Saturday, March 27, 2010

what's UP in the studio- Easter Goodies.........

I have done almost NOTHING this week!  Monday started out great, I got one project finished and another well on it's way, but as the day progressed, I began to feel worse and worse.  And that night, I woke up with a fever and a sore throat like I've never had.....anyway, I spent the entire week being sick and sorry, and TRYING to get work done.  But for me, when I try to paint and I'm not feeling well, it's like I can't SEE properly or something, anyway, everything I tried to do had to be redone, and then redone again.  Finally today I woke after seven hours of sleep feeling relatively human.  I think I might even be able to manage a little work before the kids get up.....
For now, let me show you the one project I managed to get done this week- an Easter banner.  I've been wanting to make a banner for a while now, but just never got around to it.  Then a couple of weeks ago, my blog friend Elizabeth from Altered Book Lover posted a tutorial on how to make a banner with hand embellished papers.  Elizabeth is amazing- she always shares the most creative ways to make art and has lots of Altered Art goodies on her site; I always feel like I'm in the candy shop when I'm at her blog- never know what I'll find, but it's always a delicious treat. This tutorial was a five day challenge she had set for her Yahoo group and she shared images of their results. One of the participants, Linda Manning did an Easter banner which I loved, so much I wanted to make my own. Actually Linda's blog, The Art Sook is gorgeous too, a great find even without the banner.....

So with no more digression, here's MY take on the Easter banner:

For my papers, I veered from the project a bit in that I used antique music sheets which I painted with a thin layer of white acrylics and collaged scraps of doilies leftover from Valentine's Day.  I glued these to card stock for exra stability and color.  Then I just went to all the blogs with free vintage images until I found six that I liked, cropped them down and glued those suckers on.  The lettering started as a brassy gold to which I added a layer of white glitter to try for the look of that 1940's glitter, it looks a LOT better in real life- my camera just didn't capture the effect in this case!  Hey Elizabeth, does this count as bricolage  even though I used my printer?  Everything else was stuff I had readily on hand....
So there you have it, my Easter banner (which I LOVE) my one completed project of the week!  Go check out Elizabeth and Linda's blogs, I guarantee you'll enjoy the experience!
Oh just as a caveat for anyone who clicks on the image to see it better, ignore the view of our back garden which is a WIP progress at this time- we don't ordinarily decorate with garbage husband cut down a Mulberry tree last week and is slooowly clearing the debris and then we also built a new raised bed for our veggies and cutting garden which is waiting to be filled with pretties.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Art that I Aspire to Admire.....

I have been finding lately that a lot of the art that is catching my attention falls into the category of "Steampunk"  But what IS steampunk you might ask- as I did not too long ago......Steampunk is "Various modern utilitarian objects which have been modded by enthusiasts into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical style.Example objects include computer keyboards and electric guitars. The goal of such redesigns is to employ appropriate materials (such as polished brass, iron, and wood) with design elements and craftsmanship consistent with the Victorian era." excerpt from Wikipedia defining Steampunk as an art genre
Whatever else it may be, I find it intriging.
Here are some examples of Steampunk as found on Etsy:

 "Reliquary Assemblage Necklace" created by Metal Corset

"Time Traveler's Bracelet" by Bellota26

"Dreams of Flight "by Galerie Deilluminata

"Indigo Sparrow" by Cerulean Gypsy

"The Metamorphosis" by Xirconnia

So, there you have it, a small sampling of art created in the genre of "Steampunk"  Hope you enjoyed it, I find it thrilling, myself.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekly Challenge at Inspiration Avenue- My Hometown- Decatur, Georgia

I had so much fun with this week's challenge at Inspiration Avenue!  The theme was "My Hometown" and I wanted my focus to emphasize how lucky I am to live in a small town with charm and atmosphere with all the added benefits of being five miles from the city of Atlanta.  I'm a third generation Decaturite- my Dad and I went to the same elementary and high schools and each of my three children are currently attending the schools that we went to as well.  I LOVE the continuity of that- it's just so poetic to me.  Anyway, for my entry I wanted to do a mixed media piece (I REALLY wanted to include an art doll, but it just didn't happen this time:)) using a recycled canvas.  I cut the middle piece out to create a frame which I covered with various papers to give it texture. 
For the inside, I used two pictures of the Atlanta skyline that changed with flters and tore to make a layered background for my silhouette, 

For the inside of the silhouette I created a digital image using an antique map of Decatur overlayed with an image of my garden.  Since I couldn't find a quote that expressed what I wanted to say, I made my own up. Can you tell how much FUN I had with this one? 
Happy Sunday, I'm off to check out the other entries at IA

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hello Spring......

This time of year, I am hard pressed to stay inside.  Every day, there is something new popping up in my garden, sprouting new leaves where the day before there had been none, creating buds to become flowers someday's my favorite time of year!
I thought I'd share some of my favorite flowers that will soon be making an appearance in my garden.....
This is an heirloom tulip; I *think* it's called Admiral Constanople and of course after looking at it, it's now calling out to be in it's own painting.  I did a painting last year of another view, but it was less focused down...

