Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 5...

Today was a class on texture with Mary Beth Shaw. It was a lot of fun. In all of my classes it was amazing to see all the talent and just how different each person's art came out.

So here is what I've started with a bit of the stages. I'm not done layering colors but the process was starting with a layer of texture and then use just two colors of paint along with white for changing values.

I love the style of simple, geometric based abstracts and I'm hoping with practice I will get better at them and develop my own style.

Oh, and I think I forgot to mention yesterday's class was with Laurie Mika. I can't wait to play with polymer clay some more.

Tomorrow I fly back to Atlanta and back to normal life. I sure will miss all of this creativity and hope to do something like this again next year.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 4...

Finally, after staying up late two nights to condition a whole lot of polymer clay, I spent today creating a clay totem. It was fast paced but fun. I'm not done yet but I can create the remaining pieces at home. I still have to tint the face too.

Eventually it gets mounted on a block of wood for the base.

Tomorrow is the last day, sigh. I'm tired but I'm not really ready for it to be over. I have definitely met some cool new friends and had a lovely dinner with Erin, Denise and her husband Steve. We decided to break out and leave the hotel grounds for Mexican.

Well my eyelids are involuntarily closing so off to bed for me. Toodles.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 3

Today was another painting day. I don't like the end result but it was an interesting process. I'm going to fiddle with it and then decide if I will start from scratch or not. Below is the progression and then a couple metal clay pendants. I definitely want to do more of that.

Yawn. Nightie night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 2...

So today was another interesting part of the process. My painting did not come out the way I wanted because I wanted it to be less collage and more organic but I think I like it. Here is a progression of it.

In the above pic we went through and marked portions we wanted to keep.

I got carried away and covered more than I intended.

Adding in some connecting marks but still feels too blocky.

Putting back some more flow and orange.

I'm not sure if it is done yet. I suspect not but we shall see. It does look a bit different in person.
Well, off to bed for me. Just spent an hour trying to figure out how to condition polymer clay for my Saturday class. More pictures tomorrow.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 1...

Today was day one of Art Is You West Coast and day one of a two day class with Tracy Verdugo.
The class is called Sacred Marks and is all about using symbols and layering. I kept forgetting to snap pictures but here are two of the stages.

We shall see what it looks like after tomorrow. Right now it looks too chaotic to me but I know it is really just a part of the foundation.
Here is the bus we took to class and some pics of the area

Here's Tracy

And here are some pics of the scenery on the way to class

Off to bed now. Hugs!
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Collages...

So, I am still doing a sorry job of catching up on blog reading and blog posting.  I keep hoping that some vim and vinegar will kick in and I'll do better.  Still waiting...

I did manage to take some pics of the trio of collages I finished my last crafty day with the girls.  I'm really loving the colors.

I'm also super excited that Tuesday morning I'm heading off to Petaluma, California for Art Is You West Coast.  This will be my first time and I know I'm going to meet some fun new people and learn cool new techniques.

Maybe, just maybe, I will actually post my adventures a bit during the week. 

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Thursday, September 06, 2012

What I've been up to...

I've been very lazy of late and doing a sorry job of blogging. Last month I did have a lovely crafty day with the girls and I did manage to finish a trio of canvases. Didn't get as far as snapping some good pictures yet though so more on that later.

I received an email too that some of the art submitted for Seth Apter's 5x5 challenge is going to be in an issue of Somerset Studio. Keeping my fingers crossed that mine makes it but there were over a hundred entries so we shall see.

Last week I was up in DC for a conference for work and I actually enjoyed it. Met up with peers from other firms and met some new folks. The conference was at a great place on the river so here are some pics from my phone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An Anniversary...

I didn't even realize that today is my five year anniversary of a major change in my life. I was reading about a challenge for Buried Treasure on Seth Apter's site and started perusing some of my old posts looking for what I would consider my favorite. I found the post below from July 11, 2008 and it dawned on me that today is July 11.

My 2008 post seems very appropriate as a reminder of some of the things I've accomplished from that list but a gentle nudge towards the ones I've neglected. It is also my favorite because I exposed a part of myself and I need to do more of that. I don't consider myself a terribly private person but I don't think I spend enough time on self examination these days and that is a vital part of inner growth. I wanted to find piece of artwork I did or a photograph I took that had special meaning and I did find a bit of that but being real is more important.

It is interesting to see my progression from scrapbooker to exploring mixed media but it is like reading an old diary when you find a tidbit that you really need to revisit and re-embrace.

