28 August 2008

Collage Play With Crowabout Week #4

Here is my journal page for Week #4 in the Collage Play with Crowabout Flicker group. It's a private group, so I can't offer you a link to it, but you can get more information about it at Nancy's blog. Every week, she gives us a new sheet full of collage elements and we each make a collage or journal page using at least three of them. The background is one that I made following Suzan Buckner's background tutorial. The girl's face was colorized digitally, but the collage itself was put together manually. My rubberstamping technique could use a little bit of work, but I'm pleased with the way this turned out. There is a margin on the left so that it can eventually be bound with my Bind-It-All.

23 August 2008

A Near Perfect Day!

I had the most amazing day today! It combined two of my great loves -- teaching and art. If my husband had been a part of it (he's out of town on a business trip this week-end), it would have been perfect. I ran a workshop at the Redland's Art Association, our local art gallery, on making Artist Trading Cards. ATCs are small works of art, just 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" (the size of a baseball trading card or standard playing card) that are traded amongst artists. Any medium goes as long as it will fit in a protective sleeve.

Our local gallery is having a week long show and trade in October, so we put together a workshop for those new to ACTs. For six hours and a half hours, we cut, glued, painted, stenciled, rubber stamped, embossed, stapled -- you name it! Because I led the workshop, I didn't actually work on any ATCs. I just answered questions, watched people work, and asked people about their technique and ideas. I was totally amazed at the quality of art that these people turned out, having never made an ATC before. It was amazing, inspiring, and oh-so gratifying. Everyone had their own individual style, and there was quite a variety of cards being turned out.

I had to clean up after everyone left and I was stiff and sore from standing all day on a concrete floor covered in tile, but it was totally worth it! I came home so inspired. I just wanted to spread my goodies out and start making ATCs of my own. I learned so much from interacting with these talented artists and came home full of ideas. I want to try what I've learned. I'm so sorry that I didn't take any pictures. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to take my camera! DUH! One of the women made the most amazing collages using elements cut almost entirely from magazines. She shared a couple of her magazines with me, and has inspired me to go to the thrift store and see if I can pick up any National Geographic magazines (that's what I'll be doing tomorrow). Someone else made an ATC using a photo of my mother when she was a young girl and then gave it to me to keep. Another woman gave me some Asian paintings on tissue paper. Another gave me a really cool piece of bark. Lastly, I was gifted was some paper that looked to me like quilling paper -- but it was colored paper run through a shredder! How clever! Bright, neon colors. I'm sure I'll find a use for that somewhere.

At first, I was really nervous about teaching. In fact, I introduced myself to someone I know! LOL! But once I stopped "teaching" and just started sharing what I know, I really relaxed. The audience was very receptive to what I had to say, very interested, so that made me very comfortable. People paid attention, asked good questions and had great ideas. I left the gallery sore and tired, but on such a high and vibrating at such a level, I almost couldn't contain myself. I called my husband while I was cleaning up and shared some of my excess joyous energy with him, but I still had so much joy inside me that I almost started crying on my way home, because I just couldn't contain myself. I know that lots of good things had to be coming to me today, because I was in such alignment with Source. In fact, a fellow artist walked through, saw what we were doing, and asked about all the rubber stamps. I told her they were mine, and she asked if I'd like some more. It seems she is decluttering her life and getting rid of her rubberstamping things. She was going to give it to charity, but she is happy to give her stuff to a fellow artist, so I attracted abundance while I was so in the flow.

And to make all of this just a little bit better -- I get paid for leading this workshop!!! I used to do the volunteer training and the public education for a battered women's shelter/rape crisis center. Of course, I got paid for my work, but there was never a one-on-one correlation. I never did a presentation (which I utterly enjoyed doing), and then got a check, so this is a whole new experience for me. I did something I absolutely loved doing, had one of the best times of my recent life, learned and got inspired -- and got paid for doing it! You can't ask for better than that!

20 August 2008

Collage Play With Crowabout Week #3

Here is my journal page for Week #3 in the Collage Play with Crowabout Flicker group. It's a private group, so I can't offer you a link to it, but you can get more information about it at the founder's blog. Every week, Nancy gives us a new sheet full of collage elements and we each make a collage or journal page using at least three of the elements. This the first week that I've done any personal journaling on my page. My lettering skills could use some practice, but all-in-all, I'm pleased with how it turned out. The background is one that I made following Suzan Buckner's background tutorial.

New ATCs

I was in an arty mood this evening. Actually, It's 6:33 AM, and I'm just now thinking about getting ready for bed! I worked on my journal page for Collage Play with Crowabout -- I'll post that in a few minutes -- and then still felt like creating so I worked on ATCs. I'm leading a workshop this Saturday at the Redlands Art Association on ATCs to help us get prepared for an upcoming show we are having in October. I thought I ought to have some ATCs that I created to show off, so I worked on these five. Some of the backgrounds were already made, so really I just finished off most of them, but I did make the Asian Happiness ATC from scratch last night. It's one of the less complicated ATCs I've made in a long time, but I like the way it turned out. I have a Love stamp in the same style; I think I'll take it with me and demo embossing with it by making a companion card, if there is anyone who doesn't know how to do that at the workshop.