I am a FOOL for foxglloves, Sherrie at my garden center always reserves a flat of them for me in the Autumn because she knows I'll be coming to look for them.....

My Jackmanni clematis already has buds, I can't wait- maybe it's time to do another painting of one?

The rose is "Cinco de Mayo" and it always blooms by my birthday April 30th as a wee giftie :)

The side entrance path to my front garden- I LOVE my irises, have been wanting to do a painting of them all year......

This is what our back garden looked like last year, which was the end of a two year drought.  When we bought our house, we knew it was in the flood plain, but there hadn't been a major flood since 1963.  So, I thought I was safe planting in the back.   However, in the past year, every time it has rained, the garden has flooded and we have lost a LOT of plants.....much of the above no longer exists,
BUT we have almost finished putting in a dry creek and a pond to control and direct the water.  I'm so excited about it, you can be sure that I'll be posting pictures in the next couple of weeks.  As a gardener, you always have to have a plan! 
So happy first day of Spring, and for those of you who are gardeners, Happy Gardening!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Parrot Tulip painting has been featured in a new treasury......

I guess I'm a bit addicted to tulips, no matter how many I've done, I find myself wanting more- I just can't get enough of them!  This was one of my first "serious" paintings from a couple of a years ago when I had just gotten back into painting as more than a hobby.  Because of this, it is especially near and dear to my heart.....

And, here's the treasury, created by Deb Gioia of Art and Old Lace.  It will be up until Sunday morning- please take a moment to check out all these talented artists from my VAST team Visual Artists Street Team)

Here's to hoping everyone has a great Friday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

what's UP in the studio?

Here's my update for all the projects I'm working on this week.  Once again, I've probably been too ambitious, but we'll see how it goes:)
For starters, I'm getting close to completing my new tulip that I started last week.  It began as a deep crimson parrot, but somewhere along the way decided that it wanted to be a black parrot when it grew up, so I've finished the highlights and just have to work on the purple-black tones the fade out from the center and the not much longer, I hope!
Next up;  this weeks challenge for Inspiration Avenue is "My Town".  Since I've been dying to do an art doll and a shadow box from a canvas, that's how I'm going to address the challenge.  Here are some of the materials, I'm planning to use.....
And last but not least, my new altered book.  I've finished the prep work on the book, I'm just going to white wash over the exterior and then modge-podge the butterfly papers on.  Then I'll paint my Joie figure onto the canvas, and put the quote on the cover.  I *might" add some tags in, haven't really decided yet;)
There you have it, what's UP in the studio for this week, I'm crossing my fingers that work goes fast and well.
Happy creating- Cheers,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New acrylic painting- Daffodil Daze

Happy Sunday all, I finished my newest piece in my daffodil series and just wanted to share it.  I think it's ironic that I'm constantly inspired to use the color schemes that I find the most challenging to work with; in this case, yellows AND whites.......anyway, even though it took me awhile to get the effect I wanted, I am pleased with it and VERY pleased to be able to focus all my attention on finishing my new Tulip painting which I'll share tomorrow in my "What's UP in the Studio" posting along with progress in my new altered book......
If you're interested in seeing more images of it click HERE!

Cheers and Sunday hugs,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Go ask Alice.....

I LOVED the new Alice in Wonderland movie and my daughter did too- so much that we are going to see it again in IMAX format for her 16th birthday.  In the meantime, I haven't done an artist feature lately, so since I have Alice on the brain, I thought I'd feature artists who have featured Alice and friends in their work.  Curiouser and curiouser.................

"Queen of Hearts" Steampunk charm bracelet by Jezebel

"Down the Rabbit Hole" by Fairy Dusted Mermaids

"Drink Me" Steampunk Necklace by Talulabelles

"Storybirds Three" by Phantomwise

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Update on our Auction at Inspiration Avenue

Hello all, our auction at Inspiration Avenue for Angel Faces is in full swing and I thought I'd pop in with updates on current bidding.  I've also added a link to each artist's post where you can add your own bid if you like.
1.The current bid for  Angie's Butterfly Painting/Collage is at: $32.00
2. The current bid for Lisa D's  Mermaid Painting is at: $25.00
3.The current bid for Cyndi's  Blue Dangle Earrings is at: $8.00
4.The current bid for Stephanie's (yes, that's me:)) Pansy Painting is at: $25.00
5.The current bid for Chris's Rose Fine Art Print is at: $10.00
6.The current bid for Luthien's Estella Necklace is at: $27.00
7.The current bid for Lisa D's  Angel Face doll is at: $30.00
8.The current bid for Cyndi's  Chocolate Brown Post Earrings is at: $7.00
9.The current bid for Cyndi's  Green Dangle Earrings  is at: $10.00
10.The current bid for Charlie's Fine Art Tote Bag is at: $28.00
11.& 12. The current bid for Maggie's TWO Original Mixed Media Fairies is at: $25.00
13. The current bid for Art Ist's  greeting cards is at: $6.00
14.The current bid for Lisa W's  Original Painting "Enchanted" is at: $40.00
15.The current bid for  Julie's  Original Mixed Media Painting is at: $52.00
16.The current bid for Beth's TWO Handmade Pin Cusions+ Corsage is at: $20.00
17.The current bid for Shels' Metal Sculpture is at: $8.00
18.The current bid for Tammy's "Love One Another" is at : $15.00
19. The current bid for Tammy's  Mixed Media Wall Hanging is at: $12.00 