Here is the post.

Well, one year ago today I had gastric bypass surgery and I am still so very glad I did it. One year ago I walked down a new path. Unless you've struggled with being overweight you will never understand the world of pain that goes along with it. Some of it is self inflicted and some of it comes from the world around us and the expectations that bombard us. There is a constant self consciousness that you can't seem to put a stop to. That is all in addition to the physical struggles with carrying around that weight. I'm already amazed at how much better I feel and how much more energy I have. Inside I feel like the same person but I also no longer feel like that fat person looking in from the outside at the skinny world. I don't have that tape playing in my head of "She'd be pretty if she wasn't so fat." I can walk up a hill and feel like a normal person who can still breath. I can shop in the regular sizes now. There is a new spring in my step. I no longer have high blood pressure or diabetes.

I am so blessed with family and friends who all love and support me and are happy for me and encourage me continually.

Last night I started listening to a Franklin Covey cd and pulled out an old notebook where I recorded some of my health goals and weight loss from previous attempts. At the time when I wrote them they seemed so far away but now I am partway there. Here is the list unedited:
  1. To be able to bend over and tie my shoes easily.
  2. To be able to move freely without the restrictions I have now because of my weight.
  3. To be more physically active in my activity types.
  4. To be able to hike up a mountain with the ease of a fit person.
  5. To be able to ride a bike up and down hills.
  6. To take my bike on trips and to ride it rather than drive every where.
  7. To be healthy and fit.
  8. To play tennis.
  9. To do more creative things like pottery, painting and stained glass.
  10. To stop spending more money than I make.
  11. To pay off all my debt.
  12. To pay cash for everything except for an occasional large purchase but to also pay that off quickly.
  13. To spend more time seeking out God.
  14. To learn how to hear God.
  15. To learn how to obey God.

That last one is a doozy. I have accomplished some of those goals and am working on others and some I still need to address. It's funny that I started thinking about these last night because today I read my friend Rebecca's blog and she is examining some of her before 30 life goals and issued a challenge. So, Rebecca, consider the above list my contribution although I know there is more floating around in my head.

Another coincidence is that the theme for this week's Inspire Me Thursday is Healing. I wanted to contribute some sort of art that embodied that to me but my photography and spilling my guts will have to do. In my life God is healing and nature is what speaks to me the most about healing. The photograph above reminds me of God's healing in my life that enables me to open myself up more. I feel like a flower opening to His possibilities.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Another one finished...

I've had a lovely weekend.  My niece Natalie came late yesterday to hang and spend the night.  Our intentions were to start playing with paints and such then but it was fun to just visit and make a run to Home Goods with Mom.  Today we did spend some time playing and talking about ways to add texture.  My niece has just started painting and is having fun with exploring using paper towels for texture and even tried out alcohol inks for painting.  She's made some lovely pieces.

The piece below is 8x8 and I started it by challenging myself to use scraps I collected from the girls on one of our crafty days.  I layered in some pattern tissue and some other tidbits including rub-ons.  I found one that I though just fit in perfectly with the cheerful colors and flowers of 'laugh with me' and I'm calling this one done.  I think it will make it to my Etsy shop.  Once I have a group ready I think I'll put them on their all at once.

I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend too.  Hugs!

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Calling them done...

A couple of weekends ago the girls came over for a crafty day.  I was determined to work on my pile of unfinished projects so at least some of them could be called done.

This is a collage I've been working on.  I created the background and it took a bit to figure out what I wanted to add to it for a focal point and decided flowers fit with it.  Next, to figure out how I want to frame it.

 I finally added the last piece to these two with the numbers.  I toyed with adding some more dimension but I like them just the way they are.  I just love working with old papers.

This final one I started early last year and finally came back to it.  I think it is done unless I decide it needs some words but I need to find a frame for this one too.  I think it may make it to my Etsy shop which is sadly empty at the moment.

Today would have been a good to work on some more unfinished projects but it ended up being a day of rest.  I would really like to get back to doing more on the weekend and feeling more of a sense of accomplishment.  sigh.
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Catching up...

Of course, its been too long again since I've posted.  So I've been to a few festivals lately.  The first was to see my friend Mary at The Little Red Barn artist market at the lovely home of Alice Vander Veen.  Alice is a wonderful artist market hostess and mom and I had a great time meeting some new people and visiting with Mary and her adorable daughter Megan.  Mary and Megan both had a lot of wonderful pieces of art but I restrained myself and only bought one from Mary to put in my art room.  It says "Life is a splendid adventure.  Guard well your spare moments."  I don't do a very good job of that.  I always feel like I'm wasting too much time not doing what I should or want to.

