so what could go wrong?


 It's going to be a really busy next few weeks with Mother's Day this Sunday and then several birthday celebrations planned, along with taking Mom to appts. and getting the annuals for planting  and baskets. I am also taking in as much of the glorious weather we've been having as much as I can so I may be posting but once a week for a bit. Oh , and my friend LuAnn and I are having another art day to make more gelli plate prints so I will share those pics next week!

 Speaking of Mother's Day I made this card for my Mom (she won't see this as she does not have a PC):

 Linking this to the Simon Wednesday Challenge this week of "Anything Goes".

 A few weeks ago I was You Tube surfing and watching art vids which inspired my next art journal page. Unfortunately I didn't make note of  any particular one and combined techniques from at least several of them.

 I began with this:

 and then proceeded to this:

and then was completed like this:

 Linking to T Stands For Tuesday, Art Journal Every Day, and Paint Party Friday for this week.

 I also want to share with you a new challenge/link up I will link to for Friday. Kim Dellow visited my blog and left me a message in her comment that she is hosting a link up each Friday called "Art It Friday-Show Your Face". Anyone is welcome anytime. Here are Kim's words about it:

"Link up your face / portrait artwork to inspire and share all the wonderful faces you have been working on. It can be any face from the week just past or the week ahead. Haven't got a face from this week? No problem! Link up one of your older pieces, that is fine too. The link will be open from 10am Friday morning until the next Friday so add away through the week.
Show Your Face and shout it out! The more the merrier!"  Kim

 So how about it? It's always so nice to meet up with more bloggers and artists and be inspired or be an inspiration yourself:)
 I will be around to visit, and if ever you have any ?? about supplies or techniques I may use in any given post that isn't mentioned just ask. I'm happy to share!

" Remove those 'I want you to like me' stickers from your forehead and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good- on your mirror."                     Susan Jeffers