The Beginnings of Abstraction

Following Suzan Buckner's background tutorial on an 8x10 canvas, I produced this beauty. I haven't decided what to do to it next, but I love it too much to cover it with a collage. I may just add some circles to it and call it an abstract painting!

16 August 2008

Backgrounds Completed

Here are a couple of backgrounds that I completed, loosely following Suzan Buckner's background tutorial. I did have to dry my paper every so often because I'm not using as luscious a paper as she is; I'm using index stock and it's just not the same quality as the expensive watercolor paper she's using. My paper tore from the moisture if I didn't dry it out once in a while. I also didn't wipe my gesso'd credit card on my shirt, but on a paper towel instead! I still think the backgrounds came out okay. I'm eager to try this technique on canvas -- I have three blank canvases waiting for something to happen to them.

15 August 2008

37days Update

Remember the ages ago 37days project? Well, the book, Life is a Verb, is available at Amazon and on local bookshelves! I've been sitting on my hands to keep from going to our local Barnes & Noble to look at the book. I'm getting a signed copy since some of my art work is in the book, and I want to see it in my copy. I was only notified that some of my artwork was accepted, but not which pieces were accepted; I'm dying to find out which one(s) are in there!

I've read four of the 37 essays in the book -- they are good! Run -- don't walk! -- to your favorite bookseller and pick up a copy today. Not only will you get some excellent reading, but you'll get some wonderful art, to boot!

11 August 2008

Suzi Blu Party Girl Art Kit Update

The Suzi Blu Party Girl Art Kit thought of everything. It came with a piece of watercolor paper that had eight faces copied onto it and instructions for shading. I've never worked with watercolor pencils or done "pretty girl shading" before, so I appreciated both the faces to work on and the fairly detailed instructions. I've worked on four of the faces, and I think I'm about ready to tackle the painting itself. Truth be told, I'm getting a little bored with the faces. Not that mine are perfect -- not by a long shot! -- but I've learned a lot and I'm ready to play for real!

Collage Play With Crowabout

Here is my offering for Week #2. For details on the Collage Play Challenge, see the blog post below. Have a great evening!

09 August 2008

New Art Journal Page

It didn't occur to me until just now that I ought to post this! I've been so busy sharing the art for my Featured Artist Show, that this just slipped my mind. I recently joined a collage group, hosted by NancyB, on Flickr (The group is private, so I can't refer you. Sorry!). For details, see Nancy's website. Anyway, the premise is this: Once a week, Nancy posts a collage sheet to the group and the participants have about a week to do some kind of collage with at least three of the elements from the collage sheet. Most people do art/visual journaling of some sort, so I thought I'd try my hand at that again. As most of you will recognize, this really isn't my style at all. I'm hoping to grow and learn as I work my way through this group.

If the concept strikes you as fun, why don't you join us?

I have week #2 almost done; I'm just waiting for my crackle paint to finish drying and I need to go to the office supply store to make some copies so I can do an image transfer of the text I want to use. Most people just write on their pages, but my handwriting is atrocious, so I thought I'd skip that! I'll post week #2's collage when it's dry and ready!

02 August 2008


This piece is 11x14, so it doesn't all show up in the scan. It's done on canvas panel with multiple layers of paint, collage, and an image transfer. This was a fun piece to do and another piece that took me into that "place of no-mind", as most of my art does. I think tonight I'll finish up the Fluer de lis piece that's been sitting on my art table (the dining room table!), waiting to be completed, for a couple of weeks now. My good friend, Sandy Davies, has agreed to help me hang my show, so I feel so much better about that aspect of it. It automatically looks 100% better, with her experience, than it would have if I were hanging it by myself. Now to finish up my art and get it matted and framed -- those pieces that need to be, anyway.

01 August 2008

My Latest Art

I've been busy at the art table! These are my latest creations. Puzzled Heart is 5x7; it's made with multiple layers of paint, tissue paper that has been rubberstamped, a grungeboard heart, and a puzzle piece.

Three Faces of Kim also features multiple layers of paint, tissue paper, a photograph that I got off of Flickr that came with a Creative Commons License, Twinkling H20s, some hardware wire, a piece of netting, and some rubberstamps. This piece is 11x14 -- a little too big for the scanner, so it looks a bit better than what you see here. It will be matted and framed.

Both pieces were fun to work on. Both pieces taught me something as I worked; that's always happy. Both pieces allowed me that moment of "no-mind" or inner stillness that Eckhart Tolle talks about.

Work is coming right along for my Featured Artist Show. I'm getting excited about it. My muse is cooperating, finally!