Another weekend mom and I met up with my sister Sherri, my niece Natalie and her boyfriend Travis to walk the trails at Panola Mountain.  It was a lovely overcast day (except the constant watching for ticks) and we had a nice picnic lunch afterwards.  One thing I love is how well my family gets along and just how much we enjoy spending time together.  Afterward mom and I went to the Dunwoody Art Festival and to my surprise I found Jodi Ohl there.  I love her work and was so excited to get to meet and talk to her.  I did find two pieces that I had to take home with me and just love the colors.

Another friend, Ann Bailey, was attending an art festival in Canton so I drug mom along since I hadn't had a chance to see Ann's art in person yet.  She does this wonderful marriage of calligraphy and paper mosaics and I just had to bring home one that was in my favorite colors.

While I was outside taking pictures of all of these I managed to notice the lovely raindrops on the hostas mom has growing in some of the pots on the deck.  I did not swap out to my macro lens but the pictures come out pretty well any way.  Although they just aren't sharp enough of a focus for me.  Should've used the macro.

On the home front I've finally started working on the great wood floor installation again.  I'm working on the stairs but they aren't supposed to be walked on for 24 hours so it's one tread at a time so that we can just step over that one (mostly) until the glue has had a chance to set.  So, that's two steps a weekend.  Slow but coming along.  I haven't taken a picture of it yet but maybe next weekend.  Well, its Sunday night and well past my bed time now.  yawn.

Hugs and hope you have a wonderful week.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Hello Again...

Well, there's been some laziness but also some not so pleasant excitement. About a month ago I was minding my own business trying to get to work when a person came out from a side street without stopping and plowed into me which knocked me into another vehicle and caused the jeep to flip over. So one minute I see headlights hit me and the next I was hanging upside down. Since I flipped the emergency crew decided I needed to be carried out and that was some feat cramming extra people into the Jeep to get me on one of those awful backer boards. After being thoroughly checked out nothing was broken, just very bruised and battered. Sad to say they totaled my jeep. Oh, and I have mostly recovered.

I have to say I really miss my Jeep even though the ac needed to be fixed and the soft top needed replacing. I ordered her (yes her) in 2001, picking out the color and all the little extras I wanted like a winch on the front and she's been with me ever since. My license plate holder had the saying "it's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand". Jeep (real Jeep) owners know what that means. I couldn't even go look at her at the tow company in her crumpled state. I told one of my friends I felt like I was missing a part of me even though I know that is silly. One of the gals at work said it was my signature and that is so true. Well, you swallow the lump in your throat that shouldn't be there over a car and move on. So now I have a black Toyota RAV4 that gets much better gas mileage and is very nice without breaking the bank and will haul art supplies nicely when needed. Someday I will buy another Jeep, at least for a play vehicle.

So, in the midst of that I have managed to play in my art room and at the monthlyish creative day with the girls. I made a second painting using a base of recycled business cards and tissue. My first rendition was an attempt at teals and orange and I didn't like it all. The balance was all off and seemed hopeless but I'm liking round two better but it is still in progress.

Another piece I started is this one. I used a piece of cool paper I bought at Blick and some burlap. I've layer down a first layer of color with the idea of an abstract landscape. We shall see what happens next.
I also started this background. I haven't figured out what I want for my focal point but ideas are percolating. It may involve flowers. So unlike me but hey, it's spring.
This is a triptych I've started and seems to be spoken for by my bestie Rebecca. I asked what if you don't like what else I do to it? Oh the pressure. I covered the canvases with old papers and then using a stencil layer down some purple tinted molding paste. I'm working on a color inspiration for the next step.
So it seems I have a lot of things started and here's hoping I actually finish some soon.

On another note, I have gone and actually submitted this small piece (5x5) for one of Seth Apter's challenges. It was to answer one or all of three questions. I answered the one of what is one thing you have never told anyone and the thing I think about often but haven't verbalized is not being considered a real artist. I feel like an artist but not in a secure way. Any how, for this piece I adhered strips of various papers and added a light wash of gesso. I had fun adding in bits of this and that (including a scrap of window screening) for the final results below.
Well, hopefully it won't be so long before my next post and maybe I can have something finished to show. Hugs!