Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn is Here

autumn flowers
I can definitely feel it in the air, and see it in the trees. Autumn is here and the colors have begun. It just makes me itch to go leaf hunting . . . soon . . . the leaves aren't quite ready yet. I can't wait till they are. I have art ideas involving those leaves ;) After all, what can be more inspiring than nature?

It's a season of change and lots has been changing here. I went to a wedding this past weekend and had a blast. It was actually the wedding of my friend's daughter, so I was apprehensive about going. The daughter is only a few years older than me, but I don't know her very well. I was afraid I wouldn't know many people there, but I went through all of her mother's stressing and preparing for it so I felt I should go, since I was invited. I found other people I knew from the studio and sat with them. When the dancing started, one of the women dragged me out on the dance floor. I don't dance in front of other people, but she said it was her favorite thing to do and there was no one else for her to dance with. We ended up dancing to just about every song (excluding the "slow songs"). I felt a little ridiculous and self-conscience about it at first, but I ended up having so much fun! I'm glad she dragged me out there. I need to get over these insecurities I have and that definitely helped.

I've been keeping up with my belly dancing and yoga and am seeing results. I can see muscles in my arms :) and can stretch so much farther. I can do yoga poses I couldn't just two weeks ago.

autumn ACEO
One sad change has been the loss of Tai-Chi. The little Chihuahua has wormed his way into every heart at the studio. Just a day after her daughter's wedding, my friend had to sign him over the vet. He got some kind of infection in his eye. It progressed very quickly and put him in danger of being blind in that eye or even losing it. The estimated cost of the bills was just too much. One of the ladies working at the vet's offered to adopt him and take responsibility for the treatment. We are all so grateful for her, but it broke my friend's heart to give him up. Today the woman brought him by the studio. He is doing very well, and she is hopeful that the treatment won't be as expensive as first thought. She offered that if my friend can come up with the money to pay the bills, she can have him back. My friend is scrambling, trying to find a way, so if anyone is reading this, please take the time to send a prayer her way . . .

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mixed Media Madness

dried flowers
I am loving working with mixed media. I'm having so much fun, I ran out of supplies. Opps . . . I shouldn't order more until next month, but I don't want to wait :( I have ideas now!!

Also, my friend (who owns the studio I go to paint) got a puppy who's the cutest thing ever, so now we'll have a little chihuahua running around the studio. We'll also get a lot less work done, if today was any indication ;) His name is Tai-Chi. And he already responds to Tai. He's gonna be the most spoiled puppy ever. Thinking of him makes me smile :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The End of Summer

I just found out that today was the first day of classes at NMU. It feels weird, but summer is over. Thank goodness it doesn't have to be for me ;) I can still enjoy a few more days, when work allows . . . I've been trying to think forward to fall and halloween for my shop, but my mind still seems to be stuck in summer. All the butterflies flying around, I suppose.

I finally found out why my website didn't seem to be updating. I never thought that the page would be cached, but sure enough, when I clicked refresh it was all there as it was supposed to be. I felt a little dumb. I'd been fighting with it all weekend. Thank goodness for the people at SoopSee and their patience with me.

I have a couple days off, and I'm hoping to be productive. Wish me luck :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Inspiration Stay-Cation Straggler

Whoops . . . it's been about a week since my last post. I guess life just got away from me ;) The image above was inspired by one of the stay-cation tutorials on mixed media. It looks like Kim is remodeling that blog, so I can't find the tutorial. But it was by Dea at All Things Creative. I couldn't do it then, because I didn't have the supplies . . . and neither did the local art store. Her tutorial involved filler and a transfer technique. Although the filler looks like it creates a great surface to work on, it wasn't right for me, but I ordered some acrylic binder to try the transfer technique. I have to say, it's awesome. And very easy. Make a laser copy of an image (flipped to mirror-image). Cover the surface that you want to transfer to with binder. Cover the image with binder. Place the image side down on the surface and let dry. Once it's dry, peel the paper of the laser print off.

It creates an beautiful transfer pretty reliably. I only had trouble when I was too impatient and tried to peel the paper off before it was dry. I definitely have a lot of experimenting to do with this technique. I also used Connie's technique to make the backgrounds, so it's safe to say I learned some pretty handy tricks during the stay-cation :)

In other life, today I attended a Writer's Workshop at a local coffee house. Now, when I was young I thought I'd be a writer. I even started college as an english major. I was also interested in art, but my focus shifted to it when I transfered to another college and took a electronic art class. I've written some since then. I even wrote a novel (50,000 words in a month) for NaNoWriMo last year. It was a personal challenge to see whether or not I could succeed when I pushed myself, and I made it. It was a great feeling to reach the final day and have my novel. But I'm definitely more serious about my art. They want artists there because they are hoping to create an e-zine. Hopefully I can contribute to that, but after listening to the others' stories, I'm feeling a bit of itch to write again. We'll see how it works out.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Inspiration Stay-Cation: Day 2

So day two of the staycation. Today there were a couple new techniques to try, but alas . . . I don't have the supplies for one (and neither does the little local art store). I'll have to save that one for later. The second was a photoshop technique to give a photo a vintage feel. I've worked tons in photoshop, but I've never used this technique . . . if I would have known it before, I could have saved myself hours of frustration in past projects. But now it'll save me those hours in future projects, right? It was really very easy . . . and now I'm itching to add one of kim's textures to it.

This is the image using Kim's "layers" texture as an experiment. I love her textures, but I'm not sure if I know how to use them. I kind of like the effect here, but I also like the softness of the pure vintage version.

Below is the original photo.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Inspiration Stay-Cation: Day 1

Kim Klassen is holding an Inspiration Stay-cation. I've decided to play along as much as I can. Todays challenge came from Connie at Dirty Footprints Studio. her inspiration is color and she challenged us to experiment with it today. She also showed us some cool tricks to create texture. Some I'e seen, some I haven't. I packed up my stuff and headed to my friends studio to play. It was a very fun to paint in such a care-free way. I used a used itunes card instead of the credit card Connie suggested. I also used a toothbrush and bubble wrap and paper I'd cut a flower out of as a stencil. I wanted to use the cross stitch plastic stuff, but don't have any. . .

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Yet another technique I need to do more often.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New ACEO and Art on the Rocks

the dancer

This ACEO is my second watercolor belly dancer. I created it earlier this week. It helped me get through another tornado watch. I had to stay up until 3 am watching the storm and things were really scary for awhile, but they finally canceled it shortly before I finished this piece. I'm so excited. It's so much fun to be painting again and I can't wait to do more. My vintage postcards are so inspiring and they make me want to draw again. I just hope I find the time.

Also, today was Art on the Rocks. I go every year and love it every time. Although, it is somewhat of a giant kick in the butt. I always get the itch to make more art when I go there . . . There are so many different artists, with unique techniques and ideas. I can't help but be overwhelmed. Today I bought a calla lily ring for my right thumb to go along with the 5 other rings I currently wear. I'm going to run out of fingers long before I have enough rings ;) I did miss the Outback. There is more than enough art at Art on the Rocks, but some of my favorite artists do the Outback instead.