As you can see, all of the current bids are still at very reasonable levels.  So, here's your chance to obtain some very affordable art at the same time as contributing to a very worthwhile charity; Angel Faces

 I hope to see you there- cheers!

Monday, March 8, 2010

what's UP in the studio- or not as the case may be.....

I know as artists we all have those weeks where no matter what we're working on, nothing seems to go exactly as planned.  I got my daffadil painting almost completed, but after working and reworking and REWORKING the shadows on the petals, it's still not quite where I want it to be.  For the moment, I'm putting it aside lest it become completely overworked!
Then the Joie de Vivre painting for my altered book was AWFUL, it started out great but quickly became "cute" and the more I tried to "uncute" it, the cuter it became.  I think it was too big; with this series suggestion and movement are key elements and painting it as an 8" x 10" piece there was too much room for details and once I got bogged down in the details, I lost the spontaneity which is what "makes" the Joie de Vivre paintings.....anyway, I'm doing a redo this week, and then maybe I'll reveal the awfully, hideously cute version that's making me nauseous even as we speak- I'm just too embarrased to show it right now.

Here is what the Daff painting looks like at this point.....just so I have something to show for the last week :)
My goal for our show was to have 15 paintings- right now I have 10 not counting the Daff which WILL be done then.  But the other half of my goal was to create paintings of flowers that can be grown from seeds and then incorporated as prints into affordable altered books which was one of my best sellers at the last show.  Of course daffodils can't be grown from seeds so I've already diverged from my why not move a little further off the path and treat myself with a tulip painting......
SO, my goals for the week are to get a new painting in the works- probably featuring a parrot tulip- I'm feeling something like Rococo withdrawal.....
Redo the Joie painting and get it installed into it's book and prep a couple more books to feature printed versions of my flower paintings and seeds to go with them.
Happy Monday, have a great week!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Art Auction for Angel Faces

Let the bidding begin!
The time has come for the Inspiration Avenue art auction!
Starting this Sunday, March 7th at 7:00 am and ending next Sunday, March 14th.  100% of the proceeds will be donated to Angel Faces a wonderful charity dedicated to helping restore the self esteem of young girls with facial disfigurements through the means of art therapy and counseling.
 women helping young women through art.  This charity has truly touched our hearts, and it is sure to touch yours as well.  What could be wrong with the chance to win some beautiful art and change a young girl's life at the same time?

Please come participate in this very worthwhile event; not only will you be getting some beautiful art but you will have the oppurtunity to change a young girl's life
I've donated my original acrylic painting "Lilac Ruffles" for this event with the starting bid of $18.00. 
For more information about this piece, please click HERE
It's So easy to be part of this auction, the rules are simple:
1. All bidding will take place at Inspiration Avenue 
2. Bids must be in USD with $1. bidding increments.
3. Bidders must include their email address for their bid to be valid.
That's it, please join us for this worthwhile event!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Still playing with dolls; why am I still fascinated after 30 years?

One of the best parts of One World, One heart for me was meeting new friends and discovering some amazing art and the blogs that go with it along the way.  I've always been intrigued with altered art and constantly find myself compelled to use that venue for artistic exploration.  So, it's not surprising that a lot of the artists and their blogs that captured my attention were focused on mixed media.  Lately, I'm seeing a LOT of paper dolls, and I LOVE what I'm seeing.  I want to make some to accompany my altered books......this is what's been niggling in the back of my mind the last few days-and my muse is getting louder and louder in her emphasis that I NEED to make a paper doll  Or two, or even three, but definitely at least one.  I've told her that I don't really have time right now- I'm supposed to be getting ready for a show in six weeks, she doesn't care......
So, you'll probably be seeing my efforts at altered dolls in the next week or so, unless they're awful.  For now, please allow me to show you some examples of art dolls that have been a major source of inspiration for me.  Not to copy mind you, but to get in step with and make my own........

"Don't Wake the Gryphon"  by Laura Haviland of Creative Whispers

This is "Grandmother Tree" by Cheryl of Healing Woman

"Letters from Paris" from Bockel24

And here are several that I admire from Etsy artisits....

"Messenger of Spring" by Julia Peculiar

Faerie Paper Doll by Paper Whimsy

"Jumping Jack Ballerina Doll Lousia" by Hope and Joy Studios